wife

Dear Hubby,

Sorry this is a few days late. This has been a janky week. Now that we got the house in order and tackled that linen closet we have been talking about for two years, I can write you a little anniversary letter:

Every year of life, and of marriage, seems jam packed. But it also seems completely mundane and the same in a way. Not in a bad way, but the busyness of life can make it feel like a blur.

And if we aren’t careful to take note of what we have been through together, we might not realize how really strong we are. Not just because we work really hard at our marriage, but because we vowed to let God be the center of it. A cord of three strands cannot be broken.

So I figured I’d take a moment to reflect on the last year and what we have conquered together.

  1. Business-In it’s very own category for its obvious stress involved, we have closed a business, opened a business and grew a home-based business, while pretty gracefully handling people in and out of our home several times a day. Phew. That is no easy way to live! But we did it.
  2. We traveled quite a bit-In the middle of being slammed with our work, we took time to travel. We went on a romantic getaway to Cancun, took the boys to DC for a real educational experience, went an a cruise through the Caribbean with friends, went on a family trip with the Knudsons to Atlanta (where Kaden drank a silo of Coke products), and took the entire family (including Ricky Bobby) across country, climbing Pikes Peak (in a car, lol), visiting the Smokies, and going to our first White Sox game. And it was all because of how hard we (especially YOU) work and how we have been blessed.
  3. We worked out-We might not be on the cover of fitness mags, but we have carved out time to be healthy, even food prepping when we were really on top of things. Working out with you is fun, but it also gets me excited about growing old with you. The more years I have with you, the better.
  4. We briefly considered adoption-Infertility really stinks. And anniversaries are a chafing reminder of many, many losses. But briefly this year, we considered adoption, as we were approached to consider it for a mom with a last minute need. We talked with her, prayed about it, tried to imagine how to make space for a child in one short week, and then the mom decided to keep the baby. While this was a brief interlude of adoption struggles, we handled it, and allowed it to help us focus on what we really want in terms of growing our family.
  5. We parented-Every year, we hustlin’. Jackson got his license and we now spend 13% of our day tracking him on multiple phone apps. Kaden outgrew Jackson and entered the 5th dimension of puberty. We taught them new things, buckled down in new ways, and let go when it was right. We have prayed, argued and wrestled with many a decision, but we did our best to do it as a team.
  6. We prayed-We did like 21 days of a 30 day marriage prayer devotional. Well, like I said, we ain’t perfect. But we haven’t thrown the books away, and regardless of the devotional, we still turn to God for answers and nothing makes me feel more cherished than when you pray for me, for our marriage, for my work, for our children, and even for all of our friends. I love you so much for that, and I always will.
  7. We got help-We went to counseling, a lot, shopping around to find the right fit for us, never using time or money as excuses to skip when both of us would really prefer to sweep stuff under the rug and just grab a bourbon. When people say “marriage is hard” this is what is should mean: putting in the dang work to truly try to understand our spouse’s feelings and needs and tend to them, NOT just saying, “Well this is hard….next.” And thanks for letting me share a little of our struggles with the world so we can help make getting help normal and not a sign of weakness. Your commitment to God and our marriage is the strongest thing about you. Thank you!

You already know I love you but it takes more than love to last. It takes commitment, work and one hell of a sense of humor. Thanks for laughing at the crappy stuff with me, however inappropriately, and thanks for occasionally throwing chocolate and Mexican food at the problems. It’s actually a solid practice endorsed by world renowned therapists (it’s not). But seriously you’re the best.

And in the deep and sentimental words of Tim McGraw (kind of), I like you, I love you, I wants some more of you.

See you at the hizzy later,

I’ll be the one with the goofy grin 🙂

 

 

byronandpuppyNot bragging, but I happen to think my husband is sexy. It’s not because he has amazing hair (and he does, just ask him), nor is it his 5 o’clock shadow (that he gets at noon) or his tattoos that make his seem just a little bit dangerous. There are some things that make him truly desirable to me.

 

1. He holds puppies. I mean seriously, does this need an explanation? But he doesn’t just hold them, he cradles them and baby-talks them. It shows his sensitive side and I love it.

2. He fixes stuff. He’s a pretty busy man since he owns and operates a business, but if something needs to get done, he grabs the tools and gets to work.

3. He invites people to church. He cares about the spirituality of other people. That is super attractive!

4. He donates money. He gives weekly to church and has other causes that he is passionate about. In case you were wondering guys, tithing is sexy. Repeat this to yourself, TITHING IS SEXY.

5. He makes decisions. As a woman, I make a million life decisions a week. I appreciate that he can pick a restaurant without consulting a magic 8 ball or having a seance. It’s dinner, not the Geneva Convention. Pick something guys.

