An icy wall of silence between spouses. The wife’s eternal discontent and tantrums. Constant quarrels and conflicts…
I think this is familiar to many people. But there is an amazing story of the writer Richard Evans, who almost hated his marriage, but didn’t know what to do (he didn’t want a divorce, thinking it was wrong). And he found a way to solve the problem and keep his family together.
Before we begin, I’ll say a few words about Evans. This writer has written more than 20 bestsellers. Richard also created an organization to protect children from dysfunctional families, and has saved more than 37,000 children from drinking and abusive parents. And yes, he kept his marriage alive.
So what’s the magic? How to stop hating your marriage? How to regain love and a harmonious relationship with your wife when your marriage is about to collapse? Read about that below.
Strategy for saving a marriage
The most important and most difficult thing is to start a dialogue with your spouse. The other important thing is to rethink your roles as well as the goals of your union. And here Evans recommends adhering to the following rules:
1. It is impossible to change your spouse’s personality
Many men are often offended and wonder: “Why doesn’t my wife want to change? Why doesn’t she try to please me?”. They don’t think his wife is a bad person or a stupid woman. On the contrary, they realize that she is smart and good at many things, they just have conflicts because they are different.
Evans was also such a husband. And he kept waiting and trying to change Cary (his wife). But eventually the writer gave up and recognized that it was impossible to change another person. He made the decision to change his approach and his attitude toward her requests. Instead of seeing them as inadequate and unnecessary, he instead treated them with consideration.
2. Start first and don’t expect anything in return
Quarrels and scandals did not cease in this family. Yet Evans asked his wife the same question every day:
“How can I make your day better?”
At first this tactic was not successful: the wife was terribly angry and grumbled at her husband, not believing that he would do anything good (and even if he did, he would ask for something in return). But the husband was persistent.
Then Cary decided to give Richard a lesson: she sent him to wash the dishes, scrub the floors, clean out the garage etc. Despite the fact that wife knew that the man had enough to do as it was.
But he patiently and diligently carried out her wishes without demanding any gratitude in return. And every day he asked over and over again: “How can I make your day better?”.
3. The wall will melt
So Cary and Richard lived for two weeks. After that, a miracle happened. After another question, the writer’s wife cried and said:
“Why are you repeating this question? You’re not the problem. The problem is me! It’s very hard with me! I don’t understand: why haven’t you left me yet?”
He smiled and said it was because he loved her. And he asked again how he could make her day better. She cried again, then hugged him and told him she loved him too.
At that moment the wall melted away. Cary realized that her husband was helping her without any self-interest or malice, and that he really wanted to please her. And then the second miracle happened…
She asked him: “How can I make your day better?”. Richard smiled and replied that he wished they could spend time only together, without children.
After that day, changes began to occur in their marriage. They began to ask each other new, bigger questions. For example: “What would you like me to do?” or “How can I be the best wife (husband) for you?”.
Then the arguments and conflicts began to go away. Their marriage became ten times as strong as it once was long ago. There was more joy, more pleasant emotions, and, of course, more intimacy.
In my opinion, this is a very interesting strategy for saving a marriage. I will write my thoughts on four key points:
- The man did not look for fault, but made a firm decision to start first to improve the family relationship. He decided not to wait, not to resent, not to hope, but to take the problem and solve it;
- The husband recognized that his wife’s wants and needs are important. It is important to listen to them and do exactly as asked, without trying to ridicule, devalue, or question someone else’s desires;
- He didn’t demand anything from his wife, realizing that she now treats him with distrust. He invested his energy and strength in her, showing that he really cared about her;
- Eventually the wife herself began to reciprocate and also invest in her husband by doing her best for him, by being a better person, by being an obedient and loving wife.
I think points 1-2 are the most important. It is worth beginning from them.
Of course, this strategy is not a panacea. There are marriages in which the husband and wife simply hate each other. There are marriages in which one partner is so narcissistic and hysterical that this tactic will not work (here you either put up with it or split up, because actions and deeds defy logic, normal dialogues do not lead to anything good either). In this case, you need to consult a good family therapist.