What’s the best gift you could give your marriage to make it a Happy New Year?
It’s a constant work in progress for any of us that are married. There’s a theme I’ve noticed over the years both personally and professionally. While I believe males and females are created equally, research clearly shows how our brains are wired differently. Of course there is a continuum for this and we are a complex of various emotional needs and responses. But, in general, men like to fix things (including when their wives aren’t happy) and they tend to feel vulnerable (which they don’t like to admit) when they can’t or don’t know how. They then tend to get grumpy, irritable, down right angry or withdraw, which in turn of course pushes us females further away.
So what do we females do? Many of us tend to get louder in expressing our discontent. We nag and we hound. Or we get passive aggressive and stonewall. Or both. We drop subtle hints, expecting him to get it and when he doesn’t, a mood of constant negativity builds. Men seem to be pretty concrete and want to hear directly what we think, feel or need. Yet they don’t. If we express it over and over in a negative way, whining or in an emotionally reactive manner, that’s when they feel like failures and have an internal sense of just giving up. They feel helpless.
While there are plenty of tips for males to break this cycle (and I enjoy telling them, btw), because this is HER “view from home” blog, the following is a non inclusive list of some tips for us females (me included.)
- Show more appreciation and respect for your husband than not. My experience is that normally they are doing their best and they often don’t know any better. Remember what drew you to him in the first place and focus on his strengths. This builds collateral in his heart account so when you do need to express a need that is not being met, it’s not such a big hit and is more easily heard by him.
- It’s important that we speak plainly and not bottle things up. So be direct and assertive…and kind. He’ll hear you much better.
- Dial back the negative tone.
- Make him feel valued by putting your marriage first (yes, not the kids, not your friends, not your hobbies and not your career). The best gift you give your kids is to nourish your marriage.
- Be intentional with dates and little get-aways for just the two of you.
- Enjoy recreational companionship.
- Show physical affection.
- Talk about, agree upon and honor a family budget.
- Enjoy the present but reminisce about fond past memories together and future plans/dreams.
- Extend GRACE and give him a chance. Build him up.
There’s a wonderful ripple effect when we do our part, and that’s all we can really do anyway. Let’s ask ourselves what we want our part to be as we start this New Year…and may it be happy for you and yours.
Feature Photo: Photo Pin