Monday, February 20, 2012

inside a relationship.

"Couples that play together, Stay together."

Saw this quote today & it drew me into writing this post.
I really loved it.

I've been wanting to write about my thoughts on relationships {between lovers}
for some time now. I'm not a therapist nor is my relationship perfect.
Far from it. However, I will admit that mine & my husbands relationship from day one
has been one heck of  a ride. Gosh, to try to describe our highs & lows in words is very tough. Very tough but today it's stronger than ever.
And it is NOT because I am a newly wed.

 Not everybody or every relationship is always {Peaches N Cream} all the time.
But what makes a relationship last?
What keeps the spark flaring?
 What is it a couple has to do to stay in touch and
hold a close bond?

I have a few theories based on my own experiences.
I do not think two people have to have the same interests nor do they have to be
just a like to make it.

Of course in the beginning you are attracted to the same thing. "I'm up for anything" is said a lot & as long as you're together doing whatever is okay.
But most of the time it's all an act. It's the eye catcher.

My Bachelor fans, do you really think Ben is going to find his wife based on her swimming with sharks? Ummm.. no.
Or being able to face anything together because Linzi jumped out of a helicopter with him... facing her fears? No. She wanted a rose.

 I love Aaron very very much.
I still to this day would not swim with sharks for him. Never. I could barely swim with stingrays. Oh yeah. How could I forget. I removed myself from that adventure due to not being able to follow directions by keeping my feet planted in the sand. Instead, you found me in the fetal positions pressed against someone {anyones} back or front side... screaming like a child swimming from these monstrous creatures so kindly would swim directly at you and then rub their disgusting ... skin? flesh? whatever it is on your body.
so not me. but totally aaron. He was on top of the world.
Did I mention this 1.5 hours off the Cayman Island. This was not in a "trained tank".
These monstrous creatures were wild. Not my cup of tea.

Back on track. Sorry.

You do things in the beginning that your love interest wants you to do because you have a major crush on that person. But that does NOT define a relationship.
Pretending to be someone or loving something that you really don't is NOT how it works.
It causes major issues later down the road.

  I used to LOVE to fish. {hated it.}
Now, it's more of  "Okay, have a wonderful weekend with the guys babe. Catch a bigg'en!"
While I stay back on the fishing trip and do my own thing.
I'm totally okay with that. And he is too because if I were there...
He & I both would be miserable.

First, I want to share the best thing I ever did for my relationship.
I owe so much to a very close friend of mine, a best friend for sharing this with me
back in late 2009. Aaron and I just had a good year but not a solid year.
It was on it's way to a very strong relationship between the two to of us.

Why? Because I read this book.
I listened to these words and short {real life} stories and brought them
into my lifestyle.

"The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Marriage."
Nancy Cobb

If you are interested, which I HIGHLY recommend every woman who is
married or with someone they can see themselves with for a lifetime to purchase & read this book. You can get it here.

{stay on track}


I'm going to share some of the things I believe keep
a relationship healthy - which means happy.
Really happy.



is a {must have} in your relationship.

The book {Love & Respect} was read last year.
Basically the main thing I learned from this book was

Men = Respect
Woman = Love

Of course we both want respect as well as we want love but here is the key.

If a woman doesn't give her man Respect, he will shun her from love.
Once that happens, the woman no longer gives respect waiting for her man to show her love. 

And its goes around and around in a circle and before you know it...
you have a big argument. you have stubbornness. you are in a fight.
Until someone jumps out? Yep! This happens to everyone under many different circumstances.

A lot of us live by "Well, if he did this.... I'd do this more."
Or "Maybe if he thanked me & appreciated me more, I'd ____."

Yeah, well maybe if us women, as a wife would _______ he'd be more lovable {appreciative}.
Right? And it goes round and round. It's a circle.

I ask you to please read this story to understand the Circe of Love & Respect
fully based on His & Her Needs. It's truly inspiring but AFTER you read the rest of
what I have to say.

here we go.


"Never stop dating your husband
And never forget to flirt with your wife."
This saying, this quote is hanging up in our living room &
something we plan to always focus on.

Date nights.

 I believe they are very important.
Cell phones off. No work.
Just the two of you & laughter.
Laughter makes memories. Memories make butterflies.

The friendship you have with your partner, your lover
is very very very important. It needs to be solid.

Whether is at home or a night out on the town.
Whether you have kids or you don't.
There should be NO excuses like... "no money".

At Home Dates:

 Play cards or a board game. Sounds cheesy but it brings back the days when you first started dating. It brings conversation. {very important}

Cuddle on the couch & watch a movie.
Remember NO house work, NO phones, NO children.
Pop some popcorn. Buy candy bars.
Make it out of the ordinary.

Cook a dinner & add candles to the table.
Bring out your wine glasses and beer mugs.
Make a menu for him to read. Sounds cheesy, but it'll feel different than your regular night supper.

