My mother-in-law lives 350 miles from my house. According to Google Maps, it should take a little under six hours to drive there. But when traveling with the kids, it’s usually closer to an eight-hour drive. Even though it’s a long trip, I usually do all the driving myself. This isn’t because my wife isn’t a good driver—it’s because I’d rather be in control than be a passenger.
While this mindset is largely harmless in the car, it could be bad for a marriage. Our desire to stay in control might cause us to look down on our wives. It could also make us resent the things we do on our own. It might also mean we start trying to control her and in doing so, harm the marriage. Here are 4 times giving up control is necessary.
1. When It Would Be More Fun to Do Together
Whether it’s yard work or a trip to the store, I can be very efficient in my day-to-day life. But one of the best parts of being married is having someone share the adventures of life with me. Inviting my wife to be part of any of these things means it might not be as quick or efficient, but it is far more enjoyable to have someone with me to work and to play.
2. When We Are Overtired
Most of us know that when we’re overtired, we shouldn’t be driving. But feeling fatigue is dangerous not only when you’re behind the wheel but when you’re doing work around the house or looking after small children. If you’re too tired to do things well, sometimes you need to give up control, ask your wife for help, and take a 15-minute nap. Just make sure you return the favor.While men often pretend we always know what to do, the truth is that sometimes we don’t.
3. When Our Wives Are Better at Something Than We Are
One of the places we need to be willing to give up control is when our wives are better equipped to deal with something than we are. With five kids, trips to the dentist can be dizzying as we try to keep track of what’s going on with whom. Thankfully, my wife worked for years as a dental assistant. I trust that she knows what to do for our kids’ teeth. Whether it’s talents, professional skills, or other areas in which our wives excel, we need to be willing to let her take the lead when she’s better at something than we are.
4. When We Don’t Know What We’re Doing
While men often pretend we always know what to do, the truth is that sometimes we don’t. It might be that a situation is novel, overwhelming, or just plain confusing. Admitting that we need help might be one of the most difficult things we can do because it feels like we are admitting failure. But it is in these moments we should turn to our wives, admit we aren’t in control, and ask for her help. Not only does this mean that we don’t have to face something difficult on our own, but she might have an idea on how to get us through it.
Sound off: What other times do you find that giving up control makes life better?
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What are some ways I help make your life better?”