In response to Caryn’s question: Caryn and her husband just had their first child and are now struggling with connecting physically, emotionally and spiritually. Her final comment/question is: Is it possible to still be madly in love with your spouse and enjoy being parents?

Caryn, YES! Guess what’s next…WORK.

First things first. I think you need to slow down a bit, step back and let some things simmer down. I have not given birth (surprise) but my wife Carrie has three times. It is wonderful and can be very stressful. Hormones, no sleep, new things, things you don’t know how to work, no sleep, new financial opportunities:), who is going to wake up at 2:45 a.m., no sleep, hormones. A lot of Change!

There is also a ton of sweet sounds, holding a baby on your chest and taking a nap, watching them sleep, letting their little finger wrap around yours, watching their eyes open, emotionally and spiritually connecting with them, taking a nap with your baby on your chest (I know I already said that, but since I said no sleep a lot in the other paragraph, need to say how sweet those naps are).  A lot of Goodness.

Caryn, and others, during this time of wonderful, but massive change, we need not to become anxious, paranoid, or rush to judgments about one another. Certainly you and your husband are realizing that if you thought marriage took sacrifice, having a baby is like the ultimate mirror to reflect our selfishness.

“I am tired and I have to get sleep or I can’t do my job at work well.” “Well, I just gave birth to your son (daughter) and I have not slept for days and have this precious little one on my side 24/7 and I need help.”  Was it Mark Twain (not sure) that said, ‘this is why God gives children to the young.'”

I would suggest you and your husband find a few quiet minutes and share your honest, heartfelt feelings. Share with him your concern over your body and its changes. Share with him your sense of missing him, your tiredness and energy.  Share with him the sense of loss of losing your best friend and the separation you are feeling.  Share with him your desire for him and to not lose that intimacy and your willingness to fight for him.

For the husbands out there, intimacy will return. But, this is why it is called intimacy in marriage and not sex, because it requires courage, honesty, sacrifice, commitment. Then, when you each get a bit of rest, you have unselfishly helped each with the responsibilities in the home, and then you come together in intimacy, now you have something worth fighting for! Now that is two souls coming together, and not two bodies.

Caryn, pray for the conversation, offer the results to God (your husband may not respond perfectly to the first conversation) but be kind and wise about your timing, but be direct and courageous.

This is one of the forks in the road where as things get more complicated in marriage, we must fight diligently to “keep falling in love” with the best friend that we chose and God lead us to.

God is with you, be strong!