Diary of A Mad, Interesting Woman

Welcome to the random (and sometimes ratchet) ramblings in my head about life, love and pop culture.

Tag: joy

#WeareTEN

In the Bible, the number 10 signifies completeness and wholeness depending on the source you reference. The perfection of divine order. Today, my beloved and I are ten.  Ten years of marriage. #weDIDthat

It’s funny. I’ve never doubted that Bryan and I would be together for the long haul. From the moment he looked at me in that way that he does, the way that only he can, I knew that I knew that I’d found my home. In the past ten years we’ve weathered a long distance relationship (for a combined two years) and two cross country moves that taught us lessons in trust and leaning into each other. We’ve weathered job loss and restoration, home sale and purchase, two children, a partridge and a pear tree. We’ve learned the difference between disagreements and deal breakers. We’ve learned each other’s love language. We’ve learned how to transition from roommates to soul mates. We’ve learned to fight fair which undoubtedly means listening more than you speak (real talk – something I’m still working on). We’ve learned to “seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” And my goodness has God blessed us.

In Bryan, I’ve found a man who treats me as if I’m his purpose in life. In every ordered step he takes, I’m assured that the driving force, the means to it all, is me. There’s not a doubt in my mind that he cherishes me. He respects me. He challenges me to be better, to never settle for less than I’m worth and to dream fearlessly. AND, to pursue those dreams with reckless abandon because he’ll always be here to catch me should I fall. He always says, “What’s the worst that could happen? No matter what it is, we’ll still have each other. So really … how bad could it be?”

In these 10 years, I’ve tried to be a good wife. I pay attention to him to communicate that there’s not one thing that interests him that’s not important to me. I encourage him daily, consistently affirm our love, champion his decisions and respect the path he’s leading. I like to think that I’m “21st century submissive” (I made that up). I follow his lead and believe his counsel to be wise, but I’m a partner with opinions that I voice respectfully with understanding that they’ll always be heard and weighed before he makes the final decision. It’s because of that reciprocity and open heart from my husband that I feel safe on our journey. It’s not easy being the head of household, thus I try hard to never do things that make it harder for him.

I began our journey in traditional role play (i.e. woman cook clean, man make money take out trash *said in caveman voice*). After a few years, I was exhausted. I couldn’t be all that I saw my Mom and my Grandmothers be AND be this dynamic communications executive at the same time. I remember one night that I sobbed to Bryan confessing that I couldn’t be the perfect wife. I was trying to do it all and I was killing myself. I was overweight, stressed to the max and supremely unhappy. I had it in my head that in order to be the “perfect wife” I had to subscribe to certain rules and duties.  Bryan looked at me and said, “So let’s change the rules. What do you need? Tell me and I’ll do it. I can help out around here. I can’t cook like you, but we’ll eat. Just tell me what you need, Baby. I’ll always do it. I love you more than anything in this world.” I give this man my life because he’s given nothing less than that to me.

I don’t think Bryan and I would say that our marriage is perfect, but who are we to argue with the Word of God? 😉 What I can say is that we are perfectly paired. Equally yoked. And, this journey has been the sweetest ride of our lives.

Bryan, my beloved, my friend, my lover, my Priest, Prophet and King

You have made my life so beautiful. Even my hopes, wishes and dreams of what marriage would be didn’t hold a candle to the fruition of you. Your love has been reverential and restorative. In it, I have been born. In it, I’ve found safety to stumble without regret and blossom without worry. In you, I’ve found my true North. Thank you for every laugh, every wiped tear, every night of pillow talk, every small and large decision suffered with little acknowledgement and every beautiful moment together. Being one with you is the sweetest gift God has ever given me. A reflection of His love for me. I am forever changed. I am forever yours.

Ten years … time really does fly.

#WeAreTEN #HangingwiththeHaleys

Love you, Baby. Mean It.

@AskThePRGirl

Relationship Russian Roulette: An NYE Reflection

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I had a funny conversation with my girl the other day in which she shared that she recently came up disappointed playing the holiday version of Relationship Russian Roulette with her husband. What is that, you ask? Don’t mind if I do! It’s that conversation you have with your significant other where you both agree not to exchange gifts during a particular holiday or special occasion (e.g. Valentine’s, Anniversary, Christmas). As the holiday approaches, us females (and lets be clear, its always the female) begin to secretly hope that you got us something. Why? It’s romantic to be surprised and feel that awareness that you want to go over and above to please us. It’s Russian Roulette because if you get us something, we are on cloud 9 and you get sex. No harm done. If you don’t, we are utterly disappointed and slightly irritated, you’re confused because “isn’t this what we agreed”, and a fight ensues thereby killing the vibe, and likely, a bit of your relationship. It’s a horrible set up. I don’t know why we do it. I’ve learned not to do it over the years. My Hubby Honey knows I want a gift on every special occasion. Every special occasion?? Yes. E-V-E-R-Y special occasion. I’ve pushed out two of your big head kids and managed to preserve my sexy. Yes. I want a gift on every special occasion and every third Tuesday if you can manage it. #realtalk

But, I digress.

Her story tickled me because she’s newly married and it’s really sweet to see them find their way together. It also occurred to me how easily it is to unknowingly set your relationship up for failure based on unfair expectations and failure to communicate. I can think of many occasions where I’ve expected Hubs to just KNOW something that I never shared. And then I get mad because I expect him to react or behave in a way that I’ve created in my mind. It’s lunacy at best, and for some reason, I continued to do it. How much easier would it be if I just told him how I felt? If I told him what I wanted? What is this incessant need to keep our men living in an unending Hunger Games-style emotional guessing game??

Am I afraid he’ll think I’m too demanding? Am I afraid he’ll judge my desires as petty or petulant? Do I just not care to do the work? Maybe … a little of all the above? You wanna know the biggest piece of irony? My profession is communications. It’s what I do All. Day. Long. So, why not with him? Why must he guess?

If I’m honest, part of me wants to feel the imagined intimacy and excitement. I want to feel what it feels like to know that he knows me so well that I don’t have to communicate what I consider base-level, rudimentary things. Another part of me wants the thrill and romance of having that storybook guy who planned the romantic weekend or surprise party or got the gift anyway. Part of me wants to test if he’s paying attention. And another part wants to annoy him as retaliation for some random thing he’s done to annoy me. I know, I know. It’s petty, but it’s real! Stop judging! I’m sharing here.

In the end, I realize that more important than feeling the romance, excitement and exhilaration from Russian Roulette is my desire to protect the integrity of my relationship. I love and respect my husband. And, rather than find ways to weaken that integrity, I’d much prefer to find ways to honor our love. Because it’s good love. Really, really good love. It matters to me that we’ve still got “that loving feeling” after all these years. I don’t want to sabotage that because I randomly felt the need to be surprised with a gift.

I share that because while women are on point 98.7 percent of the time :-), we need a gut check every now and again. If you’re playing Russian Roulette with your relationship, even one that has stood the test of time, eventually that bullet will hit the chamber. And you’ve got to ask yourself, “Is that shot worth it.”

Probably not.

Just food for thought. I figured #NYE is as good a time as any for a little self reflection.

Love you. Mean it. And Happy New Year! May your greatest joy in 2016 be the least of your joys in 2017. 

@AskThePRGirl

My Husband and The Twisty Tie

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I brag about my husband all the time.  I brag about him because he is so good to me.  I want him to know how much I love him, how much I’m still attracted to him and how much his strength, generous spirit and humility is such an amazing foundation for our family.  Prior to being found by him (because “he who finds a wife finds a good thing”), I was in an incredibly toxic relationship.  I’m talking the kind of toxic that it’s a marvel that I made it out AIDS-free and in my right mind.  I was with a man whom I constantly gave permission to rape me of my self-esteem and my ability to trust.  He lied.  All the time.  Just because.  The only thing real about that relationship was my presence.  Everything else was smoke and mirrors.  Folks tried to tell me, but I didn’t listen.  I was a fool in love and as my Sissy always says, “God saves fools and babies.”  Thank God for His saving grace.  When Hubby Honey found me, I was brave enough to let go of the past and embrace the beautiful possibility of a bright future.

