Monday, September 29, 2008
I think we are often like Fonzie. We have a hard time saying "I'm sorry" or "You are right, I am wrong". And yet, we like to hear it from others.
My husband is often right on things that I am wrong on. We have a good natured argument about it and then later I find out that he was right. Grrrr! I then find myself, attempting to say, "You were right" and I always think of Fonzie.
Being able to say "I'm sorry" relieves a lot of tension and allows both of us a safe space to voice our opinions without damaging the others feelings.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Stephen, from New Zealand, wrote a great story on his blog the other day. Stephen is the Managing Director of a couple of companies. He says he is a deep thinker and a story teller as well.
Stephen and his wife, Sonya, were out with friends one night and over the dinner conversation, Sonya mentioned that she knew Stephen loved her because he turned off her light. Every night, it seems, Stephen gets up and turns off her bedside light.
Someone asked her as she was telling the story, “You mean as he comes to bed?” … And she replied, “No, he gets out of bed and comes over and does it, even though I can reach the switch.” Sometimes she even wakes him up to turn it off. She continued … “It’s even better when I wake him up to do it.”
Stephen said, “Yeah but I grumble like crazy when that happens.” But as Sonya points out, “I do it anyway.”
I think it is like me having my husband close the bedroom door. I can’t sleep if it is open and once I’m in bed, I don’t want to get up and close it. But my husband does - even if he is already in bed or came into the room through a different door (yes we have more than one door!).
Keith brings Gaye coffee in bed in the morning – even though he doesn’t drink coffee, he makes it for her and brings it in to her each day when he is at home. She brags about it to her other women friends!
Tony makes breakfast every Sunday morning for his wife, Hazel, and serves it to her in bed. For the years that the children were growing up, they would also help out under his able tutelage.
Bruce always makes sure the kitchen is clean when he is cooking or at home. Janet says she loves that and it has even inspired her to clean up her mess when she is baking!
These are little things that Stephen, Helmuth, Keith, Tony, and Bruce do for their wives that aren’t on the official “husbands must do for their wives” list, but they do say just what Sonya said – they tell us that our husbands love us in little ways….and hey, doesn’t that make us happy? You bet!
What little thing are you doing for your wife that tells her you love her without the words?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Kissing The Right Way
Did you know there is a “right” way to kiss? People are more likely to tilt their heads to the right when kissing instead of left, reports John Whitfield in the journal Nature.
A scientist from Ruhr University in Germany analyzed 124 couples kissing and found that 65 percent go toward the right.
You might want to check it out the next time you kiss!
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Don't insult your wife. Remember, one put-down can erase hours of good deeds. Be kind in your words. When you treat your wife with respect and speak accordingly, she will most likely feel special and treat you the same way.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I was in a meeting yesterday when a young businessman to whom I had sent an email earlier in the day hesitantly asked me about my website.
I proudly told him and then he showed me what I had sent him.
www.how to make my wife.com (I'd missed out the word 'happy'!)
No wonder why he was hesitant! I have repaired the error now!!!
Monday, September 22, 2008
Wow, that is a challenge!
I spent all of yesterday wrestling with an issue I have been trying to figure out how to deal with and I have to say it took me out of my comfort zone and forced me to think about ways to respond to it. My adrenalin was surging!
The fortunate thing for me is that even though this has been a very personal issue and one that I have to work through on my own, my husband has been very supportive and helpful in his behaviour.
I really feel like I am part of a partnership in which we are walking together on a path. We might deal with different issues - but we are there together and for each other. I'm in my comfort zone as far as knowing I'm not alone - but I'm out of my comfort zone knowing I have to take action in an area that has been untouched by me before.
So, as a man who is looking for ways to make your wife happy, this would be my advice to you... don't be afraid when your wife is doing new and exciting things or when she is wrestling with issues....you don't have to do it for her. The important thing is that she is assured of your love and support and knows you are there beside her throughout her journey.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
So there I was on a Friday night (my favorite day of the week) at 10:00 at night - cleaning my kitchen and dining room floors! When I got up this morning - they looked sparkly!!!
