Him vs. Her – The window to his soul

Recently, I’ve been asking myself how it is that my husband and I have had such a quick turn-around in our marriage.  Since September he made the decision to go above and beyond what any normal husband would do, all in order to prove to me that he really wanted to make our relationship work.

I fought him for several months, not believing a word a word of what he was saying and figured he would go back to his old typical ways.  Six months later he has surprised the heck out of me.  He has completely changed into an entirely different person.  It’s as if God said, “Alright Michelle if this is what you want, your perfect wish is granted!”  And then instantly, he handed me somebody new.

At first, I thought an alien had quite possibly taken over my husband’s body.  He is actually so different, that I had to get used to him all over again and frankly it sort of scared me at times.  All of a sudden I had a stranger living in my house, telling me how much they loved and adored me over and over.  And it’s been non-stop for six months now.

So I’ve been trying to figure out what finally broke through my concrete exterior, in order for him to reach in and take back my heart; which had undoubtedly gone into deep hibernation.  After pondering this for quite some time, I’ve finally figured it out!  It’s his eyes… he is finally looking at me!

During our 23 years of marriage, he would never look me in the eyes when he spoke to me.  He just couldn’t do it.  I would ask him to and he just never could.  So connecting with him was very hard, because I could never really relate to him on a deeper level.

Now, when I look at him, he doesn’t look away.  His focus is completely on me and his eyes say it all.  He loves me and what more could a girl want!  He has finally revealed to me the window to his soul.  And I have to say, the view takes my breath away every single time I’m met with those baby blue eyes.  I can only hope that window remains open for the rest of our days.  I would hate to lose such a beautiful sight.

 

 

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Him vs. Her – A New Chapter

For the last two years now, I have been very unsure about the future of my marriage.  The past sort of caught up with my husband and the present sort of caught up with me.  Needless to say, we were both at fault in different ways.  About four months ago, I had finally gotten to the point where I decided I was tired of trying.  In my mind, I just sort of gave up and decided it was time to figure out plan B.  I started picturing my life without him.  Wondering what I would do apart from him and where I would go.  We still have two children at home, so that was of course another concern of mine.  What would happen to them if we split up, how would we work it all out?  And yet I could never actually see us getting to the point of divorce.  I really couldn’t even fathom the idea of such a drastic decision.

After admitting to my husband that I didn’t think I could continue on the way things were, he in turn seemed to agree.  And yet divorce was the furthest thing from his mind.  His immediate response was to somehow fix what was broken in our marriage and strengthen the parts which looked salvageable.  For four months now, he has been trying very hard to turn things around.  I have to admit, I haven’t made things easy.  I have fought him every bit of the way, by not really believing any of what he’s been saying.  After years of empty promises, I didn’t want to allow myself to be tricked again.

His first response was to begin by writing me poetry; which is something he had never done in his entire life.  I remember reading the words he wrote during those first few months and thinking to myself… “He can’t really mean any of this.”  I thought… “This is just another one of his schemes to make me believe him, but it’s not going to last.” Over the years he would say he would try harder, but there was never any long lasting changes to support his efforts.  It was mostly just cheap talk and I knew I didn’t want to fall for that again.  I was finally ready to move on and I didn’t want to get sucked back into a life of false hopes.

Well it’s been four months now since he’s started blogging.  And I think the turning point for me was when he wrote this… Heart of Sadness.  Since then, I have begun to believe that he is truly being sincere.  He finally seems to understand and acknowledge how I’ve been feeling.  We tell each other everything, but I had often wondered if he was really hearing me.  I wasn’t sure if he understood that I didn’t feel the same kind of love for him anymore.  I wondered if he could live with that fact, or if it would ultimately destroy our marriage.  Yet the more we talked, the more I knew he understood, and he told me very sweetly that he just wanted me to be happy.

I suppose because he isn’t demanding my love, I am slowly finding my way back to him.  We have been making immense progress, and I am finally accepting that he really is changing for the better.  I’m starting to believe him when he tells me he loves me, and I’m hopeful once more that we can make our marriage work.  We will be celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary on the 5th of February and I’m excited to get away for a few days and just have some time alone with him.  We’ve literally spent half our lives together now, and both of us know that we can’t just throw all of that away.  I honestly just can’t picture my life without him, and I hope I never can.

So to my husband… aka, SW.  I have hope that we will make it, TTF…… ❤️  Love always, ~Me

 

Him vs. Her – Is this for real?

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It’s been awhile since I wrote a Him vs. Her, and there’s been a few things that I’ve wanted to share, so here goes…

As I’ve spoken of in recent days, hubby and I have been having quite a bit of trouble getting through these past two years.  We’re coming up on 23 years of marriage in February and although things haven’t been the best, I see a ton of progress being made in our relationship.

One thing that has recently changed, is the fact that hubby began to ask himself why we weren’t connecting the way we ought to be.  He started praying about a lot of things that he had been struggling with, and asking God to show him where he was going wrong.

One morning he suddenly woke up, and announced to me that he was no longer going to be the man that just let life pass him by.  He vowed to encourage me in my own faith, to stop withholding his love from me, and promised to become the man that I deserve.

I was quite taken back from his sudden change of heart.  I truly wondered if he was serious.  After so many years of me feeling rejected and unloved by him, I wondered why he wanted to change now.  I was actually a bit angry at first, and wondered why he waited almost 23 years to change his tune and be the man that I had always hoped he would be.

It’s been about a month now, and my head is still spinning from the changes that I see in him.  I still have my doubts that things will stay this way and I am unsure of how to act sometimes, because I had gotten so used to feeling as if I didn’t matter to him.  I felt ignored, unimportant, and very unhappy most of the time.

So now confusion is setting in.  I keep asking myself… Is this real?  Will this last? And do I really want to give him a chance to fix what’s been broken for so long?  My stubborn side tells me not to give in; warns me that he had his chance, and reminds me that my heart has since moved on.  And yet the part of me that has never stopped loving him, tells me to forgive and forget; to let go of the past and move forward, because obviously God has taken his heart and changed it for the good.

I feel vulnerable in accepting the possibility that he really has changed.  I feel like I could wake up tomorrow and be taken for granted once again.  I don’t think I can handle another 23 years of feeling that way and I’m almost fearful of being blindsided and letting that happen again.

I have become stronger in these last two years.  Learning to be more independent of him because he wasn’t always there, and quite honestly, I grew to love the freedom of being alone, because it meant that I didn’t have to continue feeling rejected by him.  I used writing as my escape and felt like I didn’t need him anymore.

So now, I have a choice to make.  I am struggling every day to either accept this unexpected gift that apparently God has given me, or throw it all away because I’m stubborn and tired of trying.  It sounds like an easy choice, and yet I’m fighting against my own will to keep myself from getting hurt.  My heart just won’t let me forget all the suffering and the pain, which plagued me for so long.  And yet I know what I must do.

In recent days, I have been blessed with loving words of affirmation, by my husband who is trying so very hard to make things right.  Tonight I spent some time going through all the notes that he’s been leaving for me over the past month, and I affixed them to the tree that I painted on my office wall.  I decided that I needed these loving reminders, to help me move forward.  I need to forget the years of bad memories and replace them with the good ones that we are finally making together.  I think I may eventually win this battle after all.

 

Him vs. Her – The grime of life

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Where to begin… I really have no idea what to write about.  Everything I’d been considering earlier, sounded so much better as I was standing in the shower this morning.  However, I do think that this quote sort of sums things up for me today.  It’s too bad all of the muck in my life, couldn’t have somehow broken free and lost its way down that drain.  No matter what I do, the problems and issues I’m currently facing, just never seem to go away.  I suppose I feel that I have come to a place in my life, of complete discontent and unhappiness.  So much so, that I have been trying to find happiness in all the wrong places and have set myself up for failure during the process.  Backtracking is the hardest thing of all, because once we move forward, we can never seem to go back the same way we came.  True the saying goes… nothing ventured, nothing gained.  But then again, I think I’ve been testing the fire with my bare hands, and now I’m paying the price for that.  Life… does it ever get any easier?  Sigh…


Quote found at: pinterest.com

Him Vs. Her – Manipulation

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Have you ever been manipulated by a family member? Perhaps even one of your own children?

We have four beautiful girls. All of who are very intelligent and sweet. Yet over the years, my husband and I have been manipulated on several occasions by those same sweet girls. It started off innocently enough at first. One of girls would say something like, “Mom, can I have a cookie?” My response… “No, it’s too close to dinnertime.” Five minutes later…. “Why are you eating that cookie? Didn’t I tell you it was too close to dinnertime?” Daughter’s response… “Well… I asked Dad, and he said I could.”

This is just all too typical of how things usually go. If the kids ask me something and I say no, they immediately run to dad to see if he will say yes, and vice versa. During the early years in our marriage, this was a huge problem for us. I would get mad at hubby, thinking he should know better than to give one of our girl’s cookies before dinnertime and then he would get angry at me, since he really couldn’t see what all the fuss was about. Of course this is just one simple scenario; as the girls got older, saying yes to cookies was the least of our problems.

Years passed by and we still hadn’t figured out that by allowing our girls to manipulate us, we were creating some serious problems for our marriage. There would be times when the kids would make plans with me to do something, fully knowing that their dad wasn’t ok with it, and then I would get blamed for allowing them to do whatever it was their dad had already said no too. This scenario of course went both ways. This caused a lot of resentment to build up in our marriage. The girls eventually figured out which one of us was the most likely to give them the answer they wanted, and so then they would use that knowledge to their advantage.

Hubby and I made the mistake of letting this continue on for too many years. If we had been smart, we would have learned sooner to communicate better and make all of our decisions together as a family. Unfortunately, with the way our work schedules were back in those days, we really didn’t take the time to communicate with each other like we should have. Because of this, our relationship with each other and the relationships with our girls really did suffer.

Fortunately, we have since learned, if one of our girls asks us for something, we make sure that they haven’t already been told no; and any really important decisions, always get discussed together as a family. We have found that by sitting together at dinnertime, we now have the opportunity to discuss things which are currently going on. It’s the perfect time to make future plans for upcoming events and it helps keep everyone on the same page.

Do you struggle with this in your own family? And if so, what have you done to try and remedy the problem?

 


Photo credit: http://www.blogbigtime.com

Him vs. Her – The little things

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Do you ever find yourself getting frustrated by the annoying little things that your spouse does? And do you allow those things to become bigger issues than they really should be?

I can think of a zillion times when my husband and I have fought over the most pointless things. For example, I used to get mad at him for leaving his dirty clothes all over the bedroom floor. It wouldn’t have bothered me so much, but when there’s a dirty clothes hamper two feet away, it just seems lazy and almost disrespectful to assume that your wife will pick them up and put them in the hamper for you.

Fortunately, I don’t get mad about the clothes anymore. I do however still get upset when he leaves his size 14 shoes in the middle of the bedroom at night. I mean… who wouldn’t trip over those bad boys in the middle of the night on their way to the bathroom? It’s like he’s setting a trap for me to fall and break my neck! I wonder… is he secretly trying to do away with me? I’d like to think not, but seriously… little things like this can be the cause of some hefty arguments, and a whole lot of late night swearing.

I also think that at the root of every small disagreement, there usually lies a much bigger problem that has yet to be brought up. All it takes is that one little annoying thing that he or she does, to eventually fuel the fire. Oh I hate it when that happens! And when it finally does, one of us is usually regretting the little mishap that started the explosive reaction in the first place.

Our biggest petty disagreement in recent years has been the thermostat. I like the house to be warm and hubby likes it cool. I grew up in sunny California and so I don’t think my body has ever really acclimated to the weather here in Wisconsin. I know this is such a trivial thing to fight over, but I have gone to bed mad at him on more than one occasion, because he didn’t want me to change the temperature on the thermostat. What gets me the most, is when he denies he has changed the temperature, even when I know he has! Why lie about something so insignificant?  Oh he can be so sneaky sometimes!

We have now made an agreement, that I am the “official” keeper of the thermostat. Since I’m home more often than he is, we agreed that I should be the one regulating the temperature in the house. I actually think it was my final threat of going to a hotel to sleep for the night, which finally convinced him to let me have my way. I was very serious at the time and since I’m so stubborn, he knows that when I threaten to do something like this, I may just do it! Thankfully he puts up with my obnoxious behavior and has a very forgiving heart. 🙂

Now that we’ve been married, forever… we often find ourselves looking back at a lot of those trivial moments and we can actually laugh about most of them now. Of course back in the early days of our marriage, we really had a hard time letting go of such unimportant things and our marriage really suffered because of it. We’ve definitely learned how to compromise more, and although I still have my hormonally challenging moments like any woman, his response to my moods has changed for the better.

My husband no longer reacts to my stupid remarks the way he used to, he lets me have time to vent my frustrations and he doesn’t try to remedy the situation. Instead, he just simply listens and tells me he’s sorry. I am amazed by how he has learned to stay calm and not overreact to the stress that I’m feeling. By him being the more level headed person, it calms me down and then I find myself able to let go of the issue and move on more easily.

I feel blessed that after all these years of marriage, I really can’t find too many things that frustrate or annoy me about my husband. Yes, he’s the typical guy with enough burps and farts to clear an entire room, but at the same time… he’s also the one God chose for me to spend the rest of my life with, and honestly… right now, I couldn’t be happier.

Is there anything in your relationship that causes you to feel frustrated or annoyed? And if so, have you found a solution that works for you?


Cartoon found at: nickandzuzu.com

 

Him vs. Her – Conversation

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I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but I have recently decided to bring a bit more diversity to my blog, and I’ve been trying to come up with some suggestions for different topics to write about. So this morning, I had this brilliant idea to ask my husband if he would share his thoughts about what I should write about. He did give me a couple of great ideas; he suggested sharing my recipes, or writing movie reviews. Of course I don’t watch very many movies, and cooking and baking are such a chore already; neither one of these topics seemed very appealing to me. So then an amazing thought came to my mind, why not write about his thoughts? I imagined writing about something that’s important to him, something perhaps he has always wanted to share, but has never been given the chance to. I figured each week, I could write about a topic of his choice and through this, perhaps learn a little bit more about what makes him tick and hopefully have some great conversation in the process. Sounds like a good idea, right?

So I proposed the idea to him like this… I said, “Honey, why don’t I just have you as the topic of my blog every Thursday morning? You could talk about something that is really important to you, something you would like others to know from a guy’s perspective.” He looked up at me with a look that said, tumblr_mil7elNW4w1rm06tco1_400“What? Are you kidding me?” So then I said, “Oh come on…. if you could voice your opinion and speak on a certain subject, what topic would you choose to discuss?” He responded with these three words… “Peace and quiet.” Of course I started laughing… I mean, what did I really expect from the man who sits in his recliner most mornings, vegging out to re-runs of NCIS, Walking Dead and playing Bubble Bit@h Witch on his kindle. Did I really think he would have something more to offer, as far as insightful conversation goes? In the entire 22 years we’ve been married, he has never been much of a talker, so I should have known better than to propose such an outlandish idea.  Oh I love my husband, I really do… he has so many other amazing qualities, but what I really wish he would do, is talk to me more.  This is the main thing our relationship lacks, and to me it’s a pretty big deal.

In my experience, men seem completely content to go into their “nothing box” and stay there for as long as they’re allowed. 7c4406b41eedbdf6fc455b9c301267f3This of course drives women crazy, as we desperately want to have meaningful conversation and not feel like were always being ignored. I have met a few men that could carry a rather decent conversation, but it is always short lived; and why is this? Why doesn’t meaningful conversation ever last between men and women? I suppose since men are less emotional than women, maybe they just can’t handle the emotional attachment that comes with long drawn out conversations. I’m guessing it wears them out to the point of exhaustion and then they just can’t keep it up. Guys speak up here… Am I right? Are we wearing you out?

I can tell you one thing though, when men shut women out like this, it has a very negative impact on us. We feel hurt, abandoned, and unloved. We were made to be a helper for our husbands; this was the entire reason God made us in the first place and so we try our best to do this. Unfortunately we don’t often feel appreciated for what we do and so then we withdraw and leave our men wondering why suddenly we don’t want anything to do with them anymore. Guys please hear what I’m saying… you can’t just want us when it’s convenient for you; women are not okay with that. So if your wife wants to talk to you and have meaningful conversation, listen to her and say something meaningful back.

And for all you women out there… stop trying to talk to your man during the wee hours of the morning. You can’t expect him to comprehend anything you’re saying when he is tired and not thinking clearly. Your words will fall on deaf ears! bigstock-Snoring-man-Couple-in-bed-ma-31765232He will quite literally fall asleep on you! I know because I have made this mistake all too often and then I’ve been disappointed because of it. Oh and don’t follow him into the bathroom… men hate this more than anything else. That’s his private throne room, so stay out! I think it boils down to this… meaningful conversation leads to good communication and without this, our marriages are sure to fail. So talk to each other when you have the opportunity and make the effort to spend time with one another. If you want to be happy, it takes both of you to make it happen.


Photo 1 – sabusinessindex.co.za, Gif – wifflegif.com, Quote – Pinterest.com, Photo 2 – valleysleepcenter.com