When Your Husband Sins Against You.

I am not an expert, a counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor. I am just an ordinary Christian wife. My posts and my blog may be helpful for you – they may not be.  I share ideas and suggestions – they are not rules and they are not guarantees.  Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God wants her to do to obey Him and to honor Him in her unique situation. God has wisdom. I do not. I write specifically for wives who tend to be controlling and dominating. Wives who tend to be more quiet and have dominating husbands may find that my blog is not a good fit for them. If your husband is abusing you, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe! My blog is not written for wives who are abused.
Get ready and brace yourselves, ladies.  I am about to deliver the most shocking news you have EVER heard.
Your husband is a HUGE sinner.  Like… he is in SERIOUS need of Jesus.  On his own – apart from Christ – he is selfish, unkind, unloving, mean, cruel, difficult to deal with, too passive or too aggressive, ungodly, an idolator and he possibly even struggles with lust, greed, lying, stealing, hatred, un-forgiveness, bitterness and ALL KINDS of heinous sins.
I know – it’s mind boggling.  :)  I’m sure you haven’t figured that out on your own  - so you probably don’t believe me.  You may need to go check with him on this one, right?
Just kidding!  Please do NOT go check with him! :)
It’s funny – all of us as wives see our husbands’ sins SO clearly.  It’s our own sin that we tend not to see.  And I usually focus on OUR sin, OUR responsibilities, OUR obedience to God and our side of the equation.  That is where our power is, after all!
But we ALL have to deal with our husbands sinning against us – just like all husbands have to deal with wives sinning against them.  Sometimes it’s much worse than others.  This topic could seriously be a book in and of itself.  So this one post isn’t an exhaustive resource on dealing with our husbands’ sin in a godly way.  But it is hopefully a starting point.
SOME BASICS
EXPECT your husband to sin against you.  He is NOT God.  He WILL mess up. He WILL do hurtful and hateful things sometimes.  He is human.  And that has to be ok. Yes, he is supposed to represent Christ to you in the marriage – but he is NOT Christ and to expect perfection is just setting yourself up for a disaster.
Focus on your own mountain of sin on a daily basis, and try not to focus much on his.  The more I see what a wretched sinner I am  - and just how much Jesus has forgiven me for – the more grace I have to lavish forgiveness, mercy and grace on my husband.
Gary Thomas in “Sacred Influence” says, “We are most tempted to sin when we have been sinned against.”  That is SO TRUE!  So  - be Spirit-filled.  Have God’s power in you.  Repent of all your sin.  Obey God’s Word.  Then you will have the power of God to respond without sin when your husband sins against you.  Being angry is not sinful  - but in our anger, we must not sin against our husbands!
God is sovereign.  He has assigned my husband to me for my good, as a gift to me, as my leader, protector and provider.  But He has also assigned my particular husband to me to use his sins to mold me into the image of Christ.  God will use my husband’s sin against me as a hammer and chisel to create the image of Christ in my soul.  It will be PAINFUL.  It will be a cross I must bear.  And God will use it for my good and His glory.
Wow.
WE HAVE SO MUCH POWER!
We are NOT responsible for our husband’s sin.  They are accountable to God for their sin and we are accountable to God for our own sin.
But – because we are one flesh  - our response to our husbands’ sin is POWERFUL.  We can either respond with evil and cause the whole thing to spiral downward completely towards destruction and the death of the marriage, or we can respond in the power of God’s Spirit and breathe healing, life, strength, grace, peace, hope and help into our marriage when our husbands sin against us.
BEING UNLOVING, CRUEL AND HATEFUL
It’s possible that your man is a total narcissist who is incurable and who will be chronically selfish and cruel his whole life.  There are a few of those in the world.
Thankfully, MOST men are fairly decent guys.  They are all sinners, of course.  But most men will respond VERY well to respect.  Now if you have been extremely disrespectful for 15 years – it will take TIME for your husband to really trust you and begin to open up to you again.  He may continue to stonewall for a year or more from the time you implement respect and submission and stop controlling and being disrespectful.  But ultimately, you are called to respect your husband and submit to His God-given leadership out of obedience to Christ regardless of the results.  So, it is our duty to obey God’s Word and honor Christ in our marriage regardless of what our husbands are or aren’t doing.
The great news is – usually, as we get rid of disrespect and learn to speak “respect” in a meaningful way to our husbands – the verbal abuse, unloving behavior and comments usually dramatically decrease over time.
Some possible ways wives may handle such situations – say (calmly):
  • Ouch!
  • That really hurt my feelings.
  • Did I do something disrespectful just now?  That felt unloving to me.
  • Please don’t speak to me like that or I will need to leave the room.  (And then, respectfully, with dignity and poise, leave the room if he cannot control his temper.)
  • Please don’t yell.  I feel so scared when you do that.
  • Please don’t say things like that – it hurts me so much.

Hopefully, just saying something like that will elicit an apology.

If not, you may want to give him some space, respectfully, to process his feelings for a few hours or over night. And keep some distance.  Then when he approaches you, you can say, “I’m still upset/hurt/sad.”  And you really don’t have to go into much more detail than that.  He will probably apologize.

But also, consider that Jesus calls us to bless when we are cursed and to repay evil with good and to pray for those who mistreat us.  So during that time of giving space, we can be praying for our husbands and for Satan’s strongholds to be torn down.  We can pray that God will help us to forgive and have wisdom about how to bless our husbands.  And we can pray about what kind thing we could do to show respect and love.

PLEASE – DO NOT go on a big emotional tirade against your man!  Then he will be thinking about YOUR anger, bitterness, rage and sin and he won’t have to think about his sin!  If you can respond WITHOUT sin to him when he sins against you – he will have SO MUCH weight of conviction and he will eventually apologize on his own.

The more respected he usually feels  -the more it will tear his soul apart to see that he has hurt  you, the woman he loves most in all the world.  Your distance and pain will make him feel AWFUL and he will try to make things right.

If he feels constantly disrespected – he may not care much about your feelings – and you may have to pray and wait on God to work in his heart as you continue to obey God yourself, expecting God, not your husband, to meet your emotional and spiritual needs.

As you begin to actually STOP disrespecting him – which repels him – and you learn to begin to respect him – he will likely be drawn back to you.
THEN – he may eventually begin to actually care about your feelings.
When he gets used to you being joyful, happy, content, smiling, accepting and welcoming – he will probably want to keep that feeling going.  Your happiness and joy is his greatest reward.  If you are mean, negative, angry, scolding, yelling, name-calling and disrespectful all the time – he will most likely build a wall against you and shut you out of his heart.  He may decide it is impossible to please you and it’s not worth trying.  And he may not care that you are in pain.  He may be in too much pain himself to care that you are in pain.  And he may not respect you because you are so down on him all the time.  Men sometimes only let people they respect influence their decisions and actions.
But when you respect him and are a joy – he may begin to want you to be happy, to open his heart up to you slowly, and eventually he may care VERY much about your feelings and happiness. Eventually, all it may take is for that light of faith and trust in your eyes and the beautiful smile on your face to go away for a minute or two and he will be asking what he can do to make you happy again.  Yes.  Really.
The silent thing is about spiritual things.  You are silent about God and church and Bible reading, etc (I Peter 3:1-2 – if you have a husband who is disobedient to the Word of God), and show him respect.
If he is flirting or doing inappropriate things with other women (short of an affair)- some possible ideas of things to prayerfully consider saying (only if God leads you to say one of these things),
  • I don’t want you to have women friends.  I think that is dangerous.  I don’t have male friends – there are too many temptations in those situations for anyone.  No one is exempt from the temptation to have an affair.  Everyone has to guard their hearts, even pastors and strong Christian leaders.  No one plans to have an affair – it happens because we don’t prevent it and protect our marriage with a hedge of precautions and boundaries.
  •  I feel so hurt when you flirt with women.
  • I only want you to flirt with me.
  • I feel so sad that you are talking with other women.
  • I am scared that you don’t let me be your friend on Facebook.  I feel afraid to trust you when I see you shut me out from certain areas of your life.
  • I want to trust you and respect you- and I am scared to right now.  Please make it easier for me to be able to totally trust you and respect you as the God-given leader of our marriage.
  • I want you to stop talking with her.
  • I want to feel completely safe and protected with you.
  • I want to know that you are protecting our marriage and your heart.
So – you say what you want WITHOUT lashing out in anger.  You are vulnerable and share your feelings in a pure way, a VERY, VERY, VERY boiled down and brief way.  He can hear you when you talk to him like this.  You can cry and be sad.  But if you attack him with anger and an emotional ocean of negativity – he may drown in it.
Then – as you become respectful and he begins to care about your feelings – all you have to do is look sad and say you are sad – and he will probably apologize.  If he doesn’t, you just respectfully move away and create some distance from him.  Bob Grant, marriage therapist, says “Words are for women.  Men don’t respond to words.  Men respond to pain and distance.”  So you sharing your painful feelings “I feel X”  and moving away physically and emotionally will make him feel guilt and want to make things better.  Yes – this is the exact opposite of how we as women want to handle this.  Want to dump our ocean of negativity on him and blast him for an hour or two with all our horrible emotions.  This does NOT help our husbands come back to us!  It repels them.  So it is up to us to learn to communicate in a way that is EFFECTIVE for our husbands to best hear our hearts and our main message.
You don’t have to argue.  You don’t have to lose control.  The more you do those things, the more you push him to the women you don’t want him to talk to.  He finds acceptance and validation and respect there.  He needs to find acceptance, validation, edification, appreciation, affection and respect with YOU.
LYING
If your husband is telling little lies, I think that being calm about it and not making a HUGE, HUGE deal about it would be helpful.  And keep in mind that the more he sees you trust him as leader and you respect him, the safer he will feel with you.  He may be lying to avoid a big reaction, drama, lecture, scolding, disrespect and contempt.  My suggestion, for whatever it is worth, is to respectfully, calmly and without emotion say something like:
  • honesty is REALLY important to me.
  • PLEASE tell me the truth.  We will work through this issue together.  I want to try to stay calm and hear what you have to say.  I don’t want you to be afraid of me freaking out and losing control of my emotions.  I want to respect you, and for me to be able to fully respect and trust you, I need to know for sure that you always tell me the truth.

When he does tell you the truth, maybe say:

  • THANK YOU SO MUCH for telling me the truth.  It’s painful for me to hear.  But I admire you greatly for having the courage to tell me the truth.  I feel so much safer knowing that you are being honest with me.  When you tell me the truth, even about little things, I REALLY respect that about you.
  • It means SO much to me that you have the courage to tell me the truth.  That helps me to respect the man you are so much.  I admire your willingness to be honest.  Thank you.

Then keep up the respect and nix all the disrespect.  As he sees he is safe – I think you’ll see the lying fade away in a few months, most likely.

If your husband is telling bigger lies, you may have to calmly and respectfully (and probably with great sadness) prayerfully consider saying something like:

  • dishonesty/lying is not OK.
  • I REALLY want to trust and respect you – but I just can’t respect lying.
  • I need to see you do X, Y and Z to help me rebuild my trust in you.  I need total honesty and transparency from you in order to work to be able to give you all of my respect and admiration again.
  • I’m really disappointed.
  • I am devastated.

