they say that the first 7 years of a marriage are the hardest. they say that divorce rates decrease the longer a couple is married. i can only speak from my own experience, which statistically isn’t very much, as i have only been married to one man! but, we have passed the 7 year mark celebrating 8 years of marriage just a few days ago! i don’t often talk too much about my relationship with DH here on the blog as it feels quite personal, as it is OUR marriage.
it sure has been a ride with some super high highs contrasted by some super low lows… life is hard no matter what, but when you throw in little kids with their neediness and sleep deprived parents it’s hard to be happy in a marriage.
little people are exhausting, and all you folks out there living with super little people, hang in there! life does get easier once you’re sleeping more and not giving so constantly, ALL DAY, EVERY DAY!
i’ve talked before how with older kids i have more time for self care, but there’s also more time for my marriage. although, DH and i don’t do regular date nights anymore, as there really doesn’t feel to be the need, we are much more connected now than a couple of years ago. two years ago we were HERE. when i read about our life then, i remember how difficult and stressful it all felt.
5 easy ways to save a marriage! *
1. date night: when the kids are little it’s important to date your partner, regularly. carve out time each week when the baby-sitter or nana comes to watch the kids for you. don’t just head to the grocery story store or run errands, because doing it kid-free is so easy, i know, but instead go out to dinner and talk. there’s something kinda hard about that. it forces you to look at each other, to talk to each other, to acknowledge each other. you don’t have to have deep conversations about your relationship, but it’s so nice to just touch base without being distracted by kids or other household things. communication is so important!
2. kiss n’ hug: but don’t all married people do this? um, NO! certainly not regularly and probably not enough. human beings need to be touched, it helps our mental health and receiving a kiss from your partner is very different than getting a smooch from your snotty nosed toddler! intimacy is not just sex, it is holding hands, caressing a neck or rubbing your love’s back. and, don’t wait for your spouse to start this habit… you have to initiate too! i’m not suggesting getting into a match of intense tonsil hockey every morning, but a sweet kiss is a nice way to start the day, right?
3. don’t have kids: yes, i am being sarcastic, but there is truth to this statement as well. having kids can really drive a wedge in a partnership, even a strong one. it is really hard to raise kids and give to them, and have enough to give to your partner at the end of the day. this is where that 7 years theory comes into play, i think. once you’ve been married 7 years, you’ve probably had a few kids and they are mostly not babies anymore, in school and independent enough in many ways. which, leaves time and energy and opportunity for enjoying your partner!
4. greener pastures: this one is hard, but so important! do not compare your relationship with anyone else’s. and, do not compare your partner with anyone else’s. you don’t actually know what’s going on in other relationships. people can be very private about the truth especially when it comes to their marriage. even the best of friends may not be be telling it quite how it is. marital relationships are complicated with years of love, experience and adventure built into them. people present certain sides of themselves to specific crowds, while sharing another with other people, and that’s ok. but, just cuz mr. smith is being super charming and affectionate with his mrs at a neighbourhood party, doesn’t mean he’s like that with her at home!
5. be patient: being married is hard work. and, sometimes for whatever reason you or your partner may not have the energy or capacity to work at it. and, that’s ok. loving people isn’t always easy either. people evolve with time and not always at the same rate, so giving space for your partner to grow is important. you also need to allow growth, space and time for yourself. life is hard. love is hard.
but also soooooooo good!
good luck with your relationship and marriage!
*please take all advice offered here with a grain of salt. i am no expert in marriage, but i am an expert in my life! haha! these are tips that worked for me, for us and i just want to share!
let me know if you have any great tips or advice you can add to this list!