Wifey Wednesday: 10 Not-So-Helpful Things To Do for Your Spouse

Christian Marriage Advice

It’s Wednesday, the day when we talk marriage! I introduce a topic, and then you all can comment or link up your own posts below! Today welcome guest author, Beth Steffaniak from Messy Marriage, who is a frequent linker-upper to Wifey Wednesdays.

10 Not-So-Helpful Things To Do for Your SpouseRecently I wrote a post about the subject of helping my husband. You can refer to it here, if you’d like.  But the idea got me to thinking … there are lots of ways I can help my husband but …

There are also a lot of ways that I think I’m helping my husband when I’m really hurting him or blocking his growth.

So I’m going to list some of those not-so-helpful ways for you today.

My not-so-helpful list:

  1. When I point out how my husband needs to grow or change before looking at my own need for growth.
  2. When I think that sarcasm is a funny way to get my point (or criticism) across to my hubster.
  3. When I think that suffering silently is an unselfish way of giving to him, when it’s really taking away his chance to minister to a need in my life.
  4. When I bite my tongue before saying my thoughts (which can be good/helpful) but hold onto the resentment that sparked the thought in the first place.
  5. When I think I’m getting to the heart of the matter by assuming his motives, instead of just asking him what he meant or did—then believing him when he tells me!
  6. When I withhold information in an effort to avoid a fight … The end does not justify the means!
  7. When I “guilt him” into doing something for me that might be good/helpful … Again, end doesn’t justify means!
  8. When I vent to God and friends about him, thinking I’m releasing my frustrations and addressing the problem.
  9. When I keep score on how much he’s given to me versus how much I’ve given him, in an effort to “balance” the scales in our marriage.
  10. When I feel like arguing over a matter will convince my husband of the truth my truth, when actually God is calling me to a higher place of grace. 

Now, remember, my list is not exhaustive, so perhaps you could add a few more of your own in the comment section below! If you would, that would be super, fantastic and extra-splendilly-ishesly helpful to me as well!

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

Beth H and SBeth Steffaniak is a pastor’s wife, counselor, life-coach and mom to three budding young men. She blogs at messymarriage.com, where her heart is to be “Real, Raw and Redemptive” about the messiness of life and marriage. She believes that God calls us to see the ugly, broken, desperate mess from His perspective—the eternal, unseen, redemptive side.


Now, what thoughts do you have for us today? Link up a marriage post in the linky below, or leave a comment!

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Comments

  1. Beth, what a list! Super helpful to me! I love # 3, 4, 6.

    Another one would be “When I refuse to (or woos out of ) “fight” i.e press through conflict, until we get a solution because I think am being a “peace-maker/keeper” .” Sheila addressed this in past articles and boy, didn’t it open my eyes!

    Great not-to-do list Beth, thanks for sharing it with us!
    Ngina Otiende recently posted…Allowing an Uncomfortable Past to Work for the Good of your MarriageMy Profile

    • Yeah, that’s a good one, Ngina–one that I could’ve included because I’ve been guilty of it time and time again. Thanks so much for your friendship and encouragement, sweet friend. I appreciate you and your ministry as well!

  2. Wow I needed that! Thanks for the reminder!

  3. Great advice! PLEASE DON’T EVER DO #8!!! I know from experience that it can take years to undo the damage caused by venting your frustrations (even if they’re legitimate) to your friends. It’s so not worth it! I’ve found that it’s helpful to put things into perspective, to change how I look at things. When I do that, when I consciously think, “I know my husband loves me, and he wants the best for me,” I can turn my whole attitude around for the better, thereby reducing and sometimes eliminating my frustrations. This was a fantastic list!
    Kay recently posted…A Pep Talk from Kid PresidentMy Profile

    • Oh yes, that’s a deal-breaker, isn’t it? We really hurt our relationship in a way that’s so public and hard to erase when we do that. Thanks so much for your encouraging words to me, Kay. I truly appreciate it, my friend!

  4. 11. When I foolishly allow myself to believe that having a freshly vacuumed floor, and all the the knick-knacks dusted and aligned on the shelves and a bunch of other trivial and postponable household tasks done that only women actually think rise to life-or-death matters of importance, are actually more important than saving some of my energy and making the time to have sex with him on a frequent and regular basis.

    • Yes, I totally get this–and so very important to point out. Thanks so much for adding to the discussion and highlighting that much needed recalibration to our thinking. The bed can wait to be “made” … until after a little romp with our sweethearts! ;)

  5. I am a former professional Pointer-Outer of Growing/Changing That Needs Doing by Him. Otherwise known as My Husband’s Visible, Self-Appointed Holy Spirit. What an awful ride. I still dip into my bag of tricks now and again, but I have learned to shut my mouth and let his own Spirit take the lead. This is where we women learn patience, I believe.

    Adding to the list: Never speak in jest about his shortcomings/something he hasn’t done for you/right/ever in front of others and laugh it off. We use humor many times to highlight truth — and men aren’t stupid. When we joke about matters like this, we might as well stab our husbands in the chest. It’s that obvious an act of hurt to them.

    Great list, Beth! Good to see you highlighted! :)
    Amy recently posted…Bonding Through BlahMy Profile

    • Great additions, Amy. I’ve been guilty of that as well. I love a good joke, but forget that there’s a high price to pay for my slick sarcasm. Thanks so much for adding to the discussion. All of you have really “wowed” me with your wisdom!

  6. This was an awesome list. I wanted to point out a few that I’m guilty of doing but I’m sad to admit there aren’t just a couple. Thank you so much!
    BeckyB recently posted…A good short storyMy Profile

    • Hey, you’re in good company here. I think we’ve all done more than our share of these “not-so-helpful” things for our spouses. But I’m grateful for your sweet humility to say they resonate, Becky. You’ve blessed me!

  7. Thanks SO much to Sheila for giving me this opportunity! I truly appreciate it and all of you who commented … “Rock!” :)

  8. I love this list. Thanks for the inspiration :)
    regina recently posted…Keeping the FaithMy Profile

  9. livinginblurredlines says:

    Helicoptering over him to be supportive when really I’m just keeping an eye on him and not fully trusting him.

  10. Great post! So many talk about what to do to fix things and I love that this tells us what to do so nothing gets broken to begin with :).
    Fawn Weaver recently posted…Practice Makes Perfect {in Marriage & Life}My Profile

  11. OUCH!!! That was good and so edifying! I will take this list to heart and ACT on it!
    april recently posted…Potato – Turnip SoupMy Profile

  12. I love this list. I have done so many of these things so many times. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Sheila, is the code for that Wifey Wednesday button somewhere?
    Megan G. recently posted…meet our kids, addendumMy Profile

  14. I love the title for your blog and the tag-line. Sometimes I feel like a servant instead of a wife or mom. I am sure it is only beca use we live life real and forget to say thanks for what we all do for each other. Thanks for the linkup today!!
    Judith at WholeHearted Home recently posted…A Different Path & WholeHearted Home Wednesday LINKUPMy Profile

  15. Convicting! But good… thank you!! :)

  16. Ouch! I think I’m guilty of all 10 things… good list, Beth, good reminders to check my attitude and my heart before God!
    Hannah recently posted…Desperate to be Led, Friday’s FeedbackMy Profile

  17. Convicting! AND great… thank you!!
    Tulisa recently posted…Can You Really Capture His Heart And Make Him Love You Forever?My Profile

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