Terms of Justification

I want to pair this with A Husband's Guide to : Money Part 1?.  I have been thinking about all the little phrases we use to justify "Married Money" spending.  There are many times in a marriage when one person wants to buy something pricey and has to get the other's "buy in." (Pun Intended).


  • "It's too good a deal to pass up" : There are indeed sometimes when you do come across a deal that is so good it makes you want to spend money you don't have.  The key is knowing the difference between a good deal and one designed to look good, for example buy 2 get one free HD TVs is probably not the best investment...
  • "You're always complaining that we don't have a good..." : This is a great justification if the item in question really is something the other complains about.  Good Example : "Honey you are always complaining our blender is too loud, look at this quiet model."  Bad Example : "Honey you are always complaining our blender is too loud, with this 7.1 Dolby Surround System we won't be able to tell."
  • "You have to buy more to save more" : The Warehouse store mantra.  Why by a loaf of bread for 1.99, when you can get 4 for 5.99...  Buy more to save more.  But really how many carbs do you plan on eating.
  • "It costs what is costs..." : This is a bold gambit.  Basically when you use this justification you are saying, hey this item is important, stop focusing on the price tag, because it isn't important, what is important is we need it.  This is usually used for large purchases, mainly from upscaling from the basic model to the deluxe model.  Think home appliances, this washer will wash the clothes, then dry them, then wrinkle protect them, we need this, it costs what is costs...
  • "Think of how much money, time, aggrevation we will save in the long run" : This can be a rather effective tool, if used logically.  There are times when a product or service will help us out immensely, but remember you have to be able to prove it.
So there are a couple justifications that we come up with to spend money.  I can honestly say that I am guilty of all them, but hey it costs what it costs...

I am sure there are other ones out there so leave yours in the comments.


A Husband's Guide to : Married Money Part 1?

Well if you think about it, the two things couples fight about is sex and money.  I have written several posts about sex, so a money post had to follow...  My father gave me the best marriage money advice ever when I announced my engagement and I feel like it is worth sharing.

MrTheHusBlog (My Father) Definition Pause : The Four Bank Accounts for Your Marriage

  • The Household : This is the receiving account for all the money.  Your pay check(s) should be deposited here.  This is the account with the most activity.  Groceries, gas, medical bills, etc. come out of this account.  In short if "you both need it," then the money comes out of this account.
  • Savings : Any money left over after bills, private accounts (see below), and incidentals goes into savings.  Also you should set a certain amount that goes into saving automatically.  Let me also be state that your 401K does not count as savings here.  This savings should be for both extra investing, and an emergency fund for unplanned expenses.  
  • His Private Account : Each pay period the Husband should receive a small stipend into an account that the wife cannot see.  This is HIS account and he can do whatever he wants with this money.
  • Her Private Account : Each pay period the Wife should receive a small stipend into an account that the husband cannot see.  This is HER account and she can do whatever she wants with this money.
The private accounts are key when it comes to not fighting about money because of one simple rule : "You can spend your private account money on WHATEVER you want."  Fights about money come because one person spends something the other person thinks is stupid, unnecessary, etc.  When you both decide to set aside a small amount for one another you are avoiding this pitfall.  For example I like guns(I live in Texas) and Legos, I know it is an odd pairing.  And while my wife does have an appreciation for firearms (hell she shoots better than me) she does think they are expensive.  If I was to go off and spend 450.00 dollars of our money on a sweet Springfield Arms XDm .40 caliber with optional safety, I would get in trouble.  But because I have private money, I can save MY money and buy it.  Also if she wants to spend 250.00 dollars on Brahmin Tote (its a purse) she can because it is HER money.

Yes I know that marriages are a partnership, but when the rainbows and unicorns fade away you both are going to realize that you are only human and have monetary wants.  These wants should be met within reason and the private account plan can do that.  

Please keep in mind that there are some situations when you cannot have private accounts.  If money is really too tight, or if savings will be sacrificed.  In short if you cannot pay your bills without the added private accounts, then now is not the time.  

Marriages are really about two people coming together to spend the rest of their lives together.  But just because you love one another does not mean that you will both like the same stuff.  You should both be allowed to buy the things that you like without judgement.  Let's face it : For the most part men do not understand the things that women want and women do not understand the things that men want.

