Healthy communication is essential to a thriving marriage, but it takes work. Without realizing it, we can be careless with our words and actions and inadvertently hurt our spouse’s feelings. When our feelings are hurt, we are less likely to communicate in a productive and kind way. So we get caught in the negative spiral of assuming the worst of each other, and every discussion becomes a fight.
So, how can we protect ourselves from falling into this marriage trap?
Husbands, here are 4 ways you can unintentionally break your wife’s heart:
1. Speaking harshly to her and about her.
This one is super important, and it usually stems from bad communication habits that develop over time in marriage. We must never speak harshly to our spouse or talk rudely about our spouse–even if we feel like we are justified. We must treat each other with respect both inside and outside the walls of our home. Harsh words build giant walls between us and make us feel unloved and insignificant.
Husbands, if you tend to yell at your wife or use derogatory words towards her, please stop immediately. There is a better way. You can stop this negative cycle by choosing to focus on the good and speaking in a loving tone towards her. My husband has so wisely said,
“The tone of your words becomes the tone of your marriage.”
If you are having trouble doing this, I highly suggest that you both invest time in working on your communication in your marriage.
2. Avoiding meaningful conversation with her.
Many husbands avoid meaningful conversation with their wives simply because they feel like they are “out of words” for the day. However, this is something that is very important to your wife and it may take an extra effort on your part.
When your wife asks about your day, she isn’t trying to interrogate you. She just wants to connect with you–ALL of you. She wants to know about everything–the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, the next time she asks you about your day, don’t just say, “It was FINE” and plop down in front of the TV with a Coke and corn chips. Engage with her. Look in her eyes, and tell her what’s on your heart. Listen as she tells you what’s going on with her. This kind of daily conversation allows you both to have a better understanding of what’s going on in each other’s lives. Give her your BEST time and attention first.
3. Making plans without talking to her first.
My husband and I have talked to many couples who struggle with this issue, and it really comes down to one thing–pride. I’ve heard some husbands say, “Well, I’m a grown man. I shouldn’t have to ask my wife if I can go somewhere.”
When we marry, we become one. It’s no longer “his” and “hers,” it’s OURS. And, that includes our schedules. We must consider our spouse whenever we make plans.
It’s as simple as saying, “Honey, some of the guys are wanting to get together and watch the game this Wednesday night. Do you care if I go?”. This one simple step of consulting her FIRST will help your wife know that you consider her in ALL things and you respect her thoughts and opinions in ALL matters. 9 times out of 10, she will probably say, “Sure. Go ahead,” but sometimes, she will remind you that you both already have something on the agenda. Either way, you are showing her love and respect by consulting with her first before making your own plans, and this will keep your marriage strong.
4. Fulfilling your own sexual needs by using porn.
I receive multiple messages every single day from wives who are broken-hearted after finding out that their husband has been watching porn. Friends, let me be crystal clear here–porn destroys marriages. Yet, so many husbands–even Christian husbands–struggle with this sin in secret.
You may tell yourself that it’s harmless and that nobody is getting hurt, but that is a lie. Porn warps your mind to desire things that no one person can fulfill, and it makes you think that your spouse is less desirable and less sexually fulfilling. When you continue to go back to porn again and again and again, you stop initiating sex with your wife. Then, she’s left wondering why you never want her anymore. And, the two of you simply “exist” with a sexless marriage–all while you meet your own sexual needs with porn. Sound familiar?
Husbands, if this describes you, please know that you are not alone in this struggle. But, it will tear you and your marriage apart if you don’t stop this habit as soon as possible. Please go to XXXChurch.com for resources and accountability software to help you begin your recovery today. And, tell your wife that you’ve been struggling with this. She needs to know, and she can be a great help to you in providing encouragement and accountability in this process of healing.
The more intentional we are with our words and actions, the more our marriages will thrive. Husbands, think about each of these four things and do your very best to make the adjustments needed. When you do this, your wife will feel loved and respected by you, and your marriage will soar.
5. Avoiding her phone calls, texts, emails, etc.
When a wife tries to correspond with her husband, it can be extremely frustrating and hurtful if he never answers or writes back. Husbands, you may think that it’s not a big deal, but it is. Even if you only have a few minutes, your consistent correspondence will keep you both connected throughout the day and make her feel loved and appreciated.
6. Never saying, “I’m sorry for ____. Please forgive me.”
Everyone makes mistakes, but we must admit fault and seek forgiveness when we’ve failed our spouse. Husbands, when you fail to say you’re sorry and try to brush your misgivings under the rug, this breaks your wife’s heart. She wants to forgive you, but you must admit the wrong and seek her forgiveness first.
So, think about it. Have you hurt her feelings? Lost her trust over something? Lied to her? Kept a secret from her? If so, confess it to God first. Pray for forgiveness. His grace is sufficient for whatever you’ve done. But, as a spouse, you must also go to her, confess what you’ve done wrong, and ask her to forgive you. It might be hard, and she may not take it well. But, a strong marriage is built on truth and honesty. When you bring it out in the open, healing can begin.
7. Forgetting to tell her something specific that you love about her every day.
This may sound super simple, but it’s something that we often forget to do, the longer we are married. We assume that our spouse knows just how we feel, so we don’t say it out loud.
Husbands, your wife wants to know that you’ve still got it for her.
Tell her how much you love hearing her infectious laugh. Tell her how much you appreciate how hard she works for the family. Tell her that she never ceases to amaze you with her expansive knowledge. Whatever “it” is–tell her about it. She will never tire of hearing your encouraging and affirming words, and it goes a long way in mending a broken heart and cultivating a strong marriage.