Marriage After Kids
I literally have stared at this space for 25 minutes trying to come up with the words that are in my head. You see, to me this is a safe space. The space where there is no judgment and I can speak my mind. I have never been afraid to put myself out there--until today.
I love my husband with all my freaking heart. He is the yin to my yang and all that other mushy stuff. But, yes there is a huge but, having a kid was tough on our marriage. Ok, let's be real, its still tough on our marriage. Even as I am sitting here typing and he is laying on the couch asleep, I know we are struggling.
I am not sure I can pinpoint the exact moment when I realized our marriage was different, but I know it is. Often I feel like we are mere roommates or ships passing in the night just trying to stay afloat and not kill the toddler in the room.
Yes, we go on dates, but often I feel like we are forced to do it to make sure we are still a married couple. Our conversations, even on date night, often drift to our daughter, bills, work or anything but the elephant in the room... our lack of an intimate relationship.
I get it, by the time we get in bed we are flat out exhausted. But I too am to blame. I have become so self-centered in my night routine that even when he tries to kiss me goodnight sometimes, I get irritated because I have to turn over just after I got the blanket situated just right. I am embarrassed even writing that. It stings. And I know that he can sense the irritation and I know it probably hurts him worse.
But in return, I know he would rather hang out with his beer friends than see a chick flick or watch some silly romcom on TV I have been dying to see. I know that he has gone to see said beer friends after work without telling me in order to avoid some extra minutes with the threenager. I know he defers to me on the parenting and its exhausting and takes an emotional toll on me and lets bitterness seep in.
We love each other. But we are struggling to be in that place where you know you are in love with each other. And I am not talking about the lustful part of a relationship when you first meet or even the honeymoon stage of marriage, we are well past that. No, I mean the part where you know without a doubt that you cannot live without that person. Where at the end of the day you know you do not want to do life without them.
I know that we are standing on a precipice and how we choose to go forward is crucial. But my pride is hurt and wounded. My desire but a flicker. I want so much to rekindle, but I have no clue how.
How we survive marriage after kids are put into the equation? How do you find what you know is there, but perhaps just lost? How do you talk about the elephant in the room without wounding his fragile soul? How do you fall in love again?