Category Archives: Commitment

A cheap date is better than no date at all!

When was the last time you and your spouse had a night out just the two of you? There are tons of things to do that don’t cost lots of money. Even dinner for two at Wendy’s is better than no date at all. Make the committment to take your spouse out within the next couple of weeks. Go see a movie, drive up the canyons, watch the sunset, just go out for an ice cream cone. It doesn’t have to cost lots of money, it just needs to happen.

We attended the Smart Marriages Conference in Orlando a couple of weeks ago and learned some very sobering facts about marriage in the United States. Over 50% of marriages will end in divorce if the current trends continue.

Statistics also show that financial stress is one of the key factors in divorce. With the current economy, it may seem like you can’t afford to spend time going out on dates with your husband or wife, but these are the times when that is most important.

Go to your city’s official visitor website, if it’s got one, and see what events are coming up. Many of them are free!

Here are a few places to look:

Salt Lake City Visitor’s Bureau: http://www.visitsaltlake.com/events/
Boise Visitor’s Bureau: http://www.boise.org/Calendar/
Logan Visitor’s Bureau: http://www.tourcachevalley.com/index.php?id=16

Love is a verb, not a noun

I’ve always looked at love as a verb, an action word, something that is shown or demonstrated. I think sometimes we tend to minimize the concept of true love by treating it simply as a noun, something that you might possess or hold.

My grandfather taught me about what it really means to love someone. His generation had a different perspective on marriage. When people got married back then, it was a covenant before God and each other that “For better or for worse…” they were committed to one another. No matter how difficult things got, they stayed together and determined to make things work.

Today people get divorced for no other reason than they’ve “fallen out of love.” No-fault divorce has become so rampant in our society that the institution of marriage sometimes takes on the appearance of a social networking program rather than a true commitment between two people to support and take care of each other through the good times as well as the bad.

My grandmother suffered from depression for many years and was not always the easiest person to live with. But my grandfather loved her. He was a humble, gentle man who worked by the sweat of his brow his entire life. He was a farmer, he was a storeowner, he was a steelworker, and he was a volunteer fireman. He was never wealthy, but he was wise and kind and he took his responsibility as a husband very seriously.

As my grandparents got older, grandma became very ill. She was bed-ridden and spent every day lying on her back in their tiny little bedroom. If she needed to use the bathroom, he would carry her from her bed to the bathroom and then back again. He would cook every meal for her and bring it to her. Eventually she began to lose her eyesight. She became more dependent on him even for discussion and entertainment. She could no longer watch television, or read. She would listen to the radio for hours and my grandfather would sit in his chair and talk with her or read her the newspaper, or other stories.

One day when I was visiting, he was so excited to show me this “new” invention that he’d discovered. It was a cordless telephone that he had just purchased. (The rest of us had been using them for years, but he hadn’t been paying attention.) He showed me how he could now go outside and spend more time in the garden without worrying that he wouldn’t hear grandma call from the bedroom. If she needed him, she could page him by pushing the little button on the base unit and his phone would beep. He had devised a cool little phone-holster that he could strap on his belt to carry the phone.

He cared for my elderly grandmother day and night. Keeping her company, ignoring her complaints, loving her regardless of her negativity and promising her that he would always take care of her.

Eventually it became difficult for him to walk, his hips were giving out and the doctors told him that he needed to have both hips replaced. He told me later that the hardest thing he’d ever done was tell my grandmother that he had to temporarily place her in an Elder-Care facility while he had his hip operations. He felt so much guilt over leaving her alone in an unfamiliar place that he rushed through his physical therapy in order to get her back home with him. He later told me that the day he brought her home was the happiest he’d seen her in years. “She was very kissy,” he said, and they spent the next week together, with him sitting next to the bed keeping her company. She died a week later.

Marriage isn’t only about the romance; it’s also about the commitment. We are going to learn a lot about our spouse over the years we are married. We are going to know what makes them happy, we are going to know what causes them pain, and we are going to be able to choose daily which of those results we want to produce.

Romance requires some planning

Alright, so let’s get right to it.

Husbands, this one is for you. If you’re like me you’re thinking something like this: “Valentines Day is next month. This time I’m going to plan ahead. Good thing for me, there’s plenty of time to get something nice for my wife….”

Then we continue on with our daily routines and next thing we know it’s February 12th and it’s too late to get tickets, or plan an overnight getaway.

One thing to be aware of this year, guys…. February 14th falls on a Saturday. That means lots of people will be out and about. If you are planning on doing something that requires reservations you’d better start thinking about it now.

Although this site is obviously going to give shameless plugs for the Anniversary Inn on a regular basis, the reality is that February is one of our busiest months, so seriously…… plan ahead!

But even if you don’t stay with us, with Valentine’s Day falling on a Saturday, this year is going to be crowded. My sense is that even though our economy is struggling right now, folks are still going to want to do something nice for their loved ones.

Husbands, my suggestion to you (and to me, because I’ve seriously got to atone for last year’s “blender” fiasco) is to start floating a few “test balloons” past your wife to see what things she might be hoping for.

From my vast wealth of experience a hastily purchased present doesn’t go as far as a poem that took you some time to put together. I think we too often forget that buying stuff isn’t the same as giving a gift.

“Presents” are stuff you buy, “gifts” are things that you give with some level of meaning attached. A gift may be something that you purchased, but there is significance behind its purchase. A ring is a lovely present, but a Mother’s ring with a stone representing each of your children is a gift.

All I’m saying, husbands, is take a little time to think about this upcoming holiday. Valentine’s Day is the one time a year you really get to tell your wife that you do still care. And to represent that caring you’ve purchased, or written, or put together, or planned, this Gift.

Good luck men, I’ll see you on the other side!