Friday, November 18, 2011

Remember You Are a Team

I once read somewhere that TEAM stands for together everyone achieves more. This is true with sports, this is true in business, and this is also true in marriage. When everything you do and say is determined by the assumption that you are in it together, a great relationship results. When you are a team, you communicate clearly and with humility. When you are a team, you choose your battles and know when to remain silent because something in the scheme of things is not that important. When you are a team it is you and your spouse as a united front against the world. When you are a team you stand together, you pray together, you make unity a priority and never take each other for granted. If you always keep in mind you are a team, great things are possible. So never forget that you are a team.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Make Your Anniversary a Special Event

Yesterday was our second wedding anniversary. Even though, I just had my hair done on Saturday, I decided to return to the salon to get a spectacular look for our anniversary as well. I also did my nails and wore my best jewelry. Rueben looked his best too and I told him how sexy I thought he was. We went to our favorite restaurant and had a fantastic time. We told each other how much we love each other and that if we had it to do again, we would get married all over again. Later, when we were home, we made love with both passion and an unmistakeable tenderness. It was so special. It certainly did not seem like a Monday, although that is what the calendar read. It felt like we extended the weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Be Willing to Be Vulnerable

Recently, a childhood friend tragically died before his time. Ever since then, I have been depressed and have had a hard time functioning. I could have suffered in silence, but instead I have let my husband know what a difficult time I have been having and how I need his support. Last night, for example, he held me in his arms and soothed me for as long as I needed (about a half an hour). If you need something, ask for it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

I had something on my mind that had been bothering me about my husband. But instead of having quiet reservations, I told my husband about it, to take away its power. It worked. I am glad I told him and grateful at his response--to address the issue directly and turn a problem into a pleasure.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

We Are One, Yet Two

A friend of my husband and I wanted us to do something for him. He wanted to know if we could do it. Rather than answer for the two of us, I directed our friend to ask my husband directly to obtain his response. I did this because it would be what I would want my husband to do under similar circumstances. We are one, in terms of our unity, but we are two, in terms of responding to questions. I would not presume to answer on my husband's behalf unless it was on an issue we previously discussed.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Give a Public Shout Out

It is great to whisper sweet nothings in your spouse's ear. But it is also wonderful to publicly state your devotion. This public statement is a sure way to show how proud you are to be together. It can be as old school as saying "I love you" over dinner with friends, or as high tech as saying it on your spouse's wall on Facebook. I have done both.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Don't Take Flirting Too Far

I do not think there is anything wrong with harmless flirting with someone besides your partner. But if it crosses the line into the danger zone, it should be put to death immediately. This is what happened to with me this afternoon and I confessed it as soon as I saw my husband this evening. He forgave me and I assured him it will not happen again.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Engage in Sensual Touch

One of the ways that Rueben and I stay connected to each other is by touching each other in sensual ways. Sometimes he strokes my back over and over for several minutes to help me to relax. Other times, I run my fingers through his hair or gently cradle his face. We also stroke each other's arms. All this affection deepens our connection. Sensual touch is a profound expression of love and affection.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Share Your Victory

One of the great joys of being married is having someone to share with when something great happens. Today was no exception. Two days ago, I wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Daily News. Today it was published. Right away, I e mailed my husband about it. Right away, he wrote back enthusiastically congratulating me. In case you want to read what I wrote it is on page 38 ("Voice of the People").

Friday, June 3, 2011

Remember That "I Love You" Never Gets Old

I have come to greatly appreciate that my husband tells me and shows me he loves me every single day. He never tires of letting me know how he feels and I never tire of knowing it. Sometimes I see a relationship on television or in the movies where there is a couple in which one of the people is disappointed that the other person avoids the "L" word. In Ghost, when Demi Moore's character says "I love you," Patrick Swayze's character replies "Ditto." Or if the person does use the 'L" word it is in a noncommital way, like "I love spending time with you." I thank God that Rueben is not like that. I cherish every single day with him for many reasons, not the least of which that he always lets me know what is in his heart. And needless to say I do likewise.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Get and Stay Healthy Together

The USDA announced today that the food pyramid is out and the plate is in. Visit for more details. It reminds me of my relationship with my husband. Almost the entre time we have known each other, we have been striving to make wise choices for meals, beverages, and snacks. We both are members of a gym, and when our schedule permits, we work out together. When it doesn't permit, we exercise separately. Whether we eat at home or eat out, we encourage each other to make choices we can be proud off. We love each other and want each other to live as long as possible so we take care of ourselves and each other.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stay Together When Apart

