Category Archives: Dear daughter

2609. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 18


After their high passionate moment the previous night, Hank gets fearsome thoughts. He has an alarming night’s sleep. Jenny defeated his magnificent plan to ensure their marriage lasts for sixty years based on his cherishing her, which he thought she would love. How could any man do better than to promise what he thought all women wanted?

Now he sweats. She never said anything about disliking him, just his plan and planning. She seemed sincere, but yet she smashed to bits his hopes for their future. Will she still marry him? They promised to do it, but after all, he hasn’t proposed so that she could take it as official. Does she even love him anymore? Just last night they had that promising and passionate session on the couch, out of which his sexual frustration still stings his spirit.

What was that she said? “You take care of our present together, and I’ll take care of our future.” She talks about my plan as unnecessary but she calls it worse. But she also alludes that we can still be married.

His feelings for her haven’t changed. But if she rejects his good intentions, wouldn’t her love be less? His plan is—or was—part of who he is. Her love at least has to lose some intensity, if she so deliberately rejects his efforts.

Thinking of misery without dating her, he worries that the strains he has caused just may cost him her love. How does he recover? Got to win her back, or so he reasons. He’s behind on the power curve. He’s also far behind on the trail to conquest.

Jenny realizes she has lost some respect for him. He has plenty logic, reason, and incentive to make plans. But common sense about marriage? She’s unsure. Oh, he knows how to cherish and take care of her, but he knows so little about relationship building, strengthening, and managing. She sees where her future has to take her, where her focus must be.

She questions this: Does he still cherish her with the same deliberation and dedication? She has to face it. Any drop off is a red flag. On the other hand, no drop off is a tender moment to be treasured—and maybe rewarded with more physical intimacy than she previously shared with him.

Love is never enough, but recovery is everything. Their next date is one to remember, doubly so. Hank’s likeability shines. He swears his loyalty, not directly but indirectly with descriptions of her feminine qualities and their appeal to him. He is so sincere in describing her as the perfect match for him, someone with whom he cannot do without.

He avoids dreams of what they can do together, but he showers her with pleasant sincerity wrapped in kind touching and a new technique of caressing her hands tenderly. She thinks, we can marry as soon as a couple of weeks; she needs no big wedding.

Out of the blue, he promises to love her cooking. He’s never tasted it, but he promises to never verbalize any criticism. She inquires and is astonished. “Nothing you ever do should disappoint you. You are too magnificent in my eyes, too good as a very feminine woman to suffer bad thoughts about yourself. So, even if you’re a lousy cook—or lovee by the way—you will never hear it from me. Goddesses come bundled just like you are now, and they ought to stay that way.”

They caress gently for several moments as she promises him that she still loves and intends to marry him, if he ever gets around to making it sound like it’s official. She would like some bragging rights before she dresses for the altar, she smilingly reassures him.

Peacock proud, he smilingly resumes his self-conceived role of grand-high hero that she adores. She likes to look up at it, so let him be her down-to-earth moon at which to stare. “Okay, darling. Tomorrow night we’ll go to Luigi’s, our first-together and favorite dinner. Then, we can hangout at my place. I’ll pick you up at seven.”

——

Hank’s remembrance of their courtship ended just before he arrived home. Feeling again the pride of successful recovery after offending her with his grand plan for their marriage, he stopped remembering and returned to the present.

He had let her off after giving her a diamond ring. She now had bragging rights, and they were picking a wedding day tomorrow after she consulted with her mother and Hank joined them later.

Not that she needed or even wanted mom’s help, but she wanted to coach mom in order to promote Hank’s friendship with his mother-in-law. Without their friendship, a bleak cloud of disappointment would cover her marriage. Actually, her primal urge to generate a brighter future would begin with their friendship. And brighter still, when mother-in-law and son-in-law morphed themselves into her home team. One as the primary driver in the foreground of her life; the other flourishing as helper in the background. Or, so she dreamed.

——

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Who is Responsible for Marital Success? In this story, I tried to show that successful marriage emerges when the husband is responsible, but I showed the opposite even before they married.

Not really surprising, but I couldn’t relieve wives of that responsibility. Of course, Hank could have done a better job and in the process of writing I considered several other options. But regardless of his choices as the supposed marital leader, he could not have persuaded Jenny that he could provide her a brighter future than she could provide for them as a couple.

A woman’s brighter future comes from her conditioning the thoughts of her man to work toward her ideas, intentions, and connections that make them a successful couple with a promising—bright for her and challenging for him—future together.

I’m new at story telling. It’s debatable whether my assertion that men live in the present and women live for the future shaped the outcome of my story? Thereby, a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or did the story prove my conclusion of how the sexes differ in the way they focus on time? I tried for the latter, but you decide.

A pretty reader mentioned that I continue the story into Hank and Jenny’s married life. I’m uncertain it would be beneficial. As I re-read it, it’s not as good as I expected and readers are particularly shy of commenting. It seems to say commenters are not stimulating deeper interest among others from the story as they do from other articles.

