If She Were Reasonable…

October 16, 2013

in Be a grownup, Marriage Killer, Seeing Clearly

I often hear men and women complain their spouse is not reasonable. All too often this is offered as an explanation excuse for why the person complaining does or doesn’t do certain things. “If my wife were reasonable, I would…” or “Because my wife is so unreasonable, I can’t…”

My answer to this is to figure out what you would do if she were reasonable, and do that: no more, no less.


Reasonable. Unreasonable, or Full on Crazy © Paul H. Byerly

I realise we must sometimes make adjustments because others are unreasonable, but It should be our last resort, not our first. I also understand the idea of natural consequences, but far too often, the “consequences” are more about punishment than anything else.

Unreasonableness can easily become a death spiral, with each spouse justifying their unreasonable choices by citing their spouse’s unreasonable actions. This is one of those places where the more mature person makes a change – because it is right. If neither spouse is mature, the marriage is in deep trouble.

One advantage of doing what you would do if she were reasonable is a fair accounting of your actions by her to any sane person will cause them to think you are the reasonable one. The only way she can get people to take her side is to lie about you. Even if she is willing to do that, she is confronted by the fact no one would think badly of you if they knew the truth.

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Sometimes a wife's 'unreasonableness' is because her heart is distrustful of her husband's love or she simply feels afraid because of some unnamable fear within her. Her unreasonableness, then, is from her heart and as Paschal said: "The heart has reasons that reason knows not of."

Yes, there is unreasonableness that is from vindictiveness and if that is the case, then the mature reaction you mentioned above is a very good response. But, if the unreasonableness is from her heart, then a mature response would be tenderness and understanding.

Example: A new bride left her husband within a day after their marriage and holed up in a motel room without contacting anyone. Her husband searched for her and found her. When asked why she left him her only reply was, "I needed to know that you loved me".

Of course, it takes maturity and a good, selfless heart, freed from ulterior motives to even be able to recognize this difference. So, for that Believer, caught up in his wife’s unreasonableness, there is an opportunity for the Spirit of Jesus that dwells in him to mature him further into a man fit for his wife because he can know her heart just as that same spirit knows his.

TheGenerousHusband moderator

@Eleutheros You bring up an interesting point. If ewe don't understand the situation and the person, we may see unreasonableness where there really is none.

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