I’m going to make a confession to you what many men will try to deny, but it’s the truth. Here it is…we get our feelings hurt a lot more than we admit. We are not nearly as tough as we often pretend to be.
People create gender stereotypes where women are more “emotional,” but both men and women are both emotional beings. Yes, women often are more outwardly demonstrative with their emotional expression while men tend to internalize, but both genders get their feelings hurt at about the same rate.
Sometimes we hurt each other on purpose (which is never justified), but very often in marriage, a husband and wife hurt each other’s feelings by accident. Below are a few examples of the primary ways women unknowingly hurt their husbands. I’d also encourage you to read my wife Ashley’s article on the 4 Ways a Husband Can Unintentionally Break His Wife’s Heart.
A wife can unknowingly and unintentionally hurt her husband’s feelings when…
1. She double-checks or corrects his work on simple tasks.
Men gain great pride through the work they accomplish. Even with simple tasks like mowing the yard, most of us guys take great pride in a job well done. When a wife is always checking or correcting a husband’s work around the house or yard, she may think she’s helping him see his blind spots (which she probably is), but this often causes deep frustration and even hurt in the husband. He may not vocalize it, but it can turn into an outburst of frustration in other areas. If a man thinks nothing he does is ever good enough for his wife, it will crush his spirit.
2. She consistently rejects his sexual advances.
Most men list “sex” as one of their top two needs in marriage (it’s not anywhere in the top 5 for most women). Since a man’s wife is the only legitimate place where this need should be met, consistent “rejection” not only creates physical frustration, it can also create emotional pain. Because any form of rejection in marriage will eventually cause hurt feelings.
3. She consistently expresses a desire for things the family budget can’t afford.
One of the biggest desires of most men is to be an adequate provider for the needs and wants of his wife and family. When a wife makes comments lamenting the family’s limited resources or how she’d love to buy something far beyond the family’s current budget, even though she usually means no harm, most men will internalize these comments. It makes him think, “I’m a loser. I can’t give my wife what she wants.” It’s okay to want things and work towards having more, but choosing an attitude of contentment and resourcefulness in marriage is key to both spouses feeling and functioning at their best.
4. She doesn’t say “Thank You” because she assumes he knows he’s appreciated.
According to research from my friend and bestselling author, Shaunti Feldhahn, men desire to hear the phrase “thank you” even more than they desire to hear, “I love you.” Both genders have a need to feel appreciated, but men tend to link gratitude with respect and they value respect and appreciation in the same way that most women value love and affection. Choose to celebrate the best in him instead of pointing out the worst in him. Say “Thank you” or “I really appreciate all you do for us” to your husband as often as you can and he’ll work hard to keep becoming the husband of your dreams.