That question plagues most every man, especially a monogamous man trying to improve his sexual relationship with his partner. Sarrah Rose is a Men’s Sex and Relationship Coach with an emphasis on tantric sex.
That’s not our usual manlihood interview…
When Sarrah reached out to get an interview with us at Manlihood, I was skeptical. This isn’t the typical interview that I would be looking for. It makes me uncomfortable to talk about sexuality with a woman, especially a woman who is into “tantric sex.” In fact, my wife’s reaction when I told her about it was, “Ummmmm…..”
Personal Development for Men
But Sarrah sent me a link to another interview she had done, and her primary emphasis is actually on personal development. If men want to be better lovers, it starts by taking care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Women want men who are healed from their trauma, safe to be around, and emotionally stable.
After hearing her perspective, I thought this would be a very valuable interview for us at Manlihood.
Jared “Psych” Laurence was never the popular kid. In fact, his high school girlfriend left him for another boy. He was bad at sports, and struggled to make friends.
But after Jared dug into therapy and determined to make a change in his life, he became a new man. He pursued an education in psychology, and armed with self-help, personal development, and an excellent understanding of psychology, he not only transformed his own dating life, but now he helps other men reform their lives to be able to live more confidently and boldly, and that improves their dating prospects and social lives as well.
As a dating mentor, he founded Modern Flirting to help entrepreneurs and professionals empower themselves and connect with the person of their dreams.
Jared Laurence has been featured in numerous national media outlets.
In this episode, Jared speaks with Josh Hatcher about how a man can become the man that SHE desires – become more confident, and even heal from the pain of divorce and break-up so that he can start over and find the woman of his dreams.
Mike has served for years as a men’s group leader and is the recipient of the Life Changer Award. He lives in North Georgia with his beloved wife of 20 years. They are the proud parents of three children. Mike loves the outdoors, fishing, boating, skiing, cooking on cast iron, and time with family and friends
In “Iron and Cotton,” Mike Povenz offers insight that informs and prepares men for the greatest journey in life – marriage. In this must-read book, you will discover the obstacles and challenges that ensnare other men but will not ensnare you. You will receive the tools to help defy the statistics of divorce and grow into the intentional and purposeful man and husband that your family needs. Nobody goes into marriage planning to fail. Yet, millions of couples end up divorced or trapped in loveless and sexless marriages. With the guidance and advice in this book, you will be forged in the fires of wisdom and prepared to handle anything. Inside every man, there is an offering of strength and compassion waiting to be released into his marriage – an IRON side of him ready to offer courage and stability and a COTTON side prepared to offer comfort and understanding. The combination of these traits is essential to build character and fortify your marriage.
It’s almost uncommon when a man decides he wants to be a better husband. I called you today has almost eliminated any kind of self-improvement when it comes to relationships. It gets hard, so people just give up.
But we’re going to look at that question.
How can I be a better husband
Become a better listener
Men, we tend to listen just enough to hear the problem and try to fix it. Women often don’t want you to fix the problem but rather just to listen. That’s frustrating for us.
Women, on the other hand, need to talk about their feelings. And that’s okay.
But to be a better husband we need to be a better listener. There’s a degree of empathy that we have to cultivate. We need to just sit in the moment with her while she works through what she’s feeling. It’s not about feeling sorry for her. It’s about acknowledging that she has feelings.
I think this video illustrates the point very well.
Control your reactions
When we react to every stimulus and every circumstance, it creates a tension between a husband and a wife. If you want to be a better husband, learn to suppress the immediate emotional response to the stimulus that your wife is putting out.
Men, we like to think that we are not emotional, or that we are more stoic than women. We are often just as emotional and we have very emotional reactions. Our emotions usually manifest as anger and frustration.
The first step in controlling your emotions is recognizing when they happen. Make a conscious effort today to pay attention to the things that get you riled up. You have to choose to deliberately react the opposite way.
It’s going to feel weird at first. She may even pick up on the emotion behind your control and try turn it into a fight.
Take a breath and react with love rather than anger.
Reevaluate your priorities.
For many years the husband was the sole provider in his home. It is still the case in some homes.
Regardless of who brings home the bacon, here are some vestigial remnants of the days when the husband was the hunter-gatherer. Most of those remnants are thought patterns in our own minds.
