Every wife is going to have moments (or weeks or months!) that she’s disappointed with her husband. No man is perfect, and your husband is bound to frustrate you, annoy you, or fail to meet your expectations from time to time. The question is: How can you keep from being seriously discouraged or resentful during those times? I have found 4 things to be really helpful:
1) Clearly communicate your expectations and desires! Men are not mind-readers, yet often wives expect their husbands to “just know”! So, think about the areas in which you’ve been frustrated or disappointed. Then calmly and clearly tell your husband what you desire or need, as well as how much you’d appreciate him making an effort to meet those needs and desires.
2) Be grateful for what he does right! Isn’t it strange how most wives tend to gravitate to focusing on what their husband is doing wrong, but barely give a second thought to what he’s doing right?! Stop right now and ask God to help you see the many good things about your husband and the positive things he does. This is the essence of Philippians 4:8… “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such thing.”
3) If your husband is actually sinning against you, it’s time to stop wringing your hands and it may be time to take action! In Matthew 18:15-17, Jesus instructs us to confront the person who sins against us, and to even get others involved if necessary.
4) Pray, and never give up! Prayer truly can move mountains, and Jesus tells us in Luke 18:1 that we “should always pray and not give up“. So go to battle in prayer, and ask God to reveal His love to your husband and to mold and shape your husband’s heart.
I realized the most interesting thing one day several years ago in my marriage! I was having one of those super frustrating days, where everything seems to be going wrong. It was the kind of frustrating day where you desperately want the cathartic release of smashing china dishes against the wall! Am I the only one who has ever felt that way? 🙂
Anyway, my husband walked into the house to discover a wife who was steaming from everything that had gone wrong that day. Then something strange happened. He got visibly agitated over my state of frustration. It really bothered him that I was upset. My bad mood became contagious!! He could not be at peace because I was not at peace. It reminded me that our husbands really do want their wives to be content and at peace. In fact, 1 Peter 3 tells wives to strive for the “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit”. Hmmm. Interesting. So, how do we get this peacefulness, even in frustrating circumstances? The Bible tells us contentment comes when we trust in God, lean into God, and ask for His power to carry us! Philippians 4:13 says ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
So, I began refusing to allow the frustrating moments of life to sour my mood. I began laughing off Satan’s attempts to goad me into being irritable and sharp with everyone around me. I pivoted to God in those challenging moments and asked Him to strengthen me, equip me, and give me His peace. Interestingly, when I started choosing to trust God to carry me during those frustrating moments in life, not only did I become peaceful and content, but I enjoyed the unexpected benefit of my husband and kids becoming more peaceful too!
Yes, there are a lot of temptations facing your husband every day. He will likely see beautiful women, either at work, at the espresso stand, or at the sandwich shop on any given day. If you have cable TV, Hulu, or Netflix, he will certainly view gorgeous women there. There’s just no getting around it. But there’s one thing he won’t regularly encounter with those women. They’re not waiting at home for him with a passionate kiss at the end of his exhausting day!
The way to ensure your husband is thinking about you during his day is to take a moment before he leaves for work and whisper into his ear some of the “plans” you have for him that evening! The bride in the Bible’s Song of Songs models this for us! Here is just one excerpt of the arousing words she spoke to her groom in anticipation of them coming together intimately… “Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (Song of Songs 4:10)
So, what erotic thing could you whisper to your husband as he heads off to work? You might say something like this: “I’m getting a sitter for the kids tonight and I’ll be waiting for you in the kitchen, wearing an apron and nothing else.” Be creative. Of course, you can’t do this every day. However, if you do it every few weeks, he’ll be dreaming of the next time you have a pleasant surprise waiting for him. He will be thinking of you!
It is not okay for your husband (or anyone) to treat you disrespectfully. Let me just say that again. It is not okay. I know far too many beautiful, kind Christian women who, for some reason, allow themselves to be verbally, emotionally, or physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends. It’s heartbreaking. I heard yet another story from a highly-intelligent, gorgeous woman recently. She came to me in despair, wringing her hands over her abusive situation. Yet, she didn’t clearly see that she needed to draw a firm boundary and impose consequences on such behavior. In her case, she needed to leave until he showed serious, sustained repentance.
Ladies, do you think God winks at a man who is abusing his wife or girlfriend? Absolutely not. In fact, God tells husbands they are to lay down their lives for their wives. Ephesians 5:25 says, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” If your husband or boyfriend is emotionally, verbally, or physically abusing you, you need to take a stand. If you don’t take action, you’re basically enabling his destructive behavior to continue. Read Matthew 18:15-17 and ask God to reveal His plan for you to take a stand when someone is sinning against you.
Who does your husband encounter when he walks through the door at the end of the day? Is he happy to be greeted by a warm, gentle, loving wife…or does he encounter a “drip”? Who wants to be considered a “drip”? That’s not very flattering! However, the Bible assigns that label to a wife who is always complaining and criticizing and arguing. Proverbs 27:15 says “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm.” Uh-oh. Could that label belong to you?
I’m not saying that you should sweep any sinful behavior by your husband under the rug. So don’t get the wrong impression that you must never confront immoral or destructive behavior in your marriage. If your husband is engaged in a pattern of actual sin against you, follow the instructions of Jesus in Matthew 18:15-17 and seek godly counsel. What I am saying is that we need to be careful that we don’t become a constant critic of our husband! No man wants to come home to that.
Did you know that anonymous surveys of men reveal that most guys are actually very insecure and fear failure most every day? What they need from their wives is encouragement, not complaints and criticism. Make a commitment to find something good about your husband every day this week and then tell him how much you appreciate those good qualities. Use a gentle and loving voice when you talk with him. He will actually enjoy being around you! Let’s be an “anti-drip”!!
