**WARNING- I get a little(and we all know by 'a little' I mean A LOT)personal here. And I guess we will find out once and for all if my husband ever reads my blog ;)**
My husband and I used to lie on the couch together and snicker at all of our friends. All of our friends that warned us about the first year of marriage. About how hard it was, and the adjustment, and to be careful with everything else we had going on. They told us we would question our decision, think it was wrong, and wonder how the hell we got here. Yes, we would snuggle up together and laugh. Hell, if the first year of marriage was as tough as it was going to be, we were on track for an AMAZING life!
And I have to say, I am still pretty impressed with how well it really went... considering. All within a year we: got married; had a baby; bought a house; and started a business. Any one of those alone is enough to ruin a marriage. But not us. We knocked it all out in 12 months, with smiles on our faces, and still calling each other honey and baby.
So we would talk and laugh about how we had it all figured out, about how our friends who struggled didn't understand how to communicate, didn't have the same respect we had for each other, didn't understand the true meaning of marriage, and the type of spouse they wanted to be. Yup, we should probably write a book about how good we were at being married.
Now, I guess it is fair to say that the reason we were so successful that first year is that we were still in our 'honeymoon' phase. Despite having known each other for almost 7 years, Mike and I dated for about 5 minutes before we got married. So it's safe to say we still were starry eyed looking at each other. Plus, having a baby so soon, and all we went through when finding that out, left us with no option but to be on each others side. We were up against a wall, and together we fought for the life we knew we wanted.
Flash forward almost 5 years later (holy crap), a down economy, another baby, and a new job for Mike, and all of a sudden what our friends were talking about is starting to make some sense. And, I think we were right in our assumption as to what had gone wrong with them. Poor communication, check. Respect issues, check. Remembering and holding true to they type of spouse you wanted to be, check check.
The going got tough for us about two years ago, and we both did the only thing we knew how to do when faced with a challenge. We put our heads down, and did what worked best for us(singular) at that time. We dug down, and trudged forward. A good fighting attitude I would say. Except with one problem. I'm not sure we were fighting the same fight.
What happened is that we looked up, only to glance at each other and notice we were in two completely different places. We were so focused on getting ourselves through the hard times, that we didn't think to check in with each other to make sure we were moving in the same direction. Communication.
So what we have realized now, is that not only have we started to create these two separate lives, we are resenting the other for doing the same thing. Which is completely unfair on both of our parts.
The great thing about us having a break-vacation, is that we both got a chance to do some thinking alone, and then together. To realize the mistakes that we were both making, and focus less on the blame we are putting on the other, but the responsibility and ownership we can take over the problems we are creating/contributing to.
You need a reminder that not only are you fighting on the same team, but that you are ultimately fighting for each other. For happiness together in a marriage. For a marriage that can last and grow strong enough to face the hard times that are bound to come.
So I guess we start here..with the acknowledgement of what is happening, and the commitment to start playing on the same team...together.