7 Ways a Husband Wounds a Wife

Most husbands I know would never injure their wife knowingly. They want to be her protector. But we guys are different than women, and the way we respond to our wife often causes injury. Click To Tweet And, most of the time, it’s unintentional. We didn’t even know we were doing it. When we don’t realize the damage we’re doing to our wives’ emotions, we invalidate every desire we have to be her defender.

As a counselor and pastor, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples and have seen these   behaviors countless times. I wish I could say I never did any of these . . . but that would be a lie. I write this with one finger pointed forward . . . and four more pointed my way.

Here are 7 ways a husband injures a wife (without even knowing it):

  •  Cuts her out of the discussion. When you act as if she isn’t even there or wouldn’t understand what you’re talking about, she feels a part of her is detached. She sees the marriage as a partnership in every part of life–even the parts she may never fully understand.
  • Fails to notice the difference she makes. A woman doesn’t want to be appreciated for only what she does. She wants you to appreciate who she is, but–admit it–she does a lot. Whether it’s decorating the house or making sure the clothes are clean, or that you have your favorite soap, a woman wants to know what she does is valued by you.
  • Underestimates the small stuff. You only said “this,” but it was “THIS” to her. And it hurts. You may even think it’s funny. She may even laugh. But it is often building a wall of protection around her heart each time you do. The key here is that you can’t talk to her like you might talk to another guy. She hears and feels more deeply than you do. Words can and do hurt.
  • Speaks with curtness. When you talk down to her, as if she’s somehow less than you, you bruise her spirit. Deeply. And, you know she’s not less than you . . . you don’t even think she is . . .  but sometimes, she just can’t tell that based on the way you talk to her.
  • Corrects her as she’s talking. This could be finishing her sentences or speaking for her in the company of others. She feels demeaned and devalued when you present her to others as if she can’t compete with you in original thought . . . which you know isn’t true. (My wife is much smarter than me.)
  • Acts suspicious. Don’t misunderstand or misapply this one. When you hide information, even when you think you’re protecting her, you cause her to question your motive. When you protect your calendar or act like you are upset at the question “What did you do today?” or “What did you talk about?” or “Who was that?” when someone calls, it gives her an eerie feeling something is wrong. And, that hurts.
  • Admires other women over her. She sees you looking. She may even understand your highly visual make-up. It hurts her, however, when a glance becomes a stare . . . especially when it happens everywhere you go . . . all the time.

No matter how independent or strong your wife is, her heart is tender in places. Lots of places. She can bruise easily in some areas of her life, especially the places that involve the people she loves most, such as you. A husband who understands this is more careful in how he responds to her.

Get more — Free! e-book — Les & Leslie Parrott's, The Good Fight

I always like to use this thought as a reminder: Would I allow another man to speak to or treat my wife as I am doing? She’s a precious gift, guys . . . treat her well.

• Also see 7 Ways to Wound a Husband

Used with permission of Ron Edmondson. For more blog posts like this, check out Ron’s website,  http://www.ronedmondson.com/.

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  • Lauralee

    what if a husband does allow another man to speak abusively to his wife and even is on board with it?

  • SAM

    There is so much to say on this issue, but let’s go to scripture for guidance.

    Even though your husband may have not said the hurtful words, the fact that he allowed this, and did not come to your rescue… he might have well have said them himself.

    “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear” – Ephesians 4:29. Lets look at three points:

    1. “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths.” We must guard our mouths and not allow Satan to speak through us to destroy our sisters and brothers.

    2. Speak words that build up and impart grace. Speak “only what is useful for building up . . . so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” This is the opposite of words that tear down. If we think of a person as a house, it means building them up.

    Words that lift up, encourage, strengthen, give hope

    Words of concern – how are you? can I help you?

    Even words of correction, when someone is taking the wrong path. This is speaking the truth in love (if done rightly). This keeps them from tearing themselves down.

    Words of blessing and praise

    Why do we do this? Because “love builds up” – I Corinthians 8:1. And so our words to others should be loving and life giving.

    3. “As there is need.” This means not just being aware of your concerns. See where they are at and what their needs are. This is what love is about. And then speak according to their need to build them up.

  • Laura

    this is sad, my husband says he doesn’t realize that he does these things, is he being truthful? i can’t tell anymore if he believes it anymore. all i know is that my feelings hurt and i feel about 2 inches tall.

  • SAM

    If you were to use similar words in front of others about him, I’m sure he would notice. I would put this in the unawareness category rather than being untruthful. Also, he may not believe the words are abusive because he grew up hearing them himself.



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