Our first V-Day as husband and wife is recorded in our marital history book as our worst. By far. Looking back, though, I see that Ted's proverbial foot in the mouth didn't have to spoil that particular February 14th. A fight didn't need to follow.
At midlife, most of us don't have time or money to waste so we'd rather dim the lights, turn on some Luther Vandross and holler "Come and get it!" before it's time for the evening news and some salve on our aching backs.
Like most couples, we entered the empty nest phase of our lives pretty much the same way we entered the world, starry-eyed and clueless. We had our big 'now what?' moment and stumbled ahead, knowing that we had to do something to reconnect as the couple that fell in love all those years ago.
If I found someone fast, my son wouldn't remember a mommy who was lonely and alone. And this is precisely how I arrived at the altar a second time -- broken, clinically depressed and desperate for a world that resembled that movie reel of what once was.
It's an interesting proposition -- that two people can fall in love simply by answering these 36 questions. I tend to agree with those who commented on the column that one makes a choice to fall in love.
Sometimes I want to be weak and helpless and have someone else to blame for everything that's wrong in my life. But if that's true, where does it leave me? What can I learn or improve from that position of helplessness?
I didn't realize it until there were two of them, until I looked over at Austin one night and realized we are basically roommates chasing a drunk toddler and passing a newborn back and forth in a game of grownup hot potato.
These days, it's sometimes hard to recall who we were before parenthood. Sure, you're still you and I'm still me, but having two kids in just as many years has made it difficult to take a breath and step outside of our roles as mother and father.
If you're in a relationship, it's even more important to understand what besides sex stimulates you and why. If you don't know what stimulates you, or alternatively, turns you off, how can you expect your partner to know?
There are many residual wounds that linger long after the affair for all couples but if the cheated-on person was given an STD this has many deeper layers of anger, hurt and betrayal, which further exacerbate the experience of infidelity.