Thursday, September 15, 2011

Exercise Together

I’ll have to admit, when this idea hit me, I almost dismissed it out of hand. If there’s anything that doesn’t seem romantic to me, it’s the idea of exercising. That belongs on the same list as going to the dentist; the list of things I’d rather not do. But, that was before I gave it a second thought.

Most women sufferer from a very negative opinion of themselves, especially when it comes to their beauty. Unless they’re convinced that they are God’s gift to men, they all think of themselves as fat, ugly and with hair that’s incapable of having a good hair day. In fact, even the ones who think of themselves as God’s gift to men think of themselves that way.

I think I’ve discovered why all women (even the size zero toothpicks) think of themselves as fat. Medical science tells us that women have an extra layer of fat to insulate themselves. But, they don’t tell us where that layer of fat is. My theory is that the extra layer of fat is around their brains, where it presses in on the brain, constantly saying “fat, fat, fat, fat, fat.”

There are three basic ways that women deal with these thoughts of fat. The first is to ignore it. While that’s a noble sentiment, few are successful in accomplishing it. The second is to get upset by it and eat more. While this may make them feel better for the moment, it clearly doesn’t help for the long-term. Finally, the third is that they try and lose it. For some women, the quest to lose weight is a lifelong quest, taking them from diet to diet, exercise program to gym, and a few even into problems like anorexia and bulimia.

Since exercise is the healthiest choice on that list, maybe we should gently, very gently, encourage our wives to start an exercise program. I say gently, because the last thing that any of us want to do is to express any opinion that might be misconstrued as if we were saying that we thought our wives were fat.
So, how do you very gently suggest that your wife exercise? Wait until she brings it up first. Then, offer to exercise with her, in order to encourage her. She will definitely need the encouragement, and you can give it to her by exercising with her. It’s always easier to exercise with somebody else.

Let me give a word of warning to the jocks amongst us. Whatever you do, don’t compete with your wife. She has enough problem with her self-esteem, without you pounding her into the ground with your ability to overdo it. You’re there to encourage her, not to beat her. Dial it back to her level. Let her think that she’s winning once in a while.  Always notice and compliment her for her progress.

Besides all that, exercise can be one more thing you do to take time to be together. That’s always worthwhile.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lighten Her Load

When I was a kid, you could pretty much count on most families operating under the “traditional” roles for men and women; the man went to work and the woman stayed home. Today, due to a combination of the women’s lib movement and the financial pressures on families, most women work outside the home. While I’ll reserve judgment on the wisdom of that, for the moment, I will say that it has put a lot more pressure on women.

Women today are expected to have a career, keep their home looking like a magazine cover, be a supermom and still manage to be spectacular lovers. That’s a bit of a stretch, even for a woman with superpowers. Unfortunately, last I checked, the average American woman doesn’t come equipped with those.

I have to agree with the women’s libbers on at least this one point: If the woman is working outside the home, then her husband (that’s you) should help take up the load at home. Yeah, I know, you need to relax when you get home from work. Guess what? So does she. Yet, while a lot of guys are kicking off their shoes and sitting down on the sofa when they get home from work, their wives are heading for the kitchen to get dinner put together. C’mon guys, that’s unfair and you know it.

If your wife has to work outside the home, then it’s only fair that you do some of the work inside the home. Okay, maybe you’re not the world’s greatest cook, but what can you do to take some of the load off of her? Don’t tell me you don’t know how to wash dishes or run the vacuum cleaner, those tasks don’t take a college degree.

Cleaning the bathroom isn’t all that hard either. In fact, I’d recommend the bathroom as a good place to start, since it seems that guys are much better at messing up a bathroom than girls are. Maybe it doesn’t bother you to walk into a bathroom in a mechanic’s shop, which obviously hasn’t been cleaned anytime in the last couple of years; but, I can guarantee you, it bothers your wife. If it bothers her, you should be concerned; even more so if she thinks your bathroom habits at home make your bathroom look like the one in the mechanic’s shop.

Taking a little time every day to help your wife with the work around the house will show her that you value her as a person, instead of thinking of her as a slave. Better yet, totally take over cleaning one or two areas of the home; but do it to her level of satisfaction, not your own. She needs to know that you value her; and you’re the only one that can show it to her. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Don’t Forget to Bring a Gift Back

First of all, an apology to all my regular readers. I’ve been out of the country for a bit and it’s kind of hard to keep things rolling when I have trouble with Internet access. Now that I’m back, we’ll see if we can get things back on track.

Speaking of being out of the country, do you ever have to travel on business? Some of us do, and our wives always feel left out when we do. There’s something about business traveling that seems to have leave an image in people’s minds of free company paid vacations to exotic locations; along with partying to all hours of the morning and staying in five-star hotels.

Personally, I’ve never had business trips like that. Mine have always been long waits in airports, boring times waiting for meetings, hard work, and boring meetings. I’m not sure where all the romance of business traveling has come from. Probably from the imaginations of people who never had to do it.

Nevertheless, there is one thing that is very clear about business traveling; that is, you’re separated for the duration of the trip. I’ve often thought how much better it would be if I could take my wife with me, and make a mini-honeymoon out of it. Of course, that means I’d have to pay for her airline ticket (at the higher business rate), her meals and the increase in my room’s cost. Those extra costs have a lot to do with why I don’t take her with me.

Always remember to bring a nice little romantic gift back with you. What you get her isn’t as important as the fact that you got her something. Buying her that gift proves to her that you were thinking about her while on your trip. That’s important. Watch out for airport stores, however as they are ridiculously expensive.

Now, there’s a hidden trap in this situation. That is, what do you do when your trip doesn’t leave you any time for shopping? That’s happened to me several times and it can be a problem. Best intentions don’t really matter, without completion of those intentions. Okay, here are a couple of ideas:
  • Write her a love letter. Don’t worry about coming up with something poetic, just tell her how much you miss her. Be sure to include “I love you” several times in your letter.
  • Does your hotel have a gift shop? Many nicer hotels do. While they are still more expensive than just going to a normal store, they are cheaper than airport stores.
  • Send her a telegram from your destination. She’ll know you thought of her.
  • When all else fails, bring a gift, hidden in your luggage, to give her when you return.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Protect Her from Herself

I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, but women are better worriers than men are. Compared to us, they’ve elevated the art of worrying to a high art form. Some have even gotten so good, that if everything is going good, they’re able to worry about not having anything to worry about.

Okay, maybe that last line was a little facetious. But, that doesn’t change the fact that most women worry more than most men do. It comes from a difference in the way we think. If a man is faced with a problem that he can’t do anything about, he puts it on the shelf, until he can do something about it. Women, on the other hand, have that thing following them around all day long, taunting them.

I learned this lesson early on in my marriage, when I was independently poor and self-unemployed. The bills would come in and we had a particular place where my wife would put them. I’d come home from working and she’d say something like, “The electric bill came today.”

“Okay,” I’d think, “the electric bill came. It’s not time to pay it, so I can put it on my mental shelf.” So, that’s what I did. There were only two problems with that. First of all, we might not have had the money even when it was time to pay the bill. Secondly, to my wife, it looked like I was ignoring that bill.

Much later I found out that the stack of bills I left sitting there, waiting for money to pay them, was causing my wife problems. In her mind, that stack of bills was growing like a monster, taking over the home. We didn’t have a stack of bills, we had a mountain. Even worse, her husband (me) was ignoring that mountain that was taking over. HEEEEEELLP!

Moving ahead several years in our personal saga; we found ourselves living on the road in a motorhome, traveling and ministering. We’d had several good financial years, where the bills got paid and there was money for things like clothes that didn’t come from a second-hand store. But, let me tell you, living on the road ministering isn’t any way to get rich. So, we were once again struggling financially.