This evening, I went alone to our favorite restaurant, Moutarde, in Park Slope. But even though we were apart, I felt Rueben's presence. It wasn't as exciting a dining experience as Sarah Palin and Donald Trump, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. In my book, 35 Ways to Marry the Man of Your Dreams, one of the things I emphasize is the importance of having a full and busy life apart from the relationship. And I do. But it is also great to have a sense of being connected to your partner, even when you are alone.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Create Some Excitement

My husband and I went to see The Hangover Part II today. We loved it. After the movie, we drove home. As we were pulling into the driveway, a really good song was playing on our XM Sirrius satellite radio. Whenever this happens, Rueben always asks me if I want to hear the rest, or turn it off and go inside the house. I said I wanted to hear the rest. Suddenly, he kissed me and fondled my breasts and put his hand between my legs. What a hot, sexy date he is! I was caught totally offguard. I hope he never stops exciting moves like that.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Don't Blame Your Partner for Your Mistake

This morning, as on every Sunday, my husband got up at 8 a.m. and I stayed in bed. Usually, I get up 30 minutes after he gets up. Usually. Today, I was in such a deep sleep that I overslept. Normally, we leave the house at around 9 a.m. to go to Jenny Craig, followed by church. But when my husband came to get me, he found me fast asleep. Then I had to scramble quickly to get ready so we would not be late. For a few minutes, as I desperately tried to get ready as quickly as possible, I was upset with him for letting me oversleep. But I had to get over it and not take it out on him.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't Let Money Come Between You

Over the past year and a half of our still new marriage, I have been learning a lot about marriage as a partnership. My close friend Richard calls us the Hopkins/Martinez Team. It is a fitting title that I have been learning to take to heart. This evening, I did something that made me a bit uncomfortable. I asked my husband for more money than he had originally planned to give me. He agreed right away and didn't make a big thing about it. I appreciate his not only digging deeper into his wallet, but not making me feel weird about it. I used to be engaged to be married to someone who always made money a huge issue and source of strife and arguments. It is refreshing to be with someone who does not have even the slightest hint of this sort of behavior or attitude.

Friday, May 27, 2011


The other night, my husband and I had a disagreement. I became extremely angry and frustrated. Just then, a guest arrived. It was his first time in our house. He immediately was drawn to some photographs on display of our wedding. He admired them, so I volunteered to show him more photos that I have in two albums. We sat down together and as he turned page after page and as I provided my commentary on what he was seeing in the pictures, my anger at my husband melted away, as I relived one of the best days of my life.

Cherish Each Other

Today was a wonderful day, because I spent the whole day focused on what makes my relationship with Rueben work so well and what an exceptional partner he is. The reason that I was focused on Rueben for so long is I was a guest on a talk show on cable television, and the topic of the show was internet dating. I am a strong advocate for internet dating because I meet Rueben on Anyway, he is such a wonderful guy, that it was a joy to read things I wrote about him in my book 35 Ways to Marry the Man of Your Dreams, think about songs I wrote about him on my CD, "Topsy Turvy," and decide what to put into this blog. He is a joy to me and thank the Lord he shows and tells me every day that he cherishes me just as much as I cherish him.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Never Forget How Great You've Got It

I found myself talking today about my relationship with Rueben, and how much better it is than my relationship with someone else I ALMOST married. The two relationships were like night and day. The engagement I broke off just in the nick of time was with a controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive person with whom I had mind-blowing sex day and night and night and day. The man I married, in contrast, never tries to control me, manipulate me, or mistreat me in any way. The first would spend money on me, then throw it in my face, while my husband spends money on me then never ever mentions it. The first was insanely jealous and sought to limit my interaction with others. In contrast to this insecurity and immaturity, my husband is comfortable with how social I am. He lets me be me. By the end of the conversation that highlighted the differences between them, I was even more grateful than ever that I didn't make the serious error of marrying my first intended and made the wise decision to share my life with Rueben, wonderful Rueben. I have got a great relationship with Rueben and would never want to go back!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cherish Each Other

One thing I really love about my relationship with my husband is how much we both go out of our way to show each other and tell each other how much we cherish each other. I have lost count of how often he has let me know how much I mean to him and I also let him know often that I think the world of him. I don't ever want to settle into some married couple that has lost its "sparkle," as Carrie Bradshaw would put it.

