Never Forget That Partners Are People, Too!

Spouses, life partners, and business partners need to cooperate on financial matters, especially regarding sensitive topics such as life insurance. Here I offer "relationship advice" :) to help your decision-making dynamics run more smoothly.

Why Do Men Hate Women?

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-dissatisfied-man-screaming-scared-man-small-over-dark-background-image40711270This is a continuation of my post from yesterday, “Is Your Husband a Real Man?”

We will go a little deeper today and focus on a possible root of male-female problems.

Let’s suppose we were to tally up all the tragic incidents of man’s inhumanity to man.

We will go back all throughout history.

Which group would have caused the most suffering to which other group?

What do you think?

Would it be to totalitarian regimes trying to subjugate other nations?

Would it be religious crusaders attempting to impose their beliefs on “nonbelievers?”

Would it be gentiles against Jews?

Muslims against Christians?

White against blacks?

No doubt that many, many of these people have been victimized throughout time.

Nonetheless, I think the dubious “winner” here is, without a doubt, men mistreating women.

Think about all the rape, pillage,and plunder. Think about all the domestic abuse. Think about all the second-class treatment in the home, in business, in schools. All the harassment in public: on the sidewalks, in the subway. How about all the religious persecution? Then, once you get into the media with all the ads, the songs, the styles… you see how pervasive this predation can be.

What is going on here? Why on earth would the male of the species make a habit of degrading his female counterpart? Let me take the question a step further: let’s suppose that the holistic philosophies are true. Let’s consider that men and women are two sides of the same coin. That one is incomplete without the other. That through physical, emotional, and intellectual union, we create a whole that is greater than the sum of the parts. That in doing so, we complete ourselves.

In that light, our question becomes even more pressing. Why would men reject – sometimes with the most brutal of violence – that part of “himself” that he so essentially needs? It seems, then, that our question is really not, “Why do men hate women?” It is more like, “Why do men hate themselves?”

This is a very intimidating idea. Who wants to go around thinking he hates himself? But, doesn’t it make sense? If you have been involved in any close relationships, haven’t you picked up on this very strange phenomenon: when you get mad at people, isn’t it because they remind you of a part of yourself that you do not like? The reflection of ourselves that we see in them is not at all what we want to be. So, we lash out. But we do recognize in some way (hopefully) that breaking the mirror doesn’t change the image. To do that, we have to develop ourselves as a better person. Then, when we see ourselves in others, we will like what we see.

This understanding has tremendous implications for male-female relationships in all walks of life. It would certainly make the purchase of life insurance easier for couples. Can you imagine how much easier the decision would be if they saw each other as partners? Suppose one spouse made more money than the other. If he saw his wife as an equal partner in the household, then both the process of buying the product, as well as the final outcome, would be much more satisfying. The “power thing” would be kept at a minimum.

We will have to talk further about how the hate – or love – men have for themselves affects their lives. How it cannot not only impact family finances, but society in general… not to mention the entire world. This is certainly a very deep topic, but is no doubt worth our time and attention.

What are your initial thoughts?+

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Is Your Husband a Real Man?

I have heard wives tell their husbands many reasons for why they should buy life insurance. These women speak about their financial dependence and need for security. (By the way, many women say this even when they themselves have established careers They still are sensitive to their codependence with their husband).

They try to encourage their husbands to face life realistically. “Death is part of life. We all go sometime. What if your time comes when we are still dependent on you? And what about your business? What about our church?”

These are all good, valid rationales for buying the product. On a very rare occasion, I hear this argument voiced: “Man up! You’re the man of the house. Do your job.” Again, bear in mind that this is often said by women who work.

Yep, that’s the bottom-line. When all is said and done, it comes down to buying life insurance because that is what the family man does. You work, you save, you provide, you protect. Man as protector.

Is this really an outmoded concept? Has gender-blending become so prominent that the idea of “man as protector” has fallen out of style?

Not with these young folks. The young men and women at “CounterCultured” claim that real men are out there, and they are who you want for a husband. As a matter of fact, they have identified ten qualities these men should have.

Take a look at their list. Does it work for you?

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Should the Government Recognize Your Marriage?

From a life insurance underwriting point of view, marriage is neither a deal-maker nor a deal-breaker. I have been able to get policies for a man and woman who were legally-married partners; two men who were legally-married partners; two women who were legally-married partners; two men who were unmarried domestic partners; and two women who were unmarried domestic partners.

Any Evidence of Your Marriage?

Nontraditional couples were a bit harder to insure twenty years ago. I think that was because insurance companies wanted to make sure the relationships were stable and ongoing. If a same sex couple wanted to buy life insurance on one another, they had to prove some sort of codependent relationship. Something like a joint checking account would suffice.

These days even simple documentation such as that is typically unnecessary. Insurance companies pretty much accept the various forms of partnerships that are commonplace. A government-issued marriage certificate is certainly not required for the approval of a life insurance application.

No Marriage Certificate, No Problem

Let’s look at that situation for a minute. An insurance company does not require an applicant to be “officially” married in order to offer him a contract. The company will put hundreds of thousands – and even many millions – of dollars into reserve for the insured’s beneficiary, as long as the premium is paid. Over many years, a multitude of transactions have been effected on this basis.

I am sure that you and I can think of numerous other industries in which civil marriage is not necessary for doing business. That being the case, the question is this: why do we still want the government to get involved at all in our marriages? We all can basically manage our affairs quite nicely without an official stamp from the government certifying our most private relationship.

