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Articles from October 2008

October 30, 2008

Sharing a Home with Diver or Scanner

After tonight's teleclass on Divers (people with one interest they keep going deeper into) and Scanners (people with so many interests they can't choose one) and how they can get along, someone sent me this question.

Diver and Scanner couple. My husband does not understand all my piles. He calls them my "droppings." I think of them as my "stations." I don't know if we will ever see eye to eye about them, and I might have to collect my "stations" and put them all in one place at some point. But I like to work on different things in different locations.

Hmmm how can we both get what we need?

You're only stuck as long as you see it as "keep my droppings right where they are" and "put her droppings somewhere else." As soon as one of you decides to jump the net and offer to deliver what the other wants, it gets so much easier. You just get clearer on what you really want in return. Then the two of you can work together to find Third Alternatives that work for both of you:

You're much smarter together than alone. And you're much more effecting working toward the same thing than working against each other, because you know each other's hot buttons way too well.

Here's what you might come up with if one of you jumps the net.

  • "Keep my droppings right where they are" and "keep her droppings out of my sight" leads to the idea of droppings organizers. A big, square coffee table with 3" high shelves under it, large enough for trays that can be pulled up on top with ready-to-go projects. Covered wicker baskets in every corner of the house for stacks of papers, magazines, and books. Those new frames that hold 50 sheets of paper and display one. An easel all set up for painting, but with a finished painting displayed in front of the unfinished one (and room behind it for the one in progress to dry). A sewing machine table that folds up to hold one large knicknack. Great looking lined baskets with handles alongside the sofa and chairs, waiting to hold this week's handicrafts, a camera and mini-tripod, or stationery and nice pens. A giant bulletin board and/or white board near the computer. A clever and good-looking CD rack used for organizing notepad pages, journals, or origami supplies.
  • "Put her droppings somewhere else" and "keep my droppings where I am reminded of the project and able to resume work on a moment's notice" leads to a droppings closet plus a bunch of those little stands intended to hold one photo aloft. Each one gets a colored index card with the name of the project, the current status, and which covered basket in the closet holds it. Your spouse might even be willing to fetch them as needed for the joy of seeing a neatly organized closet full of matched baskets.

October 28, 2008

In Praise of Lazy Husbands

I have never tried embedding a video in this blog before, but I think you'll enjoy this one. The song, the performance, and the videography are all the work of a friend's self-proclaimed lazy husband (szabo23 on YouTube). If you've ever accused your guy of being lazy, you may think he stole the lyrics from you.

October 20, 2008

Why Be Married? For the Ride

Today was a clear, autumn day in Pennsylvania. Perfect for a new experience. For the first time, I flew in a small, four-seater plane, a Cessna 172. In the pilot's seat was my husband, now in possession of a pilot's license after 40-some years of looking up at the sky and wishing.

As a child, I had frequented airports and looked up, too, with my parents, who both flew until they had kids. I didn't inherit their longing, but I had a blast seeing this semi-rural county, and the city of Philadelphia in the distance, from the air. I was also excited to share the culmination of a two-year learning journey--I had no idea how much one needs to know to fly today--and the accomplishment of a long held dream with the man I love.

I doubt I would ever have tried this on my own. It's one of the delights of marriage to try new things, especially in the comfort of a loving relationship, and I am so glad I tried this.

October 15, 2008

Why Be Married? To Cover Your Parents' Debts

I found this fascinating description of marriage in Bali today, with yet another reason to be married:

"For Balinese, a marriage in Bali is not just a union of two individual but also a passing of the baton religious and social responsibilities from father to son. Son inherits everything, wealth, debt, religious and social obligations, family temple, and of course obligation to perform cremation ceremony for his parents."

The wife moves into the husband's home and cuts her responsibilities to her family of origin to help him meet his.

No sons to offer in marriage? Offer a daughter. There's a special marriage form in which you adopt your son-in-law, giving him all the rights and responsibilities of a married son. He moves in with your daughter, abandons his responsibilities to his parents.

If that's a problem, because he's an only son, there's a special third form, seen as less desirable than the first two, in which he takes on the responsibilties and rights of both families.

I have not attempted to verify if this is an accurate description, but It's got me thinking once again about our reasons for marrying.

Too often, we focus on what we expect to get from marriage, rather than what we are offering to do. Happiness research has shown satisfaction comes from feeling part of something bigger than ourselves. The happiness of physical and emotional pleasures from a spouse is fleeting and must be renewed constantly, but the satisfaction of feeling part of something meaningful and larger than ourselves is much more long-lasting.

October 11, 2008

Hispanic Marriage Day October 12th

Tomorrow is National Hispanic Marriage Day (Festival Nacional del Matrimonio Hispano-Latino), with events scheduled in Sacramento, California and Dallas, Texas. UNIVISION Radio Dallas is a sponsor. Tune in if you're in the area.

The Orange County (CA) Register reports, from a survey of 2,000 Californians:
"While just 57 percent of the general population said they want to get married, 75 percent of Latino respondents said they do."

Unfortunately, nearly half the Latinos respondents say the high likelihood of divorce makes marriage too risky. One in three Latinos never marries, twice the rate of non-Latinos.

Let those couples whose marriages stand as models for the rest of us know. And, if you're not married, consider offering to babysit so a married couple with kids can celebrate their marriage with a date on October 12th.

October 9, 2008

Join the Tribe of Well-Loved Husbands and Wives

Last Saturday, I received a wonderful treat in the mail. Seth Godin sent me an advance copy of his new book Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us, due for release on October 16th. In the tradition of his earlier books, it's short, a great read, highly inspirational, and the sort of book that gets you thinking, rather than telling you what to do.

What it's got me thinking of are ways to reach out to other wives and husbands and life partners who long to be well-loved. There are so many of us. Seth writes, "[i]t takes only two things to turn a group into a tribe:


  • A shared interest

  • A way to communicate"


I invite you to communicate with comments on this blog and by asking questions and sharing your viewpoints in the teleclasses I offer through EnjoyBeingMarried.com. Our shared interest, how to be well-loved, provides plenty to talk about. And we need each other, because it's way too easy to slip into thinking the only answer is to turn our partners into someone other than who they are: the very people who committed themselves to us.

We need many leaders. We need family leaders, the folks who reach out to troubled spouses in their extended families to help them find their way through trying times. We need leaders among marriage educators and marriage counselors. We need leaders at work, too, who create marriage-friendly workplaces through policies and practices and training in the skills we need for relationships both at work and at home. Seth writes:

"Managers are the cynical ones. Managers are pessimists because they've seen it before and they believe they've already done it as well as it can be done. Leaders, on the other hand, have hope. Without it, there is no future to work for."

Your job title might be manager (or trainer), but your role can be leader.

Seth also says:

"I think most people have it upside down. Being charismatic doesn't make you a leader. Being a leader makes you charismatic."

We need you to lead us. Read the book. Join the tribe of well-loved husbands, wives, and life partners. Stand up for lasting, loving relationships. Help those in your life to Assume Love, Expect Love, and Find Third Alternatives.

Marriage Tips

Someone asked me recently for marriage tips. Here are mine, in a nutshell:
Assume Love when upset, Expect Love when disappointed, Look for Third Alternatives in a dispute.

These three things will make any marriage more enjoyable.

The Author

Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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