Relationships -- The good. The bad and The UGLY!

When we think of relationships there’s a few images that spring to mind.
 
We think of “Honey I’m home”.
 
We think of sitting around the dinner table sharing intelligent conversation.
 
We think of happiness. White picket fence happiness.
 
But there is so many dimensions to a long term relationship there’s the good the bad and the UGLY!  
 
I’ve been with my husband for 21 years and you could say i’ve learnt a few things along the way.  
 
So today i’m going to share with my tips on dealing with the bad and ugly bits.
 
Lets start with the bad.
 
Your marriage can go through periods of “badness” that can sometimes last for months.
 
 It can come financial stress, lack of communication and exhaustion.
 
Financial stress
 
Cracks appear immediately when you can’t afford your electricity bill, rent or mortgage repayment.    
 
You start to argue over what each other is spending.  And just the stress of not having money can really put you on edge and it can make you feel trapped.
 
Set all of your bills to automatic periodic payments – I pay all of my bills weekly. $50 goes to electricity, $40 goes to rates and so on.  
 
If you have your bills set to periodic payments you don’t need to worry about finding the $1,000 that you don’t have when those big bills come through. 
 
Lack of communication
 
Think back to the beginning of when you first started dating.  You would spend hours talking, texting, romancing.
 
Once the kids come along that communication is drastically cut in half.  
 
Actually I would even go us to far as saying in some cases can become virtually non-existant. 
 
Make it your job to make time for each other My husband and I get up early in the mornings so we can talk and catch-up (this really is the only time we are alone).  
 
So we make the most of it. I’ll get up do a 10 minute guided mediation (he normally does one too) then we make breakfast together and chat.
 
Sounds idealic but it’s really not. No relationship is fairytale –that shit doesn’t exsist.  It’s a routine that we’ve found works for us. 
 
Don’t just haphazardly catch up make it apart of your routine.  Put yours and your partners catch up time on THE TOP of your ‘to do list’.
 
At the end of the day your partner is your friend someone you confide in and download too don't forget that!. 
 
Exhaustion  
 
Unfortunately exhaustion comes hand in hand with being a parent.  
 
Parenting is 24/7 and the exhaustion that comes from it can really put a lot of pressure on your relationship.  
 
Give each other a break.  Take the reigns when you know your partner is exhausted.  
 
Take turns of taking the kids out on a Sunday morning so the other can sleep-in.
 
Get the occasional takeout on the way home from work so you don’t need to cook every night because that’s exhausting in itself.
 
Take turns on taking the kids to kids birthday parties so the other can have ‘me time’.
 
Buy your partner a magazine they love and send them to the beach or somewhere they like to go so they can read in peace.
 
Sometimes just an hour by yourself can be all you need to re-vive and feel like yourself again. So give that to each other be caring about each other’s exhaustion levels.
 
Now lets talk about THE UGLY!
 
Ugliness is when you’ve REALLY neglected your partner your friend so much so that, they either become interested in someone else ‘or’ you do.  
 
Let’s call it the grass is greener syndrome.
 
I’ll start by saying 9/10 the grass is NEVER greener.  
 
Here's a post to read if you're feeling the grass is greener or if  you're doubting your love.
 
I’ve been running The Imperfect Mum for nearly 4 years and the amount of people that write in saying either “I’ve fallen for someone else” or “My partner has fallen for someone else” I’ve honestly lost count.
 
How sad is that!  I honestly believe it comes back to not setting firm boundaries with each other and with yourself. 
 
Talk to your partner about your personal boundaries.  
 
Talk about what you’re both comfortable with.  For instance I would never dream of going to dinner or movies with another man even if he was a platonic friend.
 
(Actually I wouldn’t even catch up for coffee with another man – there’s probably one male friend I would do that with). 
 
To myself and my husband (we’ve talked about it) that’s just a no go area.  But for some that’s ok. So talk it out. Talk about what you’re comfortable with.  
 
A partnership consists of 2 people NOT 3 (unless you want 3 people – hey that’s your choice, each to their own on that one) 
 
When you feel yourself becoming attracted or interested in someone other than your partner – STAY THE HELL AWAY!
 
Yes, I just yelled at you.
 
If it’s a co-worker, ask to move departments, do whatever you need to do stay away.  
 
The grass always seems greener until you’re mowing it.  
 
