It’s clear that true happiness includes a balance of work, giving us meaning or purpose, and family, giving us the support, motivation, and security of being loved. As event planners, you may find yourself providing marriage-bound couples with relationship advice as they navigate the wedding planning process, but it’s also important to keep in mind your own relationship when you are building a career or new business as a professional wedding & event planner.
Many entrepreneurs get caught up in every day, never-ending tasks and put their relationship on the back-burner for a while. As innocent as this may seem, it could be exposing your relationship to unnecessary stress and the development of new, but poor relationship habits.
For many of us, starting a business as a wedding and event planner is because we want a flexible schedule so we can spend more time with the people we love. In the process, it’s easy to enjoy your career so much you become a workaholic and push family time to get the work you love done.
Here are a few tips from relationship expert and author Joel Saltzman (J.S. Salt).
Author J.S. Salt calls himself a “parenting and marriage anthropologist.” He’s spoken with more than 1,000 husbands, 1,000 wives, and 5,000 children, asking them a variety of questions: From asking children, “If you could tell someone how to be the perfect parent, what would you tell them?” to asking spouses … “If you could tell someone how to be the almost perfect spouse, what advice would you offer?”
How To Be The Most Perfect Wife
By J.S. Salt (and Husbands Who Know)
In gathering information for my book, How to Be The Almost Perfect Wife: By Husbands Who Know, I spoke with 1,000 husbands – asking them: “If you could tell someone how to be the almost wife, what would you tell her?”
Of course, it’s not easy for husbands to open up and share their feelings. After all, they’re men. That’s why I first want to thank all the men who so bravely opened their hearts to me. May their gentle pleas help to guide you through your marriage. With that hope in mind, allow me to share with you “Three Top Tips for Pleasing Your Husband.”
1. Believe In Him
More than anything, a man needs to know he has your support – that you believe in him 100%. Alan, 29, on his first day of marriage, wrote:
“Believe in me,
believe in me,
believe in me.”
Will your husband always succeed? Will things work out exactly as planned? Regardless of the stumbling blocks, your husband may encounter, he needs to know he still has your support. As Ed, 47, married 25 years, so openly requests: “Be my cheerleader. Believe that I have the talent to achieve my dreams, even if it takes longer than I ever imagined.”
Married 42 years, Roland 64, offers this sage advice: “Listen attentively to your husband’s dreams and aspirations. Even if you think they’re unreachable, humor him. Support him. Maybe even get excited with him. Your husband will love and appreciate you because you encouraged – rather than discouraged – him. Later in life, a husband wants to look at his wife and say, ‘Honey, you were with me.’ Not ‘If only… ‘”
Finally, consider this bit of wisdom from Jim, 80, a widower after 53 years of marriage: “Men are just boys who need attention and reassurance – pretty much all the time. They need you to sit on their laps, kiss them for no reason and assure them that you love them.”
2. Be Accepting
Charles, 38, requests: “Accept your husband as the man he is, instead of wishing you could change things here and there.” Bill, 47, adds: “Stop trying to control and change us so much. We’re not ‘diamonds in the rough’ – we’re men. The same men you fell in love with and married in the first place.”
What’s a good way to think about just how “accepting” you are? The next time your spouse wants to do something that you think is stupid, ridiculous, or a complete waste of time or money, see if you say the words: “Honey, go for it!” For example:
“It’s a fact: Every husband needs at least 2 hours a week on the couch in front of the TV – without having to answer any questions. Just to veg out.” – Ray, 39, married 7 years
“When I go out to play sports or be with the guys, try to understand you’re giving me something I really need. Women want flowers. Guys want to have time with each other without having to justify themselves for being away a few hours.” – Eric, 28, married 6 years
“If I want to go to bed later than you it doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It means I want to go to bed later than you.” – Neil, 47, married 12 years
“Accept that I’m not ‘escaping’ to work: I’m going there because I need to work. Besides, when I feel better about my work, I feel better about everything else.” – Eric
3. Be Gentle
Does being accepting of your husband mean you can’t disagree with him or offer a “course correction” now and then? Not at all. But husbands – as “manly” as they may appear – need for their spouses to be gentle about it. As Charlie, 28, married 11 years, explains: “If you think I’m wrong, try to guide me to where you think I should be. Don’t beat me up and drag me there.”
Believe it or not, most husbands generally are trying their best – no matter how wrongheaded their actions may appear. So try to be patient, merciful and kind. “And limit your criticisms,” says Ben, 81, “to things that really matter.”
Perhaps Terry, married 23 years, sums it up best: “Be a friend who is there to lend support, but still cares enough to confront me when I make a fool of myself.”
Questions for reflections:
On a rating of 0 to 10, how strongly would your husband say you believe in him?
When was the last time you told your husband you were proud of him?
When was the last time you said to your husband “Go for it!” when you’re really thinking: Why would anyone want to do that!?”
On a rating of 0 to 10, how gentle are you when offering advice or a “course correction” to your husband?
How To Be The Most Perfect Husband
If you could tell someone how to be the… almost perfect husband, what would you tell him?
That’s the question I posed to more than one thousand wives, ex-wives, and widows, nearly all of whom freely offered advice. In the end, I had enough material for a book: How To Be The Almost Perfect Husband: By Wives Who Know.
After gathering all my data – a collection of one and two sentence bits of advice from wives to husbands – I set about the task of picking and choosing. What should I put in the book, and what should I leave out? In other words, it was my job to sift through all the advice I’d assembled and choose what was truly important to women. I made my decisions, shared the “final cut” with my wife and immediately got fired.
“That’s all you learned!?,” she asked. Realizing she’d inadvertently stepped on my toes, she immediately followed up with the far more diplomatic, “Mind if I take a look for myself?” The moral of the story? Even with 1,000 wives explicitly telling me what they needed from their husbands, I still didn’t get it. I was just too much of a “man” to truly understand. That’s when my own wife lovingly stepped in and helped me to see what these wives truly crave. That said, here are “Three Top Tips for Pleasing Your Wife.”
More than anything, women want their husbands to listen. Not try to solve their problems or offer advice, but simply to listen. As Becky, 33, advises: “When I’m having a bad day and complaining a lot, please just listen.
Forget the advice on how to make things better. Just tell me you love me and give me a hug.” Brenda, 36, adds: “Always listen to what your wife has to say no matter how uninteresting or boring it is to you. It’s important to her or she wouldn’t be sharing it with you.”
2. Show Her You Love Her
It’s the little things you do for her that let your wife know she’s truly loved. “Surprise her with something small,” says Rowena, married 23 years, “like bring home take-out without being asked.”
As Jennifer, 22 – married just nine months! – explains: “Instead of telling me, show me you love me. A kiss when I least expect it. Flowers for no reason. Hold my hand when we’re in public, and in private. Little surprises like these can sometimes mean much more than words.”
What if you’re a man who’s married to a modern, “self-sufficient” woman, someone who’s fully capable of taking care of herself? Erika, 45, is just such a woman. Yet her request is much the same: “Even though I’m strong and modern and self-sufficient, do surprising, sweet, I’m-here-to-pamper-and-care-for-you things.” As for specifics, consider these:
“Write me little notes and give me funny cards a little more often, like you did when we were courting.” – Jennifer, 32, married 6 years
“Once in a while, send me a little surprise at work – so the people around me are jealous that I have the perfect mate.” – Marilee, 46, married 22 years
“Light a candle every once in a while – even when the power doesn’t go out.” – Linda, 48, married 28 years
Finally, Cynthia, married 14 years, shares this loving behavior: “Do what my husband does: When I wake up at 3 A.M. filled with worry, he rubs my back, holds my hand and says things will look better in the light of day. Then he doesn’t fall asleep until I do.”
3. Tell Her You Love Her
While actions may speak louder than words, words hold their own special power – both positive and negative.
Jeannie, 55, separated for seven years, writes: “Think before you speak. Words can damage and cut to the bone.” Be careful not only to guard your tongue, but use your words to cherish and embrace.
Maureen, 62, writes: “Learn to say: ‘I love you.’ Acting as if you do is great, but it’s nice to hear it once in a while.”
Sally, 47, advises: “Tell her you love her three times a day. ‘I love you’ is like mayonnaise. It has a very short shelf life.”
And while you’re at it, follow the advice of Deborah, 42: “Tell her she looks pretty. At least once a day!”
Questions for reflections:
When your wife is telling you about a problem she’s having, are you truly listening or trying to come up with a solution to offer?
What did you do today that showed your life you truly love her?
What about yesterday and the day before?
When was the last time you said to your wife, “I love you”?
In an average week, how many times do you say those words?
How often do you tell your wife how attractive she is?