Monday, February 25, 2013

Marriage 101 (10 years in the making)

You know how you get in that rut?  That married person rut?  You know you like each other but you can't really remember why.  It's not that there's yelling or fighting, there's just a general feeling of don't care.  Am I the only one who's ever felt that way?  Please tell me no.

There are probably several reasons for this rut (school, work, pregnant wife, more school, 10 years, etc) but rather than accepting this rut as our new normal I decided to fix it.  Novel concept, I know.  Get ready for another one, I didn't blame it all on the husband.  You know, like I usually do.  This time I've accepted responsiblilty and have been on a mission to fix our relationship.  Totally grown up, isn't it?

I hope you know this about us but I'll tell you anyways, there's no abuse, there's no neglect, we care for each other.  I'm not trying to fix an abusive relationship.  We're both good people that have spent some time drifting along with no real direction for this thing we call marriage.  I know that popular wisdom would say that we've just "fallen out of love" or even worse "drifted apart" but I don't buy that, not for a second.  What the world calls love is wrapped up in lust, it doesn't take into account the hard work, the new babies, the years in school or the time in the trenches.  That's what love is, it's more than just him looking good in his Levi's (but let's be honest, that doesn't hurt).

Let me detail my self help plan.  I started with this book.

Short summary, Dr Laura teaches women how to care for their husbands.  A man that is loved and respected and admired will care and love and respect and admire his wife.  I think it should be required reading for all new brides.

From Dr Laura I moved on to this classic.

Super good picture, I apologize.  After reading Dr Laura I realized that I really had no idea what my husband needed the most from me and in turn I wasn't sure what I was looking for.  William Harley teaches the reader how to define their needs and best meet the needs of our better halves.  This is one that every married couple should read.

Finally to complement the above book I read this beauty.

I got it, I understood how different we were and I can see that all the things that I have been trying to do to "fix" this situation have been things that would make ME feel loved and cherished, the husband wouldn't always have that same reaction.  Not because he's a heartless jerk but because the way that he feels loved and cherished is different.  It was eye- opening.  Interestingly enough I've since noticed how each of my children reacts to different love languages, what makes my oldest daughter feel special doesn't work for my youngest son.

These three books have been eye- opening but if I had to choose just one it would be The 5 Love Languages.  It's very simple and it makes sense.  It is one that applies to every person in the world, married or single.

The husband and I are getting there.  Not because he's doing anything different, the guy is practically a saint, but because I've changed my attitude.  If you quit looking for the bad and start asking for divine help there is no reason you can't have a happy marriage.

Good luck!



  1. Oh have I ever felt this way. . . obviously you know that. If you're open to recommendations. . . Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has - hands down- some of the most enlightening relationship books out there.

    I think I used to blame Jed, and then I blamed myself, and then I tried to fix everything myself, by changing, but that didn't work either. Luckily I have a husband who is willing to make a journey with me, and we work on it every day.

  2. I really profited from the "Love Languages" book. It was so amazing to realize that we could be yelling the same thing at the tops of our lungs, but not hear the other one saying it until we tuned into the right station, so to speak.

  3. I LOVE the Five Love Languages book!! I even made all my non-Catholic soon-to-be-married friends read it because of how much I got from it! And Dr. Laura - even though she is extreme, she was always right. I used to love 10am at my 9-5 desk job because I could listen to her at my desk shell out pearls of wisdom. And it was right about the time the Proper Care and Feeding came out. I didn't read it, but I did get a lot of tidbits of what was in the book. It's probably a good idea for me to pick it up. My poor neglected husband! (3 small kids and a short-fuse...seriously. poor guy!!!!)

  4. You're brave and right and smart to do the work now. Sometimes I totally feel like a lazy schlub with a husband who does all the work and puts forth all the effort. 10 years for us too and there's no denying kids, life, jobs, stress, stress, stress wears you down! Thanks for the book suggestions!

  5. Kristen, I recently read Dr. Laura's book and I'm working my way through the 5 Love Languages right now. My reasons? Pretty much the same as yours. I haven't been on blogger hardly at all lately, and I was thinking about you the other day and wondering how you were. I didn't even know you are pregnant. So, congrats!! And, as always, thank you for being so candid.


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