All is fair in love and war.
Until you get married.
That’s how I felt, anyway, around a year ago being pregnant with Sofia. I was doing a placement for uni and in my spare moments cleaning and cooking and doing homework. I was run off my feet and exhausted. I had no time for connection or love.
But I had time for war.
Tiredness and anxiety lead to frustration for me, and I was frustrated. I was angry.
Frustrated that I no longer had me time, but that we also stopped having “we time”, my husband and I. And when I noticed that neither of us cared, it drew my attention to my husband more, why didn’t he care? He hasn’t said a word that we haven’t spent a single moment together. Of course he was probably just being supportive of my studies, but I didn’t really see it like that. I was angry and assumed he just didn’t love me anymore.
We would fight, a lot. We would fight about lack of sex, of cleaning, of bills, of who did more with our son… All the things we thought we would never fight about.
We fought about who cared more. I was hurt, and he was hurting. He stopped trying to impress me, he stopped looking at me like I was the only person in the world. I stopped appreciating him, and I stopped talking and started yelling. I couldn’t help but put a negative spin and condescend him in everything he did.
We would talk about leaving each other, or rather, I would talk about leaving him.
‘How would I do this now? Pregnant and with a son. I can’t be a single mother’. I would cry alone on our bed.
If I could describe what it was like in a picture, it would be like this…
A war between us both but both of us desperately wanting to get over our adult ego and just love each other. Just be real with each other like innocent children. But it was hard.. And where do you begin? We were both too proud to admit we needed each other.
Sofia was born and we cried and kissed each other. The love surged again but throw a newborn into something that is breaking and you get cracks.
We were two strangers, passing each other. One of us looking after one child and one of us looking after the other. None of us looking after ourselves or each other.
I think the problem was that we were both hanging onto how love was when we met, how we were spontenous, and how we could smooch all night. We forgot how to appreciate each other and impress each other in our new lives. We were looking for love in our past places instead of appreciating what we had now. This was real love now. Not lust. This was holding hands right beside each other in our final moments, like in the notebook, kind of love.
Once that clicked for me I stopped holding the wall up and let go of my expectations. I started to notice the different ways my husband would show love. Staying up to do dream feeds so I can get extra sleep. Playing with our children when I’m engrossed in writing. Watching real housewives of whatever, (even though I’m sure he’d rather put his dick in a blender.)
I noticed these bits of love, so I started to let my guard down and tell him how I loved him, and kissed him when he came home instead of handing him a stinky child. I asked him how his day was and listened instead of pretending to listen. The more romance I offered in between those exhausting moments, the more I wanted, and the more I received! It’s like everything clicked again. This guy stuck by me through my hardest times. He watched me crumble through postnatal depression, and tried to glue me back together. He has even held me while I had terrible gastro and it came from both ends. He watched me birth our daughter and threaten to kill him, but still rubbed my back – if that isn’t love I don’t know what is?
I realised that we have to make the moments we can, special. Even if it’s just holding hands and watching TV. Or asking each other how their day went, without just doing it with the expectation of them to ask back.
It’s not all easy, and some days I don’t care for his existence, as I’m sure he doesn’t care for mine, but, we love each other, and love is a rollercoaster with highs and lows.
Children change your relationship. They really do. But rather than looking for love in the places that aren’t there anymore. See it for what it really is.. And see that no matter how small a piece of love is, it’s really all around you.