Author Sherri Mills

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Retired/Not Retired

Yesterday A woman who came into my Salon stated emphatically that she detested her husband. I could tell that she meant it.

She said she had no idea what to do about it. She was 75 years old and had no place to go if she left him.

Her husband had been retired for 10 years and she knew that she would never be able to retire from her job.

Over the years she had formed the habit, as had he, that she was the one responsible for everything domestic.

Now he was retired, and she, not only wasn't retired but she had more work to do now than ever before because he was home all day.

I tried to tell her a few little tricks she could use to get him to do his part. It didn't work. The hate and resentment she had built up for so many years was too strong. She was not able to soften her stance long enough to even think about negotiating.

It sounded like the only communication they had all day was confrontation.

If they weren't arguing they were ignoring each other.

When I asked her about her love for him she said, "There hasn't been any love in our house for years."


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another Query Letter Answered

There is another Agent who is interested in my book and wants a full proposal. Maybe something will happen this time. If it doesn't I will just keep trudging along. I am in it for the long haul.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Don't Hate Him / Help Him to Understand

I had a new client yesterday who had four children. The oldest child was five.

All four children came trailing in after her. The bedraggled look on her face spoke volume's. She told me that her husband was home but had refused to let her leave the children with him. It would be too stressful.

"Sometimes I literally despise him." She said, with disgust.

This girl couldn't have been older than twenty four and yet she looked to be, at the very least, in her late thirties. Life had not been good to her.

Luckily I had an extra hour to spend with her and together we figured out a few little tricks to make her husband become more responsible for his own children. Tactics that would only be possible if she could get rid of the hate she had for him. She would understand his plight as a man and have a lot more respect and love for herself.

All too often this is when women make the disastrous decision to end their marriage. When children are young and life seems impossible.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Starting Again

I decided I needed to send some more queries out today.

This Publishing business is more difficult than I thought. I have worked harder since I finished the book than I ever did when I was writing it.

Perhaps this could be a deterrent for some people. However, this gal refuses to quit.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Meet The Press

Today on Meet The Press, the subject was 'Women in America'.

Studies showed that women are being compensated quite well in the workplace. Men are trying to help out more at home, due to necessity.

The down side to that seemed to be that men didn't have any idea what the expectations were on the home front. There was also the male ego to deal with. Add to that, men were completely in the dark as to the complexity of the whole household situation.

My book deals with all of that. I explain how we got here in the first place. How we have been going about it all wrong by blaming our husbands. I also have solutions that work without damaging our husbands egos. The key word being, 'responsibilities'.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Keeping Him Was Worth It

My view on keeping marriages together gets stronger every day. I see disasters from divorce situations on a regular basis. Occasionally however, I see the miracle of a marriage, once on the brink of divorce, that has been saved.

A client visited my salon the other day who was enjoying twenty years of a renewed marriage.

She said, "Sherri, I will never be able to thank you enough for bullying me into saving my marriage."

This woman had been dealt the ultimate betrayal. Her husband had been having an affair with one of her friends. When she found out about it she was determined to file for divorce immediately. She planned on taking her four kids out of school and moving in with her mom. Her mom lived in another state.

It took a lot of counseling, a lot of work, and most of all time to regain her trust, but their marriage is stronger than ever. They do everything together, and he has been faithful for twenty years.

It does my heart good.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Child of Divorce

One of my clients takes her son to Primary Children's Hospital to have weekly visits with a Psychiatrist.

This child has been diagnosed with POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.

The Psychiatrist informed the mom that the constant pull between mother and dad has caused it. This child loves both parents and wants to be with both of them.

He was reportedly perfect before the divorce, even with the constant fighting.

As it stands now. The disorder is off the charts and they can only hope for a cure, sometime in the future.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Excuse for Getting a Divorce

I was listening to Dr. Phil the other day. I usually agree with him and think he has helped multitudes of people. However this particular program sent me reeling.

Dr Phil was stating the fact that if a marriage is riddled with turmoil, it needs to end. His reasoning was; children are better off out of that situation. A situation where they hear their parents fighting all the time.

Does anyone think the fighting will end after the divorce. My research shows that not only does the fighting get worse, but now instead of fighting in front of the kids they are fighting because of the kids. The kids being in the middle, and obviously feeling more and more like it is their fault.

In my interviews with children of divorce there were numerous suicidal thoughts.

When I asked one child how he would feel if his parents got back together, he said, "It would be like being dead, in a coffin, and coming back to life again."

Let us fix our marriages, some how, some way. Go to counseling. Do whatever we have to do, for the sake of the children.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Changing the Way We Think

Changing the way we as a society think about household responsibilities is going to be a significant challenge. However it will be well worth the effort.

My personal story proves that it is entirely possible to wake a sleeping giant (husband). To very lovingly cause him to be aware of the inequity at play with his partner in life. Trade your own resentment, unhappiness, anger and ultimate hopelessness, for empathy, love and the realization that your partner is not bad. He has just been misinformed. As have we all.

After all, we collectively think that women should be responsible for it all. It has been deeply embedded in our society for so long that no one really wants to face it.

Let us be brave. Face it and fix it, instead of opting for divorce or counting on drugs to help us cope.

Our children and grandchildren will benefit greatly.

Til Death Do Us Part

As I have said before, (domestic violence is a no brain er when it comes to divorce.)
However, we must erase the idea that if you are not happy in your marriage you need to get out. No matter how many times unhappiness rears its ugly head in subsequent marriages.

That is exactly the stance we as a society took, some twenty years ago. I call it the 'me generation'. I am convinced that if you were happy once, you can get happy again. Also, why do the children have to suffer because your not happy? (And they do suffer.)

We need to go back and examine just what that kind of thinking got us. Then why don't we try to get married with the idea of making it work, no matter what we have to do. Let us try to keep children in the same house with both parents.

