Don’t Leave Your Husband Behind….

Jennie's Snippets, Love

I have learned a valuable lesson this week. A lesson I never noticed until I started to see some tension or, even, started feeling a bit lonely within my marriage. And then I finally realized why I started to feel this way.

In our first year of marriage I was constantly including my amazing husband, Bruce, in everything that we did. Because we were MARRIED. In our first year of marriage I was making sure we did everything together because that is what marriage is – a bond, a partnership, and an adventure that you do together – we are a team.

But, it started to feel different. It felt more like being roommates rather than partners.

As I started to evaluate our life and how we got to where we are – I noticed that it was all my fault.

I am an obsessive control-freak, and it shouldn’t be put any nicer because it is 100% true. I am a monster when it comes to getting things done, doing it my way, and on my clock.

In the corporate world this is great – being a boss lady and fighting your way up the corporate ladder is a plus! But, in my marriage? No.

Some things have changed that I have taken control over. But, I don’t want to be in control because I miss our bond over the things we once did together.

  • Doing laundry together
  • Watching shows together
  • Playing games together
  • Grocery shopping together
  • Cooking together
  • Dancing silly together

I now do all the grocery shopping and cook all of our meals because I want us to be healthy! I now delegate laundry and chores as to who does what and when because I want a clean house. We watch our own shows rather than watch things together. I order anything and everything that we need for the house as soon as I notice we need it: toothpaste, new door handle, deodorant, laundry detergent, etc.

You can call it a “caring and loving wife” if you want, but that ain’t it for me. That’s a controlling wife. And controlling wives are not fun.

Like, “what in the absolute world am I doing?”

By the end of the day I am so tired that I don’t want to do anything. And you want to know what else I do? (I am so ashamed of myself). I COMPLAIN to MY husband that he might not be doing enough and i’m tired of doing everything.

Like, wait, what? Did she just say that?

I did. Please shake your heads at me. I welcome it.

I took over everything on my own. I do what I see fit within an HOUR if I notice it. I do not consult him before I do anything when it comes to caring for our home. And if he doesn’t do it fast enough, when I ask him to do something, then I do it anyway and then complain about doing it.

For real? You want real marriage talk? Marriage talk that will tell you that a marriage joined by Jesus Christ isn’t perfect? Marriage talk that is raw and not covered up by the “blood of christ” holiness facade? Phew….then let’s talk.

This crap happens. And, I’m ashamed to admit that I am the root cause.

If I don’t acknowledge that i’m the literal problem then how in the world do I recognize that the change should come from me – not him?

Over the last few days I have been constantly thinking, and thinking, and evaluating, “when did this freaking happen and WHY did it happen?”

And, I figured it out.

I brought home my “work mind” and applied to our lives. OUR BLOODY MARRIAGE.

And it started when I began working from home, and it worsened when my dad died.

I couldn’t separate my “work-self” from my “home-self” because my job was IN MY OWN HOME. #Thanks2020

I started my day at work – which is only, like, 10 feet from the bedroom. I wouldn’t emerge from the office until 6pm or later depending on what I needed to get done. Sometimes, I would even work in the kitchen, in the living room, and in the BEDROOM.

My mind, literally, couldn’t separate itself from my own personal life and my work life, and I already struggled with the work-life balance thing. Now, I had zero work-life balance.

Then, when my dad died, all of these fears started bubbling up from within and tearing my mental health a part.

  • What if my marriage fails?
  • What if Bruce takes on the habits of my dad and drinks alcohol heavily?

I mean, my parents struggled HARD and were separated earlier this year before my dad died. Watching them interact, while growing up, has developed these tendencies within me to question the life I lead, and, literally, fear a miserable marriage. Like, what if that becomes us? Or what if we become alcoholics? These are fears that sit in the bottom of my stomach. And they NEVER leave my mind. These are constant battering fears that flood my mental space almost daily since my dad died, and because of that, my need for control grew much much worse.

Not only did I control our house, but I also tried to control Bruce as a person. I would be like, “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t drink at all. Maybe you should eat this way. Maybe you shouldn’t do this or that and BLAH BLAH BLAH.”

To be frank, like I’ve been so far, so much of this comes from this inner fear of everything falling apart, and that the falling apart is all my fault. And now look at where it got me.

My need to be the glue, to be the controlling element that made it feel like it was all together actually created the space between the foundation and frame that held it together. (PS: Don’t worry about me, or Bruce, or us. Bruce and I are great communicators. He let me figure this out on my own, and allowed me to fall so that I could see it for myself – and write a blog post about it because that is how I process, haha. I really do have the best partner in life that I could have ever asked or dreamed for <3).

This year has been hard. For all of us. It has challenged us in so many new ways. Especially me.

And, as we close out this year, I hope we can all reflect and make necessary changes to remain healthy and happy with ourselves and with each other.

