Guide for Preventing Divorce Part 1

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Below is some marriage advice courtesy of Dan Pearce who entitled his blog post “16 Ways I Blew My Marriage.”   You can find his home page here: http://www.danoah.com/  The reason I am including it is because it is written from the perspective of a man who has had two failed marriages (or so the story goes).  Sadly sometimes we learn our most significant lessons through our greatest failures.  Yet the important part is that we learn lessons and attempt to change how we handle those situations in the future.

I have edited it for content and am going to break up the 16 lessons into several different blogs.  I think the advice is great and don’t want to overwhelm you with information.  Many of this thoughts struck a cord with me and gave me pause to re-evaluate my own behavior with my wife.

1. Don’t stop holding her hand.

When I first dated the woman I ended up marrying, I always held her hand: in the car, while walking, during meals and at the movies. It didn’t matter where. Over time, I stopped. I made up excuses like my hand was too hot or it made me sweat or I wasn’t comfortable with it in public. Truth was, I stopped holding hands because I stopped wanting to put in the effort to be close to my wife. No other reason.

If I could have a do over: I’d hold her hand in the car. I’d hold her hand on a star. I’d hold her hand in a box. I’d hold her hand with a fox. And I’d hold her hand everywhere else, too, even when we didn’t particularly like each other for the moment.

2. Don’t stop kissing her.

It always got to a point when I’d more or less stop kissing her. Usually it was because things were stressful and there was tension in our relationship, and so I’d make it worse by refusing to kiss her. This of course would lead to her feeling rejected. Which would of course lead to arguments about it.

If I could have a do over: I’d kiss her in the morning when she looked like people do in the morning. I’d kiss her at night when she’s had a long day. I’d kiss her any time I felt like she secretly wanted a kiss.

3. Don’t always point out her weaknesses.

For some reason, somewhere along the way, I ended up feeling like it was my place to always tell her where she was weak and where she could do better. I know damn sure I didn’t do that while we were dating. When I dated her I only built her up, only told her how amazing she was, and easily looked past all of her flaws. After we got married though, she sometimes couldn’t even cook eggs without me telling her how she might be able to improve.

If I could have a do over: I wouldn’t say a damned thing about anything that I thought could use improvement. I’ve learned since my marriage ended that there is more than one right way to do most things, and that the imperfections of others are too beautiful to try and change.

4. Don’t stop cooking for her.

I knew how to woo a girl, for sure. And the ticket was usually a night in, cooking a nice meal and having a romantic evening. So why is it then, that I didn’t do that for her after we got married? Sure, I’d throw some canned soup in the microwave or fry up some chimichangas once in a while, but I rarely if ever went out of my way to sweep her off her feet after we were married by steaming crab legs, or making fancy pasta, or setting up a candlelit table.

If I could have a do over: I’d make it a priority to cook for her, and only her, something awesome at least every month. And I’d remember that meat in a can is never awesome.

———–

Until tomorrow make it a better day!

Andre

Devotional Tuesday – The Stench of Life – Courtesy of C3 Journey

The Stench of your life…

It was her brother Lazarus who was sick. So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Master, the one you love so very much is sick.”  John 11:2-3

The dream inside of you is dying. Perhaps it is dead. Hope is delayed, pushed back, forgotten with the weight of live’s challenges and responsibilities. Jesus loves you and you are sick. Does he care?

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” John 11:11

At one point you felt that you had an appointment with destiny that has turned into disappointment in circumstances. Your dreams and your faith have died but your friends can go to Jesus for you. In Him is the power to awaken what has been dormant…dead and decaying even for years.

Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” John 11:38-39a

Friends have to be near you before Jesus can use them to help remove your stone and unleash your life.

“by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” John 11:39b

160054649When friends gets close to you, they can’t just see the death of your dream they can smell the stench of your life. That is never easy but it is key to your deliverance. The choice to trust a friend, to let someone near, is a choice…a choice that only you can make.

They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me.” John 11:41-42

You’ve seen Jesus deliver others. You’ve seen their hope, their dreams and their lives resurrected. What Jesus has done before, He can do again.

When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice,“Lazarus, come out!” John 11:43

You hear the voice of Jesus even now…”come out.” Don’t ignore His call. Don’t ignore His desire to give you the miracle you long for. This is your moment. Rise and leave your grave.

And he came out, a cadaver, wrapped from head to toe, and with a kerchief over his face. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him loose.” John 11:44

Your miracle is alive even if what you feel is not. But once you allow your friends to unwrap the bindings of the grave your trust grows. Trust releases hope and helps you to see and feel what Jesus has revived in your world.

Fashion Friday – What to Wear to Your Next Meeting

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“The average man doesn’t care about fashion which is why he is only average.” ~ Anonymous

Today’s Fashion Friday is courtesy of one of my favorite companies of all time: Trunk Club.  If you aren’t doing Trunk Club you are doing life wrong.  In order to be better men we must also step up our style game.  No matter how much money you do or don’t make you can still dress sharp for every occasion including business meetings.

Depending on your industry, proper meeting attire might be a suit, jeans with a button-up, or—thanks to a Harvard dropout who built a pretty well-known website—a hoodie (Editor’s note – don’t ever wear a hoodie to a business meeting.) To help our members master the dress code, we asked three of our stylists what they’d suggest wearing to casual, business-casual, and formal meetings.

Casual
“You never want to be the most casually dressed guy in the meeting, even if it has a relaxed dress code,” Robyn, a stylist at our Los Angeles clubhouse, says. “L.A. is notoriously casual, but a lot of my clients out here are starting to up the ante. Rather than wearing jeans and a t-shirt to work functions, they’ve stepped it up and are now wearing five-pocket chinos, oxford shirts, and lightweight jackets.”

Business-Casual
Bridging the gap between business and casual isn’t always easy, but Emily, a stylist at our Chicago HQ, has it all figured out. “Versatility is key for business-casual settings, especially when there’s travel involved,” she says. “I always recommend items with rich, heavy textures. Since they look great slightly wrinkled, you can go straight from the plane to the meeting—and even out for drinks—looking sharp every step of the way.”

Formal
“At formal meetings, you want to be noticed—but not for what you’re wearing.” That’s according to David, a stylist at our most-recently opened clubhouse in Manhattan. “Your ideas and business acumen should be the highlight, and really, your outfit should just assert your confidence and personality. That’s why, rather than defaulting to a full-color suit, I’m a strong believer in mixing and matching slacks and suit jackets. It makes for a contemporary look that’s memorable, but doesn’t go overboard.”

Until tomorrow be sure to try and be a better man today!

Andrew

Dating Advice 101: Don’t Ever Go Dutch

 

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Happy Thursday Everyone! Only one more day until the weekend and I can’t wait!  Hope everyone out there has some awesome things planned.  For any of you heading out on first dates or other dates be sure to apply what you have learned!

Several years ago I had two mutual friends (we will call them Bob and Chris) who started dating.  I liked both equally and really thought they would be a good couple and was certain they would end up getting married.  Turns out I was a bit off on that prediction!

My wife and I received an invitation to a double date of sorts with Bob and Chris, so of course we were more than happy to attend.  We could tell from early on that there was tension between the two of them and given the fact they hadn’t been dating very long  I was a bit concerned.  I am sure there were plenty of possible explanations and it turns out there were including the following story.

When we got to the end of the evening and the bill arrived Bob was making Chris pay for her half of the meal and drinks.  I was astounded and not in a good way.  This was shocking for two reasons.  First, Bob made a ton of money.  Second, I thought Bob to be much more of a gentleman than he turned out to be.  Needless to say their relationship didn’t last long after our evening with them (I promise it wasn’t our fault!)

Being back in New York last weekend for some reason made me think about that story and because men like Bob drive me nuts I am writing about it today.

Ladies – if you are dating a man who won’t pay for your dinner, drinks or anything else for that matter, you really need to be cautious about entering into a long term relationship with him. Money is BY FAR the most stressful thing in a relationship (especially once you are married) and if you both aren’t on the same page about how to handle finances you should be putting the breaks on any future plans.  These are the same kind of guys who insist on having separate banking accounts yet won’t tell you how much is in their own account.  It is Bad News Bears no matter how you try to spin it.  You all deserve to be with a man who is willing to pay for dates and buy you things that you love.  It is part of being selfless and putting the other person before yourself.

