Marital Advice:
Your Wife, The Addict
This is a tough way for you to get the news, but someone has to tell you.  Your wife will have a lifelong addiction that no power on earth, including you, will be able to cure.  It is not booze or drugs–it is much more powerful than either of them.  It is an urge to splurge.
Have you heard about women who own more than a hundred pair of shoes or have fifty purses or two hundred scarves?  Well, it doesn't really matter if you have heard of those women or not because your wife has.  They are her idols and her inspiration.  She wants to be just like them so other women will look up to her and admire her because she has two hundred pair of shoes, a thousand hats, three hundred plastic pink flamingos, six hundred salt and pepper shakers in the shape of chickens, or four hundred rubber duckies.  It is more than an addiction; it's a contest.
You are expecting advice on what to do about this addiction of your wife.  Nothing.  That's the advice - d…
Marital Advice:
Your Wife, The Entrepreneur
You may not realize it, but somewhere inside your wife is a budding business entrepreneur.  Maybe she already has the bug, but if not, it will only take a comment or two to give her the fever.
Perhaps Abby is having coffee with a couple of friends when someone says, "Did you hear that Mary had a garage sale and made $800. "  Another friend chimes in, "Jenny had one and made over $1,000."
That is all it will take and the entrepreneurial seed will have been sown.  Why, if Mary and Jenny could make $800 or $1,000, surely she could do as well, if not better.  Cash money!

The Business Plan
Here is how a garage sale, also known as a lawn sale, yard sale, and by other names, works.  A woman goes through her closet and selects blouses, slacks, dresses, coats, shoes, and anything else that she believes she can get along without.  Then she goes through the entire house, searching for anything else that she thinks will sell.  This include…
Marital Advice
Shopping: Man vs. Woman
In case you haven't noticed, men and women view shopping differently.

How A Man Shops
When a man goes shopping for a new pair of shoes, he walks into a shoe store where he has previously purchased shoes or he goes to a store that is easy to get in and out of.  He looks over the shoes on display, selects a pair that he likes and checks to see if the store has a pair in his size.  He may or may not try on the shoes.  He takes the shoes to the counter, pays for them, and heads for home where he has important things to do like watch a game on TV or do a little woodworking.  Approximately seven minutes will have lapsed from the time he entered the store until he exited it.
He will wear that pair of shoes for at least ten years and the older they get the better he will like them.

How A Woman Shops
A woman will enter a shoe store and look at every pair in the store, including styles that she would never consider wearing.  She will find several pair that ar…
Marital Advice
Understanding Your Wife, and Other Myths
Joel,  let's say that through your keen sense of observation and your powers of intuition, you develop the ability to anticipate your wife's every mood and foresee her every action to the point where you completely understand her.  What would I say about that, you ask.
Well, I would say that you are an idiot and a fool who is prone to hallucinations and that you should either be examined or executed.

Female Shopping Logic
Since the beginning of time, mothers and grandmothers have passed down shopping philosophies, strategies, and techniques to their daughters and granddaughters.  The young women accept these morsels of wisdom as absolute, indisputable truth since they came from Mother, or better yet, Grandmother.  By the time that you met the woman who eventually became your wife, these truths had become ingrained in her personal DNA.
In some families, it is a ritual that is as sacred as celebrating Christmas, Thanksgiving, or …
Marital Advice
Let The Training Begin 
Joel, this concept was already expressed in this epistle's introduction, but I repeat it here just in case you missed it the first time.
To your wife, you are more than a husband, you are a Project - a Work-in-Progress. 
When Abby chose to marry you, she apparently saw in you hidden potential that no other woman in the world was able to spot, including her mother, her sisters, and her friends.  For the rest of her life, she will try on a daily basis to coax, mold, and beat that hidden potential into some semblance of the admirable man she visualizes you have the ability to become.
You will be in training every day of your married life.  Sometimes, the training will be so subtle that you may not even know that you are being trained.  Other times, there will be no doubt, such as in the preceding story that was posted in this blog, "The Gift Horse."

Jump-Starting Your Training
In order to make Abby's job of training you a little easier, a…
Advice 101.4
The Gift Horse - 101.4h
Settling Into Married Life (Continued)
There will be numerous times throughout your marriage that you will buy Abby presents for her birthday, anniversaries, Christmas, Valentines Day, and other occasions.  Buying the perfect gift is an art and a science.  If you do this right, Abby will brag to her friends about the wonderful, thoughtful gift you gave her and may even treasure it forever as a keepsake.  If you do it wrong, you will pay in ways that you cannot even imagine.
I could provide a list of ten things to do and not to do when buying gifts for your wife, but the following true story might be easier to remember.

A Gift She Will Never Forget, Nor Will He

It is Bill and Diane's first wedding anniversary.  They have a lovely dinner at home and share a bottle of good wine.  Now, it is time to open the gifts that they purchased for each other.

Bill opens his gift first.  It is the golf putter that he has been dropping hints about for the past two mo…
Marital Advice 101.4
Sharing - 101.4g Settling Into Married Life (Continued) 
You learned as a child that it is good, proper, and nice to share with others.  This concept carries over to marriage, but it works a little differently than it did in kindergarten.
Let's say, for example, that you like to occasionally eat a banana.  You realize that Abby is not as fond of bananas as you are and that she rarely eats them.  You stop at a convenience store on your way home from work and they have some great-looking bananas.  You decide to buy two of them - one for today and the other one for tomorrow. You get home and place your bananas on the kitchen counter.  After dinner, you decide to have one of your bananas for a snack.  Your wife asks, "Can I have the other banana?"  Of course, you graciously say "Yes."  There goes tomorrow's banana.
A few days later, you stop at the same convenience store and they again have some great-looking bananas.  You decide to get yourself…