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Marriage Works! Roger and Rachel

We are on couple number 3 (4 if you include yours truly last week)! You can see all the Marriage Works couples here. So far I’ve had some great feedback, mainly on FB or via email, but I’d love some comments and encouragement for our couples here.  So please take a moment and let them know you appreciate their candid answers.  I have had a few constructive comments that stood out, one was that there wasn’t enough questions, that I didn’t get input from a husband, and another that I shouldn’t ask about sex.  While I’m totally open to ideas, I disagree about the sex comment.  Sex is totally relevant, important and ok to discuss when writing about marriage.  I also ask lots of questions and no one has answered any question they didn’t want to.  I’m working on the husband’s responses and more/different questions for future couples though!

Let’s meet today’s couple!  Roger (27) and Rachel (25) are a little younger than our past couples and married much younger than anyone so far! Just goes to show you that happy marriages come in all sizes.  It doesn’t matter where you are in marriage, it matters how you relate and work together to make your marriage work.

You guys are adorable!

You guys are adorable!

How did you meet?

High school Spanish class. I was a sophomore and him a senior. We both got dumped, I already had a dress for prom, but couldn’t go without an upper classmen, so I asked if he’d go with me.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged?

1 year (my junior year of high school)

How long were you engaged?

1 year (2 weeks after my high school graduation)

How long have you been married?

7 years

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Matthew 6:34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own

Are you and your spouse Christian?

Yes, I was baptized around 9 and I baptized my husband at church camp while we were dating… he was 18.

Do you practice submission in your marriage? Why or why not? Did your vows include “obey”?

Yes. Honestly, I didn’t think about the obey issue until now. However, I’d probably still include it if we were to redo vows. He is the head of the house and I am to submit to him. He is the one with the responsibility to answer for our family on the day of judgment, and I respect his choices. He respects me enough to get my input.

How often do you go on a date?

Roughly every 2-3 weeks. 90% of time a movie and cheap/quick dinner.

What is your personal biggest weakness? How do you try to control it in your marriage?

Biggest weakness is sarcasm. It is very difficult and I’m still working on it. I am trying to take breathing breaks and relax mid-conversations.

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse?

When we were dating, he was very romantic (flowers, poems, etc.) Once we got married, the poems stopped (though I ask for them at as gifts occasionally and small thoughtful things less often). I wish I just would’ve had a heads up that was going to happen.

How many children do you have/want?

2 girls. 3.5 and 12 months. We’re done.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

COMMUNICATION.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

Frequency is not enough. We both think it should be weekly. I’m sure he’d like it twice a week, I’m more fine with once every 1-2 weeks. I thought I’d be more sensual once I got married (virgin at wedding), but it’s just not really in me. I enjoy it once start, but I usually must plan for it if I know I’ll be initiating.

Short and sweet, and I just love them!  Rachel, if you’re reading (and I hope you are), I think you aren’t alone in your assertion about how gifts and romance (or things you perceive as romantic) often stop or slow down.  Just as many things change after marriage, like date nights, sex, conversations, romance is one of those that often takes a hit.  I’d like to encourage you to show him this post and hopefully he’ll see an opportunity, or even bring it up to him in a non-confrontational way.  It’s not the time to say “you never do ____ anymore,” but at the right time and with the right tone you could say “I was thinking, I really loved when you used to write me poems or get me flowers.  I kind of miss them, is there anything you miss that I used to do?”  Maybe it will open up a dialogue and you’ll find out why, as in, does he think you don’t like them?  Did he run out of words (lol, I doubt it)?  Time?  Does he think you “know” already how much he loves you and don’t need them?  I think a gentle nudge might get him and you back on track with both doing things you used to!

What other questions should I include?  Do you have a question or want to play along?  Comment here with your email and we’ll get it set up!

~Mel

We’ve all seen them, the dreaded “list” of what you can do to achieve ____ or “8 ways to better sex” or as they should be titled “1 way to ensure your marriage isn’t helped a bit.”  They come in all shapes and sizes, all over social media, blogs, major news sites, click tastic ad sites that just want views, but they have one thing in common.  They are usually written for the wow factor, or the humor, and not at all to help those they are geared toward.  With the exception of a few that truly are helpful, I rarely take them seriously, and rarely read them.  However, this one was by someone I enjoy interacting with and who I read regularly (and who just featured us last week!).  I’d like to think it was all in fun or meant to be sarcastic, and I really hope that was the case, but there has bee no indication from any of the replies on social media that it was. Aside from the last point (#10) the post was just so far off the mark it was impossible not to respond to.  Maybe it should have been just number 10, that would have been an amazing help to couples.

