Wisdom From Kammbia 3.5: Thoughts On Marriage After 5 Years

My wife and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary this weekend. Wow, five years of marriage have gone by quickly. Time flies and definitely waits for no one.  Here’s a few things I’ve learned about marriage so far:

1) Men Chase, Women Choose: In courting (going old school here), a man chased the woman he wanted but it’s the woman whom decided if she’s going to marry him. Well, that doesn’t change when you are married. Men can lead or chase in some marital decisions, but it’s still the woman whom chooses if its going to happen or not.

2) A Husband and Wife Must Be Friends: It’s funny while dating no guy ever wanted to be in the “friend zone” because he knew that would be the “kiss of death” for that potential relationship. Well, it’s different in marriage. Friendship is extremely important and much-needed because a husband and wife must like each other as well love each other.

3) Men and Women Communicate Differently: Duh….I know this one is obvious. However, when you are living with another person everyday it’s amazing how you can still miscommunicate with each other. Even though, you may think you are in tuned with your spouse. Listening, Repeating, Listening is now a constant in my head. LOL!!

4) Forgiveness: Oh boy! This word is really popular at church and those self-help/make-me-feel better and enhance my self-esteem books. However, the rubber hits the road with this concept in a marriage. Because you will hurt each other expectedly and unexpectedly at times. Forgiveness must be applied consistently for any marriage to thrive. And both of you at times will have to fall on that sword of forgiveness even if you feel you didn’t do anything wrong to your spouse.

5) Husband And Wife Must Make Time For Each Other As A Couple: With busy careers, raising children, spiritual life, socializing with friends and family members, the modern life is hectic and fast-paced. Couples need to find a way to spend time together alone and enjoy each other’s company. Whether it’s once a month or a week or every other week find time to do it. It is so beneficial to that marriage.

Those are things I’ve learned so far. I know there are numerous other things I could have listed. 🙂


Wisdom From Kammbia 2.23: Why Do Men Look?

Tricia and Joseph had a lovely dinner at their favorite restaurant in Galicea. They spent several hours eating, talking, and laughing.  For the first time in years, the dinner reminded them why they got married in the first place. They liked being with each other.

She even got him to go see their favorite stage play this evening, “It’s A Woman’s World and Men Are Just Livin’ In It.” Tricia looked forward to finally discussing her favorite play with the person she cared about the most.

They arrived at the theater and as they got seated, a beautiful woman with long brown hair and a curvaceous figure walked by Joseph.  He made a quick glance at the woman’s nice rear end and smiled.  However, Tricia saw his glance and if looks could kill then Joseph would have died with a massive wound to the head.

Even though the glance was barely a second, the rest of the evening was ruined and Joseph would have to endure Tricia’s anger for next several days until she got the answer she wanted on why he looked at that woman’s behind.

That scene was from a story in my fictional world of Kammbia, but I heard about numerous incidents just like that one in real life over the years.  And the question that women have asked is Why do Men Look?

This is an excerpt from caller to Dennis Prager’s radio show:

Tony: Then how do I know if I am actually committed to her, and I’m ready for a marriage relationship, or if I’m just, you know, she’s not the one because I’m still attracted to other girls?

DP: You will always be attracted to other women, always. That’s why I’m writing this book on male sexual nature. I realize men need it as much as women do. That is not solvable. It will not stop. It will not end. Don’t romanticize it. You can be spectacularly in love, and you will still be attracted to other females. That is the way we are programmed, we men. It is not a matter of societal influence. It is the way we’re programmed. It is like saying how do I know I am committed to hamburgers when I continue to find, I don’t know, give me another…I don’t know, sodas, hot dogs, right. I continue to find hot dogs desirable. It is that built-in. And so that is why commitment is volitional. That is a…your commitment to be monogamous is a statement of values, but it is not a statement of nature. Your nature is not monogamous. Your values are monogamous. And that is where, that’s why values…that’s what…values are what we hold to be more important than our feelings. So it’s not going to happen to you. But I know what you’re asking. But Dennis, how do I know I’m ready to marry when I still find, you know, half the women in the street, and all of the ones in the ads, and on TV, and in movies, so enticing. And the answer is, they will never stop being enticing. So you will never get married if you’re waiting for that magic bullet. The magic bullet doesn’t exist for a man.

