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Ideas for changing your life

10 Mar

Ok, so, these are ideas for changing my life, but I want to know what changes you’re looking to make, too. Add them in the comments! Though these aren’t all ‘marriage’ changes, I think all of them will benefit my marriage in some way.

Changes I want to make / Things I want to do:

  • Kiss and hug my husband every day.
  • Stay calm, particularly if we start to argue.
  • Walk away from a less-than-calm argument, instead of becoming an emotional trainwreck.
  • Spend 15 minutes a day talking….work, kids, schedules, our relationship, and chores are off-limit topics. It’ll be interesting to see what we talk about.. I feel like all we talk about sometimes are these topics.
  • Put up more pictures of us around the house.
  • Discuss (and write down and post somewhere) our 2 year goal, 5 year goal, 15 year goal, and retirement goals.
  • Have more sex (we’re tired parents of a 7 year old and 15 month old!) I read that the average is 1.5 times a week, so we’re already ahead of the curve, but I’d prefer more if I could actually stay awake!
  • Encourage my husband to get out a little more. He works long days at work, and though we make time for our ‘couple friends,’ he doesn’t get out much for a guy’s evening. I’m thankful for the time he is at home, but wondering if he’d be a little happier if he got out every now and then.
  • Be more positive and less negative. I tend to see the negative side of everything. I’m a realist!
  • Expand our circle of happy  ‘couple’ friends.
  • Have more ‘active’ dates with my husband. We LOVE dining out, but I’d like to try something a little more involved and active. (Any suggestions?)

Any other ideas? What are some things you’d like to change, or even do every day?

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It’s the end of the world!

25 Feb

Ok, no, really it’s not.

But I’ll admit it; we’ve been arguing a bit lately.

It’s frustrating. He feels like we argue about the same issues over and over again (I don’t. I feel it may be the same general topic, but not the same actual issue).  But what I really feel like is that I can’t stand the way he argues, so I feel like we argue about arguing.

He feels like he can’t get anywhere with me unless he bows to my wishes completely (which I can’t say I understand; I feel like I have very few things I require to make me happy), and I only wish he’d fight fair and not be such of a hothead so I could actually take his thoughts and needs seriously when we disagree.

So for example, my husband and I got in a little spat this morning. I was snippy with him this morning; we were running late, he asked me when I was going to be ready (and I felt he asked with a ‘tone’), so I snipped back at him because I was annoyed. Hello? I KNOW I’m running late! I realized that I had been snippy, though, and tried to diffuse the situation by backing off.

Crisis averted. Or so I thought.

I didn’t realize it was an issue until today when we were IMing. I sent him a note to see how his meetings were going.  He told me he was annoyed with me, but didn’t want to start a fight this morning so didn’t bring it up. I told him I had no idea (I had to actually think back to realize I had been snippy).

This is where I get confused and feel like I can’t “win” (even though I know it’s not about winning.) He told me over IM that snipping at him, and then trying to back off is just not going to work. I told him that I backed off with the hopes of diffusing the situation. Then he responds accusing me of not backing off at all, and telling him not to yell at me.

And therein lies the confusion. Sure, I did ask him not to yell. We have two kids (7 and 1) who were present, and it didn’t seem worth getting into a fight in front of them over being snippy. But how did I simultaneously back off and not back off? I was accused of both, and I seriously can’t keep up.

My husband had his rant over IM, and then signed off without letting me respond. He’s not a jerk, he’s a man. We’re different, we communicate different, and even though I want to give him the whole, “WTH?????”, I know that won’t work either.

I emailed my friend, frequent commenter Mrs. C to ask if she had any advice for me.  I asked her how the heck I can make sense of all of this.

She had plenty of advice, but the best piece of advice was to go back to the beginning of Witty Wife’s Marriage Project and reread what I wrote.

It was almost identical to today. We got into a scuffle, and I decided to start writing about controlling what I can control. I can control me, and I can’t control anyone else. So as much as I want to wring his neck and make him ‘see’ that I feel like this whole thing is ridiculous, there’s no point. I can’t make him see anything; he’s in control of his thoughts and feelings, and I’m in control of mine.

