Letter from Dr. Laura’s Listener on Envy

Dear Dr. Laura,

I think your topic about comparing yourself to others is great. I think we all do it, and it’s very difficult to avoid. It can certainly be destructive. Envy is not one of the deadly sins for no reason. Coveting other people’s spouses or possessions has certainly led to the downfall of many. I am constantly on the watch for that type of thing in my life. I don’t want to fall into that trap.

I do think there can be a positive side of this. If you know someone who has something great going for them, it’s natural to compare yourself. But if you’re coming up short, being envious and petty is not how to handle it. If you can figure out what they are doing which caused them to have such a great situation, you can earn that for yourself.

I get told all the time it’s unfair to judge the marriages of the people around me as compared to mine. To a certain extent that is true. But sometimes that statement annoys me. My husband and I are an unusually good match. I think it’s rare to find a partner who clicks as well as my husband and I do.

The thing is, I am as female as the next woman. There are days where I want to be snotty just because I feel like it. The difference is I choose not to do it (and when I do, I apologize and try to avoid it in the future). We don’t agree on everything, and we have habits that annoy each other. The difference between my marriage, and the marriage of many of my friends, is we CHOOSE NOT TO FIGHT. It’s a choice every single day that we are not going to make each other’s lives hell for the sake of saying we “won”. When you alienate your spouse, you didn’t win any damn thing, in fact, you lost more than your spouse did.

Instead of saying my husband and I are unnaturally in sync with each other, if more people asked “How do you guys get along so well?” – they would see how they too could get along. When I find someone with an attribute I admire, I do compare myself. When I come up short, as I often do, I try to figure out what they are doing that gave them the attribute. Then I do the WORK to earn the right to call that quality mine. None of the people we look up to got where they are without work. They all had to decide what they wanted to be and work hard to get there. The only good reason to ever compare ourselves to someone, is when we are willing to do the work to change ourselves for the better. Otherwise, it’s just a form of torture.



I love this letter, it’s what I’ve been saying for years about how actively pursuing an excellent marriage gives you a much greater likelihood of achieving an excellent marriage!  It’s always bothered me that friends or family would say we are just well-matched.  Yes, I guess it’s true, BUT I’m a lot like this letter writer in that I just don’t fight with him about ridiculous things (that other people complain publicly about with their spouses).

My husband and I have been married for over 12 years now, and even through the different trials of life, the years have been astonishingly easy together. We’ve had what I would describe as an unusually blissful marriage. Whenever I mention our past trials, I always feel like I need to qualify that statement with explanation that they weren’t major things inside our relationship that drove us apart from each other, or anything resembling ugly fighting between us. These were difficult and profound outside trials (things like being extremely poor in our early years,  getting married in college and working multiple jobs (managing a good marriage in the midst of graduating and working)…  having a premature baby (no one seems to understand how hard that is, until it happens to them personally), managing hostile family members, postpartum depression, etc.). Nothing dramatic between us, but rather things that we faced together.

What has always surprised me has been knowing other couples who went through similar trials, and ended up divorcing because of them.  What drove us together we’re the same things that drove them apart.

When reading this letter, it’s easy to look back on those hard times and see why we fared so well – we didn’t incessantly attack each other… which would have made our trials infinitely harder.

Our love for each other and willingness to make each other’s lives easier, has thankfully saved our marriage, and made us a much stronger couple in order to face the outside forces we have, and still retain marital happiness.  We have a playful happiness coupled with a deep joy that we truly are together in this world as a team.  And we make such a great team! ❤

If you’re reading this and coming from the other side (and wanting a better relationship), maybe try to look at your spouse as you would a best friend and lover – someone who was meant to be by your side through everything.  Perspective and gratitude solves a lot of problems, especially the immaturity of making mountains out of molehills 😉


My Husband Isn’t Worthy of My Desire, Respect, Trust or Kindness

Wife angry

I received an email from a woman in her mid 30’s wondering how one can honestly desire, respect, trust or be kind to a husband that “doesn’t deserve it.”  In her own words, her husband isn’t “worthy” of her desire, respect, trust, or even kindness, that “the real problem is that this advice (my blog’s advice) is EASY to follow when you are married to a great guy and you haven’t ever had any hardships or resentments or relationship issues.”  That if you manage to get engaged early, marry the perfect man, have a dream proposal, etc. that you won’t have to work hard, or put any effort in at all, to have a good marriage.

