Reply To: On Subordination….

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Hi Ladies,

I think when disagreements like this one between the husband and wife occur, what is necessary is discussion…and this may not be a one-time discussion.

Husbands need to honor their wives and love their wives – and wives must tell them how! In this case, the wife feels that counseling is needed. The husband says no. For now, the answer is no. The wife submits, for now. But that doesn’t mean the discussion is over.

I’m not recommending nagging. I just think that husbands need some time to mull things over. Wives do too! New ideas or changes in plans are difficult to embrace right away, even if all arguments are logical.

So for now, I recommend that no counseling (or whatever the desired course of action is) be done…in other words, submit to his will. But gently, over time, bring the topic up for discussion. For example, if the husband thinks it’s too expensive, the wife can bring up a plan to pay for it. If the husband thinks it’s not necessary, the wife should point out how it could benefit the family. The wife should never take an “I told you so” attitude and if, during the discussion, the husband gets mad that it’s being discussed (again), the wife should drop the topic, happily, and submit. The husband will be more willing to discuss it, if he feels that the wife isn’t trying to be argumentative, but rather is trying to explain what she feels is best for the family.

FYI, I am 35 and my husband is 38. I have a very aggressive personality, and my husband does not. I could easily “rule the roost” if I chose, but I have learned that this only makes my husband resentful. We have learned together, over the years, how to make sure that he is the one making the final decision. I have had to learn to temper my language so that he doesn’t feel that I am making the decisions (for example, I have to say things like, “Here is a suggestion for how to spend our vacation, but I really want your opinion on what you want to do because I’m not wedded to these ideas.”)

As we’ve discussed things over the years, I’ve learned that patience in dealing with thorny topics is the best. I’ve also learned that sometimes, I am the one whose mind is changed! Yes, I’ve had to admit later that I’m really happy I didn’t get my way. And if it takes time to change my husband’s mind, I’ve learned that waiting until later has also worked out for the best. God works in mysterious ways!

God bless and good luck in having a happy marriage.