7 Ways To Influence Your Husband

an excellent wife is the crown of her husband...

"Why do I always have to remind him to...?" "He never listens to me!" "I always have to be the one who..." "All he does is..." Are these thoughts familiar to you? If so, know that you are in great company!

One of the biggest learning curves in marriage that I've not only experienced, but have heard from other wives, is the understanding that your husband does not think the way you do. This lack of understanding eventually leads to pent up frustration and turmoil. However, there is a way to overcome this challenge.

As a wife, you have an enormous amount of influence on your husband - whether you realize it or not. By intentionally doing these 7 things, your husband will feel safe and affirmed, allowing your influence on him to be a positive experience, which will only strengthen your marriage.

By intentionally doing these 7 things, your husband will feel safe and affirmed, allowing your influence on him to be a positive experience, which will only strengthen your marriage. | Evergreen Papery

1. SHOW HIM RESPECT

In the same way a woman has an innate desire to be loved, your husband has an innate desire to be respected. And when your husband feels disrespected, it does a lot more damage to his inner being than you might realize. The worst part is, as a wife, we often don't even realize when we are disrespecting our husbands. We think we are being helpful with our suggestions of how things ought to be done and it seems harmless to to joke or roll our eyes about something silly he did. However, these sort of responses to your husband are actually quite emasculating for him.

Allow your husband to freely be himself. At the end of the day, it does not matter if he does things differently than you. And it's just not okay to joke at your husband's expense.

what this looks like:

  • acknowledge his ideas (i.e. What an interesting perspective you have!)
  • appreciate his efforts (i.e. I love when you ___________.)
  • esteem him in public (i.e. He's been working really hard on _______! I am so proud of him.)

2. BE GENTLE WITH HIM

Your words have a huge impact on your husband. When you are having a particularly tough day, or moment, remember that your husband is not your punching bag. Your harsh words - even if you don't truly mean them - will shut your husband down immediately. Instead of critiquing or criticizing him, take a moment to understand the "why" behind your husband's behavior. Choosing to have a gentle-spirit, especially in those moments when it is far too easy to be snappy, will go a long way with him, and will be more fruitful for you.

p.s. don't confuse a gentle-spirit with meekness. As a wife, you are incredibly powerful and there is much strength in being kind and intentional with how you use it.  

what this looks like:

  • understand his perspective (i.e. I don't quite understand, can you explain to me why _________?)
  • take a break, if needed (i.e. I need some time to myself, but I would love to talk about _______ at dinner, okay?)
  • use "I" statements (i.e. I feel like ________ when you __________.)
  • own your actions and apologize when needed (i.e. I apologize for hurting you when I said _________. Can you forgive me?)

3. GIVE HIM THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

You should definitely have a conversation if he does things that genuinely upset you, but keep in mind that, more often than not, your husband does not purposely do things to annoy you. When he's messy, late to dinner, or snaps at you, choose to see the good in him. Your marriage will suffer if your husband feels like you are constantly attacking and second-guessing him.

Additionally, as difficult as it may be, try not to project your insecurities onto your husband. It's important to let him be part of your journey of truly loving yourself if you are not there yet, but he already knows your worth and beauty (even if you don't). When he goes out of his way to compliment you, own it. 

what this looks like:

  • see the bigger picture (i.e. That comment was unusually harsh. I wonder if there is something else going on with him?)
  • see the best in him (i.e. I see that my husband left his wet towels on the floor. I bet he got distracted and forgot about them. I will go ahead and pick these up for him.)
  • believe he means what he says (i.e. Wow! That is so nice of you to say. I am beautiful!)

4. FORGIVE HIM UNCONDITIONALLY

There will be times when your husband deeply wounds you. And you vowed to bare that hurt with him. What about those little moments of irritation though? When he leaves his clothes on the floor, when he forgot something you mentioned the other night, or when it feels like he pays more attention to his video games than you? Those moments of bitterness will eventually turn into resentment if you don't let them go and truly forgive your husband. Instead of letting them fester, own up to them, be vulnerable with your husband about your feelings, and just let them go.

what this looks like:

  • speak truth against negative thoughts (i.e. My husband has genuinely apologized for hurting my feelings and I will not hold his past actions against him even if he does them again.)
  • speak up when you're hurting (i.e. You know, it hurts when my husband does ________. Instead of holding onto these icky feelings, I am going to kindly talk to him about them.)
  • recognize the bitterness (i.e. Wow, I can feel those feelings of bitterness coming back. What can I do to let them go?)

5. KEEP NO RECORD OF HIS WRONG-DOINGS

As his wife, you shouldn't harbor a list of all the things your husband has done wrong to later use against him. If you find yourself in the midst of heated "conversations" throwing past hurts in your husband's face, you may need to refer back to number four. Work through any open wounds you may have, but you must treat your husband as if he never afflicted you. Resentment and hostility hurts you more than it will ever hurt him - and holding onto those icky feelings will only damage your marriage.

what this looks like:

  • avoid always/never statements (i.e. Even though you rarely do it, when you _______ it really hurts me.)
  • offer forgiveness (i.e. Even though he promised he would _____________, I am not going to hold it against him if he forgets.)
  • own your feelings without harboring them (i.e. I am really upset right now, but I will not to let past conflicts escalate this one.)

6. CELEBRATE HIM

You know how little boys love to show off their muscles and boy grunts? They get so excited when you take notice! Yeah, that's not just a little boy thing - that's a being male thing. Your husband will feel amazing if you take the time to truly appreciate and acknowledge all of the wonderful things about him. Celebrating your husband doesn't require much effort, like the other ones do, but it often gets pushed to the back burner. Your husband needs you to be his cheerleader, and you should do everything you can to be that for him.

what this looks like:

  • compliment him (i.e. Look at those muscles! You are so strong, honey!)
  • acknowledge him (i.e. I love how kind and considerate you are!)
  • appreciate him (i.e. I appreciate when you let me sleep in. I really needed that extra hour!)

7. Pray For Him without ceasing

The most impactful and meaningful thing you can do not only for your husband, but for your marriage as a whole, is to pray. Praying is not a way to gain control, but to let go of all control over your husband, your circumstances, and your marriage and give it all to God who longs to bless you and do the impossible - if you would only ask! The enemy doesn't want you to live in the power of your oneness, as husband and wife, so he will do everything in his power to keep you from it - lies, pride, insecurities, laziness, worldly distractions, etc. But you have the power to stand up and fight for your husband and marriage! Keep your eyes on God, Who is the only one Who has the power to transform your heart, your husband's, and your marriage. Trust Him with your prayers and watch how He answers them according to His will.

what this looks like:

  • pray for your heart (i.e. Father, change me. Mold me into the wife my husband needs me to be.)
  • pray for his heart (i.e. Father, help (husband's name) to honor you. Show him how to be the husband I need.)
  • pray for your marriage (i.e. Father, protect our marriage from worldly influences. Help us to glorify you and point others back to you through our marriage.)

If you struggle in this area, like I so often do, try to focus on one of these areas of influence at a time. You could even talk to your husband about how you can specifically love him in these areas, or just start being more intentional with these and see what he does! Which area of influence can you start working on today?

 

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