marriage before a baby


This subject has been on my mind a lot lately. Like, a LOT a lot. I remember the days when my blog was filled with dorky posts dedicated to Dale and how awesome he is?

How many of those have I had since we had a baby?
zilch. ya. I know.

Do you realize how much your marriage changes once you have a baby? Maybe it didn't change for you, and if you say that...well, I probably won't believe you. But it was one of the things that stopped me from having a baby for a while: I was scared my marriage would go downhill and we would have no romance or anything remotely spontaneous in our marriage. You see and hear that everywhere, you know? I just didn't want that to happen to us.

So I've just been thinking:
Marriage is a funny thing, right?

When we were dating, our dating was full of fireworks and passion. We clicked instantly, and we were totally enamored with each other. We were IN LOVE (isn't everyone?).

For quite a while we had a long distance relationship, full of sweet and funny emails, and long make-out sessions whenever we could (ya. we were that couple). We made trips to see each other A LOT, and spent every second we could together.

Our relationship was just really passionate. We bore our souls, had really deep talks, and couldn't keep our hands off of each other (ew, right?). When we fought, we fought hard. When we got over it, we loved even harder. When he told me he loved me (after many many faltering tries on a pier in San Diego), my heart grew ten times. I just couldn't believe that my future was unfolding right in front of me, and that it was just so good. I had never expected it.

Dale was my dream. He was the boy I had been in love with since my Freshman year of high school. Anytime a "what if" came up, Dale Beard was always the answer. Did I think anything would come of it? No. But when it did, I held on tight and was ridiculously, head over heels perfectly in love with everything about the guy. He was funny. He could keep up with my sarcasm and give it right back to me. He was the most romantic man I had ever met. He was the most thoughtful and sincere man I had ever met. He was the most helpful, hardworking, sensitive man I had ever met. And all of that came packaged in a big, broad-shouldered man of a man with beautiful eyes and the most charming smile you'd ever see. He was the real deal.
How did I get so lucky?

Dating was amazing, but hard for many different personal reasons. We had lots of doubts, hard things to overcome and maturing to do. We dated for over a year before getting married, and we thought we knew each other pretty dang well. We had had some major ups and downs, and had come through it all with our love fully intact and as strong as ever.

But then:

Our first year of marriage was hard. Due to stupid birth control and my crazy cray-cray hormones, both of our stubborness and unwillingness to communicate, compromise or say I'm sorry, it was a leeeeetle rough. Change is hard, and I'll be the first one to admit that most of the problems were my hard-headed, prideful fault. I AM Armenian after all, as that seems to be our signature quality.

Among other things,
We learned that physical attraction isn't all that matters.
We learned that you can't just date to get married, and then not date after.
We learned that apologizing goes a long way.
We learned that you can't compare your marriage or any other aspect of your marriage to what others may say or portray (
We learned to learn what we had, and then run with it.

The biggest thing I learned?
Well, I learned to never compare, ever.

Marriage is not like you see in the movies.
Sex is not like you see in the movies (how do they always get back in their lingerie after?)
Your husband is not always as romantic as you see in the movies.

They really do stink up the bathroom, leave band aids on the floor, leave the toilet seat up and fart. They don't always wear cologne and they don't always dress up for you and they don't always get you presents or flowers. They don't always send you sweet, lovey dovey emails and they don't always want to make out with you.

In other words: never compare your future life to a chick flick.
It rarely turns out as perfectly pristine as they say.

Now, that's not to say that your marriage can't be full of life and romance and sponteniety and fun. But movies rarely show the late nights, the budget worries, the school all day and all the other stresses that come with merging two lives together.

It's hard, and even the best falter.

Eventually, Dale and I got over that first part of marriage. We learned so much and grew into each other. When we moved to California with nothing but ourselves and a U-haul full of crap, we realized that life happened. We were on our own, and there was no one to turn to but each other.

And we did exactly that. It was a hard adjustment, and it took a lot of work and discussion. But when it happened, it changed us. Our relationship was on a whole new level. We had fun together. We served each other constantly. We focused on our relationship and how to make ourselves better. We realized this fresh start in this new place, and we both worked together to become the people, the friends, and the spouses we always wanted to be.

That second year will go down in my marriage history as my first favorite. I have never had so much fulfilling love and fun in my life as I did with Dale that year. We made ourselves into people we wanted to be, and our marriage was the

So after much fun and deliberation, we decided we wanted to try for a baby. And it happened fast. Those 9 months were a blur of excitement, nerves and longing for the future, but aching for the simple past of just each other and our freedom. But, we were so excited to start this new chapter in our lives.

Before our baby came, I read something in a book that said we really should center the baby into our lives/relationship; not center our relationship around the new baby. That WE should be the priority, and the baby would be welcomed into our strong relationship.

I was so on board with that. Our whole marriage, Dale and I had worked really hard at always being affectionate, even if it was a little overboard. Our families always teased us about PDA, and that we should "get a room". We wanted to be that couple that, even in their 40's, would still be always holding hands, flirty, opening doors, and being that twitterpated, 20-something in love that we were at the beginning.

Dale and I promised each other that the baby wouldn't change us. That WE would always be strong. We would be the same, and do the same things and try just as hard to do things for each other as we had always done. We would be the primary focus of each other, and the baby would be the welcome addition to our family.

And then my sweet Viv came into our lives, and rocked it.

marriage after a baby to be continued....'s that deepness for a Monday? I'm a little embarrassed I wrote this....but...what can ya do. Have any of you guys every felt this way, kids or not?


  1. i really enjoyed this post. i just really like your honesty. and its so great to hear about how you guys worked so hard to better your marriage and it worked. so happy! I'm interested to see your next post because I'm currently pregnant and anxious to see how much life will change, including my relationship with my husband. ha!

  2. Glad you wrote this post too. I think all marriages have similar ups and downs and I can definitely relate to some of the changes that your relationship went through. My first year was rough too. I love your writing and all of your pictures. You guys are an awesome couple.

  3. You are amazing my friend! You two are such a great couple and you being honest about how real relationships should be is so refreshing! If I know of anyone getting married I'm sending them to this post because you are real! I can't wait to read the rest! Kids do bring a whole dimension to a marriage. Haha love ya girl!

  4. I loved this post too elyse! Really, you're an inspiring writer along with an inspiring person. I really love reading your blog. I agree! In excited for your next post!

  5. been there done that! Can't wait to read the second half of this post!

  6. I absolutely loved loved loved this post. Because I can relate to every word.... Up to the whole having a baby part...cause we haven't done that yet. We're just coming up on our second anniversary next month. Anyway, don't feel embarrassed because if I didn't know any better, I would have thought I wrote this with how similar it is to my thoughts. I'm excited for part two

  7. i cannot wait to read the next post.

    and this post made me so happy becuase we are expecting our first baby and i do worry about how it will change our marriage and relationship. but this has reassured me so much and love the idea that we are the priority and the baby will be welcomed into our strong relationship.

  8. Yes I can totally relate, and your shouldn't be embarrassed. You are so good at writing. I can't wait to read the next part!

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  10. Love this post. Your honesty and willingness to share wins EVERY time. I love how you talked about the expectations of marriage and comparing your relationships... true words right there. Anyway, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for part 2 because hey, I got to know what to expect!

  11. Awesome Post! So true and I loved everything you had to say. And I agree, although every relationship is different, EVERYONE goes through ups and downs, trials and joys. Love your honestly, no need to feel embarrassed. You guys are awesome!

  12. i loved the honesty of this post! i've been married just 8 months now (but we've been together 5 yrs), and it's definitely not always smooth's nice to see someone post a real post about marriage (not just sugar coated!). i'm interested to read part two! we will probably start trying for a baby next fall...i definitely have baby fever! :)



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