The last two or three weeks I have been talking about relationships and marriage. It is no coincidence this happens. Because if we are married, our marriage can have a profound effect on our success in life, work, and relationships. A successful marriage will likely create even more success in business than having a poor relationship in marriage.
Marriage is a very difficult thing and often starts with the unicorns and rainbows of a very meticulously planned fairy tale wedding day. That monumental wedding ceremony and day then abruptly ends into real-life scenarios of everyday life.
That real-life scenario of everyday life often takes me back to the scene in the garage in our first home Karen and I bought. I had exploded in anger over a situation that I’m sure was vital to our marriage (sarcasm). But my explosion was most likely due to my fear of something coming from her or some minor insecurity of my own. This ended with me taking a lawn chair and slamming it into the ground in anger, blowing it into several pieces. Followed by a visit from a neighbor checking in on my wife making sure she was ok while I was in the house. As a passionate man, I left out the three letters “COM” which turns into anger in some situations versus compassion.
At the time I blew it off but in that very moment as we think about relationships, I not only did not make a deposit into her soul, well being and showing her love but I extracted some of the love and previous deposits I had made. It was a bad day in our embryonic marriage and I knew it was but in my immaturity, I likely wasn’t going to tell her I’m sorry.
But as we think about life and success, success in life, success in business, if we are married we need to make routine daily “deposits” into our spouse's life. If you are not getting the behaviors and actions you want from your spouse, you need to work to fill them up. Make them feel fulfilled. Love them monumentally. Those deposits are simply kind words, words of encouragement and thank you’s. Doing things like emptying the dishwasher, doing laundry or picking up after the kids, those are deposits. From the wife’s perspective, sometimes a simple, “thank you for your hard work” or “thank you for all you provide” is all a husband may need to hear. We have to work hard at those actions. In our stage of marriage, our kids are 11, things are slowly getting easier and better. We are just loving every minute we get to enjoy together as a family. But as I look back, when my kids were younger, we were literally just trying to survive. And I see so many young people in those stages now and just hope that maybe some of these words can help them. You are tired and exhausted. All you want to do is go to bed. The last thing you want to do is make a deposit in the other person. But it is in those times of intensity, giving baths, feeding the kids, doing this and that, sometimes we explode in anger. Or sometimes we give the evilest look to our spouse that literally tears them down. We don’t often have to say any words. It is just a look or the tone in any word that removes previous deposits that we have made. So we have to work really hard in those moments. We have to think about why we said “I do” on that very monumental day and look past those moments of anger letting your guard down. Forget about winning the argument. Forget about who is right and who is wrong. Instead, make a deposit. Make your significant other feel fulfilled. Work to fill their cup. We can’t always fill their cup but we can empty our cup for them making that deposit.
My challenge for each of you is to set aside the next 90 days to help fill your wife’s cup or to fill your husband’s cup. Take those 90 days to change your marriage. If you are a husband, we have to work even harder because most women naturally feel they aren’t good enough. Make them feel good enough that allows them to have the confidence and security from you to do what they want to do. Love them, hug them, touch them multiple times in a day in a non-sexual manner. That is all they want, even though we are male and oftentimes want more. Just relax, don’t expect anything in return. Continue to do it for 90 days, all of those things. If you do all of those things, you never know what you might get in return. Take the 90-day challenge! Do it! Make it happen! I expect you to! See where it takes you. See where it takes the most coveted, prized relationship you have on the planet. We must first take care of our home before we can take care of others. And if we do those things, life beyond the home will automatically get better. Success in business, success in relationships outside of the home will automatically get better. You will not just survive but thrive and grow. So do it! Start now!