Learning to fight better, accept more, appreciate daily and stay in love with my husband

Archive for November, 2011

A Time for Thanks

Well, much to my shock, Thanksgiving is already here.  I have no idea where the days have gone that have led me here, but here I am nonetheless.

Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite holiday.  Sounds slightly offensive, I am sure, but it is true.  The years of shuffling children and food from one house to the next has taken its toll.  Balancing our time between families.  Missing dinner with one side of the family or dessert with the other.  Trying hard not to hurt anyone’s feelings. It is downright exhausting.

It seems that in all of the chaos of the day I often forget about why we celebrate the day to begin with.  Oh yeah, it is to give thanks.

Gratitude is one of the keys to a fulfilling life, I believe.  Taking the time to revel in the gifts of life is something I try to do often.  I keep a gratitude journal on my nightstand.  I thank God as often as possible for the blessings in my life.  I am so grateful. 

For some reason, however,  on the day I am supposed to be giving thanks, all I can think about is, “When is this, very long, day going to end?”

No offense to my family of course.  They are wonderful.  I love them dearly.  I believe I have just become a little cynical about this holiday.  Maybe too many dinners with certain members of the extended family (who shall remain anonymous) sitting next to me complaining about everything going wrong in their lives. People who show no signs of gratitude. 

A huge pet peeve of mine . . . people who are negative.  Yet even in the moment that I say that I am sick of negativity at Thanksgiving, here I am being negative about it.  I have become a hypocrite! 

This year I will challenge myself to find gratitude on this day that I am supposed to give thanks.

Since this is a blog about my marriage, I thought it only appropriate to give thanks to my husband (in the event that I lose sight of my gratitude the moment the doorbell starts ringing and the tofu turkey is put in the oven).

Dear husband, I am thankful for:

Your dark blue t-shirt that hugs your chest just a little too tight.

Bedtime stories with the kids so that I can hear you make the silly voices.

How you pretend your taller than you actually are.

How you never give up hope that someday you will be able to slam dunk.

The sweet words of gratitude that you write to me every night.

The deodorant you wear that makes you smell delicious.

Your incessant motivation that makes me both love you and hate you at the same time.

The look of love that you give our children.

Your inability to keep your hands off of me most days.

Your ability to recognize the days that you better keep your hands off of me.

Your giddy weakness for sweets.

Your inability to walk up the stairs without tripping.

Your never-ending, and quite serious,  hunt for the best cup of coffee.

Your blue eyes that still make me melt.

The magnetic pull you have toward injury that makes you the only man on the planet that has gotten a black eye from a pinata.  Not the stick, but the actual pinata.

Your childish fight against going to bed.

Your uncontrollable laughter when watching SNL.

The way you can’t resist kissing me during a love scene in a movie.

I am most thankful for you this Thanksgiving.  For all that you do for our family.  For how you love me with all you have. For your dedication to our children.   For all of your strengths and all of your weaknesses.  For just being you.  I love you.

(Sorry for the mushiness of this post.  Just couldn’t help it)

Today’s lesson in improving your marriage: Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving!


I Want to Play

How often do you  play with your spouse?

The honest answer, for me, is not that often.  Why is that?

Last night, something sparked in me.  I don’t know what, but suddenly I was feeling very playful.  Poking, prodding, irritating, just being downright silly.  My husband was wondering who had abducted his wife and replaced her with this lighthearted playful woman?   At the same moment that he was calling me a freak, he was laughing and teasing with me.  It was fun.  Later I started to think about the art of playing.  Why don’t I do it more often?

When we were first married, long before children, we used to play a lot.  We would take long bike rides and play catch in the front yard.  We played scrabble all the time.  I know, for some, Scrabble is the last thing they would want to play.  Those people have never played with my husband.  He used to make me laugh so hard at the letters that he would try to pass off as words and the definitions he would have  ready when challenged.   We would often have wrestling matches to death…. ok not to the death but to the point that you felt you were going to die  from laughing so hard.

We have two young kids.  I play a lot with them.  With my children I have no problem pretending I am on a magic carpet ride to Grammy’s house or that I am a yellow Lamborghini racing to the finish line.  With my children it is easy.

Truth be told, at the end of the day, I am usually beyond tired.  My brain is fried from work, my patience is at its limit with the dog.  If my son asks me one more question I feel like my head is going to burst (then he asks the question, surprising me, my head actually doesn’t burst).  I have had it with my 8 year old’s homework.  Basically, I am done for the day.  Down for the count.  The second that we get the kids to bed we both make a beeline to the couch to veg out in front of  a recorded SNL or a rented movie.  And once I am there, I feel like I never want to move again.  Each day is a race to the finish, it seems, and completely exhausting.

I guess that explains my lack of desire to play more.

But something is wrong with that picture.  I need to play more.  It is not fair that the kids get all the fun.

Laughter makes me feel happier and laughing with someone makes me feel closer to them.

This morning, when my husband woke up he was still smirking at me from our silliness last night.  Remembering our fun from the night before and feeling connected from it has started our day off right.

So I am going to challenge myself to find another moment to play this week.  Whether it be a board game, a wrestling match or naked tag ( we did that once a long time ago.  Now that was fun! ) I am going to start making an effort to be more playful and silly.  I need to lighten up a little.

Today’s lesson to a better marriage:  Don’t forget to play

Do you play?


Connect With Me

Sometimes things come up in life that seem to push the work you’re doing on your marriage back a little.  That is what October has done for me.

It was a long and exhausting month.  We had a death in the family.  I had surgery. That along with work, children and family commitments has put a slight damper on the connection I feel with my husband.  Nothing too major, but enough to start to bug me.

Here is what I know;  the less sex I have the less sex I desire and in turn the opposite is true.  This has been a month on the lesser side.  It is understandable why it has been hard to find moments of intimacy,  but the truth is, the longer I go without sex, the harder it is for me to build up the desire.  It seems to get easier to just let another night slide by without connecting, than working up the energy to try to find the desire.  Maybe I am the only one that goes through this.  I am not sure. But, nonetheless, it is the truth.

Here is what I also know; I cannot let this continue.  It must be nipped in the bud now.

Every couple goes through hard times.  Death, loss of a job, moving, birth of a child, illness, etc…  All these things take their toll.

For me, it is key that the moment that we start to feel disconnected, we have to take steps to get the connection back.  I have learned, in the past, that if I let these slumps go by for too long it gets harder and harder to find my way back.

Step one was making sure we had date night last night.  I have to admit that it wasn’t the perfect date night.  We both had good intentions (candlelight and soft music) but things were slightly off, if you know what I mean.   Nevertheless, what is most important, to me, is that the effort is there.  As long as we are both working towards getting back on track, I know that we will get there.

Step two is making effort to connect throughout the day.  If I get an impulse to kiss or hug my husband I do it.   A long kiss in the kitchen.   Sneaking into his office for a hug.  Little things like that really add up.  Something as simple as sending a text that says “I am thinking of you” makes me feel closer to my husband.

Step three will be to have sex as often as possible.  Even if I am not really in the mood.  For me, the more sex I have, the more desire I have and in turn the more connected I feel.  It does my relationship absolutely no good if I continue to put off opportunities to be together.  There is nothing more healing than a couple of really great “rolls in the hay” (ok, we don’t really have hay, but you know what I mean)

Marriage is work.  It takes effort and energy to make sure that you reconnect.  If you think about a couple that you admire and aspire to be like, I guarantee they have put in blood, sweat and tears to make that marriage work (ok, maybe not the blood, but you get the idea.)

Today’s lesson to a better marriage:  Make sure you give the time and energy needed to reconnect.

What challenges have you had this past month?