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Really interested to see what sort of discussion this post might (hopefully) spark.
The other day while in the car I started thinking about marriage and relationships. Zach and I have been married 8 years now, and they've been 8 pretty great years. Sure, we have fights and whatno...
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Right away I second your notion that the first year after a child is born is by far more difficult than the first year of marriage. Way more difficult. J and I argued, yelled, and cried more during the first six months after C was born than any other time of our marriage (married 8 1/2 years, together for over 10). Granted, the first six months of C's life were filled with NICU, illnesses, allegies, doctors, specialists, and a surgery. However, I suspect that even having an "easy" baby (ha! I doubt they actually exist) still causes sleep deprevation, possible clashes in parenting styles, etc.

I guess when I look at my future with J this is the only thing that comes up: I can't imagine my day without him. He's the person I can be most honest with. I can tell him what I feel about myself, my day, my dreams, my feelings, my goals, my passions,...everything. He is truly my best friend. There are things we disagree on. But, we're able to express those disagreements without fear of judgment. Sometimes the end result is agreeing to disagree. That's okay with us. We're two different people. If we believed/felt the same way about everything, our marriage would probably be pretty boring. I love that he introduces me to new ideas, new activities, and a different way of looking at life (this could all be because he's left-handed and I'm right-handed, but I admit I may be wrong there smile). He keeps me grounded when I feel like everything is out of control. He supports all my wild and crazy plans and dreams. For all these reasons and more, I love that man.

I'm sure there will be times throughout our marriage that he'll drive me crazy. (In case you're reading this, J, the trash that you leave on the kitchen counter can be placed in the trash can right behind you!). But, then I just remember everything that he does for me and with me. Then I realize that the little annoyances are just that: little. Compared to the big picture of our marriage, it's nothing. Our marriage is so much more than that. It's spending the rest of our lives with the person that understands us better than anyone else and still loves us does despite our faults.
+Becky Daily Back a few months before we got pregnant with Donovan, Zach was one day talking with a good friend of his that had a young baby. She told him how one thing she hadn't expected was how easy it was to pick fights, since they were both so tired and stressed from taking care of the baby and it's easy to take that out on your spouse. After hearing that we made a conscious commitment to be extra patient and kind with each other after having our kids. There are times when I start feeling annoyed or frustrated at Zach, and will instead stop myself and if it's just a stupid nothing (as it usually is) let it go. It's easy to do because I know he does it for me all the time.

The first months after we had Quinn were doubly hard, because between taking care of 2 kids and the house, etc, there was just no time to hardly even talk to each other. He's made a big point to be supportive of me and us as a family, which I'm so grateful for because I don't know how I would have gotten through the past year without that from him.
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