2020 isn’t a year that we should forget even though all of us want to. It’s a year of serious growth. We should take it and glean from it.

For me? I’m cutting back from working at home. It’s time that I set boundaries with my work and my personal life. Time for me to be patient. Time for me to include Bruce. Time for me to embrace activities that he loves. Time for me to let go and relax, because I love Bruce more than my own need to control everything.

I need to breathe. Let go, and experience life as it hits us rather than predict the future and control its outcome. I also need to ensure that I’m not rushing ahead and leaving Bruce behind me. This is not about me, me, and I, and doing it all solo. Marriage is about partnership.

Love,

Jennie Laureen

PS: I hope you loved this article and got a lot out of it. It’s definitely raw for me, but I always invite my readers to experience my ups and downs alongside me. There isn’t a perfect person in the entire world, and I’m willing to admit to all of my flaws out in the open. Too often we find ourselves comparing our lives to the picture-perfect scenarios displayed across our screens on social media. However, for me and my life, you will not find that. That is what Jennie Laureen is all about.

Sneak Peek: I’ve been working on moving all of my content to a brand new platform, and renaming my site from Jennie Laureen to Ownesty. I once used Ownesty as my business account for marketing and branding; however, in this new season, I have a better use for it. A permanent place to house my written content.

Ownesty means, “Owning My Honesty.”

Can’t wait to launch in 2021, and hopefully you join me on the ride of owning your own honesty too.

Love you all dearly! ‚̧

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Finding real adult friends seems almost impossible.

Love

Relationships are tough to build. They require persistence, connection, exposure and vulnerability. They require us to be more than a face and a person to hang out with – especially if our hope is to connect with someone so that we can bear our true selves. We want to be able to relate to one another on a deeper level.

But, the ability to build relationships gets harder the older we get. 

I’ve been talking to some of my closest friends, who are between the ages of 20 and 27, and their greatest struggle is finding relationships of their own that result in the same deep connections they had with the friends they grew up with.

As we all know, we grow up and move away to new cities with new jobs, or to new opportunities. We still have those close relationships we built when we were younger, we don’t forget those, but we still need friends to lean on in this new place we plant ourselves.

The difference for making friends now is that we aren’t put in a situation where it’s easy to make friends. All throughout our school life, and college, we were surrounded by people that we saw almost every single day. We had no choice but to make the effort to get to know them and expose ourselves to them. We had the TIME to build and nurture those relationships.

Today, as an adult, I work all day. Everyone is doing their job and trying to get their part done. Relationships are cast aside and you are considered a singular part of a complicated machine. You keep moving and the machine keeps functioning.

We are planted in places where relationships aren’t considered important, but that doesn’t mean we can’t build them.

Not only that, but we forget that adults have gone through some nasty relationships.

Adult’s carry a weight of mistrust for people because of their past mishappenings. They don’t let people in as easily as they did in their youth. 

If we want to be considered a friend then it’s our job to work on the relationship we desire to have. We make the effort.

We can’t hold expectations for the people we want to be friends with to make the effort themselves first. 

We can’t just “show-up” in their lives and expect for them to automatically trust and love us. They have baggage and we must offer a shoulder to help them carry it. We won’t gain their trust unless we show what we are willing to give up or expose first.

I don’t ever believe that friendships should come easy. If friendships come in easily then they leave just as easily.

For relationships to truly matter then we must do our part. Text and call them first, ask to hang out first, tell your story first. AND, continue to do so until it’s consistent. Don’t do it one time – do it multiple times. It takes TIME and PERSISTENCE in order to show them that you care and are trying.

Adults don’t want to waste their time on a one-off relationship. Who wants to expose their deepest struggles and desires just for someone to leave tomorrow? Adults, like myself, are looking for stability in their relationships.

You must take the chance to be open and exposed if you want to find a relationship that is fulfilling. As humans, we need friendship and connection to survive.

Sadly, we live in a world where quick satisfaction of “likes” and “comments” are encouraged to satiate our hunger for more, but in the end, we will end up starved.

Get off your phone and into a booth and build that relationship from the ground up.

Jennie Laureen

 

 

 

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

 

 

Sex is bad.

Love

This post was a little hard for me to write. I’ve been working on it for over 3 weeks, but felt that it needed to be written in a way for you to understand my perspective. I realize¬†that other people out there struggle with a similar attitude, and I hope this also helps you.

So…ever since I was a little girl I promised God that I would give myself away to the man who meant¬†to take my hand in marriage.

And I have been an extremely lucky woman to have been dating this wonderful man for 6 years (close to 7) and he has been waiting for me like I have asked. Of course I am not a saint, but to have someone wait for that part of your life is more than a blessing!

When I think of marriage I think of the wonders of raising kids, building a home, and growing old together. This may sound harsh, and¬†it isn’t my intention, but the last thing on my mind is the physical aspect of marriage. It doesn’t mean it’s not there – it’s just at the bottom of what I think about when I hear “marriage.”

