My World (Feminine Style)

Thoughts about love, liberty, disco

Relationship Rules… #4 October 25, 2010

Filed under: Relationships,Uncategorized — katiereich @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , ,

#4 NEVER make fun, or joke at your spouses expense.

I know that this may sound simple… well, actually, it is, but I am always surprised at how many couples joke at the other’s expense. It is almost like they are too afraid to talk through something, or they don’t even know they are doing it… what if instead of tearing down your spouse in front of other people you tried building them up. What may be “just joking” to you, most likely has some truth to it, which is why it hurts your spouses feelings.

 

Relationship Rule #3: What are you talking about? September 23, 2010

Filed under: Relationships — katiereich @ 7:30 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

#3 Learn what you are really talking about. Communication is key.

*Warning: Personal Story* I don’t know why I gave you a warning; other then I thought it would be funny! Josh and I are imperfect people, and this was no more apparent then when we were engaged and during our first year of marriage. I will speak from my perspective, because that is the only perspective I have. When Josh and I got engaged, God was really doing a number on my heart and life, He was replacing my views with His, and a heart transplant is never easy. I came into our marriage with a lot of hurts, hang-ups and silly expectations. Josh was probably expecting me to be more like him, read that emotionally stable! The first year of our marriage was filled with tears… what we realized was that when I was reacting out of proportion to the situation at hand, I was really reacting to a lie I believed about myself, or a past hurt that had not healed.

Pause here to think through the last time you withdrew or blew up and the situation did not warrant the response. Why? What were you responding to? What hurt is plaguing how you feel about yourself, or the people around you? Now ask God to work in your life to heal that hurt, and know that you are not alone, God is walking, no, carrying you through it.

We started to realize that the faster we could decode our anger or hurt the faster we could move on and really know each other.

Typical couple argument: (This is totally made up)

Female: (exasperated tone) Why are your socks on the floor next to the hamper, instead of in the hamper?

Male: (somewhat distracted by the tv) Isn’t that close enough for you. (note the sarcasm)

Female: Well, it is obvious by the way you do what I ask you to, that you only see me as a maid…

Male: (now fully engaged) A maid, huh? Well, I wouldn’t pay you to keep up with the house like you do. Would you just get off my back?

Female: (starting to get indignant) If I stopped doing what I do then the house would look like a frat house.

Male: Now those were the days, no ball and chain…

Decoding the Female: She probably is frustrated by the little things that her spouse does or doesn’t do, but what is going on below the surface? Control maybe her thing… She maybe reacting to a situation in her past that she had no control over, also, she is probably questioning her worth, calling herself a maid.

Decoding the Male: First, he probably doesn’t want to be bothered while watching tv, but he is probably hurt because she is not approaching him in a respectful way, as well as nagging him, which will of course remind him of being scolded by his mother. He already has one, and does not want another.

One of the hardest things for me to overcome was the tape (cd/mp3) that played over and over in my head that said, “You are not worth anyone’s love, outside of what you can earn. You are not enough to love on your own merit, and you are too much to deal with because of your baggage. You are not lovable and will never be able to give or receive love.” Most of my adolescence and into adulthood, I was looking for myself, but believed that to find myself it needed to come out of someone else’s love and expectations for me. You can see how this would taint any interaction that I had with Josh, at the drop of a hat I believed that if he was frustrated with me, it was because I was too much and he did not love me. Thankfully, by the grace of God, that tape has slowly changed, I still fall back into some of those beliefs every now and then, but that is not my normal. My new tape reads more like this: I am a beloved daughter of God, and because of His infinite love was adopted into His family. My worth lies not in what I am or what I do, but who He is in me. I am whole and complete in Him. I am whole in Him…

My soapbox and prayer is that you can find yourself fully in Him. That the lies you believe can be replaced by His truth. Like I said yesterday, you will be paralyzed until you find healing.

Side note: In order to communicate well, you need to figure out how you both argue and then work with it. Josh normally likes room and space to think before we have a discussion, where I just want to talk it out. So sometimes we talk it out right there, and sometimes we wait. I have also learned that there are better times to bring up issues then others. It is extremely hard for me, but I try to wait until an appropriate time to bring up something that is bothering me.

 

Why teachers have sex with students, and relationships don’t last… September 17, 2010

Filed under: Family,Relationships — katiereich @ 10:11 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

My neighbor just told me that a former middle school coach, in our school district, was accused of performing a sexual act on a 15 year old student. Earlier this summer a high school English teacher was arrested for having sexual contact with a student. Is there a way to prevent this?

