3 Ways to Spend Time Together In The Evenings That Don’t Involve A Remote

1-couple-talking-couch-xl

“What can we do together in just one hour in the evenings that doesn’t involve a remote?”

Just yesterday, I posed this very question to my Facebook fans about spending quality time with your lover. My husband (Man) took on a second job in May. Because he now works from 4a.m.-8p.m. Monday thru Friday, his goes to bed earlier than some kids I know. I have a long commute and a busy job too, so on average we get about one hour—yup , 60 freakin’ minutes!—together before one of us basically passes out where we sit. When we realized we were spending that hour staring at the television instead of each other, we decided to try to introduce “mini dates” (yes we have those) that didn’t involve smartphones or the TV. He really is my best friend, and I am his, so finding activities wasn’t the hard part; keeping them interesting enough to stay awake for was. (I wish I could he would let me share this picture I snapped of him passed it with a Scrabble letter in one hand and Dog’s ear in the other.) Here’s a little list of remote-free mini dates we thoroughly enjoy in the evenings, when we can stay awake for them. Below it you’ll find three great suggestions from other readers. I hope you’ll add your own ideas and success stories too.

Podcasts, Baby!

There are thousands of options here. We recommend a guilty-pleasure style one that brings the laughs to keep it interesting, and keep you alert. (We’re subscribers and regular listeners of The Read.) We’ve tried playing podcasts together while we cook dinner, shower and iron clothes, as well as just curled up together on the couch for an episode. It’s nice to share something you only have to listen to so you can maintain eye contact, which is always sexy.

Shower Share!

Whether you’re evening shower people or morning shower people, this is an excellent way to spend time together and keeps things exciting when your time together is limited. Note: Rain shower faucets really take things up a notch and make sharing the hot water way more doable. Continue reading

Posted in Enjoy Your Marriage, Hot Topics, Married Life, Wifey Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

3 Simple Yet Powerful New Year’s “Resolutions” Every Married Couple Needs

new-year-s-resolution-pic-getty-681635794It’s that time of year again. You know, the one when we all make loads of promises to ourselves (and each other) that we rarely intend to keep. I actually hate the word “resolutions” because I’m personally way more successful when I set “goals” and a “vision” for the year ahead. Words are powerful. Resolutions are made to be broken. Goals keep us motivated and inspired. With that said, each year my husband and I set the same three “goals” for our marriage, with the intention of making it stronger, happier and healthier than the year before. They are all evergreen goals that any couple can (and should!) adopt at any time in their lives, but hey, like I said, ‘tis the season, so why not share them with you now? Here they are:

Love With Absolute Intention
In my day-to-day life, I’m constantly reminded that love really is an action verb. When we love like we mean it, we find that even the most seemingly impossible tasks to overcome within our marriage suddenly seem just a little more attainable than they did they day before. Love is a force so powerful that when it’s harnessed and projected properly can move any mountain blocking a path. Don’t just love your spouse because you do—love them because you know that loving them even deeper will actually make you both stronger, and therefore strengthen your marriage too. Being loved and returning love foster positivity, creativity, resilience and persistence—all of which are amazing tools to inspire and motivate us to live out our dreams. For the New Year, vow to love each other more deeply and intently than you did this year and to keep track of all the wins (big or small) that you achieved together because you did. Continue reading

Posted in Enjoy Your Marriage, Married Life, Wifey Wisdom | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Truth About Meeting Your Future Husband at 21

charli-penn-wedding-gibran-man-wife-dog-wedding-portrait-fall-wedding-photo-idea

A Special Editor’s Note: I haven’t shared anything on this blog in over a year now, and for that, I’m very sorry. Sometimes there’s just a little too much on our plates, and the smartest thing to do can also be the hardest thing to do. I’ve genuinely missed sharing our marriage journey (in progress) and the lessons we learn along the way, but I want you to know two things upon my return: 1. I didn’t stop blogging because there wasn’t anything to tell. (Boy, do I have some stories for you!) 2. We’re back for real this time and I’m ready to get reacquainted with our old readers and welcome the new ones too. If you’re in need of a weekly dose of marital wisdom, stories, or wit, you’ve come to the right place. We promise. Now, on to the business of this post…

