How to Reconnect Your Relationship After Kids with Kiri Honey
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have with me the amazing Kiri Honey, and she is the CEO of Kiri Honey Limited. So welcome.
I’m really excited to talk about this topic, and it’s something that we actually haven’t really ever talked about on this show before, which is, it’s hard to find a topic like that.
So today we’re gonna talk about how to reconnect your relationship after having kids. And you can go ahead and tell the audience about you and you know about how you got into helping couples.
Exactly three years to the day of this recording, which is March 25th, my life changed forever. I was at home with my son, who was five months old at the time. My daughter was at a local playgroup with some friends.
My husband came home unexpectedly. It’s 10 o’clock in the morning. I was excited at first, like, Why is he here? Yay. And then it dropped to fear because he had this look on his face and I knew something was wrong.
He came up to me, I was folding, and washing on the couch. He came up to me, dropped to his knees, and said, I did something and my heart dropped. I was like, What? What did you do? What happened? He said, I was with someone and I was in shock. I like it, he was crying.
I was like, Again, like just, I don’t even know how to respond to that. This was completely out of the blue. A hundred percent was unexpected. Something I like. Yeah. I never expected this from him. I just started crying and I didn’t understand.
And to give a little more context, three days before this, I had been diagnosed with postnatal depression quite severely. And although I can’t. My husband would not have told me this at this time if he hadn’t been blackmailed into it. Wow.
So that’s a whole other interesting part of the story. So basically what happened from there, I decided to take the kids away. To be honest, I don’t even know why. I feel like it was. Like I was expected to do that. This is the normal response when somebody tells you this, you leave.
I went and stayed with a friend for a night and because life was not easy with two little kids and depression and this news, it was like, Two in the morning, I was at a friend’s house. Everyone was screaming, No.
It was not a fun time for anybody. I called my husband and I said, You need to get over here. You need to help me fix this. And that morning I basically decided that I had a choice. I could either let this moment, this realization. Whatever happened, it could either define me or it could destroy my relationship.
I could, yeah, I could let this be the end or I could choose to work through it. And it was in that 24 hours after this all came out that we did, we decided we were gonna make it work and we worked really hard at it. And we did. And we have. The best marriage now is much better even than it was before the kids.
That is what I now do with other moms. I don’t necessarily have to have gone through the same drama as me. I do work with. With moms who have dealt with infidelity and who do want to make it work, but also just how important it is to reconnect because the dynamics change so much when kids come into the picture.
And we forget. We forget how important it is in our relationship, we just don’t prioritize it, and it’s so easy to take each other for granted and to forget. Actually, if it weren’t for those two people, there wouldn’t be any. At all.
And it’s like you also forget about who that person was beforehand. My husband and I were just talking about that last night. We brought, he brought up, I don’t know, one of us brought up something and I was like, Oh yeah. And he’s Oh yeah, it’ll be like before we had kids, Oh, I think it was our daughter, our third daughter going to kindergarten in the fall.
I was like, we can actually have. Date days, like during the day when all three of our kids are in school. And he was like, Oh yeah, it’ll be like before we had kids. I remember you back then.
And we. We were like, we prioritized each other. We had fun, we enjoyed doing things. And then the kids come in where we’re like.
Yes, exactly. And it’s who are you again? You’re like the dad, right? It’s like you only know them as the dad now, so it’s hard. So what can we do to overcome those changes in relationships and make that reconnection again?
The main thing that I found was very much looking within like you have. No control over anyone else, kids, husbands, nobody except yourself. And I like, as I said, I made the choice that I was going to make this work. My husband also wanted to make this work, so that helps. But I was, it’s so easy to blame as well.
Like it’s especially when there’s infidelity because how dare you to do this to me, Like all of that. But what I did was I looked within and the role that I played in this, and I do talk. The 10 mistakes that I made that led to the unraveling of my marriage and it’s in that really looking within that you can make the changes and be able to move forward.
Would you like me to share what those 10 things are? So number one is the expectation. That my husband should be there for me no matter what. And to expand on that a little bit, at the time, I was only sharing the negatives. I have never seen anything like these great things I did today with the kids or any of that.
I would only say, Oh, I’m so tired. Oh, these kids are hard, all of that, which doesn’t really put out very nice energy to come home to. I would also, so the number two is I would say things like, what do you know? So I wouldn’t hear my husband out and what he had to say about parenting, about any of the issues that I was having and the struggles.
It’s in his nature to try and fix things, but I would not let him. So I would talk to anyone else but him. There’s also that common saying, happy wife, happy life, which I believe has caused a lot of my, inner expectations, of what a relationship would look like. And the reality is that it has. Not his job to make me happy. And he is his own person and I am my own person, and we have to navigate our way around that.
Yeah, I think that’s one of the things that becomes really difficult when you get married, is that your lives are so intertwined that you lose a little bit of your identity and then you realize like, after a while, I am still the same person. And then you I feel like you come out of it at some point if you realize it, right?
