When You Want Your Husband and Marriage to be Different
Are you frustrated because your marriage isn’t everything you want it to be? Do you wish your husband would change? Do you want more help around the house, more time with your husband, more communication, more support for your needs, or more affection? Or are you not even sure what it is you want, but you know you are tired of things the way they are?
If this is you, know you’re not alone.
Typically, we do what we are used to doing and when it doesn’t work, we double down and try harder with the same approach. The problem with this is our approach is often not helpful in the first place.
What can we do instead?
We can do the opposite of what we’ve been doing.
If you talk too much, talk less.
If you don’t talk, talk more.
If you don’t initiate sex, try initiating.
If you don’t get enough affection, be affectionate.
If you nag your husband about the things he isn’t doing, start complimenting him for anything and everything he does that is even slightly good.
If you don’t ask for help when you need it, risk asking for exactly what you need when you need it.
If you are exhausted and burned out, start saying no instead of saying yes.
If you don’t take care of yourself, start intentionally taking care of your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and relational needs. (Start small if this is hard for you.)
If you aren’t any fun to be around, remember who you were and what you did when you were fun and start doing those things. If you don’t remember ever having fun, maybe it’s time to start.
If your husband doesn’t tell you anything that is going on with him, start asking questions and then just listen. (Hint: Ask your husband what he thinks about things rather than what he feels.)
If you have told your husband you won’t do something with him that he loves to do, tell him you’ve changed your mind and now want to do it.
If you intervene with your husband’s discipline with the kids, stop intervening and compliment him for how he handles it. (This is as long as there isn’t any abuse going on.)
If you are isolated and disconnected, find a group or project to get involved in.
You get the idea. Do the opposite of whatever it is that isn’t working and stand back to watch what happens. (And if you’ve tried the opposite and it didn’t work, then figure out something that is different and do that.)
Wife Step: Identify something that isn’t working in your marriage and start doing the opposite.
Identify something that isn’t working in your personal life and start doing the opposite. (How we feel about ourselves as women affects how we interact with our husbands and how we feel about our marriages.)
Karla Downing, the founder of ChangeMyRelationship.com, offers Christian marriage help and Christian relationship help as a speaker, author, counselor, and Bible study teacher. Karla grew up in a dysfunctional family and then found herself struggling with Christian codependency in her own difficult marriage. Through her personal struggles, she discovered biblical and practical principles, which she now teaches to others. She also trains counselors, pastors, women’s ministry leaders, church leaders, small-group leaders, non-profit ministry leaders, and individuals to minister to Christians in difficult relationships. Karla’s passion is to see individuals, marriages, and families set free from the chains of dysfunction, misunderstanding, and emotional pain through a correct understanding of what the Bible teaches about relationships.
Karla Downing is the author of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association 2004 Silver Medallion Award winner, 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages. Her second book, When Love Hurts: 10 Principles to Transform Difficult Relationships, applies the same principles to all family members. Her third book, The Truth in the Mirror: A Guide to Healthy Self-Image, offers a unique and life-changing approach to looking at self-image.
She holds a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hope International University. Karla also holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a licensed Speech Language Pathologist. Karla was also the director of Friends in Recovery, a Christ-based, Twelve-Step recovery program.
Karla lives in Southern California. She has been married for over thirty years and has three adult daughters.