Repair Your Relationship

Step 4: Choose a strategy

Here are some things I could do that would really surprise my spouse:

Strategy 3: Easier done than said

In this technique, you'll stop using words to get your message across. No talking on the phone, no emails, no letter writing, you just take action! Women really benefit from using this technique because we know that men are less verbally oriented and more action oriented than women. Men sometimes get overloaded with words and stop listening. When that happens, it doesn't matter how their wives say things, because they're not going to be able to get through to their husbands with words. It's in one ear and out the other.

For example, one woman who I worked with spent years nagging her husband to fix the steps leading to their back porch. One day, she finally decided to take matters into her own hands, gathered up her husband's tools and went out to fix the porch. And just as she suspected he would, her husband came over immediately. Worried that she would "do it wrong," he took the hammer out of her hand and finally fixed the steps right then and there.

Then there is Sharon, who got tired of begging her husband to go out on weekends with her and finally just started making plans with her girlfriends. After three weeks of watching her become so independent (and having so much fun), his curiosity finally got the best of him. He asked her if he could join in her next trip to an art museum. She nearly fell out of her chair, but was very happy to have him join. They had a great time together and her husband even suggested that they go out to dinner on the way home. In the weeks that followed, Sharon continued to make her own plans, but at least half the time, her husband asked if he could join.

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