Don’t doubt.

October 28, 2009

One of the things that can hinder our efforts more than almost anything else is doubt. When we doubt that we can change our situation, when we doubt whether our wives will do their part, when we doubt that we are capable of staying committed to these efforts, we invalidate the love that gave us the desire to make the changes that will help to facilitate a better marriage.

Kahlil Gibran reminds us that, “Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms.” What that means is where doubt exists, love cannot flourish. Where love is strong, doubt has no power, no ability to wreak havoc.

Although I am absolutely convinced that love is a much more powerful emotion or feeling, doubt appears to be more common and easy to make friends with. When we are tired, when we are beaten down, when we are at our weakest point, it is difficult to love. Love takes an effort on our part. While doubt is made stronger at these times. And it takes no effort at all. It does not even require that we be conscious of it to gain its stronghold. I think it is actually most able to exist when we are weak.

That being said, doubt has not the strength to invade our lives if we choose to stand against it. If we make a conscious decision to ignore the doubts that come to us, if we decide to kill those doubts when they first appear, and replace them with love, commitment to our cause, and a plan to change, doubt will find no place to reside in us.

It is my hope that you will begin to recognize doubt for what it is. That you will see it for the pain and suffering it is responsible for. And that you will stand strong against it. To do this, all you have to do is say no. I will not doubt. I will set my sights and goals on a strong marriage and do the things that will move it towards that end. I will not be deterred by doubting myself and the progress being made. I will focus on the finish line, not the bumps in the road that takes me there.

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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 take my breath away

October 8, 2009

As many of you know, my wife Janine has changed my life in so many ways that I often have a hard time getting my hands around it all. But what I can clearly see above all else is who she is as a person and all her abilities and accomplishments. She is truly amazing. She is so talented. She is kind to everyone. She is a great mother. She is a great friend.

I was reading a tweet that reminded me that, “Life isn’t about the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.” That is truly how I live today. Janine takes my breath away almost everyday. She does this in myriad ways. I want to share some of them with you in hopes that you will see opportunities to have your breath taken away by your wife and the things she does.

The easiest one for me to recall is that her beauty takes my breath away. Yes, I mean her physical appearance and form. I can honestly say that each day, when I look at her, I am some how more attracted to her. She is more beautiful to me everyday. I don’t know how this can be or how to explain it. But when I look at her each day, I am overwhelmed by how she appears to be more beautiful than the day before. I know that I thought the same thing yesterday, but looking at her, I am certain that I have never seen her look as beautiful as she does today. She takes my breath away.

When I watch her play with the kids, so loving, so compassionate, so selfless, I am amazed by this woman. She loves in a way I cannot understand or comprehend. She loves completely. She loves with her whole body and soul. She takes my breath away.

When I am in a bad mood, she overlooks it and tries to make it better. She does something to make me laugh. Or she does something to change the direction of my thoughts. She changes my mood. She is like no one I have ever known. She takes my breath away.

When things are tough at work, or money is too tight, she tells me how proud of me she is. She tells me how she has faith in me. She tells me how she trusts me. She makes it about our love and our family, not the situation we are in. She takes my breath away.

When she is hurting or is sad, she tells me how she is feeling. She tells me her fears. She doesn’t point the finger or place the blame on me. She just authentically opens her soul and talks to me. She takes my breath away.

I know that it is all these things that she does that makes her more beautiful to me everyday and that takes my breath away all over again. I am so blessed to have a life of moments that take my breath away.

I hope you will take notice of your wife and what she does. It is not that anyone is perfect or is able to do it right every time, but if you will allow yourself to be taken by her acts of kindness, her acts of love, you will be blessed with a life of moments that take your breath away.


To be desired

October 5, 2009

Although this post will tell you more about what women need and want from us as it closes, it gets there by looking at what men want as well. As much as we men want to be strong, confident, and self-sufficient, the truth is we want to be desired. We want to be needed. We want to be loved. We may not admit it to anyone or even be willing to admit it to ourselves, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is true.

Robert Frost said, “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” It is true for all of us. Not just women as many of us would like to think.

Knowing this is true allows us to make ourselves more desirable. Sure, we already know the things the world tells us we can do to become more desirable. We can lose weight. We can exercise. We can work out. We can buy fancy clothes and drive fancy cars. But these things only make us desirable to those who don’t know us.

It is who we truly and authentically are that can have the most dramatic impact on our desirability to our wives. It is how we love. It is how treat others. It is how we handle our money. It is how we act when few or none can see us.

Our wives are witnesses everyday to the men we are, or unfortunately the men we are not. They see everything about us, or see that we have things we are hiding from the world, or worse, from them.

But there is hope for all of us to become more desirable.  We can change our actions if we know what our wives desire. We can shape ourselves into that which they most crave. Fortunately, most women want many of the same things. They want a man that can listen without having to fix everything. They want a man that will be affectionate. They want a man that will be patient. They want a man that will stand up for his wife. They want a man that will be a great father. They want a man that will forgive easily. They want a man that will admit to a mistake and say he is sorry. They want a man that will be considerate of her thoughts and feelings.

None of the things they want will cost you a dime. They will only cost you your time, your effort, your commitment. And in return, you will gain what it is that you truly desired all along. To be desired.


My confession

September 16, 2009

I have a confession. I love writing this blog. I had forgotten how much I love writing in general but writing this blog really makes me happy. I feel good about the topic, I feel good about the advice, and I feel good that I may be actually helping some of you.

The confession is that, since I started this, I think I have been failing to heed my own advice. This thing takes so much time. It is so all consuming that I think I have not been giving the focus, attention and interest that I have been espousing to the amazing wife I have told you all about. You might be wondering how I stumbled across this hidden revelation. It was actually quite insightful on my part. On Sunday, my wife looked at me and said, “Ever since you started this blog thing you always have your face in the computer.” I am sure you are duly impressed with my deductive reasoning to take that little hint and determine that I have to be more careful, more considerate, and a much better husband.

