We have a joke in my family about how well “trained” my father is. It goes back several years, and like all good jokes, I can’t really remember the origin. But whenever my father does something very helpful or thoughtful, someone often comments that he’s been well trained for years.
I have carried this joke forward in my own marriage, laughing about how I am training my husband. But while it is a joke, there is some underlying truth. We do, in fact, teach others how to treat us, which is similar to training. Boundaries and communication are the two essential tools in teaching others how to treat us.
For the next two weeks I’ll be focusing on “husband training.” Obviously your husband or partner isn’t your inferior, and you won’t be “training” him or her like you would a pet. Instead I’ll talk about how setting boundaries and using good communication tactics can transform your relationship with your life partner. This isn’t about control, or changing someone else, or getting your way. It’s about bringing healthy interactions into your primary relationship in order to find fulfillment.