Consequently, I see it as more monologue than dialogue, and the latter seems to generate the most rewards for my blog energies.

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2608. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 17


They sit at his coffee table with Chinese food and wine. Hank expects an explanation session. They have to get off on the right foot; that is, agreement on his planned solutions to tough issues that are certain to arise. She expects the session to lean toward negotiating but be lengthy and perhaps argumentative. Her attitude has slid into a non-slip, non-skid readiness to jump out of their relationship. Why negotiate? She knows how to make everything work out, because they love each other. That is a proven; these ‘solutions’ of his may undo everything.

Jenny wonders. Why can’t they just go on letting their love of each other advise them what to do and how to live together?

Hank notes her reluctant attitude. Is she getting second thoughts? About his presentation? Or about him? He figures he should try harder.

He passes her a copy of the first item emailed to her and with space for her to make notes. She recalls her initial reaction to the eight-point email and makes a purposeful decision for this encounter: indirectness is out, directness is essential to protect her interests. She reads it.

Item 1. The purpose of life together is sharing; purpose of money is convenience; and purpose of extravagance is to please self at expense of someone else. He seeks agreement to no extravagance, neither in home, cars, nursery, Christmas presents, vacationing, nor child raising. They should negotiate a definition of extravagance for their home and life.

Hank opens the discussion. “I define extravagance as anything we don’t need to hold our marriage together. I know that many of what women call men’s toys will never see our garage or house, but I have to play my part too.”

Jenny overcomes her intuition to resent and resist; she responds: “Okay. How necessary are these to hold us together? Fine or at least decent clothes for me? Both for job and casual. I don’t want you telling me what I should wear based on your opinion of how it will impact our marriage. I dress for you and me, not our life sixty years from now. Nice cars for both of us? Personal taste has no influence? Entertainment costs determined by whose taste? Vacationing in pricey places or camping in the woods? I would choose the former and refuse the latter.”

Jenny can’t hold back. “Frankly, Hank, you’ve gone too far. We can’t make such a decision now, and maybe not ever, to define how extravagance will affect our marriage, I mean.”

Hank responds. “You make sense. Well, how do you see us keeping our spending within boundaries that prevent debilitating debt. The kind of debt that would curtail us living on the high end of decent and low end of extravagance? If I’m to manage our money, I need to know some of your values that will and will not hinder me.”

Jenny, frustrated, reacts pettily. “Why not some extravagance here and there? If something is important to us and our lives, we can live a little extravagantly and compensate with less important things.”

“In other words,” says Hank, “play it by ear and trust to our own and hopefully beneficial judgment?”

Sighing to herself that he may be getting it. “Exactly. Otherwise we bind ourselves to live a life of so much predictability that it becomes ultra boring, we become boring to each other.”

Hank recognizes the root of her attitude change. “I don’t foresee you as ever being boring, but I can accept that this isn’t the time to resolve views that may be contradictory. Save our differences for later. So, let’s move on.” She is already reading the next.

Item 2. Recognizing that financial success comes not from how much money a couple has, he intends to control what they do have. Consequently, he expects one or the other will maintain a budget to control finances, will merge their incomes, and allocate by prioritized needs and wants. He plans to propose this: first, a savings budget: second, pocket money budget for each; third, a home life budget for Jenny to manage; and finally a family budget—aka temporary savings—to cover the remainder with both to manage it. Zero is not allowed in any budget; all must have allocations, otherwise savings can be forgotten when new income arrives. Except for emergencies, big expenses are incurred only with approval of both. Hank has final say when they dispute, except as they negotiate something else. Jenny has full access to records and audit capability. The one most capable, willing, and successful handles the budget process.

“Hank, you have done well identifying the problems. I’m not so sure, however, that working out the details will be so simple or easy. I reserve some options about which I have equal sharing of responsibility for working out the details. Examples: We start with a savings goal of at least 10%. Not all of my income goes into our treasury, or I have two separate budgets, one for me—that includes tithing 10% of my income—and one for the home exclusively out of our treasury. I want a minimum about which expenditure decisions must be mutual; as of now I would expect the minimum to exempt ordinary consumables such as food bills, utilities, and car servicing. And I determine how I get full access to financial records etc. That will do for starters.”

Hank smiles big. “That’s the info I need. Thanks. You’re clear about what you expect; it’s another of your blessings. So let’s move on to the next item about sharing responsibility, authority, and personal influence within the relationship and home.”

They take a bathroom break.

Jenny wonders. Why does Hank seems determined to manage our future under the guise that it’s right for marriage? I can manage our future together, if he does his part with his job and income. If he wants to be responsible for our marriage, is this the way he would do it? Taking over control based on our lives today? Does he not trust me? He seems like another man from the one I’ve been dating. Why continue?

Jenny thinks, he won’t like it, but I intend to wrestle this charade into nothingness.

After the break, pouring more wine, Hank tries to continue. He expects Jenny to be unfamiliar with much of the next item. He begins with some of his history, a quick overview of his resumé to capture her attention.

Jenny interrupts. “Stop, Hank. You go too far. I’m no longer interested in your way of ensuring the success of marriage that has not yet happened. If we can’t do it on faith in one another, we are not right for each other. It is just that simple in my heart. Mutual faith based on mutual love or our marriage won’t work at all.

“What you describe puts cracks in my faith about you. Why do you over-analyze our future together and expect to resolve it in the present? It may fit your purposes, but belittle me and my role and you teach yourself to belittle your love of me. I can’t live with that.”

Feeling slapped, Hank’s anger rises but he calms it. “Honey, my convictions run deep about these matters. You say love and faith are essential. I say lack of respect and trust are the two biggest destroyers of an organization’s effectiveness, and family is an organization, albeit small. With respect and trust, people don’t mistreat others. Without respect and trust, and usually working in background, people torpedo each other’s ship and otherwise capitalize on interpersonal damage they have caused. It happens in homes as well as the work place.”

She is frustrated again. “You’re working on what keeps an organization from falling apart. I’m working on what makes a relationship successful. Two very different things. To me, respect and trust are incidentals that come up within an atmosphere of love and faith. They are factual instances in the present within the larger emotional context of love and faith that are connected and spread like a blanket over the life of a couple.

“I can live with my version but not with yours. Shall we call it quits? Ever since your weekend retreat, you have been another guy than the darling who dated me for over a year.”

Hank’s spirit melts. “Quits? Of course not (but he couldn’t help thinking of missing out on sex with her). No, we don’t call it quits. I still crave to have you as my wife. Perhaps more than ever. Tell me more about being another guy since my retreat. You make it sound as if I’ve disappointed you.”

Trying to figure out how to describe what she was thought, Jenny charges ahead as is she knows exactly what she will say. “You changed. Off all by yourself, I figure it this way. My not being present let you dream independently of all the manly achievements you could present to make us happy together.

“You missed two distressing points. First, your plans are not what makes me happy. Second, your desire to please me magnified your intentions and you doubled down with all you have to offer. Your intentions were good but they floated on an inaccurate reading of my wifely expectations.”

Stunned, Hank swallows his pride with the last swallow of wine. He needs time to think. He thought he had this marriage thing all locked up in mind and spirit. Maybe not!

Having finished the wine, they apologize to each other more liberally than they deserve, and follow it with passionate love up to her limit but short of his objective.

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2607. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 16


After pouring their champagne and her blowing him a kiss, he discloses his agenda. Just two items. Size of family they expect to have and organizational dream he has in mind with the eight strategies.

“You’re not against having a big family such as I endorse,” Hank begins. But you have said enough about enjoyment of your work that I suspect we are not on the same page.” She slowly nods her head in agreement. Before she can respond, he moves on.

“We need a plan or at least close agreement where we are going in the children department. Know what I mean?”

She shifts and sits more upright. He saw it before; she becomes slow and deliberate in her actions much as she did just before her monologues about virtual virginity and lovers and lovees.

“Hank, honey, I have thought your intentions over carefully. I just can’t do the big family thing. I want both boy and girl and expect to go as far as three births to get them. If three are of the same sex, then I withdraw my application for at least one of each sex.

“Moreover, I previously mentioned to not work until one or all are in first grade, I also withdraw that application as of now. I want to stay home for six months with each and then return to work. Now, I can shorten the six months if necessary to avoid staying away from my job too long, whatever the situation may be at the time.

“If I have to return to work prematurely because of our personal finances, however, I will be disappointed. To me, that would be a sacrifice for our children that we as managers should do everything to prevent. IOW, it would signify us as not being good enough to have children, if our spending habits prevent giving them what we promise each other we will deliver based on our arrangements today. I am not talking about extravagant lifestyle for either us or any children we have. I’m talking about common sense spending that allows us to save enough to cover the new spending of raising them without going deeply in debt. If we can’t sacrifice enough before, if we are so selfish, we shouldn’t have them at all.”

He studies her carefully, slowly nodding agreeably to her words, and as if he agrees with her intentions. When he next speaks, he is also slow and deliberate.

“As I view your conclusions, financial strength is prioritized ahead of having a new child, your job needs can override length of stay-at-home wants, and two kids are enough if they are opposite sex. If I have it right, I can agree with you and plan accordingly.” She nods yes.

“On the other hand, I can apply pressure to do things differently as long as we stay constrained within those boundaries? Is that agreeable?”

She sits straighter. “What do you mean?”

Hank responds, “Well, if we have three girls, I can apply MILD pressure on you to try again for a boy. You did not reject that idea, just showed a preference for it. Okay?” She assents to his wish.

“I have another example. When I get us able to live on one income and the kids are not yet out of school, can I request that you become a stay-at-home until they all graduate high school?” She responds, “We’ll see when the time comes.

