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Thursday, July 26, 2012

I write a lot about what I think the purpose of marriage is. It is the thing that drives what I do here.

The truth is that what you do in your marriage is also driven by what you think its purpose is, whether consciously or unconsciously.   

What you do follows from what you believe your purpose to be.

So here I have a very important question that I want you to genuinely wrestle with today: What do you believe the purpose of your marriage is?

The Purpose of Purpose

As I said, you have more or less formulated a purpose for your marriage already (as you have for rest of your life). And you are already living according to it.

But if you haven’t actually given thought to this question of your marriage’s purpose, then chances are you are more-or-less living on marriage with an un-programmed autopilot, meandering your way toward an unacknowledged destination, taking an unknown route.

If, then, you are living according to some purpose, isn’t it much better to actually be purposeful about it?

So here is my challenge to you. Complete this sentence:

The purpose of my marriage is ____________.

I encourage you to give some serious thought and prayer to this little sentence. It’s CRITICALLY important.

The Path to Purpose

Doing this one thing, doing it carefully, carries with it the potential to radically impact your marriage journey.

Here are a few pointers about finding your purpose:

  1. Don’t just write down the first thing that pops into your head – take your time, wrestle with it.
  2. Don’t put down what you think you “should” – it needs to be something that you personally believe in.
  3. Don’t just copy something you heard someone else say (even me) – someone else should not define the purpose of your marriage.
  4. Ideally, it is something you and your spouse should discuss and pray over together – but that is not an absolute requirement, especially if you are not in a place where that kind of conversation would be possible and fruitful.
  5. It’s okay if you and your spouse each have unique aspects to your purpose statements, as long as they complement each other. 
  6. Purpose and mission are two different things. Not everyone agrees, but I think of it this way: a purpose statement is more about how you believe, whereas a mission statement is more about what you do. Put another way purpose is why behind the what of your mission.
  7. Ultimately your marriage purpose statement should be something you can get behind with your whole heart

Talk with your spouse, write a draft, edit it, pray over it, edit it some more.  Once you have crafted a statement you are happy with, write it down somewhere prominent where you can refer to it often.

If you are comfortable with doing so, I’d love to have some of you share what you came up with in the comments below. 

Image credit: The Legacy Project

Friday, July 20, 2012


I’ve been writing about the dramatic rise in the number of divorces of people over 50, referred to as gray divorce. You can catch up with the Introduction, Remedy 1 and Remedy2 to get the whole picture.

Today I’m concluding this little series on the factors that contribute to marriages dissolving as couples get older, although, of course, the damage these things do to marriage is not limited to those of use with graying hair.

Today’s issue is the last of the three that I’ve written on, but it is perhaps even more to blame for gray divorce than either of the others we’ve discussed.

Today I’m talking about priorities.

Today’s Choices Affect Your Tomorrow

It’s incredible how much we have competing for our time and attention - perhaps more than at any time in history.  The pressure to have it all, do it all, and excel at all is pervasive in today’s western culture.

We tend to live our lives in such a driven fashion that it’s easy to unknowingly trade the important for the immediate.  I know this because I’ve done it many times in my own life.

While there are an infinite number of distractions that we can allow to detract from our marriages, I’m going to focus on just two – and they are biggies.

The Parent Trap

There is more parenting advice available today than ever.  It seems we are preoccupied with becoming the perfect parents and raising perfect children. Here’s an amazing little statistic to point out that fact:

Now I have nothing against Mommy blogs. That is NOT my point, so don’t flame me. Kids are extremely important, and we are charged with their care and nurture. We need to do it well. The problem comes when we put our kids ahead of our marriage.

Two facts that may help you to keep the priority of your marriage ahead of your children:
  1. The best thing you can do for your kids is to have a strong marriage. Showing your kids what respect and sacrificial love look like will bear fruit into multiple generations.
  2. You and your spouse are one; you and your children are not. Your marriage relationship is based on a unique kind of covenant. Don’t make the mistake of relegating it to equal status with any other relationship, including the one with your kids.
Consistently prioritizing your children ahead of your marriage, however well-intentioned, is a significant reason so many couples facing the “empty nest” season suddenly find themselves rooming with a stranger.

