Two similar items in my list of things we all want are belonging and being accepted for who we are.

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A sense of belonging is huge because we are social by nature. We have a deep drive to be part of a group, and not having that affects us negatively. Needing to belong is why some folks put up with family members who drive them crazy, and it is why gangs are big in places where family has disintegrated. Belonging is why two people with Apple products feel a connection even if they are strangers. Needing to belong is why ethnic minorities tend to gather and live together even if the society they live in does not push them to that.

Certainly, your wife needs to feel a sense of belonging in your marriage, but that alone will not filling her need to belong. Please understand her desire to belong is a valid need, and do all you can to help her fulfil it. Encourage her to go out with friends, or to try new things. Be quick to volunteer to keep the kids so she has the freedom to connect. Don’t feel threatened by these connections, by helping her fill this need you make her a healthier person, and that will benefit your marriage in time.

Being accepted for who we are is a bit trickier because of the whole “who we are” part. Some women feel fulfilled being a wife and mother, and being accepted for those things is what such a woman wants. Other women have a need to be seen as more than a wife and mother; if they only feel accepted for those things, they will not be fulfilled. Some women feel they are only accepted for their looks, and want to be appreciated and loved for other things.

Before you can accept her for who she is, you need to understand how she sees herself – who she thinks she is. What about herself does she see as important? What does she want you to value?

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14 comments
birthjunkiemom
birthjunkiemom

I am very thankful that my husband pays attention to.this area of my life, knowing that it's important for me to be healthy in this way as well. After reading the previous comment, I am also quite thankful that my husband & I are partners & that he trusts my judgement.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@birthjunkiemom 

Maam,

I trust my wife's judgement on many, many things.  She is by far my biggest adviser and influence in this world.  I trust her to raise our kids. I trust her to run our finiances.  Many, many other things.  She's a gem that I wouldn't trade for any other woman on earth.  Those may be weak areas for other women (finiances for a great many).  For my wife I've had to very closely guard her heart from what the world calls "good, christian women" who are God's children and loved no doubt but are man haters and are quite lazy except with their tongues.  It's a common weakness of women.  Men have their own weaknesses without a doubt.  I know so many women whose faith, marriages and families would improve dramatically within a couple months if the below was applied.  Women are more social, and that can be good and it can be very bad.  God has put husbands as head of the family, and not to just shelter his wife and children from the cold, hunger, and bad men but also from those who can influence our wives heart and mind in a bad way.  It's quite a serious problem.  Every single christian female blogger tells us how often husband bashing takes place.  I can tell you that my wives "friends" were doing it via email last night.  She quitely and politely set them straight...did it help?  No, they made fun of her and kept right on with the trash talking...women are not morally superior to men despite that common myth in today's culture.  Everyday men's judgement is questioned...why is it wrong to say women have weak spots and heaven forbid need to fall under the husband's headship and leadership.

mrcear
mrcear

@Thankful Husband @birthjunkiemom

My wife was at a women's church event just last night where she found herself sitting with a couple women that were bashing their husbands a bit. Based on their conversation, the men had earned the bashing, but that's beside the point. My wife eventually made her way to another table. My wife came home glowing, excited that I was her husband and about the free and secure environment she has with me. I have worked hard to develop that for her. This was not always the case, where my previous efforts were not to far off from what you say. That resulted in a marriage that almost failed, where she felt caged, controlled, insecure... like she couldn't be who God wanted her to be.

God knows I completely understand what you are saying in this and your previous post and I know that the intentions are good, but if i followed your points, my marriage would be over within weeks.

I love my wife more than life and would do ANYTHING for her. I trust her to love God and to make decisions that are pleasing to Him. I also trust God enough to produce the fruit that He wants in her life, and this  frees me to be patient and gracious to her when she stumbles. We love and serve the same God! I don't need to control her, but I do feel compelled to understand and love her every step along the way. I know this is how my God leads me, so I use this same standard to lead her and my family. I've learned (the hard way) that the same is true with my teenage son. I sow, sow, sow, but then must trust God for the harvest.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@mrcear @TheGenerousHusband I think all who follow Jesus have a part to play in helping others who follow Him to guard their minds, but this easily becomes something that is wrong and dangerous. 

First and foremost, the "help" needs to be desired. Then there is the whole log and speck issue.

mrcear
mrcear

@TheGenerousHusband

I very much appreciate and agree with what you advocated in this post and I would have saved myself and my wife much grief in years past had I taken it to heart. However, some of the subsequent comments provide "guidance" that will generally lead to non-acceptance in times of friction when it's needed most. Scripture warns us to guard our own heart and mind, but my efforts to guard my wife's heart, though well-intentioned, demonstrates a lack of trust in her as well as in God.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

While I appreciate the general attitude of these posts they are a little light on meat and guidance.  For example on this post.  She needs to be somewhere where she belongs.  I can agree but she alone doesn't get to decide who, where, what, when and how.

Who?  Are these people a good influence?  Are these women she's with diva's and winer's (and maybe even husband basher's?)  Women are influenced by people much easier than men.  You want trouble in your marriage even when there should be none?  Surround your wife with people whispering in her ear how aweful marriage and men are.

Where?  There are places married women don't need to be.

What?  There are things married women don't need to be doing, at least not without her husband.

When?  There are way to many women I know who send their kids to school, play much of the day, dump the responsiblities on the husband when he walks thru the door to go "belong" somewhere.  A husband comes first, children second, friends a distant third.  Belong to your family first and foremost, the line should not even be close to blurred.

