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.