Introduction

When I got married, I realized I didn’t know how to have a successful marriage. I had the mindset of responsibility, which I learned from my father. My father and mother taught me how to cook, clean, budget my money, and more. However, I did not know how to be a husband.

What does establishing a successful and, ideally, happy and fulfilling marriage entail? I knew that marriage requires the efforts of the husband and wife to succeed. However, I had no idea what those efforts looked like. Though I was ignorant about marriage, I knew things that could contribute to its success.

Therefore, I set out on my own to learn about marriage at the beginning of mine. I purchased books and tapes and downloaded many articles on marriage from websites. I would even ask older couples their thoughts on marriage.

It wasn’t until many years after being married that I realized that most people probably were never taught to be married. In my case, I realized that women are not taught to be wives, especially women of the twenty-first century.

I will discuss the consequences of a marriage when the woman is not trained to be a wife. How does that ignorance affect the relationship, household, her husband, and more? Let’s get started.

What is a Wife?

A traditional wife cared for the home, raised the kids, cooked, cleaned, etc. while the husband made a living to provide for his family.

The first thing we need to discuss is the purpose of a wife. There are many ideas of what a wife is, which may be why women do not know how to be wives. She may have one idea of what a wife is, but her husband has another idea, which will result in friction when their expectations aren’t realized.

Some say that a wife is a woman who serves her husband, cleans, cooks, etc. She is supposed to cook the food, clean the house, care for the children, and more. However, I don’t agree with that definition or expectation of a wife. A wife is not defined by her duties but rather by her purpose. After all, growing up, she may not have learned to cook or clean. That doesn’t disqualify her from being a wife. So, what is a wife?

Simply put, a wife is the helper companion of her husband. God created woman to be the companion and helper of man.

Genesis 2:18 (NKJV) — 18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

The woman, Eve, was not purposed to clean the house, cook the food, etc. She was purposed to help the man and be his companion. That can manifest itself in many ways in different cultures and periods.

Another important aspect is that Adam and Eve had dominion over the earth. Adam was not superior to Eve or vice versa. Therefore, a wife is not subordinate to her husband, even in submission and headship.

A wife is her husband’s companion and helper.

Now, do women learn to be a man’s helper and companion? Do they understand how companionship and assistance are implemented in a specific culture?

There is a trend of men looking for wives in other cultures. For example, men may look for an Asian woman to be a potential wife for them. Why? Because that culture instills certain qualities in a wife that he desires. Women in some Asian cultures are taught to be homemakers. They expect to cook and clean for their husbands. Therefore, they are targets for men to find a wife.

However, understand that people have different ideas of what a wife is. Some women may believe that a wife is merely a married woman. Others may think a wife is expected to clean and serve her husband. Some men may feel that a wife is just someone to feed them, take care of the children, upkeep the house, and provide them with sexual pleasures. Others expect their wives to be partners in whatever endeavors they pursue.

Therefore, men and women contemplating marriage must discover their partner’s idea about marriage and what it means to be a husband or wife.

Selfishness

Over the years, I’ve heard many women complain that their husbands don’t help them with housework or the kids. I usually hear women complaining about their husbands and what they don’t do for them. However, that is the opposite of what a wife is. Instead, she should consider how she helps her husband and not so much about how he doesn’t help her.

I believe that the duties of a household are established and assigned after discussion, not mere expectations. Those complaining women are selfish because they are not considering how they help their husband but how he is supposed to help him as if being a wife is merely about housework and the children.

I’m not suggesting that husbands do nothing while their wives upkeep the house. She should be concerned about the most important aspect of the marriage—her husband.

Too often, women get caught up in the children and what they need. I’ve seen this far too often. Good men become increasingly frustrated and resentful because they believe their wives care more about themselves and the children than them.

Marriage is a companionship, not an assignment of duties. Wives should be concerned about what they can do for their husbands. Husbands are already thinking about what they can do for their wives and his families.

 

The Consequences

Here are some consequences of wives who are ignorant about what it means to be a wife.

Conflict From Unmet Expectations

The husband’s expectations of his wife will soon become unmet as he learns more about his wife. He finds she doesn’t act like a wife (based on his expectations). He expects her to clean, but she seems messy. He expects her to cook, but they often eat out or consume prepared foods.

His unmet expectations will cause conflict because he is expecting his wife to do something that she never thought she would do in the first place. In addition, she may not have learned what he expects her to do.

