Marital Monday: 5 Issues Men Have With Their Wives

As I have stated before I like to observe married couples. Why do I do this? To be honest I do it to help me with my own marriage. To learn. I observe couples as a unit and I observe husbands and wives as individuals. This post focuses on some things I have learned from observing husbands ( my own included).

There are things that women do that their husbands have issues with.  Here are the 5 most common that I have noticed.

  1. Letting herself go – This is something that men usually do not admit outright but they notice. They realize that their wife now favors yoga pants over a cute pair of jeans and hats have replaced hairstyles. I can’t imagine that my husband gets too excited when he comes home to me wearing the same nightshirt and sweats that I was wearing when he went to work.
  2. Sharing marital problems with others – When a wife has an problem in the marriage her man wants her to communicate the issue to him, not to her girlfriends or other family members. He wants to be respected enough as her husband to be spoken to first so together they can work out the issue as a couple. He does not want her to come to him last after her thoughts have already been clouded by the opinions and advice from individuals outside of the marriage.  If the issue can not be resolved together then as a couple they should seek outside guidance from a third party they both trust.
  3. Treating him like a kid – Whether you have children or not, your husband is not one of them and does not like being treated like one. What I have realized from my husband is that it’s all in the tone. Men do not like being spoken to in the same tone that their wives use to speak to the children.
  4. Being insecure about other women – Men find it annoying when every time they mention another woman (whether it be a co-worker or a childhood friend) the conversation gets cut off because their wife begins grilling them about who the woman is, what she looks like and if she has ever met her before.  I understand if there have been issues with trust in the past which causes the wife to feel insecure but if you have forgiven your spouse you have to trust that it won’t happen again and not expect that it will.
  5. Not showing appreciation – Like women, men also like to feel appreciated. They do not like to just be told what to do or what they are not doing wrong. Men like to be appreciated for what they are doing right. When they feel appreciate they desire to do more of the “little things” grows.

Ladies, don’t worry the list of thigs we have issues with when it comes to our husbands will be done…it will just be hard to edit it to just 5 things, lol.

~Tricia

Marital Monday: 112 Weddings

Often times while I am cleaning the kitchen I find a good documentary to play on the laptop.  A couple of months ago I came across the HBO Documentary 112 Weddings on HBO Go.  This was an amazing film.

I watch it again with my husband and we paused and discussed throughout the film. The conversation it evoked between us was amazing. We shared things that we have never shared with anyone or even admitted to ourselves.

I recommend it to all! Whether you have been married for years or you are still single waiting for the one, you can benefit from this movie.

For over twenty years filmmaker Doug Block has had a side business of being a wedding videographer. In this film he follows up with a few of the 112 couples whose special day he has captured over the years. Can you imagine? He had a front view seat to all of these weddings and now 5 years…. 8years…. 20 years later he meets with them a again to talk about there experience thus far (the good and the bad). It even shares the story of 2 couples preparing to get married.

I think there are about 8 couples who are part of this documentary. The couples vary by years married, race, and lifestyle. One couple has a child with special needs, while another couple is battling depression. There are also couples that share why they are no longer married. These couples allowed themselves to be vulnerable and transparent.  There is definitely something for everyone to relate to.

Here is the trailer.

For more information about this film click here.

Watch, enjoy and please share your thoughts.

~Tricia

Marital Monday: Don’t Talk Just Listen

shhI don’t know if it is because I am a Social Worker but I always feel the need to give advice when my husband is talking. Okay! I must be honest. I just don’t give advice. I totally assess what he is saying and give him a full out treatment plan. This works well when he asks me for my help but many times he just wants to vent to his wife about whatever is on his mind.

It didn’t hit me that this was a problem until a few months ago when he told me flat out he finds himself not wanting to share things with me because I go so deep into what he is saying. It really made me think. Never do I want to be so annoying that my husband does not want to communicate things that are on his mind. I am his wife not his therapist.

Am I the only one that does this? I don’t think so. Social Worker or not, I think this is something that many wives do and many husbands find annoying. Many times, as women we feel we need to be a problem solver. Well, I have news for you many times our husbands just want us to be a listening ear. Whether he wants to talk about work, family, aspirations, or whatever, we just need to listen.  We get on our husbands for not wanting to communicate but never do we take a look at how we respond when they do communicate. When we do this it is as if we are saying that they are incapable of problem solving on their own. We are treating them like our child not our spouse (which is a different post for a different day, lol).

Because of my inability to just sit and listen I took away my husbands desire to talk to me. I am just grateful that he was honest enough to let me know how he felt so that I could work on it.  That showed me that he wants to be able to share things with me. As I am typing this I am finding myself tearing up at that thought of how things could have been had my husband never communicated his frustration with me. There would have been a lull in communication between us.  Communication is a NECESSITY.  Many marriages fall apart without it.

So now I just listen. I enjoy just listening. I may ask a question here or there for clarification but that is about it. I have faith that my husband values my opinion enough that when he would like it he will ask for it, and he does. This simple change has really helped us. I can tell he enjoys talking to me now because he does it more often.

Think about how you respond when your husband tries to talk to you. Do you cut him off and rail off all the things he should do or should have done? If the answer is “yes”, then this post is for you. Try to just listen. You may be surprised that as he is talking out whatever it is, he will probably come to the same solution you would have offered on his own.

~Tricia

Marital Monday: Job Descriptions

The other day my husband was saying how his yearly self evaluation at work was due. We began to joke about self evaluating ourselves as spouses. That conversation led me to thinking.

In every job there is a job description. The job description includes several things but the overall purpose of the job description is to provide the individual with a blueprint of what the position they are holding/ applying for requires.  If you are hired it is assumed that your education and experience has qualified you to be able to fulfill the responsibilities outlined in the job description. Now let’s take it a step further.  By you accepting the position you displaying confidence in your self. You are saying that you are confident that you can satisfy what is outlined in the description. What would be the point in accepting employment for a position that you do not feel confident in?

The same principle applies in marriage. By the two of you agreeing to get married you are saying that you can carry out the duties of the job description for being a wife and a husband. However, no two job descriptions are the same. They are unique to the couple. It is not something that was written down it was more of a discussion. While getting to know one another you discussed what attributes you wanted in your potential spouse, this was the job description.

So you both accepted the positions of husband and wife. Now what? Well, it is time for the self evaluations. When I was working and did a self evaluation I would always have the job description next to me to serve as my outline. I would go through it and assess if I was effectively carrying out its requirements.  Do you do that with your position in your marriage? For example, you know your spouse enjoys cuddling. That would be part of the job description that you accepted and felt confident you could carry out. Now self evaluate. Do you spend time during the week cuddling with your spouse? On a scale of 1 – 5, 1 being “improvement needed” and 5 being “excellent work”, where do you stand.

Unlike a self evaluation at work the one in marriage is more of a mental one. If you want to write stuff down you can feel free. But you don’t have to. You know your spouse and the things they would like from you.You used to do those things in the beginning. That is part of what connected you to one another in the first place. You met someone that made you feel great and fell in line with the “job description” in your mind for a potential mate.

It is extremely important that we take time and self evaluate ourselves as a husband or wife. We make the time to do this for the positions we hold outside the home.  While you are self evaluating make sure you are being honest with yourself. You know if there are areas where improvement is needed.Also it is equally important that you continually communicate your needs to your spouse. As we grow our needs may change. We need to communicate those changes and “update” that job description.

Give this a try.  I do not write these posts for just you. I write them to improve my own marriage as well. Every marriage can use encouragement and tips to make it more successful. I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I enjoy writing them.

 

~Tricia

 

Marital Monday: Be a Better You!!!