Every single day, we treat it like both the first time we met and the last time we will ever meet. Let me explain. We act like it is the first time we ever met in that we both put our best selves forward always. We act like it is the last time we will ever meet, in that we go out of our way to part with hearfelt goodbyes with the utmost of love and affection. So cherish each other to keep that special spark in your relationship!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Give a Public Thank You

I was thoroughly enjoying a seminar for authors called Author 101 University the past two days, when it occured to me to pull out my BlackBerry and thank my husband for paying my tuition. I sent an e-mail thanking him and telling some of the highlights of what I learned. I sent it to him as well as several close friends, so that it was a public thank you. My husband wrote back right away cordially stating his appreciation of my acknowledgement.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Don't Have Quiet Reservations

On Sunday and again today, my husband disappointed me without meaning to. Some women would either keep it to themselves, or nag about it. Neither one is a helpful response. Quiet reservations can lead to resentment and anger that festers. And nagging can also lead to resentment. Both the one who nags and the one nagged can resent it. The one who nags can resent "having to" nag and the one who is the object of the nagging can resent being that object. Instead, each time, I chose to gently let him know how I felt, and he just as gently apologized to me. After the apology, each time we showed each other affection and quickly moved on.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Be Diplomatic

My husband was wearing a new leather jacket this morning that he recently purchased. I looked at it. There is an old saying that if you have nothing good to say, stay silent. So I kept my mouth shut. A few minutes after I bit my tongue, he asked if the jacket was okay. I played dumb. "Okay for what?," I asked. He pressed me for an opinion. I said, "It is not my taste. But what matters is what you think of it." He pressed me more. The jig was up. Finally, I said the problem is the jacket "looks like a Members Only jacket and those are out of style." He said, "That must be why it was only $50." I didn't say anything. During the whole exchange back and forth, I had a goal of sparing his feelings.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Little Things Can Mean A Lot

This morning, my husband left home without his laptop, which he needed to work with clients. When he came back for it, in a big hurry, he stopped to see me before going back out again. I was so touched that even when he is pressed for time, he makes time for me.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Share Experiences

I am a member of a group that meets every Sunday afternoon on the Upper West Side. My membership in this group has given me great joy and inspiration. I usually attend alone. But this week, I invited my husband to accompany me. I am so glad that he not only accepted my invitation, but also became an enthusiastic participant. I was so moved when I reflected on how wonderful it is to have a husband who wants to share experiences with me. And I promptly told him afterwards just how much it meant to me.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Be Spicy

It was a quiet Sunday evening. I was sending e mails and my husband was reading a book. I took a break from writing to check him out. He caught me checking him out. I said, "Sorry. I didn't mean to stare. But those are some tight shorts, you're wearing. They accentuate every...bulge!" He smiled. So I immediately gave him a surprise blow job. There is no bad time for surprise oral sex. It is always the right time, I believe. In a split second we turned from boring married couple to spicy hot lovers. It was fabulous.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Be Proud of Your Spouse

Yesterday evening, my husband and I attended an awards dinner sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group, my company. I was so proud of him and introduced him to colleagues and superiors alike, every chance I got. I not only told people his name and that he is my husband, but I made them feel like it was a privilege to meet him. I am proud that he is excellent at what he does and know that anyone would be lucky to know him. I also loved the way he looked. He looked like a million bucks last night. I think it is important to be proud of your spouse and make it clear to everyone to whom you introduce him that he is the best thing since the invention of the wheel!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Be Super Helpful

Tonight I performed at a jazz club in Chelsea at about 11 p.m. At that time of night the subway service in New York gets sketchy. I asked Rueben if he would pick me up. He did pick me up, and he didn't mind at all, even though by the time I asked him to do so, I was taking him out of his way. He was super helpful and I appreciate it very much. He is the best husband ever.

Be Full of Surprises!

I was watching "Live With Regis and Kelly" yesterday morning. One of the guests was Barbara Eden, the actress most famous for playing Jeannie on "I Dream of Jeannie." Just as her segment ended, my husband walked into the room with a mischievous smile. I said "Barbara Eden just wrote a book. It is called 'Jeannie Out of the Bottle.'" He said, "I would like to get the Jeannie out of your bottle," and jumped on me. Needless to say I immediately turned off the t.v. Afterwards, I told him what a pleasant surprise it was. I love when he keeps me on my toes.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Have a One Night Stand--With Your Spouse!

