Dear Husband, Do You Still Love Me?

Dear husband, it’s been 9 years and 6 months that we’ve been married. A lot has changed, and I have changed a lot. I am no longer the person you fell in love with. Do you still love me? 

Dear wife, it’s been 9 years and 6 months that I get to see you grow into the person that you are today. A lot has changed, but you’re still my wife. I’m glad that hasn’t changed.  

Dear husband, I’m sorry I haven’t been holding your hand a lot lately. 

Dear wife, thank you for always holding onto our children and making them feel they’re in the safest place in the world. 

Dear husband, do you mind that there has been more take-outs and less home-cooked meals recently?

Dear wife, it’s not what I eat that matters but who I get to eat with. Thank you for always waiting to eat with me.

Dear husband, what do you think of my flabby tummy?

Dear wife, does it matter what I think? I want you to love yourself regardless. And for the record, I adore that tummy. It’s gone through so much to bring happiness (babies) into our lives. 

Dear husband, it’s not beautiful when you see me yell at the kids, is it? 

Dear wife, you’re not a saint. You’re human. And no human can tolerate our kids every single time.

Dear husband, I snap at you sometimes. I never did that when we were still dating.

Dear wife, we live together, we’re bound to show our childish sides and our flaws. I married you for all the good and the bad in you, not only the good. 

Dear husband, I admittedly spend more time on my phone than with you. Are you mad at me?

Dear wife, I do wish we would spend more time together. But when you need to be alone, I respect that need. 

Dear husband, regarding the decline in business in bed…

Hm……

Dear husband, do you still love me?

Dearest wife, I still love you and will love you forever although I do hope the business in bed could get better.

Dear husband, we shall talk about that during our 20th anniversary.

?????!!!!!

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3 Steps to Prioritising Your Spouse Above Your Schedule … And Your Kids

When most of us entered our marriage, we couldn’t wait to spend the rest of our lives with our partner. At least that was the dream. But as life went on, our spouse began appearing in the backseat in our lives. Work had to come first. Then kids. At the end of the day we barely have the energy to connect with our spouse.

Why are we doing this to the love of our life? Why did we push them to the backseat? Maybe they had pushed us to their backseat as well, but how did we all come to this point?

063015_Touch-Is-An-Emotional-Connection

Modern living is funny. As a species, we’ve never had as much as we do now. We’ve also never had as many choices in life as we do now. But ironically, we’ve also never been busier. We’ve never had lesser time with family. Most of us leave home early in the morning, barely having time to have breakfast with our family. Some don’t even get the chance. We all spend the majority of our days at work and at school, with colleagues, teachers and friends. By the time we reach home, it’s time for a rushed dinner. And honestly, no matter how much we love our kids, we can’t wait to send them to bed.

Everyone wants their downtime at the end of the day, considering so much had been going on from morning till evening. So husbands and wives end up doing their own things. Some might be playing games on their devices, some read, some watch movies on their television or some just waste time away on Facebook and Instagram. We’ve all done these things. We’ve all been there. This is what being in a relationship mindlessly looks like. We let our level of energy and the flow of the day dictate how we spend time with our partner.

This has got to stop.

We need to be in a relationship mindfully – knowing and planning what we want to do with our spouse. We have got to be in control of how we spend our time, especially so when that time is spent in the presence of our partner.

Step 1: Agree 

Talk with your partner and make sure both of you agree to want to put in more effort to plan your couple time. If not, this is not going to work. Together, decide how much time you want to at least allocate for just the two of you in a week. Remember to be realistic. Also, agree on the type of activities you both would want to engage in.

This is to prevent situations whereby both of you will be at a loss as to how to spend time together.

Step 2: Schedule It 

I know love comes from the heart, but to keep that love going, it has to be inserted in the calendar just like any other important thing in your life. Most of the times, the heart just can’t win your schedules. That’s just how it is.

Step 3: Commit

This is the part most people fail to act on. They either tell their friends or colleagues they’re free for a business even though they have the appointment at the back of their mind. Somehow we think we can treat our spouse as less important than work and colleagues. But why should we? They are the ones that will last with us.

Or both husband and wife are just too exhausted to even bother to spend time together.

Now, hold on a minute…

Do you both want this marriage to be happy and last till death do you part? If yes, don’t be lazy.

