When the Lord opened my eyes to the whole respect thing, I was totally blown away by this one thought that the way women show love to men does not translate into love to them,usually!
In other words, the way that we as wives show love to our husbands, and the things we do that we think are speaking love to our husbands, are often NOT translated to mean love to our husbands, but rather, they often translate into “smothering”, control, and disrespect!
That is very important to know because we could be thinking this whole time that we are SO loving to them, and that we are showing them love everyday, when really, they are thinking something TOTALLY different and it’s not even meaning love to them one bit!
Ways Wives Show Love To Husbands That usually DO NOT Speak LOVE:
- By texting/calling him A LOT
- By picking out his clothes for him and laying them out in the morning
- By picking what foods he needs to eat in order to stay healthy
- By making sure he brushes his teeth at night
- By reminding him 20 times to do X
- By chasing after him when he is mad and he walks away
- By offering to help him do X,Y,& Z
- By putting him FIRST in life and making sure everything revolves around him
- By being affectionate with back rubs, cuddling, hand holding, etc (depending on the man, some men do like these things)
- By trying to tell him all about God, the Bible, and spiritual things
- By pursuing him in the relationship
- By taking over something he is doing in hopes of doing it “right” for him
- By trying to explain and make him understand how we feel and what we need from him with a lot of emotions and intensity
If you really think about this stuff, these are things that mothers do for their small children! Mothers pick out clothes, make sure their kids are healthy, correct their children in order to teach them how to do things right, offer to help their kids when it seems like they are not getting something to work, etc.
In our mind as women, this is how we show love!
- By talking and wanting to share all of our feelings
- By nurturing relationships and caring for the well-being of our family
- By affectionate touches
- By offering our help in any way we can
So if this is how we show love, then why aren’t our husbands feeling loved by this?
Men are not wired to need love primarily! They are wired to need respect first and foremost! (Ephesians 5)
In comparison to our way of showing love, showing respect is on a totally different page altogether!
WAYS TO SHOW RESPECT INSTEAD OF LOVE:
- don’t complain/whine/be negative all the time
- be brief when texting by keeping all conversations to the main point
- don’t argue in order to be “right” about everything
- accept him as he is, and do not interfere with his choices, decisions, judgments
- follow his lead, and don’t try to control him, the relationship, or anything else
- accept his answer without trying to make him do what you want
- take care of your own emotional well-being by doing what makes you happy in life
- expect nothing from him
- never tell him what to do
- never give him help or advice unless he asks for it
- always say THANK YOU! whenever he does something (ex- fixes the car, takes out the trash, goes to the store for you, gives you a hug, ANYTHING he does for you needs recognition and a thank you!)
- let him pursue you in the marriage by not being the one to initiate things (sex, dates, time together, etc.)
- focus on your BEHAVIOR in the marriage, which speaks A LOT LOUDER to husbands than words!
- give him all the time/space he needs in life to get recharged and refreshed
- seek to be content in every circumstance by abiding in CHRIST
- seek the Lord to become a peaceful, gentle wife who does NOT give way to FEAR in life!
- never assume you know what he is thinking/feeling/doing
What I’ve Learned So Far
Honestly, I still am shocked to find out sometimes that my husband is NOT like me. At all. When we were dating, and he was talkative and wooing me, I felt so bonded because he seemed like me! But he wasn’t. He was just “winning” me over. And then when he got me, he went back to being a man. And then things fell apart because I was expecting him to be a woman who likes to talk, who shows lots of affection, who gives me all his attention, etc.
Now that I know that he doesn’t need me to tell him what to do, and that all he really wants is for me to be content and peaceful in life, I have been able to see that this really is a lot better than what I wanted in the first place.
- I don’t tell him where to park
- I don’t tell him how to drive
- I don’t tell him what to eat
- I don’t tell him what to do with his time/life
- I don’t offer to help him unless he asks for my help
- I don’t give him advice (knowingly), and if I do by accident, and he tells me, I apologize and we move on
- I don’t keep tabs on his hygiene
- I don’t expect anything from him at all
- I don’t text him or call him or pursue him in the marriage on any level
- I say THANK YOU! whenever he does ANYTHING at all for me
And you know what? THINGS ARE A LOT BETTER! Way better than when I was trying to control him and expected him to be/do/say/think what I wanted instead of letting him be a man and himself! He is MUCH more likely and inclined to want to be around me when I respect him and accept him as he is. He is much more likely to talk to me, or be open to me telling him about something when I am not trying to MAKE him talk to me! Everyone is a lot more peaceful when there is no pressure on him to be like me.
Now, I enjoy my time alone. I am ok with him being to himself all the time. I really don’t feel that lonely anymore now that I know that he is just different than me. I don’t feel unloved nearly as much because I know that his love is pretty much the same, even if he doesn’t say it or do what I want him to do to show me he loves me.
Just because he is interested in things that I am not, doesn’t mean I have to get upset and feel like he cares more about those things than me. Who am I to demand or silently expect all of his time and attention??? That is fake hollywood movie stuff, not real life!!!
If he didn’t want to be with me, he wouldn’t have married me. If he didn’t want to stay in our marriage, he really wouldn’t. That is a fact!
So now, I take that fact, and I let go of everything else, and I find that in my heart is a lot of peace, and I am no longer worried about anything! I no longer assume anything about him, and trust that if there is an issue, he will tell me, or God will show me.
I guess what it comes down to is, are you willing to let go of what YOU want out of the marriage for your own personal benefit and gain, in order to actually have a more peaceful marriage?
FOR MORE PRACTICAL WISDOM ON THIS TOPIC:
The Peaceful Wife: Living in Submission To Christ As Lord By April Cassidy