Love is a Battlefield.

Ahh, love. It’s truly my favorite thing to write about. I’m in love with love and everything it encompasses. From believing in fairytale endings and living happily ever after to the cheesy and over the top romantic gestures and my own personal journey to finding the love of my life.

Never settle. It’s something I frequently say and really believe in. There are a lot of things in life you shouldn’t settle for but compromising yourself, your morals or your individuality for any relationship in my opinion is never worth sacrificing. Find the person that loves you for you, that never gives up even when it’s tough (and I mean really tough), the person who looks at you and you can just feel how in love they are with you and isn’t afraid to show it (even in front of his/her friends), someone you have things in common with, not just a mutual physical attraction because that fades quickly, and someone you genuinely can see yourself spending the rest of your life with. If you’re lucky enough to have found the love of your life, hopefully you have married them! If not, don’t give up…and of course, don’t settle.

Marriage isn’t easy and whoever said or says that it is, is lying. Marriage isn’t easy because it takes work, and it takes work from two people who have things in common, maybe even a lot of things, but are two completely separate individuals with separate thoughts, feelings and ideas. The first year of marriage was the toughest for me (so far). My husband and I didn’t live together prior to getting married so adjusting to being under one roof was definitely a challenge. I’ll be brutally honest in saying there were many times I left the house crying or stayed in the house and locked myself in a room to cry. But things did get easier with time. I think just like all things in life, the more time and effort you give something, the better (hopefully) it becomes. We finally got in sync, learning each others bad habits and quirks, and accepted them. Acceptance is a HUGE part of marriage because if you think you’re going to change your spouse, you are in for a rude awakening. Now I don’t get upset about him leaving a trail of his clothes around the house and he doesn’t get upset with me about how I load the dishwasher! We have a mutual respect for one another and try to work more as a team instead of individuals. Once all the adjusting subsides, you have time to really focus on the love…and that’s the best part. You have this person for the rest of your life (God willing). Someone to wake up to every morning and go to bed with every night. You have a best friend that loves you unconditionally and accepts all of your flaws. It’s pretty incredible.

So now you’re married and you finally get into a groove but then you decide to throw a child into the mix and BOOM, complete chaos. I thought marriage was a lot of work….WOW, try raising a child together! Neither one of you know what the heck you’re doing, despite how many babies you’ve been around, because it’s different when it’s your own. Now you’re both are trying to figure it out like you’re trapped inside some giant maze while trying not to kill each other…because yes, you will at some point want to kill each other. Parenting is literally the hardest job in the world and I think anyone that has children will agree. There is nothing in the world like it. You are solely responsible for another human life as long as you live. It’s your job to raise your child/children to be the best possible version of themselves. That’s a heavy burden to bear, especially for a Type A perfectionist like myself. And when you have two individuals sharing this responsibility there are going to be some arguments, or a bunch!

Children change your marriage. I never thought it would change it so much but it does. Sure, I love my husband and he loves me but things are just different. Our lives revolve around our daughter and not in a bad way, but a way that we are her caretakers and she’s our number one priority right now. You do things differently and sometimes there is frustration with that. You argue about sharing baby responsibilities and often even place and verbalize blame and judgments. You have expectations of one another and get upset when the other isn’t meeting those. Maybe your expectations are unrealistic, which can cause even more frustration. Some days the baby/kids are fine, and you argue just to argue. You become emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted that you can’t even remember the last time you had a date night that involved actually leaving the house and the baby/kids. Your relationship inevitably takes a back seat and not by choice. Things start to feel one-sided and you find yourself placing personal attacks on one another. You let your own insecurities as a parent get the best of you. You take out the difficulty of balancing life, work, a marriage and raising children on each other. You stop acting like a team. You are on the battlefield and you are both armed.

So, what do you do? Give up? Quit? Fight until death? Leave? Well, I hope you do none of those things. Marriage is a vow…”for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad…until death parts you.” I take those vows very seriously and while I truly believe we’d never leave one another, I understand how people can get divorced after having kids. I love my husband more than anything and we are still discovering how to be parents, but there’s no one else I’d rather go through this process with than him. Sometimes when I’m really angry I put myself back to the day of our wedding. I envision different moments from that day and how I felt. I remember the love and pure joy I felt and then ask myself, do I really want to fight with him about this? You pick and choose your battles in marriage, whether you have kids or not. As a couple who has a child, we are taking this journey together and working on being more supportive than critical, more loving than unkind, and more understanding that judgmental. I can say at times it’s been amazing and others it’s been a battlefield, but in the end we learn, we grow and we get better. We get better because we want to. Love doesn’t have to always be a battlefield.

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