Before I close, I have to share a little caveat that I gave my wife.  I told her no matter what she is always more that welcome to buy anything from Victoria's Secret and use the Household account, because, let's face it, we both benefit from that...


Terms of Compliments Part 2

Well, I just read an interesting blog post here (http://lifegems4marriage.com/2009/05/05/avoid-divorce-with-the-51-ratio/).  The article states that it takes 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction to maintain a positive relationship...  That means you husbands have to make sure you are making sure your wife knows how much you care about here...  Terms of Compliments Part 1, was about some things that you can say, for Part 2, I am going write about things to do...  So here are somethings that I do to maintain the 5:1 Ratio :


  • Kiss my wife when she gets home to greet her : To be honest this one stopped happening for a while because we were both busy and often she would come home in a whirl wind and I would be in the middle of some project (that is code word for probably just watching TV).  Now when I hear the garage door open I immediately stop what I am doing to greet her with a kiss and offer to help out with anything she might be bringing in.
  • Holding hands while watching TV : Most nights the wife and I are beat.  Most relationship gurus out there say couples should talk for at least 15 minutes a day.  Honestly, my wife is in the middle of an insanely intense master's program and for the most part when she gets home she is spent.  Rather than talking about her day she likes to just veg out in front of the tv with me.  We have started holding hands while watching TV, it is small but the physical contact is a nice reminder to each other than we care.
  • Say Yes More Often : To be honest I don't like to do much.  I am more content sitting at home watching a movie than I am going out for a night on the town.  That is all well and good, but my wife likes to go out when she has the chance.  In the past I would say no to certain things because I just didn't want to do it.  Now I have adopted a different philosophy.  If I do not want to do it, and I cannot think of an alternative, I just say yes.  See I figure if I really do not want to go see "The Black Swan" then I should be able to think of something else, if I cannot, then I go to the movie because my wife wants to.  I think if you start trying this you will find that you will be able to list off several things you want to do when applied with the proper motivation.
  • Don't Spoil the good moments : There you are, having a great time chatting, having drinks, or whatever and you think your wife is agreeable so now is the time to bring up something that has been bothering you...  WRONG!  If you and your wife are having a good time, don't consider it an open invitation to bring up something that has been festering.  Instead enjoy the precious seconds as they come.  Here is the rule : If you both are having a good time, don't ruin it with a fight you want to have.  
These are just some of the ideas that I have, but I am sure you have something that I have not thought of.  Please share by using the comments.


A Husband's Guide to : Sex Part 2

Well my faithful readers, here we are, another post about sex.  To be honest I was going to stay away from an all sex post for awhile just because I had some other things that I wanted to write about, however, a post on a blog I read frequently inspired me, so I had to do some writing.  To read the post that inspired me please head to this link (http://antiinertia.com/2011/03/11/post-marital-sex.aspx).  Antiinertia is not a site that is dedicated to relationships, but this post certainly delves into that topic with surprising insight.  So please take a moment and click on over there to read the post, then come back here.

Sex, Sex, Sex, it seems like it is aways on the mind.  There are men I know who have large libidos and other men I know who have smaller ones.  In any case most men I talk to think about sex a lot, it does not slow down when we marry.  The focus of the thoughts change, after marriage we men think that we have (this is going to sound so chauvinistic, I apologize in advance to my female readers)  "In house loving".  We think that we have locked down our wife and given her the sincere commitment all women seem to want to have so we should be golden.  We should be able to get sex "on demand."  But in reality, courtship (in a sexual way) starts to change.

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Signs your sex life is changing

  • You have to schedule sex : There is a point in time, in every relationship, where sex shifts from something organic, that just happens, to something you have to make time to happen.  It is really weird at first.  It feels almost forced.  It can be quite a shock to go from "Can't keep your hands off each other, to can't get some loving on a week night."  This is totally natural, life is going to get in the way, maybe it is children, maybe it is work, hell maybe it is some other thing.  But if you do not make time, you will not be able to make love.
  • It starts to feel awkward to initiate sex : The flames of passion do flicker from time to time and if you have been in extended dry spell, you or your spouse might be awkward.  The worst thing you can do is give up or close up.  Laugh about it, talk about it, do something about it!  Not every marriage has sunshine and rainbows all the time.  There are going to be times when one person is not going to be in the mood, but is willing to have sex anyway.  Seriously, I know to some of you who have not been thru it, that last sentence sounds alien.  There was a study in which women were asked about their sex life, most of them stated that even if they did not want to have sex with their husbands when they did have sex for the sake of their husbands they did enjoy it.  It does not have to a perfect situation every time.  Sometimes it is just two people trying to connect amidst a crazy schedule. 
  • You or your spouse would rather sleep than have sex : This is another one that is hard to avoid.  There are times when sleep is more important than sex.  The majority of time I hear about this it is because of small children, however work is also become a more popular reason as well.  The way our society is moving(The United States), it can hardly be ignored that career often takes the front seat as well.  The one way to overcome this I have seen is to change up the routine.  Rather than sex at night, try the morning or afternoon.  
  • You start noticing that you are counting how many times you have sex : When sex is plentiful you never worry about how much you are having.  When it starts to slow down you all of a sudden become painfully aware of how many times you have sex.  Then you start googling how often married couples have sex (Guilty...).  Then you compare that number to how many times you have sex and become convinced that something is wrong.  
  • It starts to become the center piece of fights :  Top two things couples fight about : money and sex.  In my history of talking with other married men, Sex is the top of the list.  However fighting about sex starts a cycle, if you fight about it, then there is a big chance actually having sex is like a chore rather than an enjoyment.  So the more you fight, the more awkward it becomes...

I know what you are thinking: "Wow TheHusBlog, Sex part 2 is kind of a downer post."  Well that or, "TheHusBlog, can I just call you Jim, how about Jim?"  I know this might seem like a depressing post, but it is also things that need to be said.  Life changes, we all grow older and as time wears on us, its effects can be seen and felt, even in the bedroom.  Like the post I referenced above, I too, believe that sex is a pillar of marriage, but it takes work.

I strive to highlight the pit falls of marriage that most people either keep bottled inside or avoid all together.  Sex is important in a relationship, but its level of importance should be dictated by the two people in the marriage.  If you only have sex once a year and both people are happy with it, then by all means you are good.  But if you are wanting more and cannot seem to understand what has changed I want to put my own perspective out there so that maybe just maybe you can see that you are not alone.


Terms of Enragement Part 2 - Techniques

When fighting with our spouse we all have certain moves that we use.  If you are unaware of the techniques that you use, you are either "Way too damn happy and are probably newlyweds," or "You lose fights often."  Here are some of the techniques that I have both been burned by or used:

  • Key Point Repeat : This is the one where you say something poorly and the other person repeats it over and over again.  You and wife are in the middle of a tiff, let's say it is about your job.  And you say something to the affect of your job is important.  And then she says "Well I guess your job is so important that you forgot our anniversary."  Get ready, the rest of the conflict is going to be peppered with "Your job is soooooo important."  
  • Out of Context Slam Dunk : This is when you say something about something very specific and the other person twists it to something else completely.  Let's say you just met your wife's extended family.  She is grilling you about them and you say something benign like "Your uncle has a lovely home."  You think you are following the golden rule (if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all).  Well let me tell you, she is hip to that and for the rest of the event expect her to be catty, saying : "Well at least they have a lovely home, right honey"(that last part will probably be said with clenched teeth). 
  • The Why Recursion : This one is so hard to defend against.  Usually used when you say something dumb. The wife is going to probe and the best way to probe is to just ask the same question over and over again, waiting for the story to change, just like a Cop would in interrogate a suspect.
  • That Whore Tiffany : Not picking on anyone named Tiffany, just picked that name out of a hat, but often your ex-girlfriend that your wife hates the most will be brought up to prove a point.  Usually happens in the early years of marriage and fades as time goes on, but be on your guard for this one because it can be a challenge to defeat.  
  • The pause means you are guilty theorem : I hate this one, basically the tenant is, if you pause too long that means you are thinking up some lie...   I tend to be calculated in my responses so I can often take a few seconds to think about an answer, this sometimes gets me in trouble, just remember if you haven't done anything wrong then you have nothing to hide.
I know there are other techniques out there so use the comments and let me know some of the ones you use.


