Sunday, 20 December 2009

Love Dare - Day 23 - You are not Alone

When I thought about marriage, before getting married of course, I thought that I’d marry someone that would make me happy...

Who doesn’t think like that, right?

There’s only one little problem with thinking like that… a marriage involves two people, not just you!

That’s the reason we end up having so many problems. We simply forget that not everything revolves around us.

In fact, in the same way you expect your spouse to make you happy, you should also strive to make him happy.

If we don’t understand this principle then we’ll only want to receive and never give.

When was the last time that you thought about this? Have you ever sacrificed your will in order to please him?

My husband hates going to shopping centers and clothing stores but I love it!

Once in a while he takes me to the mall. When he does this I know that he’s going against his will just to please me. I value his effort so much that I insist on demonstrating my gratitude and showing him how much he has made me happy…

Now moving on to me, I must admit that I’ve always detested soccer. Come on, can anything be more annoying?! Just the sound of the commentator’s voice is enough to irritate me!

And you know what? My husband is absolutely crazy about soccer!

Do you know what I had to do? Sacrifice.

I started to watch games with him. I also began to learn about the different teams and even started reading the sports section of the newspaper just so that I could comment.

One day he said… “Darling, don’t worry you don’t need to make any comments- you’ve got it all wrong anyway. But don’t worry, I got the message…” Alright, I think I memorized the wrong names and I mixed up some players. I even think that some of the ones I mentioned had already been sold to other teams, which was quite amusing to him! lol

I’m not going to lie and tell you that I now love soccer, but I’ve learned to sacrifice my will for him and he does the same for me.

That’s giving!

You don’t only think about receiving, on the contrary.

Dare-Task # 23

“Starting today you are going to remember that you’re not the only one in your relationship and you’ll make an effort to give and sacrifice your will.

Search for situations like the ones I described above so that your sacrifice is clear to him. As a result, he will feel appreciated and what’s best, it won’t be too long before he starts doing the same for you.”

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Love Dare - Day 22 - Comparisons

John, you see how Sonia’s husband is? He helps out with everything, right Sonia? Tell him…”

“Wow darling, just look at your dad, he isn’t like that…”

“Did you see how Paul is? As is saying… “You’re not like that…”

In my lack of maturity I used to do a great deal of that.


Although he never openly told me he disliked it, one day a friend of mine called me out on it. I, insensitively, used to do frequently- it really wasn’t cool!

To top it off, when I managed to annoy him I was oblivious to the fact that I had done something wrong…

Have you noticed that no one likes to be compared?

If you have siblings I can bet that you hate when you are compared to each other.

“Mary is prettier that Laura.”

“Sergio is very messy but little Paul is so neat.”

And that’s just the beginning…

Men aren’t the only ones that dislike comparisons. After I became aware of this bad habit this, I noticed many wives making the same mistake.

I’m not saying that they have a bad intention; I think that like me, they expect to get something good out of it.

But the effect is the opposite my friends.

These types of comparisons are many times degrading for them. It’s a low blow to their self-esteem.

Do you know what’s worst?

Most times we do it so naturally that we don’t even realize it.

My friend said: “Nanda, you always do that.”

In my head I thought “Always? What? It can’t be!”

And to my great surprise, she was right!

I started being more vigilant and perceived that I used to do it without even realizing it…

Dare- Task #22

“From now on you are going to do what I did. You will be more vigilant and stop making any of these sorts of comparisons.”

Your husband will greatly appreciate it!

Love Dare - Day 21 - There's Time for Everything

You have certainly already heard that there is time for everything, right?

Well then, today we are going to discuss how to learn to wait and choose an appropriate moment.

Appropriate moment for what you may ask…

The appropriate moment to ask for something, to talk about problems, to express your opinion, to reveal your side and the list goes on.

He had a difficult day at work, nothing went his way. His boss scolded him several times. He has had enough and can hardly wait to get home…

He has hardly walked through the door when his wife…

“Look Joseph, I can’t take it anymore! I am tired of hearing complaints about Jo Jr. at school- you have to do something about it! The kitchen sink isn’t working and I already told you that we need a new washing machine! The fridge isn’t properly refrigerating and the food is spoiling!” And the list of problems goes on….

Can you imagine what will happen next?

If this wife were wise she would have waited for her husband to arrive and “sensed” what kind of mood he was is.

If she senses his bad mood, then it certainly isn’t the right moment to “toot the horn.” In reality, we should disconnect this horn that only serves to irritate one another.

