Is the dissolution of a romantic relationship harder on men or women?

It’s hard to say exactly who has it “worse,” but there’s evidence to suggest that men take divorce especially hard.

A recent study published by the Journal of Men’s Health showed that recently divorced men were much more likely to engage in drug and alcohol abuse, and showed a drastically increased risk for high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease.

Engaging in risky behavior is definitely a determining factor in the health risks faced by recently divorced men, but what about the mental and emotional pain that leads to this kind of risk-taking?

Who has the harder time in a divorce?

Who has the harder time in a divorce?

There are a few key ways that divorce can impact a man, challenging his self-esteem and leading to depression. In turn, this can lead to risky behavior and problems with physical health.

Now, this may not apply to all men (everyone is a little different, after all), but there are a few common male traits that are challenged (and sometimes dismantled) after a divorce. Here are just a few reasons divorce can be so hard on men:

Paternal Disruption

Much like the “maternal instinct,” many men have a deep urge to be a protector and provider for the family. After a divorce, though, the family dynamic may be upset, and the man may begin to feel that his family does not need him. Even the fact that a divorce disrupts family stability can be a trigger for men to feel as though they’ve failed at their duty to protect the family.

Even if it isn’t really the case (in the rest of the family’s opinion), men may feel like they’ve let their family down – which can certainly make them feel less masculine, less in control, and may lead to some destructive behavior.

Because of this, it’s extremely important that men make every effort to retain a close connection with their children in the event of a divorce. Staying a part of their lives will help reinforce his own sense of self-worth.

Loss of Identity

We use many different aspects of our lives to help form our individual identities, and while we may assume that most men identify the closest with their hobbies and careers, relationships are just as important.

After a divorce, a man may find that his identity as a married man was much more important to him than he thought, and the loss of this connection (and the self image in association with his wife) may leave him feeling very lost.

We may not even realize how closely our personal identities are tied to our spouses until it’s too late!

Tough Guy

As we all know, men (generally speaking) are notorious for not opening up, not being honest about feelings, and not seeking help when they are in emotional distress.

This can create all kinds of problems in the event of a divorce, or even when conflict arises in a marriage. Men who tend to internalize their problems - instead of talking about them or seeking comfort from friends, family, or professionals – can eventually buckle from the pressure they’ve created for themselves. When they are overwhelmed with their own internal struggles, this is when destructive and risky behavior starts to become more and more severe.

Now that we’ve talked a little about the mental and physical health problems that can affect men in the even of a divorce, the best solution is to avoid getting to this point in the first place!

This isn’t to say that women aren’t also affected by divorce, but the data shows just how destructive it can be for men.

With regular time spent together, open and loving communication, and genuine concern for your partner’s happiness, most marital problems can be addressed constructively – well before a divorce (and the associated potential for health problems) happens.

These issues are just all the more reason to keep your marriage strong and healthy!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

With summer in full swing, it’s one of the best times of the year to spend quality time with your spouse. The nice weather gives you all kinds of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, try new things, and strengthen your relationship.

Here are five ideas to get you started!

1. Go Yard Saling

Sunny days and nice weather mean that many people jump at the opportunity to have yard sales. Set aside a weekend afternoon, check listings for you area, and go browsing for treasures with your spouse! Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s an interesting way to spend time together, and you just might find that rare item you didn’t even know you wanted (probably at a low price too!).

Basketball is a great July date idea!

Basketball is a great July date idea!

2. Shoot Some Hoops

If you don’t have your own backyard or garage basketball hoop, finding one is usually as easy as going to the nearest public park. You and your spouse can shoot around, play one-on-one or “horse,” or join some others for a larger pickup game. However you choose to play, some gentle basketball is good exercise, a little friendly competition, and a way to spend quality time together in the fresh air!

3. Watch The Sunset

July happens to be National Share a Sunset With The One You Love month! On a clear day, head to open country (or a body of water if you live near one), pack a light picnic, and soak up the beautiful sunset with your spouse. It’s a good chance to talk, or just admire the natural color display snuggled up with your other half.

