Your Husband’s Frustrations

May 1, 2014

in the generous life

From The Generous Wife archive:

What bugs your husband? Cluttered bathroom sink? Being late to church? Schedule mix-ups?

Whatever it is, sit down and think through the issue looking for the parts of the problem, then brainstorm solutions (some problems are actually a bunch of little problems, break them down to deal with them). Try one solution for a week or so and then reevaluate. Modify or change out your solution until you find something that works well. Then move on to the next problem.

The important thing is to listen to your husband’s frustrations, look for practical solutions and be willing to work consistently to solve the problem. (Yes, I know you have similar frustrations. After you have worked through a couple of his, then suggest working through one of yours. Previous successes can spur you on to more. It’s wonderful to see friction reduced in your household because of practical changes.)

I’ve come to believe that all my past failure and frustration were actually laying the foundation for the understandings that have created the new level of living I now enjoy.  Tony Robbins

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie May 1, 2014 at 2:15 am

What do you do though when the list just gets continually longer and he refuses to discuss what your frustrations are? I will try to explain without getting too long winded here. I have been following you for some time now so that I have a better attitude as a wife. He used to complain about dirt on the back of the toilet so I added a daily swish and swipe in the bathroom to help that. I could go on and on with the list of little things that seemed to be pet peeves of his. The list is quite long daily of what I know he will complain about when he gets home so I try to get it all done. His mom was a stay at home mom who never drove. But our life is quite different so it is very frustrating to me. They went to private school. We homeschool so there is an added responsibility on me that his mom did not have. I also run a business to help with added income. Again a responsibility she did not have. Also because she did not drive his Dad did all of the laundry and grocery shopping which I do. But a simple thing can set him off like last night, on Tuesday I helped them with mulching flower beds so we got a bit behind on dishes and he started in with a tantrum about it. I find that frustrating. It is rare now that the dishes are ever behind, but the first day they are not only am I slammed for it but my two older children took his wrath also. It was really his fault. Should I then when he asks for help with mulching say I’m sorry I can’t help because that will put me behind on other things which if you knew him that alone will set him off. I have tried saying to him because when he gets angry he blows it up into I have to work and come home and clean the house too which is far, far from the truth I have tried to say pretend you are single living here on your own and be willing to do that much around here and you will still find it is far, far less than you would ever have to do if you were single. He just doesn’t feel he should have to even clean up after himself even. If I have had a busy week and I didn’t get his socks folded and put in his drawer just going to the basement to get his clean, dry socks sets him off.

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Lori - The Generous Wife May 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

My personal rule of thumb:
When other people have unreasonable expectations, I do what I think is healthy and reasonable. If they want something cleaner or better or whatever, I encourage them to take care of it themselves because it’s something they want. It’s not my job to supply all their wants. I won’t agree to that. I try to speak and act respectfully, but they have to realize they are being hugely disrespectful by asking me to work overtime to give them something they want.

Applied to your husband, yes, he will fuss. I would talk to a counselor (go alone if you have to) because anything that he doesn’t like “sets him off” (which is a serious red flag). Sounds like your husband is trying to control your relationship (and you) through anger. You need the wisdom of a face-to-face counselor to help you learn how not to engage when he pushes you with anger.

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Mary Bradley May 1, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Julie, I am dealing with the same issues. Except my husband had a mother that did nothing. My husband feels that since he did a lot of chores growing up, he doesn’t need to anymore. Well, since he doesn’t like the way I do his laundry, he does it now himself. He also cleans his dishes so that he can say that he does everything and we do nothing. He only cleans what he dirties. Oh, but wait, if he is too busy, then I clean he stuff. I have worked part-time for most of my childrens lives and stay home part-time. How do you get a husband to see that you are wanting to please him and make his life better? If you find something Julie, let me know.

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Lori - The Generous Wife May 5, 2014 at 7:21 pm

Unfortunately we all get dinks as we grow up and they play out in our marriages.

Prayer and adopting healthy generosity can make a dent, though it takes time. I would also encourage you to buddy up next to folks with healthy marriages. Seeing others in a healthy marriage can help break down those harmful beliefs as you watch couples love and serve each other. I particularly like study groups. Whether you study marriage books or not, you are swapping ideas about living life and that eventually causes folks to challenge what they do, say and believe.

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