Have you heard the one where the couple decide to have a baby to make their relationship closer?
Yeah. Haha, right? It is a giant misconception, that a baby will save a relationship.
Babies are black holes. Little, tiny, exceptionally cute, massive black holes that suck all focus and attention and energy their way. No matter how much you try to tell yourself that your relationship will flourish after a baby, the reality is usually that a post-partum relationship will become strained.
Loving babies is so unbelievably easy. They’re cute. They’re naive. They’re fragile. They’re little bits of you in whole new person form. Raising them may not be the simplest task, but loving them comes so naturally.
Loving a spouse is different. There is a reason we date for so long before choosing the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with. It is a big decision. Two (almost) already whole people are choosing to collide their lives. It is never seamless. But it is an entirely unique, and arguably better love.
I love my babies because it is easy. I love them because they need me to love them. But I love Dan because I choose to. He doesn’t need my love to survive. And sometimes, (gasp) loving him isn’t even my most natural instinct. But that’s the difference between the love I have for him and the love I have for my kids. I love him precisely because I don’t have to. I love him because of who he is, but also despite who he is. I don’t love him because of anything he is to me, but because of who I chose him to be. I didn’t chose my babies. They were given to me and I adore them. But Dan? Well, I chose him.
Making the choice to love and doing the work involved is how a beautiful marriage blossoms.
It is so important not to let a relationship slide in the post-baby period. The love for a spouse isn’t exactly necessary in the way that love for children is. It isn’t particular needy, like love for children is. It doesn’t come as naturally as love for children does. It is an active, working love. A marriage requires a lot. But by putting all of ourselves into it, amazing things are produced.
Today, I recommit. I will try harder. I will prioritize my marriage just like I did when I walked down the aisle four years ago. Because I love my husband. I chose my husband. And I choose him again. I do.
Happy Anniversary, Love. I love you. I love our marriage. And I love those two little monsters that our marriage created. I’m glad I get a lifetime with you.