For When He is Down

September 27, 2016

in the generous life

Recently I’ve had a number of gals talk to me about how to handle their sad or depressed husband.

For When He is Down - Dealing with your husband's sadness.

Certainly this is not an easy place to be.

Yes, you want to meet him where he is. Be sensitive to his feelings. Give him time and space to grieve or work through his hard feelings.

At the same time you do not want to get sucked down into the pit with him. Take good care of yourself. Sleep well and eat healthy. Do those things that keep you happy and balanced emotionally.

From time to time invite your husband to health as well. Ask him to go to bed early and snuggle (or make love). Invite him to watch a movie or go for a walk. Gently invite him back into those things that can lift him out of his funk. Pray daily for his state of mind and for opportunities for him to work through his struggles. (And, remember, sadness is not a sin. It’s an emotional response to difficult circumstances.)

If and when he wants to talk, listen for a very long time before saying anything (if you say anything at all). Don’t correct or try to fix him. He is trying to navigate a world of difficult emotion. You might ask a couple of open-ended questions (don’t try to lead him where you think he should go, ask him where he thinks he should go).

If he seems stuck, encourage him to hang out with good friends or see a professional. That might be a counselor, a doctor, or a job coach. Whatever he might need to practically deal with the reasons for his struggle.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.  Psalm 34:18  ESV

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to give you wisdom in dealing with your husband’s emotions.

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(in)courage: The Brilliant Weave of God Not a marriage post, but such a delightful story of community that I had to share it.

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howsyourlovelife: Fight Fair Nice practical insight.

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When I was a kid, family members were known to say, “You are so stubborn.”

Now, honestly, I’m not sure I was really being stubborn (family dynamics were not the healthiest), but it was a name, a label. What they said was about me, not about something I was doing in that moment. It labeled me a “bad” or “not acceptable.” It would have been so much kinder (and more truthful) to say I was acting a bit stubborn and talk to me about the “why.”

Who He Is vs. His Behavior - Love and accept him. Behaviors can change.

Names and labels can hurt. They also tend to stick and become a part of how we see ourselves and how people continue to talk about us.

That said, please be careful about how you address problems with your husband. He’s a sweetie. He may have issues with his behavior from time to time. Keep the two separate and also let him know he is loved and wanted. Behaviors can change.

Watch the nick names too. (Funny can be funny, but it can also be hurtful.)

Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.  Robin Sharma

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you use words to build up your sweetie.

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The Generous Husband: Why “Can I Be Pathetic?” Is A Great Question Be kind when he has one of those days.

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The Forgiven Wife: Lost in Translation Understand and work with your gender differences.

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I’ve heard it said you can know a lot about a person by seeing how they spend their money. I think the same thing could be said about how someone “spends” their time.

What Does Your Time Use Say? - Build a life that blesses your marriage.

As an exercise, write down how you spend your time for a week or so. What does your time use say about what is important to you? Are you being swamped by trivial stuff that pushes out the important stuff (like your husband)?

Regardless of what you find, use this new understanding of your time use as a tool for crafting the life you want to see. Build a life that will bless and strengthen your marriage.

It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?  Henry David Thoreau

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you use your time wisely on those people and things that are important to you.

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Gifts for Him

September 24, 2016

in the generous life

The gift giving season is just around the corner. Start planning today for gifts for your husband.

Gifts for Him - Give yourself plenty of time to come up with gift ideas.

Begin tucking away a few dollars. Discretely ask your husband a question or two. Do a little sleuthing. Give yourself plenty of time to come up with a couple of gift ideas that will bless his socks off.

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you find a couple of great gifts for your husband.

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The XY Code: Why Endless or Trivial Arguments Are Trouble Are they a symptom of a bigger problem?

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Awaken Love: What About Romance Novels? Don’t read about it, create it.

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The common scenario is the husband who is tough on the kids and the wife tends to pull toward permissiveness to balance her husband (or vice versa). It’s understandable, but really both folks wind up somewhere not quite healthy and not where they need to be.

This sort of thing can happen in all kinds of places in your marriage too.

Does Your Husband Pull You Off Center? - Stand where you need to stand.