Most women are totally insecure about their bodies. Our thighs are too big. Our breasts are too small. The list of insecurities goes on and on. The problem only gets worse after we’ve had children! Stretch marks. The extra poof of your abdomen that never seems to go away. Sagging boobs after you’ve stopped breast feeding. You know what I’m talking about! It’s kind of difficult to feel sexy around your husband.
But I’m going to challenge you to change your outlook. Yes, we do need to do what we can to be attractive. If we need to drop 50 lbs, we need to work on that. If we need to exercise to tone up the flab, we need to work on that. However, once we make a reasonable effort to look our best, our attitude changes the rest! You’ve got to rock what you’ve got! Think sexy! View yourself as sexy when you’re with your husband. Be spunky and playful and maybe even a little bit sassy with him. Don’t be ashamed of your body. Your confidence in who you are will be very sexy to him! In Proverbs 23:7, the Bible says “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” In other words, when you start viewing yourself as sexy and attractive to your husband, you will become sexy and attractive to him!
Are you familiar with the actress Queen Latifah? She’s not thin at all. In fact, she’s probably carrying an extra 30 or 40 lbs. But she’s viewed as sexy because she has that feisty, confident attitude that basically says “I know I’m sexy”. You can do it too. Rock what you’ve got!
I’m rather slow to learn some lessons in life and as a wife. One of the things I wish I had realized earlier is that it is entirely too easy for a mom to get so focused on nurturing her children that she subconsciously pushes her husband aside. In fact, in my first marriage, I remember thinking to myself…”My husband is an adult so he can take care of himself. It’s my kids who really need all my attention.” Not good thinking!
Of course, moms need to take care of their children’s needs and we do need to spend time nurturing and disciplining them. However, our children can become idols in our life. When our world revolves around our kids’ successes and failures…and on their activities and their schedule…well then we’ve made our children into idols. When anyone or anything besides God becomes our focus in life, then it has become our idol and our god. One of the big 10 commandments addresses this! Exodus 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”
One of the casualties of this idolizing of our kids is our husbands. The bizarre thing is that the very children we were determined to protect end up severely wounded as mom and dad become distant, begin to argue, and often end up divorcing each other. Don’t let this happen to you. Be intentional about spending quality time with both your husband and your children. Even more important than that, spend quality time with God. He must truly be your number one focus in life!
Do you keep replaying your husband’s past mistakes over and over again in your mind? Do you find yourself dwelling on how he’s disappointed you in the past? Let it go! Thoughts like that become toxic…to you and your marriage. Hebrews 12:15 makes this point: “See to it that no bitter root grows up among you to cause trouble and defile many.” If you keep rehearsing your husband’s past failures, you will end up growing more and more resentful of your husband. The resulting bitterness acts like poison to your own heart. You become a dried up, miserable woman.
Even more damage is caused when you verbalize those past mistakes to your husband. Yet many wives do that. They repeatedly bring up their man’s past mistakes and almost wield them as a weapon against their husband. His heart gets sliced and diced in the process. His heart becomes poisoned against his wife as well.
It’s time to decide to release your husband from his past failures. The Bible is pretty clear about your need to release bitterness and resentment. Ephesians 4:31 says “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger…” Sochoose to exercise the same grace God has given you!! News flash: You’re not perfect either. By the way, releasing your man from his past mistakes doesn’t mean you should ignore current sin. If he is currently sinning against you, determine to respectfully confront him and work through the problem, perhaps with the help of a counselor or pastor.
I wonder what would happen if you asked God to transform your character into His character and then you actually began striving to display His character in your marriage? I bet your marriage would begin to thrive!
God describes His own character in Psalm 103:8, where the Bible says “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” Even just pressing into one of those 4 qualities could make a huge impact in your marriage. What if you started displaying grace toward your man? Grace simply means giving someone undeserved favor and loving kindness.
I’m not saying you should ignore destructive patterns of sin in your husband’s life. However, I am recommending that you work to extend kindness to your husband even when they’ve annoyed you or disappointed you in small ways. In fact, what if you were to extend grace by choosing to believe that he didn’t mean to disappoint you? What if you were to give him the benefit of the doubt? Extending that kind of grace could change your whole attitude toward your husband…and could draw his heart toward you!
Perhaps, we could sum it up this way. The appreciated wife leaves a fragrance, not an odor!
You may have an “impossible” situation going on in your marriage, such as a husband who doesn’t believe in God, or who is an alcoholic who refuses to get help, or who is harsh and critical with the kids, or who is hooked on pornography. I would certainly recommend that you establish some serious boundaries and consequences if your husband is sinning against you or the kids, but here’s the thing you and I need to realize. Only God can change your husband’s heart. That’s where your prayers make a gigantic impact. Prayers that are offered in line with God’s will can accomplish the seemingly impossible!
That’s why praying actual Bible verses is so powerful! We know Bible verses are in line with God’s will. If your “impossible” situation involves your husband, let me point you to a list of suggested Bible verses to pray for your husband on the “Free Resources” tab at www.squadronofsisters.com. It’s a free PDF that you can print. I urge you to do so, and begin praying for your marriage, your husband, and your family. Your prayer offered in faith and trust in God is extremely powerful. Jesus says in Mark 11:23, “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them.”
One more thing. Don’t grow weary in praying. Sometimes it takes months or years of praying before you see results. Read the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18 to get inspired to press into sustained prayer for your “impossible” situation.