Jan 28, 2014

What I've learned from 50 years of marriage

Each decade has its own rules! 
What I've learned from 50 years of marriage, 

When my husband Bob and I stood at London’s Marylebone Register Office and exchanged our vows 50 years ago, I didn’t know if my marriage would last. No bride ever knows that.
Now, as we celebrate our golden wedding anniversary with a holiday in Mexico this week, I know just how strong our bond has proved - and a great deal about the institution of marriage, too.

Are these observations the secrets to a happy marriage? Well, they have certainly kept our relationship - and our passion - alive for half a century. Here are the lessons that each decade of my marriage has taught me about love - and about men.

Experience: Author Barbara Taylor Bradford has celebrated 50 years of marriage - and has some tips for us

There’s no such thing as a sisterhood
Was it really more than 50 years ago that a handsome young man with brown eyes and a dash of blond in his hair walked into the drawing room of my London neighbours? It certainly does not feel so.I learned a lot that day. First, I learned that it’s possible to feel like you’ve known someone your whole life, even though you’ve only just met them. And, later, I learned that hell hath no fury like a jealous woman.

I had turned up wearing very little make-up, skin-tight turquoise ski pants and a white sweater. A young reporter, I was probably a little bolshy and slightly overweight — a bit like a Sixties Bridget Jones.

The moment Bob started to talk to me, I was instantly at ease. I knew nothing about this dashing American man. I didn’t know if he was married, divorced, rich or poor. And I didn’t care.

Before lunch, I sneaked into my neighbour’s bedroom and used her make-up, frantically adding a slick of red lipstick and several coats of mascara in a bid to make myself more glamorous.
Bob had brought a well-known screenwriter and his wife with him, and she followed me to the bathroom. Here’s how she taught me my first lesson in love.

She asked me when I’d met Bob, and I answered: ‘Just today.’

Slowly, she looked me up and down, and then she said: ‘We’ve introduced Bob to all the most beautiful stars in Hollywood and he wasn’t a bit interested in them. I can’t believe the way he is behaving with you.’

I was stunned. But since then, I’ve come to realise that a woman in love often incites resentment from other women — especially if the woman in question is successful. It pains me to say it, but there really is no such thing as a ‘sisterhood’.

On that Sunday afternoon long ago, I shrugged off that woman’s words and rejoined Bob.
Over that first lunch, we discovered that we had so much in common. We were both only children. We both loved the movies, the theatre, music and books. He had such a wonderful sense of humour, and he had me in fits of giggles throughout the afternoon. He still does today.

Love: Barbara Taylor Bradford with her husband Bob. They stayed close through a devastating miscarriage

Troubles can bring you closer together
You can’t control what will happen in your life, but it’s how you handle the bumps in the road that matters when it comes to your marriage.

We were put to the test fairly early on.  Bob and I had just assumed we’d have children and we were so excited when I became pregnant two years after our wedding. Everything was perfect, so when I miscarried it was absolutely devastating.

Eighteen months later, I found out I was expecting again — and this time, the pregnancy seemed to advance fine.

I was worried, but I never really thought I would lose another baby. When I did, I was utterly bereft.

Some weeks later, I thought: ‘If I regret this, it will destroy me and it will hurt Bob, too. I can only look forward: I can’t look back, and I can’t let this define me.’

After that, I never became pregnant again. I remember saying to Bob, ‘Shall we adopt?’ and he seemed keen. But we were both busy working and it just never happened.

Now, we agree it would be lovely to have grandchildren, but I don’t know how easy it really is for women to have it all: a job, a family, a lovely home and a contented husband.

Never forget your husband has problems, too
It took many years for Bob to confide in me about the tragedy of his childhood.

I knew that his father had died when Bob was still a young boy in Berlin. His parents were Jewish, and when Bob was eight his mother put him on a train to Paris.

After the Germans invaded, Bob was helped over the French border into Switzerland by a priest.  As he turned to wave, he watched as the priest was shot by  German soldiers.

At the end of the war, he set sail for America to join his mother, who had managed to escape Berlin for New York. But when they docked, she wasn’t there. I have always imagined how he must have scanned the crowds looking for her face.

Waiting for him instead was an American cousin, who told him that his mother had died just three weeks earlier.

Many years later, on our 35th wedding anniversary, Bob and I gave a party. I stood up to toast my beloved husband in front of our friends. I raised my glass and said: ‘This party really is for you, to make up for all the birthday parties you missed when you were a child.’

Knowing that Bob had suffered so much hurt has helped to steer me through many a marital row.

There have been many times when I could easily have erupted, but I restrain myself because it’s all so trivial in comparison to what Bob has been through. 

Accept that you will never understand men

Just before I married, my mother offered me some advice which I’ve never forgotten:
 ‘Never offer a man a divorce. He may take you up on it!’ Her other words of wisdom were: ‘Keep your mouth shut and do your own thing.’

Like any man, Bob can be absolutely infuriating. I buy glossy magazines but Bob will often throw them away before I have had the chance to read them.

Years ago, I would get so angry. Now, I simply fish them out of the bin and take them into my office to read in peace.

When we do row, Bob says, ‘Don’t get excited’ — which of course winds me up even further. I say: ‘I’m just making a point!’ I used to think, ‘What is wrong with Bob?’ but then I realised that men simply think differently. We can’t understand them, so don’t bother trying to.

In the heat of a row, no matter how cross I am, I make myself leave the room and boil the kettle in  the kitchen.

As the steam rises, I take deep breaths. Then I go back to Bob and — even if it takes an effort to smile, because I want to throttle him — I ask cheerfully: ‘Do you want a cup of tea?’
By the time we share the tea, our row is over.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed thousands of gossipy lunches with my friends, but I have never once criticised my husband. When a wife castigates her husband, or airs their private problems in public, a marriage can easily hit the rocks.

Just as important as keeping your counsel is keeping faith in your husband. A friend once asked: ‘Don’t you worry about him? He has a glamorous job. He’s a movie producer, and he flies around the world and meets beautiful women.’

I replied: ‘If a man wants to cheat, he’ll do it wherever he is. He doesn’t have to travel to be unfaithful.’ That’s something which so many women forget.

Forget possessions - cherish each other instead
In September last year, I embarked on the biggest closet clean-out of my life. It all started because I developed tendonitis in my foot. The doctor said I had to stick to shoes with two-inch heels.

So I put my three-inch heels in a shopping bag and gave them to some of my friends. They were so thrilled that I then started to sort through my dresses.

Every time I came across a dress I hadn’t worn for ages, I put it on a rail. I emptied half my closet, giving away some of  my clothes to friends and the rest to charity.
Satisfied, I next moved on to  my jewellery.

Every year, for 50 years, Bob has bought me something special to celebrate my birthday, our wedding anniversary, Christmas, a new book or a film of a book.

I asked Bob what he would think if I sold some of the jewels that were just lying unworn in our safe.
He told me: ‘They are yours — it’s up to you.’

I thought: ‘There’s only one thing I actually want or need, and that’s you.’ So this year, 40 pieces of my jewellery were sold through auction at Bonhams.

After that, there really was  only one thing left to go in my ultimate clean-out — and that was our apartment.

He still makes my heart leap after all these years. He kisses me and tells me I’m beautiful - and, yes, we are still very attracted to  each other 

For the past 18 years, we’ve lived in the same 14-room, 6,000-square foot New York flat. It’s so big, but we have really only  been using four rooms in the past few years.

I remember looking up the wide corridor and thinking: ‘Children should be running up and  down here.’

So we decided to downsize. We sold the apartment to the actress Uma Thurman, and when I took a final look around, I felt no regret or stab of loss, and neither did Bob.