You can do this WITHOUT attacking him.

If you catch him in big lies again or other major sin (adultery) – you may need to follow the Bible’s advice about when a brother sins against us (Matthew 18).  First we are to go show him his fault, just between the two of us in private (which means, NOT bashing him on FB or to friends, coworkers or family!)  If he doesn’t repent, then we take another believer – probably a strong Christian mentor or friend or pastor and RESPECTFULLY confront him with that witness present and helping us.  Then the Bible says to take the matter before the church if he still won’t repent and treat him like an unbeliever.  Most churches don’t do discipline anymore.  Sadly.  But if he is living in habitual sin, you will have to treat him like an unbeliever – because he is not living at all with the power of Christ.  I Peter 3:1-2 would apply here.  You may have to implement consequences with gentleness, respect, poise and dignity.

ADULTERY

Please keep in mind that God CAN and DOES heal marriages that have suffered the devastation of adultery.  I know MANY marriages God has healed and that are very godly and strong now – stronger than ever – and the growth began after adultery.  This is not to say adultery is fine and not a big deal. It is a HUGE deal. It is NOT ok!

Adultery is not necessarily a death sentence for a marriage.  But contempt and unforgiveness will kill any relationship.

But there is help and hope and our God is a God of miracles and He is able to heal broken relationships and people when we trust and obey Him.  Please seek godly, wise, experienced, biblical counsel!

PHYSICAL ABUSE/SUBSTANCE ABUSE

Please get some godly, experienced help.  This issue is more than I can address – and you will need major help ASAP.

 

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92 Comments on “When Your Husband Sins Against You.”

  1. mom of 8
    October 20, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    Once again you are really hard hitting, yet you give me hope. As I write this he is gone again. Dealing with BIG lies , he just says “I don’t care what you think, I will do what I want, deal with it……… “.

    • peacefulwife
      October 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Mom of 8,

      I am SO sorry!!!!!!! I am praying for you, your husband and your children to be close to God and for God’s greatest glory to be accomplished in your family. Email me if you want to, and I will walk through this with you. aprilc@sc.rr.com. Praying for God to give you wisdom. I do think that respect and cooperation with his leadership (when he is not asking you to sin) as well as following I Peter 3:1-6 will be the most powerful way you can partner with the power of God to win him back – and you can keep a clear conscience yourself so that you maintain God’s power in your life and His SPirit in your life every day to give you the strength to handle the drama right now.

    • peacefulwife
      January 12, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      How are things going, Mom of 8? I am praying for you!

  2. Heather
    October 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm #

    “Your distance and pain will make him feel AWFUL and he will try to make things right.”

    Wow April! This exactly the way Jesus so often chooses to chastise me when I’ve done something sinful! I can even be going along, thinking I’m doing everything right and suddenly–I can’t “hear” Him anymore and feel really, really alone. His silence is often all it takes to get me to turn around.

    You asked a while back for input on what posts readers would suggest you include in your book…Personally, I think this one and your previous “What about me” article are perfect additions–in the same order you’ve shared them here. We wives need to know first that we need to be looking to our own obedience…but also that God is not blind to the hurts inflicted upon us and has empowered us to be able to graciously deal.

    • peacefulwife
      October 21, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

      Heather,

      I love that! You are so right – when we grieve God’s Spirit – He distances Himself from us respectfully. He doesn’t force Himself on us. I will DEFINITELY include these two posts. Thanks so much!

  3. Nana
    October 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    It has made a big difference in my marriage since I took the magnifying glass off my husband and set it on myself. Since I accepted responsibility for my provoked reactions, I realized that in addition to the peace that is reigning in my home, I’m being drawn more to the Word and to prayer which is ultimately what God desires for us. Theres every reason to thank God for my husband and His weaknesses. Its bringing out all the chaff in my heart-that I didn’t know was there- and allowing God to make me more Christ-like. Theres no excuse for bad behavior and I surrender to the truth that the real problem is my pride.

    • peacefulwife
      October 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm #

      Nana, Thank you for sharing this beautiful example!!!

      I appreciate your willingness and your perspective.

  4. Kimberly
    January 10, 2013 at 3:39 am #

    I love all the examples of what to say when my husband is sinning against me or our children.

    I would always get so emotional when my husband would do something that was harsh and unloving to our kids, which would lead me to disrespect him in front of the kids. Then I would feel terrible about it later and apologize to him, and after I apologized to him he would also apologize. But we had this up and down pattern going on for years, which took its toll on our marriage and his relationship with our children.

    I believe the Lord has allowed a trial in our family, which I shared with you in another post, which has humbled me and the Lord has used it to teach me how to be more calm, and respectful to my husband. His focus is no longer on my sinful response to him. Now he can finally “hear” himself, and hopefully he will begin to dislike what he is hearing.

    God has shown me what a spiritual battle we are in on a daily basis. We cannot fight the battle in the flesh, returning evil for evil. We must use what we know to be true and act on that, and not let our emotions take the lead. The more we focus on what we already have in Christ (Colossians) the more motivated we will be to serve Him by loving and respecting our husbands.

    Keep persevering in what is good and God is faithful. His Word says in Philippians 1:6 “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns”.

    Blessings to you April and your ministry blog.

    • peacefulwife
      January 10, 2013 at 7:39 am #

      Kimberly,

      Thank you for sharing your situation and your heart!

      I am REALLY excited about what God is doing in you. And yes – when you are not sinning in return – husbands are much more able to see and hear their own sin and to hear God’s voice of conviction.

      I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you and your family. Thank you for your beautiful example in the midst of a very difficult situation.

      Much love!

      April

      http://www.peacefulwife.com

    • peacefulwife
      January 18, 2013 at 6:49 am #

      How are things going? I am praying for you daily!

  5. romich
    April 3, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    I Did all you listed since meeting, marrying & having children w my spouse. I was a giving, forgiving, hopeful, loving & attentive doormat for 23 yrs. He verbally, emotionally, psychologically & sometimes physically abused me. He stole $, jewelry, collector coins from my inheritance from my mothers death. He has NEVER taken the blame for any wrong doing & blames me for a 20 yr drug problem I wasnt aware of til our 20th yr of marriage. Too much to type but after finding out I still lovingly stood by him & 2 yrs ago he started NA meetings which he is being encouraged to leave our marriage cuz he has them believing I am the abuser in our marriage. He has women’s # in his phone. I catch him lying about when n where he goes. He demands respect but gives none. He is a narcissist & looks to gain peoples sympathy by “scape boating” me. His family hates me & are in denial of his thievery , lies & addiction. They live 3000 miles away & he is a great con artist. He has never been a loving or attentive husband. I am invalidated at every turn. He speaks bad of me to his coworkers before I meet them & he always has but only recently did I realize he’s done that to me. So much more to tell but your readers need to know that MANY MEN are attention whores & narcissists. More than people think. Please dont down play the sickness because these men can be very kind & fool people as well as abuse, apologize, abuse, make promises, abuse, ect and they prefer GOOD CHRISTIAN FORGIVING WOMEN as partners because we can be manipulated, enslaved & keep serving them as they continue to abuse us.

    • peacefulwife
      April 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

      Romich,
      I do try to mention fairly often – if you are dealing with a man with an active addiction to drugs or alcohol, an uncontrolled mental health condition, a physically abusive man – please find godly help ASAP! Respecting your husband is AWESOME. I am the biggest proponent of respect ever. But I never condone being a doormat. Your feelings, needs, desires and ideas are important. Your influence is precious and valuable. There are times where separation is necessary. Respect won’t cure a drug addiction. You are dealing with the addict, not the real him, sadly.

      If ANY wife is dealing with these kinds of SEVERE issues and problems – that goes WAY beyond the scope of my blog and you need real, godly, experienced help immediately. There may be times a marriage has to go through a period of separation. It is my prayer that eventually the couple could be restored. There are some times that is not possible.

      Thank you for your comment. I hate that you suffered so much and have had so much pain.

      Are you still living with him? Is he still addicted to drugs now? Are you in physical danger?

    • Daryl
      August 15, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

      I have the same issues with my estranged husband. It is living a lie when I deceive myself into thinking he will change. I have to

    • kerima
      March 22, 2014 at 9:44 am #

      My husband left over a year ago and since then he has been back and forth in our marriage which occurred in me falling pregnant. Iam now 7months pregnant my husband admits he is seeing several girls and does not want to reconcile. Iam working with God to be a better wife, person and mother. I try hard to still respect be submissive to him. I don’t know if i should give up on our marrige and accept it is over or continue to pray and believe that God will restore my marriage compete

      • peacefulwife
        March 22, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

        Kerima,

        If your husband does not want to reconcile and is cheating on you – you cannot make him stay. You may have to leave. It is not always wise to submit to a man who is involved in infidelity. Are you safe? What is your relationship with Christ? What is his relationship with Christ?

        What was your parents’ marriage like? What was his parents’ marriage like?

        Do either of you have a history of sexual of physical abuse, are there any addictions or mental health disorders?

        He is not willing to repent of his adultery?

        Are you seeing a godly counselor or godly pastor?

        I don’t believe it is healthy to stay with a husband who is being unfaithful in many circumstances. I am not God. God may be telling you to do that – but my prayer is for you to seek godly, experienced, trustworthy, biblical counsel my precious girl!

  6. Lonely wife
    May 12, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    Thank you so much for your advice. I have been married for 10 years. When things are good, my husband is loving. When my husband and I fight, he turns into a monster who will do and say the most painful things. This last fight was one of the worsts we’ve had. We didn’t speak for over a month. He even said he wanted a divorce and I agreed to sign. I asked him to discuss divorce or stop fighting. He continued to not speak to me but started smiling at me. I finally gave in and apologized even when it was against my will as he has hinted wanting me to apolpgize. Even after we sort of made u, my husband is still acting like a jerk. He doesn’t help me with the chores. He leaves without saying bye or I love you. He refuses to put the amount of money into our account that we agreed before because he thinks that I implied this house we live in is just mine. I earn more than my husband so I do provide more financially than he does. I never purposely implied that but he believes I did. I felt resentment towards him as I feel that I am the only one working on this relationship. He approaches me when he wants sex and I was starting to think he is only using me or he is playing games. Lately, every day is a struggle for me because I just want my loving husband back and although he shows physical affection, I still don’t feel the love he had for me which makes me want to give up. Your message gave me hope today, and I will continue to smile, be nice, caring, and affectionate even when he is not showing love back in return. I know that this is God’s way to save my marriage. I learned that I have to stop resenting my husband in order for me to love my husband and hopefully in return he would love me again.

    • peacefulwife
      May 12, 2013 at 6:58 pm #

      Lonely Wife,

      My heart breaks for your pain!!

      I am so glad things are a bit better. The fact that your husband started s idling may be his way of trying to apologize to you, and tell you he loves you.

