COO of Your Family Corporation?

Wedding DayOn my wedding day, I asked my father-in-law, a highly respected salesman, motivational speaker and the most charming person I have ever known, how he and his wife had stayed so happily and romantically married for so many years. He considered and said he only had one piece of advice after all that time together, “Never call each other names. You can never take them back.”  Continue reading

Financial Fumbles for Your Kids

Worried coupleThis morning’s paper featured an interesting article from the New York Times about marriage and finances. I have touched on this topic before in “Setting Expectations,” but it is worth re-visiting.

The article said. “…most couples do not want to talk about money before they marry.” It went on to explain why that is such a terrible decision.

I have to agree, and will add that if you do not talk about money with your children and make it clear that it is a highly discussion-worthy topic, you will do them a lifetime disservice.

My husband and I were a bit atypical for our time when we married, but very lucky that we both tend toward transparency and full disclosure. He was 28 and I was 27 when we met, and we had the advantage of education, careers and some investment experience under our belts when we decided to make a life-long partnership.

One unusual thing we did was to write out our expectations.

We had a list of topics that ranged from fidelity and family to finances and future dreams. We wrote them out separately, and then compared to see where the similarities and differences appeared. It was an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to any couples who are contemplating engagement, marriage, or even living together. You may find your values align well, and your chances of success are high…or you may discover a fundamental difference in the way you view life and the way you want to live. It is better to discover that ahead of time, when you can discuss and compromise or find that you cannot compromise and this is not the match for you. And of course, it is far, far better to make these discoveries before you bring children into the relationship. Any divorced parent will tell you that.

So, what are the things you should teach your children to discuss with their potential partners when it comes to finances?  

It boils down to their risk profile.   Continue reading

For the Long Run

In business, as in life, we try to find the perfect fit. As my fantastic father-in-law used to say, “Find something you love doing; do it, and you will never work another day of your life.” So true. A wise person once told me that the perfect job happens when your inclinations and interests intersect with God’s plan for your life. Located therein will be the “perfect fit.” I think it is often the same with marriages that last.Hawaii Couple

I remember watching my mother’s marriages and those of many of my friends and knowing that the relationships they were in were just not for me. Not wrong for them, necessarily, but not right for me.

You see, I have this odd view of marriage. I don’t think it should be a lot of work.

In fact, in dating relationships my motto was, “If it is this hard now, it is not likely to get easier and this is not the one for me.” Marriage was definitely optional in my opinion and I wasn’t willing to settle for less than a pretty darned ideal situation.

My husband came into my life in 1985 and just fit. Things were not completely easy at first since he wanted children and I was not sure I would ever want them, but once we jumped that hurdle I realized I had won the marriage lottery. He gets me, wants me, loves me in spite of my many flaws, supports me in everything I attempt, and makes me laugh even in the darkest and hardest of times. I love him, respect him, find him endlessly fascinating and brilliant and am still very attracted to him. No wonder we are celebrating our twenty-fourth anniversary today.

Why do things work so well between us?

Continue reading

Keeping Romance Alive

Sustainability. It’s what we all hope for in business, relationships, and most of all in love.

Why does it seem to be so hard for some people and come more easily to others? I don’t pretend to know many of the answers, but this post was written in response to three recent stimuli.

  • Chair Pair

    image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff – http://www.stuckincustoms.com

    First, my husband came up with a brilliant idea to whisk me off to a cool, romantic weekend before the craziness of our move and the girls’ departures to their respective new homes start in the coming weeks.

  • Second, Daughter 2 and I had a deep conversation about what makes marriages last and why some seem to be so much work while others just seem to work out.
  • Third, and sadly indeed, a dear friend just sent a note saying he was the most recent in the spate of “Big D” (divorce) casualties that we have seen these past few years.

These things got me thinking about my marriage and the conversations my husband and I have had about why we work so well, and what have we done to be this lucky? Because you see, sometimes it seems like that is what it is…luck of the draw. We know wonderful people, strong in their faith and seemingly crazy about each other and their families and yet at just about this time of life when the kids were going off to college and things were changing, their marriages just disintegrated. Continue reading