Any guy worth his weight should be paying or at the very least offering to pay for both parties when on a date.  Furthermore, if you are in a serious relationship you should be offering to buy her other shit like clothing, flowers and other gifts.  It is called “being romantic” dumb ass.  If you can’t figure this out than you need some serious help.  Ladies, don’t think this is going to change when you are married.

The only time I can even foresee agreeing to “go dutch” is MAYBE on a first date where the woman is insisting on such an arrangement. Sometimes, especially on a first date, a woman might prefer to pay her own way if for no other reason than to take the pressure off herself.  Some guys are such neanderthals they think paying for dinner gives them a free pass at sex even on the first date. If you want to pay for sex go hire a hooker, it is less complicated that way. If the woman on a first date does prefer to go dutch you should protest several times just to get your point across.

If you can’t afford to pay for both parties on a date or you have “money issues” that make it virtually impossible for you to be generous, you probably shouldn’t be dating to begin with.  Go hang out with the other nerds in your cave and live a life of celibacy.

This is the same kind of guy who won’t spring to pick up a round of drinks with friends, share his BYO at any function and certainly isn’t going to be generous with strangers.  We should all strive to be with someone more generous than ourselves and guys like this will never be qualified.

If you are this kind of guy and reading this today I want you to do a few things.

1.  Call up your wife, girlfriend or fiancé (or go on Tinder and get a date)

2.  Ask them out on a date

3. Go on said date.

4.  Whatever you do on that date (dinner, movie, karaoke, the zoo) pay for the whole thing.  For both of you.  Don’t ask her if she wants to pay half.  Just do it.  See how it feels.  I promise you won’t regret it.

5. [Optional by highly advisable] Stop by her favorite store and pick her up a cute outfit, dress, shirt, shoes or something!  If you feel intimidated picking out these kinds of items ask one of the cute women working at the store, they love to help.  Maybe just maybe you will learn what it means to be selfless and generous…maybe.

Grow some balls and pay for your significant other!  It is the way life is supposed to be.

Until tomorrow make it a better day,

Andrew

 

 

Devotional Tuesday – Prepared for Anything That Comes Your Way

Prepare written on multiple road sign
Today’s blog is once again courtesy of Tony Dungy’s Uncommon Life Devotional

“If someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.  But do this in a gentle and respectful way…Then if people speak against you, they will be ashamed when they see what a good life you live because you belong to Christ.” 1 Peter 3:15-16

We have all heard the Boy Scott motto, “Be Prepared,” which has been part of the movement since its founding in 1907 by Robert Baden-Powell.

“Be prepared for what?” someone once asked Baden-Powell.

“Why, for any old thing,” he said.

Think about that for a minute. “For any old thing” – that’s a pretty broad spectrum of knowledge to store up to be prepared for whatever might come our way.  And even though I still think that “I don’t know” is a perfectly respectful and appropriate answer, I also know that the more we know about what we are doing, the more we can usually get people to listen.

I found that especially true in coaching.  Players would listen because of the respect they needed to show initially to us coaches.  However, when it became apparent to a player that coach didn’t really know what he was talking about, the player tuned him out.

Coach Noll, our head coach when I was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, always wanted his staff to be sure that we understood what we were teaching to the players.  We were teachers first, and our goal was to prepare our players for as many situations as possible – to be bale to think and be prepared for whatever might happen.

The same is true when God tells us to go out and speak about Him.  He wants us to be ready when someone asks why we believe what we believe.  Why we accepted Jesus Christ in our lives.  Why we follow Christ and try to live – hopefully it shows – as He wants us to live.

“Be prepared.”  Any moment could be a time when He works through you to change a life for eternity.

Uncommon Key –> You don’t need to be a Bible scholar to tell someone how Jesus Christ changed your life.  Look for an opportunity to talk to someone today.