I KNOW that sex is a part of marriage. I KNOW that it is a gift from God for a man and a woman to enjoy who come together, with their vows, till death do us part.

But, there is a problem. I grew up with 2 completely different ideals taught to me through the church and it has become a battle in my mind.¬†The church didn’t mean any harm in it at all either. The church said these things as a way to protect us. The people who taught me this were fearful that I would walk the same path they did. I don’t blame the church – I love the church for everything they have taught me. But no one knew the side effects of the teaching, even if it was meant for good! These two ideals are:

  1. Sex is beautiful and meant for marriage. God made it for you to enjoy – so enjoy it. But, if it’s outside of marriage then…
  2. Sex is dirty and disgusting, and you are viewed negatively if you perform it.

I get the waiting ideal. That’s why I have been waiting my whole life because I aspire to be the wife who gives this as a gift to her husband, and to enjoy it with him.

But, I am also terrified of that intimacy. I do feel that once it is all said and done then I won’t feel honored to have given that to my husband. I would feel dirty and disgusting instead. And it terrifies me in 2 ways: I don’t want to disappoint my husband, and I don’t want to feel gross over something that is suppose to be beautiful.

This is something that has been plaguing me for¬†years on end. If I am honest with you then I can tell you that I don’t mind how long I have to wait to have a ring on my finger. I absolutely and utterly love the man that I am with, but the fear keeps me at bay that waiting doesn’t bother me.

Although I have faced the battle in my mind, I have sought out advise on overcoming this irrational fear. Because I know it is based on what people have taught me. I have to reverse the teaching in order for me to overcome it. Of course I am still planning to wait – no worries on that part – but I have been teaching myself consistently over the past few weeks to view that part of marriage as something beautiful.

I even discussed it with my e-group (aka small group), and crazy enough, people were in the SAME boat with¬†similar fears that I have and it honestly helped. I love the “me too” concept.

Here are just a few suggestions that have helped me over the past few weeks and I hope they help you too:

  1. When you wake up in the morning just say to yourself “love is beautiful.” Because it is. All aspects of showing love it beautiful.
  2. I recommend, highly, for you to read the book “Song of Solomon.” It is a scroll about a husband and wife professing love to each other and also showing¬† love to each other. It has become my favorite book, because even the bible doesn’t fear the discussion of an intimate topic even when so many people in the church are. God made it – we can discuss it.
  3. If you haven’t heard of the book Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers¬†then I also suggest reading this book. It is a beautiful depiction of what love is in ALL aspects of a marriage and it is absolutely beautiful. It is based off of the book of Hosea and it is an inspiring novel.
  4. Stop listening to the teaching “sex is bad” because it is an irreversible teaching that will harm your view of marriage. Sex is beautiful – not disgusting. You still need to guard your heart and mind, and continue to wait (both boys and girls) if you are still waiting.

I am continuing to work on this list. This is very short compared to what it could be, but these few things have helped me so far!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and maybe some tips to add to this list – maybe more books to read (I love reading). Comment below if you wish to share.

Jennie Laureen

Love is more than that fuzzy feeling.

Love

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

I just realized that my Tuesday blogging falls directly on Valentine’s Day, and I cannot be more excited for today! It’s my 2nd favorite holiday of the year! (Christmas is obviously first!).

I LOVE this day because love is a treasure. Love is endless and boundless, beautiful and tragically insane. Love is meaningful and used meaninglessly, and my favorite of all is that love is not easily understood.

When people first think of love their first thought goes to a couple. That love is romance meant for 2. But, love cannot be confined to such a narrow definition.

Love is the breath of life that brings joy to all. Love is a sincerity to the broken and a hand to pick up the lost. Love is a forgiveness that shatters the darkness and wraps a blackened heart with light. Love is a comfort that eases the mind and hugs a torn soul. Love is a warmth that dries the tears of suffering. But love is also a longing for the lost that are forever gone.

Love is showing kindness to a stranger. Love is answering a phone call at 2am to talk to someone who’s desperate to hear your voice. Love is preventing yourself from using words to harm another human (whether in person or behind their back) and then erasing such thoughts from your mind so you love them deeper inside.

Love is staying with someone through life’s ups and downs because you believe in one another.

Love is holding your newborn child after carrying them 9 months just so you can meet them once and for all!

Love is allowing yourself the freedom to forgive others to ease your mind.

Love is allowing yourself to love oneself first in order to love others.

Love is continuing to be kind to someone who lashes hate at you.

Love is easy…but people make love hard.

Love is the simplest form of communication but our ego and our pride rip us from that opportunity.

Love does not have to be between couples – love only has to come from you to another. Embrace what love is by stepping outside of your small box of reality you’ve¬†built inside your mind and allow yourself the freedom to love unconditionally.

Effort must be made to love like this, but it ultimately fulfills our purpose as humans.

Love,

Jennie Laureen