How to be a Mom, Student and Wife

There has been a lot of change in the past few months for my family. I have gone back to being a full time student! This is very exciting since I will finally (after four years of leaving my last school) be able to finish my dream of earning a degree. Also I will now be able to get a job that can pay for childcare and still have some money left over. The cost of childcare was the reason that I have not gone back to school until now, and I decided to go to an all online school so that I would be able to stay home while still completing my classes.

But me being back in school has also added an interesting dynamic to our home since my husband has to take care of our daughter regularly in the evenings so I can go take a test and such. He has had to learn what it is like to be “mom” when your child doesn’t want what you made for dinner or runs around the house because she doesn’t want to go bed. I have done this job of “fully time mommy” for two years now (all day) and he is now getting a taste of it for only a couple hours at most after work. Is he doing a good job? Yes he is. He is doing a great job, but his finished job isn’t always the same as mine and that has taught me a lot about myself.

I have learned that I do have a specific way I like the house at night, and, when my husband is in charge of cleaning up at the end of the night, most of the times it doesn’t even come close to my standards. I finish school for the night hoping that I won’t have to do anymore, but I come out and the an unfinished kitchen, toys not put away, mail not sorted, and other things that I do to make sure I don’t start the next day behind. But I have learned I have a choice in that moment and it comes with keeping balance.

I am learning that the way I react will determine how things go in the future. I like it that my husband takes care of our daughter for me while I study and he does it without complaint so I don’t want to throw a huge fuss because I know he will stop doing that. He will buck against my reaction and not do what I ask of him with a happy heart. But I don’t want to keep picking up after everyone either.

So I tell him how I want the house at the end of the day and he might come back with the all famous man comment “Well I have worked all day and I don’t want to do anymore”. Ladies, how much does that statement make your blood boil?

Men, that statement is the one way to make sure you don’t get laid for a long time. That statement means that you have belittled your wife to just sitting on her butt all day doing nothing. I’ll tell you one thing, your wife by the time you get home has worked almost twelve hours just being up. If she is like me she has done laundry, made two meals, cleaned two meals, house work, get the kids to where they need to go, clean up again, provide snack, clean that up, made the bed, did the dishes, taken care of the pet if you have one, and maybe gotten a chance to take a pee somewhere. This is just a short list of what wives get done on a regular basis, but you are the one who has worked all day?

But her day doesn’t end there. After she has made a third meal, she goes in and tries to get her lesson done while she listens to you and your children in the living room causing noise and ruckus. She sits there hoping to be able to concentrate and know her husband is thinking about her needs with how she wants the house to look at the end of the day and that the two of you will get some time together. That is what is going through your wife’s mind, but does that happen?

For me right now I am still “training” my husband.  And I say that very lightly because he does do his best. He honestly doesn’t see the mess right in front of him like a woman does with it being a flashing neon sign. For example, I have lost count at how many times I have asked my husband to wipe down the counters after doing the dishes and I come in and maybe 15% of the time they are actually wiped off. So what do I do? Most days I just wipe off the counters.

But sometimes I don’t want to. Sometimes I just want to go in a scold my husband for not completing the job like I would my daughter, but I can’t because he is not my child. He has a mom who maybe didn’t push for the same level of organization out of him like I would like to see. And I frankly don’t want to re-raise him. I would like it if he would just know what to do on his own. But is it worth putting a dent in our marriage over a wet counter top? Is there a better way to handle things when they are not up to your standards at the end of the day?

For you men, I would suggest that if you are not going to fully help your wives out to have things completely done, don’t ask for some special hugs. Just don’t do it. There is no better way to piss off an exhausted wife than to see her finally sit down after having to come in behind you and finish cleaning after working over twelve hours and then studying than to ask for some sex. It will not go well for you every single time. So how do you men get laid more often when your wife is stretched more than usual? CLEAN AND HELP TO HER STANDARDS. It’s not that difficult.

And for the ladies. If your husband is needing some loving time, don’t always say no because sex is honestly how men are rewarded for doing things for you. He is trying and, if he loves you, he will continue to try until his dying day, but sometimes men just don’t get it. They love you though so don’t forget that.