What about the numerous relationships that end because of unfaithfulness? or porn addiction? or jealousy?

The answer: Boundaries…

Whenever Josh performs a wedding, we meet with the couple and do a series of premarital counseling sessions. This process is usually fun because it allows Josh and I to look back at our relationship, as well as help the couple we are working with get started on the right foot. Of course we always share our “Relationship Rules”. These are a list of unofficial Rules that Josh and I have put into place over the course of our marriage to help safeguard our relationship, and help to make it run more smoothly. So I thought that I would put together an unofficial list of “Relationship Rules”, these are by no means meant for everyone, or should be applied across the board, but hopefully they will help you to think through your relationship or non-relationship and help you to think through what boundaries you should have in your life. Enjoy!

“Relationship Rule ” #1: No (or limited) relationships with people of the opposite sex.

First and foremost severe contact with all past flames and boy/girlfriends. If you are in contact with one, my first question would be why. What do you gain from continuing a friendship with them? It will probably make your spouse jealous, even if they say they aren’t, and they will always appear better then your spouse. You call the old flame and vent about an argument you just had with your husband, that person will tend to side with you, and be a listening ear, which will put a wedge in between you  and your spouse. Not worth it.

There really does not seem to be an upside… So delete all past flames from your facebook, email and skype. Wish them well, but put all of your energy into making your current relationship as amazing as it can be.

This will be a series of posts… so buckle your seatbelt and watch for more. If nothing else you will be amused.

 

Exiting gracefully. February 24, 2010

Filed under: Relationships — katiereich @ 3:50 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Let me start out with a confession: I have not been a great friend. In the past I have used friendships for selfish gain, usually so that I did not have to eat lunch alone at school, and especially so that I could escape the pain that I was feeling in my own bones. High school is such an awkward time, especially when like most teenagers, you are not sure of yourself and the world is only reinforcing your bad thought patterns. As I got older my goals in relationships got a little more noble, but were still selfish; someone to have fun with, laugh with, a relationship that I could learn from, and grow from.

I know that many of the relationships that I have had, added so much to me in that specific season of life, but I wonder, “How do the people feel on the other side of that relationship?” Have they left our time together feeling encouraged or drained, feeling heard or used… Learning to love myself has been a LONG process, and learning to REALLY love other people has taken even longer. I know how to love my kids, and my husband, but how do you exit a relationship gracefully?

You move and so you keep in touch for a while, but then the communication becomes less frequent.

You are friends with someone because it is convenient, you are in the same stage of life, or you participate in the same activities, but then things change.

And worst of all there is a misunderstanding and then a breaking of that deep connection, you may or may not see each other, but the essence of that relationship is gone.

Does that mean that the relationship was not important? No… but how do you keep those cherished relationships and times in your heart if they are not active in your life? and more importantly how do you let the people in those relationships know that you care for them deeply, even if you do not do a good job of keeping in touch?

I have no answers just a deep feeling that I am missing a part of my Christian walk because I do not understand it in the context of community. I have been reading through 2 Corinthians very slowly and the other day I stumbled across a passage about prayer. It made me wonder if someone in my life did not receive a blessing from God because I did not pray for them, or we did not pray for them… How can a man be healed because of his friend’s faith?

I want to live in a community of believers who sees themselves as true brothers and sisters in Christ. Who pray for each other, encourage each other and keep each other accountable. I know that it will be a little messy, aren’t all families, but in doing that I think that I will be able to hold onto some of the relationships in my past. Giving grace to those who are where I was.

Thank you, for the MANY people who intentionally or not poured into my life to help me take on the character of Christ. So many of you were constants in my searching. Thank you for walking the early stages of my marriage with me, helping me to find freedom, wholeness, and most importantly myself in Christ.

Do you have someone you need to thank, or reach out to?

 

I am loving my family today… February 1, 2010

Filed under: Family,kids — katiereich @ 8:30 am
Tags: , , , ,

I already know what you are thinking, shouldn’t she love her family all of the time? The answer is yes, and yes I do, but there are moments of contentedness and extra-fondness (is that a word) that sneak in and warm your heart. For instance;

