The Top 7 Truths You Need to Know About Marriage
Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate seven years of marriage.
In many ways, I know it is quite a feat because let's face it: Those people who say that marriage is hard, well, they're right. It is hard. So damn hard.
Don't get me wrong. It's also beautiful. Having a best friend, a partner, a cheerleader to walk through life with is a magical thing. I'm truly thankful that I got to marry the man I did and that he is the best partner I could ask for.
Still, marriage isn't always a dance down the aisle or a romantic stroll on a perfect-temperature day. It's exhausting. It's boring sometimes. It's aggravating. And the struggles go well beyond dirty socks on the floor or who is taking out the trash. Life is hard. Love is hard. Staying committed is hard sometimes.
Over the years, we've learned a lot about life as we've grown up together. We've learned about mortgage rates and taxes. We've learned about taking care of furnaces and that water heaters are freaking expensive.
And most of all, we've learned that marriage isn't always what it seems like in the movies.
Here are seven things we've learned in the past seven years of marriage.
1. Chores can ruin a relationship.
When we first got married, we thought money would be the external force to come between us. So many women's magazines, experts, and married couple warn about how money fights can get fierce.
For us, though, we learned very quickly that there was another danger lurking: chores. With us both working full-time jobs, dividing and conquering the mundane drudgery of adult life threatened to overpower our connection so many times. We argued, fought, cried, and swore over what we both deemed an unfair splitting of the household duties. We were in uncharted territory, having both lived at home before moving in together. We didn't have a system or a plan.
It took a few years for us to come up with a system we were both happy with. I think for couples getting ready to move in together or get married, my best advice is: Talk now about how you will divide regular chores. Don't assume you will both merrily do your part without having to discuss it because this can lead to resentment and really wicked fights.
2. Celebrate the small gestures.
Movies, books, and even social media can make us feel like romance is about the big gestures. Diamonds, roses, romantic getaways--these things are all wonderful.
But they also cost a lot of money and especially early on in our marriage, that just wasn't a luxury we could afford.
I've learned in seven years of marriage, though, that romance isn't always about Instagram-worthy gestures. Sometimes it's about the really small gestures. My husband stopping to get me some Starbucks after work as a surprise, and remembering exactly how I like my iced coffee. A simple dinner in the air fryer and some time across from each other at our dinner table after a long, hard week. A random kiss in the middle of a cut scene in his video game, or pausing my Netflix show just to tell him I love him. These are the real romantic moments of married life. And these are the moments that are free but also mean so much.
3. Everyone is annoying to live with if you give them long enough.
I don't care who you are--you have annoying habits. And so does your spouse.
Chad and I are super close, and we knew each other for a long time before we got married. Still, living with someone, you really to get to know each other, good and bad.
I think all married couples go through stages of annoyance. There are things I wish I could change about my husband, and vice versa. Not big things, just little annoying habits. But I've come to learn that marriage isn't about loving the other person for the good things. It's about loving them for the bad things, too. It's about accepting each other for who you are and realizing that neither of you are perfect.
4. It can't always be 50/50.
Chad and I try to run our marriage on the 50/50 principle. However, we've come to realize that the 50/50 model doesn't always work because life isn't always fair. There are times when he's struggling, and I need to give more. There are times when I'm struggling, and he needs to give more.
Marriage is sometimes about picking up the slack for your partner so the team can keep moving forward. It's about doing dishes for him when he's working a ton of overtime, and it's about helping with the laundry for me when I'm having a stressful week.
5. You have to find the energy to spend time to together.
One of the biggest struggles of married life (and adult life) is being tired. Truly.
Working, taking care of a household, and managing our various roles is tiring. It's easy to slack on spending time with each other, on putting in effort to make sure our connection stays strong.
We've learned over the years, though, that you have to push through. When he was working an odd shift last year, that meant getting less sleep so we could see each other. It means that when we come home and are so tired, we just want to go our separate ways and rest, we put in the effort to find energy to hang out.
Marriage is work. Building a connection is work. You have to be able to put in the time.
6. Support each others' hobbies.
Maintaining separate identities is important in a marriage. Chad and I don't share any mutual hobbies, but we've learned that's okay. Having time to work on our own hobbies is healthy and has helped us stay happy together. Most of all, we've learned that supporting each other in our separate endeavors has helped us appreciate who we are together.
