I’ll have to give credit to the Dan over at Single Dad Laughing on Facebook. . I found the link, through a share from my ex-husband’s new wife’s page, humorously enough.
Dan Pearce posts some humor throughout the day, as well as some inspiring blog posts here. . When I read his sentiment to the guys, it melted my seemingly black heart. Okay, fine, those who know me, know I do not have a black heart. Either way, I found it touching and true to every single word. I thought about his 16 ways from the man’s point of view and I thought all evening about my point of view. I thought about how, had each one of his things he listed been done, I probably wouldn’t have turned as cold as I did over the course of the two failed marriages of my own. But that wasn’t all. I then thought about the things I could have done to prevent what had happened, and the lessons I will take in to my next relationship. Well, after I’m done explaining to a new prospect that I have four children, two different “baby daddy’s”, and not a penny to my name. A real catch, yes, I am aware. *insert smiley face with as much sarcasm as I can fit into a smiley face”, some of you will get the “smiley face” reference. Luckily, some of you won’t.
Explaining two failed marriages is a pain in the ass, to say the least. I hate it. And then the next question, “Do you have children?”. Yes, four. The absolute loves of my life, no matter how imperfect we (the hypothetical “we”, non-existent “me and their fathers”) seem to be on the outside, we all love those children. We as adults, have learned many lessons over the years.
I’ll probably stay single forever. Okay, probably NOT forever, I can be a drama queen. Leo, rising in Aquarius, leave me alone. Yes, I’m a dramatic hippy by the stars. And that statement leads me into the “16 Ways I Blew MY Marriage” (ALL copyrights to that title belong to Dan Pearce.), although I suppose that should be plural. I thought it would be interesting to see it from the woman’s point of view.
Yes, guys, this is one of us admitting, we are far from perfect. And sometimes, we will admit it. Divorce is rarely one person’s fault. I’m not talking about the extremes here, before I start getting drug use, domestic violence or hate mail. I’m talking about two people who allow ugliness and ignorance invade their love and then, just let it die.
Maybe through all of what has happened, the humbling experience of a failed marriage, teaches lessons. Eventually we do end up loving someone and learning from the mistakes we made along the way. We move in to a beautiful relationship that is aware of all of the mistakes from our past, and we apply the lessons. And we clean up the collateral damage along the way. Either way, there are those who are watching us. They look to our choices and our mistakes and they don’t want to make the same. Believe me, I want no one to follow in my footsteps. But learning from my mistakes, well, that is free game.
And that is how I came to today’s blog post. I won’t copy and paste any of Dan’s work, because I don’t want you to be lazy. Go check him out. Read his work. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter, and connect. www.danoah.com
I won’t put my “do-overs” list. Dan just sparked a entire string of thoughts last night, and I just had a conversation similar to this with three (all separate) very, very good friends in the last week. There again, synchronicity rears it’s beautiful and humbling head. Yin and yang. Feminine and masculine. It’s the balance of the universe that when you start to recognize the effort of another and put in matched effort, it grows into something amazing and life-altering. That is what we all seem to be missing out of laziness. There is a misleading assumption that the other person will start to expect more and get lazy, when in fact, it will most likely have the opposite affect. Kindness for kindness. Love for love. Match for match.
Thank you Dan, for allowing me to dive a little deeper, and recognize my own faults out loud.
https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/xG3qAjR9pcM&source=udsSharing from Youtube. Enjoy meeting another fellow writer and parent who attempt to “get it”.
#alwayslearning #alwaysliving #live #love #always
Live, love. Always.
1. DON’T BE HIS MOTHER
He already has one. Okay maybe he doesn’t, but still. The moment you cross that relationship territory, it’s doomed. It’s almost like you can’t recover. We as woman feel the need to have things done, and when we start treating our husbands like children, well then, guess what? You gain yet another child. Who wants to have sex with someone who behaves like their mother?
They really are capable of folding laundry, cutting the grass, and preparing meals with their own tendencies. And guess what ladies, if he isn’t capable of doing that from the beginning, duh-duh na-na…cut him loose. Otherwise just go ahead and prepare the separation papers now. Do not behave like his mother. You aren’t his mother. You never will be his mother.
2. DO LITTLE THINGS (Goes along with number #1)
When we first start dating, we see their stress. We feel it because we are connected and we care. Somewhere along the way, when you move to attempting to be his mother, you stop rubbing his shoulders after a long day. You don’t pick up their favorite snacks, or you stop cooking their favorite meals. When you run to the store, nothing catches your eye in the attempt to make his day a little nicer.
It shouldn’t stop. When you lose that amount of compassion for your partner as an equal, you start to lose any and all emotions that make you want to ease their day in the least bit.
3. HE ISN’T GOING TO KILL THE CHILDREN
This is something I struggled with early on. It started with my first two sons, and then it was out of control the next few years.
