5 Phrases to Encourage Your Husband

As a husband, your role is to serve your family with deep love and tenderness, yet figuring out how to do that can prove difficult.  And often-times, what a wife says and how she responds to her husband can make all the difference in regards to how effectively he can treat her with the love and tenderness that she deserves.  I recently came across an article that discusses five phrases that wives can say to “deeply” encourage their husbands, listed below:

1. “I trust you”: When two spouses are in the continuum of day-to-day life, the big picture can become much harder to see.  When you’re knee-deep in bills, work and children, things can get frustrating.  As a husband, it’s part of your job to understand and sympathize with your wife.  This is where words mean so much: when things get particularly hard, simply saying “I trust you” can make all the difference.  When a wife tells her husband that she trusts him, it gives him a special degree of confidence like no other.

2. “I believe in you”: Anybody in the world can tell you that they believe in you, but hearing it from your wife means something special.  Your wife knows you better than anybody else, and sees in you what nobody else can; if anybody can be accurately critical, then it’s your wife.

3. “I’m with you”: Since Adam and Eve, husbands have longed for the partnership and complicity of their wives.  When a wife says to her husband, “I’m with you”, it’s enough to make him want to break out in song.

4. “I desire you”: While ladies get a lot of “press” for wanting to be desired and pursued, most men want that just as badly.  Men want to be attractive to their spouses or significant others.  They want their women to think that they’re strong, handsome and charming.  Even as you’ve been married for 10+ years, being able to make your wife swoon is a great sign of a great marriage.

5. “I know you’re not perfect, but I love you anyway”: When a wife recognizes her husband’s faults, but still loves him (and vice versa), then that’s pure grace.  When a wife tells her husband that she still loves him in spite of (or even because of) his faults, then it disarms his defenses and helps build up his strength in a truly remarkable way.

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Dating with a Budget

Part of entering into a committed relationship means that finances are going to be a shared responsibility. Once you’ve decided to have the money talk, you may discover that a few adjustments may need to be made. So just how do you continue a special relationship with the one without burdening it with financial austerity? Turns out that scaling back, paying off debt, and giving your life some semblance of order can be a fun exercise in creative bonding. Now, check out these inexpensive date ideas that will make any day with your spouse special. Continue reading

9 Pieces of Marriage Advice

Marc Firestone Happy coupleThere are a countless number of relationship-advice books out there.  Going to a bookstore, going to the “love & marriage” section can feel overwhelming.  There are probably some sage pieces of advice put into these books, but nobody has the time to go through every single one of them.  I recently came across an article by a woman about to be married, who collected what she thought were the best pieces of relationship advice from a wide array of sources, from researchers to her grandmother.  The list of tidbits below might feel eclectic, but the author does make some interesting points:

Regularly compliment: For nearly 30 years, relationship expert Terri Orbuch has been conducting research following 373 married couples.  She’s discovered that couples who regularly give each other “affective affirmation”, such as compliments, encouragement, help and support are the happiest.  According to Orbuch, men actually crave affective affirmation more than women, since women typically get it from people other than their husbands.

Forget about bills: Orbuch has found that the happy couples in her study talked to each other frequently about things other than their relationship.  She recommends setting aside about 10 minutes every day to talk about anything other than work, family, the household or the relationship.  For example, ask what your partner’s favorite movie is, what a happy memory from their childhood was, or what they want to be remembered for.  Such small change infuses relationships with new life.

Mix things up: In Orbuch’s study, she found that couples who felt bored or were in a relationship rut tended to be less happy over time, so mixing things up can help you to escape that rut.  Such changes can be small, but they have to upset the routine enough to make your partner take notice.  According to anthropologist Helen Fisher, novelty drives up the dopamine system in the brain, which can help sustain feelings of romantic love.

Stay positive: Fisher says that when you’re feeling irritated about your partner, resist the urge to think of the things you don’t like and focus on the good.  Psychologist Harriet Lerner agrees, saying that nobody can happily survive in a marriage if they feel more judged than admired.

Look for the soft emotion: Stephanie Coontz, author of of “Marriage, a History”, says that marriage counselor she’s spoken with look for the “soft” emotion lying beneath the hard one.  Therefore, respond to the soft emotion, such as fear, anxiety or embarrassment that hides behind anger or accusation.  This piece of advice extends to all relationships, not just marriage.

Live your own life: Harriet Lerner emphasizes the importance of independence in a marriage; connect with friends and family, pursue your own interests and help others.  If your primary energy isn’t directed to living your own life, then you’ll be over-focused on your partner in a worried or critical way.

Don’t wait for the mood: Fisher advises to stay intimate with your partner on a regular basis, even if you’re not in the mood; you shouldn’t always expect to be overcome by desire.  Regular sex stimulates the dopamine system to sustain feelings of romantic love.

Pick a good lover: It’s important to note that a good lover isn’t necessarily somebody with exceptional skills, but rather somebody who brings the right attitude to the bedroom.

Don’t be too idealistic: While writing “Looking for Love in the Age of Divorce”, Dana Adam Schapiro traveled across the country asking divorcees for marriage advice.  He said that one of the best pieces of advice he came across was from one interviewee, who said that the utter grandeur and magnificence of what actually is gets overshadowed by disappointment that it isn’t what people fantasize it to be.  He says the best you can hope for is somebody who will respect you and go through life and be honest with you.

Quality of life determined within our own minds

Dying mans daily journal

For about the 10th time, I just read all the comments left about quality of life, for which I again thank all. Each message unique in its own way showing how we determine quality of life truely is a personal and individual choice.

In one sense we live our lives in our heads. Our brain/mind controls everything from our bodily functions to our minds containing all of our thoughts and feelings which affect and control how we view life, our own lives and the world in general. So very much is dependant on attitude.
Our thoughts, our feelings and our attitude towards things can evolve and change over the years. The way my own thinking and attitude has evolved over the years is a perfect example of that. I look at my life today. While I am not happy about the many limitations on what I can or can’t do…

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A Krishna Conscious Jew in the Kitchen

The Year of Cooking Consciously

Hello, world!

This is by far not my first attempt to write a blog. I’ve tried (and failed) multiple times, in fact. Ever since I heard about the Julie&Julia project, I’ve had the intense desire to take on a similarly crazy project of my own. Thing is, I’m a vegetarian. Julia Child’s “The Art of French Cooking” would be torture for me. Julie&Julia set the bar pretty high, however, and I had yet to find a vegetarian cookbook that I felt could match up to the magnitude of their work. I wanted a book that was comprehensive and robust, and that I could cook everything out of without compromising my vegetarianism.

Well, I finally found it. Yamuna Devi’s “The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking.” Even similar in name to Julia Child’s opus, I feel like Yamuna did for Indian Vegetarian food what Julia Child did for French food. The book…

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Parashah Matoth

Jewish Libertarians

This parashah, Matoth (Bemidbar/Numbers 30:2–32:42) is the penultimate parashah of Bemidbar and is sometimes combined with the subsequent one, Mase`ei. This is the story of the importance of spoken promises or vows, the attack against the Midianites, the disobedience by the soldiers to Moses, the cleansing after war, the inventorying of spoils, and the agreement that Gadites and Re’uvenites could settle east of the Jordan if they provided troops in war.

Reuben and Gad Ask for Land by Arthur Boyd HoughtonReuben and Gad Ask for Land by Arthur Boyd Houghton

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Mendelssohn and Missionaries

The Thousand-Year View

Mendelssohn

By N.S. Palmer

How should we as Jews respond to Christian missionaries?

Many Jews see Christian evangelism as a threat. Even though staunch Christians are our strongest defenders, their motives are obvious. They believe that the return of Jews to Israel presages the second coming of Jesus, whom they wrongly identify as the Jewish Messiah and (in our view) blasphemously identify as God.

Often in our history, our Gentile supporters have assumed that if they were nice to us instead of persecuting us, we’d abandon our faith and convert to Christianity. We got that treatment a lot in 18th and 19th-century Poland, Austria, and Russia.

The German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn (1729 -1786), hailed as “the Socrates of Berlin,” had the same problem. On two occasions, well-meaning Gentiles who admired his writing publicly challenged him either to refute their Christian arguments or convert.

Mendelssohn felt he had to respond to the challenges…

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