Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Facing Problems Together

In case you haven’t noticed, life is full of problems. Maybe it doesn’t seem that way to you, but it sure seems that way to me. Every day has its own collection of problems which have to be dealt with, whether we want to or not. In fact, problems are so prevalent in our world, that I’ve only found one way to get away from them all… that’s to die.

The bigger problem isn’t the problem itself, but rather the problems that the problems can cause. I mean, the problems themselves are bad enough, but how we react to them can actually cause us more problems.

What’s our first reaction when a problem comes along? I don’t mean the little problems, we can usually handle those; no, I’m talking about the biggies. How do we react to those? For most of us, our reaction is to explode in some way or another; normally exploding at those who are closest to us. That can cause problems; especially when the person we’re exploding at is our wife. Ouch! A momentary stress-filled explosion, turns into a week of getting the cold shoulder.

I learned a number of years ago that the best thing I can do when those big problems come along is to shut my mouth and keep it shut. That way, I can’t say anything destructive. I don’t want to shut my mouth, but if I can succeed in doing so, then I can avoid saying anything destructive.

When I’m faced with problems, I need my wife’s support. If I can manage to keep my cool, then I usually have it. But, when I explode, I lose it. So, it’s really to my benefit to keep my mouth under control. I end up gaining more than I lose. My wife and I go through the problem together.

Here’s the really great part. Did you know that facing those problems together builds intimacy in your marriage? As crazy as that sounds it’s true. Let me take it out of the context of marriage for a moment. Soldiers who go to war together form extremely strong lifelong friendships. Even if they have nothing else in common, coming from different socio-economic, ethnic and cultural groups, they share the problem they’ve faced together. From then on, they’re friends for life.

That’s a key word, “together.” When we face problems together, it brings us closer together. We won’t see that in the midst of the problem, but we will see it afterwards. The simple fact that we’ve faced the giant together and defeated it together draws us closer.

Now, I’m sure you’re not anxious to look for problems to face together with your wife. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that you do. What I am suggesting is that you take advantage of the problems which naturally come along. When they come, face them together, holding each other up. That simple act will strengthen your marriage, bringing you closer together, especially when you can share the fruit of your victory together.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Facing Problems Together

Have you ever read Willard F. Harley’s book, “His Needs, Her Needs?” It’s a rather interesting book, showing the five most basic emotional needs for men and women. If you’ve never read it, it’s worth picking up. Doesn’t even take all that long to read.

Amongst the needs that Harley states for women is Financial Support, he describes it as “She needs enough money to live comfortably.” “Live comfortably,” now, there’s a tricky term. What may be comfortable to one definitely isn’t to another. The filthy rich people out there call themselves “comfortable.” So, if we go by their definition, you’d better be a millionaire. Yet on the other end of the scale, in Veggie Tales story of “Madame Blueberry” the French family living in a tent was more comfortable than the Madame. So, according to Big Ideas Productions, you need to get rid of your house, and pitch a tent in the park.

Actually, comfort really doesn’t have much to do with how much you have. It has a lot more to do with what you do with what you have. How you live isn’t just a result of having money, but of using what money you have in a way that makes you comfortable. C’mon now, let’s be honest, you really don’t need a 14 bedroom mansion to be comfortable, do you?

Okay, so if we don’t need that huge mansion, does that mean that we really need to move into the tent? No, I wouldn’t suggest that extreme either. Regardless of how happy those veggies were in the tent, I don’t think your wife is going to be any more comfortable there than my wife would be. No hot baths, no running water… just a little bit short on the creature comforts. While us guys can handle that pretty good, our wives really can’t.

So, where’s the balance in this equation? Well, it has to be somewhere in between. Let’s just shoot for middle class. Actually, any sort of middle class will do, just as long as it’s middle. Now, how does one live comfortably within those limits?

As I’ve already said, it’s not so much what you have as what you do with it. The first rule of comfort is that you can pay the bills, when they come in, without having to worry about them. If you haven’t seen it already, let me tell you, your wife can put you to shame worrying about the bills. She’s an Olympic champ at that and you’re a rank amateur. So, if you have trouble paying the bills, she’s not going to be comfortable, no matter what.

The next thing I’d have to say that is necessary is that you have some money set aside every month for fun. Yep, entertainment is an important budget item. The reason that it’s important is that we all need a chance to relax and unwind. Not having that opportunity builds stress; and that’s another place where your wife can make you look like an amateur.

Thirdly, I’d have to say that you need to have enough to eat. Here’s one place that many families blow it. They spend way too much on food, because they’re too lazy to cook. Eating out all the time, even in fast-food joints is expensive. If you’re taking your family out to eat all the time, you’re throwing money away.

No, I’m not saying that you can’t go out to eat; but what I am saying is to make it reasonable. Don’t get yourselves so busy that there’s no time to cook. Oh, and by the way, you can cook too. Don’t make your wife do it all the time. If you don’t know how, now is a good time to learn (warming up frozen prepared foods isn’t cooking).

Finally, if you’re going to be comfortable, the home you live in and the cars you drive need to look and work descent. That doesn’t mean that they need to be new; nor does it mean that they need to be perfect. What it means is that you need to fix whatever is broken. Many couples spend a huge percent of their income making payments on two cars. That’s the biggest money waster there is. By the time you finish paying for it, the car is worth about 20% of what you paid. In the meantime, you’ve paid as much per month for those cars as you paid for your house.

My wife and I drive older cars. Hers is a ’99 and mine is a ’96. However, they are both clean, run well, and in decent shape. Hers looks almost as good as it did when it rolled out of the showroom and mine would if I got it an Earl Sheib $199 paint job. The only reason I don’t is that it’s the car I drive in Mexico, and I don’t want to look like I’m driving a new car.

If your furniture is starting to get run-down looking, cover it up; make it look good again. If your kitchen is looking drab, paint it. If your carpet is wearing thin, put a rug over it. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make your home look comfortable and in good repair. More than anything, you’ve got to spend a little bit of imagination, making things look better. That might cost a few bucks, but more than anything it will cost you a little bit of elbow grease. Cheap.

If you could do those four things, you could honestly say that you have allowed your wife to “live comfortably.” Why is that important? So that she’ll feel secure; that feeling of security will translate directly into a feeling of being loved.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Be Her Secret Admirer

Women love to be loved; actually it goes much deeper than that. A large part of their self-esteem comes from being wanted by somebody. It’s really not all that different than the way we guys are, we want our wives to want us too, and if they don’t it’s a real blow to the ego.

The expression of that need to be needed is different for men and women, but we all have that need. For men, it’s expressed sexually, while for women it’s expressed through words, looks and the desire to be with them that we express. In their minds, it doesn’t matter whether they want to make love or not, they need to know that they are wanted.

Of course, how we express that to them is important as well. It comes across very negative when we express our desire crudely; that’s a real turn-off. It’s also a turn-off when our desire is expressed in a way that is purely physical. If they think we want sex just for sex, then they feel as if we want to use them. It makes them think that we just want sex with anyone, not that we want to connect with them. That’s the key word, “connect,” to a women, that’s what they want. Whether in bed or out, women want a heart connection. The physical connection is secondary.

Let me get back on track here. If a woman, your wife for example, wants to be wanted, then it would help for us to be able to express that, but not in a physical way. Instead of focusing on the physical, we should express that in a way that sounds more like a heart connection than a physical one.

Here’s an idea to get your wife going a bit. Start sending her e-mails from a “secret admirer.” Now, to do this, you’re obviously going to need to use a different e-mail account, since I’m sure she knows your regular one. No problem, just open up a free account to use just for this. Something like “” should work just fine.

Then, send her a series of short e-mail messages, talking about how much you want to connect with her. You’ll have to do a little “acting” for this one; pretending you are someone else. You could pretend to be someone who sees her at work, or at a local store, something like that. This pretending is to give you a context for your e-mails; you want to be able to write them as if you were seeing her from afar, in those locations. That way you can say something like, “Every day, when I pass by your office and see you, it brightens my day.”

There are two reasons for this “acting.” The first is that you want to see if you can pull this off for several days, or even a couple of week. The other is that it is easier to do something or say something which might make you uncomfortable if you are invisible. That’s why people say the craziest personal things on Facebook, which they’d never say in person.

Keep your messages short, but make sure they are Now, don’t get offended if your wife starts talking about her secret admirer. The real secret is that you know who it is, even if she doesn’t. That will just show you that you’re getting through to her. Be careful that you don’t let your face or your reactions give you away. You can have a private laugh, knowing that you are the secret admirer. Of course, you need to tell her eventually, but let the game go on for a bit before you do.

Once she knows that you have been her secret admirer, you’ll get all the points that she’s been saving for him. Actually, she probably won’t have stored up any points for him, but you’ll get them anyway.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Have Fun Together

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that, other than sex, it’s much more fun to be a kid than it is to be an adult. Think about it a minute. As a kid, the biggest worries you’ve got are not breaking your parents’ rules and passing the algebra test. The rest of your life is all about playing, hanging out with your friends and generally trying to have a good time.

Okay, so if that’s what life is like as a kid, why do we try so hard to grow up? I mean, doesn’t that sound like a lot more fun than going to work, paying the bills, cleaning the house, changing the oil in the car and weeding the flower beds?

It seems to me that we could all use a little more fun in our lives. We should all go back to being kids; playing, hanging out with our friends and generally trying to have a good time. Maybe if we did that, we’d smile a bit more, enjoy life better and not have so many heart attacks and ulcers. In fact, maybe if we could learn how to have fun together as a couple, we could enjoy being married, instead of just putting up with each other.

It is good to have fun together. It is good to laugh. It is good to play. Those are all things we need. All too often, we take ourselves way too seriously; I mean, really, is what you’re worrying about today going to make a difference in 100 years?

Years ago, I heard of a couple who were having their 50th anniversary. Somebody asked them what they attributed their success to. Without hesitation, the man answered, “When we got married, we made an agreement; I’d make the living and my wife would make the living worthwhile.” Wow, what an answer!

Who’s making the living worthwhile in your marriage? Are you both too busy, trying to make the living, to have the time to make living worthwhile? If you both are busy making the living, then I’d venture to guess that nobody is making the living worthwhile. That’s a problem. No wonder you don’t have fun together and laugh together, you’re too busy trying to keep up with the Jones’, whoever they are.

If you both need to work, in order to pay the bills (as most couples do these days) then you both need to make an effort to take some time to make the living worthwhile as well. More than anything, that means making time to have fun together.

I know, you’re probably thinking right now, “Okay, so how do I do that?” Simple, act like kids again. Get off your high horse of pride, quit acting like an old fogie, and play. That’s it. Don’t try and tell me you don’t know how, you’re just pretending that you don’t know how. You’re afraid that someone might see you. So, what? If they see you, at least they’ll see you with a smile on your face.

“But what if they say something about it?” you ask. Easy, ask them why they aren’t having fun too. Don’t let the onus be on you for enjoying yourself, put it on them for being such a stick in the mud.

Playing together, and even more importantly laughing together, is fundamentally healthy for your relationship. Laughing together draws you closer to each other. As you laugh, you relax, which also helps you be more intimate together. It even helps you overcome disagreements and arguments that you might have had.

So, grab that pillow and throw it at her; or give her a squirt gun and a head start; or wrestle on the living room floor (or your bed). Don’t play a serious game, like Monopoly or Scrabble, play something silly like Candyland or Chutes and Ladders. Better yet, play something where you can both win. Have fun, laugh, relax.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Talking About Your Dreams

I’ve long been an advocate for a weekly date night with your wife. For many couples, that’s the only time that they get to spend together, without kids, relatives and friends. Yet, couples need that time together, so that they can communicate and bond.

For some reason, we spend a lot of time bonding together when we’re dating; but then, once we’re married, we don’t seem to have the time to do so. I know that all those guys out there who say they don’t have time to go out with their wives would suddenly have time, if they didn’t have a wife and were instead going out with a girlfriend. So, just treat your wife as if she was your girlfriend.

Speaking of dating, remember how much more fun it was to talk to your wife when you were dating, than it is today? Why is that? Basically, it’s because when you were dating, you were talking about your dreams, and now all you talk about it reality. Even worse, what you usually talk about is some sort of problem or other.

Clearly, talking about dreams is much more interesting and fun than talking about problems. So, where did this change come from and why did we let it happen? Actually, I don’t think we could have stopped it from happening, even if we tried. Life has problems and we have to find ways of working through them.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t still talk about dreams, though. Oh, we might have to make a conscious effort to do so, but that’s not the same as saying that we can’t do it. All we have to do is pick a topic to dream about and start talking.

So, the next time you take your wife out, say tonight for example, be ready. Have a topic already picked out, which will help you talk about dreams. Something like:

  • If we had a million dollars, what would we do with it?
  • If we knew we had only one month to live, what would we do with that time?
  • If we could build a house any way we wanted, no worries about cost. How would we build it? What would we have in it? Where would it be?
  • If we could change one bad thing in the world, what would be the most important thing to change?
  • If we could go on vacation anywhere, where would we go? What would we do?
  • If God allowed us to do any one thing for Him, what would be the most important thing to do?

I hope you get the idea with these examples. You don’t have to use one of them, even though you are welcome to do so. But, there’s no reason why you can’t come up with your own theme for your “dream conversation.” Remember, there’s no good answers or bad answers to this, there’s just answers.

The important thing about this is that when we talk about our dreams, we talk about the inner person; our hopes and desires. That’s the type of talk that women want, not talk about problems paying the bills or problems with the kids. They get plenty of that, but they want talk that will center on the heart.

