Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

For Men Only: A Husband’s Personal Checklist

  • Dr. Don Dunlap Pastoral Counselor
  • 2003 9 Jan
For Men Only: A Husband’s Personal Checklist
Are you interested in examining a checklist of ways that husbands typically offend their wives? In this article, Dr. Don Dunlap encourages men who find it hard to identify specific ways that they offend their wives, to read through the list carefully and prayerfully.

Listed below are some of the offenses that husbands typically commit against their wives. As you read through this list you may wish to check any of these offenses that apply to you.

___ 1. Ignoring her

___ 2. Not valuing her opinions

___ 3. Paying other people more attention than I pay her

___ 4. Not listening to her or not understanding what she feels is important

___ 5. Closing her out by not talking to her or by not listening to her (the Silent Treatment)

___ 6. Being easily distracted when she’s trying to talk

___ 7. Not scheduling special time to be with her

___ 8. Not being open to talk about things that I don’t understand

___ 9. Not being open to talk about things that she doesn’t understand

___ 10. Not giving her a chance to fully voice her opinion on decisions that affect the entire family

___ 11. Punishing her by being angry or silent

___ 12. Making jokes about certain aspects of her life

___ 13. Making sarcastic comments about her

___ 14. Insulting her in front of other people

___ 15. Coming back at her with quick retorts when we are arguing

___ 16. Giving harsh admonitions

___ 17. Using careless words before I think through how they will affect her

___ 18. Nagging her and speaking harshly

___ 19. Correcting her before giving her a chance to fully explain a situation

___ 20. Raising my voice at her

___ 21. Making critical comments that seem to have no logical basis

___ 22. Swearing or using foul language in her presence

___ 23. Correcting her in public

___ 24. Being tactless when pointing out her weaknesses or “blind spots”

___ 25. Reminding her angrily that I warned her not to do something

___ 26. Having disgusted or judgmental attitudes in general

___ 27. Pressuring her when she is already feeling low or offended

___ 28. Lecturing her when she needs to be comforted, encouraged, or treated gently

___ 29. Breaking promises without any explanation or without asking to be released from the promise

___ 30. Telling her how wonderful other women are and comparing her in any way to other women

___ 31. Holding onto resentment about something that she did and which she tried to make right

___ 32. Being disrespectful to her family members and other relatives

___ 33. Coercing her into arguments

___ 34. Correcting or punishing her in anger for something that she is not guilty of

___ 35. Not praising her for something that she did well, even if she did it for me

___ 36. Treating her like a child

___ 37. Being rude to her or to other people when we are in public (such as restaurant personnel or store clerks)

___ 38. Being unaware of her needs

___ 39. Being ungrateful

___ 40. Not trusting her

___ 41. Not approving of what she does or of how she does it

___ 42. Not being interested in her personal growth or her spiritual growth

___ 43. Being inconsistent in my life or having double standards (doing things that I don’t want her to do)

___ 44. Not giving her advice when she really needs it and asks for it

___ 45. Not telling her that I love her in specific ways

___ 46. Having proud and arrogant attitudes in general

___ 47. Not giving her the daily encouragement that she needs

___ 48. Failing to include her in conversation when we are out together with other people

___ 49. Failing to spend focused time with her when we attend social gatherings

___ 50. “Talking her down”—continuing to discuss or argue a point simply to prove that I was right

___ 51. Ignoring her around the house as if she weren’t a member of the family

___ 52. Not taking time at the end of the day to listen to what is important to her

___ 53. Not paying any attention to her at social gatherings

___ 54. Not attending church together as a family

___ 55. Failing to honestly express to her what I think are her innermost feelings

___ 56. Showing more excitement for work and other activities than for her

___ 57. Being impolite at mealtimes

___ 58. Having sloppy manners around the house or in front of others

___ 59. Not inviting her out regularly on special romantic dates (Just the two of us)

___ 60. Not helping her with the children at extra stressful times, such as just before mealtimes or at bedtime

___ 61. Not volunteering to help her with the dishes occasionally—or with cleaning the house

___ 62. Making her feel stupid when she shares an idea about my work or about decisions that must be made

___ 63. Making her feel unworthy for desiring certain furniture or insurance or other material needs for herself and the family

___ 64. Being inconsistent with the discipline of the children

___ 65. Not taking an interest in playing with the children and not spending quality and quantity time with them

___ 66. Failing to show affection for her in public, such as holding her hand or putting my arm around her (As if I seem to be embarrassed to be with her)