Barring any physical or sexual abuse, what ever happened to 'TIL DEATH DO US PART'?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Appreciation Card

Are you having problems in your marriage?

Get a 3 by 5 card and list all of your husbands good qualities. Keep it in a recipe file or anywhere you can easily get at it when he is being a major jerk.

List everything, no matter how trivial.

Is he hard working?
Does he make you laugh?
Does he love your children?
Does he keep himself clean?
Is he always on time?

Put your thinking cap on and come up with everything you remotely like about him.

The card I had written for my husband had 22 specific attributes. Reading them made me realize he was a definite keeper, no matter how enraged I became.


If we never communicate with our husbands effectively about the situation of householder overwork, we are sure to repeat it in subsequent marriages.

When we don't know how to fix the problem, it will surely follow us into the next relationship.

Doesn't it make more sense to keep the relationship we have and fix the problem now.

I assure you, it is fixable.

Getting Co-operation on the Domestic Front

So we have a problem because our husbands are not getting involved on the domestic front.

We have already discovered that nagging, sulking, feeling sorry for ourselves, or being angry don't work. Sadly, these actions are also very toxic to our self esteem.

Why don't we try; first to begin to love and appreciate him for all the things he does that we normally take for granted. Things like; always keeping the vehicles running smooth, bringing home the biggest share of the household income, taking care of household malfunctions, taking care of the yard, to name a few.

The next thing we can do is to love ourselves enough to know beyand a doubt that we deserve being a partner instead of a slave.

Perhaps then, we can be rational in our endeavor. We can go ahead with a plan to get co-operation, in a loving but resolute way.

In my research I have discovered that without this loving aproach, the results can only be TEMPORARY.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thought for the day

Sey Chassler
Parade magazine

Helping is useful, but it is not the same as doing, it leaves the basic responsibility to someone else.

We can choose our destiny

We can spend our time having one person be responsible for everything in the home. The result being; resentment , and so much anger that this person is exhausted and empty of everything else. No time for children, or any kind of personal or sexual relationship with her mate.


Share everything;--------Chores-----Love for each other----Time with the children----and most important of all, time to have a personal and sexual relationship with each other. Free from resentment, anger and hopelessness.

It should be so simple. Let us make it so.

Stamp out marital guess work

When two men become room-mates, they decide going in who will be responsible for what.

When two women become room-mates the same thing happens.

Guess what happens when a husband and wife become room-mates? The home is automatically the wife's responsibility. It continues to be her responsibility as the family grows and the job gets more difficult.

A (good) husband will help, if he doesn't have a golf game planned, a buddy who wants to go fishing, extra work he brought home from the office, or if he is just too tired.

The bottom line is, the wife can't get too tired. She does everything, or feels guilty or inadiquate if it doesn't get done, often causing so much resentment that divorce becomes the answer.

Think before you leap. Decide before you say "I do," who is going to be responsible for what, on an on going basis. Sit down and work it out before the ceramony.

When two people are working, the only way to have a continual loving relationship is to make sure you both have the free time for togetherness.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saying of the day

A quote by author Sey Chassler

I can't believe that of the only two kinds of human beings put on the planet, only one has been assigned two jobs.

Thought for the day

A mother feels responsible for so much----because the people around her feel responsible for so little.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Mother's Lament

This little limeric is a stark reminder of what mother's of small children go through on a regular basis. The Poem is called A MOTHER'S LAMENT

The perils of being a mother, are equal to not any other.
For granted she's taken, and often mistaken, for a robot. She'll do it, why bother.

I'll give you a vague estimation, of what one day is like at her station.
The deeds of great fame aren't always the same, but she is sure to get all of her ration.

A mom has a time clock she punches. Breakfast dishes done, oops, time for lunches.
From 8 to 12, hey, all her time's slipped awaqy. Now she's got to find out what that crunch is.

That's probably why nothing gets done; her off-springs keep her on the run.
She starts with the dishes, then every child's wishes,
comes out in the voice of just one.

As mom is changing the baby, the other kids their thinking, "maybe,
She'll be busy a while."
To each other they smile.
Then she hears one kid holler, "DON'T SPRAY ME."

It takes her a while to turn loose, the one who's been knick-named caboose.
As she gets on the scene, one is dripping but clean.
And the other one has an excuse.

All mothers know the excuses, it's the same one that every child uses.
He changes the name, but the stories' the same,
And the other kid that he accuses.

After a few more stansas riddled with calamities, the poem continues.

Her duties are started again. With the hope that she gets at least ten
Minutes to get things done,
and there's not even one.
It's lunch time now, ol mother hen.

She hopes as she smiles forcibly, after getting son out of yon tree.
They will eat with no fuss, and a little less muss,
than the normal day turns out to be.

The lunch turns up half on the floor, and they turned up their noses like before.
As usual , she fixed it---and as usual they nixed it,
and then in an hour they want more.

After supper she wails to her spouse, "I'VE GOT TO GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE.

Then hubby starts pulling his rank, and say's, "Dear, I'll be truly frank.
When the children don't mind,
I"m sure you will find,
That it might be because you're a crank.

Now---as for you losing your mind. That's silly, sit down and unwind.
It's not quite as bad
as it seems, just be glad,
you don't have to put up with my grind.

If you did would you ever get tough.
So you think that you've got it rough,
staying home all day, with the kids. BY THE WAY, COULD YOU PLEASE KEEP THEM OUT OF MY STUFF?


As the door shuts in tired mama's face, she continues to keep up her pace.
Her man's work is through, she still has her's to do,
and still hasn't got to first base.

She's tugged at by one or the other. And it's a drink for the other ones brother.
"Ah"---she sighs with delight,
"It soon will be night."
And so---ends the day of----------A MOTHER.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

He Didn't Sign Up For This

I'm back from vacation.