Here is the original post:  Top Ten Fixable Reasons Your Wife Won’t Sleep With You I think it’s notable that the actual linked title says “Top 10 shallow reasons wife won’t sleep” could that be a more accurate title?

Look, I realize that not all men are perfect, not even my own wonderful man is, but I’m not either, nor are you.  I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that no man that is actually in need of sexual healing would read this list past numbers 1 and 2 and think “oh, this is helpful.”  There may be a man that needs this type of list, but I’m going to bet he’s not married, and if he is, what was she thinking?  To coin my teenager…

true life

It is with great satisfaction and a little bit of pride that I can report that after reading the list, Big Daddy and I were in agreement that the post was not realistic. Unless you’re married to a 27 year old gamer (been there) or a prissy wife still stuck in her late teen mentality (he’s been there), this list is not for or about you. Not one part of it would “help” a man get laid by his wife. Why? Because most likely she’d say “oh, so you think doing something on that list is going to get you some?” See, women that agree with this list aren’t the type that you can please, or that want to be pleased. Why any woman wouldn’t want to be pleased is beyond me, but that’s a whole other issue.

Reading the social media comments was a good reflection of the reality of this list.  Most women said they agreed and that it was “their man.” Then when they reported back that their husbands read it and didn’t take it seriously at all it was deemed to be “deeper issues” than this list covered.  No, really?  You mean this superficial list of things  meant to get a reaction and clicks isn’t what’s holding back couples from sex?  Say it ain’t so!  Why so many women claim to relate to it is beyond me.  Is it that they like admitting they are rude, superficial and selfish? Do they take pride in admitting that their men aren’t getting any, or finding lame excuses for it? Is it fun to be a B****?  Ok, sometimes it is, but to your husband?  I think many women are not willing to fix the issue of not having sex, and this list was a crutch to say to their husbands “here, do these things, and maybe you’ll get laid (and if you don’t do them, then you still won’t).”  If you put it off on him, then you’re no longer the B in the situation!  Score!  Only, no score, you’re still not getting laid and you’re not fixing a thing.

I am positive that there are those that disagree with me, and won’t like my post here.  So, let’s just say that you actually DO see your man (or you are the man) on this list.  Whichever one or ones he is, there is a real way to address this, to make it helpful and not hurtful and to better your marriage and sex life.  If he truly needs to work on some of these things, an article with snark isn’t going to do it, but some sweetness and finesse will.  Use your heart and your head and find a way, or get to counseling so you can speak honestly and without bashing him over the head with sexual frustration since you aren’t giving it up.

I am blessed, and I know this.  D does all these things and then some and we are STILL not on the booty train all day every day (much to our dismay). Babies, nursing, health issues, life, work, sleep (oh, how I miss real sleep), are all huge contributors to our lack of sex.  Life gets to all of us, even superficial things get in the way, but issues truly need to be addressed.  Doesn’t mean they’ll go away quickly, or not have to be worked on HARD (I love you, babe), but they will be easier to discuss, and you’ll both realize what the issues are and that you truly do love each other.

Men, if you want to know how to get her to bed, skip to number 10 on that list, or up your bedroom skills – you might just suck.  It may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with her mindset, her insecurities, her health, and countless other things.  Ask her what it is you can do to alleviate those things or help her move past them so you can enjoy being together again.  On the other hand, it may have to do with some things you are or aren’t doing, so be open and prepared to accept those calmly and work on them.  It’s a two way street, and no one should feel attacked by a list like this.  I can’t imagine this same type of article and list being well received by women either, just for “fun” let’s switch this shoe.

Why your husband doesn’t want to have sex with you:  

- You’re a snob  

- You smell like spitup and playdoh  

- You haven’t taken your hair out of that bun and curled it in 3 weeks  

- You fall into bed and don’t act like you want to have sex  

- The house is a mess (you’re here all day…what DO YOU DO?)  

- You’re boring (you weren’t like that when we were dating)  

- You engage in middle school slam book behavior by making and reading lists like this…

Now go fix all these things and turn back into the sex goddess you were 10 years ago while you guys were dating so you can go have sex in the car, on the car, in the movies and all the other fun places you used to attack each other – he’s waiting for you!

I’m sure THAT would have gone over well. Want to help a man get laid? Give him this list to show to his wife – if she likes it and says “so true,” he should find another wife (kidding, kinda). If she laughs and says it’s crap, scoop her up and take her to bed!

~Mel

This week our Marriage Works (click for all couples) couple is my husband and I!  I LOVE reading other blogs, for fun, information, relationship stuff, mom stuff, kid stuff, and all kinds of other things.  We were lucky enough to be chosen by Dr. Psyche Mom for a fun post about our marriage!  So as the title says…here’s a look into how our marriage works.

