An Open Marriage

A year ago, my husband and I underwent a three-day marriage encounter seminar. My husband only went because he knew I really wanted to go and he agreed to going as an anniversary gift to me.

Before the marriage encounter, we were having problems with our relationship. We used to fight over little things, our communication lines are not open. We seem happy together because we are both people with sense of humor and that's what others see. In the comfort of our home, there was silence that was deafening.

I have learned very important things about my husband during that marriage encounter weekend. These revelations made me understand him and realized that a relationship would not work if I always look at it one way -- as in how I wanted it to be. I have recognized that my husband may not be perfect and is not a prince charming material but we share the same love for each other although we have different ways of expressing it.

Love is ironic as they say. The ones we love may cause us the greatest pains. I have experienced it a lot of times and I never get tired of loving because I wanted to feel its rewards. In the end, love is all worth it.

It's all worth it too for this couple. Read their story, it touched me so much I was inspired to write this article.

They have been married for a long time. As usual they have their ups and downs. One day they had a big fight over his long working hours and things are falling apart. He was disappointed and she was angry. After one week of silence treatment from her wife, he approached her with papers and pencils. He suggested that both of them sit down on the dining table and write down on paper what they are not happy about each other. They will then exchange the papers and discuss. So the wife started to write without looking up because she has a lot to write about her frustration. The husband took a long look at the wife and he too started to write. After fifteen minutes of writing, they look at each other and exchange the papers.

The husband looked at the paper full of complaints. She was angry. When the wife looked at his paper, she was embarrassed and quickly tears fell down her own paper. On his paper, he wrote for two full pages:

"I love you, honey"



Ingredient for a Successful Marriage

Marriage does not work itself. Couples need to try strategies and work on enhancing their relationship if they want it to be successful. Lesson No. 1: Do Not Point fingers...

A man asked his father-in-law, 'Many people praised you for a successful marriage. Could you please share with me your secret?'

The father-in-law answered in a smile, 'Never criticize your wife for her shortcomings or when she does something wrong. Always bear in mind that because of her shortcomings and weaknesses, she could not find a better husband than you.'

We all look forward to being loved and respected. Many people are afraid of losing face. Generally, when a person makes a mistake, he would look around to find a scapegoat to point the finger at. This is the start of a war. We should always remember that when we point one finger at a person, the other four fingers are pointing at ourselves.

If we forgive others, others will ignore our mistakes too.



Great Love

Losing a loved one has always been difficult. Moving on to a new life when you are so used to sharing it with another is a great challenge. This story revel on how to cope with life after a loved one was taken from you and how we should cherish the people we have now in our lives... before it's too late.

Here's to T-bone steaks, yellow roses and friendship.

"I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn't hungry. The pain of losing my husband of 7 years was still too raw. And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

He often came with me and almost every time he'd pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I'd always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands.

He knew I loved yellow roses. With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since he had passed on.

Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how he had loved his steak.

Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blonde, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large package of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

She saw me watching her and she smiled. "My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don't know."

I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes.

"My husband passed away eight days ago," I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. "Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together."

She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products . There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A Quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone.

I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front. I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking toward me, her eyes holding mine.

As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes. "These are for you," she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms. "When you go through the line, they will know these are paid for." She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again. I wanted to tell her what she'd done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away as tears clouded my vision.

I looked down at the beautiful roses nestled in the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn't alone.

Oh, you haven't forgotten me, have you? I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

Every day, be thankful for what you have and who you are."



Know The Difference Between the Winners and Losers

We all love winners. We all wanted to be one. There's nothing wrong to want to be one. What will be unacceptable is to believe and strive to be losers.

Know the
The Ten Differences between a Winner and a Loser written by HEETS and learn how to become successful in life.

  1. A winner makes mistakes and says: "I was wrong." A loser says: "It wasn't my fault."
  2. A winner credits his good luck for winning even though it wasn't luck. A loser credits his bad luck for losing, but it wasn't luck.
  3. A winner works harder than a loser and has more time. A loser is always "too busy," too busy staying a failure.
  4. A winner goes through a problem. A loser goes around it.
  5. A winner shows he's sorry by making up for it. A loser says he's sorry but he does the same thing next time.
  6. A winner knows what to fight for and what to compromise on. A loser compromises on what he should not and fights for what isn't worth fighting for. Every day is a battle of life and it is very important that we are fighting for the right things and not wasting out time with trivial matters.
  7. A winner says: "I'm good, but not as good as I ought to be." A loser says,"Well, I'm not as bad as a lot of people.A loser looks down at those who've not yet achieved the position he has. A winner looks up to where he is going. A loser looks down at those who've not yet achieved the position he has.
  8. A winner respects those who are superior to him and tries to learn from them. A loser resents those who are superior to him and tries to find fault.
  9. A winner is responsible for more than his job. A loser says: "I only work here."
  10. A winner says: "There ought to be a better way of doing it." A loser says: "why change it? That's the way it's always been done."


Guides In Overcoming Insecurities

Are you insecure? Do you sometimes feel that you;re not good enough? Are you uncomfortable in a crowd? If you answered yes in one of the questions, don't despair. It is okay to feel that way.
Feeling of insecurity is a natural feeling for anybody. Even the richest, the prettiest and the smartest, in one way or another, felt insecurity.

Read this to know more about insecurity or lack of self-confidence and empower yourself now.

Some men and women tend to shy away from men and women they are
attracted to, thinking that they would be rejected right away. The
truth is that they will get rejected, unless they revise their
program completely.
We tend to feel insecure towards the opposite sex for several
reasons, mainly because of lack of self-confidence. It's all boils
down to the way we think. Some of the signs that we are insecure
about ourselves is that we tend to feel that the other person is
lying whenever we get a compliment from them, or that we think right
away that approaching an attractive person would not yield a great
These bad thoughts are what we should eliminate in order to bring
out the best of ourselves. Here are our mantras that you can say to
yourself over and over to overcome insecurities.
I won't make any situation perfect – We tend to be afraid that
everything would not turn out right if we approach someone we are
attracted to, but how would we know if we don't pursue at all? Not
everything would be perfect, but at least we can try to learn from
it. You need to take out the pressure you unnecessarily built on
I am not shy – Shyness inhibits you to explore more about your
potential in dating. Take the risk and get to know people. You can
start by greeting your neighbors or the convenience store attendant.
Slowly build your confidence.
I created my own insecurity – Remember that most of your
insecurities have no meaning nor reason at all. They merely exist
because you let them roam around your head.
I have the power of what I think and feel – Do not let anyone or
anything control that power that only you possess. You have the
power to choose whether to feel bad or feel good about yourself. If
you want to live a good life, which would you choose?


Guides for Happy Marriages

Marriages can't be perfect. Couples will always have something to argue about. Diversities of personalities and beliefs sometimes bring people together but often becomes the reason for fights and misunderstanding. If not resolved, these may cause separation and broken marriages.

Let's learn from this story the secret of a happy marriage.

The Secret to a Lasting Marriage: Embrace Imperfection

Deb Graham

When I was a little girl, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work.

On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage, and extremely burned toast in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his toast, smile at my mom, and ask me how my day was at school.

I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that toast and eat every bite! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the toast. And I'll never forget what

he said: "Baby, I love burned toast."
Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his toast burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said,"Debbie, your momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real

tired. And besides­a little burnt toast never hurt anyone!"

In bed that night, I thought about that scene at dinner...and the

kindness my daddy showed my mom. To this day, it's a cherished memory

from my childhood that I'll never forget. And it's one that came to

mind just recently when Jack and I sat down to eat dinner.

I had arrived home late...as usual...and decided we would have

breakfast food for dinner. Some things never change, I suppose!

To my amazement, I found the ingredients I needed, and quickly began

to cook eggs, turkey sausage, and buttered toast. Thinking I had

things under control, I glanced through the mail for the day. It was

only a few minutes later that I remembered that I had forgotten to

take the toast out of the oven!

Now, had it been any other day -- and had we had more than two pieces

of bread in the entire house -- I would have started all over. But it

had been one of those days and I had just used up the last two pieces

of bread. So burnt toast it was!

As I set the plate down in front of Jack, I waited for a comment

about the toast. But all I got was a "Thank you!" I watched as he ate

bite by bite, all the time waiting for some comment about the toast.

But instead, all Jack said was, "Babe, this is great. Thanks for

cooking tonight. I know you had a hard day."

As I took a bite of my charred toast that night, I thought about my

mom and dad...how burnt toast hadn't been a deal-breaker for them.

And I quietly thanked God for giving me a marriage where burnt toast

wasn't a deal-breaker either!

You know, life is full of imperfect things...and imperfect people.

I'm not the best housekeeper or cook. And you might be surprised to

find out that Jack isn't the perfect husband! He likes to play his

music too loud, he will always find a way to avoid yard work, and he

watches far too many sports. Believe it or not, watching "Golf

Academy" is not my idea of a great night at home!

But somehow in the past 37 years Jack and I have learned to accept

the imperfections in each other. Over time, we have stopped trying to

make each other in our own mold and have learned to celebrate our

differences. You might say that we've learned to love each other for

who we really are!

For example, I like to take my time, I'm a perfectionist, and I'm

even-tempered. I tend to work too much and sleep too little. Jack, on

the other hand, is disciplined, studious, an early riser, and is a

marketer's dream consumer. I count pennies and Jack could care less!

Where he is strong, I am weak, and vice versa.

And while you might say that Jack and I are opposites, we're also

very much alike. I can look at him and tell you what he's thinking. I

can predict his actions before he finalizes his plans. On the other

hand, he knows whether I'm troubled or not the moment I enter a room.

We share the same goals. We love the same things. And we are still

best friends. We've traveled through many valleys and enjoyed many

mountaintops. And yet, at the same time, Jack and I must work every

minute of every day to make this thing called "marriage" work!

What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each

other's faults - and choosing to celebrate each other's differences -

is the one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing,

and lasting marriage relationship.



Learning From The Seed

As adults, we serve as role models to young people. The questions is: how good models are we? They say you reap what you plant so let's be careful with what we teach and show our youngsters. Read this inspiring anecdote.

The Seed (A very nice anecdote)

A successful businessman was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, 'It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.' The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. 'I am going to give each one of you a SEED today - one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.'

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story.

She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed.

Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn't have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by - still nothing in Jim's pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn't say anything to his colleagues, however. He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil - He so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn't going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick at his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful -- in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives. Jim just tried to hide in the back. 'My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,' said the CEO. 'Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!' All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the financial director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, 'The CEO knows I'm a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!'

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his Seed - Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, 'Behold your next Chief Executive! His name is Jim!'

Jim couldn't believe it. Jim couldn't even grow his seed. How could he be the new CEO the others said?

Then the CEO said, 'One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today.

But, I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead - it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers.

When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive!'

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.

So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.