Each person is unique in many ways, including how they respond to stress, to a threatening or difficult situation, or to the unknown. But men and women often display characteristic patterns in how they deal with life, and with each other.
Women, on average, score higher on the relational scale than men. They tend to sense early on if there is something amiss in an important relationship. And sometimes they may over-dramatize what may otherwise be “normal” bumps in the road.
In many ways this relational sensitivity can be a gift. A woman’s intuition has saved many a relationship when both parties involved are working hard to make things right.
I recently wrote to the men who tend to run when they don’t understand or can’t fix something. And I promised to talk to women as well. So here it is.
You sense something isn’t quite right. You’re unhappy. Your husband doesn’t act as “present” as you wish. Or you discover a concerning magazine, text message, or Facebook post.
“Honey, what’s wrong? Why didn’t you …..? How could you do that?”
Perhaps he doesn’t say much, and you feel blown off. So you go after it again, every chance you get. The problem rolls around in your mind, and you can’t think about much else. And by george, your husband should tell you what’s going on! And he ought to take care of his family. And he ought to fix things around the house. And he ought to stand up to his mother. And he ought to spend more time with the kids. And he ought to pray more with the family. And he ought to wash the car. And he ought to let the neighbors know they must keep their hedge trimmings out of your yard. And he ought to get his hair cut before the weekend. And he ought to help me get the kids ready for church. And he ought to . . . . . .
Doesn’t that make you tired just reading it? Come on, girls: truth now. Do you ever sound like that?
Sure, perhaps your husband “ought to” do all those things. But just for a moment, how do you think it would sound if the roles were reversed, and he was constantly telling you all the things you “ought” to be doing, and how you weren’t measuring up? Wouldn’t you want to RUN?!!
So here comes the challenge:
That’s right. Be QUIET!
“Even if he forgets the garbage?” YES.
“Even if he hasn’t spent time with the kids in a month?” YES.
“Even if he doesn’t remember to pray for the family?” YES!
A wise and discerning wife can be a powerful thing in a man’s life, helping him be better than he ever could be alone. But nagging, complaining, pushing never works!
You probably know if this applies to you or not. If your husband tends to run, don’t give him an excuse! Your nagging and pushing and complaining make you very undesirable to be around. Sometimes your man just needs some peace!
And when your husband has relaxed and is in a good mood, open a conversation about things that matter – things like fears, dreams, friendship, and more. Spend time listening, really listening. Be genuinely interested in what’s in his heart. Be a safe place for him to be himself.
Remember Ruth and Boaz? Or Esther and the King?
And remember, you’re not his mother. And you don’t make a very good Junior Holy Spirit!
There’s no guarantee being quiet will open your man’s heart, but it may make you much more appealing.
And he may just run toward you, rather than away.
Your turn: How are you pushing your man away? Or making him want to come close? What could you do to be a safer place for him? Leave a comment below.
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