Marriage-Saving Tip: Kill Him With Kindness

Though the title may have a homicidal tone to it, this post is anything but.  That’s a line I’m borrowing from someone close to me.   I’m going to call her C.  Her marriage was on the brink of destruction, but luckily things turned out for the better after she “killed him with kindness”.  Credit goes to her amazing paradigm shift, and she managed to save her marriage.  How exactly do you execute these four little words to save a marriage which is headed for Splitsville?

Wear his shoes.  It’s a metaphor, of course.  The key is in empathy.  Try to see things from your husband’s perspective.  It is a difficult feat, but with the proper mindset, it is doable.  Wives should give up the “Even when I’m wrong, I’m right” attitude.  In C’s case, her hubby always spent time going out with his friends instead of staying at home with her and the kids.  She simply accepted the fact that she cannot compete with his friends- unless she started to grow a beard.

Communicate.  Over and over again, we hear about the power of communication.  Ask your husband what he wants, and clearly verbalize what you want.  If you can’t strike a compromise, the more mature one-which in most cases, is the woman- should just give in.  Ok, maybe not necessarily give in, but be more flexible with her demands.

Don’t nag.  This is an age-old truth that dates back to our caveman days.  Show me a man who enjoys being nagged by his wife, and I’ll give you a million bucks.  Seriously.  Any man who finds sheer delight in his wife’s constant bickering must be seriously missing a screw in his head.  Because C rarely saw her husband at home, naturally, her patience was wearing thin, but she spared him the lengthy lecture.  Try as hard as you can not to lash out on him.  If you must release those emotions, talk to a friend instead.  This is much easier said than done, I know, but it’s well worth the effort.

Go for the kill.  Be kind.  Your kindness will kill him.  If your hubby is doing something dead wrong behind your back, continue being the sweet and loving wife that you are.  The guilt will, and should make him go insane.  With C’s marriage, it has gotten to the point where she caught her husband flirting with another woman.  The old C would’ve confronted him without thinking twice, but she handled it in the most ladylike manner possible.  Sure, she let him know- indirectly- that she knew about the “infidelity”, but she just kept silent.  Almost like magic, her husband started to do a complete 180 degree turn.  It didn’t happen instantly, but eventually, he hang out more at home and became the father and husband he was supposed to be.

Some marriages fail, some succeed.  I’m not a statistics expert, so I won’t be inserting any here.  The stories we hear from friends, neighbors’ friends, and the endless diatribes from disgruntled guests on Dr. Phil are enough to convince us that not all marriages are made in heaven.    The fate of any marriage lies in each party’s willingness to make it work.  It does take two to tango (more, if you’re aiming for a conga line).

I can almost see eyebrows raised and heads shaking after reading this post.  Marriage advice from a divorced, single mom?  I’d love to hear what you think… You can be frank with me, don’t worry :)

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. Cari, love you friend, but I also have to disagree and say I love this post. I needed to read those words and be reminded (in humility) of their truth. I am the Nagger, and a little bit of holding my tongue goes a long way in my house, despite how very, very difficult it is for me. Even if I am in the right (or believe I am) and even if DH IS slacking, I find that a little bit of kindness and a lot of holding my tongue brings out the better husband and dad at our house. Nagging brings a downward spiral. That being said, there is no physical abuse or other extenuating circumstances in our house, just way too much righteousness and pride.

    • I think men just zone out once we women start talking. It’s good that you are able to hold your tongue when you have to. That, I know is very difficult to do!

    • Pepper and Gretchen,

      I agree perhaps I was heated when I responded. I am a proponent of kindness, I think nagging and squabbling about small things in a marriage will just fracture it further. So I absolutely agree you don’t have to verbalize every little thing that is bothering you. Of course we should always be respectful and kind to our spouses. I just think they need to find a better way to communicate with each other.

      What I do disagree with is the lengths “C” goes to with this method. I think she is avoiding some problems in the marriage, and just being nice isn’t going to solve that. Doesn’t mean she has to give him the the 3rd degree, but there is a line he is crossing that shouldn’t be ignored in my book.

      • Now I think I get your point :). Yup, kindness is not the only way to solve problems, especially in a marriage. Lines do have to be drawn somewhere.
        Yes, respect begets respect. Both parties should be mindful of each other’s feelings.
        Seriously Cari, I hope you are feeling better now, and won’t fall off your chair again :)

  2. my eyebrows are not raised pepper… hehehe… it really does take two to tango… and marriage is a work in progress, a shared responsibility. nice post sis!

