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Wow T, what an open and honest post. You're amazing letting us into your world like that.

I know this is a gross generalisation, and I know many women struggle too, but in my experience and that of my online and offline friends, it really does seem to be the guys who have the toughest time adjusting to kids. The neat ones freak out at the mess, the "free and easy" living types resent being tied to the house and having their activities interrupted. I have one friend whose husband claims to need 10 hours of sleep a night, and he gets it no matter what is happening with the kids. On the other hand, most women seem to rise to the challenge, the adjustments and the demands pretty well. With the odd nervous breakdown!

Sounds like Marko has been having a tough time, and we all deserve a bit of slack when we're feeling fragile. But a shitty day at work isn't a free pass to be an ass, and you're allowed to call him on that. OK, so the D word hurt him and you wished you hadn't said it. Doesn't bother some guys, really bothers others, including Marko it seems. You've said sorry, you won't say it again, it's OK. Don't beat yourself up. You're allowed to react when he's pushed a few buttons.

Communication is so important, but my husband and I struggle with it too. We've never really had a fight, mostly because we get along but also because we avoid confrontation and the hard stuff. And I know it will bite us on the ass at some point. I'm with you, I know we have to work on it. Good luck with it, it truly seems like you have a great relationship that will last. The first few years with kids is tough, but you obviously care about each other and want it to work. It will.

You post is open honest and scares the living day lites out of me! I have been married for 13 yrs and am due with our first (IVF) any day now. After 6 yrs of IF we are finally at the threshold of what we worked so hard for yet I am terrified of what it will do to our marriage. I know our marriage is strong but it is going to change so much. I can picture myself writing a similar post in a years time. I tend to try and make things better, easier for him, but then resent it when he doesn'e see what I do or complains. We do communicate but one our son is here who knows how that will work...Thanks for posting about this topic! I am glad Marko was able to communicate with you and open up.

You sound like a friend of ours! He and his wife were having a low patch, aruguing (after the birth of their first child) and not having much to talk about. Our friend brought up divorce and started discussing when he should leave. His wife said "What, over this?" and he worked out that you can have hard times, but it isn't the beginning of the end. It was quite a revelation for him! He was devastated and thought because things had gone wrong, it had tainted the whole relationship. When in fact they got over it, moved on, and are very happy (for now, maybe next week she'll want to kill him. Who knows!).

My husband and I are geographically separated and it puts a lot of strain on our relationship. It's hard work to keep together and can be fragile at times so we don't use the D word because it's too scary! But I'm with ceecee, too bad if you said it. You said you were sorry, and you were just reacting to him being an ass. Don't kick yourself in the coight over it.

One thing about a long distance relationship is that we are great in emails and on the phone...but face to face, our communication is a bit sucky. You'll get there. The fact you both said communicated in writing - well, the communication is there. Just another form!

I know you hate the whole "Big hugs" board type thing, but I don't care. ((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))) baby!

Oh Stacy honey, don't be scared! Firstly congratulations on your pregnancy, what wonderful news. You had such a long, long haul on the IF treadmill.

A couple of things, if you've been through IVF you've got a good idea that your marriage can cope with stress. And although there are some lows and some adjustments to having kids, honestly when my daughter was born I saw my husband in a whole other light. As a Dad. It was amazing and my love for him was deeper than it had ever been. One day you'll be picnicking in the park, your son kicking a ball with his Dad. You'll look up, feel completely blissed out and know that while there are lows, the highs couldn't be higher.

You'll be fine, it's easier said than done but try to make time for your relationship, and yourself. I do the "make things better then resent him" type of thing as well. But you'll find a rhythm.

Congrats again, and ENJOY!

It is too easy for couples to get mad over little things (junk in the house) because of outside issues (stress at work) and then let these things build up...
you probably scared him to death, and he seems such a wonderful guy.
It does take a moment to realize that he is having a hard time (as you may be too with babes and work) and needs his things a certain way to feel at home.
How easy it would be to just simmer and simmer and be angry day after day and get that D word. I've seen couples do it! they drive each other away until there is nothing left.
You are lucky he wrote to you and could explain his feelings - and he's lucky you had the foresight to stop for a moment and listen to him.

