“I always complained that he didn’t talk to me and tell me what was on his mind. I finally realized that I didn’t talk to him and tell him what was on my mind. I thought (a) he wouldn’t be interested, (b) he wouldn’t care, (c) he wouldn’t understand, or (d) he would […]

Use Your Words

When our grandkids were little, they sometimes waved their arms frantically and made nonsensical sounds in an attempt to get their needs met. My daughter calmly reminded them to use their words. Sometimes I think we grow up still waving our arms and making nonsensical sounds to get our needs met, particularly with our spouses.


Keeping My Opinions to Myself

My husband ran his own business for 40 years. At times he was challenged with employee issues or complex decisions. As we walked at the end of the day, he frequently shared the happenings of his day with me.

Being one who always has opinions, I was tempted to give advice. However, I’ve learned over […]

Keeping My Thoughts to Myself

Married life teaches one invaluable lesson: to think of things far enough ahead not to say them. ~Jefferson Machamer

I tend to have thoughts about whatever subject is under discussion at the time, whether it involves me or not. If I don’t have ideas for input and advice, I have questions. However, I’m learning that […]


WAIT — Why Am I Talking?

WAIT — Why Am I Talking? When I recently heard this acronym, I thought of a time, a few years ago, when it would have served me well. Twice in one morning I said things that I deeply regretted. On the surface, the first one may have appeared as […]

Being Direct

I’ve been on my feet cooking and baking long enough to exhaust my current supply of energy. Simply put, I’m out of gas. My husband is nearby. He’s been recuperating from a severe respiratory infection. He’s better, but he tires easily. I quietly tell our dog that I’m done in. A very subtle complaint. I’m […]


Please. Thank you. I appreciate your help. Would you be willing? Great dinner. I understand. Good morning. You handled that situation well. These words and many others like them play like background music in our home.

How much sweeter marriage and life are when the melodies of common courtesy sweeten the communications of family members. […]

Working through Conflict

Conflicts are inevitable when two people live together. We each bring our own histories and ways of doing things into the relationship. The way I do things may seem peculiar or even offensive to my spouse and vice versa. What do I do if I find myself feeling resentful of something my spouse does on […]

Asking for Clarification

It’s inevitable that hurt feelings will occasionally crop up when two people who love each other live together. Many of these feelings can be avoided or quickly resolved through open and honest communication. For example, I have noticed that sometimes what I thought he said was not really what he said. Or, I may have […]

My Full Attention


“So,” I hear him say, “What do you think?” Huh? Oops! What do I think about what? I realize, that somewhere between, “Man, I had a great run!” and, “So, what do you think?,” I’d been off somewhere with my own thoughts – thoughts that I obviously found more engaging than what […]