Not too long ago I received a message from a friend in regards to a picture I posted of Josh and I on Facebook that I titled “never stop dressing up for each other.” I didn’t post the picture to make anyone feel bad for not finding the time to dress up for their husband but rather to remind all of the women and men out there that dressing up and making time to have a night out together is important to keep your relationship alive. I’ve asked this friend for her permission to blog in regards to her message to me without mentioning her name and she was perfectly ok with it. My reason for this is that I know plenty of women feel just like she does and so rather than write privately about it I’d like to open up about why finding time for one another is important.
In her message she basically said that with her working full-time, taking care of 2 kids and going back to school she can hardly find time to think about herself, let alone how to dress up and get out the door. She wanted to know how Josh and I have the time/energy/strength to go out. Her child care options after hours are limited, and she often feels like her and her husband are more like roommates.
WARNING: This will probably be a very long blog.
When Josh and I first got together we weren’t certain if we wanted children. We were so in love and so selfish with our time together. We hated being apart and spent all our free time together. I think one of my biggest fears about having a baby was that it would change us and the way we were with each other (as selfish as that sounds it was true). We were together two years before getting married and married almost 5 when we got pregnant with Atiana. We had 7 years of fun together, 7 years of traveling, making memories, learning one another, living together, spending all our time together and then one random night we decided we were ready for something more. We were ready to share our world and we were ready to become even closer by bringing a baby into the world. We knew having a baby would be life changing. We knew it would change our world and possibly challenge us in so many ways, but one thing we talked about repeatedly is that if we were going to do this together, then we needed to make sure we were going to continue to be US and always keep our relationship alive and healthy (vacations, date nights, taking random days off work to have a day together etc..). We had these conversations all the time during my pregnancy and even while pregnant we continued to maintain our weekly date nights.
I never let myself go during pregnancy. I worked out, I tried to eat as healthy as I could, I put myself together fully every single day and I think I even wore heals up until a few days before giving birth to our daughter. I wanted to feel beautiful when I was pregnant and I wanted my husband to always see me at my best no matter how exhausted or swollen I felt some days.
When Josh and I fell in love we were 23. He fell in love with a girl that worked hard to maintain her figure (I think at that time I was running 6 miles a day), a girl that had a full time job she had to look presentable at daily, a girl that had her own money and a brand new car she had just bought herself, a girl that had just learned to become independent and confident and was doing life for herself and no one else. I fell in love with a man that had his shit together. At 23 he was not only the hottest thing I had ever laid eyes on but he was outgoing, fun, funny, had his own apartment since the age of 18 and was already established in his career. Falling in love with each other only made us want to better ourselves for one another even more. We were always trying to impress each other.
10 years later that still has not changed. I truly believe that you should always try to impress your husband and that there really is no excuse not to. I want to remain the person Josh fell in love with and if anything I want to be better than I was when he met me. Just because I’m a mom, I work full-time and we’ve been together for 10 years does not mean I get to give up on looking good and feeling good for my husband. We are growing together, we are aging, life is constantly changing but I will never give up trying to impress him just because the years are flying by and just because we have a child that demands a lot of our attention.
Here’s a funny little story:
The other night Josh and I were heading out to an engagement party at my future sister-in-laws house. I wore this $10 solid color olive green dress I got from Forever 21 and dressed it up with some fun gold jewelry and some chunky heals. It was nothing expensive or fancy just something that I threw together that was comfortable and easy. Josh comes out of our bedroom dressed in nice slacks, nice shoes and a button up shirt. My first reaction was ok he is making me feel way under dressed for this event. I seriously thought about changing my outfit. So I said to him “wow you got really dressed up for this” and he responded with “I was just basing my outfit off of yours. You’re dressed really nice so I wanted to look nice too.” The funny part was I thought my outfit was casual because it was a $10 outfit but in his eyes I looked like we were going somewhere fancy for the night. Just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a bunch of money to look amazing in your husband’s eyes. A little hair, makeup and accessorized outfit go a long way…
I can’t even count the number of times we have gotten ready for date night and one of us changes our outfit to try and keep up with the other if we feel “undressed.” That’s one thing I love about our relationship, we never stop trying to impress one another rather instead we try to keep up with each other.
Two of biggest excuses I hear about couples that don’t make time to date each other is #1 Our child care is limited. We only have like one person we trust with our kid/kids and #2 We are just too busy, we work too much and our weekends are busy. Let me just say this. You will make time for what is important to you. If your marriage is important to you then you will make time to nourish it. Yes, Josh and I pay for Atiana to attend preschool but outside of that our options for babysitters are limited too. His mom and dad are the only other people that watch her so we can have a date night and if they aren’t available for a few weekends in a row, we take a day off work together, take Atiana to school, and spend a whole entire day together doing things we love. Our relationship is valuable and important to us and I’m a true believer that when you give up on nourishing ANY relationship it will slowly fall apart.
