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Sympathetic Understanding

From Fascinating Womanhood


When reading this article, remember the saying, “What goes around, comes around”.  “Make him your king, he will make you his queen”. Unselfish love and walking in another man’s shoes is a difficult thing especially when you are rubbing shoulders with that person day in and day out. If we can incorporate these attitudes and tweak our own oftentimes selfish viewpoint, I think we will be amazed at how our husband responds.

From Douay Rheims, Luke 6:38:  “Give, and it shall be given to you: good measure and pressed down and shaken together and running over shall they give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you shall mete withal, it shall be measured to you again.”

The Unsympathetic Wife
Women who lack sympathetic understanding show it in a number of ways. If you are one of these you have most likely complained when your husband was late for dinner, went off to be alone, didn’t measure up with the children, didn’t get the yard work done, neglected repair jobs, was strict with the money, or put in long hours at work away from home. You have failed to take into account his long hours of labor in your behalf.


The Sympathetic Wife
Let’s get a picture of the woman who understands her husband and his world of work. When he comes home grouchy she doesn’t take it personally and tries to put into perspective his pressures in the work world. Her sympathy helps her to overlook his bad behavior. It he is late for dinner, she realizes she is not the only one who would like to be sitting at the table with a hot meal. When he doesn’t play with the children she realizes that they are not neglected since he has spent the entire day laboring for them. Instead of her husband coming home to nagging, complaining and more problems, he comes home to a haven of rest.
He is greeted at the door with a warm smile.  She will even take off his shoes and fluff his pillows. She is working to protect him in the same way that he protects and shelters her.
She weighs the significance of repair jobs and remodeling to the heavy responsibility of earning the income. She also realizes he must regain some strength and peace of mind to be able to face the next strenuous day. Patience is a trait of the sympathetic wife.
Dinner out and social events may seem important to her since she has been home all day, but she understands if he would rather skip some of these diversions.
She does not pressure him for things they cannot afford. Her husband’s happiness comes before these items. She cooperates with his plans to save money. She stands behind him when he decides to invest money. She understands his desire to get ahead.
It is a challenging problem when the husband is away from home a great deal. Wives and children can feel neglected or unloved. It may appear to some that he is unconcerned for his family. The sympathetic wife does not see it this way. She comprehends his motives and sees they are out of concern and love for his family.
A woman with a sympathetic attitude will not feel neglected or put upon and neither will her children. Children tend to adopt the attitude of their mother. When she feels good about her husband and appreciates his efforts, they will, too.
If she feels they are well taken care of and not neglected, they will, too. This fosters a healthy atmosphere in the home – one in which children can blossom. When a man is met with sympathetic understanding you can count on him being home whenever possible. This is the way to get him there, not by nagging or coercing.
There are times when a man will spend extra time away from home for a different reason. His time will be spent in sports activities, pleasures and pastimes, or with his buddies instead of working for the welfare of his family. It may seem in this case to be justified in feeling neglected.
A sympathetic wife will not condemn her husband, but will look at herself for the answer to her problem. Has she had an unsympathetic attitude in the past that may have caused him to seek the company of others away from home? The only way to gain ground is to offer sympathetic understanding and hope he realizes his greatest pleasure in life is within his own four walls at home.


Special Situations
Some situations can really try your patience. Read these suggestions below for some ways to handle difficult situations.
• When He Lets Down at Home
Have you ever made the complaint that your husband treats total strangers better than he does his family members? They can become cross or touchy when they have lots of burdens and pressures from work. It seems they want to relax and let lose and can actually be seen at their worst.
Women sometimes must forego seeing their better side, and accept seeing their lesser side. Just realize the greater man is there. With your constant sympathetic understanding you just may see the greater man the rest of the world sees.
• When He is Discouraged
This is a common tendency among men – and their station in life has little to do with it. In fact, the more learned, talented and aggressive men seem to be affected with a more intense suffering in this area. But no matter the intensity, all men need sympathetic understanding in this area.
It’s easy to understand where these feelings come from. Just take a look at today’s world. It’s high pressure with little stability. When faced with the responsibility of family, home, money, their jobs, and their future, it’s little wonder they become depressed.
• When He Faces Failure
There may be no more important time to give sympathetic understanding than when a man faces failure. The humiliation, rather than the failure itself, can be a source of extreme agony. His protective feelings for his family and how to provide for them is utmost in his mind. His status is at stake with the world and with his wife.
The woman who can rise to the occasion and meet less than desirable circumstances will be a prize to a man that nothing in this world can equal. A good wife will learn how to deal with these gloomy moods and turn them around. Remember, one of the functions of the loving wife is to cast joy upon dark days. Read on to learn what to do and what not to do in this area.


How To Give True Sympathy
1. Suffer With Him
Try to put yourself in his shoes and understand what he is going through. Share in his feelings and suffer with him. Please note: it is not necessary to understand what caused the problem, don’t press him for all the details, but do try to understand his suffering and pain. Express sympathy and try to express hope for a better day ahead.
2. Build Him
It doesn’t matter in what situation you find yourself and him, have an unshakable faith in his bigger and better self. You can express admiration and appreciation for his true worth.
3. Don’t Minimize His Problems
Don’t tell him there is nothing to worry about, or that it is all in his head, or he is making more of it than he should. These types of statements do not show true sympathy and make him feel you are stronger than he or that if he were stronger he could handle it better. Likewise, don’t tell him to count his blessings or look on the bright side. This makes him feel more discouraged.
4. Don’t Offer Help To Solve His Problems
When he first confides in you don’t give suggestions or advice on how to solve the problem. He isn’t wanting your help, he is wanting your sympathy.
5. Don’t Let His Gloom Rub Off On You
This is a hard one, but don’t let his downcast spirit discourage you. Try to keep a cheerful attitude, but don’t be too high-spirited. Allow him time to get over his mood and resist the temptation to take it personally. If you keep a cheerful attitude and just go about your business chances are your husband will come around. If you snap back or get offended, chances are you are going to build a whole new fire and add some fuel to it.

Remember, a man is not looking for your advice, help or guidance, he is wanting your sympathy, comfort and a renewal of his confidence.
Don’t miss your opportunities to show sympathetic understanding. A woman who can shine with a noble character, and render such support will find her husband loves her beyond what she ever dreamed.

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