No two people are alike. God heals our broken hearts and bandages our wounds differently from others. Whether male or female, it’s difficult to manage pain and loss of a trial while drudging through the otherwise “normal” days of life. We need not expect our journey to be the same as the journey of our Mr Embracer.
REALIZING YOUR DIFFERENCES:
The Emotional Mess – We women are known as the emotional creatures, so it’s no surprise that we are often a crying heap. But, when things are anything but normal, you may find your Mr. Embracer to be an emotional mess, as well. He may need to cry as often as you. Cling together as cry babies or whatever you wish to call it. And, don’t let gender stereotypes trap you into certain molds.
Differences in Responses – Husbands often have trouble understanding our grief responses. Women process things so differently! Men get unnerved by our emotions because they can’t “fix them”. They don’t understand us. They don’t know how to help us with control (or lack thereof). Likewise, your Mr. Embracer may vent in ways that are new and unfamiliar to you – and even to himself. And that’s OK. He may feel the need to hit a wall with his fist, crumble in tears, or sulk alone in a corner.
Different Levels of Trust – You may have problems trusting God with the outcome of your trial (as discussed in It’s in the “Trusting” post). You and your spouse may be opposites in the trust department. One may be able to completely let go and trust God with all that happens. This particular spouse has much less worry than the partner with trust issues. The non-trusting spouse can become angry at their mate for not worrying with them and seeming not to care (although that’s not true at all).
Anger at God – We sometimes experience anger over how God could allow a certain trial. If your husband has more anger issues than you, perhaps you need to give him grace and compassion just as God gives to us. Realize your warrior embracer is dealing with things the best way he can, given his masculine wiring. If you have anger issues, realize God can handle your anger. Give it to Him and experience His love and care for you, His grace, and His compassion. Give yourself a break – and your warrior embracer, as well.
or previous expectations.
Grief happens not only with death, but when changes occur. Your sequencing through the stages of grief will not be identical to your husband’s. You and your Mr. Embracer will order them differently and move through the stages in miss-matched time frames. One of you may get stuck in a grief phase. Either or both of you may need professional help from a Christian counselor. Grief is a completely individualized process.
Mr. Fix It – Our embracer husbands are “fixers”. His God-given job as leader (and fixer) can be hard from which to pry his grip! Husbands/dads are often compelled to take control and fix the problem, whatever that means. He may see his responsibility as preventing failure and difficulties in the lives of all family members. What does this look like at your house? During a prodigal season, your fixer embracer may want to get in the car and physically rescue your child and bring them home – or take hold and fix their life. Try to explain to him (or yourself if you’re a Mrs. Fixer Embracer) that it must be your prodigal’s choice to return. If forced to return against their will, they will go away again in rebellion.
And, pray – Pray that you will hear God’s voice clearly and loudly enough to break through
your continual flow of tears,
your “fixer” protection mode,
and your fear –
to shake you both into obedience to the Lord.
And trust Him – God is completely trustworthy. He truly is in control. He has this!