Yesterday I talked about making wrong less comfortable. I put it first because honestly I am not overly comfortable with it. It’s not something I have done in my marriage, and I’m sure it would not have been effective had I tried. However, I know for some it is effective, and for some it’s the only thing that works. (I base this on women who have said it was what got their attention when nothing else did.) Our wives are individuals, and what works for some is a very bad plan for others. Even when the “stick” part of the carrot and the stick is needed, it must be done wisely, in a limited fashion, and never done out of anger. I also think it is best to try the “carrot” first.
For most women, a far better approach is to make what is right both easy and rewarding.
I know doing the right thing is not always the easy way to go. Sin is often easier than doing what is right. Nothing you do will change that, but you can make sure you aren’t doing anything that makes it even more difficult to do the right thing. Make sure she has what she needs to do what she should, and do what you can to deal with those who try to stand in her way.
Don’t blast her if she doesn’t change “fast enough” or if she only gets it right some of the time. Sometimes doing it wrong all the time actually results in less anger than doing it partly right or right some of the time. Or, if your complaining is the same for any level of wrong you are not motivating change!
Be fast to compliment any hint of improvement. Thank her for doing it right once even if it was one time in ten. Look especially for a growth trend, and encourage her when you see it. When she has makes a significant change and holds to it, look for ways to compliment her in front of others.
Some recommend giving her something for doing what is right. I know this works for some couples, but it makes me nervous, as I can see how it could easily become a limiting factor. Again, know your spouse.
When she is treating you well, you want to treat her well. You don’t have to think about it, it comes naturally and it is much easier than when she is doing you wrong. I don]t see this as manipulative, so don’t hold back. You might even voice to her it’s easier for you to ______ when she _______.