Nothing stings more than when a wife wants her husband to do something and he fails to take initiative. We’ve all been there.
For example, maybe we want our husband to fix something around the house but his toolbox is left unopened for months, or maybe we want him to plan a family vacation but he later decides that he is not in the mood to book flights, or maybe we want him to speak to us in a different tone but he shrugs his shoulders at our plea.
When the going gets tough, we’re caught between letting go of what we really want to see happen in our lives and trying every tactic in the book to get our sweet, mule-like hubby to budge. We may subsequently become aggravated and annoyed at our husband because he appears to be outright ignoring our cries for help, and we feel virtually exhausted from all the pushing required in order to motivate him to move. Over time, decade-long grudges form, the taste of bitterness overpowers the marriage, and wives start detesting their husbands as a mere reaction to their inaction.
Ladies, the truth is that many times our husbands are not purposely disregarding our feelings or needs, nor are they ‘lazy,’ ‘selfish,’ or ‘mean’ – even though it may make some of us feel better to judge them in that light. Honestly, the most common reason that we cannot grab their attention and turn on their ‘rescue’ mode is because our technique defies certain realities concerning male psychology.
Instead of joining a male bashing Facebook group or ignoring our husband in the hope of spiting him, we must drop the kryptonite and search for what truly inspires our husband to switch his identity from the average citizen to our Superman. By utilizing our feminine charm, we can transform Mr. Ordinary into our Mr. Extraordinary inshaAllah.
In this post, we want to expose the most popular bloopers that wives commit when trying to persuade their husbands and exchange them for what will rouse our hidden superhero to recognize our distress signal, put on his red cape, and save the day inshaAllah.
Part Four: Five Exchanges That Inspire Him to Rescue
Before we spill the beans, we first need to gain some common ground and agree on a few basic principles about our male comrades. Once we share the same insight about the male species, we can then advance to the next level, which is to understand the reasons behind why our husbands adamantly resist our attempts and learn how to tweak our method of approach to perfection inshaAllah.
So, let’s enroll in “Understanding the Male Psyche 101”:
1. Men are not naturally motivated to complete routine tasks, but they are instinctively driven to accomplish one-off goals because it instantly builds their self-confidence.
2. Men hate being labeled the bad guy, but they love to assume the role of the hero.
3. Men despise having to guess how to decode ambiguity, but they follow straight-forward instructions very well and like engaging in challenging projects.
4. Men snub any attempt to be bossed around, but they will allow a woman to be the emotional leader of the relationship.
5. Men are not wired to nonchalantly listen to issues, but they are programmed to be fantastic problem-solvers and solution-finders.
If you’re able to see the truths in these statements, then congratulations, you will benefit from this post inshaAllah.
However, if you cannot find any value in these statements because you’re still looking for your husband to magically intuit your thoughts (see Part 1), or do what you say no matter how you say it (see Part 2), or attend to your needs when you actively overlook what he needs in order to feel loved (see Part 3), then you may not be able to fully appreciate what we’re about to say.
Wife Blooper #1: Nagging To Remind Him
Typical Male Reaction: Cold stare / Silence / Annoyed expression
‘Friendly reminders’ are not what we’re referring to here because sometimes men need to be retold and they appreciate the reminder. Rather, nagging means to repetitively point out that our husband still hasn’t done what we want him to do, and it is said in a manner that irritates him.
Because men savor their independence, what aggravates them is feeling pressured by their wives with how to schedule their time. Men want to be able to freely organize their priorities in the way that they deem best, and they want us to recognize the worth of their decision-making. Thus, it is not that our husband is inconsiderate and doesn’t care to do anything for us, but rather, he is prioritizing his duties to the best of his capability, which may be completely different to how we would order our to-do-list.
As for pestering our husbands to get into a system of carrying out routine house chores, it’s pointless. Men don’t operate well with mundane tasks and they dislike being pulled in too many directions at once. Instead, they prefer to place their full concentration on one task at a time and to complete it with precision. Consequently, it’s better to just state our wants whenever we need something from him – one want at a time – and drop the expectation that our husband should ‘remember’ or be able to ‘multi-task.’
Exchange That For This: Clue him in on how important the task is to you and subtly inform him how he’ll win with you when he does what you want; it will sound like a goal that he can easily accomplish, which men relish.
Try using starter phrases like “I would really love…”/ “I would really appreciate…” / “It really matters to me…” and then adding how it would make you feel by stating it in a positive frame.
- “I would really appreciate that the bills were paid on time. It would make me feel more relaxed and less anxious.”
- “I would really love to spend time together as a family every Saturday. I feel my happiest when we’re all together and I know the kids enjoy your company.”
