When Marriage is Hard

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When is marriage hard? Always. 

I think we are usually ashamed to admit when marriage is tough. I know I am. 

It’s not like I didn’t know this before diving into marriage. It’s not like I want to throw the towel in. It’s not that I don’t believe in marriage. 

I wouldn’t trade in my marriage for anything. Even on the days when I have red moments and all I think I want to do is be alone. 

But the fact is, marriage is hard. It’s one of the biggest risks you will ever take in life. Putting together two people from two different backgrounds for life with two different ways of dealing with conflict – it’s kind of crazy right? But with that crazy comes an unfathomable beauty….that sometimes gets lost in dark times.

Ryan and I have a hard time while he is gone at school and while under a lot of stress.  The past couple of weeks I have broken down to a girlfriends about marriage troubles. Every single one said she had been there. Here, I thought I was the weak one. That I was all alone in my troubles. There is comfort in knowing that we are not alone and I think we can all learn from one another. 

So,why don’t we share our hardships?

The moments where we feel unheard, misunderstood. When we just want to be selfish and not put the spouse first. When the other person surprises us and we feel like we don’t know them at all. 

It’s so much easier to share the good. To brag about your perfect weekends and the over the top romantic gestures. Sometimes you want to show everyone that you are OKAY and la-di-da ain’t love GRAND!

Truth: Ryan and I fight.

Of course we fight about countless stupid things that all cohabitating couples fight over:

The fact that there are 6 pairs of his shoes in the front entry way and I nearly break my neck carrying in the groceries. We fight that I don’t properly rinse of the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher. We fight when it takes 30 minutes to choose which movie to watch after a long Saturday. He wants to kill me when I leave 6 empty water glasses on my bedside table and I will scream if he squeezes the middle of the toothpaste tube again!

The silly things like that we usually end up laughing over. But there are the bigger issues too. The big choices, the dreams we sometimes have to sacrifice, the times when money is tight, sleep is nill, and hopes are squashed. The fights that lead to us asking ourselves, “Are we making the right choices?” The days that end in a big fiery ball of fury where every wrong word is said and you don’t think you have any more tears to cry. 

When you are stressed and feeling down, who is the first person you generally vent to or show anger towards? The spouse. Ryan and I are both guilty of pushing each other away in times of stress and sadness. Life is an ongoing lesson and I’m forever grateful to have Ryan as my co student for this education. But like all good students, we make mistakes along the way. 

Marriage brings out the worst and the best in me. It’s only been a short time, 1 year and 4 months, but it has taken me on an amazing journey. We’ve both changed since marriage, and for the good. I’m more humble, giving, selfless, loving, and hopeful because of my marriage. The crazy emotions in marriage are the same ones that make it absolutely beautiful. 

After the darkness descends, I always look at Ryan and know that although every choice we make may not be the best, I made the right choice in marrying him. We choose each other. Every day. Even when it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.  

Love can do amazing things, but that doesn’t make the dark days any less numbered. 

It’s okay to admit marriage is hard. There should be no fear in sounding as if you have any less love for you spouse in doing so. 

As I grow older, the more and more I learn how small this world is. Let’s share our stories and grow together. If you are going through tough times, even ones that last a day,  you are not alone. 
  

Recognizing Love as the Real Deal

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How people fall in love always amazes me. It’s like a birth of a new child. All of  a sudden there is this whole new element present where there used to be nothing and you nurture it and watch and grow as it takes up residence in your heart. It’s as simple as it is complex. Love is simply present, out of no where, and changing your life all the same.

My brother met his wife in late Spring of 2009. They moved in together in June, were engaged in November, and were married the following March. It was a whirlwind romance to everyone viewing their love from the outside. He first introduced us to Veronica during our family beach vacation at their home in Wrightsville Beach, NC. I admired her courage, meeting her new loves entire family in a bikini. They moved in together that same week, and I couldn’t help but to think he was being a little foolish. And please let me say that I love Veronica dearly. She instantly felt like she belonged in our family that very week and I received a sister I never had. She’s one of the sweetest and humble women I know. But, from the outside, I didn’t understand why they were moving so fast. 

When their fastness was questioned, my brother replied with a confident, “It is what it is.” 

I had no idea what that meant. It seemed like a callous “whatever” statement. A way to brush me off. And rightly so. No one else has any business with any one else’s love life. 

