Is “how can I change my husband” a question you ask yourself over and over again?
Your marriage is tough
You talk and talk, but he just doesn’t listen.
Where’s the man you married?
Somehow it seems that you’re always the one who needs to make changes to improve the relationship. It seems unfair, especially when he appears to be the problem.
Early in my marriage, I felt the same way. The more I nagged and wanted to talk about the relationship, the farther and farther he moved away from me emotionally. I often wondered, “What happened to the guy I married?”
I felt frustrated and alone. But the more I badgered, the more video games he played.
I wanted to save my marriage, but I didn’t know how.
After years of fighting, I finally decided divorce was the best option. I was embarrassed. If we divorced, my failure would be obvious.
Maybe you’re in a desperate spot and you’re not sure what to do.
When women hit that spot, sometimes we do things we think will make it better, but they actually do the opposite.
They push him away.
Here are three common mistakes that never work when trying to get your man to change. Do these things and he will almost certainly stay the same:
- Use scare tactics
You get anxious, desperate even. So you make threats, hoping to whip him into shape.
- You threaten to leave so he can see how it feels to want you back.
- You threaten to take the kids.
- You give him the silent treatment.
Instead of moving closer, he becomes even more distant. And you grow more frustrated. And you’ve made demands that you feel like you need to follow through on.
Scare tactics push him away. Instead of pushing him away, you want to pull him towards you. To do that, you need to make him feel like you’re safe.
Try to create positive experiences instead of threaten or manipulate.
Threatening to leave him, take the kids or giving him the silent treatment will never produce permanent change.
He may change in the short (very short) term, but it won’t last. No one likes to be threatened or bullied. Scare tactics actually cause more stress in the relationship. It’s hard to think of solutions or build intimacy when you’re afraid.
- Think it takes two to make a change
We hear this all time But it’s not true. You can only work on you. If you change the way you respond to him, he will change the way he responds to you. It might not happen overnight, but he will change.
Don’t wait for him to change to change. You can only control you. You can evaluate your behavior and decide in which ways you’re contributing to your marital woes.
Then you can work on changing you.
- Tell him what’s wrong with him
He’s not going to change because you tell him what’s wrong with him.
He won’t change if he feels nagged or badgered. He’s not going to change by reading some book you give him.
He’ll change when you change the way you respond to him. You’ll change the way you respond to him when you think about him differently.
Maybe you’ve been trying to save your marriage, but nothing seems to be working. You’re tired of fighting and you’re ready to give up.
The more demands you make, the harder he resists. So stop making demands and start changing your thoughts.
You may find the man you married is still there after all.
Need skills to build intimacy?
- Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
- Visit my website, like my Facebook page and join my private Facebook group.
- Check out my FREE resources and download How to Be A Wife No Man Will Ever Want to Leave.
- Apply for private coaching with Sheila.
Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be.
She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. 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.