When protecting her is a bad thing

I’ve talked on occasion about protecting your bride – from your family, from her family, even from your kids if necessary. What’s more, given the emotional differences in men and women, I think it is sometimes good and right to inject yourself into something that does not directly involve you so that you can protect your bride emotionally from another man.

However, there are times when “protecting her” is not the right thing to do. I don’t think it’s a good thing to protect your wife from truth spoken by others, even if that truth is painful or is not expressed in love. This is especially true concerning her interpersonal relationships. If she does things that offend, hurt, or annoy others, telling her she does not do these things, that it’s really them, not her, is not a loving thing to do. Protecting her from the consequences of her actions does not help her, and it may cause others to be hurt if she continues to do those things.

Of course, you risk hearing “whose side are you on?” You can blunt this somewhat by starting with something like “so-and-so was not kind about what she said”, or “he may have had ulterior motives in saying that” but then going on to identify what you see as being true, or at least partly true in what was said. If she knows you are on her side, if she knows you hate to see her hurt, she will learn to trust you when you say, “yeah, that part was valid”.

2 Comments on “When protecting her is a bad thing

  1. As I started to read your post, I was thinking about the “Whose side are you on?” battle and was pleased to see you commented on that. What works for me is taking her side in the heat of the moment, but having a conversation afterward when emotions are back to a normal level. You’re way is probably better , but I think we have to work toward that!
    .-= Eric – BHF´s last blog ..My First Wordless Wednesday! =-.

  2. … and then there is yourself to deal with. I asked myself quite a while back, as my former marriage was disintegrating, “Can I hear the truth when someone is telling me something about myself?” The first time I thought to ask myself this question the answer was, “No, I cannot. I get angry and retaliate from the embarrassment. So, I cannot discern if there is any truth in what is being said” Which meant my ex was right on this point!

    Pro 17:10 says: “A rebuke settles deeper into one of understanding than a hundred smitings into a stupid man.”

    So, I asked myself do you want to be a stupid man or do you want to be a man of understanding. If you want to understand then listen when someone is telling you something about yourself, even if they aren’t ‘speaking the truth in love’ (How often do you think you can speak a truth in love when you are irritated enough by what someone is doing or saying to actually speak up, at that time?)
    This is a decision you have to make, in advance, so that you can keep your emotions in check and allow yourself to come to a point where you consider such rare occurrences to be a chance at wisdom and understanding, after you’ve irritated the snot out of someone enough that they will defy social convention and actually reply to you with the truth.

    A controlling spouse aside…

    And when you can see and remove the beam in your own eye, then you can see clearly enough to know if you can contribute to the removal of the speck in your wife’s eye… (Man! His metaphors work well, don’t they!)

    I learned a lot about myself from my ex, the only person, at that time, who was more than willing to tell me all about myself.

    I thank her for her words, certainly not spoken in love, that helped set my feet on a path of righteousness so that I came to perceive that I can be good, just as I was created to be!

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