Yeah. and it’s really about. I guess I’ll get to that stage sooner. So that you don’t have to go through all the trauma to get you there. The fourth thing that I was doing was I was treating intimacy as another thing on the to-do list.
I made this assumption that we had a great sex life because I would let him, do his thing without. Eh, I don’t really have to be enjoying it. Meh. But if you think of it from his perspective, that doesn’t seem great.
It’s No, that’s not really the, I’m not really keen on that. And then the fifth thing is an expectation like we’ve been together for 12 years, he should know. I was shutting all over the situation. So yeah. All these things that I expected he should be doing. Without actually communicating any of it.
Number six, he should know how to apologize. I always felt He would never take responsibility for his actions. Basically, he would apologize for making me upset or for the way that I reacted to what he was saying, but never to the actual thing. And so again, that was like this expectation and it would just blow things out rather than actually communicating these things with him.
Number seven, he should know what I need to feel loved. So for us and I don’t know about you Amanda if you know your love language, but when we figured that out, it was like a massive game changer for us.
And if you’re listening and you have no idea what that is, you can do There’s a free quiz online where you can go, you can just Google your five love languages and figure out which one you are.
I do know mine. Mine is definitely a quality time and my husband is an act of service.
Mine is an act of service. And so when I realized that if he just helped fold the washing, I was like, Oh yes,
Yes, you’ve made my entire week with one like folding three T-shirts. It’s amazing. Yeah, it’s so true though. It’s so weird that it’s like something that insignificant can make that big of an impact, but you’re right.
And when awareness is like a massive deal here. So once you know that and you can communicate and you figure out what the things are that actually make you feel loved, And you can communicate that with your partner. It’s a real game-changer.
Number eight was why doesn’t he, So things like blame come into this like, Why doesn’t he take the rubbish out? Why do I have to keep asking him to do that? Why doesn’t he fold the washing when he knows?
Number nine was about holding him accountable. And what I mean by this is because he did have an affair, it would be so easy to bring it up. All the time. And that is not the way to do it. So if you’re actually genuine about wanting to move forward and make things better, then you have to not bring it up.
Like it’s okay to acknowledge that certain things are still traumatic for you. This brings up some like I’m not ready to talk about that, or, that’s still affected me. Yeah, but you don’t use it like, A weapon. You did this yeah.
I can see that. Hold it against you forever. That’s another form of blackmail, right?
And it’s not conducive to a healthy relationship. And then the last thing that I was doing was I was not picking an appropriate time. Communicating or the idea of just not saying anything, which is another strategy. So I have a habit of saying things off the cuff, like, and not biding my time
It’s important to say the things that you feel, but it’s also important to say I’m at an appropriate time where you’re both in a space to. Listen and hear each other. So those are the 10 mistakes that I made, and those are the things that I continue to work on. Every day.
That’s awesome. So I have a few questions. The first question is, do you feel like it? There are any mistakes that your husband was making at the same time, not including the infidelity, that could have contributed to that as well?
Absolutely. We are both responsible for the events that took place. And we both have to be accountable. To that. But the thing that I focus on is that I work specifically with moms because it is so empowering when you take responsibility for these things when you stop blaming others when you stop expecting others to react or do things in a certain way. Because of you. You have no control.
That makes total sense. What would you say to someone who is in a position where they have been the, I don’t know, what if, what you call it, the victim of infidelity? I don’t know, that’s like a weird word to use, but their spouse has been unfaithful.
How do they make that decision as to whether or not to stay and try to work it out or just say no? Is there a, like an easy guideline or do I know there’s not? I’m asking this to bait you into giving us some more input into how you made that decision. How did you make that decision?
It was really just a gut decision, like an intuitive decision I could feel. Deep down like that, he wanted it to work like that. We both still wanted this to work. That, this was a moment, like a, just a weak moment because of the circumstances that we were in and everything that was happening.
It’s not. It’s not something he went out seeking, because if things had been, If things had been good at home, then there wouldn’t have been room for it. I very much believe in trusting your inner knowing. And what you are willing to put up with basically because I mean there’s all different levels of what happens.
And every situation is different. So there’s no real answer for everyone. So again, it comes back to that, that you’ve got a choice and you’ve got control over your own actions, nobody else’s. If you are doing all the things that you want to be seeing in your relationship, and you’re still not getting the results, then that may be where you start to question it.
But that makes sense. Yeah. But I do want the message out there that there is hope, and you can make it. After, any number of things happen. I do feel that we’re all capable of terrible things as much as we don’t want to admit it, but given the right circumstances, we’re all capable, which means we’re all capable of the opposite as well, which is experiencing love.
Another question that I have is, Do you feel like your relationship would be at the same strength had that not happened?
No. So as horrendous as it was to go through that, I am grateful for it because I have no idea where my relationship would be had I not gone through that. We would still be, we would either still be arguing all the time and being in a negative place.
