Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

Forgiveness is Important

Forgive ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen your spouse does something that aggravates or frustrates you, be sure to be quick to get over it. This is not easy, especially if you are dealing with your own emotions.

Okay, so here’s what happened to me recently. I asked Michael to consider something and he immediately said no. This frustrated me and I tried to pray and get my attitude right. Then something else, I don’t even remember what, aggravated me and then even another something. I took some L-Theanine and finally decided I just needed to pull away from everyone and get alone with God for a few minutes. Because I’m the only person I can change. ;)

It would have been very easy, later on, when Michael was being nice to me, paying attention to me, to snub him or shrug away from him but that would not have helped anything. Instead, I leaned into it and embraced him, forgiving the earlier infractions.

Love doesn’t keep account of wrongs done. Love is quick to forgive (even when it is not requested). Love is kind. These are not easy things but they are good things.

Sometimes it seems as if there are waves of frustration going through our house. We have four adults living here and last weekend it seemed that we were all hit emotionally. It took a while for it to break. Mine may also have been chemical because it broke after I ate a bunch of sugar-free Lily’s chocolate chips. :D

It is good to operate out of love and forgiveness, not holding a grudge. Grudges are not profitable for anyone. Well, I won’t belabor the point any more. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Love is a Garden

Husband working my garden ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt may start with the excitement of what you will end up with and planting that seed with all the feels. Then there is the hard work of weeding and caring for the plants, keeping them from being overrun or plucked up by predators.

Our love gardens take care too. We need to do things for the other without expecting things in return but a well cared for garden is going to give a good return, as will a man who is loved on and showered with love and attention.

Short and sweet today friends but I didn’t want to belabor the point. ;)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Everchanging Love

Everchanging Love ~ Lifeofjoy.meLove grows and changes. In the beginning it feels like butterflies, all warm and tingly. Then when you spend lots of time with that person, you begin to see some of their flaws. You grow  comfortable with each other. You are less surprised by things he does. Love matures and the butterflies are gone. Love has turned into a commitment to one another.

It is my opinion that people confuse those butterfly feelings with love. That is not love. Those tingly feelings are excitement, enjoyment in surprise, getting to know someone but be assured, those feelings are not love. Love really is a choice. You may start out with those tingly butterfly feelings but as you get to know each other the feelings grow, deepen, and change. Change is not bad, just ask a butterfly. ;)

The problem arises when you’ve been in a relationship for a while and it has grown into a life walk committed to one another . . . life happens . . . bills, children, families, friends, jobs . . . all have different demands and it is possible that you’ve even taken your spouse for granted. Now, what you do next is very important! Sometimes you meet someone knew that is your “type” and you can begin to feel those butterflies. STOP! This is not love! This is meeting someone that is interesting and possibly even someone that you could “connect” with and those feelings of spontaneity and wonder that you associate with being in love can begin to surface. Again, I’m warning you, this is not love!

You can make those same feelings arise with your mate. Honestly, you can! It just takes a little work. Feeling those butterflies with someone causes you to begin acting/doing things–this is not always bad, as you probably did it with your spouse when you met. So, to get those feelings back, start acting/doing things. Be spontaneous or deliberate. Put forth some effort into your relationship. You’ll be surprised how things start to turn out.

Now I have to warn you: don’t go into this doing things for your spouse with the ulterior motive of wanting him to do things for you. If you miss something he used to do, tell him or write him a note: Remember when . . . or I remember when you . . . It made me feel so loved and special.

Stop and think about when you first met the one you are with now. How did you act? What did you do? Did you talk together for hours? Well, spend a few minutes really connecting with your spouse now. A lot of our feelings we feel stem from our attitude. It is hard to feel love (and butterflies) when you are keeping your mind full of negativity and frustrations. Instead thing about his good traits and how much you love him and how sexy he is. ;) Getting your mind in the right place helps change your attitude and ultimately your feelings.

I hope this encourages you to think on good things and work towards feeling those loving feelings towards your mate once again. A good marriage is one where love is ever changing.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Make Time to be Wife

keep love alive ~ Lifeofjoy.meIn this life, it is easy to lose sight of who we are or what’s important. There are so many people and things pulling on us. But it is important to never lose sight of the fact that we are a person but also a wife.

As a person, it is important to have hobbies and pursuits–Mother Culture, which I wrote about previously here. But it is so easy to get lost in all the things that have to be done that it’s easy to forget to cultivate being a wife. I was a wife before I became a mother. It is imperative that I continue to cultivate my relationship with my husband. It’s hard to be focused and in the moment, to forget about the chores for a bit and remember why you fell in love and got married. Take time to be his girl. Let him know that you still love him and want to be with him. Take time to do things with him like before you were married.

Here is an interesting article that correlates to this post. I hope it serves to give you some ideas.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Bless and Bless Back

Bless Me Flowers ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is a good practice in marriage to look for ways to bless your spouse. I do this by making him special treats. Okay, I make sure he has some kind of dessert, be it ice cream or cookies or popcorn, every night. My honey likes to end his day with some kind of treat/snack/sweet. I keep these treats healthy and sugar-free so that we can all enjoy them and not worry about gaining weight.

My honey blesses me by helping me with heavy or very hot objects (I have told you before that he is protective of me ;) ). He helps me do things so much that sometimes it makes me feel guilty, like he is doing my job and I’m not carrying my fair share. Actually, I used to get upset it he did his own laundry (he’s a painter and wears whites for work) feeling like he was having to do it because I didn’t get to it yet. But through the years I have learned from many discussions about this and other such topics that he doesn’t mind doing it and he knows I have lots of stuff I do get to. So I learned to not let it bother me and see it as him blessing me, taking something off of my long to do list. :)

Flowers ~
Ignore the sunflowers, they’re part of my fall decor and not a part of the bouquet :D

When I’d been to the chiropractor last time they did not have one of the supplements I needed. They called on Friday and said that it had arrived. Unfortunately Michael was already nearly home (30 minute drive to the chiropractor’s office). He walked in the door with a bouquet of flowers for me (such lovely colors)! He said simply that he thought they’d bless me.

I told him about my supplement arriving at the office and he said he’d pick it up on Monday. After a little bit, he realized I really needed it and decided to make the extra trip into town just to pick it up for me so that I wouldn’t have to wait until Monday for it.

He has over blessed me! Now I want to find something special to do for him. It’s not about owing something. It’s just about love and showing that love in tangible ways. It isn’t about doing something for someone because they do or can do something for you. It is just about love. Do it out of the love you have for him or if you are in a difficult season, do it out of the love you once felt. Love grows and changes but that’s a topic for another day. ;) For today I just want to encourage you to bless your spouse and when he blesses you, keep the cycle going by blessing him back.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

What is Your Goal in Marriage?

Marriage goal ~ Lifeofjoy.meI read this article recently where the author asked what the goal of marriage is. Wow, that is an interesting question. I’d never really thought about it before.

I guess that my goal of marriage was to have a life partner: someone to spend life with. Of course sex was a big goal of marriage since I am a Christian (and have been nearly all of my life) sex outside of marriage is a NO. Thus in order to experience this God-created activity, marriage is a must. ;)

I won’t share his answer; I’ll just give you the link and ask you to go over to his site and read it. It’s a quick read and quite thought provoking as well.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Appreciate Your Differences

appreciate your differences ~ Lifeofjoy.mePreviously I have talked about asking for what you need but there is a flip side to this. Treat others with the same care and concern that you’d like to be treated. This goes especially for your spouse.

Marriage is not all about me. Marriage is about creating an us. We are no longer just individuals; we are now two people joined together, no longer pursuing each individual’s desires alone but with another person right there with us.

Things you could do before, you may not be able to do any longer. Things you couldn’t do before, you may now be able to accomplish together because two are better than one. (I’m not saying that you can’t pursue separate things but more that you may have to make some adjustments to what you used to do.)

Don’t think you can go about making decisions all on your own. I used to be under the faulty assumption that I could plan things and do them during the daytime while Michael was working and he didn’t really need to know about it. I thought, how does it affect him? I’ll be here when he leaves and here when he gets back, the house will be as clean as if I were home all day, and dinner will be ready on time. I did not understand that men are wired differently. He is very protective of me. He looks out for me. He is on guard when he knows I will not be in the safety of our home all day. I don’t really understand all that goes through his mind, his thoughts and feelings, but I have grown to understand this and I like it. I feel protected and, yes, even loved.

Now I will be the first to admit that I didn’t always understand this. It just screamed of being controlling. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. He loves me. He hates to see me hurt. If I even hint that I have some new ache or pain, he is right on youtube looking for a solution. He finds them too. :) I had some sciatica pain a couple months ago and he found two or three youtube videos that helped relieve that pain. I then had a visit with our chiropractor (free birthday visit) and haven’t had that pain again.

