By Melissa Rich
I suppose being married to the wrong kind of women could be compared to a man wearing very tight pants that are so restrictive that every step reminds him of his discomfort. He needs room to BREATHE.
A PEACEFUL HOME:
I spoke with a woman recently. She has sat in counsel with two specific married couples where the men were weeping because they loved their wives and didn’t want to leave but they were miserable. Both of them said, “I love you but I can’t live like this anymore. I just want peace.”
No man or woman wants to live with someone who continues to be a raging storm, unpredictable or worse, easy to predict because they are always upset or discontent with something. Simply put, this man can’t fix you so if you are not working on your own demeanor and emotional growth, it will begin to wear on him. He may stay, but he will be even more emotionally unavailable. I am NOT advocating men leaving their wives, we are never advocating this. All that we say is with the intentions of helping marriages to stay TOGETHER.
A gentle and quiet spirit does not mean we do not have a voice; it means that we have learned how to hold our tongue and submit our concerns to the Lord before trying to address them in the natural, that we pursue peace with God and that we cultivate a peaceful home.
LOSE THE “RESENTMENT FILE”:
Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth will speak so however you cultivate and maintain your peace will determine what your overflow is. If your spirit is agitated and you have a list of things saved up in your “resentment file”, they will eventually come out. When they do, it will likely not be pretty. Lose the “resentment file”.
Learn how to bring things before the Lord and leave them there. Let go and stop trying to control everything, including him. This will go a long way in keeping your marriage happy. Choose your battles and don’t make everything into “an issue”.
It is not hard at all to push a man away with your words or your tone. Not hard at all to cause him to shut down. Across the board, most men would sooner withdraw than to confront or banter. It’s just not in their general design to make every conversation a marathon. The sooner a solution can be reached, the more comfortable they are.
Tone matters. The way you choose to approach him and/or respond is going to make all the difference in the way he responds to you. You do not get to determine the way he responds or judge it. Allow him to speak and/or think it over. Learn “him”, specifically and always, always speak with and show respect. He will respect you more if you speak to him in a mature and respectful tone and attitude. Otherwise, you may lose your audience before you get your first sentence out.
CHOOSE YOUR WORDS WISELY:
Assume up front that a man will be very sensitive to the words and/or criticisms -of the woman he loves until she crosses the line. He’s not likely to give you a second chance to humiliate him, choose your words and actions wisely. Once spoken, words cannot be retrieved. If there is damage done, it may not be repairable especially if the man feels humiliated by your words. It isn’t that he will necessarily up and leave you, but he may begin to withdraw. And the more you press him, the more he withdraws. He’s not likely going to say, “Honey, you really hurt me by your words”. He’s just going to do what he needs to do to avoid that pain again. Most men are not verbal processors; they introspect and then move on, often without verbalizing. Give him that freedom but watch his responses to your interactions. Learn to read him. Choose your battles wisely and pray about EVERYTHING.
It is important to listen to the Holy Spirit in your relationships as well to learn that man so you can know when is or is not a good time for him. What time of day or week is good for him? You can even ask him as a means to get to know him better. Don’t approach him with something significant when it is not the right timing. Learn when to let some things go or to ponder them in prayer until you have a release from the Holy Spirit to address it.
In the end, it isn’t about you or him; it is about God’s purpose for marriage and family. Interesting that God set things up so that we would need to "involve Him" in order to succeed. It isn’t who you are on the outside that will set the tone in your home. It is the inner beauty of the heart that will cause your husband and children to rise up and call you blessed and he will praise you. A gentle and quiet spirit is just as much for “you” ladies as it is for your husband and home. What cannot be addressed in words can always be addressed in prayer. Marriage is a beautiful thing, if we invest ourselves appropriately.