Here is your wife who has been very cheerful, loving and caring towards you. Suddenly, almost everything you do gets her irritated. In a number of cases, the first thing a husband suspects is that she may be seeing someone else. Sometimes, this suspicion is correct. But in many cases, it is not. She is not seeing another man.
We are in a world that is changing socially, economically and politically. These changes are affecting individual attitudes both positively and negatively, and is producing pressure. At the individual level, the effect is mostly negative in terms of capacity for persevering attitude and pressure management.
This should not however, surprise a Christian because Jesus said: I have said these things to you, that in me, you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
This is why you must not depend totally on your limited human capabilities in marriage because Jesus said: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
There are a number of factors that can make your wife suddenly become frequently irritated at you and your actions.
1. STRESS: Stress could change your wife’s disposition. If for instance, you both work. She does the school run for two to three children all alone, using public means of transportation, as there is no private car. She combines taking care of the children with her office work or business. All the domestic chores are done alone (as the children are under seven years), living in a big flat. All washings are done by her manually. Then, she ensures that food is ready for everyone before you return. Then, mother-in-law or father-in-law pressure is there to contend with.
In addition, church activities such as All Night programmes are attended compulsory. You, as husband, may not see these pressure elements even when they tell on her, perhaps because of familiarity.
Because of this accumulated stress, there is a tendency for some wives (not all) to get easily irritated by your marital demands. This is not intentional. It is a product of stress.
In cases like this, the solution is that you increase your attention towards her challenge that you have been unconscious of. Maybe you are not helping her enough. Go beyond providing cash. Sit down with her to itemize the things you both do for the family on a daily basis and see how you can share the work in a way that she is less stressed up. If you genuinely and prayerfully do this, it will bring her back to the wife you married. Marriage means that two have become one. It does not mean that one has become nothing.
2. YOUR NON-AVAILABILITY: Romance should go beyond wedding and wedding preparations. Unfortunately, romance ends for many couples after wedding ceremony. Your wife does not just need your money. She needs you. At least, she wants to hear your voice on phone frequently. She needs to chart with you. She needs that frequent reassurance that you guys are not just in a relationship, but in something as serious as a marital relationship.
Your non-availability can make your wife become often irritated at you and what you do. The idea of her being often irritated could even be a mere perception that has developed suddenly in your mind because you are too far as a husband. You are gradually becoming a stranger.
Sexual starvation will make any married woman get often irritated at her husband. In societies like those in Africa where culture and religion make it difficult for wives to verbally make sexual advances or even discuss sex, you need to understand your wife’s love language and communicate better with her on issues. She might not open her mouth to say: “Make love to me” or “You are not satisfying me” or “You are not doing it well” or “Do it this way or that way.” It is your duty as a husband to find out what makes her feel like a woman. If you don’t do it, she can easily get irritated at every other thing you say or do.
3. POOR COMMUNICATION: Your wife can become often irritated at you if your relationship with your wife in communication or discussions is always a master-slave affair. Like I said earlier, when two become one in marriage, it does not mean that one of the two has become zero. Your wife’s opinion is important in decision making, especially in issues that affect the family that you both are building. Although her opinion is subject to your approval as the head of the home, she has to be given an opportunity to table it. At least, treat her like a fellow human being. Watch what you say or respond to your wife’s comments and how you say it.
“A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15: 1)
“Love one another warmly as Christians, and be eager to show respect for one another” (Romans 12:10)
“Do for others just what you want them to do for you” (Luke 6:31).
4. THIRD PARTY INFLUENCE: Third party influence can change your wife into someone else. When your wife suddenly begins to get irritated at certain things you do which she initially found pleasurable, there could be some third party influence somewhere. Who are her friends and associates? Find out their mindset. Does she work in an office? Who are her colleagues?
For instance, when she goes to work every day, she interacts with friends and colleagues and they chat. Many discuss in her presence, how they can never take rubbish from any man, including their husbands at home. They discuss how their husbands spend so much on taking care of them and all that. She hears all these things, looks at her own marriage and Satan begins to advise her. However, those unconsciously mischievous wives will not narrate how they prostrate and worship their husbands at home in return for the care. They will only tell what their husbands do for them but not what they do in return to show appreciation. It is easy to buy this one-sided narrative sold for destructive purposes. You know what? It is the devil’s occupation-stealing, killing and ultimately, destruction.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).
Your wife can come home one day and become irritated at whatever you say or do, after taking a dose of third party manipulation.
Third party influence that causes this sudden change could also have come from her parents or some other relatives. What you need to do as a husband is replacement therapy. If through the help of God, you are able to identify what she might have been fed with in terms of your performance as a husband, you can now up efforts to prayerfully go beyond your current performance, if possible. You can also use exposure to the word of God in form of messages, programmes, tapes and even the Bible itself, to seek to ‘de-radicalize’ (as it were), her mind. You can also use your priest, pastor or a superior person she respects to correct her infected orientation.
5. ADDICTION TO SOCIAL MEDIA: I deliberately singled out the social media from third party influence because the social media is a complex phenomenon that is destroying marriages as much as it is building some.
Only one wrong piece that your wife reads or listens to, via the social media, can make her suddenly get irritated at anything that concerns you.
The challenge is that most products of the social media that are marriage related, are personal opinions motivated by various factors, including the author’s mischief or personal experience. Unfortunately, no experience or personal opinion should replace God’s standards as stipulated in the Holy Bible. Any teaching that requires you to exalt self and ego as against what the Holy Spirit teaches via the Holy Bible is anti-God because Jesus said
“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me,” (Matthew 16:24).
For instance, the teaching that seeks to promote equal rights for women is about self exaltation. The teaching that promotes polygamy is for self exaltation and ego. The teaching that promotes homosexuality is for self. Everything that promotes self is against the spirit of God. Once you are in Christ, there is no longer a you.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God” (Galatians 2:19-21).
So, if your wife is a social media freak and has received a message from some woman whose life exemplifies marital failure, and this woman is preaching that you don’t have to be submissive to your husband, as against Ephesians chapter 5 prescriptions, your wife is likely to swallow this poison and simply come home to manifest.
Don’t be surprised. Don’t be aggressive. Rather, prayerfully seek to debrief her and restore her from the journey of losses.
If you are such a wife, please note that any teaching that discourages Biblical injunctions is from Satan and is designed to destroy your marital destiny.
6. MENTAL PROBLEM: In advanced countries of the world, folks subject themselves to mental examination on suspicion of a possible problem. It is not so in African societies. It is important to remember that some mental health problems do not give notices to their victims before they strike.
If your wife suddenly starts getting irritated at everything you do; having investigated, consulted, and concluded that she is not under suffocating stress, undue pressure, frustration, addiction to social media influence, or influence of any form of third parties, mental health challenge could be suspected. However, before you drift towards such conclusion, please consult a medical expert. But first, consult God.
7. EXAMINE YOUR WAYS: If your wife has suddenly become irritated by almost everything you do after years of peaceful marriage, it is possible that there are good things you were doing in that relationship that you have stopped doing. Examples include praising your wife in public to boost her confidence, giving her the powerful three-word phrase “I love you”, helping her out with domestic chores, noticing her temporary ill heath when she has one even before she complains, showing her love and care and so on.
It is equally possible that you have moved from a prayerful lifestyle to a prayerless lifestyle. When you withdraw these and some other powering elements from your marital relationship, your wife becomes a mere roommate to you rather than your wife. You know what that means.
So, you may need to examine your ways because you might just be the problem.
FOR PRAYERS, COUNSEL, CONTACT
Pastor Albinus Chiedu