Tag: Husband

Preparing To Become A Husband – 10 Tips For Single Men

Found this great article geared towards men. It seems to be some much-needed and very good advice!

Last week’s article,  Preparing To Become A Wife ““ 10 Tips For Single Women, gave great tips for wives-to-be and inspired me to sit down and write out my thoughts on being a great husband. In no way am I proclaiming perfection in any of these areas, but like any relationship you have to work hard on the positives in order to become an ideal partner.

Prior to my marriage I would’ve never been able to construct a list like this and I hope my experiences can influence someone to develop positive habits prior to saying “I do.”

1.  Develop An Intimate Relationship With God: (as seen on Preparing To Become A Wife ““ 10 Tips For Single Women)
You cannot enter into a successful covenant with a husband wife if you don’t first have one with God. Seek biblical wisdom, study the word, develop a life of prayer and be dedicated to living for God. This will strengthen the marriage covenant when God allows you to walk into that season. A three-cord strand is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12)

2.  Be Faithful:
Being faithful isn’t just restricted to being a “one-woman man.” You have to be faithful in every aspect of your marriage. Be faithful in the way you budget your finances as well as the time you spend with your wife and family. Your wife will always respect you when she’s able to trust you to be faithful to the life that you’re trying to live together.

3.  Plan Together:
Your wife is counting on you to have a realistic vision for the rest of your lives. Your marriage should include goals and a purpose that you two can openly discuss and achieve together. For example, if you two are planning to buy a house, how are you going to do that? To get the ball rolling, try writing down some short-term goals and post them on the fridge. When a goal is achieved you should acknowledge and celebrate it together.

4.Constantly Remix Your Love Language:
Your wife will appreciate your creativity when it comes to showing her how much she means to you. Remember to date your wife and always keep her guessing when it comes to how you show her that you love her. Get clever with the gift giving and remember that even though it’s the thought that counts they can always tell just how much thought went in to a gift.

5.  PDA Is Much More Than Being “Hands-On”:
Express your feelings for your wife in public often. PDA is more than just locking arms or lips at the mall. When you’re around your friends give compliments to your wife, praise her cooking, her outfit, or how proud you are of her recent accomplishment. Use social media to tell your wife and the world how much she means to you. (I love you @lcnurse10).

6.  Be a R.E.A.L. Man:
Realize that you have a responsibility to set the standard of living inside your household.
Earn the right to call yourself a man by displaying Godly standards of headship.
Always put your marriage first.
Love unconditionally and eternally.

7.  Make Sure Your Roots Are Solid:
Having deep roots makes you dependable and gives your wife assurance. Be rooted in your faith, marriage, and job. Your wife should know how dedicated you are. Having deep roots will show that you are committed and reliable even during adversity. The trees that survive a storm are the trees with the deepest roots. As your roots deepen, your branches will grow and you will bear nothing but good fruit.

8.  Adapt To Your New Environment:
When you’re married the adjustment from the single or dating life can be a challenge. You’re going to be spending more time (a lot more) with your wife than with your friends. Leaving your gym shoes in the middle of floor might have been ok at your bachelor pad but with marriage comes new rules on household etiquette. Adapting smoothly into married living will make your wife more comfortable and ease any nervous feelings that she may have. Discuss with your wife on how your household should be run. This will help alleviate future arguments.

9.  Be A Leader:
As a husband it is imperative that you demonstrate the characteristics of a good leader. You must be patient enough to listen, confident enough to decide, and worthy enough of submission. If you don’t have the right answers, seek them out. If you can’t find the right answers, ask for help. Your wife is your helpmate and her opinion and input is just as important as yours. All decisions should not be left up to you alone. Tag-team often on problem solving and decision making with your wife. Be a president and not a dictator.

10.  Pray Out Loud:
Here’s a quick secret: one of the sexiest things you can do is randomly grab your wife by the hand and say, “Let’s pray.” Having a bold prayer life shows your wife that you’re not the end-all-be-all and that though you are the head of the house you still answer to a higher calling. Your willingness to pray out loud will inspire and increase the faith of your entire family.

