Monday, April 10, 2017

For Real!!!

We love each other! and we love our kids!  so much, in fact, that we had to take a break from writing so many blog posts!  Someone once said, "Perfect is the enemy of good."  For us, in order to give our best to our family we've had to choose not to be the most perfect bloggers in the world.  However, we hope that even though we're not posting much currently you will take the opportunity to peruse the many marriage topics we've explored over the last several years here.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Your Choice: a good career or a good marriage?

Imagine that you are a teenager again.  If you could have one guarantee of the following two, which would you choose?

A guaranteed good career

A guaranteed good marriage

This doesn't mean you can't have both, but if you had only one guaranteed, which would you choose?

I know of a man who travels for work quite a bit and he says he asks the above question to almost every 15-25 year old woman he runs into on planes and at restaurants and so forth.  He finds that there are more and more young women who are opting for the career.  They figure that if a good guy comes along, great, but they don't have time to focus on that while pursuing a degree and a job. 

What does this say about our values? 

Since most who are reading this are married, you might wonder why this matters.  It matters because you will someday or are presently raising children. 

Do you have exciting conversations about what they'll be when they grow up?  Do you read books with them that show characters discovering their talents and interests and pursuing dream careers?  Will you help them with homework and assist them in preparing for college? 

All of us would say, "Yes!  Of course!"

But if you agree that a good marriage has much more value than a good career (again, not that they are mutually exclusive), are you communicating this to your children? 

Do you have exciting conversations about them having their own family some day?  Do you read books with them that show characters learning to be good spouses?  Will you help them with relationship skills and assist them in preparing to have a solid, meaningful marriage? 

Yes, boys will like girls and vice versa, but just because that happens naturally, doesn't mean that good marital skills happen naturally.  Let's (us included!) intentionally teach our children the extreme value of a good marriage, and intentionally pass along relationship skills to help them have a good chance at having a marriage that will an example to our grandchildren.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Love Needs Laughs

I remember talking to a couple not too long ago that admitted they just didn't have much fun together anymore.

Big deal...right?

Why should anyone be laughing when there are bills, house payments, debt, school decisions, parenting problems, aging parents, and a host of other things hanging over our heads?

Apparently, there are some very, very good reasons to be laughing. I'm thankful that Beth and I laugh together a lot, but like any couple, we can lose sight of the joy of each other from time to time.

After watching this video, I decided to step up the goofiness in our house a notch, not just because it's fun but because, well, it's one of the fuels of romance.

Monday, August 8, 2016

1800s advice to share with friends who are dating

While poking through some books in a rented vacation cottage, I came across this poem from the 1800s.  There's a bit-o-wisdom here!


John G. Saxe

I asked of Echo, 't other day,
(Whose words are few and often funny,)
What to a novice she could say
Of courtship, love, and matrimony?
Quoth Echo, plainly, --"Matter-o'-money!"

Whom should I marry?--should it be
A dashing damsel, gay and pert,
A pattern of inconstancy;
Or selfish, mercenary flirt?
Quoth Echo, sharply, --"Nary flirt!"

What if, a weary of the strife
That long has lured the dear deceiver,
She promise to amend her life,
And sin no more; can I believer her?
Quoth Echo, very promptly, -- "Leave her!"

But if some maiden with a heart
On me should venture to bestow it,
Pray should I act the wiser part
To take the treasure, or forego it?
Quoth Echo, with decision,--"Go it!"

But what if, seemingly afraid
To bind her fate in Hymen's fetter,
She vow she means to die a maid,
in answer to my loving letter?
Quote Echo, rather coolly,--"Let her!"

What if, in spite of her disdain,
I find my heart intwined about
With Cupid's dear delicious chain
So closely that I can't get out?
Quote Echo, laughingly,--"Get out!"

But if some maid with beauty blest,
As pure and fair as Heaven can make her,
Will share my labor and my rest
Till envious Death shall overtake her?
Quote Echo (Sotto voce),--"Take her!"

From Journeys Through Bookland vol. 3
1909 Charles h. Sylvester

Sunday, July 31, 2016

We need a date night!...on vacation!!

We need a date night...on vacation.

Recently we took a delightful vacation with my parents and our kids.  We had a ball swimming at the hotel pool, going out to eat, visiting a castle (yes, a castle in Ohio!), and riding rides at Kings Island amusement park.

Honestly, it was a wonderful trip, but Beth and I kept running into a problem: we missed each other.  But we're on vacation!  How could that be? 

As amazing as family time is with the kids when you're away from home, it's also fraught with lots of challenges: making decisions about how to spend your time, putting out fires between siblings, going to bed late, little ones who sneak into your bed in the middle of the night, and so on. 

The question is: how do you stay connected as a couple in the midst of all of that?  I can't say we succeeded in our case.  Instead, it was a situation to learn from.  Here's a few of my ideas:
  • make a point to get to bed a little earlier so we can have time to talk or do something fun together.
  • if grandparents are along, ask them to hang with the kids, even for just a short while, so we can go for a walk or out to eat.
  • get some quality "shower" time together (if making it in the bed ain't gonna happen with the kids in the next room)
  • get up a little earlier to get some time together
  • institute a daily rest time for the whole family for napping, reading, or quiet playing so the two of you can get a little reprieve.  

We've got one more vacation coming this summer so we'll see if we can take our own advice!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Why do happy people marry moody people?

It seems that in many marriages, one spouse leans on the moody side.  Why do generally happy
people marry moody people?  If you are the moody person what should you do?

This 30 minute podcast from Dennis Prager's Male/Female Hour is worth every minute.  Dennis speculates on the challenge and hears from callers as they discuss moodiness in marriage.

If you'd like to hear the Male/Female hour each week (It's the cheapest marital therapy you'll every get!), find Dennis Prager on the radio or subscribe to Pragertopia here.

For wives out there who don't think their man will listen to this, Dennis Prager's show has a 50/50 male/female audience!  It is both insightful and entertaining!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Wife gets backlash for her desire to look good for her husband

If you want to be controversial about relationships today, just say something with common sense.  That's what blogger Amanda Lauren did when she wrote the following article about making a commitment to look good for her husband.  While it was surprising to hear someone include that commitment in their marriage vows, I found her approach in her post quite reasonable, understanding, and wise!  However, she got so much backlash that it warranted a article about all the negative press she got!

Well, to credit her, and to share her wisdom (at a young age I might add), I have posted her article below.  You can see the original here, as well as the comments, some of which may require a bath afterwards to clean off from your memory.

Staying Hot for My Husband is ESSENTIAL to a Successful Marriage

by Amanda Lauren 

They say "Happy wife, happy life," but I'm happiest when my husband is happy.
My husband and I probably have a more traditional marriage than most millennials. If I'm there when my husband gets home from work, I love to make him his favorite cocktail (it's kind of Mad Men, but it works for us). Sunday is my night to cook dinner. But one of the most important things I do to make him happy is to be the woman of both his fantasies and reality.

When we were married a few weeks ago in front of our families, friends and a Rabbi, I vowed to stay hot for my husband.

Before you label me anti-feminist or old-fashioned, please understand that when I look good I feel more confident in myself. Feeling good ultimately allows me to be a better, happier and more considerate partner.

I see the look on my husband's face when I come out of the bathroom, ready for a night out, or the way he checks out my butt on the way to Pilates class. Having an attractive wife makes him happy. They say "Happy wife, happy life," but I'm happiest when my husband is happy.

According to April Masini, a New York-based relationship and etiquette expert and author, it's incredibly important for women to maintain their looks. She says, "There's no question about it: men are visual — at all ages — and they want you to look attractive, and they want their friends to be jealous."

If men can't help but be visual creatures, I need to oblige. And while I'm not sure if his friends are jealous so to say, they do acknowledge he has a hot wife.

While I'm aware you can't deny the inevitable process of aging, both Masini and I agree that being young and being attractive aren't mutually exclusive.

"You can find beauty in convention or you can find beauty in creation. People age and the way they look in a bikini changes. But the way they conduct themselves, carry themselves and comport themselves can create a sizzle hotter than a thong," she says. It's all about working with what you have.

Some of the most attractive women in Hollywood aren't in their 20s. Take Julianne Moore, for example. She's 55 and one of the prettiest women on the planet. I actually think she looks better as she ages. Helen Mirren is 70 years old and still pretty hot.

If you've watched Grace and Frankie, you've seen how great Jane Fonda looks. The woman is nearly 80 years old! And it's not just actresses. Gloria Steinem, of all women, is also 80 and in better shape than many women a quarter of her age.

I've always wondered why so many women let themselves go in relationships. When I was single, I spent so much time and energy trying to look pretty. While it's now nice to know I can go to the supermarket and gym without makeup, when I accompany my husband somewhere, it's a different story.

I know that when you get married — and especially when you have kids — your priorities change and you only have so much time for yourself. Plus, not every woman looks like Kim Kardashian when she gets out of bed in the morning (myself included), but we can all try to look our best.

It's not even about having a face full of makeup, frizzless hair, or meeting society's standards — it's about meeting your own. Masini sees looking good and feeling good as a cycle: "You become what you are (and you are what you become), so the more you work at looking hot, the hotter you'll feel."

Frankly, even if you don't have a partner, we all feel better when we look good. Making ourselves look better on the outside can affect how we feel on the inside.

The decline of your physical appearance can also reflect your relationship. You stop caring. According to Masini, "You let yourself go, it's not just about what you look like on the outside — you've let the sizzle fizzle and the spark cool."

Everyone knows what they need to do to make their partner happy. If you're attentive to your partner's wants and needs, then they will be attentive to yours. Everyone has 24 hours a day, and while I personally can't vacuum and apply eyeliner at the same time, my husband understands why a $400 iRobot Roomba does more than just vacuum.

It's impossible to meet every single one of your partner's needs all of the time, but if you stop trying then you aren't holding up your end of the relationship. And all of that starts to trickle down to the one thing every relationship needs, which is sex.

While sex can't make a marriage, it can break it. Having that physical, intimate connection is very important. Sex should be mutually enjoyable for both parties. You should want to have sex with your partner. And if my husband wasn't turned on by me, we couldn't have that essential intimacy.

So while my vow to stay hot seems superficial, it really isn't.

All relationships require work, and working on myself is doing the work I need to do for the sake of my relationship. Even if I'm running 15 minutes behind on date night because my hair isn't straightening, my husband can't complain if he's swooning over me.