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Guys, can I be honest with you? Marriage can be hard.

Did you know that already?

Sometimes you do the wrong thing before you even knew you did the wrong thing. You try to figure out the one you love the most but the more you try the more confused you get. I get it. I understand.

Men and women are different. (You can tweet that.)

We don’t always think and respond to life the same way.

And, likely there are some things about your wife you just didn’t know.

Over the years, through counseling training and actual counseling — and learning from my wife — I’ve observed some things. And, I’ve realized some men simply don’t know them — or don’t realize how important they are to their wife.

Here are 7 things you may not know but you need to know about your wife:

You step on her feelings more than you know.

You just do. And, you don’t even mean to — or know that you are most of the time. She may think you do, but you don’t. You’re just not as aware of how she’s wired emotionally. And, most of the time she overlooks it. She knows it wasn’t intentional. But, it hurts. And, the more you do it the more it hurts. So be careful with your words.

And, that leads to the next one.

Your words are heavier than you think they are.

You need to know that. When she asks you how she looks, for example — yes it is a quandary on how to respond and there are plenty of jokes around about that dilemma — but your response matters. Probably more than any other response of her day. It’s a small question to you but big question for her. And, you communicate things to her continually through how you say what you say and the body language you combine with your words. And, they weigh a ton to her. A ton.

She wants you to take the lead.

At least occasionally. I know all the women’s rights issues cloud this for you. It can be confusing, but there’s likely something in your wife just waiting for you to make a decision. She values your input and she wants you to lead in the home as well as she sees that you can lead elsewhere. And, speaking on behalf of men, I know you don’t always want to be the leader. She’s better at making many of the decisions than you are. Still, she’s waiting — hoping, that you’ll step up where you need to lead.

She doesn’t want to be like her mother.

Or to be compared to her mother. And, these type jokes aren’t funny. Ever. Trust me. And, in fact, she doesn’t want to be like any other woman either. She wants to be seen for the unique wonder she is — which by the way was God-designed.

She is likely with you even when she’s not.

At least in her mind. Our wives are very relational. So if she asks about your calendar– now you know. She’s not trying to be difficult or suspicious. She’s trying to be with the one she loves.

It’s okay just to hold her hand.

And, also, to occasionally be romantic. You may have established a long time ago that you’re not the romantic type. She may realize she married funny — or serious — or dedicated — more than romantic. But, every woman needs a little romance occasionally. It makes her feel special — especially when it comes from you.

The way her world looks is often how her heart feels.

All her world. The house, for example, you think it doesn’t matter, but to her it reflects her — not you. She’s also conscious of what others think of her appearance. She carries this burden heavier than she wants to sometimes. Don’t diminish this to her. Understand it.

In a future post, I’ll share the companion post for wives to understand.

Ron Edmondson is a pastor and church leader passionate about planting churches, helping established churches thrive, and assisting pastors and those in ministry think through leadership, strategy and life. Ron has over 20 years of business experience, mostly as a self-employed business owner, and he's been in full-time ministry for over eight years.  

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Adewale B T Shittu

commented on Jul 14, 2015

Many thanks Pastor Ron for this exposition. God bless you and may He continually refill you afresh. You are highly lifted up in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Doug Lapointe

commented on Jul 14, 2015

Nicely said. And, instead of putting too hard a load on us men (such as.... be a romantic!), you say things like she "needs a little romance occasionally". We can do that! Thanks.

Lafern Cobb

commented on Jul 14, 2015

Interesting....and also this is a repeat. I have read this before. I am a Pastor and I know my husband doesn't want to be like his mother. I also know my husband appreciates the way I lead the church and he also likes to hold my hand. Maybe men and women aren't so different after all. After 42 years of marriage we are both careful with our words. We both appreciate each others God given callings and gifts. And here is the one huge reason we are probably still happily walking through the trails of life side by side after all these years. Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and our Home. I can't speak for all Clergywomen or even all women, but I am thankful for my life partner. We each have times where we lead each other and follow each other but at no time do either of us attempt to try and be the Head. That place is for Jesus Christ! My husband and I walk side by side and follow Jesus Christ. Oh, my husband is also a Pastor too. And I appreciate his God given gifts!!! He is an amazing Man of God!

Carl Garrett

commented on Jul 14, 2015

For five years my wife and I served on a state convention staff working exclusively with ministers and their families. I wish every pastor had read and followed the points you made. Remember, your wife is the only wife in the church without a pastor!

James Killman

commented on Jul 14, 2015

Another thing you should know: she lives in a birdcage, too. Doctors and lawyers and politicians may live in a fishbowl, but you and she live in a birdcage. Other people not only watch everything you do, they poke at you between the bars. And you can't really poke back. That is hard on a woman who, perhaps, does not share your call.

William Howard

commented on Jul 14, 2015

Who else would romance come from?

Patrice Marker-Zahler

commented on Jul 14, 2015

Ron, Normally I appreciate your insight and your articles. However, on this one you missed to boat. As a woman who is a pastor, trust me this pastor does not want a wife. If you want to write to guys, write to guys, not pastors. There are so many points in your article that as woman I find laughable and wrong that it I have a special file for. Try harder next time.

Lafern Cobb

commented on Jul 14, 2015

Well said Pastor....how wrong to just assume all Pastors are guys....thank you for your comment. This clergywoman appreciates your words. You were honest without being mean.

Anthony Seel

commented on Jul 17, 2015

Ron, I think you are crystal clear by using the definer "wife" that you are speaking to men.

commented on Jul 21, 2015

Thanks for the insights. I am curious to learn from Pastor Patrice Marker-zahler what she as a woman finds laughable, off and wrong.

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