There are few men in this world that are okay with failing. I’m no different than any of them. However, many men fail at becoming a husband or maintaining the posture of a husband. There is a multitude of reasons for this but the primary contributor is unpreparedness. Your ability to achieve any single challenge or life in general boils down to your ability to prepare. I’ve been a life-long offender when it comes to adequately prepare for things probably because I skated by most days on raw talent. Having talent is good but it doesn’t serve you well in situations when a well thought out strategy is required to avoid complications in a relationship. A marriage is no place for a gunslinger’s tactics.
My first failure in the early days of my marriage was not making my wife and marriage my highest priority. I moved from Atlanta to Nashville to start a new life with my new wife. It was only a few weeks later that I began getting homesick and sought out any chance to get back to ATL. This was a massive failure because Nashville was my new home and that’s the only place I should have been anxious to get to. My actions sent the signal to my wife that she wasn’t the most important thing in my life which kind of spit in the face of our vows when we said we would forsake all others. Perhaps the gravity of that statement didn’t register in my mind. Anyway, I bought that free lesson.
Failure number two was not understanding that even though we had spent the last 2 years of our lives together my wife was still expecting us to plan out our future and communicate about what we wanted but my dumb ass went right back to what I had been doing when we were dating which was spending the required time with her and then immediately submersing myself in something other than our marriage. Again the message was “our marriage isn’t a priority.” For some guys I think getting married is merely a means to secure a hot woman and have infinite access to meals and sex. I can assure you that this really is far from what a wife envisions when she accepts our proposal. Sure they want to make love with us and see us satisfied from their efforts in the kitchen but there are far more facets of the union that need our participation. A couple should communicate early and often when it comes plotting out a life together. Two heads are better than one and what’s even more potent is when you compliment those heads with two hearts.
Coming in at number three on the Top Ten Fails was a Lack of Effective Communication. No one ever taught me how to speak from my heart and express hurt or disappointment. I think this is cultural because most men will tell you that they were always taught to hide their emotions unless it was unleashing some rage against an opponent during a sporting event. Otherwise, you were supposed to play it cool and never let them see you sweat.
This strategy is counter-productive in a marriage. You can’t be closed off and you can’t live under the guise that nothing affects you because we all know it does. If guys weren’t affected by stuff then they wouldn’t be so fond of beer during the week. We need to learn how to express exactly what we are feeling. Our marriage should be the one safe place in the world where we can let down our guard. This can be achieved by a couple developing the ability to listen and not judge the other’s feelings. I’ve heard about marriages where one person gets upset and then the authenticity of the hurt feelings have to be run through committee to be validated. What about this statement? “That shouldn’t upset you” does that sound familiar? There is nothing fair about that arrangement. Be intentional about listening to each other and ask questions to learn more about an issue. This will serve you well for years to come.
Successful marriages aren’t granted to certain individuals on a VIP list. A great marriage is granted to those who experience failure and use it as a teachable moment. Marriage will certainly provide opportunities to sink or swim but as long as you keep in mind what is useful to your relationship versus what isn’t then the choices become much easier, therefore, bringing more success than failure.
Don’t be afraid to fail, be afraid not to try. Love Well.