Man holding phone that says, "Why?" wiht cloudy sky and trees in background

These “Why” Questions Can Hurt Your Marriage

It’s not necessarily wrong to want to find out information from your husband. But the way you approach him makes a big difference! Instead of “why” questions, think about rewording things so that you don’t come across as questioning his motives and intentions.

Asking pointed “why” questions can imply you think he is stupid or has evil motives. It sucks all the romance out of the atmosphere.

  • Why would you do that?
  • Why did you do this?
  • Why didn’t you do X?

It kind of sounds like I am saying…

  • My way is better.
  • Your way is wrong.
  • I don’t think you are competent or capable.

Ask your husband questions in a respectful way

There are times it is important to ask about things if you don’t understand or you think you may not agree with something.

  • Hmm… I think I’m confused. Would you mind sharing some of your thoughts on this?
  • That was surprising! I’d love to hear more about your perspective on this issue.
  • I would really like to understand this situation better. I think it would help me if I could know a bit more about your thought processes.
  • Your perspective is really different from mine. I’d like to try to get a better understanding of your viewpoint.

Sometimes no questions are needed

Other times, we may not need to ask anything at all. I don’t have to be nosy about every little detail of his life. Especially if it is something that just isn’t that important like:

  • Why he chose a certain road rather than another one.
  • Why he ate what he did for breakfast.
  • Why he didn’t shave that day.

If we ask about every little thing, it can feel like an uncomfortable interrogation from our husband’s perspective. Especially with a lot of unnecessary “why” questions. It’s more of an irritated mom/naughty little son vibe.

That is not a turn on.

Real vulnerability and emotional connection in the marriage is a lot harder when our men feel like we are constantly questioning their motives and decisions. We may love them, but we feel very prickly in those moments and our approach repels our men.

Giving some space is healthy

I personally had to learn to take a few big steps back and give my husband more space and room to breathe and make his own decisions. Turns out, his motives are usually good. He just has a very different way of thinking than I do.

For me, it works a whole lot better when I give my man the benefit of the doubt. I found I don’t really need to question him on about 80-90% of the things I used to. And if I do need to ask questions, I have found that a friendly approach and a desire to understand him and his thought process works a lot better than a critical spirit on my part.

Prickly why questions can ruin almost any relationship

We’ve probably all been on the unpleasant receiving end of these kinds of barbed questions. It’s like trying to have a relationship with a porcupine who is throwing quills our way.

  • Why aren’t you dating someone?
  • Why haven’t you gotten married yet?
  • Why haven’t you had a baby?
  • Why are you nursing your baby?
  • Why are you sending your kids to that school?
  • Why do you wear your hair that way?
  • Why do you dress like that?
  • Why do you live in that neighborhood?
  • Why do you go to that church?
  • Why aren’t you over your father’s death yet?

When we question other people’s life decisions and motives, we signal to them that they aren’t emotionally safe with us. They will want to put up their guard around us as self-defense.

Instead of questions like this that can feel probing, accusatory, and intrusive, how about one or two friendly conversation starters (with loving motives, a genuine smile, and friendly voice, of course) like:

  • What’s going on in your world these days?
  • You have such an amazing smile.
  • What’s on your heart today?
  • Your baby is so adorable. What has she been up to lately?
  • You know what I admire about you? X, Y, and Z…
  • It’s so great to see you! You always brighten my day.
  • How have you been doing?
  • How’s the big house project coming along?
  • Is there anything I can pray about for you?

Let’s be a soft place for other people to feel welcome. Where they don’t feel like it’s the Inquisition. And they don’t feel like they have to put up walls to protect themselves.

Are there times we need to address difficult topics with our husbands, friends, extended family, or other people? Sure. Sometimes there are. But we can do that with love and right motives rather than a critical spirit.

What about asking God, “Why?”

I had never thought about how God or my husband felt being on the receiving end of my words until about 11.5 years ago. I knew I didn’t like it when I felt people questioned my motives or when people asked me a lot of questions like they felt I wasn’t making wise decisions. But I didn’t connect that Greg—and even God—might feel the same way when I asked them a lot of pointed why questions.

  • God, why did You let this happen?
  • God, why didn’t You stop that?
  • God, why did You give me this situation?
  • God, why aren’t You handling this the way I want you to?
  • God, why did You say, “No?”

It made me realize that I want to be careful about how I approach God, too. I want to treat Him with the utmost reverence, respect, awe, and trust. He is completely good. He can’t have evil motives.

When I ask “Why did you…?” to Him, could I be assuming He had wrong motives toward me or someone else?

God doesn’t lie. He is not tempted by sin. He doesn’t have wrong motives. He isn’t trying to hurt me. He wants to save me, heal me, transform me, and be glorified in my life. He wants what is best for me and every person on this planet. He wants to bring about His perfect will for me that will bring me great fulfillment, purpose, and joy.

