- Duane and I are currently enjoying a lovely 25th anniversary getaway. We’ve been incredibly blessed to have this quality and heart-to-heart connecting time, and we genuinely enjoy being in each other’s presence. I love being married to my best friend!
But before you begin thinking we have a flawless marriage and feel you cannot relate, let me assure you that our marriage continues to be a work in progress. It is not perfect, and we don’t always agree in everything. But I can honestly say that we love each other much more than we did when we were first married, and we are soul mates. But it’s only because we’ve worked to make our marriage what it is today.
Now at this point, I’m sure a few of you are thinking…What am I supposed to do if my spouse doesn’t even desire to work on our marriage? First of all, if that’s you, then let me tell you how sorry I am that you are facing the heart-wrenching pain of a hurting marriage. I ache for you. Marriages are meant to be beautiful. They are meant to be as perfect as two imperfect humans can possibly make it. Your spouse may seem indifferent to your marriage, but if you care about it, you CAN make a difference. You may become discouraged in always being the one to fight for your marriage, but don’t give up! God is still able to redeem and restore.
Each of our husbands are unique and have various needs and desires. However, I believe there are at least six basic needs every husband has. I encourage each of you wives to honestly assess how well you’ve been doing in meeting the needs of your husband. Remember failure isn’t when we mess up, but it’s when we fail to acknowledge that we’ve messed up.
Your husband desires…
1) To know your relationship with him comes first. Even before your children. Our priority in relationships should be: God—spouse—children—extended family and friends.
I struggled with this just the other day in leaving our girls for our 12 day trip. It didn’t help when our six year old told me the night before we left, “My heart feels broken like a crumbly cookie because of you leaving.” Aww…talk about having second thoughts.
Do you hear yourself saying things like:
“Sorry, hon, I just don’t have time. I need to…(child’s need or demand).
“But I just can’t leave the children…”
Now, obviously there is a balance. And this does not apply in abusive scenarios. But too often we allow our children’s demands and schedules to come before our marriages. One of the greatest ways you can impact your child’s life is by investing in your marriage. There is nothing that makes children feel more secure that seeing their parents loving each other and developing a strong marriage.
Thankfully, my six year old has been having a great time with her sisters and cousins while we’re gone, and it hasn’t been a tear-filled time. But it did stretch me!
2) To be treated with honor and respect. How many times do you “talk down” to your husband as if he was another one of the children? You reprimand and criticize as if you have all your “ducks in a row” while he can’t quite get his act together. Does he feel honored and respected by you? I know it’s easy for us to get stuck in the mothering mode, but our husbands don’t need another mother! They need a wife. We need to respect and honor his position as husband and leader. Whether he deserves it or not. And as we do our part in honoring him, it often implants the desire for him to live up to that honor.
3) To have you believe in him (and his accomplishments). Your husband may not be a Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, but he does have dreams and things he’d like to accomplish. Do you encourage him to pursue his dreams or are you holding him back? When you were dating, you probably made him feel as if he could take on the world. Although you shouldn’t encourage him to pursue something irresponsible, it’s vital not to squelch the warrior, conquering man inside him. He needs to know you believe in him.
4) For you to trust and allow him to be the leader in your home. Many women struggle to trust their husbands. And because of it, they don’t allow their husbands to be the leaders in the home. They know they should trust and follow his leadership, but because of past failures they justify their controlling spirit. As women, we all struggle with wanting control.
5) To receive your gracious forgiveness after he makes a wrong decision. How many times do you fail as a spouse or parent? How hurtful is it to you if your husband or child doesn’t freely extend their forgiveness? Your husband is human just as you are. When he messes up and makes a decision that hurts you or your children, it is a good time to practice Matthew 7:12, “Whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them…”
6) For you to join him as his fun-loving friend who participates in some of the activities he enjoys. Your husband has different likes and dislikes than you do. These opposite differences are likely what attracted you to him in the first place. Why is it that these things that attracted you to him now become the very things that end up irritating you? Your husband desires for you to think outside of yourself. Our time on this trip has been filled with us doing things together that we might not individually choose to do. I enjoy shopping, but he’d rather be hiking. He’d rather be at the beach when I’d rather be at a pool. He’d prefer exploring the island at a time when I’d rather be curled up somewhere with a good book. Since we like to see each other enjoy various things, we’ve had a wonderful time of doing a combination of these activities. And it really has been a wonderful time for both of us!
A great marriage can only happen when we think outside of ourselves and choose to love our spouse more than we love ourselves. A marriage “made in heaven” is created when two selfish, non-angelic humans choose to love and respect each other in an angelic, godly way. Are you becoming the wife that you’ve always longed to be?
~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)
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