The Date That Saved My Marriage

One thing I talk about off and on is how having a baby can be absolute hell on a relationship. I am convinced that Babies Eat Bliss. In my own personal experience, and from talking with other new parents, the stress, lack of sleep, internal fear and insecurities about parenthood, and even the financial burden can/will crack even the strongest of relationships.

FTD and I have been struggling since nearly the first month of our son's life. Between the constant fear of SIDS (cot death), lack of sleep, struggles with nursing, financial burden, and of course, our sometimes different ideas on childrearing... we were both maxed out emotionally. At times, it was just way too much for our relationship.

Long story short, it's safe to say somedays it felt like FTD and I were one crack away from our marriage completely shattering beyond repair.  In an effort to try keep that from happening,  I prayed, read books, tried not to be so hard on FTD, and asked him to do the same for me.

 FTD and I have been married for three years, and together for 5 1/2, we were MADLY in love before our bundle of baby boy joy came along, so I kept thinking that our problem must stem from that. Now, that being said, our son is the absolute light of our lives, I have never know a love, joy and happiness like I know through motherhood. And I know FTD feels the same about being a father. Regardless, I needed to find the answer to fixing my broken bent marriage, because both FTD and I agreed we didn't want to split-up our new family.

Through my journey for answers, I found that part of our problem was communication, another issue was that I am a SAHM needing more out of life, and FTD is an over-worked stressed out IT Director.  Basically, in addition to our marriage woes, we had work woes too.  I also read that part of our issue is that we are now in the relationship phase were some of our quirky things that the other used to love, or at the very least happily tolerate… now, not so much.  Boy, did I agree with that! That FTD… such a man. Worst of all, we were no longer operating as a team, quite the opposite it seemed.

All recommendations from my research pointed to going out together, child-free, to reconnect...

The last time FTD and I went out to a nice dinner together was the night before I gave birth. YES... 22-months ago.  It has been nearly two years since I have gone out on a "date" with my husband.  NOT. GOOD! Between not really having a babysitter, and our own stupid fears of leaving our son with someone… FAIL, I know.

I lined up a baby sitter, then called my husband and asked him out on a date.  I even had little butterflies in my belly when I asked.  I didn't tell him the plan, I just asked him out, and when he accepted, I told him I would pick him up at our front door at 7:30 on Saturday.  I had a fun night planned and wanted it to be a surprise.

Once the babysitter arrived, and all anxieties potential issues with the man-child were expressed, FTD and I left the house… alone… hand-in-hand.

As to not bore you with the details of our date, I will just say it was SO much fun!  FTD was charming, and kind and opened the doors, and complemented me and made me laugh and feel wonderful the entire night.  In less than five hours I was reminded just how much I love him, need him and could not imagine my life without him.  He is my friend.  My best friend.  I am just so sick to my stomach that it took us 22-months to get out together. Alone.

Don't get me wrong, FTD and I still have a few more cracks to seal up, but our date night was just what we both needed to know that we are going to be OK.  The night out helped us to remember that we love each other very much, and can get through this time together. Honestly, I thought having a child would make my marriage stronger and happier. I realize now that it will be eventually, but first we need to work through all of the changes that parenting has caused in both our lives and our marriage.

If you are experiencing a similar situation with your partner, I cannot recommend enough that you two go out on a date to reconnect.  Getting out child-free with your partner is vital to a healthy happy marriage.

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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Layes Landing said...

Oh my goodness this is such a happy post, brings tears to my eyes! Thanks so much for sharing your story!! After following for so long I feel like I know you both so I certainly was rooting for you as I read this.

Unknown said...

Oh April! I am so glad you got out!!! That's awesome you got to reconnect! We've been "okay" about going out, but just last week we had an epic fail by going to Target & the Dollar Tree to shop for the kids for Christmas :) LOL- but it's so true, children turn your marriage upsidedown and it is so hard sometimes to remember who you were before you were a parent. Hang in there and keep getting OUT!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, this is exactly what I needed to hear right now! Having two children in 2 years makes it easy to forget to actually have fun with your husband without the kids. We just went to his work Christmas party with no kids and had so much fun we decided we need to do it more often! It's good to know we aren't the only couple that has these same problems.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, you know this story is all too familiar in many families. Mine included. I am so happy we're over that hump and know that we'll make it, just like your beautiful family. Small children test the best of marriages and partnerships. PS that photograph is delightful! You two look smitten with each other. Happy holidays! -- Amanda

Mrs. Loquacious said...

I am so so so glad to hear that you had this much-needed date, finally! Marriage is a long journey, and as you know, we are both walking through the valley times right now. I think that every date, every stolen kiss or nookie-during-naptime moment is a good way to recommit yourself to each other. It's also refreshing to hear your honesty, when so many couples "fake it" for the public rather than own up to the battering that their marriages get from having babies. My thought right now is that Hubbs and I just need to survive until all of our kids (including ones yet to be conceived) are over the age of 3. Then it will get better. I hope *fingers crossed*

Unknown said...

So true. I remember those times too when my daughter was little & my husband and I could not find a sitter and never went out. It is really important for a marriage to spend time together. Finally the kids are a bit older and we can get out regularly now & it is a huge relief.

Alissa said...

Thank you for your transparency April. I feel like you are writing about my marriage LOL! Never have I heard truer words... but when we were taking our baby classes before James was born the instructor told us that what ever weak-points were in our marriage would be amplified once the baby arrived. I scoffed at her!! Sadly though it was more true than I could have imagined. After two years I feel like we are starting to climb out of the marriage nightmare abyss. I totally agree though it is so important to reconnect!!

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