Wives: Did you know it’s not your job to fix your husband?
How do you feel when you hear that question? Does it fill you with a tremendous sense of relief? (It should.)
Or, does this thought give you a fluttery feeling of anxiety in the pit of your stomach? You might be thinking, but he just needs so much…fixing.
Why It’s Not Your Job to Fix Your Husband
A few years ago, our marriage went through a tough time. My husband was going through difficulties at work and personally. The stress of caring for children with special need was taking a toll.
And let’s be honest here. My personality of “conquer the world and do it today” can lead me to steamroll the people around me. (I’m working on this.)
One afternoon while the kids were napping, I watched a video sermon about marriage while folding laundry. I’ll never forget when the pastor said it clearly in his sermon,
“It’s not your job to fix your spouse.”
Wow, this quote took me by surprise. The pastor went on to explain that only the Holy Spirit can do any refining work in any person. On a human level, only a person can fix himself or herself anyway.
In other words, not the wife’s job.
A part of me knew this – no one can fix another person, of course. But in practice, how often do I try to do it?
I nag and correct and ahem…”encourage” my husband:
- Load the dishwasher this way.
- Put the PJs on the kids this way.
- How about talking to your co-workers this way?
Then there are the bigger, tougher issues in marriage – addictions, division of responsibility, financial concerns, and parenting strategies.
But the answer is still the same – it’s not your job to fix your husband.
What He Does Affects Me
I found the message from the sermon that day to be equally relieving and convicting.
One of my biggest concerns in all of this is the fact that what he does affects me. Shouldn’t I give little nudges, helps, and recommendations?
The reality is that what your spouse does affects you because this is true in all relationships. If you’ve ever had a child, a parent, or even a friend who makes not-so-great choices, you get this.
There’s an excellent book called Boundaries in Marriage that gave me much wisdom during this growth period of our marriage.
You can only control you, so focus on what you can control and let your husband and the Holy Spirit work on your husband’s issues. Plus, you have way more choices that you think, so stop blaming your spouses issues for all of your life problems.
How to Fix Your Husband
If you just can’t resist the desire to fix your husband, here’s one thing you can do – focus on what he’s doing successfully and praise him for it.
Recognize his good intentions. Shaunti Feldman in her fabulous book For Women Only says this, “I found that one of the main reasons happy couples are so happy is because they always try to assume that their spouses have good intentions toward them.”
Try it. Give up control of trying to fix your husband because it’s not your job. In the years since I watched that sermon and have done my best to follow that advice, our marriage has improved and is stronger than ever.
Have you tried to fix your husband? What are you doing to change your behavior? Share in the comments.
Disclaimer: I’m not talking about anything abusive, either physical or emotional. Absolutely keep yourself safe and get professional help if needed.
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