Thursday, February 27, 2014

Intent: Living A Life Of Purpose

"It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life?" 

~ Blink Revive 

How do you live? 

Do you live each day in a blur of work, projects, traffic, noise and chaos, only to look back each night with regret wondering where on earth your day went? 

Do you have a mental list of:

"I'd like to…"

"I want to…" 

or maybe

"One day I plan to…" 

Well, if you do... you're not alone… this is a common struggle. Yet it feels so good to know we are actually doing something we want to accomplish or believe in to be important... whether it's a project around the house, taking that long overdue vacation, learning a new skill, or just helping others…

It's living with intentional purpose. 

It's following through on something we believe has value. 

I've been trying to live a bit more intentionally. Time is not forever. Like you, I won't always be here and only God knows when each of us will reach the finish line and cross over to the other side. 

We each have the ability to live with more purpose, with more intent and not let the hours go by each day without having helped someone, without having made a difference. 

Last December my kids and I assembled blessing bags to distribute to people who are homeless. It has been a humbling few months handing out these blessing bags filled with granola bars, toothbrush & toothpaste sets and deodorant with slips of scripture tucked in. People you wish you could give more to and yet giving a bag of essentials and a snack is always met with a thankful heart, grateful look and kind words spoken. 

However fleeting, I know what it's like to go without some mere basics. Leaving home at seventeen with a picture ID in my pocket and six measly dollars... it doesn't take Einstein to know it doesn't go far. I always had shelter but I knew my situation was precarious and I was relying on others to provide a place for me to live and for safety. Being without basics and shelter is something no one should go through, to endure, yet it happens everyday. Some people might chalk it up to bad choices and turn away, choosing to ignore... but that doesn't help anyone. If any one of us were in their shoes I know, guaranteed, we'd be praying for shelter, food, a helping hand, a break however big or small. 

Recently when stopped in a center lane at an extremely long red light and large intersection, I turned my flashers on, exited my vehicle and walked a blessing bag to an elderly man asking for help. To my surprise, the guy stopped in traffic behind me was exiting his truck to do the same thing. At that moment our eyes locked and we smiled the same language... love. 


I want to live with purpose. I want the busyness to fade away. I want to turn my flashers on a moment and say "Wait, just a minute" to life and declare what is important in that moment, that second, that that takes precedence over "busy".

God wants us to live with purpose. With intentionality. The days go by in a blur and yet we don't have to subscribe to a whirlwind of life where everything passes by in a kaleidoscope of color. We can stop the spinning, we can take the reins and bring the ride to a halt. 

We can say: 

"Today I'm doing something however big or small I've been putting off. Something that I believe is important..." and maybe even more important... "Something lovely that will speak to others, that will exude warmth, happiness and a giving heart... something that will further the kingdom of God and spread joy." 

We each have the ability to live like that. 

Some may say "But you don't understand... I just don't have time. I'm too busy." or "Maybe I can when my life gets to a better place... right now things are really bad... I'm in a tough season." 

All the more reason to reach out with intention and purpose. Reaching out to others does three things... One, it helps someone in need. Two, it gets our thoughts off our own problems. Three, it pleases God to have a giving spirit. 

We all have problems. We've all had heartache. We've all had failures, disappointments, regrets, losses and bad things happen to us that we wish had never occurred... and yet were still here... and just because of trials in this journey called life we aren't to turn our back on others. We aren't to turn inward and become self absorbed... but instead to keep reaching out. 

So I continue to reach into my pocket and I hope you will too... to reach in from my heart and give outward... because it really doesn't matter whether we have six bucks in our pocket or six hundred... God looks at our heart... He wants to know whether were willing to share…

with purpose and intent.. 

toward others. 

© ~ 2014 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When Love Isn't Enough & He Doesn't Provide

"She's getting married soon…" She told me as she chopped up carrots she was putting into her vegetable soup she was making. Country music played softly in the background of the kitchen, Scotty McCreery singing 'See You Tonight', my latest song obsession. "She's planning the wedding and I guess really excited."

I reached into the fridge for the tub of Ricotta cheese for the homemade manicotti I was preparing. "Oh, really? That's nice. Sooo… whose the guy?" I grinned "What's he like? What does he do?"

"He uhhhh… he doesn't do anything." She told me.


I stood there at the kitchen counter staring at her "He what? I'm sorry… he does NOTHING?" I echoed in shock, not sure I heard her right. How could someone do nothing? "When you're single you work. That's what you do. I don't understand."

As she scraped chopped vegetables from her wood cutting board into the stainless steel pot sitting on the burner she nodded "Um, yeah, I know." She carried the cutting board across the kitchen to the sink where she began rinsing it with cool water. "She's a lawyer and supporting him. Their engaged and she wants kids really bad."

"Yeah, but…." I said with a raised eyebrow… "Wait, they don't have kids yet, right?" I confirmed… snapping a square off of my Perugina milk chocolate bar and popping it in my mouth.

"Right." My mother affirmed and looked over at me. "I know, I know what you're thinking. I've been thinking the same thing. It's all ridiculous." She added resignedly.

"How can he be at home? And do nothing?" I asked incredulously, still trying to wrap my head around that. "There aren't any kids to care for. What? They need him to water and talk to the houseplants? I mean, what kind of partnership is THAT?!" I exclaimed.

She sighed "I know… you're saying all the things I've been thinking… and I agree. She's in love and apparently blind to what's already going on."

"What do you mean? What's going on?" My brows furrowed as I mixed ingredients in a small stainless steel mixing bowl.

"Well, she comes home and the place is a mess. He hasn't done anything all day. I mean, here she is, she's worked all day and she comes home to a dirty house and he can't even clean up and contribute to the household. She has to do everything." She explained.

"I guess my tolerance levels for bs have lowered significantly since divorcing my own toxic ex… " I snorted. "But this is a whole new level of insanity. She's running around doing everything after a long day at work and how is he helping her? This is not a partnership. This is not two people who are each putting in one hundred percent. This is one giver and one taker. He will eventually no longer be capable of being pleased. He will demand more and more of her. Expecting more money, less responsibility on his part which is already nil and never being satisfied. He will be the 'other child' she has and she will come to resent him for it. He will one day no longer have her respect because he's so emasculated. And he may not respect himself. She may think this is the 'way to run a marriage' because it leads her to being in the driver's seat, the superior one, the one in control, the one who will make the decisions. But this will lead to a mess guaranteed. I see the writing on the wall." I told her.