Married life doesn't have to be about doing everything together. We've found happiness as a couple by appreciating our differences and supporting each other's interests.
7. Laughter really does improve a relationship.
I've written this in so many articles because it's the biggest truth I've come to learn. The key to a happy, successful marriage, in my opinion, is being able to laugh together. It's about not taking marriage too seriously or taking each other too seriously. It's about being able to joke, to laugh, to play, to be goofy together. It's about cracking a smile when life starts to get hard. It's about making each other truly laugh when life makes you want to cry.
Having someone beside you who can make you smile through even the hardest times is when connections are strengthened.
I want to know what you've learned from marriage. Tell me in the comments below!
Saying Thank You: What To Give
It’s cliche to say, but your wedding day is one of the best days of your life. For it to truly come together and be everything you’ve ever dreamed of, you enlist the help of your friends and family. To be completely frank, being asked to be part of a wedding comes with a lot of pressure. There is no such thing as perfect, but you’re enlisting people you love to help you come as close as possible. How can you possibly say thank you to those who basically achieved the impossible? It’s a tricky task. But worry not, there are some unique ideas out there.
It depends on the people in your party, but there are a plethora of ideas floating around the internet! However, there’s no need to scour the web to find the most unique options.
Here are 3 simple gift ideas to give your most sincere thanks:
1. A Heartfelt Letter
When is the last time you’ve received a handwritten note? Sometimes the most sincere thanks comes from the heart. Look into purchasing nice stationary that matches the theme of your wedding. Using thick paper will ensure that your letter can stand the test of time, and hopefully prevent the note from ripping and your words from fading. A note is sometimes a gift that keeps on giving. Words can be saved and read repeatedly. The best reason? Words are priceless and mean more than any material gift!
2. Stylish Shades
There’s nothing wrong with giving material items as a thank you either. However, they should be practical so your people can get use out of them for days, weeks, months, and even years to come! Sunglasses are one example of a practical gift. While they of course can be used on the day of your wedding, they can be used well beyond too! Don’t waste your money on the cheap plastic glasses either. Your thank you should come in the form of quality sunglasses that aren’t plastered with your wedding hashtag. Having the ability to buy sunglasses in bulk takes the hassle out of gift giving, and you can get a pair for everyone in one purchase!
3. A Soothing Scent
We all know wedding planning can be a stressful time. Give the gift of relaxation with their favorite scent of candle! Better yet, write a custom message to be printed on the label. It’s a unique way to express your thanks and encourage your friends and family to enjoy some quiet time. If you really want to make it a truly relaxing gift, make it a basket! Fill it with bath bombs, epsom salts and a few face masks. A little can go a long way, and after your girls have spent so much of their time focusing on you, return the favor and encourage them to have some well deserved “me time.”
What are some of your ideas for gifts? Whether they’re from personal experience or this post just sparked some inspiration, I’d love to hear what you have in mind!
An Important Message For Women This Weekend
Lately, I've been finding myself fantasizing...and not about men with sexy abs or the hot dates of romance.
My fantasies these days go something like this: I'm in bed, sleeping the day away, not worrying about hair, makeup, or putting on work-appropriate shoes. I saunter to the couch eventually, stuff my face with bad foods without worrying if it goes to my hips. I watch endless hours of Netflix, ignore the pile of dishes and the bills and all of the adult stuff and just spend the day with Henry and my cats.
I know, I know....a wild fantasy.
In all seriousness, though, September always feels like a rough month for me. I'm back to school and trying to just get used to the routine. September usually finds me worn out, burn out, and just craving sleep.
Sometimes I think life is just really hard, and we all fall into the trap of needing to be so many different things. There is always so much to do, to worry about, and to feel insufficient at. Hair, makeup, housekeeping, bills, careers, friends, relationships, marriages, parenting, and everything else we're a part of---wow, it's exhausting.
And wow, it can all leave us feeling inadequate.
But this week, I'm here to remind you this: You're doing okay. I'm proud of you. And, most importantly, you're more than enough.
I think as women especially, we need to remember to boost each other up. Life is hard. Adulting is hard. Exhaustion is real.
