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!!!