Treat Your Wife Like a Coworker
(excerpt from Chapter 4, “Marriage: Finding a New Best Friend in Your Wife” The Christian Man [Zondervan, May 2019])
When my wife and I fell in love, I was racing motorcycles. My dream was to own a motorcycle dealership and travel around the country winning motocross races on the weekends.
One day not long after we started dating, she phoned her parents in Miami and said, “Mom and Dad, I think I’ve met the man I’m going to marry.”
Her father said, “That’s great, honey. What does he want to do?”
She said, “Dad, it’s so exciting! We’re going to travel around the country and he’s going to be racing motorcycles and someday we’re going to own a motorcycle dealership!”
Just what every father wants to hear.
A few months later, I bought Patsy a 100cc dirt bike so we could go trail riding together. Watching her ride, I knew in my heart that she was only doing it for me.
Soon we married and went on our honeymoon. A couple of weeks after we got back, I said, “Hey, let’s go dirt biking this weekend!”
She said, “I tell you what . . . I’ve got some things I need to get settled here in our apartment. Why don’t you go by yourself this weekend?”
Would you believe it? Once we were married, she never ever once got on a motorcycle again!
When we were dating, every day I would pull over to the side of the road somewhere and pick a flower for Patsy as a token of my love.
Would you believe it? Once we were married, I never ever once picked her a roadside flower again!
Once the honeymoon is over, once the dirt bikes and daily flowers come to a natural conclusion, adjustments need to be made. It’s a new season to settle down, set up a home, build a life together, understand each other’s needs, synchronize your lives, and find a rhythm for living together.
By the end of your first year of marriage, your romantic notion of what it would be like to share a bedroom has been jolted back to reality. As I once heard author Florence Littauer say, “We are attracted to marry each other’s strengths, but then go home to live with each other’s weaknesses.”
It’s a lot to handle.
I have some great news for you. A surprisingly few, but strategic, course corrections can dramatically alter where your marriage will end up in ten or twenty years.
But frankly, I think most marriage problems would disappear if we would simply speak to our wives with the same kindness, courtesy, forethought, and respect with which we speak to our coworkers.