But if we can all remind each other once in a while that what we're doing is worthwhile and that strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between, we are enough....well, I think we might just all make it through together.
How has your month been? And how do you beat the exhaustion that sometimes sets in with the craziness of life? What keeps you energized? I'd love to know your tips and tricks. Hit reply and let me know what works for you.
Have a great weekend! I hope you get to rejuvenate a bit.
Author Lindsay Detwiler
Why You Should Read Crazy Rich Asians Now
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Crazy Rich Asians is a hilarious, quirky read about social class, love, and family loyalty. It is definitely a novel that stands out as "one-of-a-kind" because of the premise as well as the writing style.
The book follows Rachel Chu from New York to Singapore as she goes home with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, for the summer. However, once there, Rachel realizes there is so much she doesn't know about the man she's shared her heart with--especially when it comes to his family. She is swept up in a world of extravagance, wealth, and culture as she navigates the fact that her boyfriend is from an excessively wealthy family with high social standing.
The book was difficult to get into at first just because there are so many characters, family histories, and cultural aspects to get used to. I had a hard time navigating the family trees as well as understanding some of the references, but I think that was sort of the point. The author, Kevin Kwan, sort of overwhelms the reader just as Rachel is overwhelmed at the beginning of the trip. It made me realize how social classes really do have their own culture, and the crazy rich certainly have their own rules that outsiders do not understand.
The book definitely had a "Prince and Me" vibe but with a modern twist. I loved Rachel and Nick as a couple and enjoyed watching Rachel navigate the difficult situations. I felt like she was easy to relate to and also a strong character. I also loved seeing all of the lavish events she went to. The writer made me feel like I was actually there.
The side stories with the other characters were also very engaging. Overall, I really liked this read because it was part romance, part family saga. I thought the ending was perfect and made me want to read the next book in the series.
This book is definitely one I will remember for its ability to stand out in a crowd of love stories and for bringing light to social class differences in a unique way.
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As an English teacher and author, I am always on the lookout for booknerd merchandise; totes, shirts, and mugs with my favorite classics always get my attention. Thus, when I came across the website for Literary Book Gifts, I knew I'd found my own version of bookworm heaven.
I love that the site carries totes (a bookworm must, as you know), and T-shirts for men and women. They also have backpacks with a laptop sleeve and some hoodies. The website is super sleek and easy to maneuver, which is a plus when you're browsing for the perfect gift or just a treat for yourself.
There are a lot of bookworm merchandise stores online these days, but I always have two problems with them:
1. They are usually super expensive.
.2. They never have a huge variety of authors and books.
Literary Book Gifts is different on both accounts. T-shirts and totes are $28, and there is a flat $5 shipping fee for the U.S. The selection is crazy amazing. I found a tote for Kafka's Metamorphosis, a text I teach, that I've never seen anywhere else. I browsed the designs, all of which are classy and very trendy, and saw so many designs I desperately want--Alice in Wonderland, Wuthering Heights, Dracula, Dickens, and Poe just to name a few.
If you're a literary lover like me, be sure to head over and check out some of their amazing designs. If you use the code SATINROMANCE20 on your order, you'll get 20% off! You can use the coupon on anything in the store, no minimum, and you can use it an unlimited amount of times.
Check out some of my favorite designs below, and be sure to comment and tell me what you think of their shirts and totes.
Key Investments To Make as a Woman
Every young woman gets to the point in her life where she has to part ways with old cherished items she’s been holding onto since they were a little girl. Because, you know, that teeny tiny crop top from high school or dusty journal containing magazine clippings of your favorite 90’s boy band probably hasn’t come in handy in the past ten or so years.
Getting rid of items that aren’t necessary for your future and making room for those quality investments may significantly help you embrace who you truly are.
Here are five important investments for all women entering the next phase of adulthood:
1. High Thread Count Sheets
Having a good night's sleep is one of the most beneficial things we can do for our health. Not only does sleep do amazing things for us physically and mentally, but it can especially come in handy when starting new experiences, such as starting a new job. Getting rid of the old bed sheets that may have acquired a few holes and stains over the years and purchasing high thread count sheets is a great investment! Your sheets will feel softer, last significantly longer and most importantly help you sleep sounder through the night!
