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. Make sure you spend time engaging in positive inner spouse-talk more than the negative kind!
We’re all going to have moments (or weeks or months!) that we’re disappointed with our 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! Our men are not mind-readers, yet often we expect our 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 we tend to gravitate to focusing on what our 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 start to get disappointed with my own husband, I try to stop and begin to list the things that he does right. Let’s see. 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!