Kate says . . .
We think them strong and certainly less emotional than we consider ourselves. It is drilled into us that men desire respect because it is at the core of how God made them and while that is truth, God also made them with emotions. They may not express them the way we do and they may not have a word for each emotion they are feeling, but they are still there. Even if they struggle to identify them. My amazing hubby has clued me in that men usually will describe emotions in their lives as one of four things . . . happy, frustrated, angry and sometimes sad. The emotions are there are we as their wives has the privilege of protecting our husband emotionally. I have learned over the years that giving Brad a safe outlet for his emotions and protecting that is a special thing.
Here are the things I see happening when I protect Brad emotionally:
- It grows and strengthens our emotional intimacy.
- It continually teaches me things about Brad and how to care for him.
- It shows Brad that I care deeply for who he is, who God has made him to be. Not pressuring him to be something he isn’t.
Wandering what I mean? Here are a few ways that I protect Brad emotionally
Give him a safe place to process his day no matter what it looks like.
When God was challenging me to be the change I wanted to see in my marriage, I felt the nudging to serve Brad first and being attentive to his needs. One of the things I started doing was setting aside 10 minutes each day when he came home from work. We would find a place where he could share about his day. A husband finds much of his worth in his job. He wants to do well, to make a difference and to provide well for his family. God has placed that desire within him and it is a good thing. Work is one of the places that stress and emotions run high for our husbands. When we recognize that and encourage our husbands in that area, they know we are for them. It’s hard to encourage them if we don’t know what is going on. So taking out time each day to hear about his day is such a great way to emotionally connect with your husband. It does not matter what your husband does for work, you showing an interest and inquiring is good!
Don’t try to name his emotions:
As I said before, ladies we have tons of names for all our many emotions. As your husband is processing something, be a good listener and sometimes ask questions. Comfort him and reach out to him physically. But be careful not to try to diagnose his emotions. While we find it enlightening and freeing to find just the right word to describe our emotions, our husband are just made differently and that is ok! It truly is. Let him sift through things with you as his support and when he needs you to help him identify an emotion, he will ask. He will ask because you have built an emotionally safe place for him to do so.
Ask him how you can help him today:
I used to go through my day stewing about ways that Brad could be helping me, but wasn’t. I was selfish and very self-centered. It’s the hard and raw truth. Somewhere along the way I lost sight of loving to serve and help Brad. Shifting my thinking and seeking each day to find a way (or to ask) how I can help Brad encourages him in life and emotionally. Sometimes it is practical things that I can help with, other times it is helping him talk through a decision. Brad used to go though our marriage baring the weight of these things in life on his own, because I was too stuck in my own selfish muck to look up and help this amazing man. You can ask your husband how you can help him today, but you can also be a student of your spouse and pick up on things that you can help with. Take the focus off of yourself and serve your husband before yourself. Let me tell you ladies, it is so so good!
As I was writing this post, I saw this post and thought, “YES!!” It truly has changed our marriage as well.
Love him the way God designed him:
The Five Love Languages. It is revolutionary and so simple, yet so hard at times. We want to love our husband as we ourselves want to be loved. Our love language comes naturally to us, but it is not how God made them. I remind myself that I love Brad for who he is and I will not focus on who he is not. I want him to feel loved and safe. If you want your husband to feel emotionally safe, love him the way God made him. Find out his love language and become an expert in loving him that way. Be inventive and creative. Love your man, just how God made him.
Hang in there even when you have no clue what to do:
There will be those times that your husband is emotional or trying to figure out his emotions and you have no idea how to help. That’s ok, it really is. Just let your husband know you are there with him and for him. That you believe in him and will be with him on this journey. Whether it is something good and you are celebrating your man or a struggle and you are simply holding his hand-be there for him. You don’t always have to know what to do, God does not require that. But he does desire you to be there with your husband and help him emotionally. And hey, if all else fails, sex is always a good option! 🙂
We naturally want to connect emotionally with our husbands. One of the best ways is to protect him emotionally and be there for him. Love him for who God made him to be. Tell him he is enough, just as he is. Be his champion and support. Let him share all of himself with you. But if you want him to share the deep, he needs to also share the daily.
What other things have you done to protect your husband emotionally? Share with us.
P.S. Many of you may have been wondered where we have been and why so little blogging. It has been a beautifully crazy season in our lives as we are nurturing our own marriage, loving on our kids, doing ministry and working on our international adoption process to bring home our new daughter (which we will continue to share with you as we can-our home study is next week). Know that OFM is never far from our hearts and that we will blog as often as we can. It is always a joy to interact with you all! We appreciate you hanging with us and your continued discussion of these very important marriage topics. Marriage ministry is a like a fire in our hearts, but we never want our own marriage and kids to suffer and have to balance things as best we can. We are thankful for you all and your hearts for marriage. Thank you!