I will set you on the road to recovery with one good suggestion. Ask your wife for advice and counsel. Welcome her judgments even if you feel she is attacking you. Pretend to be humble and thoughtful. Be patient and ask her to expound further on her concerns. Pause and look enlightened. Nod in appreciation for her wisdom and then modify your actions in some measure based on her suggestion. If unfolding events prove her wrong, be kind and gentle, not gloating or mentioning what is obvious. On the other hand if her counsel and judgment prove to be right, praise her for it and thank her for saving you from error. You will make a new woman out of her. She will get 10 years younger and smile like a kid opening birthday presents. But I warn you, she will get addicted to being happy. She will want to have sex more often and will initiate contact. If you are not up to it, you might want to continue with your “know it all” attitude so she can maintain her coldness as she continues to be your unhappy critic.
Marriage properly ordered is the quickest path to obtaining wisdom, grace, mercy, patience, faith, compassion, and humility—especially humility. If it were not for the constant presence of that other human being in our life we could live in a delusion. In our solitude we could call a half measure a whole, we could believe that mediocre is perfection, that lack of conflict is peace, that distant sympathy is compassion, that sharing with a friend is transparency, and that liberal giving is sacrifice. We could live our entire life alone and be convinced that we were mature and emotionally-balanced. The closeness of marriage creates a friction that either builds a fire that destroys or rounds off the edges and sharpens our spirits. God made marriage not only for the joy it brings but for its ability to expose our weaknesses and remind us of our fallibility. In marriage we go deeper, climb higher, reach further, and develop beyond the perceived limits of our humanity. It is heaven’s incubator were we hatch into eternity. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” (Proverbs 18:22).
I could ask, “What is your marriage doing for you?” But the more pertinent question is, “What is your marriage doing for your wife?” Is she being perfected or rejected? Are you causing her to aspire to greater things or expire in fatigue? Is she climbing or declining? Loving or loathing? Does she serve you with joy or with a sense of duty? Does she know she is your treasure or does she feel used and abused? Your job as her husband is to cleanse her, not offend her with words of criticism.
If you fail to perfect your wife, you not only fail her, you fail God; you fail the entire human process. You fail the Kingdom of God. Since God chose marriage to illustrate his ministry to the church, to fail in marriage is to defame the ministry of Christ. To fail to sanctify your wife is an opportunity lost for eternity.