How?  You want to be a husband?  Good, be loving, sacrificial, tender, generous and uplifting however you also need to be the head and the leader.  These decisions don't get made by her alone and you deal with it.  Nope. Not at all.  Now we can't be a dictator but we are allowed to say that's not okay, the timing is not right and those are not the correct people.  You'll forgive me but again while I like the general attitude of trying to make your wife feel loved, we aren't to cater just to her feelings.  Her feelings do not rule a marriage, that's a recipe for disaster.  

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband No argument from me on most of this. I discuss these things here, so this should be taken in that context.

The one pace I would argue with you is your "When". While such women do exist, they are a very small minority. Numerous studies have found that the average "house wife" does far more work than her husband. They also spend far, far less time out of the house than their husbands.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@TheGenerousHusband @Thankful Husband 

Your study goes against the studies I've read.  The latest one found 10 more minutes of "work" a week for the husband.  I can say from my own experience that I see about 1/2 the wives my wife's age (mid 20's to mid 40's) work far less than their husbands.  Most have housecleaners, are SAHM, yet send their kids to school.  We even know a few who send their to young for school children to daycare just so they can have "me time" during the day.  And we aren't talking about home cooking either, it's take out or frozen or microwave....sorry, I'd love to see your polls because I just don't see it.   I do know a few husbands that are slackers I will admit, but in our circle of people we know I can name 2 wives that I would classify as such vs. the husbands...not a scientific poll like the US Labor (I believe that's who put it out) that I talked about above but very much a reality in the people we know.  


Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@TheGenerousHusband @Thankful Husband 

Paul,

You stated you agreed with everythign I said except when and then when on to state that most SAHM work far more than their husbands.  It is you that made the accusation and brought it up, not me.  You made an pretty outlandish statement, contradicted yourself with your studies & SAHM vs. working moms and want me to be okay with it.  You want good marriages?  Well setting up a scenario where women feel undervalued or underappreciated because they are working more or harder when in fact they are not...you whisper lies in someone ears long enough they believe it even if it is not true. You think women are undervalued in society?  You think moms are undervalued in society?  We treat dads as throw away items.  Do you watch TV?  Listen to the radio?  Visit family court?


SAHM are SO very valuable and important.  I thank God everyday my wife can stay home with our kids but the arguement you made does not help marriages it hurts marriages.  That is why I'm arguing against it.

I'm not against women belonging, as long it's priority and setting are correct. Women need that.  That is not what I'm arguing against.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband You keep arguing how many hours are worked, and that really is not the point. The point is how much time they get to interact with other adults.

Facebook is a poor substitute for face to face fellowship. I suspect it is so popular because many don't get the face to face time they need.

I'm glad the ladies you know get Bible studies and all the rest - that is exactly what is needed. Unfortunately there are women who don't get these things, and there are men who seem to think those things are unneeded.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@TheGenerousHusband 

Paul,

I don't want it to sound like I'm whinning about working harder...I'm not.  I enjoy it and I'm proud of it.  I truly enjoy providing for and taking care of my family, as do the majority of the men I know do.  What I am whining about is you and myriad of other women who complain about how hard they have it...please.  Yes, being a SAHM mom is tough.  But how many would last putting on roofing in 100 degree or 10 degree weather?  How about pouring foundations?  Tow truck driver?  I know, high powered executive where the stakes are high and tempers are high and your neck is constantly on the line because most women love being yelled at.  Most women who work snear at SAHM's, they think they have it too easy.  I disagree.  There is not a more valuable job on earth but to say it the hardest or that they work "FAR, FAR HARDER" is a lie straight from the pit of hell spread by feminists.  

A wife should be treated lovingly, tenderly and generously but you are FAR., FAR surpassing that telling us they are the victim- it does damage to both the man and woman and the marriage relationship.

Thankful Husband
Thankful Husband

@TheGenerousHusband @Thankful Husband 

Paul,

Every SAHM I know has women's bible study, also coffee dates, play dates for the kids where they get together with the other moms, not to mention 50% of the moms have time at the gym where they drop the kids off at the gym day care...again, I'm not reporting from what I see.  I'm in my shop all day working.  I'm reporting you what my wife tells me everyday and the couple of her closest friends see.  I think you might also be surprised how many have help come in once a week to help clean.  I have several clients who are house cleaners and you'd be surprised how it's not just the rich anymore.

I live in the same state with you Paul.  I minister with the poor, sell to the rich, we deal with just about every facet of women and what you are reporting goes against what I see.  Besides by your own admission if that is indeed the report you are saying dual income homes the moms do less than SAHM...that goes against all reason.

I tell you what.  You ask 10 SAHM how many hours a week they are on facebook, pinterest and ....then report back to me who works harder on average.  Your bias is showing again my friend...in your mind the woman is always the victim.  


Don't get me wrong my wife works extremely hard as a SAHM who homeschools and cooks from scratch and she knows a few other gals also...but it's fading fast as women  feel more entitled.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Thankful Husband I assume that 10 minutes more came from a recent Pew Research Center study. The study was of dual income couples, not at home mothers,and a 2% difference is pretty small.

Most couples do not have house cleaners, so your experience is not the norm.

All of that aside, if a woman is at home all day, she does not have a chance to connect or belong. Regardless of how much work she and her husband are doing, he has far more chances to interact with other adults. If the wife works outside the house, this is not the case.

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