Skipping straight to the two that are most relevant to ANR and sexual intimacy:
3. You unload on him as
soon as he walks in the door.
One thing I can’t stress to wives enough—hug your man when he comes in from work! Greet him with a kiss and some love. Give him an encouraging word, and hold off on letting him know what a tough time you’ve had. He has had a long day. (You might have faced a challenging day yourself, but you show genuine love and care for your man when you take interest in him and his day above your own.) He’s been hit with challenges that you haven’t faced, and perhaps he fought battles you’ll never know about. Be what makes it all worth coming home to.
“I want to be able to give my husband a safe place where he can come home at the end of a long day and let all the worries and stress fall away.”
– Email I received from a follower who obviously desires an ANR
“I want to have a relaxing, cozy home for my husband to come home to; his safe-haven from the day to day grind”
10. You use sex as a weapon.
The gift of sexual intimacy is to be an expression of unselfish love. It’s a physical demonstration of spiritual unity. Don’t withhold yourself to punish your husband, and don’t use your intimacy as a bribing technique (1 Cor. 7:1–5). Honor your marriage bed as sacred, and love your husband well.
“But because sexual immorality is so common,[d] each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. 3 A husband should fulfill his marital responsibility to his wife, and likewise a wife to her husband. 4 A wife does not have the right over her own body, but her husband does. In the same way, a husband does not have the right over his own body, but his wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another sexually—except when you agree for a time, to devote yourselves to[e] prayer. Then come together again; otherwise, Satan may tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
– 1 Corinthians 7
1. You throw him under
the bus in public.
When you point out his faults, criticize, or correct him, he feels like an idiot in front of others—and that’s demeaning. Don’t embarrass him in any way (especially in front of your children). Would you want him to do that to you?
2. You remind him
of his past failures.
It’s something that was settled long ago (or maybe just last week), and you just can’t seem to let it go. We’ve all failed. Let go of things that have already been worked through and settled. If there are unresolved issues that were never dealt with biblically, take steps to graciously resolve them and move on.
4. You expect him to be
just like your girlfriends.
He’s probably not a scrapbooker, or a fan of spending five hours shopping. An afternoon in the nail salon is probably not his idea of fun. He’s not going to communicate with you like your best friend or want to know the complete story you want to tell—down to the very last detail. Appreciate him for being a man, and leave the girl stuff to your girlfriends.
5. You expect him
to read your mind.
Just tell him. Don’t play those mind games where you’re thinking, If he really loved me, I wouldn’t have to tell him that I want him to . . . (fill in the blank). Your husband will be so grateful if you’ll ditch the mind-reading game and just have some honest and gracious communication.
6. You treat him
like your child.
Men know they don’t think like we do. They know it can be challenging to measure up to our expectations or desires. When they forget to close the lid on the toilet, it’s not because they want to irritate us. When they take the long route because they forgot the right exit, it’s not because they want to burn that extra gas. When we talk to our husbands in the same tone we would use with our children, it’s disrespectful. And that’s a sin.
7. You start an
emotionally-charged discussion at 11 p.m.
Don’t wait until bedtime to bring up a topic of discussion that has the potential to put the two of you on opposite sides of an all-out battle until near dawn. If you need to have a conversation that has the potential for major conflict or emotion, do it early in the evening (or maybe save it for a morning when he’s home). Respect his need to get some rest.
8. You compare him to that
“perfect guy” at church.
Your husband may not seem as “spiritual,” may not treat you the same way you see that “perfect guy” treat his wife, may not sound as knowledgeable, or seem as interested in the sermon. But your husband probably has some worthy qualities you may be missing because you’re so focused on what he’s “not.” Rather than comparing him to another man, why not ask God to open your eyes to see things you’ve not yet appreciated about him?
9. You give him the
Whenever you use the silent treatment to manipulate him, it harms both of you. The silent treatment is a hostile punishment tool. Don’t make things more difficult by clamming up or stuffing your anger. If you’re hurt or angry, first go to God and ask Him to search your heart to see if the anger is righteous or if there is some offense that needs to be discussed. Talk it out with your husband. Be honest and humble in your communication, and remember—he’s not your enemy!