    • thanks Pinx. It’s really difficult to keep a marriage going. To each his own, I guess. There is no cookie cutter formula for marriages.

  3. Peps I think it is a case to case basis and it will depend on the reader’s perspective..I agree marriage takes two to tango but how can you keep a marriage when the other one has been dropping and hurting you so many times..that in the end you have lost yourself value and worth as a woman? I filed an annulment and ONE of the reasons kids and I were physically abused..he was not in drugs or alcohol a Mom seeing your kids being hurt daughter being hit on her head and seeing her tremble in fear really breaks my heart..

    Maybe some will raise their eyebrows on me but it is hard if you are into what I have experienced..I was in trauma..literally trembling and crying in fear alone every night.. and so was my kids ..until now they are having can see a true testimony of how he abused us on my site-a warrior behind a mother’s cry-August 14 post..

    And Peps I am not a martyr..kindness has it’s limits..I have always believed..Once a cheater even he is near or far will always be a cheater..

    Little misunderstandings and individual differences can be patched up but when physical abuse,neglect,and betrayal of trust sets in I am not a would be best to stop the relationship before it can lead to killing someone..

    • How’s your annulment case going? Mine hasn’t been resolved yet, it’s been 3 years now. You were right to end things. There definitely are limits to one’s patience and understanding. Oh, I sincerely hope your kids are ok now, after the trauma. God bless you, Sie.

      • Peps the final hearing will be this last week of is already in process for fiscal said it will be over and done after two to three weeks..answered prayers indeed..the judge and the clerk of courts said the grounds on my annulment are so heavy..aside from physical abuse to me and my kids there is a reason that he did to me that really made the judge and the clerk of court cry..they thought it can only happen to movies but it happened to me in real made them decide that it was really brutal..I was caged inside a marriage where no woman I think would never even wish to have..physical abuse is not the hardest Peps their is something more that he did to me that would have made me insane..BUT my kids needs me so I have to fight back for them and myself..

        I have waited for nine months sis Peps and hopefully it will be finished :)

        • my kids are ok sis..but sometimes they have still nightmares..the three of us were really in trauma..

          I don’t know how people can understand me but every time someone or a circumstance makes me remember my past on how he treated me and my kids I can’t avoid myself to tremble in was so hard going to a psychiatrists and make them dig your old past..But still this fears though it made me weak sometimes gave me a reason to always tell and convince myself that it will surely pass..I have to believe and hope sis Peps that God has the Best things in store for us..everyone of us has a journey and I know this is only a part of it..soon our happy days will come :)

          love you sis :)

          • Thanks for the encouraging words, Sie. I was up all night last night, something’s been bothering me since yesterday, when my daughter got back from a day with her dad. I’d like to think that there are good things in store for us.
            Lucky you, you’re annulment ends soon :)
            Love you too…

  4. My eyebrows ARE raised and jaw dropped. I think I’m getting a bad reputation for disagreeing on your blog. But Pepper, know that I ADORE you!

    I wasn’t going to comment, but that lasted like 3 hours. This all feels very underhanded and wrong. I don’t think what the husband is doing is right, but give him a little credit too. Trying to trick the Neanderthal? Really? There is obviously a problem in this marriage that is being avoided by both parties. My belief is if a couple is married, they have a very intimate bond; you have the right to say, “Hey, it hurts me when you flirt with another woman”! WHAT! This is wrong on so many levels. The husband needs to man-up and show some respect to his wife and family by not even doing that. She does deserve that. Respect is a two way street in life, as well as marriage. Secondly, the boys will be boys mentality has to go. Yes, we all need time away, time with our friends; time away from our spouse, but shirking responsibility for family is not okay. She should not HAVE to compete. I agree nobody likes nagging, blech.

    Isn’t she just internalizing her hurt feelings inside that will lead to resentment and inevitably some kind of blow-up? Instead of putting all that energy into glossing over the problems, by which, validating his bad behavior; perhaps she should focus on how to speak to her spouse in a non-combative manner. Believe it or not, it is possible to have disagreements without them escalating to knock-down, drag-out, I’m right, your wrong speak. If both parties are willing to listen to each other sans defensiveness, the problems will more than likely change. That’s my opinion.

