Do you still actually like your spouse?

Today is our 18th wedding anniversary, and I am thrilled that I actually still like my husband after all these years.

I’m not making a joke. I think it’s a hard trick for couples to not only stay in their marriage but to actually want to be with that person and still enjoy that person after many, many years.

It’s still the highlight of my day when Michael comes home from work and I can’t wait to get the kids in bed and spend time with just him. I still want to know his opinions on world events, songs, articles, books, etc…. (I’ve been waiting for him to finish “The Marriage Plot” so we could discuss and now I need to him to read “The Hunger Games” so we can also discuss. He felt the need to suck me into “The Game of Thrones” so he’d have a partner with which to watch.)

Do we fight? Heck yes. Do we disagree? Yup.  Are we mean to each other sometimes? Absolutely.

In no way is our marriage perfect or unbreakable, but he is the person I would still choose to be with over anyone else in the world. I look forward to the kids going off to college so it can be me and him again. At this point, I am not afraid of the empty nest and being left with just my spouse.

We are planning a short trip for just the two of us later this year, and I just can’t wait to be alone with him.  I’m so excited to be in a rental car just being able to drive and talk and see things together.

So however many years you’ve been married, do you still like your spouse? Do you still want to spend time with him/her? Do you still want to share things with him/her? Do you still seek alone time and a life outside of the kids?

44 comments Add your comment


April 16th, 2012
2:23 pm

Heck yes! And I’m like you, I am not at all dreading the empty nest thing. It will be VERY nice to have much more “us” time!


April 16th, 2012
2:40 pm

My wife & I will have been married for 15 years this July and I absolutely still like her. We have a running list of things to do together, both now (short weekend getaways, date nights) and later, when the kiddos are out of the house (cruise around the world). Yes, we pick at each other and nag and fight at times, but it comes from a place of deep love and respect. With three kids in the house now (and trying for number 4) we can’t wait to be empty nesters. We love our children, but it will be nice to have more than a couple of hours of “us” time each night after the kids are in bed. We were married for 7 years before we had kids (much to the chagrin of our parents who were desperate for grandkids) and we both can’t wait to get back to being able to spend uninterrupted, quality time with each other.


April 16th, 2012
2:43 pm

We have been married 14 years and still enjoy time with each other! We have always made a point of spending time together without the children and have taken at least a one week vacation each year (just the two of us) since the youngest was a toddler.

I am in no hurry for an empty nest but I’m not afraid of it either.


April 16th, 2012
2:46 pm

We will celebrate 8 years married in May, 10 years together this summer…and absolutely, I still like him. He still has that wicked sense of humor that had me laughing til I hurt on our first date. He is still as interesting as ever to talk to and still has that doggone smile that just sucked me right on in all those years ago. I count him as my dear friend (who also happens to be pretty cute) and even though we have our annoyances and moments where we have it out (like most couples), there’s no one else that I’d rather be on this journey with. We’re loooking forward to our quarterly Friday afternoon lunch and movie date, where we can be the “us” that we were pre-kids!

TnT's Mom

April 16th, 2012
3:01 pm

We have been married 21 years and yes I still like him. I love him dearly and dont regret anything, but as others have said, we have ups and downs. Marriage is not easy and we knew that going in. I think too many give up to easy and can’t make it work for the long haul. We have one about enter the army and another about to start high school. We can’t wait to be an empty nest and do what we want!


April 16th, 2012
3:21 pm

I’ll step up to the plate here. I’m kind of on the other side of the fence.

I love my wife to death, but we’ve never had much in common. Classic opposites attract. I actually worry about what life will be like when the kids are out of the house.

It’s fun when you’re dating to try different things, but we’ve been together for 12 years now including our courtship, and shopping….decorating….and social planning are still her main interests. Mine are still sports, food, movies, good beer, and doing completely random nonsense.

I very much like my wife. We still have great chemistry and we both love to travel, but I do worry about our time at home when the kids are gone.

Tonya C.

April 16th, 2012
3:34 pm

We will celebrate 10 years of marriage in November (13 years of togetherness), and I think my husband is a cool dude. We have separate interests but also have a few that we both enjoy and enourage. He can make me laugh like no other and can also make me angry to about the same degree. I’m really proud of our endurance because we married at 21 and 22 with a child already in tow and still have gone on to have a good marriage. It is far from perfect and we gone through dang near anything that can happen to a marriage, but we are still standing together.

