I like to think. A lot. I’m really a thinker. (Sometimes that gets me in trouble. i.e. overthinking) But my list of thinking usually looks like the following:
- Are we really demonstrating frugality and the value of money well enough to our kids?
- Why did so-n-so send me that email about that project at work? Does he have some info I don’t? Did he talk to the GM? Is he just trying to stir the pot?
- What is a better way to plan our meals this week with our crazy schedule?
- I need to decide on that summer camp so we can figure out if there is time for a family vacation this summer.
- What should I write back to that Fire Wife in Rescue My Marriage who is having a particularly rough week?
- How am I going to fit 3 runs in this week?
- I wonder how my friend’s baby is doing?
- What should I post that will be most honorable to the Boston Fire Department this week?
That’s a pretty good list. Doesn’t look like I’m wasting time worried about the next American Idol or whatever the Kardashians are up to. It’s focused on family and good living and meaningful work. But there is something super important that is missing and is sometimes taken for granted. My marriage.
There. I said it. I, the woman preaching about strengthening marriage and encouraging fire wives to do the same and spends so much time reading marriage blogs and books, find myself in seasons where I have totally taken for granted my own marriage and the needs of my husband. Yes we are doing good. Growing everyday. Navigating communication challenges that happen between every male-female relation on the planet. We enjoy doing things together. Intimacy is good. Marriage isn’t stale. But here’s the problem.
If you aren’t intentionally growing something, it stagnates.
And in the busy-ness of life it can be so easy to just go with the flow in your marriage, which isn’t bad or in trouble, but just isn’t getting the nurturing it needs to get through the next upcoming tough time. And there WILL be a tough time. BAM! Bigger challenges show up. Then comes the painful, hurtful wake up call. I’m more and more convinced that even though those early years of marriage feel so challenging, as the kids get older, your parents get older, retirement financial planning looms closer, bigger challenges lie ahead. Waiting for the wise old you and your spouse to grow into them.
We just experienced one of those wake up calls a couple months ago actually. I’m just now feeling “over it” enough to share with you. Life was grand. Moving right along. Busy and happy and happy and busy. Then we hit something more than a speedbump and instead of being able to buckle down and take it head on together as a team, we took it out on each other. Not. Pretty.
We are over it and stronger for it. But I can think of a hundred more graceful and love-giving ways we could have ventured that path. We righted the ship. Adjusted priorities (again) and realized we don’t have it all figured out and really need to keep working on those areas that are trickier for us in our marriage. Talking about some financial decisions we have coming up. Deciding how we are going to address some of these new teenage issues. And figuring out some new health challenges here in our forties that are definitely affecting our lifestyle.
I tell you this for a few reasons.
#1 I’m real. And transparent. And really transparent. It’s the only way I know how to be and never want to pretend that I’ve been handed the responsibility of “Chief Fire Wife” of this blog because I have it all figured out.
#2 I’m committed to bringing the best resources to the fire community to help us all strengthen our marriages
#3 Because it was really crappy having that wake up call and I’m going to shout from the roof tops if it’s going to reach even one person
#4 Because I like lists. It keeps all those thoughts organized better. (at least in my brain)
So I close with this final list. A list of ACTIONS and HELP. Because I don’t want this to just be another “listen to me journal out my therapy session” blogs. That’s a bit self-serving. I want to be sure we are delivering value to the fire community. Here’s your value. Long hours of discussions and meetings with many amazing resources who bring the best marriage tools are behind this list of partners and resources that we hold in high regard. These are the best of the best so you don’t need to sift through the junk in your facebook feed. That’s why we don’t share everyone’s stuff. And that’s why we work hard to bring the best programs with partners like these.
Do something on this list for your marriage today:
#1 Follow these people on Facebook and their websites for FREE, inspirational marriage advice every day
- OneExtraordinaryMarriage.com Tony & Alisa DiLorenzo are another REAL and inspiring couple who just get it.They have the #1 marriage podcast in iTunes!
- DaveWillis.org (founder of the Facebook page “Marriage” with over 700k fans!)
- The Dating Divas Talented, creative and super positive gals who bring the best ideas for fun to your dating life (yes you should still date your husband)
#2 Read a book or blog post on marriage. Here’s our list of favorites at our Marriage Resources page.
If you aren’t good at sticking to this on your own, over 400 members of our Fire Wife Sisterhood are there to go through it together with you. I challenge you to ask any member if there marriage has been stronger since joining. Its free, check it out. No excuses!
#3 Just go on a date
Make some time with your spouse and really just focus on you. Tackle some of those areas you’ve been neglected. No excuses. Small kids and no sitter? Make a date to talk on your family room floor at 9 pm after they are in bed and you are not yet too tired. No excuses.
You know we aren’t saying this to be all preachy. And it might feel uncomfortable like I’m screaming it at you. So sorry. I really am saying all of this with my warm loving heart. Because not saying anything is like saying we don’t care about you. And we do. I hope you find something in this list to grow your marriage just a little bit.
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