It’s Not About the Nail

Last week I was talking to a pastor about marriage education. He’s planning on holding a class early next year at his church. We were comparing notes about what we cover. We talked about resources and videos that we play. I asked him if he was familiar with the video “It’s Not About the Nail.”

He wasn’t familiar with it. It occurred to me that there might be others that haven’t seen it.

This is one of my favorite videos. It’s funny. It’s entertaining. It’s got a great message. People seem to understand it. When we meet couple-to-couple I’ll play it for them on my iPad.

It works well on a couple of levels. I use it for both marriage education and for training mentors. Here’s why.

Using It for Marriage Education

The message is all about validating your spouse vs. trying to fix them. The story is that there is a guy that is having a hard time not jumping to fix his partner. She obviously has a problem and he wants to rush in with a solution. But, she doesn’t feel validated.

When we play this for couples they laugh. I’ve heard couples say, “That is so us.” It makes such an impression that they will use the phrase “it’s not about the nail” to talk about their need for validation and to reference a habit of jumping in with advice. I’ve had couples that will come back and refer to that phrase is over and over again.

Using It for Training Marriage Mentors

When I do a marriage mentor training we also use this video. As a mentor, it really easy to see what people need to change. Sometimes it’s really obvious and our temptation is to rush in with advice or a solution. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work very well if they’re not ready to hear it.

One of the biggest things that you can do when you working with a couple is to help them to become aware of their behaviors. If they don’t understand the impact of their behaviors and their spouse, they will not change their behavior.

I use this video to open up a dialog on better approaches when you see a couple that is obviously unaware of their hurtful behaviors.

One of the great things about marriage education is that it teaches awareness. It helps to give couples concepts that they can say, “Yes, that is me. I do that.”

If you haven’t seen this video, take a look. I’ve linked to it on this web site, but you can also find it on YouTube.