So what do I do to not lose my mind all the time? Because time with me in school is actually a training time for when I am working. I will just lose time to get things done while I work and my husband will continue to have to pick up some of the slack so that the house doesn’t fall a part. This is what I do: Take a deep breath and try to move on. I will ask my husband why he didn’t finish and tell him how I would like to have it done, but sometimes you can only beat and dead horse so many times. If a man isn’t going to do something, there is nothing a woman can do to make him do it. So you just have to pull up your boot straps and keep marching on.

Because you are going to school for you and your family and your husband does need to understand that. There is so much on your plate now and you need to be allies with him and not enemies. So don’t let a wet counter cause there to be battle lines. The way to be a mom, wife and student is to give grace to those around you (especially your husband), love, understanding and a glass of wine at the end of the day while ignoring everything your husband missed.

Being a Martha and Married to a Mary

Ok, I will assure you all that the title is just a figure of speech. If you are truly a Mary married to a Martha I guess then it works but this blog post is about me and my husband. See, we are very similar but there is one area that we are very different in. If there is one thing out of place, I will work until everything is all done and my husband can, by some miracle, pretend that he doesn’t see the mess that is in front of him. He is able to turn that part of his brain off after the dishes are done and our daughter is put to bed. Me? I am picking up every last thing I see and putting it away and getting mad that I am the only one working still.

Then it hit me one night, while I was up still doing laundry, that there is a story in the Bible that matches this very scenario. In Luke 10:38-42 there is the story of two women who Jesus came to visit.  Martha was busy hosting Jesus that she started to yell and get angry because her sister, Mary, was just sitting at Jesus’ feet listening to him talk.

I get that feeling because my husband was in the living room watching TV or wasting time on Youtube while I was doing things that actually mattered. How dare he just expect me to do everything myself? But then I heard the voice of God speak to my heart and say “Gracelyn, there are multiple ways to serve both me and your husband but you can’t burn out”. I was like, huh?

I had been working my butt off all day just the keep the house running somewhat in harmony. What right did my husband have to just clock out? Sure my husband had been at work all day and then helped when he got home with our daughter. He hadn’t gotten everything done he wanted to get done but he knew he would get a chance to do them the next day. At that moment he wanted to just sit down and hang out with me.

So I dropped the laundry off in our room and went to couch to sit with him. He wondered if I was wanting him to help with the laundry but I told that I wanted to spend some time with him. This made him happy and we ended up having a nice evening together. I became a Mary and spent my time serving my husband in the way that he needed and resting myself after a long day of being a home maker and mom. And my husband let me know that he would help me with the laundry the next morning and he did. It was his way of showing that he can be a Martha too.

Why bring this up? Because I think of all the fights my husband and I have had in the past when we were first married about him clocking out too soon. I have yelled and screamed at him at how unfair it was that he was getting to relax and I never got to. It is actually quite embarrassing and childish now that I think about it. But, if I had just taken the moment then to listen to my husband and listen to God, it would have saved me so much heartache.

Just because your spouse does something different than you doesn’t mean that they are wrong. I’ll give one more example of this. My husband and I were putting out daughter to bed and I had washed her sheets that day so they needed to be put back on her bed. My husband took the lead and started making it while she and cleaned up. When I came in her room, I wasn’t sure what to think since he had put the character’s feet on her sheets and blanket at the pillow end.

I was a little stunned and told him that he had done it wrong. Big mistake. He explained that now she could look at (it was Ariel at the time) when she sleeps and that just because I didn’t like it didn’t mean that he had made the bed wrong.

Talk about an ouch. I wanted to show him how to do it right but I was too tired to bother. The next day was the day that God talked to my heart and I changed it to bring unity to our home. I couldn’t have made a stink just like all the other times but this time there was an actual change in the atmosphere. I changed and it changed it for the better.

So next time you want to point out just how wrong your spouse is on something, take a moment to think. Would it be better to actually join them and not correct them than to make your point known? Sometimes that is the right answer just like how Jesus told Martha that Mary was actually doing the more important thing.

A Strong Couple Jokes Together

Ok, so I know that April Fools is like ancient history this year but I finally got my chance to pull one on my husband. See, my husband is deathly afraid of bees and I have always wanted to get a bee hive. Can anyone see the issue with that? Yeah, I will never get a bee hive unless we have like a million acres and the bees are in the next county. Anyway, I saw it and I just had to go for it.

Costco was selling these starter bee hive kits and that’s where I got the idea. I called up my husband truly excited about this project even though I could hardly hold a straight face. Here is how the conversation went.

Me: “Hey Babe, I am so excited about your Father’s Day gift that I just had to tell you.”

Hubby: “Cool, what?”

Me: “Costco had these awesome bee hive kits for under $300 and I just had to get you one!”

Hubby: “Wh.. Wh.. Um. What?”

Me: “Isn’t that great?”

Hubby: “Uh, no. Please tell me you are joking.”

Me: “No, I really bought you a bee hive. All we have to do is buy the bees. We will have our own honey, and help the environment too!”

Hubby: Silence. “Um…” (He was trying to be supportive)

Me: “Gotcha! Happy belated April Fools day!”

He didn’t even have to say anything. I could feel the relief going through him on the phone.

You see, I have the most supportive hubby in the world and he will make almost anything work for me because he loves me. the one thing that I don’t think he will ever get past is his fear of bees. So, like I said, I  will have to probably always buy my honey but I did get a good giggle out of being about to finally pull a joke on my hubby.

What are some jokes you have pulled over on your husband or wife? I would love to hear them so leave a comment below with your funny joke, and I look forward to reading them.

Husbands, Your Wives Aren’t Crazy

Husbands, have you had your wife just blow up at you for what you appeared to be no reason? Well, let me tell you a little story to show that it might have not been for no reason.

I had a really bad day with my daughter one day, and I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home. When he did, I asked him to do something a certain way and he didn’t do it at all. I was so mad at him that I just lost it and he had no idea of why I was so mad.

Let’s rewind my day. My daughter had been difficult all day with showing me nothing but disrespect left and right. I wanted my husband to come home to help me out so much because then I would have someone who would do what I asked even if was something as simple as please don’t scream at the top of your lungs for no reason. But that wasn’t what happened. Instead, my husband disrespected me as well and I couldn’t take it anymore. The crazy part was that he didn’t mean to disrespect in the least. He just didn’t see the need for what I had asked of him at the time. He was just going to do it the next day, but that wasn’t my point. I had wanted it done now because I had asked him and he was the adult and should have respected me by doing it.

Any way, does my story sound familiar? Every couple has had a fight like this but this is most common for wives and husbands with kids. Besides money, most fights concern the kids and their well being, but what about the parent’s wellbeing? Parenting is the hardest thing anyone has to do. They might be cute as babies, sometimes, but as toddlers they are the biggest headache. Most moms won’t want to admit it but, if asked point blank, they probably would admit that they didn’t want to be moms anymore. So our day is hard enough without our husbands making it worse.

B there is good news to you husbands! Your wife is not crazy and there is a reason she is flying of the handle all the time. It’s more likely that she has been dealing with little monsters all day and then you come home and don’t help by then really disrespecting her in the process. How to fix it? It’s simple really. If your wife asks you to do something, do it just as she said even if it doesn’t make 100% sense to you. It’s not the fact that you did it that will make her feel loved and respected it’s more of like you value her because she is raising your kids and they don’t do that. They make her feel dumb and out of control no matter how hard she tries to keep on a good face.

She needs you to be in her corner and not on the opposing side. Show her that you do listen and do care by helping out when not asked or picking up the house to the way she likes it when she is finally able to go pee without kids following her around. You have a lot more power in your home than you realize. They say that the woman has the responsibility to set the tone for the home and this is very true, but she needs a sounding board. She sends out out a signal and if there isn’t anything to bounce off of she will just keep going until she does. You need to be that sounding board that she can count on and know that above all else you have her back.

Because us women aren’t crazy, we are tired and expected not to show it. We are expected to be the perfect examples for our children but we don’t even want to follow our own rules. We need our man to be there and do things to help us out.

So do you want to cut down on the fights you have with your wife? What did you do right before the last argument that set her off? Was is not doing something she asked? Or are the kids driving her so bonkers that she is tired of always having to come to you and yell at you that she needs help when you should have gotten up long ago?

Men have the power to keep their wife happy. The question is, are you willing to do what it takes? I’m not saying being a doormat because women hate that too. Here is a list to give you an idea of what I mean by you have the power to cause an argument or avoid one.

