No one likes a good laugh more than myself, and I’m pretty laid back on most things. I enjoy a joke or two about the differences in men and women, and I laugh at most of the ones I see. But I think sometimes these little funny things we see are taken more seriously than a simple meme, and the majority of women will shake their head in agreement at some statements as if they are the gospel truth of matrimony.
Over the years, even before such a thing as social media, certain false phrases passed among women have been taken as good advice, and I think these misconceptions end up hurting marriage relationships. The fact is Satan hates marriage, and what better way to conquer it than from the inside.
Here’s what I mean. Have you ever heard a wife proclaim that her husband is her other, older child? Maybe you’ve seen a similar phrase on an ecard passed around Facebook. Maybe you’ve said it yourself. Perhaps it just seems like a good laugh to be had in solidarity among women, but my question to you is this. Do you unconsciously, or even consciously, believe this is true?
Here’s another I’ve heard before. “Men are like puppies. You got to train ’em.”
Heck, I even remember saying myself, in the past, “You gotta take ’em from their momma and raise ’em up right!”
You’re laughing, right? Okay, it’s funny I suppose, but when does it no longer become a laughing manner? How about when you begin to treat your spouse like a child? Is that really the recipe for a solid marriage?
As a woman we desire certain things. We like to feel needed, we like to feel like we are appreciated, and we like to feel like we hold a useful, important role in the relationship. Well, that’s fair. There’s nothing wrong with desiring respect for the effort and work you put into a life with someone. But what if I told you men aren’t that much different?
Like women, men also desire to feel useful. They desire to feel like they hold a crucial role in the relationship that no other person can fill. They have an ego, much like women, that requires adequate stroking to maintain a healthy confidence level and contentment in the partnership.
So, when you treat your husband like a child instead of a man you are sufficiently taking away his manhood. You are taking away his role in the marriage. Your repeated conversations of speaking down to him and chastising him like he’s a kid deserving of a timeout will break any confidence he has to be the strong man he needs to be for the family. If you treat your husband like a child then expect to have him act like one. After all, if you can’t beat ’em, then join ’em. Congratulations. You now really do have another child, but it’s one that you have created.
Or perhaps think of it this way. Let’s say he’s a puppy needing to be trained. If you treat a man like a dog then you shouldn’t be surprised when he acts like one. Rather, treat a man with respect and he will in turn give you the same.
Men don’t need another mother. They have one of those. Men don’t need someone to take care of them. Deep down men desire to take care of their family, but as women we must allow them that freedom. We must cultivate that trait in them, not severe it.
As women we can speak on a level platform with our spouses. We can talk to them in a way that conveys our desires for them without telling them what to do. It takes practice, but it’s possible. And these types of conversations aren’t manipulations, but rather they are communication. They’re conversations where you speak to your partner in a way that lifts them up, not one that tears them down.
As women we don’t like to get told what to do. We don’t enjoy being told we’re wrong. In fact, we’ll deny such blasphemy. Wink, wink. But seriously, as a wife we don’t like being talked down to, or made to feel like a servant. Well, men aren’t much different, once again.
A husband needs a wife who treats him like a man, not a child. He needs a wife who desires to share the responsibility with him, not “do it all so it’s done right.” A husband needs a wife who treats him like the man she loves and respects, not an animal that can be trained to do her bidding. A husband needs a wife, not a mother.
As women we talk incessantly about what we need from our man, but I wonder if we ever stop and think, “are we cultivating those traits we desire, or are we killing them?” If you want a strong man then treat him like a strong man. If you want a provider then rely on him as one. If you want a man who respects you then show him respect first.
But if you want a child or a dog, well, you know what to do.