I often brag on my husband and our marriage to my friends via social media because I hate how people disparage marriage.  It’s hard work and not everyday is pretty, but there’s so much joy.  I’ve discovered things about myself while in his care that I believe I would’ve never known.  Being his wife has given me a freedom to fearlessly express myself and become exactly who I’m meant to be in this life.  That’s a heavenly gift.  That’s how I know that I know that I know this man is meant for me.  I shout it to the world so that people aren’t afraid to give marriage a shot.  When you find a “good egg” like my Hubby Honey, it’s worth all of the effort.  And it is indeed a LOT of effort.

As much as I love this man, it absolutely unnerves me how someone who has roughly 5 items on his to-do list each week, can forget some of the things I ask him to do.  He goes to work, takes out the trash and handles any of the exterior housework (Note: We have landscapers because Hubby has allergies so in my mind, you’re not actually handling the yard work when you outsource).  That’s it.  So can someone please tell me how this man “forgets” to put the twisty tie back on the bread like I’ve asked time and again?!  How hard is it to make sure the freaking loaf of bread stays fresh?? I didn’t ask him to split the atom and bring me the solution! I asked him not to leave the damn bread bag open when he makes a sandwich.  His refusal to comply is almost enough to cause me to smack him upon sight and leave him asking, “What the hell?!?! What did I do???”

Before we got married, we lived together and I’m so thankful we did.  While it’s not traditionally an accepted course of action, it was exactly what I needed.  I would have killed my husband had I have married him and then learned of all of his … his … idiosyncrasies.  The fact that he would throw his dirty clothes beside, around and on top of the dirty clothes hamper instead of lifting the lid and putting them inside literally almost sent me to self committal into Promises.  It would’ve been my only choice outside of killing him.  It would make me so mad that I’d stare at him while he slept.  I think I even slapped him out of his sleep one night.  I was mad as hell and couldn’t believe he could sleep so well considering the hell I was living in.  I just thought he should join the party.

The twisty tie and the hamper only scratch the surface.  He cleans the kitchen because he can’t stand for dirty dishes to be left out over night, but he doesn’t wipe down the counters.  How the hell does washing the dishes ONLY count as cleaning the kitchen?!  How can you do the dishes and fail to wipe the food off the counter?!?!  Who does that??? My husband.  My sweet, loving, ridiculous husband.  He “helps” me out by doing the laundry, BUT he fails to wash 60 percent of my clothes because “they seem fancy” and he “doesn’t want to ruin them”, and the clothes he does wash either get left in hamper or “folded” and stacked on my side of the bed.  When I do laundry, everyone’s clothes are neatly folded and put away.  Hubby Honey doesn’t put my clothes away because he “doesn’t know where they go”.  We’ve lived together for almost 10 years.  What kind of sense does that make??

If I sat here and listed all of his infractions, I’m sure women all around the world would wonder how in the hell I’m able to provide such an accurate account of their man’s habits.  It’s crazy that men can’t do the simple household items, but never miss changing out their Fantasy Football players each week.  They never forget all of the codes and signals and stuff necessary to play football and combat captain (or whatever the hell it’s called) on XBox.  He never ever forgets to watch every freaking football game on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Saturday.  *sigh*

BUT, he also never forgets to tell me I’m pretty.  He never forgets to champion everything I do no matter how big or how small.  He never forgets to help me with our little one.  He never forgets to rub my feet when I’ve had a long day.  He never forgets to tell me he’s proud of me.  He never forgets to make me feel so sexy, no matter how unsexy I feel at the time.  He never ever forgets to tell me he loves me.  I not only hear it, but feel it too.  And he makes me laugh. I’m talking soul stirring, doubled over, center of my joy laughter.  The kind of laughter that washes away your fear, fills you with light and makes the tough days melt away.

Marriage is a roller coaster, but last I checked, people enjoy rollercoasters, right?  I don’t love everything about my husband and there are certainly moments when I “question his thought process” as my girlfriend says of her husband, but he is quite possibly the best thing that’s ever happened to me.  With him I’m at peace.  I never worry about tomorrow when Hubby Honey is near.  I never worry period.  He’s my rock.  I can depend on him 24/7, 365.  I never have to doubt him.  Ever.  And that kind of solidarity is priceless to me.

Now if I could only get him to put the twisty tie back on the damn bread …

Until next time, AskThePRGirl