If you're anything like me, you've wasted way too much time on those viral video sites about something amazing happening three minutes into a video or a 5-year-old "out breakdancing a professional street performer."
Most of the time, it's interesting but not life changing. Every once in a while though, one of those sites gives you something useful other than a lesson on how to draft a blog post title.
And when it's about marriage or "not being a crappy husband," it inevitably ends up in my inbox. Yeah … I'm now known by friends and family as the one who needs and is most receptive to advice in the area.
That's OK. There are worse things to be known for, right Lindsay Lohan?
Let's see how I stack up in the Happy Couple Habit Counter.
1. Go to bed at the same time
Pass. We generally are in bed awake at the same time and fall asleep around the same time. But we don't get into bed together at the same time every night. Maybe it's time to try this.
2. Cultivate common interests
Fail. I like sports. She likes "not watching sports." She likes the beach. I like "not being at the beach." I like "rustic stuff like being in the woods." She likes "places where there are no bugs." We both like fruit picking. But I generally like to do mine at the super market. Plus, how much fruit can four people eat? Need to work on this. I guess apple picking is sort of like hiking in the woods but with a cover charge and overpriced fruit. Maybe there's hope.
3. Walk hand in hand or side by side
Pass. We're usually pretty good at walking together and holding hands, although we can't agree on hand-holding technique. She's a finger-wrapper and I'm a fingers together and hands angled guy. Having fingers in between my fingers is just uncomfortable … (Are we the only couple with finger placement incompatibility?)
Barely Pass. Let's just say we're working on this. Not with any of the "big things," but years of putting the family on the back burner aren't just forgotten overnight …
5. Focus more on what your partner does right than what he or she does wrong
Pass. Pretty good at this and getting better.
6. Hug each other as soon as you see each other after work
Fail. I'm 1 for 5 on a good week. Definitely something to work on. As it is, walking into the house after work is a pretty hectic event. Kids running at me. Wife's tired. I'm beat up after a long day of work and fighting traffic. A pause and a hug are probably just what the doctor would order in that moment. I'm going to work hard on this.
7. Say "I love you" and "Have a good day" every morning
Pass. When she's awake we're 9 for 10.
8. Say "Good night" every night, regardless of how you feel
Pass. We're pretty good with this too.
9. Do a "weather" check during the day, calling your wife during the day to see how she's doing.
Pass. 4 times per week at least.
10. Be proud to be seen with your partner
Pass, at least. I am. I think she is. I'm kind of afraid to ask …
So there you have it. Not a report card that I would want. I had originally given me actual letter grades but that was ugly … lots of Bs and Cs. Only a couple As.
Nick Pavlidis helps high achievers grow their businesses while maintaining strong boundaries around family and personal priorities. His first book, "Confessions of a Terrible Husband: Lessons Learned from a Lumpy Couch" details how he went from an overworked lawyer who had a family, to a husband and father who is also a successful lawyer and businessman, and shows you his process, which you can use to help your relationship, too.