I just got off the phone with a really good friend that I haven’t spoken to in a long time, and surprise-surprise, guess what we ended up talking about? Well, yes, there’s lots of things, but marriage of course came up, because generally speaking, I can share my passion with my friends. She was telling me some really cool stuff that she was trying in her marriage, and with her permission, I’d like to share it with you.
As women, we see areas of improvement everywhere, including our husbands. We want to be helpful, so we think things like, my husband would do well with a promotion, or maybe he would do well with changing his job, or starting an exercise program, or going to his doctor, or catching up with a good friend, or having friends. And we try to be helpful and considerate, and we make suggestions, and it doesn’t help at all.
I want to tell you why it doesn’t help, and what to do instead. It might not be the most popular advice I’ve ever given for the ladies, but I’m telling you, if you want things to work, then you have to do it the way that works. Let’s be honest: the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again, and expecting different results.
First off, I want to describe what us women generally do. We will make suggestions, and we will kind of be on top of things, but not in a very helpful way. We think it’s helpful; “honey, maybe you should go to bed now”, or “maybe you should eat more vegetables”. Basically, we’re parenting them, which is not very respectful. In fact, a quality that men really appreciate is being respected, and so when we don’t respect them, it’s crushing, and it’s terrible.
So what you can do instead of that is not really doing something… it’s doing less of something, and that’s opening your mouth. Actually, my friend shared with me the best thing she did. She tried it really hard core for two weeks, to really show her husband that she believes in him, and that she has faith in his capacity. She ended up just not saying a lot of things that she was going to say! Just closing her mouth, and shutting up, and letting him do his thing.
For example, if you asked him to load the dishwasher, and being a really helpful guy, he said, “sure, I’m going to do it”, but then you hover, and you tell him what to do, and you nitpick, and you just micro-manage… it’s annoying and frustrating! If you’ve ever had anyone micro-manage you, it just undermines your confidence all the time. You just want to throw up your hands and say, “well fine, you do it if you think you’re so good at it.”
Another thing that my friend was doing, which I think is great and brilliant, is she would do a visualization, to think of her husband as his true being, beyond all his self-doubts. Visualizing him being confident and having faith in himself, and trusting his own decisions. It helped her get past her indifferent view of him.
I know I always say just tell your husband that he’s your hero (and please women, just try it out, because it works), but just even saying, “I believe in you, I trust you, I know you’re going to make the right decision”, can make a world of difference in your husband’s confidence.
Not too long ago, my husband was making a career decision. I did feel the need to micro-manage his situation, and protect my well being, and make sure he made the right choice, and maybe give him helpful suggestions for what he should say in this process. But lately, I’ve been able to step back and just say, you know what? He is a very resourceful, very intelligent human being, and he can make decisions for himself, and the best thing I can do is just tell him that I believe in him, that I have faith in his capacity, that he is my hero, that I respect his decisions. That is huge.
And just one last thing before I finish off here. This idea of undermining… it’s not the same for us women. We actually really appreciate other people’s contributions, and we look for them. We ask for them. Consultation is huge for us, because from an evolutionary standpoint, we needed to be part of a village. We were gathering the berries, and we were around the watering trough, and community was really essential because if our husbands weren’t able to bring home meat, then we needed a community around us of women who would be like, “we’ll share our portion with you”. That’s how we survived.
But men needed people who trusted their capacity, and who had their back. They were outside hunting in the wilderness, and if they didn’t have somebody there who not only trusted them and had faith in their capacity as a hunter, but also had their back, they weren’t going to survive. They weren’t going to be able to feed and nourish their families.
So it’s really important that you have your husband’s back. A great way of doing that is just telling him that you believe in him and have faith in his capacities. What you might be doing right now to encourage your husband might not be working because you’re just crushing him, and you’re making him feel like you don’t believe in him, and you don’t have his back. That doesn’t inspire anybody. What you can do instead is just say, “I believe in you. I trust your judgment. I have faith in your capacity, and I’m here to support you with whatever you may do”, and visualize him as the man that you know he is.
I hope you guys have a great day. Go and love each other. Go send a lovely text message to your husband or wife, if you’re reading this, and just fill them up with some love today.