If one spouse is a spender, the other spouse may become overly concerned with pinching pennies and saving. If one spouse is verbally abrupt to someone, the other may try to smooth things over (and wind up saying things they don’t mean or offering to do things they don’t really want to do). If someone becomes “too focused” on sex (or a particular act), the other may become a gatekeeper. One spouse may slack off on caring for the kids or the house or the dog and the other spouse goes into caregiver mode.

Now some of what I’ve mentioned might be a reasonable response as damage control in the short term (when your husband is overwhelmed at work, it’s OK to pick up the slack at home for a season), but do examine your own behavior and talk through any issues with your hubby man. 

 Are you acting in ways you don’t like?
 Are you trying to balance out something your husband is doing/not doing?
 Where do you want to stand? How do you want to act?
 Can you step into that spot regardless of how your husband is acting?

Do pray for the situation and try to work through the problems, but in the meantime work to stand in a healthy place regardless of your husband’s choices.

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.  Flora Whittemore

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you see where you are standing off center.

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We Are That Family: 4 Things We Need to Say When Marriage is Hard Four simple sentences that can make a difference.

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The Balanced Life: How Getting Rid of My Stuff Saved My Motherhood Need sanity?

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THROWBACK THURSDAY – GRACE FILLED MARRIAGE
(originally posted September 30, 2013)

I just finished the most amazing marriage book.

In fact, I would go so far as to say, if I could get everyone to read one marriage book, this would be the book.  Grace Filled Marriage 

It’s written by Dr. Tim Kimmel (with bits thrown in by his wife, Darcy) and he starts with the premise that “most marriages don’t struggle from a lack of love; they struggle from a lack of grace.”

He goes on to share what grace looks like, where we get it from, and how we can walk that out in our marriages (using a simple diagram on a cocktail napkin, I kid you not).

I swear to y’all, reading this book is like eating pie (I really like pie). Beautiful writing style, humor, clearly defined concepts, and lots of stories about real couples. Every bite chapter is tasty. As I was reading the first chapter I kept thinking, “Can he keep up this level of excellence through out the whole pie book?” And, yes, he does.

If you are looking for a good marriage book for yourself or your small group, I highly encourage you to consider this one.

Available in Paperback or Kindle.

Grace doesn’t add up. This probably explains why most couples shy away from making grace the default mode of their relationships. It’s counterintuitive. Intimidating too. Grace is so … selfless. We prefer the simple math behind the cause-effect dynamic within relationships. You scratch my back: I’ll scratch yours. You nick my car; I’ll burn down your garage.  Tim Kimmel

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to teach you about grace.

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The Forgiven Wife: Do a New Thing I love stories of healing and change.  :)  Yay, Jesus!

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Hot, Holy & Humorous: One Thing That Can Kill Your Sexual Confidence Comparisons kill, lean into God.

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The Fourth Horse – Money

A few years ago, Paul and I facilitated a Financial Peace University class at out home church.

I watched as couples white-knuckled their way into the class. Everyone was pretty tense and you could tell most couples had battle scars from previous financial “talks.”

The Four Horses of the Marriage Apocalypse - Part 4: Money

After the first few weeks people started relaxing and talking about concrete changes in their finances. By the time the class ended couples were sharing and laughing. They were proud they knew what was going on with their finances and they had a plan … a plan they had worked on together and it was making a difference!

That story pretty much tells it all. Couples who face up to their financial situation, make a plan, and keep that plan have financial peace in their relationship. I would want the same relaxed confidence for all couples. Honestly, I don’t care what system you use (there are a number of good ones out there), just use it! Talk through your finances with your sweetie and make a plan that works for your personal and household needs.

BTW, budgets don’t make you boring, they keep you out of financial trouble, help you have money when you need the money, and they make your dreams possible.

I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us.  Dave Ramsey

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and hubby make a financial plan and walk it out day by day.

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Forbes: The Foundation For Financial Freedom That 10 Out Of 10 Financial Advisors Agree On A great skill to learn and practice.

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The Generous Husband: What Could You Do With A Big Jar of Money? Make room in your budget for couple time.

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