biggest failures

Top 5 Biggest Failures as a Husband

One of the biggest failures in my marriage was the season when Stephana and I didn’t date as a married couple. We understood the importance of dating, but our actions or lack of didn’t show it. It was probably a two or three-year span where we were lucky to have a few dates per year, and those were only for special occasions.

This almost devastated our marriage. Our marriage became like a roommate relationship. We were missing the connection that is developed when you consistently date, do new things together, and have a quality conversation. Our conversation centered around schedules (ours and our daughter). Our conversation centered around bills and money. It became old and stale quickly. Marriage wasn’t very fun. The effect of my failure to making dating a priority has made me vigilant in that area.

I’ve failed many times in my marriage. Fortunately, I’ve learned some great lessons as a result. Here are my top 5 failures as a husband.

1. I didn’t make my wife a priority.

As I mentioned I messed up on date nights for a while, then after I got it right I messed up again. Once we got the date night thing right I had the bright idea of scheduling “daddy-kid days” on the same day as our date nights. So, I’d spend the afternoon hanging with my kids, then rushed home to make date night in time. My wife and our time together became second priority. She was pretty much getting my leftovers. I finally learned this and changed our daddy-kid days to a different day.

2. Neglecting the power of prayer in our marriage.

Much like date nights, praying together is crucial to the well-being of our relationship. And much like date nights, I neglected to take action and make this the integral part it needed to be. Once I did, our marriage changed. Prayer enabled us to become more transparent; we openly shared before God and one another. Praying together is such an intimate act, which spills over into other areas of your relationship. [Tweet This] And we both gained a better understanding of one another, what we struggle with, and what we need most. I’ve learned to fight for our prayer time and make it very important.

3. Thinking premarital behavior wouldn’t affect our marriage.

When Stephana and I were dating before getting married, I was unfaithful to her. I thought that once I committed to her in marriage, I would have a clean slate. I was wrong. The first few years of our marriage were marred by a lack of trust because of what I had done. She was still hurt. While I did change, my wife still had concerns when I wasn’t with her. Over the years, I had to regain her trust. It was challenging, but she was eventually able to trust me again.

4. Not having a plan for our money.

We’ve experienced major debt, major financial devastation, and even being homeless as a family (including our kids). All because of my failures in the area of our finances. While job loss was the spark that started the fire, not having a plan and following a plan for our finances enabled that spark to grow into something we couldn’t tame. I’ve learned a lot, and made some changes, but we’re still climbing out of the financial holes that were dug. It’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from one of the biggest failures I’ve had as a husband.

5. Not communicating in my wife’s love language.

One of my wife’s top love languages is receiving gifts. One of the things I’m the worst at is giving gifts and celebrating special occasions like birthdays and holidays. It took me years before I even realized how important receiving gifts and making a big deal out of special occasions was to her. And even after I realized it, it was tough to break the habit of treating the occasions like just another day. This led to years of hurt, disappointment, and frustration for us. I’m still a work in progress, but doing better than I have in the past and now these special occasions are much better than they have been.

You are going to have some major failures as a husband. I’m sure you’ve already had some. Just be sure you learn and grow from them, and eventually become a better husband.

Sound Off

How have you overcome some of your biggest challenges in marriage?

Jackie Bledsoe

Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger, and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three, who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.

  • Don Dunlap

    Great advice. Too late for me. As my divorce will be final in a couple of weeks items 1 2 and 5 hit the nail on the head for us or me

    • CJ

      So sorry to hear this, Don. Any chance for reconciliation? Have either of you found someone new? If not, just pray and stand strong. Praying God will provide a miracle for you and that — some way, some how — you can work it out.

      • Don Dunlap

        Thanks. No chance for reconciliation at this time. All that’s left is for the judge to sign the papers Neither of us has found anybody new. I’m actually at a healing retreat this weekend.

