Because the Catholic Girls Can Be Forgiven

The other day, the Today Show provided me with this statistic:


“90% of couples had less marital satisfaction after the birth of the first child.”


(I can only assume that the braintrusts at Texas A&M and the University of Denver are tripping over themselves to release their other, equally scintillating, groundbreaking findings:  “Oxygen:  Good for breathing.” and “Nearly all people need to eat food, sometimes.”)


I don’t think it needs to be that way. 


It takes work.


Oh sure, when you’ve been together for a long time, and you’ve had a couple of kids, it can be tough to keep things interesting.


Because the day to day mundanity can be mind-numbing.  The kids take up an outsize amount of your attention.  And at a certain point, you’ve heard all the good stories that either of you ever had in your arsenal.


So its important, every now and again, to take a road trip.  To lull those kids to sleep with DVDs.  To keep yourselves awake with Red Bull at 10 o’clock at night.  To gaze at each other by the blue glow of the satellite radio receiver.  To listen to the music of your inglorious past.   And to let the memories lead to conversations.  Conversations that remind you that you don’t know everything there is to know about your spouse:




“I don’t know what kind of girls you grew up with, but mister, what you’ve just described is not 3rd base.”


21 responses to “Because the Catholic Girls Can Be Forgiven

  1. Nice post. I’m going through a lot of this right now with my wife… but a roadtrip would kill us both! I mean the kids (3 & 5) would make it miserable

  2. it the pic from the Brick Testament book? love it!

  3. You raise a very valid point that I will have to make sure I remember – having a conversation doesn’t actually mean talking nonstop until the girlfriend slaps you with a pillow.

    Like, hard, too.

    I’ll have to tell her that she’ll find me less sexually-appealing after she has the kid… somehow, I don’t think she’ll be as shocked as I would like her to be.

  4. LOL. I would LOVE to hear the rest of the story. It sounds an awful lot like a conversation that I had with my husbans that ended with me saying, “Wearing nylons AND underwear on a date is called class.”

  5. I especially like this sentence:

    “And at a certain point, you’ve heard all the good stories that either of you ever had in your arsenal.”

    Great post – rings so true and yet we all have to be reminded sometimes, it takes work.

  6. Come on. There has to be more to the conversation.

  7. Dean: Do you have DVD players? Because that is key, man. (Also, thank you for reminding me that I have been terribly remiss in giving credit for the header.)

    Ryan: Not just less sexually appealing: you’ll be the precise antithesis of sex. For a while. Then you’ll be OK.

    faemom: I’m going to bet it was a strikingly similar conversation.

    vinomom: Work. Or confined boredom. Either way.

    Southern (in)Sanity: I have to keep SOMETHING for myself!

  8. I thought you had kids to save a relationship…this study flies in the face of everything I have been taught.

  9. I tell the same stories over and over and over again. But Todd’s nice enough to let me think I hadn’t ever told him. Then he’ll crush me like a bug and tell me he’s heard it before. It breaks my heart just a little bit every time. LOL.

  10. Well considering I had my daughter 4 months after we said “I do” my husband and I didn’t have much time for wedded bliss. You’re right, Ginny, it takes tons of work. But it’s so worth it when you get it right.

  11. polymerclaysnails

    LOL … there should be a part 2 to this post showing the rest of THAT convo …

  12. O.G.: That is a rampant rumor I am out to dispel, one blog post at a time.

    Beej: Oh, that’s cold.

    Gwen: So, you never knew the simple pleasure of a day-after-your-own-wedding-hangover? Sorry.

    polymerclaysnails: It pretty much ended, right there.

  13. 10:00 at night? Are you shitting me?

    My old boss used to talk about papers that belonged in the Journal of the Bloody Obvious. Got one there I think.

  14. Man, I don’t sleep until about, I don’t know…one-thirty? I can’t imagine going to bed earlier than that.

    I also can’t imagine being a mom, though, or a guy who would want to spend the rest of his life with me, or running out of stories to tell someone.

    How do you run out of stories? I feel this is impossible.

  15. Rassles I was the same with sleep until children. Now I go to bed at 11 and that’s way later than most moms I know.

    Ginny you are so right. I think Dr. Phil is a tool 90% of the time but I heard him say once that marriage isn’t 50/50 it’s 100/100, sure you can’t give that 24/7(ok I’ll stop with the number thing now) but it takes two people who want to stay married to stay married and be happy. The biggest thing I took in being married is I no longer fight to win. I don’t want to win at his expense, it feels like a hollow victory if he’s miserable. Sure I still push to get my way about some stuff but we really compromise. I know at the end of the day that my husband will do anything to make me happy, make any sacrifice, so I don’t make him. I’m always glad to here from couples making it work because I know so many unhappy couples but the reality is most of them would be unhappy alone to. Some days you just have to make a decision to be happy.

    The only thing I would add to your list is the occasional pigtails/cheerleader costume. (for you not Owen). Not only does it make the man unspeakably happy and mesmirized but it gives you new stories.

  16. This makes me miss the good ole days already, and I’m single with no kids.

  17. cdv: In real life, I stay up way later than I ought to. But there’s something about being in a car in the dark that makes any time feel like the middle of the nght.

    Rassles: I have run out of stories because we have been together since I was 18. What the hell happened that was story-worthy before 18? Not enough material to keep us going for the past 15 years, I’ll tell you that much.

    chris: You’ve espoused the virtues of the schoolgirl uniform before. I think you’re right. Would fishnets be too much?

    Erin: Aw, sorry. I really don’t want to drag everyone down into the vortex of lame with me. I really, really don’t.

  18. Fishnets are never too much. Neither are garters.

  19. I’m planning for pantless Sundays. If that ever gets boring, we’ll upgrade to pantless answering the door.

  20. Captain: Hmmm. This is getting complicated.

    Em: Its good to have a plan. And the door answering thing comes in handy when the Jehovas come around.

  21. I love those moments when I get to hear one of his stories I’ve never heard before, or I get to share them. They are rare, but when they happen, they’re gold.

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