How To Love Him When He’s Unloveable!

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My husband bears a great deal of responsibility for our family. He is the sole provider “outside” of the home, as he also deals with the things that go wrong inside of the home, from pipes bursting, to broken water heaters, light fixtures that go out, even when me and the kids are having a not so great day with one another, he comes in to diffuse the situation. Therefore, his role in our family is very multi-dimensional. He tends to wear a lot of hats but then again, so do I, however “his hats” tend to deal with the more heavier burdened issues of our lives. That’s a lot of responsibility!
I distinctly remember one day he had come home from a long and exhausting day of work. There was a lot going on at his job during that time that he hadn’t made me aware of. He was under a lot of pressure to meet deadlines and having to take on a lot more of the workload because he was having a tough time hiring qualified people within his department. He was also not home a lot. Not being able to take part in a lot of family activities made him feel like he was missing out on a lot of me and the kids lives. It was enough stress to drive anybody crazy, and crazy is what we thought this dude was.
He would come home from work everyday with all of this weighing on him then add the daily “going ons” around the house that required his attention. Again, he never mentioned any of this to me initially so I had no idea what was wrong when he started griping about the smallest things in and around the house. For example, he would walk through the house asking, “why are there so many lights on? Why are yall running water for no reason? Why do you wash everyday? Who broke the handle on the drawer? And list goes on and on. I was thinking , “what in the world is wrong with this man? Why is he arguing about a drawer handle”?
He became impossible to live with much less talk to. Everything was an issue or a fight. I couldn’t help him or fix the situation. Every time I tried, it made things worse because he didn’t want me to have to bear any responsibility because it wasn’t my job to do his. Huh? So this went on for months. He wasn’t the same man me and the kids knew just a year ago. He became very uptight and ornery and nothing made him smile, not even spending time with us.
So I begin to lash out and well, we all know what happened after that. We were barely speaking to one another unless it involved the kids. We didn’t talk much, we didn’t spend any time together and we went places alone (parties, dinner, church, etc.), it was becoming pretty bad. We began living 2 separate lives. Then one day, I sat him down, grabbed his hands, squeezing very tightly, I told him that I was here for him no matter what and no matter how hard he tried to push me away I wasn’t going anywhere. Well that did it! In that moment my husband’s heart softened and he began to explain all that he was dealing with, at work and home. I begin to realize “why” he was so irate and grumpy all the time. He was “STRESSED OUT”!
Not being able to do your job in the most professional manner in which you know it should be and not being able to be there for your family in the way that you know you should has a way of making a person feel a little bogged down. At this point, you began to lash out at the people closest to you. It was in that moment that “I got it”! I didn’t care how difficult my husband had gotten, I was going to be there for him no matter what. Now he didn’t all of sudden become “cool” again after that conversation. He was still easily irritated and somewhat argumentative. Honestly, It was enough to drive anybody insane but I “loved him through it”.
My husband was probably the most “unloveable” person at that time, yet, I had to stick this out and bear with him through what was probably one of the most stressful times in his life. After understanding “why” he was in such a bad mood most of the time, I began to find ways to decrease his stress level while at home but don’t get me wrong, I also explained to him that he needed to find ways to “de-stress” his life at work or this was not going to work. After a while he became easier to talk to and began to share more of his highs and lows.  He finally “got it”! He realized that no matter what, his family wasnt going anywhere, no matter how crazy life got.
He became disgruntled and ornery as a by product of what was going on with him personally. However what my husband didn’t know was that I took those vows very seriously. Even though there were days I wanted to walk out with my hands up with an “I Quit” in my spirit, I couldn’t leave him if I tried, especially knowing most of his frustration came from trying to take care of us. Now there was work my husband had to put in in order to make “us” right again but I had to fight to understand what my husband was going through (because I was ready to dip). And what I learned in the process of fighting, was “how to love him even when he wasn’t lovable”! #HowMyDivorceSavedMyMarriage
#HMDSMM
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Do You Feel Like This In Your Marriage, or Is It The Total Opposite???

FB_IMG_1514303204603Let’s be real folks, most days in our marriages don’t look like this, but shouldn’t they!?!? Okay, I took this picture cutting up at my Mother in Law’s house after Christmas 3 years ago. I was merely trying to show how high I could jump, you know because I was about to turn 40 or something and I wanted to prove that “I still had some athletic prowess left in me, lol! But in running across it the other day I started thinking, “now this is how I want to feel all the time”! I look so #happy & #proud (that I was able to get my almost 40 year old bones up in the air like that…and lets be clear, it took about 8 tries to even get that high, lol)!