Now, I know that we, as guys, have trouble talking about what’s in our hearts. This trick should help. But, there’s something that you need to know about you, before you start. That is that most of us hide our true inner self from our wives. Yep, we do that.

You see, as men, part of our nature is to defend our families. God created us with the attributes of violence and aggressiveness for just that reason. Not so that we could beat our wives and kiddies, but so that we could protect us. Well, everyone knows that if you’re fighting someone, the last thing you want to do is let them know your weaknesses.

Here’s what happens, before we get married and during our honeymoon, we lay our hearts wide open to our wives. Everything is peachy and we don’t hide a thing. Then, along comes the day where we have our first fight. Suddenly, we realize that it’s dangerous letting our guard down, because she can use what we’ve said against us. Ouch! From then on, we’re like the proverbial clam.

Well, if you’re going to talk about dreams, you’re going to have to open up and quit being a clam. If you have trouble with that, make sure that you’ve forgiven your wife for any time she’s used something that you said against you. Forgiveness is the best cure for the clam. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Touch her Tenderly

According to Gary Chapman’s great book, The Five Love Languages, one of the ways we express and understand love is through physical touch. I think we could all say that Gary hit the nail right on the head with that one. While we, as guys, see sex as an expression of love, he goes much farther, saying that physical touch in general, not just that which happens in lovemaking is an expression of love.

Touching is such an important part of expressing our love that God gave it biological significance. What I mean by that is that God created the body to react to touch in a way that increases the felling of love.

The chemical oxytocin is released into our bodies through physical touch. While this hormone hasn’t been studied as thoroughly as the better known hormones, in the last 10 years, scientists have been looking much closer at it. Like all hormones, this one has an emotional effect as well, that of making one feel in love. So, physical touch actually increases the feeling of being in love with one another.

Granted, it takes the right kind of physical contact to produce this feeling. Hitting someone isn’t going to make them love you, no matter how much you do it; nor any other type of rough treatment either. It takes a soft, loving touch to cause oxyticin to be released.

Actually, a woman’s skin is much more sensitive than a man’s is. Therefore, the soft touch is extremely important. Many women complain that their husbands touch them much too roughly, especially touching their genitals much too roughly. While that soft touch may be annoying to you, it’s a delight to her. A perfect touch to a woman is as light as a feather.

Remember when you were a teen out on a date, and you finally got up enough nerve to put your arm around the girl? What did you do then? You probably started running your finger around in little circles on her arm, right? Well, guess what, that was the right thing to do. All you needed to do different is broaden the area, so that you didn’t rub her skin raw in that one spot (women’s skin rubs raw easier than ours does).

Touching her intimately isn’t just limited to her erogenous zones either. A woman’s whole body is sensitive to touch. My wife likes it when I touch the back of her neck lightly, or when I rub my fingers lightly across her scalp, through her hair. It almost doesn’t matter where I touch her, what matters is how I touch her.

We as men are designed to be strong and touch. Our wives appreciate that part of us, especially when it comes to protecting them. However, there’s no place for that in expressing love to her. In that case, the light touch conveys a lot of tenderness, caring and love. Someone once said, “Strength is made great in tenderness.” Well, show your strength to your wife by touching her tenderly.

The other nice thing about this is it’s a way that you can show love to your wife anywhere and anytime. While she might not feel comfortable with you kissing her in public, she probably won’t have a problem with you rubbing the balls of your fingers lightly over the back of her neck in public. So, take advantage of that and show your wife love wherever you are.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What’s Important to Her?

Have you ever noticed how everyone seems to have one that’s important to them? You have it, I have it, your wife has it, even your kids have it. It may seem insignificant and unimportant to you, but to that person, that one thing is the thing that their life is centered around.

Movies, especially comedies, capitalize on this and make fun of it. The writers will pick out some insignificant thing, and make a supporting role center around their love for that thing. I remember seeing a movie recently, in which the character’s mother centered her life around her dog. Everything she said, she had to include the dog, as if the dog was in agreement with what she said. That dog even sat on her lap at the dining table.

Okay, so maybe that character had a screw loose. Fortunately, the rest of us aren’t quite that bad. Even so, the fact of the matter is that we all have something, or more likely more than one something that’s important to us.

Do you know what’s important to your wife? What gets her juices flowing? What does she get passionate about? Knowing that is an important part of knowing who she is. You can tell what these important things are, because those are the things she constantly talks about.

Let’s say, for example, that your wife regularly comments on the front lawn of your house and even the lawns of your neighbor’s houses. Why is she doing that? Simple, that’s something important to her. It could be that she sees the lawn as showing how well a family takes care of their home or that a well manicured lawn indicates that the people have their lives together or even just because it looks good. She may not even know the reason why that’s important to her.

The point isn’t the reason why it’s important, the point is that for some reason it is important. Now, what we usually try and do as guys, is to talk out wives out of that. If we can’t see any reason why it should be important, we dismiss it out of hand. Unfortunately, when we do that, we’re saying “your opinion isn’t important.”

You can’t dismiss another person’s opinion as unimportant without dismissing them as unimportant at the same time. Whether you try and justify your reason for seeing it as unimportant or not isn’t the issue. If it’s important to her, and you dismiss it as unimportant, you’ve essentially said that her opinion doesn’t matter.

How many times have we as men done this to our wives? How can we say that we love them, in the midst of dismissing their thoughts as unimportant? If your wife is important to you, then the least you can do is recognize the value of her opinion, even if it doesn’t agree with yours.

I’m not trying to say that whatever is important to her automatically has to be important to you. What I am trying to say is that you should take into account what is important to her. Because it is important to her and she is important to you, you should make some effort to take care of that thing.

Let’s go back to the lawn example for a moment. If your wife is concerned with how the front lawn looks, then you need to realize that by taking care of it, you are telling her that she is important to you. You are valuing her opinion and her desires. You are removing a worry or concern from her life. In other words, you are protecting her, even if it is just protecting her from herself.

When you love someone, you take an interest in their interests, even if they aren’t your own. Doing that shows them that you care, and isn’t that what romance is all about?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Treat Her Like a Star

Yesterday, I suggested doing something that was related to your wife’s workplace. Well, today I’m still on that same vein, suggesting more to make her feel special at work. Only, where the other was to brighten the beginning of her day, this one is to brighten the end of it.

Everyone likes to feel special, important and like they’re someone the rest of the world can be jealous of. We all tend to imagine things like that from time to time; whether it is about the great promotion, or being a sports star or having the big house or even driving a car that turns everyone’s head (but not to laugh at it). Well, how about doing something to make people’s heads turn when they see your wife.

Here’s the plan in a nutshell; hire a limo to pick your wife up at work. Yep, that’ll get some heads turning all right. Everyone will be wondering why she’s getting that special treatment. The gals she works with will be burning up the phone lines, uh, cellular towers, wondering about it.

