This is an interesting, albeit sad, statistic.
First of all, it is disheartening to think that 50 percent of marriages fail.
Second, it is illuminating that 80 percent of the divorces are filed by the wife.
Husbands, I believe this says something about the problems in marriage and where many of them stem from. I want to be very clear that I do NOT believe that all problems in marriage are caused by men. Both husband and wife bring their own set of issues and concerns and together they should work through them.
What I do believe this statistic demonstrates is that there are more women unsatisfied with their marriages, at least to the point of ending them, than there are men. There are certainly many reasons for the dissatisfaction that exists but I posit that the husband and his actions (or lack of actions) plays a significant role in causing and sustaining the dissatisfaction.
I've reflected on this. I've done some more reading and research on marriage and divorce rates. I've discussed this with my wife. I've prayed about it. I've talked to and observed couples who have been married for a long time. Why?
To help us husbands do a better job keeping our wives happy.
Here's what I've come up:
|Photo courtesy of Vial Photography|
- Tell your wife that you love her. Tell her often. Tell her why you love her. Never let her forget.
- Show your wife that you love her. Hold her hand. Kiss her on the cheek. Put your arm around her. Gaze at her lovingly. And don't be afraid to do these things in public as well as in private.
- Listen to your wife. She has important things to say. Counsel with her on issues that involve the family. She is an equal partner in your marriage and make sure that she feels that way. Ask her about her day and then pay attention (especially to the little things). This reminds her that you value her.
- Talk to your wife. Share with her your struggles, achievements, thoughts, and dreams. Share your opinions and beliefs (in a gentle and kind way; often men can be too forceful about their opinions and beliefs). What you think is who you are and she should know you better than anyone else.
- Physically acknowledge her (in a non-sexual way). When you walk by her gently squeeze her arm. Quickly run your hand across her back. Tuck her hair behind her ear. This shows her that you enjoy being near her and that she is important to you; that you're not just two people cohabitating.
- Anticipate her needs. What can you do to make her life a little bit easier? Maybe you could load the dishwasher? Wipe off the table? Fill up her car's gas tank? Make her lunch the night before?
- Remember that your wife is the most beautiful woman in the world. And make sure that she knows that you know it.
- Let her recharge her battery. We all have things that bring us down and wear us out and sometimes in order to overcome them we just have to get away. Let your wife have an evening off to spend with her friends or take a day off of work to go shopping or simply sleep (that's what my wife would love!). Let her get away from it all.
- Help her soar. Encourage her in her dreams and throw your full support behind her in her endeavors. Cami's adventures/endeavors over the last few years have included direct selling for Dove Chocolate Discoveries, starting her own Etsy chocolate shop, and writing a few children's books. To show her that I believe in her (and I sincerely do) I paid for her to take a series of courses from the Institute of Children's Literature, helped her make her chocolates for Etsy, and even let her host a few chocolate parties for Dove at our home. I believe in my wife. So do you. Let her know.
- Mind the small and simple. Cami loves Crunch bars. The other day I brought her one. A friend offered it to me at work and I saved it so that I could give it to Cami. Never underestimate the effect that one seemingly small act can have on your wife's happiness. In the candy bar example it wasn't the chocolate that made Cami so happy (although that helped) it was the fact that I know that Cami loves Crunch bars and I made the effort to not eat it and give it to her. That's what women are really after.
Keeping our wives happy can be daunting at times but if we remember that we love them and make sure that they hear it, see it, and know it we'll be successful.
Good luck men!
Let me know what you would add to my list by leaving a comment. I would love to hear from you!
UPDATE: This post has received significant attention over the last little while. As you will note from the comments that have been left there is a great misunderstanding about my 10 suggestions above. I am NOT saying that divorce is a man's fault. I am saying that husbands can try harder. That does NOT mean that wives cannot or should not try harder. Of course they should. We all should. Here is a post I wrote in response to a comment that hopefully better explains what I am saying, Happy Marriages Show Some Respect.
This post continues to receive considerable attention. Recently I wrote another post elaborating on this topic. It is Divorce: Whose Fault Is It? Hopefully this further clarifies my position.