Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Advice to Stop Criticizing and Be Nice

Stop Criticizing ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was looking for this story I had read somewhere before and wanted to mention it today. So as I was searching, I came across this interesting article about one lady’s realization that she criticized her husband a lot and for the betterment of their relationship she needed to discontinue this practice.

One other thing she mentions in the article is that she made an effort to ask her husband questions and not roll her eyes when he talked. Unfortunately I must admit that I have caught myself doing that very same thing before and thankfully, I was disgusted with myself over it, which means I see the need to change. ;) Change can be very good.

As I read through the article, it slowly dawned on me that I recognized part of the story. Turned out the author was Nina Roesner. I have shared some of her articles here before. She is the author of The Respect Dare. :)

Even if you have read or heard her story before, I encourage you to read the article anyway. I was glad I did. It put me in remembrance of some things I’d let slip.

I hope it will be an encouragement to you as well today. Click here to read the article.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº



Sometimes It’s About My Tone

Tone Sound ~ Lifeofjoy.meCommunication is a pet peeve of mine. I really dislike it when things are not communicated well. And I definitely do not like it when things are not communicated at all. ;)

One thing I am guilty of is letting my annoyance be known in my tone when I am relating something. I also have to keep reminding myself that there are ways that I can say things that will not bother my husband at all but the very same words spoken differently frustrate him. This is not his fault although I must admit, it is hard to deal with at times.

I’ve realized anew that I need to watch my tone when I speak, especially when I speak to my hubby. Years of miscommunication and frustration from using a wrong tone have caused there to be a short fuse sometimes. Once again, “the fault is mine.” (Yes, I did throw a little You’ve Got Mail quote in there. ;) ) It’s true. I cannot help how my tone has affected others but I can change my tone. I do not need to be overly cautious about it, just remember to have a good tone to my voice, not an irritated one.

This is just me thinking out loud and hoping my thoughts will give you something to consider as well.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

A Little Financial Help

Financial Help ~ Lifeofjoy.meFinances are one of the subjects that can cause friction in marriages. So working toward saving money when you can is a good idea.

I signed up for ibotta last month. I figured even if I didn’t save very much, it was worth checking out. Well, I was very surprised that I managed to submit $10 worth of offers in the month and thus make the welcome bonus. So, I earned a little over $20 in the month, which isn’t bad.

It’s like couponing without cutting coupons. Although, I think if you coupon that you can use both a paper coupon and submit it for an offer in ibotta too. I should also let you know that I don’t generally buy name brand items, unless I get a better deal than the generic version offered or I have tried the generic and don’t like it as well.

This past month there were offers for 15ȼ for purchasing any eggs, any bread, bananas, any cereal, flavored milk, juice, and even ham. Some might have been 25ȼ though. There were offers for other specific cereals that were higher. There were large offers for shampoos and such. There are even offers for Groupon and other stores too. So it is a really good idea to check it out. It is easy to use and worth the little bit of effort, in my opinion.

If you decide to check it out, please use my referral code via this link, then I can get a bonus for you doing so. ;)

There are other features that I don’t completely understand. One is the team bonus. If you link your facebook account to it, some how you and your friends benefit from each other’s savings.

So if finances are an area that causes you and your hubby some friction, check out ibotta to relieve a bit of that stress. Depending on the kinds of things you purchase, it may really be worth it for you and your family.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Lighten Up, Have Fun, Be Silly Daily

Silly fun ~ Lifeofjoy.meNot long ago our middle child, Sean, read something about “active sitting.” When you sit for long periods of time, you should make effort to spend some of that time “active sitting,” which is moving around in your seat.

Our evenings can be quite sedentary. ;) Frequently we replay of one of the television series we like and purchased (because we had horrible internet and struggled to stream anything on the internet). When the opening to the show is playing, we all throw our arms in the air and dance in our seats. It’s silly and we nag the others to join in too.

Silly Walk ~ lifeofjoy.meYou might be wondering what in the world this has to do with marriage, as my posts on Mondays are marriage encouragement. Well, it’s because in marriage you need to have fun and just plain be silly sometimes, daily is better, and several times a day is best. Why? Because it helps lift frustration and gives you some enjoyment. I’ve written about the importance of having fun in marriage; you can read it here.

One important thing to remember though, if it is not fun to the other person, maybe it shouldn’t be said or done. Like snapping someone with a damp dish towel. Now it may be fine for some people to do that and have fun with it, but others may be more sensitive and not like getting snapped with the towel, thereby making that not a fun activity. In which case, it would be best not to do that. You see? When only one person is “having fun” doing something, it is more like bullying.

Now, if you can’t ever seem to have fun doing anything, then maybe you just need to lighten up a bit. ;) Don’t take everything so seriously. Offer alternative suggestions if you don’t enjoy something in particular.

I cut out the title to an article I found in a magazine years and years ago. It said, Find the Fun in What Needs to be Done. This has been before my eyes for a long time and has helped me get through some tough days. Make it a race against someone else or even against your own previous time. Or maybe just the promise of a fifteen minute break after finishing a certain task.

I hope these thoughts help you in some way today.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Sustaining Love and Laughter

Encouraging Marriage ~ Lifeofjoy.meI got an email from Marriage Today by Jimmy Evans that had some interesting statistics and thoughts. (I hope the link works but fear it will not. Sign up at for the Marriage Builder Weekly.

How did you and your hubby fall in love? Then that is probably some of what will keep you in love. Now, the author’s view was that you had fun together and I would say that is probably true in most instances. Michael and I are a bit different thought. :D We just enjoyed being together; we didn’t really do much other than hang with the other. But we’re introverted like that.

He also mentioned having fun and laughing together helps keep a marriage healthy. I have to agree with this. If you don’t have laughter and fun together and only have frustrations and arguments, your marriage is in trouble. Laughing together is bonding and healing, in my opinion.

The other thing he mentioned that struck a cord with me was that being in the same room together, even if you are sitting together on the couch, and not giving any attention to your spouse, is detrimental to your relationship. It says that the people or things you are interacting with are more important to you than the one right beside you. Now, I do NOT believe that you have to spend every moment engaged together but you DO need to give each other your attention and quality time as well as some quantity time too. Five minutes will not cut it here. ;)

So I challenge you to consider how you fell in love with your sweetie and be sure that you are incorporating some of that in your weekly lives.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Why Do You Love Him?

Do you ever get lost in the day to day frustrations of life and say things that although you really felt it and meant it at the time, you regret having said anything at all. Yeah, I’ve been there . . . just this past weekend actually.

Saying negative things to or about your husband undermines him. I wish I hadn’t done it but I did. I have apologized but it doesn’t take away the less than wonderful things I said.

I recently saw this article which seems like a really good idea to do, no matter the status of your marriage. In it the author wrote about how she and her husband were having difficulty and went to a marriage counselor. The first assignment they were given was to make a list of things they loved about each other. She said it changed their marriage.

I think we tend to forget the little things but when we force ourselves to stop and think of good things, it seems to make the things that are bugging you at the moment more bearable.

So I encourage you today, take some time and write down some things you love about your hubby. If times are good with you and your beloved, it should be an easy task. If it is a tough time, dig deep; go down memory lane, remember how you felt and why. Then write it down. Maybe even take a moment and connect with your hubby over it. From what I’ve heard, men thrive on admiration and compliments. :)

I hope you’ll take a few minutes and write a few reasons you love him. It can only help. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Are Romance Novels Hurting Your Marriage

Romance Novels ~ Lifeofjoy.meI was thinking about romance novels the other day. I used to read them years ago. There are many levels of them and some are actually okay to read BUT they can interfere in your marriage.

If you are struggling in your marriage, wishing your husband were more like characters in a book, you are not doing your marriage any favors! Those characters are fictitious which means they are not real. They are going to do things that the author wanted. They are not necessarily based on anyone in real life. If you are wishing your husband would do some of these things, your expectations are unrealistic.

Now if he did some things before you were married and stopped afterwards, you might casually mention that you miss it. You might be pleasantly surprised with his reaction. Of course, I did say casually. Don’t argue with him about it. It could be mentioned as a “remember when . . . I sure do miss that.”

But if your hubby has never been much of a romantic, I recommend you pray and ask God to help you. Stop reading those things because they are fueling your dissatisfaction. Then you might talk to your husband. Share with him things you like and wish he would do and then ask if there are things he likes and wishes you would do; it’s only fair. ;)

There is nothing wrong with reading clean romance novels (not erotica) if it doesn’t make you dissatisfied with your marriage or think poorly of your hubby. But if it does, consider how you would like to compete with some unknown person, real or imaginary? Because that is just what you are doing to your hubby, making him compete with a fictitious character and that is not right. So if this is happening I admonish you to stop reading now. Pray and ask God to help you become satisfied with your relationship. Pray for your husband, yourself, and your marriage.