One of the best things you can do for your spouse is to become a better you.  How can you be the spouse or parent you were called to be if you are not the best version of yourself. Don’t you want to give your family the best? That goal will never be attained if you are unable to be the best you can be.

KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

Would you want to be married to a person who does not know who they are? No. Would you want to watch your parent live a monotonous life day after day? No. If you would not want to live with a family member like that then do not be the family member who is like that. Find out what your purpose is, go after that dream you feel is unattainable.  The only thing in your way is you. Have confidence in your self. It is not the job of your spouse or someone else to have to validate you and constantly give you praise. Give your own self praise and affirmations. When you feel good about you it is contagious and those around you will feel good about you. You even treat people better when you feel better about yourself.  Think about it. When you do not feel good about you, that negative attitude flows through you. It begins to seep out of your pores until you reek of it. Haven’t you ever heard the phrase “Your attitude stinks”, that is what it means.

Begin to do things that make you feel good about you. If you feel better about yourself when your hair and makeup is done then do your hair and put on some makeup. Not so that your spouse gives you a compliment but because it makes you feel better about yourself. If time is a factor than make the time! Stop waking up when your spouse and/or kids wake up, because then you do not have anytime to do things for you. Wake up 30 minutes earlier to spend sometime for yourself. I know you like your sleep, I do too but if that 30 minutes gives you a much better attitude then isn’t it worth it? If you are unhappy about your weight, than make a commitment to yourself to get in shape to become a better you. These are things that only you can do for yourself.

Have faith in yourself and what you can accomplish. As a Christian I know what my worth is.  I know I have a purpose. However, I can not carry out that purpose if I am not the best me that I can be. I recently heard this quote:

“Feed Your Faith and Your Fears Will Starve”

Powerful, isn’t it! The Bible says that you can do ALL things through Christ who gives you strength (Philippians 4:13). I want to become the best version of myself. I want to be better than I was yesterday and my goal for tomorrow is to be better than I am today.  I want this for you too. Find ways to encourage yourself. Make vision boards, give yourself daily affirmations, read encouraging scriptures what ever it is, do it for you.

Be a better you and in turn you will be better to those around you!

~Tricia

Marital Monday: Pick and Choose Your Battles

The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook”

~ William James

Recently, I was reading an article interviewing married couples who had been married for a number of years. They were asked questions about how they met, how they knew they found “the one”, and some others. What stood out to me was the repetitive answer to this question, “What advice would you give to other couples?”  Although each couple was interviewed independently from the other couples many of them gave the same advice. That advice was to pick and choose your battles.

Pick and choose your battles.

PICK and CHOOSE your battles.

What does that mean? Are we supposed to just accept things in our marriage that we don’t like? When our spouse does something that hurts our feelings are we just supposed to sit quietly and let it happen over and over?

No.

It simply means not everything is worth fussing over. If you want a harmonious home you can not nit pick every thing that your spouse does. For example, Rick (my husband) does not care to sit and watch commercials. I learned this early on. If a commercial comes on he will change the channel to watch something else while mentally timing when the program we are watching should be back on at which point he will change the channel back. I on the other hand will just sit and wait till the commercials are over.  I am not of fan of the switching back and forth but am I going to complain about it every time he does it? What would that do but annoy him which in turn will cause me to become annoyed at his annoyance. Why go through all of that? Instead, I just sit and watch whatever he changes the channel to since he always turns back in time for our program to come back on.  Does he complain every time I leave tea wrappers on the counter (which is pretty often)? No. He picks them up and throws them away.

You have to pick and choose your battles. Not everything should be a complaint. As a woman I think I can say honestly that we are more prone to nag than men. Ladies I know you are rolling your eyes at me now but it is true. You know it is. Men, you can stop nodding in agreement, lol.

Ladies, whether you know it or not your husband tunes you out after a while when you complain about everything he does that might cause you both warranted and unwarranted frustration. So when there is a serious issue that is bothering you he is not taking it as seriously because to him you are just nagging again. Try to stop nit picking over the little things and only bring to his attention when you have a genuine concern. He will be more apt to listen and resolve the issue because he will not see it as you just complaining like you always do.  Husbands, if you are a nit picker the same applies to you. Give it a try and see the results. You will find a more harmonious marriage.

So in years to come if my husband and I are ever being interviewed and the question is asked of what advice would I give other married couples. I think I would give the same response.

Pick and choose your battles.

~Tricia

MARITAL MONDAY: Try to be a Better Spouse

I can not believe it is December 29, 2014.  Where has this year gone? Did you make any resolutions this year? I usually do not.  But for this new year I think I am going to make some marital resolutions. Not things for my husband and I to do together but things that I could do to make me a better wife.

I think I am a pretty good wife already and I hope my husband would agree, lol.  However, there is always room for improvement. There are always ways that you can be better spouse.  From communicating better to bringing home flowers just because. It goes for both husbands and wives.

You know your spouse! You know what you do that puts a smile on their face. You also know what you do that makes them frown. So try to make them smile more and frown less. If you are having a hard time coming up with something simply think of ways you can help alleviate some of the things that cause your spouse stress. I am sure your spouse would appreciate whatever you come up with.

If you choose to you can share your resolutions with your spouse, but I do not think it is necessary. I don’t plan to share mine. I should not have to tell my husband how I intend to be a better wife.  This is something that has to be shown.  I am so excited for 2015. I firmly believe that the best is yet to come for myself, my marriage, our family, and this blog.

I pray many blessings are showered upon you all in this new year!

~Tricia

Marital Monday: Our Love Story

Christmastime has always been my favorite time of the year. I love it for many reasons. For one, I am a huge fan of Christmas songs, the Jackson 5 Christmas Album may just be my favorite. I also remember when I was younger I had a audio tape of Orson Wells narrating A Christmas Carol which I would begin listening to every July playing it as I feel asleep in bed. I loved that cassette…lol

This season continues to be my favorite for another reason. It was during this time of the year that I met my husband. I wanted to take time and share with you our love story.

It was the Monday before Thanksgiving when I received an email from a mutual friend of ours.  Here are a couple of excerpts:

Hi Patricia
Hoping all is well. I am not trying to get in your business. I have someone I would like to introduce you to if you are not seeing som
eone.  He is a very nice , christian young man. ……… He is here visiting them and flys between here and New York quite often for his work……..College graduate, good character , has a sense of humor , family oriented and just a very, very nice person.  I have known him for quite some time now and saw him at church Sunday. I did mention to him that I would like to introduce him to someone I thought was beautiful inside and outside. “YES YOU”

He will be here for the rest of the week and will fly back here in December for the holidays and Church services New Years Eve.

If you are interested let me know. He gave me his number because I did not want to give him yours without talking to you first.”

Little did I know then that this email would change my life. After going back and forth a couple of times I took his number and allowed her to pass my number to him.

I. CALLED. FIRST….lol.  I called him the day after Thanksgiving secretly hoping he would be busy and I could just leave a message. Thankfully that is what happened.

On Sunday my phone rings and on the other end is this deep voice asking for me. It was Rick.  I can’t say either of us were blown away by the first conversation. He talked about his work (which I had a hard time following) for a good part of the conversation. If you ask him he says he felt like he was being interviewed. Even though we both felt the conversation was a little dull we somehow stayed on the phone for a couple of hours.

We emailed a couple of times through the week and he called again the next Sunday. I just remember at the end of that conversation I told him he did not have to wait a week before calling me again. And he didn’t. We emailed and talked constantly. His voice became the first and the last I heard everyday.  Having the month to communicate before meeting allowed us to truly get to know each other. I was really starting to fall in love.