4. Water Fight

Break out the squirt guns, the hose, water balloons, and anything else you have at your disposal, and prepare yourself for a good old-fashioned water fight! This is something you can do as a couple, or even get the kids (and their friends) involved! You could even start under the pretense of washing the car – just exaggerate your bad aim with the hose!

5. Play Paintball

This one might be a little adventurous for some, and just the right amount of intensity for others! Find a paintball field in your area and go for it! They’ll have all the gear you need available for rent. You can play on the same team for some action packed collaboration, or if you’re feeling up to it, compete against each other! Just don’t hold a grudge if your spouse shoots you...

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

End The Loneliness and Hurt... Watch This Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

Every year, the 4th of July is a time for cookouts, fireworks, and fun with friends and family. In celebrating our country’s independence, we may gather around the barbecue or the pool, sharing quality time with our loved ones - but how often do we stop reflect on the larger ideas of independence and freedom?

Beyond just reflecting on our history and what the claim of independence meant to the earliest Americans… What about independence and freedom in your own life and marriage?

Cause fireworks with your spouse this 4th of July!

Cause fireworks with your spouse this 4th of July!

A major part of our country’s founding values is the freedom to pursue personal happiness – but many of us have obstacles in our own lives that prevent us from realizing this freedom. In most cases, these obstacles are bad habits or unaddressed issues that get in the way of your ability to find day-to-day happiness.

In terms of marriage, your “freedom” is restricted by anything that’s keeping you from a strong, happy relationship - whether that’s communication problems, trust issues, trouble with finances, household responsibilities… Anything that “oppresses” your happiness.

In a similar vein, you can think of problems in your marriage as being restrictive to your independence as well. When you and your spouse are enjoying a happy and healthy relationship, that happiness comes from within – independent from the ups downs you may experience and unaffected by the little hiccups you may encounter over the course of the marriage. If every little problem or disagreement causes a crisis, your happiness is NOT independent.

So, with 4th of July and freedom from oppression in mind, this holiday is a wonderful opportunity to find the inspiration to tackle the tough issues that are keeping your marriage from being the best it can be.

Just like the men and women who sought independence more than 200 years ago, it will take some bravery and a good deal of hard work, but you can overcome the obstacles that stand in your way to create a marriage free from bad attitudes, miscommunication, and unnecessary fights.

Just remember that Independence Day is the remembrance of a first step toward a new life and a new country. Let this rich piece of history inspire you to find freedom from arguments and the “old” way of doing things – and transform your marriage into one of happiness, independence, and lasting strength.

Happy 4th of July!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

You Really Can Live Happily Ever After. Watch This Video Now


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

Our lives are absolutely saturated with technology, from the email inbox at work to the smartphone in your pocket, Netflix on every device imaginable, new levels to beat in your favorite video game…

It’s all too easy (and common) to get absorbed into this digital world, and it isn’t even always for entertainment or distraction. So many of our jobs, our hobbies, our communications with friends and family, are all hinged on these technological devices – so much of what we do is dependent on staring at the screen.

The problem, though, is that when we’re sucked into Facebook (no matter how important the conversation), or compulsively checking our phones for sports updates or new notifications, we tend to ignore the “real world” around us in favor of the digital world at our fingertips.

…And this is becoming a very real problem, not just for couples, but for all social relationships. Have you ever been sitting at dinner, and all around the table people are fidgeting with smartphones instead of talking to one another?

Is technology ruining your marriage?

Is technology ruining your marriage?

This is hardly an ideal way to spend time with others…

So, what can we do about these technological problems?

First, we have to recognize them as distractions! We have to make this distinction between our physical relationships and our online relationships. We’ve got to remember to put the people closest to us (physically and emotionally) first.

