RELATIONSHIPS

Defend Your Perimeter

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Throughout history every military has known the importance of establishing a strong perimeter.

A clearly defined and well-defended perimeter not only protects us from outside threats, it also keeps us from spreading our resources and energies too thin. It allows us to limit our efforts to the area that matters most, and those inside can relax knowing that those who stand watch are nearby, not running off towards every potential opportunity.

Perimeters within relationships work the same way. We create these relationship boundaries by saying no to people and activities that wear us out, create tension, or keep us apart. Establishing things we will not do, places we will not go, and days that we are not available will keep us from spreading our personal resources and energies too thin.

Even good things like kid’s travel sports and volunteer work can sneak inside our perimeter and rob us of our date nights and relaxing family weekends together.

Cordon off the most important areas for you and your family: dinners together, Saturday mornings with the kids, and date nights with your wife. Create a strong perimeter around these things that are important to you and protect them at all cost.

Moving Buddies

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We recently moved to a new house and it started out as one of the most stressful times in our marriage.  I was constantly frustrated with my wife and I felt like I was the only one packing while she picked out paint colors and sanitized kitchen cabinets.  I thought she was being slack and I was getting overwhelmed at the task and annoyed with her.

Then my buddies came over and within a few hours we had moved 14 truckloads to the new house. That’s when it hit me – I was expecting my wife to act like a man! 

Whenever we expect our spouse (or kids) to fill a role they weren’t designed to play we’ll inevitably frustrate ourselves and them. 

Your wife isn’t ever going to be the hunting, fishing, or moving buddy you want her to be. And that’s okay, because you don’t have to be her shopping and pedicure girlfriend!

It’s necessary to have male friends to help you move or to talk with over a beer.  But they’re not going to sanitize your kitchen cabinets. Take a look at your relationships and make sure you’re not expecting people to play roles they weren’t designed for.

Fix the Problem

  My '09 Dodge Ram  

My '09 Dodge Ram 

I know a guy who said he couldn’t jog anymore because of knee pain. Been hurting for years, he said. When I asked if he had seen a doctor about it he said that was too much trouble. “More trouble than not being able to run for the rest of your life?” I asked.

He wasn’t thinking clearly. That much was obvious. He was an active guy who worked out and had young kids, but he was willing to live with pain forever rather than go to a professional who fixes a dozen knees like his every week.

It’s easy to see the error in this guy’s thinking, but sadly, many men commit the same error when it comes to their marriage. They choose to live in pain rather than confront a fixable problem.

Not getting help for a bad marriage or a hidden addiction is unhealthy thinking. Professionals fix a dozen problems like this every week. Choosing to remain broken is a form of laziness. Getting better requires effort. And real men make the effort.

As men, we fix things. We fix our trucks when they aren’t running smoothly, and we had better fix our relationships (and our knees) too!