“I have a favor to ask. Please write up some minutes of this meeting and our agreements. Four reasons: First, so we can see years from now just what we did agree to and have evidence to cover any differences we may encounter. Second, if it’s worth deciding and planning, it’s worth recording. Third, so we have a better chance of living up to hard, factual evidence instead of the emotions that will change our lives along the way. And fourth, as with the eight strategies we will study next, I want to leave some evidence behind for our kids that we took marriage seriously enough to work and plan it out ahead of time.

“Will you write them up? Then, we can go over them for final approval by both of us and figure out where to store them until needed.

“Okay, let’s move on to those eight strategies, or principles, or policies I sent in the email. Any objections yet?”

Hank waits.

“Well, yes, pardon the extreme exception because I don’t mean it like I’m gonna sound. You’re setting yourself up to be a dictator. It’s your way or the highway. I know you too well, you have very justifiable reasons, but I need to hear them. So, I ask you to take the floor and justify each one of the eight. Frankly, I don’t see the need you think we need.”

“Roger, I understand. And we can save a few bucks by not needing champagne to loosen my tongue and stay on track. As I describe our needs to breathe common sense into our marriage and make management of the home much easier for you. I believe I can convince you that my design will help us prevent squeaky wheels on our marital bus with me in the driver’s seat and you in the relationship management role. My place? Tomorrow evening? I’ll supply the Mexican, you bring a wine.”

“Nope, I want something lighter for such a heavy conversation, so Chinese if you please.”

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2606. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 15


Hank, seated on his balcony, starts into a six-pack as he awaits the start of his favorite team’s football game. Recalling a female friend of old, he uses a tactic she taught him. Here I am, about to marry my best friend. She has all the positive talents, skills, and attitude I hope to see in a wife, but do I see any red flags? She doesn’t hate men or dogs. She’s not short tempered. She can plan something and finish the tasks in it. She wants to go to church regularly. She loves children and wants her own. She can cook very well. She’s modest but very strong about protecting sexual connections. She’s not extravagant about her living. She’s not against having a big family, but we have not discussed or agreed yet on a plan. Also, we have not discussed an organizational plan into which we fit the eight strategies I sent her on email.

He continues his thoughts. She wants to not work after children are born, especially until they enter first grade. If we have two kids six-years apart or six one-year apart, it means she would stay home at least for 12 and maybe more years. It also means one income for well over a decade; does she fear that and justify her conclusion about having a small family? Is she basing her preference for a smaller family on the expectation that I cannot provide? I have to talk to her. Why not tonight? Cancel the concert we were going to and just talk; her brother wants our tickets anyway. Things are beyond serious. We have a lot to cover, now that we are moving our wedding to sooner rather than later.

He leaves the balcony’s surround-sound traffic noise. He calls and starts with disappointment, she sees a red flag. “Honey, I want to cancel the concert tonight. Can you go along with it? I’ll give our tickets to your brother; it’s sold out and he wants to go. I want a talk-fest to cover at least two items we have only touched on. We think so much alike, we never go very deep into any subject. I would like to reinforce some things and perhaps drop others. Whatcha think?”

Sensing she overstepped with her ‘speech’ about men and making love, she inquires about his agenda. It sounds okay, but her antenna go up. Too much conviction in his voice. Just red flagging his voice over the phone, his ideas seem already sealed and his agenda doesn’t sound very negotiable, although he provides her nothing by way of ideas or negotiations. She feels underrated or cheated of his best kind of treatment. Is it lack of respect or mutual understanding?

She prepares for the worst, until they meet and he orders champagne with a smile that smacks of his intention to be considerate and loveable to her. Pointing to the bottle, he tells her “we gotta talk and that should help.” She sweetens up and….

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2605. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 14


Still enroute home after proposing to Jenny in the restaurant, Hank continues to reminisce. Three big quirks generated immense and unusual excitement in their courtship.

First, she disclosed her lifelong commitment to abstinence for no other reason than to satisfy herself with a significant achievement. Not the abstinence but the reason for it surprised him; it is more masculine than female motivation, but then her father in childhood inspired her to pursue a big goal.

Second, he decided to marry her and presented his intentions of how to make it work. Starting with methods for handling eight pressures that arise in most marriages, he finished with his plan to supervise and make their marriage work for sixty years. He made as the foundation his intention to cherish her all that time and elevate their marriage to a status above both of them.

Third and most shocking of all, he now faces Jenny’s promise to express her expectations on the subject of lover and lovee, presumably to teach him how to love her. Sounds exciting but does he want to hear it?

He can wait, in no hurry. His curiosity and imagination compete to advise him what to expect, but neither has a comforting thought. What does he know, and when did she know it? What does her agenda look like? Will she expect him to change in some way? Change to what? He knows all he needs to know. So, more about what? Of course, he’s a good lover. He’s had no complaints. He knows exactly what to do. Put it in and drive it home. He loves it so much she can’t not love it.

Jenny fantasized for three days. No dates, no calls. He’s waiting on her, and she wants him anxious to learn. He needs time to consider so that his ears will open to what she has to say.

Jenny never heard of doing such a thing, never contemplated it until she heard how committed Hank is about them marrying. She will gamble. After marriage, there’s no way she can get by trying so directly to coach him into becoming a better lover. He would be certain to take immense offense at even the hint that he could be less than great or perhaps perfect.

Both anecdotes and experience tell her that men are more sensitive about their sexual prowess than anything else, and accusers make themselves disposable. Men brag to each other about their scores from which prowess is presumed. Women, however, know the truth but are much too cautious to disclose what they think. In fact, they say virtually nothing; any comment comes out as criticism or condemnation to a man. Women usually want to keep their man.

Jenny plots her game plan. All new and totally foreign for her to be doing such  plotting in the first place and on a forbidden subject for wives in the second place. Confident that she and Hank have won each other, however, she continues to plan her message.

As he did before, she expects to write out her ‘position paper’ and make it more conversational as she reads it. They meet and she delivers.

“Hank, my dearest friend. We must talk, rather I must talk. You men don’t know jack about the women with whom you lay. Women—in the way you love them—are mere objects to unload your passion. It has probably always been so.

“Men are not to blame; they are just ignorant and women go unfulfilled too much and too often. I figure you and I can be different, if you know more about me and my expectations than you know at present.

“What I say is aimed at all men. You just happen to be the closest and gifted enough to hear a woman’s version of how sex should satisfy rather than frustrate a wife. A husband owes his wife more than poke, come, and go. Knowing you, I’m sure you understand it. But so many men don’t—or so friends, relatives, and associates admit.

“I explain the woman’s dilemma. We cannot convey our frustrations without offending our man. We are due more honor in the bed we make with them, and I shall hopefully make with you.

“Education, not information, overcomes ignorance. Women are in no position to educate men about making love. We try to inform, yes. When we try, they take offense and drop the gal who suggests their masculine talents are less than perfect in technique and terrific in achievement. An impenetrable wall surrounds the male ego about sexual aptitude, attitude, and competence. Few things are guarded with more religious fervor.

“I hope to give you a peek over that wall. Not because you need it, but because I want the wall lowered enough so I can converse more freely with my husband about making love.

“Here are some basics of how women view sexual relations.

  • “Warmup is critical to a woman’s sexual enjoyment; the root of any pleasure begins with it. Foreplay brings her whole body into the action that follows. Bare skin touching and caressing is vital, and extended stimulation of her erogenous zones can complete the warmup. The better she is warmed up, the better is her response to him in action. So, if he thinks he’s good and expects to confirm it with the final results, he owes her an extended warmup until she says she’s ready.
  • “Contrary to man-think, earning his orgasm does not satisfy her. Pleasure? Perhaps! Maybe sure! But it’s the weakest way to prove himself. Fornication does not make a good lover. She makes him a good lover, when she is properly prepared and rewarded with intimacy at the end.
  • “Emotional conflict exists when intercourse begins. He’s driven to drive home his weapon. She wants gentle handling. His nature inspires hard penetration, and so it’s a price women are accustomed to paying. His gentle caressing and holding elsewhere helps her adapt to the courser side of his style.
  • “She needs a multi-function cool-down after they finish intercourse. Oh, not from body heat but from her excited internals that need a calming effect that comes from the comfort of his holding her with snuggling and more bare skin touching and caressing. It provides and she needs a lengthy interlude of intimacy to fortify and confirm her importance. If sex doesn’t make her feel important afterward, he didn’t do it right. His holding and enabling her to snuggle close confirms that she did the right and important thing for him. So, he owes her satisfying intimacy as reward for being a good receptacle for his intensity.

“As you can see, Hank, women are people too. When we make love, we also go all the way. Provided, that is, our man knows how to lift and gently escort us all the way through the three arches of pleasure: warmup joy, intercourse kindness, and satisfying intimacy.

“Hank expects to be flabbergasted, but he isn’t. No big deal. He thinks; I didn’t know all that but, heck, I could have figured it out sometime. Just my receptacle? That hurt. That’s not me. She makes a good case for her sisters, but I don’t know how it will ever get to other men. It’s not that complicated, but the gal has to become the most important person in the process; if the guy hopes to claim, accurately, to be a good lover.

“Jenny smiles while Hank contemplates how to respond. His silence sparks her inquiry.

“Well, honey, is our marriage talk ended? Are we finished? Remember, none of it was aimed at you but presented to educate rather than just inform. Also, this was a traumatic undertaking for me. I did it once. Never again. The subject is not for discussion unless you question me for more details sometime in our wedded future.”

Hank rises, sits beside with his arm around her. “Heck, I know all that. It makes sense and fits what I’ve known for a long time. Probably a few details slightly different, but I always intended to do those things as best I could. I figured experience together would make everything come out at least good or maybe better. I’m mostly concerned with the when, where, and how of getting started.”

Jenny starts crying, hugs him, feels relieved she has done well. Then she stops. They kiss, promise eternal togetherness, and depart for beer and burgers.

