I didn’t realize until I made this year’s anniversary logo how much the alphabet had been a crucial part of our relationship and love story. These building blocks are the perfect metaphor. Our relationship has been built from them. Our friendship and our marriage is made up of letters that created the words, laughter, promises, vows, and even the unpleasant fights (that we thankfully learned to move past, change behaviors, forgive, and do better). All of these words are backed up by the foundation of committed behavior tempered by time... 26 years of time to be exact.
The 52 Love Songs Project began as a tribute to my wife for our 18th anniversary. It's an ongoing project highlighting committed-based love songs, not just romance-based ones.
25 Years!!! That's a quarter of a century! It's our Silver Anniversary! Woo hoo! And not only that, we've not only been married for 25 years, we've been friends for three decades now! And THAT is where it's at. 25 years in and we still...Read More
It's our 24th Anniversary this month. This marks the year that MORE than half of our lives have been each other's.... A long time ago, I decided I would keep working to win and woo my one "marital customer." I've found it's a fun way to stay focused on her and us throughout the year and makes our anniversary and Valentine's something especially enjoyable to look forward to.... Each year I do the following five things for Kara every anniversary. I guess you could say this is all part of my "Marital Marketing Campaign." So far, she's still buying! :-)Read More
It's our 23rd Anniversary this month. I'm 46-years-old next month. Half of my life has been Kara's. She's also 46. Half of her life has been mine. Listen to this year's Anniversary Playlist with 33 great love songs and read the blog.Read More
From a marketing and design standpoint it is important to maintain consistency and continuity in your brand and in your branding. I believe this principle holds true in our relationships. You don’t need a logo for your relationship, but do you know your relationship brand? Is it clearly identifiable to each other? What does your relationship represent? What does it mean to each of you? Every brand carries a promise. What does your brand promise to each other? Do you maintain the integrity of your brand?Read More
About Relationship Branding Every year I make a new anniversary logo for my baby (I'm a graphic designer wannabe). This year is our 21st Anniversary—"Lucky 21" as in the best hand you can get in blackjack. While, I don't believe in luck in relationships I do believe we have a winning hand. I'm her Ace (her number one). She's my Queen... The Wampum Queen to be precise.Read More
My brother, a deep and soulful man, shared the above song with me. He said, "Here’s a nice song for the winter nights ahead, for living life, and the gentle adaptations of spouses. Leah and I have listened to him since we started dating, and I vividly recall when we first heard Birches; we were sitting quietly by a fire, simply listening to the radio and sipping wine."Read More
Hey Cold Feet, I think this is one of the most lovely songs I've ever heard. Nothing would make up for not having your "little ol' cold feet" on me in the night. It's one of the single most sublime pleasures of my life. Love, Foot Warmer.Read More
Every anniversary Kara gets a new playlist on (back in the day, kiddies, we called them "mix tapes") of songs I collect throughout the year that represent how I feel about my baby. I generally try to pick songs based on real committed love and not just cheesy love songs. I load these on CDs and we listen to them throughout our day date on our anniversary as we drive around and then she keeps them in her car to listen to throughout the year as she wants. Here's the playlist you can listen to in the background as you do your work today. I would love to hear your recommendations, too. Thanks.Read More
Love Your Partner More. Don't wait to "feel" loving. Don't wonder if you "found" the best or not. Don't look for greener grass elsewhere. You chose your partner above all others. That is profound. Make it and keep it profound by loving your partner more than all else. Some days you may not feel the love. That's okay. Love her/him more by choosing to love them anyway. Behave in loving ways even whenyou don't feel loving. This is noble and wise.Read More
Take fierce pride in the one you love. Brag about your baby. Take joy in him or her. Let your baby know Refuse to ever criticize her/him to others. Don't husband-bash with your girlfriends. Don't wife-bash with the guys. "You mess with her, you'll see a man get mean" is a great line. Have that kind ofprotectiveness not just with others but more importantly from your own internal criticisms of your baby.Read More
Make room for love to move in. Love needs space. Too often we keep our hearts full of so much junk, baggage, goofy beliefs, relationship myths, masks, fears. "I'm tired of acting tough" is about being ready to let that go and move into love where there is "vacancy" or space. When we're ready to stop "posing/fronting" we can look forward to the subtle joy of connecting with someone now and into the future where we are just relaxing on the front porch. To do so, though, we need to first clear space within ourselves for love to move fully in.Read More
Time to sing props for me this time! Go me! While I don't have a voice like Barry, a body like Arnold, nor the Denzel face, I do have a will, commitment and desire to treat you right. This isn't meant to be self-congratualtory (okay, yes it is, but that's beside the point...), it is meant to simply say you have a good man and you deserve a good man. I hold myself to a high husbandly standard for three reasons...
Love is a Series of Behaviors that Generate Outcomes. There is so much relational wisdom is this one song as it so well illustrates some key behaviors to really love your woman. Allow me to expound a bit on the behaviors identified in this song...Read More
Relationships Trump Things: When we focus on things and tasks we gain things that fade and a to-do list that will remain un-done long after the tombstone has been placed on our grave. Further, when we make things primary we lose the relationship.Read More
Simplicity cuts through complexity. "I don't want a complicated past... don't want drama... I just want a love that will last." Too many of the couples I work with have complicated their relationships. For example, they want a deep and meaningful friendship, yet they don't treat each other as friends. The simple approach is to then begin acting in friendly ways even if you don't feel friendly. Be nice. Duh. So obvious yet it's missed because we add complexity: "I'd be nice if she wouldn't...". Cut through the crud and just be nice anyway.Read More
This year’s anniversary logo is tied into a larger plot to tell the world how I feel about you. The local approach of broadcasting it via your van’s rear window was a good start, however, this year I’m letting the world know through TWO blogs designed to celebrate how lucky I am to have you via giving you Valentine’s All Year: The 52 Love Songs Project and The 365 Love Quotes Project.Read More
Mend it, don't end it. Long-term marital studies find that 69% of couples who seriously considered divorce but stayed married report that 16 years later they are very happy that they stuck it out. Further research shows that couples that stop trying to change each other and learn to accept each other are the ones that change the most and become the most happy.Read More
Happiness is more than just an emotion or experience that only a lucky few experience. The research on positive psychology, neurobiology, resiliency, and learned optimism, as well as my experience with thousands of clients, clearly demonstrate that happiness is (fortunately!) an actual skill that can be taught and can be learned. This is great, great news.