Fixing Him

July 7, 2014

in Uncategorized

Men, like women, are wounded. We are all messed up long before we get to marriage, and those injuries usually hurt our spouses. We all want to get rid of the pain caused by those injuries, and as such, we want healing for our spouses and ourselves. They are messed up, and we want them fixed.

I do not think it is our job to fix our spouse. From what I read, fixing people is God’s job, and trying to take over God’s job is probably a very bad idea. That does not mean we play no part in our spouse growing up. We can and should encourage, challenge, and support. We can point out blind spots, and offer perspective.

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The tricky part is being seen as helping rather than invading. A part of it is why we want our spouse to change. Is it because we want the best for them, or is it about our own desires? There are times to speak up about what we need from our spouse, but we should be primarily motivated by want what is best for them.

Much of the growth I see in men comes from interacting with other men. Because men and women are so different, a man is better able to understand and help another man. (The same is true for women.) A man knows when to push and how to challenge another man. Excuses and covering up are less likely to work with other men.

Additionally it is much easier to open up to another man. Many men find it difficult to be vulnerable with their wife. We want to be strong and steadfast with you, and exposing our deep wounds seems contrary to that. While I think this is an issue men need to deal with, pushing him on this will likely backfire. As with all places he needs growth, pray more than you speak!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan July 17, 2014 at 5:04 pm

“The tricky part is being seen as helping rather than invading.” This is so true with men when a woman is doing the “helping.” I suspect it is because we feel like we are then being mothered by our wives and we don’t want to be married to our mother so anything that feels even remotely like matriarchy rankles us. Add to that we feel like we are the ones who are large and in charge and aren’t interested in an interloper challenging our authority, even if we ARE neglecting to exercise it. We aren’t averse to correction, we just want to feel like it’s our idea to do it and as to how to do it.
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Paul Byerly July 19, 2014 at 9:39 am

It is a difficult thing to negotiate. In part it depends on things in his past, which she can do nothing about. It also depends on their relationship and him knowing her heart. If he knows she is for him, if he knows she trusts him, it is easier to receive from her.
Of course all of this is true the other way around, but men seem to be especially touchy about this with their wives.
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Anon August 4, 2014 at 2:57 am

Thank you for the post. I have a question. My husband is a great man and husband. One in a million.

But he started playing pc games a lot. Simetimes hours until late night, few times a week. He spends less time with me. It started when i was pregnant and i used to cry a lot feeling lonely. I used to cry myself to sleep (he doesnt know). I thoguth maybe its my problem and im being too sensitive. I have confronted him a couple of times – kindly. Told him i thought its taking up too much of his time and energy and he is has such a potential thats being wasted. A week ago i told him i think its a sin. He said im right he should reduce the play time. I think he tried few times eince he started playing.

Last friday my baby woke up and could not fall asleep, it was about 4am. My husband playing. I was very sad and upset. I told him i understand its his hobby but this is just too much and when do we spend time together (felt a bit like a nagging wife..). He told me hes playing when im putting the baby to sleep etc. I told him yea sure the next day you will be tired and that will be our day (saturday). I feel like im no longer important to him. I became boring, not interesting, not beautiful and attractive. Im just a mommy and home keeper. I try hard and keep myself in shape and pretty and trying tobe kind and Respectful. I never reject him, sometimes initiate and i really like intimacy with him. But im not enough i guess. And this feeling is horrible for any spouse, man or woman. He says he loves me but then why he spends hours with game and doesnt give me 20 min and talk to me?

I told him he is losing me. (It is true and i wanted to make it clear and known). I cant bear it emotionally, the game offers him more gratification than time with me. (I understand he needs his alone time or time doing masculine things. But he should like to spend time with his wife too right? At one point i thought he liked someone else or watched what he shouldnt, but after careful consideration i see thats not the case.) He switched off the pc and went to sleep. Hes been very nice to me this weekend and went out with me and our son. He helped me with housework. We also ate out and had some talk and wine after the baby fell asleep. (He wanted to play a game too while i did some housework, i wasnt angry or anything, but the pc is not working well so he couldnt play this time.) Today he woke me up in a very nice way…

Im worried he’s being nice to me because he feels pressure. I dont want him to do it because of the pressure. He might resent me for it. I want him to do it out of love and if thats not the motive it would be better if he wouldnt do it, do his own thing and told me to live my own life. Because thats what i will do, stay with him but will be detached emotionally (still being respectful) if i dont see a real change. Why should i be hurt because i love him if he doesnt love me back? Man should chase woman and not the other way! As much as i try to understand his likes, be forgiving, if his lifestyle went on for longer, he would lose my love. I apologized to him for speaking sharply but said i still felt that way (him losing me).

Sorry for a long story but wanted to explain the situation well.

Now my 2 questions, actually 3. What do you guys think. 1. What should i do if he keeps on playing excessively. 2. And why did he change this weekend. 3. Is it disrespectful to write like this about our situation in marriage even though its an anonymous post? I dont talk about our issues to other people. If you think it is disrespectdul please delete my post.

Thanks!

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Paul Byerly August 4, 2014 at 1:07 pm

The gaming is probably filling a need – a need not otherwise being met. Odds are the need could be met with less playing than he was doing, but gaming can be pretty addictive.
If he has a need that is not being met, it is going to be a problem. He may resent you and he may not, but he will not be healthy and happy. The issue then if figuring out the need so a good way of meeting the need can be found.
Many men game to relax and disconnect. Men who work too much have a greater need for this, and as they are already too busy, the gaming takes them away from time their wife and kids need with them. In this case the real issue is working too much. He needs to fix the work/play ration by doing less work, not by doing more play.
Finally, you say he started when you were pregnant and crying a good deal. The gaming could have started as a way of escaping something he could not fix. In games, you have a clear problem, and you can solve it. If a man’s life feels out of control, games can give him the ability to feel he is in control.
Use these as a starting place to figure out what is going on with him. He needs recreation, and some of it needs to be apart from you. The issue is finding a good balance for both of you.

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Anon August 4, 2014 at 3:21 am

Just to add – my husband spends time with me, but its really less than optimal. He asks me how im, how my day was, but rarely leads a longer conversation or relaxes with me. It did not use to be so at least not to this extent. He does not neglect me totally, plus he works hard and provides well for our family. He is kind and rarely gets angry, he is very intelligent and wise, plus he is many more good things.. (i said he is a great man and husband .. If there wasnt this game issue..!)

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