  • In the morning, afternoon, or evening, the kids are running a muck and your wife is trying to make breakfast or whatever while you are still lying in bed or sitting on the couch. Get up before she has to come storming in at the end of her rope and order you to help.
  • Don’t act like one of the kids when she is trying to do something.
  • Help by either picking up after the kids or keeping the house in the direction that she likes it. She picks up after the kids ALL day long and she doesn’t need you being as bad as them.
  • Cook dinner so she can go take a bath or shower without having to worry that the kids are going to burn the house down while she is gone.
  • If she asks you do something, do it. She would do it herself if she could because frankly that would be easier but she is trusting you to take care of it so that she doesn’t have to. Don’t trample the gift by ignoring her or doing it in a completely different way.
  • When she is frazzled, take the kids out of the house. Most women need some time to themselves, and it doesn’t matter if they work or not. They need time to just sit and not have any demands on them. You might have just worked all day but here is a BIG way to keep from having arguments, and that is take the kids so your wife doesn’t get blown out.

Have you thought of some that aren’t here? Do them and see the difference in your home. Your wife needs love and your respect just as much as you need it from her. So be a good sounding board and be there for her so that she can be a good wife to you and good mother to your children.

 

 

Putting Respecting My Husband into Action

As women, the hardest thing to do in marriage is respect your husband in everything, and I mean in everything. I can say that because I just had to exercise it recently. See, one thing about losing everything means that you have to replace everything, and, even with all of the gracious people in our lives, we still had to use a credit card to make it. So we have this card and other things from last year when we lost everything due to black mold in a rental hanging over out heads, and the dollar in California doesn’t stretch like… at all. So with one income and owning a house and debt, it can be tight at times to purchase anything big that wasn’t already budgeted.

They say that the number one reason why people fight is because of money and they are so right. This is the first time in our marriage where money has been a problem. Up until now we had been debt free and now we are like the normal American family. Big time sad face.

So the thing that made me have to practice again all the things I have learned about respecting my husband had to do with a rather expensive item that would add value to our lives except in the finance department. It would have put us in total about $4,000 more in debt, but I really wanted it. It would have been something that has been needed in this house we bought since simple things like vacuuming the carpet and changing out the air filter seemed to be beneath the previous owners. But we just couldn’t afford it.

Needless to say, when my husband told me this, I was and still am crushed. It’s hard being a season of the answer always being “no” and you wonder when the answer will ever be “yes” again, but it’s that time that you really grow. Let me tell you that I personally hate growing because it usually involves pain and irritation and I can see the Lord is growing me in the area of respecting my husband even when I 100% don’t agree with him. You can only imagine how hard that is for me since I wanted this amazing item so much but my husband said “no”.

So I have a choice. I could go the easy route and pout about not getting it, which is what I really want to do, but what really is the point. It’s hard enough on my husband the fact that his paycheck isn’t providing like it used to, and he doesn’t need me pouting and whining at what he can’t provide for me. No wonder depression in men are on the rise. They want to provide and work hard, but their circumstances make it hard (like 20% of your income going to taxes cough cough) they don’t need their wives complaining and being a constant reminder of their failures.

Which will I choose? I know which one I want, but it’s super hard right now. It’s hard to be told no. I guess I see that I can even have tantrums like my almost three year old. All I want to do is throw myself on the ground and say that my life sucks, but I know that isn’t true. I have been blessed with so much that I would need ten blog posts to write them all. So I wasn’t able to the get the thing I wanted. It doesn’t mean that I may never get it. It’s slim since my husband needs to get a car first but maybe when my daughter is out of the house… Oh I hope I don’t have to wait fifteen years to get it. That would suck I have to say, but I know that my husband is really only looking for all of our best interests.

I pray that God will give me the strength to do the right thing and respect my husband from being the leader of his home and being a good steward of the money that he does make. That includes not buying the things that he says no to no matter how much I want them.

Have you had a time where you had to submit and respect your husband? How did it turn out? Did God bless you for it? I could use a little but of encouragement in this area.

Until next time 🙂

 

Moving On After a Miscarriage

Hello to the reader who is looking for hope and joy in life during a time that is confusing and heartbreaking. I too have had the gut wrenching experiences of four miscarriages and each one was just as hard as the first. I get it. With out last baby we lost, we found out the pathology report from our baby and it wasn’t good news. We had been trying for a year with four miscarriages back to back to back to back. We had a hunch what the problem was but we didn’t want to admit it. It’s the type of news that has led us to make the choice that we are done trying for a baby. It’s heart-wrenching, but my husband and I are at peace with it. So, until my husband can be seen, we are now trying to move on with our lives.

