Celebrating 26 Years of Marital Lessons

This is a revised post from last year.  A follower suggested that I expand on each lesson, so throughout the month of June, I will elaborate.

Twenty-six years ago, June 4, 1988, 3:10 p.m. I walked down the aisle of Second Baptist Church In Atlantic City, New Jersey to exchange wedding vows with hubby.

Not one clue did I have about the amount of patience, love, sacrifice, commitment, and dedication needed to sustain 25 years of marriage and 30 years of friendship.

The one thing I knew for sure was that I deeply loved him and wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. How that would occur was a mystery that I would later sort through.

My father-in-law performed the ceremony, which made the day even more special. Although Reverend Cain died in 2003, the blessings he bestowed upon our marriage is still present today.

We were young and naïve but very committed to respecting and loving the other. I the extrovert; a crazy out going and out spoken hot-head. The contrast was my laid back introverted husband who internalized and mulled over everything before speaking. Talk about a contrast! I have wondered, “How on earth did it work?” Maturity, time, prayer, maturity, time, and more prayer helped immensely. I learned to speak less; he learned to speak more. Somehow we found a solid balance.

While I cannot speak for hubby, the past 25 years has been an enlightening journey for me. A personal journey that included bumps , bruises, detours, and exciting discoveries. Childhood relationships with my parents and between my mom and dad affected my relationship with my husband with great surprise. I saw glimpses of characteristics that I liked and that I disliked. The realization that I, and only I was empowered to make changes about myself that needed to be made was a relief. Cycles… some are meant to be broken. The fact is that we don’t have to repeat what has been done before us. Some family traditions should end.

Sadly, I closely witnessed the shattering of too many marriages. I have never judged other marriages or thought that my marriage was better than another. I did, however, extract the lessons that I could from the failed marriages around me. So often spouses point the finger of blame, but don’t ask what did they bring to the table. In turn, my reality check is to stare in the mirror and ask, how am I doing? Do I need to make adjustments? Have I fallen off course?

Sometimes there are issues that exist within me, which require me to adjust and make changes. Other times, the pulse of our marriage needs adjusting– I think of it (the pulse) as a heart rate– Neither too fast or too slow is not good. I strongly believe that at least one person in every relationship, should have their finger on the pulse of the relationship at all times. The pulse being, the pace and mode of the relationship. Is it steady? Is it regular? How’s the vibe? Is it positive? Do things feel out of sync? They are just questions that have worked for me.

My point is that marriage is not easy. Point blank, it is hard work and by no means do I claim to be an expert. We’ve been blessed for 25 years and I hope and pray that we are blessed we a good 25 more years. While reflecting on the years, I came up with many lessons that I have personally learned. While this list could be longer, I dedicated one lesson for each year of our happy marriage.

Lessons I learned from 26 years of marriage:

  1. I learned that speaking my raw opinion, without considering hubby’s feelings was inconsiderate and to think before I speak.
  2. I learned that no matter how “I preferred” he do things, hubby is entitled and will do things the way he chooses to.
  3. I learned that I can only change and improve myself and that’s what I ought to work on.
  4. I learned that when you marry your spouse, you also marry your in-laws.
  5. I learned that just because you create babies together, doesn’t mean you will share beliefs on how to raise them. Your ideas on child rearing will differ. Compromise.
  6. I learned that your spouse will do things behind your back and you will do things behind his back.
  7. I learned that, if you allow it, children can take the sex right out a marriage.
  8. I learned that one of the two will always appreciate romance more than the other.
  9. I learned that saying, “I told you so” is unnecessary.
  10. I learned that somebody ought to know how to cook a decent meal.
  11. I learned that you will like some of your spouses friends and you will despise some of your spouses friends. You opinion won’t change his relationship with his friends.
  12. I learned that married family and friends will divorce. Try to stay neutral. Your harsh words may return and bite you in the butt.
  13. I learned not to compare my marriage to another marriage. You don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and you cannot predict the future (of yours).
  14. I learned that solid marriages are built on friendships. Maintain a friendship with your spouse.
  15. I learned to establish and maintain my identity and independence.
  16. I learned to become educated, even if you wish to be a stay-at-home.
  17. I learned to expect the unexpected.
  18. I learned to plan for the future, but live everyday in the present.
  19. I learned why older couples like my parents slept in separate beds. Thankfully, we haven’t gotten to that point.
  20. I learned that the affirmation, “A women’s work is never done” is true.
  21. I learned that husbands and wives should have separate clothing closets and bathroom sinks.
  22. I learned that spirituality is important to a marriage.
  23. I learned that spouses who work hard as a team can accomplish amazing feats and can overcome incredible obstacles.
  24. I learned that spouses who hang out together are genuinely happier couples.
  25. I learned that your spouse is not a mind reader. Don’t assume that your spouse knows what you want. Tell your spouse what you want.
  26. Although another year has passed since writing this list, I learned that if you have an open mind and an open heart, there are still things to learn from your spouse.
  27. Hubby and I have shared 26 solid good years. Were the years always perfect? No, but we’ve always managed to work through our differences in the most respectful ways and treat the other the way we wish to be treated. I am thankful for the 26 shares we’ve shared and pray for 26 more.

Have a fabulous day!!

20130603-225103.jpg

June 4, 1988

 

We were babies exchanging wedding bands.

We were babies exchanging wedding bands.

Spontaneous trip to Cancun--celebrating an anniversary

Spontaneous trip to Cancun–celebrating an anniversary

Hubby forgot to tell me about a scheduled family photo appointment! This was after spending the day at a family picnic.    Lol!

Hubby forgot to tell me about a scheduled family photo appointment! This was after spending the day at an outdoor park. Lol!  Look at those heads!

 

20130604-213738.jpg

NYE Late 90’s. I was permed back then… wish I knew better.

Advertisements

Under Construction

Four weeks from the upcoming Saturday, I will be strutting my stuff on stage and flexing my deltoids, trapezes, triceps, rhomboids, biceps, and more.  And so the real countdown has begun.

musclemap

It is hard to fathom, that only six months ago I decided to compete. For nearly six months, my focus has been eating clean, getting adequate rest, sculpting and constructing my physic through creative and consistent weight training, and an unwavering dedication to training.

Going into the stretch, besides my “regular” workout regime, 30 minutes of cardio, is a part of the mix.

No two-body types are the same, which makes it a tricky, scientific, and methodical process. Who knew? I certainly didn’t! What works for one body may not work for another body. Thankfully my friend is guiding me through this process. Honestly I’d be lost without her. Thank you AR!

Slowly my caloric intake has reduced, but nothing crazy. Amazingly, the combo of 30 minutes of cardio and slightly cutting calories is resulting in slow weight loss.

Monday is weigh-in day. Here are the earlier numbers:

March 31st – 147 lb..

April 7th – 145.2 lb..

√ April 14th – 142.9 lb..

I am astonished by the quick decline! Why? Because I haven’t done anything extreme, like run 10 miles or eat less than 2000 calories on any given day. The other surprise in all of this is the redistribution of weight. Typically 147 is a big number for me, yet my clothes are fitting me differently.

Last night I was able to pull my size 8, normally fitted jeans, off without unzipping or unbuttoning them! Hubby and I laughed hysterically about that. Pretty much all of my clothes, including my undies are falling off of me.

At the end of most days, the frequency and intensity of training, working, and trying to take care of the house, leaves me feeling exhausted. As soon as my head hits the pillow, I’m out… like a light…into a deep sleep. Some nights though when I attempt to roll over, especially the days that I worked shoulders and arms, the soreness of my muscles wake me. Oh Boy!  Ouch! But I manage to fall back into my deep sleep.

To get a little R & R and “mommy-daddy time,” a few days ago, hubby and I took a break from both our schedules.

We didn’t travel far from home, but it felt like we hopped on a plane and flew south. Overnight temps on Tuesday in South Jersey plummeted some 30 degrees to a low of 34!

We rose to frost and a dusting of snow! But once I nestled into the 85 degree tropical like home for the day, the reminder of winter was a distant memory.

Relaxing and cooling it with hubby in a warm, sunny, and tropical like retreat.  Nice!

Relaxing and cooling it with hubby in a warm, sunny, and tropical like retreat. Nice! I know, my hair looked a hot mess, but my hair wasn’t the priority.

 

getaway2

 

Did I have a meal cheat? That’s a negative!!   Absolutely not! I ate clean and I ate well. I was permitted a little fire water, so I opted for (one drink) a little Vodka with a splash of cranberry juice.

I let the bartender get carried away with the Grey Goose, but when he poured the juice (which is loaded with sugar), I hovered over him like I had a weapon. I’m sure he thought, woman, why bother! After my first sip, I thought the same. Ha! Ha!

The following day I went to CrossFit. Fran! Fran! Fran! She kicked my butt!

The WOD:  Fran x’s Duet

21-15-9

Thrusters (95/65) (75/45)

Pull-ups

Rest 2 min
 & repeat

My trainer reminds me not to over do it when I go to crossFit.

No injuries!

With that in mind, I completed the thrusters with 55 pounds; believe me, that was enough.

For the sake of time, when I did the pull ups, I rotated bands between the thin blue and green bands. Yes, I was challenged but enjoyed every minute of it. My completed WOD time: 18:09

After yesterdays back workout, my trainer reminded again to continue to switch things up. Instead of using the CYBEX Arc Trainer, which I used yesterday, I did something different that was an extremely intense cardio workout, that consisted of 20 minutes of 5 rounds of:

2 minutes – Jacob ladder (JL)

2 minutes – Running at a 6 on the treadmill

I didn’t really rest in between, I just focused on my music, tried not to think about the fire in my hamstrings and quads, and keeping JL between 85-95! Whew!! Twas a lot but fun!! Lol!!

Today was leg day.  Within the first 20 minutes, I did at least six different sets on the Smith Machine.  Mr. Smith as I like to call it, gave me an intense workout.  Lots of squats were incorporated in today’s workout, as well as, (at the end of the workout) some cool plyometric exercises–they used every ounce of my remaining energy.

I realize that today is Easter Sunday; however, we’ve opted for a quiet day.  For most of the week, hubby has been working on replacing the balusters on the steps, pulling up carpet, and adding hard wood flooring on the steps and hallway. I’m so lucky, hubby is great with his hands. His skills are all self taught and he is outstanding at what he does. Nope!  In case you’re wondering, he’s retired from his second gig as carpenter.  Lol!

 

Today, after my workout of course, we decided to chill and watch The Bible on the History Channel.  My feet are propped up and that’s exactly where the need to be.  Rest is crucial to muscle recovery.  Tomorrow we revisit shoulders; my body is still under construction.

Happy Easter and Happy Sunday!