Quentin Hafner


I’ve made plenty of mistakes as a husband, God knows and my wife can certainly testify.

I guess that’s partly why I can help people in their relationships is because I’m pretty clear at seeing all my mistakes, and I have no delusions of getting it perfect.

Speaking of not getting it perfect, I wanted to share a quick story with you of one of my many failings and how I overcame it.

A while back, I used to be the kind of husband that was critical of my wife for not “doing her part”. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I used to shame her and criticize her for not being a good wife. Ugh….I’ve had better moments.

I would complain that she wasn’t attentive enough.

I would tell her she expected too much of me.

And I, like so many guys, would play the victim when we weren’t intimate enough.

Have you ever been there? Or is it just me?

This was all around the time we had our first son…

She, can you believe her audacity…..devoted most of her resources to caring for an infant, and I felt sidelined.

I felt that she was cold, distant, uncaring, and aloof.

I felt that our son was more important than me (it was was, and should have been).

And it pains to admit this, but I told her all of those things…WHILE. SHE. WAS. CARING. FOR. A. BABY.

**Don’t judge me please**

The truth is, I wanted to be the baby, and there certainly wasn’t room for two of us

And then I was confronted…..

One day, as I’m talking to our couples therapist about how wronged I’ve been (cue the sigh), he asked me this:

Why don’t you take ownership of the marriage?

I said, “What do you mean?”

And he said, “Well, considering all that she’s doing to keep things afloat, it seems like it’s the least you could do”.

Dang….so much for that warm empathy!

Here what he broke down for me:


  • Baby surviving
  • Nannies
  • Doctors’s appointments
  • Groceries
  • Cooking/Meal prep
  • Cleaners
  • Vacations
  • Social calendar
  • Outside appointments
  • Etc.


  • Income provider

Our therapist was right.

She had a gazzilion things she was juggling. She was understandably tired and overwhelmed, and I was taking it personal.

The least I could do was take ownership of the marriage.

I want to say that again…

The least I could do was take ownership of the marriage.

I had a lightbulb moment and right then I made a personal declaration that I would take ownership of our marriage.

I would take the lead on making it run well and I would totally take that off her plate and expect nothing in return.

And it was the best thing I ever did.

I decided….

If I wanted more love, I would show more love.

If I wanted more kindness, I would be that kindness.

If I wanted more peace, I would have to be peaceful.

If I wanted more playfulness, I would be more playful.

And just to be clear in case it sounds like I’m throwing my wife under the bus for not being a great wife….I’m not. My wife is absolutely amazing.

I’m so thankful she was patient with me when I was totally trying to run our ship aground….

This story is not about her, but about how any of us can take ownership of our relationship.

And for many of us, we need to look at these “lists” in our lives, and really ask ourselves: “who really here has capacity to take the lead?”

Generally speaking, I find that many men could do themselves a giant favor by taking ownership just like I did.

When we take ownership, we move out of the victim role, and move into an empowered role, and it’s a great switch.

If you feel like you’re not getting all that you want from your relationship, ask yourself two things:

1. Ask yourself if your partner truly has the capacity to be the kind of partner you are expecting. They might not.

2. Are you willing to be the kind of person that takes total ownership of the marriage?

Blessings to you,

Quentin “taking ownership” Hafner


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