She nodded "I totally see your point and I agree." She sighed "Try telling her that, though. You know how it is… no one can tell these things to someone whose in the situation. Emotions muddy everything and make it difficult to see down the road… into the future especially. Everyone has to make their own mistakes. And sometimes they are costly. Sometimes who we shouldn't marry is like a flashing sign to everyone else... yet people continue to choose the wrong person. They get older, they want to have kids, they want to settle down and so they finally just pick somebody. And it may be the wrong one."

"Yeah…" I replied as I began carefully piping the ricotta, mozzarella, fresh parmesan and egg mixture with Italian seasonings into the manicotti noodles I'd made. "I just hate seeing people marry the wrong person. I mean, I have an almost physical reaction. It makes me want to throw up. I hate seeing that, it's like a runaway train that can't be stopped. I guess because once you've been married and divorced you don't want to see other people go through that pain. Plus the effects on the kids. It's awful." I told her.

"I know…" She said. "It's hard to watch and yet there's not a thing we can do about it." She sadly shook her head "She, like everyone, has to learn the hard way. That's human nature."


"Whatta Man, Whatta Man, Whatta Mighty Good Man" 

- Salt 'N' Pepa (1994) 

When dating, searching for a man who is marriage material, we need to begin by looking at men… not little boys pretending to be men who are only capable of growing chest hair and that's as far as they mature. As women we need to first know what a man looks like and familiarize ourselves with that image. 

5 Signs He's A Man Not A Boy: 

1. He's a provider. He needs to have something called ambition, some drive, some goals and dreams. Idleness is not a characteristic of a man but a boy.  

2. He's disciplined. He knows how to manage his finances and not spend his paycheck before he's even received it. He takes care of his health and knows it's fleeting and a blessing from God. He goes to church regularly, reads his bible and prays. He strives to become all that God desires him to be including the husband his wife needs. 

3. He needs to be able to communicate in a calm, loving way without losing it. He needs to have a hold on his emotions and be slow to anger. If he is explosive it will turn everyone away from him and make them fearful which will leave little room for love and trust. 

4. He needs to have humility. Can he admit when he was wrong and not place blame on you? If he screws up, if he added to the argument or what not, he needs to own up to it and how he contributed. Pridefulness will be the death of a relationship if he won't ever admit his failings. 

5. He needs to know that women aren't to be objectified, used, raped, hit, abused verbally or emotionally in any way shape or form. He needs to live a life that his strength is for protection not for hurting and teach his sons this example. 

As women 
we may get caught 
up in society's ideals
 of what to look for in a husband… 
like physical appearance,  
status... his vehicle, 
his personal style, home, etc. 

Standards & Preferences: 

It's fine to have preferences when it comes to blonde, brown or red hair... it's okay to prefer boots over loafers or a truck over a Jaguar or vice versa. It's okay to want quirky, cheesy, romantic or a weirdness that matches up with ours. We all have a certain look, personality, sense of humor, etc we may be attracted to over another... and yet when choosing a future spouse we also don't want to lose sight of what really matters... their character, their beliefs, their values, morals, their love for Christ, their  temperament, their ability to communicate and show love in a healthy manner.... someone who knows our difficulties, our failings, our weak spots and yet would never use them against us. A man who is like a protective bear, who walks the side closet to the sidewalk, a gentleman who ensures you're safely inside a building before pulling away from the curb. man who is patient, kind, loving and humble.

And yes...

A man who provides for his family. 

{ Ephesians 5
{1 Timothy 5:8 }

These things big and small make up a man who is marriage material... 

and most importantly…  

a Godly husband. 

© ~ 2014 

Just like a woman, a man must use caution in who he marries. If he's drawn to women who exhibit very strong, overbearing personality types it's important he has a strong sense of who he is. Both partners need to feel heard and contribute to the relationship as partners. Otherwise the union takes on an unhealthy balance and the wife plays the role of a parent. If he's depressed he needs to seek therapy and possible medication to deal with where he's struggling.

To My Readers:

Thank you for reading,

commenting and sharing!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

All Kids Are Special: Some Just Have Different Needs

It was around the time he was six months of age I began having a nagging feeling something wasn't right about his development. There seemed to be a lack of eye contact, a lack of connection between us... and the baby talk, the cooing, the babble that should have been was absent. Finally "da da" came but it went just as quickly after being uttered only a few times. 

Soon nine months approached and my mother watched with alarm as he inched his body away from his soft baby toys in the playpen as if he was terrified of them... he wouldn't interact with them and instead was seemingly transfixed by the ceiling fan overhead. Sleeping wouldn't happen... self soothing was non-existent... walking him, rocking him, nothing seemed to work. The pacifier was projected across the room immediately. Unhappiness seemed rampant and crying was too. 

Crawling was late... months late and when it finally happened it was an army crawl... forging forward with his forearms but dragging his legs across the cream Berber carpet. Walking was even later and finally one day around the age of two when he toddled to the fridge and pointed at it, grunting for milk, I knew then something was very, very wrong. 

Making an appointment with my son's pediatrician I spoke to him about the mutiple issues including the lack of speech. He chalked up every one of my concerns to being an "anxious first time mother." I fired him. I knew something wasn't right... my gut instinct screamed something was very wrong and that my son's development was seriously lagging. 

Finding a new pediatrician I once again voiced my concerns and immediately she confirmed there was reason to be alarmed. She referred me to a local early child development agency that offers intervention, therapy and in home visits by trained therapists and nurses. I made an appointment and soon we had three staff members arrive to do their initial evaluation. 

Sure enough, upon their evaluation it was discovered he was severely behind in his development. He needed Occupational and Speech Therapy. Soon we had regular home visits by trained therapists who taught him fine and gross motor skills, helped with his sensory issues with water and speech articulation. I began implementing what they taught him and soon there were noticeable improvements in his development. 

He no longer qualified for the in-home services once he turned three, so he began walk-in speech services at his local elementary school after a speech evaluation showed he qualified. Each week he would attend for an hour and once home I'd work with him on what he'd been taught. Today, years later, it's not even noticeable he once had a speech delay, he rides a bike with ease and has overcome his greatest fear... water and swims like a fish.

When he turned three he was evaluated by a local center that screens specifically for Autism. He received a diagnosis for Autism based on many symptoms that matched the criteria for it... head banging when upset, obsession with lining up items (books, cars, toys, trains), meltdowns, speech delay, sensory issues (sensitive to touch or to fabric, to water/light in eyes etc), late crawling, a lack of body muscles used/limp like a noodle when held, late riding a trike, late walking and more. The one symptom he didn't show was a lack of socializing. In fact, he loved to socialize. The only issue was it didn't happen as typical kids his age. Instead, he preferred adults to talk to, communication was often awkward with his peers and the entire conversation would be about a limited topic of his interest that would cause other kids to turn away, leaving him confused. It would be years later his diagnosis was changed to Asperger's, a high functioning form of Autism, as this seemed to fit his traits more accurately. 