Wow Tertia great post. My husband and I have been married almost 12 years and been through a lot too, including neo-natal loss, and the /only/ time I ever used the divorce word in a fight was recently when our son was about 6 months old. (Since then we've found our footing as a couple again... at least THIS weekend LOL).

I was really scared that we WOULD end up divorced because it seemed like I was on the parent track and he was... not coming along for the ride. And that's scary.

Kids do change things and it's pretty profound - suddenly your space is not your space, your days are completely different, etc. etc. why am I telling you what you know? Just to say, I did the same thing - like a year earlier in our son's life and he's only one kid. Hang in there. :-)

No assvice from me. I just think Marko is crazy lucky to have you.

Having kids is def. very stressful on a marriage, especially when you have been married for awhile first and have gotten used to life together the way you like it! I look at my parents, whose kids are grown and moved out, and they still get along well. Someday that will be me and my husband alone at home and heading out each weekend to spoil grandkids...I hope we should be so lucky...

In my house we have silly rules that help us not say things we will later regret during fights. If either of us mentions the "D" word, the other one is entitled to go on a shopping spree of a certain amount. If we use "you talk" (you always do blah blah), we have to put money in a fund. It makes you think twice before speaking!

Wow, it seems as if Marko and my own husband are very similar. We've been having the toughest time here lately butting heads on housekeeping issues. We're currently living in my husband's uncle's *brand new* house while our house is being built. Said uncle is in Brussels for 2 years, and generously offered us his place. My husband is a neat freak as it is, but add to that the fact that we are living in someone else's *brand new* home, he wigs out on a weekly basis about the kids, the messes, the accidental bumps, scrapes, cracks, etc that happen when you have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. I do the best I can to keep things clean and I think the house looks wonderful considering we've been here 8 months. Still, it causes so much tension between us and I've been guilty of using the "d" word. My dear husband would never think of using the word, or even hinting at it. I say things in the heat of the moment I don't mean (we all do) then I feel like an ass. Our most trying times have come since having our kids, but also our most joyous times have come after having them. I know we're in it for the long haul despite the down times. Hang in there, and know there are other painfully anal (ouch!) husbands out there, and women who love them despite the anal-ness.

Hi Tertia,

It takes a big person to admit when they're wrong. G&D, and humble, too =) We're almost as lucky to have you as Marko is!!

My husband had "issues" when we were first together after what happened in his last marriage. He used to throw his ring at me while using the "D" word...like some of the commenters mentioned above, he thought every problem was "THE END". I finally kicked his habit through a combination of "I love you like crazy and am completely committed to our marriage", and "I will not put up with your outrageous behavior and if you throw your ring at me one more time it will be returned to you via your rectum". (Ooh. Finally got to tell that to somebody...heaven knows I could never put that on my own blog because he reads it!) Anyway, don't sweat it...children bond you together in many ways but also leave stretch marks on the way you used to have your marriage. You know what's wrong and you want to fix it, so yo'ure almost there already. You'll get through this...but I do see an early-morning shag in Marko's future ;)

Will he see this post? Sometimes I communicate better to other people about my husband than to my husband about my husband... If you were to show him, even if just copied and pasted, it might help things even more :)

Very good post. I guess we've all been there. These years ARE hard, when the children are small and you are pulled simply to too many directions.

Like the newborn phase, this time passes, too. Your children are now in a stage where they can't yet behave like big children. In a year or two, it will be a sign of pride for the children to handle some of Papa's stuff without breaking it. It may very well turn out that one of them has some of his characteristics about things, and he will be very happy to see that. If not, they will learn to respect his stuff and leave it alone.

And the same about all the other small things that make life so hard now. With older children, it's much easier. You say: before Papa comes home, the house must be orderly. And if you give them responsibility for part of their belongings, they can keep them in order. Which is good education and nice. But now it's too early.

