Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Marriage

Revlon decided to conduct a scientific experiment on several real-life couples to see how self-love affected their relationships. 

The experiment’s purpose was to figure out the different ways women open themselves up to love. According to the results, 97% of women had positive results.

First, the couples were asked a series of questions.

How long have you guys been together?

 

Next, all of the couples were separated and asked questions, individually.

What are the first words that come to mind to describe your relationship?

 

What are you the most insecure about?

 

After they were done being asked questions, the women were sent home for a week to try the “Love Test” daily beauty routine that included a ritual that was aimed to open yourself up to loving sometimes the hardest person to love – yourself.

They were then asked back into the BuzzFeed studios, and the changes and energy vibes were so astoundingly different and beautiful! While the women were asked questions, their partners were secretly listening on the other side of the room.

So have you felt differently this week?

The entire video was so positive and uplifting. How often do we get too caught up in the craziness that is motherhood? We barely have time to look in the mirror, let alone compliment ourselves and stay in-tune with our partners. Maybe all we need is to set our alarm three minutes earlier to get up, and tell ourselves we’re beautiful. Because damn! We are.

Having a baby changes everything. You know this when you’re pregnant, but you don’t really know it. I was excited for the change, but little did I know finding time to brush my teeth would be so hard. I’m ashamed to say that for a few weeks, once a day was all I could manage. I never saw the light at the end of the tunnel. But there is one, friends. I promise. Once my baby Camille was on a semi-regular sleep schedule (and personal hygiene was back to regular levels), I was anxious for pieces of my former life to return. The first thing I wanted to bring back to our lives was date night. My husband and I are avid proponents of date night. It’s a chance to reconnect, talk about our life goals, and of course, talk about how wonderful our baby girl is. That subject never gets old. But we knew that date night out at a restaurant wasn’t an option. My Mama heart forbade a distance greater than 100 feet between my daughter and I. So, a date-night in it would be!

Now, here’s the thing: I cook. A lot. I run a food blog, I write cookbooks, and I cater and private chef on the side, too. So, how was I going to make Friday night dinner feel like more than just a regular night of cooking? I came up with a few tips to help new parents like us feel like the kitchen table is actually the best seat in the house of a 5-star restaurant.

My specialty is developing recipes that serve just two people. I’m pulling recipes and tips from my latest book, Comfort and Joy:  Cooking for Two to help make your date-night in extra special.

ONE: First things first: clean that table! My kitchen table is a magnet for junk mail, baby teethers, and a pile of used tea bags that started accumulating at 6am that morning. Clear the space! Give it a good wipe down, and pull out a fancy table cloth. If you have them, I recommend cloth napkins, too. I recently made the switch in my house, and it makes every meal feel fancy. If cleaning the table and cooking dinner is too much to ask, this is fine to pass off to your partner.

TWO: Plan date night far in advance. When Monday hits you like a ton of bricks, daydream about Friday night. If you commit on Monday night to have a great date night, you are even more likely to make it happen. Think about the music, the plates to use, and the menu.

THREE: Which brings me to the food. When it comes to the menu, it needs to be something special but approachable. It’s not the best night to try a new, complicated recipe. Though, if you do and the night ends in delivery pizza, it’s not the end of the world.

I’m the only cook in the house, except for the annual occasion when my husband makes his famous deep-dish pizza (not sure how a California boy developed such a penchant for deep-dish pizza, but it’s delicious nonetheless). Since I do all of the cooking, I’m guilty of falling into a routine of meals. And if I’m quite honest, it’s meals that I personally enjoy. After 3 years of marriage, I still manage to get artichokes of some form onto the dinner plate each week even though my husband dislikes them. So, for our date-nights in, I try to make dinner especially for him. I recall the things he’s recently ordered at restaurants to take my cues. When I cook something I know he’s going to like it’s a win for me too because I like to stretch my cooking repertoire. And who knows, maybe I’ll discover a new favorite!

For our first date-night in, I made homemade pizza. I typically make pizza every few weeks, but this time, I made it with him in mind. As a semi-vegetarian, it never occurs to me to put more than one type of meat in a dish—this makes it easy for me to pick it out, depending on my mood. However, my husband was frequently ordering flat breads piled high with an assortment of charcuterie at restaurants. I decided to make a meat-lovers pizza. I developed a recipe for a small pizza for two made in a skillet. It comes together quickly, and is customizable to your taste!

