married life // honey, i’m home

Elliott ErwittImage by Elliott Erwitt.

During our engagement, Mr. Lovely and I participated in a program called Pre-Cana, which is a course that couples have to go through in order to be married in the Catholic church. For us, it was a really enjoyable process (believe it or not), and it helped us bring to light things that might be contentious in our marriage, and talk about them in a really healthy way. I kind of loved it. No joke.
 
Our facilitator was was really awesome, and he told us once that his main advice for a happy marriage was to always “top the dog.” After blank stares from both of us, he went on to explain. You know how sometimes you leave a dog at home alone all day, and then you come home and the dog practically bowls you over with love and excitement to see you? Like you’re the best thing since sliced bread? Yeah, you gotta top that. (He told us that it became a tradition for him and his wife to slow dance with each other for a few moments when one or the other got home. How adorable is that?!)
 
And this totally hit home with us, because we both work at home on our computers, and often one will come home from a day out while the other one is completely immersed in work. But you know what? The work will keep! If I get up to give my husband a big, huge, “welcome home” hug and ask about his day, the work will still be there afterward.
 
So obviously we’re not perfect at it, but it became something for us to work on. And it’s so true — if he gets up to greet me when I get home, the rest of our evening is set off on the right foot. What about you? Has “topping the dog” ever been an issue for your and your honey? Do you have an evening ritual when you both get home from work? I’d love to hear! xoxo
 
P.S. If you’re getting hitched in the NYC area and need to take the Pre-Cana courses, here’s who we used.


17 comments

  1. Unfortunately, we kind of have our own evening rituals. He likes to watch sports for play a video game. I like to read, knit, or blog. I will sit on the couch and listen to him play his game to be near him. When I get home from work on the weekends, I walk right over to him before putting my bags down and give him a big smile and a kiss on the cheek. He always says eew, you have hospital all over you. He does not like hospitals. The slow dancing reminds me of my parents. They dance in the kitchen all the time.

    • chelsea on said:

      Aw, I love that your parents dance in the kitchen! That’s so wonderful. And you know, I think it’s okay to have some evening downtime that’s individual. Sometimes we just want to do our own things.

  2. Molly on said:

    We always great each other with a huge smile and a “hi honeyyyyy!” and then ask about our days. We have completely opposite work schedules, so we get to say goodbye and hello usually twice a day. We also like to make goodbyes nice, always with a kiss and an “I love you”

    • chelsea on said:

      You get double chances at it! That’s awesome! I’ve been thinking about the goodbyes lately, too. I realized that sometimes I rush out and recently have been trying specifically to make eye contact before I leave. It seems like such a little thing, but it makes a big difference.

  3. I love this so much Chelsea! Its a beautiful reminder of how your husband or wife should be first. I hope my kids always see the love between us, and catch us dancing in the kitchen.

    I didn’t know you were Catholic! Its nice to find another blogger who is:) We loved our Pre-cana weekend.
    Have a great week!
    Anna

    • chelsea on said:

      Haha! Catholics unite! It’s true though, I feel like young Catholics are sort of undercover in the blog world. Or maybe there just aren’t that many! Who knows? In any case, the idea that you brought up of the husband or wife being first is so interesting, don’t you think? It always takes me by surprise a little when I’m reminded of that concept, especially when it might mean that your mate comes before your children. But after I think about it, it always makes sense that if the marriage is happy and healthy, most likely the kids will be too.

  4. Elaine Costa on said:

    “I hope my kids always see the love between us…” What a beautiful gift to the kids.

    • chelsea on said:

      Isn’t that wonderful?

  5. What a meaningful post! You are so lucky to work side by side with your best friend. :) This was something I took for granted when my husband had a more flexible work schedule. His new job requires him to work longer hours and so now it’s more important than ever to “top the dog” – or sometimes include him! Whenever he tells me he’s on his way home from the subway, me and the dog will meet him half way. It may seem simple, but that one-on-one walk home is the best five minutes of my day. :)

    • chelsea on said:

      I love that! I’ll bet your husband loves to see you and the pup walking up the street. :)

  6. Naomi on said:

    I love the “top the dog” thing! I had never heard that before. My husband and I do stuff like that though. Whenever one of us gets home from school or work we’ve always jumped up to greet each other with a big hug and kiss :) Great post!

    ♥ Naomi {Starry Eyes + Coffee Cups}

  7. Yelle on said:

    I adore this idea! We have always kissed hello and goodbye, and didn’t let it fall by the waist side. But I love the idea of making it a little more special and worthwhile.

  8. I’m single, but I love seeing people willing to put in the work to help their love last. I think sometimes people forget that effort and priority needs to be put into the relationships you want to last. Because if you don’t, it won’t.

    – tianna :)

  9. Sarah on said:

    Oh man, I love that he called it “top the dog” what a perfect visual description, and what a great idea. We do this occasionally… usually in the form of a dirty martini and questions about the day waiting, but would be a wonderful daily habit. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Erin on said:

    Another friend of mine was told the “top the dog” thing in her NYC marital course. Wonder if it was the same guy! When my husband (of only 2 weeks!) moved in with me a few years back i was a little annoyed by how much talking he wanted to do at the end of the day. I was used to having roommates and just going to my room to unwind. Now we each make a huge production. There’s couch cuddling and/or chatting while we cook… we always spend at least 15-20 minutes (minimum) talking about the day before we settle in to the evening. It really does make our evenings something to look forward to!

Leave a Reply

Don't worry, we won't publish your email address.