In case anyone thinks that having a baby will change a relationship, yes, yes it will. But not for the better. Having a baby will not make a turbulent environment better. However, if you have built a strong foundation, have open lines of communication, have a trust in the Father above that everything is going to be alright, then you can sit back and watch the change in your household as the pregnancy progresses, as I am doing.
Eric and I have come a long way over the past few years, with lots of ups and downs. Over the past two we’ve grown continually closer and have developed a deeper connection and understanding of each other (my belief is that this truly began when I started reading the Bible). The wedding caused quite a bit of stress, but we gradually worked through it. Finding out I was pregnant caused some more stress, but we’ve worked through that as well.
And now what I’m experiencing is watching my husband develop nurturing instincts.. and I hope he’s witnessing the same in me. We’re both nesting, and it’s kinda cute.
For example, he’s become preoccupied with getting debt paid off before the baby arrives, starting to buy things that we’ll need, asking advice of his colleagues, and looking for bargains on diapers. Additionally he is no longer suggesting I find cheaper alternatives to the expensive fresh foods I want, but is actually helping me find other good healthy snacks, even if it’s a little pricey for something that he would never eat (i.e. whole grain bread, mixed nuts, brussel sprouts, etc).
And yesterday, after a long day at work then a long evening of grocery shopping, I sat down to struggle with my boots (shoes have become quite the chore!) and he came over and took them off for me. It was so endearing and touching.
This is not to say we don’t still have our spats. We do, but a change in mentality goes a long way. Where before when he would snap at me when he became overwhelmed and stressed out by something stupid I did, and I might have lashed out in defense, now I try to take a submissive approach and let him calm down. And he always apologizes for snapping at me. And we always forgive each other, whether we say it outloud or not.
It’s not always easy taking the calm, submissive or passive approach, but with God’s help, when I do things always go much better. The rift is smoothed faster and better than the fight-it-out-then-let-time-heal-the-ugly-words-we-said approach. In addition, we usually learn something about each other and our love actually grows deeper for it.
So I’d say we’re on a good path to a happy home.
Unfortunately for most families, though, the submissive wife tactic has been banished as being demeaning to women. What so many fail to recognize is that it takes so much more strength to be submissive and supportive, than to be selfish. Sure I could lay into Eric with some ugly and hurtful words because he hurt my feelings, and in the past I have. And I probably will lose my temper again someday and do it again. But to actually take control of your own actions and words, control your anger and tongue, and remain calm when you want to throw a temper tantrum like a small child is much more difficult, but also more rewarding. Especially when the conflict is resolved so much faster, and the other person is truly sorry for hurting your feelings, and they in turn want to treat you even better because they have a new respect for you, that you earned instead of demanded. And it goes both ways.. I might crankily lay into Eric for something and when he doesn’t reciprocate I feel small instead of powerful, and he looks so much sweeter for not sinking to my level and all I want to do is apologize and hug him.
Research has shown that women feel loved when the man shows affection, and men feel loved when the woman respects him. When this all goes perfectly, the husband feels respected by his wife who is submitting to his authority (not abuse, authority and final decision making abilities) instead of arguing or second-guessing him, and the husband wants to show his love for his wife in gestures so she feels special and loved, and a reciprocal pattern is formed. Not surprisingly, this is all according to God’s plan.
I know with every fiber of my being that Eric is going to be with me forever, not only because he says it and shows it in his willingness to resolve every fight (no matter how bad, as they have been very very bad in the past), but also because I know his beliefs and values.
We’re far from perfect, but what we have is perfect to me. We’re best friends and truly enjoy each other’s company, and my hope is that our baby learns how to behave like a rational and loving person from us, and we don’t unleash another monster into the world, as it seems there are enough of those already.
I know Eric’s going to be a great dad, because he’s already a great husband.