Communication isn’t something that comes naturally for me. In fact, I have to work very hard to have open and honest communication with others around me. Before marrying my husband, Josh discussed with me how important this was for him in a relationship, especially in marriage, so from that moment on I did my best to communicate effectively with him. But, despite being totally imperfect at it he showed me a little bit of mercy and decided to marry me anyways (thank goodness!).
Our marriage is nowhere near perfect, but communication has helped it to come a long way. Not long after our son was born, I confronted my husband with a less than happy attitude. I complained about how I felt as though I was doing most of the work and expressed how jealous I was every morning when he left to work for the day. I informed him of the amount of dirty diapers I’d changed, bottles I’d made, and spit up I’d wiped from my t-shirt and hair. Not to mention the dishes I’d washed, laundry I’d folded, and bathrooms I’d scoured during nap time. I was done and I was going to let him know it.
Once I finished listing off the difficulties of the day, my husband responded in a way that I haven’t forgotten: “You are the best mom to Rowan. You know everything about him and how to best take care of him. When I ask what I can do to help, you don’t let me, probably because it’s frustrating to have to teach me what you’ve already learned.” He was right. It did annoy me to have to show my husband the best ways to swaddle, which toys were the favorite, and what time was best for an afternoon nap. I felt like these things should have naturally come to him by now, which wasn’t fair for me to expect since I had spent months myself learning through trial and error how to best care for our son while my husband was working full days to provide for our family.
From then on, I spent a little more time practicing patience, showing and teaching my husband how to do the things I was doing on a daily basis. I let him help more often and recognized the times where he offered to do whatever I needed him to do. I haven’t always been perfect at this and sometimes find myself thinking to myself how difficult and boring the mundane day-to-day is, but before I open my mouth to complain, I remind myself that by having open communication with my husband, things are always so much better.
Since the beginning of our marriage, we decided that we would make our relationship a top priority, even above our children. I believe that a happy family starts with a happy husband and wife. We do our very best to express our love to one another despite the messy mom buns, clingy babies, and short naps by starting and ending each day with a hug and a kiss. And even though nighttime can sometimes be our worst nightmare, we make sure to spend our time together, no matter how short, while we watch and laugh to The Office.
I love the profound message in this simple quote by Lynn G. Robbins: “True love is not something you fall in, but grow in.” Marriage may take a lot of work, especially when adding children to the mix, but with lots of hand holding, love notes, and a bit of forgiveness, you will find that your love will grow exponentially. Your marriage may never be perfect, but as you work hard to come closer together, you can come to love your marriage and look forward to the future you have together with optimism and excitement. I promise that if you make kisses, cuddles, and communicating a top priority in your marriage, not only will you and your spouse thrive, but so will the children that you raise within the four walls of your home.
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