Ladies, they aren’t going to starve, dehydrate, or kill the kids. Really. I swear it. Just because the diaper is crooked, or they put them to bed with chocolate all over their faces, doesn’t mean they are incapable of parenting, or the kids are going to be scarred the rest of their lives. Here is the nasty little secret that we as women like to keep and then complain about. When you bring that cuddly, snugly baby home from the hospital…regardless of whether you are co-sleeping, breastfeeding, cloth-freakin’-diapering…it doesn’t matter. You are going to be exhausted. But here is the bad secret we keep, while we complain that they don’t get up in the middle of the night, and moan about how tired we are, how many of us have gotten up and “followed” him around in the middle of the night to ensure the baby didn’t starve? Or that he cleaned up properly? Some of you reading this have toddlers? Older kids, no? See, they ALL survived. Dad didn’t kill them with those extra Oreo’s he snuck in to their bedroom over the years. Or when he had to take them to the doctor because you couldn’t make it…guess what? They lived.
4. LOSE THE CONTROL FREAK ATTITUDE
I’m not sure where this came from over the years. Have we as women always been so controlling? We judge others on how they fold laundry, whether or not their kid eats whole grains, all the way down to whether or not that last cup was loaded in to the dishwasher properly.
LET IT GO. This was another major struggle for me, especially throughout my twenties. My poor first husband couldn’t do a damn thing right. I guess I had forgotten that he was a capable, young adult and if he loaded the dishwasher improperly, guess what? The dishes would still get cleaned.
Then I let it carry over in my second failed marriage.
We control so much, and then we complain because we are exhausted. Well no damn wonder. We are tired because if someone in our household doesn’t fold the towels properly, we will hunt them down, corner then, and make them re-fold it until their fingers bleed. Why? Why do some of us do this?
A little word I learned over the years that surely calmed things with my boys, was “compromise”. I know, I know, it IS a scary word.
5. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
If you need a shower, then take a damn shower. Don’t stand in the kitchen in three days worth of stink, while scrubbing the counters down for the 27489572094753942 time that day, complaining you can’t take a shower. We let ourselves go because we choose to. It isn’t HIS fault you look like shit. It isn’t the CHILD’S fault you look and feel like shit. Again, see how these tie in, because if you allow him to have the said small human(s) I can’t imagine he will argue with a cleaned, non-smelly, put them up in a bra you.
Now, I’m not saying that looks are everything, but seriously, think of how much better your kiss will taste with brushed teeth. We all get tired, and sure, you wake up next to him. But lose the lazy attitude. Make some attempt to take care of yourself. Imagine how much better you would feel after a half hour hot bath? And poof! When you get out, no one has starved to death, no one has fallen out of a second story window, he really did keep the kids alive.
6. LET HIM BE A MAN
For the love of all things holy, please. Let him be a man. Let him go have a beer. Let him golf. Let him sit in the garage every once in a while engulfed in “man stuff”. Do you want him sitting between you and your best girlfriends when you are getting a mani/pedi? We as women tend to think we are entitled to free time. We start getting insecure (maybe because we haven’t showered in a week…hmmmm) and then start cracking down the whip. It didn’t matter when we met that he spent 4 hours trying to get slip covers to fit his jeep. Why does it matter now?
Did you catch him sneaking a peek at the cute blond with DD boobies? Maybe. But weren’t you just looking at the mechanic with the boyish grin, and the tattooed muscles under that blue collar work shirt? Um, yes. Sorry, it’s human nature. We all do it, we all look. The difference in some of us, is that it is in playful human nature.
He isn’t going to leave you while at the golf course. He isn’t going to take some girl home from having beers with his buddies.
Chances are, he is thinking about you and reminded of why he is with you, he will send you a text, or he will even leave early. Because the fact remains, that when he walks through that door, it’s your arms he wants to crawl in to every single night.
However you have to do it. Stop assuming he “knows” you after so many years. I mean, my goodness, could you imagine if stayed the exact same over the course of a long lasting relationship. Things change. Thoughts. Tastes. Favorite foods and smells. The way we dress, the way we process, the way we feel. Views, feelings, choices. Everything is in constant revolution. How awful would arrested development truly feel? Could you imagine the boredom?
Talk to him. Write it out for him. Text or email it to him. Leave him a card if you have to.
If the communication is down, do whatever you have to, to bring it back out on to the table.
This ties in to the communication. Never make him “assume” anything. Be open and honest. Clear and precise. If you all of a sudden are tired of roses, and prefer sunflowers, tell him. If you’ve discovered a new favorite perfume, tell him. If you want to try something out in the bedroom, tell him. And the same goes along with the negatives. If something is bothering you, instead of “assuming” he should already know, tell him. There isn’t anything worse than having a fight that is one-sided and the other party hasn’t a clue what started it.
When you think of any arguments or fights, how many were due to “assumption”?
9. LET YOURSELF BE A WOMAN
Maybe I should have followed this after number 6, but I’m a woman, and I am all over the place.