2. Skincare products
You can never be too young to start taking care of your skin. The good ol’ bar of soap and washcloth method isn’t going to make your fine lines disappear. Making an investment in quality skincare products will have your skin (and wrinkles) thanking you for years to come! Skincare brands like Drunk Elephant and Tatcha are highly recommended, but if you’re looking for more cost effective skincare products, here are some great affordable options!
3. Quality Undergarments
Did you know that wearing a supportive and comfortable bra can give you that extra bit of confidence you’re looking for? Having quality pairs of underwear and bras that actually fit you are the best investments young women can make in regards to their wardrobe. Considering that women should be updating their bras every 6 months, it’s time to stop waiting on that hand-me-down bra from an older sister. Online bra company, True & Co. makes it their mission to create bras that last a lifetime. Not only are they comfortable and supportive but they’re also created with a soft fabric that perfectly hugs your shape. As we get older, comfort should be a priority when it comes to what we put on our bodies.
4. Trips With Friends
There’s nothing quite like traveling with good friends and creating long, lasting memories. Whether it’s a European sabbatical or just a weekend getaway, investing in a trip with some close girlfriends is a great way to become worldlier, more cultured and have unforgettable experiences. If you’re feeling the itch to take a trip, Travelocity has plenty of suggestions for the best kinds of trips to take in your twenties that will successfully check off the travel section on your bucket list! Although the old school family vacations you’re used to are still beneficial (a vaca is a vaca in my opinion), taking a trip with your friends allows you to explore places that are of interest to you and the ones you choose to surround yourself with!
5. A Keepsake Box
Okay, I get it. You might not want to get rid of a few sentimental items from your childhood, teenage years and college. Afterall, your future children might find some of your old belongings useful. But they don’t need a place on your shelf anymore. Finding a box, like these weathertight storage bins from The Container Store are perfect for those keepsake items. Your belongings will be kept clean, dry and safe while their stored away until you find the right moment to bring them back to life!
What are some of your ideas when it comes to essential investments that every young woman should make when taking that next step of adulthood?
Here's How to get your $25 Stitch Fix Credit Now
I love, love, love clothes and updating my wardrobe, and I love getting mail. So when my friend told me I had to try Stitch Fix, I gave it a go.
Stitch Fix is a fun subscription box. Here are some of the features:
I'll admit, I'm a bit cheap when it comes to my clothes...but you can totally specify that you are on a budget, and they'll adjust the box accordingly.
If you want to earn a $25 credit, here's what you do:
Let me know in the comments if you've given it a try and what you thought.
Every Love Story Is Spotlight-Worthy
Over the past three and a half years of my writing journey, I've been fortunate to meet so many people in person and online. I've had so many wonderful women join me in celebrating real, genuine love stories. Along the way, I've come to realize that so many of us don't realize one thing: Every single one of our love stories is magical and novel-worthy.
That's not to say our relationships are perfect. Far from it. If you know my husband and me, you know we fight a lot. We are often caught in the grocery store in a heated battle about snacks or ribs or something equally as ridiculous. We struggle with adulting, and we sometimes have different visions for our lives.
Our life is also far from glamorous. Most weeks, we spend our evenings watching Netflix, playing video games, and eating the simplest foods we can microwave because we're just too lazy to cook anything. Date nights usually involve staying in or hanging with our mastiff, Henry. Candles, rose petals, and fancy getaways just aren't in the cards for us right now.
When I started writing love stories, I knew I wanted to see my own love story in the pages of books. I wanted to read about realistic couples who went on simple dates, who dealt with budget issues, and who didn't always have glamorous lifestyles. Sure, it's fun to read about the alphas who can whisk away their women to one-of-a-kind adventures. But for some of us, that's just not reality. I wanted to write love stories that showcase reality... and prove that love of all kinds can be beautiful.
Along the way, so many of you have joined in my vision and shared stories of your own journey to love. The thing I've come to learn is this: So many of us have similar love stories, similar experiences with married life, and similar struggles.
So while it can be easy to discount your own love story and fret about how it pales in comparison to the sexy heroines and heros of romance novels, I think the message is that you have to celebrate your own reality. You have to embrace the journey you are on when it comes to love, no matter what stage you are at.
Whether you're still searching for "the one" or you've found him or her, I think we all need to realize that every single love story is beautiful. It's worth celebrating. It isn't about the size of the ring, the glamour of the dates, or the perfect moments you collect. Sometimes what makes a love story magical are the struggles, the trials, and the fact that even when things are falling apart around you, one look from your person makes you feel like it's all going to be okay. It's about how you love each other even when you're both sweaty and your makeups melting from a broken air conditioner and 100 degree weather. The beauty of love happens in all of the little moments that don't make it onto the big screen in Hollywood--the simple dinners, the memories, the inside jokes, the play.
I am so glad you are all here to share in your journeys to love, no matter what that looks like. I'm so glad we have a place we can be candid about what love and marriage look like.
Most of all, I'm so thankful that I'm not alone in believing that all love stories are beautiful, noteworthy, and magical in their own way.
I hope this week you can think about the magic of your own journey to love, no matter what that looks like. I'd love to hear about your own love, too, so feel free to hit comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.
99 cent preorder on this Hot Texan Romance, Coming Soon
Coming August 11th, the next installment in the popular Lines in the Sand series!
Book three in this romantic comedy follows Jodie and Levi back to Texas for the holidays. If you haven't read books one and two in the series, head over to Amazon and check them out. Book one, Inked Hearts, was named a Romance Times Top Pick upon release.
Scroll down to learn more about Texan Hearts, find the preorder links for only 99 cents, and if you're ready, add it to your list on Goodreads.
Will a rowdy Texan Thanksgiving be too much for even this wild couple to handle?
Join hot cowboy Levi and quirky author Jodie this Thanksgiving in a fun short story of heat, cringe-worthy families, and dramas of the heart.
“You’re out of control,” I say as he leads me back to some cryptic place behind the rodeo. “And you love it,” he murmurs, turning to kiss me, his hands wandering, making me thankful in all sorts of ways for a very Texan and very scandalous Thanksgiving rodeo.
When Levi Creed, the sexy cowboy, takes Jodie Ellison home for a true Texan Thanksgiving, she has no idea what kind of rowdy holiday she’s in for. As Levi and Jodie’s families unite for one crazy dinner, Jodie uncovers Levi’s roots. Will the scorching Texas heat unite their already smoldering hearts, or will elements of Levi’s past prove to be too much for the new couple?
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2LqmABA
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2LqmoSS
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2L9YETW
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2L5ZRLX
Why Flynn's Sharp Objects is one of the best psychological thriller reads
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to bloom."
Sharp Objects is an engaging, intriguing thriller by Gillian Flynn. Although fans of Gone Girl may find this book to be a little tame and a bit more predictable, it is an excellent read due to the character development. Furthermore, it gives a deep, gritty look inside the mind of a character who struggles with mental issues.
When Camille Preaker goes home to Wind Gap to cover a story about two girls who are murdered, she is filled with an ominous sense of concern. This is mostly because of her mother, Adora, a woman who is both complex and poisonous in her own ways. The relationship between Camille and Adora has always been tense, but Camille's return to town only heightens the anger surrounding unresolved issues. When Adora's youngest daughter, Amma, is added to the mix, toxicity at its finest is unleashed. Camille's coverage of the story coupled with her family issues creates a masterful plot sure to intrigue every thriller reader.
I found the plot to be predictable in this book, but I was completely okay with that. This book isn't about the twists and turns; it is more about the character development. Flynn does an outstanding job at developing her characters, the family narrative, and the relationships in the book. As the plot is revealed, all of the backstory and family dynamics fit together like a puzzle, providing a satisfying narrative.
I also thought Flynn did a great job at portraying mental illness in the main character while also providing the reader with a clear understanding of why Camille struggles with the things she does. It was a raw, realistic, windy portrayal of the human mind, and I enjoyed the writing style that highlighted the realizations uncovered while reading.
I found the epilogue satisfying and thought Camille's story was wrapped up in a fulfilling way. There were many eerie, chilling aspects to the tale, which I found to be original and engaging. I also liked the focus on females in this book as it provided an interesting dynamic.
All in all, I recommend Sharp Objects to any psychological thriller fans. I am excited to check out the HBO series, Sharp Objects, to see if it holds up to the book.
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