How to Be a Better Husband by Focusing on the Gorilla
What we don't see gets us every time. Why are we so oblivious to the marriage problems that are staring us right in the face? No wonder our wives are unhappy. We don't pay enough attention!
I'm telling you. It's the gorilla's fault. No, I'm not giving you an easy way out. It's not conducive to your personal growth to place blame outwardly; that's a cop-out. The gorilla I'm referring to is of your own making. It's created through your lack of attention. It's your lack of mindfulness that is causing a preventable rift in your marriage.
How to Be a Better Husband by Paying Attention to the Gorilla
Just over 20 years ago, cognitive psychologists Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris ran a study that showed how people could focus so hard on something that they completely miss the unexpected, even when it's thumping its chest right in front of you.
The study involved a video of two teams of people playing basketball. One team wore white shirts, and the other side wore black shirts. People were asked to watch the video and only count the number of times the white shirts passed the ball.
About halfway through the video, a person wearing a gorilla suit stood in the middle of the screen and pounded their chest. About half of the people watching the video didn't even notice the gorilla.
This effect is called inattentional blindness, showcasing how easy it is to miss details when you're not looking for them. This is the reason why it's so dangerous to use your cellphone while driving; we're easily distracted!
As husbands, we must be on the lookout for the gorilla. We can't stay focused on our careers or hobbies without being mindful of our most important relationship. This is a common problem; we get too focused on one thing and forget to focus on the most important thing, our wives.
Guys, this gets us into trouble. We don't see the warning signs and then feel attacked when our wives tell us that they don't feel loved. Listen, I know that you love your wife. I also know that you show your love in ways that your wife may not see, but that's the problem. You have to learn to be intentional with your marriage. The status quo is killing it! Learn to show your love in the ways that your wife receives it
Be mindful of her feelings and pay attention to her body language.
- Does she seem distant?
- Does her voice have a hard edge to it that wasn't there before?
- Has she stopped caring about the way she looks?
- Does she turn away from you when she used to lean in?
- Has she stopped talking to you about unimportant things?
An unhappy wife doesn't always mean a screaming or an accusatory wife. This is why it's essential to be present. You must pay attention to the warning signs before it's too late. Then, when you see these warning signs, talk to your wife about them. However, not before having a good hard look at what you may have done to cause them. After all, a Committed Husband is quick to admit when they've make a mistake.
If you want to learn how to be a better husband, then learn how to be more mindful of your wife. Since most people don't buy into a solution to a problem they don't know they have, you're not going to make a change or ask for help until you see the flames for yourself.
Don't wait till your marriage is on fire and you've both lost your desire to make it work. Be mindful now so that you aren't scrambling to fix your marriage later.