And yet, He gives me free will. I can choose to sin. I can choose to rebel. So can other people. Sinful people can choose evil. Sinful people do hurt others, at times. God doesn’t make anyone sin or tempt anyone to sin, though. I can’t blame God for other people’s sinful choices. They are responsible for their actions.

Then there is the enemy of our souls, Satan. He is totally evil. Everything he does is out of bad motives. I don’t have to ask why Satan did anything. He does bad things because he is pure evil. He wants to hurt God and every person on the planet. He wants to steal, kill, and destroy.

The Lord welcomes our prayers. He welcomes our repentance from sin. He welcomes our faith. He can calm our doubts and help us in our weakness and struggles. He welcomes our genuine questions. But I want to check my heart and be sure I approach Him respectfully. I don’t ever want to accuse the Lord of evil motives or wrongdoing. That’s a big deal.

Instead of asking God, “Why, God?” What if I ask Him things like:

  • How do You want to use this in my life for good?
  • This hurts! Would You please strengthen and heal me?
  • What do You want me to learn?- How do You want me to be a blessing in this situation?
  • What spiritual treasures do You have for me in this painful trial?
  • Will You help me trust You more?
  • How can I praise You in this storm?
  • What beauty do You want to bring about here?
  • What blessings do You have for me in this trial?- What is Your assignment for me in this?
  • What sin do You see in me that needs to go?
  • Will You please help me in my weakness?
  • I don’t understand right now but I know I will one day. Would you help increase my faith?

He is faithful. Even when we aren’t. He is completely trustworthy. As we allow Him to help us see our skewed thinking and get rid of lies, He can help us build our lives on truth. This is how His perfect love can cast out all fear. When we know how good He is and His motives toward us are without fault, we can trust Him.

Even when He leads us through a dark valley, we know He is right there, leading the way, protecting us, providing for us, and bringing about blessing. What Satan and sinful people intend for evil, our God can use for great good. We can be encouraged and rejoice in Him today!

NOTE: Most adults and even teens do better when they don’t feel interrogated in a relationship. Much love!

❤

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Have you learned more productive ways to ask your hubby questions that you think may be a blessing to the other ladies? You’re welcome to share!

PS

If you have a man who really does have evil motives and is trying to hurt you or has major issues and is very toxic, please reach out for experienced help in your area. This post is not about guys who are abusive, involved in unrepentant adultery, dealing with severe uncontrolled mental health issues, are habitual liars, or are purposely deceptive.

10 thoughts to “These “Why” Questions Can Hurt Your Marriage”

  1. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this has blessed me! I seriously felt my heart welling up with joy to have such a beautiful blog post at my fingertips. I’m so grateful for the godly wisdom and scriptures and your very clear and specific examples of ways that we can speak to others with kindness and graciousness. Thank you a million times for this post! It is very very helpful to me, and it’s such an encouragement. I’m going to print this out and read it over and over again! The Lord bless you, dear sister in the Lord!

  2. Thank you Leticia, your posts often bless me but this particular post is tremendous – I am saving it for continued future reference
    Blessings!

    1. Nneka,

      Yes, I am practicing asking the more productive questions this year as we face new trials. I find it gives me a whole different perspective and attitude that is such a blessing.

      Thanks for sharing! <3

  3. I followed the advice of many godly women.I became a good wife and mother. I respected, cherished and loved my Husband. Until he cheated. He destroyed the marriage. It was not a „mistake“ he is just a betraying, lying piece of scum. He choose to destroy what we had. From cheer selfishness. And „taking me back“ was the last straw. I graciously offered him the GIFT of a new chance. Now I am the one that gets LOVED,CHERISHED and RESPECTED! And that will never again CHANGE.

    1. Ida Johanna Paul,

      I’m so very sorry to hear that your husband cheated on you. 😥💔 That would be excruciating. Especially when you were seeking to treat him well.

      We each have free will and husbands and wives can choose to cheat on and betray others, it’s terrible. A spouse may have done everything right, but some people will still cheat because of what is in their hearts and because they are far from the Lord, which is so sad. I wish no one ever had to experience that kind of pain.

      Ultimately, we obey God and choose to treat our men well for the Lord, to be rewarded by Him and honored by Him, no matter what our men may choose to do. I’m glad you did what was right so you won’t have to have regrets.

      There are certainly times when a godly wife can’t continue to stay with a husband. Cheating is not okay. It is breaking the marriage covenant. I have seen the Lord heal marriages many times after an affair, but a whole lot of trust has to be rebuilt. And the cheating spouse must be willing to repent and stop cheating. It’s a very difficult road.

      I can certainly understand that in some situations, it could be best to leave.

      Praying for the Lord’s healing for you and salvation for your husband.

      Much love to you!

  4. This is an amazing article! I’m a 100% why person…I have to know why. Why did this happen? Why did that happen? Why did they do that? Why did they think that? This definitely opened my eyes up to how someone could interpret my why questions.

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