Yes, empathy became my secret weapon.  I talked less and listened more.  I created a safe environment for my husband and held my tongue. Empathy became liberating for me as I became a mirror of reality in my husband’s life.  I no longer corrected him, coerced, nagged or shamed.  I felt for him and listened.

As I’ve learned to carry this weapon of empathy around with me at all times, I’ve grown to be a woman of goodwill.  Our marriage has become more harmonious, happier, trustful and safe.  A situation that once was “married but not engaged,” has become more intimate and supportive, and we now have a marriage where we have learned to lift each other higher than we ever could go on our own.

Maybe you’re feeling the need for more intimacy—and empathy—in your life?  Try my secret weapon and see if it works in your marriage!

Posted January 29, 2009

Adapted from Married but Not Engaged (Bethany House, 2006).


Sandy Coughlin is mother of three and wife to Bethany House author Paul Coughlin (No More Christian Nice Guy).  She is also co-author with Paul of Married but Not Engaged (Bethany House, Aug. 2006), which helps wives to achieve greater intimacy with their husbands, and is the author of the popular hospitality blog 4 Reluctant Entertainers. You can learn more about Sandy and her family at To learn more about a Christian Nice Guy (CNG), visit Paul’s website,