My husband detests that I sought help from our pastor

Monday, December 7th, 2020 00:00 |
Angry couple.

Hi Achokis. 

My husband and I have been married for the last 17 years. We have three children and have had a largely good marriage.

We have had some serious issues, and have tried to solve them for many years to no avail. 

And so last month, I went and shared the same with our pastor. When our pastor called us for counselling, my husband wasn’t amused.

He grudgingly came for the session out of respect for the pastor (he is also an elder in the church), but has gone quiet on me since then.

When I try to talk to him he lashes out at me and even accused me of exposing him to the pastor. I’m confused. What should I have done?

Our take

Thank you for your question. This can be a sensitive issue for many couples. On one hand, you feel you have tried your level best to resolve issues with your husband and on the other hand, you don’t know what else to do other than reaching out for help, which complicates the matter.

Men don’t want to appear like they can’t manage their homes. So, they are usually not open to outside help as they see it as interference.

They can be so egoistic, feeling that they have everything in control and nobody should tell them how to run their home.

After all, this is what they saw their fathers or other male figures in their lives do. 

He feels exposed

And so, his natural reaction is to resist any attempt that would make him look like a failure, especially before people he holds in high esteem, like in your case, his pastor.

Men want to impress such people and so when a wife seeks help, he feels exposed. 

So what should you have done? You should have reassured him of your confidence in him and approached him in a way that he doesn’t see himself as a failure.

Secondly, you should have asked him if it was okay for you to bring this up with your pastor.

Should he have objected, then you should have asked him who else you could approach.

It is always important for a couple to agree beforehand on who can mediate between them in case of any disagreements or misunderstandings.

If that is agreed on earlier in the relationship, and constantly updated, then it becomes easier for you to seek help from that person or couple. 

Not too late

Approaching him respectfully could have made him bring down his defenses allowing you into his space.

You could even have brought up the issue when a close friend of his was around.

The kind of friend that he really trusts. That too bring it up in a familiar story and see how he or his friend reacts.

Hopefully, that would have softened things and made it easier for you to bring up the issue. It is however, not too late, you can still go back, apologise and do it right.     The writers are marriage and relationship coaches,  [email protected]

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