Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Five Marriage Killers Part 1

on April 26, 2014

photo credit: pfv. via photopin cc

“Mawwage. Mawwage is wot bwings us togevah today. Mawwage that bwessed awwangement…” (from Princess Bride).

“Mawwage” is a blessed arrangement indeed, or it can be. It can be wonderful. It can be a joyful, lifelong union. Unfortunately, as far too many people today know, it can also be unhappy, broken, empty and dead. For many, marriage becomes some sort of hostile hostage situation, where both husband and wife are miserable and they can’t even believe they have come from a place of love to what exists today. Sometimes a marriage is decent. We could class it as mediocre or “okay.” Who wants a marriage like that? When two godly people are married, they may strive to stay married despite a real lack of joy and peace. While it’s honorable to stay in the marriage, we know that God wants His children to enjoy the gift of marriage.

This is the first part to a five part series on some of the behaviors, attitudes, heart issues and so forth women often do/have that bring disruption, disharmony, disunity and ultimately death to a marriage. The issues I’ll address are ones that are not always on the surface and often not given due credit for the problems they cause. I think most of us have flirted with or engaged in some of these activities at some point in our marriage, but as is the case with progressive diseases, they will eat away at a marriage until it is frail, empty and lifeless. So let’s get started ladies.

1. Disrespecting Your Husband

Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.” 1 Peter 3:1-2

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” Ephesians 5:33

While we know there is a Biblical mandate for wives to respect and honor their husbands, I think we often miss the mark because we aren’t quite sure what this “respect” is supposed to look like. I know that I have disrespected my husband in many ways over the years. I’ve heard the words from my mouth and seen a mirror reflection of the disrespectful expression on my face, and I’ve felt ashamed of my own failure in this way. I’ve repented on numerous occasions. I share this so that you know that I study this issue not only to encourage my sisters in the Lord, but also to challenge and train myself. We are in this together ladies!

What does it mean to disrespect my husband? What does it look like? How can I avoid doing it?

Well, to understand that better, we need a man’s perspective. Why? Quite simply, men and women are different (hopefully that’s not a surprise). We perceive things we see and hear and do differently. A man and woman can hear the same phrase and interpret it two vastly different ways. What is disrespectful to a woman might not be to a man, and vice versa. We need to know what our husbands find disrespectful.

In order to get some male perspectives, I interviewed my husband, father-in-law, my two brothers and my mom’s beau. The following are some of their thoughts on things a wife can say or do to make her husband feel disrespected:

* Making insulting and belittling comments such as putting down a man’s work and tasks that he’s trying to do is not good. Putting someone down or insulting them publicly is a big one too.

* Unfavorable comparisons with other men. “You’re nothing like so-and-so.” Also picking apart a man’s faults first rather than focusing on their strengths or on blessings is not good. It’s easier to stoke a fire when you have plenty of fuel.

* I’d say talking about all the nice things that all their friends have as if you are not providing as well for them. I read that was a common one. Just complaining about him not making enough money. Obviously sometimes there are problems that need to be addressed but women sometimes don’t understand how sensitive money can be to men. Dudes often base their worth on how well they provide.

* Sometimes if a wife starts to put other things first, even good things such as ministry, friends, extended family, etc, it can make a man feel disrespected and devalued. It makes him question his place in her life/heart.

* It’s disrespectful when a wife makes unfair comparisons. Sometimes a man is doing the best he can, working hard, but maybe he has less opportunity than someone else.

* Trying to humiliate a man or bring him down is disrespectful. Anything you do to show him that you think he’s not a good enough man, provider, husband, father.

* Not even acknowledging when he’s home from work.

* Rolling her eyes at his suggestions or ideas or when he’s talking to your kids in a disciplinary manner where they can see it too.

* It’s disrespectful when she makes big decisions (like making big purchases) without even talking to you about it because it’s “her money.”

* It can feel disrespectful when she doesn’t even ask if you’re interested in watching something on TV but just puts on what she wants to watch.

* When women talk to their husbands like they are children it is very insulting and disrespectful.

These are great, challenging points to consider, and there are many more. Feel free to share in the comments some of your ideas of what might come across as disrespect. The thing is we can so often do these things and think it’s no big deal, but these actions and words tear down our husbands and make them feel disrespected. We need to mindful to do the opposite…to build up rather than tear down.

I also would refer you to the guest article provided by my friend April from Peaceful Wife Blog called What is Disrespectful to Husbands. It has some great information and examples.

Stay tuned for the next part in this series!

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