The Marriage Advice You Never Asked For

It was six years ago that a counseling website named Loripalooza as one of their Top 50 Blogs for Marriage Advice. I’m still astonished considering I had never given a single piece of sincere marriage advice. And why would I? I’m not a marriage counselor and I certainly don’t believe in the idea of the perfect marriage. In fact, I think anyone who claims to is either lying, or setting themselves up for a huge disappointment.

So on this day, as Brantley and I celebrate THIRTEEN years of marriage I am going to do something I’ve never done before. I’m going to give you the sincere-ish marriage advice that you never asked for.

Let’s start with the misconception of the perfect marriage. No one single person is perfect. Period. So why would anyone think that putting two people together under one roof and labeling them as married would create an environment that was anything close to perfect? It’s absurd. Each person goes into a marriage with certain expectations based on our families of origin whether they be good, or bad. Try not to get too hung up on the idea that My family is normal and my spouse’s family is weird. We are ALL weird.

Now, try and think of the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to do. Was it passing a field sobriety test, doing calculus, or training a litter of kittens to walk a tightrope? Forget about it. Communicating effectively with your spouse is the hardest thing you will ever have to do. Why?  Because our brains don’t work the same. They just don’t.

Women tend to correlate our partner’s words and behaviors with EVERYTHING they’ve ever said, or done since the beginning of time. Men, however, are more singular in their thinking. Before you start sending me hate mail, I’m NOT saying that men are simple. I’m saying if a woman ever finds herself thinking, “What did he mean by that?” The answer is generally EXACTLY what he said. Unlike with women, there’s very little chance he’s making a snide reference to the fight you had with his sister three Christmases ago when he asks, “Did you empty the dishwasher?” Ninety-nine times out of one hundred the man is just looking for a clean spoon with which to eat ice cream out of the carton.

This brings me to another important subject- arguments. Arguments are inevitable. Things are often said in the heat of the moment that you wish you could take back. However, it doesn’t work like that. Hurtful words cannot be unheard, but if you keep your angry name calling on a middle-school level it can really facilitate a smoother make-up transition.

For example, if you’re arguing about housework and who does the brunt of it, instead of shouting obscenities at one another, take a page out of my playbook and try something like, “Hey, dingle-berry brains! Do you think your dirty socks and underwear just magically make their way to the laundry room?” or “Hey, you big horse’s ass! Stop leaving popsicle wrappers all over the damn house!”

See. There’s nothing above that Brantley would have a hard time forgiving me for. (I know this for a fact because I say both of those things quite often.)

In the event that you do encounter a problem in your relationship that you can’t get past, then by all means seek the advice of a counselor. I’m not talking about someone at your church reminding you that a wife should always submit to her husband. That’s not only unhelpful bullshit, but also a waste of your valuable time. I’m referring to a licensed professional who specializes in counseling struggling couples.

A few years back, Brantley and I hit a rough patch of marital road. We weren’t thriving and we weren’t communicating well. As awkward as it was, we took to couple’s counseling and within a few months we were stronger than ever. There’s a big misconception about marriage counseling. People often think of it as the last stop on your road to divorce and it’s only talked about in a whisper. This is far from the truth and there’s no shame in seeking help. A good marriage counselor can be a great tool in getting you and your spouse back in sync.

Lastly, don’t take yourselves too seriously, don’t set unrealistic expectations, and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD don’t feel like your marriage is less than that of a friend who boasts constantly about his/her perfect union. It’s these people who generally have the biggest problems behind closed doors.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this less than earth shattering marriage advice. However, if you think it’s complete nonsense and your way is better, then by all means keep doing you. There’s no one correct way of doing marriage, but being able to admit that we are all assholes is a great first step.

Marriage Advice

Luke and Sadie: A Relationship Rollercoaster

Luke and I took a trip to Greenwood, MS last week to visit Robin O’Bryant and her three girls. As usual, my little Casanova fell hard and fast. His newest love interest was Robin’s youngest, Lady Sadie.

Luke and Sadie: the relationship rollercoaster

With the big girls at school and Robin needing to run errands, I offered to take Luke and Sadie to lunch. It was our second day in Greenwood and I decided on Steven’s Barbeque- an excellent choice. Luke and Sadie had already chosen a table and when I sat down with our food Luke introduced me to the man at the the next table. “Mom, this is a man we’ve been talking to. We told him that we are cousins and that this is our first REAL date.”

Help me, Jesus.

Luke and Sadie Later that afternoon with Sadie in her tiara and Luke in his Batman mask, they wed. However, it wouldn’t be long before their marriage had its first hiccup.

