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Staying Connected In Your Marriage Through Changes

Staying Connected through Changes.png

by Cassie Celestain | Marriage Contributor

Staying Connected through Changes

My husband, Ryan, over the past few months has had his responsibilities change at work. He is now overseeing more projects and stepping up into a leadership role. We also just passed our 32 week mark on our first pregnancy. With these two things going on I have started to feel some changes taking place in our life. And I know when baby comes that will be a big change too!

Through this change with Ryan’s work and our pregnancy we have been trying very hard to make sure we stay connected. We believe we are each other’s support system and no matter what adjustments our life begins to make we must have a solid foundation at home and with each other. Having that stable base between us allows us to go into the world and conquer so much more than we could without it!

“Changes” can be anything from career moves to physical moves, from sickness to regained health, from family issues to big family monuments. All of these things can create a large amount of change in our lives.

Here are four ways to stay connected with your husband through these changes: 

Accept the Change– These alterations in our life can be hard to get used to. We can even have negative feelings about how it is effecting our life. The first thing we must do as a couple is accept the changes (assuming they cannot be helped or the couple has decided that the changes are the best choice). Being on the same team about the changes taking place is the best way to stay connected through them.

Daily Interactions When our life is starting to be modified it often takes time to get into a new routine. We must make an effort to have daily interactions with our husband even through this phase. Finding time to  connect when busy can be difficult, but it needs to be done! Some can have daily interactions together with a cup of coffee in the morning or some at dinner. Some even get their daily connection at the very end of the day as they are in bed next to each other. This daily interaction leads to our next point of having real conversations.

Real Conversations Having these real conversations allow you both to know how the other is feeling or coping with the differences taking place.  Communication about tough topics may need to happen as well. Just know these real conversations continue to draw you closer together!

Discuss Needs– This one is personally hard for me. Sometimes it is necessary to let our husband know our needs. No beating around the bush or giving hints, but flat out saying what we need. Sometimes this includes me saying I feel that I need more of his focused attention when he is at home or even a task I can’t complete on my own. Other times it is the need for a date night or cuddles. We must be open and honest about our needs through these changes taking place.

Although life events can seem as if they are drawing us away from our husbands there are ways for us to help ease through those transition times. With a commitment to stay connected with our husbands we can do just that by keeping the four above things in mind. Remember staying connected does take time, energy and effort. But it is completely worth it!

What changes have you and your husband gone through where you had to focus on staying connected?

“Marriage is Not a Destination, But Rather a Life Long Journey”
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FAMILY/ Love/ Marriage

Ensuring Your Man Knows Your Love Language

From our new Monthly Contributor, Cassie from True Agape:
Over the past few weeks I have been talking with a group of ladies about what their biggest frustrations are in marriage. This helps guide me in what kind of resources I provide on True Agape. Through talking with these women I started seeing a pattern. Ladies often listed their frustrations as either their husbands not helping enough around the house or not spending enough quality time together. 
This automatically made me think about the 5 Love Languages
I then asked each of them: 
1) If their Love Language was Acts of Service or Quality Time (whichever one corresponded with their frustration) 
2) If so, did their husband know that was their Love Language. Almost all the women responded that yes indeed their Love Language was the one correlated to their frustration. However, the response was varied on if their husband knew it was their Love Language. 
This got me thinking…

We all want our love tank to be full! When it is not getting filled on a regular basis we can feel down about our relationship, it can cause frustrations and even resentment. That is why we are going to talk about a few important things. Today we will look at how to make sure your husband knows your Love Language. Next week we discuss what you can do about it if he knows your Love Language, yet you feel like he isn’t speaking it. 
First let’s start by making sure your husband knows your Love Language. Here are a few ways to ensure this. 
1) Take The  quiz together- You both will find out each other’s Love Language. (You should know your husband’s as well!) You can tell him you heard about the 5 Love Languages and are interested to see what the quiz comes up with for the both if you. 
2) Create a list- Tell your man you are wanting to be a better wife. You really want to know the things that you do for him that he appreciates the most. Ask him to write the top ten things that make him feel loved. You create a list as well. When he gives you his list, give him yours. Chat about the things on the list and the commonalities you see. If a lot of your things are acts of service sum up the conversation with something like, “When I made my list I noticed I listed many things like you helping around the house and with the kids. I really feel loved when you do those things.” Through this activity you have given your guy prime examples of what fills your love tank, but also the broader area so that he may choose to do other things not on the list. You also find out what fills his love tank! 

3) Plain good ol’ communication- At the end of the day or week when you have your check in time bring up the 5 Love Languages. When he asks how your day/week was tell him you were reading a book/blog about this concept. Tell him about the 5 Love Languages. Ask him what he thinks his is, tell him what yours is. This can even lead to completing number 1 or 2.
I do realize however some couples do not have this open of communication. Therefore, you may want to try something like above that may seem less intrusive.

It is really hard for your husband to speak your Love Language if he does not know anything about the concept and/or he doesn’t know yours. Do you and your man a favor by taking a little bit of time to find out what both of your languages are! This will make a difference in your marriage! 
Next week we will look at what if you are sure your husband knows your Love Language, yet you feel like he doesn’t speak it.
-Cassie {Marriage Contributor}
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“Marriage is Not a Destination, But Rather a Life Long Journey”

You can also find & follow Cassie & True Agape Here:


Cassie has put together an amazing resource on this marriage.  The Secret to Making Your Husband Feel Loved: 75 Ideas Using His Love Language.  She has made this FREE for us and you can download it by clicking HERE.
FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Love/ Marriage

5 Love Languages To Create A Successful Marriage

Hello everyone! I am Cassie, a marriage blogger over at  www.TrueAgape.com . After several weeks of linking up to Anti-Procrastination Tuesday Amy asked if I would like to be the monthly marriage contributor! I was so super excited about the idea and it took me about two seconds to respond with a“yes!” Now here I am writing my first contribution for New Nostalgia! I will be here the 3rd Saturday of the month. I hope you find value in each post!
Today, I want to talk a bit about a topic that really can help create a successful marriage! There are so many tips, tricks and advice that you can find now that promises to aid in your relationship. Over the next few months I will be sharing some of the best ones I know. But today I am starting with one resource that truly has made a huge impact on my marriage. It is  “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. 
In the book  “The 5 Love Languages”  Chapman explains that each person feels loved in different ways. Ok, that made sense to me! He also says it is important to love our spouse in their “Love Language” so that their “love tank” can be full. That made sense to me too! When I started trying to implement speaking my husband’s Love Language I realized it wasn’t as easy as I thought! 

For two different reasons: 
1. I thought I knew his Love Language- after reading the book I assumed I knew my man’s love language. I soon realize maybe I was wrong.
2. There are  three ways to find out your man’s Love Language. Take the time to do this instead of assuming you know!
It was easiest to speak my Love Language, but that was not his Love Language
We often speak our own Love Language because that is what we enjoy. It comes natural to us. Once I found out my hubby’s Love Language was Words of Affirmations I had to practice and learn how to speak that language. It did take practice. It did take time. 

Here is a very quick overview of the 5 Love Languages:
~Acts of Service- doing something for your spouse that would be helpful to them
~Quality Time- spending time together where your attention is on the two of you
~Receiving Gifts- bought or handmade gifts for your spouse
~Words of Affirmation- verbal or written words that praise/lift up your partner
~Physical Touch- holding hands and making a wide variety of physical contact

