Sabrina – Good Morning

Sweet, lovely Sabrina text me this morning. It was a simple, “Good Morning.”

“Hi Sabrina!”

“Did I wake you? I need some positivity this morning.”

“No. What’s up, dear?”

“Just stressed about my job. The boss is never happy. I’m stressed about my ex. He’s pushing me to do things before I want to do them. I just feel like shit.”

“Can you meet for lunch today?”

Yes, I’m sure I can. What time and where?”

I had to work at the salon later, so I suggested noon at Locust Rendezvous. But she wanted to do a little later and not a bar that looks like a tavern. More of a lunch spot. (I should have realized this, based on her past with addiction and recovery.) I just wanted the $5 burger they have there. I secede and suggest Rachael’s at 12:30. She likes that idea much better. Racheal’s is my weekend breakfast spot. I love the food and the prices.

I get there and she appears shortly thereafter. She looks lovely as ever. We go up to the counter and order then return to our table. The place is quiet and this is the first time we’ve ever met outside of the salon. Technically our first date if that’s what this is.

Am I attracted to Sabrina? Of course. Do I care that she’s used heroin for 7 years and has been clean 8 months? No. I want her to be well and live a happy sober life. Do I care that she lived in a halfway house with Jill because she had to be sent there? Nope. She’s a nice lady that had a shitty marriage and got addicted to drugs. But she’s clean now and I like being around her. If I get bored or annoyed with her I’ll cool it. I’ve written about all of the crazy women that I used to hang out with and date in this forum. I only surround myself with good people now. I’ve cut off all of those people and I’m much happier and more calm for it. Jill, Kaja and Sabrina are all nice women that just made some bad choices, but I believe it’s never too late to change for the better. When I was with the crazies they were still in crazy mode. These good women have come out on the other side and hopefully for good.

At this point in my life I like spending time with people who are calm and nice. No more drama. I’ve had enough for two lifetimes. So many of the people who now live in the past and out of my head are just shitty people. I blame their lifestyle choices and their parents. I also love to work and my alone time, so I dig a lunch or a happy hour but beyond that…see ya!

Sabrina and I have a wonderful lunch. We’re chatting for the first time outside of the salon and we can really get to know each other. She’s telling me about her life and what’s been happening, but I don’t need all the details. We just glide across the surface. Marriage, divorce, kids, work. Just first date stuff for people who have ‘seen some things.’ Normally you should never talk about any of your ex’s on a first date, but I discover that she’s still married to her husband. I don’t care. They’re separated so they can date if that’s what they’ve agreed. Not my concern. She’s living in the house and he’s moved out. She’s gotten out of the halfway house because I’m assuming she did her time and stayed clean. Her husband is a contractor and she was a stay at home mom for 12 years. Oh, she has two kids. They live with Dad and she gets to see them on Saturdays. From what she’s told me he sounds like he’s being a dick, slacking on the house payments and utilities, and saying he doesn’t have any money. But Sabrina has access to all of the accounts. He’s not good at any of that, so she still has all the passwords. She can see that he’s spending hundreds of dollars out at the bars. So it’s all a pretty typical divorce mess.

In the State of Pennsylvania, if she stayed home for all of her twenties (She’s 32) The court will have to take that into account. He was the sole breadwinner while she had to forgo her career to raise the kids so dad is going to have to pay her alimony. So that’s good for her. He’ll also have to cash her out on the house, and divide up the assets. So it would really benefit her to begin divorce proceedings.

Recently the company she works for have cut the hours of some of the staff. Because some of their outdoor bars and beer gardens have closed for the season. This and her husband are really stressing her out. I’m afraid if she gets really stressed she could use again and then she’s back in a drug fueled world of shit.

“What are you looking to do?”

“I was thinking I could maybe get a job as a server.”

She knows that I have the hook up with a lot of the bars and restaurants around the city. She also knows that I’ve helped people get jobs. So she asks for my help.

“What are you doing tomorrow, Sabrina?”

“What are you thinking?” She smiles.

“I get my business cards for all of the bars and restaurants in the city. We get lunch at Misconduct. Then we go through the cards and I reach out to places we think are appropriate for you to work as a server.”

“I love Misconduct! I’ve only been there once! Yes! If you could do that and help me that would be wonderful!”

“I’ll do what I can.”

“Thank you!”

The sandwiches they served us were enormous. Delicious and fresh, but gigantic. I guess the average person that goes there and orders a sandwich wants to stuff their head with a king sized wad of meat. I want a sandwich like the ones my mom used to make. Something that has reasonable portions and I can get my mouth around to bite it. Not rip into a pile of meat like a jackal. I see that she could only eat half of her hot Rueben and I’m in the same situation with my roast beef. There is a half a sandwich left and it’s as big as one sandwich. I grab us a couple of to-go shells and we put our sandwiches in them and head out.

We walk east on Sansom and we’re chatting and come upon a homeless woman lying on a piece of cardboard on the sidewalk.

I bend down. “Would you like this fresh sandwich? It’s really good.”

The poor woman turns on her side and starts opening the container. “Thank you.”

We continue walking down the street.

“You’re my kind of guy.”

“That’s a woman lying in the street. I had to do it.”

“I could cry. I can feel my heart.”

We agree again on tomorrow and I tell her to take a deep breath and just know it will all work out. She hugs me and thanks me for everything.

I watch as she walks north on 18th street and admired her beauty. Wow. First date. She reached out to me and made it happen. Got to know each other and good energy flowed. Second date is tomorrow and maybe I can help her find a part-time job. Fed a homeless person and impressed her.

Sometimes all it takes to get the ball rolling are the words:

“Good Morning.”

 

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Cherie – Chapter 48 – Better to Give… Part 1

I’m in Awe…

Baby is determined to try to get down here this weekend. I think she’s shooting for Friday night when I finish at the salon. She says she has to go back around 11am or noon on Saturday, which is choice. Because that gives me time with her Friday night into Saturday for some greatest hits. I like this, because once she goes I’m off for the rest of the day from everything.

My daughter tells me we need paper towels for the kitchen. I’m a little curious about this because my vegan daughter Lorelei now owns my kitchen and uses all of the paper towels. I never touch a single one. But as a child who is nearly twenty-one she thinks all household stuff is paid for by parents.

I love her and I’m fine with it. I’m happy she’s my daughter.

I go to Walgreen’s and pick up two rolls of paper towels, a can of Axe body spray, (Phoenix. You’re welcome Axe or… I’m sorry Axe) A bag of kettle corn, (Cravings lately. Unexplained. Just love that stuff. It’ll pass.) condoms and a pack of cigs.

As I approach the counter I hope the cashier doesn’t put some sort of story together based on my purchases today…

Oh, this guy needs Axe body spray to attract a mate, and then he’s buying condoms in the hope he closes, and then he’s buying cigarettes to smoke after the sex. 

Or… He will eat the entire bag of kettle corn watching Netflix alone tonight when he fails miserably at the bar, using the paper towels to mop up his tears.

 

I’m at the salon on Friday and it’s quiet. A welcome repose from Thursday. It was busy yesterday night. I loved it. We made money, some of my favorite people stopped in, and the night flew by.

Cherie is on the train and on her way down to the city for the night. I lock up at 8pm and settle the drawer. She’s never been to the new salon. She texts me to ask whether she should come to me or head to my house.

I give her the address and tell her to come to the salon. I lock the doors and turn off the lights in the hallway. I hit the flashlight feature on my phone and head down the steps. The door downstairs opens and it’s Cherie!

She’s already off the train and here! I come down and give her a hug and a kiss. I’m so happy to see her. She looks great as always. Dark locks and sexy lips and hips. I’ve missed her. I’ve been thinking about her a lot this week.

Once I knew she confirmed for Friday night my hunger for her grew.

If you’ve been reading this blog you already know that I’ve accepted the fact that we can’t always be together. That’s just the way it is now. Cherie’s in school, working at the hospital, and taking care of her son. Just a full schedule.

But somehow love survives and thrives between us. A playful sweet love that has been built on a rich history over the last year. Our one year anniversary just happened two weeks ago. You would think that would be a time for great celebration and jewelry.

But she was in class and then at CHOP (Children’ Hospital) doing blood work for sick kids, and I was in meetings with an app company about selling their products in this market.

Cherie had to grow up fast in her twenties. Once you have a kid, that changes you if you’re made from anything good. Cherie is. She said to me tonight her son’s father doesn’t spend enough time with him and the support is light. I told her that I thought her ex had a good job and made decent money. She said he has five kids from two different ex-wives so he’s basically broke all the time.

“He’s white, right?”

(Laughs) “Yea. But my son is last on the list when it comes to support or time.”

“I’m sorry. But I’ve been divorced. Support is based on how many overnights he has with the child and how much income he earns. You can go to court and make him pay. It’s just a math equation.”

“You forget that we never married over the time we were together. There’s nothing in place for me to enforce it. I’m basically a single mother.”

By this point I’m lying next to her on my bed. We’re just talking before anything happens here. Her beautiful dark, almond eyes glisten with tears.

But no tears fall. She looks at me calmly describing her plight. She only blinks between statements.

My girlfriend is resolute.

“If my son’s father is going to fail and continue to fail as a father to his son with me, then I have to be the best mother I can to him.” She breathes deeply, never taking her eyes from mine. I see in her a strength I don’t know in anyone else I know. She means what she says and there’s no other choice for her. Cherie knows that because she’s lived in a world where she can count on no one but herself.

Her mom, dad and sister are great, but at the end of the day she knows she’s really the only one in her son’s life. This has been the painful and triumphant journey of many black women through history.

She’s beside me, her head supported by her hand on her side. I am lying on my back looking up to her. I realize in that moment, I truly am looking up to her.

She’s calm, and her words are sure. I love her. I love her so much in this moment. Looking upon her sheer will to survive.

I’m in awe.

 

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Tales of Rock – Special Report – Rapper Nipsey Hussle Dead after a Shooting near his Los Angeles Clothing Store

Rapper Nipsey Hussle died Sunday after a shooting in Los Angeles near a clothing store he owned, according to a high-ranking law enforcement official with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Two other people were injured in the shooting around 3:20 p.m., according to the department.
The shooting occurred in the area of Slauson Avenue and Crenshaw Boulevard.
All three victims were transported to a hospital, where one of them was pronounced dead, according to police. The other two were in stable condition, police added.
In a tweet, the department said it has no information about the suspect.
The rapper’s last message on Twitter read: “Having strong enemies is a blessing.”
In 2010, Hussle, 33, whose birth name was Ermias Davidson Asghedom according to IMDb.com, founded the record label All Money In, which he debuted with the release of “The Marathon,” the rapper’s fifth official mixtape. His 2013 “Crenshaw” release sold more than a thousand cassettes each priced at $100, according to his Press Atlantic Records biography.
The next year, he performed across the country in his Crenshaw Tour.
Hussle teamed up with dozens of successful artists, including Kendrick Lamar, Drake, YG, Ty Dolla Sign, Meek Mill and Young Thug.
He made moves outside the music industry, too. Last year he launched the first Marathon Clothing smart store at 3420 W. Slauson Ave. in Los Angeles. He also owns The Marathon Agency, SC Commercial Ventures, Proud 2 Pay and All Money In No Money Out Records, according to Press Atlantic Records.
His Facebook says Hussle was “a devout member of the Rolling Sixty Crips,” a national street gang that was founded in Los Angeles in the mid-1970s.
His page lists Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg and Tupac as some of his influences.
Hussle was nominated for best rap album at this year’s Grammys, but lost to Cardi B.

Stopping gang violence

Mark Ridley-Thomas, a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors who represents the southern part of the city, released a statement Sunday night saying his district mourned the loss of Hussle.
“Ermias Asghedom, known to us as the hip-hop artist Nipsey Hussle, was a father, businessman, entertainer, and inspiration to many,” Ridley-Thomas said, urging his district to stay calm and reflect on the tragedy. “Our communities have lost too many young men and bright futures to the scourge of gun violence. For healing to occur, even from this terrible incident, justice must be sought through legal means, and community peace must be found.”
Hussle had been scheduled to meet with LA Police Commissioner Steve Soboroff and LAPD Chief Michael Moore on Monday to discuss ways to stop gang violence, Soboroff said on Twitter.
“We (@LAPDChiefMoore and I ) were meeting, at the request of @NipseyHussle with him and @rocnation tomorrow at 4pm to talk about ways he could help stop gang violence and help us help kids. I’m so very sad,” Soboroff tweeted.

Stars pay tribute

After news of his death, dozens of celebrities expressed their shock and condolences on social media.
“My spirit is shaken by this,” Rihanna wrote on Twitter. “Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! I’m so sorry this happened to you.”
“Sad, mad and disappointed about my guy,” rapper Ice Cube tweeted.
Pharrell Williams wrote Hussle was about “something.. positive and for your community in every chance you had to speak.. and because of that You inspire millions.. millions who will uphold your legacy forever.”
Rapper J. Cole tweeted that Hussle was a “legend”
“I respect and admire your career path and what you did for the neighborhood. My heart broke today when I saw the news. I’m praying for your loved ones,” Cole tweeted.
Other artists, including Chance the RapperMeek Mill and Drake, also took to social media to say their final goodbyes, along with athletes Stephen CurryLeBron James and Colin Kaepernick.
Clarification: The headline and article have been updated to reflect that Nipsey Hussle was owner of the clothing store near the site of the shooting.

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How To Stop A Fight In Its Tracks (When You Accidentally Hit Your Spouse’s Trigger Point)

Know the signs and learn how to respond appropriately.

Communication is just about the most important thing in any long-term relationship or marriage, but so many people still struggle to do it successfully. Whether you’re fighting, discussing finances, or just having a conversation about where to eat for dinner, there’s never a time when good communication isn’t going to play a role.

And once you or your spouse’s emotional trigger points have been hit by something that was said, it can cause an emotional reaction that can cause your conversation to spiral out of control. Whether it’s you or them who’s been triggered, these situations can often explode into arguments with what feels like very little reason.

It’s easy to screw up and touch on an area that might hit a “raw spot” or be an emotional trigger for your partner.

Because we’re often inside of our own heads and not always paying attention when we communicate, we can cause problems by not thinking about what we say before we say it.

Our words can hit on emotional trigger points, raw spots or vulnerabilities that could hurt or offend someone we love — or our spouse’s words can hit on a traumatic issue of own our — and instead of realizing that it wasn’t an intentional attack, we become defensive or angry.

Simple conversations can blow up into arguments at the drop of a hat.

So how do we stop ourselves from not losing it over an unintentional verbal barb when we feel that pain caused by our emotional trigger point?

According to YourTango Experts therapist Jill Kahn and psychologist Stanley Tatkin, the problem is that our reactions to these issues are happening very, very quickly so that we might not even be aware of how we’re reacting until we’ve already done it.

The area of our brain associated with memory can react almost instantly when it’s triggered, so we’re momentarily not capable of pulling ourselves out of that response and thinking logically about what our partner’s intention was.

And, says Tatkin, it’s possible for that knee-jerk memory reaction to occur again and again if our partner doesn’t do something to rectify what they said or did to begin with.

And perhaps instead of realizing from your shocked expression that they messed up, they might press the issue by mistake, further compounding the situation.

Our emotional responses are incredibly fast — much faster than our thinking reactions, Jill Kahn points out, which can be exactly as problematic as it sounds.

In order to curtail this potentially catastrophic issue when it’s just happened, it’s important to take a step back before you respond to your partner.

Understand that the way you’re feeling is just a response to your previous trauma, and let your partner know — kindly — that you need a moment. You can explain to them that their words brought something out in you, and then take the time you need to compose yourself before talking to them about it.

And sitting down and explaining what your issue was can help make sure it’s avoided in the future. It can also let your partner know what they can do to help if something like that happens again, so things don’t get out of hand.

Communicating your needs and listening to your partner’s are so important! If you want more tips on how to keep a triggered memory from ruining your time with your significant other.

 

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Kimiko – Chapter 3 – The Devil Made Me Do It – Part 1

I finished work at the salon that Sunday, and headed over to Devil’s Alley. It’s a bar/restaurant at 20th and Chestnut. I’ve written about it before. It’s one of my go to spots in Rittenhouse. Southern cuisine, cool spot. Dining room on the ground floor, and the bar and the balcony seating upstairs. There are lots of cool light effects and plants. There’s actually a tree growing in the middle of the downstairs dining room.

They have the best spicy dry rub wings in the city. The food is great there and I’ve just learned that they do Happy Hour every day. Even Sundays! So I’ve come to the right spot for my first date with Kimiko.

I’m early of course. I head upstairs to the bar and order a vodka and tonic. The bartender Tim is charming and we chat a bit about work and how life is tough right now. Classic bar banter. I throw it back and order another just to take the edge off the day and this date.

I text her.

Me: I just arrived at Devil’s Alley.

K: One min.

Me: I’m at the bar upstairs.

Perfect. It’s 4:57 and she is right on time. Points for her punctuality.

The place is dead and I love that it’s quiet so we can chat and get to know each other when she and I dine together.

I hear the light click of heels coming up the metal stairs behind me. I turn and there before me is the girl from the profile on Bumble.

But better.

The angelic fine boned features of the face. Alive. Real. Her raven tresses tumble about her shoulders like ribbons of coal. The lovely almond eyes. The lean body. She’s wearing a black and white blouse, with a fitted short jacket over it paired with black clinging slacks and heels.

She’s absolutely perfect. We do the perfunctory awkward hug that doesn’t feel that bad at all. I catch a whiff of her lovely hair.

We grab a quiet table on the balcony. We sit and the bartender comes over and she gets a beer and I ask for another V&T. We exchange the usual greetings and pleasantries. She tells me she’s parked a few blocks away at 20th and Walnut.

We’re sipping our drinks and I tell the server we want to chat a bit but will be ordering food. I ask her how long she’s been on Bumble. She tells me only about two weeks. She’s been on two dates but it hasn’t yielded anything significant. One was just a no and the other didn’t look like his profile pics. That’s good, the shark has gotten this baby seal before she could disappear. I can tell by her expression and body language she’s telling the truth.

I decide to open and tell her about myself first. She’s fine with that. It’s time for Led Zeppelin to go onstage. I tell her I like to talk. She responds that she’s a good listener.

I give her the sales pitch. Single dad. Daughter, 22 lives with me. Former banker and advertising guy. Works at a tanning salon and investing in a fitness center in Rittenhouse. I talk about my family and where we’re from and a little bit of history. I tell her I want her to know who I am and I’m very honest and open. I want to put her at ease. It’s an easy play because it’s all true.

To a point.

We seem to be hitting on all cylinders. She jokingly brings up my profile. About how I make the statement, “If you don’t look like your profile pics, you’ll buy me drinks until you do.”

I assure her that she won’t be buying me any drinks tonight. (Smokin’ hot and better than her profile pics.)

She laughs and I see how sweet she is. She can tell I’m a gentleman, and that I’m old-fashioned and she likes that I like dating, romance and courtship. That puts her further at ease.

She tells me her story. It’s an old family. Older than mine but she’s the baby of the family. There are eight children! She was born in Hong Kong. (Funny how my girlfriend Cherie is in Japan right now and I’m with a Japanese girl. Oh, the irony of life!) A long time ago Great Britain ruled Hong Kong and Japan. But then they had to give all of the countries they ruled over back and Japan went under the rule of China. She said her family didn’t agree with Chinese rule and fled Hong Kong and came to the US long ago.

Her parents and extended family always worked in the restaurant business. Chinese restaurants of course. Asians are some of the greatest restauranteurs in the world. Think about it. They’re in every city in the civilized world and you never see them go out of business.

So that’s what they did when they came here. The whole family worked like dogs running a Chinese restaurant. Then they opened up another one, and then another. They did this to afford their future generations with a better life. That’s how it’s done. Just good hard-working, bright people. I admire them and their tireless work ethic. Good manners and discipline. All of the qualities instilled into my family by my parents.

She was married once and I tell her my history, but I keep it brief and light. Too early to get to deep in that on a first date. She was married for many years and it yielded two sons. They are both in medical school.

Do you see the pattern here? Come from a crappy place, get to America. Work your asses off so your kids and grand kids have the means to become anything they want. Something you could never have imagined doing. She is very proud of her boys. At this point we whip out the cell phones like people used to bring out the wallet photos of their kids in days of old.

“You’re daughter is gorgeous. Pretty as a model!”

“I do nice work, but the mold is broken and there’ll be no more.”

We order the spicy dry rub wings so she can try them. Because its happy hour you can get a little four plate. Perfect. She orders the chicken quesadilla and I go with the pulled pork sliders. I order for us both and ask her if that’s okay. She likes it and digs the manners and skills.

Ex girlfriend Annabelle didn’t like when I did that but she was a raging feminist, but she was just a fool who didn’t understand manners and chivalry because she never grew up with any good male role models. That’ll never happen to my daughter Lorelei.

It’s going well and I want to learn more about her. She met her husband here but they had a lot in common. Both from Hong Kong, and similar cultural and familial histories. They started dating and then married three months after that. She tells me that’s kind of stupid, but I tell her how I was married to my ex-wife after ten months of dating.

We share a laugh over that and there’s definitely a connection. Life happens. People make decisions and you just hope for the best. It was probably just everyone tired of the dating scene and you settle on what you hope is a good one and just go for it.

She looks at her watch.

“Do you have somewhere to be? I don’t want to keep you.”

“I have to put money in the meter.”

“That would be a brilliant out if you felt the date wasn’t going well. You could just not come back.”

She touches my arm, “Oh I would never do that! You’re funny. I’ll be right back!”

She apologizes and I tell her the Parking Authority in this city is vicious so she should go now.

Off she goes. I know she’ll be right back. She only put enough for two hours and if it hadn’t worked between us, she could have bolted. She’ll come back right?

She’s been sweet, and she touched my arm.

Kimiko is coming right back. I joke with the bartender how this could be her out.

 

Wait… What if she doesn’t come back?

 

Find out tomorrow on Phicklephilly!

 

 

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Racquel Writes! There Is Enough to Go Around

via There Is Enough to Go Around

 

http://www.racquelwrites.com

 

 

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50 WAYS to Show Your Husband You LOVE HIM – Part 2

Don’t worry… you don’t need to do all 50 :). And some of these ideas won’t apply to your situation in life. But, I hope this list inspires you to just try ONE and re-focus on the person you love! I think it’s so easy, with the stresses of parenting or working or life, to neglect giving daily love and attention to our most important relationship on earth. In marriage, we are completely known for who we are and our spouses get our best and our very worst. Luckily we can continually learn and grow as a person and a couple. Being married to my very best friend is the biggest blessing in life!!

If you ever feel that your marriage could be stronger or you feel your relationship needs a re-charge (which is always does), pick one that works for you and have fun!! I so believe that discovering ways to show love in YOUR SPOUSE’S LANGUAGE and re-discovering your FRIENDSHIP over and over again is what builds a strong marriage! So I hope one idea may help…

 

Surprise her with a fun gift that she would really enjoy. Or save the money and don’t buy anything, if that’s his love language!

26. Find some sanity at home.

No matter how much we all work together on cleaning and organizing our house, it usually feels so overwhelming. I do care about the environment of our home because it does affect everyone, especially me and my ability to focus more on relationships. I’ve also found that cleaning together as a couple can also be a good time to chat.

27. Encourage his hobbies.

It will make a huge difference, and help him to feel more balanced, and to be his best self. I sure need this, and I know he does too.

28. Take a hike or walk, while holding hands.

29. Eat an ice cream cone together.

Buy one large cone and eat it together at the same time.

30. Pray together each night.

Recently I attended a wedding ceremony where I heard some of the best marriage advice, it was this, “As you are praying together, express 1) something you love/appreciate about your spouse and 2) what you personally want to work on (to improve yourself).” If you’re not a praying couple, you could just verbalize this to each other.

31. Have a wrestling match.

32. Exercise together.

One time, while doing a P90x workout, my husband caught me drinking milk during a “water break”… and dunking Oreos.

33. Cuddle while watching a movie.

34. Make his favorite treat.

35. Play a game together.

I kind of pride myself on being undefeated in Settler’s…

36. Look in her eyes.

Try looking your wife straight in the eyes when she talks to you, to show her that she is your number one at that moment. Walking over to her and being close helps you be more focused on her, and helps to show you care.

37. Stick to the budget the two of you have worked out.

38. Let her sleep in.

Your wife probably seems to be the one who is always getting up with the kids, or getting up before you do. Let her sleep in from time to time. She will love you for it.

39. Smile.

Sometimes we are so bombarded with what we are doing we forget to smile. When your spouse is around or walks in the room, try smiling more.

40. Cook her favorite meal.

Even if you don’t know how to cook very well. Do a little research, call your mom, and surprise her with a special meal. It will mean a lot to her.

41. Say, “I love you,” in creative ways.

It’s easy to say the words “I love you,” but it is way more fun to leave those words for your spouse to find in creative ways. Spell it out with cereal, with lipstick on the bathroom mirror, or little game pieces while you’re playing a board game.

42. Offer to help.

Your husband or wife has a kajillion things going on and it never hurts to take him or her by the shoulders and just say, “What can I do to help?”

(#43-#45 come from the book “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by Dr. John Gottman, who has revolutionized the study of marriage.)

43. Soften your startup.

John Gottman wrote “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work,” and hisresearch shows that “discussions invariably end on the same note they begin. … If you start an argument harshly – meaning you attack your spouse verbally – you’ll end up with at least as much tension as you began. But if you use a softened startup – meaning you complain but don’t criticize or otherwise attack your spouse – the discussion is likely to be productive.”

44. Enhance your “love map.”

Dr. Gottman describes how couples need a “richly detailed love map,” which means continually seeking to understand your spouse’s current needs, stresses, worries, friends, thoughts, hopes, and dreams. We need to better understand how our spouses really perceive love. Here’s the link to take the 5 Love Languages Quiz. It also goes deeper and more personalized than that, so keep exploring what helps you feel most connected and loved!

45. Nurture your fondness & admiration.

Every now and then, stop yourself and just dwell on all the things you spouse does do, and all the little things you do admire about him/her. As you do this, your tender appreciation grows, and these inner feelings affect how you interact and treat your spouse. Just as people choose to dwell on their frustrations, “nurturing fondness,” is also a choice.

46. Sometimes just go to bed!

We don’t always believe in the adage to “never go to bed angry.” Our kids sure struggle when they are overtired, and so do we. In a moment of frustration, when tired and cranky, sometimes it is best just to go to bed. You’ll likely wake up in the morning with a renewed perspective!

47. Turn towards each other rather than away.

48. Inspire the best in each other.

Choose to see the immense good in the other and treat each other as such. You are your spouses greatest supporter, and as you believe in him/her, they will aspire to really become that. Tell him or her today one great attribute you see!

49. Hold your wife close.

Sometimes just hold your wife close, let her cry to you, let you unload all her feelings, tell her that your love for her and your relationship is more important than any problem to be solved. If you spouse is inwardly hurt and being hurtful, sometime hold him and show an outpouring of love.

50. See your spouse as a person.

Sometimes we can view those closest to us as objects to blame or criticize. Remember that your spouse is a person, a part of you, that has real concerns and needs just as legitimate and important as your own!

I hope we all can be filled with hope and charity and seek to just make ONE small step and change for the better!

Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.

 

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