    Kill them with kindness is a customer service model. Last I checked the ignore it and it will go away mentality did not work EVER, except for in the case of Bumble Bees maybe.

    Pepper, thanks for posting, you are a brave girl, and I’m sure this post will bring about a lot of good discussion. I feel much better now. See what you do to me girl! :)

    • Oh dear Cari, I hope I didn’t make your blood boil :). I know you haven’t been feeling so great lately.
      Let’s go back to talking about happy things… like NKOTB and spandex :)

      • Pepper,

        Like I said, this post has brought about a lot of great discussion. Don’t get me wrong, this post most CERTAINLY has points of validity. Pretty sure my comments would be the same with our without a cold though.

        Maybe the spandex is going to my head.

  5. Great tips for any relationship. It’s hard to fight with someone whose being nice to you.

  6. I never thought I’d come to this thinking as I was an idealist but reality IS there and not all marriage lasts forever nor should we force it to even if we know it’s not working anymore and more people are getting hurt – especially kids. I must say though that every marriage is worth saving but there’s a limit. I don’t know how many times but I believe we should always remember not to lose our self worth in the process and that kids are not suffering. We tend to value our families to be always “whole” so martyr women are born and become victims together with the kids.

    I suppose the approach would be different for every man. Not all men are the same either. There are those who may have natural guilt. They change naturally by seeing their wives keeping quiet and giving them kindness in return to their infidelity or irresponsibilities but there ARE also men that would just keep on doing what their doing thinking that things are just ok for their wives.

    • thanks for the insight :). i was thinking about this last night, and I have this feeling that C is simply too afraid of what might happen if she decides to give her own happiness a chance. It’s good if her hubby does change for good, but old habits die hard, don’t they? In the long term, her kids might just suffer, knowing that their mom is merely pretending to be happy. Fools gold, I think…

  7. sis I made an award for you..kindly check my site *hugs*

  8. Why I love this site! LoL. You’re hilarious, Pepper. Keep it up. And yes, I do kill the hubs with kindness a lot. It’s one of the moves I bring out, depending on the sitch. :) Nyahaha. You, my dear, are an emerging influential blogger in my book. My top 10 is up. :)

  9. I do think that kindness does help, but not in every situation. So I believe the tips listed are certainly worth a try. I especially believe in the first 3 tips. ;)

  10. Ha-ha as a man I can see how this would work it’s all true…
    Errrr… Actually that sentence was added by my 15 year-old son Michael. We were browsing around looking for relationship tips & found this site of yours, good stuff we did too because too much time is spent tearing each-other apart and not enough on being kind. It is hard for a woman to think like a man and vice-versa, so bearing with one-another and trying to live in peace is necessary. I love your attitude Pepper, thanks…and that comes from a man who digs to try and make his marriage work better & better. eg. I don’t nag my wife, I try to reward her efforts with nice words and I overlook her mistakes and little foibles… and she does the same for me too
    Thanks again for your site Pepper
    Keep on keeping on
    Kind Rgards, Ivan
    PS My email addy etc here is the real deal…

  11. Ha-ha as a man I can see how this would work it’s all true
    Errr… Actually that 1st sentence was written by my 15 year-old son Michael, I dunno what he thinks he knows about it, but anyway, he’s funny
    But seriously, thanks for your site Pepper, it’s good to be hearing what you have to say. Too much time is spent on the negative and not enough time on the more positive and life-breating aspects of a relationship. My wife & I promised a long time ago that we would never nag each-other, and where I can I try to encourage her, do not focus on her foibles and I laugh because I love it when she pouts and she just can’t seem to stop herself from doing it!
    Anyway, thanks again for your site Pepper, keep it up and keep on keeping on!
    Kind Regards, Ivan
    PS My email addy etc are the real deal

  12. Nice eye opener

  13. my other blog.. (^_^) thanks for this post.. i find it helpful..

  14. Very nice tip perhaps I can apply it on future relationships too.=)

  15. All I got to say is that sometimes. We men are the sole worker in the family and we are tired. It is not that we do not love our wives. It is just we have a lot on our mind like making a living to support a house, family. I love my wife but I get caught up in everyday living and I just forget to show affection.

    • Hi. Thanks for the visit.

      I guess husbands and wives should just try to be more understanding of each other :)

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