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Posted: July 2, 2011

I’m going to give you a radical challenge that just may change the dynamics of your marriage. For the next 30 days, let’s agree to do this: “Hands off” your spouse. Here are some examples of what I mean.

  1. If your husband forgot to put out the garbage, don’t berate him. Let it go and take it out yourself.  You may say something like this, “Honey, I saw that you forgot to put out the garbage, but don’t fret; I took it out for you.”
  2. Your husband is watching sports but he should be helping you bathe the children or clean up the kitchen. Remember I said radical!  Go over to him and say, “Sweetheart, I am more than happy to clean up the kitchen myself and bathe the children. You enjoy your football game. By the way, can I bring you a cold drink?”
  3. Don’t manipulate him to come to church with you. Just get all dressed up and walk out the door joyfully without inducing any guilt on your spouse or children.
  4. Don’t nag and remind him about certain social dates or appointments. Just mention it once and make him responsible. When it is time to go…just go. Even if it means going by yourself.
  5. Don’t point out any of the things he forgot, the clothes he left laying on the floor, the telephone bill he forgot to pay.  You may want to bundle up the unpaid bills or clothes and put a nice blue ribbon around them and lay them on his pillow that night with a love note. “Sweetheart, I think you dropped these.”
  6. If he forgot to cut the grass, call a landscape company and have them do it. Then give the bill to your husband.
  7. If the dishwasher broke, give your husband a choice, “Honey, would you like to try fixing the dishwasher or should I call someone to come and do it?”  If your husband doesn’t get around to doing it in a reasonable amount of time, just call someone to come and fix it.

I think you are getting the idea. You may perceive that in a couple of these suggestions I seem a little mean. I’m not! Let’s face it, none of us like to be fenced in or manipulated. When we are given the freedom of choice we respond more positively.

In the 1980’s I read a book called, “Lord Change Me” by Evelyn Christenson (The book went into a 2nd edition printing in 1993 and is still available on Amazon) and this book changed the way I perceived my husband. For a number of months I actually did a few of the things I have listed above and something miraculous happened. As I “took my hands off him” and give him more freedom and stopped trying (manipulating, coercing, anger, nagging) to get him to do things, he became more loving and attentive to my needs. When I made him responsible for his mess ups and forgetfulness, I stopped becoming his mother and more of his partner and wife.

I’m not telling you to become a door mat, I’m asking you to have a servant’s heart toward your husband for 30 days and do whatever you can to show him you love him.  The love that may splash back on you will ignite something back into your relationship that may have been lost.  This doesn’t mean that from now on you are responsible for taking out the garbage each week, or putting the children to bed by yourself each night. After the month is over, it’s time to sit across from each other; eyeball to eyeball, heart to heart and work out arrangements that will work for both of you.

We all long for freedom. That doesn’t let us off the hook from our responsibilities, but we have to find ways to arrange them so that there is breathing room and harmony in our marriages.

Posted in: Balancing life, Beauty through Boldness, Communication, Encouragement, Finding Truth, Forgiveness, Good Marriage, Hope, Intimacy, Kindness, Life of Jesus, Making Wise Choices, Overcoming Struggles, Pain Pleasure, Resentment, Uncategorized, Understanding each other, Valued

0 responses to “UNLEASHING THE K.I.S.S. MARRIAGE – “Hands Off””

  1. Sounds good in theory….but for SOME men this would mean they could absolve themselves of their responsibilities…and the wife would be burdened by her kindness and grace.

  2. That is a valid comment Julie, Thank You for reading this post. This is something that you may find out after 30 days if it worked..or Not! I realize some men are just looking for a way out of more responsibility and that is a painful reality. If after 30 days this is your reality, then, as I said at the end of my blog, it is time to sit eyeball to eyeball and work out some harsh responsibility boundaries. It’s all about discovering best practices in your marriage to bring more harmony and freedom.

  3. Thanks, Heidi. I have found this is the way to go, although I have not done it often enough. I think what is most important is our attitude when we choose to act this way. We have to be certain that we decide to act with a spirit of love and not one of arrogance. We must truly have a servant heart and I think you have shown this. It is amazing what happens!

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