With that said, I’m not quite sure what the next step is (as far as this evening. Do I act normal? Do I act somber because I know he’s mad? Do I apologize even though I said before, “I’m sorry I was snippy?”) . I love my husband very much, but honestly, I feel tired of over-thinking things until my brain hurts. It’s Friday; I just want to head home after work and order Chinese food for the kids and chill. I don’t have to sit and wonder how he wants me to act (because seriously, I have no clue, and I refuse to assume). And honestly, that feels pretty good.

The drain is clogged…

26 Jan

The drain in our bathroom tub has been clogged for a while. You know why? I stopped taking care of it. I let my hair get all down in there, and it became a big ole’ mess. Kind of gross.

Which is sort of the same way I feel about my marriage right now. I’ve neglected the blog, I’ve neglected a lot, all while convincing myself..”I’ll get to it when I have time…” I kept adding the Drano to the tub.

Nothing.

Finally, yesterday, we just had to get down there and unclog the darn thing. Which is kind of like me getting back to the blog. I sort of just needed to do it. I’m perfectly capable or working on my marriage without writing, but I know by experience I’m not as good at it.

Writing helps me organize my thoughts… allows me to think out loud before I actually speak and get myself into trouble. It’s sort of my own personal therapy, and I’ve let it go. So today, I’m back on the wagon, looking for ideas to continue with my marriage project.

Side note: I just read a great article in Good Housekeeping Magazine (also available online) called DIY Marriage Repair.

Key takeaways:

  • Not all marital disputes have to end in a deadlock.
  • Meeting in the middle when dealing with conflict rarely works; it creates resentment and fear of honest conversation.
  • Try taking turns.
  • Be open minded, not inflexible. Consider your partner’s point of view.

#34: “I’m surprised you haven’t somehow contaminated me with this food and sent me to an untimely death.”

18 Nov

Credit: Food Network

Ok, that’s not really what my husband said, but I imagine that’s what he was thinking as he said, “Wow, honey, dinner is great tonight.”

You all know I’m not the best cook, and for the most part don’t even really like to cook (since it involved making a mess, then cleaning said mess.)

On Tuesday, I stayed home with the kiddo because our daycare was closed. I can barely cook dinner when I concentrate, so imagine my horror when I realized I’d have to take a crack at it with my 11 month old half walking, half crawling around everywhere. I’m not a big fan of just sticking him in the playyard or the exersaucer; I feel bad, plus he just screams at the top of his lungs anyway.

But since I was home with him, there was no excuse for me not to have dinner on the table when my husband got home.

I ended up trying out some honey mustard chicken. I didn’t even think to marinade it ahead of time; I just threw together some Dijon mustard and honey in a bowl, and swirled the thawed chicken breast around in there for a few minutes. I threw them in a pan stovetop and cooked ’em on up. I think what helped was throwing a little more honey on them RIGHT at the end.

Served with baked brussels sprouts (ends cut, cut in half, in olive oil with a tad of mustard) that I baked in the oven at 400 degrees for, oh, I don’t know, forever, it seemed like!

But, seriously, he LIKED my dinner! I’m getting pretty decent at this whole ‘wife’ thing!


Some other things:

 

Situation #7: You know how you have to argue something to the very end on principle alone?

22 Oct

Yeah, well, you don’t.

Don’t argue it and bring it up to death, even on principle alone, (unless it’s something you feel SO strongly about that you will divorce them unless they somehow see your reasoning and agree with you.)

Pick your battles.

I picked the wrong one last night (again) and kind of feel like an ass idiot.

You live and you learn.

And I’m trying to learn to bite my tongue when it’s not a big deal, or even if it is a big deal but not worth getting into a huge fight over.

Marriage Project Assessment #4 – Bake, Cook, Ego-Boost and Clean your way to a Happier Marriage

21 Oct

At least, that’s what I’ve been doing to work towards a better marriage. Not that there’s much wrong with it to begin with, but it seems to me that it’s easier to tend to your marriage when it’s not in trouble.

Well, all this cooking, cleaning, and loving up my husband seems to be making a HUGE difference (either that, or he’s found and reading my blog!) I started this blog to work on things I can control in my marriage (as opposed to using this as a place to vent about marriage and my husband). I can’t control my husband. I can only control me.

As I’ve mentioned several times before, the intent here is to better MYSELF in my marriage, but then unintended consequence here is that my husband has been just amazing. He’s been communicating a lot more than he EVER has. I mean, he talks a lot (we love to talk about anything and everything), but as far as communicating about feelings, emotions, or dealing with issues, that’s always been a little struggle for us.

So yesterday, when he IMed me about some errands we needed to get done, I was feeling particularly lovey, and I told him out of the blue, “You know, you’re a GREAT husband and father.” And he wrote back, “You know what, THANK YOU, that means so much to me.” Who knew?? I thought I’d get a standard “Thanks.”

Last night, I got home before he did and got to work reviewing my cleaning planner. I did some dishes, got dinner started, got coffee ready for the morning, and finished folding the laundry. I had quite a bit done before he even got home. We watched the rest of the Yankees game together (Yeah!!! They Won !!!!!!.) Then we went to bed super-early to watch the Giants against the Phillies. At 9pm. We just kind of cuddled, and it was incredible. Then out of nowhere, he tells me how happy he is in general, how glad he is that I’m his wife, and how glad he is that I’m the mother of his child. He also went on to tell me that he’s made an effort to try very hard lately – my hangups are staying clean and orderly and keeping my head on straight, his is that he tends to get a little angry and let things bother him. He told me that he’s trying hard to not place blame every time something small goes wrong, and he apologized for sometimes placing that extra blame on me when it’s not warranted.

Wow!

Am I making a difference here?

Furthermore, our marriage IS good already. Do you think for people who are having marriage troubles could follow the same steps that I do and receive the same outcome, even if they think their spouse is at fault? If they work on the ‘small things’ like I am, could their spouses outlook improve as well as an unintended consequence?

 


Some useful links:

 

Archive of my marriage projects

My marriage project assessments so far

What is this marriage project all about?

And of course, follow me on Facebook by clicking the picture below!

Situation #6: Weekend update.

11 Oct

DC Bomb Scare. 5mph on the highway. A cranky husband. Those are just a few of the things that have occurred over the past three days.

As most of you know, my husband went away to a conference last week, and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it. As I mentioned in my last post, I thought I did pretty darn good!

I couldn’t WAIT to see him. He’s been a ball of mush lately, and I’ve been riding the wave of the whole ‘in-love’ part of marriage for the last few weeks.

Trying to leave work:

Friday afternoon, we texted all afternoon, and I was so excited for him to board his flight to head home. About an hour before leaving work, one of my colleagues noticed lots of police outside our office and that the road was closed. I’m not an alarmist, but here’s something I haven’t mentioned yet;

  • Fact #1 I live in Washington, DC. And if you guess that police action in DC is common, you’d be guessing right.
  • Fact #2 I work in an office that is VERY close to The White House (and yes, I know the picture I posted is not of the White House).

So of course my alarm bells were ringing. Then our front desk told us that it was a bomb scare. I left work and went to get the kiddo from daycare to head home.  All in all, it took me an hour and a half to leave work, get the kiddo, and get back home. That’s less than 20 miles, by the way.

Getting to the airport:

I fed the kiddo a quick dinner, packed up the baby bag with goodies in case we had to wait too long at the airport, and we took to the road. It’s 29 miles to the airport. Husband’s flight was scheduled to arrive at 8:49pm. I left the house at 7:15pm I figured that would give me time to park, find his gate, and be waiting at the appropriate area for him.

