1. When your husband has some counsel or insight, consider it. Maybe it sounds like he’s trying to fix things because he is. If he never gets to fix things and if his insight is typically dismissed, he feels like you think he is useless.
2. When/if he loads the dishwasher, folds the clothes, vacuums the floor, or washes the clothes he might being doing it his way instead of doing it wrong. There is a difference – at least there should be a difference with you. Memorize the popular phrase, “Not right, not wrong, just different.”
3. Keep in mind that he does not babysit the kids while you are gone. He daddies them and that looks different from mothering them. Daddying them often involves craziness, slight danger, bruises, and wrestling. Studies say mothering AND daddying are good for kids. Don’t treat him like a babysitter.
5. Argue in a way that he can engage. For many men, the tendency is to withdraw when you raise your voice. It is because he cares about the relationship and doesn’t want to retaliate in the way his nature pushes him. No man would talk to him like you can without it leading to a fight. Appreciate his restraint and keep your voice sweet and your face soft so that he can feel honorable about engaging with you.
6. If he is willing to get help only months or years after you’ve begged for it, don’t be stubborn. Pursue it with him. Sure it’s frustrating, but it is your marriage.
– Richard May
1. Make decisions mutually – don’t leave 90% of the decisions up to her. That wears her out.
2. Engage enthusiastically in activities with her and your children – even the ones you are not so excited about. Activities that is. You should be excited about all of your kids.
3. Learn something. Continuing education in marriage is critical. Read something. If you don’t read, get an audio book for Pete’s sake. Watch a video. Set up a weekend at a Marriage Roadshow or other marriage event.
4. If things get bad, you call for help. See our contact info at the “Contact us” tab. Nearly every man that calls us ignored his wife’s request 5 years ago. Lead the way to getting your relationship out of the muck.
5. If she gets upset and raises her voice, she’s likely just acting out of her panic about your relationship. Don’t be a weenie; stay out of your shell and engage with her. You’ll put her at ease and get to the make-up sex a lot faster that way; and it’s likely that she wants that just as much as you.
– Richard May
There is no way that I can walk away from my wife, divorce her because I can’t stand her (or because I am more interested in someone else), and reasonably believe that my children won’t feel a strong sense of being abandoned, too.
I’ve seen a lot of people try it with their spouses and have come to this conclusion: You can’t either.
We still tell the story about how my procrastination was causing her some major aggravation! There was some stuff that I was going to finish (future tense), but she thought it was already finished (past tense). When she realized where she was emotionally, physically, and spiritually, she reviewed the Five Keys in her mind and heart. She asked herself:
1. Am I pursuing the dream of a whole, healthy, holy marriage?
2. Am I responding in a way that Christ could be seen in my life.
3. Am I cheering my spouse on?
4. Have I entered his world to know what has happened?
5. Am I staying focused on my covenant with him and with God?
She could review these important questions because she has them memorized. And they had an impact on her because she has a heart for wanting to be the right person.
It made things a lot better – and it gave me room to grow some out of my nature to put things off.
Thank you Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg for leading us to the Five Keys!
We’ve had friends who utilized the services of business coaches. Some researched coaches themselves and found one they liked – and could afford. Others were part of a franchise and the franchise recommended the coach for them. The business owners we’ve known have all benefited from their relationship with the coach. Though the fees can be high, the return on investment has been higher.
The best move these friends made was grabbing a coach at a time when their businesses were not in crisis. They were making money. They had experienced some success, but they knew they could do better so they pursued some help. The payoffs for them have been tremendous. They honed their goals. They developed better habits. They learned important principles. They partnered with someone who would hold them accountable to their intentions.
It’s time for all of us to take the same approach to our marriages that these friends have taken with their businesses. We’ve developed some marriage skills, but they can be improved. We’ve had some bright days, but there should be more. We have some dreams, but we would reach them faster if we were open to personal development. We live by some great principles, but could we have deeper roots while we reach for the sky? Our lights shine bright, but they can be brighter in this culture of marital darkness.
As we coach couples in our office or take our coaching on the road for the Marriage Roadshow, we always support couples in crisis – it is an important part of what we do. We also love leading couples who are in good marriages toward great marriages! And we get super excited when a couple with a great marriage comes because they want to move to service – letting their combined lights shine together for the good of their community and our culture.
So you aren’t living in a crisis? Great! Now is the best time to pursue marriage coaching!
Richard and JeannaLynn
1. The need for marriage was seen from heaven.
2. The inspiration for marriage came from heaven.
3. The love in marriage gets its model from heaven.
4. The principles for the best marriage are revealed from heaven.
5. The promises expressed to begin a marriage are bound in heaven.
6. Prayers for your marriage are heard in heaven.
7. Kids born because of your marriage need to see in you the impact of heaven.
“Be considerate as you live with your wives,” Peter demands, “so that your prayers will not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7).
Guys, as we consider the importance of purity and consideration toward our wives expressed in these passages, let’s be sure that we see the obvious. We need to be praying.
1. Make the decision to pray at every meal time and at least twice more during the day.
2. Make at least one of those “non-meal” prayers a prayer with your wife.
3. If you need some help knowing how to pray, try the ACTS prayer. ACTS is an acronym that will help you pray beyond “thank you” and “please give.” Here’s an example:
“I’m sure they didn’t mean it.”
“You don’t need to feel that way.”
“Quit thinking about it so much.”
“It’s not as bad as you think.”
Those are some of the things guys have said for years – and found that they don’t have nearly the result we desire. That’s because we haven’t known marital math. We have believed falsely that if we match our wives emotion with our own, then we add to the emotional presence.
We have been concerned that if we exhibited frustration to match their frustration at some calamity, we multiply frustration.
We have believed that if we got angry along with her at whatever she was angry at, we multiply anger.
We have been convinced that if we grieved with her over those things that have saddened her, we multiply sadness.
Actually, downplaying their emotion leads to increased emotion – in their hearts and in our homes.
Marital math works differently. Grieve with her. Get mad with her (not at her, with her). Get frustrated with her. Matching her emotion with your own makes her feel understood, appreciated, and like you are her partner – and this will bring her emotions down. All of them, that is except, her emotional connection and sense of friendship and love with you.
That’s how Marital Math works!
Marriage commitment must be strong. It must be powerful! Many people marry understanding that they are making a commitment, but they believe the commitment will be relatively easily to keep. Those same people find out pretty quickly that keeping the marriage commitment is extremely challenging! When it is necessary to forgive your spouse for doing the same thing 490 times, that’s hard. When you are trying to be gentle in the face of someone who is not, you better have strong commitment. When you know that you are called to love your spouse, even when he or she has been spouting off his or her ingratitude, you better have commitment that isn’t easily overcome. When your spouse is diagnosed with long-term health difficulties, your commitment better have some muscle.