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how to love a spouse with cancer

How to Love a Spouse with Cancer with Gene Villeneuve

Gene Villeneuve shares his experience with the very difficult subject.

Today on the Good Dad Project, we have Gene Villeneuve, a successful business man who lives in Paris with his wife and two daughters. Last year, his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer and they have endured 11 months of emotional exhaustion as she has undergone treatment.

It’s more than likely we’ll all watch one of our loved ones facing a deadly illness during our lives. Gene talks about dealing with the pain and uncertainty of watching a spouse go through cancer treatment while keeping his career in balance and still being a good dad to his kids.

Three things he said were crucial to helping him know how to love a spouse with cancer.

1. Create a community of support.

Husbands of cancer patients tend to feel isolated and alone, but you will also need help. Just because you’re not the one with cancer, doesn’t mean you don’t need support.

2. Put your own oxygen mask on first.

Self-care might feel selfish during this time, but if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be strong for your family. Exercise, good rest, and downtime are needed to restore your mental and physical reserves.

3. Listen to what your spouse needs.

As men, we might have a tendency to worry about filling in the practical gaps, like the keeping up with dirty laundry or washing the dishes in the sink. But in reality, a spouse with cancer is frightened and worried. They need to express themselves, and you need to listen to them on deeper level. Then you can love them in the way they need to be loved during this time.

Gene says he now loves his wife more than ever. He says facing a situation like this makes us realize the things we may have taken for granted. We must ask ourselves, what are the things most important to us? What can we do to show that appreciation?

RESOURCES

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Join our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Get a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

Gene Villeneuve’s website – BusinessHealthResults.com

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GENE AKA "JOHNNY DEPP" :)

GENE AKA “JOHNNY DEPP” 🙂

Create an Unbeatable Mind, Body, and Become Sealfit with Mark Divine

Mark Divine will make you challenge yourself. This is the consistent message of Mark Divine, founder of SEALFit, author of Unbeatable Mind and Kokoro Yoga-Warrior Yoga. Right now, you are capable of more than you are right now. Mark Divine continues to prove this with countless client success stories; the GDP’s own Larry Hagner is living proof.

 

Physical and Mental Fitness

Mark Divine been with us before. In our previous interview with him, Mark talked about having an Unbeatable Mind through a mission, vision and power statement (this sounds familiar because we’ve incorporated it in quite a few podcasts!). In this episode, Mark expands the conversation to the physical aspect. One does not outweigh the other, as a matter of fact, mind, body and spirit are one in this practice.

 

What in the WOD are you talking about??

Coming from his Navy SEAL background as well as his own research, Mark has developed a physical program that is both mentally and physically challenging. The beauty of the program is it can be customized to every fitness level. Based on an idea similar to CrossFit, Mark’s SEALFit program combines the intensity of a CrossFit program with the mental focus of yoga. Worried about injuries associated with CrossFit programs? Mark’s got that covered, too! He’s put in safeguards, mentally and physically, to help you stay injury-free.

 

Take Your Game Up a Notch

So, maybe you are already in great shape or you simply want to find a workout program that fits your busy schedule. Mark’s program is sustainable and meets every experience level. And that guilt about taking time for yourself (remember, we had this conversation last week)? Turn that guilt to viewing this as a way to make yourself the best version of yourself in order to serve others. This is a message we continually drive home: you cannot show up as your best self if you do not take care of you first.

 

Resources:

JOIN US FOR FOR THE SEALFIT 2oX on June 24th at Vail Lake, CA HERE.  Use “GOODDAD10” for the coupon code and save 10%

Checkout Unbeatable Mind Online

REGISTER FOR “THE DRIVEN FOR EXCELLENCE SUMMIT”  Register ==>HERE<==

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Check out our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

Connect with Mark Divine:

Books:

Links for Mark:

courage

How to Feed Your Courage and Starve Your Fear

COURAGE is something every dad needs more of…the question becomes:  “How do we develop more of it?”

We can’t out run stress. It’s simply a fact of our daily lives. The idea that we “eliminate” stress from our life sounds great, but that means cutting out the parts that are most meaningful. Think about it: the parts of our lives that make us who we really are come from areas that bring stress: our work, our kids, our significant others. These aren’t “bad” stressors, but they are part of our lives. It’s not a matter of cutting these areas out, but a matter of how we handle them.

 

Always Darkest Before the Dawn

 

Truth. All too often, we get caught up in the negativity of our circumstances and fail to see what good might actually come out of them. Our mind will take us where we lead it. If we choose to ask questions like “why did this happen to me?” or “what did I do to deserve this?” we certainly will find ourselves at the end of a self-destructive spiral of pity and self-loathing. Yuck, we’ve all been there. But, if we choose instead to view a circumstance from a state of abundance instead of scarcity, we just might see that our “negative” circumstances have a lot to teach us.

 

What are You Feeding?

 

Our attitude about stress is all about what we choose to feed: fear or courage. We’ve talked about feeding the Fear or the Courage Wolf before and this is exactly what we have been encouraging. Choosing to nurture the Courage Wolf through affirmation statements gives us the strength to get through the circumstance and persevere. Whereas feeding the Fear Wolf only strengthens our stress, making us anxious and eventually paralyzing us from taking any positive action.

 

Choosing the Statement

 

It doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple phrase like, “I’ve got this” in moments of even the greatest doubts will trigger our minds to think in a state of positive action. Navy Seals even use these statements to get through their most difficult moments in training and the field (see the Mark Divine episode for more!). Like anything in life, how we confront stress is how our mind and body will respond. What it boils down to is the fact that we simply don’t give our minds enough credit for what they are really capable of.

 

It’s About the Questions

 

And what it also comes down to are the questions we ask ourselves. Really, how positive is it to ask ourselves, “what did I do to get here?”. After this question, your mind will tell you EXACTLY what you did to get “here”. Because our minds go where we ask them to go, we tend to lead them down a negative path with this line of questioning. A better, more positive question might be, “what can I learn from this event?”. Through this type of questioning we will find ourselves better poised to handle whatever the stressor might be and learn from it for the next time around.

 

We’ve just touched the surface here. Knowing that we, as men, face the societal challenge to be strong and unbending, we tend to shy away from anything that others might perceive as “weak”. But instead of suffering in silence from these stressors, learning to reprogram how we deal with them will only strengthen our relationships and better our lives.

Resources:

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

Check out our Dad Edge Group on Facebook Request Entry Here

We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

 THE FLOW CHART MENTIONED

courage

overcome weakness

How to Identify, Conquer, and Overcome Weakness – GDP009

“How to Identify, Conquer, and Overcome Weakness” Episode Overview

Larry and Shawn get personal on this episode and share some of the things they struggle with most and how they have learned to personally overcome weakness.

Key Take-Aways

  • Being aware of our weaknesses is the first step to conquering them
  • Implementing a strategy to conquer your weakness whenever you feel it start to arise

Example: Losing your patience – how to recognize it, control it, conquer it

Larry’s 1st Weakness: Patience

A lot of challenges in life, both at work and at home, can wear your patience down. You’ll feel tense and will exhibit tension through your facial expressions and actions. You can be irritable with your partner and with your kids. Check out this blog article on patience by Larry for more insight.

Solutions:

  • Take a few minutes before entering the house after a long day at work to reflect and breathe
  • Say a prayer: The powerful thing about prayer is it that you’re being intentional in your thoughts and actions

Larry says a prayer like this:

“Dear Lord, I don’t have it together today. I know I can’t do this alone. I need your help because without Your help, I won’t be successful. So, I pray that you will guide me to be the best version of myself for my family, and to turn a bad day into a good evening.”

  • Deep breathing
  • Listen to uplifting music
  • Listen to uplifting podcast

 

Shawn’s 1st Weakness: Low Tolerance for B.S.