Second, replace some technological pastimes with something else - something more “real life” - at least in part. We’re not asking you to throw your phone out the window or to smash your television set, just recognize the fact that they are taking you away from the very real things happening around you!

Is there some community project you can work on instead of watching your evening TV show? A craft you could work on with the kids instead of playing a game on your phone? Instead of that conversation in your favorite online forum, have that conversation with your spouse…

The problem with being hyper-connected at every moment, to every corner of the world, is that we lose sight of those short-distance connections sitting right in front of us.

There are small steps we can take to break the cycle of techno-obsession though, like simply leaving your phone in the other room during dinner. For TV, try to stick to the shows you know you like and want to see, and cut out the aimless channel surfing.

Taking a few small steps to break the habits already formed will show you that you don’t actually need to check every time you get a Facebook notification. You don’t actually need to beat that next level – you just want to. The world doesn’t fall apart if you miss an episode or don’t check Twitter. Most of the behaviors that harm our in-person relationship aren’t exactly to blame on the technology, but rather the unchecked habits we form around using it.

Technology is here to stay. It’s a marvelous and important way to learn about the rest of the world, to stimulate our imaginations, to stay connected with people abroad, to meet people who share our interests… But we can’t allow it to take us away from the lives we actually live – in the real world, with real people that we can see and touch.

Strive to find a balance, and be honest with yourself about your own tech use. Are you ignoring your spouse? Are internet and technology at the center of some of the problems you struggle with? Acknowledge the bad habits we’re all tempted by, and rise above them to strengthen your marriage.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Fall Back In Love, Watch This Entire Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

While every couple’s marriage is unique, sometimes people face problems that others can learn from. With this in mind, we wanted to share a question we recently received - in case you’re experiencing something similar (or know someone who is).


I’m confused. My husband has a short temper and gets angry at the littlest things. When I try to be understanding and approach him with love and patience, it doesn’t solve the problem. When I finally lose my temper and show my anger, he calms right down and apologizes. I don’t like getting angry. My nature is to keep the peace, but losing my temper seems to be the only thing that makes him stop. Is there a better way to deal with this ongoing issue?

– Summer, West Virginia


Dear Summer,

The answer lies somewhere in the middle. While I do not advocate losing your temper… It is perfectly acceptable (and even recommended) to honestly express how your husband’s actions make you feel. Losing your temper normally involves yelling or attacking, using angry statements like, “You’re being a jerk!” “What’s wrong with you?” and “Screw you!”

Does your husband throw temper tantrums?

Does your husband throw temper tantrums?

Even if these statements shut him down, they will eventually cause distance between the two of you. Instead, acknowledge your anger with statements about your feelings. It sound something like, “I am so angry with you right now,“ “I feel attacked,“ “I feel bullied,“ “My feelings are very hurt,“ etc.

It’s extremely important to understand that the real root of your spouse’s anger is fear or pain… However, I do not recommend that either of you believe that it’s your responsibility to manage his fear and pain.

Over the years, a pattern can develop where you both believe it’s YOUR job to make him feel better. This is similar to giving in to a child’s temper tantrum in a candy aisle by buying them candy - it will only increase the likelihood of the child’s tantrum next time you’re at the store.

The more you attempt to take care of his feelings, the more frequently he’ll expect you to do it. Instead, both of you need to take ownership of controlling your own emotions.

On a final note, a marriage is supposed to be a partnership where we have each other’s backs. In a separate conversation (not when he’s mad), offer to help him determine why he is so irritable. Possible explanations may be depression, sleep apnea, long-term stress, and/or insecurity (among plenty of others). Once he opens up, lovingly encourage him do something about it.

Want to follow our proven System to get more love and fix your marriage? Check out our StrongMarriageNow System today!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

So many marital problems boil down to one problem: communication.

Barriers to effectively communicating take a toll on nearly every aspect marriage - all because couples don’t have a good sense of what’s going on with each other.

This can lead to ignoring ongoing issues, mistakes based on miscommunication, and anger when it feels like your spouse just isn’t listening to what you have to say.

