“Your love is sickening.”
We heard it more than once as we exchanged kisses on the cheek or made eyes at each other from across a crowded room. We were in love and didn’t care who knew it.
“Marriage is hard,” they said, but we knew the same wouldn’t be true for us. We didn’t even have to work at it, this whole loving each other thing. It was easy; we were lucky.
But two wedding rings, a honeymoon, a miscarriage, a new home, and an eight-and-a-half month pregnancy later, and suddenly the only thing sickening about our love was the sick-of we felt for each other.
I was sick of you “just not getting it” and you were sick of dodging the moodiness of a hormonal wife.
You held my hand through the labor pains, rocked our baby while I caught the occasional afternoon nap, showed our son off to the world, wore that proud papa smile for all to see—but the only thing I saw was the way you got to sleep while I nursed the baby at all hours of the night, and the way that you left your socks laying in the middle of the floor when I was too exhausted and overwhelmed to keep the house tidy as it was.
We thought these years would be easy. Maybe not the parenting thing itself, but the loving thing. The supporting each other and caring for each other and having each other’s back thing. That was supposed to come naturally.
And while these earliest years of parenthood have been the most beautiful years of our life together, they have taken a toll on our love in a way that neither of us saw coming.
They have also strengthened us. They have broken us down and ripped us apart before mashing us back together and building us back up, more resilient and unbreakable than ever before.
They have forced us to communicate, even when it’s hard. They have forced us to hash out and mend our woes in a way that we never would have discovered as the in-love babes we were before the reality of life had its way with us.
We’re sleeping again these days. We’re finding more frequent moments to chat, just the two of us. We cuddle on the couch and watch movies and stuff our faces with popcorn, and when one of the babies wakes up mid-date, we take turns putting them back to bed.
I lean on you just a little bit more for help, and you offer your assistance up more generously than before. I think twice (three times . . . four times . . . ) before lashing out at you in my moodiness when you’ve done nothing wrong.
I bite my tongue about the socks in the middle of the floor, and you make more of an effort to get them to the hamper.
We’re figuring this thing out, you and I.
We’re making it happen, this loving each other thing.
We’re building a life to be proud of and a love our sons can look up to.
You walked up behind me in the kitchen the other day and when you wrapped your arms tightly around my waist as I scrubbed the dishes in the sink, I felt the butterflies of the old days dancing in my stomach. You gave me a kiss and our toddler scrunched up his nose just the slightest. It gave me hope that someday, our love could be “sickening” again.
I don’t say it enough, sweet husband—but I don’t just love you; I’m in love with you.
We’ve got this.
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