Here we are again……Monday. WOW, I’m still coming off a high from last night! The jewelry collection launch was CRAZY AMAZING!! Thank you all for the excitement. I could have never dreamed they would go that fast! Not to worry, I will be doing another run. Just hang tight while I figure out all the details. If those little fingers weren’t so fast, you can add yourself to the wish list at the bottom of the page by clicking here.
Last month, in preparation for Valentines’s Day, I asked you guys if you had any questions about love + marriage? And boy, did those emails ever start flying in. They now have a dedicated folder on my computer called “February Love”. I certainly don’t have all the right answers. I’m still figuring it out daily, but I will clue you in on a few things I’ve learned thus far. Things I repeat to myself daily and the rules I live by.
IF YOU WANT IT, MAKE THE INVESTMENT
Here’s the deal. Men are very simple creatures. Let’s don’t over think it. They need FOOD + SEX + TO FEEL LOVED. And not necessarily in that order. Now, let me just start by saying I’m a 50’s wife at heart. Some of you may find what I’m saying to be sexist or generationally extinct. But these are all cues I took early on, from the women before me. Women that have strong marriages. Are happy. Are fulfilled. Feel empowered. Walk with confidence. Are treated with respect. Loved. Raised good kids. Kept it real, and laughed along the way. I soaked it all in and wanted the same. So here I am….. 25 and about to get married. Now what? My girlfriends had different view points on relationships. Marriages around me didn’t follow the same rules, and seemed to just be going through the motions. Was everyone truly happy? Was this just what happens after years of being with the same person? Whatever it was, I wanted more. I didn’t want the butterflies to go away. I made up my mind that day, that I wouldn’t let them fly away. My marriage IS a priority. Just like anything else, it takes work. Isn’t it worth the investment?
A WISE WOMAN ONCE SAID
Jolene is my grandmother. She once was a blue eyed 17 year old catholic girl raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She fell in love with a 19 year old hunk with brown eyes in the spring of 1949. He proposed and she hid the ring from her family for months. But during that time she worked on embroidering the collar of a blouse each night, with a flashlight under her sheets. The one she would wear when they eloped. On Sunday, December 18th, 1949 along side their friends, they drove across the state line into Tupelo, Mississippi and said I do. Months went by and Earl couldn’t keep the secret any longer, he wanted to be with his new bride. One afternoon he slipped the marriage certificate inside her mother’s book. She turned to that page and the certificate fell out. She looked at him and called Jolene’s father. Let’s just say, they moved in together that day. A modest tin house with two rooms, no indoor bathroom, but they were in love. Big time.
Fast forward. Together they’ve created 68 amazing years of marriage + three homes + four kids + seven grandchildren + 8 great grandchildren and countless memories. They are still going strong. Still holding hands. Still kissing goodbye. Still very much in love. They are what I wanted. I’ve been lucky enough to witness their love story. She’s said some things over the years that have just resonated with me. I chat with them weekly, and last week was especially sweet to have them both on the phone sharing their tidbits about marriage and what has worked for them for almost 70years. They have a real American love story and I continue to take pages from their book.
JOLENE’S WORDS OF WISDOM
KISS THEM WHEN THEY’RE SWEATY
It’s never gross. They’ve been working hard for you. Let them know you appreciate them, with a kiss on their neck and tight squeeze. No matter how dirty they are.
ALWAYS HOLD HANDS
It’s that touch that helps you stay connected. It let’s them know you’re there. A simple touch can do wonders for a marriage. Even if you brush their shoulder as you walk by.
NEVER GO TO BED MAD
This can be a hard one, but is so important. Communication is key. Admit when you are wrong. Be a good listener. Put yourself in their shoes. Remember, it’s okay not to be right.
DO THINGS FOR ONE ANOTHER
Want to take care of each other. He still gets her coffee every morning. She makes sure he has what he needs, before she gets her own. He starts her shower. She brings him the paper. It’s these simple gestures that let’s the other person know, you care and don’t mind putting them first.
Think of each others feelings. Do things you don’t necessarily want to do. If she wants to go shopping, then go. If he has a work dinner that you’re invited to, and it’s the last thing you want to do, go anyway. Being there for each other is part of the deal. Support in a marriage is crucial.
A FEW RULES I LIVE BY
#1 NEVER SAY NO
You may not be in the mood. You may not be feeling sexy. Luckily men don’t see our flaws and imperfections. We really are our own worst critics. The things we don’t like, are often times what they love the most. Don’t put yourself down in front of them. Don’t call out what hate about your body. Love yourself, they do. Go with it, relax and enjoy the intimacy. It’s one of those things..the more you do it, the more you’ll love it. It’s one of the simple things that seem to help make other parts of your marriage work better. It’s not just sex. It’s the connection.
