Marriage and Multiples
I thought it was about time to have a conversation about marriage. When I was pregnant we heard a lot of things, such as: couples with multiples have a higher divorce rate, on forums I heard people talking about splitting up, those who had already divorced, and those who were seriously considering it. It made no sense to me at all. I could not understand why having multiples would destroy a marriage.
Now after having the triplets I can see where this could happen. I have also seen though, how to help prevent this. My husband and I have the type of relationship that makes people sick. We have never really fought about anything. We know what they other is thinking/ about to say. I can say something like “You know that song I like, the one with the upbeat tune…” and he knows exactly what I am talking about and vise versa. We have this incredible chemistry between us. We would be the last couple anyone (who knows us) would expect to have any type of issues… Sleep deprivation can do strange things to people. See my husband is used to 8 hours of sleep at night. When the triplets came home we were lucky to get an hour here and there. I was so worn out and exhausted from being pregnant with them and recovering from their birth that sleep deprivation on top of that, was just too much. We were both exhausted and thus we would become snippy with each other over stupid things. Neither one of us was even really aware we were being snippy. It was strange, but there was a lot of hurt feelings from it. We quickly figured out what the issues were though. First, we were just really sleep deprived. Unfortunately there is not much you can do about that, except survive until they start sleeping longer stretches. My advice here is, sleep whenever you can. Try and do shifts if it is possible or split the children up between the two of you and rotate the children. This gives at least one parent the opportunity to get more sleep and the babies get some good one on one time. It seems like forever when all your days run together but the time fly’s by very quickly. The second thing I learned… communication is a must. Not just talking, but taking the time to really acknowledge each other and what the other is saying. When your getting snippy because your tired just say “I am just really exhausted. I don’t mean to sound snippy”. That at least signals your partner to not take what your saying personally. Also you need to talk about all the things your feeling. Even if it seems irrational or stupid, because those are the ones that usually stay and fester because we haven’t talked about them. I know my biggest one was: I would do everything in my power to make sure that Michael got more sleep, even if that meant I got none. I dealt with sleep deprivation a little better then he did since I was used to it from when I worked 3rds at the hospital. The point is though, I did this on my own. He never asked me to but after awhile I was jealous and somewhat upset. I was upset that his family was concerned about his lack of sleep, and in my head I was screaming “what about me? I sacrifice all my sleep so he can get some”. This was his family though, and they should be concerned about his lack of sleep. Like I said, this was something I just did, I was not asked to, but I started to get upset about it. Even angry at times. I just felt so unappreciated about the whole thing so I started getting really snippy. Not only was I sleep deprived but I was jealous too. After being nasty for a little while, we finally talked about it. I even told him it was irrational feelings, but they were my feelings all the same. I truly felt he heard what I was saying and feeling even if it was crazy. This made all the difference. Communication. You have to talk with your spouse about all the things you are feeling, otherwise you bottle it up and then it explodes. Another is finding time to connect with each other as a couple. This is really hard the first couple of months but it gets easier. You have to make time though. Even if you are crawling across the floor to bed because you are so tired, you need to try and get at least 10 mins of adult/ cuddle/ talk time. It can be so easy to get all caught up in the babies and start to slack on relationship maintenance. I know because even I am guilty of it. It is a must though. Yes you have children now. Yes they outnumber you. Yes you are so tired that just the thought of your pillow could send you to sleep. None the less though, you have to make time for each other. You have to find time to keep your relationship strong and to stay connected. You have to let the other person know how much they mean to you, how much you appreciate them, and that they are loved completely. It may sound silly but everyone needs to hear those things, especially when you are in survival mode. Also, make sure you are acknowledging and complimenting each other. This lets each of you know, the other sees the work your putting into this. They see what you may be giving up so they can have something (like sleep). They know that they are appreciated. Yes, these are your children and all of this is your job to do, but it is really nice to hear someone say “great job”. Acknowledge each other and what the other is doing. This really helps. It is easy to get so caught up in the survival mode of the first few months of multiples that your relationship with your spouse can start to slide. Bottled up feelings will start to come out in other ways, so talk about them no matter how irrational they can be. Be sure to communicate. Make sure you are thanking each other and complimenting each other. Make sure you are telling each other “I love you.”