A lady seeks advice. I lack information to advise her, but I shall respond generally about the male nature that possibly and probably influences him. For relationship experts (women) reading this post, keep this in mind: Everything in a relationship is relative to other people and recovery is far more important than causes.
Symptom: As she put it, he “suffers from ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ syndrome.”
Diagnosis: He suffers from low self-esteem and inadequate self-image for leading others. Results do not match his expectations in the home. He probably lost patience trying to achieve what he thought he was stepping into with marriage. He essentially did not get what he bargained for, or so his thinking defaults. He’s who he is and he sees no reason to change. It’s possible and very probable that he doesn’t like the role he’s filling relative to others around him. Also, he doubtless suffers low self-esteem but nothing can be done about it.
Likely Outcome: Three options are open. (1) He and the whole family learn to live with the present atmosphere. (2) Deterioration of home atmosphere and perhaps the family will occur with attempts to change him. (3) He will likely make small incremental changes in his behavior as he responds to others uplifting his self-respect, -confidence, -sense of responsibility.
Recovery: She can’t change him, but he will change in response to her and the children changing their behaviors. If their changes uplift him, his changes will likely (but no guarantees) improve his behaviors relative to them. His root cause is low self-esteem but it can’t be changed. However, article 1415 and earlier ones describe how self-image (SI) can be improved such that low self-esteem (SE) becomes virtually non-functional. The following summarizes it.
Others can help escalate someone’s SI. Women lead children, parents coach teens, and wives encourage husbands toward bigger and better things and then admire their accomplishments.
Here’s how it works. The only compensation for low SE in both sexes is personal accomplishments that uplift their spirits and encourage them to develop further, to grow into a better and more worthy person as they see themselves in their world. On the flip side within their gender, they see themselves as more worthy, accept themselves as more natural, and view themselves as more regular and accepted. Thus, by trying to be a better person, they become better male or female in the eyes of themselves and others. They soon learn to spend much less time disliking themselves (low SE). They have so much to admire in themselves (males) or they’re so important in their world (females). They learn to like themselves in spite of low SE that previously spoiled their inner spirit and reflected outwardly as lousy attitude.
These are ways in which wife can help husband expand his self-image, -respect, confidence, and appreciation of those around him. Find some way that husband exemplifies good leadership and admire him for being that way instead of the examples he specifically sets. Not what he just did but what traits and skills enable him to do it so well.
Does he produce well?—then how and why more than what! Provide well?—how and why more than what! Get the picture? Protect well?—how and why! Problem solve well?—then…! Are there some parts of his fathering and husbanding that are good examples for others to follow? Church-goer? Prayer warrior? Self-disciplined? Sharp dresser? Well mannered at table? Grateful or faithful child of God? How does he use his natural strengths so wisely? Is he a wise counselor for a wife or youngsters? Does he respect others for who they are or what they do? Does he especially care for his extended or immediate family? Does he take good care of the cars and yard? Does he take pride in home ownership? Is he an expert handy-man?
Doing those things pushes wives to look for the good in their man. Good, because any improvements in husband come from that source instead of the more popular criticism and demeaning of men and their nature.
Wives trying to relate to this post run into this obstacle. ‘I see too many wrong or bad things that keep me from seeing what Guy mentions’. May I invite you to look again. Forget the past. Focus your efforts on admiring the good examples that he sets and forget criticizing, demeaning, and hoping to change him. Instead, focus on the only thing likely to turn him around, which is his seeking more admiration for doing what pleases you. After that your burden with teaching the children will ease up.