Did you know that most men thrive on admiration, and it means the world to them when it comes from their wives? Honest admiration for your husband will boost his confidence and motivate him to take on the world. Men are competitive and tend to derive their worth from what they do. They, therefore, need to know that their wives notice and admire how they exert themselves for their families.
Let's face it, men and women are as different as chalk and cheese. What makes you tick as a woman may be the very thing that makes your husband's skin crawl. It's likely that your emotional needs may sound bizarre to your spouse and vice versa. Your job then is to seek to understand what floats your spouse's boat - to learn their love language and speak it fluently.
In his book His Needs, Her Needs Willard F. Harley, Jr. opines that the inability to meet each other's emotional needs stems from ignorance of the said needs and not a selfish unwillingness to be considerate. This means that unless you have intentionally studied and interrogated your spouse, you are bound to act in a way that irks them without realizing it. As a wife, here are six ways you may be unknowingly hurting your husband.
1. Criticizing and Mothering Him
As a wife, perhaps you relish your role as mother hen down to a T. You bask in the privilege of ruling the roost. But. Do you bundle up your husband alongside your kids as you issue directives? Do you often redirect, criticize, correct, disapprove, and even oppose your husband? Many wives fall into the trap of mothering their husbands. They are always poking holes into their husbands' opinions and actions and seeking to steer them in a different direction.
This makes their husbands feel belittled, disrespected, and controlled. This may also chip away at their self-esteem, injure trust and make them bitter and angry. Mothering your husband also causes him to get defensive and retract into his shell. This, however, does not mean that you cannot hold a different opinion from your husband. In marriage, conflict and personality differences are guaranteed. But as you air your opinion, do it respectfully and avoid attacking your husband's character. Avoid sounding like his mother or as if you caught him with his hand in the cookie jar.
2. Giving Him the Silent Treatment
Joe barged into the living room, knackered to the bone, and felt awful that he had run late. His wife was nowhere in sight, so he ran upstairs to their bedroom and found her snuggled up in bed, reading a book. His attempt to greet and strike up a conversation with her hit the skids. She wouldn't talk to him, leave alone look in his direction. He walked away feeling dejected, wondering what he had done wrong (besides getting home late).
It is not uncommon for wives to give their husbands the silent treatment when they are upset about something. This however is toxic, abusive, and unhealthy for any relationship. It takes two to tango, and it's unfair to leave your husband groping in the dark, oblivious of their mistakes. Remember your husband is not a mind reader, and unless you communicate effectively, he cannot decode your frustration.
Psychologists say that people who use the silent treatment aim at exerting control over the other party in order to manipulate them. When you give your husband the silent treatment, they feel confused, frustrated, rejected, and hurt. You give them the impression that you don't care about the health of your marriage, and it is entirely up to them to patch things up (albeit blindly). Giving the silent treatment also means that you are rejecting proper communication without which a marriage cannot thrive.
The scriptures brim over with the admonition for proper communication in relationships. In Amos 3:3, we read that two people cannot walk together unless they are agreed. This means that communication is the backbone of fruitful relationships. Additionally, Paul urged the Ephesian church not to let the sun go down on their anger (Ephesians 4:26). This means that they were to resolve any tiffs and scuffles among themselves swiftly.
Paul also asked believers to pursue peace with all people (Hebrews 12:14). Quite honestly, we are often keen on making amends with everyone else but our spouses. We want to hang on to grudges against our spouses, yet they are the most important people in our lives. If, as a wife, you are fond of giving your husband the silent treatment, choose to heed God's instructions and embrace communication.
3. Showing Disinterest in Sexual Intimacy
Let's face it; sex is a big deal to most men. It ranks high among their needs. On the flip side, most women need to feel emotionally connected to their husbands before they can think about intimacy. They need to sense affection and love first. Sex then becomes their way of expressing the deep connection they feel.
If a couple has not learned to cater to each other's prime needs, there is usually an imbalance where sex is concerned. The wife may often be uninterested in intimacy, whereas the husband may seem desperate for the same. When a husband feels like he is begging his wife for sex, it injures his confidence and self-esteem. Men want to know that they are needed and that their wives view them as good lovers. With the wife showing disinterest, they feel small and incompetent, and this causes them untold pain.
If you feel disinterested in sexual intimacy as a wife, aim to get to the root of the problem. Let your husband know how he can help you rekindle your interest.
4. Comparing Him
"Jane's husband never misses his kids' school meetings. I wish you were like him!" Sally blurted out at her husband in a moment of fury. In return, Steve was gutted. He felt worthless and unappreciated. He toiled hard at work daily to ensure his family was sufficiently provided for. "Doesn't she appreciate my efforts?" he wondered to himself.
Stacking your husband against other people is another sure way of hurting him. Your husband feels rejected and frustrated. Besides, comparing your husband lures you into forgetting their good attributes as you zoom into their weaknesses. This is outrightly unfair as you, too, have weaknesses, and we bet you would not like it if your husband compared you to other ladies.
5. Not Admiring and Appreciating Him
Did you know that most men thrive on admiration, and it means the world to them when it comes from their wives? Honest admiration for your husband will boost his confidence and motivate him to take on the world. Men are competitive and tend to derive their worth from what they do. They, therefore, need to know that their wives notice and admire how they exert themselves for their families. They constantly need a pat on the back.
When you don't appreciate your husband and applaud his achievements, he feels frustrated and may gradually lose the zeal to put his best foot forward. As such, aim to be your husband's number one fan and watch him spread his wings further.
6. Nagging Him
So you asked your husband to get the leaky faucet fixed last weekend, and he hasn't gotten around to it. Do you make it your mission to badger him until he gets it done? Here's the truth, men all over the globe detest being nagged. Nagging is persistently annoying or finding fault with someone. It happens when the person nagging doesn't believe the other party has good intentions or is capable of doing a task effectively. It reflects poor communication and impatience by the person nagging.
Women are more likely to nag because they are primarily responsible for running the home. In their quest to rule the roost, they end up trying to control their children and husbands. This, however, is counterproductive as nagging is very repulsive to men. The wise king Solomon noted that it was better to dwell in a corner of a housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman (Proverbs 21:9).
Nagging your husband makes him want to flee in search of peace. You should instead embrace proper communication and trust that your husband has good intentions. Ditch nagging and communicate with your husband respectfully.
6 Ways You're Unknowingly Hurting Your Wife
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Vadym Pastukh
Keren Kanyago is a freelance writer and blogger at Parenting Spring. As a wife and mom, she uses her blog to weigh in on pertinent issues around parenting, marriage, and the Christian Faith. She holds a degree in mass communication with a specialty in print media. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram and/or shoot her an email at email@example.com.