Important tip for today: This was not a gift - it was a purchase chosen by both of us. There is a difference between this and what a man buys for a woman as a gift. Gifts are just for her. Items like this are for the home and therefore a tool that the home needs to make it run efficiently.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
2. Be present
3. Turn off the TV/computer monitor
4. Find a space without other people to disrupt you
5. Don’t try to fix the problem
6. Ask a few questions
7. Remember she is the most important person in your life (you chose to marry her)
8. Suspend judgment
9. Get your hearing checked
10. Summarize what she said when she has said it.
Get the idea? The video from Youtube I posted yesterday was the “how not to do it”….oh? you already knew that? Good!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
All of this training was interactive - that means there was lots of "on the ground" feedback about my own behavior and communication skills as we practised our skills to use back in the real world.
But even with all of that training and feedback it took me awhile to 'get it' when I got home and remember to put it into use.
My first job in this area was teaching the skills at a community college to business students. I remember a day when I was teaching my students how to give effective feedback (no global statements, use "I", don't blame just describe the situation etc). I went to bed that night just before my husband. Then he came into bed and left the bathroom light on (as was his habit). I roused myself enough to say "You ALWAYS leave that damned light on. Can't you EVER learn to turn it off????"
And then I heard myself, doing all the things I taught my students not to do in one statement!!! The light bulb went on in my mind! I was teaching it but I wasn't using it! And that was the turning point in my journey to better communication.
Relationship communication and behavior can be learned at any age. If some of us were lucky enough to have good role models as children, that's great. If others have to take training as an adult, good on you! Go for it! It changed my life and made it so much happier!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Why don’t they teach children in school how to live in a relationship? Why don’t they teach children in school how to be a good parent? The skills that they teach in school are important – arithmetic, reading, writing but there are more skills that are so basic to our human survival that I think they should be taught when we are young.
Relationships are so important to having a good life and to raising a well adjusted family and yet we get little formal training on how to live or act in relationship.
Women and men are wired differently from each other. We don’t think, feel, act or mature in the same ways. And so when we are in relationship with each other we are often confused about what will work best for us.
Biologically we are made to need each other. We are wired to keep our species going. We have learned that babies who are fed but not loved die from that lack of love. We know that relationships are not just a convenience of our modern day but a biological need to survive.
We also know that people who stay married and don’t divorce are financially better off.
And mostly there are the children to consider: I remember my 23 year old son saying to me at the time of my divorce to his father…. “I was the only one of my friends who had parents who weren’t divorced. I was always so proud of that fact, and now you are letting me down.” My daughter’s children are young teenagers now and she is divorced from their father. The boys go back and forth between homes. Fortunately both parents live in the same neighborhood but I have seen the difficulties that it causes.
So why don’t we spend more time learning how to do our relationships right? That’s why I have become such a strong advocate of good communication skills and why I have been focusing on “how to keep my wife happy dot com”.
Here are some thoughts for this morning about what we need to keep our relationship healthy.
1. Some people expect their spouse of the opposite sex to be just like them and then get frustrated when they aren’t. Here’s the morning news: The sexes ARE different.
2. Some people don’t take responsibility for the relationship. Each partner in a relationship needs to take 110% responsibility for its health and happiness.
3. Don’t just know who your partner is but understand who they are. Take time to listen to their hopes and dreams and reasons for their hopes and dreams.
4. Realize that quitting the relationship isn’t an option – working out life’s troubles is the better way to go.
Thanks to Deborah Tannen, Gloria MacDonald and Eric Berne for the work that they have done on this subject to help me understand how to help others.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
This is totally off-topic. But laughter is good for both husbands and wives so have a chuckle.
Just a couple of fun pictures I found here. Trees eating motorcycle and park bench.....and there are more pictures that were funny but you can pop over there and see them if you want.
Have a great Saturday! (or whatever day you are reading this!!!)
Friday, September 12, 2008
The weather is still nice in this part of the world so our friends who have bikes will be out on the highways feeling the call of the "wild" over the next couple of days. Our weekend will be different. Helmuth is taking a course related to his spirituality and I will be working with our local federal candidate to get him re-elected in our elections which are coming up on Oct 14th.
That's two of the ways that my husband keeps me happy. We do lots and lots of stuff together but we also follow our own interests and do things on our own. And we celebrate Friday nights together!
Have a great weekend.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
I like to do projects with my husband. We have fun together and we get something accomplished either for ourselves or for someone else.
What is a project?
A project, by definition, is a temporary activity with a starting date, specific goals and conditions, defined responsibilities, a budget, a planning, a fixed end date and multiple parties involved. You know what you have to do, do it, once, and that's the end of it. That's a project. (http://www.softwareprojects.org/project_intake_reasons22.htm)
So that could be painting the house or reseeding the lawn, but I want to talk about one that was just FUN and didn't have the opportunity for divorce (I've always lived by the notion that if a couple can wallpaper a room together their marriage can survive anything).
