Your husband has it, my husband has it, every husband on the planet has it.
It’s their “thing.” The one “thing” that is just, them. They can’t separate from it because it’s literally part of their personality. It’s part of their make-up. It’s part of what makes them tick. It’s ingrained in who they are as a person.
And try as we might…. what makes “this” the “thing” is that we as their wives, don’t understand it at all. In fact, we might be polar opposite and even frustrated by this.
That “thing” isn’t the same for every man. It could be, but it isn’t always. Especially because what makes it the “thing” depends on who they’re married to. And no two wives are the same; and no two husbands are the same; and no two marriages are the same… so I just can’t blanket post this.
But I know what my husband’s “thing” is… and I recently heard from another wife what her husband’s “thing” is, and even though their things were TOTALLY different…. I felt what she feels.
I can relate on the deepest level. The confusion. The frustration.
The wanting SO much to accept him and respect him unconditionally – not judging or condemning anything about him (especially when his “thing” isn’t even a sin at all!) and yet… all the while…. secretly wishing you could change it. Maybe even praying desperately that God would change it.
My husband is an introvert. He’s quiet (until you get to know him), shy, hates being surrounded by people he doesn’t know, does not make new friends easily at all, would prefer very small crowds, and hates speaking when called on without his own initiation.
I am an extrovert. I’m not shy at all. I am not intimidated by large crowds of people I don’t know in the least. I make new friends quickly and make it look effortless, and I am always willing to share whether I know you or not.
I wrestled for a really long time feeling like this difference meant one of us was wrong. And since my personality was mine…. I felt like mine was the correct way to approach life.
I remember feeling very judgmental thinking that he could change if he wanted to. And that he was being a stubborn jerk just so he didn’t have to change.
Sound a little prideful much?! Just in case you’re not sure… Yes, yes it does.
I’ve done really well accepting this difference and appreciating how he enters a room and takes everything in, in a way I never do. I can now see that there are strengths in his reserved approach to things and his natural tendencies give him time to access places and people who are present.
But. Sometimes his personality still puts me in positions where I’m not “getting everything I want”. Which is a great way for Satan to attack me and tempt me to disrespect my husband, give into selfishness and ultimately hurt my marriage.
A perfect example was just a couple of months ago. We recently changed churches and the church was offering a class after service to better explain their beliefs, ministries, church doctrine and practices.
At the beginning of the meeting, the pastor asked everyone to go around the room and say their names, where they were from and how long they’d been going to church there.
I SO wanted my husband to do this. For me, I want him to come across as the leader and protector of our family because HE IS. It’s not for public attention, it’s actually to avoid public attention. It gives the wrong impression in my mind for the woman to do all the leading in public, but for her husband to do all the leading in private. It makes for an inability to ask his permission/ideas when on the spot and looks like I need to speak for him or over him.
It’s hard to have a gentle and quiet spirit that is submissive to your husband when you have to do all the talking in public. You’re put on the spot to sometimes answer questions and make decisions without his input.
Of course, the worst thing in my mind had to happen. The first table to go started with this scene:
The pastor called on the husband to speak and he said “oh my wife will do the talking, I learned that a long time ago.” Hysterical laughter broke out throughout the room.
Awesome. So when it’s my turn, and I talk instead of my husband… everyone will think the same thing about me.
I looked at my husband, and he was about to get up and walk out of the room because he hates that type of environment. So, he sat there quiet, and I did the talking.
We left and I was horribly embarrassed. Not because my husband did anything wrong. I was embarrassed because I was concerned with what I thought others were thinking (without even knowing for sure if they were.)
Did I need to be? No. Does it matter what others think? No. Is it more important for me to be the helpmate my husband married and use my personality, gifts and abilities to add what would bless him most and benefit our marriage best? Yes, absolutely.
But my flesh needed some time to accept that on that day.
Here are the words of another wife describing her husband’s thing:
“I’ve planned every date we have ever gone on. We did go out to eat a week ago, but then just ran errands together even though I suggested fun activities because he was just too tired.. He says the way that he most relaxes it to do a household chore with me like weed the garden or plant our vegetable garden or helping a sick cow… To be honest, those are not fun for me. I do them because I love him. I would like to go to a bed and breakfast, stay all day in bed one day, go hiking another day… He would rather just stay here on the farm. But I am on the farm A LOT. I just haven’t figured out how to do this…he connects at home…I need to go out. Yes, I’ve told him this. I even offered that we go out and do something fun and I help him with a chore.. The chores have gotten done. Dates…maybe 1/4 of the time and I plan them… I guess I wish to be pursued, but he just doesn’t have the energy.”
Basically, he relaxes at home, she relaxes by going out. Is he wrong? Is she wrong? No. Not at all. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard on her flesh not to scream out that he should want what she wants!!
They say opposites attract, but it seems after they’ve attracted, they battle to become the same to stay together, instead of appreciating what makes them opposite.
Really, this is just another opportunity for us to lay ourselves down and be thankful for the differences in who we are as humans.
The next time his “thing” brings the temptation to be hurt or angry, stop right then and think about two things that are actually STRENGTHS about his thing. Think about those things and how you might actually be lacking in that area, and how he helps balance you out.
And then, if you’re really feeling courageous (because Satan will definitely tell you that you’re about to encourage his nasty habits and ruin any chance for change) PRAISE him for his “thing.”