Remember the 2008 Jim Carrey movie called “Yes Man”? In this movie, Jim Carrey’s character was caught in a web of negativity until he went to a self-help seminar that taught him the power of saying yes to everything.

This 180-degree shift opened him up to a wealth of positivity, great experiences and even a new romantic interest.

What would happen if you applied this type of enthusiasm and positivity to your marriage? If you became extra conscious about how often you say no to your partner? To spring clean your marriage, we’re inviting you to eliminate the word ‘no’ and witness the transformation that takes place between you and your spouse.

When writer of the blog Unveiled Wife, Jennifer Smith, asked God what she should give up for Lent in 2014, she was expecting to have to forego her favourite food or an electronic device. The message she received from God, however, was to give up the word ‘no’, which led her to realise how often she said no to per husband.

Jennifer quickly realised that when her husband asked her for a favour, extended a sexual invitation, or shared an opinion, her go-to answer would be ‘no’. When she committed to giving up the word ‘no’ for Lent, she blogged about how tough it was to break the instinctive habit of saying no all the time.

Jennifer asked God to help her on her journey of becoming a Yes Woman and she started to see results almost immediately. One of the things that Jennifer and her husband struggled with was sexual intimacy. Around halfway into Lent, Jennifer started to notice that not only were they having sex more regularly, but the sex was better, too!

Within a short amount of time, Jennifer’s husband reported that he felt more respected, that their relationship felt less strained, and that his wife was generally a nicer person, making it easier for him to be vulnerable with her.

While it’s easy to assume that becoming a Yes Woman simply resulted in Jennifer making more sacrifices, Jennifer says that it was an immensely rewarding experience for her as well. She wrote on her blog that it was beautiful to see what an impact she had on her husband and how her intention to do better positively impacted their marriage. This made her more loving, caring, happy, and it felt that she was serving her husband in Christ.

Can it work?

Yes, if you really want it to! And if you initiate the change. If you become a Yes Woman and your husband remains a No Man, then it can easily start to feel as if you’re being used. Obviously you don’t want him to abuse the situation and the goal is for him to turn into a Yes Man as well.

One of Jennifer’s blog readers, Amy Hatley, commented that she once heard a pastor’s wife saying that in the 20 years she had been married, she had never refused sex. From listening to the pastor’s wife, it was clear that this woman wasn’t a doormat, but that she was trusting that he wasn’t taking advantage of her to get his needs met. It also led her to trust that her husband seeks the Lord in all his decisions.

How do you do it?

  1. Start by accepting the challenge of committing to saying yes for ten days. Invite your husband to do the challenge with you.
  2. Decide to make your marriage your top priority for the next ten days. If, for example, you have to choose between a social event and spending time with your partner, choose your partner.
  3. Write the word ‘yes’ on your ring finger to serve as a constant reminder.
  4. Remember that requests and expectations should be reciprocated. Don’t abuse the situation and don’t make selfish requests.
  5. Say yes without hesitation if your partner asks you to cook a special meal or to take out the trash. Say yes to sexual advances and to any requests that requires your time.
  6. Say yes to the challenge of putting your own needs and agenda on the backburner. It may seem hard at times – especially if you like being in control – but trust your partner’s intentions and judgement.
  7. Say yes to spontaneity. Activities that get planned on a whim can add a bit of spark to your marriage.
  8. Say yes to your partner’s preferences. By now you know that you and your partner don’t always agree on everything and you can appreciate the value of compromise, but it can still be hard to give in sometimes. Make it a priority to give in.
  9. In her book 52 ways to wow your husband: put a smile on his face, author Pam Farrel encourages women to find areas where they can let their husbands take the lead. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have an opinion, but that you can let go of taking charge and even challenging opinions in certain facets of your lives.
  10. Saying yes to everything may start to feel a bit forced after a while. Switch it up with comments like ‘good idea’, ‘that sounds good’ or ‘let’s do it!’, even if you suspect that what’s being suggested probably isn’t a good idea. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt.

Take in the power of positivity, the value of elimination (of the word ‘no’) and investigate the impact this has on your marriage. We predict that the mutual benefit you receive will keep the 10-day yes challenge going long after the period is up.

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