I want you to do something. Make a list in your head of the marriages you've seen that you actually like. How many married couples can you think of that have a thriving marriage -- a good, happy, alive marriage -- the kind of marriage that makes other people want to get married?
How many marriages did you think of?
I've tried this question on many people. Most people can come up with only one or two examples of strong, lively, and attractive marriages. I want to change that.
Things don't have to stay the way they are.
You know the statistics. Marriage is broken in our world. If your marriage isn't broken, the marriage of someone you know is. At the very least, your marriage isn't pulsating with the life and power it was meant to have.
But, it's not too late. There's still hope for marriage -- for your marriage, for your neighbor's marriage, and for marriages that haven't happened yet. Marriages can be jumpstarted, the sacred union between a husband and a wife can receive new life and power. I don't care who you are, who you've been, or what your marriage has been through -- everything can be made new.
It's harder and easier than you think.
Men, it starts with you.
You and I and the men we know want something more. Perhaps you've settled for a marriage that looks like most other marriages. Perhaps you now look like most other husbands -- ordinary, nice, confused. But what you really want is a marriage that feels like a mission, a marriage that's moving forward toward something exciting, mysterious, and grand. Kind of like the way dating felt.
Most men don't know how to date their wives. They did it before, but they've forgotten how, or they're trying but it just doesn't seem to be working. Men need to re-learn the all-important skill. All types of marriages -- good ones, mediocre ones, and bad ones -- will experience a jumpstart when a husband figures out how to do something he's long forgotten how to do: date his wife.
Men are idiots. We work hard to date and pursue our girlfriend, but once we marry our girlfriend it all stops. The man who dated, wooed, and passionately pursued his girlfriend degenerates into the husband who merely shares a home, bills, conflict, and problems with his wife.
Think about it. Once upon a time there was a girl you really liked. And you put a lot of effort into impressing that girl. Eventually, that girl became your girlfriend. You told your friends all about her. You were happy. You kept at it. You didn't let anything get in the way of impressing, wooing, and caring for your girlfriend. But then you stopped.
No husband would ever articulate this, but the game plan followed by the average American husband looks something like this:
Step 1: Find a girl you like.
Step 2: Get that girl to like you back.
Step 3: Impress the girl until she becomes your girlfriend and wants to marry you.
Step 4: Relax.
Step 5: Share a home, bills, conflict, kids, and stress with the girl who was your girlfriend.
Clearly this game plan isn't working well. Our marriages need help. Men need help.
DATE YOUR WIFE TONIGHT
Men, how do we begin to change our course? It's simple. It's so simple you can start tonight.
Date your wife.
You dated your girlfriend. Now you just need to start dating your wife. I bet you a hundred bucks that if you follow the following game plan tonight you'll experience the beginnings of something fresh, new, and exciting in your marriage:
Step 1: Call your wife right now and tell her you're taking her out to dinner tonight. Tell her you're making all the arrangements.
Step 2: Make reservations, arrange babysitting if you have kids, and cancel any previous plans you had on the calendar for tonight.
Step 3: Take your wife out to dinner and give her your full attention.
Step 4: Say "sorry." Tell your wife you're sorry for ways you've neglected your marriage or failed to take care of and date her.
Step 5: Have fun.
Follow this plan, and you're off to a great start. The next step is to start dreaming and planning for how you will continue to date your wife for the rest of your life.
Follow Justin Buzzard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@JustinBuzzard