Marriage, married life, My Life, relationship skills, Uncategorized

Heaven help Me! Not Another Home Improvement Project!

heaven help me

Two months before my husband and I got married we bought a fixer upper in the perfect neighborhood in the city we were living in. We knew he had two months to fix it up and get it to our standard of liveable before we combined households and moved in.

This house was disgusting when we bought it; it needed a whole new paint job because of booger stained walls, it needed new carpet because of fecal matter from pets, it smelt like a zoo had been living their for years, the tile floors needed to be stripped down because the previous owners tried a DIY project that obviously went bad, the cabinets were caked with 3 inches of grease, the countertops had lost its grout because of poor maintenance, and the backyard was unfinished. Sadly, this house was only 5 years old and had sustained this much damage and abuse. They always say buy the worst house in the best neighborhood, well we did!

We were so ill prepared for what we were going to take on as a “happily engaged” couple. We had set a budget and had an idea of what we needed to do, but that was about it. We had never worked on a project together before, never really talked about decorating, or desires so you could say that we were going in blindly to the project.

I recall our first “discussion” about the house when I realized that renovating a house with anyone, especially my fiance might have been the worst thing I ever decided to do!  One night, we were talking about paint colors and painting when I suggested that we paint the house a few different colors (not all in the same room) to give the house some character. I also suggested we paint the house a nice warm color that was not tan, because at that time everyone’s house was tan. The look that was shot across the room for suggesting something other than tan was priceless! He then followed it up  with, “What do you mean a different color, we are painting it tan.”

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Marriage, relationship skills

Love Map Series Part 4

 
Today we conclude our love mapping series. How has it been going? If you missed our previous posts on enhancing our love maps, click here or here or here.

Love Maps Part 4

We made it! Congratulations you know your spouse better now than you probably ever have before, now it is time to sit back relax and put your feet up because the work is done, right?!
Getting to know your spouse is an ongoing process, the more we invest in getting to know our spouses the better we are able to overcome life’s challenges together and be strengthened as a couple. The process of getting to know your spouse never ends; we continue to build upon what we have. We are always changing, they are always changing and therefore there is always something to learn. What you put into the relationship you will reap in happiness and eternal blessings.
Continue to build upon what we have learned. Continue to ask questions. Continue to bond with your spouse. As you do this, your marriage will be blessed.

 

Keep exploring! Let us know how it’s going!
Marriage, relationship skills

Love Map Series Part 3

 

Today we move on to the next part of love mapping. How did it go last week? If you missed our first or second post on enhancing our love maps, click here or here

Love Maps Part 3

Just the other day my husband and I were reminiscing. We were reminiscing when we first met and started talking. When we met, we were both attending the same church and met there. We did not want people to watch us begin our dating experience because we did not want to be constantly asked by others how it was going. With his busy travel and work schedule and me being a full time mom it left really odd times to talk, therefore we would communicate through Facebook Messenger. (Now, I am not advocating this to be a great way to get to know someone, but it happened to work for our situation.) We went back and read our likes our dislikes, our hopes, our dreams, and just about our life in general. So much had changed in such a short time, 4 years. How was this even possible? It’s possible because people change; life changes us. We develop different interests, hobbies, and ideas. How do we ensure that we constantly get to know our spouse through the changes that we experience? We do this through love mapping, more specifically though figuring out ‘Who I am’?

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Marriage, married life, relationship skills

Love Map Series Part 2

Today we move on to the next part of love mapping. How did it go last week? If you missed our first post on enhancing our love maps, click here!
Asking open-ended questions is crucial to your marriage and your growing relationship! Not only is it important to ask the questions, but it is more important to remember the answers that your partner gives! I recall a couple years back sitting down with my husband after the kids had gone to bed. I recall him asking me a question; I can’t even remember what it was anymore. I thoughtfully answered the question and after I did I looked over and he was asleep! I was slightly frustrated to say the least; I mean seriously why ask if you aren’t listening? He woke up about the time I finished and responded, “Oh I didn’t hear you. Tell me again.” So I kindly told him again. What do you think happened? Yep! Asleep again! As I finished I was so irritated, just in time for him to wake up! His response is comical now, but at the time it was not! He told me that my voice is so soothing it just puts him to sleep. Are you kidding me?! Of course I thought he just didn’t care then. Since then we have discovered if I want him to pay attention and remember what I say I cannot tell him anything important after 9:30pm.
Asking open-ended questions invites growth in the relationship while you share experiences you have had, emotions you have felt, and opinions with one another. It shows that you are interested in your spouse and interested in growing your relationship with one another. Dr. Gottman gave a great list of questions we can ask in his book, The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work. If you haven’t I highly recommend you pick it and read it! This list is adapted from his book.

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Marriage, married life, relationship skills

Love Map Series Part 1

I got to be a guest blogger over at The National Healthy Institute at one of their sister sites! I though you might enjoy it here!

In a previous post on Why Date? We mentioned John Gottman’s Love Maps. Dr. Gottman does a fantastic job of helping us realize why it is important to know our spouses.