The stage between cute, passive babyhood and responsible, independent childhood IS demanding. Be good to your husband and to yourself. Believe me, it will pass. You will value your husband more than ever for the patience he has and for the great father he is. Try to see it now, too. You are a team. And I'm sure you are a great team.

I'm a bit older than you and our children are between seven and sixteen. Believe me, this is a great time of our lives, much easier than ten or five years ago. Actually, my eldest is just about to serve me a cup of tea...

The day will come when you and Marko sit on the porch and Adam will serve his father a cup of tea - proud to help. and then Marko will kiss you and say, "do you remember how CUTE they were when they were small? well, they're cute when they grow up a bit, too..."

And I hope your blog will still be there so we can read that scene, too.

How often do you and Marko go out on dates?? Just the two of you??? Your marriage is the reason you have children (MARKO'S KIDS!!) - and therefore it is THE single most important thing in your life. It must be cherished and nurtured.

The D word is banned from our home, and the one rule we made is that no-one leaves the house angry/not talking/sulking and no-one goes to bed angry/not-talking/sulking.

Life is too, too precious to stuff around with, and not to sound all dooms-day like, but stuff happens. And that alone is reason enough to MAKE time for each other.

Eat together, bath together once the kiddies are in bed... go on dates. Remember to still woo and court each other. Sounds old-fashioned, but those are the marriages that we all look at and go, "Oh, I hope we're like that when we're old and sitting in our rocking chairs."

Just my a$$vice - may not be worth much, and yes we can all cheerfully imagine throttling our darling husbands at times. But we don't. And that's what counts. We love them.... and they do so love us!

As someone who is looking at the big D in the next year or so, I can promise you, marriages put on pause often get stuck there....

That is all.

I may be married to Marko's American brother........He's anal too. Especially about things being neat and in their proper place, etc. (I even tease him about being OCD - Obsessive Compulsive - and probably shouldn't.) I'd want to buy a second hand car from my DH too.

He doesn't seem to mind the toys that are strewn about, but he doesn't want the kids to eat or drink anywhere other than the kitchen. (I think a snack is okay if it's not totally messy like pudding or something.) His analness seems to now be concentrated on other things like having the dresser drawers all organized the "right" way, etc.

He also tends to be a bit passive agressive (as you described Marko) in making snide comments. To me what he's complaining about is just plain stupid as "normal" people wouldn't care that my mother hung his shirts in his closet (in the wrong order).

I've gotten to the point where the comments have just pissed me off too much and I've asked him the same thing you did. "If it's so bad here then why don't you just leave (or get your own apartment)?" That tends to shut him up for awhile, but you're right in that it's not really a nice thing to say and I shouldn't say it. Instead we should talk things out like you say you need to do.

Well, I guess I've rambled long enough, but at least you know you're not alone.

Beautiful post, Tertia. I agree, children (even much wanted, adored, perfect)can put strain on a once perfect marriage. I have to admit that lately I have been feeling like my husband and I are not as close as we were before Alexander joined us. It's not so much that we are fighting (though we NEVER fought, for 6 years before him, adn now we do sometimes) its' just that we are kind of drifting a little. Tired, stresed, busy.

Thank You for your post. Maybe I need to get off here as well and concentrate a little more.

You're both lucky to have each other.

Cool post Tertia! And I bet you anything 99.9% of people have been in the exact same or very similar situation. Having kids is no piece of cake that's for sure :).
I'm with the other post above that was suggesting a date night, sometimes it's hard especially when you work all week to imagine going out without the kids one more night but it really is worth it and I think totally important. Even if it's just to go to dinner and a movie--just a bit of mom and dad time alone will bring you back refreshed and ready to face another hard week.
This too shall pass.

I didn't read all the other responses, so maybe someone said something similar to what I'm about to say. If so, apologies in advance.

