Men, for whatever reason, live on an island during trying times. When we get frustrated or hurt or are just simply lost, we retreat to a lonely place and wallow in our sorrows. If we do happen to open up to our friends, it’s only to complain. This is especially true when it comes to problems in the marriage. This is not healthy.
My question for us today is: Do you have a husband mentor? What I mean by that is, do you have a friend in your life whom you look up to as both a man and a husband who you can go to during times of trouble and frustration in your marriage?
Marriage is hard, and often we encounter problems we just did not expect or have no idea how to deal with. Why did she say that? Why is she upset about this? Is having sex ____ times a week normal? As we learn how to be married, and as we continue to encounter new stages in life (newlywed, moves, jobs, parents, parents of teens, etc.), it is extremely helpful to have someone to go to whom we can confide in, and seek guidance from. We unfortunately live in a time where we’d rather go to Google for marriage advice before we’d go to a man happily married for 25 years. We’ve lost faith in finding wisdom in our heritage, and find it in our cell phones instead.
Next time you and your wife encounter a problem, instead of going to your friends to complain about the “old ball and chain” everybody-loves-raymond style, think of someone you could go to who could actually contribute to you fixing the problem. Retreating to jokes about how nagging/condescending/demanding/confusing our wives are is not healthy for you, for your friends, or for those who look up to you (see my post Bad Marriages Aren't Funny).
Opening up about personal things isn’t easy because we feel that admitting failure is the same thing as admitting defeat (it’s not). Finding another husband who has been down your road before and lived to tell the tale is worth its weight in gold.
If you happen to have a friend who’s been a husband mentor to you, I’d love to hear an example or two about how that person positively affected your marriage.