In school he was diagnosed with a learning disability in math and reading but not Asperger's or Autism. It's like pulling nails for a school to give an Autism Spectrum diagnosis; we had more than six evaluations and more than a dozen countless ARD's that typically left me feeling unheard and wanting to scream. Yet a learning disability would still give him the extra help (an aide) in the mainstream general classroom to enable him to excel. Along with a diagnosis of ADHD it was finally coming together... we were getting a clear picture of what the issues were so he could be better helped to reach his highest potential in life. 

It's been a long journey and as a mom not one I was prepared for. Yet in that it's made me a better person, a better mom and an advocate. It definitely makes you a more compassionate person. So often people want to spread awareness of only acceptance which is undeniably needed yet they often also deny in the same breath anything needing to be done to help children with special needs. Getting them the help they need ensures a better education which translates to a better future. Because of that there has been much controversy related to Autism Speaks and any organization that sees Autism or Asperger's as something to be cured. The mentality of only acceptance and not a need to help is rampant on Facebook Asperger awareness pages and online websites. It's that mentality that is a disservice to the parents who want to help their child reach their personal best in life. It's important as parents that we support one another, especially the parents new to the world of special needs so they have all of the critical information they need to make the best decisions for their child.

Knowledge is power. 

And by sharing what we know we can each make a profound difference

in not just the life of a child

but an entire family.

© ~ 2014 

10 Tips For Parents Who Are New 
To The World Of Special Needs: 

1. Trust your gut instincts. If you suspect your child's development is not on track, it likely isn't. You know your child best. 

2. Contact your local early child development intervention/ services for an evaluation. You can get a referral from your pediatrician. 

3. Learn what to do during therapy sessions so you can help your child also. The extra help will pay off. 

4. Rest. Take care of yourself. Caring for a special needs child is much more work than a typical child. Get a nap. Have regular date nights. Find a friend who is understanding, will listen and is supportive.

5. Get marriage counseling. This is of utmost importance. Divorce rates are much higher amongst those with special needs children. Often this is because both parents are exhausted, maybe one parent is in denial... often the dad due to his bruised ego. It's during this time family members may deny an issue and you may discover your spouse hid his own childhood developmental delays from you. This may cause a lot of anger on your part and feeling betrayed. There may be conflict on the best therapy for your child. There will be a grieving stage for parents who are learning of their child's diagnosis. This wasn't the life you pictured for your child and it's perfectly normal to grieve that fact. You're not a bad mom or dad to do that. It's natural. This isn't your fault. This didn't happen due to bad parenting, etc. If you find yourself in postpartum depression or depressed due to your child's diagnosis, seek help from your primary doctor, OB/GYN or a psychologist. Your child needs you right now more than ever and it's nothing to be ashamed of if you need help. 

6. With Asperger's there is often what appears to be an ego that's Narcissitic. It's important to work with your child modeling empathy and care for others. 

7. Bullying is rampant with special needs children; especially those with Asperger's, children who have classroom aides, and those who must leave class each week for their speech therapy session. Likewise, the child with Asperger's tries to be social and often doesn't pick up on necessary cues like body language and subject changing which leads them to being outcast by peers who are less than understanding or patient. Children with special needs need understanding and just want to feel included. Counseling would be wise and encouraging open communication with your child. Role playing helps them tremendously. 

8. Show them affection. Often because of touch/sensory issues they don't show affection. It's typically one sided. Giving them regular hugs, positive eye contact (smiles) and affirmation models healthy, typical ways of showing love for others. 

9. They may be explosive and have a difficult time expressing themselves. Saying: "It's okay... take a deep breath. I'm here. I'm listening. Use your speech and explain what's going on" in a calm manner will help them learn over time that having a fit doesn't help anyone yet using our words to express ourselves does. Applied Behavorial Analysis (ABA) is a therapy for changing behavior for the better; using positive reinforcement techniques that you can learn and use at home.

10. Expose them to different things so they don't stay stuck in the one topic they are obsessed with. Many years later, despite an initial obsession with trains, my son now loves science experiments, space, rockets, dinosaurs, running, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, origami, soccer, basketball, etc. Children with Aspergers will learn to branch out if as the parent you encourage it, which has a direct and positive impact on his/her socialization and growth.

Sites to find local support groups: 

The Arc
Easter Seals
Autism Speaks 

It's Normal To Try To Picture The Future But Don't Let Those Thoughts Take Over...

It may seem daunting at the beginning of this journey. As a parent you may only be looking at what needs to be achieved for he or she to thrive in an educational setting. It's normal to be concerned about your child's progress and future, to wonder what is going to happen and how self sufficient they will be one day as an adult. 

Rest assured it's normal to think about this yet don't focus too much on the what if's. Your child will make strides and when you look back one day you will be incredibly proud of his/her perseverance and accomplishments. All those sleepless nights, those grueling evals, the therapies, the frustrating ARD meetings... it will all be worth it. 

You will look back one day and say "Wow, we survived it. And not just that but look how far my child has come." Your heart will swell with love that this little person is your child and you amongst many others were able to make a difference. Yet the difference also lies in you... because now you are also forever changed for the better. 

Celebrate all the achievements, 
all the progress, 
don't lose sight of the amazing accomplishments 
your child has made! 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cheating: 50 Shades Of Lies ~ 5 Reasons To Not Keep Him

October  2012 

 names have been omitted in this post 

this post contains some language


He was suddenly going on early morning jogs... that wasn't like him. At six nearly every morning now he'd throw on black running shorts and a t-shirt, bolting out of the bedroom, down the stairs and out into the inky blackness that was still blanketing the city. 

Each morning I had drowsily fallen back asleep until it was absolutely necessary to get up, clamber downstairs and hustle the children out of bed to begin getting everyone ready for school. I wasn't by definition a morning person and the snooze button knew it... but that morning, that particular morning it would be different… when he woke I pretended to be asleep, then sprang to action as soon as I heard the door downstairs shut behind him. My suspicions had been growing and now curiosity had won. 

