On Acceptance and Marriage

Do you read the Modern Love section in the NYTimes? I find their pieces to be heart-wrenching, provocative and sometimes, hilarious. In their last column, the writer examines the common refrain, "He/she is just not who I married", making the case that a healthier marriage starts with the understanding that our spouse is a work in progress. 

It's salient advice but something I'm working on in our third year of marriage, specifically after having Bodie, is acceptance of the non-changes.   For much of our time as a pair, Dan and I have been communicating directly or indirectly to one another what we need the other person to adjust.  It has been only in recent months that I realize the peace that exists within accepting that we can work despite somethings not changing.

This past Sunday morning, I finished my shower and found Dan taking a lengthy call while he was watching Bodie.  For comparison, when I'm with Bodie I often forget my phone exists and while there are exceptions, I expect that of myself and subsequently other caregivers.  Dan adores quality time with Bodie but is happy to simply be physically close without them necessarily playing together. In the not so distant past, I would have gotten quickly irritated and either taken over or mentioned my frustration to Dan, only making him feel criticized as a parent.  If you were to ask Dan, he could give you similar pet peeves about my style.  Accepting doesn't mean we have to enjoy each other's way but we can respect it, understand it comes from a good place and move on to enjoy the bigger, more important things.  

As Bodie grows, he may become more demanding of Dan's focus, I will likely loosen up my level of intense focus, but expecting our styles to be similar and fighting for alignment only distracts from the important parts of this story - the desire to care and love our family, albeit differently.  

Which do you think has been more relevant to your partnership after becoming parents - accepting each others' ways or embracing changes? I'd love to hear your take xo


Featured Image by Kylie Martin