Can I be honest?
I mean completely, nakedly honest?
I’ve been keeping my ear to the ground lately, searching for rumblings that this heaviness on my heart is a common thread among us, even if it’s just a few. It’s hard to pick out, but I think it’s there – that quiet hum of fearful acknowledgement.
Can we talk about our marriages?
When I pictured becoming a parent, I pictured long nights. Stressful cries. Loads of laundry and dirty diapers. An isolation of sorts, or was it superiority, over becoming “mom” – the one who nourishes in a way that no one else can. I pictured myself in a role that only I could fill, but in the same way, I also pictured my husband right by my side. I pictured us as this daring duo of exhaustion and love. Tired smiles shared across the room. My hands-on hubby and me.
Us against the world.
But “us against the world” easily becomes “us against each other.” It happens when it’s not my turn to get up in the night and there’s no way I’m doing any favors. Or when he expected that I’d do X while he was doing Y. Or when I realize that I’m not even sure how to press the reset button anymore… because it used to be at that corner table at that delicious restaurant over a bottle of red and a few hours of shared plates and laughs but it moved… and I’m not sure exactly where it is right now but I know that it’s not there because hours away from home and a fat bill at the end of the night just doesn’t sound right.
I’ve started reaching out over the past few weeks. Tentatively searching for some sort of sanctuary among friends. For accountability, having spoken a fear out loud and been challenged to conquer it.
I worry about my marriage.
I worry that we’re losing sight of our friendship as we focus so singularly on our beautiful daughter. We made an honest vow that we would not put her above our relationship. God first. Spouse second. Children third. It was honest not because we’ve honored it but because we meant it with such earnest belief that it could be done.
I’ve read article after article about the things they should’ve warned me about before having a baby but feel as though I’m suddenly met with this echoing abyss when I ask about our marriages. Are our marriages okay? Will we begin to perform this double juggling act by muscle memory? And how do I push reset when our favorite places don’t hold the same appeal?
Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s one of those off-days in marriage that can be fixed with an overpriced bottle of wine. I don’t have one definitive answer except to say that I’ve been praying for my marriage. And so has Freddy. And we’ve been asking our small groups to do the same. And some of our friends. Because I think our marriages are worth it. They’re worth giving over to God and asking that he would make his presence known in our lives and use this period of new parenthood to strengthen the bond that he himself has blessed.
New moms, I pray that God would use our marriages as a testimony of faith. Use our marriages to bless others. And I hope that even if you haven’t experienced any stress in your marriage – in that husband and wife portion of your life – I hope that you can join me in my prayer or say one for me and mine.
I’d love to do the same for you.