How to get away with Mur…MARRIAGE!

How to get away with Mur…RIAGE!

Ha! Marriage!
Yes, I almost said Murder; but both go hand in hand if you ask 40-50% of the population.

MARRIAGE: It’s supposed to be a “Merry-Age”? But for a lot of people it’s more like a slow torturous death.

The plus side is you can always just pull the plug and get a divorce, RIGHT?

NO!!! This totally annoys me.

If you inherently believe that you are gonna fail at something the whole while you are attempting it, don’t you think that negativity will filter through? At the first sign of trouble, you just throw in the towel and bail?

Gosh, we’d probably still be pushing boulders around and beating each other over the head with clubs if we gave up on everything so easily.

Yes, some issues arise because people get married for the wrong reasons, or without getting to know each other well enough, and so on. But for the purpose of this blog post, let’s assume both parties are in love and genuinely believe they WANT to spend the rest of their lives together.

I always hated the phrase “Marriage takes work.” If marriage takes work, then I guess parenting is unpaid overtime, with no breaks or benefits?

I only kid (if you are single and not a parent yet).

If you ARE married and/or also in the parenting phase of your life/relationship, have Faith; be Steadfast; YOU CAN DO THIS!

How? How can I get through another day, you ask? How can I be happy, make my partner happy, and be a good parent at the same time?

Well this post has all the answers you’ve been looking for, you just have to read the whooooole thing to find out.

Okay, I lied.

It’s not easy. It takes a lot of slapping yourself in the face, and saying “Snap out of it!” And “Stop whining like a lil B—-!”

Hi. My name is Carmen.

I’m 17 years into my relationship; almost 11 years into my marriage; and 8 1/2 years into the parenting phase.

And I’m very happy with my life, marriage and family up till now. Many will say I’m happy because I haven’t gotten to the bad part yet. Why do people always wanna have a worse story than you? Wether it’s relationship stories or the horrific labor stories women tell, we are always trying to one up with the bad vibes or bad news.

Well, thankfully, we passed the “7 year itch” without a hitch. We’ve got four kids, all natural labors, 3 with epidural. And although our oldest is only 8, she is frightfully maturing at the speed of light.

Unfortunately, there’s no epidural for marriage, but you shouldn’t need one.

Here are 10 other things you can do be happy in your marriage. I say other because there are so many factors that contribute to a happy marriage.

1: Play hide & seek.
Or, as I like to call it: randomly hide from your husband and scare the crap out of him.

WARNING: while this is EXTREMELY fun, and HILARIOUS, be warned that I cannot be responsible if you get punched or kicked in the face by your frightened significant other.

Whenever I hear him coming down the hall, I find a quiet place to hide and then wait… And wait… And wait. Sometimes for several minutes.

Sounds sinister, I know, but it makes for a great laugh for the both of us, after the initial scare that is. Thankfully he seems to forget to get me back.

2: Serenade each other randomly. 

You don’t need a fancy guitar or Mariachis. Just sing in the car or at home when “your song” comes on. Or text them randomly if you hear your song or any other romantic song on the radio. And don’t discriminate if it’s “Bump and Grind”; it’s the thought that counts.

3: Say I love you when you’re just going to another room.

Say I love you a lot! NO, it does not take the meaning away! Sometimes we don’t say it enough to avoid overuse.

Are you kidding me? Do you know how many times we use the word “the” or “and” everyday? Try taking that out of   rest of this blog post see how odd it would be.

Say “I love you” often as you can.

4: Make time to be Intimate.

This should be number 1, but the order doesn’t really matter.

This is especially true once you have kids, but even before. You get married, and have jobs and responsibilities, and before you know it you could be in a slump! Do not give in to the slump. As tacky or unexciting as it may sound, set aside time to be intimate. Literally, count the days and plan for it.

As boring as that may sound, it will still be fun and exciting once you get around to it! So book your calendars just as you would a mani, pedi, or gym-time.

5: Leave little love notes for each other. 

This one is more for the ladies.

Ladies, don’t read this and say, “my guy never does that.” You see THAT is YOUR biggest problem. Stop comparing your guy to someone else’s. AND stop expecting things from him just because you do them, or want him to do them. Men are totally different animals than us. They DO NOT think the way we do. So you have to learn to interpret and appreciate the little things they do for us.

Like what?

Well, how about when they fix something around the house; deal with your car problems; maybe they let you pick a movie. Okay, maybe it’s just a show between the commercials of the football game; okay, maybe you just hold the remote. FINE! Who am I kidding, we barely have remote rights.

Also, ladies, men are terrible guessers. Just tell them what you want and stop expecting them to “know” everything.

6: Compliment each other.

Naturally, as time passes and you start to settle into the relationship, you get so comfortable you forget how attractive you once found each other. You forget about the chase because you already caught each other, and even though you still have the hots for each other, you stop saying/showing it.

This sort of goes back to number 4/1, but also leads to #7.

7: Be confident.
Too often we don’t give ourselves enough worth. We get down on ourselves because we don’t like what we see in the mirror and we ASSume the other person is unhappy with us as well.

Well, NEWSFLASH, men are easier to please than you think. NO they are not blind; you ARE NOT Miranda Kerr or Sofia Vergara, and yes they find these women very attractive. BUT nevertheless, your spouse wants YOU! So ACT like you look like Miranda Kerr, just don’t talk like Sofia Vergara (that’s just annoying). Put on something sexy no matter what you look like, and your spouse will be happily surprised!

8: Never keep track of who owes who.