As far as empty nest, our is far down the line but we know that we’ll enjoy it because that’s means more time to do the crazy stuff we love but don’t do as often as we’d like because of the kids.


April 16th, 2012
3:37 pm

In exactly one week, Monday, April 23rd my wife and I will be celebrating our 29th day, uh, year of marriage. I absolutely would marry her again in a heartbeat. We’re already into our 6th year of empty-nesting and I can say with confidence we both treasure all of our time together. Whether partaking of our mutual passion, traveling, or enjoying quiet days and nights at home there’s no one I’d rather spend my time with. We do everything together and are rarely apart other than work.


April 16th, 2012
3:51 pm

I like him, but I don’t think I still love him. I hate to say that, but I’ve been trying really hard for a long time to feel that again for him, and it seems impossible to get back. I feel like surely, deep inside of me somewhere I still love him, but I can’t seem to tap into it. I really don’t know what to do about it at this point! Lately I feel like I could certainly challenge Meryl Streep for a Best Actress Oscar. We’ve been married for 12 years -together 14.

As far as an empty nest -I look forward to it whether I’m with someone or alone. I really do enjoy being alone actually. If I’m happy with someone -whether it’s my husband or someone else, then that will be great, but I don’t want to be with anyone just to have a person there.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 16th, 2012
4:09 pm

Jarvis — thanks for being honest. it doesn’t sound like you dislike her it’s just that your interests vary. maybe you should try to explore to find a thing or two that you do like to do together — or maybe that doesn’t matter?? Maybe as long as you’re happy when you’re together maybe it’s good to do your own stuff.

JATL — that makes me really sad but I think is much more common that people admit. do you think counseling would help? do you think trying to do things you did when you first got together would you help remember how it felt and bring it back?? Do you think it’s economy related?? I have many friends whose marriages are affected by the economy and the life they had pictured together not being what it is –


April 16th, 2012
4:11 pm

Enter your comments here


April 16th, 2012
4:13 pm

Sorry!! Hit the button too soon. I’m agreeing with Jarvis & JATL. I feel that way sometimes too. We will be married 17 years in September. I kinda feel like when the kids are gone – I’m gone too. Sad, but true.

Like JATL...

April 16th, 2012
4:19 pm

…but after 30 years, I relly like my wife, and she likes me, but love, ain’t no way. In fact, it is really doubtful that either of us ever “loved” the other one, yet we have made it work for these many years – and we have been empty nesters for about 6 years now, and it is much easier now…and yes, we still do the same things we did BEFORE kids, and no, it is not the economy, and never was – we just continue to be good friends, but love was never really a consideration for us – it was probably due to our being out of our 20s when we met, and it was each of our first marriages, so in reality, we probably both married with the goal of having kids in mind, and that is that.

And, neither of us would probably ever marry again (at least I KNOW I would not, and I suspect she would not either), as neither of us is really the marrying kind…


April 16th, 2012
4:26 pm

jarvis: having separate interests is just fine. My husband and I most certainly do. When we had time before the kids, we would each do one thing a month the other enjoyed. And we did some things we both liked too.


April 16th, 2012
4:28 pm

I still love AND like my husband. We have been together almost 8 years now, but this is a 2nd marriage for both of us. In a way I think that helps since we both know what we DON’T want in a relationship. We have shared interests- boating/scuba/motorcycles/travel, so I am very much looking forward to an empty nest…9 years to go! One thing I will admit though is that we need to get a little healthier. I hate running (did all I wanted to and then some in the military), but I am eyeballing that couch to 5k program. Wonder if I should try and get him involved, or do it with the kids (both girls stick thin) as a mom/daughter thing??? I am surprised by some of the comments, but I certainly appreciate the honesty in them. I was at that place with my “starter” marriage. I hope that it works out the best way possible and everyone ends up happy, with whatever choice works for them.


April 16th, 2012
4:38 pm

we’ve been married 11 years–the love went out several years ago. Once our 2 kids are out of the house, we’ll probably go our separate ways.


