This weekend, Andy and I got away. We left the kids with my brother and parents and ran off on a little weekend just for us. Now, I had some aspirations of putting on a couples weekend myself through the church but frankly, these people at Family Life have been doing it for a really long time and they are just good at it. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Several couples from the church went.
I’m not very big on these conferences. After all, Andy and I have been married 10 years. What more could we need to learn about being married? We’ve already made it!
I know. It’s a little arrogant and naive.
I got there expecting to use the experience as time for Andy and I and basically ignore the speakers and play on my phone and just enjoy being away from my needy kids for a while.
It was so much more than that. When you have 3 kids you slowly lose touch with your spouse and it is so subtle. You are parenting, working, living… only sometimes sleeping. So if there is a conversation that needs to happen, often it gets pushed off because there is no conversation that is going to happen that takes longer than 30 seconds. And Family Life knows how to ask the questions that make those conversations happen.
All I’m saying is, there is alot I have to learn about Andy. There is alot he has to learn about me and although we are happy, we need weekends like this to remind us of that.
If you get a chance to do one, take it. It’s worth it.
How many women have asked their husbands to do a marriage seminar, a video, a book, a retreat, a counseling session, only to have them say, “Why? There’s nothing wrong. Are we having problems?”
NO! We are not having problems.
Let me see if I can put this in terms you can understand.
How many men have seen that their mother LOVES to cook (or something else). They love her cooking. They see the joy she gets from cooking. She has been cooking with the same oven since WWI. So the loving son, knowing that his mother loves this pastime and loves the fruits of her labor, goes out and buys her a new oven. It’s high tech. It has time bake! It’s amazing. It’s DOUBLE! And she says, “The old one works just fine. Is there something wrong with it? DID YOU BREAK IT?!”
No! There is nothing wrong with it! He just thought his mother, who loves cooking, could have an easier time of it. She would be able to bake things she never could before. She could bake while she wasn’t even there. She could keep a shopping list on her oven. She could bake MORE!
Get it?! It’s not that there is anything wrong! It’s that we want to do MORE!
Am I wrong?!
– The Wifey
There are a few pieces of advice I have gotten over the years that were amazing and made a difference in my life.
1. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” An oldie but a goodie. It’s simple and as a kid, I actually understood this. I didn’t always follow it but it did prevent some pretty horrible moments in my life. I can remember not pulling the trigger on some pretty awful things after putting myself in the other persons shoes.
2. “This to shall pass.” Also an oldie but a goodie and much easier to believe from mother’s who had older children than mine. Sometimes, as a mother, you feel like a stage your kids are in will never be done. You will ALWAYS BE BREASTFEEDING. Will they EVER go to sleep on their own? Someday, they have to be able to FIND THEIR OWN SHOES, right? Yes… it will pass.
3. “Guys just want to be treated nice.” Pretty much, if you are nice. If you aren’t crazy grouchy about stuff, if you aren’t trying to CHANGE them, men are pretty simple. They just want you to be NICE. Think about it.
4. “Let him lead.” Oh, so hard. I’m not a follower kind of person. I like to make a decision and get it done and fix it and let’s MOVE OK?! But sometimes, you need to let the guy do it. Just let him. Taking a breath and letting him do it is not so bad. It relieves stress. It frees up some time. It allows him to feel like you aren’t STEERING HIM! I know the Greek mom says she’s the neck but sometimes we are just a pain in the neck with the bossy! It’s only funny in the movies. Not in real life… seriously.
And now for a piece of advice from me. “If you want to have a good marriage, find other people who are married and like it and talk to them about it.” Other wives who love their husbands are awesome at bragging on those awesome husbands which breeds more bragging from others which basically makes all the wives go home and take a look at their husbands and think, “Hubba hubba!”
What’s the best piece of advice you ever got?
Ever since Andy and I started dating, I have been wearing his clothes to bed. Let’s talk about nightwear for a moment.
You have the old fashioned nightgown. Not totally uncomfortable. It’s a little less than appealing for a man to see. I mean, it’s one thing to be comfortable and another to remind a man of his mother every time he flips open the sheets.
There is the good old jammie set. These are way to much for me to handle. I love them but to buy MYSELF a jammie set is something I can’t bring myself to spend money on. Come on! You can ONLY wear them to bed.
Teddies are what I think every man wants his wife to wear to bed all the time. However, when was the last time you girls found a teddy you REALLY want to sleep in all night?
A few personal preferences have dictated my sleepwear choices. My legs cannot touch. This is why I don’t wear skirts or dresses. I HAVE TO WEAR PANTS. So I buy yoga pants to sleep in and exercise in – because I can’t bring myself to purchase something that is ONLY going to be slept in. I always sleep in old T-shirts because they are a hand me down from myself from a free t-shirt or an event to a sleep-in, comfy… thing. Everything has to be a bit loose but not so loose that I tangle when I thrash… which I do all night.
SO! When I started dating my husband, he had MILLIONS of these hand-me-down-to-me t-shirts and I started commandeering one every now and then for the odd night I hadn’t washed my allotment of sleeping shirts. He also purchases flannel pants to sleep in and then… doesn’t use them because they shrink up to being to short after the first washing. Therefore, I have taken over my husbands clothing as my personal sleepwear.
It seems only natural and it saves us money!
What have you girls taken over from your husband? Men, what have your girls claimed as their own?
– the wifey