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.

As We Grow As a Couple

Do you feel stuck where you are in your relationship with your spouse? Does it feel like you are still in the same place maybe financially like you were when you got married? I have to say that lately that has been the case for me. I look at our budget and think “man things looked better when we were first married and poor”. But were they?

When we pulled into church yesterday, I saw a cute couple cuddling in the guy’s car. They weren’t being inappropriate or anything. The girl was just leaning on the guy’s shoulder and he had his arm around her. It was actually really cute and reminded me of how my husband and I were when we were dating and first married.

The car the couple was in was older than me but they were happy. It got me thinking because when my husband and I got married, church mice were richer. We both worked but we were still in school and making minimum wage. (Depending on when and where you are reading this, that would be $9-$10/hour at the time.) We lived in the lower area of town and literally lived on love and kisses. Just like that couple was right now unless they are still living at home and then they don’t quite know what the real world is like.

Sometimes I still feel like that woman who is in the old car with nothing but my husband’s and mine’s dreams to keep the wheels turning, but am I still there? No. I am a home owner, we have a car with a 1 in front number of its age, we have a child, and he is now making more than double what he was when I met him. So why do I feel stuck?

Because honestly life sucks. We got dealt a really rough hand last year and we still haven’t recovered. We are still paying off debt that has happened and we will probably until next summer, but does that mean we are stuck? I hope not. Is it easy? No. We were setup how we were supposed to be financially until last year and now it has been blown to you know where. Will we get back there? Yes. I have hope we will.

How do I know that? Because we are not the same kids sitting in that old car living off love. We have experience now to where we can actually be the ones to give advice and encouragement. We have been through many things already and we still have many more in the future. It was just a nice reminder for me to see where we used to be so that I can see what I have now and be thankful for it.

Is it exactly what I want? No. Am I living in the area I really want to be in or have two cars like everyone else? No, but now that I have finally gone back to school I have a reason to power through it. I have a goal that I want to meet and it will keep me motivated along side remembering where we have come from.

Do you have some wisdom that you need to share about life and sticking with it? If so, feel free to comment below. I would love to hear from you.

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.

 

 

How to Grieve a Miscarriage With a Child in the House

I have to say these past few days have been rather crazy. I am still recovering from my D&C and my husband and I are trying to work out our feelings about the loss of our baby. But there is one other person in our home that we cannot forget and that is our two and a half year old daughter. She has feelings just like us and she is very perceptive. We have tried to not make it a huge thing in front of her about the baby passing away, but she knows something is up.

To be honest it would have been easier to actually grieve without a child than it is with one. Let me explain. See, when you have infertility problem without having a child in the house already, there is the ability to openly grieve without little eyes looking at you wondering why mommy has now cried all of a sudden ten times in the last hour. Anyone know what I mean? Children are a lot smarter than people give them credit for and they can sense everything that happens in the house. So if I am sad, my daughter picks up on it and knows that something is wrong.

The other reason why having a child when you have lost another is because your fertility is staring you in the face everyday. You can’t get away from the reminder that at one time you were able to have a baby and now suddenly you can’t. It’s maddening. With my daughter, when things started rolling, they were stressful in their own way but she was a solid pregnancy (difficult birth) but no reasons that the pregnancy was ever in question. Now that I have lost four in a row, it’s so frustrating, but my daughter can’t know because she would feel bad if she really knew what was going on.

Trust me when I say my daughter is enough child for me just like your little one if you are in the same boat as me. And, honestly, she would be enough if my husband and I were never able to have another baby. Would it be heartbreaking for that to really be a reality? Of course, but are we preparing ourselves for that outcome? Yes. But here is the ticket for those of us dealing with secondary infertility is that we have a reason to live that those unfortunate woman who has primary don’t. We have our child that we have been blessed with and that is where having a child and grieving with them in the house is easier.

If I didn’t have my daughter while going through this, I would probably have fallen into a horrible depression. I would probably have internalized this situation to the point that it would have ruined the relationship I have with my husband and I would be curled up in a ball all day in bed because I frankly could. That is not the case for us with children in the house. They force us to get out of bed everyday when we feel like we are falling apart and live because they are still living. Yes, you lost a baby, or two, or three, or four, but you are still a mother to at least one on this earth.

When I get up every morning, especially right now, the first thing I want to see is my daughter’s smiling face. The day after my D&C I was feeling ok physically but emotionally I was drained. I knew she was up but I just wanted to disappear into the sheets, but I had to get up. And you know what I am so glad I did because I got to experience a real treat. My daughter wanted me to cuddle and hold her like I did when she was a baby. Now for those who have had a D&C or had a stillborn, the feelings of holding a baby again is painful, but, when my daughter wanted me do it with her, it was restoring. I knew I still had this little girl who needed me and I needed her. She is still my baby no matter how big she gets, and I will always be her mommy.

So the biggest advantage to having a child and dealing with a miscarriage if they give you a reason to live. They are your joy and strength in a tough time like this. My daughter is that joy and strength and she will be if she turns out to be our only child not by choice. But here are a few tips I am using to get through this valley of grieving when I am unable to show that I am grieving around my daughter:

  • Laugh with him/her
  • Play with him/her
  • Pray for direction and strength
  • Don’t forget to spend time with your husband together and as a family
  • See the blessing that is in front of you instead of the sorrow of your loss
  • And when you can, go into the bathroom and cry it out

That almost last one is the hardest for me. I know with my last pregnancy I had so many plans and dreams to do with this baby since I had learned from some of the mistakes I had made with my daughter. There were quite a few things I hadn’t fully enjoyed and embraced and I wanted to do them over again. But now none of those desires will come true. Will they ever come true with another baby? I don’t know. I still don’t even know what the pathology report says and won’t for another week on why this baby passed away so soon. But what I do know is that I didn’t stop being a mom when this baby’s heart stopped because I still have a child’s whose heart is beating still, and she cannot be forgotten. So continue living as we get to parent our little blessings while remembering our angels in heaven.

 

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My little blessing playing in her favorite spot. She brings so much life into our world.

 

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?