This is my very beloved family.
Across the top are my brother, David, my Dad, James, and me.
Across the bottom are my niece, Andrea, and my sister, Joanne, who are not a part of Family-Fanatics, but I love them just the same. And my mother, Helen, and my beautiful wife, Eileen.
Unpictured are my daughter, Michelle, who is a software engineer living near Portland, Oregon, and our son, David who was not yet born when this picture was taken.
Sadly, my brother, father, and mother are no longer with us. We named our son after my brother who passed away in 2008, and our son was born in 2012. Mom passed away in 2014, and my father last June in 2021.
The years of joy we experienced with our family can never be forgotten but will always be treasured. We cry when we realize that many, if not most of the loved ones we had at birth are no longer with us, and yet we feel joy for the loved ones who are with us now.
That is why it is so important to treasure our family. We can complain. We can make our families and ourselves miserable. We can make each other want to get away and stay away. Or we can make memories we will treasure and bring to future generations with writings, pictures, art, recordings, videos and experiences both planned and spontaneous.
Divorce and betrayal bring agony. And sometimes we see them as the culprit for every form of evil destroying families today. Domestic violence. Adultery. Screaming. Belittling. Insulting. Abusing. Retaliation. Distrust.
But often these things are consequences of bad decisions we do not have to make. Selfish decisions. Decisions that we know will hurt others and hurt ourselves and our family in the long run.
It would be so nice to take those bad choices off the table and refuse to indulge in them. Perhaps setting up a swear jar. Or a swear and insult jar. Or swear and insult and lie and deceive and verbal manipulation and verbal abuse jar. And put a quarter into the jar each time we slip up.
It’s hard to break bad habits.
Here’s a Crazy Idea - Return the Quarters
What if five quarters are in the swear and insult jar?
Now, someone decides to do something to joy. Let’s pick two names–Fred and Carol. Fred gets mad and curses. Whoops. There’s a quarter per bad word.
Fred feels bad for messing up and decides to do something to bring joy to Carol. She sees it, appreciates it, takes a quarter out of the jar and gives it back to Fred.
Or let’s say Carol nags and complains about Fred in a mean way. She puts some quarters in the jar or feels guilty for not playing along honestly. She puts the quarters in begrudgingly. But it helps her learn not to complain and nag.
Perhaps there are better ways of handling situations where you would want to put someone down. For instance, saying it differently in a non-toxic way, like, “I appreciate the way you do A. It’s really nice. But when you do B, I feel C. That would make me feel so much better, and it would help me be better at D.” It’s sort of a sandwich approach that doesn’t attack the other person.
Perhaps Fred could take a quarter out of the jar and give it to Carol for doing that.
I hope you won’t mind that I went off-topic, as this was supposed to be an “About” page regarding my family, and I ended up presenting a fun idea to help bring peace and happiness instead.
But the reason I brought up divorce was that like most families, our family was torn apart several times by divorce. And like NoDivorces.com, my motive behind creating this website was to help keep families together and happy.
When I look back on my first marriage and how it failed and all the hurt that divorce brought so many people, I wanted to do all I could to help strengthen families.
Building Up One Another
But knowing the terrors of divorce alone cannot keep a family from destruction. Both husband and wife need to take bad behavior off the table–out of consideration. Couples cannot afford to abuse each other. They cannot afford to threaten divorce every time they don’t get their way. They cannot afford to insult each other.
Many people think the secret of getting that loving feeling is to do things that will make the other person feel good about you. But in truth, many have noticed that people fall in love with you when you make them feel good about themselves.
Encouraging, not Flattering
That’s not to say flattery is a panacea. Nor does cheap flattery accomplish much of anything good. Flattery is selfish. It isn’t the same thing as recognizing and appreciating something good about the person honestly.
In fact, flattery works from a different motive. Sincere compliments build up and encourage someone for their good while flattery selfishly seeks to get something from a person through emotional manipulation.
This website is here to encourage people to rise above manipulation and to bring joy to one another.