Make Your Spouse Your Best Friend

Can I just say this?  Marriage partners should be best friends.  When I got married, it always bothered me when older women would serve their husbands up for lunch.  Not because they were having a serious issue.  I’m not talking about sharing with others to get comfort, prayer or resolution (and that should be with people you know will be confidential) I’m talking about just tearing the brother down.

A marriage should be a friendship first and foremost.   This should be your absolute best friend in the world.  It should not be a place where you play games with each other and psychological tricks just to live together.

Sometimes women are selfish in a marriage and they talk about how they got over on their man.  This is especially bothersome when people say they are Christians. Christian women–we can be extremely judgemental and well–petty.  First, because we think we know what “everybody” SHOULD be doing.  Second, we often seem to feel that we can approach anybody about anything if it’s said with a “soft voice”.  We put so much gossip and tearing down under the heading of “I want you to be praying”.   Let’s face it, ladies.  Some things are just not our business.  The Bible does tell Christians not to be busybodies in other people’s lives. ( I Thess 3:11).

Don’t ask so much and don’t tell.

Now if your husband is beating you and psychologically abusing you, then I’ll go BUY the mic if you need it, but some of the things women trash about are honestly just a beat down.

I used to hear older teachers of women’s issues tell how you get over on your husband. Either “whip” him in the bedroom or don’t let him know what you’re doing. He doesn’t have to know everything.  For example,  If I shopped too much outside of the budget, well….he won’t know.  I’ve heard this stuff for years from various sources.  I’m sorry.  That’s not an honest relationship.  You may love one another, but you don’t respect one another.

There’s a difference.

If he is that mean that you can’t buy a pair of stockings and have to sneak them in the house, then you have a bigger problem to deal with than the price of those pantyhose. I should ask myself  “why do I feel I  have to go around him like that”?  “What is our communication problem”?    If you have to handle your BEST FRIEND like that, shouldn’t you really look at what’s wrong with your friendship and relationship?  Can’t a wife deal with her husband on an honest level?  And this is for men that have to tip around their wives as well, but today, I’m talking to us.

If he’s a cheap skate, shouldn’t you be talking about that and not just sneaking items in the house for 10 years just so you won’t have an argument? Confrontation and conflict are part a relationship building.  Avoiding discussion about problems is not solving them.

Women, we should be able to approach our husbands.   I’m talking about a regular guy with NO psychosis.

Advice is one thing, results are another.  I’d hear the old advice, but when I would see the results.  It would make me do this:

download

The results were: a marriage that looked the part– no arguments –but not very close- like two separate statutes,  and very little growth in the relationship.   If every time I want something,  I have to figure out how to get it and go through hoops, then sweetie-pie and I need to have a talk about why I feel that’s necessary and get to the root of the problem.

–Renee

Listen to Gino give a weekly encouragement on friendship in marriage.

 

Do You Tell Your Boys ” I Love You”?

It’s good for a father to tell his children “I love you.” In our society we men tend to easily tell our girls we love them and they should be told this, but what about our boys? The National Center for Fathering tells us that those three words, spoken with sincerity and backed up by behavior, can demonstrate support, encouragement, tenderness, and caring as much as anything else we do as fathers.

download (1)

As I dug into this subject I found myself having flashbacks to my childhood. I started remembering the lack of love in our home, in fact, I told my wife that growing up in my home was like growing up in an orphanage. Only in this case,  all of the children there were my actual brothers and sisters. In other words, there was no love connection or atmosphere of a family existed in my home. This did have a very negative effect on me as I grew up.  I was always craving for approval.  Throughout my adult life I was looking for a another man to mentor me because of what I missed in closeness and support.  I was looking for validation of some kind.  My life might have been different if I had received that support.  My father was a dysfunctional father, for his own reasons.  It’s a cycle of loveless behavior.   He rarely paid attention to anything I was involved in from speech contests, to school functions and did not even come to my 8th grade or high school graduations.   This sadness and lack of validation affected me for years.

Fortunately for me, I did get some help and was able to do some recovery. Now that I have my own children, I regularly tell all of my children and especially my teenage boys how I love them and am proud of them.

An Ear to Hear

The goal of this article is to help people understand the crucial importance of listening, and hearing in relationships, and why it is the most important part of communication.

When you get into a fight or an argument, you cut off the possibilities of good communication (i.e. listening and hearing).

Whatever you want to call it: a verbal fight, a disagreement, or a spat, when voices are being raised, and names are being called and the verbal exchange turns personal, ugly and we hope not, but possibly physical, that’s not an argument….that’s a fight! And both sides are trying to “win” the battle.

Here’s the problem, someone is going to lose.

images (1)

Most misunderstand where they are in a discussion.  They believe that what they are doing is just an argument when it’s really not, it’s a fight! The definition of a fight: a violent confrontation or struggle, a battle or war.  This is the beginning of the destruction of communication and the relationship!