Going to the computer and turning it on cast a bright light in the dark room that quickly brought me from my drowsy state to alert. I maximized the pages that were minimized and began searching with quick eyes for any information that looked dubious…. but I didn't have to search, as everything I needed was right there, seemingly waiting to be found, not hidden at all. Instant messages detailed the woman he was seeing in online exchanges with his best friend. The responses being that his happiness should come first... nowhere was there anyone batting an eye that he was cheating on me. Nowhere was there outrage, upset or someone pointing the finger at him saying "Get it together!" or "I'm going to tell her if you don't." 

Nothing but accolades and justification all in the name of pursuing happiness… and how incredibly dumb women are. Oh really? I thought… we will see about that. I quickly began snapping screen shot photos of all the messages with my iPhone... scrolling... scrolling... scrolling some more…click, click, click. My heart meanwhile beat ninety to nothing in my chest with frantic speed as I continued to capture all the evidence I needed and more. Maximizing his email that was readily available I began photographing any messages that looked suspect. I realized I was shaking like a leaf and had to steady my iPhone to retake a few that had turned out blurred. I'd take the time to pour over the emails later in detail that I had captured. 

A photo of the woman he'd been with was there... she could have been my younger sister. We literally looked nearly identical. Hauntingly identical. She wore clothes I would have worn... she had similar body language... it was undeniably creepy yet I didn't have anger toward her… his behavior was solely the issue at hand. 

I quickly began putting everything back where it was... then taking photos of all of his credit cards front and back and all other personal information of his I could find for the attorneys office that I knew they would need... then I shoved everything back in place with shaky fingers as I'd found it. 

Jumping back in bed with a thumping heart, I laid there on my side of the King sized bed within the charcoal gray sheets wrapped up, in my cozy plaid pajama pants and top, waiting for him to return. Just a couple minutes later I heard his footsteps enter downstairs, the beep beep of the alarm as the door opened and shut…  and then listened as he began climbing up the creaky staircase. He didn't bother coming in the bedroom but instead continued down the hall to the bathroom. Light poured down the hallway from it and I heard him turn on the shower to let the water heat up momentarily. 

I rose from bed and walked down the hall into the bright spacious master bath where he stood at his separate brown, black and gold speckled granite counter and porcelain sink. Seeing me he turned with surprise and I smiled brightly at him "Did you have a good run?" I asked him... not being able to resist asking him... 

He didn't bat an eye when he responded, "Yea! It was great." He replied then observed... "You're up early." 

"That's great!" I returned with a smirk, ignoring the latter... you sorry piece of shit... I added silently to myself as I walked out of the room. 

I Am Done 

Time passed and he continually put his foot in his mouth, 
the shady behavior continued, 
the lies now so glaringly obvious, how could 
they have ever been missed… 
it should have been funny yet it wasn't. 

Sitting in my attorneys office one day my attorney sat back in his large leather chair gazing at me appraisingly…  "So you haven't talked to him?" He asked thoughtfully "Are you sure you want to do this? File?" He asked. 

I calmly looked at him and nodded "I've never been more sure of anything in my life."
 I told him with absolute certainty. 


"I don't know how you kept yourself under control… how did you keep from saying anything to him?" my friend asked me during breakfast one morning… "No way I could have done that… I would have confronted him the moment he walked in." she told me.

"At the end of the day… for me, there was nothing to discuss. This wasn't a one time incident which would have been bad enough… this was an ongoing choice he continued to make over a period of time. He knew what he was doing. He'd made his choice over and over again choosing to have his cake and eat it too. I made the final choice for myself and ultimately for him. If he didn't like it, tough." I shrugged "Don't put a person in the position to make that choice. Don't cheat."

Everyone has to approach dealing with a cheating spouse in the way they feel is best for them and everyone has different tolerance levels for what they are willing to put up with and what they will refuse to accept at all. It's a personal decision and varies from person to person but here are five top valid reasons to consider if you've been cheated on: 

5 Valid Reasons To Not Keep Him:

1. Most of the time he will not change. You can't change him. He has to want to of his own accord.
2. Staying with him models acceptance of an unhealthy marriage for your children.
3. Peace of Mind… who wants to worry about contracting a sexually transmitted disease all the time?
4. We often have the mental narrative of "I'm not giving up on us. I won't quit!" But is this HIS mindset also? Or are you the only one with that mentality?
5. Worry-free without him. You won't be worrying if he's lying to you, not where he's supposed to be and if he's cheating again.

© ~ 2014 





#GIRLS  #Ladies #TrustYourInstincts

All those times you were worried for him, prayed for him, 
loved him, took care of him, 
was a blessing to him, 
cheered him on… 
he was filled 
with contempt for you… 
because he needed 
you for narcissistic supply 
and fulfillment and yet 
at the same time 
he resented you for it. 

It's pretty straight forward, really… 

if a person decides to betray you, 
you then have every right to not give 
them the benefit of the doubt, 
to not engage in a circle of excuses…
but instead to make the best decision 
for yourself. 
Walk off to a new beginning,
a fresh start and 
leave the craziness behind. 

If you choose divorce... 
God will help you to the other side 
and life will be that much 
sweeter and peaceful  
without the toxic chaos you lived. 

At the end of the day, 
after all the hurt and healing, 
you really did me a favor... Thanks!

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Related Posts:

Wives: 3 Lies We Tell Ourselves & 5 Signs A Marriage Needs Help

Cheating: Off The Narrow Path Step By Step

Projection & Signs Of A Cheating Spouse

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Personality Disorder: 5 Ways To Prevent Raising A Child With One

Sitting in the den curled up on the taupe couch with a cream blanket I read my book by the light of a silvery crackle finish lamp next me in the dim room, the soft light permeating from it's pale gray shade… the flat screen television, it's volume low, played the local weather update on it's screen. Snips of a conversation my children were having with their father in the kitchen went high and low intermittently in the background. As I turned the page and tried to continue reading, something said distinctly jumped out at me from the next room in their conversation. I heard their father say darkly over the phone… "I'm not smiling right now. I don't have a smile on my face."

I paused, glancing up, craning my neck to see my children gathered at the pale table at the far end of the kitchen. Beyond them on the dark gray wall hung a huge oversized canvas that read 'Bless Our Home Family Food' in quaint lettering. Under the bright kitchen chandelier they looked perturbed and although I had missed whatever had been said by the children that had in their father's mind made him lack a smile on his face… inward I cringed.

Once again he was making
them feel responsible for his feelings. 

It wasn't their job to make him smile or not. 

It wasn't their job to make him happy. 

It wasn't their job to keep him that way. 