Not long after the wedding ceremony they were playing Minecraft in the girl’s room and Luke had a cow. I don’t mean he pitched a fit. I mean while playing the game of Minecraft he had acquired the singular form of “cattle.” This was a problem because Sadie is afraid of cows. She stormed out of the room with tears in her eyes as Luke shouted, “Fine, Sadie! Fine. I’ll get rid of the cow!! What do you want, Sadie? Do you want a pig? Can we AT LEAST HAVE A PIG?!”

Things cooled off after they agreed on obtaining a pig for the most pointless game ever created. Side note- if you know the plot, or point of Minecraft, please get in touch with me.

At dinner that night Sadie spilled Luke’s pink lemonade. She tried to make it up to him by tying his shoes. While he was impressed, the lemonade was something he just couldn’t get past. You can see him here breaking things off.

Luke and Sadie break up

In a show of poor taste, he tried to immediately get a rebound girl in Sadie’s older sister, Emma.

“You’re my girlfriend, now!” he told Emma.

Emma was not excited and informed him that she already had a boyfriend. This did not deter Luke from laying on the charm. He began pulling up his shirt. “Have you seen my five-year-old belly?”

Robin interjected. “You know it isn’t really nice to date the sister of someone you just broke up with.”

Luke shrugged his shoulders and pointed back and forth between Emma and Sadie. “Eenie. Meenie. Miney. LOVE.”

Similar laughter and antics continued throughout the week, but none as funny as what I witnessed on our last night at the O’Bryant’s. Luke asked Robin’s eldest daughter to connect their iPads so they could all play Minecraft together. She was wearing her bathrobe after having just showered and told him that she would do it as soon as she got dressed. The second she walked out of the room, Sadie stuck her little finger in Luke’s face. There was fire in her eyes and she spoke through gritted teeth.

“If you EVER saw my sister nekkid I would be SO MAD at you!”

For the first time all week, Luke was speechless and I wasn’t about to complain.

Brantley-isms (Because It’s Been A While Since My Husband Said Something This Stupid)

I was getting ready to head to the grocery store when Brantley (my husband) and I finished up a conversation about a girlfriend of mine. We’ll call her Stacey. Stacey has been through a lot lately- the loss of a loved one, a bad breakup, and a serious health crisis. Despite all of the things going on in her life Stacey always remains upbeat and concerned with others. She’s the kind of friend that remembers your Mother’s birthday. Who does that?

I finished double checking the grocery list and headed toward the door when I heard Brantley say, “Wow, she’s a stronger woman than I am.”
I didn’t think it was appropriate to chastise him at the time, so I just kept walking. 
However, now feels right. 
By looking at this photo taken last Easter it’s readily apparent that my husband was a much stronger woman just one year ago. 
What happened?

I Just Want To Be Alone!

Luke: “Mom, will you help me make a sign for my bedroom door?”
Me: “If I can coordinate the colors to match your bedroom and mount it on card stock?”
Luke: “What does that mean.”
Me: “It means I’ll help you if you let me make it pretty.”
Luke: “No!”
Me: “Then, no. I won’t help you.”
Luke: “Ok, fine. But, not too pretty.”
Me: “Deal.”
I didn’t realized at the time that I had just agreed to make a sign that had the sole purpose and intent of keeping ME out of his bedroom. However, I didn’t fret over it for too long because truth be told, I appreciate space and privacy just as much as my five-year-old son. Maybe more…

This is one of many examples of why I am delighted to be a contributing author in the soon to be released book, I Just Want To Be Alone.

Jen of People I Want To Punch In The Throat is a blogger that people love to love and love to hate, depending on who’s receiving the aforementioned throat punch. Last year, she released the wildly successful precursor to this book- a hilarious view of motherhood entitled I Just Want To Pee Alone. However, when Jen asked who would like to take part in a second volume which was to include the topic of husbands I raised both hands and a foot. 

You may have read the bit of husband bashing I wrote about in “You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth” last year, but something tells me you’ll have my back once again after reading my chapter, “Rehearsal Dinner Roofie.” 

Loripalooza Valentine’s Day Edition: Love Hurts

It’s been said before, but I’ll say it again. I’m not big on romance. I don’t want anyone to gaze endearingly into my eyes unless they have challenged me aloud by shouting, “Staring contest!”

Valentine’s day for the husband and I involves zero expectations. It isn’t like Christmas when we say we’re going to keep our gift exchange low key, then both of us secretly and simultaneously do the opposite. We literally don’t observe it and I LOVE that. 

Our son on the other hand is a hopeless romantic. 

“I love valentime’s day,” he tells me. 

“What do you love about it?”

“Because it’s all about love. I can’t wait until me and my wife live here without you and Dad.”

“Why can’t your Dad and I stay here. This is our house, too.”

“Mom, you have your own husband. You need your own place.”

