A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions

half man's face

This is a continuation of a series about How Husbands Process Emotions.  I believe that this husband articulates the feelings of a number of husbands – Christian and non-Christian.  It is easy for us to assume that our husbands don’t have feelings if they often don’t verbalize them.  Sometimes, they can be deeply wounded for many years and NEVER verbalize their pain.  That is what my husband did.  He just shut down – and I was completely clueless about how damaging my words had been.  I thought if he was hurt he would tell me.  I sure told him when I was hurting!  

Some husbands DO tell their wives they are hurting – but it comes across as anger. I heard one man remark recently that when a man is yelling –  that is his way of “crying.” He is hurting. The anger is a secondary emotion to his hurt and pain. If your man is angry a lot – I wonder if there is some way to look past the anger to his pain. (If you are not safe, please get experienced, appropriate, godly help ASAP!)

We often expect our men to think, feel, process and talk like we do – but this is not reality!   Our men DO have feelings and we have the power to crush and destroy them or to breathe life and inspiration into their souls.  Thank you SO much to this husband for his willingness to share his perspective.  If any other husbands would like to answer any or all of these questions to help the wives better empathize with and understand how men process emotions, you are welcome to comment.  Thank you!

I would like for this site to be a safe place for men and women to share their emotions.  I consider it to be a great privilege that men are willing to share their hearts with us this week.  So I would ask that comments be respectful of the men who were willing to answer these questions for me, just as we would be respectful of the emotions of other women.  Thanks!

1. How affected are you by your wife’s emotions (good and bad)?

I am extremely affected by my wife’s emotions.  An example this week.  We had a disagreement and she really did not talk to me or acknowledge me for about 4 days.  I got sick and had to leave work.  I felt like I caught the flu.  I believe the stress from us not being connected stressed me out and lowered my immune system, causing me to get physically sick.
 
In the past I have an unable to perform at my job if we our in a terrible disagreement or the relationship is not going well.  I have had to miss work because of this.  So I would say that I am very much affected by my wife’s emotions.
 
She also had the power to support and encourage me and make to excel higher than I probably could on my own.
 

2. If your wife has been disrespectful for a long time, how does her disrespect alter how much her emotions affect you?

With long term disrespect comes an sort of shut down or unplugging by me.  I disconnect and her emotions or how she feels become less important to me.  It is very hard to keep doing the right things and still be disrespected and eventually it is easy to become worn down and just disconnect.
 

3. How important is your wife’s happiness is to you when you feel respected vs. disrespected?

  • When I feel disrespected her happiness is much less important to me.
  • When I feel respected I will do anything in my power to make her happy.
 

4.  If you have a serious disagreement and your wife verbally attacks you and accuses you of things like being unloving, hating her, being a horrible husband, never listening, etc… what do you have to do in your mind to process that kind of negative emotion?

It is easy to become angry and say something terrible back, but the anger is just a shield for the true emotions which is deep hurt.  It usually takes a minimum of a day and sometimes longer before I can organize my thoughts on this and be able to verbally communicate them.

5. Do you think with words when you are working through how you feel or what your emotions are about a conflict with your wife?

I don’t think I ever think in words.  I think in pictures or just thoughts.  I never see words in my mind when thinking through a problem.  
 

6. How difficult is it to put your emotions in words?  Do you need time to be able to do this, or can you talk about emotions immediately during the conflict?

It is very difficult and can take a day or more usually.

7. How safe is it for you to be genuinely honest with your wife about your emotions?  What makes you feel emotionally safe or unsafe with her?

I feel fortunate that from the beginning I have been myself and very honest with my emotions.  The difference between safe versus unsafe is the reaction.  If you try and discuss something and get an hysterical response or some horrible fight, then you are less likely to be so open and honest about that subject in the future.  It is a shame, because if a spouse would just listen and try to communicate without hurtful words or explosive emotions then it is much more likely to foster more open, honest discussions in the future.

8. How would it affect your communication with your wife if you knew that your wife would be on your team and support you even if you were honest about your negative emotions and feelings?

If a spouse would just listen and try to communicate without hurtful words or explosive emotions then it is much more likely to foster more open, honest discussions in the future.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
This is why I recommend several principles when we as women are talking about emotional subjects with our men:
  • Be brief.  Think bullet points, not thesis!
  • Boil down your emotions to the basic one word emotion whenever possible and share how you feel without any blame and preferably without a lot of volume.  Your emotions are POWERFUL.  Your husband NEEDS to hear about your feelings.  Many times men can hear our emotions when we just share them in a very simple way.  “I feel sad.”  “I feel angry.”  “I feel lonely.”  “I feel scared.”  “I feel nervous.”  (Laura Doyle “The Surrendered Wife”)
  • Ask directly for what you want/don’t want.  “I want X”  “I don’t want Y.”  (Laura Doyle “The Surrendered Wife”)
  • Remember to be respectful.  A man who feels respected cares a whole lot more about your feelings than a man who feels disrespected does unless he is very Spirit filled.
  • Don’t forget to share all your happy, positive, thankful, playful, joyful emotions, too!  You bless your man when you share the good stuff!
  • Use a calm, pleasant, friendly tone of voice and have a friendly facial expression and body language whenever possible.  He is visual.  Your husband gets more information from your non-verbal communication than he does from your words.
  • Allow him to have a day or more to process his emotions and ideas – especially about really big decisions.  It is a gift you can give to your man to allow him the time his brain needs to hash everything out and come up with the BEST decision – not just the fastest decision.  The quickest solution is not usually the right one!
  • Assume the best about your man, not the worst.   His need for time to himself is not a sign that he doesn’t love you.  It is a sign he DOES care and he wants to thoroughly figure out what he thinks and feels and decide the best way to put words to his ideas in order to not hurt you.
  •  Do not try to pressure or force your man into a deep discussion on the spot about something very important.  Give him a few days notice if possible so he can be prepared.

GENTLEMEN:

Do you have anything you would like to add?

LADIES:

Any questions for me or the men?

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103 Comments on “A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions”

  1. Merrie Beth
    April 13, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I’m curious what men would say about how/when they get back to their wives after taking the time to process things. I think many men just fix the problem without any further discussion. Like when I’m convinced that something went in one ear and out the other (because of no verbal response) I am usually pleasantly surprised by merely seeing changed behavior. I have come to understand this which makes it easier to be less demanding of immediate verbal feedback. However, I also find that “I’ll get back to you on that” or “I need to think about this” can mean it never gets resolved at all. Do men really think about it? I guess to some extent we need to initiate – “hey, did you think about that thing we talked about a couple days ago”? But I have found that over the years, not getting back to the rare “deep” email I send or the “I need to think about that” statements causes me to sometimes “demand” more immediate feedback or feel hurt that the issue gets lost in the black hole and then shut down emotionally. In the same way our disrespectful responses shut them down, their unloving lack of response can shut us down (as in I might as well stop asking for intimate emotional connection). I guess them leaving us “hanging” emotionally is a lot like us leaving them hanging sexually. And neither is protecting the marriage.

    • peacefulwife
      April 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      Merrie Beth,

      Greg and I were talking a lot about these topics last night. The issue of a guy not responding came up.

      Let me say – I agree that it would be ideal if husbands could say “I need time to think about this, I will talk with you about it in X days.” would be extremely helpful so that we know that they actually did hear us and truly do care. And it would REALLY be awesome if they would then follow up at that time. That may be a helpful thing for some of the men who read my blog to consider.

      However, since we are talking about what wives can do on this blog, I’d like to focus on our end and what we can do in a situation like this.

      First, I think it is important to know that many times when a man shuts down and doesn’t answer – it is not that he doesn’t hear. And it is not that he doesn’t care. It is that he DOES care and he doesn’t want to mess things up with the “wrong” words or wrong response. Or it could also be that he doesn’t want to cause a conflict.

      If you arrange with your husband what he would prefer for you to do when he says he will get back to you – and then he doesn’t – and he says to ask him about it again – that would be fine. If you have not made an arrangement about that ahead of time – it is possible that some husbands may feel put on the spot or pushed or nagged if you bring it up like that a few days later.

      If it is truly urgent – you could say something a few days later like:

      – I totally respect that you need some time to process X. I don’t want to rush you. It would mean so much to me if you could get back to me on it when you feel prepared to talk about it. I trust you to think about what is best for us. Thanks! (And then – most likely – don’t bring it up again.)

      I agree that it FEELS unloving to us when they don’t verbally respond and that we take it as they don’t love us. But I think it is important for us to learn to translate that their lack of response usually has nothing to do with them being unloving. It has to do with how they process important decisions and a lot of emotion.

      When I need my husband to make a decision – what I do now is casually sweep into the room with a smile on my face and a pleasant tone of voice and say something like:

      – Hey, Honey! I want us to talk about what summer camp might be best for the kids this summer. Here are a couple of brochures for some I think they might like. If you could take a look and let me know what you think, that would be awesome, thanks! (Then I usually leave the room so that I am not pressuring him and I don’t even expect him to necessarily respond.)

      – You know I was thinking about how I need to renew my subscription to the Pharmacist’s Letter soon so that I can start earning my continuing education credits again. It costs about $90 per year. I’d like to try to renew it by June at the latest so that I have time to get all the live C.E. credits I need each month. When would you like me to renew it?
      (Now that we have a long history of respect, he answers most minor questions fairly soon. Years ago, he would not have.)

      – It’s such a great day today! I want to do something outside with the kids if we can. I was thinking about the park downtown or visiting the Congaree Swamp. (And then I just leave it with him usually. If he wants to do it, he will tell me – probably within an hour. If he doesn’t say anything, I know that it means “not today.” Today, I followed up that question with asking him how he was feeling. He has had bronchitis lately. He was still coughing a good bit today. And he has been working on a lot of house projects yesterday and today. So I know that he may rather just rest.)

