Common communication pitfall in marriage

How many times have you muttered to yourself “He should just KNOW!”.  Most wives have muttered this time and time again.  I know I have, and just the other day, my husband and I were counseling a couple where this communication pitfall rose to the surface so clearly.  She needed her husband to romance her a little before physical intimacy and he had no clue!  She started getting resentful.  He most definitely felt her cold shoulder, but was oblivious to the problem!!

Expecting your husband to know what you want and need without clearly telling him…is a common communication pitfall.  Unfortunately, your husband doesn’t just “know” because he doesn’t think like a woman and most men have no idea what a woman wants or needs from her husband.  We can’t assume our husbands know what we want!

Avoiding this communication pitfall is so easy.  As a wife, clearly, concisely, and directly tell your husband what you want. Clearly tell him what you need.  Let him know the specifics as well!  Let me give a simple example.  Let’s say you have company coming over and the house is a mess.  Plus, you’re trying to make a dessert to serve.  So, you’re feeling stressed.  Meanwhile, your husband is oblivious to your inner turmoil. He’s contentedly watching ESPN.  In most cases, the wife would finally say “Hey, can you vacuum the house please?”.  To which the husband says, “sure” and continues watching ESPN.  At this point, the wife blows a gasket in frustration.  Here’s the thing.  She didn’t give him the details of what she was asking for.  Instead of simply asking, “Can you vacuum?”, she needed to say “Can you vacuum right now?”  She needed to clearly spell out what she was asking for and when.

Clear, honest communication is a gift to your husband!  It reminds me of Proverbs 24:26 An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.

If you need to confront husband

In an ideal world, a wife would never have to confront her husband about some kind of disrespectful, destructive, or just plain immoral behavior.  However, we live in a fallen world, and both men and women can easily stray into sinful choices that hurt the people they love.

If you are a wife who is ready to confront your husband over some kind of wrong behavior, here’s what not to do!   Don’t treat him like he’s the enemy.  Don’t give him that look says “you disgust me”.  Don’t scold him like he’s a 3 year-old child.  Don’t roll your eyes.

Instead, as you’re bringing up the issue that is causing you distress, let your husband know that you are for him and your marriage.  A man will shut down if he feels his wife is against him.  A man will tune his wife out if she is disrespectful.  The Bible says “the wife must respect her husband” in Ephesians 5:33, and this is critical when a wife addresses issues of concern with her husband.  Let your man know that you love him and want to work with him as his partner to overcome the challenge.  Speak gently and encourage him by reminding him of his good qualities.  If he knows you are truly for him, he will be much more apt to listen to what you’re saying instead of shutting you out or flying into a rage. 

Here are two more tips.  1) To help make sure he doesn’t get super defensive, start out by asking this gentle question: “Help me understand why….”  When you ask him that instead of starting out with strong accusations, he will be much more likely to talk calmly with you!  2) Start out the conversation by affirming the good in him.  You might begin this way: “I know you love me and I know you would never intentionally hurt me, but….”

** or view this topic as a 3 minute VIDEO BELOW

How to handle financial stress

So many couples, especially young couples, argue over money.   They disagree over how much to spend, how much to save, the financial priorities, whether to help loved ones in need, whether to give to the church, and on and on.

You might not be aware, but the Bible actually gives a ton of guidance on how to handle money and possessions!  I have found 3 particular Bible principles to be especially helpful for couples who have been suffering from financial tension and strain in their marriages.  Allow me to summarize those principles for you.  (You can look up the verses for yourself and ask the Lord to counsel you directly).

Bible Principle 1:  Live intentionally below your means!  (Hebrews 13:5)  So many couples are under heavy financial strain because there is no real cushion in their budget.  They’ve bought the biggest house they could possibly afford or the most expensive car they could afford, and then when something unexpected comes up, they become super stressed-out and start ugly arguments!

Bible Principle 2:  Don’t wear yourself out or stress yourself out by working too much to accumulate possessions and wealth because those things will mean nothing at the end of your life.  The only thing that will matter is your love for the Lord and the people he placed in your life. (Proverbs 23:4)

Bible Principle 3:  Take a step of faith and cheerfully give some of your money back to the work of the Lord because He promises to reward those who trust Him by doing so!  (Malachi 3:10).  I’ve done this faithfully for several decades whether I felt like I had the money to give or not.  The Lord has always provided for me, sometimes in strange and unusual ways!

Signs husband has online problem

I believe one of Satan’s most successful schemes to destroy marriages and families is….pornography.  Glancing once or twice at porn might seem relatively harmless, but it can rapidly become an addiction.  Once a person becomes addicted, they find they need to move to progressively more perverse types of porn in order to achieve the same arousal.  Then, even perverse porn no longer gives the same satisfaction and they often end up acting out in real life situations, sometimes ending up with prostitutes or same-sex encounters.   Marriages are torn apart in the process.  Plus, of course, your husband looking at another woman’s naked body is not okay with God!  Jesus says in Matthew 5:28, “If anyone looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

We can’t be ignorant to this pornography epidemic in America.  Even among Christians, HUGE numbers of both men and women are ensnared by habitual porn use.  In fact, a survey of pastors done back in 2001 revealed that almost 40% say pornography is a struggle for them!  As wives, we need to be alert to the signs that our husbands could be addicted to pornography.  Here are some common signs of habitual porn use:

  • Your husband no longer seems interested in having sex with you
  • Your man is becoming rough during sex or wants you to engage in perverse sexual acts
  • Your husband seems to be on the internet a lot, especially when you are out of the room
  • Your husband is very secretive and seems to be avoiding straight answers about activities

If your husband shows some or most of these signs, you may need to lovingly address the possibility of a pornography problem with him.  Keep in mind your husband is not the enemy, and if you make him feel like he is your enemy, he won’t feel safe to discuss this problem with you.  Be gentle, loving, and respectful, but DO address this issue.  Take action to fight for your marriage!