Happy marriage: Gary Smalley tells how make your marriage exceptional
Legendary speaker, author and marriage counsellor Gary Smalley reveals the secret of getting a relationship that is not only good but excellent.
Gary starts by telling how his after he got married he was so involved in ministry, recreations and other things. This made his wife feel that she is secondary and less important to all these things.
The result – she withdrew emotionally from him and the marriage was empty and cold.
In a desperate attempt to patch things up he asked her to tell him what she feels he could do. Like most wives she initially resisted saying that she has said it a thousand times before. She also concluded that he will not listen anyway. He listened to his wife pour out her frustrations of feeling that second best to his pursuits and interest.
Listen to Gary tell his story in part 1 of the interview
Gary Realized that his wife was saying the he was treating other people (and other wives) better than her. He was willing to give them time and listen to their problems but did give her the same time and attention.
What happened after this?
Smalley there and then asked her to forgive him and committed to make her the focal and focus of his life.
But he also did something very crucial.
- He agreed that she was right in her analysis of things
- He confessed
- He asked her to forgive him
- He committed to change all that
“That’s got to end today,” he told his wife.
He even made a pledge to her.
“From this day on nothing on this earth (apart from God) will be more important to me than you!”
All his recreation (fishing, hunting); his ministry (meetings, counselling) were all going to be secondary to her.
He then set out to be with her, go shopping with her and spend all his time doing what she wants to do.
“As soon as I started to make her first place in my life she started shoving me into ministry,” Gary said.
“The more I was with her, the more I wanted to be with her; the more I wanted to be with her, the more she wanted me to minister.”
When he gave her what she really desired and wanted – the security and certainty of his love – she began urging him to do all the things he wanted to do in the first place.
Lesson here is to really fill your spouse and meet their needs and you will be surprised at the love and attention and even freedom they will reciprocate back to you.
Gary said that when he made his wife first place in his life she became his biggest cheer leader. In fact she was the person who made him so successful by encouraging and helping him to expand his ministry.