The funny thing is she also now tells me all the time that she is going to tell all of you when ever I screw up. I wish you all knew her. She has the most amazing sense-of-humor. Even the few comments she has made have all been in fun but I am aware of it nonetheless.

For those of you that might not be familiar with what really goes into keeping up a daily blog and also trying to let others know your here, it is a lot of work. I spend about 7 hours a week on writing and editing the posts. I spend at least that in surfing other blogs, reading them, offering thought out comments and leaving them the link back to my blog for them to check it out. I use the wordpress tag surfer as well as blogsurfer.us and technorati. And finally, I spend another couple of hours doing research on how to make my blog successful so that it can effect as many people as possible.

I know that many of you have read my about page and know that I already have a very busy life. I have six children, 1 grandson, two companies of my own and consult for a dozen more. I surely didn’t need this blog to fill the empty spaces but I am so glad that I have it.

I would never have done all this had I not been inspired by the great blog my son writes, http://teachmelife.wordpress.com. I hope you all will give it a look. It is full of great wisdom from a young man I am so proud of.

That’s it for today. Just my confession and attempt to keep myself accountable to my wife, my family and to all of you. This has been a great experience for me already and I hope you all are enjoying it to.

As my dad always says, “Make it a great day.”


Focus on her at parties.

September 13, 2009

I have heard many wives talk about how much they hate to go to parties with their husbands. That they are often heartbreaking events rather than something that brings anticipation and fulfillment. The main complaint is that when they go to parties, as soon as they get there, their husbands vanish. They either disappear with a group of men to a TV or they seek out conversation with anybody other than their wives.

Now there is no reason that we have to spend every minute at an event with our spouse and only converse with them. And I don’t get the feeling that they want that either. But they do want to be with us. They do want to be a couple. They want to be seen with us, talk with us, laugh with us. Is that so bad?

When we spend all our time at parties, speaking with everyone else, it says to our wives that we value the thoughts and ideas of everyone else, more than we do of our spouse. I know that we can talk with them all the time but it is important to do that in front of others as well. It shows that we place a high value on our wives. That we enjoy their company. That we are glad to be with them.

When I go anywhere with my wife and we are with a group of people, I have a game plan. I make sure that we enter together. I stay with her while we go around and meet everyone and say hello. I stay by her side until she engages with someone else. I then will take some time to go and mingle with people I want to see or maybe haven’t spoken with for awhile. While doing this, I look for her often. I make sure she catches me looking at her. I make sure she sees me adoring her. I go back to her often and talk with her about who she was talking to or who I was talking to.

When we are in a group talking, I compliment my wife about things she does or says that are relevant. I make sure that everyone knows, especially Janine, that I am in love with her and glad to be with her. This may all sound contrived or too much like an agenda rather than me being myself. But that is not true. I just know myself well enough to know that when I don’t have a game plan, I don’t do as well. I try to have a game plan in so many other areas of my life as well. I do this because I want to achieve the desired result.  I desire for my wife to feel loved, to feel needed, to feel valuable. I have to focus on this if I want to achieve it.

The next time you are going anywhere with your wife where you will be with a large group of people, think about how you will act when you get there. Have a game plan that focuses on your wife as well as the other people. She will appreciate your focus and attention. She will reward you with her attention and care for your needs as well. Now that’s what I call a win-win.


Wait On Her. She’s Worth It.

September 2, 2009

When I was a younger man I used to stress out so much when my wife was running late. As I think I mentioned, I was married once before for almost twenty years. During that time, we were late hundreds of times, to dinner engagements, to weddings, to family events, to just about everything. I was a stress case every time. I began worrying hours before we were to be anywhere together. I began plotting ways to facilitate an on time arrival. I dropped hints. I checked on her progress. I very inconspicuously mentioned the time, which was not so inconspicuous. By twenty minutes before we were supposed to leave anywhere, I had managed to add to my stress by stressing her out as well. It never helped. Not one time. It only proceeded to ruin whatever time we spent at every event we may have been attending.

Today, I really try not to do that. I have the most beautiful, kind, caring, considerate wife. I want more than anything to make her happy. Even more, I want to enjoy all the time I have with her. I can only do that by not adding to the stress and trouble that life already inherently has. I have learned that being late to personal engagements are not that big of a deal. Sure, I would love to be on time wherever we go. And I know that to the people we are meeting, being on time is likely very important. But in my experience, women need more time to get ready. Everything about the way they look is really important. And they do tend run late. But rushing them has never yielded much success. More importantly, there is not one person that we are ever going to see that is more important than the one we are taking with us. None will be in the car as we drive together to the event. A great opportunity to talk, to laugh, to deepen our relationship. A time which is almost assuredly ruined by freaking out while your lady is getting ready. None will lay down next to you in bed at the end of the day. I don’t want to ruin that time with my wife.

I cannot emphasize enough how useless this is. Forget it. Don’t worry if your going to be late. Don’t worry about what anyone else might think of you. Put that energy into working on what your wife or girlfriend thinks of you. Put your efforts in an area that can change your life. Change your relationship. It will yield you great happiness. It won’t likely get you anywhere any earlier. But it will show the woman you love, that you do love her. That she is the most important person in your life. And that will make all things better. If your lucky, showing her that grace might help her to extend some grace to you. And we all know that we have plenty of areas that we might need a little grace as well.

Give her WHAT SHE NEEDS FROM YOU. A man that is greater than all others. A man that adores her. A man that is to committed to her above all others. Her Prince Charming.