Archive | May 2012

Throwback Thursdays: Oops! Did I say that?

Okay, I am going to start this off by saying I love you, honey, and you’re the best!!  :)   That’s something we should say all the time!

Today’s article is in relation to an article that I read called 8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband by Denise Schipani.  As I read through it, I realized that sometimes I have said things to my hubby that I meant differently but they came out the wrong way and it hurt him.   What is it that the Bible says, “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” (Proverbs 15:4).   I know there are times when I need to stop crushing my husband’s spirit with my tongue.  The times I do are not intentional.  Anyhow, I thought we could discuss these 8 things that the article  says you should never say, then see if we can come up with some more….

1.  “You’re just like your father.” :  Raising my hand that I have said this one and other variations of this one.   From the looks I get from my DH, you would think I just insulted him.    There are times when he does PHYSICALLY look like his Dad, which is not a bad thing, but when I say “You just looked like your Dad there.”  well, that was probably not the thing to say.  My DH is very different from his Dad, so when I feel that one on the tip of my tongue, I try to rephrase it.

2.  “When are you going to find a new job?” :  that one is not in my que.  I grew up with a Dad that worked because he had to bring in a paycheck.  I want my DH to do what he loves.   He is much happier when he is doing what he loves in his work.  Having a happy Daddy come home to our kiddos and not being in the camp where you need to stay outta Dad’s way when he gets home is so much better in my book.  My hubby has a good reputation in his work.  He may not be a lawyer, doctor or mechanic making big bucks, but who cares!  As long as he is happy with what he does, I support him.

3. “My mother warned me you would do this!” : again, this isn’t relative to me at all.   As you can see from my former article Cutting the Apron Strings Pt. 1 and Cutting the Apron Strings Pt. 2, I don’t share things about my life with my husband to my folks at all.  Why would I?  It makes me look like a whiney little kid and it puts a bad taste in their mouths about him, so I just never do it.

4. “Just leave it!  I’ll do it myself!” : I don’t think I say this one out loud, but I know I do it with my actions.   Or say it in my head.  It’s just the Type A person I am.  I do it at work.  I do it at home.  When our kids were little, I used to get so frustrated when he didn’t do things the way I did it, but I did learn that they did still work out just fine.   I am still learning that sometimes I just need to let it be.  He is a very capable man that can tear a Camaro apart and put it back together again, so surely he can handle other tasks around the house with ease as well.

5. You always _________ ” or ” You never __________”:  Those words…always and never.  Those are absolutes.   I catch myself using them, but they aren’t true.  He doesn’t ALWAYS do something or NEVER do things…. maybe he doesn’t do them as frequently as I would like, but saying, “You NEVER put your clothes in the vicinity of the laundry basket.”  … well that’s not really true.  I am sure he does sometimes.  Maybe not as often as I like, but it is all in how I ask him.

6. Do you really think those pants are flattering?  I know BOTH of us have had our issues with our weight and HE is the better one at working on controlling his weight through diet and exercise.  I am the one who sees a Reeses Peanut Butter cup package in the vending machine at work and I swear I see my name on it.   I won’t say I have never said anything, but I know myself that all I have to do is take a look in the mirror and see that I am no Bo Derek.  I can see the plank in my eye, so I don’t complain about his.   I DO try to tell him when he looks nice.   We need to build up our men and not tear them down.  Ephesians 4:29

7. “Ugh, we’re hanging out with him again?”:  I happen to like all my hubby’s friends.  Now I have been guilty of when a friend texts him at 11pm asking him to ignore it…  Some of his friends actions do bother me, and I have been known to let my DH know it or encourage him to talk to his friends, but I hope that he doesn’t consider me rude or pushy when I do that.

8. “Please watch the kids.  Don’t do this, take them here or forget that….”: When our kids were little, I might have been more inclined to say, or at least think something like this.  I know our kids have fun with their Dad.  My daughter adores him and looks forward to her “Daddy/Daughter Donut Days” My son loves shooting the breeze with him about baseball and learning how to drive 50 mph in a parking lot and learning how to come to an emergency stop in the car.  He’s a cool parent and I let him parent the way he feels natural to do.  I know he would never intentionally put the kids in harms way and I trust his judgment.  Would I do some of the things that he does?  Probably not, but that’s because I am the uncool parent.   LOL!

