Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, December 2, 2013
Now over 30 Million people have read his post. There is a reason that his words have gotten this response... people need this reminder. People need to be reminded that marriage is about the person you married and not about you.
Check out his interview on Huffington Post to gain more insight from this great writer and husband.
Let's think about those we love today and try hard not to be self focused in our most important relationships!
Saturday, August 17, 2013
Tonight I saw this video
In it, the speaker Stephanie Coontz explains the historical context of marriage and it's function as an institution. It is an interesting recap. Some aspects are fascinating to consider. I was particularly perplexed on just how big the disparity is from today's romantic love idea of marriage from the marriages of the past which were largely economic, dynastic, and political.
While my blog's largest focus is on encouraging wives to be more selfless in the bedroom, I've also try to play on the idea of "showing up with food" being congruent with a wife serving or doting on her husband just like the vintage graphics you see represented suggest. While I do not in the least desire for us to back to the dark ages, the exploration of marriages anciently cause us to consider how we think about marriage and what predictors are tied to lasting and fulfilling marriages today.
She explains that as marriage has evolved, the ultimate paradox has emerged... in that as marriages have become more intimate and romantically driven for more rewarding experiences the institution of marriage has become less stable. Under this new intention when marriages chosen by "love" work today, they are more fulfilling and happy than any marriages of the past. However, when it doesn't work... marriages today seem intolerable, while in the past many would have had greater satisfaction in the same situation and marriages were more likely to thrive on a grander scale.
Coontz also points to research that kind of challenges some initial assumptions about what we would think would make a good marriage... like passionate romantic emotional extremes etc. In the end of her presentation she explains that the number most important factors for a woman's happiness in marriage were emotional connection to her husband and the amount of house work and child care he contributes to. She articulates that research indicates that a man's most important factors for happiness in marriage are the amount of criticism he receives from his wife and how much sex he gets.
Coontz presents a very easy answer for happy marriages... she says it turns out that the very best predictor for how little criticism a woman feels toward her husband and how sexually attracted she is to her husband is based on how much house work and child care that husband does. Now the audience bursts out with laughter and rightfully so. I would just like to close by suggesting that you can flip this equation around, and true to Show Up Naked With Foods intention... it is apparent that the reverse would be true: how much help you will get around the house ladies... will be tied to how nice you are to your Mr. and how much sex you are giving. ;)
Friday, February 1, 2013
Sunday, November 11, 2012
One thing that I have noticed about many marriages is how it seems women can quickly "give up" and stop trying only a short time after the vows are made and the thank you notes are sent out. Men can also throw in the towel when it comes to their looks, but again, this blog is for us wives to think about what can WE do to make our marriages all that they can be. Now I admit that too much focus on our physical appearance can be a really negative thing and I personally have to be careful of getting to caught up in it, but I do think it is good to ask ourselves every now and again if we are looking and, most importantly, feeling our best?
I find that when I do make an effort my husband compliments me and it makes me feel happy. I think it is a real gift to be in a marriage where you feel safe and accepted no matter your physical state and I appreciate my man for that immensely! However, I believe it is important that we do not use this security as an excuse for not trying. I think that it starts with inner confidence and it is all about striking a balance. I know when I go a while without getting done up or exercising, I really don't feel as good and it is time for to re-boot and get back that spring in my step. There is nothing wrong with taking a little pride in your appearance. It is all about loving yourself and being the best you can be. So carry on caring for yourself! You'll be glad and so will HE!
Friday, September 7, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
This image is not only funny, it is true. This is basically visually saying what I try to convey with Show Up Naked with Food ... men are simple. I do not mean this in a condescending way for even one moment... in fact I am often entirely jealous of how straight forwardly men seem to both think, speak, and feel. The catch phrase name for my blog came from a joke I once heard. It starts with the question, "What does it take to make a woman happy?" followed by a long exhaustive list of things men should do for their woman like: help with children, listen to her, make her feel beautiful, foot messages, buy her flowers, clean the house, be nice to her mother, don't forget important romantic details, get her door, treat her as an equal, treat her as a queen, give her alone time, be with her whenever she wants, actually enjoy watching her tv shows, etc. Then the question is asked, "What does it take to make a man happy?" the response- "Show up naked with food."
A great deal of research has been done on the fact that:
Men and women THINK and SPEAK differently.
Men think compartmentally and women think globally. A frustrating example of this is when couples get in an argument and wives will bring up something from the past. Men often cannot understand what that situation has to do with the current one. Speaking differences in us are very obvious. Women tend to speak in great detail and with many more words then men. Men often want to get to the bottom line and spare story telling. Women also use a lot of non-verbal cues and often speak in "code" by using hints. This is the classic husband asking wife how her day was situation and she says, "fine" and he doesn't catch her subtle pain behind the false response.
