February 24, 2012

Our Special Guest: Mary Lou Green

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Wendy - Our Special Guest Mary Lou Green - Pinterest Pic

 Woot-Woot!! Giveaway today!

{Details below}

Nothing excites me more than reading helpful information I can put to use in my marriage to make it wonderful! Our guest today makes me so excited about my husband AND the love we share. By simply putting these simple tips into place in your own relationship I know how incredible it can and will be! Take the time to read this article. I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Mary Lou and her hubby, Dennis. What wonderful people and great examples! And here she is!!

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Hi!  My name is Mary Lou Green, and I am so thrilled to guest blog for the fabulous Dating Divas.  We are aligned in our mission to help couples stay in love for life one day (and one date) at a time!

Giving Your Spouse The Best Customer Service Ever

My husband Dennis and I have been married for 33 years, and we still date.  Every Friday we go to a movie in a theater and maybe dinner after the movie.  It is sacred to us, and we protect this time at all costs.  I think we have missed 24 Friday dates in all that time due to traveling, company or illness.

Our movie dates represent one of the ways we practice customer care in our marriage.  We believe in the principle of GIVE=GET.  If you give your partner what he or she wants, you will get the love in return that you desire.

Our Customer Rule is different from The Golden Rule that says to treat others as we would like to be treated.  Our Customer Rule is to treat our spouse the way he or she wants to be treated.  It’s a switch in point of view that trains our focus on our true love’s interests and desires.  We want to give each other the best customer service ever!

For example, I love flowers, so Dennis knows that if he sends me flowers, I’ll feel he is showing me that he truly loves me and is thinking about just me.  If I treated him the same way (as in Golden Rule) and sent him flowers, I know he would like the flowers because he enjoys their beauty, but it wouldn’t give him the same meaning as it does for me.

Instead, I could prove how much I appreciate him by doing what he wants (Customer Rule).  If I set aside an afternoon or evening for him to watch a basketball or football game from beginning to end without interruptions, hand him the remote, put snacks at a table by his side and sit with him to watch the game, he would hear “I love you” very clearly.

A good date can be the ultimate customer service experience.  Think about one of the best dates you and your husband ever had.  I bet it would include these components of customer service:

He planned something for you that you really enjoy

He gave you the “WOW” factor and went beyond anything you were expecting

He was fun and polite and smiled at you with his eyes and mouth

He focused on you, maintained eye contact and really listened to you with his whole being

He kept checking in with you to see that you were having a good time

He had a good time, too, and showed you he could join you in your happiness

He asked you for another date

Often in marriage, the “business side” takes over the relationship side.  We get so busy with our jobs, our kids, our families and friends, our houses and cars and hobbies, that we lose the love connection that brought us together when we were dating.  We start to take each other for granted in our pursuit of The American Dream. If we don’t give our partners what they need, they can always shop elsewhere, if only in their minds.

When we become customers of each other, we are not turning ourselves into robots that serve every whim of our partners.  We are not slaves within our marriages.  Instead of focusing on what is wrong with each other and trying to correct those things, we need to remember all the wonderful things that caused us to fall in love with one another.

Our challenge is to keep the magic going.  Here are 5 ways you can create Instant Dates every day to focus on each other, no matter what the business side of marriage has in store for you.

 

1- Give Your Radiance – Smile at your partner every time you see him or her and use your smile to say, “I’m here and ready to help.”

2- Initiate the 20-Second Hug – Grab each other and experience twenty seconds of just holding on to each other as the most important beings in the world. You don’t need to talk.  Just say, “I still do” with your eyes or your arms or the way you fold into one another.

3- Ask What can I do for you?” and figure out a way to deliver that gives added value to your service.

4- Join Me on the Couch – Set aside 10 minutes each day devoted to listening to each other with constant eye contact and no interruptions.

5- Offer Verbal Chocolate Every Day Choose your words so that you treat your partner with respect.  Demonstrate that you wish to communicate rather than annihilate.  Instead of saying, “You forgot to take out the garbage…again,” say “Honey, let me take out the garbage tonight.”

 

“The bottom line is that people are never perfect, but love can be. We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.” (Tom Robbins from Still Life with Woodpecker)

A little more about me…

Dennis (my Renaissance Man) and I have been married and worked together to invent and market consumer products for the last 33 years, and we own over 50 patents, trademarks and copyrights.  To share our success with other entrepreneurs, we started a publishing company called Boulevard Press, and we wrote two books to show couples how to become indestructible:  The Marriage Story and Give Your Spouse The Best Customer Service Ever. You can learn more by visiting www.boulevardpress.com or www.DennisandMaryLou.com or by emailing me at Marylou@boulevardpress.com.

The Marriage Story became an amazon.com Best Seller when it launched December 6, 2011.  It tells about a young couple’s desire for a better life and is written entirely in verse.  Most books tell us how to love each other; this book inspires us to want to love each other.

Our next book, Give your Spouse the Best Customer Service Ever, tells how to stay in love by becoming customers of each other.  We teach ten skills that follow our Customer Rule for Couples:  “Be customers of each other to delight not fight.”

See you at the movies!

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Love that! It is such a breath of fresh air having such fun new ways to approach our marriage. This one might be one of my favorites! I challenge you all to look more into their site and the wonderful books they have to offer! Thank you Mary Lou! Now, are you ready for a giveaway??? Woo-hoo!!! Mary Lou has so kindly given me the opportunity to give to a lucky reader, a copy of The Marriage Story! Dennis and Mary Lou’s most recent book! I am stoked! This book is great!!

Log-in with your Facebook account or email below and follow the instructions. :) Ends 2/28/12 at midnight EST. Winner will be announced the following day on our Facebook Fan Page and also at the bottom of this post. Good Luck!!

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Recent Comments

193 Responses to “Our Special Guest: Mary Lou Green”

  1. Marie Velchoff says:

    Journeying life together!

    • Dear Marie,
      I love that you think of your marriage as a journey. I do, too! Sometimes I’m in a rocket ship and sometimes I’m on a love boat, and sometimes I’m in a dingy! As long as we’re moving forward together, I’m happy! We have taken some pretty interesting exits off of life’s freeway along the way! What is your favorite “trip” on your journey so far?

      Bon voyage!
      Mary Lou

  2. Penni G says:

    i love that i still get butterflies after 15 years.

    • Hi, Penny!
      Hurray for butterflies! Isn’t it fun to see your true love and have all those little critters in your stomach? The good news is that they can still be there after 33 years! What caused you to feel them most recently?

      A butterfly fan,
      Mary Lou

  3. Penni G says:

    bumps, stronger, committed! ♥

    • Dear Penni,
      Sounds like the bumps have caused the two of you to hold on together! Dennis and I have been fortunate to hold on to each other through some rough times involving money, illness and job changes in our 33 years.

      What is your secret for staying strong and committed through the bumps?

      Congratulations on your staying power!
      Mary Lou

  4. Lorraine says:

    Great post! Wonderful things to think about and implement!

    • Dear Lorraine,
      Thank you for your kind words. Would you do me a favor and let me know which idea you tried first? I’m trying to see if one tip is more popular than another. Thanks!

      Wishing you long-lasting love,
      Mary Lou

  5. Jennifer says:

    Live Laugh Love

    • Dear Jennifer,
      I often sign my birthday cards this way because I think these three words describe the elements to a happy marriage and life. If someone asks me how I am, I often reply, “Glad to be vertical!” because it gives me one more day to live, laugh and love!

      Wishing you all the best in your life and marriage,
      Mary Lou

  6. lori phippen says:

    Love this. Some days I find I really take my spouse for granted. Thanks for reminding me of the important things!

    • Hi, Lore!
      I’ll be anxious to hear if you receive more attention from your husband by trying some of these ideas. By giving we often are blessed with more receiving.

      Also, if you have one tip that you like the most, would you please let me know? Thanks for your help!

      Wishing you great days ahead,
      Mary Lou

  7. Alexis says:

    Care, concern and desire

    • Dear Alexis,
      These three words are great Customer Rule words! If you care enough to be concerned when you see your husband in need and you desire to help him and act upon your desire, he is a very lucky husband!

      Wishing you and your husband all the best,
      Mary Lou

  8. Julie Hatch says:

    Love, Hugs, Laughs

    • Dear Julie,
      You sound like you have lots of fun and intimacy in your marriage. I just love a good hug, and it’s even better when we’re laughing, too! I would love to hear about a great laugh you and your husband shared if you would be willing to tell it to me!

      Smiles to you,
      Mary Lou

  9. Rebekah W says:

    everlasting love & friendship

    • Dear Rebekah,
      Friendship makes intimate love so much better, I think, because I find I need to trust a friend as part of love. The more I share, the more my husband truly knows me.

      What better friend to have than the one who shares your pillow every night.

      Wishing you a lifetime of love and laughter,
      Mary Lou

  10. Alli says:

    We have had some pretty serious roller coaster rides and I have learned to not coast through this marriage – that we are going to have to work at it!

    • Dear Alli,
      One of the reasons I like our Customer Rule so much is that it is something that I can do every day. I am in charge of giving happiness to Dennis, and I can “work at it” by doing this as part of each day. I can start to distribute happiness instead of waiting for him to do something.

      One of the ways we talk about providing good customer care in marriage is by Preparing to Care. Keep a diary of things your husband talks about liking or wanting or not liking as a way of deepening what you know about him. Try to look at him as a new partner on that roller coaster seat instead of the one that you bumped along with before!

      Maybe you can try our Start-Stop-Don’t Change method of communicating in The Customer Rule. Just ask him to create a list of one thing he’d like you to start doing, one thing he’d like you to stop doing, and one thing he doesn’t want you to change.

      You make a list, too, so you’re ready when he asks for yours. If he doesn’t ask, just hold on to it and see if he starts to pay more attention to your needs once he sees you are interested in meeting his needs. Let me know what happens, okay?

      Wishing you a smoother roller coaster ride (more thrills and fewer spills),
      Mary Lou

  11. Shannon says:

    Happily Ever After

    • Dear Shannon,
      I love happy endings (like the one in the movie “Hugo”). Did your marriage have a fairy tale beginning? How did you meet?

      I’ll look forward to hearing your happy story!

      Wishing you love forever,
      Mary Lou

  12. Debi says:

    Love, growth, intentional

    • Dear Debi,
      Your word “intentional” was unique in all the answers. I am interested in hearing more about why you chose that word if you would be so kind as to write back. It’s very thought-provoking!

      Curiously yours,
      Mary Lou

  13. Hailey says:

    Never give up.

    • Dear Halley,
      This is such an important part of marriage! I read a recent poll conducted by Reuters that said that the Seven Year Itch is now a Three Year Itch because couples are giving up on each other a lot sooner. To me, a big part of not giving up is finding a new solution to a problem by creative problem-solving together…not necessarily to compromise which implies each of you giving up something…but to create something new where you each contribute to the solution in a unique way.

      What is something that you are proud of that you didn’t give up on? I’d love to hear it!

      Wishing you creative love,
      Mary Lou

  14. Karen Felt says:

    Endless Bliss

    • Dear Karen,
      I would love to live in the country of Endless Bliss. If you were queen of that country, what would be your rules?

      Looking forward to hearing your royal thoughts,
      Mary Lou

  15. Lisa says:

    Restored, revived and rejuvenated

    • Dear Lisa,
      You like the re- words. I love that because it shows that you and your husband give each other the opportunities for second chances. One of the things I appreciate about Dennis is his willingness to always give me a second chance. If he hears something I say that hurts him, he gives me the chance to clarify what I said with the underlying trust that I would never intentionally say something to hurt him. It is wonderful to have a “pillow-top verbal mattress” for my words to bounce on and rearrange themselves into something that conveys the correct message!

      How do you keep your marriage rejuvenated? I would love to hear your tips!

      Reminded to restore, revive and rejuvenate,
      Mary Lou

  16. Stacey says:

    Forever & Always!

    • Dear Stacey,
      You chose two of my favorite words. The Customer Rule makes me believe that we can make marriages last forever by constantly showing one another that we always care for each other above all others. If you have a chance to read The Marriage Story, you’ll see why your two words have so much meaning for couples who have lost their way and then found one another again.

      Wishing you forever and always and magic every day,
      Mary Lou

  17. Karen H says:

    Tall + short = perfect!

    • Dear Karen,
      This is so weird, but when I first read your equation, I read “pencil” instead of “perfect”, and it made me think of how great it is to write with a pencil because I can erase my mistakes and start over. Maybe we should write our marriages in pencil so we can erase our mistakes and try again!

      Now relating to what you actually wrote…what is the difference in height between the two of you? I am guessing it is significant since you chose these three words.

      I am 5’9″ tall, and I’ll never forget my first date with a guy who took a box out of the trunk of his car so he could stand on it to kiss me goodnight! I liked his creativity, but I never did get beyond our height difference of three inches and eventually we parted ways.

      I can’t wait to hear more from you!

      High on love,
      Mary Lou

  18. whitney o says:

    smiles.giggles.love

  19. Kristi S says:

    Love, understanding, togetherness.

    • Dear Kristi,
      When Dennis and I take time to listen to one another and share our feelings, our togetherness puts us on a bench under a big old oak tree instead of each of us perched on single seats going up a ski lift! I love the grounded feeling I get from our emotional intimacy.

      I am so happy that you share understanding and togetherness in your marriage.

      Wishing you a lifetime of love, understanding and superglue togetherness,
      Mary Lou

  20. Samantha says:

    I love this way of thinking about how to treat your spouse.

  21. Samantha says:

    Love, communication, and unity

    • Dear Samantha,
      I think communication and unity go hand-in-hand as I wrote to Kristi who used the word “togetherness” in her three-word list. An article titled “The Psychology of Close Relationships” at http://www.closerelationships.com talked about four points to use to maintain closeness in communication:
      1. Say what you mean–stick to how you feel
      2. Use Active Listening by checking to see if what you heard is what your partner meant
      3. Stay cool and polite
      4. Respect and validate each other

      What do you think of this list? Is there one that you really agree with? One that you don’t agree with? Communication is a tricky thing, and I’m always trying to find out ways to improve it.

      Hoping to communicate with you more,
      Mary Lou

  22. Dear Lorraine,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. Which idea do you think you’ll implement first? I’m always interested in seeing what triggers positive action. Thanks for your feedback!

    Monday hugs,
    Mary Lou

  23. Dear Tricia,
    Selfless is such a key word to our Customer Service Rule. Sounds like the two of you already practice it. What is the best thing your partner does for you that makes you smile? For me, it’s the words, “How can I help you?” I love answering that question!

    Monday hugs,
    Mary Lou

  24. Suzanne B says:

    Nurture, Time, Service

    • Dear Suzanne,
      You used a key word in fostering Customer Care in marriage when you said “nurture”. One of the key components to living is growing, and nurturing is key to good growth.

      What are your tips for nurturing your marriage and giving time and service to one another? It sounds like you already practice what we are talking about, and I’d love to hear how the Customer Rule applies in your marriage.

      At your service,
      Mary Lou

  25. Sarah Weiss says:

    Stay in love

    • Dear Sarah,
      Your three words match our marriage mission statement: “To stay in love forever”.

      I like this quote from Robert Anderson, Solitaire and Double Solitaire: “In every marriage more than a week old, there are grounds for divorce. The trick is to find, and continue to find, grounds for marriage.”

      Do you have any secrets you’d like to share that can help us stay in love?

      Wishing you love forever,
      Mary Lou

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