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"Glad" Tidings #194
08/30/10 01:55 PM
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Since everyone has a snappy name for their blog, I thought this one might do. My first post doesn't necessarily fit the name, but such is blogging.


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #195
08/30/10 01:55 PM
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I don't know if we are more sensitive to such things nowadays, or perhaps we are entering a stage of life where this becomes commonplace, but my wife and I have, over the past year, encountered what I would consider a fairly large number of couples who are divorcing.

My kids are in martial arts, and we know not one, but two sets of parents there who are in the process of divorcing. My daughter's best friend's parents just announced they are divorcing, and her best friend from the year before had her father walk out on the family at the start of the school year. My wife's manager at work was abandoned by her husband, who remarried a month after their quickie divorce was final. A long time friend of my wife revealed himself to be a first-class cad when he left his wife, in the process revealing how he had been mistreating her for years. And two of my old college classmates were in the process of being divorced by their wives at the very time I contacted them on Facebook.

In many of these cases, my wife and I have been able to offer some helpful suggestions. In most of them we have at least been able to offer support and encouragement for the left-behind spouse. I am grateful for what I have learned from participating in marriage forums over the past few years, as I have been able to pass along some of that knowledge and not just stand by, unable to help. Sadly, to date none of these situations have ended with a restoration of the marriage.

Maybe it is our age... early 40s, kids in elementary/middle school. Maybe this is the time that divorces statistically start to happen. I certainly don't remember knowing so many people going through this in years past. It just seems, well, unusual to me to see so many happening at the same time among people I know.

It does make me appreciate my wife and our situation more than I already do.

Last edited by Gladstone; 08/30/10 01:56 PM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #210
08/30/10 09:38 PM
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Funny you should mention that. (am I allowed to comment on a blog?)

I found that the 18 year mark was tough on a lot of marriages. And the 25 year mark as well, as I have seen quite a few marriages tumble this past year in our town...just about 24-26 years old (the marriages, not the spouse). I always thought it was the kids getting into their teens, more independent, leaving home, etc., that amplified problems previously covered up by child-rearing.

Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: OurHouse] #270
08/31/10 04:44 AM
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Perhaps it has something to do with being unable to adjust to new roles once the children are older?


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: AntigoneRisen] #547
09/01/10 03:06 PM
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Music is important to me. As some of my Facebook friends will know, I often post the title of a song that I am listening to.

Some songs have lyrics that I've found to be spot-on, for one reason or another. A couple of these pop songs helped when I realized how unhappy my wife was and realized I needed to make radical changes if I wanted to stay married.

One of these songs was "Fortress Around Your Heart" by Sting, and another was "Luv You Better" by LL Cool J. Both songs are about the man who has ruined his relationship with someone he loves and who tries to bridge the gap and make amends. A friend introduced me to a song with a similar theme, "The Reason", by Hoobastank.

The Sting song, in particular, contained a lyric that spoke directly to me. Part of the reason for my distance from my wife was an obsessive hobby. The lyric in question said "Then I went off to fight some battle/That I'd invented inside my head/Away so long for years and years/You probably thought or even wished that I was dead". That hit close to home.

Last edited by Gladstone; 09/01/10 03:09 PM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

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Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #850
09/03/10 04:25 PM
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I have read that one indicator of the relative happiness is by how much the husband is influenced by the wife.

In our Bad Old Days, I made a lot of decisions for us unilaterally. That was how I thought marriage was supposed to be - with the husband as the Head of the Household, making all the decisions. The "traditional model", perhaps, but the problem for us was that I rarely took my wife's input into consideration. Another problem was that I am not really suited, personality-wise, for that kind of a role.

According to the MBTI personality model, I am an INFP. And very much a "P", which means that I excel at gathering information with which to make a decision... but, by nature, I am not very good at actually *making* a decision and sticking to it. I always prefer to postpone making a decision so that I can think about it some more, or gather more information.

