Category Archives: Marriage Monday

Because your spouse matters

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

Be Inspiring

Be an Inspiration ~ Lifeofjoy.meSome time ago I saw an article giving 50 ideas to inspire your husband. It has some really good ideas ranging from sending texts messages to initiating great sex and encouraging his hobbies. :) It really is a nice, thoughtful list that can help better your marriage.

Since it is such a good list, I won’t waste your time chatting. Here’ is the link to the article. I hope it is helpful to you.

Until next time, God bless,

 Michele ºÜº

Praying for Marriages

Prayer for Marriages ~ Lifeofjoy.meI am soooo happy to hear that, the author of Unglued and Made to Crave, Lysa TerKeurst’s marriage has been healed!!!! I remember how saddened I was when I heard that it had fallen apart. I prayed for her and her husband. I know that once you are married it is God’s will for you to remain married, although I also know that there are exceptions to this.

At that time, some marriage blogger suggested praying for marriage bloggers and authors, knowing they were under attack. I think it is a good practice to get into to pray for those that take a stand for moral marriages.

I like that Lori Byerly of The Generous Wife, has a Cyber Prayer Meeting on the first Sunday of every month encouraging those that see her posts to pray for the marriages represented by those that read her blog. It is a good thing to pray for marriages because the devil wants to tear marriages and families apart.

Prayer is often overlooked. It is so important and we all know to do it, we just tend to forget. We tend to get so caught up in the frustrations we are experiencing that we forget God is on our side and that all we have to do is ask and He will help us. Of course, the help may not be in the form or manner we had hoped or even prayed for (if we prayed in specifics) but we can be assured that God heard our prayers and He answered them the way they needed answering.

Until next time, keep praying and God bless,

Michele ºÜº

You are Changing

change ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhether you think you are or not, you are changing; everyone is. As we go through life, experiences cause us to make changes in our lives, whether we realize it or not.

Your spouse is not the same person you married x number of years ago. And you are not the person you were then either. The truth is that even just getting married changes us because it is two people coming together and meshing their lives together. Odds are the things that have changed are not the things that you hoped would change, well except for celibacy that is. ;) Many times there is something about your fiancé that you secretly (or not so secretly) hope will change but generally it is that very thing that does not change but I digress.

I read this article about how we change over the years and we are not who we once were but that it isn’t always an improvement. ;) I did not necessarily like the article but it did make me think about change and how we all change.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is that we are all changing. I want to be changing for the better; so I make an effort to read  things that will help me to change for the better. I also pursue activities that enrich my life. Lately I have been crocheting and knitting again. It started out of necessity for an item and progressed to enjoyment. But all that aside, the point is that I am doing things that are helping me change for the better. I cannot change anyone but me and my reaction to others (but that’s a talk for another day ;) ) so I don’t waste my efforts on things that are not profitable. :)

I find good Christian marriage authors both of books and of blogs, that help me to consider the things I do and how I can make positive changes in my life. I go to church and listen and put into practice the things they teach that will enhance my life. I spend time praying and worshipping God, and reading my Bible which are all going to help me make positive changes in my life.

I hope my ramblings have helped you in some way today. When I realize that I’m changing, for better or for worse, and what I’m thinking on fuels that change, it makes me more intentional about my choices.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Little Things Given and Received

morning tea ~ Lifeofjoy.meI have committed to the Trim Healthy Mama eating lifestyle. It is how I intend to eat for the rest of my life. Now that does not mean that I’ll never have certain foods, it just means that as a general rule I won’t, especially while I’m trying to lose weight.

Recently Michael and I dined at Red Lobster to celebrate our 31st anniversary. It’s amazing that I have been with him longer than I was without him. :) Don’t misunderstand me, there were some tough times, and still are frustrating times, but I love him incredibly and would marry him all over again.

Any way, ;) at Red Lobster he wanted to get the Seafood-Stuffed Mushrooms for an appetizer. We hardly ever get an appetizer . . . like I can count on my hands, or maybe even one hand, the number of times we have gotten an appetizer since I’ve known him. ;) I asked the waitress and she did find that they did have some wheat in them but knowing it was mostly seafood and it was our 31st anniversary dinner, I decided I could splurge on it. This added another memory and made it a bit more special. The mushrooms were delicious, by the way. ;) I proceeded to stay on plan with the remainder of my meal, with the exception of tasting one of Michael’s breaded shrimp.

The last time I ate something off-plan was in October of last year and it was for a similar reason. I was eating lunch with some friends and new acquaintances at a Mexican restaurant. At the end of the meal tres leche was ordered for us to all share together, in part because I and another person had never tried it before. That day I took two bites and then that was all–it was delicious and I need to find a low carb way recipe for it. :)

I could have been a party pooper and stayed strictly to my “diet” but I determined that these two situations were important enough and memorable enough that I should make the exception.

