Men are not these monsters that they’re being made out to be. They’re actually really great human beings that have their own set of challenges. When the women who love them understand those challenges, that puts us in a better position to be supportive. But also to have a husband who will actually ask for our input.
Wouldn’t it be cool if the guys started asking for our input? If they started coming to us and saying, “Hey, I’m thinking about doing this. What do you think?”
I really believe marriage should be a partnership. I’ve seen a lot of couples turn things around and be able to actually partner together in fresh, new, beautiful ways.
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But I’ve also seen some couples where that doesn’t happen.
So I wanna be realistic about that. Oftentimes when it doesn’t happen, one or both of the people have this idea that the other person is the one with a problem.
If one person does not think they have a problem and everything that’s wrong in the marriage is the other person’s fault, then I really can’t help.
I have a better shot, believe it or not, if the woman is open to thinking that she might have something to do with it. Because it’s the woman most of the time, that gets the guy thinking, “Oh, well, maybe I’ve done something, too.”
I’ve seen that happen a ton of times. But I gotta say, despite the fact that men are supposed to be the leaders of the family, the spiritual leaders of the family from a Christian perspective, that no matter how hard he tries, if his wife is constantly attacking him, blaming him, criticizing him, it doesn’t matter what he does.
The family is not gonna flourish.
They’re gonna struggle you know, if you were the one that had issues, and your husband was able to come along and say, “Hey baby, you know you really ought to not do that.”
And his words changed you, let me know. But generally we don’t take feedback from our spouses very well at all. We’re much more, likely to get defensive if the feedback comes from our spouse.
When I’m working with a couple, it’s a matter of “Do as I say, not as I do.”
Because in a couple session, I really get on those guys. I really give them a hard time. And if you are one of the people that’s worked with me in couples counseling, you’ve probably seen it. I can say stuff to guys that their wives could never say, and I don’t want wives to say what I say.
I’m coming along as a coach, and sometimes I gotta get tough.
And I do that with women, too. I say things to women that their husbands can’t say to them, but it’s more than that. I don’t think even a male therapist could say some of the things I say to women.
I tend to shoot it straight across.
“Here’s how you’re coming across to your husband. This is what he hears. That’s why he’s reacting the way that he is.”
I don’t think men could get away with saying that, even a male therapist. I have male friends who are psychologists, and I’ve told them what I do. And one of my friends said, “If I said that to a woman, she would never come back.” I know a fair number of people do take offense to what I say.
You gotta be tough if you wanna make this work.
If you really wanna have a good marriage, you’ve gotta let go with the defensiveness, and you gotta be willing to look at what it is that you can do to make a difference.
That doesn’t mean you’re wrong. It doesn’t mean that you’ve got bad ideas or that you should be just a silent partner. I mean, trust me, I am not a silent person. That probably doesn’t come as surprise to you at all, does it?
But it’s the delivery that we use that often gets us into trouble.
When you hire a coach or a counselor, you wanna have somebody who doesn’t believe one person over the other. Many therapists in the first session decide which person is wrong and which person is right, and then they spend the rest of the time attacking the person who they think was in the wrong.
Which is crazy because marriage is something that two people create together.
Know that I’m thinking about you. I’m praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you again real, real soon. Okay? God bless.