  • Gavin has decided that he would rather wear underwear then pull-ups or diapers this week, and is in the process of mastering the toilet! The crowd goes wild.
  • Gavin also, has been coming out of his cranky two’s and has been entering a sweeter stage. He loves to snuggle under his letter blanket, and his personality is starting to show like crazy. Just the other night he told me he saw God in the wall, I have no idea what he was talking about, but he is funny.
  • Ava wonders the funniest things aloud. Like can we ever go to a restaurant church, I am not sure what that would look like, dinner theater? But we told her she would have to start it.
  • Ava wants to be a Mail lady, Fire fighter, and a pilot. I asked her where she would sleep and she informed me that she would stay with the other mail people. But she would deliver mail to Josh, myself, Gavin and Ashton.
  • The kids and myself have been taking walks around the neighborhood in the wagon, and Ava and Gavin like to pull Ashton instead of being pulled. On these same walks we are always on the lookout for trash in the neighborhood to pick up and throw away. Gavin and Ava “work as a team” to walk down into the wash to pick up bags stuck to bushes and such.
  • Gavin no longer says panpakes, for pancakes. He very clearly enunciated pancake this evening… he is growing up.
  • Ava got a booster seat and cannot believe that she gets to use a seatbelt like an adult!
  • Ava is also excited about starting Kindergarten in July. She keeps telling people that she is almost 5, but really she is only almost 4 1/2!
  • Ashton is walking around like a mad man. He can turn on a dime and become quite the walker.
  • Ashton’s nickname has changed from shoe (because he used to sleep in the pack n’ play in our closet) to bobblehead! If you have ever seen Ashton’s new dance then you would understand.
  • The kids have been recently practicing the Lord’s Prayer after we pray, and then we sing a Benediction. I love their sweet hearts and their spontaneous songs to God.

And most of all I have a husband who works hard for the church, and loves people, but ultimately wants to serve and bless his family and be a light to those who come in contact with us! Our family is far from perfect, but we love each other and are trying to enjoy the small things.

 

His Needs: Admiration October 26, 2009

Filed under: Church,Family,Relationships — katiereich @ 5:27 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Two Saturdays ago, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.

Need #5 Admiration:

I purposefully waited until today to post this blog about admiration until after Saturday’s message, “From this Moment“, to give it some context. Unlike women, men do not speak or listen in the language of LOVE, instead they speak in the language of respect and admiration. Early in our marriage, Josh and I attended a conference by Emerson Eggerichs called Love and Respect, this changed forever how we communicated and dealt with each other. If you have ever read Wild at Heart you know that a man’s deepest desire is to be used and found worthy of a great adventure. This is one of the reasons that they like to do things at 500 miles an hour and love adventure and risk. So what does this have to do with Admiration? Well, I am so glad that you asked:

  • Your husband needs you to be proud of him. If you fail to give the appropriate words of affirmation to your husband he feels like a fake, and regardless of his true value, will begin to believe that at any moment someone will realize that he is not worth his salt and kick him off the team or fire him from his job or if taken to the very end… will start to look to other women to fulfill this need in their lives. Which will end up with disastrous consequences.
  • Willard states, “Honest admiration is a great motivator for most men. When a woman tells a man she thinks he’s wonderful, that inspires him to achieve more. He sees himself as capable of handling new responsibilities and perfecting skills far above those of his present level. That inspiration helps him prepare for the responsibilities of life.” “For some men admiration also helps them believe in themselves.”
  • For the most part men know that you love them, they do not need the atmosphere of affection that we as women do to feel constantly reassured of our man’s love. But the thing that will speak to him will be words that edify, respect, admire, and lift up your husband. He wants to know that he is worthy of the adventure that is calling, and he can overcome the obstacle that is staring him in the face.
  • “An environment of carping and criticism is dangerous to your mental health. Those who support and encourage you bring out your true potential and spark your genius.”
  • “Never fake your admiration. The first step in learning how to express admiration it so learn how to feel admiration. When you achieve that, you can express these feeling.”
  • For me learning to feel admiration was not something that came easy at the beginning of our marriage. It took practice and an intentionality that I did not think would be necessary. Don’t feelings of love and respect come naturally in the arms of a committed relationship? Unfortunately, the answer for me was no. When Josh and I got married God was working on my heart in a huge way, but it took a few years for God to take my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh. In the mean time I decided to write down all of the little things that Josh did that should have sparked the feeling of Love and Respect in me. After the exercise of writing things down, I was able to more naturally recognize and then express my appreciation and respect toward Josh.
  • Willard says, “Therefore her admiration depends on his ability to meet her basic marital needs.” This statement at the outset may ring true, but it rubs me the wrong way. In Eph. 5:33 we as women are told to respect our husbands. There are no qualifiers to it. Josh says you respect him until he becomes respectable…
  • Willard goes on to endorse an activity to communicate to your husband what you admire and what destroys your admiration for him. I would strongly caution you about taking the step to list out all of the things that destroy your admiration for your husband and give it to him unless it is done in a clinical setting. From the depth of my toes, I believe that this could really destroy your man emotionally. Can you imagine, oh, by the way here are all of the things that I hate about you? Please NO! I would suggest thinking and privately journaling those things that bother you about your husband and try to figure out if there is a common thread throughout. Is it his lack of responsibility with the kids, or time away from the family or you? Next, make it your mission to find him doing right things in this area, if he shows a hint of moving in the right direction notice it, mention it, praise him for it, throw a party about. Also, you should be having those iron sharpening iron conversations where you are pointing out sin and areas that he can improve in his life/walk, but those conversations should not be how you always talk to him.
  • Work on developing an attitude of respect and admiration for your husband. Let him know this week how much you appreciate him working and bringing home the bacon. How much you love the man he is and the man that he is becoming. Start with pointing out those things that he does that communicate love to you and how much you appreciate it. That will go a long way in expressing your admiration for him.
  • In the book Whale Done, they discuss that in order to train a killer whale you have to affirm the things that he is doing well or on track with to encourage more like behavior. I think that the same principle works here, affirm your husband in the things that he is doing that you already like, so you can see more of those same behaviors.