The way we feel inside about another is the #1 most important ingredient in any relationship. How soft and sincere is your heart? How unselfish and loving are you to your core? Do you really care for this person? The #2 most critical factor seems to be communication.
If a woman can learn the art of clear, direct, and respectful communication void of aggression with a loving delivery she will find a great deal of success in communicating with her man. I have not mastered this, but would love to. While I understand that men could learn to go deeper emotionally with their words and learn to open up and explore how they feel etc. I don't want to be the one to write about what men could do better on this blog. To me it is about looking in the mirror and seeing how WE as WIVES can be different, as this is the only way to effect any real change in our marriages.
How can you try to understand your husband better? Try today to extend yourself to think and speak more like your sweet husband and see if and how it makes a difference.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
So, if this were indeed my final hour, these would be my words to you. I would not claim to pass on any secret of life... or any wisdom except the passionate plea of caring... Try to feel, in your heart's core, the reality of others. This is the most painful thing in the world, probably, and the most necessary. (Margaret Laurence)
What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other? (George Eliot)
It is far better to know our own weaknesses and failings than to point out those of others. (Jawaharlal Nehru)
The man who says, "I am right!" and who refuses to question his position in order to discover whether he is right, will continue to follow the line of his passions and prejudices, and will not acquire understanding. (J. Allen)
"There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. if you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket safe, dark, motionless, airless it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable." ~ C.S. Lewis
What is all this which would hinder you from loving? What is all this which you can win by self-love? The decree is that you *shall* love, but when you understand life and yourself, then it is as if you should not need to be commanded, because to love human beings is still the only thing worth living for; without this love you really do not live. (Søren Kierkegaard)
Monday, June 4, 2012
1. Give up your need to always be right
2. Give up your need for control
3. Give up on blame
Monday, April 2, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
This true story was shared to me by a mentor of mine.
“A turning point came in my life one day on a train in the suburbs of Tokyo, in the middle of a drowsy spring afternoon. At one station the doors opened, and suddenly the quiet afternoon was shattered by a man bellowing at the top of his lungs, yelling violent, obscene, incomprehensible curses. He was big, drunk and dirty. He wore laborer’s clothing. His eyes bugged out, a demonic, red. His hair was crusted with filth. Screaming, he swung at the first person he saw, a woman holding a baby. The blow glanced off her shoulder, sending her spinning into the laps of an elderly couple. It was a miracle that the baby was unharmed.
The couple jumped up and scrambled toward the other end of the car. They were terrified. The laborer aimed a kick at the retreating back of the old lady. He missed, the old woman scuttled to safety. The train lurched ahead, the passengers frozen with fear. I stood up.
I was young and in pretty good shape. I stood six feet, and weighed 225. I’d been putting in a solid eight hours of Aikido training every day for the past three years. I liked to throw and grapple. I thought I was tough. However, my martial skill was untested in actual combat. As students of Aikido, we were not allowed to fight.
My teacher, the founder of Aikido, taught us each morning that the art was devoted to peace. “Aikido,” he said again and again, “is the art of reconciliation. Whoever has the mind to fight has broken his connection with the universe. If you try to dominate other people, you are already defeated. We study how to resolve conflict, not how to start it.”
I listened to his words. I tried hard but I felt both tough and holy. In my heart of hearts, however, I was dying to be a hero. I wanted a chance, an absolutely legitimate opportunity whereby I might save the innocent by destroying the guilty.
“This is it!” I said to myself as I got to my feet. : This slob, this animal, is drunk, mean and violent. People are in danger. If I don’t do something fast, somebody will probably get hurt..”
Seeing me stand up, the drunk saw a chance to focus his rage. “AHA!” he roared, “A FOREIGNER! YOU NEED A LESSON IN JAPANESE MANNERS!” He punched the metal pol to give weight to his words.
I held on lightly to the commuter-strap overhead. I gave him a slow look of disgust and dismissal. I planned to take this turkey apart, but he had to be the one to move first. And I wanted him mad, because the madder he got the more certain my victory. “ALL RIGHT! he hollered, “YOUR GONNA GET A LESSON.” He gathered himself for a rush at me. He’d never know what hit him.
A split-second before he moved, someone shouted “HEY!” It was ear splitting. I remember being hit by the strangely joyous quality of it---
We both stared down at a little old Japanese man. He must have been well into his seventies, this tiny gentleman, sitting there immaculate in his kimono. He took no notice of me, but beamed delightedly at the laborer, as though he had a most important, most welcome secret to share. “C’mere,” the old man said in an easy vernacular, beckoning to the drunk, “C’mere and talk with me.” He waved his hand lightly. The big man followed, as if on a string. He planted his feet belligerently in front of the old gentleman, and towered threateningly over him. “TALK TO YOU,” he roared, “WHY SHOULD I TALK TO YOU?”
The old man continued to beam. There was not a trace of fear or resentment about him. “What’cha been drinking?” he asked lightly, his eyes sparkling with interest. “I BEEN DRINKING SAKE,” the laborer bellowed back, “AND IT’S NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!”
“Oh, that’s wonderful,” the old man said with delight, “absolutely wonderful! You see, I love sake too. Every night, me and my wife (she’s 76, you know), we warm up a little bottle of sake and take it out into the garden, and we sit on the old wooden bench that my grandfather made. We watch the sun go down, and we look to see how our persimmon tree is doing. Persimmons do not do well after ice-storms, although I must say that ours has done better than I expected, especially when you consider the poor quality of the soil. Still, it’s most gratifying to watch when we take our sake and go out to enjoy the evening—even when it rains!” He looked up at the laborer, eyes twinkling, happy to share his delightful information.
As he struggled to follow the intricacies of the old man’s conversation, the drunk’s face began to soften. His fists slowly unclenched. “Yeah,” he said slowly, “I love persimmons, too… His voice trailed off. “Yes”, said the old man, smiling, “and I’m sure you have a wonderful wife.”
“No,” replied the laborer, “My wife died.” He hung his head. Very gently, swaying with the motion of the train, the big man began to sob. “I don’t got no wife, I don’t got no home, I don’t got no job, I don’t got no money, I don’t got nowhere to go. I’m so ashamed of myself.” Tears rolled down his cheeks, a spasm of pure despair rippled through his body.
Now it was my turn. Standing there in my well-scrubbed youthful innocence, my make- this- world-safe-for- democracy righteousness, I suddenly felt dirtier than he was.
Just then, the train arrived at my stop. The platform was packed, and the crowd surged into the car as soon the doors opened. Maneuvering my way out, I heard the old man cluck sympathetically. “My, My,” he said with undiminished delight, “that is a very difficult predicament, indeed. Sit down here and tell me about it.”
I turned my head for one last look. The laborer was sprawled like a sack on the seat, his head in the old man’s lap. The old man looked down at him with compassion and delight, one hand stroking the filthy, matted head.
As the train pulled away, I sat down on a bench. What I had wanted to do with muscle and meanness had been accomplished with a few kind words. I had seen Aikido tried in combat, and the essence of it was love, as the founder had said.”
I know when I am faking it though, if I am just trying to end an argument but inside and still convinced of my own righteousness it just doesn't play the same as being genuinely humble and loving. I appreciated an article I just read about this idea of being willing to lose in order to win... I liked this line at the end of the article...
"Maybe we need to be formed in such a way that winning loses its glamour, that we can sacrifice the competition in favor of people."
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Because it is totally normal for a new mother to experience a loss of her libido along with her once slimmer waist line, women tend to want to get an “OK” for saying no to their husbands, because then they won’t have to feel bad about it. This is where the problem begins. She has to make him wrong, insensitive, or selfish in order to justify denying him.
After the birth of a child the love a wife has for her spouse is often stronger than ever, but the desire to engage in sexual activity is not. I am not even talking about the 4 to 6 week (and Doc never said 46 weeks as some woman like to pretend) waiting period for intercourse after childbirth. Which brings me to a quick additional point about how there is not really an excuse to still not take care of him- there are lots of other ways to meet his need during this time! Even after the prescribed period woman are claiming headaches and exhaustion, when if they are truly honest, doesn’t stop them from enjoying little pleasures like watching their favorite program, reading a good book, or having a chat with a girl friend on the phone about the joys or challenges of motherhood. Some woman actually report an increase in sexual desire right after birth but it doesn’t seem to last. By about month 3 the last thing she is wanting is a man to be all over the same parts of her body that baby has been hanging from all day.
Low self esteem contributes to the problem for many women because they feel less than desirable. They smell like spit up, their body has traumatically changed, they are in pajamas all day and certainly don’t have time for makeup or to do their hair. Many women can’t believe he’d desire her in the first place. Post partum blues are common and then the problem really increases as she pulls away from him. He, being hurt, from the constant rejection may not make as many advances as he use to and she takes this as confirmation that he is not interested which encourages this cycle to continue. I have spoken to a lot of my friends who have become new moms and I have researched this with a lot of reading and this problem can be devastating.
Men don’t always have the skills to deal with their feeling sexually deprived. They often resent the wife or try guilt trip tactics which only makes her defensive. Some men withdraw, take it out on the children, or turn to other means outside of their wife (even cheating can and does occur)… but no matter what, even with the most understanding and patient man, this issue will take a toll on a marriage and end up hurting both of you.
Now while I am in no denial that men could learn some things about how to encourage us better. They could do a million things better to make life easier for us and make us more willing to jump into bed with them… but that is not what this blog is for. I am a wife and a woman. It isn’t too effective for me to tell the other side how to be. I feel the only way you can influence your relationship to improve is by worrying about YOU! What can YOU do as a wife, what are YOU doing to make things work? I may be taking an unpopular stance for many woman and especially roaring feminists but I say the proof is in the pudding.