Most couples connect one of two ways…one way is the right way and one way is the wrong way. Which one are you doing?
Watch today’s video to find out:
It amazes me how hyper focused parents are (as they should be) on helping their children to become respectful, compassionate, and responsible people in the world, yet the adults don’t seem to be as hyper focused on their actions. That said, let’s look at 10 common lessons that (more or less) society teaches children, because your marriage will definitely benefit from these:
1. Say please and thank you – Yes…two of the most simple ways to show your appreciation toward someone. If you’re like me, you probably pound this into your kid every day but do you consistently show this kind of simple appreciation to your spouse?
2. Get to bed early – When a child doesn’t get enough sleep he or she becomes moody, whiny and may act completely out of control. That said, how do you think you are with your husband when you don’t get enough sleep? Get it??? It’s not rocket science here people…please get your sleep.
3. Use your words – When a kid hits because he’s angry or scared we call that “acting out your feelings.” The same thing applies when you start slamming the kitchen cabinets out of anger to get your husband’s attention. Yes my friend, it’s called being passive aggressive. Cut the crap and use your words.
4. Embrace people’s differences – When children are not threatened by people and situations that are different, he or she is able experience the world and relationships in a much healthier way. The same in your marriage: the more you are able to embrace your spouse’s differences, the more connective and satisfying your relationship will be.
5. The value of repair – Children tend to be black or white. Every now and then I hear a child say: I’m mad at him, so he’s not my friend anymore!! One of the most valuable lessons to teach a child is that people, friendships, relationships are flawed. People make mistakes and just because the actions of someone you love caused you to feel sad, mad, or greatly disappointed doesn’t mean that you just toss the relationship. This is key for your marriage: You will have many times where you feel sad, mad, disappointed beyond, etc. toward your husband but you need to learn to repair. Ruptures are a part of any relationship and unless you want to have a lonely marriage, then you must be willing to mend the rupture. Walking away from a rupture and avoiding it at all costs leaves you empty, but you can only gain when you focus on repairing.
6. Don’t just say you’re sorry…show it – I cringe when I see a child give an empty apology and sound like a careless robot. Yes…you too sound like a f*cking robot every time you say to your husband: Ohhhh…I did that? Well, I’m sorry. Uhhh…do you even know why you’re sorry?? Just as you teach your child to have compassion and show empathy, so should you. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and convey to him that you understand how your actions have affected him.
7. Don’t spend all day watching TV and/or playing video games – Kids today have a higher rate more than ever of obesity, depression, and anxiety. They are overstimulated and constantly seduced by today’s gadgets, computers, phones, videos, etc. which keep them from being outside and active and from actually spending quality one on one time with friends, family, etc. So make sure that you also monitor how much time you spend on Facebook, your blackberry or the iPhone thus creating a boundary between you and your husband from having any connective time.
8. Take turns – Just as you teach a child the concept of compromising, meeting in the middle, etc. the same goes for you in your marriage. If you want a healthy marriage you have to accept that it’s not always going to be about you and your needs 100% of the time.
9. Be kind with your words – Yup. Words can hurt not only in the playground but also in your marriage. Think before you talk.
10. Take responsibility for your actions – Honestly, this is the current lesson I am trying to shove down my 6 year old’s throat these days because if he doesn’t start learning how to be mindful of his actions sooner than later, lord only knows how he’ll be as a grown man in a relationship. In a marriage, everyone plays a part…everyone. So be smart and own your sh*t.
* Ladies: for any of you who have recently contacted me with questions/requests please check out my recent note with the new changes starting to happen here on the site! CLICK HERE
I have a specific way (separate from the vodka) in which I cope with my frustrations in life:
When your relationship, life, etc. viciously tests your coping abilities to no end and you feel like you’re about to “throw the baby out with the bath water,” turn your emotions into a shocking joke that will make you laugh out loud.
Here’s how laughter will help you to feel healthier:
- Laughter dissipates distressing emotions. You can’t feel anxious, angry, or sad when you’re laughing.
- Laughter helps you relax and reboot. It decreases stress and increases energy, helping you to remain focused and accomplish more.
- Humor shifts perspective. It helps one to see situations in a more realistic, less threatening light. A humorous perspective creates the distance needed to avoid feeling overwhelmed with your emotions.
Obviously, everyone has their own sense of humor and ways in which they bring laughter into their lives. That said, (and those close to me can vouch for this) I revel in humor that is witty, yet shocking, blasphemous and laughs at the ridiculousness in our lives. Hearing a joke that puts in boldface the words that no one is saying but really thinking is like music to my ears. So for those of you whose sense of humor is aligned with mine, I thought I’d share with you some of my recent “finds” that made me LOL. Please note: no gender or person is meant to be degraded in the below pictures…they are posted here love and ridiculous comedy. Enjoy.
Voila…and whether you found this funny or not, be smart and make sure something in your life is making you laugh.
Whether it’s husband/wife or friend/friend, in every relationship it takes two. It’s easy to simply point the finger at the other and assume that “he” is the problem. If this is what you do in your marriage, then grow the f*ck up and start looking at the part you play. We all play a part in any relationship, so be smart and own your sh*t. Without being able to see your part, there’s slim to no chance that your marriage will improve.
