As I pondered what Brad had to share about how men handle snowballs coming at them and whether or not they should share that with their wife, I really started to evaluate how I respond to such occasions. In his post The Snowball, Superman or the One Man, Brad shared from what I believe is at the heart of many men; their natural drive that God has designed them with, the need to care for their family, to provide. With that drive comes a feeling of failure when they are not able to provide, No matter how rational or irrational that may be.
As Brad and I talked over this subject I asked him if he would truly feel like a failure if he lost his job due to cut backs or the business he worked for had to close, something that would be completely out of his control. He said, yes he would still feel like a failure.
This was hard for me to comprehend. As a woman I can relate to the feelings of despair and questions of what am I going to do now? For me feelings of failure come about when I know that I have not done what I needed to. Yet, while I cannot completely relate, I see that it is truly how God has made my amazing hubby. He truly carries the weight of our family’s world on his shoulders. I do too in many ways, but since God made me very different as a woman, the weight is very different. I see and feel things differently. Really when you step back and observe, God was and is doing a truly beautiful thing in making us “man” and “woman”.
Along with the beauty of the situation is the realization that we have to learn how to best share in life’s “snowballs” with our hubby. The ball is in his court as to whether or not he shares with you. However, how we handle the curve ball coming at us, can greatly effect whether he is willing to share with us in the future. I know in the past, I did not always handle myself in a way that encouraged Brad to share with me all his stresses and worries. Joys, yes! Stresses, no! I have also seen the positive effect on Brad and our marriage, when I sought God’s direction on how to better handle when Brad shares his stresses with me.
Think about and pray about giving these a try . . .
Pray while he is talking to you
I know that even though I am not wired exactly like Brad, when he comes home and shares stresses, I begin to worry too, and worry leads to fear. All of the sudden I am wondering what will happen to us should things become dire, even if the stress really does not point in that direction at all. Satan is wreaking havoc with my thoughts, ladies! Plain and simple. Yet oh so complicated. You see, Satan is the great deceiver and he knows that if he can get you living in fear and worry, then he can drive a wedge between you marriage. A wedge that will affect everything, especially intimacy. I have learned the best way to stop this happening is to have a scripture (or a few) that I pray regularly. Pray them to yourself while your hubby is sharing. Tell Satan, he and his plan have no place in your marriage. Just don’t pray so much that you miss everything your hubby is sharing. Find a short scripture that encourages and speaks the power and truth of God into your life and marriage. Say it often! Speaking scripture into your life and marriage keeps the focus where it should be-on God!
Listen and ask clarifying questions
Then listen some more
As my hubby always says to our kids, “It’s time to put on your listening hat”. Be an active listener. Put away all other things that could be keeping you from listening. Phone, computer or anything that is keeping you from giving your hubby your full attention. Try to only listen, but ask a few questions here and there when you have them. Try to be conscious of keeping the questions from sounding like attacks. Instead ask questions that help him to clarify and explain the situations better.
Stay close-Touch him
Our husbands need to feel closeness to us in these times of stress. Make an effort to hold his hand while he is sharing or sit nice and close. These things show support in love, even if physical touch is not his love language. Touch conveys that you are with him, that you will stand by him and that you value closeness and intimacy even in the tough times.
Don’t try to fix it all
I know this seems like an easy one, because we as women often say we don’t want our hubby to fix all of our problems. The same is true for our husbands. They sometimes need to vent, to share, to get things off their chest, but are not looking for us to solve it all. Trust that your hubby will ask you if for suggestions if he wants them. Validate him, by saying things like, “I am sure that was hard for you” or “I know how much this has been bothering you, is there anything I can do to help?”
Pray for him during the day
I know I tend to end this way, but I just cannot say it enough-Pray for him! Pray for strength and that God would lead him. I used to struggle with what to pray for Brad. I also used to wonder if I was praying selfishly for the things I wanted to see in Brad. Ultimately, I wanted to pray for God to work in Brad’s life the way He wanted to. So I began and am now passionate about praying scripture over Brad. I look through God’s word and pray God’s word, over Brad. Psalms is a great book to start with. Perhaps you know where your husband is struggling, but don’t know a verse to pray over him. Want to know what I do? You are going to be amazed . . . I Google it! Crazy I know… yet it works and I have a scripture to pray over Brad. Give it a try.
What are other ways you as wives have learned to handle the curve ball situations?
I would love to hear from the hubby’s out there:
- What do you need us as wives to do?
- What does your wife do that really helps?
Help us to strengthen marriages together by sharing what you think!