What Men Want From Women In A Relationship

July 31, 2010

You might be surprised that sex is not the number one thing that men want from a woman. What they want and so few women are willing to give is respect. We live in a society that is infected with misandry. (reverse sexism by women against men) You see it even in the commercials where men are portrayed as the hapless boob who has once again gotten himself and/or his family into trouble once again. Then the “heroic woman” swoops into to save the day all the while tossing off condescending remarks to her husband.

Women you must always show your husband respect if you want to keep him. That means when you don’t feel like it. Disrespectful things said to him will be burned into his brain and his heart forever. You need to control that tongue when you are mad at him. Believe it or not, men are very sensitive creatures, they just don’t show it most of the time. The reason for this is because it is considered weak. He is every bit as sensitive as you are.

You dreamed about happily ever after but did you ever think about what happily ever after looked like to your husband? He saw it as a wife who would take care of his sexual needs when he wanted it. The statistics show that 60% of married women have their husbands on a diet of sex once a week or less. The average guy needs it 3 to 4 times a week.

Men also saw happily ever after as their wives being sexually adventurous with them and be without inhibitions. They also saw their wives as wearing sexy lingerie for them because men are visually motivated.
So bottom line is men want women to be their best friends and not their critic in chief. They want to be respected and appreciated for how hard they work to take care of you. And they want a fun loving and satisfactory sex life with you that you willingly and lovingly engage in. They want to see you in frilly lingerie. They want you to shed those inhibitions and do things in bed with him that he enjoys.
Follow my advice and you will have a great relationship. I am willing to bet if you found out that he had terminal cancer and had only a few weeks to live, that you would change your ways. You should live like that because you never know when you or him will die.

I have given these same suggestions on some other sites and some women have come out of the woodwork attacking me as a pervert. I have even had some men attack me. Like it or not this is what the vast majority of men are looking for in a relationship. I am just the messenger.

Its The Little Things, Another Great Guest Post

July 28, 2010

I was on another blog which I will not mention on here because I don’t want to give them any publicity. A young woman was posing the question about what she should do about her boyfriend who was going to college to be a teacher while she was going to law school. She stated that she never thought of her relationship being that of the breadwinner. I took her to task suggesting that she would not be the bread winner but just make more money than her boyfriend future husband. He would contribute, and she would contribute to THEIR MONEY she was not going to be the bread winner. She was considering dumping the “perfect boyfriend” simply because he would not make more money than she would, a notion heavily promoted by her parents.

I was attacked and called names even the the majority of the posters on the blog basically agreed with my position.l I was told that I was too blunt and took her out at the knees. These were the civil remarks. There were several others who attacked me, made fun of me and ganged up on me. I am a big boy, but they were not indicating their disagreement with me but using personal attacks.

This is indicative of many in our society. If they percieve any critique, they go on the attack and all the more if they can get a frew friends to join in the attack. Is this how you handle critique. It is not helpful nor mature.

Some commented negatively calling me a perv because I suggested that women give their husbands more sex and offer them oral sex. I talked about the rampant misandry in this country ( reverse sexism by women against men). They suggested that men could just masturbate or go out and cheat. If feminists really believed in equal rights then the man would have a night on and the woman could have the next night off. That is equality. The feminsts disargreed with that notion of course and I was called a misogynist, sexist pervert wtih a penis the size of a cocktail wiener.

So I decided to post this guest post of a woman who has her head screwed on straight about what is really important. So read and consider what is important and what a woman’s role should be in a relationship with a man. So read away and tell me what you think.

Here is the link to her blog http://chanellemonique.wordpress.com/2010/07/26/its-the-little-things/#comment-85

The Little Things That Count
They say out of tragedy comes triumph, and while I’ve gone through my own personal experience of tragedy I’m still waiting for my triumph to come along. I’ve been through a great deal in my life, and like anyone who has gone through anything substantial I’ve been left a forever changed woman. I see myself as the same woman I always was when it comes to my morals, worth, and foundation, but my experiences have caused me to reevaluate what is really important and what I truly value.

In a world where money is king and materialism floods the world like the rains of hurricane Katrina once the levees failed on New Orleans it’s easy to see how some get swept up in the superficial and forgetting what truly matters. I have a friend who like all too many is a product of this materialistic world we live in. Whenever I ask how he’s doing his answer remains steady and unchanging he’s fine but staying on his grind trying to stack his dough, get that paper, and retire by the time he’s forty-five. After you’ve heard it twice you’ve heard it a million times. While I think it’s fantastic someone is so dedicated to their career, and goals I can’t help but feel sorry for him and others who can’t see happiness in their lives without money. While those that are religious pray and worship to whomever their almighty God is, there are far too many worshipping the almighty Dollar. No Creflo.

