By Rhonda Stoppe, Crosswalk.com
“Seriously? Are we really having this argument again?” Darin shouted at Debra.
After 14 years of marriage here they were arguing again. No matter what the two fought about, Darin knew the root of his anger toward Debra was found in his feelings of betrayal.
You might be asking, “Betrayal–How did Debra betray Darin? Did she have an affair?”
No, Debra had not cheated on Darin, nor had she been searching for old boyfriends on the internet. The betrayal Darin resented was over the way Debra had changed over the years of their marriage.
When Darin and Debra were dating, he was smitten by her happy-go-lucky manner. It seemed that any attempt made by Darin to be humorous was met by Debra’s boisterous laughter––her laugh had been what made Darin take notice of Debra.
These days, laughter seemed a distant memory. Debra had become so focused on her duty as a wife and mother, Darin felt that she sucked the fun right out of their lives!
Does this sound familiar?
In more than three decades of ministry, my husband Steve and I have mentored countless married couples. And that time, we have had the privilege of walking numerous engaged couples through pre-marital counseling sessions.
In one of their six-week premarital counseling sessions, Steve explains to the couple they should expect betrayal from their spouse at some point in their marriage.
After helping them realize betrayal in marriage can come in many forms––including, but not limited to infidelity, the couples are asked to make a list of what would make them feel betrayed by their spouse.
Interestingly, the lists by both husband and wife are often quite similar in that the basis of each list is founded in particular myths couples believe about marriage.
The myths your husband believes about marriage are rooted deeply in his subconscious. Influenced by the marriage of his own parents––or the lack thereof––your husband has gathered together ideas of what marriage should be like. You would do well to learn to discern his expectations so you can better minister to your man.
Here are four myths your husband likely believes about marriage:
1. It’s my wife’s job to make me happy.
2. I wish my wife was more like the woman I married.
3. More money equals less stress.
4. Making love to my wife is the way to fill up her emotional tank.
While this list is not exhaustive, let’s see if we can shed light on their misconceptions.
It’s my wife’s job to make me happy.
Every happily-ever-after princess fairytale teaches that it is the job of the prince to make his princess happy––and implies the princess will be the source of the prince’s happiness as well.
God created each of us to long for our happiness, self-worth, and sense of well-being to be found in relationship. The problem is God never intended for us to fill that void in a relationship with any other human, rather He created that ache in our hearts to cause us to long for a relationship with our Creator.
Realize that your husband may not understand that his greatest need will only be satisfied in an intimate relationship with his Creator, and pray that God will help him come to find true happiness in a relationship with Christ.
1 Peter 3:1 reminds wives we can do more to influence our husbands, not with words, but by a godly example. So, when you learn to find the source of your own happiness in Christ, your husband may be drawn to do so as well.
I wish my wife was more like the woman I married.
If your husband is longing for the days when you were dating, rather than be offended by his desire, realize that he wants to enjoy you like he did when you were dating.
It is easy to become so overwhelmed by all the tasks to accomplish in a day that joyfully interacting with your spouse may be a low priority. Try to remember and recreate some of the ways in courtship that the two of you enjoyed time together.
From my book, If My Husband Would Change I’d Be Happy, ponder this statement:
When you learn to become a person your husband enjoys spending time with, you may discover him looking for more opportunities to refresh himself with your company.
More money equals less stress.
Many couples agree that financial stress has a negative influence upon their marriage. Most believe the answer is to simply make more money. Believing this misconception, couples will forsake time together, family, and fellowship with believers, in order to add more money to their bank account.
Help your husband realize you are willing to give up material things, because you value time spent with him more than anything. When your husband believes your first priority is to enjoy time with him––rather than owning a nicer car, house etc… you may discover him looking for ways to adjust his priorities. (For help: Dave Ramsey offers a get-out-of-debt program.)
Listen to this short audio of me sharing my own story: Cute Cottage or Shabby Shack
Making love to my wife is the way to fill up her emotional tank.
While I know most wives enjoy knowing that their husbands long for them in the marriage bed, it is a myth to believe that taking her to bed will fulfill all her emotional needs.
Most wives I meet share that their husbands confuse their emotional need for intimacy with a desire for more sex. In most instances, wives are looking for a way to connect with their husbands at the end of the day through conversation and kind gestures. Even acknowledging how much effort she put into making dinner will fill up a wife’s tank––am I right?
Understand that God gave your husband a desire to connect with you in the marriage bed. Most men struggle with feelings of loneliness and inadequacy. When you happily take your husband to bed, you not only satisfy his God-given physical need for sex, but you bring healing to his weary soul as well. So, your husband may wrongly think taking you to bed will be the same salve for you as well.
You’re the coach.
The Bible calls husbands to live with wives according to knowledge. That means you are your husband’s coach. You are the only one who can help him understand how much you value connecting with him through conversation and romantic gestures. (For more insights read my book A Christian Woman’s Guide to Great Sex in Marriage.)
Not only in the marriage bed, but in all aspects of your marriage, kindly helping your husband dispel the myths he believes about marriage may be the key to a more enjoyable marriage with no regrets.
Rhonda Stoppe is a pastor’s wife, speaker, and author. As the NO REGRETS WOMAN, Rhonda has more than 20 years experience of helping women live life with no regrets. Through humor, and honest communication, she helps women build NO REGRETS LIVES by applying sound teaching from Scripture. Rhonda appears on radio programs, speaks at women’s events, MOPs, and homeschool conventions throughout the nation. Rhonda Stoppe’s book Moms Raising Sons to be Men is mentoring thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her new book If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages.
Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Hiraman
Publication date: October 19, 2016