When a Man Does Not Clearly Communicate His Heart, He Can Lose Everything
Don’t Be Flippant
Brokenhearted, a man told me he used to say to his family, "If you don't like living here, don't let the door hit you in the fanny on the way out.”
Feeling unappreciated as the provider, he would exclaim this flippantly. He assumed everyone would decode his point, which was not to actually send them the message that he wanted them to leave but that he was feeling disrespected in that moment.
He certainly never wanted to hear in response something like, “You know, I don’t like living here, so I think I’ll leave after all.” Instead, he wanted to hear back, “Oh, no, we are so sorry. We value everything you do, and more so, we respect who you are as the provider. There is no way we’d leave. You are the best.”
But such a reply never came. Instead, his words hurt and offended his wife and family, rightfully so. His comments came across to them as mean and cruel. Usually when he spoke such things, he was doing so belligerently, all up in their face. Eventually, the way he appeared to his family wore them out and tore up his family, leaving him all alone.
Don’t Misrepresent Your Heart
This husband misrepresented his deepest heart—which was to be respected and appreciated by his family for all that he did to provide for them—by appearing uncaring, angry, and demeaning whenever he was not feeling respected. This is wrong and will not work.
Unfortunately, he is far from alone in this. Many a husband, in the same effort to express his deepest heart to those most precious to him, may not intend to come across as unloving though he says things that make him sound unloving. Based on his words and tone that he is outwardly expressing, and not on his deepest felt needs that remain unexpressed to them, his family can interpret him as mean and heartless. And who would blame them?
Sadly, as he seeks to generate the respect of those listening, he says things that strike them as unloving. Because when a husband comes across unlovingly to gain respect, it will backfire on him.
“...when a husband comes across unlovingly to gain respect, it will backfire on him.”
As it did with the man above who miscommunicated his heart when he spoke to his family, “If you don't like living here, don't let the door hit you in the fanny on the way out.” And to make matters worse, he added that when his son grew up, he used this same expression with his own wife. And she left too.
Don’t take that chance. Communicating your heart to those dearest to you is one matter you cannot risk getting wrong.
Questions to Consider
How About You?
- What deepest heart desire are you trying to express to your wife and family but are not doing so clearly?
- What flippant remarks or silent withdrawals are they misinterpreting that could one day leave you all alone like the man above?