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Husbands Share Their Masculine Perspectives with Us

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I asked the men some questions earlier this week and want to share some of the responses I have received. I want to share all of them!!!  But some, I want to reserve for my book. 🙂 I’m so thankful for the husbands who are willing to share a masculine perspective on these important issues. I know that many of our own husbands may not be able to voice how they feel about these things, or maybe, they have, but we just haven’t really and truly heard them. I believe that hearing from other husbands can be a powerful tool for wives to better understand men in general and for us to begin to understand our own husbands with much greater clarity. I would love for us to put ourselves in these husbands’ shoes as we read their stories. These are the questions I asked:

We are talking about what it means to our husbands when we as their wives honor their leadership even in the “little things.” I’d like to invite you to share what it means to you when your wife willingly and joyfully follows your lead.

  • What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing. If you have a specific example, that would be exceptionally helpful!
  • What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?
  • Would you like to talk about a time when something that seemed small to your wife might have seemed big from your perspective?
  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?
  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

HUSBAND #1:

When my wife trusts me with the little things, then it helps improve the confidence that she will have my back on the big things. In my heart – it creates a different perspective. Her concession on a decision makes me want to consult with her more. It creates a sense of oneness. Aside from God’s word – nothing makes me feel stronger as a man than knowing that my wife has confidence in me.

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

It quickly creates an environment where the husband can start to believe that he does not have much value in his wife’s life or their marriage. Two things that impact me the most:

1) Not listening with I am trying to share my thoughts and feelings with her.

2) Unproductive comments that are meant to take a shot at me while I am taking ownership for something that has gone wrong.

I remember a time recently when I messed up. I was sharing where I felt like I had messed up, how I thought it impacted her and that I was sorry for how I handled the situation. As I was talking to her – she picked up her phone and started to look on her social media. I asked her if she would stop and listen to what I was trying to say. She told me that I was being controlling and high maintenance. I explained that I needed her to hear me out. She told me that I was being a baby.

It becomes easy to believe that my thoughts and feelings are less important that her social media. And if I am showing emotion, then I risk being called names. So…why should I make the effort to take ownership if this was the response I was going to receive?

I know that it might seem silly to create a safe place for husbands to communicate, but it does make a difference. I believe that I have always done a fairly good job with sharing my feelings; however that still doesn’t always make it easy to open up. I think that one of the greatest gifts that God gives us through marriage is the security that two people can create together. It is important that both spouses become intentional in their words and actions to create security. It starts and continues in the little moments.

Husband #2:

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

When this occurs, it makes me feel insignificant. I feel totally disrespected. It would be as if I was her child instead of husband. I’d start to ‘shut down.’ There would be no need for my input. I do think about what our children are gleaning from this if they see it occur.

  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

This would feel like ‘quid pro quo.’ There would still not be any ‘respect’ felt because it would be contingent upon the size of the decision.

Husband #3:

  • “What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing”

For me it helps build my confidence in myself to allow me to make wise decisions for all the matters I take care of.

  • “What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?”

In my first marriage this was a problem. Knowing how good my marriage is now, lets me know that the needless arguing made me doubt most of my decisions and had me apologizing for those things that were not my fault.

  • “Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?”

Obviously its more important to cooperate on big decisions then the little ones. But not cooperating on little items may get tiring and diminish anyone’s confidence after time.

Husband #4:

Note: I share this not to complain about my own situation, but to help others. I understand that I am equally accountable for creating my own situation.

To be honest, and a conscious level, my primary concern in choosing a seat is having a plausible answer to the question to, “Why would you want to sit there?” Unconsciously, I’m sure my own personal comfort plays a role (I’m 6’5″, and wary about having to sit in cramped spaces for long periods of time).

I can’t claim that physical security plays heavily in my mind, at least at a conscious level. Again, this is probably luck/privilege of being 6’5″. I’m not really a “tough guy,” but bad guys don’t know that, so I and the people with me aren’t going to be the first choice of targets. Maybe I subconsciously choose spots where I can keep an eye on things, but I don’t find myself vigilantly scanning crowds for signs of danger.

This is especially true at events (like church) that I value and wish my wife would value more. I want to make it a pleasant experience for her, and probably bend over backwards to a fault to make it so.

