Did you ever notice that TV shows feature the clever wife rescuing the absentminded, not-so-bright husband? To do the opposite would be politically incorrect, but somehow it’s cool to crush on the guys for their ineptitude. They just never seem to do things the way we would.
Unfortunately, this cultural tendency has probably creeped its way into many homes with wives/moms showing our men “how it’s done” when it comes to caring for kids and the home. (There is a right way to fold the towels and load the dishwasher, after all.) That’s why this article called “I wasn’t treating my husband fairly” should be an aha-moment for many of us wives. Check it out; it’s worth the read. In a moment of clarity, this wife realized that a husband bringing home the wrong kind of hamburger was not a great enough sin to deserve her long diatribe. She began to realize that she criticized so many areas that were not critical to the family’s success, and didn’t often notice all the things he was doing right (changing the oil, fixing the computer, being a great dad). It was a hamburger moment to remember.
While nagging and criticizing may be more often female territory, it can easily go both ways. Think about it, when your spouse goes the the store and brings home the wrong brand, are you mad about the mistake or thankful you didn’t have to go to the grocery? If your spouse handles the kids differently, is that a problem or just a difference of opinion? Remember that most men value respect very highly, and criticism can make them feel less respected.
My husband will tell you I’m a little controlling about which cutting boards are used for what purposes (meat vs. veggies) as well as what laundry items are hung versus put in the dryer. We all have our hang-ups! This year, make sure you express gratitude more than nagging. Watch out for over-the-top, unnecessary criticism.
Look for your hamburger moment of clarity. Then turn it around.
Lori Lowe has been married to her husband, Ming, for 19 years. She is the author of First Kiss to Lasting Bliss: Hope & Inspiration for Your Marriage. It tells the inspiring, true stories of couples who used adversity to improve their marriages–from overcoming drug addiction to cancer, infidelity, religious differences, and infertility, among many others. It’s available at Amazon.com and in various e-book formats here.
Photo courtesy of morguefile.com.
Posted in Communication, Family, Happiness, Love, Marriage
Tagged better marriage in 2015, correcting husbands, criticism, get along with spouse, happy family, happy marriage, lifelong marriage, marriage tips, nagging, nagging wife
When Paul McCartney sang Maybe I’m Amazed about his wife, Linda, the song put into words the feelings of connection so many couples share. Listeners swooned as he expressed how amazed he was by his love for her. One of the surprising lines he sang is, “You right me when I’m wrong,” which is followed by, “Maybe I’m amazed at the way I need you.” The truth is, couples do need to lovingly correct one another sometimes. This is part of an honest, intimate relationship.
Unfortunately, many women often suck at this. Wives are six times more likely to fuss and scold than are husbands, according to Dr. John Gottman, marriage researcher and professor emeritus at the University of Washington. The result? Husbands are 85% more likely to stone-wall than wives.
The reason men shut down is not because the communication is negative. Many men deal with negative issues at work all day long. It’s the way the wife communicates that pushes him to silence—the berating, pointing, emasculating, scowling or yelling. These disrespectful exchanges are not tolerated by most men. In fact, they shut down and stop listening. They’re unable or unwilling to process extremely emotional outbursts. Who knows, maybe they’re thinking about the big game or where they’d rather be, but they’re probably not listening to you.
If you have negative information, try to communicate it clearly, briefly and gently. Control your tone and facial expression. Don’t belabor the point. When it comes time for you to hear a suggestion or complaint from your husband, try to receive that communication in the same way you’d like him to respond to you.
A great line in the McCartney song is, “You help me sing my song.” All spouses should be encouraging one another so that they are better off together than alone, to help each other fulfill the purpose you have here on earth. Remember to build your spouse up with positive comments, so that the negative to positive ratio is no more than 1:5.
What are the things that amaze you about your spouse? Share with him/her.
Posted in Communication, Divorce, Family, Love, Marriage
Tagged amazing marriage, better marriage, communication in marriage, correcting husbands, Dr. Gottmann, Family, Love, Marriage, Paul McCartney