“Some of you won’t like this post, but that’s ok, you need it the most.” Dr Seuss

A year ago I decided to go back to school to just, finish. I have no plans of working but I want to show my kids and myself that no matter what, if you want something you can get it!

I’m majoring in, Marriage and Family Studies and I have learned sooooo much in my classes so far.
Everyone! should sometime take a class on parenting and marriage. Sooner than later. But for now these are the biggies that stood out to me. I have been doing parenting all wrong and still am, sadly. Its hard to break habits. I have also learned so much in my family relations class, here are some gems that may be hard to swallow. Good luck!

Consumer Marriage- When we are bothered by something in our marriage and think, “What am I getting out of this marriage anyway?” Or “I deserve better!” Or “What’s in this for me?”
With abuse and affairs these thoughts are totally normal but when it comes to your mate just annoying you or not what you expected, then consumer thinking suggests you didn’t cut the best possible deal in marrying this person. It sadly leads to divorce and more issues.

Intentional Marriage- Partners are conscious, deliberate, and planful about maintaining and building their commitment and connection over the years. A rock-solid commitment to the marriage, a reservoir of marital rituals of connection and intimacy, and a supportive community.  Both partners are keeping track of the marriage and working towards a strong connection. They’re not pointing fingers and blaming the other, they have a common goal to make it work. They ditch the friends and family who are pouring fuel on the fire and rooting for divorce. If you have those type of people in your life, ask yourself, why? Don’t be weak minded and listen to other people who have no clue what your marriage is about and love real life soap operas. For the most part people are bored and love drama. If you want a divorce grow a back bone and decide it on your own don’t get pushed into it by man haters, drama seekers, or people who just want to agree with you. Know the difference.

Private Contracts you failed to mention to your spouse. Partners assuming agreements in matters  never discussed. Assuming that the wife will stay home with the children and not work. Assuming that in 5 years you will buy a house instead of rent. Agreements that were not met because the agreement was a myth. Two private contracts that contradict each other. Make sure to put everything out on the table and talk about it in detail. Do not assume your spouse knows your private contract.

Sex!!  The danger of sex, the spouse will only have sex when he or she spontaneously wants to, not when the marriage needs it. The reason it’s a need, is because it needs to become a love bond in marriage, we need to make it a regular ritual in our relationships. As unromantic as this sounds it should be coordinated. Rituals are coordinated planned and looked forward to. Having a ritual with sex will help avoid, hurt feelings, feeling of rejection, and keep your sex life off the shelf. Let’s face it, there probably won’t be a night where you are not tired or having a stressful day.  Having this ritual can help with other struggles in the marriage. Take it or leave it! Also, IT IS NOT A WEAPON, A TOOL, OR A BRIBE!

Kids are a strain on the marriage. I have nothing else for that… They are a strain and keep that in mind when they are straining your marriage.

Just kidding but no really.

It is not that you don’t love them, so everyone who wants to send me hate messages, don’t. If you don’t feel like they are a strain on your marriage then just wait a few years, it will happen. Keep in mind that your kids will move out and get their own lives. You will still be with your spouse. Make rituals with each other so that you both have something to look forward to that is just between you and your spouse. A ritual is something that is repeated and coordinated that holds significant  meaning between you and your spouse. An example, every night around 8 you and your partner sit outside alone and talk for about 20 minutes. Not about stressful things. No bill talk, kids talk, or annoyances during this ritual. This is supposed to be a thing you both look forward to and keep alive. Not something one of you is trying to avoid.

Focusing on your spouses shortcomings
I was captain of focusing on shortcomings for a very long time. I felt like Dan didn’t help enough and was gone too much. I was bitter, resentful, angry, sad, fed up. I let him know it as much as I could and I pointed out everything else he was doing wrong along with it. It didn’t matter what he did right. I was pissed!!  If nagging and criticizing killed people, Dan would be dead.  It’s not that those weren’t my true feelings but the way I handled it was very wrong, unless I was looking for a divorce. Then I was on the fast track to that ending.

So after doing this for, I don’t know, how many years have we been married? 17 years.

 I stopped and asked myself, “what do I want from this marriage?” “What is my end goal?” and “Isn’t Dan my best friend?”

One day in our marriage counseling session, I said something incredibly mean to him. As soon as it left my mouth I was disappointed in myself. Something that made me cry every time I thought about it. I couldn’t believe I said it and I never wanted to hurt him like that again.

Now I feel like I have to tell you what I said. You’re probably thinking, “It can’t be that bad”
It was to me.   I told him, “Why don’t you stop telling people that you have 6 kids because you don’t have anything to do with them anyways.” The look on his face, broke my heart.
As soon as that comment left my mouth I felt regret. I had intentionally hurt my husband. I said something that was not true. I was hurt so I wanted to hurt him. It took hearing myself say something intentionally hurtful to realize that I was the problem, but I can also fix the problem.

That moment in the counselors office was a big wake up call that I was pushing him far away from me. The good that he did try and do was overshadowed by my bitterness. I was blinded by bitterness!!

I didn’t want to lose my husband and if I wanted to stay married I needed to change the way I was handling this. It wasn’t about “winning” it wasn’t about being right. It turned into, how can we make this marriage work and be strong? Let’s move forward and stop bringing up the past because it. is. not. helping!

 Instead of asking, “What has he done to help me today?” I would ask, “What can I help you with?” Instead of saying, “He’s never home!” I would give him a hug when he walked through the door and ask him how is day went. I looked at all the positive things he was doing and the things he started doing, not because I was nagging, but because I was trying to meet his needs instead of trying to meet my own and only mine. While I was whining about my needs his were totally dropped off the planet. Why should I meet his if he’s not meeting mine? Consumer thinking.

It only takes one of the partners to change a marriage. You have to WANT to save your marriage or make it stronger. Pointing fingers will do nothing!! You want something to change then change yourself. Your spouse may not follow your lead right away but I can tell you one thing, bettering yourself instead of pointing the finger won’t aide in your divorce. Helping your spouse and seeing the good won’t make him run for the door. Do you want to spend time with someone who is rude and negative? I know I avoid those people like the plague!

There is one more thing that you have to do that is going to be so hard for you to do. It will be even painful. But it is totally essential if you want to make your marriage work. You have to commit a murder.
Plain and simple, you have to murder your PRIDE!! Kill it right dead or else it will kill your marriage right before your eyes! If you want your marriage then, TAKE BACK YOUR MARRIAGE. Which is the name of the book I am reading for this class by William J. Doherty, PhD.

It’s  a must read.

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