I was reading a thread on one of my Facebook groups about a married couple that’s splitting up.
The couple has a new baby. One of the comments was a reminder of how hard the first year or two of parenthood can be on a marriage. Many suggested counseling before divorce. It seemed that the couple just stopped communicating.
I have a few friends that are in this stage of parenthood and can vouch for how hard it is. It seems that there’s very little time for actual in-person conversation and even though both partners are busy, it’s lonely and isolating. Of course, there’s some wishful part of me hoping that this simply won’t happen to me and my husband, but more and more it’s clear to me that relationships are inevitably tested when such significant changes like birth and death touch a family.
I’m thinking of putting signs up around the house that say:
“You Still Love Each Other, You’re Just Exhausted.”
“You’re Both Doing The Best You Can. Don’t Keep Score Of Who Is Doing More.”
In a state of exhaustion, it’s much easier to feel triggered over almost anything. And blaming the ones we love for not stepping up the way we feel they should is common even for the well rested. To me, it seems that taking on this colossal job of being a new parent with grace and compassion requires an extra saint-like awareness, the ability to say “I’m sorry,” because no one is not perfect, and to truly accept an apology and move on.
I obviously won’t know how hard it is until I get there, but I have confidence that my loving husband and I are up for the challenge. Our communication styles have frequently shifted over the past 12 years to accommodate the many ways in which we’ve matured and changed. It looks like we’re due for another shift.
Check in with me in about two months and I’ll let you know how it’s going.
Yogasync Me! New parent with 15 minutes to yourself?