Let’s add a few other details to this, just to make it work. First of all, you want a liveried chauffeur. That means he’s dressed in a uniform to look like a chauffeur. It wouldn’t hurt if he can talk with a credible British accent, either. Timing is important here. You want to have him arrive at your wife’s work exactly five minutes before she’s scheduled to get out. Tell him to park the limo right where everyone can see it, even if it’s a no parking zone. Then he goes in to the receptionist or whoever would be appropriate and asks for your wife by name.

Give him a nice “I love you” card from Hallmark or American Greetings, made out to your wife, with her name on the envelope. Instruct her in the card to go with the chauffeur and not to worry about her car. She’ll probably have to go back to her office or locker to grab her purse, which is part of why you want him to arrive at that particular time; that way, she can tell her co-workers.

One other detail the chauffer needs is a single rose, to be left on the seat of the car for her. That way, when she get in, it will be waiting for her.

You need to plan out somewhere for her to meet you, either a restaurant, or coffee shop, or even your favorite ice cream parlor. The place isn’t the highlight; it’s having her picked up like that which is. Instruct the chauffeur to take her there, and be waiting for her.

She should arrive feeling pretty special. But, it won’t end there, because the next day, all her co-workers are going to be asking her about it. That will give her a chance to tell them what you did, making her feel special all over again. You’re getting two for one on this deal.

Oh, don’t forget to pick up her car later, or you could  take her to work the next morning instead.

Monday, February 20, 2012

An Office Surprise

You know, being romantic is more about using your imagination to come up with different ways of surprising your wife with demonstrations of your love, than it is anything else. If you wake up every morning and say “I love you” you are expressing your love to your wife. But, after a while, it becomes routine, she might wonder if you really mean it or are just saying so out of habit. You might even start to say it, without thinking about it.

On the other hand, when you make your expressions of love at random times, she isn’t expecting it and it makes a bigger impact. Not only that, but there’s none of the rote routine that might cause her to think you’re just doing it out of habit. So, while you can at times do things that you’ve done before, there needs to be enough time in between the repetition so that it doesn’t look repetitive.

So, here we are at Monday once again; talk about repetition, get up, get dressed, go to the office; now that’s repetitive. Well, why not make her arrival at the office a little special, even if you can’t make the office special.

How can you make it special? Simple, arrange for her office to look a little different when she gets there. Depending upon the time you have available, and the access you can get to her office. To do this, you’ll need to be able to get there early in the morning, before she does, or over the weekend. It might help to have a co-conspirator to help; one of her workmates. They can probably help you get in.

Take her some flowers in a vase, a card and make a nice big sign that says “I love you” or “You light up my life” or some sort of similar romantic phrase. Set the flowers and card right in the middle of her desk and put the sign on the wall, where she’s sure to see it.

Then, when she gets to the office, she’ll have something to brighten up her Monday. That should change her Monday blahs into something much more special.

By the way, this is sure to make all the other women in the office jealous of your wife. That should gain you a few extra points.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What Character are you Showing Your Wife?

You know, it’s kind of funny, the way we act towards our wives is often much worse than the way we act towards anyone else. The old saying of, “you only hurt the ones you love” is as true today as it has ever been. We don’t hurt strangers, we hurt those who are closest to us, especially our wives.

Every time there is anger, harsh words, jealousy, offense, bitterness or strife, we are demonstrating that we are much less mature than we think we are. We are also demonstrating that we don’t love the other person, we only love what they can do for us. Our love is often a totally self-centered love.

I realize that not everyone who reads this blog is a Christian, but I need to speak directly to the Christian men for a moment. Marriage is the greatest test of our Christianity that we will ever encounter. We all have the capability to “act” Christian in public, especially in the church, but that doesn’t mean that we have the character of Christ in us. The true test of our Christianity isn’t how we live in the church, but how we live at home.

True Christian maturity isn’t about being able to lay hands on the sick and see them recover. It isn’t even raising the dead. True Christian maturity is manifesting the character of Christ, each and every day of our lives. If you can’t manifest Christ-likeness to your wife, as we have been commanded to do (Eph 5:25), then you aren’t mature yet.

Ninety-nine percent of marriage problems in Christian marriages are only a lack of demonstrating Christ’s character. If you and your wife are having problems, then neither of you is acting as Christ would want you to act. Now, don’t throw the blame on her, I said, “neither of you.” You deal with you, and let God deal with her. In fact, if you want God to deal with her, then model Christ-likeness before her. That’s the best thing you can do to help her become more like Christ.

One of the greatest secrets I have learned about marriage counseling is to not talk to people about their problems. That’s right, when people come to me to tell me about all their problems, I don’t listen to them. Who needs to listen to hour after hour of people complaining about each other and finger pointing? How is that going to help them? I’ll tell you how… it’s not.

Instead, what I try and do with couples is to “jump over their problems” and deal with the character issues which are causing them. That way, instead of having to work through each and every problem, with me acting as a referee, we can deal with the attitudes of their hearts, develop their character and bring them to true maturity. Then, and only then, do we see true results. Not only true results, but amazing, life-changing ones.

So, what type of character are you showing to your wife? Are you showing Christ’s character… or is it something that you’d rather not talk about? If it’s not the character of Christ, it’s time for you to change. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Another First Date

Do you remember your first date with your wife? Most of us do, if only vaguely. Of course, our wives usually remember it in great detail, down to the clothes we wore and what we ate. Their memories tend to be better at things like that then ours are.

Well, there’s no reason you can’t have another first date, or at least pretend to. You know, play acting can be as much fun for adults as it is for kids; especially when we do it with our spouses. It’s a harmless outlet for fantasies, adding a little spice to your relationship.

The normal problem with fantasies is that they either involve someone besides your wife or they involve doing things that your wife wouldn’t do. The first one is clearly wrong and the second can cause one to be dissatisfied in their marriage. That’s not saying that all fantasies are bad though, we just need to be careful about how we fantasize and who we fantasize with. There’s nothing wrong with fantasizing about your wife, nor is there anything wrong with acting out those fantasies (assuming the two of you are in agreement and it can’t hurt either of you).

So, if you’re going to have another first date, you’ve got to do the whole shebang. Call her up and ask her out on a date. Once you’ve got her agreement, explain what you’re going to do, pretending it’s your first date once again. If you can recreate any part of that date, like the place you went to, so much the better.

What did you do on your first date? Isn’t that, more than anything, a time of getting to know each other? So, whether you pick her up or you meet someplace, do it as if you don’t know each other. Go to a restaurant and tell her about yourself, get her to tell you about herself, ask questions, learn to know each other once again.

This can be a great ice breaker if you feel that you’ve been growing apart. At times, as the years pass, we feel as if we don’t know each other anymore. Well, if that’s the case, it’s time to start learning about each other once again. Even if it isn’t the case, I’ll bet that you’ll end up telling each other things that you didn’t know. That’s part of the fun, getting to know each other more.

Where it goes from there… well, that’s up to the two of you to decide.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

How Would You Describe Her?

