Aggressive, not reckless on the homefront

Are You Taking Ownership or Wasting Leadership Capital in Your Marriage?

In a recent live session of the Women’s Assembly, Corey Mize discussed a pitfall that she faced in the first years of her own marriage – a pitfall that too many people fall into. It was counterproductive communication and a constant waste of leadership capital, but all with the best intentions in mind.

Corey, like many married people, wanted to be default aggressive with problems at home. She didn’t want to let problems fester. She didn’t want to ignore when something bothered her, or when things went wrong. She decided from the start to tell her husband as soon as things bothered her. In her mind, she was attacking the problem, not her husband. She was trying to be default aggressive, but that was not a good idea – she was being reckless.

Over time, a spouse is going to feel personally attacked and worn down, on edge, and a wall goes up in the marriage. It is just not an effective way to communicate, and it doesn’t solve those problems. In fact, it was causing more problems. More than that it was wasting leadership capital. That has a lasting effect on any relationship, even more so in a marriage.

Instead, four key steps can adjust and prevent this issue in a marriage. Marriages are going to have issues. Problems come up. Egos get bruised. Toes get stepped on without either spouse meaning to do so. It happens. Then what should you do when something is bothering you in your marriage, or with your children?


Wait until you’re no longer upset so you can see the problem clearly, see your spouse’s perspective, and therefore see the full perspective. Detachment also helps you see when the right time is to bring up the issue, if at all.

Ask Earnest Questions

Earnest questions must be exactly that – earnest. You need to want to know the real answer, not just what you want to hear, and that means being open to the honest answer. First, ask earnest questions of yourself: Why did my spouse react that way? What was their perspective? Is this something I really need to address? If necessary, then ask your spouse earnest questions to get their perspective and not assume you already know what happened.

Choose Your Battle

Is this worth the risk of losing leadership capital with your spouse, or with your children? Maybe it is. But maybe it’s something you can solve on your own. Detachment is essential to effectively choose your battle.

Take Ownership

If the issue needs to be addressed, take ownership of the problem instead of blaming it on your spouse. Did you not let them know how important something was to you? Did you overreact? What did you contribute to the issue? Take ownership of that. Then take ownership depending on how the situation plays out. If you do address it with your spouse, take ownership of the solution. If it’s something you choose to let go if this isn’t the battle you’re going to pick, take ownership of that, and don’t carry it with you.

Leadership capital in a marriage carries a lot of interest, and that can have a lasting effect for years. Being default aggressive means being aggressive toward problems, not people. Certainly not your spouse. In your marriage and your family, be AGGRESSIVE, NOT RECKLESS.

Echelon Front’s Women’s Assembly is a monthly live session with a community of women to talk about the principles of Extreme Ownership and how they relate to the challenges and struggles we have as women – in business and at home. When we think of leadership here at Echelon Front, we’re not talking about traditional leaders as people. We’re talking about any human being who interacts with other human beings. Our goal is to help everyone feel confident that they are, in fact, a leader and benefit from knowing that to be true.

We believe every problem you face in work and at home is a leadership problem, and the beauty of that is that we have tools, tactics, and principles that you can implement to help in solving those problems. Register today for upcoming live, interactive sessions of the Women’s Assembly.

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