I have no control over The Furry Guy. He is a grown man with his own ideas, habits, and choices. As his wife, though, I have a lot of influence.
If I’m critical and snarky he’s likely to become sullen and withdrawn. If I’m encouraging and supportive he’s likely to be open and responsive. If I give him an opportunity to talk about his dreams, fears, and thoughts without belittling or undermining him he’ll be more likely to share again.
I learned several years ago that my attitude and reactions have a great effect on the way The Furry Guy acts. After years of trying to make him do things I finally realized that my attempts were futile. That’s when I started working on myself. I couldn’t make him into the husband I wanted, but I could become the wife I should be. Those changes in me resulted in big changes in him.
Mostly at first it was remembering to do little things just for him (like fixing his favorite foods) and taking the time to really think about my responses before speaking. By far the most difficult part of that for me was making sure that my words were always loving, kind, and encouraging. It’s amazing what a difference those two changes made. It wasn’t instant, but it was real.
You want to know the real secret? Even if The Furry Guy had not changed at all I’d be glad I made those changes. They changed the atmosphere in our home. The dynamics for wives and husbands are different, but the idea is the same. Concentrate on being the best spouse you can, keeping your spouse’s wants and needs in mind.
So, remember. You cannot control your spouse, but you do have a lot of influence over him or her. Use it wisely.