Monday, October 13, 2008

Relationship Rollercoaster

I read somewhere (and don't recall where, so no credit will be given to the author... sorry) that relationships all follow a certain pattern. More specifically, marriage does. The author (whoever that may be) said that the stages of a marriage is as follows: when you first meet, you're friends, then lovers (and not necessarily in the sexual connotation, but in the "in love" passionate kind of way), then you get married. After the wedding you are back to friends, then kids come and you are reduced from friends to a co-parent, then if you are lucky when the kids leave home you are friends again. Notice that the lover part is gone forever after the wedding takes place. When I first read this breakdown I thought it was crap, but you know what? Mystery Author has a pretty good point.

After kid number one, Mark and I spent about 6 months not speaking at all except to bicker. I resented him for being gone all day while I was home with a baby and no life whatsoever (even though it was my choice completely). So, when he came home, I didn't even want to look in his direction. Not to mention the fact that I was certain every single thing he did was wrong...especially when it came to Will. He burped him wrong, dressed him wrong, held him wrong and to make matters even harder, Will was colicky. Unless you've experienced real colic, you are blissfully unaware of the torture that little word can inflict. So, my Mark hating was fueled by the screams of an inconsolable baby. We worked our way back though, and then came baby number two.

This time, I wouldn't say that I hated him or even despised his presence like I did with Will, but our relationship totally dwindled to the co-parent stage. Friends at least talk to each other about their lives and what is going on it. Co-parents don't. Co-parents go out for dinner without the kids, but they become the only topic of conversation. We have no idea what is going on in the other person's life, because life doesn't really exist outside the kids. It’s not fighting or arguing or even negative feelings, it’s really the complete absence of feelings. The other person exists only to bathe Will while you feed Jack. It’s a slippery slope into nothingness and you don't know that it happened until you are entrenched there.

The good news is that I think you can prove Mystery Author wrong. Mark and I saw that we hit co-parent stage, and we have worked our way back. I would like to think we’re at least friends, because we actually communicate about each other while dividing our attention amongst the three children. It ain't easy, but sometimes, I think we might even be back to the lovers stage....or at least we will be if we can ever stay awake long enough to give it a shot!!!

11 comments:

tuffy said...

ok, here is the standard rule. you may already be doing it, but if not, here are your marching orders:

at least once every two weeks (better once a week) you are to drop the kids off at mom and dad's and go on a date night. it could even be to just go back to your house and watch tv. though at least once a month it should be to a movie, or play, or nice dinner, or something that gets you out. even a walk around the park.

then pick the kids up and return to life after you've done something where you can talk and enjoy each other's company.

without that, no couple can really maintain.

much love,

mike

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Mike -- That is very good advice from the single guy! Of course, I am going to tell Mom and Dad that the reason they are stuck babysitting all the time is because you made me!!!

Mark said...

Yeah that is awesome advice in idealistic land but getting it actually done can be a challenge.

Anonymous said...

Problem solved...I will babysit for you when your parents can't fill in! Nice try guys, but you will get out of the house more often.

Homa said...

Anonymous was me...Homa!

tuffy said...

see, now homa is on board too. what night are you guys going out?

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Wow guys!!! Thanks for the babysitting offer, Homa! It was pretty scary when it came from Anonymous. Oh wait...coming from you might be just as scary!

Mike - Don't hold you breath. The Clintons are coming... the Clintons are coming!!!

tuffy said...

perfect! you can get away from them, too!

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

You can't try to get away from people you only see a few days a year!!! Now, getting away from Homa... that could be another story!

Amie said...

I think that's awesome that you saw what was happening, and worked to fix it.
How about instead of offering to babysit I offer to call some where and make a dinner reservation for you? That would be a big help, I'm sure.

Domestic Goddess (In Training) said...

Amie - You already did your part. All the books you gave me during the pregnancy/bedrest surely kept me sane. Otherwise, we would have hit a stage worse than co-parent. The bedrest fuels hatred stage.