Monthly Archives: August 2016

How this Married Woman got her Boyfriend Back

Last year I posted about how I had a husband but really just wanted a boyfriend. You can read about it here.

Several people asked if we figured out how to fix it to let them know. So here is what I did, we did, to get our girlfriend and boyfriend back.

First, we didn’t sit down and discuss our issues in detail. We didn’t draw up a game plan. We didn’t research ways to spice things up. We didn’t plan regularly scheduled alone time. All the changes that took place over the last 8 months have been completely made by each of us of our own accord. I don’t even know if he intentionally made any of these changes. He may have worked hard to practice them or he may be playing off of my actions.  I don’t care to know. We are both happy and that’s all that matters to me.

  1. Change your definition of a date. EVERY article I stumble upon stresses the importance of date nights in marriage.This idea sounds lovely and I truly wish this was feasible. This hard pressed “fact of a healthy marriage” had me already set up for failure. I knew this wasn’t an option and in fact we haven’t had a single date night since our train wreck of a date back in December. We have had one night alone since then (8 months ago) in which he slept the entire evening and I caught up on work. Now we define a date as leaving the house together, even with kids, to do something out of the ordinary. Movies, restaurant, zoo, the park, even riding around looking for pokemon has become our “dates”. Why do kids have to change that? My kids are seeing their parents in love, holding hands, being affectionate, and doing so while being parents. I can’t think of a better thing to teach our kids than how to treat their partners in marriage. We started killing two birds with one stone when we changed the definition of date night.
  2. Comprehend. Other articles will list this as “listen to one another” but that is such a basic and common sense suggestion. It is easy to listen. I have always listened to him. Now I comprehend. I listen, ask questions,  engage. He does the same which I felt was my biggest complaint with him before. When he talks about a coworker I don’t know, I ask “who is that?”. When he tells me about a job that frustrated him I ask exactly what part of the job was difficult. The vast majority of my friends live behind a computer screen; he knows next to none of those people. When I talk about a friend he doesn’t know he asks “Who is that? What group are they from?”. He now knows my admin team and knows the people I work for. When I prattle on about a difficult customer he offers his input/advice where he use to reply with a “f*** ’em” which is code for “I don’t really care”. This one simple change in conversation turns what use to be passing small talk into full engaging conversations between us.
  3. Stop nagging. This is pretty straight forward. This doesn’t mean let everything slide and never argue; it means change your approach. When he would say “I’m tired of this d*** bathroom counter always being cluttered with your sh**” I immediately didn’t want to clean it. Nobody likes to be forced into anything. He says “I wish you’d clean this mess” but what I hear is, “You don’t care to clean up after yourself. I have to tell you to do everything. You don’t care about my happiness. I must treat you like a child to make you do anything.” Nagging infuriates me to no avail!!! Now, he asks like so, “When you find the time, do you think you could find a home for all your makeup?” This simple change in tone and words changes everything. Now I hear “I know you are busy so may not be able to get to it as fast as I would like, but it will make me happy when you do.” Now I WANT to do it because I want to make him happy, besides it’s such an easy task. Most things people nag about are very utterly basic and simple mundane chores anyway; the approach just makes us want to do it less.
  4. Simply be together. With two kids this is the hardest one for me, but so worth it. Before children we did everything together. Run to get groceries? I’m riding. Run to the corner store? I’m coming. Since kids we find it so much easier to send one while the other stay back with the littles. We still do time to time for very short runs but whenever the trip will take more than 20 minutes, I make the effort to go anyway. That means dressing kids, fixing sippy cups, having diapers and wipes, etc., but we are spending time together. We are spending time together without kids jumping all over us, because they are strapped safely into their carseats behind us.
  5. Support the others decisions. Another common suggestion, I know. When I said “I’m going to spend two months painting these tiny painting for a tiny itty bitty profit that doesn’t even cover my labor because I simply want to do it” his response a year ago would have been “You waste your talent. You will never be able to run a real business” This year he said “Awesome! You got accepted? That’s cool. How does this whole thing work?”. He bought a Chevelle project car, sure the money could have went elsewhere and it’ll take a lot of time and more money to get it in the shape he wants it, but I do not care. He’s happy, ecstatic even, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
  6. Have fun and be youthful. For us this means car karaoke, jamming to the oldies, harassing our friends together on snapchat, playful butt grabs when he walks by, corny jokes, and terrorizing our kids like annoying older siblings. Be playful, be a kid again, life shouldn’t be so serious! Seeing him act silly immediately puts me in a happy mood and my love for him grows every time he makes me laugh.

OH! And sex? Not a priority anymore. It happens when we want and not just when we find the time. Treating it as a want and not a need has improved it by leaps and bounds in both frequency and satisfaction. Yet another How to Save Your Marriage rule debunked!

I know it doesn’t seem like some great epiphany, but y’all asked me to tell y’all when I found what worked. These may not be the answers for everyone, but I have never been happier in love. Corny? I don’t care, I see enough of y’all complaining about marriage on Facebook that I have earned my 5 minutes of happy brag time. Besides, I just realized we haven’t taken a photo together since our date 8 months ago, I’ve so earned this blog post.

Now…. if we could just get a date night do over.

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A Message to the Church

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I am visibly tattooed

Half my head is shaved

I have a piercing through my lip

I wear makeup

I wear pants

Given all these items listed above you are not imagining a Pentecostal woman. I’m here to surprise you though, for at the very soul of my spiritual foundation lies a cornerstone of Pentecostal Apostolic beliefs. Before you run away and think this post wont apply to you or your denomination I assure you, yes, this message applies to all of us. Though your religion may not have the same standard you expect of Pentecost, every religion has it standards.

A few weeks ago I volunteered to help out at a friend’s Pentecostal children’s vacation bible school. I expected I would show up, corral kids from point A to B, maybe serve food, basic parenting volunteer stuff. I bought some skirts merely out of respect for the other ladies, just enough to get me through camp.  I was surprised to receive a text a week before camp was due to start asking if I would come in to help with decorating.

I knew this would mean moving, painting, ladders, and I am so out of practice with skirts I didn’t want to risk a wardrobe malfunction in the presence of complete strangers so chose to wear my pants. My piercing was also fairly new and could not yet be removed temporarily without risk of it closing up.

Day one. I know not a single soul I am meeting with. They know nothing of my pentecostal roots and I am fairly glad at first because the ultimate curse within this denomination is to be considered a backslider. It is the lowest insult you can be called. I DO NOT consider myself one in the least.

The lady I am to be helping is in every way visually “typical” of what you would expect to see on the church pew come Sunday. Each person I met throughout the day continued to reassure me I was out-of-place. I had a feeling after this day I would not be getting called back the next to help. I felt surely they would find somebody to fill in and suddenly not need my services so much. I wasn’t the face you would want attached to your church program.

I have seen a lady pulled out of the middle of praise and worship and asked to remove her earrings in my childhood church. My own mother had her wedding band “rebuked” after forgetting to remove it after work. Mind you, this is all by the elder women of the church who we like to assume have all died out, but do we not learn from our elders? We follow their example right? Would I be treated with distaste for my appearance and not my heart?

Then…. nothing happened. The entire week, nothing. I was treated like any other member of the church. Nobody ever mentioned the blaring piece of metal hanging in my lip. Nobody asked why I had shaved half of my “beautiful head”, as others like to say. Nobody asked I put on a skirt to make them more comfortable. Even the older ladies of the church, who in my experience tend to be the most condemning, never once gave the slightest hint of discomfort. They each looked me in the eye when speaking to me and thanked me with true sincerity for my help.

I sank into myself a little when I was introduced to a member of the pastoral team, he never paused to give me a curious look, he shook my hand, thanked me, and continued about his activities. He made a point to know my name and thank me again later in the week, once again, never even pausing to question “Why does someone who looks like this want to help here?”

Camp started the following week where I continued to volunteer my help. During all this I begin meeting others who did not look “typical” of the church and assumed they were also volunteers like myself. No, they were members, members who had found the spiritual home they needed within this church.

Here is what I find the most amazing part of it all. During all these exchanges that took place over the course of those two weeks, not a single person ended our conversation with “You should join us for a service!” The only time it ever came up is when I, myself, asked about their service schedule.

You may be thinking “That is awful! What a missed opportunity.” No, this was the most beautiful part of the entire thing to me. Had any one person used that line after the kindness they showed I would have immediately disregarded their kindness for the church version of a sales tactic. Had any of them said this it would have also showed that they most likely assumed I didn’t attend church elsewhere, or that I needed God in my life because he was most likely absent.

Truth is I have a personal walk with God. It grew so much stronger after I left my previous small town pentecostal mindset.  A mindset where everyone is bad but those who look, walk, and act like us. I’ve seen it kill churches, kill families, kill relationships, stir hate, things not of the God I serve.

To be a christian means to be like Christ. We hear we must let him shine through us. That means exactly that. It does not mean beat your bible, your pick and choose version of verses, and your standards over the head of those you deem “not christian enough”. It means to serve, love, and treat the prostitute and the politician as complete equals in all aspects of your love and respect.

The congregation at the Pentecostals of Lee Road has shown me that I have to break the stereotype I was taught as a child that pentecost is an exclusive religion. I can not be embarrassed to tell people my religion for fear they would think I believed myself better than them. I CAN still feel welcome in a house of God where you truly feel his presence. I can worship freely without being “attacked” by well-meaning christians seeking to ‘pray me through’ because simply lifting my hands means I suddenly feel the need to change my entire life.

This goes for all of you. Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian, Pentecostal, Non Denominational. Treat your visitors like your members. Don’t drag them to a service in guilt. You are not better than anyone. Show kindness, show equality, and let God handle the rest. Standard is not what will save your soul. Following your convictions will and God can handle those just fine.  If your church is full of perfect examples of your beliefes then it’s not a place where I want to be. It is obviously not a place of growth, but a place of routine.

I do not currently have a home church, but after the exemplary example set by the people of POLR, me and my boys belive we have found exactly where to start.

I am also happy to hear, that church I grew up in, the one full of backwards looks and “with us or against us” mentality, is learning. I hear it is growing once again after decades of being held together by a thread. People are catching on, love is spreading, and I hope to continue to hear good come from that little Light House on HWY 4.

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