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.
If you find yourself disappointed with your husband, ask yourself this question: Is he sinning against me or am I just disappointed with him? If he is actually sinning against you (looking at porn, being abusive, drinking excessively, etc), then consult with God and perhaps a godly mentor to determine if you should respectfully confront your husband and establish boundaries, using the Biblical model laid out in Matthew 18:15-17.
However, if you’re simply disappointed with your husband because he’s not meeting your expectations, then try these two things: 1) Simply and clearly let him know what you desire….because he is not a mind-reader! It’s so funny how we expect our husbands to meet all our needs and desires because “he should just know”. Lol Well, guess what? He doesn’t “just know”. Sometimes, you need to actually tell him what you’re hoping for and what your expectations are.
2) If he still doesn’t fulfill your desires and expectations, take a moment and remind yourself that he can’t be perfect and he can’t perfectly meet all your needs! Now, if someone were to ask us if we expect our husbands to be perfect, we would answer “of course not!”, and yet, at a subconscious level, most of us DO expect our men to be perfect. We pretty much expect them to be Jesus! It’s time to let them off that hook. After all, God makes it clear in Psalm 53 “there is no one who does good, not even one”.
So, maybe it’s time you stop expecting your man to be perfect in every way. How about, instead, you decide to be thankful for the good things about him? In fact, every time I started to get disappointed with my own husband in years past, I learned to stop and begin to list the things that he was doing right. This is what my new internal dialogue sounded like: “He works hard to provide for me. He doesn’t drink or drug. He has stopped looking at porn. He reads the Bible every day.Wow! I’m not so disappointed anymore!”
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!
In every marriage, there will certainly be times where you find yourself disappointed or frustrated with your husband. The question isn’t…how can you and I avoid those challenging times? The question is…how are we going to respond to the challenge?
I’ve met many wives who allow themselves to sink into self-pity or get all riled up with anger toward their husband. Neither one of those responses is helpful! In fact, a crazy cycle begins in the marriage. The wife lets her husband know how disappointed she is in him…he feels like a failure so he either responds with mean words or withdraws…she gets even more disappointed…and the cycle continues! Please allow me to suggest a couple of new ways to look at those times when your husband has frustrated or disappointed you:
Instead of focusing solely on what he’s doing wrong, choose to rejoice in what he’s doing right. 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 things.” In other words, instead of developing a sour taste in your mouth by dwelling on his every fault, choose to look at your husband as a work in progress. God doesn’t transform a person overnight (including you!). So, choose to relish in the sweetness of every good thing your husband does and every good choice he makes. For your soul, it will be like sipping on sweet lemonade instead of sucking on bitter lemons.
P.S. You’ll look a lot more attractive to your husband when your mouth isn’t puckered up like you’ve been sucking on sour lemons!
P.S.S. If your husband is WAY out of bounds with his behavior and actually sinning against you, you may need to establish some firm boundaries, while at the same time choosing to remind yourself of his good qualities as well!
Caution. Caution. In fact, I urge you to envision yellow caution tape (like you see around a dangerous construction zone) every time this thought comes into your mind. The thought is “I deserve a different husband”. That is a thought originating straight from the pit of hell.
When Satan dangles that thought in front of your mind, he’s basically trying to entice you into believing that you have been ripped off and that you are entitled to trade in your man for a better model. I should know. I bought that lie from the enemy, hook, line, and sinker at the end of my first marriage. You know who else fell for this kind of thinking? Eve. She fell for Satan’s lie that God was ripping her off by withholding fruit from one of the trees and he got her to believe she was entitled to more than God had given her. That story didn’t end well either.
Now please don’t misunderstand me. If your husband is an unrepentant, serial cheater or if he has a pattern of abuse and is not seeking serious help, then God may very well release you from your marriage. However, MUCH of the time, the enemy tries to get us to focus on every shortcoming of our husband, every flaw, every way he does not meet our expectations for a perfect husband. Then Satan seals the deal by whispering to us that we deserve a different husband…a husband who would be so much better. That’s usually a complete delusion! I can almost guarantee you that if you were to dump your husband and get a new one, he would have “issues” as well! So don’t fall for Satan’s schemes and delusions. Remember what the Bible tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:14…”Satan masquerades as an angel of light”.
So, instead of buying the lie that you need to dump your inferior man and get a better model, how about if you do these three things instead? 1) Look for the good qualities of your man and be thankful 2) Respectfully confront any sinful pattern of behavior on his part and establish boundaries if necessary 3) pray daily for Jesus to mold and shape your husband into a godly man of integrity.
We’ve all heard of self-talk, but allow me to introduce a different kind of internal narrative that can be just as negative as your self-talk. It is the internal talk about your spouse!
The things you say, whether out loud or in your head, greatly influence the way you feel and act. In fact, Proverbs 18:21 says “the tongue has the power of life and death“. In other words, when your inner spouse-talk is constantly pointing out your husband’s flaws or rehearsing the past ways he’s let you down…your words reinforce a negative attitude and behavior toward your husband. If not corrected, this negative attitude and behavior on your part can eventually lead to prolonged bitterness, depression, and even the death of your marriage.
Ladies, we must do what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5…”take every thought captive“. Start noticing the things you are saying in your head about your husband. If a negative thought enters your mind, don’t give it room! Instead, look for something positive to say about your husband. He DOES have some positive qualities. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying your should ignore major sin in your husband’s life. You might need to ask him to make serious changes if he’s short-tempered or looking at porn or sitting around playing video games while you work your tush off. What I am saying is that we need to strive to look for the good in our husbands too. Make sure you spend more time engaging in positive inner spouse-talk than the negative kind!