Instead of offering marriage advice, maybe it is time to just talk about small changes men can make for a happier and healthier marriage.
Small Changes Can Make a Difference
Into my virtual Inbox recently came an article from Matt Christensen at Fatherly.com. While at first it appeared as just another marriage advice article, Matt interviewed eleven dads, asking them about small changes they made that resulted in meaningful change in their marriage.
I was quite intrigued and impressed by their answers, and thought this would make for a good follow-up to my own article, “Bad Marriage Advice Is Just Not Helpful!“
Here is a list of the changes made:
- I Began Scheduling Time with My Wife
- We Started Saying “I Love You” Before Hanging Up
- We pray together.
- I Started Tidying Up More Often
- I Began Waking Up Earlier Than My Wife
- I Started Daily Journaling
- I Started Doodling.
- We Built Snack Time into Our Days
- We Learned One Another’s Love Languages
- I Started Saying, “Thank You”
- We Started the “Fishbowl Game.”
When you read through the explanations, you will find these were not merely husbands trying to keep their wives happy. These are men recognising their own complicity in the happiness and health of their marriage. This list proves the point, “small changes can make a big difference”, particularly in a marriage. And this is good marriage advice!
Start With Gratitude
Despite my own article and website, I cannot claim to be an expert husband. I too need to consider making one or two of these small changes because I too want my marriage to be happier and healthier. For instance, I want to begin scheduling time with my wife but she is still of the mindset we must do everything as a family, even though our children are 16 and 18 years of age.
I am thinking I might try the change to start saying, “Thank You”. I have always downplayed this in our relationship because I do not want her to think of the household chores as her responsibility. The household chores are our responsibility, equally shared. From this perspective then, for her to say, “Thank You”, is to treat me as if I am doing something for her as a favour. I have never thought this a good approach to a marriage.
I think I may have made this a bigger issue than it need be. Accepting another person’s gratitude is never a bad thing. I am going to try Aron’s advice and start bringing gratitude back into our marriage, starting with me. I can express my gratitude to her for all she does, as a wife and mother. She does not have to do these things; she could adopt the posture of a b**** and simply let it all go to rot. But, the fact is, she does not. She does a lot. And for that I should be grateful.
Thinking about it more now, saying, “Thank You”, really is a good idea and a small change that could make a big difference to my marriage.
Matt’s article is not a list of advice that goes against my own article. It is a list of things some men did that made a difference to their marriages. I am going to start showing my gratitude by saying, “Thank You”. What are you going to do? Or what small change or changes have you made that resulted in a big difference to your marriage? Let’s see if we can add to this list!