This advice was taken from a graduation speech by David Brooks, journalist from the NY Times to the at Rice University graduation class …
“Over the years, we all pick up good advice. Spend a year abroad. It’s bound to change your life. Think hard about who you marry. It’s the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I’d add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.
They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They’ll serve as models. They’ll give you an honest perspective on how you’re doing. They’ll remind you that your blessings don’t come from you but from those who came before you.”
This advice was taken from a graduation speech by David Brooks, journalist from the NY Times …
“You will confront this problem: Is this the person I want to marry?
This is the most important decision you will face in your life. If you have a great career and a bad marriage, you will be miserable. If you have a great marriage and a bad career you will be joyful.
I tell every college president I can that they should compel every student to major in marriage. Students should be compelled to take courses in the psychology of marriage, the literature of marriage, the neuroscience of marriage, the history of marriage.”
From an article titled “15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years” by Lydia Netzer …
1. Go to bed mad.
The old maxim that you shouldn’t go to bed mad is stupid. Sometimes you need to just go to freakin’ bed. “Let not the sun go down upon your wrath” is prefaced in the Bible by the phrase “Be angry and sin not.” So, who’s to say it doesn’t mean “Stay angry, bitches. Don’t let the sun go down on that awesome fierce wrath of yours.” Seriously. Whoever interpreted this to mean that you should stay up after midnight, tear-stained and petulant, trying to iron out some kind of overtired and breathy accord — was stupid. Shut up, go to bed, let your husband get some sleep. In the morning, eat some pancakes. Everything will seem better, I swear.
14. Be loyal.
All the crap you read in magazines about honesty, sense of humor, communication, sensitivity, date nights, couples weekends, blah blah blah can be trumped by one word: loyalty. You and your spouse are a team of two. It is you against the world. No one else is allowed on the team, and no one else will ever understand the team’s rules. This is okay. The team is not adversarial, the team does not tear its members down, the team does not sabotage the team’s success. Teammates work constantly to help and better their teammates. Loyalty means you put the other person in your marriage first all the time, and you let them put you first. Loyalty means subverting your whims or desires of the moment to better meet your spouse’s whims or desires, with the full understanding and expectation that they will be doing the same. This is the heart of everything, and it is a tricky balance. Sometimes it sways one way and some the other. Sometimes he gets to be crazy, sometimes it’s your turn. Sometimes she’s in the spotlight, sometimes you. Ups and downs, ultimately, don’t matter because the team endures.
Conversation with Oprah Winfey an Maya Angelou from the web site MissMalini.com …
“When people show you who they are, why don’t you believe them? Why must you be shown 29 times before you can see who they really are?” So, when you see red flags in the beginning of a relationship – or anything, really – learn to pay attention to them. You may want to believe something else entirely, but some way or the other, people will always show you exactly who they are. You’re better off listening the first time, rather than waiting to be disappointed again and again and again before it sinks in.
People may not necessarily tell you in words who exactly they are – actually, chances are, they’ll tell you the opposite! – but their actions will always speak for them. When that happens, you’re better off listening and believing them rather than holding onto the (possibly deluded) hope that they’re not like that at all.
New York Times columnist David Brooks chatting with Alec Baldwin on his show Here’s the Thing …
“I am not smart on this but I did read a really good blog post on this. My wife would kill me if I started giving advice on how to do this. Marry someone really patient.
But I read this blog post and one of the pieces of advice was brag about your spouse and let them overhear you.”
Advice from Dr Phil on DrPhil.com …
“They need somebody to step up and take it to another level. Not to be a right fighter, not to justify their behavior, but to say, This relationship needs a hero. I am going to rise above the fray, and I’m going to lead us out of this maze.”
From the a podcast titled “The Upside of Quitting” on Freakononmics.com …
“To help us understand quitting, we look at a couple of key economic concepts in this episode: sunk cost and opportunity cost. Sunk cost is about the past – it’s the time or money or sweat equity you’ve put into a job or relationship or a project, and which makes quitting hard. Opportunity cost is about the future. It means that for every hour or dollar you spend on one thing, you’re giving up the opportunity to spend that hour or dollar on something else – something that might make your life better. If only you weren’t so worried about the sunk cost. If only you could …. quit.”
From Dr. Phil’s book titled Life Strategies …
“Get real with yourself about your life and everybody in it. Be truthful about what isn’t working in your life. Stop making excuses and start making results.
If you’re unwilling to acknowledge a thought, circumstance, problem, condition, behavior, or emotion–if you won’t take ownership of your role in a situation–then you cannot and will not change it.”
From Peter Bregman of the Havard Business Review Blog Network titled Arguing Is Pointless …
“Think about it. You and someone have an opposing view and you argue. You pretend to listen to what she’s saying but what you’re really doing is thinking about the weakness in her argument so you can disprove it. Or perhaps, if she’s debunked a previous point, you’re thinking of new counter-arguments. Or, maybe, you’ve made it personal: it’s not just her argument that’s the problem. It’s her. And everyone who agrees with her.
In some rare cases, you might think the argument has merit. What then? Do you change your mind? Probably not. Instead, you make a mental note that you need to investigate the issue more to uncover the right argument to prove the person wrong.”
From an article at SixWise.com called How to Most Effectively Pick Your Battles …
We’re all given a finite amount of time in a day, and it’s up to each of us to determine how to spend it. In relationships (with kids, with a spouse, and so on), we’re faced with many conflicts everyday, and you may be tempted to fight through each of these conflicts, to ensure you get your way, to prove that you’re “right,” or maybe just because you feel challenged. But most experts agree: choosing your battles wisely is a much better way of life than battling out every disagreement.
Although they may seem important at the time, most battles are NOT worth fighting.
According to Dr. Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … and It’s All Small Stuff, “Often we allow ourselves to get all worked up about things that, upon closer examination, aren’t really that big a deal. We focus on little problems and concerns and blow them way out of proportion.”
It’s up to us to choose to either make a big deal or simply let it go, and, according to Dr. Carlson, if you learn to choose your battles wisely, you’ll be far more effective in winning those battles that truly are important to you.
I’ve seen this article It Is Better To Be Alone Than In The Wrong Company on several sites but I haven’t identified the source …
“Tell me who your best friends are and I will tell you who you are. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. A mirror reflects a mans face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses.
The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate for the good and the bad. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity.
An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.”
From the book 7 Keys to Success by Will Edwards …
” … we need to notice what is working and what is not; and be prepared to change our approach in order to get what we want – that is the essence of flexibility.
A wise person once said, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”. That is a wonderfully true statement – in other words, if you continue doing exactly what you are now doing, then don’t be surprised when you don’t see any increase or change in your results.”
I found this quote on the site thinkexist …
“Find a guy who calls you beautiful instead of hot, who calls you back when you hang up on him, who will lie under the stars and listen to your heartbeat, or will stay awake just to watch you sleep… wait for the boy who kisses your forehead, who wants to show you off to the world when you are in sweats, who holds your hand in front of his friends, who thinks you’re just as pretty without makeup on. One who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares and how lucky his is to have you…. The one who turns to his friends and says, that’s her.”
Must read advice for any husband. From a post titled Happiness Factor: Being Right Instead Of Happy …
“Giving up the need to be right is one of the first steps I believe that anyone needs to take to find the happiness that is inside you. This does not mean you agree with everything that anybody says but you accept someone’s opinion as that and if you feel it necessary to share your opinion you may consider doing it in a way that stresses that you are just looking to discuss, and not convert.”
Former Clinton domestic policy advisor Bill Galston … “avoiding family poverty requires three things:
- finish high-school,
- marry before having children and
- marry after the age of 20.
Only 8 percent of families who do this are poor, while 79 percent of those who fail to do this are poor.”
The first time I read this quote I thought of my wife. I enjoyed my bachelor years but I didn’t know what I was missing until I met her. She has her faults – but she is a person of integrity, brilliant, loyal, honest, hard-working, strong, courageous, positive, determined, and we laugh a lot even when we’re doing nothing.
I read an interesting article a couple years ago by the NY Times Op-Ed columnist Maureen Dowd titled An Ideal Husband.
She credits Father Pat Connor, a 79-year-old Catholic priest born in Australia and based in Bordentown, N.J for this advice. The article includes the following quote …
“Never marry a man who has no friends,” he starts. “This usually means that he will be incapable of the intimacy that marriage demands. I am always amazed at the number of men I have counseled who have no friends.”
Later in the article he is quoted …
“Take a good, unsentimental look at his family — you’ll learn a lot about him and his attitude towards women. Kay made a monstrous mistake marrying Michael Corleone! Is there a history of divorce in the family? An atmosphere of racism, sexism or prejudice in his home? Are his goals and deepest beliefs worthy and similar to yours?”
I found this marriage advice somewhere on wordpress.com but could not identify the source when I went back to locate it. I hope they see this post and come forward and claim it.
In our house, I’ll back off when I’m arguing with my wife is she is being a bigger idiot than me. I suspect she does the same when I’m the bigger idiot.