Okay, reading #6 reminded me of one more that I think I really need to add, so here’s my #9….

9.  “Honey, do these pants make my butt look big?”: All I have to say is if you don’t want to hear the truth, don’t ask.

So….what do you think about these?  Are there others that we tend to say, not meaning to hurt our DH’s, but they end up doing any way?  Advice ?  Suggestions?

Original comments can be found here.    Feel free to add your own!

Q&A: Will We Be Disappointed?

I’m engaged and getting married this July.  My fiance and I have been together nearly 6 years.  I have been a christian since I was 5, and I went on a “wandering” when in my late teens.  Unfortunately I let myself believe that my relationship with my boyfriend at the time (now fiance) was close enough to marriage and we loved each other and wanted to get married so now was as good as time as ever (we were both virgins leading up to this).  It didn’t take long for guilt to wreck any appeal that sex had had, and we ended up stopping after only a few months because it had become a fight waiting to happen. I was still in a relationship with my bf, and a bit after I got on the straight and narrow he became a christian.  A few months after that we got engaged (last March).  We have stopped asking ourselves the “how far is too far?” question, and refrain (with great effort) to do anything other than kiss, hug and talk.  So while it seems that we have worked “everything” out for now I feel that this will probably have some negative effects on our marriage and in particular our marital sex life.  We are both really excited about our honeymoon.  But I feel a bit apprehensive because I don’t want it to be the way it was before, but I think my fiance thinks we are going to jump back into it like we never quit.  I’m just not as sure as he is about that.  I don’t want him to be disappointed, and I don’t want to be disappointed or disappoint him, or put too much pressure on myself in an attempt to not disappoint him.

I took this question even though this reader is not married yet for one reason…. I’ve been there, done that, but DH and I did have premarital sex before we got married…stopped for a bit….. and then as we approached our wedding day, I had some of the same thoughts that this reader has.

It’s a really difficult dilemma.  The one thing that I would recommend most is premarital counseling.   I really think that engaged couples who go into marriage without this don’t know what they are getting into.   Premarital counseling can bring up questions that you may not think to ask… you may feel uncomfortable about asking because you are afraid of what your fiance may say…. or you may not realize need to be discussed.   The first several years can be really hard once all the newlywed warm fuzzies wear off, and all that is left is the marriage.

It is also important to sit down with your fiance before the wedding and really talk this all out.   Listen to what he expects will happen once you are married…. ask him to listen to your concerns.  This is a BIG part of your upcoming marriage is to learn how to communicate….to really listen to your spouse, repeat back what you have heard, and then to respond back with love.   Be truthful in that you don’t know what to expect sexually once you have said “I do.”  It may not be as “thrilling” as it was when it was sinful before marriage.   I think that was part of the thrill for me before I got married to DH … it was naughty.  You weren’t supposed to do it.   And yes, I did feel guilty.  That’s why we stopped before we got married.   And because of our expectations, it might have been really good for the first few months of marriage for us, but after I got pregnant 5 months into our marriage….it all changed.    That is for us…. because we really never talked about sex after having a baby….how it was going to change my outlook on life and my sexuality.

So please, if you haven’t done so already (I realize your wedding is coming up soon!), please sit down with a good pastor and get some good premarital counseling.  The pastor can also help talk you through your expectations about sex after you get married.

Maybe for your honeymoon, you can both choose to take a book to read together.  Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman is a good one that comes to mind.  Helps each of you to understand what is going on in the mind and body of your spouse.

Does anyone else have any suggestions for this couple?

Good luck and God bless you both with you upcoming wedding and marriage!

What’s Behind the Seven Year Itch?

I read an article that was out of London called The Seven Year Itch is Now the Three Year Glitch and I created a poll from it as well on CN.  You can find it here.  That got me thinking….what really is the seven year itch?  Does it really exist?  Or is it getting shorter?

Movies have been written about it…did you see the movie starring Marilyn Monroe?   The one with the dress and the subway grate?  Surely you’ve seen that scene on TV or commercials.   It was also a play on Broadway.   In the 1800′s, it was an irritating skin complaint, pimply and itchy, that supposedly lasted for seven years.   Traditionally, now a days, it is used to commonly refer to the inclination to become unfaithful after seven years of marriage.

