Friday, June 7, 2013

My Love, My Life, My Roomate

Do you ever seem to be living “apart” in your household each of you doing your own thing. Is TTWD an attempt to be more connected? If so, does it seems as though it works at times and other times not so much. A confusing and very frustrating situation indeed, leading to lots of “why’s” and “what next” questions making you want to throw your hands into the air and scream.

Hopefully without sounding too presumptuous, I would like to share something that I learned from folks far more intelligent that I ever will here goes.

Men and women are very different creatures (duh, like that is a giant revelation!), and what motivates men is different and many times opposite from that which motivates women.

In the beginning of any relationship things work very well because at first the man cannot do enough for his beloved, to heck with living life, he has only her in his thoughts. As a result, her needs are not only fulfilled, but are overflowing. She in turn has become the singular object of his affection for which to protect and provide, filling his needs to the brim.

After time living life becomes a necessary priority. He begins doing fewer of the little things that made her feel cherished. Her needs are unfulfilled and she starts feeling taken for granted. However, because they are still in love and want to please the other, she decides to take action. It is human nature to do for others, the things that you would like done for you. So the women tells her man how much she loves him and gives him little gifts and things that she would treasure if done for her. The man notices and decides it has been too long since he did something nice for her so he goes out and does something big, like buy her a new car or take her on a nice vacation to show his love.


What he doesn’t realize, is that girls keep score differently than guys. For guys a new car or vacation should count as 100 and fill her needs for several months, but to her it counts as 1, just the same as if he brought her home a flower and a nice card (OK maybe not exactly one for one here, but you get the idea). Her needs are fulfilled and she is happy. Then a little later her needs begin to re-surface. He interprets this as her being greedy and ungrateful and thinks, what is her problem? I did all this for her and now she wants more; causing him to do even less. As a result, her needs bucket becomes depleted, and the problem escalates. She cannot understand why he is acting this way because she has shown her love for him in so many obvious ways (to her but not to him). He appears ungrateful and unloving.

The irony of this situation is that even though they both think the other is not giving and is being ungrateful, in reality, they are both giving; just giving things in a manner that fails to meet the needs of the other. As a result, they each feel angry, frustrated, confused and very unhappy. Life is not joyful.

We are all created with a need to connect with another human and form a union, and I realize this is a generalization because all people are different. Some women behave more like men and some men behave more like women. However, after we have found the love of our life, and living life finds a way of interfering with that magical bond that binds us as a couple, what do we do?

Enjoy TTWD for what it is and what it does for you in your own special way, because it definitely creates a connection, albeit temporary. However, I was once advised by wise counsel to recall the things that attracted us to each other after we first met and fell in love, and then start behaving just as we did then.

If you can do that, I predict that the living “apart” but in the same household will soon become a distant memory, because understanding each other's individual needs, and filling those needs each hour, day, week, month, and year, is the Rosetta Stone of relationships.

Blessings to all.



  1. I'm glad you decided to share this George!

    Barney wasn't big on grand gestures either. I did send mixed signals to him. I did little things for him because they made me happy to do so, but on GRAND days, like Valentine's Day, Christmas, our Anniversary, I would always say I didn't need anything ( note I didn't say my birthday *wink*). He would say the same thing to me, but I would not listen and get him something or make heart-shaped pancakes or whatnot. While I didn't keep 'score' per se on days like my birthday I would be very hurt that he didn't give it the special treatment that it deserved. NOT GRAND just some forethought.

    Forethought is really what most women want. The gesture doesn't have to be huge, just indication that we didn't pop into your mind last minute!

    TTWD has brought communication back into our marriage. Communicating this mixed signal issue has helped. But moreover, doing the little things now has snowballed into Barney doing the little things too. The communication has also given him the security to know that his wife is more than okay with nonGRAND gestures.

    I think sometimes men might get overwhelmed at the idea of coming up with something 'big' that they just freeze.

    Last year I received on of the best gifts ever. Barney wrote me a note on my computer about us, and me bringing ttwd to our marriage for my birthday. When I started the computer in the morning there it was! ( side note if you want to read it is in October 2012 lol ). No grand gesture, but it completely surprised me. The words were sweet, sincere and he had thought only of me when he wrote them. What more could a 'girl' ask for?

    Wow...holy off topic and highjacking like of me!

    big hugs

    1. Hi Willie.

      I went back and read the Oct 2012 and thought how really nice that was of Barney. I think most guys just don't realize that doing the little things like that are so meaningful. I am happy that TTWD has led to improved communication, that is wonderful! I know you know this,(and I have said it before), but I will remind you again that when you communicate with any man, they don't take hints! LOL!

      I didn't think your comment was hijacking, it was right on topic, but hijack away anytime the spirit moves you to opine!

      Hugs back atcha,


  2. A very sweet and discerning post George. I know that just a few months of TTWD have changed out way of thinking for the better. Much more positive communication for a start, and I mean that as compared to negative communication.

    Starman and I are your age group George, and as we wind down, we find we are at long last taking pleasure just in our day to day company, instead of passing each other on the doorstep all the time. Starman is the quiet, contemplative sort. I won't ever change him and I wouldn't want to; we've gotten on fine for very nearly 36 years, but instead of letting things slide, we now very often behave like teenagers. We talk with each other instead of at each other, and the syndrome of "acting like to people living in the same house who just happen to be married" has gone for good.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this George.



    1. Ami, wonderful to hear that you and Starman are in Nina and my same age group, I send my congratulations to you both. I know how hard it is to nourish a relationship for that long.

      I have an idea about a post regarding marriages that seem to grow apart and divorce after 25 years or so. I suspect that y'all are doing a lot of things right and we all could learn a lot from your example!

      I encourage you to keep on acting like teenagers because it is a lot of fun and sure beats acting old! And the good part is the "grown-ups" don't fuss at us when we do!

      I wish you both many more years of happy TTWD and fun days together acting silly simply because it bubbles up from our inner being and cannot be contained!

      Blessings to you both,


  3. Hi George,

    I like what you said about girls keeping score differently than guys. That makes total sense - I've never thought about it that way before, but I think that's true. (It would help a lot of couples if they knew that early on.) :)

    And definitely ttwd helps improve communication and creates an amazing connection, whether it's in a dwindling marriage or an already close one. And somehow it is powerful in helping bring back those feelings from the beginning. It's fun to be a newlywed again!

    :) Cali

    1. Hi Cali,

      Yes, I agree being a "newlywed" is probably the most fun and carefree time in our lives.

      It really is interesting how we keep score differently. Most guys just don't understand how significant the little things can be for a woman. If you are interested in learning more, I recommend a series of books by Barbara and Alan Peace. They are wonderful because they explain each of us in such an amusing way. Google them and you can see all of their books. I gave a copy to my daughter!

      I agree that TTWD creates an amazing connection and also improves the communication, although I am not sure exactly how or why it works; it just does!



  4. Hi George,

    Great post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Girls keeping score differently than guys does make sense. It really is the small things that can make the biggest difference. Taking time out to connect with your partner and taking time for those small gestures.

    For us too, TTWD has improved our communication and has made us so much more connected.


    1. Roz,

      Thanks for the comment. I am happy that TTWD has been a catalyst to better communications. It took me a while to understand about the importance of the small things being so important. In the beginning I was a classic case of acting moronic! Thankfully, Nina is not only smart, she is also very patient!

      Last, I want remind you that like I have said to others, when you communicate with guys, (unlike when you talk with other women), they just don't take hints. Always be direct and to the point. We really are not good at "getting it" otherwise. LOL



  5. Hi George,

    This is a great post. It rings very true in our house. Bucko and I often do this with cards. It seems that I do it more often than he does. I have a drawer that I keep extra cards in when it crosses my mind that I haven't given him one in a while. For a while I was giving him one every couple of days. Now I do it every couple of weeks, and I try for at least once a month. However, when I do notice that it has been a while for him I do get upset. I often give several cards hoping he will "take the hint." It doesn't always work. He says he can't give me one right after I give him one then it looks like he's only doing it because I did.

    TTWD has helped us feel more connected. It makes it seem like he's more attuned to my needs and that helps me to feel safe and loved.

    Thanks for sharing,

  6. TL,

    Hello. I love that you are talking about cards! I think Nina could open a store with all the cards she has!

    Cards are something that women adore getting and unfortunately, something guys are just comparatively not into (receiving that is).

    Most guys don't understand how much the small things mean. How it makes you feel loved and cared for. You cannot be shown you are loved too many times and in too many ways, and ironically, sometimes the small things count even more than the large ones!

    The reason we get confused about why the big trip or present just doesn't fill your needs bucket for a long time is is just one more way to say "I love you".

    However, if you love us, teach us, and we really can learn! I did!!!



  7. I so often try to love my husband as I like to be loved George and it doesn't connect. Then my feelings get hurt and I'm all sad which makes me try even harder. It can lead to the biggest misunderstandings.

    We have learned in the past couple years how to explain to each other what makes each of us tick. We remember lol...I'd say 60% of the time now. This is why we have lots of years of marriage right?

  8. Hi Susie,

    Thanks for commenting. I can relate to exactly what you are saying from personal experience! You are so right about long lasting marriages having figured out the needs of the other and making an effort to insure those needs are met.

    Sixty percent is a great number because in generates confidence in our relationship so that most of the time during the other 40% we can assume positive intent. By positive intent, I mean we don’t take things the wrong way and get upset. We understand the other just didn’t quite “get it” at this moment.