Thursday, March 17, 2011

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- Lauren

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Transitioning from Dating to Marriage Mentality - by Emily

Editor's Note: This needs no intro. Other than for me to tell you that it just called me out. I am a woman who prefers to keep my problems to myself, my fears silent, my bills and paperwork handled on my own, and be fully responsible for everything. I always want to shoulder my own burdens, and fix everything in my daily life before it spills into someone else's; particularly into the life of the man I care about. Maybe it's because I don't ever want to admit I can't do everything on my own, or maybe it's because I feel guilty asking for help. Either way, marriage isn't very conducive to living life on your own in this way. After reading Emily's submission today, I promised myself I would give up the reigns and let someone in. To everything. It's not going to be fun - and quite honestly, fairly terrifying - but it's going to be GOOD. So, thank you Emily for encouraging me to do this, and reminding me that it is worth it. - Lauren

About a month ago, my husband and I found ourselves at our dining room table celebrating the long-awaited engagement of our two best friends. At some point between hearing the re-telling of the engagement story, squealing (that was me, not my husband) over the perfect ring, and dreaming about the beautiful wedding to come, the couple mentioned that they wanted to know how we made the transition from dating to marriage, and what was the secret to our happiness.

(okaaaay... so that *may* not quite be how it went down. In my memory, it went something like this: “You guys are soooooooo wise and happy and pretty much awesome at marriage, teach us your ways!” In reality, it was probably like “So, you guys are married…” and I started talking. But, you know what? It’s my story and I’ll write what I want to!)

At first, I was kind of stumped. My husband and I dated for five years before getting married, so we knew each other really well by the time we walked down the aisle. We never lived together – in fact, we lived in different cities for the last 1.5 years of our courtship – but somehow we seemed to dodge the first-year-of-marriage-is-really-really-tough bullet.

Perhaps this is because our lives were quite smooth that year: we moved to a new city (easing the in-law stress and allowing ourselves to get established as a couple), but we both had transferred our jobs so we were both working and did not had the stress of looking for a job. We both had business backgrounds, and because our attitudes about money lined up really well we planned ahead instead of fighting afterwards. We started out with nothing – literally, nothing – but our really small apartment didn’t take much time or money to fill. Oh, and the apartment? Pretty much brand new. Yup, we didn’t have to do much in terms of maintenance.

Sure, we had our challenges. We didn’t really know anybody in our new city, so we had some misadventures trying to make friends. We only had one car, so driving downtown together as a chatty morning person (him) and a don’t-even-look-at-me-it’s-before-8am silent NOT morning person (me) was maybe not the easiest. But overall, our first year of marriage was spent enjoying one another, exploring our new city, and trying to figure out what adults do with their time. What could I possibly tell this couple to think about as they prepared to transition from dating to marriage?

And then? It hit me like a bolt of lightning. I had to tell them about THE REST.

If you’re dating the man that you’re going to marry, your “together” life is probably full of fun. Not that it’s all rainbows and giggles and unicorns, but you have to agree with me: your life is probably divided between “dating things” (going to dinner, going to the movies, playing sports or going for walks or doing active things together, etc.) and THE REST (doing your laundry, paying your bills, cleaning up after yourself, running errands, etc.). Even if you sometimes do more mundane domestic things together, like cooking dinner at home, grocery shopping, or laundry, you have to admit that these things have a dating shine on them.

For example, when we were in college hubs and I went grocery shopping together. We gazed at each other with goo-goo eyes in the produce section, laughed in the baked goods aisle, and decided we were MEANT TO BE when he answered the tough question of pulp or no pulp in the orange juice aisle correctly (answer: pulp, duh! Pretty sure this exchange resulted in a ridiculous jump-in-the-arms-twirl followed by a smooch. They probably had to do a clean-up-on-aisle-6 after everyone in the vicinity threw up because of this saccharine moment. Sorry, Food Lion!).

But when you get married, you not only share your fun times… you share THE REST as well. Note, I’m not talking about the bad or tragic things… you share those too… but I’m talking about the day-in-day-out always-running-in-the-back-of-your-mind stresses that make up life.

Now that you're married, if you feel stressed about money, it’s your shared stress about your shared money. You have to go to the grocery store, because if you don’t, you both won’t eat (and you can’t just stock your freezer with Lean Cuisines… hubs could eat a LC for an appetizer). You need to get that huge pile of shared laundry running or no one will have clean underwear for work.