By insisting on making decision - especially financial decisions - by myself, I caused all kinds of havoc in our marriage. Of course, my wife resented being excluded from the process - and of course, she resisted and pushed back. She started making unilateral decisions of her own, and as she is a fairly forceful person, I couldn't budge her one bit.

Also, my nature as a "P" made me procrastinate on real decisions that needed to be made in a timely fashion. So, on the one hand, I demanded the right to make all decisions - but on the other, I failed to live up to the role I insisted upon.

When I realized how unhappy my wife was, part of my epiphany was that I recognized how frustrated she was by the status quo - and how she felt like I didn't care about what she wanted in life or what she wanted in our marriage. So, when I resolved to change, one change I made was to start listening to her... and to start respecting her share of ownership of our marriage.

She was, for a long time, unhappy living where we are. And she often thought of divorcing me and moving back to her city. She had brought up moving there before, and I'd shot her down, refusing to consider it. I even told her no because "I would be as miserable there as you are here". How arrogant is that? When we reconnected, I told her that I knew she had often thought of moving back... and I told her that if she really wanted to do so, I was open to it.

Interestingly, the more I respected my wife's right to have equal say in our marriage, the less obstinate she became. We haven't moved, and she is much happier with where we are now than she had been before. We no longer argue about what she wants or what I want.

This has had enormous benefits for us as a couple and as a family. My wife is more practical, more level-headed and more detail-oriented than I am. Where I often dwell on possibilities, she is much more in the here-and-now. And she has no problem making her mind up, unlike me.

We complement each other very well... and over time, we have evolved a decision-making dynamic that works extremely well for us. When we make decisions, since we each have 50% ownership stake in the marriage, we each have one vote. But she breaks all tie votes. smile

It's worked very well for us over the past five years.

Last edited by Gladstone; 09/03/10 04:27 PM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #983
09/04/10 03:05 AM
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Tomorrow is my parent's 44th wedding anniversary. Married right out of college, I was born 10 months later. Through three children, and various separations including a tour in Vietnam, and a year-long unaccompanied tour in Okinawa, they are still happy together and have provided a great role model for my siblings and I on the importance of commitment and the joys of a solid marriage.

Happy anniversary, mom n'dad!


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

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Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #1133
09/05/10 09:23 PM
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I don't understand why this is, but it is almost always the case. Wherever in the house my wife is, you will also find the dog and both cats in the same room... and usually within 10 feet of her!

I guess she just has a magnetic personality... or else just like me, they long to be, close to her. smile


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #1845
09/09/10 06:50 PM
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Five and a half years ago, when I discovered how unhappy my wife was, I came up with a plan to save our marriage. Very shortly thereafter, while searching for information on the internet, I found "that other site", the Marriage Builders forum. I read all of the free information, which I was pleased to see dovetailed with the plan I had developed for myself. Part of the reason I was happy to see this was because Willard Harley laid out in a very easy-to-understand way exactly *why* the steps I was taking would work. There was a theory behind everything that made sense.

I am an intuitive person, and that extends into the way I tackle problems at work and at home. What I mean by this is that when confronting a problem, more often than not, I see the answer right away. Or rather, I see *an* answer right away... but, as I don't know off the bat if this solution will work, I will work steps backwards in my head to see if this solution will actually resolve the problem I am facing. This is the opposite of the way most people, I think, approach problems - instead of facing the problem and working out a solution, I see the solution and then work out if addresses the problem. And I doubt that my intuitive solutions are any more accurate, on average, than another person's straightforward "solution worked out from considering the problem" are.

The point of all this is that I had my plan... my path... but I wasn't sure if it would work. Reading Dr. Harley's material showed me a workable theory about *why* these steps were supposed to work. That helped me move forward with confidence. Although the immediate crisis was past - my wife and I had fallen back in love and we had recommitted to the marriage before I found MB - there was still a lot of work to do to rebuild a foundation of trust.