As I was staring at this pic’, trying to remember what was truly going on in my life that day that made me want to capture myself in mid air, flying, nothing holding me or weighing me down, as if I didn’t have a care in the world, I remembered that in that very moment, how crazy in love I was with “Pondy”! I know, I know, hella corny but whatever! Lol! Now it was Christmas morning so you might be thinking, “Oh, he bought her something to make her feel so in love”! Umm, Nope;)! It actually wasn’t bcuz of anything in particular and to be honest, we were so exhausted that day!

We travel home to Alabama every year for the holidays, #EVERYdernYEAR! Lol! We never really stay together when were home, he’s at his moma’s house, me at mine. The kids are somewhere in between both houses or staying with their T Shan. We rip and run the entire time we’re home, spending time & money between both families and we just get so rundown and even sometimes getting into some serious arguments about money, time spent together, the kids, what somebody did or said, you name it. And umm yes, we have been known to #throwdown (arguing, not fighting people) on occasion, lol! But in the midst of it all, we are 2 blessed people!

What I realized is that at the end of the day, I have everything I need in my marriage and so does he. My husband has my back and I have his and we are truly blessed with our #huge and #Crazy families, both sides! No matter what we go through, and we go through some stuff, we have an insatiable unbreakable bond between us! Days are not always perfect in our marriage & I would be scared if they were, but one thing I do know is this is how my husband makes me feel 336 days out of the year and me him!

So I’m thinking, if we got this part right “more than half” of the time, than those other 30 or so days (of the year) when things aren’t going so good, we should be able to fall back on those “happier” 336 in order to push through those “tough” 30 days! Happy New Year! I’m Praying for All Marriages going into 2018! That they be full of life, lots of love and lots of #Communication! “Dude makes me feel like I don’t have a care in the world, most days! Lol!
#HowMyDivorceSavedMyMarriage
#HMDSMM
http://www.AprilTMoncrief.com
http://www.Amazon.com (Purchase Your Copy if you don’t already have it)

 

I never raised my hand to be an Ambassador for Marriage and Divorce…but here I am.

I never raised my hand and said, “Choose me God, I’ll get married, get divorced, married again then go on a tour to tell all about it. Lol! No ma’am, no sir but here I am God, you chose me! Because you knew if anybody would tell “Their Truth”, you knew it would be me. Honored, to be chosen to tell “Our Story” of how God “Restored” all that was lost. #PainProcessandPurpose was the theme of #TheSouthernBelleTea and what a Powerful event it was. Thank you Catina Pickett and the ladies of The Southern Belle Tea Group! #Grateful #Humbled #Blessed #HowMyDivorceSavedMyMarriage #HMDSMM

5 Tips We Use In Order To “Thrive” In Our very “Human” Marriage.

20160603_185006It was probably one of our biggest fights in a long time. It happened a couple of weeks ago and in the middle of the fight, I calmed down, stood there and “listened” to what he had to say. Now this is very difficult for many of us to do, okay, let me only speak for me, “difficult for me”, lol, especially in the middle of a very “heated” argument.  Our first response, most times, is to let the other person finish “Lieing” about our character (because we’re just too great of a person for someone to have issue with us, right? Right, lol!) and then we “lash out”, never responding to the issues they’ve raised but all the while continuing the disagreement in order to prove that this person is lieing about you and/or your character.  In the end, the argument somehow never addresses or solves whatever the true issue or problem was at hand. Yep, that was us on this particular morning.

 

Well, we’re standing in the laundry room and its his turn to speak and as I’m boiling, about to revert back to my “old ways” of shouting him down and storming off, I stop, and in that moment, I say, “April, calm down. Allow him the opportunity to speak and really “hear” him. And then respond to “ONLY” the points he’s made”. So he’s speaking and I’m nodding in agreement with some of the things he’s saying and hearing him out when all of a sudden he “Strikes”, no not “physically”, lol but with his tongue. See my husband, as passive aggressive and as “anti-confrontation” as he may be, he likes to hit below the belt a little. What I mean by that is, Personal attacks are his weapons of choice.  Pray for me ladies and gentlemen because I don’t do well with “personal attacks” at all:).  Especially if said attack has absolutely “nothing” to do with our discussion. Well, one doesn’t need a crystal ball to know what happened next. I. Lost. It!  I’m Done”!  Is what I exclaimed as I pushed passed him in that tight little hallway near the laundry room and told him to “Shove it”, but not in such nice terms, lol. I stormed passed him as I ran upstairs and slammed the bedroom door shut! I was absolutely “DONE” with this dude!

 

Soooo, he left for work and a few hours went by and I sent him a text saying, “I’m sorry. I would like to extend grace to you. Even though I’m still a little upset about the “personal mention” you brought up, which had nothing to do with our disagreement, however, I love you and I want us to be ok way more than I want to prove how wrong you were”. His immediate text back was, “No, I’m the one who should be apologizing. I shouldn’t have brought up the issue we were arguing about in the first place and I shouldn’t have let myself get that mad to go there with the personal attacks. Sigh, I thought, “this “humility” thing is so very powerful”. So with that said I wanted to Share 5 things that my husband and I do in order to “Thrive” in our beautifully “human” marriage.

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  1. Humility. Humility is a character trait that has since become apart of our dna in the Moncrief family. We never knew how Important this character trait was in our first marriage, but we have learned to lean and depend on her a great deal since God did the unthinkable and turned our hearts back toward one another and saved our marriage. Saying I’m sorry, even when you may not have caused the disagreement, is a truly humbling thing to do. It takes a lot for someone to accept wrong for someone else’s right but in doing so, there’s a healing that takes place that is indescribable.

 

  1. The Gift of Touch. Disagreements or arguments happen in our marriage just as they do in any other marriage. In the past, these arguments would go on for days because of the stubbornness or  unwillingness by either of us to simply admit fault. Nowadays these arguments don’t last as long, especially when we’ve both had time to cool off and understand where our communication broke down and what led to the argument.  We usually find each other and merely “touch” the other person.  It can be on the shoulder, the back or we just walk up to each other and give a big hug!  It’s not at all about “sex” in this moment but more about the “Heart”.  Therefore you don’t want to give off a “let’s get it on vibe”, lol.  But in that moment of the touch, that’s it! It’s over! What argument? Lol. We melt like butter in each other’s arms. Oftentimes, we begin to instantly apologize for whatever it was we were fighting about and take the blame for it. It’s just something about “the touch” of your spouse.

 

  1. Communication. One of the key ways to lose intimacy and respect and more importantly, love for one another in your marriage is to “NOT” communicate. This was one of the things that led us to divorce court. We often assumed that the other person knew or “should know” what and how we feel about a particular thing. We learned through counseling that the key to a happy marriage/relationship was “Talking It Out”.  We talk about everything now, “Everything”.  And the blessing that has come out of us sharing and talking so much to each other is that we get to know one another that much more.

 

  1. Accepting your spouse for who they are. Living in this new age of social media, especially with fb, a lot of relationships and marriages are suffering because of it. And let me disclaimer, the individuals who are posting happy and beautiful moments with and about their spouses are not the problem, it is those individuals who are sitting, watching and comparing their spouses to a snapshot or a single “moment” in someone else’s life.  Women are going to their husbands saying, “Would you look at this.  Look what he did for his wife”!  And vice versa (men mentioning things to their wives).  This very unfortunate trend is very damaging to a relationship. Your spouse can only be who God made them to be, no one else. Stop wishing for your husband or wife to be like Jimmy’s wife or Tonya’s husband.  Celebrate the man or woman that he/she is, not the man or woman you just saw on fb last night giving his/her spouse 25 roses for each year of marriage.  That’s merely a snapshot of their marriage, not the whole of it. Accept your spouse for who they are. I’m sure they have amazing characteristics but you have to stop looking at what someone else has in order to appreciate what you got.

 

  1. Say I Love You. My family, as much as I’ve mentioned how we argue and have disagreements, the love and the expression of love in our home is probably something that would make most people gag’, lol but it is who we are and what we do to “show” how much we care about one another. As we’re handing down punishments when the kids have gotten into trouble, as they began to walk away headed to their rooms for the rest of the day, they usually wait to hear my husband and I say, “I love you”. Because at the end of the day they realize the reason we punish them is because we love them so very much.  My husband and I will text throughout the day some days just tell each other how much we love and appreciate everything the other one does in order to make our life go round’!  I didn’t mention after that argument my husband and I had in the laundry room that morning, as I stormed away into my bedroom and slammed the door, I could hear him yell up to the kids (but secretly directing it to “all” of us as he walked out the door) “I love yall”!  I sort of whispered under my breath, “Love you too”.  Lol!  Our tongue, probably one of the most powerful tools in our arsenal. And It is used often times to tear down, but it can also be used to build up and to express the highest commandment of all, “Love”. Always remember to say, “I Love You”!  “How My Divorce Saved My Marriage”.  20160603_185006

Does Your Husband Defend You? Does He Have Your Back In Almost Every Situation? My Answer, No.