This is based on the societal lie that the only people who have good marriages are the ones who got lucky in their picking, the stars aligned and behold, they acquired their “unicorn,” or mythical creature of perfection in marriage.  It is also based on the societal lie that women can treat their husbands “like crap” (her words), and still expect to somehow create a beautiful marriage, or at the very least, be angry or annoyed at someone (like me) suggesting that they should treat their husbands with respect, desire, trust and kindness if they want to have a good marriage.

Abuse, adultery, and alcoholism are things that ruin a marriage, and no, this woman’s husband was not guilty of any of those things.  He was simply an imperfect man who failed to meet her high expectations of carrying out a fantasy and dream romance.  She said in her email that she knew she carried some intense anger and resentment from the engagement into the marriage… and it was still there, 7 years later.  Because he messed up at the beginning, one time, she decided to make the rest of the 7 years full of anger and resentment.

For any wife reading this, let me give you some of the encouragement that I gave to this woman.

You need to let go of any grudges or resentment or anger you have toward your husband.

We are all human.  People make mistakes, your husband makes mistakes, and most importantly, you make mistakes.  If we as wives cannot learn to forgive and look beyond the mistakes that our husbands make, we are going to be miserable, terrible wives, and mothers who choose to live as an unhealthy role model to everyone around us.

If something happened in the past, choose to forgive, move on and let it go.  Never use old hurts or disappointments as ammunition to throw at your husband in the heat of an argument.  And never use past decisions to destroy the future of your marriage!  There is an interesting article at The Rational Male talking about a woman who never respected her husband in the first place, and when the time was right (several years into the marriage) decided to try her hand at attracting other men to get back at her husband for failing her several years before.

Marriage takes work

Your marriage is designed to make you grow and mature.  No, seriously, it’s how God designed it!  Living together with another person of the opposite sex, learning how to communicate in a healthy, adult way.  Learning how to be unselfish after a whole lifetime of putting yourself first enough to try to think about what he may want or need from you.  It is hard, but it is wonderful growth if you embrace it!

Part of the feminist society that we find ourselves living in tells women that they don’t have to work to have a good marriage, that being a “good wife,” that freely gives her husband a fulfilling and passionate sex life – that wants to please her husband – is degrading or beneath her position as a strong woman.  Cooking for her family is beneath her, instead women now take pride in never taking the time to learn to cook a simple meal.  Keeping a clean house is oppressive… who has time for that drudgery?  Nevermind that children need and crave a peaceful, stable, organized, reasonably clean place to come home to and be nourished in.  Loving her children and serving her family in these ways are outdated, and were oppressive for the women in the 1950’s era.  Women who still do them are backwards, old-fashioned, or at worst, doormats to be so submissive to their husbands.  These are the real, feminist lies we live in, and they do not promote self-less care and love for others, but they do promote selfishness.

So what we end up with is the ugly realities of a reoccurring feminist ideology that women should not have to do anything for men, except to show up, and then expect to be catered to for being female.

Instead of feeling entitled to a dream romance or the perfect marriage, we as wives need to be ensuring that we live and create our dream romance, by making an effort to be romantic with our husbands. By romancing him first if need be.  Not by complaining that he isn’t worth our efforts to begin with.

If your husband is the typical, normal husband who works for his family, providing for them, being a dad to your kids, the men that I see all around me whenever I go out, believe me, he does deserve your respect, love, desire, compassion, kindness, faithfulness, and gentleness.

I challenged this woman to try to emulate these beautiful characteristics into her character, and she turned it down, still adamantly assuring me that my husband must be perfect and hers just wasn’t, and although she felt sad about it, that he just wasn’t the man she wanted him to be, and should never have married him in the first place.

Dear wives out there, take my challenge.  If you want a good, healthy marriage, you absolutely need to give him respect, and be nice, kind and compassionate – you need to give him a healthy passionate fun and loving sex life!

Try these things for a month and see if it doesn’t make a difference, I’ll bet it changes everything.

When Changes In a Spouse Can Lead to Divorce

I understand that many Christians (or religious people) think that divorce isn’t an option, that because Christ never said it was ok to divorce (except for marital unfaithfulness) in even dire circumstances, that He truly meant that divorce was never an option.  That leaving a marriage was never a valid decision.

Yes, I believe marriage is sacred, and the Bible clearly states that God hates divorce because that is not how marriage was intended to be – the pain, devastation, and trauma of a divorce isn’t something that we were meant to go through.  But I also understand how different circumstances can make marriage a living nightmare, and how fixing the problems are not always possible when one or both spouses refuse to work together with each other to solve the issues.  One of these circumstances would be when a spouse changes in such a way as to greatly undermine the stability of their marriage.

I genuinely love reading Matt Walsh’s blog, he states things that most people are too politically correct to say, and fearlessly is dedicated to finding and exposing the basic truths of confusing situations.  A post from a month or two ago was concerning marriage, with him disclosing a conversation he had with a man concerning divorce happening simply because people change.  Walsh, as usual, took an assertive position against this being a valid or even credible argument for divorce, he mocked and degraded the man’s simple excuse and compared the issue to his own marriage to his beautiful, loving wife.  To him, change, no matter how detrimental, was just a part of life – something that has to be dealt with in a marriage, and not a cause for marital demise.

I’m not trying to call him out really, many people can be very vehement when it comes to certain topics that they feel they understand everything there is to know about them – I’ve certainly missed the bigger picture when being too passionate or assertive in what I saw as right or correct – to the degree of losing some critical aspect of wisdom that involves humility in admitting that maybe there is an exception.

It is naïve to think that people don’t sometimes change in ways that are extremely negative to a marriage.  I can think of various examples where the change of one spouse is incredibly – undeniably unfair to the other… because they didn’t know beforehand that their partner would act/think/behave this way.  They end up being trapped in a betrayed position of having to stay married to someone who isn’t the same person they thoughtfully, deliberately, and maybe even prayerfully chose to marry.

When you marry, you are marrying for yourself (yes, it sounds selfish – but even the Bible says that you must love yourself… “Love your neighbor, as you love yourself.”), and you also marry for the other person, your future children, and extended family even.  Marriage is a partnership where you make promises to each other to fulfill each other’s needs emotionally, and it’s also understood that you fulfill each other’s needs physically.

Every marriage is different and unique, and this is in no way trying to make wide judgments on what is or is not unfair changes, there are things I have left out (emotional or psychological issues that a spouse refuses to treat, or a husband refusing to work to provide for the family, etc.).  These are simply a few of the major examples in which change can greatly undermine a marriage.

RELIGIOUS CHANGES can be hard, my husband and I were different denominations of Christianity when we were first dating, he was Catholic and I was Prostestant.  Many people didn’t understand why we would date each other, and it could’ve been a real wedge in our marriage if we had stayed in different denominations.  We were constantly talking about the differences though, and debated back and forth on what the Bible actually said.  He eventually came to see that he really didn’t believe in a majority of what the Catholic church teaches as “Truth,” and decided to look for a protestant church he agreed more with.  In truth, he didn’t even know much of what his denomination taught on different topics until we talked about them together, because his family hadn’t had open discussions about their religion and why they believe what they say they believe.

When a person suddenly changes to a different religion once they are already in marriage, however, it is incredibly unfair to the other spouse (no matter even if I agree that they changed to a good religion, the change is still difficult and unfair to the spouse who couldn’t have predicted it would happen).  This kind of change, depending on how much the couple lets it affect their life and decision-making (even concerning finances), can cause disagreements and fights that drive a wedge to truly destroy a marriage.  When kids are involved, it becomes even harder, as the parents most likely won’t agree on which religion to teach to their children.  Religion is usually something people are very passionate about, making it hard for them to think clearly as to what is fair concerning the spouse who didn’t agree to marry someone of that religion.

