Why You Need Your Girlfriends…

Girls-night-out
Good girlfriends are hard to come by. Why? Because in all honesty, girls can be bitches. I mean let’s face it, at some point (or multiple!) in your life you’ve been one. Did a girlfriend steal your boyfriend in high school? I bet you were a bitch then (and she was kind of a bitch too). Or talk about you behind your back? Oh, I bet bitchy came out then (and that was pretty bitchy of her too). Maybe you have a bitchy boss who’s intimidated by you or that bitchy woman you always get on the phone at the doctors office (I’m a first time mom, OKAY?!). Was someone mean/hurtful to your child? Your bitch level probably hit the fan when that one happened.

But, it’s not just women either. There are some mitches out there too (for those unfamiliar with Kevin Hart, that would be a man-bitch, or ‘mitch’). Because we are innately flawed as humans, we have developed these behaviors/attitudes/ways of living that we justify for our actions. We feel we have the right for our ‘bitchy/mitchy’-ness. But do we?

I had some shitty girlfriends in my lifetime. A few talked behind my back when I thought they were my friends, a few went after guys I was dating and some even ended up dating them (!) and a few just wrote me off based on changing circumstances. I wasn’t a perfect friend either. I gossiped about some of my friends and said hurtful things to them too (I just felt more on the receiving end of the backstabbing then the giving). There were friendships that naturally fizzled, others that went down in flames and a very few to this day that have remained as my closest and strongest.

It’s natural for friendships to change, especially when everything else in our lives do. Now that I’m a mom, I’ve found an amazing group of girlfriends I feel so blessed to be a part of. They all went to high school together and had what I wished I did…a group of girlfriends that stayed friends and true to each other. I feel like I have been friends with them my entire life and have to say now that we are all moms, I rely on them more than ever!

The best part about aging and friendships is how you mature. You realize what’s important in life. You don’t have time for drama. Your gossiping is restricted to celebrities and reality TV shows. You complain about your husbands and sometimes your kids but never one another. You support, love and respect each others decisions. You never judge. You never fault. And sometimes when its needed, you always forgive.

The older I get, the more I realize how much I need my girlfriends. I need to vent about how marriage is hard work or ask questions about something regarding my daughter. And sometimes…just sometimes I just need to let loose! I need to go out and enjoy drinks and lots of laughs with just the girls. And when Channing Tatum happens to be involved, that’s an extra perk!

As women, whether we are close friends, co-workers or strangers on the street, I hope we find more ways to be accepting of one another, our own personal struggles and successes and really embrace the power of womanhood instead of tearing each other down. Whether you have one or one hundred girlfriends, cherish your friendships…they’re an extension of you. I’m so happy to have the girlfriends that I do! 🙂

Why I Needed to be Cheated On…

As my husband and I are about to celebrate six years of being together and four years of marriage in August, it got me to thinking about how we became this twosome. His persistence and my resistance;)…and that one dinner which forever changed me…but before our love story, there was my own heart break and why I needed to be cheated on…

First, let me start out by saying cheating is the worst…THE ABSOLUTE WORST. To me, it is the ultimate betrayal. It’s not only a betrayal of your monogamous relationship, but also of your trust. It’s a train wreck to your heart and the reason you wonder if you can ever be so vulnerable with someone again. Cheating can make any person come undone. It’s utterly damaging to every part of you…

After the initial shock (because let’s be honest, even if you slightly suspect it, you never hope it to be true), the questions start rolling in your mind. Why did this happen? Doesn’t he/she love me? And the end-all-be-all…What’s wrong with me? The last question is the saddest because if you’ve been there you’ve asked yourself this. What’s wrong with me that this happened? You start to doubt yourself. You begin to pick apart all the flaws you see and tell yourself those are the reasons. You feel alone, unworthy and unloved. You feel betrayed, deceived and insanely angry. You feel like someone stabbed you and knocked the wind out of you at the same time. You feel lost…

I was cheated on in a past relationship. It sucked. It was one of the worst times in my life. I was beyond devastated. I thought I would never recover let alone find someone I could love and trust again. I was in a bad place for a long time. We were together for three years and I thought he was the one. “Thought.”

But just like the saying, time heals all wounds, time really did. What I thought was love really wasn’t. We were completely wrong for each other. We didn’t have a single thing in common besides a mutual physical attraction towards one another. We were both in completely different places in our lives…professionally, financially and emotionally. We clearly wanted different things but I was too blinded by love to see that. That’s probably the hardest part about really loving someone…you don’t see things the way they really are but how you think they are or how you think you can change them to be. There’s a lot of denial when it comes to love. So…he broke my heart and we broke up. And looking back now, if that never happened I would have stayed in that relationship. I would waited for things to change…for him to change. I look back to the beginning and realize he never really wanted to be with me in the first place! All the games, the waiting, are we or aren’t we…I was so stupid!!!!