While money is important and necessary to our very existence it isn’t everything. Of course having it makes everything easier, allows one to live a comfortable lifestyle, and can buy you the finer things in life, but that’s not enough for me. In my opinion the things most important are the things that money can’t buy. I won’t sit here and lie to anyone saying I don’t wish I had more of the spendable green stuff because I do, but not for the reasons most think. I’ll admit I’m a girl who absolutely loves purses, and adores shoes so much that my shoe habit is a borderline addiction, and whose taste is a bit more on the side of Dior than Dollar General but those things are not the most important things to me. I don’t wish for the type of money Oprah has, but I would like the type of money that would have my family, friends and I comfortable for the rest of our lives. I’d make sure that no one ever feared losing their house, as we all have found out in an economy like this foreclosure is just a missed mortgage payment away for any of us. Sallie Mae would no longer be the bitch that harasses us monthly with her hand out, but rather a distant memory, and the all too familiar phrase “I can’t go or do that because my money is funny” wouldn’t exist. Whatever needs my family and friends have would be taken care of and that’s a better gift to me than even the most beautiful Christian Louboutin pumps.

One thing my friend who insists he’ll be retired by forty-five and I do have in common is family. Family is the most important thing to us, but unlike me he believes the key to their happiness as well as his own is money, while I on the other hand understand money would be an added bonus, but definitely isn’t going to make or break our happiness. Family…It’s all we got, we only have one and whether I’m dirt poor or filthy rich they’re going to love me regardless and there’s nothing more valuable than that. So while we’re all spending that money as though it flows like water, it’s only fair for us to spend more time with family and friends.

Most materialistic items bought are sure to depreciate in value, but time spent with family and friends grows in worth, is appreciated and leaves us with enough memories to last a lifetime. We’re not going to be here forever so while we are we have to use the time we’ve got. There’s no going back once our time is up once someone dear to us has been called to their eternal home. So the next time you reach in your purse or wallet to make that next purchase for a friend or family member remember the gesture is nice, but nine times out of ten they’d trade it for a little more time spent with you. If you don’t’ believe me just ask someone who’s recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer who has only been given two months left to live, or someone who just lost someone would they rather have a brand new Bentley or their loved one back. I promise you they’d choose the little things over the materialistic any day.

What Is A Pro Marriage Counselor and How Do You Find One, Another Great Guest Post

July 25, 2010

Life Gems is a solid blog that continues to excel.

Here is the link to the blog:

July 23, 2010 · 4 Comments
I had the pleasure recently of interviewing a pro-marriage counselor whom I know personally and respect immensely. Timothy Heck, PhD, is founder of Family Counseling Associates in Indianapolis. He’s a Christian counselor with a pro-marriage perspective. What’s a pro-marriage counselor, and what’s the alternative? A pro-marriage counselor is a therapist who is not neutral about the marriage—one who actively advocates for the marriage, not for one or both individuals.

If I were going to choose a marriage counselor, I would insist on someone who would fight for my marriage, not just convince me that I deserve to be happy. Too often in the U.S., that is not the type of counselor you will find.

The mental health field has been strongly influenced by the sociological movements of the last 50 years, says Dr. Heck. Some of the influences have been helpful, such as the balancing of power and respect in the relationship between males and females. Other influences have been negative, he adds, such as the widespread belief that marriage is a dispensable commodity that merely serves to meet an individual’s needs. “It has been reduced to a cost/benefit analysis,” he adds. “A lot of therapy buys into that quid pro quo.” Dr. Heck says while this strategy may work in some cases, it doesn’t work when both spouses are not motivated to do what is needed to meet the other’s needs.

Dr. Heck says when choosing a therapist, it’s important for couples to know the counselor’s value system up front. “Every therapist has a value system that needs to be considered an announced, so the client may go in with informed consent,” he explains. Many—surveys say most—therapists in the U.S. have a value system that prioritizes the health of the individual over the health of the marital relationship. Within a Christian/Catholic worldview, Dr. Heck says the marriage relationship would be every bit as important as the individuals’ wellbeing. “That’s the position I take,” he says.

Non-Christians are welcome at Dr. Heck’s Family Counseling practice, and while his faith is normally part of his work, it can be behind the scenes when the patient prefers. Most patients prefer to integrate faith into their sessions, but his worldview always shapes his work with couples, and he integrates psychology with his faith. “I’m going to work very hard to maintain and reconcile the relationship, believing that it is to the benefit of the partners and their children. It’s even best for the community—socially and economically,” says Dr. Heck.

Dr. Heck’s advice is exactly in line with the advice found in Take Back Your Marriage by William J. Doherty, PhD (one of my favorite marriage books). You can download two chapters from his web site for free here. Dr. Doherty doesn’t come at the topic from a faith-based approach, but he lands at the same point. Dr. Doherty says in his book, “If you talk to a therapist in the United States, I believe that you stand a good risk of harming your marriage.” His caveat is that is he a therapist and encourages therapy, but the right kind of therapy with the right kind of therapist—one who is committed to excellence in practice and who believes in marriage.

Dr. Doherty warns there are several big problems to watch out for in therapists: incompetent therapists who are not trained and experienced to work with couples, neutral therapists (which the majority of marriage and family therapists report themselves to be) who only help you weigh gain and loss, and therapists who see only pathology. In other words, they diagnose without helping, leading you to hopelessness or fatalism. He says a fourth type of therapist actively undermines the marriage by subtlely or overtly encouraging you to end the marriage. (“I can’t believe you’re still married to him.”) The last type of problem therapist he mentions is the one who gives direct advice, which is against the code of ethics. (“I think you need a separation.”)

Following are some of the tips for choosing a therapist from Dr. Doherty’s book:

• The therapist does not take sides, but is caring to both of you.
• The therapist actively tries to help your marriage and communicates hope that you solve your marital problems. This goes beyond just clarifying problems.
• The therapist offers reasonable and helpful perspectives and specific strategies for changing the relationship.
• The therapist does not allow you and your spouse to engage in repeated angry exchanges during the session.
• The therapist is alert to individual matters (addiction, illness, abuse, etc.)
• Although the therapist may explore your family backgrounds, the focus is on how to deal with your current marital problems rather than just on insight into how you developed these problems. (There are more tips, but that gives you a few. I highly recommend chapter 6 in Take Back Your Marriage for more complete advice.)

Have you had experience—good or bad—with a marriage counselor? Are you open to seeing a therapist if you feel your marriage could benefit?

Another Great Guest Post, Just Say No to Perfection in Marriage

July 24, 2010

Life Gems is a great post that I subscribe to that I recommend to you.
Here is the link to her blog: marriahttp://us.mc1128.mail.yahoo.com/mc/welcome?.gx=1&.tm=1279937461&.rand=bhi

Posted: 22 Jul 2010 06:31 AM PDT

I read lots of marriage books and blogs, and I get rather annoyed with all the talk of how to achieve the perfect relationship, the extraordinary marriage, which shall be the zenith of your human existence, at which point everyday annoyances will dissolve into the mist, and the “happily ever after” credits will scroll by.

Instead, I rather relate to the following quote:

Forget about having perfect relationships. Let’s help couples have “good enough” relationships. ~John & Julie Gottman

My thought is that each year—each hour really—we will have moments of connection and moments of disconnect. If we’re still working on learning to love and be loved, that’s great. That’s progress. But it doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes clash (after all, we are very different people) or disagree (naturally we have separate thoughts and opinions). It just means we choose to stay married and to keep trying to improve. We need to work to stay connected, and to reconnect when we’re drifting apart.

While I sometimes bring lessons learned from my marriage to the table, I don’t think it’s appropriate (or really that interesting, frankly) to share the details of my marital failings. But we have them, just like everyone else. Sometimes I get angry or impatient or think unloving thoughts about the love of my life. As I write this, my very handy hubby is hammering at 10 p.m. while the kids try to sleep, but I’ve learned to live with his eagerness to complete projects over the years (and the kids have learned to sleep through noise). I’m sure I give him plenty to get frustrated about, although I can’t imagine what could be difficult about little ol’ sensitive me!

Despite our failings, we take a long-term view. And after 15 years, I think we’ve gotten to know one another better and learned some about forgiveness and about retaining a sense of humor. Sometimes I think it goes without saying that we are imperfect people who believe in the great tradition of marriage. But in the interest of disclosure, I’ll just come right out and say so. I want to be a positive voice for marriage, to learn more about how to love and be loved within a marriage union, and to share what I learn.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t have high standards for ourselves and for others. I am saying we shouldn’t expect perfection. Whether you are having a great day in your relationship or a “good enough” day, don’t compare yourself to what you think is going on in someone else’s marriage. Let good enough be good enough for today. (But work for something better.) Maybe tomorrow will be the day to have curl-your-toes sex.

Do you sometimes struggle for perfection in your relationship, only to be disappointed? Or do you think having the highest standards elevates your expectations and ultimately delivers better outcomes?

