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Is there an "aching spot in your heart" that is breeding resentment between you and your partner? Are you "walking on eggshells" in your relationship? Have you tried to be funny, gentle, creative but still can't get the response you want? Your wife is being difficult.
The Difficult Wife
What is a difficult wife from a husband's perspective?
Nagging is the number one complaint of men. A difficult wife hounds her husband until he gets it. If he remains unaffected, she will resort to name calling. If unsuccessful, she will scold him like a child.
A difficult wife claims that her husband is not doing anything in the house or does not understand what is needed in the house. A difficult wife thinks a husband does not do anything right. A difficult wife accuses her husband that the reason they are in a bad situation is because of his bad decisions. A difficult wife makes her husband feel that he is in a "no-win situation". A husband feels that his difficult wife does not see the sacrifices made. He feels unappreciated. All the actions of a husband seem insignificant. She treats her husband like a child who needs to be fixed. To avoid confrontation, the husband avoids interaction with his wife. A difficult wife is ungrateful. She does not know how hard he works to provide for them.
Is it an issue of the wife being difficult or is it because the husband lacks an understanding of his role as a leader?
No one taught a man to bring out the innate leadership skills in his family life. So, the children in the house are confused. They need clarifications from their parents on what it means to be the leader of the house. If their expectations are unclear, these sons will continue the cycle. This son will be a future husband who is withdrawn and passive.
It is typical for the husband to go home from work tired. He goes to a world of his own by watching his favorite sport. He retires to the couch. He rationalizes his need for rest. His wife realizes that this is unfair. She wanted her man to have the energy to deal with the current family issue and not ignore it.. She starts to let him know her frustrations. The husband knew it was coming and labels his wife as a "big time nagger".
Lacking in leadership skills, he feels that his wife knows the problem better than him. Thus, she can handle it better. He loses his desire to be present. He feels uncertain about the issue. He will unlikely initiate an action. He will bury himself with work and stay late in the office. He will go out with his friends and drink until the wee hours of the morning. He will go to golf games with his buddies the whole weekend. He will even take separate vacations.
The husband is actually leading himself away from his wife. If the wife puts her foot forward, the husband gets upset. He feels that the wife is preventing him from becoming the man he should be. His bitterness turns to rage. He attacks and loses control. He hurts his wife. He feels guilty then further withdraws. He feels inadequate to be a family leader. He allows his wife to lead. He stops desiring to take charge. The wife takes over. The husband complains "Geez, you do have a problem."
6 Secrets to Deal With Your Difficult Wife
Dr. Ric Barr , Pastor and Christian Counselor of Christ Counseling Center in Simpsonville, SC said that the main secret to deal with a difficult wife is to be the "priest" of your household. A priest leads his flock in his desire to do God's will. A husband should desire to be the leader of the home. He must trek the unknown and lead. Husbands may feel no confidence in this role for his own father did not step up to the plate. However, the husband must lead in spite of his insecurities. All great men experience some fear of unfamiliar experiences. Leading a family is not in the comfort zone of most husbands. The modern husband's concept of leadership is about being "macho". He feels his life experiences did not prepare him for this role.
Dr. Bruce Wilkinsin, in his video series called "A Biblical Portrait of Marriage", explains the roles that a husband must take to be an effective leader of the house.
1. Make your wife feel secure.
Your wife expects you to rescue her from the all day stress of child rearing, house chores and errands. She treats you as her "fearless protector of the unknown". Don't you notice how your wife relaxes upon seeing you after work? She wants you to tell her "It will be alright. Let me handle this. Relax. Here is a book. From now on, your fears are over." Kiss her and then take over "Mr. Knight and Shining Armor"!
2. Provide for the material needs of your family.
Your wife may be very skilled and talented. She may want to work. She wants to take a big load from your shoulder. Shield your wife from the worries of bills, rent or mortgage and other expenses. Do not push her to work and give her a guilt trip just so you can afford the luxuries of a good home, a new car, vacations, travels, hobbies or keeping up with the "Jones' ". The family must live within your means.
In an economic downturn, the temptation to work is great and sometimes a necessity. But, the family needs to downsize and want less of material things. Though the feminist movement insinuates that women must be equal with men in terms of capabilities and opportunities, the man must lead the wife to discover her strengths. The exceptions to the rule are circumstances involving illnesses, death, and major financial crisis. But these are temporary circumstances. Once everything stabilizes, the wife must become again a helper of her husband.
3. Direct the family to where it should go.
The husband must survey the direction where he wants to take the family. A husband who knows how to lead is sensitive of the desires and goals of his wife. He will take into consideration her feelings. Like a commander-in-chief, the husband may be unpopular. He must make tough decisions for the family
4. Heal and uncover the need of your wife for love and strength.
A husband needs to be like a doctor. He must take into consideration her physical fatigue and limitations. He must be attuned to her emotional needs and stress levels. He must always offer a "should to cry on". He should recognize that his wife needs his strength.
5. Be a good, tender king
A husband won't be happy until he feels he is "the king of his house." However, he need not be a dictator. It does not mean the wife will worship the ground you walk on. A husband can be a good, tender king to his family. He will take aside his stressful days that his boss gave him. He will look forward to his castle at home. A husband must be like a king with a generous heart.
6. Lead the family spiritually
A husband must pray for his wife and his children. He must lead his family to prayer on a daily basis. He must encourage his children to appreciate the blessings bestowed on his family. He must recognize that he cannot rely on his own strength but from God.
A difficult wife stems from the failure of a husband to lead. Unless there is a psychological disorder, the husband must be courageous to take charge of the family. He must provide for his family's needs and seek the help of his wife. With many broken marriages, it is obvious that many men have not discovered the 6 secrets to handle a difficult wife.