Roadblocks to communication stem from many places – from problems trusting to personal difficulty opening up, from insecurity to simple lack of communication skills…

These all have ways of making situations more difficult, but for now, we’ll look at simple ways to think about our own ways of speaking to help our spouses become better listeners.

1. Promote Dialogue

No one likes to be “talked at.” When conversations are totally one sided, it can cause people to shut down, and all but stop listening – no matter the topic. As the speaker, it’s easy to get on a roll and make point after point, or recount every detail of a story without considering how it might be affecting your listener.

Does it seem like your wife never listens to you?

Does it seem like your wife never listens to you?

With a little bit of awareness, though, we can take steps to be better speakers and listeners. By simply slowing down and paying attention to the other person, we can prevent ourselves from steamrolling them with a monologue.

Conversation is a dialogue – communication between two people.

As a speaker, ask questions (or at the very least, allowing space for response and comments). If your spouse tends to steamroll you as a listener, let them know how it feels – that you aren’t enjoying a conversation, and instead feel like you’re just being “talked at.”

2. It Can’t Be All About Them

Another bad habit that shuts down communication is when someone makes the entire conversation (or series of conversations) all about them.

When you just talk about yourself, what’s going on in your life and in your own head, you are showing the other person (without actually saying it), that your personal concerns are more important than anything else that might be going on around you.

Even if they don’t mean it, your spouse might make you feel like they aren’t interested in your problems or successes if they spend all of their energy talking about their own.

Again, to solve this problem, you have to address it. It might be a difficult subject to tackle, but let your spouse know that it makes you feel ignored or overshadowed. Try talking about “third party” topics, or directly asking that they let you vent. Ask them questions to promote dialogue, and do your best to agree to “take turns” – so neither of you are dominating the focus.

This can go both ways. Either your spouse doesn’t listen because they’re too busy talking about themselves, or they check out because you are. Pay attention to the “shared” dynamic of your conversations.

3. Control Tone

If the conversation is a contentious one - that is, if you’re talking with your spouse about a problem – tone is everything!

There’s a massive difference between a concerned talk about a problem that affects the stability and strength of the marriage, and an outright attack on someone’s behavior or character.

By keeping anger in check, avoiding absolutes, sarcasm, personal attacks, etc., you keep the conversation on the topic at hand, instead of pushing emotional buttons that can make people check out, grow defensive, and ignore any criticism directed at them.

If you come at your spouse with an aggressive tone, they can shut right down, and won’t listen to a word you have to say.

Communication is essential for any healthy relationship, and taking steps to improve the way you communicate with your spouse will actually improve the way they communicate with you as well!

Both of you should be aware of the listener when speaking, and imagine what it’s like to be in their position. By putting yourself in each other’s shoes, you can keep both your bad habits in check and promote better communication for everyone involved!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

End The Loneliness and Hurt... Watch This Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

Sometimes dads are hard to read… They can be tough to get gifts for, tough to show appreciation for, and depending on the man, they can even be difficult to open up to.

Even for the friendliest, most open and loving dads, it can still be a challenge to find the right present – so instead of thinking in those typical terms this Father’s Day, instead focus on showing appreciation for the important role dads play in our lives!

Appreciate the dads in your life this Father's Day!

Appreciate the dads in your life this Father's Day!

Of course, every relationship is going to be a little different, but whether it’s your stoic father-in-law, your own warm and friendly dad, or the jokester father of your children, taking a moment to recognize their paternal accomplishments in clear, honest terms will make them feel truly appreciated!

Men (as a general assumption) like to know what they’re doing right – so let him know! It can be as simple as pulling him aside at some point during the day or inviting him to lunch at some quiet place. One of the best gifts you can give is a straightforward “thanks for doing what you do.”

Think about the largest impact that the fathers (and father-figures) in your life have had on the people around you (including yourself). What are some of most valuable lessons you’ve learned them? Can you think of a memory when your father protected you? Or when your husband did something particularly adorable with the kids?

