Confession Week 7
Here I sit typing away waiting for the storm to break. Earlier today I was thinking to myself when I went out “You’ve totally lost your mind woman! It’s 90 degrees (32) outside and you were just thinking how nice and cool it is today! Yeah, It was actually ‘cool’ at 90.” Jeez. Since early afternoon it’s been overcast though, and suddenly became extremely windy. I love the wind because it sets my wind chime on the patio off! Hee hee. It seems we are due for some kick ass thunderstorm system to blow through tonight. Woo. Hoo.
Without further ado, I will get to this week’s Confession.
Mare Imbrium asked me the following thought provoking question:
What is the secret to staying married for 14 years, especially during the onslaught of baby/toddler hood?
Well Mare’s question has really given me pause for thought and made me….well, think. I don’t know if it’s a secret or what, but, I’ll answer as best as I can, how’s that hon? By no means is my marriage perfect, but, well, I guess it can best be described as a potentially never-ending work in progress.
Prepare yourselves; this is going to be a long-ass answer.
First of all, I firmly believe that marriage is NOT easy by any means. I think that these days (OMG, I sound ancient, don’t I?) people give up too easy. Now I don’t mean you shouldn’t leave his ass in a millisecond if he’s going to swinging bars or hitting you or some such or you’ve discovered his unquenchable need for H*okers or some such. If you are truly unhappy or miserable or being mistreated or you are the only one making a real effort at your relationship, then no, there will come a point when you need to move on with your life. Ever seen “WAR OF THE ROSES”? It’s a bit camp and stereotypical, but watch it closely. If his touch makes your skin crawl or watching him chew his food makes you want to scream or choke him, it’s probably a good idea to re-evaluate your situation, you know? (A good film by the way!)
But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about a generally ‘normal’ relationship here, people. It takes BOTH partners to make it work, patience, understanding, some occasional sacrifice and lots of give and take (hopefully) in equal measure and not taking the other person for granted. Marriage is work, it doesn’t just happen all by itself. I’m famous for my analogies, and so I will give you one now:
Marriage or any relationship for that matter is like a car. (Stop laughing!) It needs guidance. Yes, you can start the engine and put it in drive, but you need to keep your eyes on the road ahead and your hands on the steering wheel. It needs maintenance. The occasional oil change/ service and car wash so you can see out the windows. It needs gas (love and affection) to keep running. You can drive the car on a perfectly, seemingly straight road, guiding it over the speed bumps in your life (problems, troubles) steering it through traffic and intersections (work and family) but consider what will happen if you take your hands off the wheel. The car will continue to go straight for a time, but eventually, it will do one of a few things: 1) roll off the road into a ditch 2) veer and hit a tree or parked car 3) generally crash with oncoming traffic 4) make you end up on the wrong end of a red-light. (Can you think of other things? I could go on for ages with this analogy, you realize? I think you get the hint though!)
If one partner is giving all the time (or most of it) and the other is doing all the taking, that will eventually put quite a strain on the relationship, guaranteed. I won’t pretty things up here, Egad! Why would I do that now after all this time? The give and take ratio in my own marriage is NOT 50-50. more like 85-15 (me 85%) This is where my patience and understanding (or weakness if you want to think of it that way) comes in. In my own defense, my patience and understanding are not unlimited. When I’ve reached my boiling point, he knows it, believe me.
It all boils down to the old cliché: “It takes TWO to Tango” my friends. Otherwise, you end up dragging someone around like the dance floor of your life.
As you all have some idea, I HAVE put up with a lot. There is actually a lot that I haven’t yet related as well, and not only with Monster, but she is a big part of it. I think that I am probably TOO understanding, actually, but that is me. I am by nature a giver. I enjoy receiving as much as the next person, everyone needs to be on the receiving end, but I am, and have been since I was a little girl, happiest when I am making others happy. That does not mean I will happily allow myself to be used and ‘walked on” like an area rug. No, cause honestly I HATE being used, it pisses me off in fact. But I digress.
I also think it is the “little things” that really do matter and help things run smoothly. Be careful, I’m going to go a wee bit “Stepford Wife” on you now.
Be feminine. A little lipstick or lip-gloss and mascara never killed anyone and there is NO excuse for not wearing a bit for your husband. Screw that, wear it for you first, him second. It will make you feel pretty. Don’t allow yourself the excuse that you can’t do it because you are busy with the baby/chores/work/cooking …etc. It’s all a matter of time management or perhaps I should say multi-tasking. Mascara and tinted lip-gloss or lipstick can be slapped on while you’re on the toilet, so there IS time. It isn’t as if peeing takes such intense concentration, or anything ELSE for that matter, so why not? It takes no longer than a normal bathroom trip to do. Every now and then, wear your hair down if it’s long-ish, not just in a ponytail. I know you feel haggard, we all do, but you don’t have to look it. Does that make sense?
If you’re a good cook or just like to cook, cook his favorite meal once in a while. Or the thing you make best that he likes. Let your feelings for him show, all the way to your eyes. Direct eye contact with a man is the equivalent combination of a deer and headlights. Get my drift? Put perfume on not only to go to work. Put some on for him… then, have him smell where you put it. First the wrist, then the forearm….. then, lean in for the kill… ahem, I mean, arch your neck and let him smell it there. (most men are simple creatures –sorry fellas, but you KNOW you are!- get them that close and they are probably already a wee bit frisky).
