Good morning my Name is ______ and my wife is a bully?

This is Anti-Bullying week? When we think about bullying, it usually conjures up images of kids being abused at school or on social media sites.

Did you know there is such a thing as being bullied by your wife? We tend to focus more on women who are emotionally, or physically abused by their husband. Probabably by the mere fact that how could you possibly injure or kill the mother of your children?

When we hear stories about men being abused, we shake our heads in a different way. We think to ourselves, “Poor man, what is wrong with him? Why couldn’t he stand up and handle his business?”

Men are often left in a precarious situation, not because they have a weak character, but because they know if they take action and exert their strength they may have to prove in a court of law they were the actual victims.  Knowing how our court system works, that’s a 50/50 proposition at best. So they would rather take the punishment hoping it will eventually goes away, but in reality it never does.  Another reason why men don’t usually take action is because they think to themselves, “How am I being bullied, I am a man!”

Strivers! How can we help our male friends that are close to us be made aware? If you have heard any of these phrases from them more than once, get them help. They are being bullied by their spouse:

  1. It’s either her way, or I’ll  pay. – In essence she wants control in and every part of the relationship. She will resort to any means necessary to achieve her goal.
  2. I’m never good enough syndrome. – No matter how hard he tries, he can’t meet her expectations. This leads to a sense of helplessness. No matter what he does, he won’t win.
  3. She said that to me at the restaurant! – Being verbally attacked in public is a man’s worst nightmare. It will break his self-confidence because women are often viewed as the victim and he must have done something really bad to evoke such a response. This will leave him with a “walk-on-egg-shells” type mentality the next time he is out in public with his wife.
  4. I live in the city of chaos. – He is confused on how he should live. Should he jump in the sandbox of her chaotic life and defend himself or just sit back be an unwilling participant. He doesn’t realize that she feeds on negative energy and conflict. It’s easier to focus on that than to really dig deep and identify the problems, or emotions that are affecting her.
  5. I can’t even remember the last time we had sex without begging. – She refuses to satisfy any physical, emotional and psychological needs he may have unless her needs are met first. He is left with a relationship that is based on transactions. It’s like going to the ATM and trying take  out money not realizing your PIN code has changed every day. The only way you can get money is if you hopefully get an angry customer service rep to help you.
  6. I can’t remember the last time I have seen you, or my family. – Here antics have left him isolated. This type of spontaneous behavior from his spouse can leve him to go it alone because he never knows when Mt. St. Helens will erupt.  In reality, you are the one that’s ultimately left to depend on her? Ask him is that what you want in a relationship? If he says, no encourage him to STEP OUT. Have him call me or seek an abuse counselor for support.

I came across this site, that might be helpful A Shrink for Men, which was very helpful for this post.

Remember Strivers, you  are too important to be abused. Have a good rest of the week.

Coach Keith

Are we letting I-Phone Apps handle our Marriages?

If you haven’t seen the news in the past week or so, there is a new I-Phone app call ‘Find My Friends’  which allows you to easily locate your friends and family from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Unfortunately, this app was used to capture a woman in a lie when she was confronted by her husband in a text message. He asked her where she was in NYC. Instead of telling him, her exact whereabouts in the East Village. She was confirmed by the spouse tracking device to be uptown. The problem with what is being reported by the man tagged ThomasMetz. We aren’t sure what she was doing, she just lied about our whereabouts.

Are we so, quick to assume the worse without even talking to our spouses? What’s next, will there be an app. that will determine if our spouse spends more money while shopping, or an app. that will snuff out that our spouse is really ‘faking’?

Whether it be infidelity, intimacy in our marriage, or finances, we should be able to talk to our spouse as opposed to using our Smart Phones to do it for us.

Are we relying too much on our smart phones to manage our lives?

Strivers! Why can’t we talk to our spouses anymore when it comes to difficult discussions?

Coach Keith

What will you throw out to save your Marriage? (M.M.M.)

Early in our marriage, I told my wife, P.G. that I wouldn’t be rich. I know she must have thought I was joking. I had graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in marketing, and was on my way to a Master’s in Nonprofit Management.  The world was my oyster, well our oyster. But my passion was towards helping people whether it be teens, or couples. What she didn’t realize, I was also helping our marriage too.

A new study by scholars at Brigham Young University looked at more than 1,700 married couples across the U.S. to determine how their attitudes toward money affected their marriages.

Each couple completed a questionnaire which evaluated their relationship and asked, among other things, how much they value “having money and lots of things.” The study, which was just published in the Journal of Couple & Relationship Therapy, found that couples who say money is not important to them score about 10% to 15% better on measures of relationship quality, such as marriage stability, than those couples where both or one spouse are materialistic.

