Friends with Benefits

Ahhh, the ever-famous, bewildering concept of “a friend with benefits” has haunted our youthful society for decades now.  The idea you can have a friend, add sex to the mix and keep emotional attachment out of it is paradoxical enigma (big words ;).  I can’t imagine it is possible for this to be a healthy practice.  Or can it?   My husband is my friend and we certainly have “benefits”…so essentially, my hubby is “my best friend with benefits”.

At the core of my relationship with the hubs are two things- our friendship with God and our friendship with each other.  I love hanging out with him because we have so much fun together. He makes me laugh harder than anyone I know.  He is simply the coolest person to be around.  We just get each other… and the “benefits” are simply wonderful.  But that’s just it- they wouldn’t be as wonderful if we didn’t have that friendship.

Physical intimacy without emotional and spiritual intimacy with your partner can harm rather than enhance your relationship.  Don’t be afraid to make this a “non-negotiable” when it comes to your relationship(s).  Regardless of your status-married, dating, single- require you and your partner to be “friends with benefits”.  Trust me, it is SOOOO worth it.

Blissful Lovin,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

I Wish I Knew…

Picture courtesy of Word Art World

The other day, I found myself admiring my husband. Of course, he didn’t know…as a matter of fact, as he reads this he probably wants to crawl under a rock and hide; but the truth is- Yes, I was secretly looking at him and admiring his beauty-inside and out. My whimsical brain took me to a place where I rarely visit these days- my teenage years.

I sat there and thought about myself in middle and high school and while I knew we weren’t ready to meet back then, it would have been fun to have him as a high school boyfriend. We would have gone to prom together and to the movies on a Friday night. I would have gone to his baseball games and been his biggest fan. We would have done stuff high school kids did and I think it would’ve been fun.

So, since I didn’t know him back then, I decided we would do stuff now that we would have done back then.

Some of the things on my list are:

  •  Act like crazy teenagers and have carefree fun
  •  Kiss and make out like crazy and then force ourselves to not go any further 😉 Maybe…LOL.
  •  I am gonna drag him to my school’s High School Prom- but as chaperones
  •  Share different memories from way back when-good and bad

I guess I will add to my list as I go…It should be fun. I challenge you to try it out!

I am open to suggestions if you all come up with some.

Blissful Living Friends,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

The Art of the Perfect Argument

Picture courtesy of HubPage

The dynamics between man and woman are simply fascinating.  Our personalities, emotions and outlooks can be drastically different and unique; heck, experts even claim we even come from different planets.  So what happens when we don’t see eye to eye- when Mars and Venus collide and form a catastrophic bang?  How do we react when our sensitive side takes hold of our emotions and our peaceful, Zen relationship erupts in an argument?

Here is the thing: We all react differently.  Some of us scream, others ignore, but everyone gets angry.  Even I, your euphoric idealist whose brain houses sugar plums, fairies, and unicorns, understand that sometimes paradise can be rocky.

So how do you maintain the integrity of your relationship, while dealing with the issue at hand?  One word- Respect.  Aretha certainly knew what she was talking about when she belted those infamous lyrics.  No matter how irrational or silly an argument can be, the problem is important to at least one of you.  Therefore make it a learning experience and then make up quickly because that is ‘happily ever after part’ and quite frankly the best part of an argument.

I will give you my list of do’s and don’ts when arguing.  Follow these and I promise the planets will align at a much quicker rate, peace will be restored and your relationship and feelings will remain blissfully intact.

5 Rules for Arguing:

1.       Respect:  You are in a relationship with this person because a level of admiration, adoration and care exists- if not you shouldn’t be in the relationship.  Don’t let those feelings bail the second tension arises.  Maintain the level of respect your partner deserves and in turn he/she should do the same; this especially includes foul language, any derogatory treatment, and nasty name calling.

2.      Understand your Partner:  I am freakishly sensitive.  I have no tolerance for screaming and I get anxiety attacks when people argue around me. This holds true for any form of bickering. Javy knows this. Like me, Javy can’t stand if someone raises his/her voice at him and gets very quiet when something upsets him. We both like living in a Zen-peaceful world and have a relationship that matches that description.

