Men and women BOTH need to be plugged into the relationship/marriage and communicating well for the network to be up, running and healthy. There is a fine line between sharing necessary and important information to promote unity and infecting the network with the complaining virus.
IF I CAN’T COMPLAIN – DOES THAT MEAN I CAN NEVER TELL MY MAN ANYTHING BAD?
I think it is extremely important for women to share their feelings, emotions, thoughts, ideas and perspectives with their men – with tact, respect, and probably leaving out unnecessary or hurtful details.
When I first started learning about respect – I was completely quiet about my feelings for a long time. I didn’t want to be disrespectful! I didn’t want to complain. But then my husband felt left out of my world and very in the dark about my feelings, emotions and needs. He did NOT like that extreme either! There is a beautiful balance in the middle of taking over and being disrepectful and being quiet and unplugged. It can take time to figure out how to get there with God’s help!
LEADERS NEED COOPERATIVE, ACTIVE, INVOLVED TEAMMATES
Our men need and deserve to be “in the loop” in our relationships! They are called to be the servant leaders of our homes once we are married, but they are NOT mind readers! It is our responsibility to share our needs, our feelings, our desires and our perspectives with our guys. Then they will be best equipped to make the best decisions when we cannot come to a mutual agreement. Most of the time, our guys will probably allow us to do what we would like to do – they love to see us happy! But if we cannot agree – our men/husbands shoulder the responsibility of making the best decision in the eyes of God. If we are fully cooperating and sharing our necessary information and emotions, we can make their jobs much easier!
The key here, in my opinion, is to value my intimacy and oneness with my husband more than the outcome of any particular decision. AND – I trust God to lead me through my husband, knowing that even if he makes a “mistake” God will use it for my good and benefit in ways I can’t begin to understand.
VITAL INFORMATION HE NEEDS TO KNOW
So how can we tell if we are complaining vs. sharing? I think this is a very important issue! There are times we need to share negative things so that our guys will know what is going on with us. Yet, we must find a balance so that we don’t slide into complaining.
I think most men in a committed relationship would say that they NEED to know things like – when their women are:
- in pain
- confounded by a problem
- in serious need of help
- under attack spiritually/emotionally/physically
A MOTHER’S HEART
I think about my children. I WANT VERY MUCH to know how they are doing. I WANT them to feel free to always tell me their feelings and problems. I want to work through things with them and point them to Christ. That is exactly what my husband wants to do with me, too!
WHAT IS COMPLAINING?
In my book, complaining involves one or more of the following:
- repeatedly talking about the problem or what I don’t like – over and over and over
- using a whining tone of voice
- finding fault and blaming
- crying/screaming/pouting (there are some times that crying out of sadness is inevitable for children and for women – but if we are using crying and pitching a fit TO GET OUR WAY – that is a big problem!)
- ONLY focusing on the negative
- having nothing positive to say about the situation
- having a closed mind toward suggestions, advice and ideas and just wanting to wallow in misery
- extreme thinking – ie: “This is the WORST day EVER!” “NO ONE loves me!” “NOTHING EVER goes right for me!” “I ALWAYS lose!” “You obviously don’t care about me!”
These are some of the things God has shown me to help me change my complaining ways – and I am still not perfect! But I am learning!
- focus on God and His goodness
- focus on God’s promises and memorize them
- praise God continually in your heart and with your mouth
- develop a spirit of gratitude
- confess all sin to God
- be full of His Spirit
- look for the good in all things
- know that God is trustworthy, good, faithful and wise and that His wisdom is so much higher than ours!
For me, sharing involves informing my husband of my negative feelings, problems or needs in a respectful, polite, pleasant way.
- usually it means saying something once, or very rarely
- having no expectations of my husband when I tell him my problem
- NOT blaming my husband for things that went wrong
- keeping the negative emotions under control and the overall explanation brief
- fully expressing my perspective in an honest but controlled way – not maliciously trying to hurt my husband’s feelings or wound him
- laying the information at my husband’s “feet” and then leaving it there
- praying about the situation and expecting God to accomplish His perfect will
- waiting – a lot – and being patient to see what God and my husband decide to do about problems
- using a pleasant tone of voice and friendly facial expression
- taking care of my own needs – my sleep requirements, my physical nourishment, my health, my need for exercise, my need for time with God, Bible study and prayer, keeping God FIRST. I don’t expect my husband to be Christ to me! He’s human! Only Christ can be my God!
How about you? How has God helped you overcome the toxic habit of complaining? How do you share with your guy and avoid the slippery slope of whining and complaining? Please feel free to share with us for the glory of God!