I love my husband; he makes me laugh. We enjoy sitting next to each other on the couch watching episodes of All in the Family, munching on frozen grapes and drinking tea. Writing this, I realize a person on the outside looking in (like my 16 -year-old daughter) might view our marriage, social life and our time spent together (the majority of which is spent in our living room) as quite anti-social and boring.
In fact, my daughter recently asked my husband and I if we were happy not having any friends that we go out with on double dates. I admit it–I never considered that my 16-year-old was so astute when it came to studying our behaviors and social interactions. But gosh golly, this kid is literally critiquing and filing away each and every one of our interactions, even if they're not with her or her brother.
I'll be honest–until recently, I never considered how my social behavior–or lack thereof–impacted my kids. I figured it was a non-issue, but apparently these kids of mine are watching me, taking their cues from me. And now I'm feeling this pressure to rethink the current state of my social life.
Here's the crux of the issue: my husband and I are comfortable; neither one of us has this pressing urge to slap on a sequined top (in this case my husband has no interest) a pair of slingbacks, eye makeup and go out to dinner and a movie when we can so easily slip on a pair of yoga pants and settle in with take-out food and whatever is playing on IFC or the Sundance channel.
And no, it's not because we've been married 18 years that we've fell into a dateless rut; we were like this four months into our relationship when we got engaged. I think that's what drew us to one another. We were each other's soft place to fall, to feel completely cozy and fulfilled just being and coexisting in the ordinary and mundane.
Of course the fact that my husband is 15 years older than me does make it a bit more difficult for us to find age-appropriate couples that we gel with–and I understand his discomfort at feeling like the chaperone at an outing as opposed to a contemporary when he's with couples who are a solid 20 years younger than him.
Unfortunately my 10-year-old daughter doesn't approve of our version of domestic bliss. Rather, she views it as anti-social and weird, and makes statements like, “Why aren't you and daddy like my friends parents, who go out on dates on weekend nights?” So I guess the real question is–should we try and make an effort to socialize more to appease my daughter, or do we stay true to who we are as a couple, and show her that being different is OK?
Has anyone else had their children raise questions about their social life?