I bit my tongue and with a deep breath exhaled, continuing to read my book but once again that scenario showed that as parents we all need to be very aware of what words we use when we speak to our children.

There are common phrases used by people with Personality Disorders toward their children. These phrases are used to invalidate their children and their feelings. It actually highly ups the chances of creating a child who will later go on to become an adult with a Personality Disorder. With awareness we can subscribe to a healthy way to relate to our kids so we don't set them up to be deficit in relating to others and then continue the cycle of disorder for future generations.

1. Shutting down the child and his/her feelings. "Don't feel bad", "Don't be sad", "Don't be angry." "Don't cry."  All of these phrases are uttered by a parent who is either too uncomfortable in dealing with a child's upset or hurt or doesn't want to take the time to adequately address it. So they shut the child down and don't allow them to express themselves in a healthy manner as they should.

2. Comparison of siblings. One of the worst things a parent can do is compare their children (even step kids to biological, etc) to one another. Each child has his or her own strengths and weaknesses and comparing them only serves to tell your child: "You're not good enough", "You don't measure up", "And I'm disappointed in who you are." It kills the child's confidence and instead breeds low esteem.

3. Comparison of a parent. Telling your child (especially if you're divorced) that they are "just like your father!" or "You act just like your mother!" only serves to label the child as another person in the family. It invalidates the child as his or her own person and inhibits their growth in who they are meant to grow up to be of their own accord.

4. Asking "WHY?!" during times of distress. If your child is crying, the best thing to do is #1 COMFORT. Once the moment has passed and he or she is able to think logically a parent can say: "I can see something upset you. Would you like to talk about it?" Demanding to know why someone is crying when in the midst of it isn't productive. They are hurting and won't be able to accurately relay what exactly the issue is until they've calmed down.

5. Basing your feelings on their behavior. "I'm not happy right now." Really? What does that have to do with the issue at hand? Instead address your child's behavior: "I need you to treat me with respect. The words you are using toward me are not nice. Would you like to discuss this calmly?" This is a positive way to address the child (modeling healthy relational skills) and their behavior instead of twisting and spinning it back to be about you as the parent. No one cares if you have a smile or not, and a child who is acting out can be certain to not care… it's not their job to make you smile. Alternatively, when your child is sad or mad it's not healthy to tell them: "What do you need to do? Smile!" A parent is then basing their own mood/happiness on whether their child has a smile plastered on their face. This ruse may be used under the guise of "But I'm just trying to raise a POSITIVE child!" But it will backfire down the road.

© ~ 2014 

              To My Readers:  Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing! 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ADHD: Marriage + Compassion & Grace = Love

winter 2013

some names have been changed 

or omitted in this post


"I still remember the night Jeremy told me he had ADHD..." I told her as I walked the busy park trail with her. The weather had been waffling between thirty degree days and then temps in the sixties or seventies; little spurts of radiating warmth that was incredibly welcoming because of the icy winter season we'd had. Everyone was out... women jogged by with babies in strollers, men ran with their  four legged companions on leashes and kids skateboarded by with their friends. 

As we continued our way along the path... taking in the view of the murky water below that ducks glided across I spoke with a grin "I look back on that night now and see the irony in the situation... he's standing there telling me he has ADHD and I distinctly remember thinking to myself.... 'Oh, that's that thing where you're distracted'... then I was off on the next thought!" I laughed. 

"You never told me this..." She shook her head with amusement "Really? You? Distracted? That doesn't sound like you at all!" She teased me then asked "What on earth distracted you?" 

"Oh, heck... I have no idea! It could have been any number of things! Maybe a bird flew by the window, the air conditioner came on, him.... who knows!" I laughed aloud... "but it's absolutely hilarious to me now because who knew I had it too! I get more entertainment from ADHD related life situations!"

She chuckled at that and nodded, "At least you can see the humor in it!" She acknowledged.  

It's true. 

Seeing The Humor… 

Seeing the humor in our situations in life is one of the most important things we can do whether we have ADHD or not. It keeps us from viewing everything too seriously and humor can often be linked to grace... when we acknowledge, admitting, in humble awareness that we were wrong, handled something incorrectly, or just missed the mark unintentionally in a situation or shared experience... it does something great... it allows you to give yourself likely much needed grace and anyone else that needs it too. 

Missing the mark however unintentionally happens a lot when someone has ADHD. Oftentimes people think we are going around intentionally engaging in less than stellar behavior when we truly aren't doing it on purpose. In fact, it may not even be on our radar. When our non-ADHD spouse asks us to please fetch them a glass of water from the kitchen and an hour later goes by... Hello, Facebook, Pinterest, Yahoo!, etc.... they then believe we must be angry at them for whatever reason or most likely believe us to be uncaring because we can't seem to or don't wish to follow one simple request.... they get grouchy and sulk, complain, gripe, etc and then we feel bad, we feel huge guilt because we know that wasn't our intention. We don't mean to come across as detached at times. We don't mean to come across as not in tune with or uncaring toward the one we married... when in fact people with ADHD are some of the most caring, creative, romantic and passionate people you'll ever meet. So while our spouse is simmering and feeling ignored we begin feeling huge guilt... giving ourselves the internal all too familiar grueling pep talk of "You've gotta try harder! You've gotta stay more in tune! More focused!  More in the moment!" 

Not Being So Hard On Yourself…

Yeah, that's all good maybe if you're on medication but the reality is... sans medication telling yourself "just try harder" may only serve to frustrate you more. It's often more pressure, more expectation and more stress put upon yourself. 

Often people who don't have ADHD can't comprehend why ADHD has such far reaching effects on people in their lives and how on earth something could cause such difficulty. But it truly can and it's capable of inflicting a lot damage to your marriage if you don't both have strategies set in place and most importantly if the non-ADHD spouse is not understanding. A spouse's ADHD can affect everything, even your spouse believing you just don't give a rat's rear about them because you're hyper focused on a project that could be either work related or a hobby.

Hyper! Focus!… 

The person with ADHD often wavers back and forth between being distracted and not in the present moment to the other extreme... hyper focused on something like scrapbooking from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., leaving your spouse looking at you like some freak of nature as you amazingly assemble a handmade scrapbook for the kids complete with embellishments, captions and photos that would have taken anyone else weeks to months to complete in small increments of time. Then there is the possible risk of your budget being negatively affected if the one with ADHD impulsively spends money that's not figured in the budget or takes extreme risks to their health and safety like on the road or skydiving... all of this and more can add up to the relationship you have with your spouse being not so great. 

