It was an ordinary day when I received an unexpected early morning phone call from a friend that I hadn’t heard from in a few months. He was his normal lively self, but when he asked me to meet him for lunch, under the banner of an important announcement he had to discuss, I quickly woke up from being drowsy, and was quite intrigued by this “surprise” announcement!I remember thinking at first that his announcement had to do with the fact that he had won the lottery, since he had always mentioned exactly how he would go about letting our group of friends know, (there are four of us, and we have been friends since elementary and junior high). This phone call and lunch meeting had all the makings of that exact scenario. You can imagine our surprise when during the lunch meeting he announced that he, and his wife of over a dozen years were not only getting a divorce, but had in fact been separated for the better part of a year! Trying to defuse the tension of the moment, I responded by lamenting my expected percentage of his lottery winnings.That night, as well as the next several weeks, we spent time hanging out with our friend who was definitely going through a rather difficult time in his life. What I didn’t realize, was that I was about to embark on a transition of sorts in my own life. During that lunch meeting, we laughed a lot, cried a little, and compared notes about each of our individual relationships. I quickly discovered, as I listened to the different issues that we all had endured in our respective marriages, that I found myself doing less and less complaining. One of my friends asked... what was the matter? I quickly responded by saying that as soon as I got home I was going to give my wife a kiss, and a hug! I didn’t have nearly any of the issues going on that I was finding out about.While I always believed I had a strong marriage, I also believe that you sometimes grow to appreciate your spouse a bit more if you are exposed to a negative alternative. While the cliché is, “you never truly miss a thing until it’s gone,” I feel that we do get constant examples of how we should appreciate what we have. It is merely a matter of whether we are paying attention to the examples set before us. When I got home I gave my wife that promised kiss and hug; I explained to her that I had an epiphany that night. I told her that I was going to write a guide for husbands, and others, as a way of creating dialogue that would help discuss a few relevant details of relationships from a man’s perspective, as well as address a few misconceptions in general. ‘The Husband’s Guide to Keeping His Wife and Kids’ is a collection of topics, and situations that I feel have great impact on who we become and how we develop our concepts of relationships.What started out as a simple way for me to process the pain I was feeling for my friend as his marriage came to an end, quickly turned into an effort to discuss a number of reasons why men and women lose sight of each other in our relationships. This is a non-pretentious attempt to talk about the factors that shape our views on relationships, as well as the way we break those negative trends. I hope that we all can laugh, cry, and share our own stories as we discuss this emotional roller coaster that is found in both life, and marriage. In the end I pray that we come to the conclusion that a “perfect” marriage or relationship is nothing more than an illusion. Instead there are just people who have vowed to be committed to their relationship, and together have learned and adapted to make it work.