Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A Vital Key - Communication

I love to communicate.

It's easy for me to let my husband know how I am feeling. On good or bad days I can do it. I can be loud. Or quiet. I can elaborate or be vague.  I can even be nonverbally expressive with my facial expressions and body language. Communicating is easy for me.

Gerson is your average male. Less expressive. More sexual. Sports. Beer. You get the point.

Nevertheless, communication has played a huge part in moving us forward.

I cannot stress how important this is for absolutely any relationship. Whenever we have succeeded as a couple, communication was a big part of it. Or when we've had to overcome a rocky season, we couldn't have done it without communicating.

Life has its ups and downs. It's a beautiful journey and in this life your spouse is your teammate. Someone your building and doing life with. Communication is vital in order to walk this adventure together.

Here are some suggestions on communication that have helped us move forward.

1. Take a Breather. -  The worst thing you can do is "communicate" while upset. You are full of emotions, and most likely communicate things you will want to take back.  Both of us have found that we solve our problems effectively when we're no longer mad.

2. Listen - Don't talk and over talk. I'm so good at that! Listening is a huge part of communication. And don't pretend you're listening really just waiting for your turn. Believe me people, I was a pro at this. Forget what you're going to say so you can listen and answer accordingly.

3. Do Not Assume. - I have sat down with many friends who want relationship advice. They tell me what they're feeling and when I ask ' Have you talked to him about this?' the answer is usually no. Or "no, I already know what he's going to say!" You will never overcome the difficulties in your relationship if you refuse to communicate for assuming the outcome. They may surprise you. Sometimes your partner may not even be aware that you're going through something due to lack of communication.

4. On Paper, On Purpose. - I got that saying from Dave Ramsey. Plan out your goals as a marriage. Open a bottle of wine and talk about the future. Write monthly and yearly goals. Dream together.

5. Speak Up. - Gerson can be so romantic. And extremely sweet. He can find the perfect card. Write the perfect words, but as soon as I open the gift I'm so disappointed. I would return the majority of my gifts and pretty sure his feelings eventually were affected. Plus, then he hated buying me gifts. So one day we solved this first world problem.  I spoke up. I realized that when he would surprise me with fragrances that he liked for me or lipsticks that he liked on me I would keep because what woman doesn't want to wear what her man likes. Or even earrings. That gave him a boost of confidence. And for all the other gifts that I want that I know he probably would have a harder time choosing I simply let him know. Does it suck that it can't be a surprise since I love surprises? It does! But it's ok. It's not the end of the world. He can always surprise me with things he's good at choosing.

I'm pretty sure I could keep going. Kids are waking up so I have to stop. :) Hope these tips are of some help! Let's keep moving forward...


Monday, February 8, 2016

The Thing

A few years ago I had an epiphany.

All of us have that thing that we cannot stand from our spouse. Whether it's leaving the toilet seat up or open lid to the toothpaste, we all have that one little thing.

My thing since I can remember has been the trash. That's right. Gerson is the worst at taking out the trash.  I have to ask him daily. He's gotten way better at it through time, but seriously people, it was a chore getting him to do it on a regular basis.

Then one morning I go to throw something away and as you can imagine the trash was full. I made my noise of frustration, looked up, and the first thing I saw were dirty dishes. I'm one that does dishes at night so you will see dishes rinsing in my sink all day but I believe that night I had fallen asleep without washing them.

I began to see my flaws as a wife. All the things I know Gerson could complain about but hadn't. I felt horrible. My husband is not perfect but he's pretty close. He doesn't demand food on the table or complain about my messy closet. He's understanding in many areas. Especially after becoming a stay at home mom, there were so many areas I needed improvement on, yet he understood that I was adjusting to motherhood.

That night I apologized for my nagging.

I think there will always be something that will bug us about each other. The revelation that morning was more about examining oneself. Before you bitch about the same thing, look at your imperfections. We forget that no one is perfect, including ourselves. And if you feel close to perfection, reexamine yourself. We all have areas we can work on, as individuals and in our relationships.

The key to moving forward is beginning change with oneself. Not changing your partner. When I saw my flaws and realized how graceful my husband is, it inspired me to do the same. Does the trash still bother me? It does! But through time I practice patience. He doesn't need to be lectured nor scolded about something so stupid. Those nags are so unnecessary.

I've heard of couples that never argue which I find astonishing. We do argue but through the years there are fights that are not worth fighting about. And please don't say you do it for the makeup sex cause you can have amazing sex without the fight.

So there you have it people.
1. Let go of the thing.
2. Examine oneself.
3. And make sure that everything you're doing for your relationship is only moving you forward.