Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Keys to Fairness in Marriage #2

2.  Don't keep track of how much you give and how much you receive.

This goes along with what I was saying yesterday, you do not give only to get something back.  You also don't go to your spouse saying, I have cooked for you today, I have massaged your feet for you today, I have given you 5 hugs today and you haven't done one thing back in return.  If we are giving to our spouse and keeping track it counts for nothing.  Your relationship needs to develop into one where you both love to give to each other, where you both love to help each other and essentially where you give to each other because you don't think of yourself first.  Your relationship turns into one where you put the other's happiness first.  This can be done, but if you are the only one giving, it is tiresome.  If you feel that your spouse is not giving to you, talk to them, don't say I have done this, this and this for you, express to them how you feel and try and resolve ways in which both of your cups are being filled up each day by each other.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Keys to Fairness in Marriage #1 out of 4

1.  Set your heart on giving to your spouse.

Healthy marriage are all about giving and taking equally on both sides.  I have seen too many marriages where all the person seems to care about is what they want.  They don't seem to realize if you love your spouse you will want to give to them and do things for them and that its not just about your spouse giving to you, you taking and never giving anything back.  Also do not give to your spouse to want something back, that is not healthy either.  A true relationship will give on both sides and take on both sides because you care and love each other.  You like to give to your spouse because it makes them happy and it also makes you happy by doing it.  So is your relationship a give only?  A take only?  Or do you both give and take equally?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Internet Problems

Sorry about not posting the past few days, we have had internet problems, so I expect it all to be solved and I should be back on track Monday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Gratitude = Attitude

Make your attitude one of gratitude.  Look for the wonderful blessings you have been given.  When life shoots you down, don't be a complainer, but instead look for all the great things you have been given.  When you are having a hard day, mentally list five things that make it a great day.  For all our personal struggles, there is always something that can make it better, whether it is a smile, someone giving you a compliment, someone telling you they appreciate you, and if all else fails go grab that favorite dessert that you love (trust me chocolate does make it better, at least temporarily).  When life hands you lemons you make lemonade, so whatever is thrown at you change your attitude and find the gratitude.
On a personal note my gratitude is a husband who is amazing even when I am a beast, four children who love me so much and I love and adore them with all I have, parents and mother-in-law who are amazing to me and always make me believe in myself, my brothers and sisters who are the greatest support system and the greatest friends, and my friends who pick me up and help me see in myself my amazing qualities when I can't see them in myself.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Hum Drums

As years progress in your marriage and you get beyond the "Honeymoon Phase" you start to realize there are times when the Hum Drums enter.  What are the Hum Drums?  It is when you are just existing in your marriage and you are not progressing forward.  It is when you get so complacent in your marriage that you feel everything is predictable and the excitement is gone.  You just exist from day to day without much thought of ways to make your marriage great.  We all get this, we get caught up in kids, school, work, laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc.  My point is for you to realize when it is happening and stir things up a bit.  Do something unpredictable for your spouse, be spontaneous, go grab a picnic lunch and take them hiking somewhere, go out on the trampoline on a warm summer night and watch a movie on a laptop, bring in their favorite dessert and once the kids are asleep bring it out and play a boardgame together, as soon as your spouse gets home from work go grab some fries and an ice cream, have a water fight (in the house is fun, but you do have to clean it up), grab your bikes and bike to Maverik for a soda, go to a playground and swing and talk, put on your favorite music and dance (even when the kids are awake they love to dance and it is good for them to see the two of you dance together), etc.  The point is, stir things up, do things different, be unpredictable, don't just let the hum drums get you and you do nothing about them, that is when you need to do the most about them.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Children and Marriage

Let's face it, once you have children they become a huge part of your marriage.  They take up more time each day than you give your spouse each day.  For many the central focus of a marriage becomes your children, which is understandable, they require help, time, discipline, guidance, nourishment, encouragment, etc.  So as a tendency couples tend to forget they are husband and wife and focus more on the fact they are mom and dad.  Focusing on being mom and dad is great, but you have to remember at the same time you are husband and wife.  To try and help remember this, don't forget your weekly date.  My kids complain at times about us going out once a week, but we remind them that we want a great relationship and one day they will be out of the home and our relationship needs to be strong.  Statistics show many couples divorce by the first five years or after twenty five years.  Why after twenty five years?  Because the kids have left the home and they allowed the children to be the main focus and they didn't take the time to maintain their marriage.  Another way to not allow yourself to forget you are husband and wife is to take time for each other, one on one, everyday.  If it means you have to go out for a walk, or shut yourself in your bedroom together for 20 minutes, do it.  You need time to talk and see how things are going and to evalutate how close you feel to each other.  If you are feeling distant, resolve ways to feel closer and to help you remember you are husband and wife.  Last a very great way is intimacy. Being intimate with each other reminds you why you are married. There is a reason God said a husband and wife should leave their parents and cleave to each other, it is a true union of one.  If you are not being intimate, talk to each other, find out why and resolve a way to be together.  When you are intimate, you become one, you feel how the other feels about you and it bringsyou closer.  Remember children are wonderful and great and divine, but so is your marriage, so take the time to always make sure it is wonderful, great and divine.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ways to FIGHT Depression

As I said yesterday, depression can be very, very brutal on your marriage and the spouse suffering through it.  Luckily  there are ways to combat it.  One of the biggest is exercise.  I know there are many people who don't like to exercise, but when you exercise and get your heart rate going, your endorphines kick in and they help to make you feel better about yourself.  Also when you exercise regularly, you feel much better about yourself because you are doing something physically good to take care of your body.  There are many choices for exercise such as; running, biking, swimming, speed walking, zumba, pilates, yoga, workout classes at a gym, kick boxing, belly dancing, there are also a lot of dvd's with more choices.  Explore an exercise, if you don't like it, then switch out, but you need to do something that elevates your heart rate.  Another way to fight depression is counseling.  Counselors can talk you through depression and if it is bad enough they can give you a prescription to help get through it.  There is nothing wrong with taking a prescription for depression, it is there to help people who can't seem to pick themselves up.  Think of it this way; go to a counselor and get a prescription if needed and save a life, or end up taking your life.  A person who commits suicide is selfish, that is what depression is, all you think about is yourself and your misery, you don't realize your family would NEVER EVER be better off without you (that is the depression talking making you think that).  Another way is stress tabs, you can buy them at any store in the vitamin section, they just give you a little extra help (I believe it has a B complex that helps with stress).  Another way is to seek family and friends support to help you fight it; have them make sure you are doing constant self-checks of how you feel and if you can't get up and get going ask them for help to do so.  Listen and watch things that are uplifting, inspirational, and even funny, laughter is so essential to feeling better about yourself.  These are just a few ideas, seek help where ever is needed and if you are going through this, TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE so they can help you.

Friday, May 20, 2011


One of the biggest factors there can be to an unhappy marriage is depression.  It can hit the husband or wife, and there are many reasons it can happen:  job loss, change, self-esteem issues, financial issues, etc.  For whatever the reason, it can hit you and you need to be watchful of it, because it can do major damage to yourself and your marriage.  After we had one of our children, we were told to be watchful of the baby blues, but I kind of brushed it aside.  A few months later, I realized I was having major problems and a lot of unhappiness, I was becoming a beast and I truly started believing my husband and kids would be better off without me.  Fortunately for me, no method of suicide held an appeal, I thought maybe taking too many pills would be good (but I had no way to get them) but after talking to my dad about it he made me realize it would be horrible, because your body tries to reject the pills and you end up throwing up over and over and if a person succeeds this way it is because they died of not being able to breathe while throwing up, it is not pretty and very ugly.  If you ever get to the point where you are thinking that the ones you love the most would be better off without you, seek help immediately.  A trained professional can help you see through the dark, do not worry the cost, your life is more important, and I can GUARANTEE you, your loved ones will NOT be better off without you.  Fortunatley for my depression I finally talked to my husband and we pinpointed my problem and we set goals and ways to help me get out of it.  My husband was a crucial part of helping me ge through it, because I needed his constant encouragement and I needed him to constantly build me up and tell me I was beautiful and important to my family.  The next time we had a baby, we very careful kept an eye out for any baby blues.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Keys to Forgiveness #6

6.  Seek the Spirit.  The Holy Ghost will help you to forgive.

For those who believe in God, no matter what religion you are, you need to seek his help.  He is the one that can help you forgive your spouse and help you see the matter clearly.  Pray often, ask for his help and ask him to help you understand so you can forgive your spouse. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Keys to Forgiveness #5

5.  Forget about who is right and who is wrong.

An essential rule to forgiveness is forgiving them.  Sometimes one of you have to take the upper hand and say I'm sorry to start creating peace.  It does not matter who is right or wrong, it is about communicating and expressing feelings appropriately and getting past the hurt.  I have talked before about keeping ammunition to use against your spouse at a later date.  This is done when you remember something they had done wrong, and eventhough you said you forgive them you bring it up again and again to hurt them. If you truly forgive them of the wrong they have done, you will not bring it up to hurt them later. This doesn't mean you forget it, but that you have let it go to allow the peace to be in your marriage.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

You Both Have to Give a Little

I am sorry I did not get back to my blog yesterday we were busy moving over the weekend.  I can tell you this, moving can be a big strain on your marriage.  If you are not working together, it can get very ugly.  You are so tired and stressed that it could be one of the times you say something you regret.  Fortunatley for Jason and I it went smoothly (because I have been packing and cleaning for the last month, part of my OCD) except when we tried to fit the furniture where we thought it should go and it wouldn't fit, so after much deliberation and compromise we worked it out.  Remember you both have to give a little to make things work out well.  Tomorrow I will be back on track for the Keys to Forgiveness.  Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Keys to Forgiveness #4

4.  Speak only when you feel you are in control of your emotions.

How many times have you said things you shouldn't have when you were tired, angry, frustrated, etc.  A golden rule in your relationship is not to have important discussions when one or the other of you is tired, upset, etc.  It is so easy to say words you will regret when you are upset, therefore it is not wise to speak until you are in control of your emotions.  If you do say words you regret, they are harder to take back and repair the damage.  So think before you speak.

P.S. I am taking a break until Monday.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Keys to Forgiveness #3

3.  Remember all the good things about your spouse.  The positive will always outweigh the negative.

I have talked many times about always seeing the positive in your spouse and saying the positive things about your spouse.  If you look for the negative you will see it, if you look for the positive you will see it.  When you are having a hard time forgiving your spouse for an offense, it is worth taking the time to write down all the good things you see in them and all the good things other see in them.  As you look at the list regularly it will help to reaffirm to you that forgiveness to them is worth it.  You will see they have much value and merit and that your marriage is worth it.  Sometimes we need to see our spouses through the rainbow spectacles of Pollyanna, where all you see is good, because seeing the good will help us get past seeing the bad only.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Keys to Forgiveness #2

2.  Trade places with your spouse and imagine how much you would like to be forgiven.

This goes hand in hand with #1, you need to see the situation from your spouse's point of view, but by trading places with them, it puts you in their shoes and you realize how important forgiveness for them is.  It helps you to see their sincerity and through you forgiving them it can help them move forward.  Also with forgiveness comes great peace.  Sometimes our spouse can wrong us so greatly that it is hard to forgive them because you cannot trust them.  Forgiveness and trust are two seperate issues.  To forgive is to say that you accept their apology and all that they have done to repair the situation.  The trust comes back through time as they show you over and over that they are sorry but not doing that wrong again.  Trust has to be earned, whereas forgiveness is essential to our personal peace in life. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Keys to Forgiveness #1 out of 6

1.  See the situation from your spouse's point of view.

Forgiveness is essential in a marriage, I mean lets be honest, there are many things that go on that one or the other is asking for forgiveness.  The great thing about this life is we are not perfect and we have to constantly try to work out the kinks we have in ourselves.  We all mess up, we all make mistakes.  We say things we shouldn't when we are tired or frustrated.  Therefore forgiveness is an essential key to a successful marriage.  When we are having problems in are marriage, or having an argument, take the time to stop and think about it from your spouses point of view.  Find out if they are tired, did they have a bad day at work, etc these are things that will spark arguments in a marriage.  What if the spouse has done something very bad, ie, had an affair, views pornography, lost a lot of money without telling you, lies to you, drinks in secret (in other words, things that they specifically hide from you because they don't want you to find out because they know it will cause terrible problems in your marriage).  If this happens, you will need counseling for a lot of these things, but one of the first steps will be to see it through their eyes as to why they did it.  It will help you begin to understand why, it doesn't mean that it will be easier to forgive them, but it does help you get a better prospective on the situation.  Whatever the reason for forgiveness stop and see it from your spouse's point of view so you can start taking steps to forgive them.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tribute to my Mom

With Mother's Day around the corner I wanted to pay a tribute to my mom.  She is a wonderful women and has been there for me.  She has always had a listening ear and I loved it when I came home from school and could just plop down on her bed and tell her about my day.  She has been wonderful to my children and my husband.  She has spent hours and hours crocheting names into blankets, making pillows, and making dolls for my kids.  She loves my husband and picks him up all of the time.  She has never said anything negative about my husband (which honestly isn't hard) and I am so grateful for that.  My mom has had a very hard life with an illness that has been very long and has caused her much pain.  I am grateful for the brave steps she has taken these last six months to try and make the most out of her life with the situation in which she is in.  I truly love her and I am grateful she is my mom.
(This is my last post this week, until Monday, because I have an Ironman date tomorrow, no I am not doing it, just helping out).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

You Are a Hottie

This is to all the women out there and husbands you need to pay attention too.  Mothers Day is fast approaching us; it is a day that those we love pay tribute to us and let us know how much they love us.  Why is it then that we don't seem to love ourselves that much?  Why do we always put ourselves down and not pick ourselves up?  Why are we always the hardest on ourselves?  My husband just told me today "your a hottie" I looked at him with a little unbelief, but said thank you.  All I could think of when he said that was that I worked out today, but as I worked out I looked at myself in the mirror and all I could see is what I didn't like about myself.  We are so hard on ourselves.  You need to love yourself and pat yourself on the back for each accomplishment you achieve. You need to believe you are a hottie.  Just because you are not a size 0, doesn't mean that you aren't super sexy and amazingly beautiful.  Love yourself, you are a hottie.  For all the husbands, tell your wife she is beautiful and make sure you are sincere, make sure she knows that you only have eyes for her and that she is your hottie.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mothers Day Ahead

This is for you, our dear sweet husbands and fathers, Mothers Day is on Sunday.  I am giving you a "heads up" so you can't say "oops, I forgot."  Believe it or not, you need to remember Mothers Day like you remember your anniversary, her birthday, and Christmas.  Some husbands struggle with remembering these important dates (generally not Christmas).  When you remember these dates, it shows her that you are thinking of her, that she is on your mind, and that those days are important to you too.  For Mothers Day you don't have to go get some expensive gift, just do something to show her how much you love her.  Some suggestions might be: a poem, a homemade card, a letter, a foot massage, a back massage, breakfast in bed, a bubble bath with no children disturbing her, her favorite candy, her favorite flower, etc.  There is a lot you can do, so think now and be creative.  I remember one Mothers Day when I asked my husband that all I wanted was not to change a diaper for the day, what a great present that was for me at that time.  Let her know she is a great wife/mother, and if she is not a mother yet, still recognize her for being your great wife.  One day she will be the mother of your children and recognizing her for Mothers Day lets her know you look forward to having children together. So to the sweet men out there, here's your reminder, Mothers Day Ahead!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Count Your Blessings

This past little bit in my marriage has probably been one of the hardest times we have ever had.  With the economy the way it is, we had several things that hit us really hard in about a short period of time.  It has been a time of hardship, struggle and for me a lot of tears.  As we were going through this time, one thing struck me and that was to count my blessings.  So I actually pulled out a journal and in it I put the hard things we have had happen, which consisted of about eight lines or so, then I started to list all the blessings that occured during it.  My blessings came to a page and a half.  I was surprised and startled to see so many little things that made such a difference, so many kind words from friends and family, and friends and family who were willing to do anything they could to help.  It has been a humbling time, but throughout this all Jason and I did not fight over what went wrong, or what we should have done, we clung to each other and buckled down together to get through it all.  Hard times come in all marriages and it is a matter of working through it together and seeing all the blessings along the way.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Lighten Up and Laugh

One thing I have learned about marriage is that you need to be able to laugh.  Laughter is one of the greatest healing gifts we have been given.  It is amazing what happens when you laugh and how you feel when you do.  We have a tendency in marriage to get so caught up in all the problems, drama, and hard parts of it, that we forget to find the joy, the excitement and the laughter in life.  We especially need to learn to laugh at ourselves.  We need to realize our weaknesses and embrace them and when things don't go exactly as planned we need to be able to laugh at ourselves and our follies.  If we are just having a hard day or a hard time, go find a movie you love and that makes you laugh.  Get out, do whatever it takes to realize there is so much good in this life.  I know when things are getting rough, I am very fortunate, because my husband is very witty and helps me to laugh a lot, but there are times when I have to reverse it and I need to help him ligthen up and get him to laugh. 
His favorite one was when we was digging a hole in the back yard and it was a HUGE pain, it was taking forever because we obviously have clay in our soil.  He was getting so upset doing it, so the sweet wife I am, I just took a huge pile of mud and came up right behind him and smoothered it all over his back and head.  You should have seen his face when he turned around, it was first a look of great shock and then surprise, and then the smile came on and the mud fight was on.  What a fond memory for us.  You need to do this, when life gets hard, find a way to laugh and help lighten each other up through very stressful times.