      Sometimes when husbands get really upset, it could be that they are feeling disrespected. It can be pretty shocking to women what things might make them feel this way, to us the things that can offend them might seem very small.

      I would commend reding the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect and see if you might be able to identify some things that may trigger feeling very disrespected in your husband that you may not have thought of before.

      I used to make a lot more money than my husband, too. It is VERY easy for a husband to feel disrespected in this situation, even if it is barely insinuated that he doesn’t make enough money in his wife’s view.

      I am here if you want to talk some more! You may also email me at aprilc@sc.rr.com.

      I am glad you ae encouraged! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for your marriage!

  7. Monica Bryant (@silverose042)
    May 14, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

    I agree whole heartedly with your blog. My problem is that my husband IS Narcissistic and chronically selfish.

    I decided to look up up the definition and it almost describes him to a T. And after 18 years, he’s getting worst. He’s addicted to porn, and gambling and he purchased a secret phone to troll back-pages and text and deceive other women. He has apologized for he behavior a hundred times and has reoffended 101 times. I devastated and fed up! I deserve so much better than this. He is a monster and has confessed to being so, yet he still wants his marriage. But that’s not surprising because a narcissistic peson is 95% concerned with what will benefit them, and this marriage benefits him and hurts me. I am now in need of counseling because my feelings of love have turned into bitterness – and I’m just not that type of person.

    • peacefulwife
      May 14, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

      Monica,

      Hmm… If you have respectfully confronted him about the porn and gambling and he is unrepentant – it is time to follow Matthew 18 and take him to a pastor or Christian counselor. Does your husband claim to be a follower of CHrist? Does he have any drug issues, mental health disorders, or any other addictions?

      What was his parents’ relationship like?

      I believe that you need some godly, wise, experienced outside help now. This is beyond the scope of what you can handle on your own, in my view.

      I pray for God to give you wisdom!

    • dear one
      September 9, 2013 at 12:29 am #

      well ladies, my estranged husband is just like yours: drugs, porn, gambling and giving is 250k a year to his rich mommy in Canada.I`m sick and tired of being sick and tired as they say in naranon( alanon for friends and family members of an addict) Hopefully this is my bottom after 10yrs of this rollercoaster. thanks for listening

  8. FaithGirl
    July 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    My husband and I have been separated for five months. Yesterday, I asked him to come over so we could talk. I read your blog yesterday and God used it to completely convict my heart on how I have treated him. I saw clearly, for the first time how destructive my disrespect was to him, as well as my lack of submission during an important decision.
    I was so broken hearted over it, and could easily see how it was the cause of many of the things that had led to our separation. I apologized to him just as you suggested: from my heart, with no motive.
    The response was more than I could have imagined!!!
    We spent the evening talking and it was honestly like I could see the man I remember from when we married returning! It felt so amazing and peaceful to show him respect, and he responded so lovingly back to me. Stuff I would have nagged him about, he was doing without me even asking. It was like you said, he suddenly cared about my feelings again when I started showing him respect!
    I also just started reading “Love and Respect” (after I read your blog, I dug it up at home); I never would have dreamed respect would be so incredibly important to a guy. I know this is the beginning of the restoration of our marriage. I thank you SO MUCH for your words and willing heart to share with others; God is using it in a powerful way and I wanted you to know!!!

    • peacefulwife
      July 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

      Faith girl,

      Your story made my day!!!! This is why I am so passionate about sharing what God showed me with my sisters in Christ. This is the kind of intimacy we all want, and we don’t even realize we are sabotaging ourselves, our marriages and our husbands.

      If you would allow me the honor, I would love to anonymously share your comment on my FB page today.

      Lt me know if you need anything! This is a long process, it is like learning a brand new language.
      You may want to check out the posts at the top of my home page if you haven’t already about respect, disrespect and biblical submission. :)

      May God richly bless you and your walk with Christ!

      • FaithGirl
        July 3, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

        Sabotage = EXACTLY!!! I couldn’t have said it better!
        I, too, am so glad I can begin to share what I have learned with others who are struggling in their own marriages!
        You can definitely share my comment on your Facebook page :)
        Thanks again!

        • peacefulwife
          July 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

          Faithgirl,

          YAY! THank you for being my colaborer in Christ! :)

          I am thrilled about what God is doing in you. Hang on – you are about to go for the ride of your life! :)

  9. Jackieh
    August 2, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don’t know what to say …your blog is such an inspiration. May God help us be the wives he intends for us to be and may our husbands be the kind of husbands He intends for them to be….

    • peacefulwife
      August 2, 2013 at 10:24 am #

      Jackieh,
      What an answer to my prayers. :)

      Thank you for the encouragement. And AMEN!!!!!!!!

  10. mrs.dee
    September 5, 2013 at 7:19 pm #

    Wow reading this really made me look back on how I react to my husband we are apart now recently, I lost my focus with god.I am very ashamed of my reactions verbabbly .I did use profanity, just always called out his sins and how they affected me. I have a hard time of letting go of the hurt,as soon as he sins against me I bring up all the other hurtful sins.I am an emotional wreck now I’m asking god to help me regain my focus on him. Thanks for your time

    • peacefulwife
      September 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

      Mrs. Dee,
      I hope you might apologize for your disrespect and your sin against him – without explanation or justification. I have a video post on my Youtube channel about apologizing. “April Cassidy” is the channel.

      You are also welcome to email me if you’d like to talk more. I’m glad to walk this road with you!

      With love,
      April

      aprilc@sc.rr.com

      • mrs.dee
        September 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

        My husband is an addict he has done so much to hurt our marriage, I just wished I had trust in god more and keep my focus ,but he is living in another state now not sure where, I am so hurting but praying to god for comfort.thank you so much I will view your you tube video

        • peacefulwife
          September 7, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

          Mrs. Dee,
          I am so sorry to hear what a heart-breaking situation you are in. :( Drug addiction is so devastating to individuals – but also to marriages and families. Are you involved in Al-Anon or NA or Celebrate Recovery? Do you have a godly wife friend who prays with you?

          HOw is your time with God going? Do you have support around you?

          Praying for God to bring your husband to Himself and praying for wisdom, courage, strength and God’s supernatural peace and joy for you.

  11. mrs.dee
    September 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    Yes I have a Christian married couple that are my neighbors,my husband spoke with the husband and confessed his addiction and other things
    3 weeks ago, I recently sat down with the wife, it really help, she gave me a book to read let there be forgiveness very good book. I went to church my daughter and I,now I am starting to get back my focus, and I haven’t attended any meeting I will look into them. Thanks so much for showing god’s love

    • peacefulwife
      September 8, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      Mrs. Dee,

      I am so glad that things are looking a bit more hopeful. How wonderful!!!! Thank you for sharing with me. I am always glad to hear from you. :)

  12. Connie
    September 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    enjoyed the read and comments. And forgiveness was easy but forgetting and the trust was and is still hard and its been about 8 mos. I know he closed all his e-mails and FB and he has reopened FB and one e-mail which I am the only contact on that and I have pass word and am friends on FB and I can check his phone. But even thought he promised me it would never happen again and is going to church with me it’s very hard. It was all on line and if it had been physical I don’t know if I could have dealt with it. Thanks for listening.

    • peacefulwife
      September 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Connie,

      It does take time to re-establish trust once it has been broken. I am so glad he is being very transparent. I’m also very glad he is going to church with you. I hope you praise him and thank him for what he is doing to help you rebuild trust. I hope you will also express your desire to work toward fully trusting him again – so he will know there is hope – and tell him how much you appreciate ANYTHING good that he does for you.

      HOw have things been between you lately?

      Would you like to talk about it some more? You are always welcome here. :) Praying for God’s healing for you both and for God to use this to create something beautiful in you that brings great glory to Himself! He is SO able to do that, you know! :)

  13. karen humphreys
    September 30, 2013 at 4:41 am #

    ive been separated 18 mths my husband is demanding total obedience I cant comply with unreasonable requests like not speaking to my sis in law. im heartbroke lonely and so distraught.he now threatens divorce. im confused and feel so unwanted and unloved. thanks be to god for seeing me this far.

    • peacefulwife
      September 30, 2013 at 8:07 am #

      Karen,

      I’d love to hear from you. Would you like to email me? aprilc@sc.rr.com

      Let’s talk about what’s going on. :)

  14. Prayful wife
    October 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

    Thank you for this article! This is profound, almost simplistic, and right on the money. I learned and am Learning these things as my marriage continues to heal past some emotional infidelity. I was the berating, disrespecting wife… this was my coping mechanism for the shortcomings of our marriage. It took nearly losing it all for me to come to my knees and God showed me the changes that needed to be made.

    I needed this to remind me today … As my mind is battling to give into insecurity and past hurt. I am thankful you reminded me the proper way to convey hurt and the need to focus on MY sin and the areas God wants me to focus on. Amen.

    • peacefulwife
      October 13, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

      Prayerful Wife,

      I’m so glad that this is a blessing to you.

      I understand why most wives resort to disrespect. I did the same thing for the first 14.5 years of our marriage. But it doesn’t work!

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your life!
      I’m glad to walk this road with you. Reach out whenever you have questions, need prayer or encouragement. I’m always glad to hear from you. :)

      You may also want to read the posts I have about insecurity and security. You can search my home page for those terms. :)

  15. Yas
    October 13, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    I relate to so many things in this blog. Sometimes I do not “feel” loved by my husband. He says he will call me but doesn’t or he calls me my name and not something sweet. Yet, I decided not to nag him. Finally he asked what was wrong with me. I told him he had no time for our relationship. He started to defend himself. Anyway, I gave him facts, but I didn’t blame him and I didn’t ask for anything.

    I am happy I didn’t ask because when he offers me his time now, it is worth so much more. He asked last week –end and this week-end that we spend some time together. Just talking and sharing. I am happy he wants to be with me. I feel special. He may not tell me: “You are so special”, but I guess I must believe he thinks I am, for all the time we spent together. I know, this has nothing to do with how I feel… I’m learning :)

    Btw, I have a question PeacefulWife. I want to comment on something that happened to me this week. It is about doing what your husband says. Should I find a blog that talks about respect to make my comment? Or should I just put in the blog of the day? Thanks.

    • peacefulwife
      October 13, 2013 at 7:32 pm #

      Yas,

      I think a lot of wives have certain ways they want their husbands to show love to them. But if we can learn to speak our husband’s language and receive their love in the ways they show it – I think we will be amazed at just how many ways our husbands show us love that we haven’t appreciated before. :)

      Here are my suggestions when wives want more attention…

      - I miss you!
      - I’d love to spend some time with you doing X tonight/this week
      - I can’t wait to relax and talk and enjoy being together!
      - I’d love to have you all to myself sometime soon.

      But I am really glad that you didn’t blame him or demand anything. GREAT JOB!!!!!! I’m so proud of you!!!!! :)

      Men show love in actions much more than with words. Enjoy what he is doing with you and realize that is how he tells you he loves you. :) That is how my hubby is, too!

      You can ask your question any where you’d like!

      Much love,
      April

      • Yas
        October 13, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

        Thank you PeacefulWife for your comment. I will try some of your suggestions.

        Here is my little story of what happen to me this week. I am a bit surprised.

        We are expecting a little one soon, almost have way through (we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl yet). My co-workers told me they had lots of stuff to give to me they have used for their own children. I told hubby and he said he wants to buy everything new. So I told them and they were a bit disappointed, but I think they got over it.

        I don’t mind some used stuff, it depends if it still looks decent, but dh said a big “no”.

        Now, I had the same conversation with my older sister (and only sibling). She said that my dh doesn’t know how much it cost, he will regret it, and that I should take all that is offered to me, and keep it just in case. Finally, she said, people will think that dh is managing me !!!!!!!

        I thought it was funny/strange that it would be my sister that was not happy with dh’s idea and that she was the one inviting me to do otherwise. Well well. Even though I think dh is a bit drastic, my commitment is to him and not to her. And who cares if “people” think my dh is “managing” me?

        The truth is, he doesn’t want to make most of the decisions concerning the child and says I should take the lead as a future mom. He only asked for one thing. So, I will do as he said.

        It’s funny that others think I am being oppressed just because I decided I want to do what dh said.

        For me this is not a big deal. This is not an issue for discussion.

        Now, I don’t always agree with my dh. When we disagree, I tell him:”I disagree with you on this, but you have the final say.” And then, I don’t talk about it again and I don’t nag.

        But it is funny that the more experience people around me think it is strange.

        • peacefulwife
          October 13, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

          Yas,

          I find it really interesting that there are often family members and friends- usually women, by the way – who get very upset if a wife cooperates with her husband’s decisions – but these same women expect the wife to do what THEY say. If they are controlling her – that’s ok with them. They expect her to submit to them. But if a wife honors her husband, yes, many women will say things like, “You’re oppressed,” “You are a slave,” “You’ve been brainwashed,” “You must have joined a cult,” etc…

          Your husband has the right to decide he wants to get everything new. He is not sinning. Maybe he’ll change his mind when he sees what everything costs. That’s ok. It is really none of your sister’s business what you and your husband do and how you handle getting things for your new baby. She can offer her opinion – but it’s not her baby. And she is not one of the parents.

          I’m glad that you support your husband’s decision. That will make for a much more peaceful marriage. And it’s sweet that your husband wants to get things new for your baby. He wants to provide well. That is a way he wants to show his love. Thank him for his thoughtfulness and generosity. :) Sounds like he will be a fantastic daddy!

          I have some posts on this topic! :) Here’s one:

          Do Not Expect Outside Support

          • Yas
            October 13, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

            Thank you for this post you just suggested. I just read it and it is so true.

            The other day, my dad asked me for something. I said that dh will take care of it. He said “no, I don’t want him to, I am talking to you, no one should be between you and I”. My dad wanted him and myself to do the work. He asked me many times. Every time, I said that dh will take care of it.

            Wow, I just thought my dad lost it. But, now that I have read the post, I think he was probably very serious.

            Interestingly, my dad says that dh is a real man that can handle things.

            So, let him to do so.

            I think it is jealousy, wanting to control and having to let go all mixed together.

            But like you said, I am the one who will have to put up some boundaries.

            • peacefulwife
              October 13, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

              Yas,

              Sometimes it is very hard for parents to let go of their grown children. I’m really proud of you for sticking to your guns. It sounds like your dad does respect your husband. Your family will eventually respect your boundaries as you continue to be consistent with them. It can be a difficult adjustment at first, but they will be ok. You can show them love and honor, but your ultimate love, respect, honor, commitment and devotion is to your husband.

              I wrote a bit about this on my Peacefulwife FB page tonight. :)

  16. Prayful wife
    October 14, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    I’m having some difficulty letting go of the fear. I understand that God’s love drives out fear. I know that I am to look to God for all of my needs completely. My husband had an emotional affair 5 months ago and we sought christian counseling and have been doing better ever since. We worked / are working on fixing some holes within ourselves and have begun to put focus on God being the center of our world.
    This week I am racked with fear over his use of twitter … My insecurity & my fear over where this could possibly lead is driving me mad. I’m crying out to God, confessing my sin, especially of fear and insecurity. I know He is the God of the universe and works all things for my good. I know this! My faith is what kept me standing 5 months ago for my marriage !

    I want to state that his commenting on women’s pictures on twitter makes me insecure and puts doubt where we have rebuilt trust … But i cannot find the words that won’t spill out in a sea of tears. I love this man and know that he loves me. I do not want to be demanding or manipulative … Just honest. And I read some of your sections regarding social media. I have “hinted” that i feel it’s inappropriate, I am pretty sure I told him it made me insecure for him to “favorite” women’s pictures on twitter (complete strangers)… But he blew it off, stating his twitter “friends” were only people that like horror movies and heavy metal. I believe him. I still feel like he is flirting with danger… And flirting with our security. I could use some assistance in honoring God and our marriage.

    • peacefulwife
      October 15, 2013 at 6:48 am #

      Prayerful Wife,

      Are you still seeing the counselor?

      I do understand where it could be possible for him to fall in this area. So I understand your fear. Do you remember what you said exactly when you were hinting?

      How have things been going other than this?

      How is your time with God?

      How has your husband been treating you?

      After I get a better picture, maybe we can talk about some suggestions of ways to approach this.

      The biggest thing is prayer. :)

      Then you can tell him what you want/don’t want in a pleasant way.

      It is entirely possible that he could like pictures without falling. Is it the wisest thing ever? Maybe not.

      Is he generally open to being transparent and accountable with you?

      • Prayful wife
        October 15, 2013 at 7:07 am #

        Outside of this, things are wonderful. He is absolutely transparent. That’s why the healing has been ?easier than anticipated. As for the hinting, that may not have been transparent. I know in my mind I may have thought I said it plainly but if the past is any indication… I likely was vague. We haven’t been to counselor in a month or so. She gave us time off for good behavior. Communication was one of our weaker points in our marriage that we’ve worked on with the counselor. I just don’t want to come off irrational and set our progress back. Outside of this area, I have little to complain about. I am praying daily, sometimes constantly. I do read the word, find spiritual, Christian blogs to find focus on prayer, etc.
        I pray for my husband daily. I pray for my focus on God daily. I knew that God was going to carry me through the storm 5 months ago. I prayed for God’s will in our marriage. That was the scariest prayer for me then because even though I knew God would take care of me, I was fearful my husband would choose to tear our family apart. I still pray for God’s will in my life and our marriage. I feel like I must not be doing something right if I’m so full of fear and insecurity. We have been rebuilding the trust and this is a big stumbling block for me. Before he started spending more time on twitter, following girl’s pages,

        • peacefulwife
          October 15, 2013 at 8:51 am #

          Prayerful Wife,

          I am so glad to hear that other things are going well.

          It sounds like you have many reasons to rejoice! :)

          You may want to check out my posts on insecurity and security. You can search my home page for those terms. I think those posts may be very helpful.

          I hope you will build your husband up, thank him and appreciate him for all he is doing well! And I hope you will begin to show faith in him in the areas where he is being faithful. This particular area with Twitter pictures – may be something that is not a super big deal.

          Let’s pray that God might convict him if it displeases Him.

          And I think as you focus on Christ and finding your security primarily in Him and on rebuilding trust – that it will be your faith, your admiration, your trust and respect that will draw your husband to you the most!

          It’s fine to say, “It makes me nervous when you look at those pics on Twitter.” But then – look to Christ and look at all the things your husband is doing that show how much he loves you – and rest in the love of God and in your husband’s love.

          What do you think?

          • Prayful wife
            October 16, 2013 at 10:26 pm #

            I think that you are a blessing! Your words calmed my spirit enough to take some more deep breaths and not explode my insecurities all over the place.

            I have thousands upon thousands of blessings to be thankful for! My husband has grown through Christ in these last few months and I am proud to be his wife ! He is a wonderful father to our children and I know he loves me deeply. God is good ! I am happy to report that I continue to pray and am going to lean on God for all my needs. I will continue to search through your blog for more useful, prayerful tidbits.

            I especially needed to be reminded that I can pray for God to convict my husband’s heart if he is behaving in a way that displeases Our Father! He is in control. I have faith !

            • peacefulwife
              October 17, 2013 at 6:52 am #

              Prayerful wife,
              What wonderful news! I’m so glad that you are depending on God and seeking Him above all. Praying for God to give you His wisdom and to bring about His glory and His will!!

  17. Prayful wife
    October 27, 2013 at 11:27 am #

    I could use some more advice !! Thank you again for before! You helped tremendously put things in perspective ! That is what I’m searching for now…
    My husband has a history of addiction-prescribed pain meds. His mother has assisted getting him $20,000 worth of another drug to replace his original addiction. He has done mostly well over the last 2 years with taking the prescribed opiate blocking drug. He recently has been prescribed another addictive drug, adderall. He seems to be abusing this. I found some (10 or so) pain pills in an unmarked bottle this morning (same ones his mother had paid so much money to help him get off of and one stronger one) … I flushed them in the toilet. He was still asleep when we left for church this morning. He normally attends and this is the first Sunday he has missed since his emotional affair almost 6 months ago. I haven’t confronted him. Don’t have a desire to. I’m just praying for God to convict him if he is displeasing him. I am praying for strength and guidance that I can reach my husband with love and grace and forgiveness … I understand addiction quite well unfortunately. I want advice on how to proceed should my husband ask where the pills are. I love my husband deeply and don’t want satan to attack him when things have been going wonderfully. Prayers appreciated.

    • Prayful wife
      October 27, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

      I have read your disclaimer regarding addiction and abuse. I am only asking the best way to respond to my husband to show love and not accusations and also maybe a point in the direction of someone who may deal with addicted spouses.

      • peacefulwife
        October 27, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

        Prayerful wife,

        I understand! :) I pray that my answer might be helpful. My email is aprilc@sc.rr.com if your husband is open to talking to the man from the Salvation Army. :)

    • peacefulwife
      October 27, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Prayerful Wife,

      Has your husband been to Celebrate Recovery? That is a Christian based program that I have heard good things about. Also, the Salvation Army is often able to help. If your husband is willing to talk with a man who has been there, whom God has changed dramatically and who is now living for Christ – I can get you his email. He is with the Salvation Army now.

      Well – as a pharmacist, I have been in the position hundreds of times of telling an addict that I won’t give him the pills he wants. That can be REALLY SCARY. I don’t know your husband. I don’t know if he tends to get violent. If he does, you may need to have someone else with you when you have that conversation – not a child, but a pastor or someone who can help lead you in an intervention.

      You may not have to say anything about the pills. If he brings it up, you may just want to say, “Honey, I love you. I can’t watch you go to that awful place again. Let’s get some help for this together. I’m on your team. Let’s conquer this thing together”

      But – most of all – be open to what God’s Spirit wants you to say.

