Dear Dave + April....A Tuesday Series and a Giveaway!

{image designed by Lovely Lindsey}

Dear Dave,

This journey that we are on...I'm loving it. I love that we are so dedicated right now to working on our marriage. I do fear though that we will slowly start slipping back into old habits and patterns and that's why I think it is so important to write these letters to each other. To remind us of where we NEVER want to be again...so at odds with each other that there wasn't a feeling of unity. And speaking of 'never', I'm glad that we are working on not using those words anymore when we have a disagreement. And there really only has been a few since we starting making more of an effort in our marriage to talk instead of fight. Kind of nice huh! But when you said that you felt like I hadn't worked AT ALL on our marriage two weeks ago...that hurt. Because I had been. Really making some changes that I thought you had noticed. And, 'at all' sounded like never to me. But as we got to talking we realized you were just scared we were already slipping back into bad habits when really I was just PMSing. That happens once a month. I can't change it. We both know that I have 3 days of being totally irrational, irritable and unreasonable. I'm sorry that it takes us until the end of day two to figure it out. And it's a bummer that it happened just a week into really working on things. But we got through it. We survived it and I think things are still progressing really well. And, no you can't go camping 3 days each month! I really do need you during that time to remind the children that I've gone crazy.

I do still feel like we are a bit guarded with our conversations. Especially when broaching a topic we know has escalated quickly in the past. I don't like that. I want it to all be easy with you. To be totally comfortable again like it used to be. But the respect and approachability is definitely there and I'll say it again....I'm really loving where this thing is going. And one more thing, thank you for taking the extra step of washing the catheter when you help Blake in the bathroom instead of just throwing it in the sink for me to wash later. Just wanted you to know that I have noticed and I love you even more for it! How 'bout you. How are you feeling? Can I do better somewhere? I really want to know.

Love, me.

P.S. I'm really excited about the Marriage & Family Relations Class we got asked to participate in at church. I'm glad we both trusted our church Bishop too to share our ups and downs and let him know that we are working on our marriage to make it special again. He is an inspired man!

* * * * *

Dear April,

I agree things are improving. I think that if we continue to think before we speak the words we exchange will be less abrasive. I love the feeling I get when I walk in from work and you take time to pay attention to me and ask how I'm doing, and let me talk about whatever I want to. That shows me that you are working on changing our relationship. As far as not being guarded it will come with time. We can't change everything overnight and we can't get discouraged, we just need to keep trying. I'm still a bit leery about the "Dave and April" letters but it's starting to grow on me. I like the idea of writing you a letter each week. I want a 3 day crazy pass please, maybe would settle for 2 days? As far as doing something better, just try to be patient when I'm talking because as you know I pause.......a lot........and that is when you jump in and cut me off and that is a button pusher for me.

Saturday was really fun. I still think you are nuts for going to a garage sale in the city but the $5.00 pair of father/son boxing gloves take the cake. Thanks for going to the Sports Basement with me to just browse, it meant a lot to me. I have only one final question for you......Did someone break rule number one on our drive to the city? I'm pretty sure someone said 'never'! But you recovered well. We were able to talk about some tough topics without getting ticked off at each other. It took some work and some control, but we did it. Love, D

What we have been working on this past week:

1) Making an effort to hold hands more often.

2) Showing a united front with our children...being partners in parenting. Talking with each other before making decisions.

3) Rule Number Two in communicating...really listening when your spouse is talking about an issue. That means that you repeat what your spouse has said when they are finished, to make sure that you understood it, then you can respond. Most times instead of listening, we are already planning our defensive attack, building our case to blurt out and interrupt. But when you have to repeat what your spouse has just said to make sure you understood their feelings, you can't be planning your attack. Communication really works when you play by the rules. Re-cap...Rule number one, do not say 'never or always'. Rule number two...really listen.

If you missed our introduction last week to this series, you can find it here. Thanks again for your kind words and support and letting us know that we aren't alone!

* * * * *

If you read all the way through this post...there is a little treat for you. Jessica over at Allora Handmade is hosting a little Funky Vintage Kitchen Giveaway today. Head on over there and check it out!

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  1. i love the "what we worked on this week" portion (in addition to the letters!). i've never thought of the consequences of saying "never" or "always"...now that you mention it they are really strong words. you've given me some food for thought this week! thanks!

  2. Beautiful and honest. Makes me look at my own marriage and figure out the simple things (like holding hands) I can do to make it stronger. I agree with you, old habits stink! Thank you for helping me to stop and smell the roses. BTW-why do we have to have to deal with Aunt Flow (NO FUN!!!! She brings a big dose of annoyance)

  3. I love your willingness to be honest. What a wonderful example not only to your readers, but also your children.


  4. Marriage Encounter had great rules for fighting. One was holding hands during a disagreement so you made eye contact - and could tell if you hit below the belt. Which you usually don't do if your holding hands. The other big rule was sticking with the last 48 hours. That way the past stays in the past. Good job, both of you. And I noticed a few people sitting together in church this past Sunday - children on either side.
    Love you both.

    Mom xoxo

  5. love your new series--good points to keep in mind.
    didn't you post earlier that you might start selling the flowers for necklaces individually? is that still in the works? just wondered as i don't need anymore necklace chains but would like some more of your fabulous flowers!

  6. I am loving this series of you and Dave. So sweet and I am positive you are encouraging tons of other couples.

  7. Love you girl. Am so happy you and Dave are being so open and honest. We have all been there, sometimes it seems like we are always "there". You guys r doing a great thing for yourselves and for your little family LOL

  8. Hi April!
    So happy to have found your blog! My goodness...I look forward to reading through your archives. :)

    What an amazing post!!

    I found you through Allora Handmade! :)

    Best Wishes!!!
    Happy 2011!

    xoxo Jenny Holiday

  9. Dave & April,

    I hope you realize what an important thing you are doing here. I personally feel like you are teaching people (me included) how to make it through difficult times. Your example is powerful! So powerful! I'm inspired by your journey.

    I hope to someday meet the two if you and thank you with a big hug!!!

  10. Dear April,
    I love the fact that you are doing this series. I adore the honesty and willingness to share with the world. I miss you and can't wait to see you in TWO WEEKS!
    Dear Dave,
    I love the fact that you're doing this series even more- meeting you and the fam in Nov. was a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing April with us!


  11. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of yourselves with us so that we can learn from you. That's a big deal!

    I have to share something with you. I had very bad PMS, like really bad! Some months I felt like my family would be better off without me. :(

    My doctor recommended going to the health food store and picking up Evening Primrose Oil. I take 2 1000mg tablets every morning. It made a difference in a matter of weeks. I have almost no symptoms of moodiness, depression or anything. It has saved me, and my husband and children. On a side note, one of the side effects is that it makes your boobs bigger. That may be a good thing, or a bad thing. ;)

  12. I'm so impressed that you *both* are doing these letters. I read them to my hubby. We already hold hands and try to listen, but it's often hard to be patient when finances are tight and the chore list is long... THANK YOU again for the awesome inspiration!


I heart comments! Just one rule that I'm sure your momma taught you...if you don't have anything nice to say...please don't say anything at all!

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