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Rules for married and mature women

A POINT OF AWARENESS - Preciosa S. Soliven - The Philippine Star

(Part II of “Tips for Women Who are Still Searching for Mr. Right”)

If you did the Rules when you were dating your husband, you don’t have to consciously play hard to get anymore. Your husband is naturally crazy about you. He still finds you interesting and exciting, even years later. He sees you as the prom queen and considers himself lucky to have won your affection and that feeling never goes away. You have a wonderful sense of security.

Rules husbands are very involved

Max and I were a Rules couple. He was eight years older and part of the Manila Times editorial staff when he met me at a New Year square dance party for Catholic boys and girls’ colleges held in their house. I was 17, a Junior Nutrition major student at St. Scholastica’s College.

Daily phone calls followed and weekend visits or dates – chaperoned by my friend Jean Hammond, who later became a starlet. My Spanish-speaking grandfather loved chatting with Max recalling his experiences in the Battle of Guadalupe because Max was a military buff. To graduate, I did a 250-page undergraduate research paper which Max volunteered to type. On Valentine’s Day, a month after meeting me, he gave a surprise sit-down dinner at the new Press Club exclusively for his family to meet me. This spun off the rest of 49 years of marriage when every Valentine was a major celebration, even if I were off on a UNESCO mission in Europe.

Rules are what husbands like to do just about everything as a couple or a family. They take marriage very seriously. They don’t complain about marriage. They’re always calling. They initiate romance, and buy flowers or romantic gifts for your birthday, anniversary or Valentines Day. (And they remember all three without your help!)

Suggestions to improve your marriage

START WITH YOUR LOOKS – If your husband is not paying attention to you, is it in any way warranted? Take a good look at yourself! Have you gained a lot of weight? (Is the treadmill in your bedroom being used just to hang clothes?) When was the last time you had a manicure or new hairstyle? Do you need some new stylish/sexy clothes? Appearance counts and there is no reason why your husband shouldn’t find you hot and sexy. Pretend you’re dating him all over again!

USE YOUR MIND – Some women complain that their husbands aren’t interested in them when the truth is they are doing little or nothing to make their own lives meaningful. Just as we told single women to “Fill up before the date” in The Rules, we encourage married women to get involved in something outside their relationship with their husbands. It could be their work, their friends, volunteer for charity work, furthering their education, taking up a hobby or sport, or simply reading the newspaper or a book.

DON’T ANALYZE YOUR RELATIONSHIP OR FORCE HIM TO TALK ABOUT IT – It’s no secret that women like to talk about their feelings and the “relationship” more than men do. If you feel the need to have a heart talk with your husband, but suspect that he’s not interested at that very moment, a good Rules credo is to wait. Talk to a friend instead. It is rarely a good conversation when he is not in the mood.

DON’T BE A NAG – Don’t constantly complain about the lack of money, the size  of your house. What needs to be done in the house, or tell him what your friends have and what you don’t have. Hopefully, you married for love, not the other reason. Remember that, and don’t let your relationship become adversarial. Instead of trying to make your husband feel inadequate, focus on the positive. Tell him how happy you are with him, your life, and your marriage. Say things nicely. Nothing dampens a loving relationship like yelling or finding faults. Even if you are frazzled, try not to pick on your husband or point out his weakness.

DON’T BE JEALOUS – Instead of worrying about every woman he talks to at a party, put your energy into being confident and having fun at the party yourself. Don’t cling to his side, but walk around and mingle. Jealousy is a chink in your armor. Your husband should not think that you would be lost without him. Rules women actually think the opposite. They tell themselves, “Any man would be lucky to have me!”      

BE QUICK TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY, PREFERABLY FIRST – Fighting is a normal part of married life, but Rules women try not to yell all the time, nurse grudges, hand on to resentments, or turn a minor argument into a major ordeal. When you have a fight, try not to be mean or spiteful. Don’t go to bed angry and try to make up first. You’ll be glad you did.

LOCK THE BEDROOM DOOR – Your children may initially feel left out and throw tantrums. But when they grow up, they will remember that their parents had special time together. They will be better equipped to create intimate marriages themselves.

Starting over – rules for the mature woman

If you are an older woman, The Rules may come as no surprise to you. You probably agree with our ideas more than your 25- or 35-year-old daughters. We have heard from separated women who said that their first marriage ended in divorce – not necessarily because they pursued their husbands, but for other reasons.

For example, they married a good friend – someone whom they felt affection for, but no passion – and their marriage and sex life reflected it. They married because of social pressures to do so – they did not want to be spinsters. They did not recognize the signs, or they chose to ignore them. They thought, “My love will change him,” and married an alcoholic, a gambler, or a womanizer and lived to regret it. Love was not enough. They did not create an interesting life of their own and became completely dependent on their husbands, which drove them away.

Finding yourself in the dating market

Don’t let yourself go. Remember, you are a creature unlike any other. This rule applies to older women as much as 25-year-olds. It has nothing to do with age. It is mental. Think you are beautiful and worthwhile and you will be! Think positive. Keep your mind occupied with interesting ideas, activities, people, and reading material and you will be interesting. You will have something to talk about on dates other than your doctors’ visits and grandchildren. Be old-fashioned about dating, but youthful about your attitude and looks.

 (For feedback, email to [email protected])

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