We feel that we have to give our families more. We feel that they deserve a better life or better social standing or more activities or more material things.
I do believe that it’s important for us to work, and it’s important for us to be a part of providing for our family. But we have to make sure that we don’t prioritize the material things over our presence in our home.
Our families are of a higher priority than the things that we possess. Our marriage is of a higher priority than any other relationships. If you want to be a better husband make sure that you value that relationship above anything else.
Correct her gently.
Wives don’t like to be told they’re wrong.
To be fair nobody likes to be told they’re wrong. A good husband can gently correct and lead his wife when she’s making a mistake. And this goes both ways. She also can gently correct you when you’re making a mistake.
If you are overly critical, He will tear her down. If you are overly passive, she will never know that what she’s done has wronged you. There is a fine line of balance right in the middle where we are gentle, humble, and kind but also truthful.
Guard against temptation.
A friend once told me he had a deal with his wife. In their relationship, there were no barriers for him to go to strip clubs or watch porn. She said, “I don’t care where you get your appetite as long as you come home for dinner.”
Some of us might think we would appreciate that kind of “freedom.” But I know that that can be a dangerous path to tread.
Your marriage vows are sacred. If you use other women to satisfy or inflame your sexual desires, you may very well find yourself giving into the temptation of having an affair.
Adultery isn’t just an old-fashioned sin. It’s the number one cause of divorce. Some people have come to the place where they don’t even care about the wrongness of it anymore and have an open relationship, where they sleep with whoever they want.
I know I sound old-fashioned but I just don’t see that as a good thing.
If you want to preserve the sanctity of your sexual relationship, you need to train your mind to shut out external sources of sexual desire.
We’re men. We’re always going to notice beauty. But to notice and mentally acknowledge beauty has to be tempered with mental discipline. Learn to tell your mind to stop before it goes down the rabbit trail of imagination.
That may mean that you have to take away the bait. For many years, there were television shows that I couldn’t watch, because I found myself focused on the woman in the bikini or the low-cut top. It wasn’t a trashy show, but I felt attracted to the actress, and seeing her would stir up temptation. I did not have the mental discipline to watch that show, because my mind wanted more. I went back and watched the show years later, and it didn’t bother me the same as it did when I had less control.
Your situations may be different, but I do believe that the principle is the same. Don’t go to the donut shop if you can’t say no to a donut.
Get used to being wrong
A wise couple once told my wife and I that to really do marriage well, you have to ask yourself the question:
Do I want to be married, or do I want to be right?
The truth in that question is everything. There are times when you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are right about something. She disagrees. Before it becomes an argument – you really have to contextualize the issue. Is it worth a fight? Can you be humble enough to let the situation play out?
Don’t say I told you so
In a follow up to the scenario I just posed – you know you’re right – and she disagrees, but you decide it’s not worth the fight. The situation comes full circle, and it is proven you were right all along…
Do you gloat? Do you find a way to get your glory? Do you say, “I told you so, honey!” You may have the upper hand, but taking glory in it is only going to push her down and build you up. That’s the opposite of how this should work.
What does astronomy (or astrology) have to do with your marriage? Absolutely Nothing.
But I use those words for a reason. Many husbands have set their whole universe to revolve around their wife. I know I told you that she needs to be your highest priority. But if she is the sun to your planets, the center of your universe – you will cause your marriage to suffer.
If your marriage is a galaxy, you are two planets locked in orbit together around a greater gravitational force. Not a moon or a planet revolving around each other.
You each have to have friends and connections and interests apart from each other. She cannot fulfill every one of your needs. You cannot fulfill every one of hers. You need brotherhood. She needs sisterhood. You need hobbies. She needs hobbies. You need things you can do together, but you also need to have somewhere to go or something to do occasionally to remind yourselves that you are not the only two souls in the universe.
Have the conversation with your wife. What do you need from me? How can I be a better husband?
Each of you take a piece of paper. Tell her you are going to write down a number from 1 to 10 on performance as a husband. Ask her to do the same. Then trade papers.
Don’t be hurt or offended if hers is less than you need it to be. Ask her for ONE thing you can work on over the next couple weeks to level up a notch. Let her know that you are committed to improvement, but you can’t fix everything overnight – so ONE thing is a good place to start.
