Here is a series of questions from a husband who is asking his wife how they are going to make decisions when they have a disagreement. To be totally candid, this husband is not really looking for answers, in our opinion. For various reasons, we believe that his questions reflect a challenge to his wife trying to get her to back down on team leadership and mutual submission. This is a couple that does not have a good relationship. The husband has rejected most counsel and our function has mainly been life support for the wife. This series of questions though gives us an opportunity to answer other husbands who are right now, being the devils advocate to their wife. Linda asked us to help her answer her husband. The answers are hers, but reflect her heart.
I hear you telling me that you want us to make decisions together and that I am not the head of the household but that we are supposed to be a team.
Please let me know what you mean by this.
If I tell you I am ready to retire does that mean I have to keep working even though our assets can support our family if we manage them correctly and no one works?
No. If you will show me and help me to understand that we can make it if you retire, and if you will promise me that I can keep going to school, then I will be supportive of you retiring. You also have to tell me what you are going to do though. It makes me fearful to think that you might just sit around all day, complaining and yelling at me and the kids. If you want to Kayak every day, no problem. Just help me understand what it is that you want to do and I will support you.
If you want to go to a church and I want to go to church a different church, how do we decide which church to go to?
Ron Adams makes me very afraid. I would like to go to The Church of Champions, but you feel just as strongly against going there. So it would be wrong for me to demand that we go to The Church of Champions and it would really be wrong for you to want us to go to Ron Adams. I feel like if we go to Ron Adams church, our marriage will be over because he does not believe everything right about marriage. If you care at all about me and my feelings you would not ask us to go there. Let’s go to Northland or another church. Do you think that you are being Christlike to make me feel afraid and insecure by going to Ron’s church? I like to go to The Church of Champions to visit once in a while and if you want to go to visit Ron’s church by yourself once in a while then that is fair. But you are not treating me fair to ask me to go to his church as a family.
If I want to boys to stay in community school and for me to monitor their progress and for you to finish college and get a job teaching, who determines whether we will take this course of action?
Isn’t this what I also want, Paul? I want the boys to stay in CS and I want to finish college and become a teacher. We are in agreement on that.
If I want to hire a bookkeeper for the office and you want to keep doing the books at home, who gets to decide?
If it makes me feel valued to keep the books and if it makes me feel insecure to have someone else do the books, then you should meet my need to feel valued and secure. So you would decide that you would like me to do the books because you want me to feel valued and secured. If I ever get overwhelmed and ask you to get a book keeper, you would want to get a book keeper to relieve me of the stress. This is being a husband who cares about his wife.
If I want to take the boys to a bible study and you don’t want them to go and they want to go, who decides?
As you know, I am very unhappy with Ron Adams. How would you like me to take the boys to The Church of Champions for a bible study? You would not. The golden rule is for you to do for me in all things as you would want me to do for you. Ron makes me very afraid. He is a male chauvinist who uses the bible to validate his ego and pride. It makes me VERY insecure for you to be with him and take the boys to see him. You should decide not to make me feel insecure by doing this. You can take the boys to a bible study or youth group at Northland, or another NORMAL church. That would not make me feel insecure. I am very hurt that you keep looking for people who believe the old way about marriage and that is what you found in Ron. So, if you would be like Christ, you would honor me and not take the boys to a bible study with him. If you really want to go by yourself to see Ron once a week, I can handle that. Just tell him that you do not want to talk about what he thinks a wife should be in a marriage. I know what he believes and I reject it…. and if you come home telling me that you are my head and I have to submit to you, then we do not have a marriage.
If I want to go to Ft. Lauderdale for the weekend and you don’t want to ever go again, who decides?
If you can assure me that you are not taking me to Ft. Lauderdale to leave me alone in the trailer for hours like you did last time and that you are not taking me there to try to get me to learn to submit like those women, then I do not have a problem going on trips with you there. The problem is that you use this, just like you use Ron Adams and his wife, to try to put me in my place and you do not honor me. I just want you to make me feel safe and honored and quit trying to get me to look at you as my authority. I want us to be a team, like the bible teaches and I want you to honor me and make me feel safe and loved.
As far as I am concerned, I have been more than willing to find common ground.
You have not been willing to find common ground. First you rejected Joel and Kathy and said you wanted to go to the counselor at Northland and then you quit seeing that counselor after one appointment and went to Ron. Ron and Vickie keep trying to get us to be a couple like they are.. and she wanted me to study a horrible book on submission with her. You are not trying to find common ground. You are trying to force me to get onto your ground.
Joel and Kathy were very nice to us and all that they asked you to do was to love me, quit being mean to me and honor me. Common ground would be for you to apologize to them and let them help us again. We were doing good when you were listening to them. I was so happy the few times that you listened to them and tried to love me. I even told Joel and Kathy one weekend that I felt like I was in heaven because you were treating me so well. If you treat me well and I am being mean to you, you could tell Joel and Kathy and they would tell me to be nice. They just want you to be nice first and to quit doing things that make me feel unloved, dishonored, hurt and insecure. .