I’m an incredibly slow learner – as if you haven’t caught on to that if you’ve spent more than five seconds here at Mommy on Fire.

The marriage thing…that’s another department in which I’m a little glacial in my movement.

It’s been a tough year for us. I haven’t talked about it because I won’t discuss my marriage here out of respect for my hubs.

But God has been stirring in me to do so and Jason gave me his blessing so here it is:  I don’t want to ever walk through this past year of marriage again. 

God has yanked both of us by the hair since last spring and forced us to kill the parasites that were eating away our relationship and robbing us both of the level of intimacy we both so strongly desire. Stuff we didn’t even know was there.  Stuff that wasn’t healthy and downright treacherous to walk through and there we were, willing pawns in the game.

Our marriage has lived ten years since this past April – He’s stirring something up and I don’t know where it will go but I know this:  I’ve learned a ridiculous amount about what men and women need and why.

Here’s a start – Ten Things I’ve Learned (The Hard Way) Since Becoming A Wife:

1.  He wants to be wanted.  He wants you to stop what you’re doing when he walks in the door and embrace him.  He wants you to take an interest in him even if there are screaming babies and green beans being flung through the air.  He needs to see that after God, he’s the next priority.  And for the record, yes, I do realize how difficult this is on most some days.

2. How would you feel if he didn’t talk to you for an entire week?  That’s how he feels if you don’t have sex for an entire week.  It’s critical and again, yes, I do realize that there are days when you just can’t fathom having anyone else paw at you. Sex isn’t just them being perverted – it’s them being who God created them to be.  God made them to be visual creatures and I don’t know about you but I WANT my husband to want ME and not someone else.

3. Some of the quirks that once got my panties in a wad just aren’t worth it.  I have them, too.  Apparently, JJ has come to the same conclusion because I don’t hear him heckle me much anymore about leaving the cordless phone on top of the outside trashcans.  When he rinses the dishes after dinner and stacks them on the counter instead of putting them in the dishwasher (which is right under the counter), I just stack ’em in and shut my mouth.  It only takes two minutes (if that) and it’s not worth the strain in our relationship. The little things add up and create resentment and resentment KILLS marriages, friends.

4.  He has interests that I just am not going to get.  I listen to him and, quite honestly, have learned a lot about stuff I never would have thought I would know about but yeah…I’m not really into dog-sledding and hunting.  Or Madden football on the Wii.  But I like when he plays it and I’m nearby doing my thing. It’s called “quiet compatibility” and it works.

5.  Men are not as clueless as the media portrays them to be in a familial unit.  I know several men who are sensitive and yet masculine at the same time – I’m married to one. The media often treats them like complete imbeciles who can’t figure out how to keep their kids alive or feed the dog without a woman around.

6.  Try to live by the “2 x 2 x 2” rule – go out for a date night at least every two weeks.  Go away for an overnight every two months. Go on a vacation every two years (without the kids).  There are seasons – if you can’t do overnights and vacations, date-nights are a must.

7.  Entering into a disagreement with “You always______” or “You should _____” is a recipe for disaster.   He’s now playing defense and nothing fruitful is going to bloom.

8. If he really wants to do something, support him in doing it. Of course, there are exceptions to this.  If he really wants to drink himself into a stupor every night, then by all means, don’t support this.  But if he wants to go dog-sledding (true story) in South Dakota in February, let him do it. Most likely, you’ll get the same in return.

9. He WANTS you to go to him when you are needing him.  He doesn’t want you to fester on something and “go it alone” – marriage is a partnership.  Miss out on this and we miss one of the best parts of being married.

10. Find stuff to laugh about.  Even in our deserts, that man can make me laugh. There’s something intimate about two people who can laugh together because even though they might be in a valley, they’re still connected enough to experience a bit of joy now and then.

It’s often over-used so much at weddings that we don’t even think about its meaning but 1 Corinthians 13 is chock-full of goodness when it comes to love – romantic love, platonic love, familial love, and even love for your fellow man.

Would you join me in reading it each morning?  When we really think about these words, there is much power.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

– 1 Corinthians 13: 13

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