Is your wife following your lead? There are some women who believe that the female gender is smarter, and they should be in charge. But I’ve found that most women don’t fall into that category. Everyday women, reasonably healthy women, strong and wise women really want their husbands to take the lead. It’s more romantic.
And she feels safer, protected.
She can focus on doing what she does best, what she was designed to do. To inspire you, to influence you, and to invite you into a richer experience of life itself.
- She inspires you with her femininity.
- She influences you by showing you another point of view.
- And she invites your senses to look beyond the task at hand.
Your leadership can free her to be who she was designed to be for you. In other words, she gets to be the girl.
But men often complain that their wives are not following their lead.
But what if your wife actually is following your lead?
Maybe she is. Let’s take a look at that for a minute.
Fred and I used to argue about that. He’d tell me – in front of our friends – what a great dancer I was. Then I would say I was only a good dancer because he was such a great lead. He was confident and gentle, and I always knew where he was leading me. Everything he did spoke volumes about the man he was on the dance floor of life. I can’t think about dancing with him without falling in love all over again.
He and I both love Victorian dances. The social custom at these events was, just as in the 19th Century, to change partners for each dance. I don’t know what other dancers were like for him.
But I can tell you, he is the only man who thought I was a good dancer!
Other guys often criticized my dancing. I thought I was following their lead, but I couldn’t tell for sure where they were going. Then they’d tell me everything I was doing wrong.
Fred has never done that. He adjusted to my ability and used his wisdom to guide me gently into attunement with him.
A woman has no problem following a man who is mindful of the woman she is and cares about her experience of him.
So what about the other guys I danced with? Was it me? Was it them? There was a definite disconnection between us.
- Some avoided taking the lead. Their lack of confidence would probably inspire some women to take over and direct the dance. For me, it just took away all the fun.
- Others were forceful. Three particular men come to mind right away. Dancing with them actually hurt. For my physical safety, I learned to avoid them.
What’s your leadership style?
- Do you avoid the responsibility?
- Are you more of an angry dictator?
- Or are you a man who is on the growing edge of his confidence?
The guy who avoids his leadership responsibility needs to give himself some grace in the learning process.
It’s actually his wife’s job to give him feedback, and she does. If he ignores here, she may get louder. Because she needs to be heard. No, you don’t need to do whatever she says. But you need to let her know you heard her and that what she said matters to you. Even when her message delivery isn’t the smoothest. Then take her perspective into consideration as you move forward.
If you continually avoid taking responsibility for leadership and avoid conversations with your wife, you are playing the role of the victim in your own story.
The guy who has to have control of everything is shooting himself in the foot.
He’s not enjoying the loving partnership God intends for him. Instead, his wife and children will avoid him. If your family feels devalued and controlled, they may become passive-aggressive, putting on a show in front of you, then doing as they please – acting out – behind your back.
If you are an authoritarian leader, you are playing the role of the villain in your own story.
No man sets out to play the victim or the villain in his own story!
He just feels like those are his only two choices – to avoid as much as he can for as long as he can or to get defensively angry and aggressive. He just doesn’t know what else he can do.
- Many who are trying to guide him into this uncharted territory are making the same mistakes he is. That’s not helpful.
- Others try to convince him that he has to become feminine himself if he wants a happy marriage. That’s not helpful either!
- Because nothing could be further from the truth. A man needs to be a man.
So if you avoid, you’re the victim. If you attack, you’re the villain. And wives react, rather than respond, to those styles of leadership.
What’s your third option? How can you get her to respond positively, rather than react negatively, to your leadership style?
You know you want to be the hero. How does that work?
As the hero of your own story, you begin by admitting that you don’t know what you don’t know. Then you learn.
Instead of avoidance or aggression, you approach the challenge knowing you have the ability to learn how to win at leadership.
Women can befuddle you. But the only one who matters is your wife. You chose her. I realize you may have given your heart to someone else before. Your mind will wander to previous relationships, which is understandable and part of the process, but not your goal.
This woman is the one who counts.
Focus on her. She is following your lead now, and she’s the best reflection of your leadership abilities to this point.
Does she give you advice? Wear the pants? Run the show? You don’t realize that she’s worried, doesn’t feel safe, and you don’t seem to care. If that’s what’s going on, you’re probably avoiding your leadership responsibilities because you don’t know how to handle her feedback.
But you can learn.
Is your wife the one who is avoiding? You’re probably being aggressive because you think you have to be strong all the time. But strength is so much more powerful when it’s under control. That’s the definition of gentleness: strength under control.
You can learn that, too.
Would you like to upgrade your status?
When you don’t know something you need to know, you learn it, right?
That’s what a hero does.
He learns about his wife and how he can be a better lead from a guide who knows the territory and the language, and can teach him the life skills he’ll need to succeed.
You were born to be the hero of your own story.
It’s time for you to begin this journey. And I’m here to help.