Thursday, October 16, 2014

Are Opposite-Sex Friends Okay When Married?

This has been a discussion I have had with many couples over the years and have discussed at length with my wife of 20+ years!

Can you have opposite-sex friendships when you are married?

My thoughts have definitely evolved over the years. Early on, when I was more insecure and immature, I felt that it wasn't appropriate for married people to be friends with those of the opposite sex, ever. But now, after nearly 21 years of marriage, and some maturity (emphasis on the word some) I feel a bit different.

It's not so much about the friendship as it is about your personal character and how you handle the friendship, and who you are friends with. I used to throw the baby out with the bathwater and say, "no way can you have any friends of the opposite-sex when you are married ... you will end up having an affair with them!" But that is the same as what some of my religious non-drinker friends say about alcohol, they say that, "if you drink it leads to drunkenness, lewd behaviors and orgies." (That's actually a quote! I know, ridiculous.)


My Rules That Should Govern Opposite- Sex Friendships


1) The friend should preferable be a friend of both.

This just means that to have a friend that is only your friend could be challenging. Because when they are a friend of both, they will have a respect, hopefully, for the marriage not just the individual. Make sense? There are always exceptions to rules of course, so don't get too hung up on the rule.

2) No secrets.

It should be a totally open friendship. No hiding anything about the friendship from your partner. If you are hiding the friendship, that is a warning sign for sure. There shouldn't be anything to hide ... especially if it's all above board.

3) No confiding.

I have a couple female friends, one in particular I am extremely close with and have been friends with for nearly 12 years and I have never "confided" in her. I haven't told her anything I haven't already talked about with my wife.

4) Never talk bad about your spouse with them.

My rule on this one applies to same-sex friends too. I know it's a bit extreme, but I do not find there to be any benefit in spouse bashing. So I just don't do it. If I have issues with my wife I talk to her about it, or a counselor who will give me sound wisdom. I believe this rule to be extremely valuable to the marriage if followed.

5) Limit Alcohol use when with your friend.

Alcohol, the great elixir. It removes inhibitions as well as morality, in my experience. In other words, if you aren't all that attracted to this friend, you will be after a couple glasses of wine, so be careful. Let's just be honest here, many of the stories that start with, "Well I had a few beers then ..." and they proceed to tell the "bad" story.

6) The character of your friend. 

The character of the friend you have makes all the difference in the world. If he/she is a person of character with a strong moral compass it will surely work. Because even if they were attracted to you they wouldn't cross lines because of their strong character. Of course you should have strong character too, so even if they want to cross lines you don't.

7) Listen to your spouse.

If my wife says, "No!" to the friendship, then it's a no. Period. If you don't like that, then I would advise you to never get married. It's not for you. Part of what makes marriage work is submitting one to another.

A spouse is not only a companion, but also your protector (in a healthy relationship) and they help keep you safe and protected from others and even from yourself.


CLOSING THOUGHTS

I unfortunately missed out on many opportunities for valuable rich freindships with women because of my religious fear-based upbringing. "Don't even look at another woman, and definitely don't talk to them, and for damn sure don't ever be around one without your spouse present!" Oddly enough many of those same people who spouted that fear-based teaching ended up having affairs, being addicted to porn, and living a lie. Living that way obviously doesn't keep people from having affairs.

The reality is anyone can have an affair, the question is would that be beneficial to those closest to you? Is it what God wants, I mean really? You know the answer. No! No!

Please post your thoughts, questions, disagreements and opinions!


  

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Pop Up Weddings KC


If you are looking to have an outdoor hassle-free inexpensive cool wedding, this is the one for you! Check them out online today! It's the most unique and coolest things I've seen in Kansas City!


