No woman marries a man with the intention of disliking him and living miserably ever after. When you walk down the aisle you generally love the guy, like him, respect him, lust after him – think he’s the best thing that ever came into your life.
How is is that, after a few years, it’s pretty common for a woman to stop liking the guy she married, to lose all respect for him, and to see very little good in him?
It’s not like he’s a different guy.
Of course, there are all the petty irritations you get when you live with anyone, but that is surely not enough for such a dramatic change. In any case, other marriages are thriving. Women are still loving their husbands despite all the annoying little things they do. Those guys are no more saintly than other husbands when it comes to neglecting stuff around the house, that’s for sure.
What’s different between the marriages that end up in divorce, and the ones that reach their silver wedding and beyond?
One thing that can keep your marriage strong is simply having a positive attitude towards your husband. You look for the good in him. You tell him how much he’s appreciated. And you never ever take what he does for granted – at work, around the house, with the kids.
As far as humanly possible, when irritations occur, you keep your positive hat on, and avoid nagging and criticizing.
There’s no harm in asking your husband to do something like take out the trash – you want him to pull his weight – but make your request with a smile and a kiss. How can he feel put upon or nagged, if you do that? And if you have a lot for him to do, it doesn’t matter, there can never be enough kissing… See also Conflict Over Chores! if you have a particular problem about your husband not helping around the house.
It may seem a little strange, but it’s a sure thing that whatever you focus on in your husband – the good points and actions, or the faults – you’re going to get more of.
One of the reasons for this is that you’ll simply notice more of those good things or irritations. The other thing is that a nagged and put-upon husband will feel like not bothering doing anything for you, whereas if he feels appreciated he’s more inclined to treat you well.
Make sure he knows how much you value what he does, and the kind of man he is. Tell him regularly. You can do that even if you only have three minutes a day to spare (see the three minute miracle). If you feel like nagging, bitching, whining or moaning (which you surely will sometimes), try the kissing technique above, and a bit of humor.
If you feel that your marriage is going downhill, and that love is fading, you don’t have a moment to lose to start finding the good in your husband. Bite your tongue when you feel like nagging and criticizing, and start thanking him when he contributes anything to your life together. It may seem unfair, and one-sided, if he doesn’t seem to be appreciating you either, but look at this whole thing as an experiment. Give it a month, and see if changing your attitude to him turns around his attitude to you too.
Over To You: Have you noticed how appreciating your husband makes him do more of the things you like? Please share in the comments below.