Almost every woman experiences this at some point or another with her boyfriend, fiance, or husband. Your man is busy with other things and you really want to connect with him. Sometimes he may not have a choice about how busy he is due to work, a crisis, an illness, or another emergency. Other times, he may spend a lot of time hunting, fishing, spending time with friends, renovating the house, watching TV, playing guitar, running, playing sports, or playing video games.
It’s easy for a girl to feel upset in such a scenario. Really upset. Ignored. Unimportant. And unloved.
Most of us love to spend time with our men. We value verbally and emotionally connecting with them and spending significant time together each day. That desire to be with our guys is a good thing.
We feel secure and loved when we feel like we have priority in their schedules.
The desire, itself, is not the problem. How we deal with this desire is what is important.
It’s easy to listen to the smooth voice of the enemy when we feel like our men aren’t spending enough time with us (by our definition) and to begin to make negative assumptions and accusations like:
- He doesn’t love me! If he loved me, he would make time for me.
- He’s a jerk!
- He should want to spend time with me as much as I want to spend time with him or he is wrong.
- Our relationship is doomed.
- I should probably just leave if I am such a low priority to him.
When we feel unloved, we will be tempted to react in the flesh.
“We are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against,” (Gary Thomas says, in “Sacred Marriage”). And I would add to that, even if we simply feel sinned against or assume we are being sinned against, we are more tempted to sin, even if we are not actually being sinned against. Sometimes, it can be difficult, at first, to discern this important difference.
There are a lot of things that could be going on when we feel unloved:
- Our men may simply have a different love language.They really are showing love in their own ways, and we aren’t feeling or receiving it.
- Our men may have different personalities and different needs/desires for alone time than we do. For example, introverts tend to need a lot more time to themselves to recharge than extroverts. It doesn’t mean that the introvert hates his girlfriend when he needs some time alone. Introverts can love deeply but still need some time to pull away alone. Honestly, we all need some time alone to spend with God and to get our bearings.
- Our flesh may be weak at the moment, which makes everything seem much worse – Our hormones are going crazy, we are sick, we are exhausted, or overwhelmed. Sometimes our emotions can mislead us and are not always trustworthy.
- We may simply have a misunderstanding because we assume our guys should think/feel/react just like we do and/or act like women. They may actually love us and there may not even be a real problem. It may just be that we have different perspectives, paradigms, ways of connecting, and expectations.
- We could be sinning in some way. We may be idolizing our own happiness. It is possible that we could be sinning in some way with our motives, with our thoughts, we could be believing lies about God, our men, or ourselves. We may be idolizing our men. We may be codependent, expecting our guys to be responsible for our spiritual and emotional wellbeing that are really our responsibility.
- Our men may feel disrespected by us and have an unloving knee-jerk reaction to what we did to them.
- Our men may simply be feeling stressed. They may need a bit of time to recover.
- Our men may have obligations that they can’t get out of. They may have work, deployment, or other crises that require their attention.
- Our men may be dealing with big issues in their own lives that have nothing to do with us.
- Our men may truly have wrong priorities. Maybe they are being selfish or are ignoring us.
Let’s be sober and aware of the enemy’s schemes here, sisters!
Acting in the Flesh Leads to Long-Term Damage
If we allow our sinful natures to take over, we will approach our men in destructive ways that sabotage the very intimacy we crave with our guys. And – when we make negative assumptions and embrace unfounded accusations – we are very possibly believing lies, not truth. We are opening the door to the enemy to gain a foothold and create division and strife where there may not even truly be a problem. That is tragic!
Every wise woman builds her house,
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
Yes, it may be tempting to act in the flesh in anger, to lose my temper, to cry, to scream, and to give full vent to an ocean of negative emotions. It is tempting to let my thoughts and fears run wild and to get rid of any filter on my mouth. But even if the worst case scenario was true and my guy really is being a jerk, me acting without any self-control is only going to make things worse, not better.
I may think, “If he could just know how much it hurts me that he isn’t spending time with me, he would change his mind and spend hours with me being loving, romantic, and sweet to me, pampering me and showering me with attention, affection, and conversation. The louder I am, the more upset I am, the more I cry, the more I scream, the more I insult him, the quicker he will rush to apologize and make everything up to me.”
“He needs to know how upset I am!”
But does he really need to know this?
Does he really need to see me have an unholy tantrum? Does he really need to see me at my absolute worst? I may think, “Well, I need the freedom to be myself with my husband.” But what I am really saying if I say this is, “I want the freedom to be my old sinful self. I want the freedom to destroy my husband and marriage.”
Let me be really clear. There is NEVER a scenario where me acting like a two-year old pitching a fit is going to result in anything good in my relationship with anyone. Especially not with my man.
Let’s stop a minute and seek God’s wisdom.
God calls me (and all believers) to crucify my old sinful self and to put on my new self in Christ. He calls me to act in the power of the Holy Spirit and to pour His Life and healing into my relationships. He gives me freedom fromsin and freedom to walk in His holiness, divine love, and godly strength. He gives me the freedom to bless and build up my man and our relationship.
What do I want long term?
