Marital relationship studies generally examine the factors that contribute to the downfall of a marriage. One revolutionary study took an opposite approach. It followed 373 happy, successful couples for 22 years and looked at what went right.
One of the pivotal conclusions the study reached was that couples enjoyed higher marital satisfaction when wives affirmed their husbands. That’s a simple enough premise, but it can be surprisingly difficult for many women to do.
Christian women desire to be good wives and desire to connect with their husbands. Yet, women are pulled in a lot of directions, too. There’s plenty to get done. It’s easy to let a marriage slide down the priority list.
It’s also hard to praise someone for their differences. You do life the way that makes the most sense to you. If it didn’t, you wouldn’t do it that way. That’s why some differences with your spouse can so easily annoy you.
But you have a choice in how you view those things. You can see your husband’s differences as a problem, or you can see them as a blessing. Some things may very well need changing, but there’s probably a lot of good there if you know where to look.
A simple remedy is to teach yourself to see what you want to see. Watch as closely for what your husband is doing right as for what he’s not. Over time, you’ll learn to see what you’re looking for and will notice more of the good things that he’s been doing all along.
Erin Smalley is joining us for our latest radio program “Building Up Your Husband.” She’s the author of 10 Things a Husband Needs from His Wife and her husband, Dr. Greg Smalley, is the vice president of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family.
She’s talking with us about having a vibrant marriage by building up and encouraging your husband. We’ll have a future program about what husbands can do for their wives. But for now, we want to empower wives with tools they can use to co-create a thriving marriage.