#2 MAKE DINNER
He works hard all day. Sitting down to have dinner together is very important to me and a huge deal to my family. We look forward to that time together. I believe having dinner ready when he comes home from work is a priority. It doesn’t necessarily need to be fancy or straight out the pages of a cookbook. The sheer fact that you thought to have a meal prepared means the most. It’s like celebrating his home coming. Some days it might be a can of soup and a turkey sandwich. The point is that you thought about it and put forth the effort. I cook Monday through Thursday and Friday we go out. You remember the old saying…a way to a mans heart is through his stomach. Truth be told.
#3 PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER
I might look like the hot mess most of the day. Chances are I’m still running around in my own sweat till 4 PM. I typically only get to shower and put real clothes on twice a week. Whateves. But I DO take 10 minutes to pull myself together before he walk through that door. Often times it’s a mad dash when I hear the garage door open. Sometimes it means putting makeup on top of sweat. Adding a little lipgloss or changing your shirt. Putting fourth the effort and looking presentable when he walks through that door is a must for me. I’ve never let the rush of those early dating feelings go. Don’t let yourself go. Be the girl he married. When you take the time, he will too. Remember, you should want to look and feel good for each other.
#4 DON’T BITCH ABOUT THE KIDS
Nobody wants to hear that as soon as they walk through the door, not after a long day. The LAST thing he wants to be hit with is how Timmy didn’t nap and Susie spilled her drink at lunch. Woman up. Yes, it’s crappy and it almost brought you to tears, but it’s #momlife and it’s what we do. Bite your tongue. It’s our job. We can bitch to our girlfriends. By all means, DO THAT. You need to in order to keep your sanity. Chances are he’s not going to come home a tell you how Bill didn’t have the bid back on time and Martin pissed him off during the meeting. So, do what you can to keep that façade of having it together. You got this. If you MUST, let him walk through the door, eat dinner and then hit him with it later.
#5 A TIDY HOUSE
Listen, it’s a thankless job, with no pay. And picking up after people is NO FUN. As a matter of fact, it’s all I do. But in the same breath, I run a tight ship and since my kids have gotten older they’ve become quite helpful, or they know I’ll go mommy dearest on them is a hot minute. Either way, everyone has a job around here. I don’t know what it is, but there is some part of me that wants everything to be picked up and in its place before he gets home from work. It’s amazing what you can do in 20 minutes. It should be a place he wants to come home to. We all need a place that is calm, and somewhat in order. It’s a crazy world out there. Let home be your place of peace.
#6 DATE YOUR HUSBAND
This is VERY important. Something we vowed to do from day one. It happens weekly. It’s definitely been postponed from time to time. Whether it’s been because one of us is traveling, a sick child or the babysitter cancels last minute. All sorts of things have tried to get in our way, but no matter what, we’ve kept a standing date night for almost 15 years. Even if it meant starting our ‘date’ at home after the kids went to bed. Whatever the circumstances, it’s important that we get that time together. Just him and I. Most weeks we pick our favorite spot or try a new restaurant that’s all the rage. Maybe even grab a movie if we’re not too tired. It’s an opportunity to wear that new shirt, he shaves and I lay on that eyeliner just a little bit thicker. The kids don’t cry when we leave, they never have. They’ve all always known the importance of our relationship and I believe it’s important to lay down those foundations early on. It doesn’t have to cost money or be elaborate. It’s often times as simple as picking up a Publix sub and eating it on a park bench. We’ve even gone grocery shopping, alone. I have to tell you, that’s kind of nice. The importance of it all, is blocking off that time in your schedule for one another. It is necessary and should be a priority. No talk of the kids. Instead, try starting a conversation with, remember when we….
#7 HE’S MY NUMBER ONE
I once sat bouncing my 10 month old baby girl on my knee while watching an episode of Oprah. This show was titled, I love my husband more than my kids. It was an article written in the New York Times. As you can imagine, it caused quite an uproar. I felt this way. Was it wrong to feel this way? How was this audience full of husbands and wives going to react? They were divided into two sides. 100 women that felt that way on one side, and 100 women that love their children more than their husbands on the other side. I was intrigued. The author explained her feelings and viewpoint on Oprah. How she always valued her husband and that he was her rock. He was number one in her life. It wasn’t that she loved her children any less, it was a different kind of love and that he would always be a priority. It’s like she took the thoughts right out of my head. It was on that day that this 27-year-old girl realized that it was okay to put him first. And that my kids were going to be okay and not feel any less loved. I’ve continued to say that out loud and proud over the years. You can imagine the reaction you get when saying that to a group of women. Some of them look at you in disgust and their reactions are quite interesting. I never backpedaled or felt the need to explain myself to them. This ist ruly how I feel. He is the reason I have these beautiful children, and he was here first. He is my rock and I will not be ashamed to say that. My children are well aware and secure. They realize the importance of our relationship and how it provides a beautiful and happy environment for them to grow up in. It’s especially important to lay this foundation when raising a daughter. I want to seek out a partner that treats her with the same respect and love. While it’s just as important for my son to witness. Teaching him how to treat a woman and how to be a great man. Whenever I come across a young woman about to be married, and she asks for any pieces of advice, my answer is to always put your relationship on a pedestal. It’s very easy to let that slip that to the side once children come into the picture. Remember, one day they will move away and you’ll be standing there looking at that someone you haven’t really seen in 20 years. Keep feeding your union and it will continue to reward you.
DON’T GET ME WRONG
There will be times when the above just doesn’t work. That’s ok. That’s life. But I do my best to stick to these 7 rules. Why? Because they work for me. They work for us. Like I said above, they may sound like something that your mother read out of a Dear Abby column and will make most feminist wanna gag, but I do believe these ways of thinking are a lost art. Let me be clear, I’m not going to just give, give, give and not expect the same respect and care in return. That’s just it. We are a team and he does all the same for me. It’s a beautiful game of give and take. I’ve shared this exact advise with my own girlfriends, because they’ve asked. Wanting to know how WE do it? How are we still this happy after being together that long? (25 years) Why does he still look at you that way? How do you get him to help around the house? Well, I shared, they listened, and often times came back to tell me how these simple tweaks made other aspects of their marriage better. Give it a try. Isn’t your marriage worth it?
This was just the reminder that I needed… THANK YOU! I live a blessed life and sometimes its hard to not get caught up in "small stuff" i.e. like my kids acting terrible:( Sometimes I need perspective, and I’m gonna save this one.
THANK YOU for writing this! Yes to everything. I am old-fashioned too and I feel like that’s an unpopular stance in this day and age. I never want the magic of my marriage to end and even though I’ve only been married 3 years now, I follow pretty much all of these rules and they haven’t let me down.
This is awesome. And so brave. I know SO many people who don’t/won’t do this or even say it. I live by these rules "most" of the time (didn’t know I did until I read this, but I do.) I actually don’t think its anti-feminist at all. In fact, I find it empowering to be this person to someone. AND he does amazing things for me in different ways. Its a give and take and both of us give 110% in what we do. It works for us and I’m proud of it. THANK YOU FOR THIS BRAVE AND AWESOME… Read more »
Couldn’t agree more…all of it. I’m so happy to see someone talk like this loud + proud.
Love this post.❤We are also high school sweethearts and follow similar rules. The kids (4, 2 & 2 months) are really good at a 10 minute pick up right before he walks in the door. We always turn on pandora (Bootstraps, Ben folds, Jack Johnson some of our favorites that time of day) and light a candle. Its unusually calm and always my favorite part of the day.
Yes!! We’ve been married 34 years and live by these rules.. most of the time! People often ask what our secret is and this is it to a T!!
Landyn- The honesty of this post is so inspiring! Thank you for all of the simple reminders, great way to start my day! Congrats on the jewelry collection launch, you killed it girl!!!
Landyn – thank you for writing this. As a married (18 years) mother of two teenagers, I couldn’t agree more. I work outside of our home and it’s especially difficult to "do it all". That’s why I don’t. My husband shares in the responsibilities, we have a partnership, and we put each other first. I try to cook 3 nights a week, while he’s running the kids to practices etc. and we too have date nights as often as we can. Making each other a priority has always been our goal!
Wonderfully written! Such a nice reminder for me to do better at a couple of things. I too am a 50’s wife at heart and feel so many just don’t get it. Ten years of marriage and we are still so happy and I believe a great deal of that is due to the same 7 things you speak of.
And congratulations on the jeweler launch and sellout! Keep up the great work Landyn! You inspire us all to keep going and working hard for our passions!
Landyn! I love this. I just celebrated 20 years of marriage in October, and I couldn’t agree with you more! We are raising two teenage sons, (one who happens to be named Landon 🙂 ), which isn’t an easy feat, while both having busy careers. Although I live by these rules most of the time, it’s always a great reminder! Thank you for a great start to the week! Congrats on your jewelry collection! Looking forward to receiving my Landyn Stack!
Landyn, I absolutely loved reading this post! My husband and I are high school sweethearts as well, our 3rd anniversary is coming up next month. I still feel so new to marriage itself, and love hearing advice on how to keep the love going for years to come. All of your marriage "rules" are so honest and raw, and I can’t say how much that means to someone who has only been married for a few years. Thanks for being so real about everything!!
Landyn! I needed this! This is beautiful! No marriage is perfect, but this is great advice to get as close to it as you can! I’m totally bookmarking this for those tough times to remind me what marriage is all about.
God put this post on my feed today – this was the best wake up call and exactly what I need! I’m sitting here staring at my six week old daughter and seeing how easy a first child can consume your world! The love you feel for her is surreal…But I couldn’t have done any of it or gotten through the tough times without my hubby! Choosing to put him first right now! Thank you for being bold and staying true to the accurate concept of marriage.
Landyn-you’re beautiful-your words, thoughts, efforts and actions. Thanks for sharing your core values openly in a world that doesn’t particularly value, well values. I was given similar advice when we married 11 years ago and admittedly have let it slip. Thanks for the reminder. He is my #1 and my kids are better in seeing that. Love what you do.
Thank you! Reading this was a welcomed breath of fresh air. I’m a marriage and family therapist. So many couples I see are in a constant power struggle. When women respect and empower their husbands in turn, they receive an outpouring of love!! It works every time. I wish more people would take relationship advice from their grandmothers…or you! 💋
Hi Landyn-I enjoyed reading your post, very beautiful words to live by. My husband and I have been married for 38 years and have 3 children and 5 grandkids and are still going strong! Our shared Catholic faith has been a very important part of our marriage as well! Thank you for your beautiful words!
Smart girl! Couldn’t agree more. I watch so many couples that work hard but are not a team. Kids getting everything they want, doing every activity, mom’s burning themselves out for their kids….and the kids aren’t expected to help out with anything, not a dish, emptying trash, nothing. Then they wonder why they have no connection with hubby. Thanks for the great post!
Truly words to live by! Thank you!!
How refreshing and surprising to read your heartfelt words. I have always felt the same way and honestly haven’t had one girlfriend in my life who felt the same way. It is a lost value in our culture. I give the same advice to my daughter and son. It doesn’t always work, and its not always rainbows, but being married 24 years and still going strong is worth every ounce of energy put in. Just another reason to love Landyn. 🙂
Your are wise beyond your years. You summed it up perfectly and I
could not agree more. Prayers to grandma!!!
3 words: favorite post e v e r !
thank you for the amazing advice, most of which are some of my own rules, too! xo.
You are my favorite blogger and this is my most favorite post! This is exactly how a marriage should be! Thank you for sharing your heart with us all and for always being so real and honest. We’re celebrating our 8 yr Anniversary next week and this was such a good reminder!
I loved this post! I would describe myself as a feminist and couldn’t agree more 🙂 You will get out of your relationship what you put in. Also, your grandma is goals!
Every great marriage has a great formulaChrist is at the center,the marriage is the priority,and children are welcomed and nurtured.We have been married 45 years and and know this is truth! With out God helping and living with us in the center we would not have MADE it! Your 7 rules are really really good and is good advise for sure! Thank you for sharing to so many! I really love your blog and Instagram . Brings joy to my life! May you know God in your marriage in a deep way. He will always be there for you though… Read more »
WONDERFUL article Landyn!! Friends often observe that my husband and I have something "unique" or "special". While I can attribute some of that to us simply being a great "fit"…I can say we’ve lived out a lot of the above principals. The proof is in the pudding! Happy and fulfilled. Sadly, that is not common these days. Thank you for putting yourself out there, and putting pen to paper, the principals I’ve strived for but never always put my finger on!
This is really impactful Landyn…it really is about being thoughtful and kind to the person you love. This is also a great reminder. This is your best post! Well done!
As I prepare for marriage this June, this post is everything! Thank you for being so open and honest.
Loved this post…I agree with you 1000%. I too have benefited from learning of marriage and love through my parents and grandparents long and loving relationships. Loved your beautiful post. I am on my 21st year of marriage and could not have summarized all that is important to me any better than you have. LOVE LOVE your blog!
I love all of this advice. And I will say, even as a feminist I agree with these feelings and rules. My husband is so considerate of my feelings and love, and I believe it’s because I show him the same consideration and love. 50/50. We are a team. I know if I make the effort he will too. 🙂
No hate, but these tips seem to seem to be outdated (as you noted in your intro). I’m an attorney at an international law firm. I make the exact same amount of money my husband does (he’s also an attorney in "Big Law"). Some of these tips just aren’t realistic for a modern couple. We’ve been together nine years, and for us, it’s all about the strong friendship we’ve always had. Demand more, ladies! You don’t have to serve your man. He’s your partner, not your master.
Agreed. My husband is a much better cook than me anyways.
I agree with each tip, Landyn! 22 years of marriage has proven success and validity. I don’t feel submissive at all. I feel appreciated for being a woman and acting like one. I want my husband to be and act like a man. Why should there be any embarrassment associated with that? It’s a perfect balance and the way God intended.
PREACH! Beautifully said and Beautifully written. I couldn’t agree more. We celebrate 20 years of marriage this June. Thankful and Blessed. Marriage is an amazing journey to walk together. Thank you for penning this and sharing it. xo,
I love the idea of focusing on each other’s needs and keeping your marriage front and center. Thank you for that important reminder – it gets buried so easily in the hustle and bustle of daily life. I do think these tips assume that the family dynamic includes a stay-at-home wife and mother, and that is not economically realistic for many (or most?) families. I have been married for ten years, and we both have careers that we love. Maybe the 1950’s mentality would look down on that. In any event, our relationship requires much more partnership when it comes… Read more »
I KNOW ALL OF THESE THINGS, LANDYN! But dang, it’s hard to do. Hate cooking dinner, date night seems impossible, never say no (but I’m sooo tired!), cleaning is the WORST, etc. The one thing you sparked in me with this post is that it’s not about how I feel, but how I want others to feel. What we put out there is what we get back.There is a fine line between taking care of me and being selfish and I need to do a better job of taking care of my husband. Thanks for this great post and for… Read more »
Yes, Preach it Sister!
My Husband and I are coming up on 19yrs of marriage this August.
I’m in complete agreement Its about all the little things you mentioned that communicate:
We are in this together.
We are on the same team!
Lets GO team!
and…let’s GO Landyn, Steve & the LWL Team!!!
We applaud you both!
Be blessed from knowing you are loved and admired.
All the best,
My favorite post! And all of it is so true. ❤️
These are all really awesome but make me feel really inadequate as a working mom because i’m not able to do most of these 🙁 I’m glad these have worked for you and you have a loving marriage, that’s a really special thing, so go YOU!
Thank you Landyn! I’m a young mom of four kids (7,6,4,2) and I don’t have to tell you how much the little years can be a challenge for a husband and wife. I have learned over time and committed to, in our 13 years of marriage, the same rules you have expressed. I value our marriage above all else and I am encouraged by your post to stay committed and to keep lovin’ on him with all I got. I thank you that you shared a look into your life and what you value most and your honesty that it’s… Read more »
This is my testimony about the good work of a man who helped me..My name is CAROLINE WAYNE. and I am based in NEW YORK , USA. My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me with our three children. I felt like my life was about to end,and was falling apart. Thanks to a spell caster called papa Justus who i met online. On one faithful day, as I was browsing through the internet, I was searching for a good spell caster that can solve my problems. I came across series of testimonies about this… Read more »
Where has this advise been all my life!?!? Met my husband in in high school – February 1998, married June of 2002. Raising 3 boys and running his business have all taken priority in our lives. Not any more. Seriously, no one has ever said it so simply, yet so truthfully to me. THANK YOU!!!! I run each day not knowing what to get done, while he busts his hump providing for us. Today it changes, and I am greatly looking forward to making this change FOR US. Back to the 50s, I love it!!!
Love, love this! Thanks for the reminder. Taking care of one another should be on the top of our list.
I LOVE THIS!!! ALL OF IT! Thank you for sharing!
Omg!!! Love love love love this!!! Totally hit home with me. Love that I have this to always look back on. Posted it to my Facebook so I can find it easy. Haha thank you so much for sharing this with us. You are a rock star mama.
You sure know how to make me smile! Thank you Serina, I live by this and it is something that is so dear to my heart!
This list is exactly how I watched my mom be as I grew up. My parents have been happily married for 54 years and I truly believe this is why. She taught me exactly all the things you listed and I am implementing what I can in my serious dating relationship and will implement all of them when I am married because of the importance of all of it to have a happy, fulfilled marriage. I’d rather have others around me make fun of me for wanting an old fashioned 50’s wife type marriage then the unhappy messes that most… Read more »
Right on!!! 👏🏻👏🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻❤️
Well Said…Thanks for sharing!
So awesome and i love to hear your relationship advice!! Thank you
Love sharing it! Xx