Speak to Your Wife’s Heart

Men often struggle with just what to say to their wives. We tell them we love them but somehow this isn’t good enough. We tell them good morning and this doesn’t work either. “What’s going on?” men lament with a frustrated tone.

Think of Valentine’s Day. Saying the stuff you are just supposed to say or that you say everyday is like presenting her with a little candy heart. It’s nice, cute and is made of sugar, but it’s not that impressive. She wants the candy hearts. They are expected. You know that you’ll see them starting sometime in January and they will be everywhere. Well, what she wants every now and then is a Dove chocolate bar. I am speaking metaphorically of course. On occasion she wants you to stop what you’re doing, have her stop what she is doing and reveal to her your innermost thoughts regarding her. This takes a bit of planning, but you’re good at that. Jack Nicholson does it best in this scene from As Good As It Gets.

You might not be Jack, (my wife is thankful I’m not) so what can you say? Keep in mind that these just get you started. If she suspects that you’re response to her is canned, she’ll appreciate the effort, but it’ll be a Hershey’s Kiss, not a full Dove bar like you’re shooting for. Do this right and just wait’ll she gets a load of you.

 

 

  1. Remember that time we went to / ate at / ___________________? I really enjoyed it. You looked so beautiful. This tells her you were thinking about her earlier in the day. Keeping a collection of good memories that involve her can give you a quick resource.
  2. You are so good at ____________________. It helps me so much and I appreciate it. Women enjoy praise as much as men. Verifying her talents will show her you respect her talents.
  3. You’re such a good mom. She is constantly comparing herself to other women and families. She wants to know she’s a good mom and hearing this from you means a lot.

Speaking to your wife’s heart is how you can connect with her emotionally. It could be just what your relationship needs.

Why Have Kids?

When parents are seen having a tough time with their kids, many people without kids ask, “why would anyone want to have them?” Believe me, parents have asked the same thing, but even when you get a date night, the kids are sorely missed. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Well, here’s why I think people have kids.

First, it’s proliferation of the species. We are mammals and there’s a basic need inside of us to procreate. Something about sustaining life on earth. However, beyond being an animalistic tendency, there’s the payoff of something outliving our mortal time here. Through use, we can make the world a better place. This is why we want our kids to be better than we were.

Second, we get a glimpse of God’s unending love. Reading it in scripture is one thing but by bringing our own offspring into the world and being repeatedly asked for forgiveness, we see what it is that our heavenly father must go through. Some things just can’t be communicated. They must be experienced.

Finally, it can be a very enriching part of your marriage. While it won’t fix things that may be broken, it can certainly make a good marriage even stronger. Children begin with the most intimate part of a marriage and it grows from there.

4 Tips for Controlling Anger & Anxiety

Fog Meme

Many people struggle with emotion control. This is evidenced by confusion of the person during intense emotional bouts. “Why do I feel this way, I don’t know what to do, and “I can’t help myself” are all expressions uttered by people whose emotions of anxiety, fear or anger seem to override their rational thought pattern to act in a productive manner. Whether the person experiences anxiety she knows is out of line with reality or is simply known around the office as having a “short fuse” control of these emotions can be mastered.

 We often look to our emotions as a gauge for morality. People will express that they feel that what they are doing is right. This happens a lot in religion when people base their worship and life practices on their feelings. However, Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” So, as we look to what we should do religiously, good leadership would base its practices on scripture, not the feelings of its people. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah I’m sure felt good about their actions too even though they were dreadfully wrong. So, as we progress through our daily lives, what should we do?

Certainly our feelings are important but what would happen if we always listened to them? There would be a lot more physical fights and verbal altercations since no one would stop themselves and choose a more appropriate plan of action. We must listen to our intellect and not allow our emotions to rule our lives. Think of the Incredible Hulk. He would fly into a rage every time he felt scared or angry. Thankfully Bruce Banner learns to control the monstrous beast inside of him and uses it as a tool for good. We must do the same.

First, think of anger as a fog. It clouds your head, leaving the solution just beyond our grasp and you with few resources to consider an appropriate next move. We must recognize when we are getting angry or even anxious/nervous can apply here too. When we see that our emotions are entering a state wherein our ability to think rationally is greatly diminished, we must do less, not more. Depending on the severity of your emotional spike, you must calm down. You will not find the answer to whatever is angering you because your head is clouded with emotion. Breathe deeply and calm down.

Next, search for the answer. Just because your head is clouded, it does not mean that what you need to do is completely out of reach. Talk to someone you trust or leave the situation completely until you have the answer and are confident with your decision.

Third, problem-solve. Your anger (fight) or anxiety (flee) is not the response you want to have in most situations. I say most because even Jesus went berserk on some people in the temple (Matthew 21). We lose control of our emotions because we want something to be different than it is. Think about what it is you want and focus on that. Yelling, screaming or crying are not good problem solving methods.

Finally, work to strengthen the skill of cognitive restructuring. In other words, consider how you think about anger and anxiety because nothing “makes” you angry. You choose how you react in almost every situation. Simply considering that in stressful moments can keep you from “losing it.” To practice this, awaken a negative emotion inside of you. Do this at a neutral time when you can concentrate. Then, begin searching through the “fog” for the answer you intellectually know you should pursue. When you find it, hang on to it and allow it to grow until you feel better. There are two wolves inside each of us. One represents anger and the other represents wisdom. Which will win? The one you feed.

Our emotions can run away from us sometimes, but we don’t need to let them rule us. “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ . . . .” (2 Corinthians 10:5) Take your thoughts captive. Don’t let them rule you.

My New Store Guaranteed to Improve Your Marriage and Parenting Skills

I am an affiliate with Legacy Publishing and they have turned out some great materials designed for in-home personal and family growth. These products are great and there is even an option to get one of the parenting programs absolutely FREE.

Whether you are dealing with a failing marriage or a child with issues ranging from ADHD to Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) there’s something in my store for you. Take a look and I hope you find the help you are looking for. 

All come with a 30 day money back guarantee.

God bless.



Eden Again Marriage Seminar / Bringing Paradise Back to Marriage

In this one day group session, Dale uses a scientifically proven method to identify your marriage’s weaknesses and strengths, enabling you to grow both individually and as a couple. His teaching sessions will inspire you and the conversations you have with your significant other will take your relationship to places you never thought you could go. Marriage started in a paradise and Dale believes this can continue even today.

This event is for engaged couples, newlyweds, couples in crisis,  considering divorce, or those who simply want a tune-up. 

The day will not be spent airing grievances but rather work will be done so that you can handle any obstacle that may come your way. 

TOPICS COVERED:
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Couple Culture
  • Stress
  • Communication
  • Financial Management
  • Spiritual Beliefs
  • Sexuality, Romance, and Affection
  • Closeness & Flexibility
  • In order to optimize your experience, Dale tailors each session around the top five issues faced by the specific couples in the group.

Many couples don’t have time to go to therapy once per week for months, but they can invest in themselves for one day; a day that can make all future days brighter.

Dale believes you’re never too far gone in your marriage if you’re willing to make the journey back.
Contact Dale for more information.



The Hero Project – Custodial / Single Fathers

The other day I received an email from Khaaliq Thomas, a freelance photographer based in the metropolitan Detroit area whose moving video on “The Hero Project” moved me to share his vision. The following is from Khaaliq’s website.
“The Hero Project”
A Photographic Study of A Single Father Home

For the past year I’ve been working on a photo documentary concentrating on single / custodial fathers households. I’m hoping to get your help in spreading the word about the project.


Purpose of The Project

The project will challenge the belief of fathers being incapable, unwilling, and or inadequate in performing responsibly, productively and lovingly as a single / custodial parent. 

Attention will be given to the dedicated ability of these dads and their commitment to raising productive children and supplying a stable home on their own. The finished project will consist of a 110 page full color photo book. I’m using Kickstarter to raise the funds to search for more dads through advertising, print and design of the book and setting up exhibitions of the final project.

How You Can Help

I need your help in spreading the word about the March 7, 2013, Kickstarter fundraiser in order to get the project to the public and share in the experience of a single father household through this project. I’m asking for your help in support of the project by spreading the word on your websites, blogs or anyway you can.

Thank you – 







BOOK REVIEW: Sex, Drugs, & Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman

Klosterman’s take on life through the eyes of a jaded gen-xer is not as depressingly solemn as you might think. It’s funny, witty, and in some spots even charming. You could go the rest of your life and never read this book, and some will want to avoid it. (Too many f-bombs for my taste.) These always seem to cheapen anything. However, the rest of his word choice, analogies, and sentence structure are superb.

His essays on The Sims game franchise, Pamela Anderson, and MTV’s Real World are more than just his opinion about what’s in the cesspool of pop-cutlure. Rather, they are the foundation for his discussions on topics that actually matter. He ponders questions like, “Is Gen-X lost? How obsessed are we with race? Does what we watch on television actually influence how we act?” His answers will cause you to think about your relationship with society at large as it pertains to all things pop. No great answers to life issues, just somewhat thought provoking.