A Husband's Guide to : Marriage Blogs

"Oh no, TheHusBlog(there I called you by your stupid name, you happy?) you are about to go Meta."  Fear not gentle reader I am not about to cause a dream within a dream sequence worthy of Inception 2.  I know it may seem strange for a Marriage Blog to blog about Marriage Blogs, but I do have to write just a little on the subject.  If you are anything like me, you like to do your research.  The internet does after all make it so easy, just google it and you can have tons of information in seconds.

I was thinking about a friend the other day.  This friend tends to feel like they have illnesses all the time so webmd is a popular destination.  Well as is the case in most situations like this, my friend will often enter in symptoms and get some crazy ass result that they are sure they have.  I try to speak to this person rationally and present a logical explanation.  But, more often than not this person goes to the doctor and finds out that they were wrong and what they thought was some crazy flesh eating disease is just the flu...  This can be the same for those people that read marriage blogs.  You are researching things to either spark the romance again, resolve conflict, or create a perfect date night and then all of a sudden you fall into the same trap as my webmd friend.  You feel like your relationship is on life support and you are doomed to divorce.  Now you might be thinking : "TheHusBlog(used your stupid name again!) isn't it time to do a definition pause...  I mean you are two paragraphs in and I haven't seen bullet points yet I am worried..."  Yes it is time.  So without further ado(I love using that phrase) :

TheHusBlog Definition Pause : Signs your Marriage Might Be In Jeopardy, But Really It Isn't:

  • We are not having SEX enough : What is the national average for times a married couple to have sex?  Well to be honest it varies, and it is getting less and less because of the hectic pace that most of us live our life.  The most common value I see in my research is about 2 times a week.  Now some of you might be going "two times a week, what are they rabbits..."  And still some others might be going, "Twice a week, that sounds like heaven, I wish!"  Let me just interject, that there is NO MAGIC number.  What might be appropriate for one couple is not going to work for another.  Researching the national average for times a couple should have sex is like researching the national average for the amount of time you can hold your breath, it's DUMB.  There are so many variables in a couple's life that affect the amount of sex they can have at any given time:  Do you have small children?  Do you both work?  Is one person struggling with depression?  Is one person struggling with health issues?  There are so many things that factor into our sex lives that simply looking at the national average and measuring your numbers does not add up.  If you only have sex once a month and both of you are happy with it, then hell, I don't see a problem.  Don't use someone else's yard stick to measure yourself, instead take into account other factors and ask yourself if you are happy, if you are great, if not talk about it with your partner.  But for the LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, do not quote me on the 2 times a week stat and expect her to be like, "oh well then we should do it more..."  
  • She seems annoyed by me all the time : Well are you doing something annoying?  Not to be a smart ass, but keep in mind people change, including you and your wife so if she is seeming annoyed, check in with her and if she states a behavior that is annoying her, then stop doing it!  
  • We fight all the time :  I wrote in another post that marriages have good years and bad years.  Almost every single married couple I talk to tell me that is true.  You and your partner are going to go through rough patches and it is going to seem like all you do is fight.  As long as you respect boundaries, don't physically, or mentally abuse one another it is something you can work through.  Keep things in perspective, just because you are having a 6 month bad spell does not mean you should throw away a 7 year marriage, think about the good times.  And of course if things seem really bad, schedule some counseling with a professional.  Remember your vows, Marriage(capital 'M' in the middle of the sentence is on purpose) is all about keeping your promise to one another even when you don't want to...
  • My friends think I should end the marriage : If all you do is complain to your buddies about your wife then of course they are going to think you should end the marriage.  Use your friends as constructive sounding boards, not bitch sessions.  I have a couple married friends that just complain, complain, complain.  They do not mention the good stuff because they are so focused on the bad.  So if your friends only perspective is how mean your wife is then they are going to tell you jump ship.  After some questions I have NEVER met a husband who had only bad things to say about their spouse.  Let's be real, when you get married there are all kinds of happy little chemicals floating around your brain telling you things are going to be GREAT.  But those fade and the truth will come out.  Your spouse is human, she is going to be wonderful at some things, and not so wonderful at others.  Never discount the good things because of the bad things.  Oh and by the way, you are human too...
  • Someone else is catching my eye :  So there you are, out with friends, or at work and some other woman is catching your eye.  She is beautiful and maybe a little bit flirtatious and you think, I could just leave my wife and be with this person.  Really?  And I have to say it again, Really?  I have two main points to make on this.  First, you and your wife have created a bond over years and you think some cute girl is going to come close to that kind of bonding.  And second, do you really think your wife hasn't had temptations thrown at her...  Oh, now I have your attention don't I?  Look, you are going to find other women PHYSICALLY attractive, it is just human nature, just as your wife is going to find other men PHYSICALLY attractive.  We are human beings after all and sometimes we are going to see someone else as hot or pretty.  That is natural, but what makes us special is our ability to stay committed to the person that really knows us, the person who knows the our true self and loves us anyway.  There are two states of attraction(damn, I think I am going to have to go sub bullet points on this one.)
    • Static : This attraction is based on a situation.  A person looks really good in an outfit, or under a certain kind of light, or whatever.  In any case this attraction is based on the here and now and is often fleeting.
    • Dynamic : This kind of attraction is based on the person at their core, rather than the situation.  This is the kind of attraction that can make you excited when your wife in pajama pants and a ratty t-shirt, this is the kind of attraction that makes you smile when she is in old sweat pants painting a room.  And this also the kind of attraction that can make her think you are sexy when you just got done cleaning your car and are filthy.  This kind of attraction is measured in years, not seconds and can only come from a bond that transcends the here and now.
I have to take a moment and say I do not write these posts lightly.  I often write several weeks ahead and take the time to read, revise, reread, edit, and eventually post.  In fact it took me over two weeks to write this.  I am telling you, the faithful reader, this because I want you to take to heart what I say.  Think about your marriage and don't just assume things are horrible because someone on TV, or some blog, or some article in "Couples Monthly"(I don't think that is a real publication) says so.  Take stock in YOUR relationship and figure out what works for you two and then act on it.

