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!
From both personal experience and counseling wives in crisis, I can say with certainty that allowing resentment to go unchecked spells doom for a marriage! Think about it. If you are really upset with your husband about something, or really frustrated with him, or hurt by his behavior…do you respectfully discuss your feelings and concerns with him? Do you courageously deal with the issue, or do you tend to stuff it under the rug, hoping things will just magically get better?
If you’re a conflict avoider, it’s so very easy to stuff instead of confront! It FEELS safer and more peaceful to just hope that your husband changes his behavior. That way you won’t have any tense moments and you won’t get in a “fight”. Unfortunately, if you say nothing, nothing is likely to actually change. Sometimes a husband doesn’t even know what his wife is upset about! And here’s the real problem. If you don’t address your resentment, it will grow bigger and bigger and bigger until you are likely to explode months or years down the line. That resentment will have turned your heart cold and hard toward your husband, and you may end up saying those fateful words “I’m done”. Don’t let it get this far!
Your husband needs you to calmly and respectfully explain why you are upset and what you are asking him to change. He may disagree, but then you guys can talk about it. Talk it through. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you courage and the timing and the right words to bring up the concern with your husband…soon. Seek a counselor’s help if you need to. Just make sure you don’t let your resentment go unaddressed. As Hebrews 12:15 say, “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Don’t let a bitter root start growing that ends up causing big trouble!
At the risk of you thinking I’m totally looney, may I suggest that you talk with your husband about clear boundaries regarding your female friends? In other words, he should not be a close “friend” of any of your own girlfriends! I know this might seem old-fashioned or even ridiculous, but many affairs start out with a husband “just talking” with another woman. We need to be careful and alert to the schemes of the enemy!
1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober-mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” So, be alert to the enemy’s scheme to get your husband emotionally entangled with one of your friends. He should not spend time with her without you. He should not even be spending time on the phone with her giving advice or listening to her woes. Without him intending to do so, he will slowly find himself developing an emotional bond with your friend, and she will start bonding with him. Danger lies ahead!
When we first pledge our love to each other on our wedding day, we never think either one of us could possibly end up having an affair years later. Tragically, it happens quite frequently, and even among Christian couples. We can’t be ignorant of Satan’s mission revealed by Jesus in John 10:10 where He says Satan is out to “kill, steal, and destroy”. Satan would like nothing better than to rip apart your marriage. He is always plotting ways to get you or your spouse connected with someone of the opposite sex. That’s why we have to be vigilant from day one!
James 4:7 advises us…”Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” One of the ways we can resist the devil’s schemes to destroy our marriages is to talk with our husbands about rules we will both follow relating to the opposite sex. Agree that you will never spend time alone with another man and your husband will never spend time alone with another woman. If your job requires you to be in a one-on-one meeting with someone of the opposite sex, agree that the door will always be left open. Agree that you will never share anything personal about your marriage with a member of the opposite sex. If at all possible, agree to never work as a two-person team with a member of the opposite sex on a project or at your job. That feeling of being a “team” is extremely bonding!
Safeguard your marriage. You may think you don’t need all these strict rules, but I know from personal experience that you do. Many solid Christians have fallen into Satan’s trap by failing to follow these safeguards. Don’t let your marriage be another notch in the devil’s belt.