"Is it possible that I could be doing certain things for the women I encounter each day, but I'm not doing them for my wife?"
The short answer is YES, but let's talk more about the reasons why this might be happening.
You don't need to read this article to know that marriage relationships are typically very strong at the beginning. The feeling of fresh love is in the air, the desire for intimacy is strong and the overall feelings from each spouse are mutual.
That's old news for most of us.
But here's where it gets interesting. Here's where the true challenge comes up in marriage. Ready?
Time. As time passes, things happen, stories unfold and the relationship takes its hits. Most couples can expect this, but few know what's actually happening or, worse, how to resolve it.
Here are 3 reasons why men start to take a back seat in their marriage and forget what is most important:
1. Routine. Routines in marriage are going to happen. It's inevitable. But the couples that are aware of it are the ones who have the best chance of survival. As time goes on and routines take more and more shape, it's important to not forget what is important to each spouse and take action in those areas often.
2. Assumptions. We all know the saying about assumptions, so I won't go there, but it does hold true. Newly married couples love to do wonderful things for their spouse, but after a few years, those things tend to fade.
Assumptions are different than routines. An assumption means you know what would be nice to do for your spouse and then assume they don't need it. Or assume that doing it last week was enough. What we need to do is assume that the love tank is always going dry and therefore always needs to be filled up!
3. A rough past. Rough circumstances in a marriage can be the worst effect of all. Routines can be adjusted, assumptions can take place because of a lack of understanding or communication, but a rough past can put a large "STOP" sign in front of any nice gestures to your spouse.
In other words, you know what your spouse needs, but you refuse to give it to them. Too many past issues have come up and too many are unresolved.
All of these scenarios can be resolved, but they can have some major negative effects in the meantime. One of the worst effects is doing things for other women that you won't do for your wife anymore, either by choice or simple neglect.
Because of the issues mentioned above, here are 8 things you might be doing for women other than your wife:
Let me also insert here that doing these things for other women is not wrong, because we should always strive to be respectful to all women. The issue is when you are treating other women better than you are treating your wife. Your wife should be getting this kind of treatment first and foremost.
1. Holding the door open. You may call it old-school or cliche, but holding the door open for your wife will mean a lot to her. Don't just step up when you see a stranger coming or a co-worker in need; make sure your wife gets even better treatment.
2. Thanking them for their help or services. It might be easy to thank the nice woman at the checkout line or even affirm a co-worker for their help, but your wife also needs to know her help is noticed and appreciated! Pay attention to what your wife does for you and speak up in thankfulness more often.
3. Valuing their choices and opinions. You may not always agree with your wife's choices or opinions, but as her husband, you need to take more effort in understanding why she might be making those decisions. Think about some recent conversations with other women. We're you more likely to agree or disagree with them? Be honest.
4. Admiring their beauty. When you are away from your wife, are you able to keep your eyes and heart in check? When you see an attractive woman, are you more likely to look away or look in places that you shouldn't? Those answers are for you, but I want you to consider why you don't look at your wife that way. Why isn't she your standard? Make her your standard of physical and emotional beauty, and you might have an easier time when you're not around her.
5. Thinking before you speak. When I'm at work and I need to approach a woman, I tend to think about my choice of words before I speak. And not only that, but I tend to choose my words more carefully during conversation. Is this the case with your wife? Strive to be a mature husband who thinks before he speaks.
6. Honestly listening. Staying in line with No. 5, listening skills are a must for a great marriage. Think about the last time you were with friends. Were you more likely to be rude and not engage in listening to the conversations? Or were you listening intently so that you would be part of the group. Well, make sure your wife is part of the group. Make sure you are paying attention to her words and responding to them, and not just waiting for your turn to talk.
7. Smiling. Yes, smiling. Around friends or even co-workers, I can find myself keeping a consistent smile on my face. Not to look weird, but to make the other person feel welcomed and comfortable. Do you do this around your wife? Think about keeping a smile on your face the next time you have a regular conversation with her. When she asks why you're smiling, tell her how much you love her!
8. Having fun. If I happen to be in a situation where I start running into the same woman day after day or week after week, I can start to get comfortable with her. Even if I don't know her, it becomes easy to say hi and then add some little jokes here or there. It seems harmless, but it starts to matter if you're doing it for them and not your wife. A good marriage can handle a little bit of joking and teasing (within reason). Have fun with your wife again this week.
Dig deep and make sure you are not treating other women better than your wife. Make sure your wife is getting the attention she needs from you. Take action this week.
Question: Which one of these steps do you need to take action on in your own marriage today?
Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today's man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages and help them grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood. Manturity.com features new weekly blog posts, daily social-media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.
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