Come here or get it somewhere else.

November 3, 2009

It is not important where you get good information, it is only important that you get good information. As you can imagine, I am a little biased in my belief that good information is available to all of your right here. But I can assure you that this blog is not exhaustive nor does it cover many specific ideas and questions. So you may have to check out many sources in your endeavor to get the help you need for your marriage.

It is rarely difficult to understand the truth once you have found it. The work is in the finding of the truth. Once you have determined that you do in fact need help and information that you do not currently have, the next step is to locate the source or sources that posses what you are looking for.

As you can surely imagine, there are so many resources available on the web, through blogs and reference websites. Additionally, there are thousands of books available, many of which address topics ranging from very general to pin-point specific. And while I love the ease in which you can research specific topics on the web, there are times that nothing will be as beneficial as talking with someone directly. Whether that be a family member, a mentor, a pastor, or even a counselor. All of these can be very advantageous depending on your relationships and individual circumstances.

The first step is to acknowledge that you have a need. Second, that you are willing to do the work that will be required to bring benefit to your situation. Third you have to go to the source of the help. And finally, you have to implement your plan for remedy.

Take the time to write down as specific as you can be, what you think the problem is. Try to outline the cause and effect of the problem. Look at both parties to the situation and honestly examine what your own involvement is in the problem and the solution. You might find that in doing so you will be able to answer some of the questions you have on what you can do right now to help.


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.

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.

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.

Some additional housekeeping

October 23, 2009

Yesterday I mentioned that some of you readers had concerns about the delivery of my suggestions being directed only to men. I hope that I was able to clean that up a little. Today I want to share one more issue that has come up that some people find offensive. That being that I am a Christian.

It seems hard for me to fathom that my belief in Christ and who He claims to be would be so offensive to anybody, yet I know that it is. I hope I might be able to give some of you a different view of what it means to be a Christian. For it is clear to me, that most people don’t have any complaints or objections to Jesus Christ, just an objection to the actions of those who claim to follow Him.

I understand that completely. I know that many people who lay claim to a Christian faith have been at the forefront of hypocrisy, judgmental-ism and hate. But that does not a Christian make. There is only one thing that can truly identify one as a Christian, that being that you believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He was and have accepted His gift of salvation for your soul. That’s it. Nothing else.

When asked what was the most important thing that someone could do as a follower of Christ, Jesus said to love God with all our hearts, souls and minds. The second most important thing He said was to love your neighbors as yourself. So that is what I do. I truly love God. I truly love my neighbors. My neighbors being anyone I come into contact with. This makes all of you my neighbors. And I love all of you.

I hope that above all, you will see here in the work I do, that I am just one man, who longs for a day where marriage and commitment will once again have the value they once did. I hope that every man and woman would care enough about themselves to be able to be kind and  considerate of every other person they have a relationship with. And finally I hope to continue to learn here, and everywhere else in my life, how to live a life that is wholly pleasing and clearly committed to the two things that Jesus said I should do. Love Him and love everyone else.

Men and women alike.

October 22, 2009

I have had the pleasure of receiving many comments from people who have pointed out the fact that much of what I say is not advice that is solely applicable to or should it be inferred to be only to men. I agree. Almost across the board, every suggestion I post, and they are only my suggestions and my opinions, though they are based on my own historical evidence and results, could be addressed to all people, men and women alike.

Much of what I write about is how all people should treat all other people. Every one of us should show respect and kindness to others. Each of us would do well in this world to encourage those we love, those we work with, and all those we have relationships with.

The reason I specifically target the audience I do, that being married men, is that I have not had the opportunity to find a great number of people struggling with and seeking answers to how they should treat other people in general. But people in marriages do often struggle, because of the closeness and daily involvement with their spouses, with how to improve their marital relationships.

Having only experienced the struggle as a man myself, and finding that for me, I can identify with the men in this situation, I chose to address that point of view. That being said, it does not in any way invalidate the argument that women would be well served to do the same.

So to all of you reading these posts, please feel free to read them as being less gender specific, though they are not written that way, and apply all of the suggestions to your own relationships, as best you can, to improve whatever relationship you are in.

My intent from the beginning, and remaining to this day, is to offer helpful suggestions to all that might be in need of ideas and applications in better handling their relationships.

Any offense that might be taken, is not intended and it is with the utmost respect to all that I post these thoughts. I appreciate every one of you that comments, equally to those that agree, those that disagree, and all those in between.