Posts Tagged ‘inexpensive Father’s Day gifts’

The 4 Reasons Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes Are Getting Divorced

July 2, 2012

Kaput! It’s over…but it was over before the wedding.

The media is acting bewildered by “What went wrong?” in the five-year marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.  I know the answers.  Although I’ve never met either, like millions around the globe, I’ve been subjected to ridiculous amounts of media hype about this couple.  Also, I’ve interviewed hundreds of couples married over 50 years, 75 whom are featured in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Widom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More. Here are the four main reasons Tom and Katie are getting divorced:

  1. Tom jumped on Oprah’s couch.  This should have been the first red flag for Katie.  Sure, any woman would be smitten by a man who so boldly professes his love for her on Oprah’s couch with millions viewing worldwide.  But Tom really had to do something big.  At that time, 2005 and in his early 40’s, he was already divorced twice and had multiple failed “serious” relationships.  50% of first marriages fail.  67% of second marriages fail.  And 74% of third marriages fail.  A divorcee takes their baggage with them to each subsequent relationship.  Tom had a volcano full.  Naïve Katie, 16 years his junior, didn’t do her homework.
  2. Katie converted to Scientology.  She was raised Roman Catholic.  For those who are devout in their faith, as Katie was, it is a big part of their identity and a lifestyle.  She gave up both when she converted to Scientology.  Big mistake that turns into hate and resentment.  (This is not to say interfaith marriages can’t be successful.  Many are.  But any couple in a loving interfaith marriage will tell you it’s a huge challenge that’s harder than they ever thought it would be.  Interfaith marriages that are smoothest occur when one spouse is not deeply rooted in their religion and therefore, at ease to be faith flexible.)
  3. Tom and Katie were doomed by money and materialism.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having an abundance of wealth and possessions.  But, if you want to find out if you really love somebody, imagine having barely anything.  Do you still love the core person?  The majority of couples married 50-plus years ago who I interviewed started off nearly broke.  A place to live, a decent bed, and a kitchen table and chairs were treasured.  They loved each other and looked forward to building a life together.  I doubt Tom and Katie ever looked at their relationship from this perspective.  Money and materialism — shed them, and if you don’t have each other, you have nothing.
  4. Tom is a control freak.  News reports say Tom is “shocked” that Katie filed for divorce.  Either Tom has had his head in the sand or he has such an enormous ego he believes all the problems are with her or he’s lying.  Probably all three.  Note to Tom: Katie is sick and tired of you running her life!  Intuition tells me, for example: When Katie was in “All My Sons” on Broadway in 2008, Tom was a news headliner again (like on Oprah), making more bold statements about how phenomenal his wife was in the show.  I can guarantee you that on the homefront he was telling her everything she did wrong on stage and how to do it right.  Multiply this crap a few thousand times over and, sooner or later, the abused spouse either shuts down and stays in the relationship because they’re too embarrassed or intimidated or financially dependent to leave, or they get enough balls to say, “Shove it up your ass.  I’m out of here you fool!”  Finally, Katie has done the latter.

Get Along Better provides you relationship tips with a twist of humor.  Want more?  4,000+ years’ worth of advice are documented in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More, a coffee-table book by Sheryl Kurland.  Makes an excellent gift for weddings, anniversaries, engagements…or just because!

New Olympic Sport, Synchronized Sex

June 18, 2012

Olympic buzz is building as we countdown to July 27, the day of opening ceremonies in London.  Visions of watching synchronized swimming creep out of my memory.  I always think that TV broadcasters covering this competition have to restrain themselves from giggling.  The sport is frequently the butte of jokes by late-night comedians.

Often, people confide their relationship and marriage problems in me since I’ve absorbed knowledge through interviews with hundreds of couples married 50-plus years, 75 of whom are featured in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More.  A common theme among these confidants is “synchronized sex.”

I’ve been told…..

“My partner wants sex in the early morning to start the day off with a bang but I want it at night to help soothe me so I can fall asleep.”

“My husband puts in a hard day’s work at the office and says he needs a stress reliever.  I want sleep after a full day’s work with the kids.  I can’t even fathom a romantic impulse.  I moan ‘Move over’ and pull the covers over my head.  He has another type of moaning in mind.” 

“My partner always wants to do it on Sunday mornings.  I say ‘I’ll be late for church.’”

“I suggest ‘Let’s have a quickie during lunch time.’  He says ‘I’ve got a lunch appointment.’”

“The door is locked.  The bedroom is dark.  The radio plays soft music.  Then there’s a knock on the door and a small voice squeals, ‘Mommy, I don’t feel good.’”

“In the middle of the night I hear a whisper, ‘Honey, I can’t sleep.’  I can.”

“Synchronized sex” is not defined as people simultaneously doing the same thing like synchronized swimming but rather a challenge that on the surface sounds much simpler — two people just getting together to do the “sport.”

