After our engagement, my good friend sent Ray a list of questions she asked Ray to answer so she could share them at my bachelorette. They were pretty simple questions. She read the question out loud and I had to guess what his answer were. Hearing his answers was one of the most special moments of my wedding season. Reading them this afternoon brought a smile to my face, that time in my life feels like decades ago. It seemed to be just what I needed.
I want to start out by saying, if you are struggling in your marriage you are not alone. Many women can relate and have been there. I can confidently say both new moms and seasoned moms have as well. Sometimes it can feel like you are all alone, you might often wonder if the distance you feel between yourself and someone you once called your best friend is normal, or if you have bigger issues to tackle.
If you are feeling like you don't know how you can get through this week or month or year.....I'm here to tell you that you can. Having babies is a wonderful thing but it can also flip your world upside down. We deal with crazy hormonal changes, grow an actual human, birth that human and then pretty much don't sleep for ten or so years. It's normal in my opinion to go through some serious growing pains in the relationship department. Don't be too hard on yourself and take one day at a time, it's NEVER to EARLY to reach out for help.
I'm no expert but I spoke with one and here are some tips she wanted me to share:
-Plan a date night with just the two of you once a month and leave your phones at home. If there are triggers that create conflict in your relationship agree not to talk about them during date night.
-Double date. Sometimes being around others will make you realize, "Hey, my spouse is fun :)” and you will naturally avoid most triggers mentioned above. Go out with other couples!
-Put the kids down and have a meal together once a week while sitting across from one another, no phones or television. Eye contact is key so make sure you are sitting across from one another, not next to each other.
-Focus on physical touch....holding hands, cuddling, kissing, sex (I know your exhausted but physical connection is so important)
-Plan an activity together once a quarter or twice a year without the kids that will incorporate some sort of team building. Cooking class, workout class, hike, wine tasting. Think 'something fun' where you will work together.
-If you can get away for a weekend or longer once a year without the kids, do it.
-If you have older memories of when you were in a better place, revisit them…what did you love about your spouse at that time?
I will be having a mom and a professional both share in-depth articles in the near future that will really get into marital issues after kids. For now, I wanted to give you some takeaways and let you know you are not alone.
I also want to share the question + answer game I briefly discussed above. I encourage you to try and get your husbands to play along. Send them the questions below. Have them answer them but don't have them show you. Then when you are together at date night have them ask you the questions and try and guess what they typed out. I know it sounds super corny but I promise it will get you laughing + connecting. If that’s something you haven't done in a while it could be a nice activity. Remind your husband that this is important to you. It might take some negotiating :)
Below you can find the list of questions to share with your spouse and here are Ray's answers ….from 2014:
What date did you meet Liz? March 17th, 2011
Where did Liz and you go on your first date? Well technically we went to Morimoto, but you can’t really count that, back then she wouldn’t go out with me alone for about two months (group dates only), so our first "real" date was at Locanda Verde, the same place we went after we got engaged
Where was your first kiss? On the lips. Just kidding. It was at Morimoto, about 30 minutes before we got kicked out
Describe your first impression of Liz in one word. Stunning (it’s Liz chiming in real quick…. I remembered this and I answered funny and then I also answered funny for the next one. Then I soon realized Ray doesn’t actually think I’m funny) lol
What's your favorite quality of Liz's personality? (ie - funny, trustworthy, kind, hardworking...) if I had to choose just one, I would say her loyalty/trustworthiness
What's your favorite body part of Liz? I’ll keep this PG and say her eyes...but I really love her butt. Don't say this in front of my 100-year-old grandmother, please.
What thing does Liz do that annoys you the most? when she doesn’t clean up after herself/leaves dirty pans on the stove
If you could get rid of one item of Liz's clothing what would it be? Sports bras. All of them.
What item of clothing would Liz throw away for you? That already happened. Nothing was left behind and she dresses me now. But prob her ex-boyfriend's t-shirt that I am actually wearing as I type this
What's Liz's most embarrassing moment? (if you can think of it) When she accidentally walked out of her apartment naked and locked herself out. I'd like to note that this was before she met me
Who is the one celebrity you would be worried Liz would leave you for? Prob Ronaldo Christiano, the soccer player
How many kids will you and Liz have? I say two, she says at LEAST 4. We will prob meet in the middle.
If you and Liz had a perfect day in NYC, what one place would you have had to visit? I actually think this is your hardest question and I am going to give you a very indirect answer. Before I met Liz, I was a lazy person not really living my life. I would get generally drunk on weekend nights and sit in my apartment all day watching TV. She taught me how to embrace this city and explore every corner of it. My favorite times with Liz are when we start out going for a walk and end up discovering the city for the next 6 hours, and I love that we have taken that zest for life and exploring to so many other parts of the world together. So there really isn’t one place, but I credit her with not only changing the way I appreciate this city but the way that I live my life. She will prob say Five Points for brunch...
If you could live anywhere in the world with Liz where would it be? California. Cheesy answer, but we both want to do it
What moment did you know Liz was your main squeeze for life? After our relationship continued to persevere through a lot of challenges early on (you guys remember Liz when she was a single 25-year-old right? juuussttt kidding), I knew it was for a reason, and we continued to grow closer. I’m not sure when it exactly happened for me, but the deciding factor was that I simply never wanted to do anything without her, and it was the first time in my life that I have ever felt this way. Whether it was happy hour, watching a movie, or going to watch football with friends at a bar, I always wanted her by my side no matter what, and I had NEVER been like that before, that is how I knew. My life is simply better when she is alongside me.
Reading that brought me back to the us before kids. I wonder how it would sound now :) You can find the questions below to send to your significant other xx Keep a lookout for the in-depth relationship post from both a mom & an expert coming soon.
QUESTIONS TO SEND TO SIGNIFICANT OTHER
What date did you meet?
Where did you go on your first date with your wife?
Where was your first kiss?
Describe your first impression of your wife in one word
What's your favorite quality of your wife’s personality?
What's your favorite body part of your wife?
What thing does your wife do that annoys you the most?
if you could get rid of one item of your wife’s clothing what would it be?
What item of clothing would she throw away of yours?
What's your wife’s most embarrassing moment? (if you can think of it)
Who is the one celebrity you would be worried your wife would leave you for?
How many kids will you and your wife have?
If you and your wife had a perfect day, what one place would you have had visited?
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
What moment did you know your wife was your main squeeze for life?
BABIES & RELATIONSHIPS