Do you possess the knowledge to do the right thing?  Or do you need more focus, discipline or incentive to live the life you desire?

Do you ever feel a bit hypocritical through your actions?

I do.

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In many areas of my life, I know the right way of doing things, and I sometimes even share my “wisdom” and give advice to others.  However, despite my knowledge and even good intentions, I still get off-track from time-to-time.  At times, I get completely derailed, like when I allowed myself to gain almost 20 pounds shortly after writing a series about the benefits of exercise!  Sometimes, it’s more minor like simply not sticking to our family budget the way I know we should to meet our financial goals.

One Area Where I Need to Get it Right

Of course, if you’ve been reading Engaged Marriage for more than say three minutes (and actually read the name of the site), you know that one of the most important things in my life is my marriage.  I mean come on, I write posts about helping others have an Extraordinary Marriage several times a week and think about this topic during most of my waking hours.  I truly and passionately believe in everything I say here at the site, and I don’t give advice simply to fill up a page or pay lip service to you, my awesome readers.

Despite this laser focus on marriage, I still get at least slightly off-track in this area of my life!

It blows my mind and, if I’m being totally honest with myself, it makes me feel hypocritical at times.  It sucks.

I am not talking about major issues here. The “creeping problems” I have noticed lately are doing things like allowing my wife and I to slack-off on our 15 Minutes some evenings, and letting things like work or this site get in the way of spending more time with my children and helping out more around the house.  My biggest grievance is probably not doing the spontaneous, romantic little things that make my wife feel special and appreciated.

Overall, I’d probably give myself a solid “B” in the husbandry category lately.  The problem is I want and expect myself to excel and rock my marriage with an A+ effort at all times.

Practicing What I Preach

Now, I do realize that it is unrealistic to keep up an A+ effort at all times.  After all, we are all human and imperfect.  We have bad days, and we get tired.  However, there is no excuse for not being proactive and making your spouse your clear top priority.

So, I am officially recommitting myself to exemplary husbandry and refocusing my efforts to be sure that my wife (almost) always feels like my primary focus in life.  I love her and she knows that.  However, sometimes I don’t make it easy for her to really feel it and that’s gonna change.

My renewed focus, attitude and energy is not limited to marital issues.  I am fired up and ready to improve myself in the areas of fitness, finances, career and Engaged Marriage.

However, if I have to settle for a “B” in some area of my life, it will be these areas.  My wife, my children and I deserve an A+ effort in my marriage.

The New Year provides a great opportunity for reflection and readjustment.  What areas of your life have veered a bit off-course and left you feeling like you aren’t following your own advice?

Photo by hyperscholar


About the author 


Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.

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  1. Oh yeah, I totally understand. It’s like when I encourage people to be healthy and stop eating sugar but than I eat sugar! I feel hypocritical at times like that. Of course we’re all human and we can’t all be perfect but we should defiantly all try to be an example of what we say!

    I need to work on my marriage too. Speaking of that, I need to go make him lunch….
    .-= Samantha @ Mama Notes´s last blog ..Chocolate Temptation (Body After Baby) =-.

    1. Thanks, Samantha! Like you said, I think the key isn’t perfection but living as a good example to others. When I say it like that, it sounds more like the “walk” I take as a Christian, which is probably the perfect context!

  2. Marriage will always be a challenge for us. The important thing is that we must endure its every test. I believe it is part of our growth to withstand its test. There’s no such thing as a perfect marriage, rather, it is a process of evolution. 🙂
    .-= Walter´s last blog ..Words are never enough =-.

    1. Walter, I totally agree with you that there are no perfect marriages. We certainly learn from our struggles and even grow closer during the tough times, provided we have the right perspective and attitude about our marriages.

  3. Your post resonated with me; I overwhelmed myself this fall, and as a result my man felt like he got pushed to the side. This year I am determined to make “US” my #1 priority. I would love to hear some ways you are planing on being an amazing partner.
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Goal #1: More time with Dogs =-.

    1. Thanks for your affirmation, Laura! My overall focus is simply to be more cognizant of how I use my time and making that extra effort to make my wife feel special. Practically speaking, we are recommitting to our “15 minutes” as a minimum time to just be a couple each evening; we are presenting at a marriage retreat at the end of the month and creating new talks has been very intimate; and I’m making a big effort to be more responsible in helping with the household duties.

      Honestly, there is so much more that we could do to enhance our marriage. Through this process of introspection, I have been jotting down some “exercises” that I think will be be awesome for our marriage but not take a lot of time. You can expect to hear more about this “program” as I work it out AND we try it in our own relationship over the next few months. If we decide it’s worth it, I may be sharing the details in an e-book format to spread the word. Stay tuned!

  4. I often feel this hypocrisy as I work on my marriage book or blog at the expense of spending more time with hubby and kids. Balance is key, but I agree we shouldn’t settle for second best in this critical life area! Good reminder.
    .-= Lori Lowe´s last blog ..Can Social Networking Lead to Divorce? =-.

    1. Thanks, Lori! It’s great to hear I’m not alone in my thoughts. It can be tough to focus so much on relationships because you legitimately want to help people, but at the same time you know you’ll have your own faults and bumps in the road along the journey.

  5. My husband and I are at the stage of life where it’s back to just the two of us (most of the time although one adult son still lives at home). Therefore we get to spend a lot of time together doing things and talking.

    I have the most problems practicing what I preach when it comes to healthy living –thanks for the reminder!
    .-= Bucksome´s last blog ..An Offer I Could Refuse =-.

    1. My pleasure, Bucksome! As you know through the Improve Yourself challenge, healthy living is another area I’m ramping up my own efforts. We can do this!

  6. Well said. I think with relationships, as with most things, the more you put into it the more you get out of it. Of course, that assumes you (general *you*) have a relatively healthy relationship free from abuse, addiction, or affairs.

    1. I totally agree. There is no doubt that a relationship simply won’t work without the necessary investment of time and effort on the part of both people. And I certainly agree that those who are proactive and make a real effort to have a great marriage are those who are rewarded with extraordinary relationships. You reap what you sow.

  7. This is a great question to talk about Dustin! I think we all slip up from time to time or get off course. For instance I talk about budgeting and saving money but there were a few months in 2009 where you wouldn’t have known it. LOL It happens but we need to realize that we do it and do what’s necessary to get back track. I think there are different levels to this as well. I can be 100% perfect when it comes to practicing what I preach when it comes to not using credit cards. 🙂

    I wrote a post one time that was title something like, “Sometimes just knowing what to do isn’t enough.”

    Great post Dustin!!!
    .-= Brad´s last blog ..People Need An Excuse To Spend Money, And They’re Eager To Find One =-.

    1. Thanks, Brad. You are totally right that the only way to completely eliminate the tendency to slip into “slackerdom” is to pull the root from the ground, such as simply ridding your life of credit cards to avoid credit card problems. Of course, you can’t eliminate your own selfish tendencies or many of the other things that can have a negative impact on your married life. But you can focus on them and make your own worthy behavior a priority in your life.

      The key to progress is to get up more times than you fall and always progress by learning from your mistakes. I have plenty of marriage mistakes to learn from!

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  9. Great post. I think being self aware and constantly self evaluating is half the battle — not the full battle but at least half of it. I know when I was married the first time 20 years ago I never even raised the questions you were asking…and I paid the price for it….
    .-= Darryl´s last blog ..As You Are So Shall You Parent… =-.

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