I recently got word that a couple I’ve known for many years is getting a divorce. Since I come from a divorced family, hearing about the end of any marriage brings up hard memories. Having known this particular couple for so long, I find myself wondering how the joy and hope of their wedding day could turn to such an experience of hurt for the couple and for their kids.
The vows you professed on your wedding day, promising to be true in good times and bad, are a blueprint for what a healthy and happy marriage should look like. No man gets married with the intention of hurting his wife, and not every hurt ends in divorce. That being said, every man falls short on this. There are things you and I do, and things we don’t do, that all result in a hurt wife. Here are 8 ways you and I are hurting our wives.
1. When You Hesitate to Apologize
No one likes to admit to being wrong. This is often doubly true of men, whose pride can make it hard to say “I’m sorry.” The thing is that when two people live together for any length of time, they are bound to say and do things that hurt one another. Clinging to pride and being hesitant to apologize only serves to compound things. It’s like telling her you’re OK with the fact that your words or actions left her hurt.
2. When You Stop Doing the Little Things
When you were dating, chances are you did lots of little things to show your love for her. Perhaps you bought her flowers, opened doors for her, or sent a card or left a message just because. As the years have gone maybe you’ve stopped doing some or all these things. The danger here is that it can leave your wife feeling like you take her for granted.
3. When You Don’t Notice the Difference She Makes in Your LifeMake sure you notice and thank your wife for who she is and all she does.
Your wife does a lot day in and day out. She often goes above and beyond her share of the chores around the house. She’s often home with the kids. Perhaps she has a job. We should recognize and acknowledge this along with the effort and thoughtfulness she puts into all the little things that make our lives so much better. Whatever it is, making your coffee every morning or watching your favorite show with you, make sure you notice and thank her for who she is and all she does.
4. When You’re Lazy
When we come home from a long day of work or some more significant period away, we can be tempted to kick back and relax. The problem is that your wife might also have had a long day at work or your young kids may have left her exhausted after an equally long day. Checking out on the kids or the dishes will result in one hurt wife. And she may start to feel like she’s trying to raise your family without you.
5. When You Cut Her Out
Many men struggle to share their feelings, but your wife can often tell quite quickly when things aren’t quite right. Many of us will try to face our problems with worry, grief, or by ourselves, without even telling her what’s going on. Our wives want us to share our hearts with them, and cutting her off from our problems is likely to leave her feeling hurt and isolated.
6. When You Try to Fix Her
It’s not abnormal for a wife to call her husband during the day or to sit with him in the evening to share a little bit of her heart, her worries, cares, and challenges. A man’s instinct is often to rush to the rescue with a solution to whatever it might be. The trouble is that your wife isn’t looking for a quick fix. She is looking for someone who loves her enough to listen and hear her out.
7. When You’re Careless With Your Words
Men can be careless with their words. Sometimes it’s because we have a habit of teasing our closest (guy) friends as a sign of affection. Other times it’s because we don’t realize what we’re saying. Either way, when you tease or put down your wife, she is likely to hear what you say and take it to heart, leaving her feeling devalued or demeaned.
8. When She Sees You Looking
Make no mistake. No matter how subtle you think you are, your wife sees your lingering glance when another woman walks by. It hurts her because she feels you’re comparing her to whomever you have been checking out. That “look” not only hurts your wife in the moment, but it can also open the door to fantasy and lust.
Earn some points: Improve your communication with your wife by sharing this iMOM article with her: 5 Things Your Husband Won’t Know Unless You Tell Him.
Sound off: What are some other ways men need to stop hurting their wives?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why do you think it’s important to take responsibility when we hurt others?”