The Quest for Success

Particularly in America, the desire for more “stuff” is engrained in our marketing-saturated culture. Success is defined by having the most toys, the highest corporate position, the most influence or the biggest bank account.

Can I just point out that NONE of these definitions of success lines up with the Kingdom of God.  Yes, I believe God wants to bless and prosper us, but I believe it breaks His heart when we sacrifice our time, effort and attention for worldly success to the detriment of our marriages. That’s always a bad trade!

Typically men fall into the success trap more than women, whereas women tend to have more difficulty keeping their husband prioritized over their children.  In truth, though, such stereotypes are shifting with the huge increase in women in the workforce and the increase in the number of stay-at-home dads. 

No matter, the issues are the same for men or women: success in your marriage is more important than the worldly success that presses in all around us.

The Ultimate Number One

I would be remiss if I talked about priorities without mentioning the most important priority of all:  your personal walk with Jesus.  This is the one thing that we all need to maintain as the highest priority of all.  Yes, it’s easy to lose sight of that truth, but I encourage you to continually challenge yourself to get closer to God, because when we do that everything else we do, from marriage to parenting to careers, will flow much easier out the place of intimacy with God.

Getting your priorities in line and living accordingly is not something we do once and move on. Because there are so many forces acting against our priorities, we all need to continually be vigilant and watchful.   

Maybe some of this has struck a chord with you. Maybe you are feeling convicted about having some of your priorities out of whack.  It’s never too late to make changes and to have those changes bear fruit in your life and your marriage.

What changes do you need to make to your priorities today?

Related posts

Header photo credit: Pete Reed
Mommy blog graphic courtesy of  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Taming the "Me-Monster"

I’ve been writing about the dramatic rise in the number of divorces of people over 50, referred to as Gray Divorce.  You might want to go back and read my introductory post explaining the statistics behind the phenomena.

I knew I would evoke some negative responses by writing about a painful topic like divorce. I have received several comments and emails from some hurting divorced individuals who either felt accused by my statements or who claimed that the things I am proposing don’t work – or at least didn’t work for them.

Before I start on another suggested cause and remedy for gray divorce, I want to reiterate here that this is not meant to be an accusation against those who find themselves divorced.  I also want to make it clear that while I strongly believe the principles I describe to be right and true, they offer no guarantee, because a marriage relationship involves people who are free to make choices. Some will choose poorly.

My last post was Part 1 of my suggested remedies for the gray divorce epidemic. In it I explained that one of the forces working against long-lasting marriages is the notion that has emerged with the baby boomer generation, also known as the “me generation,” that the purpose of marriage is essentially our own personal happiness.  If this were true, then our marriages can be sustained only as long as our fickle and fleeting feelings are maintained.  Instead, I say, let’s look at marriage as a covenant, about something higher than ourselves and our own happiness. Let’s also make a decision to find happiness inside ourselves and in God.

(For a little further inspiration along that line, I suggest you read this post from Fawn at The Happy Wives Club, where she describes her discovery about the choice of happiness.) 
An Unhealthy Focus On Self

Today I’m focusing on a gray divorce issue that is closely related to the personal happiness issue from Part 1.  It is another paradigm that has grown immeasurably since the “me generation” began passing through mid-life. I describe this as an unhealthy preoccupation with “self.”

I recently wrote an article for Your Tango entitled, “Why After 30 Years of Marriage the Best is Yet to Come.” In that article I said this:
If you have a habit of holding your spouse responsible for your happiness, you definitely need to learn to take that responsibility upon yourself.  However, remember that if you view your marriage as being mostly about your rights and what you get out of the bargain, in the long run you are going to end up bitter and disappointed.

On the other hand, if you see your marriage primarily as an opportunity to selflessly love and generously serve your wife or husband to the best of your ability, you will the reap long-lasting benefit of a strong and close relationship.

Don’t buy the lie that a 50/50 marriage is ideal. Instead, go for 100/100, where each of you holds nothing back and gives all you have to the other.

Seeing Differently

Selfless love is the cornerstone of a surrendered marriage.  It causes us to ask different questions than we me be naturally inclined to ask:
  • Instead of asking, “What’s in it for me?” ask, “How can I bless you?” 
  • Instead of asking, “What are my rights?” ask, “What is the right thing?” 
  • Instead of asking, “What will advance my cause?” ask, “What will enhance my marriage?”
  • Instead of asking “What can I get?” ask, “What can I give?”
The Journey to Surrender is a journey into learning to live as one flesh. That means we have to let go of the battle for self and learn to press into the reality that because we are one, I win when my spouse wins. Blessing him or her actually blesses me! Taking such a one-flesh view of your marriage will totally change to way you see your spouse and your relationship. 

Take the Risk

This thing of selfless love is risky business. There is no guarantee that your spouse will respond in kind. While selfless love is a compelling force for intimacy and passion, not everyone will respond to it. Remember, people are free to make their own choices; you can only control you. 

Yet this is the kind of love we were shown by Jesus and the kind of love we are compelled to show to our spouses.  He took the risk. He gave everything for us, for the sake of intimacy with us, knowing that many would reject his sacrifice and continue to live for themselves.  He did it anyway. 

So I urge you to step back and consider the reckless, selfless, sacrificial love of Christ. Rather than buying into the lies exemplified and extolled by the “me generation,” take the risk to love like Jesus does. It’s worth the risk.
photo credit:

Just came across this great and fitting post from Jolene at The Alabaster Jar.  "The #1 Secret to a Great Marriage."  Her answer: Die to Self. Check it out!

Next and last post in this series:  Divorce Remedies Part 3:  Getting Your Priorities Right

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Marriage's Higher Purpose

Alright, it’s time to stop bemoaning the societal forces at play in gray divorce and start looking for solutions. 

Before I get to that, however, I want to start with a bit of clarification on my last post. I have received some responses that lead me to believe some may have received what I wrote as accusation.  That was not my intention.

The focus of my post was on the fact that self-centeredness is a significant societal force that damages marriages. It’s an epidemic unto itself, if you will. What I was NOT saying is that anyone who gets divorced late in life is doing it because they are selfish. I support doing all you can to save your marriage, but I am not saying “stay married at all costs.”

I also believe that selfishness is one of the most destructive forces coming against marriage today, and that gets to the heart of today’s post.

Building and Sustaining Intimacy

Many of the articles on gray divorce identify such causes as more financial empowerment and independence of women, growing societal acceptance of divorce and the increase in multiple marriages. While these facts contribute to people’s willingness to leave a bad marriage, the real root is that so many marriages reach the later years as little more than an empty shell.

People don’t leave a great marriage!

The real issue with gray divorce is that so many marriages are left untended for years on end.  For many it’s a total focus on the kids and childrearing, so when the nest is empty, so is the marriage.  For others it’s becoming absorbed in career(s) and the quest for success, only to find that worldly success has costs them their marriage. For some it may be an inability or an unwillingness to deal constructively with the problems that arise in every relationship, allowing frustration and resentment to fester for years. 

In all these cases, the root of the issue is that passion and intimacy have been allowed to die.  But it doesn’t have to be that way!

To be honest, this is why I do what I do. I believe that if people will wake up and continually be watchful over their marriages, they can arrive at the threshold of their later years with a marriage that is better and stronger than it’s ever been.

We have to fight the presumption of marital decline.  We have to believe that our best years are always still ahead of us, regardless of the season of life. I have a couple of ideas on how to help make that happen, which I'll be sharing over the next few posts.

Today, for part 1, I'll be addressing:

An Unhealthy Focus Happiness

In my last post I was openly critical of baby boomers, a generation to which I belong, decrying the reality that ours was the first generation to believe that marriage is mostly about our own personal degree of happiness. While I do believe marriage can and should bring you absolute joy and delight, I don’t necessarily think that is its primary purpose or that it should be the goal we strive for.

The problem is that people tend to look at happiness as being “out there” somewhere.  If only I marry the right person.  If only my spouse would do X or would stop doing Y.  One day when I can [fill in the blank], then I’ll be happy.  We even fall into the trap of thinking that if we work diligently enough to "fix" our marriage, then maybe someday we can be happy. 

The truth is that rather than looking at happiness as something solely external and only for your future, it’s much better to instead find delight in your marriage and your spouse right where you are, in whatever season you happen to find yourself.  Sure, there are hardships, problems and real issues in every relationship, but we can choose not to let these things steal our joy and refuse to let them define our relationship.

I said the following in a past post, “Own Your Own Happiness.”
To me happiness is still best viewed as a by-product rather than a goal. A relationship that has personal happiness as its main goal is going to miss some deeper things that underlie a long-lasting marriage. Selflessness, surrender, intimacy, joy, peace and holiness all come to mind as worthy goals, but are things that also tend produce happiness as a result.  
I’ll conclude this post the same way I concluded that one, by pointing out that if you choose happiness instead of waiting for it to happen to you some day, you actually have a greater chance of finding it, both now and in the future.

So learn to find joy in the here and now. Seek out the good stuff in your marriage and focus on it rather than on the deficiencies. Maintain an attitude of gratitude. Remind yourself of the reasons you fell in love with your husband or wife. Be kind and generous regardless of your circumstances.

What do you think of my first proposed remedy for gray divorce? Do you think it would make a difference if more people focused less on their personal happiness but at the same time simply decided to "be happy?"

Next Up: Dealing with the unhealthy focus on self

Thursday, July 12, 2012

In the past few weeks I’ve seen multiple stories reporting on the issue of “gray divorce.” News outlets from The Wall Street Journal to NPR have featured stories on this heartbreaking phenomenon.

Most of these stories reference a recently published study called “The Gray Divorce Revolution,” co-authored by sociologists Susan Brown, co-director of the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University and I-Fen Lin.

The Facts

In 1990, one in ten divorces occurred in couples ages 50 and older.  In 2009, that number doubled to two in ten.  For those previously married, it has skyrocketed to one in four, a 250% increase. 

Over the two decades represented by the study, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of people in this age group on their second and third marriages. In 1980 45% of singles were divorced.  In 2009, that percentage increased to 58%. The marriage failure rate is historically much higher for multiple marriages.

The Real Problem? The ME Generation!

While general societal acceptance of divorce and the increased earning power of women are both sited as key factors influencing the rise in gray divorce, I tend to pin it on something else.

The baby boomer generation, which I am part of, is also called the “Me Generation.”  That’s a fitting but sad moniker and also a key to understanding the gray divorce epidemic.  

Dr. Brown describes the attitudinal shift concerning marriage that occurred with this generation, which had “for the first time, a focus on marriage needing to make individuals happy, rather than on how well each individual fulfilled their marital roles." She goes on to say that the problem “springs at least in part from boomers' status as the first generation to enter into marriage with goals largely focused on self-fulfillment.”

In other words, with the me generation, marriage became all about me and making me happy, rather than about us becoming one and serving one another.

Sadly, this “it’s all about me” notion has become even more prevalent in subsequent generations. 

Don’t believe me?  Just listen to the abject selfishness extolled by this Fox Business "expert commentator" (a divorce attorney extraordinaire, whatever that is) in her report on this study:

Did you count how many times she said “me” and “my” and “I” in explaining and defending the gray divorce trend. Did you catch this gem: “It’s time to think about me as an individual, not as a marital partnership.”  

What? I’m sorry, but to me she kind of misses the whole point of marriage, at least of marriage how I think God intends it to be. And this goes to the very heart of the problem.

Today, while about to put up this post, I came across an amazing quote.  Thanks to my therapist niece for sharing it:
‎"Destructive to marriage is the self-fulfillment ethic that assumes marriage and the family are primarily institutions of personal fulfillment, necessary for us to become "whole" and happy. The assumption is that there is someone just right for us to marry and that if we look closely enough we will find the right person. This moral assumption overlooks a crucial aspect to marriage. It fails to appreciate the fact that we always marry the wrong person.

We never know whom we marry; we just think we do. Or even if we first marry the right person, just give it a while and he or she will change. For marriage, being [the enormous thing it is] means we are not the same person after we have entered it. The primary challenge of marriage is learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married."

Duke University Ethics professor Stanley Hauerwas
It sums up the problem pretty well.

In my next three posts I’ll share my thoughts on what can be done to fight the gray divorce epidemic.  Meanwhile, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Links to My Three Remedies for Gray Divorce:
  • Remedy 1:  Seeing the Larger Purpose of Marriage - it's not just about your happiness
  • Remedy 2:  Taming the Me-Monster - why selfless love is the best kind
  • Remedy 3:  Getting Your Priorities Straight - keeping marriage before your kids or success

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Earlier this week my Man-up Monday post “Which Way Are you Leaning" challenged husbands to step up and lean into their marriages a little more, to get engaged at a deeper level.

