Tag Archives: Choose wisely – treat kindly

How to Tell a Prince from a Frog

Finding a guy to be your boyfriend is easy – just go to any bar. What’s more difficult is finding a man who deserves to be your prince.

EVERY woman wants a prince. That doesn’t mean you are dependent on a man or can’t do anything on your own. You can be extremely competent and self-sufficient and still want to be courted.

Here are 10 characteristics of a real prince:

  1. He puts you on a pedestal. He appreciates and respects you. He knows what he has to do to show his love, and he makes darn sure he doesn’t hurt you. If he accidentally hurts you, he doesn’t hesitate to admit his mistake and apologize sincerely. He isn’t verbally or physically ugly towards you.
  2. He is a man of his word. When he says he will do something, he does it. He is loyal and takes full responsibility for his words and actions.
  3. He loves you inside and out. We used to call it “warts and all”. He isn’t just hot for your body. He loves your strengths, nurtures your weaknesses, and thinks your imperfections are cute. He’s tolerant and compassionate.
  4. He is mature. He has a well-established job and a good income, and he makes plans for the future. He doesn’t spend his time playing video games. He’s not lazy and he’s not a workaholic – he is able to balance fun and relaxation with work and productivity.
  5. He is the leader in the relationship. He protects and provides.
  6. He is confident in himself. He’s not desperately trying to change or accommodate to satisfy anyone else’s ridiculous wants or desires.
  7. He is independent. He enjoys his own company, spends time with his own family and friends, and has his own hobbies and activities. He isn’t needy, clingy or jealous. You are the center of his universe, but there are other planets in his solar system.
  8. He is appreciative of you. He notices and praises the little things you do.
  9. He is honest. He admits his mistakes and does everything with good intentions. He communicates and critiques honestly, not cruelly.
  10. He is moral. He has a code of values that he lives by and you can count on.

No woman should tolerate anything less than a prince. And remember, a REAL prince also deserves a REAL princess. So if you do find a prince, don’t nag, whine, complain, or act self-centered or narcissistic.

How to Approach Your Spouse About Marriage Counseling

Many couples think marriage counseling is a forum to voice how mad they are and vent about how big a jerk their spouse is. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Marriage counseling is not about how “I” feel or look, or what “I” want. The goal of marriage counseling is to learn some tools so you can both wake up each day and ask yourselves, “How can I make my spouse happy that they’re alive and married to me?”.

Each one of us comes into a marriage with our own neurotic patterns that we’ve picked up from our childhoods. We tend to follow them blindly or act like our moms and dads expecting a different result.

I remember one young couple who came to see me when I was in private practice. Every time they would have a disagreement, the husband would argue his wife into the ground until he was right. Where did this come from? His father was military, and he was brought up to never back down. He was punished if he said or did anything that wasn’t exactly right. As a result, his brain equated being wrong with not being loved.

Ultimately, we all want to be happy and loved. Here are some signs that counseling could help your marriage, some responses to the common excuses people use to avoid it, and how to approach your spouse about going to counseling together:

It’s not a healthy, happy marriage if:

    • It seems like everyone and everything is more important to your spouse than you (and vice versa).
    • You and your spouse are rehashing the same argument day after month after year.
    • Arguing and fighting are the primary ways you and your spouse connect.
    • You find yourself getting more depressed and miserable as time goes by because your spouse is pulling the emotional rug out from under you.
    • You find yourself increasingly and consistently not liking your spouse anymore.

 

Responses to common excuses:

    • “I don’t have the time to go to counseling.” Well, you’ll have plenty of free time when you’re divorced.
    • “I don’t have the money.” Divorce is going to cost you a whole lot more than a few counseling sessions. In addition, there are programs at your local university for clinical social workers, clinical psychologists, and marriage and family therapists. These students need to put in a number of hours to qualify for a license, and it is usually done by your ability to pay.
    • “I’m worried about my friends and family judging me.” Keep it private.
    • “I’m embarrassed to tell the counselor my problems.” Don’t be. They’ve heard it all (even the weird sexual things). That’s what they’re there for.
    • “Talking to someone isn’t going to help.” Not with that attitude it isn’t. It won’t help if you spend the hour venting, complaining and bitching. If, instead, the session is spent clarifying and learning some skills and strategies that you can practice at home, it will be very helpful.
    • “My spouse refuses to go with me.” Go by yourself. A relationship takes two people. Even if you think your spouse is the one who needs to change, start by changing yourself (unless they are a total sociopath). You’d be amazed at how much someone will change when you do.
    • “Counseling is a sign of weakness.” You are NOT a weak person if you need counseling. It takes a lot of strength to make changes and admit that you need help.

 

How to approach your spouse:

When you approach your spouse about going to counseling, never tell them that you need to go to fix them. That will only be met with defensiveness. Instead say, “I need to learn how to be a better husband/wife, and I would really appreciate it if you would come with me to help me do that.”

Go for one or two sessions. Then talk about whether or not you’re comfortable with it, if you like the therapist, and if anything productive is happening.

How to Have a Happy Marriage

Married couples don’t grow apart – they stop paying attention, showing affection and caring for each other. Most people who get divorced within the first five years of marriage later realize that the split was totally unnecessary.

So, how can you keep your marriage happy? Follow these six tips:

1. Marriage is about giving, not keeping score. There are going to be times when you are making the compromises, and there are going to be times when your spouse is making the compromises. It all evens out eventually. Don’t make your marriage a competition of who does more.

2. There is no marriage without annoyances. Not one. No two people are 100 percent, completely compatible. When you ask older couples what’s the secret to staying together for so many years, one of the things they’ll say is you have to let a lot of things go and ignore what isn’t going to change. You have to stop nitpicking and learn to live with things.

3. Learn which issues can be remedied and which cannot. Not every conflict in a marriage gets resolved. There are always going to be issues with in-laws, children, money, etc. Many people who go into marriage counseling are dissatisfied with the outcome because they think all the problems will be gone forever. Not a chance. The reality is that the small, nitpicky ones are never going to change, and you’re only wasting your breath by getting angry about them. Besides, you knew what you were getting when you were dating this person (That’s why you should date for two years before getting engaged!). If you said, “I do”, you embraced those idiosyncrasies, so leave your spouse alone. You’re better off not trying to change them. Work around the quirks and commit to staying together. Resolving the problems is not what’s really important. What’s important is keeping things positive.  

4. If you are going to fight or argue, make it about the big issues, not the little stupid stuff like socks being left on the floor. Is it really beneath your dignity to pick them up yourself? Jesus was on his hands and knees washing people’s feet.  Keep that image in mind when you think you’re above picking up a pair of socks.

5. For every negative thought, word or action on your part, you need at least FIVE positive ones. Make small gestures and make them often. Always think about repairing the relationship even when it’s not damaged. After all, that’s what our bodies do. Even when we’re not sick or injured, our bodies are constantly replacing dead cells. You’ve got to do the same thing in your marriage except the balance must be even more heavily stacked in repair mode. How do you do that? With humor and affection.

6. See your spouse’s point of view. When you are aggravated with your spouse, take on the role of your spouse’s defense attorney. Maybe they’re exhausted from sitting in traffic after being hounded at work all day. Maybe they’ve had a particularly stressful day with the kids. If you take each other’s side instead of instantly attacking, there’s going to be a lot more peace.

You made vows to cherish your spouse, so cherish them!  Don’t nitpick, blame or constantly criticize. Happily married couples don’t live to fight another day.  By spending most of your time being positive, you’ll feel better, your spouse will feel better, the marriage will be healthier, and the kids will be happier.