Life with kids is messy and exhausting and sometimes other peoples lives seem so much ‘cleaner’ and more interesting.
 
But that just comes back to what you perceive and also what they allow you to see.
 
The best way to make sure your relationship is secure is to stay friends, connect and be there for each other.  
 
Stay in each others lives, listen earnestly and care about what is happening in your partners life.
 
THE GOOD!
 
Oh, this is the BEST bit that’s why I left it to last.  There is so much good when you weather the storms and stay together for a long time.
 
You can reminisce together.  
 
You trust each other implicitly.  
 
You have a profoundly deep connection and friendship.  
 
You create a life based on friendship and love.  
 
Your kids see and experience that connection – what a great foundation for their future. 
 
Here’s some tips to cement the good.
 
- Be friends.
- Stay in each others lives.
- Give each other space to follow your own individual interests.
- Laugh and have fun.
- Be kind and speak kindly to each other.
- Listen earnestly to each other.
- Respect each other.
- Set your own boundaries as a couple.
- Stay committed through the hard times.
- Remember fairytales DONT exist but love does.
 
From the bottom of my heart I wish you loads of goodness, but remember and don’t ever forget, that it takes you to commit to create your own goodness because every companionship brings different hurdles.
 
This kind of goodness comes from a lota work a lota heartache and a whole lota commitment.
 
All the best on your journey to GOOD!
 
Kristy (and Ben) X
 
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About the Author

Kristy Vallely is the founder and Creator of the Imperfect Mum.

Kristy believed there needed to be a place that women could go to. Where they could talk and relate. A place they could feel safe. A place they trusted. So The Imperfect Mum was born in June 2011. There was obviously such a need that when the gates 'opened' a huge flurry of women followed. Kristy has always been very passionate about women and the issues they face.

Her passion and determination has helped her carve out a career helping others and creating 'a go to place' for women from all around the world.

Posted in:  Relationships & Marriage

5 Replies

Cherie Corke

I have been with my husband coming on 10 years new years day, he is my best friend and the first person I turn to and I wouldn't gave it any other way

Jenny Austin

such a fantastic read, well done Kristy.......and Ben!

Jenny Austin

such a fantastic read, well done Kristy.......and Ben!

Anonymous

Hey there,
I just read this post as i'm desperate to feel that i'm not the only one who just doesn't want to deal with having a husband at the moment.
He is a good friend, a good man and incredibly great father but I am sick to death of living with him, i'm not sexually attracted to him, and i've changed so much over the last three years (since we had our children) that I really don't have it in me to try and talk through why i feel this way. I am already seeing a psychologist (as I have for years to make sure I keep my head on and don't drive into a tree) but I seriously think if i see one more image of "how to have better sex" or how to keep your relationship 'spark' with skinny, hipster, no children couples I will lose it completely. There isn't any reality that I can feel that has similarities to my situation and I just want to push on and live my life with my kids and not feel like I have to 'consider/look after' this man who lives with me.
It's super harsh, I know. Don't think that I haven't already been torturing myself for feeling this way, my husband adores the crap out of me, but he rarely engages with me or the children spontaneously and then bitches and moans that we don't do anything together.
Sorry mumma's. i'm lost.
Thanks for sharing your reality Kristy. It sounds real. Good on you.

Anonymous

Today, was a day 13 years ago I thought I was marrying my soul mate , you know best friend '
4 years ago this Boxing Day coming, he walk out on our commited marriage (I thought) to be with another woman who had a child to someone else. I was broken,
Now...4yrs later I have realized that I've been that perfect mum and perfect wife (x) now, I'm a certain age with a beautiful daughter and son,
But sadly, I feel sometimes that I have given so much, that in a few more years time when my daughter has grown and left home, I actually have no one, as everyone knows it's so hard to make friends when your A' little older, being single with a child, marriage break down...bla bla just to mention a few.
So, I say
Sometimes reality really does bite, and you realize you have been this perfect person (boring) because of past conditioning through family up bringing.
I am alone, because how do you do things again, when you've been smashed to bits over and over. By the soul mate you thought you were marrying?
Life is tough...I admire you Kristy and have done for nearly 20 yrs...thankyou for providing a spot to bla bla on...Being a perfect mum and now x wife nearly killed me...I am enjoying my freedom of the chains I had on myself...wondering where do I really go now...in this world...