However, because life isn’t always a mirror image of Pleasantville, we recognize sometimes there are disagreements. So we talk things out…rarely let our voices get louder than our “inside voice” (my fellow teachers are nodding at the ‘inside voice’ reference ;)) and respect each other’s ways. Is it easy? NO. But it is necessary and eventually becomes habitual. I love him more than words can describe. Why would I want to hurt him? After all, when you get down to the heart of the disagreement you realize it is just that- two people not seeing eye to eye. So don’t further deepen the rift by attacking your partner’s sensitive trigger points.

3. Do NOT Ignore: One day, sitting in a Marriage and Families course for my minor in Religious Studies, I saw Jesus. LOL, no just kidding. But I did receive one of the most powerful lessons a girl just shy of 21 could learn- “Ignoring someone is a form of control.” I remember sitting there and pondering that statement as I wrote it down. “Ignoring someone is a form of control”. What did this mean?

All those times I had chosen to ignore my parents because they upset me flooded my mind. Followed by the times I ignored my best friend when I felt she did something bad enough to merit my deathly silence. I knew how I reacted when people upset me- I would ignore. My defense mechanism had always been walk away and give the silent treatment. Did this make me a control freak? Perhaps yes, maybe not. But that day changed my relationships forever. I became aware of my bad behavior and how it affected the people I loved most. It didn’t change immediately and sometimes my ugly habit still rears its little head, but now I am conscious of it. I recognize that by ignoring someone or something I am simply trying to have control over it and friends, let me reiterate, you can’t control people or problems.

Rather than giving your partner the silent treatment, force yourself out of your comfort zone and talk it out. Start off by saying something like, “My initial reaction is to not want to talk this out and give you the silent treatment, but I realize that will not fix our problem so can we discuss this?” Remember to replace any explicits you may want to include with sweet words like “Baby, My Love, and Sweetheart” 😉

4. Don’t Invite Technology into It: So much of our world revolves around this new age phenomenon. We are more connected than ever to social media and are a few steps shy of surgically attaching our cell phones to our hips for easier access. Yet, at times we are so totally disconnected with the world around us. This paradox makes it easy to ‘text and fight’ or ‘send an angry e-mail’. Sound familiar? We are emotional creatures and are accustomed to instant gratification and even quicker responses. These factors may drive us to act and react in ways that are simply not healthy for our relationships.

Always remember, words gets minced and lost in translations- I should know, I am a writer. They are also forever…they don’t go away. Whatever you write in a text and/or e-mail will be interpreted by your partner however he or she deems fit and this can cause much pain. Remember: Sticks and Stones may break your bones, but words may break your heart.

5. Alway find a Fair, Quick Solution and APOLOGIZE: Don’t let the argument last too long. I am willing to bet a winning Lotto ticket neither one of you enjoys being bothered or angry. So work through it and come to a fair solution to the problem. Put aside your ego and replace it with your partner’s feelings; after all, that is more important. Give a sincere and genuine apology when necessary and just the same, learn to forgive. None of us are perfect and we all strive to be the best form of ourselves; start with yourself and then your partner.

Blissful Love Friends,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

Meeting the Parents

Our People 😉

The first time I met Javy’s family I was nervous.  Boy was I nervous.  I have always been good with people and I seem to have a way with them…but this was different. I wanted to marry this guy.  I wanted these people to be my peoplemy family– What if they didn’t like me?

Two years ago tomorrow will be the anniversary of us meeting and I have to say it has been as blissful as my relationship with Javy.  However, I am not just talking about his biological family- when I say “family” I am also referring to his work family, his friends, all of ‘his people’.

Meeting the family is always nerve wrecking.  These are your partner’s “people”.  Whether biological or not, there opinion of you matters.  A LOT.  Those ominous questions haunt you- Will they like me? Do I look OK?