The Reminder Relationship…

A partnership between two should ideally stand on equal ground instead of turning into a parent/child or "reminder relationship".... because what happens over time is the non-ADHD spouse begins to feel they must overcompensate or bring to light the ADHDer's potential slack. They feel as though they have to be a walking calendar and alarm system for the person with ADHD... "Did you pick up the so and so?", "When is your next dentist appointment?", "Did you call back so and so?" In turn it gets to be equally incredibly annoying(!) as someone with ADHD when you have someone continually making remarks that only serve to further impress upon you that you're lagging behind on what's on the calendar (sometimes before you've even had the opportunity to forget something) and they are behaving superior. 


We came upon a point in our beautiful afternoon walk where the sidewalk ended and now the path became rough and uneven... like life often does throwing us for a loop when not expected. 

"I loved being on that Vyvanse for the most part..." I admitted to her "For the first time in my life I got to see what 'normal' or 'typical' is. It was awesome... I got so much done, it was unreal. The biggest drawback was the extreme weight loss which wasn't good. And at the same time I kept feeling like a part of me was missing while on it. ADHD doesn't define me yet is a part of who I am... I'm not real sure where it and I begin or end. It's weird... life is funnier off medication. Being on it life is much more productive but also much more serious. I truly believe one of the biggest factors with dealing with ADHD is having a sense of humor. If you and your spouse can't laugh about it there's trouble. I'm trying new medication to see how I do and yet in that I'm not looking for perfection. Just a bit of help... and whoever I'm with one day is going to have to be understanding... in that if I miss a day or two of medication they aren't threatening me with divorce. If we don't have compassion and grace for each other but instead treat our spouse as an inconvenience how can we ever have love?" 

© ~ 2014 

Thank you for reading,

commenting and sharing! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

You're Getting A Divorce: 10 Tips On How To Tell Your Children

October 26, 2012 

some names have been omitted in this post 


Setting two dinner plates of fish sticks, macaroni and cheese and green beans with steam coming off them on the kitchen table I called the kids into the kitchen, "Dinner's ready!" Fresh cups of milk stood ready for them at their place settings and a bottle of ketchup sat on the table. I rounded the granite bar countertop that divided the eating area and kitchen to fetch parmesan cheese from the refrigerator. Two excited children came running in and slid into their parson's chairs, exclaiming happiness it was time to eat and affirming they liked what they saw on their plates.

As I rummaged in the fridge I heard a loud thud.

Turning to my left I see him. Standing there with a huge oversized suitcase on rolling feet beside him he'd carried down from upstairs. With a dejected expression on his face he looks past me as if I'm invisible to search out the children's eye contact across the room. They meet his and get up from their seats with curiosity to walk around the countertop. They stop short when they see him with the suitcase standing there with a forlorn expression.

"What's going on?" our son asks. "Where are you going?" He looks confused and likely wonders if he's forgotten about a business trip that was to take place that night. But there was no business trip planned.

"Mommy doesn't love me anymore and is kicking me out of the house." came the pitiful reply marked with a victimized voice of manipulation.

I stop short. I stare at him in disbelief.

He. did. not. just. go. there.

"Excuse me?" I say… but there's no response.

He doesn't look at me. He won't look at me.

I stand there and for a second, a split second everything is still. Then all hell breaks loose.

"What????!!!! She's what????!!!!!" came the cries and then the ugly glares at me from the two little people I love most. The most ugly, accusatory looks filled with contempt joined with pure screams of indignant "How could you???!!!!"

I hear a barrage of "What???!!!" and "Why???!!!" coming at me like mini torpedoes and I am engulfed by them... I can't get a word in edgewise. I try to speak and each time I'm cut off mid sentence, mid word. They hover by him and cling to his arms and begin mercilessly begging him to not go… 

The scene painfully horrifically plays out before my eyes… and there's no way to stop it.

"Please don't go Daddy!" they cry out to him and I watch in horror as my son begins yanking the suitcase out of his father's hand, physically un-prying his fingers from the handle in a desperate attempt to keep him there.


Just. pure. evil.

What he's done.

"Mommy told me she doesn't love me anymore. She is kicking me out, guys. I have to go. I love you but I have to move out. She's divorcing me." the tone comes out as manipulatively sad and dejected.

"What??!!! Mommyyyyyy!!! How could you???" our daughter cried out.

I stand in frozen horror as my daughter's sweet little face crumples into what resembles a wadded tissue and she begins wailing like a wounded baby animal hurting and lost in the wild. She glares daggers at me that hurt me to the core…  like knives of pain…. like she had been betrayed by her own flesh and blood, me, the mother who had birthed her, then buries her wet face into his shoulder sobbing into his dress shirt. 

Oh my God... my heart sank… 

this. was. not. happening. 

He looks at me now. Directly in the eyes.

With a steady dark-filled gaze and a curled lip

of triumphant satisfaction that silently says…...

"Too bad for you." 

At the kitchen table my mother sits in frozen silent shock as this atrocious scene plays out and knows as I do this is not how it was supposed to go.

It had been discussed previously that afternoon he would collect his essential things needed and vacate the home quietly as stated in the papers before the children got home from school and we would decide how to tell them in a civilized manner together. Having a calm transition for the kids was of utmost importance to me but that unfortunately was not the way things would turn out. It had been hijacked and there was no turning back now. I decided right then I wasn't allowing this to continue. I wasn't allowing him to make me the fall guy… I'd had enough. It was enough to make your stomach turn and cause you throw up in your mouth.

"We need to sit down and discuss this." I spoke loudly but firmly above the chaotic fray trying to get everyone's attention.

Finally everyone settled down and tears rolled down cheeks silently, cheeks that were hot and ruddy… little noses dripped and sniffed as I wrapped my arms around them and gently rocked them.... talking about how some things had come to light and it was best that we not live together anymore…. that mommy and daddy needed to live separately… yes, we were getting a divorce, yes, it was for the best… and that it was not at all their fault… that they were loved. Questions came through sniffs and mumbled words…

"But why?"

My back stiffened and I spoke, "Maybe Daddy would like to answer that question." I replied pointedly turning to look at him.

Silence. Another steady glaring gaze at me filled with what one can only describe as dark hatred.

"I'm not taking the fall for this." I told him quietly but matter of fact. "Either you tell them…

either you be honest and fix this or I will tell them." I warned him.

I wait. 

Silence in return. 

No eye contact.