As a parent myself, one of things that drives me nuts about other parents is when their child’s beahvior has negatively affected another child and the parent says: Say you’re sorry!
Omg…honestly…are you kidding?!?
Guess what Mr. or Mrs. Parent: Your kid’s not sorry. He or she is just leaning to be a parrot and say the “right thing” which is what most people learn to do. Unfortunately, your child is missing out on a huge opportunity where he or she can learn how to accept responsibility, as well as understand and validate another person seperate from their natural narcissistic child self. That said, besides directing your child to say sorry, you need to help them see their part and to help them learn how to take responsible action.
Which leads me to today’s big tip: The same thing applies in your marriage!!
Think about it: When your husband feels hurt, angry, frustrated, etc. via your actions, think about many times you just say: You’re upset???? Well…I’m sorry.
My friend…guess what? Your apology is empty. Empty, empty, empty. Empty like an empty well without a drop of water. Additionally, (whether he knows it or not) your spouse is left feeling empty in the relationship and the two of you completely miss the boat for even a tiny reparative experience. So in order to avoid an empty exchange, your apology needs to be followed with why you understand that he is upset (via your actions) and how you plan to take action differently in the future so that that conflict is avoided.
So after saying you’re sorry:
- Take your ego out (please just drop it…we all make mistakes – it’s human nature).
- Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and understand why he’s upset.
- Validate his feelings.
- Show true care by explaining how you plan to take action differently in the future.
- Ask if there is anything else that you haven’t said or understood which he needs from you in order for you both to move on and feel closure.
And that’s it.
In other words, if you’re going to truly apologize, make sure that you understand what you’re even apologizing for and why.
Yes, my friend…that would most definitely be smart.
Two weeks ago I posted 3 Steps to Rid You of Jealous Wife Syndrome where one of the steps was about carving out your own identity separate from your marriage. Right about now, you’re probably asking: How the hell do I even figure out what that is??!
I’m glad you asked, because here is where you can start:
1) LISTEN TO YOUR GUT – If you are one of those women who have always focused on being “the wife” and/or “the mom”, but secretly you second guess if you’ve loved it as much as you thought you would or should…then stop the thoughts. Turn off the guilt/critical voice and know that nothing in life is black and white. Understand that maybe you are genuinely craving something more at this stage in your life emotionally, mentally, and/or intellectually. The women who have the most balance in their lives (and balance is different for every individual) know how to feed their individual self and also give themselves permission to enjoy the domestic part of their life as well.
2) COMMIT TO STEPPING FORWARD – After taking the time to listen to your gut, commit to the process and make yourself accountable to take action. If have no idea what that “next role” is, simply carve out a consistent block of hours every week to help you figure out what that idea might be. Journal, write, research ideas, etc. Utilizing those blocks of hours in any way to help you get into a creative flow without distractions will help you connect to that fire in you. However, it is key that you make that consistent appointment with yourself and stick to it! Fear, doubt and procrastination can easily rear its ugly head if you don’t discipline yourself to make this change.
3) EDUCATE YOURSELF - Once you have connected to even a general direction of how you might want to pursue this new journey, then it’s time to investigate. Knowledge is invaluable and figuring out how to further execute your ideas will only happen by seeking key information. Talk to successful people in the field you find of most interest. Interview them or better yet brainstorm with them about what you find interesting and how you may be able to make it your own niche. For example, if starting a new on-line service for other moms is something that excites you, then talk to others who are doing something similar to find out how they started. Find out from them what is a must as far as how you spend your time and how not to spend your time. Be a hungry detective as far as gathering the knowledge you need and don’t be afraid to ask people for information and/or support.
4) FIND A MENTOR AND/OR A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY – Being your own advocate is imperative, but also having a mentor who is actually doing what you aspire to do gives one a sense of inspiration, guidance and hope. Furthermore, surrounding you with others who are of the similar field, profession, etc. will provide a sense of belonging and connection and will surely help you in the self-confidence department when the going gets tough.
5) OWN IT – Once you have landed on a chosen path, own it and keep your eye on the end goal. In other words, consider this as your new baby, which will take time to develop and mature as your journey will always be shaping and taking different unexpected turns along the way. Continue growing your supportive community and be patient as any new project or venture can sometimes take a year to 18 months before you really see the fruit of your labor. Most importantly, don’t allow other people’s doubts (even friends or family) to spoil your vision. Believe in yourself and own it.
Obviously the above 5 steps are easier said than done. The hard part will be disciplining yourself to trust the process even when it feels like the odds are against you. Remember that your gut feeling spoke to you for a reason and you appropriately chose to take action. Be persistent, have faith and take the leap…you’re beyond worth it.
Are you one of those wives who feels that her husband has it all with his fabulous job, where he interacts with all kinds of interesting people while you’re stuck at home raising his kids and managing his life? If the answer is yes, then are you feeling jealous?
