What to Do When Your Husband Disappoints You
Have you had times throughout your marriage when your husband has disappointed you? Of course you still respect him, you still love him, you still honor him, but maybe he has done or not done something that causes that little twinge in your heart. It’s that little twinge that stems from something he did to let you down, and in its wake, you are left with disappointment.
As of this week, I have been married 20 years! In some ways it seems like it has gone by in a flash, but when I realize that during that 20 years we have welcomed a total of seven children into our hearts and home, I am reminded of just how much we have been transformed.
Back then we were starry eyed kids in our very early twenties. Now we are these hardworking adults who are juggling the demands of toddlers and teens and everything in between, all while holding down jobs, homeschooling our kids, and navigating the waters of nursing school in my husband’s case.
There have been times, however, that my husband has disappointed me in one way or another over these 20 years. Of course these experiences were never intentional, but they were there nonetheless.
In a healthy marriage, it is important to work through that disappointment and to move past it. Throughout my married life I have learned that fostering negative feelings and emotions towards my husband is never a good thing. Harboring these feelings only builds a barrier that can become an all-out obstruction if we are not diligent in breaking down the negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions that put it there in the first place.
I think embracing these three truths are an essential place to start in dealing with the disappointment that can sometimes come as a result of something that our husbands have unintentionally done or not done.
- Recognize that the disappointment we feel is ours. Although it may have been rooted in something that was out of our control, we need to take ownership of the emotion we feel. This is an important distinction to make because no matter the circumstances around us, we are the only ones who are responsible for handling our emotions and reactions. To blame others, including our husbands in this case, is simply wrong – and quite frankly – sinful.
- Remember that our husbands are only human. As much as we would love for them to be infallible, they are not. Neither are we, so we should remember the plank in our own eye when our husbands come up short.
- Don’t look to our husbands to fulfill needs that only God can fulfill. It is important to remember that our husbands are not designed to meet all of our needs. There are certain longings, certain desires, and certain places in our heart that are reserved only for our Holy Savior. Our husbands are called to love, honor, and cherish us as Christ loves the church, but to expect anything more than that from our husbands is again, sinful.
Therefore, we must pick and choose the shortcomings that we bring to light. If it’s a minor “infraction” and we’re wrestling with an irritated spirit, we can choose to keep quiet. Although not always easy, we do not want to be the leaky faucet drip, drip, dripping all over our husbands about everything. Again, these are our emotions and feelings that we are to take ownership of. Transferring these things onto our husbands is often an attempt to manipulate him to adapt his choices in a way that would be more suitable to our needs or desires. I don’t remember reading anything about the Proverbs 31 Woman being manipulative, do you?!
And if the issue is bigger than we’d like, pray for the words to correct out of love, not anger. Chances are, whatever has caused our disappointment has caused some sort of negative emotion in his life whether disappointment or something else. Having a marriage “State of the Union”, can be a fabulous way to clear the air and assess every aspect of the relationship.
It is vitally important that we pray for a gentle, quiet, and forgiving spirit towards our husbands. We are human, there is no way around that, but when we pray for help in implementing holy traits, God is always sure to deliver. With His help, we will be able to move past the negative emotions we are feeling and restore the love, respect, and admiration we are called to embrace when it comes to how we see our husbands.
Finally, we need to move forward. The great thing about what happens in the past is that it happened in the past. When what happened in the past continues to control our emotions, it is only because we are allowing it to. We are the ones who live in the past, who harbor resentment or disappointment, and it is we who allow what happened in the past to control our present and future. Moving forward in love, both the love of our Father and the love we have for our husbands, is is what we, and they, deserve.
If you have been married for even a month or two, you know that marriage is a delicate dance. Sometimes, we can be in perfect step as dance partners, and sometimes we can resemble a couple of awkward toddlers who are just beginning to walk. Even after 20 years of marriage, my husband and I are still learning to master the expression of dance.
When disappointment in our husbands arise, let’s work toward finding that perfect synchronization again through embracing these important truths and then exercising restraint while calling on our Father for help in accepting that although our emotions are human, we can choose to love our husbands with the perfect love that He covers us with every day.