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Do You Really Want a Divorce or Are You Just Tired?

October 12, 2015

Do You Really Want a Divorce or Are You Just Be TiredWhen I was pregnant with my first child, my boss and mentor gave me a piece of advice that at the time seemed pretty out of left field.  In the middle of a lunch when I was 8 months pregnant and filled with the excitement of possibilities she told me, “You need to make a pact with your spouse before the baby is born.  Agree that no matter how much you might think you can’t stand each other and your marriage is done for, you won’t bring up divorce for three years.”  I didn’t get it at the time but 3 years and two kids later, I realize that this was some of the soundest marriage and parenting advice I had ever received.

In any given day you probably want to both divorce your husband and have more kids with him.  It sounds crazy but that is the roller coaster of life with two toddlers.  Relationships are hard on the best day so when put the wedge of two needy and demanding toddlers right in the middle of you and your spouse, your relationship becomes even more fragile.

Tell Tale Signs You Are Actually Just Tired

You know the saying, “no good decisions get made at 2am”; you are always functioning as if it’s 2am when you have toddlers. Your emotions are driven by an overwhelming desire to rest. Only another parent can understand the depth of dislike you feel for your spouse when its 2am the baby starting crying and you both are pretending to be sleeping through it.

If these are the peak times you hate your spouse you are just tired, not headed for divorce:

  1. The baby wakes up in the middle of the night
  2. Your spouse sleeps through the baby awake in the middle of the night
  3. Your spouse does something to wake up your toddler on his way to work
  4. You haven’t had coffee
  5. Your spouse falls asleep before you even though you are more tired
  6. The kids skip a nap
  7. Your spouse went out to lunch at a restaurant with other adults
  8. Your spouse falls asleep before you even though you are more tired
  9. Your spouse is out after dark with other adults and you aren’t
  10. Your spouse suggests that if you are so overwhelmed you should go back to work

Here is the truth though, a lot of us might be laughing at the list above, aren’t tired but still are resentful towards your husband. That’s ok, brush it off and give it 3 years. Even though you might not be physically exhausted, becoming a mother is the most monumental life change you will ever go through.  For better or worse, it’s nothing like you expected it to be and along with all the love you couldn’t even have imagined, there are difficult moments too.

Give Your Marriage a Little Grace

You might be racked with guilt over the fact that you wanted to be a mother who stayed at home with the kids but in actuality you can’t wait to get back to work. Or maybe you saw yourself as a career woman and vested everything, including a massive student loan debt, into a career that you don’t really care about any more. There are a million reasons why motherhood is a dichotomy of opposite emotions that you just don’t know what to do with.

Maybe, a lot of what is making you think you can’t stand your husband, isn’t actually your husband at all.  Maybe it’s your new baggage and your husband was the person he has always been.  Or maybe your husband is as physically and emotionally drained as you are and just trying to catch the infamous full night’s sleep. You don’t hate your toddler for not instantly understanding potty training so why do you hate on your marriage for not instantly adapting to the massive change of parenthood?

The Bottom Line

No mom decides to just stop trying to get your kids to sleep through the night so why should you stop trying to work on your marriage too.  Let your marriage have a three year grace period. You’ll be surprised how differently things both look and feel on the other end and how much you might have underestimated the influence that raising kids can have on your marriage.

In Gratitude Legos in my Louis

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