Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dealing with a Vexed Husband

So your husband seems to be always upset with you and goes snap, crackle, pop at almost anything you do, or even suggest.  Is he abrupt with you or launches hand grenades when you feel that a simple "yes" or "no," or better yet a gentle response might do?

The vexed spouse, which comes in both genders, can be the result of many issues, and most can be traced back to an underlying root of anger, resentment, anxiety, a sense of feeling out of control, or simply a bad habit learned from Dad. The response to what just happened is often tied to things that are far from the immediate circumstances.

To understand why your spouse is vexed, or seemingly abrupt all day long requires that you look into his life and try to figure out what bad thinking is leading to this bad behavior.  Yes, you cannot stop bad behavior until you first find the lies and replace them with the truth. 

This is the process of personal and spiritual growth, to look behind the behavior and discover the lies one is living by, and uproot the lies and replace them with truth. Getting to one's lies is the most difficult part of the attempt to change any behavior, but if your spouse is a follower of Jesus you have much of the battle already won because Jesus lives inside of both of you!. 

It is best to stop telling and start asking sincere questions. 
Instead of saying, "You are always mean to me and I do not appreciate your tone of voice and constant irritation!" you might instead say with a smile, and in the right timing, "Honey, why is it that when we have sex you treat me so special and then much of the day you seem irritated with me. Is there something I could do differently to get you to be gentle and nice to me all the time?" 

If you get him to open up as to what is bothering him about your relationship you can then go about trying to help solve his angst, keeping in mind that even if you were perfect, your stressed out man may still need to deal with deeper issues. To get to the deeper issues try to show him that you have taken yourself out of the equation by trying to please him. Although he may now think you are his irritant, the reality may well be that it is his own lies and bad thinking that are the true source of his irritations.

If he tells you that you are not the problem, but instead it is the stresses of work, or of money, or of other life issues, you can again ask questions to help him see that although life has its stresses at times, taking them out on you, his best friend, will not help.  Getting your man to open up about what is really bothering him can be a difficult thing to do, but gently keep pressing, but only at the most opportune times.  Finding the lies is your goal, and once found, gently remind him of the truth, especially the truth of your unconditional love and commitment to him, and of God's love and  promises.

Unfortunately, your man may be habitually vexed and to gain necessary change will take a long time of gentle questioning and reassurances that you are on his team no matter what happens. The habitually vexed have grown comfortable with their abrupt and irritated manners.  They do not see how destructive and selfish they can be to their spouse, and they will not see it clearly until they can stop the habit for at least 30 days.  

Once I was able to stop my vexation with Lori, I quickly saw how ugly I had been with her for far too many years.  Yes, she was not perfect, but the way I responded to her was not gentle or kind, and it only served to drive a bigger wedge between us. I asked her to hold me accountable for each and every time I was not kind or gentle in my response by simply saying my name.  I heard "Ken, Ken, Ken" a lot for about a month, and now eight years later I never hear her gentle calling of my name as a reminder of my commitment to be gentle to her. Sometimes if I was really hot she would wait until the next day to bring my eruption or abruptness to my attention and gained a quick apology from me.

If you can get your man to ask for accountability in this area you will quickly accelerate the process of change. He may be willing to make a game out of this difficult and hurtful issue, where you have fun punishments and rewards, just so that he will quickly recognize the behavior so that the habit and bad thinking can be flushed out with new habits and new truths. Men love to win and enjoy competition, and the rewards.

Thank God that He grows us up into Christ Jesus and that we can overcome our sins.  If we say that our spouse is the one we love the most in the whole wide world we should be treating them with the greatest amount of grace, kindness and consideration, especially with our words, tone of voice and body language. Learning how to explore inner thinking to find the lies and replace them with the truth can lead to significant and permanent behavior changes as we renew our minds with the key truth that we are to become like Christ.

Written by Ken to be shared with your husbands

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.
2 Cor. 10:4-5

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing   that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2