Welcome to the “Confessions of a Terrible Husband” blog!

About my family
My (very patient) wife and I have been together since 2004 and married since 2008. We have two kids – a son born in 2009 and a daughter born in 2011.

When I realized I was a terrible husband 
In May 2013, right after celebrating our five-year anniversary, I traveled to another state for a business conference. The conference was hosted by a couple who have been married for over four decades. It was amazing. I learned a ton about business. But something about the way the couple interacted kept nudging at me.

For two days I watched and learned as they taught me about business. I diligently took notes about the main theme of the conference, but found myself writing other random things down that had nothing to do with business. I was taking notes about their marriage, all the little things that the husband obviously said and did, and how that impacted his marriage (and life).

At the end of the conference I got on a plane to fly home, but couldn’t get that couple off my mind. I couldn’t figure out why. I had a good marriage. My wife and I loved each other. We had all the big things you could ever want, I thought: a good job that permitted my wife to stay home with our kids, a healthy family, love for each other and the resulting “stable” household that flows from not having to worry about whether you can afford groceries or travel to see family and friends. And we mixed in a vacation or two here and there.

Then it hit me
The difference between their marriage and mine was the handsome and modest guy who brushes my teeth in the morning. It didn’t matter that I did all the big things right. I did all the little things wrong and my marriage was locked in moron purgatory. I was a terrible husband.

I know it sounds like a big jump from “little things wrong” to “terrible,” but that’s really what it is. Why? Because some big things are out of your control. For example, you can’t completely control your health. But the little things are simple and controllable. And I did them all wrong. I had no one to blame but myself.

Now what?
Apparently there are only two cures for a marriage stuck in moron purgatory. You could simply get rid of the moron. Or the moron could become less of a moron. I chose the latter, before my wife chose the former…

Stick around and pay close attention 
For the time being, this will be the only place you can find the details about all the stupid things I do and how I’m working hard to do less of them in the future. You can laugh along (at me) and roll your eyes along (with my wife) as I do all the big things right, but the little things wrong.

Be sure to subscribe to the blog for exciting updates over the rest of the year when you will find additional places to learn from my mistakes… more formats… more information… more stupidity.

Finally, here’s to wishing that I run out of material quickly and need to turn this site into more of a “look back” and less of a “ride along.” I’m working very hard to make sure that happens soon. :)

–a terrible husband

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.jennifermckennasays.wordpress.com Jennifer Haston

    It takes a tremendous amount of guts to admit to being bad at something and even more guts to work on it, actively. Looking forward to following you on this journey, I hope to hear about some before and afters.. Like before I wouldn’t empty the dishwasher, but now I empty the dishwasher and then fill it back up and turn it on.. you know.. like that

    • http://aterriblehusband.wordpress.com a terrible husband…

      Thank you so much, Jennifer! I’ll certainly be sharing some before and afters along the way and the resulting improvements in our marriage that result from them! And since I’m really at the beginning of this journey I could use all the thoughts and advice I can get as I post my observations and questions!

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  • Lilbouf

    I love my husband precisely because he takes so much care with the “little things” which, as you remind us all, are not always so little. I try to do the same for him. But before you beat yourself up too badly, don’t forget that there are “terrible” wives (children,parents,friends) too :)

    • http://www.aterriblehusband.com/about/ ATerribleHusband

      Awesome stuff, Lilbouf! Yep, we all have things we can work on, don’t we?

  • http://www.suttonparks.com/ Sutton Parks

    It’s interesting you talk about the little things. A couple of weeks ago I had an appointment with an attorney at 10am. I made the 40 minute drive to his office and arrived on time. The secretary had me fill out some paper work. Then I waited. I left at 10:25am. I remembered the saying: how you do one thing is how you do everything. If he cannot be on time or close to on time in his own office, how is it going to be if he is representing me.
    Now I’m trying to hold myself to the same accountability. haha, how you do one thing is how you do everything.

    • http://www.aterriblehusband.com/about/ ATerribleHusband

      Great point, Sutton. In the end, attention to the little things and respect for the needs and reasonable expectations of others can make an enormous impact on both personal and professional relationships. The same thing works with my family. When I set the expectations and respect the time and needs of my wife and kids, the same challenges that would often frustrate and upset them become much less of a burden.

      As for the appointment, I’m the same way as you. While I understand that sometimes things run long or off schedule, if the typical process is to arrive, fill out paperwork and be seen 1/2 hour later, or longer, the same experience could have been less frustrating had they told you they schedule initial consultations 1/2 hour in advance to give you time to complete necessary paperwork and for the attorney to review the file. You would have planned your day (and mind) accordingly. Or, they could make it less of a burden on their other clients by e-mailing you the paperwork ahead of time and telling you to come at 10:45 or 11!

      • http://www.suttonparks.com/ Sutton Parks

        Absolutely. If that’s the process then I would have been fine with it. Maybe it is. If I’d had known than I would have stuck around. It was an interesting place. The office was right out of the 70′s and kind of run down. It seemed like kind of a factory with offices all over the place and a bit dingy. It was probably better that I left in the long run.

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  • http://beautifulsynthesis.com Andrea

    This is really cool.

    I’m single, and female, so I suppose this all doesn’t apply to me, strictly speaking. But I find that 1) humans are all fundamentally built the same way, even if that “same way” is expressed in infinite variety, and 2) despite having a dad and two brothers, there’s a lot about the male mindset that I don’t understand. As limited as the topic may be, I think there’s insights here that apply to all sorts of things.

    I like what you said about “it’s the little things”. Yeah, many of the “big things” are things we can’t control, or are things we can strive for but lose by no fault of our own. But our own perspective, our own attitudes, our own understanding, our honesty and humility – those we can control. Or change, or influence, or something!

    • http://www.aterriblehusband.com/about/ ATerribleHusband

      Thanks Andrea! My experiences are certainly limited, but have been shaped by countless resources across a broad range of topics. Thanks for checking in and your kind words. I hope you get incredible value here – or at least a little entertainment! You can still sign up to receive a free download of the book before it goes on sale if you’re interested – just check out the “free book” link up top for all the details!

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  • Joanne Miller

    I love your writing, Nick. Your honesty and introspection is amazing. Honored to have been interviewed by you and eager to meet your sweet wife!

    • http://www.aterriblehusband.com/about/ A Terrible Husband

      Thanks so much, Joanne! I can’t wait for everyone to hear all the wisdom you share on our interview! And thanks to you and Dan for showing me what it looks like to live and love well!

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