I saw Steve Harvey on a TV show the other day. He was talking about how couples get along in this terrible econamy.

One couple had to reverse rolls because the husband had lost his job. He was complaining because he felt his manhood was deminished.

She was complaining because, not only was she the bread winner but her husband wouldn't do anything in the house.

Steve Harvey said, "That's because he didn't sign up to get the house done."

Then he said, "He signed up to support his family."

Isn't it funny that we are in such a polerized mind set that we don't know what to do when roles are reversed.

You can't blame the husband. He has just lost his identity. However, what's a wife to do when she has to support the family and then come home and clean the house?

In my book I explain how important it is for husbands to have lifetime responsibilities in a household. Responsibilites that are his very own so he knows precicely what to do. No nagging. No wondering why his wife is angry. No guessing what his wife wants him to help with.

If this husband was in the habit of having at the very least a few lifetime responsibilities the transformation from breadwinner to householder might not have been so tramatic.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life After Almost: The next best thing to a book deal: An Encouraging Rejection

I read in the Writer's Digest something about rejection letters. It says, "A personalized rejection is a letter written directly to you. If you receive one of these, it means your manuscript is head and shoulders above the majority of submissions an agent has read. Most agents add a personal and encouraging touch to no more than 5% of the queries they read. By itself, a personalized rejection is actually a good thing: It means you will likely become a published author. You have convinced a publishing professional to pay attention to you--and that should be a tremendously energizing event."

I have received five such letters, so what am I complaining about?

Instead of being depressed about my rejection I should have been energized.


I haven't been on my blog for a while. I try to be in denial and say I am way too busy. This is not the case.

I received a rejection letter for my book. Contrary to what I would have most people believe, I was extremely disappointed.

This one was real close. Her name was Victoria Sanders. She expressed interest in my manuscript right off the bat. I got a phone call from her, three personal emails and a very personal letter stating how she loved the timely concept of my book and if I could change a few things she would take another look.

I have been tied up with her for five months and everything looked so good. That is until I got the letter that stated in part:

"This is a wonderful idea that has such huge potential. I worry, though, that it is modest and lacks the edge that would help it break out and feel as good as it could be.

Though I continue to love this idea. With respect and regret I am going to step aside so you can widen your pursuit and place this with the right agent and subsequent publisher."

The letter was much longer which should have made me feel wonderful. She took so much time on my project. However, I let disappointment take over, halting for a time, my blog and my continued pursuit. Shame on me.

I'm back again, more determined than ever.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

TIP OF THE DAY Fortitude With Little Things

What to do when you are getting your children ready for school, church or any outing, and your husband is on the premises:

Get all the clothes ready for one particular child. Socks, shoes, pants, shirt, everything he is going to wear that day.

Make sure that child is in the same room as his dad so the dad can hear.

Say, very sweetly, "Here are your cloths Johnny, go have your dad get you dressed."

If He has never done it before, he may be surprised so it is very important that you say it, then walk away and start dressing another child, or get busy doing some other chore. To make this work. you can't make this statement and then do nothing. It is very important for him to know he is doing it to make it easier on you.

Remember, don't ask him to do it. Make a very confident statement to your child and EXPECT RESULTS.

Societal Problem

The double duty-double standard of householder work, as stated by many professional people, is a very big problem in our society.

There is a specific situation that makes solving this problem of the utmost importance. The situation I am speaking of is that mothers who just can't take it any more are usually young mothers with small children.

In their frustration and pain, these mothers believe they would be better off divorced.

They don't discover the reality until after it's too late.

Broke and all alone they now have to navigate blindly through their unsuspecting circumstances.

I want everyone to know beyand a doubt that staying and fixing the inequity in a marriage, although difficult, will be much easier than being on ones own with small children.

I refused to self publish my book; I ALMOST DIVORCED MY HUSBAND, I WENT ON STRIKE INSTEAD. I also refused to answer small time publishers who called me after I was on TV.

The only way to get this message out to society is to go national and international WHERE SOCIETY LIVES.

This is the only way our children and grandchildren will benefit from the books' concept.

With national dialogue.

The sad fact is that there is not a magic wand that is going to make this problem go away today. There are a lot of things we can do to make it easier, and I will continue giving tips on my blog.

Changing peoples minds right now is going to be an uphill battle. A battle we must keep fighting.

We need to acquire a change in our thinking that includes how we women perceive ourselves and how willing we are to do whatever it takes, no matter how difficult or unorthodox.

The most important thing to remember is that blaming our husbands, is a dead end street.

Case in point:

I was interviewing a husband who seemed to know there was an unfairness beyand belief in his and his wife's responsibilities.

He said, "I can't believe everything my wife does, and what she accomplishes every day. Then he added, "She does way too much."

I asked him, "Why don't you do something about it then?"

He paused for a moment then said, "I have no idea what to do."

And they truly don't.

We have to spell it out for them.

I will be adding THE TIP OF THE DAY on my blog every now and then.

Joke Of The Day- I'LL TRADE YOU

A woman was getting her five kids ready for church and the day was chaotic as usual.

Her husband was getting nervous as usual.

She was always running late.

He said, "When are you ever going to be on time?"

His wife turned to him and said, "I'll tell you what honey. Next time I"ll trade you places."

"What do you mean?" He asked.

"Well," she said, "Next time; you get up, get breakfast, do the dishes, get my cloths ready, get all five kids bathed, comb and curl their hair, get them dressed. And I will go out in the car and honk."

A father of five kids told this joke when he was a master of ceremonies at a reception for newlyweds.

I knew this man very well and he was a man who never lifted his finger at home.

Isn't it funny that he could tell this joke and still not get it?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Anticipated Answer

I received an email from the Editorial Director of Victoria Sanders Literary Agency.

The Email came on Tuesday August 11. They agreed to take another look at my manuscript.

I have been checking their agency out on line and they seem to be the perfect fit for my work. I will be waiting with bated breath. They have a three week exclusive, so time will tell.

I called Dr. Liz Hale and told her. She had wanted an update on anything that was happening. If anyone deserves to be updated, she does. Dr. Hale has been one of my main cheerleaders. Of course I called my Editor, Bianca Dumas too. She has been amazing through it all and has forced me to learn how to use avenues that I never dreamed I could. These learning curves are now part of my life. I will never be able to thank her enough.

I am going on as if this Agency has already signed on the dotted line. This is all part of the process.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Let Him Do it Better Than You

While I am on the subject of men taking on responsibilities, let me relate another situation.

My husband had noticed the sink in the kitchen was getting dingy. He got the cleanser out, a tooth brush, a few specific rags and cleaners and went to town. He put so much windex on the faucets, that the shine sparkled clear into the next room.

After about an hour and a half (no lie), he proudly stated, "Now that's the way it should always look."

The old me would have gone ballistic.

I would have said,"If I spent an hour and a half on just one thing, how much time do you think I would have left over for the other hundreds of things on my schedule?"

We don't have hundreds of things on our schedule, but that's what we would have said.

The new me, with plenty of self esteem, said, "Honey that looks great." Then I added what he was already thinking, "You do it a lot better than I do."

Sometimes co-operation comes with a price. A small price to pay for continued co-operation.

His Very Own to Do As He Chooses

About a year ago, My husband bought some good wood floor wax. He wanted me to use it on our floor.

I informed him that I was allergic to the cleaner. He then proceeded to move all of the furniture, sweep and mop the floor, then apply this shiny wax.

It's been over a year now and the wood floor is now his to be proud of. He keeps it up on his own.

The minute it starts showing spots he will proudly say, "It looks like it is time for me to do my floor."

This would have never happened before. In the early years, I did it all wrong. I would beg him to help me with my work.

For him to be proud of what he has done and not be resentful, the responsibilities have to be his very own.

I don't remember the last time there were disagreements over householder responsibilities. The most important transition is the lack of resentment.

Oh how healthy that feels.

Responsibilities For a Lifetime

An earlier blog was an interview with a man about household responsibilities. The responsibilities he picks being his for a lifetime. (After all; all of the responsibilities women have are lifetime responsibilities.)

Case in point:

One responsibility my husband took as his very own after I went on strike, was the Yard. The transition was slow in the beginning. I had taken pride in my beautiful lawn, and my beautiful mound with synchronized bouquets of flowers.

I watched my flowers wilt for a while but then something wonderful happened. He began taking pride in his yard, and his manicured lawn and garden put mine to shame.

He would beam when neighbors would ask him what he put on his lawn to keep it so green. They would also inquire as to what kind of an edger he used to make his lawn look so manicured.

He would never even think of having me mow his lawn now. I might just mess up his lawn mower lines.

Funny how much easier it is to do a job when you know instinctively what to do instead of having someone nag you all the time.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Push From My Daughter

For years my clients had been urging me to write a book. I had been writing articles, poems, limerick's and speeches my whole life. Then in 2002, I began my journey in earnest.

In 2002, I received a book from my daughter as a birthday present. The book was THE EVERYTHING GET PUBLISHED BOOK.

Inside the book my daughter Nicole wrote:

"To my dearest Mother,

Some might think this to be a strange gift. To me, it was my way of telling you that I believe in you. I believe in your talent. I believe in your dream and your vision. Tell the world Mom.

Hopefully, one day the entire female population will owe you their future.

I Love You,


How could I not get off my duff and write the book after that?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If She's Stupid Enough

I woke up this morning remembering a situation that happened right after I went on strike.

I was at a church function and one of the high ranking members of the church came up to me.

He must have read the article in the paper because he said, "Wow I really have a lot of respect for what you did."

I didn't know him that well so it really made me feel good. What he said next however, made me lose respect for him. It also made me very angry.

He jokingly said, "If my wife is stupid enough to do it all, Why should I help her?"

I think that statement was the beginning of what became my Passion. I vowed then and there, I would do whatever it took to change things.

I remember after the strike; my husband had a whole new respect for me. A respect that didn't even remotely resemble how it was when I was doing it all.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I wish I Didn't Have To Do It

A man I interviewed the other day was telling me about his beautiful yard. He said the yard is his responsibility.

He bragged about; his flower beds, fountains and pruned bushes etc.

I asked him "How does it make you feel when you are through with your yard?" I added, "Do you feel; proud, resentful, tired, exhausted?"

He answered, "I feel exhausted, and yes I feel proud no matter how tired I am."

Then I asked him,"How does it make you feel when you help your wife with the dishes?"

I gave him the same examples; proud, angry, resentful, exhilarated, or tired.

He thought for a long time then he said, "I wish I didn't have to do it."

I said, "What if you made doing the dishes and shining up the kitchen your forever responsibility?" I finished as I watched his face go white. "It would be your baby, yours to be proud of. Then what would you think?"

He pondered that for quite a while, then he said, "It is a possibility."

I told him, "It would take a while, but how would it feel if you ended up doing it even better than she does?"

He took that one in.

He said, "Yes, that would be a possibility."

These big strong men need to have jobs that are theirs alone, to do as they see fit, What is amazing about this is if left on their own they eventually do a job they can be really proud of. If they don't do it to your expectations you either have to take it back as yours or live with the reality.

There is no third option.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bride Access TV Interview

Click on the following link to view the latest telivision interview.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Fit Me In

One man I interviewed was very upset about the lack of intimacy in his marriage. He told me about a situation that had happened between he and his wife.

He said, "My wife has a journal she keeps every day. One day I noticed her journal on the counter and I started reading it. I noticed the journal was chuck full of endless tasks, one after the other."

What he said next was very telling.

He said, "I asked her where I was on her schedule."

