Whether your husband becomes completely engrossed in football, baseball, basketball, racing, hunting, his work, house renovations, ministry, or something else – how is a wife to handle such a quandary in a godly way?
We probably have more expectations of our husbands than we have of any other relationship, I would daresay. Many times these expectations include having a certain amount of time with our husbands where we feel like we are emotionally connecting face-to-face – without the TV, without any electronics, without other people around. It’s great that we want to spend time with our husbands. It’s wonderful that we love them and want to enjoy being with them. Those are good desires.
But what do we do when our expectations of quality time together are not being met because of our husbands’ time-consuming hobbies?
Thankfully, we have choices here, ladies!
I COULD RESPOND IN DESTRUCTIVE WAYS LIKE:
- Making demands.
- Yelling or crying.
- Seething with resentment and bitterness.
- Stomping up the stairs and slamming the door.
- Throwing things.
- Glaring at him.
- Holding onto contempt and hatred.
- Complaining to or about my husband.
- Gossiping about him.
- Giving the “cold shoulder.”
- Seeking revenge.
- Assuming evil motives that my husband doesn’t love me as much as I love him.
- Accusing him of idolatry of sports or the TV or hunting.
- Spending a lot of money as “shopping therapy” to get even.
- Sinking into depression.
- Flirting with other men who are more willing to give me some attention.
- Turning to food for comfort or engaging in other addictions.
- Expecting my children to meet the emotional needs my husband is not meeting for me.
- Trying to control my husband and trying to force him to change to be what I want him to be.
- Throwing the TV out the window or hiding all of the hunting equipment.
This is what it looks like to respond in the power of my own sinful flesh.
WHAT WILL THE FRUIT OF THESE APPROACHES BE?
- I will probably repel my husband because he would feel very disrespected, controlled, smothered, and maybe insulted.
- I may hurt our intimacy on every level.
- I may destroy his trust in me.
- I may hurt myself emotionally and spiritually – maybe even physically.
- I may seem to be out of control to him and even scary
- I become a woman I really don’t want to be.
- I hurt my fellowship with Christ when I respond in sinful ways.
- I destroy my witness for Christ to others if I am responding in the flesh rather than in the power of God’s Spirit.
SOME HELPFUL QUESTIONS TO ASK OURSELVES:
- What are my exact expectations and why do I have them? Where do they come from?
- Do I expect him to give up a big part of himself, his passion, his personality, and his life to be with me? Why? Do I want him to change who he is to be who I want him to be?
- Am I willing to seek God’s will above my own and die to myself if necessary? Am I willing to lay down my expectations?
- Am I expecting my husband to meet needs in my life that only Jesus can really meet? (Am I idolizing my husband?)
- Am I being contentious and bitter or gracious?
- Is my husband actually sinning (according to the Bible)? Is he really wrong to want to watch football, or am I just upset that he is not doing what I want him to do?
- Am I willing to be content in Christ alone no matter how much attention my husband is giving me at the moment?
- Am I trying to control my husband or make his decisions for him?
- What do I believe I have to have to be content? If it is something more than Jesus – maybe this something about which I need to pray?
- Where do I base my security and how do I expect to find true contentment?
- Am I open to allow God’s Spirit to direct me and lead me in productive, healthy, godly ways to respond that will honor Christ, bless my husband, and bless me, too?
NEW WAYS TO LOOK AT THINGS:
- Perhaps God misses me as much or more than I miss my husband during baseball or hunting season. Maybe this extra time to myself is a golden opportunity for me to dig much deeper in my faith and in God’s Word and prayer!
- What if there is something spiritual God desires for me to learn during this time? Am I open to receiving spiritual treasures from him during small and big trials?
- Why would I want to keep my husband from doing something he loves so much? Is it really my place to try to keep another grown adult from doing something that means a lot to him if it is not sinful?
- Even if what my husband is doing IS sinful, I can share my concerns if my own heart and motives are right and respectfully, humbly confront him, but I can’t force him to do what I think he should do – just like he can’t force me to do what he thinks I should do. We each have free will from God.
- It is fine to say, “I would like some more time together,” or “I miss you, Honey.” I can ask for what I would like and what I desire. But I can do this respectfully without being needy or clingy.
- Many men tend to bond by being together in the same room or by watching the same activity or doing the same activity together rather than through face-to-face talking. Perhaps if you sit with him or go with him to something he loves (and you have a positive attitude about it) – he may feel extra loved and bonded with you. What an incredible gift to your marriage!
HOW TO ASK FOR WHAT WE WOULD LIKE RESPECTFULLY (picture all of these things being said with right motives and with a calm, friendly tone of voice and friendly facial expressions):
- “Honey, I know you are pretty tied up with football games and I want you to be able to enjoy them. If possible, I would really love to spend a few hours together sometime this weekend. That would mean so much to me. Thanks!”
- “Are there some special snacks or meals you might like to have for the game?”
- “How can I be a blessing to you today?”
- “I’d love to sit and cuddle with you for awhile while you watch the game.”
- “It would be amazing if we could go out on a date maybe this coming Tuesday night. That would be so much fun!”
- “I think I might go out with my friend, Karen, while you are watching the game. Have fun!”
- “I’m going for a walk for a bit. It’s such a lovely day outside. Love you!”
- Choose times during the commercials or between plays to have a friendly conversation or to ask questions.
- You can try enjoying the event with him if he is receptive to that and you can have a great attitude.
- Or, you may use that time to do something you enjoy for yourself. You may find out that you really enjoy having some time to yourself for hobbies, ministry, exercise, or prayer, too.
- If he’s hunting and needs to avoid texting and making noise, give him time without sending texts to enjoy hunting. Only contact him if it is truly an emergency.
- Encourage the kids to participate with Dad if your husband would like that (and the kids are old enough). Encourage them to learn about the game or to go with him and enjoy some special bonding time with him.
- Some men, like my husband, don’t like to be asked what I can do for him to bless him. If that is the case, don’t ask what you can do and just let him enjoy his hobby.
- Most of all – be as close to Christ as possible, listening for His voice, walking in obedience to Him. Do what He prompts you to do in your particular situation. His wisdom is greater than mine or any human’s. 🙂
WHEN I DON’T GET WHAT I WANT – THIS IS A TEST OF MY CHARACTER:
Even if I don’t like that I am not getting more attention, I can respond in the power of God rather than in the power of my sinful flesh if I am in Christ. Praise God for that! In Jesus, I can choose to…
- Keep my eyes on Christ
- Find my security and contentment in Christ alone
- Count trials as joy knowing God will use them to strengthen my faith and help me grow spiritually if I am willing to look to Him for this.
- Respond with poise, dignity, gentleness, friendliness, peace, and self-control.
- Look for ministry opportunities to my husband and to others because of this hobby.
- “Bloom where I am planted” and make the most of the situation
- Have a positive, beautiful, grateful attitude no matter what my husband chooses to do.
- Set a godly example for my children.
- Trust God to work in my husband’s heart.
- Pray for my husband and family.
- Allow God to work in my heart and seek to be fully submitted to His Lordship.
- Recognize negative thoughts and shoot them down, taking each thought captive for Christ.
- Hear and obey God’s prompting and His voice about how I can best handle this situation, even if it is not what I would prefer.
- Anticipate the good God will bring out of this as I seek Him wholeheartedly.
Bitterness of Soul – I Want to Be His FIRST Priority! – by a Fellow Wife
Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected – by a Fellow Wife about overcoming codependency and being enmeshed
My Demon – how Satan likes to help us accuse and resent our husbands
What have you learned about this issue that may be a blessing to other wives? 🙂 Have you found a compromise with your husband or a godly, feminine way to ask for what you need that works in your marriage? Have you found a way to use this extra time while your husband is busy that is a blessing to you? Please feel free to share! And, if you are struggling with this, you are welcome to share, too. I know you will find encouragement and support here.
Gentlemen, you are also welcome to share your insights with us if you think that you may be able to shed some light for the ladies that would be a blessing.
NOTE – if you are dealing with severe issues like a husband’s uncontrolled major mental illness, active drug/alcohol addictions, severe porn/gambling addictions, major spiritual oppression, unrepentant adultery, or actual abuse, please seek appropriate, trusted help. If you or your children are not safe, please try to get to safety if at all possible. This post is not written for wives in such situations, you will need more specific resources and probably personal, one-on-one help from a trusted, godly counselor.