Apr 212015 10 Responses

What Men Can Do For Marriage

Men dictate the climate of a marriage.

It is not a universal truth. There are obvious exceptions. To apply this concept to any individual marriage can cause great harm.

Yet it is generally true.

As a man goes, so often goes the marriage. (See: This Is the Kind of Husband I Want to Be)

Show me a man who is:

  • passionate about marriage
  • sacrifices for his wife
  • listens well
  • shows humility
  • works on himself and his marriage
  • welcomes accountability
  • surrounds himself with good role models
  • continually turns toward his wife

And I’ll show you someone who probably has a tremendous marriage.

In almost every situation, a man who has these qualities will be rewarded with a wife who reciprocates his actions.

There are exceptions. I know men who have done nearly everything right and they do not receive the same actions in return. They work hard, but their wives are selfish, foolish, and single-handedly destroy the marriage. It is tragic. My heart breaks for them. But it is the exception and not the rule. (See: What Your Husband Wants From You in Bed)

In most cases the climate of a marriage is determined by the man.

Maybe this is because women are naturally better at relationships.

Maybe it is because they have less pride.

Maybe it is because they express their emotions better.

But whatever the reason, I have noticed the pattern that when men engage, most often their wives do as well.

This is a great opportunity. In most situations, if a man wants a better marriage, he can have one. If he is willing to take the lead, to set the climate, and to do the work to build a strong marriage, most wives will join their husbands in this pursuit.

Four Steps for a Husband Who Wants a Better Marriage:

1. Look at yourself. Are you doing the things listed above? Do not look first at your spouse, but look at your own actions and attitudes? Do you have people in your life who can hold you accountable? Are you learning what it means to become a better husband? Are you taking specific steps to improve your marriage?

2. Tell your wife why you love her. Any problem must be confronted within the framework of love. Reaffirming that love is a necessity before any progress can be made on an issue. This isn’t an “I love you, but…” kind of statement. Regularly inform your wife of the depth of your gratitude and appreciation for her. From this love, a couple can pursue a deeper and more meaningful relationship. (See: Five Ways a Husband Respects His Wife)

3. Describe to your wife what kind of marriage you would like. Whenever a spouse wants more out of a marriage, that is a good desire. However, the expressed need of wanting more isn’t always appreciated by one’s spouse. Many times the tension arises because the focus is placed more on the present unhappiness than the future possibility. Before getting into the specifics of what might need to be improved, communicate a vision of what could be. What would a better marriage look like? What would be the benefit? What do you want? Almost without fail, communicating that you want a better marriage is the equivalent of telling your spouse, “I love you so much that I want more of you.” It is difficult to be upset when someone desires more of you.

4. Take steps to get help and invite your wife to join you. If you want a better marriage, you should do something about it. There is no need to wait on your spouse. You don’t have to see if they will join you in improving. You can create a plan and start working toward it. As you do, I would recommend inviting your spouse on the journey with you. Begin counseling, read books, seek a mentor couple, or take some other proactive step toward improvement. (See: 13 Questions to Gauge If You Need Marriage Counseling)

It’s not a scientific study, but my personal observation leads me to believe that a majority of marriages are dictated by the man. He sets the climate which often defines the relationship. Where a man is passionately involved in making the marriage better, the marriage often thrives. Where he is apathetic or antagonistic toward a healthy relationship, the marriage often dies.

10 Responses to What Men Can Do For Marriage
  1. Steve Brawner Reply

    Thanks for writing about this subject, Kevin.

  2. KC Reply

    I think you’ve got a point here. So, if I’m married to a man who doesn’t seem to care much about me or our marriage and isn’t interested in talking about it to me or anyone else…is there any hope for us?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      KC, that is a tough one. I would seek counseling. It sounds like he won’t go. I would invite him, but even if he refuses I would still go without him.

  3. Wendy HInman Reply

    Yes thank you for this Kevin. Women–whether we like to admit it or not–want our men to lead. It is in our nature to be responders.

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  5. CM Reply

    Love the article. I enjoy reading everything you put in here. I wanted some advice on husbandly leadership. For the first couple years of your relationship, I have allowed my wife to lead our marriage. Recently I have been reading up on husbandly leadership, and I want to take the reigns back up. I have made many mistakes in my marriage and I know my wife doesn’t trust me with responsibility. I also know she is miserable, but she won’t allow me to lead. How can I help her trust me and allow me to lead our marriage?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      My thought, start small. Negotiate areas in which you can slowly be influential. Prove yourself there and then your influence will expand. I prefer joint leadership where each spouse has certain areas where they take more initiative and other areas where they follow their spouse. In all things, we are together.

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