Marital Monday: Sharing Emotions vs Sharing Information

I once read somewhere that, “women use words to share emotions, while men use words to share information.”

I must say I found this saying to be very true in the early part of my marriage. I have always found Rick to be a great communicator. That was one of the qualities that initially attracted me to him.  However, I don’t think it was until after we were married that I realized we use words differently. The majority of his communication was him sharing information, and the majority of mine was me sharing my emotions.

Before I realized we communicated differently I would often find myself getting frustrated. There were times where I would even feel a disconnect because I would notice something would be on his mind but when I asked him his response would be “no, nothing is wrong” and after a lot of pestering then perhaps he would just admit to being tired.  Now, Rick knows he married a social worker and it is my job to study, observe, and talk about issues.  So I would wonder what the problem could be which would quickly turn into ‘it must be me’ because if it wasn’t then he would tell me what was on his mind.

However, that wouldn’t be the case at all. After he realized how much I internalized his lack of communication he would tell me what the problem really was, which was usually just stress. Sometimes it would be work related and other times just the stress of being the head of household.  I can imagine how difficult it must be at times to head a household. You go from just taking care of yourself to now a wife, and in time children.

Why couldn’t he just tell me that to begin with?  Because that was not what he typically used his words to communicate. He used words to share information.

Over the years this has changed. We both have adapted to the others’ communication style.   I share more than just my emotions and he shares more than just information. However, we are still trying to understand one another’s thought processes but that is a whole different issue, lol.

How do you and your spouse share? Do you find this saying to be true?



Marital Monday: Love, Love, Love, Love Crazy Love

I asked, “How did you know he/she was the one?”

She said,

” From our very first date it just felt like I already knew him. And every time after that it felt more and more comfortable.”

He said,

“I just knew.  Whether it is just walking in the park, or on the beach, she just fills me up.”

Yesterday was such a great day.  I witnessed the nuptials of my oldest and dearest friend, Melissa and her new husband Jonathan. I was honored to be invited to join Melissa in the bridal suite the morning of the wedding as she prepared along with her sister (the matron of honor) and her mom.  I have been an extended part of this family for over 20 years and graciously accepted the invitation.


The Palace

The ceremony and the reception was held at The Palace in Somerset Park.We started off the day in the bridal suite where coffee soon turned to mimosas. We talked, laughed, and wiped the occasional tears that developed in our eyes when we thought about why we were all gathered together on this day.

wpid-2015-06-15-23.33.04.jpg.jpegHair and makeup were being done and selfies were being taken when before you knew it, it was time to start to get dressed.

Melissa looked absolutely beautiful.  I was speechless.  I could not wait for Jonathan to see his bride. I watched as the photographer captured memories.  After a little while I decided to go with my husband and get a good seat for the ceremony.  The next time I would see my friend she would be walking down the isle.

Let me go back a little. About 2 years ago. I remember Melissa telling me that there was a suggested match on eHarmony that caught her interest.  They connected and went out. I don’t remember what she told me they did on their date but I remember how she sounded. When we hung up I told my husband that I think Melissa found “the one”.

Jonathan sounded like everything I wanted her to find. The first time I met him was about 5 months or so later.  We were winding down from my daughter’s first birthday party and some of my family were still here along with Melissa. She said Jonathan wanted to come and meet her here. When I met him I immediately felt his warm loving spirit. He fit right in and gave hugs (I am a hugger so this was important,lol).

Over the past two years I have gotten to know him and adore him more and more. What stands out every time I see Jonathan is the love and appreciation he has for my friend.  Melissa is a rare jewel so it was important to me that he could see that also.  I was not surprised at all when he popped the question. I knew he was truly committed and wanted to begin a life together.  Obviously she said yes, which led us to yesterday. 🙂

So there she was walking down the isle with her dad.   Melissa looked so beautiful.  Typically I look at the groom’s expression as the bride walks down, but this time I was watching the bride. I was watching my friend. Her last walk as a single woman. I took that walk 6 years ago and I  remember how it felt to be walking to the man I would spend my forever with.  I am sure she had that same feeling.