IF is extremely hard on a marriage. Even though you say it made your marriage stronger (and I believe to some degree, it made our marriage stronger, too) it has effects that we might not see, at first. Yes, it is emotionally and physically grueling (and for some, financially torturous) - but the expectations we place on ourselves for what kind of parents we will be ... once we FINALLY become parents ... are tremendously high. We waited and dreamed of this for so long ... how could we possibly fail?

And then the baby comes home.

Add more than one baby in to the mix and the challenges are EXPONENTIAL. From the moment our babies came home ... our marriage has evolved in ways I never would have imagined. We've had some of the most wonderful moments and some of the most ferocious fights ever in our relationship, since we've been parents.

I read something recently that struck me. Once our children have grown up and moved on - you will still have your husband. The relationship between the two of you is of utmost importance. You two are in it for the long haul.

At our house, we go for a walk every single day - as a family. Kids in the strollers, mom & dad pushing them and chatting. This is the best time that we have found to connect. During the times of turbulence, I find that talking over the phone, as opposed to face-to-face, actually works better for me. When he's home, I'm always DOING something (laundry, dishes, cleaning the playroom - you name it), and I have a hard time stopping to focus on him and the conversation. Or, if I'm really pissed off - I have a hard time not wanting to throw something at him. When I'm on the phone - our communication is open, honest, usually calmer ... and I have a habit of sitting down and listening to what he is telling me. Crazy. But hey, whatever works.

Regarding the babies getting in to his stuff - - tell him to take a chill pill. It is going to get worse before it gets better. Infact, the only time it will get better is when your kids move out of the house. If he's worried about his remote control - just ask him how he'll feel when the kids get a hold of his car when he's out of town ... or throw a huge party in the house while you are away.

We've had two date nights and they were awful. We fought the whole time and it was entirely my fault. I was afraid we were going to die in a car accident and leave 3 orphans behind. I'm sure I'll out grow those fears - one day. (God I hope). In the meantime, I'd much prefer to be home - put the kids to bed - and enjoy a bottle of wine, just the two of us. And a candle. And a can of whip cream. (Are you paying attention?)

No, the first year or two of marriage isn't the hardest. The first year or two of adjusting to each other following parenthood most definitely is.

(Sorry this is so long. I think I'm going to copy and paste my comment in to a posting for my own blog.)

It seems that it's almost unspoken the stress and strain having children puts on a relationship. Maybe if more people would open up the way you just did, more people would talk about the stress that they were under.

Good luck to you- from one stressed out mommy just trying to find time to connect with her husband to another.

PS- I am loving your blog and I miust say that it is so awesome that you live in South Africa. Coming from Canada, yours is a country that I have longed to travel to since I was a child. Thank you for sharing your world.

"I had no idea that kids could place so much stress on a marriage..."

Yup. 4 years into this phase of married life and it is still very hard. We have learned to bring up stuff right away rather than stewing, that way we can fix things as they come along. We're always tweaking and re-evaluating things and that has helped so much.

Our biggest issue recently was never seeing each other (he works 2nd shift, I worked 8-5). We had it all figured out, so we thought. He looked after Stinker in the day, I looked after her at night. Parents as daycare = more money for toys! We both got to spend lots of time with our daughter, but never each other.

I missed him so much. We talked constantly about it, but it didn't help. He is in a position where he can't change his hours right now, and he makes more money than I do.

So I quit my job and am rediscovering our marriage. It sucks not having 2 incomes, but we are so much happier being "poor" together rather then being "rich" apart. It works. When it stops working, we'll re-evaluate again.

I know you and Marko will be ok, you are a very smart cookie to figure things out now rather than years down the road. Big hugs and kisses.

Oh boy. Yep. We've had some of our worst fights, and said horrible things to each other, after our baby's arrival. They haven't been much, but they have been awful when they happened. This adjusting to life with a little dictator is not easy, and it has nothing to do with how much we love each other or adore her. It's just that there's all sorts of little things that take a toll, and somehow the things we worry about now are different (with IF it was easy to be on the same page about our worries: will it BFN? will be have embryos left to transfer?). It's as we try to make our lives around this little person that our deeper worries diverge and, when we are both exhausted, become an issue.
It's hard to see when things are really about the end of the line or just about a shitty transition. As long as I can look at him and remember who he really is and why I love him so (even as I want to kill him), and as long as he can do the same...shitty transition it is.
Good luck to you both.

Bravo for realizing the error of saying the D word. It is so hurtful really. Things always get hard but if you realize that this is the person you WILL be with regardless, well it always makes us just say "f*ck it" and we move past it. Hang in there... this too shall pass.

My husband and I have been together for 16 years and had a son who just turned 1. Needless to say, it has been a learning experience and we're still adjusting to the changes. We have gotten into some whoppers (and have mentioned the D word before ourselves).

My friend says you have to change the relationship with your spouse in order for it to work. My mom says you need to keep the relationship the same and include your children into it.

I tried my friend's advice, which didn't work for me but my mom's did (I hate to admit it).

I think it's perfectly normal to go through these periods. Just keep in mind, you'll go through them again...and out of them again.

My standard line is "Maybe your next wife will go for that," said very sweetly.

Sounds like you two need to go out on a date every other week or so.

And I can't recommend Harville Hendrix's "Getting the love you want" book highly enough for when you start having the same fight over and over again. Saved my marriage. It's basically couples therapy you do at home once a week that gets right to the root of the problems and helps you figure out how to start working with them to heal your relationship and move you into a new and better phase.

What an open and honest post!

Hey, fights aren't fun, but it is better than shutting down and not communicating at all.

A few things that have worked for us...We promised never to say the "d" word in a fight, and to try to fight "fair." We also promised that we would never leave in the middle of a fight. Of course, sometimes I do tell him "I could just strangle you right now!" :-)

we also try to go on a "date night" at least once a week. Of course, this is easier to do in our childless state, but I hope to continue it, especially once we have kiddos running around and driving us a little crazy. Like someone else said, we hope to still be married once our kids are grown and out of the house. :-)

Thanks for the honest post- I think we've all been there! :-)

I can relate, Tertia, as (obviously) can so many other married folks.

One thing I wanted to mention... PTSD. Have you considered that all the strain of infertility and loss might have done more damage than either of you are able to admit? Perhaps it is only *now* that you and Marko are opening the emotional watershed that has been held tight these past years.

You've said yourself before that you wouldn't let yourself totally deal with losing Ben (and all the other horrible crap you've endured), because you didn't have "time" - you needed to hold it together in order to function, and to continue to strive toward your goal.

So maybe, in a way, this is a positive sign... that you are both now able to actually deal with grief and the stress you suppressed/ignored all this time. If only you could find a way to work through it in a positive way. Would Marko consider going to counseling with you? Not "marriage counseling" - grief counseling (and/or Post Traumatic Stress counseling).

Another thought that comes to my mind, because much of what you say in this post sounds so familiar - any chance Marko might suffer from General Anxiety Disorder? My husband and I had so much tension in our marriage (ignored most of the time, but always simmering under the surface - at least from my standpoint) for the longest time. Then (after I discovered I was suffering from PPD), we realized that he ALSO had an anxiety disorder. Within a month of my going on Effexor for PPD, he was on Paxil. And WOW what a difference! The past 18 (medicated!) months have been WONDERFUL! He is happier, less stressed out, and it makes for a very harmonious household. :-)

All my best to you, T. Please work through this - don't just shove it under the carpet. You and Marko (and the Babes) are beautiful together, and I know you will come through this smelling of roses!

I love my kids and went through hell to have them. But I have days where I'd just like to taste, to relive, 24 hours of that time B.C. (before children). No responsibilities, endless energy, freedom. Life changes so much with children, mostly for the better, but your relationship with Marko will never be the same. When the babes are a bit bigger you might find you're closer than you've ever been, but there are a lot of adjustments. And mess? You just have to live with it, it's like sleepless nights and endless worries. Comes with the territory.

You two will be just fine. You both need to keep a little something for each other, and don't give it all away to work, the Internet and the kids.

Here endeth the assvice.

Marriage is damn hard work. Adding kids to the mix makes it even harder. I'm not a mom, just a stepmom, but my dh & I have had to seek outside help on our marriage more than once. It didn't make us feel ashamed at all. It helped us communicate better. We wanted our marriage to get better and it did.

My trick for not drifting apart from hub, is that I don't talk to my friends about an issue in my marriage until AFTER I've talked about it with hub. In our first few years together, this was a really tough rule, because it's HARD to talk to him about stuff! And there is still stuff I can't say to him, so I don't say it to anyone. But over the years it's helped us learn to talk to each other, and it's made it so that we have an emotional intimacy that I used to only have with my BFF's. Like the old saying goes, "sex is easy; intimacy's a bitch!" So we try to work on emotional intimacy as a concept because neither of us is comfortable with it.

(I'm still not ok with sitting at the table and talking while we eat, but he likes it so I suck it up and do it once a week.)

taking this one out, if you don't mind. i appreaciate the sentiment, but well, i think i will edit it out for now.



Heya T. I've been behind on my reading, and probably you've already heard this about eleventy-seven times, but just thought I'd tell you...Pyg and I are currently in marriage counseling, and he's a big bringer-upper-of-the-D-word, and the therapist says that that is NEVER something to say unless you actually mean it (i.e. have papers in hand and bags packed), because you might as well just drop a bomb in the living room; it instantly puts everyone into panic mode, and nobody resolves things well when in that frame of mind.

That said, I don't mean it as scolding, just as giving you the benefit of what I pay $90/hr to hear, free of charge :-) Not judgemental at all. I've dropped the D-bomb a few times, myself. Usually in my experience it means you're at the end of your rope, and I'm sorry to hear that you were there, because it sucks.

I was completely shocked at how rough my daughter's first year was. I have described it as both the best and worst year of my life. At the time I said nothing about how miserable I was in my marriage. Not every second of course, but a fair bit of the time. Once my daughter was older my husband heard me comment that if I was ever going to leave him, it would have been then. He was shocked I had been that dis-satisified, but we had a really great conversation.

We recently had our second daughter and things have been going a lot better this time around. We're more intune, more forgiving and more helpful with each other. I thank you for writing this post. It would have been a huge help to me if I hadn't thought I was the only one.

You guys have dogs, right? Did they come perfectly trained and neat and orderly? (If so, quit reading now, and explain exactly howt hat happened...) Now, I'm not trying to compare kids to dogs, but perhaps gently reminding him that things can evolve and turn out OK, like puppies.

I also think you guys didn't have the usual time to prepare for the babes as other couples might, with all the infertility issues, the losses, and then the high-risk twin pregnancy, you didn't get the joy of baby-proofing, or talking about schedules and such. So it can be rough. Remember to give yourselves a little bit of slack... and everyone else's advice is spot on.

(And don't tell Marko I said this, but maybe with all this stress, he's having severe cigarette withdrawls and that's making him extra-crabby.)

Our husbands have very similar personalities. Mine has been driving me crazy lately too. These days it usually has more to do with him not liking the dog than the destruction our DD causes. I think that's mostly because the dog is younger and at five, our DD doesn't really destruct things anymore but gets them really dirty. She's been getting anal about making sure her/our stuff doesn't get broken. But the dog, 'nother story all together. He's been under a lot of stress because of work lately, and I try to take it easy on him, but sometimes it's just not possible. This weekend I blew up at him several times, because he was just killing the happiness when he was out with DD and I. We can goof off and have a good time and he was acting all pissy. I told him off. Oh well.

And there have been other times a few years ago (we've been married almost 12 years) that I did finally mention the D word. Cause I hate when he gets all crabby all the time and then I don't want him to be home.

Why does it always take a big fight where we say things we shouldn't that get us to actually *talk* to each other (even if via email)?

Date night is a great idea, but I cannot stress how important it is to have dinner together. Even if you don't do it every night, pick a few nights during the week and commit to having dinner together, at the same table(!), on those nights every week.

