Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Compromise and say you're sorry...

I have been asked if K and I have problems...if we fight. At first, I was kind of surprised by the question and have responded that we are like every normal couple. We argue...we have issues. Both of us are very stubborn and have different ways of handling problems. But in some ways, we don't handle our conflicts normally, and that is when I realized we are different. And I came to the conclusion that is why we are happy and have fun together, and it may seem like we don't argue. I want to share with you what works for us and I hope it helps you.

When K and I bought our house we currently live in 3 years ago, I was so excited to decorate and buy new furniture. K had different feelings...he felt what we had was enough and didn't want to spend a bunch of money on decorations. We had many arguments on where certain things should go and what should or shouldn't be bought. After many fights, I finally sat him down and told him this was ridiculous. We had to stop it and come to a compromise. It was so stupid that we were spending such an exciting time fighting over where something should go. We still have had some stupid fights since then, but just the fact that I sat him down and didn't fight with him or nag him made such a difference. My first tip would be to learn the art of compromise. This has saved K and I from some serious fights. This also goes along with learning to pick your battles. The other day I got mad at K for something so stupid (it was about buying wooden spoons for my nephew, who loves playing with cooking spoons. After being very upset with K and I sat there pouting, I thought this is one of the most stupid disagreements! It actually inspired this post!) If it's a serious issue and needs to be addressed, then talk to him and find a common ground. But, if it's over something stupid...laugh and walk over to them and give them a hug. That will stop a fight dead in it's tracks. Laughter truly is the best medicine. The next time you and your significant other is fighting, seriously think and ask yourself if it is really worth fighting over?

 When I get mad or I feel conflict and confrontation rising...I shut down. I get quiet and won't say anything because I don't want to "fly off the handle" and say something I will regret. I try to practice Proverbs 15:1 in every situation. In some relationships, shutting down maybe a good thing, but in marriage communication is so necessary. One approach I take with K is if he has said something that has made me angry, I shut my mouth and breathe. (Counting to 10, 20, 100 may help). Men are "fix its" by nature...they need to know what is wrong so they can fix it and make it better. As their wives, I think it is important to honor that nature by telling them what is wrong, but they need to let us breathe and calm down first. With this verse in mind I also want to challenge you loud talkers...The next argument you are having with your spouse, try to not yell at them. Speaking in a loud voice will not get across to them any better than a soft answer would. K had to break me of that very early on. I raised my voice to him because that was the only way I knew to fight. He stopped me and said he wasn't raised like that and we would talk like two adults. He could hear me just as good without yelling. He said yelling at him would not get my point across any better, in fact, it made him shut down even more. Ever since then, we refuse to yell. It is very degrading. Also, this is a Biggie...absolutely no name calling!! That should be a rule between you two and should not be allowed. In almost 15 years, I have never called K anything but an endearment.

Be the first to say your sorry even if you don't want to. This will change the tone of the argument and will help them not be afraid to say they are sorry. And one final tip that has helped K and I tremendously...let go of your anger. Don't be mad at each other for long...I know couples who have stayed mad at each other over things for years and something that happened long ago...let it go. Forgive them and move on. It sounds cliche, but life really is too short to hold on to something. You learn from it and move on. If it is something they keep doing, address what it is and let them know it bothers you. Open the lines of communication. K and I have a very happy marriage because we talk to each other and we remember to have fun together. We laugh when we do something stupid and we forgive each other. We pick our battles. There are somethings he does that drives me bananas and vice versa, but we are in this together and love each other. That is more important.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Real love VS Hollywood romance

I love Sheila Wray Gregoire's blog, To Love, Honor, and Vacuum, which is also about marriage. I get lots of great Christian marriage advice and ideas from her. She also has some great books I want to read and isn't afraid to tackle rough topics and some that are considered taboo (sex, porn, etc).
I came across a blog post from her about the 50 most romantic movies from her Facebook readers and it gave me a great idea...I wanted to express my opinion about the difference with Hollywood's depiction of love and what real love should be.

