Tomorrow may be too late.

October 29, 2009

I have to imagine that from the creation of our world, mankind has always suffered from the illusion that we have plenty of time to do whatever it is that we want to do. I believe that this misconception has resulted in the failure of many great people to have attained many great goals.

A rarely seen quote by Leonard Bernstein says, “To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.” The very first time I read this quote, I didn’t quite understand the brilliance in it. I knew there was some great truth being conveyed yet I couldn’t put my finger on it. Over time, I began to recall how often I am able to complete a number of tasks, that I had procrastinated in dealing with, in a very short time when a deadline presented itself. Even if it was just my going away for a few days, knowing I would be out of the office, I would complete all the things I had put off prior to my leaving.

This is a luxury we are not afforded in our marriage. There are no deadlines to meet. There isn’t a specific date that requires us to complete a specific task. We have reviewed many tasks here that would surely make the list of things to do but there is no force compelling us to institute these by any deadline. Thus, we often never begin, just because we feel no pressure to do it today.

I assure you, there will come a day, where tomorrow will be too late. Whether it be a divorce or death or some other reason, that day will come. Don’t wait another day. If you have any desire to strengthen and improve your marriage, then do it today. Don’t wait one more day to tell your wife you love her, to show her you are committed to her, to fulfill her dream of you being the prince charming that you led her to believe she was marrying.


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.


You’re not the only one that matters

October 26, 2009

One of the things that seems to have invaded our society is an overall sense of selfishness. You see it in the things people say and do everyday. One of the worst examples I have seen is the idea that as individuals we can do whatever we want as long as we don’t believe we are hurting anyone.

What happened to the concept of being greater than ourselves. The concept of having a responsibility to those around us. Even to our society as whole. John W. Gardner pointed out that, “Some people strengthen society just by being the kind of people they are.” Don’t you want to be one of those people? Deep down wouldn’t you love to make this world a better place by just having been yourself.

I know that I do. I want to have an impact on this world. I want to be remembered as someone who made a positive contribution to society. I have decided that for now, the best way I can do that is to have a positive impact on the people in my life. I try to do this with my wife, my kids, my extended family, my employees, and even to those I have a more limited relationship with.

I desire to effect change in even small ways by being kind to those I encounter. Encouraging those I interact with. Even if it is nothing more than sharing a smile with an unknown passerby.

If I can do this in my marriage, I will have improved society as well. My wife already does this too. She has a positive influence on the people she comes into contact with. Together, we can influence our kids. Our kids can influence their friends. As they say with just a few degrees of separation we can reach anyone in this world. Thus, our actions truly can improve our society as a whole.

I hope that you too will make a change towards this end. I hope you will see yourself not just as one person who can do whatever you want. But more as one man, one husband, one father, that recognizes that you do in fact matter, but not only to yourself. You can start today to make this world a better place by just loving your wife, loving your kids, being positive in the workplace, just being a great man.


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.


The rest of the story (Part two of a two day post.)

October 18, 2009

So in yesterday’s post, I focused on how important it is to believe that we can make a real change in our marriage. And with all the possibility that you open up with those thoughts and beliefs, they are absolutely a waste of your time and energy, if you don’t do the work that is required to turn your beliefs into your reality.

So many great men and women have spoken about this important truth, but none has stuck with me as much as what Simon Batcup was quoted saying, “A plan without action is a dream, a dream without a plan is a nightmare.” It really is so simple. Yes we have to believe and have hope to ever be able to muster the energy for great challenges. But beyond that we have to have a plan on how to make those dreams our reality. And furthermore, we have to be willing to do the work. Whatever it is.

How do you plan to have a great marriage? By clearly identifying the things you can do that will bring about the change. By being more patient. By being more considerate. By being more kind. There are thousands of things we can do that will bring us closer to a great marriage. But you have to break them down into simple actions towards a great plan. And it has to be specific to you and your wife.

Take some time to imagine what you want your marriage to be like. What would you change in yourself? What would you want your spouse to do different? As you imagine your marriage already getting to that point, write down what you will have to change in your own actions. Write down how you would want to be treated. Write down the things that would change the feeling and temperament of your wife and home. Then put them into action. Do the work. Love. Love is an action not a feeling.