Can You Change a Man?


Do you know the one simple, surefire way to change a man?As noted in my last post, many of a woman’s strategies for husband improvement backfire. Instead making the change(s) she desires, he becomes more defensive. Withdrawn. Perhaps angry and aggressive.

“So does anything work to change a man?” you ask.

Yes, and it’s a simple thing, really.

I’m so excited that I finally figured it out, and I can hardly wait to share it with you! Here’s what I’ve learned … and how I introduce it to the women who come to my office for help with Home Improvement (a.k.a., Husband Improvement).

At some point in couples counseling, I will say to the man, “Don’t listen to this part.”

Then I turn to his lady and let her in on His Best Kept Secret,

  • Men are like small children and dogs.
  • If they are beaten or shamed, it just makes them avoid us.
  • They may even cower whenever we come near. Or snap at us.

[callout]“On the other hand, if we focus on what they do right and reward them for it,
they’ll go out of their way to get that reward again and again and again.”[/callout]

By this time, the man – although he’s “not listening” – begins to smile and nod enthusiastically. “Ya!!! Do that!!!”

It’s predictable. I have yet to hear a man say he’s offended by my suggestion that his wife should treat him like a dog. And no wonder! Most women are kinder to their pets than they are to the man they love. How odd is that?

Think about it. You’re happy to see your dog at the end of a long day, and you make sure Rover knows it. You talk to him sweetly and scratch him behind his ear. You take time to pet him and make sure he’s fed. You even take him for a walk. And when he’s a “Good Boy,” you reward him with even more attention!

So … husband improvement? There’s really only one way to change a man:
Positive Reinforcement. Add something positive to his day.

You can read more details about how to implement this strategy in Ephesians 5 RomanceOpens in a new tab.!

DrDebiSmith

Dr. Debi is passionate about helping Christian couples & single adults learn more effective ways to apply Biblical principles & the findings of psychological research to everyday life. She is an author & former professor, as well as a California Licensed Psychologist (21711) & a Texas Licensed Psychologist with Provisional Status (38600). She earned her Doctor of Psychology degree (PsyD) at Rosemead School of Psychology-Biola University, and has taught psychology courses at MidAmerica Nazarene University, Azusa Pacific University, & Biola University.

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