My Interview on How To Hit a Nude Beach

July 22, 2010

How to Hit a Nude Beach
By Paul Eisenberg

Published July 19, 2010
| FoxNews.com

When I first begin researching the question of how to hit a nude beach, one of the first answers came from the general manager of a hotel in New Hampshire, Jerry Jacobson, who responded “very carefully.”

My immediate reaction was that I usually don’t need any help in the weak joke department, as regular readers of this column will verify. But as I gathered more sources I realized that Jerry’s right. Most of us can’t wake up one morning and decide that taking off our clothes is just another day at the beach.

Or can we?

According to the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) [site NSFW] “most first-timers adjust to social nudity in a matter of minutes and discover it’s not nearly as big a deal as they thought it would be.”

Case in point is a source who said I could identify her by her “fake nude beach name of Krystal,” who wanted to experience a nude beach for the first time and went with a friend to Sandy Hook, NJ. “We chose not to go nude and wore our bikinis instead,” Krystal recalls. “Everybody else at the beach was nude though.” At first the pair kept to themselves, rejecting “invitations from nude beach goers to play games with them. Finally we opened up and played Frisbee with a bunch of nude guys,” Krystal says. “It was lot more fun than we thought it would be. We were very shocked at how friendly nude beach goers are. However, we were still distracted by their packages.”

While still a bit apprehensive – hence telling her Frisbee pals her name was Krystal — she offers that “the key to feeling comfortable at a nude beach is to just let loose, be yourself, and don’t focus so much on the nudity. Because we had so much fun we made plans to go again this year and go topless.”

What else can you expect when you hit a nude beach — or, to use the term trademarked by the AANR –when you take a “nakation”? Read on.

Nude beaches are not about sex…usually.

Relationship coach John Wilder went to a nude beach in Germany a couple times while he was a serviceman, noting that “that after five minutes on the beach, I was struck with how normal and unaffected everyone was, adding that the nude beach was “kind of the opposite of sex. I saw beautiful young women on the beach and even spent the day with a beautiful girl on a blanket and there was no hanky panky. Finally I was so bored that I had to go back to the family beach and see a girl in a bikini to get interested again.”

Concurs Improper Bostonian magazine columnist Jonathan Soroff, who has been to nude beaches in Brazil, Portugal , Martha’s Vineyard, and Sandy Hook, “in order for everyone to feel comfortable on a nude beach, you have to take sex out of the equation, and therefore hitting on someone is a big no-no. In fact, the biggest.” Adds a source from Boston who I’ll call “Norm,” who has hit nude beaches in Florida, Hawaii, and Holland, some nude beaches are akin to neighborhood bars. “There are all sorts of people there, from 20-somethings to 70-somethings. Some beaches even have or encourage whole families, and this may take some getting used to for a neophyte.”

There are exceptions, however. Some nude beaches, says Norm, are more like singles bars. “Singles nude beaches are generally about hooking up. Ibiza in Spain is infamous for people in a hurry, going off into the dunes rather than getting a hotel room. These beaches are populated by the crowd you’d expect in a singles bar: 18-30, (probably) single, very interested in their own appearance… and yours. If you’re the least bit awkward or unsure of your body, going to such a beach will make you more so. Generally, anything goes on these beaches, but explicit sex acts may run afoul of local lewdness ordinances.”

Nudists are not all nubile.

Just as not all nude beaches are Hedonistic, not all nude beach goers are nubile. “Americans have this idea that a European topless beach is populated entirely by nubile 16-year-old C-cups,” Norm says. “If you go to one, however, you find those 16-year-olds… and their mothers… and sometimes their grandmothers, all topless. On a nude beach, you realize quickly, or should, that people come in all shapes and sizes, and so does their equipment.” Adds Soroff, “like anything that sounds provocative, the nudity on beaches turns out to be quite mundane. You’re just as likely to see an octogenarian or someone approaching the morbidly obese as you are an Adonis or supermodel.”

Know when to cover up.

While enjoying a nude beach experience means lowering your inhibitions, there are times when you’re expected to raise your towel. (See what I mean by weak jokes, Jerry?) Among its rules of etiquette for nude beaches, the AANR says ”for those visiting the nude section of a local beach, dress before leaving designated clothing-optional use areas” so that you don’t upset vacationers in areas where clothing is required. Along those lines, says the association, “always carry a towel with you when you leave your spot on the beach, whether to sit on or wrap around yourself when you walk to public areas such as picnic benches, food stands, [or restrooms], you will be more comfortable, as will those around you.”

Apply sunscreen…carefully.

In her primer on how to visit a nude beach in Greece, About.com guide deTraci Regula says that it’s probably a good idea to “test sunscreen on sensitive soon-to-be-nude areas which may not normally be exposed to sunscreen or sunshine. Areas that readily sweat are most likely to react to ingredients in sunscreen. Soroff puts a finer point on it, noting that you might want to avoid rubbing alcohol-laden sunscreen on your nether regions. Norm goes so far as to suggest that if you’re a newbie, “consider applying sunscreen to those parts ahead of time, in private, so that you don’t rush due to excitement or embarrassment when you are on the beach.”

No snapping or leering, please.

“Leave your camera in your hotel room,” Regula suggests, “or point it only at yourself or non-human scenery. Intrusive photography on a nude beach is so uncool.” Howcast’s video tutorial on nude beach etiquette [NSFW] makes the salient point that you shouldn’t “stare at people’s private parts,” adding that “if it would be unseemly to gape at that body part when it’s fully clothed, it’s downright rude to gawk at it undressed.” Since you went through the effort of hitting a nude beach, Norm adds that you might want to “go have a conversation instead of staring. It may be the first time in a long time you’ve had an honest conversation.”

Romancing Your Man By Talking Dirty in Bed

July 19, 2010

Romancing Your Man by Talking Dirty in Bed
At a recent visit to another blog, I wrote about talking dirty to your man to romance him. I was frankly surprised at the number of women who can’t get themselves to do this and choose deliberately not to do it. I was even more surprised at the vehemence with which women condemned me and vilified me over my suggestion that they get over it and do something nice for their husbands.
Women you need to stop vilifying people who point out a shortcoming in you. This is my number one complaint about women by men in my practice. You cut off all effective communication with your man when you attack him when he points out something that he does not like about you. You would do your relationship far better if you listened to him and tried to accommodate him. That trite old cliché’ about when momma ain’t happy, then no one is happy” is an example of verbal bullying women put their men through.
You don’t like to be verbally bullied by your man, why is it okay to do it to him?
I realize that for many women talking dirty is just not your thing and you have inhibitions about it. I would suggest that you become sexually adventurous in the bedroom. Men love women who get into sexuality with gusto. Talking dirty is a nice alternative when he is feeling like a bad boy and wants a bad girl to play with. He won’t think less of you for indulging his bad boy sexuality but will be pleased and satisfied if you get into it with him.
In order to romance your man, sometimes it takes getting into something that might not have appeal to you but definitely has appeal to him. Just like giving your man flowers is a waste of money because they simply don’t have the same meaning to him that they do with you. If you are going to romance him, you have to give him the things that he wants and not necessarily what you want. How much better would he appreciate you for being a good sport and really getting into talking dirty to him occasionally?
Ladies, I will let you in on a little secret if you don’t already know it. Men have differing moods about sex. Sometimes it is just about getting off as quickly as possible, sometimes it is about tender and loving and romantic, sometimes it is about laughing and slap and tickle and wrestling around the bed. Other times it is about the world has beat him up and he needs nurturing at your breasts. And sometimes he wants to be bad and fuck your brains out. That mood can only be served if you are willing to go there and talk dirty to him and encourage him with gusto and every dirty word in your vocabulary. If you love the guy, why not give him the occasional treat that he will really appreciate?
Learn to embrace your inner slut. The old Italian proverb about what a guy wants in a wife: A good mother for his children, a good hostess for his friends and a slut in the bedroom.

Bottom line is you need to lose your inhibitions about some things, especially about talking dirty in bed with your man.

5 Tactics That Will Hurt Your Marriage, Another Great Guest Post

July 17, 2010

Project Happily Ever After is a great blog dealing with marriage issues. They get a frequent guest blog on my blog because she is so good at what she does. I recommend that you read her blog as well.

Here is the link to her blog

5 Surprising Tactics That Will Hurt Your Marriage

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 08:12 AM PDT

1. Venting
I used to justify bad-mouthing my husband as “venting.” I told myself that it allowed me to let off steam so I could discuss issues with him more calmly. But I eventually came to the realization that venting was quite destructive. Usually whenever I vented, my friends took my side. I would complain about my husband and then my friends would say something like, “He’s such an a-hole. He doesn’t deserve you.”

This hurt my marriage in two ways.

One: it reinforced my negative view of my husband. Let me tell you: I didn’t need any help in that department. I was already quite adept at mentally turning him into what I called Mr. Ex (ie. My future ex husband) whenever I became angry. And by getting my friends to reinforce my negativity, it made it that much more difficult for me to calm down, forgive, and to see my husband realistically.

