Happily Hitched For 27 Years!

Twenty-seven years ago, the statistics were stacked against our marital endeavors.  In fact, according to a 1988 report, the year we married,

43% of marriages [will] end in divorce.

Well guess what baby? We. Are. Still. Married.   Barring any dumb ass mid-life crises on either of our parts and God’s will and grace, we are on track to celebrate the BIG 30! I guess we blew the statisticians’ numbers out the window. :0) Heeeeey!

I feel like someone held down the fast forward button in our life as the years have passed seemingly quickly.

Although both of our parents had “successful” marriages that lived up to the vow of “..till death do us part; however, my parents’ marriage was far from what any marriage counselor would identify as functional.  I have no doubts they loved each other dearly, but damn it, they had a funky way of showing it. Oh, the memories! Lol!

After five years of good friendship, we married. In total we’ve been buddies for 32 years and still do mostly everything together.

At 23 years old, I tenderly recited traditional wedding vows, excluding the “obey” part, but I had no idea of what it meant.

Tanya, will you have this man to be your lawful wedded husband, to live together after God s ordinance in the Holy Estate of Matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others keep you only unto him as long as you both shall live?
I Tanya take thee, James to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish forever, according to God s Holy Ordinance, and thereto I give thee my pledge.

Two kids later, the death of parents, several careers for me, selling and buying homes, few lows and many highs, I understand the full scope of our vows.

If you’re lucky, with age comes wisdom and I’ve learned many lessons. The last two anniversaries, I shared 25 & 26 lessons I learned from marriage. They’re well worth the read, check them out below:

Celebrating 26 Years of Marital Lessons


25 Years Going Strong

Like any relationship, marriage has its ups and downs. Thank God we’ve shared more ups than downs.

Does he get on my damn nerves sometimes? Yup! Do I get oh his nerves sometimes? Heck yeah!

When you get down to the nitty-gritty, it is the basic principles that make a marriage work.

We fight (though rarely) clean… NEVER do we engage in name calling… always in private… never in front of anyone, including our children.  Respect is at the top of the list… we give it so we can receive it.

Would I marry Big Daddy again?  Absolutely!!! Lol! :0)  Here are 27 reasons why I’d marry hubby again:

  1. He loves me for who I am
  2. He is kind
  3. He gets along well with my mom (better than me)
  4. He doesn’t anger easily
  5. His sense of humor
  6. He dances with me, even when he doesn’t feel like it :0)
  7. He dances with me but HATES dancing
  8. He smiles a lot (like me)
  9. He is a great father
  10. He spoils our kids
  11. He spoils me
  12. He LOVES his career
  13. Makes a good bed
  14. He cleans a house well
  15. He supported me through school
  16. He encourages me
  17. He respects me
  18. He respects women
  19. He is ALWAYS there for me
  20. I can ALWAYS count on him
  21. He is consistent
  22. He treated his mother VERY well
  23. He was a good son (to both parents)
  24. He provides WELL for his family
  25. He is selfless
  26. He embraced my crazy (handful) of friends
  27. He is forgiving

Happy 27th Anniversary Sweets!! 

IMG_8358

Advertisements

Not Ashamed To Admit This

Happy Friday!

I woke up at 6:30 a.m. yesterday with firm plans to do legs in the morning. Hubby had different plans. He wanted to take me to breakfast.  Dilemma!

This is a perfect example of the silly balancing act that many moms deal with.  My heart spits the decision 50/50.  My brain says, “Girrrrl, take your butt to the gym and get your workout on!”

With 26 years of marriage under my belt, I know good and well the importance of spending quality time with my man. The idea sounds noble and simple, but it takes real effort to make it happen.

We are just busy behind folks!  Mom lives with us, our son plays several sports, we both work, I’m always racing off to the gym, or blogging…  add sleep and meals to the mix and, well… damn!  Lol!

I dressed for the gym, wore flip-flops but tossed my sneaks in the back seat and took hubby up on his offer to breakfast. We dropped B’Dazzle off to camp and drove to Kelsey and Kim’s on Melrose Avenue in AC.

My breakfast was the bomb!! I ordered a four egg (2 whites) vegetable omelet with jalapeño peppers. Salmon cakes were not available, so I surprised the waiter and chef with a request for six jumbo shrimp sautéed with fresh spinach and crushed red peppers. Lol! If you think it sounds mouth-watering, you should have tasted it.

shrimp

Outstanding!  By the way, this dish and time spent with hubby yesterday made me incredibly happy! #100HappyDays Day #3

The chef came out to ask me if the meal was hot enough. I think he wanted to see who the chick was eating all this food at 9 O’clock in the morning.

After breakfast, I suggested we walk on the boards. I did not realize though, that Hurricane Sandy destroyed the section of the boardwalk I intended to walk.

We ended up walking along the Caspian Avenue Beach, which was wonderful!  Shame on me for living in the area all of my life and not knowing the Caspian Avenue beach existed. Seriously, I’m embarrassed.

We have a backyard pool, so I usually spend my time there. And the other thing is, when I do a beach day, I want to chill without running into too many students (I work at the high school) or other folks I know in the city.

I might sound snobby, but we’ve lived in the area all of our life. Rarely can we go anywhere, and I mean, anywhere without running into somebody. Ugh!  Look, we’re very social people, but sometimes, I need to blend into the background and be unknown.

Only a week remains before the school year begins, but I hope to spend a least one day out there before the season ends.

Caspian1

That’s the City of Brigantine that you see across the water.

caspian2

To the right of the rocks are the remains of pilings leftover from Hurricane Sandy. Only this section of the boardwalk was destroyed.

caspian3I just had to take a picture of the broken and dangling wooden piling. Tho it’s broken, it still kind of cool looking. The setting is pretty (to me).

After strolling on this beach, we drove further into the city and walked the boardwalk. I didn’t calculate, but we had to walk a good two miles.

Did I make it to the gym?  No. But later in the day, I did do walking lunges to meet our son and his tutor on the campus of a local college.  That counts right?  Lol!

This morning, I’m headed to the gym.

Have a fabulous and happy day! 🙂


What Really Matters In Relationships

Marital Lesson #2

I learned that no matter how “I preferred” he do things, hubby is entitled and will do things the way he chooses to.

Being brutally honest with yourself about your good, your bad, and your ugly personality traits will promote inner growth and will help to foster healthier relationships. Umpteen years ago, I was unaware that I was cursed with the classic “Type A” personality.

Rigidly organized, highly status-conscious, impatient, proactive, wanting other people to get to the point and obsessed with time management.  A classic  high achieving workaholic, multi-tasking nut who hated delays and ambivalence

I always knew (felt)  that there was a “correct” and “more “efficient” way to do everything.  Sheets and towels “should” be folded neatly and stacked orderly in the linen closet. If they are folded the “right” way, more can fit in the closet.  Besides they look pretty like they door in the store when they’re folded my way “correctly.”

This way of thinking carried into everything I did and I mean everything.  Crazy right!!  Poor hubby.  Since his momma didn’t show him the proper what to do everything, it was my responsibility to school him on life101

Fortunately, I don’t recall ever telling him that his momma taught him wrong and mine taught me right.  I may have thought it, but don’t think I said it.  Nut case right!!  I know. Lol!

Starting out I just went about correcting and showing him how to do everything.  Eventually that mess got old and the calm, reserved loving man of mine, would occasionally go off.   Lol!  Back then, the immature little fire cracker that I was, defended my ground and was ready to go a few rounds in the ring at the drop of a hat. OMG!  I was stupid!  For real.

Most often though, hubby would just look at me with a blank expression.  What I didn’t know then was he thoughts…

Girlfriend, I don’t wanna hear that ish!  Blah..blah… Shut up!  I’m gonna do what I wanna do, when I choose to do it, and how I wanna do it.  I don’t care what you say!

After my “instructions” or ranting, he’d go about doing whatever, the way he decided was best.  At 21, that would trip me out and mess with my head.  My blood pressure should have been high back then.

Oh and let’s not talk about time management.  That also would put me in a tizzy.  He was and still is all laid bad and chill about getting anywhere, except for a fire.  Weddings, funerals, parties, and just about anyplace we arrived late.  All the way to the function my bone head would be swaying with attitude.  Why?  Because we were late and the world was going to stop evolving.  Ha!!

With all the uptightness, for sure I was headed to an early grave.

I observed others outside our marriage handle things differently.  When I complained to my girlfriends, they told me that they didn’t “trip” over the small stuff because it wasn’t worth it and, a man is gonna do what he wants to do… period.

I wasn’t his momma and had no right telling him what, when, and how to do anything. A few “Ah-Ha” moments snapped me to reality and eventually I leaned to cope.

While many of the Type A personality characteristics are very much embedded in me, I’ve learned better coping skills and my perspective on life has greatly changed.

I don’t think we can change personality, but I am convinced that being aware of attitude can lead to behavior modification.

I saw the need to change.  Once that occurred, I began this slow process of responding differently.  It hasn’t been easy.  Occasionally, the impulse to “correct” hits me but my response is very different.

I ask myself,

Does it really matter how he washes the dishes, folds, the towels, or hangs his clothes in his closet?

The answer is heck no!!  That’s dumb crap!  He’s a grown ass man.  Ladies! Weren’t born to control men; that’s ridiculous.  Some of it is learned behavior but, if willing, can be unlearned.

Often couples argue over pointless stuff.

What really matters is that the love, mutual respect, and commitment is present in every day, hour, and minute of the marriage.

Have a fabulous day!

 

 

 

 


Think Before You Speak

7iaK6jb5T

Last week we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary. Considering how young we were when we married, it is an amazing milestone. A follower of this blog suggested I expand on the lessons learned.  So in addition to my regular posts, I will further elaborate on each lesson.

The goal is not to exploit our personal experiences but instead to prevent others from making the same mistakes. Dr. Maya Angelo said it best, “When you get, give. When you learn, teach.”

“I learned that speaking my raw opinion, without considering hubby’s feelings was inconsiderate and to think before I speak.”

As a child I carefully observed the adults around me give tongue lashings (deserving or not) to one another. Only the children were expected to bite their tongue.

Occasionally I tried to express my opinion but mom wasn’t having any of that nonsense. A quick backhand to the lips stifled further opinions from exiting my mouth. Adulthood and freedom of speech wouldn’t come soon enough.

At 17, hubby and I hooked up. From the outside looking in, I appeared to be a thin, innocent and harmless girl, but cross me in smallest way and I exploded like a match to gasoline. Boom! 🔥

We rarely argued, but I remember our first one well. I just didn’t know when to shut up. He was upset with me for offering the use of his new engine red Toyota 4 x 4 pick up.

Instead of letting the conversation end as he did, I continued to push the envelope and pointlessly rant and rave about how I felt. The world revolved around me (so I thought) and that’s all that mattered.

My rant and rave led to a physical altercation. No, he’s too much of a man to hit me. He slightly pushed me and I ridiculously went off. Swinging and punching, calling him and his family outrageous names and threatening bodily harm. Absolutely out of control and for no valid reason.

His feelings were hurt and I was too self-absorbed to recognize that I hurt his feelings. Today we laugh about the incident and several others where my mouth escalated situations unnecessarily.

Words can cut deeper than a knife. In some cases, they leave permanent scars. Apologizing doesn’t always take the pain away.

My displaced anger and a lack of self-control was damaging.

When you have something to say to your significant other, especially when you’re angry, stop. Breath. I mean really take a deep breath and slowly let it out of your mouth.

Then ask yourself, if you really mean what you are about to say and how you would feel if your partner mouthed your words to you. You probably wouldn’t like it, so don’t go there. Sometimes it is best to say absolutely nothing that than to mouth words you’ll later regret.

Sweet dreams!


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.


25 Years Going Strong!

Twenty-five 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 25 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.

Hubby and I have shared 25 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 25 shares we’ve shared and pray for 25 more.

20130603-225103.jpg

June 4, 1988

20130603-225208.jpg

Exchanging wedding bands

20130604-212644.jpg

Spontaneous trip for our anniversary to Cancun, Mexico (2002 or 2003)

20130604-212550.jpg

Hubby forgot to tell me that we had an appointment for a family portrait immediately after leaving spending the day at an outdoor park. OMG! Look at those heads! LOL!

20130604-213738.jpg

NYE late 1990’s (I wasn’t natural then… I wish I were)

20130604-213800.jpg

NYE, Washington, DC – Late 1990’s – The Beehive look.