In going through all of my reader questions, I realized that A LOT of people wanted to know more about my marriage or my philosophies on same. So I created a “category,” if you will, for this post, answering all of the questions you all had that relate to marriage.
Again, I did not write down the names of any of the askers, and I do apologize. But if your question was about marriage, directly or indirectly, it should be here.
1. How did you and your husband meet? We actually met about 10 years ago, in an emergency room. I had just given birth to my first child and I was tanning to even out my complexion (you know, stretch marks and all). But I had an allergic reaction to the bed or the product they used to clean it in between users, and I had to go to the ER to be treated for my rash. Jackie was the night nurse there at the time, and he treated me. We went about 8 years without any contact, but then reconnected when he started working on the floor of my office. The rest is history.
2. If you could give only one piece of marriage advice, what would it be? Listen. Don’t talk. Listen. You can get a lot more accomplished by opening your ears instead of your mouth. I’ve been married 3 times, and miscommunication was/is a common theme in all of them.
3. How tall is your husband? He towers over you! Haha! Jackie is 6’3”. I am 5’5”. That could be the reason for the towering.
4. Who said “I love you” first? I think I did. I’m not entirely sure. Jackie would probably disagree with me on this one.
5. Do you do anything that really annoys your husband? I’m sure I do a lot. He can pretty well handle what I dish out, though. I think our biggest issue is that we fight differently, so it usually gets worse before it gets better. But it does always get better.
6. What do you and your spouse fight about the most? It’s hard to say. We do bicker about kids, just because we have different parenting styles and philosophies. We complement each other in almost every way.
7. What do you typically do on “date night?” There are lots of times that we will go out to dinner and then shopping (usually the grocery store), and then there are times when we each buy a 6-pack and sit at home and watch football. We go to movies, too, though we haven’t done that in a while. He does work on the weekends that my kids are with their dad, so that he can be with the whole family when he is off. So a lot of our “dates” are just family days out, when we do something fun with the kids. Next scheduled “date” – the pumpkin patch!
8. My wife and I constantly fight about housework. How do you and your spouse divide chores? Jack and I both work, so we tackle the house as a team. We each have specific chores that we are in charge of – I do the laundry and Jackie does the kitchen. I vacuum and dust and he sweeps and mops. I do the majority of the cooking, and Jackie walks the dog more than I do. Granted, if I stayed at home, I would do more housework than Jackie, because I would consider that part of my job. I will say that if I specifically ask Jackie to do something, he does it without griping. I’m pretty lucky, I guess.
9. What’s the most romantic thing he’s ever done for you? The way Jackie proposed to me was pretty fantastic. We went out for my birthday, and to surprise me, he set it up so that my family could join us for lunch. He proposed to me there with our family present, and it was really sweet. He also used to bring me Oreos and M&Ms when he worked with me. And sometimes, out the blue, he’ll text me and tell me he wants to take “the most gorgeous woman out on a lunch date” and then ask what time he should pick me up. It’s not always the grand gestures that mean the most. Sometimes words of encouragement, little presents or compliments, or even cuddles make all the difference in the world.
10. What have you brought from your divorces that benefits your current marriage? I am a lot calmer and my filter has improved. Jackie would disagree but he didn’t know me back then. I was a horrible wife to my first husband. I was a fantastic wife to my second husband, but he was too narcissistic to see it. Jackie is great because he has accepted me for all of my bullshit and loves me anyway. There are a lot of things I’m still working on, but he’s been patient with me while I do.
11. Do you believe in the saying, “Once a cheater, always a cheater?” I do not. People can change. I have been both the cheater and the cheatee, and they are both horrible roles to fill. Granted, I know people – and I’m related to people – who will always be cheaters. But it’s because they refuse to change. If someone sets his/her mind to it, they can cure themselves of the insecurities that make them attention-starved. I certainly have changed.
12. Who comes first, kids or spouses? I think if you do it right, there will never be a competition. My family comes first, and that includes Lexi, Jameson and Jackie. If push comes to shove, Jackie knows that my kids are always number one, but he knows that, and he appreciates that. I knew Jackie was the “one” when he acknowledged that he knew my kids were my first priority, and he even said, “They should be.” Word to the wise, though – don’t separate your love for your kids from your love for your spouse. If you do that, you’re setting each of them up to complete with the other for your attention.
Tomorrow – more questions answered!
Meg / cC