Cure the Quarrelsome Wife

Brad Says…

Drip, Drip, Drip… Hearing that sound over and over again especially in the quite of the night can drive just about anyone nuts. That is why the Bible compares the nagging of a quarrelsome wife to the sound of a constant dripping roof. (Proverbs 27:15) Kate did a great job challenging wives to look at their own quarrelsome ways in her post, “The Contentious Wife”.

I’m sure there were some husbands reading that shouting “you go girl” and cheered, thankful that someone was taking the “nagging wife” to task. Well before you go strutting around in a victory dance I think it is important to consider the other side of the street.

Homer-ish Husbands

The lazy husband has been a comedic figure in America for generations. From Dagwood to Homer Simpson popular culture has created a role of the lazy good for little husband. Sometimes art imitates life, but other times life can start to imitate art. After growing up seeing these “role models” as husbands it is easy to think that a man’s place in the home is on the sofa.Lazy Husband

While I never tried to do a Homer impression in my own life I can say that there were many times that gravitated to the couch and “lazy” weekends. I would grumble about the “honey-do list” and completely ignore the laundry that needed folded or pile of stuff needing put away.

My Work Here is Done?

My goal was not to be lazy; it was simply that I had a mindset that I had done my work. I put in a hard day and did my responsibility for the family. I would justify that the other stuff could wait. Sadly I have to say I had this mentality even when my wife had a full time job too.

Before I’m pelted with rocks and tomatoes let me say that I’ve seen the error of my ways. I do my best to set my mind to the real work that need done when I walk in the door. I recognized that my being a husband and father is far more important than what I do to bring in a pay check.

Has this totally cured me of my lazy ways? No. But it has helped.

What does being a lazy husband have to do with a quarrelsome wife? We need to understand that there is “quarrelsome” and there is “desperate” and we often don’t do a good job understanding the difference.

A Quarrelsome Wife:

  • Is never happy with the way her husband does a task
  • Is critical of him in front of others
  • Rejects his attempts to help because he won’t do it right
  • Throws positives “back in his face” because they were not good enough

A Desperate Wife:

  • Asks for help
  • Asks for attention
  • Asks that her husband take some additional responsibilities around the house
  • Begs for changes in their relationship

How Can You Tell the Difference?

The problem comes because often the tone of voice and the style of asking are similar between the desperate and the quarrelsome wife. A desperate wife who has not seen any change will start to “nag” about the list of things that needs done. The desperate wife will complain about the pile of laundry or the food left out on the counter when she feels like nothing else is getting through.

Next time you feel frustrated because your wife is “nagging” stop and ask yourself, “is she asking for help or is she being critical of me?” I would guess that most of the time she is simply asking for help so that she can enjoy a bit of the down time we so quickly take for ourselves.

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6 Responses to Cure the Quarrelsome Wife

  1. Great post. Start with yourself, and pray that your Wife is starting with herself. Being fully submissive to each other is the key to making this all come together I think. Besides, more is caught than taught….my actions speak my love louder than me saying “I Love You” to my wife ever can. Plus, I see the added benefit of modeling to my son and daughter the proper way to be a husband. Thanks for this inspiring post.

    • Thanks Eric,
      Being a student of our own actions is SOOOO important! I find that we are very quick to let ourselves off the hook for things, while blaming the actions / lack of actions of our spouse.

      It is always a good reminder to find words and actions that say “I love you” every day!


  2. Thanks Brad. I love that you have shown the difference between a quarrelsome and a desperate wife.

  3. OK. But what do I DO if I have a quarrelsome wife?

    What do I do if I desperately want to give her attention, to help her, to make her happy and all I get is criticism and disdain?

    What if my compliments aren’t believed or are turned into insults and when I try to help her she either criticizes how it was done or thinks I am accusing her of laziness?

    What if any attempts to listen or communicate are useless because I can never say (or not say) anything right?

    What if my wife demands control and literally will not allow anything to be done or said without her approval?

    What if she will not accept correction and treats every suggestion from anyone that she should change as the attack of an enemy?

    What if, when I suggest I should have or demand a place in my home I am accused of being dictatorial and controlling?

    What if when I put my foot down and actually take responsibility (make a decision without her permission) she says she does not feel it is safe for her and the children to live with me and threatens to leave me?

    • Yes Ryan, I am in the same exact spot. I will say that we still have to look at ourselves first. Always have to. As hard as that is. If you know Christ as your savior, then start seeking him wholeheartedly. We are to be Christ for our wives and children in the relationship, so always seek the Lord for where you may be lacking first, then ask for your wife’s heart to be softened so you can both grow spiritually. That is where our focus has to be is on the Lord. Like said, I am going through this right now, everything you said is my wife. But I have had to move out because of my short fuse, I didn’t turn back to the Lord soon enough and now I have to leave my family everyday and my wife just sits there and loves it. I hope this message gets to you and I pray things are going better as I write this.