Archive for the 'Marriage' Category

Don’t Lose Sight..

Raising a child is hard, but harder still is not losing sight of your partner in the process. With the high demands children place on your attention, time, and energies, it is easy to fall into the habit of tumbling into bed in exhaustion without a thought for your partner. Children are a blessing to any union but don’t forget how they got there in the first place. Eventually the center-of-your-world will grow up and leave the nest and then it’s just you and your partner again — seems like it’d be a good thing to keep that relationship alive.

Make a date. Date nights are hugely important. They don’t always have to be a “go out” on a date that isn’t always financially viable. If you can’t find a sitter or pay the exorbitant price of an evening movie with dinner once or twice a week, then have your date in. Eat a light snack when you feed the kids dinner and after they’ve gone to bed sit down to a romantic candle light dinner and then cuddle on the couch to a movie.

Do things together. It doesn’t always have to be about romance. Find something the two of you like to do and when the children have gone to bed, do the activity together. Play board games, video games, cards, anything that involves the two of you spending time together with which you can visit as well.

Spice it up. If you and your partner are into board games or cards add a little zest to the mix. Make it sexy, play for clothes, and fantasies. I invented a wicked game of adult Scrabble and a die. The rules are simple, after each complete turn, the person with the least amount of points takes off an item of clothing. What’s that you say? Scrabble takes a long time to play and you eventually will run out of clothes. I thought of that. After your clothes are gone then you roll the die three times. The first roll is for the body part (make a list one through six. I just did a list of three and repeated it). The second roll is for what activity that body part is engaged in. The third roll is for the length of time. When the game is over the winner gets the grand prize of having a fantasy or something they’d like fulfilled. Sounds like fun, right? Something like that can be done with anything if you just put your mind to it.

Hold hands. Don’t forget to touch one another even if it’s a simple hand holding or hand around the waist. Nothing says, “Hey I’m here and thinking about you,” than a simple touch. It’s not possible to touch your partner all the time but it’s easy to throw it in throughout the day — when you walk by them pat their rumps, caress their shoulders, or lightly brush against them.

Notes and love letters. Little notes in your partner’s lunch or love letters left where they can find them are an easy way to let your partner know they’re on your mind. In this highly electronic age it’s easy to flash your partner an e-mail. It can range from a just thinking of you message to a naughty this is what I’d like to do to you/for you message.

Relationships take a lot of work when you are just a couple and they take exponentially more when you bless your partnership with a child. Don’t lose sight of each other eventually you’ll be left to your own devices again and if you haven’t “seen” each other in eighteen or so years you just might know what to do.

Posted in Uncategorized, Relationships, Building and Maintaining, Marriage, Sex | No Comments »

Motivational Monday:Love

“Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do…but how much love we put in that action.”-Mother Teresa


Often times we wonder if we are spending enough time with our families. A phone call to mom, a walk with the kids, a quiet dinner with our partner. All of the demands our busy lives place on us cuts down the precious moments we share with the ones we love the most.

We may not be able to change our schedules to make more time in some cases and nature will not allow another hour to be added to our day. What we can do is make the time we spend with our families full of love. Take a few moments to say ‘yes’ to reading just one more story at bedtime, ‘yes’ to a short walk, and ‘yes’ to cuddling with your partner for five extra minutes in the morning before work. Here is a great article on love and how to keep it going in your relationship. Love Will Keep Us Together.

Before you turn out the lights in your child’s room, say ‘I love you’ one more time. Make it a habit to look into your partner’s eyes when you tell them you love them, so it becomes a habit to make a connection with one another; instead of a habit to just say the words. Just one extra thoughtful moment for each person you love each day will make your life more full of what every human needs: love.

Posted in Parenting, Relationships, Building and Maintaining, Cohabitation, Communication, Marriage, Daily Living | 2 Comments »

Kindle Some Passion.

Holding It Together

With the overextended schedule many couples have these days, is it any wonder that no one has time for sex? Shuttling the kids to school, after school activities, working differing schedules, all of this leaves little to no time for couples to be as intimate as they were dating. Sex is the first thing to go, it seems, when everyone is tired. And sex is the superglue of marriages; when the intimacy deteriorates, everything else will as well.

You may feel too tired to put any effort into reviving a seemingly lifeless love life. But the end result will surprise you. A little extra effort on the part of one partner can go a long way. Instead of the functional goodbye kiss, why not slip a little passion into it? Surprise your partner by letting them know you really /will/ miss them. A sexy wink afterwards can only ignite wonder and a reciprocating spark.