I guess what I’m saying today is to appreciate your differences, make decisions that include your spouse together, and keep the lines of communication open. You don’t have to understand him but you do have to respect him and that he is different than you are.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Marry Your Best Friend

My love and I at zoo ~ Lifeofjoy.meI picked up one of the books I bought some time ago and just took a moment to look at a couple of its 101 Secrets to a Happy Marriage. Firstly I was reminded that a really good idea is to marry your best friend. I did this!

Michael was so much my best friend that I remember rather early in our first year of marriage I had gotten very upset at him. I was SOOOO frustrated that I needed to blow off some steam. I needed to talk to my best friend. My second best friend had recently moved a couple hours away and I could not talk to her about it the way I had about other things in my life. I walked out the door and walked down the street to cool off, talk to God, and get my attitude adjusted. I was so upset and I needed to talk to my best friend; but truth be told, Michael was my best friend and he was the one that had upset me. ;)

I’d only gotten about a block down the quiet little town side street when he pulled up beside me in the car with the windows rolled down. He tried to get me to get in the car; I just kept walking. He kept pace with me . . . I told him I needed to talk to my best friend but he was my best friend and I was mad at him and my best girlfriend was gone. It was what we needed . . . I got in the car and I have no recollection of how things worked out after that. ;) I just remember he was my best friend.

As time has passed, children have come and grown, we have both grown in our interests and such. It is easy to grow apart from each other. It is important to keep connecting, to remain best friends. If you’ve grown apart, make an effort to grow back together; it only takes a bit of work.

You have to be intentional. Really listen when he talks. Really talk and share your feelings when he wants to listen. Make time for each other. Remember what it was like when you fell in love to begin with. Is it possible to do those things or things like them again? Make a decision to renew the friendship you once had.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Hopes and Dreams

Hopes and Dreams ~ Lifeofjoy.meA couple weeks ago I talked about inspiring your man. To do so, you have to have knowledge of his hopes and dreams.

I’m guessing that when you and your spouse were dating, you talked about all kinds of things. You probably talked about how you both felt about different topics from where you wanted to live to having children. Those are some hopes and dreams that you may have created together.

If you’re Christian, you may have talked about your giftings and callings. I know in my life these are very important to me and are also things that guide my life. So these are also good things to talk about.

In order to properly inspire your spouse, you need to know his hopes and dreams. Knowing his giftings and callings is also helpful. Of course, prayer is of utmost importance, so that as things arise, you both KNOW if it is something God wants you to do or now. Sometimes God has things for you to do individually and sometimes there are things that you must do jointly. Then there are some things that are your thing but your spouse can help you and vice versa.

Knowing what your hubby’s hopes and dreams, giftings and callings are enable you to encourage and inspire him. This takes communication. :) When was the last time you talked about any of these things. I’m not talking about things that you are pushing for, like maybe getting a new vehicle or house but things that are important to him. Be sure to pray about these things and be an encouragement when things get tough.

I hope you’ll remember to talk to your hubby about his and your hopes and dreams sometime soon.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Communicate: Ask for What You Need

Say what you need ~ Lifeofjoy.meYou have to ask for what you need. If you just keep going on as you have always done, things will probably stay the same. But if you are bold enough to talk about your insecurities, even though you know that you shouldn’t be insecure or that you should find security and self-esteem in God, things can then change.

People are not mind readers! Spouses are definitely NOT mind readers and it is unfair to expect them to be. They have their own stuff they are dealing with.

Even if you are met with undesirable comments when you bring up the subject, persevere because now you have informed them and now God has a little more to work with in them. ;)

Recently I was talking to Tiffany (my 21yo daughter), exposing my insecurities about sometimes feeling unimportant. She urged me to talk about it with Michael and Sean at dinner that night but I refused. She took matters into her own hands and brought up the subject. (Since I had talked to her about it earlier that day, it had confirmed something she’d already felt she needed to do.)

The initial reactions were much as I anticipated but since then Michael has been much more attentive and helpful. :) Of course, I have had some health challenges of late as well, so the extra attention could be because of that too. But it doesn’t matter, the point is, I have let my needs known which made them able to give me what I need. Now we are all happier. :)

I hope this encourages you to share your feelings with those you love and don’t be upset if things don’t seem to go well at first; it just might take a little bit for it to sink in and affect change.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº