The Joy of a Happy Marriage

Okay. Perhaps the title is misleading. I don’t believe that any marriage is happy 100% of the time. We fight. We hurt each other. But the good thing about marriage is that you have learned to forgive your spouse after being together for as many years as you have been. For us it is now twenty-three years of marriage. And I can honestly say that our marriage is stronger now than when we first said “I do.” How is that possible? When so many marriage crumble and end up in divorce court, and children are left to wonder what they did wrong, because that’s normally what happens(well, if there are children which resulted from the union). Marriage isn’t easy. When two very different people join together for, hopefully, a lifetime, it is definitely a struggle of wills and personalities. We tend to say that we fell in love with our spouse because of the things we share in common. But even though there may be a lot of hobbies shared, or tastes in certain things, in the end, you are still two very different human beings. And take the stress of raising a family, working, paying bills, getting out from under debt, maybe an illness, and just plain old living under the same roof with perhaps limited amount of space to escape for a couple of hours, couples are in for a very bumpy ride if they don’t understand what they are getting themselves into.

Marriage is NOT playing house. There are real problems. Repairs need to be done. Maybe new appliances need to be purchased. Or you may have recently lost your job. You worry about losing your home, losing your health, losing your loved ones, losing your sanity! The stress builds up and then suddenly your lashing out at your spouse, your kids, or maybe even your neighbors. You wonder how you can hold it all together to make things work out. Especially true if you’re a man. I understand how important your work is to your sense of worth. How you may feel like less of a man if you cannot provide for your family. It is a tremendous amount of frustration piled up upon your already sagging shoulders. But I’m sure women can feel the same way. We should at least try to encourage our men. Let them know that we are in support of them 100%. That whatever happens, you’ll survive; you’ll get by. And all that matters is being together. Yes. That may sound like a clich√© but it’s the truth.

In marriage, you must be on the same team, so to speak. Financial decisions must be mutual. Raising the children must be mutual. There must be an understanding on all things when it come to marriage. It is hard work making it all work out in the end. But work out it will if you both just hang on. Yes. It is much easier to quit and get divorced. But if you think it is better on the other side, you would be mistaken. Also, I am talking about marriages where there isn’t any signs of abuse. I would never tell anyone to stay in such a situation, just to make it clear this is about ‘normal’ marriages, if there is even such a creature that exists!

Now, about faith. I think that this is a very important part of a marital union. If one person is a believer, I feel that the spouse should be too, just because of the complications that can arise out of not being on the same page when it comes to faith issues. My husband and I share the same faith. We pray together every weekday morning, asking God to bless our day, for protection for ourselves and our loved ones, and thank Him for the many blessings He provides us on a daily basis. This is very important to us, as a couple. Perhaps you enjoy mediating together, or working out together, or some other hobby that you both enjoy. You both need that time to spend together, especially once you have children. Don’t let the craziness of life draw you further and further apart. You need to be unified. And, here I go, do not postpone the sex part. It is a very huge element to a happy and healthy marriage. There is nothing wrong in enjoying it whole-heartedly, ladies! I don’t care how old you are, go after it with gusto! Read up on all the great health benefits to both men and women that a healthy sex life provides. Having sex with definitely bond you two even closer together; trust me on this one.

So, do not let frustration, day to day living, and children make you resent being married. It is not greener on the other side. You will still have heartache, and anger, and pain, and grief, and bills to pay. Make it work. Get help if you need to. Be patient with each. Forgive each other. Love each other more each day. Don’t take each other for granted. Look into your spouse’s eyes and tell them each day that you love them. Give them an unexpected kiss or hug when passing by them. Have fun together. Play! Tickle each other, works for us, since I’m awfully ticklish. Okay, perhaps that was too much information. Just please, love your spouse. Above all, keep an open line of communication. Talk often. Respect each other. Take interest in what your spouse enjoys doing. And give them space when they need it. So to all, I hope that you have many, many years of a happy and healthy marriage ahead of you. Perhaps you too will discover that you have fallen in love with your spouse all over again.

The Little Things We Sometimes Take for Granted

In light of the tragedy in OK, or should I say, due to the recent tragedies in this nation, I often like to remind myself of not taking things for granted. It is easy in the busyness of our day to day lives that we tend to overlook the little thing, or take them for granted. Like, kissing your husband or wife goodbye when they or you leave for work in the morning. There are times when we are so rushed that we forget that little thing. Especially if you have had a fight the night before or even that morning, we may tend to shy away from showing our affection. But it is always good to remember that this may be the very last kiss that you give to each other. Or hug. Or tell them that you love them. Just a few short words but ones that hold a lot of power. It would be terrible to not say those words and find out later that the one that you loved was now gone. If only I had more time. If only I would have said I love you one last time. If only. If only.

Making time to spend with our children, especially when they are younger and they want to play dress up, or house, or school. Or they want you to read them that story just one more time. Even though they know it by heart, and you do to. But take that time out of your day. In recent months we see how our children can be taken from us suddenly, painfully. Look at that picture they drew or colored for you. Hug them when they ask for one. Never say, “Later.” You may not have a ‘later’ with them. Tell your child/children every day how much you love and appreciate them. How proud you are of them. And keep that up into the teen-age years when they start to drift away from us, hanging with their friends or spending hours at a time playing video games in their bedroom with their door closed. I’m talking to you, Joshua. Let them know that there are limits and restrictions on what they can and can’t do. You are the parent, always, not them. And yes, we know that teenagers will fight us on that tooth and nail. For you see, they are SO much wiser than we are, or were at their age (of course!) Yes. Love them anyway. Set boundaries and be firm.

Don’t pass up the opportunity to watch the sunrise or set. Especially beautiful over a body of water. I’ve seen it rise over Lake Michigan in Chicago, and it is breathtaking. Or watch for the rainbow after a good rain. Or even going outside after a good, cleansing rain, and just breath in the freshness of the earth around you. Or flower blooming; especially lilacs. Well, at least in my case. A smile from a stranger or a kindness shown you, like a door held for you as you enter a store. Revel in children’s laughter, because we all know that their laughter is of the contagious variety. And yes, even we as adults need to laugh more. Be freer, and not so harsh on ourselves. Love your life. Do not take it for granted. Again, life is short. Sometimes shorter than we hope for. Or the lives of our loved ones. None of us know how many days we have remaining. Not to be morose, but it’s true. That’s why we need to look at each new day as a gift given to us. Beautifully wrapped up in warmth and sunshine, with birds singing outside your window.

Love your pets and don’t take them for granted either. They are a blessing to us also. Mine like to lay at my feet or at least be near me when I’m sitting. He sleeps on our bed, which isn’t always pleasant when you have an 80 pound dog on a Queen-size bed with two people already sleeping on it. But he is so full of unconditional love. Those big brown eyes melt even the hardest heart, at least I believe that they can. And last but not least, again, be good to yourself. Take care of your health because we all know that you are the only you that you’ve got. Eat as healthily as you possibly can. Yes. Splurge once in a while. Ice cream or pizza works for me. But find an exercise routine that works for you and try to do it at least three times a week. I’ve finally discovered the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and it is good. Watch some good comedy and LAUGH. It does a body good. Journal if you must to help stave off the feelings of frustration and anger and bouts of hopelessness. Life is not hopeless. We are all here for a purpose. Don’t be dismayed if you haven’t discovered it yet. You have one, trust me on this.

Each day has 24 hours in it. Make the most out of that time to be the best you that you can be. Love and be loved. Don’t spend a lot of time wallowing in depression. Set a time and then be done with it. Think, it will get better. This too shall pass. Life is not bleak. There is a light, a beautiful light, at the end of this all. Be blessed, dear friends, and be happy.

Happy In My Life

Blessings abound in the little things; like birds singing in the early morning while it is still dark. The rich scent of the earth after a good rain. Watching flowers begin to bloom and trees budding. I am in awe of the raw beauty of the earth in these warm, sunny days. I look forward to more of them; in fact I could say that I crave these types of days. It speaks to me of life and renewal and hope for the future. Sometimes in the busyness of life we tend to overlook the little things. Rushing from point A to point B, we don’t always notice the pretty flowers or take time to breathe in deeply of the pleasant smells around us. Even the barbeques, the lake or ocean water, the smell of suntan lotion, we tend to overlook at times.

I enjoy waking up early during these days of approaching summer. There’s something stimulating about getting up a bit earlier and getting a few extra things done, or just taking the time out while the house is still quiet, to perhaps read a book or the newspaper while sipping that first cup of coffee. Life is a beautiful gift. I don’t think we realize how precious it truly is, until we lose someone that we love. Each day is a brand new opportunity to love, to laugh, to grow, to learn something new, and to just be the best you that you can be.

I am changing, each day. I am becoming the person that I’ve always wanted to be. My mind is definitely more focused these past few months that I’ve been lifting weights and losing pounds and inches. I am more determined than ever to make the most out of each day that I am given. And there is so much to do. Work on my writing, reading for knowledge and pleasure, for staying in touch with friends and family, working out, running, enjoying time outdoors, gardening; and the list could go on but I’m sure that you get the point. I’m learning to live life and not to fear it so much anymore. My Asperger’s discovery has shown me that I am not crazy, just think differently than others do. And I am content with that knowledge.

I have my husband, my two sons, my crazy dog, and my family and best of all, I have my sanity. And, I can’t forget, I also still have my faith. Please remember that you are special and wonderful and unique and beautiful just the way that you are. You are not a mistake or some cosmic accident. You are meant to be. Make the most out of each day, grow and be at peace. Find love, be loved, and love in return. What a feeling. What a life. What a joy. What a miracle. Be good to yourselves and to others.

What’s New?

Just wanted to give an update on how things are going in my life. With the warmer weather here, I am getting back into running outdoors and it feels great! Haven’t been able to go too far yet but I am intending to get back to my 7 1/2 to 8 1/2 mile run hopefully by mid-June. I’ll also be signing up for a few races this running season also. Did one about four years ago and loved it. Now that I’ve lost 17 lbs. so far and have about 10 to go, I have a lot more confidence. I’ve been studying fitness models’ sites and reading a lot of fitness motivation. Need to work on my sagging abs, but at almost 50 years old I guess I have to be thankful for what I can make of them.

As for the gluten-free, I’ve gone back to eating regular pizza – Home Run Inn’s Ultra Thin Frozen Pizza doesn’t seem to give me any problems. I’m still staying away from anything else bread-y. As for lactose-free, still nothing with that. No High-Fructose for me or my family. Regardless of what the media portrays it as, I still believe it is not good for you. I’m doing the as-close-to-natural-as-possible make-up, Lemongrass Spa Products. Wonderful items. Look them up, if you are interested. As for weight-training, I’m doing well in that category also. Lifting four days a week and finally seeing some definite results. It’s pretty sweet.

As for the Asperger’s. I have come to a peaceful place and an understanding of this is who I am. I am happier now. More content. To finally understand why I am the way that I am is enlightening. I now feel that I can spend my energy and time on doing the things that need to get done, like getting into shape finally. And for reading and writing: I am enjoying some very good books; thrillers mostly and some romance. Writing is going well. Still need to send off for some magazine samples. Just need to find the right ones to spend the money on. I have so many stories going on at ones that at times I am a bit overwhelmed. But that could be part of the Asperger’s.

Gardening season is fast approaching. Will be planting again this year after letting the ground sit and rest last summer. Now comes the fun part of deciding what to grow. We’ll be getting plants so they’ll be easier to grow. Hopefully the weather this summer will be a good mix of rain and sun. Love fresh tomatoes. Okay, and I’ll be getting my hair cut soon also. Trying to decide on a new style, though. Something different to celebrate my approaching 50’th. Will be coloring it red again. Love that color. Not a bright red, but a subtle shade, but definitely red.

Okay, that is what’s going on my end of the world this beautiful May day. Blessings and love to all. If you have any suggestions for any of the above you’d like to share: gardening tips, favorite books, etc. please let me know. Til next time.
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