We women can be a pain, don’t you think?
From what I gather, we’re hard to understand and impossible to deal with. Some of you have gone so far as to call us borderline psycho. Can’t live with us, can’t
kill us live without us. What’s a man to do?
Well… if you ask me, it’s not that bad. Once you understand us, we’re fairly simple creatures. In fact, any woman who acts out in seeming irrationality is probably doing so
with one of four excuses for one of four reasons:
1) She feels neglected/abandoned and is crying out for attention;
2) She feels unheard/ignored and is tired of repeating herself;
3) Hormones (PMS, pregnancy, menopause, etc);
4) All of the above.
Women are observant. Many of them learn very early in life that there are things they can do to get whatever they want. When you first get into a relationship, the average woman will try to push your buttons just to see how far she can go and how much she can get away with. She might do it consciously or sub/unconsciously. Left to her own devices, any woman can dish out plenty of garbage and selfishly bulldoze any man’s life into nothingness without lifting a finger. Which is why I’m sure many of you want to end up with a woman who has submitted herself to Jesus. But love is tricky, and we are human. Everyone is growing… that means nobody has arrived. Some people are further along than others. So what do you do when you find you love a woman so much and are considering spending the rest of your life with her, but just cannot understand her occasional or frequent irrational outbursts? Well… here’s are some thoughts from a woman who’s had a “moment” or two…
1. Ignore her tantrum. Just “refuse to know”, as they put it in Kenyanese. As you get to know her, you’ll be able to know when a tantrum is on the way. Purpose within yourself at that moment that you will not be dragged into it. If she’s trying to pick a fight, then addressing it right away will be falling into her trap. You can ignore a tantrum by:
- Lightening her mood. Without being heartless or disregarding her emotions, disregard the issue and love her back to her senses. If she’s moody and refuses to talk about it, or if she’s giving you the silent treatment, don’t keep asking. A hug might be a good way to lighten her mood. A reassuring (but not rehearsed) compliment or statement might work, too. By that I mean a reminder that you’re there for her. Saying “You’re beautiful when you’re mad” is not likely to work in your favor.
- Causing a distraction. If you can tactfully move on to a happier, safer topic, then by all means, do so. Know your woman so well that you can distract her without her noticing it. She’ll try to pick a fight, and twenty minutes later, she’ll realize she forgot, but she’ll be so happy she won’t need to fight anymore. “Hey, look; a squirrel!” right after she brings up a serious topic is probably not a good strategy.
2. Do not ignore her. She’s a woman. She needs your reassurance. Guilt trips are mean, as is the silent treatment, even if she’s giving you the same. Remember what Jesus said, “If you love only those who love you, what reward have you?” Love is about doing what we would normally do on a good day, even when we’re really upset. It’s okay if you’re a little less jolly or if you’re a little quieter than normal because a woman acting up can be a pain to deal with. But if you were going to give her a ride somewhere, do it anyway; if your routine is to send a goodnight text every night, go ahead and do it no matter how she acts. Extend grace to her.
3. Make it clear that her behavior is unacceptable. It does not matter how bad a woman’s childhood was, what time of the month it is, who cut her off in traffic. A vent from time to time just to get a listening ear is alright, and the occasional snap during the first trimester of pregnancy is unlikely to be coming from a bad place. But taking out her anger with the world on you, to the point that you begin to question your worth, is unacceptable. You are a child of God, not a doormat, and you are not God to her either, so there’s only so much you can help and so far you can go. If she’s angry, let her dump it on the only One who can change things; God says that we should cast our burdens on Him, not on each other. There are ways to let her know that you will not take her drama, but are available when she’s ready to talk. One very effective way to pull this off is to simply say it to her. For example, “I value this relationship too much to reduce it to a juvenile travesty by participating in the shouting match you’re trying to start. We’re adults. I love you. When you’re ready to talk, I’m here.” When she starts to go off on you, calmly tell her (in much nicer words): “I don’t play that,” and watch the volume of her voice go down immediately.
4. Do not lose your temper. The more irrational she’s being, the calmer you need to be. There’s a reason you’re the more logical person in the equation. Try to listen to her accusations to pick up clues and get to the bottom of the issue. What is this fight really about? A dirty car, a forgotten birthday, being late, or something much deeper? Does that “I-CANNOT-BELIEVE-THIS-MESS” rant have anything to do with you? No? Wait it out, listen, nod and smile, and when she’s done, before you try to fix it, reassure her.
5. Think about her love-tank, as the marriage counselors call it. Is she running on E? Is she feeling neglected? What has she been bringing up over and over lately? Has she been asking you to do something that you haven’t done? Is she starting to resent you for something and using a simple fight as an excuse to vent?
6. Count the days. I cannot find a Bible verse to back me up on this one. Perhaps Proverbs 22:3. While I believe that there is no excuse for nasty behavior, I think it’s in your best interests to know when it’s that time of the month. If you begin to notice that all fights begin around the 15th, you can brace yourself for it and understand that she is not being a complete nut. You can also go out of your way to make the 14th very exceptional, so that she’s too happy to pay attention to every tiny thing going wrong around her. You’ll know not to bring up annoying or hurtful topics during this time because they will be responded to with twice the fire of a normal-day response. I should add, for reasons that I’ll not get into at this moment, that it is totally unacceptable to ask, “Is it that time of the month?” and all other variations of that question, in all possible tones, including condescending, loving, and sarcastic. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
7. Apologize if you’re wrong. I wouldn’t recommend doing it with a gift. I’d say give the gift after the apology. I could be wrong, because I don’t really care too much for gifts, but I suppose even the most Gift-Love-Language of women will begin to feel like an object or property if every time something goes wrong, she gets a box of something instead of a sincere apology and change of behavior. There’s also the risk of her beginning to pick fights every time she wants to update her wardrobe or driveway.
8. Refuse to discuss certain topics. This is not the same as ignoring the tantrum. This is the two of you deciding that you will not discuss certain issues because they are volatile and you have seen that there is no way either of you will agree with the other’s point of view. As long as you agree on doctrine, money, sex, parenting, household roles, general goals, then you do not have to agree on everything else. Let it go. It’s okay to have “no-go zones”.
9. Consider the possibility, however unlikely, that you might be the problem. Is she really being irrational, or are you doing something wrong? Is there something you’re just not getting? Are you really giving your best in this? If so, what does this say about your compatibility?
10. Walk away. If you are not married, there are things you don’t have to deal with or take. You are an individual. God created you, with your personality, for a purpose that He fashioned you to fulfill. Every quirk, your laugh, your way of thinking, were all calculated and placed in you for you to worship God by walking in your calling and by doing you. You are a child of God, and for this reason, no woman has the right to change you into someone you’re not, to batter your self-esteem, disrespect you, “confuse your life” as I call it, or treat you like a doormat. If the yoke is equal then there will be some willingness to practice the 1 Cor 13 kind of love. God who called you to be who you are, calculated the help you would need and put it in a woman that He specifically had in mind for you. If your life is not improving, if your path is not shining brighter and brighter each day, then this is not it… and it’s okay to walk away.
I hope this helps in some way.
Thanks for all you do… it’s hard being a man nowadays. Be encouraged. Love never fails, and wisdom is the principal thing.
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3. not in accordance with reason; utterly illogical: irrational arguments.