The “What If’s” of Marriage | for Him
Husband. Read. Please. This is for you. I was going to keep it kind of light but a note from my husband was just the push I needed to finish something I started last week. When I wrote Part I, I had woken up very early. My husband left for work early that morning, and I wrote. Yesterday, he had to get up early again, but I slept. He knew bringing me coffee at 3a probably wasn’t a good idea, so he got it ready and left me a note. Husbands, take note, wives love when you do things like this! So here goes Part II… The other day I wrote a blog geared towards the wives but as soon as I posted it, I was convicted for not including the husbands. We all could use a little work. Although I don’t think the woman is the only one who needs to change, I truly believe a lot of times, change does start with her. She sets an example. You see, a woman has a discerning heart that is able to forsee failure when it shouldn’t even be an option. We have a hard time letting go in situations when we sense a negative outcome. This innate ability within us compels us to DO SOMETHING when we probably should sit back, watch and wait. Understanding the significance of this quality in your wife can mean so much if you just look at it from a different perspective. God blessed her with a desire to lead, not because He intended her to be the head of your family, but because He knows her counsel is important in the success of many situations you will face. Finding a happy medium — a place of compromise — will help you both put your best foot forward, regardless of the circumstances.
you understood that she is wired different? you acknowledged that she takes on the weight of the world? you believed her when she shared how her hormones sometimes seem as if they control her every move? you reached out during those times when her emotions are high? you thought about the harshness of your words before you speak? you recognize that God blessed her with a discerning heart? you knew she meant well even if every ounce of her declares differently? you tried to see things from her perspective? you did things her way every now and then? you knew that what you say and do resonates much longer with her than you would ever expect? you sent her a text to tell her you love her? you shared a song that reminded you of her? you wrote her a note? you took the time to really listen to her thoughts on a situation? you realized that she is making an effort? you put a little extra effort forth yourself? There are so many more questions I could ask here but the important thing is, you get it. She was built with a different set of instructions that unfortunately failed to make it into the box. Husbands are left to try to learn the step-by-step process of understanding their wives all on their own. But can I tell you a secret?
It’s easier than you think!
Women often portray a rough exterior when, inside, they are struggling with something. Be it hurt, anger, discomfort, confusion, you name it. We can become so numb to what we’re feeling that a whole different set of feelings show on our face, in our attitude and in every ounce of our being. Then the other side to that are the good days. They’re definitely few and far between and they are important to us. We try our best, we succeed, we accomplish our “to do” list, and at the end of the day, everyone is still smiling. It’s been a good day! We want to hold onto it. But then there’s that weight of the world she has to take off again, right when she wakes up. Even if it’s your mistake, she feels it. Even if it’s her child’s regret, she feels it. Even if it’s a total stranger’s misfortune, she feels it. If it doesn’t get done, she feels it. If it doesn’t turn out as well as it should have, she feels it. If it’s awkward and without rationale, she feels it. Even if you try all those “What if’s”, it’s not going to take it all away but it will make it easier on her. If you look beyond the craziness of who she can be, you’ll see the blessing of who she is.
But you will also…
- begin to look beyond her flaws.
- see the woman you love for who she is.
- remember that woman you fell in love with.
- feel more encouraged by being an encourager to whom you were made one [with].
- notice the little things a little more.
- learn to focus on what’s important.
- learn that many things you get concerned with, don’t matter.
- feel better about feeling better.