If you take one thing away from this post it should be this:  Your issues are probably shared by your wife.  Maybe not in the same way, but if you are feeling like your needs are not being met, then she probably does too.  Sure maybe they are different needs, but at the end of the day don't you want to be one who makes your spouse's life better...  And if you want to make her life better, I am willing to bet she wants to make yours better as well...  That sounds like a good starting point to me.


Terms of Avoidance

We as human beings and husbands are procrastinators.  It is human nature to want to put off certain things and society has obliged this desire by creating little phrases that we use to avoid certain topics or put them off.  So I give you Terms of Avoidance.


  • "Let's talk about that when we have time" : Classic move.  You are putting off a conversation when you are obviously in the middle of a conversation.  There you two are, maybe getting ready to head out for the day, both of you brushing your teeth, and your sweetie brings up something you don't want to talk about...Maybe it is dinner with the in-laws, or maybe it is a big financial decision that needs to be made and all of sudden you feel the need to clam up.  Hiding your inability to make a decision within the guise of we need to talk about it at length is a classic move, but you know what eventually you are going to get cornered...
  • "It is what it is" : My wife HATES this phrase.  And to be honest I do not blame her.  It is a pointless phrase, it adds nothing to the conversation, fills in no context, nor does it offer a different perspective.  Of course it is what it is, how could it be what it isn't?  I have to admit I say it all the time.  I have to blame my job on this one.  I work in an exceedingly fast paced, high performance environment, and often because of the pace in which we work, we get into binds.  The first thing that someone says is "It is what it is," that is our way of saying, we do not care how we got here, but we have to fix what we have done.  This phrase is really business speak for "we cannot blame the person responsible because they are either too connected for it to make a difference, or they are better at political maneuvering than me."  It has no place in relationship conversations. 
  • "I'll take care of that later" :  Yeah, sure you will.  When is later?  No, really, think about it.  Later could be any time within one second after you say it until the end of time as we know it.  If your wife accepts this avoidance technique, it is only because she has begun a countdown timer on when she will blow up if the task/issue/chore is not resolved.  This phrase is trouble from the second you utter it. 
  • "I just have too much on my plate right now" : Ah the metaphorical "plate."  Yeah, I am sure your plate is full, hell, my plate is full too.  Take a second and be honest with yourself.  Your "plate" is always going to be full, we live in a crazy, hectic paced society, so you have to decide, what is the main course on your plate, because it should be your wife...
These are just some of the avoidance techniques I have thought of, I am sure you have many others, so do me a favor and use the comments.


