I had a conversation with a psychologist who specializes, among other things, in couples therapy. Imagine my surprise when he said that if you want your relationship to be better, you should toss the self help books! For the last 10 years, I have been on a very dedicated journey of self development and that include a lot of self help books! If you are also a self -help book lover, the good news is that he wasn’t saying we should toss all our personal development books and materiel. What he really meant was that if you want to really cultivate a meaningful and healthy relationship with your spouse, self help books are not the first place you should look-your spouse is.
As a wife, if I am really committed to having a deep, loving, passionate and healthy relationship with my husband, I have to become an “expert” on my husband. In other words, I have to really commit to getting to know him, rather than picking up a general book about relationships. My husband is the number one source for information about what it takes to be in a fulfill relationship with him. I have to know what pleases him, irritates him and what triggers him…and so on.
Here’s one piece of information that should be obvious: Your girlfriends are not a great source of information either. In fact, I would go so far as to say that they are probably the worst sources of information, as far as your man goes. Think about it, other than what you’ve told them, what do they really know about him? Probably nothing, or very little and the little that they do know is perceived through their “you’re my friend and I’m on your side” filter. It’s okay to have friends and even occasionally talk to them about your frustrations or challenges, but just make sure you don’t make them the teachers,because they are not qualified! Your man is the best teacher and the best source of information about himself-period.
Before you jump in with “what about him-doesn’t he have any responsibility?”, let me assure you,he does. His responsibility is to be a teacher. He has to take responsibility for telling me how to love him, please him, get along with him, etc.
The best relationships are where we become both the best teachers and students. A a wife, I commit to being the best student and learning about my husband and I also become the best teacher and commit to sharing with him, what it is that pleases me, triggers me, etc.
Of course there is more to relationships than this one piece, but I do have to admit, this is a piece of the puzzle that we often don’t think about. Remember the last time you got upset because your husband or partner didn’t open the door for you, or didn’t remember to bring you flowers, or whatever. Imagine how different things would have been if you just casually told him that you love it when he opens the door for you. (Please note: This is very different than saying “you should open the door for me!”) Personally, I’m beginning to think that when we don’t give information to people about what we want or expect, we also lose the right to blow our top off when they don’t do it-most people can’t read your mind and they shouldn’t be expected to.
So, from today onwards, I am committed to becoming an expert in the field of study I’ll call Mr. Moses 101! I am also committed to being an awesome teacher (not demand-er) in a field of study I”ll call Mrs. Moses 101. The awesome part of this story is that my hubby has also committed to being a teacher and student in the same ares of study as is fitting for him. I know I won’t be the perfect student, nor the perfect teacher (nor will my husband) but what I do know is that my love for my husband and children and my commitment to our union make very compelling reasons to give it my best shot!
Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or follow her on Twitter