Don’t ask her to do the same job of rating herself as a wife. If she offers, accept it. Chances are she will. But don’t make this about criticizing her – make this about improving yourself.
If she’s willing to talk about what you need to improve, be humble, teachable, and don’t make excuses. If you think she’s wrong – carefully listen to what she’s saying, and commit to take it seriously and to work on it.
Nobody likes marriage counseling. It’s like going to the dentist. But if you find that you can’t work through the issues you’re facing without fighting- it may be time to call a pastor, a counselor, a marriage therapist, and to sit down and talk through the issues together. There’s no shame in it. But don’t go in with the goal of proving her wrong. Go in with the goal of fixing yourself.
If you are asking questions about how to be a better husband, this is good. Many men do not even care to explore the questions. They just assume it will happen. They just assume they are good. They follow their feelings rather than their principles and integrity. And then they react emotionally when things come crashing down. Don’t be like those men. Dig into what it means to be a good husband.
I’ll contend that to be a better husband, you should start with trying to be a better man independently of her. You commit to self-improvement whether she does or not. You commit to be the best version of yourself. Most of the time – she’ll follow suit. She wants to see you improve – and she is designed to follow your lead. If you aren’t improving – she can’t. Don’t do it for her. Do it for yourself. Even if she says, “Dude, this is over. I’m done.” — being a better man is the right answer! You’ll never survive marriage or divorce if you don’t commit to bettering yourself.
Has your wife ever asked you to be more romantic? In episode 76, JOSH HATCHER digs into the question of How to be more romantic. It involves listening, and taking the time to know her needs. You can’t fake this guys – you have to put in the work.
From the time we are young, we get this wrong impression that finding and winning a great woman will give us satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong – my wife has certainly brought much satisfaction and joy to me life – but there was a point at which I realized that I was expecting her to fill a hole inside my heart that no mortal can fill.
To HONOR is to value something rightly. If we value something in the wrong way – it is actually a dishonor. I was dishonoring my wife by valuing her in a way she could not fulfill.
We often expect the wrong things out of our partners. What are we looking for? Where can we find it?
In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher tells us 5 relationships tips to save you a world of heartache.
Quick relationship tips that will save you a world of heartache.
1. She is not your whole world.
I know we like to say that because it sounds poetic, and it kind of feels like it. But don’t let her be your whole world. Make sure you have some good friends, and that you MAINTAIN those friendships (particularly with other men who build you up). Make sure you have some things that you can do without her. If you wrap your whole identity around her, you’re going to be in trouble if you encounter any problems.
2. You will have problems.
You’re either committed to work through them, or you are not. Make up your mind on the matter now.
3. Each of you is sovereign
Even though there is certainly an element of “submission” to each other involved in marriage – she submits to you – you lay down your life for her (just read ephesians) — it’s especially important to understand that each of you is sovereign. She has a right to her feelings and frustrations, as much as you do. You can’t get butthurt if she sees things from a different perspective, or if she prefers miracle whip to mayo. (I know – that’s probably a dealbreaker) Recognizing and acknowledging her sovereignty, as well as your own will allow you both to understand your value.
4. She doesn’t owe you anything.
You bought her dinner? She doesn’t have to sleep with you. You went to work for 16 hours? She doesn’t OWE you clean dishes. YES. It’s helpful for you to have arrangements and clear expectations of each other. But don’t think for a minute that love is transactional. You can’t purchase or earn affection. No one is indebted to give love to the other. Love is given as a free gift, or it’s not love at all.
5. You teach people how you want them to treat you.
If you tolerate disrespect, and if you give disrespect, you’ll get disrespect. You must set clear expectations of the behavior and communication you want to receive from them, and patiently correct them when they deliver something different.
Complaining, insults, intentionally hurtful words create a spiraling effect. One of you offers them up, the other retaliates.
Don’t expect her to show respect if you don’t. And if she doesn’t – rather than retaliate- calmly correct it and get to the root of why she’s feeling that way. Do it humbly. You very well might be the root of it. You don’t have to tolerate verbally abusive and hurtful language. But if there are patterns established, it will take patience to change those patterns.
In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher talks about what it means to be a gentleman.
What it means to be a gentleman
The word gentleman has more connotations than it does definitions. It is important to clearly define what it means to be a gentleman, and to rid our minds of the mixed up messages we have often attached to the word.
