Why Most Men Don't Comfort

18 Jul

One woman who had left her husband said, “I just can’t stand the thought of going back into that situation. He offended me in so many ways, and then he never comforted me when I needed it. I just can’t go back.” I asked her if she’d be willing to teach her husband how to comfort her. She gave me a funny look and asked, “What do you mean, teach him?”

“When you are in a stressful situation, or when you’re discouraged, how do you want him to treat you?”

“I’d like him to put both arms around me and gently hold me. Then I’d want him to tell me that he understood or at least that he was trying to understand.”

“Well, why don’t you teach him that?”

“You’re kidding! He’d think I was crazy. And besides, why should I have to teach him? He should do it on his own. I’d feel stupid having to tell him things like that.”

I changed my approach a little. “Has he ever said things to you like, ‘Honey, I don’t know what you want me to do when you’re discouraged. Should I cry, or kiss you, or …?'”

Her eyes lit up and she said, “Yeah, it’s amazing the number of times he’s said that he didn’t know what to do, or how to act, or what to say. I even remember him saying, ‘You just tell me what you want me to do.’ But I always thought he was being sarcastic, and I was offended because he couldn’t figure it out by himself. I thought if I had to tell him it really wouldn’t mean anything anyway. Do you mean some men really need to be taught the little things, like how to hold a woman tenderly?”

My answer was an obvious “yes.” A lot of men avoid soft words and tender comfort because they have never been taught how to use them. Also, they simply don’t understand the positive effects they will have on their wives and the sense of well-being they themselves will receive. I have found that once a man has learned why and how to comfort, he gains a real appreciation for the role it plays in his marital relationship.

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No Responses to “Why Most Men Don't Comfort”

  1. Ebryant4 July 27, 2010 at 6:23 am #

    My husband and I just had an argument last night. He said to me, "I don't know what you want me to do." I thought that was his way of avoiding responsibility. I told him there was nothing he could do now, it was too late. Unfortunately, he is out of town for work, so we were on the phone. I was so hurt and so angry I didn't know what to tell him to do. I get tired of him thinking I'm ridiculous. My thoughts, my feelings, even my opinions he thinks are ridiculous. Yes, he's told me that in those words. How do I tell him what to do to comfort me when he's already set the precident for thinking I'm ridiculous? Thirteen year into our marriage and it doesn't seem to ever get easier.

  2. Gunny July 27, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Hey guys…this works! I am a thick-headed Dutchman and my wife has been able to teach me how to comfort her. I'm glad I am learning to listen to her. I'm still learning but it is a wonderful journey towards – I'm not afraid to say it – intimacy. Yeah, us men crave intimacy, too!

  3. Netty August 2, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Sounds really nice. But I stopped telling him what I'd like a long time ago when I repeatedly heard the message from him that he resents reading the wife "manual" because men are marginalized and women have too much control.

  4. Romans837 August 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm #

    This is great advice. I could really see this working in a man who is sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit. However, someone who is relationally inept and decides to process their feelings on the inside and not share them, this does not work. Also if you have continually told a person what you need and they still have not gotten the picture then you can only come to a few conclusions. One, they are not truly sincere about your comfort,two, they are unwilling to be in an uncomfortable place and three, they have completely checked out of the relationship.

  5. Romans837 August 4, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    This is great advice. I could really see this working in a man who is sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit. However, someone who is relationally inept and decides to process their feelings on the inside and not share them, this does not work. Also if you have continually told a person what you need and they still have not gotten the picture then you can only come to a few conclusions. One, they are not truly sincere about your comfort,two, they are unwilling to be in an uncomfortable place and three, they have completely checked out of the relationship.

  6. Carrie Orthner October 27, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    I recently learned this practical encouragement after twenty two years of marriage. The Lord softened my heart in this area and it doesn’t seem to matter any more that he doesn’t know automatically what to do or what to say to me when I’m hurting or needing his affection. I’m teaching him how by telling him or showing him what I need and he is responding positively and there is much peace in our marriage because of it. I’m so grateful to the Lord for showing me this concept because it has freed me from negative emotions toward my husband and left me with something so much better.

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