The ceremony was  simple and elegant and they were soon man and wife.wpid-2015-06-15-21.24.04.jpg.jpeg

After the ceremony and the cocktail hour,the fun began. The traditional dances were dwpid-2015-06-15-21.28.17.png.pnganced while I watched as they relished in their moment. I had the privilege of saying the blessing at the reception. This was my blessing to them.

“Heavenly Father,

We gather here now to celebrate the love and commitment of Melissa & Jonathan as they share their first meal together as husband and wife.
Let this be the first of many loving meals shared together with their family and friends.

We thank you for the love, guidance and support of those gathered here today
We pray, their hearts grow together in love and unity. Teach them how to enjoy working together, playing together, and dreaming together.

Estamos muy contentos de formar parte de este dia maramilloso
Que haya muchos gozos, sonrisas and logros
Que Dios los siga bendiciendo pon muchos años mas

We are so happy to be a part of this wonderful day
May there be many joys, smiles, and laughter.
May God continue to shower you with blessings for many more years to come.


The reception was gorgeous but the highlight for me was when Jonathan surprised his new wife by singing to her. He sang “Crazy Love” by Aaron Neville.  So many people were wiping their tears, myself included. It was absolutely beautiful!!!  As a couple they are absolutely  beautiful!wpid-2015-06-15-21.21.31.png.png

It was a true celebration. I did not get to spend much time with Melissa, she had many people to meet and greet.  However, we did meet on the dance floor when the DJ played “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

The cake had been cut and it was time for us to say goodbye.  I found her and gave her a quick hug and kiss. I am looking forward to speaking to her soon to reminisce about the day.

I dedicate this blog to Melissa and Jonathan the epitome of a couple in love.

~Tricia     wpid-2015-06-15-21.22.36.jpg.jpeg

Marital Monday: The Empty Nest


Over the next few months many couples will be entering a new phase. Some of your children may be graduating high school and going away to college.  Others may be graduating college and have decided to relocate. Whatever the reason, when your children are no longer in the home you have entered the “empty nest” phase of your marriage. I am nowhere near entering this phase, lol. The closest I have come is explained in my post “Empty Bed Syndrome for Parents“.

So back to becoming empty nesters. Many couples do not realize the adjustment associated with this phase. For the past 18 years or more as a couple, your life has centered around the needs, activities, and interests of your children. Your weekends probably consisted of transporting your child to and from sports or other activities with friends.  Dinner conversations began with asking your child what’s going on at school.

Now what?

You’re alone in your house with your spouse again. The children are gone. You must relearn one another. I am sure your interests have changed from the last time it was just you and your spouse in the house. Well guess what?  Your spouse’s interests have changed also.  This is a pivotal point in your marriage.  I have seen many couples adjust to this phase easily and reconnect with one another effortlessly.   However, on the flip side I have also seen couples who realize that without the children at home they no longer have common interests decide to divorce after 20+ years of marriage.  It’s really sad when this happens. How do you avoid it?

Honestly I cannot answer the question how to avoid it.  I guess one way would be to maintain common interests with your spouse over the years whether you have children at home or not. Recognize when your interests are changing and let your spouse know, it shouldn’t be a guessing game. Listen to your spouse when they tell you ways they have changed. Appreciate each other’s changes.  If you do this now when it is just the two of you at home you won’t be like “who is this stranger, this isn’t the person I married.”

Also, have your date nights.  Read the post Steps for a Perfect Date Night for tips.  As you evolve as individuals evolve together as a couple. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.

If you read the Empty Bed post I linked above I missed my son when he was finally out of our bed but it needed to happen so that my husband and I could reconnect. It was an adjustment. We needed to adjust to it just being he and I. We had to relearn simple things like cuddling with one another and taking advantage of it just being us. I imagine it will be like that but on a greater scale when we are empty nesters. I am sure the time will be here faster than I would like to believe lol.

