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My dear Jil, I was at the Freedom Foundation documentary screening penultimate Saturday and what a documentary! It was about the great work being done by that organization. It’s led by Dr. Tony Rapu. Continue reading

My dear Jil, I’m going to talk to you about a virtue not in abundance in this world of ours – patience! Marriage requires patience. Couples have to be patient with each other. Very patient. If you keep flying off the handle, you’re not going to have a happy marriage. Will be full of tension. Besides, it’ll provoke an equal and opposite reaction in the counterparty, your spouse. Two can’t afford to be mad at the same time in a marriage. A wise party will defer even legitimate feelings in that situation. In a marriage, emotions have consequential value. We’re either building our marriage or tearing it down, daily. When in anger we say unconscionable things to our partner we forget we can’t take the words back. And words are powerful. Words can damage human psyche, words can eviscerate affection. If there’s something you should be mindful of in marriage, it’s words. Spouses are supposed to build each other up, not tear each other down. Spouses are meant to be supportive, not denigrative. Continue reading

Dear Jack, you’ve got to loosen up. Loosen up. There ought to be fun in marriage. You can’t be all that serious in marriage. Yes, marriage is serious stuff but there should be fun and play. You’re going to spend the rest of your life with this person. Make the history being created fun! That kind of relationship should accommodate a range of emotions and experiences that are joyful. Life is hard enough, times are tough enough. You’ve got to find moments of laughter and happiness with your partner. Both you and your wife ought to have your rituals of joy. It begins by not taking yourself too seriously, letting your guard down, being willing to be made fun of. Continue reading

Dear Jil, I think it’s good for husband and wife to share, to talk about things – issues and life’s challenges. Marriage makes a burden lighter. Two can share a problem, two can think together, pray together. And when discouragement comes you draw strength from your partner. That’s why marriage is a binary equation. Carrying the load yourself may prove too much for you. Share the burden with your partner. The more you share burdens and issues the closer you become. Both of you are involved in each other’s life. Continue reading

Love is what makes all the difference, and you’ll be doing yourself a lot of harm marrying someone who doesn’t love you. What’s the point really? What’s the point of a marriage without love or affection? Why go into such? Without love marriage becomes a dry fig. There’s a harshness about it. It’s a coarse grainy dryness. Such dryness has the micro rough quality of a harmattan haze. It’s dusty and wheezy. A marriage without love is unimaginable yet imaginable. Continue reading

Dear Jack, I do hope you don’t mind the truth, ‘cause I’m going to say some very hard truth in this letter. Think of a fluffy whiff of cloud hanging between heaven and earth. That’s how your life is right now. You’re just hung there, not moving forward or backward – Just an eccentric piece of the mechanical vagaries nature. There’s a form to your marriage, just like the cloud. Yet the marriage has no form. Continue reading

My dear Jil, do you know Elizabeth Moss? You probably know her as Peggy, Peggy Olson in the Mad Men drama series. In the series she’s the former secretary who ended up as advertising executive, breaking the glass ceiling for women. She made one major mistake – had a child for a married man, eventually giving up the child for adoption. But she didn’t allow the mistake to define her. She somehow pulled through. Continue reading

My dear Jil, you know I’ve always expressed my doubts about your money-denominated relationship. Your marriage is now at an impasse, and if you don’t make a radical shift in values and philosophy, it will unravel. The record of your marriage almost reads like a bank ledger. The marriage is totally transactional. It’s all about who bought what, who didn’t buy what, who’s owing whom and who, what’s outstanding… That doesn’t feel like marriage. It sounds like commerce – marital commerce. Continue reading

My dear Jack, let me teach you two laws to be cognizant of in this relationship. The two laws seem obvious, sound almost stupid. Yet they’re so potent and powerful. Sometimes, laws and principles seem so obvious. Take gravity for example. Continue reading

My dear Jil, I know you guys are far away in Manchester. Maybe we’ll see when I go up to Sheffield. But the English December weather is not exactly my thing at this time of the year. I prefer Miami, Florida. But let me explain it to you, to show you where couples get it wrong.  Continue reading
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