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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 150 > How not to take each other for granted

How not to take each other for granted

As Heidi Scrimgeour hammered out a text to her husband, she realised how far they had come from the loving communication of the earlier days. And then she set out to fix it…

After nearly 20 years of marriage, I’m in the favourite-pair-of-jeans stage of long-term love. My relationship with my husband feels like a second skin. It has morphed into something so familiar that it sometimes feels like an extension of me, rather than an entity in its own right which requires careful nurture.

And while there’s something so nourishing about being in an in-it-for-the-long-haul relationship that’s as forgiving as your favourite jeans, I sometimes miss the old days of our relationship – the stage that was more akin to wearing a statement dress that threatens to cut off your circulation, but which makes you feel like a million dollars.

I’m grateful for the familiarity of long-term love, which feels secure and safe – surely the ultimate relationship goal – but I miss the part before we started taking one another for granted. What prompted this train of thought was a text I dashed off to my husband the other day that read: ‘ETA?’ Those three aggressive little letters – sent to establish how long before I could hand over the kids and tackle my mounting deadlines – had usurped the three words that used to punctuate our interactions.

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