When I’m asked to share my “how I met my husband” story with someone, one of the most surprising reactions I often hear sounds a little something like, “Oh, you met so young? Aren’t you worried you didn’t live enough beforehand?” It’s a fair question, for sure, since I met my hubby exactly two months after graduating from college and we never took a break. But, yet and still, my answer remains the same each time: Nope, I have never worried about that, and I’m not about to start either. Here are three (good) reasons why…

1.    For all those stories you hear about couples who fall in love young and grow apart, there is always at least one where the opposite happens—they grow together, grow stronger and grow closer because they weren’t burdened by the baggage and pain that comes with trying your hand at love and failing many, many times before that. Oh, and because they were, you know, actually really meant to be. I’ve always been okay with being the exception and not the rule, just as long as people understand that there are certainly always exceptions to that rule. I meet couples like us all the time, and they too have no regrets about how and when they met.

2.    Believe it or not, I had already had my share of heartbreak, even at the tender age of 21. I wish I had been the young woman who was more focused on books than boys, but I must confess, I was equally determined to make the grade and meet the guy throughout my high school and college years. (I blame rom-coms, TV happy endings on teen shows and being addicted to Sex and the City.) However, I don’t wish the same for my future daughter’s interests at that age. Mainly because although I managed to succeed at getting a quality education and lots of extra-curricular activities under my belt, I did shed a lot of tears onto those textbooks and computer keyboards because I was constantly giving my heart out to someone who didn’t want to cherish or protect it. I wont go into detail here, but let’s just say, I found out what love wasn’t and what an unhealthy relationship looked like long before I even started grad school. So, when Gibran walked into my life at 21, I already knew a good thing when I saw it. His sincerity and devotion stood out to me and proved to be authentic from the start. There was no need to hesitate.

3.    Your twenties are filled with growing pains, awkward failures, unsure paths and totally self-destructive behaviors. And, believe it or not, there’s something very comforting about looking back on that time and realizing that there was someone in your life uplifting, loving and forgiving you despite it all, who is actually still standing there right by your side today. Now, to me, that is the ultimate proof that you can make it “together forever.”

I would never encourage anyone to rush love in their 20s, but you won’t hear me giving out any finger-pointing-style warnings if they do decide to, because when it’s right, it does have its benefits.

Today, my husband and I celebrate four years of marital bliss and eleven years of enjoying good love and healthy growth. I wouldn’t change a thing about how or when we met, and I will tell anyone that the road to “I do” isn’t any easier when you meet young, but it’s certainly not, in my experience, any harder either. We fight for what we want but we’ll always have the ability to walk away from what we don’t, and this applies to women of all ages. Just some food for thought…

I’d love to discuss this further with anyone who wants to weigh in. Does the age at which you fall in love change your perspective on making it work? Are there unseen sacrifices? I’ve discussed the pros, but of course there may be cons too. If you want to talk about it, I’ll see you in the comment section below!

Photo: Di Bezi Photography

Posted in Married Life, Wifey Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

10 Things Every Married Woman Should Have by Age 30

checklist imageWhen I turned thirty in September (Virgos baby!), I became obsessed with all those online lists of the things every woman should have by the big 3-0. Proudly, I admit, I was able to check off quite a few of the most common ones – sexy little black dress, a skincare regimen, more than one ex, etc. – but I didn’t earn an A+. No worries, really. No unique woman fits any one list, I say. However, I did start to think about the sort of tools a 30-something wife oughta have under her belt when she hits that milestone age. Hence, this little list was born. If you tied the knot before thirty, I welcome your feedback. If you didn’t or haven’t, no judgments here – although, this list probably isn’t for you. (Don’t hate me.) That said, you can still weigh in too.

A Recipe that Will Make Her Husband Forgive Her for Anything
Admittedly, I’m still working on this one – I’m domestically challenged! – but, many wives have recommended I have one, so there must be something to it, right?

