My husband and I have been blessed with fairly gentle changes for many of the major events that often create large changes in relationships. When we started dating, the process of becoming exclusive was very gradual, to the point that my husband casually mentioned one day that he had told his parents that he had a girlfriend, and I had to remind him that he hadn’t actually asked me to be his girlfriend yet, at which point he did. When we got married, we had been dating for almost three years, and spent almost all of our time together, so our relationship didn’t change much except for the process of getting used to each other’s quirks. Becoming parents, on the other hand, has not been a gentle transition.
It’s easy to look back on our relationship before we became parents and wish for some of the things our relationship used to have. We used to go out to eat frequently as a way to relax and enjoy each other’s company, which is difficult to do now that we have a 8 week old daughter. We used to have long, leisurely discussions on intellectual topics, and while we can still have discussions on these topics, they tend to be shorter and interrupted frequently by the demands of caring for a newborn. Frankly, these discussions have recently often been replaced by practical discussions related to taking care of our daughter, or by much needed naps.
It’s easy to look back on the way our relationship used to be and wish that it was still that way. When I focus instead of our relationship today, however, I see that becoming parents has also brought positive changes to our relationship. Seeing my husband’s caring and loving spirit towards our daughter has deepened my love for him. A bit of boredom that had been sneaking into our relationship has been completely erased as we work through an entirely new situation. Our communication has been strengthened by the necessity of balancing our individual wants and needs and our relationship needs with the needs of our daughter.
We have lost some of the good things in our relationship, but if I focused on those things, I would lose sight of the new positive things in our relationship. My goal is to let go of the past, both positive and negative, as I continue through this transition with my husband, and focus on our relationship as it is today. Only by doing that will I be able to fully appreciate my relationship every day.