Are you an empty nester?  What was it like for you? Share your experience with us.


Marital Monday: It’s More Than Just Another Year

Have you ever heard the song “Anniversary” by Tony Toni Tone.  I have always loved that song. I remember years ago it was my parents anniversary and we were sitting in the living room. I turned on the stereo and that song was playing. Of course I made them get up and dance because it was their anniversary.  They happily obliged.

My husband and I just recently celebrated our wedding anniversary. We enjoyed the afternoon with just the two of us.  It was really nice. Something you may not realize is that my birthday is 8 days before our anniversary which is fun for me but not my husband, lol.

This year after celebrating both of these occasions I started thinking. I always get super excited for my birthday. I reflect on my past year and make goals for the new year to come. I am sure many of you do the same. However, when our anniversary comes we enjoy one another and reminiscence about our wedding day and it usually ends there.  I am sure many of you do that as well. I find many couples celebrate their anniversary with a dinner or a trip and then leave it as that. They go on with the rest of the year with just another number added to their years of marriage.

As individuals all through the year we are continually trying to make the current year better than the previous by working towards the goals we came up with on our birthday. What if we put this same practice in place in our marriages? Let’s try it.

Be excited! We must stop looking at it as just “another” year of marriage.  It is a NEW year.  A new year of marriage that you have never seen before as a couple. Vow to make it better than the previous year.  Come up with marital goals you will be committed to work towards to achieve as a couple. Make up realistic goals but keep it interesting. Have the attitude that together the both of you can accomplish the impossible!

My prayer for you as well as myself is that in this new year of marriage you accomplish amazing things a couple. You rely on one another, encourage one another, motivate and inspire one another. Treat this year like something new! Stop treating it like just another year.


Marital Monday: The First Year

Not long ago I was speaking to a young man who was in his second year of marriage. I asked how married life was treating him. I was surprised by his response. He said that things were going well now but that the first year was really rough. I didn’t expect that kind of honesty from him because we are nothing more than acquaintances.  I figured he would give the standard response of “It’s great” and keep it moving. Then I thought about the purpose of me asking if I only expected a generic response. I guess I was just trying to make conversation.

I thought back to our first year of marriage. I wouldn’t say it was really rough but there were issues that needed to be worked out. My husband nor I had ever lived with anyone other than college roommates before getting married. We both had to learn to adjust to sharing our space. We also had to get used to each others’ habits. During that time we learned new things about each other that didn’t come up while we were dating. We are still learning things about each other.

Think about it. You meet a total stranger and then you fall in love, get married and now live together. A few years prior you didn’t even know this person existed.   So yes, that first year is one of transition and learning. At the same time it is also fabulous.  You are waking up with this person that you love daily and celebrating a year full of “firsts” as a married couple.  I just asked my husband how he would describe our first year and the first thing that came out of his mouth was “fast”, lol.  It did go by fast.

It is important to take time and reflect on previous years of marriage if anything you do this to see how far the two of you have come as a couple.  Hopefully the issues you had then are no longer issues now.

Think back. What was your first year like?



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.




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!


Marital Monday: Conflict Resolution!!


I am a Social Worker. Have I told you that? Well, currently I am a stay at home mom of 2 but, being a Social Worker is one of those things that you just don’t stop being. When I met my husband I was working as a School Social Worker. As a SSW part of my job was to mediate conflict resolution between students. If students were getting into it they would come to my office and I would pull out my beautifully laminated cards that had the steps for conflict resolution.marriage cartoon

Fast forward to present day. Where the heck are those cards?  You would have think that conflict is easily resolved between my husband and
I because of my astute knowledge of conflict resolution. After all, I have been trained to listen to others and assess emotional needs. NOT!

