When I got married, I thought my wife would do everything like me. It never occurred to me that my way wasn’t the best way or the only way. In my mind, my life would be exactly the same with the exception of a lovely addition—Susan. It didn’t take me long to realize she needed some training in my ways. Susan is a people-pleaser and readily took my constant correction as I tried to mold her into a mini-me. It also didn’t take long for the criticism to crush her spirit. What followed was two years of frustration as I struggled to learn how to love my wife for who she is and appreciate that her differences compliment me.
Guys, mistakes like the one I made are, by definition, unintentional. More often than not, we aren’t thoughtless; we just don’t think like our wives want or need us to think. Here are 5 common mistakes men make in marriage and what we can do about them.
1. They don’t think of the needs of their wives.
You schedule a date night with your wife. Good job! However, you wait until you are walking out the door to say, “What do you feel like doing?” Don’t do it. Plan ahead. Make a reservation at your wife’s favorite restaurant. Call the babysitter yourself. You will get an “A” for effort!
2. They don’t listen.
Don’t assume you know what your wife is going to say. Don’t tune her out because you have heard it all before. Just listen with your ears and your eyes. In other words, give her your full attention.
3. They don’t understand their wives.Sometimes, your wife just wants you to feel what she feels without giving advice and without trying to fix it.
Like many men, you try to “fix” problems rather than understand what your wife is feeling. Sometimes, she just wants you to feel what she feels without giving advice and without trying to fix it. When I’m not sure, I’ll often say to my wife, “Do you want my advice on this, or do you just want me to listen?”
4. They don’t know their wives.
Do you remember getting to know your wife when you were dating? When was the last time you just spent time talking with her, not to her? Ask what her dreams are, where she would like to go on vacation, what good book she has read lately.
5. They don’t confide in their wives.
Your wife wants to be included in your entire world. Confide in her—your dreams, your work, your life. Your marriage bond will only be strengthened.
Sound off: What’s the best date you’ve arranged for you and your wife?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why is it important to learn from your mistakes?”