I listen to a lot of Podcasts while I do cardio or during my drives to/from work. This morning I was listening to Heather Dubrow’s podcast (No I do not watch any of the housewives shows, yes I know these people are rich and have help but that is not an excuse) where she was interviewing her husband Terry Dubrow. These two are an amazing couple and I have so much respect for them and the love they have for each other. They have 4 kids (two are twins) and they both have full-time demanding jobs but they always make time for each other. They constantly lift each other up, date, communicate, joke around and encourage each other even after 4 kids and 20 years of marriage. She said that she always makes sure she looks nice when her husband gets home even if it’s a quick 10 minutes of throwing herself together, they schedule sex because sex is important and she finds time every single day to work out despite how busy she is with 4 kids so she can look good and feel good for herself too. I don’t know much about this woman but I know I can 100% relate to the podcast I listened to this morning.
It’s so important to stay connected in a marriage. You have to make an effort to spend time together, communicate about everything, have date nights without the kids, alone time when the kids go to bed, make time for sex and find things that you enjoy doing together whether it be working on projects around the house together, working out together etc… If you neglect your marriage, your spouse’s needs, your ability to connect to one another and lose your desire to serve each other you’re going to set your marriage up to fail. I’m not saying I know everything about marriage but these are the things that have kept our marriage happy and alive.
When Josh transitioned into his new job a few months ago I felt disconnected from him for a short time. His mind was so wrapped up in work that I felt like our life literally revolved around work and our time together was kind of pushed to the side. This wasn’t something I was used to because we always make time to connect at the end of the day. I tried being understanding at first, I knew he was stressed out and I didn’t want to burden him with how I was feeling because I felt selfish for feeling the way I felt. I knew it would pass once he settled into his new position but then part of me thought if I didn’t communicate how I was feeling now, it might get worse later. Josh and I always communicate about everything but I was trying not to burden him so early on in his new career. It didn’t take long before I opened up to him about how I was feeling and I am so thankful I did because I can honestly say it has made us even stronger and I feel like we’ve connected even more now. He makes me feel included in what goes on at work (not that he needs to but it gives me a better understanding of how hard his job is) and I’m able to give him my perspective on things so that when he thinks about work at night or talks about work at night I feel like I’m doing it with him rather than not understanding what the hell is going through his mind when he’s stressed. I’m thankful for our open communication because it’s made our marriage so strong.
My point is there is no excuse for not making time to date your spouse and dress up for your spouse even when you don’t have plans to go anywhere that night! I mean who knows, maybe he will come home one night to you all dolled up and decide to take you out : ) Men are visual, they want to come home to someone that takes the time to look presentable and it makes them feel good knowing you took the time to look good for them. Make time for sex, make time to fulfill each other’s needs and desires and don’t ever stop trying to impress one another because it’s one of the best things you can do for your marriage aside from communication. Always remember that whatever you’re not willing to do for the person you’re with, someone else will be willing to do it.
If you’ve reached a point in your marriage where date nights no longer exist, sex is minimal and you feel like you’re just roommates with your spouse, then I challenge you to make some changes today. #1 Once the kids are in bed for the night put down the phones, videogames, turn off the TV, stop working on projects, whatever is distracting you guys from communicating and start communicating with your husband about your wants and needs and what makes you happy as a couple. Communication really is everything. Without it you have a marriage that can easily be torn apart. #2 Make a conscious effort to look good for your husband and remember men are visual, they don’t want to come home to someone that hasn’t taken the time to look presentable for them when they come home. Everyone has 10/15 minutes to look presentable before their man gets home, it really not that much work. #3 Be the initiator and plan a night for you two if your husband isn’t the type to initiate. Find a sitter (maybe a grandparent or someone that can come after hours when the kids are already in bed and stop making the excuse of not having anyone to watch your kids. You will make it happen if your marriage is important enough to you.) and plan a night out with your husband. Get all dolled up and when he gets home tell him you have plans for the two of you that night. Research some sexy restaurants to go to and make it a romantic non-rushed night out. Or plan a sex night. Go out and buy some candles, find some relaxing music, set the room up all nice and relaxing and tell him once the kids go to bed you want some alone time with him. It is so important to make time for sex because it truly makes you both happier people. Sex releases endorphins and it’s truly amazing how much closer sex can bring you together as a couple and how it puts you on this amazing high of feeling like you can take on the world. (yes, that’s how good sex should make you feel lol).
Your marriage should remain a priority in your life just as your kids are a priority in your life. You married your husband because you were in love with him, you desired him and he you, you guys saw a future together and because of that you guys chose to have children together. As life continues to fly on by its important that you continue to grow together as a couple. Continue to learn what makes each other happy, what pleases one another and how to manage your time so that you never fall astray from one another. One day your kids will be grown and they will leave and you two will be left to pick up right where you left off before having kids so it’s important to keep your relationship alive and full of love.
P.s My blog is my place to vent, to share stories and to help other women that may be feeling the same way. My intentions of blogging are not to offend anyone and/or to make anyone feel bad about whatever situation they are going through. Some women tend to think that just because we have different views on life/situations it means we can’t be friends/associated with one another. That’s not me, we can agree to disagree and still be friends.