I know this sounds crazy. And most men reading this would probably think I have lost my mind. I know that women are known for our emotions being out of control sometimes and for making life difficult for those we love most because of all those raging hormones. And it can be a struggle to get anger and sadness under control for many women. But with all I have studied in pharmacy school in anatomy and physiology and in “His Brain, Her Brain” by Dr. Walt Larimore and the countless books I have read about marriage – I honestly believe that God designed the emotions of wives to bless their husbands and families.
THE DESIGN OF OUR BRAINS AND THE COCKTAIL OF HORMONES WOMEN HAVE MAKE US EMOTIONAL CREATURES
God made us to have feelings in ways that most men will never experience. We have a different perspective on life because of the larger limbic system (center of emotions in our brains) and because of the high levels of estrogen and oxytocin (bonding hormone) we have. We don’t have nearly as much testosterone as men – that is what makes men aggressive physically and sexually and what gives them deep voices, hairy bodies and much greater muscle mass than women have.
We are made to nurture – our husbands, our children, our friends, even strangers! We are made to love. Our brains are designed so that we don’t hesitate to get up in the middle of the night to comfort sick children or to hold a crying baby. We are in tune with the emotions and needs of others – and that is a blessing! We are created to be oriented towards our husbands (as their valuable, precious, cherished helpmates that make life worth living) and our children, and they are created to be oriented towards the world in their careers, slaying dragons and conquering challenges, leaving their mark on the world.
WHEN WE THINK OF SHARING OUR FEELINGS, WHAT DO WE THINK ABOUT SHARING?
Well, if you are anything like I used to be – I would think about sharing the negative emotions I had. They were obviously there because something was wrong in the relationship that needed to be fixed. I concentrated mostly on expressing problems so that they could be corrected - then everything would be perfect!
I believe that God created women to be the heart of the marriage and family relationship. God gave husbands the position of “head” just as Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:22-33). I believe that God made women to have the powerful emotions they do to be a sort of barometer to gauge how the relationship is going. Women are MUCH more interested in emotional intimacy, connectedness, fellowship and closeness than men are for the most part. And women can tell when there is a problem much earlier than husbands can, usually. So it can be very important for us to share our emotions of sadness, fear, loneliness, discouragement, anger, etc. with our men. But we must do this in a way that labels our feelings without disrespecting or blaming our men.
I like the way Laura Doyle prescribes sharing feelings in “The Surrendered Wife.” She says to “purely state” your feelings by saying, “I feel lonely.” “I feel scared.” “I feel angry.” “I feel happy.” It’s important for our husbands to know our feelings so they can make the best decisions in our families.
Of course, we must also learn to not trust our feelings all the time. Our emotions are an incredible gift and blessing that make us able to care for our families in some extremely important and practical ways, but sometimes our emotional compass goes haywire and we can’t depend on our feelings. It is important to look to God, our husbands, and trusted godly girlfriends during those times and trust them to lead us when our emotional compass is malfunctioning.
The problem is – if all we share is the negative stuff – how much fun is THAT?
Many of us need to turn the volume WAY down on the negative things, in my view. Cut out criticism, nagging, complaining, arguing, telling him how to do things, questioning his abilities… Give him some supportive silence instead of a negative, critical spirit.
SHARE YOUR POSITIVE EMOTIONS FREELY!
This may sound awkward at first. But it is high time to turn the volume WAY up on the positive things we are feeling and thinking! It may feel awkward at first. That’s ok. I’d like you to work on a project for the next week – and all of the things you say MUST be sincere. Look hard and find every single blessing you can to thank him and praise him for.
- Any time you realize that you are grateful for something your husband does, I want you to tell him – either verbally or in a brief email.
- Anytime you realize that you are content
in your marriage and in your family and your life – I want you to tell your hubby about that this week.
- Any time you are excited, happy or full of joy, please share it with him!
- I LOVE living with you and sharing life with you!
- I’m so glad you are here to cuddle with me during this thunderstorm.
- I am excited that I get to have you all to myself tonight!
- Thank you for helping me with the dishes, Honey! You are so thoughtful!
- I love how peaceful I feel knowing you are taking such good care of me.
- I appreciate how you protect me and don’t let me stretch myself too thin.
- Thank you for your wise counsel, I really need and appreciate your perspective. You help me be a more well-rounded person!
- I’m the happiest girl in the world! I’m so glad you are my husband!
- I love knowing I have such a responsible guy like you for my man.
- Thank you for being so trustworthy.
- I enjoyed having you at supper with all of us tonight. What a blessing you are to our family!
- Thanks for letting me sit with you while I read my book.
- I enjoyed watching you playing Monopoly with the kids. They look up to you so much! Thanks for taking time to have fun and play with them. That means so much to me!
- Thank you for providing so well financially for our family! I appreciate all your hard work VERY much!
- I am so content just sitting here beside you, being near you.
- What a gift to have another day with you today!
- I can’t wait to see you tonight!
- I love our special time together after the kids are in bed, when we can just relax together. It’s my favorite time of the day!
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Your emotions are the most powerful information your husband has to decide if he is doing a good job as a husband and dad. Most husbands measure their success at home by their wives’ happiness!!! Your contentment tells your husband that he is doing a good job and you appreciate his hard work. You will help him not feel pressured to work more or earn more money by your high contentment level! Your happiness and joy make your man feel like a winner at home! That makes him want to be there and try even harder to make you happy.
Don’t squash all those wonderful, positive emotions! Let them fuel your calling to build up your husband and make your marriage strong with your words of affirmation, admiration, respect, encouragement and empowerment!
Help us to use our words to build up our men, to bless them, to breathe life into them. Let us be women of godly character, who know how to use our femininity to bless our husbands, our marriages and our families!