I highly encourage you to get your hands on a copy of this book! Chapman goes into detail about each of these Love Languages along with examples. After reading the book my understanding was so much deeper than before. My original thoughts about each of the languages were not complete accurate. 
Over at  www.TrueAgape.com I often blog about The 5 Love Languages. We discuss ideas to implement, what each language really means and how to truly make your man’s love tank be full! 
I put together a 6 page FREE report titled:  “The Secret to Making your Husband Feel Loved: 75 Ideas Using His Love Language.” It has bits and pieces from all the blog post combined into one great resource- so make sure you get it! Enter your email address here and I will send you the download! 
Leave a comment below: Tell us if you currently speak your husband’s Love Language or if you need to learn it.
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You can also find & follow Cassie & True Agape Here:
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Have you met our other monthly Saturday Contributors?
Click here to meet them.
Books/ Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Love/ Spiritual

Suffering & A Health Update

Because of my faith, I long to suffer well.  Suffering well does not mean denying pain, for to suffer well means to suffer real.  Pain in this world is a reality, but I believe in a God who has come to overcome this world.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

After a week of physical pain & suffering, those words mean so much more.  Thanks to all your prayers and a very good God, I did feel peace in suffering.  I had a few real moments, what I call “shaking my fists” type moments, but God gets that and hears my cries in those fist shaking times. Those moments happened when I tried to go back onto Tamoxifen (a hormone drug I take for cancer) and when I learned I would need a second surgery due to a defective expander.  Despite these times of struggle, I truly was overcome by the peace and even joy that I have felt the last week.  
That is what God does.  He gives purpose to pain.  I want you to meet someone who I know who has been through so much pain in her lifetime, yet claims God’s purpose in her pain.

“Sexually, mentally, and physically abused, stage 3 breast cancer, homeless, divorced and a single mom are only a few of the challenges that Patti has faced.” Watch this incredible story.

How amazing is she?  Do you want more of Patti?

Order her book, Peace In The Pressure Cooker  –> here.
Follow her on Facebook here.
Visit her website here.

Her story is so inspirational.  She spurs me on to suffer well.  She is such a beautiful example to me and I am so grateful to know about Patti and her story!

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I am doing great, my last surgery went really well and 2 days later I’m only taking Tylenol for pain.  I am slow and sore, but what a huge change from the first surgery.  Those nasty little red tubes were removed and also my left drain.  What a relief!

Cancer Journey/ HEALTH/ Love/ Music Renews/ Spiritual

Super Abundantly Loved

Turquoise quote from Song of Songs 8:7

He tells me to simply love.
Love, pure with out self-interest.

Without seeking return.
Without being disappointed when it is not returned

For you see, I am so deeply loved–that is why I can love.
I can say “yes” to this call of love

Love poured out.
Love poured over.

Grace has overflowed onto me.
I am abundantly surrounded,  love swirling,
caught up and enraptured by love.

Love as fierce as a hurricane
and I bend beneath the weight of this God love.

Its bigness cradles, a hammock for my heart.
He rocks me gentle.

Movement– love moves.
It flows, it pours, it comes toward.

I am called to love.
I am called to move toward.
I can, I am God-breathed empowered
I am loved.

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Inspired by my reading in

I Timothy 1:14
“And the grace (unmerited favor and blessing) of our Lord flowed out super abundantly and beyond measure for me, accompanied by faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

 I John 4:19
“We love because He first loved us.”

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Maybe you need this reminder today?  I sure did. I had a rough Monday morning as a Mom & tears flowed. I know I am called to love.  To come toward.  Sometimes this calling can feel next to impossible because my own emotions and hurt feelings get in the way.  The type of love God calls us to is only possible when we recognize how very completely & perfectly we are loved by our Creator.  His love, grace and blessing flows SUPER ABUNDANTLY & BEYOND MEASURE.  Did you get that?  Think about it for a minute.  A perfect God loves super abundantly & beyond measure, right here, right now, no matter what–more than we can even imagine. We cannot even grasp this, yet I find myself asking God to help me KNOW this, for I know that it is only through His love that I myself can put aside my pride & hurt feelings, move toward, & simply love.

{A Fav Song Of Mine}

Cancer Journey/ Counting Gifts/ FAMILY/ HEALTH/ Love/ Spiritual

PET Scans, Cancer, & Looking At The Insides

Woman in PET scan
I just learned that my dear friend Karen’s PET scan came back clear.  Oh how I am rejoicing!  Karen blogs over at I Choose Hope and if you don’t know her story, you are missing out.

  Karen and I met through this blog while we were both in treatment for cancer.  She is a California girl, and came all the way to Nebraska to meet me.  Since then our hearts have been bonded, never to let go.  I have visited her in Cali and she has been here twice.  I have fallen hard for her family and she has done the same with mine.  

Girls receiving gifts, lotion and smoothies
{Karen visiting, loving on my girls, and bringing gifts}

Hearing that Karen is NED (no evidence of disease) is some of the best news I have ever received.  You see, I worry about her.  She had triple negative breast cancer, which is a type of breast cancer that is aggressive and there is not as many treatment options for.  Not only that, but it has shown her just how aggressive it can be.  We finished treatment about the same time, but, my dear friend ended up having to get double treatment.  After reading a post here at New Nostalgia about survivors checking lymph nodes, she reached under her arm and found an almond shaped lump.  Her cancer was back already.  She went on a little get away with her husband to process this awful news, and ended up getting in a car accident there.  She had to learn how to walk again before starting another tough regimen of cancer treatment.  She is the strongest woman I know, both inside and out.

Women in a photo booth
{Silliness at a retreat we both attended in the spring}
Black and white photo of two women at a retreat
{She supported me through my first speaking engagement.  Her calm presence melted my nerves}
Shadow of a woman

 Waiting this last week, holding my breath with her as she prepared to know what was on the inside, reminded me of this post I wrote early in my battle with cancer.  I thought I would share it with you again.

So many body images taken
Vulnerable insides exposed
Ultrasound
X-rays
Cat scan
Bone scan
Pet scan
MRI
Images show so many shades of grey,
Sliced shapes of organs..
Tell me they are ok?
Images of this body of mine
Fragile with disease yet so strong
My brain works, fingers move
Digestion. Menstruation.
Walking. Talking. Fine.
But not.
Images show a cluster of cells that don’t belong
Cells that have the ability to meander
To go with the flow and end up where they may.  
They multiply and make friends,
Their celebrating clusters destroy my tissues.
So we take images..
We peer into the insides
Looking for the “don’t belong’s”
I lay on display, cold and in dismay,
Enveloped in large, rotating tubes
Small tubes inject a solution 
So we can find a solution
Tubes rotate
I lay and pray
For what my 3 girls will learn
At the end of this day.
The same 3 girls
Look at their own body image
So many times I’ve whispered,
my lovelies, its what’s on the inside that matters
This is one moment when I wish that were not true.

I peer deeper,
I see Him in whose Image I am made.
I find the solution.

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Thank you Lord, for keeping my friend safe and NED.  Thank you for being close and with us, in control, always bringing hope no matter what our insides are feeling or showing.  Thank you for ALWAYS being the solution.  Amen.

Karen in a red scarf
Get to know my friend Karen
FAMILY/ Kids/Family/ Love/ Marriage

How A Romance Novel Is Changing My Marriage

Woman kissing man on the cheek

I am not one for romance novels.  It has/had been years since I had read one.  Recently I started reading a book that would fall under this category–and no, I am not gonna fess up to which book it is, because it really is not the type of reading I want to promote on this blog.  So..don’t ask me what book it was, because I’m not telling!

Although it is not a book that I’m going to fess up to reading, I have to share with you how it has changed my thinking and is making my marriage stronger.  God works in mysterious ways…huh?