Here is how conflict is has been resolved between us. I raise my voice.  He walks away or shuts down.  Rick, that’s my husband, told me very early on that he does not argue. I don’t see my self as an arguer so I thought I understood what he meant. Then one day I got upset about something and raised my voice. He did not raise his back and simply walked away. He reminded me that he does not argue. Even when I don’t raise my voice and bring up an issue I have he tends to shut down because he does not like conflict. I totally respect and appreciate this trait because a memory our children will not have when they grow up is that of quarrelsome parents. However, this is not an effective way to communicate. Neither of our ways are.

I should not raise my voice to my husband and he should not avoid addressing an issue. So what do we do. I thought about it and remembered the steps to good ole’ conflict resolution.

  1. STOP – Just stop! Before the conflict gets any worse. If you feel like there is a issue that has the potential to turn heated, just stop. Cool off. You have a much better chance of talking it over if you just take a couple of deep breaths. This is what my husband does which makes perfect sense. The only problem is, is that this is the only step he takes.
  2. SPEAK – Take turns talking about what the issue is. Calmly. Talk about what would make each of you happy. With students I would encourage the use of “I” messages. Some examples are: “I feel….” or I did not like…..”. Just start with “I”.
  3. REPEAT – Repeat what it is you heard one another say to avoid any misunderstandings.
  4. APOLOGIZE – Take ownership for your part in the conflict and apologize sincerely.
  5. THINK – Now that you both know what the other wants, how can you meet your spouse’s needs regarding the situation? What would be a positive outcome to ensure you are both satisfied? Decide on a solution together. Try writing down the solution as a reminder of what it is you have agreed to do.
  6. FORGIVE – In marital terms this would be “kiss and make up”. Forgive whatever it is your spouse apologized for.  This is your friend, lover, confidant, soul mate, etc. You should be able to resolve your issues and forgive one another.
  7. PRAY – I just added this one. Pray together about the resolution that you both just went through.  Pray that your solutions will be effective and cause a positive change within your marriage.

No marriage is without conflict. It is how you choose to handle the conflict that determines how big it grows. Don’t just yell and don’t just walk away. Address it in an effective way. If this is what our children are being taught to do in schools then this should be what we are modeling for them at home.


Marital Monday: Take Notes

I enjoy observing older couples or couples married for years. I have been married for 5 years so I feel there is always something to learn about marriage. The following two situations are ones that I have recently observed and took mental notes on.

Situation 1:

A few years ago my cousin got married in Florida. My husband and I flew down to attend and my mother flew down as well. It is very rare for my parents not to travel together. Usually when you see one, you see the other. They have been married for 42 years now and that is just the way it has always been.

My mother stayed with us for the two nights. At one point while we were sitting watching TV on the first night she got up and said she was going to get an orange. She got her orange, peeled it and then offered half to my husband and I. Both of us declined and she just stood there for a minute then she sighed and said,

“I miss your father, he always eats the other half of the orange.”

I was very moved by this so I took a mental note. I noted her sincerity, her love, and her appreciation for her husband in his absence. You could really see that she missed him. That is the kind of love I am looking to have as my marriage grows. I thought it was sweet.

I look forward to sharing fruit with my husband, I just have to figure out which one because he is not a fan of oranges.

Situation 2:

The other week while I was waiting for my car to get an oil change there was another woman waiting also. She was an older woman just sitting doing a crossword puzzle. Then her phone rang and this is the gist of the conversation I heard.

“Hey Baby…..just waiting for the car to get done…..I am going to make some matzo balls and chicken for you and leave it on the counter…..I love too….bye honey.”

After she hung up I told her that sounded good (I have a thing for matzo balls, in case you didn’t pick up on that in Check Please). She smiled and told me that she didn’t like it but her husband loves when she makes that dish. I don’t know if I felt inspired or encouraged, but it was something. You can tell they have been married for a while so I decided to take a mental note. I noted her confidence, her usage of endearing terms and her voice level while speaking to her husband. It was obvious that the spark is still there between them just by overhearing her verbal communication.

