He Misses Thongs, She Misses Sleep: THIS Is Marriage After 10+ Years

Photo: Steve Austin
Family, Love

What REALLY happens after the honeymoon is over.

"Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?" Groucho Marx

Meet Steve and Lindsey. They've been together ten years, married for eight. Two kids, a dog, and piles of student loans. It's the freakin' American dream. But the honeymoon is over.

Lindsey: When I hear older women talk, they sometimes say things like, "After thirty years, I still feel butterflies when he walks through the door." Bullsh*t. He's balding and potbellied. She isn't blind. She's also not deaf, because she constantly complains about him snoring and the fact that he still doesn't put his shoes away.

After only ten years, I feel tired and I just want my husband to take out the dog and the garbage, please and thank you.

Steve: I feel butterflies, if by butterflies, you mean I still think dirty thoughts when I see her standing at the kitchen sink. She's still got a cute butt. I don't need soft 70s music, a bed covered in roses, or an hour-long massage. I don't even need her to have a new outfit from Frederick's of Hollywood.

I'd totally do bad things right here in the kitchen, regardless of the yoga pants and oversized hoodie she's wearing. The biggest obstacle right now are these damn kids, screaming for more goldfish and apple juice.

Lindsey: He used to call me on Fridays at three in the afternoon and say, "I've packed you a bag and I'll pick you up at work. We're going out of town for the weekend." Butterflies. Carefree, fun-loving, and adventurous. Wine and passion and sleeping late.

Steve: I miss thongs.

Lindsey: Kids stole my body. I miss having my own body. Why do my boobs feel like jello?

Steve: I used to think she secretly wanted to be married to Channing Tatum, so I drank stuff that tasted like grass and ass, and worked out like it was my j-o-b. P90X nearly killed me. Then I realized she just wants me to put my dirty clothes in the basket and read the kids a bedtime story.

And she's not nearly as concerned with the size of my... retirement fund as I am. If I can just clean the kitchen after supper, that's all she needs. So I make sure I send a text to sincerely thank her for all the things she does to keep our family clothed and fed. Seriously. We'd be naked and starving without her.

Lindsey: I'm not exactly sure when the shift happened. But you want to talk about a "love language"? When he takes our toddler downstairs at the crack of dawn and lets me sleep an extra half an hour, I have never been more turned on. These people who think babies aren't going to come along and steal your soul are completely disillusioned.

Steve: Our relationship is so much deeper now. I don't need her to tell me I'm sexy any more. She doesn't greet me at the door, wearing nothing but a smile, like I imagined in my twenties when I pictured us married. But we still watch Netflix and chill. That's good enough for me.

Lindsey: For us, love has become less about butterflies and more about being appreciated. Let me be clear: I'm attracted to my husband. But I do not feel butterflies anymore. And the death of the butterflies is OK.

Appreciation is deeper. I don't need my husband to impress me anymore  he's already got me. I just love that he continues to show up with me, as my equal, in the midst of the chaos of our life.


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