Exacting Opposites!

TIME WILL TELL

There’s a great line in the movie “The Quick and the Dead.” As the bad guys were pursuing their victims, they were being killed off one by one by Sam Elliott’s character. As they determined to continue forward the line goes, “We’re going but, we are going to go real slow, because I ain’t riding in to no head shot.”

Any man attempting to explain what a women wants from a man, needs to proceed with caution. I’m certainly no expert on the subject. I have learned some things and improved my relationship with my wife. This blog is not meant to be exhaustive. I’m simply engaging in conversation. I’m willing to share my experience, data, and some of the opinions shared by others.

It appears, with heavy consensus, men and women often want the same things but, have different ideas about how to get what they want. Even when men and women use the same words they often have different meanings. For instance, when you ask a man what’s wrong and he says nothing, nothing means; leave me alone. But when you ask a woman what’s wrong and she replies; nothing, nothing means you had better figure out what’s wrong and, be quick about it.

There’s a strong argument that men don’t want women to read their minds, with one exception. But, women not only want you to know what they’re thinking, they expect precision and speed.

I like to give watches as gifts because it fits an idea of mine that it’s important to know what time it is. There’s a time for everything. A time to stand your ground and a time to compromise so you have ground to stand on. A time to talk and a time to listen. There’s a time to pay attention and yes, there is a time to ignore. If you can’t tell time it will be difficult to be where you need to be when you need to be there. Women tend to be time keepers and men will be well served to synchronize. Timing is everything!

SELFISHNESS HAS NO HOPE OF EVER BEING SATISFIED

Most of the time what we want from each other is logical, meaningful, and appropriate. Many times our methods are what’s lacking. To stay committed to a strategy that isn’t working is an indicator of the presence of selfishness. When habits fail to produce desired results a change of habit might be in order. Nobility and virtue can not flourish when we insist on getting what we want in only one way. A decision has to be made if you want progress. Which is more important to you; getting what you want or getting it the way you want it?

Many people spend years educating themselves for a career. But one of the most important decisions we make is who we choose for a mate. Too often, more time is spent planning a wedding, than planning a marriage. You can’t just decide to be a surgeon and show up in an operating room without any training. And yet, many of us enter marriage without investing in learning what we need to know to be successful. Pre-op and post-op are there for a reason. If your relationship is ill, and it’s important to you, get a diagnosis, have the surgery and go to rehab.

Women tend to live from the inside out. When their heart is aroused hope is released. They are wired for nurturing. Women are creators of life. They think about taking a man in the womb and incubating him to perfection. Men, on the other hand, are wired to be gatherers, hunters, prone to be finished when they catch the girl. He concludes his work is done when she says, I do. Everybody needs to Wake Up!

The different wiring is designed to be complimentary to each other. Love, like life, is a delicate balance of tension. Stretch it too much and it snaps. Give it too much slack and it’s not functional. Understanding, appreciating, and respecting the different wiring allows for a pleasurable and fulfilling relationship. When we try to rewire one another we have an ongoing battle of the sexes. Men and women are wired for optimum coexistence.

Things like family of origin, societal pressure, and life experiences are often not considered when choosing a mate. Everyone has some baggage, dysfunction, and immaturity they bring into their relationships. Love has the potential to conquer all. But, when we aren’t skillful in the way love works it can easily breakdown and fail. Love is a great feeling but, unless you feel like working to maintain it, that feeling will pass.

STAY IN SCHOOL 

My wife and I will celebrate 35 years of marriage in May. We have much to celebrate. So much to be thankful for. I began more charming than prince. I have made some mistakes that only love and forgiveness could rectify. I am determined to be the man she wants. I’m the romantic in our relationship. I court her. Woo her and continually try to win her. Why catch her once when I can do it again and again? I was not a man, by my own definition, when I married. So, I became one.

I don’t spend any effort trying to change her. I have made myself a student of my wife. I learn her moods, hot buttons, pet peeves,  and emotional needs. I’ve learned her likes and dislikes. I have a grip on interpreting her code words. I wish I could say I do it perfectly. This is an art form not a science. It’s a way of life. I see her as a gift, a treasure, the most valuable part of my life. If I fail here no other success will compensate.

I do dishes, laundry, help with house work, and do much of the cooking. Routinely, not just on special occasions. Tina works out of the house while I work from home. Sharing the load is not some gift I give her but an acceptance of responsibility. I arrived at this point having originated from thinking these things were her job. I’ve simply learned how to make love to my wife when we’re not having sex. Sharing is caring!

