Helping Her Grow Up – Making Wrong Less Comfortable

August 7, 2013

in Be a grownup, Change, Series

If there is no “price to pay” for doing what’s wrong, children will do a great deal of what’s wrong. Adults should be better, but given we are talking about the need to grow up we can assume this will often be a factor.

Most of us are change averse, even when we know the change is right and necessary. If the existing situation or action is easy and painless, getting motivated enough to change can be difficult. Making the existing situation or action uncomfortable provides change motivation.

You're Late © Stuart Miles | freedigitalphotos.net

I’m not suggesting you do something rude just to make her actions cost her – doing so will just cause a fight. Neither is this punishment; even if she’s being childish, she is your wife, and treating her like a child is counter-productive. The “discomfort” needs to be reasonable: not too much, and in some way related to the problem.

My suggestion is to state the consequences as a natural result of her choice. “Because you choose to _____, I will ______.” This is not a threat; it’s cause and effect. 

  • If you badmouth or yell at me in public, I will turn and walk away.
  • When you fail to take care of me sexually for days on end, I will take care of it myself in the shower.
  • If you continue to make us very late all the time, I will leave without you.

Any of these could be abused, so be careful. Also, be sure her failure is not largely because of you. If you expect her to get three small children ready to leave the house without your help, she’s going to be late regularly. If you treat her like garbage all day, her refusing sex is to be expected. This is about her bad habits, failures, and sins.

 

Could you take a moment to answer the ED & PE Male Sex Problem Survey? This completely anonymous survey has been requested by a couple of you, and will be part of a future post or two. Thanks!

Links may be monetised
Image Credit: © Stuart Miles | freedigitalphotos.net

Shop AmazonShop to give links page
We are donation supported – thanks for your help!

15 comments
hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

@Janna94  I'm not offended by scripture ever, but I believe the references you're referring to speak of having the faith of a child.  Not adults speaking to other adults as if they are children.  I found it mildly offensive that Paul would suggest that a woman that is in sin is childish.  We all fall short, we all sin and while at times our behavior may be childiish (men and women) if we think of them as childish, it's more likely we will treat them that way.  I don't want a marriage relationship with a child and I'm quite certain my husband doesn't either.  I admit that some men may not be influenced by the title and will therefore lead their wives to better behavior in a godly manner, but why set them up with that mental picture?  I have no problem with the concept of a husband correcting his wife, just in case you might think that is the basis of my objection.  If you could reference the particular scripture verses regarding treating adults as children are most welcome.  Thanks HWA

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

Paul, I'm so disappointed.  I commented on your last article assuming the "growing up" reference was just intentionally, poorly worded.  But your first and second paragraphs reveal that it was intentional.  I don't think having that attitude will help anyone. She is an adult.  Thinking of her as an adult, treating her as an adult and having adult expectations of her seems much more in line with loving her like Christ.  I have no problem with boundaries for yourself and consequences for her choices.  When we think of people in a certain manner we tend to treat them that way whether we mean to or not.   This series doesn't measure up to your usual high standards.  Perhaps peer pressure got to you?  Just a thought:)

Roomtogrow
Roomtogrow

"be sure that her failure is not largely because of you....  If you treat her like garbage all day, her refusing sex is to be expected."

Are you saying it's okay to refuse when my husband basically ignores me for weeks on end (no talking, little communication, no touching...) then walks in and out of the blue says 'you wanna...?' I keep reading from other bloggers how I should always be willing to meet my husband's sexual needs, that it will 'turn things around.' I'm no saint for sure but this behavior is long-lived and very hurtful to me. Any suggestions about how to make him see what he's doing or change even if he doesn't understand the emotional damage this causes me? All my effort or conversation has only been met with anger, withdrawal or him taking care of things without my knowledge.

jsdelcamp
jsdelcamp

I did this with my wife, only I used the positive side - when she did positive things in our relationship, I would surprise her with small gifts.  She loves shoes and I found a place I could buy shoes for $5 - 15, so I would get several pair and then give them to her when she made a positive decision.  I agree there must be negative consequences for our negative behaviors but we must be careful not to make our wife feel like we are treating them like a child.  As a matter of fact, we should never make any adult feel like we are treating them like a child.  I can tell you, the results were great - and it produced some results that have lasted for years.

janna94
janna94

Is it fair to say that this can be flipped, the wife taking the same actions towards the husband?  Or does that tread on the whole "headship" thing?

janna94
janna94

@hiswifeagain Nope, that is not the Scripture, the main one I'm thinking of is...1 Cor 3:1-3, "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able,for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?"  And in other places Paul basically says, "Do I need to come to you with a whip?' (1 Cor 4:18-21) that sounds like a parent to a child to me, even though he is speaking to "adults" in a church.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@hiswifeagain I replied to your comment on the other post already. I see growing up as a life long task - and I am quick to admit I need a lot of growing up.

janna94
janna94

@hiswifeagain What do you do when Scripture talks to us about being "children", and newborn babies and how we need to grow?  There are several places in Scripture where the "adults" were being told to "grow up".  Do you get offended and say the same things when you read this in Scripture?

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Roomtogrow I said it is to be expected because we are all human, and we can only do so much in the face of being treated badly. It would be equivalent to say "If a wife does not meet her husbands reasonable sexual needs, it is to be expected that he will withdraw emotionally." In both cases to be expected does not make it right, and in both cased it is likely to make things worse.

My suggestion would be to say something like this: "Because I think it is the right thing to do, I try to be there for you sexually even when you have not treated me the way I need you to treat me. However, when you do ________, or don't do ________  having sex with you makes me feel like an unpaid prostitute, and that is destroying my love for you. I fear the day is coming when I will not be able to force myself to continue to service you as I have been."

Yes that is brutal, but if it communicates your feelings to him go for it. You are letting him know you are trying, but you are also letting him know you are human and you have your limits. You give him the choice - continue as things are and enjoy it while it lasts, or make some changes so it is better now and continues.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@jsdelcamp I'm doing the positive side next. I think both can be effective, and which one, or both to use will depend on the situation and the person.

TheGenerousHusband
TheGenerousHusband moderator

@janna94 Some will argue with me, but I think this works both ways just fine. The whole idea is you are free to choose what you want, but some choices will result in certain things from me.

hiswifeagain
hiswifeagain

I can't argue with Paul (the apostle, not Byerly), but it doesn't seem  that the author meant it in the same way.  I could be wrong, but I don't think he's  suggesting that wives are like "infants in Christ",  it seems as if he's suggesting that they are being spoiled brats.  Perhaps treating a wife as you would a spoiled brat is deserved,( we all act like pouty children at times I think) but I'm thankful that God never gives me what I deserve.  Firm, loving correction with an unselfish motive can never be wrong, I just think it's difficult to do that well when you're thinking of your wife as a spoiled brat.  No matter how childish her behavior may seem.

jsdelcamp
jsdelcamp

@TheGenerousHusband @jsdelcamp I agree. My wife does not respond well at all to anything negative but I know other wives that don't respond well to positive things. So yes - you must know your wife.  Also - the lack of positive consequences is sometimes a very powerful negative consequence.

janna94
janna94

@TheGenerousHusband @janna94 

Thanks.  I did chuckle when I read your last example of being late, because I've said it and have followed through multiple times.  I've also had to to do, "If you choose not to leave work on time, the family will eat without you."

Previous post:

Next post: