Marriage After Baby: Why our Marriage is Thriving Right Now
My husband is the love of my life. I knew I would love him from the minute I saw him walk into the martial arts studio after only two weeks of living in Denver. It took us awhile to finally get together, but I am so happy that we met and that we have built this beautiful life together.
While I have highlighted the many good times that we have had, I have also candidly talked about our struggles as well, especially when I was battling postpartum depression. We have come such a long way since that period in our marriage and I wanted to share why I think our marriage not only works, but is thriving!
7 Reasons Why Our Marriage is Thriving
1. WE LAUGH
Humor is such a large part of our marriage. On a weekly basis one of us has at least one major parenting blunder, and we try to always find the humor in the hard times. We can be goofy and playful together whether it's us having a family dance party in the living room or cracking jokes while we lay on the pillow before bed. We laugh a lot, and I hope that never changes.
2. WE HAVE SHARED AND SEPARATE INTERESTS
For us, it is so important to have common interests that we can do together such as gardening, music, and sports like tennis. But we also feel like it's so important to have different interests that we nurture either alone or with other people. Perry likes to run. I hate it. I like to swim, and again, Perry would prefer to run. I love yoga, and Perry would rather Zen out in the yard and gardens. We make time to do the things we enjoy together while also giving each other the space we need to nurture our interests.
3. WE ACKNOWLEDGE OUR DIFFERENT LOVE LANGUAGES
We do not speak the same love language. Perry shows he cares by doing things for me, or as this book labels it, acts of service. He is always making me snacks, cleaning out my car, fixing something, hanging something or just surprising me with something he built. He is so thoughtful, and it's the little things he does that I may or may not even notice that add up to show that he cares. I, on the other hand, am all about the words. I write him notes, profess my love to him on a daily basis and always remind him how much I love him. We have to be mindful to be aware of how we each are showing love and to make sure that our efforts do not go unnoticed. We also have to make sure that we show our appreciation by speaking the other's love language. Perry will surprise me with a sweet card or say something utterly romantic, and I will make sure to do something little for him, like do the dishes after he cooks (I know, should be standard practice) or leave him a flower on his pillow.
4. WE NEVER GO TO BED MAD
Trust me, we have gone to bed angry at each other, and we've learned that it just carries onto in the next day and doesn't feel good at all. It's not that we get all of our disagreements worked out before bed. It's just that we pause them to say a proper goodnight and remind each other of our love.
5. WE ASK FOR HELP WHEN WE NEED IT
At the worst time during our marriage, we always fought over the division of labor, who was working harder, who was more tired, whose turn it was to change the diaper. I mean everything. It was so hard for us to adjust to life with a child and my depression only amplified the hardship. We worked so hard to get our marriage back and didn't hesitate to go to counseling when we needed it. I do not think marriage counseling should be something that you stray away from. Even as a psychologist, I was a little resistant to the idea of couple's therapy but I know that you can't always figure it out and sometimes the best thing you can do for your family is to ask for some assistance. We plan to go back before baby #2 comes just for assurance that we are a united front going into the newborn haze.
6. We choose each other every day
We both believe that it is a conscious decision to love each other. It's a choice that is made every single day we wake up. I try to think at least once a day about what I can do or say to put Perry first so that he knows that he is loved.
7. We acknowledge each other's goals
Perry wants to keep building up our rental property portfolio and is thinking about getting his real estate license. I am working tirelessly on my creative goals and spend the majority of my free time blogging. We accept each other's goals and check-in on a weekly basis regarding how we are each doing to support our partner's dreams. Am I making mindful purchases so that we can save for our next down payment on rental proprety? Has Perry has he given me the uninterrupted space to write or helped me with styling the house and gather props for shoots? We talk about our goals often, and we both feel so lucky to have a partner who encourages the other to keep chasing our dreams.
Marriage is tough work, but I wouldn't want to do this journey with anyone other than Perry. What do you think makes for a successful marraige?
Photography by Brittany Renee