In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we recently launched an Instagram call on dating and relationship questions from the W&D audience. Today, Joe and I are answering seven questions. We’re sharing our thoughts on topics like spending time with our partners after having kids, having serious conversations when dating someone new, and the advice we give our newlywed selves. .
We hope you enjoyed reading through our responses below and we hope you have a lovely Valentine’s Day, no matter how you choose to spend.
Want more? You can read our answers to Dating and relationship questions from last year here.
Q: How has your relationship changed over time?
Kate: I think we’ve softened, if you know what I mean? We argue less aggressively, more aggressively, and approach issues with a kind of calm that I can only call maturity. I think we also have to understand each other better. I consider his triggers my own, because they affect me, and there is a type of teamwork that comes with being mindful of his needs as well as mine.
Joe: Our relationship has grown as we have grown as individuals. Kate and I have been very mindful and deliberate about keeping our sense of self from the very beginning. In the past two years—with travel bans and often in our family group — we spent more time together than ever before. I’m relieved that we’ve proven to each other that we really enjoy spending time together and that our relationship has grown stronger. There are things she loves that I don’t like and things I love that she doesn’t like but in the end we love each other and our kids — that’s really all that matters.
Q: How do you make sure you have time to spend together after putting the kids to bed? I fainted.
Kate: We are doing it! Sometimes we will wake up early and find a suitable time, or we will find a moment when we both have time to go for a walk and talk while the kids are at school. It’s a little silver lining of that WFH/pandemic life, I guess!
Joe: A great question. Although I initially thought we would spend more time working from home together, we are both extremely busy with our jobs, so the day will pass without me seeing Kate. between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and once to work. In the end, we with the kids…
I’ll say that a few Fridays ago, we both had a clear schedule around 1pm, so we decided to go for a walk together, followed by sauna time, and it felt like a stay at our own home. I’m still amazed how meaningful two hours just together can be, with two kids taking up so much of our energy and bandwidth.
As for the time we spend together in the evening, until recently, I also fainted right after the kids were definitely asleep. I went alcohol free on January 1st and now I can stay up until 11pm or so. It unlocked extra hours to spend together that didn’t really exist before.
Q: Is it too early to have tough/serious conversations with someone new? I’m trying to find a balance between enjoying the moment and not wasting anyone’s time or forcing things.
Kate: Joe and I did it on our first date! I think we’ve dated a lot and we’re both relieved to be candid about what we’re looking for, why our previous relationships didn’t work out, and the breakers. broke our deal. I feel like if someone pulls out of a relationship because you’re vulnerable, that could be a red flag.
Joe: I’m probably the last person on the planet to answer this question, but you asked so I’ll answer. Within two hours of meeting Kate on our first day, I revealed a lot about my mental health history, past relationships, and the myriad things I’ve struggled with over the years. .
Although I didn’t know from the very beginning of our relationship where she came from or what she was ready for, I was self-aware that, for me, I wouldn’t go through the same things. Traditional date and gate that I have registered in the past. I knew within the first hour of our conversation that she was someone I wanted to see again and thought I should just put my cards on the table—namely, cards that were far from new. perfect, and that unintentionally sets the tone get us married nine months after that first date.
Q: What is your advice for living and working alongside your spouse during the two years of a pandemic?
Kate: We don’t always have that much time together, so my advice is to grab lunch together when possible or go for a walk to talk. Our work lives before the pandemic were very separate from our family lives, and I feel like we support each other’s careers better now that we have a chance to understand what the other does. all day.
Joe: We’re lucky with this house because we have ample space to live together and don’t see each other if we don’t want to. Personally, I’ve worked in every room in this house for the past two years because I like to change things up quite often to minimize the monotony that can develop in that WFH life.
Ultimately, we have a mutual respect for when to engage in conversation and when not to. By nature, I’m a talker – specifically with Kate. I’ll give her a thirty-minute essay on my day after hats off, and given my career in global marketing, there are obvious overlaps with what Kate does. I have developed an awareness of not “bringing work home” despite the fact that I work from our home. It’s really important to find topics to talk about that aren’t related to work, kids, or the pandemic…this can be difficult.
Q: How do you know you want to marry someone?
Kate: I don’t think you ever really know 100%. I think the better you know yourself, the better choices you will make that will lead to a happy and fulfilling marriage. I must note that my definition of a happy marriage includes difficult seasons and significant setbacks that require renewed commitment time and time again. That’s part of what makes it such a deeply connected. This is not a choice that fits everyone’s personality or values, and I respect that! Joe and I discussed the kind of marriage we planned to do before we got married, which is still burning in my mind. I recommend it to anyone I know who is ready to take the leap.
Joe and I discussed the kind of marriage we planned to do before we got married, which is still burning in my mind. I recommend it to anyone I know who is ready to take the leap.
Joe: I know I want to marry Kate when she goes to Europe for ten days and I miss her. Everything was great when we were dating and seeing each other every day, but when she got on the plane and I didn’t see her for those ten days, I knew that I didn’t want another ten-day period. . hers. She had such an impact on me that when she left, my life seemed fine, but I found the rhythm and my growing love for Kate was interrupted when she left. . If my memory matches mine, I told her that when she returned from her trip and we started casually talking about what marriage would be like.
Q: How can I support my wife after my 2nd baby comes home and life 2 under 2 starts?
Kate: Do the things you know she needs to do without asking or expecting praise.
Joe: You can learn from my mistakes. I (incorrectly) assumed that if I took 100% of our first birth, that would allow Kate to simplify and focus on our second. I didn’t realize that Kate, it was true, didn’t want to spend just our second; She also wants to hang out with her son (duh, right?).
So I recommend you pay attention to the things that prevent your wife from being herself. Is she washing the bottle? You can do it. Is she struggling to see herself as the mother of not one but two kids? Find some help and send her to a cottage where she can sleep in silence without the threat of a midnight session with either of the kids. Also, give her space. It was an adjustment to bring in another human being. While I think I helped with being publicly available to talk or handle things, I find that with Kate, any time alone does whatever she needs to do to continue. is someone she is extremely beneficial to.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would give to the “newly married” version of yourself?
Kate: You will love more deeply as time goes on. No two relationships are alike, so learn unwanted stories or advice others might tell you and never underestimate the trust you have in yourself (and Your INTELLIGENCE!) To get through tough times.
Joe: I would tell myself to slow down and pay more attention. Looking back, Kate and I had two years of marriage without children, and while we traveled, watched Netflix, went out to dinner, and various social events, I wish we’d spent more time. than each other at home. We both travel so much that when we find ourselves at home together, we often entertain other couples or fill our social calendars with other people. Now that I think about it, having had a baby for five and a half years, those first years were an incredible opportunity to find ourselves together physically and mentally — just the two of us.