One of the complaints I always had about my husband was that he fed the kids too much junk. He watched them while I was at work, so for several hours every day, he was putting the meals together. As soon as I walked through the door, I would interrogate the kids about what they had eaten. I would even go as far as check the trash to see if there were candy wrappers or popcorn bags to be revealed. I used to lecture my husband about proper nutrition. It was like pushing against a wall. Day after day, I would come home to the same evidence of junkie snacks and feel my frustration mount. He was just never going to change.
Create Change with a Spouse Fulfilling Prophecy
If you’re not familiar with Laura Doyle’s “spouse fulfilling prophecy”, it’s the idea that by believing the best in our spouses, they will live up to and fulfill them. Well, that’s all well and good, but my husband clearly was just too stubborn to change, at least on the subject of snacks. But hey, I figured had nothing to lose, so I gave it a try.
As I was heading out one day, I apologized to him for being so critical of his decisions around snacks. I told him I knew he cared about nutrition just as much as I did and that I trusted his decisions. I think he must’ve been really confused by my complete 360 on the subject. So much so, that when I got home that day, I found him and the kids snacking on a fruit salad. What?!?!! Was it really that easy? Well yes, and no. It took consistency, patience, and relinquishing control on my part, but little by little, I watched as his habits changed to truly live up to my spouse fulfilling prophecy. In fact, he went so far as to plant a vegetable garden in the backyard with the kids, complete with cucumbers, strawberries, and all of their favorite healthy snacks!
Keep Encouraging the Change
This did not come naturally to me at first, but I found that when I thanked my husband and showed him the happiness his changes brought me, he doubled down even more. Gratitude was a key piece in encouraging the change I wanted to see in my husband. Gratitude also has the bonus effect of keeping me humble and always looking out for the best in everything my husband does. Doing this every day has greatly increased my respect for him and the connection between us.
How His Change, Changed Me
I realize now that when I had questioned the kids in front of him about what they had eaten, what I was really communicating was that I didn’t see him as a capable father. It must have been really painful for him to hear what a low opinion I had of him. It certainly wasn’t very inspiring for him to jump up and bend to my will with pleasure. Quite the opposite, he dug in his heels. I would’ve felt awful if my husband came home from work and started questioning the kids about how they spent their day, only to follow up the interrogation with a glare aimed at me. Of course, my concerns were valid, but I see now that there was a much more effective and respectful way to achieve what I wanted. I don’t want to be critical anymore, and I’m so glad I don’t have to be!
Your Turn! What Do You Wish Your Husband Would Change?
Do you have a complaint about your husband that keeps coming up over and over again? Try out the Spouse Fulfilling Prophecy and see how it works! Don’t forget to add a healthy serving of gratitude on the side!
Also, you’re invited to join the private Facebook group: From Lonely to Lovebirds for women to get inspiration and encouragement as you become empowered in your marriage. I’d love to have you in the community!