Does Your Marriage Put the “Blah” in Blogging?

After the honeymoon and a couple good post-marital arguments, it seems everything goes kinda…stale.  In fact, that seems to be one of the biggest questions that long-time married couples have:  How do we keep the spice in our marriage?

With my own marriage, I’m beginning to notice this trend.  Despite only being married for two years, there’s a certain pattern evolving.  A pattern that seems typical of most marriages:  I do my thing, she does hers, we talk about it later on and when we’re together we tend to ask each other the question “What do you want to do today?”.  That’s our daily routine.  For something a little more long-term, about every week we order out, every month we have a cuddle night, and every other month it seems we have an argument that tests the bonds of our marriage.  That’s our marriage in a nutshell, and while it may seem perfectly fine on the outside, it does make it hard to say….write the next exciting blog about it!  I wonder if my scenario is typical or like most diets, marriage should have a warning of “Results May Vary” somewhere.

Well if you’re like me then I may have just come up with a solution…well, more of an experiment since I’ll actually be testing this.  It’s still a routine, but I figure the more general the better.

So for the day to day things, try to do one of  the following:

  1. Text your spouse~A joke, or a poem, or send them a random picture that you just took.  The joke doesn’t have to be hilarious, and the poem doesn’t have to be luvy-duvy, the point is to remind them that they’re on your mind.
  2. Words with Friends! ~This game is insanely addicting and the nice thing is that a single game can be played over the course of 10 days!  It’s basically Scrabble but for a smartphone.  The app is downloaded through either the Android Market or the Apple App Store, both versions are free and  if you don’t have a smartphone it can be played on your computer as well!
  3. Clean Something! ~I know, I know, I’m reaching!  Even though this may not/is not as fun as the first two, this one holds the largest benefit.  Cleaning has been proven to lower stress and is one of the most appreciative gestures that can be done.  I’m not asking that you clean the entire house or apartment but let’s face it, who doesn’t wish someone would pick up our mess!

Every week:

  1. Cook for them~ Most households have a designated chef, someone who is expected to cook.  In our society it’s usually the woman, but sometimes the guys do it.  Either way, make it a weekly tradition that whoever usually cooks gets to relax on a specific day and the other person fills in.  Skip ordering out…for now.
  2. Did someone say Massage?~ We all know how great it feels to get an amazing massage, the chemical releases our body goes through often times lead to sex, and a better outlook on life (usually in that order!).  Be careful with this one though, there’s nothing worse than premeditated arousal.  If you’re going to do this then make it special and keep it a secret until the last moment 😉
  3. Go over your Budget!~I did it again…didn’t I? Well, again, while not the most entertaining way to spend a night with your spouse, good budgeting can open the doors to future opportunities and avoid any future bumps in the road.  I admit, it doesn’t compare to a massage, but when most marriage arguments are about money in some form, this one was a must have.

Once a Month:

  1. Order out~Instead of doing it every week, which can get expensive and time-consuming, try taking it up to once a month.  Limiting to once a month helps to make it a special occasion instead of a “just-something-we-do”.  In addition the long-term effects are more money and better health–who can argue with that?
  2. Go on a Trip!~Now this one requires the most thought.  I don’t mean a trip across the country or anywhere too far–with gas the way it is who can afford it! I’m asking that you find somewhere in your city, that you haven’t been before: A batting cage, a skating rink, mini-golf, anywhere.  Try to keep it fresh, going to the movies is great but finding a great sunset location is even better!
  3. Just Talk~ I’m talking no TV, no music, no noise, lights dim and candles optional!  Ask each other fundamental questions like “Am I doing a good job?” “Why do you love me?” “Are you happy?”and “What can I do better?” Remember, this is a time to talk and appreciate each other…not argue! Cuddle up with your spouse and keep the conversation to a whisper.

And finally, Every Other Month:

  1. Whatever you want!~Anything is better than arguing!

Will you still have trials and tribulations? Hopefully, because that’s how you grow and discover just how strong your marriage is.  I hope this “routine” helps out.  Remember I said it’s an experiment, so be sure to follow me on twitter as I post my progress, and be sure to let me know if this is helping keep the spice in your marriage and the “blah” out of blogging!

Until next time,

-1modestman

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Why do Men cheat?

Preface: To my adoring wife, please know that just by me writing this is it an admission of guilt! I have never cheated on you and have no intentions to start.