Over food, Jenny smiles in his eyes. “I can hardly wait for our warmup, your shining presence in me, and my reward of intimacy.”

Hank’s eyes sparkle with moisture, “Let’s get married sooner.”

Hank rethinks his plan to present her ring. I can do it tomorrow night at our favorite restaurant. Will it be romantic enough? Well, I will make it so.

Recovering from the fantasy flavor of what she has just done, Jenny calls her mother. “Change of plans, mom, we’re doing it sooner and….”

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2604. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 13a: Hank Explained


Her Highness Femme says “there is NO WAY a man would make a speech like that to a woman (me).” I’m sure she rings many bells elsewhere.

The series is titled, Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Common sense says both parties and a dual responsibility. Common senses says that sharing, dividing, and fulfilling the dual responsibility is a competitive and possibly combative job. Common sense says negative motivation—criticism and blame—produces unwanted results and can prompt failure in any process. Works that way with kids doesn’t it? Husbands are just big kids in the view of their wives. Yet, many wives ignore common sense and produce their own misery.

Women want their husband to be more responsible, and so Hank assumes full and complete responsibility even ahead of his marriage to Jenny. He exemplifies his male nature; he is sufficiently motivated to upgrade a system in need, please his woman, and admire himself for having undertaken to produce such promising results. The greatest satisfaction comes from the toughest achievements, and Hank is hardwired to believe it.

Women sympathize, empathize, share their miseries, swap justifying thoughts, and support each other as they bad mouth men. Then, as a gender, they shape their complaints and blames into female-sharpened hatchets to be thrust into the masculine psyche. With Hank, I idealize five things to expect, if men did what women claim they want and expect.

  1. Our man Hank takes complete charge to produce a magnificent plan of what he thinks his woman will more than welcome. He has no hidden agenda and expects to negotiate details later. (He knows the marriage system doesn’t work well. Women rely on love, but it is never enough. He intends to prevent problems rather than have to overcome them and thereby relieve Jenny of so many wifely problems. His intentions are far more honorable than any woman should expect, but yet less acceptable. He lacks one thing: spur of the moment woman-think, and his lack converts the story to fantasy.)
  2. Our motivated hero demonstrates with actions his promise to be a good husband, to take charge and assume responsibility for mate, family, and home. (He is motivated to assume all risks and rely on his expectation that wife will provide full cooperation with his leadership. He dreams of their life together sixty years from now. He’s not a dawdler. He accomplishes, produces, and can be depended upon to make things work out satisfactorily.)
  3. Our potential husband already planned how he intends to prevent rather than have to heal or recover from interpersonal problems with wife and family. (The eight strategies described in post 2600.)
  4. Inspired not just by Jenny but his own need to please her, Hank knows what Jenny needs most. His plans are aimed directly to guarantee his promise to cherish her for life as her husband.
  5. Following his nature, Hank designs and plans to cure ailments in the ailing marital system, because he is sufficiently incentivized to make his life more sterling in his eyes and golden in Jenny’s.

There comes a time in the world of under performing marriages, wifely complaints, and assigning blame that men stand up to say, let’s do something else; e.g., upgrade marriage. It was Hank’s time, and he took it. Common sense says he could never get away with it. In fact, it would probably scare most women away. But not Jenny, she has her own lessons to teach, so the fantasy continues.

Admittedly, the story morphed to fantasy. It is pardonable. He knows the female nature and knows it well, but Hank lacks one thing. Woman-think, the common mental processes that will dominate Jenny’s development of events and relationships under his grand plan. It amounts to this in the real world. A man’s planning for their future too easily interferes with a woman’s relationship development and self-brightening of her own future at the present time.

Of course you won’t see or hear Hank’s speech from a man today. Hank morphed from real in chapter 1 to fantasy in 13.  Women don’t always need what they expect out of men and their man, and Hank represents it on steroids. It’s Jenny’s turn for fantasy, next.

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Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, feminine, Fickle female, Her glory, How she wins, marriage, sex differences, The mind

2603. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 13


Hank feels composed and somewhat on a roll as he unfolds his letter to Jenny. They sip at spritzers. He intends to do most of the talking. He doesn’t fear her not accepting him. He’s not proposing yet; it will come after he buys the ring.

He fears that if she feels compelled to respond before he gets through, she will divert the discussion to points that come later or not at all and take him off his game. He knows she favors marriage, but he is unsure she will accept it his way. He begins reading anyway.

“Jenny, my darling, I am hopeful” and he begins to ad lib to turn it more conversational. “Someday I hope to set you down on a honey-coated golden ship of marital bliss awash in a sea of tender affection, all of which will remind you of paradise. Corny, huh?” Then he stares into her eyes with the friendliest of smiles until she smiles back.

“I have to confess. Oh, not to anything either of us has done wrong. But to express the pleasure of trying to earn you for my wife. For so long, I didn’t know what you had to see in me in order to accept me as your husband. Now I see and offer the plea you are about to hear.

“I could take it no longer, so I worked up a good plan to get us in bed very soon. However, you beat me to the draw. Over champagne you anticipated my intent and neutralized my plan with your titty remark. Your dedication to yourself and virtual virginity both impressed and enlightened me. I thought you the most wonderful woman. Almost proposed right there and then. But, thankfully, my heart was not quite right at the time.

“I say thankfully, because what I say today can convert the makings of a temporary into a permanent marriage. I expect to deliver it too, if we marry. I don’t want you surprised by my leadership. You need to know what to expect before we wed, and I now reveal it.

“Ross Perot coined this motto. Up front, blunt, and candid when you deal with people. I remind myself to use it, because when I propose and you accept, we have to make a permanent deal, an arrangement based on more than love, romance, and mutual compatibility. I believe in love, a woman’s love, and mother love. Being a man, however, and planning to live sixty years together, I know that love is not enough to handle the strains.

“Here’s my plan of dedication to consider. You can have the wedding as yours and your mother’s to arrange. I’m out of the planning; just tell me where, when, and what to wear.

“After the wedding, however, I will be responsible for our marriage, honeymoon and all. You no doubt have many wishes, not all of which will fit into whatever plans we make and mutually accept for our lives beyond the altar. So how will all of that play out?

“First, I love you, I adore you, I cherish you and plan to continue for life. You are the pinnacle of my ideal as a wife, and I want and intend to keep it that way. Me, you, and our marital agreement have only to come alongside and merge our lives with my jobs and ambitions.

“What I talk about today is how to keep it that way by putting you on the road to wifely and motherly happiness and me on the road to satisfaction as man, husband, provider, protector, friend, problem solver, and lover in some order to be determined by reality.

“Marriage is generally called an institution. Actually, it’s a set of absolutely necessary functions. The promises, the obligations, and the vows that couples make and take. Those functions guide individuals subconsciously and usually in background mode. If adhered to properly, they can hold a couple together as ‘us’. If not, couples too easily separate in spirit and then emotionally and perhaps physically.

“However, over time, some promises come up empty. Some obligations fail from love that has weakened. Some vows are broken by outside inducements, pressures, and promises.

“Good intentions—made earlier in the throes of exciting and romance-loaded moments—don’t remain all that stable after months or years of living together. Two individuals with very different personalities, emotional makeup, and personal agendas have to labor hard to remain permanently attached and keep two self-interests bonded into one—the ‘us’ that women like to call togetherness.

“Antagonist pressures arise far too easily, and love can’t overcome all of it. Actually, love is never enough, and that is why I accept responsibility. If I’m responsible, I can match the determination that guided you through your life until now. I say determination, because I don’t accept responsibility with any expectation that I will fail.

“More of what I mean is this. Only you, me, or ‘us’ can work against our marital interests, can wreck our relationship. We need an informed leader who works on the outside—kind of works above us—to prevent it. I accept full responsibility to guard, hold together, and ensure that the mass of marriage values, standards, and expectations works to help us find and live in mutually bonded togetherness.

“Fulfilling my responsibility, however, may not be to your liking simply because of the impression it gives in the big picture. You and I function as subordinates of our marriage, I supervise both of us as a couple. What does that mean? Well, not that I intend to be a dictator but more of a benevolent supervisor of nothing but our marriage. If the marriage is threatened, I will be obligated to act. Otherwise, our relationship is one of a well-balanced couple.

“We won’t drive our marriage, it drives us. It’s the principle up to which we live rather than threaten or trash it in response to emotional upheavals. Yes, principle reigns whenever emotion, taste, or preference challenges the comfort of our marriage. Comfort being defined as what we both think is best to keep us compatible and well-bonded.

“Actually, either you or I can tear us apart. It only takes one to destroy the mutual likeability and loyalty that upholds a man’s love. My intention before we marry is to apply preventive pressures that tend to neutralize the desire for one to escape the other. Neutralize desire for the outside world and marital glue holds much better.

“Putting principle over emotions adds pressure for us to deal with our mate as respectable; to make our mate deserving of best attentions and considerations; to toe the line of fidelity; and otherwise hold each other up as the epitome of a person, a friend, a lover, and a spouse, and also interdependent as mates.

“Whether in disagreement, disarray, or dispute, I plan that we fall back on the purpose and blessing of marital obligations to calm our emotional conditions. More important than either of us, in god-like fashion, commitment to marriage commands us to do much better than we ever thought we could. We can learn to exceed ourselves and immediately do our best to recover from emotional disturbances such as disputes, ailments, financial shortages, or child raising issues. Recovery is everything, but prevention is better.

“As matter of habit, we expect to always yield to the principle of marriage first, us second, and you and me third. It’s a rung on the ladder, an interim step of living up to God. Moreover and more importantly, that is the ladder rung that releases mutual respect, empowers trust, and enables me to enjoy your likeability and you to enjoy mine.

“For example, you get angry at me and want to tell me off, that I’m guilty of something. Such as, I failed to get your car’s tail-light repaired and you got a traffic ticket. You start to upbraid me with: I told you three times and, oh yea, you were flirting last night at the party. I first respond with three questions: How does this affect our marriage? Big or little, serious or funny? How do we recover that before you correct me?

“After we know the impact on our marriage, you can finish your chastisement of me. It works both ways. When I try to describe some failing of yours, you respond with the same or similar questions. Once we know how the marriage will be impacted, expressing negative opinions becomes less offensive and more tolerable.

“We defend ourselves first by putting our marriage between us. We need to keep track of how our problems are about to impact our marriage and prevent damage before we get too deeply involved criticizing each other.

“I am responsible to see it happen that way, so I may from time to time have to remind you that your expectations may be contradictory to marital comfort. The same applies to you. I may be responsible, but I can cause marital discomfort even better than you.

“When I am responsible for anything, I refuse to fail. As of now, I dedicate that habit to our marriage. It presumes and I prioritize our lives this way. You and I are subordinate to marriage; personal expectations are subordinate to domestic tranquility; child raising is subordinate to our marriage.

“Wives often presume to carry the burden of sustaining marriage; they have most to lose. But in today’s marital marketplace they don’t seem to be doing well. It happens because the wrong spouse is in charge. So, from the get-go let me unburden you from being responsible to see that we stay together. No intent to do without your help and superb assistance. In fact it’s expected, but you don’t have to answer for marital failures, whatever is produced in the long run.

Hank signals with fingers, “You need only face up to four tasks to the best of your ability. Remain my already realized ideal of a good woman to whom I’m greatly attracted. Develop yourself into the ideal wife that we both deserve. Prepare and become the ideal mother for our children. Keep me informed when I add strain to our marriage. Also, I owe you my definition of the term ideal. It means the same woman I married and expect to cherish for sixty years. Small improvements no doubt, but no big changes to who and what she is when we marry.

“I will do my best to be the ideal husband for you and father for our kids. If and when I say nothing contrary, you remain my ideal and cherished one. Believe it. You start there and sixty years hence you will remain just that. The practice of cherishing someone makes it last.

“All of the above brings me to the most important part. We can’t avoid disputes or hold unbecoming opinions of each other. Minor in the overall passage of time, they still should not be verbalized. We can avoid fault finding, criticism, and blaming each other, and we should do it by converting complaint and blame into offenses to the marriage covenant first and then to each other.

“The softer the name calling, the harder the covenant shell that surrounds us.

“You work primarily through relationship management, and I will work primarily to hold our lives together as a one-unit family. Our life together is three processes, yours, mine, and ours. We don’t need perfection living together. We primarily need to flatten out the steeper parts of our emotional conditions without blame, guilt, and criticism. Even in that, perfection is not essential. A little bit might even help sometimes.

“My respect makes you likeable to me. Your love makes me likeable to you. My trust makes you loyal to me, and your trust makes me loyal to you. Mutual likeability and loyalty are the necessary ingredients for my love to endure. Consequently, my love of you arises out of respect and trust of you that is confirmed and endorsed by your love and trust of me.

“I will be fulfilling my responsibility when we both identify our differences as neither personal nor in immediate need of correction, but rather as undesired actions and attitudes contrary to marital harmony. Primarily, I foresee that you will be responsible for harmony in the home and I for harmony outside the home and overall.

“Now I only describe the mutual bonding to start out, how we are to perform under those conditions as guidance. How we operate under those conditions determines our future together, your happiness as a woman, and my satisfaction as a man.

“I expect to formally propose that we marry and hereby suggest that success comes more from what I describe than blind luck, mutual love, and even the greatest of intentions. So, I offer myself for you to consider whether my plan and role as just described fits your needs and desires. In other words, I offer me and my plan in addition to just me and my ability to love you forever.

“Does all that sound doable to you? Anything offend you? Can you subordinate yourself and emotional stability to the supreme role of our marriage? I pledge it as my intent for life, and God-willing, you accept me when I propose.

“You now have the floor. I look forward to showing how my love can overcome your objections.”

Pondering for a moment, Jenny smiles beyond her best ever. “It’s magnificent. I could not ask for more, darling. I accept your plan as more than I deserve. In return, I add my promise of endlessly dispensing your favorite wishes that I alone can provide.”

Still on the couch, they hug and kiss and she allows him to elevate their passion levels above that previously permitted. Then, abruptly, she terminates it.

“Honey, I have no doubt you’re a great lover. However, I’m a happy lovee only under certain conditions of which only I am aware. If we marry, I want you informed of what it takes for you to make me a happy lovee. We only have this one opportunity, because it can’t be done inside a marriage.

“We will shortly talk. Me as the revelator, you as listener, and we will never mention it again.” His curiosity soars, and she quickly departs. Left standing at the door, Hank’s uncertainties yell at him. What was that? What is she doing? Then he remembers, “We will shortly talk.” He wonders, when will she….

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Filed under courtship, Dear daughter, How she wins, marriage, sex differences, The mind, virginity