Heads Up For Men – Eight Tips To Improve Your Marriage | Marriage.com

Heads Up For Men – Eight Tips To Improve Your Marriage

Heads up for men- Eights tips to improve your marriage

Let’s face it – marriage is not for cowards. Besides parenting, marriage is probably one of the toughest challenges you’ve ever faced, and that’s saying a lot. Maybe you’ve climbed Mt.Kilimanjaro, run a marathon, or sailed the world, but when it comes to keeping your wife happy, you may just feel like you have hit a solid brick wall. Know that you are not alone – many have shared your frustration and even desperation. But the good news is that there is a way, or rather many ways, to glide right through that brick wall which may in fact turn out to be a mirage.

This article is aimed at highlighting some of the issues and areas of marriage where men are often oblivious to the way a woman thinks and what makes her happy. Sometimes a very small shift can make a huge difference, and leave you wondering why you waited so long or why you never realized this before. Firstly, well done for reading an article like this because it shows you are looking for some help, and those who seek will find. And secondly, in case you start feeling that this is a bit unfair – what about the woman’s part? – yes, you are right, women need to bring their side just as much as men, but for now we are aiming specifically at the things that men can do to improve their marriage.

1. Know that you can lose her…

This one is really important, that’s why it is first. Some men are living under the illusion that once they signed the marriage papers, it was a done deal and they could sit back, relax and treat their wife any old way. Big mistake! Like anything else worthwhile in life, marriage requires consistent effort, attention, perseverance and determination to get the best result. You would not dream of signing up for a doctorate and then not putting in the work to make it happen. Or you would not take the trouble of planting a vegetable garden and then not bother to take care of it – watering, weeding and fertilizing it.

2. Create a new normal…

Another easy and fatal illusion to fall under is that ‘my way is the normal/right way’. And incidentally, your wife may very well be thinking that her way is the right and normal one. What often happens is that one of you defers to the other and then that person’s preferences, culture or upbringing becomes the norm for their marriage. This is quite dangerous and can lead to a codependent relationship. However, if you are aware of this you can actively seek to create a new normal for both of you where you discuss and talk through issues carefully. This way you can find a win-win middle ground, rather than taking the wrong/right, my way or the highway approach.

3. Learn to show empathy…

Empathy means being able to recognize and share someone else’s feelings, and it is a really essential part of any healthy relationship. A big part of showing empathy is simply to listen and validate whatever your wife is going through. If she has had a stressful and demanding day, the best thing you can say is “Tell me all about it.” Then you sit down, hold her hand, look into her eyes while she is talking, and listen carefully. When she expresses some pain or tells you that this or that was particularly frustrating, you can say something like, “That must have been difficult” or “I’m sorry you had such a hard day.” This is not the time to tell her why she should not have felt that way, or to suggest how she could have handled the situation differently.

4. Learn to make good conversation …

So after you have listen so well to her, now she will no doubt want to listen to you. Maybe you don’t feel much like talking by the time you get home after a hard day at work, but this is really important for your wife. If you don’t want to tell her about your day, she feels excluded and shut out. The fallacy of the “strong, silent type” is another illusion which has wreaked havoc in many a marriage. Maybe you need some time to unwind at the gym, or put your feet up for a while. Find what works best and then be open to make good conversation with your wife.

Learn to make a good conversation

5. Be a great lover…

You most certainly didn’t get married so that you could be roommates! So work on having the best possible sex life because it will improve your relationship at every level. Having said that, it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation – which comes first? For your wife, good times in bed definitely come after lots of good connections throughout the day – affection and closeness, making her feel wanted and needed all the time, not just when the lights are out. Find out what makes your wife happy and get to know and understand her needs.

6. Know the value of the little things…

It’s easy to let the little things slip – like saying please and thank you, or holding the door open for her, or sending her a little ‘how are you’ message during the day. Maybe you think it’s not going to make much difference, and you’re too busy with ‘more important’ things. In the long run you may be surprised to realize how all these little things add up, like each little flower or plant in your garden and the more you lose the less attractive your garden will be.

7. Step up in stressful times…

Your wife may not always ask for help, but if you are alert you can see when she is taking strain. Maybe it’s a sigh here and there or an unusual quietness which will tell you she’s tired or stressed. Then you can step up and help with the housework, or run a nice bubble bath for her, and make her a cup of tea or coffee. This kind of loving attention is sure to gain you untold dividends. Your wife will feel that she has your support and that she does not have to carry the heavy load of housework alone. Helping in practical and thoughtful ways is definitely one of the best means of improving your marriage.

8. Grow together…

Finally, remember that change is inevitable. As you both begin to age and mature, so will your love and your marriage. You are not the same person you were two years ago, and nor is your wife. Make sure you stay on the same page and keep in step with each other so that you can gracefully and joyfully grow together.

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