You guys know I love questions, so when I received a newsletter from Ngina Otiende’s blog with some great marriage questions on it, I asked her if she’d like to put this on my blog as a guest post as well. These questions are great for when your husband is passive, but I think they’re also helpful no matter what type of a person you’re married to. Let’s get to the post!
When Your Husband is Passive (6 Questions to Ask Yourself)
by Ngina Otiende
As a marriage coach, one of the areas that come up during coaching is passivity in marriage. Frustration sets in when a husband is passive in an area the wife is passionate about.
Maybe she wants more date nights without being the chief planner. Or calls in the middle of the day “just because.” Perhaps, she likes flowers or gifts at least once a month. She wants to feel pursued in small meaningful ways. But her husband never gets around doing these things that matter to her – at least not consistently. Or not without being asked.
As we explore their relationship in our coaching, we’ll take a look at their history. And sometimes we’ll begin to piece together all the different ways she was the active one in dating: Growing the friendship, organizing dates, setting goals for their future, planning the wedding, etc.
We’ll discover that his being laid back is nothing new. He is the same easy-going guy she dated. But once married, her expectations changed.
The good news is that we can create a healthier future: We don’t have to be defined by our past. Just because your spouse was passive in the past doesn’t mean they can’t change, or you shouldn’t expect them to change. You most certainly should.
However, to navigate passivity in marriage, we need to look at the larger picture of our history together (and our spouse’s general personality) to gauge what type of motivation we can expect from each other. Learning a little bit of our past can help us plan for our future with more clarity.
If your husband is passive, there are six crucial questions you can ask yourself to help you figure out your next step.
6 Questions to Help When Your Husband is Passive
- What were my relationship expectations when we were dating?
- How honest was I in expressing my needs and desires when we were dating?
- In what ways did I “rescue” my husband-then-boyfriend from his responsibilities when we were dating?
- What are my relationship expectations in marriage?
- Based on our past, how realistic are those expectations?
- What are the 3 top things I can start doing today to create space for my husband to grow? (PS: you can’t make your husband change.) These questions are meant to help you take ownership of the part of marriage you control.)
***Click here for a printable: When Your Husband is Passive Printable from Ngina Otiende
When passivity is not connected to your history
Sometimes passivity in marriage goes beyond personality differences or a relationship’s history. A husband who was previously engaged can dial back and withdraw from his wife. A man who was once engaged can switch off and disengage from crucial marriage areas like decision-making and everyday-involvement.
His absence leads to deep frustration, pain, and division in the marriage.
Further, once you have accepted (as opposed to denying or trying to overcompensate for) your husband’s passivity, you may want to understand the “why” behind his absence, plus map your steps forward.
Passivity in marriage is such a common marriage problem: it’s one of the lessons we cover in my new marriage course: How to Navigate Conflict in Marriage.
In the passivity lesson, we go deeper and talk about why a husband might be passive. We look at what to do and what to avoid as a wife, as you move forward because it’s so easy to enable a passive man or swing to the opposite extreme, try to manipulate and control him.
But for now, remember this:
- If your husband is passive, you are not helpless. You might feel overwhelmed or angry, but your emotions don’t have to take the driver’s seat and dictate your choices and decisions.
- It’s essential to go to God with your questions and hurts so you can live a full life, no matter what is going on in our marriage. Remember, you are more than your marriage.
I hope these thoughts and the six questions get you moving in the right direction as you work through passivity in marriage. Get a printable version of the questions to help you work through the questions. Click here to download 6 Questions to Help When Your Husband is Passive
More information on Ngina’s marriage course
Take your marriage to the next level when you can check out Ngina’s new course, How to Navigate Conflict in Marriage. This is a connection course for wives who understand healthy communication takes two and who desire to learn their part of that process. I (Ngina) created the course because connecting with my husband was really hard at the beginning of our marriage. Further, I talk to wives who struggle to connect and solve conflict with their husbands, just as I did.
In the How to Navigate Conflict marriage course, we cover topics such as the power of shared values, how to identify and overcome triggers, our identity in Christ, emotional dumping and how to avoid it, why every marriage needs compassion, how to make “deposits” work for your marriage, how to create limits with a problematic spouse, and much much more. Click here to check out How to Navigate Conflict in Marriage online course (Use the code 28OFF to get 28% off!)
Update from Barb – 6/5/21 – My husband and I started doing Ngina’s marriage course a month ago and love it! We printed out two manuals and do one lesson a week. Ngina designed it for a wife to go though the course by herself but we think it works great for both husband and wife. We’ve been married for almost 40 years but have found we really needed this course–if we had taken it back when we were first married, it would have saved a lot of grief. We’re only four lessons in, but it has already led to positive changes in the way we handle conflict. It’s a really long course so I’m guessing it will provide weekly lessons for us for a long time.
About Ngina Otiende:Ngina is a Certified Marriage Breakthrough Coach™, blogger, and course creator. She loves helping women solve problems and nurture marriage so they can thrive. She is the founder of IntentionalToday.com, where she creates resources to help couples identify marriage obstacles and develop healthy marriage mindsets. Get free access to her subscriber-only marriage library filled with eBooks and printables to help your marriage thrive when you join her vibrant online community. Sign up here.