I know that, like me, my husband is constantly working against the forces that try to pull his mind in a different direction — that take him from happy to ticked in 1.2 seconds. I pray constantly that I can let go of control, to be the best wife I can be, and to learn to focus on what’s important. And I know his prayers are somewhat similar. Our marriage is in a place that neither one of us would have dreamed. Two stubborn adults meeting in God’s time, there had to be a reason. We talk about that constantly, about how happy and blessed we are, wondering what the future holds for us. But sometimes we get worn out waiting. On what, we don’t know. When God puts us in a place of rest, it’s one of the most difficult places to be for a couple who likes to accomplish things. So we have to find our peace in the piece that He gives us daily. We have to make a conscious effort to win every losing battle. I said it before and I’ll say it again, “happy couples” are are few and far between these days. I wish our marriage was the standard, but I know that’s just not the case. There are so many out there struggling and unable to find a way to mend a hurt or soften a hard heart. Some things are just worth repeating… There’s an enemy out there trying to do damage to marriages. He knows what buttons to push. He knows when to start and how not to stop. He knows what people don’t need to hear and stops with what they do. Day in and day out, relationships are strained because the focus went from what if to what is. People forgot to shift their minds from what’s wrong to what could be right. What if you tried to do things a little different? What if you put a little more effort into things? What if you chose to think good thoughts? What if you didn’t point out her flaws to others, but embraced her strengths? What if you encouraged her? What if you rediscovered why you fell in love with her to begin with? What if you chose to realize that it isn’t always about how you feel because maybe, just maybe, she’s feeling the same way. We’re wired differently. Men and women don’t think the same way so how can we expect them to act the same way? We have different personalities, different learning styles, different ways to cope or deal with things that come our way. When did these things become things that pull us apart instead of the ties that bind? The relationships we have in our lives are so important but aside from your relationship with God, your relationship with your spouse is the most important. Your kids, your family, friends, co-workers…they take notice when you are loving, encouraging and respectful. This is part of the foundation on which they will build their future relationships. Show them the important things aren’t the silly things you tend to dwell on but the big things that brought you both together in the first place. For men, this is so important. Putting on this facade or trying to be “Mister Tough Guy” in front of your co-workers and friends is kind of like the Cracker Barrel game when you have a couple pegs left on the board, just plain dumb. Marriage is both ways men. It takes effort on your part, just as much as it does hers. You can’t make changes for her and she can’t make them for you and you can NOT wish them on one another. Sometimes the best thing you can do is try to understand her. Even though you probably never will completely, you’ll see what makes her tick — what makes her smile, what makes her cringe, what makes her cry, and what truly makes her heart sing. I guarantee the right combination of “What if’s” is out there, waiting to do their job in making your wife smile. She needs you. As many times as she acts like she doesn’t and even on the days she makes you feel like she can do it on her own…she needs you. But can I be honest with you? She needs you at your best, even when you feel your worst. The one who puts whatever he’s fidgeting with down to look at her when she talks. To get engaged in something she’s passionate about and show that you care. She longs for that embrace that is simply about the embrace — nothing more, nothing less — just the touch of your two hearts close together. It really is the little things for women. The little things do matter. If you make every effort to do a few little things each day, I guarantee that, one day, they’ll turn into the big things. Read this:
“It took effort, intentionality, sweat equity, and determination. It took time and comittment before he ever saw any fruit from his labor. But eventually, there was a bloom…and then another…and then another.”
Immediate change may be what you want but it isn’t what you’re going to get. It’s going to take work. More effort on your part. While you’re hoping for change in her, God will be changing you. God really does love us so much that He is willing to go to great lengths to reach us wherever we are; to say exactly what we need to hear. Men, I hope you’re hearing what He’s saying to you today! We women really do appreciate you. P.S. Wives, if you’re reading this (good!!) please don’t throw it at your husband and tell him to read it before you share what you read the other day and what it meant to you. We have a tendency to believe they are going to react the same way we do when reading something important and heartfelt, but they won’t. If your a wife and you want to share this with your husband, share the wife’s version first, then tell him that God loves him enough that he knew he wrote him a few words as well. P.P.S. Husbands, if you’ve not read the post from the other day for wives, you may want to look back on my profile to see what was written. You’ll be surprised at the conviction women feel about the position they hold or are trying to hold in their home. Share it with your wife, if you haven’t already. But be mindful of that weight she’s carrying. Do the same as I’ve described to the women above, and start by showing her what was written for the husbands before you dance around what was written for her.
Read The What If’s of Marriage for her