Archive | February, 2010

A Week Apart…

21 Feb

It’s been over a week since my last post – I’m glad I’m back :) I’ve missed you dear blog.

My week has been so full – so maybe I’ll start by recapping.

Calgary trip with my three girlfriends was fabulous. We promised to do it again every year if we can. Aside from the frigid weather, I was still able to wear my peacock blue pumps and gold locket – those two alone were the chosen pieces for the weekend. Valentine’s was celebrated with three girls that I love to be around, a great reminder of the importance of friends while committed.

I shared my weekend stories with him, bubbling with excitement over my fantastic weekend with girls only… Hubby and I then had a conversation about our friendship slash marriage – surprisingly only to agree that we aren’t really buddies per say.  We agreed that we are lovers first, then confidantes and friends. We understand each other better than ourselves sometimes but that doesn’t necessarily make us best friends –

This makes friendship outside of one other a critical component of our marriage. Not that we can’t hang out together; in fact we do every day. But we didn’t marry one another for friendship; being very independent individually our union wouldn’t survive without breathing room. Having the space in our marriage for our own friends requires a higher level of respect, trust and of course a lot of open communication from both of our ends.

We trust each other to pick and maintain friendships that respect and inspire us, that build us up and not put a wedge between us, relationships that nourish us, encouraging us mentally and spiritually while away from one another… These “friends” that we commune with are actually an extended investment in our marriage for all of the positive attributes they encourage in us while apart, they honour our sanctity of marriage and thus are allowed into our circle of trust…

And so I blurted out honestly “If we weren’t lovers – would we be friends and hang out?” We both laughed and didn’t answer…

For the rest of the week I was putting together a baby shower for sister/roommate – she is having her first baby girl after being blessed with two male terrors. Personalized pink everything. I’m so glad it’s over. I lunge at these “first” experiences like a lion on a zebra’s ass, throw every creative juice I have in me to be unique, and never want to do it again. I can happily say I’ve gotten the “baby shower” out of me. I was able to bless my sister, have a tea party with a dozen close women and manage to pull it all off in three weeks and under $200.

Who knows if I will ever need a baby shower? If that day comes, I think I’d rather not – the idea of having a room full of women giving me gifts make me feel nervous. Never been one to accept any support easily – I find so much more happiness in giving and blessing those I love… My sister has been my practise for everything “baby”. I love being “Auntie” to my punk nephews – and I would be happy if it was always so.  Still sitting on the fence for this one, but thankfully it’s open-ended event – maybe I’ll love to be a mom when I become one…? Until then – Chuck Norris will be the most loved cat alive :)

Outside of those two events, I survived the death of Lee Alexander McQueen. Still in mourning but the NY Fall 2010 Fashion week has continued to  lift my spirits once again. I was there in spirit – one day hopefully in presence.

And to close off – I pray every marriage has found another reason to rejoice, another seven days under the belt!

the Mrs.

To Love or Not To Love – Valentine’s Day

11 Feb

What He Really Wants To Say

Every February with perfect timing Valentine’s Day unexpectantly shows up. Everyone has just settled in to relaxing after the holidays, enjoying the break from routine family visits and copious amounts of food to find these cheerful little hearts popping up everywhere. While the underlying theme of this day undyingly promotes expressions and thoughts of love, I find my mind continuously being drawn back towards my poor husband. And I do cherish him, love his quirky ways, and appreciate him for being the man of my life even when I’m not the woman of his…  

Back in the dating scene, I allowed my sense of expectation to ride the Valentine’s wave, only to disappoint myself in one way or another… I would work tirelessly at creating the most unique and thoughtful gift for my boyfriend onto to receive a quick smile and an awkward “you shouldn’t have” to creep out of his mouth. While he would do what every commercial told him to – buy a bouquet of flowers, some candy in a heart box and a teddy bear with “I love you” scrawled across the tummy. In turn, I as he, would give him a sweet kiss, quick smile and bash my eyelashes while accepting his token of love. And then, in 25 minutes, the moment would evaporate as quickly as the products came off the shelves the next day. We would eat the chocolates/candy together and make out until our sugar high wore off…  

Now in our marriage, this holiday takes on a whole new meaning. To be blatantly honest – I never consider nor expect any gifts or special treatment from my husband on this specific 14th day of the year. Nor do I feel compelled or even ispired for that matter to go out of my way to do something for him. This sounds almost depressing but we couldn’t be happier with this unspoken arrangement. We’ve been married for four years now, and still to this day have never truly celebrated this “love fest” of a holiday. Neither of us really want to pretend and so we don’t.   