What tips would you add to the list for single men?  

Cake topper

*Article originally published on Black and Married With Kids.

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Should Relationships Have Year-End Checkups?

My husband has a stack of year-end reviews on his desk—reviews from his bosses, reviews by) his peers, reviews of his staff. And then there’s one from me. What started as a joke between us 10 years ago—over piles of socks left on the floor—has become a yearly tradition: our year-end review as a couple. Performance reviews, for better or worse, have long been a staple of corporate America. Outside the office, I’ve found that they can also open up a whole new way of communicating with family and close friends. And they’re a handy way to air minor grievances.

Several couples I know have their own version of a yearly performance review. One refers to it as the “State of Our Union.” Another takes a more serious approach to what they call their annual “Board of Directors Meeting,” complete with a formal agenda in four sections: personal, professional, philanthropic and spiritual. A couple with adult children makes their review a full-family affair, with a psychologist on hand in case the conversation gets heated. In explaining why he conducts reviews at home, a friend said, “Sometimes I think we’re more honest with people at work than we are with our own family.”

For our own review, my husband and I talk over dinner about our “accomplishments” over the past year as a couple, the “areas for improvement,” the “goals” we want to set for the year ahead and the “next steps” we are going to take to get there. Comments run the gamut from petty complaints, like laundry on the floor, to important goals, like setting time alone as a couple. These reviews force us to focus and reflect on the big picture, to give priority to what’s really important to us in our very busy lives.

Our review generally takes place close to New Year’s Eve, making it a handy New Year’s resolution list, albeit one written by another person. The tone of ours tends to be tongue-in-cheek. For more serious reviewers, a friend suggests adopting what’s called the “hamburger technique.” Structure your review as if it were a hamburger: soft bun to start (ease in with compliments), solid meat (the big criticism), lettuce (room to grow), then finish with another soft bun (more closing compliments).

Our annual review has even grown to include family and close friends. Everyone who has heard about it seems interested in giving it a try, perhaps because there aren’t very many socially acceptable ways to tell friends about the little things that bother you. That’s where the review comes in handy.

When a couple close to us heard about our couple’s review ritual, they requested to be reviewed on the spot—and then turned around and reviewed us, too. Apparently, I’m not so good at keeping my calendar and have canceled on them more times than I should have. They suggested that I turn the scheduling over to my husband, who now books our monthly get-togethers. On the rare occasion that we have to postpone a dinner now, they jokingly—or not so jokingly—say, “Don’t think this won’t come up in your review.”

A friend I’ve known for 20 years was habitually late—really late—to our dinners. Over dinner a couple of years ago, I told her I was giving our friendship a year-end review. She laughed, and I said, “You have always been there for me, and I trust you completely as a friend. I also trust that you’re going to be at least a half-hour late every time we meet.” She nodded, smiled and took the comments in the spirit they were given. And she’s never been late again.

Not everyone is as open to being reviewed. My advice: Know your audience and your boundaries. Drinks with a friend turned into an impromptu, year-end intervention for one woman I know. After a positive start, the “reviewer” launched into a critique of the friend’s boyfriend, citing unsolicited “areas for improvement,” and encouraged her friend to end the relationship. The friendship never recovered. Some feedback is better left unsaid.

In a controversial move, my husband took the initiative last year to write up a review of my mother. That’s right, a review of his mother-in-law. He handed her an envelope on Christmas morning with the words “Year-End Review” plastered in bold across the front. Pale-faced, she opened it—and then started to smile as she read her glowing reviews as a mother and grandmother. Scanning to the bottom, she found an area for improvement: Meatball production down from peak in 2010.

The review worked. We now always have a freezer full of meatballs.

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*This post was originally written by Jennifer Wallace published in the Wall Street Journal.

Things About Marriage I’m Afraid I Won’t Like

Like most women, I think about marriage a lot (probably more than I should) even though I’m not close to getting married yet. And for the most part I think that there are a lot of things about marriage I’ll probably enjoy. However, there are a few things that have me worried –

  • My husband watching me get dressed – I think part of the excitement of dating (at least for me) is that my date gets to see me all dressed up, not dressed down. After hours of primping, polishing, waxing & curling, etc., I would rather him see me once I finish getting dressed. I don’t know any man who enjoys a woman squeezing into her spanx, bending over to paint her toenails, or tweezing her stray eyebrow hairs. Lol! Think of it like buying a car – nobody gets excited about seeing their BMW on the assembly line, all bare & plain. We only like to see it once it’s all put together, shiny & ready to drive off the lot.
  • One bank account – I know, I know, couples should have separate bank accounts. Not to worry, I will definitely do that but what about all the common bills or the vacations that we take together? You see, when I’m dating a guy & we go out for dinner that money comes out of his account and his account only. Going out with a boyfriend does not affect my bank account whatsoever. But when I go out to dinner with my husband, it may come out of his account but it’s still our money. In other words, less money to go on vacation with!
  • Sharing the same bathroom – Going to the bathroom is a time for solitude. Not only do I want to be in the bathroom alone, I don’t want even want to be bothered. Putting on makeup, brushing my teeth, curling my hair or even going to the bathroom are all things best done alone. I can’t imagine having to share that space with anyone else.
  • Signing a new signature – I know this sounds trivial but it’s something a man will never have to think about. I’ve been signing my own name for the 30+ years, so signing a different name for the next 30+ years will take a little getting used to
  • Learning a new family – This will probably be one of the hardest parts of getting married for me. Getting to know a new family, that I may or may not even like, is going to be tough. What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t like them? How do I decide which holidays I want to spend with his family as opposed to my own family? Which of his family members can I trust and which ones will take my side over his (lol)? Gaining acceptance into someone else’s family can be stressful.

I try to ask some of my married friends these questions, but I haven’t gotten any good answers. If you’re married (or have been married), how have you handled these situations?

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Men, Show Me Your Summary Judgment

Just about every woman I know has been hit on by a married man. Myself included. I can’t respect a man who cheats on his wife plus I’m afraid of bad karma. I would hate to have a torrid love affair with someone who is married, only for my husband to do the same thing to me.

Recently a married man connected with me wanting to hang out. I didn’t know that he was married at the time I gave him my phone number, but I think it slipped it out during one of our subsequent conversations. When I asked him outright he said he wasn’t really married. When I pressed the issue, he stated that his divorce just wasn’t final yet. I told him that without a divorce decree in the eyes of God & according to the state of California that means he’s still married. In other words, a separation is equivalent to being married but it does not equate to being divorced. I also told him over & over that I don’t deal with married men but he just didn’t seem to get the point.

But why would a woman want to date a married – albeit separated – man? I know of plenty of women who wouldn’t mind, but I don’t get why. I mean, wouldn’t they still be considered an adulteress? Or is it considered okay because the man has already left his wife (noticed I said “left” her, not yet “divorced” her).  Remember, legally adultery includes men who are separated. Reconciliation accounts for about 20% of all separations* and messing with a married man diminishes these chances. That’s like me spending my dad’s life insurance money because he’s been told he has a 20% chance to live. Just because a man has chosen to walk away from his marriage doesn’t mean you have to play a part in him staying away from his marriage.

According to the latest research the majority of couples who separate end up getting divorced (that’s a no brainer, right?). But what about the couples that actually work things out during their separation and get back together – that 20% I talked about? What if one of the married men that have asked me out falls into this category? I don’t want to get emotionally invested in a man only to find out that he’s going back to his wife. Not to mention that men who are in the middle of a divorce are not emotionally available, let alone ready to get into a serious relationship right away. That’s like going from the “frying pan to the fire” and what man wants to get involved while they’re still involved with their own marriage?  These are just some of the reasons why I can’t get involved with married men.

So married men before you hit on me show me your judgment, please!

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*Source: www.usatoday.com

Men, I Need A Guinea Pig

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A couple of nights ago my Dad was in town so I made my first peach cobbler. It turned out alright – I used fresh peaches and didn’t cook them 1st before putting them in the cobbler so they weren’t quite ripe even after cooking for 45 minutes in the oven – Oopps! Oh well, I definitely know what to do better next time but the whole experience got me to thinking: How can I improve my cooking skills without someone to cook for?

While I don’t love to cook, it’s certainly something I want to get better at just in case (wink wink!). An area I really need to work on is my baking skills because I’m not good with desserts. I don’t have a sweet tooth so learning how to make good homemade desserts has never been important to me.

Without a significant other in my life there aren’t too many people around that I can call to come taste my home cooking. I’m certainly not going to bake a cake from scratch & eat it all by myself! (Although it was suggested that I can freeze it for later, but I prefer not to; thawed out cake is not all that good) So how am I supposed to practice? I don’t go to too many potlucks & my girlfriends and I usually eat out so I can’t really rely on them either for practice. I need a guinea pig…..a taste tester, if you will.  I need someone with a healthy appetite so I can try some new recipes.

The mother of one of my ex-boyfriends can cook anyone under the table – she IS just that good. I remember thinking she must’ve learned when she was single or while she was growing up, you know her mother probably passed down some family recipes to her. But she told me that she didn’t learn how to cook until after she got married. I was so surprised! She went on to say that when she was single there was no need for her to cook that much but because her husband was old school she had to learn how to cook soon after she got married. Of course, once they started a family she really learned how to throw down in the kitchen but it took years & years of cooking to learn how to get food “just right”.  Even though my exes mother is from the South and pretty traditional, she understands why young women today don’t really know how to cook. It just isn’t necessary until you have someone to cook for, especially if you don’t have someone you love that you can cook for.

But you gotta start somewhere. I am a decent cook; I just want to expand my repertoire. I want to learn more while I have the chance to “mess things up”. I do have plenty of male friends that don’t get home cooked meals very often, so I guess I can start practicing on them.

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Shouldn’t My Future Mother-In-Law Kiss Up To Me?

Sometimes I think about what my mother-in-law will be like. Will she & I get along? Will I like her? Will I call her “mom” or by another name? (Hopefully not something that rhymes with witch) Will she teach me the family recipes or back me up when she knows that her son & I have been arguing? Will she be proud to call me her daughter-in-law? Will she & I hang out together and talk often? Or will I despise her and complain to my girlfriends about her? Maybe I’ll dread the holidays when & if I come to visit. Maybe she and I will be complete opposites or worse yet, she’ll think I’m not good enough for her precious son. Whatever the case may be I know that once I get married, I’ll have to deal with (or put up with) not only his entire family but also his mother.

Of course, if my mother-in-law (MIL for short) & I don’t get along I would think that it would greatly affect my relationship with my husband, especially if he’s close to his mother. I wouldn’t want him to be stuck in the middle but that just may end up being the case. Who should a husband side with – his mother or his wife? I say his wife, because according to the Bible, “…shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” (Gen 2:24) Plus we all know the saying: Happy wife = Happy life. Not to mention as his wife I am the one that is committing to him for the remainder of my life, sticking by his side through sickness, times of poverty, bearing & raising his children and will be there for him when he puts his mother in the grave. Yes, that’s morbid I know but that’s all a part of being a wife. So with that said, if I happen to have a MIL that I don’t get along with wouldn’t it be in her best interest to make a special effort to get along with me?

Just think about – if I knew that someone had the power of possibly putting me in a senior home once I got older or letting me move in with them instead, I would try my best to be on that person’s good side. If I knew that someone else was largely responsible for my child’s happiness and my grandchildren’s wellbeing, I would do everything in my power to build a good relationship with that person, especially being as the elder. Sure, there needs to be mutual respect between me & my MIL, and deference on my end since this is the woman that created the man I love & have pledged my life to be with. But don’t think that just because I tolerate you that I like you because those are two totally different feelings.

Until I get married or have children of my own that one day get married, I won’t know what it’s like to have a mother-in-law or to be one. Hopefully I’ll have a good relationship with my own mother-in-law but if not, I may have to prepare to not have a relationship with her at all.

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