I laughed because obviously that would be the remark of most men. They just don't get it and never will until they do it for themselves. I think they believe that each task takes only five minutes anyway. Instead of feeling bad for her because she is overworked, he feels bad for himself because he isn't getting his needs met.

I grinned as I explained to him how he could work himself in.

I said, "With all of the tasks she has to do daily, I think the only way you are going to work yourself in is to find a few jobs that you can take over. Then you will automatically be inserted into that slot." I put my hand on his shoulder and gingerly asked, "What do you think?"

He seemed to (kind of) get it.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Questions for Interviews

One of the questions I ask when I interview husbands is: When you were first married, which housekeeping responsibilities belonged to your wife?

Everyone I have interviewed so far says the same thing, "Everything."
A few of them said they helped a little, but reluctantly.

What does that tell us?

Perhaps it is that both husband and wife have the same idea in the beginning: they both believe that she should do it all. Perhaps this would be a good place to start. As soon as a couple decides to get married, they should discuss chores. She should admit that she plans to do it all, and he should admit that he plans to let her. Then they should both admit that their plan is unrealistic, and they should divide the chores, especially before the children come along. interview

My computer has been to the doctor for a while and I just got it back.

My interview with Bride Access aired this morning and my phone has been ringing off the wall. People are telling me their own stories. Some are telling me how wonderful my ideas were and everyone is so glad that this subject is finally being brought to the forefront.

A couple of people told me how brave I was to talk about the problem of the division of householder responsibilities. "I don't feel brave," I said, "I feel resolute." However I understand where they are coming from. My interviews with women show a distinct fear at discussing the subject at all. They are so thankful because some one is discussing it for them.

Come on everybody, let's get into a deep discussion about it. Any dialogue will be helpful.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My interview with Robin and Nicole Seville

I interviewed a wonderful couple about what makes their marriage work.

I had met Robin Seville, the producer and camera man for the show Bride Access, while filming the segment about what to expect when you get married.

Dr. Liz Hale was interviewing my husband and I about our life after my domestic strike and how the strike had affected my husband and our marriage.

Robin was very interested in my theory of men sharing responsibilities around the house. He stated that in order for him to expect more intimacy from his wife Nicole, he'd noticed that he had to chip in with the housework.

I was very intrigued by this man who was genuinely interested in a subject most men run kicking and screaming from. I could feel intuitively that he had enough respect and love for his wife that he was willing to do what ever it took to make things easier for her. I asked if I could interview him.

He said, "Is it okay if my wife is at the interview?"

I was all the more impressed.

When I did the interview I asked questions that usually come up in my interviews as to his upbringing, etc. (I will post the questions and explain the reason's for each one on future blogs.) He didn't seem to fit into the usual stereotypes of husbands who understand the division of labor.

Instead, this man was just a conscientious, sensitive person who really cared about making life easier for his wife. In fact, this was a couple so in-tune with each other, that they gave me hope again.

Robin said he had taken on the exclusive responsibility of assigning jobs to their children and making sure they got done.

How big is that?

Robin sent me an email the next day saying he really enjoyed the interview and that it felt more like old friends visiting than an interview. I felt the same way. This is an amazing couple and we all could learn a lot from them.

I did.

Stay at Home Mom/or Not

A woman writes to an advice column that she is expecting her first child. Her husband has stipulated that if she doesn't work, she is to do all the cooking and cleaning and taking care of the house. His job will be to provide the family income.

She wonders why he gets a 9-to-5 work day while she will have the never-ending job of home-maker.

She asks, "Do you think he should still help me around the house? I feel guilty even bringing this up to him."

The columnist answers, "How about this: You will be in charge of the child and the home - and all that entails - during the hours he's at work. He will be in charge of earning money while he is at work. In the hours you are both home, you will share the tasks of home and child equally."

What she adds later is intriguing. She says, "By the way, the best way for you both to appreciate each other is to trade off for long stretches on weekends. He needs to know what your days really feel like versus what he imagines them to be, since you you presumably know what a day at work is like for him."


Monday, June 29, 2009

Long Marriages

Want a long marriage? A couple said the secrets to their successful 70 year marriage include remembering a few bits of wisdom:

Everyone has faults: "We decided to put up with each other's faults, rather than find new ones."

Stick it out for the kids: "Divorce is so hard on children, so we never wanted to see ours go through it."

Jobs at home: "We decided to divide up the household chores, from paying bills to maintaining the yard, and we do our jobs in our own way."

We meant it when we said "I do.": She said when she recited her vows--"to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, til death do us part"--she meant it.

Let the "disagreements" go: Don't hold on to grudges; life is too short.

I cut this piece of genius out of the newspaper and have had it in my wallet for many years. Based on my experience, I believe every word of it.

I would also add, "You can't always be right and have a happy marriage at the same time."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Raising Accountable Kids

My editor told me about a positive parenting plan called Accountable Kids. I was so excited about this idea that I sent for the book and kit for my own daughter who will be melding two families together . I was really wondering how this was going to work out. I can't wait until my material gets here.

I showed my granddaughter the website and she was as excited as I was. She couldn't wait to be in charge of the whole process.

In my book, I have a complete list of chores: daily, weekly, monthly and periodical chores to choose from. I also have a chapter on teaching kids how to do chores. However, I strongly suggest the Accountable Kids store for tools to help parents teach their small children to balance choices and consequences in a fun and productive manner. This card based program has behavior charts, chore charts, reward charts and responsibility charts. The child marks his progress on the personal progress board.

Find out more: P.O. Box 155 Fredonia, Az. 86022

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Children are our specks of light.

This is a dark poem that one of my customers gave me. She was in the middle of a very messy divorce -- a divorce that left her hopeless. She wrote it one night long ago while seriously contemplating suicide. Thoughts of her children always brought her back. The specks of light referred to in this poem were her children.

Here is the poem:

What is a dream? An altered state of our own reality? It might be a wish with a bit of imagination mixed in.

Can our nightmares become such a part of our every day thoughts, that we soon fail to comprehend the danger that we have unconsciously placed ourselves and those around us in?

How many times will we be allowed to ask for that which we shouldn't, before our answer is given with a bellowing "YES" from the eternal damnation that we all should fear more than a spiraling life which we think we have the right to run from?

Is it possible that we all choose all too often to only hear that which we want to hear? Even if at that very moment it may only be sounds of sorrow and ill intent, when the truth is, that there are so many individuals who at that very same moment are screaming out their concern and thoughts of well being and prayers of safety for the one that they love.

Why would we choose to not hear such beauty, when it would be that beauty alone that would snap us back into the world we once knew? A world we once loved and once would have never left? It may be because we are sad creatures who are swayed too easily into darkness even when the light around us is so bright that it glares brighter and warmer than the sun.

It may be that those few specks of light which are not let in, by some miraculous force, find their own way in to save you, at just the right moments in time. moments when the darkness can be felt and tasted like nothing you have ever experienced.

It may be that those specks of light have been purposely positioned to fight the darkness, when the "God's" will, that you were born with, has lost it's own energy. For those specks of light, I am grateful and secure. For those specks of light, I hold my head a bit higher. For those specks of light, I will one day find redemption, salvation and peace.

It must be said that this woman is fine now and is enjoying life like never before.
Isn't it wonderful what the love of our children can do when life seems so hopeless.

Studio 5 Interview with Liz Hale

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Wife Asks for Help

In Carolyn Hax's help column in the Salt Lake Tribune, a woman writes that she has been married for six months, adores her husband, but is not excited about spending the rest of her life doing everything in the house. She is resentful of him but also of herself because she lets it happen.

Can you even imagine how she is going to feel once the kids start coming along?

Carolyn's answer was right on. She said, "You do not ask him to [help out]. It's his responsibility as much as yours."

That is wonderful advice on the surface. However, the writer gives the wife no hint as to how to make it his responsibility.

My guess is that the writer, being like the majority of society, still thinks it isn't the man's responsibility.

This is a societal problem. The idea that women should be responsible for everything in the house isn't the man's fault. Deep down we all believe it. The idea is embedded in our culture. The ugly little secret is we want it this way. We don't want to ask for change. We don't want to create change. We don't want to go through the discomfort of change. We can over-work ourselves and continue to have resentment, anger, and sometimes pure hate for our husbands, because change seems impossible.

One thing I have discovered through my research is that until a woman can believe unequivocally that she is not responsible for it all, she will never convince her husband of that fact.

The good news is, it is possible.

Dr. Liz Hale

Yesterday I received a card and a box of expensive chocolates from Dr. Hale. What an amazing lady.

She wrote; "What an honor it was to sit with you a second time as you dispersed your great wisdom and insight. May great rewards be yours, again and again."

The honor was all mine. It is hard for me to describe how much respect I have for this woman. Not just because she is a psychologist/TV host, or the many other accomplishments she has achieved. The respect is more for how much she cares. She emanates compassion.

My mind goes back to the first time I met her; I had made an appointment with her as part of my plan to have psychologists read my manuscript.

When you make an appointment with a therapist, the first thing they ask you is, "What is the problem?"

As I had done with the other unsuspecting doctors, and told them the truth. I said, "My kids are getting a divorce and I am losing my mind."

Once in the door, I would also add, "I really wanted to ask you to read my manuscript for a reading fee and give me your honest opinion."

All the others said yes and were ecstatic about the message and wrote glowing letters about it.

Dr. Liz however, very kind, but in a very determined way said, "I'm sorry, I don't do things like that." Obviously, knowing what I know now, she was way too busy.

I left with mixed feelings. First, I was exhilarated because as it turned out, I was losing my mind and Dr. Liz put my mind at ease in one visit. On the other hand I was deflated because this masterful woman was not going to read my manuscript.

On the way home, I told my husband, "I don't care if she said no, I am going to send it to her anyway." I was determined not to let this amazing woman get away. I said, "The worst that could happen is she could throw it in the garbage."

I sent the manuscript and got a call a few days later. "Sherri," she said, "I read your book and it was truly amazing. Did you know that you quoted me twice in the book?"

I about fell off of my chair, "You're that Dr. Liz?" I asked

The rest is history.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Whose Responsibility is it anyway

Yesterday was my day off so I stayed down, praying I would be over my flu bug in time for work today. I feel a lot better this morning.

I look back on the years before I went on strike and getting sick would have meant that I had no help, a messy house, and everyone waiting on pins and needles for me to get better so I could be the family slave once again.

Fast forward to today and my husband has become so used to taking his part of the responsibility that he automatically takes care of me when I am sick. He cleans the house, makes sure I am fed, and cleans up after every meal. (Just as I would do for him if he was sick.)

This week was another week of eye openers on the domestic front.

On Dr. Phil, the show for the day was about couples trying to save their marriages. He asked one wife was asked what her biggest complaint was. She said, "He doesn't do anything around the house."

When the husband was asked what his biggest complaint was, he said, "She is continually nagging me."

Now it seems like it would be easy to figure this one out, right?

The man could start doing his share and that would automatically cause her to stop nagging.

Marriage saved.

If it were as simple as that, I wouldn't have had to write my book.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The flu bug

I have been gone for a few days. I caught the bug, which means after I get home from work I come home and go straight to bed.

I know, I shouldn't share the bug with the world, but when you are a hairdresser, you call and warn everybody. You ask if they want to reschedule their appointments for another day, the answer is always, "no." When somebody needs their hair done, nothing keeps them home, so I put on my mask and go to work.

Now that I am well into trying to market my book and my clients know all about it, the subject of household overwork always comes up. Everybody has a legitimate complaint in their own lives and can't wait for my book to be published.

