***WARNING: This is the second in a series of three posts on this topic. And I repeat yesterday’s warning. This post will be specific, factual, and even explicit. However, I will try not to be gratuitous or graphic. But if you normally let your kids read these posts, you may want to read it first. If you’re good with that, click the “Continue Reading” link below.
This month’s Cosmopolitan magazine offers women “50 Ways to Seduce a Man (In One Minute or Less).” Part of me wanted to check out that article to see how many of the ways fit within The 7 Appeals of a Seductress I wrote about the other day. However, the picture on the cover led me to believe that magazine is dangerous to my soul. So I left it in the rack. Here’s the point, ladies. Some women want to seduce your man and they are educating others in how to accomplish that in less than one minute.
I was mad at my wife a few weeks ago. The reason why is unimportant. I felt like she had wronged me. That happens in marriage some times. Because of this, I was starting to get into resentment and bitterness. The more I resented her and became embittered, the more reasons I could think of to resent her and be embittered. The more things I thought of that made me mad at her, the more my own sins seemed attractive. In fact, I was entitled to them.
Fortunately, by the grace of God, I have some friends I turn to for accountability. [Read more…] about The 1st Key for Dealing with Marital Strife
Hey guys, if you’re like me, you walk through the door after a hard day online…I mean at work, and you just don’t know what to say to your wife. Let me give you the top 5 things you should say to your wife when you get home tonight.
#1: I’m sorry.
Sorry for what? It doesn’t matter. You’ve done something. You know you have. She believes you have. Just apologize for it now. Start working on the reconciliation. Further, if you want to make her day, this doesn’t have to be an apology, it could simply be a statement of fact.
#2: Can I help?
It doesn’t matter with what. Just be of some use. I know you’ve been at work all day, slaving, trying to make a buck. But you’re little lady hasn’t been at home sitting on the sofa watching soaps and eating bon-bons. She’s been cleaning your house, fixing your meals, laundering your clothes, raising your kids. Don’t wait for her to ask. You start off with it.
#3: How was your day?
I know you’ve been talking to people all day long. You want some peace and quiet. You want to veg out for a while and just get away from it all. But your wife needs some adult conversation. She’s been listening to bickering, whining, complaining, crying, pouting, excuse-making, and on rare occasions loving conversations between the children. She needs to unwind. She needs to let it get out. Give her the freedom to let it out, to vent, to purge.
By the way, don’t just say this. Actually sit down and listen to her. Don’t complain about any of it. Don’t get defensive about it. Don’t check your e-mail on your phone. Don’t sigh. Just listen and provide validation.
#4: It is so good to see you, I missed you today.
Let her know you were thinking about her. You weren’t trying to be away from her all day. That was a necessary evil. Let her know you’re glad to be around her. Don’t say that and then walk off to watch TV. Stay in the room with her and spend some time with her like you really did miss her.
#5: Can I do something tonight with just me and the kids while you go do something without us?
I know some wives and mothers say they don’t ever want you to say this. Sadly, understand they are probably lying to you about other things as well.
Let her pursue that online course she’s been wanting to take. Let her have her trip to the bookstore or a few moments at the local coffee shop. Make sure this isn’t just a way for her to go do the grocery shopping. She should get that opportunity for free anyway. Let her have a night out with friends.
What? No “I love you.” Well, of course you need to say that. The problem is for some of us that is all we know how to say and if we don’t say some of these other things from time to time, “I love you” starts to ring hollow.
Hey wives, are there any other things you’d like us to say when we get home? Let us know by clicking here.
I’m reading Jim Burns’ book, Creating an Intimate Marriage. (Yes, that is an affiliate link. Go ahead and click on it. While working on your marriage, you’ll be helping mine.) I’d like to share a paragraph from chapter 5, “Becoming a Better Communicator with Your Spouse.”
It took me a very long time in my marriage to understand that Cathy didn’t need me to fix her problems. All she wanted was for me to care. My natural tendency is to be a fix-it person. I would get fully engaged with whatever her problem was and immediately start looking for the cure. What Cathy would rather have had was a sympathetic hug and a sense that I understood and cared about her. After I became comfortable in not always trying to be her fix-it man, I realized it was much easier on our relationship to simply let her know I value her feelings.
I’m sure, husbands, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard this. It wasn’t for me either. But even though I’ve heard this over and over and over again, I keep missing it. Somehow, I think it is my job to fix her or her problems. I want to be her knight in shining armor who rides in to sweep her away from all that troubles her, destroying her would-be attackers with my cleverness. But my job is not to fix her. That is God’s job. My job is nourish and cherish her (Ephesians 5:28-29).
When my wife is stressed about about something, even if it causes her to blow up at me, what is my job? Is my job to point out all the things she did wrong that caused this? That may be my natural reaction, but that is not my job. My job is to let her know that she is really doing a great job as a wife and mother, to let her know that what she feels is valid and acceptable, and to let her know that I love her anyway. I can do that through my words or my actions or, preferably, both.
When I come home and she’s had a bad day with the kids (imagine that, having a tough day because you’re dealing with a 13-year-old, a 10-year-old, an 8-year-old, and a 2-year-old) and she starts unloading her frustrations, my natural reaction is to get defensive and start unloading back or to try to calmly explain what she did wrong all day to cause all this frustration. Guess what I’ve learned. Neither of those options ever work. First, it doesn’t relieve her frustration. Second, it doesn’t bring us closer. Third, it usually ruins the whole evening. Fourth, even on the rare occassion when I’m right about why she is frustrated, it doesn’t help her at all. Yet, over and over again, that is the way I respond. Has anyone read that definition about insanity lately?
So, here’s what I’m going to start trying to do. Hold me accountable on this one fellows (and ladies). When that happens, I want to give my wife a big hug. I want to let her cry on my shoulder if that is what she’s feeling. I want to let her know that I can tell things have been tough for her and I’m sorry about that. I want to let her know that I love her and I really do think she is a great wife and mother (I do think that). I want to see if I can take something off of her plate so the rest of her day can be easier. And I’m going to do all of that without expecting anything* in return.
What do you think? Do you think that might have a better impact on our marriage? I’m guessing it will. The fact is, my wife is pretty smart. She doesn’t generally need me to fix her problems. She can usually come up with pretty good solutions on her own. She just needs someone to let her know that having a bad day doesn’t mean she’s a bad wife and mother. It means she’s pretty normal and I love her anyway.
Alright guys, who will take on this challenge with me? Let’s quit trying to fix our wives and start turn our great ability to fix things on to fixing how we treat our wives even when they don’t act exactly the way we want.
Have a great day and remember God’s way really does work for your family.
*When I say anything, I really mean sex.
*Warning: Affiliate links abound in this post. Click one. I dare you.
Alright guys, the challenge has been laid down. The guantlet is thrown. Who will rise up to meet the challenge.
Melanie Chitwood had blown me away with her book, What a Wife Needs from Her Husband. She shared what Gary Chapman said in his reflection found in The Transformation of a Man’s Heart. I have to share it with you here.
“My goal through all these years has been to serve my wife so well that when I’m gone, she won’t find another man who’ll treat her the way I’ve treated her. The woman is going to miss me!”
There it is guys.
Who among you is man enough to take this on with your wife? I haven’t done such a great job on this with my wife. But I’m going to start right now. Who will join me?
For futher reading:
I guess I also need to get: