Not much changed in my eyes when we got married except that we were ‘officially family’ and I loved that idea. Family is everything to me- whether I share blood with them or not. Now Matt and I shared a last name.
I decided to change my name to symbolize my changing self. I was living a new life, in a new land. I knew the answer to one of the two most important questions in life. ‘Where are you going?’ and ‘Who do you want to take with you?’
Marriage is serious and I only want to do it once. My parents married young, divorced late and I understood all too well how difficult it can be for everyone involved when it ends.
I loved and adored Matt- I had never met anyone like him. He was so honest, strong, and baggage-free. He treated me with a respect and dignity I had never felt.
On our first wedding anniversary I was a few weeks pregnant so I couldn’t drink the fancy champagne like I planned.
During my pregnancy I never felt closer to my husband. He cared for me and our unborn baby in every way imaginable. From calming my fears to the late night Chicken Nugget runs to renovating a home for us.
I didn’t understand what people were talking about when they said marriage was ‘work.’ Sure we had been through some hard times but by this point we fought well, laughed lots and agreed on most things from paint colors to baby names.
I was not prepared for the way a baby would change our relationship. It’s something most people don’t speak about. Let me tell you right now- if you think a baby will ‘fix’ any relationship problems you have, you may as well pack your bags now.
Matt is a doting father and a devoted partner. He’s even-tempered and energetic. But there were times in the early newborn days when I wanted to rip his handsome face off. Hormones, anxiety, and sleep-deprivation had twisted me up. There were days he would leave for work while I cried in a heap. He would offer to make me a cup of tea and even though I wanted one I would refuse. ‘Just go!’ I would sob feeling sorry for myself. Then the guilt of treating him poorly piled so high onto the mom-guilt, self-judgement, depression and isolation I could no longer see the top for the clouds.
Raising our baby together was the biggest test of our relationship to date. I never would have survived without his strength and support. And now, like our daughter, our marriage has become a toddler. We (hopefully) have a long way to go before our relationship feels like a warm blanket (and that will be lovely someday) but I actually think our fire is growing brighter today than it did at the start.