So moving on…. He came back into town for Christmas. I went to pick him up from the airport. We had exchanged photos about a week or two prior so I knew who to look for. I remember standing at the gate feeling so nervous. When I saw him all the nerves left and I felt like I had known him forever. He was at his parents’ home for two weeks and we were about to see each other every day (except Christmas).  During this time we even met one each other’s parents, lol.

I know it sounds cliche` but I knew he was “the one.”

How did I know you ask? I know because it was effortless. I was not trying to be who I thought he wanted me to be. And he was not being who he thought I wanted him to be. We were just being ourselves which allowed us to fall in love naturally.

After the two weeks were up and he had to go back home we were committed to seeing where our relationship could go. I flew out to see him for a weekend. He flew back when my grandfather passed away. I was working at a school at the time and my birthday was during the Spring break which worked out great and allowed me to fly down for the whole week. It was the best week ever!  I had never felt like that before. We had already exchanged ‘I love yous’ which was a big thing for both of us.  I was head over heels! I still am!

In June he popped the question.  I will save that story for another time, but I will tell you it involved the rain, a rat, and loud rowdy kids….lol. We got married the following April. It was such a magical day. I am beyond grateful that his voice is still the first and last that I hear each day.

What is your love story? When was the last time you thought about it?  I know everyday life gets in the way and many pages in the story of your life together have been written since. But ever now and then it is important to go back to the first page and see how the book started.

 

~Tricia

 

Marital Monday: I Just Can’t Live Like This Anymore

This past Saturday morning while my husband, the kids, and I were laying in bed, I was looking for something to do. I saw that Disney Live was in town so we got up, got dressed and bought some tickets online and off we went. Never once did I think I would find inspiration for my Marital Monday post at Disney Live.

We were settled in our seats waiting for the show to start when the people seating directly behind us sat in their seats. It was a young couple, I’d say early 30’s, with a little 2 year old girl (I overheard her mother mention her age).  Anyway they sit down and I feel their tense energy. Something had occurred prior to them sitting because I heard them bickering and the wife told her husband if he was going to be like that it would have been better if he stayed home.  I felt uncomfortable. I tried to focus on my kids and did not notice that the husband left and the wife’s sister and niece joined the wife in the row behind us.

The woman starts to tell her sister how upset she is. She said that while in the lobby their daughter was acting up doing what normal 2 year-old children do when her husband told her that she (the wife) needs to discipline the little girl better since she is home with her during the day.  She went on to complain that he is always so negative.  Apparently on Thanksgiving when they were with her family he was nice and pleasant but when they went to see his family he was being an “Ass”.

I am really feeling uncomfortable now because she is crying. WHO CRIES AT DISNEY LIVE?! She had to know that the woman (me) sitting about 2 1/2  feet in front of her could hear her conversation. She was not whispering and there were 2 seats between her and her sister that she had to talk over. I think her sister felt uncomfortable too. She was not expecting this conversation when she sat down. She asked if her brother-in-law was always like that and her sister said yes.

THEN. SHE. SAID. IT!  Between the cries she said “I just can’t live like this anymore.”

Thankfully in my years of marriage and prayerfully in the years to come I have never felt that feeling.  But many couples have. That is the purpose of this post. I want to encourage you to pray for the marriages of those around you. Things may look great between a couple on the exterior but on the interior the marriage is falling apart. Pray for the strength of your friends’ marriages, your siblings’ marriages, even your parents marriage. I have known of couples that raised and married off their children and came to realize that they “could no longer live like this.” It happens.  I have even noticed it with neighbors. There is a house on my street where 2 years ago there were two cars in the driveway and now there is only one, because for whatever reason the couple separated.

But most importantly pray for your own marriage. Do not take your union or your spouse for granted. If you are having trying times communicate effectively and positively to promote an effective and positive outcome.

And please avoid saying things you don’t really mean, that you will only regret and your spouse will never forget!

Thank you for faithfully reading my Marital Mondays.

~Tricia