This information was originally published as a response to The Peaceful Wife/April Cassidy’s Blog Post entitled, I Feel So Spiritually Alone in my Marriage, but I wanted to repost it as a standalone post here, because this is a question I get asked all the time. Why, exactly, do married men make such a focused effort to resist counseling if the marriage is in trouble? Here’s why:
It’s because counseling has at least three elements that are completely repugnant to men:
1) Failure – When a wife asks a husband to go to counseling, what a man hears is that he failed; in his wife’s eyes, he’s not a good or adequate husband or father. Many times that is not what women are saying at all; women are often saying “we need help in working on our relationship” but that is not how men perceive it. Men think, “I must have failed or else she wouldn’t be saying that we need to go talk to somebody else about this.” And whenever a man thinks or feels like a failure, he will dig his heels in and shut down.
2) Submission – Men see counseling as, “My wife dragged me here to have a total stranger tell me what to do.” Nothing could be more repulsive to a man. That’s why men resist the very idea of counseling, as well as the advice given if they do go. Men don’t like to submit, not even to God, it’s why Jacob wrestled with the angel, and Moses ran from his calling, and Paul needed such a dramatic conversion. We don’t like the idea of submitting to anything or anyone, and just the idea of “a complete stranger trying to tell ME how I should be a husband” will send men into an unrestrained fury state.
3) Opening Up – While women are basically designed by God to share, men are not. THEE LAST thing in the world that men want to do is talk about our feelings, because we are designed to solve problems, not focus on emotions. So the idea of baring my soul to again, a total stranger, and sharing embarrassing details in front of the wife will send most men in the opposite direction.
So the question for wives then becomes, “If men are this way, what am I supposed to do?”
Good question. Here’s the answer:
Make a list of all the things you want your husband to do/see/face and lift them up to the Lord daily in prayer. The reason your husband is not responding to you is because you are not his head:
I Corinthians 11:3 – New International Version
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Ephesians 5:23 – New American Standard Bible
For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.
You will never get a man to hear you the way you want, because it would be like somebody else’s brain telling your body what to do. That’s why control doesn’t work, and controlling women are always miserable. Men are designed to listen to Jesus, not you.
Start working on your list today, begin to pray it to Jesus, the head of the man, and watch God begin to work in your marriage like you’ve never seen before.