This summer we took on a cool project. We volunteered for the Tall Ships Festival in Victoria BC. So, everyday, from Thursday through to Sunday, we got up early, drove downtown, parked our car miles away from the coast, had a morning walk through the city to the harbor, got ourselves a coffee at one of the little kiosks along the way and then set to work.
Helmuth was a host in the Volunteer Tent and I was a Volunteer Coordinator running around making sure that the volunteers were all where they should be and helping them out with any difficulties they were having.
We had lunch and often supper at the Festival. And then we went home and crashed for the night! All that fresh salty sea air gave us a really good night's sleep!
We got to tour cool sailing vessels when we weren't 'on duty'. We got to meet all sorts of neat people. Oh, and we were supplied with very nice t-shirts for doing the task that say "Tall Ships" on them.
The week after the Festival there was a party for all the volunteers at the Yacht Club. I teased people that I just did the job for the party afterward. Not true but definitely one of the perks!
We had our 14 year old grandson visiting from out of town that weekend and he was a volunteer too. I think the real highlight of the Festival for both Helmuth and me was the fact that our grandson was with us and that we could spend the time doing something fun with him.
So why am I writing about this? I think a project is a great way to take the routine out of your marriage and do something totally different and exciting. It doesn't have to be building a new house or a trip across the globe that costs thousands of dollars. It can be something as simple as creating a vegetable garden, taking on a volunteer project, or taking a course together.
I'd be happy to hear stories about any project that you and your wife have done together.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
How did I find this video? On Stumble Upon. I'll tell you a little secret; my web browser is Mozilla Firefox. "Stumble Upon" is a program that runs on Firefox apparently (and not on Explorer). Being a member of Stumble Upon allows you to click and see a new website. Its fun and it saves wondering how to find new sites on a particular subject. If I like a site I can add it to Stumble and then other people will see it too.
Someone put my website on Stumble Upon, and now I am waiting for someone to add my blog to Stumble. It generates a lot of traffic! (I don't think you can put your own site on or I would have.)
Have a great day and may you still clear of 8 of those 9 words explained on the video!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Will wear black leather bras, stiletto heels and a mask over their eyes.
After a few days they meet up for lunch.
The engaged woman:
The other night when my boyfriend came over he found me with a black
Leather bodice, tall stilettos and a mask. He saw me and said, 'You are the
Woman of My life. I love you.' Then we made love all night long.
Me too! The other night I met my lover at his office and I was wearing the
Leather bodice, heels, mask over my eyes and a raincoat.
When I opened the raincoat he didn't say a word, but we had wild sex all night.
The married woman:
I sent the kids to my mother's house for the night.
When my husband came home I was wearing the leather bodice, black stockings, stilettos and a mask over my eyes.
As soon as he came in the door and saw me he said,
'Hey Batman what's for dinner?'
To answer the survey, click on the words 'survey for wives' above.
Monday, September 8, 2008
I can't give credit to this picture because it just showed up in an email. It's too good not to share. I'm not sure who it is poking fun at - but I think we can all have a good chuckle. And of course this image just affirms the point that men probably do need help understanding how to push the right buttons on their women. That big red one doesn't look safe....or does it? lol
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Here's an excerpt from an article from Judd's website:
Jello Shooters Renaissance
As a result, there is a resurgence in the popularity of Jello Shooters – particularly gourmet Jello Shooters with exotic and involved recipes – at higher end parties, even weddings and 50th wedding anniversaries.
With the flexibility of flavors and combinations, you can theme Jello Shooters to your party. For example, if you are having a Summer Luau, why not Caribbean Blue, Mai Tai, Key Lime Pie, and Daquiri Jello Shooters?
For weddings, try Coconut Rum Jello Shooters, Wedding Cake Jello Shooters, and Strawberry Cheesecake Jello Shooters.
For Cinco de Mayo, try Tequila Jello Shooters, Margarita Jello Shooters, and Tequila Sunrise Jello Shooters, and how about putting a gummy worm in the bottom of the Margarita or Tequila ones? The gummy worm takes up a little more volume of the Jello Shooter – reducing the total amount of alcohol per serving, and slows down consumption, while also getting you 1-2 extra Jello Shooters per batch.
