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Old 11-26-2005, 11:34 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Barry, I save this "Basics" for the truely needy, hope it will help.

More important than body repair

I made this “Basics of Basics” for Marriage, women and love after reading a post from a guy complaining that his wife didn’t give him any of his own time to work on his car. It may sound a little sexist to some, I assure you, I don't mean that in any way. If you are putting your loved one on pedestal and worshipping the ground they walk on, it is not sexist or demeaning. It would become that way if you do it with selfish goals in mind. And besides, these “basics” can go both ways, women can do the same for men, there are no rules that say otherwise. Men just usually need a little help more than the women that’s all. Here are my “Basics of Basics” for Marriage, women (and men) and love.
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I have been married twice. My first was one of those "needy" types. She would nag till the cows come home for my time. My "forever" wife (I never use the term "second", that would mean there is going to be a third!!) is ALWAYS supportive of everything I choose to do. The other day I came home from work and said I am taking our five-year old to a baseball game (Giants Vs A's inter-league). She would love to go, but we both also believe in father son and or daughter time. She didn't even say "I want to go, I wish I could go”, or pout, nothing. Just a smile and a kiss and have a good time.

The funny thing is, because she is like that, I want to be with her. I have many projects (three cars taken apart) but hardly ever work on them because I would rather be with her and the kids.

Nothing is a bigger turn off than someone telling you to be with them. I am not sure if our wives start out like this or us being whom we are make’s them this way. I feel it is a little of both. The most understanding wife is not going to "put up" with it day after day forever. While even the most needy wife will "cave" if you give her what she needs.

If you have a needy wife, my suggestion is DO IT BEFORE SHE TELLS YOU! Spend good times with her and then make "arrangements" to work on your projects. Just give her all you can, and mention (very cautiously, so it doesn’t sound like that is why you are spending time with her) during this quality time, how you "will" be working on the project the next day. Don't wait till she is nagging you to spend time with her, you will both hate it. That kind of time together is worse than none at all. She doesn’t understand that. All she knows is you are not giving her any attention. She will nag you to give her some not understanding that time is “tainted”.

So, do it first, and I mean quality time. Make her feel like she wants to see you out there working on the car because it makes you happy. She does want to make you happy, I am sure of that. So give her so much that she wants to give you what you need.

Don’t fake it! And for goodness sake, don’t make it like she should be glad you are doing it! If you are not the kind of guy to give her the “I love you like when we were courting” kind of attention, start with baby steps. Give her a little rub as you pass by her, kiss her on the neck as she is doing a chore like making dinner, or after she has had a hard day at work. Ask her if she would like something to drink or eat a snack as she is resting. Better yet, don’t ask, just bring it to her. Maybe even leave a note saying simply “I love you” in her car or on the bathroom mirror so she finds it when you are not there. Or if you use her car, fill the tank. Then forget you did it. Many women will come to you in tears of joy if you do such a thing (most guys are so self absorbed the wouldn’t even think to do these things) but some may not, if she says nothing, don’t bring it up. Just continue doing it, but remember, baby steps. Nothing will freak her out more than you treating her like she has elephant man’s disease for years and now you want to kiss her neck while she is bent over cleaning the toilet bowl!

Look for reasons to love her: Start making light of her flaws, if she is the right kind of person you can do this out loud and let her know you love her in spite of the flaw. Some women you can’t do this, but you can in your head. Let it be your little inside joke. My wife is not the best house keeper in the world (she is a stay at home mom) and instead of getting all peed off, I make light of it. The other day we were driving somewhere and she pointed out a person she used to clean house for when she was just a teenager. So I said something along the lines of “she doesn’t look so tough, how did she get you to clean, I haven’t been able to” with a smile on my face. We laughed and she said she got paid, I laughed and said “I have been giving you the pay check every week haven’t I”?. I know my ex-wife would have popped a cork if I said these things. But maybe, just maybe she would have taken it the same this lady did if I had treated it the same with her. When we first started cohabiting (yes we lived in sin for two years before we married 11 years ago) I told myself that these things didn’t matter. I didn’t need a maid, I needed a partner. I never asked her to do a single thing, in fact, I even cooked for both of us for a long time. I never asked, she just started doing it because she wanted to. I truly feel because I treated her this way, it help“create” the relationship that we have. Not that I made her the wonderful woman she is, but I may have helped her want to be that wonderful woman for me. I also happen to know that she was doing the same thing, so of course it worked like a charm. I have also make light of my flaws, we all have them, I make sure to joke or at least mention them. This breaks down any feelings that she may feel you think she needs to be something she is not.

Hug her and rub on her in public. You don’t have to be dirty, just a little hand holding or rub on the arm or shoulder. I even give my wife full on hugs in the grocery store when she says something cute or funny. Make sure she knows that she is the most important thing in your life and that you are not afraid to let everyone else see that.

Show some interest in her interests! You will be amazed at how you can enjoy some “girl thing” because you want to, as opposed to when you are nagged to. You will also be amazed how interesting some of her interests can be to you, if you TRULY care about them.

Love her kids! They are yours too, and even if they are not your blood, they are your kids if you married their mommy. Get down on the floor and love them. Give them attention too, when you are running to the parts store or hardware store (or of course grocery shopping) ask if they want to go. My little boy said something very profound one time. He had just turned four so he was just a little guy. I asked him if he wanted to go to the hardware store with me. As he was putting on his jacket he said “Daddy, do you know why I want to go with you, because you want me to”. I almost fainted! This is the feeling that you give them, and you wife when you WANT to do it. I like to give my kids (and my wife) little squeezes when I am driving in the car. Just reach your arm behind the seat and give their leg or foot a little (gentle) squeeze. Do this with the wife too, a little rub or squeeze as you are going down the road.

“Choose the hill you want to die on”, when she does something that annoys you or makes a mistake, think about this. “What are the chances this EXACT thing is going to happen again in the future?” You will find that if you ask yourself this every time you find something to complain about, the answer is it will NEVER happen again. My point is, why in the heck would you want to make an issue of it? If you complain about it “teaching her a lesson” so you don’t have to “live with it” again you only demean her. You only break down what you have between her and you. But the fact that it most likely will NEVER happen again tells me that it is NOT worth even mentioning, not a single word.

I didn’t do much of this during my first marriage, would it have helped, I don’t think so. But it sure wouldn’t have hurt! If you don’t feel like it because you are tired of her being needy remember you did love her at some point. You even loved her being needy! That is one of the things that brought you to her, she needed you. You loved that feeling of her wanting to be with you, her waiting on every breath you took. Now, you want some space and you are troubled by this. You need to go back to the feeling you had then, you can still love her for that. Hating her for it is surely not going to help. If you take little baby steps you can work your way back up to that point where you want to “love her like when you were courting” level. If you take the baby steps, each with real meaning, you can get back to that feeling in your heart where you were when the world revolved around her.

I can not emphasize enough, these are not tricks to manipulate. It is not a game you are playing to get your way. You have to mean it, you have to want to love her. It will enrich the whole families lives.

In a nutshell your main objective is to try to be the opposite of the stereotyped selfish husband. Change the kids poopy diaper without being asked, ask her if she would like to wait while you get the car so she doesn’t have to walk all the way across the parking lot, call her from work and ask if she would like to go out to dinner, carry things for her (even her PURSE if she needs some help) etc. Make her feel like other women would kill to have you. Make her want to tell her friends how wonderful you are like I always tell my friends how wonderful my wife is. Tell her how you had a great time being with her as you go to bed after an outing.

Start taking these baby steps. Some guys are so distant, this will shock their wives. You will see a little smile on her face. Then you will start getting the same thing in return, it will build up till your house is full of love and everyone will want with all their heart to see the other do things that make them happy. It is a wonderful place to be.

Give her the time she needs, it will come back in huge dividends
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