I read somewhere online that we live in a society that is convinced that once you are married, there is nothing you need to learn about marriage and nothing you need to practice. All you need is love. I don’t believe that to be true.
My partner and I met 10 years ago it was passionate, exciting, fun and we were very happy. I knew at the time I had met someone special. He was calm, patient, funny always able to solve any concerns I had, a great provider, communicator and someone very kind. We travelled a lot, moved in together, and bought a house. We were engaged after 4 years, married the next and very blessed to become new parents. I felt very proud to be a first time Mum. My husband protected both him and I and took such good care of us. He was so proud to be his Dad and treated me with such care and showed great pride and love that I was his Mum.
When I look back it wasn’t an easy time and the pregnancy, birth, hospital visits etc. were all thrown at us overwhelmingly and as new parents it was a huge learning curve. My husband was back to work 3 days after he was born. I was back to work after 6 months. It was all go for the first two years at least but we got into a system and it definitely was tough. Our Son was born prematurely, we spent a lot of time over the first 1.5 to two years in and out of the children’s hospital, visiting doctors, calls from the crèche that he was sick, time off work caring for him.
We worked together and our objective was always the same at that time, we wanted him to be well and to care for him. Three years on he is a trooper, I have now emerged from that fast paced, constant worry and unpredictability to discover that the relationship with my partner is not as it once was. Little moments of irritability and annoyance with each other have over the past two years slowly joined up or fused together and now all these issues have become something big and invasive.
The moments of us happy together like pre-baby have become less and less. It is difficult sometimes to remember what we were like. I wish I could pinpoint what has changed. Over the last three years our social life and time together took a back step but I never felt that I was missing any of that. I knew that my most important job was to be xxx’s Mum and that when we took the decision to become parents I knew that our life would change. We have been blessed with the most wonderful Son, an angel from Heaven. I firmly believe that people are connected or meet for a reason and in doing so we created a very special boy whom we both cherish.
The reality is that two persons who meet, commit to marriage and as in our case are fortunate to become parents are entering into a vocation. For me personally, love is not enough to retain the bond of wedlock. If other changes occur and emotions are frayed, then it is difficult to retain the placing of where you once were as a couple. The commitment of marriage and the changes that a child or children brings are underestimated. Your time, thoughts, emotions are spun 360 degrees like the inside of a washing machine.
We are told by many of the pressures children will bring to a marriage, the lack of sleep, the long hours, the negotiation and logistics of work, home, keeping up with the day to day tasks. We have witnessed it with our own eyes, we all have siblings, friends, colleagues who have taken these new steps in their lives. For me the transformation in my life of becoming a Mum was never a negative experience, I wasn’t naive to any of it. I embraced it and it was tough but it is my biggest achievement.
What seems to have evolved is that we are totally different people now who don’t connect anymore. The strains and stresses of the last three years have separated us, not made us stronger. All the niggley little expressions or words have all joined up and the gap has widen in terms of how we get along. We seem to have emerged from this as great parents but not so good as a couple.
What I find fascinating is that the preconceived ideas of marriage are the happy couple that “for better or worse” rise through the difficulty and strains and their love and commitment to each other keeps them together. This applies to many I have no doubt, but for us it is not that way.
There is no point saying otherwise but when you become a parent the demands placed on you are great, and I accept that. To be a united couple you need to work on the relationship. Currently our relationship has a lot of tension. We are no longer a team, it is like we are moving in different directions and not working together on day to day stuff. We haven’t seemed to be able to negotiate through these and have an understanding of the other person.
The biggest failing of my marriage I feel is that there is a lack of contentment. There has to be negotiation, communication and without doubt contentment from both sides. If you research a definition of ‘Contentment’ it states: Contentment “a mental or emotional state of satisfaction maybe drawn from being at ease in one’s situation, body and mind” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contentment).
This I feel is fundamental to a successful marriage, without it the everyday mundane ‘normal’ tasks are battled against and the wife becomes the nagging facilitator. One partner repels the idea of everyday domestic chores whilst giving all their love, hugs and embraces to the child who they adore and perhaps the mundaneness of everyday life is stark.
Where am I now? I am here battling my way through a marriage that consists of arguments, tension, disagreements and is without romance, affection, togetherness and love. A son who will soon reach a milestone age next year of 4, and the uncertainty of where we are going as a couple. I feel that I irritate the crap out of him and that I spend my days in a negative cloud. What makes us happy now I feel is different to what that was in the past.