Posts Tagged ‘requests’

Quote of the Day

Friday, November 27th, 2015

Demands sever the flow of love while requests coupled with appreciation increase it. –Ashley McIlwain

Demands

Help Me!

Friday, January 14th, 2011

If I had a penny for every time I heard a girl say, “I just wish he would …” I would be a wealthy girl. Time and time again women find their men falling short of their expectations. He didn’t help out enough around the house. He forgot to complete his to do’s once again. He isn’t being very sensitive or thoughtful. The list goes on.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not exempt from this train of thought. I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten frustrated with my husband for forgetting to do a task I have asked him to do, oh … 10 times. Or, perhaps he didn’t clean up the kitchen after dinner the way he knows I like it done. He somehow forgets what I told him but can spew out a ridiculous assortment of sports statistics like his life depended on it. Now, I am a pretty huge sports fan myself, but there is something about this scenario that just rubs me the wrong way.

The thing is, we women are pretty gifted with some complex thinking patterns. We are able to do a dozen things at once while on the phone and mentally planning out next week’s meals. At the same time we can intuitively decipher that our husband is feeling stressed from pressures at work, a friend is really hurting and needs a shoulder to cry on, and that smile your sister has on her face isn’t fooling you from seeing she is dealing with something major. God wasn’t messing around when he created women. We are beautiful, intelligent, insightful, in-depth, multi-tasking machines that think we can take on the world.

Moving on from all the gushing over our femininity, we are also a little out of control with our need for control. Gasp! We aren’t perfect?! I hate to break it to you, but we are definitely not perfect ourselves. While we are pretty amazing at a lot of things, we can be kind of lacking in the area of sensitivity to our husband, his thoughts, and his needs. We get caught up in what we perceive as his failures, and soon that negativity takes over at an infectious rate.

Before you panic about how much you do and how he doesn’t go out of his way to affirm, love, and care for you, hear me out. Marriage isn’t always about what seems fair. More than that, marriage isn’t self-serving. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have wants, needs, desires, and expectations, but it does mean that “me, me, me” can’t be the center of our focus. What we need to understand is that there is a need to “love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).

Marriage is other-serving, meaning that the focus of our attention must be on our spouse. Trust me, there are times I get so frustrated with my husband because I feel like I am doing 1,001 things that go completely unnoticed, and then he can’t do the 1 thing I ask him. Soon I am caught up in a whirlwind of bitter, anger, and negativity. It can get pretty ugly if I don’t catch myself in the act. At that point, I have to take a deep breath and start reminding myself of all the things he does right and how there are a lot of things that I do wrong. It’s easy to look past our own faults but then get caught up in our spouse’s. A healthy marriage requires us to go against our natural grain in order to notice our own faults to improve upon and then extend grace to our spouse. It reminds me of how Christ forgave us so that we can forgive others. Remembering how far from perfect we are helps put things into perspective for our spouse.

You might be asking how you can get your spouse to help you then because you are in desperate need of it. Again, I completely empathize and understand. It starts with a loving request. That’s right, requesting, not demanding, your spouse helps you with x, y, and z. As Dr. Gary Chapman puts it in his book The Five Love Languages®, “requests give direction to love, but demands stop the flow of love.” If we are patient and convey to our spouse sincerely what we need him/her to do, then you are much more likely to a) receive a positive response, b) see it get done, and c) have it be done with a loving attitude.

Something that is important to keep in mind is that requests are not a onetime deal. More times than not, you might have to make repeat requests. This is not your opportunity to berate your husband for screwing up once again. That would be completely counterproductive because not only is he more likely to not do it, but it will be done begrudgingly and you will be damaging your relationship.

Realize reality. Men and women may be created equally, but they are also created differently. Women are more often built to multi-task, remember things, and be on the ball. Men … are not. That is not their strength. How can we criticize our man, who desperately needs to feel respected, for not having that function in his functioning? It’s like smashing a calculator for not being able to send emails. That’s not what it was created to do. Men are not (statistically and generally speaking – there are obviously exceptions to this rule, as with all rules) created to function in this same way we are. Would we want our men to demean us for not being able to pick up the same amount of weight as them or for every time we show emotions? Of course not.

Studies have shown that men are compartmentalized in their thinking. This means that they typically do one thing at time. When a man is at work, he is thinking about work. When a man is with his family, he is thinking about his family. It is a pretty straightforward process, whereas a woman’s way of thinking is more like a ball of yarn. When women are at work they are thinking about work, family, and everything else in between. What this means is that we must learn how to meet in the middle to be productive as well as have our needs met.

When your husband does help you out, affirm him. Don’t make smart remarks like, “Finally! I only had to ask you 10 times! Too bad you couldn’t do it right the first time!” This is childish, selfish, and extremely disrespectful. You are majorly harming yourself, your marriage, and your husband. When he does what you ask, thank him and let him know how much you appreciate it. It will encourage him to do more for you because he will look forward to the rewards. It will be his pleasure to help you. Just like you enjoy a kind word, so does he!

Ladies, our men are not women. Thank God! We married a man because he is just that … a man. You can’t love and hate him for the same reasons. It can be frustrating when we need our man to get things done, and he doesn’t. I understand that, but the result cannot be us throwing tantrums, nit-picking, and disrespecting him. Yes, I too wish that my husband could magically read my mind and just preemptively take care of all the things I need help with. Alas, he is not a mind reader … not even close.

It is our job to request his help with specifics. Let him know what you need him to do or want from him, and do it with patience, love, and understanding. If he slips up and falls short, extend grace and forgiveness. Request again. Of course you may get frustrated, but this is the way the process works. Believe it or not, our men are not out to make our lives miserable. They really do love us, but they function differently. Focus on all the amazing things he does do, a lot of which you probably can’t. Communicate, be patient, and show respect.

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