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3 Steps to Help Your Husband Build Integrity
Learn how showing your husband’s worth and using inspiration will help strengthen and grow intimacy in your marriage.
You jointly made a to-do list but his part "just didn’t get finished…"
You agreed to meet at 7, but it’s 7:10 and he’s "just leaving the office…"
You created a household budget together, but "somehow" a new set of golf clubs ended up on the credit card…
Whether the situation is small or big, being out of integrity compromises the trust essential to a marriage. But there is a core reality of a man’s psyche that a couple can use to "conquer the integrity dragon." Men can use it internally, and women can use it to support and inspire their spouse. And the great part is that not only do both partners end up with more of what they want, but the process itself builds intimacy.
Slaying the dragon to win the princess’ love may be the stuff of fairy tales, but the myth reflects the core psyche of men. The reality is that most men will do just about anything to be seen by "their princess" as "her hero." We’ll fight invading tribes to save the village. We’ll ward off the grizzly bear before it can hurt the children. And we’ll work 50, 60, 70 hours per week so the family can have a nicer house, the kids can go to a better school, and we can buy you that necklace for your birthday. The support and appreciation of our beloved means more to us than just about any other gift you can give. Most men will go to the ends of the earth to get it.
But nobody needs to go to the ends of the earth and nobody needs to slay a dragon or save a village... couples can tap straight into the way men are built to get what both partners want in just a few simple steps, here’s how:
Step 1: Give the Challenge
The fairy tale princess would say something like, "That dragon is scary." In today’s world it might be, "How can we get those golf clubs and stay within our budget?"
An inspiring challenge motivates men to step up. Whether he offers this challenge to himself or his wife offers it to him.
Careful, here’s a mistake that I see many couples make. Whether internal ("I was the worst dragon-slayer in Junior High School") or from his wife ("You promised you’d kill that dragon. Why haven’t you done it yet?"), criticism destroys intimacy.
Step 2: Give the Courage
The fairy tale princess would say, "You’re so big and strong—I know you can do it." These days it might sound like, "Maybe that time management system from work could help at home, too."
Slaying dragons is scary (even if we don’t want to admit it out loud). Notice that above the suggestion used a place he was already successful giving him the faith and courage to say "I can do this!"
Step 3: Give the Appreciation
In the old fairy tale, the princess would say, "I knew you could do it. You’re my knight in shining armor." Today, it’s, "Honey… it really means a lot to me that you put in such a long week at work and got all those things done at home." Yes, a kiss on the cheek still goes a long way too.
These three steps are inspirational—not critical. And we get a 2-for-1 if we do it right. When we use an inspirational process, not only are we more likely to get the results we want, but the process itself is building intimacy.
Most women have no idea how much this little bit of appreciation means to a man, and how much pride it gives us. We protected the children, we saved the village. We did our job as a man and we did it well. Now that is a happy ending!
Working via Skype, phone, or in person with clients all over the world, Yitzhak J. Miller was trained at Stanford and UCLA medical centers, and has been helping women learn to re-trust men for nearly 30 years. Founder of the Discern His Integrity programs and author of the upcoming book by the same name, Yitz is nationally board-certified by the American Psychotherapy Association and is certified as a sex educator through the San Francisco Sexuality Institute. Though his programs are non-religious and for people of any faith (or none), Yitz also is also an ordained Rabbi. Readers interested in working with Yitz can apply for a complementary consultation at DiscernHisIntegrity.com.
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