Two: I eventually succeeded in turning most of my friends and even my family against my husband. Soon family gatherings became tense and so did any get together with friends. That wasn’t fun. Also, friends and family began complaining about my husband to me, which hurt my marriage and my friendships.

Now I’ve come to see that venting can only be beneficial if you are doing it in front of one of those rare people who can remain unbiased, listen intently and then come back with a deep and effective question like, “What are you going to do about this anger of yours?”

2. Teasing
I am a middle child who was sandwiched between two brothers. By the time I was an adult, teasing was a way of life. Yet, I eventually came to see that teasing and sarcasm always has a hurtful edge. It rarely generated a warm fuzzy and close feeling with the person who was being teased. Usually it generated a rift instead, and rifts are not good when it comes to marriage. Lately, I’ve tried to do the opposite—both in my marriage and throughout my life. Instead of teasing people about their shortcomings, I compliment them on all of their strengths.

3. Sighing
Whenever you sigh, you are telling your spouse, “You are not important.” That hurts. If you need to release anger, focus your awareness on your breathing, such as the cool sensation you feel at the tip of your nostrils whenever you inhale. Or, if you start to lose your temper, call for a time out. But try to put an end to hurtful body language such as sighing and eye rolling.

4. Yes, Dearing
There’s a joke that is often told at weddings. It goes like this: “What is the secret to a happy marriage? Always say, ‘yes, dear.’” Here’s the thing: it’s not true. Being “yes deared” is frustrating. Whenever you “Yes, dear,” you are telling your spouse, “I think you are an idiot, but I’m going to do what you say so I can blame it on you later.”

Yes, it’s okay to take one for the team every once in a while. That’s called compromise and all healthy spouses do it to some degree. But “yes, dearing” is a state of permanent passivity that will continually erode your marriage. Have the courage to play an active role in your marriage. Speak your voice and offer your opinions.

5. Tongue Biting
It’s my firm belief that it’s better to say something badly than to not say it at all. Your spouse can’t read your mind, and the tension and icy coldness that envelopes your home whenever you bite your tongue is no fun for either one of you. Have the courage to speak your mind. Yes, you might encounter some conflict as a result, but that conflict will usually result in a closer relationship.

Have you used these tactics in the past? Do you think they help or hurt a marriage? Are there other tactics that you think also lead to a bad marriage? Leave a comment.

Are You Secretly Flirting or Cheating on Your Spouse, Another Great Guest Post

July 15, 2010


here is the link to the Happily Ever After Project


What counts as cheating?
A couple years ago, I came across a website that advocated something that, at the time, seemed just crazy. It was this: complete and forthcoming marital honesty and transparency. The site author suggested that I imagine that a private detective or hidden camera were with me at all times, that everything I did or said would be reported back to my husband. He challenged me to become a wife who kept zero secrets.

At first, I thought it sounded easy. After all, it wasn’t as if I was having an affair or doing anything that I felt guilty about. Me? I didn’t have any secrets. My husband could stash Wifey Cams all over the place and he’d come up with zilch-o.

Or so I thought.

I began imagining that I was being filmed and ratted on at every turn. You know what? I realized that I did a lot of things that I would never want to get back to my husband. For instance:

■Making fun of him behind his back
■Occasionally buying something that was not in our budget and neglecting to tell him about the purchase
■Making an investment decision without consulting him
■Realizing as I was loading groceries into my car that I’d forgotten his favorite frozen strawberry bars and thinking, “I’ll just tell him I couldn’t find them if he asks about it.”
■Occasionally blogging about something that I was hoping he would never get around to reading
So I pledged to become a completely honest and transparent wife. You want to know what happened as soon as I made that pledge? I stopped saying negative things about my husband to other people. Instead, I only said those things to him. I stopped making unilateral decisions. I began opening up more, too. I told him more about me, what I was working on, what I was thinking about, and how I was feeling.

We grew closer—a lot closer. And I feel freer and more authentic as a result.

I thought of this when a reader emailed me the following questions:

Is it okay to foster friendships with members of the opposite sex even if you are married?

Is it okay to hang out with members of the opposite sex? When does this become a flag for concern?

Is it wrong to have a little office flirting?

Is it okay to flirt a little on Facebook and Twitter?

Initially, my first thought was, “If you have to ask, it’s probably not okay.” That sounds more flip that I intend. What I mean by it is this: by asking, you are assuming that your partner might have a problem with it. And if your partner might have a problem with it, there’s a good chance that you are right.

