I’ve written this post a million times in my head and rewritten drafts of it on the computer and yet, its still quite hard to hit that pesky ‘publish’ button.
I am a wife. I’ve been a wife for almost 13 years now. But in those 13 years, I’ve also taken on other roles- student, career professional, mother, stay-at-home-goddess, volunteer, and well…the list goes on and changes.
When my husband and I got married, we were the best of friends. In the early years of our marriage, we had a strong marriage. We made dates a priority. If we couldn’t go out, we’d stay in, having late candlelit dinners after the kids were in bed.
Perhaps its because we had our first child early in the marriage. Or perhaps it was because the 2nd and 3rd babies came so quickly (and stressfully) after the first. Or perhaps not. But somewhere along the way, we lost sight of each other.
We make a great parenting team. I make an excellent household CEO and he does well bringing home the bacon. But our marriage? It quietly and slowly began to take a backseat.
I’ll be honest. In the early years of parenting 3 young babies, it was hard. I had PPD. My daughter was so colicy. The last thing I wanted to do was give any more energy to anyone else at the end of the day. Later on, it became the schedules. The insane busy-ness that is now our lives. The constant go-go-go that is 3 kids in activities. All along, we’ve always made it a priority to take vacations alone. Sometimes quick weekend trips, sometimes 5-7 day trips. But a marriage cannot be sustained on 3-7 days/year.
It came to a point where I realized that frankly, I was sucking as a wife. I was making time for my children, my friends, my family, but not my husband. I took no interest in his daily life anymore. I was actually resenting him for things. And I certainly wasn’t being very nice to him.
So the question became this: can I change my behavior (and he his, as well) and make us ‘US’ again? Do I have the energy for it? Or can we put this off a few more years until the kids are older, and perhaps, we’re less busy?
The answer was simple. Or rather, hard, but simple.
Marriage is hard work. Like, damn- its hard work. But I wasn’t going to let it take a backseat anymore. Life’s too short for regrets. And my biggest fear was that these years would pass by us and we’d find ourselves with our children heading to college and we’d no longer be friends. We’d no longer have anything in common. We’d no longer be in love. And neither of us wanted that. It was time to put the marriage first. Our marriage needed to be just as high of a priority as our jobs/children/friends.
So here we are — in marriage counseling (which feels like admitting a dirty little secret). Learning things about each other. Helping to be that strong, awesome couple again. That couple who loved being with each other, doing things together, having conversations, and genuinely looking forward to seeing each other at the end of the day.
And its a good thing.