You are welcome to comment and share your thoughts on this post. I may be able to use your constructive comments anonymously. 🙂
Sometimes the hardest times in a relationship are when the man you care about is in pain – physical, spiritual, emotional, mental… You just want to make him feel better.
This is where things can get a bit dicey. You will probably try to do for him what you would want him to do for you. You may want to mother him, or lavish attention on him, or sit with him while he is sick and cuddle with him. Some men may be fine with that, others may not like all of that attention and may feel smothered.
You will have to study your particular man. What are his preferences when he is sick, sad, hurt, overwhelmed, discouraged, angry, upset…?
WHEN HE IS SICK:
Some men love to be tended to. If this is your guy, make him some homemade chicken noodle soup, bring him tissues with lotion, stock him up on cold medicines and cough drops and hard candy. If he enjoys you being there with him, sit and cuddle on the couch and get him a drink if he would like it, some hot tea with honey, maybe.
Some men want to be left alone. Period. Some men don’t want anyone around when they are sick. Especially for certain types of illnesses, like stomach viruses. If this is your man, the best gift you can give him is some space and time to recuperate and he will probably let you know when he is up for visitors.
WHEN HE IS UPSET OR SAD:
Some men really appreciate a listening ear and some genuine empathy and sympathy. If your man does trust you with his feelings and emotions, this is an incredible treasure and gift. Please do not betray him by sharing these secrets with other people. He needs to know that he can safely trust you with his heart.
Some men need some time to themselves to process their thoughts and feelings. For some men, talking about their problems is much more painful than not talking about them. Many women find talking to be helpful and therapeutic. But not all men feel that way. For some men space and time to figure things out on their own is the best gift you can give them. And then, be ready to enjoy his company and listen if he wants to talk when he is ready.
Some men respond well to a woman’s well timed sense of humor. Some do not!
WHEN HE IS ANGRY:
Anger is usually a secondary emotion. It is triggered by a primary emotion generally like fear , feeling disrespected or hurt. If possible, look past the anger to your man’s heart. What is the real issue here?
Please do not provoke your guy or try to make him angry or taunt him to hit you or to get violent. That is foolish! If your man has a history of violence when he is angry, please be sure you are safe and get experienced, godly, biblical help.
Sometimes, a man who is angry needs time to calm down before he is ready to talk about things. This is why it is wise to wait until he has cooled off and why it is not a good idea to push and pressure him to try to get him to talk “right now.” If he leaves, don’t follow him, call him or text him. Give him time to think through his feelings and thoughts.
There are some amazing examples in the book Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas of wives who approached angry husbands with grace, gentleness, poise, dignity, respect and powerful godly femininity.
WHEN HE IS DISCOURAGED:
This is a time when your thoughtful, loving, respectful, admiring words of affirmation, encouragement, faith, trust, hope and blessing may be very healing to your guy. If your guy is more verbal, he may really appreciate a long talk about the good things you see in him and the faith you have in him. He may appreciate you praying with him.
If your guy is more private with his thoughts and feelings, he may still greatly appreciate your smile, your faith and trust in him. You may only need to speak a sentence or two where you show him that you know he’s got this. You don’t have to tell him what to do or how to do it, just that you know he will figure it out and you believe in him. Just a sentence or two from you can inspire your man to soar on wings like eagles.
In all of these situations, you can pray for your man, and ask God to inspire you about how you can best bless him, minister to him, meet his unique masculine needs, honor him and encourage him. These will be times of opportunity to extend the grace, unconditional love and mercy of Christ to your guy.