Man Hiding

Can’t life with them; can’t live without them. That’s how some men see us women. And perhaps we’ve given them ample opportunity to shrug their shoulders and walk the other way. Men aren’t really that hard to understand, and we should be able to get this right.

At a women’s conference this past weekend I heard many sad stories and saw a lot of tears. A number of women “complained” about the men in their lives behaving badly. While men are responsible for their own behavior, as women we may forget how much power we really do have in our relationships. We have the ability to cut a man down and emasculate him at his core, or to build him up and provide him with the fuel he needs to soar and succeed.

Here are 5 common mistakes we as women make, and what to do instead. If you want your husband to be a miserable man, here’s what to do:

1. Expect him to read your mind.

Even the most caring husband doesn’t know what you’re thinking unless you tell him. He may guess, and he may be right. But he doesn’t know.

Most men are wired to want to fix things, including whatever is bothering you. Instead of worrying about why he doesn’t read your mind, be clear about what you want from him with a simple request. If you want him to just listen, say so. And sometimes you need to let him fix things! (Check out this funny video: “It’s Not About the Nail.”)

2. Refuse to respect him.

A man’s engine runs on respect. Men don’t usually keep trying something where they continually fail. If he’s trying to please you and fails, he’ll eventually just quit trying. If you withhold respect he’ll either shrivel up inside or look for it elsewhere. Learn words of respect and use them, even when you’re upset. Let him know the things he does that you DO appreciate, and he’s likely to do more of them. (Check out Love and Respect Ministries.)

3. Don’t honor his physical need for sex.

A loving husband looks to you to fulfill his physical needs, and feels bonded to you as a result of sex. And yes, these are needs. Constant rejection not only frustrates him physically, but he probably struggles to connect with you emotionally if his sexual needs are not fulfilled. This does not mean you must say Yes to sex every time. But if you must say No, do your best to let him know why, and when you will be available; “Honey, I’m so upset and tired right now that I just can’t. Let me get a good night’s sleep, and we’ll plan on an early morning rendezvous tomorrow.” Do your best to take a mental step in his direction, and your body is more likely to follow.

4. Constantly try to change him.

Please don’t get married expecting to change your husband into the man you want him to be. Either take him as a whole package, or don’t take him at all. Your influence may change him, but not because you’re trying to do so. He may change because of God’s work in His heart; pray about that if you need to. If he senses you’re trying to change him, he’ll put on the brakes and dig himself even deeper into his hole.

5. Expect him to give you what he can’t give.

A good husband is a gift from God, but he can’t fulfill all your needs. You are responsible for feeding your inner being. Waiting for your husband to make you happy is an exercise in futility. Blaming him for your unhappiness simply makes both of you miserable. You’ll only be happy when you decide to be happy, and do the things you need to do to keep your soul filled up. Find out what fills you up, and do it. Ask God to fill the parts of your soul that human beings can’t.

Are there some things you’re doing that make your man miserable? It doesn’t have to stay that way.

Your Turn: Have you been doing things that make your man miserable? Are you going to do anything differently in the future? Leave a comment below.

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