So next time you see a more seasoned couple take mental notes keeping in mind that no marriage is perfect and what works for one couple may not work for another. Just use what you observe as a guide. Years from now you never now what young couple might be observing your marriage and taking mental notes.


Marital Mondays: Has Your Spouse Become Your Friend? Part 2

So after reading the previous post (Has Your Spouse Become Your Friend? Pt 1) you realize that you and your spouse are headed towards the friend zone. You are wondering how this has happened, and what you can do to stop it. It’s not to late. As I said earlier, if you both still have that burning desire for one another than you can get back to where you once were.

First change your expectations. Expect more from one another. You had high expectations before you got married so why have they changed. Expect to spend time together. Expect to communicate with one another. Expect your spouse to be your emotional support.  When you begin to expect less in a marriage you will get less.

I know that life gets in the way. You go to work all day or if you are a stay at home mom like me you are home all day with the kids, and both can be very draining. When you come together with your spouse in the evening you are both exhausted. You eat, play, and put the kids to bed. Now your both tired and want to relax. He wants to watch Monday night football or the DIY channel and she wants to catch up on her favorite housewives and the Wendy Williams shows that are on the DVR. So you retire to different areas in the home. Gone are the days where you are both cuddled on the couch together under a blanket watching a movie.

GET BACK TO THAT!!!!!! Designate a day of the week for a movie night. Whatever day works best for the two of you. You might even want put the kids to bed a little earlier on that night. Pick out the movie in advance (you don’t want to spend time that night deciding what the movie will be) all you are interested in is getting to the couch to cuddle up. Also, set a time to meet on the couch. That will make it feel even more like a date. Just because you are married does not mean that dating stops.

Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Talk to each other. Continue to be interested in each others hopes and dreams. Sending a text or an email during the day also goes a long way. When I see I have an email from my husband I drop what I am doing to read it because that is not something that happens often and it brings me back to when we first met. We met blindly (via phone) through a mutual friend. We lived in different states and communicated over the phone and through email for a month before we physically met.  When I get an email from him it takes me back to that time. I have all of our emails saved and where they once filled my inbox, over the past 5 years they have become few and far between so when I do get one it makes me smile. So send something to let your spouse know you are thinking of them. Even if it is just “Hi Babe, I love you.”

Now for the good stuff…lol.

How does that Oliva Newton-John song go?

“Let’s get physical, physical
I wanna get physical
Let’s get into physical
Let me hear your body talk, your body talk
Let me hear your body talk”

I know, I know I am showing my age, lol.  But seriously, we are talking about your spouse. Your helpmate. The love of your life. GET PHYSICAL!

Every now and then my husband and I get into that routine of the 4 pecks. What is that you ask? It is when you can predict those 4 kisses you get during the day.

  1. When you leave each other in the morning
  2. When you come back together in the evening
  3. One random one, perhaps after dinner
  4. When you say goodnight

You’re sitting there counting in your head the amount of times you and your spouse kiss during the day aren’t you? You can admit it, it is 4 isn’t it? And they are not even real kisses, they are just quick pecks. Now that you realize you are in the routine of the 4 pecks, fix it.  How about turning at least one of those pecks into a deeper more passionate kiss. Don’t be shy. Have fun with it.

Another thing you can do is try committing do doing something intimate everyday for 7 days. Remember this list from Part 1?

  • Holding hands
  • Sweet talk
  • Kissing
  • Cuddling
  • Fondling
  • Having sex

It doesn’t have to be making love every night but hey if you can do it, go for it, lol. Just something intimate and passionate. It is important to take and make the time to be intimate with one another in a marriage.I know it may not always be easy. Some of you may even have kids in your bed. We have been there. Get creative you have other rooms in your home dont you?  Use your imagination! And eventually GET YOUR BED BACK. If you want a laugh read my Empty Bed Syndrome post.

So as I conclude this post, think about what you read. If you feel like you can relate to these posts, share them with your spouse. Remember to communicate. It’s time for you to stop being friends and start being spouses.