Listen to the conversation I had with my husband about this specific blog post on my Living Easy Podcast. He shares his perspective and also shares the importance of men ‘manning up’ and honoring their wives:

I have mentioned before that just as a woman desires to feel loved, men equally desire to feel respected.

Respect, in all forms, speaks volumes to men and often results in them feeling worthy of their wife’s affections.

As you can imagine, talking about this with my husband stirred up some really important conversations between the two of us and I’m really glad that it did! Sometimes we can be so blinded to our own shortcomings that we have to take the time to ask our spouses to boldly and lovingly share them with us.  

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1. Emotional Manipulation

Do you ever use your moods to control your husband’s response?  For example: Have you ever responded curtly with, “Nope. It’s fine. I don’t care” – when it actually isn’t fine and you do care? Guilt trips, using the words “always” and “never”, aggression or passive aggression, the silent treatment, doling out ultimatums, crying for pity or exaggerating disappointment are many of the ways that women emotionally manipulate their spouses.

Friends, I want to encourage you to use your words. Be honest in the disappointment or sadness that you feel – nobody is telling you to suppress your emotions – but there is a boundary in knowing what you are saying to help your marriage versus what you are saying to control your marriage.

2. Mothering

Okay guys, I can be such a mom – in every sense of the word. But gosh, it’s damaging, and especially to my marriage. We have gotten to a place where I have recognized that this is a struggle for me and am actively choosing my words & actions more wisely, but that hasn’t always been the case. And I believe in many marriages, the wife acts like her husband’s mother, but because she thinks that it’s what’s ‘best’, she avoids the issue and drains her husband of all independence and joy.

If you are regularly telling your husband what’s best for him or making your own convictions his convictions, it’s likely that you’re playing the role of ‘mom’ rather than the role of ‘wife’. This tends to make a man feel smaller and smaller in his role as your protector.

3. Aggression

Using aggression as a means of fighting or getting our way won’t ever allow our husbands to win. If he responds with meekness or silence, we make him out to be a coward. If he responds with anger, we make him out to be a bully. If you need space after an argument because aggression tends to be your go-to, then take time away before you come back together. ‘My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.” (James 1:19-1:20).

4. Smothering

Jesse and I have an open phone’ policy and over-compensate when it comes to asking hard questions and telling hard truths. However, there comes a point when ‘openness’ becomes ‘obsession’ and ‘asking’ becomes ‘smothering’. I have always said that if either party in the marriage truly wants to go out and have an affair, there’s no amount of snooping that anyone can do to stop it.

But even more importantly, you should fight for your marriage. If you struggle with trust issues, don’t smother your husband with prying questions to make him feel as if he’s done something wrong, only because you assume he has. First – pray for his heart and entrust him to God. Secondly, step out and speak to a couple or counselor who would be willing to hold both of you accountable and to help you walk through the trust issues that you face.

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