Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'M BACK!!

Taking a break is a good thing. It clears the mind and relaxes the body. It is a reward for hard, serious work. It is play.We all deserve to play every once in a while.

When we were kids that is all we did just about. As we grew older life became more and more serious. I'm serious! The words break, vacation, respite all refer to taking some time for ourselves.

I am glad I did. I hope you do soon.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, August 30, 2010

THE FREQUENCY OF INTIMACY

There is one more thing I would like to say about sex and relationships. I feel and fear that the world has become so complex and demanding that younger people do not have time to enjoy their passions to the fullest. I think it gets relegated to much less frequency than is healthy or desirable. By younger I mean those in their late 30's and early 40's. The teens are doing just fine in this regard. Too fine, if you ask me!

Think about it. Sex is pleasure. It is loving. It is stress reducing and it is free. It burns calories. It churns positive feelings. It feels good. It contributes to the beautiful flowers that grow in your garden of love. It is not everything, but it is something important.

What other activity has so many benefits and so few costs? What other activity is so talked about,joked about and often is not that frequently enjoyed. Obviously, there is no "right" number. But, hopefully, if you are in a relationship your response to "when was the last time you were intimate?" is not months/years ago. If it is there is likely a problem or many that need to be addressed. Don't ignore the symptoms. Use them to enter relationship rehab.

Serious problems in relationships usually don't go away on their own. In fact, they multiply and get worse.

The keys to a healthy relationship lie in open, adult to adult communications,making partnerly decisions together, fun and laughter together,enjoyable family times and love-making. Be sure to include them all in reasonable balance.

Bye For Now,

Bill

THE FREQUENCY OF INTIMACY

There is one more thing I would like to say about sex and relationships. I feel and fear that the world has become so complex and demanding that younger people do not have time to enjoy their passions to the fullest. I think it gets relegated to much less frequency than is healthy or desirable. By younger I mean those in their late 30's and early 40's. The teens are doing just fine in this regard. Too fine, if you ask me!

Think about it. Sex is pleasure. It is loving. It is stress reducing and it is free. It burns calories. It churns positive feelings. It feels good. It contributes to the beautiful flowers that grow in your garden of love. It is not everything, but it is something important.

What other activity has so many benefits and so few costs? What other activity is so talked about,joked about and often is not that frequently enjoyed. Obviously, there is no "right" number. But, hopefully, if you are in a relationship your response to "when was the last time you were intimate?" is not months/years ago. If it is there is likely a problem or many that need to be addressed. Don't ignore the symptoms. Use them to enter relationship rehab.

Serious problems in relationships usually don't go away on their own. In fact, they multiply and get worse.

The keys to a healthy relationship lie in open, adult to adult communications,making partnerly decisions together, fun and laughter together,enjoyable family times and love-making. Be sure to include them all in reasonable balance.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, August 27, 2010

SEX AND PARTNERSHIP

I have come to find it hard (that's not a good way to start this blog on sex!) to blog about sexual matters. So many individual/couple differences. So much variability. Too many possibilities. So many unknowns.

Sex is one of many expressions of love. Sometimes it has nothing at all to do with that. My hope for your relationship is that it works for both of you and that you can enjoy all of its positive benefits together. As well, my hope is that it is a way to exchange and communicate love, tenderness and caring in a mutually satisfying way. The more you make love, the less you make war. Of that I am convinced!

If not, there are helpful,certified sex therapists who can help to get to a better place.

As I see it sexual interaction is a most democratic experience. Whatever you enjoy, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone,is fine. It is not the center piece of a relationship, but it is a special piece. Oops, I may have done it again!

Bad( I mean Bye) For Now,

Bill

Thursday, August 26, 2010

PAINT THOSE WALLS WITH A RED HEART OF LOVE!

Except in extreme relationship situations of abuse, abandonment,serial infidelity, addiction and the like,many who have divorced say they wish they stayed with their first marriage.

