How My Wife & I Broke 4 Different Laws on our 15th Wedding Anniversary

Suncadia Resort
Suncadia Resort

Okay, I have to admit that I used the title to get you interested in reading my blog, but I’m fairly certain that my lovely wife and I did break at least 4 laws during our anniversary weekend.  I can’t tell you what they are because, well as I said, we broke them!  I may at least give you a hint if you keep reading, but my point is that I don’t want people to think love and passion fizzles in the forties.  Think about what younger people see on TV.  Every Viagra commercial has a good-looking middle-aged man on them.  I wonder if the younger audience is watching and thinking, “Shit man, my willy is about to die any day now!”  Sure, the willy can wonder & slumber for some, but here is the good news youngins…it isn’t as common as you are lead to believe.  The plumbing rarely starts rusting in the forties!

When I was in my twenties and early thirties I thought that romance and marriage in my forties (almost 50s) would be boring and lame. And what I want you to know is that is entirely up to you.  You can choose whether or not midlife is a time to light the fire or you can begin a downward spiral of sexual and physical boredom.

I want to challenge all of us to begin seeking out ways to enjoy our lives every single day.  And I want to convey that the midlife years can be the best time to begin doing so.  Our twenties and thirties are the years many of us were so busy focused on “climbing the ladder” that we missed the many blessings that surrounded us.  We didn’t fully embrace and enjoy life.

When the forties arrive you begin to realize life is going too fast, and you feel challenged to enjoy being physically active.  You simply realize the days of running, jumping, and well…humping may be gone before you know it!  And so you have a choice to make as to how you will accept that reality.  Some of you may be hitting your forties and saying, “I’m too old to ___________.”  Well I want to challenge you to start saying, “I’m too old not to _______________.”  You still want to know what laws Amy and I broke?  All I will say is that 3 out of the 4 involved indecent exposure.  Go have some fun!

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Want a GREAT marriage? Then CLICK HERE to Speak Their Language

Amy and I will be celebrating our 15 YEAR WEDDING ANNIVERSARY this week!  And if I could only give you one piece of advice it would be to read “The Five Love Languages.”  Believe it or not, you and your significant other don’t speak the same language.  Yeah, you knew that already, but you should buy the book to learn their language.  But that will only be the first step.  You then must begin to speak it!

Click here to order the book from Amazon:  The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

Want to have AMAZING Relationships? Then read my, “ABCs of A Healthy Relationship”.

oopsI was recently in someone’s home and noticed a stone tablet that I absolutely loved.  On the tablet was what I would call the Relationship Alphabet, and for each letter there was very brief relationship advice.  Over the next several days I would like to share some of the advice with you.  A is for “Admit Mistakes” and I’m not sure people fully understand how powerful this step can be in improving their relationships. There is another way of saying “admit your mistake” and that would be, “Say you are sorry“, but maybe that will be S!

I was raised in a home where both my parent were willing to say they were sorry so this comes easy to me.  Well that and I screw up often, and I have had a lot of practice!  Many of you may be reading this and saying, “Tony my honey bunny never ever admits they are wrong and I…I always have to say I’m sorry first.”  I know that can be difficult, but if it opens up the lanes of communication and thus forgiveness then just keep taking the high road.  If it isn’t leading to forgiveness and resolution then I would highly recommend finding a good marriage counselor.  Now, let’s think about another situation for a moment.  What happens when two people who can’t admit their mistakes get together?

When two stubborn people argue and hurt one another, but never admit they are wrong or say “I’m sorry” then how do they resolve conflict?  They don’t…they simply go back to pretending that it never happened, and there is no resolution to the problem.  Therefore, as time goes by the pain and resentment are stored in their emotional and relational vault called the heart.  Eventually the vault (heart) becomes full of all those things that tear people apart, and ironically they may describe it as a feeling of emptiness.  The heart is far from being empty, and in fact it is overflowing with emotional damage.  You see, when people learn to say they are truly sorry and admit they are wrong then issues can be resolved, and the healing can begin to take place.  Thus, the space in your heart can be filled with what it was designed for…love.

Tony Russell, MA, LMHC (inactive)

If you have some thoughts or questions please feel free to send me an email below.  Also, PLEASE hit a share button below to let your friends on Facebook, Twitter, & etc. know about The Next Half.  

His wife’s NOT a mother or pregnant, but she’d like a Mother’s Day gift. He wants to know what to do…HEAR MY ADVICE

Two big questions come in for the Ten Minutes with Tony Podcast:

  1. Should a guy buy his NON-PREGNANT wife a Mother’s Day gift?  She would like one!
  2. A woman asks if her hubby’s birthday gift is lame or lovely?

Being Single in A Divorce Filled World: How Does it Affect Single Adults?

Being a midlifer I wondered how single adults are affected by the divorces taking place all around them.  Does it make them fearful of marriage?  Does it make them think marriage is a waste of time?  So I turned to Fitz in The Morning cohost Ellen Tailor to find out, and I love what she had to say and I think you will as well.  PLEASE HIT SHARE BELOW and consider subscribing to my podcast and blog.

 

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Ellen Tailor, Cohost of Fitz in The Morning & Blogger and Fashion Fanatic at What’s Ellen Tailor Wearing.

 

 

No Humor in Someone Losing Their Honey: Divorce of Russell & Ashton Wilson

russell-Wilson-Ashton-Meem-wedding-picWhen the news of Russell and Ashton Wilson filing for divorce was released I was honestly saddened and disappointed.  Not disappointed in them as individuals, but that apparently their marriage is over.  Like the many fans here in Seattle I have enjoyed seeing the pictures of the two of them visiting our local children’s hospital.  I pictured them as having a wonderful marriage full of happiness, faith, and excitement.  Even as a counselor who knows what you see is often not what you get…I allowed myself to put them on a pedestal.  I think a byproduct of moving into midlife as a man is that we get more sentimental about life and even love!  We realize how quickly life goes, and we want to see younger people enjoying every moment of it.

As a radio personality it is expected that I’ll say something comedic or controversial about the situation, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to that point with this situation.  Yes, I know they are both young, they have no children, and they will find love again, but that still doesn’t negate the fact that yet another marriage has failed.  I too filed for divorce when I was in my mid-twenties with no children involved, and it was still a very painful process.  No one is prepared for the friends and family members they lose in that process.  My point being that a divorce is always painful even if it is needed and/or wanted. There is truly life after divorce, but at the moment it is happening the world seems very dark for most.  This is especially true for those who have children, and file for divorce.  They then have to battle depression, anxiety, and the ugly one…guilt.

I simply want those of you who are thinking about getting a divorce to follow the advice my mother gave me at one time.  Do everything you can to save your marriage before walking away from it.  And by trying everything I’m talking about marital counseling, sitting down together and truly listening to what the other wants from the relationship, and being willing to make some changes and compromises.  But with all of that being said remember that you only get one life to live, and you should be happy and be treated with love and compassion.  I would never encourage someone to stay in a relationship where they are miserable, but make sure you can’t find love right where you are before moving on.  I am married to the love of my life, and I’m so glad we stuck together through the difficult times.

 

How Your Momma Could Be Killing Your Relationship

600x400-motherinlawThere are a few things that could be killing your relationship and one of them could be someone you dearly love! 

 

 

Listen and please share!

4 Easily Missed WARNING Signs that Your Relationship is in Trouble.

Road endsI read an article this morning by Nicole Yorio Jurick of REDBOOK, and I want to share some of it with you, because it rings true for the countless number of couples I’ve counseled over the years. She listed 7 warning signs that divorced couples say they missed during their marriage.  I will just list 4 of them for you and give my brief opinion:

“My husband stopped going places with me–family functions, work events, dinner parties.” – Meredith T., Philadelphia 

This often causes problems, but it doesn’t have too if you will simply communicate.  Find out why your significant other doesn’t want to go to these functions.  I had a friend who was an accountant and her husband was a mechanic.  When they attended her work related parties and events he felt very out-of-place.  He loved his wife and wanted to spend time with her, but felt like a “fish out of water” around her white-collar cronies.  Again, it usually comes back to communication.

“Whenever I walked in the door, my husband greeted me by yelling-about the phone bill, disorganized cabinets, anything and everything!” – Judy L., Pittsburgh 

This is a BIG problem in many relationships.  The spouse comes through the front door after a long day at work, and before even saying hello they begin complaining. And this can go both ways…sometimes a partner walks through the door after work and they would simply love a hug, but instead they are confronted with multiple complaints.  We’ve all heard the saying, “There is a time and place for everything.”  Give your partner time to wind down before launching the torpedo’s of torment.  You both deserve your time to vent, but it’s always better to relax and think it through first.

“She invited my in-laws on every vacation instead of having us spend time alone together.” – Nate S., Charlotte, NC 

When I do premarital counseling I’m always concerned when I hear that the couple is spending a lot of time with future in-laws.  No offense to my female readers, but often times a woman just assumes that her hubby loves spending time with her family as much as she does.  There is a reason that the ancient tradition and teachings involved the words “leave your mother and father.”

If you are dating someone who seems overly attached to their parents then you better hope you LOVE spending time with your future in-laws.  If you don’t care for them or if they simply irritate you then you are in for a rough road of love!  In fact, I would recommend that you live a minimum of a 15 minute drive from family.  And when you don’t get your way it won’t be so easy to run to mommy or daddy to complain.  And remember, of course your parents are going to take your side, because they are hearing YOUR SIDE of the story.

“He always spent money on things without telling me-on tools, electronics, etc. The tipping point was when he bought his mom a car and didn’t understand why I felt angry and betrayed when I found out.” – Sonya S., Palo Alto, CA 

This is a LOADED statement from Sonya S!  Stay with me on this one, because what I’m about to say may piss a few of you off.  First, I would guess that Sonya is trying to do something a spouse should never do…she is parenting her husband. The phrase “without telling me” sends up a red flag.  Now ladies before you start sending me hate mail please know that I agree with her point.  Her husband should have discussed major purchases with her.  However, when either a man or woman uses words or phrases associated with parenting I get concerned.

If you parent your partner then you are turning a marriage into a parent/child relationship.  And while a parent/child relationship is filled with love it is filled with ZERO intimacy.  Men, you aren’t your partner’s daddy, and ladies…you aren’t your partners momma.  After all, you’ve seen their mother or father and do you really want them to picture that when looking at you?

And with all that being said, when you get married it is no longer YOUR money. Your money becomes OUR money.  If you aren’t ready to share then don’t get married.

Need your help with “important” research: Mr. Grab-ass vs. Mr. A Time & Place for Everything

I’m not sure if the picture you see below of our royal studs is legitimate or not, but when I looked at it I asked myself, “Which one are you Tony?”  And I’m asking all of you guys that read The Next Half, which form of royalty are you?  However, ladies I’m most curious as to which TYPE you would prefer?  Please noteI’m not asking which Prince you think is the most handsome.

I’m asking you guys if you are the type of man who plays a little grab-ass every chance you get, or if you are the “there is a time and place for everything” kind of guy?  And Ladies, which type do you prefer?  Do you like a guy who can’t control himself, or a guy who only waits to be Mr.Grab-ass when he gets you home?

I would ask the guys, which type woman they prefer, but we all know that men want a woman who can’t keep their hands off of him!  Please post your comments below and please feel free to use humor!  If you need some help deciding which type you are I designed my own highly unscientific questionnaire.

The Grab-ass Preference Test:

  1. When you see your significant others butt do you think, “I need to slap it, flip it, and rub it down?”
  2. Guys, do you believe the President should have a day of recognition for the person who designed YOGA PANTS?
  3. Ladies, do you believe men should go back to wearing the 1970’s style running shorts?  The ones, that when they ran, looked like a snake was fighting off two small hamsters.

If you answered yes to ANY of those questions you love to play grab-ass.  If you answered yes to questions 1 or 2 then you may need to join a sexual addiction support group.  Thanks for playing along and I would love for you to give me your comments and share my blog on Facebook & etc. by clicking on a link below.

2 type men

How to make sure that next year’s Valentine’s Day DOESN’T suck! #marriage #relationships

ImageWell some of you have let out a sigh of relief that Valentine’s Day is over and gone.  And some of those sighs came from you who are single, and got tired of seeing roses delivered to your office without your name on them.  And there are those of you that went into Valentine’s Day in a relationship, and came out wishing you weren’t!  So my heart goes out to both of you, and I hope this next year proves to be the one where you find Mr. or Ms. Right!

There are also some of you who gave a big sigh of relief, because it was very stressful trying to find the perfect gift, the perfect restaurant, and then come up with the money to afford both.  Yes some of you pulled it off, but it was so stressful you weren’t even able to enjoy it.  So how can we all make sure next year is different?  Well let me give you a word that is really not a part of my vocabulary, which is the word “plan.”

If you are single when February 14, 2015 draws closer then here is the great news.  It will be on a Saturday, which means you won’t be at work to see all those hoochie momma’s getting roses that you…you the sexy beast in the corner cubicle deserve.  So have a plan ready.  Plan to do something that will take your mind off the fact that the men in your community are obviously blind and don’t know a real hottie when they see it.  Let me recommend what my fellow cohost Ellen Tailor did this year…she threw a big party with her other single friends.  They all came to her bachelorette pad for good wine (not whine) and cheese.  Now I don’t know what the rules were for the singlefest 2014, but I’m hoping she didn’t allow anyone to bring a date.  And then I personally think they should have gotten a limo and headed out to a well known dance club where singles hangout (yes I’m sure no one says dance clubs anymore).  So there you go, just my thought for you singles regardless of your age in 2015.

Now for those of you who are in a relationship I want to recommend you make Valentine’s Day feel less special.  Yes, I think Valentine’s Day should be a wonderful day of love, lust, and watermelon flavored lotions!  Too much info?  Well I think it should be fun and romantic, but so should the rest of your year.  Your entire year should focus on making each other feel loved and special, and then I’m going to guess there won’t be so much pressure on February 14th of every year.  Valentines Day should not be the one day out of the year that our significant other can look forward to feeling special.

I believe that part of the reason so many people feel stressed on the day of lust and love is because the rest of the year is filled with laziness.  Many of us honestly neglect each other throughout the year, which means we feel very disconnected.  So think about that for a moment.  February 14th is focused around two people who are very connected, which makes for a very awkward day when two people are disconnected.  So what do we do?  We try to make up for that disconnection with a dozen roses, and an over priced dinner in a dimly lit room.  And that may mean one or both drinks way too much wine just so they have the courage to make a move or say how they feel. Wow that’s a Hallmark moment to remember.  If you want to have an incredible Valentine’s Day in 2015 then make sure you are already connected when it arrives.  So take my advice and do your best to make the other 364 days of a year a time where you are…well…staying plugged in.  Now see, I didn’t mean it that way!  You all have filty filthy minds!