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