Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things that need to be said

2008 is a year of new beginnings for our family - newlyweds Justin and Kacey, Charley and Julie,  a new grandchild for Kay, a new knee (actually a couple of new knees) for Mike, a new business for Andrew and Lyndsey, and a new life for me, are just a few of the new events of this year. So for that reason I'm going to use my position as the old guy who's made all the mistakes to say a few things for the benefit of the next generation.

Divorce is not an option. I recently heard the movie star, Will Smith, make that statement when asked about the longevity of his marriage (10 years). I think that was a good message. For those of you in the next generation, this should be your mantra. God has chosen you to be together to love and serve each other. Do that.

When it comes to money - don't buy it if you don't have the money. There was a time when I would have said that idea doesn't apply to mortgages, but these days I'm not so sure. So my advice is to take a real good look at the market. Don't spend more than $50 without consulting your spouse. Take turns balancing the checkbook and paying the bills. You BOTH need to know where you stand financially EVERYDAY. Find a financial planner you trust and stay with him/her for the long term - get at least quarterly, if not monthly reports on your investments.
Before you buy anything, ask yourselves the question, "Do we NEED this, or do we WANT this?
If it's not a need don't buy it and certainly don't charge it. Enough about finances.

Intimacy. If your relationship is not intimate, make it so. Get counseling if you need it, but don't hesitate or put off what is wrong. If either of you think there is a problem, then THERE IS A PROBLEM! Communicate, even if it's uncomfortable. I guarantee you it's not more uncomfortable than divorce.

Pray. Read the Bible and join a church. Make private time for yourselves to converse with God. It will strengthen your relationship and provide a wonderful foundation for your children.

Remember - your relationship is not about control. It's about serving each other in every respect. Ask yourselves on a daily basis, "Am I making _____'s life easier or more difficult?" There's only one answer to that question that will lead to a long life together.

Early in my adult life I went to my parents several times to ask their advice. They would never give it to me saying I was an adult and they would support whatever I decided. While that sounded nice, it was not what I needed and in the long run not beneficial to me. So for those of you of the Next Generation, I want you to know I'm here for you and will not hesitate to tell you about the mistakes of my life and how you can avoid them. Use me if you need me.


MWest said...

Experience IS the best teacher. I have learned many things from you about how to do things the right way. Heck, you have been there for me since day one. I'm sure I'll be taking advantage of your offer. As a family, we should lean on each other for support and advice.
Thanks for all your support for me the past few months. You're new life is going to be fantastic. I just know it.

J Dub said...

Awesome post. If we could all just do the few things that you laid out, our marriages would undoubtedly be stronger and have little or no threat of ending prematurely.

I know the Wests here in Charleston respect you a lot, Rick, and we appreciate your words of wisdom. More than that, we appreciate you and your willingness to share. As Robbie Seay sings, "Here come better days..."

Lyndsey said...

Thanks so much Uncle Rick. It is really nice to know that you are available and willing to listen and share. These words are so valuable so we're already going to take you up on your offer and listen to your advice! And I second Justin in saying the Cornells in Jupiter respect you a lot as well.