If you want to improve your marriage, what do you actually do?
I want to talk to you today about an interesting phenomenon I’ll often see on my blog. I’ll write a post called something like “4 Things You Must Do If Your Husband Uses Porn” where I list four actual steps that you should take if your husband does indeed use porn, and then I’ll get comments–hundreds of them on that post–where many will tell their honestly heartbreaking stories, and then they’ll say, “what should I do?”
And I’m always a little bit confused by that question. Because isn’t that what the post was for? To tell you what I think you should do?
So why is it that people still ask the question?
Many people are searching for a very easy thing that will guarantee a change in their marriage.
And many of the things I suggest aren’t necessarily easy.
But that’s tackling a big problem, like porn. What if there’s a smaller problem? Maybe just something that’s under the surface of your marriage, always there, but not really jeopardizing it. Things like feeling resentment at the fact that he doesn’t put his laundry in the hamper. Or feeling guilty because you know that he wants sex more than you do, and you feel like you disappoint him a lot.
Then how do you change?
I’ve now written 2,460 posts on this blog. Of those, about 520 have been “Wifey Wednesday” posts, or posts on Wednesdays, like this one, that talk specifically about marriage. But the majority of all of the other posts are about marriage, too.
That’s a lot of posts.
And I’ve written books about marriage–four in fact! Seriously, if you ever want information on how to improve your marriage, you’ve come to the right place! You can read about it for hours upon hours and never get to the end.
But can I suggest something?
If reading alone could improve a marriage, then many of my blog readers would have the most awesome marriages on earth!
And I’m sure, actually, that many of my blog readers DO have awesome marriages.
But I’m also willing to bet that those readers who have the awesome marriages didn’t just READ the posts. They actually put them into practice.
Take yesterday’s post, for instance, where I listed 10 things that “increase the cost of sex”, so to speak, analyzing the impediments to sex from an economics point of view (okay, it sounds geeky, but I was SERIOUSLY proud of that post, especially the demand and supply curves I made!). I listed 10 things. It could be that ALL 10 things play a role in making sex more difficult in your marriage. But then I asked you to ONLY pick one thing to change.
That’s what I do always on Top 10 Tuesdays–I throw out a ton of ideas, but then I ask you to pick the one that resonates the most with you, and work on that.
I’ve been watching a lot of TED talks and analyzing how we actually change habits, and over and over again what they’ve found is that making very small changes consistently leads to very big results.
If you want to improve your marriage, then, it is better to tackle something small and try one thing at a time–but actually try it!
This week I’ve been telling you about my new Boost Your Libido course. (So many of you have pre-ordered, and I’ve been blown away. And so encouraged! Thank you!).
A number of people have asked, “does this actually contain any extra information that isn’t in your blog?”
Well, there’s only so much to say about sex, and if you went through all 2,460 posts, and all four of my marriage books, you would, likely, find 90% of the information there.
But here’s why I created this course. I don’t want you to necessarily learn a ton of new stuff (though I really, really hope you do!)
What I really want you to do is to actually put some very small changes into practice.
Each of the lessons is set up to help you identify the one big issue the module has revealed that’s holding you back, and then to find ONE SMALL WAY to change something over the next few days.
That’s where the change actually comes in.
It’s like when Keith and I speak at marriage conferences. We may give a talk for 45 minutes that’s filled with humour and some role-playing and some awesome illustrations and even some really touching moments, but do you know what actually helps couples come away from that weekend with a changed marriage?
Just simply doing the very small projects we have scattered throughout the talks.
Listening to us sets the stage. But doing those small projects, and talking about something important, is what really makes the change.
So I want to issue you a challenge today. I know that most of you end up on this blog because you’re looking for an answer to a specific question. Maybe it’s a marriage in crisis type question, but maybe it’s just that things don’t feel as fun as they used to, and you want that excitement back again.
And I hope I’ve given you lots of information on how to help improve your marriage!
But if you really want to see change, then you’ve got to do more than understand how change happens. You’ve got to start to actually implement a very small thing (and I’d honestly suggest starting with something small).
How many of us have tons of recipe boards filled with whole foods recipes, and yet we still eat garbage? Or we’ve pinned all kinds of fitness routines, but we’ve never done them?
A woman in a marriage that’s thriving does not necessarily know more about marriage than a woman in a marriage that’s stagnating. She’s simply decided to put more of what she knows into practice.
I’ve decided that over the next year I’m going to focus at creating more “actionable” materials, like courses or my 31 Days to Great Sex book, where you the focus isn’t so much on learning something new but on actually making those small changes. I want to see marriages changed, and what I know in my own life is that too often I chase after information but don’t make the changes I need.
And I’ll keep writing posts that hopefully give you a whole bunch of possible ideas of things to do–but then ask you to focus on just one or two.
Imagine what your marriage could be like if you honestly made some small changes every few weeks? I’m excited by it.
Want to join me?
My Boost Your Libido course has 10 modules that build on each other, and if you do the brainstorming exercises and make the small changes suggested after each module, you will see immediate results–even before you work through all 10.
Your marriage CAN change. But you have to decide to “own” the material by acting on it.
If you want to be prodded to put what you know into action, and to learn even more, then get the course today!