Does this sound like you?
- He never listens to me.
- Where’s the man I married?
- I’m married, but I feel alone.
- Why won’t he help?
- I’m not sure I need him.
- When I start talking, he just shuts down.
Do you remember what life was like when you first married him? You had hopes and dreams. You talked to one another.
Reality set in. Life began. Marriage is not what you thought it’d be. He stopped listening to you. In fact, when you start talking, he checks out. Once you craved his attention. Now you only get his attention when you’re telling him what he’s done wrong. You wonder if you’d be better off without him.
No matter what you try, you get the same result.
No matter how hard it seems right now, there’s hope for your marriage.
If what you’ve been doing hasn’t been working, it probably won’t. Maybe it’s time to try something new.
You can get your husband’s attention and begin to turn your marriage around.
You can change his attitude and behavior by changing your attitude and behavior toward him.
What does your attitude have to do with his? A lot.
Does your behavior toward him reflect harshness or kindness? Do you assign motives to his behavior then react?
I was an expert at pointing out my husband’s flaws. He couldn’t get anything by me.
The more I pointed his imperfections, the more I noticed them. The more I notice them, the more he got on my nerves.
The more I nagged him, the more he withdrew.
I realized it’s easy to highlight someone else’s failures instead of looking at your own.
But when you focus on the negative, that’s what you’ll see.
I couldn’t see the problems with my behavior because I was too focused on his.
Maybe you need to change your behavior.
As you change the way you relate to him, he’ll begin to change, too.
Begin by deciding to change the way you see him. Throw out any preconceived ideas you have about him. Then commit to assuming the best of him and to saying nothing negative to or about him.
Next, start making these small changes and you’ll notice a big difference in your marriage.
1. Be grateful.
Speak the language of gratitude. Challenge yourself to find reasons to thank your husband often. Thank him for what he does, even if it’s something he’s supposed to do or does already. Thank him for picking up his socks or unloading the dishwasher. Thank him for going to work to support your family. If he stays home, thank him for the effort he puts into taking care of your home. Thanking him lets him know you appreciate him. Develop the language of gratitude, and he’ll notice.
2. Speak the language of respect
Nothing says “I love to you” like respect to your man. It makes him feel sexy and confident. Respect begins with assuming the best. When you assume the best, you’ll change the way you speak to him. He wants to know you trust him and his judgment. Tell him you’re proud of him. Greet him when you see him. Look at him when he speaks to you. Listen without interrupting when he talks. When you don’t understand something, consider suggesting that he “tell you more” instead of asking “why.” Asking “why” makes him feel like you’re challenging his judgment. Speak the language of respect, and he’ll notice.3. Affirm him
Everyone wants to be affirmed. Your husband is no different. Begin recognizing what he does right. Build him up by talking about what he does well. Examples: Thanks for doing that. I’m proud of you. You’re a great dad. Thank you for handling that. You handled it way better than I could have. It’s important to him to know you think highly of him and you believe he’s capable.
4. Make him feel like he’s capable
Your man needs to feel needed. He needs to feel like he can do it. And you can make him feel that way. Let him know he’s important to you and you need him in your life. A wife may be so efficient a husband may feel like he can’t do things as well as she can, which may lead him to believe he’s unnecessary. He wants you to feel like you can’t live without him. Build him up by telling him how he makes your life better. Let him know you had a hard day, but the thought of him gave you energy to keep going. Find reasons to ask his advice. Pour out your praises on him without expecting anything in return.
5. Let him know you want him
Your husband wants to feel desired, so let him know you desire him. (Okay, you might have to get naked for this one.) Be a willing and involved partner in intimacy– emotional and sexual. Flirt with him. Tell him he’s sexy. He needs to know you want to satisfy him, and he needs to know he can satisfy you, too.
These changes won’t fix your marriage overnight, but it’s a start. Made a few simple changes and be consistent. The man of your dreams may reappear.
You don’t have to perfect to get the marriage you want.
Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understand how tiring a tough marriage can be. She believes you deserve to be happy. She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical principles. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.
She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.
In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network. Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian, Crosswalk.com, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.