April 16th, 2012
4:40 pm

Whoa! Angela, I didn’t say I was gone. I still very much love my wife. I’m worried about what life will be like. I’m not planning on hitting the road.

I think this kind of worry is natural for the opposite attracts crew. I was exciting and different when we met. She found me entertaining, and I found her a calming and directed force in my life. Then we had kids and have had raising them in common.

We still love each other. The spark is still there, but our relationship isn’t like Theresa’s. I don’t look forward to discussing things with her on that level. I know for a fact that any books l like, she will hate, and vice versa.

What will we do to pass the time when we aren’t traveling? What will we talk about? Will we become one of those couples that does everything apart. I hope not.

Those are my concerns….not will I leave my wife? I don’t see that in my future.


April 16th, 2012
4:46 pm

We’ve had our ups and downs after 12 years of marriage and being together for 15 but we’re in a down spot right now. I’ve just gotten over being the one who makes the majority of the effort in our relationship and always trying to do things with and for him. Maybe it will pass but we’ve been in this downward slump for so long now, I’m not sure it’s possible to get back out of it.


April 16th, 2012
4:54 pm

I think that our problem is that we don’t have alot of alone time. We have never been on a vacation together since our 2nd anniversary. The kids are 13 & 8. I really think that we have grown apart. We really don’t have alot of things in common as well. I enjoy reading – he doesn’t. We both exercise, but not together. I think that things would be better, if we did things together. We both like sports. I appreciate your comments, Jarvis.

Tonya C.

April 16th, 2012
5:06 pm


What about regular date nights? Do you at least get those? Marriages requiring a lot of nurturing and unfortunately far too often they are neglected until it’s too late. We’e seen the pitfalls so we are hyper-conscious about making sure we make to focus on our relationship as much as we can. We aren’t of great means, but we do what we can whenever we can.

It is far too easy for marrried people to grow apart, especially with the daily demands of work, kids, and other family/friends that we all face. I’ve been in that hole before, and we’ve been on the brink of divorce as a result. But we both far too pig-headed to actually throw in the towel.

Bailey Connors

April 16th, 2012
5:13 pm

NO!!!!NO!!!! We have been married for 31 years and I can hardly stand my husband! He has allowed
himself to become so obese he looks like he is 13 months pregnant!!!! I hate looking at him. I have
tried being nice and nasty about the way he looks but he says it doesnt bother him.
SICK OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


April 16th, 2012
5:13 pm

@TWG -thank you, and it is very sad. It makes me very sad when I think about the fact that I’m not really sad we’ve grown so distant, and I wouldn’t be sad if we divorced (in fact most of the time I feel like it would make me really happy to do so), but I would be sad over the IDEA that we couldn’t make it work and that we somehow failed at this. Yes, we’ve been to counseling for almost a year. There’s just a lot of water under the bridge -and lifestyle changes, etc. I feel like the love I had has gradually been worn down over the years. The reason I said I still liked him is that we DO have a lot in common and we like to talk. We have many of the same interests -and those are the only reasons I can stand to stay around. You also get caught in the mash between the children and your feelings and what’s best -a mother who is in no way being true to herself or honest right now (and I can tell you that’s not doing me any favors personally) -or having divorced parents? It’s very hard to figure out.

I do think it would greatly help if we could ever get away on our own. We used to go places all the time on our own, and we haven’t been able to do that in over two years now. Our kids are too much for my MIL to handle for even a weekend according to her, and we’re several years away from being able to send them off to camp while we have some time on our own. I’ve been trying to find a suitable nanny-type sitter who we can trust to stay with them for a long weekend or something, but that adds considerable cost to the whole vacation, but I am still searching for that one. I’ll suck up five hundred or so extra to see if I can find a spark if we could go away together. We DO go out on our own for the evening a lot like we did before marriage, but for me it’s kind of like going out with a good friend. Luckily for us the economy has not been unkind to us the last several years. We’re doing better financially now than we ever have! We’ll see. I keep hoping and waiting that something at some point will occur and bring back “that lovin’ feelin’” again.