This is where I used some wisdom. I talked to my wife about it and we agreed that I wouldn’t tell her how much money we had or didn’t have. The only time I would say something to my wife about our finances, was either when it was really good, or when I would say, “Only spend X amount of money at the grocery store today.” Other than that, I kept it to myself.

The result of that was that my wife was able to live, without worrying about our finances. Even though we could pretty much count on not having enough money 29 days or more out of every month, she didn’t know. That meant that she didn’t have to worry about it.

Now, let me give you some advice here. Don’t try and do the same thing, unless you have both of these things well in hand. The first one is that you need your wife’s agreement on this. Otherwise, you’re not protecting her, your treating her like an immature child. That’s not going to win you any brownie points (or any other types of points either). The second one is to make sure you take care of things, so that she doesn’t have any reason to worry.

If your wife finds out that you’ve been keeping things from her and not taking care of them, it will be Fourth of July all over again, with a spectacular fireworks display. On the other hand, if you do take care of things, when she later finds out about the problem, she will have reason to feel that her husband takes care of her and protects her.

That’s the feeling you want her to get out of all this. Not that you’re being macho. Not that you’re being dishonest. Not that you’re hiding things from her. What you want is for her to feel secure and protected. Do it right, and she’ll feel that way.

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Secret Love Message

I’ve said again and again how important it is to tell your wife that you love her. She needs that. In fact, she needs it about 10 times a day. Don’t just wait till she’s done something special for you either, or wait till after you make love. That’ll send her the message that all she is to you is a sex toy.

The thing is, it can become a bit challenging, trying to come up with new ways of saying “I love you.” Now, there’s nothing wrong with the same old way, you know, just saying those three words. But, while you can use that over and over, and she’ll never get tired of it, I can’t use it over and over on this blog, or you’ll get tired of it.

Every once in a while, a new way to say “I love you” comes along and slaps me upside the head. So, now that I’ve been slapped this morning, let me share the idea with you.

Buy a bag of those glass baubles that they put in the bottom of vases of artificial flowers. They’re available in a number of colors, with all of them being roughly the same size. You can buy them at any craft store, like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, You can even find them at times in dollar stores. A bag shouldn’t cost you more than a few bucks.

It might help to make yourself a pattern, so take a large piece of paper, and write on it “I love you.” Add a heart or some other adornment if you’d like. You’re going to leave this message on the top of her dresser, so don’t make your pattern so large that it won’t fit. Nor should you make your pattern so complicated that you can’t make the letters and design out of those little glass baubles.

Sometime when your wife is occupied, and you know that she won’t be going into the bedroom for several minutes, you can get started. We’re going to do this project over several days, so you don’t want to do the whole design on the first day. Place enough of the baubles on the dresser top to show that you’re doing something, but not enough that she can figure out what it is that you’re doing. Maybe one in every six stones will work. Here’s the tricky part, though; you can’t lay the pattern down and set the pieces on it, or she’ll know what you’re doing. Instead, you’ve got to use your highly calibrated eye to position those stones. Don’t worry if you don’t get it perfect, you can make adjustments as you go.

Each day this week, add some more glass baubles to the design, making the design more complete. You don’t want her to be able to guess what you’re doing too quickly, so be selective on how you complete the design. Aim for a target of having your love note finished in five or six days.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Very Personal Spa Treatment

Women love to be pampered; I guess that shouldn’t be all that surprising, since we do too. We just look at being pampered a little differently. What you and I see as being pampered and what our wives see as being pampered aren’t exactly the same thing.

For women, going to the beauty salon is being pampered. They get someone to do their hair, paint their nails, even give them a pedicure (that’s doing their toenails). If they’re salon is big enough, they might even be able to get a massage out of the deal, too.

Well, if that’s the way that she wants to be pampered, how about doing it yourself? There’s nothing there that’s so complicated that you couldn’t do it, if you gave it the good old college try. So, go ahead and give her a personal spa treatment, right there in your own bedroom/bathroom. The only thing I’d recommend avoiding is cutting her hair; that could get you in real trouble.

Start by washing her hair for her, to put her in the right frame of mind. Have you ever seen one of those commercials on TV, where the woman is in her office, and three muscular guys are shampooing her hair? Well, you don’t need the other two guys, just do it yourself. Worried about getting her clothes wet? No problem, just get them out of the way; after all, she is your wife.

Now that she’s in a great frame of mind, why not shave her legs for her. I know you know how to shave. Just remember, her legs, especially the front of them, where the bone is right under the skin, can cut easier than your face, so be careful about that. It would kind of ruin the effect to cut her while shaving her. You’ll probably have the best success if you have her sit on a chair in your bathroom, and use a basin of WARM water.

Since you’re on the floor taking care of her legs, you can do her feet at the same time. Give her a foot massage, to take care of her aching feet. Then a pedicure. For the pedicure, you don’t need to get carried away; you just need 3 steps:
  1. Take off the old nail polish with nail polish remover
  2. File the toenails to make sure the ends are nicely rounded
  3. Paint her toenails with the nail polish of her choice

The practice you gain working on her toenails will prepare you to work on her fingernails. Just make sure you don’t get carried away with the nail file. Try and be neat with the little paintbrush that comes in the nail polish too. I know it’s tiny, but you can handle it.

Once all the nail polish has dried, move from the bathroom to the bedroom, have her lay on the bed, and give her a massage. What happens after that is up to the two of you.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Kiss Ambush

As crazy as it may seem, one of the things we guys seem to mess up on regularly is not kissing our wives enough. Can you believe that? Now, I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy kissing my wife and would never want her to think that I wasn’t kissing her enough. I love her and want her to know that I do. Even more than that, it’s something we can do together to build the intimacy in our marriage.

I’m not talking about kissing her at bed time either; I’m talking about kissing her, and hugging her for that matter, throughout the day. If you want things to go well at bed time, you need to make sure that you’re doing the right things throughout the day. One of those right things is to kiss her.

Kissing is one of the most intimate forms of expression there is. Did you know that the lips are the most sensitive part of the body? That’s why babies put everything in their mouths. When you kiss, it wakes up the nervous system throughout your body.

So, if you want to be romantic to your wife, it would just naturally follow that kissing is part and parcel of the romance. Don’t let it become rote, where you kiss only at certain times and only in certain ways; be creative. Kiss your wife when she’s least expecting it; like in the middle of making dinner, or grab her while the two of you are watching TV. Apply that good old spontaneity to the fine art of kissing, and let your wife know you love her.

As I said, don’t just always kiss her the same way, either. Get some variety in there. Kiss the back of her neck, kiss her softly all over her face, kiss her passionately, sweeping her off her feet; kiss her hand, and then continue up the arm. Just kiss her; you’ll both enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Wedding(?) Car

Did you know that humor and romance go well together? You’ve got to be careful though, and make sure that it’s something that she’ll think is funny. Sometimes, as guys, what we think is funny isn’t all that funny to our wives. But, if you do it right, you can bring a smile to her face in more ways than one.

I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you remember your wedding. Even if you don’t remember your own, I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about here. Remember when you left the church, and your friends had tied shoes and tin cans to the back bumper and painted “Just Married” on the back window? Well, why not do it again, with a twist?

There’s nothing more romantic to a woman than a wedding. So, unless your wedding was a total disaster, remembering her own is a great romantic moment. Helping her remember it will definitely win you some big romantic brownie points.

Here’s what you do. Get some light rope, empty cans and old shoes (if you don’t have any, try your local Salvation Army store). Oh, and get a can of whipped cream too (I don’t recommend using shaving cream, unless you are really careful, as it can damage your car’s paint job). Now, deck your car out as if you were just married. The only difference is to paint a different slogan on the back window, something like:
  • Still Married!
  • Still in Love!
  • Married, and Loving it!
  • Celebrating our Marriage!