___ 67. Not sharing my life, my ideas or my feelings with her (such as what’s going on at work)

___ 68. Neglecting the spiritual leadership of my home

___ 69. Demanding my wife to submit to me

___ 70. Demanding her to respond to me sexually when we are not in harmony with one another

___ 71. Being unwilling to readily admit when I am wrong

___ 72. Being defensive whenever she points out one of my “blind spots”

___ 73. Being too busy with work or other activities

___ 74. Not showing compassion and understanding for her and the children when there is a real need to do so

___ 75. Not planning for the future, which makes her very insecure

___ 76. Being stingy with money, making her feel that she has to beg for every penny

___ 77. Wanting us to do things sexually that make her feel embarrassed

___ 78. Reading pornographic magazines or watching indiscreet videos

___ 79. Forcing her to make many of the decisions regarding the checkbook and bills

___ 80. Forcing her to handle bill collectors and overdue bills

___ 81. Not letting her lean on my gentleness and strength (or not having gentleness and strength for her to lean on)

___ 82. Not allowing her to fail—always believing that I have to correct her

___ 83. Refusing to recognize her uniqueness and her differences as a woman

___ 84. Criticizing her womanly characteristics or sensitivity as being weakness

___ 85. Spending too much money and placing the family under financial pressure

___ 86. Not having a sense of humor and not joking about things together

___ 87. Not sending her special love letters or hand-written notes from time to time

___ 88. Forgetting special occasions like anniversaries or birthdays

___ 89. Not defending her when somebody else is criticizing her or tearing her down, especially if it is one of my relatives or friends

___ 90. Not putting my arms around her and hugging her when she needs to be comforted

___ 91. Not praising her to other people

___ 92. Being dishonest

___ 93. Discouraging her when she tries to better herself, either through education or through exercise

___ 94. Continuing to practice distasteful or harmful habits

___ 95. Not treating her as if “Handle With Care” were stamped on her forehead

___ 96. Ignoring her relatives and the people who are important to her

___ 97. Taking her for granted; assuming that “a woman’s work is never done”

___ 98. Not including her in future plans until the last minute

___ 99. Seldom doing little unexpected things for her to let her know that I love her and appreciate her

___ 100. Not treating her as an intellectual equal

___ 101. Viewing her as a weaker individual in general

___ 102. Being preoccupied with my own goals and needs, and making her feel that she and the children are not my top priority

___ 103. Threatening to never let her do something again because she made some mistake in the past

___ 104. Criticizing her behind her back (This is especially painful for her if she hears about my criticism from someone else)

___ 105. Blaming her for things in our relationship that are clearly my fault

___ 106. Not being aware of her physical limitations; treating her like a man by roughhousing with her or making her carry heavy objects

___ 107. Being impatient or angry with her when she can’t keep up with my schedule or physical stamina

___ 108. Acting as though I am a martyr if I go along with her opinions

___ 109. Sulking when she challenges my comments

___ 110. Joining too many organizations that exclude her and the children

___ 111. Failing to repair items around the house

___ 112. Watching too much TV and therefore, neglecting family time

___ 113. Demanding that she must sit down and listen to my point of view when she needs to be doing other things

___ 114. Insisting upon lecturing her in order to convey the importance of the points that I want to make

___ 115. Humiliating her with words and actions, saying things like, “I can’t stand to live in a messy home”

___ 116. Not taking the time to prepare her to enjoy sexual intimacy

___ 117. Spending money extravagantly without being faithful in giving to God

___ 118. Avoiding family activities that the children enjoy

___ 119. Taking vacations that are primarily what I want to do

___ 120. Not letting her get away to spend time with friends, go shopping, go out for coffee and dessert at a restaurant, etc.

___ 121. Being unwilling to join her in the things that she enjoys like shopping, going out for coffee and dessert at a restaurant, etc.

___ 122. Not understanding the challenging responsibilities that a wife has: laundry, cooking, picking up clothes and toys all day long, wiping runny noses, changing diapers, etc.

___ 123. Refusing to be self-sacrificial by regularly touching her in non-sexual ways, strictly for her pleasure and enjoyment, not leading to sexual intercourse

Now go back and write out each offense expanding specifically on each one. Then, sit down with your wife and ask her to forgive you for every offense. This is one of the most important projects in restoring and strengthening a marriage. Give it your best effort. She will be able to sense any insincerity.

As men read through these items, they should keep in mind that the purpose of this list is to help them begin the process of repentance, reconciliation and marital restoration.

Dr. Don Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the offices of Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand appointments during his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes adults, children and families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to facilitating a network of telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for the many people unable to meet face to face with a competent Bible-based counselor. You may make an appointment for personal telephone counseling by clicking on Family Counseling Ministries.