This pseudo-psychological/sociological analysis will make you think and laugh about “The Coolest Generation.” We are not the greatest but we are great at being cool, he says. This is indicative in the movies we watch and the music we listen to. Which he also takes jabs at Billy Joel, stating, he was not a cool rocker but he was great and that’s why we liked him. On the other hand, he continues, David Lee Roth was cool and we wanted to be like him.

Overall, what he discusses isn’t really important but that’s the point. Why is Star Wars overrated, what does basketball have to do with cereal, and his hatred for soccer are all just some of the entertaining topics. Plus, they will make you think about yourself and even society. I did find it to be a very narrow-minded take on pop-culture as many of his statements are blanket. I do think he is right to a degree in his conclusions but given that these are one man’s opinion, they are obviously not definitive.

Elementary School Massacre; Newtown, Connecticut

Seeing aerial footage of an elementary school on a national news station is always scary for me. I work in a middle school as a counselor and I am a parent of two wonderful children. My wife is also a teacher.

From NBCNews.com: A young man clad in black and carrying two guns shot up an elementary school in a small Connecticut town on Friday, leaving 18 small children and eight adults dead in one the nation’s worst school massacres, law enforcement officials said.

For the next several weeks, gun proponents and opponents will be going at it. Religious fanatics, moderates, and atheists will also throw in their two cents, and philosophy after philosophy will be discussed, dissected, and ridiculed over “what is happening to our children/society/world/schools.”  

Whoever or wherever you are in this discussion, don’t miss the point that the most important thing we can do as individual members in our society is not write our congressman or stock up on ammunition but love our children and teach them right from wrong. This will change our world beyond any other ideology imaginable. 


Read the entire story here. 




Are You Worthy of the Title, "Daddy?"

While out with my family the other day, I saw a woman wearing a shirt that said, “Moms . . . they’re better than dads.” Being a counselor I’m pretty comfortable in telling people what I think, but I kept quiet. Had I said something I would have made reference to the implied hypocrisy. What if I wore a shirt that said, “Dad’s rock and moms are just wet blankets” I’m sure I’d get my fair share of dirty looks and been chastised for political incorrectness. Most shirts that portray dads make mention of their age or how they like to lounge around, beer in hand. Well, this man is much more than that. What bothers me most about that woman’s shirt, and others like it, is that it would not have bothered most men.
Too many dads don’t take their jobs seriously. Additionally, the man’s role in the home has been minimized to the point of needlessness. Our nation’s progress in women’s rights has had an unintended consequence. The women adapted by taking on jobs in the workforce while remaining the natural caregivers at home. However, men have not adapted as well and as a result have been pushed out of the home (or worked their way out) because they don’t take on their share of the responsibilities in our 21stcentury world. What strengths that could have complimented the woman’s have been lost.
Dr. Warren Farrell, psychologist and author of Father Child Reunion, spent more than a decade conducting an analysis of extensive research in order to better understand the phenomenon that has been dubbed “The Father Factor” by the National Father Initiative. Dr. Farrell says, “Children clearly pay a price when their fathers walk away or mothers keep dads away. We are 100 percent certain that children do better in [many] different areas when they grow up in intact families.” (SOURCE: http://firstthings.org/page/media/the-family-column/bringing-daddy-homeKeep in mind that if a biological dad or stepfather isn’t present, you can seek out a positive male influence within your community through sports, civic groups, church, or another family member.
Other research studies:
  • EDUCATION: Half of all children with highly involved fathers in two-parent families reported getting mostly A’s through 12th grade, compared to 35.2% of children whose father does not reside in the home. http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics
  • DEVELOPMENT: Several studies have found that when fathers spend more time on childcare tasks, children benefit. For instance, one study of preschool-age children whose fathers were responsible for 40 percent or more of the family’s child care tasks had higher scores on assessments of cognitive development, had more of a sense of mastery over their environments, and exhibited more empathy than those children whose fathers were less involved. (http://www.childtrends.org/Files/dadchild.pdf)
  • CRIME: Even after controlling for income, youths in father-absent households still had significantly higher odds of incarceration than those in mother-father families. Youths who never had a father in the household experienced the highest odds. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)
  • SEXUAL EXPERIMENTATION: Women whose parents separated between birth and six years old experienced more than four times the risk of early sexual intercourse, and two and a half times higher risk of early pregnancy when compared to women in intact families. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)
  • POVERTY: Children in father-absent homes are five times more likely to be poor. In 2002, 7.8 percent of children in married-couple families were living in poverty, compared to 38.4 percent of children in female-householder families. (http://www.fatherhood.org/media/consequences-of-father-absence-statistics)

Read the rest of the article here.