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.