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

Posts tagged ‘date night’

My Pity Party In the Closet

Lately I have been standing center stage with the spotlight blinding me at my own pity party. There are only two people on the invite list, myself and my husband.  And my husband wishes he could just ignore the invite all together.  It is embarrassing to say, but it is true.

I am not sure what is up.  I just think that sometimes the stars align just right. They align in perfect order so that I can look at them and find everything wrong with the world.  Just in line to turn a normally positive and optimistic girl into a pessimistic stranger.

That is me.  The unrecognizable girl, laying in her husband’s lap in the closet, bawling for no real apparent reason, unable to pick herself up off the floor.

The stress of a bad business decision, unknown finances, an excess 10lbs that wasn’t there last year,  the undeniable stress of work and parenthood.  Stacking on top of each other all at once and, WHAM!  The once strong and happy woman of yesterday is the dark cloud of today.

I know that regardless of my list of excuses, sitting in the closet checking off all that is wrong is ridiculous.  In my moments of clarity I know that.   I know that I am quite capable of getting up off of the floor, dusting the carpet lint of my clothes and wiping the mascara smudges off my face.   In the heat of the moment though, I need to be reminded.

In comes husband, who provides his clothes as a snot rag, his lap as a pillow and his hands to move the hair out of my face.  Soothing and listening. Reminding me that I am better than this.

When I said, “I don’t know what to do.”  He replied, “Just start with what you do know.”   That simple statement stuck.  Start with what I know.

What did I know?  I knew I needed to get up off the floor.  I knew I needed a little time to myself and I knew I needed to move my body some so that I could start to feel good again.  That is all I knew, but it was enough.

I am still short-tempered and falling into tears easier than usual, but everyday is a new day.  I set new exercise goals, ones simple enough to do with minimal effort.  I cut some pages out of a magazine for inspiration and posted them on my closet wall where I can see them everyday.  I asked my husband to take over with children a couple of nights a week, so I can have some peace to think, I started writing in my daily accountability journal again.  Little steps that move me in the right direction.

Through all of this, there is one thing that I found easy gratitude for.  My marriage.  I am so grateful that husband and I have spent so much energy strengthening our marriage.  What would happen if our marriage was rocky on top of all of the stress that my meltdown has put on us?  It could be disastrous.

But, all of the work we have done has helped prepare us for times like these.  It has given us a real foundation that keeps us balanced when it feels everything else is going to crumble.  That foundation boosts me.  It gives me hope.  It reminds me that I have done something right. . . . .  A strong, loving, supportive, forgiving marriage.  That definitely has to count for something right?

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage:  Keep up the hard work.  It will pay off in ways you can’t imagine

photo credit: Evil Erin via photopin cc

I Have A Crush!

photo by freedigitalphotos.net

I recently read an article in October edition of Redbook Magazine titled, ” Get Ready to Crush on your Husband.”  The title sold me.  I was in!

It talked about things that you can do to revisit that spark that you felt for your spouse in the beginning.  It made me think back to our beginning and reminisce about the things that started my crush in the first place.  Granted, when my crush started I was going thru puberty, but regardless there were certain things that made my heart race.

I remember, way back then, being crazy about his hugs.  My husband gives great hugs.  They are not half-assed hugs.  They are both arms wrapped around, body close, head tucked close to mine, tight squeeze kind of hugs.  They used to make my knees go weak.

I remember crushing on him because of his sense of humor.  He was always silly.  He knew how to bring a lightness to a room.  He was always joking.  He would do things that would make me shrink with embarrassment and laugh at the same time.

I remember having a crush because of his energy.  My husband is the kind of guy that can walk into a room and people look.  He draws people to him.  He always has.  He can bring a power and buzz to a room and make it shine brighter without even trying.

I definitely had a crush over his looks.  He was a hottie, at least in my eyes, way back in our Freshman year in high school. I remember thinking, Wow!  How did a guy like him, pick a girl like me?   I felt so  lucky.

What happens is, thru the years, you lose sight of all of those things that made you have a crush on the man to begin with. Not only that, but many of the things that you used to find attractive, now can be completely ignored or can make you absolutely crazy.

How often to I pay attention to his hugs?  Do find his silliness attractive?  Do I laugh at what I used to find adorably funny.  Do I notice when he walks into the room?

