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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.

 

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