1. Spend more time at work or with the kids than with her.
Relationships take time. Many people don’t realize the incredible damage done by simply NOT spending time with their spouse. If you feel like you’re not “connecting” or like you can’t seem to communicate effectively, it’s probably because your conversations with her are few and far between, OR they last about a minute or two each.
Often, when relationships have degraded significantly, the last thing you want to do is spend time with each other. Maybe the bulk of your conversations with her have more often than not been negative or nonproductive. That’s no reason to not communicate. Things will NOT get better without spending time together.
This means you’ll (Yes, YOU!… not her) have to plan a date night. Schedule a babysitter. Spend some money. Yep, even after a hard week at work. Invest in your marriage. SCHEDULE time alone with your wife. Don’t ask her to do it. You take the initiative.
It is alarming how many marriages end in divorce after the children leave home. One day, your kids will be grown, independent, and out of the house. One day, you will be retired. And you’re going to have a LOT of time with your wife. The question is, “At that point, will you even know her?” Spend time with your wife. And lots of it.
2. Don’t ask her opinion or include her in decisions.
Yes, the husband is the head of the household. Yes, the wife should be submissive to him in all things. Yes, “The buck stops here” (at your feet). BUT that does NOT give you license to disinvolve your wife. She has valuable insight. Most of the time, she will see a problem from a completely different perspective than you. If you include her and honestly consider her thoughts, you may be shocked at how often she can save you from making a stupid decision.
For some reason, men usually think of asking their wife’s opinion or suggestion as a sign of weakness. Guess what – that’s not how your wife sees it. If you ask, listen to, and honestly consider her opinion, you will be amazed at how your marriage will grow… and at how much more respect she will give you.
Swallow your pride. Include your wife in all decisions. Honer her opinion. Value her insight.
3. Talk about your marriage problems with another woman.
Triangulation. The only three people that belong in a marriage are husband, wife, and God. You should know better than to discuss your marital problems with another woman. I know, I know… “But we’ve been friends for as long as I can remember.” Even. Worse.
Generally speaking, men find significance in autonomy and women find significance in relationship. I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve counseled where the husband had been having an emotional affair with another woman. No kissing. No touching. No sex. Just talking.
Many times, for a woman, this is even more difficult to get over than a physical affair. Why? Because she values your emotional connection. If you lose that emotional connection with her, and especially if you invest those emotions in some other woman, count your wife as good as gone.
4. Make jokes about her figure.
It’s not funny. At all. Every day, your wife spends more time worrying over her figure than you do working. There is such a huge cultural push for women to be unhealthily skinny. Next time you go shopping with your wife, look (but don’t stare) at the women on the posters and signs. That is who she compares herself to. Daily. She shouldn’t. I know. Those women are airbrushed, shape-shifted representations of reality. But it’s just the truth.
What do you consider your weakest area? What do you worry over the most concerning your own personal abilities?… Got it?… Now what if your wife constantly made facetious or sarcastic remarks exploiting that weakness? Not cool, huh?
You should encourage your wife over her figure. And you should NEVER joke about it. It’s not funny. It’s not cute. And even if she is smiling, she doesn’t get the joke. It’s hurtful. It’s insulting. It’s disrespectful. Keep it up, and you will lose your wife.
5. Don’t help around the house.
Yeah, I know – you work “all day long.” And when you get home, you just “need to relax and unwind.” Guess what? At that time of day, she does too. She has either been at work all day herself, OR she’s been taking care of the kids and the house (working) all day. By the time you get home, she is just as worn out and frustrated as you are.
“But she’s a ‘HOME-MAKER.’ That’s her job!” True dat. But how would you like to come home from work every day, and keep working? You can help with dinner. You can help with dishes. You can help getting the kids baths and in bed. You can do those things. Consider them deposits in her love bank. They will take you a long way.
However, you are free to come home, sit in your chair, watch TV, and let your wife do all of the work. That’s your choice. But don’t get used to it. Because one day, you’ll come home, sit in your chair, watch TV, and dinner won’t be there. You’ll notice the kids aren’t screaming. And your devoted wife doesn’t answer your every beckoning call. Because she’ll be gone.
THINK ABOUT IT.
Grace and Peace,