Question 4. What does she need today?

The Answer
Based on where she's at, the best way I can serve my wife is by ________ .

This is another question of empathy, and a natural follow-up to the last question.

Knowing how your wife is feeling and how those feelings connect to her words and actions puts you in the perfect position to reverse engineer the best way to meet your wife's needs - today.

This question is one that works no matter where your separation is at right now. And like some of the other questions, you can answer this question both broadly and narrowly.

For example, you could answer this question broadly by saying,

"The best way I can serve my wife today is by..."
  • Giving her space and quiet
  • Finding ways to show non-physical affection
  • Being willing to be her no-strings-attached best friend

Or, you could answer this question narrowly by saying...

"The best way I can serve my wife in this conversation is by..."
  • Simply letting her vent and complain
  • Asking her follow-up questions
  • Telling her my own thoughts and feelings
  • Offering to give her a night out with her friends

You see?

This can be a general reflection question that you ask yourself at the start of your day or week, OR it can be something you ask yourself in the moment.

As I said in the last question, when you can learn to ask yourself both questions #3 and #4 in the heat of a conflict or conversation, you will naturally find yourself becoming a much better communicator. And that's not just true for during marriage crisis... Asking yourself these questions about the people in your life, whether boss or child or friend or coworker, will enable you to better understand them and how you can help them, should you wish to do so.

But getting back to our main goal here... We're trying to save your marriage.

Many of the men I see who survive separation and save their marriage do so by rebuilding trust and emotional/mental attraction in small doses. These two empathy questions help you see how to do just that.

Pen