And the problem with THE REST is it doesn’t matter how much or how little your husband helps out with everything – I know, because I am blessed with a very helpful husband. The real problem is that, subconsciously, when you think about your relationship it’s not just fun anymore. And sadly, I think that’s why so many young women feel this dissatisfaction and say “Well… I just don’t know what to do. We used to have so much fun. Clearly, he’s just not who I thought he was, I made a bad decision, and I will choose better next time!” But friends, I have a secret: THE REST will always be waiting for you.

So, what is a good woman supposed to do with this information?

First, just absorb it. Knowledge is power, ladies, and whether you are dating, engaged, or newly married, knowing that THE REST is there and will affect your feelings about your married life (subconsciously) will help you to deal with those feelings if and when they pop up.

Second, if you do feel overwhelmed, disillusioned, or frustrated with married life because of THE REST, talk to your partner about it. Remember – it’s not you, and it’s not him, it’s just life! Being able to say “Honey, I’m feeling really overwhelmed by our finances, the laundry, and our errands, and it’s starting to affect my overall happiness” is a really powerful thing! Sometimes just calling something out for what it is can help relieve the burden of those emotions.

And third, make a plan to tackle THE REST together.

In our first year or marriage, my husband and I had Saturday morning cleanup – we had a chore chart (seriously, pretty sure there were gold stars involved) and we traded duties each week. We also set up times to review our finances (usually monthly), and made a weekly list of errands that needed to be done.

In a few hours, we had addressed THE REST together and could get back to what we did best: having fun together and loving each other.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Rachel's Story: Verbal Abuse & Expecting Your Parents' Marriage

Editor's Note: The relationship we witness between our mother and father define our expectations of marriage from a very early age. Normalcy ranges from the strongest, most loving and affectionate of marriages to homes filled with abuse of all kinds, neglect, anger, violence, tension & abandonment. Unfortunately, we are built to mold ourselves around our definition of normalcy, putting our hearts, bodies and future marriage at risk. Sit down and face your parents' marriage. Write down what you want of it and what you don't want. Don't be afraid to want the best of the best. The good women wait and fight for that. Rachel shares her story of an unhealthy relationship; one that she accepted as normal and acceptable, as defined by watching her parents' marriage. Thankfully, she escaped. She chose to wait, and she fought for better. And now, (I can personally attest to this), she has a man who loves, respects and protects. A marriage & life that she LOVES and thrives in. - Lauren

"I can tell you haven't been to the gym in a few days."

I was setting up our church for a youth event when heard those words and felt two hands pinch both sides of my size 4 waist. Tim, my semi-serious/on again-off again boyfriend, was a real stickler for fitness, style, and pretty much everything about who I was.

"Don't use words like 'gargantuan' and 'superfluous' when you're makes you sound like you are trying too hard."

"I think girls that wear brightly colored nail polish look trashy. You should stick with clear or none at all."

"Don't cut your hair short, you won't be as pretty."

"You look better in flat shoes, don't wear the kind with the heels."

"You should stop dying your hair, I think the natural look is better than your highlights."

"I don't like it when you hang out with Kate, wouldn't you rather spend all your free time with me?"

"I'm older than you, so I obviously know more about this stuff."

The list of manipulative and controlling comments goes on and on. Looking back I can't believe I put up with him for as long as I did, but he had me convinced he was the best I could do. When I first started dating him, all my friends were freaking out because they all had major crushes on him--he knew they thought he was amazing--and he treated me as if I should be honored that he chose me over all the other girls. He was also the first "Christian" guy I had ever dated, so I thought being with him was good for me. I never thought of it as verbal abuse at the time, but I knew his comments didn't make me feel good about myself.

Every time I tried to end the relationship, he would show up at my front door with some dramatic apology, even going as far as shedding some tears, sending me flowers, and offering promises of change if he could just have one more chance. This cycle went on for two whole years before I was able to get out once and for all; when I finally realized I was allowing him to change who I was rather than having someone who simply loved me for me.