I ran up the stairs and before slamming my bedroom door I shouted, “I hate you! You’re not even my real kid!!!” 

OK I didn’t actually say that, (to his face) but lately he’s been obsessed with talking about his wife and I’d probably be more concerned if it weren’t for the fact that his wife is a stuffed dog. 

It makes absolutely no sense, but a few weeks ago he announced that he had a wife and that she was coming for dinner. She has been at the table for every family meal since then. She’s proving to be a persistent gal.  

I do my best to ignore it when he talks about her, but this week he insisted on taking her to school for show and tell. Believe me I tried, but there was no talking him out of it. 

When I picked him up from school his teachers were very amused. They had been hearing great things about his wife for weeks, so naturally they were excited to finally meet her. 

On the ride home I said, “How was school?”

“It was good,” he said nonchalantly, “except that Owen punched my wife.”

I spit coffee all over my steering wheel as I guffawed with laughter. 

“Mom, it isn’t funny.”

Of course it wasn’t. There’s nothing funny about domestic abuse. BUT IT WAS because his wife is a stuffed pug. I don’t even mind admitting that I’ve punched her a couple of times, myself. She’s mouthy. 

Thankfully, I’m friends with Owen’s Mom. When we got home I sent her a text explaining what had gone down and to let her know that her son was a wife beater. No big deal. Thankfully, I had relocated myself to the office where I was pretending to check my email so Luke couldn’t hear me laughing. Owen’s Mom responded back with, “Tell your son to keep his wife at home from now on unless she wants to get punched again.”

The mere image of his Pre-K classroom being rocked by such a scandal had me laughing so hard that tears streamed down my face and I could barely catch my breath. 

They grow up fast in Brentwood, TN. 

How do teachers manage to keep it together? I bet it’s alcohol. 

Happy Valentine’s day!!

I’m a Co-Author of “You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth!!” #ITPRlipstick

When Editor-In-Chief of In the Powder Room, Leslie Marinelli, asked me to contribute to their first ever anthology I was ecstatic. In fact, I read the email three times just to make sure she hadn’t sent it to the wrong person.

My next task was to write a funny and honest story that I’d only share with my closest girlfriends. When Leslie gave me the ok, and even the encouragement to write a PG-13 story, I knew immediately which story to choose.

To my husband, Brantley’s surprise and disdain I had actually shared these boudoir stories with my best friend, and judging from the amount of Merlot that shot out her nose I knew it would be a good read.

I won’t spoil the details because I want you to buy the book, but suffice it to say that our marriage has changed over the course of ten years. Our likes and dislikes have changed, as well as the effort we sometimes put forth in the romance department.

Whether you’re looking for a fun beach read, or just something to pass the time in the car-pool line, then look no further than “You Have Lipstick on Your Teeth” and Other Things You’ll Only Hear from Your Friends In The Powder Room.

However, if you’re wearing a white blouse while reading this book, then I recommend you wear a bib. Don’t say I didn’t warn you
You can click here to read more about the book and the other awesome contributors. I’m proud to be in such notable, talented company!

*Also, stay tuned for details on book signings and events!!*

10 Years Married And We’re Both A Little Better

It’s hard to believe that I married Brantley Wescott ten years ago today, and even more unbelievable that those ten years were intersected with a perfect fifth year event marking the birth of our little professor.  

A lot has changed in these ten years and yet, not a lot has changed.

I can cook a little better. Brantley communicates a little better. And everyday, we parent Luke a little better

We’ve never strived for marital perfection because it doesn’t exist. In fact, there have been times when we were so far from perfection that we wouldn’t know it if we saw it. Those are the times we can now look back on and appreciate what we have, and what we’ve built together. 

I think I’ll mark myself down for ten more. How could I not? Look at him! Oooh-weee, I’d take a bullet for that sweet ass!!

Look at that face in the middle. Handsome enough
to be a part-time model. 

Post-Valentine Confession

Now that Valentine’s day is over I can stop pretending that I have a perfect marriage and tell you what happened the week before. Ermahgerd!!

So ok, I got really mad at Brantley Wescott two weeks ago, and I can’t remember the details right now, but trust me that he was being a total douche. I know I have it all written down in text messages to my friends. Hang on while I look it up. Here it is. (Oh, Jesus take the wheel! I’m angry again!!)

He wasn’t being a good communicator and he said, “Shut-up,” to me.

I’m not kidding. I was furious.

