I’ve talked about this before, but it’s been awhile and it’s a huge thing for men. Men want peace in their home. We’re happy to go out and fight battles literally or figuratively day after day, but when we get home we want peace. We don’t want strife, arguments, the cold shoulder, or the silent treatment. We don’t want to have to prove ourselves at every turn or justify our choices and desires.
I have no doubt women want the same things, but I don’t think their desperation for it is nearly as strong. The intensity with which men want peace in their home leads them to a few of common errors:
- Rule with an iron fist: If he’s the unquestioned master of the home, he has peace because no one dares challenge him. Yes, such a man is into power, but what many women miss is why he wants the power. A big part of the why is getting peace.
- Give up land: Israel has been dealing with the question of “land for peace” for a long time. The idea is you give up land and in return your enemy stops trying to destroy you. This approach may work for a time, but then they want more land. It becomes an endless blackmail scheme, and what happens when there’s no more land you’re willing to give up? I’ve seen men give up bits of themselves to get peace. It works for a while, but eventually they have nothing left they are willing to sacrifice. Then it gets ugly, or he just leaves.
- Withdraw: The hope is she will ignore me if I don’t reply. Even if this fails, not engaging usually means the situation is less bad. Some men descend into video games, fishing, rebuilding a car, or anything else to hide from the lack of peace.
If you see any of these in your husband, he may be trying to deal with what he sees as a lack of peace in his home. Don’t dismiss it as silly, really think about it for a while. Watch what your husband has coming at him from you, your kids, and anyone else in the home. Is it possible he’s just looking for an escape? If so, more peace might move him away from his coping mechanism.
If you feel really brave, ask him to rate the level of peace in your home. If he rates it low don’t get upset. Instead ask him to explain why and then pray about ways you might be able to change things.
~ Paul – I’m XY and there’s plenty of peace in our little RV!