How to Be a Better Husband (or Wife)

Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.

1. Family Law Tip of the Week

If you are thinking about a divorce but aren’t convinced you actually want one, a legal separation might be the answer for you. During a legal separation, the court can enter orders regarding money, property and children (for your protection), but at the end of it all, you’ll still be married. This could help take the charge out of some of your relationship issues and give you and your spouse a chance to work things out before making a divorce final.

2. How to Be a Better Husband (or Wife)

In today’s episode of Family Law Insider, Nick Pavlidis, a husband (married for 6 years), lawyer (corporate leader for 10 years), author, and speaker talks with us about how to be a better husband in your relationship.

 

I Made A Commitment To Myself

 

After a car accident during his senior year in high school, Nick committed to himself to never take another moment for granted. Realizing how fragile life was, he wanted to be able to set his future family up for the possibility of losing him someday. However, one day, Nick woke up and realized that he had focused so much on business, that he left his family behind (so to speak).

 

Boundaries

 

Nick didn’t set boundaries when he started working as a lawyer. In fact, he managed to live 5 minutes away from his office, just so he could show up at a moment’s notice when needed. Early on, Nick was very focused on rising up the ranks within the law firm.

 

He observed later, however, there are plenty of people who were at the same law firm for a long time who succeeded, did very well, and had great reputations. They managed to set healthy boundaries. For example, they would leave at 7:00pm at the latest, yet manage to be more efficient at work.

 

Finally, Everything Connected

 

Nick attended a seminar he thought would help strengthen his skills in business and life-coaching. He met (and observed) the man who hosted the conference and his wife, Joanne. Aside from learning about business matters from them, Nick noticed something within the dynamics of the couple that made him realize how he mistakenly had been prioritizing his work over his marriage. “I had just missed the boat for so long.”

 

The Beauty Of What He’s Doing Now

 

There’s so much that the spouse can improve upon, just as the other can, as well. But with Nick, the more he concentrated on what his wife could do, the worse their marriage got. She felt pressured. She felt pushed.

 

When someone concentrates on doing more, being more, and think of ways to individually improve the marriage, it gets contagious. Doing this, Nick’s wife immediately started doing things differently—for the better. “It was so powerful when I let go off what she could do and just focused entirely of what I could do to our relationship.”

 

It’s Not Necessarily Instantaneous

 

What Nick focused on was incremental improvements. He worked on himself to influence his wife to do the same thing. He wanted to be a better person to model for his son. He finds that focusing internally has propelled his marriage to an entirely different level.

 

“I’m not worried about having the perfect marriage tomorrow… But tomorrow, my marriage is going to be stronger than it is today.”

 

It’s been a little over a year since Nick came to this realization and found personal accountability and self-improvement related to his marriage. Knowing that they’re both working on improving things and that tomorrow is going to be better than today, makes him feel all jazzed up!

 

“I feel fantastic!” 

 

5 Things You Can Do To Improve Their Marriage

 

1. Believe that you need to improve.

Not just recognize that everybody can improve, but know that you need to improve. Believe that you are flawed in a way that you would not introduce yourself to someone as a model. You’re actually stronger by believing that there’s more that you can do tomorrow than you did today.

 

2. Commit to it.

Believing is a very important first step. But if you’re not committing to do it, then you’re going nowhere.

 

3. Do less crappy things tomorrow than you do today.

It’s difficult, but it’s a simple concept. Whatever your crappy thing is for you, just do less. Be conscious and intentional about it.

 

4. Put healthy things in your mind and put them into practice.

Consume everything you can about becoming a better husband orwife. Read, listen, or write about becoming a better spouse. Repetition will eventually get through to you.

 

5. Apply what you’re learning.

If something resonates with you but you don’t do anything about it, you won’t have incremental improvements. But not everything will work on the marriage. It’s trial-and-error.

 

Nick Pavlidis is finishing up the book, “Confessions of a Terrible Husband: Lessons Learned from a Lumpy Couch.” The podcast of the same title is being recorded, and will be released towards the end of August 2014. He has also started a podcast with his 5-year old son, called “5 Minutes With Dad,” (which is currently the No. 1 New and Noteworthy Kids and Family Podcast on iTunes).

You can learn more about Nick and his works here.

3. Family Law News

This week, Matt Storrs talks with us about childhood predictors of happiness.

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