That’s not a bad thing. In fact, it’s a very good thing! It’s the way they’re made.
After all, if men didn’t like to fix things, there would be no point in a Honey Do list!
But when a man can’t understand or fix something, he will often withdraw. He’ll try to ignore or deny the problem. Perhaps he’ll run. He’ll withdraw into his own world and hide. Or he’ll find some place to run away to.
That running may lead him to long hours at work, to alcohol or other substance abuse, to an affair, or other dangerous or unhealthy ways to get away from what he can’t fix.
And if the problem is in his marriage, this tendency to run or hide can be devastating.
To you guys out there, don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about! Does this sound like you? (I’m not putting blame anywhere: I’ll talk to the women in another post!)
You sense the temperature getting a little colder at home, and you don’t know why. Something’s a little different with your wife. Perhaps you ask, “Honey, is something wrong?” And the response: “No!” So you shrug it off.
And the temperature keeps going down.
Finally you can’t ignore the freezing temperature any longer. You don’t know what to do. You don’t know how to fix it. So you leave.
Oh, you might not leave physically. But some part of you leaves. Your heart is closed.
If that’s the end of it, you’ve lost perhaps the most important thing you ever had. Perhaps you’ve been so busy climbing the ladder of success you find yourself at the top – alone! Or perhaps you’ve gone so long assuming things would somehow take care of themselves that you no longer know when things started going wrong.
Wherever you find yourself in this pattern, I challenge you to do SOMETHING!
It may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It may be paralyzingly terrifying. But this is the time to be a man and do what needs to be done – even if you’re terrified.
Sit down. Talk with your wife. LISTEN! If it takes a third party to negotiate the listening, so be it. It may take every ounce of strength you have to sit there and listen if you’re not used to doing so.
And the really scary part – you’ll probably have to do it again. And again.
But the good news is – doing so will just possibly turn you into a true hero! You may find out things you truly didn’t want to know, and don’t know how to fix. And if the temperature has been turning cold for a while, it may well take quite some time to warm them up again. And you may have to do some painful looking in the mirror.
And there’s no guarantee your efforts will be successful.
But isn’t that the thing heroes are made of? They take risks even when the outcome is not certain. They give the best of themselves even when they are terrified. They do whatever it takes.
If you want to save your marriage, don’t let anything stop you. It will be worth it!
Even if you don’t know what to do, do SOMETHING! Don’t run. Too many people are counting on you!
Your turn: Have you been guilty of running? What are you afraid of? What could you do about it? I’d love to hear from you!