I started posting on the forums because I wanted a "reality check". I wanted to have other people look over my plan and tell me if what I was doing was sound... and I wanted to know if there was anything more I should be doing. I had been so shocked to find out how unhappy my wife was that I didn't fully trust my own judgement anymore. I received a number of encouraging replies, and I stayed on the forum - for what turned out to be years - because posting there helped me stay focused on my marriage in real life.

I also stayed because I found that I had developed the passion of a convert - I had been so fortunate in how my own situation had turned out that I wanted very much to give back support and encouragement to others facing the same issues.

Unfortunately, over time, I saw the changes going on at the forum, and saw that the range of acceptable discussion was closing in. Eventually, I had to stop posting because, although I'd never gotten in trouble with the moderators, I no longer found the site conducive to free expression or honest inquiry. None of this, however, changed my opinion of the books of Willard Harley, or my gratitude that his information was available for free on his website.

I am so happy to be involved in this project, and to see so many valuable posters showing up - some of whom I know, and some of whom I know by reputation. I am really looking forward to how this site develops. I am also looking forward to attracting new members who are in crisis - because I believe that the depth of knowledge and wisdom gathered here will really be able to help people in crisis weather what is likely the worst storm they have ever faced.

Last edited by Gladstone; 09/09/10 06:59 PM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #1992
09/10/10 03:25 AM
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In our Bad Old Days, I was usually oblivious to how my wife felt. Which isn't to say that I didn't realize she was upset... but I would usually bury myself in my hobby to avoid dealing with it, since I couldn't think of any solution.

Nowadays, I am very much in tune with her moods and emotional state. This comes naturally for me, INFPs usually can't help but resonate emotionally with whoever they deal with. Sometimes it causes an emotional overload, though... there were times, on the Marriage Builders format forum, when I empathised so much with the people I was trying to help, that it affected me in real life.

Star*fish actually gave me some good advice - she advised me to have less empathy and more compassion. After I thought about it, I realized what she meant, and after that I learned to keep some emotional distance between myself and whoever I was dealing with.

That is harder to do in my marriage. Being in close proximity every day with my wife, and being intimately involved with each other's lives the way we are make it a balancing act to maintain the right amount of emotional detachment without shutting her out. Not at times when she is in a good mood - no problem there. It's when she is upset... or stressed out... that I have to try to maintain my own equilibrium.

Doesn't happen that often... but real life is stressful sometimes, right?

I have sometimes, privately, envisioned myself as a phased array antenna installation closely tracking how she is feeling.

Last edited by Gladstone; 09/15/10 04:36 PM. Reason: wrong word

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #2105
09/10/10 04:01 PM
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My husband (nor I) have ever taken that personality type test, but I'm betting he'd score very similar to you. And I think that's part of the problem he has getting too close to "my stuff". 'Cause it gets all mixed up with his stuff. And it overwhelms him. Then he just gets the 'deer-in-the-headlights' thing going.

Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: OurHouse] #2138
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OurHouse,

There are various places you can take the test online - on Facebook, even. Of course, the longer the test the more accurate the results. I've seen some tests on Facebook where people get different results when they take them - or results that don't make sense to me, given how I know that person. My sister, for example, has taken three different FB tests, and gotten wildly different results each time. I get consistent results when I take one or another, partly because I am pretty strongly biased in each category.



**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #3520
09/15/10 01:52 AM
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Egads! Neglect my blog for a few days and it falls to the 3rd page! Blogging is getting popular!

In our "Bad Old Days", my wife was very unhappy with me - not in love with me at all. I was not happy with the situation, and often times very unhappy with her - but I still loved her. I did not put forth any effort in the marriage, though, because she didn't. She never showed me any affection, so why should I put forth any effort?

Either one of us could have changed our behavior. If she had started showing me some affection, I'm sure that things would have gotten better. However, I also believe that if she had made the first move, any recovery of our marriage would have been short-lived.

