I Thought My Husband Was Made of Stone
A while back, I was speaking to a husband who was injured. Not physically, but injured emotionally. He was not injured too deeply, but still injured. And, the person who injured him was his wife and it recalled an expression I heard used before and that is, “That didn’t hurt him. He’s made of stone.” So often it is the case that wives are hurt emotionally and we certainly know about it. But, oftentimes, husbands are also injured by wives. But, most do not even know about it and/or the wife does not even know that she is doing anything to him. Are you surprised? Well, it happens all the time.
When a couple is newly married and the bonding of minds is in progress, it is not uncommon for the husband to begin to realize how many things his wife is saying that is causing him to pull away from her. He therefore, puts up his guard and rather than starting a fight with her, he just withdraws. Every hear the expression, “Are you listening to me?” Perhaps, the reason he is not listening is because he has withdrawn from you because of something that you said or did. And because he does not want to hurt his wife or for someone to think he is any less of a person, he rarely admits his hurting. This is difficult for any man to do. But, what happens is that if there is not better communication and openness in this kind of marriage, it is heading for a disaster. And, there is a great chance that the wife has questions about the relationship too. And, what is needed is the opportunity to ask hard questions, learn valuable lessons and strengthen their marriage. But, let’s notice how a wife can injure her husband without even knowing it.
Put him down in front of other people – Most men will not counter this type of humiliation in public…if ever. Nothing makes him feel worse that his wife speaking bad of him to others. But, the majority of husbands will just simply take it even though it still hurts. And, if this kind of situation is not addressed soon in the relationship, it will harbor resentment towards his wife and maybe even anger. This leads to a very ugly fight down the road. So, avoid it by being more aware of what you say.
Go behind him when he tries to do something at home – When you always show him how much better you can do things than he can do them, his ego is injured. He feels undermined when he is trying to do things like fix the bed or clean up and then you follow right behind him showing your husband the “correct way” immediately a after he finishes. This may be why he sits in his recliner way too much because he would rather not even try because when he does, he is reminded he doesn’t measure up to your standards.
Constantly badger him – If he doesn’t do what you want him to do, you might remind him again, and again and again. This never accomplishes what you think it will. In fact, it will make him move slower or it just makes your husband walk away and let you do it. This is why he may go golfing or fishing more than normal. He is trying to flee, which again, does not address the issue. Just suppresses it.
Use the “you always” phrase…excessively – Because…he “always” does… Not really. Husbands can be unpredictable and so, when you accuse him that he “always” does this or that, what the wife is actually doing is helping to build a man that always will do something even when he does not want to do that.
Hold him responsible for your emotional well–‐being – Acting as if he’s the reason you feel bad today and every other day you feel bad, puts undue pressure on him and he does not know what to do with that information. This does not have to be verbal because body language speaks volumes to him. So, if you are in bad moods towards him and you make him guilty about it, he certainly will take the hint and own up to his responsibility. But, if the wife always blames him, after a while, the husband will think it is always his fault even if it’s not. So, he carries that pain with him and weighs his heart down considerably.
Complain about what you don’t have or get to do – He has a desire to fix things. He wants to be a provider. Every man does. But, when he’s trying and doing the best he can, yet he feels he isn’t measuring up…he’s crushed. When you are always commenting on what other women have that you don’t, he carries the blame, even if you’re not intending it to be his. He will even work a second or third job for his wife only to still be told by his wife that she wants more.
Don’t appreciate his efforts – Want to injure a man? This is the big one. Refuse to appreciate the things he feels he does well, just tears him apart. It could be work, a hobby or a trait, but he feels part of his identity in the things he does. And so, when you don’t find them as “valuable” as he does, his ego is bruised.
Remember that your husband is not made of stone. He is made in the image of God and since God has given him feelings too, feeling emotionally detached from your spouse can hurt and drive your spouse further away. So wives, remember that the reality of a man’s feelings and ego, his self–‐confidence and sense of worth is greatly tied to his wife, just as a woman’s ego is to her husband. He really cares about what you think of him. And, while we are all fragile people, some are more fragile than others. But, understanding these issues and addressing them will build healthier, stronger and happier people…and marriages.