Friday, March 22, 2013

Miss Hope's Lessons in Marriage

There are a few things I've learned about being married and being in a marriage over the years. I have to admit, some lessons were hard and others not so much. Keep in mind, these are my own personal revelations and don't have to be yours.

MYTH #1:

Don't go to bed mad/angry/upset.

Miss Hope's Lesson:

Really? Why not? If I go to bed mad/angry/upset, that is giving my temper a chance to cool down before I say something I can't take back. The Man and I always end up talking it through after the cool down period and pretty much end up apologizing and expressing our separate viewpoints better to the other. Do we always end up agreeing? Heck no. We just come to a compromise or agree to disagree. I have an awful short term explosive temper. I will run off at the mouth for a few minutes, then I'm fine. I get past stuff pretty fast. Cooling down is a good thing for me.

MYTH #2:

Sleep separately until the anger is gone. Couches are optional or guest bedrooms.

Miss Hope's Lesson:

I think not. My bed is awesome. I have 1200 thread count sheets, memory foam, and an electric blanket. You're crazy if I'm going to go sleep somewhere else. I told my husband at the beginning of our marriage that I would never chase him out of his bed. That's his side and I have my side. We can coexist to sleep and not say a word. And we have done this successfully. Don't let anyone chase you out of your bed. Especially if you have an awesome bed.

MYTH #3:

Money is the cause of many marriages failing. (Okay, this may be true in many situations.)

Miss Hope's Lesson:

You're going to disagree about money. It will make you crazy when there's not enough or you don't know exactly how you want to budget to make it work the best. Guess what? You have what you have. Work with it. The Man and I make priority lists all the time. We have to go back and re-do the list because something comes along you weren't expecting. That's life. You're not always going to get what you want or do what you want to do. Work with it. Work with what you have. Forget about what you don't. Pay your tithes (we're pretty big on this), take care of your family, and pay your bills.

MYTH #4:

High end appliances are worth it.

Miss Hope's Lesson:

They are. We just had to replace our washer and dryer (unexpected and a cause to revamp our priority list). I did the shopping around online because we agreed that I would pick out what I use the most. I found what I wanted but those bad boys were the top of the line. I would get giddy over those machines and what I knew they were capable of doing for my clothes and to make my life easier. We went to the store and saw them in person. I fell deeper in love. We decided to get those particular machines and you know the guilt set in and I immediately started talking myself out of those luxurious pieces of machinery. The Man stood firm in that it was an investment that I would utilize to the fullest. I finally gave in. Let me tell you, high end appliances are worth it if you can swing it. The Priority List hates me, but my clothes love me. Oh, and really try to let your husband learn how to use those machines. I'm very protective of my BMW washer and dryer. The Boy can operate them as he and I do the laundry (yes, my son does better than his sisters when it comes to cleaning clothes). I was gone one day running errands and told my son to wash a load. When I called home, my husband informed me HE put the load in the washer. Mild panic set in until he told me The Boy showed him what to do. Whew.

MYTH #5:

Children come first and foremost.

Miss Hope's Lesson:

Children are important. My three are my heartbeat and I can't imagine a life without them. Children are going to grow up and hopefully leave one day. The spouse won't.  Keep your spouse in your eyesight. That means treat them well. Flirt with them. Flirt in front of the children (clean flirting, people). Show them a strong united front and that you love each other and respect each other. How you and your spouse act is what your children will look for one day. I want my girls to find a good strong man who has a good work ethic and will treat them with love, kindness, and respect. I want my son to find a good strong woman who will hug him, and treat him with love, kindness, and respect.
The Man and I may not always agree on discipline, but we don't demean, belittle, or overstep their authority when one is correcting a child. One of us has corrected a child and later the other will, in private, talk about how maybe that wasn't the right way. Date nights are important. So very important. The Man and I have a date night once a week. We go out with friends for supper and some socializing. It helps us reconnect as a couple so we're not one of those couples you see in a restaurant after the kids are grown just sitting there with nothing to say. We talk about so many different subjects. We turn the radio up when going out to eat and sing and car dance together. Have fun with your children. Have fun as a family. Don't forget to have fun with your spouse.

MYTH #6:

Tolerate your in-laws.

Miss Hope's Lessons:

Do your best to love your in-laws. This is your husband's first family. This is your children's family. This is your family. I'm very very blessed in that I truly love my in-laws. You don't always have to agree with their views. Guess what? They don't have to agree with yours either. Call your mother in law on occasion. Keep her up on what's going on with her son. Over the years, I've called my mother in law and complained about her son. Yes! I went there! Best part? She is so sympathetic because she lives with his father....who acts the same way or does the same things. Yes! Someone who gets it! Your spouse is the best and worse of two individuals...just like your own kids. Seek out the best and know that comes from two people who are your MOTHER and FATHER in law. I'm so sorry for those of you who can't get along with your in-laws. It's a sad situation (I've been there) and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.


No need to use manners after you say "I do."

Miss Hope's Lesson:

Bull. There's even more need to use manners. I am not of the generation that my mother come from where you wait hand and foot on your husband. Growing up, I would just get so mad over how my mother would wait on my father. Fix his plate, fix his drink, fetch this, and fetch that. Boy, have I eaten some humble pie in the past couple years. Since my mother has developed health problems, my Daddy has waited on her hand and foot. He has become the most amazing caregiver and I see the love he has for my mother.This has proven to me that what I saw growing up wasn't servitude. It was my mother's way of showing love for my father as he is doing now for her. I fix my husband's plate most of the time. I'm fixing the kid's and I just keep going. I don't mind. I want to do things for my husband. He fixes me coffee when I ask him to in the evenings. We serve each other and every single time, we say "Thank you." or "I appreciate that." Use simple sweet manners. I promise it will be a good example for your children and your spouse will feel appreciated.

MYTH #8:

One person must always be in control of the t.v. remote.

Miss Hope's Lesson:

Well that's a big fat false. My husband loves sports. With a complete passion. He has given up watching many games because Miss Hope hates football with an all burning passion. I can tolerate some baseball and adore the Olympics. My husband loves him some NASCAR. Bless him. On race day, he has the remote for sure. I don't watch the races as they bore me to tears. I love ghost shows. He tolerates the ghost shows and I tolerate the races. There are many we like in common and if there's a really good game going on? I understand him watching it on the laptop with headphones over one ear, while watching updates on said game on his phone, and watching a show with me. All at the same time. Share the remote. Watch family shows with your kids. Our children do not have televisions in their bedrooms. We feel that spending time together watching television is more important than them all going separate ways after supper. That's our personal belief. One gaming system located in the living room keeps play time on that bad boy to a decent level.

Marriage isn't always easy. But, it's so worth it. I like my husband. He is my friend. My very best goodest friend. I trust him with my life, my children, my heart, and my washing machine and dryer. I look so forward to growing old with this man.


Krys72599 said...

I SO wish we lived near each other! We must be twin sisters of different mothers and fathers (to paraphrase that awesome Dan Fogelberg/Tim Weisberg album!)...
We would SO get along like BFFs...

Guitar Woman said...

Girl, I nearly FAINTED when I read the part about U fixing The Man's plate!!! Have mercy!!! I didn't think I'd EVA hear such a thing from U!! LOL!! But I do believe there's a time & a place 4 ALL things..... even fixing the hubby a plate. :D Plus I totally respect The Man cuz he reciprocates. ;)