Again… extremely unfair to the spouse who didn’t know their chosen partner would suddenly change.  The best thing to do in this situation, in my opinion, would be for the spouse who changed to be extremely understanding and delicate towards the other, they are the one disadvantaged here.  They need to allow all decisions (even concerning their children) to be worked through together – which means they won’t get their way all the time – even though they feel they are in the right.  The only other option, that many Christians will disagree with, is to divorce.


SEXUAL CHANGES I think, are probably the most common kind of change that occurs in a marriage, with usually one spouse deciding that they don’t like or need sex anymore, and refusing to try to fix the problem because it would inconvenience them to be told that they have an obligation to meet their spouse’s sexual needs.  There are even marriages where a wife (although it can be the other way as well) tells her husband to have a mistress, and to be ok with allowing someone else to meet his needs in that way.  I was listening to Dennis Prager, a Jewish radio talk show host, (and the inspiration for this post), when he pointed out that the U.S. is practically the only country or culture who looks down on this kind of behavior, that in most other countries, having mistresses is a normal (acceptable if kept quiet) thing.  Obviously, if you’re Christian, you know this is not the way God intended for marriage to be.  Monogamy can be wonderful if you have a spouse who understands what they’ve committed to, and is able to maintain a healthy sex life in your marriage.  Or monogamy can mean a life sentence of sexual frustration, or even celibacy!  Either way, when one spouse changes in this way, it is incredibly unfair to the other, and usually leads to affairs and divorce.  The best thing to do in this situation is to try to convince the spouse to go to counseling to save the marriage, to understand what marriage even means.  Most times, the spouse who loses sexual interest doesn’t understand how much it truly affects the other.  Counseling can sometimes open their eyes so to speak, however, there are many times that even counseling doesn’t prompt the spouse to change, and the other is left with a lifetime of misery and frustration – or choosing to divorce and find someone who cares about their needs.


PERSONALITY/BEHAVIORAL CHANGES are equally as difficult, when one spouse becomes addicted to gambling, over-spending money, drugs, alcohol, or porn; or they acquire a hostile attitude and personality, constantly degrading their partner, it is again, extremely unfair to the one who hasn’t changed.  These are self-explanatory, and rarely do these kinds of problems ever fix themselves without major intervention – and willingness to correct the behavior on the part of the person who changed.  The best thing in this situation is to try to convince the spouse who changed to seek marital counseling in order to save the marriage – its not uncommon for the offending partner to refuse counseling, unable to admit that their problem is hurting the marriage.  Again, sometimes the other spouse is left with decision to either stay with a changed, unwilling to fix their issues-partner, or decide to divorce.


I understand that many people probably won’t agree with my perspective on these things – they will still vehemently and passionately, like Walsh, think that everyone changes and that change is just a part of life and living your life with another person… “so just deal with it!”  I just can’t help but have compassion for men and women who find themselves in these (and other) horrible situations, however… it truly isn’t fair, they weren’t allowed a say in their spouse’s change of religion/addiction/personality/behavior, etc. and so I find it incredibly hard to judge them for choosing the path of divorce.

It’s a less judgmental, more sympathetic view of life and people.



(Side note: I’m not covering abusive situations, if you are in an abusive relationship, please seek professional help immediately!  Abuse is not one of the debatable points of a “person changing,” the safest thing is to call the police, get to a safe place, and seek professional counseling to understand why you were in an abusive relationship).


Couples That Play Together… Stay Together


In our first year of marriage, we had a beautiful new LifeTime gym opening very close to where we lived, we both loved being active and so we thought it would be fun to workout together… and being the sparkly newly-weds in love that we were, we got our gym membership before it even opened.

I remember we would almost use it as a date-time escape, normal people sweating on their treadmills would look at us & probably think we were having way too much fun – or just too much in love.  I remember hearing that couples who play together, stay together, but it was just too wonderful of a feeling, having a hobby or playful fun with your hubby, to put into just a little tagline.

After we’d had our membership for a couple of months, we discovered that they routinely left the basketball gym open in the mornings, and it was so early that most people didn’t have time to use it.  It was just too tempting – we would play a one-on-one game, teasing each other, competing, and flirting the entire time.  Sometimes, my husband would use this time to try to help me shoot better – and it worked!  He really taught me how to shoot!

The romance of playing together like that, being physical and breaking a sweat together, teasing and flirting, it all grows you closer together in your marriage.  Like two plants whose roots are planted together, the more you nurture them in their “relationship,” the better they’ll grow, their growth being stronger because it’s together.

After awhile, I went back into school and our schedules changed so that we couldn’t work out regularly in the mornings together anymore, we still fit in some extra time in the evening or on the weekends to use the pools or squeeze in a missed workout, but our daily workouts together were gone.

Working out alone was all great and healthy, but it was really sad after having such a great partner to laugh with, and make the time go by so much faster.

I really can’t stress how much more fun it is to workout with your spouse.  Now we have to purposely find different hobbies or interests that we can participate in now that we have a child.  We’ve been thinking about getting a gym membership again (they do have childcare for young children)…  maybe those basketball courts will be waiting. 😉

Single Women: Have Character

A repair man named Daniel came over yesterday to fix our sink and electrical mysteries at our house.  Just a few weeks ago, he had brought us a new stove as our old one had gone out finally… that and our landlord really likes us.  It’s great having a repair guy you trust and can have a lengthy conversation with, I always come away feeling like I’ve learned or been reminded of another important life lesson.

Daniel is in his 50’s and is recently divorced from his wife of 21 years.  The day after Christmas (after he spent around $4,000 on new kitchen appliances for her gifts), she told him she was leaving.  Their entire marriage they’d had problems, they weren’t Christian, and for 19 of the 21 years he said she constantly rejected him.  He said all these years he never really saw her for what she was… he loved her, spoiled her (buying her new cars), and was the romantic type of guy that would actually write love letters to her, which she would take to work and throw on a desk for her women coworkers to read and make fun of him (he walked in on this scene one day while he was bringing her flowers).

Can you believe it?

When their kids were grown, he wanted to work on their getting out of debt so that they could travel the states in an RV or go on long vacations… he had it worked out that it would only take a year to get 90% out of debt.  His wife liked the idea at first, but then decided that she couldn’t live within their means and went as far to tell him that she couldn’t live with him managing their money responsibly – she wanted to have her expensive lifestyle, even if that meant going into debt.

He’s doing better now, happy even, and seeing a beautiful woman a little older than me….  What amazes me is that he stayed under his wife’s spell thinking she was wonderful, when for so many years she really treated him horribly.  Only in retrospect was he able to see it.  Men in the Manosphere (internet collection of men who blog on these issues) call this having “Wife Goggles,” where one thinks their wife is perfect, no matter how ugly she is on the inside.

He told me that women like me, and like the one he’s currently seeing, are beyond attractive, why?  For one thing, he can tell they love their children – he’s been over twice now during dinner and watched me with my son at one of my favorite times of the evening – the time we get to eat!  His wife never cared about her children in a very deep way – he said he only realized this after the divorce was in procedure and his grown children told him how they really felt about their mother and their childhood.  She resented having children, she treated them more like an obligation rather than the treasures they are.  She never got down on the floor and painted with them, never gave them the kind of attention he said he sees me give my son.  He told me he realized it was selfishness, she was always thinking of herself instead of the people she should’ve been loving around her.

Seeing a woman with character is beyond attractive to men.  You might say this only applies to men like him – older, who have had a bad one to recognize a good one – but that isn’t completely true.  My husband’s main attraction to me when he was only 21, was that I was open with him, kind-hearted to everyone, yet also had beauty – he constantly told me that those things altogether are extremely rare to find.  He was alluding to the belief that a beautiful woman is usually spoiled rotten, and in no way going to be a loving, caring, unselfish partner and wife… I’ve always thought this was false, but maybe I was wrong.  There are so many men in his age-range and even below that are going through his very same circumstance of suddenly finding themselves single, with their wife-goggles in the trash can.

I wished him well and thanked him for his wonderful words and insight.  It really is great to have an awesome repair man.

Last words: it really is a beautiful thing, that no matter what you’re like right now, you can work to have character.  Character is a choice… and it’s wonderful that it’s never too late to change – for yourself and for others.  Single women, have character, be that wonderful woman that makes her family and husband SO GLAD they have her.

22 The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this.”


Quote from the Bible, Galations 5:22-23, The Voice translation

Men Don’t Just Want More Sex… They Want to Feel Full

Sex is intoxicating… but it is also the most misunderstood aspect of a marriage.  Most people think that a man’s general complaint is that he wants more sex, when in reality, he really wants (and needs) the most fulfilling, emotionally binding, exciting kind of sexual fulfillment… he just may not even know it.

Men crave not just sex, but a deeper emotional connection with their wives that comes from their wife actually enjoying sex with him, verbally expressing how much she craves him, and the thrill of fulfilling each other’s fantasies in the safe environment of their marriage relationship.

When a woman merely gives-in to fulfill her wifely duties or even passively tolerates a normal sex life with her husband, she is slowly killing him inside (and the passion in their marriage).  Men are much more emotionally in-tune than society generally gives them credit for, they want connection – they want that passionate sex that true lovers have.

Often if men aren’t getting this kind of sexual fulfillment from their wives, they look elsewhere outside the home… it’s honestly natural (even if it is immoral).  If their wife is prudish, always wanting the same kind of sex, or thinking about her to-do list while he’s on top of her, the man is going to feel it!  Husbands want an engaged wife – a wife that’s not afraid to let him know what feels good – or great to her!  He wants his wife to feel in-tune with her sensuality and confident enough to even make sounds if he’s really getting it right.

The last thing a man wants is lots of sex without quality over the emotional connection that comes from really great sex.

Throughout history men have always sought out prostitutes and extra marital sex.  Even today men continue to seek out skilled prostitutes (who know how to really act like they enjoy sex with their customers), strippers, phone sex (men really do love when you use your voice during sex), and the bustling online porn industry so that they can try to sate this need for their sexual fulfillment.  In my experience, most men would give up all of that to have a great sex life with their spouse; they are usually driven to these other options by being married to a woman who doesn’t understand (or sometimes even care about) their need for sexual fulfillment.

So… Surprise Him

Men love for their wife to surprise them by coming-on to them, when a wife initiates her desire like this… or throws him for a loop with a Sex-On-The-Spot kind of action, it momentarily makes him forget altogether the stresses of his job, or any other frustration he is having.  Adding variety to when, where, and how a couple has sex is incredibly fulfilling to a man (and the woman)!

Since I could literally write like 5 books on this one topic, I’m going to stop and give some ideas so that the post isn’t ridiculously long:

  • Surprise your husband with an out of the ordinary sexual experience – either the moment he comes home from work, middle of the night sex, or morning sex if those things are irregular for you


  • Play a game of strip poker – make sure you wear the best lingerie you have!


  • If you live in the country (secluded area) or have your own private swimming pool or Jacuzzi, try having sex outdoors (in privacy)


  • Let your husband know you want him by using some kind of code in the morning that there will be lots of action later when he gets home


  • Try setting up your morning routines (or evening routines) so that you take showers together sometimes… this is so sensual and gives your husband the mental images of water running over your naked body for days afterward!


Whatever you do, have fun and understand that he doesn’t just want more sex… he wants to feel full.

When Love is Real & When Love Dies

I’m a romantic at heart.  I love to see people find each other, to see a good relationship, or to see a marriage that I look up to.  The problem with my romanticizing is that its not a viewpoint that always lines up with reality.

Although we want to think that love is easy, or is a mere feeling, or even a strong passion between lovers, it seems clear to anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship – and especially marriage – that love is most definitely a choice.  Scott Peck, author of the Road Less Traveled, has said that he believes true love doesn’t even start until a couple is out of the honeymoon phase of their relationship, and he didn’t mean their actual honeymoon.  Really loving someone happens when you choose to do things in their best interest, even when you don’t feel like it necessarily.

I’m not saying that the feelings of love totally die after a certain time point in a long-term relationship such as a marriage, but the high that comes from a new relationship (and infatuation) wears off eventually, and that is when it’s up to the couple to learn to really love.

Being the romantic at heart, I can even romanticize this real love (this takes skill)!  When the infatuation period is over, and those feelings of a natural high are mostly gone from day-to-day, it’s romantic to me to make choices that lead to a strong, real love.  Maybe I can romanticize anything… I’m sure many of you don’t think it’s romantic to be in a marriage and have to do the work of learning to truly love, I know when I was a girl growing up, this was the most unromantic thing I’d ever heard.  I actually thought Scott Peck was wrong – or at least, I hoped he was wrong.

Now I know that loving someone truly is about the most romantic thing you can do.  Real love creates a strong and passionate marriage.


Falling Out of Love

Doing the necessary work to achieve this real love prevents a marriage from dying.  When people have affairs, they do it because they are either a sociopath or because something is usually missing from their marriage – a need is not being met in a very real way.  Does it excuse it?  No… but I feel for people who make this horrible mistake.  The affair partner is a fantasy… it’s infatuation and addiction, never at the beginning is it real love.

It’s after the infatuation period wears off that the slow & downward spiral of falling out of love with each other can happen.  Truly loving your spouse means that you take care of each other’s deepest needs… needs for security, conversation, sex, and companionship just to name a few.  When these needs go unmet, the couple is shirking their responsibility to really love each other, and leading the door wide open to the vulnerability of an affair.  It’s like emotionally or physically starving your partner to death.

The amazing thing is that when you do make those choices to meet each other’s needs and build a real, strong love together, you change.  You might not have that intense feeling of infatuation all the time, but the trust and security that you feel from knowing how much you both care about each other leads to immense passion.

It’s intoxicating to be married to someone who cares so deeply about your well-being and emotional needs – it creates the deepest love which to me, translates to an even deeper passion.

Beauty of the Simple Life


The simple pleasures in life are like Heaven to me.  Drinking coffee with my favorite creamer, snuggled up on the loveseat with a throw blanket, with a candle burning on the coffee table, reading God’s word and drinking in the peaceful silence of the house before anyone else is up.  Playing beautiful music in the background as we go along our day, going outside and enjoying the beautiful weather… really feeling it on your skin.  Smelling the smells of grass and dirt as you tend the garden or water the grass; the beauty of planting flowers.  The powerful beauty of cooking at home, delicious tasting food.  Beauty affects all the senses.

There is so much joy to be found in the simple things in life.

It’s good to surround yourself in beauty.  This is not saying that you need to buy expensive things to fill your wardrobe or house with – it’s painful for me to spend money (really), so while I go frequently to places where such beautiful expensive items exist, it is merely to get new ideas, to awaken my soul of what could be created.  It’s like viewing art.

If you don’t have what you would think of as beautiful things, create them – don’t let your own ideas and expectations of what beauty should look like intimidate you.  Just go with it – use whatever you have, with confidence. 

I once heard a Rabbi say: You don’t have all you want, but you might have exactly what you need.  Use what God’s given you – your humor, your heart, your talents, and create… reach out to others… go beyond the boundaries of your soul.  In creating, you’re giving back to the Giver of all good things, it is the most beautiful form of graciousness to take what you’ve been given and in gratitude, make beauty from it.

Enjoy the simple things, and don’t be afraid to create beauty wherever you go.

Divorced Difference: Men vs. Women


In 1934, an American musical glorifying divorce (for women) was created.  It featured a charming, beautiful, blonde woman playing the role of the divorced woman, happily flitting  about, living a free life, and with lots of excess money to cushion her of course.  I’m amazed at the naivety.

Divorce is usually far from that kind of scenario for women, and actually much closer to how it is for divorced men (at least in our day and age).  Sure, they may be rare exceptions of women who really do enjoy life after divorce, but in my own experience in watching people, women are bored in their marriage, and then even more disillusioned after divorce.  They truly think their life without their husband will be like this 1934 musical.

The end of a marriage is like a little death, but to some married women, freedom looks like life after death.  Young again, no one to tell her what to do, no more demands, criticisms.  No more dinners to cook – no slavery!  And just outside, bright lights, gay conversation, lighthearted friends, flirtations and adventures.  Palm Springs, Vegas, here I come! …

“For the first few months, things do seem to improve.  The cessation of hostilities is pleasant.  Since the wife for years experienced an emotional tug-of-war in her mixed-up role as woman, wife and leader, the sudden severance brings temporary relief.  But only temporary. …

What is the chief preoccupation of our newly arrived divorcee?  Career, children, home, travel, art, politics, friends.  No, it’s men! Where do these men come from?  What are they like?  What do they want?  What have they been doing?

Hope is wonderful, but fantasy can be catastrophic!  Many women, divorced or married and contemplating divorce, are sure that somewhere outside there is a man who will have all the virtues of her husband none of his vices.  From this starting point, divorcees start the great search.”

The search for the fantasy man with all of her ex-husband’s good characteristics, but no faults… willing to raise her children, submit to her like a good whipped husband.  The only problem is that she is looking at available men who either haven’t been married, or are divorced themselves.  Divorced men (I smile to myself) are quite another problem & story for her.

The male has suddenly become King!  All the gals are after him.  His stock has leaped upwards; he never had it so good, and he’s going to keep it coming.  Marriage? That would end it all!  he doesn’t have to do anything.  He’s a male.

The chance of landing the ideal male is one in a million.  Have you ever considered, ladies, the attitude of the eligible male?  Marrriage is the LAST thing he wants! Suddenly, the world has become his oyster and, after years of marriage, monotony and misery, his ego crushed, his manhood challenged, he’s FREE and it’s a man’s world.  Daily he is reminded by suppliant females that he’s a hero!  Why should he give that up!  Besides, he’s wily and experienced; he has learned the hard way.

He isn’t going to be trapped by promises of home-cooked meals, a seductive figure and the prospect of heady nights beside the TV.  LIke an old salmon in a well-fished stream, he can smell the hook a mile away.

The ex-husband kinows this moment of triumph all too quickly comes to an end once he says: “I do.”  He knows the law is slanted toward the female, and he knows there are thousands of attorneys all ready to aid the “little woman” once she decides to shed her husband and enjoy his substance.  Why should he fall for that?

What does he want?  It’s really very simple.  An occasional date, proper respect and then to bed – no strings.  And when he takes you to bed he feels he’s doing you a service!  Oh, he’s a hard man.  Of course you don’t have to go to bed with him.  If he really digs you, he might wait three, maybe four dates, and then, no bed and he’s gone. …

And so, life passes pleasantly for our male.  He has his work, friends, apartment, vacations, ball games, and of course, his women, all loving, never demanding, never possessive, and all telling him what a wonderful lover he is.  And then there are so many women out there he hasn’t yet met.  What an exciting prospect!

But you say, “He’s a fool.  He doesn’t know what he’s missing – a home, a family, a loving wife, permanence, security, building something together.” 

But, he does know what he’s missing.  He had a home – worked hard to get it.  His wife got that! 

He had a family, and loved his kids.  His wife got those too. 

Permanence he never had – his wife’s attorney shattered his hearth. 

Security – here today, gone tomorrow. 

The things he built with his wife, his wife and her attorney shared between them. 

Ms. Divorcee, you have paved the way for another woman’s failure to catch a man, and another woman has facilitated your failure.”


The irony of divorce and the expectations of women who are so often the ones to file for it.  Just food for thought for a Romantic Wednesday post 😉

(Quoted excerpts from Marriage: Grounds for Divorce, written by Monte Vanton)