Sneak a sexy note into their briefcase or lunch. If this is a bad idea, in case of it falling out in front of a boss, then write a sexy email and send it to your partner’s personal inbox. If they enjoy television after all the kids are in bed, grab a snack and cuddle up to them. Feed your partner little bites of the snack, because food, like sex, is a basic need and can be very sensual.

If you live in an area where you can sit and watch the heavens, try it. Spending time with your loved one under the stars can help you connect. You can find a lovely photo of a meteor and a link to information about the Persids, here. A meteor shower is something wonderful to share together. How many wishes can you both make?

You will find that if you take just a little time to do these little things, your own passion will grow.

For more ideas, take a peek at what I’ve found!

The Impact Of Intimacy

6 Tips For Keeping Spark Alive In Your Marriage, After Children

Relationship Glue

Posted in Parenting, Dating, Marriage, Sex, Divorce and Separation, Stress Management | No Comments »

Men & Women

Heather Havrilesky had some insightful and funny words about men and women in her “I Like to Watch” column in Salon.

Men and women are different. Thank god we’re all old enough to know that now. Thank god we no longer waste our time asking each other impossible questions, like “Why can’t we communicate soulfully, like Gwyneth Paltrow probably does with Chris Martin? Why can’t you smell that smell that I’m smelling? Where are your pants? What’s that on your face? Are you insane or just very stupid? Should I have another margarita?”

If only we knew when we were younger what we know now, that men and women come from different planets, both of them spilling over with their own distinct clichés. Women can try to date touchy-feely types who fold their clothes neatly and put stuff away and meditate, men can try to date “SportsCenter”-watching, back-slapping gals who know how to “hang,” but the divide between the sexes is still too great. Women like to overanalyze, digress, split hairs, muse, contemplate, obsess. Men like to stare at pictures of ass cheeks.

Eventually we figure it out: “I already have to spend the rest of my life with me, why would I want to spend the rest of my life with another person who’s just like me? Isn’t one of me enough?” Ask any gay man: Communing with a like-minded soul mate is no walk in the park. Better to cohabitate with a complete alien whose odd habits and non sequiturs confuse and confound you, since these endless differences will distract you from your own flaws, thus freeing you up to luxuriate in the comfort of self-righteous indignation for the balance of your days on Earth. Dr. Phil be damned: Intimacy is a small price to pay for always being right!

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I was sitting here trying to think of what to write today.. Nothing came to mind.. But then, as my husband was walking out of the door he provided me with a whole armament of issues to hash out on my blog today.  He had a headache last night.  And, apparently, I was supposed to cuddle it away. 

The reason this is even an issue is two fold.  The first reason is, usually, he wants nothing more than to be left alone when he gets a headache (which, can I note, happens quite a lot).  The second reason is that, thanks to my mother being uber melodramatic about hers and everyone else’s ailments when I was growing up, I have become somewhat desensitized about people who are hungry for attention when they are not feeling well.  I know that makes me sound awful, but it’s the truth.  When I’m sick, I suck it up and never complain.  I can’t understand why men feel like the world has to stop on it’s axis when they get something as mild as a headache.  I don’t understand.  really really don’t…….

So, we return home from dinner at a great wine bar and a showing of Monty Python’s classic Life of Brian which was showing and the Belcourt Theater.. Nice evening.  Then the headache.  We come home and I get to work on the computer.  I have a lot of catching up to do since the holidays have been so busy.  Silly me.  I thought that someone with a headache would want to be alone so they could go lay down.  I was wrong.  And, this morning, I have hell to pay for it. 

Realizing, of course, that I have a very low tolerance for sissies who can’t handle being sick, I apologized and even felt bad that I was not more attentive to his needs.  But, it leaves me with the burning question: what is wrong with men that they cannot handle being even slightly under the weather without having the emotional equivalent to a wet nurse at their side?  Am I being awful?  Is this a dreadful thing to think about men?

And the other question is:  is this what people without kids do all the time?  Titter about silly little emotional heartaches that really are quite insignificant?  I am finding this life without kids (even for only three days) quite uninteresting and overly self indulgent.  It’s grossing me out a little bit.  I have enjoyed resting and going out with friends.. But I can do without the constant self gratification, thank you.  And I can do without relating to the people at work who talk about their pets as if they were children..  I actually got into a conversation at work about my cat - don’t get me wrong, I love my cat - but I was talking about him as if he were reason the sun came up in the morning.  This is what single, kidless people my age do.  What the hell?  I never would have guessed that my kids were my source of creativity and energy and, quite honestly, they are what make me interesting.  Thank god I get to be back with them on Sunday.  Otherwise, John and I might start buying sweaters for the dog and arguing over who takes the trash out.  Our world in imbalanced without them and I need this week to go by fast……….

Posted in Lifestyles, Marriage, Daily Living | No Comments »

I’m back!

Well.  Well.  Well.

So the kids decided, after all, that a Disney Post Christmas extravaganza was in order.  We got back from delivering them to my parents last night.  I must admit, the drive home felt like I was reversing some kind of law of physics - the fact that I was driving in the opposite direction from my kids was the most unnatural feeling I have ever had. 

But they are knee deep, as we speak, in Little Mermaid and Buzz Lightyear heaven.  I talked to them this morning and they sound like they are having a blast!  Which was exactly what I needed to hear - it is hard to sleep without them in the house.  But, the fact that they are having an adventure with their Nana and Papa eases my mind greatly. 

So then.  What to do?  John and I are all alone - we slept in and ate breakfast in bed.  So many things that we could do with the rest of our holiday but, really, we both seem content to be home and dig into one another.  Since I was a single mom when we met, it is always painfully obvious to us - when we get a chance to be alone - that we never actually dated, in the traditional sense of the word.  We never got to indulge in one another the way other couples do.  Sure.  We had a good time, but always with the pretense that there was a sweet boy at home waiting for me (which meant our evening usually ended at 10pm).  We never felt slighted, it’s just that at times like these, we really realize that we never got to really revel in that new relationship splendor.  And, now that my mind is at ease with the kids being safe and happy, we are able to.  We are able to enjoy what we really love about each other and remember why it is we fell in love.  I hope you’ll excuse me this week if I end up being syrupy sweet about everything, but I have a feeling I won’t be able to stop myself. 

Posted in Marriage, Healthy Living | No Comments »

True Love…

They can’t keep their hands off each other and their faces are so close that they must be breathing in only each other’s breath.. kisses in the middle of a crowded breakfast nook where everyone is racing to get to work and they sit, locked solidly into each other’s space, unaware of anything and everything that surrounds them.. he touches the tip of her nose.. she flips the fine hair falling over his eyes.. he hasn’t looked away since he sat down.. when she gets up to refill her coffee, he stares out of the window, short of breath because the air isn’t as breathable without her sitting in front of him.. he loves the way she chews.. sips.. blinks.. everything about her he absorb into his skin, into every fiber of his being, and he wants more.. you can see it in his eyes.. he wants everything about her. and she holds back just enough to keep that yearning in him greater than the satisfaction..

Where will they be in five years? Will they fall into a rhythm of everyday passions, like so many of us do with our true loves - the sweet little nudges of love, instead of overwhelming gusts of desire and need?? Will it end in a fight, her wanting all of her CDs back and him wanting the bike that he bought her back? Will they tell sneering stories about one another to their friends and future lovers? What will come of that unpenatrable desire?

Were we ever like that in our beginnings? It’s hard to remember. It’s hard to recall.

I know it existed but when? And do I necesarrily miss that? I can’t say I do. With those feelings come a very exhausting turmoil. I like our cozy comfort. I like our ease with one another. I like breathing my own air - and every once in awhile, when we are cuddled in close under our sheets on a cold night, breathing in his. I’m sure, at their young phase of love that our marriage looks idle and passionless. They probably can’t imagine the joy that comes with our ease. But one day they will. One day, they might be lucky enough to see the loveliness that comes with waking someone up with a cup of coffee every morning… watching your children sleep.. talking about home loans.. picking out paint colors for your dining room.. I guess it only makes sense to those who have it. And aren’t we lucky.

Posted in Relationships, Marriage, Daily Living | No Comments »

Did You Really Just Say That Outloud?

It’s fair to say that I do my share of sticking my foot in my mouth.  But, there are some people on this earth that do it and don’t even realize that they are being total freakizoids… Yes.  I said freakizoids.

So, my husband’s new schedule has meant that he is gone three nights a week until 10pm.  The other days he is gone from 630am until 3pm.  We have some truly, and our only, romantic time at 3pm when we meet at our son’s school and we walk from our cars (which we parked very romantically next to each other) to our son’s school playground to pick him up at which time I hand off our daughter and the still unfinished to-do list and turn right back around and make my way back to my car at 315pm - which is when I shlepp off to work.  Yeah.  It’s loads of fun.

As I was divulging this information to one of my girlfriends the other day at pickup she said, and I’m not kidding you, “God, aren’t you scared that, with that kind of schedule, your husband might get all lonely and hook up with one of his students?”.

Ok. Um, what?  Yes, my husband is a college professor.  But, no, that does not mean he tries to hook it up with his students.  And it is completely beside the point that I used to be one of his students.  COMPLETELY beside the point.  And, exactly, what was my response supposed to be to that?  “Oh, yeah, we’re totally cool with each other like that - you know, I don’t want to hold him down….” - wait, wait, sorry, I just puked in my own mouth a little just from typing it! 

I dunno.  I just wonder what would have to possess me to say something like that to someone about their husband.  I am completely aware that men think about sex like 75% of the day but I would never, ever, have the audacity to challenge someone’s marriage like that.  The reality is that, even despite our ridiculous schedule right now, our marriage is stronger than ever.  Infidelity is low on my list of concerns.  My husband is more concerned with getting time alone in his studio with his little clay sculptures than he is, any day, of getting in some little tart’s pants.  Of course I trust my husband.  I wouldn’t have married him if I didn’t.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and try to break into his work email - you know, just to see how he’s doing today…

Posted in Infidelity, Jealousy, Marriage, Sex | 3 Comments »

You Say “Potato”, I Say “Damn It, Stop Being So Difficult”…

There are times in a marriage when you wonder how two people who are usually beaming with love and admiration for one another can be living in the same house with each other.  Occasionally it is unclear who is being the fussy one, perhaps it’s both of you, but the fact remains:  sometimes you just want to “accidentally” elbow your significant other in the face - or is it just me?

What is occuring to me is that it is never the big stuff that we get worked up about.  Perhaps that is the sign of a good marriage, which I know I have.  My marriage is impressive - even to me.  My husband and I manage to balance the important things and work through the tough things pretty remarkably well.  So, I guess it is perplexing to me when we have those days when something as small as a schedule change becomes reason for us to stay in seperate rooms and brood for most of the morning.  If we can stay strong through poverty and sick children and car accidents and career changes and dying pets you would think we wouldn’t be irked by the little stuff, no? 

It’s a funny thing.  People get married and they grow and they are forced to face who they are and who they aren’t in the presence of this one person for their entire life.  Basically, by getting married, we are challenging ourselves to be open to someone else owning a huge stake in our emotional landscape and in our future potential as a human being.  We are opening ourselves up for frustration and amazement.  We are saying “even though I can live a spontaneous life, I will respect the fact that you like to plan everything a thousand days ahead of time”.  And sometimes it’s irritating and sometimes it makes you roll your eyes so far back into your head that you are certain you can see your partner sitting behind you doing the same thing.  But, in truth, those days are few and far between.  Those days make you thankful for the other days - the days when you can’t take your eyes off of your husband as he gives your daughter a bath; those days when you come home from work to bottles of wine and etta james playing on the stereo; those days when you seem to laugh from morning to night.  It’s true that those days are the best and the most frequent but, on days like today, I can’t help thinking of a quote I once heard.  I think it was Rita Rudner.. It went something like this:  I love being married.  It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life. 

Aaaaaand, sometimes, that about sums it up.

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Getting to Know Your New Family

My husband’s parents are here for a three day visit and we are having such a fantastic time. There is ease in our interaction and there is great levity to our conversations. We sincerely know each other and, as it turns out, we really like one another a great deal. We treat one another like family. And I suppose that is as it should be. You would think that simply because you marry someone that you will be a big hit with their family almost immediately — however, that is not the case with everyone. Some people take some time to warm up to. Even though I have always been the easy going girl that is easy to get to know, in this instance and for the first time in my life, I have been hard to get to know for my in-laws. In fact, my sister-in-law has even said as much. Ouch.

Since my husband and I have only been married for two years, it is fair to say that I have only known my in-laws “pretty well” up to this point. We have our ups and downs — the typical things you sort out upon entering a family. I think they used to think I was uptight and judgemental — for some reason I come off this way to a lot of people and I have never quite understood it. They were very careful with what they said around me and how they behaved. I hated it. Uptight and judgemental are two of the farthest sentiments from what is truly going on in my mind. Thank god, they have finally realize that I am just a self-conscious, conflicted nerd. This realization, I think, has been the catalyst for great change. Spending the last two to four years simply getting to know one another has been simulteaneously the most wonderful and the most nerve-wracking thing in the world. Then a visit like this comes and you realize that there is no effort involved — that you have moved beyond being the “new girl” and that people are finally free to relax. Now we are spending our time doing better things than the ritualistic “getting to know one another” dance — we are enjoying one another…Aahhhhh… Turning corners is lovely.

Posted in Marriage, Daily Living | No Comments »

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