When I first started this blog I did a series on topics discussed in the book For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn. I wanted to go back and take another look at this book and maybe hit some areas I didn’t look at the first time.
For a modern husband, it is a good day when we feel like we have had a productive day at work, had a little time with our kids, and a little time with our wife. That seems overly simple until we throw in all of the distractions, temptations, chores, activities, and stresses that are involved in getting through a good day. There is always some deadline, goal, house project, school activity, church activity, friend, or family member that wants a piece of our day. Just to defend all of the husbands, we also find some of these things are good ways to relax or unwind from a tough day. Sometimes it is helpful to be able to work on a project, play a video game, have some quiet time, or read a book for awhile to recharge.
So, a husband makes it through all of the obstacles of his day and is mostly unscathed. He has survived and gets home to hear the dreaded words, “I am feeling insecure about our relationship.”
I used to play this off as something that occurred about once a month and often times these feelings were a pretty good indicator of my wife’s cycle. Except I couldn’t account for the 4 or 5 times a month I was wrong about that. When my wife was pregnant or breastfeeding I could probably substantiate that theory pretty well. So, why would my wife feel insecure for what appeared to me to be no reason? My love hadn’t changed. I told her so when I married her and at least once every 3 or for months since then…..I would definitely tell her if my love for her changed along the way.
While guys go by the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality and rarely worry about our wife’s love for us dwindling, this would be crazy talk for a wife. Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn found that 70 percent of women thought about how we felt about them from occasionally to nearly always. So, that is a pretty strong indicator that this is a pretty big thought among wives.
Let’s crank it up a notch, though. Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn’s research found that among women under 45, 91 percent of women sometimes feel insecure about their husband’s love. If we add the criteria of women under 45 with kids under 12 that number jumps to nearly 100 percent.
My first reaction to that last statistic is that maybe there is a generational reason for this universal problem. Is it that we have so many women in the workplace now? Is it that we are living in a time where there isn’t a lot that can be trusted, respected, or honored? Are we in an age where we have a large amount of controlling women and passive men? Have husbands just become another child to wives under 45?
My guess is that if we looked at this question 20 or even 50 years earlier we would find similar results. It would be no surprise that with all of the demands of being a wife and/or raising kids during this time frame there would be an increased need for support and affirmation from a husband.
One woman Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn interviewed I think explained this pretty well, “You know that record that’s always running in a guy’s head about providing? Well, we have the same fundamental concern about our relationship all the time. And if it’s not going well, it can mess up everything else in our lives.”
All the data suggests that insecure feelings are pretty much going to be a fact of life for our wives. While these feelings may seem illogical at times, we can’t discount that these feelings can be extremely painful for our wives if they aren’t taken seriously and resolved quickly.
So, it turns out there is a pretty universal cure for the insecurity ailment. The cure is to reassure your wife that you love her. Basically, even if there is some matter of conflict going on, if you can separate yourself from the issue and remind your wife that “we’re okay” that can make a huge difference. Some other suggestions were that if you need some time alone that is okay as long as you can reassure your wife that it’s not about her. Also, if your wife is upset, chances are she needs a hug a lot more than space.
Lastly, while we tend to look at marriage as the end of the dating period, our wife still wants to feel loved by seeing that we still pursue her. Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn even state, “Pursuit prevents a lot of her insecurity.” So, yes I am saying it is okay if you want to act like teenagers or coeds again. She still wants to be wooed.