Not too long ago, I wrote a post on this blog, in which I talked about how negative women are and how they struggle with self-esteem. There is so much in this world which constantly tells them that they aren’t good enough, they aren’t thin enough, their breasts aren’t big enough and they aren’t pretty enough. Our wives receive those messages and it destroys them.

Our wives need to be built up. They need to be encouraged. They need to know that we think they are special, even if the world doesn’t. They need to know that they are loved, just the way that they are. Actually, that will do more to make them want to better themselves, than all the world’s negative messages combined.

What made you fall in love with your wife? Was it just how she looked, or was there more to it than that? Hopefully, it was more than her looks, even if her looks were what got you to look. But, after that first look, what was it about her that got you to keep looking?

Don’t try and tell me that there was nothing else; I’d have trouble believing that. I’ve seen a lot of beautiful women in my life whose hearts were so black and cold they’d freeze a fireplace. So, even if her beauty got you to look, there had to be something else there inside.

Your wife needs you to tell her what it is that makes her special. Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book, The Five Love Languages, says that one of the ways in which we show love is through words of affirmation. So, let’s do a little affirming here. Let’s let our wives know what is so special about them as individuals.

Start out by making a list of her positive attributes (nothing negative or even neutral allowed). This is going to take some time; you want a nice long list. Try and get a full page. Be sure to include:

  • Adjectives which describe her, especially her personality
  • Things she makes you think of: “When I see you, I think of…”
  • Things she does well: “You’re a great…”
  • Things she does that make you smile: “When you do ____, it makes me smile/gives me joy/makes me proud/amazes me.”
  • It's okay to mention physical attributes, but don't focus on them

Be sure to top the list with an explanation of what it is. This doesn’t have to be long, it can just be something like “My wife is…” or “This is what you are to me” “or “(her name) is…”

Now that you’ve got your list, all you have to do is deliver it. There’s two ways you can go about this. The first one is to just print it up on your computer and give it to her. Whether you hand it to her, leave it for her to find or send it through the mail, it’s still giving it to her. The second way you can go about this is to read it to her. That’s the way I’d recommend.

If you decide to read it to her, find a time when you won’t be interrupted, sit down together and pull out your paper. Tell her something like “I want to tell you who you are” or “I haven’t told you how special you are in a while, so let me tell you.” Then, once you’re sure you’ve got her attention, read her the list.
It might be a good idea to have a box of Kleenex casually and conveniently located on the table, within reach. Otherwise, there’s a good possibility that you might have to stop in the middle, so she can run to the bathroom. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Day After Valentine’s Day

Well, how did you do? Was Valentine’s Day a success for you? Did your wife really, truly understand that you love her? If so, congratulations! If not, you need to ask yourself why not.

I took the day to do a number of things for my wife, each of them with the idea of letting her know that I loved her. I didn’t buy her a big, fancy, expensive gift; rather, I expressed my love to her in a variety of ways, mostly on paper. It took time and effort, but by the end, I had showed her my love in enough ways that she knew I meant it.

The other thing I did yesterday was to post a bunch of Murphy-isms about love on Facebook. What are Murphy-isms? They are my personal sayings and proverbs. Since my mind was on love yesterday (which made it a little hard to work) I decided to encourage others to show true love to their spouses. So, for those of you who aren’t my friends on Facebook, I thought I’d reproduce them here.

  • If you've had war in your home, today is a good day to make peace. Not an armistice, which means you're both still armed camps, watching each other. Not a surrender or capitulation either, meaning that you give up and the other can have their way. No, what you need is a mutual defense treaty, which means that you are by each other's side against all opposition.
  • Here's a Valentine's day challenge for you: See how many different ways you can come up with today to tell your spouse that you love them.
  • True love is never about the least you can do to show them you love them; it's always about trying to do the most you can to show them you love them.
  • Love is patient, kind, not envious, not boastful, not prideful. It isn't rude, not self-seeking, not easily angered, nor does it keep a record of wrongs. Love is never happy to see evil, but loves truth. It always, protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. - Are you lacking any of those signs of love? Then now is the time to repent.
  • They say "If you love someone, let them go..." as a test of whether or not they're yours. I say, if you don't know they're yours, you don't know them.
  • If you are concerned, thinking that your spouse doesn't love you enough, what are you doing wrong?
  • How can one say that they "fall out of love?" If love is lost that easily, then it was never love in the first place.
  • True love always carries a cost. If you're not willing to pay the cost, you don't truly love.
  • They say that "love is blind." I'd rather love with my eyes open, that way, I won't be surprised. 
  • Have you managed to convince your spouse that you're the most romantic person on the face of the earth? If not, there's still time. Don't let Valentine's day end, without convincing them of that!
  • If you can't see your spouse as a gift from God, than you're blind.
  • To say that your spouse isn't a gift from God, is to say that God made a mistake. Are you sure you want to say that?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine’s Day Eve

It’s a given that your wife is expecting you to do something for her for tomorrow. Whether it’s buying her a gift, or flowers, or chocolates, or taking her out to eat, she’s pretty sure you’re going to do something. Just doing it on Valentine ’s Day makes it romantic. Unless you totally forget, in which case you really deserve to be in the dog house, just about anything you do for your wife will be romantic.

However, I can pretty much guarantee you that she’s not expecting you to do anything for her today. Even more so in that you’ll be doing something tomorrow. There’s no way that she’d expect gifts from you two days in a row. So, that gives you the opportunity to surprise her.

I don’t know why Christmas and New Year’s are the only holidays which have an “eve.” I mean, who’s ever heard of Easter Eve, or Independence Day Eve? Well, let’s create a new day; we’ll call it Valentine’s Eve. Why not? You see, that way we get to spread the joy and love of Valentine’s Day over a longer period of time. Instead of just having one day, why not have two?

Of course, if you really love your wife, every day should be a Valentine’s Day. You don’t need that excuse to do something romantic or to celebrate your love. My favorite excuse to be romantic towards my wife is just because. That’s enough.

So, don’t tell her what you’re going to do, you want the surprise to be good. But, tonight, when you come home from work have a small gift for her. It could be the classic flowers or chocolates; or you could get her some nice earrings. Whatever you get for her, you don’t want to get the same type of thing you’re going to give her tomorrow. You also, don’t want it to be bigger or more expensive than tomorrow’s gift. This is just a “teaser.”

When you give it to her, say, “Happy Valentine’s Day Eve.” She may not catch the “eve” part there, which might make it even better. You might be able to get a double surprise out of this one. She just might think that you’re going to give her anything tomorrow, just because you gave her something today. Then, when you give her a Valentine’s gift tomorrow, she’ll be surprised again.

Have fun, and don’t forget to tell her, “I love you.”

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Well, now that the Superbowl is over, whatever are we going to do with all that extra time that we don’t need to spend in front of the television, keeping up with our favorite team? Yeah, I guess there are other sports we could watch; but, you know, there’s really more to life than keeping up with your favorite sports team.

I think it would do us good to step back for a moment and think about the price that our wives pay for us to be armchair quarterbacks. There are a lot of Sundays (and other days) when she has to take care of everything, from the kids to the paper boy, just because we’re addicted to watching a bunch of overgrown boys fight over a ball.

Now, I’m not saying that sports is bad, nor am I saying that watching it is bad; but, I will say this, many of us go to unhealthy extremes with it. When the game becomes more import than our kids, that’s bad. When it becomes more important than our wives, that’s really bad. When it becomes more important than God, we’re on the fast track to hell.

So, don’t give up watching, just put it in balance. Whether or not your favorite team wins this weekend really isn’t going to matter next year, let alone ten years from now. It’s a game, enjoy it, but don’t let it dominate your life or your home.

So, let’s go back to that original question, what are we going to do with that extra time? You know that there are lots of ways that we can choose to spend that time, now that we’re not keeping track of the NFL. We could go fishing, or take a nap, or maybe even take that time to do something for our wives. Wow, there’s a concept!

How many of us men dread the famous “Honey-Do List?” I know that I’ve dreaded it at times. When I look at it, it can seem to be overwhelming. Why, if I was to attempt to tackle that list some weekend, I’d never get any rest; and I’d never get through the list, either.

Why do women have to write those darn lists, anyway? How about this, they write them because they can’t do those things themselves. Your wife probably doesn’t know how to change the oil in the car, or fix the leaky faucet, or do something about the crack in the foundation. Even so, those things bother her; most of all, they bother her because she doesn’t know how serious they are.

When a woman’s home is in shambles, she feels like she is in shambles as well. You’ve got to remember, women identify much more with their homes than we do as guys. We tend to identify more with our jobs. Since she identifies with the home, when the home has problems, she feels like she does too.

Let me tell you a little secret about that honey-do list. She isn’t expecting for you to do it all in one weekend. She’s just expecting you to do it. If you pick on large or two small things to do every weekend, she’ll suddenly feel like you’re taking care of everything. It’s amazing how that works. One step in the right direction makes her feel like a million bucks.

Your wife needs a hero. She married you so that you could be that hero for her. When you take care of the things that need taking care of, she feels protected. But, when you ignore those things, she feels vulnerable. So, dealing with the honey-do list is actually an important part of helping her feel good about your marriage. Gosh, that almost sounds like being romantic. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Drive-in Movie

It’s Friday night again, date night for all the teenyboppers out there. You do have a date night with your wife, don’t you? If not, you really need one. Why not go back to your youth, and make Friday night your date night once again. Just because all the teens out there are doing it, doesn’t mean that you can’t as well. After all, they learned that by watching adults, not the other way around.

Did you ever go to a drive-in movie as a teenager? You know what I mean, the kind where you drive your car into the lot and they’ve got the movie on a big outdoor screen. Instead of watching the movie, you sit there in your car, smooching with your girlfriend.

Well, drive-in movies are fading into the past; there really aren’t that many of them left any more. Nevertheless, you can still find them here and there. In another 20 years you may not be able to, but for now there are still a few around.

Somehow, drive-ins have always had a romantic connotation to them, much more so than a regular movie theater. Maybe it has something to do with sitting in the back seat of the car smooching, instead of watching the movie. Regardless of the reason, they’re considered romantic.

So, why not take your wife to a drive-in to enjoy a movie? Now, if you’re going to do this, you’ve got to do it right. This isn’t the time to go see Rambo 7 (or whatever number they’re up to). You want to pick something that’s going to be romantic. If you can’t get a love story, go for a drama or at least a comedy, but definitely avoid the action stuff.

Why not make it a real drive-in night and go to a drive-in restaurant to eat while you’re at it? There’s still a few of those around as well. In fact, I’d have to say that there’s been a resurgence of drive-in restaurants in the last 10 years. Between the two, you ought to feel like teenagers again. Have a good time!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentines Buyer’s Guide

With Valentine’s Day just a short five days away, it’s time to plan your big romantic night with your wife. If you don’t already have a reservation to take her somewhere, you’re probably in trouble, because everyplace is going to be full. I think the only night where more people go out than Valentine’s Day is New Year’s Eve.

The other thing you want to get going on is picking up a present for your wife. Now, I know that if you’re like most guys, you’re probably thinking you can wait until at least Monday for that; but, trust me; you don’t want to do that. By Monday the selection will be really picked over and you may have trouble finding a descent gift for your wife.

While I’m sure that your wife would appreciate the classic Valentine’s gift of flowers and chocolates; I’m also sure she’d appreciate it more if you could be a little more imaginative in your gift giving. So, to help you out of the quagmire of the stores, here are a few thoughts for you:

Jewelry – This is one of the classic romantic gifts. It’s also one of the classier ones you can give your wife. Now, I know that jewelry can get pretty expensive, but that doesn’t mean that you need to break the bank to buy your wife a present, keep it within your budget, she’ll still appreciate it.

Perfume – Women like nice perfume. Their noses are more sensitive than ours are, so “negative” odors (such as sweat) bother them more. That probably has a lot to do with their liking perfume. A good quality perfume will actually last longer than the cheap ones do, and it keeps you from looking like a cheapskate. A small bottle of a quality perfume is much better than a large bottle of a cheap one.

Lingerie – Yeah, I know, you were probably waiting for this one. Sexy lingerie is always a romantic gift. But, this one comes with a warning. Don’t go overboard. If your wife isn’t comfortable with a see through baby doll, she’s not going to wear it, no matter how much you want her to. If you want to go racier than what she already wears, then go just a baby step more, not a giant step. If you buy it with just your likes in mind, it’ll seem like you’re buying yourself a gift.

Books About Marriage – There are a lot of good books out there about marriage. If you’re not sure what to get, check out Paul & Lori’s bookstore on The Marriage Bed: Just one warning; if you’re going to buy her a marriage book, better plan on reading it too. BTW, if you’re going to buy her a book, get something else too.

Something Decorative for the Bedroom – Women identify with their homes. If the home is beautiful, she feels beautiful. If the home is falling apart, she feels that way too. If you want to have a healthy relationship in the bedroom, it needs to look like something from a movie set (not Rambo). We have quite a few decorative pieces that speak of love in our bedroom. One of my favorites is a little statue of a couple hugging that my wife bought for me.

Clothes – Now, don’t panic. Buying clothes for your wife really isn’t as hard as you think it is. First of all, you need to know three things:
  • What size is she?
  • What colors does she like?
  • What’s her style?

You can find the answer to all three of those questions by looking in her closet. Then, go find something that you think she’d look good in, that meets all three of those requirements. It’s really not all that hard. If you try and meet those three points, she’ll probably love it; especially since you bought it for her. Just be sure to keep the receipt, just in case it doesn’t fit.