I remember as a boy, well-meaning women teachers would use the word “gentlemen” to try to convince a class full of rowdy boys to sit still and be quiet.
Some boys, enthralled by the compliment of being referred to as “men” compiled. Most boys, offended at being called “gentle” didn’t comply.
I was often in the second category.
The word also conjures a cartoonish picture of a gentlemen of the Victorian era, in suit and bow tie, with a monocle and his hair parted in the middle.
He is not Popeye, Fred Flintstone or Yosemite Sam. He isn’t heroic or strong. He responds to tough circumstances with fear, or at best, really bad boxing form.
To this caricature, being gentle means being week.
To be a gentleman is not about being proper or mannered, or pedigreed or less likely to fight.
To be a gentlemen means to have honor… we give things and people the proper value, and treat them in a way that shows honor to their value.
That means showing courtesy and politeness when it matters.
That means showing respect where it is due.
That means treating people with kindness, and in some cases tenderness.
It also means defending that honor when sometime shows dishonor.
To be a gentleman is a choice to live in a way that shows honor, and return then deserves honor.
Chivalry is not Chauvinism
Maybe it’s because chivalry and chauvinism both involve men and how they view women…. Maybe it’s because they both start with “ch”… But the meaning of chivalry is often mixed with chauvinism.
the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code.
knights, noblemen, and horsemen collectively.
the combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, especially courage, honor, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.
exaggerated or aggressive patriotism.
excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group, or gender.
I don’t know if anyone even realizes they have connected the two words. I think it happened unconsciously somewhere around the time of the cultural revolution of the 60s.
I’ll be clear… that revolution for some very good things for women. There were many ridiculous ideas about women and their worth. Truly “male chauvinistic” ideas.
To be a gentleman is to value things rightly. To honor and respect women.
That sounds like chivalry to me.
Offering to hold the door for a woman didn’t mean we think she is weak. It means we want to show her honor.
It is polite to hold the door open for people, right?
Gentlemen show manners not just because of social norms or old fashioned rules… rather, that politeness comes out of a drive to honor people, to value people.
I can’t say that it will be ready to separate the cultural associations between chauvinism and chivalry, but we should strive to model that we are men of honor.
Gentle should never mean weak.
Erase that image from your head, and make sure to erase it from the minds of those around you.
I’ll never forget wrestling with my father when I was a boy and even a young man. My dad had some military training, some martial arts training, and years of brawling and fighting behind him. He was stronger than any man I knew.
He definitely showed that strength while we rolled around in the living room floor. He could have crushed my head, snapped a bone, or really seriously hurt me. But he didn’t. He was gentle.
Being gentle is not being weak. It is moderating and controlling strength.
The Allegheny River flowed through our backyard. We were twenty miles from the source, so some would have called it a creek. A very deep swimming hole right on our backyard used to draw young people from town who wanted to cool off in the brown water.
Many of those young people were very disrespectful to my dad’s property, and to my dad himself. He would hear kids cussing or fighting, or catch kids littering or even driving or drugging, and would walk down the river and set them straight. I watched boys and girls day things to my dad that should have been greeted with a smack to the face. But he always kept his cool. He would very firmly ask them to leave. If his eyes got fiery, those kids would scatter. Once in awhile, a young man would need to be physically removed. Dad had the strength and knowledge to cause serious harm. He never did.
That’s gentleness. That’s a gentleman. In control of his strength.
Courtesy and Kindness Go a long way
As men, we long to be known for our strength, or ruggedness. If we are not particularly strong, we may have shifted that to a desire to be known for our intellect or creativity. Either way, what each of us want, is supremacy. We want to be the best. We want to be the smartest. In fact, we often lie to ourselves very subtly, to tell ourselves that we are the best and most important person in the room. Even those who may take up the mantle to fight for the downtrodden seem to share this character trait. You see it from the Twitter feed of “social justice warriors” and even the old men swapping fish stories at the corner store over coffee. It’s human nature to put ourselves at the center of our own world.
A gentlemen shows a great that butts against this. Courtesy. Kindness.
To put someone else’s needs ahead of our own clashes with our own inner beast. And it often inspires the same response in others!
Let me challenge you directly, men. There are others who are smarter and stronger. And even those who are weaker and not as smart that need you to defer to them sometimes. They need you to step up and show kindness, politeness.
