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Writings on Motherhood, Judaism, and Happily-Ever-Afters

Marriage with small children

It’s a side effect of having small children, I think.  It’s so overwhelming at times that the marriage becomes secondary.  It’s the basis of it all, but not always, not nearly enough sometimes, the center of it.  I’m really blessed because my marriage is really, really strong.  So it absorbs a certain amount of neglect.  I think that everything comes in stages, there was a time when Marc and I were the most important thing, and a time when we were just a family of three.  Then a time when we were a family of four and Lilli and Sarah were over all the time and things were hectic and crazy.  Then Julianna came along, the girls got even older, and now we’re readjusting to a family with two kids in school (still trying to get used to the fact that my Sammy boy will be away from me all day five days a week), a toddler and busy, active adolescent step daughters.

But every now and again – I realize how fragile marriage is.  That’s not right – because it’s not fragile, I know that I love Marc and he loves me the way I know that my eyes are brown and the sky is blue.  The marriage isn’t fragile.  I realize how vital the marriage is – and how terrifying it would be if I didn’t have that behind me.  If I didn’t have that connection.  I’m literally one of the happiest people I know.  I love my life, I really, really love being at home with my children, I love having three kids.  I love the ease of my life, the lack of drama, the comfortable-ness of it all.  Marc and I rarely, if ever, actually fight. And even if we do, we fight calmly, we don’t throw things, we don’t name call.  And we never, ever, don’t resolve it.   If I didn’t have the marriage, if I didn’t have Marc, I can’t imagine how I’d ever be happy.  Not like this.

Yesterday was one of those days when we actually had a fight (over perhaps the stupidest thing).  And I was angry – really angry, and that’s so unusual that it was scary for me.  Marc was angry too, and between his anger and mine, it was a really unfamiliar place for us.  I’m not used to feeling not connected to him, and even after we made up, I still felt all shaky and vulnerable.

And we did make up, and slept last night all tangled up together and everything is fine this morning.  We’re a little more careful with each other, a little extra solicitous and thoughtful.  I just want to remember this, this sense of gratitude and thankfulness.  Not just that we made up, because of course we were going to make up,  but because it is so scary to me when we fight.  Because not having that connection, not feeling like we’re a team and doing this together is so terrifying and so completely wrong.  Not everyone has that.  Not everyone feels that.  And as much as I hated fighting with my husband, I’m grateful for the fight today – because it reminded me not to take it for granted.  Not to take the peace, the connection, the love for granted.

I love you, honey, more than you’ll know.  And if I forget sometimes to tell you, between diaper changes and baths and stories and cleaning the toys up and doing the laundry, just remind me, okay?

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