I know I never mentioned it in part one, but the reason I chose the title is the feeling I have some days… or a lot of days. I feel like our married relationship is always going the same speed and we are just trying not to fall off the belt, trying not to trip, and not always having the handles or safety clip to save us. One of my goals is to try to reduce this feeling or at least recognize when we stopped moving forward and rev it up again. One of the biggest things that affects mine and Dave’s relationship is communication. In the beginning of our relationship, we both tended to keep issues to ourselves so as to not hurt the other person or create disturbances in the force!! We both learned after awhile that if we wanted “us” to work we needed to confront things before they bottled up to an eventual explosion. It took months, but we practiced and learned how to talk to each other and after that we rarely had arguments or fights.
Looking back at last year, we lost that ability to talk to each other, whether it be because of exhaustion from our extremely busy lives or because of lack of caring, we were no longer on the same page anymore and we were stuck on that treadmill not going anywhere.
I had mentioned before about getting me back. I had never felt so distant from myself as I did this winter and I am not sure if anyone can relate, but I felt like I was becoming a different person based on the strong influence of my situation. It took me about two and a half weeks after closing the daycare to start to feel like me again, and another two weeks to feel like a good me!! I did this by taking time for myself, shopping without the kids, a massage to undue all the damage the stress did to my body and some much needed time out with the girls! I felt very guilty at first because I felt like I would be judged for wanting to get away from my kids, but I had to tell myself I need it and it is ok to do it. Dave reassured me as well and fully supported me during this time. It was challenging again because we went down to one income, but the choice was be miserable and have my family suffer or be happy and have a tighter budget! Again all this took time to process and get over, it didn’t happen overnight.
Since I finished with the daycare, we have tried to work on our communication again but is not where it was. We usually only have about maximum one waking hour together per day when there are no kids or outside interruptions. Most days it would be a lot easier to go our seperate ways in the house and just veg, turning our brains off, but instead we make the effort. Some things that we do to utilize that time to work on us is cuddling on the couch with a snack watching a movie or just TV, having a shower together, playing a board game or card game, doing a workout together, or climbing into bed a 830pm to have naked time!!! It may seem silly but these are all things we used to do before having kids and we did none of last winter. Our quality time is not possible every night, but it is something we need in our relationship. A lot of people talk about a date night, but we found we were too tired to go out, so we tended to plan home dates!
The desire to have sex was the last to return, I felt horrible for Dave because I just didn’t want it. A lot having to do with the months of blocking it before and convincing myself I didn’t want or need it and so I could save my energy for the next busy day. One thing that strongly influenced our returned intimacy was not seeing each other for a couple days. Dave was away and by the third day I wanted him physically, which hasn’t happened like that since before Anna was born. I just wanted to touch him and the more I thought about it, the more those feelings came back from before we had kids. It’s like the saying goes, you want what you can’t have and although it took a few days, it was so worth it!!
I am not a relationship expert, but I have learned a lot in ours. Remember why you married your spouse and find those qualities again. Communicate. Recognize when you are tired and burning out and try to find a solution that works for your family- whether it’s taking a break from your job, or in fellow OVM Erin Blaskie’s situation, her husband left his job. Whatever it may be, you should believe your marriage is worth the continuous effort. We committed to a lifetime together, so why make it harder and miserable!!
Like any relationship our marriage will always be a work in progress, and is by no means perfect, but at the end of the day I have the full love and support of my best friend and lover for better or worse.