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I thought loving you was supposed to be easy

I’d be lying to if you if I said loving my husband was easy. He’s an amazing man, don’t get me wrong. He checks off every box on my list. He even checks off things I didn’t have on my list.

And yet – some days loving him ain’t easy.

Growing up, I envisioned love as some sort of fairytale. Which is ironic considering I married a man with the last name Grimm.

From the age of 5 and on, I consumed tales of love, from animated princesses to romantic comedies. Believing love, thus married life, is this eternal existence of happiness and joy. Even as an adult – with many failed attempts at love, I still believed there was this state of perfection that existed out there. Once I found the ONE.

The night I first met Ryan, there was something different about him. A feeling I had never experienced. When I sat down at the table, directly across from his Bahama blue eyes. I immediately felt a sense of peace being in his presence. Not a feeling I would describe when meeting “The One.” Because you know – romantic comedies.

Later, as we engaged in various conversations mixed with some playful banter, I felt I met my new best friend. Seriously, I told myself. “He is going to be my new best friend.” Not once did I think, ‘this is the man of my dreams’.

Sure, he was cute. But there were no butterflies. No fireworks. Because, you know – romantic comedies.

Later that evening, before we parted ways, we exchanged numbers. That sort of thing is vital if you want to become besties.

Without boring you with too many details, because you already know the end of the movie. We eventually {2 weeks in} fell in love.

Five years later. One new home. One toddler. Two entrepreneurial business owners. Lots of opportunities to fail each other in between. Loving him is not as easy as I thought it would be.

90 percent of the time – we are still those passionate kids who met one evening over whiskey and fried chicken. 10 percent of the time, I silently divorced him in my thoughts.

Six months into becoming parents, I started noticing us failing each other a little more than usual. Whether it was snarky comments, pushing each other away, or erupting into a senseless argument. I knew if we stayed on this path, that 90 percent would become more like 10. So I bravely shared my concerns with the man I chose to love until he was old and gray.

Here we are now – working daily to make it easier for us to make brave decisions together. To communicate better. To live better. To love better.

What was our secret to playing offense rather than defense? 

Two simple things.

Mars vs. Venus Theory

You remember the book – Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars. Truer words have never been spoken.

What I’m about to tell you is the book’s theory in an actionable way. For those non-readers out there. Like my husband.

Strengthsfinders is a fantastic online assessment tool. I know there is a lot of buzz out there about the enneagram. THIS IS BETTER. I’m not knocking the enneagram, but this assessment is your personality type on steroids.

Each person is made up of 34 strengths. No one person is alike. Sure we all have similar strengths. However, no one person uses them in the same way. For example, Ryan and I both have Context in our top 5. But because of the other supporting strengths in the top, middle, and bottom – we use Context in very different ways.

Get what I mean by steroid comment?

You and someone else both might be a 3 -or- you both might be a 7. Neither of you is the same. 

Our CPA had us take the assessment. Yes, CPA. Well, I should say former CPA {sort of}. She fell in love with Strengthsfinder, and what it did for her organization, so much that she up and quit her partnership and went full-time strengths coach! 

We initially took the assessment to sharpen us as business owners. An hour later and one coaching session in, hellooooo marriage game changer!! 

Ryan and I learned a lot about each other. How we operate. How we think. How we communicate – or – the lack thereof. Knowing his personality DNA and he knowing mine will forever be one of the most significant investments we will do for our marriage.

You can take the assessment HERE – or – contact our actual {former} CPA turned Strenthsfinder coach HERE.

Coach put me in the game.

A friend of mine introduced me to her marriage trainer. Yes, a marriage trainer. That sounds weird, I know.

What is a marriage trainer? 

It’s simple, really. 

He or she is someone who trains you to communicate better as a couple. Giving you the tools and advice you need to go into the arena and play a good game.

During our weekly sessions, we obviously talk about feelings. I’m what you define as very passionate. So I have lots of emotions to discuss. But mostly we talk about working the wheel of communication. Yes, there is an actual wheel. And yes, it really does work!

I know it might be hard to truly put this into action without practicing it first. But I promise if you give it a try IT WORKS! And not just for marriages. For all kinds of relationships.

Want proof? Here is an actual text I got from a friend who put one of the principles of the wheel to use after I gave her some of the training advice we have received from our beloved marriage trainer.

Perfection = deception.

Everything I learned from Disney princesses and romantic comedies does exist. It’s just not that perfect. Not always easy. And sometimes it takes work.

Even the everyday relationships which always consume our social feeds. The relationships which look pretty. The relationships that seem easy. But trust me, when you go beneath the pretty. The story is the same.

Five years later. One new home. One toddler. Two entrepreneurial business owners. Lots of opportunities to fail each other in between. Loving him is not as easy as I thought it would be. But man, it’s worth it! 

What I wouldn’t give to have Disney make sequels to our favorite fairytales about what happens next.  

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