I am in many support groups on social media; groups for different things going on in my life; cleft lip and palate moms group, twin parents, congenital diaphragmatic hernia…I join these groups for support for things I am going through and although I love them a common thing I see is when times get hard usually marriages suffer!
With having two children at home and one in the hospital, Darrick and I have to be creative in keeping “us” together! When I say “us” I mean our marriage, being in stressful situations can take a toll on any relationship no matter how strong it may be. Sometimes you find yourselves arguing about stupid stuff…and really its only an argument because you both are stressed and tired.
Luckily, Darrick and I have found ways to keep our love going no matter how hard the situations may get. So I am going to share our secrets and things we have learned along the way while having children in the NICU…
I love this pic…it was a VERY stressful day, it was Darrick’s first surgery
and we were walking to get something to eat and my sister
captured this moment of us trying to keep each other strong…
Here is my list of things I have learned along the way…
~Always make Decisions TOGETHER…
When the Cardiologist called today to give us an update on Darrick, I put her on hold and called him on 3-Way so if there were any decisions to be made we made them together! No matter if I am at the hospital by myself I always say let me talk it over with my spouse and vice versa…unless its something that we have to make a decision on the spot
~ Hold Hands (Physical Touch)
Sometimes you don’t have the strength to talk about everything that is going on but a simple gesture such as holding hands or putting your arm around each other lets each other know you…I Love You! One of my love languages is physical touch…so I am all about holding hands, kissing, embracing, back rubs, or simply putting our arms around each other (now we aren’t doing all of that in the hospital but we do hug and hold hands and its our unspoken way of letting each other know we are in this together). I can’t remember if this is one of Darrick’s love languages but we are a very touchy feely couple…we even hold hands while riding in the car.
~Take Time Away
At least once a week we take a day/night off from the hospital. This is REALLY hard for me even though I call multiple times to check on Darrick. Sometimes we catch a quick bite to eat together, spend time with the other kids without distraction, walk to the mall and talk…it really doesn’t matter what we do as long as we are doing something to take our mind off of everything going on, even if its only for a few hours
Sometimes when we go to the hospital we pick up dinner there at one of the restaurants (not your average hospital food…they have actual restaurants), just so we can have “Darrick and Carissa” time. There are no distractions and we try to have a conversation that isn’t hospital or children related. Sometimes we sit and talk sports or I update him on the latest celebrity gossip or blogs I have recently read.
~Create Games with Each Other
This hospital we are in doesn’t have the good gift shops like the hospital did when Emma was there, however, that doesn’t stop us from having fun with each other. When ever one person goes to the gift shop and the other stays in the room we see who can buy the best candy, or snack to eat…or we surprise each other. Or sometimes we buy one snack and share it. For example…we both like the Chuckles candy but we only like certain colors so we always buy two packs and swap colors…
We also have a book of Logic Puzzles that we do together, it keeps us laughing and joking around with each other. Keeping each other laughing is big, especially during hard times!
I know everyone isn’t a believer…but we are and we strongly believe in the power of prayer. Take the time to pray together for whatever you are going through, pray for each other, pray for covering over your marriage…Pray for Everything!!! Even during hard times the devil still tries to sneak in, by staying prayed up you block him from entering your relationship or situation going on with your family.
How do you keep your marriage strong during stressful situations?