6. He dotes a little. He’s not a smother and cover kind of guy, but he’s not afraid to serve me. He opens doors, fills my water glass, makes me coffee and even turns on my heated blanket (even in the summer.) This is biblical men (and women). See Ephesians 5:21-33 if you think I am kidding.

7. He’s a great dad. Technically, he’s a step-dad but it doesn’t keep him from praying with the boys, getting up early to drive them to school or wearing bunny ears while he helps them with difficult homework to lighten the mood.

8. He does girl stuff. Once he planned a date for us to a pottery store hours away, he has painted with me at Swirlz, and he will browse antique malls on a good day. Sure he prefers a long motorcycle ride over any of this stuff, but he’s willing to do my stuff and will even see to it that both of our interests are met without prompting.

9. He asks me questions. Every once in while, he asks me insightful questions. Honestly, it usually catches me off-guard, but I like it. I like a chance to talk about intimate stuff and dream about our future.

10. He worships with me. Whether it’s church, small group or singing worship songs loud and off-key (the only way we know how), it shows his humility and his pursuit of a relationship with Christ. It doesn’t get any more attractive than that for this girl.

 

Guys, I know Men’s Health focuses on supplements, fitness and bedroom skills, and all of that is fine if that’s your speed, but women are more interested in how you treat them and how you treat the world, than how your reflection smiles back at you.

 

If you really want to be sexy to women (if you’re not married) or to your wife (if you are married) than get in the Word. God knew what He was doing when He designed marriage and when He gave us the words to live by. Now go be sexy!

Trust: it’s the cornerstone of a good marriage. Trust broken is not easily repaired. But sometimes, even with no real reason to be distrustful, we are suspicious and insecure. Distrust in a relationship breeds frustration, anger, sorrow, and sometimes it even contributes to the justification of the behaviors you are trying to avoid. Trust is vital.

If you have ever been on the receiving end of distrust, you know there is a unique pain that comes with not being trusted. Even with the best of intentions, you might be perceived as being malicious or disrespectful. Try as you may to be kind, caring and helpful, your partner still insists on seeing the worst in you.

Refusing to trust your spouse can lead to a myriad of problems:

  • Pain–Simply put, by not trusting your spouse, you may cause them unneeded pain and heartache. You chose them to be your spouse, yet you choose to assume the worst about their intentions.
  • Resentment–Over time this hurt could evolve into resentment. People who feel resentment tend to withhold love and affection, or can even become passive aggressive.
  • Anger–Once your partner is done feeling wounded, they might come out of the corner swinging. They may begin to attack you, your habits, or even your character.
  • Justification–Years of unchecked anger could manifest in a nasty little devil on the shoulder in the form of justification. Justification is when a normally passive and caring spouse, says to themselves, “He thinks I’m a nag, I’ll show him.” Or, “She thinks I’m cheating, I guess I will.” Although justification is just an elaborate emotional excuse, it might be the end of your marriage.

So what do you do instead when you suspect ill motives in your partner? You can continue to be suspicious and accusatory, or you can try something new:

  • Evaluation–Start by doing nothing. Watch and listen. Did your wife mess up your laundry twice in one month because she is trying to ruin your life, or is there another reason? Is she tired or overworked? Evaluate the situation before you proceed.
  • Marinate–Start by praying for kindness and understanding, then jot down your feelings on paper or in an email.
  • Proceed with caution–Assuming the worst will bring on a fight. Attacking their character will cause WW3. Choose your words carefully and start by asking some fact-finding questions like:
  1. How are you feeling?
  2. Is everything okay with work?
  3. How are things with the kids?
  4. You seem distracted lately, is something on your mind?
  • Talk–Let them know how you feel, gently. Let him know that when he works late and doesn’t call you feel frustrated. Let her know that when she goes out with her friends and comes home late, you feel disrespected.
  • Assume the best–Even if they are doing something that seems unloving or disrespectful, try to assume the best about their intentions. Are they working late to provide enough money for a vacation? Is she out with a friend who is having a tough time?
  • Commend–Tell them what they are doing right and thank them. Then tell them what you need from them to feel loved and respected. Then ask them how you can be of service to them.
  • Plan–Talk about how you will proceed in the future, what you will do differently, and how you will work as a team.

The best gift you can give your partner is the benefit of the doubt. In the seconds, minutes, or hours when you don’t know what they are doing or what they are thinking, fill in that space with love, faith, and trust. Nothing can be gained from worrying yourself sick or assuming the love of your life is out to harm you.

And remember, you chose each other, and you are always on the same team.