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:

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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.

 

Loving Each Other As Life Changes

Loving each other through the hard times is what gives strength to the bulwarks that are needed to endure the unavoidable challenges to your love and commitment to each other. Difficulties come with life and the quicker we realize there is no getting around it, the quicker we can began to work with each other to keep our love for each other alive and vibrant.

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I’m not saying go through life with ill-fitting rose-colored glasses, but don’t go through life with the “woe is me” syndrome either! Being there for each other as time changes us, as we began to grow old with each other, is what is sometimes under attack. It is our job as husbands and wives to work with each, being there for each other and being the best friend to each other. Be that support system for each other as life comes at both of you. This way, you will grow together and learn one another as life changes.

Years ago I knew a man who was about to retire. He said one of the saddest and most frightening things I’ve heard. He said he was about to spend his retirement with a woman he did not know anymore–his wife. This was the condition of their relationship after being married to each other for over 40 years! It was obvious that they did not grow together. Love each other as if this was the last day you have together, enjoy each other to the point where you are looking forward to seeing each other after a long day at work. Live your lives together and treat each day as a holiday celebrating each other!

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.

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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.

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re- posted from 2015 article on Irresistible Husbands blog

You Can Change Things Around- My Story

I’ve been happily married to my sweet wife for a little over 27 years and we’ve been blessed with three children ages 14, 18 and 21. We are the best of friends; we talk for hours!  We still hold hands. I still open the door for my bride, and our passion for each other is stronger than it was in our youth. We not only love each other, we are “In Love” with each other!!!  A great deal of our success was obtained by a willingness on both our parts to listen to one another.  By doing that, we learned to “fight fair”, but that’s not how my life started out.  I didn’t get this relationship from long years of watching an example.
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To give you a little background, I was born and raised in Chicago, the 7th of 10 children. I grew up in a dysfunctional home. When I grew older and saw my parents 53-year “marriage”, I vowed that when I got married, I was not going to have a relationship like theirs! My mom and dad came to a place in their relationship where they were just roommates. They got used to being around each other. I never witnessed any romantic love between them. I never saw my dad show any affection toward my mom. I never heard my dad call my mom a term of endearment, like “sweetheart”, or “honey”… nothing. I never saw them kiss, hold hands or even hug each other. I know. Sad. However, I did see emotion. Unfortunately, it was usually anger and yelling.  I remember the loud arguments and abuse that went on in the home. So you may ask “well, how did you know what to do after you got married”?!
Well, in addition to having a commitment to scripture as a Christian, scriptures that instructed me to love my wife, I simply did the exact opposite of what I saw my father do.
I made sure that my wife knew that she was the apple of my eye, and I daily expressed my love and appreciation for her. She knows and was convinced that she had my heart. However, we are both human and we have our disagreements, even arguments. So here’s my question. why can’t we change the negatives of childhood and create a great home?

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.

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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!)

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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!

What Women Want Men To Know About Women, Part 2

I believe when Adam saw Eve it was instant love. Out of all of the things, animals and insects he looked upon, he quickly realized that this great creation was for him and him alone! It’s not written how long Adam was alone, but when Eve came on the scene Adam’s world changed forever.

When a man finds “The One” his world changes.

I was speaking to a young man in Chicago recently and he asked me how is it that I only had eyes for my wife when there are so many other women out there?

I explained to him that when you fall in love, no one other woman will be able at that moment to get your attention like the love of your heart does.

This young man was considering temporarily moving back to his hometown, leaving this girlfriend behind. He moved away and after about three weeks of keeping in touch with her, he told me how right I was.

He said that while he was away from her, “no other girl could get my attention regardless how pretty she was, I just kept thinking about my girlfriend, and how much I missed her!” He moved back to Chicago to be with her.  His attraction to her went beyond her looks but he fell in love with her as a woman and a friend.  It is no doubt that he made her feel attractive and every woman wants to feel attractive, period!

He loved her and his heart was only attracted to her. Every woman wants to be loved, she wants to be desired and cherished. She wants to be cared for and she must know that she comes first in her man’s heart.

Remember this “Every woman wants a man who treats her heart as his own and never lets her go to bed with tears in her eyes!” ~ A. Khurana