I (Michael) found this today while browsing Joel and Kathy's marriage forum and wanted to share it with you; especially if you're a husband like me. It was written by another husband who also helps out in this ministry with his wife and is really great advice when we guys become self-focused and how to move out of that when we find ourselves there. Moving out of this brings much healing to our wives and helps us continue to mature as husbands and men of God.
Here's a few warning signs I look for that indicate self-focus:
- I feel strongly contrary to whatever she is talking about.
- I feel I am right.
- I feel she is missing something important.
- I feel angry.
- I feel I know more about whatever she is talking about.
- I feel like walking out.
- She gets angrier
- She shuts up and walks away.
- She tells me 'I don't have the HS.
And here's a few things I try to do to put the focus on my wife when I notice any of the above:
- Pray for understanding (immediate side benefit - takes my mind off myself for the duration of the prayer)
- Tell myself that she doesn't speak Mannish. (her native tongue is Womanese). Many of her 'feely' words when directly translated are pretty combative in Mannish.
- Reach out and hold her.
- Close my eyes momentarily and breath deeply.
- Try to remember she is His daughter, and I WILL have to answer to him.
- Relax my face.
- Look into her eyes like I would someone lying hurt in a hospital bed.
- Soften the tone of my voice.
- Deny nothing.
- Occasionally, He blesses me with an overwhelming compassion for her. In these blessed moments try to do all the above. Then I thank Him for his compassion for me.