From Mediocre to Great

Its the little things. You know it, I know it, we ALL know it. We can hide from it all we want but the fact is,  the little things matter! This could not be more true that with your marriage/relationship. Let me tell you how I almost destroyed my marriage, and how I am still working to make it more than mediocre. Who wants a mediocre marriage anyways? We should all strive to make it GREAT!

When we first got married I used to write about my problems on Facebook. Many nights my marriage was the topic of choice. He didn’t pack my moving truck correctly, he didn’t show me enough attention, blah blah blah. Anything that upset me automatically went to Facebook, almost as a way to gain support and ammunition for my next argument. “Well Jane agreed that it was stupid of you to fold your socks. Who does that anyways?”. In all honesty, I was a shitty wife! And I’m ashamed that my husband ever had to endure that amount of disrespect and embarrassment.  What seems like something harmless can usually do the most damage, and it did! In my mind all I wanted was justification for my feelings/actions but in his mind I did not respect his difference in opinion or is needs. Essentially I was degrading him to make myself feel better. If you didn’t know this already, that’s a big no no. Under NO circumstance is it okay to make someone feel lesser of themselves just to make yourself feel better. And who wants their friends to believe that they have a shitty husband? Now I strive to build him up, to make other people say “man you’re lucky to be his wife” because you know what? I am VERY lucky!

I also would knit pick. Now this one I really struggle with even now. Old habits die hard, but they do indeed die if you put in the effort. Lets go back to the sock scenario. My husband separates his long work socks from his every day socks. In the beginning of our marriage this annoyed me to know end. Who was he to expect me to separate his socks? That’s ridiculous! But was it really? No. I used to complain about every little move he made that I thought was wrong. He didn’t fold the laundry my way, he didn’t load the dishwasher my way. He didn’t pick out matching clothes for our kids. The list is endless. If it wasn’t done BY ME then it was wrong. And then something magical happened. Instead of listening to me bitch and degrade him, he just stopped helping. Oh and there was more bitching to be had. How dare he! But you know what? I was selfish and ungrateful! I had demanded, not even asked, I demanded his help and here I was tearing him down for not doing it my way. Wrong move honey.  Its a sure fire way to get him to quit helping  altogether!

Anyone else got caught up in their feelings and denied him sex? Am I the only one? Surely not! After all “women only control one thing and that’s sex” right? Right? Men need sex the way women need romance and attention. Sex is not only a way to feel closer physically but emotionally as well, and that is true for both men and women! By constantly putting his needs on the back burner you’re setting yourself up for the same response from him. We demand our needs be met yet we so often forget that he has needs too. Often we are to tired, just not in the mood, or all touched out. In our minds that is reasonable, after all we’ve had a long day chasing kids. But for the average man its almost like saying “I don’t love or desire you anymore”, and for men this can be a huge hit. I never realized how huge of an impact this had until my husband said “you hate me don’t you?” when I turned him down for the 10th night in a row. His statement couldn’t have been further from the truth, but in his mind I didn’t want to be close to him in the way he needed so he felt unloved and neglected. I’m not saying you should be his sex slave, I’m saying you should think about your reasons for saying no and ask yourself if its worth hurting your marriage over.

Our marriage was not a healthy marriage in the beginning. I’m ashamed that either of us acted the way that we did, but honestly, its become the norm in todays society. You make one mistake and I’m gone. Divorce is on the rise because its easier than putting the work and effort into it. I chose to take the road less travelled so to speak. I chose to honor and love my husband in all that I do. Do I fall short? Almost every day! We all do! But I wake up and tell myself, today you will be a better wife than yesterday! It takes effort, it takes commitment, it takes selflessness. Its easy to get caught up in the me me me of life. But I am prime example, if you put yourself aside and put your spouses needs first, it will make a world of difference.

I started by letting go and realizing that he is human and humans make mistakes. I make mistakes daily, why can’t he? Once I realized the double standard Ive been working hard to fix it. Now I’m working on not picking apart every move that he makes. We are different people with different opinions and mannerisms. I cannot expect him to do everything the exact way I *think* it should be done. And I show him I love him daily. I do the extra little things without him needing to ask, I tell him I love him often, and I remind him that I am in this for the long haul. Poor man is stuck with me till death do us part! I won’t be another statistic, will you?

 

Much Love,
SHM

 

 

All Touched Out Today

Having kids puts a huge strain on marriage in more ways than one. This isn’t some huge top secret information, just ask any married couple with children. Its hard on many aspects of marriage. It pushes couples to stand together even if in doubt, to stay strong, to put themselves aside for the sake of another human being. Sometimes this takes a toll on the couples sex life. I can attest to this. From experience after our first child was born our sex life took a HUGE nose dive. By the end of the day I was just all “touched” out. I had changed, loved on,  hugged, kissed, and soothed K from the moment we woke until the moment he fell asleep in my arms that night. I was covered in baby vomit, food, and who knows what else.  By the end of the night I didn’t want to be touched anymore.

The thought of having to touch someone else or make someone else happy was utterly exhausting to me. It wasn’t that I didn’t WANT to make my husband happy I just didn’t feel like I had it in me to give myself over to another person that day. To surrender myself over to him when all I really wanted was a nice long bath, 5 minutes to read a book in peace and hopefully get a full nights rest. I wanted my husband to be happy but I couldn’t find it in myself to give up that 5 minutes of me time to make him happy. Not to mention how I felt when I looked in the mirror. I was NOT the person he married, physically or mentally. I now had stretch marks, an extra 20 lbs, and I just did not feel “sexy” in my own skin. If I didn’t find myself sexy I didn’t believe he would either.

This man made sacrifices for me daily. He worked 16+ hours a day and came home to a tired wife and grumpy child. He did bath time and bed time without complaint and even went above and beyond for me. He was putting in all this effort and all he asked for in return was to be touched and cuddled and I couldn’t find it in myself to give it to him.

It wasn’t until a very horrible argument that I started seeing what the lack of intimacy was doing to my marriage. After all this is the man that gave me such amazing children. How could I be so selfish to put my own wants and needs in front of his? My husband has never asked for much from me. He simply needs a little love and attention sometimes. It is his love language actually. And for me to ignore that made me feel like the worst person in the world.

I vowed that night to try to change things. I wanted to make this man happy. After all he did for our family it really was the least I could do. So I started making it a routine. I know this sounds like a ridiculous idea but it truly did save my marriage. I would prepare that day by doing the normal female things. I would shower, shave, pick out something sexy to wear under my clothes and I would send him a naughty text to let him know I was thinking of him. Once home and the daily to do list was done I would then take him to bed. In the beginning I really wasn’t in the mood. I would argue with myself daily and say “JUST DO IT! Just do it for him! Do it for the man you love!” and that little ritual worked. It took about two months of doing this at least twice a week to regain my sex drive. But I started to look forward to these days, to making my husband happy, because the harder I tried to make him happy the harder he tried to do the same but in his own ways.

Do I still feel all touched out some days? Heck yea! Fast forward 3 years and a set of twins later and I totally feel this way a lot. But I do not let it stop me from making him happy. Sex is what made the children but it doesn’t have to stop just because the ‘job’ is done. Intimacy and sex are key elements in a marriage, don’t let life get in the way of that. Even if you have to plan it as I did, your marriage will prosper from it.

 

Much love,

SHM