Of course, you don’t want your wife to see you doing the decorating job, just the end result. When it’s done, take her out somewhere, so she can see what you did, and so that others can see it as well. If it’s your regular date night, so much the better; but even if it’s not, go to the store, our just out for ice cream. Whatever it takes, get your wife and go someplace in your car like that.

Don’t worry about the people staring at you; they’re just jealous that they don’t love each other enough to brag about it to the world. Your wife will do some bragging though, to all her friends.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Value Her Opinion

Let me ask you a question; how opinionated are you? Are you one of those people who has an answer to anything, who can spout forth the latest wisdom on current issues, who is always letting others know what you think about it? Okay, maybe you’re not that sort of person, but how good are you at listening to the opinions of others?

Have you ever noticed that your wife doesn’t agree with you on everything? In fact, there’s a strong possibility that she doesn’t agree with you on a lot of things. That’s actually okay. It’s not necessary that you be in agreement on everything, just the important things.

Learning how to deal with your disagreements is an important part of learning how to live together as a married couple. Many time, couples struggle with this, thinking that they have to agree on every little detail, or their marriage will go down the tubes. No, what you have to do, is learn to compromise on those details that really aren’t important to you.

Most guys don’t have much trouble compromising on home décor. Actually, most guys probably don’t even notice the home décor. She could decorate your home in modern caveman and you’d be comfortable. Actually, you’d probably be more comfortable than her decorating it in Victorian style.

On the other hand, most guys have a real problem compromising on things like what kind of car you are going to buy, how you’re going to spend your money and sports (that’s a biggie). Hey, life is full of compromises, you’ve got to learn to roll with the punches and find a middle ground that works just as well for her as it does for you.

You start that, by listening to what she has to say. If you don’t listen to her, you’re never going to know what she thinks or how she feels about things. Now, there’s a real secret here in listening; that is, you need to pay attention. In other words, you should be able to repeat back what she said, in your own words, without changing the meaning. It’ll take a little practice, but you can do it. The other important thing is to never, never, never put her opinion down. She is just as entitled to her opinion as you are to yours.

Granted, her opinion may seem a little crazy to you. When my wife tells me what she thinks is wrong with the car, it pretty much always sounds crazy; but she clearly thinks that I need her opinion, or I won’t be able to repair the car. Okay, so I let her have her say.

When you ridicule or immediately throw out someone’s opinion, it sends a message to them that they are not valuable. Remember our definition of romance? We’re trying to show her that she’s valuable. So, any time you ridicule or throw out her opinion, without at least giving it a reasonable chance, you are doing the opposite of being romantic. Sounds like a losing proposition to me.

Not only should you hear out her opinion, but you should also give it serious consideration. Hey, you’re not always right, and sometimes, she’s going to be the one who has the answer. As crazy as it sounds, she might even have the answer to why your car doesn’t run. She may not be able to explain why she thinks it’s the alternator that’s bad, but that doesn’t mean she can’t be right.

So, whatever it is, listen to her. Let her tell her your opinion. Who knows, she just might have the answer that you’ve been looking for. Then you can tell her how much you appreciate her help.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Save Those Rose Petals

I’m always on the lookout for new romantic acts. I mean, you can only buy flowers so many times, right? Actually, wrong. While buying flowers for her every day will soon remove the thrill for her, becoming a routine, you can buy them fairly regularly, and still have it seen as a romantic act.

On the other hand, I can’t write about buying flowers once a week, or even once a month. You come here looking for new ideas, so I’ve got to give them to you. Okay, but I still like to come up with unique things that we can do with the same materials, i.e. flowers.

Did you know that flowers, specifically roses, still smell good, even after they’re dead and dry? That gives us an opportunity for using those flowers you bought her last week for a double romantic act. You’ve already gotten a point from her for giving her the flowers, now you’re going to get another point for doing something creative with those same dead flowers.

When they start dying, don’t throw them away. Instead, take the whole bunch of them, tie them together with a rubber band, and hang them upside down somewhere to dry. Give them a week or so, because you’ll want them good and dry, before going on to the next part.

Now that the flowers are dry, carefully remove all the petals from them. I say carefully because dry flower petals are very fragile and you don’t want to crush them. Granted, some will get crushed no matter what you do, don’t throw those crushed ones away, put them with the others. Just try and have as many whole ones as you can.

Those dry rose petals still smell like roses (or whatever kind of flower petals, like whatever kind of flowers they were), don’t they? They may not smell as strong, but they still have that fragrance. So, let’s make use of that. Find a nice bowl, preferably crystal or some other pretty clear glass bowl. Fill the bowl with your dried flower petals and put it in your bedroom. If you’ve got one of those headboards with a bookshelf in it, put it there, if not, put it on her dresser.

I’ll guarantee you; your wife’s nose is more sensitive than yours. She’ll be able to smell those flowers, even if you don’t notice them. You can stir them around every once in a while, just to make the scent a little bit stronger. You have also created a new romantic tradition. From now on, every time you buy your wife flowers, the dried petals can be added to that bowl.

Another thing you can do with those dried flower petals, which your wife will love, is to make her a sachet. All it takes to make a sachet is a small cloth bag and some flower petals. Put the petals in the bag and tie it closes. Then put it in her underwear drawer for her to find. She’ll love it.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Never Lose the “Wow” Factor

Do you remember the first time you saw your wife? C’mon, dredge up those old memories; it’s in there somewhere. There must have been something about her that caught your attention; something that made you go “wow.” Right? You probably wouldn’t have gotten to know her if you hadn’t gone “wow” at some point.

Well, what ever happened to that “wow” factor anyway? Do you still go “wow” when you look at your wife, or is your reaction to her more negative than that? It’s important that we watch out for those reactions, because they can gradually get negative if we let them.

You see, we control our reactions to things around us. We may not be able to control what comes our way, but we can definitely control how we react. For example, there’s a group of us sitting around, complaining about our wives (actually, the women do this more than we do). In the midst of this, I pick up my water glass, and throw it on the guy sitting across from me. He might jump to his feet, yelling, “You made me wet and made me mad.”

In reality, all I did was make him wet. He decided all on his own that he would get mad at me. Granted, you might say that I gave him a reason to get mad at me, but it was still his decision. In fact, he could have made that decision, even if I didn’t give him a reason.

So, how you react to your wife is truly up to you. If you still go “wow” when you see her, it’s because you’ve decided to react to her that way. On the other hand, if you go “oh no” when you see her, it’s because you’ve decided that’s the way you want to react to her. Once again, it’s all up to you.

What kind of reaction have you decided to have to your wife? Is it positive, or negative? If it’s negative, you can’t blame anyone but yourself. The good news is, you can decide to change how you think about her. All you have to do to get that “wow factor” back, is decide you want it back; then you’ll start looking for things to say “wow” about. You won’t have to make yourself do it, it’ll happen on it’s own.

So, how’s your “wow” factor now?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Don’t Take it out on Her

You know, life is full of frustrations. Frustrations at work; frustrations with the kids; financial frustrations; frustration with the car, when it breaks down; even frustration when your team loses the ball game. It’s a given that you can’t get through the average week, without a nice assortment of frustrations coming to pay you a visit.

It’s not just frustrations either. Life is full of other negative emotions; anger, hurt, worry, even fear (although us guys aren’t all that good at admitting it when fear pays us a visit). All in all, we have plenty of opportunity to feel negative emotions and express them.

By comparison, it doesn’t seem like there’s really all that much out there that’s trying to make us happy. It’s almost like happiness tries to hide from us, teasing us every once in a while, but not really letting us know it’s there.

The question is, what do you do with all those negative emotions when they come along? How do you deal with them, so that they don’t become destructive to you and to those around you?

There’s an old saying that goes, “You only hurt the ones you love.” I’m sure you’ve run across it sometime. You’ve probably had a chance to reflect on it, sometime when you had just done something to hurt those around you. Why is it that we hurt them? Why do we end up taking all those negative feelings out on them, instead of dealing with them in a healthier manner?

