Tuesday, I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary. In Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, he discusses Simon and Chase’s 10,000 hours theory. This theory suggests that 10,000 hours which takes about ten years of deliberate practice in a field, is required to achieve mastery. According to the 10,000 hours theory and the ten years of marriage I possess, I am an expert husband!
I am not a perfect husband, but I do possess sound advice for men with interests in maintaining a long-term committed relationship. Please take five minutes, read this blog post, and discover insight that took me ten years to uncover!
Despite the image headers of this post, I have not had a picture-perfect marriage. We’ve experienced buying our dream home and losing it five years later to foreclosure. My wife and I have three children, and together we moved abroad when our oldest was five years old. While my wife and I share an abundance of love for each other and our children, we’ve also had our fair share of fights about money, the children, and sex!
Yes, we are not exempt from the popular challenges that other marriages face. The difference lies in our commitments to each other and willingness to admit when we are wrong.
Here are three of the many things that I have learned in ten years of marriage.
#1 Listen to her!
She doesn't want a solution. No, she doesn't want you to fix her problems. She wants you to be present in the moment and to listen to her concerns. I know this is hard because fixing stuff is what men believe we need to do in life. Resist that antiquated belief system and grow to see your other roles in a relationship. In my ten years of marriage, I have discovered that providing an attentive ear to my wife is often the best thing that I can do for her whenever she is experiencing challenges.
#2 Your wife is not there to fulfill your sexual fantasies!
This is hard to swallow! Pun not intended. Well… Real talk, your wife is not in your life to do all the things you may have seen in pornography. Don't get me wrong, sex is an incredible gift from God. When love is at the center of intimate exchange, it has the potential to act like the crazy glue that bonds two souls. It's also important to realize that sex is one of many activities that married couples can do to strengthen their connection. Being creative outside of the bedroom to demonstrate your love is critical in the creation of a long-lasting relationship.
#3 Do “her” job!
Despite some progress in our society, we continue to practice sexist divisions in our households. We delegate women to cook, clean, and handle the children. Healthy marriages share responsibilities. I wash dishes every day. My wife is by far a better cook than me and often takes the lead in preparing meals during the week. However, every Saturday and Sunday morning I cook breakfast for the family. It’s 2020, don’t be scared of the kitchen!
If I lost you somewhere in this post, hopefully, these last few words will find you. Invest your time, energy, love, and patience into your partner, and the return will produce bliss.
Start this year with positive actions. Listen to your spouse. Demonstrate creativity in your expressions of love. Cook her a meal and clean the house.
Enroll in my self-paced online course to learn more about the principles that can help you to strengthen your relationships in 2020 and beyond.
Happy New Year!