One thing we love about Cinderella is her lovely disposition. Even living with the tyrannical step-mother and step-sisters, Cinderella had a gentle and quiet spirit. Our Disney princess never allowed any annoyance, anger, or self-pity to appear on her flawless animated face.
That is why Cinderella is a fairy tale. Real women have emotions and moods that are very un-Cinderella-like. You have them; I have them. We need help with them.
Almost every day I talk to a woman who is “emotionally distraught” (sometimes, it’s me). Just as men desire sexual release, women want emotional release. Remember, most men don’t get as much sexual release as they would like. And you know what is coming next: most women don’t get as much emotional release as they would like.
It is easy for women to think, “Men need to zip it up and get control of themselves,” as far as corralling their sexual natures. In fact, we’re often weary with their abundant desire and lack of self-control. But alas, men feel the same way about our “emotional natures”.
Yesterday I met with a girl who had a miscarriage. Nothing is more painful for a woman than to be infertile for years, conceive, then miscarry. My heart went out to her. And now her marriage is having issues. It’s so classic. This woman is even more in need of emotional release and at the same time, her neediness is annoying her husband. If only we could understand how our spouses feel! This young wife was mad at her husband for not “being there for her” during this traumatic time and simultaneously, he felt “pulled on because she can’t talk about anything else”.
Another precious girl was talking to me in church and her husband came up. She turned to him and said, “I am sharing my prayer requests with Julie.” The husband laughed and said, “Well, she’d better get a legal pad.” It was harmless, but still, the husband was communicating that her emotional nature was extensive.
Men don’t get our desire to have emotional release. What can we do, WSO Wife? Try to answer before you read on. It’s week 21. You should have some pretty good ideas!
First, we give husbands a break for not understanding us. They come into the marriage untrained and it is our job to gently, over time, teach them how we feel and what we want. We are not mad at his mother (she tried!) but realize that God gave the wife the ability to break down the shield that is over a man’s heart. We accept the responsibility that it is the wife that is responsible for this training.
Second, we use—ta dah— word pictures! They are amazing and forceful (this is how Jesus taught!). Explaining to a man that your desire for emotional release is comparable to his desire for sexual release will open up his closed mind. Analogies are powerful things, Friends. (For review with word pictures, reread chapter 13 in Wife School, How to Explain Anything to Your Husband).
Third, we accept that men can’t see the color Pateen in the rainbow. So we know it will take 50 to 100 times to explain this to them. We submit to perseverance without anger.
Fourth, we use other acceptable means to handle our emotional turmoil. Physical exercise is remarkable. Talking and praying with friends is healing and releasing. Music is powerful to help release emotional tension. And for a double whammy, combine two of those. Walk/run with friends. Walk/run with music. Walk and pray. Legitimate means to help us with our emotional release abound.
I was in a mild funk yesterday morning but got myself to the gym. I cranked up a Christian station that I love on Pandora and thirty heart-pounding minutes later, I left with 75% less turmoil.
Women, you WILL HAVE emotional drama. Yes, I know you want your husband to absorb your emotional turmoil, but get a hold of yourself. Husbands do not like absorbing emotional turmoil and therefore, you have to corral your craziness.
If you struggle with being easily upset, then it is imperative for you to keep yourself in a straight and narrow lane. By that, I regular sleep, healthy (non-sugary, not refined) food, daily exercise, a huge intake of Scripture, much prayer, time to debrief and connect with other Christ-followers, reading and adding to your Turquoise Journal lists, and reading inspirational literature. You are not powerless. God has given you many avenues to help you control your high-strung emotional nature.
One more tip: Make a list of all the people that you would not want to trade places with, i.e., people who have it worse than you. I saw a precious woman in the gym that I know that has a serious disease; I had dinner with a woman who is addicted to prescription drugs; I chatted with a woman whose needy husband would be extremely difficult to live with. I am not saying that you are happy these people have problems. Of course, pray for them. But I am saying that their hard circumstances should make you grateful you don’t have to deal with those problems. This list can make you grateful very fast. Gratefulness is the key to happiness.
To summarize, you are responsible for growing a heart that is filled with the Lord and that thinks Philippians 4:8 thoughts. I have seen God change even the whiniest, most critical, headstrong women (like me!) so I’m pretty sure He can change you.