“Us.” Whoa. I haven’t said that word in a while. I guess that is because it’s hard to remember that we are a unit independent of our children. It sure doesn’t ever feel like that, right? But, at the core of our nuclear family, that is what we are – a twosome – acting as the foundation on which the rest of the unit will grow and develop. Man, that is a lot of pressure.
When you think about it, foundations are the lowest load-bearing part of a building. Wouldn’t you say that being the base of a family structure can surely make you feel low at times? And, aren’t you constantly bearing heavy physical, mental, and emotional loads? Yep – so it is no wonder that foundations sometimes “crack” under the pressure of parenthood and raising children.
But, there is one foundation that I know of which is not going to break, and will weather every storm…it is my “us”, and it will never lose its strength.
“Yeah, right,” you say. What is it about your “us” that makes you immune from the structural deficiencies found in most foundations? What is it about your foundation that enables you to weather the storms without everlasting damage? I will tell you.
I will tell you that there is absolutely nothing different about my “us” that makes it any better than yours. There is nothing uncannily perfect about my foundation. In fact, my foundation has faults within it. Yet, the one way that my “us” stays unbreakable is by asking a single question of myself and my teammate once a day, every day. What do I ask?
“What about us?”
Yep. That’s it. No crazy epiphany required – just three words that have the power to change your relationship and the stability of the life you have so carefully and purposefully built. It seems silly, right? Asking one simple question could really help make your marriage last…it can and it will.
How? Because it forces the both of you to look beyond cracked nipples and breastfeeding struggles. It forces the both of you to look past toddler tantrums and sleeping troubles. It propels you to get through potty-training and pacifier-weaning. It requires you both to find couple time amidst work, homework, housework, and self-care.
Why does this work? Because it forces you to remember that there is an “us” at the very bottom center of your messy, challenging, yet inspiring life you are living with your children. And, it reminds you that if you don’t take care of your “us”, cracks will begin to form in your foundation – for you, surely your spouse, and sadly your children as well.
Our children base their ideas on love and marriage and partnerships from what they see. They see what we put into our relationship, and they also see what we don’t. They see when we act with purpose towards strengthening one another, and when we make the choice to tear each other down. They see when we respect the hard work of one another, and when we mock one another’s perceived lack of effort. How unfortunate for our children if they don’t have the opportunity to witness their “us”, their unit, working their hardest to keep the family structure from crumbling.
My “us” – we are powerful and we are also intense. My “us” is sturdier than ever because we are willing to regularly ask “what about us?”.
What About You?
Are you willing to ask this question? Are you willing to strengthen your foundation? If you feel like your relationship is well past asking “what about us, ” then consider checking out 47 Little Love Boosters For A Happy Marriage, which offers up tidbits of advice and real-life suggestions for showing love and connecting with your spouse.
This article contains affiliate links. Please see our policies for more information.