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Thursday, February 25, 2010

marriage is more than just love

Men are strange. Yep I said it. They know it. We know it (women) but what else about men should we (women) know?

FD and I have been married for six years now and I have learned a thing or two about men while being with him. My last relationship was with Gamer's father and it lasted 10 yrs or so. And after a disastrous failure at that relationship I was determined to make sure my marriage this time made it through the humps, pitfalls and strangle-holds that often corrupt a couple in love.

1.) Love is never enough.

Love is great. Loving each other with respect is even better. But love is not enough to help a marriage sustain the abuse we go through leading every day life. Communication is the key to any successful relationship. So what about men and communication?

Many of my gf say one of the hardest things they find in dealing with their men is talking to them. This happens because we as women assume that our men should know exactly what we are thinking every moment.

Not true! Men aren't that smart. Nor do they even think about us or anyone else most of the time. So how do you talk to your man?

Straight up... as Paula Abdul would say. Be blunt. Ask for what you want. Tell your man what you need. Tell him how you feel, and not just about what he is or isn't doing. How YOU feel. Don't make him guess.

2.) All we ever do is fight about money.

Ahhhh this one is big.  In relationships between men and women the matter of money always seems to crop up and bite us in the ass.  Well most of us anyhow and that's because the way men and women handle and view the details on finances is different, along with what we feel is important.

So how do you find middle ground if money matters are causing your relationship trouble.

The first step is to figure out a system that works for everyone.  Some married couples are happy where one person deals with the money and one doesn't.  If that works for you great!  But if you find yourself arguing over where the money is going and need to gain a hold on your money.  Then you need to find a suitable way to arrange things where both of you can work it out together.

Get a receipt holder.  You know the kind with the large poke stick so you can throw on your receipts for everything you spend.  If you buy gas, it goes there.  If you pay a bill, the bill goes on it.  If you buy that new top you have wanted, it goes there.  That way at the end of each month you can sit down together and see where the money is going and who is spending what where. 

This isn't to arrange a full frontal attack on the person over spending.  It's a simple and easy method to assure both partners see how they are each spending and maybe where you need to cut back.

Above all remember, money is NOT not everything in life.  Paying your bills is important but it's not worth fighting over.  Get together and discuss how you feel and if there is something you want to purchase either together or separately, set up a savings account and tuck away a few bucks until the day comes when you can walk in and buy that $1000 sofa you've both been wanting.

3.) In our marriage doing the house work is 50/50 and we share everything!

Okay this is bullshit!  Sorry ladies but it's not true.  No matter how much we want it to be true, the majoridy of us women spend more time cleaning, cooking and taking care of business more than the men in our lives.

Is it because men don't care? 

Absolutely not.  Men care but they compartamentalize their jobs differently then what we do.  One thing I can't stand is when I hear one of my friends say ... "I asked him to do the dishes and he did them wrong!"

If you want a job done the way you want it done then for christ-sakes do it yourself.  It's that simple.  If you want help around the house then you have to make lists.

I know it sounds silly.  Make a list for a grown man?  Yep, and it works.  My parents have been married for 37 years and they still make lists for the house work.  Mom has her chores.  Dad has his.  They get up and they do them together or through out the day.  But the bottom line is it gets done and the house gets clean.

Find a way where the jobs or chores are delagated so that everyone is happy.  And if you have kids don't shy away from giving them a list of chores to do as well.  If everyone chips in, even if you work full time.  The chores and housework will get done and everyone will be happy; including mom.

4.) My husband /' boyfriend is selfish and doesn't care about me or my feelings or anything.

Okay again I'm calling bullshit.  This is an unfair statement about men and one that is made far too often.  

I realize for us gals it may appear as though the men in our lives don't give a shit about anything.  But that isn't the case.  Men just handle stress, emotions and life differently then we women do.  Women base everything on how they feel.  Men base everything on how things get done.  

Men worry and care just as much as we do but handle it different and if you man is not reacting or acting the way you think he should then maybe your expectations of him need to change.  Don't set yourself up to thinking men are unfeeling because you will be surprised at just how MUCH men feel about stuff.

Take FD for example.  

When I got sick and we had a scare thinking that maybe I had a heart problem.  He got very quiet.  He didn't talk to me.  In fact he wouldn't even hug me much.  It was like he was treating me as if I was already dead and he was moving on without me.  It didn't feel good.  It made me feel sad inside and I thought... "shit he doesn't give a crap about anything."

I soon found out that was the farthest things from the truth.  It wasn't that FD didn't care.  He cared.  In fact he cared so much it was overwhelming for him and he didn't want to break down because he was trying to be strong for me.  He was trying to be strong for the boys.  He didn't want the boys to see daddy scared that something was going to happen to mommy and they would be without me.

How did I find this out?

Well it goes back to number 1.) communication where love isn't enough.  I had to talk to him.  I told  FD how his reactions and actions were affecting me, what I felt and thought and that is when he corrected me and told me what he was really feeling and his emotions broke down.

So you see what I felt and thought was wrong.  He did care.  He was just handling it different than I thought he should and once we talked about thing it got sorted out.

5.) Never go to bed angry and time outs are important even for adults.

I cannot stress enough how important this rule is and how men and women again handle this differently.  But if you make it a rule from the beginning you will be fine.

Why should you not go to bed angry?  

Going to be angry doesn't leave either partner feeling good.  And 9 times out of 10 men go right to sleep as though the matter doesn't bother them and women stay up and brood over the situation because we for some reason can't sleep when we are upset.  At least I'm like that.  So I make it a rule never to go bed angry.  And besides you'd feel pretty crappy if something happened during the night and the last words you spoke to the person you loved were out of anger.

How can you resolve things if one person is not in agreement with the other?

Simple, you agree to disagree.  End of story.  Many time FD and I have had an argument or disagreement on something.  When that happens.  FD leaves.  No he does not run away.  He takes a time out.

Time outs are given to our children to help them calm down and reflect on their feelings, so that they can better resolve the issues they face without anger getting in the way.  The same goes for adults and that is where time outs come in handy so you don't say something  you will regret or do something to hurt someone else  you love.

Marriage is more than just love.  It's a partnership.  That is how it should be.  Love is great and it is what allows you to show how you feel about the person you are with, but marriage is more than that.  Marriage is friendship, taking the good with the bad, the ups with the downs and being able to communicate your feelings with respect and understanding.



Tawners said...

This was a more than enjoyable article to read. i related to much of it. Marriage ia interesting hey/ Almost all women want it, we dream of it from the age 5 and up.The problem is that a marriage requires looking at ourselves for change even more than our mate. I believe love would be enough if we had the capacity to be love (1 Corinthians 4)...keep writing it

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