In a somewhat surprising twist, the researchers found that those couples in which both partners said they valued lots of money—about 20% of the couples in the study—fared worse than those couples who were mismatched and just had one materialist in the marriage.

“Couples where both spouses are materialistic were worse off on nearly every measure we looked at,” said Jason Carroll, a BYU professor of family life and lead author of the study.  “There is a pervasive pattern in the data of eroding communication, poor conflict resolution and low responsiveness to each other.”

I may not have riches, but what I do have Luther states so eloquently. A good marriage.

I want to be the one that you just can’t live without
I want to be the one
that you never feel no doubt
I want to be the one that you let give you the lovin’
But, I have nothing

I want to be
the one that you always want to be near
I want to say the words that your
body and soul need to hear
I want to be the one that you let give you all the
But I have nothing

So Strivers..What will you throw out to Save your Marriage?

The Answer is Definitively Yes! W.W.W.

If you didn’t notice yesterday, the National Football League designates all the games in the month of October by promoting the players to wear Pink. The fact is Breast Cancer can be traumatic for your spouse, especially since if there is no history of cancer in your family.

So besides wearing a Pink Ribbon, or participating in as many Breast Cancer Events, what does your spouse really need from you. (Excerpt from Pam Stephan (

1. Be There

The person with breast cancer needs you now more than ever. But the patient won’t be fun to be with all the time. So, don’t give into the temptation to hide from the situation by getting busier with work, hobbies, or other things that keep you away from the patient. It’s no fun holding a woman’s head while she loses her cookies, or holding her hand just before she goes into surgery. But she’ll remember what you did for her later.

2. Advocate

Though she may be a fighter by nature, a woman with breast cancer is often in no shape to battle hospital bureaucracies, insensitive doctors, thoughtless nurses, or anyone else, especially you. It’s your job to take her side and ask the hard questions, pound the receptionist’s desk when you’re being ignored, and act in her best interests. Even the best medical care personnel get too busy or preoccupied. And when that happens, you need to act to make sure your patient gets the care she needs.

3. Organize

Maybe you’re not a born organizer. But you can keep track of doctor’s appointments, medications, prescriptions, hospital bills, test reports, and the hundreds of other pieces of paper that a typical treatment sequence for breast cancer generates. Not all of these papers are important, but you don’t want to lose the ones that are. And your patient will be relieved not to have to keep track of them herself.

4. Encourage

There will be times when you both feel like crying. Go ahead. But make sure you’re the one handing out the hankies, not your patient. She needs an emotional anchor, and you’re it, whether you like it or not. Sometimes not saying anything is better than saying the wrong thing. But if you’re there, advocating, and organizing, your actions tell her that you care, even if you don’t have the words to say it.

5. Act Normal

Whatever is normal for you, that is. Cancer doesn’t mean the world has to grind to a halt. If you and the patient have normal routines and things you enjoy doing, try to keep them up to the extent possible. But always be sensitive to physical fatigue, emotional stress, or other reasons for not doing things you used to do, and give into the needs of your patient.

6. Be Honest

Most people today would rather hear the truth about their medical condition than a sweetened-up lie. This doesn’t mean being needlessly cruel, however. When you both face the same facts together, whatever they are, you can act together and stay together through the treatment.

7. Don’t Leave

If you’re like most men, you look to your wife or girlfriend to supply needs or wants you have for affection, companionship, and sex. Some guys have the attitude that, “If a woman can’t give me what I want anymore in these departments, I’d better drop her and find another one.” This is the absolutely worst thing you can do to her at this vulnerable point in her life. A woman can get over cancer, but she’ll never get over the deep and lasting emotional injury you’ve given her if you abandon her now. And neither will you. Don’t do it. Stay with her, even if you’re not that happy with the situation. You’ll both be better off together than you’d be in Splitsville.

8. Ask Your Friends For Help

The two of you don’t have to do it all by yourselves. Friends, neighbors, relatives are there to be asked for help. Not all of them will, but you will be surprised at what some people will do if you just ask them. Seek their help in driving to appointments, staying with the patient while you’re at work, or doing errands you normally do but don’t have time for anymore.

How toxic thinking seeps into your Marriage.

Last week as I was traveling home from an appointment, I decided to e-mail my friends to see how their marriage was going. After a few texts back and forth, I had to call her on the phone, since I was in the car. As soon as she picked up, she asked me this question, “What if I just divorced my husband and we stayed together?” It through me for a loop a bit, but I responded. “How would that help.”  She replied, “Everything was great until we got married.”

