We’re getting closer and closer to the 5th anniversary of the Happy Wives Club and the unveiling of our new site. (I’m so excited I could bust!)
Our countdown theme from last week continues. Coming in at #16 is another post I was nervous to click “publish” on but I’m happy I did. It quickly became one our most popular articles of all time and has remained in the top 20 ever since.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
A couple years ago, I asked my husband two questions I highly recommend every wife ask. I should, however, first add this disclaimer.
When I posed the first question, his answer -in that moment- crushed my spirit. But I can assure you, the crushing was well worth it.
His honest and transparent response made me a better woman, friend and wife.
So what’s the question that crushed me, and yet, I still recommend you ask your husband? Here it is:
“On a scale of 1-to-10, with 10 representing the wife you believe I have the potential to be, what would you rank me today?”
When asking this question, there is something incredibly important to first consider. You have to create a welcoming environment for him to give his most honest response.
If you can do that, this one question may be the catalyst that takes your marriage from good to great or from great to extraordinary.
If you’ve read my book, you know I wasn’t quite prepared for such an honest answer. My husband has always been great at pointing out all the wonderful things about me. He’s complimented me so often throughout our marriage that I had no idea how much room I still had to grow.
Honestly, I was expecting a score of a 9+. I knew he wouldn’t give me a 10 because, after all, we all have room to grow. But I thought for sure he would score me a 9.
When he began his response with, “Compared to so and so, on a scale of 1-to-10, you’re a 100,” I knew his score, and the one I thought he’d give me, where unlikely to match. My score when I posed this question to him in 2012, nine years into our marriage? He gave me a soft 7.
I know that might not seem horrible to most but as a former general manager of a Hilton-branded hotel, in which all customer service scores of 8 or below were calculated as zero, it was a mighty big pill to swallow.
His rationale for the score made me feel a bit better, “If I compared you to anyone else in the world, you’d be a 10. But you asked me to compare you to the wife you have the potential to be.” Even with that explanation, I was still disappointed. But I tell you what. I’ve never regretted asking that question. Nor have I regretted posing this follow-up question:
“Can you give me a list of 6 things I can do to become a better wife?”
Let me tell you, that question is golden.
Here are two things that question does: 1) It shows your husband you care enough about your marriage that no matter how great it is, you want it to be better; and 2) It causes him to think about -and appreciate- all the things you already do right.
For fun, while you’re waiting for him to give you his list of 6 things (it took my husband 2 days and a gentle reminder), try writing your own list of 12 things you think will be on his list. This exercise was a huge eye opener for me. Of the 12 things I’d included on my list, only one was actually on his. The 6 things he gave me were minor tweaks I could do easily. But what he was looking for was consistency.
If you’ve been a part of the Happy Wives Club community for a while, you already know this about me but I’ll say it anyway. I’m a true believer that we are all works in progress. If we’re living, we should be growing. So no matter how great and happy a marriage, it can always be better.
Maybe you’ll find this exercise helpful. Maybe not. For me, and my marriage, it was a game changer.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
THE NEW YORK TIMES® BEST-SELLING BOOK: It’s been described as, “Like Eat, Pray, Love but not down on marriage.” Make sure to check out the Happy Wives Club book. I had the great honor of traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, interviewing couples happily married 25 years or more, with 1 mission only: to find out what makes marriages happy…and keeps them that way. It’s a marriage book like none other. Guaranteed.
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