22 September 2012
Why Husbands Hesitate
Perhaps the one occasion when husbands experience emotion (often kept well hidden under the surface) quite profoundly is when their authority in the home is challenged. What goes through the mind of a husband when he recognizes that his wife has crossed the line? Is anger the only reaction to having his buttons pushed? Few husbands will punish out of anger, and many husbands will walk away pretending that the challenge to their authority never actually happened. What keeps a husband from acknowledging his wife's disrespect and dealing with it so he reduces the chance of such behavior recurring?
Consider that a wife who crosses the line, who disregards her husband's authority, may possibly be evoking one or many of the following reactions in her husband without even realizing it:
1. He feels disrespected by his wife.
2. He is disappointed in his wife.
3. He feels hurt that his wife would treat him this way.
4. He feels apprehension upon realizing that he should correct his wife.
5. He feels inadequate or under-qualified to make an issue of the offense, as he recognizes his own imperfections are significant when held up against his wife's offense.
Why do husband's hesitate to deal with a wife's disrespect or disobedience? When all the emotions have boiled down, the husband may realize he would be a hypocite for punishing his wife when he makes mistakes all the time. Instead of taking the emotion out of the situation, the husband who hesitates or who totally avoids dealing with his wife straying from submission often does so in response to his own emotions. He allows how he feels (oh-so-human and filled with imperfections) to determine his reaction. He subconsciously concludes that it would be unfair to punish his wife for her lack of submission when he is not the perfect leader. So he does nothing. Is it surprising that his wife's disrespect for him grows?
The hesitant husband may justify his lack of action on the grounds of fairness. He may whine and complain that his wife is growing more bossy by the day. He may mutter under his breath about how disrespectful she is. He may even express anger at her lack of submission. But until he does the old fashioned "manly" thing of separating his emotions, how he feels, from what needs to be done, he will never experience the fulness of a marriage where he confidently leads and his wife graciously submits.