Gender and Marriage

This point is made stronger when you look at all the controversy regarding gender in marriage. People have many resources available for bringing spirituality into their lives and making their relationships special. They can use traditional religion, or not use traditional religion. They can use various philosophies. Or, they can not bother much at all to find a deeper meaning to their partnership. Couples, families, and communities do a fine job on their own upholding what they find to be sacred. Why is government recognition so important?

I am sure at some point there was a somewhat rational reason for the government to control marriage. Maybe it had to do with public health; perhaps it had to do with census-taking. It seems to me that now, the government regulation of marriage has outlived its usefulness. Worse, it seems to be more trouble than it’s worth.

Wouldn’t our lives be better off without the fight over who is legally married?

(This article was inspired by one of my favorite thinkers, John Stossel, in his post here.)

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

Have Sex and Buy Life Insurance

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-sex-button-image27943870Did you happen to catch the article by relationship columnist Elizabeth Bernstein in the Wall Street Journal the other day?

It is very instructive for married couples who want to have more sex – especially men.

With all seriousness, I offer it as a resource to help you talk about life insurance with your spouse.

Deep emotions

Life insurance is a deeply emotional topic.

One has to be in quite the mood to talk about dying, death, money, and family protection.

People keep putting off the decision to buy it because of this.

How to get in the mood…that’s the key.

When you think about it, people really buy this product because they love and care for their family.

Why else would they spend a bunch of money on a benefit they will never see in their lifetime?

Once they get in touch with those loving feelings, it is easy to move forward.

Can you see where I am headed with this?

Loving and caring mood

We need to get ourselves into a loving and caring mood and then find ways to express those feelings.

So, follow the tips below, and be sure to keep your life insurance application handy.

1. Like it or not, emotional intimacy leads to physical intimacy:

To rekindle the flame, skip the flowers and chocolate. Ditto the plan to get something going on your birthday or anniversary. “These are clichés,” says Justin Lehmiller, a Harvard University social psychologist who studies sexuality. “We’ve been there and done that. The novelty has worn off.”

Step One is to have a conversation with your spouse—and choose your words carefully, says Debby Herbenick, a sex researcher and co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University. “The heart of all this sex stuff is emotional intimacy,” she says. “If you actually want to make changes in your sex life, that’s where you start.”

2. Take small steps:

If you feel awkward starting a conversation on this topic, tell your partner and ask for understanding. “Take some baby steps that will lead you there,” Dr. Herbenick says. Instead of saying, “I miss sex” try saying, “I miss the way sex would bring us together.”

3. Try something new together:

Research suggests a way to ignite the fire is simply to try something new together. Whether it’s a new restaurant, vacation spot or hobby, any kind of novelty drives up dopamine levels in the brain—the same thing that happens when you fall in love. Even if these experiences aren’t sexual, they may trigger passion.

4. Be nice, fella:

On Tuesdays and Fridays, Ms. Pettiford, 37 and a graphic designer, straightens her hair and gets out her best lingerie. Sometimes in the morning, Mr. Pettiford will tell her, “I want you tonight.” Her answer, half joking: “That depends on if you treat me right today.” “I take it as a challenge,” Mr. Pettiford says.

 

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.

“One is the Loneliest Number…”

Marriage is tough. (This summer I will be married thirty years, and I still have to work hard at it. But, I will say it is getting easier). You can look at the divorce rate and see the huge amount of people that have great difficulty making it work. Regretfully, many people have had more marriages than they have had jobs or gym memberships.

Finances can make marriage double-tough. When money is on the line, you can see a person’s true colors. (There is an old Hebrew saying: you know what a person is really like when he handles his “kaso” – his anger; his “koso” – his alcohol; and his “kiso” – his money).

The topic of life insurance can make a discussion between spouses even harder. Who wants to talk about dying? Who wants to face their own mortality, or the mortality of a loved one upon whom you are dependent? People very frequently put up mental roadblocks when going down that road.

If you add to the mix a lack of connectedness, of not being on the same page with your spouse, then deciding to buy life insurance can be next to impossible.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take right now to open the lines of communication with your spouse and agree to buy all the coverage you need. Once you get the life insurance out of the way, you can move on to the next hard decision. The key, according to Henry Grayson, Ph.D., is adopting spiritual practices to heal your relationship.

Dr. Grayson’s book, “Mindful Loving”, brings together truths found in the fields of psychology and physics with a variety of spiritual traditions. He provides ten practices which can be used for creating deeper connections with people. He helps people understand how we co-create the quality of our relationships, and that even our thoughts about people (let alone our actions) can on some level influence how those people act towards us.

“In ego-based thinking”, he says, “We tend to believe that other people are doing something to us, making us feel often like victims of other people’s influence; but the reality is that it is well within our power to create what we are looking for. And if what you want is a relationship that is happy, joyful, and peaceful, then all you have to do is shift your thinking accordingly.” (1)

It stands to reason, then, that when your husband digs in and wants to short-change you on the amount of coverage he wants to buy, or when your wife wants to settle for too little, then you should not let him or her become the “enemy” in your eyes. That will only generate resistance from them. Better to consider them an ally from whom you need to gain cooperation. From Dr. Grayson’s of view, that should get results because you are already connected – you just need to let your positive feelings toward one another reveal and celebrate that connection and help you become true partners.

(1) Henry Grayson Ph.D., Mindful Loving (New York, NY: Gotham Books, 2003) p.50

 

Want to learn more?
Read my free guide, How To Get Great Life Insurance Rates and learn how you can get life insurance companies to compete for your business, at no risk or extra cost.