"Daddy and I have had some issues..." I admitted to them. "And part of that has been him dating another lady. And when you're married you don't do that. That is why I filed for divorce." I told them quietly. I was not taking the fall for this. I was not allowing his agenda to continue. I was not letting them believe this toxic twisted package he had wrapped up with a bow and tried to pass off as legitimate was acceptable. It was beyond evil and sick what had just transpired and only further solidified I'd made the right decision to file for divorce.

Questions were asked and answered as best as possible… but there was no reassuring our son that Daddy was not leaving in the permanent sense but just going to live separately from us for awhile. The damage had been done. Before either of us could stop him he took off running, out of the house, through the open garage and out into the fifty degree night air barefoot… running… running… running as fast as he could down the dark tree lined street… I didn't know if it was the impulsivity of the ADHD or merely simple fight or flight kicking in out of fear, but as we chased him down I waffled between wanting to scream and cry. This couldn't be my children's life…. the destruction caused and the hurt inflicted in this night that could never be undone. Finally, later after physically bringing him back, him fighting like a baby cub, finally, after much talk and trying to stress how it truly wasn't their fault... what would change, what wouldn't, everyone calmed down combined with lots of reassuring and hugs. 

When all was said and done and coming to an end he refused to leave. I busied the children, getting them distracted eating their long forgotten now cold dinner as he began lugging his suitcase back upstairs. I left the kids to their dinner and rounded the corner to the hallway… and hissed at him under my breath at the foot of the main floor stairwell,

"Where do you think you're going?" I demanded in a low tone. 

"Back upstairs. I'm sleeping here tonight." He replied cooly toward me. 

"Not up there you're not." I shook my head. "You can sleep on the couch downstairs. You're not sleeping in that bed!" I told him. 

"It's my bed. I'll sleep in it if I want." He retorted, "You can sleep on the couch downstairs." He added smugly. 

I didn't want to call the police and have him escorted out, especially in front of the children yet he was making this all unnecessarily uglier than it should have ever been. "I'm not sleeping on the couch!" I informed him. Eventually he agreed to sleeping in our son's trundle bed and vacating the house on the following day. But the damage had already been done. The children had been put through hell for no reason. 


This is obviously a worst case scenario come true. 

This is not the way to tell your 
children you are divorcing
throwing one parent under the bus. 

This is an unfortunate reality if you are dealing with someone who is a narcisstic sociopath. 

The personal agenda of a sociopath will always trump 

what should be done in the best interests of the children.


Obviously as can be seen above things don't always go
 as planned but in the hopes that doesn't happen to you here are some tips.

1. Make a plan together when the children aren't in earshot of you. Figure out exactly what you are going to say. I cannot stress that enough. Usually "We've grown apart", "As you know we've been fighting quite a bit more lately" or "We've tried to work on some issues and it's just not working, we believe this to be best for the family..." etc are good, neutral statements to use when talking to your kids. This doesn't place the blame on anyone but instead acknowledges that yes, there's been a issue(s) and this is the decision that's been made. 

2. Do not use a self proclamation of pity and throw your spouse under the bus to earn sympathy points from your children. In the days following telling our children we had a counseling appointment in place for them. At the therapist's office I told the therapist what had transpired the night in telling the children. He looked horrified and turned to address my soon to be ex who in turn pointed out how I'd then told the children he had stepped outside the marriage. The therapist nodded and spoke "Well, yes, I guess she did since you threw her under the bus!" and proceeded to sternly reprimand him for what he'd done. As he spoke his eyes flashed with steely anger at him "Take some responsibility. You need to fix this. You need to man up and tell your children you handled this wrong... that what you did was wrong." 

3. Get counseling in place for your children as soon as possible. They are going to need it and be sure to tell any close family members, babysitters, teachers etc. They all need to be aware of the divorce so they can be sensitive to your child's needs and any emotional fallout or acting out that occurs. Children's behavior does tend to worsen during divorce and even in the aftermath of it… for months on end… this is completely normal for them… they are trying to gain some control in a time they feel absolutely none. Continue to set limits and boundaries and rules as you would… like no hitting, no bad words, use your manners, etc… and with that make sure to give lots of extra attention and affection. 

4. When you tell the kids do not under any circumstances leave the room. You can't be sure what will be said behind your back and you need to be fully present for such an important conversation. 

5. If things get heated be the peace maker. Be the soft place, don't add to the chaos and fray. Be a comforter and focus on their hurt not yours. This is about telling them and focusing on how they feel not how you feel about it. 

6. Have another person in the home, someone who is there but doesn't get involved, maybe stays in the next room but merely as a safe extra presence of comfort for your children to go to in their hurt. 

7. If the person is abusive use extra caution. Another reason to have someone else there; if anything as a witness and to phone for help if needed. Make sure you have in your divorce papers that are served that they are to vacate the home. Get a protective order if necessary. 

8. If you have children who have special considerations and needs like ADHD or are on the autism spectrum, etc be sure you have safety in mind. This is a time when someone may be a flight risk and bolt out of the house, run down the street and/or threaten self injury. As parents it's important to be prepared for the unexpected. 

9. Your timing matters. Don't tell them the night before they have a big test, prom, graduation, any major life event or the week of their birthday, around Christmas Eve/Day etc. They will always remember "the day" they are told... don't cast a dark light on an otherwise positive event/day in their life.

10. Do not under any circumstances tell them you're divorcing unless you are 100% sure that you are doing this and you've made the right decision. The last thing you want is to drag your children through an emotional conversation of "were splitting up" then retracting it, creating lots of confusion and resentment. Make certain you are solid with your decision before you include them in this life changer called divorce. 

© ~ 2014 

this was an extremely difficult post for me to write and with that why I've waited so long to write it… my hope is this helps others who are about to begin the journey of divorce start on the right foot and always, always put what's best for your children ahead of yourself. 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

When He Tries To Change You! And 5 Tips To Not Change Him

"The longer my marriage went on the more I felt like Eliza Doolittle," I told her. "You know... Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady... the girl who Henry Higgins tries to mold into what he wants. He tries to change everything about her." 

She yanked open the door to the refrigerator and took out a package of hamburger beef setting it down on the counter with a loud thud!... it was still partially frozen and had to finish defrosting before she could form it into patties. Her tone was angry as she spoke: 

"I could see that! I kept thinking just who does he think he is? Expecting my daughter to change when my daughter is a catch. If you needed to change something, as your mother I'll tell you you need to!" she exclaimed with a grin.

I laughed at that, amused and she shook her head as she continued...

"It takes a lot of nerve! It made me so mad." 

