When my wife started crying over her favorite food, our marriage changed forever.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on Doug Hunt’s blog. It has been published on fasadmilias.com with his permission.
We have never had a bad year with my wife. It’s true. There have been difficult or stressful times, but we have never had big fights. I give my wife all the credit for that: I am the one who has caused us to have had so many difficult days.
I remember a time when I made her cry. We were in a restaurant in downtown Boston. We had been married for five years and Emily, our first daughter, was only four months old. Eight months ago we had moved from Little Rock, Arkansas, to Boston to start a house church. Our life was fast-paced and crazy. Everything had changed.
Then we were alone one night, eating in a restaurant and it occurred to me to ask him: “How are you?” It was not necessary to delve much. Right away she started crying over her favorite food.
The conversation we had at that time changed our marriage forever.
As we talked I realized that, due to the busyness of daily life, I had not stopped to see how she was and I assumed that she was doing well. But that was not so. I realized that I was not fulfilling my role as a husband well. He was not taking care of her as she deserved. I was being very clueless.
The thing was, big changes had happened in our lives. I should have realized that it could affect him: the move, the pregnancy, being a new mother, starting a house church, and living a thousand miles away from our closest family. Surely you think that I should have noticed the signals she gave me so I could pay more attention to her. That says a lot about me.
Reread: 5 ways to show love to your spouse.
That moment gave me a great lesson about what it means to be someone’s husband.
As life changes, so do we. And because of that, we have to find different ways to love. We should not believe that we already know how to do it, that this learning is over. Quite the opposite.
So it was time to learn to be a better husband. How? Learning to listen to my wife in a better way. With that goal in mind, we begin to have long-term conversations every month. That was amazing. It was difficult at first, but over time those conversations have turned into sweet moments of privacy.
In order for those moments to have the desired effect, we put in some rules, as we wanted to have a healthy dialogue, without fights.
Reread: 6 Reasons You’re Definitely Not Ready To Get Married.
These are the rules that we set
1. Everyone has a turn to speak.
2. You need to be honest and specific.
3. We must listen to the other and NOT defend ourselves if we hear something that we do not like.
4. We must commit to doing things in the best possible way and helping others. So we ask ourselves questions like these:
Is there something you need from me that you are not getting?
Am I doing or saying something that you don’t like?
Am I giving you the attention you need?
What can I do to be a better spouse?
Our conversations were a little scary at first, but over time they turned into fabulous moments of empowerment and love. Now we no longer have to plan them, since they occur spontaneously.
Even though that moment at the restaurant was tough, I am so grateful to have lived through it – it changed our marriage more than any other conversation we’ve ever had.
That experience showed me strongly that I have a loving woman. She listens to me, stimulates me and always speaks the truth. She loves me with all her heart, even when I’m clueless.
Translated and adapted by Maia Fernandez from I made my wife cry and it changed our marriage by Doug Hunt