Husbands, have you ever felt emotionally tapped? I’m talking about being in a place where you know your wife needs your affection, emotional support, or words of loving affirmation, but you feel like you have nothing.
This happened to me the other day. It’s not always fun.
My wife was struggling a bit and really needed my encouragement. But, as she was asking for encouragement I realized that I too needed encouragement at the moment. We were both physically exhausted. We both just got off work and it was a 13 hour day for me. At the moment I felt emotional spent. She was looking for a deposit into her emotional bank account, but I felt as if I didn’t have any funds to transfer.
I wish I could say that it turned out amazing and I did the super spiritual thing by directly going to God and asking him for supernatural love. But, I went to the other extreme and started telling her why she didn’t need to feel that way, I too was feeling like I could use some encouragement, and how she needed to stop focusing on negative things. Bad idea.
You ever been there before?
I’ve realized that most times when I reach my emotional bandwidth and my wife is asking me for support there are a number of negative traps that tempt me. These include:
1. Inadequacy – I feel I don’t have what it takes to emotionally satisfy my wife, as if nothing I could say is good enough.
2. Powerlessness – I feel as if I don’t have the power to change the situation, there is nothing I can do to help her or myself.
3. Caving – I feel as if I just want to run and hide in a cave until this emotional storm passes.
4. Exploding – I feel like yelling and throwing it all back in her face since she is responsible for her feelings right?
5. Blaming – I feel like blaming her for how she feels because she would not feel this way if she changed things.
However, none of these actually get you anywhere. All they do is make things worse. They may feel good for a moment. But, the results are always hurt, anger, frustration, or distance.
One thing I’m learning over and over is that I have what it takes to fully love my wife. Yes, there are times I will be emotionally spent. There are times I will reach my bandwidth. There are times I won’t know what to say or do. But, if I truly believe what God says in his word then I can enter into the grace that is sufficient.
In myself I don’t have anything to offer, but God’s grace has no limit. Reaching your limit is the portal to enter into God’s fullness. As husbands we feel inadequate if we don’t know what to say or do, we feel powerless if we can’t change something. But God’s grace is never inadequate and his power is never depleted.
You have the grace you need to love your wife beyond your natural ability to love her. Reaching your limit is one of the best things that can happen in your marriage because it forces you to run to God and receive his grace to love your wife. I don’t always hit this mark, but when I do it is so powerful for my marriage because my wife experiences the depths of God’s love through me, her husband.
And, this is real love. A love that is unconditional, goes far beyond feeling, and always endures.
Let’s Do This Together
When you reach your emotional limit how do you tend to respond? What do you feel at that moment?