Fact: Life will through stress your way. Fact 2: men and women deal with stress very differently
Many a couple have tripped up over these two facts and it has taken weeks, months or years for them to find their way back together again.
Men, when we are under stress we tend to do one of two things, we do the “Man Thing”, or the “One Thing”. The man thing is the typical thing that we do, when we retreat into ourselves zone out on (pick your poison): video games, tv, alcohol… and probably bark at noisy kids or a questioning wife. I’ll be totally honest, this is almost a default setting for most men when we get stressed, myself included. We don’t even think about it, we just retreat and get grouchy.
The other choice, is just that a choice. We have to actually think about our desire to be one flesh with our wives in the good times and the bad times. We have to actually challenge ourselves to jump out of the man way and try something new.
The best way we can deal with stress is to simply go to our wives and talk about it. Get it out there. Yeah, I know I’ve heard all the arguments on, “I don’t want to burden her”, or “She doesn’t need to be stressed about it too”. I totally understand those, but let’s face it you retreating is going to leave her stressed and wondering what is going on too. Talking together about it at least gives you both the chance to be on the same page.
To be honest, doing the “one thing” is not the first thing that comes to my mind when I’m stressed. It isn’t that I don’t want to talk to my wife, or include her in the story of my day and the stress that I was experiencing. My instinct is to hold things back because, I’m a man and hey it is my job to fix it right? But doing the “man thing” forgets something very important, we are in this together! We are One Flesh.
When I come home and share my day, share the stress that is happening I allow my wife to join me, but not in the negative way I was worried about. I allow her to join me in prayer, join me in ideas, join me in motivation, join me in support. Even more importantly, when I tell my wife about my stress I get more than just someone to carry the stress with me, I get a cheerleader by my side telling me that I’m doing a good job! That is simply awesome! Hearing the words, “I know how hard you are working, and you are doing a great job” goes a really long way to lifting that heavy burden already.
Next time you feel the stress of life fight the “Man Thing” and give the “One Thing” a try!