When the kids get older and start eating dinner later, set aside at least one night a week to eat together as a family, in addition to your 'together' nights as a couple. The only time Hubby and I really get to talk to each other about real stuff is on our dinner nights (the ones where we *don't* sit in front of the tv), even though we sit in the same office all day.

That, and saying "I love you," "thank you," and "I'm sorry" on a regular basis (the "I'm sorry" as needed) will take you farther than anything else.

My dh is so like yours. V.v. anal and our 16 mo old dd drives him nuts with her fingerprints everywhere. He also wants everything just so, I am not like that, but have tried, for his sake. He also is a horrible communicator, never talks about feelings, etc. I also rush around before he gets home to try to clean everything.

I try to remember that the mess really does make him crazy and a few mild complaints and grunts is really a huge compromise for him.

He also once dropped the D word on me and I was shocked - I screamed at him that I loved him and that we were just having a fight and I was not ever leaving him - he's never mentioned it again.

I appreciate your sharing this as before I read this and your comments I felt pretty alone. My marriage isn't the storybook romance thing, my husband is not good with communication or feelings - but I am happier in this relationship than I ever was single; and he is the one that makes it possible for me to work P/T to be with dd. He loves me in his own nutty way -

Also, I'm going to try the whole e-mail thing. Maybe we can communicate that way. If my hubby wrote me an emotional e-mail, that would melt my heart. I haven't heard an emotion or feeling out of him since we got married (of course before that he was pretty good!).

We went to marriage counseling years ago and one of the things we agreed upon was to never say the D word in an arguement. That it was to only be mentioned unless we meant it because it was something we could not take back once it slipped through our lips. It has been said, twice. Once by him and once by me at different times. We are lucky to have worked through the hard times. Many of us have been there and this too shall pass.

It is a real comfort to hear and read that other people have a tough time in a marriage. My husband is a "stewer". Every couple of years it all comes out in a big rush (usually triggered with a bit of grog in his belly). It's awful. And since we have had Gromit (now two) it is much worse. We had one of the "incidents" just before I read your post - with him telling me it was over. I talked him down off that ledge and I hope I have made him aware that things need to be discussed before they boil over.

Having a child has undoubtedly damaged our marriage - hopefully only temporarily. It has made me reluctant to even consider a second child as I'm not sure our marriage can take another hit. And while I would love to have more than one child, I would rather gromit grow up with two parents that love each other.

Gosh Tertia, this sounds so familar. Not the neat-and-tidy stuff, but the not-talking stuff. My hubby and I are both very task-oriented people. We like to get things done! So often it's busy, busy, busy all the time, but not a minute left to talk.
Because most of the time we are pretty great together, it doesn't really show. But when we get onto different pages for some reason - suddenly it becomes obvious that we don't have the means to sort it out calmly and rationally. Your post has inspired me - this is something we also need to work at.
Oh - I do like the e-mail idea.

i've been lurking...

we're recovering from his internet affair. it's been a month and a half, and it all comes down to communication. asking the hard questions of each other and ourselves, and answering them with blazingly painful (or incredibly comforting) truth. being open and honest to a degree beyond just what's good enough.

five and a half years, and the only advice i have about marriage is this: compromise. if both of you meet in the middle, let the trivialities slide, and really talk and listen to one another, you can't go wrong.

good luck to a fellow sailor on this sea of confusing love...

I'm chiming in late on this one, but I will say I agree that parenthood puts a huge strain on a relationship. Personal time and space are at such a premium that it literally staggers the imagination.

With my husband and I, we always assume the other partner is getting the best of the deal, which leads to simmering resentments. We get better. And then we get worse. And so it goes. I have to believe, for the sake of my sanity, that it gets better for good eventually. After all, as much as we love our babies, they will eventually grow up and move into a stage of life where we aren't exactly the lead characters and all we have at that point, is the person we made the kids with in the first place - so there'd best be something left to talk about.

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