Why is it that we don’t normally brag on our husbands?
In his very awesome book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman says that the majority of men’s love language is Words of Praise. The other options are Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time and – drum roll please! – Physical Touch. With that kind of competition, it strikes me that the need for words of praise must be important to many men if it outweighs even acts of service and physical touch.
Who’s husband likes it when you make him breakfast? Probably most. And, Gary also writes that most men, initially, will assume that their own love language is physical touch. And yet, studies show that far more men require words of affirmation to feel truly loved by their wives.
Is it some kind of conspiracy that society has against men? Cause I look around at lots of women’s interaction and at families portrayed on TV and I see men all over receiving words of condemnation, not praise. I’ve been guilty of it myself. Getting together with girlfriends and dishing on all the problems that we’ve run into as a couple.
While I’m not knocking the need to talk to someone about our challenges, I am asking: Are the negative words we speak about our men outweighed by the positive ones?
That is what I hope to do here, with The Monday Morning Bragging Wife. Let’s all get the right balance in our words. With that, let me tell you a little story.
Getting the Brag On!
This is a fairly recent event at our house. And it involves me making a careless mistake. I had taken our daughter to her drum lesson and, instead of parking on the street as usual, I parked in the instructor’s driveway. There is a large cement telephone post, right at the edge of the driveway. It was a dark night and, well, I backed into the post, scraping the side of the car along it.
I immediately sent Lenny a text: I scraped your car. I wanted to give him time to be angry and then cool down. Because – and this is not the edifying part – Lenny can blow a gasket from time to time.
On the way home, our eleven year old daughter was quiet in the back seat. I spent the drive home preparing to forgive Lenny if he didn’t handle the situation well. When we pulled into the driveway and parked, a small voice from the backseat said: “The whole way home, I’ve been trying to come up with the best way to tell Dad. But I guess that’s just what boys do. They get mad.”
This made me sad. But I knew, from experience, that she was right to expect her Dad to be at least somewhat angry. Not yelling angry. Just teeth clenched and quieter than normal angry. I told her that, yes, men often have a harder time controlling their angry reactions but that doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. I said a silent prayer that she would not pick an angry man to spend her life with because she thought that was normal.
And into the house we went.
When we got in, I was greeted with a cheerful hello. I went about my business for a few minutes wondering when he would bring it up. He didn’t. And not in the teeth clenched way, either. When I asked him about it, he said: “I’m not worried about it. It’s not like it was a new car, anyway.”
He handled it with such grace and understanding. He couldn’t have shown his daughter a better way to deal with a disappointing situation.
That is the power of using the right words at the right time. Or, not using the wrong ones.
Later that evening, Lenny and I were driving – in the newly scraped car – and I told him the whole story. From what we were expecting as a response from him to my delight at the great service I felt he’d done, not only to me in the current moment, but to his daughter, possibly for years to come.
I will never tell you that I have a man who is perfect (at least, not one I can see, hear and, uh, smell, from time to time). But I will happily brag on Lenny, a great man for growth, improvement and working to be better all the time. How blessed I am!
How Blessed Are You?
In what ways are you blessed by the husband that you have? (If he’s not yet your husband, we still want to hear about him!) Please leave a comment below.
Sometimes it’s all we can do to feel blessed by our spouses, I know. This is the chance to grow that ability. Feeling blessed is like a muscle. It needs to be used to work well.
I can’t wait to hear! And don’t forget. Take your kind, appreciative thoughts and shower them on him in words, written or spoken. His head will not get too big but his heart just might get bigger.