“My husband and I have never considered divorce…murder sometimes, but never divorce.” ~Joyce Brothers
It’s obvious, in retrospect, that marriage would be tough in those first years after having babies. Maybe it’s only me, but I thought that when my kids were older (say tweens/teens) we would have more time and space to rebuild our marriage and have a little fun together. Turns out I hadn’t fully thought it through, however. According to PsychologyToday, now that we have teens ‘the hard half of parenting’ begins — hardship that is usually harder upon the marriage.
Seems we will be faced with all sorts of decisions about our teens as they move towards independence and we, the parents, will have differences in the way we want to approach this phase of their lives. I guess that makes sense. The advice is to honor those differences and try to work together so as to not create a divisive situation where the teen can play off of the disagreement and manipulate you.
The article hits hard at the end with this quote: “Your teenager is not responsible for the unhappy state of your marriage. You are ‘ruining the marriage’ on her behalf, and then blaming the ruination on her. So let’s begin by talking about how you can take better care of yourselves and your relationship – the reason you got together before you decided to have kids. Then we can talk about how to do the dance of adolescence differently with your daughter.” Well, that’s right to the point. 🙂
For those of you who want some more specific tips to survive these years, read the Three Principles for Raising Kids Without Ruining Your Marriage.
Just the simple awareness about how these years can wreak havoc on your marriage will help you to be more proactive and intentional when conflict arises. Post in the comments if you are experiencing this too!