Help for Women Feeling Disconnected from their Husbands
We are honored to be able to have Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley as one of our contributors concerning women’s issues. Dr. Carol is better known as Doctor Doctor as she is both a licensed medical Doctor and a Doctor of Ministry. We truly appreciate this feminine touch to our site as she offers biblical help for women who feel disconnected from their husbands.
The Step That Bridges a Mile
As a woman, an OB-Gyn physician, and a Christian minister I often hear from women who feel disconnected from their husbands. He wants sex and she doesn’t want to give it. She would like some tender loving care and he’s preoccupied or uninterested. She’s worried or anxious about many things and wishes he would ask her what’s wrong, but he never does.
I also hear from these women’s husbands, men who would love to have a happy wife but feel exasperated at their inability to meet their seemingly mysterious demands. Nothing seems good enough. And so they often retreat into work, vegging in front of the TV, or some solo activity that may at times become a springboard to infidelity.
The Marriage Catch 22
There’s a catch 22 in marriage. On one hand you can do nothing to change your spouse. All the nagging, pleading, threatening, manipulating, or cajoling will likely make them defensive, and you’re even less likely to get what you need and want.
On the other hand, you have an enormous ability to influence your spouse. You can’t change them. Don’t even try! But by changing your behavior, you have a tremendous power to influence your spouse to change theirs.
This principle holds when both husband and wife are people of good will. If you’re dealing with addiction, domestic violence, or some other physically and ongoing destructive element in your marriage, please protect yourself and get some help. But if that’s not the case, you have more power than you think.
The Way to Change Your Spouse
I just reminded you that you can’t change your spouse. And that’s true. But that doesn’t mean you have to remain in the messed up marriage you have right now. There’s no absolute guarantee, but by changing your own behavior there’s a good chance your spouse will change in response. It may take time, so be willing to be patient.
The key to having this kind of influence is taking a step toward your spouse. The distance between the two of you may feel like a mile, but crossing that distance begins with a single step. You have more ability to do this than you realize.
Make that Step Mentally
Voluntarily choose to move toward your spouse rather than move in the other direction. Just that mental decision may change your whole perspective. Do so regardless of how you feel or how the climate is right now in your marriage. Visualize yourself looking at your spouse with care, understanding their world, and moving toward them.
Make that Step Physically
You should know your spouse well enough by now to have a pretty good idea of what kind of attention might be welcome. Taking a step toward your spouse might look like an I-don’t-want-to-let-you-go type of hug, or a lingering total-body kiss. It might mean turning off the TV and asking a question you suspect may broach a difficult subject. It might mean offering to make some part of your spouse’s day easier, expecting nothing in return.
If there’s conflict between the two of you your spouse may not respond immediately. It may take some consistent, generous, unselfish steps in their direction before they believe you’re not out to get something for yourself in return. You really can bridge that mile-wide gap between you one step at a time.
Taking a step in the direction of your spouse is nothing more than what Jesus did for you and me. The distance from heaven to earth was much more than a mile. And yet He crossed it in one step when He became a human being. He became “God with us.” (Matthew 1:23) And the world, including you and me, has never been the same since.
Take a step in the direction of your spouse today. Choose to be “with them” whether they respond immediately or not. And I believe your marriage will never be the same.
For more information about Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley, be sure to visit www.drcarolministries.com.