False Opinions Wives Have about Husbands (And Vice Versa)
- Rhonda Stoppe Speaker and Author
- 2019 22 Feb
Patty and Carl were seated in the counselor’s office. Each had a list of what they wanted to fix in their marriage. After years of struggling with feelings of disappointment and betrayal they’d grown apart. They felt betrayed, not due to an affair, but rather betrayed by how their spouse hadn’t measured up to their expectations.
It’s not easy to undo bad habits when mentoring a married couple who’s been stuffing their disappointment––or constantly fighting against one another. Unlike engaged couples who have stars in their eyes and still believe the best about each other, married couples in conflict have built up walls and harbor hurt feelings that must be carefully unpacked and addressed biblically. Undoing the damage is possible but it takes a lot more effort on the couples’ part––but it’s worth the work.
While some couples my husband and I have mentored have deep wounds from infidelity, anger and bitterness, many just want to have a better marriage but just don’t know how. With the latter couple in mind, let’s unpack some common false opinions women have about men––and vise versa.
A Wife Might Believe:
He’s always working because He doesn’t want to be with me.
But a husband thinks, She doesn’t appreciate how hard I work.
He doesn’t respect what I do all day.
But a husband thinks, She knows how much I appreciate her.
He’d love me more if I were prettier.
But a husband thinks, I forget to tell her I think she’s pretty.
If he loved me he'd stop looking at porn.
But a husband thinks, I wish she knew how ashamed I am of my pornography addiction.
All he wants is sex––not romance.
But a husband thinks, I want my wife to want me in bed.
If he made more money we’d have less stress.
But a husband thinks, She overspends but complains I work too much.
He doesn't want to help around the house.
But a husband thinks, I’d help more but she demeans me when I don’t do things her way.
I think I’d be happier with someone else.
But a husband thinks, She constantly compares me to the husband she wishes I would be.
A Husband Might Believe:
My wife is not interested in romance anymore.
But a wife thinks, All he wants is sex. I want romance.
She doesn’t appreciate how hard I work.
But a wife thinks, He works so he doesn’t have to spend time with me.
I work so I can buy her nice things.
But a wife thinks, The best gift is quality time together.
The “silent treatment” means she’s not ready to talk.
But a wife thinks, When I clam up, he doesn’t care enough to find out what’s wrong.
I wish she’d try harder to look pretty for me.
But a wife thinks, He doesn’t care how I look unless we’re going out.
My secretary is more respectful than my wife.
But a wife thinks, He compares me to other women.
How many of the false opinions do you identify in the lists above? In our experience as marriage mentors, these types of mistaken ideas are often the root of a couple’s trouble.
Differences in How Men and Women Connect
As a woman, you likely find great fulfillment in your marriage relationship through conversation. So you might expect your husband to find satisfaction in this as well. But the truth is that while men can enjoy talking with their wives, most men do not find the same fulfillment in conversation as women do. Your husband’s God-given need to connect with you physically means just as much to him as good communication means to you.
Neither of your opinions are wrong; you are just wired differently. By design, God made you to feel emotionally connected with your husband through conversation, and He made your husband to emotionally engage with you through sex.
The trouble comes when both husband and wife look past the other person’s needs and refuse to give what the other one longs for, in hopes of coercing their spouse to meet their own need first. This is always a recipe for disaster.
Make no mistake—refusing to satisfy to your spouse’s deepest need until they give you the romance you desire will only serve to erode the loving environment you so desperately long for in your marriage.
Listen to my husband’s insight, “As a pastor and biblical counselor it’s been my experience that men whose wives pursue them sexually are deeply in love with their wives.”
And husbands let me chime in here; in my experience as a mentor to women, I’ve discovered that a woman whose husband fills her emotional tank with kind words of affirmation and romantic gestures are deeply in love with their husbands.
Spouses Can’t Read Minds
This is a marriage joy-stealer: if you really loved me you’d know how I’m feeling. Here’s the scenario: Noticing his wife isn’t happy about something, a husband asks, “What’s the matter?”
She says, “Nothing.”
At that point, a husband may ponder the false opinion, Okay, I gave her an opportunity to talk. She said “nothing,” so she must not want to talk about it.
Disunity occurs while at the same time the wife holds to the false opinion, I shouldn’t have to tell him what’s wrong. If he really cared he’d know what I’m feeling.
A healthy couple will come to realize they need to talk about their perceptions and feelings––rather than become wounded and withdrawn when their spouse cannot read their mind.
Remember, manipulative comments, sighing loudly when you’re dissatisfied, withholding affection or the silent treatment will do nothing to draw your spouse toward you. One of you must begin to kindly open up to express your vulnerabilities and needs in order to discover what false opinions may be causing dissension.
False opinions wives have about husbands––and vice versa are a normal part of life, because we usually filter our experiences through how we would be thinking or responding. But learning to talk about incorrect assumptions and being willing to believe the best about each other is a good place to start.
Turn to Scripture
What do you suppose Jesus would advise couples to do? Jesus said, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12 ESV).
One key way to reflect God’s perfect love to others is to treat them the way you want to be treated. The secret to a happy marriage is to take your eyes off of yourself— and your false opinions—and focus on following Christ’s example of a humble servant when it comes to loving your spouse. Philippians 2:3-8 says:
“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Just as Jesus humbled Himself to serve God by serving others, when you take time to learn how your spouse really thinks, rather than assigning wrong motives to their actions, you’re actually serving the Lord!
How to Repair Your False Opinions
If you’re ready to take an honest look at the false opinions you may have toward your spouse then begin with these steps:
- Review the above list and ask God to reveal to you areas He wants to correct your thinking.
- Read the Bible daily. Through Scripture you’ll gain a biblical perspective. You will never know yourself more clearly than through the lens of Scripture.
- Pray as the psalmist prayed, “Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18 NKJV).
- Adjust your thinking to be in line with Truth. Refuse to remain stuck in unloving beliefs toward your spouse. With God’s help, learn to take your thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ by choosing to think on whatever is good, right and honorable about your spouse (2 Corinthians 10:5; Philippians 4:8-9).
Remember, it’s God who works in you to will and to do His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) so He is the One who can help you develop right thinking toward your spouse. And when you do I promise you won’t regret it!
Bonus: Watch FREE videos of Steve & Rhonda Stoppe sharing insights regarding other false opinions men and women have about marriage.
Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman with more than 30 years she’s helped women build no regrets livesby mentoring, speaking and writing books grounded in Scripture and easy to read––like you're visiting with a friend over coffee. She speaks and appears nationally on radio including Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk, Family Life Today and Focus on the Family. She and her husband speak at marriage conferences, MOPs and homeschool conventions. Evangelism is her sweet spot. For more: NoRegretsWoman.com
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