Most of the time relationship rehab is better than divorce--especially if young children are involved. Even in today's tweet, facebook, eHarmony,texting world there is still something sacrosanct and special about a family. Or maybe I'm just an old fashioned guy? But, frankly I don't think so. The horse and carriage may have gone out of style, but love and marriage have not.

Years ago, in the Marriage and Divorce Series Parts I-IV (that appears on williampenzer.com) I wrote that oftentimes divorce is like tearing down the walls when all they needed was a paint job.

I hope you will work on painting those walls a bright color, rather than tearing them down needlessly. Paint like your life depending on it simply because, in fact, it does!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

NOT A LAUGHING MATTER!

Many writers and marriage therapists use sex as a barometer of a relationship.It is one measure, but not always accurate. I have met many couples who have a wonderful sexual relationship, but not much of a partnership. I have met others who's intimacy is almost non-existent, but have wonderful, caring, partnerships of love and fulfillment.

Sex is a wide ranging and idiosyncratic experience for couples. Like finger prints, no two are quite alike.

I believe a much better barometer of the relationship is the couple's collective laughter. The more the joking, the less the yoking. Life generally these days is much too serious. If you can't laugh it up with your life partner and see the silliness in so much of your day to day struggles, then with whom can you laugh?

If you and your partner are not laughing much then there might be something wrong. Get some help sooner than later. Relationship problems need relationship rehab. That is not a laughing matter.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

THE EVER CHANGING FACES OF LOVE

I know I promised to talk about sex this week,but I need to share something before we get to that.

Love is ever changing.It is hardly ever what it was,but doesn't have to be what it isn't meant to be. It needn't be harsh or just chronic bickering. It should not be critical parent to bad boy/girl. It is not supposed to be two people living under one roof doing their own things. It is a partnership "till death...".

Some things about love remain constant. It is sharing through good and not so good times. It is caring about how the other feels and what the other needs and viceversa. It is reciprocal,mutual,equitable. It is nice and easy as Frankie is singing as I type. It is real and it is respectful.It sits atop realistic expectations. It accepts each others idiosyn"crazies". It takes account of and appreciates all the years of time, energy and emotion invested. It counts it all!

As time goes on it is not usually the wild, passionate early on fun and carefree times of old. Life, kids,age and stresses take their toll on love in that way just as it does on our bodies and minds. But it can still be filled with laughter and fun, looking forward to special times together and words only understood by you both.

Trite as it sounds love can mellow, soften and open up like special wine from a good year. The year you wed qualifies! Cherish it, celebrate it and do the same for and with each other.


Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, August 23, 2010

AN UNDENIABLE TRUTH!

No matter your politics or beliefs in global warming for that matter, it was sad to learn that the Gores were splitting after 40 years of marriage.

That is a really long time for a couple to be together and then decide to divorce. It makes me wonder what happened and whether these intelligent people previously sought relationship assistance. If so, what could have been so terribly wrong to cause a break up of their long standing partnership.

Though affairs were quickly denied, time will tell.

To me it just reinforces the idea that whether you are a high,low or no profile couple and no matter how long you are together relationships need rehab.

I will go so far as to say that all couples could benefit from a few counseling visits every few years or reading the same relationship guide or attending a workshop together to identify where weeds have replaced flowers, so they can be pulled.

Next week we will look at the complicated subject of relationships and sex. Have a "make love not war" weekend.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, August 20, 2010

DON'T BECOME A STATISTIC-BECOME LOVERS AGAIN

In a new and upbeat marital guide,For Better, Tara Parker-Pope devotes a chapter to debunking the statistic that 50% of marriages end in divorce. She believes marital stats are improving each decade. About 23% of college grads who married in the 70's split within ten years. For those who wed in the 90's that stat drops to 16%.

But a Penn State Sociologist, Paul Amato, reports after a thorough review of divorce stats that the 50% figure appears to be accurate.

A consistent finding is that less-educated,lower income couples divorce more often than college grads.