For now, we’re renting a  furnished home while our new, beautiful, eight-room apartment on Park Avenue is decorated. It’s sunny, airy and a much better size for two people.
Recently, we’ve both been unwell with chest infections, and it brings into sharp focus the reality that we’re getting older.

I say to Bob, ‘I don’t know  what I’d do if you die’ — and  he becomes all gruff and says:  ‘You’ll manage.’

He still makes my heart leap after all these years. He kisses me and tells me I’m beautiful — and, yes, we are still very attracted to  each other.

It’s not the same mad passion of those early, heady days of love, but the physical pull is still there, and that will never fade.

In the past year, I’ve given away shoes, dresses and sold jewellery, furniture and our home.
So much has changed, and yet each night I sit beside Bob and feel the warmth of his body next to mine and feel blessed.

The simply truth is that with Bob beside me, I have all that I need.

Jan 13, 2014

Funny Gender Differences Joke

Funny Gender Differences Joke - humorsharing.com

1. Rules: The female makes the rules. The rules are subject to change at any time without prior notification. No male can possibly know all the rules. If the female suspects the male knows the rules, she must immediately change the rules. The female is never wrong. If the female is mistaken, it is a direct result of something the male did or said wrong. The male must apologize immediately for causing said misunderstanding. The female may change her mind at any time. The male must never change his mind without the written consent of the female. The female has the right to be upset or angry at any time. The male must remain calm at all times, unless the female wants him to be angry and/or upset. If the female has PMS, all the rules are null and void. The male is expected to mind read constantly and act accordingly. Any attempt to document the rules could result in actual bodily harm. 
The male who doesn’t abide by the rules can’t take the heat, lacks backbone, and is a whimp.  

2. Nicknames: If Eva, Susanne, Juliet and Michelle go out for lunch, they will call each other Eva, Susanne, Juliet and Michelle.
 But if John, Mike, Tom and Ed go out for a brewsky, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Useless.

3. Understanding: Only a woman can understand: Why it’s good to have five pairs of black shoes. The difference between cream, ivory, and off-white. Crying can be fun. A salad, diet drink, and a hot fudge sundae make a balanced lunch. Discovering a designer dress on the clearance rack can be considered a peak life experience. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made. A good man might be hard to find, but a good hairdresser is next to impossible. Why a phone call between two women never lasts under ten minutes. AND THE NUMBER ONE THING ONLY WOMEN UNDERSTAND: OTHER WOMEN!

4. Bathrooms: A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from Tesco. 
The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

5. Arguments: A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

6. Humor: Women don’t enjoy humor that makes fun of others’ physical shortcomings. By contrast, men make fun of just about everyone. Women don’t tell jokes – they tell stories.

7. Eating out: When the bill arrives, Stewart, Billy and Jack will each throw in £20, even though it’s only for £22.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back. 
When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

8. Groceries: A woman makes a list of things she needs and then goes out to the store and buys these things. 
A man waits till the only items left in his fridge are half a lime and a soda. Then he goes grocery shopping. He buys everything that looks good. By the time a man reaches the checkout counter, his cart is packed tighter than the Clampett’s car on Beverly Hillbillies. Of course, this will not stop him from going to the 10-items-or-less lane.

9. Dressing Up: A woman will dress up to: go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, get the mail. 
A man will dress up for: weddings, funerals.

10. Laundry: Women do laundry every couple of days. 
A man will wear every article of clothing he owns, including his surgical pants that were hip about eight years ago, before he will do his laundry. When he is finally out of clothes, he will wear a dirty sweatshirt inside out, rent a U-Haul and take his mountain of clothes to the Laundromat. Men always expect to meet beautiful women at the Laundromat. This is a myth perpetuated by re-runs of old episodes of “Love, American Style.”

11. Shoes: When preparing for work, a woman will put on a Mondi wool suit, then slip on Reebok sneakers. She will carry her dress shoes in a plastic bag from Saks. When a woman gets to work, she will put on her dress shoes. Five minutes later, she will kick them off because her feet are under the desk. 
A man will wear the same pair of shoes all day – lifelong.