Collectible Figurines – This is one of those great secrets that wise men do to ensure that they can always find a gift for their wives. Start her a collection of some sort of figurines, such as Precious Moments or Hummels. Then, every time you’re stuck without a gift idea, you can add to her collection.

Okay, now you’re armed with some ideas. Get out there before the mob and grab a nice gift for your wife, before everyone else beats you to it. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

More Than Ever Before

Do you remember your dating days? You know, that time when the two of you were just having fun together, enjoying being together, talking together; enjoying each other’s touch. What ever happened to those days? How did we lose those great feelings that drove us to being together?

The answer to those questions is really rather simple; reality raised up its ugly head to bite us. That’s right, the culprit for losing those wonderful feelings of being in love is reality. You see, when we’re dating, there’s really no reality involved. It’s all a dream world. Everything is like living in a fairy tale, where they live happily ever after.

Then, once we get married, we find out that there are bills to pay, that she doesn’t wake up in the morning, looking like she stepped off a magazine cover and problems to deal with. All of a sudden, those wonderful feelings vanish, like a puff of smoke.

Actually, those feelings don’t vanish, they just get covered up by dealing with reality. We don’t stop loving our wives. We don’t stop wanting to be with them. We don’t stop wanting to touch them. We just get so busy dealing with reality, that we don’t have enough time for the things which were so important when we were dating. Then when kids come along, it gets even worse.

Have you ever felt like your wife doesn’t love you as much as she did before? If you’re like most of us, you probably have, more than once. Well, guess what, she feels the same way. She wonders if you love her. She looks back to those dating days, remembering how the two of you were (and she remembers it much better than you do), and wonders what happened to make you fall out of love with her.

Now, I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here; I’m pretty sure you love her as much as you did then, or even more. Otherwise, I really doubt you’d be reading this blog. So, what went wrong?

What’s gone wrong is the expression of love (or lack thereof). Here comes reality again, to give us another bite. Because of dealing with all the problems and whatever of life, we stop spending so much time expressing our love and spend more and more time expressing our problems. That’s nowhere near as interesting for either of you; but, it’s necessary.

This is why it’s so important to tell your wife that you love her. She hears so much negativity out of your mouth that she needs to hear something positive; specifically something positive about your relationship. That means a lot to her.

In fact, don’t just tell her you love her; tell her you love her more than ever before. Tell her you love her more than the day you were married. Tell her that every year you love her more. She feels like you don’t love her as much as before, so destroy that negative thought with a positive one. Give her the message that your love hasn’t diminished, but instead has grown as you’ve come to know her more.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What do you need to Learn to Overlook?

Anyone who has been married for any time; or for that matter, anyone who has ever lived in the same house with another person (such as family) has learned that other people always have annoying habits. It’s not that some people have annoying habits; no, all people have annoying habits. And yes, I know your wife does too.

That’s actually okay, because it proves that they’re human. Real people don’t live up to our fantasy expectations. Real people make mistakes. Real people have failings; and real people can be annoying. By the way, that means that you have habits which annoy your wife as well.

It might be that she leaves her trash in the car, or that she doesn’t understand computers and keeps messing things up on yours. It could also be that she clicks her nails or the way that she chews her food. How about hanging her lingerie in the shower to dry, isn’t that annoying?

In reality, these annoying irritations aren’t really all that big a deal, we just make them seem as if they are. One little habit my wife has is to leave bottles of rubbing alcohol or other substances on the front edge of our bathroom sink. I have a choice of moving them when I go in there or risking knocking them off. Isn’t that a big deal? No, it really isn’t; it only takes me a moment to move those bottles.

I remember a woman who was infuriated because her husband kept leaving his dirty clothes on the bedroom floor. The woman she went to for counseling (read: complaining) asked her the question, “How long does it take you to pick up his clothes?” to which she answered, “About 20 seconds.” Considering that she was spending much more than 20 seconds a day being upset about her husband’s untidiness, she really was wasting her time being upset.

All too often, we allow these little mole hills to become giant mountains. Instead of thanking God for the wonderful wife He’s given us, we complain to him about some stupid little thing that irritates us. What a waste of time. When we do that, we are literally overlooking all of her good points, so that we can focus on the bad. Forget about the fact that those good points are much bigger than the bad ones, in our minds, we make the little things much, much bigger.

So, how do we get out of this trap? Good question. There are two interrelated steps that will quickly help us overcome our irritation and not be bothered by these annoying habits. The first is to forgive her. I don’t mean that you need to go to her and do it in her face; just do it by yourself. Say the words, “I forgive my wife for ________.” That’s it.

The second step is to quit spending so much time thinking about those annoying habits. You can control your thoughts, when you want to. There’s no reason that you have to focus on those things. Instead, when you find yourself thinking about them, change your thoughts and start thinking about something you like about her; something you appreciate about her; even fantasizing about her would be better.

You see, when you focus on those little problems, they become big problems in your eyes. But, when you focus on the good about your wife, those little things start to diminish. Isn’t that a much better way to live?

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Monday Morning Pick-Her-Up

It seems like Mondays are a truly worldwide phenomenon. No matter where you go, pretty much everyone dreads Mondays and looks forward to Fridays. It doesn’t matter what race, culture or nation you visit, it seems to be the same.

Well, we all know that getting through those Mondays can be a bit of a challenge. So, why not do something to make it a little easier for your wife. That should show her that you care about her.

What I’ve got in mind is really rather simple. All you need to do is stop by her favorite coffee shop and pick her up a coffee and pastry. Then deliver it to her at work. If you can’t leave work to do that, how about delivering it before you go to work? Just make sure that there’s something to keep the coffee warm (wrapping a towel around it works great in a pinch). Or, you could pick it up before waking her up in the morning.

If none of those will work for you, then get someone else to do it for you. Do you have kids who can drive? How about a friend or neighbor? The only thing is that it needs to be from you; so if you have somebody else deliver it, make sure there’s a note to tell her who it’s from.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Check Out Her Car

I’m sure you’ve noticed how non-mechanical your wife is. I mean, unless she’s one in about 10,000,000, she doesn’t know more about the car than where to put the gas in and where the ignition key goes. It’s like the joke about the woman who walked into the auto parts store to ask for “the 710 part.” The clerk was of course baffled and asked her to explain. Exasperated with his density, she said, “It’s a round thing on the top of the engine that has the number “710” on it.” Well, of course, she was talking about the oil cap and didn’t even know it.

If we expect our wives to do things like check the tires and oil on their car, we’re heading for a major repair bill. My wife tells me that she thinks the tires are low all the time, just because they’re radials. Checking air, oil and water isn’t within a woman’s makeup and there’s really no way that they’re going to do it.

However, we both know that she needs her car, and probably needs it every day. So, somebody has got to make sure that it’s running good and that somebody is you. When you check her car, it’s a way to make sure that she is safe. She needs that from you; she needs to know that you are her protector. While that no longer means carrying a sword around to dual anyone who dares come close to her, there are still many ways of protecting her. This is just one of them.

