For better or worse

Life lately

Sarah is recovering from the flu. And showering in her own home!

Abby explains how her Roomba became a Poo-mba.

Reading lately


Sarah finished the novel Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo. It is set in Nigeria and tells the story of a marriage after the husband takes a second wife when his first wife has not become pregnant after four years together.

Abby listened to Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness about staying true to who you are in our divided culture.


Don’t forget to sign up for the Friendlier Reading Experience! If you would like to join a virtual book club of your very own, fill out this form. Starting in March, we’ll group you with four or five other listeners and give you a virtual book club guide with information to help make your club a success. We can’t wait to connect you with each other!


We’ve both been with our spouses for more than a decade. In this episode we share what early marriage was like, how our relationships have grown over time, how adding kids to the mix has changed things, and what we love best about our partners. We’d love to hear your thoughts and philosophies on marriage and/or partnerships.

If there wasn’t enough relationship talk today, you can hear us talk all about our weddings in this episode from last spring.

Eating lately

Abby’s family celebrated Plum’s second birthday with a delicious carrot cake:

Sarah branched out and made an Instant Pot beef stew. It was easy and delicious, but in the future, she’ll use half the meat and triple the veggies.

If you’d like to join in the conversation, please leave us a comment, email us at, or find us on Instagram @friendlierpodcast. Thanks for listening!

3 thoughts on “For better or worse

  1. This was such a good pod! Thank you both for sharing.

    The next podcast I listened to was Dax Shepard’s new ‘Armchair Expert’ and it was his first episode, where he interviews his wife ,Kristen Bell. A lot of the latter part is them talking about their marriage–y’all might enjoy it!


  2. I had an overall really different experience around how parenting affected our marriage. For me, the early stages of parenting (ages 0-4ish) were definitely the most stressful thing to date on our marriage–more so than deployments, moving every two years to include overseas, and trying to finish my dissertation and then maintain my own career with all the moving. I will caveat that of course overall our son has deepened our enjoyment of each other, but I feel like its also important to acknowledge how much stress an infant/toddler puts on a marriage. It was way harder than I expected, and most of my friends had already had children so I in no way went into parenting with my eyes closed. To be fair, we did have a lot of other hard things going on (see previous list), so it could be for us that just adding one more really hard thing amplified everything.

    The thing that stands out in my memory is that all my patience and emotional energy was completely taken up by my child, and I had little to none left for my husband. This was also amplified because my son was/is very active and energetic and needed a lot of stimulation, and my husband and I are both introverts and need a lot of downtime. This meant that the time we would normally spent connecting with each other, we needed to use just to be quiet and recharge. And of course parenting a toddler takes ridiculous amounts of patience that I really don’t know how I found, which in turn meant less patience for my husband. My husband also said he felt he was faster to snap at me or be defensive after our son was born; for him everything also just felt more intense. And with those two issues it is just really easy to fall into a pattern of feeling more like roommates and co-parents as opposed to feeling like loving, connected partners.

    I used to feel really alone in the way I my experience having an infant/toddler, but then I read All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior. That book immensely helped me put our experience in perspective and realize we were/are in no way alone. Also the book helped me see a huge part of it is the culture around parenting in America, which has radically changed in the last 50-60 years. As our son has gotten older, our enjoyment of parenting has exponentially increased. We would both say in the long run it has strengthened our marriage, in part because no one else appreciates the unique hilarious exploits of your child like the other parent does! We both feel so lucky to have this experience. And as my husband has said from the beginning, we never laughed as much before our son was born as we do now.


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