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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
October 17, 2009
My dad is one of those men that always has an encouraging word for you when you are feeling down or confused about anything. It usually comes in the form of a quoted saying or euphemism. One of his favorites is, “What one can conceive and believe, one can achieve.” I don’t know who first coined that one but I believe it might have been Zig Ziglar.
Anyways, I really don’t know how it happened, but over the years, I came to believe these nuggets of wisdom and they have kept me in good stead. I have found that I have very little fear of any situation I face or opportunity that presents itself because of my Dad’s encouragement. I am willing to try just about anything without much thought or concern of failure. This has really been a blessing to me.
In marriage, like all other areas of 0ur lives, we have to have a positive outlook if we want to make a real difference. Who could come home everyday in a bad mood, yell at everyone, push everyone away and hope to have a great marriage? No one. You have to believe there is hope and act in the possibility of that hope.
Jamie Paolinetti made it so clear when she said, “Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become endless.” That is where you have to start to change your marriage. In your own mind. You have to believe in the possibility of a great marriage. You have to believe that you can make a difference.
Starting today, make a conscious effort to change the way you think about your marriage. First focus on the good and positive things no matter how few you might be able to come up with. Then, start to concentrate on the fact that you have the ability to make changes in your marriage. You can be the instrument of change that your marriage so desperately needed. Believe in yourself, believe in the possibility, and believe that you have the God of all creation on your side. He hates divorce and wants nothing more than for each of us to have a great marriage.