This is a story a precious wife shared with me about what she is learning. I can completely relate to where she was and where she is now. I am SO excited for all that God has planned for her, her husband and her marriage. I pray that her husband might be patient with her as she learns. And I pray that God might empower her to be the respectful, peaceful, gentle wife who does not give way to fear that is so beautiful and valuable in His sight. I pray she might be able to begin to mend and heal the wounds she has caused and begin to build her husband up and bless him beyond his wildest imagination – allowing him to become his very best self.
If you would like to share your story about how you learned to respect your husband and follow his leadership or the difference that respecting your husband has made in your marriage, please let me know. I think we can be such an encouragement to one another!
Thank you for sharing your story with us!
I have been married for almost 19 years now. We had a rough start to our marriage as I had a lot of feminist ideas, and my husband was very focused on getting his master’s degree. We did not spend a lot of time together, he was studying and I was working. When our first child came, I quit my job to stay home. I poured all my love into my child, and my husband was resentful of that. We grew apart, he stayed busy with work and I was busy with the children.
A friend gave me the book “Created to be His Helpmate” by Debi Pearl, and I realized that I was not being a submissive wife (I thought I had been) and it helped me learn to treat my husband better. Things were ok after that for a while, but never great. My feminist ideas were mostly gone, but as I look back, I was not respecting my husband much. Because he was so busy with work and did a lot of travel, I ended up with a lot of responsibility of managing the home and training and homeschooling the children. I really felt like I was running everything, and I thought I was very good at it.
I wanted very much for my husband to “lead” and would mention it often to him. I am sad to say that whenever he would try to do “devotions” or attempt to lead, I would criticize him and tell him how I thought he should do it. Needless to say, he quit trying. It turns out that many of the decisions he made was because he figured I would give him a hard time, and he didn’t want the hassle, so he would just do what he thought would make me happy-not what he thought he should do. He didn’t share that with me until recently, so I had no idea what was happening.
I really believed I was a very good wife. My husband did not like to share much with me, I would sense something was wrong, but he would tell me that everything was fine. But it was not. My husband became very bitter towards me, but would not talk to me. I knew something was wrong, but whenever I tried to talk with him, we ended up fighting and would just vent our anger with each other. He ended up very stressed out, couldn’t sleep, every little thing would bother him. I was a mess, I couldn’t concentrate on anything and cried a lot. I asked him if he would be willing to go to marriage counseling, but he did not want to. We spent over a year like this, I prayed, I tried so hard to please him, we could go just a few days with things “ok” but then we would let the bitterness take over, we just couldn’t seem to get to the bottom of the problem.
I had subscribed to the “Generous Wife” many years ago, and appreciated the e-mails I would get. I tried everything she suggested, but I must admit, my heart wasn’t in it. About a month ago, the “Peaceful Wife” was linked with one of my e-mails, and I decided to check it out. I read several of the articles on the website and couldn’t believe what I read. I had no idea I had been so disrespectful to my husband. I printed out several of the articles, read them, and then shared some of them with my husband. I tearfully repented of the many years of disrespect. I had hoped things would change, but they did not, my husband was still bitter with me.
It was then that I read your article on the controlling wife, and it really hit me. That was what was wrong with our marriage, the respect certainly was an issue, but even more than that was the fact that I was a controlling wife. I came from a home where my mom was definitely the dominant figure. I did not think I was like that, but after I read the article, it was very clear to me. I cried out to my husband for forgiveness, and I told him that I was giving up the control to him, as it should be. I’m not sure he believed me at first, but within days it became evident to him that I meant what I said. I found it much easier to respect him and I made a huge effort to remain silent and let him do what he should.
The first week we both felt like we were on our honeymoon again, things were wonderful, I was very encouraged. Then I had a “lapse” and was disrespectful to my husband one evening, things went right back the way they were. I repented to him and things have been better.
I keep reading the articles and am finding more and more what I need to be doing. I admit that sometimes I fight it in my mind and think that it’s not fair, and that my husband should be doing more to work on our marriage, but I know that it is God’s design for me to respect and encourage my husband. When I am consistent in doing that, things are great. When I fail to do it, things aren’t so good. I understand this is a process and I have only begun to understand how to do it.
Please keep your amazing articles coming. I have printed them all out and keep them in a notebook to re-read. I know without a doubt that respect for my husband has healed our marriage and that it will get better the more consistent I am with it. May God bless you for sharing your wisdom and experiences as the “Peaceful Wife.”