Why do I say that you ask? Here’s why: Anytime I say things to deliberately hurt my spouse, or they say something that cuts to the heart to the point that it creates a spark that kindles deep animosity and resentment.  As a result, I see them in a light that I’ve never seemed them before, a light that reflects a hurtful person.  This is a fight and not an argument. An

An argument or disagreement or a “discuss-ment” as my wife calls it, is an attempt to get the other person to see your point of view, not so that you can win, but so that you both advance in the relationship.

Now, the reason I focused on this for my first series of articles is because so many relationships have fallen apart because of this particular misunderstanding in communication. It’s time we learn how to communicate in a way that brings success and satisfaction to both parties.

Feel free to comment or share your experiences.

images (2)

re- posted from 2015 article on Irresistible Husbands blog

Listen And Listen Good! Communication 101

One day, I was having a conversation with my daughter. We were talking about general bad habits around the house. Although my daughter is an adult, I went into my father- knows-best mode and started giving her instructions on how to watch her bad habits when visiting other people’s homes; but as I was in mid-sentence, she cut me off!

She didn’t want to hear the lecture. I guess she figured she’d heard enough and knew the speech I was about to give. She didn’t want to hear a long lecture and so she launched into her own dissertation on her excellent outside-the-house- good-habits! She went on with how careful she was about her conduct around her friends, her good– no, excellent manners. She went on about being polite and how conscience she was of leaving things clean, how she ALWAYS put things back where she found them. She was on a roll!

She was on a roll!

I’m almost thinking…..who are you and what have you done with my daughter!?  I took both of her hands, to get her attention because I knew she wasn’t listening.  I  looked her in the eyes and asked “How much have we learned in life by just talking?” She smiled and apologized for going off.

One of the major ways to learn as we go through life is from listening, hearing what’s being said, and sometimes what’s not being said.

To the men reading this post, someone once said:

“Listen very closely when a women is quiet!

 And to the women:

If you wish to know the mind of a man, listen to his words.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

download (2)

Want to know what’s one of the first steps in the development of a healthy relationship? Start with listening to each other. Listening is crucial when it comes to learning your mate!  I can’t overemphasize this point. When a husband and wife learn to listen to what is being said in a conversation between the two and take into consideration that they are individuals and deserve to be heard and appreciated, the building blocks of a solid relationship are being established.

Has this ever happened to you? Your husband or wife has done something or said something that didn’t sit well with you and as a result, you were hot, mad, upset! However as you heard them out and listened to their explanation, anger began to leave. I know this doesn’t happen all of the time, but you get the point, that it was through listening that a blow-up or fight was averted.

So remember, One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.

Feel free to leave a comment.

 

Couples, It’s OK To Get Angry

 It’s ok to be angry.  Just don’t be stupid!

A young man just met a young lady and felt that she was THE ONE, and when I say “young man” I mean he’s younger than me ( he’s in his 40s). He told me how well they got along and just how well they clicked, he was very excited.

 I listened, and after he had finished his declaration of the new found Love Of His Life, I told him this: “Well that’s nice. I’m happy that you found someone you can share your life with.  I asked him “Is she a keeper?”

He said with enthusiasm, “YES!!!”

I then said, ” Well, the real measure of how well you two will get along is how you handle your arguments.”

A week later he came to see me, saying ” Man, this woman got attitude!

Me: What woman?

Him: The girl I’m dating!

Me: What happened?

Him: well man, you know we had a misunderstanding, and she got a nasty attitude with me, I ain’t got time for this!

They were angry at each other over a miscommunication. And of course, I reminded him of what I mentioned to him a week earlier. In relationships, it’s not the good times that make the relationship: It’s enduring the disagreements while remaining friends, lovers, and each other’s biggest support. Everyone get’s angry, EVERYONE! (Yeah I’m talking to  church folk too– “be ye angry and sin not”–Ephesians 4:26!)

images

Getting angry is normal, it’s human, but how one handles their anger toward their husband, wife, girlfriend or boyfriend will determine the eventual success or failure of the relationship. So my advice is simply this: It’s ok to be angry, just DON’T BE STUPID!

If you know you are a ” Hot head” or, like me, have “Hair trigger, rapid fire, one-liner comebacks” or one of those wanna just throw something across a room type, it’s imperative that you first understand that yielding to your emotions during times of anger can cause irrevocable damage. Why ruin an otherwise good relationship with unkind words and hurts that will last long after they are said.   It’s vital to comprehend that stepping away gives you time to think, to reflect or be introspective.

Understanding yourself helps with personal growth.  The by-products of this introspection will affect your relationships in a positive manner. There’s a Greek maxim: “Know thyself (Socrates). In my opinion knowing and understanding yourself is even more important than knowing your mate. The reason I say this is because when you have an understanding of yourself, it is easier to work on understanding your mate, your girlfriend or boyfriend. You’ll put yourself in the position to avoid doing or saying something that can ruin the relationship.

So take the time to understand yourself, take the time to know and understand the love of your life and remember, it’s ok to be angry….just don’t be stupid!