For your information, that sentence is for ME. I know how difficult it is. I am an introvert and all I want to do every evening is be by myself. But I know that’s not healthy for our relationship.

So let’s just do it! At least once a week, a few minutes, give your spouse your whole attention. Talk, massage, laugh, etc…

Till next week,

Lili is a wife and a mum to 3 boys. An aspiring writer. Adores creativity, art and beautiful creations. Dog lover. Gentle-parenting follower. Follow her parenting journey at http://www.happywehappyfamily.com where she writes about family happiness and how to stay connected to our spouse and kids.

Dear Husband… A Wife’s Humorous Open Letter

Dear Husband,

One of the happiest days of my life was the day we decided to be together for the rest of our lives. Since then, you’ve been an amazing partner.

Your embrace loosens my tensions,
your kiss on my forehead assures me that you are here for me,
your hand holding mine lets me know that I still have you by my side…

But dear husband, no relationship is perfect and neither is ours. Let’s get real here…

You are only safe every time I see ANOTHER pair of socks at the doorway because you helped me take out the trash that morning.

Seeing you SOUND ASLEEP whenever I had to feed the baby for the 5th time at night really made me want to murder someone but you’re still alive till this day because I still remember how you went out at 3 A.M. to take-away McDonald’s French Fries for me 5 nights in a row when I was pregnant, and you didn’t complain one bit. (I will forever be grateful… but if I had to wake up for the 6th time… well.. we’ll talk about that when it happens)

You ignoring me while you’re playing your games is a real turn-off but I let it be because I see how you willingly shop with me for hours on end when I needed to find the perfect dress… and yet I didn’t get any after 5 hours of searching…

That toilet seat? I’ll just live with it because I don’t put the seat back up for you anyway. We’re even on this one.

And you looking at that girl that just walked past… wait, what? no, there’s no forgiveness there, no matter how perfect you are. So DON’T LOOK.

And lastly, I want you to know that …

12 Ways To Have Fun With Your Spouse Without Breaking The Bank

My husband and I have been married for almost 9 years. And believe it or not, we went without dates for the first 8 years. It took a toll on our intimacy, it took a toll on our mental health and it took a toll on the kids. We didn’t have time to be ourselves. We didn’t have time to be there just for each other, to listen to each other’s problems. We didn’t have time to unwind and relax as a couple. We didn’t have the chance to do romantic things. And that slowly turned us into grumpy parents for our kids.

Fortunately, both of us decided we needed our way of life to change. For the past one year we have gone out on weekly dates, sometimes twice a week. It was a breath of fresh air! We couldn’t fathom out how we survived the first 8 years of our marriage without dates! Now we’re addicted to time alone together.

The reason that we didn’t have dates is because we are both living in a country that’s not our own, so that means our parents/in-laws are not in close proximity. We didn’t have help. We didn’t want to leave our kids with friends, it just didn’t feel comfortable because most of our friends were still single and childless. We were the early ones to become parents.

Lucky for us, we had help the whole of last year and it was such a good investment. It seemed like a waste of money to hire help but when it gives you back your time and sanity, I would say it’s worth it.

So if you are struggling and coping without help, please consider hiring a part time baby sitter. If you have family close by, don’t be afraid to ask for help at least once in two weeks. I’m sure they’d be delighted to take care of your kids for a few hours. You really need those free hours!

Here are some of the very fun things to do with your spouse that does not cost much at all:

Go night-cycling and enjoy the lights of the city. Have a stop-over at a cheap place you can have a drink or light supper. Super fun way to spend time together, and even get some exercise in the schedule! Kill two birds with one stone! if cycling at night is out of the question, then cycle during the day. Just get your wheels and your helmet ready and pedal away!

Create your own Photo-taking Session! Grab a tripod, your camera-phone and your smiles and you’re ready. Choose a location that has meaning to you, or simply because you like how it looks and feel. Take couple photos together, set the timer on your phone and get your smiles ready while you’re in each other’s arms. If you are both camera-shy, you can still have a date going around new places to capture beautiful shots with your camera-phone, compact camera or a DSLR. The joy is in spending time together, doing something different together and having something as a memory keepsake.

