Marriage question: What do you do when your husband says he wants a close relationship, but continually has a negative attitude and is quick to become angry? I am just so discouraged!
Marriage guidance: I can certainly understand your feelings. When someone says they want to be close with their spouse but then behave just the opposite, anyone would get discouraged. It seems your husband is in contradiction to his own feelings. You’re not going to know why your husband has a negative attitude until you guys come together and communicate yourselves with one another.
Many times couples think they are communicating just fine but when they accuse, blame, use negative emotions, name-call, or tell their spouse “how they are feeling” or “what they are going to do” that is not communicating properly and nothing in the marriage ever gets resolved. Most couples communicate incorrectly and that is why resentment and all kinds of negative feelings get in the way of coming to a resolve.
We should always consider the feelings of our spouse during verbal communication; the reason for this is simple. For two-way communication to work both sides need to feel comfortable and trust the person they are communicating with. If one person is getting their feelings rejected or shot down by the other every time they speak, they will shut down. This will cause discouragement and frustration in marriage.
"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver”. (Proverbs 25:11)
Did you know that many couples never learn the proper ways of communicating with one another and they lose touch with the person they married – intimacy is gone and the marriage is in ruins. Then couples wonder what happened. Productive communication takes more than asking “why” or telling your spouse “what they did wrong” or “what you want” from them. Communication begins with listening to what they have to say.
“He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin”. (Proverbs 13:3) “Let your conversation be always full of grave, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”. (Colossians 4:6)
What does our spouse want? Have you ever thought about that? Have we even asked? We’re so used to wanting our own needs met, that we forget that maybe our spouse has needs to. We must put ourselves in our spouse’s shoes once in awhile, otherwise what is the use of getting married if not to support one another through the difficult times. Here is a VERY true saying: Couples don’t know the person they married because they don’t communicate!
“For out of the overflow of the heart (attitude) the mouth speaks”. (Matthew 12:34)
Right now, you’re discouraged about what is happening in your marriage. What about your husband? He is probably discouraged too. Maybe you can help your husband to become encouraged and he can help you become encouraged. You’re married – that is what marriage is all about – working and growing together in the Lord.
“Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification”. (Romans 14:19)
Marriage (between a man and a woman) belongs to God – Don’t let satan get a hold of it!
You guys are both pulling further way from each other because of your attitude. He wants to get close with you, but for some reason that’s not happening. I don’t know what is coming between the two of you, but one or both of you need to do something about it, and that means you need to communicate. Scripture tells us that we are to build each other up in our communication with one another.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”. (Ephesians 4:29)
The best thing you can do at this point is to resolve this issue before more resentment sets in and you guys cave in under temptation. Let your husband know that you feel discouraged about not being close anymore. Tell him you would like to work on becoming more intimate with him and ask him “how he thinks” you two can do that? Don’t tell him that you don't have a close relationship because he is angry and negative; let him figure that out on his own. Just do your part, building him up while you do it. That way, he can’t shut down on you, and he will be more likely to express his feelings too.
Husbands like to shut down with their wives. And the reason is some of us wives aren’t talking (communicating)! We’re usually nagging, yelling, ridiculing, blaming, arguing and or complaining. But that is not going to help the issue get resolved, is it. No!
A woman finds joy in giving an apt reply – and how good is a timely word!” (Proverbs 15:23)
The truth of the matter is you can only do your part in the marriage, that means you can’t feel for your husband you can’t take over his responsibilities in the marriage for him, or tell him what his responsibilities are. He must be ready to fulfill his own responsibilities just as you need to fulfill your own responsibilities. This is how husband and wife fulfill one another’s needs by doing what is right in the Lord and taking care of the duties and obligations that God imparted them with in the marriage. Do you see how that works? This is why it is so important to keep God ALWAYS at the forefront of the marriage. If we base our marriage upon things of the world will have a worldly marriage but when we base our marriage upon things of God we will have a Godly marriage and that is the way marriage is designed.
“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord Forgave you”. (Colossians 3:13)
Get encouraged by reading scriptures and applying them into your life. Don’t worry about what your husband is or is not doing – just do what you can for the marriage, which is acting on your responsibilities and always keeping Christ at the top of your priority list.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)