I’m going to take a break from my normal Doctor posts and talk about something that I think is very important for raising healthy kids and that has to do with having a healthy marriage.
Now I’m going to first turn the microscope back on myself and admit that I still have a long ways to go but have been making progress in this area.
It really has to do with the ability to change. I think, as men, this is one of the most difficult things to do….to change.
I’m not sure why it seems so difficult for men, and this is not to let women off of the hook, ya’ll need to change too, but it does seem to be such a struggle for men.
The change that I’m most referring to has to do with the change in the way that we love our wives. Most men tend to show their love for their wives by doing what they’ve seen by their parents or what makes him feel loved.
If you haven’t read The 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman, you can stop reading this and go buy the book! You need it. But to recap they are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
I tend to feel loved through Acts of Service and Physical Touch so that is how I have for the first 10 years of our marriage focused on loving Emily.
Unfortunately, she feels more loved through Words of Affirmation, Quality Time and Acts of Service. So I have the service part down but the Words of Affirmation is extremely difficult for me.
I’m sure that I’m not along when saying that this is difficult. I don’t necessarily understand why it is so difficult but there’s no doubt that this has been tough.
This is where I can say….”He Needs To Change”.
We are told in the Bible that we need to study our spouses and for men especially to love our wives as Christ loves the church. Christ did exactly what the church needed in order to feel loved and he continues to do so. Everyone’s faith journey is unique and Christ knows us more intimately than anyone else. We are supposed to be an example of Christ to our spouse.
Husbands need to understand what it is that makes their wives feel loved and then do it. If you don’t know, ask them, I’m sure they’ll be happy to share.
Being a doctor, I see every day how prevalent unhappy marriages are. I would even venture to say that happy, fulfilling marriages are the exception not the norm. I think that a big part of this is the willingness of both partners to change.
I know that Emily has changed and I hope that if you were to ask her, she would say that I have changed. Again, this is not to claim that we are or ever will be perfect because we aren’t and we won’t ever be. The focus should not be on trying to change your spouse, that will never work. The only one that can do that, true life change, is God.
So instead focus on yourself. He needs to change but you also need to change. We all need to continue to change and be more selfless and put our spouse’s needs above our own. This is a continual process. So instead of trying to change your husband, pray that God will first change you to love him better and that he will do work in your husband’s heart to change him.
This will help you give up control and realize that you cannot change him. Yes, he needs to change, but that’s not your job.