I am sure at some point their marriage was good, but what had now changed was their thoughts about marriage. They were different. They had become toxic.

According to Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D, and Susan Magee authors of Why Can’t You Read My Mind, toxic thinking  is negative thinking that have lost their basis in reality and have gotten out of control, causing you to lose your perspective. Toxic thinking is the extreme version of negative thinking. Good example of this is instead of saying I don’t like how I look which is more negative thinking, your thoughts are twisted, distorted highly negative like I’m ugly, No one finds me attractive, or I’ll always be fat.

So how does a marriage/relationship become toxic? First our society in general creates a toxic environment. When you watch the news, what do you see. They focus their article on being in the 40 to 50 percent range. This automatically can lend to toxic thinking because you can quickly internalize your marriage is doomed for failure, especially if you compare yourself to your neighbor whom you feel have an awesome marriage. The news could easily stress a 50% success rate in marriage, but they don’t.

Secondly, toxic thinking derails genuine communication. If you have toxic thoughts toward your marriage your communication will be based on those thoughts. Your whole communication approach which includes verbal and non-verbal communication will not reflect the way you want it to be, it will reflect the toxic thoughts that are at the surface.

Thirdly, toxic thinking creates a relationship Three-D effect, distraction, distance and disconnection. You become distracted because toxic thinking keeps you from focusing on the real issues at hand. You might consider your spouse and All or Nothing spouse, whereby everything they do is negative. This can create a huge distraction because you focus your entire energy on their behavior and not the issues. Your distractions will lend itself to frustration and will increase distance between one another.

To avoid dealing with these thoughts on a daily basis, we will do things to create a distance, work longer hours, join more social groups, or spend more hours on facebook just to give our brain and our toxic thoughts a break.

The problem with this according to Bernstein is when distance starts settling in, partners usually either lash out with more toxic talk or shut down into toxic silence. This is what happened to the spouse of my friend. In the e-mail message he sent me he stated “I don’t know..We just aren’t on the same page at all. Her and I need to start from scratch because we don’t even know what each other wants.” In essence, no matter what I say or doesn’t help.

If you stay distant long enough it can lead to disconnection. This is the most dangerous stage because it keep you from acknowledging and understanding your spouse’s point of view and vice-versa. At this point someone has to wave the white flag and seek coaching/counseling otherwise the next steps may lead to being part of the statistic they report on the news.

If..Then Statement for Marriage

Mexico is considering changing the civil code that allows couples to opt-out of Marriage after two years. Due to the climate their most marriages tend to end in divorce after two years and would make it easier to dissolve the relationship.

It’s radical and a little crazy because can you really finish each other’s sentences or know how your spouse thinks after two years. Let’s say this type of legislation was passed here in the United States. What would you lose if you decided to exercise the two-year option clause.

If I opted out of my marriage after two years..I would lose….



Sometimes Your words just aren’t enough. (M.M.M.)

P.G., my wife, likes to use dumpsters to help clean out the house. So this past weekend, I came across a lot of items to get rid of like, my daughter’s old crib, fraternity pictures and work documents that I had longer than we have lived in the house.  It was a challenge throwing out some of my old things.

The most difficult thing was throwing out my old cassette tapes. P.G. asked me, “How are you going to listen to them?” Laughing, I responded, “I’ll figure out a way.” One thing that caught my eye was one of the cassette cases that was labeled Songs for P.G. It really took me back to 17 years ago, when times were a little simpler, when you could still send love letters instead of love texts.

Back then, cell phones weren’t easily accessible, so if you wanted to let your GF or BF know you were thinking about them, you couldn’t just send a 140 character note on your phone. You had to talk on a regular phone, or write a letter. I wasn’t as eloquent with words as I am now, so I would use music and lyrics to get my point across. It helps to know what learning style your significant other might be because you can send your message in a different way and it will enhance your meaning.

For example:

Visual learners like diagrams.

Auditory learners enjoy music and videos.

Kinesthetic learners enjoy touching things.

The funny part about my love cassette was that it didn’t resonate with P.G., she is a visual learner. I, on the other hand, loved my playlist and she still married me anyway.

Since this is Marriage Music Monday, I am going to share some of the songs on the list plus a video. For those visual learners, I hope you enjoy it.

She – Will Downing

The Best is Yet to Come – Grover Washington/Patti Labelle

Someone Like You – Van Morrison

In All my Wildest Dreams – Joe Sample

You taught my heart to sing – Dianne Reeves