Is it possible to change your husband?
Well, yes and no.
Researcher John Gottman says that around 60 percent of the dynamics in a marriage will never change. When you marry somebody, you’re marrying them essentially as they are. A person who’s perpetually late may never care if they’re on time. A neat-freak will never feel comfortable with clutter.
Author Gary Thomas says that still leaves 40 percent for a relationship to grow, and for spouses to learn to approach their marriage in different ways.
To achieve that, Gary encourages wives to think not in terms of “changing” their husbands, but “influencing” them. What’s the difference? Motive.
He says that if a wife is trying to force her husband into her mold so that he’ll cater to her every whim in the ways that she prefers, then her motive is likely rooted in her own self-interest. On the other hand, if she hopes to influence her husband so that he can become all that God has called him to be in Christ – for his benefit and the benefit of their marriage – that’s a loving, worthwhile pursuit.
Gary is with us on our broadcast “How to Positively Influence Your Husband” to help wives better understand who they are in Christ and to discuss how they can influence their husbands in ways that make positive change possible.
He even has what he calls a “magic question” for wives to ask their husbands: “What do you want me to do for you in our marriage that I’m not doing?” How will your husband’s answer to that question help him improve your marriage? I invite you to tune in and find out on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or on our free phone app, or you can watch our program on our YouTube channel.
Gary Thomas is a popular guest on our Focus on the Family Broadcast and a best-selling author. He’s a writer in residence and a member of the teaching team at Second Baptist Church in Houston, Texas. We’re talking about his book Loving Him Well: Practical Advice on Influencing Your Husband, which we’ll send to you for a donation to our ministry. (Check our website for details.)
We also have an online store that offers helpful digital and print resources in the areas of marriage, parenting, faith, and other issues related to family life.
And while you’re clicking through our website, why don’t you take a few moments to try our free marriage assessment online tool? It’ll help you quickly determine what’s working well in your relationship, and also identify areas where you may need some improvement.