Get Your Mind Right, Set a Clear Goal & Take Action Fast to Build a Better Marriage!
I want to talk a moment about how to be a better husband during one of the most challenging times in human history, times that are putting a strain on marriages all around the world. At the writing of this article, the global divorce rate is currently skyrocketing at an alarming rate due to the 2020 global pandemic. If you want to give your marriage the fighting chance it needs to make it through this storm; if you want to come out the other side hand-in-hand with a happy wife who is still deeply in love with you, then you need to be a better husband now more than ever.
A Global Pandemic Leaving Ruined Marriages in its Wake!
Apparently it’s not bad enough that Covid-19 has wrought incalculable devastation world-wide, but the resulting wide-scale social distancing, travel lockdowns, and quarantines have placed otherwise loving husbands and wives at odds with one another in a way never before seen in society.
As if good husbands didn’t have heavy enough burdens when the world was, well, ‘normal, before the outbreak. Now, alongside the daily responsibilities carried by every man who wants to be a better husband, he’s also got to worry about a deadly plague, protecting his family, securing his property, holding onto his job or business, and preparing for the inevitable economic consequences that will leave no nation unscathed.
The resulting increases in stress and pressure have begun in the 2nd quarter of the year to inspire news headlines from multiple countries about explosive divorce rates attributable to long-term, forced stay-at-home and quarantine orders keeping couples in close proximity to one another for extended periods.If you have been in this situation then you may have some experience at the difference between your normal relationship experience before being compelled to spend far more time than you typically do with your wife. Consider this, that before the pandemic, the divorce rate in the United States hovered above 40% for first-timers, 60% for 2nd-timers, and 70% for 3rd-time marriages.
The post-Covid divorce rate is projected to go quite a bit higher. Interestingly, this is in conjunction with an expected baby boom. Sadly, I even know of a couple cases wherein a ”Coronadivorce” is happening in combination with a pregnancy that occurred during quarantine lockdown.
It's no mystery that you've sought an article like this - that's what good husbands do. A bad husband wouldn't have bothered. Although you're in a position (or have a need) to protect your relationship and improve your marriage in order to avoid being another victim, you should feel good about the fact that this effort you put in sets you apart from the thousands of unfortunate men now headed for divorce whose marriages might have succeeded were it not for this global pandemic. The advice that follows is not complicated and can help you get off to a good start in a new direction.
How To Start Being A Better Husband To Beat The Coronavirus-Related Divorce Wave!
To seperate yourself from the thousands-strong herd of husbands destined to fall victim to the high divorce rate coming out of this global pandemic, you’re going to have to do what most of them will never do, and that is to make being the best husband possible into an actual goal that you can work on every day as a matter of acquired habit. You see, as in business, sports, and any other pursuit, people who set goals have a proven statistical advantage over the average person who does not make a conscious effort to do so.
What this means for you is that your new approach to marriage - that is, making effort to improve your part in it - will put the statistics squarely in your corner, improving the odds that your marriage will grow continually stronger, more loving, and that it will last even through these tough times. Setting and pursuing the objective will help you get clear on what you want, enable you to adjust your daily living to make forward progress an automatic process, and enhance your level of marital enjoyment while working at doing what great husbands are supposed to. Let’s take a look at the three things you can work on now to beat the odds.
First - Get Clear on Your What You Want by Officially Setting the Goal!
Earl Nightingale was one of the greatest motivational speakers and business leaders in American history. One of the central principles he taught to millions of people who sought his knowledge on how to build a better life was the concept of getting absolutely clear on what you want. Because as Earl put it,
"Remember the only really important thing is that you know what you want. If you do, you will become - you MUST become what you think about."
The smartest decision you’ll make is to stop leaning on old assumptions about what you think you know when it comes to what it takes to be an amazing husband. Because you’ll want to separate yourself from the herds of despondent husbands destined for a divorce lawyer, you need to knuckle down and acquire knowledge that those guys failed to acquire for themselves. You’ll need to do some research and reading to find out from the best sources the answer to questions like, “What does a great marriage mean and what does it look like?”
- Do your research in order to find the best books on better marriages and perhaps enroll in a very effective training course on improving your marriage to give you a winning strategy and many supportive tactics and ideas on being an extraordinary husband. Whatever resources you choose to adopt and apply (whatever the method, steps involved, habits suggested), make sure that you can put it to use quickly for immediate effect. One principle of success in any field is to take immediate action so that you quickly convert the idea into physical reality. Once you start taking action, it’s no longer merely a mental goal. Take the idea and begin converting it to reality immediately with the smallest, simplest tasks that are useful for moving forward. One easy task you can start immediately is to begin keeping a journal of what you learn, reviewing your efforts, and keeping track of your progress in the most honest way possible. If you’re keeping a journal, which is a small, easy task done daily, that is the same as being plugged in and aligned to your objectives.
- Pick your ‘Goal Setting Method’; that is,the structured process you’ll be using to set your goals, benchmarks, and action steps for success. There are many, many books and courses available on the topic of setting goals effectively, as well as many free resources searchable through most search engines. For myself, the very first goal setting method I picked up decades ago is Zig Ziglar's six-step practice of…
- Decide specifically what you want, in detail. As you begin researching the best advice, approaches and methodologies, you will develop an increasingly clear, definite mental idea of the kind of husband you need to be, the kinds of detailed behaviors and actions you need to do, and settle in your mind the rich details of the kind of marriage you want to bring about as a result of your contribution, With diligent effort you can develop a clear picture of the future that will inspire you each day when you review and visualize having successfully
- Put Timeframes on your objective. Even though the art of being a great husband is a lifelong practice (‘til death do you part), there are certain benchmarks, deadlines, and other measurable time-related checkpoints you need to hold yourself accountable to. For example, if one of your objectives is to become a better steward of family finances, then you might give yourself a deadline to take a useful online course to help you along. Maybe you want to lose some weight to have more energy to spend time with her, in which case the same principle would apply.
- Decide what assistance and resources you may need. By taking stock of the people and resources necessary to help you get it done, you can keep from getting stuck in place trying to figure everything out all by yourself. Is there personal counseling (therapist, pastor, a workshop, etc.) that may give you an advantage? Do you know a husband who you feel is doing things well and might share his experience with and perhaps mentor you? Not only can leaning on and experience speed your progress, it can keep you from stumbling into unnecessary setbacks.,
- Brainstorm the obstacles you expect to face. Among obstacles to consider is your own thinking, attitudes, emotions, and behaviors. If any of those need to be realigned (and they may, if you hope to make a sincere effort), then don’t neglect to address them. For example, if you have a habit of growing angry at the smallest thing, it’s an obstacle that runs contrary to the characteristics of a husband who has his act together when under pressure (this pandemic is a major source of it). The point of admitting to yourself that there are certain hurdles that you need to surmount to make the road ahead smooth for you and the woman you love.
- Acquire any specialized information or learning needed, for progress None of us knows everything, and a wise husband keeps himself open to new learning. If there are any talents you think you need to add to your skillset, attack the learning of them with enthusiasm, firm in the knowledge that with each skill you acquire, you’re growing as both a man and a husband. The best example that comes to mind is my good friend David N. Johnson. David is a master at being a great husband - in fact, it’s his passion in life (he even has a How to Be a Better Husband course), and I have seen the immense happiness and joy that fills his life because of it. A few years back, David decided to learn how to grill like a professional so that he could give his wife and family an awesome reason to get together and share great meals and memories. A husband who can cook amazing dishes has a tool in his romantic arsenal that can be used to work wonders in a marriage.
- List the many, many rewards, joys, and pleasures that you will get because of your commitment to being the best husband possible. Ultimately, you’re not doing it to get anything in return, because the deepest rewards will have to do with who you become as a man and husband, but it is perfectly acceptable for you to have a long a list as you wish of delightful things large and small that you can expect to enjoy as a result of being in a strong, loving, passionate marriage that only gets better with time. It is these rewards that motivate and inspire, even when things are not perfect. If you can keep your mind centered on the end results, you will find the strength and drive to press on past obstacles and setbacks. Don’t neglect the big “Why’s” because they can carry you forward even when thoughts of smaller rewards don’t move you, depending on your mood. For example, the idea of more frequent lovemaking may not move you after she’s irritated you over something unimportant, but the Ideal (the “Why”) of fulfilling your Oath to love, honor, respect (and forgive) her may do just fine if you hold to it in thought.
In a recent Podcast with David N. Johnson, we discussed The 4 Pillars of Living Your Best Life, and broke the four main areas of success into Health, Wealth, Relationships, and Spirituality, not necessarily in that order. Your marriage and the effort you’re about to put into it falls under the Relationship Goals pillar, but your pursuit of it actually requires you to use the other three pillars for support and progress. For instance, when you feel lousy, it can affect how you treat and deal with your wife, so improving your health is profitable to your marital success. The same principle applies to making money and spiritual (philosophical, ethical) goals - when living from a marriage-first mentality, you inevitably bend each of the pillars to support the one dominant aim. The end result is that all your actions and habits serve to strengthen the bond between you and your wife
Unfortunately, the state of modern manhood typically has us chasing money as the central pursuit of our life, this in order to get all the other stuff we want. The finance-first mindset often causes husbands to focus so narrowly on making money (for a happy marriage) that many of the intangibles get neglected. The worst risk comes if you have been wrongly conditioned to believe that she should be perfectly happy no matter how she’s treated as long as you are the breadwinner and keeping a roof over her head. This isn’t the old west frontier. Wives today will laugh in your face over that kind of bad assumption. The key to a happy marriage (at least inasmuch as your ambitions are concerned), is to use your desire for a happy marriage as fuel to drive your personal success. This ‘Marriage-First’ mentality lends new purpose to all your goals in total.
Earlier, I wrote about getting clear on your “Why’s”, whatever the rewards may be, that will drive you forward even through tough times. Placing your marriage - it’s integrity, growth, and happiness - as the central dominant reason you get up and get at it each morning is a sure-fire way to change your destiny. A few things involved in becoming fully centered, thus making progress easier to achieve, will likely include the following:
- 100% Commitment and Acceptance of Sole Responsibility for your role as Husband. This means that you will stop blaming your wife for any failure on your part to fully invest yourself into fulfilling your marriage vows. Instead, you’re choosing to actively pursue a state of mastery when it comes to the most desirable traits women adore in a husband, especially over the long term. As Marriage Coach David N. Johnson likes to put it, “There is a reason why flight attendants tell parents to put their oxygen mask on first in an emergency.” In order to rescue your marriage from the jaws of pandemic-driven statistics, you’re going to have to fix yourself, and trust that to make your relationship ‘virus-proof.’
- Remove every distraction that can cause distrust, dissention, and distance between you and your wife. That means dropping associations with old flames and lovers, ditching social media connections to past relationships, scrubbing such contacts from your phone. As long as your wife and marriage are the number one, central priority and driving force in your life, there is no room to siphon attention away from her only to waste it on women who are not your destiny. Also, watch how much time you give to other distractions and entertainment that could be better invested in moving your relationship to new levels. XBox, Playstation, Netflix, Social Media can be vampiric distractions that feed off the energy meant to feed, sustain, and grow your marriage..
- Communicate to her that you are ready to listen. The fact is that you can read blogs, books, take courses and go to workshops, but none of the systems, strategies, and tactics you pick up can hold a candle to getting the detailed truth from the mouth and heart of the woman, herself, who can tell you exactly what it takes to make her happy in many different areas. The key is being open and sincere so that she trusts you enough not to throw up defensive guards. If she believes your intent is to make her dreams come true, she will happily share her ‘romantic recipes’ with you, giving you the opportunity to make those wishes a part of your romantic toolkit.
Third - Take Action Now to Build Consistent Habits for New Levels of Marital Pleasure
Nothing will light up a marriage and infuse it with excitement and anticipation like taking action right now to begin doing a series of small, easy things on a daily basis for the purpose of showing your wife that you are 100% there and focused on feeding your relationship. Start small for early momentum and, possibly, some degree of helpful effect on the relationship. Small steps will accomplish any undertaking. Not operating from a position of desperation because the only person you need to control in this situation is yourself, your own thinking, actions, and habits.
- Make 'Allotment' tasks - Allotment Tasks are a powerful psychological and productivity tool in which you break down the necessary action steps of a goal into a series of small steps that can be done in a block of time on, let’s say, a daily basis. One example would be someone exercising for 30 minutes a day in order to burn a certain number of calories per week while on a personal diet plan. This brings the benefit of accumulating momentum and growing confidence in line with improving competence in any worthy pursuit.
- Make a lifestyle of being an amazing husband the way a man who wants to be a world-class musician would revolve his life around that grand ambition. The pursuit of your highest marital potential is a unique ambition that can and probably will elevate your life experience in ways a majority of husbands may never experience. Why? Because most husbands do not make that choice because, whether by ignorance or avoidance, being the best husband possible never becomes the central goal of their life.
- Optimize your results over time by incorporating conscious, incremental improvements on a regular basis so that your approach maintains a sense of adventurous freshness that can prevent your relationship from ever going stale because of neglected attention on your part.