loving your wife

Loving Your Wife When You Don’t Even Like Her

Over these 15 years of marriage, I’ve realized that loving my wife and liking my wife aren’t necessarily a pair that always fit together. This is especially the case when I feel my wife doesn’t respect  my simple requests. One such request is to dry clean my shirts rather than washing them. This topic has been discussed several times over the years. One time, she ruined one of my favorite shirts after I’d told her I prefer to dry clean this shirt versus wash it. Instead of listening, she decided to throw it in with our regular laundry.Unfortunately, my shirt did not survive the wash and came out with bleach spots.

With my ruined shirt in hand, I realized I really didn’t like my wife in that moment. But I still must love her. Love is more than a feeling, it is a choice. [Tweet This] We have the ability to choose love. Here are 4 ways to choose to love your spouse when you don’t even like her.

1. Treat Her Better than You Treat Yourself

Think about how you react when you mess up. You still do everything in your best interest. You don’t say discouraging things about your mistakes, you don’t feel guilty constantly. Instead, you try to move on. Do the same for your wife even when she’s messed up or is not enjoyable.

2. Think of How Life Would Be Without Her

My wife is going back to work after 12 years of working from home and being a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. To say the dynamics of our household will change is the understatement of the year. And this isn’t death or sickness, just 8 hours away from home per day. I could only imagine if this were permanent, like death. I’d sleep alone each night, my kids couldn’t get those hugs they love from her, I wouldn’t have her perspective when dealing with teenage daughter things. Not to mention the logistics of having multiple kids and schedules that sometimes require two parents to pull off successfully. The list could go on and on.

3. Sacrifice through Serving Her

There is something great about giving up things for yourself to help, encourage, or benefit someone else — it is fulfilling. Skip times with the fellas to cook dinner for her. Miss the game to watch Lifetime or Hallmark with her. Do the laundry so she doesn’t have to. Miss your lunch break, so you can bring her food after she forgot her lunch. Allow your service in love to get past the parts or times when you don’t like her.

4. Set Her Apart

When speaking of my wife to other people, I typically refer to her as “my wife.” I rarely refer to her as Stephana. I do this because I’m the only one who can do that. Nobody else can call her “my wife.” It sets her apart and shows her and everyone around that she is special. Additionally, even when I don’t necessarily like her I speak well of her to others. So, even when I’m frustrated, confused, or hurt by her, she is still my wife, and my love and actions for her is to be different from everybody else. I hold her hand, touch her differently, introduce her first when speaking with someone she doesn’t know and give her my jacket if she’s cold. I challenge you to find ways you can set your wife apart from others and show everyone, especially her, how special she is.

Sound Off

How do you love your wife well even when she frustrates you?

Jackie Bledsoe

Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger, and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three, who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.

  • Baraa Abdulla

    Great points

  • CJ

    You can do all 4 points daily for your entire marriage, but when your wife disconnects from you in her heart anyways, it makes it very difficult to press on. I still love and cherish her, but struggle daily knowing she does not love, respect or cherish me in return and keeps her walls up spiritually, emotionally and physically for years now.

    At what point in 20 plus years of marriage do you allow her to just release you from your anguish, pain and suffering? And in my case, my wife did way more than just mess up a shirt in the wash (I do the laundry anyway).

    • Jon O’Malley

      If you’re a Christian, you know that we all have difference crosses to carry. I feel for you. That’s a really hard situation. But don’t ever give up. You made a promise when you married that you would stick it out no matter what. Keep giving of yourself and know that it might not get better, but you’ll continue to make yourself, thru the grace of God, a better man for it.

      • CJ

        Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. They are much needed!

    • Mitch Beaverson

      Tough to provide good counsel such a difficult situation without understanding more. But, for me, the answer to your question is, “Never”. As I’ve struggled through significant marital challenges myself, I’m reminded of God’s faithful love for me, even though my heart is often divided and disloyal to him.
      Furthermore, it seems like nearly every time someone is “released” (except for situations of abuse), life only gets more challenging and complicated. No perfect woman (or man, for that matter) is out there, and trading one woman for another will only be trading one set of relational challenges for another. It’s far more effective to look, instead, to how I can become the man she always wanted and thought she was getting in the first place. (e.g., do I still woo her like I did 24 years ago?) Am I ever going to meet all of her heartfelt needs? Hardly. But that doesn’t mean I should give up. And neither should you. Let’s make #stayingmarried a priority and an investment in our kids and future. As my kids begin to transition to college (2 of 6), I’m seeing a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel and feel that, in time, I will reap a huge blessing for enduring the most challenging season of life.
      It’s never too late to bail a sinking ship, but it first takes thoughtful patchwork and is then accomplished just one bucket at a time.

      • CJ

        Thank you for your encouragement and prayers. I want so badly to reconcile and have God be glorified by the redemption of our marital covenant. My wife’s heart has been one step removed from leaving me for quite a while, now. We both have our issues and I am trying prayerfully to navigate my end of this marriage and she says she is doing the same on her side, but the years of disconnect have just hurt my heart to the point of hopelessness, bitterness, pain and anguish. I give it up daily to the Lord and ask Him to help me through. Please pray that this amazingly horrible season in our marriage will find healing and victory as we have 3 children we want to have a Godly legacy (2 in college and 1 still at home). I want them to witness a miracle of all miracles in our marriage!!!

  • Douglas McConnell

    The intro is a petty and selfish example.Take your own darn shirt to the cleaner!

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