Despite my lack of organization and utter oversight in misplacing the citation the ten strategies I shared in the post, of ways husbands can do a better job at keeping our wives happy, I still believe are valid. They are:
- Tell your wife that you love her
- Show your wife that you love her
- Listen to your wife
- Talk to your wife
- Physically acknowledge her
- Anticipate her needs
- Remember that your wife is the most beautiful woman in the world
- Let her recharge her battery
- Help her soar
- Mind the small and simple
This has proven to be, by far, the most controversial post I have written. I have had numerous comments on the post and received emails from concerned husbands and ex-husbands explaining to me that I am wrong. In October I wrote a response to one of them.
Well the feedback just keeps coming, which I think is wonderful. It has helped me realize two things. First, that men are reading what I write and thinking about it. Awesome! Thank you guys! Second, I realize I was not clear originally. Today I take the opportunity to clarify.
Marriage is a three way partnership. Think of it like a triangle, which is the strongest shape according to engineer friends of mine. One point is God, one is the husband, and the other is the wife. If any of the sides become weak the entire shape weakens. Both husband and wife need to be continually investing time, energy, and effort into their relationship and their respective relationships with God.
For one to lay blame for the collapse of a marriage one any one of the three parties while the other two walk away blameless is naive, however, I recognize that one party can "check out" of the marriage and thereby begin weakening it. I also want to note that God is never the party that checks out.
One of the more recent comments I received was from a man whose wife decided to back away from the marriage. He tried his hardest to help her, to continue to love her; he applied all ten of the tactics above (just because he was trying to be a good husband, not because he had read my list) so well that his now ex-wife told him to stop. However, despite his best efforts she chose to walk away.
Because marriage is a partnership and requires constant work from all three parties and because we are individuals and have the ability to make choices when one party chooses to stop participating in the marriage there is often nothing that the remaining parties can do but keep trying. Hopefully they will come around and change but sometimes, far too often, that does not happen and the marriage ends in divorce.
Just because the majority of divorces are initiated by women does mean that men are better or worse at marriage than women. And I did not mean to imply that. What I want to emphasize today is that all of us, both men and women, can always do better. There is always a little bit more we can do to show our spouse that we love them and appreciate them.
Let's all commit to trying a little bit harder today. If we do, I guarantee there will be happier marriages tomorrow.
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