For dinner parties, a particular favorite of mine are Red Wine Jello Shooters for dinner parties, made with 3-4 different red wines in my region. I like to intersperse them with Red Hot Cinnamon Jello Shooters to cleanse the palate."
So maybe you would like to try making a few for your wife...I bet you'd make her happy!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
My husband and I shared the meal cooking, we had out our best china and it was an 'event'. The Jazz music was playing in the background.
It is nice to take on an event like this together and honor someone else. The birthday girls told us they had a lot of fun however I think much of the fun came for Helmuth and me in the preparing the event and working together on it. It certainly made 'this wife' happy! I double checked with my husband and he said "I love doing that kind of stuff with you, you know that!"
Friday, September 5, 2008
This link takes you to Girlfriend 6.0 vs. Wife 1.0
This link takes you to the same but changing from Boyfriend to Husband and is entitled "And I thought Windows Vista had issues...."
Enjoy and laugh, laugh, laugh....it's good for the soul and your blood pressure!
Last night we had a perfect wonderful evening. My husband, who seems to be the one who enjoys cooking the evening meals these days, made a lovely supper that involved bbqed steak and fried mushrooms. After dinner we attended a talk on a subject we are both interested in. At the talk we visited with people that we know and enjoy seeing. We were pleased we went. We learned new things that challenged our thinking and our beliefs.
But we were cranky.
What were we cranky about? The talk was a 20 minute drive from our house. When we got close to the area my husband admitted that he didn't know where it was and wanted me to tell him. I realized that although I knew I could get there, it wasn't a place I frequently went and it might take a bit of guesswork to get there. Now, if I was driving, there would be no problem, I'd just guess and turn and jig and jag until I found it. But I wasn't driving. So I said "Turn here". 'Turn here' turned out to be a dead end street. So, we retraced our steps and instead of turning back on to the road we had turned off of and continuing in the same direction, we turned the other way to take the previous 'turning'. Bad idea. That road was blocked off. Anyway, it took us a good 10 minutes extra to circle around the area and get to where we were going.
Personally, I like touring around in a car, checking out the roads - and we had left in time to do this and not be late. My husband not so much! I made some 'wrong' decisions that didn't take us in a straight line to the place and he wasn't impressed!
But that was him being cranky. And it made me cranky that he wasn't enjoying himself.
After the talk, and as we were leaving the building, I was leading the way and he was following....or not. When I got outside, I turned to say something and no husband behind me or in sight. I went back in. He'd stop to pile chairs. Good on him, but he could have told me. Really, no big deal - right? Hmmmph! (Can you read the crankiness in my words?)
As we are driving home a favorite song of my husband's comes on the radio but the song was not by the usual male singer, but by a woman. It sounded sweet. I commented on its sweetness. He tells me it was too wimpy, it lacked passion. It was too mechanical. I thought it was soothing, and romantic and too be inhaled and enjoyed. In the end, I became that which I hate....defensive and whiney. I told him to be quiet I didn't want to hear his silly ideas anymore.
And with that we were home, and I went to bed with a book. I don't know what time he came to bed, I was sleeping by the time he did!
So what makes us like that? It really was silly. All of it. Why do we argue over little things that really are of no consequence - or are they?
I think that sometimes we just have to accept that we aren't going to be on the same page emotionally as the other person. And we certainly aren't going to agree on every little thing. But why do we get grouchy and grumpy about it? Would we act that way with a friend? I know I wouldn't. I'd hold my tongue, or I would laugh and say something that would find a bridge between us. Like "Yes, the song does cater to different audiences depending on the person who is singing it." And we'd both laugh and find something else to chat about.
I guess I wonder why we leave our good social skills at the door when we are relating to our spouse. Perhaps I should think about that more. And if it rings any bells for you, well, perhaps you should too.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I read through the article on the site (I've posted part of it below along with a link for you to follow it to their site and read it) and I checked out "who we are" and the names all started with a descriptor "mad" "bitter" "pissed" "loveless." These are not terms I would ever want associated with my name - or my husband's name. Yes, making your partner happy - "making my wife happy" and therefore yourself happier is a much better aim in life. And it works!
Here's an excerpt and the link to Marriage Sucks.
"The next thing you know, you're a bitter, romantically deprived, sexless, emotional disaster. That ring on your finger feels like a garrote around your neck. You feel as though you've been herded into mental slavery. You think back to your wedding day and that walk down the isle doesn't seem so pristine anymore. In fact, it feels as though that walk was like that of a deathrow inmate on his way down the prison corridor for the last time. That's right. Your married and half the time you're wishing you were dead , the other half wishing it was your spouse. What happened to all the rhetoric about the everlasting bond and life-long joy of married life?
