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SERIES: 31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #25

#25 If you have kids, they have to know, by example, that they are not the center of your universe.  
(I can’t believe I am on my last week of reasons!)
We are a husband and wife, in addition to being parents, and the first is just as important as the second. We need time together without B, whether it be for a conversation, and evening out or an overnight away.  B’s wants cannot override needs of mine, the hubs’, the family’s or the home’s and we as adults make those decisions, decide on the priorities, not B.  How many times have you seen another family interacting and thought, “Just who is the parent here and who is the child?” or “Just who is in charge in that family?”
We adults need to charge our batteries by getting out by ourselves or as a couple.  Moms Night Outs and Dads Night Outs are great for that!  As well as making sure you and your partner go out on dates.
Here’s another, simple example.  Ben has struggled with interrupting people when he has something to say.  I have always made him wait his turn or until there was a break in my conversation to address him.  I ignored his…


…and hold up my index finger as a signal for him to wait.  Now, when he was 2 – 6 yrs old, that finger didn’t mean anything to him or didn’t stop him all the time, so sometimes I’d have to interrupt my conversation to tell him to wait.  But now, he gets it.  He’s now coming up to me or whomever he wants to talk to and stands there patiently until someone takes a breath.  ;o)  Or he starts talking and then realizes we are in the middle of something.  He’ll stop himself, say “Sorry” and wait until he is addressed.  We give him positive feedback for that!
When the hubs comes home for work, sometimes B and I compete for his attention.  We’re both happy to see him, we both have things to tell him and we have been known to attack him at the front door.  The hubs greets both of us and then tells B to wait a moment, hold your thoughts, I’ll be with you in one minute, but Mommy needs to talk to me first.  That’s a huge,important statement to be made to our child.  It wasn’t always the case, though…
Because I get all day with B and the hubs did not, he used to be in the habit of interrupting me and turning his attention to B when B wanted it or to discipline B.  Err, that annoyed me!  That showed B he was always more important than me.  The hubs wasn’t trying to undermine me or be rude, he just missed his boy and didn’t want B to feel like he was unimportant or being ignored.  Thankfully, the hubs was able to find balance and respect for all of us.  :o)
Don’t miss any posts in this series:
 
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #9
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #10
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #11
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #12
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #13
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #14
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #15
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #16
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #17
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #18
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #19
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #20
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #21
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #22
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #23
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #24
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #26
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #27
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #28
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #29
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #30
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #31

 

 

SERIES: 31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #24

#24: Although we are completely different, we always view it as complementing each other.
We are complete opposites.  He’s tall, I’m short.  He’s dark, I’m pale.  He’s outgoing, I’m shy. (Well, at least I was before I became a mom.  But once you become a mom, if you don’t come out of your shell and reach out to others, you’ll drown.)  He was a spender, I was a saver.  I grew up with a SAHM, both his parents worked.  I was raised with unconditional love, he was not.  He listed to Enya, I listened to Country. He drank and smoked, I did neither.  (He has been smoke free for several years now and I started drinking like a fish once I became a SAHM.)  He has a great sense of style and takes care with his appearance, I call a day successful if I can get a shower and/or am out of my PJs.
Although we have been opposites from the beginning in looks, backgrounds and tastes, we’ve always seen ourselves as complements and a completion of each other.  (We predate Jerry Maguire; the writer got that line from us, not the other way around.)  Every strength the hubs has is a weakness of mine and vice versa.  Every talent he doesn’t have, I do.  And we love that!  It’s so resourceful now that we’re parents.  Whatever questions B has that I can’t answer, the hubs can.  Whatever situation arises with B, it’s OK if one of us is at a loss on how to deal with it, because the other one knows just what to do.  For example, the hubs deals with all first aide related issues – blood, sprains, falls, bumps, etc. – vomiting and all male-specific “issues” (*shudders* I can’t deal with vomiting).  I deal with asthma, pneumonia, colds and meltdowns.  Paul has always been the one to call 911 and greet the EMTs, I’ve always been the one to pack a bag and ride in the ambulance.  (Thankfully B has not had an ambulance ride in 4 years. I feel like a factory foreman, writing the number of days without an accident on the big wipe-off board for everyone to see.)

