My last post was about the mistakes a lot of the guys make in their marriage. That was easy for me to write about as I am one of those guys. Writing about mistakes women make in marriage is a little more challenging. This comes from years of counseling couples and listening to their frustrations and problems. Just like my post about the guys, I am sure there are other things that could be mentioned, but let’s start with these five for now. These are similar to the mistakes that men make.
- Loving your husband conditionally – This is what I call performance based love. When the man performs a certain way or does what is expected, the wife tends to show love and respect. The real test of love is when that is not happening. When expectations are not met and his behavior is not what you want, do you love him less? Maybe you wouldn’t say you love him less, but does your response and behavior communicate that to him or does it communicate that when he straightens up then you will show him some love?
- Not making sex a priority – Just like the men, women can make the mistake of thinking that men should approach intimacy the same as them. Men are not as emotional as women and therefore most guys don’t connect emotionally very well. For most men the thought of intimacy means sex. Physical intimacy is how most men feel close to their wives. Without that type of intimacy they can feel unloved. It may be enough for you to talk, hug and kiss, but for most guys that just gets the engine running. Talk with your husband about sex and see what happens. Life can be very busy and hectic, and it can be hard to have time for the two of you to be intimate, but if you don’t it’s a big mistake.
- Forgetting how to be your husbands friend – One of the things I have observed in many marriages is that they are no longer best friends. Most guys desire their wives to be their best friends. That means doing fun stuff together, hanging out, going out to eat and being able to talk about what is going on in their lives. Find something you can do together to have fun and relieve stress. Go back to the days when you were dating. When you acted like you were interested in sports or cars or his work. When you did that it made him feel important and that he was sharing his life with you. He needs you to be his friend, not his mother.
- Not encouraging your husband – Most men crave encouragement. The way you speak to your husband will say a lot about your relationship. When you encourage your man, he feels respected, which is even more important to him than love. Encouragement can come through words either spoken or in writing. It can also just be simple body language that communicates to him that you are proud of him and think that he is doing a great job. Being there for him in the important moments of his life whether that is at work or with one of his hobbies. So when was the last time you encouraged your husband in a positive way?
- Not being clear in your communication – Men and women think differently, see things differently, hear things differently and communicate differently. One of the mistakes some women make is to expect their man to pick up on what is going on in your life. Most guys are not that observant. It really helps when you clearly state why you are upset or what you would like us to do. Hinting about it is very frustrating for most men. Most men are pretty simple and when communication becomes complicated they tend to shut down. The more clear you communicate, the fewer misunderstandings tend to happen. You also need to be aware of your nonverbal communication. You might be saying something but communicating another because of your tone of voice and facial expressions. So understand your own communication style and his and make any adjustments necessary. If communication is a big problem in your marriage, I recommend you get some help. Go get help from a mentor or counselor. I recommend you don’t demand he go with you, but let him know you would like him to go if he wants to, but that you want to go to try to improve yourself so you can be a better wife.
I hope some of those thoughts were helpful. My last thought is this. Don’t make the mistake of not building spiritual intimacy with your husband. It may only be you praying for him in the beginning, but that can be very powerful. Remember you can’t change him, you can only change yourself.