Women want to see their husbands lead the home. That’s what we’re hearing from wives in session after session of marriage counseling.
When you don’t assume that leadership role, a vicious cycle starts. When you don’t lead, she takes charge. And when she’s in charge, there is either conflict or perhaps, you back down wanting to keep peace in the home. Trouble is, this leads to frustration and resentment… and worse yet, you might start seeing her as controlling… she starts losing respect for you and starts controlling more, and before your know it, your marriage is in trouble.
I’m not suggesting men are superior or anything like that. What I am saying is that in most families, we look to the man for leadership. And, in most cases, men have a vision for how their home should work. A man can be a strong leader at home with being domineering, without being a bully, and without ignoring his wife and kids. In fact, a man can serve as an example who inspires his wife and kids in all aspects of life.
It takes two people for this to work. First, men must have the courage to lead. It’s rarely easy, but it’s important. Think of the men you’ve looked up to throughout life, the ones you’ve viewed as leaders. What traits did they display? How did they influence those around them? Second, the woman has to provide the kind of support that will bring out her husband’s best. That doesn’t mean worshipping him to point of ignoring his faults, but it also doesn’t mean berating or bullying him, or treating him without respect.
A woman can be strong and independent and still regard her husband as the leader of a home. A man can be a strong leader and still let his wife be strong and independent. A man can be a leader and still be laid-back, friendly, warm, and loving. A man can earn his children’s complete trust and respect without making them fear him.
Ideally, a couple shares the vision of what their marriage and family should be, and then work together to make that happen. They complement each other’s strengths and speak candidly to one another, knowing that they are on the same team. By allowing the man to lead the home, the woman isn’t diminishing herself or her role. Are they always going to agree? No, but they can disagree in ways that will actually strengthen, rather than weaken, the bond between them.
Many of the problems we’re seeing in today’s marriages, such as infidelity and addictions to pornography, are symptoms of a breakdown in the leadership of the home. What makes that even more worrisome is that the children of those marriages model their own relationship behaviors on what they’ve seen, so they may unwittingly doom their own marriages.
If your marriage feels like it’s out of balance, maybe it’s time for the two of you to spend some time with one of our professional marriage counselors. Investing some time exploring what your marriage has become and creating a path to what you want it to be could transform your lives together, and even help your children enjoy happier marriages when the time comes. Find freedom to speak your needs and learn how to lead well. Call us today. Also, sign up for our fierce marriage marriage workshop later this month.
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