I have been having a lot of conversations with guys lately and these talks often turn to marriage. There seems to be a common them to the marital relationships of many of the guys I talk to.
The are just gutting it out. Doing what is right, yet not connecting with their wives. Afraid to voice their dissatisfaction. All the while, spinning their wheels trying to please their princess.
Despite trying to maintain the appearances of having it all together and weathering the storm, these men are stewing internally. It is hard for them to understand how they can be seemingly discarded and disrespected.
When asked what prohibits them from taking a stand and setting a bottom line of what is acceptable behavior between spouses, the response is fear.
Fear that they are getting what they deserve. Fear that this woman who once loved them will leave.
But the fear and insecurity is often deflected by saying something like – “It’s not all bad, she’s a good mom.”
As if good mothering skills is a justified trade-off for being tread on by your wife.
But, this is a statement that is also worth challenging.
What lesson does a son learn by observing a woman who diminishes the man she’s married? What is he learning about how his future wife should treat him? If this is what “love” looks like in the home he grows up in, it is likely that is what he will seek out in his own.
What lesson is a daughter learning about what it means to be a wife? Does it help this girl develop a clear view of femininity as she sees her father dismissed and held at arms length.
The relational system that we establish in our homes is likely to be repeated in those of our kids. In fact, look at your own and compare it to the system of your parents and your spouse’s parents. Generational patterns are comfortable and familiar.
With those couple of examples, it is fair to ask again – is this wife being a good mom? Or is saying that simply a rationalization of why it is acceptable for the husband to simply gut it out rather than putting on his man pants?
Gentlemen, this does not let you off the hook. You are complicit if you allow yourself to be treated as second class. It may be easier to passively fade into the background, but attempting to please you wife that way ultimately loses her respect.
Jesus allows us to overcome generational patterns and create a new relational system. We have a new Father and a new identity.
How do you see generational patterns repeated in your marriage? How can Christ help you overcome those familiar patterns?
I work with followers of Christ to energize discipleship, improve relationships, decrease anxiety and facilitate leadership development. I am a certified coach specializing in pastoral leadership, relationships, discipleship, life transitions, and Christian identity. Also, I am the author of the forthcoming book Discovering Your Root: Developing Your Identity in Christ.
Services I offer are one-on-one coaching, group coaching, speaking at organizations/churches, leadership workshops, and church retreats. For more info, click here to contact me.