Warning: Sometimes We Husbands Are Fragile

Today’s post is going to be a little different I try to write posts that highlight the positive, and try to help wives see how they can make their husband happy.  However, over the past few weeks I have felt led to talk about things that hurt and discourage men.  These examples come from my life and the life of my friends, most of which are Christian, most of whom don’t share things like this easily.  They either do it because they are really hurt or because they see a brother who is really hurting and hope to encourage him.
So here goes:

Husbands, we like to be tough, we like to think that things just roll off our back the sucess-2way water rolls of a duck’s back.  But the truth is; somethings hurt us, somethings bother us, and sometimes those hurts are often deep, deeper than we ever want to share with anyone.  Most guys will not share these hurts with you, it makes us feel petty, but I think you should know about them and that you will do your best to find a way to work around these problems.

Here are Some Ways Men are Hurt:

  • Anytime we take the chance and we really share what is important to us: When we tell you how we are feeling about something and you either tell us we are wrong for having those feelings, or that those feelings don’t matter to you and you do not care anything what about we shared. It hurts us, we feel like we made our self vulnerable to you and you kick our feelings under th2610462_Ge rug. (Then you wonder why we don’t share with you as often as you want us to.)
  • When we give our opinion to you about something and you seem to totally disregard it because it is not what you wanted to hear.  If it seems to us that you really don’t care what you think, we are hurt.  In other words don’t ask us if you don’t really care what we think. [We understand that you will not always agree with us.  We don’t expect you to take our advice just because we give it to you.  What we ask is that you give it a careful consideration.]
  • We try to do something real special for you and you don’t even appreciate the effort we put into doing it for you.  I know sometimes we blow it, we did not get the hints right and bought the wrong color, made the wrong reservations, took you to the wrong place, but we tried hard.  We want a big smile on your face, a pat on the back, a big hug! And what do we get? We get told, “You missed the mark, you blew it” and that sucks the joy out of what we did. [Worse than that, it makes us wonder, “Why try?”  We start to think something like this, “Why put effort into anything special? When I try hard I still get in trouble and when I put little effort I am in trouble. Since I am in trouble either way, why try when not trying is easier?”]
  • Another similar one; We tell you that you are beautiful, that we like looking at you, that we are still captivated by you and your body, but you ignore us, you tell us that you are ugly, that you body is horrible, and that we are only saying that because we have to.  Studies have shown that the majority of married men, when describing their ideal woman, describe someone a lot like their wife.  (The researchers debated was this because men set out to marry their ideal women or because they married them, they shifted their view of what an ideal woman is.) Bottom line is either way, when you husband compliments you, he is saying it because he means it and he loves you.  Accept it and appreciate it – If you don’t you stand the chance of never hearing another compliment ever again.
  • When it seems like no matter what we do it is not good enough.  We really do want to help lighten your load. We don’t mind helping you out sometimes and most of us would like to do it more.  What is discouraging to us is when we help and you always find something wrong with how we help.  One friend told me he cleaned the kitchen, but got told he goofed because he did not clean the sink & wipe the water spots off the faucet.  Another cooked dinner, but did not have a balanced enough meal, he forgot to have a green veggie. One guy cleaned the bathroom, but did not mop the floor.  Are those things important?  In these cases no.  If the wife would have said, “Thank you dear.”  Given then a big hug and kiss and acted happy there would have been a much greater chance that these guys would have done more. Later she could have said something like, “Honey, next time, can you also do….?  It would make it even nicer!” Follow that up with a kiss and I bet your hubby would remember the next time.
  • When sex seems like a chore to you.  Sex is important to most men, they want you to enjoy it with them, when you treat it like a distasteful chore, he thinks you are tell him that he and his love are a distasteful chore.  No ladies, I am not saying that every time he says, “Now” that you need to jump into bed.  We understand that can’t always happen, but if you are saying, “No” a lot of the time and then when you do agree you find no joy in it, it hurts us and makes us feel unloved.

Are men always right for getting their feelings hurt, of course not!  There are times we get hurt when we should be more like that proverbial duck.  I think what happens is that we can take all of these examples and more if they happen occasionally, but when it becomes a pattern, when it becomes something that happens more often than not, that is when we get hurt.

About the time I finished writing this, I found this post by Genuine Husband that I thought was a great companion piece to my post.  Please take the time and read it also – Mostly, we are just afraid – Genuine Husband..

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7 thoughts on “Warning: Sometimes We Husbands Are Fragile

  1. OHMYGosh these were excellent insights. I wish I had learned much earlier in our marriage just how fragile husband’s are. Also, it is good for us wives to constantly be reminded of this, (hopefully less and less as we mature) sometimes we miss it because of machismo. Thanks again RHW!

    • I think part of it is because we have to be strong so much of the time that we get fragile around our wives. Others can do things to me that I will take, but something about my wife doing it, it hurts more, even when I know (which is almost always) that she did not mean to do it. I guess it is because expect the world to hurt us, we don’t expect it from our spouses.

      • True. My husband describes it as coming at him from behind – it’s unexpected. He knows that I’ve got his back — but it’s such a hurtful shock when I don’t.

      • I think your husband said it well. We know you are out to help us, but sometimes things happen. Sometimes things that don’t bother us some days will devastate us the next day.

  2. A lot of what you talk about is symptomatic of a what men perceive as a lack of respect. I’m glad you took the effort to codify lack respect with some examples that women may not readily see.

    • You are right, a lot of it is about respect and respect is a big deal in marriage. I am glad to see so many of the Christian Marriage Blogs write about it.

      I think a lot of it is also because it is systemic in our world. Our world teaches look out for #1 and even in Christian marriages, I think we often fall prey to that influence.

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