A large part of the answer to that question is that we don’t deal with the negative emotions; most especially, we don’t deal with the people and things that cause them for us. If the boss does something to upset us, we typically don’t tell him. Instead, we bottle it up inside, waiting for a chance to let it out. Usually, the first “safe” opportunity to let it out is at home, where it ends up directed at… you got it, our wives. So, instead of saying what we want to our boss, we say what we don’t want to our wives, and end up hurting them.

Granted, as guys, we’re not all that into “getting in touch with our feelings.” But, I’ll have to say that we need a little bit more awareness than what we normally show. If you’re upset about something, you at least need to know that you’re upset. The next thought needs to be “I’m dangerous to be around right now.” That way, the explosion which hurts your wife won’t come unexpectedly.

Now, if you’re aware of your anger or frustration, you can start to do something positive about it. I’d recommend starting by letting your wife and kids know that you are dangerous to be around. Then, go shoot some hoops, run a few miles, or pump some iron. Something to help you burn off all that extra energy that the anger has caused in you. That will take you from having a short-burning fuse to at least a longer-burning one.

Once you’ve burned off enough energy to cool off a bit, you’re ready to start dealing with the problem in a more rational way, acting like an adult, instead of like an overgrown adolescent. We all know that adolescents can’t control themselves, but as men, we should be able to.

Now that you can talk rationally, let your wife know what happened, make some intelligent decisions about how to deal with it, and get ready to go on with your life.

That’s a whole lot better than jumping all over your wife, just because somebody or something jumped all over you. By learning to react in this way, you’ll eliminate any reason your wife has for fearing you and show her that you are concerned about her feelings and protecting her from being hurt. That may not be romantic, but then again, it means that when you buy her flowers, it won’t be to apologize, it’ll be to tell her you love her.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Never Forget to Tell Her She’s Beautiful

I’d like to take a moment to tie together some things I’ve said in a couple of recent postings; two separate but interrelated points, that we need to make sure we deal with properly. The first point was about how women all want to be beautiful. I mentioned that in the post on “If it’s important to her.” The second point was from last month, in the post on “Overcoming her negativity.”

Let me ask you a question, back when you fell in love with your wife, how important was it to you that your wife was beautiful to you? According to Willard Harley’s book, “His Needs, Her Needs” her being attractive is the third biggest need that you, as a man, have in your marriage. So, don’t try and tell me that you married her just because she was charming and witty, or because she had such a marvelous brain, a strong part of the reason that you married her was because you thought she was hot.

Hopefully, the years haven’t diminished that opinion. If they have, you might want to look for the reason why your opinion has changed. Don’t try and blame it all on her, either. If you spend a lot of time looking at other women, especially younger thinner women, you’re probably going to have trouble maintaining the thought that your wife is beautiful. This problem can only get worse if you’re looking at pornography.

My wife and I have been married for 25 years now, and I still think she’s beautiful. She can still turn me on just as much now as she could when we were younger. Oh, I recognize that her body isn’t the same as it was back then, nor is her hair color exactly the same, and she might have a wrinkle or two, although I really don’t notice them. But, you know what? I’m not that lean young guy that she married either. My hair can’t seem to make up its mind whether it’s black or grey, and my spare tire seems to have grown its own spare.
Just because my wife isn’t as young as she once was, doesn’t make her any less beautiful to me. It would if I was preoccupied with other women, but I make a point of not doing that. Fortunately for me, I don’t have to spend a lot of time around young, slim women.

It’s not enough for me to think that my wife is beautiful; I have to constantly make sure that she knows that I think she’s beautiful. That’s the point I want to make here. She needs you to build her self-esteem up, by telling her how beautiful she is. If there’s some part that you don’t particularly find attractive, overlook it and concentrate on the parts that you think are attractive.

Have you ever read the Song of Solomon in the Bible? There are whole sections, like chapter 4, where he’s telling her how beautiful he thinks she is. He describes various parts of her body, comparing them to other things which are considered to be beautiful.

Does your wife have beautiful breasts? Tell her so. Does her hair stand out as being especially wonderful to you? Make sure she knows that. What about her eyes, do you still feel like you’re going to fall in, when you look her in the eyes? Well, go ahead and fall in, just tell her about the experience. Do her lips draw you close, begging to be kissed? Make sure you explain how you can’t resist kissing her; then follow it up with a long, passionate kiss.

Your wife needs to know that you think she’s beautiful. You really can’t tell her that enough times, let alone too many times. She doesn’t think that she is. She looks around at other women and compares herself to them constantly. Unfortunately, in her eyes, she always comes up short.

When was the last time that you told her she was was beautiful? Has it been more than 15 minutes? If it has, that’s too long; it’s time to tell her again. I’ll guarantee you, she won’t get tired of hearing it.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Chick Flicks

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are four basic types of movies in the world:
  • Chick flicks, otherwise known as estrogen flicks
  • Action movies, otherwise known as testosterone flicks
  • Comedies, which are neutral
  • Kids movies, especially cartoons

Maybe there’s one or two others that have been produced throughout the history of Hollywood, that don’t fit in one of those three categories, but they’re really, really rare.

If you’re like most couples, you always have a hard time determining what kind of movie you’re going to go see. You want one thing, she wants another, and never the twain shall meet, right? Or, if you do meet, it’s in category four, and you go see something for the kids. I don’t know about you, but I like lots of those kids’ movies.

Okay, so here we are on a blog that’s talking about what? Oh, yeah, being romantic. Well, tell me, what’s romantic about an action movie? For that matter, what’s romantic about trying to get your wife to go to that action movie, when she’d really rather go to a chick flick?

There’s one very important major theme in all chick flicks. Do you know what it is? They’re romantic. Maybe that’s why we guys don’t get all that excited about them; we’re not really into romance. But, our wives are. If we’re going to be loving and romantic towards them, doesn’t it make sense to go to a movie they’d like? Besides, there are definite fringe benefits in going to a chick flick; namely in that she feels romantic afterwards.

We’ve got some friends that try and get away for a weekend together, without kids, every once in a while. When they do, they always go to two movies; one that she picks and one that he does. That way, they both get to see something they like and they get to be with each other, while the other one is getting to see something they like. Sounds like a good compromise to me.

Oh, and, don't forget the popcorn.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

If it’s Important to Her…

Have you ever noticed how women’s priorities are vastly different than ours? You know, sometimes it seems like anything that’s important to us as guys is unimportant to them as women. Of course, that means that whatever is important to us appears to be unimportant to them. It really isn’t that way, of course, but it sure seems that way, at times.

Take going to the beauty salon, for example. Most of us can’t understand that amount of time a woman can spend having her hair fussed with, and her nails done, even getting a pedicure. But, wait a minute, don’t you want your wife to look beautiful? Aren’t you attracted to her, for how she looks? Would she even be your wife, if you didn’t think she was good looking? The reality is that her preoccupation with her looks is a very important part of maintaining your marriage healthy.

How about the other side of the coin? Are there things that you are interested in, which she isn’t, but are important to your marriage? You bet; maybe not everything, but some of your interests benefit the marriage as well.

So, where am I going with all this? Simple; if something is important to her, there’s probably a good reason for it to be important. Why it’s important may not be obvious; in fact, it may not be understandable to you as a guy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. If it’s important to her, you should treat it as if it’s important.

That means you don’t ridicule her for it, ignore it, or pretend that it doesn’t exist. Many times, our wives will ask us to do something, because it’s important to them; you know, the famous “honey-do list.” Well, that list exists because she thinks those things are important. The longer you wait to do those things the less important she thinks she is in your eyes.

Did you get that last sentence, that’s important. When we ignore those things which are important to our wives, we send them a message that they aren’t important; not the things, but our wife. Ouch!

