How We Saved Our Marriage

I have to confess, opening up about something so personal like my marriage was not an easy thing to do, but since I gave my life to Jesus and asked him to use me as he wishes… here I am.

I did an Instagram live with my husband after opening up on a post that our marriage almost fell apart and I was not expecting SO many women relating and desperately messaging me for advice.

I am not at all equipped with good advices because I am still trying to figure out my life myself, but I can definitely tell you what my experience has been like and hope that the practical steps I took help you too.

After 2 years of marriage, I got pregnant with our first daughter Zoey, and when she was finally born, we were so happy blessed and excited. But when a baby is born, a mother and a father are also born wether you are ready or not… and let me tell you… we were not.

I was so completely infatuated with that little baby that nothing else mattered in my life. My husband wasn’t quite there yet… he wasn’t able to connect with that newborn the same way I did, and to top it all off, all the attention he’s ever gotten from me shifted.

He felt lonely and not equipped to care for his own baby, and his reaction was to completely shut down. He felt that he wasn’t a part of anything. He couldn’t make her fall asleep, he wouldn’t give her a bath, he wouldn’t give her a bottle, and the worst part: he dreaded coming home because I was for sure going to attack him and criticize everything he tried to do.

He was so distant and I was so angry. He resented me and I resented him .

All we did was fight and weekends were a nightmare! We are very fortunate that we do not consider divorce as an option… but we acknowledge that in a lot of cases it can come to that… and that Tim and I will always be faithful to each other, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t unhappy. And oh boy, were we unhappy.

Much to our surprise, I got pregnant with our second baby when Zoey was only 2 months and that was the most decisive moment for our marriage. Halfway through my pregnancy I developed this crazy amount of patience and grace that only comes from God through prayer, and I decided right there that I did not want to live fighting anymore. I had no time or energy for that and I wanted the love and sparkle and romance to be present in our lives again.

Hazel was born, and we were still distant because no matter how calm I was being and behaving, the wall of resentment still stood between us.

One night I was hurting so much, that I put both kids to sleep, sat my butt on the couch next to him and said crying: we need to talk.

That was it. That moment would decide if we were going to live unhappily forever or if he was also willing to save our marriage, pick up the pieces and put us back together.

We talked for 3 hours. I cried and begged him to tell me what the heck we were doing that was being so destructive and if we could fix it.

These were the things that he finally opened up about:

. He resented me for completely ignoring him as a man.

. He felt like all he did was wrong because I criticized him so much.

. He missed me.

. He had no time to do anything for himself, especially his music.

Simple things, right? He had been bottling this all up for a whole year because he thought that I was too overwhelmed and didn’t want to add to my stress or “bother me with his feelings”.

That was so hard to hear and process. I wish I could go back in time and change things, but I’m glad I can’t because that made us so much stronger and mature and our love simply grew against the odds.

Then it was my time to open up and I told him that these things were driving me insane:

. His seemingly lack of commitment as a father.

. Him being absent minded.

. Him not helping around the house.

See a vicious cycle there? Me too. We were acting and reacting to each other and it was easier and faster to fight and argue than to talk through these things that seem so small now.

We asked for forgiveness. We cried. We prayed and prayed and prayed and thanked the Lord for finally having brought us together again and for making everything new.

It wasn’t overnight that we found our way back to each other. We decided to spend time as a couple after the kids went to sleep and work on our relationship. Every single night for weeks we talked through our issues, tried to come up with solutions, made out, watched shows, argued, made out some more. After a couple months we found ourselves calling each other out if the other did something that the other didn’t like, and solving it right then and there. We found ourselves hugging and kissing. I got excited when he was on his way home. He started to be a team player. He got extremely involved with the kids. I started to be appreciative of him and complimented him often. We started to smile again and this is where we are now: happy.

Are we going to go through valleys and tribulations and have different issues again? Yes. For the rest of our lives. I still get mad at him for being a slob? Yes. Does he get frustrated with me when I pester him over and over about something? Yes. But I know in my heart that we truly love each other and are together in our beautiful mess and are going to make this work.

So I will wrap this up with telling you that when you are crying in the bathroom by yourself because your husband won’t look at you, or when your heart hurts so much or when you are overthinking and are scared that you will separate from him… THERE. IS. HOPE.

It is at the cost of falling on your knees and asking God for Grace. For patience. For compassion. It takes swallowing your pride and being vulnerable enough to take the first step and asking to talk to him. You are not the weak one to cry. You are not the weak one for trying to fix it first. This will save your marriage.

Be honest, sincere and learn to forgive. I believe that you and your husband can make it, because we made it too.

With all the love in the world,

Maya

Adding A Child To The Family

Hi Guys!

This post is about adding a new member to the family. Such a joyous, exciting but also nerve-wracking season. I will tell you how we transitioned and how we are still adjusting to a family of 4.

In my case, I was extremely surprised when I realized I was pregnant for the second time. Zoey was only 2 months old! It was only after taking a handful of tests to confirm my pregnancy that I sat down, exhaled and said: well, crap!

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my daughters and cannot imagine my life without Hazel, but my ”well crap” was the initial reaction to a huge surprise, and it took a few weeks for me to understand what was happening. I allowed myself to feel everything: joy, fear, surprise, panic, love… all of it! I firmly believe that bottling up feelings can have a negative impact postpartum, so I took my pregnancy time to process all of it, and it was great!

