In a healthy marriage, spouses do not intentionally hurt one another. Yet, there are things that we do and say, or don’t do and don’t say that result in pain for our spouse. The purpose of theses lists isn’t to give a spouse a weapon to attack their partner, but a tool from which they can examine their own heart and have constructive conversations to enhance their marriage.
Tomorrow, we will post 7 Ways a Husband Injures His Wife Without Knowing It. But let us not skip over this important aspect of the marriage partnership.
Adapted from a piece by Ron Edmondson
1. Put him down in front of other people. Most men will not counter this type of humiliation in public…if ever. They will simply take it…and hurt. If they do eventually address it will be out of stored up resentment…maybe anger…and it won’t be pretty.
2. Go behind him when he tries to do something at home. Always show him how much better you can do things than he can do them. He will appreciate that. When he fixes the bed, make sure you show him the “correct way” immediately after he finishes. He will be reminded he doesn’t measure up to your standards.
3. Constantly badger him. If he doesn’t do what you want him to do …remind him. Again and again (Because that accomplishes what you want it to do).
4. Use the “you always” phrase … excessively. Because he “always” does and, best news yet, it helps build him into a man that always will.
5. Hold him responsible for your emotional wellbeing. He’s the reason you feel bad today and every other day you feel bad. So, make sure he knows it’s his fault. And, you don’t have to tell him. Subtly, just be in a bad mood towards him, without releasing him from guilt. He’ll take the hint and own the responsibility. He will think it’s his fault even if it’s not.
6. Complain about what you don’t have or get to do. He has a desire to fix things. He wants to be a provider. Every man does. Some attempt to live it out and some don’t. But, when he’s trying, doing the best he can and yet he feels he isn’t measuring up, he’s crushed. When you are always commenting on what other women have that you don’t, he carries the blame, even if you’re not intending it to be his.
7. Don’t appreciate his efforts. Want to injure a man? Refuse to appreciate the things he feels he does well. It could be work, a hobby or a trait, but he feels part of his identity in the things he does. When you don’t find them as “valuable” as he does, his ego is bruised.
The reality is a man’s ego—his self-confidence and sense of worth—is greatly tied to his wife, just as a woman’s is to her husband. We can be fragile people, some more than others.
Understanding these issues and addressing them—with a third party if necessary—will help build healthier, stronger and happier people and marriages.