Letting him know that you remember these special moments, as well as the impact they have on your life, will give him a confidence boost and remind him that he is loved and appreciated.

Dads can have a whole range of roles in a household, from disciplinarian to provider, caretaker to playmate. Because the role of fatherhood isn’t quite as clearly defined as motherhood, dads can be plenty of things to plenty of people – what matters most is the relationship you have with the dads in your life.

Find a way to show them how much you care this Father’s Day. Thank him for his hard work or sense of humor, his even temper or his delicious cooking. Whatever it is that makes him a special dad, let him know!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

You Really Can Live Happily Ever After. Watch This Video Now


Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

Whenever we receive a question that touches on a broad issue, it’s a great chance to not only help one couple tackle a problem, but also to share the information with a wider audience – in case you or someone you know might be experiencing something similar.

We recently received a question about a pretty big problem: disrespect.

It can affect couples of any age, and both men and women are just as likely to be the perpetrator. Read through question below, and think closely about how you communicate with your spouse.

Angie reached out to ask:

“My husband has no filter when it comes to saying things that hurt. We’ve been married 5 years, and his mouth – and the lack of control he has when it comes to thinking before speaking – has caused endless problems in our marriage. I’ve had enough of this. He complains about our intimacy not being what it should, but fails to understand that I can’t work on intimacy if I feel disrespected and hurt as often as I do. If he doesn’t change, I’m afraid I will have to call it quits. Please tell me what I can do about this issue…”

Communication is one of the most important parts of a marriage (and really, any relationship). Many people, however, struggle to communicate effectively because they simply don’t think the personal biases, quirks, and shortcomings that go along with it.

Is your husband being disrespectful?

Is your husband being disrespectful?

We all have our own manner of speaking, and when we’re listening, we filter everything we hear through our personal biases and experiences – whether or not we’re aware of it.

This makes communication tricky to begin with, and in situations like Angie’s, it can make positive communication seem impossible. When people behave like this disrespectful husband, there are almost always reasons buried below the surface (like lack of self-esteem, misplaced anger, or other unspoken issues) that cause the person to lash out and speak so hurtfully.

It’s also worth considering that our personal interpretation of the way people speak to us is influenced by our own emotional states. In other words, it’s easy to take things too personally, or at the very least, hear them in a way the speaker didn’t intend.

Now, with these things in mind, how should a struggling spouse handle this problem?

First, if you’re feeling disrespected by your spouse, if they’re talking down to you, etc., it’s important to let them know exactly how it makes you feel.

Using “I” statements (as opposed to “you” statements) make it about the way their words affect YOU – instead of assigning blame. This helps prevent them from going on the defensive, and will also help them empathize with how it feels to be on the receiving end of that kind of talk.

If you can engage in a calm discussion about the way it makes you feel, you can potentially transition into the more difficult part of the topic: why they behave that way in the first place. Make sure you’re speaking from a place of love and trust, and gently probe for reasons behind their hurtful statements.

Is it an issue with them? Does your spouse have some problem they feel defensive about, so they shift the conversation away from anything that could potentially make them feel at fault?

Is there some unspoken problem in the marriage that they’ve been afraid to bring up? Are they looking for other ways to voice their discontent?
They could be projecting their own insecurities onto you, or simply taking out frustrations from another aspect of their life. To get to the bottom of the problem, you’ll need to ask these tough questions… Just remember to keep the blame out of it.

The final bit of advice here is to also give your spouse the benefit of the doubt (and along with it, keep your own sensitivity in check). This is not to say that you should sit by idly while your spouse is disrespectful, but rather, try to be aware of all of the other factors that may influence the way they behave.

Is this disrespectful behavior unique to communication between the two of you, or does your spouse behave this way in other situations too?

