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Articles from March 2013

March 20, 2013

2 Spots Left in Saturday's Money Teleclass

On Saturday, I am teaching a very special teleclass on Money and Your Marriage. I have two spots left, and I hope you can join us. There is no charge.

Saturday, March 23, 2013 at 11am PST / 12n MST / 1pm CST / 2pm EST

How do you see money? How do you use it? Are your habits and attitudes working for you? Are they creating conflicts with your spouse? We will be testing a brand new online version of the award-winning Money Habitudes(R) program by Syble Solomon during this class. It's an eye-opening conversation starter that I think you will enjoy.

This is a 75 minute teleclass. You will need internet access for it, in addition to your telephone. I will email you the phone number before the class.

To nab one of the two remaining spots, email me, patty [at]

To subscribe to my Enjoy Being Married Newsletter, where I announce all my teleclasses and share a monthly marriage tip, send an email to ebmnewsletter [at] and watch for a return email with a link you must click.

March 17, 2013

Too Many Chores, Not Enough Help from Your Husband

From a recent comment on What Should You Expect from a Husband or Wife?:

I do try to assume love, but what do you do when your husband's idea of "helping" is only doing what he feels like doing? I wind up spending hours and hours on housework, cooking, laundry, etc. Plus working full time. He hangs out and maybe does the dishes once a month. If your spouse is not interested in being an equal or even some kind of partner, what do you do?

Once upon a time, I thought you should "fight for your rights." Then I suddenly had the fair deal I thought I wanted. My husband dropped dead at age 35. And then I had to do what I am going to tell her to do right now before it's too late.

Do less.

You have too many chores. They leave you no time for love. More importantly, they leave no room in your heart for love. Who knows how much longer love will be an option for you? Don't blow this.

The chores do not go away when the husband does. All that goes away is money: some of it to the lawyers, some of it to provide a second home and its furnishings, some of it to provide the recreation you deny yourselves now but will feel entitled to once single, some of it to duplicate whatever your kids will need if you shuttle them between homes, some of it to caretakers for your parents as they age, because you will have no time for them.

Clean less. If you cannot stand to clean less, get a smaller place. Cook less often. Make large batches of food and freeze them, or buy prepared food.

Work fewer hours. Put some elbow grease into finding a job that pays as much for 30 hours a week as yours does for 50. And make it closer to home, to cut out the commuting time and expense.

Work more hours. If you can make enough in four hours to buy eight hours of help with the chores, you just gained four hours for love.

Send your laundry out. Or stop buying any clothes that must be folded as soon as they dry. Buy more underwear, so you can go longer between loads.

Order your groceries over the internet and have them delivered or ready for pickup. Pay someone to do your taxes. Put your bills on auto-pay. Get a larger trash can, or a less smelly one.

And buy a lot of paper plates.

If equality is a big issue for you, be your husband's equal instead of demanding he be your equal. If you were away on a trip for a month, how many of those chores would he consider necessary enough to do? All the rest are making your relationship unequal only because you added them onto the list. Take them off.

Having an equal household partner is not nearly as satisfying as having a loving partner. But why not have both? Offer a room in your home to a college student in exchange for half the chores. You may lose a little privacy and storage space, but half your non-working time will be freed up for dancing, movies, love letter writing, new hobbies, watching your old videos, and silly stuff with your man.

If you get rid of some of what keeps you feeling overworked and find you don't enjoy spending the extra time loving the man you chose as your husband and letting him love you, then you can think about divorce. And you'll be well ahead of the game for having already cut back on all the chores a single woman needs to do.

March 12, 2013

Micro-Moments of Positivity Resonance

"Micro-moments of positivity resonance." This is how the brilliant researcher, Barbara Frederickson, defines the emotion of love. Her new book, Love 2.0, explains why and why it matters. And this one's big, folks.

She's talking about love the emotion, not love the action and not commitment or bonding or marriage, all of which we hope last a bit longer than a micro-moment. But she knows an awful lot about emotions, especially the positive ones.

Micro-moments last anywhere from a split second to a few minutes. Positivity refers to any positive emotion. Resonance means your brain and body are experiencing this emotion in sync with someone else's.

When you and someone else resonate, the same parts of your brains are lighting up. Some of your movements and facial expressions may be the same. You feel connected. You feel warmth near your heart. Your rib cage lifts, as if to make room for more heart. Oxytocin gets released. And your vagus nerve is stimulated, something very good for your heart's health and for fighting off all sorts of inflammatory diseases if it happens often enough.

While you might believe you love your spouse all the time, you don't always experience the emotion, and this matters. I had some trouble wrapping my head around this at first.

Here's what I came up with that convinced me. Think of some injustice that makes you angry. Your entire body knows the difference between the emotion of anger and your categorization of this as something that makes you angry. And you do not feel the anger all the time. Nor do you feel love all the time.

Love the emotion happens only in micro-moments. To me, this is startingly wonderful news. Wonder if you're falling out of love? Maybe you just need your vagus nerve stimulated again by taking a ride in the country together or watching a funny movie hand-in-hand. Share a joke. Share a massage that relaxes both of you. Tell the news of your day with excitement and a smile. Or try a little seduction.

It gets even better. The more you experience this best of all emotions, the more oxytocin you release. And oxytocin makes it easier to experience love. (Yep, they pretty well proved this is not just correlation but both cause and effect.)

So, if you want to experience more micro-moments with your husband or wife, you can make this easier by experiencing them with your kids, a clerk at the supermarket, anybody's baby, or your fellow fans at a football game or rock concert.

Love 2.0. Who knew?

The Author

Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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