Shawn tends to be short tempered with his older kids. He’s not patient with them when he knows they could be better at something he knows they can do. This crossed over into his professional career as well. Shawn has a hard time with people who don’t help themselves. However, Shawn has learned to recognize whether most actions or behavior are carried out from a place where the person lacks ability or lacks choice. He is more patient and tolerant when things are done out of lack of ability or choice, but he’s less tolerant when things can be more easily chosen and prevented. Realize that it’s not about you trying to win an argument or necessarily control a situation and be right. Own your feelings.

Solutions:

  • Have the intention
  • Have space to reflect
  • Be aware: Listen to the way you feel and the language you’re using
  • Be more compassionate and understanding
  • Ask yourself: “What is it that this person really wants? And how can I serve?”
  • See your kids/partner/another person: Look at them, listen to them, and remember how important they are to you
  • Tip that Larry learned from someone: Look into someone’s eyes and notice their eye color in the heat of the moment, which forces you take a pause — you can not only see that person, their emotion and the person that they are, but you can really recognize them and makes you able to respond instead of react.

 

Larry’s 2nd Weakness: Work-Life Balance

Larry works out of his house. His home is his office, and his office is his home. Men get wrapped up in the “provider mentality,” which is a hard to thing shut off, especially if they are the breadwinner and especially if they work from home. It can be a double-edged sword: You can be working to hours to provide for your family, but you’re also not able to provide for your time — quality time — to spend with family. You may be physically with your family, but your mind and emotions may not be there, particularly if you’re working while with them. Technology, specifically with emails and text messages, make you virtually reachable at all hours and increases the temptation to continue working. Larry shares an “a-ha!” moment he had with son. It’s a relatable, poignant story. Listen to the podcast to hear it.

Solutions:

  • Turn your phone off — or at least turn off the notifications and put the ringer on silent
  • Leave your phone and/or laptop in the car — or other safe place that isn’t so easily accessible

 

Shawn’s 2nd Weakness: Communication with Children’s Mothers

Shawn clarifies that he struggles in communicating with his ex (not his wife), which can be additionally challenging. He also tended to latch onto his kids more, out of fear, when he dropped them off to be with their mother. He was expecting problems and issues with his ex always being on “defense” when having a conversation with her. What complicates the situation even more is the fact that having children at a young age can cause additional frustration. Generally, the younger a parent is, the less prepared they are to have and raise a child. Plus, when you’re young, you’re still trying to figure out who you are as a person. It’s mostly about being patient and remaining appreciative about the process. There can also be resentment when there is positive change, particularly when one parent is able to move on and do well in life or seems to be doing better than the other parent is currently. Note: Don’t necessarily expect a positive response from your ex at first when you show and communicate positivity with her/him — you’ll likely catch them off guard.

Solutions:

  • Start playing offense and not defense — in other words, take the initiative: In a conversation, immediately look for ways to be helpful and to be of service towards your partner or ex-partner parent
  • Emote positive energy: Be truly caring and loving towards your partner or ex-partner parent as well as what they want and what their goals are, and then be more caring and patient with them
  • Show appreciation when things are difficult, and keep them top-of-mind: Even though you don’t like each other, you must find the things you appreciate about your partner or ex and find the goodness
  • Communicate goodness in every conversation possible, frequently — not just on Mother’s Day or holidays — especially when things are not well between you and your partner or ex, so that you can start to better transition into a much more valuable, healthier relationship

 

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

The Good Dad Project Car Karaoke Session

Check out the video of Larry and Shawn singing a tune in a car, complete with disco ball and colored lights. They’re mic’ed up, so the karaoke is official now — and they’re on some kind of fire!

perfect-supplements-banner3.png Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

How to connect with your spouse

5 Ideas On How To Connect With Your Spouse – GDP003

“5 Ideas on How to Connect with Your Spouse” Episode Overview

Larry Hagner and Shawn Stevenson share five ideas on how to connect with your spouse. They discuss some of the common challenges of marriage and how to overcome them with easy strategies.

Key Take-Aways

Intimacy gets lost when we get too busy and don’t make the time to truly connect with our spouse. The best way to connect with her/him is through communication, having a real conversation. Larry and Shawn discuss some of the common challenges of marriage and how to overcome lost connection and intimacy with five easy strategies.

The Problem: Limited Time to Connect

We have limited time in the day to connect with our spouse. We have demands of work, homework, extra curricular activities with kids, our health, hobbies, quality time with our kids and family.

At times, there is very little time to connect during the day. We can be exhausted from the day. We burn the candle on both ends. We “check out” when we get home. When we don’t make time for our spouse, we can potentially lose our connection. We lose intimacy.

Idea #1: Go on Once a Month (or More) Dates

Couples who do not take time with each other one-on-one can lose their connection. Your dates have to be something that gives you a platform where you can communicate and catch up. You should be in a situation where you will be able to hear each other and hold a conversation.

One suggestion would be to have Date Night more than once a month. Another suggestion would be to have an annual Date Day, where you spend the whole day and evening together. A third suggestion would be to have a mini date night or day, where you spend a few hours together. You could go out to dinner or just hang out together doing something simple.

Here are some tips to have a successful Date Night or Date Day:

  • You must schedule it.
  • Book a babysitter.
  • Make reservations for dinner at your favorite place.
  • No movies, concert, or plays: It must be interactive between the two of you.

 

Idea #2: Take 10 Minutes Every Day Before Bed to Catch Up

This time is sacred. Before bed may be the only time you and your spouse have to really connect with one another by having a meaningful conversation. A huge driving force for women, especially, is to be heard. There is something special and transformative about lying in bed together and having real pillow talk.

Here are some tips to have a fulfilling 10 minutes:

  • Ask open ended questions: What; When; Why; How. The more questions your spouse can answer without simply answering “yes” or “no”, the better.
  • Hold hands or physically touch (ex., give a backrub/massage) during your conversation.
  • No TV, iPad, or phones during your 10 minutes.

Jack Canfield (author of Chicken Soup for the Soul series) wrote a book called The Success Principles. In his book, Jack mentions that he and his wife share five things they appreciate about each other every night before bed.

Verbally acknowledge 3-5 things you appreciate about each other. Feeling significant is a human need, and hearing those things are powerful.

Idea #3: Talk or Text Throughout Your Day

Communicate on a daily basis or throughout the day. Call or text during the day to “check in” and let your partner s/he is in your thoughts. A useful tip would be to keep your interaction lighthearted and make your spouse laugh or make your spouse feel appreciated. Long-term happiness is related to gratitude and appreciation.

A suggested number of times is at least three times per day. We generally eat three times a day. Why not take some time there to communicate with our life partner?

Here are two helpful suggestions when talking/texting:

  • Make it a point to communicate via text or phone call to pay a compliment about something specific.
  • Don’t just give a simple “l love you.” The communication has to be something with more thought and specifics. Why do you love your spouse?

 

Idea #4: Pay a Genuine Compliment at Least 3 Times a Day (For 1 Week)

This strategy ties in with Idea #3: Talk or Text Throughout Your Day. Be aware of your spouse and her/his needs.

Of course, feel free to pay daily genuine compliments for more than just one week. One week is simply a good starting point to help turn the act of paying a genuine compliment into a positive habit.

Here are two important guidelines when giving compliments:

  • It has to be something specific.
  • It must be something important, empowering, and impactful for your spouse.

 

Idea #5: Choose to Love Your Spouse

The first 90 days or so of a relationship are linked to primal chemistry, the initial stage of the honeymoon phase where flaws are commonly overlooked. Love is more than a feeling. To really love someone is to make a purposeful choice.

Learning to love is a skill. Love is a practice, something you have to cultivate and take care of in your relationship. You have to take loving your partner upon yourself by making love a study. Learn from examples of others whose relationships who are more than happy and who you admire. Read books and seek out advice.

Choose to look at your spouse with gratitude and appreciation. Choose to be positive and have a happy perspective. Choose love.

 

Free Resources:

Check out a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Check out this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links

Perfect Supplements, our Good Dad Project Sponsor

Thank You!

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Good Dad Project. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute to subscribe and leave a quick rating and review of the show on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!