But you know? I learned a lot from that relationship. I learned a lot about myself. I learned what I really wanted in a partner and when the time was right, I found him. I was more confident and emotionally stronger than I had ever been. Don’t get me wrong, it took over a year to get myself to that point, but I got there.

In my failed relationship, I found my true self. I found the woman I wanted to be and the man I needed by my side. I didn’t settle. I looked beyond physical appearances to what ultimately matters. Can I spend the rest of my life with this person? When all is said and done, the looks have faded and years have gone by, can we do this? Can we make it? Yes, I’m incredibly attracted to my husband but it’s not the basis of our relationship. Marriage is more than physical, it’s a foundation of friendship. My husband became my best friend and he still is. I finally found someone I could be completely me around. Someone who loved me flaws and all. Someone who wasn’t afraid to show me how much he loved me. I found him. I found the one (some people don’t believe in “the one” but I wholeheartedly do!).

Anyone who has experienced being cheated on knows there is so much more than the act of cheating. And it happens on all levels…dating, engaged, married. It can get nasty and messy and when kids are involved it breaks my heart because sometimes they are thrown in the very middle of it (keep the bad mouthing and arguing to each other or friends if you need to vent, don’t bring your children into it!).

I honestly think cheating is the worst. But you know what? I needed to be cheated on. I needed to get out of a relationship I wouldn’t have left. I needed to be so hurt that I could hate him, move on and then forgive him. I forgave him so I could be free…and happy! He wasn’t going to ever apologize. I forgave him in my heart for me, not for him. I needed it. I needed to let go. And you know what? The minute I did it and truly meant it…I’m talking honestly wishing him well in life, I felt so much peace. I wasn’t bitter anymore. I could see him places and be happy for his new life and my own. I wasn’t secretly wishing he was miserable. And to this day, I still honestly wish him the best.

God had a plan for me and I just needed to trust Him. He blessed me with the most amazing man and I couldn’t be happier. Marriage isn’t easy but I’m with my one my soul loves and that to me was worth it. I would go through all the pain again if it meant I got to be with my husband in the end. So maybe you’re stuck in your relationship or you have been cheated on and can’t let go of the pain or maybe you’ve been the cheater….here is my advice to you…

Don’t settle…he/she is out there. Have faith and patience. Let go of the past and the pain, all it’s doing is causing you harm in the end and finally forgive and ask for forgiveness. Even if you don’t get the apology you want, forgive in your heart and mean it. And if you hurt someone, if you cheated, say you’re sorry. Own up to your mistake. Life is too short. Make your peace. And never stop believing in true love!

I love you MPD. Forever and always.

The Overuse of ‘I Love You’

Couple-in-Love.-Clip-Art-C
It’s wonderful to hear the phrase ‘I love you’. Whether it’s from your child/children, your spouse, a family member or friend. It’s almost magical the way it makes you feel. You are special, you are appreciated…you are loved. It’s even more special when you hear it for the first time from someone you also love. It’s a wonderful feeling to give and receive.

I feel like there comes a point in your relationship, whether it be dating or marriage, where overuse of the phrase ‘I love you’ starts to happen. It becomes as casual as ‘hi’ and ‘goodbye’. We say it every time we see the person and on every phone call. We say it so often that it becomes habitual. We say it quick and even mumbled, we use it as an apology, we say it when we’re angry, we say it when we’re needy or need something, we say it because it was said to us first and sometimes we say it when we don’t feel it. The importance of the phrase becomes diminished, less important and all too common. It loses its magic, its importance and its meaning.

Yesterday my husband and I got into an argument. We both went up to bed together but didn’t talk. I said goodnight to which he followed with ‘goodnight, I love you.’ I waited to say it back. I was angry. We didn’t resolve the conflict and I felt like he said it just to say it. I felt like he didn’t mean it. I know he did and he does, but in the moment, it felt fake. I mumbled it back in my unhappy voice and went to bed.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to use this phrase. It’s important to tell those that we love how we feel because you never know what could happen to you or them. The feelings of unconditional love that you share with your family are foundational. They are the pillars which you build your lives upon and around. They are the words that give you hope, strength and the ability to fight through difficult times. But there are also words that when said, do the complete opposite. The phrase is used as a weapon. We use to get what we want. We use it to make our partner feel bad. We say it just because. We say it just to hear it back. We spit it out like word vomit and we selfishly take it in without gratitude.

I’m grateful my husband says I love you, even when I feel he’s saying it just to say. He never fails me there. I remember the first time he said it to me standing in our old kitchen hugging. I couldn’t stop smiling. I still get butterflies when I think about it.