Instead of just being offended, let your spouse know how much they are hurting your feelings (and likely the feelings of others), and explain that you want to help them get to the root of the problem, and ultimately overcome the habit.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Fall Back In Love, Watch This Entire Video Today

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

Most of us recognize the importance of sex in romantic relationships. Between the advice plastered across newsstand magazines, the wide world of products designed to “help” people with their sex lives, and even our own natural desires – it’s pretty clear that sex is a big deal to humankind!

But what about when it stops being a big deal in your marriage? How does that happen? And more importantly, what can you do about?

For married couples, there are all kinds of reasons sex may be pushed to the back burner, why desire or libido can change, or even why the act of having sex is difficult. It could be injury, illness, self-esteem, kids, stress, not enough sleep, or any number of problems in the relationship - the list goes on and on.

You don't have to have a sexless marriage!

You don't have to have a sexless marriage!

This might sound worrisome, but it shouldn’t be! It’s important to understand just how many parts of your life affect sex drive and the sexual relationship you have with you spouse. It’s just as important to recognize that over time, things may wax and wane, you may experience problems, your desires might change – and all of that is ok!

What’s not ok, though, is ignoring the problem. Sex, and all of the related physical intimacy (including the subconscious bonds you form), is a major part of the connection we share with our spouses – it’s what separates lovers from friends. When that connection is disrupted (for any number of reasons), the whole relationship can suffer.

Because sex is so intimate, so personal, so potentially embarrassing, it’s often easier for people to let their sex lives fade into the background, instead of facing the issues head on.

So, if the causes can be so broad, what can people do to get back on track? What can couples do if they’ve fallen out of the practices of physical contact and intimacy?

The essential first step is looking at the situation honestly. It might be tough to admit, but if you feel like there’s something missing from your sex life – or if it’s missing altogether – you have to be brave enough to say so!

Admitting to yourself (and to your spouse) that you want to make an improvement is the beginning of making it a reality. Exploring the causes of the problems will be a little different for everyone, and they may not be immediately apparent. Because of this, seeking professional help is one of the best ways to dig deep for the little nuances that are affecting your unique relationship.

Professional marriage counselors and sex therapists specialize in creating a nonjudgmental environment to get everything out in the open, to explore what is happening (or has happened) in the marriage to cause your sex life to change. By evaluating your specific relationship, a professional can help you find steps to take in the right direction.

Outside of tailored, professional help, there are a few ways to help rekindle the passion in your marriage. However, if the problems have been going on a long time, or there are other serious issues at play, professional counseling still may be the best option.

To keep that spark alive (or to get it lit again), there are a few simple ways to just get your body back into the swing of things:


First, touch each other! Physical contact - from hugs and kisses, all the way to sexual intercourse - causes our brains to produce oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”), which helps us feel connected and in love on a subconscious level.

Even if it has been a while… Even if you feel a little uncomfortable or shy, just a little bit of familiar physical contact will start the process. Don’t worry about taking things too slowly - it’s just fine to take your time!

Hold hands, hug, cuddle up on the couch… Simply being near each other will help your body re-acclimate to physical intimacy.

Fun and Flirting

Another great way to ignite a spark in your marriage is through fun and flirting!

Make a point to be playful and upbeat with your spouse. Finding fun activities to do together. Compliment one another, and just engaging in some “flirty” behavior as often as you can! It helps relieve tensions and increase your comfort level…

Comfort is worth mentioning because sometimes, as couples grow older, they begin to grow apart in personality – which can make people feel like they no longer know one another. Flirtation and fun times spent together bring you back into a state of openness and joy, which means getting to know each other all over again, laughing, and rebuilding attraction.

Other Methods

Beyond the big two – physical contact and being intentionally flirtatious and fun, there are many other ways to point your sex life in the right direction.

Improvements to diet and exercise (health is directly related to sex drive), spending quality, distraction-free time together will definitely help.
Again, you have to talk about it to improve it. Sit down with your spouse (outside of the bedroom) to talk openly and about what’s going on with your sex life, what you would like to work on, and what you think might be holding you back.

