≡ Menu

How To Be A Better Wife: Five Steps

If you’re wondering how to be a better wife, good for you! That means that you realize that you are ready to do your part in making sure you and your husband have a strong marriage. Too many women expect their husbands to be Mr. Right, without ever making much of an effort to be Mrs. Right.

Which is a great way to jump right into the five steps of becoming a better wife…

Step one: Stay close to God.

God is love, and all who live in love, live in God.

To be a better wife, you need to be a more loving person. Therefore, per the above Bible verse, you need to stay connected to God.

Step two: Accept, don’t expect.

Disclaimer: I’m not saying not to have any expectations whatsoever of your husband. It’s perfectly within reason to expect him to do his best to provide an income, to remain faithful to the marriage bed, not to compare you unfavorably to other women, and to treat you with respect.

However, many women fail to accept their husbands as they are, and instead heap piles of expectations upon them. I used to be one of them, and I wonder if that might be a greater cause of divorce than money problems.

Because when you expect someone to behave differently than who they are, it creates a lot of stress for all parties involved.

  • Accept the fact that your husband enjoys watching sports on T.V
  • Accept that your husband has lower standards of cleanliness and tidiness than you do.
  • Accept that your husband doesn’t believe exactly the way you do.
  • Accept that your husband forgets that you need more physical affection than he does.

Which is a great segue into the next step…

Step three: Tell your husband what you need.

If you need fifteen hugs a day, then go up to him whenever you feel a need for a hug and ask for it! Contrary to popular belief, husbands can’t read their wives’ minds.

If you need your husband to fix the dripping faucet today because it’s keeping you awake at night, ask him kindly to get the job done.

If you would like twenty minutes to yourself every evening when you don’t have to worry about any small people interrupting you, work out a plan with your husband.

Speaking of asking for favors…

Step four: Say “yes” to physical intimacy.

Now, if he’s waking you up at four o’clock every single morning to “do it” to the extent you’re losing sleep, you guys need to talk. But most wives don’t have a husband who is quite that frisky in the bedroom.

Your husband needs that physical release. It’s actually physically painful if he doesn’t get it after a number of days of “holding it in.” It’s also the most important way he feels connected to you.

Unless you’re genuinely too sick or exhausted to have physical intimacy, say yes when he asks for it.

Step five: If you suffer from P.M.S., shut up!

Not every woman suffers from P.M.S., and if that’s you, go on wi’chore bad self.

If you do get moody during “that time of the month”, discipline yourself to keep your negative thoughts to yourself. I’m pretty sure that if I had spoken every nasty thought I had during that time, my husband would have left me a long time ago.

But I knew it was the hormones warping my brain, so I held all the horrible thoughts inside. And within three hours, they were gone. I no longer had the awful feelings that were leading to the terrible thoughts.

P.S. – If you have this negativity every month, try taking a magnesium supplement.

**************

If you’re married and seeking a more abundant life, it will come a lot more easily if you decide to improve yourself. Learn how to be a better wife, and you will indeed have a better life.

{ 0 comments }

The Number One Reason People Settle For Less

Most people are not living an abundant life. They’re not living their dreams. They’re not even working toward such lofty destinations.

Understand that I’m not talking about people in third-world or communist countries who are true victims of the corrupt governments they live under, suffering from starvation and experiencing constant oppression. I’m talking primarily about Westerners, as well as people who live in the second-world nations such as India and China where there is some choice to move up from the bottom ranks available for many.

Also understand that it while it takes some money and resources to move in certain directions, it doesn’t take nearly as much as people think. I’m taking excuses to claim victimhood away from you here. 😉

With those excuses taken away – such as, my parents were poor; I couldn’t afford to go to college; my father was an abusive alcoholic; I’m not that smart – you might feel more motivated to go after your dream life. Or, if you’re not sure what that looks like at this moment, to improve your present circumstances.

But even if you do, you are still likely to run up against the Great Wall of Awful, which may be the biggest reason that most people are not as happy, healthy, or wealthy as they want to be.

The human propensity to awfulize

To “awfulize” is to fear that a future event will end up in the most awful way possible. It’s the extreme end of worry.

When you worry, you’re not necessarily imagining the worst case scenario. For example, if your leg hurts while you’re walking you might worry that you strained a muscle and won’t be able to run the 5K with your friends this weekend. Or you  might worry  that you’ll have to postpone your weight loss goals because you’ll have to stop exercising for a week or two.

On the other hand, you might worry that you have bone cancer and will be dead in less than six months. That’s a worst-case scenario, and is what is I mean by “awfulizing.”

