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!

How Can A Woman Stay Her Man’s Dream Girl?

When a Man Loves a Woman was an old song written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright, and sung by a number of artists but done best Percy Sledge in my opinion. The lyrics speak on how the man will trade his whole world for the good he has found in finding this magnificent creature–the woman– his woman, his dream girl. So how can a woman stay her man’s dream girl?

Speaking from a man’s perspective, one thing that a woman can do to keep her man’s heart close to her is to make him feel safe to express himself. She should allow him to be vulnerable and human and express his fears, hurts, and pains.

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There was a study done of men who cheated on their wives. When asked why did they cheated, over 40% said because their wives were not meeting their emotional needs! I can speak from experience; my wife has been my best friend my biggest supporter and loudest cheerleader. She holds my hand when I’m afraid! She wipes my tears away. I’ve had to put my head on HER shoulder, and so yes, she has my best interest at heart. There is a safety that men need feel to express his fears and shortcomings. He needs to have a no judgment zone where he will not get criticized for doing what society tells him is weak. When a woman sees this, and she becomes that place of emotional safety, the smart man will react and will do everything to keep that place of deep emotional security and solace, and a smart woman will help him do it!

 

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

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.

 

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

What Women Want Men To Know

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“A woman wants to be cherished, loved, protected and appreciated by her man. She wants to be the apple of his eye, his living fantasy. She wants to be in his thoughts throughout his day, and when he sees her….all of the world fades away because he only has eyes for her.”  ~ D.G Milton

As a younger man, I became interested in understanding more about women. I did learn some things that helped me in my relationships.  I’m not proclaiming that I’m an expert on women (who really can make that claim?) however when I got married I quickly realized that understanding women was not nearly as important as understanding and knowing my woman, my wife….the love of my life.

I would venture to say that most women would want a man to know something about a woman, have some understanding about the female, however, I believe it is much more important to a woman that her husband knows about her, the individual….his woman.

In my experience in counseling couples over the years, one of the constant threads I’ve found is this: women are much more interested in relationships than men are. I believe that this is one of the reasons that there are so many lopsided marriages. You can ask a man: “How’s your marriage going?” He’ll likely say “Great!” Now….ask his wife the same question!

Several years ago I knew an older man who was very bold. When he walked to into a room he would say “GOOD MORNING!” in a loud booming voice. Every day he’d do this. He’d come into the lunchroom laughing, talking loud, and slinging insults to anyone who got in his way. He was actually a very nice man and friendly.  One day he came into the lunchroom very quiet, very somber, and thoughtful. One of the other men who was older asked him was he ok. He was nearing his retirement….and it hit him. He said to me: “I’m about to retire and live with a woman that I’ve been married to for over thirty-five years…but we don’t really know each other anymore.” I sat there stunned, and vowed: “I’m not letting that happen to me”.

I was in a store that I frequent and over time I got to know some of the workers. I don’t remember, but I somehow got into a conversation about marriage with one of the lady cashiers. She had been married for over thirty years.  She is one of the friendliest people, always smiling. She seemed to be very happy.   Yet when I asked how was it going after all of these years….the look in her eyes told the story…her husband of many years did not really know her!  She only said in a disappointed tone, “well, we could be closer, it could be better.”

Some time later I spoke to a different worker in the same store. I was having a conversation, and I told her about my  27th anniversary.  While the first person I spoke with seemed slightly disappointed in her relationship, in contrast,  when this woman mentioned her many years of marriage, she said she’d hit the Jack Pot when she married her husband. She described how he takes care of her and was interested in her as a person, her goals, her growth and her dreams, it was refreshing to hear.

When I counsel experienced couples, those who have been married for 10+ years,
one of the first things I say to them is “both of you have changed and are going to change again”.  As time goes on: stay current with your mate! keep up with who they are and are becoming. Don’t lose track of them as an individual.

I then tell them and I invite you to read the lyric to the Rupert Holmes song “Escape”  (the pina~colada song).  It talks about a couple that had been together for a while and had gotten bored with one another.  They were both looking for someone new and didn’t realize that they were still compatible.

Please feel free to leave a comment.