You’re Not the Boss of Me

June 5, 2010

in the generous life

“You’re not the boss of me.”  I have a friend who says this a lot in a joking way, but it always stands out to me because it reminds me that we cannot make someone else do something we want them to do.  We really are not the boss of them.

In response to the “what would you like me to write about” post, several gals ask me how to get their husband to do things they thought their husband ought to do (many of them very good things – go to church, have more sex, help with chores, etc.).  All these suggestions had one thing in common, the wives wanted their husbands to change.

You are not the boss of him.

Yes, it sucks, but that does not mean that you are without influence.  Certainly overwhelming him with generosity is a good thing.  :)  It is very hard to be cold and insensitive to someone who blesses you.

I also think that it is good and reasonable to let your husband know what you want and need.  You don’t want to nag, but periodically, in a respectful and gentle way, tell him where you are and what you need and want. Guys being guys, it is easier for them if you are specific like, “I need for you to take the garbage out when the can is full,” rather than generally talking about how the garbage drives you nuts.

You can appeal to his sense of integrity and fairness (“I have sexual needs and you are my only sexual partner”).  You can offer help or encouragement (“I would be glad to go with you to Bible study”).    You can offer creative ideas (I know you don’t like hanging out with my cousins all day, perhaps we could just stop by in the evening for dessert instead).  You can model good behavior and live with integrity (you are offering to be a healthy half to the relationship, which in turn will challenge him and make it easier for him to be a healthy half as well).

(Things that do not really help: anger, judgment, the silent treatment, harsh impatient words, manipulation, bargaining, bribery.  These attitudes/actions may effect change, but it usually also brings hard feelings and sows destruction in your marriage.)

There is always a way to be honest without being brutal.  Arthur Dobrin

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Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:

How To Continually Improve Your Marriage from The Marry Blogger
Are You Punishing Yourself or Your Spouse for Past Promiscuity?
from Intimacy in Marriage

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Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tracey June 5, 2010 at 5:53 am

This is an excellent blog post. Thanks Lori!

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Sarah June 8, 2010 at 2:20 pm

So important to remember this. So hard to see all the ways that I try to control or be the boss. Hard not to “mother” or be a back-seat driver instead of supporting him being in the driver’s seat.

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