Hi Jill,

I need help. I get so angry at my husband for not perceiving potential consequences. He is handy, so he figures if he breaks something he can fix it, which he likely can. But this way of operating most often costs more money and time. This makes me angry.

Please help me, as it is one frustration like this after another. First, he does something. Then he hides it. Then I find out about it. He gets defensive; I get angry. Not a good scene.


Dear Frustrated,

I completely understand how frustrating this can be for you. It sounds like you and your husband have differing priorities when it comes to finances. You could probably both argue why your perspective is the right one.

Let me see if I can reframe this for you today: You said that his methods “cost more money and time.” I’d like for you to think about your chosen method of handling it (anger and criticism) as “costing you connection.”

When our spouse frustrates us, we have to learn to use our God-Tools of Forgiveness, Grace, and Acceptance. When we forgive, we untangle our own heart, trusting God with the hurt. When we offer grace to our spouse, we allow them to be human and to make mistakes without being raked over the coals for every “human” thing they do. When we accept them for who they are, we give them the gift to be themselves and to not be criticized by us.

He’s likely hiding these things because he doesn’t want to deal with your anger.

There are two ways to handle these situations:

  1. He changes what he does, or
  2. You change how you respond to what he does.

Both are viable options but only one of those do you have control over.

Give forgiveness, grace, and acceptance a try (we talk about those in our No More Perfect Marriages book if you need more understanding of them), I think you’ll find they make a HUGE difference to keep connection, reduce your husband’s need to hide the things he does, decrease defensiveness, and maybe even allow him to start considering the decisions he is making and how they affect both of you.

When one person changes what they bring to the relationship, it often—in time—changes what the other spouse brings as well.






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