"It was like I was a pet project. But at the same time it's so insidious how it happens... this way of wrapping it up pretty to make it out like he's genuinely trying to help or something. If I didn't like something he didn't see it as part of who I am... instead it was a deep flaw that needed to be overcome. I mean, it wasn't like I needed dire help with an addiction or required intervention of some kind. It wasn't a character issue he was trying to encourage change for the better but it was superficial stuff, more personality related than anything."

She nodded as she grabbed a knife from the cutlery drawer and began slicing an onion into tiny cubes. "If he couldn't accept you as you were then he shouldn't have married you." 

"I think he wanted someone who dressed like a Stepford wife and that's fine for a party or wedding I suppose but I'm more practical, just jeans and a shirt for everyday. I feel like Marion the Librarian in a dress, heels and button down sweater. It's cute on some women but it's just not me. And yet he changed so much over the years. Who I married was not who I divorced." I told her as I continued assembling the homemade chicken enchiladas I was making. "I really think once we found out I had ADHD that was the final clencher... he acted like I was inferior because of it instead of being supportive. He couldn't relate to it and ultimately we were speaking two different languages." 

She rinsed off her hands at the white porcelain sink and dried them on the striped kitchen towel hanging nearby. "Well, at least there is medication to help with ADHD. But there's no magic pill to fix jerky behavior." She told me then added, "People shouldn't try to change others or be somebody else... just be yourself." 

Just be yourself. 

Three words that are so important. 

Especially today in a world that tries to get you to be anybody but yourself. Today young women and men both need to know more than ever that "to be yourself" is one of the most important messages you will ever hear.

If you feel like you have to change 
yourself to
you should 

If he begins trying to change you
that's when you know he's 
not good nor healthy for you.

Just move on because somewhere down the line will be a guy… maybe not the next guy or the one after that… but there will surely be a guy who likes who you are; flaws, baggage, likes, dislikes and all.


He will be fine with the fact you'd rather wear jeans than a skirt to dinner and would rather scarf tacos than a steak.

He will be fine with the fact you blast the stereo in the kitchen and dance to Push It by Salt N Pepa because life doesn't have to be serious all the time.

He will be fine with the fact you wear leggings, a Pink sweatshirt and your hair in a bun at home because when you are at your most comfortable you are your most beautiful.

He will be fine with the fact you hate brussels sprouts and mango's and yet he won't stop eating them just because you don't care for them and you wouldn't want him to.

He will be fine with the fact you wear heels even if you tower over him, appreciating your beauty.

He will be fine with the fact that roller coasters aren't your forte because there is surely something he himself doesn't care for that you like.

He will be fine with the fact that maybe sometimes you kinda hog the queso at restaurants like a kid and sits back to let you indulge because it's your favorite thing ever and he thinks it's cute.

He will be fine with all the ugliness of your past, will appreciate you for who you are and loves you… he wants to kiss your scars and hurts with care instead of inflicting more hurt in those wounds just as you'd do for him.

He will be fine with the fact you love God more than anyone… yes, even him… because he knows that is what's best for you and as married to God's daughter he himself wants to care for and love you till the day he dies.


Love looks you in the eye, 
in the darkness of your room 
and meeting your gaze 
says with steady assurance: 

"I love you. Even when you're late, stubborn and mad. I love you for you. I love you in your struggle, your doubts and worries. I love you in your regrets and hopes. I want to kiss the spots that hurt from your past and heal them with warm kisses. I am here everyday and love you now and in the future."

He will love you as you are. 
I promise. 
You don't have to change 
for a man to love you. 

A boy will look at you always searching 
for what you could improve upon, change or do differently. 

But A Man Won't. 

Love doesn't say: 
"You're less than because you have ADHD, etc." 
because that's hurtful. 

Love doesn't say: 
"You need to change this for me to like you or love you"
 because otherwise I'm just tolerating you. 

Love doesn't say: 
"If you loved me you would do this or that…" 
because that's manipulation. 

As Women… 
When we are progressing towards the best version of ourselves each day, when we aren't comparing ourselves to any other women but instead who we were last month, last week or yesterday, we are living a life of happiness and satisfaction. 

When we realize acceptance doesn't come from a man but from God we have stopped subscribing to the world. We already have God's acceptance. A real man will delight in who you are and who you are becoming and love every inch of you in between. He will value you, keeping you near and dear to his heart even when you're not by his side… because when he sees bits of you sprinkled here and there in his life… when he sees your hot pink bra hanging on the doorknob… when he finds your peppermint Chapstick buried in the bed… when he catches a whiff of your brown sugar body wash in the shower… when he already knows you're going to be five minutes late before you even utter those predictable words to him…

He smiles to himself and thinks…

"That's my girl… just being herself and I love her."

© ~ 2014 

5 Tips For Wives Trying To Change Their Husbands: 

Here are some tips to keep in mind if/when you attempt to change him. Keeping these reminders handy in a spot like your vanity or desk will go a long way in staying cognizant of not trying to change your husband. 

1. Use words of life, not death. The second a criticism begins to form at your lips take pause and decide if this is really going to help. Will it build him up or tear him down? Will it encourage him or make him feel inadequate? 

2. Learn his language. Both of you can take a love language test by Gary Chapman online to discover what your love languages are. Make a concerted effort to speak his language more. He will notice. 

3. Make him look good. One of the worst things a wife can do is cut her husband off in conversation in public, interrupt him, correct him on facts and events, names, etc. Every time a wife does this it chips away at him, making him feel stupid. He may not say anything but his feelings will be hurt. With that, let your spouse know when you talk about him it's in a positive light. If you say anything behind his back make sure it's a compliment. 

4. Let grace abound. This is not about letting someone walk all over you or tolerating abusive behavior, enabling them, etc. It's about being married to someone healthy who just had a bad day… he came home grumpy about an incident at work and you don't try to tell him what to do… you're just there for him, happy to listen and let him vent if needed. He knows even if he goes about venting and griping you are there for him and a safe place to do it with. He knows you love him and he would be the same safe spot for you if the tables were turned. And he will have humility to say: "Sorry I was such a grouch tonight babe… just a bad day. Didn't mean to harp on. But thanks for listening. I love you." Just like you would do for him. 

5. Tell him how much you love him. Speak up. You have this one life, one chance to tell him exactly how you feel about him. He wants to know he's a good guy, a great husband and dad. He wants to know you would still choose him all over again and has your unconditional love. 

To My Readers: 

Thank you for reading, 

commenting and sharing!

Related Posts: 

When "Love" = Death: What I Wanted To Tell Her 

5 Acts Of Love: When A Woman Loves A Man 

Secure:  Just Be. Just You.