It can be slow.

November 1, 2009

We live in a world that has taught us that it is okay to demand instant gratification. Whether it be fast food, credit card purchases for things we want but cannot afford, or refinancing our homes for instant cash that would be better saved for our retirement, we want it all now.

Building a great marriage is not conducive to instant gratification. It takes an amazing amount of work and in reality, an even greater portion of patience. In many marriages there have been walls and obstacles built up for many years if not decades that do not come down easily or quickly. Sometimes are efforts don’t even yield any return for some time making it that much harder to continue trying.

One of the remedies to this is to tell your wife that you are desiring to change and that you are committed for the long haul to rebuilding your marriage. Showing all your cards may not be the best course of action in poker, but in relationships you can rarely go wrong with complete and total honesty. There is a great saying though I am unfamiliar with anyone being credited for the quote saying, “It pays to be honest, but it’s slow pay.” Understanding this we can help to curb our unrealistic expectations.

If you have any hope of restoring a broken marriage you have to be willing to do the work and be patient for the results.

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To be honest, it takes a lot of work.

October 31, 2009

Begrudgingly I admit to you all that having a good marriage does not take work, it takes a lot of work. To become more selfless and more giving, requires us as humans to overcome some of our most basic attitudes and desires. One could do this only if they believed that what they would receive is of greater value than what they will sacrifice. But what value have you established and ascribed to a great marriage in your own mind? Do you really believe that there is a great value and great return in a healthy marriage?

Once you have determined that there is in fact a great value in this, by definition you can understand that there will be great costs to achieve it. Some time ago, J. Allen pointed out, “He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would accomplish much must sacrifice much.” That is true of everything in life. To accomplish anything possessing great worth, there will be a high price to be paid.

In marriage, the price for greatness is overcoming our own selfish nature. But as I wrote about in a previous post, (Be selfish. It can really help.), one of the best ways to get what you really desire, is to give of yourself first. So what I am saying is, you have to overcome your selfishness by being selfish enough to want a great marriage and to receive the value it brings. Thus empowering yourself to put your wife’s needs, desires, wants and so much more, before your own. Which will bring you all that you desire as well. (Did I leave you all more confused than before I began?)

I really want to help you all establish in your 0wn minds the value of a great marriage. I hope to do that in future posts. In doing so, I am confident that you will see the benefits truly outweigh the price that must be paid to attain it.


Be different.

October 27, 2009

I think one of the things that has the most detrimental effects on men in their desire to be better husbands is the fear of being different. It is so common in our culture to see men talk badly of their wives, to see men demean their wives by the things they say when with other men, and to even see men ignore their commitments and responsibilities to their wives. In light of that, it takes a man of great character to be different. To be a voice for commitment. To be an example of a loving and devoted husband.

Suzanne Gordon pointed out the reality of this when she said, “To be alone is to be different, to be different is to be alone.” We have to realize that just because a road is less traveled, does not make it any less the right road to follow. If we choose to follow the crowd in everything we do, we will only find ourselves often lost along with a large group of people.

There is no doubt that it takes great effort to do what is right when so many are doing something else. It takes a man of courage to stand against the masses. To stand for what is true and good.

When we make the commitment to marry the women we love, we stand-alone, hand-in-hand with our bride to be, and promise to honor, cherish, love, care for, and protect her. The masses don’t stand beside us and join in. We choose this path alone, yes with support from family and friends, but the commitment is not made conditional to that support. Therefore, we must continue to do these things whether anyone else agrees or supports us in our efforts.

Take the time to find your wedding video or any other source that would remind you of exactly what you committed to do for your wife. Write it down and put it somewhere that you will see it and read it everyday. Then direct your actions to fulfilling those commitments regardless of what anyone else says or does. And keep yourself clear from anything or anybody that promotes behavior that contradicts your promises to your bride. In doing so, you will likely be different, but you might also find the greatest difference is your happiness.


Look the other way.

October 25, 2009

Focus is a very powerful thing. What we look at, what we are focused on makes a huge difference on what will be in our future. Both literally and figuratively. When we are in marriages that are troubled, marriages that are filled with strife, it is easy to focus on the problems rather than the solutions. But we have the ability to change that. To change our focus.

There is a Maori Proverb, a native Polynesian population of New Zealand, that says, “Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.” That directly speaks to how we can begin to change our own situations. If we will just begin to focus on the things that are good in our marriages, the things that really do work, we can use these as a foundation to build upon.

I know that even in my own marriage, I could easily begin to focus on the problems. I could get lost in the things I want Janine to do different. Do better. And sometimes I do. But when that happens, most of the time, I am aware of it, and that doing this has caused me problems in my past, and I don’t want to do that again.

Do your best to focus on the positive. Do your best to identify the things your wife does well. The things she does that helps and supports you and your family. When you are directly focused on those, they will be your sun, and the shadows of the things that are hurtful or detrimental will be behind you away from your constant view.


Don’t give up

October 24, 2009

I would never want to pretend or deceive any of you men who are in marriages that are very difficult by telling you that if you do all the things I have talked about here, then everything will be perfect in your marriage. That is just untrue. Difficult marriages are difficult because of the two people in them together. But the truth is that one is often more culpable for the strife than the other. Although some have said that it takes two to tango, even in dancing there is often one of the two dancers that are better or worse than the other.

That being said, no broken or hurting marriage would not be somehow improved when one of the parties decides to make a positive difference.  When one party makes a commitment to love completely, to appreciate the other for the good they do, to forgive the past errors and move the relationship in a new direction.

When you make a commitment to do these things there will be days that you want to give up. There will be days that you feel completely defeated. There will be days where you can’t help but think that you are wasting your time and it isn’t helping anything. On those days you just have to dig deeper.

I don’t know why I can’t seem to see Ben Stein saying this but I know he did and it so apropos to today’s message. He said, “The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated…it is finished when it surrenders.” That truly is the whole of it.

It is so important to love your wife completely. It is so important to encourage her daily. It is so important to appreciate everything she does for you and your family. But none of those will matter if you don’t make the decision right now to see it through till the end. The most important thing you can do to change the future of your marriage and family is to first decide to never give up.


Do it with fervor

October 21, 2009

One of the things you might have noticed about me, although I don’t know if it comes across in my writing as strongly as it does in person, is that I am passionate about whatever I do.  My marriage is no exception and thus loving my wife is done with the same zest and zeal as every other personal or work endeavor.

As you might have seen in some of the comments that have been received, there are many people who disagree with my ideas, my style, and my suggestions on how men should love their wives. And although I sometimes don’t understand what value they garner from an opinion that seems, at least to me, to devalue another human being, I do in fact welcome and enjoy their involvement and participation. That being said, I have never been one to follow the road more traveled, when truth and historical evidence point me to another path.  I worry much less about those who would discourage me than I ever do about the cost of not doing what I know to be right.

I believe it was Ayn Rand in one of the dialogues in her famous book Fountainhead, that said,

“My dear fellow, who will let you?”

“That’s not the point. The point is, who will stop me?”

That is how you must feel about doing what is good for your wife. What is good for your marriage. You have to have the strength and conviction of a mighty and noble man, to be considerate, caring, affectionate, and kind to the woman you love while maintaining a clear and fortified image of your masculinity.

You cannot do this halfheartedly. It will take the very best of who you are. It will take a focus and determination that no one can stand against. It will take the fullest measure of your passion and your fervor to effect change. But ask yourself, what is of higher value in your life than for your wife to be loved, your kids to be witness to true love, and for your family to be strengthened and confirmed by your honor.


A little about me

October 19, 2009

As I was reading over some of the posts I have written here, it dawned on me that it sounds like I do everything right when it comes to loving my wife. I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.

As far as the things I write about in the various posts you have all seen here, I believe in every one of them. I also have done every one of them some of the time. Like everyone else, I miss doing many of these things sometimes as well.

Like all of you, I get tired, I get grumpy, I get my feelings hurt and don’t do the things I talk about everyday here with you. But what I try to do is get back to them quickly. I try to catch myself in the middle of a bad mood, apologize and start showing Janine how much I love her. How much I appreciate her. How much I adore her.

The thing I like so much about having written this blog, written these thoughts down, is they are always on my mind. I spend very little time lost in complaining or griping about someone else. The focus is on me. On my actions. How I am treating Janine.

I hope as you read these thoughts, these posts, that you too will start to have them on your mind. That the ideas written here become a part of your conscious thoughts. That they will help you to get through the tough times in your life. That they will help you deal with the situations you face in your marriage.

It takes a strong commitment to change any habit, behavior or situation in your life that you are unhappy with. Make a commitment to read and reread the ideas I have posted here. Buy books about marriage and relationships that offer the help you need. You have to be willing to make the ideas and techniques that are proven to build a great marriage the thoughts that are in the front of your mind all the time.