There are people that just need a smile, a laugh, a friend.
They might need you to offer a helping hand, or even make a sacrifice to help meet a bigger need.
I believe showing kindness goes against human nature, which is about self. Kindness though is built in is too… it’s built in because we are made in the image of God.
Let us never forget the kindness others have shown us, and let us live indebted to pay it forward in acts of love and service
Of Courtship and Flowerpicking
TRIGGER WARNING: I’m about to talk about old-fashioned ideas about relationships and sexuality. Don’t listen if you can’t handle the fact that I might hold ideas that you think are outdated or prudish. Better yet, listen anyway and give it some thought. The worst that can happen is you might be exposed to someone else’s viewpoint. Most likely, you’ll see that I’m a reasonable person.
Somewhere in our 50 Shades of Tinder and snapchat soaked generation of “thirsty” bros, we’ve completely abandoned some old school ideas that I think really matters.
Yes. I’m old fashioned. I’m okay with that. If you think differently than I do – I am not judging you, I’m not offended by you, and I won’t disrespect you.
I think sexuality should be reserved for marriage.
I think sexuality should be gentle, not degrading.
I think that dating shouldn’t be exclusive, and should have strings attached.
I think courtship, or “going steady” should be done carefully, and with the goal of marriage in mind.
I have a lot more old fashioned ideas about this. But I think this is enough to give you my framework.
When it comes to courtship and dating (and yes, there is a distinction between the two) there’s something a man must do. HIs toughness, wildness and strength is not TAMED by her – but rather, he is RESTRAINED for her.
He treats her gently, picks flowers for her, braids her hair, and as such, she sees in him the true beauty of his affection for her – his RESTRAINT.
If a man cares for a woman, treating her gently does not neuter him, does not tame him, does not make him any less tough – no – it’s a chance to prove his love by showing restraint.
I think that if he jumps the gun, and enters into a sexual relationship before the proper time (in my opinion, after marriage) then he demonstrates not restraint, but rather shows her his lack of self-control.
That same restraint is important in the bedroom after marriage as well. He reserves his sexuality only for her. He also continues to treat her gently.
Our porn-saturated culture has normalized the degrading of women during sex. I think that a true gentleman does not descend to calling a woman names, or inflicting pain during sex. That isn’t love, and shouldn’t be portrayed as such.
No matter the stage of your relationship – to be a gentleman, you must exercise self-control!
Remember, men, gentle does not mean weak. To be a gentleman means to be a man in control of himself.
In this episode of the Manlihood Mancast, Josh Hatcher tells us how to love our wives more than we love ourself.
Balance the Old Fashioned ways with freedom and respect.
Sometime during the last cultural revolution, a number of ancient truths have been tossed aside. Losing some old and antiquated ideas may have been good for our culture in some ways- but in others, we’ve lost some of the ancient wisdom that held our society together.
Marriage may seem like an old fashioned idea. I’ve heard it described as “a contract for female slavery” and “a ridiculous old fashioned idea.”
I want to make it clear that I’m admittedly old fashioned about this. I’m proud of it and unapologetic. That doesn’t mean I’m judgmental of those who do things differently.
But I firmly believe that while marriage is old fashioned, it’s also not meant to place women in a lower or lesser place.
Marriage is meant to be a union of two people. Do I think there is a natural authority of husband and father in a home? Yes. But that authority and leadership does not imply inequality.
If you want to love your wife well, then you need to not have a “Leave it to Beaver” June Cleaver definition in your mind of what’s expected of her. Especially in today’s culture, when women work outside the home – don’t demand that she be your house servant as well. Cooking and cleaning are not just women’s work. We all have to chip in. If she is a stay at home wife, it may seem fair to ask her to do more than a wife who is working outside the home as much as you are. But make sure that any expectations you have are communicated and worked out together, not demanded, solely because she’s a woman.
The old fashioned part about marriage that I love – is that it’s about commitment. Life long commitment.
Your wedding vows were not “until I don’t feel like it anymore.” No – those vows were, “till death do us part.”
I understand that sometimes circumstances arise that change things, that make it difficult, that make it hard.
But make sure that for everything in your power, you do everything possible to honor that commitment. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t make excuses. Just choose to honor your commitment.
How well do you know her? I know that now that my wife and I are approaching the time in our life when we’ve been together longer than apart, I know her well. Very well. I can walk in the room, and without a word, I can tell what she’s thinking, or how she’s feeling. (Not always, of course – women, after all, are always mysterious and surprising sometimes.)
As we get older, this relationship changes and morphs. It’s not just physical or emotional. It’s spiritual.
I am not saying we are a perfect example – we frustrate each other and annoy each other all the time. But I can tell you that for almost 20 years, I’ve studied her.
When we were dating – we started out asking each other questions. When we were engaged, we read books together about marriage -and went through THREE different premarital counseling courses. We knew we were getting married young and making what everyone else thought was a bad decision – so we wanted to make sure we were well equipped to face it.
So we started off with a really strong foundation.
As we have progressed in our relationship – I’ve always tried to be attentive to her. She thinks I don’t pay attention – but I do. Sometimes I choose NOT to do the thing that she wants me to do – for any number of reasons. But in general, I want to KNOW this woman I married.
In the bedroom, I know what she likes.
In the kitchen, I know what she likes.
If you want to know how to study and learn your wife, I highly recommend you read the book “The 5 Love Languages” as a starting place.
It breaks down the different ways that people love, and it will help you understand her, and how to communicate with her.
This, is perhaps the hardest part of love. Men, we see ourselves as leaders. (Which isn’t a bad thing. We’ll get to leadership, and what that means in a minute.) We see ourselves as lovers, we see ourselves in so many ways, but picturing ourselves as servants is so difficult.
The truth? No matter where you are in live, you’re a servant to someone.
To quote, Bob Dylan, “You’re gonna have to serve somebody. It may be the Devil, it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.”
In the case of marriage, you’re either serving yourself, or you are serving her.
Are you helping her with chores around the house? Are you providing for her needs? Are you doing things that help her? Are you making sure to please her first in the bedroom? (C’mon guys. You know that matters!)
If you want a happy wife, you’ve got to take on the role of a servant. It will make you a great husband. A happy husband. And if you do it well, and if you do it right, she’ll reciprocate.
Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. ― Martin Luther King Jr.
Listen to her.
Women are a mystery. I know it may be overgeneralization to say this – so apply whatever amount of common sense is needed to understand it.
Women don’t want you to fix their problem, as much as they want to feel understood, acknowledged, or listened to.
There are times, obviously, when what she really wants is for you to fix the drain under the kitchen sink.
But there are many times, she just needs to air her grievances to her best friend. She doesn’t want you to solve or fix the problem, but to listen to her.
This is hard for us. Men are fixers. It’s in our nature as men to find broken things and fix them.
Women do want things to be fixed. But more importantly, they just want to be heard, understood, loved, accepted.
It may seem counterintuitive and self-sabotaging to sit in that situation, where she pours her heart out, and you just listen.
You would not think that it is difficult, but learning to listen has been one of the toughest challenges of my relationship with my wife. I’ve always got a solution, and answer, a suggestion. Keeping those quiet long enough to fulfill her actual need, though, the need to be heard and understood – that’s the real challenge.
Thank and Affirm Her.
Use your words. Say what you think and feel about her. I don’t know why this is so difficult for many men to do – but it’s essential to building a good relationship.
She needs to hear, “Thank you.” How often? You can never say it enough.
She needs to hear, “You are beautiful.” How often? You can never say it enough.
There are many things unique to your wife that she needs to hear, and I’ll leave that up to you to decode and decipher her. But I can tell you that almost every woman I’ve ever met struggles with self-image, self-worth, self-doubt issues. I think it’s safe to say that it’s a common thing women struggle with.
As a husband, your responsibility is to build her up. To affirm her. To use your words to reassure, comfort, and back her up.
I would talk about the negative things we say – when we cut down, criticize, and tear her apart with our comments – but honestly, that’s another discussion entirely. All that I will say is to stop. If you have constructive advice or concerns – you need to wrap that in love. For every legitimate criticism, you should have already given her five to ten compliments.
Ultimately, men, the key component is understanding that love is a long series of small intentional choices and actions. It’s not warm and fuzzy feelings. You don’t “fall out of love” – you just stop tending it properly, and it gets choked out. So treat it like a garden, manicured, weeded, watered, and it will bear fruit.