The intrusion and questions continued as they quickly spun forward into a quick engagement followed by a beautiful wedding 4 months later. People questioned their motives, the word “pregnant” passed between hushed conversations. Who was anyone else to judge? They simply could not wait to be married, to start their lives as a unified couple. 

At that time in my life I couldn’t imagine loving someone THAT much with that much urgency. I didn’t believe it was possible. For me at least. And yes, I still hoped to one day get married, have a family, and to feel love. I simply couldn’t even picture that future for myself. 

I’m the type of person that could be alone for an entire weekend and be perfectly content by myself. I wouldn’t get bored or feel terribly lonely. As a child I’d play for hours by myself, making up elaborate imaginary stories. I can go on long solitary walks. There are certain movies and TV shows that I wish to watch by alone. I need silence to read and write, to really escape from my current reality and get absorbed in the story or my thoughts. I value my “me time” and I used to have inner dialogues with myself that I”d never dream of sharing with even my best friend, thinking no one else would understand.

I think you know where this is going…

I truly knew Ryan was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with when I invited him along to my family’s beach vacation.

beach
These vacations are sacred ground to me. I let very few people into that arena. However cliché it sounds, the beach is a spiritual place for me. I could catch waves, swim out past the breakers and float on my back for hours, and take long meandering walks by myself all day. This is where I refueled, connected with myself and dreamed. These experiences belonged to me. They were all my own. 

But with Ryan I couldn’t wait to share each of my special moments with him. I couldn’t wait to have shared experiences and to create new ones at my place. 

beach couple
When I met Ryan it felt like when you get caught off guard in the ocean by a breaking wave and are pulled under the current. At first you can’t breathe and you panic. But soon enough under water with your hair floating magically around you and the salt water rushing through your finger tips feels like where you are meant to be. It’s quiet yet alive, and you can’t imagine being up out of the water in the cold air ever again. 

We fell in love fast and hard. I simply couldn’t imagine a world without him in it. 

I could feel my friends’ judgement and that’s when those familiar words slipped out of my mouth, “It is what it is”. He is my love. Once I knew it, I couldn’t live without it. 

Soon enough we were engaged and then married six months later. The ocean still remains a spiritual getaway for me. But now I have something even greater. I have a love that is ours. It feels like an exciting secret, an inside joke that can be told with a simple smile. Our own place that I can retreat to anytime I want. It’s as complex as it is simple. It simply is. 

xoxo Katie
 

 

Why We Work

why we work a beautiful little adventure

whywework

 

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Bonnie, from The Life of Bon, and Taylor, from The Daily Tay, ganged up for a love themed link up – encouraging others to write about why they and their partner “work”.

After deciding to participate I just kept muttering to myself “Why do Ryan and I work as a married couple?” over, and over, and over. I kept trying to recall that one magic moment when everything clicked and fireworks went off and I know we were just perfect for each other. Sorry to break it to you, but I don’t believe moments like that exist. No one is perfect for each other.

why we work katie and ryan abla

While I repeatedly asked myself the question, “Why do we work?” I couldn’t help but envision a well oiled factory machine with many complex parts all working together perfectly to create a flawless and productive product. This analogy may work for some couples (or maybe just in fairy tales?) but my marriage to Ryan is nothing like that.

We are two separate machines and unlike a well-engineered piece of factory equipment, our parts don’t always line up perfectly or complete each other. We don’t work because there is some magic chemistry between the two of us or because it was our destiny to end up together. We work because we work at being together. And it is hard work.

wedding

Not only are we two separate machines, but Ryan and I are often working in two separate factories miles and miles apart. Yet, with communication our two independent factories work together attempting to create a product that will please the other and create a joint profit. Somedays I will create a product with just the hopes of making Ryan’s day, while others I hope that the product I’m creating will work well with the one that he is simultaneously creating for me.

There are days when all lines of communication are down and our attempts are complete failures. We’ll end up creating two useless items. I’ll create a TV remote and he’ll create a picture frame. They are both fine and dandy, but what is a remote with out a TV and a frame with out a picture? These two items are useless alone and they will never be productive together. Failure day at the factories.

Those days are the worst, like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, and they are often filled with tears, resentment, and mean words. But no matter what, you are never going to get that TV remote and that picture frame to work together. It’s best to just say goodnight and go to bed. (yes, going to bed angry “works” for us) That TV remote and picture frame will usually be gone by morning and we can get back to work at making something else.

Other days we surprise ourselves and create two separate products that are essential to one another, like a lightbulb and a lamp. You can’t have one with out the other can you? These days far outweigh the bad ones. They, like the lightbulb, ignite our love and give us hope which we use to light the way through those darker failure days. But these days take hard work.

why we work katie and ryan a beautiful little adventure

It’s hard work fitting two different people doing two different jobs together for life. There are days when we both want to quit, that we both want to push the reset button and go back to our factory settings of default. When our machines are in default mode we always come first, we don’t have to think about another person’s needs or ideas. Ryan and I work because we don’t believe in hitting the “reset to default” button. Instead, of the “default button” we select the buttons labeled with words like respect, sympathy, kindness, and patience.

It takes work to be patient when Ryan is dead tired and as grumpy as a toddler. It takes work for Ryan to not jump to conclusions as to why I’m being quiet or distant when I just need some space. It takes work to be understanding when Ryan forgets an important date because he has 5 billion things going on inside his head. It takes work for Ryan to be kind when I forget to rinse out my dirty dishes before putting them in our inadequate dishwasher (once again). It’s the constant little acts of kindness that makes us work.

why we work a beautiful little adventure

We work because at the end of the day our two separate machines have churned out a plentiful array of products. Yes, some are disasters, but others are productive and beautiful. Together the good and the bad create a beautiful work of art. To others it may look like an abstract mess, but to us it is a masterpiece. It depicts our love, our life’s work and tells our story. As with any piece of art, Ryan and I will always view it with a different perception and take away a different meaning. But by choosing to simultaneously admire and to put value in the same piece of work day in and day out; that is what makes us work.

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Love Lessons

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Last Saturday morning Ryan and I were in the car, out for the morning running typical errands. We were in a rush to get a few boring but necessary tasks done before driving down to visit his family later that afternoon. We were sitting in silence listening to music.

As I looked over at Ryan I happily smiled to myself and thought how happy it made me to have him to share in the daily mundane, how even just a typical trip to the grocery store was now fun because we were doing it together. As my smile slowly turned into a little laugh.

Ryan turned over and asked, “What I was thinking about?”

What was my response? “Oh, just thinking about everything we have to do today.” I then critiqued the route he chose to take.

What?!

Why did I lie? Why did I hide what I was really thinking? Me, the girl who loves to talk about feelings, didn’t want to express her own? Looking back, I was being so cold.

I don’t understand why I didn’t express my love and gratitude to Ryan in the car that day. Or why on other nights when I miss him terribly I don’t express it to him. Is it because I just didn’t feel like it? That I didn’t want the back and forth banter of “oh I love you SO much” that can sometimes feel overused and artificial? Because I was lazy? Because I wanted him to say something like that to me first?

I know that every single one of those reasons is totally immature and selfish. I’m not perfect.

If there is one universal truth about marriage it is this: Marriage takes a lot of hard work.

In the busyness of everyday it is sometimes hard to remember that such little expressions of love can go a long way. Sometimes it’s just hard to take that extra step. In hindsight it seems unnaturally cold to not do so. Why would I not want to lift my husband up higher, to make him happier?

I’ve never been so sure of anything as I am for my love for Ryan. Yes, we are very different and have different needs. Hearing me vocally express my gratitude and love for him sporadically like that in the car make him smile his big charming smile and make his day. But in my head, I didn’t express it because I think, “oh he knows I love him, he doesn’t need to hear it AGAIN”. But no, he does need to hear it.

Thinking this over made me think of the 5 Languages of Love book by Garry Chapman. It outlines five ways to express and experience love  called “love languages”: gifts, quality time, words of affirmation, acts ofservice, and physical touch. Understanding yours and your partners can help your relationships communication and growth. You can take a 3 minutes test to find out you language. 

Unlike Ryan, I don’t thrive off of hearing the words, “I love you” over and over. Of course I love him and of course I like affirming words of love at times. But, I don’t need to hear it daily. Instead, I thrive off of little acts of service. For instance, my heart melted on Sunday night. I was upstairs working away in the office all afternoon. Around 7 p.m. Ryan came upstairs and surprised me with a cosmo in my favorite martini glass. He took me downstairs and said “why don’t you pick out one of your favorite romantic movies for us to watch together, it’s time for you to relax.” I fell in love a little bit more with my husband at that moment.