Hold Hands and Go Window-Shopping. Now now, ladies don’t get too excited. I don’t mean shopping for clothes or shoes. I mean shopping for something that is important for the two of you. Window-shopping gives the same delightful feeling as does planning for a vacation. You don’t actually have to buy anything, the process of looking at products and items that interest you gives you something to look forward to when you can finally make the purchase. Some of the things you can go window-shopping as a couple are to shop for house furniture, perhaps a new car, and in-house entertainment systems (the guys would love it!).

Have a Lovely Breakfast. You have no idea how liberating it was for us on our first breakfast date! Imagine this, I was able to put food into my mouth without having to feed anyone or listen to anyone go on and on about their newly found game from the App Store. It was just us, enjoying our food and each other. We could look into each other’s eyes and talk! No kids to interrupt and no spills to wipe! That’s as close to heaven as it gets!

Dance date. Put your portable speaker into your bag, head outside, choose a secluded spot and turn on slow romantic songs. Hold each other and do the slow dance like you’re the only people in the world. When was the last time you danced with your spouse? Most probably at your wedding! Why not do it again?

Volunteer at an animal Shelter. Aww those paws and wet nose will not only be therapeutic for your soul but you will also get to do something fun together with your spouse, without having to run after the kids!

Get Outdoors. Do you love a good hike? Do you like a stroll at the beach? How about just sitting near a lake, enjoying the peace and quiet? Choose whatever and wherever you love, just be there together and cherish the moment 🙂

And if you really can’t find help to look after your kids, then date at home! It doesn’t make it any less fun. Just get the kids to bed early and begin your date!

Play the Newlywed Game. Search the internet for questions that you would like to have each other’s answer. Write your answers at the same time and have a good laugh while getting to know your spouse a little bit better.

Give each other a spa-standard massage. What’s the key here? Soothing music (you can easily find them on YouTube), scented candles, massage oil and a slow massage that is not rushed. Guaranteed, both of you will feel relaxed and rejuvenated. You might end up wanting to do this for every date night because it feels SO GOOD!

Chat about the future. Daydream together. Tell each other your hopes and dreams, your plans and wishes. People change over time so what you knew about your spouse a few years ago might not be true now. It’s time for an update!

Movie Night. Nothing beats cuddling up on the sofa watching a movie you both love. Sometimes you don’t need to say anything, but being together while enjoying the same thing, is enough. That’s what partners are for isn’t it? To spend time with while you do something you love.

DIY together. Choose a furniture in your home that you both want to give a make-over. Get your spray-cans of paint and tools ready. Get to work and create a new masterpiece for your living room or bedroom all while having fun together.

(featured image: courtesy of Mo Riza – Flickr)

Why I Put My Husband Before My Kids

Even my husband will be shocked reading this title. The thoughts “Who? Lili? Puts her husband first?” will probably run through his mind. Mind you, if you are reading this dear husband, I do try to put you first even if you might not feel it (yet).

There is no doubt that I can never quantify my love for the people in my life and put them in order. It just doesn’t work that way. My parents are special to me because they have been everything to me and still is. My sister has a place in my heart because I watched her growing up. My husband is the one I chose to spend the rest of my life with. My kids were wanted by me and given to me by god’s will, fate, nature, you name it. I love them all the same, no more, no less.

Yet, in life, we have to make choices. We can’t have it all, we can’t get everything done. That’s just how it works. We have to choose. And I make it my life philosophy to put my husband before my kids.

Anybody who knows me well enough, including my husband, would have thought that I love my children more than I love him. But no. I love them all the same and it is my intention to always put my husband  before my kids.

Kids, if you are reading this when you’re all grown up, I hope you will understand what I mean and always know that our family – every single one of you – mean the world to me.

Here are my (very good) reasons (I would say) for making my life philosophy to put my husband before my kids:

We Chose Each Other

Out of all the people in my life, I get to choose one person to spend my life with. I get to choose one person to love. I get to choose one person to be my partner in everything. He doesn’t deserve second place after the kids come. After all, he’s still my first choice. I have to remember not to take him for granted. I have to remember to show him the love that I have for him. I have to remember that he was here before the kids.

There’s No-One Else Who Will Put Us First

If we don’t put each other first in our family, there is no one else who will. We vowed to be there for each other through thick and thin, till death do us part. Why not be the person to always have our partner’s best interest at heart? My husband is the type that puts everyone else before himself. That is one quality I admire in him. However, it can be his strength and weakness at the same time. So I want to do my best to make sure he is well-taken care of and that his wants and needs are not ignored.