Well first off, I do feel for ya sister because there’s nothing worse than watching your husband skip away on his fabulous business trip across seas while you’re stuck at home in your pajamas cleaning up soggy cheerios from the floor. That being said, here are the 3 steps to help pull you out of your envy abyss:
We’re all guilty (yes, myself included) of times when our feelings and/or emotions spill out sideways onto the people we love the most. For example: Your husband’s recent lack of attention due to late nights at the office causes you to get on your soap box one evening and read him the Right Act about how neglected you feel and that you wonder if he even loves you any more. Or maybe your husband decides to not speak to you for a day after you criticized his “cleaning technique” of the kids rooms, hence his ignoring you causes you to sit in a pool of tears all evening.
If this is you, then you know what I’m talking about.
So the question them becomes this: How do you know that your reaction doesn’t match what’s happening in the moment and that more than likely your childhood issues are finding a false place in the marriage? The answer is pretty simple and I thank a patient of mine who shared this phrase with me recently (I think it’s pretty genius):
If it’s hysterical, it’s historical…
…meaning, if you are brought to rage, tears or any other extreme emotion that doesn’t really match what’s happening between you and your husband, then use that as a bright flashing sign that it’s from the past. If you can at least see that, then hopefully you can pause before you act out displaced emotions all over your husband. Oh and by the way, I’m not saying you shouldn’t communicate to your husband your frustrations about anything…what I’m saying is to make sure that your past doesn’t totally skew what is or isn’t happening in the present.
Learning how to navigate the above will make all the difference in any relationship in your life. So please be smart and trust me on this one…
With Memorial Day behind us, summer is officially here and today I’m here to to turn up the flame with this message:
Where are you and your husband going for a vacation this summer??!
You mean to tell me you have nothing planned??!
WAIT…Let me guess: You both do date night regularly and so your marriage doesn’t fall into this category…
Sorry. That doesn’t cut it.
I don’t care if it’s for two days or 2 weeks. You and your husband deserve time away from the children, work, your routine, from the world and your deserve it together alone. I mean come on: haven’t you read all the articles and gossip columns that talk about the magic of vacation sex? Ladies, that alone should have you on-line right now searching for the latest Groupon deals…
Speaking of deals, check out some of my favorite vacation sites that offer fantastic get-away deals…make sure you sign up and receive their latest deals right to your in-box!
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Costco Travel – Yes, there’s more you can find here than just your super extra supply of paper towels! Members save on vacations, cruises rental cars, theme parks and more.
Happy vacation planning!
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Regularly taking the time for what I like to call “self inventory” or personal “time outs” is imperative to growing stronger every day…especially when you are married. It’s impossible to make “smart” choices in your relationship without being able to understand you. What are you feeling today? Why are you feeling angry and what is it really about? Is the anger just a cover up to sadness? Why is your body so tired? Why are you suddenly feeling lonely now that your children are at school all day? What do you need to help yourself feel nurtured and satisfied?
In order to answer the above questions and more, once need to take the time to connect and reflect. That said, here are 8 ways simple ways to incorporate Reflective Time into your life (and make sure to do it without your Blackberry or iPhone stuck to you):
1. Journaling - Journaling or writing is one of the easiest ways to help unscramble your thoughts and feelings and be able to see them on paper. Writing not only provides a relief from heavy thoughts or emotions, but it is also a great tool to help your brain process the thoughts and feelings in a more effective way.
2. Meditation - One of the most ancient ways of connecting to oneself has been through mediation where one becomes totally present and separate from outside distractions. As mindful as we can be, we are especially living in an age where we are challenged by daily stimuli, not realizing how it impedes our ability to connect within. Taking the time to turn off the phone, sit quietly, close your eyes, and just feel your breath patterns is a wonderful way to connect and reflect.
3. Body and Breath work - Any type of body work or breath work (ie: Yoga, t’ai chi, Pilates, massage, etc.) which promotes awareness of the mind-body connection is a wonderful way to bring your mind and body to a reflective state.
4. Outdoor cardiovascular exercise - Elevating your heart rate and really building a sweat is like Miracle Grow for the brain. Regular aerobic exercise remodels our brains for peak performance by decreasing stress, lifting your mood, and sharpening your intellect. That with the calming effects of being outdoors is a great combo to help you move into a reflective state.
5. Psychotherapy - Talking to a licensed therapist or counselor who you trust and who you can build a safe rapport with is a sure fire way to process the who, what, and where you are in your life. Plus, having that consistent weekly hour just for you is the ultimate reflective space. Just make sure that the therapist is the right fit for you.
6. Music or art - There is a reason that music and art have a calming effect on children and the same goes for adulst. If music or art has that special effect on you, then definitely take advantage of your creative side to help bring you to a grounded place within.
7. Church or Temple - You don’t have to be very religious to gain the benefits of your local church or temple: Many of these communities offer adult seminars or peer groups which focus on various lifecycle stages where one can also take the time to reflect on their personal growth.
8. A relaxing car ride - There’s a reason many parents will take their overtired baby in the car to help lull him or her to sleep. Hence, one of the most meditative experiences can simply be a tranquil car ride where you are alone with just you, your thoughts and the outside world around you.
If you haven’t yet signed up for out monthly newsletter at the top right corner, make sure you do to find out about all the new changes coming up here at Be the Smart Wife. Have a great weekend!