There is SO much you can do.
Remember, a date doesn't have to be just dinner & a movie.
It can be as simple as a walk around the neighborhood.
Anything that you don't do on a normal bases, can be a date.
It doesn't have to be hours and hours either.

Use you imagination.



 PART 1.

I believe having dinner at the table {as a family} is very important.
No TV. No phones. Just you and your family.
It may only be 15  minutes but it's 15 minutes spent together
with conversation.

It also helps you stay connected.

No. We don't have kids however Aaron and I do sit together at our dinner table.
Sure... sometimes we don't & get lazy or in a hurry to miss a show.
But 95% of the time we sit and eat and talk.

Conversation PART 2

Wow. This was mine & Aaron's biggest battle to overcome.
He isn't an argue-er. He's one who shows emotion in silence. I am opposite.
I wear it on my shoulders. I must discuss it & must discuss it.

The two don't mesh well.
You have to talk about what is going on. What made you upset.
What you did or didn't like. What made you happy.

I used to freak out and use my outside voice when he
made my blood rush all over my body because of something I didn't like.
Yeah well, that got me no where. He'd walk away. I'd follow. He'd then completely
ignore me. I'd get louder. Now the situation is out of control & ANYTHING you tell him
he is not hearing or listening... or gives a damn. You are disrespecting him.

How we got over this: Aaron learned to treat me like a child, in which I needed.
{at the time if you told me this, Ohhhhh buddy...}
Aaron would say,
"Until you can talk to me about it without raising your voice, I'm not going to talk to you."

Ohhh yes, it pissed me off. However, he wouldn't.
I had to learn to grasp control over my temper/mood/blood pressure.

When ANYONE is in this rage, they say & do things they regret later.

I've come a L.O.N.G way. I've learned to breath & walk away from him to give myself enough time to gather my thoughts & go back and talk to him.
Aaron still to this day struggles with confrontation. He hates it. He runs front it.
But it is a must. He's learned that until I talk about what it is that bothered me to him..
and until he gives me the "I'm trying to understand" that I am looking for... it's settled.
There is no pretending either just to shut me up. It's taken a long time.
It's a fine line called {respecting each other} that has to be defined.

Do you see the LOVE & RESPECT circle?
I talk to him like a human & my lover {respect}
He listens and tries to comprehend what's happened. {love}

Read the book. It will give you views in SO many directions you'll want to come to Georgia and put your arms around me and tell me you love me. But first, read "The Best Thing I Ever Did For My Marriage."

It's how you come across to him.
Go back up to Love & Respect and if you follow through with the circle
of giving and receiving... communication comes much smoother.

Something Aaron's grandmother wrote me in an "Advice Card" at one
of my showers was

"Never get mad at your husband in front of anyone. Don't talk bad about him to anyone & never point out his faults in front of anyone. This way he always knows you are behind him & have his back at all times. Make sure he visits his grandmother very often."

His grandmother has been with him grandfather since they were 17 years old.
Married for 53 years.

This REALLY stuck with me. Matter of fact, it's the only thing I can remember out of
all the different cards besides "never go to bed angry."
I never realized how many times I point him out in front of people or
bust him out for things he did or didn't do. I may be joking, but really I'm not. But I am.
I did this a lot. I still have to watch myself. But it's so true.
When I try to understand his decisions rather than judge them,
I get a husband who then turns and wants my point of view or whatever the situation may be.

Always desire your husband.

As much as we need to be desired, they do too.
Kiss him when he walks in the door. Wink at him in a room full of people.
Smile just because.
Let him know you are totally into him without saying it.
Or say it.

{Actions speak louder}


Look good for your lover.

This is something I believe in quite a bit.
I absolutely love comfy clothes. My husband despises me wearing sweat pants.
This bothered me for a long time but it made sense after time.
Clearly my husband doesn't like the "baggy" look. He's more of a fitted type.. on me that is.
Aaron is NOT the type to say, I like that outfit or No maybe you should wear this?
Or notice my new hair or those shoes look better. Remember, he is a T-shirt & jeans... very simple kind of guy. However, when he does voice his opinion about a look, I know he really believes it. Okay, so back to sweat pants. He really doesn't like me wearing them.
Would you believe me when I tell you that he will rip them off of me. Seriously.
No in any hostile manner. It's mainly to make a point.

I work 8 hours a day with a 35 minutes drive to work to & from.
I am with him from around 6:45pm to 6:15am on the week days and
weekends... pretty much always.
I put make up on to present myself at work. My hair is in place &
my clothes are matching/ironed/cute/etc.
I make sure I look good for my clients & everyone around me...
why wouldn't I try to look presentable at home too? That's when he sees me.

When I get home, I change into something like Yoga pants or shorts or cute pj's. I remove my make up & throw my hair up. Sometimes it's down. If I feel yucky or unattractive.. I may let it slide. But I do stay clear away from the sweats.

What I'm saying is physical appearance is important.
If I want to wear a t-shirt.. I'm make sure my bottoms are cute & fitted.
If I don't feel in the "fitted pants" mood, I don't wear them but Iwill wear a tank top or something like that. Something fitted up top.

He is what I should be striving to look good for.
You can have no make up on and still look presentable.
Yeah sure, your husband loves you for you. However, he loves a good look.
That's what caught his eye in the first place, right? 

Take a look.
Which of these people would you say your man would
prefer or not prefer.

Both examples are the same person.
You pick.

Here is an example of NOT WEARING MAKE UP
and still looking presentable.
You pick.

You tell me.
Same person. Beautiful person at that.
And those my friends are my main points of keeping a relationship alive.
Of course there will be low moments & in-a-rut moments that come along but for the most part if you strive for these things. Your smile will out shine anything else around you.

So, what are your {relationship must-haves}?
Do share! please!
I love reading and hearing other relationships & well as working on my own.

Oh and last thing...

Many many times when Aaron and I would be ... broken up
or struggling, I heard
"Relationships should not be this much work, Jessica."

I totally disagree. A relationship with anyone is work.
Let alone your lover, your husband, or your wife.
It's work every day. But it's a fun work if you choose to make it that way.
And it pays off better than any dollar amount paycheck.

The End.


Jessica Nicole said...

I so needed to hear this and now I really need to read those books. I am not yet married, but my boyfriend and I have been together for a couple years and we have been having some 'respect' and 'love' problems. I am so glad you put this out there today, I am sure you are helping so many couples see what really matters and are helping them over their relationship struggles.

Michelle said...

SUCH a great post! And a good reminder that even if you can't go out on a date to do it at home. I think what I need the most help with is dressing up and not just being a slum in my sweats.

Holly said...

Thank you thank you thank you for this post. It's something I needed to hear. I am an emotional person & Brandon (my fiance) is quiet/reserved. When something goes wrong I want to talk about it/every detail & why. He, on the other hand, would rather go sit in his office & not even think about it. I'm definitely checking those books out ASAP!

Carolyn said...

SO MUCH TO COMMENT ON! :) This is such a great post! I love how you write about relationships in a way that makes me think about my relationship, and to double check that we're doing the best we can be. I totally agree with so much of what you said!!! Thanks lady!

Brekke said...

Love this post! You give great advice girl!

Looking into those books now, thanks!

lori said...

i completely agree with your advice. i think people are under the misunderstanding that a relationship/marriage is not work. it IS work... the most rewarding work, but work nonetheless.

and i agree about the bachelor... i tell my hubs some of the same things... i love him with all my heart, but i am NOT going to climb the bay bridge to prove that to him. never. sorry.

and i had a terrible experience in grand caymon swimming with stingrays, too!!!! i went when i was a teen and did the sandbar one, where you walked around and shuffled your feet and loved it... but when i went back with the hubs a couple of years ago we decided to go snuba-ing. it wasn't the stingrays that bothered me, but rather the fact that i felt like i couldn't breathe and there were weights on my waist pulling me down... i had a panic attack. and was cursing my husband, who was about 20 ft underwater and loving life. its a big joke now, but it was absolutely terrible at the time!

Amanda @ New Adventures said...

I loved the book Love & Respect! My hubby and I have the same communication styles as you guys so this was really good for me to read- to help us get out of that cycle! Thanks for sharing :)

Teenage Bride said...



Steph@ Living The Young Life said...

oh my.. i loved this post chic.. its great!! i have told you time and time again but i really feel like you and aaron are alot like me and B... he is quiet i am not lol.. oh and maybe i need to ditch my white sweats that may or may not have a couple little holes in them!:-? lol i loved this post and i really love what his grandmother wrote to you! :)

shay said...

wow, what a great post! i totally agree with you on the "relationships take work" comment... i think people that say they don't are totally kidding themselves... i always tell my friends that love is like a plant and if you don't water it, it will wither and die.

i def want to check out the other books you recommended, so thanks for that!

Nicole said...

This has been my favorite post you have ever done! I will definitely be buying this book. My husband and I are in kind of a rut right now, and he often says, "a marriage shouldn't be this much work." Also, I disagree! When it's good, it's GREAT. When it's bad, it really sucks. Thank you for this-I love hearing about how you guys work things out-helps me feel normal :)

Aubrey Kinch said...

This was so great to read! I have been dying to post some stuff like this cause my hubs and I have really been into different books and resources that have made us SO much stronger!

YAY for marriage!!


Kelly said...

I so love this post. And I'm taking notes:)I'm going to check these books out. And I need to really think when I grab my sweats.

Daisy said...

What a great post! Thank you so much for emailing me. You are so right, a relationship is a ton of work. If people figured that out there would be a lot less divorce. I agree witht the looking good ;)

Mrs. Mama said...

what an amazing post jess. seriously. its wonderful. and you are so amazing for putting this together. thank you for leaving a link to this on my blog, i have already bookmarked it and heading my way to part 2!

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