Have you ever asked your spouse to do something – and then spent the next decade of your life waiting for it to actually happen?
From relationship goals, to the honey-do list, life coach Connie Sokol shares a patient approach to working with your significant others timeline.
Knowing a few coping skills in marriage—including the one thing your husband wishes you knew but can’t tell you—can help you endure, embrace, and even enjoy your spouse’s marital growth timeline.
1. Take the long-term view. A national survey of 400 men asked, “What’s the one thing you wish your wife knew, but you can’t tell her?” Hands down it was, “How much I love her.” That helps to know when the garbage isn’t taken out, again. Sometimes we women get frustrated with the short-term progress of our relationship but focusing on long-term outcome keeps our perspective. Remember with personal change it generally takes thirty days to a new habit, six months to a year to create lasting change, but many years to create awareness first, then change neural pathways to start and keep the change. The good news is that research shows men are becoming more emotionally intelligent husbands, with about 35% of them better understanding, connecting with, and being influenced by his wife. So things are changing. It’s just a little slower than we may like. However, I’ve noticed at the park, mall, or movie theater at least 50% of the time men are the ones handling the babies or small children. That was unheard of years ago.
2. Make Reasonable Requests. Reasonable requests are assessing a need then doing something about it during the long haul. Then, if the request doesn’t happen by the agreed time, moving forward on it yourself. Choose one action to make a change. For example, years ago I had four children, six and under, so I approached my hubby about taking a night out. He said, “Why do you need a night out for yourself?” Hmm. So after an enlightening discussion I opted for Wednesday nights at Barnes and Noble with a good book and a slice of cheesecake, and came home a new woman, wife, and mother. When trying to make this work, don’t go to extremes, i.e. I’m doing it, too bad, or, I can’t do it at all. Instead, state your reasonable request then offer a few solutions to choose from, like trade with a neighbor for babysitting, or present a few different activity times (weekday or early Sat. morning), etc.
3. Create Positive Coping skills. To ease the frustration of different timelines, develop a set of positive ways to deal with it. Connect with friends, work out, and create—finding a personal hobby or interest is huge. With as little as 15 minutes a day, hobbies relieve stress, boost self- esteem, creativity, passion, pleasure and accomplishments, and even decrease depression. My hobbies have saved me over the years! Many years ago I began writing stories, lame to be sure, but I improved. Then I wrote for a small newspaper, then for a larger newspaper, then published a book, and now have several books. All while bearing and raising six children, simply by writing here and there. It’s about chewable chunks of time well spent that help you stop watching the marital growth pot boil and live happily today.