As relationships go, I think mine with my husband rocks. We met when I was in my early 30s and we’d both had our fair share of partners before we met (and no, that’s not a bad thing – I firmly believe that having a few relationships under your belt before you meet ‘the one’ means you REALLY know when you’ve met the right one, and it stops you from being tempted to go ‘exploring’ when you finally settle down).
We formed our relationship over the phone before we even met in person. We clicked on so many levels. And then when we met, we knew we didn’t want to be apart. Within three months we had decided to move in together, and started trying for a baby soon after. Because, we just knew. It was the stuff fairytales were made of, and made me, who had always been quite cynical about love from previous failed attempts at it, believe in true love again.
Women confess; when they knew it was time to get a divorce. Post continues after video…
Fast forward a few years, and two kids later, and we’re having a bit of trouble. Nothing major, but it hasn’t been a lot of fun lately. We’ve been arguing more than either of us would like. And when I sit down and think about all the change we’ve had in the last few years it’s not surprising that our relationship is suffering.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the problem was at first. My husband works long hours, and I’m working from home with a baby and a toddler. Both of us are working hard and don’t have much energy left at the end of the day.
I know that we haven’t been communicating well at all. But it’s not just that. I’ve realised that since having the kids we’ve lost the fun and the spontaneity. With kids comes responsibility and a loss of freedom. And particularly when you don’t have any help around, time to yourself and couple time (I think both are essential to any relationship) are pretty much non existent. The busy-ness of life with two kids has gotten the better of us and we’ve lost some of our connection.
When you have children, your relationship can become all about the day to day logistics, and you can lose the play. At the end of a long day, it can be hard to discuss anything but the basics of bills, dinner, what the kids need or did, and what has to be done the next day. And it’s not just us - some of our friends have experienced the same in their relationships.
It got me thinking, is this the reason many marriages break down?
Research shows that 33% of all Australian marriages are expected to end in divorce. And these numbers have been gradually rising.
Studies also indicate that, for most couples, not paying attention to the relationship is what ultimately causes break ups. An Australian study reported that a huge 71% of divorcees blame “affective issues” such as communication problems, loss of connection or trust issues as the main cause of marital breakdown.
So it seems it’s all about communication and connection, and when that disappears you’re on a slippery slope. I know of a husband who got so sick of his wife always just talking about the mundane day to day stuff, and never making him feel wanted, that he went elsewhere. And this happens all too much, with infidelity also a leading cause of marriage breakdown.
My husband and I are determined not to become just another statistic. It took a few big fights, then some in depth chats, to get to the bottom of what was happening. Experts recommend that relationships need respect, appreciation, trust, physical closeness, strong communication and supportiveness for each other to be a success in the long term.
We’ve both made promises to talk more, show each other more compassion and caring, get a babysitter in so we can spend some quality time together and make a huge effort to also give each other some individual ‘me time’. Yes, it's easier said than done, but we’ve got to make ourselves and our relationship a priority again.
It's time to get back to 'us'.
How has children changed your relationship?