Close the #$@*% Cabinet – Richard’s Take

Basically I think I’m pretty darn close to perfect (although I can’t seem to get anyone to agree with me on this – especially not Amanda). However, even I will admit that I can’t seem to close the cabinet doors in the kitchen. Putting down the toilet seat – no problem. But closing kitchen cabinets seems to be a skill that I missed somewhere along the road. And boy does that tick off my wife!

It’s often not the big stuff that really gets Amanda really angry with me.  I’d put cabinet door closing in the “not really too big” category.

Believe it or not, this topic actually came up for discussion at one of our 48 Hour Relationship Retreats a few years back. I remember the conversation because we were relaxed and we started having fun with the topic. We both tried to “analyze” my childhood to see what traumatic event had happened to put a mental block on cabinet door closing. We also “analyzed” why Amanda had such a visceral reaction that bordered on filing for immediate divorce every time she saw a cabinet door open.

While we haven’t yet solved our particular psychoses, we have moved on – for the most part.

So, in a fit of introspection, I’m taking a couple of minutes tonight with a Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat beer to reflect on what I learned. Here’s what I got – do with it as you wish:

  1. Inject laughter. It’s hard to be ticked off while laughing
  2. Put the problem out there for BOTH of you to work on together. When Amanda and I both find ourselves working together against a common goal (in this case the great cabinet kerfluffle) it’s easier for us to find solutions than working on one another’s faults. “We vs. it” is easier than “you vs. me.”
  3. It’s often better for us to bring up these issues while relaxed and to bring the issue up in a non-threatening, sharing manner. I’d recommend only having these discussions with a tropical drink in one’s hand while on the beach in Hawaii but that might not be too practical.
  4. It’s important to talk about how the situation affects you – rather than pointing blame at the other person. It was easier for me to chat about the problem of the cabinets when it didn’t start out as a pointed attack on me like “you’re so lazy because . . . “
  5. If Amanda and I come into a discussion with a genuine desire to work on the problem, it’s usually quite easy for the two of us to work out a compromise.

Of course, it’s easier said that done in most cases. When the cabinet doors have been left open for the 345th time that day, it’s hard for Amanda to just “put it aside” for a better time. Yelling does sometimes seem like a better option!

Well, I’m done with my beer so I’ll stop here. I’m sure there are probably more things we learned from the incredible toll that the cabinet door positioning puts on our marriage, but I got nothing else right now.

(BTW, we are still looking for that incredibly poignant/interesting/amusing way to finish all of our blog posts, so feel free to send us your suggestions.)

Why 48 Hours?

We’ve all heard the phrase “let me sleep on it” and haven’t we all said “I’ll get back to you on that”. Well in thinking about big life decisions and activities in my life, I have decided that fortunes can change significantly in 48 hours – just 2 days.

Think about it – a weekend in Vegas can result in a trip to jail or holy matrimony – either way your life future has been changed.

Or when you have been offered a new job or business opportunity you take a few days to think it over because you know the decision is going to affect your career path well into the future.

And how about that fight you had with your best friend. That after you have a few days to think it over it doesn’t seem nearly as bad as it did at the time.

The reality is that much can be accomplished in 48 hours.

Richard’s Not So Sure about this Blog Thing

Ok, I’ll admit it right up front. While I do have a big ego, I don’t consider myself to be an expert on relationship topics. All my life I’ve actually referred to myself as a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” That would apply to relationships too.

So, we’re launching a book and a web site which obviously means we need to have a blog, right? But are the random pontifications of Amanda and me really worthy of others spending precious time to read? I’ll admit I’m a bit squeamish about it.

So, to ease my own insecurities, here are my ground rules / guiding principles for this blog that at least I am going to follow. (Amanda doesn’t really like to follow rules so much of this may or may not apply to her blog posts!)

  1. I’ll try to limit any advice I’m handing out to things we’ve learned during our 17 years of 48 hour retreats or things I’ve learned in leading/managing people for the past 25 years in business.
  2. Even if there isn’t a disclaimer in each blog, I’m going to operate from the perspective that I’m just providing some musings, thoughts, learnings, etc. but I am NOT passing myself off as some sort of smug relationship guru. That blanket disclaimer has now been issued – you have been warned!
  3. You are totally welcome to disagree with stuff we write – see #2 above. Just remember that you were warned and if some introspective pondering was generated, I’ll be happy.
  4. I’ll try to keep my musings focused on the issues surrounding the retreat and the implementation of goals, plans, etc. in the months that follow a retreat.

I’m not sure if you feel any better but I feel that a huge weight is off my shoulders. I’m not Dr. Phil. I’ve clearly warned you that I’m not Dr. Phil. And, I’ve given myself some direction for providing blog posts in the future.

Disclaimer complete.

Mission accomplished.

Blog finished.

I’m off to bed.

The Next 48 Hours


(That seems to be a weak way to start this off but we’ve got nothing else right now!)

This blog grew out of the collective beliefs of Amanda & Richard and our experiences gained in 17 years of annual relationship retreats. Plus, working on our own relationship every other day of the year since we met way back in 1994 has contributed to our ideas here.

We believe that each individual is capable of effecting change in their lives if they just have a plan and execute their plan. With two people working together, that change can be (as our son likes to say) epic! And generally all it takes to get started on the right path is 48 hours. Just two days.

And it is simply amazing (though not coincidental in the least) that this blog concept supports the subject of a book that we have written that will be out on the market soon. Our book is about a 48 hour relationship retreat where couples delve into all the aspects of their lives and make plans for success together.

So in addition to random posts about topics that occur to us, we may post about topics in the book and tangent subjects that come up as we finish the book.  Basically, this is all about relationships between two people who are committed to each other. But, we reserve the right to wander off topic occasionally if something strikes our fancy. You’ll just have to deal with it.

The Blog Cocktail Ingredients:

  • 2 parts kick in the pants to make personal change
  • 3 parts helpful advice on how to make those changes
  • Splash of humor
  • 2 dashes of irreverence
  • 1 jigger of sarcasm

Time to wrap this blog post up – all the “experts” suggest that people have the attention span of a gnat these days and long posts will never get read.

So, we hope you’ll drop by again soon.

Maybe we need a “catch phrase” to end all our posts? Let us know if you come up with one!