The last few days I’ve had some sad comments on an old Generous Husband post – Strong Women Need Strong Men. Basically, men are saying “When I lead she refuses to follow, so I’ve given up.”
I have little to offer these men other than my prayers and the fact we should do what’s right even if others ignore it. However, it’s a perfect example of the subject I had already set for today.
It’s human nature to give up when we feel we can’t prevail. In some areas, men seem to be immune to this, continuing to press on when sanity would suggest giving up. On the other hand, it seems to me men often give up too easily and too quickly when it comes to marriage. I think part of the reason for this is they don’t understand their wife or marriage in general. Beyond this, society tells them they have no hope, and odds are some of their friends are saying the same as often as they can.
What I hear from men repeatedly is, “She’ll never change”. This could be in reference to nagging, being chronically late, not listening to him, sex, how to raise the children, or a million other things. He thinks she is set in stone and totally unwilling to listen to him or consider change. Given this perception, he figures he can keep fighting a battle he’s already lost, give up and ignore it, or give up and try to get around it. None of these is appealing or healthy for the marriage.
Thing is, I doubt most of these men’s wives are as entrenched and unbending as the men think. At least they didn’t start out that way. I suspect much of this is about differences in how men and women communicate and set priorities. Something in her words and actions communicates “You’re an idiot, and I will never listen to you one this issue.” Once a man thinks he’s been told this, why would he keep trying?
If your husband has given up on certain issues, ask yourself why. Might you have sent him a message you didn’t mean to send? Might he think there’s no hope you will listen to him, much less change?
In some ways, it’s nice to have your husband give up; no more arguments, and you get to do it your way. However, this isn’t healthy for your marriage, and in time it will do great harm to your relationship. If he’s given up, ask him why… and then listen to his thoughts and feelings and show them respect even if you find them wrong.
~ Paul – I’m XY and I tend towards never give up even when you should. Pity my gracious bride!