Every man is different. From the way they dress, to how they act, and especially in their wants and needs. Even though there are countless differences of each man, Kay Arthur states that men and women possess two great fears:
1. The fear of being found inadequate
2. The fear of being controlled by a woman
It may seem stereotypical, but your man wants to be your hero. He wants to know he is needed, desired, and honorable. He needs you to expect great things from him.
Showing these feelings towards the man in your life is not always easy. We get angry with our husbands from time to time which makes these feelings difficult to portray. This is especially the case when it comes to cleaning and housework. We like to have things done exactly our way. If it is done on someone else’s time line or in a different way, we tend to get inappropriately upset.
After years of counseling, I have heard quite a few examples of these conflicts. They are usually along the lines of: “Ok, this is the fourth time I have told you. All I am asking is when you vacuum the stairs that you do it in the correct direction. It should not be so hard!” “Can you just put the toilet paper in the right direction for once?” “You are teaching our son how to tie his shoe the wrong way! How is he ever going to learn how to tie his shoes when he is getting different information from you? No wonder it is taking him forever to learn!”
Do any of these sound familiar to you? We women have a tendency to make definite “ways that it must be done.” We need to step back and take into account the two fears stated earlier, inadequacy and controlling. These little arguments directly feed into the these fears.
Your husband is capable, honorable and worthy of your attention. He wants you to trust him. When he feels genuinely affirmed by you, it makes him want to live up to your trust in most cases.
Also, be careful of what you say and who to say it to. It doesn’t matter if you are extremely upset, don’t spread it around to all your family and friends. He knows when you are complaining about him. Have you ever had that feeling when you walk into a room and you can tell the people inside have been talking about you? It’s not a good feeling, and if you don’t like it, your husband won’t either.
Moving onto the second fear of being controlled. When men feel controlled, they tend to disengage. “If you try to control him and force your way of thinking, you will break something that probably doesn’t need fixing, just understanding. When your husband feels like he’s being controlled, he will eventually shut down completely, since you seem to be doing such a good job at it anyway.”
“A man who feels controlled by his wife loses much of his desire for being tender toward a woman who sounds, acts, and treats him more like his mother.”
Now that we are starting to catch ourselves acting in these ways toward our husbands, how do we change? We can’t just flip a switch and change all of our thinking and actions. What I suggest is to actively try to give your husband a day without any criticism.
Here is a task for you to try! The next 24 hours refuse to allow yourself to correct him, offer advice, or give any form of criticism. It may be difficult but just see how it goes. “Your husband won’t feel belittled or drained by your comments, suggestions, and commands. He won’t feel estranged and distant from you.”
So give it a try and see how it works. It could lead your relationship in a more positive direction not only for your husband, but you as well.
Blessings to your day from Footnotes: Family Counseling Services! To learn more about understanding your husbands needs, or are interested in couples counseling, please call to set up an appointment at 507.351.8799.