Some time ago I wrote a post about how wives can deal with an emotionally distant husband. That post was mostly on how to understand why your husband is so closed off and how to use that knowledge to extend grace. In this post I will share some tips on how you can actually help him open up to you.
I’m a huge believer in the concept of love and respect. I also believe they go both ways, husbands and wives both need love and respect. However, there is one important area where I may not agree with the majority on this subject.
Many people talk about the importance of making your spouse feel loved or respected. I think that they believe it is the duty of a husband to make sure his wife feels loved, and likewise it is the duty of a wife to make her husband feel respected. The problem with this is that it takes headship away from the husband and holds the marriage captive to emotions.
Even if you believe in mutual submission (which I don’t), headship is not in the hands of the couple or Christ in this scenario. This is because emotions are very difficult to control.
I had actually prayed the prayer before this, at a very young age. I think I was to young to really understand what I was praying, and I’m not sure if it counted. Maybe, but I’m doubtful.
But I do remember when that changed. [...]
This hack is known as the Pareto principle, sometimes called the 80/20 rule. In its most basic form, the Pareto principle states that 80 percent of a cause results in 20 percent of an effect (or vice versa). There are many variations to this rule, such as:
- 80% of books are sold by 20% of authors
- 80% the wealth is controlled by 20% of the population
- 80% of marketing results in 20% of sales
- 80% of your efforts produce 20% of your results
It’s this last one that we want to look at. In business, this means that 80% of what the employees spend their time on isn’t doing much to help the company. Conversely, only 20% of time is spent on tasks that actually get results. Productivity coaches teach executives, managers, and employees to weed out those ineffective tasks and instead focus their time and effort on the other 20% that get 80% of the results.
So how can you apply this simple principle to your marriage?
I’m a big believer in the power of your words to improve your marriage.
It is all too easy to forget this power. You can easily get so caught up in the day to day routine that the opportunities to encourage and appreciate your wife can slip away before you know it.
Yet taking a few seconds each day to let your wife know you value her is one of the simplest, most powerful things you can do to strengthen your relationship. It has the amazing ability to warm her heart, make her feel loved and give her a sense of security and confidence in your relationship. [...]
I used to scoff when someone would say that you can’t have a healthy marriage without fighting. I thought that fighting was a bad thing, and so obviously a couple that fights often must not have a healthy relationship.
But the reality is that we are all fallen people living in a sinful world. Anytime you get two people living in close quarters together there is going plenty of fuel for arguments. This is especially true when you have kids, because with each kid you are adding another fallen person into the mix, and one who is still developing their sense of right and wrong.
And there is nothing inherently wrong with conflict itself. In fact, learning to deal with conflict in a healthy way is an important part of building a successful marriage.
As an Army Veteran who has been to Iraq I am very familiar with the concept of military strongholds. In fact, while I was deployed I lived in a Forward Operating Base (FOB) which is essentially a modern day stronghold. And while the technology and tactics of war have changed significantly in the last few thousand years, strongholds still serve the same basic purpose.
A stronghold is simply a fortified location that the occupying military force can use to exert influence over the surrounding area. For instance, the FOB I was stationed at was surrounded by concrete walls and guard towers manned by Soldiers with automatic weapons and radios. This made it a relatively safe place for our troops to rest, get food, resupply, get medical attention and all kinds of other important things in between patrols.
Each day, these patrols would go out and exert influence on the area by seizing weapons caches, capturing terrorist leaders, and take out terrorist cells. They would then return to the FOB and get ready to do it all again the next day.
One of the most common struggles in marriages today is the difficult challenge of maintaining intimacy once the “honeymoon phase” ends. It’s easy to let yourself get so busy with work, kids, church responsibilities and the daily grind of life that spending time focusing on your relationship can be difficult.
The more I think about this, the more I am convinced that birth is a miracle. To think that something as wonderful as the human body can be the result of random chance is ludicrous to me. Even the relatively simple process of cell division sounds too complex to have developed from random evolution.
It makes me sad to think of all the babies that have been aborted. I think that it is a complete tragedy how we end so many lives in the name of “women’s rights”.
Anyway, our oldest daughter was very excited for her new sister. She came into that hospital and said, “Baby came out of mommies tummy!”
Our son, who is 2 and a half, is a different story. When his grandma brought him to the hospital he was not very happy about the new arrival. He kept grabbing my or my wife’s hand to drag us out of the room. I think he’s warming up now, and it’s possible he was more upset about the fact that we hadn’t been home all day.
If a husband does not feel respected, he cannot feel loved
- “I do not need you to tell me what to do.”
- “I am a grown man”.
- “I hear this every month when you get ready to start your period.”
- “You worry over EVERYTHING, Honey.”
- “You never believe me when I tell you things”.
- “Have a little faith in me.”
- “Do you not even believe in me that much?”
- “I can’t please you. If I don’t do what you want, you are unhappy. If I do what you want, you say I am only doing it because you told me to.”
- “I can’t win here.”
- “I am in a no win situation.”
- “It is the same thing, over and over with you.”
- “What hurts me the most is that you don’t trust me with the kids.” (I know he would NEVER let anything happen to our children. I just wish he was more cautious with them. STILL and issue I am going to have to confront it at some point but I need to deal with simply letting go first).
- “No man wants to be without respect.”
- “Trust me.”
- “You always believe the worst about me.”
- “No man wants to be talked to like that.” (in reference to a couple we know)
- “She talks to him like a dog.” (in reference to a couple we know)
- “I told you I would take care of it.”
- “You don’t believe me when I DO compliment you.”