Thursday, April 14, 2011

Eliminate Her Worry

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that women are much better worriers that us guys are. When we’ve got a problem that we can deal with, we deal with it. On the other hand, when we have a problem we can’t deal with, we set it aside; not forgetting it, but not paying it much attention either. While we’ve got it set aside, we kind of think about it once in a while, looking for an answer. When we have the answer, we pick it up and take care of it.

I’ll have to say that women deal with those problems totally different than we do. They don’t seem to have that ability to set things aside like we do. When they have a problem, it’s a problem. That problem stays before their eyes, growing into a monster. If they can’t do something about the problem, it can become overwhelming.

Let me give you an example that happened to me, early in my marriage. I was self-unemployed and independently poor, trying to make a living as a small-time contractor. Due to my lack of raving success as a businessman, we didn’t have a whole lot of money; bills would stack up, disconnect notices would arrive in the mail, and creditors would hound us.

Unfortunately, my wife was the one who saw those pink slips when they came in the mail. She was also the one who had to field those calls from the creditors while I was out working. So, she was constantly confronted with this problem.

When I’d come home from the day’s work, I was often greeted with, “There’s a bill from the electric company that came in today.” What a wonderful way to be greeted. “Okay,” I’d think to myself, “I don’t have to pay that for two more weeks, I can set it aside.” Since I knew about how much the electric bill would be, I didn’t even bother opening the envelope. So went the battle of the bills. We always had a little pile of them sitting in that same spot. When I had money, I’d open them the next one due and pay it. Until then, I’d let the sleeping dogs lie.

Makes sense, right? If you can’t do something about it, do something that you can do. Leave the problem for when you can deal with it. Well, my wife didn’t see it that way. To her, I was being irresponsible, because I didn’t rush to open those bills.

Now, I must confess, I wasn’t the world’s best money manager in those days. My system worked, but didn’t work well. We were constantly just managing to beat the shut off dates on our utilities and we lost the house we were living in. So much for me, the infamous financial manager.

The effect of my inaction was two-fold; first of all, my wife was constantly worried about the bills. That’s not good for her health, her emotions, or her ability to be a loving wife. The second problem was that my wife learned that she couldn’t trust me. Guess what? If you can’t trust someone in one area of life, you can’t trust them in any area of life. Since my wife didn’t trust me with the finances, she couldn’t trust me in the bedroom. Ouch!

For a woman to be able to give herself to her husband, she must be able to trust him. Guess what guys? We’ve all managed to prove to our wives that they can’t trust us. Maybe you didn’t do it the way I did, but you did it somehow. Unless, of course, you’re that mythical perfect man.

Okay, so how do we cure the problem? First of all, repent to your wife for your errors. That’s always a good start. But look, repenting isn’t just saying you’re sorry, it’s doing something about it too. Taken literally, the word “repent” means to change your direction. So, change your direction; whatever you were doing wrong, learn how to do it right.

The second thing that we all need to do is find out what our wife worries about, and do something about it. This can be tricky, because she may not come right out and say it, even if you ask her. You may have to pry this one out of her with questions or pick it up from the little things that she regularly complains about. Her worry could be driving the old car, or the roof that’s starting to leak, it could even be your acrimonious relationship with her mother. Whatever it is, you need to know.

When you find out what she’s worrying about; and don’t assume it’s just one thing; do something about it. Maybe you can’t replace the old car right now, but if she sees that you are taking pains to maintain it well, she won’t worry as much. Or, maybe you don’t have enough money for a new roof, but if you get up there and replace a few missing shingles, she’ll know that you aren’t ignoring the problem.

The point is that she won’t have to worry about it, if she knows that you’ve got it in hand. Her worry begins, when you look like you’re ignoring the problem. Don’t let her get to that point, make sure she realizes that you, her hero, have everything under control.

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