A lot has happened over the past few years, and my wife and I have grown distant from each other. We have continued to kiss each other every day, when I give her a peck when I come home from work. Many married couples understand when talking about losing the excitement and romance since the newlywed years. It probably has something to do with having kids, but this is different. We have been struggling with being connected to each other, which has nothing to do with excitement or romance but everything to do with having a healthy marriage.
It all happened very gradually. When it was just the two of us, Jen and I had lots of time to devote to each other as well as to ourselves. When Nolan came along, we had less time for each other, but it was still okay because if one of us was holding him then the other got a break. Since Delaney was born a year ago, our marriage has been tested like no other. If both kids were crying, then both of our hands were full and nobody got a break.
It was worse when I came home late from an exhausting day at work, fell asleep on the couch, and expected my wife to be in love with me. My view of things was very skewed and I didn't realize it. I felt like I was working extremely hard as the provider, while Jen felt like a single mom.
We never gave up on each other, but it was beginning to feel like a hopeless, lifeless, bitter marriage.
I have been trying hard to figure out how to be a better man for my wife. Since we have been feeling disconnected, I attempted to change a little of this and a little of that, hoping that she would fall in love with me again. Nothing seemed to work, I couldn't figure out why, and I often became frustrated with her because I felt like I was always the one working at our marriage.
My eyes were finally opened several days ago. God used this Christmas break to show me how blind I was. I finally decided to put together a little chart to show her everything I was doing and everything she wasn't doing. I ended up realizing that she felt like a single mom because she really was doing the majority of the work once I got home. I expected her to think I was the best husband in the world because I would surprise her by changing a diaper or doing the dishes without her even asking me to! However, looking at this chart I made, it made sense for us to split the duties 50/50 once I got home. So, all these times I thought I was loving her extra, she felt like I was finally starting to pull my weight a little... and that wasn't even nearly enough.
Now, we split the chores 50/50 when I am at home, she feels more supported, I already feel like she admires me more, and we both feel more connected. I think it's going to be a good year.