Thursday, April 7, 2011

Going to the big D and I don't mean Dallas

I didn't like what the judge had to tell us.  I got the jeep and she got the palace...

Sorry I can never think/talk/blog about this subject without that song jumping in my head.

The big D.  Divorce.  No I'm not getting divorced but this subject has been on my mind a lot lately with some ongoings of people close to us.  And with April Accountability going on, I'm figuring this is going to be #3. 

April Accountability #3- My marriage

No on in my family is divorced, while half of Hubs' Aunts and Uncles are divorced.

He fits the stereotype for America, approximately 50% of marriages end in divorce.

Bear is a special needs child that includes a love of screaming and a hatred of sleeping.  For about 3 months, Hubs and I slept in shifts because Bear did NOT sleep.  We have overcome those horrid, horrid months but he still does not sleep well.  The stress of a new baby, especially one that comes with extra stress and needs, puts us at a high risk of divorce.

I'm writing this to open the forum.  To open the discussion of what to do when your marriage is in trouble.  Now I'm by no means an expert on HOW to repair a marriage, I'm simply going to elaborate how Hubs and I are WORKING (did you notice the ING on the end there?  This is a work in progress.  We have small successes followed by failures and hard days, but in the end we're still working) toward a better marriage and a better future.

1)  My husband is the second priority in life.  My first is to God, my third is to Bear.  While this may seem strange, especially a baby with his own set of special needs, but this is how God wants it.  God created Adam first.  Therefore, your first relationship is with God. Second, he created Eve, therefore your second relationship is with your spouse.  And third, he gave Adam and Eve children.  God clearly defines the order of importance of your family.

2) We sought marriage counseling.  It has helped us communicate better and to learn to weather the storm.  It has given us the validation that we are tired, we are stressed, but it has also helped us turn inward rather than outward.

3) Sex.  This is something that God gives to married couples, it's not just intended for procreation, in fact, it's referred to as intimacy most often.  Intimacy is more than just the gratuitous act of sex, is a joining of mind, spirit and flesh with your spouse. It's an act of love that helps diffuse anger, arguments, petty worries and doubles joy and halves sorrows.  I am a married woman and intimacy with my husband is an important factor in our marriage.  Could you imagine never hugging your child?  Or telling them "I love you"? Or that bond when they fall down and skin their knee and look up to you for comfort?  This is how you show your bond with your child.  A lot of times a new baby means lack of sex.  Their is the 6 week postpartum period where we're all petrified of ever going near our nether regions again, or if you had a C-Section the ripping pain across your abdomen.  Then there is the new mom exhaustion, if your breastfeeding there is the constant touch all day long of a newborn, add in to that the fact that you can remember when you last showered and it's completely understandable why intimacy is so lacking in a marriage.  However, this is part of my bond with my husband and while I will jump and run to my baby every time he cries, I must jump and run to my husband when he shows a need for an intimate bond with me. Believe me, it's not easy, and sometimes I do have to force myself to do it.  But it's always amazing how much happier I am with myself and my husband when we are intimate.  It grounds me in our marriage.

4)  Time and space.  Sometimes these walls start closing in and Hubs and I need space.  Sometimes I leave Bear with him and I take a long, leisurely bubble bath and I read a book.  Sometimes I go run errands by myself.  Sometimes I let Hubs go outside and work in the yard or do something enjoyable for him.  We all
have the need for quiet, ME time.  And it's important that we facilitate this for each other.

5) We eat dinner together every night possible.  Even if this means it's 9:30PM (the other night) and we're tired, we eat together.  We may not talk in the morning or be awake together, so it's very important that we end every day together.

6) Commitment.  Hubs and I are very committed to our marriage.  (Obviously there is no abuse or adultery and we are both happy with each other). 

I understand there are extenuating circumstances and reasons for divorce so I'm only stating what has worked for us.  What has helped us grow together as a family with a new baby instead of apart.

And he's still my best friend.  Some pictures from our wedding day.  My hope is that for the rest of our lives together we can still look at each other with as much love in our eyes. (We look SO young!)

all photography courtesy of Photography By Nelson

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