Mike and Carol Brady had it right

We know, we know.  It’s just television and it wasn’t real.  BUT!  Mike and Carol Brady modeled some great behavior for us married folk!  And who doesn’t love the clothes, house and decor from the 70s? (NOTE: Michael Dennehy is a 1970s freak)

As you may know, we are both remarried and blending a family together.  Thinking way back to 1969 when The Brady Bunch first aired is a pretty remarkable storyline.  A couple remarrying, each having three kids and blending a family was not something that was very common.

Now, of course, we know firsthand that blending a family is not nearly as easy as it is on The Brady Bunch.  No one is screaming – “you’re not my real Dad!”, or “my real Mom would do it that way!”  However, it is pretty much understood that both of the Brady’s first spouses passed away which made it easier to blend 6 kids together when they only have Mr. and Mrs. Brady and the kids live together full-time.  But, still hard to believe it can ever be that easy!

Let’s get to what is realistic in the show and is a great modeling for marriages and families. Continue reading “Mike and Carol Brady had it right”

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1-2-3…STOP!

The Crazy Cycle.  It can start at any moment without a single warning.

What is the crazy cycle?  We have been watching a video series called Love & Respect and according to Emerson Eggerichs, the crazy cycle is the time when we react negatively to each other.  When she feels unloved, she reacts without respect.  When he feels disrespected, he reacts without love.

This crazy cycle will continue until you both stomp your feet in utter anger and leave the room.  OR…one of you puts a stop to it because you are now consciously aware of what is happening.

The crazy cycle hit us just the other day.  One overreaction struck and we continued to  respond to the other negatively.  Continue reading “1-2-3…STOP!”

Let’s Talk Money!

You may have heard this before.  The number one issue that couples fight about isn’t sex, kids, or the in-laws.  The big issue?  MOOOOOOLA!  BACON!  CABBAGE!  GREENBACKS!  In other words – HOW ARE WE PAYING THE BILLS?  We were surprised to learn this was the top issue of conflict.

We are leaving the stressful month of April which includes annual tax filing and school vacation.  This can be a difficult time for marriages and families. One, many people have to pay to prepare their taxes.  Two, many people have to pay taxes on top of what they have already paid throughout the year.  And let’s face it – there is a never a good time to have to pay taxes!  Three, vacation spending can add to the financial anxiety.

As is the case with most couples, one spouse manages the money and the other spouse tends to spend the money.  Sometimes, one spouse won’t event talk about, think about, or breathe a word about money.

So let’s say you both approach money from different perspectives.  And let’s say it’s a problem – you are spending more money than you are making.  Credit card debt is rising.  Home equity line is increasing (guilty).  You and your spouse aren’t seeing eye to eye.

First order of business – a budget!  Below is our basic budget template.  Continue reading “Let’s Talk Money!”

Hooky For Adults

Doesn’t everyone love the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?  It was a huge hit in 1986 and it seems like people talked about it for at least a decade after.  Young kids may not know about it today – but you can bet they will watch it sometime in their lives!

The movie is a classic about a kid in high school who went to amazing extremes just to skip school and enjoy the day with his friends.  If you haven’t seen it – rent it!

We are NOT writing this to suggest that kids play hooky in an effort to skip school to enjoy the day with friends.

However, we ARE writing this to suggest – if you and your spouse haven’t recently spent some quality time alone – that you play hooky from work!  Because – rather than the movie’s slogan “Leisure Rules”, we believe that “Love Rules” and it needs to be acted on – even if it means skipping work together!

Earlier this year, we desperately needed some time to ourselves so we escaped to the mountains up north and did basically nothing but be together – on a MONDAY!  We relaxed in front of a wood fireplace, stayed in our pajamas, fell asleep on the couch, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery outside.

Screenshot 2019-04-15 10.55.42

Continue reading “Hooky For Adults”

Spring Clean Your Marriage!

It was 70 degrees this weekend so naturally we are thinking about SPRING CLEANING!