Divorce Myths, Another Great Guest Post

July 12, 2010

Here is another great guest post from Life Gems a site that I am subscribed to and suggest that you do the same. Here is the link:


I recall a friend who was about to file for a divorce expressing how she would be financially better off after she divorced her husband. A friend of hers had put this idea in her head, and she believed it without question. Since she and her husband fought frequently about money, she thought she would have more freedom with her finances after they were separated. Sadly, that was not the case; the divorce only compounded their financial problems, and she filed for bankruptcy soon after. This example is only to say: Don’t believe everything you hear. The effects of divorce can’t always be predicted, and there are many misunderstandings surrounding divorce.

Following are a couple of myths about divorce. These come from David Popenoe, co-director of the National Marriage Project, and a professor of sociology at Rutgers University.

Myth: Following divorce, the woman’s standard of living plummets by 73 percent while the man’s standard of living improves by 42 percent.

Fact: This widely publicized statistic was based on a faulty calculation. The data was recalculated to show a 27 percent loss in standard of living for women, and a 10 percent gain for men. Popenoe says the gender gap post-divorce is real, and hasn’t narrowed much since the study was done decades ago.

Perhaps the perception of financial gain leads people to believe the following untruth…

Myth: It is usually men who initiate divorce proceedings.

Fact: Two-thirds of divorces are actually initiated by women. However, child custody and divorce laws in each state influence these numbers. States in which women have a better chance at retaining full custody of children have higher rates of women initiating divorce proceedings. In states where there is a presumption of shared custody with the husband, the percentage of women who initiate divorces is much lower, says Popenoe. While women more frequently file for divorce, men are more likely to have problems with drinking, drug abuse, and infidelity (which may lead her to want the divorce in the first place). So, let’s not “blame” women for divorces, folks.

Myth: Living together before marriage is a good way to reduce the chances of eventually divorcing.

Fact: Popenoe reports many studies have concluded those who live together before marriage have considerably higher rates of divorce.

Myth: When parents don’t get along, children are better off if their parents divorce than if they stay together.

Fact: Studies show that while marital unhappiness does negatively affect children, so does divorce. For two-thirds of familes in low-conflict homes, the children’s situation only worsens after the divorce. They are better off if the parents stay together and work out their problems. Studies show only those in very high-conflict homes benefit from “the conflict removal that divorce may bring.”

If you’re interested in more setting the record straight, read Popenoe’s other Myths and Facts about Divorce.

A Great Guest Post from Project Happily Ever After

July 9, 2010

I want to bring to you today another great guest post from a blog that I am subscribed to called Project Happily Ever After. It is entitled compassion.

Here is the link to the post;http://us.mc1128.mail.yahoo.com/mc/welcome?.gx=1&.tm=1278680759&.rand=0n1

Many of you experienced the power of compassion yesterday. You read that I was conflicted about this series. You wanted me to feel good about myself. You filled my inbox with encouraging emails and you filled yesterday’s post with encouraging comments.

Every single time I read one of your emails or comments, I smiled and I felt dang good.

But here’s the much more beautiful part of it all: I’m guessing nearly all of you felt dang good, too.

That’s the beauty of compassion. It spreads happiness.

Compassion brings happiness to you by lifting you out of a self-absorbed misery. And it spreads happiness to the object of your compassion, too. It’s completely circular and heart warming and beautiful.

And now I’m worried that I’m sounding like a flower child who has just smoked a joint and is considering skipping through a meadow filled with buttercups. Do I?

No matter. I’ll just keep writing.

Misery is Self Inflicted
My Dharma teacher tells me that anger, sadness and nearly every other negative emotion stems from one root cause: self absorption. Whenever we feel these emotions, our thoughts are dominated by the following pronouns: me, mine, myself, and I.

Anger = I’m not getting my way.

Envy and jealousy = I want that and they/you won’t give it to me! That should be mine.
Depression = Nobody loves me. Nobody appreciates me. Nobody gets me. Nobody gives me the love I want.

Frustration and Anxiety = I am uncomfortable. I’m afraid that I’m going to be uncomfortable.

Fear = I don’t want that to happen to me.

Most of us don’t like to think of ourselves as self-absorbed. At least I don’t. But if you pay attention to your negative mood states, you will find that they generally stem from an inner absorption. They are all about me, myself and mine.

Happiness, on the other hand, comes from outer-absorption. It comes from shifting the focus from “me” to “you.”

Here’s an example. A few days ago, I opened my credit card bill and found that we were still $10,000 in debt. I was frustrated, scared, and anxious. It seemed no matter how hard I tried to cut back expenses and pay down the debt, I couldn’t make much headway.

To take my mind off things, I watched God Grew Tired Of Us, which is a documentary about Sudanese Lost Boys. Let me tell you: if you ever need to put the small problem of a maxed out credit card into perspective, watch this film. By the end, I wasn’t thinking about debt or money. I was thinking about these poor lost boys and about how I could help them.

I’d broken out of the “me” obsession and I had shifted into a “you” mode.

That’s compassion, and that’s exactly what many of you experienced yesterday. You probably came to this blog in “me” mode, feeling sad or angry about something going on in your marriage. Then you read my post and you shifted into “you” mode. Then, at least for a few minutes, I’m guessing that your negativity completely vanished.

But Does Everyone Really Deserve It?
It’s easy to spread happiness to the people we love and feel good about.

It’s not so easy to spread happiness to, well, you know. Certain. People. Who. Shall. Not. Be. Named. (The first person who guesses what book/film I’m alluding to here gets a free signed copy of Queen of Your Own Life.)

But, let me tell you something: it’s downright freeing when you can get yourself to treat People Who Shall Not Be Named with compassion. Here are some strategies that have helped me, some of which I learned from my class and some of which I just made up:

Remind yourself that you, at times, are a Person Who Must Not Be Named to someone else. You probably don’t intentionally set out to be this person in someone else’s world, but it happens. And you are not a 100 percent bad person. (I would argue that you are not a bad person at all). You’re just human, and humans have a tendency to irritate other humans. Assume that the person you find hard to love is just a hapless human who is not intentionally causing you discomfort.

See it as a challenge. Can you be the person who somehow manages to make Ebenezer smile?

See it as a gift. Perhaps this difficult person has been sent to you just so you can grow in your compassion and become a happier person.

Have some pity. It’s the same negativity (anger, sadness, envy, etc) that you are trying to shed that tends to cause most people to behave in less than admirable ways. The most difficult people among us are boiling alive in their own self-created hell pots. The poor things. Being able to see the suffering of others is usually the first step in finding the ability to offer them your compassion and love.

Contemplate the unknown. Could this person really be a divine being (choose your own divine being from your personal religious practice) in disguise?

Create your own reality. You can choose to think whatever you want about whomever you want. You can choose to believe, for instance, that certain people are evil and unlovable. Or you can choose to believe that they deserve the benefit of the doubt. How you perceive other people and the world at large is your choice.

Visualize it. Each morning I bring anyone I find hard to love to mind, and I mentally wish these folks happiness. When I see such people face to face, it’s a lot easier for me to smile and treat them with compassion.

Trust the process. Even if you just can’t bring yourself to see someone as a person who deserves love, then just remind yourself that acting compassionately will help you to feel better, regardless of how it affects the other person. Spreading your compassion is both the most selfish and most selfless thing you can do, because it helps you and it helps the other person.

But What If …?
So I’m sure you’ve got a scenario in your mind—some sort of hypothetical situation that just blows this whole compassion theory to smithereens.

For instance, the first time I heard about it, I thought, “But what if I’m standing face to face with a serial killer and the serial killer says he wants to eat me for dinner, because eating me for dinner would make him very happy? Am I supposed to let him do it in the name of bringing happiness to others?”

The answer: No, I don’t allow him to eat me, but I teach him how to meditate. Or I show him this post. Or I tell him that I love him, and then I run for my life.

Anyway, the point is this: compassion is not the same thing as enabling. In fact, it’s the opposite. The idea that happiness comes from possessions—new cars, new purses, new houses, etc—is a delusion. The idea that happiness comes from having other people in our lives (ie. “I’ll be happy once he loves me” and “I’ll be happy once she’s my girlfriend”) is a delusion. The idea that happiness comes from achievements or job titles or making the bestseller list or eating a human being for dinner is a delusion.

Sure, some of those things might generate some fleeting pleasure. But nearly all of them—as my teacher likes to say—are like licking honey off a sharp knife. They are sweet, and then they hurt like hell. That’s not happiness.

Happiness is in the letting go. It’s found in the acceptance of suffering. It’s found in humility, patience and love.

It’s about spreading happiness to others. It’s not greedy. It’s not about me. It’s about you, and about how I can help you feel happy today, tomorrow and forever.

You can spread happiness to others in a myriad of very simple ways. It happens when you walk into a room with the belief that every single person in that room deserves to be happy just as much as you do. It happens when you call your mother out of the blue, just to make her feel loved. It happens when you kiss a child’s boo boo.

And when it happens, it feels good, and it feels good for a long, long time. It’s not bitter sweet. It’s just sweet. It’s not licking honey off a knife. It’s licking honey off a spoon.

It’s warm and it’s gooey and it’s light and it’s so powerful that it makes you cry.

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