This companion article to “1715 Compatibility: Wifely Intuitives” looks at smoothing wavelets of incompatibility before they build into breakers and tsunamis. I suggest that wives keep a closer than accustomed watch on their relationship. Don’t look for mistakes or problems, but look for changes that signal one mate getting out of touch with the other. Men don’t change much. When they do, it can be a sign that compatibility is under threat or being undermined.
A wife’s first realization should be this: She is probably the cause of changes that appear in their marriage. Not to blame her, but to cite this fact: She is more willing and flexible than is he, so she’s more likely to change for both the better and worse, intended and unintended, innocent and even manipulative. Also, if husband changes for the worse, she needs to counter and hopefully restore compatibility. Overall, men don’t change, or at least they fancy that they don’t. They expect that women are the same unless they have ulterior motives. So, relationship maintenance falls to her.
A couple marries with every intention to get along well. However, the following indicators alert a wife to the need for special wifely intervention in the everyday affairs of the marital state. She should recognize the following as red flags. I’m not describing men’s faults but changes in behavior that may lead to incompatibility.
Her best clue is this: WADWMUFGAO, we all do what makes us feel good about ourselves. Whatever he does, his purpose is to feel better or find a way to compensate and feel better. However, he may not always get that result, which in itself is a red flag.
Allow for mellowing with age and experience, his settling into comfortable lifestyle, and her desire to improve upon the man she joined at the altar. Compare today to courtship days, soon after marriage, and recently. Take each affirming answer as a red flag; the more recent or sudden the change, the redder the flag.
- Suddenly or over a short time he pulls away from eye-to-eye chatting. His regular interests exclude her. Her interests are of much less or no interest to him.
- Men have sensibilities too. Meaningless or endless chatter offends husbands. Men tend to withdraw from the source. Babbling, gossiping, and ranting wives conceive many reasons that excuse their talking too much. They can’t admit they bore their man, because they feel so good about themselves while rattling on about details of life that have no interest for others.
- He resents what she wants, resists what she expects, and may even retaliate against her thoughts, feelings, and actions. Whatever respect he previously had for her seems to have deteriorated.
- He verbalizes more than once or disappointedly that she used to be a different woman, sweetheart, or mate.
- He withdraws from sexual relations with or without explanation or complaint. Or, he proposes or forces upon her sexual practices that violate her spirit or sensibilities if not her willingness.
- He goes silent or secretive on money matters.
- He too quickly goes on defense by attacking her. He first reacts with irritation to any of wife’s comments that sound remotely accusatory. Then, he quickly complains about her or explains himself by actually avoiding the real issue.
- She detects in him resistance or resentment to her ideas, opinions, or handling/managing their life together. Perhaps, her home management comes under fire as suddenly inadequate or the same for how she mothers the children.
- His eagerness to please her drops off slowly over time. She appears to be sliding out of his unique favor. The subtleness of it causes her self-respect to slip without her being aware.
- He fails to respond to her pleas that they can do better. When she brings up new ideas, plans, or details, he withdraws in disinterest. Her concerns for the long-range future go unheeded.
- He more easily displays anger especially at her. She’s left with a dilemma. Is it her or something else? She lives with many unknowns, because he can easily become frustrated with himself or surrounding conditions that prevent progress and turn it into anger at whomever is near, convenient, or interruptive. (Females are so wonderfully blessed—and much better than men—to live and deal with uncertainties, dilemmas, and ambiguities.)
- In a bad mood, he complains that she isn’t the same woman he married, and his bad moods emerge more often. Has she lost her ability or his acceptance of her pleasing him?
- His gratefulness for her has seemingly declined.
- His respect for her has seemingly declined.
- Her self-respect seems to weaken when she’s with him.
- He suddenly spurns her efforts to improve his self-confidence, uplift his spirits, or encourage his participation at home or job.
- He doesn’t feel comfortable—or perhaps he feels challenged—in his role as king of the home. If challenged by her, dye the flag redder.
- His latest job-related trauma sours his life in the home.
Wives are far more able than I to identify red flags. So, I let them continue the list so I can get on with the heart of the incompatibility subject. Post 1717 tomorrow holds many surprises that women have never heard. It’s a promise.