Today I’m addressing wives about their role in getting their husbands to lean in and engage. (Sorry if you were looking for a post on a different kind of lean!)

Note: The inverse rule for Man-up Monday applies here.  Husbands can eavesdrop on this post, but you may not use this as a weapon on your wife!

One Root of the Engagement Issue

You’ve probably heard the feminist adage:
A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
It’s sadly ironic that this phrase, often quoted by feminist Gloria Steinem, but originally coined by Irina Dunn, is actually derived from another even more appalling philosophical quote:
Man needs God like a fish needs a bicycle.*
I very intentionally aim what I write in this blog toward Christian marriages, so I doubt that many reading here would subscribe to the second quote.  However, I wonder how many Christian wives have subtly bought into the first quote without even being aware of it. 

The truth is, God designed husbands and wives to need each other. He hardwired us with a desire for martial intimacy, because its’ a model of our desire for intimacy with God and his desire for intimacy with us. As it is with God, we can stuff down or try to deny that need, but it is there whether we admit it or not.

While modern feminism has done great things for women’s rights, I’m afraid there has been some significant collateral damage. One of the unintended consequences is the issue I’m addressing today: husbands failing to engage in their marriages. There is a prevailing societal message to husbands that they are superfluous, or worse, an impediment to a woman’s fulfillment, something to work around instead of someone to work with. This message is so pervasive that it seems to have been completely normalized – just accepted as the way things are, without a conscious thought.

Is it any surprise, then, that men often fail to lean in and take up their place in their marriages?

What’s a Wife to Do?

First, I suggest that you acknowledge your need for your husband. This may or may not be difficult for you to admit, but either way I encourage you to press fully into the truth that in marriage you and he are one flesh,” which means that you are spiritually, sexually, emotionally, and financially one.  Being one in all things means that operating independently from him is not an option. Your husband is not another thing to put on your to do list, because your relationship to him is unlike your relationship to anything else in your life.

That’s not to say that you have to both be involved in everything together – that’s a total overreach. But if your mindset tends toward seeing your husband as an impediment instead of a partner, you need to change your thinking.

Maybe having the right mindset is not your issue.  Perhaps you are just frustrated that you cannot get your husband to engage, to lean in and fully partner with you.  So what can you do to encourage your husband to step up and take a more active role in your marriage and family?

Show Him You Need Him

Whether from societal messaging, the tendencies of his own personality or the strength of yours, or because he senses your desire for independence, your husband will respond positively if you just show him that you need him.

But how you do that matters – a lot.

If you express your need for him to engage in the form of demands or ultimatums, he will receive it as disrespect and criticism, which will only drive him to further disengage. Whining, complaining and angry tirades will have the same negative result of pushing him further away.

Here are a few suggestions for an alternate approach.

Show affection. Instead of asking “why don’t you ever do the dishes?” Instead, try resting your head on his shoulder and saying, “I’m so tired.  I know you are tired too, but can we quickly take care of these dishes together and then go snuggle up on the couch and relax?” Focus on your need, not his behavior. I know what you are thinking, if I snuggle with him then I might have to…” That leads me to the next topic.

Show him you want him sexually. You might not see an obvious connection here, but most (though not all) men see sex as a path to connection and intimacy, whereas most women need connection and intimacy in order to be open to sex. But chances are that if you make the first move in this marital game of cat and mouse, assuming you actually show genuine desire for him, he will almost certainly respond by engaging in other areas. Let me be blunt: if your husband feels rebuffed sexually he will eventually disengage from your marriage.

Show admiration and appreciation. Thank him for every bit of engagement he delivers. “Thank you so much for listening to me go on and on tonight about my work situation. It’s so good for me when you help me see things more clearly. I love how you always see the big picture.” Even if his attention seemed to drift once in a while during the conversation, acknowledge the positive and don’t harp on the negative. If you reinforce the positive, you will see more of it.

There is no quick fix, but if you consistently demonstrate your love through admiration, affection, appreciation and sexual connection it’s highly likely that your husband will respond positively.

I’m sure I’ve missed some tips for getting your husband to be more fully engaged.  What approaches have you taken to help your man lean into your marriage?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Today I’m addressing husbands as part of my occasional Man-Up Monday feature. (Ladies, you can eavesdrop, but this is NOT a weapon for you to use against your husband.  Stop back on Wednesday for your half of the “leaning” equation.)

