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Relationships

The Hot New Way My Hubby Has Put The Spark Back Into Our Marriage After 30 Years Together

There's just something so sexy about what he's doing.

My husband recently began taking charge of his health again, after a long hiatus spent seemingly not caring much at all about his own longevity. It is an incredible turn-on to watch him recommit to healthy habits. Listening to him call (without me nagging him first) to make overdue appointments for a colonoscopy, a physical and a skin cancer screening is straight up titillating.

There’s just something so sexy about self-respect in action.

When I was a young newlywed, not having seen a healthy marriage up close and personal while growing up — one I could model my own after, I winged it. Most of what I thought I knew about being a couple I’d learned from ’80s TV sitcoms, books and magazines. The rest was supplied by my — too young and inexperienced to be trusted — intuition.

My husband had the high-powered, stressful and time-consuming career, while I merely had a job. So, it followed, in my mind, that I’d oversee taking care of hearth and home — and by that, I mean my husband, too. He went to work and did the odd, seasonal task around the house, and I did everything else. In addition, I scheduled his haircuts and dental appointments, planned our meals and packed his lunches, shopped for his clothes, picked out his shoes … and now I’m starting to gag so I’ll stop the list here.

I simply didn’t know any better. If something needed to be done regarding the proper care and keeping of a husband, I did it or directed it. I thought that’s what a “good” wife did. Especially if she wanted a happy husband who’d stick around. This course of action seemed natural and intuitive for a while. Over the years though, I ended up resentful over feeling more like a caregiver and a life coach than a wife and life partner.

We’ve spent years retooling our roles within our marriage, and much has improved. The division of labor within our home is more balanced and appropriate now. The tension of old I used to feel over him not doing his part began to creep back in, though, when my husband stopped exercising and eating healthy, swapping both out for more detrimental ways of coping with life.

As we approach retirement, his health, well-being and longevity are of utmost importance to me — as all are tantamount to enjoying the rest of our lives together. When I watched my husband effectively let himself go, it felt like drifting down the river together in a double-seater float while he slowly let the air out of his side.

To be clear, my issue isn’t with his weight or appearance, but with his ability to keep his heart beating. I myself am the heaviest I’ve ever been right now, as perimenopause has decided it would like to run the show for a bit — no matter how I try to thwart its efforts.

I can match him age spot for age spot, and we’re neck and neck in the race to go gray. I can’t really tell if he’s got the jowls game like I do, because he usually has that purr-inducing five-o’clock shadow thing going on — but if he does, I don’t care. I don’t care about the way we’ll both inevitably show our age; I care that he has ended up in the emergency room twice in the last two years over symptoms that made him feel like he was having a heart attack or a stroke. Now, his renewed proactiveness regarding his health makes me feel safe and hopeful when I envision our future together, as opposed to worried and pessimistic about how our lifestyle could devolve due to his declining health — or, worse, his untimely death.

Husbands, listen: If you want to rekindle the spark in your wife’s eyes, take good care of yourself for her. But more so, take good care of yourself for you. When your wife sees you caring for yourself in body, mind and spirit, her own spirits will soar. Her own mind will feel immense relief and in turn her body will be able to relax via the release of tension and the compulsion to worry about you.

If you want to drive her wild and ensure she falls back in love with you even more often than she already does, sprinkle healthy doses of self-awareness and accountability into the mix. For three decades now, whenever I see my husband from across a crowded space, my heart skips that proverbially beat. Just the sight of him excites me and lights me up inside. But he’s never more attractive to me and I never feel more connected to him than when he’s taking care to help ensure he can keep walking back to me from across a room, taking my breath away and standing strong beside me while I catch it again.

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