I’ve mentioned it here (I think)(I know I’ve hammered it to death on my personal site) that I’ve recently returned to work full-time in an office. While I’m writing tax memos and reviewing financial statements, my husband is shuttling the kids to and from school, buying groceries and keeping our house in tip-top shape while squeezing in his part-time work when he can.
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with Angella Dykstra
I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.
Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.
According to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics, the divorce rate is the lowest in 30 years. An article over at Yahoo! Shine discusses the different theories as to why that is the case.
One theory is that less people are getting divorced because of the economy. Divorces cost money and running two households is too expensive. Some couples simply cannot afford to do it.
Another expert mentions two kinds of divorce: those resulting from an unhappy marriage, and those resulting from “a weak commitment to marriage.” In good times, plenty of salvageable marriages are terminated but a recession creates more “commitment” to marriage.
While I may be a writer and photographer by night, by day I am an accountant of the Chartered variety. I recently switched from the educational side of accounting to working in an office with a bunch of other suckers who have chosen accounting as their profession. I am getting back up to speed with the technicalities behind the advice that we give. It has been as titillating as you might imagine.
One topic that I was asked to research and write a report on was the different legal aspects of being in a common-law relationship and a marriage relationship. I had always assumed that once you reached that point where you were legally declared to be “common-law” you were in the identical position as as those who had gone through the ceremony and legal hoops to be married. This is not the case.
I came across an article over at Yahoo! Shine titled, “5 Secrets For A Happy Marriage” and I agreed with every single point listed. There is no “magic formula” to making a marriage work; it takes commitment and a bit of common sense.
1. Respect. Absolutely. While I may make jokes about things my husband does, they are always with his knowledge and are something that we both laugh at. I refuse to treat him disrespectfully, either online or offline.
2. Courtesy. My husband and I, in almost ten years of marriage, have never called each other names in a disagreement (Or, ever). We might say something like, “What you did hurt my feelings,” but would never say, “You’re a stupid jerk.” Statement number two is neither courteous, nor conducive to a resolution.
My husband and I have been calling each other “Honey” (or “Hon”) since pretty much the start of our relationship. I don’t know why we picked that nickname, as opposed to another one such as “Love” or “Babe.” It somehow got started and we’ve been rolling with it ever since.
Well, I don’t always call him Honey. If he’s out in the yard or workshopshop and I need to call him, it sounds something like this:
“Honey? Hon? Honey! Hon! MATTHEW!!!” I’m a keeper, that’s for sure.
MSN.com posted an article that was originally in Oprah’s “O” magazine, written by Rita Wilson (wife of one Tom Hanks, in case you were not aware). In the article she talks about a time when they were riding in the car the her parents and the question, “Would you marry the same person again?” came up. One of her parents threw out a “Not me!”
It’s a good article that got me thinking. We’re coming up on our ten year anniversary and the question “If you knew at 25 what you know today about your spouse, would you still marry the same person?” made me think I should address it.
I have to admit that my husband and I do not watch a lot of TV, nor do we watch many movies. People often ask me how I manage to get all that I do done and I point to that fact. When the kids are in bed my husband will often putter in the shop and I will typity typity type to get my work (and play) all wrapped up.
Then there are nights where we 1) Need a break, 2) Need a break and 3) Need a break. Sometimes we curl up on the couch and see what our PVR has to offer. Sometimes we will go to a place called a theater and watch something called a movie. It’s neat.
I read an article on CNN titled Jon and Kate plus hate? Ways to deal with common relationship stress (It’s a great article; I suggest you go read it). I thought that the points shared were worth discussing here. Marriage is hard enough as it is, but there are certain things that trigger stress and can make things even harder on the both of you.
1. A growing family
No kidding! Bringing home your very first newborn is a very stressful time. Are they eating enough? Are they eating too much? Are they sleeping enough? Are they sleeping too much? You’re likely getting your sleep in one to two hour increments (If you’re lucky) and we all know that sleep deprivation can wreak havoc on your emotions.
Each stage of childhood brings its own stresses and when you keep adding kids to the mix, the stress level can rise. Keeping your marriage relationship strong through communicating and spending time together just the two of you is vital.
Going into this past weekend, I was a little smug in my plans. I am the one who always goes away for work (And also, fun), thus leaving my husband to manage our three small children. To appease my guilt let him experience the wonder of a weekend away, I encouraged him to make plans for his own excursion sans kids or wife.
One of my favorite bloggers (and people; I spent time with her at BlogHer last year) is the ever-lovely Kyran Pittman. She blogs at Notes To Self and is one of the editors over at Good Housekeeping.
This past week, one of Kyran’s posts made it onto MSN.com and it was a good read: “Keeping Your Marriage Thick In Thin Times“.
I thoroughly enjoyed the article and it caused me to think about the strain that finances can place on a marriage. We are feeling the financial pinch in our house as well. My husband’s industry (lumber) is in the pooper and I am taking on more accounting work to cover the divide. We’re keeping a closer eye on what we spend and talking more about the smaller purchases as well.
Is the economy affecting your marriage for better or for worse? How are you working through it all?