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What do I do when my wife is upset?

What do I do when my wife is upset? - Date Written: 7/1/2008

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Title: "What do I do when my wife is upset?"  Author: Unknown

This seems to be one of the biggest problems facing men today. Men are pretty good at dealing with most problems facing them. In fact, many men almost look forward to a problem as a way of conquering the dragon, and proving themselves. However, when their wife is upset, these same men are at a total loss for what do do.

Considering all the jokes about how little men know about women, this isn't really all that surprising. Even a man who knows his wife very well might not have the slightest idea of how to help her when she's upset. Part of this is because the man is wired to try and fix the problem, when that's really not what the woman needs. She doesn't need a solution, she needs an anchor to attach herself to.

When we respond to our wives' anger with anger all we are doing is showing ourselves to be immature. Instead of helping her, we end up showing her that she has good reason to be upset, and maybe should be more upset than she already is.

To understand how to help an upset woman, first we must understand a little about their emotions. In case you haven't figured it out yet, women tend to be a little more emotional than men. Basically, women function on the emotional side of their brains, while menfunction on the logical side of theirs. This can cause all sorts of problems in understanding each other. It's almost like two different species talking to each other.

Even though women function primarily based upon emotions, they don't necessarily understand their own emotions. That may seem surprising, but it's true. Part of this is because of the effect their hormones have upon their emotions. This is why a woman may like something one day, and the next she totally hates it. The difference in her hormones will greatly affect her ability to enjoy something.

Another reason that women don't understand their emotions is that much of what affects their emotions happens on a sub-conscious level. Whenever a person (male or female)receives input through their senses, it is processed by our brain through the filter of our experiences. This processing is necessary for us to understand the world around us.
(Much of what a child is learning during the early years is to have a basis of experience by which to filter what their senses tell them.) For a woman, the way those experiences have impacted their emotions is the information their brain is processing. This is totally different than what happens in a man. His brain will filter the same information through learned knowledge.

Let me try and give you a picture of what all this emotional activity can do to a woman.Picture a small row boat sitting on a lake. As long as the weather remains calm, the surface of the lake is calm, and the boat can just sit there, bobbing along on the water,doing just fine.

However, if the wind should pick up, and a storm should start, that little boat can suddenly find itself in a lot of trouble. Instead of just sitting there calmly, enjoying the water, it is suddenly tossed up, down and around by the waves. The boat doesn't have any control of what's happening to it, and can only wait until it is dashed upon the rocks.

What that boat needs then, is an anchor. Something that it can tie itself to that is stronger than the storm. Without the anchor, it is doomed, but with the anchor, it can ride out the roughest storm.

This is about what happens to a woman. She is just like that little boat. When the storm hits, she has just about as much control as the boat did. At that time, she needs her husband to become an unmoving anchor for her. Unfortunately, most of the time, her anchor (husband) is too busy trying to check out the storm, or trying to avoid the storm, to make her feel safe from the storm.

So, trying to fix the problem for her, isn't going to do a woman much good. Even if the problem is fixed, she may not feel any better about it. In fact, the process of trying to fix the problem is likely to make her feel worse. It will appear to her that the problem is more important to her man than she is.

How do we become the anchor for our wives that they need? There are three basic steps that pretty much always work, in just about any storm.

1 - Hold Her - Just like the anchor holds the boat, she needs to be held. There is something about having your arms around her that can be very reassuring. Everything else can be in turmoil, but at least she can know that you're on her team. By holding her, you help reduce her world to one of the here and now, and that here and now is one that is wrapping her with protection.

So, what if she doesn't want to be held? Do it anyway. The Bible tells us to "love our wives, even as Christ loved the church" (Eph 5:25). Loving doesn't mean that we always do what they want. True love always does what is best for the other person. Even if she doesn't want to be held, that's what she needs.

2 - Tell Her "It's Okay" - One of the things that makes a male into a man is accepting responsibility. Without taking responsibility, we are only male children in big bodies. When we tell our wives that "it's okay" we are sending them a message that we're taking responsibility. No longer do they have to worry about it, we're taking the load, and doing whatever is necessary for her.

3 - Pray For Her - As the "priest of the home," one of our responsibilities is to pray for our wives. This was one of the prime responsibilities of the Old Testament priesthood. Jesus, as our high priest, intercedes on our behalf (Heb 7:5). We as the priests of our homes must do the same for our congregation (family).

When we pray for our wives, we are fulfilling our responsibility to be their covering. When we do it in their presence, they have an opportunity to see that we are providing them with the protection that they need. There is a great comfort to women in knowing that their husbands are taking the responsibility seriously to pray for them.

There you have it, three steps to apply. You don't even have to be a rocket scientist to use them. Try it sometime, you'll find that by being an anchor for her, you will do much more than you could possibly think. Her problems will be solved by your spiritual leadership, instead of by your brain.

Rich Murphy
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Comment by: Old Site Date: 2/9/2013 7:49:37 PM
A reader says ... Just so you know upset does not equal anger yet the writer makes these synonymous. My husband has learned that I get upset i.e. emotionally overwhelmed, teary eyed, etc. and that what I really need is a listening ear. He is my gift from the Lord, my best friend and confidante. I do not need an anchor other than Christ.

A reader says ... I think I'd add something to Mr. Murphy's list, and that would be to: LISTEN to her. I once attended a wedding service where the preacher said to the groom, "Let me tell you a little secret about women. They don't want you to fix all their problems, they just want you to listen to them." I thought that was an interesting thought.

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