Here is the story of how I had to learn to love my husband and become a wife again.
Having a baby changes things. It turns your world upside down in the most amazing and scary way imaginable. It’s like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. That being said it’s also a very challenging experience-both mentally, physically, & emotionally. It can take quite the toll on your marriage/relationship.
My husband and I have been together 7 (almost 8) years now. We have been through some rough and blissful times together. We met while we were both still in college and I lived about 2 hours away from him. This distance was fine at first; we both got our space and time to miss each other and we would see each other every weekend. After awhile I transferred to a college near my hometown (which is where he was living as well) and we moved into together. We went through our college years together, finding ourselves together, growing together, and facing new challenges together. We fought and we fought hard! We are both very stubborn individuals. But we also loved hard too. We fought for our relationship and it was not always easy-but it was worth it. We got married after 3 years of dating and to be honest, nothing really changed too drastically. We were already living together and had our routines so it wasn’t too big of a jump-or so I thought.
Now fast forward 4.5 years, we’ve been married for about 6 months and we find out we are expecting our first child. We were overjoyed! I was scared but overwhelmed with excitement and nervous for how our lives would change. And boy did they change. Between finding out I was pregnant and the actual birth of our daughter, my husband changed careers and we had to find a place to move to after the baby was born. We also were living apart towards the end of the pregnancy. He was about 2-3 hours away for his job and I was living with his family until we found an apartment closer to his job.
October 5, 2015 at 7:39am will forever be one of my absolute fondest days and moments of my life. Our daughter was born, weighing a whopping 9.1 pounds. It was a long labor, but the end result was perfect (more details on the birth in a separate blog to come). Now the crappy part: because of his new job my husband only had 12 hours with us before he had to leave back to work. It was killer. It was heartbreaking watching him hold his newborn baby girl and have to say goodbye after only meeting her earlier that morning. He did not get to spend that first night in the hospital with us, he didn’t get to hold her and watch her sleep all night, he didn’t get to drive us both home the next day and spend the first night at home with us. He missed out on all that and there is not a day that goes by that he doesn’t wish he would’ve just said “screw this- I’m staying”. But he did what he had to do for his family and to support us financially.
Now fast forward again a couple of months later, when we are all settled in and getting into our new routine as a family. I was overwhelmed and busy preoccupied with our newborn and trying to figure out how to care for this little girl who depending on me for everything. I was home 24/7 with her. I knew her. I knew her wants and needs and I knew which cries were for what and so on. My husband, because of his job and crazy hours, did not get that time with her nor myself. It was hard. I felt like a single parent and a part of me resented him. I resented the fact that he could get a break from the crying and late night feedings and diaper changes. I resented that he got to come home and she was usually asleep. He got to sit back and relax then go to bed and repeat the day tomorrow, as did I. And to be honest, that resentment took a tole on our relationship.
I was angry. I was jealous. I resented my husband and therefore slowly started to ignore him and I would yell and snap at him for the smallest of things. I thought he didn’t “get it”, I was home all day raising our daughter and we was off to work. To me, that was a break, but to him that was the hardest part of everyday. Everyday he had to leave us and risk his life and not know if he would make it home that night. Every day he had to say goodbye to us and it could’ve been the last time we would see each other. I understand that now, but a year ago I didn’t care. I was so wrapped up in my own world of caring for a child that I was just full of resentment. This was almost our breaking point.
We were both angry. We both did not TRULY know or fathom what the other was going through on a day-to-day basis. We both thought we knew, but had no clue. We were both angry. He felt neglected as a husband and I just wanted a break. I was the stay-at-home mom, which is what I always wanted, but I also wanted freedom and I wanted to just be a wife again. This all led to fights. More fights than were probably necessary. It led to almost ending our marriage. We talked about calling it quits, him moving out and what would happen for our daughter. Nobody knew. People knew we fought but no one knew how deeply we fought. Our families just thought we were normal fighting married couple, but what no one knew is that we were serious about ending our relationship. Neither one of us truly wanted this deep down, but we didn’t know what else to do. We were lost. We had lost ourselves as a couple, as man and wife, and we weren’t quite sure how to get “us” back.
We finally decided to go for a drive. We talked. We talked a LOT. We opened up to each other about what was TRULY wrong, whether it hurt the other persons feelings or not. At that point we didn’t care to hide anything back because we were at our breaking points with each other. We had both slowly sort of given up and were just living like roommates and not like two people in love. We decided that we both missed us and how we used to be before we became parents. We lost a part of us to our daughter and not that we regret it because we love our daughter dearly, but we also needed to balance our love for our child and our love for each other. So we decided and we made more time for us. It wasn’t easy and timing wasn’t always on our side but we stuck it out. Now I’m not going to lie, we still fought and still do, but it’s not as big of fights. It’s not marriage-ending fights. Its small everyday tiffs over dumb stuff like dishes and dinner. And we are still learning and working on getting “us” back; our daughter is 2 years old but we take it day by day and work on showing our love for each other. Whether that is through notes left on our nightstand, making breakfast for the other person, or just simply bringing home coffee in the morning. Some days are harder than others but at the end of the day, making time for each other can do worlds of wonders.
We kept trying to get “us” back how it used to be, but it will never be how it used to be. And that’s okay! We are in a totally different stage in our lives and in our relationship. I learned that I didn’t need to go back to how I used to love my husband, but I needed to learn to re-love him. Watching him play with our daughter, watching them laugh, play and learn together makes my heart full. That is what I learned. I learned to look at my husband in a different light and I’m falling in love with him in a different way. I’m learning to love him not only has my amazing and supportive husband, but as an incredible father too.