I am constantly amazed by God’s creation.
He thought of every little thing for our good and well-being. One of the biggest things that keeps amazing me is how He created men and women. While guys can surely do things that are a bit frustrating, and goodness knows our emotions can completely baffle them, it’s amazing how well we can actually work together. Man and woman, husband and wife, two beings that complement and enhance each other.
Yet, we often treat one another as inferior. Both men and women are guilty of this – culturally and in our marriages. We see wife-bashing and husband-bashing in our private conversations, on our television, and throughout social media. In our current day and age, the guys have been receiving much of that public beating, and it hurts my heart to see that.
While both men and women have to be accountable for their actions, today I’m only going to be talking to the women. It will be easy to say “but…” The thing is, there are no buts. You are responsible for yourself and your words and actions. That is what we are going to focus on. This post does not address women in an abusive relationship. If you feel like you are in an abusive relationship, please go to the proper authorities or an abuse hotline. If you are not sure and don’t know who to turn to, please feel free to click here and reach out to me privately.
One of the biggest things you can do to show respect to your husband is listen to him.
We have a tendency to focus on how they don’t listen to us, but we have to take a step back and make sure that we are first listening to them. He married you because he loves you and cares about you. Give him the benefit of the doubt in conversations and disagreements while you fully hear out his side of the story. Ask questions so that you can know and understand where he is coming from – what his perspective is of a specific situation. You don’t have to agree with him, but you can work to try to understand one another’s point of view.
One day, my husband and I were driving to my parent’s house. It was a lovely day, and we were planning on having a great time! Then something came up in our conversation and we got into a disagreement. I felt misunderstood and didn’t know what else to say to explain myself. He wasn’t making any sense to me. I was hurt and angry – “he just needs to listen and stop being so stubborn,” I thought. We arrived at my parent’s house, and he got out of the car with the kids. I decided to leave and get gas; the van needed it anyway.
I was still stewing after filling up, and decided to take a slightly longer way back. On the way, I prayed and asked God to help me and my husband reconcile. I truly didn’t want to be mad at him, but I didn’t know what else to do. Then, as clear as day, I heard, “seek to understand.” In that moment, I knew that I needed to humble myself, go to my husband, and seek out reconciliation by first openly listening to all that he had to say without bias or an agenda. Once I heard my husband’s perspective, I was better able to see where my own perspective fit in (and it’s errors), and was able to help both of us fix the misunderstanding.
As women, we tend to be pretty intuitive.
Other women get it, and we anticipate one another’s needs. Men… not so much. At least, not unless they have been shown what to look for. Regardless, we want them to know what we are thinking. We feel taken care of when our man watches out for us by anticipating our needs. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. He can’t read your mind. Going around believing that he should know what you are thinking will only bring with it frustration and bitterness. You anticipate him, and you want him to anticipate you. Instead, communicate your needs to him. You may be surprised by how willing he is to help you out if you just ask and communicate the need. You may need to communicate the urgency of the need as well.
The key here is communication. Talk to him. Tell him about what makes you happy and what makes you sad. Discuss expectations over the various areas of your life. Let him know what’s going on in your mind, and ask what’s going on in his. Then act on what you have learned. They say to never stop dating your spouse. If you think back to those days when you were dating, I bet you there was a lot of communication going on. Just because you are married and now know the guy, doesn’t mean that it has to stop.
As we discussed earlier, there can be a lot of spousal bashing.
Don’t feed into that. We are here to build on another up; not to tear one another down. Speak well of your husband to others and bring any concerns that you may have directly to him. There will be times when you may want guidance on something that you need to talk with your husband about, and that’s okay. In those instances, seek out someone you trust to give good advice on the subject. The point is to take care to be mindful of your conversations with others. It may seem like innocent venting, but it can lead to a greater divide between yourself and your husband if it doesn’t help you mend the frustration. Venting leads to discontentment. Discontentment leads to distance. Distance leads to a lack of communication. Lack of communication leads to misunderstandings. Unaddressed misunderstandings lead to bitterness. Bitterness leads to a broken relationship.
Mine and my husband’s journey in good communication has taken many years.
There were nights that we stayed up until the early hours of the morning in order to resolve the situation. Even then, sometimes we had to agree to disagree for the night, so that we both could get some sleep. Although we have learned and grown a lot in this area, there is always room for more growth. Many days it’s as if we are speaking two different languages, and then come to find out that we were both actually saying the same thing. Don’t give up on your husband. Don’t stop pursuing him. Listen to him, and ask him to listen to you as well. Go into the conversation with the thought, “my husband is a good man and a well-intentioned person.” It serves as a reminder of who he is beyond the misunderstanding. It gives him the respect he deserves while also allowing him to respect you in the way that you deserve.
For more support and a community that is striving to place God and family at the forefront of our lives, go to Christian Moms Simplifying Life and Business.