Why do I think that? Because my selfish behaviors were the root cause of our problems.

In fact, my wife HAD been very affectionate toward me when we first married. She HAD put forth a lot of effort to be a good wife. In return, I spent more and more time on my hobby, less and less time with her, and I got into a comfortable routine of lying to her to avoid accountability for my poor financial management skills.

If she had made the first move... I believe I would have responded. I would have paid more attention to her. But I would not have gone through the soul-searching that occurred when I discovered her unhappiness. And I would not have been motivated to make my changes stick.

And why should I have? If she had made the first move, I'd have been rewarded for slothfulness and indifference. There would have been no compelling need for me to change.

My wife is a very special person - a real treasure. I lost sight of that, and her hostile feelings toward me was her response to my own indifference and neglect. And it was out of character for her. When I realized how privileged I am to have her in my life, and changed my behavior accordingly, I was astonished at how quickly she returned to the person I fell in love with.

It was as though a crushing weight were lifted from her shoulders, and she immediately snapped back into the person she really is.


Last edited by Gladstone; 09/15/10 01:54 AM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #3595
09/15/10 12:29 PM
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I love your posts, Gladstone.

I have always been extremely encouraged by your story (stories).


Married 13 years
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Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Telly] #3666
09/15/10 04:38 PM
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Thanks, Telly! blush

Last edited by Gladstone; 09/15/10 04:38 PM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #3950
09/16/10 03:26 AM
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My old boss has invited me several times to an after-work happy hour with the managers from the contract I used to work on. Twice I have said I would drop by but didn't. This time around, I did not respond to his email, but decided instead to try to make it.

It was good to see him again, and I remembered two of the other managers. I did not know the other three. I was only able to stay for about 15 minutes before I had to leave to catch the last bus home - so I had a beer, caught up with my old boss and then just listened in.

One fellow (who I did not know) was talking about his marriage. What are the odds of that? But it was an all-male group at the table, and most of them were married men. This fellow, though, talked about how he loved it when his wife was mad at him and gave him the silent treatment, because then he could do what he wanted without her bugging him. And he said "I never lied so much until I got married!" He's been married, I heard, nine years.

I was married nine years when I discovered how unhappy my wife was. I had also been a liar, and I had also enjoyed it (more or less) when my wife had left me alone... although I never liked knowing she was mad at me.

One thing, though, that I made a point of never doing, even back in the Bad Old Days, was talking down about my wife in casual conversation. I made a point to never complain about her or speak ill of her to anyone outside the marriage.

I was neglectful, and I was dishonest, and I was hard to live with... but I still loved her, deep down. And I realized that if I complained about her, than those words would affect the way I felt about her, that those words would erode the core of love that I still felt for her.

I'm not talking about seeking help for marital problems, bringing up issues that I had with her. If I'd had a Marriage Advocates.com to post to back then, than I would have talked about the things she did that drove me crazy. And for a couple of months, I saw an individual counselor and we did discuss some of these things.

But I have never liked it when men casually complain about their wives, or joke about how annoying their wives are, or joke about how dumb their wives are.

A man's wife is not for him to make light of or ridicule. On the marriage day, he has accepted a trust, a charge to keep, and he betrays that trust when he mocks her to his friends.

Last edited by Gladstone; 09/16/10 03:26 AM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #4258
09/16/10 09:53 PM
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I get that very much.

One of the things Flick and I make an enormous effort is to not take part in gender bashing, whether it be in the form of 'jokes', or put downs about each other when we're not around each other. We have both told people off about it when we felt it was excessive.

I love the way it gets back to my DH about how I praise him up, and more than one friend had commented about how I don't run him down.


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Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #4605
09/18/10 03:03 AM
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I love "The Reason", and I'm very prone to posting and evaluating song lyrics.

