Category Archives: Married Life

Attraction is a feeling. Love is a promise.

Love is a promise - Cover ver 1 - no LHS Marriage can be a satisfying and exciting life-journey for a man and a woman who love each other.  However, the significant number of divorced and separated persons indicates that there is a fundamental problem with their marriage preparation.

The dreaded phrases “I just don’t love you anymore” and “where has the love gone” are common among those who mistook their intense feelings of attraction as love.

Attraction is not love.  However, people can be forgiven for making this mistake, because the various love songs, novels, and movies promote the idea that when people share a mutual attraction for each-other, then they are in love.  Attraction is an emotional force that we can feel, while love is a promise to do four progressively challenging things.

Promise number 1 is to accept her exactly as she is right now, with everything that you know and do not know about her – and there is much that you do not know.

Promise number 2 is to accept everything about her as she ages – for better or worse, richer or poorer, health or sickness.

Promise number 3 is to forgive her.  Neither of you is perfect; therefore, you will both make mistakes, and you will both need to depend on each others’ forgiveness.

Promise number 4 is to encourage her.  This provides purpose for the marriage.

These promises are completed or consummated with sexual intercourse after they are formally made at your wedding.  If the promises are not completed, then the marriage can easily be annulled.  To demonstrate your intention to keep your promises, and not reject her for a younger and more shapely rival as she ages, you must restrain yourself from sexual intercourse until after you have formally made your promises.  If you are able to restrain yourself while your level of attraction is at its highest with her, then you show her that you are capable of resisting the future temptations that are certain to come from others.

The couple who is ready to make and keep their promises of love is ready to get married.  Spouses of those with no intention of keeping these promises endure a life sentence of misery.  Do not join them.

I wrote this, my sixth book, to help men and couples understand if they are ready to make and keep these promises.  The official web-site with discussions is linked here.  However, you may purchase the $8.00 book here or at here, which describes this brief summary in greater detail.

Best regards,


What do Women Want

Dear Readers:

The 14th February is Valentines Day, and many women will expect to receive something special from their partners. Valentines Day is therefore an opportunity for husbands to demonstratively remind their wives, in an extraordinary way, that they still love them.

After Valentines Day has passed, some women may find themselves unfulfilled and want something more from their husbands. Some women may actually feel guilty for wanting something more when they consider all that their husbands have already done for them. Women generally do not elucidate these desires to their husbands. They somehow expect that their mates should already know what they want. Some men recognise that their wives want something more from them but they cannot seem to grasp what it is.

What then do women really want from their husbands? A plethora of books continue to be written on this subject, yet the answer still seems to elude both sexes, and has probably perplexed men for millennia. After many years of marriage, many men continue to report that they still do not know what their wives really want. If a woman’s desires are hidden from her husband, then he can become frustrated and can eventually resign to the position that he will never know what his wife wants. A woman can also become frustrated at her husband’s disinterest in fulfilling this undefined need and can resign to the position that her husband will never understand what she really wants.

Both the frustrated and resigned partners can realize the answer by analysing a woman’s frequent criticisms and requests. This analysis reveals that women generally want their husbands to be more thoughtful towards them. While this knowledge is valuable, it can only be beneficial if there is implementation, and that is where the challenge occurs for many men.

It is relatively easy for women to be thoughtful towards their husbands. Women’s brains are designed to enable them to concentrate on more than one subject at a time. Therefore she can concentrate on her work or studies while also thinking about her husband.

A man’s brain is designed differently. Men generally cannot concentrate on more than one subject at any one time. Whatever occupies his mind tends to fully occupy his mind, and if he becomes distracted, then the distraction tends to fully occupy his mind. Men therefore have the ability to have a subject fully occupy their minds to the exclusion of all other subjects, including attending to their own welfare.

Women can learn to become more thoughtful by improving learned behaviours. However, men must address a fundamental physiological challenge. If this challenge is successfully addressed, then the benefits to the marriage are invaluable, and can result in both partners enjoying a relatively high level of contentment in a marriage. Men should not feel guilty or frustrated that they do not think about their wives all day while concentrating on their work. They should simply accept that they are men and try to identify the correct tool for the job.

There are various tools that a man can use in this regard. Diaries and calendars are some of the more popular. Men can assign at least one day each month where they plan something special for their wives. Some of the more popular plans include taking her out to lunch, dinner, dessert, or planning a weekend vacation. These plans should be assigned a high priority to increase the likelihood of them being implemented.

A man will tend to become more thoughtful as he demonstratively assigns a higher priority to his wife in relation to his other responsibilities. Men should therefore not try to change the way that they were created. Rather they should seek to employ the necessary tools to enable them to address any challenge without denying, rejecting, or trying to change their maleness.

On that note, I will shortly be taking on different responsibilities, which would necessitate me taking a leave of absence from writing this column for a few weeks. I wish to thank you for your interest in these articles.


Grenville Phillips II

Perpetuating the Human Race

Dear Readers:

The demands and sacrifices required of a woman in order for her to adequately care for her unborn child are difficult for men to fully comprehend. The emotional, mental, and physical effects of a pregnancy can at times reportedly seem unbearable. Women therefore cannot be fully compensated for their role in perpetuating the human race.

A supportive husband is an important component of the pregnancy process. His support is mainly emotional as his wife experiences times of anxiety and fear in response to changes to her body. A husbands’ reassurance of love towards his wife and unborn child, and his commitment to their marriage, can help to eliminate these fears. Without this support, the anticipated disruption and the imagined loss of physical attractiveness can lead a woman to contemplate terminating the life of her unborn child.

Barbadian young women cannot escape being bombarded with messages that promote premarital sex. The popular songs, television shows, movies, and role models encourage this behaviour. It is also promoted as being normal at many national entertainment events and secondary schools. The excessive pressure that we have placed on this generation of teenage girls to engage in premarital sex can only result in a relatively high rate of unplanned pregnancies.

Various surveys have shown that many of our teenage girls are sexually active. The practice of vigorously promoting this behaviour among our young women therefore seems to have been effective. As expected, many of our single young women have also found themselves with an unplanned pregnancy.

Pregnancy was previously viewed as a responsibility to care for the unborn child. Pregnancy is currently being promoted as an opportunity to make a choice of whether to end the pregnancy, or to allow the baby to be born. Information is therefore provided on the options available, both through counselling and literature. However, there seems to be an imbalance in the type of information provided to young women, which does not allow them to make an informed choice.

There is ample information provided to young women that supports terminating the life of her unborn child. Some of the topics can include: population control, unplanned pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy, lifestyle disruption, financial ability to adequately care for the child, and the physical, mental, and emotional effects of the pregnancy on the mother. In addition to these, the baby is described as mere tissue, which can have the effect of minimizing the consequences of aborting the pregnancy.

The choice of whether to end the life of an unborn child is perhaps the most critical decision that a mother can make. The emotional effects of an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy are complicated by the absence of a supportive husband. This emotional state does not facilitate rational decision-making. Providing the mother with unbalanced and misleading information during this time, and then expecting her to make an informed choice is irresponsible.

Before our young women are confronted with such a decision, they should be provided with balanced information. This can include information about the options available to her if she decides to keep her baby, the stages of development of her unborn child, and the procedures that are used to terminate a pregnancy. The main option available is to give the baby the opportunity of being loved and cared for by adopted parents. There are many such persons on long waiting lists around the world.

The stages of human development are as follows. On the day of conception, the sperm joins with ovum to form a living cell that contains the genetic information for every detail of a person’s development, including their sex, height, and skin colour. At this point, the woman becomes a mother with a responsibility of caring for this new life. The baby’s heart begins to beat by the 21st day. At 8 weeks old, everything that can be found in an adult human is found in the unborn child, and its body responds to touch.

Three methods of ending a pregnancy are currently being used. It would not be appropriate to describe them here. However, many doctors who have watched video footage of the reaction of babies to these abortion procedures are reportedly horrified at what they have done.


Grenville Phillips II

A Cry for Freedom

Dear Readers:

Oppressed persons around the world have a legitimate reason to cry for freedom. The cry may start quietly and can reach a state of civil disobedience or even civil war. In Barbados, there are no comparable oppressed persons and the main cries for freedom are heard in relationships.

The more vocal cries come from children who do not understand the safety that results from boundaries set by their parents. In their desire to act without parental restraint, they cry for the freedom to pursue activities that can have long-term harmful consequences. Children do not always appreciate parental authority and discipline; however, when they become adults, they are either grateful for having been restrained, or regret not having been sufficiently restrained. Children’s cries for freedom from responsible parental set boundaries should therefore not be entertained.

The second major cry for freedom is typically silent, and comes from husbands or wives who feel trapped in a marriage relationship. Marriages can become partnerships, or they can degenerate into adversarial and apathetic type relationships.

In a partnership, each member wants the freedom to make mistakes and have such mistakes treated as part of their developmental process rather than being criticised for them. Each partner recognises that the partnership consists of two imperfect people who will inevitably make mistakes during the lifelong relationship. Mistakes are opportunities to review the incident and result in a renewed commitment to improve the relationship, while recognising that many more mistakes may be made before such improvement is evident.

Adversarial type relationships view the marriage from a different perspective. Mistakes or failed expectations become opportunities for criticism, shame and embarrassment. Unlike the partnership relationship, neither party feels confident that if they happened to make a mistake, or did something that fell below their spouse’s expectations, that they would be completely forgiven. Adultery is a special case not covered in this article.

If the relationship degenerates to the apathetic stage, then each partner has accepted that his or her desires will not be met, and has essentially stopped trying to improve the relationship. The typical justification is that a state of apathy is necessary to avoid arguments and to achieve a state of quietness in the home. Regrettably, the relationship does not develop into a partnership without the combined efforts of both partners.

If each partner were perfect, then there would be no disappointments from failed expectations. In adversarial and apathetic type relationships, one or both parties can experience the stress of living in the fear of not achieving someone else’s subjective standard of perfection. This can become a state of bondage where the silent cries are the loudest.

Married persons desire that their relationship become a partnership where they are appreciated for the things that they remembered to do, and not reminded about the things that they forgot to do. Where they feel encouraged for the commitments that they kept, and not reminded about the commitments that they broke. Where they feel loved for the times that they brought joy, and not reminded about the times when they caused sadness.

Fortunately, it is possible for adversarial and apathetic type relationships to become partnerships. It is better if remedial action is taken before the dominant party has extinguished all residual attraction. However, even if the attraction has been extinguished, it can be rekindled with love.

Love means to accept the other partner exactly as they are with all of their perceived faults, and to provide an environment in the home where they can flourish. This environment is one where criticism, shame, embarrassment, and nagging are absent. Where problems are discussed free from accusations and with the sole purpose of improving the marriage. It is also an environment where simple pleasures are enjoyed and not extinguished, where sacrifices are given and not demanded, where forgiveness is offered and not begged for, and where patience becomes second nature to both partners.

While a partnership should aim for a peaceful and pleasurable co-existence, this is simply a means to facilitate the execution of their purpose, which they should define together prior to or during their marriage.


Grenville Phillips II

The Pursuit of Happiness

Dear Readers:

No one can keep another person happy. Those who make such promises to their partners are intentionally or unintentionally deceiving themselves and their partners. When one partner realizes that they are no longer happy in a marriage relationship, then this excuse is typically used to justify any destructive behaviour that they may choose to pursue. Today, we shall place the concept of happiness in the balance.

Some people believe that they can be happy once they obtain: financial security, a large house, a large car, a prominent job, fame, power, a spouse, or children. Among those who have obtained such things or relationships, there are people who are both happy and unhappy. Also, among those who do not have these things, even though they desire them, there are people who are also both happy and unhappy. Also, among those who are contented with what they have, there are people who are both happy and unhappy.

Therefore happiness is not by attained by obtaining wealth, fame, power, or relationships, or being contented with what one has. What then triggers the feelings of happiness and why do they subside? Is it possible to retain such feelings for a lifetime? We can find answers to these and ancillary questions by examining what happens when we are happy.

People are generally happy with new responsibilities, including new jobs, new cars, new houses or apartments, new relationships, babies, new vacations, and new wealth. New responsibilities are generally perceived of as blessings or gifts to which people feel grateful or thankful. The expressed attitude of thankfulness automatically generates feelings of happiness. Happiness then is a natural emotional response to being thankful.

The loss of happiness occurs when events associated with the new responsibilities result in unpleasant experiences. People are not generally thankful for unpleasant experiences, and with the absence of thankfulness, there is nothing to stimulate feelings of happiness.

There are pleasant and unpleasant experiences associated with all responsibilities. A project at work may require some time sacrifices away from one’s family, the car may break down and require repairs, the house will require maintenance, the child may misbehave and need correction, and it may rain during your vacation. In the mist of the unpleasant experiences, it is very easy to transfer feelings of disappointment from the temporary event causing the unpleasant experience to the responsibility or the gift. Some even declare that the responsibility is a curse and not a blessing.

We are not thankful for the child’s disobedience, but for the gift of the child, through whom we have the responsibility of influencing the next generation to do good by teaching our children to be responsible. We are not thankful for the deteriorating paint and cracked floor tiles, but for the gift of a house that offers us shelter and a place to entertain others. We are not thankful for the flat tyre but for the gift of a car through which we can transport others in relative comfort. We are not thankful for the failed expectations in a marriage relationship, but for the gift of a spouse and the opportunity to develop together to influence future generations.

It is important to refocus on our gifts or blessings, and not on the unpleasant experiences that may occur during the day-to-day operation and maintenance activities associated with our responsibilities. When the absence of feelings of happiness negatively affects our behaviour, then it is time for us to refocus on our gifts and express our gratitude to God and others responsible for these gifts.

Happiness is not something that we simply wait for. It depends on our own attitude towards things and people in our life. If we do not recognise our many blessings, then we will not feel the need to express our gratitude to God or someone else, and therefore happiness may rarely come our way. However, if we recognise that a car, apartment, house, family, friend, job, church, and responsibilities are blessings, and we continuously express our gratitude for them, then we can always be happy regardless of the quality of our experiences.