Radio Interview Transcript


 

ANNOUNCER:  Welcome to the Wedding Details Radio brought to you by WeddingDetails.com. Now here’s your host, Damien Allen.  DAMIEN: Good afternoon and welcome to Wedding Details Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and joining us on the phone today is Paul Friedman of Encinitas, California. He is the author of Lessons for a Happy Marriage. Good afternoon and welcome to the program, Paul.
 
PAUL: Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.
 
DAMIEN: And it’s a pleasure to have you with us today, sir. You offer an incredible service, advice on how to have a happy marriage. I guess the question I have to ask, "What are the Ingredients for a Happy Marriage?"
 
PAUL: Well, that’s a very good question, and I find that most people unfortunately throw in the wrong ingredients to end up with an unhappy marriage rather than focusing on putting in the right ingredients. I like to tell people that if something seems to be hurting, they should stop doing what is causing the pain. In most cases the pain is caused truly by people abusing each other in the marriage. They become over familiar with one another and this is a very common thing, it actually begins long before they are standing before the alter. Where couples tend to become very familiar with each other, and they follow the routines they see in sitcoms, etc., and they make fun of each other, they do things that they wouldn’t really do in front of someone that they really appreciated. One of the great examples I like to give is that I asked someone, well if you were standing in front of the Dalai Lama or something, would you burp in his presence? Actually I use a different term, but burp is fine and of course people would be aghast to think that they would do anything to offend the Dalai Lama, and then I remind people, well the person that you want to marry or that you have married is literally the most important person in the world to you, and if you treated them that way from day one until the end of your life, the response you would get is exactly what you want which is an appreciation of you, love for you, love for your behavior, and everything that you could ever hope for in a marriage. So the first advice I always give people is if your mouth is just dying to say something sarcastic or teasing, or mean, or complaining, tell your mouth to not open. Think about what it is you’re going to say and ask yourself if that were said to me how would I feel about it? And then don’t say it and replace it. Say something that is extremely supportive and loving so that the person who you have chosen to live with the rest of your life feels honored by you.
 
DAMIEN: What are three things you should say to each other every day?
 
PAUL: Three things that you should say. How did you know that there were three?
 
DAMIEN: All good things come in threes.
 
PAUL: Ok. Number one is “I Love You.” And there is no limit to how many times one should say I love you. There is no occasion where I love you is not an appropriate thing to say. Number two, almost as important, has to be said at least one time a day is “I Appreciate You.” And that can be said in different ways. It could be said by describing how good you’re looking, or how wonderfully you did something. It’s nice to slip in the world appreciation, it sort of has a magic tone to it, but you should definitely acknowledge your appreciation of your mate. The third thing is “Honey, you look so beautiful today.” Or “Sweetheart I don’t think I ever remember you ever being so handsome as you are today, you get better looking every day.” So those are the three things that will definitely help.
 
DAMIEN: What do you see as the root causes of marital problems, and what are some of the red flags a newly engaged couple should watch out for?
 
PAUL: Well the first thing I would like to suggest to people is to really confirm, no matter how close you are to the date of your marriage, really confirm that you are compatible with the person who you have decided to be married to. The greatest pitfall is that people fall in love, and they allow their heart to overrule their mind. Remember what it is that you’re getting married for, and if you don’t have a memory of why you’re getting married, go back and ask yourself what is the happiness that I’m seeking. What about being married is going to create happiness for me? Is it having a family, is it having children? Is this the right person for me to have children with? Will they be a good parent? Will they be loyal? Do they have the same deep commitment that I have to the very things that I have deep commitments to? I will give you a great example. Some people get married without knowing what the other person’s views on abortion are. And for some people their view on abortion is very, very important. How will it be for you if the person you are about to marry is completely opposite about that? There are other hot topics as well. You need to delve into this. It would be much better to be a jerk now than three or four years from now when you’re about to have a baby and realize I can’t live with this person. So step number one is Do your homework. Really know the person you want to marry, make sure. It is cheaper, it is less strenuous. It is just better. Then make sure you are treating them correctly, make sure you have the same vision of the future. Know where you’re going together. I like to tell people you are going on the longest journey of your life with one person. Would you even go on a one week trip with someone who you don’t know very well and aren’t sure whether they like all of the things that you like, and I’m not talking about Italian food versus Greek food. I’m talking about the most important things to you. It’s very important if it’s overlooked. And then the next thing goes back to what we have started talking about. Be careful to treat the person you are going to marry with the upmost respect all of the time. Even if they are not treating you that way. Don’t allow your behavior to be conditioned by how you’re behaving. And that goes back to when your mom used to say, “If everyone is going to jump off the bridge, are you going with them?” The truth of the matter is most of tend to be reactionary, and it is a very slippery slope, because if someone mistreats you accidentally or even intentionally, and you react and they react and you react, you’re pretty soon in a trench. Neither of you will be happy. So your behavior should be positive, quality behavior regardless of how you’re being treated, and the way you make sure that that is the case is by remembering that there is only you who can control you and the other person cannot be controlled by you. They have to control themselves, and if they aren’t doing a good job of it, all you can do is still control you.
 
DAMIEN: Now in today’s day and age, the economy is tanked; everybody is scrambling for money, what is the number one budget recommendation you would have for a newly engaged couple?
 
PAUL: To live within your means. Remember that it is much easier to face internal and external adversaries with the person you love. If you start blaming them for what is happening to you in this world, you’ve completely missed the point. This world is a tough place; there is no question about it. When you get married, you are choosing to address the world with someone who you love and trust. They may slip at times, and they may turn on you, but you should never turn on them.   It always goes back to the same thing. You’re responsible for you, not for them, and you are responsible to them.
 
DAMIEN: On your website you offer this great advice; "You are marrying the most important person in your life. Treat them better than you would the President of country", "Marriage is where you learn to love unconditionally; always improve your efforts," "Fools argue, wise persons discuss." Never argue with your spouse."   All these seem so simple. What do you find is the number one cause of all these troubles for couples?
 
PAUL: The number one cause is that no one has heard these things. These things are not taught to use in school, and they really should be. In my book I go into how to control your mind. I go into how to understand what your mind actually is. How to overcome the doubts you may have and the fears. These are the how to live curriculum you might say that are especially useful in a marriage, and unfortunately our society for the past 300 years has been focused on industry rather than how to live. We’re starting to come around now. There is what you might call a spiritual revolution taking place in our country, but it hasn’t really gained traction yet, and the reality is that in order for us to be happy, we have to satisfy our try union nature. We have a physical body, we have a psychological mind, but essentially we are souls who are in control of those other components, but the greatest of us is the soul, and we forget that, and we become so engaged in our body’s needs and demands and our psychology we give way too much emphasis on how are we feeling rather than controlling our feelings. So this undermines us. I’ve had people who have received my book contact me by email and just are completely flipped out. How come something that is so basic, and such common sense, how come it’s never been taught to them before, and I don’t blame them. I say it hasn’t been taught, because the need hasn’t shown itself. It’s starting to show itself and my book won’t be the only one of its kind. There will be a lot more. It’s a very important thing. We need to learn how to control our minds. We need to learn our own relationship to ourselves. Our children need to learn it, and we’re at the bottom as society right now. We’re at the bottom. Having a 50% divorce rate is pretty much the proof of the pudding, isn’t it, and so now it’s time for us to turn around and do something about it.
 
DAMIEN: We need to pause for a moment to get a word in from our sponsors. You are listening to Wedding Details Radio. We are speaking with Paul Friedman, author of Lessons for a Happy Marriage. We will be right back with more from Paul. Please stand by.
ANNOUNCER: Did you ever wonder why the groom is supposed to carry the bride over the threshold?  What does the saying something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue mean?  Visit www.weddingdetails.com and click on the lore and tradition section.  We've got culture and tradition information from around the world.  Visit www.weddingdetails.com tonight.
ANNOUNCER:  We now return you to Wedding Details Radio with your host, Damien Allen.
DAMIEN:  Welcome back to Wedding Details Radio. My name is Damien Allen, and joining me on the phone today is Paul Friedman, author of Lessons for a Happy Marriage. Welcome back to the program, Paul.   PAUL: Thank you. 
DAMIEN:  Now we were just discussing some of the problems that need to be addressed when you are going into a marriage and when you are married. We’ve been together for a while, what should be done when me and my spouse start running into problems. Who should we turn to first?
PAUL: That is a very good question. I got in trouble for suggesting that Western psychology has missed the boat. So I have written and article. It is on my website about how to find a marriage counselor and the steps to use and I recommend that people read that, but most people honestly don’t need a marriage counselor. Most people can literally get everything they need out of the book I have written, because the book describes the laws, you might say, that contain us. And the greatest analogy I could use is the law of gravity. There is nobody who would continue walking once they reached the edge of a cliff, because they know that if they do they’re going to end up below the cliff. Well the law of gravity doesn’t have to be gone over in their head. They don’t say, ok, now we’re getting to the edge of the cliff should I keep walking if I think I’m going to fall, and I’m going to keep going until I hit something solid. They don’t have to say that, because they have grown up knowing the law. Unfortunately for relationships, we don’t grow up knowing the law, and so we behave miserably. Well the book contains all of the laws. You might say the laws of cause and affect that pertain to relationships and as I stressed before the biggest law that people transgress is the law of common courtesy. People do not behave well. If I were to tell you, “My God, you have gotten fat.” You’re not going to be a happy camper. 
DAMIEN: I didn’t realize the video camera was on, I’m sorry.
PAUL: I used that merely as an example. I’m sure you look wonderful today. And that is a perfect example of how to work with the laws. Everyone is sensitive. Everyone. The person that we love and that we have chosen to be with is sensitive, and they need to be reminded of how wonderful they are, how sweet they are. How sweet it is for us to gaze upon them. How much we admire them and what they have done, and who they are, and how they speak, and how they smile, and so that is working with the laws, the spiritual laws of relationship. But it’s helpful to know what those laws are.
DAMIEN: We’re learning lessons for a happy marriage from Paul Friedman today. Paul how did you get on the path of being marriage counselor?
PAUL: The hard way. What happened was I had a disaster and a divorce. I cannot even remember how many psychologists my wife and I had gone to see, and it ended up in a brutal divorce, and I am the kind of guy who doesn’t believe in failure. I stepped back, and I looked, and I went, oh my God I failed. How could that be? So I decided I would help other people have an easier divorce, because I thought that was what the problem was. I thought, oh we just had a bad divorce. I became a mediator and literally the first couple who came to see me, I listened for a few minutes and just said, “Oh my God, I don’t think you guys really want a divorce, and the tears just flowed from both of them, and I said, “Well let’s figure out how to make your marriage work.” And as an old business man, I used a business template and said, “Ok, we have problems, issues, goals, a starting point, how do we make this thing work?” And because I’d been on the spiritual path, meditating and discovering all sorts of religious laws for many, many years, I decided to apply those laws to this. I just figured, and I think correctly, that marriage was created by God. It didn’t make sense to me that marriage came out of men owning women. That just isn’t how things work. So I came up with a system, tried it out, it worked very, very well, worked with hundreds of couples who work out the kinks and my delivery system an of how I communicated and the successes were tremendous. People went from at the verge of divorce to happily married within 6 hours of working with them. My think is to educate them. I don’t call it counseling. I call it life coaching, because I’m educating and very few people who left there and proceeded to get a divorce. Most people went on to have a very happy marriage within hours and so that’s how I got into this. My next step we created a foundation. I teamed up with one of the most professional and recognized divorce mediators in San Diego County, and we have begun a new foundation called Global Foundation for Marriage and we tend to wipe divorce out, to destroy it. I consider divorce to be a disease. It is the most prevalent disease in our world today. More people get a divorce than any other disease except for the common cold, of course, and yet nothing is being done to scientifically address it. So we intend to do that. I’m not the only one with a system to help people and none of these systems are scrutinized. None of these systems are tested. No one is getting accurate or scientific feedback on these systems and that is what we are going to do. We’re going to be sort of the University of Marital Science, and we’re going to shake up the world and divorce starting all the way back with educating people about how to get married, how to find your soul mate, how to behave, how to recognize what is good. What should I be looking for when I want to marry someone? What should I avoid? How should I scrutinize? How do I decide who I am? How do I get from point A to point B and all of that? I know I’m a bit wordy, I apologize.
DAMIEN: That’s quite alright. That’s one gigundus mission statement. Are there any other points in your mission in life?
PAUL: Good question. No. This is what I’ve chosen to do with the second half of my life, actually. I have made tremendous success in other areas of my life, and I just feel moved to do this now to pay back, and we’re going to be successful.
DAMIEN: Could you kindly share your website and contact information with the listening audience and all those who would be interested in finding out more about Lessons for a Happy Marriage.
 
PAUL: You bet. It’s not that hard, you just gave the name of the website called Lessons For A Happy Marriage.com. Our future website End Divorce is called Globalfoundationformarriage.com and I am always happy to help people. I get a lot of emails and respond to them as quickly as I can. My mission is one of service. The book that I offer is offered at no charge as a download. If someone wants to purchase it so they actually have something in their hand, they can get it from Amazon.com or from Barnes and Noble if available, but if you can get it for free, why not, right? It’s an instant download. I want to help. If I can be of service to you, you’ve made my day.
 
DAMIEN: Thank you very much for joining us today, Paul, and sharing some of these easy lessons and a lot of common sense with us.
 
PAUL: Thank you. I appreciate having the ability to reach out to my fellow man and woman.
 
DAMIEN: We are please to announce that Paul Friedman is one of our resident experts for weddingdetails.com where you can link into Paul’s website and listen to his common-sense advice about Lessons For A Happy Marriage!
You’ve been listening to Wedding Details Radio.  My name is Damien Allen. Everybody have a great afternoon
 
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