Marriage,  Stories

Encouragement every man needs when he goes through tough times

There’s a quote that goes: “Behind every great husband is an encouraging wife”. Personally, I believe that this is best seen when your husband is going through tough times.  Everyone goes through problems and challenges; it’s normal, but it’s indeed heartbreaking to see someone you love deeply experiencing so much pain and sorrow.

I experienced this first-hand a few months ago.

My father-in-law passed away while my husband was out of the country. The moment I learned of the sad news, I instantly thought of the best way to tell Noli who was miles away.  I know how much he loved Papa and how much he had already been through trying to cope with my father-in-law’s deteriorating health before he left. So just imagine how breaking the news to my husband crushed my heart in so many ways.  I wanted to hug him, to tell him to be strong, and to assure him that God is in control, but I was simply at a loss for words.  I could feel him struggling to compose himself, but my heart knew he wanted so badly to have someone by his side at that time. As my husband mourned for his loss, my love for him grew even more tender knowing that I could find ways to be a light in his darkest moments.

When faced with life’s storms, we find it difficult to make the right decisions but we need to remember that we do have a choice.  We can either choose to walk away and isolate ourselves or to go through the storm with those we love.  I committed to choose the latter and stand by my husband – never leaving him at a time he needed me the most.

Every man is different and each one has his own way of coping. Some may wear their emotions on their sleeves, others might be too proud to show their weak side, while most men would tend to go through it on their own.  Knowing this,  I tried my best to put myself in Noli’s shoes in order to discern what I had to do to fill the emptiness in his heart.

If there is one thing I admire about Noli, it’s that he’s not afraid to go through pain and to accept his lowest point. His faith in God is steadfast despite all the reasons to question His plan. It challenged me to be the “encouraging wife” he needed during what is, by far, the saddest moment in his life. This experience, in fact, made me realize three things:

  • Sometimes he’ll just want to be left alone.

Wives, we have to understand that our husbands also need space and time to be on their own.  Let us not feel hurt if it seems that they may not need our comfort or even want to talk about their feelings because this is not the point. Sometimes, it is in their quiet moments that God will speak powerfully and healing can take place.

I needed to give Noli his “quiet time” so God can work on him more. The best thing I can give for him during this time is my constant love and respect.

  • He needs me to believe in him.

Despite this devastating time, I know that Noli needs me to believe that he can and will rise above it.  I need to have faith – and to show him – that he will eventually find the rainbow beyond the clouds and use this experience to be a better, stronger person.

  • He is counting on me to be strong when he is weak.

Wives, we need to find our strength in God so that our spouse can fully depend on us when he needs to. We need to learn how to read their emotional needs.  Even if it can be emotionally tiring, I know that Noli needs me to be stronger than ever.

Trials are high-pressure experiences that can potentially make us better versions of ourselves. That is why I believe it is important to strengthen the foundation of every marital relationship, so that when difficult times come our way, our marriage stays afloat.   We have to create as many perfect moments together when things are going well so that when life gets tough, we have more reasons to run towards our spouse and not away from each other.

 

Wives, how do you challenge yourself to be the “encouraging wife” your husband needs when he goes through stormy times?

Samantha Catabas-Manuel

Married to Noli Manuel, a missionary, and a mom of two, Sam's other greatest passion is writing, especially on topics that make her heart skip a beat: family, relationships, parenting, love, and faith. Working as a marketing communications manager at a premier wellness resort in Batangas, Sam has been a contributor to various family and parenting publications.

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