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We have been blessed with a little girl before all this loss and she is our light. I had had a tough time with the last pregnancy where I had to spend my time lying on the couch doing nothing which meant no playing with my daughter. So with me not being pregnant anymore, our daughter is sure happy to have her mommy back and my husband is glad to have his wife back .So now the question is, how to move on with life without forgetting our babies? I don’t think it is fully possible but we will be working on doing it. We have decided to still add to our family, but of the four legged type. We know that we want a dog now to add as our next family member and we can’t wait until we find the right doggie. It won’t fill the loss but it might bring in the light that we were expecting with our baby. Also it is important to still have a friend for our daughter and a way to show her that she isn’t the center of the universe even though she is the center of ours. I think for anyone who has lost a baby and is still looking for that love, a pet is a great way to go unless living situations don’t allow it.

The other way that we are moving on is to really spend time as a couple. I know the fear that there is with becoming intimate with your partner, but it is vital to get to the place where you can again. If you don’t, it will open the door to separation between you and your partner. Our fist loss took a real toll on our relationship because I was so afraid of sex with my husband. It wasn’t until after our fourth loss that we were able to engage right after the medical restrictions so I am in no way saying that it is easy to jump right back in bed. So do other things to make sure the intimacy stays there. You can simply go out on a date and just talk, or take a trip somewhere, or just simply cuddle on the couch. The ultimate thing is to stay connected.

So whether or not you choose to keep trying for another baby, or yo have to make the decision we have had to make, it’s ok. People who have never had a miscarriage will never fully understand the pain and loss you have gone through. They will try but they won’t succeed and many people say the wrong things with the intention of cheering you up. Moving on from losing a child doesn’t happen in a day but don’t let it disturb your relationships you had before. Losing the baby wasn’t yours or anyone’s fault, and you can’t let the grief tare you and your partner apart. That’s something I can truly say. You made the little life together and now you have to keep staying together because you are the only ones that know the pain. Only the two of you know how to comfort each other. So with my little two sense, that’s my suggestion to anyone who is trying to move forward through life right now. I don’t know what I would have done without my husband being there to walk with me when we lost our babies. It was only with our mutual love that we are together and our relationship that got us through the storm.

Keep your head up, my wonderful reader. You will move forward even though right now the reason you are searching for answers is because you are stuck. Keep trying and look for the good around you when it feels like there is so much darkness. Don’t forget what you have been blessed with already whether it is a child before the miscarriage or if it is just you and your partner. They are blessings in this life you can’t lose sight of. I know because I had to follow my own advice when I would start missing my babies. I couldn’t live in the “should have been’s” I needed to live in the “now and is’s”.

I pray for you and I hope you have found some hope and comfort in my words.

Sincerely,

Gracelyn

 

How You Know You have a Good Man

Now I know most women would say that they have a pretty good husband, but I know that I don’t. I have an awesome husband. He is the most wonderful man I could have ever been blessed with. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t always see it. Actually I tend to take him for granted a lot. But here are some things that I try to keep in mind to know that I have a great husband and to remind you when you are in the middle of a fight with your man that he is still a good man too.

1. He goes to work every day without compliant

If your man goes to work everyday to bring home a paycheck, then you need to thank him. There are a lot of women out there who their husbands don’t even do this much. My husband has a great job but he has had to work very hard to get it and I am proud of him for that. He gets up, gets ready, and gets out the door to face another day of dead lines and stuff that I don’t have to deal with. He takes the brunt so that I get to be a stay at home mom with our little girl.

Not saying that if you still have to work that he is any less of a man. Some times it is just the fact that it is extremely hard to be a one income family now a days. Most places requires both spouses to work to provide for the family but that is where you can praise your husband even more. He still goes to work and helps pay the bills. He could just be sitting at home doing nothing but he is out working just as hard as you. A working man of any job is an amazing man.

