Even if you have a great marriage, we will all experience moments of frustration with our husbands from time to time. Well, one key to resolving those frustrations (and avoiding them in the future) is to understand the cause. In my experience, the cause is typically “unmet expectations”. We consciously or even subconsciously expect our husbands to act in a certain way, and when they don’t, we get really frustrated!
So, here’s a nugget of wisdom that may be the remedy. Clearly communicate your expectations and desires to your husband! Duh! I know this sounds too simple, but honestly, we are often at fault for holding expectations but failing to clearly reveal those expectations to our men. We act like husbands are mind-readers and should “just know”. News flash: Most men don’t “just know”. They don’t think like women, and they don’t know what you expect and desire from them. In fact, when we fail to communicate what we want, we’re not really being honest with them.
Maybe it’s time to bless your husband by being honest about your expectations and desires. Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips“!! Start to clearly communicate your expectations to your man. Now, your husband may disagree with your expectations, and that’s okay. That’s an opportunity for the two of you to sit down and discuss your respective opinions and work toward a compromise. But at least you’ll be on the same page and understand each other’s expectations!
Did you know a huge majority of men struggle with feeling inadequate on almost every level? It’s true. Since God designed men to be leaders in revealing the nature of God, it’s to be expected that Satan would try to destroy that mission by making men feel like they’re not up to that challenge! Satan is constantly whispering to your man that he is a failure, that he’s not good enough, that he’s not smart enough, and that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a godly leader, husband, father or provider. These are all lies! Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that Satan is “the father of lies“.
Unfortunately, when a husband starts believing these lies, he often decides to either give up trying to be a good husband or he may numb out by using pornography or alcohol, or by becoming a workaholic.
However, a man’s wife has the ability to counteract the voice of Satan! Ladies, why don’t you start telling your husband that you believe in him? Tell him that he CAN do it. Let him know that you see good qualities in him. Remind him about his unique talents and spiritual gifts. Show him the respect that God commands wives to display in Ephesians 5:33. As you affirm him and esteem him, you may likely find that your man becomes more confident and becomes an even better man than he is now.
Ladies, your words are so very powerful and influential in your husband’s life! Whether you realize it or not, every time you criticize your husband or correct your husband or point out flaws in your husband’s ideas, you are crushing his spirit. Every time you crush his spirit, he ends up feeling like more and more of a failure until he eventually gives up trying. I have lost track of how many husbands have told me and my husband in a counseling session “I can’t do anything right”. When a husband says this, he has pretty much conceded defeat. He no longer has the motivation to strive to be a better husband and father. He no longer even believes that’s possible,
On the other hand, ladies, a husband who is frequently affirmed and encouraged by his wife gains the courage and the motivation to do the hard work to become an even better husband and father. He can tell his wife believes in him, so he begins believing in himself as well. A wife’s kind, encouraging, affirming words can actually esteem her husband to greatness!
Ladies, in Genesis 2:18, God says, “It is not good for man to be alone: I will create a helper suitable for him.” One of the best ways you can help your man is by being his chief encourager! Resist the urge to point out his faults and failures. Choose to encourage him instead. Catch the vision of esteeming your husband to greatness! You’ll both be happier!
Want to improve your communication interactions with your husband? Well, maybe it would help if you understood three things that really matter to most men when it comes to communication. Here they are:
1) Most husbands prefer that their wife be direct in stating what they want or need. They don’t respond to hints. They don’t want to have to read between the lines or try to read your mind. They just want you to come right out and state what you want or need…and it helps if you can state your needs calmly, without a lot of drama or intense emotion.
2) Most husbands want you to keep it simple and short. They don’t want long explanations or fascinating details. Their minds begin to wander after about 30 seconds! So get to the point quickly. Ecclesiastes 5:3 is a good reminder. It says “Many words mark the speech of a fool“.
3) All husbands need their wives to be respectful, both while talking and while listening. This is Biblical. Ephesians 5:33 says “the wife must respect her husband“. This means speaking to your husband in a respectful tone and making sure your body language and facial expressions show honor. No eye-rolling! It also means that you listen attentively when your husband is speaking to you, and you refrain from interrupting him, finishing his sentences, or correcting him. Oh, and one more thing. It means you let him have a few moments to unwind when he comes in the door at the end of the day before you launch into a big discussion!
Are you familiar with the term “woke” as used in our culture today? It gets tossed around a lot and a huge number of people seem to be pretty proud to declare that they are “woke”. Basically, the word (as it is being applied in today’s culture) means awakened to social injustice and unfairness and the lack of equity for all people.
Well, I’m probably going to offend the “woke” crowd by what I’m about to say. While the Lord is indeed a God of justice, and he does call his people to make sure justice is carried out for the oppressed, he does not tell his followers to fight for fairness and equity in their own relationships! Instead, he actually calls his followers to be more concerned for other people than for themselves! Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
What I’ve learned along my journey in marriage is that self-sacrifice and working to serve the other person is that secret sauce to a great marriage! And if you BOTH do that, wow! Your marriage will be amazing! However, if you focus on getting that other person to meet your needs, and wait for them to give equally back to you, you’re going to be a miserable, resentful, disappointed person.
