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Bride's corner: Getting The Best Out Of Your Husband

I remember glaring at him across our kitchen table with a disdain in my eyes that was equally real in my heart: “When are you going to just man-up and take care of it?”

It was early in my marriage and I didn’t know then what I know now. We had been fighting about something stupid for days, neither one of us willing to stand down. I wasn’t anticipating the power of my words, but they obviously dealt a heavy blow. His eyes got as big as saucers and shock covered his face. Then I watched while his whole countenance changed from adversarial to broken-hearted.

I didn’t realize that the very thing I was asking him to do—to be a man— was the part of him I’d been chipping away, bit by bit, ever since our wedding day.

Most women don’t intend to become a wife that controls, degrades, and henpecks their husbands. I certainly didn’t. It just sort of happened.

At some point, just a few short years after this particular squabble, my marriage reached an impasse at a deadly cliff and only survived by the grace and intervention of God. I’ve learned a few things since then that I love to share with other women reading this  in hopes of preventing them from making the same mistakes I did.

The truth is, most men are relatively simple. They want you to honour them in word and deed. They enjoy a delicious, home-cooked meal. And they’d like some loving’ on a regular basis. Give them these things, and they’ll treat you like a queen. They’ll gladly knock out your to-do list, give you a foot rub, and hang the moon for you while they’re at it. All you have to do to unlock this goodness is learn to let your husband be a man, and it starts with treating him like one. These are ways to bring out the best in your husband.

Let him take charge.

Men have a natural desire to lead and take charge, but all too often their women either shoot down their ideas or rush in and take over before the man has a chance. I did this for years! I didn’t realize that men and women think so differently. I believed that my husband’s thoughtful pause before making a decision meant he wasn’t going to make one (or wasn’t going to make one fast enough). So I jumped  right over him and made all of the decisions for him and it almost cost me my marriage.

Treat him with respect.

Good old R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Have you noticed it’s conspicuously absent from our culture these days? Everyone is quick to point fingers when they’re not being respected but awfully slow to offer it as a courtesy freely given, not earned. Respect is more than what we say out loud. It’s our tone and body language that speak much louder than our actual words.

Appreciate his contributions and accomplishments.

Most men will gladly take the heavier load from their wives when they are appreciated and praised for all they do. They want you to notice how hard they work, the things they sacrifice, and all the times they put you and the kids first. And, just like us, they want to be appreciated for it.

Believe in him.

If you can do nothing on this list except this one thing— it just might be enough. Your husband needs you to believe in him. He is wired to have big dreams and big goals. If he doesn’t, he’s been so squashed by life and people, he’s become complacent. He needs you to see what he’s capable of and know he can conquer anything he puts his hands to.

 

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Photo: Betty  Dyuran
Betty Dyuran
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