2. If you have kids he spends time with them

After my husband comes home from work, all he wants to do is veg out on his phone. He has worked all day and put up with who knows what, I get it, but he has a daughter now to think about who hasn’t seen her daddy all day. Some times he absolutely shines in this area and plays with her without thinking and other times he slips a little. But those slips don’t out number the shining times. Like this one:

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That is right, my husband is wearing a blue jewel necklace playing Barbies with our daughter. I would say that is a pretty awesome man. Does your husband come home and play with your kids? Does he spend the time to make that relationship connection with them? If he does even in the slightest you have a great man.

3. He does work around the house

We are new home owners and that means that there is always work to do. My husband just planted the last of our tress this weekend and it was a good size job. Even though I would have preferred it done weeks ago, he still got it done. I could have moaned a groaned but it wouldn’t have gotten very far. So I backed off and now all our trees are happy in the ground and I have a happy husband.

Your husband can see what needs to be done. The question is that are you giving him room to put it higher on his to do list? Read any book on men and they will say that their priorities are different from ours. It is just how it goes. The thing is our reaction. If we explain (not nag, yell, or demand) why it is important to us for something to get done, I think you might be surprised at how fast it is actually accomplished.

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This is my husband coming home from work at going right out to do the hole for the last tree. I told him how important it was for me to have those trees in the ground and he agreed to get right on it. Yes, he didn’t even change. Of course he had a little helper who thought that it was rather entertaining seeing the hole being dug.

4.He loves me unconditionally

Do you feel loved? I know sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t by my husband. This whole infertility thing has really taken us through a loop and we are finding out a lot about ourselves as individuals and as a couple. I have learned that I have the biggest mood swings when it comes to having another baby and he has no idea what to do about them. And I have noticed that he is learning that he might not want to go through all the steps to have more children for the sake of our relationship. So where does that put us? We don’t know, but I know that at the end of the day my husband loves me without compare. Even if we just had a big fight and we don’t even want to look at each other, I know he loves me and I love him.

This is where it comes to going back to the beginning. Why did you guys end up together? What attracted you to each other? Have you just simple let that spark that was there all those years ago become dim? Being such a young married couple we are learning that. We are coming up on five years married which might not sound like many years to some people but we were also 20 and 21 when we tied the knot. We are very familiar with things happening that try to snuff out the spark between two people.

One thing is that life wants to kill the romance that had you once falling over heels for each other. My husband and I decided to wait but there was still a spark there. A desire to be together and, as out wedding neared, we were getting more and more excited and that spark began to become a wild fire. Then my husband had a terrible car accident which took years to heal. All that flame of waiting could have snuffed out very easily. Here he and I had waited to be together and now his back was so injured that it took almost a year for us to learn how to enjoy our intimate moments before he was back to “normal”. It would take another year for him to be fully healed. You want to talk about a mood killer? I can give you many examples.

Then our daughter was born two years after we were married. That would be the biggest mood killer of all. We had to sleep in separate rooms like most couples do to get any sleep during that first year of her life while she was up every two hours like a normal infant. But we still managed to keep the spark lit. It was maybe an ember at times but it was still there.

That isn’t the last of the story but I won’t go into it. The point is that we worked to keep our spark lit. There is more ways than one to have romance alive and show your husband that you are still madly in love with him. Are you even doing the basics? Are you taking every advantage to show him that you love him unconditionally? Believe it or not washing the dishes can be a pretty steamy event if you use your imagination.

4. You have to show him you think he is worth it

Finally, the greatest area for things to get better is with you. Where is your heart? You want to point fingers and blame him for all your problems right? That would be easy. Who wants to work on themselves when your partner is the problem? Well I am sorry to tell you but really the number one way to know if you have a good man is you. How do you treat him when he comes home? How do you treat him after a fight?

Your husband will only feel as empowered as you make him. If you don’t go that extra step to show him respect in every area then he will give up and question whether it is really worth it. He loves you but you have to prove you love him too. So if you answered yes to all or only a couple of things then you have a good man. I didn’t say you had a perfect one. We all have issues and so do our husbands. My biggest thing with my husband is his phone. It feels whenever I turn my back he is on it. Honestly I can’t change his time and usage but I can change my reaction and I can change my habits.

I have told him how I feel about his phone but if he sees me on mine all the time too then there is no reason to change. Before anything can change I have to change so that I can bring out the best in my husband.

So do I have a good man? Yes I do. Do you?