Be a girl. Smell good. Don’t try and take up hunting if you can’t imagine the thought of gutting a deer. Don’t pretend to play video games if you loathe them. Paint your nails, put on lip gloss, wear a bra. I’m not saying if you are a tomboy to change that. But there are certain things that makes girls, girls.
We chatter to much, and we talk about emotions, we laugh too much at things we probably shouldn’t. We cry at stupid movies and books.
Somewhere along the way, some of us shut down. We start to think that isn’t what he was drawn to in the first place. That in order to feel what we felt when we fell in love, we need to be stern and let go of that feminine quality that he fell in love with.
10. NEVER LET YOUR CHILDREN DEFINE ALL OF WHO YOU ARE
I’ll take a LOT of shit for this one, I know it.
But so many times as a mother we allow our children to be our only definition. They define every single moment in a household. When that happens, eventually you can’t even have a conversation with your spouse because the children “know” that if they badger mama enough, she will ignore daddy and they will get your full attention.
NOW, with that being said, I don’t mean the important child-rearing moments or NOT spending quality time with your children. I’m talking about the little nuances that children pick up on that allows them to wiggle their way right in between a mother and a father.
Children are smart little things. They KNOW when to push. And they want what they want, now. Teaching them that your spouse IS absolutely first, teaches them to have healthy relationships in their future. It allows them to understand that love is love, parenting is parenting.
I’m not talking about the children’s care, or the time you spend with the children. I’m talking about recognizing that, if junior needs to wait 15 minutes for his sliced apple while mama talks to dad about his day, he isn’t going to wither up and die without that sliced apple. And the same goes with interrupting a conversations between mother and father. So many times we allow them to just barge in and take over an entire conversation and by then both adults are simply exhausted and spent. Then resentment kicks and and sure enough, either parent could care what the other has to say.
You knew it was coming. Taboo? No. Human nature.
We crave it. We need it. We enjoy it.
It creates closeness. It creates adventure. It IS a part of a relationship.
Why do we stop?
We stop doing the little things that turn each other on. We get lazy. We forget how to romanticize the sex. We forget the raw emotions attached to being absolutely that close to another human being who in the beginning, we thought held our hearts.
Boredom? Not sure.
We use sex as a way to “get our way”. We use sex as a last resort. We use sex as something to hold over their heads. We use sex in every other way, other than what it is intended to do. Which is build intimacy.
And guess what? More sex, leads to more sex. Simple as that.
Men have feelings.
They have brains. They have hearts. They have emotions.
You might be the one and only person that gets all of him. How lucky did you think you were in the beginning? Remember that.
We start allowing the name-calling and the bitching to take over when we are with our girlfriends. We take a conversation from a group of unhappy, complaining women and it moves internal. Instead of seeing the things he did right, we only see what is wrong.
Tread lightly with his heart, and he will do the same. When a man gives you his heart in the beginning it is because he doesn’t want it broken. It was because you showed him it was okay to do so. How do we forget that?
SAY THANK YOU.
This has been repeated in every single relationship book I have ever picked up.
I know it goes both ways. BUT when you start doing it, you start receiving it.
TELL HIM THANK YOU.
That statement is enough.
14. MAINTAIN INDEPENDENCE
While we look for shared interests in the beginning. The independent ones are also important. We need something that is our “own”. We don’t have to be attached at the hip 24/7. It is okay for us to take a 2 day trip with our friends and everything will be okay. The earth won’t shift. They won’t find a “new wife”.
Allow them to expand their minds and their interests and the relationship will stay alive. It will grow and turn into something entirely different when you don’t weave them in to every single decision and aspect in your life.
I’m not talking Beyonce “Independent”, I’m talking…isn’t he capable of still going fishing once a week with just his buddies? Aren’t you capable of heading to the spa for a weekend with just the girls?
Do you really think he wants to know all about the “book club” or your next sewing project if you didn’t share that info before? (And of course he didn’t show interest then) Aren’t you capable of heading to the grocery store without him on your hip? Space is a good thing. Time for yourself only helps you. It is needed for reflection. It is human nature. I think this one ties back in with that need to control that sets in with some of us.
You know what I am talking about ladies.
We nag, we bitch, we complain. Everyone has a bad day. We are all hormonal shrews every once in a while. But then we morph in to something else. I don’t know if it is because of the stress, or the fact we stop caring, but we do it.
So what if the dishes sit there for one night while the two of you have a beer on the porch?
Did you ever stop to think that the dishes aren’t going to go anywhere…maybe he wants YOU to sit on the porch WITH him and unwind?
Stop putting this on his shoulders. Men like it. They lie. They LOVE it when you do something like, whisper something sweet in their ear in the grocery store. Or when YOU bring home their favorite cologne, or pick them up that lure they were eyeballing the last time you were in the store.
They like to be held, and kissed on the neck. They like to be touched. They like the little things just as much as we do.
Cards, their favorite candy…stopping by their work with their favorite drink, they love that stuff. It’s not always the man’s responsibility to be the romantic one.
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