If I back track through my early childhood I can connect the dots to why I allowed myself to be treated this way for so long. I watched my parents treat each other terribly during their marriage. I remember hearing them fight, my mom taking off and leaving for several hours or packing my brother and me up and taking us to my grandparents for a few days. I remember my dad admitting to cheating on my mom with over 50 different women, I remember walking in on my mom when she was fooling around with another man as a way to get revenge on my dad...all this by the time I was just six years old. Each time they would separate, my dad would beg and plead to have another chance, my mom would take him back and in a few months the cycle would repeat.

It took 15 years of this before they finally got a divorce, and I'll say that was the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm not an advocate for divorce by any means, but if any two people should not be together, it was my mom and dad. I know now that their relationship was super jacked up, but as a little girl, my view of my parent's marriage subconsciously shaped what I thought love looked like, and how people should be it's obvious why I allowed myself to be in bad relationships for so long-I thought the drama was normal. After their divorce my mom remarried a man that I believe God brought into our lives to teach me about what marriage and love is really all about.

As an adult I decided I never wanted to settle for being treated the way Tim treated me ever again. I took the lessons I learned from my parents marriage and my own experiences and made a list of what I wanted for my own marriage someday. I committed my list to the Lord and asked him to bring me a man who would match my list. A few years later I was introduced to my husband, and he is the most caring, supportive and kind person I have ever known--and he definitely does not try to control me.

We've been married 5 years and I couldn't be happier. If I could offer one piece of advice to any woman today who finds herself in a bad relationship it would be this: Don't sell yourself short, or allow someone else to chip away at who you are, because eventually you won't even recognize yourself.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fighting For Marriage Instead of Money - by Jennifer

Editor's Note: Finances are one of the primary sources of conflict (and divorce) in marriages. It affects trust, faithfulness, stress, sex, family members - everything. When you decide to commit the rest of your life to someone, that means fighting for it, together - and not against one another. Because we put so much physical and emotional energy and time into our bank accounts, financial strain can get at our hearts and put us on the defense at the blink of an eye. Jennifer and her husband have been together for 11 years total, this being their sixth year of marriage. She wanted to share what their finances looked like from the inside, and what it meant for their marriage. And how she and her husband buckled down and fought to stay together. She blogs at ThortonFamilyMoments. - Lauren

Like most married couples out there, we have debt. A lot of it. How we managed to keep our heads above water through the recession and still manage to end each day loving one another can be thought of as nothing short of a miracle.

It hasn’t always been that way.

Blain and I were married five and a half years ago when we were fresh out of college, and at that time, holding on to more debt than we knew what to do with. Money was tight for the first few months, (eating ramen every night and selling our DVDs for cash tight) but we were making it work.

We had been dating for six years before we were married and there weren’t many secrets between us. But I will never forget the night that I opened a piece of his mail and I felt my world fall apart around me.

It was a credit card bill that hadn’t been paid in a couple of months. The balance was above the limit and was getting hit with interest and additional charges.

[ The biggest mistake college kids do is get a credit card and pay their utilities and food bills with it. My husband fell victim to the novelty of “no pay today” credit options when it came to getting through his last year of college. ]

The poor guy had no defense to a woman standing in the kitchen as he walked in that night. How dare he keep this from me! How dare he not tell me he had such a huge credit card bill and how dare he not be making payments on it! He wasn’t expecting it and I have to give him mad props for not putting me in my place for opening his mail. However, it was a lie and it was a secret and I felt betrayed.

I remember after the words were said and the wounds were fresh I had to walk away and take a breath. And as I sat in our bedroom sobbing for the loss of the pure trust I had always had in him, I realized that I didn’t listen. As I was throwing swords, he was trying to explain. He had been trying to protect me.

He had tried so hard to try and pay the credit card but because things were tight enough just paying for our basic living needs and rent, there was no extra money to make the payments. He didn’t know what to do and he knew I would be hurt and upset that he’d kept it from me.

The battle lines had been drawn, only two months into our marriage. There were two things that could happen. I could be mad, hold it against him, let the tension build up and eventually, allow the passion of our marriage to die and flicker out. OR, we could fix it.

We moved forward. That night, along with the credit card, he told tell me that his student loans were no longer in deferred status and the thousands of dollars he owed was now due in payments beyond our monthly earnings. I remember feeling the pit of my stomach rise into my throat. And I cannot imagine how he must have felt. It was like admitting defeat.

I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t admit that the reason money was so tight wasn’t only because we were making minimum wage. I, too, had a lot of credit card debt coming out of college. My husband was not the only one with the financial skeletons in his closet. You see, I knew about my debt and I was the one paying the bills. He had no idea until that night how much of our budget was going to basic needs versus my credit card debt.

And there it was. We both had debt and we both kept it from one another. I had flown off the handle yet when he found out my secret, he didn’t hold it against me. He was understanding and willing to see past it.

Money is an ugly thing that can cause a lot of grief in marriages. Thankfully, we were able to take a deep breath, shrug it off, and start working together to fix it. We sat down and put together a budget and we were able to consolidate our debt onto one credit card with deferred interest to pay it all off in one year. It took a lot of hard work, but we got both of our credit scores back in shape. A year later we bought our first car. Another three years later we bought our first house. And now, we’re financially planning to start a family and we still are sticking to our ever-expanding budget.

So how did we get past that moment? How in the world did we emerge from that and still trust one another?

I wondered that myself. But to be honest, there was no other choice. To love is to trust. We picked each other up and we moved on. We were both wrong and we both made mistakes. But we learned from what we’d done right out of the gate and we’ve taken that lesson along with us through the years. Marriage is a team effort, and that includes finances. Not only is it less stressful to have a partner to help with financial planning, but it keeps the line of communication open. We both know where our money is going and how we are investing it, spending it and even saving it.

And in the end, the most valuable thing that I walked away with that night? Our marriage.

- - -

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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sex Expectations - by Claire & Aaron

Editor's Note: Alright, women. We're talking about sex today. Claire volunteered to write this (and her husband Aaron helped!) to share with all of you. You can follow Claire at @lovliestweets & her blog at Glitter & Grunge. They are almost 10 years into marriage and crazy in love with each other, but they've had a hell of a time in the bedroom. If this hits home & you would like to speak with Claire, she has made herself available to you. Please send me an email at goodwomenproject[at] & I will put you in touch with her. I don't need to say anything more. Go read.

My husband, Aaron and I are very different people. We always joke about what a free spirit I am, ready to drop everything for an adventure anytime any day, responsibility be damned. He will never take a sick day unless he is really sick regardless of what spontaneous adventure I have cooked up for us. I am a creative, always thinking of the next project I want to work on, even if it never gets done. My husband is logical, likes to plan and prepare, unfinished projects haunt him. I have a tendency to say and do what I think when I think them with little regard to those around me, while he carefully chooses his words and actions. I like things to always be rosy and happy, lets not talk about our problems! He likes to sit down and really hash out our issues and get those suckers resolved.

You can imagine how these attributes could lead to a little bit of friction in those first years of marriage, can’t you? Now imagine if one of your biggest issues after the wedding day is sex. For many of you that might be the case. Your past, unmet expectations, unvoiced worries or fears can and will collide in those first few months (sometimes years) of marriage and your sex life will probably be at the center of it.

For years I had heard women in my life complain about how often their husbands wanted to have sex with them and how annoying it was, when all they wanted was to sleep. I had always thought it sounded great to be wanted by your spouse every night and was determined not to be the wife who would say no. It never occurred to me to ask these women how often they were saying yes (that would be rude!), so I made a very unhealthy assumption that they “gave in” as often as they said no.

So I went into my marriage thinking A) my husband will want to have sex every night and B) I would be doing him a favor by wanting to have sex every single night. That is, after all, what all men want, right?

If he didn’t initiate sex I would feel unloved, unwanted, like something must be wrong with me or that something was wrong with him. I would lay awake mortified and humiliated, frequently crying, which would wake him up. He would be absolutely horrified that his wife, the woman he loved, was lying awake crying over something he did (or didn’t do). Half the time he had no idea I was interested in sex in the first place because I hadn’t said anything, I just expected that as a man he’d naturally want it every night. If he didn’t I would be devastated. It didn’t matter if I didn’t really want to either, I thought men wanted sex all the time.

The worst thing I did was compare our sex life to what I thought was normal without any real knowledge of what normal was. Normal for us and normal for someone else is NEVER going to be the same thing. In anything! Just because it’s normal for your spouse to mow the lawn in his boxers in February does not make it normal for every other husband to do that. How silly would it be for me to expect that in my marriage, and yet that was essentially what I was doing.

It was difficult to come to the place of humbleness required to talk about our sex life, but once we did Aaron assured me time and again how much he loved me, desired me and needed me. Sex was always fun and enjoyable, regardless of this hurdle we were trying to overcome. I always felt cared for and wanted sexually, so honestly it was as baffling to me as it was to him that I also felt that I wanted more, especially after we established that my original expectations about sex and marriage were unrealistic.

Later we went to a marriage conference and it was there that we learned about something called “love languages”. We all have a love language which is the way we best give and receive love. Mine, as it turns out, is physical touch. I am constantly hugging and kissing my kids and husband. I always want to cuddle on the couch with him or one of our kids. I love to sleep with my arms around my husband. I need to be touching the ones I love most. So, it really shouldn’t be much a surprise that I feel most loved when they are doing it back to me. Having physical touch for a love language really has little to do with sex (though it sure helps!) but about our daily physical interactions.

Once we learned that physical touch was one of the ways love needs to be communicated to me Aaron was much more intentional about showing me love in a way that I could more readily understand. He would sit next to me at a restaurant instead of across from me so we could sit closer together, he would kiss and hug me before leaving in the morning, or cuddle closer on the couch when we watch tv. For the record, physical touch ranked low on his list, they were not natural responses for him so to make the extra effort to show me love how I need it really does show how much he loves me.

Our issues with sex didn’t go away overnight. Even when we knew how to “fix” the problem a lot of communicating had to be done. A lot of sex talk had to happen and not always the fun kind. After a few years of learning how to communicate love (and anger) to each other we have reached a place where we can talk about anything, and I truly and honestly mean anything. There has, so far in our marriage been no taboo subject. Trust me it isn’t always easy, but we have learned that the problem ain’t going anywhere until you meet it head on.

We were patient with each other. We had to give one another time to understand our own feelings and then more time to figure out how to share them. We had to develop humility. A lot of humility. We needed to each be in a place where we were able to hear the other person’s point of view in a healthy and loving way and that took time. We obviously trusted each other, after all we did get married, but we needed to develop an even deeper trust and respect for one another that just can’t be manufactured outside of a marriage relationship. Out of all of these things, if I had to choose the most important I’d probably say humility. If both of you can’t lay aside your own feelings and desires in order to hear and understand your spouse’s then you will have an uphill battle when it comes to communication. It is the hardest one to figure out, and of course yields the greatest rewards.

Developing these skills in any relationship takes time and patience. Sometimes dating and marriage advice columns will lay out “5 simple steps to a happy marriage” which I always find somewhat maddening. It’s never simple and there always seems to be 5 to 100 more steps hidden in there that the author didn’t mention. We all know marriage is hard work, but it can also be fun even in the midst of challenge. Don’t lose heart and don’t be discouraged!

Those first few years were challenging, but as we near our tenth anniversary I find myself more attracted to and in love with my husband than I was the day we got married. It was worth every bit of heartache our issues caused us to be here with him today.

If you want to determine your love language go to and take the assessment test. I'd love to know what your love language is in your marriage and if knowing it helps your husband!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Trish's Story: Verbal Abuse

Editor's Note: Hey ladies! Last week I threw out a request for women who had been through verbally abusive relationships and made their way out to find better men and better lives. Several women contacted me, eager to tell their story, and Trish is going to be the first. As a dear friend of mine, she broke my heart telling this story - and I can be the first to tell you how much she loves and raves about her now-husband. But, as we know, it takes letting go of the wrong one to find the right one, and usually there is a lot of pain along the way. I asked Trish to be as honest as she could with what kinds of things were said to her in this abusive relationship, in hopes that you, the reader, would know there are other women out there experiencing exactly what you are. And that you can always, always fight for better. - Lauren

Fresh from a serious relationship, meeting a cute guy my first year of college was thrilling. He was tall, handsome and interested. And I was done for. After a few short months the relationship turned bad, fast. The cards were stacked against me and the game was fixed. I had lost before I knew I was even playing.

What began as a playful, "Pretty girls like you can't seriously get away with eating things like brownies!" became a belittling "Are you seriously passing up salad for pizza? You know you're going to gain the freshman 15, if not 50, if you keep that up."

And that escalated to a hostile "Trish, you're getting fat and I seriously won't be attracted to a fat girl."

The harassment started with what seemed like loving encouragement. Only after the fact did I realize that all the things said to me deflated my spirit and crushed my self esteem.

"When I graduate and make good money - I'll pay to get your teeth fixed. If you're going to be a nurse you need to be appealing to the public and your teeth are distracting."

"Why in the world would you pursue writing? Even on the side. You'll never make money off of it and I really don't think you have the talent to compete."

"I'm not being possessive, but your friends are bad influences on you. Us being together is more important."

"Yeah, I'd rather spend the weekend at my parents - I just don't get along with your family."

"You could have done so much better - why does everything you do have to be half-assed?"

"Why can't you dress like her? You would be so much hotter."

"Do you really think you're anything without me? I could find someone better than you in a heartbeat!"

"If you actually cared about me, you would want to have sex with me as your first. Doesn't our relationship mean anything to you?"

At one point, to get back at me for attempting to discuss us breaking up, he talked to my church youth leader back home about some very personal issues I was dealing with that I didn't want anyone to know about. I struggled with cutting for a few years and it got worse as our relationship got worse. He began the argument with assuring me that he did it to help me and by the end of the blow out he said I was a messed up freak who deserved to have those issues spread around my church. Then they would see who I really was.

I finally gathered all the courage and motivation I could and with the help and support of my friends and family, broke up with him for good on the second try. I thought things would get better and I was sorely mistaken. He used every trick in the book to get me to change my mind. He went as far as to threaten to kill himself if I didn't take him back. The college we were attending eventually got involved and had him sign paperwork promising not to contact me. He persisted and eventually was dismissed from the school. Even after that, it took more than a year for threatening calls and texts to stop.

It was only from that experience that I can look back now and see that I was worth so much more than that. My husband is the most kind, supportive, and wonderful man I could ask for. Knowing how bad I had it makes me love my husband and appreciate a real man more than I ever would have.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Good Women's Guide to the 21st Century:

Hey everyone!

Today I am directing all of our readers over to Max Dubinsky's blog: MakeItMad.

Last summer, Max wrote A Gentleman's Guide to the 21st Century. For me, it was a massive slap in the face. I had forgotten that men like this were around. I knew that I'd started to settle & I'd already started working on that, but this reminded me that it was an all or nothing deal.

I was raised with high expectations for men, and in high school was blessed to be around extraordinarily good guys. No, seriously. I lived in a bubble that most of you will never experience. A bubble where all of my guy friends held the door open for us girls, took the lead at the dance parties we threw for every single one of our birthdays (and kept their hands in the right places), dropped all profanity when we were in the room, and never tried to 'get with us' unless they had a damn good date planned. I successfully made it through high school without ever having even kissed a guy.

Fast forward three or four years and I had been completely and entirely convinced that these guys were gone. I couldn't tell you how many guys I'd kissed. I'd have to ask you the definition of kissed if you asked that question. Did it mean making out, or did it include the intoxicated kisses around the room too? I remember sitting on the edge of my bed at one point and piecing this thought together: "I know what I'm worth. The man that deserves me does not exist. So, I'll just take what I want from him, and I won't feel guilty. I can't get what I need so I'll just take what I want. What feels good. For ME."

For the next year I acted on that thought. I had moments of sanity and of clarity, nights I "half cheated" because he was "real cheating," weeks I tried to do better, weeks I did much more damage than normal, and days I broke and knew this wasn't what it was supposed to look like.

Those years? Those years are over. They're done. Forever. For the last year, I've been in intense heart rehab. I've been surrounded by incredible women whose first question for me when I come to them a mess is, "Lauren. How's your heart?"

My breaking point was realizing that the two greatest lies I ever started believing are these:

That God is not good, and that no men are good.

If you believe just one of those two lies, it's enough to ruin you.

I decided to believe again that God is good. And that I will spend the rest of my life with a man that I WANT. That I've always wanted. Not a man that I'm settling for, because I've learned that there's "nothing better."

So. All this being said, I am honored to write a Good Women's Guide to the 21st Century with Max. Please take a moment and go read it.

He's helped me become better, and I'd like to think I'm helping him do the same. This is what it's supposed to look like. And I love it.