Until next time, God bless,


Small Moments of Refreshing

Refreshing ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome days you just need a break. When that happens you need to calmly ask for what you need. Maybe you need some time away from the kids; find someone to keep your kids for a few hours and put dinner in the crock pot so that when you return you do not have that pressing on you.

If that is not possible, then I encourage you to ensure that your children have a nap time or quiet time each day. This should last for one to two hours. During this time, take the first thirty minutes to an hour and do something that relaxes you. If a bath does it, then take the time to do that. If reading a book is your thing, then spend some time doing that. Maybe listening to some instrumental music and handwork: crafting or art of some kind, maybe even coloring.

I know it is tempting to get some housework or something done that is more difficult to do when your children are up but if you are in need of a break then this is the time to try and refresh yourself a bit. If you are intentional, you should be refreshed a bit when it is time to get the children up. Be sure to greet them with hugs, kisses, and lots of joy. :)

I’m in a wonderful position at this season of my life where I have two grown children still living with us in our home. Thankfully all are able to fend for themselves. Saturday I decided I needed a break from the ordinary, even the ordinary of a weekend. It was a very rainy day and I announced that I was taking the morning off. Thankfully Tiffany stepped up and made breakfast and lunch. :) It was a nice break. I had promised to help make pizza for dinner and that I did. :)

It was nice to be served a couple of meals instead of making them myself. It wasn’t like being on vacation or anything but it was a refreshing morning.

I encourage you to talk with your husband, calmly, and share your feelings, if you need help figuring out how you can get a little relief. And of course, ask God to help you and ask Him to give you some strategies so that you don’t get burnt out. :)

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Improving Your Marriage

Improvement ~ Lifeofjoy.meI’ve found that one of the best things I can do to improve my marriage is the little things that I think of to do. For example, when I think that I should clean off a counter, I probably should clean off that counter. ;) Of course, I’m in a different stage of life now and have less pull on my time than I once did but then again, I have less helping hands too. :D

If I think that I should paint my fingernails, then I probably should do so. Michael likes my nails painted and I really like them painted too. I feel more attractive when they are painted.

Improving your marriage can also mean improving yourself. When I do things to improve myself, I feel better about myself. When I feel better about myself I tend to be happier or less offendable which means I don’t get as frustrated by things.

The only person you can change is you, so to improve your marriage, work on improving yourself, your actions, and reactions. It is not easy to keep calm and even tempered when around someone that is frustrated or angry.

Some times taking up a hobby can be the improvement you need, especially artistic ones. Some hobbies, like music or art, can help alleviate frustrations and such. Even if you have small children, it is still good to take a little time to read or draw, color, craft, or do music or some other hobby.

I hope this encourages you to take one small step each day towards improving yourself which in turn should improve your relationship with those around you, especially your spouse.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

This is THE Week: Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day ~ Lifeofjoy.meYep, this is the week. Valentine’s Day is THIS Wednesday. Are you ready? Do you have a plan?

Do you have children to make the day special for too? I still try to make the day special for my children that live at home still. They are good kids and are keeping themselves pure for their spouses, which we are all praying happens soon. ;) But while I still get to enjoy them at home, I try to make Valentine’s Day special for them too. So, I got lots of plans to make!

I failed to do my research for Michael’s gift to get it when I went shopping last week but YAY! I’ve got my art group today and will leave a bit early to stop and get some stuff. :)

I’ve thought about the food, which is a huge part of my gift to my family. Usually I serve spaghetti or lasagna but this year I’m opting for Tomato Chicken Bisque which we have had before and all like. I’ll make sure we have some bread to eat with it because that just makes it all better.

I have some special treats planned for each person, a sweet treat each one likes, but am also planning to make some cream filled chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate ganache for our dessert. Since we are on Trim Healthy Mama, many of the desserts taste best after they’ve sat overnight. So I’ll have a very big prep day on Tuesday. ;) But I don’t mind, it is a labor of love.

I had forgotten one year, but then my daughter reminded me that I had given her (and her brothers) a Valentine note for several years prior and it was something she looked forward to each year. I think you can imagine, I have tried really hard not to forget that again. :D

So I do treats, a special homemade red colored dinner, and dessert. Then I usually try to give my honey a little special “dessert” all his own that night, if you know what I mean.

Well, I’ve got my plan. I’m going to make my lists and definitely check them twice because I want to be oh so nice. :)

I hope you have your plan and are able to pull it off as you envision it.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº