Look at that strange man over there. Look at him sitting on your couch and eating your food. He looks familiar, and yet you can’t quite remember the sound of his voice. He is quietly familiar, like a forgotten song you used to know all the words to, before it faded from your mind’s grasp.
There was a point you knew his name, and all his thoughts on every little thing. His opinions were as known to you as your own, and perhaps it was difficult for you to tell the difference between each. You’d talk about everything, all night long at times, and now you’re lucky if you can say hello uninterrupted.
Marriage is a union, but having kids can end up feeling as if you are in a long distance relationship. Indeed, you might be better off writing letters and having them delivered by pigeons than you are to have a full blown conversation on a typical Tuesday. You often hear that phrase about being 2 ships passing in the night, but it can be hard to adapt to the fact that although you may be docked in the same place, you and your spouse are connected by mere moments.
That’s not to say the effort isn’t made. How many times do we try to talk to our spouses before being interrupted by fervent cries of “I’m hungry!” “She hit me!” or the worst, a heavy silence that requires further investigation.Maybe there’s an important conversation to be had, you must make time for it- just be sure to leave room for wiping small butts and having toys thrust in your face while you do so.
The end of the night seems like a fine time to connect. When the day is done, and the kids lay tucked in their beds- surely, this is your time! However, there is always a cry from the room, a forgotten task, or a phone call that comes to interrupt your peace. Maybe later you say, as your eyes are dropping, already in waiting to rest up for the next day of chaos ahead.
Welcome to parenthood- say goodbye to talking to your spouse! Parenting is hard, but so too is trying to have a full blown conversation with the person you love. The person lurking in your living room, the person who’s view is blocked by the bouncing of those kids.
Then some nights in the dead quiet you start to speak. Then both of you are speaking, and the house remains quiet. The clock is ignored, just a reminder that you will pay for this time later. You recognize that voice, and you’re eager to hear what it has to say. As time ticks on you sacrifice sleep again to connect, not like you did when you were childless, but a true sacrifice in the sense that sleep can wait so your ships can have their moment.
Parenting can be hard for a marriage, but in the span of a lifetime, the lull in conversation that kids can bring can be nothing more than an interruption. When your kids are older, calmer, and make less noise, you’ll have a second chance to get to know your spouse.
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