Wednesday, November 14, 2018
The Best Insurance Against Divorce
We are told by our culture that women don’t owe men anything. That we don’t need to change ourselves in order to have a successful marriage. That our man should accept us, love us, and adore us just as we are.
I’m sorry, but this just ain’t so.
We need to recognize and reject the glaring double standard that is ruining our marriages and our relationships. How do we do this? It’s quite simple, really. Just remember the Golden Rule.
Treat others the way you would want to be treated.
This, ladies, includes our husbands.
Do you want your husband to always listen to what you have to say? To love you unconditionally? To take care of you when you are sick or in need of emotional or spiritual support? To agree with your decisions and input?
Yes, of course, you say. All of that.
Well then, your husband should expect (and get) nothing less from you.
You must listen to what your husband has to say instead of just dismissing him because he “doesn’t get it” or because of his gender. Don’t you expect the same from him? Doesn’t he deserve your respect?
You must love your husband unconditionally, not just when he’s doing everything that you want, and not just when he’s not annoying you. Don’t you expect the same from him? Doesn’t he deserve your love?
You must take care of your husband when he is sick, and not laugh at his pain or tell him to “man up.” You must support your husband when he needs someone to listen to his problems. Don’t you expect the same from him? Doesn’t he deserve your undivided attention and care?
And here’s the hardest one. You MUST respect and yes, even agree with his decisions and input. Not all of them, but most of them. Don’t you expect the same from him? Doesn’t he deserve your support?
Perhaps you are thinking “My husband doesn’t deserve any of this because he would never treat me this way.” But it’s not fair to say that if you aren’t treating him with kindness and respect as well, that is, if you aren’t treating him the way you would like to be treated. It’s a two way street, and sometimes one of us has to take the high road and be nice first. So why not us?
Remember, the only person you can change is yourself. You cannot make your husband do anything. You can’t force your husband to behave how you want him to. But you can control how you respond and initiate contact with him. You can be cold, bitchy, selfish, and wait for him to make the first move. Or you can try the Golden Rule in your marriage and see what happens.
If you’re still skeptical, I ask you to try implementing the Golden Rule in your marriage for one week. Just seven days. It won’t kill you, I promise. Just try it and see what happens. Don’t nag your husband. Don’t tell him what to do. Don’t ask him to do something you could very easily do yourself. Listen to him when he talks. Say Yes if he initiates sex, or even initiate it yourself. And see what happens.
It may take more than a week for your husband to notice the change in you. That’s ok. You’re doing this for yourself too, so even if you don’t immediately notice any visible, drastic changes in your husband’s behavior, don’t get upset. Maintain your good deeds. Continue your kindness. Notice how it makes you feel when you’re not complaining or harboring resentment or fighting all the time. Hopefully you feel more peaceful? Less worried? More at ease with yourself? Less guilty?
Jesus asks us to serve others, and this especially includes our husbands. And it’s usually much easier to serve our neighbor down the street or donate to a charitable cause than it is to serve the people we share a roof with, isn’t it? Serving our husbands through the good and the bad is hands-down one of the hardest and most humbling things you can do. It will make a saint of you much quicker than you expect!
Marriage isn’t easy. You know this. And initially, serving your husband and treating him the way you want to be treated will seem like it’s making marriage harder than it needs to be. Serving always includes dying to self. And that’s always, always hard.
Unless your husband is a total bum, a degenerate jerk, or abusive (and if he is, this article is not for you), he will respond in a very positive way to your kindness towards him. It might take him a while, but he will respond. Men are uncomplicated creatures. Most men will say they just want three things from their wife: respect, kindness, and (you guessed it!) sex. That’s it. Can we give that to them?
Let’s rise to the challenge. Let’s give our men the love they deserve and treat them the way we want to be treated.
It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.