A happy, healthy sex life is an extremely important part of maintaining a strong marriage, and can unfortunately be overlooked the longer couples are married. This deeply personal and private part of a relationship can be hard to talk about when there are problems, but the longer they go unchecked, the harder it is to get things back on track.

Don’t let a breakdown in your sexual connection put cracks in the foundation of your marriage. Make the overall health of your relationship a priority, and be brave enough to approach the issues in your marriage with honesty and motivation to improve!

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

Check Out Our Video: How To Regain the Love, Rekindle Passion and Save Your Marriage

Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,

The idea of creating happiness is a bit of a tough cookie… On one hand, we all need to be responsible for our own moods and thoughts. It’s up to each and every one of us to take control and find the elements that make up our unique, individual happiness.

On the other hand, we should also be making efforts to provide a happy environment for our spouses, doing the things that make each other happy and make the marriage a pleasant, fun, fulfilling relationship to be in!

Unfortunately, too many of us get caught up in the first part, and don’t pay much attention to the other. This is ultimately a selfish way to look at the world, and when you’re only thinking of yourself, you might not even consider the things you’re doing to disrupt the harmony of your marriage.

To help you think more about how you can contribute to your wife’s happiness (and ultimately, make your life happier in the process), here are four tips that are virtually guaranteed to make your wife happy:

1. Stop and Think

When you’re feeling edgy or irritated, or even in everyday conversation with your wife, stop and think before you speak! Most of the snappy, mean, or dismissive things we say just get blurted out before we have a chance to think about how they might affect the situation (and the relationship). If only we’d take a moment to stop to contemplate what we’re about to say, we could likely avoid conflict and keep things on an even keel!

Kindness is easy if we’re self-aware. Don’t let impatient or snappy words just tumble out of your mouth. Think about what you say, and say exactly what you mean!

2. Take Some Action

Your actions define you even more than your words. One of the biggest issues couples have is thinking that the other person isn’t contributing enough around the house, isn’t proactive enough in their career, etc. – essentially critiquing each other’s actions. This isn’t necessarily the right thing to do, but it’s reality – so what better way to counteract the issue than with action!

When you see something around the house that needs taking care of, just take care of it! Instead of flopping down to watch TV, tackle a project or work on a new skill.

Above all, just be proactive! Your wife will not only appreciate your contributions and accomplishments, she’ll also be inspired to do more herself!

3. Back Off

We often make the mistake of thinking that whenever our spouse is upset, it’s got something to do with us. There are so many other factors that can affect your wife’s mood – work, kids, problems with friends, the list is endless… If she says it isn’t you, believe her!

Because of this common mistake, though, we might press the issue, not take our spouse’s word for it, or even make them more upset by not giving them the space they need to sort things out. Learn the difference between problems you can help with and problems you can’t, and when the situation calls for it (or when your wife asks you to), just back off!

4. Listen and Ask

Communication is a critical part of every relationship. Some people (especially men) make the mistake, however, of thinking that “communicating” is something set aside for hashing out problems, for discussing the relationship… For “serious talk.”

In reality, good communication is like a thread that should run through every aspect of the relationship, from boring stuff like finances and groceries, to fun and lighthearted joking around, to serious marriage discussion, to honest (even exposing) talks about fears, hopes, and dreams.
To do this, ask questions and listen! Not only will it help you get to know one another on an even deeper level, as well as strengthen your connection, it will also give your wife a little bit of an ego boost if you’re intently curious on what she has to say.

As with so much of our advice and information, this stuff really applies to both husbands and wives. Making an effort to keep your spouse happy, regardless of what you’re doing specifically, means that you’re focusing on the marriage! Your spouse also has to participate in creating their own happiness, but you can help!

If this is something you’re both focused on, the marriage is likely to be an awful lot happier.

For more advice on how to strengthen your marriage, check out the StrongMarriageNow System today!

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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders,