FAMILY AND MARRIAGE: Marriage requires constant attention
“A successful marriage is an edifice that must be rebuilt every day.” — Andre Maurois
“Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.” — Bible
FamilyLife, a well-known national ministry to families, recently printed a short excerpt from a book by Shaunti Feldhahn titled “The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages.” Feldhahn conducted some research on what makes happy marriages and came up with interesting information. She calls it the Fantastic Five things a husband/wife can do for their wife/husband that will have a big and positive impact on them. I know you’re anxious to find out what they are, so here you go:
A wife will have a big impact on her husband’s happiness when she does the following:
1. Notices his effort and sincerely thanks him for it. (For example, she says, “Thank you for mowing the lawn even though it was so hot outside.” Or, “Thanks for playing with the kids, even when you were so tired from work.”) This deeply pleases 72 percent of all men.
2. Says “You did a great job at __________.” This deeply pleases 69 percent of all men.
3. Mentions in front of others something he did well. This deeply pleases 72 percent of all men.
4. Shows that she desires him sexually and that he pleases her sexually. This deeply pleases 85 percent of all men.
5. Makes it clear to him that he makes her happy. (For example, she expresses appreciation for something he did for her with a smile, words, a big hug, etc.) This deeply pleases 88 percent of all men.
On his side, a husband will have a big impact on his wife when he does the following:
1. Takes her hand. (For example, when walking through a parking lot or sitting together at the movies.) This deeply pleases 82 percent of all women.
2. Leaves her a message by voice mail, email, or text during the day to say he loves and is thinking about her. This deeply pleases 75 percent of all women.
3. Puts his arm around her or lays his hand on her knee when they are sitting next to each other in public (at church, at a restaurant with friends, etc.). This deeply pleases 74 percent of all women.
4. Tells her sincerely, “You are beautiful.” This deeply pleases 76 percent of all women.
5. Pulls himself out of a funk when he’s morose, grumpy or upset about something, instead of withdrawing. (This doesn’t mean he doesn’t get angry or need space; it means he tries to pull himself out of it.) This deeply pleases 72 percent of all women.
The above suggestions will probably have varying degrees of success depending on personalities and how they are applied, but they give some food for thought and possible implementation. The main idea is you don’t need to do anything major; just the little pleasantries that show you care make a big difference.
FamilyLife sponsors seminars frequently all across the nation (and world for that matter) that are designed to help marriages succeed. The seminars aren’t just for hurting couples; they are for all couples. I don’t care how happy your marriage is, continuous improvement is the name of the game. My wife and I attended one and it was great.
Coming up Oct. 26-28 at the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center is FamilyLife’s popular Weekend to Remember. Check it out at FamilyLife.com, events, weekend-to remember.
If you want something closer to home (and less expensive) FAMCO is sponsoring a Better Together marriage conference in Aiken on Friday, Oct. 19, 7 to 9 p.m. and from 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 20. Jeff Payne, a professional marriage counselor who has been with us before, will be speaking on communication and conflict resolution. No matter where you are in your marriage, on your way to marriage, or even just thinking about it in the distant future, you will learn something. You can register for it at aikenfamco.com.
The Family and Marriage Coalition of Aiken, Inc. (FAMCO) provides resources for you to succeed in your marriage and families. Roger Rollins, executive director, FAMCO, 803-640-4689, firstname.lastname@example.org, aikenfamco.com.