Category Archives: Men

Why I Decided To Take Ownership of My Marriage

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**

 

6 THINGS GREAT COUPLES GET RIGHT

LEARN WHAT MODERN, 21ST CENTURY COUPLES DO TO KEEP THEIR MARRIAGES PASSIONATELY ALIVE

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:

ALL THE THINGS MY WIFE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR:

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

ALL THE THINGS I WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR:

  • 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

6 THINGS GREAT COUPLES GET RIGHT

LEARN WHAT MODERN, 21ST CENTURY COUPLES DO TO KEEP THEIR MARRIAGES PASSIONATELY ALIVE

Why “Being Nice” Isn’t a Compliment for Husbands

We’ve all been taught since we were little boys that “being nice” was the way to go.

That “being nice” was the higher road.

Conventional wisdom and even other marriage counselors suggest “being more nice” as a way to improve your marriage or relationship.

“If you were just nicer, things would be better” they say….

I want to share with you quickly 3 reasons WHY this is absolutely the wrong strategy for being a better husband and having a great marriage, AND 3 things to do instead:

Instead of “being nice”, be HONEST.

We’ve been taught since we were little boys that “being nice” meant stuffing our feelings and giving up what felt important to us.

Messages around being “sacrificial” have been totally contorted to the point where we’ve come to believe that being honest about what’s important to us was somehow wrong.

When we stop being honest about our thoughts and emotions, we can’t help but become resentful, angry, and depressed.

 

6 THINGS GREAT COUPLES GET RIGHT

LEARN WHAT MODERN, 21ST CENTURY COUPLES DO TO KEEP THEIR MARRIAGES PASSIONATELY ALIVE

Your wife craves your honesty I promise, we just have to learn HOW to deliver it in the right way. You can still be a really good guy, and be honest about things.

Instead of “being nice”, be ASSERTIVE.

Similarly to honesty, society has taught us that the “right way” to be good husbands was to be passive and deferential.

It’s sounds nice in theory but it ends up creating a bunch of passive-aggressive and miserable husbands.

Then your wife complains that she doesn’t really know you or feel close to you because you’ve spent so much of your life believing that letting her win and “being nice” at the cost of you losing was the better way.

It wasn’t. But it’s not your fault.

You were taught to be passive and deferential. When we’re passive for too long, we’ll end up flipping the switch to aggressive, if we don’t know how to be assertive. We have to learn HOW to be assertive. Assertiveness is simply being true to yourself and not being afraid to honor it.

Instead of “being nice”, BE IN THE GAME.

We’ve been taught also that what it means to be a good husband is to simply show up and be a “good listener”.

Like it’s our jobs to act as surrogate therapists for our wives. It’s not.

Being a good listener is only half the equation. We have to be good share’rs too.

We have get in the game and show up and learn how to express ourselves. Being a good husband isn’t just about catching all your wife’s feelings. You have feelings too (you and I both know this) and it’s important that you learn HOW to share them with her.

Culture and society have lied to you (and me) and tried to convince us that we just need to “be there for her”.   That’s only 1/2. Your wife craves for you to show up and reveal more of yourself too. We just have to learn HOW – likely something we haven’t been taught.

The good news is that all of this is totally learnable.

There’s a better way. No, it’s not just a better way, it’s really the only way. The quicker you realize you’ve been lied to and the way you’re likely doing it won’t work, the quicker you’re going to have the peace and content you’re looking for in your marriage. I promise.

Let’s change the world together and reclaim the nobility in being a great husband.

6 THINGS GREAT COUPLES GET RIGHT

LEARN WHAT MODERN, 21ST CENTURY COUPLES DO TO KEEP THEIR MARRIAGES PASSIONATELY ALIVE