Let's get right to the facts. A little under three years into my marriage, it was anything but roses.
The days of remembering our vows were long gone, and communication had all but dried up. The only thing I needed to do was the last thing I wanted to do. What was it? Man up and talk to my wife.
Days, weeks and even months were passing along, and I still couldn't bring myself to talk to my wife. Yes, of course, we could talk in general and even put on the necessary "everything is perfect" act around friends and family members. But when it came to life-breathing, marriage-saving words, well, they just couldn't come out of me. If you could admit it, many of you would agree with me.
So I did what I think many other men are doing in their marriages today. I went looking for help in all the wrong places. Here are a couple of the wrong places I decided to seek help:
- Another woman, whom I hardly knew and who wasn't even married
- Multiple online forums and message boards
I attempted to seek answers from the above options for months. People I had never even met would sympathize with me. They would tell me stories or share about their struggles and current bad situation.
I felt like the other woman understood me when we talked about my struggles, but I finally realized she could never fix what I needed to fix. And although my family supported me in whatever I chose to do in life, I knew they were saddened and disappointed. These were all roads with dead ends, and I was slowing learning that fact.
With time and my marriage ticking away, I finally decided to get humble and seek answers the right way. Here are a couple of the correct places I decided to seek help from:
- Married men I knew had a good marriage
- God, by giving my marriage over to Him and trusting Him
- My wife, by finally—and honestly—talking to her
Manning up and admitting my situation to a close friend and brother in Christ was the best move I made to start things out. I was so worried about shame that I never considered the idea that he had struggled in his marriage at one point, too, and could share in my feelings.
Talking to a good friend or even your pastor about your marriage will lift a huge weight off your shoulders, and you should do it sooner than later. He offered me sound advice, books to read and ears to listen.
Not only did my buddy offer me good advice, but he also encouraged me to start talking to God about my marriage. I wasn't praying for my wife or my marriage at the time. If you can relate, give these two things a try for at least a week. Seeking God's counsel may not bring immediate relief, but it will allow you to express your feelings more often.
Don't knock it until you try it, gentlemen.
And yes, I finally talked to my wife. Was it easy? No! Was it the right thing to do? Yes!
Did she take it well? Not really, but my heart was finally on the table and a path to resolution could finally be started. To be honest, men, sometimes your wife has no idea you're even feeling the way you're feeling. She might think the issue in the marriage is something completely different than what you think it is—all the more reason to sit down and speak to her in a loving tone about your marriage and the issues that need to be resolved.
What Is the Bottom Line?
As a married man, you should only be seeking counsel for your marriage issues from either a man or your wife. This isn't to say there's anything wrong with other women or to that they couldn't offer sound advice. It's to say that your marriage should be between you and your wife, not another woman—unless, of course, the woman is a counselor or a good friend that you and your wife are seeking mutual help from.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons married men should not seek marriage advice from other women:
1. Your wife will most likely not know the woman you are talking to, and you will be doing it without her knowledge.
2. You could start to use the advice in a negative way or against your wife.
3. If it goes on for too long, you can easily start to build up an emotional tie and trust with the woman, possibly leading to an emotional affair.
4. You are only "one flesh" with one woman—your wife!
5. Consider how your wife would feel. Try to see the situation from her perspective.
Why do you think it's important to only share your marriage issues with your wife or another trusted man? The same question applies to the ladies about their husbands.
Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today's man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages and help them in grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood. Manturity.com features new weekly blog posts, daily social media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.
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