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Money: The Destroyer of Relationships

So, do you know anyone that, when stressed or trying to work through something, talks it through out loud or “bitches” about whatever it is until you cannot stand it any longer?

I do. Mr. Steel is like that.

Whenever he is frustrated or trying to work through something, usually our budget, he will talk it out…out loud. He is usually a very calm person, taking life in stride, but when it comes to hurdling a problem he MUST talk it out so the whole house can hear him and hear his frustration. This used to really bring my mood down. Why? Because it used to make me feel like he was “bitching” at me and that would trigger something inside of me, something haunting me from my past. I would just sit quietly by until I couldn’t take it any longer, usually an hour or two, and then I would get defensive. I mean, I would get anxious and down right pissy towards him, this would then in turn get the kids anxious and out of sorts too. I finally talked to him about this and he just didn’t seem to get it. He would look at me like I was the crazy one and tell me I was too sensitive. Maybe I was, but that didn’t seem to make it OK…you know?

Well, after about a year of dealing with this, I realized there was a pattern to his “madness”. I had to step back and really pay attention to what was going on and when. I noticed that he only did this when he was really struggling to work through something, a project or, like I said, our budget. I also noticed that once I gave him his space and time it only took him a few hours (at most a couple of days) to work through the issue and find a solution.

Money issues are the killer in any relationship and if you let it, it will destroy even a good relationship. Once again, I sat him down and we had a talk about this. I started off telling him that yes, I may be sensitive but he had to understand why; so this is when I explained my relationship with my ex-husband, more so than I had ever explained to him before. Mr. Steel knew, from the get go, that my ex was an abuser. The thing was, he didn’t fully know to what extent and that was hard for me to get through, but I did it. Thankfully, Mr. Steel listened…truly listened to what I had to say before he spoke.

It took him about an hour of mulling over everything I had told him before he came back in, sat down and told me this:

He told me that he knew he ranted and raved while trying to work through a problem, but he didn’t understand exactly what he was saying or how he was saying it. (See, it’s not always WHAT someone is saying, but mostly HOW they are saying it that gets under our skin.) He and I made a deal from that day on, that when he started to get a bit “out of hand” I was to tell him and even explain if I had to and he promised that he would truly hear me and made appropriate changes.

It took me a bit to get used to speaking up, another issue that stems from my past relationships, but I did it. You know what? It worked! It actually helped us both to communicate better in our marriage. I think it might have actually saved our marriage. We also made a pact to never argue about money, I mean, it’s either there or it’s not so what is to argue about? Arguing won’t make money suddenly appear, right? That too took a huge load off my shoulders, as I used to always think he was bitching about lack of money and somehow that was my cross to bare.

I have learned many things from my wonderful husband, but this was by far the best ever! People think we are crazy because we hardly ever argue and when it comes to money, we NEVER argue. We have had spats, of course, everyone does…and we can frustrate the hell out of one another and again, that comes along with being in a relationship; we just prefer to talk things out like rational adults. (Yes, there have been times that one of us has had to walk away for a time before coming back and being that rational adult…usually it is me.) 🙂

So, the lesson here is this: LISTEN to one another, TALK to one another…if you have to walk away to calm down, then please do so, it really does matter. And, realize what I did…money isn’t the issue, the issue is how you support one another through the highs and the lows. He is right, the money is either going to be there or it’s not…there is no in-between. You cannot change that fact, so why let it weigh you down and wreck havoc in your relationship?

This is just me rambling tonight…but I hope I helped even one of you with my “sage” advice.

HUGGELS!

SWW

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Mr. Steel…an introduction of sorts

Someone, on one of the pages I follow, asked what we were thankful for today. Pretty simple question, right? You would think so, but I sat here, at my computer, thinking: “WOW….I have so much to be thankful for….” Then, I started typing…and it just came out of nowhere…I am thankful for my hubby, Mr. Steel. (One of my blogging buddies gave him this nickname) So, here is a bit about Mr. Steel:

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Mr. Steel and I met back in 2003 through match.com, yup, we are an online dating success story! 🙂 He was 50 when we met and I had just turned 31, so yeah, he is 20 years older than I am. (We are both born on the 27th of our month and he was born in 1952 and me in 1972…we think this is kind of cool. LOL) Oh, and for an added laugh, he is a year and a day older than my mom! At first my parents had a hard time with him being their age, but that soon faded once they got to know him.

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We were married on July 2, 2006…I had originally wanted to get married on July 5th, the anniversary of the day we met in person, but seeing as that was him and his ex-wife’s Anniversary we decided that wasn’t such a good idea. LOL We were married in my parents back yard, which is GORGEOUS and fully of flower gardens (and veggie gardens too). All our kids were there with other close friends and family members. When we married I inherited a total of 5 grown (step) children (4 currently living) and 16 grandkids! Yes, we are the brady bunch…but with a twist. LOL

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Something not many people know about Mr. Steel is that he is half black. His dad was what is known as a Black Scotts and his mom was an American Indian and white mix. I lovingly refer to him as the whitest black man you will ever know, or an albino black man. LOL His kids are black and our grandkids are a mix of black, white, and Mexican. Yup, we are truly the American Blended Family. 🙂 And, well, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Not many men would take on a mom of 2 kids, but well, Mr. Steel is not like those men. He loved my kids from the start. He knew, from first talking to me on the phone, that I had 2 kids and we were a package deal; he also explained that he had kids as well, but they were all grown and out on their own, and all had children of their own. When we married this made my 2 kids and Aunt and Uncle to kids who were older (and some younger) than they were, but that never seemed to matter to any one…they actually enjoy introducing their Aunt and Uncle to people and really enjoy their reactions too. LOL His kids and I got along right from the start too. As a matter of fact, he loves to tell the story of when I first met his daughter and as we were leaving her house that night she took him aside and told him, “Don’t fuck this up, Dad. We like her!” 🙂

One of the things that drew me to him right off the bat was watching his face as he talked about his kids and his family. You could just tell how much love he had for them all. When he talked about his mom, you could see the love and respect he had for her and well, that made me like him even more. Family has always been important to me, so finding someone who felt the same way was important to me. The first time he introduced me to his mom we had been dating not quite a month and he introduced me to her as her “future daughter-in-law”, she later told me that she knew then and there that I was the one. He had been with the mother of his children for 12 years before they split and he and his ex-wife were together for a few years, but his mom told me that she had never seen him so happy than when he was with me. 🙂

One of the many things that I admire about Mr. Steel is his work ethic. He is a very hard worker and works hard to take care of our family, along with always being there for any member of our family who may be in need. He gripes a lot, but I have learned over the years to just let him gripe it out for a day or two because he always finds a way to work the situation out. It used to frustrate me when he did his griping, I used to feel like I wasn’t doing enough. But, once I figured out that he NEEDED to gripe to work the situation out in his head, life was much easier. LOL

If you follow my page on Facebook, you will often hear me say things about his OCD tendencies. Well, the only time he becomes OCD is when he is bored or frustrated, and that means that he will spend 4 or more hours cleaning ONE ROOM. Yes, ONE room. Again, it’s a through processing thing for him and well, I will not complain about it. LOL People who have seen him in action will tell you, he gets his full OCD thing on and just gets to cleaning…no matter who is around or what may be going on around him. He tunes us all out and just gets to work…which can and has made some people a bit uncomfortable at times.

Another thing that is wonderful about my man is that he can fix just about anything. He is a genius when it comes to problem solving, especially with mechanical things. We don’t need a mechanic, because he is our mechanic. He has also been mechanic to family and friends over the years, and some still call on him when in need. He has slowed down a bit on that the last couple of years, he says that he is getting too old to get down on the ground and work on the cars…but well, if you were to call and really need his help, he would not tell you no. He is just that type of man. It doesn’t matter if you are family, a friend or an ex-wife…he will always do what he can for someone in need.

He is my constant cheerleader. It doesn’t matter what I want to do, he will support me and has done so over the years. When I wanted to go back to college, he and his daughter both encouraged me 100%. When I graduated with my degree in Medical Assisting, he was there (with other family and friends) to watch me walk the stage and get my degree…hooting and hollering the whole time. Yes, he is my biggest fan just as I am his. When I talked about wanting to get serious with my writing he didn’t hesitate to tell me to just get to it. There was no, “Do you think you can do it?” or anything like that, he just continues to cheer me on.

A couple of years ago our daughter, the Teen, asked him if she could have his last name. I was ready to cry right there on the spot! Of course we had discussed it earlier, but we always said we would not rush either of the kids and that it would be their decision to choose when the time was right for them. So, when she asked he didn’t hesitate to tell me to figure out what we had to do. It didn’t take long before he was at the court house signing papers taking full paternal rights, signing her birth certificate and giving her his last name. She was so happy to call her big sister and tell her that they were “officially” sisters now. 🙂

I cannot say enough good things about Mr. Steel. Sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that this is all real. I mean, I had a horrible first marriage and really, I never thought about getting remarried after my divorce. I had gotten tired of looking and looking that I had just put the thought of remarrying to the back of my mind. It was 11 years after I left my ex that I met Mr. Steel and I have never regretted it since. Sure, he can drive me crazy and want to pull my hair out at times, but what spouse doesn’t do that? I am sure that there are days that I make him just as frustrated with me, but well, for us that just seems to be the fun of the dysfunction of our family. LOL

As of today we are the proud grandparents of 21 grandkids and 5 great grandkids total. We may not get to see them as much as we would love to, but they know that we carry them in our hearts every day and not a day goes by that we don’t think of them. One day, and one day soon I hope, we will all be able to gather at the same place and at the same time…which we have not done since his daughter was married, just 2 months after us and then his youngest son was married a month after that. Yeah, 2006 was a busy year for our family. 🙂

There is so much more that I could tell you about Mr. Steel, but well, I will save that for another blog. 🙂

SWW

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