Emotionally Disconnected

Men will become emotionally disconnected from their wives if she isn’t their companion and helper. Usually, this is manifested as a lack of sex, which is how men connect emotionally to their wives.

Husbands observe their wives active in many things except marriage. They work hard and educate themselves to earn a promotion at work, gain new skills and knowledge for their church or community organization, and keep on top of things for their children’s education. However, they remain purposely ignorant about marriage and what it means to be a wife.

It is almost impossible for a man to be emotionally connected to a woman who demonstrates genuine care for him and the relationship.

Resentment

A man’s emotional disconnection from his wife will lead to resentment. He may start to regret the day he got married as resentment for her grows. He will conclude that she didn’t want to be his wife but a mother in a moral environment. He was just a tool to get what she wanted (another example of selfishness).

Resentment is the silent killer of any relationship. Resentment gone unchecked will lead to further emotional disconnection and the degradation of the marriage.

The Desire For His Wife Declines

A man who is emotionally disconnected from his wife means that they are not having sex much at all. If that condition persists, he will conclude that his wife will not fulfill his sexual desires, and he must do something to stay faithful. He will learn to turn his sex drive off when around his wife because he knows nothing will happen.

However, the lack of sex with his wife does not mean the sex drive is turned off overall—just for her. He may start to have wandering eyes and perhaps be in a relationship with another woman. He may gravitate to fantasies like porn-induced ones. His wife has put a stumbling block in front of him because of her ignorance of being his wife.

Wives may not realize the problems they are causing because of their ignorance. They may think everything is fine, especially because men tend to control their emotions when dealing with their wives. However, he is silently suffering. She may consider his avoiding her as a sign he doesn’t want her, which may cause her own response to further exasperate the situation.

He resists affection from his wife because he wants to protect himself from unmet sexual desires. He may turn away from her when she tries to kiss him. He may not smack her butt like he used to when she was walking around. He stops almost all contact with her.

That reminds me of a passage in the Bible where Jesus was hungry and saw a fig tree that looked like he could get figs from. However, as he approached it, he saw it had no figs. He cursed that tree. Husbands, likewise, go to their wives hungry for an emotional connection through sex only to find the tree baren.

Another passage in the Bible says that we should drink water from our own cistern. It was a warning against the consequences of adultery. However, what if your well is dry? Yet, another passage states that it is better to marry than to burn with passion because of the lack of self-control. But what if you are married and still burning?

The natural progression for the man is to protect himself from being sexually stimulated by his wife by avoiding her.

Stress

The husband will have constant stress knowing he is emotionally disconnected from his wife, and she doesn’t seem to know there is a problem. Talking to her only results in an argument because she becomes emotional. Therefore, he can’t speak to her about how he is feeling and what he is going through.

The sexual pressure will always plague him as their sex life has dwindled to almost nothing. That stress may manifest itself in physical and mental health issues.

Roommates

A disconnected married couple quickly becomes roommates. They are like ships passing in the night. The bills are paid, the house is taken care of, the children are cared for, etc. However, their relationship is non-existent. They are like employees who don’t know each other.

Being roommates is not a good place to be in a marriage.

Misery

Most men will stick it out. They will remain in an unhappy marriage and accept a life of misery (though it doesn’t have to be that way). Those miserable men lose hope for having the wife they hoped for, the household they dreamed about, and the life they desperately wanted. They see themselves alone with a selfish woman holding them back from the fullness of life.

Unrealized Dreams and Aspirations

Remaining in an unfulfilling marriage with a woman who is not really his wife will interfere with a man accomplishing his dreams and aspirations. He may get so discouraged about life that he no longer cares. He becomes apathetic about life itself.

 

Conclusion

Many men are suffering in a marriage that they hate. They resent their wives and sometimes their children. They are forced to face the fact that their wives aren’t interested in them. However, it may not be that she isn’t interested. It could be that she is clueless about being a wife. She pursued motherhood, her career, religious activities, and other things for herself but never gave thought to becoming knowledgeable about marriage and being a good wife.

Unfortunately, unless she realizes her ignorance, things between her and her husband may only worsen as they grow apart. Therefore, men and women must discuss their expectations in marriage before the wedding day.

After all, what one man expects of a wife may differ from another man’s expectation. That is why communication is so essential before and within marriage.

I offer this advice to those men who are miserable in their marriage. Pursue your own happiness and fulfillment. Perhaps your wife isn’t the woman of your dreams any longer. That shouldn’t stop you from enjoying your life. Live your life to the fullest starting now. Look for opportunities to enlighten your wife (there are many enlightened women).

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