Wives partner with husbands in getting behind their vision. It's hard to do if a man doesn't have a vision for his life, his family and how to really live with the end in mind.
I'm fortunate that my husband has a vision. But honestly, it didn't get formulated very clearly until recently. One aspect of his vision for us is setting up guideposts to evalute our relationship. I feel safe in that.
He wrote this (and this isn't JUST for marriage) in December 2007:
CULTIVATING A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS DON’T JUST HAPPEN
These are some steps for the one wanting to work toward a healthy relationship:
* COMMIT to do the work a healthy relationship demands
(understanding, assessing, accepting and appreciating/embracing,
and approaching with grace when there is a conflict)
[This usually works both ways, but, this applies to anyone who desires to have a relationship with a person. In other words, one person can be working the relationship in a healthy way and not the other. This only applies to one who is desiring a healthy relationship].
* UNDERSTAND (the reality of )human nature; that we are all flesh and have knee-jerk reactions, that we have tendencies to be selfish, proud, manipulative, and don't be so shocked when the one (to whom you're trying to cultivate this healthy relationship) has a "flesh surge."
* ASSESS a person’s values and maturity level. Takes time to understand what's important to that person (goals, desires, dreams) and also determine his/her strengths and weaknesses.
* ACCEPT a person's values and maturity level and thoroughly celebrates that person, appreciate and embrace him/her (in his/her heart and with appropriate expressions, whether in word, deed or touch)
* BELIEVE the best in the person and cultivate that attitude in prayer, thought, deed and word
* APPROACH WITH GRACE regarding any area that is hindering the relationship and seek to work out any hinderances guided by the Word of God and how to resolve conflict. This move to approach the person is driven by his/her original commitment to do the work a healthy demands.