You want to make a good impression because you’re really into your partner.  I have a few tips on making a good impression:

  • Bring Something:  I remember on the way to meeting Javy’s family, I begged him to stop at a Windixee to buy his grandmother a potted plant, his mom flowers, and his grandpa lotto tickets.  Was I trying to buy their love?  Yes.  Plain and Simple.  LOL, I wanted to impress them and people love gifts, so why not?  But honestly speaking, by bringing something whether it be a gift, a bottle of wine, a desert you are showing the importance this meeting merits.  Take from the Indians and Pilgrims, always bring something.
  • Be Yourself:  Your guy or girl loves you just the way you are.  They want their family to meet that cool person they have been dating, not a fake.  So make sure you are yourself.  I am willing to bet if you are reading this you are hot, funny, witty, and simply perfect- so you will have no problem rocking it.
  • Don’t Let your Nerves Get the Best of You:  Nerves make you sweat in places I would rather not mention. They make your voice hit a pitch you really don’t recognize and sometimes they make you say things that just aren’t you.  So relax, breathe easy and just be you.

Meeting the parents is a significant step in your relationship.  It is important to make a great impression, but don’t be fake.  You have one shot at making a first impression and what better way to do it than to be yourself.  Trust me, all they want more than anything is for their son or daughter to be loved and respected, so if you do that then you are a shoe in…Unless they are crazy, but that is a totally different article. 😉

Blissful Love,
Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

P.S. Kudos to Mama Kats who was the inspiration behind this entry.  Please feel free to share your stories…I would love to hear them! 😉

Girl Humor vs. Guy Humor

Photo courtesy of Alina M. Photography

Picture the Scene:  I am cooking a delicious, aromatic, sure to be tasty dinner for the hubs and me, while in the background my sensitive, big-hearted, teddy-bear-of-a-husband is watching TV.  Lovely isn’t it?  I hear him laugh and it warms my tummy; until I realize what exactly he finds so hysterically funny:  good-natured, wholesome, moral-driven shows like Family Guy and South Park.    Sound familiar?

Growing up with a jock for a brother and several boy cousins, I learned at a young age:  The cruder, raunchier, and more immature something is the heartier they will laugh, at times even being brought to tears by said vulgarities.  There exist a valid and very real difference between what girls find funny and what guys find to be quality entertainment.

So how to deal with this conundrum of an issue when it arises in your relationship?  Ladies, you may not like this but the answer is- “Let it go!”  Let’s face it, we find our men sexy whether they cry in The Notebook or laugh at Brian and Stewie partaking in wildly inappropriate activities for a dog and a baby.  One of the many things that sets them apart from us girls is exactly that- their sense of humor.

I adopted the theory, “If you can’t beat ‘em-join ‘em”.  So now I sometimes sit and watch unrefined and outlandish TV with my husband and in return he watches The Bachelorette with me.  We found a balance that works for us and I won’t lie, there is something to those man-shows…they can be quite hilarious at times ;).

Blissful Laughing Friends,

Nicki G. The Blissful Wife

Let’s Hear it for the Nice Guys

 The Nice Guys in My Life photo courtesy of Alina M. Photography 

I have several guilty pleasures:  wedding shows, cooking, blogging, Broadway, wine and wait for it- The Bachelorette.  Yes, people.  I am slightly obsessed with this cheesy, sometimes-fake, always entertaining Monday treasure of a program.  It started in my single years as a girls’ night favorite where there were plenty of fabulous girlfriends sitting around the TV with wine, champagne, and great food along for the ride.  It has since evolved.  Monday night this is the hubs and my ritual.   Don’t be quick to pull his Man-Card people; he is so secure in his masculinity he can tolerate this dose of Estrogen-infused Crack and at times finds it quite entertaining.  Plus, dating/marrying me EQUALED watching this show; so he was essentially stuck with it and me ;).

Like in the world we live in, you can imagine there is always an incessant battle between Good and Evil…in other words- The Nice Guys vs. The Bad Boys.  Often the bad boys make the audience at home cringe and want to throw the media source, i.e. TV, displaying their volatile ways and crazy good looks out a five story balcony.  Yet, the Bachelorette is always smitten; always falling for their sinister egos, flashy smiles, and sweet nothings.  All the while, the genuinely good guys with hearts of gold and equally deliciously handsome looks sit in the background, once again coming in last to the jerks.  Until this Monday.