      Lord,
      I pray for wisdom for Prayerful wife and her husband. Draw him to Yourself. Let him find freedom from his addictions. Give this precious wife Your powerful Spirit of love, truth, compassion, grace, mercy and self-control. Help them find the resources they need – godly resources – to restore her husband to sobriety and to reconcile him to Yourself and to heal this marriage.

      • Prayful wife
        October 27, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

        No violence. Emotional outbursts maybe. Prayers appreciated. I’ve been praying all throughout today. I’m hoping this is a mild slip i discovered before it has become a resurfaced problem. God will guide me and I will listen! Thank you!

      • lost
        October 29, 2013 at 7:22 am #

        I’ve been married to my husband for 20 yrs and have 2 teenagers. Recently I discovered that he’s been in a secret 8 yr affair with a woman 20 yrs his junior which resulted in them having a son. When confronted, he was very indifferent and told me that if I cannot accept the other family it’s just too bad because he doesn’t want a divorce but wants to have both families at the same time. What do I do? I feel so broken, lost and trapped.

        • peacefulwife
          October 29, 2013 at 8:01 am #

          Lost,

          How unbelievably heartbreaking!!!!

          That is NOT ok!!! He is violating your marriage covenant. At a minimum, I believe you will have to separate from him until he is willing to repent and restore your marriage. Please seek godly counsel. Please do not stay with him until he is willing to show true remorse for his sin and show a rather lengthy history of being willing to be transparent and accountable. You are probably going to need outside help. Do you know a godly pastor and his wife you could speak with? Or a godly Christian counselor?

  18. Prayful wife
    October 29, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

    To lost… I am praying for you!

  19. maryfrance udeagwu
    November 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful example!

  20. peacefulwife
    January 2, 2014 at 9:55 am #

    WHEN OUR HUSBANDS USE PORN:

    Pornography use is at epidemic levels among men (and rates are rising among women, too). I have seen numbers that as high as 90% of men in America have used pornography at some time. I don’t know what the most accurate numbers are – but I know the problem is staggering.

    What is it about pornography that is so enticing to men?

    it is VERY easily accessible and free thanks to the internet.
    a lot of men have little or no accountability and are able to hide and keep their addiction private.
    it is addictive, like an illicit drug. Many young men are exposed in their teen years and once the addiction is born – it is always a battle. Porn alters nerve pathways in the brain permanently. The best way to avoid this sin is to completely avoid exposure.
    the women in the pictures have a look of desire and acceptance for a man. I believe that as wives – we need to be sure our husbands see OUR desire for them and OUR acceptance. We are not responsible for our husbands’ sin, but we can make it much easier for them to be tempted by our disrespectful, condemning, critical, controlling behavior and attitudes.
    if we are sinning against our husbands by refusing them sexually (unless there is infidelity going on or a major medical problem) – we are sending them into the world with their strong sexual desires and giving them no legitimate outlet for release.
    Sexual fulfillment in marriage translates into better performance for a man in all areas of his life – even his career. So not only does a man not have anywhere legitimate to turn with his sexual appetite when his wife rejects him, but he also feels further away from her, disrespected and like less of a man in every arena of his life. I have heard from MANY men who say, “When my wife disrespects me, I have ZERO sexual desire for her. I don’t even want to be around her.” But he still has a sex drive and appetite.

    When a wife’s disrespect level is high – porn can seem like a “safer” alternative to a man then taking his needs to his wife. I am not saying he is justified. He’s not justified at all. He will stand accountable to God for his sin and he needs to repent to God and his wife and get rid of the sin. Just like wives are not justified in showing disrespect, contempt, hatred and in trying to control their husbands – even though most of us have a long list of reasons why we believe we are exempt from God’s commands for wives in Ephesians 5:22-33. We will stand before God – accountable to Him for our resentment, judgment, pride, unforgiveness, critical spirit, disobedience to God’s Word, hatred, disrespect, controlling behavior and contempt.

    HOW DO WIVES’ REACTIONS AFFECT THEIR HUSBANDS?

    Unfortunately, a wife’s reaction when she discovers her husband has been using pornography usually makes the temptation even worse for him. Wives are understandably very upset, and most respond by not want to be sexually intimate with their husbands and by condemning their husband. He is sinning against her and against God. I could definitely understand a wife needing to wait several days – possibly longer – and seeing real repentance, accountability and transparency from her husband before feeling safe enough to trust herself to him sexually again. The pain is very personal for wives – it feels like a personal violation to us.

    BUT – if we react in horror and we shame our men, refuse them sexually for prolonged periods of time, label them as perverts or worse sinners than ourselves – we are unwittingly pushing our men back towards the very temptation we hate so much. Many wives try to control their husbands’ every thought and access to the computer. Many of them interrogate their husbands constantly trying to keep them from lusting in their hearts. But we as wives cannot control our husbands’ sin or his thought life. We can’t even control our own apart from God’s power!

    Some husbands come into marriage addicted to porn from a young age. Many men say that their porn use has nothing to do with their love for their wives and are surprised that their wives take their porn use so personally. Men tend to turn to porn in times of great stress or loneliness – as a comfort.

    It is my prayer that we might be willing to approach this sin as a team WITH our husbands – both of us working together to defeat this addiction/temptation.

    A PRODUCTIVE BUT VERY COUNTER-INTUITIVE WAY TO RESPOND

    I pray that wives in this situation might be able to share their sadness, disappointment, grief and pain with their husbands, but also realize that we, too, are wretched sinners. All people are. The book of Isaiah says that our attempts at being “good” all look like “dirty, filthy menstrual rags” to God. Romans says we are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. We all need the gift of God – the death of Christ on our behalf – to be right with God. None of us can be good on our own.

    Our sin is not more holy than our husbands’ sin. Our sin is different – but our disrespect, unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, idolatry, etc… is equally repulsive to God as our husbands’ sin of lust or pornography addiction. We all need Christ. We all need forgiveness.

    I pray wives will find grace to offer their husbands and then work as a team to battle this temptation that Satan would love to use to destroy our husbands and our marriages.

    What if we rallied around our husbands and apologized for our sin and became accepting wives who joyfully engage in sex with our husbands and don’t withhold sex to punish them. What if our men saw the light and faith in our eyes for them, and grace and forgiveness. What if they found acceptance and understanding in our arms and our expressions? What if they found that, by the power of God’s Spirit in us, we will help to gently restore them from their sin instead of judging and condemning them as more evil than we are. What if we became a safe place for our husbands to share their struggles and fears? What if our men had wives with willing hearts and who made themselves available to their husbands sexually? What if we offered life-giving words instead of crushing our men when they stumble?

    Pornography may not be a problem for most women. But if it is a snare for our husbands, it is our problem, too. What affects him, impacts me. If something begins to destroy him, it will also destroy me and our marriage. If wives act in the power of God – we can overcome evil with good and be partners with Christ to restore our husbands to a right relationship with Christ and with us.

    I can’t help but think that pornography would not have near the hold on so many men if we as wives could be the wives God desires us to be. We might actually be able to be a huge part of the solution! I pray that we might be – so that our marriages will grow stronger and God might be greatly glorified!
    ONE HUSBAND’S RESPONSE TO MY TAKE ON THIS TOPIC:

    Oh. My. Word.

    I’ve never seen anyone else say this, let alone say it so well.

    Every husband knows it’s so contrary to what a wife’s natural reaction would be (and, to be clear, the wife’s natural reaction is very understandable). But that knowledge would make it all the more of a shocking blessing to the husband whose wife responded as you’ve urged.

    This is a real life example of an area where the Gospel is counter-intuitive. Almost always, the husband’s use of pornography is (a) deemed to be the equivalent of physical adultery, giving the wife allegedly biblical grounds for divorce (or at least for the threat of divorce) or (b) at least gives her the moral high ground in the relationship for the rest of their lives (or the rest of their marriage, which will probably be the shorter of the two). But the result of that natural response is a permanently weakened marriage. if she can respond as you have urged, with the grace of God, I’m convinced that you’re right that the marriage will be strengthened.

    Even if she can’t bring herself to realize that she also has likely sinned against him in equally “bad” (but more socially acceptable) ways — which is its own problem — that still leaves the question you’ve asked elsewhere: which is more important to her — the marriage, or being right?

    You’ll save marriages with this advice.

    AN ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION FROM THE SAME HUSBAND

    I would elaborate a little on the response above, to clarify that I am contemplating a situation where the husband has confessed, repented, and wants to stay away from pornography going forward. (I use “confessed” in the biblical sense — i.e., he agrees with God (and his wife) that his conduct was wrong. He might have voluntarily confessed without having been caught, or he might have been caught but then “confessed” and repented. Either way, the most important thing is what he seeks to do going forward.) It would definitely be a different situation where the husband insists that there’s nothing wrong with porn and he’s going to continue to use it. It might be a different situation if the husband says the right things but gives evidence of not really meaning it — such as avoiding accountability, counseling, etc. But occasional relapses do not mean that his confession and repentance were not real, especially if he has followed up his words with actions, such as an
    accountability partner or group, counseling, internet filters or monitoring software, etc. Pornography is a very sticky trap; in many ways it’s harder to overcome than other attractions/addictions. For example, an alcoholic can avoid pretty much any exposure to external sources of temptation by not having alcohol in the house, not frequenting bars, etc. But a married man lives with the woman who is most sexually desirable to him (who may or may not be available to him) and moves in an everyday world that is saturated with sex and scantily clad women, even if he is avoiding inappropriate places, people, and media. I know the relapses are extremely painful for the wife, and understandably so, but if she takes the position that she will leave (or permanently shut down sexually) if he EVER messes up again, the most likely result will be that he will keep any relapse a secret, out of fear of her response. And that secrecy will make it much harder to get clean again or to stay clean.
    For the wife who is concerned that there have been too many relapses or relapses too close together, so that she is not sure that her husband is really trying to stay clean, I think it’s appropriate to get the church involved (if they aren’t already) by getting help from the church leadership — pastor, elders, or deacons. Best case, the additional help will make the difference. Worst case, the wife will have the benefit of wise counsel in deciding whether her husband is not sincere and whether she should take further action.

  21. Marisa
    February 9, 2014 at 10:07 pm #

    I’ve been in the same situation for 20 years

    • peacefulwife
      February 9, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      Marisa,

      Oh no!! :(

      Would you like to talk about it?

  22. Holly
    February 13, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    The words in this article are life-giving. I began my respect journey in December 2013 by reading this, and now I find myself here again as my husband is back involved with pornography and is choosing to lie to me about it. Very tenderly, sweetly, and earnestly… Lying. This is the first time I haven’t raged and guilted and used my behavior to punish his. The first time I haven’t thrown down every detail of what I found and demanded explanations until he was cornered. I confronted once: without malice and let him know I was not against him. I know now I don’t wrestle against my husband. But against Satan and his helpers. Not me against him. Us against them. I pray for God to give me the maturity and peace to see this through and not try to take control. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve made my heart humble and vulnerable to my husband over the past months and now I am so hurt and my heart is breaking. But God is close to the broken hearted. I give thanks to God, who makes all things beautiful in His time, and will wipe away every tear from our eyes one day. I believe this trial is necessary in order to receive God’s plan of growth and unity in my marriage. Today, I choose to not see, and yet to believe.

    • peacefulwife
      February 13, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      Holly,

      Wow!

      What God is doing in you is incredibly beautiful. THANK YOU for being willing to respond without sin, sharing your pain, being vulnerable. And being willing to be on your husbsnd’s team.

      I am praying for you! I think this will be a marriage changing event, your response this time in the power of God.

      I have a post about this I can share if you are interested.

      Wish I could hug your neck! This is a PAINFUL thing for a wife. But I praise God that you are taking your pain to Him and that you see the real enemy. Woohoo!!!!!!!

      • Holly
        February 14, 2014 at 8:06 am #

        Yes, thanks. I would like to read that post. Just for anyone out there in my shoes, I can update on how the situation progressed after my post. He came to me with some explanations that were not really honest, so I felt I had to tell him I knew what was going on. Again, I reassured him I wasn’t going anywhere. At bedtime, there were tears (mine). And he reassured me. This morning, he sent me this text: “One big difference about yesterday. Usually I just want you to stop being angry with me. Yesterday I wanted you to stop hurting.” My new reaction was so much less painful and drawn out than the old way. Perfect love, heartbreaking, vulnerable, forgiving, love, really does cast out fear. :)

        • peacefulwife
          February 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

          Holly,
          Please don’t let me forget to email that to you. I can’t do it from this device, so, if you don’t hear from me by tomorrow, I may need a reminder. I worked today and tomorrow, but hopefully, I will remember!!!

          I love what you just shared. Being vulnerable and honest about your pain is SO MUCH MORE effective than when we lash out in anger. That is true in practically any relationship. :) vulnerability increases intimacy. Anger or control destroy intimacy.

          Thank you so much for sharing!!!

          • peacefulwife
            February 16, 2014 at 6:54 am #

            Pornography use is at epidemic levels among men (and rates are rising among women, too). I have seen numbers that as high as 90% of men in America have used pornography at some time. I don’t know what the most accurate numbers are – but I know the problem is staggering.

            What is it about pornography that is so enticing to men?

            it is VERY easily accessible and free thanks to the internet.
            a lot of men have little or no accountability and are able to hide and keep their addiction private.
            it is addictive, like an illicit drug. Many young men are exposed in their teen years and once the addiction is born – it is always a battle. Porn alters nerve pathways in the brain permanently. The best way to avoid this sin is to completely avoid exposure.
            the women in the pictures have a look of desire and acceptance for a man. I believe that as wives – we need to be sure our husbands see OUR desire for them and OUR acceptance. We are not responsible for our husbands’ sin, but we can make it much easier for them to be tempted by our disrespectful, condemning, critical, controlling behavior and attitudes.
            if we are sinning against our husbands by refusing them sexually (unless there is infidelity going on or a major medical problem) – we are sending them into the world with their strong sexual desires and giving them no legitimate outlet for release.
            Sexual fulfillment in marriage translates into better performance for a man in all areas of his life – even his career. So not only does a man not have anywhere legitimate to turn with his sexual appetite when his wife rejects him, but he also feels further away from her, disrespected and like less of a man in every arena of his life. I have heard from MANY men who say, “When my wife disrespects me, I have ZERO sexual desire for her. I don’t even want to be around her.” But he still has a sex drive and appetite.

            When a wife’s disrespect level is high – porn can seem like a “safer” alternative to a man then taking his needs to his wife. I am not saying he is justified. He’s not justified at all. He will stand accountable to God for his sin and he needs to repent to God and his wife and get rid of the sin. Just like wives are not justified in showing disrespect, contempt, hatred and in trying to control their husbands – even though most of us have a long list of reasons why we believe we are exempt from God’s commands for wives in Ephesians 5:22-33. We will stand before God – accountable to Him for our resentment, judgment, pride, unforgiveness, critical spirit, disobedience to God’s Word, hatred, disrespect, controlling behavior and contempt.

            HOW DO WIVES’ REACTIONS AFFECT THEIR HUSBANDS?

            Unfortunately, a wife’s reaction when she discovers her husband has been using pornography usually makes the temptation even worse for him. Wives are understandably very upset, and most respond by not want to be sexually intimate with their husbands and by condemning their husband. He is sinning against her and against God. I could definitely understand a wife needing to wait several days – possibly longer – and seeing real repentance, accountability and transparency from her husband before feeling safe enough to trust herself to him sexually again. The pain is very personal for wives – it feels like a personal violation to us.

            BUT – if we react in horror and we shame our men, refuse them sexually for prolonged periods of time, label them as perverts or worse sinners than ourselves – we are unwittingly pushing our men back towards the very temptation we hate so much. Many wives try to control their husbands’ every thought and access to the computer. Many of them interrogate their husbands constantly trying to keep them from lusting in their hearts. But we as wives cannot control our husbands’ sin or his thought life. We can’t even control our own apart from God’s power!

            Some husbands come into marriage addicted to porn from a young age. Many men say that their porn use has nothing to do with their love for their wives and are surprised that their wives take their porn use so personally. Men tend to turn to porn in times of great stress or loneliness – as a comfort.

            It is my prayer that we might be willing to approach this sin as a team WITH our husbands – both of us working together to defeat this addiction/temptation.

            A PRODUCTIVE BUT VERY COUNTER-INTUITIVE WAY TO RESPOND

            I pray that wives in this situation might be able to share their sadness, disappointment, grief and pain with their husbands, but also realize that we, too, are wretched sinners. All people are. The book of Isaiah says that our attempts at being “good” all look like “dirty, filthy menstrual rags” to God. Romans says we are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. We all need the gift of God – the death of Christ on our behalf – to be right with God. None of us can be good on our own.

            Our sin is not more holy than our husbands’ sin. Our sin is different – but our disrespect, unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, idolatry, etc… is equally repulsive to God as our husbands’ sin of lust or pornography addiction. We all need Christ. We all need forgiveness.

            I pray wives will find grace to offer their husbands and then work as a team to battle this temptation that Satan would love to use to destroy our husbands and our marriages.

            What if we rallied around our husbands and apologized for our sin and became accepting wives who joyfully engage in sex with our husbands and don’t withhold sex to punish them. What if our men saw the light and faith in our eyes for them, and grace and forgiveness. What if they found acceptance and understanding in our arms and our expressions? What if they found that, by the power of God’s Spirit in us, we will help to gently restore them from their sin instead of judging and condemning them as more evil than we are. What if we became a safe place for our husbands to share their struggles and fears? What if our men had wives with willing hearts and who made themselves available to their husbands sexually? What if we offered life-giving words instead of crushing our men when they stumble?

            Pornography may not be a problem for most women. But if it is a snare for our husbands, it is our problem, too. What affects him, impacts me. If something begins to destroy him, it will also destroy me and our marriage. If wives act in the power of God – we can overcome evil with good and be partners with Christ to restore our husbands to a right relationship with Christ and with us.

            I can’t help but think that pornography would not have near the hold on so many men if we as wives could be the wives God desires us to be. We might actually be able to be a huge part of the solution! I pray that we might be – so that our marriages will grow stronger and God might be greatly glorified!
            ONE HUSBAND’S RESPONSE TO MY TAKE ON THIS TOPIC:

            Oh. My. Word.

            I’ve never seen anyone else say this, let alone say it so well.

            Every husband knows it’s so contrary to what a wife’s natural reaction would be (and, to be clear, the wife’s natural reaction is very understandable). But that knowledge would make it all the more of a shocking blessing to the husband whose wife responded as you’ve urged.

            This is a real life example of an area where the Gospel is counter-intuitive. Almost always, the husband’s use of pornography is (a) deemed to be the equivalent of physical adultery, giving the wife allegedly biblical grounds for divorce (or at least for the threat of divorce) or (b) at least gives her the moral high ground in the relationship for the rest of their lives (or the rest of their marriage, which will probably be the shorter of the two). But the result of that natural response is a permanently weakened marriage. if she can respond as you have urged, with the grace of God, I’m convinced that you’re right that the marriage will be strengthened.

            Even if she can’t bring herself to realize that she also has likely sinned against him in equally “bad” (but more socially acceptable) ways — which is its own problem — that still leaves the question you’ve asked elsewhere: which is more important to her — the marriage, or being right?

            You’ll save marriages with this advice.

            AN ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION FROM THE SAME HUSBAND

            I would elaborate a little on the response above, to clarify that I am contemplating a situation where the husband has confessed, repented, and wants to stay away from pornography going forward. (I use “confessed” in the biblical sense — i.e., he agrees with God (and his wife) that his conduct was wrong. He might have voluntarily confessed without having been caught, or he might have been caught but then “confessed” and repented. Either way, the most important thing is what he seeks to do going forward.) It would definitely be a different situation where the husband insists that there’s nothing wrong with porn and he’s going to continue to use it. It might be a different situation if the husband says the right things but gives evidence of not really meaning it — such as avoiding accountability, counseling, etc. But occasional relapses do not mean that his confession and repentance were not real, especially if he has followed up his words with actions, such as an
            accountability partner or group, counseling, internet filters or monitoring software, etc. Pornography is a very sticky trap; in many ways it’s harder to overcome than other attractions/addictions. For example, an alcoholic can avoid pretty much any exposure to external sources of temptation by not having alcohol in the house, not frequenting bars, etc. But a married man lives with the woman who is most sexually desirable to him (who may or may not be available to him) and moves in an everyday world that is saturated with sex and scantily clad women, even if he is avoiding inappropriate places, people, and media. I know the relapses are extremely painful for the wife, and understandably so, but if she takes the position that she will leave (or permanently shut down sexually) if he EVER messes up again, the most likely result will be that he will keep any relapse a secret, out of fear of her response. And that secrecy will make it much harder to get clean again or to stay clean.
            For the wife who is concerned that there have been too many relapses or relapses too close together, so that she is not sure that her husband is really trying to stay clean, I think it’s appropriate to get the church involved (if they aren’t already) by getting help from the church leadership — pastor, elders, or deacons. Best case, the additional help will make the difference. Worst case, the wife will have the benefit of wise counsel in deciding whether her husband is not sincere and whether she should take further action.

  23. elizabeth
    February 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Wow! This made me cry. It was so strong and powerful. It has so many good points. But what do I do if my husband likes porn? I feel like it is a major problem in our marriage and this is coming from someone who used to love it now I hate it. And it hurts me so much. Sometimes I really just feel emotionally abuses I am even going to therapy. I am at a lost for words and I really feel like I need help. I want to try some of these things to see if they work. But my fear is they won’t work :( please pray for me as I really need the prayer and strength to go on.

    • peacefulwife
      February 26, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

      Elizabeth,

      It is wonderful to meet you!!!! :)

      Here is a place to start:

      “What Would We Talk about If I Emailed You?”

      The links at the bottom are also very good places to begin on my blog. :)

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      A fantastic resource is Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller – he has a chapter about dealing with a husband’s battle with porn, actually!

      Here is a post I wrote in the past on a different site about porn.

      Much love! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in your life!

      —————–
      Pornography use is at epidemic levels among men (and rates are rising among women, too). I have seen numbers that as high as 90% of men in America have used pornography at some time. I don’t know what the most accurate numbers are – but I know the problem is staggering.

      What is it about pornography that is so enticing to men?

      it is VERY easily accessible and free thanks to the internet.
      a lot of men have little or no accountability and are able to hide and keep their addiction private.
      it is addictive, like an illicit drug. Many young men are exposed in their teen years and once the addiction is born – it is always a battle. Porn alters nerve pathways in the brain permanently. The best way to avoid this sin is to completely avoid exposure.
      the women in the pictures have a look of desire and acceptance for a man. I believe that as wives – we need to be sure our husbands see OUR desire for them and OUR acceptance. We are not responsible for our husbands’ sin, but we can make it much easier for them to be tempted by our disrespectful, condemning, critical, controlling behavior and attitudes.
      if we are sinning against our husbands by refusing them sexually (unless there is infidelity going on or a major medical problem) – we are sending them into the world with their strong sexual desires and giving them no legitimate outlet for release.
      Sexual fulfillment in marriage translates into better performance for a man in all areas of his life – even his career. So not only does a man not have anywhere legitimate to turn with his sexual appetite when his wife rejects him, but he also feels further away from her, disrespected and like less of a man in every arena of his life. I have heard from MANY men who say, “When my wife disrespects me, I have ZERO sexual desire for her. I don’t even want to be around her.” But he still has a sex drive and appetite.

      When a wife’s disrespect level is high – porn can seem like a “safer” alternative to a man then taking his needs to his wife. I am not saying he is justified. He’s not justified at all. He will stand accountable to God for his sin and he needs to repent to God and his wife and get rid of the sin. Just like wives are not justified in showing disrespect, contempt, hatred and in trying to control their husbands – even though most of us have a long list of reasons why we believe we are exempt from God’s commands for wives in Ephesians 5:22-33. We will stand before God – accountable to Him for our resentment, judgment, pride, unforgiveness, critical spirit, disobedience to God’s Word, hatred, disrespect, controlling behavior and contempt.

      HOW DO WIVES’ REACTIONS AFFECT THEIR HUSBANDS?

      Unfortunately, a wife’s reaction when she discovers her husband has been using pornography usually makes the temptation even worse for him. Wives are understandably very upset, and most respond by not want to be sexually intimate with their husbands and by condemning their husband. He is sinning against her and against God. I could definitely understand a wife needing to wait several days – possibly longer – and seeing real repentance, accountability and transparency from her husband before feeling safe enough to trust herself to him sexually again. The pain is very personal for wives – it feels like a personal violation to us.

      BUT – if we react in horror and we shame our men, refuse them sexually for prolonged periods of time, label them as perverts or worse sinners than ourselves – we are unwittingly pushing our men back towards the very temptation we hate so much. Many wives try to control their husbands’ every thought and access to the computer. Many of them interrogate their husbands constantly trying to keep them from lusting in their hearts. But we as wives cannot control our husbands’ sin or his thought life. We can’t even control our own apart from God’s power!

      Some husbands come into marriage addicted to porn from a young age. Many men say that their porn use has nothing to do with their love for their wives and are surprised that their wives take their porn use so personally. Men tend to turn to porn in times of great stress or loneliness – as a comfort.

      It is my prayer that we might be willing to approach this sin as a team WITH our husbands – both of us working together to defeat this addiction/temptation.

      A PRODUCTIVE BUT VERY COUNTER-INTUITIVE WAY TO RESPOND

      I pray that wives in this situation might be able to share their sadness, disappointment, grief and pain with their husbands, but also realize that we, too, are wretched sinners. All people are. The book of Isaiah says that our attempts at being “good” all look like “dirty, filthy menstrual rags” to God. Romans says we are all sinners and all fall short of the glory of God. We all need the gift of God – the death of Christ on our behalf – to be right with God. None of us can be good on our own.

      Our sin is not more holy than our husbands’ sin. Our sin is different – but our disrespect, unforgiveness, bitterness, pride, idolatry, etc… is equally repulsive to God as our husbands’ sin of lust or pornography addiction. We all need Christ. We all need forgiveness.

      I pray wives will find grace to offer their husbands and then work as a team to battle this temptation that Satan would love to use to destroy our husbands and our marriages.

      What if we rallied around our husbands and apologized for our sin and became accepting wives who joyfully engage in sex with our husbands and don’t withhold sex to punish them. What if our men saw the light and faith in our eyes for them, and grace and forgiveness. What if they found acceptance and understanding in our arms and our expressions? What if they found that, by the power of God’s Spirit in us, we will help to gently restore them from their sin instead of judging and condemning them as more evil than we are. What if we became a safe place for our husbands to share their struggles and fears? What if our men had wives with willing hearts and who made themselves available to their husbands sexually? What if we offered life-giving words instead of crushing our men when they stumble?

      Pornography may not be a problem for most women. But if it is a snare for our husbands, it is our problem, too. What affects him, impacts me. If something begins to destroy him, it will also destroy me and our marriage. If wives act in the power of God – we can overcome evil with good and be partners with Christ to restore our husbands to a right relationship with Christ and with us.

      I can’t help but think that pornography would not have near the hold on so many men if we as wives could be the wives God desires us to be. We might actually be able to be a huge part of the solution! I pray that we might be – so that our marriages will grow stronger and God might be greatly glorified!
      ONE HUSBAND’S RESPONSE TO MY TAKE ON THIS TOPIC:

      Oh. My. Word.

      I’ve never seen anyone else say this, let alone say it so well.

      Every husband knows it’s so contrary to what a wife’s natural reaction would be (and, to be clear, the wife’s natural reaction is very understandable). But that knowledge would make it all the more of a shocking blessing to the husband whose wife responded as you’ve urged.

      This is a real life example of an area where the Gospel is counter-intuitive. Almost always, the husband’s use of pornography is (a) deemed to be the equivalent of physical adultery, giving the wife allegedly biblical grounds for divorce (or at least for the threat of divorce) or (b) at least gives her the moral high ground in the relationship for the rest of their lives (or the rest of their marriage, which will probably be the shorter of the two). But the result of that natural response is a permanently weakened marriage. if she can respond as you have urged, with the grace of God, I’m convinced that you’re right that the marriage will be strengthened.

      Even if she can’t bring herself to realize that she also has likely sinned against him in equally “bad” (but more socially acceptable) ways — which is its own problem — that still leaves the question you’ve asked elsewhere: which is more important to her — the marriage, or being right?

      You’ll save marriages with this advice.

      AN ADDITIONAL CLARIFICATION FROM THE SAME HUSBAND

      I would elaborate a little on the response above, to clarify that I am contemplating a situation where the husband has confessed, repented, and wants to stay away from pornography going forward. (I use “confessed” in the biblical sense — i.e., he agrees with God (and his wife) that his conduct was wrong. He might have voluntarily confessed without having been caught, or he might have been caught but then “confessed” and repented. Either way, the most important thing is what he seeks to do going forward.) It would definitely be a different situation where the husband insists that there’s nothing wrong with porn and he’s going to continue to use it. It might be a different situation if the husband says the right things but gives evidence of not really meaning it — such as avoiding accountability, counseling, etc. But occasional relapses do not mean that his confession and repentance were not real, especially if he has followed up his words with actions, such as an
      accountability partner or group, counseling, internet filters or monitoring software, etc. Pornography is a very sticky trap; in many ways it’s harder to overcome than other attractions/addictions. For example, an alcoholic can avoid pretty much any exposure to external sources of temptation by not having alcohol in the house, not frequenting bars, etc. But a married man lives with the woman who is most sexually desirable to him (who may or may not be available to him) and moves in an everyday world that is saturated with sex and scantily clad women, even if he is avoiding inappropriate places, people, and media. I know the relapses are extremely painful for the wife, and understandably so, but if she takes the position that she will leave (or permanently shut down sexually) if he EVER messes up again, the most likely result will be that he will keep any relapse a secret, out of fear of her response. And that secrecy will make it much harder to get clean again or to stay clean.
      For the wife who is concerned that there have been too many relapses or relapses too close together, so that she is not sure that her husband is really trying to stay clean, I think it’s appropriate to get the church involved (if they aren’t already) by getting help from the church leadership — pastor, elders, or deacons. Best case, the additional help will make the difference. Worst case, the wife will have the benefit of wise counsel in deciding whether her husband is not sincere and whether she should take further action.

    • peacefulwife
      February 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

      PS, Elizabeth,

      The key here is going to be your faith in God. Do you believe He is who He says He is? If you are willing to trust Him instead of yourself or your husband, He is totally able to radically change you. I have seen it countless times!!!!!

      God is able. You will be the one to decide if and when you will trust Him and begin to do things His way. I can guarantee He will heal and change YOU if you will do this. He may heal your husband and marriage, too. I don’t know. But if He is going to, it will be only after you are willing to go down this road. :)

      Much love,
      April

  24. daisymae
    March 30, 2014 at 7:52 pm #

    As always I find exactly what I need somewhere on your site. Thank you for your willingness to teach. Please pray for me to learn to implement distance. I have a really hard time with this and wind up trying to fix everything and not let God work with my husband. I do all the wrong things when my husband sins against me.

    • peacefulwife
      March 30, 2014 at 9:49 pm #

      Daisymae,
      I’m so glad that this was a blessing for you. I’m sorry you are hurting! Praying for you to learn to live in the power of God’s Spirit and to find the right balance of closeness and distance – which can be tricky! We are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against – Gary Thomas “Sacred Marriage.” That is for sure!

      Praying for you to hear and have the power of God to obey His voice my precious sister!

      • DaisyMae
        March 31, 2014 at 9:49 am #

        Thank you :-) My heart is heavy right now but I know God is working.

  25. daisymae
    April 1, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    April, you say…”.If not, you may want to give him some space, respectfully, to process his feelings for a few hours or over night. And keep some distance.”
    Is overnight the longest I should be distant? Or is longer sometimes necessary? My husband lied to me about 2 things. He considers them none of my business. While I am upset about what he did, they are not huge issues (although one I consider a sin) but the lying to me is and he won’t admit he lied even though I have proof. Since talking only makes him angry, I sent him a text with statements like you suggested saying that I want to be able to trust him. And I have kept my distance for 2 days now. I have just been quiet and tried to stay in a different room. So far nothing….In fact, he left for work 2 hours earlier yesterday and didn’t even say he was leaving. I could just act like nothing ever happened today and he would go back to his old self. He loves when I just sweep things under the rug. I just don’t know what to do. That doesn’t seem right either. I think he could do this distance thing for months if I didn’t give in. I am not acting angry at him or anything like that. I am just quiet and going about my daily things.
    PS I do think he lies because in the past I have going berserk over little things I didn’t like. But, because of my past lying is a HUGE issue with me.

