Working in Your Strengths
Lifelong marriage can at times be a challenging relationship. In fact, your marriage will be the most complex and intricate relationship that you’ll manage. You are closer to your wife than you even were with your parents.
As a part of this relationship, there are a great number of potential stressors that can damage the marital bond. There’s an easy way to eliminate as many of these stressors as possible: work only in your strengths.
I hate hanging pictures. No matter how much I try, I have the hardest time getting everything just right. I’m too impatient to measure the distance between the hanger and the top of the frame, and even if I did, I’d still mess it up. So anytime Alison and I go to hang things on the wall, she knows to brace herself for a very frustrated husband.
Turns out, not only is Alison good at hanging pictures, she enjoys it! So when it came time to hang both pictures and shelves in our new home, we worked out a system. I’d do the drilling and hammering, and she’d do the measuring. We work really well together and got everything up with almost no frustration.
You and your wife are perfectly matched, and nothing will show this truth more than when you relieve each other’s burdens. When you find that an activity that drives you crazy is something your wife enjoys doing, then you know you’ve really done things right.
Not only does this division of labor lower stress, you each get to do things that you really enjoy. If you hate to wash the car and your wife loves it, let her wash the car! If you’re skilled at hemming curtains or are a machine when it comes to clothing repair, have at it!
Your marriage isn’t about fulfilling supposed societal norms. Your marriage is about you and your wife, working together, as a team, for the greater good of your family.
You’ll never lower your stress level or open new channels of communication with your wife unless you both agree to work in your strengths.