In this post, the author (Jen) speaks candidly of the changes that have taken place in her marriage:
With very rare exception, every couple that we know who have gone through a divorce have done so once they have had children. Of course the parents will tell the children as they grow older that it was not “their” fault that mommy and daddy split up.
But quite often, I believe it is.
Not the actual child’s fault perhaps, but the introduction of children in to a marriage and the subsequent inability of the parents to successfully manage the change. They are unable to keep the focus, the priority, on the marriage. Because there are only so many hours in a day and so much laundry to do and bills to pay and blogs to read and shows to watch – the marriage is put on the backburner, indefinitely.
For several weeks I pondered what Jen at the Amazing Trips said. Was she right? Is it the introduction of children into a marriage, along with the inability to manage that change, the root problem behind many divorces?
I have many dear friends who are also parenting small children. I hear the stress in their voice, see the eye rolling when they talk about their husbands inability to multi-task, or bemoan the work load of these small humans and overworked husbands. And believe me, I understand! I empathize with my girlfriends when their kids get sick twelve hours before their vacation. I complain back to them that yes, my husband also works long hours, and isn’t it so exhausting to do this parent thing, often alone?
But here’s the thing.
I realized that I often see myself viewing my husband as my employee. Or at best, my co-worker. I love my children with as much ferocity as any mother can, yet, they stress me out! When the whining, crying meltdowns begin, or when they sit on each other’s head during diaper changes, or shut each other between two doors, I can feel my blood pressure rising. And more than I would like to admit, my coping mechanism is to bark orders at my husband. I guess I think if I can control him, at least I am controlling something!
My husband and I will be celebrating our 5th Anniversary on November 1st. We are planning a long weekend away, which I am really looking forward to. I relish our time to reconnect with each other, to reminisce about falling in love, to look at our dating pictures and to remember what it was that caused us to start on this amazing journey together. I need to be reminded that my marriage and the long-term health of our relationship is vitally more important than expending every last ounce of energy on my children, house or other relationships.
(Walking toward my Beloved.)
In writing this, I was thinking about how awful it would be if my husband saw me as an employee, or as mearly a co-worker…wouldn’t that be awful if everything about me that made me the most important woman in his world was erased by this new title of “Mommy?” If my main purpose in this relationship was simply to keep the house running and the kids cared for?
I want my husband to value me, just for being me! I fell in love with him because he thinks my little quirks and flaws are cute rather than annoying. He like to watch me eat, and to hear my latest hair-brained ideas. He likes that I laugh at his jokes, and that I remember some of his ’80’s movie trivia.
The challenges of raising small children are not going anywhere. The difficulty level, the stress, the crying, whining and hitting will be here with us for quite some time. That, I cannot change. But I think I am going to try harder to see my husband as the amazing man he is, rather than just the other parent of these children!
And I promise, to at least try harder, to keep the order barking to a minimum!
Share with the HDYDI readers your thoughts! How have your relationships changed and been challenged by becoming a parent?
See Also: The Man in Your Bed