Life. It’s hectic. We all have a million things going on. Work, home, pets, friends, family, volunteer, keeping the tiny humans alive. And the relationship that usually suffers the most, the one that we take for granted more than others is our mate. Why? probably because we are the most ‘comfortable’ with them. The most comfotable with our life status quo. But our mates should be nurtered, watered like plants, like the lawn. If not, they will wither up and get all dry and crunchy. There are plenty of sayings about the grass. Some say “the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence.” I say ‘the grass is greener where you water it.’ Doesn’t everyone want a nice, green, plush lawn? One that you can take your shoes off and walk on with your bare feet? I sure do!
Now, don’t get it twisted, I am NOT a step ford wife. I am far from Martha Stewart at cleaning, cooking and I can be quite the lazy a$$ on the weekends. And I need to do better at showing (not just telling) my hubby that he is numero uno. I am watering the grass, but I need to turn up the water pressure a little. Sometimes I look around and see/hear the trials of this person and that person and think “hey, we are doing just fine”. I mean, at least we don’t have separate houses, live in seperate states, we aren’t screaming at each other, he’s not sleeping with my assistant and we sleep in the same bed (for the most part, unless I fall asleep watching trash TV).
So, how? How can you jumpstart, bring a little bit of a spark back, make it better? Because the SECOND anyone says my life/my marriage/my relationship is PERFECT….First, you are lying & probably hiding something. I’m not saying put your business on the street. But, just be real with yourself, boo. Second, good for you liar. You can stop reading here and go back to your lie of a life because no one is perfect. 😉 Third, for those of us that live in reality, here are some tips from people WAY more qualified than I am.
Oh, and before I hear any… “OMG, I am SO sick of being the one ALWAYS making the effort. Why can’t HE be the one to make plans and take me out? Why can’t HE be the one to see I need more ‘water on my lawn’? Why can’t HE just let me take a dang bath for 15 minutes without all the kids watching???” Well, ladies, because sometimes men just don’t think. There ya have it. You want things to change? Change them. #BeTheChangeYouWantInYourHouse
Now, back to tips to get that grass GREEN-er. You can learn a lot about a person, in as little as an hour of conversation. Take some of these 36 Questions to Bring you Closer together and write them down on slips of paper. Ask them to each other during happy hour, or during the hour before ‘sleep’ time, or during date night. You never know what you can learn about your mate…even after years of being with them.
Talk about the good ‘ole days. Nothing gets those butterflies fluttering like thinking back to what brought you both together! Say something like “I loved that trip we took to ____” or “that dinner you cooked me on our second date, it was amazing”. Don’t go in for a dig like “Why don’t we EVER go on trips any more like we used to?” or “Why don’t you cook like that any more?” That is a SURE way to dry up that grass….
Speak well of each other! There is nothing more of a TURN ON, than when you hear through the grape vine of how nice your spouse/mate was talking about you. Of course, we all have our close friends that we vent too…your deep personal issues need to stay just that–personal. #talknice
Drop your old issues. We all have scars and damage from our dating days, but don’t use an old fight as a weapon in a new one. It’s unfair to throw unresolved issues at one another — drop those sensitivities by avoiding hot button issues that you’ve already discussed (and hopefully resolved). If you’re still having trouble letting it go, consider journaling or talking to a counselor to prevent these bygones from weakening your marriage.
Fight fairly. This one is hard, especially for the ones of us that have Irish/Cajun tempers, LOL. Avoid using absolutes like “always” or “never” to accuse your spouse when you’re revved up and kind of irrational during a particularly bad argument. Within the argument, establish a “take it back” code whenever either of you says something you don’t truly mean. You both need to know when to apologize; love does mean saying “I’m sorry” sometimes.
Be financially responsible. Money is one of the top marriage stressors, especially in challenging financial times. You both need the security of knowing that you’re each paying bills on time, and not making unnecessary purchases. Be honest with one another, no matter what. Don’t show up with a new car…that would be put in the ‘not good’ column.
Don’t stall on each other’s requests. Life is hectic, but if your partner asks you to look up something online or find a piece of paperwork for him, make it a high priority to do so as soon as humanly possible. When you show your spouse that his requests are important to you and you value his needs, that makes your partnership even stronger. Example: I drink my coffee while I check my emails in the mornings, in bed. My husband HATES when I leave my coffee mugs & water cup on the nightstand. It does not bother me, but really, really, really bothers him….and has for 9 years. Finally, after me realizing that is REALLY does bother him; and after several requests (a final plea rather), I have an alarm set in my phone, every day, reminding me to remove them from my night stand. The alarm is named “CUP”. And if that little thing helps his sanity and helps me to remember, then “cup” alarm it will be.
Accept that you’ll both have bratty moments. Sometimes when we’re stressed, we get snippy. It happens to everyone, and that ultra-bratty response may even be a surprise to you. So if your spouse replies with a crappy comment, don’t come back hot! Just accept it as a sign that maybe he’s stressed and not able to respond more maturely at the moment. Maybe his baby momma just came at him with something? Maybe the boss just gave him an earful, maybe he just had to deal with an unpleasant patient/customer, maybe the kiddo just had a little ‘a-hole moment’….you never know. Try not come back the same way. Yes, that is HARD. #TrustAndBelieveIKnow
And if he blames your bratty remark on PMS, it’s better to walk away than get into a fight over something silly. Apologies can come a little bit later. #DontBiteHisHeadOff #MenCanBeStupidBecauseTheyAREFromMars #WeArentPerfectEither
You get more fly’s with sugar. My grandmother told me this over & over and it is VERY true. IF you want something done, don’t come in hot…(or just do it yourself! ha). There is something to be said about using manners and sweetness to get things done in life. It’s the same things with your mate. But, we take our mates for granted and just ‘expect’ things to just happen…but we shouldn’t. Get out that sugar! Give more sugar and get more sugar! #SugarSugar
What is your love language? There are 5.
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
If you don’t know yours or your mates…then you really are on Mars & Venus. These are outlined by Gary Chapman in a 1995 book, “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate.” Its like $12 on amazon…get it, read it….it will BLOW your mind. My husbands love language is ‘acts of service’. Now what the hell does that mean?? It means he shows LOVE and receives love through acts of service. Doing chores, helping people with handy man stuff, he is a hard worker. This is also how he perceives and receives incoming love. (remember the damn cups on the nightstand? Removing them daily makes him SO happy) Some people have more than one language. I love quality time and physical touch, with some gifts thrown in! (Poor hubby #poorJP) My hubby isn’t my first hubby, got the mistakes out of the way and then found a good one! We are going on 9 years. Are things always lollypops and daisy’s? Hell no. Anyone that says their marriage is perfect…#WhatTheWhat? But, I wouldn’t trade him for anything! (Well, maybe Channing Tatum, he’s single now)
Your L.L. is usually different from your mates; and once you learn what theirs is; your can start communicating to them and giving them what they need. Example: If your L.L. is quality time and all you are getting is gifts, and NEVER getting quality time with your mate…then you are probably feeling pretty empty. Maybe because your mates L.L. is gifts, and they think that fills you, because that is what fills them. (MIND BLOWN RIGHT!? LOL) I have read the book and I bought the book for my hubby to read about a month ago…it is still in the plastic wrapper. #HintHintJP
There is a myth that marriage will just sustain itself…that is more than a myth, it’s a total lie. Marriage is work. Hard work. And like any other work, it takes two people willing to work AT it. Marriage is also an evolution. Two people willing to evolve through the years together. It’s learning yourself, learning your partner. What you are at 24 is not what you are at 34 and not what you are at 44. DON’T sweat the small stuff. JP’s says “I never did mind the little things.” He usually says it when there is something that is/was bothering him. LOL. There is nothing more beautiful knowing, that at the end of the day, you have someone that has your back 110%. #YouBetterWork #WaterThatGrass #StayInYourYard 😉
Cheers to Green Grass!