You will hear a lot of married women today, talk about how well they trained their husbands. In fact, there are even numerous You Tube videos designed to help women do just that, train their husbands to act like accountable, civilized, and respectable men. Honestly, is it really necessary? The term training your husband seems to have been derived from pushy women’s liberation organizations, but has taken on new meaning as of late. Interestingly, an author and renowned animal trainer, Amy Sutherland, actually wrote a book entitled, What Shamu Taught Me About Life, Love & Marriage” based on the idea of training a husband. Using her skills and experience working with exotic animals, she believed that it was likely humans could be trained in some of the same ways. Before you go out and purchase a bunch of Scooby Snacks in the hopes of getting your old husband to perform some new tricks there are a few things you should know.
First of all, Sutherland’s book is actually based on universal law and is really just a retake on some psychological studies that were performed in the 1940’s by B.F. Skinner. The universe says that we gravitate towards things and people that are like us naturally. So, if we are miserable and unbending – we will likely attract that behavior from others. If we are nagging and irritable, we cause more of the same by our own actions. Just like you don’t see many dogs returning to their owners who are shouting, waving their hands like a maniac or cursing under their breath (and why would they) – you aren’t going to find many humans (or husbands) that will want to return either. At the very least, your dog knows they have a few more minutes romping in the woods before you will catch them by the collar. A husband can figure relatively as well.
If you are interested in training your husband or any of the humans in your life for that matter, you need to pay attention to the inner workings of the innate human brain. It, is built to respond on a reward system. Every single millisecond our brains are actually out searching for things that feel good and are inline with the human nature of feeling good. When this happens, endorphins are released and we continue to do the same. On the flip side, when things don’t feel good to us at a very instinctive nature, our brains do a quick turnaround and will choose an opposite reaction. So basically, nagging your husband would end up in him doing something opposite in order to satisfy his inner brain inklings. The dumb wife thinks that if she nags or opposes her husband enough, he will simply see that her way is the best. Yet, this isn’t how animal training or husband training works. The point is to use positive reinforcement to urge people to act on their own free will, in a manner that feels good to them. Check out this example!
If you want your husband to take out the trash, you can go about it several ways. You can bitch and nag him to do it. Then, when he does it, it doesn’t feel good to him because of how you ‘instructed’ him to do it. You can also ask him to do it, which might cause a similar result. Remember, in the animal kingdom, husbands are the alpha males – and they want to be in charge on their own recognizance. Lastly, you can let the trash sit by the door and decide it doesn’t bother you at all. You can kiss your husband (even make love to him) as if nothing is bothering you. Then – he will feel a feel good connection, that will urge him to want to make you even happier – thus taking out the trash. Simple, huh? Best part is that in many studies with humans IT WORKS!
But be careful if you think you can just train your husband by doing nice things. The point is changing you first! This is where many wives go wrong. You have to change your response to things he does that irritate you. You have to be willing to be positive in disposition – thus relying on the laws of attraction to work. You also have to learn to take baby steps and do things in your life that would be similar to how you would train an animal. If you had a puppy, would you just demand he give you paw from day one? Would you force them on the leash and expect adherence without practice or patience? The same is true for humans. If your husband is an absolute mess – then you have to start rewarding the small, step-by-step improvements he makes on his slob status. Say he picked up his underwear. Instead of focusing on the fact that he left behind a strew of other things, notice the improvement. Eventually, the brain will start connecting.
Another thing important to realize, is that if you are sincerely looking for ways to train your husband – things may be flawed in your marriage! The basis of animal training is respect, and that should be the basis of your marriage as well. When you are willing to change your own responses and feelings – the world around you will change. This includes your husband. The point however, of training a pigeon or a man, isn’t to be the top dog or in control – it is to create a mutually happy and fulfilling environment. If this isn’t your intention starting out – you can bet all your efforts will be a waste.