1. When you go right to “fix it” mode.
It’s not easy to listen without wanting to immediately fix the problem for your spouse. I get it—I’m wired that way too. But it’s important to listen to your wife with great concern, give her a touch to let her know you’re there, and when she’s dumped it all out there, let her know that it must be hard.
Communicating to your wife with this kind of care will go a long way to open her up in a way to receive your advice or problem-solving. Always make sure she knows you’ve listened, you care, and you empathize with the hardship of the matter before trying to fix it for her.
Your concern to fix it in the first place is admirable but make sure to put her needs to be heard and cared for first.
2. When you don’t balance your hobbies and personal life well.
We all need a place to de-stress or have for ourselves in the busy chaos of this world. There’s nothing wrong with a hobby but a hobby can become unhealthy for any relationship when it starts to consume too much time.
Playing video games or golfing all day on a Saturday, every Saturday, probably isn’t the best way to spend the limited free time you have. Or plopping onto your recliner and flipping on the TV as soon as you get home every night until you go to bed isn’t considered time well spent.
If you’ve found a hobby you enjoy, make sure it doesn't get in the way of your relationships with your spouse or family. Find healthy ways to manage it and put your family first.
3. Asking for a compliment.
Sometimes a girl just needs to be told she’s pretty. The world is tough on us and we can be our own biggest critics. A compliment can really go a long way and give your wife the pep in her step for the day.
If we don’t get that, we’ll often ask. If we have to ask if we look nice in our dress, it’s time to step up your game. Be a husband who showers his wife with compliments and adoration on a daily basis so she never has to ask.
4. When you can’t leave stress at the door.
We get it—work and life can be stressful. We all feel it. You come home from a frustrating and tense day of work, wanting to decompress, but end up carrying the stress with you throughout the night.
Chances are likely your wife hasn’t seen you since breakfast and has been looking forward to spending time with you. Maybe her day was stressful too. When you get home, truly leave the stress of work at the door. It’s okay to talk about it and indeed your wife may want to, but after that let it go and enjoy your time at home. Don’t take the weight of the day out on your family, giving them your empty fumes, and miss what should be the most precious time of your day.
5. Fighting for your attention.
Work, kids, friends, family, hobbies, even pets want your attention! But this is how the order should work: God, wife, kids, and then what’s most important to you. God should get your best, without a doubt. After Him, your wife takes priority. I know this might seem contrary to popular belief for some but it’s true.
Don’t make your wife have to fight for your attention. Don’t make her have to ask to spend quality time together. Surprise her with a date! Even cook her a meal at home. Make sure you always reserve time with her, each day. May she never doubt she’s the apple of your eye.
6. When you don’t share your thoughts and feelings.
Playing tough guy with your wife doesn’t work. Bottling up your feelings won’t help either. Your wife want’s to know you at the deepest parts of your soul. When you shut her out and play tough guy with your feelings, this will only hurt your relationship. Marriage requires open communication and trust to share, so find that safe place with her.
If vulnerability with your spouse is hard, start by talking about that.
7. Feeling left out or not part of a team.
You’re not two separate entities, but one working in harmony. Which means as a spouse, you work with the other in all decision making. Even if something seems insignificant, include your wife in on the decision. Truly work as a team. Your wife doesn’t like being someone you just run decisions by after the fact. She wants to work together in caring for the family. Yes, ultimately, the man is the head of the household but work together in harmony to foster a healthy home.
8. Being compared to other women.
Women struggle with comparison perhaps more than anything. They’re already hard on themselves, comparing their body, family, gifts, and so much more with other women. Please be careful not to add to that.
Refrain from even talking about how your neighbor’s wife seems to run such a tight ship. Or that your co-worker’s spouse always makes him lunch. Or that your ex or a good friend use to do something you liked. I’ve heard Mark Driscoll say that your wife is your standard of beauty. I would add that she is your standard for a godly woman in any matter. Celebrate all she does for you and your family!
9. Being expected to balance the home and family alone.
The home is not the sole responsibility of the wife. Unless she wants to be but I doubt that’s the case! I know you’re tired when you get home but at the end of the day, so is she. If she cooks dinner, offer to clean up the mess afterward. If she just cleaned the kitchen, grab the vacuum and get to work on the living room. If she rallied the kids in the morning, take the initiative to rally them to bed. Remember, you are a team so work together.
10. Being the spiritual leader of the family.
A woman does not want to be the spiritual leader of your family; if she does, well, something’s not right. A man is tasked to be the priest of the family—to care and lead his wife and kids closer to God. Spend time in the Word, in prayer both alone and with your family, and in leading by example. This is the most significant thing you can do for your family.
Brittany Rust is a writer, speaker, and has the privilege of serving on staff at Red Rocks Church in Denver, CO. She and her husband Ryan make their home in the Rocky Mountains, pursuing outdoor adventures, great food, and memorable stories together. Her website brittanyrust.com aims to supply encouraging resources for the world-wearied believer.
Image courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: December 28, 2016