I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but expecting ladies and new moms tend to go crazy from time to time. Before I continue let me preface this by saying that my wife has cleared this post. I should also clarify what I mean by going crazy.
Crazy– A temporary but complete loss of rationale due, but not limited, to hormonal changes, stress, pressing circumstances, crying babies and clueless husbands. (The last item was contingent to having this post cleared)
Has my wife recently gone crazy? That would be an affirmative. Was it difficult to manage? You bet. Did it push me to my own limits of sanity? Yes! Was she entitled to her crazy episode? ABSOLUTELY!!
Gentlemen, for those of you currently having to deal with a hyperemotional wife, my heart goes out to you. However, my heart is further extended for your wife… and so should yours.
Ladies, for those of you who have recently survived a crazed episode and your husband is still with you, find a way to make it up to him, he has earned it.
The bottom line gentlemen is this- we are called to minister to our wives during this time. They have a lot on their plate and they are entitled to emotional melt downs. This is one of the reasons why they have us. Surely we can all agree us husbands are responsible for our wives’ protection, right? I hope it doesn’t come as a surprise that includes not only their physical but emotional protection as well.
“Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” (1 Peter 3:7).
It is safe to say that new moms and expecting moms are in a vulnerable state. They need our support. They also need our patience and understanding.
“Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” (Colossians 3:19).
Let me set up a scenario.
We have a husband sitting down watching television. He is in his man zone. Then enters the distraught wife. He can tell she is upset, but is hesitant to ask if she is alright. The wife leaves him with no choice. She has strategically positioned herself between him and the television. It is a lose, lose situation. He can ask her what is wrong and get in trouble for not knowing why she is upset, or he could pretend she is not standing there and risk physical injury. Experience has taught him to choose the former.
“What is wrong, honey?” He braces for impact.
“Everything is wrong! Carmen gave us a new set of bottles at the shower, but we already have a set that my mom gave us. I can’t take the bottles back though because she will ask about them and it will hurt her feelings. And we can’t have Carmen getting upset because she is close friends with Debra and we know how that will go over.”
The husband just shakes his head as if he understood. He has no clue how ‘that will go over.’ Fortunately, he doesn’t have to ask. He is going to be told anyway.
Debra already thinks that I am going to be a horrible mother since I am not having a natural birth. I can’t help it! I can’t help that I have to have a cesarean done! I didn’t choose for that to happen. I just want to have a healthy baby! Is that too much to ask for?
“Well it must be for Debra! Apparently she feels like she has to remind me everyday about the risks of having a c-section. Like I have a choice! Like I chose the easiest method to have a baby. Because having a c-section IS SO EASY!” She cups her face with her hands. “I don’t know baby… do I have choice? Am I just being selfish? Oh Debra is probably right… I am going to be a horrible mother!”
What I have just described here is what many husbands have experienced in some sort of fashion. Male instinct would have us rolling our eyes, but we can’t. Male instinct would also have us fix the situation, but often times we shouldn’t. So what should we do during this time?
I promise as one man to another I am on your side, but you have to listen. Not the fake listen method we have all mastered. We need to actively listen. Listen and cut out the fat, but remember we are not fixing anything this time. For an example lets go back to the scenario. The husband could respond by saying something like,
“Sweetheart, I am sorry Debra is giving you such a hard time. For what its worth, I think you are going to be an awesome mom.” He gives her a hug and offers to cuddle on the couch.
Is it really that easy? Not always, but more often than not, that is all it takes. He showed her that he was actively listening and encouraged her rather than reason with her. Guys, when we say stuff like, ‘you are overreacting,’ our wives feel inferior. They are able to see that we don’t care about their current state. It is not our place to decide if they are overreacting or not (and chances are they know they’re talking a little crazy) , but something has brought them to this point and they often need our help getting to the root cause of the emotion. We should offer words of sympathy and understanding, not of discouragement and sarcasm. It’s hard, I know, but we have to treat them like they aren’t crazy… even though we all know they kinda are. We have to meet them where they are for healing to begin. They do this for us all the time too.
Remember it’s the husband’s responsibility to care for his wife’s emotional needs. We must actively listen to our wives when they are upset, no matter how petty or irrational they may sound. Love your wives gentlemen, and enjoy your weekend. God bless.