Are You Being Your Bride’s Superhero?

Let me ask you married men a question; do you know your wife’s love language? You know the things you do which show her you really love her? Just saying, “I love you.” isn’t enough, she needs to see something which proves your love as well.

In my home, I’m responsible for taking out the garbage. I see to it all our refuse is put in the trash container and placed by the curb to be picked up on Fridays. If our trash  can is piled high with its contents balancing precariously on top, this bothers my wife. Taking care of this household chore is just one of the many things I do which shows her I love her.

Guys, if you’re like me, you probably worked pretty hard in the beginning when you dated her; pulling out all the stops to impress your girl. If I was a betting man, I’d say you did a lot of crazy things to show her how much you wanted and desired her. The problem is we often stop doing these things after saying, “I do.” Too many men get upset after the wedding because the lovey dovey stuff seems to end and the nagging begins.

When I say nagging what I really mean is, she is telling you the things which bother her. Generally when someone is complaining about something, it’s not so much because they want to make your life miserable but more likely at a deeper level they are really telling you what bugs them.

The best thing would be if we actually just said what we mean, but in my married life I’ve found a lot of times I have to look for clues as to what is meant. It’s probably because she doesn’t want to just nag me as she wants me to find out what it is she needs.

In the movie The Breakup, there is a great scene about this. The couple is arguing about household chores:

Brooke: “I want you to want to do the dishes.”

Gary: “Why would I want to do the dishes?”

And this is the story of married life; the wife wants you to do something and we as men are usually clueless to what she is really saying. You see it wasn’t about him actually doing the dishes as much as his willingness to do them. This willingness to do something is usually at the heart of all disagreements.

Finding out the things my wife likes and doing them and figuring out what she doesn’t like and not doing these makes me out to be the superhero she needs me to be and what man doesn’t want to be his bride’s superhero? And part of this means I’ve got to be looking for the things which show her how much I love her.

This is why I lift the toilet seat and put it back down, why I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher and generally look for things to do which say to her heart, this man of yours really loves you. It’s all about the relationship and I want ours to be the best.

Guys take some time and listen for what your bride is really saying to you. It will take work to be her superhero, but it is doable and in the end worth it.

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Be Polite Jerk!

“Good morning Terry.” I said passing a co-worker one morning. “Yeah.” was his reply.  Seriously? I  wasn’t looking for a deep conversation, and his response to me I felt was just a little rude.  It made me stop and think about my own reactions when greeted by people.  Am I fully present in the moment, or am I just in a hurry to get on with what I was doing at the time, disregarding the heart of the person?

Basic pleasantries and good manners seem to be a thing of the past.  And while I try not to live in the past; the things I learned there should be carried forward into the future.  I remember once walking past a teenage boy at my church, greeting him cordially and sticking out my hand to shake his.  He ignored me, and walked right past me as if I weren’t even there.

I turned around, said his name and called him out about his behavior.  As you can imagine from reading my posts, I can be loud and boisterous at times when I need to be; this was one of those times.  He stopped and as I walked towards him, you could see the fear in his eyes.  I said, “Johan (named changed to protect the innocent) when a man says hello to you and sticks out his hand in greeting, a man should return it and speak back, looking him in the eye.  He nodded meekly, shook my hand and went his way.

It burns my biscuits when people refuse to use the most basic common courtesy.  A simple, “I’m fine, thanks for asking.” would suffice.  Our world would be a better place if everyone would just use a little kindness when addressing others.  I myself have not always been the best at this, but it’s not rocket science and I’m working on it.

What I think it really boils down to is people are self-absorbed.  When they care about themselves more than others, they’re less likely to be polite and nice to people.  I don’t think everyone has to be a “people person”, but everyone can learn the basics so they aren’t social misfits.  Really, how hard is it to say something nice to people?

Years ago I worked in a little shoe store.  There was a beauty shop close by where this sweet little lady worked.  Each day she would walk past my store to get a soda from a vending machine and then stop in and check out the shoes.

One day I had decided I would find something nice to say about everyone I met.  When she stopped in to visit, I complimented her on how nice her hair always looked.  You would have thought I’d given her a million dollars.  She asked, “Do you really think so?” And I replied, “Absolutely.  It’s always so eye catching.”  And it really was; she had really nice hair.  This one little kindness made her day.

Let’s make people’s day – be polite, and say something nice today. Now you know what I think, what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

Dad Your Ringtone Is Too Loud

My cell phone rang out loud and clear, and my excitement grew as I crossed the living room to pick it up.  The ringtone which was playing out loud and strong was The Avengers theme song; this is what I have set as my closest male friends contact ring.  It helps me to screen calls; yeah we all do it and if you haven’t set ringtones for your contacts, maybe you should think about it.

Anyway, as I went to pick it up, I mentioned how without my Otterbox cover on my phone its ring was even louder than normal.  My twenty-one year old daughter made the comment, “Yeah, but dad, it’s SO loud!”  I laughed as I answered the phone and talked to my friend.

In case you’re wondering why I like my ringtone loud, it’s simply because I want to know when someone is calling me.  In this world where almost everyone has a phone in their pocket, I think it’s rude if you don’t answer it.  Most of the time when my kids don’t answer their phone when I call, it’s because they have it on silent or vibrate.

Now I understand the importance of using the silence button.  If I’m at church, the movies or in an important meeting at work, I always put it on vibrate.  But other than when I’m extremely busy, I answer my phone if it rings.

I’ve told my friends and family to call me anytime, but if I don’t answer them it’s because I’m too busy at the moment to take the call, not because I’m ignoring them.  There is another side to this however.  I also tell them if it is an emergency and I don’t answer the first time, to immediately call me back.  If I see someone is calling me back to back then I know it is not just a social call.

I really try and answer the phone whenever I can, but this helps them to understand I am not just blowing them off.  Which is exactly how I feel when I call someone and they don’t pick up.  For instance, when I call my kids and they don’t respond; either by text or answering the phone, my mind can go to dark places quickly, and I have to fight off the fear which tries to take my heart.

Most of the time, they won’t text me back because they’re driving (and this is a good thing) then they forget to respond once they arrive at their destination.  I try not to take it personally, but you know sometimes us dads can go ballistic over the dumbest little things.

So I’ve got a suggestion for you, pick up the phone when it rings and if it’s on silent, don’t leave it that way all the time.  Silence your phone only when it is really important.  So there you have it, my rant for the day. Have a great day, and answer your dang phone!!!