“He Asks Me ‘What’s Wrong?’ – and Then Gets Angry at ME When I Tell Him He Hurt Me.”

I am not an expert, a counselor, a pastor or a psychologist. My blog and posts may be helpful for you, they may not be. I mostly write for wives who tend to be controlling/dominating with passive husbands. Wives who have domineering husbands and who have trouble speaking their minds may not find my blog to be a good fit. Ultimately, each wife will have to pray and study God’s Word and decide what she believes God desires her to do in her unique situation. God’s wisdom is what is most important here, not my ideas or suggestions!

Here is a question I received from a wife.  I think this issue is REALLY important.   And I am extremely thankful that this wife is generously allowing me to share because I know that many wives are dealing with this and are frustrated – as are their husbands.  So let’s hash through this together and find a way to treat our husbands respectfully while still being true to our feelings.  It IS possible to do both of those things at the same time – share our hearts AND be respectful!  But it takes practice and some help to get there.  (I am not including the whole dialogue for privacy’s sake.)

NOTE:  I only address women on my blog and what we can change – ourselves.  I don’t teach men.  There are plenty of things in the below example that the husband could do to improve.  But we are only going to focus on what the wife can change and what she can control in this post.

**  If your husband is particularly abusive or controlling – please find godly help ASAP!  If there are mental disorders, drug addictions, alcohol abuse, infidelity, or serious issues in your marriage, please find local, experienced, godly help.  Those things go beyond the scope of this blog **

Hi April,

I have a question about the whole “sharing your heart” thing. smile

My husband gets very offended at the idea that he sometimes hurts my feelings, or that actions of his cause me pain. Even when he asks me what is wrong.  If I tell him how a particular action of his made me feel [hurt/scared/upset] he takes it as a personal affront and then turns it back on me and blames me, tells me I’m making a big deal out of nothing (his exact words quite often) and that I need to suck it up and get over it – and he inevitably goes off on a tangent talking about things that have nothing to do with what happened.  wink

My husband travels a lot with his job. He has a habit of telling me he will do something at a certain time (without my asking) – or within certain time parameters – and then not do it.

And when I express to him how important it is to me that he keep his word, he blames me for getting upset and tells me I’m making a big deal out of nothing. He starts to make excuses and inevitably starts saying hurtful things and belittling me.


I am going to give some suggestions and options.  There are other ways to handle this respectfully, too – but I am going to give you some place to START.  And I am going to try to show you this husband’s perspective.  His viewpoint is KEY here.  We need to know what messages he is hearing when his wife is speaking and what is triggering his angry reaction.  

This wife is NOT wrong for wanting her husband to call her when he gets to each airport.  Most wives would want that.  And I actually don’t think her husband has a big problem with calling her.  The issue here is her APPROACH.

This wife was texting/saying things to her husband things like,

  • “So you’re not going to call me like you said you would?”
  • “You’re lying to me!!”/”You’re a liar!”
  • “You’re not a man of your word!”

In a  man’s world – this is a confrontational approach that insults his honor.

It all boils down to – THIS MAN IS LIKELY FEELING DISRESPECTED,  JUDGED, CONDEMNED and CRITICIZED and HE DOES NOT LIKE IT.  He is trying to defend his honor.  NO MAN would treat him like this – how on earth could the woman he loves and trusts most in all the world attack him this way?  It’s just beyond his ability to fathom.


  • He DOES want to know what is wrong.  And he wants to fix the problem, be your hero and make you happy!
  • He DOES NOT want to be thrown under the bus, blamed, humiliated, disrespected and insulted.


You know that his schedule is extremely variable. You know that your husband will “promise” you things but may not be able to or may not remember to follow through precisely at the time he had said.

You TOTALLY have the power to make this a non-issue. Yes, it would be awesome if he always called exactly when he said he would. But since you know that he has this tendency to say he will do things and then he can’t do it or it slips his mind – then please RELEASE HIM from your expectations

One reader shared a quote with me “expectations are premeditated resentment.”


I believe he is hearing disrespect and that is why he is getting upset.  I realize you don’t intend to be disrespectful – you are upset because he didn’t call when he said he would.  But that is likely what he hears.  

Focus on your own pure feelings and on whatever he is doing RIGHT.  As he feels increasingly respected and sees your faith and trust in him, and you praise him when he does what you like – he will probably do what you want more and more often.  There may be times you need to address a shortcoming or sin (Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:16-18).  But, as much as possible, don’t blame him and label him.  Talk about your feelings and desires – then he can be the hero instead of being labelled the villain with no way to make things right.


A great way to get him to call you sooner is to THANK HIM and PRAISE HIM when he does call you on time.

  • “Sweetheart, THANKS SO much for calling me as soon as you got to the airport! That makes me feel so loved. You are the best!”
  • “It means so much to me that you called me. Thanks for helping me not feel nervous about if you were safe.”
  • “I love it when you call me!  I really appreciate when you call me when you said you would.  Thanks for being a man of your word.”
  • “I don’t mean to worry when I don’t hear from you, but sometimes I do worry.  I really appreciate it when you call me.  You are such a wonderful husband!”


Really, you can still thank him for calling even if he calls you late.  Your gratitude and FRIENDLINESS will encourage him to call sooner and to ENJOY calling you instead of DREAD calling you. 


You can text him and say,

  • “Just checking to be sure you are ok! :)  I can’t wait to be in your arms again soon!”


If he continues not to call on time and you are being very respectful for several weeks – you can share your heart in a non-threatening, non-blaming way by sharing your feelings in a very basic, simple way WITHOUT any accusations against him

  • “I’m nervous that I haven’t heard from you.”
  • “I want to be sure you are safe. I love you!”
  • “I feel scared/afraid when I don’t hear from you right away.”
  • “I worry that something awful may have happened to you when you don’t call me when you land.”
  • “I feel sad when you don’t call me right away.”
  • “It means a lot to me when you call me when you say you will.”
  • “I feel upset when you forget to call me.”
  • “I want you to call me when you say you will, please.”


Even if he doesn’t work on changing in the marriage AT ALL – just you changing and being respectful and cooperative will bless your marriage by the power of God. smileYou have SO MUCH POWER here! 
  • Proverbs 12:16   Fools show their annoyance at once,  but the prudent overlook an insult.
  • Proverbs 17:9     Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.
  • I Peter 4:8  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
  • I Corinthians 13:4-8  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.
  • Romans 12:17-21  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”  says the Lord.  On the contrary:

    “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

    In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

    Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

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38 Comments on ““He Asks Me ‘What’s Wrong?’ – and Then Gets Angry at ME When I Tell Him He Hurt Me.””

  1. Emily C
    October 24, 2012 at 7:31 am #

    Another great post, April. It continues to amaze me all of the things that speak disrespect to my husband. As we continue conversation, he has continued to point it out to me much more often. At first it was really frustrating that he pointed out, but now I just realize how many things I didn’t have a clue were disrespectful.

    And sitting here and reading your responses, I am continually reminded how far I have to go as those responses are so far from what I even think about saying… but I continue to press on towards the prize :-)

    • peacefulwife
      October 24, 2012 at 7:38 am #


      It is SERIOUSLY like learning another language – although even more frustrating because you THINK you already know his language!

      Men and women have incredibly unique perspectives and different ways of looking at things. When we can accept this – that is a HUGE step towards unity. When I stopped expecting my husband to react like ME, and assuming he meant what I would mean if I had a reaction – things got a lot better!

      I am REALLY thankful that you are listening to your husband. The fact that he is telling you more about what is disrespectful to him is A VERY GOOD SIGN that he is feeling more respected and safer around you to share his needs. GREAT JOB!

      God renews our minds and hearts. It is HARD at first – and VERY counter-intuitive. But eventually, the new mind becomes “normal” and you won’t even think the old way anymore. :)

      I am SO excited about what God is doing in your life and marriage and your willingness to be humble and obey God!

  2. Nana
    October 24, 2012 at 7:51 am #

    This is one exciting issue. Yep, i’ve been there before too, and my heart goes out to this wife because it is a painful experience. God bless you for this wonderful piece of advice, and I pray this wife pays attention to all the concerns you raised. Cholerics can struggle sometimes with being gracious in their expectations from others, and can end up hurting themselves. You’ve said it all, April, and said it well. In my case, God told me to come and do all the complaining about my hurts that will make my husband rage when I try telling him, to Him. As a rule, I do not answer that question at all, even if I do in very few words and go quiet. Its really painful but God always comforts me. I don’t expect much from my husband and that leaves both of us with a lot of space and fresh air to enjoy. Its true as we lighten up our expectations and put up a positive appearance, our husbands also come around joyfully.
    God bless you richly, April.

  3. sholashade
    October 24, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    This is the Word of God! Thank you for sharing! I must admit when I read the question, I thought, ” How is April the peaceful wife going to get out of this one” :) You broke it down girl. Sometimes you have to release people from certain expectations and once the pressure is off, they literally fall over themselves, wanting to do it for you! I have seen it in my own life and in my own journey to “peacefulwifedom”.
    I pray for this lovely sister in Christ, that their marriage will stand firm and be joyful for them. Amen
    Keep up the good work.

    • peacefulwife
      October 24, 2012 at 10:05 am #


      Thanks for the comment! Ha! You put such a smile on my face. :)

      Thanks for praying with me for this precious wife and her husband.

      May God richly bless your walk with Him and your marriage for His greatest glory. :)

  4. Deborah Mangini
    October 24, 2012 at 10:05 am #

    I really appreciate this real life example. I have found that I have a harder time with EXPECTATIONS on others when I am not completing the expectations I have for myself. To not SHARE everything on my mind when I am asked is very wise. I noticed that my husband said the other day, I am kinda grouchy, I think I will go lay down and rest for a while. Wouldn’t that better than sounding irrationally upset over small potatoes??? ;)

  5. Deborah Mangini
    October 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    I thought I was educating my husband about my feelings, when really he was just trying BE understanding. I keep EXPECTING him to learn what will make me feel better but it’s just another way I am trying to be in control of our marriage. I need to trust that he has a teacher whose ways are higher than my ways. Praise God!

    • Emily C
      October 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

      You know Deborah I so agree! I never realized how controlling I was being when I was trying so hard not to! I’ve actually realized that so much of my communication is manipulative and controlling… I hate it!!

  6. Ann
    October 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I try to ask myself, “Is this worth my marriage?” before I make a big deal about something. That’s not to say that my marriage will end if I bring up something (far from it!). But it keeps it in perspective. Also… whatever it is KEEP IT SHORT!! Men (and women) don’t have the time for ramblings. Outline it and leave out the drama (emotions).

  7. Crystal Blount
    October 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm #

    I love this post. It is a warm reminder to not apply our (often excessive) expectations and our own fears onto our husbands and label them as being irresponsible or mean because we are the ones with fears and insecurities. I think in general, all of our husbands are trustworthy unless they’ve given us some major reason they aren’t- in which case simple rules in place to re-establish trust can help.

    In any case, learning to trust God and giving God our fears when we’re feeling worried, anxious, or lonely, releasing it and choosing NOT to worry is a big fix.

    Also, really important- I’ve had to examine WHERE THOSE FEARS CAME FROM. Why do I want him to give me so much attention, check in, and always be available? Why does my mind go to the worst after 10 or 20 minutes of lateness on his part? I realized at some point I was making my husband pay for the mistakes of other hurtful men, and also treating him like a child. It’s a mental challenge and fun mind game to see how long I can go without bothering my husband. I busy myself with other things, hobbies, work, and studying. And true to form, he always wants to be the hero, and comes looking for me :-) Even when i’m upset, I’m learning more to withhold my feelings until he asks, and then purely tell him my fears and insecurities and why I was worried without blaming him at all.

    Great post April. I’m learning everyday.

  8. MW
    November 15, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    For The Peaceful Wife: I have attended to God Adventures on WordPress blog through your website. Here is my question: my husband is verbally rude to my parents, my sister, her husband, my son and myself. My family of origin as I mentioned does not want any more contact with him, and they blame me for not controlling him (I have never controlled him, and I have respected him where many have noticed – to the point they say he gets respect that he does not even deserve). His family of origin will not engage him because he has been rude to them the same way. It is tiring to me and more so that my family holds me responsible (culpable). What do I say to everyone – his family and mine? I am exasperated.

    • peacefulwife
      November 15, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

      This is a difficult situation. :( Especially for you because you can’t make him behave a certain way.

      What kinds of things does he say to you and your son?

      Is it possible he is feeling very controlled or disrespected by his parents, your parents or you?
      Is he a believer in Christ? Are you?

      As his wife, you are commanded by God to give him respect that he doesn’t deserve. You don’t have to respect sin or rudeness, but you do respect that he is your husband and that God appointed him to be the head of the home.

      Please check out the top of my home page about disrespect and respect..

      Usually – you will let him handle his relationships with other people – that is the respectful thing to do.
      You may privately tell him VERY RESPECTFULLY if you have concerns.

      But my first question would be if he is feeling attacked or disrespected? And is there anything else going on like any mental health issues, addictions, major sin, unemployment?

      I’ll be glad to work through this with you and do my best to point you to Christ.

      What does your husband want to do about the family relationships?

  9. Liz
    November 21, 2013 at 4:40 am #

    Thanks a lot for your blog peacefulwife. for sometime now have been wondering what this respect thing is all about. I thought I respected my husband but he has complained very many times of being disrespected. I was confused until I cried to God to teach me specifically what respect is to a man. God has answered my prayer through you. The specifics is what I needed. The Lord bless you. I have been through this dilemma of sharing my feelings only to get my hubby’s anger. I keep complaining that he doesn’t want me to express myself. This blog has taught me the godly selfless way to handle it.

    • peacefulwife
      November 21, 2013 at 6:35 am #


      This is the information I desperately needed 19 years ago – but I didn’t have it. Those posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect are so precious to me. These are the specific examples I needed 5 years ago when I began this journey and was totally clueless about what was disrespectful and respectful.

      I’m so glad this blog has been a resource and a blessing to you. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you my friend!

  10. Rebecca
    January 27, 2014 at 12:21 am #

    I’m not leaving a comment. I’m laying in my daughters room trying to figure out how to talk to my husband. I’m at a loss. We started dating in 1999. I was 15 he was 18. We got married in 2004. We have had many trials in the past 14 years. We have come along way from the girl looking for a savior and the boy needing someone to protect. Or maybe I have come along.
    The problem that has been there and never fixed is this… Things will go great for a week or 2 then something will happen. I will forget todo something. He has a bad day at work. Any of a number of things set him off. It is like I have never changed, like I will never be better. He talks about he never has any help. He is tiered of carrying my dead weight. How he is alone in our marriage.
    These are text I get from him when he is in this mood.
    From my husband –
    1-Your lack of interest, lack of respect and lack of intent have reached a level I’m no longer interested in stomaching. I was clear direct and specific about the need and my desire to resolve issues you’ve pleasantly ignored and disregarded for the last number of weeks. You chose this evening, you chose the time and even without a secondary party are too prideful, area famy and selfish to engage.
    2-I have no more patience and have lost empathy for your struggle. I’ll be seeking counseling and intend to work on other relationships and goals until you decide you’re ready to accept responsibility accountability and pursue our relationship.

    I feel that anything I say is condemning me. I have tried writing I have tried texting to tell him that he is hurting me. I do not believe him any more when he says “you are a great mom.” ” I’m lucky to have you.” Because all it takes is one bad moment and I’m disrespectful. I’m so tiered of him doing this. How do I respond to a text like this. How do I talk to a man, who know that how he is acting is not ok, but feels validated in his actions because I have pushed him to his breaking point as he says it. Please help.

    • peacefulwife
      January 27, 2014 at 6:19 am #


      I am so sorry things are so difficult! Goodness. :(

      What is your relationship with Christ?
      What is your husband’s?

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

      I would love for you to check out the posts on disrespect and respect at the top of my home page. At this point, I can’t tell exactly what is going on yet. So I need a bit more info, please.

      After you read those, we can talk some more my sweet friend! :)

      If you prefer to email, you can, aprilc@sc.rr.com

  11. Jessica
    December 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    I love this post and I believe that by reacting in a loving way it can save you from anger, which is a terrible thing to be consumed by.
    However, if you had a man that reminds you of the things they do for you or when they become consumed by anger they accuse you and minimise you. When you bring this up to them and they go off on you, do you still react in a loving way, what do you do?

    • Peacefulwife
      December 13, 2014 at 7:02 am #


      God can always empower us to respond without sinning ourselves. There are times when we may need to respectfully, gently, humbly, firmly say – “Please don’t talk to me this way.” Or, “I want to hear what you have to say, but I could hear you so much better if we can talk in a more calm way.”

      There isn’t a specific formula. Although, Proverbs says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

      If you are filled with God’s Spirit, He can give you the power to know when to gently speak up, when to wait, when to just be silent for awhile to let your husband calm down and exactly what to say. Some men respond to respectful, firm, direct but gentle confrontation at the moment. Some men need to calm down first and will only escalate if their wives attempt to address the issue right then.

      If you would like a man’s perspective on how best to approach this, I have a feeling that Robert at http://www.amanhiswifethebible.wordpress.com may have some very helpful suggestions – particularly for men who tend to be more dominant.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you!

      • Jessica
        December 13, 2014 at 5:07 pm #


        Thanks for your reply. My scenario may be a bit different as I am not married yet. We would like to get married however we are boyfriend and girlfriend. It saddens me that sometimes my concerns are dismissed and I get punished, if you like, when I voice my hurt. I spoke to someone about this and they said to me that because I am not married yet, that I should consider ending the relationship , as there is no tie and God doesn’t recognise my relationship. I don’t know what to follow as I’m in love but not married and the relationship im in, at times, can be stressful.

        • Peacefulwife
          December 15, 2014 at 5:25 pm #


          How is your relationship with Christ?

          Are you sexually involved with him?

          What is his relationship with Christ?

          How do you share your concerns? What do you say?

          Are you safe? What do you mean that you get “punished”?

          Much love to you!!!!! I’m glad to talk with you about this. :)

          • Jessica
            December 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

            Hi Peaceful Wife,

            I don’t have a strong relationship with Christ because I don’t read the bible as much as I should and I sin alot, my wish is to be a better person in Christ but I need help to develop the habit of making God primary. I find this extremely hard because I always feel convicted.

            I have been sexually involved with him for more than a year. However I feel like his relationship with Christ is not strong because he doesn’t take Jesus as seriously as he should. Especially now that we are sexually involved he feels like the Christian life isn’t for him.

            My boyfriend is insecure, has short patience and can be a,pessimist due to his insecurities. I find that I have to choose my words carefully otherwise he will start accusing me of lying or cheating or being manipulative. He also starts to talk down to me and shut me off for a few days. After he calms down he will talk to me like nothing ever happened. If I bring it up again he just dismisses me.

            I know I must be a pain but I would be grateful if I got advice from you as you are a woman of God.


            • Jessica
              December 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm #

              Too add…by punished I mean verbally abused. I find myself Google-ing his behaviour and he shows signs of someone who has the tendency of being verbally abusive.

            • Peacefulwife
              December 17, 2014 at 6:43 am #


              What kind of relationship would you like to have with Christ?

              How would you say that a person can come to know Him?

              Much love to you!

              • Jessica
                December 17, 2014 at 10:31 am #

                Thanks for your reply,
                I would like to spend more time with Christ than I should. But I feel guilty because I don’t feel pure to spend time with Christ.

                I think that if I indulged in the Bible a bit more I would be a better person. But it’s not so simple when you are already in sin.

                • Peacefulwife
                  December 17, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

                  You can have all of Jesus. He is not beyond your reach. But, you do have to be willing to give all of yourself to Him, too. :) are you ready to choose Him over any sin? I am praying for you! He can give you the power to overcome every sin. But you cannot have both Jesus and sin. It is one or the other. I am glad to walk with you in this journey!

                • Peacefulwife
                  December 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm #


                  The Bible is good, it is a way we can know God more. But it is God’s truth combined with His Spirit working in us that make us more and more like Jesus. We cannot make ourselves good. We are all in desperate need of all that Jesus has done for us to make us right with God. It is all about Him! :)

  12. Sheryl
    January 2, 2015 at 9:18 am #

    Goodmorning, my name is Sheryl and I am from jamaica. My boyfriend recently got married to this girl in the US to get is stay and so that things will be better for us. However I am scared because we argue a lot and I really hate when we do. Please advise me on what to do.

    • Peacefulwife
      January 2, 2015 at 9:54 am #


      Goodness, my sweet girl! If he is married, then it is very unwise to attempt to still be with him.

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      I’m glad to talk with you more about this. But I am going to be upholding the Bible and what God says about marriage. No matter why someone gets married – once they are married, marriage is a covenant and is to be honored by all. It is not ok to continue to stay with someone who is married. I know this will be very painful – but I believe God has something much better for you than this!

      Much love,

  13. K
    July 4, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

    I don’t feel that’s it’s right to assume she’s being disrespectful. She stated that when she answers how something makes her feel (hurt, scared, etc.) he flips out. It’s like there’s no responsibility or accountability for his own actions or words. I myself am married to a rage-a-holic and no matter how respectful I am he flips out. He’ll say something rude or disrespectful, I’ll say honey that makes me feel like an idiot. He’ll flip out and tell me that I’m wrong and then shut me down. If the situations were reversed, I’d immediately say I’m sorry that my comments made you feel that way. I don’t think you’re an idiot. Is there anything I can do to make it right?

    There comes a point where you try and try and your husband will continue being verbally and emotionally abusive.

    If someone says they’re going to do something, do it. Don’t make excuses for passive aggressive or appeasing behavior. If he really cared what his wife wanted (text), he’d do it most of the time. Just like all of us wives do for our husband but their subpar behavior gets swept under the rug.

    • Peacefulwife
      July 4, 2015 at 9:10 pm #


      I ask women about this because so many of us are disrespectful without realizing it. There can be situations where a husband has rage or anger issues and it really isn’t about the wife. But there are many times when the husband and wife have a sin cycle going on. One sins against the other, that prompts the other one to sin, that encourages the first one to sin more, etc… We only control ourselves, so I want to follow Matthew 7:1-5 and ask God to help us examine our own lives before we attempt to address our husbands’ sin. I hope that makes sense. But if a wife is being respectful and the husband still flips out and has rage issues – that is a different kind of situation.

      A wife’s responsibility is to obey God for herself. She is not responsible for her husband’s sin. There are times when we may need to confront our husbands about their sin.

      If you are not safe, and he is threatening harm against you, please seek appropriate, trustworthy, experienced help right away! If he is not in his right mind, has uncontrolled mental health issues, is addicted to drugs/alcohol, or has significant unrepentant sin – there can be times when it is not safe for a wife to submit to her husband – and she may need outside help.

      God never condones abuse or sin against anyone.

      If it is just a matter of he yells and loses his temper, but you believe you are safe, it could be that something like this wife’s approach may be something to prayerfully consider.

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Has your husband always had rage like this?

      Do you ever feel safe sharing your concerns?

      Does your husband have a walk with Christ?

  14. Peacefulwife
    March 18, 2015 at 8:01 pm #


    My precious sister!!! I can relate a lot to what you are experiencing, I think.

    First of all, that work schedule is ROUGH!!!! It’s got to leave him totally exhausted and how he could have any energy to give to you or your children at all, I cannot fathom. I would be a zombie.

    How long have you been on this journey to become a godly wife, my sweet sister?

    Here are a few things that I think may be helpful:

    – Please stop telling him how hurt you are. That is a great way to repel a man. He already knows. He probably feels like a total failure as a man and a husband. And he is probably pretty badly wounded – is my guess. I know you are wounded, too. I know you are trying to tell him you are hurt so that he can move toward you. But – men tend to take criticism as disrespect. Men also tend to judge their ability as man and husband by the happiness of their wives. If you are ALWAYS upset with him, he is going to probably have a soul crushing weight on him that you view him as a total failure. It’s hard for a man to get excited about coming home to a verbal firing squad. In fact, most husbands would rather be anywhere but home when a wife is always upset, negative, angry, complaining, critical, etc…

    There are even verses about that in Proverbs. “It is better to live on the corner of a roof than with a quarrelsome and ill-tempered wife.” “It is better to live in a desert than with a contentious wife.” Yikes!!!!

    I know you are hurting. I know you need a lot more time, attention, love, and affection from your husband. I WANT you to have those things. But – your current method is destructive. You are literally destroying your house with your own hands rather than building up your house (Proverbs 14:1). I did the same thing for over 14 years. It does not make things better. This approach will not draw your husband to you, my beautiful friend.

    Your husband could certainly change some things. Yep. I’m sure he has a lot he could work on to be a better husband. But you only control you. And you are only accountable and responsible to God for you. You cannot force him to give you what you want and the harder you try to MAKE him love you – the more he will want to leave.

    – It took me about 2.5 YEARS into this journey to even have a clue what respect really meant. And it took a total of 3.5 YEARS into this journey before Greg felt safe with me again. This is a LONG, LONG journey.

    – ALL husbands doubt the sincerity of their wives’ changing at first. At first, they all think their wives are just trying to manipulate them. And honestly – when we begin this journey, our motives are usually not very godly. We usually want to change so that our husbands will change and love us more. That time that it takes for a husband to believe that the changes in you are real is important. It is a time when God will refine your motives until all of your selfish motives are purged away and your only motives will be to love, please, and obey God and to bless your husband – no matter what he does in response.

    – You CAN be content in Christ alone. This time of being alone a lot is actually a fantastic opportunity for you to really pour yourself into your relationship with Christ and allow Him to radically transform you by the power of His Spirit to become the godly woman He longs for you to be. :) My husband was working a full time job and renovating our house 6 nights per week until midnight every night when I began this journey. He didn’t look at me. He barely spoke to me. He wouldn’t listen to me. He would hardly touch me. That is how things were when I began this journey. I had two young children, a 2 year old girl and a 7 year old boy. I felt like a single mom. I had to do everything by myself. Greg did sit at the table and eat supper with us. He said nothing. He didn’t look at any of us. He got up as soon as he was done. So, I do understand the pain you are in. I do understand how hopeless it feels.

    But I also know what God is capable of – and I have seen Him transform hundreds and hundreds of wives – and, in time – He often does begin to change and heal husbands and marriages, too. BUT – whether He heals your husband and your marriage or not – I pray you will be still and let Him work on you. It is still worth it!!!!!!

    – If you are filled with God’s Spirit, you will have His joy and peace. You don’t have to have low self-esteem. Do you have any idea who you are in Christ?????? Check out this post.

    – I think you are hanging on to a lot of expectations, possibly fears, and maybe even some idols. You can search those terms on my home page and read the posts about them. :)

    – I don’t think that talking to your mom is the best and healthiest idea for you right now. Could your husband leave? Yes. But could God do a miracles like I have seen Him do hundreds and hundreds of times when wives really seek God and put Him far above everything else and submit completely to Christ and obey Him no matter what the cost? Yep. Let’s just live today and trust God with your husband and the future. :) You don’t need to prepare for divorce. You need to focus on Christ and we will pray together for Him to work in your husband’s heart. He can change people. You cannot.

    – If you are depending on your husband for your contentment, purpose, identity, and fulfillment – it sounds like you are still idolizing him. Idolatry always creates loneliness, anxiety, fear, worry, despair, hopelessness, depression, etc… Find your contentment, purpose, identity, love, acceptance, and fulfillment in Christ alone, my sweet sister! Right now you cannot endure because you are holding on to these sins and you are not filled with God’s Spirit so you don’t have the power supply you need to be a godly wife. It’s going to be impossible to be filled with God’s Spirit as long as you cherish these sins. It is a process to let go of them. But spend lots of time in God’s Word and prayer and ask Him to help you repent and to remove them. He can do it! He will do it if you are serious! And it will hurt at first. But then, you will get to experience the incredible peace, joy, and spiritual abundance of Christ! Once you taste that – you will know that you will be just fine no matter what your husband does or does not do. As long as you have Christ, you have EVERYTHING!

    – I agree that you need to lay down expectations. I know it feels like you need to be “aloof.” But what it really is is that you need to stop being so needy and clingy expecting your husband to meet the deepest needs of your heart and soul. Let JESUS meet those needs. Then you will be full of strength, joy, hope, faith, peace, love, and the power of heaven and you will have all the tools and resources you need to bless your husband and to not freak out if he is distant because he is still hurting and suspicious. I promise you that giving him some healthy space – not in a resentful way or a bitter way or a vengeful way – but giving space to bless him, smiling at him, not making demands, not emotionally vomiting negativity all over him – will definitely draw him to you more than what you have been doing. And I can relate to what you have been doing. I did many of the same things for a long time, unfortunately. So did most of the wives here.

    – Do you have a godly wife mentor you could talk to who could disciple you?

    – No need to talk with him about what you are reading. Is he a believer? Right now, there will be a period of time where you learn to stop the sinful ways of talking. And there will be some times of friendly silence. “The Frustrating Quiet Phase.” Then you will learn to begin to truly respect, encourage, and build him up in ways that are meaningful to him. And you will begin to talk but not in a sinful way. Not in a desperate, needy, black hole, resentful, bitter, hurt, afraid, worried way. But in a peaceful way, a calm way, a way that has total faith in God, a friendly way, and a way that will build him up rather than tearing him down. :)

    Be greatly encouraged! This is all possible in Christ! Actually, the whole journey is all about you and Jesus. It isn’t really about your husband that much at all. Let Jesus heal you. Let Him get rid of the lies and wrong thinking and the sinful motives and idols. Let Him help you wrestle through your fears.

    He is not going to be on board for awhile. Months, maybe years. That’s ok. As he continues to see you treat him kindly, and as you figure out that giving him some healthy space would be a blessing to him, and as he sees you are not a black hole of neediness, and as he sees real peace and joy in your life – and as you get out of God’s way – he will begin to hear God’s voice more. And then God can work on him, too. :)

    This is a normal part of this process. You can make this part take much longer if you insist on doing things the way you have been doing them. But if you are willing to let God help you get rid of every sinful thought, motive, and attitude – it will go more quickly. If you are willing to totally surrender control to Him and to trust Him fully, you can begin to experience His amazing peace and joy soon. :)

    Much love!!!! AND THE BIGGEST HUG TO YOU!

  15. Peacefulwife
    March 19, 2015 at 6:27 am #


    Let’s just SLOW WAY down. You are going to be “eating an elephant” with all the new things you will be learning. You can’t eat it all at once! Or even in a week or a month. Just take a bite at a time. Let God show you sin, and be willing to lay it down and get rid of anything He wants you to get rid of. I spent over 6 weeks at first just repenting of pride and self-righteousness every day. I felt like I needed big industrial sized spiritual dump trucks to take it all away. God revealed more and more sinful motives, idols, resentment, bitterness, etc… over several years.

    You are VERY early on this journey. As you let go of sinful motives, attitudes, desires, actions, and words – God will give you the power to do this. God is the one who will give you the power to see the sin and to turn away from it, too. It is actually ALL about Him working in you! We only have to be still while He does open heart surgery on us. It is painful!!!!!! But so worth it!

    I’m glad you have some godly fiends. And I am really glad that your mom is willing to be more encouraging and that you are emphasizing you don’t want a divorce.

    Spend the time you can with God. But spend time with your children, loving them, taking care of them, and nurturing them, too. :)

    Have you read “My Demon” yet?

    There is going to be a lot of waiting. And a lot of being still. And there will be a willingness to let go of everything you thought you understood about being a woman, a follower of Christ, a wife, masculinity, femininity, and God’s design for marriage. You will be, with God’s help, ripping out all of your old sinful self and sinful ways of thinking, and then rebuilding from scratch on Christ and His Word. This takes time. That is ok. You are not going to be perfect next week or next month or next year. Really, we will all only be perfect when we are in heaven! But – God is refining and working in your life to prune you and to mature you. As you yield fully to Him, He will give you the wisdom and light and power you need to take each step.

    So, it is ok to just slow down, breathe, and be still. Do some reading each day. Maybe a post or two. And spend time in God’s Word – maybe a chapter or so. Journal your thoughts. Write down the sins God is showing you and how you are willing to give them to Him and not live that way. Ask God to empower you. Ask God to give you greater faith and trust in Him and to change you in any way He wants to. And then enjoy your precious children. Focus on praise songs. Focus on God’s promises in His Word and who He says you are when you are in Christ.

    Much love to you!

  16. Peacefulwife
    March 19, 2015 at 7:10 am #


    For awhile – maybe you can just seek to bless your husband when he comes home by smiling and using a friendly tone of voice and not demanding anything of him? Maybe you can lay down your expectations, realizing that he is so hurt emotionally and spiritually that he is kind of in an emotional/spiritual ICU. He may need to be able to heal a good bit before he is strong enough to move toward you with love. It could be that God may want you to seek to bless him without expecting anything at all in return for awhile.

    At the very least – please consider stopping all of the negativity when he comes home.

    There will be a time of giving him some friendly space so that he can heal. And there will be a time of showing him that you are not out to destroy him and that you don’t think he is the worst man ever, but that you are thankful for him and glad he is there. Perhaps you might decide to say one positive thing to him every few days – something that you genuinely appreciate about him. Maybe the only things you can appreciate are that he is such a hard worker and that he is still here. Thank him for that. Appreciate that he is exhausted. Ask God to help you find ways to bless him just to bless and build him up. Depend on God to meet your needs right now.

    I hope that makes sense.

  17. Peacefulwife
    March 19, 2015 at 8:23 am #


    Maybe this video on my Youtube channel might help?

  18. Peacefulwife
    March 21, 2015 at 12:54 pm #


    I am glad you are not trying to rush him. I do wonder if it might be good to mention that you are happy because you are focusing on working on the junk in your own life? Or something to that effect, and that you see so many reasons for a lot of hope in God? You could mention something so that he would understand it is about what you are doing with your life that is causing the difference, not his being gone. I wouldn’t want him to think that!

    You don’t have to do tons of talking. Most men don’t bond with words. Silence can actually be pleasant and friendly. You could read a book. You could be open to talk if he wants to talk. You can talk about how excited you are about the things you will do. You can make casual conversation sometimes about things you see as you are driving. But if there is some silence, that is ok, too. :)

    I’m not exactly sure where your husband is spiritually. So I’m not sure if I can comment on what he is going through. But I do trust God to be able to draw him to Himself as you continue to seek Him and trust Him with all your heart and allow Him to change you. :)

  19. Peacefulwife
    March 22, 2015 at 7:33 am #


    My precious sister!!! How I wish I could just give you a big hug, go for a long walk together and talk and pray and cry together!

    So, your husband is an agnostic or atheist, maybe?

    I know that God is changing you – and that you are very, very early on your journey. I know it is difficult not to be greatly affected by your husband’s words. But – I want to encourage you that even though your husband feels this way right now, his feelings can change as his history with you changes. As God transforms you, you will have an increasingly longer new history together. And, in time, your husband may begin to feel love for you and may begin to feel masculine around you and safe around you. It will probably take a really long time. And, there are no guarantees.

    BUT – if you are going to see miracles, you are on the road that will lead to miracles.

    The key, in my view, is to focus on Christ and on being content in Him and loving Him more and getting to know Him more and to keep a bit of emotional/spiritual distance from your husband. Cling to Christ, love and honor your husband. But don’t pin all of your expectations, hopes, and dreams on any human. Does that make sense?

    We will pray together for God’s miracles. My greatest prayer is that your husband will come to Christ. And as you obey God and walk by His Spirit and get out of his way, you make it much easier for your husband to hear God’s voice and decide how he wants to respond. Of course, he can’t respond unless God’s Spirit draws him. But it is God’s will for all to be saved, so we will pray together for his salvation. If all of this mess results in him coming to Christ, it would all be more than worth it, in my book!

    The world will be bleak if you focus on your husband or your circumstances. Your eyes have to stay on Jesus. Sing praises to him throughout the day. Focus on His Word. Focus on the good things – Philippians 4:8. Receive the peace and joy He gives to you. Let Him be the Source of every good thing in your life, because He is! Receive His love for you. Rest in His sovereignty.

    You won’t have the strength to do this on your own, it will take full trust in God and full submission to Christ as Lord. When the Spirit fills you, you will have power you cannot begin to imagine to walk in obedience to God and to hear His voice clearly. When you take your eyes off of Him, you will fall and stumble again. It is a moment by moment thing where we learn to take every thought captive for Christ and we learn to trust and depend and fully yield to Him. There will be a lot of painful wrestling. Many months or years. And, becoming more like Christ, this process of sanctification, lasts a lifetime. We will never be perfect until heaven. But we CAN live in victory in Christ now!

    Talking to your husband about God is not going to work. But you DO need an outlet. I personally journaled to God. That was really my only outlet for many years. And in many ways, He is still my only outlet. I share things with Him that I share with no one else. He is totally sufficient. Jesus is more than enough! But – if you have a truly godly, mature mentoring wife you want to share with who will point you to Christ and to the Bible, then you may be able to share with her, as well. And, of course, you may always share here. :)

    Yes, it is possible to let go of all the idols and sin. It can take a long time to get there, and there are often layers of sin that God reveals over time. And, it is a moment by moment thing of continuing to shoot down ungodly thoughts and choose to cling to the truth of God’s Word, not lies and not worldly ideas. Temptation is always there. But as God’s voice becomes stronger, the temptation and the enemy’s voice and the voice of sin become more obvious and more hideous. They become more recognizable. And it becomes easier to look down through time and see the painful consequences of choosing the sinful thoughts or actions. Jesus IS able to empower us to walk in victory. Now, if I take my eyes off of Him today, am I capable of sin? YES!!!!!! I am very capable of sin and I know now more than ever that the farther I am from Christ, the more I can and will sin. I know that I could fall to any sin if I am far enough away from Jesus. I know that I have no power in myself. My only power is from Jesus and the closer I am to Him, the more power I have to do His will and to avoid sin. It is ALL about Him living in and through me and me allowing Him to do that and resting in Him, it is not about my efforts or my strength.

    I hope that makes some sense.

    How is your time with God going? What are you praying for?

    Ask God to help you sort through your motives and purify and refine you. This time of waiting is a very good refining furnace. Purifying our motives strengthens our faith greatly – until our only motives are to love, please, and obey God, and to love and bless others – without demanding anything in return.

    Much love to you!


  1. This Will Help So Many Wives | GodAdventureinMarriage - October 24, 2012

    […] be a respectful, honoring, peaceful wife.  Here’s her thoughts about conversation today.  Peacefulwife’s blog I hope that you will find this as helpful as I […]

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