Husband Trials : The Sex-periment

Hi Everybody, your friendly world wide web TheHusBlog here, and this post is going to be a little different.  The majority of my posts are a collection of thoughts over a history of experiences, this post is going to be a little more personal.  For the sake of privacy I do not like to go into too much specific personal detail but I have something that I would like to share, but first I have to give some personal background.  To the set the stage for the rest of this post I have to share with you the current situation of my life and marriage.

My wife is currently pursuing her CRNA degree.  For those of you who do not know CRNA stands for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.  For her orientation it was requested that spouses attend as well.  I thought they must just want to share with us the program so we know a little more.

We arrived on campus and easily found the location of the orientation.  Standard fare then ensued.  The faculty was introduced, the classes were discussed, and then things got interesting.  The students were then asked to move to a different building and the spouses were asked to remain.  My wife left to go fill out paper work and such and us spouses (about 50% Husbands, 50% Wives) stayed for a speaker.  The speaker was a wife of a student who just finished his first year.  She then spoke about the challenges of the program.  She spoke about feeling like a single parent to their two children.  She spoke about not only having to care for all of his needs, the kids needs, but the lack of help she received from him.  She spoke about his late nights studying, she spoke about thanking God that her parents lived by them so she had some support.  She painted a grim picture indeed. She capped her talk by saying how proud she was of him, how hard the program was, and how he had changed.  After we all politely applauded the room was eerily silent.  I was thinking what I am sure everyone else in that room was thinking, "My wife(or Husband) will be better than that, she(or he) won't let me down."  One of the faculty members came up after the speaker and said these words, that still ring in my ears, "Make no mistake, for the next two and half years, your needs are not going to be met."  I did not know then what she meant.  I thought in that moment, "Well, that is fine, we don't have kids, I have a busy job and we don't have to go out that much, maybe once a month and I would be fine."  I even started planing the various hobbies I was going to take up to pass the time when she was studying.

We take our spouses for granted.  It is just human nature, we get used to certain things and then expect them to happen all the time.  The one thing that we all take for granted is being first in our spouse's life.  Well, let me tell you, once you are no longer first things get hard.  In the beginning we both adjusted.  She was studying morning, noon, and night and I just let her have her space.  But certain things started happening.  First our eating schedules came out of sync.  She could not take breaks to eat so she would heat something up and take it in her office and I would eat alone as well.  Then our sleeping came out of sync.  She would be up later than me studying, and then she would sleep later to make up for it.  Then she would have to get to the gym to workout the stress that she was under.  Now all of a sudden we weren't eating at the same time, sleeping at the same time, or even home at the same time.  Sex was happening maybe once a month and for the most part it was quick.

Our marriage was in trouble in my opinion.  At first I reacted by being kind of distant and angry.  I mean after all I was the most important thing in her life, right?  Wrong.  I wasn't.  Her priorities were :
  1. School
  2. Studying
  3. Sleeping
  4. Eating
  5. Working Out (stress relief)
  6. Husband
I initiated several talks on the subject, in fact I fell into the typically female role of talking about my feelings.  Each one of these conversations ended badly.  My wife felt attacked and always stated that she was giving me all that she could afford to give.  We trudged on for a while and I started to get the feeling that we were roommates instead of a married couple.  Fights were regular and resolution never came.  We had some good times, an off weekend here and there provided for a nice night out and things went well for a while, and then a month would go by without sex, or she would not be able to go out and I would get angry and fight would happen.  

We made it through last year, and it was a bad year.  I spent a lot of time doing research into relationships.  I read a ton of information and tried all kinds of different approaches.  I leaned on my faith and read the Bible for support but nothing was really working.

August last year my wife began her residency which provides more time away from me and even more stress.  Neither her nor I wanted another year like last year so I started different things.  I would try different tactics to keep the relationship alive.  Keeping the relationship alive meant that I had to do things for me.  I started working out (something I sorely needed to do).  One of my wife's time sucks last year was needing her gym time so last year I started going to work out classes with her, just to spend time and I started to really like it.  Instructors at the gym started to know us as a married couple which really helped.  When one of us wasn't in class the other would be asked by the instructor "Where is your husband/wife?"  It might seem strange but that meant a lot to me.  When you feel like you never see your partner, having someone else ask about them allows you to tell a little bit of their story which keeps them in your mind.  