The first and most important way that it is changing my marriage is that it has reminded me what a gift it is to be one with another human being on this earth.  Two become one in a marriage and I forget what an amazing & ROMANTIC thing this is.  I’m not just talking physical oneness, which in itself is amazing awesomeness, but emotional oneness.  AND, I’m not just talking about the good emotions, either.  What has hit me hard in my reading is how the main character learns the deepest and darkest of her lover and still loves him unconditionally.  It has me thinking how amazing it is to be loved by my husband, someone who knows all my quirks, sees my bedhead, knows my hardest struggles & chooses to love me anyway.  It has hit me hard what a gift it is to look at my man and realize I know him like no other knows him.  I get to experience the whole of him, and reassure him that I am here for the long run, and that despite any bad, I see so much more good & I love him wholly. THAT is romantic.  He is mine, all of him, the good and the bad.  I am his, all of me, the good and the bad. We are one.  

Another thing I have learned from this particular novel is how I need to lighten up.  I take things way too seriously sometimes.  I am sensitive and emotional.  I get my feelings hurt easily.  I am defensive.  It is who I am naturally, but that does not mean I have to give into my emotions.  I am learning that in order to embrace this gift of life I have been given, I need to grow up and not take everything so personally!  I have found an easy way to do this is to follow the main characters’ lead in the novel. In the tense moments she flirts.  Or makes a comment to lighten the mood.  This is not about avoiding issues that need to be talked about, but it is about learning when to just let go, be silly, choose to trust our love & the fact that I am still loved despite how I might feel in the moment.  I know my Todd is not going anywhere, I trust him completely, so why do I need to be defensive? It is a matter of protecting my heart. It comes down to fear and selfishness, both of which I need to let go.  Sure, opening up my heart and being vulnerable might be a bit scary, but the opposite is no way to live in a marriage.  I’d much rather flirt than fear.

Speaking of flirting…it really is fun. It is not something that should stop once you are comfortable and married.  If anything, it should be more!  This may take some “change-of-thought patterns”  Flirting may feel a bit immature, but really when done right in the right moments, it is quite the mature and even a sophisticated thing to do.  Oh wives, we have some power in this area.  Let’s use it to strengthen our marriages and make them fun and exciting!

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Some examples of flirting that I have done in my marriage lately:

~In the middle of an argument, I drop my defenses.  I smile, I remind that I love him, that he is my best friend, wink and suggest we use all this pent up emotion and energy in a more “productive” way.

~I’ve focused on the positive.  Instead of dwelling on little quirks that might drive me crazy about Todd, I focus in on my most favorite things about him.  The way he smells, (it is delish), his laugh, his deep voice on the phone, the way he snuggles our girls, his complex mind, his brain that is always thinking, the ways he puts our family first.

Drawing that says " I have a crush on your mind"

~Use the written word.  Social media, texting & chatting makes it quite easy to send some words to let him know I am thinking about him.  It takes seconds, and can set the tone for the whole day.  What is fun is that you can set whatever tone you want…sweet, silly, alluring.

But seriously lets make out pillow

~Be purposeful.  Keep him on my radar.  Be aware of him when he walks in the room.  Meet his eyes. Verbalize my attraction when I am feeling it, don’t just think it.  Be brave with my words, say things that might make his jaw drop.

~Follow through.  This one is important. Flirting is fun, but can be torture for a husband if there is no follow through.  You know what I mean?

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Ring that spells out "love"

I’ve have been putting my flirting to good use, and I recently was thanked by my Love for being grace-filled and forgiving. He is noticing that I am more willing to put down defenses and choose to love.  What an amazing compliment.

Hearing this made me feel like a beautiful heroine with free-flowing hair blowing in wind, head tipped back and eyes closed..just like on the covers of those novels…

…ok, not really, but close.

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PS…I know marriage is not a walk in the park. I know women out there that need to be out of the marriages they are in because of how destructive they are, who have chosen to forgive to a fault. I know it is freakin’ hard sometimes.  Todd and I have had our very hard times and through counseling and lots of hard work we are more in love than ever.  Is it always easy?  No…we recently worked at really hard issue that took awhile to get through, and we all know growth can be painful…but boy, forgiveness is powerful…and so is flirting :).

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