- “It really matters to me that the dishes are placed immediately in the sink after dinner. It soothes me to see a clean table.”
Although men secretly ache to please their wife, they still want to feel like doing things for her is their individual choice and that they are not blindly following orders. They also long for their wife to openly welcome any voluntary contribution made, which is why it is extremely vital to thank your husband afterwards for any small step that he makes towards fulfilling your desire so that he knows that he scored with you. Listen to Episode 7 of our self-paced course “Find Purpose Again” for more tips inshaAllah.
Wife Blooper #2: Crying To Guilt Him
Typical Male Reaction: “You’re too sensitive.” / “I wouldn’t care if you said that to me.”
Not all tears are created equal. Crying when one sees impoverished people or upon immediately hearing about the death of a loved one is normal and expected; men are not bothered by these tears because they demonstrate a woman’s delicate nature. However, crying (or throwing tantrums) such that it causes our husband to feel like he messed up again and is the bad guy will tragically blow up in our faces.
Because a number of women suffer from low self-esteem and depression, this is a common problem in today’s marriages – wives with unbalanced emotional states. At first, a husband may try to cheer up his wife and appease her, but if she continues to return the favor with more unhappiness, his frustration levels rise. She’s unknowingly blocked his ability to reach the most important target for him as a husband – making his wife happy. Sadly, if a woman’s emotions regularly lead to a man feeling terrible about himself, he will eventually lose his tender emotions for her.
Women in these situations are often depending upon their husbands to make them happy. Yet, men are irresistibly drawn towards a woman who doesn’t need a man to make her happy, who isn’t looking for a man’s approval to define her worth, and who has a passionate, purposeful life of her own, but at the same time deeply values, cherishes, and appreciates her husband’s love in her life. Ladies who yearn for a blissful marriage – but are subconsciously looking for their husbands to make them happy – must make the effort to resolve their inner unhappiness through a third party, like with coaching or counseling, and not through blaming their husbands for all of their hurt. (Read more about why men are desperate for your approval here.)
Aside from this factor, there are definitely genuine cases when our husband can say things which are hurtful and appear to be very insensitive on his part. In these circumstances, a woman can use her emotional intelligence to teach him how to treat her.
Because men do not access their emotions as easily as women, one of the fascinations of a woman to a man are her feelings. More specifically, men find a woman who knows how to stand up for herself and stick to her core values very appealing. When she makes her boundaries known – but in a way that enchants him and does not disrespect him – he’s captivated by her authenticity, and moved by her openness to say how she feels.
Exchange That For This: Make him chase you, not the other way around. When your husband hurts your feelings, simply say, “That hurts.” Then, walk away.
This will give him time to think about what was said, but DO NOT ignore him in the process or avoid him for more than a few hours. This is where a lot of women make a mistake; they officially cut off their husbands or ditch him for days, which is unIslamic and a bad romance move. Instead, act distant but still interact at a basic marital level, like serving him dinner, giving salam, and having marital relations. He will miss the cheerfulness of his wife’s presence and soon enough ask what’s going on – and even if he doesn’t get it, you can approach him after a little while and say, “I’m still upset over what was said. Comments like that hurt me. I need to be spoken to in a soft tone.” Cross your arms, pout, and look away.
If you want this tactic to work, then you must accept his apology – however it comes. Slowly but surely, when charming exchanges like this are made in a marriage, it makes conflict short-lived and makeup time long and sweet inshaAllah.
Wife Blooper #3: Convincing Him About Why He Needs It Too
Typical Male Reaction: “No, I am not interested.” / “I don’t see a problem with the way it is.”
When we’re not used to asking for our wants and needs, we may feel guilty and uncomfortable about expressing them. As a result, we try to mask our desires by clothing them in assertions in an effort to convince our husband that he needs what we want just as badly as we do.
For example, maybe we wish for the garage door to be fixed because it frequently jams. Instead of being upfront and saying what we want, we tell our husband things like, “Wouldn’t you like to just open the garage door without any trouble?” or “Don’t you think that it’s annoying that the garage door keeps getting stuck?” We secretly hold on to the hope that he’ll decode our words and declare “Yes, I definitely agree!”
By being indirect and trying to prove our point, it makes us feel less vulnerable that we’re depending on someone else to do something for us, and it doubly protects our confidence when our husband chimes in and consents. The only problem is that he may never concur with our take on things, which leaves us feeling sad that we don’t see eye-to-eye on lifestyle matters.
Exchange That For This: Plainly state your desire by using the phrase “I want…” and rev up his manly drive by turning it into a special project for him.
Tell him, “I want the garage door fixed, and you’re the only one who has the skills to do a good job. Do you mind taking on this project?”