Love is a beautiful thing. If you love someone, tell them…tell them often and always, just mean it. Really, truly mean it. Don’t say it to get out of an argument or to get something that you want. Don’t use it as a test or a punishment. Life is short, love the ones you’re with. One of my favorite sayings is a Swedish proverb, “Love me when I least deserve it, for that is when I really need it.” I’m lucky I have a husband who does this and through it all, I know we will always love one another.

How to be a Partner in Your Marriage

couple
As a wife and mother, I think it’s hard to remember how to be a partner in my marriage. I get so caught up in telling my husband all the things he needs to do that I stop telling him the things I should like how much I love and appreciate him. I forget about the feelings we had when we first met, the love that grew over time and all the special moments in between. They become distant memories and at times, so does our love.

My sister, who was the maid of honor at our wedding, said something I’ll forget, “Always remember how you feel on this day and try to live each day like that”. I haven’t done that…we haven’t done that. I’m too focused on my to-do lists, my stress and my anxiety. I don’t treat him like a partner and I don’t act like one either. I become resentful towards him for all the things I do as a wife and mother instead of how grateful I am for everything that he provides our family.

It’s easy to get angry, feel frustrated and place blame. It’s harder to be understanding, loving when you want to be yelling and accepting of each others flaws. Marriage is so tough, it really is. It’s something you have to work at every single day. It’s a partnership that requires participation from both parties. Of course there are times when one person is giving more effort than the other, but that’s when you go the extra mile. That’s when you comfort instead of criticize, love instead of leave and really be a partner instead of a pessimist.

The balance of wife, motherhood and work is challenging. I am constantly finding myself in an internal battle of how to manage and at times, an external battle with those I love most. I think the best way to be a partner in your marriage is to just be there. Be present. Put down the phones, share a meal together, have a date night (even if it’s in your own home!) and communicate. The biggest fights can sometimes come from miscommunication. Men and women have different roles in marriage but the common ground begins with love. After all, isn’t that what brought you two together in the first place? You fell in love. You saw this person over time as someone you can truly spend the rest of your life with. You got engaged, you got married and along that way maybe you’ve had a few kids (and pets!). But the one thing that should never change is your love.

Be the kind of partner you want your spouse to be. And never, ever ever give up. You took the vows and you made the promises. You are a team…so partner up and enjoy the ride!

Wow, I’m Old.

A_Woman_Looking_In_the_Mirror_At_Her_Wrinkled_Face_Royalty_Free_Clipart_Picture_100224-119323-928053
On April 15th, I walked into the bathroom at work which was turned into a girls changing room. As I maneuvered my way around shoes and bags, I listened to four twenty-somethings discuss their ‘outfits’. “I just didn’t think these leggings were going to be so short,” said one. “Omigosh! I love your dress,” gushed another. The conversation then turned into which bar they were starting at followed by a discussion about dating. I chuckled to myself as I thought, ‘wow, I’m old.’ Here are four young, single girls getting ready to go out for the day/night while all I could think about was my sick baby, her fever and getting her to the peds office (I work at a CPA firm and being the end of tax season almost all the CPA’s leave in the afternoon to go drink…no, I’m not a CPA).

And that’s when it hit me, I’m old. I mean wow, I’m old. I can’t even remember the last time I went ‘out, out’ let alone mulled over an outfit which wasn’t followed by ‘Ugh, nothing fits me!’ or ‘Why can’t I just lose this baby weight?!’. The bar seems like a place of my past and drinking isn’t an all-night affair but a glass of wine (because frankly, hangovers now seem to last as long as a cold!). Dating would consist of the few and far between date nights my husband and I get (but luckily I have him and no longer have to worry about what I considered to be ‘the awful dating scene’).

My girlfriends discussion is our kids, why our husband drive us nuts and going out consists of the park or out to lunch for an afternoon play date. Sure, we go out without the kids, but those nights are usually couple dinners at someone’s house and because of hectic schedules probably only occur once a month.

The older I get, the more I realize the bar scene just isn’t for me. Yes, going out and having a good time is great, but the idea of being at a bar until 2AM no longer appeals to me. I’ll take going out to dinner and the movies any day of the week!

But some days I miss my freedom. I miss being able to go somewhere without it taking twenty plus minutes or planning a vacation that’s actually a vacation. I miss the ‘pre-baby skinny me’ that could wear anything and drink without a three-day hangover. But now I’m a mom and those days are over which is okay by me. I think about how blessed I am to have a child because some people will never get that chance. I look at my daughter and my heart fills up with so much love. So yes, I am getting old but I view it as older and wiser…even if at times I still act like a kid. 🙂