Below are some key excerpts from a fabulous post titled ‘9 Tips On How To Spring Clean Your Marriage’ at the great marriage blog, The Romantic Vineyard.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

 

 

  1. Clean the windows — make sure you are being transparent with your spouse about, well — everything!  There should be no secrets.  Open the windows and let the fresh air in.  Do you welcome outside inspiration from friends, teachings or books?
  2. Move the furniture and clean underneath — is there anything in your marriage you’ve lost and forgotten?  Ways you used to romance each other.  Kindnesses you used to show before life got so busy?  Plan to elevate these things back into your life.  You will be reminded how much you enjoyed them before they got shoved unknowingly under the couch.
  3. Sanitize the bathrooms — there is no more intimate or private room in the home than the bathroom.  And it is the one room that should be cleaned the deepest and the most often.  So too, with our sexual intimacy.  (yes, I’m really comparing our sex life to the bathroom.  lol)  Pay close attention to your ways and keep the marriage bed pure.  Make love often and watch your relationship shine!
  4. Polish the furniture — Dust reveals places no one has touched recently.  If dust is accumulating on the furniture, it is one of the first things guests notice in a home.  May your marriages be dust-free.

Read the full post and the other 5 tips at The Romantic Vineyard!

 

Fun Fact Friday! 83% and 72%

So we have been going through the Love and Respect video series.  If you haven’t done it, it’s worth taking a look or reading the book.  So good.

Here is a couple of pretty unbelievable statistics.  7,000 people were asked this question – yes 7,000! – When you are in conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved at that moment or disrespected.

83% of the men said they feel disrespected.  72% of the women said they feel unloved.

Those are some pretty heavy stats!  They are important to know, because, while men and women both need love and respect equally, during conflict a wife leans toward love and a husband toward respect.

This continues to show how different men and women are and how we can often be misunderstood.

“God made us male and female.  Thus, a husband is not wrong for needing respect, just different from his wife.  A wife is not wrong for needing love, just different from her husband.  A wise person sees the differences and celebrates them.”

– Emerson Eggerichs

Have a great weekend!

Pink & blue sunglasses

Have you ever been in a discussion with your spouse where you are saying one thing that seems simple and to the point, and your spouse is saying something back that seems equally simple and to the point?  All of the sudden you see your spouse’s attitude change instantly.  And your reaction is: “WHAT?  What did I say?  What did I do?”

We just started working through the Love and Respect series which has been SO eye opening to us.  Emerson Eggerichs is brilliant and hits the nail on the head!  He explains that many times in conflict, the issue doesn’t seem to be the the issue.  “What is the issue when the issue isn’t the issue?,” he says.

Watch Emerson Eggerichs explain “the issue”.Screenshot 2019-04-09 17.16.34

You think your spouse should understand you because your comments, on the surface, appear to be straightforward.  Continue reading “Pink & blue sunglasses”

Marriage is about getting naked.

(This post was first published on the in-between adventures)

If you’re married and you haven’t sat next to your spouse with no pants on, watching Brooklyn 99, then you’re missing out.  But really.

Screenshot 2019-04-02 14.11.18

A few weeks ago Jacob and I were sitting on our couch watching Wall-E and eating snacks.  Our window was open and we heard some friends in the parking lot.  They yelled up to our second floor apartment asking if we wanted to join them for half-off apps at Applebee’s.  We looked at each other, decided it’d be fun, and then yelled back down.  ‘Yes, we’ll be there in two minutes!  We need to put clothes on.’ Continue reading “Marriage is about getting naked.”

Do we really need counseling?

Like it or not, counseling has a bit of a stigma to it.

Some believe that counseling is not necessary and we should be able to resolve our problems on our own or by using some other resource.  This is an understandable opinion.  Some would rather reach out to close friends, their church, read expert books together, or watch marriage videos rather than bring a stranger into the marriage.

Others believe that it is even offensive to have to talk to a counselor or others about the problems inside their marriage.  This is also understandable.  Marriage is very personal – and marital problems are that much more personal.  How on earth could a stranger really help?

Then, there are those who believe that counseling is the ‘be all and end all’.  Those folks believe that counseling is the only resource that can help and is critically important if the marriage is to succeed.

Of course, all opinions are valid, but, we want to state clearly that we believe marriage counseling is indeed a resource that can help you and one that is worth pursuing.

First, in order to have success in counseling, you must find someone that both of you connect with.  If one, or both, of you don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable in front of someone you just met, then it will never work. Continue reading “Do we really need counseling?”

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