Look at My Success, Not My Failure

It’s human nature to focus on problems and give little attention to the things that are going well. But this can lead to relationship issues in marriage.

Look at My Success, Not My Failure

I’ve talked to men who say their wife ignores the things they do well or right, while harping on the things they fail to do or do poorly. She’s all about his failures, and not at all about his successes. This doesn’t motivate him to do better, it motivates him to stop trying. It also tends to cause him to stop caring about her opinion, or what she wants, or much of anything else about her. 

I’m not suggesting you ignore problems. But make a real effort to give him credit and thanks for what he does well. When you need to deal with something that’s he’s not doing well, try to be loving and understanding rather than coming off as hurt, scared, or disappointed. Convince him you’re on his side and he will be much more willing to work at it.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I love it when my wife celebrates my successes.

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11 Comments on “Look at My Success, Not My Failure

  1. It can lead to relationship problems with your children also. My parents vocabulary didn’t include “good job”. I could have had a better relationship with them. They’re both gone now, I’m left pinning for what could have been.

    For most of us we will not influence anyone else more than our family members. So support one another, you will feel better after saying something positive, so will they. Which would you rather live with, smiles or frowns? You have a say in which walks around your house! Influence for good, for smiles. Say something positive.

    When I was about 11, my dad wanted me to explain why I always looked sad, why I didn’t smile more. I didn’t have an answer then. Now I have raised my own children, I have an answer. Dad, you and Mom aren’t modeling smiles at home for me. You highlight what I don’t do well and then frown. What is there to smile about?

  2. I admit that this is hard for me. His treatment of me in our marriage in the past has affected me deeply and changed me. I am still suffering from physical and mental issues because of it. I really really have to fight not to dwell on the past. I really really have to make an effort to praise the changes he has made and love him now.

    He has never repented and doesn’t even really seem to remember just how bad it was. But, he isn’t like that (for the most part) anymore.

    It hurts because so much feels unresolved. It hurts because while he hasn’t dealt with any consequences, I am dealing with so many difficulties and hurts. I don’t want to dig up old bones, though, because he has changed quite a bit and I think it would do far more harm than good. But, I am left wondering, “what about me?”

    • {hugs}

      Different circumstances, but I know what you mean about feeling like your needs are just ignored.

    • May I recommend the book Beloved Unbeliever by Jo Berry. It can at times be a hard pill to swallow, but it was an eye opener to me, and while my husband professes to be saved, no one would ever know it.

      I too am right there with you. I can only say, make a list of the changes he has made, and learn to be thankful for them, even praise/express gratitude for them if you can find an appropriate way to do so. And then, let it go. Terrible words, I know. But I’ve been told that I need to let it go, and stop carrying his sin around. Because all its doing is continually destroying me, where he isn’t carrying any of it. When I figure out how to do this, I’ll let you know. : )

  3. I get a lot of joy from thanking and praising my husband’s good attributes. Even the small things like changing nasty diapers, helping with the kids, making my espresso just so, opening my car door and making sexual pleasure for me a priority…etc. all those things make my life that much better. Are there issues? Of course. But they don’t get magnified or exaggerated by either one of us and I feel like that’s key.

  4. I have to be really intentional about this. My parents are both very critical ant by nature it is easy for me to be melancholy and find fault. My husband is very sensitive to criticism. I’m learning to bite my tongue a lot and be extravagant in praise and very gentle and sparing in criticism. He really does try hard.

    I also needed to learn to adjust my own inner dialogue. Difficult when your employer is one of the professors of the old school who almost never offers praise but give criticism by the spade

  5. Great post. Not sure where honesty comes in then though? If something is upsetting a wife, it’s as if a man expects her not to feel hurt, angry or upset, like they shouldn’t be feeling those things and that is slightly oppressive.

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