      Sometimes if men don’t ever get back to us – it means it is not a priority to them, or it can mean, “no.” Or it can mean it’s a topic that is too potentially dangerous for them to feel safe enough to talk about.

      If we are able to see our husband’s good intentions behind his not answering, instead of assuming evil intentions – that can go a long way to helping us not feel unloved and not feel like we are left emotionally hanging. I believe we can learn to translate pretty effectively – and pretty quickly. Then, if they learn to say the words we need, awesome. But we don’t have to wait on them to change to be able to be confident and secure in their love and in God’s love.

      Does that make sense?

  2. becwillmylife
    April 13, 2013 at 10:28 am #

    I appreciate this man’s honest and pointed responses. Like Merrie Beth, I too feel that sometimes my husband just fixes things without including me. That is an emotion I have shared with him over and over during the course of our 34 years of marriage. “I understand you need to time to process. I will give you space, but come back to me. I feel left out and lonely when you don’t ever share your final analysis.” He will when I ask, but it is not instinctual so I almost always have to gently ask what he decided.

    • peacefulwife
      April 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

      becwillmylife,
      Asking gently an respectfully this way is a REALLY great idea! I love the way you validate his need and give him respect about his need for space and time. But then I love how you share your emotions without blaming him. I think that would be a really fantastic approach for a lot of wives! Thank you for sharing! I might have to quote you!

  3. trixie1466
    April 13, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    I agree with Merrie-beth and Becwill. My husband often doesn’t respond at all. Not even “I need to think about that”. Sometimes I keep talking because I have no idea if he’s heard or understood me because he doesn’t acknowledge that he’s heard me. (his mind often wanders when other people are talking, not just me) Sometimes I’ve found out several minutes later that he agrees with me, but never told me. This kind of communication leads to frustration for him because I keep talking trying to make sure he understands me and hurt feelings for me because in his frustration he ends up responding in a way that feels unloving or harsh.

    I believe we should try to keep things brief, but if that’s what men want, they need to acknowledge they have heard and understand what we are trying to convey.

    Peacefulwife, your husband made an excellent point on Facebook that I think is worth sharing:

    The Respected Husband

    April 6.

    • We as men label women as mysterious and incomprehensible because it takes the responsibility off us to become truly Christ-like in our attitudes and behavior toward our wives. It excuses our unwillingness to genuinely listen to their hearts, to try to determine how their feelings are being displayed in their eyes, facial expressions, and body language. Most of all, it provides a rationalization for not listening to our wives when they are being used by the Spirit of God to point out some of our weaknesses that God wants to deal with.

    But it is possible to discover what is on the mind and in the heart of the woman a man married if he is indwelt by the Holy Spirit and begins displaying Christ-like attitudes toward his wife. You and I have to make the choice every day to minister in Christ-like ways to our wives. When we do that, we’ll gradually discover that they are no longer mysterious and incomprehensible. After all, they never were mysterious to the Holy Spirit who is living in us. (From the book, Discovering the Mind of a Woman, by Ken Nair)

    • Merrie Beth
      April 13, 2013 at 11:26 am #

      Amen Trixie1466! I have finally realized this same thing about myself. That I am NOT going to shut up until my husband acknowledges what I’m saying. Even to say “I hear what you’re saying”. I’m really looking for “I agree” or “I don’t agree” sometimes.

      I have really had to work on being vulnerable. My old “vulnerability” was purely disrespectful giving him a piece of my mind. Now I give him a piece of my heart. But when I’m sharing something hard for me and I get no validation “oh, honey Im so sorry that you felt that way when our son or daughter did xyz”, it’s tortuous. Like I’m looking for him to acknowledge my feelings. When he doesn’t, I “hear” (in the silence) “I totally disagree with everything you are saying. You are a bad mother (friend, worker, speaker, etc)”.

      Yes, we have some security issues to work on as women. But if you were a man and you knew you could get your wife to stop digging the hole so deep by saying “I feel for you….” or whatever, wouldn’t you just do it? I’ve told my husband, even as I’m doing it now- you have the power to stop me! I am not going to be able to stop talking until you give me some understanding! So it’s a work in progress. Part of the solution is bringing the problem out in the open. And part of it is learning how to stop digging because the more I talk without validation, the more and more hurt I get. What started as “the kids wouldn’t listen to me today” could end up as “you’re a terrible father” because his lack of response makes me feel like a bad mother! This all confirms we are ridiculously complicated ;).

      • peacefulwife
        April 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

        Merrie Beth,

        That is actually a big part of the problem – men don’t know how to validate our emotions. Emotions don’t seem like important things to men – they don’t seem like part of the equation to solve. So emotions are not really on a man’s radar, many times.

        It is not usually a malicious thing, “I know what to do and I am going to purposely hurt her by not saying anything.” That is what we assume. That is what I used to assume all the time.

        But I was wrong.

        My husband was usually frozen. He felt disrespected. He didn’t know what to say. He knew that there were a lot of things he could say that would upset me even more. He felt safer not to say anything, or he needed time to think. Or he was avoiding telling me something that would hurt me.

        He loved me. He knew he loved me. Finding the right words right away – especially about emotions – does NOT come naturally to men. We are expecting them to speak our language – but most of them have never learned it.

        Men CAN learn our language. And we can teach it to them. But the only way they will learn is if we learn their language of respect first – unless they are very actively pursuing God and seeking His power and wisdom and researching and studying.

        His lack of response meant that he didn’t see a problem to solve and didn’t know what you needed.

        WORDS are tough for men sometimes. But when you try to ask them to come up with WORDS about EMOTIONS – that is REALLY difficult.

        My husband said it would be similar to him saying to me, “All I want for my birthday is for you to build me a cabinet, or change the spark plugs in my car. Just something simple.” Those things are simple in his world. They are not simple in my world!

        MIxing emotions and words is easy in a woman’s world. But men are not wired like that. So they need a lot more extra patience and understanding than we could ever have imagined in this area. :)

    • peacefulwife
      April 13, 2013 at 2:54 pm #

      Trixie1466,

      My husband used to not respond at all. Ever. And then I would pressure him verbally – A LOT. And then I would blow up after about 30 minutes of him refusing to answer me. I was convinced he was the most unloving man on the planet. Well, I had no idea he didn’t know what he thought immediately like I did. I had no idea he needed time and space and that the more I pressured him, the more he was going to clamp down and shut down. It was EXTREMELY frustrating for both of us.

      That is why telling him just once – and then just leaving it with him – works well.

      After I started doing that for a few weeks, my husband realized I wasn’t going to bring up the thing again, and he started making much faster decisions and getting back to me. I would say things like, “I want to do X. But I trust you to decide what is best for us. I am going to leave the decision up to you.” And then I didn’t talk about it again. He began to pick up the slack (took a few weeks or months) but then he began making very selfless decisions, and whenever he can, he does what I want to do because he loves to see me happy now.

      It would be awesome if husbands would acknowledge. And you can respectfully and calmly share with him how it makes you feel important to him and loved when he acknowledges that he heard you. But then if he doesn’t do it, don’t try to force him to.

      Greg and I were talking last night- and he said that the minute you try to force a man to say something, that is the worst thing you could do. You can very non-chalantly and respectfully and politely suggest something. But then you have to leave it up to him. Otherwise you can easily come across as an angry mom telling him what to do when he already knows what to do. Then he won’t do it because to say it right after you told him to means that he was insincere, or being controlled. And that seems disrespectful to men.

      Bob Grant, a marriage counselor and author, says, “No one likes to be told what to do. But men REALLY, REALLY do not like to be told what to do.”

      The more we put pressure on our men to do what we need/want – the greater the chance they will not do it.

      Pressure does not work!

      Yes, that is a great quote my husband used. :)

      • trixie1466
        April 13, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

        April,

        I agree and have been learning to give my husband time to respond. I’m not talking about asking permission for something. I’m talking about having a dialogue. Dialogue requires 2 people. I don’t think it’s asking too much for husbands to respond in some way to acknowledge us when we speak to them. I would love to hear from some of the men that regularly read your blog.
        I really love what you’re doing with this, but I have to agree with one man that responded a while back that you sometimes present men as if they aren’t handled with the utmost care they will fall apart. Men are much stronger than that. They need a healthy dose of humility at times just like we do. I wouldn’t even mention that if there weren’t so many men commenting on this blog. Please guys don’t be offended, I’m not man bashing. I love hearing your perspective, but I don’t see a lot of commenting on RespectedHusband’s blog.

        • peacefulwife
          April 13, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

          I agree that men should respond.

          My primary concern is to keep in mind if they don’t respond is that we can’t MAKE them respond. We can ask them to respond. But if I sin because he doesn’t respond – then that is a problem for God – and my fellowship with God, not to mention – damaging to the marriage. I don’t talk about what men should do – only what women can do to try to correct the problem. Of course there are many things they could do that would be extremely helpful, too. Absolutely!

          I think that men who have been feeling extremely disrespected for a long time and who are very deeply wounded probably do need much more care – especially if they are far from God. Not that they will fall apart – but that they will shut their wives out of their hearts. And that is not what I want for any marriage!

          My goal is to get women the emotional intimacy that they want and to get men the respect they want so that it will be a win/win. :)

          Thanks for your comments, Trixie!

          • Marie
            January 13, 2014 at 9:00 am #

            C,
            Going to church and following Church doctrines are not the same as haveing a deep personal relationship with God and allowing the Holy Spirit to lead your life. You sound a lot like me when I first came on this blog. Very defensive and prideful. This is a good thing. Your flesh is showing you whats in your heart.The way you react to Gods word shows you whats in your heart. Pride. I was no different. Now what will you do about this, the way you respond to Gods word? Will you humble yourself before him or will you turn your back to follow the doctrine of some church? Which is man made. Look to your Bible not the traditions of churches. Be silent now before your God and ask to hear his voice. I too once followed all the customs,holidays,feasts of my Catholic church. All that made me was obedient to the church but my heart was far from obedience to Gods word (scripture) Think about it and please dont leave so quickly. My marriage has been saved from divorce because of Aprils mentorship encourageing me to follow Gods word. I am praying for you that the light of Gods truth and love for you quickens your spirit.

            • peacefulwife
              January 13, 2014 at 9:47 am #

              Marie,
              Thanks for seeking to bless our sister! I appreciate it so much. :)

    • Kemmy
      April 16, 2014 at 6:20 am #

      Hi trixie1466 and other virtuous women in this forum.

      Just wanted to comment on something I’ve heard a few most of the ladies say about their husbands not responding to something they’ve said (just paraphrasing here). My husband does the same and my eyes just sort of opened to the fact that it’s not just your husband, or my husband that’s guilty of this behaviour, it’s most husband. So it must be something in their nature and not anything to do with our individual husbands not loving us r just wanting to be mean or unloving towards us, it’s just generally men seeing through their blue sunglasses and women seeing through pink.

      I think it might be worthwhile sort of settling in our hearts the fact that 1. our husbands love us, 2. That maybe we need to like Peacefulwife says – bullet point our conversations, make them as short as possible. 3. Say what we have to say and move on… as in start a different conversation, leave the room or if in bed, go to sleep lol…

      I understand this is a serious matter but honestly, I have tried this a few times and I have noticed the change in myself – I don’t get as angry and upset as I used to, I’ve learnt to accept him the way he is, I’m happier, He is happier and doesn’t feel pressured as much (Don’t forget I’m just learning this so I guess he’s noticing the changes and sort of taking it all in slowly and waiting to see if it’s real) and I’ve noticed he’s drawn a bit closer to me and minds the way he talks to me now especially when he is correcting (he makes the note to say he’s not criticizing me or trying to make me feel bad). All this he never said in the recent or distant past. So I know now he’s more conscious of my emotions.

      So I know we are not there yet, but atleast I can see the results in my baby steps towards true submission and respect towards my husband. This isn’t something we are being forced to do, this is something we have become aware of and are choosing to do and so let’s ask God to change our hearts and help us truly live for Him, for His Purpose and the purpose He(God) has called us for as women, as wives , as mothers. I believe when our hearts are right before God, it will become easier to accept our husbands and be more patient with them and more respectful towards them. And even help us to behave appropriately even when they are not….

      I didn’t plan to make this long, but i guess you can see why it’s possible for my husband to shutdown when i start talking lol… Enjoy Ladies!!! God bless!

  4. Alison Joy
    April 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    Could it be that first and foremost we need to get our validation and understanding from God….and to bring to him first about the situation which we have been bruised by…..?

    • trixie1466
      April 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm #

      Alison,

      Absolutely, we should get our validation from God, but we must communicate in marriage. Communication is a two way sharing of information, thoughts, feelings, beliefs, etc. If one person in the exchange doesn’t acknowledge the other person, what you have is someone giving a monologue. I know my husband gets frustrated by too many words and I can try and sometimes do, keep it brief, but unless he acknowledges what I’ve said I don’t know when I’ve said enough. It’s a crap shoot if he’s heard and/or understood. This is not a criticism of him, it’s just that his attention wanders so easily even when he wants to be paying attention. This frustrates him at times also. I believe in respecting and supporting my husband. I believe my strength is from the Lord. I believe in God’s design for marriage, but marriage involves 2 people participating. I am blessed with a husband that walks with the Lord and loves me and wants to live in understanding with me and despite all that, we still have issues with communication at times.

      • peacefulwife
        April 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

        Trixie,

        You know – I think one big problem for us as women is that we almost always interpret silence as hatred or anger. Unfortunately – that is not what men always mean. So when a man would know what another man means – we are speaking a different language – and it definitely gets confusing.

        But I would strongly encourage women to realize that many times silence means he needs time or needs to think and process – not that he doesn’t care. Just that one adjustment in our thinking and understanding can make a BIG difference in the communication in the marriage and make him feel safer when he is ready to talk if we are not condemning or upset when he doesn’t answer right away. :)

        I ask my husband or tell him what I want/need and assume he did hear me and understands. I assume he does love me. Men usually don’t have love that stops or changes a lot. Usually, their love is quite constant every day even if they are not verbalizing it. So I rest in God’s love primarily, but also my husband’s love and then graciously give him time.

        Now he does get back to me about things usually.

        I agree marriage is about 2 people communicating. But since women are the more expert communicators with language – I think it is easier sometimes for us to learn their language than it is for them to learn ours at first.

        THere will always be some misunderstandings. But that doesn’t have to mean hurt feelings or a big fight or large problem. And that is a huge blessing!

    • peacefulwife
      April 13, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

      Allison Joy,

      That is an excellent suggestion! :)

      • Marie
        December 3, 2013 at 10:03 am #

        I was thinking about what you said, that a woman is more experienced in verbal communication of emotions so its easier for us to learn their language first then for them to learn ours. Well theirs a possible solution tothat which could end a lot of frustration. Have a long courtship getting to know oneanother and learning to connect BEFORE you get married and all this becomes more crucial. The art of courtship is lost in my generation.

        • peacefulwife
          December 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

          Marie,

          It is important to know who you are marrying. I agree!

          Greg and I dated for 6 years before we were married, and things fell apart one week into the marriage. We had no counseling. I had no clue how to handle conflict or trials.

          So, a long courtship alone won’t protect from all problems. But a very quick courtship can leave room for many surprises that should have been uncovered before marriage.

          Something to think about for sure! :)

          Thanks for your insights, Dee!

          • Marie
            December 4, 2013 at 11:09 am #

            yeah, thats true.

  5. Merrie Beth
    April 13, 2013 at 12:56 pm #

    Yes Alison! Absolutely! But all of us are called to be Christlike and our marriages are one of the greatest ways we can show Christ to others both inside and outside of our homes. So we are just hashing out how we can help each other I think. To love each other in a more understanding way. Like we can’t just say “well I don’t need to understand all the ways to respect my husband because he should find his affirmation in Christ first”. And they shouldn’t do that either. Christ is first but but He tells us to live with each other in an understanding way.

    • trixie1466
      April 13, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

      Merrie Beth,

      We seem to be on the same page today! I totally agree. See my reply to Allison LOL.

      • Merrie Beth
        April 13, 2013 at 1:22 pm #

        Haha. Yes! We are tracking together on this one!

  6. Ted C
    April 13, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    This is such a difficult subject for me to discuss!I guess the best way is to just throw out some random thoughts.Yes sometimes I do just fix the problem, if I agree there’s a problem.Nothing my wife says goes in one ear and out the other in a discussion.The only time I may not hear her is if I’m concentrating on something, and in my tunnel vision mode.Then I shut everything around me out.There are some emotions I CAN’T share.It has nothing to do with willingness.I realized this last night when I tried respond to April’s request for more on the darker emotions.Three hours and four attempts later I realized I couldn’t get it across in words.This may just be me.I’ve only known three or four men in my life that I felt I could understand how I get inside.I didn’t have to explain it to them, they just got it.I think it is possible wives may never fully understand why their husbands do what they do and react the way they react, anymore than I fully understand why God does what he does.If they can accept this and trust that their husbands to take care of them and that their husbands will share what they think they can.then it’s possible they may get more understanding than they would otherwise. More random thoughts. left hanging emotionally and left hanging sexually.I can think of no way of connecting emotionally than sex and nothing screams disrespect and uncaring like being told that’s all I ever want, or even feeling like she’s never wants to.The verbal attack is simply less devious.A wife can be a model wife in all other respects, but if she never pursues her husband sexually or treats it as a duty,it makes everything else ring hollow. I find that emotions many times are a result of how we view issues, and we can change them by taking a different point of view.If a wife believes she can and should be able to completely understand her husband, it will lead to frustration. I only share the emotions and thoughts with my wife that i believe will be helpful to her first and then our marriage.Even then, I make sure I filter it through God’s word and examine my own intentions first. Sin and control issues are so insidious! Is control at the heart of all disobedience to God? We believe we need something,and it robs us of being able to be content with the gifts God has given us.We believe if we had known things sooner in life we would have avoided mistakes, but if that were true, how could God be in control?I believe I have to accept that my entire past,even the parts that I’m most ashamed of were never really in my control, and I could not done differently.Yes I had to choose, but the choice was only important because I can’t see the future.This gets very complicated and worthy of it’s own discussion.I only bring it up because i see connections in marriage and how we view the roles of husbands and wives.Perhaps Greg or some other men can help make the connection more clear.I said to my wife recently,”Why can’t you just relax and let me take care of you?” Her response was, “I can take care of myself.” I know this isn’t true, anymore than it is true for myself. I need God to be in control of my life and take care of me.Marriage is supposed to shadow this.I realize men have used this to justify abuse and even in the best of circumstances a man is a poor substitute for God’s love and care.It does not make the principle any less valid.OK, I’ve rambled on long enough and gone into things I did not intend to. I hope I’ve helped in the discussion

    • peacefulwife
      April 13, 2013 at 3:14 pm #

      Ted,
      So much I want to say – but my little girl needs me right now! Hope to write more later! THANK YOU for sharing!

    • peacefulwife
      April 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

      Ted,

      THank you for sharing your thoughts, your heart, your ideas and perspective. I think you have a lot of things to share that could be extremely helpful to wives.

      If you think it is a problem, you’ll sometimes just fix it. I think that is important for us as women to realize that sometimes the things that seem to be so urgent to us – may not seem as urgent to our husbands. Not that one of us is wrong and one is right – but our priorities may be different.

      I also appreciate you saying that you hear everything she says – unless you are in a certain mode.

      Thank you for attempting to share about those darker emotions. I appreciate the effort. It’s difficult for me as a woman to wrap my mind around having emotions that I cannot tie to words. But then this makes me think of the way the Holy Spirit prays for believers with “groans that words cannot express.” I know that I as a wife always wanted to know everything about my husband’s heart and soul – just as I wanted him to fully know me. But Greg explained to me two days ago, “I would rather be a mystery than an open book.” This is an interesting topic to me – this area that is un-searchable.

      Several husbands have mentioned being deprived sexually in this discussion about emotions. Maybe this is a topic I need to cover. My understanding is that one of the main ways a husband experiences positive emotions is during physical intimacy with his wife – would you agree? And a husband wants to know that he is desired, and that his wife enjoys him and is delighted by him – not just that she allows him to have her.

      I can see God saying that same thing to us, “Why can’t you just relax and trust me to take care of you.” ANd we say, “I can take care of myself.” What joy, intimacy and provision we miss out on when we insist on taking care of ourselves. It’s hard for wives to give up control. It sure was for me! And it can be hard for us as believers to give up control to a perfect God. Of course, once we realize who He truly is, we realize that the safest place in the universe is to be in His arms, trusting Him completely, and the most dangerous place to be is in a place where I trust myself instead of God.

      Very interesting topics! Thanks for the discussion!

    • Nancy
      December 9, 2013 at 10:59 am #

      Thank you for sharing Ted. I believe that just as a man needs sex, as a woman, I need the communication and emtional connection. Just as a man wants to be pursued sexually by his wife and it not be a “duty” I want the same when it comes to communication and emotional connections. Yet, men justify filtering just as women justify withholding and groan (same as nagging) when a woman needs fillfilled this way. So in essense, both sexes choose to withhold what the other feels they need :) I am divorced now and as you said, don’t look to your spouse/husband to fullfill this need which I get, so … I am choosing not to remarry as marraige is an incredible struggle and it seems like torture being close yet never being able to connect in a way that is meaningful to me and still expected to connect(sex) in a way that is meaningful to my spouse. Prior to my divorce I spent 20 years reading, counseling, trying to figure out how to related to my husband while he did nothing other than expect me to make it happen and shut me out when I couldn’t get it figured out. He never picked up a book, read articles, it appeared he believed himself to be perfect and me the problem with him having no work to do other than expect of me and punish me when I didn’t get it right. I feel my faith life is much more alive when I don’t have such a personal/marriage struggle going on in my life. Usually a couple comes together due to a great communication and emotional connection prior to marriage. After marriage this aspect ends or becomes too much of a burden and what it is replaced with appears to only be the sexual connection of the male spouse which becomes torture to the female spouse who eventually withhold sex because of lack of a connection. Seems very simple and very common. Nagging and groaning. Groaning and nagging. Marriage appears to be torture for both partners.

  7. trixie1466
    April 13, 2013 at 3:31 pm #

    I just realized I did a very poor job communicating what I meant about men needing a little humility just like we do. For example. A man could read this blog and think “When my wife is talking to me I should acknowledge her.” Not that wives should be telling their husbands that they are doing it wrong or communicate with disrespect to him because he’s falling short in this area. This is the kind of common courtesy we would extend to friend, co-workers, etc. So the humility word was probably a poor choice and I wish I had worded it differently.

    • Merrie Beth
      April 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

      trixie1466. I had a drafted a big resonse to previous responses but think I’ll just respond here to this one since you and I are on the same page with most of this. Since this series of posts involved men’s input and responses, I also was kind of opening things up to understanding men better and putting the other side on the equation. Like I was wondering if they understand women’s need for acknowledgment and how that plays in to “I’ll get back to you”. Not about “can the kids go to camp” but usually about something I’m hashing through emotionally. Like do most men just fix it or do some just forget about it? I was curious since it’s kind of a man series. It was like I was saying “I’m happy to know this now. Can I understand it better because I’m also wired to need closure.”
      I have been studying men and women and how to have a Godly marriage daily for 3 years after a marriage crisis that was averted. Even after that much research (I also speak about marriage so I am in to it constantly), sometimes I am learning for the first time what makes ME tick! And sometimes I am learning for the first time what makes them tick!
      So when I learn the fact that men need time to process, I immediately go “aha, that makes total sense to me… I will adjust accordingly now that I have the proper tools!”. But my husband doesn’t have that luxury because he’s not studying marriage! Or how women work or how he works! So I like to give him the benefit of knowing how I tick because I think it gives him an advantage in dealing with me just like I’ve had the benefit of knowing how to deal with him in the best possible way. So I humbly tell him that I’ve “just” realized that what makes me go on and on like a freight train (on occassion when I’m sinning like the rest of us) is my need for a tiny acknowledgement (“I hear what you are saying”).
      I don’t think we are being fair to our husbands if we don’t also share with them (humbl) how God designed us too.
      It’s like if I say to my husband “avoid me today, I’m hormonal”. Its a humble thing to say. It’s acknoweldging that you’re not at your best which is hard to do! I’m not at my best when my husband is slient and I think men should know this. That doesn’t mean I am allowed to peck him to death in response. But he deserves to know that his silence feels unloving to me just like I now have the benefit of knowing that he needs time to process things and it feels disrepectful to him when I hound him for a response. Equipped with this knoweldge, we are able to increase our emotional and spiritual intimacy.

      • trixie1466
        April 13, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

        Merrie Beth,

        I totally get what you’re saying. My husband doesn’t do as much studying on marriage as I do, but he’s done enough that he has told me that he knows he needs to be better abouth acknowledging this. I’m grateful for this. Sometimes he forgets and I give him grace. Sometimes I don’t and he gives me grace. It’s pretty rare that is causes real trouble anymore. I wanted to put it out there for those who might not recognize what the problem is. For a long time I felt badly about communication between us without knowing what the problems were.

        • peacefulwife
          April 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

          Trixie,

          That is wonderful the way you are both giving grace. What a beautiful example!

          It’s almost like we need an interpreter to go between husbands and wives in marriage, ,our languages are so different. But thank God that He can help us learn each other’s language and become more fluent. Then we can have a healthy, strong marriage with intimacy on every level. :)

          I think most women will certainly relate to the comments you and Merrie Beth have made. I am glad you explained the wife’s side of things. I have a feeling that y’all may help some husbands understand their wives better!

          Great job!

          Sent from my iPad

      • peacefulwife
        April 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

        Merrie Beth,

        I definitely agree that women should share how they work and ask for what they want and need, gently, humbly and respectfully! We are just as much of a mystery to our men as they are to us. And the surprising thing is just how many ways of thinking and feeling are so vastly different. We see life on two separate plains with different expectations and unwritten rules of conduct. No wonder there are so many misunderstandings in marriage!

        I think that information is very important. And I believe if we can share it at a time that is not a time of tension, it would probably be best received, rather than at the moment when we need them to do something.

        For emotional issues, I think it could be a great approach to say, “I do a lot of my processing my feelings verbally. It would be such a help/gift/blessing to me if you would be able to just listen to me share my heart and hold me for about 10-15 minutes. I don’t need you to fix anything for me. Actually, just listening to me would be fixing things for me because I would feel so much better, just knowing you heard me. And I would really love it if you would validate my feelings by saying something like, ‘I hear you saying you feel stressed/upset/overwhelmed.'”

        I like your approach of sharing what makes you tick, I love talking about these discoveries with Greg, too!

        I definitely would share, at a peaceful time, how silence impacts you and what it means to you. I love that you share your aha moments with your man.

        Beautiful! :)

        Thanks so much for the clarification and for sharing your heart!

        Sent from my iPad

    • Ted C
      April 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

      Your very welcome April.A couple of things came to mind as I read your reply.The first is the thing Greg said about being mysterious. My wife has told me many times that mystery is what attracted her to me when we first met. The issue of sex and emotional-for me sex IS emotionally connecting on the deepest level,which was the point I was making. For me it’s not one or the other. So yes,I would agree with your statement.I know this must be hard for ladies to understand, from discussions with my wife.When I “come on” to my wife and she’s not interested she says to me “it’s nothing personal.” In my mind I always think “Yes it is!”, because it says to me that whatever is on her mind that is keeping her from being with me is more important. I don’t think it’s conscious, any more than us allowing the cares of this life come before our relationship with God. And lastly regarding trusting God to take care of us, one of my favorite contemporary songs is “Trust You” by Brandon Heath. The words and emotions resonate in my very soul, and I think accurately describes the struggles I go through as a man.If you’ve never heard it check it out.

      • peacefulwife
        April 14, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

        Ted,

        I put a post up on my FB page tonight about this topic. And I think I definitely need to write a post on this. I don’t think that a lot of women realize that for a man sex = emotional connection. I might be wrong – but I think most wives think that talking about feelings and spiritual things = emotional connection.

        If wives could see that physical intimacy is emotional intimacy for men – I think that would motivate wives a lot more. Would you also say that it is a type of spiritual connecting, too?

        I also like your comparison with how we let things come before our relationship with God inadvertently sometimes. Great analogy!

        I have got to look up that song. I am sure I have heard it – but can’t remember the lyrics right now. Thank you for that! I will definitely check into it!

        • Merrie Beth
          April 14, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

          Read chapter 5 again of “For Women Only”. I just did because i thought i remembered this being her main point about sex. And it is! kind of like i daid in my first reply about what silence does to me, she says this in that chapter – “Lack of sex is as emotionally serious to him as, say, his sudden silence would be to you, were he simply to stop communicating to you.” So there we go. They need sex. We need words. :).

          • peacefulwife
            April 15, 2013 at 11:22 am #

            Merrie Beth,

            I definitely have understood that sex is a kind of emotional connection for husbands – and that chapter in For Women Only is VERY GOOD. But I think it is dawning on me that it may be possible that sex may be almost the only time they feel emotionally connected? I think that is what I am hearing the husbands say – but I hope to clarify that.

            I like your summary! That boils it down very well! :) Thanks!

      • peacefulwife
        April 15, 2013 at 8:58 am #

        Ted,

        Ok, I have a follow up question

        So, is there emotional connecting in marriage for you as a husband with your wife apart from sex? Or is that the only time you feel emotionally connected?

      • trixie1466
        April 15, 2013 at 10:12 am #

        Ted and Peacefulwife,

        I struggled for many years with this concept that for men sex is emotional connection. I thought he was lying to get what he wanted. I now know better. I also struggled with the belief that sex was tolerated, but not really approved of by God. I also now know better about that as well. That has changed everything and my husband has been completely happy with our sex life. However, last week I started feeling like it’s a chore again and I couldn’t understand why. I talked with him about it and what we found is that we had been very busy for past couple of weeks. We had almost no “us” time and had been physically intimate only once a week or so which was a pretty big change for us. I know he was hurt by this and he offered to abstain that night (he was going away for the weekend). I said I thought that wouldn’t be a good idea because it would cause us to drift further apart. So when bedtime came it was really awkward. I couldn’t connect with him physically because it almost felt like we were strangers or something. So he’s was really sweet and said okay let’s talk for awhile. He then proceeded to ask me about our kids. This was a mistake. I don’t know about other women, but I can’t think about sex at the same time as thinking about my kids. So we ended up chatting for about 30 minutes about his work and things got better. In the end we were both satisfied. My point in talking about all this very personal stuff is this. Even wives that understand this aspect of their husband and really want to honor him in that regard still need time to connect emotionally with our husbands before we can connect physically with them. Without that time of bonding it very much feels like being used. So men, if you’re not getting enough sex from your wife make sure you’re giving her some of your time on a regular basis. If you know you’re already doing that it may be she has some messed up beliefs about sex and/or she’s hanging on to past hurts. It may not be a vindictive thing (purposely witholding), but something she may not even be aware that she’s hanging on to. Tread gently when talking it about it with her. I had such anxiety about it that just reading about the subject would make me start to cry and hyperventilate. I prayed for God to fix my brokeness in that area and He has, but it required a lot of emotional pain and stress to get there.

        I hope this isn’t inappropriate for me to share, but I want others to be helped if possible. Sorry it got so long.

        Trixie1466

        • peacefulwife
          April 15, 2013 at 11:09 am #

          Trixie,

          I’m very glad you shared this. I think this is extremely helpful for the husbands to read.

          Yes, women do much better connecting physically if they have been able to talk and emotionally connect first.

  8. Joseph Riani
    April 13, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    I just want to say I think many here are over analyzing the problem and making it more complicated than it has to be. I’m going to to be a little radical here and say that men and women don’t speak different languages rather they are just talking in a different direction. A man talks inward and a woman talks outward. I can express emotion in any form very easily to myself. I understand my emotions and think about them when necessary. Expressing them to others however makes me feel vulnerable. It is like opening the door to your house and going in the basement for an extended period of time. I don’t like it. I can’t say exactly what it is like for a woman but from what I have seen written here women feel the same when they don’t have that emotional expression.

    Let’s think about this though. Often times I pray for things I never get and I never hear a word from God about. Perhaps this divine silence is something God gives to men to teach women about faith. The silence is about having faith that the real need is being met and realizing that God is not accountable to you but rather you are accountable to Him. Of coarse because of the fall men aren’t perfect but neither are women.

    I also think that God teaches men to be vulnerable through women. In many senses of the word women represent man’s vulnerability. We don’t like that. A woman has a direct line to a man’s heart. In fact only God has a stronger line. “A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.” Proverbs 12:4 A man has a tough exterior which makes him feel strong and protected. Women however don’t destroy from the outside in rather the inside out. Men realize this and know sharing emotion has the effect of making us feel something we are not accustomed to and goes against common sense. Most of the times we teach it is unwise to make oneself vulnerable for many reason.

    I think we have to be careful about making claims about how men and women communicate. We live in a fallen world so our wisdom and understanding are often clouded. I think it goes against common sense that God would have created 2 being for communion while throwing a stumbling block like language in our way. Instead of asking “how can I get him/her to speak my language” we should be asking “what is God trying to teach me by this person.”

    • peacefulwife
      April 14, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

      Joseph,

      Thanks for sharing your perspective! I actually really like your analogy of the basement.

      For me, I didn’t know the whole world of masculine respect even existed until 4 and a half years ago. So, to me, it did feel very much like learning a new language, but without having a teacher and without having a text book. It was extremely slow progress and very frustrating because I just had no idea what was respectful and what wasn’t. And, at the time, my husband wasn’t able to tell me either.

      I do think that God can use times of silence for us to learn faith. Thanks for mentioning that.

      I think your paragraph about vulnerability is very interesting. THank you for that.

      THanks for your wisdom and insights! I agree that God has much to teach us as we learn to change ourselves and mature and grow – even through the difficult times in marriage.

      Peacefulwife.com

    • Marie
      January 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

      Joseph this was so wonderful to read. My husband asked what I was reading so I read your paragragh to him and he explained it to me as it pertains to him. He said its spot on. Especially the part about leaveing your front door wide open as you go down to the basement. This helps me understand why my husband is so emotionally shut down and how my disrespect causes him to be even more self protective. Youve been a tremendous blessing to us today and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to explain this. Something shifted in me today after discussing this with him and I felt resentment fall away.

      • NancyH
        January 13, 2014 at 11:41 am #

        I believe that this is the issue “the decision to dialogue” versus shut down :) I know my ex preferred to shut down and parrot “everything is ok” when it was not, then he resented me. Many times I heard “it wasn’t worth his time”. When you have the opportunity to work through differences things can be different, but you can’t when dealing with a stone wall. Despite how many books there are, each person is different, and most men I have ran into become resentful if you sterotype them yet they are the “wall” that won’t teach you how they want approached, they expect you to know and seem to hate you if you don’t get it. Marriage is truly extending grace to your partner :) I haven’t met too many women in my circle who don’t take what their husbands say very seriously and is willing to give it a try. Unfortunately, stonewalling is a form of control and I do believe it is used widely by men to gain and manage control in the moment despite the long term misery and disconnect it causes.

        • peacefulwife
          January 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

          NancyH,
          Yes, stonewalling is unhealthy and sometimes sinful. I wish husbands would be open about their feelings.

          For my husband, I discounted his input and suggestions and always labeled him as wrong and myself as right. :(. So, I do understand why he shut down.

          I have a post where he shares how he was feeling back then. You can search “An Interview with My Husband- Understanding a Passive Husband’s Mindset.”

          I couldn’t change him. But, as God changed me and Greg began to feel safe, he began to open up. It took 2 years and 10 months, but eventually all of his walls came down.

          • Marie
            January 13, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

            April I have been on your blog for a little while now, Id be interested in knowing how long and am going to see how I can figure this out. I just want to comment on your ability to repeat yourself over and over again with each new woman that comes on here. You amaze me and I love your heart for Christ. I get annoyed with people and give up on people. I hate repeating myself. But you have a true gift and heart for Godly marriages and your commitment to this is such a blessing. I know your not perfect :) I know you said all that you are is because of God but still, his work in you is so great. Ive learned so much about myself because of your openess and willingness and patience to repeat yourself over and over till it clicks. Ican tell you like that LOL When you hear that click for someone. God bless you.Im just so grateful Dee

            • peacefulwife
              January 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

              Marie,

              I don’t like to give up on anyone! God didn’t give up on me – even though I deserved for Him to!

              My husband thinks I should give up sooner than I do at times. It really breaks my heart to do that.

              I think being a pharmacist, I have gotten used to repeating myself thousands of times – so, no big deal anymore. :)

              I just long for people to find the abundant life God has for them in Christ. I want to do anything I can to point them to His healing, joy, peace and Living Water. :)

              Yes, when things click for someone – it brings me such joy!
              Much love my friend!

    • julie
      April 16, 2014 at 11:50 am #

      This was really enlightening. When we were dating, sometimes when my husband was feeling particularly close and safe with me, he would say he was going to share something personal and was about to make himself very vulnerable. I’d be expecting something huge and shocking, but the thing shared would feel like a “nothing” in the vulnerability department, from a woman’s perspective. Joseph, after 20 years of marriage, your comment made all that make perfect sense now. Thanks! (Laughing. I guess i’m pretty dense.)

  9. David J.
    April 13, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    “My husband said it would be similar to him saying to me, ‘All I want for my birthday is for you to build me a cabinet, or change the spark plugs in my car. Just something simple.’ Those things are simple in his world. They are not simple in my world!”

    One of the best analogies I’ve ever heard! Nicely done, Greg. And thanks for sharing it, April.

    • peacefulwife
      April 14, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      You’re welcome, David!

      Peacefulwife.com

  10. Thankful Husband
    April 13, 2013 at 11:05 pm #

    I’m not sure if I will be of much help here, but I’ve been thinking on this all day as I drove and this is what I came up with…and I don’t know if it applies to other men or not.

    I have two modes…all out or nothing. I’m either working hard or sitting still. My mind is either incredibly focused on one thing or empty (I admit it!). I either have very strong emotions or don’t really care one way or the other. I don’t say too much but when I say something I mean it. And I don’t change gears easily. I’m a big, strong guy. My life (emotions, thoughts, actions) is kind of like me running, I don’t start terribly fast or stop terribly fast but if I run into something it moves…every time.

    I have very strong emotions about a handful of things. The rest I might have an opinion on but it really doesn’t matter to me much at all. My wife on the other hand has many more emotions on things…and words to match them. Nothing is more important to me than my wife’s happiness…and except for those handful of things all I want to do it move heaven and earth to make that happen. I don’t always know how to do that but I’m always studying her and trying to learn. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for that woman, even if it’s uncomfortable to me.

    I will say this, and it will echo was Ted said. I’m a miserable shell of myself and the husband I need to be if my sexual needs aren’t being met. No matter how hard I try, I pretty much stink as a husband unless that is happening. We had twelve years where that was the case and I can honestly say I gave it 110%, but was not living up to the husband I wanted to be for her.

    That’s it, that’s my summary. I have about 6-10 things that I feel strongly emotionally about and would die for and the rest all I want to do is make my wife (and kids) happy.
    I guess I’m simple!

    I let my sweet wife read this, and other than saying “I didn’t know there were six-ten things…only 3 or 4…then this explains you perfectly”

    • peacefulwife
      April 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Thankful Husband,

      I am really glad that so many different men are explaining how they deal with emotions. My hope is that wives might read all the different summaries and explanations and be able to find one that is similar to their husbands.

      I think your description of having very strong emotions about a handful of things is a really important point. I also love the way you describe how you would do anything to make your wife happy – even if it uncomfortable to you – it strikes me how much that kind of love is like the love of Jesus for us.

      You know, many husbands have mentioned physical intimacy in regards to this conversation on emotions. I know that I read somewhere that sex is one place where men can really connect with their emotions in a good way – and of course, they feel the most connected with their wives, too. This is a topic I probably need to ask the men about a bit more.

      I appreciate your generosity with your time and your willingness to share. Thank you very much!

      Sent from my iPad

  11. Faithful Servant
    April 14, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    There is so much here, and all questions and anwers are usefull.

    I am lonely broken man, who misses his kids and wife. I looked at some past pictures and realized we have been in a crazy cycle since around 2004. I have done harsh things to my wife, and she has done the same. I am tired of you did this first, etc, bottom line were both to blame. I think my wife suffers from chronic depression. She also views her self as not much of a person. I have listened to sermon after sermon, talking about emotional intimacy, sexual intimacy and not depriving each other. I am currently working with pastor, but he said something that bothered me last week. I wrote several pages of thoughts of what my wife needed to change. One of them on top of list was “speak in civil tone”. Pastor said that was controlling, I disagreed. I just listed to some of Pastor Chuck Swindolls on marrige and they reasonate with me. My heart breaks for my 4 children.

    My wife called 911 on me about 40 days ago, when I would not leave. That led to facing a charge of preventing the reporting of domestic violence. I let my attorney read my journal and current thoughts I wrote to pastor. I know this attorney from church. He looked up at me and said, you don’t have a marriage. Your unequally yoked, and while God hates marrige, brother you need to cut your loses and move on.

    Speaking of respect, my wife and her mom, constantly say negative things about me, which is highly abusive.

    Chuck Swindolls sermon tonight titled “Marriage Oiled by Grace” hit home.

    I fear God if I abandon my wife. But 9 years of trying to work on things is taking a toll. I’ve achieved great things through Christ in my field. I was a poor person with nothing to my name and built something remarkable of lasting value. I employ other christian men who support there familys and some have 5 kids!All I really wanted was my wifes admiration. For single ladies, when I met my wife, she was sexually active and being abused and used. I was a virgin and my wife was my first. Some of the sexual intimacy problems we have been through revolve around my wife hating her self and now believing that I view her as a sexual tool. Don’t buy into the World saying it’s okay, God’s plan is the best.

    • peacefulwife
      April 14, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      Faithful Servant,

      Thank you for your willingness to share. Your story breaks my heart for you, your wife and your children.

      It is my desire to see every spouse speak with a civil tone – really every believer is to be full of God’s Spirit and part of that fruit is “self-control.” I don’t think believers should be yelling, screaming, cussing, scolding or berating others. Obviously, reality is that believers are sinners, and even though we have freedom from sin through Christ, we don’t always live in His power.

      I pray for God to work in your wife and children’s lives and in your heart, as well. I pray for healing for all of you, for total reconciliation to Christ, and for His greatest glory. Sent from my iPad

  12. Brittany Y.
    April 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm #

    Okay. I just asked my fiance a few questions. I will post what happened here:

    Me: “On the blog women have been able to ask men questions and then the writer will post the guys’ answers. One woman brought up a good point. She said that when she allows her husband to have a few days to process something, he may never bring the topic back up again. When that happens she shuts down and feels unloved. Peacefulwife said that we women need to translate this differently as them maybe not saying something out of love or them saying “no” as their answer. It bothers me because I feel that if a guy fixes something or has an idea I sometimes want to know the answer. Husbands may never acknowledge that they understood or that they came up with a solution. This bothers me a lot because I feel it’s a one way street. What about the men? If I feel disrespected then what should I do? I can’t “pressure” you. I just have to hope. I want to know how you feel about this. Take your time.”

    And his response shocked me beyond belief as I was thinking “Man… I’m screwed if I have to live with disrespect for the rest of my life, regardless of his intentions.”

    My fiance: “Ah ok. So the question you are asking how do I feel from what you sent? And if it is disrespectful when you feel disrespected or have concerns? Well I think is that communication is important and as a guy I sometimes forget to consider if the things I do disrespect you or dishonor you in a way, so if I ever do that tell me so I can try to do something to fix it. I know that it may happen frequently, but yes have faith, I will do my best to not allow that to happen.”

    I’m glad I asked him these questions because I was losing hope. It rarely is talked about how a guy is supposed to act. I know that I am to respect him to the best of my ability, but I didn’t know what to do if I felt disrespected by his “typical guy actions” (like the not responding or never bringing a topic back up again). While I understand that he is not disrespecting me, that is still how I may interpret it. Just like how me asking “why” or bringing up the topic multiple times may not be intended as disrespect (because this is a normal woman action) he may pick it up as that way. He may understand that I do not mean to disrespect him, but it may still be how he sees it.

    If possible, Peacfulwife, I would like to see a post of how a guy should act. Maybe your husband or someone else could tell us how a guy is to act to respect us. I know that if I had to live with my guy never bringing something back up (repeatedly. Every now and then I may not care) or just acting without discussing then I would shut down. I would not be okay. I may not mean to shut down, but after awhile I would just not be okay with things anymore. I would turn back into the tough girl that does things on her own, and boy would that start bigger problems. It would be nice to see that guys are supposed to work on changing too, not just women. It would be nice to see that while they do process differently that they can find ways to still validate us without going too far. I can only speak for myself, but I imagine that it would be nice if all our husbands could come up with ways to validate us like we are to do the same for them (even if it’s not how we process). Make sense?

    • Merrie Beth
      April 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Brittany Y. If your husband is open to it, I highly recommend “For Men Only” by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhaun. A book to do together is “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggrichs (sp?). But as you see over and over again here from PeacefulWife and elsehwere where there’s Godly counsel, we are all accountable to God for our own actions. And your Godly behavior will affect his responses. However, there is nothing wrong with sharing with him what you know – just like you did with him about this topic. Now you are aware of his stuff and he is aware of your stuff. Over at the Respect Dare, NIna Roesner has a great post about eventually confronting once you’ve got all the planks out of your own eye (you could do a keyword search for “When it doesn’t ‘work'” – that’s the title of the post and it’s fabulous).

      It’s so awesome that you guys are addressing these things NOW!!! You have a great head start! Don’t LET yourself shut down! Don’t let it get to that point. You just have to keep moving towards eachother.. until death do you part! Complacency is a killer….

      • trixie1466
        April 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

        Merrie Beth,

        Great advice for Brittany. Now I know why we’re so much on the same page. I also recommend all three resources you just mentioned. I learned so much from all of them.
        The Respect Dare was really hard sometimes, but I grew some much spiritually from doing it. I really miss the fellowship with other women.

        God Bless,
        Trixie1466

        • peacefulwife
          April 14, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

          Trixie,

          Thanks for your comments and for sharing your heart! And thanks for sharing your thoughts on those resources.

          I appreciate your comments very much!

      • Brittany Y.
        April 14, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

        I just subscribed to the free tips. I definitely should look into some of these books. We plan to start pre-maritial counseling soon as well. I’m sure there is plenty that we have yet to talk about.

        Looking back on this topic, I am actually encouraged knowing that the Lord will guide us and help us to be the couple that He wants us to be. I need not worry about whether my actions will go to waste. I only need to worry if the Lord is glorified through them. And today He showed me that because I am working on this effort, He too is working on my fiance. Amen to that.

        • peacefulwife
          April 14, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

          Brittany,

          Sounds like a great strategy! Focusing on what you are responsible for and trusting God to work on your man is a powerful way to live. :)

          Peacefulwife.com

      • peacefulwife
        April 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

        I totally agree with Merrie Beth. For Men Only is an incredible resource for husbands and For Women Only is an invaluable resource for wives by the Feldhahns. Love and Respect is a very foundational book about how men need respect and women need love with some practical examples for the men and for the women.

        And Nina Roesner’s post about confronting a husband’s sin is REALLY well done. I love that post.

        Thanks for all the great comments and for sharing your wisdom and resources with Brittany, Merrie Beth!

        I sure wish I had these things in mind before we got married!

        Peacefulwife.com

    • peacefulwife
      April 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

      I believe that husbands and wives should both treat each other with love, respect, consideration, thoughtfulness, gentleness, tenderness, self-control, grace, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and godliness.

      I don’t believe it is right for a husband just to not answer. But I do not believe that scripture gives me as a woman authority to teach men to tell them what to do (I Timothy 2 and I Corinthians 14). God convicted me very clearly of this last September, so I try to be very careful not to instruct men here.

      My husband has a blog for men http://www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com and he talks about a lot of issues for husbands.

      I like the way you handled this – asking your man about the problem and allowing him to decide what he thought about it. And I think he answered very well.

      Every believer is accountable to God to “work out his salvation with fear and trembling” and to grow, mature, repent of any known sin, to be filled with God’s Spirit, to become more and more holy and to work on themselves. :)

      I hope this might be helpful.

      Peacefulwife.com

  13. peacefulwife
    April 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    It is my prayer and goal that everyone would feel welcome to read and comment here, and that everyone might feel respected here.

    I am extremely thankful for the women who read and comment. My sisters are precious to me! It is my honor to learn, love, serve and pray together.

    I am also extremely thankful for the men who read and comment and who are willing to give us their masculine perspective. My brothers are also precious to me! It is my honor to welcome them and to hear their insights.

    Each person who reads and who comments is someone of great worth – for whom my Jesus died. I welcome discussion. But I long for a spirit of unity here – that this might be a sanctuary and safe harbor.

  14. trixie1466
    April 15, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Faithful Servant,

    I thought I responded to you earlier so sorry this took so long. I do not think there’s anything “sick or twisted” about you reading the advice that Peaceful wife is giving women. I’m sorry if that’s what you thought. My point about it is that from the totality of your post it seemed that you are focusing on your wife’s sin. I didn’t see anything in your post acknowledging your part in the difficulty. The part about reading a women’s blog is that I think some of the men that read this post really enjoy hearing Peaceful wife tell women how they should treat their husbands without them having to hear how they should be treating their wives. The Respected Husband has an excellent blog of his own, but I rarely see men comment on it. I must confess I sometimes still get defensive when it seems men aren’t acknowledging their part in marital problems. I’m sorry if this doesn’t apply to you.

    Trixie1466

    • peacefulwife
      April 15, 2013 at 11:21 am #

      Trixie,

      My blog has a much larger audience than my husband’s blog does. Men don’t tend to read blogs about marriage as much as women do. And the men who do read often do not post comments. The vast majority of my husband’s readers are actually women. I have a large audience of men on this blog that I appreciate very much – they are able to give a variety of masculine insights and opinions that I cannot give. I think we can learn from them – and I think they may be able to say things that we need to hear that our husbands don’t feel like they can say to us.

      They are certainly not perfect, just like we are not perfect as wives. But the men who do read and comment are sharing here because they feel respected and safe to do so. I would like them to continue to feel respected here.

      I also greatly value the women who read my blog and appreciate their comments as well. This is, after all, a blog primarily for women. I think we can all learn from each other on this difficult journey of becoming more like Christ. So I want women to feel honored and respected here as well. I only focus on what women can do and change – I know that makes it a bit one sided – but it is my intention to honor Scripture about a woman not having authority over a man.

      Just because I do not talk about what men could/should do – does not negate the fact that they have as many if not more responsibilities in marriage towards their wives and also towards God as wives have.

      In a marriage between two sinners – there is plenty of fault on both sides.
      I spent almost 15 years focusing on my husband’s faults and what I thought he should change. That did not get me anywhere – other than to be bitter, resentful, stressed, frustrated, powerless and lonely. That is not what I want for wives. I want to see us empowered by God’s Spirit to become the women He wants us to be. But to do that – we have to focus on our side of the marriage primarily.

      It is hard to focus only on what we as women can change sometimes. It’s much easier to focus on what we want our husbands to change, but that is not where our power is.

      I’d like us to focus on ourselves, and we can definitely share with the men and with our husbands what our needs are and how we work – that is very important. I am glad you are sharing those things – I welcome you to share your insights and I think husbands can definitely learn from those points. But then we can trust God the Holy Spirit to work in the men. He can change them – we cannot. :)

      • trixie1466
        April 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

        April,

        Do you know why your blog had a larger audience that your husband’s? I understand less men read about marriage than women, but your husband’s blog is for men that want to read about marriage. Your blog was intended for women who want to read about how to be respectful in their marriages. I too appreciate a man’s point of view when it is constructive and edifying.

        Your husband has excellent advice for men that want to improve their marriages and therefore I wonder why your blog is more popular? Maybe the men on your blog tell us if they are reading both blogs and if so, why. If not why?

        Has the focus of this blog changed from women learning and being validated in respecting their husbands? I’m hearing a lot of husbands in pain about their marriages and that’s heart breaking. But as you know we are all sinners. As you have said we can’t change our husbands. Husbands can’t change their wives, but the Holy Spirit can. Your husband posted a man’s testimony about the power of prayer in dealing with his wife’s disrespect. Perhaps it would be worth sharing on your blog as well. If you already did, it might warrant another posting.

        Ladies, I’m totally open to hearing from you if you think my perspective is somehow way off base.

        Thanks

        • peacefulwife
          April 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

          Trixie,

          Part of it is that my blog was picked up by some larger blogs for women at various times over the past year – and that brought in a number of readers.

          I agree about having comments that are constructive and edifying and will be working more assertively to ensure that is happening so that everyone feels honored and respected here.

          I love the post my husband has about the husband who was praying for his wife and how things changed so miraculously for him. That is a beautiful example of handling a difficult marriage issue in a godly way.

          Thanks for your comments!

        • peacefulwife
          April 15, 2013 at 12:41 pm #

          No, Trixie, the focus of my blog has not changed. :)

          My husband has a different philosophy on comments than I do. There are many comments he won’t approve. That is the only reason you don’t see a lot of women complaining.

          Comments take a lot of time. I spend a crazy amount of time on them some days. My husband works full time and chooses not to have so many discussions. I respect that.

          I try to allow more diverse comments here and try to work with people through issues if possible. If someone is extremely disrespectful – my husband usually blocks them from commenting on my blog.

          • trixie1466
            April 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

            April,
            Your husband is a wise man . You are blessed to have him. I respect you both and feel grateful to have the opportunity to chat with other believers.
            Thanks

            Trixie
            .

            • peacefulwife
              April 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

              He is a wise man. I’m extremely thankful for him. :)

              • David Wayne Thompson
                April 17, 2013 at 1:45 am #

                i do like your blog! It is well written and inspiring! I will frequent ! My wife’s blog is: godledwellness.wordpress.com
                God Bless!

    • peacefulwife
      April 15, 2013 at 11:47 am #

      Joseph,

      Men certainly do have idols, too, just like women do. I have seen men idolize feeling respected much like women sometimes idolize feeling loved. Many women idolize their husbands – expecting their husbands to meet the needs that only Christ can actually meet. And many people idolize their own being in control instead of trusting God and living by faith in Christ. I think Satan loves to take our legitimate God-given needs and tempt us to try to fulfill them in ways that are sinful – idolizing being one of those ways – putting our needs/desires above Christ in our hearts.

      This is where, hopefully, we learn to die to self – then we can truly find the abundant life Christ has for us.

      I think that many wives want to connect on their husbands on all three levels – spiritually, emotionally and physically. I believe almost every wife and almost every husband WANTS to have a solid, beautiful marriage – I think many times they don’t know how and often have not had godly examples – not to mention the influence of the culture. I think many women do try very hard to love their husbands and try to show their love and give selflessly to their men – but sometimes what we are giving isn’t what our men need. Sometimes we don’t realize how we are coming across. Sometimes we don’t realize how differently our men think and feel and process. But I think that most husbands and most wives have good intentions and good will towards their spouses – even though it may be hard for the spouse to see it at times. It is easy for all of us to respond out of our pain – and not to even realize how much pain our spouses are in as well.

      Are there specific ways that you believe women could show love to their husbands in ways that would be more meaningful to men that you might suggest?

  15. peacefulwife
    April 15, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    I welcome the comments of men and women here on this blog. Many men read my blog – many of them learn more about how to understand their wives here. I think hearing the wives’ perspectives can be very helpful. And of course, many women read my blog – and I am thrilled about that. I think that for them to hear the comments of the husbands’ can be extremely helpful, too. I would like everyone to feel welcome here. I want this to be a place where we can learn and grow together.

    If you have comments about the topic – that is awesome – post away.

    If you have a criticism about another commenter, I am going to kindly ask you to direct those to me at aprilc@sc.rr.com – and if there is a problem I will handle it privately with the other person.

    Thank you so much for your consideration.

  16. peacefulwife
    April 15, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    I am actually studying unity this week in my own quiet time.

    The unity of the body of Christ was so important to Jesus that He spent most of his prayer for us the night before He was crucified praying for our unity as believers in John 17.

    “I pray also for those who will believe in Me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in Us so that the world may believe that You have sent Me. I have given them the glory that You gave Me, that they may be one as We are One: I in them and You in Me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.”

    Unity does not mean we will always agree about everything. Unity does mean that we will be very respectful and mindful of the greater good and the common good for the whole body. Unity does mean we will not “let any unwholesome talk come out of (our) mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom (we) were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ, God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:29-32

    “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to one hope when you were called – one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:2-5

    My precious brothers and sisters whom I love – let’s build one another up here. Let’s use this place to share our insights and perspectives and to learn to better understand one another and our own spouses. Let this be a place of learning to share respect, honor, grace and mercy. Let this be a place of unity for the body – so that the world can better see Christ in us.

    Thank you each for your comments. Thank you for sharing your hearts. Thank you each for your love for Christ and for your love for His church. I pray that God might work in us to mold us all into the image of Christ and that we might be a source of strength, encouragement and edification to one another – building the bond of peace and unity.

  17. peacefulwife
    April 15, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Ok y’all… My apologies for this. But for now, I am going to change the way comments are moderated so that the comments that are posted will be most beneficial to everyone. All comments will be reviewed before they are posted. I will post comments that I believe are edifying, beneficial, respectful and helpful to the body of Christ.

    Thank you for your understanding!

  18. him
    July 7, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    hi,
    I got married in may 2013 and before marriage i had 4 year long relationship with my husband.
    Now the things are not going so well. And rather i should say that they are not going on well for me. As far my husband is concerned he doesnt seem to have any problem with the ongoing things.
    descriptions about my problems:
    generally all are same as discussed in your forum like make him to realize how i feel and sometimes take the responsibility of making my happy again rather then leaving all the problems n my thoughts to me only. Or to make me feel special someday, to think about my emotions, all same as you know.

    My questions are as following:
    1. As you said in your website that stop watching romantic movies or love movies as they deviate you from real world but how to stop yourself watching other real world couples or other husband doing those things that you are expecting out of your husband.They are doing this then why not my husband.

    2. As I am recently married so i dont know whether to stop expecting is the right way because i still have desire that he would start fulfilling a few and would change himself.
    so what i want to ask that is their any possibility that they wont change or they can change themselves. or changing anybody is entirely impossible.
    But before wedding also as i was in long term relationship i was never been able to change him about my emotions except a few really not tolerable things from his side after making him realize that he is wrong.

    On the whole just after two months i started feeling like to run from him n this house and to go back to my parents or any other place where i dont have to stay with him or can deviate my attention to some thing else. With him in front of me or with me all i think is why it does not bother him that i am not happy n above all he can clearly see all these things as i am living with him.

    I am looking forward for your reply. please respond as soon as possible,

    • peacefulwife
      July 7, 2013 at 7:01 am #

      Him,

      It is an honor to meet you. :)
      Congratulations on your new marriage!

      Our first summer was very difficult for me, too.

      Can you please tell me what it is that you believe would make you happy? What is it that you want him to do that he is not doing?

      Are you a believer in Christ?
      Is he?

      You are responsible for your own happiness and joy.

      If you are not happy – you are the only one who really has the power to change your own way of thinking.
      You cannot change anyone else.

      You may ask for things that you want- in a polite and respectful way. But you cannot demand that your husband do anything. That won’t work very well.

      You can do kind and loving things for him – but you cannot make him do romantic things for you.

      The only way I know how to fix this problem is to stop expecting your husband to make you happy and to find your joy in Jesus.

      Then you can be happy no matter what your husband does.

      If you haven’t read these posts yet, read the posts I have about Expectations. You can search my blog home page for “expectations” and then read all of those posts – maybe that will help.

      Also, does your husband feel respected? You may want to read the posts at the top of my home page about respect and disrespect.

      I am always glad to hear from you.

      Much love!

  19. geri
    October 1, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    after being single 13yrs and not attempting to even date i met and married my 2nd husband. i have a very good reputation and never dressed inapropriatly or went to bars or even held hands with any man in those 13yrs. My new husband is very jealous and constantly rages horrible far-fetched accusations at me and constantly says horrible things about my ex husband whom no one ever dares mention. He calls me names and rages on and on and never lets me respond in full sentences. He talks over me becomming louder and more angry with each word. he uses facts i and my family shared candidly with him when we dated.(2008 and married in 2010) against me adding to them and hurting me deeply yet if i refer to anything in his (even receant past) he gets furious saying that was “forever ago”! I no longer try to convince him re:these accusations , nor do i try to defend myself verbally or physically because i was exhausting myself and expending so much emotion and “health” trying to convince him none of it is true. I realized I was wasting my time. he has hurt me deeply and no longer apoligizes with out adding “but you”. Meaning i made him somehow do those things. I am 60 and weary of the battle. This has hurt my entire family especially my grown married children who fear for me and are tired of seeing me hurting.( during the 13yrs. they and their spouses were always there for me in whatever i needed. we were very close and had great relationships.) I am very capable and independant but love being a wife and home maker and am brokenhearted. Don’t understand why he does this. Would appreciate a mans point of view on this. Thank you

    • peacefulwife
      October 2, 2013 at 1:39 am #

      Geri,

      Does your husband have a relationship with Christ?

      What do you do now when he rages at you?

      Is there a history of abuse, physical violence, addictions, mental disorders or anything in your marriage?

      What was your husband’s parents’ marriage like?

      What was your parents’ marriage like?

      Has he had some very bad experiences with women?

      Are you physically safe?

      Do you have a godly pastor or Christian counselor you can talk with?

  20. NancyH
    January 13, 2014 at 9:35 am #

    I somewhat concur with the blog and truly understand where C is coming from. After having been married 25 years and then getting a divorce, intiated as manipulation by my ex husband, I believe this is what all of us women need to realize and need to be teaching our daughters – a man is not going to change, that does not mean you have to change to bend/yield to the ways of your man. Many men are not honorable thus the bending/yielding will eventually break you, that is the point you have to understand and that I believe C is either approaching or already at. When my ex initiated the divorce I was no longer desiring to bend/yeild to an unbendable/unyieldable person thus he had to throw an axe at me(divorce) in an attempt to continue to control me. So …. we need to teach each other, ourself and our daughter(s), to properly evaluate the character of the man you are involved with. If he has traits that you feel need changing and he is becoming your “project” it isn’t going to work. Walk away before you break. I know it is difficult to walk away but trust in the Lord that he will provide a good man for you in his time. For so many of us, the red flags prior to marriage are so big yet we think our “love” will conquer and melt the heart of a man. Love does not conquer bad, selffish character, a woman can not change this in a man.

    C, I am sorry you are struggling with your relationship. While he should change, he probably is not going to change.

    I know that God hates divorce, I regret that I am divorced however I more regret that I did not yield to the red flags concerning the relationship before marriage. I have changed a lot over the years, reading lots of Christian books as mentoring references and I feel the need to say, there are some men that regardless of how submissive/yielding you may be it isn’t going to change the relationship. For some, especially men who are attempting to follow Christ, it may improve the relationship, but for many it will not. If you are in the later, you have already been in the fire for a long time, sometimes it helps to get out othertimes the fire outside the relationship (proverty, Dad not around for the kids) is just another fire to deal with. Sometimes life is just darn hard.

    What I do believe concerning this blog is – rarely are we honest with ourself. While we may feel we have been the yielding/giving/submissive we have a certain bias and selffishness as well that we choose to dismiss and ignore or feel it isn’t as big as it truly is. This is the half that we should deal with and it just might make a big difference. I was listen to the Dave Ramsey show and a couple, married 30 years, called in to give their shout of “we’re debt free”. Dave always asks what was the factor that got them on the roadway to conquering debt (versus spending). Kudos to the woman as she admitted it was her needing to get on board with the budget that her husband had been begging her to work with him on for 20 some years. 20 years she had chose to spend and ignore a discipline and to be out of walk with her husband. Both said that there marriage became the best it had ever been when they worked on the budget and worked together to stay on the budget.

    • peacefulwife
      January 13, 2014 at 9:46 am #

      Thank you so much for sharing, NancyH,

      Yes, I long to help our sisters in Christ understand the importance of marrying a man who is TRULY seeking Christ first. So many single women go into marriage assuming, “I can change him.” That almost always ends in misery.

      I appreciate your concern and love for our sister.

      She asked me to remove her comments, so I have.

    • Marie
      January 13, 2014 at 10:46 am #

      I promised God for better or for worse.I did not promise to be abused and harmed. Thats a crime not a part of wedding vows.Each woman must make the distinction of whether she is in an abusive marriage or a troubled marriage. Proceed from there. My marriage was deeply troubled. Imagine my surprise when I began to doggedly accept Gods word in my life only to find out my husbands poor treatment of me was in responce to my disrespect and condenscendence towards him. I was highly defensive towards Aprils mentorship at first. Then I submitted myself to God and the big picture unfolded. It was humbling and freeing. I only wish for C to step back and look at her initial responce to this. Thats all. If it doesnt fit then walk away but there is still so much here that will help all woman regardless of their marital state. Ive been married 17 years and this is the first time my husband has shared his feelings with me. I think he may have before but I dismissed him because I was wrapped up in my own :(

      • peacefulwife
        January 13, 2014 at 11:35 am #

        Marie,

        Thank you so much for sharing.

        I don’t want ANY woman EVER to be abused.

        Sometimes in a troubled marriage, it can be very hard to see clearly. I am so thrilled about what God has done in your life and your marriage!!!!

        • Marie
          January 13, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

          Its really turning around lately and Im so shocked I can barely speak. Its getting easier to be respectful because hes becoming so darn affectionate and sweet to me I can hardly speak. Somebody pinch me. No dont, if Imdreaming I dontwant to wake up :)

          • peacefulwife
            January 13, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

            Marie,

            PRAISE GOD! What a wonderful answer to prayer! :) Thank you for sharing!

  21. Marcha
    March 11, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    Please add me to receive posts.

    • peacefulwife
      March 11, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

      Marcha,
      Welcome!

      You may click on “subscribe” on the top right column of my home page to receive posts daily. :)

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    […] A husband answers my questions about emotions […]

  4. Sending Emails to Your Husband | Peacefulwife's Blog - June 8, 2013

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions […]

  5. Men Have Feelings, Too! VIDEO | Peacefulwife's Blog - June 12, 2013

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions […]

  6. How Do Men Process Emotions? | Peacefulwife's Blog - July 1, 2013

    […] I want to begin an emphasis on how men process feelings and emotions (For part 2 ,  part 3 and part 4 click here). Not only do men often need time to think through issues by […]

  7. Day 5 of The Respect Dare – Slow to Anger | Peacefulwife's Blog - July 5, 2013

    […] Men and Emotions Part 2 […]

  8. Just the Facts, Please, Ma’am, Just the Facts. | Peacefulwife's Blog - August 1, 2013

    […] A Husband Answers my Questions about Emotions […]

  9. Can His Heart Safely Trust Me? | Peacefulwife's Blog - August 3, 2013

    […] A Husband Talks about Emotions […]

  10. “Why is the Stupid TV More Important to My Husband than I am?????” | Peacefulwife's Blog - September 8, 2013

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions […]

  11. Why Your Man Might Not Immediately Do What You Want Him to Do | Peaceful Single Girl - September 27, 2013

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions […]

  12. Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Want Him to Do | Peacefulwife's Blog - September 28, 2013

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions […]

  13. The Powerful Concept of “Submitting Under Protest” – Part 1 | Peacefulwife's Blog - December 4, 2013

    […] keep in mind – that men DO have emotions and feelings.  I became convinced early in our marriage that Greg didn’t have feelings […]

  14. How to Deal With an Emotionally Distant Husband | Peacefulwife's Blog - December 5, 2013

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions […]

  15. The Powerful Concept of “Submitting Under Protest” | Peaceful Single Girl - December 6, 2013

    […] keep in mind – that men DO have emotions and feelings.  I became convinced early in our marriage that Greg didn’t have feelings because […]

  16. When Your Husband Won’t Answer | Peacefulwife's Blog - March 24, 2014

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions […]

  17. A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions | Peacefulwife's Blog - April 16, 2014

    […] A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions. […]

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