We Are the Foundation For The Kids 

My life goal is to have a happy family above material possessions and financial status. Family comprises of my husband, me and our children. We can only have a happy family if all of us are happy. If I put my children first, will my husband be happy? Of course he would be, he loves the children too. But, he might feel neglected and less important, and that’s not how I want him to feel. When he feels that way, there will be a strain in the marriage, when that happens, the family is no longer a happy family. Thus, by putting each other first, we are doing our children a very big favour. There’s no doubt that we will love them the best we can, but it’s even better when we keep the family closer and stronger by putting our partner first.

So As To Not Groom Self-Centred Children

We are the first generation of parents to really put our kids interest first. We read hundreds of books and consult thousands of other mamas on Facebook groups that we join. All because we want what’s best for our children. It is easy for the kids to feel on top of the world. It is easy for the kids to feel they’re entitled. It is easy for the kids to feel their needs are more important than other people. But that’s not how we want them to feel. We want them to know their place.

We want them to know that everybody has their own place in life and that sometimes they can be on top, but other times other people will come first.

So Our Sons Will Learn and Put Their Wives First

My husband and I are the closest marriage couple to our children. They will learn what marriage is, how it’s supposed to look like and what works and doesn’t work by looking at my relationship with my husband. There’s no doubt we want them to have their own happy family in the future, that is why it is important for them to know the importance of putting their spouse before their kids. It keeps the family together.

In The End, It Will Be Just US “Again”

When the children are all grown and leave home to have their own lives, it will be just me and my husband together. By then it would have been too late to rekindle any spark of love and without kids we might not feel the need to be together anymore. So, to prevent that scenario, I intend to keep the love going strong from here onward.

Putting My Husband First Does NOT Mean My Kids Will Lose Out At All

If you’re still thinking I am a little crazy to put my husband first, I can understand where you’re coming from. You want what’s best for your children, so do I. But we have to remember that by putting our husbands first, it does not immediately translate to our kids being neglected, ignored or overpowered.

Instead, it just means that while making decisions inside and outside of home, I remember to take my husband’s feelings into consideration, and not only my kids’.

If you want to tell your husband how much you value him, share this post with him to make his day 🙂

Understand His Needs

It’s not unusual that in some relationships, the woman feels that her marriage is going fine while her husband feels otherwise. How could two people in the same relationship have different feelings about how well their relationship is doing? That’s because men and women have different love language and different needs. And more often than not, those differences go un-examined and ignored, leaving people who started off loving each other becoming a couple who resent each other or are annoyed by each other.

Today I’m going to address the needs of he-who-is-the-husband.

Space

Not all husbands need a lot of space. But it’s worth taking a look at this concept of “space” in a relationship. Some husbands want their wives to be right beside them all the time, involved in everything together. Others need some time to themselves to recharge, work on things or simply be themselves with their friends without having a partner by their side.

The first thing we women need to understand is that when the men want space, it is by no means a signal that they have run out of love for us, or that they are sick of us or that they can’t stand us. Different people enjoy being different versions of themselves. Some men might love being a husband and dad who sticks to their family, goes everywhere together and does everything together (like my late beloved father and my husband) while some men simply miss their time to chill and be “a guy” with their friends like they used to before we women came into their lives. It’s not that they don’t want us in that part of their lives, maybe they just treasure the way things are with their  buddies and do not want to mess it up by always bring their wife along. Some men like to be in their own thoughts, without having constant company. They might like to go fishing or hiking alone to recharge themselves.

Understand the level of space your husband needs, respect it and gift him that much needed space. It won’t make him drift further away, instead he will feel understood and it might give him a much needed recharge.

Sex

Do you ever wonder why there are more female sex workers that cater to male customers than there are male sex workers who cater to female customers? That’s because men are more into sex. Something in their biological genetic make-up programs them to needwant and enjoy sex MORE THAN the average female does.

Understand this, most men can’t live without sex but most women can.

Why does such an imbalance exist?! I have no idea. But since there is an imbalance, we might as well take note.

