What breeds discontentment and affairs for many (Christian) women….

23 Sep

I don’t think it’s a good idea to spend too much time entertaining, talking about or verbalizing things that make us dissatisfied with our spouses, or what we find attractive in other people.

However, sometimes I think women just want the chance to be brutally honest with someone, because we never, ever want to tell our husbands these things and this is what causes the ever-famous husband bashing sessions. (You all know what I’m talking about.)

Sometimes these bashing sessions are just “jokes.”  Other times, it’s an all-out vent session of everything our husband does completely wrong.  Or, that we wish he’d do right.

I know that for most men, temptations with other women come in two forms, one being more dominant than the other.  Men are so visual that beauty (be it modest or immodest) is obviously a battle.  No shock there.  With the porn industry bringing in billions a year, and the clothing industry making tighter, shorter, more revealing clothing — it’s no secret that it can be hard for men to shield their eyes.  Especially when something available to them in person or on a screen is so darn attractive.

And then there is a second temptation for a man when it comes to dangerous situations with women — when a woman shows him a tremendous amount of respect.  Especially if he feels respect is lacking at home.  This can happen for men who have women work underneath them, and they are quick to submit and please him as their boss.  It can happen for men who are teaching/leading in the church and women seek them out for counsel and advice.  It can happen when a waitress seems interested in hearing about his life and fawning over him like he’s the hero in the story she’s hearing.

For (most) women,  these two things are not at the top of list.  We don’t usually struggle just because a man is good-looking. Though, I would never say that isn’t a temptation at all or that we never, ever notice…. it’s just not nearly the issue it is for most men.  And we rarely feel starved for respect.  In fact, respect is hard for us to feel unless we feel loved to some degree.  If a man talks respectfully to us, we might not even notice or be annoyed that he isn’t sharing his feelings about the issue at hand.

For women, there is really one major area that breeds discontentment at home and has the power to lead to an affair.  When we see and focus on qualities, behaviors, attitudes and habits of men that do things our husband does not.

And for the Christian woman, this even happens often in Church.  When she sees a man raise his hands during worship, sing loudly, tithe, pray publicly, give counsel, or lead in any capacity, it can immediately stir up discontentment and judgment of her own husband.  We can quickly spin out of control wishing our husband was closer to the Lord, less selfish, unashamed or embarrassed about his faith or generous with his time/money.

But even more than what we see publicly, it’s the stories about men privately that do the most damage in our hearts.  When we see or hear about men praying with their wives, leading their family in devotions, buying his wife special presents “just because”, planning secret dates/vacation to surprise her, helping do dishes/laundry, cooking meals, working on projects around the home, keeping up on the vehicles, giving the kids baths, coming straight home from work, coaching the kids teams, going to church, or literally ANYTHING that anyone’s husband is doing that ours is not that we wish he was.

Women all try to console each other at different times with “oh honey, that’s just men… they are all like that.”  or “Girl, my husband does the same thing.”  But the minute we see or hear about another man doing that very thing ours is lacking, that argument loses all its power.  And immediately we’re angry because “HE does it, so don’t give me this story that men aren’t capable.”

So, if you’re feeling today like no one else gets it.  I GET IT.

But it’s just a filthy illusion of reality.  Here’s the truth.

Your husband is doing a LOT of things right and that speak love to you.  Don’t allow yourself to make a list of “wishes” without making a list of “already have(s).”

And secondly, no other man is perfect.  If he prays with his wife, that’s awesome.  But I promise you, he has a short-coming somewhere else that would make you just as discontent.

Because here is the cold hard truth:

Discontentment comes from my heart – and has nothing to do with what my husband is or isn’t doing.

Even if he started doing everything on the list…. the list would just keep growing.

Discontentment has never once been cured by finding the perfect man – he doesn’t exist.  Content marriages don’t exist because the husband and wife are flawless or because they’ve just decided to stop caring and accept being unhappy.

Content marriages exist because the husband and wife intentionally focus on the best qualities about each other, and they work on their own flaws and sins.

Sometimes one spouse gets there quicker than the other.  But it doesn’t take long for one to set an example before the other jumps on board.

Practical Application:

Don’t compare your spouses failures next to someone else’s strengths.  He will always fail.  As would any other man’s failures next to your husband’s strengths.  Focus on his strengths and the discontentment of your heart will disappear.

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14 Responses to “What breeds discontentment and affairs for many (Christian) women….”