All statistics aside at Relationship Rehab we feel that divorce is destructive to all parties concerned and that couples, especially those with young children, have a responsibility to put their energies into resolving problems,improving communications,reestablishing commitments and rebuilding their garden of love.

We have had enough positive experiences to believe that much more than 50% of couples in the "sunkenship" category(see yesterdays blog) can fill the holes in their garden and become whole again- thereby avoiding the divorce debacle!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, August 19, 2010

THE STAGES OF A RELATIONSHIP

FRIENDSHIP
C0URTSHIP
RELATIONSHIP
LOVESHIP
MARITALSHIP
PARTNERSHIP
PARENTSHIP

SUNKENSHIP

RELATIONSHIP REHAB (ASAP 954 647 8191)
RELATIONSHIP RENEWAL
LOVESHIP/FRIENDSHIP/PARTNERSHIP
OR
DIVORCE

OBVIOUSLY,IT IS BEST TO GET TO RELATIONSHIP REHAB B4 YOUR LOVE BOAT SINKS!!!

Bye for Now,

Bill

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FUNNY GUY

Last week I spoke about relationships and what often happens to the garden of love over time.

One of my favorite cartoons is The Lockhorns. The marriage doctor asks, "What started the fight?" The indignant husband leans forward with a scowl and answers, "Marriage!"

Told you it was an unnatural act. On the other hand I have been married for 46 years and am quite happy as is my wife, all things considered. Perhaps unnatural acts require superhuman(e) strengths. Start building those emotional muscles today. And for goodness sake, weed those gardens together.Start right now. Text, email or call your life partner with some loving words and follow them up with loving actions.



Bye for Now,

Bill

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

PRIORITIZING OUR CHECKS

REPOSTED FROM MAY:

It is interesting to me how these blogs come together in interesting and unplanned ways. Typically, I don't have a clue what I am going to write about until I sit down at the typewriter. Like a composer at a piano working on a song, the words just start to flow. Like Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune I usually do a weeks worth at a time. Sometimes the content is similar from day to day for the week and other times it varies.

I began this week talking about checking things out in the context of a bill. Without thinking about it the rest of the week was really about checking things out in your relationship to preserve the garden of love. When you think about it the latter is far more important than the former. I'd rather get ripped off for $9.99 a month than end up in divorce court (which by the way is the rip off of all rip offs!).

Oddly enough I bet that most people spend more time and energy checking out the mundane and basic stuff than they do checking and weeding their garden of love. Now that's just plain silly. We gotta check it all!

Enjoy a loving weekend. I will continue blogging about relationships next week.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, August 16, 2010

BECOMING A BETTER GARDENER

REPOSTED FROM MAY:

In marriage and other long term relationships it is easy to take one's partner for granted. In the courtship stage we put our best feet forward. Over time those same feet start to stink as we ignore the basics of love.

I always say, love is a verb. It is easier to say , "I Love You," than demonstrate it consistently over time. If we went door to door I guesstimate that over 80% of couples have at least one partner feeling their needs are not being met. Similarly, but for children, religious beliefs, financial issues and other practical concerns the divorce rate would be much higher than its current 50%.

Take a step back and look objectively at your partnership. Stop blaming it on him/her.Are you doing everything you can to show your partner, respect, affirmation and loving friendship? Do you want a better relationship? Do you want the relationship to continue? If you answered No, Yes, Yes now is the time to step back into the relationship with a fresh perspective and a new set of re-courtship goals. Find those loving feet and put them forward again. You can do it if you want to. In all likelihood it will be appreciated and reciprocated.

As I have said before, the garden of love needs the equivalent of sunshine, water, fertilizer and weeding.To experience the flowers of love, you need to be a better gardener. You once were. You can be that person again. I am optimistic about that--realistically optimistic.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Friday, August 13, 2010

MARRIAGE ENRICHMENT

REPOSTED FROM MAY:

Yesterday I said, "marriage is an unnatural act." For those who don't go back to read the original article (williampenzer.com: A Realistic View of Marriage and Divorce)here's why I said that.

