Often, I am asked by men for leadership coaching on how to improve their marriage communication. Experts say communication is number 3 on the list of the top 10 reasons marriages end in divorce.
I have been counseled and coached by some of the best experts in the world. My marriage is healthy, and I know what it takes to overcome the challenges we can encounter in marriage.
I am not a marriage counselor; I am a certified leadership coach and speaker. And my purpose in sharing this cue is to help brothers like me improve their marriage leadership skills.
Let me give you a real-life example. A married couple just had an argument over __________ (insert your issue). The wife shuts down and refuses to talk. The husband gets angry because she is not speaking. Both are frustrated and want to come to a resolution, but neither of them will initiate a discussion.
Honestly, I don’t think being frustrated is the problem. I think it is normal when a husband or wife is frustrated because they are not getting what they want/need sometimes.
The question I am presenting is who should initiate the positive conversation?
My answer is that an emotionally strong husband should exhibit leadership and initiate the conversation.
Humor me as I present to you an illustration to describe the initiative a husband should exhibit. I call this illustration my three cars of love.
Imagine there are three different husbands and each have a car parked on the same street, in their neighborhood. One day, all three men got into an argument with their wife about the directions to a party. Depending on their level of emotional intelligence, each husband will decide if he will drive to the party with or without his wife.
In frustration, the first husband storms out of the house, gets inside his car, put the keys in the ignition, and sits there. The car remains parked on his street for hours. Neither he nor his wife attend the party.
The second husband also gets frustrated, jumps in his car, and leaves his wife at home. He parties like it’s 1999. She misses the party and gets even angrier and does not speak to her husband for weeks.
Unlike the first two husbands, the third one patiently waits for his wife to cool down, and he invites her to have a conversation. Let’s be clear, it was not easy. But he still initiates a discussion, not because he or she is right, but because it’s the right thing to do. He loves his wife more than the pain he feels about the situation. If it was her fault, he loves her more than her mistake. They resolved the conflict and went to the party.
Very few of the men I know who got a divorce initiated the conversation and went to the party with their wife. Some let their pride and hubris keep them parked on the street. Or, in some cases, they left their wife at home and did their own thing. Was it worth it?
I listen to their overtures accompanied by their soliloquy about how she fell from grace. But rarely do they plot how they are going to subdue her with love.
Listen, I am guilty of parking my car or driving off. But I learned that initiating the conversation demonstrates to my wife that her feelings are a top priority.
Take your cues from me and live a great life. NEXCUE!
Want more cues, visit nexcues.com to learn about my leadership programs.