When I was in the first 7 years of my marriage, I really thought it was something that was real.  Unbeknownst to Mr. Nutmeg to this day (well now he’ll know), I was really scared when we got to that 7th year.   Was he going to get bored of me?  Was I going to get bored of him?  Would one of us cheat on the other?   Did it start at the beginning of that 7th year or after our 7 year anniversary?  Yes, I was, and still am at times, very naive about things.   Around that 7 year time period for us was when I got pregnant with our daughter and after her birth.   Was I planning on cheating? NO!  Was he?  NO!   I was just truly ignorant to and believed what society thinks is a done deal.

I was reading several articles on the subject, one (quoted above) that suggests that maybe it happens after 3 years of marriage, and it amazes me what is published out there that people believe as the gospel truth.  In the article Can you Survive the Seven Year Itch?, they interviewed four women.  The first one in the article expected love to conquer all.  Love can’t do it by itself, and much to her husband’s sorrow, she wants to separate and divorce.  He isn’t meeting her expectations.   The fairy tale marriage blew up in this relationship.  Once all the glitz and glamour was gone and the real world set in, their marriage began to implode…at least to her.   I did agree with the assessment in this article of why 7 years is the landmark of the itch… “As soon as you’ve been married for seven years, you can’t help but momentarily evaluate your relationship. And I can see why it might be a turning point – the honeymoon period is over, the warm period of normality and familiarity may be cooling, and some people may start looking for what’s next.” I think that is why people start doubting that they made the right choice…. That huggy, touchy, feely kind of love that you had in your dating period, the fairy tale weddings, and the newlywed phase wear off, and that is where you really start to learn what love really is.

Love is just a feeling. Marriage is  a commitment.   A covenant.  “Honey, I may not feel that I love you, but I really do love you” kind of covenant.   The “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence” doesn’t even factor into the covenant you made with your spouse.  When you make this covenant with your spouse, your vows don’t say that you’ll look for something new when the old flame wears out.   That’s when the richer or poorer kicks in….in sickness and in health….for better or for worse….until DEATH do us part.   I made that commitment to my husband and to God.

It would have been really easy during my refusing years to decide that it was all Mr. Nutmeg’s fault that I was so unhappy.  Comparing my marriage to others at church, thinking that they must be in a perfect marriage and hoping that I am not showing that I am not. You know, it wasn’t until years later that God revealed to me that while my marriage wasn’t perfect by any means (I mean whose is?), but that He had chosen the perfect man for me that completes me.   My spouse knew the true meaning of love and was willing to do everything and anything in his power to keep our marriage alive.   That’s basically the opposite of what Melani decided  in the quoted article above.   It was her husband’s fault that they couldn’t buy a house.  It was her husband’s fault that she wasn’t happy.  In the article, it sounds like he was very level headed.   His voice in that article sounds like my husband’s. “I fell in love with <her> the moment we met and I’d do anything to spend my life with her”.  It is obvious that unless she has a heart to heart with God and with her husband, no one is going to please her and she may doom herself in future marriages if she tries to marry again.

Here’s an article from Psychology Today to discuss a bit, too, in the comment section entitled How to Avoid the Seven Year Itch.  In the article, Drs. Charles and Elizabeth Schmitz offer 7 rules to help avoid the seven year itch and how to build a love that lasts.   My husband and I discussed these 7 rules together.  He agreed with them.   He added in our conversation that in our marriage, we don’t at this point have “opportunities” at work that some find in coworkers.   Being unhappy and discussing it with coworkers of the opposite sex that are unhappy, too….he’s right….Infatuations and affairs all come in these situations, so it is important to guard your heart and not to ACT on your infatuations.

Please feel free to add your thoughts, feelings and experiences with the “Seven Year Itch” below.   We can all learn from each other how to keep our covenants alive in our marriage and maybe we can share things we’ve done/tried when we start to feel boredom come into the picture or feel like we are falling out of love with our spouse.  I look forward to reading your responses.

I am republishing this right before DH and I celebrate 17 years of marriage. 

Original article.