7 Keys to a Happy Wife

31 July 2014

via Pinterest

And now the post that you should all copy and paste and send to your husbands... Following on from my post: Marriage Tips for Wives - Karen's husband, Frankie wrote this post: 

  1. Separate from Mamma. – Men, you are married to your wife, not your mom! When family matters invade a marriage, your wife needs to trust that you and she are a united front. She must not fear that you will go behind her and talk negatively, especially to your mom. When you and your wife speak to your mom, it should be as one flesh, not competing teams. Your mom is usually going to fight in your corner, right or wrong. This will cause serious problems in your marriage. I love my mom and she is precious to me, but YOU leading your family is the best way to honor her, not the other way around.
  2. Balance the extra-curriculars. – Living life in Sportsman’s Paradise can get busy. Louisiana has everything a man could ever want with regards to the outdoors. My boat and I were closer than my former wife and I at one time. I was perfectly happy leaving her home with the kids to go “tear ‘em up” somewhere in the Lake Pontchartrain waters. The problem with this is when it’s done in excess. You really need to take a look at why you fish, hunt, play video games, go to sports bars, etc. Are you doing it because it’s fun or are you getting away from your wife? It’s easy to fall into this trap because it’s easy to justify “harmless” activities. After all, you’re not out drinking all night with other women, so it’s not that bad. The problem is that your absence at home is felt by your wife and the kids. Keep your extra-curricular activities in check by communicating about them with your wife. Too much passing the ball or too much running the ball will make it easy for the defense to game plan against your marriage. You need balance!
  3. Kiss her first. – When you see your wife for the first time after a day of work, kiss her first. If you’re coming home from work or a long day out – put your keys down, drop your bag on the floor and lay one on her! There is nothing that makes mamma feel better than knowing you are thinking about her. Hitting the door with the intent to connect with her immediately sets the stage for positive energy throughout the evening and shows the kids that their parents are secure in their relationship.
  4. “Boys Night Out” (AKA: Bachelor Parties). - I mean – C’mon man! There is nothing that kills a good thing with your wife like a “boys night out”. Back in the day, I was a partying force to reckon with. “Boys night out” usually implied alcohol, taxi cabs, strip clubs and vomit. If this is how you roll with the boys, then I suggest you re-examine your priorities. You may not know it, but your wife is probably scared to death the whole time you’re out. If you want to go hang out with your friends, don’t involve excessive booze at nightclubs. Take some responsibility as a husband and make sure your wife approves. A good question to ask yourself is, “If my wife were here, would she be offended?” (This tip goes for the ladies too.)
  5. Reject Passivity. – When something is happening that you know isn’t right, step in. Passivity will kill your family’s faith and trust in you in times when circumstances demand your intervention. There were so many times in my first marriage when my passivity ended up defining my role in my home. This can’t happen. Now – rejecting passivity does not mean that you need to be a dictator in your home. We are to love our wives as Christ loved the church, not like Ike loved Tina!
  6. Your wife did not grow up in your house. – 6 months after my first marriage began, we were in marriage counseling. I was 100% sure it was all her fault. The counselor listened to each of us plead our cases, and after hearing what I had to say, she got very strong with me in her response. My biggest complaint was “This isn’t the type of environment I grew up with in my house. It’s not the way I do things.” My counselor was quick to point out that my wife did not grow up with me or my family. She was thousands of miles away living a different life and didn’t even know I existed. She said, “How can you possibly expect her to understand ‘how things were in your house’ when you met her only a year ago at the age of 27? And why do you expect her to act like your relatives?” She was right. Far too often we think things will immediately “mesh” and that we’re above the communication problems. Understand that you and your wife are building a new life together, and it will always be in progress.
  7. Own her decisions. – I admit, being married to my wife is like a spiritual roller coaster. She is plugged in to Jesus! Her extreme spirituality leads her in places that are sometimes not familiar to me. She respects my role as the head of our family and when issues arise that are major, it’s my job to make the final decision. (And ladies – before you get up in arms about the “balance of power”, she will be the first to tell you that she prefers it that way. The burden is taken off of her shoulders by allowing me to bear the responsibility of the heavy family issues.)  Even though many of the ideas are not mine, I am the leader of my house and therefore the decisions to take action are all mine. If decisions like these fail, you should never blame your wife. You should own it and learn from it.
Truth in what you read? Do you agree?
Now go and kiss that gorgeous man of yours!

10 Marriage Tips - for Wives

29 July 2014

via Pinterest

Do you ever have moments where you think you are not good enough? Not necessarily putting yourself down or think you are a bad person but just that YOU could be better?
I do. Often.
I often think I could be a better mom, a better friend, a better daughter, a better daughter-in-law, a better citizen, a better follower. And more importantly, a better wife.

So any marriage advice or tips that I see and read really appeal to me, really speak to me. And I take it to heart. And I try better.
Recently, I came across this article being shared on Facebook:

The article was posted on the blog: Eighth Rising written by an inspiring couple: Frankie and Karen Lodato - a must read for all married couples and parents. 

I'm going to include the 10 tips below for easy reading... 
All I can say - all so simple but so true!

  1. Respect your husband.  - Notice how it doesn’t say “Respect your husband if he has earned it”. A man’s greatest need in this world is to be respected, and the person he desires that respect from the most is his wife.  The trap that we’ve all been ensnared by is that they only deserve our respect when they earn it. Yes, we want our husbands to make decisions that will ultimately garner our respect, but the truth is that your husband is a human being. A human being who makes mistakes. This is the man that YOU have chosen to walk alongside you for the rest of your life, and to lead your family and he needs to be respected for that quality alone. Take it from me – when respect is given even when he doesn’t deserve it, it will motivate him to earn it. That doesn’t mean you pretend that his choices are good ones when they aren’t. Things like that still need to be communicated, but you can flesh out your differences WITH RESPECT. It makes all the difference in the world to him.
  2. Guard your heart.  - The grass is not greener on the other side. Do not believe the lie that with a slimmer figure, a higher salary, a faster car, or a bigger house, you will be a happier woman. The world is full of things and people that will serve as reminders that you don’t have the best of the best, but it’s simply not true. Live the life you’ve been blessed with, and BE THANKFUL. I get that we all have struggles, and there are even times when I would love 1,000 more square feet of house to live in, but square feet is not fulfilling – relationships are. Guard your heart from things and people that will try to convince you that your life or your husband is not good enough.  There will always be bigger, faster, stronger, or shinier – but you’ll never be satisfied with more until you’re fulfilled with what you have now.
  3. God, husband, kids…in that order.  - I know this isn’t a popular philosophy, especially among mothers, but hear me out. It’s no secret that my faith is of utmost importance, so God comes first in my life no matter what. But regardless of your belief system, your husband should come before your kids. Now unless you’re married to someone who is abusive  (in which case, I urge you to seek help beyond what my blog can give you), no man in his right mind would ask you to put your kids aside to serve his every need while neglecting them. That’s not what this means. When you board an airplane, the flight attendants are required to go over emergency preparedness prior to takeoff. When explaining the part about how to operate the oxygen mask, passengers are instructed to first put the mask on themselves before putting it on their small child. Is that because they think you are more important than your kids? Absolutely not. But you cannot effectively help your child if you can’t breathe yourself. The same holds true with marriage and parenting. You cannot effectively parent your children if your marriage is falling apart. Take it from me – I tried. There will also come a time when your kids will leave the house to pursue their dreams as adults. If you have not cultivated a lasting relationship with your spouse, you will have both empty nests and empty hearts.
  4. Forgive.  - No one is perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. If you make forgiveness a habit – for everything from major mistakes to little annoyances (every day, I have to forgive my husband for leaving the wet towel on the bathroom counter ;)) – you will keep resentment from growing.
  5. Over-communicate.  - I used to have a bad habit of not speaking my feelings. I played the standard “You should know why I’m mad” game, and that’s just downright unfair. Men are not wired like women, and they DON’T always know that they’ve been insensitive. I’m still growing in this area, and there are often times when my husband has to pry something out of me, but I’m trying to remember that I need to just communicate how I feel.
  6. Schedule a regular date night.  - This one isn’t new, but it’s very important. Never stop dating your spouse.  Even if you can’t afford dinner and a movie (which we seldom can), spending some regular one-on-one time with your spouse is essential. Don’t talk about bills, or schedules, or the kids. Frankie and I often daydream about our future, or plan our dream vacation. We connect emotionally and often learn something new about each other – even after four years.
  7. Never say the “D Word”.  - If you’re gonna say it, you better mean it. Plain and simple, threatening divorce is not fighting fair. I did this a lot in my previous marriages. I’m not proud of it, but I learned better. I was hurting deeply, and I wanted to hurt back, but it never helped me feel better.
  8. Learn his love language.  - Everyone has a love language. The way you perceive love is often different from the way your spouse perceives love. Does he like words of affirmation, or does he respond better when you give him gifts? Whatever his love language is – learn it and USE IT.  Edited to add: If you are unfamiliar with the principles behind love languages, you can learn more about it here.
  9. Never talk negatively about him.  - I learned this lesson the hard way too. If you’re going through a difficult time in your marriage and you need advice, see a counselor. Family counseling is a great tool, but try to remember that your family members and friends are not the most objective people to give advice. The argument they are hearing is one-sided and they often build up negative feelings toward your spouse, which usually doesn’t subside once you and your husband have gotten past it. Protect his image with those that you’re close with and seek help from those that can actually be objective.  News flash, ladies – your mother cannot be objective!
  10. Choose to love.  - There are times in a marriage that you may wake up and not feel in love anymore. Choose to love anyway. There are times when you may not be attracted to your husband anymore. Choose to love anyway. Marriage is a commitment. In sickness and health, in good times and in bad. Those vows are sacred. They don’t say “if you have bad times”. They say “in good times AND in bad”, implying that there WILL be bad times. It’s inevitable. So choose to love anyway. He’s worth it.
What do you think ladies? Resonate or ring true with you?
Today, I am going to be a better wife.

Birthday Giveaway: Julie Kins

28 July 2014

Our first giveaway this month, is from the very talented 
Julie Kins
Your very own print - valued at R140

Julie designs unique and custom made art prints for your home. She has conceptualised a range of designs to suit both little girls and boys rooms, nurseries and around the home. Her custom designs come in various themes, sizes and colours. 

The order process is quick and simple:
You simply choose your design, size of print and colours from the swatch supplied. And anything and everything can be personalised.

These are a few of my favourites:

And these are the prints we chose for SJ's big girl room and EN's nursery:

Now it's your turn to win!!
All you need to do to enter:
Comment below with your favourite Julie Kins design
Follow Ellie Love on Bloglovin
Like Julie Kins on Facebook

Entries close and winner announced on Friday 1 August

Oh Hey Friday

25 July 2014

With the fabulous Five on Friday ladies on a link up break over the US Summer, the Friday posts started to get a little average and sad before the weekend... 
Until these two lovely ladies: Karli and Amy came to the rescue with:

Oh Hey Friday!

So we are back in action - and remember to link up each Friday.

1. Mini Moccasins. Have you ever seen anything cuter? I just ordered a pair of both my girls and I cannot wait for them to arrive! Shop online here.

2. Newborn Shoot. We finally did our newborn photo shoot with the talented Heather Fitchet (is it still newborn at 9 weeks old?!) and here is a sneak peek - we cannot wait to get all the images.

3. Mysmartkid. Did you see my post yesterday? If you live in SA and have a child ages newborn to 7 years old, you need to sign up here! We are loving our new, fun educational toys.

4. Macaroon. I just love this store and their website - perfect stationery and goodies in delicious colours. And the latest "Mum-on-the-Run" range is right up my alley - will e placing my order soon. 

5. Fruit Cleanse. This week, I decided to do a three-day fruit cleanse - basically eating fruit every two hours and a salad for dinner. I was surprised at how good I felt and I wasn't hungry. You can read more about the fruit flush/cleanse on Caycee's blog.

Happy weekend


August is the best month of the year!
Because it's my BIRTHDAY MONTH!

If you have been reading my blog for a while or know me personally, you will know that I LOVE all birthdays - especially my own!

And now it's that time again...
And time for all Ellie Love readers to start winning and celebrating too. Watch this space for exciting giveaways from next Monday.

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