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!

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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. Some good ideas. I think it’s good to remember that the \golden rule\ isn’t necessarily the best in a marriage because we all need/want something different. Sometimes I think figuring out what your spouse needs/wants to feel loved can be tricky – especially since my hubby is one of those guys who isn’t particular about anything. But holy cow, just asking can make a big difference! Thanks for your post.

    • Work – Selflessness – Service

    • Dear Jessica,
      Isn’t it funny how we try to be mind-readers instead of just asking our partners what they want?

      One of our skills is our Start-Stop-Don’t Change method of communication in our Customer Care metaphor. Ask your hubby to tell you 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. It’s fun because it’s open-ended, so you can try and anticipate the answers, but there will be surprises.

      Hope you have fun learning more about the love of your life,
      Mary Lou

  2. Dear Whitney,
    Okay, what makes you smile and what makes you giggle?

    Grinning as I write this in anticipation of a fun answer,
    Mary Lou

  3. Shawna says:

    I can relate to this so well. My husband and I have had a difficult year and trying to really figure out what says I Love You to each other has saved our marriage.

    • Hi, Shawna,
      Are you using The Five Love Languages to help you figure out what brings each other the most happiness? I think that is an awesome way to find out more about each other. I would be interested to see if our Customer Rule can help you, too.

      I congratulate for exploring this territory with one another instead of just trying to guess.

      I wish you all the best and lots of “I Love You’s”!
      Mary Lou

  4. Jennifer W says:

    It reminds me of the \love language\ concept. Love the other the way they want to be loved.

    • Dear Jennifer,
      You’re right, our Customer Rule is similar to the love language concept of loving the other the way they want to be loved, not the way you think they want to be loved. We chose the Customer Metaphor because we think it is easy for both men and women to relate to the concept. We have all experienced an exceptional customer service moment that we can immediately recall if someone talks about the best customer service ever. We have also experienced the worst customer service ever at some point in our lives, and we recall that, perhaps, with even stronger emotions attached. I know it seems I hear more bad customer service stories than good ones!

      If we can elevate our good feelings for one another by making life easierl with great customer care, then we can tell one another every day by our actions that we understand and truly love one another.

      Have you had a great moment in your marriage where you felt that your husband truly “got it”? If so, I would love to hear about it!

      Wishing you lots of smiles,
      Mary Lou

  5. Lisa says:

    Caring–Unselfishness–Compromise (and fun!!!)

    • Dear Lisa,
      Unselfishness is a great word…one I need to continue to work on.

      Getting the “What about me?” out of first place in my brain can be a challenge, especially when I’m trying at accomplish the million and one things on my “To Do” list. Of course, Dennis has his own list because we are both Type A personalities.

      Our Customer Rule invites us to get better at acting unselfishly by putting each other at the top of our lists.

      Do you have some good tips for how you practice being unselfish? I would love to hear them.

      Wishing you a lifetime of great moments,
      Mary Lou

  6. Jenny says:

    Our love story words…. best friends

    • Dear Jenny,
      I’m curious…were you friends who started dating, or did you meet and become friends as you dated? Dennis and I met in the shrimp line at a bar (all the boiled shrimp you can eat free with a drink purchase). We have always laughed at meeting in the shrimp line since I’m 5’9″ and he is 6’5″!

      We dated for three years and became the best of friends through all the time we spent getting to know one another. We continue to find out more about each other, too, because life brings so many challenges our way that demand new responses.

      How did you meet your husband? Were you able to connect right away, or did it take some time? I am always interested in love stories, so I would love it if you’d share yours.

      Anxious to hear your “Once upon a time..”,
      Mary Lou

  7. Teresa H. says:

    Loving and Respect

    • Dear Teresa,
      Respect is such a key word. No marriage problem can ever be solved to a couple’s mutual satisfaction without showing a genuine respect for each other’s attitudes, interests and opinions.

      Experts say that marriage requires compromise. Still, it’s not easy for strong-willed couples to temper their needs in favor of each other. We learned early in our relationship that if we were going to make it together as a couple, and moreover as entrepreneurs, we would have to respect each other’s ideals, judgments and points of view while maintaining our individual identities. Now that we are writing together, respect is even more important.

      What are three ways your husband shows you respect that you treasure?

      Respectfully,
      Mary Lou

  8. Cara Higley says:

    We have to just pick three? Hehehehe! I would say:
    BEST FRIENDS ETERNALLY

    • Dear Cara,
      I see two figures walking into the sunset holding hands with the word “forever” above them when I read your three words.

      What do you think makes your friendship so special compared to friendships with other women or men? How did you forge that close bond? I’d love to hear more!

      Forever curious about finding and keeping friendship,
      Mary Lou

      • Cara Higley says:

        That’s a great image for us :o) Our family always teases us that we’re the romantic ones and cheesy Higley Wiggleys. Our friendship is so special because we truly care about what each other thinks, feels, is going through, etc. We love taking time to lay together on the bed and just hold each other and talk! My husband does such cute things for me like leaving sticky notes around the house with I Love You written in different languages or one day I was having a really hard time and he got me flowers and gave me a massage. We do have hard times but we know we are in it forever so we work it out. We are there to support, share and love each other! THanks for your comments, advice, website, etc. Marriage RULES!

  9. Dawn says:

    Love the five Instant Date suggestions!

    Happy, Healthy, Thoughtful

    • Dear Dawn,
      I’m glad you tuned into the Instant Dating ideas. Which one did you try first?

      I talked to my step-son last Saturday, and he said that his wife Kathleen turned the 20-second hug into 20 minutes of just staring at each other…no talking. I haven’t heard yet how that went.

      I served Dennis coffee this morning and held on to his hand longer than necessary when handing him the cup. Just wanted to say “I want to stay connected throughout the day.”

      Do you have any other ideas that work for instant connections?

      Living in the moment,
      Mary Lou

  10. RG says:

    Compromise – Compassion- Cooperation

    • Dear RG,
      I “c” that each of your words involve forming a connection with one another.

      Isn’t compassion wonderful when it’s extended to us? I love it when my husband listens to me and gives me a comment that values what I’m feeling. No judgment…just understanding.

      I think compassion provides the energy to help us achieve compromise and cooperation.

      Wishing you continued happiness,
      Mary Lou

  11. Hi, Amanda!
    Adventure, huh? That’s a good one. Are we talking house and city adventure or world map adventure? I think comfortable is an interesting juxtaposition to adventure. When adventuring, do you seek comfort or look for the unusual?

    Do you plan adventures together? What’s the best adventure you’ve had?

    Inquiring mind wants to know…
    Mary Lou

  12. Dear Sierra,
    I’m glad you enjoyed reading about practicing our Customer Rule.

    I love the Dating Divas because they give us such great ideas for practicing customer service in our marriages. Their surprises and wonderful imaginations make it easy for us to find ways to say \I love you\ in so many ways.

    Enjoy each day together!
    Mary Lou

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