The other night, I cheated on my husband--with my husband! He came home from work, and a few minutes later, we were naked in the living room, going at it. There were few words, just raw, animal passion, like he was a one night stand. Very little talking, just red hot sex. It was enormously exciting. I felt like I was having sex with a random stranger (something I used to do sometimes in my single days)! Talk about spicing things up! Va va va voom!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't Be THAT Person

The other day, I was online, while my husband was in bed watching a college basketball game, as part of the whole March Madness excitement that comes around once a year. I finished what I was doing online, and I went to join him. He turned the tv off. I asked, "What are you doing?" He explained that he figured I wouldn't want to watch with him. I said that while it was true I didn't want to watch, it was NOT true that because of that he couldn't watch either. I went on to say, "I am not THAT girl. 'I don't want to watch basketball. Let's watch "Love, Actually."'" He then turned the game back on and said I was the best wife ever.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

I recently have become obsessed with the romantic comedy, "He's Just Not That Into You." It follows the ups and downs of modern relationships between a married couple, dating couples, and a living together couple. The married couple has several problems, including the fact that they never have sex any more. I was watching "The Today Show" this morning and according to statistics, many married couples do not have sex. This can easily be the result of a host of reasons, including both parties having hectic work schedules. If this happens, though, it is very important to communicate about it and not let it go on for a long period. Intimacy is an important aspect of marriage and when it is not a priority, it can be a big problem. One thing the couple in this boat can do is talk openly about it and brainstorm ways to quickly address it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Share New Experiences

Rueben and I continue to make progress in our tango lessons and are almost ready to take things from the dance studio, to out on the town at tango clubs. Neither of us ever took tango lessons before, so we are learning and improving together. Another new experience we are about to share is being co-leaders of one of our church's new small group ministries. Our group is called "Loving God and Loving Each Other." I am looking forward to this journey together drawing us closer to God, other people, and each other.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Remember Special Days

My wonderful husband surprised and impressed me once again (he does that a lot). This time he said, "Happy Anniversary." Knowing we were married on September 19th, I just looked at him, feeling puzzled. Sensing my confusion, he said, "March 16th was our first date." Isn't he the greatest? I was so touched that he remembered! And embarrassed that I hadn't. Ha ha ha. Oh well. I will try to do better next year.

That was a great day indeed. Although the weather by then should have been mild, on that day there was a huge blizzard in New York. But no storm was going to keep us apart. I later found out that the fact that I didn't cancel our date due to weather really got to him and is one of the reasons he fell in love with me.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Princes and Princesses

I was about to go to bed last night, and Rueben was working out at the gym. I e mailed him, "Good night, sweet prince." He wrote back, "Good night, my princess." Who needs fantasies when reality is this romantic?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Little Things Can Mean A Lot

Rueben and I have different schedules, which makes the little time we have to interact extremely precious. Because of this, when he comes home, if I am drifting off to sleep and about to dream, I gather all my energy to still greet him, from under the covers. And in the morning, we always wish each other a good day and we often hold hands before I roll over and go back to sleep. It is not much, but it can go a long way in helping us to stay connected.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Be Like "the Other Woman"

Time and time again husbands cheat on their wives. But cheating is usually not about sex, although sex goes on. No. It is usually about feeling misunderstood by a spouse and understood by the other woman. One response to this issue is to be like the other woman. Be the one who your husband feels understands him and accepts him and thinks he is hot and sexy and wonderful. Look your best. Be your best. And be a fantasy come true. That way, when an actual other woman is around, she won't be as tempting because everything he desires is found in you.

Sing His Praises

Rueben makes me so happy that I love to tell friends what an exceptionally fantastic husband he is. Today was no exception. I shared with my good friend, Hill, that Rueben knew I needed a new CD player, so he took care of it. Hill, a completely heterosexual man, exclaimed that Rueben is so wonderful that HE wanted to marry him himself. And this is not the first time he said this. I tell Rueben often what a pleasure it is to be loved by him, but I think it is also great to mention it to friends too.

Friday, February 18, 2011

In Sickness and in Health

In all the years I have known Rueben, he has never been as ill as he is today. He came home earlier than usual and told me he has been throwing up and had loose bowels. He went to bed and asked me to put something next to him to throw up into. He has thrown up about three or four times and is totally miserable. To be honest, watching him is making me queasy. But I promised the day we married to stand by him in sickness and in health, so here I sit, near him in his time of need. He said it happened in the past and Gatorade helped. So I ran out to the store to get him some Gatorade. I dread emptying the bucket next to him, but if the tables were turned, I know I would want him to empty my bucket. I am glad to take care of him in his time of need, even if it grosses me out!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Do Your Part

My husband always has wonderful surprises for me on our anniversary, on my birthday, at Christmas, and on Valentine's Day. He really has mastered the art of romance. When I arrived at work on Valentine's Day, waiting for me on my desk were a dozen long stemmed red roses and a note from him. But I surprised him too. When he went to the kitchen he found a romantic card from me waiting for him on the table. We had plans to have a romantic dinner together at Moutarde, our favorite restaurant. I arrived first and ordered champagne, another surprise for him. He surprised me with a Nook Color, a device I had commented to him before that I think is far superior to the Amazon Kindle. He remembered my comment (I was not hinting, I swear!) and gave me this magnificent present. Each of us did our part to make the day special for the other. So do your part too. And so should your spouse. A great marriage is one where each person looks out for the interests of the other person.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Be Full of Surprises!

Yesterday morning, I was going over my financial records in preparation for a consultation with my accountant. Part of that preparation was asking my husband some questions. Well, one moment we were discussing taxes and the next moment I gave my husband a blow job. You should have seen the smile on his face. He was pleasantly surprised with that racy development. Then I went back to preparing for my meeting.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pay Attention

This morning, my husband told me he was leaving for the gym. I said "Okay," but frowned. Realizing my frown meant I wanted to go too, he asked a moment later if I wanted to go with him. I smiled and said "Yes." I later praised him for being so attentive to my feelings. Many men miss their women's cues and signs, leading to hurt feelings. The rare man, like mine, notices the little things and takes action.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Be a Helper!

When the Lord created Eve, he referred to her as a "suitable helper." You and your spouse should make every effort to be helpful to each other. Rueben and I have a large capacity washer and dryer in our house, but because Rueben wants to help me, he pays someone else to do the laundry and leaves me free to do other things that I need and want to accomplish. Yesterday night, after we left a party, we went to pick up his laundry. I helped him carry it upstairs.

And as for that party, he helped me by going to it even though he was tired from a long day meeting with his clients. I made sure to let him know how much I appreciated his sacrifice for my sake. I don't mind going to a party alone, but much prefer sharing the experience with him. Knowing that, he made an effort to participate.

A friend recently called us the Martinez/Hopkins team. And that is a perfect description of us. We look out for each other and work together to be stronger as a team than either one of us could be alone.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Share New Experiences

Yesterday evening, Rueben and I took a tango lesson. We are both new to the tango, and it was our third lesson together. Discovering a new activity together is so fun and rewarding. In between dancing, we kiss and snuggle. Our instructor thinks we are sweet. I have wanted to learn how to tango for years and am ecstatic to be sharing this dream come true activity with my dream come true husband. When we were in the process of preparing our hearts, minds, souls, and spirits for marriage, one thing we were advised to do by one of our pastors was learn something new together. Now that we are following that advice, I finally understand why. It is drawing us closer and making us appreciate each other even more than we already did. Before we got married, we decided the new thing would be opera, but we have yet to go to the opera together. Perhaps we will later this year. For now, as we dance together, we will tango our way more deeply into each other's hears.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Find Ways to Stay Connected

One of my new year's resolutions is to go to bed early and get out of bed early. This sleeping and rising schedule is very different from my husband's schedule and makes staying connected a challenge. But we both rise to the challenge and meet the challenge head on. During the day, we e-mail each other about what is going on in our day (e mailing is especially easy for us because between us, we have three BlackBerries). And the evening, he calls me at home to wish me pleasant dreams. And as much as possible, we cuddle and embrace. As busy as we both are, and as many things tend to be on our itineraries, we always make each other a priority.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Don't Suffer in Silence

Recently, I have been stepping up my game when it comes to cleaning the house. I am very happy about this and even was recently complimented by a guest on my housekeeping skills. This new cleanliness and order make me very happy. But they made it obvious that my husband was unwittingly undermining my efforts. I recently kept finding toothpaste stains in the sink that I had just cleaned. I found it frustrating and suffered in silence, not wanting to be a nag. But suffering in silence started to make me resent him. Once I saw resentment developing, I knew I had to let him know I need him to clean up after himself. I let him know in a gentle way, without naggin him about it. He took care of it right away. I am glad I said something and I am also glad that he responded so quickly.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Share Your Goals

Every January, millions of people evaluate their lives and decide to change things via new year's resolutions. Many fail to fulfill these resolutions but many succeed. The ones who succeed tend to be the ones who shared their goals and dreams with someone they trust. In my case, I shared many of my resolutions with my husband and he has been very encouraging and supportive of my efforts. Likewise, I have encouraged him to join me on my journey to a new, improved me. In this way, we can keep each other accountable and on track.