You’ve dated around, had a couple of long-term relationships, and hopefully figured out which qualities are important to you and what makes a relationship work. Now you’re faced with the inevitable question, “Am I ready to get married?”
For women, the most important signs are:
- You share similar goals. If you and your guy have different priorities, you’re going to end up being disappointed. For example, a woman called my show the other day complaining that her husband had moved their family 13 times in as many years to satisfy his appetite for wanderlust (which is a HORRIBLE thing for kids). Before you consider marriage, ask yourself and your partner about where you want to live, if you want to have kids, and religious views. Find out what the deal breakers are.
- You don’t want to change him. Similar to buying a dress from the store, when you get married, you take your man “as-is”. Sure, you might be able to tweak him a little bit, but you can’t fundamentally change him. If you don’t accept that, you’re going to end up frustrated and bitchy. You don’t have to adore everything about him, but you do have to make peace with the fact that on Sunday afternoons it’s him and ESPN, and you’re not going to change that.
- You connect on more than just a physical level. A very small percentage of marriage is spent in passionate lovemaking. You need to know that you can have fun together and enjoy each other when your clothes are ON.
- You can see past your wedding day. Many women are bridezillas: They are so focused on their wedding and being the center of the universe in their stunning white gown that they lose sight of their fiancé and the whole concept of marriage.
- You can talk to each other. You know you’re ready to get married when you can talk things out rationally (without yelling or screaming) and not let issues get pushed under the rug without being resolved.
- Everyone you know says your guy is fab. It’s fine if a few family members or friends aren’t huge fans (you can’t please everybody), but if everyone you know hates this guy, they might be on to something. Your family and friends know you, and they can look at the situation objectivity. If they’re reasonably nice people, pay attention to them, otherwise your marriage is going to be a constant acid drip.
Guys, on the other hand, start feeling ready for marriage when the singles scene just doesn’t appeal to them anymore, and they stop wanting to bed hot girls that they can’t have conversations with afterward. Men have biological clocks, but it has nothing to do with making babies. It has to do with being financially stable and settled in their careers. Most college educated men don’t consider marriage as a possibility until at least 26, and they don’t enter a phase of high commitment until the ages of 28-33. Guys who have gone to graduate school hit their commitment peak even later (30-36).
Here are some signs that a guy is NOT ready to get married:
- He’s financially unstable. If a guy is still struggling to pay his bills, he’s not ready to get married or take on the extra burden of a family. In addition, if he buys a very expensive car for himself instead of saving up for a ring or your future, he’s not interested in marriage.
- He won’t commit. If a guy is unable to commit to a job, family or friends, then he can’t be counted on.
- You have to talk him into it. If he says he’s not interested in getting married, don’t try to change his mind – believe him.
- He calls his married friends “losers” or “stupid.” A guy who thinks having a family is cute is much more ready to become a husband and a father.
- He continually makes you cry (and I’m not talking about tears of happiness). If he’s unreliable, abusive, a liar, a cheater, or a flirt, you need to divorce yourself from this relationship BEFORE you’re married.
Above all: use your brain. Don’t get married when you’re in the throes of the early stages of a relationship. Fantasies are not the stuff that long-term relationships are built on.
Parents may have secrets other people know about, but that have not been told to their children. When is it appropriate to tell your child something before someone else ‘lets the cat out of the bag’? Watch:
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Favoritism exists throughout the animal kingdom. Most species nurture the strongest of their offspring, which have the most promise of propagating their genetics into the future. The wussy and wimpy ones, on the other hand, usually get eaten. So when it comes to humans, it makes sense biologically that parents play favorites amongst their children.
Parents are drawn to kids who are more pleasant and affectionate, and less aggressive and deviant. For example, let’s say you have twin babies. One screams 24/7 and the other coos sweetly in your arms. Well guess what? The screaming one is toast.
Parents also tend to feel closer to children of the same gender and personality type, and favor their biological kids over stepchildren. In addition, parents usually have a soft spot for their first- and lastborn (at some point, the first- and lastborn have their parents all to themselves). Generally speaking, it’s the firstborns who get all the perks due to the emotional and physical investment that goes into having the first baby.
Favoritism manifests itself in how much time, affection, privilege, or discipline you give one child compared to another. The problem is that kids who are blatantly disfavored by their parents experience terrible outcomes across the board: more depression, greater aggressiveness, lower self-esteem, and poorer academic performance. On the opposite side of the coin, children who are favored tend to develop a sense of arrogance and entitlement, which makes them terribly disliked by their siblings and totally unprepared for the real world.
So, how can a parent avoid showing favoritism?
1. When one kid is looking for a leg up, pick up everybody’s leg.
The irony is that every kid wants to feel like they’re different and special in their own way. Your job is to do that without making them compete with each other. When one of your kids asks, “Am I the best swimmer in the family?,” respond by saying, “I think you’re the best swimmer, and George is the best baseball player, and Mary is the best painter,” etc. That way, each of your children has the mentality that he or she is the best, but so are their siblings. There’s no favoritism shown because everybody’s the best at something. Try to divvy out your love and affection equally, but continue highlighting each child’s uniqueness.
