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My Girls are Growing Up – Help!!! April 30, 2007

Posted by Steve Worthy in Appreciation, Romantic Husband, Staying Married, Things to do.
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Daddy and daughter 

While watching television the other day, I came across a documentary that discussed the increase in sexual activity in young girls. As the father of three girls ages 14, 6 and 3, this was of particular interest to me. No sooner than the show went off I turned to watch some national news and one of the top stories, once again, dealt with sex and young girls. I thought, “What is going on in our society, that young girls are turning to sex to get attention and to feel loved.” I immediately went into my daughter rooms – they were asleep – and give them a big hug and kiss on the forehead. I also said a short prayer over each of them.

In processing the shows, I noticed a recurring theme: Fatherlessness or Absentee Fatherhood. I began to research this subject and found some interesting statistics and commentary on Fatherlessness.

Effects of Fatherlessness on Children – Social Consequences
Retrieved from: http://www.ancpr.org/affects_of_fatherlessness_on_chi.htm

“Fathers are the first and most important men in the lives of girls. They provide role models, accustoming their daughters to male-female relationships. Engaged and responsive fathers play with their daughters and guide them into challenging activities. They protect them, providing them with a sense of physical and emotional security. Girls with adequate fathering are more able, as they grow older, to develop constructive heterosexual relationships based on trust and intimacy…”

EFFECTS OF FATHERLESSNESS (US DATA)
Retrieved from: http://www.massey.ac.nz/~kbirks/gender/econ/nodad.htm

TEENAGE PREGNANCY
• “Daughters of single parents are 53% more likely to marry as teenagers, 164% more likely to have a premarital birth, and 92% more likely to dissolve their own marriages. All these intergenerational consequences of single motherhood increase the likelihood of chronic welfare dependency.” Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Atlantic Monthly (April 1993).
• Daughters of single parents are 2.1 times more likely to have children during their teenage years than are daughters from intact families. The Good Family Man, David Blankenhorn.
• 71% of teenage pregnancies are to children of single parents. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

BEHAVIORAL DISORDERS/ RUNAWAYS/ HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUTS/CHEMICAL ABUSERS/ SUICIDES
• 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes (Source: Center for Disease Control)
• 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)
• 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes (Source: National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.)
• 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes (Source: Rainbows for all God’s Children.)
• 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes (Source: U.S. D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census)

Dads, what do we do with this data? In our blogs we talk a lot about romance and its positive effect on our wives. In reality, it positively affects the entire family. Just imagine your young daughter watching her dad creatively romance her mom with flowers, candy and sweet gestures of love.

It is safe to say that this same girl will grow with positive thoughts of men and truly understand how men are suppose to treat her in various situations. Why, because it was modeled for her at home. Dads, if we want to save our daughters we are the first line of defense. It’s our positive examples that solidify how our daughters will relate to her peers that are boys and other men when she becomes an adult. Let’s reduce these statistics, beginning in our own households.

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Are husbands attractive to other women? April 29, 2007

Posted by Steve Worthy in Getting Married, Marriage, Sex, Staying Married.
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 Couple flirting

The other day I went shopping with my wife and as a typical guy, I went to visit the sporting goods and electronic sections to check out some stuff. Upon entering the sporting goods section, I stopped by the golf clubs and noticed a very attractive woman looking at me out of the corner of my eye. I turned and said, “Hello”. She replied, “Hello, are you a golfer?” “Oh yeah, I’ve been playing for about 13 years”, I said. We began to converse about clubs, different golf courses and I realized that she was well versed in golf terminology and history. I also noticed that she keep touching my arm. You know how woman do when they are talking. Their hands tend to move in a patting motion, while touching the person they are speaking with.

After about 10 ten minutes, I said to myself, “This lady is flirting with me.” My first thought was, “Wow, I still have it.” My second thought was, “Show Her the Ring” – (My Wedding Ring). So, I began by placing my left hand on my chin as she was speaking in an effort to say, “Look lady, I’m married, stop flirting with me and move onto the next guy.” So after another 3 minutes or so I began to look at my watch in an attempt to make my exit, only to be handed a business card – by the attractive lady – to call her to play a round golf. In my opinion, she was waiting for me to reciprocate, however, I did not.

When I found my wife, I told what happen and showed her the card. She looked at me and said, “Are you serious” and began laughing. I said, “Oh, another woman can’t find me attractive?” She replied, “No, it’s just that I never really think about another woman finding my husband attractive. Second, I’m just surprised you told me about it. Then again, I can see why women would find you attractive. Point her out to me.”

So, I began thinking, “What would most husbands do in this situation?

Would most husbands bask in the glory that an Attractive Woman is speaking with them?

Would most husbands tell their wives about the encounter?

Would most husbands keep the business card and set up a round of golf?

What do you think? What would you do?

Why don’t you like the Dress??? April 28, 2007

Posted by Steve Worthy in Getting Married, Marriage, romance, Staying Married, Tools to Use.
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Indian dress 

Yesterday, Gerry and I were having a meeting with a good business friend. He was telling us about his trip to India where he did some Training sessions for recruiters. While he was there he thought it would be nice to pick up some things for his wife, like some jewelry and clothing. Like any husbands, he thought he was doing well and would really create a good Hero Moment – You know the moments when you surprise your wife by doing something so thoughtful, you get one of those, “Ooohhh Honey, you shouldn’t have, but I’m glad you did” moments. Those are very cool occurrences within a marriage.

Well our buddy returns home gleefully, expecting a warm welcome and an extra thank you for the gifts he was bearing. Let me preface the next few sentences by saying. Women think differently from men and men you need to remember that. The way we react or receive things are totally different. Having said that, let’s move on with the story. Upon presenting his wife with the gifts, he did not get the reaction he expected. Bear in mind his wife was not unthankful for the gestures, just a bit confused. Her response to the dress he purchased was, “You don’t know me, when have I ever worn a dress with beads on it.” His response was like most men, “HUH”. He probably thought the dress was nice and would flatter his wife’s figure, etc. But, in his head – right now- he was probably thinking, “This the last time I buy you anything when I’m on a trip.” But thank goodness he didn’t say that.

What’s my point? Could his wife had just said, “Oh honey, this dress is great, but you know it’s not my style” or “Oh honey, thank you so much” – then never wear the dress. Which one is the better response? Or is there another response? You tell me. All I know is that in a marriage you and your wife should have the freedom to be open and honest about every little thing – likes and dislikes. What if our buddy would have called his wife before buying the dress to play it safe? Would he have received better instructions on his purchase? Probably. Regardless of his wife’s response, there are bigger questions here that each husband should address and keep in their memory bank.

    Husbands how well do you know your wives? Their dislikes/likes in clothing, shoes, jewelry, music, etc.

I’m very lucky; I can go shopping with my wife because she thinks I have good taste in clothing. And I do. But, it took me about 4-5 years to really understand the types of shoes and style of clothes that appeal to my wife. I studied my wife.

    What is your wife’s favorite color(s)?Where does your wife like to shop for clothes?

Before you make that next purchase ask yourselves these questions. They could give you the Hero Moment you are looking for.

Lunchtime Romance April 27, 2007

Posted by Gerry Baron in Places to Go, Restaurants, Things to do.
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Next week I start working in the corporate world again.  My wife is ecstatic about my decision.  To celebrate, we’ve had a few lunchtime dates that have given us a chance to connect.

Seasons 52 Logo

On Wednesday we checked out Seasons 52 by Perimeter Mall in Atlanta.  What a great experience.  The line was a little long to get in.  While standing in line we found out that the waiting list for a reservation is 2 weeks.  That’s how popular this place is. 

Seasons 52 describes themselves as …

… a casually sophisticated grill and wine bar that invites you to discover the sensational flavors of our seasonally changing menu. Our passion is to serve highly flavored meals that are better for you and focus on the best of each season. We use natural cooking techniques such as grilling over open fires to give our food exceptional taste with fewer calories than similar restaurant meals. To complement the flavor and aroma of your meal, we offer an adventurous international wine list of more than 140 outstanding wines, with 70 available by the glass.

Seasons 52 offers a warm and welcoming adult atmosphere you’ll want to return to often.

My wife and I did find the atmosphere to be warm and welcoming.  There was wood all around us.  The booth was deep and the cushions comfortable. 

Our server told us that their flatbread appetizer was a specialty so we tried it.  Man was that a good decision.  They brought out a flat piece of bread on a plank about 2 feet long.  The bread was smothered in baked cheese, onions, and garlic.  It was a feast for the tastebuds.  We followed this with entrees that were very flavorful and fresh tasting.  Dessert was the finishing touch.  Each dessert is presented in a shot glass.  My wife tried 2 desserts and loved them both.

They tell us that they have live music every night.  Check it out.

Seasons 52 (map & directions)
90 Perimeter Center West
By the Perimeter Mall
Dunwoody, GA 30346
(770) 671-0052
Reservations are welcome, but not required.

Smokejack Logo 

Our 2nd lunch date of the week was at Smokejack Blues & Barbeque in Alpharetta GA.  We missed the lunch crowd by arriving at 1:15 PM. 

Smokejack touts themselves as “a casual restaurant and blues bar in downtown Alpharetta serving up quality cuisine with a side of Southern hospitality in a family-friendly environment.  Combining a chef-driven concept with neighborhood charm, Smokejack offers the best in barbeque from ribs to salmon.”

The atmosphere was laid back.  Country music was playing in the background.  The servers were friendly.  Both of us loved our meal.  My wife’s favorite part was dessert!  She is a banana pudding connaisseur and she said their banana pudding was amazing.  They advertise live local bands.  Another good place to take your honey on a date.

Smokejack Blues & Barbeque
29 South Main Street
Alpharetta GA 30004
Tel: 770-410-7611
Fax: 770-410-7622

Ghost Written Romance April 26, 2007

Posted by Gerry Baron in Sweet Nothings, Things to do.
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 Young man writing

As Steve and I prepare to write a book, we have been doing research about the process.  I was quite surprised to discover that several well-known speakers and authors use ghost writers.  A ghost writer is someone who writes on behalf of the author in part or in whole.  Considering that many authors are tremendously busy as they travel around the world on speaking engagements to help promote their books (and generate income), the concept of using a ghost writer began to make sense to me. 

An author who finds a good ghost writer able to take the ideas that are in their thoughts and put those ideas into words that make the reader respond the way the author intended is incredibly fortunate.  The reason is that the ghost writer can focus on articulating the ideas in writing while the speaker/author concentrates on delivering the ideas to live audiences.  In essence, they multiply themselves.

What does this have to do with romance? 

I have come across a few sites that specialize in writing poetry and love letters for their clients.   It got me thinking about whether this is a service that By Husbands For Husbands should recommend to its members.

The story “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand came to mind.  For those who haven’t heard of this story, it’s the story of a man with a huge bulbous nose named Cyrano who is incredibly eloquent.  He falls in love with a beautiful woman named Roxanne who is much sought after.  Unfortunately Roxanne, in turn, is interested in the young and handsome Christian.  She asks Cyrano to help hook her up with Christian.  Christian, upon finding out about Roxanne’s interests wants to impress her.  Unfortunately, he is clueless about how to express himself in words.  He enlists Cyrano’s help to write poetry that he can recite to Roxanne.  Roxanne falls in love with Christian by virtue of the beautiful words he uses only to later find out that Cyrano was really the man she fell in love with.

Remembering this story solidified my belief that unlike commercial books, sentiments of the heart cannot and should not be ghost written.  The person you care about wants to hear how you feel about them in your own words. 

I believe that the reason the greeting card industry is so huge and that businesses exist to sell ghost written marriage vows, marriage proposals, love notes, and poems is that people are not willing to invest the time to truly explore their feelings.  They allow the hustle and bustle of life control them and convince themselves that they don’t have the time or the talent to express themselves in words.

Our society has lost the fine art of written communication.  It’s been taken over by acronyms and acrostics, LOL! 

I think that it’s time for us to take the time to reflect on our wives.  Let’s think about her attributes that attracted us to her in the first place…her drive, her beauty, her independence, her gentleness, her intelligence, her scent, her voice, … and then tell her about them. 

One of our callers left a message about how he wrote about 40 things that he loved about his wife on little slips of paper.  He put them in a jar for her to pull out whenever she got a little miffed at him. 

How long of a list can you come up with for your wife?  Start right now and see how many things you can think of.  I can tell you that my wife always softens up when I start to recite the list of things that I love about her. 

If your list is notvery long, it’s time to start spending time with her again.  Date her, romance her, and woo her once again.  Bring back those feelings that got you together in the first place.  Get suggestions from some of our other posts and Podcast segments.

It’s never too late! 

Love does prevail April 25, 2007

Posted by Gerry Baron in Romance Leadership, Staying Married.
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 Lion attacking

Today, I read an article by Abigail Trafford in the Washington Post called “In The End, Love Prevails”.  Here’s an excerpt…

“It was late afternoon. Nell Hamm, 65, and her husband, Jim, 70, were finishing up their 10-mile hike in California’s Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park when a mountain lion attacked. The cat had her husband’s head in its jaws as it dragged him to the ground. Nell screamed at the beast; she grabbed a log and started beating it on its back; then she slammed the end of the log into the animal’s snout. Stunned and bleeding, the lion let Jim go and drifted away.”

Abigail goes on to speak about research that has shown that staying married has benefits for couples as they get older.

When I read how Nell went after the mountain lion at considerable risk to herself, it made me wonder how many people are that committed to their marriages.  She was willing to lose her life to save her husband.

Her experience with the mountain lion actually serves as a great metaphor for the salvation of my marriage. 

Almost 4 years ago, I decided to set sail on my entrepreneurial journey.  I was excited about being my own boss, making my own hours, and being available for my family.  No one was going to have to give me permission to take vacation or to give me their approval for me to attend another author’s party.

My business did ok.  It covered its expenses but it never took off to the point that it could sustain our personal financial needs.  Debt mounted.  Bill collectors called.  Checks bounced.  It was not a pretty picture.

Through it all, I was convinced that I was doing the best thing by being an entrepreneur.  “I will be so unhappy in corporate!”, I told myself over and over again.  Meanwhile, my wife kept asking me to consider getting a job.

For 3 1/2 years, I resisted.  Our relationship became incredibly strained.  At times it seemed ready to totally crumble.  I’m sad to say that I went so far as saying the words, “I give up!” a few times out of sheer frustration.

My wife told me that I was being proud and arrogant several times but I wouldn’t listen to her.  I rationalized that she must not have really been a supporter and that things would be better if she would only choose to get behind me.  The more I dug in, the worse things got.

One day someone asked me whether I was willing to give everything up for the sake of my marriage.  The question made me pause.  “Why do I have to give everything up for my marriage to be successful?” I wondered.  Somehow it did not seem fair that I would have to give anything up to become happy.  I couldn’t shake the question.

Not too long after I started processing the question, my wife gave me a present – “Every Man’s Marriage” (click on link for details on the book). 

In the book, the author speaks about husbands submitting their lives for their wives.  This was like a double whammy. 

I struggled for a few weeks with this concept.  Everything within me resisted the notion of giving up my life for the sake of a marriage.  I could not imagine that things would get better instead of worse.  Images of my wife taking every opportunity to get me to do things for her kept creeping into my mind. 

However, I could not escape 1 thing.  Any decision not to be willing to literally give up my life for the sake of my marriage would mean that I was not willing to live up to the commitment I made nearly 20 years ago.  To a man who has worked diligently on developing his character and his integrity, this was an unacceptable outcome.  I was therefore compelled to choose to give up my life.

My figurative mountain lions were the thoughts in my head that told me how foolish I was to give up my life – “She’ll take advantage of you”; “You’ll never get to see your dreams come to pass”; and “You’re such a wimp!”  Just like Nell had the courage to attack the mountain lion so that it would release Jim, I had to muster up the courage attack these “mountain lyings” so that they would release my marriage.

Little by little, I decided to respond to my wife’s requests rather than fight them.  It was excruciatingly difficult to do it without grumbling, complaining, and muttering under my breath.  Astonishingly enough, the more that I did it, the easier it became.  Now after working at it for over a year, it has become second nature to respond to my wife’s requests.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that I used to put up such a fight to do things for my wife.  Seeing how much more attentive she is to me now, I can say it was worth it to “lose my life to gain my wife.”

Hear Rich Mace talk about The JOURNEY for men April 24, 2007

Posted by Gerry Baron in Romance Leadership, Romantic Husband.
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Last year Steve and I participated in a men’s group called The JOURNEY.  The emphasis of The JOURNEY was to help men deal with some of the issues from our past that stand in the way of us living a fulfilled life in the future.  On The JOURNEY we looked at wounds that men often experience that keep them from being authentic men such as “The Absent Father Wound” and “The Overly Bonded to Mother Wound”.

Rich Mace is the Small Group Pastor at Victory World Church, a 5,500+ member non-denominational church in Norcross, Georgia.  He oversees The JOURNEY and will be sharing some of his views on what challenges men experience and must overcome in order fully live their lives.

Listen in tonight at 7:00 PM on By Husbands For Husbands Talk Radio (www.blogtalkradio.com/byhusbandsforhusbands).  You can also call in with comments and questions on 718-508-9573