Leading By Example


Are you Leading By Example in your marriage, as taught in the Talk2Me positive and effective communication system? Is your wife a sensitive soul who is feeling unappreciated and taken for granted through your lack of little loving touches? Hey, that’s pretty normal…BUT not good because you may be getting a C- on your relationship score card without ever knowing it. Here’s how a 50-something professional married guy, who’s an Instigator communicator and an introvert, put the Family Change Challenge:

Change is blossoming, thanks to our meetings. There’s less tension at home, and change is occurring in our family, including with our teenager. But I still dread what’s going to happen next. It’s like walking on eggshells when I take a tough love stand as a dad. When I say what people should be doing, it never seems to work. Change starts with me Leading By Example. That changes everything. And the next stage of our growth is to create more time for loving exchanges with my wife.

Empathizers become unhappy in the relationship with their partner when they don’t receive regular displays of positive feedback, which make them feel appreciated instead of neglected or rejected.


Couple conflicts increase when couple displays of affection decrease. And it’s only human nature that when people get mad, they tend to strike back. Do we want to get even? Nah, we want to pull ahead. So, here was my question to my positive Instigator client husband: “What 12 little things could you do or say that would prove to your wife that you care deeply for her and will love her past death?” Although my client responded with dry wit that, “I don’t think I can come up with that many…” he managed to come up with 14 in no time at all. Of course he knows that he is a Course In Communication Miracles. The Course of course: How to Show Physical Affection.


Demonstrating physical affection boosts energy and makes people feel good. Do you take your wife or husband for granted when it comes to physical affection? Here’s the list my proud, professional, warrior, male Instigator client relayed to me. “Together, my wife and I, need to revitalize what we used to feel before there were communication problems. So I will…”

  • Open doors for her
  • Hug her before she leaves for work
  • Massage her neck
  • Offer to help out
  • Just sweep the floor instead of waiting to be asked
  • Kiss her goodnight
  • Hold hands when we’re walking
  • Put my arm around her waist
  • Lotion her feet
  • Give her a massage with oil
  • Tell her “I love you a lot…” before she tells me
  • Have more family hugs
  • I could blow in her ear like I used to 20 years ago
  • Dance with her
  • Take a shower together


No public displays of affection? You’ve stopped doing all those little caring things you used to do, that still mean so much? It’s not too late to change. Well, you’re in charge of your relationship destiny, aren’t you? O.K. So you’ve been hurt a lot over the years by how things have turned out. You still need to Lead By Example in your marriage today.


Will your wife go into shock from all this positive attention? Will she flip out and think you’ve been out to the bar with babes? Who knows? Perhaps your wife will stop being so negative. In fact, you will run into fewer problems throughout the whole family. And your teenagers will see a good leader who is leading by example. “Don’t do as I do, do as I say?!” Nah, watch me now. “Do as I do, and do as you say!” You’ve got to love the fact that loving change can happen whenever you will it to.


Dennis E. O’Grady, Psy.D., is a Dayton communications psychologist and relationship communications coach. Dennis wears two hats, one of corporate trainer in leadership communication skills, and the other as a couple communications expert. The Talk2Me system bridges communications gaps and helps resolve family conflicts. Dr. O’Grady’s mission is to give you tools to use to improve the quality of your life. Dennis is the author of Talk to Me: Communication Moves To Get Along With Anyone.

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