How not to treat your wife

If this title scares you, don’t worry; this will not be a rant against my husband.  Even if I did have that sort of anger boiling up within me, this would not be the appropriate place for that discussion.

Besides, my husband could teach a lot of guys a thing or two about building a strong relationship.  I look around at other couples and think, Wow, I am so lucky!

After following The Amazing Race’s most recent season, I’ve collected some pointers for any single guy looking to get married in the near future.  Inspired by Travis, the hotshot E.R. doctor, these tips are absolutely meant to be taken seriously.

Number One: Do not get involved with your subordinate.  Nicole and Travis met when she was doing her residency under his leadership.  They apparently have never escaped that teacher-student dynamic.  She continues to see him as her superior in every way, not only in their medical careers.  This creates a ton of problems for their relationship.  During several legs of the race, she cowered under his domineering personality. If you cannot treat your partner as your equal, then perhaps you should reconsider the wisdom of the relationship.

Number Two: Do not delude yourself into believing that you are always right.  This reverts back to #1.  Yes, there are probably areas in which you will excel.  However, there are also areas in which your wife will excel.  She might even (gasp) be better than you in some areas!  For a successful relationship and marriage, it is essential that you recognize your own fallibility.  The season finale was incredibly irritating because Travis could not admit, even for a second, that occasionally he might not be perfect.  Everything that went wrong for them was her fault.

Number three: Do not verbally or emotionally abuse your wife.  Travis criticized his wife and harped so relentlessly on her shortcomings that she only became more agitated, therefore making more mistakes.  You know what, buddy?  It’s okay to get frustrated when things aren’t going your way, but it’s not okay to assume you absolutely could have done any better on a task than your wife.

Many variables can affect the outcome of each leg of the race.  Who knows?  Perhaps it was your negative attitude and not-so-subtle disparagement of your wife that actually lost you the race.  Maybe if you had tried being supportive of Nicole while she was struggling, rather than making her feel worse about it, she might have remained calmer and finished her tasks more quickly.

Single guys, look at how the winning team played: they were kind and generous to one another and even to all the other teams.  They supported one another and praised each other’s strengths rather than criticizing their weaknesses.  Nice guys don’t always finish first, but they did this time around.  By avoiding the mistakes Travis made, you could gain a wonderful, amazing marriage.

That’s worth so much more than a first-place finish in The Amazing Race.  Yep, I’d even say it’s worth much more than a million-dollar prize.

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