On the other hand, when we take care of those things which she thinks is important, we show her that we value her and what is important to her. That’s the kind of message we want to send. So, next time she asks you to do something, don’t ignore it, don’t put it on the bottom of your list, simply do it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wake Her up to some Java

There are those of us for whom getting up in the morning is just another part of life. Then there are those for whom getting up in the morning is a major event, one of the great tragedies of life. Which one are you? Even more importantly, which one is your wife?

If it happens to be that you’re the one who wakes up first in your home, it offers you a great opportunity to start the day out with romance. Waking your wife up in a romantic manner is a great way to start your day; or should I say, to start her day.

Granted, being woken up may not seem very romantic, in fact it might even seem like cruel treatment to some. But that cruelty can easily be mitigated by doing something to show her that you think she’s special. All it takes is going that little extra mile; literally.

Do you and your wife have a favorite coffee shop? Is there a special coffee drink that she likes, or that she always orders? Well, set your alarm clock an extra 15 minutes early, get out of bed, and go get her one. Simple, right? She’ll still have to get up that morning, but at least she’ll get up to a nice cup of coffee. Better yet, she’ll get up knowing that you love her enough to make the effort of going out to get that coffee for her.

Of course, there are those women who don’t like coffee. They’re rare, but they are out there. So, what do you do if you’re married to one of them? Adapt! My wife can’t stand coffee, and is maybe 5% better than that on tea (she’ll have tea only when she has a sore throat, and then there’s more honey than tea). Running out to get a coffee for my wife would be a waste of time; but she likes hot chocolate! I can do the same thing, just change the coffee for hot chocolate.

If you really want to make her coffee special; pick up a rose at the grocery store on your way to the coffee house. Then you can present the coffee and rose together on a serving tray, or attach the rose to her coffee cup with tape. Even if she doesn’t get the message with the coffee (very doubtful), she’ll get it with the flower.

Gift Her Some Music

I’m sure you’re aware how music can affect someone’s mood. That’s such common knowledge that they even call background music in a restaurant or other public place, “mood music.” Mood music differs from elevator music or Muzak in that at least it’s worth listening to. I’m pretty sure elevator music is intended to just bore you. Even gyms use music; if you go to a gym to work out, they’ve got very energetic, fast paced music, with a clear beat playing, to help you exercise.

Okay, so how does that apply to our marriages? Music has been used for a long time to positively affect people’s thoughts and emotions. As we all know, our wives are emotional beings, so there ought to be some way to make a positive connection between music and our wives.

Most people have a favorite type of music; what’s your wife’s? Is it something upbeat and cheery? Is it dramatic? Is it mournful and depressing? You know, there are some types of music that definitely don’t help the emotions. Jazz Blues doesn’t seem much like music to cheer somebody up, more like something to make them melancholy. Or, what about Country-Western? I can’t see how anyone’s emotions can be lifted up by hearing about how one more Dime-store Cowboy lost his wife and dog on the same day that his pickup truck broke down.

As Christians, my wife and I find that praise and worship music lifts our spirits and our emotions. That’s not the kind of Christian music that usually comes out of the radio; we’ve got to look for it ourselves. But, we’ve built a pretty good collection through the years.

We all know that there are times when our wives need some sort of a pick-me-up. Well, music can do that for her. What we need is the wisdom to put the music on for her in those times. We need to buy her music that will help her, make sure it’s available, and at times, turn on the stereo so she can hear it.

You could even go one step further and buy her an iPod for that music. Most people like to have music when they work, so help her have some music while she’s working. Invest a little in a gift to lift her emotions. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tell Her Why She’s Special

It seems that just about all of us, by our very nature, have trouble with maintaining our self esteem. It doesn’t matter if we’re men or women, if nobody is reminding us that we are special, valuable people, we start feeling like we’re nobody. Of course, there are those few exception who are convinced that they are God’s gift to the world; but even then, I wonder if that’s what they think, deep down inside.

I think this problem with self esteem comes from the way the world constantly beats us down. There’s always somebody there to tell us when we’ve failed, when we’re not big enough for the situation or to make fun of our attempts to do what needs to be done. The truth is, there’s enough trouble that confronts us in life to make any of us feel like we’re the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time. Life tends to beat us down.

I’m sure you appreciate it when your wife says positive things about you; letting you know that she sees you as her white knight, rust and all. Well, guess what? She appreciates it when you say positive things about her too. In fact, she needs you to tell her what there is about her that makes you love her.

Have you ever noticed how much women want to hear those three words? That’s because they don’t see themselves as being all that loveable. They need to be reminded, because they don’t believe it on their own. Well, there’s more than one way to say “I love you.”

Why did you marry your wife? Hopefully, you saw more in here than just a beautiful body. There must have been some ability, character trait or potential which you saw in her, which caused you to take more than just a second look at her. Guess what? Those things are still there, maybe slightly hidden under the day-to-day chores and cares, but they’re still there.

Tell your wife what it is about her that makes her special in your eyes; those things that you appreciate about her; the special abilities she has that leave you saying “wow.” She needs to hear them, and when she does, she hears you saying “I love you.”

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Time to Buy Her a Gift

Many men, especially the romantically challenged, only buy their wife a gift on special days, or when they know they’re in trouble. You know what I mean, instead of saying they’re sorry with words, they do so by buying something for her. Now think about that for a moment. Let’s say that the gift is a box of chocolates, always a good gift idea. Every time she eats one of those chocolates, she’s going to be reminded of whatever he did that got her upset the first time. Sounds to me like a recipe for bitterness.

On the other hand, if he’s in the habit of buying her gifts, and can actually learn how to say “I’m sorry” then his gifts are going to be much more effective. He won’t be giving her gifts to try and get out of trouble, he’ll be giving her gifts to try and keep their marriage strong; a much better proposition in my eyes.

So, when is it a good time to buy her a gift? Good question, how about… anytime! Why does there have to be a special reason; why not just buy it because you want to? Just because you’re thinking about her.

I remember seeing a little sign at an art show I participated in as a kid. It said, “The time to buy a work of art is when you see one you like.” I always liked that little jingle, so let’s adapt it to our needs. The time to buy your wife a gift, is when you see something she’d like. How’s that? Sounds to me like a good time to buy her a gift.

Let me show you how this works. I was in a Barnes & Nobles book store the other day, having a cup of coffee with a friend. There was a stand in the coffee shop, where they were selling Godiva chocolates. Now, my wife and I are both chocoholics, especially for dark chocolate, so buying her chocolate is always a good idea. They had something I’d never seen before, they had Godiva dark hot chocolate mix. Now, not only is my wife a chocoholic, but she can’t stand coffee or tea, so she drinks hot chocolate. Hark, I hear the voice of opportunity knocking on my door! Time to buy my wife a little gift.

See how easy that is. If you know what your wife likes, and you should, all you have to do is keep your eyes open and take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. I’m sure you’ll find plenty of opportunities. In fact, you might find so many, that you could go bankrupt trying to use them all. Uhhh… don’t do that, it won’t help. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset

We all have the same struggles coming up with enough time for romance. No matter who we are, it seems like there’s a million things trying to steal our time and keep us from having time for our wives. It seems that all too often, romance takes a back seat to other priorities. However, there are two times in the day that just seem naturally made for romance, sunrise and sunset.

Have you ever just sat and enjoyed the quiet of a sunrise, or even the quiet of a sunset. There’s something about the peace and quiet of those times, which bleeds the stress off, replacing it with peace.

How about spending that time with your wife? Have the two of you ever just taken the time to enjoy a sunrise or a sunset together? If not, maybe it’s time to do so.

Find yourself a nice quiet place, preferably outside of town; even better yet, a place with some great scenery to go along with the sunset. A place where nobody can bother you while you are enjoying yourself. Bring yourself a blanket or a couple of chairs to sit on, something to eat and drink with you and make sure you get there in plenty of time to set up and relax.

