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.


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.

Thanks Dad (Part one of a two day post.)

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.

Change your world

October 16, 2009

Every one of us has the ability to change the world. No, we won’t likely end world hunger or stop nuclear proliferation but we can change the world nonetheless. We can change the world by changing our world. If we care enough.

I can give you the easy ones, like Oprah opening the girl’s school in South Africa, but you might think it was only possible because of her money and notoriety. I could give you Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King, who literally changed the world one person at a time. But again, I am afraid that might sound like something bigger than we personally are capable of.

But who among us doesn’t know a family that has adopted a child and given them a home they would not have known without their generosity. Or whose family or close circle of friends does not include a young single mother who chose to keep and raise a baby that the world has clearly devalued to the point of insignificance. I can assure you that the world was changed by each of these decisions as well.

So what about you? Are you willing to change the world? Are you willing to change your world? Are you willing to change the world for your wife and kids?

It does not take some heroic act of strength or might. It only takes a heroic act of courage to love someone when you are scared of being hurt again. It only takes a commitment of your time to change the life of your kids.

Make a stand that will change the world today and forever. Give your wife your undying love and commitment. Show her that nothing will stand between the two of you. That together, as one, you will make a better home, a better family, a better marriage. The rippling effect of that commitment will change the world for your family. And the love from your family will change the world whether you understand what those changes are or not.

You da man

October 15, 2009

It is very common for men to exude a sense of confidence, strength, wisdom, and knowledge whether we possess these qualities or not. While it is so important that we are able to portray these qualities in many situations like job hunting, deal negotiating, protecting our families and many more, I am not sure that most of us believe it ourselves. Whatever our level of achievement in each of these areas, it is important that we reach a level of contentment. Not that we stop at one place or another and rest on our laurels. We just have to have some sense of being okay with ourselves if we are going to be of any value to our spouses.

Francois de la Rochefoucauld said it best, “When we cannot find contentment in ourselves it is useless to seek it elsewhere.” How can we be content in our relationship if we are not content in ourselves? Even more problematic, how can we give our spouses any level of contentment in our marriage, if we are not content in ourselves?

There are so many areas in our lives that have the possibility of leaving us unhappy, unfulfilled, yes, discontent. Whether it be in our job, our education, our skill level, or our ability to love someone, we can find ourselves feeling less than adequate. Fortunately, we have the option and availability of various ways to improve.

If you feel that your education is holding you back in any way, take some new classes. Get your degree. If you feel you lack wisdom, read the Bible, it is all there for the taking. If you sense you are being held back at work from a promotion, go to your supervisor and ask directly what it is you can do to increase the likelihood of advancement. If you struggle with how to love in any way, get some information on the specific area you need help with. Read a book, go to the internet, or see a counselor.

Whatever you have to do to achieve a sense of contentment in your life, do it. It’s worth it. By taking care of yourself, you will be a better husband, a better father, a better man. And that is all our wives want from us. A real man. So get to it. You know you da man.