Elder Ray

April 16th, 2012
5:22 pm

My sweetie pie and I have been married for almost 41 years. Through three now adult children, three marvelous grandsons, umpteenth moves and relocations, several falling outs, myriad of sicknesses, missing our parents and grandparents, building one house from the ground up, running six cars in the ground, i can still truthfully say i look forward to greeting her smiling face every morning with a kiss and looking at her still sweet smile just before bed at night. i thank God for her everyday. Though she likes her “me-time” we still find time for each other. I love my Peaches dearly even after all these yrs. By the way we courted for 5 yrs before we married so we’ve been together now almost 50 yrs.


April 16th, 2012
5:31 pm

We have been married 29 plus years. A PRIME case of opposites attract. We are both good at our jobs, work hard and have people who appreciate our career contributions.

My parents were VERY straight laced and ruled our house with an iron fist. His Dad was an alcoholic and his family was willy nilly. Both of our kids are out now and there are not a lot of things we like to do together: He could watch TV for 6 hours straight and I could read books for 6 hours straight …neither is interested in the other. I love to plan things in advance and he is typically impulsive about schedules. He could hop on a plane for a day trip to Vegas and I want a plan in mind and the hotel reserved. I enjoy visiting different places and trying new foods, which I do all the time, and he is not usually keen on it. I have gotten him to a few new places ( Montreal in Dec.) and he does like it once he gets there. He is not so much into culture, history, art and architecture and I like to dabble in it ( so I take my daughter with me). He loves his cell phone and all the apps on it and I have an old fashioned phone and do not care much for electronics nor know much about them….that is for sure! I enjoy walking the dog and getting around in our neighborhood for walks and he does not. I go to our neighborhood pool when it opens and he has not been in years. I am anal about things and he is not. I will say that I used to be VERY neat but I have slacked off on that a LOT….so that has evened out. He grew up in house that was not run by Suzy Homemaker. I am clean but not too neat any more, as I am worn out of trying to keep everything in it’s place and after all these years, there is a lot of stuff to put away! We do take vacations together and this is something we enjoy but cannot do all the time. I wanted to take Jazz dancing lessons several years ago and was poo pooed on it. We later found out that his brother takes dancing with his wife and I thought that was funny. So, we have an empty nest but not a lot of things we really like to do together or common interests.

I sat by a senior couple who were on their way to Amsterdam yesterday. 2nd marriage for both of them…they were in their 70’s and had been to the Amazon, South Pacific, all over Europe and so many fun places. Said they did not want to miss out on anything. I loved it. They were so cute and seemed to really enjoy seeing the world together. It was amazing. Guess others just want to sit and rock on their front porch…not me….haha!

markie mark

April 16th, 2012
5:36 pm

Theresa, yesterday was my 23rd anniversary….and I still like and love my spouse…..I dont think ANYONE could stay married this long, with all the ups/downs and distractions of life, if you didnt really like them. The love ebbs and flows, so you need the like to make it over the hills.

Raisin Toast Fanatic

April 16th, 2012
5:41 pm

Theresa you sound like a nice woman to be married to. With all the male-bashing that (seems as if) happens these days it’s refreshing to hear that a woman cares good care of her husband and appreciates what he does.

As far as the other people go, I certainly hope you can step back and possibly get a different perspective. I do realize there’s no way for me to understand what life is like for you, but divorce sucks but once you do it you may regret it.

Me on the other hand, I’ve met a lovely young lady overseas who’s “a lady in the street, and a tiger in the bedrooom.” Kind of the polar opposite of my ex.

boo-yah!. Score one for the good guys! :D

markie mark

April 16th, 2012
5:47 pm

man…I posted before I read the comments…..I feel so badly for some of you….glad I have my life. We have been rich (fairly recently after years of hard work) and lost it all when a supercompetitor opened their store between our two stores….I am back making what I made in my 20’s (now in my 50’s) and she is working in real estate again, which is tough. But we still have us, and we are damn proud and happy with that (and dont even get me started about supporting the stepson for 20 something years thru his 20’s and 30’s)….whew….


April 16th, 2012
6:29 pm

Happy anniversary, Theresa and Michael! I hope you are able to share many, many more happy years together.

In two weeks, my husband and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary. When you write it down, it seems like a loooonng time, but with my husband, it has gone by so fast, I swear, I can still smell the flowers in my wedding bouquet. No regrets, here — I’m married to my very best friend.

some regrets

April 16th, 2012
6:32 pm

This year will be 26 together! No children so it is just her and me and the dog(s). While we have been great partners and built a successful life together, I do wonder what life would have been like with someone else. Our major incompatibilities are in physical capability (she is slightly disabled) and our spirits of adventure (I am willing to try anything once and she is cautious, possibly due to her limitations). We have done some great things and gone many places together and she has never stood in my way but there have been times I have held back from some experiences because I could not take her with me.

My life could have easily gone in two directions: married with children and a job I hate like some of my friends or world traveler living off my wits. I ended up in somewhere the middle so I guess that is not so bad after all. And yes, I do like my spouse. She is my best friend.


April 16th, 2012
7:20 pm

Congrats to y’all! I guess I’ve not been married long enough to count- come June, it’ll be 2 years married. Yep, still like and love him. :-) lol.. I guess in about 18 years we’ll see what happens but I’m pretty sure we’ll still like and love each other.

K's Mom

April 16th, 2012
8:24 pm

We will celebrate 3 years on Wed. April weddings are the best, congrats to you and Michael.

I still love and like my husband and our 3 years of marriage have been far from easy! We were hit hard by the economy and I have had some health issues. But that has made us a good team. We have been blessed with one child and another on the way after being told I would likely never become pregnant. We did not have much of a honeymoon period, but we have toms of dreams for the future which I believe will keep our relationship strong and lively!


April 16th, 2012
8:49 pm

Happy Anniversary, Theresa!

You know, I read this blog every day and even when you guys complain (smile) I feel envious a lot of times. I envy being married and having kids most of the times. When you talk about all the good things, I am “please, God, ME TOO!!!” and today, when you guys are sharing your concerns about not liking your spouse or not knowing what will happen in the future, I am “you, too?” I have wanted to marry (or thought I did) two guys and boy would I have been in the “have nothing in common” column. I think it would have been a lot of love but up and down like and I might have been miserable. I can be honest about it now that I’m out of “danger” of marrying either of these dudes….but you couldn’t have told me that then. Love conquers all…right? Negative.

Anyway, thanks for being honest. You never know which single folks are learning from ya ;-)

Longtime Educator

April 16th, 2012
10:10 pm

Congrats to you and your husband, Theresa!! My husband and I will celebrate our 39th anniversary on May 19th. Has it all been sunshine and lollipops? Absolutely not! Do I love him the same way as I did at the beginning of our relationship? Again, absolutely not…but I do still love him in a different way. We have traveled a lifetime of experiences together and to some degree, have grown up together (we married very young). We saw each other through our higher educations, raised two wonderful children together, and now are enjoying our first grandchild. We don’t share all the same interests, but I think that’s been part of the success of our marriage. We are both retired and now in a position to do a bit of traveling, and that is one interest we do have in common!

usually lurking

April 16th, 2012
10:14 pm

21 years – we still IM kissy faces to each other. Been practicing empty nest for the past few summers as our dear children work as camp counselors, and will be launching the fledglings for real over the next 2 years. Separate interests, yeah, but plenty in common too which I think is a good balance for us. Some strain this past year with very serious health issues, but if anything, that has strengthened our relationship. No, our marriage is not perfect, but I would say it is pretty much unbreakable. And I’m so thankful I married my best friend.


April 16th, 2012
10:38 pm

Interesting…was married for 20 years and loved my ex until the end but did not like him as a person because he was a bully in every sense of the word. Have been single now for 8 years and have been dating an amazing guy who treats me like a princess…seriously, he even calls me princes :) I am loving life as a single girl with grown kids. I can come and go as I please and cherish the time i have to myself. Saw Bill Maher on Friday and he had a guest, Eric Klinenberg, who wrote a book called “Going Solo” that perfectly describes how I feel about being single…it’s a wonderful life :)


April 17th, 2012
1:37 am

No, absolutely not. I can’t stand him. I can’t imagine what I ever saw in him. But what’re ya gonna do? Gotta stay together for the kids.


