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Posts Tagged ‘Fireproof’

I received a letter the other day. It was from my wife.

I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to write long letters to your spouse when you have an issue, but I’m not a big fan of it. I’ve always appreciated the direct, verbal route. Perhaps this is one of the issues she (and other people) have with me at times.

Regardless, a written response has been requested. Why in writing? Only she and her “life coach” know for sure.

 So, in a supportive (but not overally thrilled) way, I have tried to draft a response the last couple of days.  What women fail to understand at times, is that putting a man’s feelings into words is not the simplest of tasks.  I’ve been through several drafts, and I can feel the clock continue to tick as my response is being waited upon. 

Am I wrong to assume that my every word will be scrutized by my wife and her Life Coach? 

And……….how do I address analogies, such as “a marriage is like tending a garden”?  Shall I own up to pulling all the weeds, without knowing which ones are really flowers?  

I don’t know.  I’m simple-minded, and need more direct feedback. 

In all fairness, I’m not the easiest guy to be married to.  I’m on the temperamental side, addicted to sports at the expense of other wife related activities, and have had an off & on relationship with Nicotine over the years (currently its ON, which is one of the issues).

My parents divorced when I was a kid, so I never had the best of role models when it comes to marriage.  But, that’s no excuse.  During the course of (almost) 15 years of marriage, it hasn’t been easy to keep my wife happy with me or our marriage all the time.  It appears that I’m in the middle of one of those down cycles.

Unfortunately, I’m not bright enough to see these marriage cycles coming ahead of time (and yes, I’m assuming this is just a phase in marriage we will overcome).   So, I’ll write the letter and profess my love.  I’ll apologize for whatever I have done to offend, and try to figure out how to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  That’s always the tough part.

Of course, all of this is coming down the week before Valentine’s day.  I better get this one right……..or it’s gonna be a little cold on the 14th.

-Al

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As you may recall from an earlier post, my wife has been on a big “Couple’s” class kick.  We attended a movie / seminar called Fireproof, about 6 weeks ago.  Since that time, we have been attending a couples gathering once a week to review the movie.  This class (listed under the guise of a couples get-together) has spent the last 5 sessions reviewing individual sections of the movie and answering questions found within a “Fireproofing Your Marriage Workbook”. 

 

Now, I have to admitted that the movie was  a great idea.  I went into it begrudgingly, but found it to be a very good investment in our marriage.  Having said that, I’m starting to go through a slow death. In short, the group gatherings on this same topic are starting to wear on me.

 

Last night, I was called upon by our group “leader” to explain what things my wife does that I feel are “disrespectful” to me.  The second question I was asked later in the evening, was “what things my wife could do better in our marriage to support me”. 

 

We have a pretty strong marriage.  But no man could answer these questions even half-honestly without getting into trouble.

 

I also have to admit, that we have been at this church for only a few months.  I barely know these people, so I’m not real comfortable letting them into our lives yet.   My wife, however, is a social butterfly and doesn’t mind at all.  And of course, in a group like this, there is always one or two people who won’t let you off the hook with an easy answer.

 

Needless to say, my answers did not cut the mustard.  Upon answering the second question, my wife chimed in and told everyone that I should share what I really think —and that was OK with her.

 

So I went on to explain  that my wife’s interrupting and correcting me when I speak to people was both disrespectful to me and something she could improve on for the betterment of our marriage. 

 

This was an honest answer, stated as nicely as I could.

 

On our drive home, it was very quiet.  I asked my wife what she was thinking.  Her first statement was: “it bothers me that you think I am disrespecting you, when you need to be corrected.  When you are wrong, I think I should tell you”. 

 

Can you guess where this conversation headed?  I certainly didn’t feel “fireproof” during the following 30 minutes of discussion.

 

 Is it just my ego that I don’t like being corrected by my wife in front of other people? My feeling has been that she can always discuss it with me later. After all, just because someone has a different point of view it doesn’t mean that I’m wrong. Right?

 

To be fair, this is something that I had to work on at the beginning of our marriage.  It went hand-in-hand with trying to “fix everything”.  Sometimes our spouses want us to just listen and be supportive……and not turn into Mr. Fix it.  The same is said about “correcting” them.  My job as Husband is not to “correct my wife”.  The children are a different story, however.

 

So as we launch into the last 2 weeks of these couples evenings, I have to ask myself if it has been helpful or not.  As I said, I got a ton out of the movie.  But the weekly couples meetings ………….not so much. 

 

Regardless, this will soon be over and March 14th is quickly approaching.  This is when I get to spend a full day with my wife at a Couples Seminar located at my old University. 

 

Will somebody please take me out of my misery, and just shoot me………..

 

-Al

 

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On my blog last week, I whined about my wife’s current interest in “Couple’s Classes” (see the entry: Seven Things I Think  – Vol 3).  On Friday evening, we went to a movie event targeted at couples. 

All I can say is……..When I’m wrong, I’m really wrong.  This was really worth the time spent.

 

 Along with approximately 30 other couples, we watched a movie called “Fireproof”.  It’s the story of a firefighter who lives by the old fire-fighter’s adage: Never leave your partner behind.  Unfortunately, this strong held belief does not pertain to his marriage.

 

fireproof1

 

In addition to the “Backdraft” type movie action; the story outlines the failing marriage of the fire chief and his wife.  Neither one understands the pressures the other faces.  Much like myself a number of years ago, he believes that his wife is too sensitive and doesn’t show him the respect he deserves.

 

The wife claims that he is insensitive and that he “doesn’t listen” to her.  Sound familiar???  It hit home with me.

 

The path he takes to save his marriage is at the heart of the movie.  I can’t recommend it enough.  My wife and I have been talking about this movie all week. 

 

If you want to do something special for your wife for Valentines day, rent this movie and watch it with her.  I guarantee that it will change the way you think of your relationship with your wife. 

 Happy Valentine’s Day – Al

 fireproof-2

 

 

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