trying to change someone

3 Subtle Ways Men Try to Change Their Wives

We’ve all tried to change our wives in some form or fashion. Whether by getting her to prioritize our preferences or convincing her to see things from our perspective, we’ve tried. But when I’ve tried to change my wife over the years, I can’t remember it ever ending very well. She desires to be heard and understood, but she’s pretty set on not wanting to be changed. I have a feeling most women are the same way.

Does she need to change in some areas? Maybe. But so do we. Jacob M. Braude said, “Consider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have in trying to change someone else.” But here are 3 ways we try to change our wives anyway, without realizing it.

1. We try to change the way she thinks.

Women don’t think the same way men do. No matter how much we try to change the way our wives think, they will still always think like the women they were created to be. Part of being a success as a husband is found in the process of learning both how your wife thinks and how to understand her in light of that.

2. We try to change the things she wants.

A big part of understanding how she thinks is recognizing that her thoughts are different because her desires are different. While a husband may want physical intimacy (sex), a wife wants relational and emotional intimacy (communication). Why? Because she enjoys deep, detailed communication—that is one of her greatest desires. To break it down simply, a wife’s desire for communication is as important to her as a husband’s desire for sex is to him. Turning off the flow of healthy communication to your wife has the same impact on her as the impact she has on you when she doesn’t respond to your sexual desires. But understanding what your wife wants applies to much more than just sex and communication. The key is to learn your wife’s wants over time and to honor them, not change them.

3. We try to change how she feels.

Your wife doesn’t want you to change how she feels; she wants you to understand how she feels.

Women are wired emotionally. That’s why many women actually enjoy crying (for whatever reason, I don’t understand). Husbands are often tempted to try to change how their wives feel, but by doing so they fail to realize that she cannot separate her feelings from her responses as easily as they can. More than she needs your solutions (which we think we’re really good at giving), she wants you to empathize with her. Your wife doesn’t want you to change how she feels; she wants you to understand how she feels. She’s desiring intimacy with you. For her, that comes through good communication and intentional effort to learn and to love her for who she is, not for who you want her to be.

Earn some points: Share this iMOM article with your wife: How to Treat Your Husband Like a Man.

Sound off: In what ways have you struggled with trying to change your wife?

Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What is one way I can better understand you and your feelings?”