We both truly appreciate that this burden of gift-giving isn’t in our to-do books. And I’m sure my husband is more than ecstatic that he doesn’t have to do anything that just doesn’t come naturally to him. In fact, I don’t know very many men for that matter that get excited for Valentine’s Day in the first place, some even dreading the possiblity of somehow offending his partner, merely by picking the wrong type of gift.  

At the very beginning of our relationship, we talked about how we would spend our holidays, taking into consideration our families and friends. We quickly realized we didn’t need a little sticker on our calendar to celebrate and recognize how much we love one another. Instead of waiting for the one window of opportunity in February to express our undying love, we take every day as a success to be celebrated, every excuse to congratulate each other,  and every reason to reward ourselves for continually contributing to one of the most rewarding challenges of our lives.  This goes to say that we aren’t much of the “holiday” celebrations type. But we definitely enjoy the excuse to attend a work party, close friends’ dinner, or even church benefit. Any reason to get out and have an evening of great wine and socializing will get us out of our quaint little residence… But together we just smile, partaking in the merriment and season of festivities that these corporate sponsored holidays bring out in our closest friends and family. 

For something different – I challenge those of us who are in a committed relationship to step back on this Valentine’s Day. Truly evaluate your efforts versus the impact they will have on your relationship. I hope that you grab any opportunity to spoil your sweetheart whenever its tickles your fancy – rather than wait for this once a year holiday. I think we would all agree a surprise gesture of love is in fact much more appreciated than an implied responsibility attached to a holiday. And I know the men would agree and appreciate one less imposed obligation to express their feelings too

So go celebrate in your own style – hopefully ending up together in each other’s arms for a passionate night of true love exchange. As for me, I’m going to Calgary for a weekend on the town with a couple of my girlfriends. My husband will be faithfully expressing his love for his XBOX with some continued one-on-one time. And when I get back, I’ll probably pick up some cheap “day after” candy for a night of sugar-high bliss with my one-and-only… 

Cheers & Happy Valentine’s Day! 

the Mrs.

Day 4, 5, 6… – Battle of the S-*-x-s

7 Feb
Evolution of Reconciliation

Continuing from Day 3My husband presented his request. Interestingly enough – again – only with a sly grin. I knew what it was even as I was writing the last post. Damn his predictable male mind.  I submitted and once again (as he likes to call it) – “saved the marriage“. I’m truly torn with this act of submission – it’s so simple and easy but yet it frustrates me to no end that it fixes everything for him. Why can’t I have a single on/off switch that ends all disagreements? Meh – that’s for him to deal with – he’s got the bigger responsibility haha.     

Each day has since continued as expected. Routines have resumed – short kisses have reappeared.           

Our daily talks still gently meander back to our heated arguments days ago… Except now they lean moreso towards brain-storming, review, and finally encouragement and hope. We like each other again. Ha – feels good to finally say that honestly.            

It’s tough when the disagreement is so broad that there really isn’t any one answer that would be suffice. It’s a degree of change, a slight alteration of our lifestyles and relationship that eventually seeds evolution in our marriage. But the mutual conclusion of this need to change, the acknowledgement of both our efforts needed to effect a positive outcome will be the next steps… This time there were no apologies even needed – just a revived issue we had to tackle together once again. So we’ve unpacked this problem, rearranged our strategy, and replaced our neatly arranged box of efforts.            

At least we have the rest of our marriage to figure it out right? Hell – that sound both ominous and promising at the same time.            

I can say that we have both agreed to a new common practise…            

Fight clean and have dirty sex… LOTS of it.            