Maybe some of you husbands reading this right now think, I am crazy for putting up with it, or maybe you are thinking I am bad husband for complaining about a temporary situation, and maybe some of you are thinking, "Wait, sex once a month?"  In any case the situation was what it was.  It could have been much better, but it also could have been much worse.  It really wasn't her fault, she was doing the best she could in a bad situation, and it also wasn't my fault for feeling hurt that my needs weren't being met.  But as a Husband it was my job to either be part of the problem or part of the solution.  I spent much of last year being part of the problem, spending too much energy being angry or hurt and not enjoying the good times I could have.  Many a good night (one where she did not have to study more than a couple hours) were ruined because I had an ax to grind.  We would spend hours talking about MY feelings rather than just hanging out.  

The past six months I have been trying to figure out how to be part of the solution.  When my wife and I first started dating it was a long distance relationship which meant long phone calls, and when she did visit we would spend days just locked away in my crappy apartment in the bedroom and taking a quick break to the kitchen for a snack.  Our dating life was HOT.  After we got married things cooled a little, but we still had a passionate relationship.  Once her school started things cooled so fast that I could not adapt fast enough.  

But now I figured out the issue.  Freud once said, "This issue is NEVER the issue."  I thought it was school, but in reality it was time.  I had to capitalize on what time I had to work with and make things work.

(SIDENOTE : If you are the spouse of a CRNA and going through the same thing I have stated above and don't know what to do, please drop me an email at thehusblog@gmail.com.  I mean this sincerely, it is a hard road and it will leave you doubting yourself.  If you ever need someone to talk to please send me an email.  I promise to respond, I know this problem and everyone needs a sounding board.)

Okay faithful readers that is the set up.  Now here is the experiment.  As you have probably figured out sex does not happen all that often while the wife is in school.  So I have a goal.  I want to increase physical intimacy, doesn't have to be sex, but passionate physical contact would be good.  I have tried several different tactics to keep the flame burning while she is in school but to be honest it is hard.  For men we will give up all kinds of things for sex, but for women it is different, and she is not easily put in the mood after a 24 hour shift...  

This idea hatched while reading too different articles.

Which lead me to this article:

That second article was written for women, but it held a lot of truth for me.  I tried talking, which I thought would be my wife's language, but in truth, it wasn't working.  So instead I am trying non-verbal communication, mixed with a huge dose of understanding.  Rather than just listening to what she has to say I am taking it to heart and acting on it.  

THE GOAL : Increase Intimacy (To be honest, any type of physical attention would be good, doesn't have to be sex)
THE CHALLENGE : Wife is working 24 hour shifts and 8 hour shifts with very little time off.
THE PLAN : Make her feel loved.

Let me state in advance, that my goal here is not just to get sex(I know, the post is titled the "Sex-periment, but the Intimacy-periment doesn't have the same ring).  My goal is to show my wife how much I love her, how much she turns me on, and how much I have to offer.  My goal is to increase physical intimacy, which does include sex, but it is not limited to it...

What follows below is bullet points related to my days, what I did to show the wife how much I care.

