The Snowball, Superman or One Man

Ouch!

When Bad Days Attack Who Are You Going To Listen To?

Brad says…

Every day is not filled with roses and kittens.  Every once in a while we have a day that is filled entirely with thorns and pit bulls. These days happen, they are part of life. How you decide to handle them will have a lasting impact on your marriage.

For husbands the most difficult thorns are those that impact your potential to provide for your family.  It could be an announcement about cut backs at work, a project gone bad, an overdue bill, or a sudden repair that drains the bank account. When a bad day hits your manhood hard, we cringe!

The Snowball

When these types of hits happen every man gets that feeling down in the pit of their stomach.  I know all of you know what I’m talking about, but for the wives reading this let me explain.  That one bill or failed project at work starts a mental snowball that goes something like this:

“That’s it, that project going bad means that I’m going to be fired, and if I’m fired I will never be able to find another job.  I’m ruined, We are going to lose the house and I’ll go bankrupt.  Then my wife will leave me and take the kids and I’ll end up sleeping in a van down by the river.”

Bad news has a way of starting an emotional snowball of awfulness pretty quickly.  Even if we are able to stop this avalanche of self-doubt another dread quickly enters our minds.  “I’m going to have to tell my wife”.  Immediately after we remember this, a whisper of “You don’t want to worry her” enters our minds.

Superman

That message, “Don’t worry her” is a pretty powerful one.  I’ve been there guys, I can remember driving home making arguments with myself a hand full of times.  I would convince myself that everything would actually be better if I softened the blow by minimizing the reality or if I just didn’t tell her at all.

Somewhere back along the path to manhood guys were taught that, “real men don’t need help”.  When tragedy struck Superman didn’t run to talk about it with Lois; he fixed the problem then later flew back to nonchalantly chat about it with her, “no big deal, sure our whole world could have crumbled, but don’t you worry your pretty little head about it, I fixed everything”.

That’s a real man right?  Men figure it out, know the answer and fix the problem.  Men don’t want to worry their family about it.

The One Man – or two become one man…

Superman mentality is a lie! We are not supposed to go it alone, to have it all figured out.  I know that all of you know that already, but when bad news hits those old superman messages kick in loud and clear.  You have to fight superman back with real vulnerability, something that many of us are not very good at.

Facts:

  • Your wife is strong enough to hear bad news.
  • You will be stronger to face the bad news together.
  • Being able to share your hurt and fear will stop your mental snowball from turning into a life altering avalanche.

I know it is hard to swallow your pride and open up about that failure, but one flesh does not only exist for the happy times.  Becoming one flesh is how you need to approach all of your life together, roses and thorns.

Next time life tosses you a lemon don’t try to be a superman and make lemonade by yourself.  Take a chance to share your snowball with your wife and see if you are able to take on the task of overcoming that challenge even better together!  This is actually the real meaning of the verse so often quoted at weddings “a cord of three strands is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).  God knew that in times of struggle working together, praying together, meeting the challenge together keeps us moving forward.

You may discover that you not over met the challenge together, but your marriage actually grew stronger as you lived in oneness through the tough times.

 

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10 Responses to The Snowball, Superman or One Man

  1. Sharing concerns, doubts and apprehensions with one’s spouse is indeed revealing our vulnerabilities, but hey, it is the healthy way to go so that the union that exists between a married man and woman has an awesome opportunity to be strengthened. This goes even deeper for those who are also in union with Jesus Christ, since He is the designer and perfecter of the one flesh marriage. I can choose my way, in bondage to pride or the High Way which is humbly yielding my heart, soul, marriage and family to Christ who knows best and always does things right.

  2. Brad,

    Thank you for the post. I have felt this way numerous times and it has gotten me in trouble when I have thought to myself “Don’t worry her.” I am slowly learning that I need to just be honest with my wife at all times. Thanks for letting me know that I am not the only one who does this and for giving me a confidence boost.

  3. I was married to Superman (still married, but he’s had a change in attitude). He struggled with feeling terrible for months and finally landed in the hospital for congestive heart failure at the age of 50. He finally confessed to me in ICU that he hadn’t been feeling well for a while. I asked him why he didn’t say anything and his answer was (of course) “I didn’t want to worry you.” I made it clear he needs to talk, regardless of whatever else is going on (our kids were fairly young then). I also know the signs when something isn’t right – he withdraws into himself.

    • Hi Susan! I praise God that your hubby finally started to open up to you. It is a tough thing, but so connecting and intimate when we share and stay connected in this way. Thanks for sharing this part in your one flesh journey! Blessings to you and your hubby! Kate

  4. Brad,
    Well awesome post! A few weeks back my hubby of nearly 28 years confessed to us that Spuerman is really dead now! After he landed in the hospital at 3am on a friday morning he realized he had his very first actual extreme panic attack! I thought he was going to have a heart attack! Fortunantely he is on a low dose med and feeling awesome! But he keeps telling us Superman is really dead!
    Thanks for the post!

    • Hi Sheila, Thanks for writing and sharing. I praise God that your hubby is ok and feeling better. So many times our guys think that keeping all of this to themselves and working hard not to worry us is good. Yet many times like your situation, they are not only hurting us by keeping these things from us, but they are hurting themselves as well. This can be a hard cycle to break, but once you have you can establish a good cycle and it will bring closeness and intimacy in all areas. Please know that we are praying for you and your hubby! Blessings to you both! Kate and Brad

  5. brad good article i can really relate to the superman part i’ve lived this most of my life thinking i can handle it even if i can’t but i don’t like your metephore for bad thorns and pitbulls as a pit owner i know the true nature of these dogs and it’s stupid comments like this that give them a bad name and undeserved rep they truelly are no more dangerous or bad than any other dog of comparable size if you ever want to see the true nature of a pit i’ll let you meet mine and you can see for yourself they are people orriented loving dogs they are just victims of a different type of racism so please educate yourself before you make a comment thankyou

    • Rich and I (Kate as well) spoke this morning and I just wanted to clear up that I meant no offence by my comment here about pit bulls. Just as I spoke of roses in a positive light, the reality is they all have thorns. In the same way, some dogs bite, while many don’t. I was honestly using a metaphor, just as Jesus does many times in the Bible. Metaphors do not mean that everyone used in the example, have the characteristic described. I hope that make sense! Thanks for being willing to comment, Rich! Blessings, Brad