Take your time to just sit there and enjoy yourself. Enjoy your snack together, and take the time to watch the changing of the colors in the sky, see the beauty of God’s creation, and remember the beauty of your wife. Don’t forget to compliment her on her beauty as well.

Who knows, maybe this could get to be a new habit of yours.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sometimes, Work isn’t the Most Important Thing

As guys, we tend to be very focused on our work; what we do becomes who we are. It affects our self-worth, our social standing and our sense of well-being. There’s a great tendency to make that the most important priority in our lives; letting everything else slip at times, so that we can focus on our work. This situation is even more pronounced for those of us who are professionals. Somehow, we’ve all been taught that our work comes before anything else.

While I have to agree that work is important, I have to disagree that it is the most important thing in our lives. Once upon a time, I was on that fast-track route, climbing the corporate ladder, trying to be a “success.” Fortunately for me and for my marriage, I learned that work is not the most important thing in my life.

Although I still work a lot, I’ve chosen to work as a freelancer. This allows me the flexibility that I need to be a successful professional; while still being a successful husband. As I said, I still work a lot, but when my wife needs me, I can be there for her.

You see, I no longer work to feel valuable. Nor do I do it to be a success. I work so that I can pay the bills. That means that my work is suborned to other things in my life, instead of being my life. Since my purpose in working is to support those other things, then I can choose not to work, when I need to focus on those other areas of my life.

Let me give you a simple example. My wife needed to go to the dentist today. Since we live on the Texas/Mexico border, we go to the dentist in Mexico, where it’s a whole lot cheaper. But, Northern Mexico isn’t a very safe place to be right now. So, I don’t let my wife go there by herself. When she needs to go, I take her. Since my work schedule is flexible, I am able to do that, and work later to make up for it.

The point is, she’s more important to me than my work. So, when she needs me, I need to be there for her, not off working on something that doesn’t allow me to be available for her needs. I’ve made some life-style decisions, which allow me to live in a way, where I am available to my wife. That’s important to her and it’s important to me.

How many times has your wife needed you, but you couldn’t find time for her? I know there were lots of times where I failed in that area; before making some important decisions. Yes, my wife wants me to make a decent living; but not at the cost of not having time for the more important things in life. Since I’ve decided that she’s more important, I have to live that way. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Taking Care of things at Home

Sometimes, I think all us guys need a swift kick on the side of head every month or so, just to wake us up. I know, I know, I’m a guy too, and I’m supposed to defend us, right? Well, I’ll have to say, in all honesty, that there are some times when we don’t deserve to be defended.

Don’t get me wrong here; I’m not of that camp which says that we are supposed to become more like our wives. In fact, the way I read Ephesians, chapter 5, part of the “wives submit to your husbands” means that they are to “adapt themselves to” us. Psychology tells us to “get in touch with our feelings” and learn how to talk about them; but the Bible doesn’t say that.

No, what I’m talking about is how insensitive we can be to the things that matter to our wives. It seems to me that loving someone includes taking an interest in what interests them. Don’t we all love it when a woman asks us about our jobs? Why? Because we tend to identify ourselves with our professions, so to us, asking about our work is asking us about who we are and what makes us tick.

Of course, our wives aren’t the same. They don’t identify themselves by their work, but by their family, their relationships, even by their home. So, to take an interest in them, means to take an interest in family, relationships and the home.

I realize that might not be easy; in fact, it’s rather unnatural for us. The only way that a guy can really take that sort of interest is to make a point of doing so. There are so many things that we naturally overlook; but many of those things are important to our wives.

Take the house for example. As guys, we can live anywhere, in anything, and be just about as content as if we were living in a palace. Often, we’re more concerned about how our car looks than how our house looks; but our wives are concerned about the house. This can cause a lot of opportunity for disagreements and fights if we let it. On the other hand, it can provide us with the opportunity to show our wives how much we care, if we utilize it.

How many things are there around your house that need to be repaired? Not sure? You know, every one of those things can become a sore point for your wife. Worse than that, they can make her feel bad about herself. That can have serious consequences.

All too often, when faced with a broken window or a sagging porch, we do something to make it useable, “till we have the time to repair it.” The problem is, that time never arrives, unless we make a point of making it arrive. Waiting for it to show up on its own doesn’t work. But, when we do make a point of noticing those things, and do something about them, we make our wives feel like their concerns are our concerns; that we are interested in what they are interested in, and that we care.

Let’s take this idea one step further. I don’t know about you, but I’m a consummate do-it-yourselfer. When I look at my home, I’m seeing all sorts of projects that I can do to make it better. Granted, not all of those projects are practical from a financial point of view, but at least some of them are. Even if you can’t do them yourself, you could always hire someone else to do them.

Investing money in upgrading your house is always worthwhile. Not only does it make your house more enjoyable to live in, it also makes your property value go up. In the world of real estate they call this “sweat equity.” It’s the equity (value) you have in your home, which comes from the work you’ve done on it. But, there’s another value that goes along with that; it’s the value of positive feelings that you put into your wife’s heart. By improving your home, you make her feel as if you’re investing in her.

One last detail I want to mention about this. Women like to feel pretty; which is very good planning on God’s part, since we like them to be pretty as well. Doing the minimum necessary to fix or upgrade something is one thing; but if you really want to gain ground, go above and beyond.

What do I mean by that? Simple; if you’re going to paint the exterior of your house, find a way to make the paint job extraordinary. Let’s take a brick house for example; instead of painting the trim one color, make it two tone; one for the soffits and the other for the trim. That dresses up a house a lot; or you could say “makes it prettier.” Another simple example is to add crown molding in the living areas of your house, especially if you are about to paint. It adds a lot of elegance to the rooms, without an enormous cost.

Why spend the time and money for these extras? Because they will make your wife feel good. That, in and of itself, makes it worthwhile.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Important is it?

It’s summertime, time for getting out in the sun, having a barbecue, playing sports and especially going on fishing trips; all those great fun-filled activities that we all look forward to every summer. So, what are your plans for this summer? Got a big fishing trip planned with the guys?

You know, there are some activities that we undertake as guys, which aren’t all that exciting for our wives. In my whole life I think I’ve only met two women who like to go fishing; probably about the same number who like to play football. Most women, even the ones who like getting out in the fresh air, just don’t seem to be into those great outdoor activities that we like.

“Okay, so what? I need my time for me, right? I need a little space so I can do what I want to do.”

You know, if some guy came to me talking like that, I’d probably answer him with, “I, I, I, I, I, everything seems to be about I.” I thought you were married.

You see, in marriage, the word “I” changes to a plural word. “I” as a bachelor is different; it really is about the individual. But, once you say “I do,” “I” includes that woman you just promised to cleave to, till death do you part. Going off on a fishing trip, when she doesn’t like to fish, just isn’t taking care of your marriage.

I’m not saying “You’ve got to sacrifice for her” (said with a deep voice and lots of drama), I’m saying that it’s time to review your priorities. I like to hunt and fish too, I grew up that way. But, you know, when I married my wife, I knew that she wasn’t into those things. To her, hunting was something you did in the mall; and it wasn’t about some smelly animal either.

There are a number of things that I left behind when I got married. Not because I was “sacrificing those things for my marriage” (roll the drama voice again), but because she was more important than those other things. It was easy to leave them behind, because I wanted to be with her.

You know something? I still feel that way. As much as I’d love to take a weekend off and go fishing with my buddies, I’d much rather spend that weekend with her, painting the living room. Not because I love to paint, but because I love to be with her. To me, any activity without my wife, isn’t much of an activity at all.

What about you?

Friday, July 8, 2011

When we Wait to Forgive

Have you ever noticed how most of us wait to forgive each other? What I mean by that is, well, actually it’s a couple of things. First of all, we tend not to forgive, until that other person asks for forgiveness. Then, even when they ask us to forgive them, we’re not in much of a hurry to do so.

