16 habits of strong relationships

Today, or yesterday, or possibly even Tuesday, marked the 18th anniversary of my and my husband’s very first date. It was my sorority hayride/date party and the reason we can’t remember the exact date is because we’re old and we have no recollection of whether the hayride happened on a Friday or Saturday and when I asked on Facebook last year, no one else could remember either. So we picked the general time frame and rolled with that. 

Over the last 18 years, I’ve learned more than I ever thought possible about being in a relationship with someone (the first: never assume the boyfriend you have your sophomore year of college won’t turn out to be your husband). I’ve shared a bunch of those before but I felt it was time to update that original list with a few more. 

    • Laugh. At yourselves, at each other, at other people. Doesn’t matter. Just take the time to laugh.
    • Keep private things private. Facebook is not the place to air your relationship dirty laundry. Keep that shit locked down.


    • Learn about your partner’s hobbies. Even if they bore the shit out of you. It doesn’t mean you have to like the same things but showing an interest in what they like is respectful and makes incessant conversations about them less intolerable. And you may find they’re not as terrible as you thought.
    • Have some secrets. Not about big things like debt or an unhealthy addiction but small things like bathroom habits or nose picking. A little mystery is just fine.
    • Don’t fight about money. I know that money is a leading cause of divorce and all that, but if you can learn to deal with it and talk about it civilly, it will have a huge impact on your relationship.
    • Separate Netflix queues. Especially if your taste is awesome and their taste sucks, which is probably the case. But it is equally important to have a few shows you can obsess over together.

  • Try new things together. It can be a new food, a new activity, a new genre of movie, or even socializing with a new group of friends. Having those experiences as a couple can bond you.
  • Take care of each other. This can be a matter of picking up tissues and NyQuil, being a shoulder to cry on or ear to listen to, or simply helping with something mundane like laundry or cooking. But that emotional physical support is key.
  • Embrace quirks. We’ve all got them. Some of us might have more than others. Instead of trying to change the fact that all the hangers have to face the same way or toasted bread has to go in the freezer because the texture of toast is good but the heat is not, just accept it. In fact, the quirks might even make you love the person more (or maybe not. Sometimes they make you run away and that’s okay, too).

new girl

  • Hate the same people. It’s so much easier if you do. 
  • Talk to each other. Even the mundane work shit or annoying client stories or some random fact you heard on a podcast or the news, talk to one another. Sure, the long, in-depth, deep conversations about goals and the future are nice, but every so often, you need to debate the best breakfast cereal or what the hell is going to happen to Juice.
  • Throw out a compliment every now and again. Just to show you’re paying attention, you care, and you want your significant other to feel good.
  • Make time for each other. This goes with #11. You carve out time each week to spend with just your significant other, alone, to do…whatever it is you feel like doing. There are dozens of ways to find time for one another no matter how busy the schedule and doing this reminds you that your relationship is important enough to pause everything else.
  • Don’t compare yourself to other couples. And certainly don’t try to be like them. Every couple is distinctly different and trying to imitate someone can spell disaster for yours. Sure, another couple may have qualities you’d like to have, and that’s something to strive for but never forget what make your relationship unique and why you stay in it in the first place. Work on improving the relationship you’re in by staying true to who you are and what you value.
  • Be yourself. Pretending to be someone you’re not is a surefire way to ruin a relationship, no matter how long you’ve been in it. Yes, you will evolve and some things may change but at your core, you’ll be who you are. Your partner needs to love you that way. Not the way they’d like you to be. 
  • Finally, you know that this truechris rock

Being in a relationship is work. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. But if you’re in the right relationship for you, you won’t mind doing the work. Even on the days you feel like putting your murder plan into action.

resized signature 2

More shit my husband says

I did this post once before as part of Amanda’s now defunct linkup but I love that Steph and Nadine have kept it going so I figured, much like I did with yesterday’s post, that I’d jump on the bandwagon and share with you guys all the shit my husband says. 

If the conversation I highlighted in his favorites post wasn’t a good indicator, let me warn you that my husband says some crazy ass stuff. He’s seriously insane. Most of our conversations end with me saying “what the hell is wrong with you?” because honestly, there has to be something deep in the recesses of his brain that make this shit come out as effortlessly and as often as it does and it probably needs to be fixed but in the meantime, let’s all sit back and enjoy this installment of “Shit My Husband Says?!”

scott says

After opening something way too loudly and way too close to my head:

Me: That was unnecessarily loud.

Husband: So was the Civil War but we got through it.