I am proud to say that while the Bachelorette, Emily Maynard was initially fooled by Ryan– the eternal bad boy with a narcissistic ego the size of Canada- she sent him packing this past week during a one-on-one date- the worst place not to get a rose.  This sparked an interesting conversation about the topic at hand.  Do nice guys actually come in last?

The hubs and I talked a while and came to the conclusion that yes-sometimes the nice guys come in last; but eventually the planets once again align and the angels smile down and good wins out.  So it must be said, it doesn’t matter who is in the lead throughout the entire race, what matters is who takes a last minute dash and crosses the finish line first- The Nice Guys- because in the end they make the best friends, dads, husbands, men.

So today friends let’s give a huge shout out to the Nice Guys- their humble, good-natured ways deserve it!

Blissful Yours,

Nicki G. The Nice Girl who Married a Nice Guy

First Dates

First dates are always a painfully nerve-wrecking.  The hours leading up to the date are filled with all types of “what ifs” and “should I” questions.  “What if he is a serial killer who is setting me up to be his next prey?”  “Should I wear this outfit with those shoes?”  As the clock ticks towards the eminent hour, butterflies permanently house themselves in your tummy and then it happens…you meet.   2 things could happen-you want to run for the hills or you want to dash to the altar. 

2 years ago today was my first date with the man who I just woke up next to this morning…the man who I knew back then I would marry.   I had my fair share of running- for-the-hills moments…Heaven knows I was the eternal first dater.  But this last time was my time…I would no longer have any more first dates…and I went out with a bang. 

Both being avid sports fans, Javy and I decided to go see the Florida Marlins, recently re-named the Miami Marlins.  Since my best friend, and later my bridesmaid, worked for the Marlins organization, we were able to get onto the field and do a meet-and-greet with all the ball players.  An hour into our first date, I knew this guy was different.  He was unassuming, yet had such a presence.  He was kind, gentle, witty, and so handsome. 

Shortly after we enjoyed our time on the diamond, we ventured upstairs to the main deck where we were waiting for the game to begin.  Little did we know our laughter and chemistry had caught someone’s attention.  Stephanie, a Marlins Promotional Relations employee, came up to us with a once in a lifetime offer-upgrading our seats to the Founders’ Box and enter us into a “Ford Black Dot Homerun” contest.  The gist:  If any of the Marlin players hit a homerun striking the black dot in center field, we would win a Ford F150…the one catch, we had to appear on the Jumbotron. 

We didn’t win the truck that night, but we both suspected life was about to seriously change.  After walking me to my car, Javy told me to drive safely and please call him when I arrived home.  I went home in a daze…butterflies, smiles, and the occasional giddy “laugh out loud” moments occurred throughout the drive.  I knew at that moment I would marry this man…no doubt about it.  That quick call lasted over two hours and the following morning I had an invitation to come hang out with him at the beach. 

A year and half later, I walked down the aisle and married the best man I know.  Please use this as a forum to share your worst and your best first dates! 

Picture courtesy of Alina M. Photography

 

 

Spread the Love

Today is the prefect day to spread some amor!

5 Ways to Show Someone You Love them Today:

  • Write a love note…love text…love e-mail… to your beloved
  • Say it with Lyrics!  Dedicate a love song to your favorite person.
  • Serve your Honey with a super sweet action- be it a soothing massage or whipping up a yummy dinner…maybe even doing a load of laundry…give your sweet a break.
  • Share a special memory with your love.
  • Invent a romantic holiday just for today…then celebrate it from here on out.

If your rocking the single life, then show your special love to whoever you love…friends, family, strangers…anyone who can use it.

Blissful Loving,

Nicki G.

Clear…Blue What!?!?

I am sure you can all relate to the following scenarios:

When you’re single- society asks, “When are you going to get a boyfriend/girlfriend?”–as if you have the ability to will Mr. or Mrs. Right into being.

When you finally enter into a relationship, your parents and friends start asking, “When are you going to get married?”–as if you can will a ring to appear on your delicately eager right hand.

Once you marry…your grandparents start asking, “When are you going to give me great-grand babies?”

…Do you see where I am going with this?  I’m willing to wager a hefty sum on the fact that we have all had to dodge these questions at one point or another.

