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Home » Advice and Tips, Featured, Relationships

Food for thought: Being a great husband and having a strong marriage

Submitted by on Friday, 3 October 200816 Comments

When you have kids, it is not always easy to spend quality time with your wife or partner.  If you don’t make an effort to show your wife your love and understanding, you could find your marriage or relationship beginning to degrade.  I am not an expert marriage or relationship counsellor, but I actively do my best to keep my relationship with my wife strong.  So far, I feel we are doing great, and having kids has helped us grow closer to eachother as a team and family.

Its not always easy, but you can do it

Its not always easy, but you can do it

If you are finding that your relationship with your wife or partner is not as strong as it once was, or if you would like to take steps to improve your relationship and become an even better husband, take a moment to ponder the following points:

  • A relationship is something that you need to work on daily, just as you would work on your health or your job.
  • Begin and end your day by being grateful for all the things your partner does well and that you love about your partner.
  • If there is something bothering you about your partner, discuss it with her, but try to deal with it as your problem – not hers.  Think about what you can do to deal with it better, and work hard to understand the reason for it and why it bothers you.

Note:  Stephen Covey gives an example of this in the great “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families.”  To summarize, Stephen’s wife was obsessed with a certain brand of appliances, and she only wanted to buy appliances from that brand.  He found it very strange and annoying.  So he talked to his wife about it, and what they discovered was that the obsession with this brand was deeply rooted in her childhood, and a positive association she gained with that brand from her childhood.  Upon discovering this, he had much more understanding for her position, and dealt with this no longer as a problem with his wife, but rather as something that he needed to learn to accept, because it was something perfectly acceptable given its roots.

  • Find out what your partner’s needs are and do the best you can to fulfill those needs.
  • Always make sure you are doing more to help your partner emotionally than you are to drain her emotionally.  e.g. back-rubs, doing the vacuuming and looking after the kids are emotionally helping her … complaining and making a mess are emotionally draining for her.  (This is the concept of the “Emotional Bank Account” that is used a lot by Stephen Covey.  Always try and make deposits into that bank account, and minimize the withdrawals).

These are all much easier said than done, but at the end of the day, its worth it.  Following these steps doesn’t happen over night, but start thinking about them and how they apply to your life and your relationship.  It will get you thinking on the right track.

Like I said, I am no expert, but these are some ideas based on my own experience and some things that I have read and taken to heart.  These tips don’t necessarily apply to every person and every situation, but I am sure at least some of you out there might find some truth or help in them.

Feel free to join the jam and leave comments about whether or not you think these tips are helpful, or if you have tips or thoughts of your own that you would like to share!

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16 Comments »

  • Wow this is a great post. And food for thought when it comes to all relationships, not just your spouse. Investing in others is what we have to do daily if we are to be relational people and in this virtual world we tend to live in… sometimes that investment is way overlooked.

    Thanks for sharing this insight.

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thanks Kitkat4real, you are absolutely right, this is very important for all relationships. Glad you liked it, just keeping it real for ya! ;-)

  • Mocha Dad says:

    Fantastic advice. You may not be an expert, but you are absolutely spot on.

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thanks Mocha Dad!

  • [...] work schedules, we have long to-do lists, household duties, plus the kids to look after.  Add in spending quality time with your wife, and you start wishing the day had 30 [...]

  • Mommy2Be says:

    I tried to show this to my Husband. He works a lot and we don’t have much time together. He took it as me calling him a bad husband and got very defensive.

    I hope that when Hubby isn’t so mad… he will realize I was showing him not to hurt him, but to help him.

    I think this is great advice and wanted to thank you for posting it.

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thanks Mommy2Be! Sorry to hear that your husband got defensive about you showing it to him. All the Jams here at the Dad Jam are about discussing ways to help with common issues that husbands and wives face as partners and parents. We are all just trying to help each other out and learn from each other, so hopefully your husband will start to see it in that way too. We don’t want to say that anyone is doing a bad job, our goal is mainly to discuss what we think works, and share those ideas with others and get their feedback. Appreciate your comment and hope he comes around to seeing it in a more positive light.

  • [...] might want to subscribe to the Dad Jam RSS feed for updates.You have two duties in life as a dad.  Be a great father and husband, and make a mean BBQ Burger.  In that order, of [...]

  • Pee says:

    Thank you so much for the advice. About to be married and I strongly believe that this will truely help me and my husband if we can master it. Kip it up.

  • Head Jammer says:

    Thanks Pee… all the best to you in your marriage!

  • HUSBANDandFATHERof2 says:

    we’ve been together 18yrs & married for 8. our relationship has been an uphill battle since we got married. i’ve found your advice to be very helpful. i’ve been very neglectful to her & found it hard to communicate with her(just nothing to talk about). can u please give me advice on what to talk to her about & how. i do tell her that “love her” & “that she is the only one for me” & “i dont know where i”ll be w/o her” but that seams to not be enuff. please help if u can.

    HUSBANDandFATHERof2

  • Head Jammer says:

    Hi HusbandandFatherof2… thanks for your comment. Maybe just try asking her how she is doing, what is on her mind, how she is feeling, what are her wishes. Or reminisce a bit about the old times together when things were better. Just some thoughts, give them a try and let us know how it goes!

  • Big Baby Bump says:

    Me and husband married quickly. We do not know how to live married. Both of our parents are in relationships that seem to be unhealthy. we want to make it. What advice would you give us (books, counseling,etc…) Thank you so much

  • Head Jammer says:

    Hi BBB – wanting to make it is a big part of it. If you are both committed to it that is a good start. “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families” is a great book to start with. I really enjoyed it and it has some great advice. I think you can’t go wrong with some counseling as well. Good luck to you!!

  • Steven k says:

    Hey great advise I would like to ask u question..how should I approach my own problem with communication skills.i tend to shut down when I get frustrated and take it out on her when she has done nothing wrong….

  • Head Jammer says:

    Hi Steven, thanks for your comment and question. It is hard when you are frustrated, I totally understand that. The best thing you can do is talk to each other daily, but do it at a time when you are both relaxed and when there are no stresses and distractions on either of you. You can use this time to discuss anything you like, including the things that are frustrating you. If you do it when you are both calm and relaxed, you are less likely to take anything out on her.
    I suggest that when you are frustrated you take a little bit of time to yourself if possible, even if just for a few minutes, to try and ease your frustrations. This is important, because you don’t want to associate your wife with your frustrations. Good luck!

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