12. Confidence: Men are self-confident because they grow up identifying with super-heroes. Women have bad self-images because they grow up identifying with Barbie.

13. Cats: Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren’t looking, men kick cats.

14. Temperature: Men have higher body temperatures than women. If your heating goes out in winter, I recommend sleeping next to a man. Men are like portable heaters that snore.

15. Future: A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

16. How to Please Another:
 How to Please a Woman: Follow this advice if you wish to impress your girlfriend. Compliment her; respect her; honor her; cuddle her; caress her; love her; kiss her; stroke her; buy things for her; tease her; comfort her; protect her; hug her; hold her; spend money on her; wine and dine her; listen to her; care for her; stand by her; support her; hold her.
 How to Please a Man: Follow this advice if you wish to impress your boyfriends. Show up naked; Bring beer.

17. Marriage: When you marry your miss right, remember her first name is “always”. A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t. A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.

18. Success: A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

19. Offspring: Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dental appointments and romances, best friends, favourite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some shorties living in the house.

20. Memory: Women that are over 50 don’t have babies because they would put them down and forget where they left them. But young women remember everything, men forget everything. That’s why men need instant replays in sports. They’ve already forgotten what happened.

21. Menopause: With female menopause you gain weight and get hot flashes. Male menopause is a lot more fun than female menopause – you get to date young girls and drive motorcycles.

22. Difference in Guidelines to Deal with Eachother: 
Women’s Guide on how to deal with men: A man’s mind is too little to wander out alone for long. A neat and spotless housework has never been the reason why men have ever loved women, so leave the chores then and there. Bachelor is the man who has missed the opportunity to make some woman miserable. There are as many reasons as there are men for not sleeping with them. When your boyfriend walks out on you, shut the door. Women never make fools of men. They are mostly do-it-yourself types. You can change a man, only if he is in diapers. Younger men are just fine. Men never mature anyway. 
Men’s recomendations to women: Don’t tell anyone we can’t afford a new car. Tell them we don’t want one. Please don’t drive when you’re not driving. When the waiter asks if everything’s okay, a simple ‘Yes’ is fine. What do you mean, “leering?” She’s obstructing my view. When I’m turning the wheel and the car is heading for the slip road, saying, ‘Oh, this is our exit, dearest,’ is not really necessary. When you’re not around, I belch so loudly that I even appal myself. “Sports Report” starts at 5pm on a Saturday and runs for one hour. This is an excellent time for you to pay bills, put laundry in the dryer, or talk to your mother. If we see each other in the morning and at night, why phone me at work? You probably don’t want to know what I’m thinking about. Never buy a “new” brand of beer because ‘it was on sale.’

23. Emotions: Most women are introspective: “Am I in love? Am I emotionally and creatively fulfilled?” 
Most men are outrospective: “Did my team win? How’s my car?”

24. Getting Rid of another: Getting rid of a woman is easy, tell her to get lost and she’ll be gone. 
Getting rid of a man without hurting his masculinity is a problem. “Get out” and “I never want to see you again” might sound like a challenge. If you want to get rid of a man, I suggest saying, “I love you… I want to marry you… I want to have your children.” Sometimes they leave skid marks.

25. His and her Road Trips: 
Hers: Pulls off at wrong exit. Opens window. Asks directions from a knowledgeable police officer. Arrives at destination presently. 

His: Pulls off at wrong exit absolutely positive it’s the correct one. Drives five miles into wilderness, still thinks he’s right. Drives an extra 5 miles just in case. Finally rolls down window just to get fresh air. Pulls up to a 7 -11. Gets three hot-dogs, a large slurpee, and beef jerky. Asks person behind counter how to get back onto the highway. Gets back into car. Laughs at the idea of looking at a map as he pulls away from the 7-11. Drives down a dirt road with no street lights insisting this is the way back because guy from 7-11 said it was. Almost hits a deer. Curses the night. Curses you. Curses the large slurpee. Drives and fiddles with radio. Yells at you for suggesting the map again. Admits he didn’t want to go to Thanksgiving at your sister’s anyway. He hates your sister. Ever since she called him a pernicious weasel. He had to look up pernicious. Couldn’t find a dictionary. Finally found a dictionary. Couldn’t spell pernicious. Seethes at the memory of it all. But she is laughing inside.. And of course he is still lost.

26. Defined by Gender:
 VULNERABLE (vul-ne-ra-bel) adj. 
Female: Fully opening up one’s self emotionally to another.
 Male: Playing football without a helmet. 

COMMUNICATION (ko-myoo-ni-kay-shon) n. 
Female: The open sharing of thoughts and feelings with one’s partner. 
Male: Scratching out a note before suddenly taking off for a weekend with the boys. 

BUTT (but) n 
Female: The body part that every item of clothing manufactured makes “look bigger.” Male: What you slap when someone’s scored a touchdown, homerun, or goal. Also good for mooning. 

COMMITMENT (ko-mit-ment) n.
 Female: A desire to get married and raise a family. 
Male: Not trying to pick up other women while out with one’s girlfriend. 

ENTERTAINMENT (en-ter-tayn-ment) n. 
Female: A good movie, concert, play or book. 
Male: Anything that can be done while drinking. 

FLATULENCE (flach-u-lens) n. 
Female: An embarrassing by-product of digestion. 
Male: An endless source of entertainment, self-expression and male bonding. 

MAKING LOVE (may-king luv) n.
 Female: The greatest expression of intimacy a couple can achieve.
 Male: Call it whatever you want just as long as we end up in bed. 

REMOTE CONTROL (ri-moht kon-trohl) n. 
Female: A device for changing from one TV channel to another.
 Male: A device for scanning through all 75 channels every 2&1/2 min.

27. Age: Women think they look 20 by skin, 18 by hair and 25 by figure. Mmen think they should add them up 20+18+25.

28. Excuse for date: She would be busy washing her hair. He has to buy you gifts.

29. Interpretation: 
Girl Translated: “There is no rational thought pattern connected with it, and you have no chance at all of making it logical.” 

Girl Translated: “Why isn’t it already on the table?”

Girl Translated: Absolutely nothing. It’s a conditioned response. 

Girl Translated: “I have no idea how it works.” 

Girl Translated: “I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.” “

 Girl Translated: “Are you still talking?” 

Girl Translated: “I remember the theme song to ‘F Troop,’ the address of the first girl I ever kissed and the vehicle identification numbers of every car I’ve ever owned.. but I forgot your birthday.” 

Girl Translated: “I have actually severed a limb but will bleed to death before I admit that I’m hurt.” 

 Girl Translated: “And I sure hope I think of some pretty soon.” 

Guy: “I CAN’T FIND IT.” 
Girl Translated: “It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I’m completely clueless.” 

Girl Translated: “What did you catch me at?” 

Girl Translated: “No one will ever see us alive again.”

 Girl Translated: “I make the messes; she cleans them up.”

30. Comparison of what women want in men and what they get:

Ideal Traits In Men For Women                                What It Means In Reality

Artistic                                                                             Is able to find matching socks.

Athletic                                                                           Can get up to get his own seconds.

Classy                                                                            Puts back his Playboy in the hidden drawer.

Communicates well                                                   Answers phone.

Considerate                                                                Has learned to splatter less and leave                                                                                              seat up sometimes.

Faithful                                                                          Would let you know of his flings.

Hopelessly romantic                                                 Will remember to buy roses for you.

Intellectual                                                                    Reads ‘Playboy’.

Interested in women who have brains                 Has learned to look to the face of the                                                                                         women sometimes while talking to                                                                                                 her instead of her chest.

Loves kids and pets                                                Will not throw away a crying kid and                                                                                             had a snake once.

Sensitive                                                                    Acknowledges the fact that you are                                                                                                  crying.

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