There is without a doubt a right moment and a right way to expose problems and you need to be sensitive enough to identify these moments.

If you are annoyed or at your brink, then it also isn’t the right time because you will most likely say things that you don’t really mean… To repent about words spoken rashly is valid but the problem is that you can’t take them back no matter how sorry you are.

Dare- Task#21

“Starting today you are going to think about this and be sensitive enough to identify the right moment. Avoid saying anything when you are irritated or upset.”

Love Dare - Day 20 - Don't Fall in the trap

Folks I can’t believe it! We are halfway through our Dare!

I know it hasn’t been easy but I have no doubt that those that are really making an effort are already seeing results!

Today our task is something that is easy to say but requires much sacrifice, lots of prayer and humbleness, in simple terms, it not easy to practice!

We are going to talk about pride.

How many were the times that after an argument only two words were necessary (Forgive me) to solve the problem but you refused to say them due to your pride?

You then think to yourself “but he was also wrong! If he asks for forgiveness then I will too.”

It’s always the same story, we try to hide our faults by pointing to other’s mistakes but this will never solve the problem.

You yelled at him but think “He deserved it, he aggravated me!”

You misjudged him but think “He gave me motives.”

Do you manage to see how things are? Soo many excuses! We want to avoid sacrificing at all costs!

This diabolic pride can destroy your marriage.

Therefore, our task will be…

Dare- Task#20

“You will begin to observe yourself with regards to this pride and whenever necessary, setting all excuses aside, you will ask for forgiveness and seek to change your behavior. Or what good is it to apologize, continue to make the same mistake and ask for forgiveness again? It becomes worthless.”

Don’t fall in that trap!

Love Dare - Day 19 - Don't Involve Your Family

He said things he really shouldn’t have but at that moment he was so enraged that he didn’t stop to think twice and out came all those darts inflamed with anger and poison. He knew they would hurt but he couldn’t help it… he regretted his words as soon he spoke them, now he needs to cool down.

Everything was just fine when suddenly…


The bomb exploded!

Things that weren’t true, things he didn’t really feel- before he knew it, they had already been said.

Hurt and offended, she decides to give him the silent treatment.

She leaves him alone in the living room, heads for the bedroom and decides that she needs to tell someone all of the horrible things he said. She looks at the phone and doesn’t think twice…

“Mom, I need to talk to you…”

She tells her mother everything, her version of course, and even adds a bit more drama to the story so as to help her mother understand her side and prove how evil her husband can be.

Her mom gets upset and begins to feel hatred towards her son-in-law… “How dare he treat my daughter like that? She deserves someone better! Shameless, horrible, wicked man! Leave it to me…” (Take note that a seed was planted in her heart)

After she unburdens herself with her mom she decides to get a glass of water. While walking past the living room, her husband calls for her. He admits that he was wrong, asks for her forgiveness and they reconcile.

Do you think that calling her mom and explaining what happened will be enough to erase the negative image that this mother-in-law has towards her son-in-law? That’s assuming that she even remembers to call and explain everything to her mom!

Many women make this mistake and later claim not to understand the tension that exists between their family and husband. Another consequence of this is that now her family will feel that they have a right to intrude in her marriage, potentially causing even greater problems!

Therefore, at this stage of our Dare…

Dare- Task 19

“Starting today you will not disclose the issues that you and your husband have to anyone in your family.

If you need to talk to someone, talk to a helper in the church, a pastor’s wife or even a married pastor- they will be able to advise you in an appropriate manner.

By doing this your husband’s image will not be damaged before your family and he will always be welcomed by them. In addition, you will avoid giving your family the opportunity to intrude in your marriage.

My friends please don’t take this as a rule! There are exceptions of course!

If your mother is mature and of God then she will be able to counsel you correctly without interfering too much or feeling resentful towards your husband.

Also, I am referring to ordinary “small problems” that may arise in the daily life of any couple. If your husband is violent, if arguments escalate into physical and verbal abuse then of course this does not apply!

In this case you not only need all the familial support you can get but you must seek help from the police!

Love Dare - Day 18 - Wonder Woman

When we start dating, we are ever so careful!

Hair is always in place, skin always smells nice- not to mention our perfectly manicured nails.

Gain weight? Not a chance! The mere thought of gaining a single kilo would be enough to let out all madness in our frantic search for any crazy diet and we wouldn’t settle until we shed the unwanted weight.

After marriage, and especially after a few years of marriage, women and men alike tend to relax in regards to their appearance. When children enter the picture, then it becomes even more difficult for women to keep up their looks.

I am not trying to generalize, there are many couples that continue to take care of their appearance even after marriage but that isn’t the case most of the time.

Since this Dare is directed towards women, we will focus on them for the following task.

Get ready girls because this isn’t going to be an easy task!

Dare- Task#18

You are going to make a list of things you have to do in order to care for your appearance. Things that you will need to incorporate into your daily, weekly and even monthly routine and eventually transform into habits.

For example:

  1. A new haircut, maybe some highlights, etc. (If you can, keep it looking fresh by touching up every month or bimonthly.)
  2. Flat iron your hair. (That depends. I have to do it almost every day because my hair is quite oily and I wash it daily. Usually I let my hair recover from the heat twice a week.)
  3. Do your nails. (Weekly)
  4. Wax. (Girls, just the thought of this gives me Goosebumps! People like me need to do this biweekly- every two week.)
  5. Eyebrows. (Weekly)
  6. The famous mustache (Waxing is excellent! It makes a difference! Biweekly)
  7. Do your toenails. (Biweekly)
  8. Lighten the small hairs on your abdomen and arms. (Biweekly)
  9. Visit the dentist. Folks, one of the biggest turn offs is bad breath! Some can even make you faint! Imagine kissing?! A simple visit to your dentist for a thorough cleaning can help. If your bad breath is caused by a diet or fast, buy a box of mints and keep them in your purse. If you have more than one purse, purchase enough mints to place one in each bag that way you don’t run the risk of having someone faint before you…

Oh yeah, it doesn’t help thinking… “I don’t smell anything, I don’t have bad breath…” because usually the person with bad breath isn’t able to smell it.

Love Dare - Day 17 - Learn How To Deal With His Family

Many women don’t realize how important this is but many marriages are at their brink because of this.

Mother-in-laws and father-in-laws shouldn’t be painted up to be such horrible people; after all if it wasn’t for them you wouldn’t have a husband! The Lord knows how grateful I am to mine!

My parents-in-law are marvelous people, I love them truly. And my brother and sisters-in-law don’t even get me started…

I’ve always valued them and continue to value them. I try to please them in every way possible, despite being so far from them. I’ve never felt like an intruder because they make me feel like I’m part of the family.

We are distant and very often my husband does not call, but I do. I always email them photos and I make an effort to keep in touch, in fact, I think I speak to them more than my husband does!

In order to have a healthy relationship with your husband’s family, you need to be humble and try to understand their side of the story.

The mother, she brought up her son with the upmost care and love, it can’t be easy for her to see another woman taking her place and therefore, you should try to be more understanding.

If she notices that you are being careless with her son, of course she will get upset even if she knows that it’s not her place to say anything but at the end of the day a mom is always a mom and it’s not easy…

Many wives feel offended when their mother/sister – in -law say/s things like:

“Look, my son like his rice this way. Let me teach you.”

“My brother likes for his things to be very neat and tidy.”

“He’s so thin! Have you been cooking for him?”

“Listen, don’t do it like that- he won’t like it!”

“He won’t like those beans like that!”

I am totally aware that depending on the way in which those words are said they can hurt your feelings. But at the same time, if you understand the meaning behind those words then you will overcome it all and even come to love your in-laws because in the end they mean well and just want to help.

Place yourself in your mother-in-laws shoes: one day your child will want to run off and get married- can you not see what a difficult transition this is?

Be understanding, take it easy, become their daughter. Don’t try to mar their reputation by speaking badly about them.

Instead of competing with them, conquer them.

I feel so lucky to make part of such a marvelous family and to tell you the truth, nothing is better than that!

Dare-Task #17

“From now on you will change the way that you view and treat your in-laws. Forget about the past and all of the bad things that have happened between you: make a fresh start.

Call your mother-in-law and ask her how she’s doing. Invite her over for lunch. Buy her a gift you know she’ll like. Be humble when she tries to teach you something that your husband likes.

This goes for your mother, father, sister and brother-in-laws.

Always treat your husband with much respect- his parents will appreciate that in you.

You can start making these changes gradually and allow the process to take some time because if you do it all at once, your in-laws will begin to suspect that you want something…

Be wise, my friend, and always place yourself in their shoes.

If you have had serious problems with regards to this, don’t give up. The change you want to see will not occur from one day to the next like magic, rather it will take some time.

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