        • thetruthhurts77

          Don I fear I am very close as my wife has been building her walls and rejecting me for years due to my failures in these areas early on in our marriage which were never forgiven. While she pushes hard for me to “leave” so she can be free to “find a better man”, but I won’t do it as I have two boys, 8 and 5 who I can’t live without. I have endured years of verbal, emotional and physical abuse but will not willingly walk away from them or my role as their father. I choose to serve and suffer through it all but I do fear she will force me out by forced divorce. Please pray for me to not only endure but to up my game and improve my attitude to ultimately convince her not to give up and push me out.

          • Layla

            First of all, why are you putting up with verbal, emotional, and physical abuse? You may have failed in some areas, but that doesn’t mean you deserve it or have to take it. Besides, is this the example of how a husband is to be treated that you want your boys to learn? You are right to up your game and improve your attitude, but don’t forget to pray for her as well. Ask God to step into your marriage and to make it what it should be. It will take time. I am praying for you both today!

  • Great post as usual, Jackie,
    Very true indeed. These steps are crucial in a marriage and when it comes to dating your wife, you can’t neglect that. Marriage is not the loss of a date, rather the gain of a lifetime of dates with the right partner in life.

    Funny, how some of your points concur with my resent article on “coffee date with my wife. Though having regular date times with your spouse is crucial, yet, a daily “coffee date” for a few minutes or hour of your day, really helps tremendously the enhancing and rebranding of the marriage relationship.

    My wife and I love our morning coffee dates. We’ve been doing that for years, and it surely breaks up the burdens of the day or establishes a good momentum for the rest of the day (as we do in the mornings).
    Thanks again for another great post, brother.

  • mychal doering

    I have learned to listen, actually listen, not the way we do most of the time, but listen , look her in the eyes and have a thoughtful response, some of the time. She does not always want me to have a response, she just wants me to LISTEN.
    I also have tried to not “fix” everything. We, as men, are conditioned to want to help, fix, solve. Again, when we do this it can makes our wives feel like they need our help and that they are not capable of fixing the situation on their own, they NEED our help! This is not the case! You married a great, smart, woman! Trust that! Again, at times, nothing needed fixing, she just wanted to vent, release, relax, and I turned it on to me solving her problems!

  • CJ

    I have been very guilty of not doing well in some of these areas. While I hate to point blame, when you don’t grow up with healthy role models as parents or other marriage to look at, it does give you a major disadvantage going into your own marriage.

    I had zero spiritual guidance on prayer with my wife, so one her expectations was that I would naturally take the spiritual lead in our home. But when you never witnessed this or had any instruction on how to do this growing up, that is a near impossibility and sets you up for major failure right out of the gates. While God has been very patient with me as I have read books and sought help from pastors and other men of God in my churches over the years, this has still been a very difficult area for me.

    As for making my wife the priority, that is an area that I went way overboard in. I payed so much attention to her that I have smothered her and — during times of extreme duress and trials in my life (unemployment) — I would turn to my wife to find everything (happiness, emotional and spiritual support) instead of God first and she lost all respect for me and found me to be “clingy” and “needy”. The past few years I have been ripping apart my life, my fears, my cracks and looking to God to be my everything first. It is a slow and painful — but needed — process.

    Finances have always been a problem, too. Once again when you have no training to look forward in life — coupled with major hits such as unemployment, medical bills and car breakdowns that have plagued us for 20-plus years — living paycheck to paycheck becomes the reality of life.

    So many things to change and so many things to repair and get right. I am just glad through all the bumps and trials and circumstances that my wife and I are still together and allowing God to mold us and shape us and break off those rough edges in both of us individually. Praying that we can establish a new foundation and that God will bless the rest of our marriage years!

  • jake

    I agree with many points in the article. Any thoughts on how to inject optimitism into my Wife’s relationship. Seems like even small things in life drag her down and increase stress on the Family. Rolling with the punches or adapting to situations isn’t a forte.

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Huddle up with your wife and discuss a time you really messed up, then apologize, and discuss how you and your marriage is better from what you learned.

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