New babies can be hard on a marriage. Yes, you see your spouse in a whole new way--as parent--and that's breathtaking. But sometimes the balance between parent and spouse swings off kilter, and more often than you'd like, you find yourself navigating that foggy realm of disconnectedness.
This disconnection happened to us when we had Asher, and so I knew to expect some variation of this growing pain when Evie came around. Some time in the spring Josh and I started having more off days than on; we bickered more, pulled out irritation more, and went to bed frustrated more. Our marriage wasn't in dire need of rescue, but it did need some TLC. One night when the incongruities in our relationship came to a head I sat down on the steps, hunched over my lap, and cried, "Josh, I miss you." And he said, "I miss you too."
Then things started to change. That small sliver of vulnerability helped me see what was really the matter with me and with us. It helped us identify our weak spots and gave us courage to tackle them. Instead of focusing on the motes in each other's eyes, we finally saw the beams in our own. And rather than feeling discouraged by what I saw, I felt peace. And over the course of the second half of this year, we've repaired our broken parts and bridged our differences.
Year six has been fraught with growing pains. Not only has our relationship faced obstacles inherent to expanding our family, but our extended families have shifted and changed as well. In so many ways we're traversing new ground, and if we don't do it together, we won't get very far. Year six has taught me that vulnerability is essential and that, at the root of it all, our spouse deserves the greatest expressions of our love, not necessarily because he or she deserves it, but because we promised to give it.