I’ve included the post here just as she wrote it because there have been some comments that her link up wasn’t working!  You can read the full text below, or visit her page at http://www.drpsychmom.com/2014/10/31/functional-couple-friday/

Windham (42)

Just us

Here we are! (Her comments are in red AFTER our answers)

Today we have Melissa and David, both 38.  They are Christian and believe in a model of marriage where the husband is the head of the household and the wife supports his decisions, although she does seem to get her say, privately, which influences him.  They also have a blended family, and are co-sleeping with a new baby.  And they met in junior high!  Lots of interesting stuff here, dear readers.  So, let’s meet them now!

1.   How, when, and where did you meet and what is the first thing you thought about your partner when you met?
Melissa:  We met in 6th grade when we attended the same Christian private school, he left in 8th grade and we didn’t talk again for 20 years.  We were in the same grade, so it was the same class of about 24 kids.  I was absolutely oblivious to boys at that age but we all knew each other pretty well and I remember him being tall, much taller than me (he still is), and I remember his gorgeous eyes and blonde “flippy” hair.  The kind you keep leaning your head to the side and getting out of your eye.  I also remember him being told it was too long since it was over his eyebrows, and him being like “whatever.”  He thinks I don’t remember that much about him, because I wasn’t interested, but I remember lots:)
David: We went to school with one another for three years (middle school) then reconnected via FB/text/phone calls. I thought she was out of my league back in 6th grade! Cheerleader in a private school, and hanging with the “IN” crowd. The second time when we actually met as adults isn’t fit to be published! I will tone it down and say I was stuck with her beauty, absolutely amazed that she wanted me! Those 6th grade feelings were still there I guess. Then the lustful wanting to tear her clothes off and defile her thoughts came into the picture…they’re still there.
Again, guys who think they landed a girl out of their league are usually more happily married.  Very cute meeting story!
2.  What is your favorite physical feature of your partner?

Melissa:  Hey! No, um…seriously.  He’s tall, and hot, and he’s got great eyes, and his beard…oh, the beard.  He’s got meat on him, which is really great, because he’s not breakable.  Oh, and his hands, yes, please.  You said one.  My favorite feature is him?

David: Sexually, her butt without doubt, however I get lost in her eyes. It’s a bit of a draw!
Love couples who can’t keep their hands off each other and know how to express that to each other.
3.  What is your favorite personality trait of your partner?
Melissa: He’s got amazing self control (which he often uses with me).
David: She is extremely loving and a caretaker. It doesn’t matter if it is me, one of the kids or my parents.
Women do like men who have self-control, because they are stable and safe.  And everyone likes loving and nurturing partners!
4. What is something your partner does nearly every day that makes you happy?
Melissa: She shows respect for me as her husband and the head of the household. She backs my play in public even if I’m wrong. Then we discuss in private, not arguing for the world to see.
David: He takes care of, loves and pays attention to our girls (16.5 and 1 year next weekend).
Even though they have this head of household thing going that doesn’t apply to everyone, I do think they are right that both partners should back the other in public, and then discuss in private, if possible.  And women love men who love their kids!
5.  What is the nicest thing your partner ever did for you, in your whole relationship?  Describe in 2-3 sentences.

Melissa: There are too many to list.  Two stand out.  First, we are a blended family.  He has raised my children as his own and jumped in with both feet with teenagers, which was NOT easy.  Second, We had a very surprise pregnancy and I was not a happy pregnant woman.  I was miserable, tired, not fun to be around, and overall just blah.  He was a saint.  Waited on me when I was in pain, loved me even though I was mean or whiny, and did everything possible to keep me healthy and happy. Aww very nice.

David: She carried and gave birth to my baby girl! Neither of us wanted more kids but God had other plans.
Well she didn’t have much of a choice but it’s still nice that he considers it the nicest thing!
9. List the top five best qualities of your spouse: physical, emotional, mental, anything.

Melissa: He’s a Christian. He can stay calm when the crap hits the fan and when I’m losing my mind.  He’s awesome at rubdowns.  He’s a caring and loving leader/husband.  He’s an amazing kisser:)

David: She’s emotionally strong (more so than myself actually), She’s smart, strong willed, confident in who she is as a person, and a great mother.
Very nice.  It seems that even if David is the “leader,” he still wants a confident and strong willed wife.  I love couples who bring new dynamics to the table so we can learn about them and not see them as two dimensional; e.g., assume that a Christian “head of household” would prefer a passive woman.
10. What are the top five things you and your partner have in common?  Values, interests, goals, etc.

Melissa: We both agree on our beliefs – to a “T”. We both value health (mental and physical) over material things.  We’re like minded with work. We love our kids.  We have the same sense of humor – aside from the stupid movies I like.

David: We share religious beliefs, core values, political views, opinions on finances, and parenting.
They truly seem on the same page.
11.  Have you ever been in couples counseling.  Why?  Did it help?

Melissa: We have been to counseling separately, but attended together.  As in, he went to help with issues with his daughter, and I went for support to him.  I went for help with anxiety during a custody hearing, and he was there to support me.  It wasn’t couples counseling, but we found ways to help each other or get things out that weren’t being said. I think so for the issues at hand.

David: Yes, about her anxiety and the issues it caused in the relationship. No it didn’t help, but our communication got better after talking about how useless the counseling was! So I guess it did help actually…
I have a suspicion that one partner usually gets more out of counseling than the other, so this is probably normal.
12. How often do you hug?  Kiss?  Have sex?

Melissa: I was going to say “oh, at least a few times a day,” but thinking about it, we don’t.  We need to (hint, hint – I’m sure you won’t mind).  We kiss before bed (at least a peck) and usually if one of us leaves the room for a while (like to take a nap), or if leaving the house.  Totally not enough sex.  With a baby under 1, IN OUR BED (we’re about to move), and life, and every other excuse in the book…I’m embarrassed to even guess.  I’m sure he’s got a count going.

David: Hugs- Daily    Kiss- almost always on a daily basis but the baby, health and sleep schedules have gotten in the way a bit.     Sex- anywhere from weeks to months for the last couple of years. It’s an issue, but again health issues and baby are to blame not lack of passion.
13.  Which of you has a higher sex drive and how do you deal with any differences in sex drive between the two of you?

Melissa: We were well matched at first, for a good year and a half I don’t think we slept or ate.  After 4.5 years of marriage, he’s definitely got the higher drive now, I have the drive, but I have the tired too.  Not that he’s not tired, but we joke that he’d be down even if he lost an arm and a leg. We’re trying, I’m happy that our marriage is strong enough to withstand a rough patch, whether that’s health, or money, or sex.

David: My sex drive is MUCH higher! I could and would have sex with broken limbs (and actually have). We don’t deal with it. My health is better, but we co sleep with the baby, so we’re at a dead end for now.
I would have sex with broken limbs over sex when you haven’t been sleeping because you have a nursing newborn.  Kids, they really change your priorities.
14. How long did you wait to have sex?  Are you glad you had sex for the first time when you did?

Melissa: We got engaged after 3 months of dating long distance, and married 2 days after we got engaged.  We waited long enough to have sex.  Yes!

David: We got married within a month and a half of my first visit with her, you do the math! Yes I’m glad! It solidified our feelings and showed how compatible we were.
Wow, a two day engagement!  Guess you saved on a wedding planner.
15.  What is the number one issue you fight about, and are you working on resolving it?  How?

Melissa: There is not one issue, we don’t fight that often.  I wouldn’t even call it a fight, it’s more like a deep discussion, but each time the discussion turns to my responses to him.  It’s the typical Love and Respect cycle.  I am not good with the “I’m wrong” “I’m sorry” deal and that doesn’t go over well with him.  He’s working on me lol.

David: We don’t fight usually but when we do it’s because she REFUSES to apologize or admit when she is wrong. I’m working on her, but it’ll take time. It’s only been a few years. You can’t change someone overnight.
 
Really on the same page here as well.  I like how she calls the fights “deep discussions.”  There is usually one partner who calls fights “deep discussions” and one who calls them fights. :)
16. What are the top three stressors in your lives?

Melissa: 

Me – His health, work, need good sleep
Him – Health, money/work, life (ex’s/custody drama)
David: My health, the Ex situation (mine and hers are both insane, suck as parents, and are horrible human beings), and finances.
Same page.
17.  What is one thing that you’re looking forward to as a couple?

Melissa: We’re moving into a bigger place.  We both think that’s going to help tremendously with not being on top of each other at home.

David: Growing old together and looking back at a wonderful committed faithful marriage!
Very nice.  Congrats on the new place.
18.  Fill this in:  I am glad I married my partner because:

Melissa: If I hadn’t we would not have our child together and my life (and that of my older kids) has vastly improved, we needed him.   (one sentence) A long, run-on sentence?

David: She believes in me.
Men love to have a partner believe in them. And it is good for a man to also feel appreciated and valued, which she does in her sentence about him.
19. Give me one secret thought that you’ve never told your partner. Something you think about them, about the relationship, about yourself, anything.
Melissa: I pray a lot, and he knows that.  When I’m trying to or can’t fall asleep (which is usually every night, or in the middle of the night) I pray specifically for him and it calms me.
David: I don’t deserve her and I know it. I’m reminded of it when she takes care of me, handles responsibilities that I can’t handle, and when I think about my past.  She never signed on for everything we have had to deal with.
 
Thanks for playing, guys. My first one in a while where both gave me an answer for this question!  And the answers are very sweet too.
 
Well, this was fun, and I feel like I know the inner workings of a Christian [insert name for their specific type of dynamic here… traditional?] marriage.  Thanks for writing in and being so open and candid!  You sound like you have a long and happy marriage ahead of you here.
 
If you have a burning desire to be profiled in this column, write in here.  And until we meet again, I remain, the Blogapist Who Thinks I Will Start Calling My Husband The “Leader” And See If He Drops Dead of Shock.

We really enjoyed doing this and it was so cool to get to read each other’s answers for the first time when it was published.  We answered separately and didn’t discuss until the post came out.  Judging by the answers, we are totally on the same page and meant for each other!

~ Mel

Last week’s couple Dean and Rachel brought out some great discussions on FB groups where the post was shared.  I’d love to have some comments here so everyone can get in on the conversation, so don’t forget to leave a comment here, or ask a question or just give some congratulations and praise to these couples for opening up!  I’ll be adding questions and discussions as I get more into this and we get some more couples involved, but we’re still going to start out slow just to get a groove going.

Remember, if you would like to be featured here just comment with your email address and I’ll shoot you an email to get you started!

Our second couple is Monte and Jazzminde.  Let’s get to know them!

The MJ Experience

The MJ Experience


How did you meet?

Monte was my older brothers best friend in high school and later lived across from my parents house. We met when I was 13 and didn’t start dating until I was 25.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged?  How long were you engaged?  How long have you been married?

We dated for 2 years before getting engaged. We were engaged almost 4 months. We have been married a year and a half.

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Matthew 7:7 has always spoken to me. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Are you and your spouse Christian?

We are both Christians.

Do you practice submission in your marriage? Why or why not? Did your vows include “obey”?

I think in some ways I am submissive and in other ways I am not. I feel I could be better in that area. Yes our vows did include the word obey.

How often do you go on a date?

Well since we are new parents we do not get to go out much.

What is your personal biggest weakness? How do you try to control it in your marriage?

I have a bit of an anger issue. To try and control it I just say ok and walk away. Sometimes that agitates my husband but I would rather agitate him than to say something I regret.

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before married” self about your spouse?

Apologize. Admit you are wrong.

 

Cutie pie

Cutie pie

 

How many children do you have/want?

We have one child. Almost 10 month old son Noah. We would love to have a little girl so we will try again for one more but if the next one is a boy will try one more time I won’t be pregnant more than 3 times though lol.

What is your most disagreed upon topic as a couple? How do you handle it when it comes up? Do you feel like there is no compromise on this topic?

We disagree mostly on the fact that he is a home body and I am not. He goes out of the home and works all week while I stay home with our son and babysit other kids all week. When the weekend comes I want to get out of the house. And he just wants to sit at home. I now go on play dates for Noah with other moms just to get out of the house.

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

Put God first was my favorite advice.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

Haha. Good question. It’s not frequent at all but still being hormonal it doesn’t bother me. And he says that it doesn’t bother him.

Again, what a great couple.  I love seeing a glimpse of how other wives feel and react in their marriages.  It’s also nice to see that we aren’t all perfect…even though it’s not an excuse!

Great work, guys!

~Mel

Introducing…something new!  YAY!!!!!!!!!!  Marriage Works! Will be a series of couple profiles presented to allow us to see the people behind Christian marriages like our own.  When you’re in the day to day of real life, it’s hard to remember that you’re not alone or that other couples have the same or worse trials, issues, triumphs and good days as us.  I wanted to bring the normal out in the light. It’s not all sunshine and roses, we’re all on different paths, but a happy and healthy marriage is where we all want to be.  Hopefully this new series of quick profiles on couples like you and me will give you a sigh of relieve that you’re doing just fine, and if not, maybe we’ll find some ideas or ways to improve our own marriages.

Dean and Rachel

Our happy first couple!

Our first couple is Dean (30) and Rachel (28).  Rachel graciously volunteered to answer a few questions.

How did you meet?

We met through my best friend, who is Dean’s cousin.

How long did you know each other/date before getting engaged? How long were you engaged?  How long have you been married?

We dated 15 months, knew each other 17 months, engaged 5 months…total 22ish months before marriage. We have been married almost three years 11/10/11.

What is your favorite verse/passage?

Mine is Philippians 3:14 NIV
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Are you and your spouse Christian?

We are both Christians, raised in Christian homes.

Do you practice submission in your marriage?  Why or why not?  Did your vows include “obey”?

We do practice submission, but it is mutual…he knows sometimes I am more informed on an issue and lets me make the decision. I also felt convicted of the head covering passage and wear a head covering most of the time. Our vows did include obey, I believe.

How often do you go on a date?

We try to go on a date without the baby once a quarter, grab dinner, see a movie.

What is your personal biggest weakness?  How do you try to control it in your marriage?

My biggest weakness is my tongue…I can be brutal. I have told my husband to correct me and call me out on it when I am out of control

If you could go back with all the knowledge you have…what advice would you give to your “before

married” self about your spouse?

Don’t expect him to differ greatly from the life he has always lived, just because he married me.

How many children do you have/want?

We have one, I want five or six, he wants three.

Their adorable "plus 1"

Their adorable “plus 1″

What is your most disagreed upon topic as a couple?   How do you handle it when it comes up?  Do you feel like there is no compromise on this topic?

We rarely disagree….maybe laundry? He doesn’t think it needs to be anything more than washed and dried….all over the floor instead of folded or hanging up is perfectly fine,

What is your favorite advice given to you about marriage/spouses?

Listen to him, even when you don’t want to, obey him…God put him there for a reason.

How satisfied are you both with your intimate time and the frequency?

We would both like more sex, but our LO is making things difficult lately…but I would say we are both satisfied generally speaking…

Are your parents and his parents helpful or a hindrance to your marriage?
If helpful, how has that benefited your marriage? If a hindrance, how do you deal with that as a couple?

Our parents generally are helpful. They help us with baby stuff, etc. Both of our families would like more time with is, which is hard. My husbands parents are incompetent on many levels, which he recognizes, and we get through the issues pretty smoothly.

Well that was nice, wasn’t it?  I can totally relate to the out of control tongue part, it’s comforting to see that I’m not alone, but it was even better to see she’s not afraid or too proud to have him call her down.  I don’t do so well with that!

How do you feel after reading about another couple and their inner workings?  Was it nice to see in?  Helpful or upsetting?  Are there any questions you’d like to see included?  Do you want to participate in the Marriage Works series?  If so, leave a comment with your email (I’ll edit it out).

~Mel

Recently there was a contest to answer this question. While I didn’t get chosen as the winner, I did want to post my answer!

The Question:

I am having an issue with my husband. We have been married for three years and have a baby that is 9 months old. Every other week it seems like he starts a fight with me about how little we get to go out and how “everyone else” leaves their baby with a sitter “at least once a week” and goes out for the whole night, or even leaves their baby with family and has a couples vacation. I work full time and I want to spend time with my child when I’m not working. Once a month date night is enough for me, and I don’t see how “everyone” else goes out multiple times a week without their baby. Am I really off base here?

My answer:

Mama, you are not alone, but you are off base. Just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it ok, or best for you and your husband (or your marriage). I’ll start with commiserating, we have a 16.5 year old and a 10.5 month old in the house. We both work from home, there is no “break,” and no alone time unless you are indisposed, or have lost your mind and have left a room stating “I’m done for a little while.” This also means that there is a teenager or a baby that knows what we are doing at all times…at ALL TIMES. So, we don’t get “us” time. I also still breastfeed her, so we really don’t spend much time away from the girls. We NEED “us” time. I crave it, a 30 minute shower with hubs while our teen watches the baby is like a 2 week vacation. I said that (to vent, and) to say this, Mama, you need to reconnect with your husband. Maybe he needs to reconnect with you and that’s why he’s adamant. Maybe he doesn’t know how to say “I need to talk to you not while you are tired, or the baby is crying, or while Harry The Bunny is on.” We all have issues speaking what we need sometimes and expect others to read our minds, and your husband is no exception. Nor are either of you mind readers. I think he’s just out of ways to convince you so he’s trying to guilt you into it. Not the right way to do it, but you’ve really given him no other options here since you keep shooting his idea down.

So, maybe he’s going about it wrong, I’ll give you that. I’ll also give you one up because I assure you, not all of us are having weekly dates and leaving the baby with a sitter. Some of us are, but out of you and me, none of us are doing that. You have two things right…but it’s not getting you closer to your husband so you’re losing. You’re both losing. You’re not the first working mom that has a husband that wants to spend time with her. You’re also not the first mom who has forgotten that you were a wife before you had kids and your husband misses that! How many wives do we all see saying that their husband never takes them out, or tries to, or he’s busy watching football/gaming/working? I think you’re not realizing what a great thing this could be. Your husband wants time with YOU…why is that so bad? No more than 1.5 years ago you were enjoying time with him (or you wouldn’t have a 9 month old)! Get out of your rut, get out of the house, get out of “mom” mode and you’ll be surprised how much you enjoy and crave your date nights. They can be anything from coffee, to a movie, to a shooting range trip, and last from 1 hour to a couple if you want. There is no set limit or time, just spend time with him.

