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advice needed from Married Women-

I am married male. My wife and I married for about 2 years now. She works full time goes to school part time, I study full time. Our money situation is tight. We are extremely busy in our own little worlds. My wife is attached to me, when she is home she has to be in close proximity of me. When she comes home late, I have food ready for her. What are little things I can do to make her happy and get her thru our stressful lifestyle? I want honest advice from married women, as I would love to hear a women's point of view.
thanks in advance.

Wed. Feb 7, 10:54pm

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Warning - it's a long one......

Quite frankly you're the one that sounds a bit unhappy. Well, I can't tell if you are OK with this proximity or not, but you bring it up as one of your main points. Does your wife have her own friends and activities? or are you her sole social outlet? Do you get the feeling that she is unhappy? I must pressume so, since you are asking how to make her happy. You also don't mention what either of you is studying which can affect greatly how much time and energy you have to devote to your life and relationships outside school (which is a stressful but temp situation).

I met my husband when we were both very busy engineering students (we are now very busy engineers so it might not end after graduation after all). We each maintained a high gpa, had jobs, and endless hours of homework. 4 things saved my sanity and keep our relationship strong to this day.

1. Date night - we each set aside friday night and spent it together - romatically. No matter what deadline was looming, how much we needed to get done, etc... NOTHING gets in the way of date night (to this day I look forward to it all week). It is the one night of the week we put ourselves and our relationship first and even if it's the dollar menu and a walk along the lake, we get out and go do something. We make it a point to not talk about work.

2. Money - we communicate frequently and thoroughly about money. We pay bills the second they come in (whenever possible) and have a spreadsheet to track all our income, expenses and debt, and these days our investments. Money causes lots of relationship issues, but if you're both on the same page it doesn't have to. When you can both see where you are and exactly what you have to work with - it eliminates a lot of friction points, resentment and bad spending behavior.

3. Girls, girls, girls! I have to have 1 night every couple weeks with my girlfriends. We don't even talk about our wild sex lives these days. We just hit the 1/2 price bottle night at the local wine bar and chatter up a storm. It keeps my stress levels low and is waaaaay cheaper than therapy ;-). We support each other, empathize with each other and make each other laugh in a way our male partners can't relate to - every gals gotta have some gal pals. Sounds like this is something you'd like too - the male version that is. Doesn't have to break the bank, but I consider it necessary. In college us gals did "wierd beer" night every other week at the local pub when imports were only $1.50 a bottle. I would come home laughing, tipsy and totally recharged. Everybody needs a little time away.

4. Divide and conquer household chores. My father has sat on his @ss his entire life while my mother works her butt off to keep the place nice and put meals on the table. Work together when possible, because it's good to see each other putting in effort. She folding laudry? Just pitch right in. One of you starts dishes? Ask the other to grab a towel and dry. Try to cook together, and clean together, or casually let her know what you did while she was out (*ahem, so she knows she doesn't have to worry about it right?). It's easy for resentment to build up if one gets the perception that the other is not carrying their fair share. Don't keep it to yourself if you feel that you're overwhelmed or vice versa - share your burdens with your partner (try not to make them your therapist, but you get the idea) and a burden shared is lighter by far when two people carry the load.

But above all remember this - you can't *make* someon a happy person if they do not feel worthy of happiness. However you can work on yourself and being a great partner, so dont take too much responsibility where it's not really yours, but do work on being the best person you can be. Be healthy, be happy and be caring and the little things will take care of themselves.

Well, those are the things that are important to me and they're not flowers or chocolate, so I hope that was some of the perspective that you were looking for. Best wishes to you both!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007, 11:51 PM

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aren't you a sweet guy for asking what you can do to make her happy!

I would ask her though-most women are bound to tell you what they need help with if you ask often and seem to sincerely want to help.

Thursday, February 08, 2007, 12:10 AM

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I recommend the book "The 5 Love Languages" and I recommend you read it together. I'm not that into relationship books but my husband and I read it and it helped us understand each other a lot. The idea is that we all have things that say "love" to us. For my husband it's "acts of service." He feel loved when I make him dinner and do the dishes for him. For me it's "quality time" so I just want him to sit down and talk with me. We were driving each other crazy because he would be doing the dishes for me, thinking it would make me feel loved, and I would be mad that he wouldn't stop doing the dishes and just sit on the couch with me! Now we've learned to speack each other's love languages. Maybe you could get the book as a valentines gift.

Thursday, February 08, 2007, 12:46 AM

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Great meat and potatoes answers lasses. Here is another one. Be honest. Kind but honest. If she knows she can trust you with the bad stuff, she will know she can trust you with the good stuff also. Sometimes Gerry is busy working in his head (he is a writer, among other things). If he just tells me upfront he is busy thinking something out, I know to be quiet and just let him work. I don't spend energy wondering about his withdrawal and silence. I don't worry that I have done something and that he is angry. I don't have to worry at all. And please don't say that I should know, because I don't. All his silences and withdrawals look the same from the outside. I depend on him to not make me guess when something is wrong or not. Be honest when you are worried, frustrated, exhausted, mellow. Some of us women really look to ourselves first when something seems wrong, and you will be doing her a service by telling her upfront what is up. Chances are it is nothing to do with her at all, but she may be one of us who wil think that way first.

Foot rubs well done make everything better.

What a great guy you are

Thursday, February 08, 2007, 2:38 AM

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You are so sweet!

I could be your wife -- except that I'm not married. The most important thing my bf does is listen. Sometimes I'm so stressed out that I wake up in the middle of the night having a fit of temper or anxiety. I'm SO thankful that he doesn't get upset or think this is weird, or offer advice, he just listens in the dark and sometimes gets us some beer out of the fridge.

Thursday, February 08, 2007, 7:11 AM

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