There are so many “reality shows” on TV right now. Yet, when I have wasted some time watching them, they aren’t “reality” at all. The only reality that I have seen in so many of them is that you will get hurt emotionally, you will have people stab you in the back, and you will end up looking like a fool in most scenarios.
So many “lovestruck” couples get ideas in their heads of what marriage is going to be for them. Shortly after they say “I do,” their “reality” sets in. While women find fulfillment in relationships, men find fulfillment in their accomplishments. They find fulfillment in being able to cross one more item off of their lifelong list of things to do, and getting married is usually one of those items. While the wife wants to nurture their relationship, have candlelight dinners, and cuddle on the couch together, the man may be looking at his agenda, searching for the next thing to conquer. For the bride who has the “lovestruck” notion that her new husband will meet all of her needs, she finds that she is bitterly disappointed.
TV doesn’t help in the view of marriage. There are so many shows which have fairy tale endings such as Cinderella. Her prince charming comes and dashes her away to live a perfect life, willing to meet her every wish. We all know that isn’t reality. Reality is that over 50% of marriages will fail. Reality is that there are many wives who face physical or emotional abuse on a daily basis.
Ladies, your husband will fail at some point. Maybe he won’t ever beat you or commit adultery. Praise God if he doesn’t! However, we need to remember that he is just a man, and man will at some point have failures to face. How we, as wives, respond to those failures will speak volumes to him. When failure hits him, he is going to be dealing with a myriad of emotions and thoughts. He may feel worthless, fearful, stressed, insignificant, or unloved, just to name a few. His self-esteem may be at an all-time low. As the woman who has vowed to honor and cherish this man, we must guard our words, as well as our body language when he faces these troublesome times.
One thing we often try to do is help him, but we do it in our own strength, rather than depending on the Lord. By continuing in our own strength, we may blurt out, “I told you it was a bad idea!” So much for following the biblical mandate to encourage one another! (Heb. 3:13, 10:25) Poor hubby already knows it was a bad idea; that’s why it failed! He doesn’t need us to remind him of that failure, making him feel like more of a failure himself.
It’s important to remember that when we face failures, we often view ourselves as being the failure, when in reality, the failure came through something which we may have done. There is a difference. For instance, if I try a new recipe and it turns out terrible, that doesn’t mean that I am a failure at cooking. It just means that particular recipe was a failure. I have to move on to another meal, forgetting about the previous one.
We must be diligent to pray even more aggressively during these times. God is willing to give us wisdom when we ask for it. (James 1:5) What we think we should say to him may not be the wisest thing to say, so we must stay connected to the Lord, trusting Him to help us be an encourager. We are told in scripture to bear one another’s burdens. (Gal. 6:2) Many times we think of doing this to those outside of our home, but whose burden would be better to bear than our spouse’s? After all, we did vow to love him in the good times and the bad times.
We need to be considerate of his feelings and moodiness. Let him know that you are there for him if he wants to talk, but let him know that you don’t want to force him to talk if silent reflection is what he feels that he needs for the moment. My husband has been going through some real trials lately. On top of that, he is overwhelmed with three jobs that loom before him. It seems like he is running into difficulty with all three jobs. While letting him vent to me this morning, I casually mentioned a couple of things which the Lord has recently shown me, and gently suggested that he try looking at his tasks in the same way. I believe that part of why he was receptive to this is because I take the time to ask him about his work. I also ask if there is anything I can do to help, and I sympathize with what he is feeling. I don’t try to solve his problem, or attack his manhood by telling him that he is doing it all wrong. I give him the listening ear that he needs, and then he is receptive to a gentle, biblically based admonition, because I’m not preaching at him. I am just gently instructing him on something that I have been praying about in my own life, and sharing what God has shown me.
When your husband is facing bitter disappointments, be sure to tell him that you’re sorry it didn’t work out like he had hoped. Tell him that you can certainly understand how discouraged he must be. After you have taken time to acknowledge the situation, along with his feelings about it, then you may find it appropriate to gently remind him that God hasn’t ever failed you, so you have confidence in God’s ability to see him through this time. Remind him that God has started a good work in him, and God will carry it through to completion. Phil. 1:6
In closing, we need to remember that God made man with an intense need for sex. When he is going through troublesome times that leave him feeling like less of a man, we can do a fabulous job by being responsive in that area. We may even need to be the initiators, letting him know that we still find him desirable. That physical release can be a huge help to a man who is facing some stressful times. Make it fun for him to be home. I have mentioned before how we, as wives, should make the home a refuge from the things of life. At times, that refuge may simply be in the bedroom.
© 2003, Stacy R Miller