Personal growth brought me an understanding of the practical ways in which men and women are affirmed. Men are moved by being praised and women are moved by being heard. So get moving. Why sit hardened in stubborn cement. Since one great fear of men is incompetence, criticism will shut a man down quicker than anything. A man will go round and round before he will ask for directions. Internally, he is fighting incompetence. He doesn’t want to be seen as not knowing where he’s going. It is a wise woman who will employ this insight. A subtle consequence of GPS is the salvation of many marriages.

Something I caught years ago, before my wife worked outside the home, was her need for me to listen to her when I came home from work. I had been out all day slaying the dragon. When I came home I was ready for my man-cave. The last thing I wanted was to talk. She had been home all day collecting all the things she couldn’t wait to talk to me about. This was a point of contention until I was willing to extend my studies.

There’s some debate about actual numbers but it’s generally accepted that women use about 20,000 words a day to a man’s 7,000 words. At about three words in I got what she was saying. I used to get upset when she insisted on continuing to explain. I got it already. I was solving the problem while she was still painting the picture. Will you please just stop talking?

She did not want me to solve the problem. She wanted to be heard. My job is to provide this space for her. My need for recognition of my competence dictated my quick response. I’m a problem solver. Why can’t she see this? Actually, I was creating a problem. I, eventually, found bliss in giving her my undivided attention. No multitasking. Just sitting calming, engaging the woman I love, while she expressed herself. For as long as it takes. I might not even get to offer a solution but, I have prevented a big problem for myself.

Tina is intelligent, intuitive, and wants the right to fix things herself. There might not even be a remedy. She might just need to vent, complain, or get something off her chest. I learned to use the time to admire her. To look deeply into her eyes. To show her I care about whatever is important to her. Her rant might even seem trivial to me, but she’s not. And, I want her to feel how important she is to me. The payoff is this makes me feel competent and her validated!

BEING HAPPY IS BETTER THAN BEING RIGHT 

I discovered a goldmine when I learned that the last word doesn’t always require syllables. Using love as the period to every conflict sustains the melody of the heart. A tender embrace, an assurance of safety, and a willingness to seek mutual resolution is perhaps the pearl of great price. Empathy has endurance. Romance is tied to understanding. Humor works wonders too.

If I win the argument, and I’m rewarded with an iceberg, what have I gained? Nobody crawls into bed with a loser and brags about the good time they had. Who wants leftovers from a fragmented and shattered opponent? Nothing is more distracting than feeling taken for granted, unaffirmed, and obligated. Dousing the object of your affection with a bucket of indifference is certain to cause the wrong kind of sparks. Happy is right in front of us if we will open our hearts to it.

CHECK THAT GREENER GRASS MYTH

If fantasy is greater than reality it’s time to call Houston, for we have a problem. There’s nothing more connecting than agreement. The greatest harmony is found in singularity. Deep fulfillment isn’t possible if the needs of both are not met. Balance is found in equality. When one person is elevated above the other disorientation ensues. If disillusionment sets in we have turned down a dead-end street.

No woman should stay in an abusive relationship and no man should stay an abuser. And vice versa. Love is worth living for – it’s not worth dying for some distorted version. You are worthy of a rich, rewarding, and abundant life. Give it to yourself and you will attract someone who agrees with you. Maybe even the one your with now!

If you know what you want you are ahead in the game. If you know how to get what you want you are remarkable. Giving up before we have exhausted every possible remedy makes us less likely to find what we’re looking for. Apathy tends to define a Blamer. Try being the mate you wish you had. You might just find your mate doing the same thing.

I found some keys to unlock my dysfunction. I share my discoveries in my book. If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness    http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Can You Learn AT The Symphony?

symphony-3I count my blessings every time I get to go on a field trip with my grandson. Helping to keep the natives from getting restless is a small price to pay for the rich experiences of new explorations. Chaperoning second graders in a super city will keep you on your toes. How interested will they be in the symphony?

The music hall is an architectural eye-feast. Stunning in its precision design. You are filled with the engineering thought behind carefully crafted detail to bring out the best in melodic possibilities. Beside the commercial free listening you get to take in rich tones and arrangements offering an intoxicating cocktail of orchestration.

What is my grandson thinking and feeling? He is days away from turning eight. Is there something being birthed inside him. Is the violin, clarinet, or oboe calling his creative juices? Maybe he is captured by the conductor standing on his perch waving his baton. Does he understand the excellence of each member’s contribution? Oh, how I want him to notice everything.

Music will undoubtedly play a role in his life. His entire life! And, there are many choices. From music intended to express anger and revolt to romantic love songs forged to deliver priceless moments. What will he gravitate toward? If we are fortunate he will seek to understand anti-establishment tunes as well as popular feel-good grooves. I will be pleased if he knows where music come from and more importantly, why it has such power.symphony-2

With the backdrop of social unrest, my mind went to work, to take in the bounty, of what was being served by a group dedicated to a dominate and collective purpose. Struck by the intention of individuals coming together to create a feeling for all to breathe in. Any break in continuity would be so noticeable and strike a most unpleasant chord making everyone cringe. The moment was preserved with the skill of dedicated will.

I asked myself, which of these shared hearts were to be feared, and hated? Who was a democrat or republican? Conservative or liberal? Should I single out the horns or string players to despise? Surely making music that offers peace and harmony must have a derogatory section to blame for every ill. But then, in the moment, I realized I was without complaint.

I caught myself in the liberty of the occasion. All I wanted was for my grandson to witness the different and distinctive sounds contributing to a moment that held the power to transfix us all in togetherness. I want nothing less than for him to believe in the symphony of life, love, and peaceful coexistence.symphony-1

I have hope for a shattered world!

I write about my journey from chaos to character in my book: If Only I Had A Dad

http://amzn.to/2lMHJ9t

 

 

 

Got Time For A Heart Attack?

OK! I took time out to have a heart attack.8576195628_0df9f2a68e_z

Don’t cry. On second thought, go ahead and cry. They tell me there’s no visible signs of damage to my heart. I told them they need a machine that will show heart-breaks not just heartaches. My physical organ only tells part of my story. Metaphorically, I have plenty of scar tissue on this ole ticker of mine.

They asked me what I thought caused my heart attack. Having never experienced chest pains or any other symptoms, I told them I had just released a book about a week ago and the sales were so disappointing that it clogged my arteries and sent me to the ER.

They said, that’s probably not the cause. Totally ignoring a possible intangible truth, they launched, into a diatribe on how important it will be to switch to a heart healthy diet, and an exercise regimen. You can see what I’m dealing with here.

I seem to be doing fine even-though, I completely failed in convincing the Dr. to use a different explanation to describe my medical event. Heart Attack, he insisted. You had a heart attack. Other than getting me to take it all seriously I can’t, for the life of me, figure out his resolve. I’m dumbfounded by his stern diagnosis.pexels-photo-41123

Anyway, if you think I’m slow to respond or acting out of sorts, just know I’m waiting for the raw carrots and broccoli to kick in. I expect to be back to myself in no time. Other than making errors, in everyday activities of daily living, I’m determined to return to active duty, fully myself.

Resisting the temptation to over-spiritualize my unwanted and uninvited interruption I can’t turn down the invitation to pay attention to matters of the heart. It does appear that our hearts are prone to unsuspecting combat. If we see ourselves engaged in meaningful work it’s easy to notice that poor diet and lack of extraneous exertion will have a derogatory presence.

Eating a steady diet of fast foods like rejection, unworthiness, and isolation will render us immobile and inactive. We can ignore the need to exercise goodwill, toward ourselves and others, leaving us where prevention is too late and a cure is required. Remember, if you have burned with anger, unforgiveness, and self-loathing it’s never to late to quit smoking. We can all give up fried hatred; self-directed or otherwise.

Energy and good health are necessary to a vibrant life. Giving up is not appealing unless you are headed in the wrong direction, thinking wrong thoughts, or allowing self-defeating attitudes to clog the ever-important circulatory system. Think”heart health!”

My book “If Only I Had A Dad: Finding Freedom From Fatherlessness” is good for what ails us; what ails our hearts. If you have lived with a broken heart, struggled to know who you are, desired more clarity, and would like to know how to treat the high cholesterol chaos running through our collective humanity, give this book a chance.

If my book doesn’t make you cry, laugh, and leave you hopeful email me! I know a good shrink I can refer you to. Just joking; sort of!

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Get the free Companion Workbbook at: ifonlyihadadad.gr8.com