For many years, our family went to the lake house of our close friends, Rick and Lesley Bateman. We always did a lot of waterskiing there. My parents were part of a water ski show when they were young and I inherited their love for the sport. When it was my turn to ski, I always wanted Susan to go. My motive was not just for her to enjoy herself, I wanted her to go so that she could see me in action. So that she could say things like, “Wow…you’re an incredible skier.” Or, “You are my man!” She quickly figured out my secret of why I really wanted her to go. After that, when I went skiing, she would jokingly say to everyone, “Mark needs me to go watch him ski so I can cheer him on!”
I want to let you in on some secrets that your husband may be keeping from you. But do not worry, I am not suggesting there is anything seriously wrong. There are different kinds of secrets, of course. There’s addiction and unfaithfulness. I’m not talking about bad secrets like those, rather things that most men wish their wives knew about them but just may not feel comfortable saying out loud.
Ladies, once you do know about them, you may have a better idea of how to respond—just as Susan realized what was going on with my invitation to go out on the boat—to applaud my waterskiing skills. So here are 5 secrets you must know about your husband (Part 1).
1. He really wants to be a good husband and father.
When he’s left the dishes in the sink yet again or failed to really listen to your concerns one more time, you may wonder how much you matter to him. But he wants to love you and your children well. No man sets out to disappoint his wife or his children. He may just not have the tools or skills he needs to do a better job—yet. But he is willing to learn and he would rather be coached than corrected. Instead of saying, “You never listen. You’re always thinking about yourself and what you want…never about me.” Here’s a better approach: “I know you want to be the best husband you can be and are a good husband in so many ways. So it would really make me feel valued if you would give me your full attention and really listen to what I’m sharing with you.” So coach him up and pump him up. He wants to be your hero and a hero to your kids.
2. He fears not measuring up.
As a little boy, I remember my brothers and me often measuring ourselves and marking our progress on a doorjamb in our home. I always wanted to get taller and taller. I compared myself to how my brothers and my friends were doing as well. I wanted to measure up.
Most men have a fear of not measuring up in some way. Some men may strut and project complete confidence, but that can be just a mask. [Tweet This] Behind that mask, he may be worried that he doesn’t measure up as well as the other men, husbands, and dads he knows.
He is often comparing himself to other men, saying to himself things like, If only I could be a dad like that…make money like that…have a house like that…have a marriage or kids like theirs…then I’d be happy and make my wife happy. When a man compares and sees what seems to be incredible feats of other men, he can get the feeling that he doesn’t measure up and doesn’t have what it takes.
In his best-selling men’s book, Wild at Heart, John Eldredge says that the big unanswered question most guys carry around with them is, Have I got what it takes? Whether that’s as a provider, protector, or leader, they want to be reassured and reminded that they are up to the challenge and that you believe in them. He needs you to affirm him. Tell him things like, “I believe in you!” Or, “I haven’t said it lately, but I really appreciate how you’ve provided for our family.” Or, “I couldn’t ask for a better father to our children.” If he’s feeling down about himself, maybe you need to offer your husband these 3 truths to remember when you’re feeling worthless.
Which of these of secrets about your husband did you already know and how have you been handling them? What might you change? Which secrets were new to you, and how do you think you might respond? Share your thoughts below.