Tuesday, February 10, 2009

When all is said and done you still have to live under the same roof

One of my best friends and I were talking the other night and broached the subject of marriage after children.
- It's a fact, she said. We are still happily married, and we love each other, but our relationship has fundamentally changed since the kids. It is impossible to be the people we were before them.

One thing that I really didn't expect from motherhood was that my relationship with my husband would change so drastically. We went from being best friends with benefits and added bonus on top to two very tired, angry people who argued, and argued, and then argued some more. Seven years later we are still married, and we would probably define our marriage as a happy one, but it's like my friend said: we are different people, in an different place, and there's no turning back.

Priorities change, the balance within the household suddenly starts weighing very much in favor of the man, it seems, and time, that dreaded, wretched time factor becomes so acutely prominent and suddenly, that rock-solid thing called love, that you thought you had for granted, turns so incredibly fragile that you run the risk of ruining what what you have by every new damn argument over who's turn it is to do the dishes.

An average argument, of course, would be who's right it is to feel more tired. We're both light sleepers, so we both wake up at night if the kids do, and we both find it hard to go back to sleep. Next day, he's going in to the office, sitting in front of his computer, and I'm trying to keep it together for the kids whilst fretting over the fact that this is yet another day when I am too tired to do all those things I need to do, take those pictures I promised my friend, write that short-story I've been meaning to send of for so long. By the time my husband and I see each other again some time in the early evening, bed-time routine beckons and we are fighting over who should bath the kids, who should help with home-work, and who should just have the right to crash on the sofa, because, by God, we are having a competition about who is more tired, comparing notes on how many times we were close to nodding off during the day.
- I did homework yesterday.
- Yeah, but I bathed two kids, and read three stories.
- But I made their beds two days ago.
- So, I do that all the time?
- But I am so tired. I had x meetings and no lunch.
- I had x melt-downs and no dinner.
- I haven't even had a chance to sit down all day.
- And me? What do you think I have been doing all day?
- I really am more tired. I only slept five hours.
- Only slept 4,5.

You get the idea....

Most of the time, I'd say, nine out of ten times, we manage to solve the arguments calmly and nicely and we both know that we are going through a stage in our life where logic and reason really don't feature but still, ten out of ten times, before the "I'm sorry"s and the make-ups, I will have had "This is it, I won't have it anymore, this time I'll f****ng divorce him!" played on repeat in my head first.
That's just it. You go from being so passionatly and madly in love with your partner and the relationship you have together to being tolerably respectful but also hating and loathing each other more than you ever thought was possible.
A lot of people can't see it through. Divorce-rates in families with young children are sky-rocketing.
Personally, my husband and I are doing our best, but sometimes, every day is an on-going struggle.
To be continued....

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