Jordan was a police officer two hours away from his home. When he left for work on Thursday he would not return until Monday morning. He was well liked on the police force and always did a good job. He had won many Mothers Against Drink Driving Awards and protected the people who he served. He took overtime opportunities when he could to provide more for his family. When he was home he enjoyed playing video games, relaxing, hunting, hanging out with his friends, and playing baseball and softball. There was only one problem with this, he had a wife and 4 kids who loved him that he did not spend much time with. His wife would try desperately to get him to go on dates with her or do tasks with each other so they could spend time with one another, but Jordan always declined because he had other things he wanted to do.
Jordan got to the point where he didn’t know much about the activities the kids did, where they liked to go for fun, who their friends were, or even who their teachers were. Sadly, he knew even less about his wife. He did not know her hopes, her dreams, her dislikes, her fears, or the things that scared her in life. John Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work says, “I have found that many married couples fall into a similar habit of inattention to the details of their spouse’s life. One or both partners may have only the sketchiest sense of the other’s joys, likes, dislikes, fears, stresses.”

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Marriage

Why Date?

Why Date?

I recall going on my first date with my husband. I was so nervous and anxious. I remember when he asked me I jumped for joy inside! He said that he wanted to make dinner at his house and told me what time to be there. I was bringing a salad. I remember meticulously cutting each vegetable the same size to make it perfect, what can I say I wanted to make a good impression because he was a catch, he was good looking and he cooked!

Prior to our date, I remember going shopping for the perfect casual outfit and spending a couple hours on the “perfect casual hair style”. I selected a nice pair of shoes and headed for the door. With a lump in my throat, I got in the car and drove the ½ mile to his house. As I walked to the front door I could feel my legs shaking because of nerves and excitement. I knocked, he answered and smiled with his perfect smile and invited me inside.

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Marriage

Reach Out, Be a Friend

Reach Out and Be a Friend

Thank you to my sweet courageous friend for letting me share her story.

As I sat there I listened to my friend sob. She told me of her husband questioning her every move. She told me of the times that she was cornered in her bedroom as her husband demeaned her, criticized and talked down to her. She told me that she felt like a slave in her own home, taking care of the kids, and having to provide all the sexual requests that were demanded. She didn’t know what was happening, she just assumed this was the way marriage was. She felt worthless and at times she was told that as well.

To the world outside the walls of their home they were the perfect suburbia family, but inside told a different story. My friend was suffering from a form of abuse that is not regularly talked about and is usually not known to the outside world. “Abuse consists of actions or attitudes that are intended to hurt or control. It can include many different types of behaviors, from subtle verbal criticisms to the severest forms of physical or sexual abuse” (Bradford & Whiting).

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Kids, Marriage, My Life, Parenting is hard, the struggle is real

Working as a Team

The Art of Working Together in Marriage
Growing up I always listened to my mom and dad. They guided my choices and taught me right from wrong. They allowed me to make mistakes, but helped me learn from them. They were the ones I always turned to when I needed help. I remember when I first got married and had a decision to make I quickly called my mom on the phone so that she could help me analyze it. I remember the words she said that day; she said, “I am no longer your person… I will always be here for you, but you need to talk to your husband and cleave unto him. I love you and by you doing this your marriage will be successful.” I heeded her advice and from that day forward I have consulted my husband in all things. I attribute our successful marriage to us working together.
As we work together as a team we must do so as parents and partners. Below are some ideas to make our marriage continue to flourish as we work together.

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Marriage, My Life, remarriage

Cleave to Each Other

Learning to Cleave
As I walked up to the door I was nervous. I was meeting my future mother in law for the very first time. I knew she was concerned because we had only dated a short time. I had hoped she would like me that night to start our relationship off on a good note. I knocked on the door and the door opened. On the other side of the door was a perfectly dressed lady that looked like she had just stepped out of a Nordstrom catalog. The home was perfectly decorated as well. I smiled brightly and said, “Hi!” I recall her reaction as she observed my clothes I had carefully selected to wear that night and she with no smile at all responded, “Come in.”
I recall that night her not being very positive, but I kept giving her the benefit of the doubt that perhaps she was just as nervous as I was. Throughout the night she had made several comments that didn’t sit well with me about her disapproval of our upcoming marriage and if I really knew who I was marrying. I was young and naïve and shrugged them off determined to have a good relationship with her. In one study 80 percent of couple’s marriages end in divorce when their marriage does not have the support of the parents of who they are marrying.

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Marriage, My Life, Parenting is hard, the struggle is real

Let Charity Shine Through

Let Charity shine through
For our Savior, Jesus Christ, love and charity went hand in hand. He not only served those he was close to, but served all those who came in contact with him. As we look at Jesus Christ’s ministry on the Earth we realize that there was not a single person that he was not charitable to. On one occasion the Pharisees brought a woman to him who had committed adultery. The law in Jesus’ time was for her to be stoned and they asked him what he thought they should do to her. There he knelt in the dirt and said, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7) The accusers began to leave and Jesus asked the woman if any accusers remain.  She said that there were not. Jesus then warned her not to sin again. This in my opinion is such a powerful example of charity and the pure love of Christ. He saved this woman from humiliation and death.
 
The story of the love that Christ has for us does not stop with this example of Charity. In Christ’s final days upon the Earth we learn of his greatest act of love and Charity when he took upon all of our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and suffered for each and every mistake we will ever make. He lived a perfect life, but yet suffered more pain than we will ever suffer on this earth. Because of his love for us, we can live with him and our Father in Heaven again.
Do we demonstrate this same Christ like love in our lives especially in our marriages?
When our spouses are moody and had a bad day do we forgive them? If our spouse comes to us with a problem that could potentially break our marriage are we like Jesus and tell them to sin no more and help them through it or are we running for the hills? Are we like Jesus and say, “I forgive you of mistakes, shortcomings, and humanness.”? Or “do we continue to not forgive because we do not understand why they possibly could have done this!” (Goddard)

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