Recently, my husband, Dave, wrote a wildly popular blog post, “9 Things Married Men Need to Stop Doing”. Since the husbands have a list, I think it is only fair for the wives to one as well. As married women, we have things WE need to stop doing too. So, here it is…
1. We need to stop treating our husband like he is a child.
This might hit a nerve with some of you, but it happens all too often. I’ve caught myself doing it before. In an effort to bring out the “best” in our husbands, we start mothering them. If we want to bring out the best in our husband, then we need to show him that we RESPECT him…even when he’s not quite worthy of it yet. I know this seems a bit crazy, but almost every marriage book I have ever read emphasizes the husband’s great need for respect from his wife. Let’s show him that we respect him and see what happens. Just watch how he rises to the occasion. As wives, we have special powers when it comes to this. A husband needs and desires his wife…not another mother.
2. We need to SAY what we mean and stop depending on our non-verbal communication.
Most women I know (myself included) struggle with this. We tend to have good intuition, so we expect our husbands to as well. The funny and frustrating thing about it is that 9 times out of 10, they just take us at our word. They aren’t reading into our body language, sighs, or eye rolls. This becomes a HUGE problem when we constantly depend on our non-verbals to do all the “talking”.
Non-verbals should only enhance our words, not take their place. For more on this, be sure to read “The Most Common Mistake Women Make in Marriage”. As married women, we can’t shy away from talking through things…WITH WORDS…even if our husband seems happy to avoid talking. Let’s approach our husbands with love and really share our hearts with them. Intimacy begins with interaction.
3. We need to stop placing our children before our husband.
I know this one can be a bit controversial, especially when it comes to blended families, but please hear me out. As parents, we are called to love and protect our children with every fiber of our being. The primary way we can do this is by prioritizing our marriage. The greatest gift we can offer our kids isn’t something money can buy; it is a healthy, happy, and loving marriage that they can look to as a good example.
My husband always says that we should have the kind of marriage that makes our kids WANT to get married someday. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect. It just means that we both choose to love and commit ourselves to fostering a strong marriage. This provides a kind of love and security for our children that will last a lifetime.
If you have a blended family and are navigating this issue, Kristie Carpenter, author of “The Blended Family Mom”, has some great insight and resources.
4. We must stop hanging out with friends who devalue or trash talk our husband.
I’ve seen this one mistake lead to divorce right before my eyes. We often become the very company we keep. So, next time you are hanging out with your girlfriends, pay close attention to how they talk about your husband. If it tends to be negative, than I would venture to say that she isn’t a very good friend. In a previous post on the Facebook Marriage Page, I shared this quote,
When we hear our friends cutting down our spouse, we tend to see our spouse in that same negative light. This must stop. Marriage is hard enough without negative friends. For more on this, be sure to check out “4 Things Worth Fighting For in Your Marriage”.
If we want to build and maintain stronger marriages, then we have to foster friendships that respect our marriages and the institution of marriage as a whole.
5. We need to stop flirting with other men.
This one probably seems like a no-brainer to most of you, and yet it is a BIG problem in many marriages. It may start innocently…you share laughs with a co-worker. Then, you go to lunch…just the two of you. Before you know it, the emails start coming. Then, texts and phone calls. And, then, that man is all you can think about. You start hiding any communication with this person from your husband. Before you know it, you find yourself in a sexual affair.
“How did I get here?”…
“How did I let it get this far?” you think.
He was just a guy you enjoyed talking to at work.
It was just some innocent flirting, right?
Friend, we must open our eyes to the truth. No flirting outside of our marriage is good. There is NO such thing as “innocent flirting”. It is the gateway drug to affairs, and it can ruin marriages.
As wives, we will certainly have conversations with other men at the office, church, or out-and-about, but we don’t have to flirt with these other men. We should do our best to never be alone with another man that isn’t our husband or blood relative. Nothing good can come from it.
Whenever we are talking to other men, we need to ask ourselves, “Would I feel comfortable with my husband having this same conversation (that I am having) with another woman?”. If the answer is “No” then we are out of bounds, and we need to end the conversation immediately. This may sound overzealous, but it just might save your marriage.
When we mess with fire, we will get burned. I don’t want any of us to live with a lackluster marriage or feel the pain of an affair. Let’s do all that we can to protect and strengthen our marriages.