I love when he notices that I need a little help around the house, or when I come home and the kitchen is spotless, or he realizes we are out of paper towels and picked some up on the way home. It makes me feel loved because it makes me feel noticed and appreciated. It makes me feel like he is present. I need to tell him that.

Life gets busy. Ryan and I both do things that irritates the other. We both can be highly critical and end up wanting to pull our hair out. But wouldn’t those moments be easier to extinguish with a simple act of love? Wouldn’t they have less chance of turning into a fight or a grudge? Communication isn’t hard, just take the time to do it. Wouldn’t we both be happier?  Why not choose that?

I need to remember to vocalize those happy little inner thoughts that I’m having about Ryan. I need to show my gratitude vocally when he does little acts of kindness from me. I need to give him the love he knows how to best receive. How else can we expect our marriage and our love to grow?

We all need love. There is no doubt that it is complex. Everyone will have a different definition of what love is to them. So, my thoughts, even if I think they are little, or not that important, or silly, may make Ryan feels full of love.

Open up and share, love is all around, you just have to learn to give and receive it in the best way – a lifetime learning process.

If you haven’t already – go take the test and find out your love language!

xoxo Katie

 

 

 

 

 

Law School Widow

confessions of a law school widow

Today I am once again a Law School Widow.

Yes, that is the technical term for us women married to adult law students. Ryan heads back to Law School tonight and I go back to seeing him only on the weekends (except for Tuesday nights, which he has off!). I wrote about my experience being married to a law student back when I first started blogging. But after another semester under my belt, I’m ready to share more of the gritty details.

I knew exactly what I was signing up for. Ryan has been in law school the entire time we have been dating. To save money and to gain work experience, he works full-time at a DA’s office and then heads to classes at night. When we first started dating our life ALS (after law school) seemed so far ahead.

Now, we only have 3 more semesters (out of 8 total) left. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. We still have a lot of work ahead of ourselves after graduation though. There is studying for the bar exam, taking the bar exam (and hopefully passing), finding a job, and settling yourself in at the new position. We will probably be experiencing long hours for a long while yet.

Yes, I say “we” because when I married Ryan I vowed to make his dreams my own. We are in this together.

There are a lot of statistics out there that show how hard law school is on relationships. A large number of marriages end and spouses are left feeling compromised. They say to  imagine the normal growing pains one goes through in the first year of marriage and times that by 2. I try to ignore that hype.  And if I’m being honest, yes things can be very hard. There are fights, there are tears, there is confusion, and there is sacrifice.

I decided to pull together a con and pro list to share what life as a law school widow is truly like. I’m sure others can relate, whether you spouse or significant other is a student, in the armed forces, works long hours, or work away from home. Of course our love will always be stronger than these cons. I shouldn’t have to tell you that I admire all his dedication, passion, and work. But there are negative and this is an honest account.

cons

1. Disconnect

If I was going to give only one warning, this would be it. The disconnect is huge. Ryan and I can go 1-2 days only talking via text. Sure, texting is fast and easy but you can’t pick up on any emotional cues via text. You can’t make someone feel better after a tough day at work. You can’t share proper anger over a professor. You can’t hug or kiss or cuddle or give a look that can make the other feel instantly better.

It’s common for us to not share our daily happenings with each other. The big things, yes. But we miss out on each others daily stories about funny events or articles we may have read. Ryan doesn’t know what is happening around the house or what bills have been paid or what groceries were purchased, much less than I know what happened during his commute or how is head cold is doing.

His mistress that is law school could tell you more about his week than I can. And sometimes I simply feel ignored and he feels the same. The words, “you just can’t understand” are said frequently regarding his work load and schedule. And it is the truth.

We miss out on any connection. After a week of not sharing our lives with each other it’s hard to open up again. It’s hard to remember that funny anecdote you wanted to share on Wednesday. It’s hard to remember that this is my team-mate, that he needs me just as much as I need him. There is so much to catch up on and yet you don’t know where to begin. Life goes on whether or not you are together. It takes work to close the gap.

2. Re adjusting your social life

After a long week, we like to devote quality time on the weekends together. This gets hard because our lives are also busy with family and friends. We don’t want to turn down every invitation from others, but we do have to make time for our relationship as well. This time comes first for me because our relationship would suffer if I didn’t. It takes works and commitment. We plan special dates and weekends away and try to make our time together count. However, there are weekends where I’ll travel to see girlfriends or that he is locked up in the office all day studying. Things happen. You have to have enough faith in each other to know that we both want the best for each other.

