So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

When the pandemic was gaining speed and quarantine was approaching I was overly optimistic for the forced quality time my husband and I would share. He had no other choice but to be stuck inside with me, after all, state orders requested as much. My husband works two jobs and is enrolled in graduate school so it would take an act of God, truly, for him to slow down and focus on togetherness, and that’s just what we got.

Snuggles, 1000 piece puzzles, cooking new meals, and binge-watching lasted about as long as the Netflix Tiger King hype. It was all fun and games and resembled a stay-cation until we grew tired of each other. Days 1-7 were enjoyable. We had much-needed family time, cared for the lawn, made time-consuming dinners, and were cute with one another.

Weeks 2-3 were tolerable and slow.

Weeks 3-4 were mundane.

But…day 30 hit and Houston, this is Jennifer, and we have a problem.

Just as I need the occasional break from constant togetherness with my toddler, I needed my handsome partner out of sight.

He was irritating me, being sloppy, growing distant, and we started to say rather ugly things to one another. I’m not sure if it was the boredom, but even our subconscious was picking fights. Big and small fights. Fights lasting longer than ever before. Who got to go to the grocery store or pick up drive-thru dinner was a disagreement-turned-explosive fight about who gets what they want more in our marriage. Who was online shopping too much (raises hand), and who was hogging the evening TV (me again!) created some hot button issues.

The arguing didn’t end there. But it wasn’t ever really about financial uncertainty, lack of sex, or the mess (oh the mess in the house!) . . . it was about the stress.

The daily unnoticed was now blaring right into my husband’s face. The tantrums, the time-outs, the ouchies, the never-ending dishes, the multiple loads of laundry a day were staring right back at my husband anywhere he roamed the home. It’s no wonder he hid away in his office (and bathroom) so much—this was all new to him. And it’s a lot to integrate into at full speed.

I’ll be honest: COVID didn’t strengthen our marriage, it strained it.

I’m not selling our marriage short; we’ve weathered many trying times together, but we openly told each other, “Go away,” “I can’t stand you,” and some even worse lines. I’m not proud of it. Whoever said, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” undeniably quarantined with a loved one.

The fairytale marriage has become less and less idealistic. Seasoned marriages will tell you that quarantining with your spouse requires adapting to the truth that yes, you will want him less, and he may ask you for space, too. It requires immense forgiveness and understanding. It takes creativity and a sense of humor for a relationship to survive a pandemic.

I’d wager a guess if traditional wedding vows added, “I vow to enjoy all 180 days locked in a house with you,” many would bow out entirely or omit that particular promise. God knows I haven’t held up my end of the bargain with wedding vows this year—and they are framed on our bedroom wall as a daily reminder to live by.

Sadly, I’ve watched marriages struggle and come to an end since the beginning of the pandemic. Friends have opened up and told me about their weekly blow-ups with their spouses over similar issues we’re arguing about in our home. My heart goes out to the marriages that otherwise would have been able to work things out if it weren’t for the stress of COVID. It’s an unfair hand and trial.

Quarantining while married is an exercise in patience.

It’s a crucible to new relationships, and even to those pushing 30 years together. My husband and I are emerging from quarantine a united front, but I tell you this—love on a lockdown was hard. We barely made it. And it’s OK if your marriage is in a different place than it was a year ago—ours is too.

Here’s how two broken people kept their marriage from breaking.

Marriage takes work. Thankfully, there’s an app that can help! Lasting—the nation’s #1 relationship counseling app—provides accessible sessions designed to help you build a healthy marriage. Download and take Lasting’s free Relationship Health Assessment. 

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.

I’m So Thankful For This Little Family

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Toddler boy and infant girl, color photo

I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, and praying for a life like I have now. Praying for a man to love me, to be loyal to me, to want a family with me, to provide for me, to show me what stability felt like and what it felt like to not ever have to worry . . . and here he is right in front of me. I remember my teenage self dreaming, hoping, praying for a house I could make a home and raise my family in. Here it is right in front of me. But most of...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Still Remember Who We Are

In: Marriage
Bride and groom kissing, color photo

Sometimes it might seem like I’ve forgotten about us—amid the cluster feeding and the baseball practices. In the heaps of diapers or the bubbly bath water. In this phase when my body is not my own, and it isn’t yours either. RELATED: Dear Husband, I Loved You First When my mind is too tired to string together another thought, and my voice is lost from whispering, not sweet nothings, but another lullaby. But I still remember who we are. Mirror souls, an unstoppable force, two hearts entangled—and we are conquering this part together because our relationship will go through seasons....

