What should a wife do if she wants to improve her marriage? How should she treat her husband?
I wrestled with this question for years. How did some women make marriage look effortless while I struggled?
No matter what I tried, it didn’t seem to have a lasting impact on my marriage. I read books. I bargained. I pouted. I got traditional counseling. Nothing worked long-term.
Turns out, those weren’t the things I needed to do to improve my marriage. I needed to change the way I looked at my husband and my marriage. When I changed my mindset about my marriage, my marriage improved.
I changed my perspective. In doing so, I realized what I needed to stop doing to fix my marriage.
Once I stopped doing these things, my marriage improved.
To improve your marriage, stop doing these things:
1. Stop criticizing, condemning and complaining
It sounds like this: Do I have to do everything? Can’t you even change a diaper? It looks like this: He loads the dishwasher; you reload it. He makes the bed; you remake it. When your husband can’t do anything right, marriage is hard. If he feels like he can’t do anything right, he may stop trying. Stop criticizing, condemning and complaining and start cheering, comforting and encouraging instead.
2. Stop splitting everything right down the middle
Stop expecting him to do half of everything. Operating like this seems not only fair, but reasonable, too. He does his half; you do yours. You meet somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, someone always feels like they’re getting the short end of the stick. (It’s usually me.) You start feeling like “he owes me.” While 50/50 sounds good, it never works. Focus on giving instead of splitting.
3. Stop putting your kids first
A lot of women feel like the kids ought to come first. And a lot of women come to a time in their lives when they lament, “I wish I’d understood how important it is to make sure my husband knows he’s a priority.” If you routinely put others ahead of him, he’ll get the message: He’s unimportant to you. His behavior and attitude will reflect that. Put your man first. It may be inconvenient at times, but your marriage will grow stronger when he knows you’re on his side and you value him. The best thing you can do for your kids is have a marriage that makes them want to get married.
4. Stop forgiving but not forgetting
Another common refrain among wives is, “I’ll forgive, but I’ll never forget.” What that really means is: I’m waiting for him to mess up again. If you’re waiting for him to mess up again, you won’t be disappointed. He will. While you’re waiting, you’ll notice every mistake he makes because what you focus on will grow. You’re going to get hurt in marriage. Find a way to learn from it and move past it, even if you have to get help.
5. Stop making him feel unappreciated
Your husband needs to hear you say you appreciate him. No matter how confident he seems, he still needs to hear regularly you appreciate the effort he puts into your marriage and your family.
6. Stop disrespecting him
Respect to men is like love to women. He needs it. It’s almost as important as oxygen. He needs it to thrive. If your goal is to destroy your marriage, continually disrespect your husband and your chance of ending up in divorce court will increase.
7. Stop crowding God out of your life
When you focus on pleasing someone other than yourself, marriage gets easier. Why? Because you’re not focused on what he does. You’re focused on what you do. Your actions aren’t contingent upon his. You love and respect him because God tells you to, not because he deserves it.
If you’re a frequent offender in one or more of these areas, you’re hurting your marriage. Your words and actions speak volumes to your husband.
Find out what you need to stop doing and stop doing it.
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” Challenge!
- 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.
In addition to more than 33 years of marriage, Sheila has a Masters Degree in Communication and countless hours of mentoring and coaching women.
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.