Or worse. So that big moment is the life-changing moment that led our relationship to. Be the best it’s ever been to save our family and also what brought me into this business.
That’s awesome. What can we do then after? Either something like this happens, or e probably especially after kids for this audience, because pretty much the entire audience is listening, has children. So we wanna figure out what are those things that we can do to reconnect. Or is it those 10 things that we should work on in order to improve that connection and intimacy and just strengthen our relationship?
I think the first thing is to really, Figure out what you want, and get really clear on it. Because if you want more love, if you want to feel like a team with your partner, if you want to feel heard and understood and respected and all those things.
Which everyone wants, right? I don’t know anyone that doesn’t want those things.
But you’ve gotta, but you’ve gotta get really clear on it and what that looks like and what you are doing to ensure you have those things. So if you want to be treated with love and respect by your partner, are you treating them? With love and respect and what does that look like for you and what does that look like for them?
So that is a great place to start, and I am an absolute believer, and it’s not just because I do this as a business, but by getting support because we should not be doing this alone. We definitely got help. Like I had, I saw a therapist on my own and we went to couples therapy together because we had all this trauma, to overcome.
But working with someone is just absolutely a game changer, and it makes it clear that you are not alone because like you said at the very start, there aren’t many people talking about this because it’s still like it’s very taboo to talk.
It’s also taboo to talk about getting therapy or seeking help because there’s this expectation that we should be able to do it on our own, that you know, that if I need help, then I’m obviously failing at life and at motherhood and there’s all that guilt that comes in and yes, it’s just this massive, nasty cycle of unpleasantness.
When it doesn’t have to be that way. You can have joy, you can have a great relationship. You can get the help you need and you can enjoy it. What you want. A lot quicker than suffering alone in silence. Taking the long road, which possibly. And divorce.
Yeah, exactly. And I love that you bring that up because I think that there are, there’s some, at least I know I’ve had thoughts about it before okay, if you’re not going to be faithful, then you should just get a divorce, like beforehand, right?
And like I have many people in my inner circle who’ve all experienced this. Like it’s just, I think it’s just something that happens, I don’t know if it’s just our generation or what, like I have seen it and I’ve seen various different reactions.
Like I’ve seen one person just pretend everything’s fine and just hoard money for years and then A really long time, decades later, just leave. And then I’ve seen there are just so many different reactions. I’ve seen another person just hate the spouse intensely and hold everything against them for the rest of us, for a decade later.
Even up till now. There are just so many reactions that I see. And of course, This is probably one of the best reactions that can happen and the best outcomes for the couple because you work together, you make yourself stronger.
So I find it very interesting that there’s this huge spectrum and I feel like you’re on one side of the spectrum and all those people that I just mentioned like those experiences are on the far end of the other spectrum, and that’s like the worst case scenario. But we all. Probably want it to be the best-case scenario. What you’re offering and what you’re doing for women and for mothers is really powerful.
Thank you. And I’ve talked to you when you share what’s happened to you. That’s when other people come out and say, Oh, yeah, it’s happened to me, and oh yeah, it’s happened to me. But the people that I’ve talked to that I’ve also been through still have a lot of fear around people knowing because there’s so much judgment and people will say, why did you stay? Let me just say none of it matters.
The only thing that matters is that you are doing what you want to do. And if you want to make it work, then that is great because I am all about saving marriages and saving families. And on that note, also, I wanna say that it did cross my mind. Before I started sharing this story so publicly, I how it was gonna impact my kids. So I’ll just speak to that.
Because it is a, there’s still a bit of concern in the back of my mind because there are only three and five at the moment. But when I think about it, what I really want my kids to understand is that we all make mistakes.
And the power is in owning those mistakes and moving forward from them. And my husband and I were both making mistakes at that time. And we both love each other and want the most, the best relationship and family that we will have forever. We don’t want that. So that. That’s what keeps me going.
I love that. Yeah, I absolutely love that. I think that’s very admirable and I really. I’m impressed with you sharing your story because again, this is the first time we’ve ever talked about this and I’ve had close to a hundred guests, if not over a hundred guests so far, and it’s not talked about at all.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to come and speak about it.
I know you have a free gift for the audience. You wanna tell us about that?
Yes, so I have just come up with a My five Powerful Divorce Proofing Habits. The free gift is a PDF download that goes through these five habits and a little bit about them and how you can use them to, as I said, divorce-proof your marriage.
I love that. Thanks. I love it. I love it. Thank you. And where is the best place for anyone to find you online?
My website is Kiri honey.com. you can go on there. And also, I appear most often on Facebook. I have a Facebook community called Curious Community for Moms wanting clarity and connection. That is where I am. Present the most and I do live training there every week. So yeah, you can find me on Facebook.
Thank you so much for being here and being our guest and sharing this with us.
Thank you so much, Amanda. It’s been an honor to be here and I hope that all the ladies listening got something out of today’s session.
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