My son is into sports. So I find myself using sports analogies pretty often to help him understand a concept or motivate him. That’s how I came upon a quote by John Wooden, one of the greatest basketball coaches of all time, that applies not only to motivating 13-year-olds but also to marriage.
“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur… Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.”
Try these 3 little things you can do this week for a better marriage.
1. Kiss and make up.
Marriage expert Dr. John Gottman says that repairing your relationship even after a small argument or slight is very important because it keeps little issues from becoming big issues. So the next time you snap at your husband apologize with sincerity and kindness. Tell him you’re sorry and that you love him and value him.
If your husband is the one who needs to apologize, but he doesn’t, let him know that you feel hurt and that you want to tell him so you don’t pull back and grow distant. “You know, you might not have meant to hurt my feelings, but what you said earlier today did make me sad.”
Bring resolution and reconciliation to any action or argument that might lead to bitterness. And if you feel like overall disappointment with your life is making you bitter, take a look at this.
Bring resolution and reconciliation to any action or argument that might lead to bitterness.
2. Treat him like a friend or co-worker.
My co-workers will often tell me, “I can’t picture you getting mad.” That’s because I often treat them better than I treat my husband! This week, treat your husband like a friend. Show him you’re interested in him by asking him questions and really listening when he answers. When he makes an overture to you in either words or a physical touch, make a point to connect right then.
A simple test to see if you’re showing your husband common courtesy is to ask yourself if you would treat your co-worker that way. And if have an overall bad attitude about your husband, you’ll want to see this.
3. Communicate gently.
Before you hurl an insult or blame your husband for something, state how you feel. “I am feeling overwhelmed and was wondering if you could take care of the kitchen tonight.” If you feel on the verge of being critical or short with your husband let him know, “I am so tired tonight and I don’t mean to snap at you, so if I seem edgy it has nothing to do with you.”
These are the types of little things Coach Wooden was talking about. If we try to do them each day, they’ll become a habit for us, and little by little we will see a big change.
Tell us! What is one thing you do regularly that helps make your marriage better?