When You Don't 'Get' Him

sports fan husband illustration
Terry Wong

I stared at Jeff as he stalked away from the televisiontense and upset. We had been married seven days. And the University of Colorado had, after playing a lackluster game, suddenly beaten Jeff's beloved Michigan Wolverines.

For Jeff (although I didn't realize it at the time), this was a tragic end to his dream that his alma mater might win the national championship. For me ... it was a football game. Why couldn't he just snap out of it? Surely if he loved me ...

Can two really become one?

Jesus said, " 'The two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one" (Mark 10:8). The process reminds me of the two-part reactive adhesives used by homebuilders. Mixed together, two very different elements undergo a chemical reaction that permanently bonds their molecules to form an entirely new product.

Yet permanently bonded doesn't mean "indestructible." God's exhortations on how to treat one's spouse are designed to prevent imperfect men and women from destroying the union that God created.

When a couple's differences threaten marital harmony, it is easy to wonder: How on earth can that man and I really become one? Rather than losing heart, discover a new perspective through the following life-changing truths.

The way he is wired is legitimate.

When you're upset with your husband, it is easy to assume his way is wrong. That's sure what I was thinking on that alarming honeymoon evening! Although your husband must learn to manage his responses well, you will enjoy him more when you learn to respect his feelings. It's essential that wives trust God's design for their men and believe the best, rather than think the worst.

Meeting his needs is good for both of you.

By building up your other half, you help to nurture a more loving, selfless marriage. You may also find that your affirmation helps him become the man you need him to be.

It's likely that nothing is more vital for your husband than to feel that you respect, trust and admire him. While saying "I love you" may come naturally for wives, demonstrating that love may not. Consider the following ways to show your love through respect:

  • Trust him. A critical, "What was he thinking?" implies "He wasn't thinking." Just because his judgment is different than yours doesn't mean it is wrong.
  • Accept him. He may not always do the chores or help with the kids in the same way that you would, but accepting him and responding to his mistakes with grace will free him to want to help you again.
  • Affirm him. Focusing on what is worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8) will brighten your day — and light him up!
Shaunti Feldhahn is a popular speaker and the best-selling author of For Women Only and For Men Only. Shaunti and her husband, Jeff, live in Atlanta with their two young children.

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This article first appeared in the September/October 2010 issue of Focus on the Family's Thriving Family magazine.
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Copyright © 2010 by Shaunti Feldhahn. Used by permission. From the Focus on the Family website at FocusOnTheFamily.com.

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