sm lying on green carpetWant to improve your marriage?

You can start by asking better questions.  

The questions that easily come to mind can be very negative…

What has he done for me lately? 

When is he going to start doing his fair share?  

Why do I have to read marriage books?  It’s him who needs the fixing!  

But where do these questions lead you?

They lead you to focus on weaknesses, shortcomings, complaints, and grumbling.  They lead to marital dissatisfaction.  They lead you to sing that 80s tune What Have You Done for Me Lately over and over again in your mind.

Turn the questions around and guess what?  You can start turning your marriage around too.  Here are 3 better questions you can ask in your marriage:

Question #1:  What have I done for my husband lately?  

This puts the ball in your court.  Instead of waiting for your husband to say the right thing or read your mind, you begin by taking the first step towards him.  Truth be told, when we ask ask ourselves this question, we may realize we haven’t done much beyond pouring coffee or grunting hello in several days.

Here’s a challenge for you…begin your day by asking yourself this question, then at the end of the day with your head on the pillow, answer this question in your heart.  If you’ve can list five things – great!  Way to go.  If you can’t really come up with anything, don’t worry.  Tomorrow is a new day to answer this question better.

Question #2:  Am I acting in a likable way today?  

When you were dating your mate, you acted in a likable way.  You listened.  You held hands.  You looked pretty.  You held your tongue and never resorted to name calling or yelling.  You softened your rough edges because it’s natural to act winsomely when you’re dating and head over heels in love.

After a few years (or months), this winsomeness wears off.  Your spouse can bear the brunt of your bad attitude, temper, or stress.

Take a moment and ask yourself, Am I acting in a likable way today?  

If I was my spouse, would I like me?

Question #3:  Is there something I can do today to make my spouse’s life easier?  

Okay, you may be thinking, “Hello, I already make my spouse’s life easier.  When is he going to make my life easier?”  (if this is you, review Question #1 again…)

Making your spouse’s life easier can be very simple yet very powerful.  My husband James works from home and one of my habits is to refill his water glass.  He spends a lot of time on the phone and when I bring him a tall, refilled glass of cold water, it makes his life easier.

When I agree with him in front of our kids (and then voice my opposite opinion in the privacy of our bedroom), it makes his life easier.

When I let him bike to school with the kids without complaint (when I think it’s too cold or too hot or whatever), it makes his life easier.

Let the Bible work in you so these questions are undergirded by Luke 6:31 which reads this way in the Message:

Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!”

Arlene Pellicane

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