On Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 April ran a guest post by Kayla Gulick titled My Demon. In the article, Kayla described how all of the voices in her head accused her husband of the worst. This prompted a discussion between us. April then asked me about whether a guy has similar voices in his head that paint a bad picture of his wife’s intentions.
FROM A HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE
I told her that husbands do have a voice in their head, but it rarely talks about their wives. It is a voice telling them:
- “You don’t have what it takes to do ……”
- “You are a failure at …..”
- “You are an inadequate husband, father, or son”
- “You are not good enough.”
Now, I need to clarify that this voice isn’t on all of the time and usually confined to one topic at a time. This is very different from how the April has explained to me about how she had an internal voice accusing me and justifying her disrespect and need for control almost constantly earlier in our marriage.
Much to my surprise, after I had made that statement I turned to find April with mouth agape, stunned, and fascinated with my response.
Shortly, after a little water and some cool compresses on her forehead, she said, “Hmm…Satan’s strategy is to attack the God-given spiritual authority from two sides. The accuser fills the wife’s head with a barrage of ammunition against her husband about how he is not worthy of respect and how she is totally justified in her disrespect and contempt.
AND the accuser fills the husband’s head with thoughts about how he is not worthy of respect and that his wife is absolutely right in her observation of his faults. The two accusing voices paralyze leadership in the marriage.”
IS THIS NORMAL?
Not wanting to jump to conclusions too quickly, we wondered if this theory held up in other marriages. A voice in my head started saying, “Yeah….Sure, check this out…You will only find that you are different than other guys. Other guys are better than you and wouldn’t think like this at all.”
So, the April posted the question on the Peacefulwife Facebook page. Shortly, Kayla Gulick responded that she had just asked her husband the same question without giving him my response and he said THE SAME EXACT THING.
Another reader, a husband, responded, “I ditto your husband. We fight the fear that we may not be ‘up to the job’ almost every day. But we are men, so it is shameful to talk about it.”
A husband wants to hide any insecurities or faults that he thinks he has because he is afraid that his wife or family will not respect him. He is afraid that he might lose any clout that he might have with his wife and family if he let a weakness be revealed.
Wow….So far so good with testing this theory. At church on Sunday evening, we asked the same question to several men to see if they responded in the same way.
Their responses seemed to first indicate that maybe I do think like a man and secondly, and probably most importantly, that the idea of Satan (and/or the sinful nature of men and women) attacking the spiritual authority of the marriage from both sides was probably true.
So I started searching for a way to describe what a man hears in his head and I came to the conclusion that the voice in his head is all about exposing his insecurities. I found the following quote from Jake Dudley, a 24 year old blogger, to be a really good description of how a man thinks.
And that’s all insecurity is – FEAR. Fear of things we have no control over in the first place. I know what it feels like. I’ve been faced with the doubt you experience when you are staring at a person of the opposite sex wanting soooo badly to tell them how you feel.
But instead you stand there frozen from the insecurity of thinking they’ll NEVER like someone as ugly as I think I am. I’ve stood at the crossroads of a major life decision thinking that no matter which I choose I will fail, so instead I turn into a little boy and run away from all possibilities.
I’ve ended things and started things and ignored people and ran away from opportunities all because somewhere along the way I believed my self-inflicted insecurities defined who I was as a man.
But here’s the thing: insecurity has NOTHING to do with who I actually am as person. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with who I’m terrified of becoming if I take a risk. I usually think I’ll fail. I usually think I’m not good enough.
I usually think girls think I’m ugly. I usually think my time has run out. I usually think and think and think my way into a pity party of self-loathing and doubt that I forget that I was created in the image of an extraordinary God.
One Man’s Insecurities by Jake Dudley,
A WIFE’S ROLE
A guy is always going to have insecurities and feel inadequate to fulfill his role as a husband and father. How can a wife work to control the demons/voices that are not only speaking to her but her husband as well? Your husband needs your respect, your trust, your belief in him, your admiration, and your affirmation. These are the confidence pills for the common insecurity. With a little boost of encouragement your husband can overcome and lead your marriage. I found the following quote from www.greatdatespot.com to be a great description of the role of a wife in handling his insecurities:
But here’s the thing- a man’s wife has a special place : she can truly build him up and quiet all other voices of insecurity -or- she can be the loudest voice of insecurity in the world. It’s a strange and magnificent power that you women yield. And it’s a power given by the source of security.
And while it may seem that these two oppose one another- they don’t. After all- a marriage is supposed to be mirror image of a person’s relationship with Jesus- so if it’s Jesus that a man’s security comes from- then it makes sense that a wife can wield similar power…if she chooses.
Ladies- you should understand- you have two choices here- to be the voice of encouragement and bolster your husband’s security or to be the voice of insecurity and rejection and crush your man (yes- you have that power). There is no third choice- if you choose to disengage and try to be in the middle- you are choosing the latter.
Ladies- your acceptance is not just vocal- though it is that. It’s not just sex, though it is that as well. It’s not respect, though it is that too. It’s all encompassing.
Give him great compliments, give him great sex, give him great respect and you will see your husband be spurred on to become the man he was always meant to be.
Think about it- the key to your husband becoming who he was meant to be- who you really want him to be – lies with you. Jesus could fully do it without you- but he chose to give you as a gift to your husband to speed it along.
And I know, that seems like a tall order. That seems like a lot of weight on your shoulders. But it is your burden- or your joy- depending on how you look at it. Now that is your choice.
Every wife wants her husband to be the moral authority for their family. Every husband wants his wife to be his biggest supporter, confidence booster, and encourager.
When he can feel that he has your trust and appreciation it is like giving him a shot of energy. That is why it is so easy for a man to literally become unplugged when he does not feel he is getting this support.
But I know there are many who might say that, “My husband is definitely not the moral authority in our family and there is no way I can affirm him after what he has done.”
Unfortunately, these husbands probably need the most support from their wives and yet their life yields very few opportunities for their wife to show praise and compliment them. I think Priscilla Shirer addresses this pretty well in the following quote:
Now perhaps your husband has consistently proven that he’s not worthy of your trust. He’s been careless with money, drawn to addictions, perhaps even unfaithful to his marriage vows.
The reason you can’t ascribe high value to his character, you say, is because he hasn’t shown you very much of it. And you’re right—his carelessness, laziness, or lack of integrity is not your fault.
You are not responsible for what he’s done and is doing, even if you’ve been less than careful about loving him well…
But even you—even now—can resolve to affirm your husband and to promise that your trust in him is not gone forever.
It may need to be reconstructed with the aid of outside help and ongoing accountability, but he needs to know that your heart’s desire is to reestablish confidence in him.
Your Husband’s Two Biggest Fears, Priscilla Shirer
If we understand the destructive nature of the voices in our heads and that Satan’s plan is to attack our marriage and family we can start silencing the voices.
I know when I feel that my wife is in full support with me about something the voice I hear is, “You can do this because she trusts and believes in you.”
Let’s build up the morale in our marriages starting now.
When a wife refuses to obey God’s commands by disrespecting her husband, she cooperates with Satan and becomes a megaphone that amplifies the accuser’s message to her husband.
But when a wife respects and follows her husband, she cooperates with God and becomes an amplifier for God’s voice and His will. WOW! This is POWERFUL stuff! May we use our power for great good, ladies! – The Peacefulwife