Don’t Expect Perfection

I had a talk with a friend recently.  He and his wife had just had a fight.  It was 2610462_Gnot huge, it was not mean, but he knows his wife and knows that there will be hurt that he has to deal with.  He is fearful that this will put a wedge between he and his wife, he felt (and still feels) that he needed to talk about those issues.  Now he fears she will fall into a pattern that she has fallen into in the past which something like this:  “I can’t trust you with my heart (or my body) because you hurt me.  I have to pull away until I can trust you again.”  I really feel for my friend, it is a hard place to be and yes, I have been there also.

There are some things that you need to know about that attitude, in case you or some of your friends ever exhibit it:

Withdrawing may make you feel better, but it will harm your relationship with your husband.  It will cause him to withdraw from you.  It will cause him to become even more critical and less patient.  In short it will make the problems a whole lot worse than they currently are. (No, it is not right, it is not the way it should be, but it is the way it will all most certainly be.)

Remember that some problems do have to brought up.  Chances are you 1343869794690_5469279have done this to, you have had to bring up some problems that made your husband uncomfortable.  You did not do it to make him mad or to be mean, but you did because it was something that needed to be dealt with.  The same thing is true for him.  He sees something that he thinks needs to be fixed.  Instead of getting mad at him, be grateful he cares enough to bring it up.

Acknowledge the hurt you have, but seek to forgive.  Your hurt is real, your pain is real.  However, no matter how much you are hurting, you still need to forgive your husband for what he did.  You need to do this whether he asks for it or not.  (Yes, it would best for him to ask for it and I truly hope he will.)  It has always amazed me that Jesus spent so much time talking about the importance of forgiving others, He basically said, if we don’t forgive, we won’t be forgiven.

Your husband will never be perfect.  That is okay, neither will you.  Seems like I heard a great teacher say something like, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”  You need to treat him the way you want to be treated. (Matt 7:12 “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”)  Do you want to be held to a standard of perfection?  No, I don’t blame you. Don’t hold him to that standard.  Do you want to be forgiven when you behave wrongly, whether you ask for it or not? If your answer is, “No,” then forgive when you are wronged.

If we all think about it, we know that we should not expect perfection from our spouse, but I think sometimes, we conscientiously expect it.  Let us do what we can to change this habit and to understand that we are all going to have bad days.

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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..