 

I’m sure you’ve heard it said that “opposites attract” and also “that which attracts you to a person will eventually become that which annoy the hell out of you and you’re on a mission to change them”.  We’ve had moments like those!  But you can’t change someone else.  Reality really is perception, so we keep the perception of complements.
I was in a bad relationship before I met the hubs – abusive and controlling.  The guy I was seeing told me to go work in a bank, so I did.  After I got out of that relationship, the bank I was working for got bought out, I was laid off and went to work for another financial institution.  On the 1st day of work at this new place, I met the hubs!  After we got engaged, I said to the hubs, “You know, as bad as my last relationship was, without it I’d never have met you.  I would never have gone to work in the finance industry since my background was hospitality.  Everything happens for a reason.”  The hubs replied, “You’re wrong.  No matter who either of us worked for, no matter where we lived or what we did, we would have found each other.  God picked us out for each other a long time ago, Jessie, and He brought us together when we were finally ready for each other.  He knew you were the yin to my yang, plain and simple.”
Don’t miss any posts in this series:
 
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #9
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #10
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #11
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #12
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #13
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #14
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #15
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #16
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #17
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #18
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #19
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #20
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #21
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #22
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #23
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #25
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #26
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #27
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #28
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #29
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #30
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #31

SERIES: 31 Reasons the Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #23

#23: If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  
This ties in with Reason #17, “just because it isn’t done my way doesn’t mean it’s done wrong,”  Even if you don’t think you are criticizing (“I’m just making a comment, a suggestion,” my dad always said), it’s received as a criticism.  Speaking my mind might make me feel better for about 5 seconds but can make the hubs feel worthless or angry the rest of the day.  A perfect example occurred last night.

B started a week of “drop-off” camp this morning and although I signed him up over a month ago and I have been excited for it, last night I started getting anxious.  I expressed my anxiety to the hubs – all the kids are to bring their own snacks, B has a food allergy, I don’t know who the county has hired to run this camp, do they know how to administer an epi-pen, etc.  The hubs’ response was, “Well, why don’t you stay in the parking lot and keep an eye on things?”  I reminded him it is a 3-hour camp and that would be pretty boring and hot to sit in a parking lot that long.

The hubs went upstairs to get ready for bed and lay out his clothes for tomorrow while I worked on yesterday’s blog post.  He came back down and said, “Now I’m concerned about him going to this camp.  I didn’t know it was going to be 3 hours, outside in this heat.  I thought it was only an hour each day.”  I instantly got defensive and wanted to say, “You may not remember it was 3 hours long, but I told you a number of times, plus it’s written on the calendar for you to see.”  But that would accomplish nothing but putting us at odds.  And it would be pretty hypocritical of me because I have a terrible memory and forget important stuff all the time; the hubs should not be expected to remember every time detail of plans I make for B.

So I said nothing.  I turned back around to the computer and finished my post.  Regardless of our differences in reasons, we were both anxious about the well being of our son.  I needed to focus on being united in that and not turn on the hubs by making a snarky and inappropriate comment to divide us.  This morning, we worked together on the phone about stressing the importance of staying hydrated to B (he is not good at doing that on his own) and me asking all the questions I needed to of the camp counselors to ensure my confidence in them.

The hubs just called me to check in, so I read him this post to make sure he’s OK with me putting it up (I’ve done that with all of these “Reason” posts).  After I finished he said, “Thanks, Mama, for not saying anything snarky to me last night.  I love you.”  And there’s the payoff!  :o)

Don’t miss any posts in this series:
 
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #9
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #10
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #11
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #12
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #13
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #14
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #15
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #16
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #17
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #18
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #19
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #20
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #21
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #22
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #24
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #25
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #26
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #27
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #28
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #29
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #30
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #31

SERIES: 31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #22

#22: We tell each other “I love you” several times each and every day.  
This one’s going to be short and sweet.  I left the house yesterday morning and got back a little bit ago to find the A/C has decided to take a day off.  It’s over 90 degrees in the bedrooms.  We opened windows, got B to sleep and now I don’t want to add more heat to the house by having the computer on too long.  ;o)
We tell each other “I love you” several times each and every day.  Not “love you”, not “love ya”, but “I love you“.  Just like in Reason #4 when I described how we touch each other daily, we also purposefully and meaningfully say “I love you”.  We can do this because we talk to each other throughout the day, even when he is at work.  Neither one of us can go very long without talking to our BFF.  :o)  And it’s important to hear it regularly, even though you know it.  Especially when you are not at you best.

 

Don’t miss any posts in this series:
 
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #9
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #10
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #11
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #12
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #13
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #14
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #15
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #16
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #17
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #18
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #19
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #20
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #21
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #23
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #24
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #25
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #26
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #27
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #28
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #29
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #30
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #31

SERIES: 31 Reasons Why The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #21

#21: Sometimes we’ll argue via email or Facebook messages.  

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a professional fighter; I learned from the best, my mom.  And when I let my temper get out of hand, I get irrational, ugly, dirty.  No one is going to listen to what I say when I cross the stark, raving, mad bitch line.  When a disagreement starts to escalate, I will now walk away and start typing.  Now, I am not talking about having the argument over text message.  That is still instant back-and-forth, in the heat of the moment; you might as well be face-to-face.

I’m talking about being at your computer (or on your mobile device), in a separate room, and typing out an email or a Facebook message.  That way there is no yelling, ugly faces, wagging fingers or invading personal space.  I can get all my “talking” points down, without being interrupted.  The hubs has the power to read my email or message whenever he wants to, which is empowering.  That’s a luxury I never afforded him early on in our relationship.  When I wanted a fight, I would follow him around the house, out of the house, call him at work (that is the worst thing to do to the other, BTW), hound him with my words and screaming and he had no place to hide.  Now he can read it when I send it or not.  He can read it multiple times and mull over what I’ve said before responding.  And he’s a muller.  He needs time to absorb, think and come to conclusions.

