Tag Archives: communication

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?

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.

Like selling ice to an Eskimo.

15 Feb

I think sometimes men just like to be in charge. Which is a good thing, because when it comes to negotiating, I feel like a cork ready to pop.

If I haven’t told you already, I’m in business to business sales. And I’m pretty darn good at what I do. But put me at a car dealership, or have me negotiate my lease, and I totally lose my cool. I know what it is, too. I hate when I feel like people are trying to pull one over on me.

Considering I do more of a consultative sale and I’m all about helping my clients find solutions to their issues, I hate when someone tries to make a quick sale with me. I know what’s best for me, not you, smarmy salesperson.

So when we recently got to the top of a very long waiting list for a much larger apartment in our building, instead of being thrilled, I was tense. So many details…How much is our rent going up? Do we have to sign a new lease, or can we transfer our current lease? Can we negotiate the price at all?

Which is where my husband, Captain Awesome, comes in.

He’s in sales, too, but he LIKES the challenge of dealing with a smarmy self-serving salesperson. You could say I shirked all responsibility and threw this at my husband, but I actually think he LIKES to be in control and deal with this sort of thing.

What’s the point here? Well, I think it’s important to remember to let go, sometimes. I know husbands get a bad rap, especially in all the tv commercials that paint them as silly dolts. But keep in mind that men LIKE responsibility and to know they are needed and appreciated.

When we sign the dotted line this weekend, I’m going to be very thankful and appreciative that he was able to get this all handled.

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.

#37: Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do.

8 Dec

At least, that’s what they say. And it’s what I’ve been trying to put into practice.

Patience is something I’m still working very hard on. I’m not afraid of confrontation, but I try to avoid it if it’s not really necessary.

But in order to not be confrontational over minor things (which could come across as ‘nagging wife’ or ‘complaining wife’) one must exercise some patience.

I’ve been getting better at it. Last night, my husband and I were talking, and it got to be late. My husband HATES talking about anything serious before bed. I, on the other hand, can not sleep if stuff is on my mind, and I feel most comfortable talking to him when we ARE in bed. Our guard is down, we’re comfortable, we’re not tense. It seems like a PERFECT place and time to talk.

But he doesn’t like to; maybe he feels vulnerable. Maybe he actually wants to sleep when he gets into bed. I don’t know or understand the reason why, but since me bringing up things before bed seemed to always turn things into a crazy fight, I’ve been trying to honor his request to not talk about anything serious before sleep.

So last night, as we started talking, he said he’d rather not, and really wanted to get some sleep.

And I obliged and shut my mouth. That was an exercise in patience. Not so much because I had something burning that I just HAD to discuss (the issue was minor), but because I’m not sure when I’ll get to have my say and I have to sit and wonder when he might want to talk. I have to be a mindreader. If I bring it up again, I’m a nagging wife.

Last night, he had his say (he disagreed with me), then said he would really like some sleep.

This takes me to something else completely. Sometimes I don’t even care what the issue is about. I just want to know that he takes my opinion/thoughts/whatever seriously, even if he disagrees. I want to know that he’s at least trying to understand what I’m saying. I don’t know that if he gets to say his peace and then decides the conversation is over.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not even mad. There’s no point. We’re going to be with each other for a long time, and if he hates talking before bed, nothing is going to magically make him like it. So it’s my turn to make the accommodation and try to be patient.

Sometimes I want to blow up and say, “Well when the heck do you expect us to talk? We work all day, come home, feed the kids, eat our dinner, do bedtime for the kids, do some chores, maybe watch an hour of tv, and then it’s our bedtime! Bedtime is the only time we have peace and quiet. When do you propose we talk???”

But I know that’s not a good direction to go, either. I think most times if I’m just patient and calm, things will work themselves out. Things will eventually get addressed.

So I’m going to work some more on being patient, not rushing to solutions, decisions, or blowing up and yelling.

But does this make a really understanding wife, or a pushover?

#35: Tips on not becoming a junkie.

23 Nov

Credit: fuffer on Flickr

An iPhone junkie, that is.

My husband and I both have iPhones (I’ve got a 3Gs, he’s got a 4.) I don’t think he ‘plays’ with his iPhone as much as I do; but in all fairness (to me and my bad habit), he just got his after switching from a very old Blackberry, and he doesn’t know how to download and use all the nifty apps yet.

Here’s what I use my iPhone for:

  • Checking my work email
  • Checking my personal email
  • Looking at my ‘friends’ feed in Facebook
  • Checking for Facebook notifications
  • Reading celebrity gossip
  • Playing Bubble Shooter (free edition)
  • Googling anything I don’t know
  • Checking my bank account
  • Checking my Amex account
  • changing the channel on the tv (thank you Verizon Fios app!)
  • Texting my family
  • Talking on the phone

What do you use your mobile phone for?

Now, I’ll be clear now. I’m not addicted to my phone. I’ve left it at home and not had a panic. I’ve forgotten my charger on vacation and not had a panic.

However, I’m on my phone way too much. It follows me around the house (as in, I bring it with me around the house.) I play too much Bubble Shooter. A lot of times, I just fiddle away on it while we’re watching television. My rationale is that, well, we’re watching television. It’s not like we’re interacting.

However, is my phone use contributing to any lack of interaction? I don’t know. But I’m not particularly wanting to find out. Especially since I read this article today online about how your happiness level actually seems to depend on your spouses happiness level (this was only true of married couples in the study.) It says that if you’re happy, you’re spouse is much more likely to be happy.

Well, how can my hubby know how happy (or unhappy) I am if I’m buried in my iPhone?

As a secondary point, my daughter is seven years old. I need to start NOW setting a good example about phone/digital device etiquette.

So here are some tips on good etiquette that I intend to follow:

I won’t text while driving. I typically don’t, but I’ll make an effort not to at all. I’m really not use to my family if I’m dead from a texting accident.

No phone during any meals. I never do this anyway. Mostly. The only exception is if I’m checking for texts from the babysitter.

I won’t play games/read celebrity gossip, etc for more than 10 minutes at a time. Hey, let’s face it. I’m going to do those things. My phone has practically replaced the computer for those sorts of things. But 10 minutes, max, especially if I’m hoping for some quality time with the husband. I don’t want him to feel ignored.

I won’t bring my phone into the bedroom at night. I’ll leave it to charge in the kitchen. This is a new rule for me. I bring it in a lot, and scan the news or check Facebook before bed. There’s no need for this. Bedtime is ‘cuddle’ time. Reconnect time. (You get the idea.)

What other tips can you recommend?

#33: “Being around you makes me want to briefly stop compulsively checking all forms of digital communication.”

17 Nov

Being around you makes me want to briefly stop compulsively checking all forms of digital communication. (Credit: someecards.com)

That’s what the e-card I just sent my husband says, anyway. Have you visited someecards.com? Warning: it’s not for the faint of heart, and while the pictures on the cards are fine, some of the text on the cards are NSFW.

I think the site is a riot, and I love the topical subject cards, such as:

 

"Congratulations to Kate Middleton on ruining the holiday season for every unmarried woman on the planet." (Credit: someecards.com)

One benefit to Facebook's new email system is that your privacy can now be violated all in one place. (Credit: someecards.com)

This sort of reminds me of project #1 where I sent my husband a thank-you card in the mail. I haven’t run out of ideas, but I figure:

  1. Many of you haven’t been reading this blog from the very beginning
  2. Each of the projects can be done many different ways and should be done again!

Some other things:

 

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