How little can I get by with?

June 30, 2011

in Be a grownup, Marriage Killer

Man playing games and ignoring his wife. © Ryan Stevenson | Dreamstime.com

Some spouses act like children – always trying to do the minimum necessary to get by. They figure out the minimum amount of love, respect, appreciation, housework, sex, or whatever their spouse will tolerate, and do no more than that. They figure out how late they can be, how often they can fail to follow up on a promise, or how rude they can be, so that they can get away with as much as possible.

Not to be judgemental, but that doesn’t sound like love to me! (Okay, I admit it, I am judging – what kind of way is this to treat someone you love?!)

If you love your bride, then set the bar higher; set it a LOT higher. Aside from the fact it’s the right thing to do, it’s the wise thing to do. The more you give to her, the better she will feel. The better she feels, the more she will give.

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4 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@stan shepherd - I commend you for seeing the truth, and for wanting to deal with it. There is no fast or easy way to do this, it takes determination and prolonged effort. Don't expect your bride to jump with glee right off - there are years of damage, and a few days of doing better won't fix all that. You have to determine you are going to do what is right, and do it from now on, regardless of what your wife does. As to how, get in the habit of self checking many times a day. One way to do this is to set an alarm (on your phone, or by a small timer you can put in your pocket). When you are at home or out with your bride, set the alarm for every hour and when it goes off take a moment to review the last hour in your mind. What did you do well> What could have been done better? Where did you blow it? Apologize for blowing it, and do what you can to make it right. If she is willing, you could also do a nightly review of the day. Ask her to tell you what you did that was good, and what you did that was bad. DO NOT argue or justify, just listen. She may not be completely right (we all see through our own tinted glasses) but what you need is her perspective. If you can listen calmly, thank her for her honest, make reasonable apologies, and do better the next day, this will help both of you. Another idea is to get another man to hold you accountable - to talk to you or call you or text you several times a day to encourage, challenge and check on you.

stan shepherd
stan shepherd

I'm stuck in a rut and I can't seem to get out of the routine. I do the bare minimum, liike this article talks about. I hate myself, now my wife pretty much hates me too. She wants a divorce, because I am manipulative, hurtfull and don't love her. I do love her, but I don't show her love, I don't love her in action, I just love her in laziness. She tells me I need to accept responsibility for this, I haven't, but I am right now. This is all my fault. I make her feel ugly, I make her feel bad, I am the reason she is sad. All because I do the bare minimum to get through life. Any suggestions on how to change the horrible man I have become?

Anon
Anon

How do you changevyourself or spouse if your spouse is the one doing the least amount possible, lying about small stupid things and never keeping a time table at all? This is amajor problem in our home and I don't know howuch longer I can turn the other cheek and just keep letting myself get walked all over.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Anon - Your two choices are to keep loving and giving and pray she responded, and all out confrontation about what she is doing. If you keep doing the first and she does not change, eventually the second will become the only option. HOWEVER, you want to be sure you have done the first very well and for a good while before you confront as she will use any failing on your part as a way to refocus the problem on you. You can't be perfect, but the better you are, the less cover she has. If you do confront, I'd suggest getting a third party involved.

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you’re stuck on doing the minimum it would be a good idea to read Paul Byerly’s post How Little Can I Get By With? Think of the higher drive spouse’s desire as a continuum with the minimum physical need being […]

  2. […] that we’ll all work for “better.” Too many spouses are worried more about how little they can get by with (link to The Generous Husband’s post on this subject) that they don’t realize what the […]

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