I haven’t been around cowboys much, but I do know this—every so often, one of the cowboys will be told to ride the fence. That means the cowboy will ride along the fence lines to make sure all of the fences are in good shape. Sometimes, fence poles rot. Sometimes, the weather will tear one down. Other times, a big bull will simply decide the fence is in his way and push it over.
For whatever reason, fences fail; if the cowboys aren’t careful, the first time they’ll know about it is when the cows get out. Then, it’s too late.
Guys, for the most part, are problem solvers. When we hear something buzz, beep, or make that “grinding noise” we know something needs to be fixed. But what sound does your marriage make when something’s broken in it?
There is no noise…just silence. And by the time you figure out something’s wrong, the cows have gotten out. That’s why smart cowboys and smart husbands ride the fence from time to time.
How do you do that in a marriage? You find a quiet place with your spouse, pour a cup of coffee and you gently ask questions. Questions such as: “How are you doing?” “Are you and the kids doing OK?” “How’s your job going?” “How are things with us?” “Have I made you mad lately?” “Have I inadvertently hurt your feelings?” “Did I miss something you were trying to tell me?” “Do we need to talk about anything?”
OK, so you don’t ask all of those questions at the same time, but you get my point. Ask. Pay attention. Ride the fence. Don’t just sit there and assume everything is OK because she hasn’t said anything. Who knows, she may be waiting for you to ask…and a smart husband will.