What we’re really doing when we’re like that is that we’re trying to make them pay for whatever indiscretion they’ve done that offended us. We want them to grovel a little and beg our forgiveness, so that they know that they’ve been wrong. Not only that, but they show us that they know how wrong they’ve been and that we are so valuable, that they can’t afford to lose our love and friendship.

What a bunch of hogwash! I have to say, when we act like that, we are acting in pride. Not only are we acting in pride, but the only love we are demonstrating is love for self. There’s no love for the other person in making them grovel before us.

While I’m on my soapbox, let me say that it isn’t that other person’s fault that they’ve offended you. Let me put it this way, if I throw a bucket of water on you, and you get mad, you might say, “You made me wet and you made me mad.” But the truth is, I just made you wet, you decided to get mad all on your own. In fact, in other circumstances, you might not choose to get mad at the same act, but to laugh instead.

So, if it’s not the other person’s fault, when they offend you, whose fault is it? That’s simple, it’s yours. You choose whether you allow something to offend you or not. In fact, many times, you have to misunderstand what the other person is saying, in order to get offended. Then you have to decide that what they said or did was intentionally done to be against you; whether it was or not. Like I said, it’s all pride.

If we are going to truly act in love, then we are going to work to avoid being offended, instead of working to seek out offense in what others say. If we do start to feel a little offense, we’re not going to nurse it; we’re going to be quick to forgive, dispelling the offense, before it has a chance to grow

Being romantic, without displaying the heart attitude of selfless love, really isn’t worth much. It becomes a way of seeking to make up for wrong actions and attitudes, instead of a way to demonstrate and build the relationship in a marriage. Start where it mattes, with the things of your heart. Then you’ll be ready to minister to her heart so much more.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Time for a Little Dress Up

If you ever had sisters, you probably remember how they loved to play dress-up. Although you wouldn’t admit it, you probably played along with them a time or two; dressing up and pretending that you’re somebody different. You might have even been in a few amateur theatrics that you put on in your own living room, for an audience of your parents.

You know something? Women never really outgrow that stage of playing dress up. They like getting dressed up fancy, just to do it; even if there’s no reason. That’s part of the joy of shopping for women; just getting to go dress up in something different.

Dressing up also changes how they feel about themselves. One of the reasons that women buy so much clothing is that they think they’re ugly. Granted, not all women think they’re ugly. There’s the one or two percent out there who are really stuck up about how they look. But with women, there’s pretty much no middle ground. Either they thing they’re God’s gift to mankind, or they think they’re ugly. They might have a moment or two where they don’t think that way, but those are rare moments.

When a woman puts on something new and pretty, it makes her feel pretty; that makes her feel good about herself. So, when your wife buys new clothing, she’s trying to make herself feel good. That’s it.

They also like it when we dress up. Something about a man, dressed up in a nice suit, attracts a woman’s eye. Now, women aren’t visually stimulated like men are, but they do notice how one is dressed. My wife always comments when I get dressed up. Guess what? She’s not alone in that.

So, here’s the plan. Since Friday night is probably your date night, make it a fancy one this week. I don’t mean that you have to go out to the fanciest restaurant in town (although you can if you want), just that you have to be the fanciest ones in town. Put on your best and have her do so too. If you end up eating I McDonalds, everyone will be staring at you. That’s all right, let them think you just came from the prom.

Maybe you could put a little acting into the game as well. Pretend that you’re Al Capone and she’s your doll. Or, you could pretend that you just struck it rich, and she’s a gold digger. Have a little fun; get out of your routine, be somebody you’ve always dreamed of being.

The point is to help her feel good about herself. Just getting dressed up will do that. Any stares or attention she gets will help her feel good too. Like I said, have fun, laugh, make the most of it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Picture You Perfect

Pictures can be very romantic. They can capture special moments, special feelings and especially special people. So, when was the last time that the two of you got a picture taken as a couple? If you’re like most of us, the last picture might be from your wedding.

Even if you’re not all that interested in capturing your entire life on film (or electronic images like we do today), your wife probably is. I’m more of an artistic type of photographer, so whenever we went places, I was taking pictures of what was there. My wife always wanted the typical “tourist pictures” of the family standing in front of or beside some sign or monument to tell where we were.

To a woman, unless she’s an artistic photographer, pictures are memories of things that she’s done with people that she loves. As such, they’re important to her. Not just to have, but to go through every once in a while, remembering the great experiences you’ve had together as a couple and as a family.

So, to get back to the original question I asked you, when was the last time the two of you had a picture taken together as a couple? I don’t just mean snapping a quick pic either; I’m talking about a nice, professionally done photo of the two of you. If it’s been a while, then you have an opportunity to schedule a nice romantic gift for your wife.

Call your local photo studio, and schedule a session to get your photo taken together. Go through the extra effort to dress nice for the photo, even getting a hair cut if you need it. This photo is going to be around for a while, so you want to make sure it comes out nice.

Oh, and don’t forget to smile for the birdie.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Be Sure to Take Her Along

There are those of us who occasionally have to travel or attend dinner for business purposes. To us, it’s nothing exciting; just part of business. But, to our wives, it’s an opportunity to get out, go somewhere and do something.

Actually, I think they’ve got a better idea about it anyway. I’ve been on enough boring business trips, that I’m really not that interested in going on another one. It’s much better to take her along and turn that business trip into a fun trip. Park the kids with someone, pay for the extra plane ticket, even try and get an extra day in there, if possible. It makes the trip much more enjoyable.

The issue isn’t about where you’re going. Granted, if your company sends you to Hawaii, and you leave your wife at home, you’re going to have a lot of explaining to do. But, most of the time, the company doesn’t send us anywhere all that interesting. Still, wherever it is has got to be more interesting than staying at home with the kids.

You can make anyplace into an interesting trip, if you try to. There are interesting places to go, things to see and new restaurants to try. Even if you’re in the middle of nowhere, you can use the extra time, just to spend some time together. After all, what else are you going to do in the evening?

So, park the kids with their grandparents for a few days, and take your wife along with you. That can turn your boring business trip into something interesting; maybe even a second honeymoon. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Overcome Her Negativity

Have you ever noticed that women in general are negative? Now, I realize that any time someone talks in generalities, they end up being generally wrong; but, I’m going to take a shot at it anyway. What I’m saying about women may not be true in all cases, but it is true in most cases. Women tend to be negative.

Let me back that up with a little bit of something to show you what I mean. First of all, women have a much greater tendency to be worriers than men do. As men, when we have a problem we can’t do anything about, we tend to set it aside, waiting until we can do something about it. In the mean time, we work on something that we can do something about.

Women also complain more. Us guys will usually keep our complaints bottled up inside us, while women have a genuine need to get their complaints “off their chest.” So, they complain. They also tend to think that the worst is going to happen, instead of the best. They also think very negatively about themselves. A man walking by a mirror in a store will look at himself and think, “Yeah, I’ve still got it.” But, a woman going by the same mirror will think, “I’m fat. Is that another grey hair? I’m getting too many wrinkles.” I’m ugly. Finally, women are much more likely to say “no” to having some fun, especially if it involves something out of the ordinary. They like things calm and familiar, not crazy and adventurous.

Okay, so let’s not put our wives down for how they are, let’s just understand it. The important thing is that both you and her don’t be negative; because negativity feeds upon itself, breeding more negativity. What you need to do, is overcome your wife’s negativity with your positivity. Realize that she’s that way and help her overcome it by the things that you say.

I think, of all the negativity I’ve seen in women, the biggie is their negativity towards themselves. Knowing that, I see a great need for us husbands to be constantly affirming our wives, especially affirming how they look, to help her feel good about herself.

