As men, most of us are past masters when it comes to saying the wrong thing to our wives. We too easily say words that are cruel, hurtful and outright dumb at times. It’s a fast track to marriage conflict.
Mostly we trip up because we’re thoughtless, stressed, scared about something or simply in a bad mood. Regardless, the damage is done. It turns out the best solution to saying the wrong thing is to say the right thing more often.
Being a thoughtful guy isn’t that difficult once we get the hang of it. Saying the right thing is mostly a matter of practice. It really doesn’t help that we “didn’t mean it.” What does help is saying the right thing.
Marriage communication 101: We can retrain ourselves one positive affirmation at a time. Positive communication is crucial to a marriage that works.
A great place to start is this list of the 10 things you need to say to your wife:
1. I love you. Sure, this one’s a no-brainer, but we have it on good authority that some guys routinely forget to use their brains when it comes to relationships!
2. You are beautiful! You are so smart! I’m so proud of you! If all you take from this list is a commitment to boost the incidence of positive affirmation in your home, then we’re good to go.
3. I’ve been thinking about what you said, and I see that I was wrong. Your wife needs to know that you are flexible and that you respect her viewpoint.
4. Let’s sit down over coffee sometime this week. We need to talk about how I can be a better dad and improve family relationships. Dialogue about family dynamics is gold! She needs to know that you are on board and in the conversation.
5. I know our lives are busy, but I want to spend more time together as a family. Training children works best when mom and dad are together. She needs to hear that you plan on being there. Simply being a family—together—pays huge dividends.
6. There are some changes brewing at work. I’d like to include you in the decision-making process. Many women feel closed out of their husbands’ decisions. Don’t be that guy.
7. I’m having trouble making our budget work. Would you help me go over the details? Contrast that with, “You spend too much on your hair!” or “Hand over your credit cards.” Or even, “I’ve crunched the numbers, and I need you to cut back.”
8. Honey, don’t worry about a thing. I’ve got dinner covered every day this week. Or anything that helps to shift your speech patterns from “Here’s what I want” to “Here’s something I can give.” Be a servant leader in the home.
9. Call me at work anytime. Let your wife know you’re accessible, that she is your priority and that her presence is always welcome.
10. I’ve been going over our finances, and I’ve noticed you don’t spend enough on clothes. Tongue in cheek? Yes. But this is about culturing an environment of encouragement. Let her know you love what she looks like and that you enjoy her sense of style. Tell her you want to buy her an outfit. Go with her to her favorite shop. That’s right—you are the man!
All Pro Dad is Family First’s innovative and unique program for every father. Their aim is to interlock the hearts of the fathers with their children and, as a by-product, the hearts of the children with their dads. At AllProDad.com, dads in any stage of fatherhood can find helpful resources to aid in their parenting. Resources include: daily emails, blogs, Top 10 Lists, articles, printable tools, videos and eBooks. From AllProDad.com fathers can join the highly engaged All Pro Dad social media communities on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.