Why do marriage counselors tend to focus first on the husband?
Because men are more systematic in how they approach problems of any kind. For a very simple example, let’s say a husband has neglected to let his wife know he appreciates and loves her. If this is brought to his attention in a way that is appropriate to the situation, he will want to take action to solve that problem. If the recommended action is, “Buy your wife flowers every Friday and write her a hand-written card,” the husband will most likely write that down, put it in his smartphone or on his calendar and he will do all he can to ensure he takes those actions. Even if the feelings do not accompany them, he will take those actions. What is likely to follow? The feelings. The feelings will follow as we take action.
A Quick Re-cap of last week
Last week was Week 2 of AM’s 4-week Self-Discipline Challenge. We took self-discipline to work and are now doing the following tasks in our workplace:
Week 2 Task 1 was to clean your desk, truck or work area,
Week 2 Task 2 was to express gratitude and
Week 2 Task 3 was to talk less and listen more.
Now, we’re going to apply self-discipline to improve our relationship with the lady in our life.
Self-Discipline in your romantic relationship
It’s very simple. Show her you are thinking of her. Show you care for her in ways that she will understand. Be attentive, mindful, intentional Here are three ways that should work.
Week 3, Task 1: “Open the door!” Open doors for her.
This small gesture packs a big message. Open the car door for her, open the door to the restaurant or apartment for her. Open any door for her and do it with kindness. Allow her to go first if you and she are entering a familiar place, like your home. However, if you are going into a restaurant, you should lead. You go first, then follow the maître d’ or host’s lead and escort your wife or girlfriend to her seat. In the unknown, you lead. In the known, you give her pride of place. That’s the way it’s done.
Week 3, Task 2: “Stand UP!” Stand when she enters or leaves the room. Stand if she gets up from the table.
This is not difficult at all to do, but it can be difficult to do gracefully if you have not done it for a while or if she is not used to someone doing this for her. It’s simple—if you are both seated at a table, stand when she stands to excuse herself for any reason. If you are seated in a living room, stand when she stands. If the setting is casual, even the gesture of going to rise when she gets up will make a difference. The idea is that she is the center of your attention and you communicate that to her. It matters.
Week 3, Task 3: Improve how you communicate: Listen more attentively, don’t solve her problem [prematurely] and pay her at least one sincere compliment a day for a week.
Like all of these, this task is basic, but it takes self-discipline to do. Start by listening. Resist the temptation to judge or make a statement. Instead, ask questions and listen more. After listening more than you normally do, resist any temptation to solve the problem. If you believe she really does need your help solving a problem, ask: “May I offer a possible solution?” Then, if she says yes and means yes, keep it short. Finally, decide/decide to pay her one sincere compliment a day for a week. “Your hair looks pretty,” “You have a great smile,” “That’s a great dress,” “The article you wrote was a great read,” and if she does you the honor of preparing you a meal, tell her it was great. Just about any sincere compliment will do.
You will know how much of this is too much, but remember it’s industrial strength—a little goes a long way. Treat her like a lady and she will treat you like a gentleman. These may sound old-fashioned [they ARE], but they’re actually timeless. The idea is to communicate to a woman that you respect her and that she is important enough to you that you will take certain, minor pains on a daily basis to let her know you respect her. The self-discipline helps you and it’s in pursuit of a worthy cause: strengthening the natural compatibility between the sexes.
Be bold, be authentic, be masculine… and cherish the woman in your life.