Coming into marriage, I had a lot of expectations. Like most of us. Expectations that I didn't know I had. Like how he was going to let me win every argument. And how he would think it's cute when I give him attitude. And how he would always go out of his way to make me feel pampered (which is true but not always.)
Jesse had his expectations, too. Like how he would come home from work to an elaborate meal every night. Or how I would treat him like the king. And when you put two people with hidden expectations together, it's gonna be hard work.
And then you add a baby.
I think about married life before we had Ever, and I can hardly remember it. But I know it was so different. We were married for 9 months before I got pregnant, so we didn't have a whole bunch of time to get used to being married before we became parents.
Before baby, we went on so many adventures. We were each others' people. We could focus 100% on each other and our relationship. We did things to make each other feel loved and appreciated. We were your typical newlyweds.
Then, when the little baby came, everything changed. Suddenly all my attention, and even affection, channeled into this little being that just came out of me. She consumed my time and my thoughts and my heart. And in turn, I had a husband who felt unloved. It was me and Ever, and then Jesse was there, too. It was hard. But I didn't know how to get out of that rut. Because she needed all my attention and affection, and I've never been good at balance. I thought that I would fall more in love with my husband seeing him as a father, but that wasn't the case. I always knew he was going to be the best daddy, so seeing him fall so perfectly into that role didn't make me love him more. For him it was the opposite. He found me more attractive seeing me as a mama.
On one hand, we fight less now because we're more aware of two little eyes and ears. But we also communicate less. Because our attention is constantly being drawn to Ever, we don't have much time to talk about our dreams and aspirations, how we're feeling, unresolved hurts, things that made us happy, stories from work, etc. And I miss that.
It took 9 months to finally start feeling like a couple again. And we're finally starting to figure out this whole married with kids thing.
The marriage takes priority. Because if that relationship is struggling, so will everything else. Something we realized is that we NEED to go on a date once a week, at least. Not just every once in a while, but once a week. Even just for an hour or two. A chance to get away, free from distractions, aka a baby trying to grab our food and throw everything on the ground.
The first of the weekly dates that we went on, I felt like I was finally seeing my husband again. I could look deep into his eyes and keep looking without anything pulling my attention away. I could listen to his every word, and respond without being interrupted. I could be Morgan the wife, rather than Morgan the wife and mom. And it felt amazing.
Last week we decided to make another weekly tradition on our date night, and that's to ask each other six questions. These questions come from Jeremy and Audrey of Beating 50, and they really helped us to connect and talk about the deep stuff.
What brought you joy this week?
What was something that was hard this week?
What’s one specific thing I can do for you this week?
How can I pray for you this week?
Is there anything that’s gone unsaid, convictions, confessions, unresolvedhurt?
What’s a dream, desire or thought that’s been on the forefront of your mind this week?
We didn't get through all the questions the first time, which is fine. It's not a homework assignment. The point is to stir conversation and intimicacy, and it definitely did just that. I felt like I was getting to know my husband all over again.
If you're married, first time parents, long time parents, engaged, dating, I highly encourage you to make this a tradition of your own.
Also, completely unrelated, Ever's bow is from Khahn Co. and you can use the code morganfaithsuarez to get 15% off!