The other night, getting ready for supper, my husband and I were in the kitchen having a discussion about something I was feeling a bit frustrated with regarding our relationship and we were talking about it. My daughters were around doing their thing when out of nowhere my 7 year old says,’mom and dad, stop fighting!’ ‘We’re not fighting’, we told her, because really we weren’t. ‘We’re just talking about something.’ She then said, ‘well, don’t fight. We don’t like to see you fighting.’
I’m not sure where this was coming from as it’s really not like my husband and I are always fighting. In fact, we’re pretty solid at the moment and have actually been very loving and affectionate ( it’s those date nights, I tell you!) but the point is, I just don’t know where that came from.
Later that night, while lying with my daughter before going to sleep, I asked her, why did you say mom and dad mustn’t fight? We weren’t fighting but if we were, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You and G ( her sister) fight and you still love each other. Mom and dad also get irritated with each other sometimes, so we might fight. But the important thing is that we always try work out whatever it is we’re fighting about.’
Her answer to my question was, ‘I don’t want you to marry other people’.
My daughter is at that age where she really sees what’s going on around her and is starting to realise that any given situation could relate to her as well. Coming from divorced families, ( between my husband’s and my parents, there have been a few marriages and divorces) we’ve been talking about this topic of getting divorced and remarried and what that means because when I try explain who’s who in the family, what’s a step sister, a step mother, this is what’s involved. So, what do I say to my daughter? I am the kind of person where a promise is sacred to me. I don’t promise something unless I know I can keep it. So I can’t promise my daughter that this will never happen. Because I don’t really know that. If life has taught me one thing, it’s that we really don’t know anything for sure. Not to be morbid, but there are too many things beyond my control that could happen for me to make that promise to her. But what I do tell her is that mom and dad don’t want to marry anyone else. We love each other and we want to be together. That’s why it’s important that we have our time together. That’s why we like going out together. Because that helps us to love each other and stay married to each other.
And in that moment, I realised just how vital these date nights are and how happy I am that we have committed to them. Not only to keep us connected but to show our children that mom and dad love each other enough to want to spend time together. Because we think we’re worth it. Because we want to stay married to each other. Because we love each other. Because we are committed to this. Our marriage. Ourselves. Our family.