2. It’s not personal – it’s situational.
- If you have a new baby at home, explain to your older child, “Your brother is a newborn. He can’t roll over or even scratch his butt – he can’t do anything. So for a while, it’s going to look like we’re paying more attention to him, but you can scratch your butt and he can’t.” Your older child will think this is hilarious, and they’ll get the picture (and wait for the day that their brother’s hand reaches behind his back…)
- If one of your children is physically ill or disabled, inevitably there is going to be unequal treatment. Make it clear to your other kids that you are not choosing the disabled child over them, but that their sibling’s condition simply requires more attention. Reassure your other kids that it’s not personal – it’s just situational.
Why is it that when you suggest something to your spouse you get shot down, but when someone else comes up with the exact same idea, your spouse thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread? I’ve got an idea why… Watch:
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Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Scottish novelist and poet
My recipe for a perfect marriage has two ingredients. The first is choosing wisely. When people don’t choose wisely, start grinding out kids, and then call my show, there’s not a lot I can do to help them. The second ingredient is treating kindly. Treating kindly means behaving in a loving way whether you feel like it or not. The fact is, when you act in a loving way, you actually feel more loving.
So, what can you do to keep your spouse happy and feeling loved? You may think saying, “I love you,” every now and then means you’re racking up points, but unless you back it up with actions, your words are empty and hollow. There’s a big difference between words and actions.
Here are some suggestions (remember, these are only suggestions – use your imagination):
- Write a poem. I don’t care whether you know how to rhyme or not, write your spouse a love poem. It doesn’t have to be a work of art, just something short and sweet. It shows that you put in some thought and effort, and that he or she was on your mind. After you write the poem, leave it by their pillow or coffee.
- Surprise them. While your spouse is still at work or out with the kids, put out some candles and cook their favorite meal.
- Do the little things. Do the laundry or the dishes without making a big deal about it or having it seem like it was some heroic effort. Just do it!
- Remember the special times. Guys, listen up: remember her birthday and your anniversaries (your wedding, the first time you kissed, when you first met, etc.). She’ll love that you remembered.
- When you first get together after a long day, take time to just chat. Sit down in your living room or on the porch, have a glass of wine, and say, “Let’s talk about the cool things that happened today.” The first thing a lot of people do when they get home is just bitch about all the crap that happened that day. Who wants to hear that?! You’ve been away from each other for a long time and you’ve both had to deal with difficult things. Don’t sit there dueling about whose day was more difficult. Just clink glasses, rub your toes together, and talk about some good things that happened. Wouldn’t that make for a much more pleasant atmosphere?
- Leave them little notes. Texts are OK, but not a tenth as good as hand-written notes. A hand-written note requires getting out a pen and paper, writing the note, and putting it somewhere. For example, place one in the refrigerator so that when your wife goes for the baby’s bottle, she sees, “You are the best mommy and I love you.”
- Arrange a date night. Find a babysitter: your mom, mother-in-law, sister, aunt, grandparent, etc. For all you men reading this, here’s an idea: When you come home from work, pick up your wife and carry her to the car. Whatever way she’s dressed will tell you what kind of restaurant to go to.
- Take a bath together. Hop in the tub and sit there talking, giggling, and giving each other back and foot rubs.
It doesn’t require a lot of time or brilliant creativity to show your spouse that you love them, but it does take effort. And if you behave in a loving way, it will magnify your own feelings of love because loving actions make us feel loving.
Your mother has always been critical of you. Now she’s doing that to your spouse and child. Want to know what to do? Watch:
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Feminism initially started off as a good thing. A woman with equal ability should have the same opportunities as a man. She shouldn’t be given a leg up or down because of her gender – it should all be based on ability.
However, what feminism evolved into was women hooking up, disdaining men, and deciding not to raise their own children. Women began taking less interest in their homes, husbands, and kids, and what resulted was very destructive to both men and women.
First off, boys started growing up to be “males” instead of “men.” The best thing to ever happen to young males was feminism because it saved them a lot of money paying for whores. With all the hooking up and casual sex that goes on these days, most girls act like whores – they just don’t get paid for it. And what guy wants to lay down his life for some skank who has been with 18 guys? What for? He doesn’t see her as motherhood and apple pie, he sees her as a skank. This is why young males stand by and watch when girls are molested and raped – it’s entertainment to them.
In addition, feminism encouraged mothers to neglect their kids. I think it’s wonderful for a woman to go through medical school and save a lot of lives, but she shouldn’t have kids. We shouldn’t dump kids by the wayside so we can pursue a career. No nanny or day care can take the place of a mother’s arms.
What began as a noble cause has emasculated and effeminized our culture to a disgraceful level. As parents, we need to place more value on teaching kids to be ladies and gentleman again – and fast.