Every week I speak with couples who are struggling in their marriage. Everyone wants a happy home, but many husbands and wives fight to find it. Almost without exception, the person who comes to me first is the woman. She desires a great marriage but keeps meeting resistance from her husband, at least that is what she perceives.
Unfortunately, in every situation, both people are to blame, but usually, the man has no idea what to do about it. As a man, I completely understand this struggle. My thoughts about making things work better are often very different from my wife. It often comes down to me saying, “Just tell me what you want me to do.” Men in counseling respond the same way as I do. “Tell me exactly what you want.” Specifics are hard to nail down, and today, I am attempting to make it easy for any man who wants to improve their marriage.
Here are three basic concepts to guide your actions:
- Treat Your Wife Like You Did When You Were Dating.
Plan dates. Make calls and send texts. Buy the flowers. Write the card. Work as hard to keep her love as you did to earn it. Most men tend to quit trying once they have said, “I do.” They focus their attention on careers, hobbies, and friends more than their spouses. Make a mental list of all the things that helped you fall in love and then do those types of things again.
[Side note: You have two options: You can go back to dating your spouse, or you can get a divorce and go date someone else. Either way, you will end up doing the same things. Put your effort into this woman to whom you have already committed, and take your relationship to a whole new level]
- Treat Your Wife Like Your Aging Mother.
The second type of thinking comes from watching several tough guys help their mother. I have watched them change their schedule, go to appointments, open doors, make food, and do a variety of things to bless the lives of their aging mom. I ask them to take that same energy and apply it to the woman they live with every day. Being kind, sweet, gentle, and a servant is the way to treat all women.
- Treat Your Wife Like You Want a Man to Treat Your Daughter.
Would you want your future son-in-law to treat your daughter the way you treat your wife? Men have a special bond with their daughter, and they want a man who is going to make her happy and take care of her. Your wife is someone’s daughter. Treat her with the love, respect, and compassion you desire for your child.
[Side note: Set an example for your daughter in how a wife should be treated. She will pick a man very much like you.]
If a man attempts to live in these ways, his wife will often become delighted with her relationship once again. If a man ignores these little pieces of advice, things will always get worse. The quality of your marriage is in each man’s hands. They – YOU – can choose to make things better just by doing the little things you already know how to do.