In just about every other zone of human experience variation seems to be an important factor. We wear different clothes, read different books, seek out different activities,go different places, etc. The human animal seems to crave variety. Even the inveterate golfer doesn't only play golf.

In marriage, there is minimal variation unless the couple builds that in through concerted effort. I am, by the way, not just referring to sex here. I am referring to patterns of communications, shared activities, domestic responsibilities,etc.Spicing things up, in and out of the bedroom is important to counter the monotony and boredom that can set in.

Years ago, in a previous life I was an organizational psychologist for IBM. One of the projects I worked on was called job enrichment. Its intent was to build in more varying aspects to a routine job so it didn't become repetitious and boring. I would encourage the same mindset in engaging in marriage enrichment. Take a look at your relationship and see what kind of variety you can build into it to add stimulation and excitement. Might be something fun to work on together.

Tomorrow, let's talk about taking each other for granted. That will grow weeds real fast in your garden of love.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Thursday, August 12, 2010

CALLING THE MARRIAGE DOCTOR

REPOSTED FROM BEFORE:

I am struck by the number of young couples together more than 10 years who are struggling. It seems as if life sucks out their love for each other. The pressures and stresses of work and finances combined with those of raising children in a more complex and demanding world leaves no time to nurture the garden of love.

Instead, communications fail,distance and disconnects creep in and stink weeds grow tall where beautiful flowers once flourished naturally. Dreams of the past become nightmares for the present and future.

A big problem is combined couple complacency. The erosion is allowed to linger unchallenged for much too long.If your kid had a fever for months and months that continued for years and years you would not allow it to go unchecked. If your marriage has a fever call a marriage doctor ASAP. So much depends on getting help in a timely fashion. In the garden of love too many weeds can choke it, keeping it from ever growing back. That is both irresponsible and sad for all concerned.

In many ways marriage is an unnatural act as I argued 20+ years ago (see williampenzer.com:A Realistic View of Marriage and Divorce). But so, I am afraid, is divorce, especially when young and innocent children are caught in the middle of the weeds.

Bye For Now,

Bill

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I REALLY GET A CHARGE OUT OF IT

It used to be that when you went away you made sure to take enough underwear, socks and whatever other clothing and toiletries you would need. Now, in addition to that you need the phone charger and car phone charger and camera charger and video camera charger and computer charger and kindle charger and the kids need their I whatever chargers.

Then you get to where you are going and there is no reachable plug, but for the one that will shut off the only lamp.

Kudos to the person who invents one charger for all our gear. Double kudos for the person who leaves all their gear home and just has a non electronic fun time. That one is a little scary so triple kudos for them.

Bye 4 Now,

Bill

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A REALLY GOOD ANSWER

Having been a robot all these years(see new article on williampenzer.com Taking Better Care of You: Part II) I have no clue who Anna Paquin is other than she is an actress. But when interviewed by Time Magazine they asked, If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to the Anna of 10 years ago?

She responded, "I don't really pretend to have anything particularly figured out. I'm just living my life as it comes. I guess whatever I did in the past got me here, so it was probably O.K."

Think about it and see if you agree with her. I like its "in the moment" simplicity and acceptance that the past is over, the future is ahead and that we got to where we are, if we are pleased with where we are is a really peaceful place to be.

Buy For Now,

Bill

Monday, August 9, 2010

NOT ALL B'S ARE ALIKE

I went to Best Buy to return something that didn't work. The young woman behind the customer service counter rather rudely told me, "It's more than 30 days. We don't take it back!" "Oh", I said, "so the fact that it doesn't work has nothing to do with it?" "That's right", she said, "our policy is 30 days." The B's bite there.Maybe should add one for Bitch!

The next day I went to Bed Bath and Beyond. I previously blogged about their interesting store. It is like a museum of modern useful stuff. I had to return a vacuum cleaner that destroyed all of our new carpeting. Google Shaw Carpet and Dyson to get the scoop. Get this. We had bought it in December of 09. I immediately asked to speak to a manager because of that and I was told, "We have a no hassle return policy. No problem".

Wow. What a difference a B makes. Maybe the "Best" is an overstatement in the first place?

Bye for Now,

Bill

Friday, August 6, 2010

Check Last Nights Post

Ha Ha Ha. I left the country yesterday after my blog. Try and catch me now Hillary. My son (and his three pit bulls) are house sitting so don't get any funny ideas.But Jewish people don't really have pit bulls. Watch out though as he can hurl a matzo ball at you that is deadly!

I am in France so take note Sara P. As I previously promised if you get elected I stay right here! You scare me more than Saturday's wedding.You and your tea party are a Vodka party in the making. Go back to Alaska and search for Russia. If you look closely you will find me there in a couple of weeks.

Have a good month. If you live in South Florida pray for cool. Also pray for health and for Jake and for us all as we truly deserve to be among the blessed.

Bye(truly) For Now,

Bill

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saturday Night Fever

People seem to have a belief that Saturday night is a time to party and have fun. Tonight is Chelsea's wedding. Who cares? They are spending gobs of money to fete a small moment in time. Better to celebrate in a few years that the marriage made it, if in fact it does.I certainly hope she does better than her parents.I wonder how much they spent on their wedding and whether they feel it was worth the price?

Now, that I didn't get invited has nothing to do with my comments.I wouldn't have gone anyway. I'm not a party animal even on Saturday nights. I'd rather stay home and blog.

Bye For Now,

Bill

PS I hope I don't get a call from the secret service or the IRS!! OK guys I would have gone if they invited me, but my gift would have been a copy of my article, "Becoming Partners!" I hope they do at 3+million for the affair. They better or else all the guests get their gifts back.Perhaps they can get some sound advice from the Gores? OK slip the handcuffs on now thank you very much. Hope you had a good Saturday night.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

WHY DO WE WAIT?

I am involved in many situations where health is a serious issue.

As the subject asks why do we wait to be kind and to show we care? When trauma and tragedy strikes it pulls on our heart strings and we respond accordingly. That is lovely but....why can't we be there for others and care for others and show love for others everyday--not just on a bad day or during a bad time?

Stretch just a little today for someone you care about and love just because-not because they are in trouble and having a bad time.Show you care just because you do.

Bye for Now,

Bill

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS

I just realized that I have stopped watching or reading the daily news for about a
month now.

I did this once before and then and now find myself in a better mood, happier and less stressed. The way I describe the news is "The hurricane is coming...The Hurricane is Coming...THE HURRICANE IS COMING.... RIGHT AT YOUR HOUSE, BILL!!! oh it is not really coming it has blown out to sea...

Almost all news seems designed to excite, agitate and provoke negativity with an occasional sappy story thrown in for effect. It's not just about hurricane potentials, it seems to be about almost everything. How much of the sad details did we really need to know about the BP disaster or even Tiger's fall from grace?

Better to stay away from this toxic waste.

I do read Time Magazine each week just to stay aware, but they write in a much less histrionic fashion. People Magazine on the other hand..... I'd rather watch the news!

Bye For Now,

Bill

Monday, August 2, 2010

DAVE BARRY IS KILLING ME

Had a break today and had my handy Kindle with me (see previous blogs) and read Dave Barry's chapter on the state of our health care (hilarious). I kept having to put the Kindle down to dry my happy tearful eyes.

Then I read his funny, but serious essay on getting a Colonoscopy and he nailed me dead (actually alive) on. I almost pooped my pants, just as I almost did when I took the clean out stuff. I, however, took mine with Chardonnay. The doctor approved it as a clear liquid.

Anyway, you need to read Dave in, "I'll Mature When I'm Dead", which is a really an immature title for such a bright guy. I guarantee you will LOL OAOA (over and over again).

Bye for Now,

Bill