22 September 2012

Why Husbands Hesitate

"Men" and "emotions" are seldom used in the same sentence. Even in modern society where it is now acceptable for men to cry in public and do other  "emotional things" that were once assigned to the realm of women, we still don't think of men as emotional creatures. Yet men do battle emotions from time to time. And the emotions have the same potential to hinder the growth of a marriage as when women let their emotions interfere with their choice to submit to their husbands.

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.

12 comments:

  1. I am sure it is difficult to be the husband who takes his role seriously. That's why I think it's so important that couples talk to each other. Women generally have other lady friends to discuss their emotions with, but who is the husband going to talk to about this stuff, if not his wife?

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    1. Thanks for your input, Jenna. Communication certainly is the key to a good marriage. Without it, no amount of spanking or shouting or arguing is going to solve the problems every couple must unravel from time to time.

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  2. I know my Dragon puts a lot of thought into a punishment. If there is any doubt that I have earned it, I don't get spanked. When asked why he didn't, Dragon is always willing to explain his thoughts on the issue. When my guilt gets in the way, he will do what needs to be done but it isn't a punishment.

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    1. It sounds like you and the Dragon have a system that works well, Rose. Punishments that are poorly communicated or which the recipient doesn't understand can cause unnecessary hurt and resentment. Your Dragon seems to understand this very well, and doesn't allow his emotions to rule his head.

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    1. Thank you! We've added your blog to our list of blog reading (on the left), and look forward to reading what you have to share.

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  4. Very interesting post. I think being a man today must be very difficult. I see women being extremely disrespectful to their men all the time in public places. I know in my grandparents day, that would never have been acceptable. Now, they are expected to just take it without complaint. Then, those same women complain that their husbands withdraw and won't talk to them.

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    1. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint, Cowgirl. It would be encouraging if your observation described an societal anomaly. Sadly, it is fast becoming the norm. You are right in that it wasn't too long ago when such spousal abuse was not acceptable. A lot has changed in a short time. That's why it's so important that submissive wives not be ashamed that they have chosen to honor their men as the leaders. (And likewise the men shouldn't hide the fact that they are HoHs.) We need good examples of how marriage should work. Public submission can be as powerfully uplifting for a husband, as public disrespect from the wife can be brutally damaging.

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  5. Oh gosh, Cowgirl Up, I agree. I see things and hear things from non-DD couples that just make me cringe. I could never imagine behaving in that manner to my Ward,not because I fear the consequences, but because he is deserving of my respect and of being represented well.

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    1. Thanks for adding your comment, June. Your attitude of respect for your husband is exactly the kind of example that needs to be shown in public.

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  6. I think men have come to believe that if they don't passively accept their wives verbally abusing them, there is something wrong with them. How is a wife lashing out with her sharp tongue any less abusive than a husband who lashes out at his wife with his fists? The worst part is that the longer a husband lets his wife stomp all over his confidence as the leader, the less inclined he will be to lead... which inevitably frustrates his wife even more.

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    1. I agree with you, Rob1219. I don't believe that a husband "who takes it" in silence and does nothing to stop his wife from speaking to him with disrespect is doing anything positive for his marriage. In fact, he is doing the opposite of what his vowed to do on his wedding day: he is not protecting his wife. Instead he is helping to put his marriage at risk, and not protecting her from the pain of a bad marriage.

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