I poured out my struggle to my husband only to be met with a blank stare and a short response before he walked away. I was stunned, frustrated, and sad that he seemed to blow off my heartfelt needs. Why did I bother to share my feelings with him in the first place? Didn’t he understand how much I was hurting?
Does that sound familiar? This experience has played out so many times in my marriage and has caused tremendous hurt.
I learned that my husband simply may not understand my struggles. He processes information very differently than I do, and if he could not fix my problem, he felt helpless and uncertain of how to move forward.
What do you do when you struggle, but your husband doesn’t understand?
As I noticed a pattern emerge when I shared my struggles with my husband, I began to pray. I asked God to open his heart and help him understand what I needed. I also asked for wisdom to know how to proceed and prayed that God would continue to knit us together. These situations left me feeling a distance between my husband and me.
James 1:5 reminds us to seek our wisdom from the Lord:
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
I also used my prayer time as a reminder to continue to share my needs with the Lord.
I find it easy to expect that my husband will take care of things for me. While that may be a reasonable expectation, it becomes dangerous if it begins to shift my focus from God. The Lord is the only one who can truly mend the broken places in our lives.
I had to change my approach to our prayer time.
The fact of the matter is that my husband is amazing at fixing situations, whether it’s a household issue, or a sad child. He truly loves us through his actions.
When presented with something he can’t fix, he feels powerless. This is particularly true when it relates to my personal struggles.
Once I learned this, I could tailor how I shared my information with him. This helped me share with him and get the desired response from him. I often told him that I didn’t need him to fix it, simply to hear me and offer his support and encouragement. Once he realized that I needed a specific type of emotional response from him, he began to respond in ways that blessed me!
Continue to be vulnerable
I know this seems like the opposite of our natural inclination, but it’s so important to keep being honest about our struggles.
Sometimes I felt so hurt by my husband’s response to what I shared, and closed myself off to sharing more. That was such a mistake because it compounded our problems; I was not vulnerable and I was closing my heart to him.
So dare to keep putting your heart out there. Remember, this is the man you have trusted for so long; keep trusting him!
Spend time together in God’s Word
My husband and I chose to be intentional about spending time in God’s Word as a couple. Our schedules are busy, just as yours are, but we choose to make this a priority. Whether it’s a verse that one of shares with the other, or a spending time in God’s Word, we are uniting our hearts in the Lord.
This is a beautiful way for me to understand him better. It’s also an environment where I can share my heart as it relates to God’s Word. As we seek the Lord together, we grow in understanding each other.
Have you faced struggles that your husband simply did not understand? How did you overcome those together?