Husbands, love your wives, etc... need help


I am looking for recommendations for Catholic books, audio commentary, sermons, etc., (pretty much anything) that are geared toward a husband with regards to his relationship with his wife, how he should treat her, what submission really means, that kind of thing. I have a dozen or more books on the wife’s role(s) and written for wives, but what about for husbands? Are there any out there that help him understand his role and his wife’s?

Also, men seem to typically have problems in a few specific areas (including anger, innappropriate speech and harshness of speech), and I’d also be interested in any info for those as well, particularly as it relates to the marriage relationship.

Any suggestions? Thanks!


How 'bout Eph. 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her." Christ loved the Church by giving up His live for Her. Husbands, likewise, should give up their lives for their wives, who, in turn, should be submissive to them. And, it seems that statistically, husbands do give up their lives for their wives, since they die, on average, about seven years before their wives. :)


Anger and harsh and inappropriate speech on the part of a husband are not likely to respond to a book about the role of the husband in marriage. It doesn't seem to be a matter of a knowledge deficit on his part, it seems to be the way he handles frustration and problems that come up. And I have bad news--sometimes this escalates to actual physical abuse.

It's just my opinion, of course, and I'm not a mental health professional, but it seems to fly in the face of common sense to change one's own behavior in hopes that someone else's will change in response. Naturally, you want to avoid provoking someone with a bad temper, but ultimately, it's his responsibility to control his temper and act like a mature adult. In addition to the happiness in your marriage, this is a skill he will have to develop if he wishes to stay employed, have friends, and be successful in life. No book is going to make him do that. And you cannot do that for him, either.

I'd really suggest speaking with your priest about this. In our diocese Catholic Charities has a wonderful marriage counseling program, as well as other counseling programs including anger management. Their cost is on a sliding scale of ability to pay, and they are covered by most health insurance plans.


Christopher West covers Ephesians 5:22 (submission), Ephesians 5:25 (husbands, love your wives...) in his book Good News About Sex and Marriage. Maybe this book might somewhat help.



My name is David, I have been married 50 odd years. Being married means giving in to one another and working for the marriage. What you could do is both write a list of what you want, 5 items, and what you do not want, 5 items. The pick from each others listr three items you are prepared to accept, and three items you are not ging to do. Neither of you will be 100 % satisfied but that is life. You can’t have everything you want and you should be happy with more than half. Then after 50 years you will suddenly realise not only was it worthwhile, but it has been great.

Go to Mass together, and if you can go more than once a week then do. It keeps you going on the right path.

The point is you have to want a good marriage, and if either of you do not then you are breaking your marriage vows. My wife says never go to sleep on a row. Kiss and make up.

Best of luck.



Myles Munroe's book "Understanding the Power and Purpose of Men" is a great place to start. He is not Catholic, but is a Christian. A couple of times how he interprets Scripture doesn't line up exactly with Catholic teaching, but overall his presentation of Christian marriage is outstanding. He also has a companion book called "Understanding the Power and Purpose of Woman" which overlaps the book for men in topics, but is also a wonderful read. If you are concerned about giving the men's book to your husband, try buying both the men's and women's books as a set for you to read and work through together. My husband and I did that and it was really a lot of fun, in addition to being so good for our marriage.



Just a quick question.  You say you were married 50 odd years.  Were you married any normal years, too?  (Just kidding. LOL Couldn't help myself.  I'm a smart alek sometimes. LOL)



Casti Connubii


Just out of curiosity, are you a guy yourself, or has some fellow asked you for suggestions?


St. John Chrysostom's homilies on "Marriage and Family Life" have been compiled in a very handy little book. See:

I thought his instructions to husbands were really great in elaborating on Ephesians 5, and what that practically means. It's truly a beautiful read.

Also, I'm unsure if this guy is a dirty word around here, but John Eldridge has some good stuff in his book "Wild at Heart" just about what it means to be a man and to love women. I will say though, some of his stuff is a bit wonky and can be interpreted wrong or taken too seriously; so it should really only be read by mature Christians who can take the good but leave the bad, if that makes sense.


What’s a normal year? Everyone has been different. But I liked you little joke, let’s say smiling out loud.


PS you have to call old men by their full name. Mind you I have to call a younger man father.


For the poster who asked, I am a married woman. I’m not so much asking for myself and my own marriage, but for a library of sorts I am compiling. For example, I have (and I know some of these may be controversial) Debi Pearl’s Created to be his Helpmeet, Martha Peace’s Excellent Wife, and a few others. That may give you an idea of what I’m looking for.


I have a problem with books like this. If someone is trying to change their spouse, they are setting themselves up for disappointment. People should not get married if they can already see faults with their intended spouse. They are falling into the trap of "I can change him/her" or even worse, "They will change for me".


[quote="dconklin, post:13, topic:212564"]
I have a problem with books like this. If someone is trying to change their spouse, they are setting themselves up for disappointment. People should not get married if they can already see faults with their intended spouse. They are falling into the trap of "I can change him/her" or even worse, "They will change for me".


She's setting up a library, which might be a great help to a man who actually wants a book like this. There are so few men out buying them that they could be hard to find.

I think most books of this nature have a dual audience: that is, both husbands and wives. Men are just far less likely to read up on this when their wives have no interest in reading the same book!

I'd suggest stocking books like "The 5 Love Languages" and Matthew Kelly's "The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved" which have that dual audience in mind.

I've heard that "The Power of a Praying Husband" is good and Fr. James Farfaglia's "Man to Man: A Real Priest Speaks to Real Men About Marriage, Sexuality and Family Life", but I've not read eithe one. I suspect that most books for Catholic men are going to be generally on the topic of being a Christian leader, more than on authority and submission issues with their wives, particularly.

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