My hubby is wonderful to me most of the time. He makes me tea every morning, ensuring that it is the proper level of sweet for my liking. He even increased the amount he makes for me when I told him I wished I had more and found a creative solution to keeping it hot for me. He prepares a bottle of water for me on Sunday mornings and even fills my bottle with cold water rather than room temperature water, because he know it is my preference. He drops me off at the door on a rainy Sunday morning, even though I did make us late and he dislikes walking in after service has started.

There are many more ways that he spoils me but that is enough for today. Love is shown in so many ways and can be easily overlooked. I hope this will remind you to take time to do the little things for your spouse and to acknowledge the ways he shows his love to you. Love isn’t all flowers and chocolate, jewelry and public displays of affection–it can also be in the little things.

I encourage you today to look for the little ways you can show your love and acknowledge some of the little ways he shows his love to you.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Feeding My Man

Grandson and Papa ~ Lifeofjoy.meWhen our children were young Michael and I arranged a way for me to know when he was headed home since it varied daily being self-employed. When he texted that he was on his way, we stopped what we were doing and the kids tidied up while I began making dinner. He is always ready to eat when he arrives.

Years later when Brian went to Central Tech, he got home after Michael; it continued when Sean went there and then on into them getting jobs other than working with Michael. This threw a wrinkle in our eating schedule but because we have always eaten together as a family, at the dinner table, we changed our dinner time and I generally try to have it ready to put on the table when the last one arrives.

Recently when Michael arrives home a couple hours before Sean does, he is still ready to eat something and I’ve tried to have some kind of snack or snack suggestion ready for him. Some days Tiffany and I have just had our afternoon snack and will make him a portion as well. Some days I make him a shake, cut some fruit, or suggest something else.

In the early years, Michael didn’t really have breakfast except for coffee and maybe cereal or some kind of bread, toasted. Lunches he’d just grab quickly at some convenience store or fast food place. When we decided we needed to tighten up on our spending, I began making him breakfast at home and lunches to go. This saved on our budget and was way more nutritious for him. Today I make him breakfast, generally eggs of some kind, and pack him a lunch. I also try to include at least one snack for him to eat between lunch and heading home.

These things don’t take much time, saves us money, and let’s me love on him a bit.

If your hubby comes home hungry, I encourage you to plan ahead and have dinner ready when he gets home. On the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle of eating, that means that sometimes I have to have a fuel pull snack in the afternoon so that it won’t hinder my weight loss efforts if dinner is closer to snack time than 3 hours needed between meals.

I hope this post has given you some food for thought on considering your husband’s eating schedule.

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº

Listening . . . Really Listening

Listen-Pay Attention ~ Lifeofjoy.meIt is important to engage with your spouse. Acknowledging what he’s going through and empathizing is important, being sure not to belittle him at all. It is important to encourage him to continue to share what he’s going through and not just dump your frustrations onto him.

Listen to what he says, even if you think it is not interesting at all. It is interesting to him, so it is important to make it interesting to you. Don’t look down on and talk negatively about the things he is interested in and talks about, even if it isn’t interesting to you. This is something I’m learning. There are just some things that are not interesting to me at all, but are things that Michael enjoys keeping up on.

Since he’s a paint contractor, he keeps informed of the weather. He doesn’t care for the local evening news weather forecasts because, as he puts it, “They are fear mongers.” :D He searches out reliable people on youtube and weather apps for his weather information. Since I’m inside the house most of the time, I’m not concerned about the weather generally. ;) But I make myself interested in it because he’s interested in it. Much like, he likes to see the Zentangles I create, even though he doesn’t like to draw them himself.

Michael and I didn’t do much when we were dating. We hung out together, watch television together, and did church activities together. That’s pretty much what our marriage has looked like. :) We enjoy hanging out together. But we share bits of things we find interesting with each other.

There was a point that Michael was very interested in his ancestry and finding out information about where they were from. I, on the other hand, have know my ancestry and took the scripture to heart that said not to spend time on endless genealogies. I am ashamed to admit that I looked down on his interest, since I didn’t completely understand it. In hindsight, I should have engaged with him over his interest. Lesson learned.

I hope you learn from my mistakes and make yourself interested in the things that interest him. :) Of course that doesn’t mean you have to become a fanatic over his interests and make them your own, just pay attention when he talks about it, ask questions about it, and by no means allow yourself to think about other things while he’s talking to you about it. Stay engaged. At least, that’s what I’m learning to do. :)

Until next time, God bless,

Michele ºÜº