Your Man is Wonderful: How to Appreciate Your Partner, Romance Your Differences, and Love the One You've Got

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9781416593508: Your Man is Wonderful: How to Appreciate Your Partner, Romance Your Differences, and Love the One You've Got


"Here's a secret about your man: He wants to please you. He wants to be your knight in shining armor. He wants to see the smile on your face that tells him he's worthy. He wants to be your wonderful man."

This is what Dr. Noelle Nelson has discovered about a lot of men in relationships: they want to be there for their women and create the mutually supportive, fulfilling partnerships women dream of. The problem is, many women haven't learned how to recognize their partner's good qualities. We notice when he forgets to take out the garbage, when he insists on refolding the laundry, when he goes out for an evening with the guys and forgets to call -- and overlook the very qualities that make a relationship blossom, like basic trustworthiness, reliability, and responsiveness. A clearly defined path to recognizing your guy's positive qualities, Your Man Is Wonderful defines what a wonderful man is -- not just someone who treats his partner with regard, affection, and respect, but one who eagerly engages as her greatest cheerleader, supporter, and best friend. And it shows how to stop griping about your partner and see that the toad on the couch is really a prince-in-waiting.

The backbone of Your Man Is Wonderful is the illuminating, lively, and disarming honesty of a group of women who come together for a roundtable discussion and share stories from their lives with wonderful men, including the obstacles they overcame and the joys that ensued. These women come from all walks of life, but share one thing in common: they all have developed mutually supportive, fulfilling relationships. Their uplifting stories are like a heart-to-heart talk that lets you know that a wonderful relationship is possible. Dr. Nelson builds upon their stories and draws on her years as a clinical psychologist to present specific, grounded guidance so that you can transform your relationship into the kind of mutually fulfilling partnership that these women already enjoy.

Warm and realistic, Dr. Noelle Nelson has empowered countless individuals to be happier, healthier, and more successful in relationships. Although men and women are different, they are not so different that they cannot create a healthy relationship -- the key is to appreciate the differences and transform them into strengths. And this practical program shows how. Enhanced with detailed exercises and charts to track your progress, Your Man Is Wonderful is a way for you to rehabilitate your relationship so that your wonderful man can step into the open.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Dr. Noelle C. Nelson is a noted author, therapist, and trial consultant. Her books include Everyday Miracles and Winner Takes All. Her syndicated “The Problem Solution Lady” radio program is heard on radio stations around the country.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

INTRODUCTION

Once upon a time, you knew a wonderful man. Maybe it was during those first few weeks of courtship; maybe it was while you were dating; maybe it was even for that first magical year or so of living together, of marriage. Then one day you turned around, and your prince had become a toad. Instead of wonderfulness, there was too much silence, too many fights, too many lonely evenings staring at the tube.

When you talked about it with your girlfriends, they all said, "That's just the way men are: great until they've caught you, and then it's 'Get me another beer' or 'Quit nagging!' They're just not ready for lifelong romance." Heck, even our Hollywood royalty can't sustain romance. They have humongous weddings and declare their undying love, but their marriages fail within months on beds of infidelity or with lukewarm declarations of "we're too different."

So you give up. There are no wonderful men, you think, just some men you can tolerate better than others. That wonderfulness you thought you saw was just an illusion, some fancy flash dance to get you into bed or to keep you wanting him regardless of his bad behavior.

How disappointing! How hurtful! How utterly unnecessary. You see, wonderful men are everywhere, and that's what this book is about: what a wonderful man is, how to recognize one, and how your prince can remain a prince throughout your relationship, not just during the honeymoon phase.

The little-known secret is that a wonderful man is probably sitting next to you right now. Somewhere inside that boyfriend or husband or that man you just met on a blind date is a wonderful man, just waiting to reveal himself. Finding a wonderful man isn't so much about looking for him out there somewhere, a needle in an impossible haystack, as about discovering how wonderful your man is.

First things first:

What is a wonderful man?

A wonderful man is a good person. When you look around you, you'll find that most people are basically good. People are, for the most part, honest, caring, and helpful, at least when asked. There are far more good people in the world than bad. It's just that more often than not, the bad demand more attention. When we women think about men, we forget about all those good ones, focusing instead on the attention-grabbing bad apples, and declare, "All the good men are taken."

They are not. Only a few men are spectacularly rich, good-looking, and successful, as well as caring and kind, but there is no shortage of men who are good people. One of them probably is your boyfriend, your husband, or that blind date.

This is not to say that there aren't bad apples. If you meet such a man, don't get involved with him, and if you are in a relationship with one, get out. These men are easily recognizable (see the appendix for warning signs of men to avoid).

The characteristics of a wonderful man are also easily recognizable. He is:

· Basically honest

· Reliable (he does what he says he's going to do most of the time)

· Trustworthy (if he says something is so, then most likely it is so)

· Responsive (he responds to the world about him appropriately, he participates in life and doesn't just sit on the sidelines)

· Responsible (he takes responsibility for his thoughts and actions and is willingly accountable for both his successes and mistakes)

· Appreciative of other people and caring about their welfare

That's it. He doesn't need to be tall, dark, and handsome, or wealthy, stylish, and ultracool. All the other qualities you may seek -- a good sense of humor, intelligence, a nice physique -- are certainly important and valid, but they do not necessarily make a man wonderful.

We have trouble recognizing wonderful guys because:

1. We don't realize how important and valuable these basic qualities, the building blocks of a wonderful relationship, are.

2. We pick (to death) at a man's superficial flaws.

3. We don't provide an emotional climate in which good qualities can flourish.

4. We demand things other than what they have to offer.

This book will help you discover how good your man is and show you how to nurture his wonderfulness so that it flourishes, bringing you the heaven on earth that a relationship with a wonderful man can be.

The foundation of this knowledge is the real-world wisdom imparted by a group of women whom I call the Ladies. They come from different walks of life but share an exceptional understanding of how to nurture wonderful qualities in their men. The Ladies came together to give us their thoughts on what makes a man wonderful over the course of a series of roundtable discussions. They came from different life experiences, age groups, and ethnic backgrounds. Some have been married for decades; others are newlyweds. Their only commonality is that they all felt they were either married to or in committed relationships with wonderful men. What they had to say about their relationships, their stories, are both the inspiration and the basis for this book.

I bring to the discussion my insights and findings that come from my twenty years as a psychologist working with couples. I have shown many women the way to relationships with wonderful men, and this book is structured to guide you along that journey over the course of five weeks. At the end of each chapter, you'll find that week's "35 Days to a Wonderful Man" day-by-day guide. Each chapter builds on the one that came before, so it's best to do the thirty-five days in sequence. A "How Did I Do?" chart follows each week's guide so you can see just how well you're doing, one day at a time.

You may find that you're more comfortable working the thirty-five-day plan at a slower pace, choosing to do just a couple of items a week, and that's fine. You may find that some of the week's items are already second nature to you, and that's great. Congratulate yourself, and move on to items that may be more challenging. The best approach for you may be to read the whole book first and then begin the plan. What's important isn't that you religiously adhere to the thirty-five-day plan on that specific time line. The week's guide provides a framework within which you can develop your ability to reveal and nourish the wonderful in your man, so work at the pace at which you feel comfortable.

You can have fun with it too! Get a girlfriend to work her thirty-five-day plan with you so you can laugh, cry, or groan together over what you learn about yourselves in the process. Discovering what's wonderful in your man is a guaranteed way to find out what's wonderful in you, and sharing that with a friend can be delightful.

Maybe you're not sure that your guy really is as wonderful as I'm telling you he is. If he were, wouldn't you know it? And if his wonderful traits are hiding, why is it your job to usher them into the world? Why can't he just wake up, smell the coffee, and be that wonderful man? He's not revealing himself as a wonderful man because, for whatever reason, you're not allowing him to. If you want the joy and fulfillment of a relationship with a wonderful man, the ball is in your court. As you read this book, you'll see that it's actually easy to reveal the wonderfulness in your man.

This plan will play out differently in your life depending at least in part on where you are in your relationship. Here are some guidelines that will allow you to adapt the plan to your relationship, whether you're dating or have been married for decades.

First Phase: You Want a Relationship with a Wonderful Man

You aren't in a relationship, but you would like to be, so you're dating. You've probably experienced some not-so-wonderful men, so you want to be in a relationship with a wonderful man.

Great! The information in the book will serve you well. Take note of the bad apples to avoid (described in the appendix) and then use the criteria in Chapter 1 to determine whether someone you're interested in is basically a good man. In brief, is he honest, reliable, trustworthy, responsive, and responsible, and does he like other people and care about the welfare of others? Don't just say, "Yeah, yeah," to this list. Pay attention to how this man leads his life, tends to his work and other interests, interacts with the people, animals, and things in his life, as well as his attitude and behavior toward the people and things on the periphery of his life: waiters, salespeople, people suffering on the other side of the globe, our planet, our environment. You will learn a great deal about the man's honesty, reliability, trustworthiness, responsiveness, responsibility, and compassion from patient and diligent observation.

As you're observing the man you're interested in for his "good guy" qualities (or lack thereof ), practice what you've discovered in reading this book. Use whatever items in the thirty-five-day plan that make sense to you as you go along. Start by looking at the differences between the two of you as valuable (Chapter 1), praise what you legitimately believe is praiseworthy (Chapter 2), and practice accepting (not necessarily approving!) who this person is (Chapter 3). As you do so, notice what you're getting in return. Does this man respond by looking at the differences between you as valuable? Does he praise you to yourself and to others? Is he accepting of who you really are?

Give it time. Pretty much everyone looks and acts wonderful for the first three months of a budding relationship, sometimes referred to as "the ninety-day wonder." Don't race from practicing acceptance to embracing complete best friendship in the heady rush of the first few weeks just because you feel so utterly compatible. The proof that he's a good guy will emerge in six months, one year, and onward. Remember that you're seeking to build a lifelong relationship here, so putting in the time is well worth it.

Meanwhile, you're developing and honing your ability to reveal the won...

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