Later on, but before he apologized (that detail is crucial), I ran errands that landed me near in proximity to Green Hills Mall, specifically Nordstrom. I can honestly say that I’ve never been revenge shopping before, but I did it that day and it felt good. At least, until check out time when the girl ringing me up (who I realized by engaging in not-so-small talk with, is someone who I was almost related to by marriage, briefly, but still. Small world!!) said, “I need your address so I can send you a thank you note in the mail.” I asked her to forego the formality and just say it to my face, but she insisted and I wasn’t far enough along in my friendship/almost kin-ship with her to tell her that I was shopping on the down-low, not to mention my mail phobia. I mean, if I don’t know who licked it, or recognize the handwriting on the envelope, then it goes straight into the pile for Brantley to open. Because of this, I have an open mail policy with my husband, and there is a good chance of him intercepting said “thank you” note. Rats!!!

I then added that I’m a terrible liar, and that there was very little chance of making it through the day without spilling my own beans, anyway. Brantley always knows I’m lying because I have a tell. It consists of me speaking in a loud-monotone voice while gazing directly into his neck. I swear it’s like he’s in the CIA, or something. He always knows.

Anyway, a few days later this envelope came in the mail and it made me chuckle.

Clearly, it’s NOT from Nordstrom.

Bicentennial Period

This post will be written as delicately as possible because there are still people out there who think having your period somehow involves pouring a blue liquid from a beaker onto a maxi pad. I’ll do my best to not blow their empty skulls minds.

After Luke was born I was fitted with an amazing birth control device called Mirena™. It’s an IUD which keeps me from being able to make a baby for five years. I’d prefer longer, but for now that will do. If I had another kid right now, or any time or any time in the future it’s name would be Cutter, regardless of the gender, but I digress. Another lovely add-on to having this IUD is that I have no monthly reminder of how much I hate everything, but chocolate.

I’ve reaped the benefits of this month to month freedom for four years in a row. That is, until yesterday. To be honest, it has left me in a state of uncontrollable wrath followed by tears, hunger, and more wrath. My husband is handling it as best he can, despite receiving some very bipolar test messages from me yesterday. The first, “DO IT YOUR ^%$#@!* SELF!” was followed by, “Please bring home any type of roasted nut, and a real coke. It better not be diet.” He complied out of fear of the next message saying, “It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again.”

I awoke this morning angry because the sun had risen again despite everything going on in my life. This left with me with no other choice but to make a raised middle finger my first form of communication for the day.

I will now share with you a list of things that make me angry, followed by a video that really captures my sentiments.

(Say I won’t)

Things That Make Me Want To Cut A Ho

  • People who leave their windshield wipers on after it has stopped raining, causing them to skip across the windshield with a, “bump-ump-ump-ump-ump,” sound. 
  • People who use umbrellas to block the sun when they’re NOT at the beach. “Hey lady waiting for a bus, it’s called vitamin-D. Cover your melanoma with a band aid and get some.”
  • People who disagree with me.
  • People who agree with me. Get your own opinion. This one’s mine.
  • People who walk through a door that you held open for them and don’t say, “Thank you.” Your welcome, your majesty. Shall I help you blow your nose, as well?
  • Autocorrect for changing the spelling of my bad words AND my good words. I really appreciate it when I type, “Well,” and Autocorrect changes it to, “Wellbutrin.” 
  • People who chew with their mouths open. You know who you are. 
  • Ghost, Big Foot and chupacabra skeptics. How much more evidence do you need?
  • Coupon scammers- because that’s what they are.
  • Things that are too high for me to reach. I’m 5’3″ and I will most likely get shorter with age. Get a clue. All I want is olive oil to cook our dinner and the note clearly reads, “Hey dildo, don’t put anything above this shelf.” Was I too vague?
  • Puppies
Please enjoy the video while I cry into my pillow for now reason at all. 

My Journey to Independence (through a list of parts marked AA-EE)

If you heard crying and swearing coming from my backyard yesterday it’s because with Luke’s help, I put together a fire pit. To be quite honest, his help was minimal and came with a little bit of back-talk so I’m going forward with taking sole credit for this project.

With several sheets of instructions, tools, and many, many parts I was able to complete my task in about two and a half hours. (Please re-read the last sentence for effect.) Not to brag, but I’m a pretty big deal around my house this morning. My husband, Brantley said he was impressed and seemed sincere. His only criticism was, “I can’t believe you used the crappy wrench that came in the box. Classic rookie mistake.”

Half-way finished in this photo, and it was taken
right after I figured out how nuts and  bolts
work together. It makes so much sense now!!

I garnered so much respect out of this accomplishment that Brantley even sat through half of the telling of my dream from last night. I got all the way through the bear attack and my escape through a koi pond, but not quite to the volley ball tournament before he walked out saying, “Oh my God. I don’t care.” That’s progress, folks and for the record he should NOT ask why I was sleep screaming again unless he is willing to hear the WHOLE story.

Wobbling is cool, right?
Check and mate. Lori- 1. Brantley- 0.