FOUR: If your partner is up for helping you in the kitchen, accept the help! I’m one of those cooks that moves at the speed of light, flitting from one end of the kitchen to the other in a flash. So, when people offer to help me cook, I generally say no, or worse: I treat them like children and give them menial tasks. But, spending time in the kitchen is my passion in life, so I would be wise to let others come in and enjoy it with me. If you have more hands in the kitchen, pick a meal that keeps you both busy.

It takes two to stir up Shrimp ’n Grits for two, or to sear a Perfect Filet Mignon with Twice-baked Potatoes. Better yet, grab an extra set of hands to make Lasagna for two in a loaf pan, or comforting Meatloaf that you actually crave!

FIVE: My best tip for a date-night in is to always serve dessert. Since Dessert for two is my passion in life (I even wrote the book on it!), a meal must always end with a little something sweet. If baking isn’t your thing, I have you covered—my no-bake, no-cooking-required Easiest Chocolate Pudding for Two is your choice. I also love to make my mini Bread Puddings for Two with Brown Sugar-Whisky Caramel. I can always find an excuse to make my sweetie’s favorite Slab Apple Pie—I just scaled it down to serve two in a loaf pan.

GUEST BLOGGER: Christina Lane

Christina Lane is Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka-Christina Lanethe author of the popular food blog DessertForTwo.com, well-known for its small-batch recipes. Her food writing and photography has been featured on popular food websites including The Kitchn, Tasty Kitchen, and The Huffington Post. She has also been featured on The Today Show and QVC. A Texan by birth, she has lived all over the States, and describes her recipes as a unique blend of Southern, Californian, and Midwestern. She bakes and eats dessert daily.

 

 

Featured image via.

Husbands.

Remember when all it took to get your way was a come-hither look?

Well, it turns out they actually have their own agendas.

Why didn’t someone tell me? I believed all those L’Oreal commercials….

Fast forward 33 years and you actually have to know something about how marriage survives ‘works’ or you’re going to kill someone, am I right?

Herewith, I submit to you, a simple list of Husband Hacks (code for: Making it to your next Anniversary).

1. When you insist your moral compass point true North… And you want to know you actually told him asked him something, but don’t, in fact, want him to remember it: Tell him during a televised football game. He will inevitably blow you off and you can walk away knowing you’ve done your best.

2. Move the cat’s litter box to underneath the pile of stinking hunting clothes he refuses to return to their proper place. Then, move the box back to the laundry room after the articles have sufficiently absorbed the additional offensive oder perfume. Upon discovery of said ‘hunting clothes’ by the hunter, and the accompanying ‘WTH?’ shrug your shoulder’s with an, ‘Aaaahhhh. That’s too bad. Probably should have put them away before the little darlings went native…’

3. On a day when he’s home (with you), accidentally on purpose pull his top dresser junk drawer out of it’s socket with the might of Hercules. Make sure to send it sprawling across the room, and then lie down next to it. Meekly call his name. When he comes to your assistance (This will take a while, so have a magazine shoved under the bed) explain to him that you were only trying to put his clean socks back in their place, and you’re not sure what to do with all of the innocuous ephemeral important papers he’s been saving for 10 years that he has never referred to once and that this is probably a good time to sort through it all. He will (I promise) take one look at this crap and rather have his eyes gouged out with a dull knife. You will have to come-up with different articles of clothing you’re dutifully returning to their proper places every few years. He will not remember.

4. Admire his lightbulb-changing skills. You may throw up a little in the back of your throat, but it will lead to bigger things- like pouring you another glass of wine without your having to ask. He might even replace the toilet paper roll all by himself. These are ‘Wins’.

5. No matter what/where/how he cooks any damn thing– it’s delicious. It just IS.

6. As for s-l-e-e-p, you have a few choices. You can: 1) nudge him to his side so that his mouth closes and the barnyard-animal-in-heat sound goes back to the barn, 2) sleep with ear plugs in (This actually has a few advantages. I never hear Hurricane alarms, or his choice words for why the hell there’s no coffee in the morning) IGNORE, or 3) you can encourage your cat to lay her fat ass on his face while he slumbers. This doesn’t really solve your sleep problems but it adds to his- which is like a solution.

7. If you can’t agree with some Master Of The Universe diatribe he’s spewing after a few tee many martoonies at the company holiday party, just suggest you’d rather be home watching Naked Alaskans On A Deserted Island. You’ll be adiosing it pronto with a slather of your wondrous understanding of ‘priorities’ all over your vintage Chanel jacket. In the morning suggest that shopping at Nordstroms is in order. To replace the jacket.