April 17th, 2012
9:14 am

Been with hubby since I was 16…..we married when I was 21 and first kid came 8 years later. We’ve been together almost 30 years… and I am still crazy about him, and I’m pretty sure he’s still crazy about me. We have a great family with our 4 kids…..and we have a lot of fun with the kids, and without the kids. Both sets of grandparents are close by, and we manage to sneak in a long weekend here and there., He is my best friend and we have quite a bit in common, and quite a bit we do on our own. He gets a night out, and I get Satuday mornings to myself., I take the occassional girls night out, about once a month.
I honestly could not imagine life without him


April 17th, 2012
12:38 pm

Happy Anniversary Theresa! 18 years is great! Yes, I love my husband and some days I like him! We’ve been together 22 years, 15 years of marriage. We did it backwards, baby first, 3 years later decided to get married. The odds were not in our favor, but we created a wonderful life for ourselves. The oldest graduates high school this year and the youngest just started daycare. At this rate we won’t be empty nesters until I’m almost 60. I wouldn’t change a thing though. I am very blessed to have the life I do. I wish you many more years of wedded bliss!!!


April 17th, 2012
2:15 pm

With my 2nd husband for 12 years in June and I not only love and like him, I adore him. After 20 years of marriage to a total tyrant, I picked the exact opposite second go around. He’s kind and sweet and will do anything for me. We are best friends and do pretty much everything together when not working. Has he changed? Yes, he’s gained weight but it he’s still himself inside and is working on that issue. I honestly can’t think of ever living life without him. One daughter in the Army (basic training now) and another moved in with her boyfriend so we’re getting to spend even more time together and we both love it. I feel for those that have lost the love. Been there done that but I do know for sure now, there’s a perfect someone for everyone because I found mine and he says the same thing. Good luck to everyone. True love is a special feeling.


April 17th, 2012
3:26 pm

Just as a few have admitted I have lost feelings for my spouse. Financial problems have been at the root of our problems for quite some time and probably will continue if we stay married. I’m willing to face our debt—-he either isn’t willing and/or won’t. Sometimes I reflect back on the good times and it puts a smile on my face but it also makes me sad when I look at where we are now.


April 17th, 2012
9:13 pm

Enter your comments here


April 17th, 2012
9:31 pm

About to celebrate 24 years together. I was previously married and had 2 children by that marriage. We have one together. So, our years together have been mostly about rearing children, step-children and all that goes along with. Have struggled through many financial woes, normal stress of daily life, a mutual feeling that we annoyed the heck out of each other many times. We survived. As we are in an empty nest now, we are joyfully reconnecting and remembering what attracted us to each other in the first place. Loved a few weekends ago when we went to the N. GA mountains, turned off our cell phones and spent a weekend alone. We felt like teenagers on a 3 day date without a phone. :) We both have separate interests, careers, but we remain committed and our love is stronger than ever based on what we’ve been through and knowing we are always there for each other. Never thought in my younger years I would ever get to experience that feeling. It was work, but was worth it. Can’t imagine my life without him.

Jesse's Girl

April 18th, 2012
9:12 am

Jesse and I have been together for 20 years, married for 16. And while no one makes me as angry as he does, no one makes me roll my eyes quite like he does,. no one inspires me to fanatasize about clobbering someone with a high heel like he does….the man just does it for me. He makes me laugh…giggle even…he is in all honesty my very best friend. But it has certainly not always been unicorns and glitter. We had a very rough patch before our son…our 3rd…was born. We allowed ourselves to become kid-centric with our girls and we got sucked into our careers to the detriment of our marriage. But we re-worked and re-vamped our theology on our union. He put me fist and I put him first. There is no other opinion that matters like his….and mine for him. You have to continue to DATE eachother. You have to buy the slutty lingerie….he has to cuddle you sometimes without it leading to knockin’ boots. He has to show you off….and you MUST appreciate him in every aspect of your lives together. I get very sad when I hear of marriages that have been allowed to disolve into tolerance. Passion is key. If you fight….if you can still get angry…you can also get horny. Sorry for the crass wording….but I am a HUGE believer in sex and its ability to lead to a rediscovery of one another. Ya gotta do it. And do it a lot. We are looking forward to a road trip for our anniversary in June. No kids. No reservations. We are just driving until we want to stop. Every now and again…a little silliness and a no-rules/ no-reservations get away can work miracles.


April 18th, 2012
2:32 pm

Jesse’s Girl,

WOW! I couldn’t have said that any better. Hell, I don’t think ANYONE could say that better. Truer words have never been spoken. Jesse is a lucky man. Hell, I am too.