Listen up guys! I’m challenging you to do a bit of serious self-reflection today about your level of engagement in your marriage. Before you jump to your default defense, “I do plenty for my wife and kids,” please read and consider this post in its entirety.

Leaning In or Leaning Back

Here’s the deal: Way too many husbands these day are leaning back when it comes to their marriages. For a whole host of reasons, they have opted not to engage the leadership capacity they have been blessed with. When they forsake their roles, they leave their wives to bear the brunt of family and marital responsibility.

Leaning into your marriage means lowering your shoulder and doing the heavy lifting in your home. I’m not talking about moving furniture, though that may be required occasionally. What I’m referring to is making your marriage a high priority, being willing to do the daily work of making your marriage great by completely engaging with your wife and by being the kind of loving leader she wants and needs.

Below I offer up a few stereotypical examples of husbands who are leaning back. Though they are somewhat overstated and oversimplified, look for signs of these gentlemen in your own life and marriage:

Absent Andy – Andy is an absentee father and husband.  He’s constantly traveling on business, working late hours, and when he is home he disrupts family time with business calls and is chained to his Blackberry 24/7. His career is his highest priority, though he tries to convince himself that he is doing it all in order to provide for the family. Andy completely misses the fact that his wife would much rather trade her Lexus for a Chevy and have more time with her husband.

Paycheck Paul – Paul is a close cousin to Andy.  He sees his family responsibilities ending once his paycheck is deposited in the bank. Despite being driven by the almighty dollar, he often leaves the burden of actually managing the finances to his wife, though he is quick to criticize her decisions from the back seat. Paul and his wife are little more than a roommates, married in name only.

Distant Dan – Dan is leaning way back, completely disengaged from his wife and family. He has decided that he has no authority or is afraid to exercise it.  He doesn’t take responsibility for much of anything and declines to make decisions.  He may claim the excuse that his wife is just going to criticize him anyway, so he doesn’t even try. He has given up on leading his family, but his wife receives his indifference as a lack of love for her.

Sporty Steve – Steve is completely preoccupied by sports (insert the name of your outside interests here). He pours all his mental and emotional energy into watching sports on TV or attending sporting events.  He lives and breathes sports but does little to share his passion for sports with his wife and family. He shows no interest in the things she cares about, claiming he has no time.  He doesn’t see that his actions make her a practical widow.

Heavy-Handed Harry – Harry has the opposite problem of the other guys, but I'm including him here as a reminder that you can err on the other side. He’s a bit of a thug in his own home. Instead of leaning back and disengaging, he abuses his authority and oppressively leans on his wife in a demanding and demeaning way. He can be pushy and overbearing, treating his wife as if she is there to do his bidding. He doesn’t see that he is driving her away, possibly into the arms of another man who will treat her better.

Man Up and Lean In

It’s probably true that none of these guys describes you exactly, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of neglect in your marriage; areas where you could engage more fully; areas where you could lean in just a bit more.

I encourage you to look through this list of areas where you might consider leaning in a bit more and making sure you are engaging on a level  that is appropriate – a level that says “I love you” to your wife:
  • Financially – budgeting, planning, managing money, setting goals
  • Spiritually – praying with and for your wife and family, attending church together, talking about what God is doing
  • Sexually – yes there are men that need to hear this
  • Parentally – guiding and instructing the kids, discipline, spending time with them, giving your wife time off
  • Practically – helping out with the house, yard, dishes, cooking, laundry
  • Recreationally – planning vacations, fun activities with the family, movies, sports
  • Emotionally – being available and interested in your wife’s life, emotionally supportive, being a friend
  • Romantically – non-sexual touch, sweet notes and love letters, hold hands, date nights
Maybe you think I’m asking you to be superman with this list. I’m not saying you need to do all these things all the time.  I’m saying you need to lean into them. Talk the list over with your wife and find out what things are most important to her.  Ask her for her input, and prioritize accordingly. 

I’ve discovered that wives everywhere are longing for their husbands to lean in a little more, take a bit more responsibility and engage more fully.  Doubt me?  I dare you to ask your wife.

photo credit: Flicker

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