  1. learning1 September 23, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    These are SUCH helpful thoughts! I really took a lot from this. I have been getting better about telling my husband the things I would like him to do (and leaving it up to him and not harping), but then wondered about all the things I don’t want him to do. Should I tell him? I might – just so that he might help me in my struggles (if I can do so respectfully), but I really think this post spoke the truth I’ve been looking for about that situation. I’ll be going back over this post more than once! Thanks Kayla!!

    • Kayla Gulick September 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

      I get so thankful that I’m able to sharing what I’ve learned and am learning with others and grow together with them!!

      I use to grow discontent daily and I never really understood what was happening. I just often felt like my husband could be doing so much more but he just wasn’t. It wasn’t until he started doing some things I really desired and I was still just as discontent adding more and more to the list that I realized the problem was more with me than him! And that’s when I started to appreciate him and stop comparing him to everyone else.

      I’m so glad there was some food in here for you to sort through too!!

  2. Todd Fitchette September 23, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    I think you hit on a key reason why many men, after divorce (particularly when she was the one who chose to leave), decide not to remarry.

    • Kayla Gulick September 24, 2013 at 6:42 am #

      You’re probably very right and that breaks my heart.

  3. Gleniece September 24, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    It is SO true about the list growing if we don’t tackle the heart issue. I’ve become a much happier wife letting expectations go and truly appreciating what I already have. Discontentment is a voracious monster that is never satisfied,. You feed it one right thing your husband does and immediately it finds more faults. Thanks, Kayla for sharing this wisdom. I always look forward to reading your posts.

    • Kayla Gulick September 24, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

      I completely agree!!! We have to constantly be working on cleaning our heart… or else we can be confused to believe it’s everyone else’s hearts who are dirty instead of our own!

  4. howsyourlovelife September 25, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    “Content marriages exist because the husband and wife intentionally focus on the best qualities about each other, and they work on their own flaws and sins.” Great words!

    • Kayla Gulick September 25, 2013 at 10:06 am #

      Constantly working on these words of mine 🙂

  5. Jaki September 25, 2013 at 10:23 am #

    Thanks soooo much Kayla, GOD has used you to speak to my situation. For my Birthday, i was given hard cash, to buy what i please. I felt so INSULTED!, you can imagine whats been going through my mind…again GOD has spoken to me through you. GOD BLESS YOU.

  6. peacefulwife October 4, 2013 at 10:46 am #

    THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for this post, Kayla!

  7. David J. October 6, 2013 at 1:27 am #

    Kayla: Great post. I hope many see it. If we had a time machine and went back about 15-17 years (or maybe more) to have my ex-wife read this, maybe my world and my 4 kids’ world would be different today.

    Figure this one out: she divorced me without a biblical basis because the level of her discontent made it untenable for her to continue in the marriage, and then her rationale for her adulterous remarriage to a man who was already twice-divorced was (largely) that he was a better Christian than I. Still shaking my head over that one. But it’s an example, I think, of the absurd results that can wait at the end of the discontentment/comparison road.

    • Kayla Gulick October 6, 2013 at 7:20 am #

      I’m so sorry to hear your story David.
      Sadly, this battle of discontentment is very huge — and even when women read this (and knowing it myself) doesn’t make it any easier to keep working at it. It’s tough – and the world we live in today does NOTHING to help any of us win.

      I hope you and your children will find healing from your hurt.

  8. onehelpmate May 18, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Kayla:

    I believe that discontentment has a better chance of creaping in when our emotional needs are not met. Everyone is responsible for their own happiness. It is not my husbands job to make me happy. However, I believe that all spouses have an obligation to try to fulfill their companions emotional and other needs.

    When my husband is thoughtful, and makes attempts to speak to me in my love language, behaviors that are unsavory sometimes have little or no affect. If, however, my husband gets so wrapped up in other things in his life that he has other obligations on his days off and comes to bed late each night and fails even a note or text or quick kiss on the way out the door… For me it is human nature to think back to when my emotional cup was overflowing with love… And want that again.

    • Kayla Gulick May 18, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      Oh I agree totally that’s how our flesh reacts for sure!

      It’s the learning how to lead our heart, so that we don’t find our joy in this life based on the actions of others… but on the truths we already profess, that is the tricky part.

      Christ and his redemption for us is all we need to be fulfilled.

      And even the truth that we know our spouse loves us, even when they have moments where they tend to themselves first and neglect us is important to meditate on at all times.

      We need to learn to love them unconditionally and keep our joy in all circumstances.

      I totally wish it was easier though… and that our husbands never failed to meet all our needs all the time 😉

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