I Need To Stop Focussing On My Wife’s Faults And Instead Focus On Overcoming Mine

By Ilex Bien-Aime

I always strive to be transparent with my wife but I realized that maybe I am not being transparent with myself. Maybe it’s easier for me to point out all of the negative traits that she brings to the table and inadvertently gloss over my own. Could I be the one who has not  looked deeply enough into my own destructive patterns? Hopefully in stating my negative attributes, I will understand more how I sometimes cause and escalate some of the tense moments within my household.

I hate being wrong! This, I am sure, is no big surprise to people who know me. I always said that no one likes to be wrong, but I take it to the next level and it pains me to not be right. I will argue something to the death of it just to prove that I am right, even when I really don’t know that I am. I could try to make excuses for my way of thinking on this subject, but it does not matter. No one likes a supposed know-it-all.

I am moody! Sometimes I wake up on the “wrong side” of the bed. There are times when I just want to sit at home and do absolutely nothing and be by myself. You never really pay attention to these things before marriage because dating is different. When dating you call each other when you want to talk and you see each other when you want to see each other. Marriage is every day which leaves no way of hiding your mood swings. The funny thing about this is that I can’t stand moody people!

I am volatile! I do have a very short fuse or what I like to call a “short tolerance for bull crap”. I must admit that I can be quick to become angry and defensive about things. When I feel that someone is trying to attack me or take advantage of me, I attack back. I know that my wife loves me and does not want to cause me pain but I have not fully learned to shut this defense mechanism down. If I feel that she is coming at me wrong, I come back at her and at times the real issue has not been addressed. Being volatile is the way of a foolish man and I know it.

I have too much pride! We have already established that I hate being wrong. Sometimes my pride keeps me from shutting up and conceding. Even when I know myself to be right, my pride keeps me from leaving the matter alone because I am so busy trying to hammer the point home. I can’t lie, it pains me to have to say that I am sorry because that would mean that I did something wrong. The Bible speaks about the foolish pride of man and trust me, it is talking about ME. I don’t brag about this though, because it was pride that got Lucifer kicked out of heaven. Clearly, I need to do better.

I lack tolerance for others opinions! When my wife does not see things as I do, I tend to take it personally. In my mind I guess I feel that she should think exactly like me on everything even though reality lets me know otherwise. I have a certain code that I govern myself by and I guess in my narcissism I feel that she should know and live by that code also. Don’t get me wrong, more times than not my wife will find a compromise and/or understand my point as we talk but that still is not enough for me at times. I guess to me it’s like, “well I can’t believe that you felt that way from the beginning”.

I can’t let things go! People always say that in a marriage, you have to have a short memory. I can’t lie to you, my memory is like and Elephant’s memory……. on steroids! Sometimes I have the tendency to hold onto things that should have been resolved a while back. Even when I try to let these things go, my actions will show that I still have some type of negative feeling towards the situation. I guess I never realized how much I am like my grandmother. She was a very sensitive woman and sometimes she was overly sensitive.

I am sure that there are other things that can be said about my negative characteristics but these are the main focal points. I realize that I need to stop ignoring them and start working on them. I can’t harp on my wife’s faults –  I only have control over MY OWN actions. I have to recognize the wrong that I bring to the table and correct those wrongs. It’s not just about my relationship with my wife but also about my relationship with God. Some will judge what I have written and shake their heads in disapproval and in some ways will be justified. I write this so that other people will start evaluating themselves and maybe begin realizing what they are doing wrong on a personal level. An alcoholic will never stop drinking if he does not first realize that he is an alcoholic just as a couple will never understand each other if they first do not understand themselves.

My name is Ilex Bien-Aime and I live in Washington, DC with my lovely wife. I write as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. I write as a man who wants to give my future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly I write what I write because my female friends are always asking my opinion about these situations.

12 replies
  1. bman28
    bman28 says:

    i never imagined mysellf as this but everything you've been through im going through my father and i do not talk so learning how to be a man has been up to me alone . im a young married man and i could not for the life of me understand why everything simple seems so hard , reading this has given me a clear idea of how things are , thank you for the post because this empowers me to be a better man and father but scared me because that rite there is me

  2. Michael bonner
    Michael bonner says:

    Hi i have a wife that has this way about her ver guilible .mom in the realtionship more than m very insecure about her self infedelity on her part i forgave her is it a smart thing to do forgiving her and movin on to make it stronger

  3. FWill80
    FWill80 says:

    I need my husband to read this because he never really focus on overcoming his faults but I do..First if you can admit your fault…Then the focus can come in…I learned that because I can admit mines…when you get to that stage…. then a person can focus on how to change that about them to make themselves and their marriage better …I mostly get blamed…

  4. Bro. Calvin
    Bro. Calvin says:


    Don’t feel bad you are not alone. Just recently married and the merger is no walk in the park. But with the Grace and Mercy of God, I’m planning to be successful. Besides he has performed other miracles for me. We shall see.

    Oh before I forget, as I type this right now I’m on the defensive and the assaults are relentless. But do I stop loving my beautiful wife, hell to the nah! She keeps me sharp.

  5. Luisa Poret
    Luisa Poret says:

    Love the transparency and ownership of your actions. Thanks for sharing with us.

  6. Ilex
    Ilex says:

    Thank you everyone for the kind words. I think that this is what this site is for. We all know that we aren’t alone in the struggle and we all can read some things that might improve us. We all have issues but most of us hate to think we do. Having issues can be resolved with time and help. Not admitting your issues is the problem. Stay strong everyone and remember separated does not mean divorced so go get your spouses!!!

  7. Briana @ 20&Engaged
    Briana @ 20&Engaged says:

    You hit a couple nails on the head with this, as far as my husband's personality and my own. Whenever we get into it I always focus on what's wrong with HIM instead of what's wrong with me. I need to work on myself instead of naming a list of things he should be working on.
    My recent post Is It Them or Me?

  8. GeeGee4
    GeeGee4 says:

    Thank you for being so open and honest of your "non-perfect-ness". You are not alone, we all fall short but efforts are not invain. I am joining you on the quest of working on my issues in hopes of being a better woman, wife and mother for God. God bless…

  9. Roland Kendrick
    Roland Kendrick says:

    Did I write this? Wow! Every paragraph descibes me to a T! Because of these actions my marriage could very well be over. Thanks for sharing this…

  10. Valerie Blyden
    Valerie Blyden says:

    Thank you for being so open and honest about your situation. My husband has so many of the same traits and because of them, we are currently separated. The only thing difference of the two, is that you acknowledged your issues and he hasn't.

    I wish you and your wifethe best. Continue to remain stong and blessed…V.Blyden

  11. Demetrius Williams
    Demetrius Williams says:

    Praying for You. I'm not married yet I will be soon though. I see both my fiancee and I she has some pride issues. I've been one to not fight fair as well. I assume things and get upset when its not needed. I'm praying for Your wisdom and strength to over-come. I just want to say thank you for sharing this. We are all works in progress trying to get better everyday.

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