3. High levels of stress and anxiety

Oh boy does this get bad! Like someone just threw a grenade into my living room and all hell has broken loose bad. Ryan is under a huge amount of stress at all times. And who could blame him? He worries about work, he worries about school, he worries about his TA positions, he worries about bills, he worries about the future, he worries about me and how I am with all of this. The worry spreads over to me and the gritty truth is that it’s exhausting. It gets tiring assuring that the right choice was made, that we are going to be okay, that I am dealing, that life IS good. And it is. This is a minor part of our lives. We will endure and things will continue to get better. But there are days where it feels like nothing is going your way, that you just can’t catch a break, that you just want to quit.

4. Being apart during the week

Of course this goes hand in hand with the disconnect, but on a much more minor level, I get selfish and wish Ryan was there to help with house hold chores. When he is home he’s a big help. He’s the one that always washes the dishes. He’s the one who takes out the trash. He loves to clean and I miss that oh so much during the week. I save our favorite TV shows to watch together on the weekends or a night off. I cook large meals (his lunch and dinners for the week) and get sad having to eat them alone and pack up the rest for him. Ok, enough pity party.

pros

1. Endless “me time”

Earlier this week, I wrote about how much I need quality “Me Time” and I do get a lot of that while school is in session. I can make as many friend dates as I want, spend time with my parents, go shopping, work out, or binge watch all my favorite girly TV shows and movies. I can take a 30 minute bath without guilt. I can wear my ugliest sweats and eat ice cream while watching Pretty Little Liars all week with no one to suggest other wise. I plan on making the most of this time this semester.

2. Easier to Budget

We are big in the saving mode right now – trying to pay down our credit card debt and add as much to savings. I work hard on our budget and honestly like having control of it. As the manager of our household I can be sure that we are staying in line with our financial goals and take that worry off of Ryan.

3. Ryan is following his dream

And what more could a wife wish for? I’m so happy that he doing everything he can to complete his goal. Last night he reminded me that, “no one actually ENJOYS law school”. But he’s pulling through, putting in his time. He worked full-time to put himself through undergrad and now is doing the same for law school. I’m beyond proud of him and am happy he has found a calling. Much rather have him working hard towards his dream than floundering about at home with me at a loss at what to do with his future.

tips

I have two tips for couples:

1. Communicate your expectations. Make sure you share your concerns and fears. Decide how time together will be spent. Delegate household chores and set up a communication schedule for when you are apart. Don’t hold any bitterness or grudges or they will escalate quickly. Compromises will have to be made, adjust as you learn.

2. Schedule dates This is a number one priority for us. If we don’t schedule dates we fall back onto watching TV and venting about money, bills, schedules, and time spent together. I try to support Ryan as much as I can by making life at home a vacation from Law School (when he can take it). We plan fun. Yes, money is tight, but I’d personally rather save up for a weekend trip rather than go out to eat once a week. Our marriage is not defined by law school.

law school widow

Please share your own experiences!

  xoxo Katie

 

 

 

Date Nights are Important

Life is all about learning as you go.  Want to know the biggest lesson I’ve learned since getting married almost four months ago?

datenights

I never really considered “dating” my husband. I mean, we live together and do most things together on the weekend. Isn’t that dating? No, eating stir fry on the couch while binge watching your favorite TV show together does not qualify as a date. I know, that’s basically our favorite thing to do at home.  And why not? It’s relaxing, easy, cheap, and we’re together. But over the summer I learned that defaulting to this every 8 p.m. on a Friday night may be setting us up for disaster.

Why disaster? I have three reasons for you:

1. Stress Dumping

A side effect of Ryan and I not seeing each other all week is that we don’t have the option to gradually catch up or vent about our days.  Most couples can unload about work stress or any other anxiety to each other over a casual dinner every night. They can also casually fit in the occasional nag, like “honey, I really wish you wouldn’t leave your breakfast dishes out”. But, Ryan and I don’t have that luxury. All our stress from the week gets piled up. Additionally, I know I  have resentment about this stress getting piled up. It all comes to a head on Friday evening at some point. Instead of simply being happy about being together, we’re dumping all of this negativity on one another. We’re discussing bills, work, family issues, groceries. How boring!

