I functioned like a chauffeur early in my marriage. I was constantly doing stuff to drive my husband away. Are you aware of how wives drive husbands away?
Do you wonder why your husband isn’t as attentive as he used to be? If he seems more interested in fondling his PS4 controller than you, you might be putting distance between the two of you without realizing it.
I’ve wasted a lot of time trying to change my husband. As a result, I was driving him away.
The more I complained, compared and criticized, the more distant he became.
5 ways wives (unintentionally) drive their men away
Many women I coach are unintentionally pushing their husbands away. The techniques they use to try to get closer to him, actually drive him away.
Here are 5 common ways I unintentionally pushed my husband away. Are any of these familiar to you?
1. Think “he’s a big boy”
“He’s a grown man. He can take care of himself.” Like many women, I made the mistake of thinking this and unconsciously put others needs before my husband’s needs. As a result, he’s-a-big-boy attitude put distance between us. Spending time with your husband and paying attention to what he needs, lets him know he’s important to you. “Big boys” can take care of themselves, but they marry for companionship. He can take care of himself, but he married to feel like someone else is caring for him, too.
2. Compare him to others
Even though we didn’t have social media when we got married, I was never short of ways to compare my husband to other people. As a result, I wasted time being mad. Today social media makes it so easy to compare. Comparison is another common issue that arises in coaching. It’s unfair. I wouldn’t like it if my husband did the same to me. “Jack’s wife exercises regularly and is careful about what she eats.” Comparing me to someone else’s wife is a sure way to start a fight. However, I thought if I told my husband what other people’s husbands did, he’d get the hint and do the same for me. He didn’t, which became a point of frustration for me. Comparing is a sure way to set yourself up for disappointment and make him feel like he can’t please you.
What spends more time next to your lips?
3. Think I’m right all the time
By constantly correcting or criticizing my husband, I sent him the message “I’m right all the time.” And honestly, I did think I was right all the time. However, if I’m right all the time that means he’s wrong all the time. That’s a problem. When I’m right all the time, I make him feel like like I can’t trust him. Nothing will make your husband more confident than thinking you trust him. Nothing will make him feel less confident than thinking you don’t. He interprets a lack of trust as disrespect. As a result, he’s unhappy. As much as I didn’t want to accept it, no one is right all the time. Not even me.
4. Spend too much time on the phone
Does your cell phone spend more time next to your lips than your husband? Cell phones make it so easy to talk to people or look things up or entertain yourself. Anything we want to know is at our fingertips. In addition, phones make it increasingly easy for husbands and wives to lead separate lives. The Internet increases temptation and encourages secrecy. Spending too much time on the phone may make my husband feel like he’s not a priority or that I’d rather spend time doing things other than being with him. There’s nothing wrong with spending time on the phone. However, it’s important to learn how to maintain balance in our marriages by putting boundaries around our time. I don’t want anything spending more time next to my lips than my husband (excluding chocolate, of course.)
5. Keep a record of wrongs
I’ve been guilty of this more times than I’d like to admit. Do you hold onto things so you can bring them up during arguments? If you keep a record of your husband’s mistakes, it becomes harder to let them go. A woman I coach told me she keeps a list of her husband’s offenses on her cell phone. As a result, her hurts are fresh because she has a constant reminder. And when we’re constantly reminded of how someone hurt us, we grow resentful. Resolve issues quickly and let them go. You’ll find new things to fight about in the future.
Don’t act like a chauffeur. Which of your habits may be driving your husband away?
Need skills to build intimacy?
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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be.
She went from the brink of divorce to a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you get the marriages they yearn for.
She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota. They have five children and a Black Lab named Largo.
In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network. Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian, Crosswalk.com, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.