"The greatest myth ever to deceive humanity is the myth of marriage. We've all been duped into believing that marriage is the end-all remedy to our loneliness; that tying the knot is a mandatory function we all must seek during our brief tenure on earth. Wake up people! It's time to face the chilling reality. Marriage isn't a cure for our want of companionship, it's the disease of imprisonment. You'll be pleading to be euthanized in no time at all as millions upon millions have already found out. Look at the marriage world around you. Divorce is at an all-time high and while the "experts" toil over the tedious statistics, trying to psycho-analyze and negotiate a solution to the crisis, those of us who've been to hell and back are frantically trying to warn the oh-so-envied singles of the impending doom that awaits them if they elect to tie the noose...er, the knot."
Ok! Read enough????? Not a great take on life, right? Go tell her you love her and kiss her on the back of the neck!!! I'm going to find Helmuth and do that to him.....
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
One foot at a time, one day at a time, one dream at a time. What
is your wildest dream, what courageous, outrageous thing have
you always wanted to do? During the months of writing this
column, I have asked this question often. I hope that it has
made you think of something that you must do before you die.
This month the story is about two people who love and live to
sing. Dorothy & Mel have been singing in choirs all of their
lives. Dorothy sang professionally as a younger woman. They have
lived in the US and in Canada and are usually singing in several
choirs at once.
When you think about singers, what would be the most exciting
place a singer could possibly be? For those singers in North
America, one of the pinnacles of achievement would be to sing on
stage at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Late last year, Dorothy and Mel found out that they had the
opportunity to sing with a choir on stage at Carnegie Hall. One
step at a time, one day at a time, one dream at a time. By the
time you read this column, they will have achieved one of their
dreams. Actually, it wasn’t even a dream, who would think that
someone from a small town in British Columbia, someone in their
70’s might even dare to dream about singing on stage at
Carnegie Hall. However dream or fantasy, it did happen. On March
13th 2006, Dorothy and Mel and 198 other voices sang and allowed
their voices to soar out into the universe. They chose to be
courageous and some might say outrageous, they chose to live a
dream, a fantasy.
How do I know all this, I know because I was sitting in the
audience at Carnegie Hall when they walked out on stage. With
pride and joy and a knowing that what was happening on that
stage was so far beyond a dream as to be a fantasy. But here was
fantasy coming true. An opportunity for two people who have been
singing all their lives to reach a pinnacle. In the film, Music
of the Heart, Meryl Streep comments on taking that step onto the
stage at Carnegie Hall. I know that Mel and Dorothy felt the
Pat Nichol is an international speaker, author and coach. She
writes a monthly column for Senior Living magazine based in
Victoria BC Canada. Becoming Courageous and Outrageous was her
second book title and is the title of her monthly column.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
"TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Almost 40 percent of Japanese married couples speak to each other less than 30 minutes a day, with more wives than husbands contemplating divorce, a recent survey revealed."
This is an interesting article and although it is set in Japan, I know there are similar stories around the world! It is really time these husbands took time out of their careers to find out "how to make my wife happy".
The story goes on to say:
"More Japanese wives have considered divorce than their husbands. The survey showed that nearly half the number of women surveyed had thought of divorcing their husband in the past, compared to a third of the men."
And the conclusion? If men are spending too much time after work hours drinking and smoking without their wives, perhaps, the article says, "the key lies in quitting drinking and smoking."
I'd say there is more to solution than just doing that, however, it could be a good start.
Enjoy the article! (click on the hyperlink in the first paragraph above)
Monday, September 1, 2008
How could a wife be happier? I guess a cup of coffee would be nice...and its my husband that is brewing it! mmmm...
Tonight we are looking forward to having friends over to play cards with us. We haven't had a good card game for a few months now. We were golfing with them last week. This is a couple that I used to golf with daily a few years back when both Yvonne and I were off for the summer (I was teaching at a college and she was teaching in an elementary school). Those were the years when my golf score actually improved! Now, when we go out, we often don't even count our score! But we will be keeping score at cards tonight....no messing around here....I'm a serious card player!!!!
If you have a holiday where you live, I hope that you are making the most of it and that you and your wife and your whole family can find things to do to make you happy and to celebrate life.
Your Happy Relationship Mentors