Frisky is good. Keep that interesting too. Missionary gets the job done, but is damn boring after a while, don’t you think? I sure do! Don’t forget kissing. Kissing is a lovely pastime. And not just a peck, either. I mean a curl your toes kind of kiss passing in the hallway… then both of you wander on with whatever you were doing.
Once the kids start coming along, it is more important that you have time out of the house, together…. Just the two of you. Even if money is tight, you don’t have to spend a load of money to have a nice hour or two out together. Leave the baby/kids/whatever with Grandma or Auntie or a friend for an hour or two. Ideally all night every few months would be great so you can have a great rest and a lovely romp with your honey wherever the mood strikes. Yes, I said WHEREVER. Drive somewhere and just walk around holding hands. Talk occasionally. It doesn’t really matter where you go or what you do, as long as you are together without the screeching of your kids. Don’t talk about the bills and problems. Just enjoy being alone together. If you are only gone a couple of hours… DON”T CALL TO CHECK ON THE KIDS. They will be ok with whomever you have left them with; otherwise you wouldn’t have left them there, now would you? So shut the damn cell phone off if need be and just… BE.
The most important thing I can say is together time. Most especially when you have a child/children. Mommy/Daddy time is EXTREMELY important. Mommy/Daddy time is different than the time mentioned above. I know that what with work and household chores the immediate urge for most women is that once the kids are in bed to jump in and get the house in some sort of order and get prepared for the day to come. Laundry is a never-ending nightmare from hell. The world won’t come to an end if you take 15-20 minutes out of your evening chores for a cuddle on the couch, so do it. A lot of marriages go bad once children come for this important reason, and I really think it is a shame and totally unnecessary. I have seen this first hand in relationships of people close to me, and it saddens me. The wife gets caught up in motherhood and neglects the husband emotionally and physically. It’s like the husband was only good to be a sperm donor or something. I’ve watched this happen and I’ve also heard the comments about it from several husbands. In some instances, the wives didn’t let the husbands touch them after they had their babies for months and months! One in particular moved her husband into the guest bedroom when she came home from the hospital with the baby and he stayed there for over a year! They went from having an overactive love life to NONE. See what I mean? Sperm donor. Men might not like to admit it, but they need to feel needed by the woman in their life. Just think of how they are when they get sick! Me personally, I have always made an effort to give attention to Z. He can never say he felt neglected or unloved or anything else after I gave birth, that is for damn sure! Once of our nieces decided she liked how I did things and has taken a page from my book. So far so good and she has a normal relationship with her hubby as opposed to her sisters.
My constant efforts (all 85% of the give and take) and attention love, and sacrifice on so very many levels, not to mention my stubborn pig-headed determination in the face of Monster’s constant and frequent avowals and prayers to see us divorced if it kills her (I SO don’t want her to win. Childish of me, I know, but there it is!) have kept me married for so long. Of course I love him. If I didn’t I wouldn’t still be here. But to follow my own advice, never take anything for granted.
We’ve been together since I was 18. If our marriage breaks up for any reason, I know that with clear conscious, I can say I gave 250% and then some.
Cheryl b asked: I know you said that you would answer any question, but you don't have to answer this one if it makes you uncomfortable.
If you could magically get pregnant and be guaranteed a perfect pregnancy and healthy baby at the end of it but had to leave your husband would you do it?
Because of infertility problems and all the hell that it puts a relationship through, I can understand how that can affect and potentially dissolve a marriage. But if someone leaves for that reason? I think there was more wrong with the relationship to begin with. But that’s just my opinion.
Bonus question: Who is your favorite Muppet's character and why? Mine has always been Miss Piggy.
I’ve always been fond of Miss Piggy too, the little nympho oinker. “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!”
I always loved Foz E. Bear too. Why? Cause, no matter how bad things went, he kept on chugging. On with the show! The eternal optimist of sorts! Plus? He’s so cute! Gonzo too. The two old geezers up in the balcony always cracked me up with their smart-ass cracks.
By the way Cheryl… thanks babe! Now I have the theme song from The Muppet Show in my head now. Love you too honey!
Apparently it is deep question week. Here comes what Carrie Jo asked me:
What is your idea of Afterlife? How do you picture it? And do you believe in reincarnation? OK, that's three, but they're all related!
Yes I belive in an Afterlife, absolutely. A relative of mine, a couple actually, had life after death experiences and they described it the same. Very beautiful and peaceful, the whole white light and joy, peace and the feeling of never wanting to leave, etc... that you've all undoubetedly heard of before.
If any of you have ever seen the movie "What Dreams May Come", it is a beautiful film and really makes you think. I would hope that Heaven or whatever you want to call it is something like that. I also think that loved ones that have passed on come to help you from one world to another. I 've heard too many stories of the dying that right before the leave they call out to a loved one long gone right before they take their last.
This may be comment provoking as well, but I also believe in a type of reincarnation. I don't necessarily belive that people come back as spiders, etc... but I HAVE been to a place for the first time and felt deep in my soul that I've been there before even though, in this life, I haven't. I felt it when I went to Edinburgh. I knew my way around like I'd been there several times before, hard to describe, really. It would explain the pull I've always felt for Scotland, definetly.
I am in no way begging for a religious discussion, so.... I just think that perhaps some people's souls have unfinished business or lessons to learn and come back.
Anyway, there you go. That's it for this week's Inquisition Confession. Lordy, but I feel like Dr. Ruth today. Maybe I should think about starting a seperate blog for assvice (advice). Or just a weekly advice thing. Hmmmm, something to think about.