Disadvantaged Husband Syndrome exists in a marriage where the man is socially or spiritually inferior to his wife. She may purposefully use this leverage against him. He resents the imbalance and tries to prove himself, only for her to yank his chain and show him how useless he is without her. She has been known to humiliate him in front of others to help maintain her stranglehold on his dignity.
The following situations usually apply to such a couple:
She has more education or is smarter than he,
grew up with more money than he has,
has been in the church longer than he.
He sees this glaring disadvantage and cannot overcome it,
depends on her counsel and so gives her control,
begins trying to prove himself better,
seeks to make a name for himself , but fails.
She leads the home,
usually takes over in a “spiritual” way,
uses her college degree as leverage for why she should be in charge.
He follows because he is intimidated by her advantage,
lets her run the finances,
endures nagging as a necessary part of life.
She has social needs
is unlikeable to the people she seeks acceptance from
He has all his needs met in her,
may tell how happy his marriage is, even divulging private info.
She often insults him and tells others of his bumblings.
He seems to recover his dignity quickly and never change his ways.
She does not need him and can leave him with little remorse.
He depends on her and is devastated if/when she leaves him.
She seeks others approval,
asks advice from people in the know,
likes to be known among important people (preachers, authors, etc.),
uses these means to gain recognition for herself.
He sees that she admires important people,
tries to become an important person, but fails,
may seek to be a preacher,
often faces rejection from his superiors.
She has health or weight issues and hopes for sympathy.
He has emotional/social issues but doesn’t know it.
They both have outstanding potential and great qualities,
may be really spiritual and awkwardly try to convert the world,
present themselves as “something,”
often try to fit in socially,
have children who suffer social and emotional dysfunction,
blame their parents for their problems,
have financial problems caused by foolish use of money,
need parents/family to help them out financially,
bring something cheap to a church dinner then take home leftovers.
This list may bring to mind some couple you know. Perhaps you see some symptoms of Disadvantaged Husband Syndrome in your life. First, divorce will not solve it. You must change your system of self-value. If your wife has beat you into a mold of what she wants you to be, repent of this sin. Start seeking what God has called you to. You will burn out and wear out trying to please others.
Know your calling, know your gifts, know your skills, and pursue your identity in Christ. She may not like the new you for a while, but when she sees your confidence grow and personality develop she will accept it. She may even claim it was her idea. Let her. Learn to love her for who she is. She is suffering from an inferiority complex she may have scribed into your life. As you find spiritual healing and emotional endurance, she will grow as well.
Any development of your manhood will only be temporary if you do not have the proper focus on Jesus Christ. Get that right first. The let Him shine through you to make you a man your wife could only dream of. She wanted what was best for you, but just had the wrong pattern.