When Twins Strain A Marriage. The Facts & Ways To Help Keep It Together. (The Terrible Twos Have Been Testing Us Again.)
When Twins Strain A Marriage. The Facts & Ways To Help Keep It Together.
(The Terrible Twos Have Been Testing Us Again.)
My Friday the 13th twinsies are 28 months, 1 week, and 4 days old.
Becoming a parent for the 1st or the 10th time is a beautiful thing.There is joy, there are tears, there are memories to be made and to be cherished. There are also times of great stress and even marital discord. Yes, children can test the strength of even the strongest of relationships, and I know this firsthand.
Not to scare anybody who may be pregnant with multiples now, but to simply keep it real, and hope this will help some couples out. Simply, it’s just fact that adding more than one baby to your home at a time adds to the strain. (Of course, it adds joy to, but there are times where things can get rough.)
Lack of sleep, money problems, and raging hormones can add to the tension, undoubtedly. I am not immune to any of this. Sometimes things are sailing smoothly, and sometimes me and my husband slip off the same page altogether and there is resentment and frustration between us.
They say if you don’t argue in a relationship then there is a problem because you aren’t communicating. But saying vicious things that are hurtful, which is easy to do when you are exhausted and frazzled, is detrimental. Words can’t be taken back whether meant or not, and I also learned this for myself.
How to combat the stressed-out, vicious tongue
Step away from the situation
I have said things to my husband that I don’t mean, I don’t realize I am even saying, and when he is upset I have no clue why, maybe not even remembering what it was that I said. The house is usually in an uproar and stress levels running high when this takes place.
Before harsh words are spoken walk away from your partner, walk away from the stress, and get some air. Go outside and take some deep breaths. Go onto another floor of your home and check your email and Facebook page. (As long as someone is with the children, of course.)
This few minutes of self-therapy I call it will help you re-coop and avoid saying things that can not be taken back. It’s important when returning into a situation to not hold grudges and to talk it out calmly..not to internalize your feelings.
**Side note: It’s always best to not argue in front of the children. I grew up with a lot of that. It’s almost all I remember so I try very hard, but I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that it happens once in awhile. You have to realize what’s going on, shut it off, but don’t forget to talk it out later if you can’t get away right then and there. Keep that tongue under check.**
When adding multiples to your home there will be changes
1) Changes in your own lifestyle
a) Coming and going with ease
b) Weekly date nights
c) Visiting the gym regularly
d) 8 hours of sleep or close to it
e) Frequent vacations
f) More money to mess around with
The lives of other siblings
a) Jealousy towards the new babies
b) Less one on one time with you
c) Changes in their activities, play date schedules, etc.
d) Acting our for attention
This can be one of the most taxing thing about bringing twins into your home. If twins are your 1st children, I believe, you definitely have the advantage. (This is my opinion having been through, and sometimes still going through, the hell and the guilt of sibling jealousy myself.) I know in the future everyone is better off, but it still gets hard 2 years later.
And you have to realize if you are a woman, that there is a big change in the life of your husband or partner that is contributing to the stress inside of his own self, unless you start out in the upper class to begin with that is. Men worry about MONEY!
They are supposed to be the breadwinners and the reality of having to handle the expenses of two new children is very taxing on a man, though he may never let you know about this. Be compassionate to this plight whether he shares about it or not. He may not voice this to you just know… no, it isn’t you, it’s not that he doesn’t love his new children, etc. etc. It’s a normal concern, especially with multiples on their way or in your home.
Now some may say the opposite, but now that we are in the terrible twos I find stress levels between me and my husband have risen tremendously. A lot of multiple moms will swear those first months are the worst for that because of the exhaustion, but I am revisiting exhaustion as is my husband now in the twos again, so who knows?
The twins are crazy full of energy. There is no more napping, so no breaks. You have to figure out what your parenting stances are at this point and be together as a team with how you parent. Know what consequences of bad behavior will be and agree with one another. Like anything else some compromise will be made by all parties. Consistency is key!
Right now it’s all day running around, chasing diaper-less bottoms trying to get them back into diapers, getting tots off of tables and out of everything. I’d be lying if I said it was easier now then it used to be. For some, depending on the duo, maybe it is for them. But here, tensions are running their highest.
How to keep the marriage in one piece with toddler twins?
Reduce stress by:
1) Giving your partner a break sometimes
Mom take the kids to the park for a few hours, visit the pool, something. I realize now that I would much rather be out with the twins then stuck in the house with them. That is where most of the tension is because they are wilder at home. Some kids are the opposite, but regardless, do what I say and get the children out so your husband can rest or just be alone for awhile, especially if he works nights or is a stay at home dad and not at work all day. He’ll be a happier person.
One good hand definitely deserves another for stay at home moms and working moms, but most especially ones that are with the kids 24-7. We need our sanity breaks. Husbands let your wives have a lunch date with a friend, go lie on the beach for a few hours ALONE, visit the gym, or do whatever it is that detoxes the stress and brings mom back home with a smile and some regenerated energy. Allow her to sleep in sometimes to. Sleep makes for a happier mom (and dad to.)
2) Staying on the same page on parenting beliefs
This can honestly make or break a marriage. A friend of ours with 12 year old triplets who made it this far I can’t believe it, are divorcing now to my great surprise. He confided in us that this was the reason. They were never on the same page about how to discipline and just bucked each other on how they were raising their children.
Optimally this is something to discuss prior to having children, but it’s not always possible. Even if the kids are already here take some time to talk to your partner. Tell him how you feel about certain things he may do or believe in that bother you, and let him voice himself to you as well. Find a way to compromise and come to an agreement on things.
Coming from an unhappy home, inconsistency was the worst on us kids. Rules were forever changing, boundaries never made clear, and things just were night and day..never the same. That was very confusing and hard for us. Kids need stability and kids need security. There needs to be rules and there needs to be consequences for bad actions and behaviors. However, parents can’t be forever bucking one another on these things.
Sit down, write a list out if need be, and discuss your parenting beliefs and his, and get on the same page or things won’t be pretty as time goes on. I find this aspect of things only gets harder over time, as is shown in the case of our dear friend with triplets.
3) Never stop talking
Once you stop communicating with your partner the relationship is dead. That is just how I feel about it. Both sides have to be open, honest, and willing to talk and talk whenever needed. Sometimes it’s impossible in front of the kids, but you need to have time at some point to either sneak away from he room, get away from the environment and call on help if need be, or schedule a time to speak to one another. Parenting is hard work. Keeping the relationship on the up and up while parenting is even harder.
Don’t ever do this!
Talking about the kids in front of the kids is really not the best thing to do. When multiples arrive and grow time gets scarce, but it’s not an option on whether to communicate and frequently with your partner. It’s an absolute must!! No doubt about it. My husband might say I voice myself a little too much. This is good though.
I never hide how I am feeling, what I am thinking, or bury things inside. I used to do that and it just tears you up inside in every aspect of life. You have to get your feelings out through words..ALWAYS! Just do it in a proper way and in a proper setting.
4) Get the heck out as a couple
No matter how hard it is, you must, must, MUST have some one on one time together. It’s not an option really. Not only is it the best time to talk candidly and openly with one another, but it gives you a chance to:
a) Remember why you fell in love
b) Recapture the romance
c) Get away from the stress of life and de-tox if you will
d) Be sexually intimate
which may, for awhile, be less often with multiples in your home then it once was..with any children really, but is very important. Reconnect as a couple and have some terrific sex without fears of pounding on doors, or screaming babies ruining the mood.
So in conclusion, do twins and higher order multiples put strain on a marriage? All children do, but yes..it does compound it, however, fear not, if you listen to what I’ve written in this lengthy article, really work hard as a couple to get through the tough times, weather the storm, and never be afraid to call on help when needed, you will make it through and the good times will far outweigh the bad.
Watch your words
Take a break
Give one another a break
Fall in love again
Keep the intimacy alive
You will make it through the rain if you stay a team ALWAYS!!
(From the start to the finish.)
We love to laugh at the new and funny things the twins say and do. We love to watch them play and enjoy life. These are the moments that need to supersede all. One day the hardships will become but a memory. I remind myself of that every day when they do something crazy or are running a muck making me want to pull my hair out.
There’s twinsanity, yes…
But there is also some of this…
And that is beautiful!
Yes, toddler twins are no walk in the park, but there are incredible moments and memories involved. When you allow the good to outweigh the bad, and hold the hand of your partner tightly..you will always survive.
”If kids weren’t worth it, we wouldn’t keep having them. Though a lot of hard work, children are always life’s greatest blessings. Never lose sight of their value, nor yours.” – Mama P.
Good luck my friends!