~Your adoring husband

Now, depending on who you talk to (male or female), you may get two different answers. Rather, the same answer but phrased two different ways! But before we get that far, let’s set the stage: What is cheating? Is it just sex? If it is, does that mean I can kiss any woman’s neck? Ok, so it’s obviously more than sex, but what are the boundaries? As men, we shouldn’t feel guilty for merely having a conversation with a woman, unless that conversation has somatic intentions! WolframAlpha defines cheating as “violating accepted standards or rules”. Guys, I already know what you’re thinking: Loophole! I can see it now, “Well baby, I never knew that was a rule!”. Needless to say, I don’t care for that definition, and in fact, I don’t care for much of the others that I’ve come across. They’re all too…vague. Cheating is a big topic, you would think there would be some clarification as to what it is! Men are….. stupid, there, I said it! As a man, I know that I have smart moments, but when sided next to my wife I don’t stand a chance.

The definition I made up, and like to use is: “having an internal desire to please another person and acting on it in hopes that-the desire may be perceived, contrary to what a partner of relation may like”. I think it clears things up a lot if we use that definition. Broken down it’s basically: I must have feelings, I have to do something to show that person I have feelings for them, and it’s all despite what my partner would otherwise say.

OK, now that we have that cleared up: Why do Men Cheat?

So to the men, reading this, remember: If a player is stuck in a game he doesn’t want to play–for whatever reason, he’s going to change the rules. Plain and simple. I can hear all the men right now “ahhhhhhh….that makes sense!”

Ladies, if you didn’t get it, listen up: If your husband is stuck in a marriage he doesn’t want to be in–but can’t get out of, he’s gonna cheat…all day everyday, whether you know it or not.

I don’t know who coined it, but it’s the “80/20 rule”. They say in Marriage, you’re only going to get at most 80% or what you need/want. The problem then becomes that men go searching for that 20% while not realizing what they may lose. So women, I know you like to use sex as a way to make sure your husband behaves, but please remember: If he can’t get the sex he wants, he knows 10 other woman he can have sex with…and chances are he already has their phone number!

Cheating with another woman is HUGE, but it’s not the only thing. Porn is a big one. I watch porn. Everyone reading this blog has seen porn at least once. How do I know–because you’re on the internet! But porn, can be a form of cheating. I’ll give two examples to clear this up. The first one is obvious, using my own definition: I desire the person I’m looking at, I’m doing an action so that they can perceive it, and my significant other wouldn’t like me doing it—BOOM, cheating. But like I said before, I watch porn, but I’m not a cheater. In my circumstance it’s a little different. My sex drive, like many other men, is a lot higher than my wife’s. Since we’ve had our daughter she’s gone through the stages of recuperating, breastfeeding and now working again but the sex drive isn’t there anymore. So I talked to my wife (hint,hint) explaining that my needs weren’t getting met, I was contemplating cheating, but remembered the 80/20 rule and turned to porn. My wife knows I watch porn. Call it a weakness, but I’m not perfect. I don’t let it get in the way of my family/daily life. My wife understands that she can’t meet my needs–heck we have to fall short somewhere and so she permits me to do so. With her, she doesn’t want to see it, hear it, or anything. Out of site, out of mind. Thus, going back to my definition: I have the feeling, and I act on it, but it is not contrary to what my wife would say. Does she prefer it? She loathes the idea, but she and I know it’s better than the alternative since she’s not able to fill that void.

So why do guys cheat? Because we’re stupid. Sorry guys, I tried to sugar-coat it but that’s all I came up with. If you feel the need guys, just talk to your wife. I know it sounds scary, but not as scary as finding out you finally found someone who likes to have sex as much as you do, but they don’t cook, or clean and the only trick they do is juggle all of your credit cards!

So what do you guys think? Have you ever been cheated on/done the cheating? Feel free to leave a comment down below talking about what you think caused it!

Mortal Kombat Baby!

The more I thought about it, the more I realized: My 8 month old daughter is Scorpion, from Mortal Kombat!

It’s been a while since I’ve played the video game “Mortal Kombat”, but I recently watched the movie and instantly found myself reenacting my 8-year-old self!  I love how just after you watch a martial arts movie you think in your head “Man, I wish somebody would try and start some stuff right now! I’d give them a big Woo-Paaaaah!” and at the same time your hands are slicing through the air.  Like somehow, visual osmosis has become a real thing.