And I’m OK with him not sending an immediate response.  I was able to get out everything I wanted to say and by the time I hit “Send”, I’m pretty much calmed down.  And if I think of more points to back up my side of the issue, I just send another message with them in it.  This is so freeing and rewarding for me!  A verbal argument can go on and on and not be as productive as you’d like because you’ll get tuned out or you’ve brought up so many points that most except the last one or two can even be remembered.  By sending him a message, I  know that the hubs will “hear” everything I wanted him to because it’s all there in black and white!  Every single point is laid out and he can review as many times as he wants and he’ll do it when he is calm and ready and receptive.

As irrational as humans can get when we argue, we are rational enough to know that every argument is not going to end with a “winner” and a “loser”.  Most of the times, we argue because we don’t feel that we’ve been heard, feel the other is not even listening to our need or complaint.  And let’s face it, it’s pretty hard to listen to the need or complaint when it’s being yelled at you by a stark, raving, mad bitch who’s in your face and may or may not be breaking things in the process.  ;o)  By arguing through email or Facebook messages, we can trust that the other one has “heard” us.  Nine times out of ten, I’m the one sending my whole Powerpoint presentation to him with all my reasons, rationals, market research and proposed outcome*.  And nine times out of ten, the only reply I’ll receive is the one I needed the most: “Ah.  I get it.  I hear you now.  I understand.”  Followed by hugs and apologies all around.

Don’t miss any posts in this series:
 
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #9
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #10
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #11
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #12
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #13
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #14
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #15
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #16
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #17
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #18
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #19
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #20
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #22
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #23
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #24
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #25
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #26
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #27
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #28
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #29
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #30
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #31

 

* I’m using creative licensing in this sentence.  I don’t actually put together a Powerpoint presentation and include market research.  LOL

SERIES: 31 Reasons Why The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #20

#20: We listen when the other says they’ve had enough of an argument and back off.
 
This is the forth of the five posts I have about fighting.  Fighting is pretty significant in a marriage.  A marriage will end because all you do is fight, or you fight dirty or you’ve gotten to that place of no return where you don’t even care enough about the other person nor the marriage to bother fighting. There are going to be disagreements and some will escalate to a fight.  So knowing some ground rules for fighting fair are important if you want to survive to the next fight.  Or to makeup sex.  ;o)  So we hope y’all can learn from our mistakes.
As you read in Reason #19, things can get scary, violent and damaging if you do not back off when your sparring partner asks or tells you to.  And, seriously, if you were to keep going past that point, nothing will be accomplished but more damage.  No one has their listening ears on, even if someone thinks the other has a valid point or two they’re not going to admit it.  So walk away.  Revisit the one subject you started disagreeing on in the first place, not any of the other issues that might have been dragged into the argument, at another time when everyone has their cool, rational heads about them again.

 

Tomorrow’s post will be the fifth and final post regarding fights and it will be about a wonderful solution the hubs and I have come up with to making fighting productive.  Stay tuned…

Don’t miss any posts in this series:

 
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #9
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #10
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #11
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #12
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #13
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #14
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #15
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #16
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #17
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #18
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #19
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #21
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #22
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #23
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #24
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #25
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #26
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #27
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #28
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #29
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #30
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #31

SERIES: 31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #19

#19: We learned the hard way not to fight in cars.  

As I’ve mentioned in other posts in this series, early on in our relationship I pushed buttons.  Because that’s what a professional fighter does.  You push buttons until you get the reaction you want.  I wanted a rise, so I kept pushing until I got a rise.  One day in 1996, I did just that in our Pontiac Grand Prix as we were driving around Charlotte, NC.  The hubs warned me to stop, to back off.  I took that to mean he was pretty close to blowing up and, since I had never seen that happen before, I kept going and hoped for “a show”.  Be careful what you wish for!  When he blew his stack, he slammed his fist into the top of the dashboard and, I kid you not, it shattered all over the both of us.

That scared him just as much as it did me.  We both knew we were in the wrong.  He pulled the car over, checked me for cuts and then pulled me in his arms.  We both apologized.

When I read the hubs my list of 31 reasons last month, I wondered how he’d react to me putting this one in, if he’d ask me to leave it out.  He shook his head when I read it and said, “That was some day, huh?  That’s a lesson we learned and it needs to be passed on to others.”

Don’t miss any posts in this series:
 
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #9
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #10
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #11
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #12
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #13
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #14
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #15
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #16
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #17
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #18
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #20
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #21
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #22
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #23
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #24
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #25
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #26
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #27
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #28
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #29
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #30
31 Reasons The Hubs and I Have Lasted 17 Years, #31
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