Marriage is a give and take (this also goes back to number 4/1).

It’s about compromising and sacrificing.

Sometimes you will feel like you are giving more than the other person. But you aren’t supposed to keep tabs. It’s not a math equation.

You don’t give in hopes of receiving, although the saying goes “you rub my back, I’ll rub yours.” And who doesn’t love a good back rub?

You have to love the person more than yourself. If you are both truly in love, then it all balances out.

Ask my husband and he’ll confirm, “Happy Wife; Happy Life!”

9: Don’t worry about other people’s relationships.

NOBODY is perfect. No matter how “happy” people seem.

You know what makes for a great marriage?

Discretion.
Keep your problems between the both of you. Work them out together, whenever possible just between you and your spouse. Because your unconditional love will forgive many things, but your friends, family and Facebook will not be as understanding or forgiving.

10: Articles about Marriage are like Fad diets.

Their advice WORKS! But the second you atop dieting, you gain all the weight/problems back.

You see marriage is for a lifetime. There is no quick fix, or one time remedy because life takes it’s own course. You have to face obstacles and challenges as they came. It’s impossible to plan for anything.

I hope this post is somewhat helpful. If I have to pick one out of the ten as thee most important, I would go with number 4! 😉

Like Nike says,“Just Do It!” LITERALLY!

Shipping and Handling

I received a package the other day. I often get packages at home because I do a lot of online shopping. Yes, I love buying stuff, but I’m really not big on malls. I can’t say that I enjoy walking around for hours, going from store to store, trying on countless outfits, just to leave with a belt & a couple of perfume samples. And, I definitely don’t want to waste the little free time I have, there. For me, it’s worth the shipping & handling.

I saw the package on the front lawn on my way out that morning. It was covered in dew, must have been there since yesterday. I tossed it in the house, wondering what it could be, since I hadn’t ordered anything, but I didn’t have time to check.

When I came home that night, there was another, larger package by the door.

Odd.

I brought them both into the kitchen.

Sure enough the packages were addressed to someone else—Jane*, the lady who used to own my house.

*(The names have been changed to protect the innocent, and by innocent, I mean the children.)

My husband and I only met her once, on the day of the closing; by then we had come to a few conclusions about her. But, we met her husband, or rather ex-husband, when we saw the house for the second time.

His realtor mentioned how he was looking better, and filling out again.

We learned that John had survived a battle with cancer the year before.

John showed us through the house. One of the walls of the family room was a showcase of his daughters’ awards and accolades over the years for volleyball and softball. There were numerous school pictures, and their graduation pictures.

There were no “family” pictures.

The rest of the house seemed pretty bare.The master bedroom, although huge, looked more like the maid’s quarters: a small bed, 1 nightstand, 1 lamp. No decorative frames, furry rugs, floor mirrors, or big fancy comforters. Just some drabby old sheets that seemed to be collecting dust. Throughout the house we noticed grime in the corners of the bathrooms, behind doors, and so on. Someone was trying to keep up appearances, but barely.

It didn’t seem like anyone had been doing much living there for a while now.

He showed us the patio area,”This is a great party house. The pool is heated. Nice big yard. The cabana has a bathroom and a shower; perfect for entertaining.”

John mentioned that his daughters’ friends were always at the house because the school was so close by. “Our daughter goes to school down the street,” we added.

“That’s great! We loved having all their friends over, to enjoy the pool and the lake. We’d barbecue. Those were great times,” he said staring off towards the lake.

“I live with my parents now, and my youngest daughter,” he added and turned back towards the house.

Jane’s number was listed on the package just above her name and my home address. I decided I’d give “the bitch” a call to let her know about her packages.

“The Bitch” seems like a strong name for a woman we barely knew… Seems.

The day of the closing, she brought her new husband along, a man she had conveniently met at the very school her daughters and his son had attended. We wondered, “Did they meet before he got cancer or after? Before the divorce finalized or after?” Needless to say, she wasn’t looking good in our book.

Jane had inadvertently left behind a drawer full of lingerie in the built-in in the closet. After we moved in, I started cleaning out the drawer and noticed some greeting cards and letters. Don’t get snooty, OF COURSE, I opened them. There were Christmas and birthday cards from her now husband, dating back 3 or 4 years.

One letter read, “I wish we could already be together this New Years. You’ve brought so much happiness to my life. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you…”

Sounds sweet enough, except she was still living with the father of her children at the time.

Despite what I may have thought about her marital misbehavior, Jane was very sweet and appreciative when I called to let her know about the packages. She said her daughter would drop by the next morning to pick them up.

I said I’d leave them by the door, but the next morning just as I was heading out, a black honda civic was parked halfway in the gate, motor running. It was her daughter. The driveway was clear, but she seemed to hesitate to pull up all the way. She stared in my direction under the carport, not at me so much as at the large wood front doors.

She saw me then, walking out with the packages, and got out of the car.

“Good Morning. These are the packages that came for your mom.” I said, handing them over. She didn’t say a word, or couldn’t.

She finally smiled and nodded, taking them from me, but staring through the open doorway into the house behind me.

In the mornings, the sun shines through the many windows and doors of the living room. It’s the main area just as you walk into the house—bright and crisp and hopeful. It sold the house to me. The clean light cheers up the whole house and mood…well, most of the time.

The exchange took only seconds, but felt longer. Her eyes wondering,”When did this stop being my home?”

She returned to her car. I pretended I had forgotten something and went back inside to wait until she was gone. She sat in the car for a few minutes before finally driving off.

That was some expensive shipping and handling, I thought sadly.