Of course, the hubs and I are often asked when will we welcome our bundle of joy into this world… It seems Molly Marie, our precious four-legged daughter, isn’t quite enough for most.

Let me give you a disclaimer: We WANT children.  We LOVE children.  WE ARE JUST NOT READY FOR THEM…YET.

Well, upon arriving home from our blissful honeymoon in St. Lucia a very interesting episode in the life of this blissful wife occurred.

Now, I am not often a late sleeper… I am more of a rise and shine type of girl….but coming home after the honeymoon, I was tired and VERY, VERY sleepy. I truly didn’t think anything much about it, other than the wedding stresses finally catching up with me and my body needing an intense vacation from being a bride.

So, on Day 8 of my blissful marriage, the hubs and I needed to make a quick run to Publix to purchase a few things for that evening’s dinner. We strategically planned our supermarket sweep and agreed he would man the car so we wouldn’t have to lose time searching for parking and I would make the swift purchases.

I left the car a happy, carefree, girl-on-a-grocery-mission. I returned a nervous-oh-my-we-may-be-pregnant mess with a pregnancy test in hand. Again, I WANT TO BE A MOM…Just not yet.

You may be wondering what happened to get me in this state. Well, as I quickly shopped the aisles, I shared a conversation with my wonderful mother-in-law. In passing, I mentioned my newly-adopted odd sleeping habits and she suddenly asked in her sweet, gentle way,”Nicki, are you sure you’re not pregnant?”

Oh. My. Gosh. No. I can’t be with-child. I mean, technically-yes…we did have an amazing honeymoon…but no this just can’t be. We want to save money. We want to travel. We want to enjoy each other. Suddenly what’s for dinner wasn’t occupying my mind, rather how the hell to perfectly aim pee on a stick was. My husband, on the other hand, was incredibly zen and calm. He looked at his crazy new wife with such peace it only concerned me more.

Sleepless nights, private school tuition, and dirty diapers crowded my brain as the longest 5 minutes of my life slowly ticked away. Then, something odd occurred. I thought of sweet baby coos, unconditional love for a human created out of pure love, and baby names began to dance in my head. The zen-feeling Javy exhibited slightly took hold of my accelerated heart beat and I began to think of our baby.

Eventually, the test revealed a minus sign, indicating I was in fact a tired bride, not a future blissful mommy. I was oddly sad, yet slightly relieved. God knew we weren’t quite ready for a baby and this false alarm was just a reminder of that.

I know one day, sooner than later, we will welcome babies into this crazy world. I know we will be amazing, self-less, sacrificial parents, just like our moms and dads are…and I know the timing will be right…even if it’s not…because God will be in charge.

Happy Timing

Picture credited of The Giggling Truckers Wife

Time is what we want most, but what we use worst~ William Penn

I guess it is appropriate to write about “time management” since I have taken a three-day hiatus.
I sincerely apologize for that and please allow me to explain.  Today is the last day of school! Woohoo!  School = Work…so this is a very positive thing.  However, the end of the year always brings stresses and tasks that require an effective way to manage your time.  Sometimes we are good at this and sometimes we just aren’t.

I can attest to this.

However, this skill is essential to our lives and our relationships.  Like the quote says- time is what we want most, but we use worst.

So, let’s change that.

I always feel guilty when I rob the ones I love the most of my time.  In particular, my husband.  Not only do I miss him terribly when said actions occur, but I feel like a “bad wife”.  Monday I spent the entire night grading papers.  Sure, he was right next to me and we watched TV, but my mind just “wasn’t there”…we do that, you know?  Physically we are there, but mentally we are somewhere else.

You don’t have to be in a relationship to fall into this “we-don’t-have-enough-time-to-live-the-way-we-want-to” rut.  We give the world around us more time than we give ourselves and our loved ones.  Today I come with a hefty challenge for you-Create Time!!! Or better yet, use the time you currently have better.  This has to be a committed choice because it is certainly a difficult task.  There are moments when we simply can’t help it, hence my hiatus…but more often than not, there is room for a better use of our time- think time wasted on Facebook, Gossip, and my personal favorite- having to do things more than once because I rushed through something the first time.

So friends, happy timing…literally! Enjoy your loved ones and yourself more today!