How To Make Your Wife Happy

If it’s even possible

I recently had a wife say to me in a Marriage Mentoring session, “he just doesn’t make me happy anymore.” Happiness seems to be a common challenge for married couples, especially those several years into the marriage and with children. Most marriages seem to be stuck in unhappiness.

Having made the statement in her husband’s presence, I asked her, “what is it he could do the make you happy.” As she took a quick glance at her husband, I fully expected her to rattle off a list of household chores he could do for her. I think her response surprised her husband as much as it did me.

“Well, I really don’t know. He already does so much for us.” She isn’t married to a deadbeat husband that doesn’t care for her or their family. He is attentive to her needs in their marriage and even knows her love language. No matter how hard he tries though, he can’t make her happy. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t tell him what to do that will make her happy.

As we drilled further into her unhappiness, it became clear she was struggling with an identity challenge rather than a happiness challenge. Over the years of their marriage and the birth of their children, she had shifted her own understanding of her identity to wife and mother.

The rigors of being a working mom of growing boys and wife were understandably wearing her down. The responsibilities of mom and wife were so pressure-filled they were no longer fun. Without any type of meaningful break from her family responsibilities, she grew tired, frustrated, and even resentful toward her identity as mom and wife.

Because she wasn’t willing to abandon her family and her identity was so tied up in being a mom and wife, she saw no hope of being happy any time soon. I commended her commitment to her family and then mentored them both with a little “here’s what I would do” advice.

Give her a break

I tried to make it real clear that he couldn’t make his wife happy. He seemed equally concerned and relieved. Relieved that her unhappiness wasn’t his fault and concerned that he could fix it as so many husbands want to do.

His only obligation to help his wife be happy was to afford her the time needed to find her own identity. I acknowledged the fact he works long hours but was firm that his commitment to his wife and marriage required he go the extra mile to give her time away from her family responsibilities. Without harboring any ill feelings or negative attitude, he was to give her the freedom to reflect on her identity.

Then I turned to her to express how important it is she find her real identity.

Finding true identity

I first explained that her roles as mom and wife were very important, but they couldn’t be her identity. I could see the realization dawn on her face when I said, “if your identity and happiness is so tied up in your family, what would happen if they all died in a car crash tomorrow? Does that mean you could never be happy again?”

Knowing this couple are both Christians and believers in Christ, I was able to point her in the right direction of finding her true identity. She will find her true identity and eternal happiness in being a child of God.

In all honesty, for those that don’t believe in the God of the Bible, I don’t really have an answer as to where to find your identity and happiness. Your identity can’t be tied to your career, because you may one day lose that career. It can’t be tied to your gender, because that is simply a random selection of biology. And so I ask…

If you can’t find your identity in God, where do you find your identity? I’m sincerely interested to know – no judgment, just curiosity. Let me know in the comments below.

104 – Love is Commitment, Not Chemistry

Love also isn’t emotions or feelings

Welcome to episode 104 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the real meaning of love.

I recently wrote a blog article entitled “Love in Killing Marriage” that has garnered significant responses. Some respondents have agreed with my definition of love, while others vehemently disagree with me.

Enjoy this episode of “The Real Family Podcast” and let me know in comments if you agree or disagree with my definition of love.

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Jerry Maguire Was Wrong, Your Spouse Can’t Complete You

Jerry Maguire: a great sports agency, a bad marriage counselor

Jerry Maguire won the girl in the end, but he also set her up for failure. His statement made for great romantic theatre, but it was filled with red flags that should have made Dorothy run like a gazelle from a lion.

You recall the scene near the end of the movie, right? Jerry is at the end of his rope after all the mistakes he made with his ill-prepared career moves and immature relationship antics. Jerry bursts into Dorothy’s house during one of her women support group sessions to proclaim his love for her.

From across the room and in front of all Dorothy’s lady friends, Jerry whispers, “I love you. You complete me.”

Wee-ooo-eee! Whoop, whoop, whoop! Woo-woo-woo! (Siren sounds)

Red flag! Danger, Will Robin, danger!

Run! Dorothy, run!

Dorothy didn’t exactly run away. In fact, she did just the opposite. She basically ran into Jerry’s arms and the two supposedly lived happily ever after. It makes for a great movie script, but it isn’t reality.

103 – My Personal Focus in 2018

What’s your focus for 2018?

Welcome to episode 103 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the New Year and my personal focus for 2018.