Don't get me wrong...I am a sucker for a good romance. I have read every Nicholas Sparks book and I love a good cheesy romantic chick flick. But...Hollywood has it so wrong. Most of the classic love stories are about a guy and girl who meet and only after first seeing each other...they fall head over heels in love. Then there is a major conflict like a previous love, dark past, bad childhood, parents, that prevents them from being together. Most of the time, the endings are happy. And who doesn't want to sit through the 2 hours heartache and falling in love with these characters and not see them end up together?

The problem with Hollywood's idea of love is that isn't real love. We never see what happens after with the couple. I know most of these romances are supposed to be "feel good" stories, because that's what they do: make us feel good about what we just witnessed. The problem is many people have the idea that is how our relationship is supposed to be, or it gets us wondering "why isn't my husband more like this character? He's so romantic." What we never see is the real love stories. Couples that have stayed together and been married many years and experienced every up and down that life can throw at them. That my readers...is real love. And I don't even want to get started on how Hollywood has depicted "making love". Yet...that will be another series for another day...

So...stealing an idea from my sister who has an awesome blog, I will be reviewing romantic movies and books from time to time and how it relates to the real world. Sometimes it will be my favorite book or movie, other times it maybe one I stumble upon.

I will start with my favorite movie and the #1 from Sheila's Facebook fans...

This is such an amazing love story. Like I have said, I have read all of Nicholas Sparks' books and will give them their own reviews. For me, the movie was better than the book. Not often that happens. I feel this story was a little more true to life.

 In the beginning, an older man starts reading to an older woman in what seems to be an assisted living home of sorts and we are taken to a remarkable love story set in the 40s. Noah and Allie fall in love at a young age and are faced with not only the obstacle of class, but Allie's parents. They try to ignore the obstacles, but it ultimately tears them apart and 7 years pass and Allie has moved on and met someone else, but Noah hasn't. The movie cuts from scenes of the older man and woman and back to the story in the notebook, which becomes torture for the viewers as we want to see what happens with Noah and Allie and who she will ultimately choose. 

This is a beautiful love story of not only love that lasts a lifetime, but a love that proves even through a horrible disease, it stands by each other. It also proved that opposites really do attract and you can learn to do fun things together and accept differences. I think Noah is a perfect depiction of a man and is romantic but not overly done. Allie can be overly spoiled, but she's rich and it's a bit expected. Overall, I think this is one of if not the best love story of all times. The ending itself is the best ending ever in both the book and movie and both are different.

My rating system will be 1 to 5 stars 1 being the worst 5 being the best. I would definitely give The Notebook 5 stars. I would watch it with your significant other at least once. I wouldn't recommend watching with children; however, because of some mature themes like sex and very mild violence.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Good times and bad...

I can honestly say that this past week and a half has been one of the hardest weeks my family has ever been through. As a married couple, it has also been one of the hardest years we have been through. We lost 2 of K's uncles within 2 weeks of each other early this year, plus K's surgery, and this week my step-dad passed away. Death is hard to deal with but this was the first time it was this close to our family. I have a young family. It's really hard to know how to deal with it.

But...I am one of five siblings and we all rallied together and pulled together to support my mom.

I think one of the most important things as a couple that we did was we relied on each other. Instead of giving in to the stress and being completely overloaded, K and I are leaning on each other and it has helped me so much. We are getting through it and helping my family make it through. I am one who lashes out at others, but I didn't. I think I talked about this before in my firsts post...but it really is so important to lean on each other through rough times. It tests your relationship, but what you do with the tests is what makes a marriage strong.

One other very important thing K and I have done through this rough year is lean on our Father in heaven. He gives you strength when you need it most and he is strengthening our marriage through it. Pray pray pray for strength.

One last piece of advice...
Treasure the stolen moments of comfort from each other. When you need a hug, don't be afraid to ask for it. Let him wrap his arms around you and relish in it. Cry on his shoulder. In times of grief, a lot of couples grow apart because they push their loved ones away...let God strengthen your relationship and don't be afraid to need them. That's a huge part of this journey together.