Our ‘us’ tank

Melanie Sextro

Love between “just us.”

Is there anything we yearn for more in life? We all want to be loved unconditionally and have someone make time for us, to be noticed and remembered. We want to feel like we matter and are extraordinarily special.

My husband is my best friend and I know I am his. We very much enjoy spending our lives together: laughing, loving, being serious together, yet also being able to let go and joke around. To be “just us” is the best thing in the world.

These days after having been married for a while, and now with kiddos running around (not to mention being a daughter, sister, friend, volunteer and everything else we all may be), life is so busy. It can be very difficult to find time to be “us”. I mean we are, but we aren’t. At least not like the couple we use to be.


Why is it so hard to make time for our favorite, beloved person? Why do we let our marriages run on autopilot and allocate all our precious energy to our children and outside events? Those other people and things are important, but definitely not at the expense of our most sacred earthly relationship.

As the day comes to a close though, we are exhausted. Our tanks are empty and it seems like we don’t have anything left to give. We love one another and want to engage in conversation, laughter and enjoy each other’s company, but with both tanks on ‘E’ we have nothing left to fill the “us” tank.

Last year on an outing to Lowe’s without children, provided to us by extended family, we held hands as we headed toward the building. We both looked over at each other saying, “Wow, we haven’t done this in a long time!” Usually one of us is holding onto a much smaller hand and the other is pushing a stroller. The grasp of his hand in mine, the quick smile and look we shared brought back so many memories. His hand felt strong holding mine, yet soft and made me feel so loved. It felt like “just us” again. The gesture was so simple and sweet, yet my heart filled with happiness.

We (and most likely you) don’t need an extravagant vacation (granted that would be amazing) to reconnect. We all just need to reorganize our lives a little for each other. Even the small and simple moments on the average day, we have noticed, seem to add up.

God gave us one another. He wants us to love one another; to cherish and take care of our spouse. Marriage is such a sacred and beautiful gift from God that we should be mindful enough to cultivate it. Each of us should strive to continue to make our marriages strong and to build on what we have been through together – the good times and the bad times.

By investing in your spouse you keep the “us” alive and growing. Not only is this important for our most valued earthly relationship, but also for our children to observe. For children to see their parents making time for and loving each other, enjoying life and laughing together is showing them an essential and healthy way to have a lasting, Christian relationship. What child doesn’t want his or her parents to have a healthy and loving relationship?  I believe the parents’ examples only motivate children to find such a love of their own one day.

Life gets hectic. Days get filled with events and other relationships, including those with our children, which capture our attention. It is my prayer that each of us regularly set aside something significant to contribute to the “us” tank. We owe it to each other, our children and most importantly to God.

Melanie Sextro is a military wife and mother to two sweet boys. She is a member of St. Patrick Parish in Iowa City.

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1 thought on “Our ‘us’ tank

  1. So true. They say a strong marriage is the best gift you can give your children.

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