So, what do you do if your wife is overweight? Simple, just don’t talk about that part. Talk about how beautiful her hair is, or her eyes, or her breasts. Don’t add to her negativity; overcome it with talking about the things that you see are beautiful. This isn’t about you, it’s about helping her.

The last thing you want to do is to add to her already negative opinion about herself, her life and her surroundings. Remember, her complaints have basis in what she’s feeling in her heart. So, if she complains about something regularly, that means there’s something behind that complaint. You may have to do a little digging, but you should be able to find out what it is.

If she’s complaining about something, it might just be words. But, if you find that there is some basis in fact, behind her complaint. Then you should do something about it. Maybe she complains about the house a lot. Okay, why? Could it be that the house has some problems that need to be fixed? Granted, as guys, we’re much less likely to notice this than our wives are. So, pay attention to her complaint. Investigate it. If there is a problem with the house, you’d probably better do something about it.

The end result of all this is that you can affect how your wife feels about things. It’s not easy, but it is possible. You can be positive enough to overcome her worries, her complaints and her negative opinions. Don’t take any of it personally, just look for ways to overcome it.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Love Note Rocks

Any true book lover can tell you that historically, the longest-lasting writings are all done in stone. The question is, is your love for your wife long lasting enough to put it on stone? This isn’t for the faint of heart now, if your love won’t last as long as that stone you’re putting it on, are you sure you want to declare it there?

Granted, etching words in stone with a hammer and chisel is a rather cumbersome task. Fortunately for us, we don’t really have to go to that extreme. No, instead of etching our messages into the stone, I think it would be much more practical to paint them on the stone.

Here’s how you do it:
  • Gather some nice stones, something about the size of a fist.
  • Clean your stones (your wife isn’t going to want dirty stones; besides, the paint won’t last)
  • Figure out which way the stones sit better (which side is up). Paint a small (1” – 2”) circle or oval on the up side of each of them, with acrylic or latex paint. Allow it to dry.
  • Paint your wife’s name in the circle. Allow it to dry thoroughly.
  • Now, flip the stone over and paint the entire underside of it. Allow the paint to dry.
  • Paint a loving phrase inside that circle. Allow it to dry thoroughly.

In case you’re having some trouble coming up with loving phrases, here’s a few that you can use:
  • I love/need/want you (real original, right?)
  • You are wonderful
  • You are beautiful
  • You are the world’s best wife/friend/lover (whatever you want to put there)
  • You make me happy/feel special/want you more
  • I never get tired of just looking at you
  • How was I so lucky to get you?
  • You rock!

Now that your love note rocks are ready, you need to make the delivery. There’s a couple of ways you could go about that. One is to put them in your flower garden, then casually take your wife out there to look at the flowers, letting her discover them. Another is to place them along a route and take a walk to find them (only, you’d better be ready to carry them back for her). You could even make a little cluster of them in a basket, or by the front door and let her find it.

No matter how you make the delivery, your wife will be the only woman in the neighborhood whose husband loves her enough to make his love note so permanent as to put it on stone.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Romantic Getaway

It’s summertime, the time of outdoor activities, back-yard barbecues and vacations. The kids are out of school, the sun is going down later and everyone is taking advantage of the time to enjoy themselves. Nothing wrong with that, just don’t forget to enjoy yourself with your wife as well.

Whiles you’re planning this year’s vacation, why not plan it in such a way as to have some time for just the two of you. There’s a couple of different ways that you can do that:

  • Plan two vacations, one with the family and one as a couple. Leave the kids with your parents, while the two of you get away.
  • Plan a family vacation that will give the kids something to do, while you spend some time alone.
  • Plan on sending the kids to camp, sometime during the summers, so you can have a couple of days alone.

The point is that the two of you get at least a couple of days alone. Of course, if your kids are grown up this isn’t a problem, but with kids, it can be a real challenge.

Don’t try and fill those days that you spend together with activities, try and fill it with each other. Read the Bible or a marriage book together. Take some long walks. Watch the sun come up or go down. Sit together to listen to the waves crashing on the shore or the wind blowing through the mountain trees. Have long talks about your dreams. Lie in each other’s arms and kiss.

The point of the exercise is to have some time where the two of you are just focused on each other. Not on doing something together, nor going somewhere together, but being together. Some time, in which you don’t have to rush to pick up the kids, get back to work or run off to some activity.

Make sure you leave laptops, phones and other distractions behind when you do this. Matter of fact, it’d be a good idea to leave your watches behind as well. You don’t need a watch to tell you when it’s time to eat, just eat when you’re hungry. Nor do you need a watch to tell you when to sleep; you can do that when you’re tired. You’re leaving everything behind that requires keeping track of time, so why not leave time behind as well?

Enjoy your time of just being you together, enjoying exploring the person that you are joined together with, just as if you were on your honeymoon once again. In fact, why not make it a second honeymoon?

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Gift to Relax Her

It seems that lots of guys equate romance with gifts, more than anything else. You know, the classic gift of giving your wife flowers or chocolates. Fortunately for us, women seem to like receiving those gifts. They almost seem to accept them as if they’d never been given a gift before.

What is it about giving gifts that makes it so special? It’s that when you give a gift, you are really giving a part of yourself to the other person. You see, the only real thing any of us have is our time and our ability. So, when we go to work somewhere, whether it is for a huge conglomerate, a small business, or even working as an independent contractor, we’re trading out time and ability to others for money. When we buy something with that money, we’re actually buying it with part of our lives. So, giving a gift, is giving of yourself.

A relationship is also about giving of yourself. Oh, maybe it’s a little bit intangible how we give of ourselves, but that doesn’t change anything, we still give of ourselves. Or, at least we give of ourselves if we want that relationship to be successful. Without giving of yourself, the relationship really never goes anywhere.

Okay, so now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, what type of gifts, besides flowers and chocolate, are good ones to give to your wife? That’s an easy one; give her gifts that make her feel special. To do that, the gift must do at least one of these four things:
  • Pamper her
  • Make her feel feminine
  • Make her feel special
  • Have something to do with some non-professional interest, like a hobby

So, let’s go back to those two classic gifts, flowers and chocolate. Do those fall into one of those categories? Well, we can say that both of them fall into the category of making her feel special. But, we can also say that the chocolate pampers her, because the chocolate we give as gifts is not just your run of the mill, pick it up at the convenience store type of chocolate. The flowers make her feel feminine, because they are beautiful and perfumed; both things that are often associated with femininity.

Here’s another gift that should hit three out of four of those criterion; give her bubble bath. I don’t know why, but women like to soak in a hot tub, especially if they have bubble bath. So, if she likes it, then it sounds like a good gift to me.

Actually, soaking in a hot bath is a great way to relax, especially after a stressful day. Maybe she’s got more wisdom than just personal pleasure in taking those hot baths.

You might have a little trouble finding any place that sells bubble bath these days. Never fear, it is still available. If you can’t find it anywhere else, you might try looking at the store Bath and Body Works. Last time I checked, they had several different, scented bubble baths available.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Morning Massage

Waking your wife up in the morning can be a bit of a challenge at times. It can be an especially big challenge if you want to do it in as loving a way as possible. There’s just something about that old elbow in the ribs method that just isn’t all that romantic, you know?

I think we can all agree that giving your wife a massage is romantic. The problem we have is trying to find a time when we can give her that massage. If your household is anything like mine, by the time we fall into bed at night, everyone is exhausted. She might really appreciate a massage at that time, but you don’t have the energy to give her one.

Okay, so let’s try and kill two birds with one stone here. How about waking her up with a massage? This is especially easy to do if you have one of those vibratory massagers. Just plug it in, pull the blankets off of her, and massage away.

Not only is she going to wake up from that massage, but there’s a really good chance that you’re going to manage to wake her up in a good mood. C’mon, what better way to be awakened than by somebody pampering you?