I love my husband but is it natural to stay with the same person forever?

We’ve made it to the 17-year mark…and no it hasn’t been the fairytale I envisioned. I look at a friend who just got married and see the look of excitement, undeniable chemistry and blissful love he has for the woman who is his wife and I miss those feelings. I want that chemistry that’s so intense it can be transmitted non verbally, through just a lingering look or a brush of my cheek. I want to look at my husband and not immediately think… “Wait is he wearing the same shirt he wore the past two days? Did he remember to fix the leaky faucet?”

I love my husband but is it natural to stay with the same person forever?

Of course when I tell my husband these things he tells me to “Stop watching the Bachelor and movies like The Notebook.” I get it– we have these Hollywood style endings and scripts written into our socialization as little girls, that we’ll meet a man who will be our soul mate, our person- with whom we will live out our days which will culminate with us sitting on a porch swing drinking lemonade as our grandchildren crowd around our sagging ankles.

OK clearly I have viewed one too many a Norman Rockwell painting… because I have yet to see a porch swing- or been privy to sit on one- and I don’t think I’ve ever drank a glass of lemonade.

I also look at my husband and while I still see the man I fell in love with 17 years ago… I’m missing those butterflies. Don’t get me wrong I love him desperately- he’s my best friend- the man who I tell all my secrets the one who has seen me push a six and a half pound baby form my lady parts, the one who held my hand as the Dr. made my c-section incision. Maybe it’s our experiences that keep us together and the fact that we’re raising two kids, but the passion that; I want to rip your clothes off and when I look at you everyone else fades away, well it is fading. And it makes me wonder, is it natural to stay with the same person forever?


  1. Sherry says

    I remember reading an article (in National Geographic, I think) about love. The thing that stood out most was about how that intense infatuation stage of being in love (butterflies in the belly) eventually needs to wane, because it is unsustainable. Our brains cannot take that sort of stress (even good stress) and stimulation over the long term. When you think about the research that shows how when you first fall for someone your brain turns off important things like rational thinking and amps up the same areas of your brain that work overtime in mentally ill people, it is easier to understand why it actually wouldn’t be good for you mentally health and life to live in that constant ‘crazy in love’ stage. Unfortunately, many people chase that ‘high’ of first love over and over, compromising their chance to find a true lasting love for the rush of infatuation. I guess one of the things that is hardest about a long term romance is trying to get over the small daily irritations and continue to see your partner in a more loving light. I am no great expert, mind you. I have been single and celibate for over 5 years because I haven’t found the ‘ONE’, but that is more because I have a low tolerance for BS and frankly a lot of people are full to their eyeballs with it! I agree with your husband in that you can not compare your life to fictional romances, because when the book or movie ends we never see what comes next. I have seen great, life-long loves and the one thing they all had in common was that each partner was realistic in their expectations and had committed to a deep bonding over the thrill of ‘first love’. Just think of the cliche of a couple growing old together, side by side in their rockers holding hands. The cliche is NOT of an elderly married couple going at it like rabbits on the porch and then feeling insecure and frantic about needing the other person so much that they feel like they are going to fall apart when they are out of sight (how quickly we forget the terrible fear that comes with the thrill of a new love). I don’t think long term monogamy is ‘natural’ when we think of ourselves as animals that just happen to walk upright and have a much longer life expectancy than ever before, but then again neither is it ‘natural’ to use a fork or a flushing toilet, and I am not giving up either one of those!!

    • says

      This right here makes more sense then anything I’ve read about love in a long time! I am going through this now with my husband of almost 13 years (although we have been together for 19 years… It’s hard.

  2. Melinda T says

    I think so, even if society doesn’t. Marriage is definitely a ton of work and really takes both individuals working and compromising together!

  3. Jack says

    Marriage is a lot of work. And passion sways and tends to tie down with years of marriage. But there are ways of spicing things up and making a choice to try and bring back the passion. Monogamy is also a choice. Some people make it, some don’t. It requires work, trust and commitment. But most of all a desire to make it happen out of the desperate love which you speak and the ties that bind you. And of course a desire to never want to betray that love and trust.

  4. Melanie says

    omg !! how true is this!! I wish I could get those butterflies back instead of looking at him and thinking why didnt u wipe those crumbs off the counter when u made yourself that sandwich or y do leave your dirty clothes all over the floor. I think havung kids with a man makes yousee them in a different way and luv them in a different way than you could ever imagine. But im still not sure if that is the reason to stay together forever…

  5. c y says

    Yes, it is. My husband and I have been married for 35 years and we have had a good marriage and still do. We have been through many things and have been through the heartbreak of losing our 21 year old daughter in a horrible way. Financial and other things have been rough many times. One thing though, I cannot ever think of my life without him. We really try to meet each other's needs. I tell him I have to have romance and I meet his needs. I think that is the key-giving to your spouse what they really need. You gotta laugh and you have to really pay attention to each other. Do special outings. If you do not make your time together happy and loving and special it won't be. We look at each other with love and are very much attracted to each other and let the other know.

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