Most men will beam at the challenge, but here’s the catch, you have to now let him be in charge of it. When a man accepts a job, he wants to own full control over it – no strings attached. This means that he’ll get it done on his own time and in his own way. If you desire for something particular, express your specifications clearly using the phrases in blooper #1, but let go of the reins and trade them in for gaining more self-care inshaAllah.
Wife Blooper #4: Ranting & Raving Until He Gives In
Typical Male Reaction: “Just get over it.” / “I don’t want to hear about this again.” / “You need to be grateful for what you have.”
It’s a common misconception that men are the only ones who explode when angry. Nothing could be further from the truth. Some women can literally ‘go off’ on a man when she’s upset. Both people’s reactions are completely unIslamic and earn the displeasure of our Creator – the One who will judge our eternal abode.
The reason women verbally attack men is because at the root of the matter they feel unheard and let down. By threatening and demanding, they feel empowered, but these women are weak at their core because they are too scared to show their soft side.
Just because we feel slighted, there is no need to maul our husband and eat him alive. In fact, it only backfires because he cannot make sense of all the commotion. To him, it looks like a bunch of overrated complaints, authoritative orders, short-sightedness, selfishness, and ingratitude for any good that he has given. His response is to automatically shut down and tune out at the sound of our raised voices. He covers up his own hurt with his “I don’t care” attitude.
It’s absolutely foolish to get all worked up if it will just lead to further marital discord and throwing ourselves into the hellfire. We are also blowing our chance to mold the relationship in the way that we want it to be. Men are often clueless at how to shape romantic bonds and they need us to steer them in the right direction. If we’re turning them off with our anger, then they will not trust us with their hearts.
Exchange That For This: Alert him of your disappointment and clue him in on what needs to be done differently by saying, “I am not happy with it being this way. I need…” Make sure to state your need in ONE sentence and avoid using this mechanism as a gimmick to unload on him.
- I am not happy with it being this way. I need us to be a team in front of our parents.
- I am not happy with it being this way. I need us to agree on the same form of discipline with the children.
- I am not happy with it being this way. I need us to stop fighting over this topic and be friends.
Now here comes the hard part: give each other time. It’s far-fetched to expect serious issues to be resolved in one sitting. Happy couples may engage in several discussion sessions over a period of time before they finally reach an agreement, but in-between the tension, they’re still interacting in basic marital ways – eating together, smiling in front of the kids, and sleeping in the same bed. Stay tuned for our next post on conflict for more advice on this matter inshaAllah.
Wife Blooper #5: Overloading Him With All Of Our Problems & Worries
Typical Male Reaction: “Just stop thinking about it.” / “Don’t let it get to you anymore.” / “Forget it – it’s not that big of a deal.” / “What you need to do is tell her…”
Our husband’s suggestions are almost laughable. If it was that easy to stop thinking about what bothers us, then we wouldn’t be opening up to him, right?! At this point, some women also fight the urge of feeling insulted when they hear their husbands’ direct words. In these nerve-racking moments, a woman is seeking validation and comfort from the listener, whereas a man is naturally prone to search for solutions and emphasize closure.
Even though it may feel like it, our husband is not trying to shoo us away and downplay our perspective. Instead, he is merely advising us with what he would do in our same situation. When men feel flooded, they shut down and escape reality by thinking about something else or finding a quick solution in order to slam the case shut. They don’t fret over problems; they solve them as soon as possible and forget the rest.
Exchange That For This: Explain to your husband what you need from him in these situations. If you just want him to listen, then begin the conversation with clear expectations on your part, like “I need to talk about everything going through my mind right now and I just want you to listen for the next ten minutes. Don’t worry about offering solutions while I speak, okay?” If you fancy your husband’s help, then just say the first line; after you’ve spoken your mind, add at the end of your spiel, “What do you think?”
In conclusion, you may have noticed that none of these bloopers would potentially be problematic when interacting with another woman; in fact, most women find relief in resorting to the aforementioned methods when upset, which is why we easily relate to each when saddened. Yet, while these bloopers may console the female, they have the absolute, opposite effect with the male. Don’t be dismayed if you’ve fallen into any of these, but simply exchange what doesn’t work for what works. Lure your superhero to jump in and save the day in a way that inspires him to rescue inshaAllah.
Where’s My Happily Ever After? (5 Part Series)
Part 1: Five Married Life Fairytales Transformed Into Reality
Part 2: Five Marital Sagas That Hurt Husbands
Part 3: Five Ways To Score BIG With Your Husband
Part 4: Five Exchanges That Inspire Him To Rescue
Part 5: Five Moves That Stop Escalating Conflict
© TayyibaatWives, 2017.