    • peacefulwife
      April 1, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      Daisymae,
      Does he ever do something, a gesture or anything, to try to “Extend an Olive Branch” to you? Yes, sometimes it can take days or weeks. But – I’d love to see y’all come together again. Is it possible that he does something unique to try to show you that he wants to reconnect?

      If the issues are not huge – I have seen wives make very small things into BIG deals by labeling their husbands “liars” and sometimes, it seems to me that labeling them that was more harmful than what the husbands did.

      What are your motives? What are you trying to accomplish?

      How can you bless him?

      Are you trying to force him to repent? Is that your place?

      Is there any sin in your life you need to work on first?

      Check out this post about men giving their wives an olive branch.

      Much love!

  26. daisymae
    April 1, 2014 at 1:39 pm #

    He does extend the olive branch in small ways and I always accept it but he is not doing it this time but that is because when I am distant he will not come towards me. If I act like nothing is wrong, he will too. I think you are right about the fact that labeling and the way I dealt with the lies was worse than the lie. Also, I think I am trying to force him to repent or at least see lying is wrong. I am just really confused with everything right now. I want things to be better but anytime I request anything he just says no way, get over it. He is at the point that he doesn’t see my needs or care about them. He did not used to be this way so I know I have caused this. I know that it is a process of respecting him and then he will care about things I need but I feel like a doormat right now. I can’t get that part out of my brain. It is like he is determined to say no to anything I ask of him even just little things. It is like he is thinking she did everything wrong so I can do whatever I want now.

    • peacefulwife
      April 1, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

      Daisymae,

      IF you are giving the cold shoulder – that probably won’t work. Some husbands respond to respectful distance. But if you know that he will come towards you if you come towards him, that may be the thing to do.

      You are not responsible to convict him of his sins. That is the Holy Spirit’s job.

      Please read Romans 12:9-21 and I Corinthians 13:4-8 and Galatians 5:22-23 and then let me know what God is speaking to you about what He wants you to do at this time.

      Much love!

      • peacefulwife
        April 1, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

        DaisyMae,
        What needs do you have that he doesn’t seem to care about right now?

        • daisymae
          April 1, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

          I did go to him and everything is fine now…. well as fine as things get right now. I know I need to work on letting God convict him. I am not good at that at all.

          As for my needs, he finally got a job and he works 12-13 hours day 6 days a week. Sometimes he works 15-16 hours a day. This is hard labor not a desk job. I see him about 45 mins each day. He does not get paid more for more hours. It is set amount every day. He doesn’t have to work 6 days. He he says we need the money. He has already gotten sick twice in the 2 months he has been working and been in bed and missed work. Then he doesn’t get paid for those days. On his day off he sleeps most of the day and lies in the recliner the rest of the day because he is exhausted. I am just asking that he cut back to 5 days a week so we can have some time together and he doesn’t kill himself. That is my big issue. Little ones are things like cuddling, walking outside to look at the garden, going for a ride on his day off, carrying a heavy box upstairs for me…all of it is No, I don’t feel like it. He says he is angry at me because I don’t want him to work. That is not true. When he worked an 8 hour a day job before I never complained. When he worked 10 hours a day 5 days a week and I never complained. Because he is working so much he is not taking care of things that he should be, mainly medical appointments and legal issues.

          • peacefulwife
            April 1, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

            Daisymae,

            Wow. That is a LOT of work! Does he feel he will jeopardize his job if he doesn’t work that much?

            No wonder he is exhausted and grumpy when he is home.

            And I can absolutely understand you wanting some time with him.

            Have you thanked him for providing so well and having such a wonderful work ethic?

            How do you ask him to take a day off to be with you?

            Much love!

            • daisymae
              April 1, 2014 at 7:03 pm #

              Yes, I have told him that I appreciate his willingness to work so hard and I am proud of him. Yes, I have asked him to take a day off. He says No. He says he won’t be working like this forever. He always says just a couple more weeks until they hire someone.( I have heard that for 2 months) I don’t think they have any desire to hire anyone and pay 2 people when they can just pay him. I am praying that he will be willing to tell them that it is just too many hours and he can’t continue to do it. If he does go do something with me like go to a funeral, he goes to work after and then doesn’t get home until wee hours of the morning and then has to be back at work again the next day, so I feel bad asking him to do anything.

      • daisymae
        April 1, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

        Reading the verses now…but Philippians doesn’t have a 5th chapter. :-) I am sitting here thinking and I honestly think I am angry because I want to practice respect and my husband is not around to practice it on. And when he is here he is grumpy and tired. Maybe that is all of it in a nutshell!! …whine ….whine…whine….

  27. daisymae
    April 2, 2014 at 11:02 am #

    I think I finally turned a corner this morning. I have been thinking about your comment “How can you bless your husband?” This morning I was suppose to go to a close relative’s funeral. He already said he would go and told them at work he would be an hour late. It was only graveside so wouldn’t have taken much time at all. He woke up grumpy this morning after only a few hours sleep in his recliner because that is where he “died” when he finally got home from work about 2am. He said he had a headache and he wasn’t going. I was very hurt. I thought he might be sick so I asked was he planning to go to work and he said of course I am going to work. I started my old ways crying and asking why he would do this to me. He basically said Get over it, I am not going. (This is not the man I married. He had the softest heart of anyone I knew) I left the room and thought about it and decided I needed to bless him. It was hard…VERY HARD!!!! But, I went back in and kissed him on the forehead and said I am sorry you feel bad. Do you need anything? He asked for some water. Then I took a walk outside. I have to say I feel much more at peace now than I would have getting upset. I still have the fear though…that I let him get away with not meeting my needs again.

    • peacefulwife
      April 2, 2014 at 11:20 am #

      DaisyMae,

      WOOHOO!!!!!!!

      I am so glad that you decided to bless him.

      I don’t know about you – but if I was working 6 days a week at a manual labor kind of job for the number of hours he is working – I would be in the hospital or dead very quickly.

      I’m not sure why he feels he needs to work more than the 5 days. Maybe he feels that he has to pick up the slack right now and that it will help him keep his job. He didn’t have a job for awhile, right?

      Most men view working to provide for their families as THE BIGGEST WAY they show love to their families.

      What if, his working extra is actually his way of saying he loves you and wants to provide well for you?

      I know that you want his time, too. I would feel the same way!

      But – I believe his motives are not evil towards you. I believe he is doing what he thinks he has to do in his mind to do a good job at work and to provide well for you.

      Maybe that is a possibility?

      I can’t imagine how exhausted he must be and how much pain he must be in on a daily basis.

      Thank you for blessing him and giving him what he asked for.

      I don’t know how someone working that hard that many hours per week would have energy to do ANYTHING else for ANYONE, quite honestly.

      Let’s pray that they find more help at his job. And let’s pray that you can show him you love and miss him in positive ways.

      “Honey, I am so proud of how hard you are working at your job. You are providing so well for us. Thank you very much!”

      “Honey, I know that you have such an amazing work ethic and I am glad you don’t ever want to leave your boss in a lurch and that you are willing to work so much extra is such a testament to how responsible you are and what a hard worker and man of integrity you are. I miss you sometimes. I really would love to spend some time together when you can arrange it. I am so glad to get to be your wife!”

      You are not “letting him get away with not meeting your needs.” You are extending grace, mercy and godly love.

      If you tried to force him to meet your needs, you would only create strife and division.

      He is a grown man. You can ask for what you want and need and desire. But you cannot force him to do anything. He gets to make his choices just like you get to make yours. He may choose not to meet your desires and needs. That hurts. You can tell him it makes you sad that he isn’t coming to the funeral. But in this situation, he sounds miserable and like he is in a lot of pain. Thank you for showing compassion to him instead of criticizing him.

      I don’t think him being in pain and exhausted has anything to do with his love for you. I think he is overworking himself and he is paying for it physically. God is able to change his heart about his hours. God is able to provide more help at his job so he doesn’t work so much.

      Trying to pressure and force him to be with you will repel him from you. Be a safe place for him to share his heart. be pleasant to be around – and he is way more likely to want to be with you! Make his favorite meals. Spoil him. Offer to do things for him that he will enjoy. Give him a massage. Be on his team. Those are the kinds of things that will draw his heart to you.

      Much love!

      • daisymae
        April 2, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

        I know you are right. And I know that he trying to pick up the slack. He feels like he has to make up for when he didn’t have a job. This was only suppose to be a temporary job. He has some things he has to tie up legally with his injury and then he can get a career job but he isn’t doing it. He doesn’t have time to do it. So I am confused. I don’t understand why he would work this job so hard and not take some time to tie up loose ends so he can apply for another job. I see that asking, begging, pleading is just repelling him. He is going to do it his way so I have to TRY :-) and believe God has a purpose here and let God lead him. When he got up today I grilled him a steak to eat for lunch before he left. He seemed to like that and told me I was pretty so I do feel like I did take a baby step today when I wanted to scream and cry and berate him.

        • peacefulwife
          April 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm #

          DaisyMae,

          Yep. He is a grown man. He has to make this decision on his own. You can share your desires. You have done that. You can do it again at times in respectful, polite ways just sharing your heart in a vulnerable way that you love him and miss him but also that you are so very proud of him and that you can’t wait to be able to spend more time with him soon. You can ask him what you can do to bless him and make his life easier right now. You can pray for God to give him wisdom to accomplish God’s purposes.

          I think that it may be helpful to look at this time as a class in learning to step back and not try to control things yourself. This class may last a few weeks or a few months or longer. It will last as long as God decides it will last. God IS sovereign here. God can change your husband’s heart. He also may be leading your husband to put in this extra time for reasons you don’t know right now.

          If you are able to see that this is a spiritual test for you – and learn to approach your husband selflessly, lovingly, respectfully and as a teammate instead of as an enemy and you learn to allow him to make his own choices and trust God’s sovereignty – you will get to begin to experience God’s amazing peace and joy and God may just want you to Himself a bit extra right now because He may have a lot of things to share with you. This may be a crash course in becoming a godly wife if you use your time wisely.

          I’m so proud of you for grilling him a steak.

          He gave you a complement! That is awesome! What a beautiful gift.

          That is the voice of the enemy telling you to scream, cry and berate him. The only thing that would do is give your sinful nature control and power to destroy. It is painful to nail that old self to the cross and die to self and live as a living sacrifice for Christ – but it is a path that leads to great blessings from God, my beautiful sister! :)

          Be ready for more testing tomorrow! I can’t wait to see what God is going to do in you and through you!

  28. daisymae
    April 4, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    You are so on track! Even before I read this, I thought, this is test! This is putting me in my more uncomfortable zone so I will maybe FINALLY get some of these lessons. And yes more tests did come, mostly in the form of his grumpiness. But I didn’t react and he actually came to me and apologized for being grumpy. AND he chose to be an hour late today so we could spend some time together. I am thankful that I am now seeing that God does have some plan here beside trying to kill my husband and drive me insane! LOL I am looking at this as a just a season. And I am sure hoping this season changes soon. :-)

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