“Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.” —Strachan Hurd


“He’s my other child.” What starts out as a joke between a wife and her friend, or a comment in a blog post, or spoken in frustration plants a seed of change in how she sees her husband.

While it might seem innocuous at first, it quickly puts a divide in the unity between husband and wife.

A word to wives: It snowballs.

You might never even verbalize it again, but the next time you’re picking up his dirty clothes it crosses your mind. And then it affects your attitude towards him.

Your friends might have heard you say it, and it will change the way that they see him. You might have said it to your husband’s face, and this will minimize him and his role.

This will make him feel unappreciated, unloved and unworthy – translating to anger and resentment.

Keep in mind – the way you speak to your husband will sow in him the characteristics you will later see. Choose which set you want:

Child: immature, irresponsible, dependent, small
Husband: partner, equal, intimate relationship

Do you want to get out of this cycle?

Step 1: Acknowledge the words and/or attitudes to this effect in your marriage. You can’t make any progress without taking responsibility. Ask for forgiveness.

Step 2: A word to husbands: A true apology from your wife is a humbling experience for her. She is not perfect. Create an environment for this conversation where grace (rather than finger-pointing) is the underlying sentiment.

Step 3: Create a vision for your marriage. There is not a successful company that does not have a vision statement to guide their decisions. Why should you leave your marriage’s direction up to the wind? It’s vitally important that you both communicate and agree on what the roles of husband and wife look like to you. Don’t rely on the stereotypes, they probably won’t fit you best. Unarticulated expectations and unspoken needs won’t clear themselves up unless you communicate specifically.

A man who feels small will not show up for his wife. Take the steps you need for your marriage to grow through this.


Take a load off your feet! Care.com is a great way to de-stress your life and make your day to day simpler for you and your spouse.

When you check out Care.com you’ll find the largest digital marketplace for finding and managing family care whether you need a housekeeper, a dog walker, a tutor or someone to run your errands, they have all of this and more.

Save 30% OFF your Care.com premium membership today.

Other Resources:

QBQ! The Question Behind the Question

47 Positive Words to Describe Your Spouse

Episode 334: The Emasculated Man

Position of the Month Club

Strategic Coaching Session with Alisa

Support ONE Extraordinary Marriage by shopping at Amazon.com.

Leave a review on iTunes | Submit a question | Call (858)876-5663

Please note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “435: HE’S NOT YOUR CHILD

  1. I loved this podcast! I thought it paired nicely with my devotion on the power of the tongue! I couldn’t help thinking as I was listening and cheering you both on – is there anything that I am doing like this to my wife? My chin hit the ground when visions of statements about her cleaning or cooking or worse her hatred of camping. Thank you for drawing my attention. Keep up all the good work!

  2. I agree completely that words are powerful and that the tongue steers your thoughts like a ships rudder. But while listening to this podcast I couldn’t help have the thought “what about the husband’s responsibility in all this?” There was ample talk of the wife changing the way she talks about her husband lest it not become a self fulfilling prophecy. However unless I missed it there was nothing about the husband Just. Acting. Like. A. Responsible. Adult. What if the wife has asked for help, begged for help. Prayed about her frustration and bitterness? And those requests go unanswered while the husband remains just as burdensome as the children?