All quotes are taken from Willard F. Harley Jr’s book His Needs Her Needs.

 

His Needs: Domestic Support October 22, 2009

Filed under: Church,Family — katiereich @ 5:26 am
Tags: , , , , ,

This past Saturday, Josh and I taught together in Part 4 our series I Want a New Marriage. We used the book His Needs, Her Needs as the framework for our talk. This week as a way of following that up, I’ll be doing posts through that book, some of the things we said, how to figure out if this is a need your spouse has, how you are doing at meeting that need and how this applies to your relationship.

You can listen to it here.

I’ll be looking specifically at his needs and how a wife fulfills those needs. To see her needs and how a husband fulfills those, check out Josh’s blog.

Need #4 Domestic Support:

  • He needs peace and quiet. A home that is welcoming and relaxing, it does not need to be fancy, it just needs be calming.
  • This usually is not an issue until the kids arrive: who is going to stay home with the kids, who is going to work, how do we split up the chores, is it fair to assume that all chores will be done by the person who stays at home or works less hours? This has huge potential to blow up in your face!
  • This has less to do with having a white gloved clean home and more to do with how he feels when he walks in the door; relaxation and pleasure.
  • I realize that the house will not be spotless and dinner on the table every night that your husband walks in the door, but again, are you trying?
  • “A revolution in male attitudes in housework is supposed to have taken place, with men pitching in to take an equal share of the household chores. But this revolution has not necessarily changed their emotional needs. Many of the men I counsel still tell me in private that they need domestic support as much as ever.”
  • “They may talk a lot about how unfair it is to expect women to do all the housework, but when it comes to actually doing it, their wives know that it’s mostly talk.”
  • “Children create huge needs, both a greater need for income and greater domestic responsibilities. The previous division of labor is now obsolete. Both spouses must take on new responsibilities. Which ones should they take? In most modern marriages, both spouses opt for income, leaving the domestic responsibilities to whoever will volunteer.”
  • Usually there are no willing volunteers, or one of you does the work because you feel like you have to, but that puts a wedge into the relationship and creates resentment on a regular basis.
  • There does need to be a fair division of responsibilities, but that does not mean things should be split half and half.
  • Harley suggests:
    • listing out ALL household responsibilities and how important each person thinks that they are.
    • Assume responsibility for those things that you enjoy doing or would prefer to do yourself.
    • Assign the remaining responsibilities to the one wanting each done the most.
    • Meet the need of domestic support by assuming responsibilities that deposit the most love units.
  • “In marriage, you do things for each other because you care about each other’s feelings, not just because you want them done yourself. And that can deposit carloads of love units if done in the right way.”
  • “Let me repeat a concept that is crucial to your marital happiness. If you and your spouse are in love with each other, you will have a happy marriage. If you are not in love you will feel cheated. So whatever it takes to trigger the feeling of being in love with each other is well worth the effort.”
  • I understand Willard’s desire to set up a distinction of household chores, but I think that in some ways he is missing the mark by not addressing the deeper issue of the difference in male and female roles. Instead of getting into it here, take a minute to listen to Josh’s talk, after it posts, from October 24th.
  • For those of you with kids: “It doesn’t build character to five your kids jobs that you hate to do; it builds resentment. If you want your children to help around the house, have them choose tasks from your list of household responsibilities that they would enjoy doing.”

 

All quotes are taken from His Needs Her Needs; by Willard F. Harley Jr.