How to be a Better Husband: See the Big Picture

Sometimes focusing on the details is a good thing in a relationship, and a great skill to have, and sometimes it’s more of a distraction or a liability for us.

When we get unbalanced, and can’t see the forest because there are too many trees in the way, it’s time to zoom out.

There can be a strong tendency in many men, myself definitely included, to focus on the details and examine the individual pieces of the whole, which is a powerful skill to have when building, fixing, experimenting and tinkering. It allows us to bring the full power of our attention to bear on a single element or system, and it is quite often the difference between ‘figuring it out’ and being completely stumped by something.

But like many things in life, where what is an asset in one situation is a weakness in another, our ability to zoom down to the micro-level can sometimes trip us up.

We can allow the details (or our attention to them) to overpower the vision of the whole, especially in “fuzzy” or subtle situations, such as those found in relationships and other dynamic aspects of life.

For example, we may be extremely hacked off at something our spouse does, a habit that grates on our nerves, but if we were to go away for a couple of days, by the time we see them again, we miss them so much that that same habit isn’t an issue. So it’s really our attention to that habit which is the stressor, not the actual detail.

One way we can improve the way in which we relate to our wife, and learn how to be a better husband, is to try to spend some of our time focusing on the big picture, not the details.

When we soften our focus, and zoom out a little to put the details into perspective and see the relationship as a whole, we may see that it’s not even that particular detail or habit which is the problem. It may be that by zooming out, we are able to see a pattern or a background influence on the situation which is not apparent from viewing at the micro-level, and one which could be a much more effective avenue for change than trying to fix the details or end results.

[As usual, if this applies more to the wife than to the husband, then just pretend it’s really titled “How to be a Better Wife: See the Big Picture.”]

Related: How to be a better husband: Show up

[Image: Gamma Man]

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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