MEN&WOMEN: How wives bring down marriages

Saturday November 4 2017

Integrity Centre, the headquarters of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, in Nairobi.

Integrity Centre, the headquarters of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, in Nairobi. There are times when business and politics seem to be so riddled with corruption that no honest person can keep up faith in Christ while at the same time coping with the pressures of professional life.PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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We looked last week at how husbands destroy marriages. Now it’s the turn of their wives!

Like women know exactly how to use the most hurtful words, with devastating skill. And no matter how sorry you are afterwards, once they’re said, the damage has been done.

So find constructive ways of saying what needs to be said. Especially avoid all forms of contempt: mockery, sarcasm, hostile humour, name-calling, eye-rolling and sneering. They make your husband feel despised and worthless.

Unrealistic expectations are also very damaging. Because only you can make yourself happy. And projecting your unhappiness onto your spouse will quickly destroy your marriage.

 As will spending all your time being negative. There’s no need to express every resentful thought. So find ways to feel happy with who you are. And then, rather than expecting your husband to complete you, discover ways to complement each other’s lives.

Withholding sex can also cause huge damage to your marriage. Your husband needs to connect with you on a physical level, just as you need to connect emotionally. Neither is right or wrong, you’re just different.

Imagine if he stopped talking to you for months - you’d be really upset, wouldn’t you? You expect your needs to be met. So it’s only fair to meet his.

If you start showing your husband that you don’t respect his opinions, he’ll soon start looking for approval somewhere else. So instead of being critical, just listen to him.

 If you want to ask questions, wait until he stops talking. Don’t interrupt his stories with something that’s way off topic.

Let him have a few minutes of your attention. Tell him that you want to hear about his day - and mean it.

Even worse is belittling your husband in front of your friends and family. Even if he’s done something stupid, you don’t need to tell everyone. Because once you start bad-mouthing him, they’ll never look at him in the same way again. And he’ll feel it.

Rejecting his advice is another killer. Men like fixing things. So if you have a problem, he’ll suggest ways to solve it. But if you’re dismissive, it sends the message that you don’t value his ideas. So at least listen, and thank him for his input. You don’t have to follow every suggestion he makes. But do pay attention and think about them.

And if you just want to vent? Tell him upfront that you don’t need a solution, just an ear for a few minutes.

Almost all men are secretly afraid that their wives are better than they are. Don’t take advantage of that, by implying that all your problems result from your husband’s shortcomings. Especially don’t attack his every flaw, magnifying every mistake and pointing out every failure.

Because everyone makes mistakes. So you can either build your husband up or tear him down. The choice is yours. But there’s no doubt which one will produce the happier marriage.