- To destroy my guy with negative, caustic emotions and to repel him?
- To inspire him to want to spend more time with me and build him up?
These are two very different goals which would require two completely opposite approaches.
There is a high price to pay for indulging in my sinful flesh.
If freak out, react in fear, try to control him, scream, argue, act like a prosecuting attorney, rant and rage for a long time, insult him, hate him in my heart, stomp around the house, slam doors, make demands, and/or pitch a fit, what messages am I sending to my guy?
Here are some things he might think:
- She is not emotionally stable.
- Wow, she has no control over her emotions and temper.
- She’s scary.
- How am I going to feel safe around her or trust her now?
- The last thing I want to do is reward her right now by doing what she wants after she just treated me so badly.
- I feel attacked.
- Why would I want to spend more time with someone who treats me like this?
- I feel completely overwhelmed by her negative emotions, like I am drowning and need to get to land ASAP.
- This doesn’t feel like love.
- How am I going to live with this for the rest of my life?
It’s not worth it.
A few minutes of allowing the flesh to spew unchecked can cost weeks or months in my relationship. Rebuilding trust after something like this takes a long time. A man will back away for his own emotional/spiritual safety if I act like this.
A Better Way
When we find ourselves seething with resentment, unfounded accusations, bitterness, and negative assumptions, that is not a good time to talk to our men and share all of our deepest feelings.
Yes, our emotions are screaming that we should RIGHT NOW! But God’s Spirit will prompt us gently to go pray and spend some time with God before we make a mistake we will regret.
Connect to the Right Power Source
Emotions are important, but they are simply indicators on our dashboard. They let us know something may be wrong. But they are not THE source of absolute truth. We need to pay attention to our emotions and examine what is behind them. But we don’t want to be slaves to our emotions. They are not always accurate.
God’s Word and His Spirit are always dependable.
It can be so helpful to journal our feelings and lay out our issues before the Lord. He can help us identify temptations and wrong thinking. He can give us wisdom we need to approach our guys in productive ways. He wants us to tap into His Spirit for our power source and not try to be godly women in our own strength.
Depending on the Holy Spirit
If we are believers in Christ, we have the Holy Spirit. He is the only One who can completely meet the deepest spiritual and emotional needs of our hearts.
He can even give us the ability to respond with patience, gentleness, kindness, and self-control even when our men truly are wrong. And God can give us His wisdom and perspective to realize what is true when we feel unloved, but our men really do love us. He can talk us down off of the cliff so we don’t drop a nuclear bomb in our relationship and destroy it when all we had to do was respectfully share our desires.
No matter what our guys do or don’t do, we can respond in the wisdom and power of the Spirit of God, if we are yielded to Him.
Our men are much more likely to respond favorably to us if we respond in the power of the Holy Spirit – with self-control, gentleness, kindness, and respect.
I also like to change up Philippians 4:12-13 a bit for this situation:
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:12-13
I know what it is to not feel I have enough of my man’s attention, and I know what it is to have a lot of his attention. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether I feel loved in the moment or not, whether I am getting what I want from my man or not. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.
Some things that draw my husband to me:
- My peace and joy in Christ.
- My genuine smile and pleasant, friendly tone of voice.
- My consistent ability to be a safe place for him emotionally.
- My asking for what I desire respectfully.
- Lots of times, that is all we need to do. It really is that simple.
- “Hey, Baby, I would love to spend some time together today/this week.”
- I will often see much better results if I focus on asking for what I would like in a positive way, rather than getting upset about what I don’t like.
- My understanding and patience when he truly is in a situation where he can’t be with me as much as I would like.
- My willingness to encourage him to do some things he enjoys sometimes, even if it is without me, as long as it is not sin. We all need some time to ourselves, time to work on hobbies, time to develop our talents, or time to connect with other friends. Different people have different needs for recharging by themselves.
- Sharing my feelings in a humble, direct, vulnerable way calmly and without blaming him.
- My spiritual maturity to respond with poise, self-control, dignity, self-respect, and respect for him, even if I don’t get what I want every time.
Or, we may be able to join our men in what they are doing and bond that way:
- Sit with him quietly while he is working on a project, smile sometimes, get him some drinks/snacks.
- Cuddle with him in a friendly way and read a book while he watches TV or plays video games.
- If he is open to it – go hunting with him, watch a TV show with him, ask him to teach you to play his favorite video game so you can play, too.
NOTE – Please keep in mind that if you have been reacting in the flesh rather than in the Spirit for a long time (months or years), your man is going to probably need quite a bit of time to feel safe with you emotionally again. He will need to see over many months that this new approach is permanent and it is not just another manipulation attempt. Try to be patient with him even if you feel he is not very supportive as you change. Most men will feel a bit gun-shy and skeptical for a time until they really become convinced that these beautiful new changes are real.
How have you learned to handle times when you want more of your man’s time and attention in productive ways? We’d love to hear the wisdom God has given you.
Is God speaking to you about this subject? We’d love to hear your thoughts and insights.
3 Big Secrets Extroverts Who Married Introverts Need to Know – by www.crosswalk.com
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