A Secret (or Not-So Secret) Account for Impulsive Shop Therapy
I don’t believe in “hiding” cash from your spouse, but I’m fully in support of enjoying what’s left of your paycheck after you and hubby have combined funds to take care of all household expenses, saving and beyond. Sliding a little bit of that remaining money aside and into an account he can’t see never hurt anyone. To me, it just means hearing “that bag cost how much?!” a few less times a season. (Wink!)

A Great Mattress (With Room for You Too!)
I don’t know about the sleeping arrangements in your bedroom, but in ours, my husband and dog both sleep like there’s no one else in bed but them. This inevitably leaves very little room for mama. Back when we had a crappy full (yes full!) sized mattress this was absolutely unbearable. But, when we splurged on an upgraded, queen-sized, pillow-top mattress, suddenly that all changed overnight. I still think my husband sleeps like he’s making a snow-angel and our dog doesn’t realize she’s not a toddler, but at least there’s room for me and falling asleep happens fast enough for me to barely notice.

A Go-To Foundation that Doesn’t Love Your Husband’s Shirt
I’ve learned this one the hard way. The cheaper the makeup, the friendlier it is with your clothes, and his. The nights I want to look the best are usually the same ones I want to spend snuggled up with my husband in a restaurant booth or something. Honestly, all foundations rub off at some point, but some are worse than others and you know it. I have found a few foundations that allow me to be confident enough to buy my husband white shirts as Christmas gifts again, so I know you can too.

A Happy Place
The mall. Home Goods. The spa….Your bestie’s house. I really don’t care where you go to find your zen moment and bask in it, just know where it is and how to get there fast when you need to.

A Friend Who Truly Never Gets Tired of Hearing You Vent
It’s true. Marriage really does have its ups and downs, and when the roller coaster has you raging down a steep, seemingly endless hill, you will need a kind shoulder to call on. Know whom it belongs to and appreciate the gift that is pure, kind, non-judgmental friendship at its very finest. Continue reading

Posted in Enjoy Your Marriage, Hot Topics, Lists to Live By, Married Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

What Ruby Dee Taught Me About Love and Marriage

ruby dee actress essence magazineLast year, I had the pleasure of spending the day with iconic Black actress Ruby Dee. (An epic moment in my career thus far!) She was about to turn 90, and I was honored to have received an invitation to her home to sit down with her and discuss love, marriage and life for an ESSENCE magazine feature story. In between hair and makeup touch ups and the photo shoots, Ruby and I chatted intimately about so many things – her career, her marriage, and her beautiful family.

Love Never Dies

Ruby had such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to offer me that day, and as a shivered with excitement and took a seat, I did my very best to be sponge it all up while my recorder handled the rest. Ruby and her husband, the late, great actor Ossie Davis, were married for 57 years. Although he’s gone on to heaven now, today she clearly loves him as much as if not more than she ever has. “At 90, I’ve had time to realize there’s really no such thing as death,” she told me. “When I’m reincarnated, I hope Ossie and I continue the journey together.” Continue reading

Posted in Celeb Marriages We Can Learn From, Marriage..., Married Life, News and Notes, Real Wife Confessions, Wifey Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Marriage Advice: What’s For You Doesn’t Always Feel Like It, So Remember Why You Chose It

bride-groom-african-american-couple-iStock_000007461488Small-croppedMarriage really isn’t something people ever tell you that you’re not ready for to your face. (Unless of course your friends and family are ruder than mine.) But if what others might feel bothers you at all, which is okay, you can sometimes tell when they’re thinking it.

Man and I received lots of love and support on our wedding day, but I’m certain their were at least a couple people in the audience thinking that we were a little young to go there, that there was still so much time to get more things in order in our lives or maybe even that we couldn’t possibly be sure of what we really wanted in a mate having met and fell in love so young and while we were still becoming who we’re supposed to be. I don’t fault them. To me, it doesn’t matter whether they were right or wrong that day; it matters that whatever we weren’t prepared for then, we’ve faced together head-on since – one of those “things” being money matters, for sure. Continue reading

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Posted in Hot Topics, Married Life, Wifey Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments