Category Archives: marriage

Marriage – Keeping the Bonds Strong

Shopping is a Relationship

This one is for you guys. Here’s some advice that may keep you out of the dog house, which is where I ended up recently.

Women (or most women) love to shop. Many men don’t. And therein lies the conflict. My wife knows I hate shopping, and usually will spare me the torture. My idea of shopping is to research it online, order it online, and get back to doing something more important.

Earlier this week I learned an important lesson in marital relationships. We were shopping for some new chairs. I agreed to go along and help make the decisions. In fact, I actually volunteered. But by the end of the day I was tired. I had a headache. I just wanted to go home and watch the news.

Now my wife and I have always agreed that it is permissible to express how we “feel” when we’re having a “heated discussion.” We don’t attack each other. We don’t make accusations. We just say, “I feel like…” That usually works.

On this occasion it was not the right move. I felt like I had sacrificed to engage in my least favorite activity. I was being honest in expressing how I “felt.” As in, “I feel like I have really sacrificed to engage in this activity which I hate. I feel terrible. I just want to go home.”

Don’t do it this way, guys. We had a very silent, icy trip home. After we had processed things for about fifteen minutes at home, we had a heated discussion on how we “felt.”

What I learned was the following: To wives, our engagement in activities for them (and with them) is an expression of our concern for our relationship. Therefore it is something to be done without complaining. And complaining is received by wives as an expression of lack of concern for the relationship. So it is personal. And shopping is relationship…not an activity to be endured.

So guys, this is one time when the I-can-express-how-I-feel rule does not apply.

I hope this will save you some grief. And women (wow, I’m probably really setting myself up) if I have gotten this wrong, please set me straight. (Constructive criticism, please)

Guys, have you found any other exceptions to the rules, that can keep the rest of us out of the doghouse?


4-26-14 Steve and Cindy Hooley

We don’t like to be alone. We turn on the TV when the house is empty. Some of us are on our cell phone constantly, staying “connected.” We Skype. We email. We tweet. We post on Facebook. It is within the human psyche to crave relationship.

As we explore those aspects of our life that are truly important, I would guess a large majority of you would say that your relationships with friends and family are at the top of your list.

You have heard it said that at the end of life many people express regret they did not spend more time with family. Few regret that they did not spend more time working.

At the top of my list of relationships is my wife. We call each other “bestest” friends. I tell people I am the luckiest man in the world to be her husband. No one else could ever put up with me, and no one else has ever loved me the way she does. I would be lost without her.

Now, children and grandchildren are special in another way, and that’s a topic for an entire post. We could write books on them. But today I want to focus on my relationship with my wife.

On October 1st we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. Wow! A real milestone, a tribute to her patience with me. We celebrated by going out to eat and shopping for a rock. No, I’m not talking about a ¼ carat or ½ carat diamond, I’m talking about a 1000 pound rock! How’s that for big? Actually, we shopped for a new granite counter top for a house we are fixing up. It was an excellent experience. We found what we both liked, and at a great price. It was a good day.

As I reflect on that day, I realize the significance was that we were together, we were in agreement on our decision, we were both excited about what we had found. It was the TOGETHER that was really what made the day memorable. And when, in the future, I look at that counter top, I will always remember our 18th wedding anniversary and what a great day we spent together.

So, now it’s your turn. What relationships are the most important in your life? What special stories can you tell to show experiences you have shared with that special someone?