8 ways our marriage has changed in 8 years

8 ways our marriage has changed in 8 years

Hooray, we’ve been married 8 years! Three kids later and our marriage is hardly recognisable. Who are those young people in that photo? And where did that gushing love go? These are the 8 ways our marriage has changed in 8 years, and after three kids! Disclaimer – your marriage probably won’t be as unrecognisable if there aren’t kids in the mix.

Terms of endearment

We used to call each other pet names (not in public, and nothing risqué). I used to call Mr Wallace ‘boy’, for reasons I’m still not sure of. Now the best he gets is ‘Daddy’. And not, ‘I love you my sugar Daddy’, more like ‘Daddy, can you put his shoes on?’. Anyone else heard Kitty Flannagan’s theory that ‘darling’ becomes a replacement for ‘For Fucks Sake’ a few years in to a relationship? She’s on to something. Imagine you and your significant other are driving. The driver misses a turn.  You say ‘shouldn’t we have turned left, DARLING’? By which you really mean, shouldn’t we have turned left, FFS’! Or, ‘did you forget to put the dishwasher on, DARLING FFS’?

Nothing is sacred

The longer you’re together, the more comfortable you become with each other. Then child birth takes away all mystery. And nothing says romance like the sound of your husband letting rip three rooms away. Plus, kids means there’s generally talk about their poo, its consistency, the frequency and who is going to deal with it.

Lack of affection

Remember there was a time when you’d walk down the isles of the supermarket holding hands? Or you’d stare at paint colours in Bunnings, arms wrapped around each other. I guess we used to do that, but 8 years in, I can’t be sure. Now there’s little people clambering over me for most of the day and then sharing our bed at night, there’s not much room for spousal touch. Fancy an after work hug or a cuddle on the couch? Not me, I just want space.

Marital relations

Ever hear the penny in the jar theory? Put a penny in a jar every time you bonk in the first year of marriage. After your first anniversary, take out a penny out each time you get laid. You’ll never empty the jar of pennies. Well, it’s embarrassingly accurate.

If you barely have the ability to make eye contact with your significant other because you’re dealing with the monotony of kids, it’s easy to understand why things are as steamy as they used to be. Maybe one of you was a ‘morning’ person and now you wake up to kids at 5.30am, meaning any chance at a morning roll between the sheets if off.

Intellectual debate

We used to talk about politics and current issues. I used to read the paper and opinion pieces to inform those debates. Now if Mr Wallace even begins a conversation on the latest political issue, my eyes glaze over. I am too tired to enter into rigorous debate. Plus, I know that any proper adult conversation will be interrupted a myriad of times. I feel like there’s little point in starting a conversation on feminist theology if it’s going to be interrupted by a request for an apple. Not to mention my mind is running mad with all the kid logistics issues that we should be resolving. We can’t solve the nation’s immigration policy but we can work out who is picking up the kids tomorrow.

Couple time and date night

Before there were kids, there was just the two of you. You could do whatever you fancied, as a kid free couple. Head out for dinner because no one could be bothered cooking, take an impromptu Saturday drive (destination: unknown), have a long, lazy Sunday lunch in the sun.

Now we’re restricted to ‘date nights’, one of the more dramatic ways our marriage has changed! The pressure is on to look lovingly into each other’s eyes and talk about the big issues. The reality is you go to a local restaurant, that’s not especially fancy, in case the baby sister calls, you spend the night talking about the kids, and then you dash home to relieve the babysitter. Inevitably the baby wakes up, one person tends to the baby (me, because boob) and the other falls asleep because he’s had two glasses of wine and was exhausted before the date night began. No marital relations ensue.

Text messages

In the early days of a relationship, text messages are flirty, a little risque and kind of exciting. After 8 years of marriage, text messages become a means of communicating boring logistics. Text messages look like this ‘At station. 9 mins to train’, or ‘landed, in taxi’, or ‘can I call?’ and ‘remember the bread’. Domestic life at it’s lame best.

You love them more

Not all the ways our marriage has changed are terrible. Despite our lives being consumed with the demands of parenting small kids, balancing jobs and making sure the house doesn’t resemble a tip, at least we’re in this together. Sometimes ‘us’ is lost among the chaos, but we still have that connection. When those rascal boys become more independent (another 8 years, perhaps), we’ll still be there for each other. We’ll that’s my plan, cause I sure can’t do this parenting gig on my own.

Has your relationship changed after years of togetherness? Or are the kids the real reason the romance has left the building?

27 thoughts on “8 ways our marriage has changed in 8 years

  1. Haha, once the little ones get bigger, it gets easier, I promise. And when your 16yo wants to debate international politics or economics at the dinner table after you have had a long and difficult days work, well you know they’ve grown up! I still haven’t managed to avoid having three concurrent unrelated conversations with each family member at the dinner table though…

    1. I’m pleased to hear there is light at the end of the tunnel! Sounds like I’d better have my wits about me for future political debates with the kids!

  2. Yes to all! And, our date nights are exactly the same. Last time, we actually went out for lunch, instead of dinner because I didn’t want to be too exhausted to enjoy it. It was fun, but guaranteed no marital relations when you get home at 5p.m. and have to start dinner!

  3. Such a gorgeous photo! I’m looking forward to the day that I can be part of those intelligent conversations again too. Some days even talking kid logistics is a struggle!

  4. Argh you have totally described my marriage there – oh dear – but it’s good to know we’re in good company 🙂 the Kitty Flanagan sketch is hilarious and totally spot on! x x

    1. Yes, part of me feels relief that I’m not alone and part of me thinks that I wish others had it better!

  5. I send flirty txts still, but they’re often met with ‘who is this?’ or ‘who is this for?’ because as you point out, it is usually logistics and kid related….

  6. Well, we’ve been married for almost 10 years but with no kids, you’re right, things haven’t changed very much from when we were first wed. We’re still living love’s young dream, only with more wrinkles 🙂

  7. Argh the date night pressure! I can’t stand it haha. We try to do the spontaneous parent cuddles instead, worked well so far. Thank goodness for a lock on the bedroom door haha

    1. Kitty, I reckon you could re-write a text to say ‘where are you darling’? But what you are really saying is ‘where are you FFS’ 😉

  8. I’m on my second relationship and quite early on I ended up paralysed for a while, so it was all out in the open quicker than I wanted and since I already had 2 kids, we didn’t get to ease into anything haha. Date nights didn’t exist, text messages straight up were often “Can you pick up milk etc” mixed with flirty messages at other times.

    I love your post though! So funny.

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