This guest post is from MY HUSBAND! 🙂 I’m really excited that he wrote this post for the men. I’m SO thankful he is my husband. He treats me very well – and I am extremely thankful for his godly leadership.
You are probably wondering how you got to this point. For some of you, your wife may have been on this journey for some time and you knew something was up but really didn’t know what was going on. For others, your wife may just be beginning the changes and wanted you involved for the whole trip. This can be the biggest thing that ever happened in your marriage. Unfortunately, for this to happen this can’t be a one way street.
You are going to have to change too. Look at this as your second chance to be the husband that you should be. A big part of your role in this may mean you have to step up in some areas that have been uncomfortable for you in the past. Do this for your wife, your marriage, and for yourself.
How did you get here?
If you are anything like me, you probably hoped you would be able to communicate better with your wife in marriage. Somewhere along the way, either from the start or over time, you may have become passive or emotionally distant as a husband. It may be that it just seemed to be the easiest way to handle issues in your marriage.
- It may be that somewhere along the way you felt disrespected by your wife and gave up the fight.
- It may be that your wife has a pretty dominant personality and feels the need to control things in your marriage and you just put your hands up.
- You may have stopped being the leader of your family you need to be.
- It may be that beyond just stepping out emotionally on your marriage you may have ventured into some areas you shouldn’t have and may not feel you are worthy to be the husband you need to be. Whether it was porn, addiction, flirting, or other idols that you got involved with, you can still be forgiven and you can be made new in Christ.
Chances are pretty good that each of you moved away from where you need to be. The Peacefulwife journey is based off of what we feel is God’s design for marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33). The basic principle is based off of a principle from “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs called the Crazy Cycle.
The general idea is that as a husband your number one need is to feel respected by your wife and her number one need is to feel loved by you. The Crazy Cycle as pictured below shows that what often happens is when one spouse doesn’t feel their need is being met their reaction is to not meet the need of their spouse’s biggest need. If we can understand what is going on we might be able to get off the cycle.
If you are reading this, chances are your wife has stepped up to the plate and said that she wants to be the best wife she can be.
She has seen that she has been doing some things that have made it hard for you to lead in your marriage. For years she probably felt extremely comfortable and pretty certain that her actions were right and what needed to be done for anything good to happen in your marriage. She may be feeling a bit devastated that some of her actions may have contributed to problems in your marriage and possibly bad decisions that you have made.
Frankly, now that she has decided to be a Peacefulwife she is probably scared to death. She is taking a literal leap of faith. What she is saying is that she is going to treat you the way God designed without any assurances that you are going to love her the way God designed. She is pledging to die to herself so that you can prosper.
Gentlemen, do not take this lightly. (From Peacefulwife – YES! This first step is TERRIFYING to wives! You can make this MUCH easier for us if you do the things my husband talks about below, or you can make this MUCH harder for us.)
The Peacefulwife way will not come easy. It is extremely likely that the habits that your wife is trying to change have been in place for years. For some, they may have gradually increased after you were married. For others, these habits may have been in place before you even begin dating. Some of the habits may even be features that were attractive to you when you started dating.
So, I want to stress here that your wife is not going to be perfect at this. She will fail often. This will be a long process if it is going to be successful. She will not be the wife of your dreams in a couple of weeks.
(From Peacefulwife – a husband cannot force his wife to be a godly wife, any more than a wife can force her husband to be a godly husband. God changes people. People can’t change people. It is our job to each obey God and handle the commands He has given specifically to us and let God work on our spouse.)
So, what’s that mean for you?
1. Your wife is going to be looking at you every step along the journey looking for feedback.
She is taking this big leap of faith. While she is doing this to honor God and to show her commitment to your marriage, she needs to know that what she is doing is noticed by you and appreciated. She needs to be able to see that you see that she is trying to give you the respect you desire.
When my wife first started this, I was so confused. She had started changing her habits for about 6 months before she told me what she was doing. When she told me, she asked lots of questions like “Did you feel respected when I did this?” or “Would you feel respected if I did this?” To tell you the truth, a lot of time I had a hard time knowing if I thought something she did was respectful or not. I had checked out emotionally and as a leader of the family to the point that I did not even have a good feel for what was respectful or not.
2. Your wife needs you to step up and be the leader of your family.
To do that, she needs to take a big load off of her shoulders and let you handle it. I think you will find that you were designed to take this heavy load a little better than your wife. Here is your chance to get plugged back into your marriage. You need to show you are capable of taking this leadership role. It may be simple things like handling the checking account or other chores.
3. She is going to be asking a lot more questions for your final say and putting her trust in you when it comes to handling household decisions, disciplining kids, school issues, and church activities. You may have skirted these questions for years and cast them off on your wife to handle. Much like your wife, you are not going to be perfect at this at the start either. You are going to mess up often. It will take some time but you will gain confidence over time and this will be much easier for you.
4. This would be a great time for you to make sure you have your stuff in order. I hope that as you see your wife dying daily to self for you – that you would be willing to do the same for her.
- You need to be willing to show her the love she needs daily with no strings attached.
- You need to be emotionally available to her. She needs to know that you have feelings and that you can hurt.
- This would be a great time for you to get your relationship with God in order. If you are going to lead your family well, having a relationship with God where you can lean on his Word will make the transformation much easier.
One point that I want to really stress to you is this.
Your wife is going to give you the opportunity to lead and make decisions like you never have before.
It is important for you to understand that she is honoring God by this and not making you God. You have to show that you are going to lead responsibly or this will never last. Every decision you make – the good of the family should be the deciding factor. You must die to self with every answer. Now is not the time to think that since you are the leader, it might be a good time to get that new TV or sports car. The more you live your life in a manner of serving your family selflessly, the more she will serve and honor you as your wife.
NOTE: I never asked my wife to change. She changed because she wanted to. It was all about what she believed God wanted her to do. I never demanded respect or biblical submission.