Married men often complain to me about feeling chained up and stuck in a cell closely guarded by their wife.
She is the gatekeeper of peace, harmony, happiness, kindness, affection and sex.
They have bought into the myth: “If momma ain’t happy then nobody’s happy!”
This is a mindset that creates despair and paralysis. It leads to chronic unhappiness and resentment.
Then comes the quagmire of feeling stuck in limbo.
I like to help men take their chains off and learn to be free at last. Those chains have no lock, the cell door is wide open and the guard is nowhere to be seen.
Tip #1: Stop Riding on Her Rollercoaster
This is a very bad habit.
You may sometimes see your wife swirling around in various stages of emotion.
You watch her on a rollercoaster of anger, happiness, frustration, playfulness and sadness.
And what do you do?
You jump into the car right behind her and follow her through all the loop the loops, barrel rolls and death plunges. You scream when she screams. You cry when she cries. And you’re scared when she’s scared.
Guess what? She hates that.
Stay in your lane. Don’t sit where she can’t see you. And don’t try to steer her rollercoaster for Pete’s sake.
I made a video about this phenomenon where I interview a really cool woman and psychotherapist I met at a conference.
Tip #2: Go on the Lazy River Ride
This is the ride you really want to be on anyway.
This is a ride of calm, confident, peaceful predictability.
You’re in shorts, flip-flops and sunglasses. Your tube glides down the lazy river and has a cup holder for your beer. And right next to you is an empty tube for her – ready and waiting – with a drink of her own.
She can see you there from the rollercoaster and she likes you’re not following her around on her ride. Your job is to stay visible. Stay present. Stay engaged.
But chill out.
Don’t try to fix, analyze or troubleshoot her rollercoaster. She doesn’t need you poking around.
Just be ready to invite her into the Lazy River when she’s ready. And that may not be for some time – so don’t rush her. Act as though you’ve got 30 more happy years with her and you’re not going anywhere.
You really don’t need her to be, do or say anything right now to make YOU feel better.
That’s how the Lazy River husband rolls.
Tip #3: Change Your Freedom Mindset
When it comes to the concept of freedom in your marriage, there’s a common mistake you may be making.
This is the mistake of thinking you need to be free from something.
It’s the mindset of escaping from something – the feeling of relief from victimhood.
- Free from nagging or negativity.
- Free from feeling ignored or unappreciated.
- Free from an unaffectionate or sexless marriage.
This is a passive, disempowering mindset of just wanting things to end.
A more proactive, powerful mindset is exercising your freedom to DO something different.
It’s the mindset of moving toward something – the feeling of personal power and intention to create something new.
- Free to be amused by drama and nagging
- Free to give attention and appreciation anytime you want
- Free to express your affectionate and sexual nature without apology
Freedom Isn’t Something You Have to Ask For
The bottom line here is that you get to make a choice.
You can think about freedom as an escape from bad stuff or as the power to create good stuff.
So why don’t more of us choose empowerment over victimhood?
- Because we’re waiting for someone to give us permission.
- Because we lack confidence in our own value and worthiness.
- Because we’re waiting to get something before we’re willing to take charge of our own actions.
- Because we’re afraid of what the reaction will be or if this will even “work”.
Here’s what you need to know and embrace.
You will never feel freer and more empowered than the day you realize your own value.
Once you learn that confidence and worthiness come from within you, you’ll no longer expect others to give them to you.
And they day you take charge of your own freedom to create the environment you want to live in, you’ll no longer fear that something won’t “work”.
There is no need to control, manipulate or coerce others into making you feel free.
The only thing you need to get “working” is the one thing that’s in your control – your mindset.
If you’re a man who really wants to shift your mindset, I wrote this little mind bending ebook just for you. Get The Hard-to-Swallow Secret to Saving Your Marriage HERE.
Photo: Claus Jorstad/Flickr