My Wife’s name is Vicky and My name is Bradley. We have been married for 6 years. The first couple of years of marriage were fairly easy. We got married and two weeks later had to relocate for work. So it was just us which in the beginning was good, after a few years we added kids and then really started to miss our family and the “extra hands” they would be able to supply.

Two challenges that I am continually faced with as a father and a husband:

The hardest thing to learn is how to love your wife for how she wants to be loved without the influence of other past relationships. I had a tendency not to do something that I had done for a past girlfriend based on the fact they didn’t like it or they liked it too much. So, flowers were out from the beginning. Not a good way to start a relationship. What follows from that is not to give up trying to love and romance the wife, simply because she is yours. Your call is to love her.

Second hardest thing is as a father, I am blessed to have an awesome stay at home mom. Which means she is on kid duty most of the time, it becomes very easy to become disconnected and not actually do anything you should be doing. Just leaving it to the wife. This can cause some extra stress and also a disconnect between dad and kids, I need to constantly remind myself, to help the wife out, and intentionally make time for my kids. Quality and quantity is important. Just spending quality time with your kids an hour a week is unfair to your kids and to your wife.

[For a Marriage Year 8 post with specific relevance to parents, read Steve and Kristin Heineman’s account over here]