Aaron & April Jacob
Alright, “awful” may be too strong of a word (since nearly everyone has done these before, and having done one of these certainly doesn’t make you awful!). Nevertheless, here’s a list of 10 ugly things you may be doing to your husband that certainly aren’t helping your marriage.
Believe it or not, your husband’s a pretty smart guy. Really, he is. He hears what you’re saying (most of the time), he understands what needs to get done (most of the time), and he fully intends to follow through (most of the time). But, he’ll do it on his own time and in his own way, and there’s no amount of nagging you can do that will change that. Nagging will only create tension.
Sure your life may not be perfect, but complaining about it certainly won’t make it any better. Of course it’s important to be able to share with your husband the things that bother you, the things that are hard for you, and the things that make you frustrated and upset. But please make sure those aren’t the only things you share with him. Constant complaining and negativity can really take a toll on the relationship. So, try to keep things positive.
- Belittling or gossiping
We know, you and your girl friends like to get together and chat about everything under the sun. Women have a great gift for communicating, it really is amazing. But sometimes it goes too far. Your friends might want to know everything about your personal life, but sometimes that’s just simply TMI. Don’t rag on your husband to your friends – even if they’re ragging on their own husbands. And try not to correct him in front of others. If there are issues that need to be addressed and problems that need to be solved, then find a quiet time when you can talk and work through it together – just the two of you.
- Being disrespectful
Most husbands aren’t perfect, and most of them know it. Despite their imperfections, it turns out that most men actually respond quite well to correction when it’s given in a loving and constructive way – they simply want to feel respected in the process. There are many ways you may be knowingly or unknowingly disrespecting your husband. Some common ways include constantly interrupting him while he’s speaking, not consulting him on important decisions, implying that he isn’t good enough, or always second-guessing his decisions.
- Ignoring or prioritizing others ahead of him
We know you’re busy – perhaps very busy. You may have work responsibilities, community responsibilities, children running in seemingly every direction, a class to prepare for, and dinner in the oven for the new neighbors next door. Everyone must think you’re amazing! Except you husband. He might be feeling a little neglected. Please don’t forget about him and prioritize everyone and everything ahead of him! Certainly, there will be times when your husband will need to take a back seat to other demanding responsibilities, but that should be the exception. Even during those times, make sure he knows that he alone is your number one priority.
- Withholding sex
Sex should never be used as a bargaining chip. Going down that path will turn what should be the ultimate unifying experience between husband and wife into a cheap game. This isn’t a game, it’s your marriage! You may not need physical intimacy as often as he does, but that doesn’t mean you should treat it as a gift you would give a puppy for being good. If there’s something that makes you want to withhold sex, then work through it – together. Kiss and make up (or make love)!
- Spending too much money
You knew this one was coming, right? While this certainly isn’t always the case, it seems to be more common that the husband is the cheapskate (he may refer to himself as the “financially responsible one”) in the relationship, and the wife is the spender. We know you don’t want to stay at Motel 8 when you could stay at the Ritz Carlton, or eat at McDonalds when you could chow down on Morton’s. We get it. Every couple’s financial situation is unique – and it certainly changes depending on the stage of life you’re in – but we’re just hear to remind you to try and not spend so much money. Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know. Money issues are often a leading cause in divorce, and if you and your husband aren’t on the same page financially, conflict and tension may escalate out of control.
- Acting like his mom
Your husband is a grown man (even though he may not always act like it) and he didn’t marry you because he needed a second mother. So don’t act like one. Rather, be his best friend, his support, someone he can counsel with and someone he can confide in. As hard as it may be at times, fight the urge to micro-manage him, be overly nosey about every minute of his day, and/or make decisions for him. Letting him talk and share things with you on his own time and in his own way will be far better than trying to pry information out of him.
- Having unrealistic expectations
Your husband loves you a lot! He wants to measure up to your expectations and be everything you ever hoped for in a companion. But, sometimes your expectations may simply be too high. He may be superman, but even superman had limits. Now, we’re not necessarily suggesting you should lower those expectations, but just remember that some things take time – and there’s no need to get frustrated if life doesn’t always seem to progress at the pace you hoped for. Many husbands feel enough pressure from their employers, neighbors, or in-laws to be better and don’t need to feel that from their wife as well.
- Stepping on his toes
Men like to have their own space and their own area/s of responsibility. It makes them feel empowered and in control. So, you can imagine how uncomfortable your husband may feel when you waltz into his domain and try to take over his job. He may feel challenged and may get a bit defensive. It may seem like a power trip, but really it’s just the innate desire he has to own a task and see it through to completion. Roles look different in every marriage. Regardless of that division of responsibility in your marriage, let your husband truly own his roles. Don’t step on his toes. Let him do his thing, and express your appreciation to him for a job well done.