2. Pressure

Since we don’t see each other during the week, we put a lot of pressure on the weekends. We want to make sure that our time together is the best damn quality time we can have. When I feel pressured or over excited I tend to have minor breakdowns. Think of a four-year old at their birthday party.

3. Routine

We got stuck in the routine of eating at home in front of the TV. The drill was: 7:30: go for a walk and talk about our week. 8:00: have dinner and watch TV and have a drink until bed time. 12: crash. It was comfy and relaxing.  As we were trying to save me, we were so happy over how much mula we were putting into savings each week. Over a few months I gained about 6 pounds. The black lacy nightgown I wore around the house all summer turned from “kinda sexy” into “oh god this is the only thing that fits right now let me be!” We weren’t developing our relationship, we were, simply put, being slobs.

Why are date nights so vital to the success of a marriage? I give you 3 reasons :

1. Putting value on communication

On a date, you have the opportunity to really communicate with one another. You’re not simply re hashing your day and complaining about your boss. This is your time to continue to develop a deeper understanding of one another – to continue to be one another’s best friend. This is important, because you are both bound to change through the years. I know that I want to grow side by side with Ryan – sharing my thoughts and perceptions rather than grow apart.

2.  Allowing  time for romance

This is a new trick that works for me; whenever I feel like I’m being a little moody, selfish, mean during quality time with Ryan, I pause and think to myself “Would I act this way on a first or second date?” It sounds so simple – but be overly kind, try harder, and take the evening to the next level. Whether this simply means choosing real pants over yoga pants or surprising your spouse with their favorite meal or reservations. Impress one another!

3. Strengthen your commitment as a couple

By setting specific romantic time for you and your spouse you a cultivating a strong sense of togetherness and commitment. You are making a point to put one another first. It has been proven that spouses that spend a lot of couple time together enjoy a higher quality relationship, lower stress, and are markedly less likely to divorce.

When you look back, it all makes perfect sense. However, life does tend to get in the way. Since August, Ryan and I have made an effort to schedule special date nights at least twice a month. As we discuss having a baby in the somewhat near future we put together a “before baby bucket list” and we’re having fun setting aside couple time.

What are ways that you have found to make sure you keep the romance alive and schedule couple time in your busy schedule?

 

How Do You Define “Us”?

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The equally beautiful and challenging aspect about a marriage is the fact that you are bringing two different individuals together and creating a unified unit. Of course each individual brings their own family, friends, past experiences, and traumas with them. Within this partnership, all of your baggage and all of your significant other’s baggage are blended together. This in turn delivers new surprises, both pleasant and shocking, nearly every day.

You spend a large part of your young adult life figuring out who you are as a person.  (Some of us are still trying to figure that out.) You are constantly trying to figure out how you fit into this big world and what role you want to play. Remember being in grade school and having to answer questions like “what makes YOU special?” and the age-old, “what do you want to BE when you grow up”. We were forced to write those acrostic poems –as in, K A T I E, K – kind, A – awesome, T – Talented, I – Interesting, E – Energetic. We were always taught to establish ourselves as our own unique brand.

Now that you are a couple, you are bringing two unique brands together and merging into an incorporated company. Along with both of our pasts, Ryan and I are also merging all of our dreams for the future. To ensure we are building a strong foundation to live our most fulfilled and purpose driven life, I want to be sure to take the time to talk about what our life as a team looks like. We now must once again ask ourselves those familiar questions in respect to the couple we are now part of:

How do you define “us”? What do “we” look like?

The beautiful thing about being in a life long partnership like marriage is that you have a clean slate. With the help of our shared experiences we now can create a new definition of what we want our combined future to look like. Life is certainly full of ups and downs and I still expect to go through many more changes independently and as a couple. I understand that the true definition of who we are as a couple will evolve over time. However, a lot of who you become is up to you and your partner.

This is our chance to invent something that is truly unique to us.  The important questions for me are: What do we want to accomplish before starting a family? What type of parents do we want to be? What type of family will we be? What type of couple do we want to be in our sixties?  If you don’t make the time to define your identity as a couple, life will simply make choices for you by getting in the way. This is our opportunity to start a new chapter. Don’t forget that you are in charge of choosing your own beautiful little adventure.  Who do you want to be?