I encourage you to look deeper into why you’re against it so much. It is very easy to be touched out with a baby, and many women have issues with their sex life after baby, could that be part of it? If that’s not it, then why wouldn’t you want to go on a date? You mentioned working full time. Are you overtired (dumb question, I know), work stressing you out, mad that he’s not working as much? Who watches your child while you work? If baby goes to a caregiver, then leaving the baby with family, or a sitter isn’t your issue. If baby stays at home with him while you work, then don’t you think HE needs a break? Can you compromise and go once every other week until you get back in the swing of it? We all want to spend time with our children after work, we want to see what they’ve learned, give hugs, watch them sleep, play and read to them. Your husband wants the same with you, once a week. No baby, no work, no bills, no “official business,” no fuzzy pj’s, no recliner…just you two, like it used to be. If that doesn’t sound good, then it’s time to have a talk about your relationship, and the best place to start that talk is on neutral ground, with just the two of you, on a date.

~Mel

Since this is my first blog in a while, I’m just going to write it.  I fully expect it to be jumbled and I just want to get it out.  It just feels good to write something.  I’m sorry if it hurts to read it, but welcome to my head!

If you haven’t read Hannah’s Birth Story, click here!

For years my answer to the question “do you want more kids” was “nope, I’m all done, we’re almost home free!”  Even before marrying Big Daddy I had resolved (and was quite happy) to be done and to having nothing but grandkids running underfoot.  During my previous marriage, there was a time that I was willing and wanting more kids.  I’m thankful that, for whatever reason, I did not have any.  I believe God truly protected me from that situation and knew way better than I ever could.  I thought, for a long time, that my childbearing days were over, because I had not been on BC for over 10 years and not conceived in my previous marriage or with my marriage to D.  Fast forward to the day we found out that we were pregnant with Hannah and the words “shock and awe” come to mind.  It’s easy now to (and I often do) look down at this angel sleeping on me and think “how did we ever live life without her?!”  That day, not so much.

She's a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

She’s a boob girl, 9 months and still EBF!

Pregnancy has never been a favorite thing for me.  With C, I was so young I didn’t really have anything going on and it seemed very quick and not really painful at all to be pregnant, and let’s face it, I was in much better physical shape.  Labor was a major pain (for 37 hours) and the C-section at the end was not fun.  We planned J’s pregnancy and the second I got pregnant I thought “what the hell was I thinking?!” Every moment of it sucked.  The knee pain, the extra weight, which really wasn’t bad at about 31 pounds, the all over uncomfortable-ness is just for the birds.  I had an easy labor and birth with her and was just thankful not to be pregnant any longer.  When it just didn’t work out that I had another pregnancy, it really wasn’t a big issue because I had no problems not being pregnant.  D had gotten a vasectomy after his first child was born, and during his previous marriage had it reversed to try for another child.  They never conceived, and a few months before we married, he was checked (by our family doctor) and told that he had a zero count…not.  So, we entered our marriage both thinking that our baby days were over, and just enjoying the occasional grandbaby coming over.  Just short of our 3 year anniversary we had been through some really trying months dealing with ex’s and court  for both of us.  I was stressed, he was stressed, life was not smooth sailing, but we were both happy, healthy and our marriage was better than ever.  We both got sick with a cold and were down for about 1 week, but I never quite recovered.  I remained tired, exhausted to the point that I was falling asleep sitting up!  I couldn’t eat much, my stomach was in knots and I was pretty pitiful.  After about 2 weeks of this we were sure I was just still sick with a cold and run down from the court deal and stress.  We spent a Sunday afternoon at his parent’s house, as we often do on the weekends, and while in the sunroom with 3 other people talking to me, I laid down and fell asleep…right there, mid conversation.  You remember how in school you just got that “I must close my eyes NOW” feeling?  That one.  I woke up to go to the restroom, and went and laid down on his mom’s bed!  Still tired, something was way off.  He decided to take me home, and on the way he stopped to get some things from the drug store to help me feel better.  We got home, I got changed and settled to lay down and he pulls out a pregnancy test.  He said “either your pregnant, or your going to the doctor because something is WRONG with you!”  I blew it off and said that there was no way I was pregnant and I didn’t have to pee.  Two hours later, I had to pee, and he came in to get me some more drinks and help me up to the bathroom.  I peed on the stick, he covered it and set it on the counter, and he turned around from it to get a washcloth.  By the time I could say to him “how long do we wait” – about 10 seconds had passed, and I looked down and it said “pregnant.”  My exact words were “you have GOT to be freaking kidding me.”  I’m not sure what his reaction was…because I was so shocked and freaking out.  I think he did the “I told you” laugh a few times, and he was smiling the entire time, while trying to calm me down and pull me back from tears and the edge.  Now that I think about it, I don’t think he had a clue how much I didn’t want to be pregnant again, ever.  He was thrilled:)

It’s blurry, but oh, so clear.

Since I don’t want Hannah growing up to think that I didn’t want her, let me make this clear.  I still stand by that reaction.  However, it is NOT the baby that was shocking or what I was reacting to, or that she was unwanted.  It was the realization that I was PREGNANT and would have to carry and birth a child again!  When I say “I hate being pregnant” it is a true and honest statement.  I had zero desire to be pregnant, at 37, my thoughts were not about the adorable baby we would have, but about the painful back, hips, morning sickness (all day, and carsickness I still have 9 months after her birth), leg pain, knee pain, anxiety, and the worst part…LABOR AND BIRTH!  I’m thankful that I’ve had 3 healthy pregnancies, and I’m even thankful that I had a miscarriage and was healthy through that, but pregnancy just isn’t for me.  D can attest to that, I am not a happy pregnant woman.  I’m not mean…but I’m certainly not happy.  Let’s move on, you get the point.

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

Finally showing at 13 weeks 2 days!

We were about 2 weeks out of a long court battle when we found out, the emotions were high still.  I was right at 9 weeks pregnant when we found out (we thought I was late due to stress).  After the first week of knowing we were pregnant, the shock had worn off, and excitement was setting in and offsetting the nausea!  Babies, cute clothes, names, a child that was part of both of us and did I say, a BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Very proud big sister on Mothers Day!

Big sis was grossed out, shocked, weird-ed out, proud and so excited.  I’ll throw in here, that there is no better birth control for your teenager than to see you going through all the crap of pregnancy.  Food aversions, back pain, sleepless nights, utter fatigue, reading your online timeline of what a baby looks like (that’s kinda freaky), reading “what to expect when you’re expecting,” going to all your doctor visits, and seeing the list of all the things that can go wrong, yeah, that’s great BC.  It seals the deal when they are standing next to your head while you push the baby out.  Back in pregnancy land, we were pretty excited, and life was great.  This pregnancy turned out to suck as far as being uncomfortable goes…just like I thought it would, but those things that sucked were balanced out by all the great things that make people have more than one child.  What didn’t suck, what turned out to be the best part, was that I grew our baby girl, and during that time, I learned that I can do lots of things I didn’t think I could, or that I didn’t want to, and I can be happy through them, enjoy them, find the good, and it actually turns out to be pretty awesome.  I needed that for my own good, and we needed that as a couple.  It was a rough decade before Hannah for us mentally and emotionally.

Here’s a quick trip down pregnancy memory lane…in pictures.  I didn’t think it then, but now I think I was adorable, as did D.  I looked great for feeling so crappy!

14.6-1 20.5 18.30.32 27-33 19 - 35 same dress 36.5.2

Not knowing that J was my last baby, at the time she was my baby, didn’t afford me the ohhh and ahhh moments when she did EVERYTHING.  Don’t hear that wrong, she was adorable, loved, she was “spoiled” with attention and everything she did was the most adorable thing you ever saw.  I remember and recall her walking, or videos and pictures of her firsts, and her big moments, same with my son, C.  It’s different with Hannah though, those moments are still adorable, but because I KNOW she is my last baby that I will birth they seem to have an ability to make me stop and actually note them and enjoy them more/longer.  Until I had her and had all those moments over again, I didn’t know I missed them, or that I longed for them and to enjoy them.  It’s different now than it was when either of my other kids were little, we have cameras and videos of everything now, not just Hannah, but everything.  I honestly think I have (more than) one pic for every day of her life so far.  I’m not sure if that’s last baby syndrome or just a sign of the technological times.  What I do know is that I want to remember, and I am happy and sad each time she hits a new “thing” and it reminds me of both of my older kids and how fast time flies.   I’m thankful that the season of pregnancy and birth is done, and I look forward to more babies one day, whether that is foster/adopted or more grandkids.  I’d have a million kids if I don’t have to be pregnant with them!

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J on the left, Hannah on the right

J as a baby and big brother C

J as a baby and big brother C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our children have been a blessing to both of us.  We are proud of each of them, and in the ways they learn and grow daily. D has taken on a huge role for C and J by being their dad in every way, and that’s something he and both kids needed and deserved.  While she is no more “special” than any of our children, and there was no void to fill, Hannah is everything we never knew we needed, wanted and were lacking in our lives as a family.  She has truly blended our family into a whole unit.   God really does know what he’s doing!

10505281_10204020911461340_7071894116950901065_n (1) 10448243_10204020910981328_7352318880135677652_n 10393682_10204020910821324_7664851410488359389_n 10464298_505292892936064_8654387643798957623_n
Life is good!

~Mel

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