This week has been about making choices and just doing it. In all of my previous relationships, I got to a point where we’d bicker worse than my brother, Nathan, and I would when stuck in the backseat of a tiny Hyundai together. Stupid, petty and nonstop bickering until the relationship fizzled out. It is really easy to go there even now. So I don’t. If I get snappy or sarcastic it just leads to Jeff doing the same. So first and foremost, talk kindly to each other. My worst habit is probably being so comfortable that I can tell him anything. I can’t tell anyone anything, but I sure can tell Jeff what I think and sometimes it isn’t kind. I have to make a real effort to talk to him like my best friend, because he is. If we’re in that mode of not being able to say anything nice, we walk away until we can. Not only talk nicely, but tell each other nice things. It is so easy to take someone for granted. When I hear that dinner is good, or that he notices my efforts to clean up after marathon midnight baking, I try really hard to continue. He is the best lawn care person I know and pool cleaner, but I need to tell him so that he knows that I see all that he does. Actions speak louder than words, but how do we know the other person sees our actions unless they affirm them?
When we were talking to our marriage officiate, Skinny Pete from Breaking Bad- seriously, he told us that he and his wife always had a weekly date night. Just them, no kids. That may be the best advice I’ve ever gotten. That’s probably the best advice Skinny Pete has ever given, but hey. Jeff and I can’t go out weekly, but we can take time out of each week to just be together and talk, no kids. It is too easy to focus on kids or friends or family if you don’t have some alone time. And alone sleeping doesn’t count. I’ve tried. Date night gives us a chance to fall in love again. It gives us a chance to talk about the future not just about the child situation at hand. Going out reminds us of why we got together in the first place. It is a chance to laugh at inappropriate jokes, talk about things big ears shouldn’t hear, and escaping anything Disney Junior related. It is something to be dressed up for, planned and looked forward to. It should be like dating was in the beginning.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. Make a decision to let some stuff go. It is easy to get irritated at almost anything when you’re rushing around getting dinner ready, homework done, soccer and choir practice, auditions and baking, and then on top of it someone forgets to lock the front door or put underwear in the right hamper, or feed the dog. Is it that important? Feeding the dog is important, but not big enough of a deal to yell over. Is it important enough to put strain on a relationship, or show your children that’s how you treat your beloved? Make a choice not to let it get to you. Simple, but not easy. I pray every day for the reminder to be cool. It is not an excuse to get walked all over. But, it is the reason not to nag, and to accept that sometimes messy people can’t change into the perfectly organized person you want.
Don’t play the blame game. It is really easy to get irritated at your partner’s habits and blaming them for the strain in your relationship. What can you do to alleviate that strain? Can you quit nagging? Can you pick up after yourself? Can you just decide to have a better attitude? Why are you with this person, and what is it that made you fall in love with them? Look at yourself. No matter what the problem is, and how much the other person is to blame, figure out what can you do to aid in getting back to the good ol days. And talk to your partner without using “you” in the sentence. Talk about the strain without putting all of the blame on them. Make them feel at ease and not like you are alienating them. You’re in this together, so both parties play a role in everything. EVERYTHING. Figure out your part.
Some relationships are irreparable. Some are abusive and need to be dissolved. This does not address those situations. Full time jobs, full time hobbies, mommy’s groups, fantasy foot and three children are no excuse for Jeff and me not to focus on our number one- each other. Tonight, we’re sending the kids off to anyone who will take them and we’re going to dinner and maybe some more car shopping. J Yee-haw that is what date night has become.
My Daily Prayer: Thank you God for a partner who builds me up, is strong where I am weak, and pushes me creatively. Thank you for helping me step back and seeing what is truly important to us, and reminding me that our values do not have to be the same as others’. AMEN!
When I have Kardashian Kash: A private beach sounds very good right now. Wonder how my llama will feel about traveling.
Manic Monday- Mercy Wine Bar and Car Shopping
Making Whoopie Flavor of the Week: Mojito! Cha-cha-cha your way into the weekend with a Mojito Whoopie or Mojito Cupcake. Keylime cake and lime, mint, rum butter cream with a hint of vanilla.