Saturday, August 15, 2009

More than Sex, He needs Respect!

What does every guy want? Sex, of course! But there's more...every man wants to be respected. No man wants to feel emasculated. What can we do as women to esteem and respect our men? I think for different men, it's different things. It could be checking with them before filling their calendar. It could be asking their opinion about the kids or what color to paint the house. It could just being open to their "view" of how things should be done. Whatever it is that makes your man feel respected also makes him feel loved. When you show him that respect, it makes him feel on top of the world. It makes him feel valued. As tough as men want you to think they are, they are ultimately extremely fragile individuals. I think to some degree, women are stronger; especially when they have to be a survivor. But men, need to be stroked and loved differently; they need respect. No man wants to feel walked over. No man wants to feel talked down to or just another one of the kids. No man wants to be made to feel stupid. Do you know women who talk down to their husbands, who are critical all the time, who talk badly about their husbands behind their backs or even worse in front of them? How do you think that man feels? Lonely? Hurt? Demoralized? I'm guessing he isn't feeling on top of the world. He probably is thinking "why I am putting up with this." "If only I had a woman who loved me and respected me like everyone at work respects me." "At work, people actually think I'm a valuable player." This kind of marriage either won't last or will be a very shallow marriage as it will loose any depth to the relationship. He will shut down. He won't communicate (and every woman wants their man to communicate-to share what he is thinking or feeling). But how can he, you have made him to feel that what he thinks or feels isn't important. It's not good enough. It doesn't measure up. Why would he talk to you any longer when you have made him to feel this way?

For some women, they want the man to "step up to the plate", to "be a man", to "take charge" and yet by her critical spirit, he never has a chance. It is only when a woman is willing to take a backseat and let him lead, that she will find he CAN lead. Women, don't criticize your man! Don't emasculate him. Give him a chance to show you the kind of leader he really is. But putting him down either in private, or worse yet, in public will only feed his insecurities and his fragile nature to a point of no return. You will be risking the longevity of your marriage if you are critical.

Next time you want to criticize, bite your tongue. Let him lead. If he messes up, he will know it. You don't have to let him and the whole world know about it. Chances are, if you give him a chance to lead, he will not want to fail you. He will take that role very seriously. They want you to be proud of them. They want to measure up to you. Men want you to think they are tough, and you should let them think they are. But remember on the inside, you as their wife, are the ones who can wound them the most. Their pride, their ego are in your control. More than sex, he needs your respect! "Men: Handle with Care!"

Friday, August 14, 2009

It's a Purchase Not a Lease! (title-credit to Tatum Liguori)

Unlike a 5+ year old car that has paint chipping, a CD player that doesn't work all the time, and definitely not all the luxuries of a newer model; marriage is to be a purchase not a lease! Hollywood now has the coined phrase "starter marriages" which is essentially a lease on marriage. We have all become so obsessed with the newest, the best, that we do that even with our marriages. All marriages go thru some type of struggles at some point. I would even go so far as to say that at least one if not both parties in marriage at some point have this thought run through their head: "is this as good as it's going to get" or "if I had it all to do over again, would I still have chosen to marry her/him". This of course is evident by the fact, that after about the "5 year lease agreement" marriages end. This could be from anything from being bored, just sampling marriage to get good at it for the next partner. It could also occur from maybe a marriage that has lasted longer and the warranty has expired: hair is lost, weight is kept on, make-up isn't applied everyday, and you know they just aren't looking as good as they use to. (Thankfully, some get better with age!) And then there are deeper issues that go unresolved and it's just not worth the fight any longer. You add to this spending about 3-7 years having children, job changes, buying/selling a house, the economy tanking and you can't get a job, moves, all those BIG issues that really do affect a marriage. These are real issues. Marriage is a purchase not a lease. Through my education, as a Child & Family Studies major and licensed Administrator and my husband's and my time walking with multiple couples, officially and unofficially, through their peaks and valleys in a marriage; I know those struggles are real. They are constant and they need "routine maintenance" to remain committed. I'd challenge each of us to look at our own marriages and realize that although the "mileage" is there, although we have hit some really "rough spots in the road of life", marriage is a purchase not a lease. We can't give up so easily out of boredom or neglect. Keep that spark alive in your marriage. Be committed to making it last. No one really likes buying a used car!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wine or Whine

Before you think that I only have the joyful thrills as a reason to laugh, I'll let you in on my current roller coaster ride. My dear sweet hubby has been without a job for now 6 1/2 months. God has been faithful and has provided him with some great temp work, but it doesn't have the comforts of knowing you have a job to provide a steady income, it doesn't have any benefits, it doesn't have all those things you take for granted when you do have a job. Why do I share this? Because in today's economy, I know I (we) are not alone. There are thousands of people in our situation. I am one among many who are having to make milk last a little longer, eating the crust on the bread because that is a little more food, counting the pennies to buy that loaf of bread to make sandwiches. We are not in a 3rd world country, we still have it good, but it is a new way of life for more of us than ever before. Our current economy does not help with finding a job quickly. For those who are still enjoying wine with dinner at night and are not affected by the economic tragedy we are in, I say rejoice and count your blessings. I love a good glass of wine! We aren't technically in a depression like the 1930s but we do have more moms at home trying to figure out how to cut costs. Even those families who have "job security" have made a more concerted effort to not spend as much at the local grocery store, to cut back on birthday parties, or to shop at discount stores that don't have a huge mark-up because of the brand name.

However, for those of you in my situation, and can't have a glass of wine with dinner, I will not whine. Just because I don't have all the luxuries I would like to have and like to offer my children, does not give you or me room to whine. I am choosing to, once again, laugh on my roller coaster ride. I am choosing to laugh and not cry. You know I could sit around and feel sorry for myself, but again life is too short. What is your "wine" that you are not getting to enjoy right now? Are you going to whine because you don't have life going your way? This too shall pass and yes, my husband will get a job. My hope is not in President Obama's economic stimulus plan. My hope is not in the housing market rising again and our house actually being worth something again. What is your hope in? Why do people lose hope? Why does suicide become the only alternative? Can we really live life without wine and not whine about it?

My first blog post!

Laughing thru Life is my goal realizing life is short, life is precious, life is FUN! As a wife to the most amazing, loving husband ever for 12 years and counting, we laugh! Being a mother to 3 most amazing precious, tender-hearted daughters...I teach them to laugh! Having the role of sister, the laughs are endless! Sharing friendships thru life, making memories, living life to the fullest, come with me and let's share a good laugh. Life on a merry-go-round is boring and mundane; instead living life on a roller coaster has it's challenges, it's fears, it's good, it's bad; but the ride is worth all the laughs and joys that it brings. I am wearing that smile that you have when you ride your favorite ride at your favorite amusement park...I am laughing with every fear anticipation brings or fear of what is next....I am laughing with every joy when life gives the thrill of joy and happiness...I am living my dream!