No one ever told me how quickly your marriage tanks when you have young children. Toss in some real-life challenges, like your spouse’s chronic illness or his father’s stage four cancer diagnosis, and you’ll see how quickly things really start to go south.
That was my life last year, when I started this blog to write about the challenges of keeping my marriage afloat while my life fell apart. While I was laughing/crying over all the usual stuff, my son was diagnosed with a serious peanut allergy, my mother broke her hip and my father-in-law passed away. About the only things that didn’t befall us were famine and pestilence.
I’d like to say that Ken and I supported each other during this harrowing time, but the truth is that we were both so wrapped up in our own misery that we barely even spoke to each other. When we did, we fought. A lot. Before long, I realized that my marriage was in real trouble, and I wasn’t sure we were going to make it.
The good news is that I wasn’t alone. Most of my friends were going through similar challenges, and every time we met for a drink, I’d hear the 800 zillion ways our once-beloved spouses now drove us insane.
“So what do we do about it,” I asked on a night I was particularly pissed off at Ken.
My friends shrugged. “Nothing. You suck it up.”
I shook my head. There’s got to be more to marriage than sucking it up or getting a divorce, I thought. When I got home that night, I sent out a plea for help, asking my friends to share some books, tips or tricks that had helped them get through the yucky, stagnant muck when you’re either incredibly pissed off at your hubby or doing your best to ignore him. I was tired of sucking it up and I didn’t want to get a divorce. I wanted some solutions.
And you know what? There weren’t many. There were a ton of books on marriage, but not a lot that addressed this particular Circle of Hell, where the simple act of having kids is enough to destroy your marriage. Most of the books I found were based on the assumption that Ken and I had plenty of time and energy to devote to saving our marriage—which, as any sleep-deprived, exhausted new parent will tell you, is ludicrous. Besides, we were trying to do more than just save our marriage—we were also trying to raise young, challenging children in a day and age when children seem to have replaced their parents as the family’s epicenter. Most of the books on the market were focused on having a great marriage or raising great kids, not both. And very few addressed the particular challenges that today’s involved parenting styles were placing on our marriages at the start of the 21st century.
I wanted more than that. I wanted to read about a regular person who’d survived this married-with-kids boot camp and figured out what would actually help. I wanted a road map.
So here it is. One year to explore this crazy thing called marriage. One year to clear the air, get back on track and, hell, have some fun along the way.
Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Suck-it-uper-no-morer, writer, mother, wife, etc.
P.S.: You can check out my other life here.
(This is a picture of me in the witness protection program once all the hubbies find out what I’m up to.)