Healthy Relationships

Coffee Talk: When He Doesn’t Respond as You Wanted

NEW SERIES: Sometimes the man in your life is not going to respond in that always happy to see you, always grateful for the dinner you made him way that you expected….but that’s ok. It’s natural, it’s normal. But it can be a little disheartening sometimes. Today I’m sharing some truths that I’ve learned so far in marriage to hopefully bring light to your marriages and relationships. 

Hey guys, I had a request a little while ago to write more on relationships, so I thought I’d give that a whirl. But also, this thought has been on my heart to share for a little while now. So, I hope you can either gain some insight or relate and feel uplifted by the words that I write here in this place where we grow to become more confident as women. This is part of growing in strength and beauty, my goal for you all, and something I’ve been learning over the last few months. So right here before I begin, I just wanted to give you guys the freedom to comment below, after reading, with your thoughts on the topic. Your comments are always welcome (winky-face), but here in this space, with this new series I’m starting right now called “Coffee Talk”, I want to create posts that get you thinking. Words that may challenge you, and also words that will hopefully start up a conversation between us all. So, sit down with that warm, however you take it, coffee, and let’s dig in.

I was so naive getting married. Silly me, for some reason I thought I knew everything there was to know about my dear hubby. Crazy right. I should have known better. No one can know someone else completely…ever, right? There’s no way you could ever not have those little surprises here and there along the way…Ways they respond differently than you expected, differently than you had hoped.

Let me preface this for a quick sec…my hubs is the most incredible man in the world! He will, day after day, surprise me with his maturity in leading our relationship, in taking care of me, being that wise word when I’m confused, and so much more. But we’re all human. We all have days when it’s just not a good day to be cheery. Days when we can’t find a good thing to say. And it’s all we can do to meet our own basic needs. 

You’ve been there right (everyone raising hands?)

Well, your spouse is going to have those days as well. And with the close connection you have in marriage, this affects you, too. I’ve had to learn a lot from those situations in marriage, mainly because I’m a MAJOR people pleaser. Like, people pleaser award goes to…me! And though that can be a good thing in some ways such as in acts of service to others or doing your best at your job, sometimes it’s a drag. And most importantly, it’s unhealthy for relationships. We can go too far in expecting certain responses from those we live with, and can grow angry and discouraged if we don’t get that ecstatic emotion we anticipated from the other person. 

Example:

If I make a beautiful dinner, I have the table set perfectly, wine poured for us both, and his favorite meal ready to serve just to have him walk through the door mumbling, not speaking much, just going through the motions after a tough day. My first response as people pleaser is to become angry. I’m angry that I went through all the trouble of dinner and perfecting every little thing, expecting to have a romantic time together and lovely conversation together, only to be greeted with a less than enthusiastic “hello”. But if I take a deep breath, remember who it is I made the beautiful spread for, and remember the purpose for the time spent preparing, I can take ahold of my reality and reach to the deeper need of the one I love…just to be near. 

Other times, maybe I had a super great, everything went well kinda day but he didn’t. I’m all excited to share all that happened in my day, only to be met with two words, “that’s great.” 

Marriage has shown me what it means to let go of my pride, and seek to comfort my husband in the way that is most important to him in that moment. Even if my first attempt at bringing joy to our home is maybe not what he needs right then and there, I adjust and seek out another way to show my love. I’m am the “helper” to my husband. Yes, some people in this day and age (and maybe even you) may think that sounds a little outdated, but being his “helper” means simply doing all that I can to show love to my spouse through service, through words, through time spent together…all of these things are going to strengthen our relationship and help it to be one that lasts. Being this for my husband sometimes involves a beautifully thought out dinner, but may even simply be through silence. 

Here are some things I remember when that urge to become angry or disheartened sets in: 

Remember you are individual. You don’t need someone else feeling what you’re feeling in order to be joyful. In marriage, you are your own person, but it can be easy to let the other person’s emotions bring you down or cause upset. But don’t let it, be the joyful one regardless of circumstances. 

Remember your purpose. Even if it doesn’t appear to be received well, more than likely your actions to show love or excitement went farther than you think and will eventually bring joy and happiness to your spouse. 

Remember, you are enough! Your value is not based on how someone else receives you. Your value lies in the fact that you are a beautiful creation. 

Remember, this time will pass. The grumpies will pass, the bad day will fade away. You’re going to have crummy days, too, when you don’t respond how he wants you to. But when our perspective is not on ourselves and instead on the one we’re loving each and every day, all of those emotions seem petty. 

Questions for you: 

Have you experienced a similar situation with your spouse? 

How did you handle it? 

What do you think about the idea of being his “helper”? 

How about the idea of being silent as sometimes being the best form of love? 

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