Here is some feedback from one husband who has experienced a great deal of disrespect, anger and control from his wife. I LOVE his list. This is probably similar to the wish list of just about every disrespected husband.
Please prayerfully consider this man’s words. He is not asking for too much. He has legitimate needs that only his wife can meet. He needs her to be on his team! She has INCREDIBLE power to destroy him and their family or to build them up, strengthen them and bless them.
Think about your marriage. Think about whether YOUR husband might have a similar wish list and make any weak areas HUGE priorities in your marriage IMMEDIATELY, please! (my additional suggestions are in blue)
The most important things my wife needs to stop doing:
1. Her negativity and rude attitude, it is constantly pulling me and our whole family down.
This is the FIRST place most wives need to start. Stop the hemorrhaging in your marriage by disciplining yourself and asking for God’s Spirit to empower you to STOP the negative words, attitudes, emotions and behaviors. This means no:
- name calling
- demanding he do things
- rolling your eyes
- looking at him with the, “You are an idiot” look
- sighing like you are the only adult around there
- bashing him to other people or even privately just to him, and learn not even to bash him in your soul – at first you will be quiet A LOT. That is ok! It is MUCH better to be quiet most of the time than to destroy your man with toxic, poisonous words! Eventually, as you gain self control with the help of God’s Spirit (after you repent) this will become normal and you will figure out what not to say and what is good to say!
- being sarcastic (that is VERY disrespectful)
- joking at his expense
Remember, you as the wife set the emotional and spiritual tone for the family in many ways. So you have to have your attitude straight so that everyone else can function well. God can help you to have joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness and self-control. Repent of your sin, ask His Spirit to fill you up and empower you and He will do this! But if you are cherishing sin in your heart (bitterness, un-forgiveness, resentment, pride) – God’s Spirit is grieved and His power is not available to you.
2. Stop questioning and going against every single thing I do or choice I make.
When your man makes a decision - train yourself to let your first reaction be a supportive, positive one. Don’t automatically shoot down his thoughts, goals, plans, dreams and desires. You are on his team! He has a lot of wisdom, insights and a God-given masculine perspective that you do not have. God made him to be the leader. He can’t lead if you stubbornly refuse to follow. Unless he is asking you to sin against God – cooperate with a cheerful, joyful and willing heart as much as possible.
Give yourself a few minutes at least to consider your husband’s idea before you decide what you think. Try to look at all the positives first. Be as excited about his idea as you can. After you think about it for awhile, you can tell your husband your feelings, your thoughts, your desires, if you disagree and what you want - but usually just one time is enough and with a gentle voice and attitude, and you will learn to graciously accept his decisions when you disagree – knowing God will work through that decision for your good and His glory. Those are the times that you get to see God’s miracles at work the most IF you are trusting and obeying God!
3. Let me be a father, I’m actually a pretty good one.
Of course your husband doesn’t parent just like you do. God gave children mothers and fathers because they need BOTH. Men know how to be fathers in ways that women don’t. Just because what he wants to do isn’t what you would want to do – doesn’t mean he’s wrong. PLEASE support him if AT ALL possible (unless he is sinning against your child or asking your child or you to sin).
When your children observe you respecting their dad and cooperating with his leadership -THEY learn to respect their dad (and mom!) and cooperate with your leadership as parents. They also learn to respect God and submit to His commands because they learn respect and submission from their mama in so many ways. They learn from their dad’s example, too. But my belief is that the mother’s example is primarily how children learn to submit to God-given authority and respect God-given authority.
4. I want to be free from her accusations, blame, criticism, judgments, jealousies, anger and insecurities.
I am probably going to have to do a whole post another time just on this one. But the main point is – your respect and cooperation will draw your husband to you. These negative things this man listed will REPEL your man and make him want to run far, far away!
5. No more emotional, verbal or spiritual abuse towards myself or our children.
I don’t know the specifics in this particular situation. But your words need to be carefully chosen, full of God’s wisdom and life-giving. If they are not – that is sin and it’s time to repent and beg God and your husband and children for forgiveness and learn to use your mouth for God’s glory and the benefit of those who hear you.
The most important things she needs to start.
1. Be gentle, nice and friendly.
- Have a friendly expression on your face most of the time – as you are filled with God’s power, this will become normal and natural. But at first, you may have to consciously wipe the permanent scowl off your face and work at having a pleasant facial expression. Pray for God to help you!
- Enjoy your husband and children. Act like you like them! Remember that these are THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE in the world to you! SAVOR your time with them. Your time with each of them is so short. Don’t waste or squander it. Don’t live with regrets. Live a life of love!
- Use a gentle, pleasant tone of voice. If you struggle with yelling and screaming in anger – try my two tricks:
1. Sing instead of yelling. It’s silly, but it works!
2. Whisper instead of yelling – you will be heard much more this way than if you yell!
- Think of ways to show kindness to your husband and each member of your family and do random special things for them WITHOUT expecting anything in return
2. Listen, have a humble teachable spirit.
Remember that you don’t necessarily know best. Your husband has good ideas, too. Repent of pride that says, “I know best! I’m always right! My way is the only way! My husband doesn’t deserve respect. I have to be in charge, I’m the only one who does things right.” Your husband is the leader by God’s wise design.
Many times, our husbands are telling us things that would GREATLY benefit us spiritually and emotionally if we would listen and apply what they tell us.
When your husband tells you something – HEAR HIM. Don’t defend yourself. Don’t tell him he’s wrong. Don’t attack him with a list of all his faults. Listen and be willing to apologize if you have hurt him. And make his desires a priority for you. That is respectful!
3. Be supportive.
Act excited when he tells you something he’s excited about.
Sympathize with him if he’s had a hard day. But tell him you believe in him and know he can handle the difficult situations.
Think about his ideas and consider the merit in them. Be as positive as possible about what he wants to do. You can tell him your feelings and desires in a non-blaming way. But strive to have a “that’s a great idea” attitude whenever possible.
Not only is this a husband’s wish list – but these things are also on God’s wish list for us, too! When we do them, we become the women and wives HE wants us to be! AND we develop the beautiful peaceful, gentle, still spirit that does not give way to fear that is so valuable to God and to our husbands!