Monday, September 21, 2015

Marriage, Family and Happiness-How to Make it Work

The newlywed stages are so nice. The cuddles, the butterflies, the promises of forever, the perfect moments. Fast forward to your first child and that can be a distant memory. I remember the first time I realized I went two weeks without sexy time with bae because my then newborn wanted a zombie milk machine of a mother. It had slowly become the norm that I would realize I hadn’t had intimate time with my husband and even while our family was growing, sex was becoming yet another thing being swept under the “ I’ll do it later’ pile.
Of course successful marriages aren’t based on the amount of sex a couple engages in but a happy bedroom is always a happy home. When kids come along, every parent experience a significant slow down with their sex life because there is never enough hours in a day to care for the kids, yourself and your marriage. My marriage has seen a couple of speed bumps since my son made his grand entrance three years ago so I try to keep us on the same page for the sake of our union.

The most important part of being in a marriage or any relationship is having an open avenue of communication. Many times I’ve found that when I open up and be honest about a concern or insecurity, we work it out together. The biggest arguments, the most heated fights and even the silliest squabbles we talk it out after. How it made us both feel and how poisonous negativity is to our growth when we start to bicker. We understand each other and we trust that we both have the best interest of our union at heart. Our communication game is strong and I don’t think we would be the team players we are without it. So many times I’ve witnessed levels of miscommunication that could have easily been avoided. Listening is hard, learning is hard, loving is hard, but together it doesn’t have to be.

Enjoy Your Journey TOGETHER
This was the man I chose to spend forever with. He was not the same after a year or three but neither was I. I had to learn that. With everything, growth is ever changing. There were times when I didn’t recognize the person I had married but in those moments I had to learn the new person he was evolving into . We both have grown from the giddy high energy lovers we were when we first met and in those moments when we built on our relationship, we grew to slow down and enjoy the simple things. I have learned so much of the smaller details about this man that I wouldn’t have had to time to notice had I not slowed down. It’s important to slow down. Just like exploring womanhood and motherhood, I had to take things slow to appreciate the gems around me. I find it frustrating when I think too far ahead in the future that I forget to enjoy the now. We try to remember to enjoy our journey because it's the journey that will keep us connected.

Include the little one
Building a family takes a bucket of patience and a whole lot of creativity. My son is a great pain in the butt when I want to spend time alone with his dad so I naturally give in and just let him join in on our company. If we’re having a date night and no sitter, he’s included. If it’s movie night and he refuses bedtime, we would watch a kiddie flick together. When he’s bored and we’re busy, we like to include him or give him his own tasks for the moment. Creating tiny ways to include him has helped us spend so much quality time as a family and I got to learn my husband as the dad. It’s amazing the transformation that takes place before my eyes when the man becomes the father. Kids can add such a headache to the marriage sometimes that the energy wasted trying to make everything perfect can simply spent enjoying the tiny adjustments. It took me some time to get over trying to achieve the perfect family when mine was blossoming right before me at its own pace.
Marriage is a joining of forces. It’s teamwork to make the dream work.. Not all the laws of marriage apply when building strong foundations and that’s the beauty in the union. Manipulating it to fit your relationship.It’s easy to follow rules but breaking them are much more fun. Embrace your journey as a team; love, live, learn and build.

What was your best piece of advice on marriage? What advice would you give to married couples?

Stella is a mom first and girl power advocate second. She spends her afternoons binging on chocolate and writing about her twenty somethings over at her space. Get more of her writing on her website

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