I married in a lavish wedding in 2005, I was 33. I married my husband because he was my rock, someone trustworthy, generous, and totally devoted to me...
Things were picture perfect.
He was so romantic and would whisk me away for weekends in Sydney and take me for dinner at any opportunity. About 6 months into our marriage, I became pregnant, we were so excited to have a baby!! All my dreams were coming true!!
6 months after my first child was born our family became blended. I was so excited and thought we could all be happy. In reality, it was difficult.
And then life happened.
Being a new mum with a baby I quickly began to spend my entire life looking after family, leaving little time for myself. My stepchildren were becoming teenagers, and with teenagers came challenges. Although they were incredibly helpful with my children and were great kids, I had no idea how to be a parent to them.
I felt alone, scared and a total failure.
18 months later our second child was born. During my second baby’s first few years I started to feel increasingly desperate. Even though I loved parenting, I became exhausted, depleted, angry and depressed. To survive I became like a robot, going through the motions.
‘I felt like a ‘shell’ of my former self. I didn’t know that the one thing that could help was to take time for myself. I felt alone, scared and a total failure.
Gradually, I turned into his mother.
My husband and I constantly argued about how to look after the children.
I constantly told him how he should parent, after all, I was a teacher, I had read all the textbooks so wasn’t I superior to him in this area? I criticized his every move, thinking that I was being ‘helpful’.
But I knew something wasn't right!
In my plight to improve our marriage, I read magazines and books that told me that you should work things out through communication and to be honest about things. I tried this, but it only seemed to make things worse. I would bring up some of my concerns with my husband and we would end up bickering and arguing, going around in circles.
I tried to "communicate"...
As the children got older I went on self-development courses to try to fix our marital problems. Maybe I could learn to do more, communicate better, be more considerate? I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. I was trying so hard! I blamed my husband. I constantly told him how he should be, act and parent. Why couldn’t he just do the things that I told him to do so that we could have a happy marriage and family?