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When Your Mate Seems Like a Stranger

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Discover the God-created differences between men and women, and how that impacts your marriage.

Family Counseling Ministries -

A key strategy for overcoming anger toward a marriage partner is to learn the God-created differences between men and women. In Article #5 of this series we learned that women tend to be more subjective than men as they process the many details and situations of their lives.


Logic, on the other hand, typifies the husband’s thinking style. He generally studies the evidence at hand, and then step-by-step, in an orderly fashion, he reaches a conclusion.


Women are also usually more intuitive than men. Relying on instinct and emotion, a wife often “knows without knowing how she knows.” When she tells her husband, for example, “I feel that you’ve changed towards me. You haven’t told me you love me lately,” he responds with,

What do you mean? Of course I love you. You see how hard I work for our family and you know I’m faithful to our marriage vows.

While she seeks emotional affirmation and reassurance, in his way of thinking the facts should speak for themselves.

Most men focus on the workplace and the world. This is where the action is for them. They are constantly searching for new challenges and pursuing ways to expand their horizons. By the grace of God, these interests and motivations enable them to fulfill their roles as protectors and providers. Traditionally, wives have regarded the home as extensions of themselves. A woman’s desire to make her home a warm, nurturing place, and to reign graciously as queen of that domain, is a biblical goal. According to Scripture, a woman is to look to her husband as the leader and decision-maker in the home.

A woman learns to rely on the decisions of her husband by trusting in the sovereignty of God. She learns obedience to her Heavenly Father by committing the outcome of her husband’s leadership to the will of a faithful and merciful God. When a woman has absolute confidence in God’s plans and purposes, she is able to face even the most challenging situations, and act with wisdom and maturity.


However, when a woman relies upon her husband because she feels insecure and inadequate, the dignity of both the husband and the wife are diminished. A woman who places her confidence in God knows that He will empower her to be the kind of woman described in Proverbs 31 and Titus 2. Only by faith in the power of God can a woman find fulfillment in her role as a helpmate.


A woman who wants to meets the needs of her husband, and who wants to be regarded as an integral part of his life, must first seek her identity in Christ and understand her worth in Him. A man who longs to be effective in meeting his wife’s needs, and who wants to fulfill his role as the protector and provider, can only do so by acknowledging that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.

When marriage partners recognize their identities in Christ, they are able to fulfill their roles as husbands and wives. Only then are they able to deal constructively with anger.


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