Justin Buzzard, Date Your Wife: A Husband’s Guide (Wheaton: Crossway, 2012), 23–25 (numbering added):
A dream is what drives a man. As a boy grows up, he gradually forms a dream for his future marriage. . . .
Some men dream about marrying a woman who will satisfy their every desire, preference, and need.
Some men form an antidream; they simply dream of a marriage that is not like their parents’ marriage (or lack of marriage). Early on, they decide they want a wife who is not like mom. They decide they want to be a man who is not like dad.
Some men dream of a marriage that is conflict free or not a lot of work.
Some men dream of a marriage that honors God and that is a lot of fun.
The dream that drove you to that first date, that drove you to the altar, is likely still driving your marriage today. That dream set the course, and is probably still setting the course, of your marriage. . . .
The way to uncover something is to ask more questions. . . .
- What is the earliest memory of marriage that you can think of? How has that memory influenced you?
- Who taught you about marriage? Who taught you about what it means to be a man and how that’s different from what it means to be a woman? What did these teachers teach you?
- What is the healthiest, happiest marriage you’ve ever seen? What made that marriage so attractive?
- What is the most dysfunctional marriage you’ve ever seen? What made that marriage so unattractive?
- What kind of a man was your dad? What kind of a relationship did you/do you have with him? If we were having coffee together, what would you tell me about what it was like growing up as his son?
- What is your greatest fear for your marriage?
- What is your greatest frustration with yourself, with your wife, and with your marriage?
- What is your wife’s greatest complaint about being married to you? What does she appreciate most about being married to you?
- What is your greatest hope for your marriage? What do you really want to see happen in you, in your marriage, and in your life before you die? How’s it going to happen?
You just deconstructed the dream that’s been driving your marriage. Each answer to the questions above represents one piece of the dream that drives how you operate as a husband. All the pieces don’t make complete sense yet. Right now we’re staring at an engine that’s been taken apart. The aim of this book is to make better sense of these different pieces, to do some clean-up work, and then to rebuild the engine to run better than before.