Common Sense Living

Husbands – Listen Up!

The divorce rate in the United States is over 50%, and it is either equal to 50% or climbing towards 50% in other parts of the world.  It doesn’t have to be that way.  In fact, most times I learn of a divorce, it’s over some of the dumbest things one can possibly imagine, often involving a husband’s actions (but not always).

Several years ago, I sat next to a very attractive and intelligent woman in the office.  She would faithfully make her husband dinner, take care of his “personal needs”, listen about his day at work, and genuinely show concern for his well being.  She loved him dearly.  Although a relatively young couple, this was a 2nd marriage for both, and they took care of children from their prior marriages.

A few times a week, my co-worker would come into the office, and I could see on her face an sense of distraught.  So I would ask her what was wrong.  Yes, it was a problem with her husband…..again!  One week, he was on vacation, while she had to work.  She had two simple requests when she left home for work the prior day.  First, she asked that the kids NOT have McDonalds for lunch.  Second, she asked that he take the vacuum, and vacuum the carpet throughout the house, a 10-minute task.  She arrived home that evening to learn that the kids had McDonalds for lunch, and he glued  his butt to the couch all day, with the remote, watching TV, and the carpet was not clean.  No matter what she requested, this husband would not lift a finger to help with the household chores, or even make a healthy meal for the children, while his wife worked a full time job!  This type of thing occurred so many times, she was ready for divorce!

Guys, I will say this once.  If your gorgeous spouse, the woman you promised your life to, asks for help with some simple tasks around the house, get your lazy butt up and take care of it!  After all, you live there too!  If you fail to do this, there is a high probability you will also find yourself in the divorced 50%, and that’s a place you don’t want to be for such a dumb reason as this!

What else does your wife want?

How about faithfulness?  It never ceases to amaze me at the number of men who cheat on their wives, some on a regular basis.  While I am aware there are some “open marriages” where the partners condone such activity, the vast majority do not.  Men, you made a commitment, now act like a man and keep it!  If you can’t or won’t keep your commitments, then act like a man by communicating that fact to your loving wife, and agree to divorce.  And accept the full consequences for your decisions.  I have more respect for the man who will admit who he is, than the one who acts like a weasel behind everyone’s back.  What you as a cheater don’t realize……your wife already knew you were doing this anyway, because she knows you better than you do!

Your wife is not the only childcare provider in the household.  She needs downtime too.  When she asks that you watch the kids for an evening or a weekend, just do it.  Your buddies can wait.  Besides, you don’t have a marriage contract with them.  You do have marriage contract with your wife!  Your wife and friends will have far more respect for you if you place your children as a priority over your drinking buddies!

Every now and then, your wife just wants you to listen, and maybe ask questions about the experiences she is relating.  Have enough respect for her in understanding that she can solve her own problems in life.  She doesn’t need you to be the problem solver.  While she may be complaining about something, she is just dumping emotionally.  She is not asking you to fix something.  Or sometimes, she just needs to know you are there, and maybe wants you to communicate how you feel about different things.  If she likes it, put your arms around her to show you care.

Finally, be responsible with money!  The two biggest causes of divorce are cheaters, and arguments over money.  That’s one of the reasons I spend a lot of time encouraging personal financial fitness.  Put together a budget…. together…. that both of you can live with.  Yes, there will be conflict in this process.  You will have to compromise.  At the same time, I encourage a conservative financial plan, and some of the blog posts I have written can be referenced.  Additionally, my blog site has a number of “recommended reading” suggestions, written by well respected authors who also advocate for a conservative financial life.  So if one of you likes to spend too much, I suggest you read up on the consequences of overspending and follow some of the advice.

Divorce is expensive.  You will have two homes to pay for, two electric bills, two water bills, child support, alimony, and it will prevent most of you from reaching your financial goals.  And most of the women you start dating will be losers.  The cost to your children’s mental well-being “can be” massive, especially if you leave your spouse in anger, and involve your children in the arguments.  You will likely have to share time with children, so they will pay a price as well, not seeing their father full time. The family is the foundation of the community.  When you break your family, you contribute to breaking the community.

Divorce is NOT a decision to take lightly, and should be considered only over a long period of time.  If you can afford a counselor, I suggest getting one who can help you understand the issues, and help mediate.  If you don’t get counseling, you are being stupid and hot-headed.  Most marriage problems I see are solvable, and since you made a “commitment” to the marriage, I suggest you give it all you got.  Getting divorced with a hot head is NOT the way to move forward.  You will not “teach her a lesson” by leaving.  Instead, you will cause yourself, your children, and your reputation to suffer at great cost.

That’s not to say divorce should never happen.  There will still be divorces.  But if you can divorce with little or no anger, with perhaps some hurt remaining, after understanding all the issues, then at least I know you and your partner have discussed the issues, understand where each other is coming from, where each other wants to be, and have made a conscious decision to move in separate directions.

But let’s not go down that divorce road here.  Simply love your wife, care for her needs, listen to her, and respond accordingly.  It’s not that tough to develop some simple healthy relationship habits.

Happy wife, happy life!



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