Maybe it’s time to try God’s way of doing relationships. Try being anti-woke. Don’t wait for the other person to give to you and meet your desires. Give to them. Look for ways to bless them. It’s the secret sauce to a great marriage, and even if your marriage doesn’t improve right away, you’ll know that you’ve been a great representative of the Lord. After all, that’s how he treats us! He is definitely anti-woke in the way he interacts with us. He gives a whole lot more than he receives.
All work and no play make Jack and Jill….grumpy. Could this be the case for you and your husband? Most American couples are way too busy. We’re working exhausting hours outside the home to make more money. We’re running the kids to 12 different activities so that they have a chance to “excel” in something. We’re throwing dinner together while doing laundry and helping the kids with algebra homework. We’re running on empty and then we wonder why we’re grumpy! Duh! We need to give ourselves permission for a mental time-out.
When is the last time you and your husband let the house chores wait and decided to watch a funny movie? When is the last time you guys invited some couples over for “game night”? You need to give yourself permission to play every once and awhile. Your brain and your body need a rest. You need to have fun and spend some time laughing. Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine“. Maybe your marriage needs a spoonful of this medicine…the medicine called fun and laughter. It’s a great antidote for grumpiness. 🙂
I don’t know about you, but I am often reactionary in my relationships. I get upset or frustrated or worried, and I react emotionally. Sometimes, this doesn’t cause any damage, but other times, it’s not exactly helpful or beneficial!
I’m trying to operate under a new and improved system, and I’m finding it works far better, probably because it’s God’s plan for his people. Hah! I’m earnestly seeking to submit myself to God moment by moment and I’m asking his Holy Spirit to nudge me and instruct me during every single interaction with others. In other words, I’m inclining my heart and spirit to listen intently for the gentle whispers and nudges of the Holy Spirit every time I interact with family members, neighbors, friends, coworkers, church members, and even the grocery store clerk and the UPS delivery guy!
God designed us to operate this way. Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God. This is such an inspiring word picture! We are designed to be so watchful and intent to notice the Lord’s slightest instruction to us that we immediately obey.
Let’s commit to seeking the Lord’s guidance through his Holy Spirit, moment by moment, especially in marriage and family relationships. This will likely be life-changing, and in a good way! God alone knows how to improve every relationship, how to truly help others, and how to advance his kingdom here on earth. We need his guidance.
You might recall the opening theme to the original Superman TV series. The announcer proclaims that Superman is “faster than a speeding bullet”. Well, God has been showing me how a part of me is also faster than a speeding bullet….and can cause as much damage as a live round of ammunition. That part of me is my mouth!
You may have the same challenge as I did in my marriage to Raul. Do you often get impatient when your husband is trying to express himself and end up finishing his sentences? I did. Do you interrupt your husband when he pauses mid-sentence? I did. Do you sometimes jump in and tell him how he should handle something as he’s trying to explain a challenging situation? I did. Do you get frustrated with him and react with harsh, disrespectful words that you can’t take back? Hmmm.
Let’s pray that God would give us the ability to be good listeners, patient talkers, and respectful communicators! This is definitely God’s will for us, as revealed in James 1:19: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…” The first step is to coach yourself at the beginning of a conversation with your husband. Remind your soul…”I will honor the Lord and my husband by listening quietly and responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…”listening quietly, responding respectfully”…(repeat as necessary!!).
Our words are SO powerful! If you frequently tell your husband how he’s falling short, he will likely close down emotionally and search for an escape door. He may turn to alcohol, porn, excessive recreational pursuits, or even other women.
However, if you choose to tell him about the good things you see in him, he will begin to grow in confidence. I believe this is why God instructs wives in Ephesians 5:33, “the wife must respect her husband“. Your respect and admiration mean everything to your man. If you intentionally take note of his talents as well as the effort he puts forth, and then tell him you are proud of him, his feelings of inadequacy will fall away. He will start believing he can be successful in what he tries. He will gain courage to try tackling even bigger things.
If you notice his positive character qualities (and every man has at least one!), and tell him how much you respect him for those qualities, he will be built up on the inside. He will likely begin believing that he can become a man who makes a difference in his family and for God. A wife’s words of respect and encouragement can propel her husband forward to be an even greater man than he would ever have been without her!
Have you and your husband been butting heads lately? Can you sense resentment against him growing in your heart? Does he seem frustrated with you? Well, the good news is that you’re not alone. This is pretty common in marriage. The bad news is that if you don’t do something about this, it will likely ruin your marriage!
As my husband and I mentored couples over man years, we found a little tool to be really helpful. We asked the husband and wife to sit down over a series of “dates” and discuss each other’s expectations in all sorts of areas; everything from the balance of responsibilities for chores to what Christmas celebrations should be like. We all hold subconscious expectations in these areas, but we rarely intentionally reveal those expectations to our spouse. Then we get frustrated and annoyed that they don’t meet our undisclosed expectations!
How about if you bless your spouse by initiating a series of dates to honestly discuss expectations. Proverbs 24:26 says “An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips”. By each of you being honest and open about your desires and hopes, you will grow more intimate and truly begin to understand each other. Visit the “free resources” tab on our website (www.squadronofsisters.com) to print out a list of topics for your husband and you to discuss.