My husband and I have been together for 14 years. We met at work when I was a VP in California and he worked in IT at our HQ in New Jersey. Our early relationship was long distance with him coming out to visit and staying with me for long 3, 4 and 5 day weekends. Four months in, he quit his job, packed up and moved west.
I worked a lot in those days, typically 60 hour or more weeks. One of the ways we bonded was over our shared interest in some TV shows. We marked our early relationship watching the Sopranos, Survivor, the Amazing Race, and Six Feet Under together. It was what we did. I’d either make dinner of we’d order in and we’d snuggle up and watch things together. We were unencumbered by children and there wasn’t DVR or binge watching back then, so many of our “dates” revolved around when one of our shows was on.
We continued this throughout our relationship and our marriage. We watched all of the Sopranos. We watched every season of Survivor through season 24, and still watch every season of the Amazing Race. However, when the Sopranos and Six Feet Under ended, our tastes began to diverge, with me watching more reality TV and my husband watching more suspense/horror shows (Dexter (although we did watch the first two seasons together), Deadwood, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones). Other than the Amazing Race, we watched almost no TV together.
I like being with my husband and especially watching TV together. It has always felt nice, warm, loving, us. So, when I wrote this post, it occurred to me that one of the ways we used to connect (that often led to intimate moments) was by enjoying each others company over our shared interest in a TV show and that that, too, had been missing for some time.
It probably dates back to after our older son was born. My tolerance for violence and suspense plummeted. The love I had for my son and for being a mother broke me wide open and my emotions, from then on, ran just below the surface. I could no longer stomach to watch what once didn’t bother me. And, after becoming a mother, my sleeping habits changed significantly and I was hard-pressed to still be awake at 9 (when most of our shows came on), much less 10 PM. Add to that the dearth of series to fill the void left by exiting shows like the Sopranos and Six Feet Under and it was a recipe for little joint TV watching in our house.
I’d been wondering how to bridge the gap, to begin to repair the lack of intimacy in our relationship and I knew we had to start watching TV together again if only to put us both in our bed at the same time, awake. Enter True Detective and House of Cards. We started seeing trailers for True Detective independent of each other, both thinking it was something we might enjoy watching together. Easily, Sunday nights once again became a date night at home.
But, what really cemented things was subscribing to Netflix again so that we could jump on the critically and socially acclaimed House of Cards wagon to see what all the hub-bub was all about. And, we were NOT disappointed. We LOVE HoC. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. So much so, that we binge watched both seasons, back-to-back, all 26 episodes, in six days. We watched well into the wee hours of the morning (1-2 AM), and during Baby G’s naps when our older son was otherwise occupied.
I credit House of Cards with reestablishing our romantic relationship. Not only were we spending a LOT of time together (more uninterrupted time than since before we had kids), but we were cuddling and talking and dissecting the plot and sub-plots and character development and playing scenarios out in the ‘no way it would have gone down like that’ kind of way. Being together and engaged, well, riveted really, so much has brought us full circle, back to who we are as a couple andthat we enjoy each others company.
We are eagerly anticipating season 3 of HoC as well as the wrap-up, this Sunday, of True Detective. A new season of Amazing Race is underway and we’re talking about whether to watch Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, or Scandal on Netflix.
It makes me so happy to spend time together, without the stresses and responsibilities of parenting and bill paying and making family plans and scheduling activities for our kids and shuttling them here and there or running myriad errands. Without the benefit of family nearby to watch the kids, we rarely get out together alone. This really is the next best thing (notice I said next).
House of Cards almost single-handedly, revitalized our relationship.