His enthusiastic support for a movie sequel:

I’m 51% sure I’d support a “White Men Can’t Jump 2″

While listening to Adam Sandler’s “The Goat”:

Me: If the goat is untied, why doesn’t he just run away?

Husband: Where’s he going to go? He clearly has Stockholm Syndrome.

During homework time, when our daughter had to answer a few questions about turtles:

Turtles make lousy carpenters. You rarely hear anyone say that.

As we’re going through our DVR, looking for shows to delete:

Me: You can delete 19 Kids and Counting

Husband: I’d watch 19 Thugs in County. That should be a show.

Randomly one night before bed:

Husband: I want to go to a store and buy all the items typically used to commit crimes. Then I want to go back a few days later to return them and when they ask why, I’ll look at them and say “they got away”.

Me, reaching for a pen and paper because clearly this is one for posterity

Husband: Are you writing this down?

And finally, the other night, after NASA had trouble with a rocket launch and the husband had to take a shit:

NASA might not have launched a rocket tonight but I’m about to.

I don’t know how to end this post because how do you even attempt to summarize this? There’s really no way. But this will do:


Coming up tomorrow: traits of a long lasting relationship, or How I’ve Survived 18 Years With This Guy

resized signature 2


Linking up with Liz

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Things that make me happy

Over the summer, I read Kelli’s post about this and then Kristen did one, too, and it was also a topic for #Blogtober14 and I figured that was enough prompting for me to finally get on the ball and write out my own list. My happiness list.

One thing that you learn from depression is how to appreciate the small facets of life, the seemingly small, insignificant moments or items or actions that make you feel happy. When you’re in that dark place, all you’re doing is looking for a tiny ray of light to make it more bearable; to provide hope that one day, you’ll come out of it and feel as good as you can. And as I’ve been actively working on ways to manage my depression without medication, focusing on the little things that make me happy has become a constant exercise for me (which is basically the only exercise I’ve been doing lately). 

The more I think about it, there more I come up with that makes me happy and give me reason to get out of bed even when I don’t want to:
create sunshine

  • The look on my daughter’s face when she accomplishes something she’s been working on 
  • New books, whether I buy them or get them from the library
  • Finding someone who likes the same books or authors as me
  • Hearing my favorite song on the radio or on Spotify
  • Finally learning the words to a song I couldn’t understand
  • Naps
  • Clean sheets
  • That moment when all the chores are done, all the errands are run, all the food’s been cooked, and I have nothing left to do
  • Crossing items off my to-do list
  • Thinking of new ideas for the blog, my book, or my upcoming podcast and then actually implementing them
  • My dogs. Everything about them. 
  • Seeing my cat comfortable in the house. While I love my dogs, I have a special place in my heart for my cat since I literally rescued her from the street.
  • Finding money I forgot about
  • Trying a new recipe and having it turn out exactly the way I want it to
  • Hot showers
  • New makeup and nail polish
  • Achieving a goal
  • When I’m driving somewhere unpleasant or annoying and a little bit of nature creeps in, like a herd of deer in a field or a rainbow or a sunset
  • Taking the moment to appreciate the aforementioned nature
  • Planning vacations
  • Office supplies
  • The beach
  • Hugs
The snowman has a point.

The snowman has a point.

 What makes you guys happy?

I’ve also written an entire series on ways to feel happier so please check that out if you’re interested. 

resized signature 2


P.S. You know what else makes me happy? Linkups! And Steph and I are hosting one next month! Remember the posts we did earlier in the month, Show Us Your Books? Well, we’ve turned it into a link up and we want you to join us. Whether you’ve read one book or 40, tell us all about it on November 11!

 Life According to Steph

My completely fake and imaginary celebrity dinner party

A few weeks ago, I sent a tweet to Domenick Lombardozzi (who was on The Wire and Breakout Kings, both of which I recommend, and Boardwalk Empire, which I have not watched yet but plan to) where I mentioned that I’d like to sit down and have a beer with him. He just seems like the kind of celebrity you can do that with and I’d definitely like to do that.

But that tweet got me [...] Continue Reading…

Friday Favorites, volume 24

Admittedly, it’s hard to top last week’s favorites because my husband is something else and definitely brings a certain something to the table and he’s very grateful for all the birthday wishes and the great responses to his quasi-guest post (although you might change your mind when you read my upcoming “shit my family says” post). Perhaps that’s why I’ve decided to give the categories a makeover. I tried to keep with the same themes but [...] Continue Reading…