In Connecting with Your Partner, Differences, Featured, Thoughts from Roxann, Time to Make Your Marriage Dance

I’m sure there are more than three lies I believe about my husband. Of course, lies are hard to put your finger on because if you knew they were lies, you wouldn’t believe them, right? With three examples, you can pray and search about the lies you believe.

Lie #3: I believed my husband didn’t want to share his feelings with me.

Not only do I talk more than Bob, I emote more. Ask me how I’m feeling at any given moment and I can tell you. I’m lonely, disappointed, overwhelmed. I have lots of descriptive words in my cache to explain how I feel.

Not Bob. Ask Bob how he’s feeling and he looks at you as if wondering why you would even ask such a question and responds, “Fine.” Not only did he not share the details of his day with me (see Part 2), but he refused to share his feelings with me—his wife! Or so I thought.

My revelation came one afternoon as we worked on an assignment. A counselor had asked us to record how we felt in a specific situation. We drove to a nearby park, picked out two benches, and sat down separately to complete the assignment. I wrote down how I felt, ate my picnic lunch, and enjoyed the scenery. Twenty-five minutes later, I called to Bob and said we needed to get back. “You’re finished?!” he asked. “I haven’t even eaten!” (I could tell he was frustrated, bewildered, angry. 😊)

That’s when it came to me. Bob wasn’t holding out on me. Bob wanted to complete the assignment. I knew he did. But it was hard for him. He hadn’t come from an expressive family. The emotions he did know about were kept firmly in check. And—he is a guy. More often than not, guys are not as emotionally oriented as their wives. God designed us that way so we balance each other.

One tool we’ve found helpful in exploring emotions is a list of “emotion words” or “emotional pain words.” Google it. Lists are readily available on the internet. Pick three to five words that best describe how you are feeling. You may be surprised to find they fall into a pattern.

Also, I had to adjust. Bob wasn’t hiding from me. He just wasn’t me. Over the years, he has become more aware of his feelings and better able to describe them. But I needed to ease up and give him the time and space to explore his feelings on his own without me pressuring.

Third, I needed to be grateful. Even though pinpointing his own feelings was difficult for him, I have always known that he cares about my feelings and that I have the freedom to express them. And, he is pretty good at drawing me out.

What are the lies you believe about your husband? Again, if you knew they were lies, you wouldn’t believe them. It’s tricky. Start by asking God if there is something you believe about your spouse that isn’t true. Give him the benefit of the doubt. Talk about it and see if you can come up with a solution. Above all, don’t fault him just for being different than you.

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