Until the next battle.            

the Mrs.

Day 3 – Battle of the S-e-x-s

3 Feb
So – Day 3 in the battle field…

I’m still stumped as to what I’m going to approach my husband with. And of course, I’m thinking about it all day at work when I’m supposed to be working…  

4:30pm hits my clock and who walks in my door? This huge hunk in a tie and nice leather shoes! He sits down and tells me he had a great 2nd interview today – we both laugh. These are the first words in almost 48 hours. And I’m delighted to even hear his voice directed my way.  

Reconnecting from the toes up...

  

I was lucky enough last night – I found a glimmer of hope. He went to bed before I did – our feet touched – he woke up and called me “Baby“. The hard shell was cracked – he still loves me – I slept.  

We haven’t tackled any hard talk yet – just enjoyed sitting together silently smiling – resentment faded compassion kicked in. On the way home we dropped by an old friends’ and visited. Lucky for me – a solution presented itself!

Now – how to present the need for this solution? Here it was – our friend was interested in borrowing a certain XBOX game (*cough – Call of Duty) that so happens to be my husband’s favourite (to the point of obsession) game. We got home – I headed straight for him took a deep breath and spit out the words.  

“I would like you to lend Call of Duty to so-and-so… I will accept this as your apology – you owe me.”  

Now that was brave – because HE was mad at ME. Sometimes you just have to bluff.  

He didn’t stop playing the game… I waited – my stomache rolling over. Finally with a sly grin, he said okay – and gave me a kiss.  

What my husband didn’t need was for me to explain why lending this game out would make me happy – after all the arguing – I didn’t have to remind him how much it contributes to the day’s irritations. We both knew this was a feasible solution for the time being – something that would benefit us both.  

Plus – we’re back to talking! Carefully of course – wouldn’t even take a nudge to flame the coals right now… Now I know he’s going to come to me soon with his own request. Thus I now have to wait again – this patience game has no end. Hopefully tomorrow I can just nod, grin and say “okay” too…  

the Mrs.

Day 1 & 2 – Battle of the S-*-x-s

3 Feb

Battle of the Sexes

How very fitting that my husband and I start fighting when I start writing about our “beautiful” marriage. This tends to be the case, arguments never choose the most convenient time to pop up. Has anyone ever noticed that disagreements only occur when you’re on your way out the door to a friends house, a friends wedding, your anniversary dinner, or even on date night?  

We won’t go into the details, as privacy is truly our biggest motto – but to put it simply – we have disagreed again. Perfectly normal, but perfectly annoying in my opinion. You see – we tend to argue about the same damn things… And while I don’t mind the disagreements, the elevated tensions, or even the cold shoulders – its the continued unresolved conflict that itches my nerves. Why do we always have to come full-circle back to this issue I could have sworn we found a solution 3 months ago?  

Which brings me to my first topic of discussion – how long are disagreements/arguments really supposed to last? Let’s first of all differentiate between a disagreement and an argument. In my opinion, disagreements are abound in most relationships – after all we are two very different people, raised in two unique environments, developing individual opinions and beliefs. Thus to say that you never disagree would be quite the profound statement. Whereas, arguing is the process of hashing out these disagreements – finding that common ground where eventually both persons can equalize their values and settle these differences.  

So what are the different styles of arguing- are there set rules to how one should do so? Now I’ve always heard that there are etiquettes put in place – you know the fairly common knowledge ones – such as no calling names, no physical/verbal abuse, and of course being as sober as possible when approaching the problem. These of course are ideal settings – but when are arguments every really ideal anyways?  

In our first year, my husband and I had TOO MANY intense arguments – most definitely attributed to the fact that we did not live together before we were married. There were just so many things to adjust to that were never exposed before cohabitating… Mind you, through all these arguments we were at least able to determine our communication patterns, common grounds in values, buttons not to push, and triggers to avoid. But mostly out of these, we learned to take our time…  

So many times, we’ve heard the proverb – never go to sleep angry. Now I understand the concept behind this but we have truly never been able to adhere to such a practise. Our arguments tend to be very deep rooted – as we are able to shake off the small stuff to shift our focus on what’s truly “argument worthy“. So to think that we could come to a mutal conclusion in only one evening truly baffles my mind.  

From our experience, I’ve learned that our arguments tend to last for days, sometimes weeks – I don’t think we’ve ever reached close to a month. We’ve definitely revisited disagreements as new prevalent factors arise – just as we are right now. Now, let me clarify what I mean by arguing for days and revisiting the same problems. Yesterday (Day 1), it began with the age old – “What’s wrong?” followed up with “I’d rather not, we’ll just end up arguing over it…” And of course, no one would settle with such as statement as we’d rather get the bug out of it’s den. As the subject du jour was a repeat visit, emotions ran wild and defenses went up. I understand as this is not a new topic – it’s obviously touchy as it is a common problem in our daily marriage. Unfortunately, our solutions have to be revamped, evolving with new techniques and understanding AGAIN.  

Now that we are on Day 2, we haven’t said a word. I guess you could say we are ignoring one another – doing the “cold shoulder” stance. But this position actually serves a greater purpose. Now that we’ve been able to retrospect our techniques when battling our differences, we are able to slow down. This is quite the benefit to finding a proper solution. You see if we continue today our emotions are still raw, we don’t like each other right now. Why bother arguing when all we’re thinking is how much we hate that the other person just doesn’t understand? Leave it be – at least, let it rest.  

So, we take a day apart normally to run everything that has been screamed  said to each other in Day 1. Now (Day 2) we try to identify what we are trying to get out of this problem – what needs to change? My rule – say it in 3 statements or less. That being because, normally by the third statement, the other person interjects with their own opinion. So we’ll narrow our requests (as there is always a need to be fulfilled) right down – eliminate all opinions.  And this request normally must be fulfilled otherwise the problem will only bury itself until it decides to pop its ugly head up again. This need should of course involve your partner and a feasible solution. I find with my husband, I leave the solutions fairly vague so that he can fill in the blanks with his own personallized approach. Men tend to appreciate being the decision-maker, the solution-finder and enjoy knowing they can fix your problem. We as women must clearly identify and present this problem to them. The hardest part is agreeing to the problem haha. This is the apex we must climb over – and must remember that it does not include pointing the finger.  

How then can we identify, present and negotiate the roots of a problem without saying “it’s your fault“? Easy – admit the problem only exists because there are two of you. Thus, if there is a problem – that normally means that both of you have contributed (or should I say haven’t) in one way or another to fester this problem. Both of you can identify the need that is not being met by both of us, and now you can present this in a few clear statements to one another – and here is when you truly need to listen. And by listening, I mean REALLY listening – letting the other person finish their statements, repeating back what you interpret they are saying (paraphrase) to confirm you understand their request correctly (as sometimes the telling is where communication failed) and stopping to think about it. As a women, the last part is the hardest for me. I’m very quick witted and can come up with a retort faster than my husband can think. This I have learned is unfair – my husand is a theorist, a deep-thinking creature who needs to swallow a thought, digest it and slowly come up with an answer. So in turn I must be patient for his response to give him adequate time to formulate his thoughts correctly.  

So to recap – identify the need, present clear and direct statements, listen, digest and then formulate your solution. Remember, you and your partner chose to become each others confidante, helper and most of all team mate – thus you are obligated to help in the process of a problem due to your very own existences together. If you don’t find solutions to your problems (as there should be atleast 2), rinse and repeat. Take your time – try to do this over a week if you have to. Hopefully not too much of your lives will be shifted in the process…  

Day 2I’m still trying to come up with a new statement ironically. It’s getting harder to revamp a clear statement when I only came up with a similar one 3 months ago. And I’m not creative – I would prefer to just record it and play it over his ear while he’s sleeping to be honest. Very tired of this but I love him enough to keep trying. It’s been over 24 hours since we last spoke, but the space and isolation reminds me of our choice to live together forever. Wish me luck – hopefully in Day 3 we will make progress. Until then – give me your thoughts… what are your techniques to reoccuring arguments?  

the Mrs.

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