Some refer to it as their annual theme or word of the year. Others call it a New Year’s resolution. Me? I’m just calling it my 2018 focus.

In today’s podcast, I’ll share with you the focus I’ve chosen for 2018. I’ll explain the details of my focus and why I’ve selected it.

What is your focus for 2018?

Also in this episode – email question
From: Cassie

You claim to be a Christian and I believe you are sincere in those claims. Though you don’t always mention the Bible references, I recognize much of your advice to be from the Bible. Why do you insist on not mentioning the Bible and even seemingly apologizing when you do mention the Bible?

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Books mentioned in today’s podcast:



102 – Finding Good Marriage Advice

5 places to find good marriage advice

Welcome to episode 102 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss appropriate ways to find good marriage advice.

We talked in last week’s podcast about the places to avoid when seeking marriage advice. In this podcast episode, we will explore five wonderful sources of marriage advice. Whether your marriage is on life support or you just need a small adjustment, these marriage advice resources are reliable and effective.

Also in this episode – email question
From: multiple readers and listeners

Michael, are you a certified counselor?

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Love is Killing Marriage

We must change the definition of love to save our families

Webster and all the other dictionaries have it wrong. Furthermore, the word is incorrectly used far too often. You may think you know what love is, but I hope to change your definition with this article.

I consider myself a word nerd. I believe words having meanings and we should use our words according to their meaning. At times, my southern accent doesn’t allow me to pronounce words correctly, but I can at least use them according to their definition. That is with the exception of the word love.

I completely disagree with the dictionary definition. I’m so passionate about my disagreement with the dictionary that I’ve developed a full speech explaining the real definition that I give at marriage conferences. The dictionary definition and my definition are such polar opposites that I have to ask questions like; “could this misunderstanding of love be damaging marriages and families?”

Let me first start with the various definitions and forms according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In each definition variant, I’ll make the case for why it’s wrong. Finally, I’ll give you my concise and accurate definition and, trust me, love in your marriage and family will all make sense when you read it.

First, let’s examine the noun form of the word…

101 – Marriage Advice to Ignore

Common sources of advice that could ruin your marriage

Welcome to episode 101 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss marriage advice you should ignore.

When your marriage begins to struggle, it’s natural to seek help and advice. Unfortunately, many look to all the wrong places for marriage advice. In today’s podcast, I’ll share a few place and people to avoid when seeking marriage advice.

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100 – A Real Family Podcast Recap

And why I still do what I do

Welcome to episode 100 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the history of the REAL Family Podcast.

In the beginning, my personal goal with podcasting was to publish more than seven episodes. I created this goal for myself because I had read statistics that suggested most podcasters don’t make past seven episodes.

Now here we have episode 100. I’m not sure I really had a vision of what the podcast would look like (or should I say sound like) if I actually made it 100 episodes. Regardless of my lack of vision, I’m certainly excited to be here.

Enjoy this recap episode and I look forward to serving you even more with the next 100 episodes.

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Is Porn Ok in Marriage?

We just want to spice up our sex life

I’ve been asked this question so many times I figured it was time to do the research and write an article. Is porn okay in marriage? Can watching porn together as a married couple help spice up our sex life? Well, let’s dive in to find out.

I understand the common question of using pornography to spice up the sex life within a marriage. A marriage relationship can suffer through life circumstances and it’s often times sexual satisfaction that takes the greatest hit. In the desperate struggle to regain sexual satisfaction, it seems intuitive to view pornography together in order to spice things up a bit.

Okay, so intuitively porn could solve our sex problems. It seems logical that it’s okay to use pornography in our marriage. But is it?

099 – 7 Benefits of Journaling

And why you should start journaling today

Welcome to episode 99 of the REAL Family Podcast. This podcast offers real help and hope for every family. In today’s episode, we will discuss the benefits of a regular journaling routine.

Most people of skeptical of the journaling. Its practice is often viewed as the odd behavior of the social recluse or means of practice for the professional writer. Few actually recognize journaling for the value it brings to one’s life.

In an effort to get you off the fence and into the practice of journaling regularly, let me share with you my personal experience. I’ll spare you the bore of statistics and scientific studies. I’ve practiced several types of journaling for several years now. Let me describe the benefits I’ve seen in my own life directly related to journaling.

Also in this episode – email question
From: Jay

I appreciate your articles about high and low desire spouses. I was hoping you would address the topic of frequency. What do you feel is an acceptable frequency for sex in a healthy marriage?

Part of my answer to Jay’s question can be found here.

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