Saturday, September 27, 2014

My Favorite Romantic Movies


1) Serendipity
2) Just Like Heaven
3) The Notebook
4) P.S. I Love You
5) Beauty and the Beast
6) Sabrina (The newer one)
7) How to Loose a Guy in Ten Days
8) My Big Fat Greek Wedding
9) Hitch
10) Shallow Hal

Here are a few more of my favorites ... it's hard to only pick ten, plus TOP TEN sounds better then TOP TWENTY SIX!

11) Enchanted
12) The Holiday
13) You’ve Got Mail
14) While You Were Sleeping
15) Failure to Launch
16) Sleepless in Seattle
17) French Kiss
18) The English Patient
19) Princess Bride
20) A Walk to Remember
21) Never Been Kissed
22) If Only
23) She’s All That
24) The Prince and Me
25) Bridget Jone’s Diary
26) Say Anything
27) Safe Haven
28) Dear John
29) The Vow

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Role of Feelings in Dating Life

Feelings are important, but you can't trust them to be your only guide to finding Mr. or Miss Right. We all know people who 'had' that loving feeling to only get divorced 6 months later. I think you need to have that "tickle in your tummy" with the person you are thinking of spending your life with, but there is more than just that.

I am a hopeless romantic type ... I believe in the kind of love you read about in novels and see on the big screen! Yes, I believe it can and does exist! I believe that 2 people create it and should be writing a love story worth watching on the big screen! Though there are other things we should use as our guide when single and dating alongside our "feelings."

1) Know what you like.

When you know what you want this protects you from being led away by your feelings. I encourage people to have a list. Now don't pull it out during the first date, but have one, know what's on it, refer to it.


2) Know what you don't like.

Too many people settle. And this is what leads to all sorts of problems, including divorce. I can't tell you the number of people I have talked to who said, "I knew I shouldn't have married him/her ... but I thought I could change him/her ..."


3) Find out what your friends feel?

Sometimes when you feel so in love you become blind to glaring red flags. It's always good to ask those closest to you for their insights. Ask them, "What do you think?"


4) You have a brain, so use it.

When I was dating through my teenage years and on into my early 20's I dated a lot of girls who gave me tickles in my tummy, but when I met my wife, 21 years ago now, I had more than just the tickles in my tummy. She had other characteristics that were on my list ... things that were important to me in finding the person I would be spending my life with. We were compatible, and that's huge.

We've all heard it said, and it's so true ... "Love is a choice, not a feeling!" And though this is true, let's be honest, it's nice when the feelings are there, and it sucks when they are not!


FINAL THOUGHTS

Be smart when dating. Listen to those around you. Listen to yourself. Don't allow the "tickles"to make you ignore things that are clearly broken. And don't settle for someone you don't have feelings for simply because they are a good person ... there needs to be an attraction. Be good, be safe. You will find love, I promise!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Nagging is Bad


nag1
nag/
verb
  1. 1.
    annoy or irritate (a person) with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging.

I met with a couple a few years back and the main issue they were having was that the husband was a nag. He was constantly finding fault in his wife. I know usually the woman gets labeled the nag, but we all know that men are just as bad as women when it comes to nagging.

Nagging is a relationship killer. Why? Because nagging your partner is like physically beating them, but it's just emotional abuse rather than physical. We all would come to the defense of someone who is being physically abused, and rightfully so, but the emotional abuse that comes from nagging is just as harmful and damaging to a relationship.


SIGNS YOU ARE A NAG


1) You find fault in your partner more than you praise them.

In my opinion there should be 90% praise, and maybe 10% fault finding in a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship is littered with praise, blessing, positive, high fives, laughs, good things, smiles, and happiness ... even in the midst of difficult situations.

Everyone wants to hear more about what they are doing right than what they are doing wrong.

Disclaimer: This doesn't mean you ignore real issues or concerns, but if you always have issues and concerns with your partner then you are a nag. I suggest you look for the things you love, rather than the things you don't.


2) You fight a lot.

Fighting is normal, and even good in a relationship. Though if you find that you are fighting most the time, something may be wrong.


3) You don't laugh very much.

Something is missing from a relationship where there aren't lot's of laughs. Life is tough and the one place you should have happiness is at home.


A LITTLE EXTRA FOOD FOR THOUGHT

One of the dangers in a relationship where there is constant nagging (fault finding) is that the person who is being nagged is longing for someone who will appreciate them as they are and will help to bring happiness to his/her life.

I've seen many partners walk away from a committed relationship because they were just tired of the emotional abuse. They just couldn't stand it one more day so they walked away, and felt liberated when they did. Again, it would be just like someone who was being physically abused walking away in to a life of freedom.

Everyone deserves to be loved, just the way they are, warts and all! So if you are single, don't dare marry someone you want to change or fix! That is not fair to them. You must love them, all of them, just exactly the way they are, period, and if you can't do that - walk away. If you are married (in a committed relationship) stop fault finding! Seriously! You are killing your partner little by little. Not only that, you are sucking their will to live - especially with you. Be the kind of partner that provides a place of peace, comfort, love, joy, calm, happiness, security, laughs, smiles and all the other happy vibes the world needs more of.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Lost That Loving Feeling?


Love isn't just about tickles in the tummy, but it's important to have them for the person you are in relationship with. If you are in a committed relationship what do you do if you lose that loving feeling?

I have heard way too many stories of couples losing that loving feeling, then throwing away the marriage because of it. You can get the feelings back! It's a fact! But, the things I recommend are not things you 'try' they are things you 'do'. It has to become your way of living. It's a relationship lifestyle change that must be permanent ... the 'new you'.


1) THINK of your partner in positive ways.

Sometimes when the loving feelings have left we can't help but think of our partner in a negative light, but just refuse to think of the negative and think of the positive. I realise that there may be situations that make this very difficult, but do it anyway.


2) TALK of your partner in positive ways.

When you speak of your partner, speak well of them. Don't slam them or gripe and complain and be all negative. Make sure to compliment them often. This will help you begin to appreciate them once again.


3) DO the things you would do if you had those LOVING feelings.

Feelings follow action! So ACT like you do have the feelings, and you will have the feelings! You don't have to feel like writing a love letter to actually write one. You don't have to feel like saying, "you are beautiful" to say it. You don't have to feel like buying flowers to stop by the florist to buy some. Just do it.

Seriously, I don't understand that we have rules we live by in life, but we don't apply them to our relationships. For example, you don't only go to work when you feel like. No, you go because you are committed and you have a job to do. You don't only change a diaper when you feel like it. No, you change it when it needs to be changed. You see, we should live this way in our relationships ... be committed to LOVE, then love every day for the rest of your life!

They say, "The grass isn't greener on the other side of the fence, it's greener where you water it!"

Bonus Point ...

4) Give lots of KISSES.

Kisses make everything better! Lot's of physical touch is important to get the feelings to return. Making each other "feel" good physically are always helpful.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

No Drama

Someone asked me the other day, "When you were dating around what were you looking for?" And I started pondering that question and within a second or two I blurted out, "A no drama girl!" There were of course many things I was looking for and not looking for, but this was a big one to me because I value peace.

I think this No Drama deal rolls over into every other area of life too; work, home, friendships, school, family, and of course marriage. I think most people would say, "I don't want drama!" But you wouldn't know it by the way they live. They seem to thrive on drama.

So there you go, if you are in a relationship and there is some drama, it's either them or you ... figure it out and resolve it. And then decide to have a No Drama Rule installed in the middle of the relationship.


EXAMPLE:

It's fun watching my 2 teen kids interact with friends, especially as they date. I see things and think, Oh goodness ... drama! For example, my son doesn't say "Hi" to a girl yesterday in school, now she is all upset and won't talk to him. Drama!

Let's not act like Junior High students in our adult relationships. So when your wife doesn't say "Hi!" to you when you first get home, don't start slamming dishes around in the sink. It's all okay, you just say "Hi" first! Boom, resolved! You are welcome!