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Headache-Proof Your Marriage

Next time your spouse is dealing with another one of his job- or kids- or you-induced headaches, offer to let your hands do the healing. Men's Health suggests four steps to massaging away your loved one's tension.

  1. While your husband is lying on his back near the edge of the bed, press your fingertips all over his scalp.
  2. Have your husband turn his head to the left. Slide your thumb down the right side of his neck to his shoulder while applying light pressure. Then get his left side.
  3. Pinch the right trapezius muscle (just above the shoulder, under the ear) with your thumb on top. With light pressure, gently pull the muscle toward you. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Have your husband turn his head to the right and knead the large muscle that runs down the side of his neck. Repeat this on the other side.

Out-of-Sight Sunglasses

Don't get sucked into buying whatever kind of sunglasses movie star Will Smith is wearing this summer. Be shades-savvy. Men's Health recommends that you:

  1. Go all the way and buy 100 percent UVA/UVB protection.
  2. Go green, brown or gray. Novelty shades like red, orange and blue may obscure traffic signals and other lights.
  3. Think big. The bigger the lenses, the more light they block. Wraparounds screen the most.

The Heat Is On!

When summer temperatures soar, sexual passions cool, according to the Chicago Tribune. Not only do high temps make sex less enjoyable (apparently, couples prefer to create their own heat), but overly warm weather can reduce people's sense of well-being (which leads to "Not tonight, dear … ").

All this to say, let's be thankful for air conditioning and find creative ways to cool off and stay in the mood.

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say …

Turns out maybe good communication skills don't always benefit a marriage. Psychology Today reports that while women in happy marriages use their communication skills to enhance the marriage, well-spoken wives in a rocky marriage tend to use their language talents to inflict pain.

The Married Life

by Fred the Plumber

"Bam!"

Bonked my head on the drainage pipe—again. This time, I'm under Mrs. Raker's sink, installing her garbage disposal. She says her husband is clueless about these things, so she called me.

Well, there I am, reaching for my pipe wrench, when the phone rings. Loud. I jump, bumping the old noggin.

So I'm sitting there in front of the sink, rubbing the knot on my head, when Mrs. Raker answers the phone.

"Hi, honey," she says. "Yes, he's working on it right now. Should be done soon … Yeah, I remember, but I'm not going to be able to make it. A client called me this morning and … Huh? Yes, I know we've had this planned for weeks … I know I promised. But my client really has to … I know. But honey, you've got to understand … Look, I'm sorry, but … Okay. Gotta go. Love you."

When she hangs up, I'm still rubbing my head.

"You okay?" she asks.

"Yeah, it's nothing," I say. "Thanks for askin'."

I clear my throat. "Mrs. Raker?"

"Yes?"

"Um, I don't mean to pry, ma'am, but I overheard you tellin' your husband you can't make it to dinner tonight."

"Yeah, it's a shame. But an important client called this morning, and … "

"Yes, I heard that too. I know it's none of my business, but I also heard you tell your husband you had promised to be there."

"Well, um, I did, but … "

She doesn't finish her sentence. I pick up the ball.

"Last weekend, I promised my wife I'd take her out for Sunday brunch after church," I say. "Well, right before we left the house, the phone rings. Some lady's hot water heater broke, and she wanted me to come out right away. Woulda been an easy few hundred bucks. But I looked at my wife and remembered my promise … "

"Don't tell me," Mrs. Raker says. "You told the lady to call somebody else. And you took your wife to brunch."

"Yep," I say, swallowing hard, figuring I'd said too much already.

"Hmm," Mrs. Raker says. Then she leaves the kitchen.

A few minutes later, I hear her on the phone again.

"Mrs. Stokes? Brenda Raker. Listen, I'm going to have to cancel our appointment tonight and move it to tomorrow. I promised my husband … "

I smile as I rub my head and crawl back under the sink to finish the job.

My eight-year-old son's soccer game would be starting soon, so I had to get moving. I was taking him out for ice cream after the game. I promised, you know.

What Moms Really Want

Here's what more than 1,000 mothers with kids under 12 wish for:

38% want four hours of free time with her husband every week

37% want a $200 gift certificate to her favorite store

12% want one hour of free time a day

8% want a "mother's helper" on weekends

5% want two hours of extra help on weekends —Parenting

Working 5-9

Now that so many women work outside the home either part- or full-time, there seems to be endless discussion about whether or not men are picking up the housework slack in those evening hours. According to a report from the University of Maryland, it may not matter—most working men and women have become content to let the housework slide a bit. Both men and women spend less time doing housework than they did in the past.

But as Barbara Johnson writes in her new book, Leaking Laffs Between Pampers and Depends (Word), "Whether your housekeeping system is the casual slow-and-slam method or the super-organized home where even the dustballs line up evenly under the bed, the most important thing to fill your home with is joy. What a blessing it is to step inside a home and immediately feel surrounded by a bubble of laughter and a blanket of love."

You Learn Something New Every Day

After fifteen years of marriage, Vic and I had our pizza order down to a drill: half pepperoni with onions, half sausage with onions and bell pepper.

But for those years, I longed for the taste of anchovies—I grew up in an anchovy family. But from everyone else, I heard stories about how anchovies made people gag. So for 15 years I had deprived myself of anchovies for the good of my marriage.

One night, as my husband and I stood in line at the pizzeria, I looked past the order-taker and into the kitchen. The taste of anchovies began to beckon. Anchovy, anchovy, they called, as I conjured up the salty, meaty taste.

Maybe just this once, if the pizza man promised not to drip juice on the other half and if he made a big mark to show the pepperoni-anchovy boundary, I could get anchovies on my half. So I asked.

Vic's jaw dropped. "You like anchovies?" He almost shouted. "You mean all these years, I've been going without anchovies because I thought you didn't like them?"

That pizza was the best we had ever eaten—slathered with spiky, spiny, salty anchovies.

by Jane Tod Jimenez

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

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Marriage; Relaxation; Sex
Today's Christian Woman, Summer, 2000
Posted September 30, 2008

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