So now that we know what they need, it is up to us women to find that perfect balance with our partner of how much sex is perfect for one’s relationship. Too little sex will make the husband suffer, too much sex will make the wife suffer. So as a couple,

  • talk to each other openly about the expectations of sex
  • hug and kiss more to feel connected and close, this will naturally lead to more sexual attraction and therefore nurturing a healthier relationship
  • spend more time alone together, without the kids, housework or your phone

Trust

Something that every man wants in a relationship that he is serious about is trust from his woman.

Trust is one of the most valuable gift you can give to a person. Naturally, anyone would want to be trusted by the most important person in their life. So not only trust him, but show him that you trust him. And he will be a very happy man in a relationship.

3 Key Habits That Saved Our Relationship

A few months ago, my husband and I had a heart to heart talk. Well, actually it was a heart to heart text messaging. It was past midnight and I was in the bedroom trying to fall sleep (I’ve always had trouble falling asleep) while he was on the living room sofa being depressed about the state of our relationship, on top of everything else from work that was bothering him. So we began a string of text messages exposing our raw emotions and what we had hoped could be different. It might seem silly that we texted instead of talked, but sometimes we express ourselves better when we write. We don’t cut the other person’s sentence half way and we think before we click send, something most of us can’t do so well verbally.

Problems that surfaced, but not new nonetheless, were the lack of quality time we had as a couple, the lack of intimacy, we both agreed we felt like we were roommates helping each other raise a bunch of kids that matter to us both and that there was nothing more between us, we love each other but we didn’t feel we had the chance to give and receive that love. That text conversation made me nervous for the stability of our family.

Fast forward to today, we are much happier and satisfied with the dynamics of our relationship. But how was that possible? How did we go from what seemed like a failed marriage to one that will last instead of heading straight down to divorce?

Looking back, as a couple, we developed 3 key habits that most likely saved our relationship. We seek clarity, we communicate and we raise energy when we need to.

  1. Clarity 

    We asked ourselves these questions from time to time over the past few months and made sure we were working for the same thing and heading to a mutually desirable destination:- What is it that we wanted as a couple?
    – What is missing?
    – What kind of change do we want to see in our relationship 6 months from now?

    Seeking clarity is about knowing what the current problem is, as well as knowing where we want to go from here.

  2. Communication 

    If my husband had not expressed his depressive mood about the state of our relationship, and waited for his ticking-unhappiness time-bomb to explode, where do you think we will be right now?

    Communication is so so important but most of us think we already know how to do it and that can potentially lead to complacency.

    So how do we communicate effectively? In our relationship, we try very hard to follow these 3 golden rules of communication though it doesn’t mean we could do it 100% of the time, but at least we try to.

    Listen and try to put ourselves in the other person’s shoes. Why is he telling me this? What importance does it have to him? How would I feel If I were in his shoes?

    – State without accusing. Oftentimes when couples fight, it almost always sounds like one person is blaming the other. Instead, we try to state the problem without hinting that the other party is at fault. That way, we can help each other solve the problem instead of argue over whose fault it was or wasn’t, which naturally won’t lead to any solution.

    – Always allow the door of communication to be open. Be approachable and be willing to listen when your partner wants to talk about something. Brushing it off till the next day is a habit that might destroy what’s most precious to you: your marriage.

  3. Raise Energy

    How do you have a relationship without energy? Do you remember how hyped you were to go on your first date? Or how energetic you felt just thinking of meeting him or her for dinner after work years ago?

    In a marriage, especially those with kids, energy could be hard to maintain. That’s where most couples lose in the battle to keep the relationship going.

    3 ways to raise energy:

    change frame of mind. Have a way to prompt yourself to change your mood before you walk through the door when you come back from work. Or do a 5-minute meditation when you switch from responsibilities to a relaxing evening with your spouse. Sometimes we have to consciously make ourselves ready and available to interact with our spouse.

    improve overall health. When we’re healthy, our energy lasts longer throughout the day. Keep fit by having a regular exercise routine. Stay healthy by eating a good balance of protein, fruits and vegetables.

    remember what’s important. Sometimes when we remember what’s precious to us, we have the motivation and the energy to carry things out. Just don’t forget to remember 🙂

And…. as simple as that, we’re back on track. We’re loving as ever and we do our best to carve out time from our daily responsibilities and kids for one another.

Will you try these 3 habits in your relationship even though there’s no problem right now? I’m positive that it will take your marriage to a whole new level. Who wouldn’t want to be even happier? 😉