10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 9a: Communicate

Number One Element

We all know what it means to communicate. Right? Or do we?

Judging by the large number of books that have been written on the subject, I’d venture to say that a great many of us don’t know as much about communication as we think we do. And judging by the vast number of divorces, my three included, a great many of us come up short in the communication department, wouldn’t you agree?

Yet, communication, in my view, is the most important element of a successful marriage, bar none! But it does take two.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 8: Date Night

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Importance of Dating

Remember when you were dating your wife before she was your wife? You wanted to be with her all the time?

Dating was fun. It got you away from the ordinary affairs of life, such as working, driving back and forth to and from work, watching television, and sleeping . . . yes, sleeping.

I remember talking into the late hours of the night when I was dating. I wanted to be with my girlfriend all the time. Then, when we actually were together all the time (i.e., got married), we stopped dating. And much of the fun went out of our marriage. In retrospect, I have to take the majority of the blame for that, if not all of it.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 7: More Do, Less Talk

Photo courtesy of taliesin at morgufile.com Was lightened slightly.

Doing Is Better Than Talking

Do something every day to show you love your wife. Talk is nice (and cheap), but doing is even better. After all, actions really do speak louder than words, especially in the area of romance.

For instance, you might offer to help her with the dishes, providing she hasn’t already hoodwinked you, . . . er, convinced you it would be in your best interest, . . . er, asked you to help her. Or you might ask if there’s anything she would like you to work on.

Of course, the downside of this is: If she tells you something you could do, then you’d better do it . . . with cheerfulness. No eye-rolling, whining, wheedling, nor any other self-serving mechanism to avoid an unpleasant task. If you don’t sincerely want to help, don’t ask.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 6: Respect! Respect! Respect!

I don't know who owns this, so if there's a problem, please contact me and we'll discuss it.

I don’t know who owns this, so if there’s a problem, please contact me and we’ll discuss it.

Respect! Respect! Respect!

One of the most important things you can do in your marriage is to respect your partner. Without respect, you have no relationship. Well, you may have a relationship, but it won’t be a happy one.

Respect is a complicated subject, so we’ll start simple. What does it mean to respect?

Turning to dictionary.com, my usual source for simple definitions, we find:

verb (used with object)
9. to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.

What does it mean, to hold someone in esteem or honor?

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 5: Ditch the Procrastination

Originally I had written another subject for part 5 but wasn’t totally pleased with what I had written. Consequently, I had never gotten around to finishing it. In short, I procrastinated. I’ve even procrastinated this version!

While procrastination is something one can get by with while writing, at least to a point, it is not something one wants to do in a marital relationship.

Procrastination in a relationship is bad for a number of reasons. Here are a few.

Procrastination lessens the trust your spouse will have for you


New Blog: Barns! Barns! Barns!

I’ve started a new photographic blog and you’re all invited to join in for the fun. This blog is about preserving a way of life that is fast becoming extinct: the family farm.

I’ve just posted my first posting and invite you all to participate. You may find my new blog at: https://barnsbarnsbarns.wordpress.com/

I hope to see you there. I’d love this to be a repository for all things old with respect to family farming, not just buildings.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 4: Be Spontaneous

"I love spontaneity. Like the let's-go-jump-in-the-lake-with-all-our-clothes-on kind of spontaneous. Sometimes you just need to let go." —Lauren and Shane

“I love spontaneity. Like the let’s-go-jump-in-the-lake-with-all-our-clothes-on kind of spontaneous. Sometimes you just need to let go.” —Lauren and Shane

Special thanks to Lauren and Shane for permissions to use their photograph.

Be Spontaneous

This wasn’t initially one of my ten things I’ve learned from three failed marriages because, frankly, it’s a subject I’m not very conversant with, other than intellectually. However, a friend suggested it to me and I agree that this would be a very good thing to have in one’s marriage, even though I have never experienced it to any great degree.

Looking back, I think one of the problems facing married couples, at least in my own marriages, is boredom. This most often translates into watching an inordinate amount of television or immersing oneself in projects that only involve self.

What this is saying is, for instance, “I (we) would rather watch mindless entertainment on television, including sports, than communicate with you (each other). It is more important to me (us) to watch television than it is to enjoy your (each others’) company. I (we) find more enjoyment in being mind-numbed in front of the boob tube than I (we) would, say, playing a game with you (each other) or going out to dinner.” And so forth.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 3: Saying I Love You

I Love You Hearts

Saying I Love You

Perhaps the modern-day woman is different than in days past, but I think that most wives never tire of being told, “I love you,” as long as it’s being said with feeling and sincerity. Combine that with an equally sincere hug is even better.

At least once a day. Minimum.

Sincerity goes a long way with women. A casual peck on the cheek and a “Love you” as you go out the door doesn’t hold a lot of weight with most women, I would think. Perhaps some, particularly men, might say, “Well, it’s better than nothing.”

Not necessarily so.

10 Things I’ve Learned from Three Failed Marriages, Part 2: Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.

Hugs. Hugs. Hugs.

©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

©2012 Cris Coleman All Rights Reserved

A hug is a universal medicine, it is how we handshake from the heart.  —Anonymous

Never underestimate the power of a sincere and well-timed hug, especially when one is 1) not supposedly deserving of it; 2) when one is stressed out; and 3) just any old time.

Out of Comfort Zone update

After a l-o-o-o-ng hiatus, I finally remembered that back in February I had taken the Out of Comfort Zone challenge. Since then, I pretty much forgot about it—a little bit of Alzheimer’s setting in?

I’ve never had much luck at remembering things, but I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, well, it’s gotten worse.

So, anyway, while it’s not much, at least it’s something. Should you have nothing better to do (a little self-effacement here), you’re welcome to read along.

Have a nice day, in any event.

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