Here’s an idea for improving a husband/wife relationship by making the man aware of how his behaviors affect his wife. Find a likeminded man to team up with you as an accountability partner for just a month, sort of like taking on a victory challenge month, to spur each other to treat our wife like the queen she is.
Of all our investments (in finances, lawnmowers, cars, physical health, homes, family, etc.), our wife is the most important. Do I consistently give her the honor and loving attention she needs and deserves? We know from Scripture (as well as from The Garden of Peace and other writings of and for men) that we are to treat our wives with honor (1 Peter 3:7: “Husbands, in the same way, treat your wives with consideration as a delicate vessel, and with honor as fellow heirs of the gracious gift of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered”) and love them as Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for her (Ephesians 5:25).
A husband’s primary human relationship is with his wife. Frankly, we may not always be sweet, loving and forbearing toward her. In fact, she may never know when our responses will be much less than that. If you, even only occasionally, have trouble with being consistently kind--on again/off again--when you get preoccupied or goal driven or feel cranky you may take it out on her. This yo-yos her emotions toward her man back and forth, and sometimes makes her mistrust him...even when the going gets good.
The kind of accountability that can help a husband form steady habits of loving responses to his wife will have to involve her as the reporting party. It may be often that we men are unaware of how hurtful our last response was. This isn't like pornography addictions, which two men can monitor for the other via software like Ever Accountable. Our wives are our monitors for steady relational husbandly kindness. The linchpin of this strategy is for two husbands to ask their wives to report once a week to each other and to their own husbands, to summarize how the kindness challenge is going.
The key to the success of this strategy is to encourage our wife to tell us – and her husband’s accountability partner’s wife, when she has felt dishonored by her man. In most cases, our wives truly love us and are for us. So, although their feedback may hurt, it is for the good of the core relationship.
The wife may have a different take on her husband’s response to (or treatment of) her, than he does. And, as much as he would differ with her about her perception, what she experienced from his behavior is what counts – and that is why the wife needs to be in on this. Otherwise, there's not much accountability because we men filter it only through our own male perception of what just went down.
This strategy can help us men to develop a pattern of continual kindness in the way we treat our wives. No longer will they be anxious, wondering when our kindness will switch to an abrasive, selfish, and/or thoughtless look, word and/or action.
Once you find your accountability buddy, the two of you could spend some time meditating on some kindness scriptures you may suggest to one another, for a few days before starting your victory challenge.
In 1 Peter 3:7 the Apostle Peter (he too was a married man) left us with a personal motivation to live with our wives in an understanding way and show them honor: we sure don't want our prayers to be hindered. Our potentially causing the Lord to grow deaf to our prayers is not good, since we have nowhere else to turn than to Him.