Marriage and parenting: Two full-time jobs with no monetary benefit. You may enter the institution with a girlfriend, hot sex life, and plenty of time to concentrate on each other, only to find yourself later with a new roommate — your child — and suddenly no time, energy, or effort towards anything, or anyone, else.
So how do we balance potty training, PTA meetings, and consistent adult play? (I should have led with the latter.) I tuned into the Married While Parenting panel at the 2019 Black Love Summit with Codie Elaine Oliver, Kenny & Jessica Burns, and Egypt Sherrod & DJ Fadelf to find out. From disciplining children to a shelfed sex life to lingering on the edge of divorce, these couples held nothing back when it comes to that juggle of the babies and the bae.
You must be friends.
We underestimate the power of a foundation of friendship, but that is what these married couples stood upon when intimacy took a backseat to caring for children and the household. One of the major shifts in the marriage relationship after having children is the inability to have uninhibited sex with your partner. “We’re sneaking to have sex…and in the weirdest places, and then there are knocks on the door,” Egypt said drawing near DJ Fadelf as they joked about the kids’ intrusion. “That’s when you realize you have to be friends so you can laugh at those moments.”
DJ Fadelf and Egypt were also open about the events that nearly led to the couple permanently parting ways — Egypt’s struggle with postpartum depression.
“I didn’t realize I had become a monster,” Egypt shared.
“We stopped being friends,” DJ Fadelf recalled. “What’s going wrong? What are we doing that’s not right? I knew this was the woman I wanted in my life forever, so I had to discover what we needed to do to get past it.”
DJ Fadelf wanted his friend back as much as his wife, and the two worked together to repair the relationship.
Ask for help.
Why is it that men and women hold back from discussing their needs with their partners, yet are incredibly critical when he or she fails to meet their unacknowledged (and unspoken) desires? These couples didn’t force each other to read between the lines.