I was wrong. There was a major accident on the highway, and I was slowed to 5mph. For OVER five miles. Now, there were several exits I could have taken to get off the highway and take backgrounds, but wouldn’t you know, he was arriving at the only DC area airport I haven’t yet been to (we have three major airports here, one I can SEE right out my window. He was not arriving at that one.) So I couldn’t get off the highway; I had no idea where to go. I eventually made it, and arrived right as he was exiting the terminal. Right on time!! It was so exciting! He was with a colleague, so I didn’t get all mushy right away. As his colleague was walking away, he said to my husband, “See you on Monday!”

See you on Monday? SEE YOU ON MONDAY??? Monday is a holiday!! I have it off. He thought he had it off.

He texted his boss to confirm that Monday was a work day. It was. I had to bite my tongue. I hadn’t seen my husband in days, and thought we were going to have a nice long weekend together. It wasn’t his fault, though. No use taking it out on him.

The weekend

My awesome wonderful husband was a crank all weekend. He complained that there was a basket of laundry that wasn’t folded, that there were dishes in the sink… the list goes on. I felt totally deflated. I thought I did a good job! Between the kiddo being sick, me trying to work, trying to get everything done…ugh. I know I’m not the most tidy person you’ve ever met. I admit I’m not. And I know it frustrates my husband, because, well, he IS rather tidy.

I don’t like being untidy; I just FORGET to do stuff.

Saturday afternoon, I went over to Barnes and Noble and bought a weekly planner. In the back, in the notes section, I wrote out a checklist of all the stuff I should be doing on a daily basis (one page for morning, one page for afternoon). And then on the actual days, I’ve started writing other chores that need to be done; for example, today I need to sew a button on a pair of pants. Had I not written it on the calendar for today, it may not have gotten done until next weekend.

The Rest

Even so, the husband has still been a bit cranky all weekend long, and a little distant too. I was frustrated. I know I’m not neat, and I know it frustrates him, but was that reason for me to totally feel deflated? It’s a pretty crappy feeling.

So this morning I sent him an email:

Hey handsome. I love you, and the kiddo and I miss you today.I’m really not sure what happened this weekend.. (besides our great lovin’), I just felt like you were distant and somewhere else. I was so looking forward to seeing you after your trip, and I feel like it just did not go  anything like I thought I would. I thought things had been going great for weeks, I felt really good like we were in a good place, but this weekend was just a down weekend I guess. I felt you come across as negative and cranky all weekend, and it got me really uptight. I’m sorry about all the stuff around the house; I’ll keep trying to work on it. I’ve got a little list going today. I love you lots, and I really look forward to spending the weekend with you next weekend.

He sent two responses, which I’ve edited and put together to save space:

I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to come across that way. I’ve been stressed out about work. It isn’t happening fast enough and that just doesn’t bode well. Everything that I’ve put together has fallen apart and everything of value is taking too long to materialize. So, it’s been weighing on me for a few weeks now.I should have told you that this was stressing me out and not made you feel like it’s you, and I’m sorry if I’ve been taking it out on you.

I learned a few lessons, here:
  • I thought this was all about ME. The world doesn’t revolve around me.
  • I’m glad I had some self-restraint. Earlier, my husband had told me he appreciated me picking him up at the airport, and that his colleague’s wife wasn’t picking him up because it was too much of a hassle. When he started getting on my case about the laundry and the dishes later, it took every ounce of me to not say to him, “Well perhaps this is why your colleague’s wife doesn’t pick him up at the airport; she’s probably too busy at home tidying up to perfection so he doesn’t complain when he gets home.” I can guarantee, though, if I had said that, there’s no way he would have opened up to me and told me he was stressed at work with his new job. He would have been justified in making it about me.
  • It’s best to stay calm and not rush to judgment.
  • My husband is TRYING. He’s REALLY trying. He’s not exactly Mr. Openupandsharefeelings, especially when I bitch back at him, so this is major. He wants to work hard for our marriage, and it’s a conscious thing. He’s not just subconsciously or peripherally thinking about our marriage and our family.

 

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