One lady brought up the saying, "Don't follow someone else's path. Make your own path and leave a trail." She said, "That's you, Sherri."

Another lady brought me a plaque that said, "Stand up for what you believe in."

I am so proud of all of my clients. Just a year ago, they were all afraid for me, afraid of what society would do to me just for bringing up the subject of householder overwork. Most of them were even hesitant to admit there was a problem, even those who opted for divorce instead of facing the problem.

Their eyes are open now and they have hopes for the marriages of their kids and grandkids. They are not afraid for me any more either. They shouldn't be. I tell them, "I'm too old to care," and besides, somebody is going to have to plow through old stereotypes to help keep marriages together.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back to the beauty shop

Well, Thursday and Friday were the days I met with the clients whose appointments I had to cancel or transfer last week so I could do my television interview.

What a bunch of beautiful people. They had to wait longer and change their appointment dates, but they were all so supportive. One lady even came down to the salon on the wrong day because, try as I may, I couldn't get ahold of her.

Guess what? Not one of them acted like they were put out in any way. They were all just really excited to hear about my interview.

As they all have done before, most of them said they were afraid I'd quit cutting hair as soon as my book is on the market.

I told them not to fear. I have a lot more books to write and most of my life's research comes from the beauty salon. So there I will stay. After al, they are my second family.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The never ending storm

I asked a fourteen year-old girl how she was doing with everything she had to deal with regarding her parents divorce. She left and came back with this poem she had written.


Like thick grey clouds amongst the sky,
some things begin in the simplest form.
What seems to be a small confusion
is only the beginning of the storm.
Disagreements here and there,
fluttering through the air
like light rainfall drizzling away.
It isn't much of a scare.
Light rain becomes pouring rain
as growling thunder echos round.
The storm continues lively now,
but I hope it soon goes down.
Over time, the sky appears brighter,
it must be fading away,
but then the lightning
strikes once more,
ruining my chances for a better day.
The never ending storm continues,
thriving off of tears and hate,
but through it all I will keep hope,
for after every storm, a rainbow awaits.

Deep huh?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A mom who is a great example

My mind is going back to the graduation I attended on Thursday. During the ceremony, the mom of the graduate, who is divorced, sat as far away from her ex-husband and his new wife as she could.

When it came time to take pictures, however, she surprised me by putting on a happy face and cordially inviting her ex and his wife to take pictures with her daughter. The two of them took full advantage of the opportunity and stood for numerous pictures, even one of the diploma by itself.

As I was standing in the back, the mother's 12 year-old daughter came up to me and said, "This is very hard on her. I'm so proud of my mom." I discovered why she was so proud after her father and his wife were gone and the happy mask began melting off of the mothers face, disclosing a face full of tears.

"Her dad has never been a part of her life until just recently," she sobbed. "Everything this family has gone through to help her graduate, and all the time he scoffed at her, calling her a loser and telling her that anyone could be on the honor roll at that school."

I suddenly could see the significance of taking a picture of the diploma. My guess was that the father and his wife had to prove that the daughter they were now taking credit for actually did graduate from a real school.

I asked the mother why she was being so kind when it hurt so much.

Her answer was exhilarating. "I didn't do it for them," she said, "I did it for my daughter."

Birthday Party- when you are divorced

Yesterday I went to a birthday party for an 8 year-old little boy. His parents are divorced and his real dad wasn't there. Buddy, the birthday boy, was forlorn the whole time, on a day that was supposed to be so special.

One of Buddy's two step-sisters was at the party. The other step-sister wasn't even invited due to family resentments.

These poor little kids are the by-products of divorce. In their sadness, they figure out some way to cope. Some of their methods of coping are good, some are bad.

When I said in my earlier blog that aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas, and even cousins suffer after divorce, this birthday was proof. I see it all the time. No family member escapes the ravages of divorce.

Buddy was missing his dad and sister all day, and was sad even when opening his multitude of presents.

I left with tears in my eyes.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

TV interview

I missed a day of blogging because I was in Salt Lake for a graduation, then yesterday, June 5, 2009 I had to film a segment for a program on TV.

The interview went real well. We talked about what expectations new brides and grooms should have when they are first married.

All too often couples have so many stars in their eyes, they don't seem to prepare themselves for the 'real life' that follows a wedding.

The reason I was there was to give a perspective on the reality of domestic responsibilities. All of the fallout that permeates through the marriage when it isn't addressed in the beginning. Resentment, hidden anger, a feeling of not being respected on the part of the wife, and a dwindling sex life are just a few of the problems they will face.

When we were off camera I jokingly told all of them the translation of "No, I have a headache." I said, " That statement really means (how dare you ask for sex, when all you do is treat me like a slave, you think I am going to do all the work in the house, take care of the kids, make sure you are all fed, then gleefully wrap my arms around you and want to make mad passionate love? NOT ON YOUR LIFE.")

One of the camera men at the shoot had been through the not enough intimacy situation and came to the conclusion that doing his share of the household duties made a big difference. I wanted to interview him to find out how he came to this conclusion. He said I could call him anytime. I needed to know how he was brought up, if he came from a single parent home or if his father was a helpmate at home. These little things would help me understand how he figured this out on his own and help me with the research for my next book.

One of the things that surprised Dr. Liz was how many times I had heard "if it doesn't work out I'll just get a divorce."

When I was asked what advice I would give young couples getting married, I said, "the first thing I would say is to be sure you want to spend the rest of your life with this person because if there is a divorce in your future, especially if children are involved, you will not be prepared for the hell that will follow."

I talked about the fact that when two men become roommates, they decide going in who will be responsible for what. The same thing happens when two women become roommates. Now we are going to have a man and wife who are going to be roommates, so I said, "to make it work, pretend you are roommates moving in together and sit down and print out exactly who should be responsible for what, (for a life-time), and stick to it."

Another bit of advice was to consider your marriage a job to work on every day in order to keep it fresh and together, and to never take each other for granted.

The interview lasted for about 45 minutes. It was very enjoyable.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Family hair day and a call from Dr. Liz

I am exhausted this morning from doing 7 family members hair in an afternoon. Everybody was so excited, one grandchild wanted a special kind of streaking, one wanted her whole color and cut changed, all the others just had their hair cut and streaked.

The joy I got in witnessing the interaction of daughter-in-laws and almost all of my grandchildren was exhilarating. They enjoyed each other so much,It was like they were having a party and I was part of it.

In the middle of the madness at the Salon, I get a call from Dr. Liz Hale telling me where to go for my interview. I told her how much more I had discovered since I wrote my book.

She said, "you have something big here Sherri. You have started a movement that is not going to stop, people need this, I see it in my practice all the time."

I know this to be true. Clients who formerly wanted to discount how lopsided the domestic duties were, are now admitting how bad it is. They are screaming for change, afraid for their kids and grandkids and desperate for me to get my book published.

One client I had yesterday said she thought the original denial came because we all collectively thought we are alone. The only ones who couldn't get co-operation, and we are embarrassed to admit it. She is right, I am discovering that more and more all the time.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Debilitating illness

My last client last night was a beautiful 26 year-old girl. She has three beautiful children and she has been diagnosed with a debilitating disease.

As I was cutting her hair she started to sob and asked me about my book. She said she could hardly get out of bed in the morning and her husband would not lift a finger to help with the kids or the house. She said she was afraid for her kids, that they were used to a nice clean house and now it was filthy because she couldn't do it any more.

She said, "How many times do I have to scream at him to get him to listen? He just doesn't care."

I don't know her husband, so I have no idea if he does care or not. My guess is that he does. What I could be sure of was what I told her: "He has no idea how hard it is to take care of three kids and a house. No man does until he does it for himself."

I told her to leave the kids home with him. His mother (their babysitter) should take her to the doctor out of town. This would help the man experience the challenge of taking care of three little kids and a house, and maybe win her some empathy. However, I think my advice fell on deaf ears because she was so stressed.

She cried the whole time she was there and told me she was so angry she thought she would get a divorce.

You can imagine how I responded to that.

I told her that divorce was the last thing she needed. It would be incredibly stressful. Her insurance would be gone, and she definitely needed her husband's paycheck now more than ever. That may sound like a crazy thing to consider, but is so true. Imagine going through the stress of a divorce and a medical problem with no insurance and no money. The practical things have got to be considered.

I told her to get marriage counseling as soon as possible. I was so afraid that if she didn't try to improve her marriage, a husband who was as disconnected from her as this one seemed to be just might leave her when her illness got worse. I didn't tell her that, but I have seen it happen.

I said a little prayer for her as she left and wished I could have helped her more. I told her to call me any time she wanted.

I felt so bad for this girl. Even though I've learned a lot about how to save marriages, results don't happen overnight. Time was not on her side.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I am trying to squeeze everybody in for appointments at the Beauty Salon Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because I am going to be gone Thursday and Friday. Then I get a text message from my granddaughter asking if I would have time to do all of the girls' hair.

Isn't that how it always works out? Last week I would have been able to work them in easily. However, this is my blessing in life. I have a profession that makes it possible to see my teenaged grandkids on a regular basis, when otherwise they wouldn't have time to come around much.

I am not going to mess it up; I would do their hair at midnight if I had to. They are wonderful kids and they are my joy.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wonderful husband

After Dr. Liz Hale called about the interview on TV, I had a discussion with my husband about what we were going to talk about. Dr. Liz had said she wanted my husband to be part of the discussion this time. (On Studio 5, I was the only one interviewed.) I asked him what he wanted to say about the division of householder responsibilities and how he felt about it.

He said, "I don't do that much."

He really does do plenty. He cooks, he cleans, he waits on me as much as I wait on him and he does all of the yard work. I reminded him of what it was like in the beginning, "You did absolutely nothing in those days," I said.

He couldn't believe how much he left to me back then, and how much happier our whole marriage had become after the strike.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Divorce is hell

Well, I'm back at my blog after a few months. Since I blogged last, I have had to attend court for a divorce case, and I am even more determined than ever to get the word out that divorce hurts every one, husbands, wives, both sets of in-laws, grandparents and most of all the children. The meanness and hate that permeates between the parents, no matter how discreet, plummets down on the children like a wrecking ball, and the parents are in too much pain to recognize it. So the children just suffer in silence.

So much for my rant. Dr. Liz from Studio 5 called yesterday and wants my husband and I to be on her show next Friday. She wants us to talk about the book I wrote, "I Was Going to Divorce My Husband, But I Went on Strike Instead." I have to go to a graduation in Salt Lake City Thursday so I had my Friday all filled up with appointments. I have such a wonderful clientele that they all changed for me. After all, an interview is too important to pass up, so we will see how it goes..

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Women's Conference

I was a speaker at the College of Eastern Utah Women's Conference yesterday because of my book, I Almost Divorced My Husband, but I Went On Strike Instead.

My speech was on the fact that the division of house-holder responsibilities has never been addressed in our society. That this is a fixable area that enables our children to be raised under the same roof with both parents. That so many people have gone through divorce and ended up in subsequent marriages with the same problem because they never learned how to fix it.

I didn't go into my strike and contract during the speech but had to address it all the same. At the end of my speech a hand went up and everyone wanted to know about the strike: why, how, how long it lasted. They all wanted to know when my book was going to be out.

It was a large enthusiastic crowd and I can't wait until the next one. I would do it again in a heart beat.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Hi, I'm Sherri Mills. I wrote a book called I Almost DivorcedMy Husband but I went on Strike Instead.