8. Agree with him and then do what you want. He’s not really paying attention.

9. Don’t always come home on time- or answer your phone. You can be just as not available as he is. Remember to blame it on ‘work’. And if you don’t ‘work’ outside the home, blame it on traffic. It’s called plausible deniability people.

10. Don’t EVER start a conversation with, “We have to talk.” Automatic SHUT-DOWN. If you have something to SAY make it short, succinct and ask him to repeat it back to you. He will not have heard you correctly. Promise. You will have to rinse and repeat- but only once. At some point you’ll have to be satisfied (Dear God it never ends…)

11. And the next time you’re both out at an Irish pub on the westside of NYC (’til 4am, and he’s decided he’s Irish when he’s really mimicking a shit-faced Swede/Czech) and you saddle-up to the hotel with no cash and a lost credit card????? Leave him in the cab to work it out. Then inform the concierge that your husband is in need of assistance. Outside. Blow a kiss and hit the sheets after hitting elevator button #23.

You’ll have to pick up all of the pieces again tomorrow…

Because ‘Your worth it’.

At least that what the L’Oreal commercials said…

And you can use rinse and repeat over and over and over again.

Thank you Honey.

You’re the gift that just keeps on giving.

This post was originally featured on Chery’s blog, A Pleasant House. Photo via.

Today is my husband’s and my anniversary.  We’re celebrating 14 years of wedded . . . ah . . . marriage.  Because as much as I’d love to tell to you that it’s been all bliss, it hasn’t.  Oh, I love him and he loves me —  there is no doubt about that. But love isn’t what keeps us together.

I hate to burst your bubble, but love is not enough for a healthy marriage.  Even people who are in unhealthy marriages can truly love each other.  They may not show each other in healthy ways, but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel love.

Having a healthy marriage takes work.  It’s a daily, even moment-to-moment decision to show your partner love.  Even when they are not being lovable.  Even when you don’t feel loving. It’s this kind of work on our marriage that keeps us together.

Before I go any further, I want to state that this post is not for couples who are in an abusive marriage.  If your marriage is abusive, you can try these tips until you’re blue in the face and they will NOT make your marriage healthy.  Both partners must first be emotionally healthy and free from abuse or abusive behaviors before trying these tips.  

Do not use these tips to attempt to change your abusive partner.  Instead, spend your energy working on a way to find your freedom. If your partner gets the help he or she needs and you come back together as two emotionally and mentally healthy people, then you can try these tips to move ahead in your relationship and to maintain a healthy marriage.

Five Daily Practices for a Healthy Marriage

1.  Know Yourself

When you and your spouse come together at the end of a long day or if you are together throughout the day, know what’s on your mind.  If you are having a bad day, if you are dealing with illness, if you are upset about something, go in to interactions with your spouse understanding what may be causing you to be in a bad mood.

If you don’t know the reasons behind your sadness, annoyance, or anger you may blame your spouse for those feelings.  It’s unfair to rope your biggest ally into being responsible for your big feelings that were caused by someone or something else.

Be mindful about what you’re feeling so that you can interact with your partner honestly.  Let him or her know upfront that you are in a bad mood or that you don’t feel well.  He or she may be able to help you feel better.  But, if he or she can’t, don’t waste time being upset over it.  Simply work on helping yourself to feel better so that you can be a better partner.

2.  Assign Positive Intent

If your partner is really working your nerves today, take a step back.  Try to assign positive intent to his or her actions.  For instance, did he leave his laundry on the bathroom floor?  Maybe he ran out of time or was distracted.  This doesn’t mean you have to pick it up for him, but try to remember the times when you weren’t able to finish chores for one reason or another.

Stop assuming that the annoying things your spouse does are done to spite you.  Likely it has nothing at all to do with you!  Stop taking it personally  and assign positive intent to his or her actions.  When in doubt, ask your partner why he or she did the thing that you find bothersome.  But do not ask in a rude or blaming way.

3.  Give Each Other Space

You can also file this on under “get a life”!  This tip is especially important if your spouse is an introvert.  There may be some days when you or your partner just want to be alone.  This is okay and is not a red flag of a failing marriage.

Give your spouse some space and take space when you need it.  As I said in the last tip, assign positive intent to your spouse in these times. He or she isn’t rejecting you by needing some time alone.  He or she is simply doing what it takes to stay healthy and for some people that means having some time alone.

4.  Say What’s Bothering You

If something is bothering you about your partner, let them know.  Do it in a respectful way, but don’t hold it in.  Unspoken resentment leads to contempt and contempt kills marriages.

