By Davida Brown The first year of a relationship is nothing short of exciting. You want to know absolutely everything about him or her, and every new thing you learn makes you want to know more. Because you're in learning mode, you haven't quite figured out each other's comfort zone. You haven't quite figured out what works for you as a couple. What's your role, what's his or hers. Each day, week or month is like a new adventure. Fast forward 8 years. You have a great relationship and you hopefully still experience excitement and adventure together. Even so, let's be honest, it's not at a 10 like it was that first year, but that's okay. There's something special about "knowing" your spouse that's beautiful and comforting. That said, even the most seasoned couples need to shake things up a bit. Periodically, each of us needs to step out of our role and comfort zone to light that fire in the relationship. Yesterday, I did. My husband and I have been together for almost 9 years. We've settled quite nicely into our roles in the home. I'm the primary caretaker for the kids and I handle most of the cooking and cleaning. My husband takes out the trash, fixes everything that's breaks around the house, takes care of the cars, walks the dog and shovels any snow. Yes, we'll pitch in and help the other from time to time with tasks, but we generally stick pretty firmly to our roles.…
By: Abigale Hassel Before I get started with this discussion, let me just say that I have wonderful in-laws. They respect our boundaries. They never insert their opinions unless we ask for them. They never say a bad word about anyone and they are always there when we need them. Most importantly, my mother- in-law always takes my side. In all seriousness, I am very lucky, but a lot of people are not as lucky as I. We all hear in-law jokes. The in-law issue can make for hysterical comedy. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” just happens to be one of my favorite movies and it deals with overbearing in-laws. While it can be funny, it can also cause a lot of problems within the marital relationship. If you are having in-law issues, I hope the following suggestions help. Be a united front: Just as a couple must be a united front with the children, the same holds true for the in-laws. I will use a family member’s situation as an example. For the sake of anonymity, I will not specify which family member. So the wife married into a very overbearing family. From the planning of the wedding, her husband’s family tried to dictate the terms. It continued through their marriage. It eroded to the point where it negatively impacted the relationship. He never stood up for his wife to his family and then he started to talk about her behind her back to his family, which only added…
By: Abigale Hassel As a modern woman and wife, I have struggled with the concept of submitting to my husband. As a young wife, I had an attitude of independence. I made it clear to my husband that he did not “own me” and I commanded respect. The funny thing was, he always respected me. I never needed to command that. As I matured, as I grew in my faith and as my husband and I worked through some relationship issues over the years, I realized I needed an attitude adjustment. It was time for me to learn how to submit and surrender to my husband. I am not going to lie; I had difficulty. Truth be told, my husband still has difficulty with the concept, because he never thought of me as anything other than an equal. Moreover, there were times he looked to me to be the problem solver and to take the lead in certain situations. He never wanted to be the “head of the household”. He wanted the king and queen of the castle to have equal power, and we do. So now let us look at what submission means. What submission is: The Bible has much to say about submitting, both throughout the old and the new testaments. I am referencing the Bible simply to give a foundation of support for the concept of submitting and surrendering, which I will use interchangeably, within the marital relationship. I believe that even if you are not Jewish…
By: Abigale Hassel I need to start this discussion with a couple of disclaimers. Firstly, feminists may not want to read any further, because I will be reinforcing the notion that men and women are in fact different and some may consider this to be politically incorrect. I am far from PC. Consider yourself warned. Secondly, there are always exceptions to the rules. Men can have more feminine traits, while women can have more masculine traits. The purpose of this discussion is to help married couples understand one another more. Having said that, let us now look at the many ways men and women are different. 1) We think differently. I once read the perfect description of how the minds of men and women operate. Bill and Pam Farrel wrote that men think in boxes, while women think like a plate of spaghetti. That basically means that men tend to compartmentalize. They put things in figurative boxes and think about one thing at a time. Sometimes, they file the box away and avoid thinking about certain things. This can account for how our husbands sometimes forget things that seem easy enough to remember. Women, on the other hand, think like a plate of spaghetti. Think about that for a second. A plate of spaghetti consists of many, many noodles overlapping. Sometimes, one noodle may not be distinguishable from another. It is a pile of jumbled mess. In other words, we women think about several things all at once. We do…
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