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My answer to this question, No;)!

This question comes on the heels of an incident that happened where I had gone to my husband, you know, to get him on my side of course, lol, regarding a situation that occurred between myself and a friend. Well, I’ve been with this man for over 20 years now, I should have known better;)! Backstory on my husband: He loves me and will protect me and our kids with everything in him but he does not “Aid & Abete”! Lol! Never really has (for me or anybody for that matter) and from the looks of his consistent pattern, I don’t think he ever will! Now as one can gather, this has caused some serious contention in our relationship, I mean, my thinking is, even if I’m LOUD and WRONG, you got me, right?!? Umm, No! 
 
I use to think that this “call me out on my CRAP” mentality came from him knowing that as the baby of my HUGE family, I was somewhat use to being “Wrong yet “Defended”, therefore he was not about to perpetuate the dysfunction. Well, as he would never admit to that, I think that’s part of it, lol. However I think the real reason my husband rarely defends me (Disclaimer: He most certainly will “DEFEND ME” when I’m right, “ONLY”, when I’m right) is because it’s honestly just who is. Now before you cry a river for me, this “when you’re wrong, you’re wrong” demeanor is not just laid out for me, his wife, he’s pretty consistent (depending on what the issue is of course) with family and friends. I can recall a few instances when people would tell him a story, wanting him to get behind them and his response, classic my husband, “but wait, what did “YOU” say before that”? Lol. My husband is “risk averse” (he’s an Accountant by trade), meaning he takes no firm stances and makes no emotional moves without first calculating the cost associated with such gestures).  Therefore, in my conversations with him about what somebody did and/or said to me that hurt or offended me, he empathizes, assures me it’s all going to work itself out but not before he asks, “wait, now what transpired before all of that”:).  
 
Now fast forward our lives together. There’s been a marriage, birth of our kids, a devastating divorce and a remarriage. You would think “surely”, at this point in our relationship, he would be more lenient with me and be more apt to just agree for the sake of keeping “peace”, you know, since we’ve been through so much already….Umm, No:).  Lol!  So what all of this “Not defending me” every time I bring something to him has done to and for me is this.  Knowing what I know about “how” my husband will respond when I bring something to him where I want him to immediately take my side, no questions asked, now days, I pause, sometimes right in the middle of a disagreement with a friend or family member and I ask the question to myself, how can you avoid this becoming bigger than what it really is? I STOP! Before I speak hurt, which will then give the other person an out before they hurt or offend me. Now disclaimer, does THAT happen all the time??? Ummm, No! Lol!

But for the most part, knowing that my ace, my ride or die, my number 1 fan, is “NOT” going to uphold or defend me once I “curse” this person out (as a matter of fact, if I’m wrong, he’s going to “lovingly” make me see it from their point of view which instinctively, for me, creates empathy, then an apology, UGH!!! Lol!), forces me to sometimes step back and try my best to see my fault in the misunderstanding.  So as I stated at the beginning of this blog, dude’s got my back, all day, “when I’m right” but what has made me a better friend, sister, aunt, cousin and even a better mom and wife, has honestly been those times when he didn’t (have my back), when I was wrong. I’m better because of him! Thanks for “calling me on my crap” Pondy”! And being brave enough to “not defend” the sometimes indefensible. Okay, let’s be real, most days, thank you, not all! Lol! #HowMyDivorceSavedMyMarriage #HMDSMM
 

“Refuse To Be Ordinary”! Women’s Conference April 15-17, 2016, Baltimore, MD.

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Check it out! I have been chosen to be a GUEST SPEAKER at the 1st Annual Refuse to be Ordinary Women’s Conference in the great city of Baltimore, MD!

I thought I was a perfect fit because I’d much rather “sit in bed all day reading “Historical Literature…than eat!!! LOL! I know, I’m not your “Ordinary” 40 year old mom and wife, at all! Is that you too? PERFECT! This conference is going to set your LIFE, CAREER and FINANCES on FIRE! You will learn to:
Refuse
Decline
Turn Down
Say No

In Order To:

Empower
Accept
Break Free
Deliver

Grab a girlfriend and meet me there! Early Bird Special Kick-Off is TODAY! I would love for you to join me, grab you ticket and more information here http://www.refusetobeordinaryglobal.com. I will be talking about How My Divorce Saved, not only My Marriage, but how it “Changed” me, forever! I can’t wait!

The line-up is going to bless your socks off!

See you soon!