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Don’t squeeze the charm out of your marriage

“Charm is the glue that holds marriages together. Charm is your passport to the best houses and the best bedrooms in those houses. . .Every day begins with a couple of people getting out of bed. Every day ends with those people crawling into it again. . .even if you don’t carry it (charm) around all day with you, like a handbag or brief-case, you need it—and lots of it—all night.”  –“Bed Manners, 1942”

Is it so different now?  Is charm a thing of the past?  What makes someone charming?  What makes someone stop being charming?

“There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship,…or company than a good marriage.” –Martin Luther

Why do some husbands and wives stop being charming to one another?  Old-school thinking: “I’ve already got ’em, so…”  New-school response: Um, do you wanna keep ’em (interested)?

Over time, those cute little mannerisms that once were so delightful and charming become tired, annoying, and even repulsive. Do we see it coming? Or do we wake up one morning and decide that we’re over it?

Does your sweetheart get on your last nerve when they call you in the middle of your lunchtime?  Did it bother you when you were dating?

Do you stop what you’re doing to hug and kiss when they walk in the door at the end of the day? Remember when you couldn’t wait?

Do you cut him/her off mid-sentence?  Do you walk away because you know what they’re going to say?  Do you blurt a sarcastic response, or let out an impatient sigh?  Remember when you’d listen to their every word in a caring and patient manner?

Do you still express interest in their hobby? Remember when you used to be their biggest cheerleader?

Remember when:

you used to open her door?

you used to make or buy him his favorite dessert?

you used to say “I love you” often?

you used to say “excuse me” if you burped or passed gas?

you used to shut the door when using the restroom?

you used to put on lipstick or try to look put together?

you used to put on a clean shirt and even a little cologne?

you used to say “please” and “thank you”?

you used to throw out a compliment now and then?

you used to keep your snide comments about his/her parents to yourself?

And then, you got comfortable, complacent, or too busy.

Maintaining (or reintroducing) a little charm can keep the relationship from getting stale, bitter, boring, and even unkind. It all starts with the smallest word or gesture.  

If you feel awkward taking on all of the above, start with one and see how it goes.

Important note: If you are the recipient of a kind gesture or word, do NOT respond negatively or with skepticism. When someone gives you a gift, do you shoot it down or give it back?  …same thing.

I highly recommend that you avoid the following responses and versions of them:

•       What d’ya do now? (arms crossed)

•       What’s going on with you?

•       Whoa, there’s a first!

•       What did I do to deserve this treatment? (sarcastic tone, of course)

•       It’s about time you treated me like you used to!

•       This is just weird.

•       I guess you expect me to gush all over you for that?

•       What, did you talk to your mother or something?

•       My brother’s wife always makes him a “real” breakfast, I just get this egg?
Charm does not equal formality. Charm is simply a way of pleasing someone, hence looking more attractive to them. Now who doesn’t want that!  

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Rosalinda Oropeza Randall, born in Los Angeles, California, is a modern-day expert on tact and civility. She naturally eased into the field of etiquette due to her upbringing. Not a “finger bowl” lifestyle, but one filled with courtesy, tact, humilit… Read More


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