Being married to a Marine is hard because most Marines keep their armor on 24/7. Fact is, the same is true for most men, no matter their professions. They have all been trained to live as warriors. So what can a wife do?
Being married to a marine this is a tough marriage to cope with. There are actually two reasons why that is.
1. He has been trained to put on armor.
The first one is that guys in the military are taught – they are literally taught – not to cry. They’re taught to be tough. They’re taught to put their emotions to the side. They’re taught to fight to the finish, to never give up. Great qualities to have if you’re a marine or soldier or sailor or any of the military. Even firemen and policemen really need to be able to turn off that emotion and take care of business. We appreciate that about them. It’s like putting on a suit of armor, and that suit of armor protects them. The suit of armor protects them from their own vulnerability so they can charge ahead. So that they can protect us from our enemies, whether those enemies be foreign, domestic, a fire, or any other kind of threat to us. They really need to be able to put on that armor to protect us.
2. The problem is men don’t know how to take off the armor.
So when they come home, they still have their armor on. They want to take it off. Please don’t hear that they don’t want to. They want to take off that armor and relax and be loved.
But when a man walks in his house, and his wife has been away from him all day long, the first thing she picks up on is he’s wearing armor. And guess what her experience is.
He’s not available, and she starts trying to figure out what’s wrong.
- Where is he?
- Where did he go?
- Is he having an affair?
- Is he being unfaithful to me?
- Does he not care about me anymore?
- Why does he feel distant? I don’t understand him.
She doesn’t realize how much armor he has been carrying around all day long. It’s hard to take it off. It takes a period of time to transition – for any man really – from the outside world where he’s wearing some sort of armor.
Lots of guys used to wear suits, but now they still put on emotional armor as they go to work. Marines and soldiers and firemen and police officers actually take that to the next level because their armor has to be that much that much more impenetrable.
She detects that he’s not emotionally present.
He’s not there. She feels the distance between them. And she will start trying to get his attention. If he doesn’t respond the way she thinks he should, then she will very often get more intense with her attempts to connect with him. With really good intention because men need connection. It’s not good for them to be alone. Women crave connection as well, but we actually are more likely to take the action needed to make that connection. Whereas men are more likely to not try to make connection, even though they desperately need it.
That’s really confusing, eh?
She’s trying to make connection. She’s asking him questions. Sometimes she might even get to the point of being angry because he’s not responding. Even accusing him. So he now feels like he’s being attacked inside his own home.
- So he keeps the armor on.
- He might even pull out his shield.
- He might even pull out a sword to protect himself from her.
How sad when she’s really just trying to have a meaningful conversation with him and be present with him. It’s a tough thing for men to learn how to take off the armor and be vulnerable. They’ll never do that if they don’t have a wife who knows how to be a safe person for him.
We can do that ladies!
We can do that by learning
- What men are sensitive to.
- What challenges him most in life.
- Your husband’s hopes.
- His fears, too.
That’s all going to be hard for you to detect.
Because he’s not going to talk about them as directly as you would like. But when you learn to listen, and you listen with your heart, and you listen without your own armor on, you’ll begin to understand
- what bothers him,
- what keeps him going, and
- what makes him excited about life.
You can’t do that if you don’t listen through the lens of who God created a man to be.
What has been your experience?
Whether your man is a marine, a soldier, a firefighter, a policeman, or a businessman, have you experienced that he doesn’t feel available when he comes home? How do you typically respond when that happens?
I look forward to talking to you real soon!