After the movie I begin my day by doing back flips and somersaults around the dirty clothes and dishes.  My reasoning is that I’m so powerful, that to combat such a weak opponent would be an insult to my strength. After that, I do nothing.  I wait and listen, my head is throwing around words like chakra, meditation, and animality.  Then all of a sudden, my concentration breaks.  My ears perk as I hear the shout of a worthy opponent, a formidable foe appears to have awaken from their slumber.

The shout becomes louder.  By the time I realize it, it’s too late!  Like a fisherman, my opponent has cast out their line, only to hook and reel me in like a Sunday Salmon.  The shout has transformed into a war-cry, and I prepare myself for battle. Familiarity raises its head, I have encountered this foe many times and know the dangers that lie ahead of me.  The cry becomes louder still. As I make contact with my opponent, an uneasy silence comes upon us both.  During this time I reminisce on the movie I watched earlier and it dawned upon me: the shout, the anger, the power, and the resilience.  The more I think about it, the more I realize, my 8 month old daughter is Scorpion from Mortal Kombat!  I quickly turned to gather my weapons: A powerful anti-bacterial fiber (ABF) to erase my foes acidic attacks, and a temporary container to prevent her barrage of attacks in the future.

Her war-cry begins once again, but this time I don’t hear the shrill, instead, I am caught in her reel as the words “Get over heeeere!” bring me in closer.  It appears as though my last container has already weakened, I quickly remove it only to find that it has been corroded with toxins.  I play the offensive and try to use my ABF to rid my enemy of any attacks, but I’m too late.  After a quick set of swift kicks, Scorpion unleashes her secret weapon: The bowel bomb!  Legend has it that Scorpion developed this attack to defeat Satan himself!  The legend continues by saying that since its arrival, few have ever survived.

She begins this process by lubricating herself with a lukewarm, but highly acidic substance that only she is immune to.  With skill and reflex on my side, I quickly use my ABF to prevent any flow of the substance to reach my body.  A decoy!  How could I be so stupid!  I knew I was in trouble by the smile on her face.  With all of my might used to block her acidic flow, Scorpion excreted a dark gel-like material to incinerate the flesh of my fingertips.  The malicious odor from the gel, coupled with my own distraught and weariness, left me dazed and disoriented.  As I stood there, swaying in my final moments, a voice rang throughout the lands, “FINISH HIM!” I knew the end was near.

“No!” I shouted, I shook off my dizziness, used my ABF (and multiple back ups) to remove the acidic spray and excreted gel.  I had gone berserk with a flurry of swipes and scrapes.  I repositioned myself to throw Scorpion off guard as I made sure to remove all bacteria and acid.  Once finished, it was time for me to add the container.  Though she fought back with kicks, I could tell she was giving up, admitting defeat.  My last container did not last as quickly as I hoped so I opted for one with specific hatred removal properties: Luvs.

I positioned the container, attached the locks and looked Scorpion in the eye.  Through miraculous effort and determination, I– a lowly  father, had won once again.

My celebration was short-lived as I heard a knock on the door. I went to answer

it, passing by not only dirty clothes and dishes, but now the destruction from my previous battle.  When I opened it, my stomach dropped.  The figure first looked at me with a smile, but then, after taking a few steps in they panned their attention left and right and it transitioned into a piercing glare.  That’s when I realized that the person who came in was not who I was expecting. It was Goro–the four-armed man from the first Mortal Kombat.  My wife was back from work.

Husband 2.0

Being a husband is a lot different from how it used to be.

My dad rules his marriage with a stern demeanor; reining king of his monarchy.  I in no way dismiss this “old school” way of matrimony, quite the contrary.  I believe this method requires the utmost discipline and foresight–a sort of “there’s a method to my madness” mentality.

It’s just that in today’s world the wife is no longer the second in command. Furthermore,  ever since chivalry died, she’s been taken off of her pedestal, and there is a new focus on how a husband is supposed to raise a household.

Baby, there’s going to be times when we disagree, and no matter how much we talk it through we’re not going to see eye to eye.  When that happens, someone has to have the final say.  I promise you that it’s not always going to be me, but it’s not always going to be you either.

I remember saying those words to my wife in the earlier parts of our marriage.  It goes against human nature–and our social culture, to have two units in command:  We have one president, we’ve always had one teacher at a time, and since we are animals, every group (or pack) needs a pack leader.  In fact the only time we aren’t presented with one clear and definite leader is when we’re growing up, with 2 parents.

To digress, haven’t you noticed that kids that grow up with a dad and no mom usually lack sensitivity, or when given the opposite lack forcefulness?  I’m speaking in general of course, but it’s an odd paradigm: we live in a nation that abandoned the monarchy, yet our culture still revolves around the leadership of one.

So to come full circle, the role of today’s husband is not to put our wives just below us, nor is it to raise them on a pedestal.  As husbands our job–and it is a job, is for us  and our wives to be at each other’s side.  Living and breathing proof, that if our society demands just a single leader, then husbands and wives will become one, to act–and decide, as a sole entity.

The Cons of Fatherhood

As with most of my posts, I’ll begin with a preface.  I want to make clear that I always like to end on a high note, and in this TWO part post, I’m saving the pros for last.

I remember a time when my wife and I could just go to a bar and stay up as late as we could.  Spending money frivolously on items that we didn’t need, or even using credit cards to spend money we didn’t really have.  It seemed like a weekly routine: Go to work Monday-Friday, and spend the money you just made on the weekends.  Groceries consisted of whatever we wanted to make/order, whether it be shrimp, steak, or takeout.  Being newly weds at the time, our sex life was nothing short of amazing, no matter the time of day or night we knew we could be intimate with one another.  Those we’re the days, and I loved every minute of it.

I always wanted a child.  We just passed our first year of marriage when the relatives brought on the usual barrage of questions: “So when am I going to get a grand-daughter?”, “Is there anything in the oven yet?”, or my favorite “If I remember right, your wife’s dress was more beige than white…were you already working on a niece for me?”  The onslaught continued until one day we got the good news… we were expecting!

Fast forward 17 months and that brings us to where we are today.  I now have a gorgeous wife and a beautiful daughter.  My life has changed indefinably and I couldn’t feel more complete.  Now that my daughter is 8 months old, I have had time to reflect on how my life has changed since having her.  I wish I could say that it all has been sunshine and rainbows, but it hasn’t.  There’s a side that is only ever spoken of at bachelor pads and wherever there is a negative pregnancy test:  The downside of having a child.

I’ll start with the biggest and most obvious.  I won’t spend a lot of time on it because everyone already knows what it is: Sex Life.  Consider it gone! Between work, late nights, breastfeeding, stress, hormone changes and family wanting to see the baby, the mere idea of sex is a rarity, let alone an action.  Don’t get me wrong, it happens, but to a woman your needs have now become second priority–as they should be.  I plan to touch on this later, but a good book to read is called “40 beads” by Carolyn Evans.

The next one is money.  Even if you have planned for a baby the cost can be cumbersome.  My wife and I both wanted a baby, we had a 3 month difference in when we wanted to have it.  We were ready emotionally and spiritually…just not financially.  Reality hit us hard.  For the first 2 months we were borrowing from friends and family, struggling to get diapers and wipes, all while I picked up overtime and another job–it was tough.  It wasn’t until we started making a budget that we realized that we had the money to pay bills and get the things taken care of but we hadn’t changed our life style.  We were still eating shrimp and steak and ordering takeout!  We started making a list and grocery shopping.  I believe it was at that point that it hit me, “I’m a dad!”.  I know my reaction time isn’t the greatest, but it wasn’t until I made those sacrifices that I made the transition from a consumer to a provider.  It’s something I reflect and pride myself on to this day.

The last one I wanted to bring up doesn’t get a lot of hype, but I feel it’s important to discuss: Monotony.  That’s right, being a parent–at least a first time parent is boring.  “How can it be boring” you might ask.  Simple.  I love dogs, so much that I convinced myself that a milestone to being a great parent is to successfully raise a dog.  After all, you teach a dog, play with a dog, and discipline a dog.  Same thing right–wrong.  The theory fails when you realize that all 3 of the aforementioned tasks can be completed in a matter of weeks.  Puppies learn faster than babies, that’s just the way it is.  So it begins that each and everyday, you go to work, come home, help out with the house and spend time with you child.  Every day.  The same thing.  And everyday your child is doing the same thing, or at least, the progress happens so slow that you don’t notice it.  Believe me when I say I love my daughter more than anything, I’ve read many books on parenting and fatherhood (6 to be exact) and they make it seem like one day they’re wobbling their head, and the next they’re talking back to you in the check out line.  Unfortunately it’s not as progressive as flipping pages in a book.  My daughter was 8 months before she started crawling.  That means for 8 months I went to work, came home, helped out with the house, and watched as my daughter couldn’t move anywhere.  Before reading on, please take a moment to imagine that process if you’re not already familiar with it: For 8 months we sat her on the floor, put toys in front of her, gave her time and energy, only to see the fruits of our labor  over half a year later.

