One of the most common responses among women is the "he ought to" response. This is really simple: upon hearing or reading that an Excellent Wife will have some characteristic or engaged in some action, the wife will respond "well, sure, but he ought to . . . ." These are words of failure.

What do I mean? Well, to put it simply, you cannot make people be what you think they ought to be. If you refuse to either obey God or be happy until someone else changes into your vision, then you will never obey God or be happy.

Men are men. Period. They are not women. More importantly, they are not you. Your husband does not like everything you like. He does not want everything that you want. No matter how close you feel to him, he remains a separate person. He remains a man. 

Now, these things come up all the time. Wives will talk about how their husband "ought to" like something, usually food, a movie, or spending time in some particular way. "He ought to like going to the store with me," they will say despite repeated evidences to the contrary. "He ought to like being with my family," they will say despite not really liking their own family. "He ought to like" whatever movie or food or activity you like. 
A few thoughts. 

First, give up the idea that you can make him like something by hassling him over it. Telling a man "you ought to like shopping" will not make him like shopping. You cannot change reality with your wishes or your words. You cannot talk him into liking something. He will either like it or he won't like it. Handing him some food he hates and telling him "you ought to like this, it's really good" will not make it taste differently to him. Nagging does not get results. Or, to put it more accurately, it does not get the results you want. 

Second, if you really need him to do something he hates, help him out. Do something that makes it more pleasant for him. If he does not like going to some "open house" at a school, then make it more pleasant by being more pleasant, by taking his arm, by acting as if he is not just someone who has to be there. When you are with family, do not just ignore him while you visit with everyone and tell him he should enjoy just sitting there.

Third, examine your own heart. Are you trying to make him someone different? He is the man you married. He is the man you picked. Maybe he doesn't like something you like, so what? It is not the end of the world. If there is a restaurant you like that he hates, then go there with a friend and leave him alone. Don't insist that he take you somewhere he hates. Accept him.

Fourth,  and this is critical, don't be stupid about this. Here is what I mean -- a man will often do something he hates because he loves his wife. She wants to go see some "chick flick" and he does not want to see it. But she wants to see it and he loves her, so he goes. He engages in an act of self-denial because he loves you. Maybe he goes to see someone who is always mean to him, but is special to you. Maybe he takes you to the restaurant he hates because you love it. 

Here is the stupid part -- women will be angry at him because he does not like it. If he goes to a movie with you, watches it with you, and is pleasant to you, then why do you care that he didn't like it? Women will get angry and tell their husbands "but you should like it." They will become angry because he did something out of love (he went for her) rather than to seek his own pleasure (because he liked it). This is a constant amazement to men. How can a woman be angry with me because I took her somewhere she wanted to go solely because I loved her so much?

If your husband takes you somewhere he does not want to go (a movie, a concert, a yard sale, something), he has engaged in an act of love. He has done something because he loves you and you should be thrilled. 

I heard a man on the radio say once that he broke up with a girl over this. She wanted to see a movie and he did not want to see it, but he agreed to go see it with her because she wanted to see it so much. Then, she became angry and refused to go see it unless he "was going because he wanted to see it." She demanded that he go for a selfish reason or not at all. She refused to let him love her. 

Do not be foolish with ":he ought to" standards. He is who he is. Let him be who he is.

Leave a Reply.