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i had a great marriage

I Had a Great Marriage, Or So I Thought

i had a great marriage

Book Excerpt from Divorce Inked Out

 

So here I am, years married, two kids down and…… not happy. Shocker!

I had a great marriage, or so I thought, until one day, I didn’t. If you asked me to pinpoint where things went wrong, I couldn’t tell you exactly. Of course, we had our issues. What marriage doesn’t? But to single out a specific reason for its demise is difficult. I can tell you one thing, married life after children is never the same.

Married life B.C. (before children) is fun and exciting. I mean really, what is the difference between a serious relationship and marriage? Most likely you live together anyway, so the only real change is the title. We still had a great social life; parties, dinners, nights down by the shore, vacations. We came and went as we pleased. There are no limitations, no responsibilities and thusly, much less stress.

I remember we were watching the cooking channel one night; These incredible sandwiches were being made. Homemade bread fresh out of the oven, imported cold cuts and cheese from Italy, mouthwatering spreads- all combined and toasted into a panini of perfection. I still recall how we started to salivate over them. As luck would have it, they were from a restaurant in the city. We jumped out of bed, got dressed and drove there. It was that simple. Freedom…nothing to run home for, no obligations except him and me.

People do not realize how much children stress a marriage. I am not saying children are responsible for divorce, but they definitely limit your freedom and apply a layer of pressure that wasn’t there before. A typical day for me was basically spent taking care of my kids. My husband would go off to work and I was home all day with them. I don’t know about you, but there is just so much yum-yum, baba and go sleepies, a person can take.

Add that to severe sleep deprivation and colicky kids and you can find yourself, one twisted sister. My daughter used to scream for hours on end. We were trying to “Ferberize” her. I’d like to meet this Ferber guy and give him a piece of my mind. Let’s just say one night my husband came home to find me sitting on the couch with a tall glass of scotch- neat.

Now here is a scenario that wreaks havoc on a marriage. You are tapped out. You do not want to change another diaper, speak any more goo-goo language or watch another episode of Elmo getting his groove on. You are dying for some stimulating adult conversation. Your husband has just dealt with tons of people all day long. The last thing he wants is to be bombarded with a chatty Kathy and raging kids as soon as he gets home.

I have witnessed first hand and heard from many others, the scenario I will describe now. The husband walks in from a crazy day at work. He is exhausted and just wants a hot meal to eat with peace and quiet. The wife, 5 Starbucks in, is trying to calm hyperactive kids down and is desperate for some adult talk. The last thing the husband wants to do is deal with screaming children and a caffeine driven hyperactive spouse.

The wife so desperately wants a helping hand and some attention. If proper communication is not already established, a compromise to help the husband and wife is very difficult to reach. Being home is no longer a quiet relaxing place. There may be after school activities, homework, studying and much more. Schedules are a must, and before you know it, it’s time to go to sleep and restart the day again. Is there any real communication with a life so engulfed in routine? If it’s not already established, it probably doesn’t exist.

This is where, in my opinion, the marital problems begin. You used to experience butterflies in your stomach when the key would turn in the front door. You were so excited to greet the person on the other end. Now, the key turning is met with a sick feeling and an eye roll. Bickering becomes constant. The only real conversations are those regarding the children’s schedules. The days of snuggling on the same couch are long gone. If there is any time for television, it is either in separate rooms watching different shows; or the same room on separate couches.

Again, lack of communication. So now let’s take it to the next level. No communication leads to separate spaces which then leads to the extinction of intimacy. After all, why would you be romantically interested in someone if you hardly speak to them? You have just added another level of non-communication in a sexual way. Barely any communication of any kind then leads to methods of avoidance; workdays become longer, dinner meetings run over, any possible reason for you to avoid interaction is given. It reaches such a severe level that you truly don’t know what to say to each other if you are alone.

Some people try to keep things cluttered and completely ignore the huge pink elephant in the room. They busy themselves with kids’ activities; and host as many parties and social events as possible. They may even seem like the “perfect couple” to on-lookers, but that is just the pretty picture they portray. For example, take a Monet- beautiful from afar, but fake and not so attractive the closer you look.

No sooner is the communication chain broken both verbally and intimately, do you start to criticize your significant other. You begin to pick on every little thing that, all of a sudden, bothers you about them.

“She doesn’t even put on makeup anymore.”

“He has man boobs and a sunken ass.”

“She packed on the pounds.”

“He drinks too much.”

