A few years back, I wrote this blog. It was a tough post to write. I wrote it because I had been writing about how to have a great marriage and speaking about it, but I was not putting all of it into practice myself. Oh sure, I’ve done a lot of what I wrote about, but I wasn’t going after it with great zeal and passion like I should have.
So, here’s the post. Next to each item in my action plan below I noted how I’ve done in the year following this realization.
I really feel bad about it. It makes me sad that, over the year, instead of giving Susan my freshest and best, she’s received my leftovers. And there is no excuse for that.
But, I had to ask myself “Why?” Well, I didn’t realize it, but there are several things that have kept me from being the kind of husband I need to be to Susan. Here are a few reasons why my marriage walk was sub-par:
- House flood and move. Our family is houseless not homeless blog post explains what happened.
- Writing books. I spent quite a bit of time writing the All Pro Dad book and Susan was in the middle of writing her first book, The Passionate Mom.
- Speaking at fatherhood, parenting, and marriage conferences and events around the country.
- Financial pressures. Unexpected expenses from our home flood coupled with school and college tuitions consumed much money, time, and energy.
- Health challenges with several family members.
- The rut. It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of daily routines and cares of the world without even realizing it. The rut can keep us from being on the correct relational course.
- Oh, and by the way, I am responsible for serving you and millions of others through Family First and our All Pro Dad, iMOM, and Family Minute programs.
The rut. It’s easy to get stuck in the rut of daily routines and cares of the world without even realizing it.
So, there you have it. But, what was I going to do about it? Well, here was my initial action plan.
1. I’m constantly reviewing several of my blog posts that I think will greatly help me and give me some ideas. The ones I’m reading are:
- 5 Common Mistakes Men Make in Marriage
- 8 Mistakes I’ve Made in Marriage
- Leftovers Again: 4 Ways to Give Your Spouse Your Freshest and Best
- 10 Things Wives Want to Hear from Their Husbands
I re-read each of these blog posts.
2. I’m vowing that I will not speak harshly or critically to Susan.
Although I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times on this one, I’ve really made some good improvement…just ask Susan!
3. I’m putting reminders at the top of my calendar every day of things I need to say to, and do for, Susan. Susan’s “love language” is words of affirmation and encouragement, so I’m going to especially focus on that. My plan is to use sticky notes, text, and face-to-face time to use words to build up and encourage her.
I did this consistently for a few months and then, for some reason, I just stopped. I need to start doing this again.
4. I’m going to make date nights with Susan a priority. Some will be scheduled and some will be spontaneous.
I’ve had lots of dates with Susan.
5. I’m going to have “service days” days for Susan. Yes, we should serve our spouses every day, but a service day will be a day that I am doing anything and everything she wants me to do. For example, Susan needed to spend the entire day working on a speech she needed to give. So, I made it a “serve Susan day.” I did laundry, watered the flowers, went to the grocery store, cooked dinner, washed the dogs, and brought her refreshments.
I’ve done this a number of times over the year, especially in the months when Susan had surgery. She had to get a new pacemaker so I had quite a few things to do for Susan.
So, that’s my initial plan, but I want to expand it. Would you please share with me your ideas of other things I can add to my marriage action plan? Share your thoughts here.