DP: This is…the motto that I have here is male sexual nature, men are embarrassed to talk about it, and women are afraid to hear about it. And that’s…you’re living that situation. She needs to understand this is the way men are.

Women don’t want to know this, men don’t want to talk about it, and so what ends up is terrible, gratuitous pain between men and women. And guys, if you want to be ready for marriage, and your criterion for readiness is not attracted to other women? You’ll stay single ‘til you die. My father is married, what is he married, 65 years? Let’s see, he’s 89, yeah, 65 years. And as he says, he wants the coffin to be a little open so he can check out the women at his funeral. (laughing) Okay? All right, folks? And I got this openness about sexuality from him, in a committed relationship to my mother for 65 years, and still looking at women.

That was one of the most honest and refreshing calls I had ever heard on the radio.  Dennis Prager has taught about male sexuality for years on his radio show.  And the items I placed in bold letters are a reason Why Do Men Look and that women (while they will still disagree) should have some kind of understanding about of it as well. However, I would like to go a little further and show the inherent tension in a man’s nature.

“Now Laban had two daughters. The name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. Leah’s eyes were weak, but Rachel was beautiful in form and appearance. Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, ‘I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.’ Laban said, ‘It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.’ So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.”  {Genesis 29:16-20 ESV Bible}

With just one look, Jacob was smitten with Rachel and he had to have her.  Even though, he had to marry Leah, the older daughter and was tricked to serve Laban another seven years before he could marry Rachel.  Because of her beauty, Jacob gave up fourteen years of his life.   Interesting.

“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, ‘Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her.” {2 Samuel 11:1-4 ESV Bible}

David gets Bathsheba’s husband drunk and sends him to the front of the battle lines and gets him killed.  Wow!  That could have been from an episode of General Hospital or As The World Turns.  David was a revered King and a true follower of God.

What those two biblical stories revealed is one of the greatest tensions in a man’s life.  His instinctual nature to look at woman he’s attracted to can lead him to do unbelievable acts in the name of love or destructive acts that could ruin his life.  That tension is one that men deal with daily.  It never goes away and does not change if even you become religious.  You are still a man and must acknowledge that instinct for the rest of our lives.

Let me be clear and write that there are men who have successfully suppress this instinct and don’t look at other women.  However, you are the exception and that’s great you have been able deal with this tension effectively.  For the rest of us….we have to first be honest with ourselves and understand this is a part of our sexual nature and not be embarrassed by it.

Ladies, I hope this post can create at least an understanding about your man’s sexual nature and Why Does He Look?

Book Review 22: Stephen King’s Bag of Bones

What happens when you fulfill one of your bucket list items?

Do you feel a sense of achievement?  Satisfied?  Surprised?  Disappointed?

Well, I can write that after reading Bag of Bones, I felt all of those feelings except disappointed.

As you know, Stephen King was on my reading bucket list and Bag of Bones was the choice of my readers for the next novel that I would read and review. I got a double whammy and a 2-for-1 special with this book.

Bag of Bones is the story of Mike Noonan, a bestselling novelist with a great life until his wife dies in an accident near their Western Maine summer home. From that accident, Mike’s life is turned upside down and inside out.

Because of that event, Mike gets writers block, discovers their summer home is haunted and has a connection to the town’s lurid past, and is caught in the middle of a family custody battle with a woman half his age that has a beautiful three year old daughter and realizes that he deeply loves both of them.

This is a moody, atmospheric story and it felt like I was reading a John Irving or Richard Ford novel with a huge paint splattering of Stephen King over the top.  Bag of Bones qualifies for the first literary ghost love story I’ve ever read.

One of the things, I really enjoyed in this novel was King’s ability to show the pressures of a writer trying to produce the next bestselling book:

“Readers have a loyalty that cannot be matched anywhere else in the creative arts, which explains why so many writers who have run out of gas can keep coasting anyway, propelled onto the bestselller lists by the magic words AUTHOR OF on the covers of their books.

What the publisher wants in return, especially from an author who can be counted on to sell 500,000 or so copies of each novel in hardcover and a million more in paperback, is perfectly simple: a book a year.

Less than a book a year and you’re screwing up the publisher’s investment in you, hampering your business manager’s ability to continue floating all of your credit cards, and jeopardizing your agent’s ability to pay his shrink on time. Also, there’s always some fan attrition when you take too long.”

That section and the conversation with his agent was the most honest parts of the novel.  It felt like King wanted his readers to understand some of the burden he has being one of America’s bestselling novelists.

Moreover, I felt King wanted to show in this story the power of wealth and how it can control an entire small town. The good ol’ boy network and hate can make you do something that you will regret for the rest of your life and affect succeeding generations.

After reading Bag of Bones, I’ve learned that King is a gifted storyteller and I can see why he became one of our greatest bestselling novelists.  I know he is a polarizing author, but I believe he is a true talent and should be recognized as such.

I would recommend this novel an introduction to Stephen King’s work and also a good story to add to your reading bucket list.

Wisdom From Kammbia 2.21: A Great Answer to Why Men Don’t Want to Get Married

Every now and then a blog post writes itself:

“Your commitment to be monogamous is a statement of values, but it is not a statement of nature. Your nature is not monogamous. Your values are monogamous. And that is why values are what we hold to be more important than our feelings.

So it’s not going to happen to you. But I know what you’re asking. But Dennis, how do I know I’m ready to marry when I still find, you know, half the women in the street, and all of the ones in the ads, and on TV, and in movies, so enticing. And the answer is, they will never stop being enticing. So you will never get married if you’re waiting for that magic bullet. The magic bullet doesn’t exist for a man.

(Dennis Prager said to a male caller in his 20’s on his radio show.  He asked Dennis the question why men don’t want to get married.)

A lot of men are waiting for that magic bullet.  Well said, Dennis!

Wisdom From Kammbia 2.20: And Your Choice Is……

Last week I posted a contest, where my readers would choose the next novel for me to read and review on this blog.

First, I want to thank everyone who left me their choice.  It is much appreciated. I hope to do more interaction like that in the future.

Well, let’s get on with it.

And Your Choice Is……..

I can see some of your faces right now!  Stephen King!  He doesn’t write romance novels.  Also, didn’t you mention Bag of Bones on last week’s blog post as the book you are currently reading?

However, before you accuse me of being lazy.  I did get votes for this novel and it surprised me that this book was considered Stephen King’s Literary Ghost Love Story.  Go figure…LOL!!

A couple of factors of why I went ahead with this choice:

1) I had not read Stephen King  and I mentioned this in my post, What Is Your Reading Bucket List? This would be a chance to fulfill one of my bucket list items and I will admit that intrigued me.

2) I don’t normally read Horror and it would take me out of my comfort zone the same way as if I had read a traditional romance novel.    Also the people that chose this novel wrote it was a love story as well.  That sealed it for me.

So there you have it.  I’m halfway into Bag of Bones and I will have a review next week.

See you then!

Wisdom From Kammbia 2.18: You Choose My Next Novel To Read and Review!

Well, I’m ready to step out of my comfort zone again!

I did a few weeks ago when I read Sidney Sheldon’s Other Side of Midnight.  I enjoyed reading that novel and must admit I couldn’t put it down.

Now, I’m ready to see if I can go 2 for 2!

The next book I want to read is a romance novel! (Im currently reading Stephen King’s Bag of Bones.) I got this idea from Mike Duran, author and blogger, when he read Francine Rivers’ popular novel, Redeeming Love.

I thought if one man (whom I respect) can read a romance novel: so can I!  I know I may lose my man card in some people’s eyes.  LOL!  But, I’m a reader and I believe you should always stretch yourself in things you enjoy doing.

I will read the novel with most votes and write a review about my experience. Either why I like it or hated it.  I will be as objective as possible and hopefully will appreciate a book I would have not read otherwise.

So here are my rules for this challenge:

1) No erotic fiction.  I’m not looking to read Anais Nin or someone like that.  I would like to keep within the romance realm, not erotica.

2) A stand-alone novel.  No series, please.  I want to read a single novel and not get hooked into reading a trilogy or a tetralogy. 

3) Do not pick–Redeeming Love.  Since that has already been read by Mike Duran.  I want to read something else and his blog covers that novel very well.

4) One vote per person.  Please.  I know that will be very hard to track.  But I would like to get as many people as possible making a choice.

Those are my rules.  This contest will last for a week and I will post the novel with the most votes on my next blog post.

I already have one vote for Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  What will be your choice?

Music Review 3: Fred Hammond’s God, Love, and Romance

I read from an interview prior to Fred Hammond’s latest release, God, Love, and Romance that he was unsure how his fans would receive it.

Well, I believe his fans should not worry about that at all and he will pick up some new fans from this excellent CD.

Hammond covers the topic of love and relationships with a Godly perspective in a variety of genres from jazz, funk, r & b, gospel and rock.

What I can appreciate from Hammond is that he doesn’t covers the subject in a manufactured “Christianese” way.  He sings about dating, marriage, and divorce in a way that everyone can relate to, Christian or not.

BTW, he refers to the Song of Solomon throughout both CDs and that refreshing to hear.  (When was the last time a pastor taught from that book to their congregation?)

I played both CDs through in one setting and the stand-out cuts for me are: When I Come Home to You, I’m In Love With You, The Proposal, My Love Is Real, I See the Sunshine’n, and I Got A Good Woman. 

The last song I mentioned has an interlude where two men are talking and one of them asked the other how has been able to stay married for 20 years.  The man replied that their marriage had not be easy and they almost reached the breaking point several times during their marriage.  But, he saw his wife praying for him and he had never seen anything like that before. (Prayer works!) He was touched by and realized how much his wife loved him and would do anything to keep their marriage together.  Powerful and Touching!

Hammond’s latest shows how Christian music can expand and go beyond the status quo to reveal how God can work in one of the most important areas in our lives.

I will that write God, Love, and Romance deserves 4 out of 5 stars and is a must have in your CD collection.

Book Review 16: Home Is The Sailor by Jorge Amado


“Will my readers now, with their learning and their experience, tell me what is the truth, the whole truth?

Does truth lie in the everyday events, the daily incidents, in the pettiness and vulgarity most people’s lives are compounded of, or does the truth have its abode in the dream it is given us to dream to flee our sad human condition?”   {pp.297-298}

The narrator of this novel asks the reader one of the ultimate issues in being human.

What is truth?

Home Is The Sailor tells the story of Captain Vasco Moscoso de Aragao who comes to retire in the Brazilian beach town of Periperi.

Once he arrives, the sea-captain captures the community with tales of his great adventures at sea, romances with numerous women, and prowess as leader of one of Brazil’s great ships.

However, the town’s resident storyteller and gossiper, Chico Pacheco, believes the sailor has been lying about his status as a captain and sets out to prove his tales are nothing but a figment of his wild and hyperactive imagination.

As the story unfolds for the reader, you begin to see his colorful and interesting life reveal the truth about his status as a captain.

If you have never read a Jorge Amado novel before, I will highly recommend Home is the Sailor as an introduction to his works.  Even though this novel is considered a minor work in his bibliography, Amado deals with a major theme in a colorful, playful, lusty way that will put a smile on your face and make you laugh out loud as you are reading it.

I read this novel about 12 years ago (when I was in my 20’s) and decided to read it again now that I’m a few more years down the road. I enjoyed it the second time as much as I did reading the novel previously.

Well, Home is the Sailor has made my top five novels list and I will enthusiastically recommended it to anyone as such.