An Antidote for A Nagging or Stressful Wife – Footnote No. 6 in Gary Smolker’s Mentor Notebook

Copyright © 2014 Gary S. Smolker

Telling jokes is a great way to teach a lesson because good jokes are emotional.  They touch your heart.

The best jokes teach you something new in a memorable way.

The very best jokes present content in a way you will never forget.

Below is a wisdom laden joke and a copy of an email I sent today in response to the question: “What do you recommend for those who have a nagging or stressful wife?”

May 11, 2014


The better you understand the nature of the world the better you can move in the world.

With that in my mind and while being mentally preoccupied by my concern about my friend’s dilemma and while shopping at an Apple store I asked a young saleswoman who was there  if she would like to hear a joke that would provide her with wisdom to consider passing on to the “right man” when and if she met such a man.

She replied: “Yes.”


I think she said yes because she assumed or hoped my joke would teach her something new and enriching about the nature of the world of male-female relationships.

Everyone wants to have a peaceful, engaged, trustworthy and mutually supportive sustainable long-term relationships with others.


I then gave her advice, in the form of the following “joke”:

Tell that man:

“If a woman tells him that she will not change, don’t believe her.”

She replied:

“The problem with men is they can’t make a decision.”

I replied, I have learned from my experiences that:

“A healthy relationship must be nurtured to achieve continual success and to allow for cross-pollination.

“Interoperability enables collaboration.

“Potential never ends.

“In order to make a decision and/or to change your mind you need to be mindful. 

“Men and women need to be alert; their minds needs to be awake. 

“Your mind has to be present, focused, turned on.

“You must be aware of the present moment while simultaneously setting your sights on the future.

“In order to carry a positive action you must first develop a positive vision.

“You need to know your priorities and where you want to go.

“Anticipate what’s next.

“Only when you let go of what you are, can you become what you might be.”


  • Have broad based awareness of yourself, of others and of the world.
  • Becoming more aware of yourself, others, and the world allows you to better connect with others and bring them with you on your journey.
  • Be committed to knowing how the world works, how people work in a relationship and individually.
  • Be aware that each individual has something precisely his or her own to offer.
  • Understand the extent and depth to which the other people are engaged in their experience of life.
  • Think big.
  • Always work on building relationships.
  • Be sensitive to the world you wish to see.
  • Be conscious of the world as it is.
  • Keep a big picture perspective.
  • Be conscious of the energy you bring from yourself and other people bring from themselves into the world.
  • It is your job to connect the world you wish to see to the world as it is.  The high performance most efficient way to successfully do that is to connect those two things through the long-term activities, and fundamental relationships you create nurture and sustain.
  • Be oriented towards others rather than yourself in a manner that promotes mutual flourishing.
  • Be skillfully ignorant and pro-social.  Surround yourself with people who shine light in your blind spots.
  • Keep in mind that the psychological practices, social behaviors, and organizational structure of a relationship (and of any enterprise) lead to the sustainability of the relationship and determine whether it will thrive or not.
  • The psychological inner mental lives of leaders are predictors of whether an enterprise will succeed or fail, and will determine whether an enterprise – or a relationship – will thrive or not.
  • Have a long term orientation and make it manifest every day.
  • You must understand how you want to fit in with the world.
  • Be conscious of the world as it is.
  • Know that your actions are an expression and an extension of yourself.
  • Take an active role in the composition of your life.
  • One of the primary predictors of success for a relationship is the quality and quantity of the human connections that people have.
  • We are addicted to validation.  We are not addicted to success.  We are addicted to validation.
  • High achievers are not addicted to the work they do but prize the feelings of success and validation they gain from it.
  • Progress is something to be trying to achieve.
  • Progress feeds our engagement which leads to our best work.
  • We are creatures of and victims of our feedback loops.
  • Smart people go to wise people for wisdom.


A friend asked me (see string of email below) what to do if you have a stressful or nagging wife.

We need to know where we are going wrong in order to improve.

Constructive feedback – and constructive nagging – are in effect rocket fuel that propels the acquisition of knowledge and without it no amount of practice alone is going to enable anyone to be a top performer.

However, if the octane of the fuel is too high for a particular engine the combustion of that fuel in that particular engine will cause that engine to blow up.

With those thoughts in mind, I sent my friend (via e-mail) the answer set forth below.

Gary S. Smolker

Original Message from Gary Smolker to Friend —

From: Gary Smolker  <>

To: Friend

Sent: Sunday, May 11, 2014 (Mother’s Day)

Subject: Antidote for nagging or stressful wife

We have all been told that stress in our lives may lead to heart attacks, strokes, over-eating, premature aging and/or additional health related problems.

A woman I know told me that she had such a miserable marriage that she was never able to relax until after if was over (after the divorce was finalized).

Soon after her divorce was over, her friends saw such a dramatic change in her appearance that her friends thought she had had a face-lift.

TAKEAWAY: When we expose our minds to peace rather than stress our bodies react accordingly.

My brief off-the cuff “answer” to the question “What do you recommend to those who have a nagging or stressful wife?” is:

  1. Open your eyes to how the world really is.
  2. Be alive to the big picture.
  3. Grasp the gist of your predicament.
  4. Be realistic about what is possible.  Manage your expectations.
  5. Figure out what you want.
  6. Figure out what is reasonable to expect and what is reasonable to want.
  7. Figure out what would be of practical benefit to you.
  8. Figure out what you are willing to do to “get” what you are reasonably capable of achieving in a relationship.
  9. Don’t try to be someone you are not.
  10. Consider the long game.
  11. Stick to your principles.
  12. How you feel about what you are doing “catches on.”  Other people will feel it.
  13. Self-reliance is the best policy.
  14. Take full responsibility for your own life, you psychological life, your economic life, your mental and physical health and your well-being.
  15. Realize you are never going to change how people are “wired” or human nature.  But, it is possible to spark productive collaboration around critical challenges.
  16. The contents of our identities show up in our interactions with others.
  17. From time to time, all participants in relationships have to wrestle with tough issues.
  18. Be calm.
  19. Keep your poise under pressure.
  20. We live in an environment of non-stop volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and constant surprises come at us from all directions.
  21. The playing field keeps shifting and the goal posts won’t stop moving.
  22. You can’t analyze your way out of uncertainty.
  23. You need a clear set of objectives and desired outcomes that make sense given the time available and resources you have.

Keep up your existing relationships with friends.

Put a high value on your happiness and health.

No one can satisfy “all” your needs.

You don’t have to be in a relationship with a person who is toxic to your health and/or toxic to your other relationships.

How you feel about your relationship(s) [and how you feel about your work] catches on.

Whomever you are in a relationship with – a spouse, a friend, a colleague, an employer, a boss, a client, a vendor, etc. – will feel how you care about your relationship with them.

So, make sure you “care.”

Stay away from stressful people.

Don’t do anything you don’t believe in with 100% of your heart, with anyway you look at it, with no hesitation, or get out of it.

Everything starts and ends with people.

No matter what field you are in.  No matter what you are doing.  You’re in the people business.


It is not impossible to meet a woman who has a peaceful and happy personality.

I have met a few of them.


You cannot tell a flower to grow, but you can provide the environment in which it will bloom.

Life is a process of ongoing transformations in which our individual, interpersonal, and organizational working lives all interconnect.


From: Friend

To: Gary Smolker <>

Sent: May 10, 2014

Subject: A nagging wife can really send her husband to an early grave, but women are immune a Denmark study claims






About Gary S. Smolker

PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY: No enterprise can exist for itself alone. Every successful enterprise ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others. Otherwise, it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist. Imagination, open mindedness and flexibility are the most important factors in unlocking potential. Those who embrace innovation, improvisation, continuous learning, time management, are action oriented, high energy, passionate, creative, purposeful and intense individuals are best equipped to succeed. We all have ideas and the ability to make progress by sharing information and our ideas and also by changing our ideas when appropriate. We should always be on the lookout for teaching and mentoring moments. We hold time like water in our hands; however tightly we clench our fingers, it drips away. But, if it falls on a seed, a seed may grow to become something that will have a positive social impact. PERSONAL INTERESTS: I have a passion to learn, to innovate, to lead, to mentor and to teach. I seek to write things worth reading and want to do things worth writing about. I enjoy (a) driving a fast car, (b) having intense conversations (c) teaching/mentoring, (d) reading and (e) being involved in productive activity. PERSONAL: I believe in cultivating and backing passionate people, innovation, and old fashioned good ideas. I love making human connections and spreading good ideas. I am strongly motivated to achieve in situations in which independence of thought and action are called for. PERSONAL GOALS: I want to live life vibrantly, to be as sharp as a tack until my last breath and to change the world by being me. My personal goal is to be fully engaged in life, to lead by example, to set high standards and to continue to amass firsthand experience and knowledge in all that interests me. PERSONALITY: I love fun and mischief. I relish absurdity. I have an irreverent, facetious and satiric disposition. I dread boredom. I have spent a lifetime reading. I have no bias against people who have lived successful and/or complicated lives. I write to release tension, to get things off my chest. SOCIAL MEDIA: I post articles on the "Gary S. Smolker Idea Exchange" blog at, and "Dude's Guide to Women's Shoes" at I also post images and comments on Instagram @garyspassion. CONTACT INFORMATION: Gary Smolker, Smolker Law Firm, 16055 Ventura Blvd., Ste 525, Encino, California, 91436-2609, USA. Phone 1-818-788-7290, e-mail

Posted on May 11, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Treat her with kindness and a lot of patience. It’s nicer if she does the same, of course, but probably she will after awhile.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: