Easier Done Than Said
A variation of the “Medium is in the Message” technique, this intervention suggests that you stop using words entirely to get your messages across. No talking on the phone, no letter writing, no e-mails, you just take action! Women really benefit from using this technique because we now know that men are less verbally-oriented and more action-oriented than women. Men sometimes get overloaded with words and they stop listening. When that happens, it doesn’t matter how their wives say things, they’re not going to be able to get through to their husbands with words. It’s in one ear and out the other. Actions, on the other hand, get their attention.
I was once interviewed on the radio by a husband and wife team. Knowing about my experience in helping couples improve their marriages, the woman jokingly said to me, “If you’re so smart, tell me what I can do to get my husband to repair the steps leading to our back porch.” Before I could respond, she said, “I know exactly what I need to do. I need to stop nagging and I need to take action. If I want him to fix the steps, all I have to do is grab some tools and start doing it myself. The moment he notices me doing this, he’ll come right over to me, look over my shoulder, grab the tools out of my hand because I’ll be doing it the wrong way, and he’ll take over. It works that way every time.” That’s exactly what she did, and guess what…it worked!
Liz spent years talking, even begging her husband, Thomas, to be more adventurous and start doing fun things with her on weekends. It seemed to her that most of her friends had very active social lives and she felt deprived. But nothing she said to Thomas about her unhappiness ever seemed to make a difference. He simply preferred staying home.
Out of complete frustration, Liz decided that she had to begin to do things that were fun either alone or with friends. After several such outings, her husband became curious about what she was up to. He realized that he disliked spending weekends alone. After three weeks of her the following weekend alone. After three weeks of her becoming more independent, Thomas told her that he would like to join her the following weekend on a trip to the city’s art museum. Liz practically fell out of her chair. Nonetheless, she was happy that Thomas wanted to join in.
They had a great time together and instead of returning home after being at the museum, Thomas suggested that they go out for dinner at a new restaurant. Liz had wondered whether an alien had abducted her husband and exchanged him for this stranger, but she approved of the trade-in. In the weeks that followed, Liz continued making plans for herself and at least half the time, Thomas asked if she wanted company.
If words have failed to produce positive results in your marriage, if you’ve said to yourself, “I talk until I’m blue in the face,” then stop talking and start doing something different. It’s easier done than said.
Michele Weiner Davis is the creator of the Divorce Busting Centers, learn more on how you can solve marriage problems and stop divorce and recover from infidelity. Follow me on Twitter @divorcebusting, add my Divorce Busting Facebook Page, and subscribe to the Divorce Busting YouTube Videos for more advice and upcoming marriage saving events.