  • Never appear in shabby or sloppy clothes.
  • I held her hand while we watched TV, normally I don't do that, but I wanted physical contact.
  • Snuggled up next to her at bed time.  Tried to initiate sex, but shot down, was totally cool about it.
  • Never appear in shabby or sloppy clothes.
  • Held her hand in the morning while we slept.  Then snuggled up next her.
  • Got up before her and brushed my teeth so that my breath was fresh in the morning.
  • Continued snuggling until she got up to go to bathroom
  • We went to workout together, it was awesome.
  • Had lunch with her and mother in law, touched and held hands during meal.
  • She had to go to bed early because of 24 hour shift on Sunday.  Wrote a note about how much I love her and left it in her car for the morning.
  • Wife is working 24 hours, so I spent the day doing laundry and making sure the house is clean.
  • Had a really good day just hanging out, really missed the wifey though.
  • Got home had a stressful day at work.
  • Talked to wife about her day, which sounded totally exhausting.
  • We both went to bed tired.
  • Got home pretty late because Tuesday is a day with personal trainer after work.
  • Watched TV for a while.  Wife got home, talked with her a little bit.
  • Broke my not appearing in shabby clothes rule, was in my robe.
  • Broke the shabby clothes rule AGAIN!  This is hard.  Feeling frustrated with my job and I am not being as cool as I want to be.
  • Talked a little bit, we both went to bed tired.
  • Guess who had another 24 hour shift again?  That's right, my wife.  She was at work, I was supposed to hang out with a friend.  My friend had to cancel so I was at home alone.  Played video games, watched TV, wasn't a bad night but I thought of my wife often.
  • Took the day off from work, got up early and made breakfast for her when she got home.
  • Ate a good breakfast (to be honest, I made food that I like instead of what she likes so I feel like I lose some points here, but she didn't say anything)
  • We both went to bed.
  • I got up around 2.00pm.
  • Hung around for a while, wife got up and went to the gym.
  • She got home and we went out for an amazing meal and date.
  • I made some index cards with what I thought were cute questions for us for the drive.  Wife was not having it.  She thought they were stressful.  I was confused because I thought they were cute and fun, but she was not having it, so I let it go.
  • Got back home and watched a little TV together, I wanted to cuddle a little bit, but so did the cat.  Our cat is feeling abandoned so we both just pet the cat.
  • Went to bed, and I stated to put the moves on, and she was EXHAUSTED.  I could see it in her eyes, she did not want to be, but she was.  She went to sleep.
THE RESULT : To be honest, the week was full of learning.  First I learned that I am not as awesome as I think I am.  There were a couple days there where I was too tired to really make an effort.  Before this started I thought I would come out looking like the greatest husband in the world, but to be real, I just came out looking human.  I also thought that my wife would come out looking like an exhausted student, and that WAS true.  

We had some really nice moments during the week, mostly it was just simple things like holding hands and talking.  In science, you have to let the data guide you, not be a slave your own hypothesis.  My plan to make her feel loved through non-verbal communication did in fact work.  She was more touchy with me during the week.  Did we have sex as a result of my plan...  No.  Did we become more connected as a couple...  Yes.  

I did learn that I am not all that I think I am.  There were a couple days where I really "phoned it in."  The very thing I thought my wife was guilty of, was the very thing I was guilty of.  The two things couples fight most about is sex and money.  Well, let me just say that we don't fight about money.  But the truth is that I have some work to do on that front as well.  

This experiment ended on day 8, I am finishing writing on Day 10.  I stopped logging my thoughts and just hung out with my wife.  Day 9 was a good day.  We went out, had a great meal, and had a long, long, conversation in which I realized that I am just as high maintenance as I think my wife is (that will be the subject of another post I swear).  I am not going into details about Day 9, but let's just say that day 9 was a good day indeed.

What does it mean that the day after my experiment ended was the best day in a while, well, I will let you, the faithful reader be the judge of that...


Things That Are A Husband's Job

I have been wanting to do this list for a while now.  We men get married knowing that we have certain tasks that are ours.  That being said, just because we recognize the fact we have to do them, doesn't mean we like it...

  • Taking Out The Trash : This is the most universal marriage rule I have ever come across.  For whatever reason, wives hate dealing with the trash.  We husbands must respect this rule, and in the words of Nike, "Just Do It." (You don't know how many times I wish I could have used that Nike quote in other posts).
  • Repair Man : I have to be honest here, I am NOT handy when it comes to home improvements.  Your wireless router not working, or your computer has spyware, I am your guy, closest door sticking, not my strong suit.  The key here is to take on what you can, I have friend who brews his own beer and built a bar for his dinning room, he is handy.  But what I do know is to call someone when I can't do it.
  • Warmth Creator : I know I am not talking about being a caring person, I am literally talking about creating warmth on cold nights.  When winter comes around, each evening, in bed I am greeted with ice cubes my wife calls feet.
  • Automobile Errands : Oil changes, tire rotations, other maintenance is something we men normally do.  Simply trade cars with the wife and get it handled.  The worst part of this job is the waiting, but we men do it, cause let's face it, a car repair person is less likely to try to screw over a guy, sad but true.
  • Home Protector : If there is a strange noise, we are the ones who must check it out.  Not the worst job in the world and most men take on this job gladly, just a matter of fully waking us up ladies!
I know this list is incomplete.  Feel free to put some other examples in the comments section.


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