The beautiful thing is when that day finally comes it’s miraculous!

As my wife would say, “Así es la vida!”–Tha’ts life.  From the obvious, to the taboo.  Parenting can be an amazing journey, so long as you remember knowledge and preparation are key.  I hope you follow along as next time I flip the coin and discuss the pros of being a parent–specifically a father!

How I met your mother

Sofia one day, sooner than I may realize, you’ll be reading this post. It’s scary to think about! I guess I should start by explaining that there is a pretty good show on right now called “How I Met Your Mother” that revolves around a guy detailing to his kids, well…how he met their mother. It’s been going on for I believe 7 seasons now, and I preface by saying, my story isn’t that long.

I had just dropped out of college after 2 years and your Grandpa–my dad, was still pretty upset. The stench of disappointment reeked through his 3rd shift uniform and he wasted no time in handing me a newspaper, telling me to start applying for jobs. I believe his words were “Get off your ass and go find a job!”– as he often so eloquently put matters. Little did I know that, that there, him handing me the newspaper, was the metaphorical butterfly flap that caused the tornado half way around the world–or at least in this case, at a local Mexican Restaurant.

LOS AGAVES. NOW HIRING SERVERS.

I can’t emphasize enough the fact that I was looking for Los Agaves. The iphone hadn’t entered my life just yet and I had only been driving for a year before going to college. In short, I was lost! A right here, a left there, I thought I had somewhat of an idea of where it was. “Boom!” as I often say when I find something. There it was, a local Mexican restaurant with a “Now Hiring” sign. The only problem is that it wasn’t Los Agaves, it was called “Ganzos”.

FIRST ENCOUNTER

I figured, ‘hey, if the shoe fits’ right? I walked in casual, sporting a business casual outfit: denim jeans and a black button-down, aka a server’s uniform. “Hi, I just wanted to fill out an application.” The cashier at the counter nonchalantly handed me a two-sided form. I reached into my pocket to grab my pen–no pen! I did the typical patting of all my pockets while smiling sheepishly. “I’m sorry to bother you, but umm, do you have a pen I can borrow?” She handed me one and continued to pay no attention. I took my time in filling out the application. I spent most of that time taking in the atmosphere and making sure the restaurant was a good fit for me (like my dad cared about that). Experience has taught me to always hand the application to the manager, and when he came out I handed him the application, gave a firm handshake, and was on my way.

THE CALL BACK

I got the job! I came back 3 days later and filled out the typical paper work. He said he was pleased with my open attitude and that I came dressed for the part. He admitted that he instructs the cashiers to act like they aren’t paying attention and take notes on what their first impressions are of the applicant. That’s when he brought it up. “You know, we have a strict policy that if you are going to fill out an application, you should have the foresight to bring a pen to write with…but the cashier over there insisted that you looked like you would make a great addition….Marlen’s her name.” We both looked at her at the same time, and it was the first time that I paid her any real attention. I remember thinking “Hmm..that’s a weird name for a woman….Marlen”. A plain looking woman, keeping to herself, no real emotion, just…plain. I wish I could say some it was at that moment blah blah blah, but it took some time. A lot of time!

And there you have it Sofia, that’s the end of how we met which in turn, is the beginning of how you came to be! In short, she just handed me an application. But I’ve replayed that story hundreds of times in my head and the “what if’s” keep coming up: What if my dad didn’t make me get a job, or if Los Agaves wasn’t hiring, or if I wore a different outfit. It makes me realize how little control we have on our lives, and helps me appreciate each day for what it’s worth, and what it has to offer. In the end, at least you’ll never have to wonder, how I met you mother.

ps: Turns out, Los Agaves is 1/2 mile over, and they have horrible Mexican food.