In my opinion there is nothing that tests your marriage more than having children. I don’t agree with the more you have the more the marriage is tested, ones all it takes.Both me and the husband love our kids and started very early into our married life so pre children is a very hard memory to conjure up we have sort of always had them. I have no idea whether its better to have them quickly, be together for ages then pop one out or start early and keep going. There is no secret formula, and if there was I wouldn’t be writing it here, I would sell it at great expense. One thing is kids equal arguments.
It doesn’t need to be a full blown Eastender’s “get out my pub” slanging match, just quiet disagreement is enough. Feeling their lack of support about the way you deal with a tantrum or the way you do the bed time routine. The having to ask them to do things, who asks you?. The fact that when they do stuff people are in awe of the fact that you have a” great husband”. Hang on a cotton picking minute here, he has got a good wife, after all as we have just ascertained if I hadn’t of asked, it wouldn’t have got done.
Its hard when you both have different parenting styles, one of you parents more than the other and neither of you can agree on a happy medium. Both of you think what you do is best, you both secretly hope that the kids love you more (In my case they definitely love their dad best,not even worth arguing they do) and when they get a first at Oxford it’s obviously thanks to your quiet encouragement rather than your other halves. I find I’m much stricter, the husbands much calmer, more tolerant and (I’m gritting my teeth when I write this) more fun. He plays games, hes a monster, he runs round the house like a five year old, jumps on the bed, becomes a knight, lets them stay up for “five more minutes” gives them milk and cookies. I don’t. While he’s being Sir Galahad I’m being Cruella De Vil, cleaning, cooking or thinking about the home work they should be doing. I know, I’m not exactly selling myself, but I am the one who’s more practical, a planner and much more anal about cleaning. In my defense this house goes from tidy to looks like it hasn’t been touched for at least a month in approximately six minutes.
We must work a bit, after all we have been together for twenty six years, and have managed to get our eldest to the age of twenty five, without killing her or each other. It has never been plain sailing though. I feel he doesn’t back me up enough. He has this annoying habit of going totally silent when one of them decides to kick off spectacularly, Its like he needs a prompt shouting from the wings “YOUR WIFE IS WAITING FOR YOU TO SAY SOMETHING NOW”!!! Yes I get you need to pick your battles, but when I’ve picked one I wouldn’t mind a bit of back up from the troops. The amount of times I’ve started an argument/discussion (after the kids have gone to bed) with “I thought we are supposed to be a team…..” He thinks I worry about the little things when the bigger things matter, he hates my obsession with time, (we can never be late) The husbands much more relaxed, doesn’t say “hurry up” as much as I do, yet annoyingly always gets the kids where they should be on time, then makes a point of phoning me up to tell me!
He listens to them more, but I read to them better, he sings stupid songs with them, I talk about their hopes and dreams. I’m more realistic at what we can afford to buy them whereas he would give them the world on a plate if he could. He thinks his way of bringing up The Wilkinsons is better than mine and I think that on the whole he’s right. I feel I’m better at being strict and if I left the building he would face a revolution. I do not have the answer to a happy marriage or how to stop those feelings of life being better as a one man band sometimes. I have no clue how to prevent an argument when your both exhausted the children have driven you to distraction, monies tight, the house is messy and one of you still needs to hang out tomorrows school uniform. That fizzing resentment you feel for one another and all because you don’t always sing from the same page where the children are concerned.
What I do know is that on the whole (and I am speaking from my own experience here) you wouild never be without your kids and if you feel like a divorce on average every twenty eight days then your doing good in my book. Opposites attract, I guess that sometimes I wish we weren’t quite so opposite but when the merde hits the fan, whenever I’ve really needed him and over the past twenty six years, The husband has been pretty cool all in all. I think the key is I could never imagine my life without him and even though he has a couple of faults (and I’m being generous) I’m not perfect myself. Twenty six years is a long time to be with someone and the sparkle might be a little tarnished, some days more challenging than others and divorce lawyers for you programmed into my phone just in case………… I actually love him. Maybe that’s the key, who knows.