Put me down for two!
It felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest as I grasped the magnitude of what I was about to do.
My knees shook so bad that it was actually a relief when I went down on one knee.
And my voice trembled and I barely got out the words of the most important speech of my life.
Fear is a very powerful emotion that can sometimes prevent us from being harmed. But it can also prevent us from achieving great things.
“There are those who SEE an opportunity. And then there are those who SEIZE an opportunity.” – Joanie Warren
Thankfully, that night 25 years ago, I was able to recognize that the reward of enjoying my life with the woman of my dreams was worth the risk of possibly being rejected. That risk-reward analysis allowed me to seized the opportunity to ask her to marry me.
And what did she say?
After a huge hug and many tears (of joy) she was finally able to get out the word, “YES”.
And 25 years later, I can happily report that that decision was definitely worth it!
So next time you have to make a key decision, do a Risk-Reward analysis and if you decide that it is worth the risk, push through the fear, seize that opportunity and enjoy the reward.
*This post is dedicated to my beautiful wife April, and to Patricia and Dave Heather who have been two of the best role models we could have who are also celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary today.*
“Harsh words can be like nuclear bombs to relationships” – Royal Hamel, http://www.lightthedarkness.org/
Just as harsh words can destroy, kind words can energize relationships more than you can ever expect.
So choose your words wisely.
Imagine… you are thinking of buying a car and you are sitting across an automotive salesperson and you are thinking of buying a car at his dealership.
The car is exactly what you are looking for.
The price is within your price range.
And you can see your showing off your new car to your family and friends.
With this vision still lingering in your head you tell the salesperson that things look good, but you just want to check it out with your spouse.
The salesperson responds, sure check it out with “The Wife” and get back to me.
Now the salesperson probably didn’t mean anything by that comment.
He probably didn’t mean to demean your chosen spouse, the mother of your children, the love of your life.
And he probably didn’t mean to offend you by implying that you don’t have the authority to make important decisions.
But that is just what he did!!!
This was an experience that I had a while ago. An experience that led to a lost sale. An experience that could have easily been avoided.
It could have been avoided if he was a bit more sensitive to the situation.
It could have been avoided if he chose his words a bit more carefully.
It could have been avoided if he said “Your wife”, instead of “The wife.”
In sales choosing the words you use carefully can make the difference between success and failure. The difference between getting or losing the sale. And the difference between cashing that big commission cheque or not.
So think about what you say as if you were your customer. And if it is possible that you might offend them, choose a different way to say what you want.
That way instead of having to check on a potential customer, you can cash the cheque from an existing customer.
If your wedding was like most, the husbands in attendance will have approximately 300-400 years of marital experience.
300-400 years of wisdom.
300-400 years of making mistakes.
And if you are as smart as I think you are (because if you weren’t you wouldn’t be reading this post), you’ll learn from these experienced veterans because they can provide not only advice, but also a list of all their mistakes. Actually, you will need to get the list of mistakes from their wives.
Anyway, armed with this knowledge, you can avoid making those some mistakes and be free to go out and make your own.
My point is this: Effective husbands seek out mentors.
They look for men they can trust, whose marriages they admire and they learn from them.
In short, don’t try to figure it all out for yourself. Use Habit #11 and Talk to the Old Man.
Check back next time when we cover the 12th and last (for now) Habit. The Habit that is the key to making your marriage work.
Although giving your wife a gift is a great way to show your love, especially if it’s in her favourite currency, if you’re not careful it can still blow up in your face.
Like the time when we were dating I gave my wife April a beautiful red lace rose, not knowing that when you took the plastic off, the head of the rose was really a little pair (and I mean little) of skimpy underwear.
That wouldn’t have been so bad, except that I gave it to her at her birthday party… at my parents’ house.
And that summer when she started talking to me again… (her birthday is in December), she suggested that I needed help.
And that is when I decided to study and learn the science behind effective gift giving.
A science that has been a mystery to husbands (and sales reps) for years… until now!
What I discovered were thes 4 elements of effective gift giving that I call the T.I.M.S. factor.
The 1st element it Timing:
A gift that is a surprise is more powerful that one she expects.
You still need to give her a gift on special occassions, like Christmas, her Birthday or your Anniversary, but you may find that she will be just as delighted if you bring her flowers after work on Friday.
But, don’t do it every Friday… because then she’ll expect it which will not only make it less powerful, but if you forget one week she will be disappointed. This is certainly not the emotion you want to generate.
The 2nd element is your Investment:
And by investment, I don’t just mean the money you spend but also the time and effort you take in thinking about, finding and picking out just the right gift for her.
The more time and effort you invest, the more powerful the gift will be.
Trust me, women know which gifts are bought on December 24th.
The 3rd element is your Motive:
My research shows that there are 4 different types of gifts.
The “Just because I love you (or was thinking about you)” gift, which is the most powerful.
The “Thank you” gift, which is the next most powerful.
The “Negotiation” gift, which is less powerful, because if you receive something in return it is not really a gift.
And the “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” or the “suck-up” gift, which is abviously the least powerful.
The 4th element of the T.I.M.S. model of effective gift giving is the Sensation that she feels when she gets your gift.
If your gift leaves her happy… you’re golden.
If you have to go out and buy her a “Please don’t make me sleep on the couch again tonight, honey” gift to make up for your original one… not so much.
So remember Habit #10 and think T.I.M.S. before buying her a gift.
Next time, in Habit #11 we will explore how to learn from hundreds of years of wisdom in order improve your marriage.
Yes, you read the title right, Apologize.
Though at first I didn’t believe it myself, I quickly realized that in an effective marriage, it’s the husband who apologizes.
First off, if you do something wrong, you need to own up to it and apologize.
Second, I learned that a wife is never wrong. And if she is… it’s just a misunderstanding.
And that misunderstanding must be the husband’s fault. So you need to apologize.
And don’t do what my Father-in-Law did and try to wait for your wife to apologize. I learned this when he showed me a plaque in his den that states, “On this day, November 27th, 1972, the man of the household won an argument.”
But what it doesn’t say was that the argument started in March… 1969.
He knew that he was marrying Miss Right… he just didn’t realize that her first name was Always.
And you don’t want to wait too long to apologize either because there is a direct connection between how long you take to apologize and how long she remembers the misunderstanding.
So ask yourself, would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?
And practice Habit #9 and Apologize.
Check back next time when you will discover how to avoid having an act of kindness blow up in your face. We will discover how to avoid this in Habit #10.