There are some predictable schedule times for synchronized sex success.  Such as when a hurricane hits.  Stuck indoors, what can we do?  Or when a soldier returns home from his/her tour of duty.  Nine months later, there’s a baby.  Ironically though, the problem becomes worse than ever.

I asked some mental health counselors for their advice to couples dealing with the problem of finding time for sex.  Their advice ranged from scheduling appointments with each other just as you schedule everything else in your life to “planned spontaneity,” such as going on a schedule-free vacation.  One emphasized, “Men don’t realize that picking up their own socks, remembering to put the toilet seat down, and helping clean around the house are aphrodisiacs.  These efforts encourage their female partner to feel thought of, considered, and loved.  In return, she is delighted to be intertwined with her man as a way of conveying ‘thank-you for thinking of me.’”

I had the honor of interviewing world-renowned psychosexual therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer a few years ago.  I asked her the $6 million question every couple wants to know, “What’s normal?”  Dr. Ruth said, “It doesn’t matter whether what two people do is ‘normal,’ it only matters that the couple is pleased with the results.’”

(Dr. Ruth also shared her thoughts about sex versus affection.  To this she said, “Sex and affection are not mutually exclusive.  People need to be hugged, to feel the emotion of affection, and they also need to find sexual satisfaction.  They’re both components of a sexual relationship, but they’re also separate needs.  They’re both important, though to a different degree to each partner in a relationship.”)

During the Olympics, TV commentators give immense attention to explaining what athletes do to master their sport.  Synchronized swimming takes relentless dedication and focus as well as physical and mental agility to achieve harmony with each other.  Couples need to borrow these skills to master “synchronized sex”!

Get Along Better provides you relationship tips with a twist of humor.  Want more?  4,000+ years’ worth of advice are documented in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More, a coffee-table book by Sheryl Kurland.  Makes an excellent gift for weddings, anniversaries, engagements…or just because!

Best Father’s Day Gifts Cost Less Than A Dime

May 31, 2012

In divorce court, dads get the shaft.  In TV commercials, dads are characterized as stupid buffoons.  In the movies, dads are portrayed as slime balls hungry for the woman (not their wife) with the biggest bosoms.  This Father’s Day, it’s time to quit giving dads a bad rap.  What dads truly want on Father’s Day (June 17) and all other days of the year is both simple and free: to be appreciated.

Listed below are 10 of the best “gifts” to give Dad that cost little or nothing.  No assembly required.  But first, a brief history lesson…..

Where did Father’s Day come from?  Father’s Day was created in gratitude by a daughter who thought that her father and all good fathers should be honored with their own day just like we honor mothers on Mother’s Day.  Born in 1882, Sonora Smart Dodd was raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, after her mother died giving birth to a sibling.  In her teenage years, Sonora wanted her father to know how special he was to her, to show appreciation for all his parental sacrifices and for being such a courageous, selfless, and loving man. Sonora’s father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington, on June 19, 1910.

In 1926, a National Father’s Day Committee was formed in New York City.  Father’s Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress in 1956.  In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be celebrated annually on the third Sunday of June.

Best Father’s Day Gifts For Less Than A Dime

Skip the tie.  Forego the cologne and gizmos.  Make it a day Dad will never forget:

  1. Let Dad channel surf to his heart’s content!  Only he picks the TV shows.  No one argues or complains.
  2. Give Dad 3 sincere compliments sprinkled throughout the day.
  3. Tell Dad 3 things you deeply appreciate that he does for you without him giving them a second thought.
  4. Give Dad a big Papa Bear hug.  Add a family group hug with Dad sandwiched in the middle.
  5. What’s been on his mind lately? What’s been stressing him out?  Think of ways you can help relieve the situation, accomplish the goal, or provide emotional support.
  6. Determine 2 topics of importance to you, and have a real conversation about them with Dad.   Ask him for his words of wisdom.  Listen attentively.  Be respectful.
  7. Invite Dad to go for a walk, jog, or bike ride with you.
  8. If you live miles apart and can only call Dad, commit to a light-hearted phone conversation.  Make him laugh.  Keep it positive.  No complaints or talk about personal or business problems, physical ailments, or money issues allowed.
  9. At the family dinner, make a special toast to Dad.  Make him feel like a king by focusing the conversation on boosting his ego.
  10. What chores does Dad always do?  Pick 2 and do them for him.  Meet his standards.

Bonus: Display greater patience and tolerance for the things Dad does that annoy you.

Get Along Better provides you relationship “tips” with a twist of humor.  Want more?  4,000+ years’ worth of advice from “real-life experts” are documented in Everlasting Matrimony: Pearls Of Wisdom From Couples Married 50 Years Or More, a coffee-table book by Sheryl Kurland.  Makes an excellent gift for weddings, anniversaries, engagements…or just because!

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