Anything that bothers you in the slightest way has become an annoyance tenfold its amount. This person that you were once so enamored with, now completely turns you off; and little quirks that have always been present, now irritate the ever, loving, crap out of you. Ironically, the things that attracted you to each other in the first place, eventually become the things you hate the most.

I remember my husband used to love the fact that I was tough and protective of those I loved. I would get extremely heated if I felt someone was out to hurt them. However, years later, that same attitude turned him off. There was a child constantly “pinching” my daughter at school. She came home very upset one day and I immediately lost it. I marched right back up to school with both kids and went straight to the principle’s office. I boldly explained the situation and demanded actions be taken to resolve it. Needless to say- it was addressed properly.

The mother of the child apologized to me and reprimanded her son. The boy also wrote my daughter an apology letter. Ironically, I think the little boy had a crush on my daughter, but I digress. Instead of being happy that I defended my child and made her feel safe, my husband commented, “how can you just barge into the school like that? What are you a gangster?” My reply, “Yes, when it comes to my kids, YES I AM.” The previous feelings of admiration do not exist. You become condemned for the person you always have been but for some reason, it is no longer acceptable.

Now is the stage where the excuses become pattered. Any reason you can think of to avoid contact with your partner is given.

“I don’t feel well.”

“I’m exhausted.”

“I have my period.”

It becomes so bad, you even start using the kids as your “get out of sex card free pass.”

“The kids want me to lie with them. I’ll be down as soon as they fall asleep.”

Coincidently, you fall asleep too or at least pretend to- crisis averted. Then there are nights when you are positioned on your separate couches and you say a Hail Mary hoping he falls asleep. You quietly glance over and to your excitement, he has dozed off. Finally, you can relax; watch your chick flick and enjoy your night. As you unwind you start to question how things got this bad. You are nothing more than roommates, residing in the same house, co-parenting children.

divorce inked out

Available for purchase on Amazon

 

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Being a Great Mom

Balancing YOU While Still Being a Great Mom

Being a Great Mom

 

Being a mom isn’t easy. You deal with stress, frustration and having to be patient with your children and yourself. There are a million tasks a mom has. The biggest task often times have to be taken care of on a daily basis.

There are sports practices, PTA meetings, church activities, school homework, band practice, errands, meals to prepare, a house to clean, children to care for and other items on that bottomless list of things to get done.

A mother commonly doesn’t leave much time for herself in a day. The only time she might get for herself might only be when she’s in the bathroom or the shower, but who knows if that is true even then.

Balancing YOU While Still Being a Great Mom

Ways to Cope with the Stress

Most moms have a habit of putting the needs of others before their own. That is the job most of the time, but with that, there needs to be room for some “Mom time” where she can relax and de-stress. Going to get your nails done, going to the spa, going to the salon to get your hair done, are just a few ideas in finding ways to de-stress. Allowing yourself to breathe is very important and be kept in mind.

There are also other ideas to think about, many places to travel these days are kid-friendly and can add to good childhood memories. With the idea of a vacation, there are plenty of deals and packages to look for which can make going on vacation more economically affordable, and easy. It is a great opportunity to get away from your world for a while and relax.

Working with the Craziness of Life

It is also okay to make time for yourself and to plan a time to just to be alone. There are so many things that come with having children and many that can also help you stay happy and healthy, to strengthen your relationships with them. Creating seasonal traditions with your children can be something that brings joy to the art of being a Mother. Decorating the house for the holiday’s, making cookies and allowing your children to participate in those things can keep them occupied and take your mind off of your responsibilities for a while.

Another thing that a mother can do for herself is to allow herself to get ready and feel good about her appearance. It is a natural and beautiful thing to know that even when you are a Mom you can still look great when doing all a Mother does. It is the little things that go a long way.

Take the time to allow yourself to get what you need to get done, but still, look stylish while doing it. Looking good and feeling beautiful will help your days run a lot smoother. When mom is happy, everyone is happy. She will have the confidence in herself to know that she can complete all she needs to that day. It will give her that little daily boost that we all know she needs to accomplish what seems to be impossible.

One last tip for feeling and looking great is trying your best to eat healthy and well. Make it a priority and it will happen. Maybe not every day, but some days it will. You do so much as a mom and like what was said before, you do the impossible and that means you can do another impossible, eating well.

With this said, remember who you are as a mother. Remember what great work you do and the great care that is required for your job. As they say, with great power, comes great responsibility. Mothers are powerful, but that doesn’t mean that they can leave themselves to stress and not de-stress. Their wants and needs need to be met too and that cannot be left out.

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