Is her shame hurting your marriage?

September 16, 2011

in Understanding Her, YOU4HER

Ashamed woman © David Gilder | Dreamstime.comShame on the part of your wife is as harmful to your marriage as shame on you part. What’s more, it seems that women are more likely to take on shame, and more likely to be the target of attempts to at shaming.

The first thing to consider is whether you have ever tried to used shame to manipulate your bride. Or have you failed to step in to counter shame because you thought it might work to your benefit? Shame can change people, but it does not move people towards something, it only moves them away from things. Shaming someone into doing something is like trying to scare a dog through a gate – you can get it move, but you can’t get it to go where you want. Still, it’s a tool most of us have tried; if you have ever tried to use shame against your bride you need to ask her to forgive you and do not do it again!

Women have heard a lot of “You should (or shouldn’t) ____” and “Godly women do (or don’t) _____” messages. If you are aware of any such messages, be sure to counter them. Tell her she is godly; tell her she is a good mother, a good wife, and so on. If she is less than she could be, help her get a clear picture of the situation rather than the hopeless one-sided image that shame creates.

Look for evidence of shame in your wife’s life. As you find it counter it with your words and actions. Say things that make it clear you don’t think she should be ashamed, and give her an opening to express her shame and revive whatever forgives or reassurance she needs.

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I'm so glad to see you addressing this important topic in such an insightful and encouraging way. Shame is a stealth enemy that has so much power to hinder and destroy intimacy in marriage. Great series!


  1. […] Is Her Shame Hurting Your Marriage? – The counter side of the first article.  Shame in any form in a marriage is detrimental.  Paul says to go after it like a cancer that it is. […]

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