Keep Reading

I’m Just a Little Boy, but Daddy You’re Teaching Me How to Be a Man

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Daddy on the floor playing with son, color photo

I’m only a little boy, still too young to tie my own shoes or make my own breakfast. My days are filled with playtime, snacks, lots of hugs from Mommy, and plenty of tickles from you, Daddy. Right now, my life revolves around me and you and Mommy. I don’t know much about the world outside our home yet. I haven’t learned about responsibility or self-discipline or sacrifice. I haven’t had to find my place in the world yet. But I guess I’m pretty lucky because even though you may not know it, you’ve already begun teaching me everything I...

Keep Reading

You’re the Father You Never Had and I’m So Proud of You

In: Fatherhood, Marriage
Dad and kids walking on beach

Can I tell you about my husband? He’s amazing. He’s kind and doting and loves Jesus, but perhaps his most endearing trait is the absolutely incredible father he is.  In our early days of dating, he was crippled by the fear of what type of father he would be. To him, fatherhood was burdensome, grumbling, abandonment, and fighting for the final dollar during tax season. His experience as a son crippled his anticipation as a father.  But I knew it all along—what an incredible dad he would be. Although I must admit, he has often far surpassed what I even...

Keep Reading

I Always Had an Excuse for My Excessive Drinking

In: Living, Marriage
Woman drinking wine

I remember the first time my husband sat me down and looked me in the eye and told me he was concerned about my drinking, about four years ago. It was after a particularly late, drunken Saturday night, and he approached me in our bedroom the next morning while our three kids were innocently watching TV downstairs. I don’t remember where we had been or who we had been with the night before, but it was probably much of the same drunken scene that we always found ourselves in, with the same people. What I do remember is the look...

Keep Reading

Spaghetti Sauce Faith

In: Faith, Marriage, Motherhood
Mother and little girl holding a bowl of spaghetti, color photo

It was Sunday afternoon, and I was loading my grocery cart higher than I ever had in my life. My husband and I, along with our two kids under two years old, had been living with his parents for three months. We moved from our Florida home to look for a house in Georgia, and they graciously took us in. This was the day I loaded up on groceries—filling an empty refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. My shopping list was all the things. I needed to buy the smallest of table ingredients like salt and garlic powder to the big things...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I’m Sorry for Expecting Perfection

In: Marriage
Couple embracing on beach

Dear Husband, There is a picture of a piece of burnt toast on my Facebook wall. It’s quite ugly. It’s the kind of toast that if it popped out of the toaster, I would try to scrape off all the black bits, probably making a mess over the countertop and in the kitchen sink in the process. And if the charred stuff never came off, I’d begrudgingly (because I don’t like to waste food) throw that toast in the garbage and make myself a new piece. That’s how burnt this piece of toast is. But it’s not my piece of...

Keep Reading

I Always Pack the Snack, and Other Ways Parenting is Never 50/50

In: Marriage, Motherhood
Mother lying on couch with children, black-and-white photo

I hate it. The idea of unequal roles irritates me to no end. Two years ago, I would never have believed it would come to this. The workload with my children will never be equally shared between my husband and me, and although I wish it weren’t true, I have finally come to terms with the notion that I will be the lead parent. “It will never be 50/50,” my husband said the other night, and as the words were coming out of his mouth, I believed him. It had been a bad day. Picking and arguing over who did...

Keep Reading

I Love the Way You Make Me Laugh

In: Marriage
Couple laughing

I love how you make me laugh. Like . . . love, love it.  You get that gleam in your eye—the one that could light up a city block, and I know what’s coming next.  I know I’m about to absolutely adore every word you deliver in that perfect execution of yours. I know the muscles on my face and in my stomach are about to hurt in an eager kind of way. I know I’m going to fall in love with you all over again. Right then. Right there. Really, it isn’t just the words. Don’t get me wrong, they...

Keep Reading

Divorce Made My Ex-Husband and Me Better Parents

In: Living, Marriage
Mom dropping child off with dad

When I married my husband, I could not imagine a life without him in it. We met at such a young age, and essentially, we grew up together. We molded one another and connected on such a deep level. With such a deep love, we decided the next step in life would be to get married and start a family. We wanted to create a life where we could watch our children grow, and we could grow old together.  Before having children, I don’t think anyone is prepared for the overwhelming love you experience for your child. You never realize...

Keep Reading

5 Secrets to the

BEST Summer Ever!

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Creating simple summer memories

with your kids that will  last a lifetime