My second pregnancy was a blessing. God knew that handling a baby was already a lot, so I am so happy to say that it was an easy pregnancy apart from my flaring sciatica (ouch!). Of course the mental and physical exhaustion were there everyday, but overall it was a smooth pregnancy, until I started feeling the following:

. Guilt – I felt so guilty thinking that I was taking Zoey’s baby time away from her. That I wasn’t allowing her to be ”the baby” for as long as she could, and that reason was enough to make me cry very often.

. Fear 1.0 – of not being capable to love another child the way I loved Zoey. The thought of adding another child made me panic and I was so afraid of not being able to open up my heart and love so intensely like I loved my first baby.

.Fear 1.2 – Being away from Zoey at the hospital.

.Fear 1.3 – “How the heck am I going to handle 2 babies at the same time?”

Then I went into labor exactly on my due date. I pushed a life out of my body. I saw her face. Right then and there, the size of my heart doubled, and it almost exploded. It was so much love overflowing that I could not do anything but cry and praise Jesus for giving me the honor of mothering another child.

I am not going to lie to you and say that all the fears disappeared that instant, but it was a heck of a good start.

The guilt

The guilt lingered for a few weeks. I did not know how to divide my attention, and for some reason I thought I had to divide it 100% equally, otherwise I was neglecting one of them. A few weeks in, I understood that at that point in my life, I had to prioritize, be strong and fair, but not be so hard on myself. I was fragile. I was outnumbered. I was scared. So the way I dealt with it was like this: If both of them were crying at the same time, I analyzed it. If the newborn was crying, she probably needed something vital, food, to be cleaned, or to sleep, so I took care of her first while praying to God that Zoey would be patient until I got to her. Then I’d go to Zoey, take care of her, and while the newborn was sleeping, she had my undivided attention. I mean no cellphone in hand, no television on, just me and her. Talking. Playing. Loving on one another.

The Fears

Of not being able to love? That one was easy to get rid of, right off the bat.

Of being away from Zoey at the hospital? Yes. That sucked.

Of not being able to handle 2 babies by myself? Lasted probably 2 weeks, and then we figured it out. Those 2 weeks were hard. Probably the hardest thing I have ever done. I ran around 2 babies in my living room around the clock. I heard crying, screaming and whining all day. I thought I was going to lose my mind. Diaper changes after diaper changes. Baby on breast while cooking lunch for the oldest. It was chaos.

But then it got easier. We found a routine that worked for us. We started to understand each other’s needs. We understood the new dynamic, and oh boy it all started working out!

So I want to wrap up this post by telling you this: it won’t be easy at first. Not only your body is recovering from a huge change, but your emotions are all over the place and you are afraid. You are human, and it’s ok to fear the unknown, but you can do this. Some days will be so hard that you will go into another room to cry, but some days will be so wonderful that you will cry tears of joy because your children will start interacting, they will start loving one another, and there is no other feeling that compares to that.

Always remember that the way you behave in front of your children, will make an impression on them. They will emulate everything you do starting when they are babies until they are adults. You will shape them. They will feel your emotions, and it is up to you to be the example, especially during this challenging season. Be their cornerstone.

So take a deep breath, and tell yourself that you are capable of all this, because you are! You are smart, strong, brave and able to raise incredible human beings. Enjoy every second of it. Every laugh, every silly thing they do. Gaze into their eyes and get lost in them because that is your heritage, and the work you are doing now will bless them and their generations to come.

Now go snuggle those angels, you rockstar. You just formed a family. Great job.

Love,

Maya.

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From My Heart, To Yours.

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Don’t be fooled by this buttery commercial perfect photo. Truth is, we were all sweating, baby was screaming, my sciatica was flaring and Tim was mad at me. But you know what? It’s ok. This is family, and this is real.

When I envisioned my family, I obviously and utopically imagined that my babies would sleep, my husband and I would never fight, I’d feel happy and pretty all the time, finances would be in perfect shape, and my house would always be clean. I wish those dreams came true, but instead I got basically the opposite, and trust me on this one: I love it even more. Let me explain myself.

If life is perfect and there is nothing to worry about or to struggle with, we simply don’t value it enough. Why? Because happiness is something you earn, and you can only earn something if you fight hard for it, makes sense doesn’t it?

In my life, I have struggled with so many things that I will probably have enough content for this blog until I die at age 122! I can tell you that every single thing, bad or good, that has happened in my life has shaped me into who I am now and where I am at: the center of God’s will.

When you struggle daily with life, you understand that by yourself you have absolutely NO CONTROL over ANYTHING. So what do I do?

In the morning, I pray and ask God to take my day into His hands and do with it what He will, and remind me that I am never going to go through anything all alone.

I fight hard for my family. The absurd amount of patience and grace a woman has to have in order to take care of a home is immeasurable. The weight of responsibility and the constant worry over every detail of caring for other people, takes such toll on a woman, that without supernatural strength it becomes a very hard task.

But after a rough day with screaming children or disagreements with my husband or even a messy house, I can say “I fought the good fight.” I kiss them all goodnight and miss them when I close my eyes, because the dedication I put into caring for them is such that one moment away from them brings tears to my eyes.

I am not praising myself or trying to put my family down, we obviously have wonderful and fun moments, but I am telling you what you should probably know about yourself: you are this woman. You are strong, and virtuous, and you conquer 10 lions a day simply to protect your own. You cry in silence, but you also smile when you see how amazing, intelligent, funny and adorable your children are, and the next morning you will do it all over again.

I cannot wait to share with you what happens in my life, and the things that happened that led me here today. To talk to you. To hold your hand and cry with you, and laugh with you, because when we support and encourage each other, there is NOTHING that will stand in our way to find happiness and a fulfilling life.

Love and talk soon,

Maya.