One event I recall that was especially devastating as my daughter’s swim meet.

Note: This story probably makes me look better, and my wife look worse, than is truly reality.

I arrived early with my daughter and all of our gear. I was scheduled to “work” at the swim meet, so I would be putting our stuff down to claim a spot my wife would sit during the meet.

Now, I had to figure out, where should I put it? What was most important? To be close to where our daughters would be with the team? To be next to her friends that she could talk to? To be in the shade? To not have a long walk to leave?

I chose based on what I thought was the proper balance of these concerns, and apparently got it wrong, since my wife laid into me about how thoughtless I was in choosing the spot.

Now, I could take criticism for making the wrong choice. But the idea that I was “thoughtless” about something I had invested a a great deal of time and worry into was particularly devastating.

Again, this is a dynamic that I had a significant part in creating, and this story is probably not a fair representation of our marriage.

But I think it paints a vivid picture of the impact the manner in which we discuss these “little things” can have.

And I guess the impacts on me:

1.) It leads me to dread/avoid future occasions like this where I will have to make a decisions my wife will have to live with.

2.) It leads me to not want to invest much thought and consideration into these future decisions. If I’m going to get clobbered anyway, why bother? In a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I’m not claiming these are the best/healthiest responses, but we are human.

 

26 thoughts on “Husbands Share Their Masculine Perspectives with Us

  1. Wow! I just completed Respectfully Yours by Emerson and Sarah Eggerichs and I’m definitely learning so much more about the ways I may make my husband feel disrespected and this post shows me even more. There are so many times my husband refuses to do something because he thinks he will not do it the “right” way. And he’s a very good man! I will strive to grow in this area with the Lord’s help.

  2. This is very helpful. The “where to sit” makes me cringe. How many times in our many years of marriage have I done this? I used to try to manipulate things so that I was the one put in the position to choose because it was important to me socially and I knew he would pick the opposite. When we get into a situation where he is choosing according to what he assumes may please us, instead of his own good judgement, it gets kinda crazy. I don’t like this either. Gods way is so much simpler, peaceful and so good!

  3. This is so eye opening. For me, the last two points in bold are like…wow!
    I can totally see my husband thinking these things. Especially number 1. He seems almost paralyzed to make the smallest of decisions and I know that is greatly in part to how I’ve acted in the past about decisions he’s made. This is something I’ve been working on and hope to help him feel safe in making decisions.

    1. Jeanne,
      Thank you for sharing that this was helpful to you. I really appreciate these husbands taking the time to help us understand men and our husbands better. Praying for God’s power and wisdom for you and for continued healing in your marriage!

  4. First of all, thank you husbands for sharing. Second, husband 3, choosing where to sit: I know I have been guilty in assuming that my husbands efforts might’ve been thoughtless. I can see through this that I am so dead wrong to think like this, even if I don’t voice it and just think it! *I* don’t know what he has thought about and what he hasn’t thought about. It is pure pride to think that way, that my way is clearly the better choice.
    thank you april for posting. I’m sure many women and men will be blessed by this. can’t wait for your book!

    1. Gottaletgo,
      You are very welcome. I love when we get to hear from the men. It is always such an interesting glimpse into the world of masculinity. How I pray that we will each appreciate our own husbands and our brothers in Christ much more as we learn to understand their perspectives, their wisdom, their priorities, their ideas, their feelings, their dreams, their desires, their needs and their hearts.

      I’m excited about the book, too! 🙂 Praying for God’s wisdom for sure!

  5. I totally relate to the seating thing, brother. Another one that I battle with is grocery shopping. Stop on the way home from work to save my wife the trip and get the…this is the wrong brand…wrong size….not fresh… And she wonders why I get mad and resent doing things to help out. Makes me feel like a total loser. If I call to check on items, the tone on the other end is one of irritation. It becomes onenof those lose lose deals guys talk about.

      1. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through PW is how what we see as “little things” are not! In my early days, I could see myself making a comment about something from the grocery store not being right and thinking it’s not a big deal. But those “little” comments can cut and wear you down, as Mr. J. is indicating. (I know I don’t like it! Funny how things seem less severe when we’re doling it out rather than taking it.) I’m speaking a WHOLE LOT LESS than I did in our earlier days and choosing to overlook a whole lot more.

      2. You are more than welcome to use any/all of it as well as what I’m adding here. As I read back over my first post, I can see where some ladies might think what a wimp…can’t take a little criticism. Realise that I and I’m guessing a large part of the male population pays little attention to the items in our (wives’) pantries other than to grab sfuff out and eat it. I grab the P-butter and jelly and slap my sandwich together and eat. I can tell you it is creamy PB and what flavor of jelly…but what brand?? I help in the kitchen cooking, cleaning and reaching the top cabinet shelf 😉 but it is really the domain of my wife and daughter. K, beat that horse all to pieces but hope that makes sense.

        You asked for specific examples so here is another. Many times I have worked on major projects for our home (used a week of vacation at times). I have worked completely by myself in freezing or triple digit heat and at times doing very hard labor. I do the best I can with the tools, time and conditions to do a quality job. Then when it is finished or nearly done, my wife walks up and says…why didn’t you do xxx (this is where that “don’t you even think about what you are doing” implication comes in)…you got paint on xxx (with the tone and maybe even the words that I was being careless). Not a single, you really worked hard on your vacation and I appreciate what you do for our family. Or thank you for giving of youself to help us…it saved so much…I’m thankful for the talents/abilities God has given you. Look at the big picture and say…wow that looks nice….don’t pick out all the flaws. I have worked on projects and while my muscles were screaming at me and sweat was soaking my clothes, thinking…I wish I was feeling like this was an act of mutual love but instead I felt like (as I’ve heard it put by women) a piece of meat…beast of burden. It is degrading, demoralizing and destroys a man’s sense of respect. Sorry to ramble. Getting off the soapbox now.

        1. Mr. J.,
          I’m very glad you mentioned these things.

          I appreciate hearing a husband’s perspective about the items in the pantry. And I also definitely appreciate your willingness to share your perspective when you are doing renovations or home projects. My husband has done MAJOR renovations at our house. Here is my approach:

          – I THANK HIM – OFTEN – for all that he is doing for our family.
          – I compliment his work.
          – I bring him cold drinks on hot days as often as he needs them – or more.
          – I ask him when it’s cold if there is anything I can get for him. (If he drank coffee, I would definitely be glad to make him some).
          – I thank him again that night for how hard he worked and offer him a massage and some anti-inflammatory OTC meds if he has worked really hard.
          – I tell our children what a great job their Daddy did.
          – I brag on him to other people.
          – I listen to him dream.
          – I offer my input if he wants to do something that I would like – a certain color or if I have ideas for the project. When I say iI have ideas – they are suggestions and requests, not demands, and I am fine whether he does what I suggest or not. When he was redoing our bedroom, I told him I would like some special molding designs on one wall. He was happy to do what I asked about and it looks amazing.
          – I don’t tell him how to do things.
          – I don’t criticize his work.
          – I don’t tell him how to spend his time.
          – If possible, sometimes I try to be with him while he is working, just to sit quietly and enjoy being with him and admire what he is doing. If he needs help, I am happy to do anything he asks me to do. I love working on projects together.

          Mr. J., do you have any other suggestions? What else can wives do to bless our husbands when they are working so hard for us?

          1. PS,

            I need to say, there were times earlier in our marriage, where I did not do all of these things. I would get frustrated when things were taking too long and try to make him do things on my schedule and try to dictate to Greg what I thought his priorities should be.

            I can remember being extremely sleep deprived for the first year and a half of our second baby’s life as Greg and his dad worked on the house 6 nights a week until midnight each night after their regular jobs. They had told me the whole house would be done in 6 months. I was thinking it would be one year. It ended up taking 4.5 years, and 7 years later, there are still some rooms that aren’t done (which I am totally fine with now). But, in those early months, sometimes Greg would go outside and pull vines off the back fence. I would get irate and stomp out to the backyard and tell him that the vines were not a priority, that he needed to work on the house.

            Years later, he shared with me that when he was frustrated and there was a problem he was trying to figure out, he would go pull vines and think and process the problem he was trying to solve.

            Ugh.

            I am so ashamed that I was so disrespectful to him back then.

            Since God woke me up to my disrespect and control earlier in our marriage, I know that I discouraged and wounded my husband many times, not even realizing it, those first 14+ years.

            I am thankful God showed me my sin and has given me a chance to make it up to Greg.

          2. Wow!!!! Just reading that made my eyes blur with tears. If my wife did those things I’d probably fall to my knees and bawl like a baby…the first time, anyway. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been pushing the mower in 100 degree weather and dreamed of my wife walking out with a cool glass of water. What a blessing it would be if she were to come to me and ask when would be a good time for me to take a break on working on the car or something so she could have lunch ready for me. Yes, I can make my own lunch and usually do but I’m often racing the clock for sunshine or parts stores closing and every little bit helps.

            It is hard to explain but if you ladies only knew the raw power you posess. There is an energy that comes from your compassion, respect, encouragement and love that empowers your man like nothing else. Man how do I explain this? I remember working on a project this last summer that took several weeks of VERY hard labor in some of the hottest weather we had that year. I’d come home and work till dark during th week and then all day on the weekend. I would have to force/will myself to get out there and do the job. The physical work pushed me to my limits but in some ways the emotional battle was even harder. I wasn’t doing it for the kind of supportive wife April described above but in spite of it. The drain on my soul was exhausting on top of the actual project. On the other hand I do remember a few times where it was more like she described and it invigorated me. It gave me life and desire to bless her that lightened the physical work load some how. Maybe your husbands can explain it to you better but wow, what a difference it can make.

            The only explanation I can give is that it is just the way God made it (marriage) to work. When a wife treats her man like described by April it does something in the heart of her man (at least a godly one anyway). It is not that we need to be treated like kings or pampered but it stirs up a response in us to serve to please to bless. I’m just reminded of the scripture…give and it will be given back to you…good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall men (your man) heap it to you (ladies). Well I think I’ll end it there. Hope that helps.

          3. Mr. J.,

            You know what? You have described things so very well – that I believe I would like to add a section to the book I am finishing up (about practical ways wives can respect our husbands) about this topic of home repairs and I would love to feature your story (anonymously, of course). Would you please allow me that honor?

            You did a fantastic job explaining a masculine perspective on this important issue and helping wives understand how easily we could destroy and tear down (without even realizing it) or how easily we could bless, empower and build up our husbands.

            Thank you so very much for sharing your heart! I am extremely grateful.

          4. Please, feel free to use whatever you’d like for your book or blogs. If it will help other marriages, I’d consider it an honor. I pray it would be seed sown that might bring healing to the marriages of others and that the Lord would in turn bring the same harvest in my own.

          5. Mr. J.,
            Thank you so much for your generosity and willingness to share with us. May God richly bless your walk with Him and your marriage for His glory.

        2. Mr. j.,
          I don’t think the ladies here will think you are a wimp. I think this will help us stop and think about how our husbands feel and really consider how we want to come across to our husbands in a more respectful way. Thank you very much!!

          1. Most wives do not really want to hurt their husbands. Usually, we don’t realize that we are being disrespectful and that we are hurting our husbands so much. If we knew how much pain we were causing, we would feel awful and we would really want to make things right.

          2. Yes it’s very helpful! If I asked my husband about these things I don’t know if he would be totally honest. I like hearing from a male’s perspective.

        3. “As I read back over my first post, I can see where some ladies might think what a wimp…can’t take a little criticism. ”

          It isn’t that you “can’t take…criticism”, it’s that you do.

          You are responsible for everything that is said and done in your household. (Joshua24:15, Genesis3)

  6. “The physical work pushed me to my limits but in some ways the emotional battle was even harder. I wasn’t doing it for the kind of supportive wife April described above but in spite of it. The drain on my soul was exhausting on top of the actual project. ”

    Wow! I have never considered that this type of circumstance could “drain a man’s soul.”

    My hubby’s job sometimes requires him to be outdoors in inclimate weather. I generally try to greet him with either a hot or cold drink (as appropriate) and verbally express my gratitude for slaying dragons that day. I could do this more. Verbal praise doesn’t come easy to me, but I’m learning.

    He has never given me any indication (that I can discern – but I am getting new eyes for these type of things) that he either notices or cares.

    Mr. J’s explanation has refreshed my resolve to continue because it DOES actually bless my husband. I didn’t need applause so much as it is encouraging to know that it does have an effect.

    Thank you Mr. J and Peaceful wife.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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