Talk about the little things as they come up.  Assign positive intent and be sure to use your “I” statements.  Example:  “I feel frustrated when you leave your laundry on the floor.  Help me understand why you left your laundry on the floor.”  Also, ‘What can I do to help?”  is a great way to spark a healthy conversation without inciting defensiveness and anger from your partner.

5.  Ask for What You Need

Don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader.  Not even after many years of marriage should you expect your partner to know what you need if you don’t tell him or her.

Of course, it’s great when our spouses anticipate our needs.  Sometimes we hit it out of the park and know exactly what the other person needs or wants — sometimes before they know they need or want it!  But, expecting this all the time is tiring for your partner and frustrating for you.

So, just ask.  Tell them what you need and don’t play games.  It’s not true that if they loved you, they would know what you need.  They have a whole life of their own to figure out.  Unless you want to be held to the same standard of mind-reading (at which I promise you would fail), stop expecting your spouse to know what you need from them without being told.  Use your words and get what you need!

Of course, there are many ways to improve the health of your marriage, but I have found that these five have taken my husband and me a long way toward a better marriage.

A couple of the tips (assigning positive intent and asking for what I need) have been a struggle for me to implement at times, but when I have gotten outside of myself and practiced these things, I have seen the positive effect they’ve had on my marriage.

This post was originally featured on Allison’s blog, Our Small Hours. Featured image via

My husband doesn’t make me happy. I would like to tell you that there was a time when he did make me happy, but the truth is that he has never made me happy. There was a time when I wanted to believe that he made me happy. I bet you believe (or have believed) the same about your husband, but, hopefully, you’ve finally admitted (at least to yourself) that your husband doesn’t make you happy. The good news is that realizing this important fact about your husband is the first step toward an fulfilling relationship!

That’s right, ladies! Once you admit that your husband doesn’t make you happy, you can stop looking to him to provide your happiness for you and instead start looking to the one person on this planet who can make you happy: YOU!

My Husband Doesn’t Make Me Sad

One phrase I saw repeated over and over by therapy clients was , “He/She doesn’t make me happy.” They might be talking about their partner or their parent, their child or even a friend. It caused me wonder just how other people were given the responsibility of making my clients happy. Who gave that responsibility to them? Why do people expect other people to provide them with happiness?

I expect a lot of things from my husband. Respect is a must. Support is required. Patience is nice. Loyalty is essential. Faithfulness is a necessity. But happiness? That’s not part of the deal.

Now, that’s not to say that my husband doesn’t go out of his way to do things that bring me happiness. He does a lot of things that make me feel cherished, appreciated, admired and loved.

He refrains from trying to intentionally bring me sadness, as well. But that’s not why he doesn’t make me sad. He doesn’t make me sad because I am the owner of my feelings. Only I can decide if I’m sad or happy or angry or annoyed.

What if it was impossible for your husband to make you happy or sad? What if it simply wasn’t something he had the power to do? What if you, and only you, were responsible for your emotions and you were the only one who got to decide how you felt?

Guess what, buttercup? You are the only one who gets to decide how you feel. Not your husband. Not your children. Not even your mother. Just you.

How absolutely freeing is that?

For me (and for my marriage) it was the best realization I’ve ever had!

Be The Owner of Your Own Emotions

You may be asking, “If my husband can’t make me happy, then what’s the point of marriage?” or “If my husband can’t make me sad, then why do I feel so down when he does _____?”

It’s because you are human and you do feel emotions. When someone behaves toward you in a way that is hurtful, you feel hurt. This is a good indicator of whether or not you should be around that person. If you consistently feel sad when you are around your husband, you have to ask yourself if he is a healthy person to share your life with. That is what marriage is about — sharing your life with someone; partnering with your person; having a witness to your life.

Listen to your emotions. They are an excellent compass. When something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not right. It is your responsibility to move yourself from a place of emotional dis-ease to a place of emotional health. Not your husband’s.

If you aren’t happy, you need to take the steps to create happiness for yourself. Your husband can’t do that for you. If you came into marriage expecting your husband to be a constant source of happiness for you, you have put a lot of pressure on him and you have set yourself up for disappointment.

Do I Make My Husband Happy?

I know that we often go out of our way to bring happiness to our husbands. We tend more toward people-pleasing and constantly consider ways to add to their happiness. Many times they don’t even notice when we’ve gone out of our way for them. And that certainly doesn’t make us happy!

The great news is that when you stop expecting your husband to make you happy, you can also take the responsibility of your husband’s happiness off of your shoulders. Now, you can simply do things for him because you love him instead of hoping that what you’re doing will make him happy. His happiness is not your burden to bear — it’s his!

Most emotionally healthy people naturally want to do things that add to the happiness of those about whom they care. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s when you stop taking responsibility for your own happiness or when you take too much responsibility for someone else’s happiness that you will find yourself becoming less and less happy.

How to Make Yourself Happy in Your Marriage

1. Assign Positive Intent

I talk about assigning positive intent to others’ words and actions often. You can save yourself a lot of unnecessary heartache and keep your relationships drama-free if you simply assume that others’ words and actions are meant in a positive manner, or at least a neutral manner.

For example, your husband is not trying to make you crazy by leaving his socks on the floor. He is not doing that to intentionally mess with you. He’s doing that because picking up his socks is not on his list of important things to do. That’s it. No malice intended. Either remind him (nicely!) every time it happens, pick them up for him or get over it and go be happy.

2. Get a Hobby

Does that sound harsh? It’s not intended to be. It’s a very real, very helpful suggestion. What, outside of your relationship with your husband, brings you joy? Do more of that.

Practice better self-care. Reach out to others via volunteer work. Take classes to better a skill you have or to add to your education.

3. Figure Out What Your Emotional Needs Are

Simply tossing a general, “You don’t make me happy.” in your husband’s direction doesn’t help him to show you love in a way that is more meaningful to you. Tell him tangible things he can do when he wants to show you how much he cares for you.

Do you need him bring you flowers? Should he vacuum the living room? Give you a massage? Sit and listen to you talk about your day?

If you don’t know what you need from him, then how is he supposed know? Spend some time figuring out what makes you tick and then tell him. Be straightforward and don’t play coy games. If you need him to massage your right third toe while singing Let It Go in his best cookie monster voice, then tell him exactly that. Do not make him guess. That only sets him up for failure and you for disappointment.

4. Don’t Expect to Always be Happy

No one is happy all of the time. For us ladies, our hormone shifts can cause us to feel inexplicably unhappy from time to time. Do both you and your man a favor by keeping track of your cycle. You will probably notice that between ovulation and the first day of your next cycle, your husband has a much more difficult time staying on your good side. When I’m ovulating, my husband can do no wrong. A week before my period, however, nothing he does is right. I’ve learned to steer clear of him during those times when I have nothing positive to say about anything. He has learned to consult his calendar when he’s feeling unjustly accused of treachery.

You are an emotional creature. Whether it’s hormones or a major life transition or just a bad day, you are not always going to be happy. Marriage isn’t a cure-all for life’s ups and downs. Your husband, strong and brave as he may be, is not the defender of your happiness. You, also brave and strong, are the defender and curator of your happiness — and no one else’s.

This post was originally featured on Allison’s blog, Our Small Hours. Photo via

“I’m sorry,” I said to my husband as I pecked his cheek. He set the bowl of oatmeal down in front of the screaming two year old and faced me.

“I’m sorry too,” he said as we wrapped our arms around each other. We whispered a few more words to each other, smiled as we mentioned make up sex later, and kissed each other again.

We had had a fight about work schedules, parenting, household chores. Basically, just life. We fought, couldn’t come up with a resolution, and went to bed. We went to bed angry. The one piece of marriage advice everyone gives you and we don’t listen to it. At all. We never have and we never will.

When my husband and I fight and can’t reach a compromise or resolution, we walk away from each other. We leave each other to find our own thoughts, calm down, breathe, and gather our feelings. Sometimes I come back to the table with a new argument, which is sometimes just a nicer way of presenting my first argument (I’m pretty sure after 7 years of marriage he sees through this tactic). We rarely continue an argument until we can respectfully speak to one another.

Sometimes the argument ends in agreement, sometimes it ends with a compromise and a backup plan in case our compromise fails, sometimes it ends with one (or both) of us realizing we were wrong, and it always ends with the words “I’m sorry.” I have yet to meet a couple who didn’t benefit from taking a step back from the fight, calming down, and then going back to the fight. For us this can take minutes, hours, days, or even well after we go to bed.

Marriage is a long road that is often complicated by other’s well wishes. Just be careful what advice you dole out and what you choose to listen to because no two marriages work the same. When asked for marriage advice or how our marriage works, I never give the good ole’ ‘never go to bed angry’ line. Maybe this piece of advice has worked for some couples, but as for us, going to bed angry has saved my marriage many times.

This post was originally featured on Ashlen’s blog, The Kidspert. Photo via The Huffington Post