In my post about how not to worry, I described how my husband awfulized an upcoming solo road trip. To be fair, I should confess that I’ve done my own fair share of awfulizing. My strained vocal chords aren’t healing. Is it cancer? The principal at my school is upset that I prayed with one of my students. That’s it – I’m going to get fired!

Awfulizing is paralyzing

Stepping out of your comfort zone is hard enough. It’s scary. But when faced with taking a risk that could lead to a better life in the long run, many people don’t just worry. They fear the worst-case scenario.

They awfulize.

And no matter how excited they might have felt when first visualizing their attainment of whatever goal or dream, eventually they begin to imagine the worst possible outcome of taking the risk. And they get afraid.

And they let the fear overpower the excitement.

Did you see that? They LET the fear overpower the excitement.

You have control over your thoughts.

Which leads me to…

…how not to let awfulizing drive you into mediocrity

You need to grasp the truth, deep down inside, that the worst rarely ever happens. You need to believe it, and remind yourself of that truth constantly.

It will help a lot of you first grasp the truth that there is a  loving Creator watching over you, rooting for you, and helping you when you ask – sometimes, even when you don’t ask.

God desires the best for you.

Nip negative thoughts in the bud. Especially thoughts of the awful. Awfulizing paralyzes. It keeps you from growing. It keeps you from moving forward.

Where do you want to be in five years? Ten? If you’re like most people, you want to be more prosperous, to be as healthy as possible, experiencing joy and fulfillment more often than not, and to be a more loving person.

Direct your thoughts toward those goals, then. You will still feel some fear when you take the risks necessary to achieve your goals and live your dreams, but the strength of your positive thoughts will overpower it.

And your bad habit of awfulizing will be a distant memory.

{ 0 comments }

The Pitfalls Of Early Financial Independence

I hinted in this blog post that the “financial independence, early retirement” (F.I.R.E.) concept has potential pitfalls. This revelation might startle a lot of people, because isn’t super-early retirement a lofty and noble goal to have? Doesn’t it mean that you spend most of your life spending most of your time the way you really want?

Yes…if you are disciplined enough. The sad fact is, however, that most people are not so disciplined at this moment, and – despite their best efforts – many will never be.

I’m going to say something controversial: Some people have no business trying to retire before age fifty-five. Why? To answer that, we need to look at the four big potential pitfalls of being part of the FIRE movement.

Pitfall #1: Overspending.

If you are going to retire super-early, you must be able to keep a keen eye on your accounts. This doesn’t mean you have to live a life of depravity if you quit working at age forty, but it does mean you always have to know the state of your investments and be able to modify your spending accordingly.

Even if you invest using the Ivy or Permanent Portfolio, the two safest ways to invest and still obtain a decent annual return, the value of your assets will drop down at times.

People who have trouble reining in their desire for the latest and greatest thing – or even from making frequent thrift or dollar store purchases – are in danger of ending up homeless if they retire before they hit their fifties, possibly their sixties. This is true especially if they end up living to 100 years of age.

Pitfall #2: Not having extra cushion for emergencies.

In the post where I discuss why Suze Orman despises the FIRE movement (linked in the first line of this post), I argue that the people planning to retire super-early responsibly plan out their finances, including leaving room for emergencies. However, it is a legitimate danger, so I wanted to discuss it for a moment.

A person may get tempted to only grow their nest egg large enough to account for their usual expenses in the current economy, and then quit working. Even if you have health and home insurance, and include these in your expenses, this isn’t wise. First of all, there are insurance deductibles. Second of all, you never know when a catastrophe might befall you that goes beyond what your insurance might cover.

J and I choose not to buy health insurance. We know we have enough of a cushion in our investments to handle large, unexpected expenses. And we know that insurance is much more likely to be more expensive in the long run than paying out of pocket.

Here’s a real life example. In the fall of 2014, I broke my left humerus bone to the tune of a total of $25,000 out-of-pocket expenses, including all the X-rays, surgery, and basic doctor visit fees – not to mention the very expensive screws that now live in my arm forever. It’s now February of 2019, and we haven’t had a medical expense since. If we had been buying health insurance, we would have paid at least $48,000 to the health insurance company by now. We’ve saved at least $23,000 by choosing to pay for medical expenses out of pocket.

And yes, our nest egg is big enough to handle more than $25K at one shot, if necessary.

But if you don’t provide for emergency expenses in your nest egg, you may find yourself looking for a job a few years after you retire.

Pitfall #3: Ignoring inflation.

Supposedly, in thirty years things are going to cost two to three times what they do now. Economists aren’t always accurate, but it’s a safe bet that the cost of living will go up a substantial amount during that time period.

When you figure out what your nest egg needs to be in order to be able to declare financial independence, you need to take future inflation into consideration. If you’re going to be impatient and quit your job with $600,000 because that’s all you need in the current economy, you’re going to be in trouble twenty years from now.

Be patient, or get out of the FIRE.

Pitfall #4: Losing your social network.

This danger isn’t huge in the aspect of financial future risk. However, for many people, their pool of friends comes in large part from their workplace. If you quit your job at a relatively young age, regardless of your intentions you may find yourself growing distant from those friends at a rapid speed. For one thing, you will no longer have the workplace or career in common. For another, social media posts pale in comparison to daily face-to-face contact.

If you’re an extrovert and therefore thrive on having a lot of people around, tread the FIRE waters carefully. You will have to figure out how to replace the social network of your job. If you don’t, you might find you were happier working at a job that didn’t fulfill you than with having hours and hours of free time and no one to share it with.

Pitfall #5: Boredom.

Take it from someone who knows: retiring super-early can get boring. And I write novels, create videos, and juggle two blogs!

Many people out there don’t have any hobbies, or any interests they would turn into a hobby once they had the time by quitting their full-time job. They see financial independence, early retirement as a destination rather than a new path offering different opportunities, different ways to spend their time.

We know this by the studies that have been done about people who retire at the conventional age, then die within ten years – often sooner. According to research, the people to whom this happens are retirees who had no hobbies or volunteer work. They retired to their couch and T.V. remote.

People who have nothing to do and no sense of purpose are unhealthy people.

If you want to be part of the financial independence, retire early crowd, you must have some inkling of how you will spend your time once you are out of the rat race. HINT: sitting around all day playing video games isn’t healthy, either!

If you’re planning to do nothing once you retire, stay at your nine-to-five job. You’ll be happier and live longer.

BONUS Pitfall

Your friends and family may try to talk you out of your goal to join the “financial independence, retire early” group. They may think you’re crazy.

If there is one pitfall to ignore, this would be it. Never let the fears of other people dictate your life.

NEVER.

*******************************

It’s exhilarating to be able to check off the days until you will be able to tell your boss to take this job and…give it to someone else. However, if you’re serious about FIRE, you need to do your due diligence in avoiding the above pitfalls (though it’s probably impossible to avoid the bonus pitfall).

Want a detailed roadmap about how to achieve super-early retirement? Click here to check out my book Hatching The Nest Egg: Achieve Super-Early Retirement Without Side Gigs, Gambling, Or An Above-Average Income.

{ 0 comments }

Is A Vegan Diet The Healthiest Diet?

Is a vegan diet the healthiest diet? Before I write another word, let me clarify something: vegans and vegans ALONE consume a vegan diet. A vegan lives by the philosophy that killing animals and allowing them to suffer is unethical. I titled the article as I did because I know most people are going to search “veganism” or “vegan diet” when they really mean “plant-based diet.”

Vegans consume a plant-based diet. They also don’t wear clothes made out of fabric made from animal-based fibers, use products that have been tested on animals, or believe it’s okay to breed pets. Vegans object to the existence of zoos, aquariums, and circuses. Many object to the use of service animals, such as using dogs to guide the blind or horses as transportation.

If you don’t mind about any of those things, but eat a plant-based diet, then you eat a plant-based diet, not a vegan diet. Only vegans eat a vegan diet. That said, let’s address the question at hand: is a plant-based diet the healthiest diet?

There are two main camps of health-conscious people. One insists that you cannot be healthy without consuming at least some animal products every day. The other insists that including animal products in your diet, especially the non-swimming animals, will eventually take a toll on your health. Is it any wonder people are confused about what constitutes a truly healthy diet?

Let me bring some clarification to the table by giving you some direct quotes from the book Vegan For Life by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina. Quote number one: “One analysis of five large studies showed that the risk of dying from heart disease was 24% lower for vegetarians compared with meat-eaters.”

If you hang out with the Paleo or Weston A. Price crowd for any length of time, you’ll hear claims that eating foods high in cholesterol can actually help to bring your blood cholesterol down. Besides the fact that that doesn’t even make sense, the numbers tell a different story. The National Cholesterol Education Program has found that both the total cholesterol and the levels of LDL cholesterol are notably lower for vegans than even for pescatarians, or people who consume a plant-based diet that includes fish and seafood.

Omnivores, on the other hand, have the highest levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. And research bears out the fact that the lower your blood cholesterol level, the lower your rate of developing heart disease.

Study after study about high blood pressure has shown that vegans who eat healthy foods (as opposed to junk food vegans) have lower blood pressure and a greatly reduced risk of developing hypertension than meat-eaters. Research also reveals that people who refrain from consuming animal products have an overall lower body mass index than even semi-vegetarians, not to mention daily consumers of meat.

In addition, a recent study of Seventh Day Adventists shows that, and here I quote from the book again, “vegans were less than half as likely to have diabetes when compared with meat eaters.”

Vegans are less likely than meat-eaters to develop gallstones, renal stones, or intestinal problems. And vegetarians – not necessarily vegans – are less likely to develop dementia as they age.

What about cancer? For decades, vegans have enjoyed blaming the disease on meat. But is there hard evidence of that fact? Nope. Another quote from Vegan For Life: “A few studies have found that vegetarians have lower cancer rates compared to omnivores, but most haven’t shown any difference between the two groups.”

But don’t start celebrating yet, you Paleo and traditional foods eaters. Red and processed meats have been linked to a higher risk for colon and stomach cancer. Some studies suggest that teenage girls who eat meat have a higher risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

Although definitive evidence that vegans are much less likely to develop cancer than non-vegans has yet to be found, cancer experts have come to the conclusion that eating more fruits and vegetables and reducing animal fat in your diet are major elements that protect against the disease. Health-conscious vegans already have the advantage here.

In general, then, it would seem that a plant-based diet – a healthy, nutrient-dense plant-based diet, that is – is, indeed, superior to a diet that includes any kind of animal products. But while I am convinced of the health benefits of replacing animal products with nutritious plant foods, and myself consume a vegan diet, I need to play devil’s advocate for a minute.

I think it’s safe to say that most vegans are health-conscious people, and so do not consume much processed food. It’s also safe to say that most people who eat meat and eggs and drink milk are not all that health-conscious. I say that based on my own observations. Paleo and Weston A. Price enthusiasts, who tend to avoid processed foods and aim to eat more nutrient-dense foods than average, do not constitute the majority of the meat-eating population.

So, that leaves a huge, important question: all those studies that show that vegans have healthier hearts and a lower risk for a variety of diseases, is it really because they don’t eat meat, or is it because most meat-eaters eat potato chips instead of apples and canned corn instead of leafy green vegetables? In other words, could it be that the difference is not whether or not meat is in the diet, but whether or not the rest of the diet is healthy and nutrient-dense? Now, that’s a game changer.

Except for that one guy who sent Paleo diet guru Robb Wolf an e-mail which Wolf read on his podcast. Basically, the e-mailer said, “I’m doing everything right, not eating grains or processed foods and eating several pounds of meat a day. But I just got my blood work done and my cholesterol levels are through the roof!”

Robb Wolf, I am sad to say and to the detriment of his deceived listener, blew the whole thing off. “Gee, maybe your cholesterol levels are naturally supposed to be 350.” Other meat advocates would laugh it off, saying, “It was just that one guy.”

No, it wasn’t. There is nothing new under the sun, and if a high meat, high-cholesterol, high-saturated fat diet deteriorates the health of one person, it is deteriorating the health of many. Not all, necessarily, but enough. Too many. And the scary thing is, many people who get enthusiastic about a particular kind of eating lifestyle will never bother to have their blood work done because the guru said it was healthy, so it must be true.

Still, what are we to do with the question of whether eating meat per se is the cause of heart disease and other conditions of ill health? Is a plant-based diet the healthiest diet, or not?

Ethics aside, my personal opinion is that if you otherwise eat a nutrient-dense diet and choose to eat a few eggs a week or three ounces of lean meat a day, your body can probably handle it. The key is getting all the nutrition your body needs, and to do that you have to make sure you leave room for an abundance of nutrient-dense foods.

The Paleo and Weston A. Price people can talk until they’re blue in the face, but the fact is that most meat-eaters, health conscious or not, are going to eat the not-nutrient-dense muscle meat most, if not all, of the time. They are going to avoid the nutritious organ meats like the plague.

As to determining the healthiest diet, it will be one which greatly lowers the risk of developing all manner of disease. For the moment, all we have to go on are imperfect studies (because no study is flawless), and the studies are on the side of not just a mostly plant-based, but a 100% plant-based diet.

{ 0 comments }

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)