Quote
One fellow (who I did not know) was talking about his marriage. What are the odds of that? But it was an all-male group at the table, and most of them were married men. This fellow, though, talked about how he loved it when his wife was mad at him and gave him the silent treatment, because then he could do what he wanted without her bugging him. And he said "I never lied so much until I got married!" He's been married, I heard, nine years.


I've heard many people, male and female, say similar things. It is more often males, though. It is sad that such people fail to consider the cost of what they are doing.


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Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: AntigoneRisen] #4607
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Funny you should mention "The Reason", AR. I'd not heard that song until a friend from MB told me about it. I agree it is a great song.

Lil, every time I hear that my wife has been talking good about me behind my back, I get a very warm feeling... major deposits in my love bank!

Edited to add: Not so funny you mentioned "The Reason", after all! I went back and saw I mentioned it in my post about music. I'd forgotten I'd mentioned that song.

Last edited by Gladstone; 09/18/10 03:10 AM.

**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

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Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #4608
09/18/10 03:13 AM
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Yup, you mentioned it. I'm more of a hard rock/metal/alternative fan than anything else, although I like Broadway, Classical, R&B...anything but Country, Bubble Gum Pop, and Hardcore Rap.


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: AntigoneRisen] #4609
09/18/10 03:16 AM
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I am an alternative fan, too, though lately I have been moving away from the harder-edged stuff. I am also a fan of soul music, and currently have been getting into "Trip Hop" (Massive Attack, Portishead, Morcheeba, etc). I don't care for Country or hardcore Rap either, but I kinda have a soft spot for real Bubble Gum Pop - the music from the 60s that first earned that tag.


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #6075
09/24/10 03:28 AM
09/24/10 03:28 AM
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Yowza!! I almost fell to page 3 this time! Gotta be more diligent with my blog or it'll fall to the bottom!

Two things today. First of all, I did a little research on yet another divorce-prevention program this past week. Unfortunately, I don't think The McLintock Method is actually a very effective program.

Second point came up in a conversation I had today, and it has to do with emotions. Some people try hard to control their emotions, but as we all know, that is very difficult. In fact, it is far easier to allow our emotions to control us. This is why it is important to have good boundaries when dealing with people and why it is important to guard our hearts. We all know how important it is to guard our hearts around people of the opposite sex. But it is also important to guard and protect the way we feel about our spouses.

We are told every day in modern society to follow our heart. That is very bad advice. There is a line in the movie "Fireproof" that sums this up - instead of following your heart, you need to lead your heart. It is very important to not allow bad feelings to fester toward your spouse... or to allow indifference to creep in.

Now, when a spouse is in an affair, or when a spouse is abusive, in those cases the negative emotions that arise are natural and predictable responses to the situation. I'm not thinking about those situations, though, I am instead thinking about the routine of day-to-day living. How do we maintain loving attitudes toward our spouses and not let the routine bumps and bruises turn into those bad feelings and negative emotions?

Here is a bit of insight that was articulated by Just Learning, over on that other board. He said it was based on reading my posts over there, but this insight never occurred to me until he wrote about it. What he said was that he saw my heart softening and my love growing by the things I was doing for my wife. At the time, of course, I was trying very hard to make up for my previous bad behavior. I was working hard to demonstrate for my wife that I loved her after years of neglect. And it did have an impact on her - but it also had an impact on me. The more I did for her... the more I wanted to do for her. The more I demonstrated love to her... the more I felt love for her.

Now, as time goes on, other concerns come to the forefront. Problems at work. Problems with the kids. Money issues. This, that and the other thing. But through it all, I try to remember to keep demonstrating my love to her... both so that she will know I love her, and so that I will know I love her.


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #6208
09/24/10 04:48 PM
09/24/10 04:48 PM
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I like this:

Quote
But through it all, I try to remember to keep demonstrating my love to her... both so that she will know I love her, and so that I will know I love her.


Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: OurHouse] #7587
10/01/10 02:23 AM
10/01/10 02:23 AM
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Gladstone Offline OP
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On Monday, I had to make a day trip to one of our branch offices in another state. Up at 4:30 am, an hour to the train station, 3.5 hour train ride and 20 minute cab ride later and I'm at the site - where it turns out our vendor failed to order a tiny part needed for the new system. So, the part is shipped overnight, I spend a 30 minute cab ride, a 4.5 hour train ride (delays) and an hour and a half ride home, getting home around 10pm. Up the next morning for the same routine... and the part doesn't arrive until afternoon, only after which I can begin what I need to do.

So... I end up staying the night in a hotel. Our office manager drove me to the hotel, stopping along the way for me to purchase dinner and telling me about two of our people in the office who are secretly dating each other - or so they think. Because they keep accidently outing themselves, one will tell a story about what happened with his girlfriend the night before, the other later tells the exact same story about what happened with her boyfriend. That sort of thing. And I was laughing at the stories until it came out that they started dating while he was still married with a one year old baby, and he divorced a year later.

The office culture in my company is fairly family-friendly, at least in our headquarters office, where I work. Everyone my age is happily married, many have large familes with lots of kids and a happy spouse. I have never heard of any affairs going on, never even heard anyone badmouth their spouse - except for one person who divorced her husband 20 years ago because he was a drug addict who kept getting in trouble with the law.

I was so very glad to finally get home late yesterday to my happy spouse and my two children.


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
Re: "Glad" Tidings [Re: Gladstone] #7963
10/03/10 04:18 AM
10/03/10 04:18 AM
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My daughter got her first pair of pointe shoes today.

Pointe shoes, for those who don't know, are what ballerinas wear during a performance, and are designed to allow them to stand "on pointe", or on tiptoes. My daughter has just turned old enough to start to go "on pointe". Hence, the shoes.

Pointe-shoe fitting is a rather specialized skill. People will drive a long way to go to a store with an experienced pointe shoe fitter and a good selection of shoes.

My wife is an expert pointe-shoe fitter.

When I met her, she managed a dance store in her home city. After she moved down here to marry me, she managed a dance store for years. The owner of the store closed its doors about 4 years ago - about a year after we "reconnected" - and my wife has been a stay-at-home mom ever since.

Today we drove a long way to a store with a good supply of shoes and a decent reputation for pointe shoe fitting. My wife introduced herself to the manager, and they worked together to fit my daughter - and she ended up fitting best in the shoe my wife prefers.

A first-time pointe-shoe fitting can take a long time - an hour is not unheard of. My son brought his video game to play while the fitting took place. I passed the time another way...

I listened to the conversation my wife had with the store manager. I watched what they were doing, but I mostly listened. After listening for about 15 minutes, I started making comments... using the terms I'd heard them using. I didn't make substantial remarks, but I made comments here and there to either back up what my wife was saying, or to ask questions about the technical details of the shoes. "Did you say that one has a rolling shank?" "What about the vamp on that shoe?" "Oh, you're fitting her with a Bloch?" "I thought Russian Pointe didn't come with a drawstring."

I know almost nothing about pointe shoes... but I sounded like I did know what I was talking about! A couple of times the manager would clarify what she was saying in response to a question I asked - even though I had no idea what I was talking about!

After several of these comments, my wife looked over at me. She knows me inside and out, and she had realized exactly what I was doing. After I made another comment, she laughed and said "Dear - be quiet! You don't know anything about pointe shoes!"

I laughed, too, because the jig was up. I said back to her "That's true, but I sounded like I knew what I was talking about, right?" To which my daughter replied "Actually, mommy, he does sound like he knows about pointe shoes".

It's funny what can happen when you listen closely to your wife!


**Formerly known as Cuthbert Calculus**

"There is enough sadness in life without having fellows like Gussie Fink-Nottle going about in sea boots."

Glad Tidings

Gladstone's Sucess Story
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