The article talks about how even after so many years together, you can still get that feeling of butterflies at strange and unexpected moments.  The point is, when that happens,  make sure you pay attention.

Since reading the article, I have thought a lot about the whole crush thing.  I realized that I get this feeling all of the time these days. It can be from taking in a good deep breath of how good he smells, to watching him on the floor playing with our son, to taking in a certain way he looks at me with his incredible blue eyes, or watching him walk toward me across a room with his goofy little grin.

It seems that the key to keeping the butterflies is to not only notice the moments he makes my heart beat a little faster, but to make sure I don’t let it pass without acting on it, or at the very least sharing my feeling with hubby.  He should know that he can still make me feel like a teenager with crush.

Just after I read the article, my husband went to run an errand.  He took the Jeep.  The Jeep is our favorite car.  In the summer, he takes the top and the doors off of it.  I was watching thru the window as he hopped in.   He put on his shades, turned up the music and sped out of the driveway.   All I could think was, “Damn, that Jeep looks good on him.”  He looked so sexy driving away in that car.  He looked young and free and so hot! And, I made sure to tell him so when he got back.

Today’s Lesson In Improving My Marriage: Yeah, I still got it!  I still have a crush on my husband. The key is to continue to work to keep it that way.

I am curious, what makes you crush on your spouse?

photo by freedigitalphotos.net

My Sexy Experiment With “The 4 Hour Body”!

I want to supercede this post by letting you know that I am not trying to be tawdry in any way, but I do feel that sex is a vital part of a healthy marriage.  So I can’t help but feel the need to share with you how date night went for me this week.  In one word, Unforgettable!

My husband is a big fan of Tim Ferriss, author of the “4 Hour Workweek”.  He talks about it all the time and asked for the extended audiobook for Christmas.   So when he told me that Tim Ferriss had come out with a new book called the “The 4 Hour Body”, I knew I needed to get it for him.

I came across it a few weeks ago while shopping.  It is enormous!   It would cause some serious damage if you were hit over the head with it.  I thought about putting it back on the shelf and walking away.  I mean, who wants to read that many pages on exercise and nutrition?  No thanks!  But, before I put it back I read the front cover and table of contents.   There is a whole chapter about improving sex.  I thought, “Okay this could be interesting.” So I bought it for the hubby.

Since the night I brought it home, a couple of weeks ago, Hubby has been reading it every day.  He is completely hooked.

Tim Ferriss is an interesting man.  He is a  master at self experimentation.  His book has very detailed descriptions on how to get the body that you desire with tried and true testimony from Tim himself.  It is fascinating really.

My husband wanted me to read a particular chapter that he found really interesting on using kettlebells in your exercise routine.  I had never even heard of a kettlebell, but I enjoyed the chapter enough to flip through the rest of the book to look at the other chapter titles.

There is a whole chapter on improving sex complete  with very detailed pictures, and that night just so happened to be date night.  Perfect!

So our date night consisted of my husband reading, out loud to me, that particular chapter.  But it wasn’t enough just to read it, we needed to test the theories.

Without going into too much detail, let me just say we had a wonderful date night. It was sexy, sweet, and highly surprising.  Unlike anything we have ever done before.

Don’t get me wrong, our sex life is awesome!  I am often shocked that after all these years I can still feel the passion that I do for my husband.  Neither of us feel lacking in any way.  However, what I learned from reading this book, and trying out the methods, is that there is always room for improvement.  How wonderful a feeling to realize that we love each other enough to want to get better at loving each other.  To try new positions, to talk about it, to make myself unbelievably vulnerable. It all served to bring us  closer.

In fact the next day, all I could think about was what happened the night before.  A little unusual for me.

I also learned that if Tim Ferriss was right about his sex theories, maybe I should pay attention to the other chapters.  I better run out and get those kettlebells, right now!

I strongly recommend to all couples, to try something new in the bedroom (or somewhere different for a change.)   Try a new position, a new technique, get a book, talk, get comfortable saying what you like and don’t like, and improve your skills.  Sex should never be boring.  It should always have an element of connection, passion and newness.

If you are needing a little spark in the bedroom or you are just feeling a little adventurous, I recommend picking up a copy of this book and head right to the chapter on improving sex.

Practice makes perfect!  Have fun.

Today’s lesson in improving my marriage:  Practice, practice, practice!

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?

 

 

 

 

A Word, Or Two, About Date Night

The infamous “Date Night.”   What does that mean to you?

Here is what I have found to be true.  My husband and I  usually use the weekend to catch up with each other.  To hang out late and watch movies.   To catch up on some romance that is severely lacking during the week.  We sometimes get one of the grandparents to watch the kids while we go to dinner or the movie theatre.  Weekends are awesome.   They allow us to rejuvenate ourselves and our relationship.  We feel in love, connected, happy. 

Then Monday comes and it all quickly heads downhill.    Monday thru Friday is a big blur.  Shuttling my son too and from preschool, picking up my daughter from school, cleaning,  chorus, dance class, work, making dinner, laundry, work, volunteering at my daughter’s school, meetings, work, helping with homework… well you get the picture.  I am sure you are very familiar with it yourself.  

My husband an I quickly slip out of our sweet pocket of weekend romance  into two people who seem to run on auto mode.  The week is exhausting to say the least.  Every night I collapse into bed, aching for sleep.  Most weeks, I reach Friday and have to really think  back through the week  to remember if I had given my husband a real kiss or to try to recall when the last time we were intimate was.    I get to Friday and feel short with my husband and disconnected and aching to have a moment alone  just to breathe. We both agreed, the problem was we didn’t really feel like a couple.  We didn’t make time to cuddle, kiss, listen to music together, chat about nothing in particular.  Everything was always so rushed.  We were too tired for those simple things.

We decided, enough was enough.  If we were going to make our marriage our priority we needed to figure out a way to connect during the weekdays.  A way to feel stronger as a couple.  Romance and connection should not just be a weekend treat. 

We decided to start  having  date night on a week day.  But, having to go out for “date night” during the week wasn’t practical. The challenge was, it would have to be an at-home date night after the kids went down for bed. 

As of January, this year, Tuesday has become our date night.

We decided date night wouldn’t be about sex.  In fact we would take it off the table.  It would be a night where there was no pressure to have it. 

 That was a relief for me.  I longed for time with my husband that wasn’t about sex.  I wanted to talk and to cuddle.     

We also decided that “date night” should not include talk about children, work or money.       Let me tell you, it is incredibly difficult to know what to talk about once we weren’t allowed to talk about those things.  What else was there? 

I found an article in a magazine that I read that had suggestions of conversations starters for “getting to know your husband again.”  How ridiculous is that?  Getting to know my husband?  I have been with him my whole life.  I know him better than he knows himself.  But, there was something intriguing and sexy about the idea of “getting to know him again.” The questions  the article provided were fun, light and had absolutely nothing to do with our “tabu” topics.  Perfect!

So what do Tuesday nights look like for us?   We found, through many trial and error date nights, what works best for us. 

After the kids go down, even though sometimes we don’t want to or are too tired, we meet in bed.  Funny huh?  No pressure for sex, but we meet in bed.  Why? Because it is the most intimate place in our house.  It is our little haven in a world of chaos.  A candle and Kenny Chesney in the background.  We meet, not for sex, but for conversation and to hang out.    We ask silly questions like, “If someone made a movie about your life, who would play your character?” (Meg Ryan, for sure) or “What superhero would you want to be, and why?” (The girl from Hancock.  She could do it all) or “What was the best dessert you ever had?” (The lava cake at Roy’s. Absolutely sinful).  We talk about fantasies,  where we want to go on vacation,  our bucket list.  We learn about each other.

It is sweet, romantic, relaxing and,usually,  incredibly hot.  Did  I mention we do this, sans clothing?  Let’s just say, for us, taking sex off the table does not mean that we don’t have sex on date night.  In fact, not one of them has passed without, let’s say, a happy ending 🙂  It just means the pressure is off.  We don’t have to worry about a result.  It is just good old-fashioned quality time.

I love date night. It has made a huge impact in our marriage. 

All the articles I read about keeping a marriage strong talk about the importance of date night.  But, I think what is really important is to do date night right.  Find out what really works best for both of you.    It should be a time that you both enjoy and that should allow you to  focus solely on each other.  It is meant as a time to come back together as a couple and remind yourselves why you fell in love in the first place.

Although it is hard to put the time aside, and most of us can make up a million reasons not to, every couple should have a regular date night.  As Nike would say, “Just do it.”  If you are dedicated to it, the payoff is amazing.

Tammy