I make a point of driving my wife’s car when we go to church. That way, I’m able to listen to the motor and make sure that everything is working fine. If I don’t do that, there could be a steadily worsening problem that neither of us is aware of. It’s not fair of me to expect her to recognize those problems.

While you’re at it, why not give her car a quick bath and vacuum it out? While it may not make much difference to you, she’d rather drive around in a nice clean car. Don’t stop there though; put one of those air fresheners in it for her; something with a nice floral scent. Women’s noses are more sensitive, so that’s an important little detail.

Don’t forget about other things that could make her car more comfortable for her to drive. I’ve installed pads on the shoulder straps, because those can be rather uncomfortable for a woman. Where I live, there’s a shop that has a sign up, which says, “Your Wife is Hot!” Then in small letters, it adds, “Tint her windows.” If you live in a hot climate like I do, that’s good advice. Remember, romance is about the little things that you do to make her feel like she’s important to you. Taking care of her is part of that.

One final step, when you go back in the house, make sure that you tell her that her car is okay. You want her to know that you’re doing this to protect her; not just the car. By telling her that, it isn’t that you’re avoiding spending time with her, it’s that you’re taking care of her; a huge difference. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Hidden Love Notes

Yesterday, I talked about passing her love notes in a concert or play. It’s fun and easy, and she’ll get a charge out of it. A friend (female) commented on it and reminded me of something I’d posted on here about a year or so ago; so, I thought it deserved repetition.

As we all know, you can never tell your wife that you love her too many times. It doesn’t matter if you tell her by speaking, by writing or by giving her a gift, your wife never gets tired of hearing you tell her that you love her.

One great way to declare your love to your wife is by leaving her love notes all around, where she can find them. Some can be obvious, while others aren’t so much so. That way, she won’t find them all at once. Each time she finds one, it’s as if you did another romantic act. That way, you can get lots of points from one simple act of romance.

Many men struggle with this, thinking they have to write a whole love letter to their wife, instead of something short. It really doesn’t have to be long; in fact, if all you put is “I love you” that’s enough. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t say more, just that you don’t have to. Maybe instead of saying “I love you” you can come up with variations on that theme, saying things like:
  • You’re special to me
  • I adore you
  • I thank God that you’re my wife
  • I want you
  • One lifetime isn’t long enough to be married to you
  • You are wonderful
Like I said, these don’t have to be long to be effective. The idea is that you are expressing your love to your wife in some way or another; that’s what counts.

Find a variety of hiding places for these little notes: inside baking dishes in the kitchen, in her panties and bras in the dresser, in a coat pocket, under some papers on her desk (assuming she has a desk in the house), in the car that she drives, in her wallet and with her makeup. Let the joy of finding them be something that happens spontaneously, when she’s least going to expect it.

Now, this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to continue being romantic while she’s finding those notes. You can just look at them as an extra bonus for her to receive. 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Passing Notes

If you’re as old as I am, you might still remember the days before we had cell phones and could send text messages back and forth through the ether. That didn’t stop us from sending messages however; it just made their delivery a little slower and more dependent upon the assistance of our friends. In school, kids would write notes to their friends, and then pass them back and forth through the aisles, when the teacher’s back was turned.

Of course, if you got caught, it was a little harder to deny anything with the evidence in the teacher’s hands. It could get real embarrassing when she’d read the note in front of the whole classroom; something that no one else would consider doing.

Well, guess what? I’ve made an amazing discovery. Pen and ink still exist, even in this modern day of computers, cell phones and iPads. As strange as it seems, it’s still possible to write a note the old fashioned way, using a pen or pencil to put it on paper. Isn’t that strange? Hmm, I wonder if there’s a romantic application to that.

Well, if we could pass notes back and forth in school, I don’t see why we can’t do so in other environments. Why not surprise your wife with a series of little love notes, to be delivered one at a time, the next time you’re in a movie, concert or the kids school play?

Here’s what you do. Prepare your notes ahead of time, so that she doesn’t see you sitting there writing them. They don’t have to be long or fancy, just something that expresses your love for her. Put them in your pocket and take them along with you. Then, in the middle of the show, take one out and give it to her. Wait a bit, and repeat. In fact, keep repeating, until you run out of notes.

It’s just a fun way of letting your wife know that you love her. At the same time, it can add some real interest to what may end up being a rather boring program. Besides, you can never say “I love you” too many times.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

“I Can’t Believe I Said That”

Do you remember that stupid little ditty for when we were kids, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never hurt me”? I’m not sure which fool came up with that one, but obviously they had the emotions part of their brain surgically removed. If there’s one thing that can really hurt a person, it’s words; they’re much more potent than sticks, stones, or even HEAT rounds from a M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank.

Unless you have a real problem with controlling your temper, or you’re a habitual drunk who gets violent when you’re drinking, you’ve probably never used any sticks and stones against your wife. Good thing too, or you probably wouldn’t have a wife. However, I’m sure that you’ve managed to use words against her, whether you wanted to or not.

Have you ever noticed how some things just manage to escape from our mouths, even if we don’t want them to? I’m sure you know the one’s I’m talking about; they’re the ones which cause us to say, “I can’t believe I just said that.” If only life came with a rewind button, so that we could go back a few seconds and take those words back. But, one spoken, they never seem to go away.

You know, it doesn’t do much good for us to do great romantic acts towards our wives, if we’re erasing any points we earn with our own words. We’d be better off forgetting the romance, and just putting duct tape over our mouths. That way, even though we wouldn’t gain any points, we wouldn’t lose any either.

There is another solution, however; that is to learn how to control our tongue. There’s nothing that says that we have to say those hurtful words. No law, no requirement, no force of nature that makes them come out of our mouths. We’re the one who says them, and we’re the one who can stop them.

That’s right; you and I have the power to stop ourselves from saying things which hurt our wives. How about that? There are two secrets, which will help us do this. The first one is to learn to engage our brain, before opening our mouth. Most of those hurtful words come out totally unplanned. They’re a childish reaction to something. Well, childish reactions are okay for children, but we’re not children any more. So, we need to learn how to stop ourselves, by thinking about what we are going to say and the effect that those words are going to have.

The other secret that ties directly in with the first is to focus on the other person. Most hurtful things we say come about by being self-centered. We had a bad day at work and when we come home, we growl at the wife, slap the kids and kick the dog. Whoa, wait a minute! Who gave us the right to do that?

If we are thinking about the other person, we’ll put our priority on what is best for them, not what is best for us. So, when the wife goes a little crazy from her PMS, we’ll realize what’s going on and not take it personally. Since we’re not taking it personally, we won’t reply in a hurtful manner. Instead, we’ll seek a way of soothing her emotions, instead of stirring them up even more.

Remember, words can’t be taken back. Every hurtful word you speak, whether intentionally or unintentionally is permanently graven in your wife’s heart. No matter what you do, it will never go away. So, make sure that the words you say are the words that you want to say.