“Why Won’t He Protect Me from His/My Family?”

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I am not an expert, a counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor. I am an ordinary Christian wife. This post may be helpful to you, it may not. My hope is to point women to Christ and His Word. I write especially for wives who tend to be dominating and controlling with passive husbands. If you have a very dominating husband – this blog may not be a good fit for you. If your husband is abusive – my blog may be harmful for you, please don’t read my blog in that case, but seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe!

This is a question I hear a lot.

MANY wives are upset because they feel their in-laws (or sometimes their own parents or family members) disrespect them or try to control them and their husband does nothing to come to his wife’s defense.

I talked with Greg about this issue.  Here are some of his thoughts:

A husband who feels respected probably will try to protect his wife – but she has to be willing to stay under his covering and protection.

If she lashes out at his family members, insults them or disrespects them and creates a lot of hurt feelings, she will be on her own.  Her husband can’t protect or defend her if she creates a lot of problems for herself.  At that point, a husband will allow her to lie in the bed she made for herself.

Men HATE drama.

They don’t want to be put in a tug of war between their mom and their wife.  Yes, he should always choose his wife over his mom.  But he doesn’t want to hurt his mom.  He would rather not be forced into a position where he has to hurt the feelings of a woman he loves.

But if his wife is honoring his leadership, genuinely respecting him on a regular basis and he knows she trusts him and admires him – he probably will be willing to stand up for his wife against someone else if he sees someone insult his wife – particularly if she didn’t do anything to instigate the attack.

WHY ARE THESE RELATIONSHIPS SO DIFFICULT?

In-law relationships can be very tricky.  We don’t have the long history of unconditional love with in-laws that we do with our own parents and siblings.  Each family’s culture is unique and it is easy for people from different families to have widely differing expectations about lots of topics.  Plus, attempting to navigate the new boundaries of a new marriage can be difficult for families who are used to being very involved in their children’s decisions.

Also, it is difficult for some parents to let go of control of their son (or daughter).  They love him.  They want the best for him.  But it is difficult for them to release their son to be his own man when he becomes an adult.  Some parents want to continue being the authorities in their children’s lives and don’t embrace God’s design for the authority structure of the new marriage.  If they think the have the right to be in charge and that they are still God-given authorities over their child, they can be quite controlling – and this is VERY destructive to the new marriage.

  • The new wife NEEDS to know that it is her husband who is in authority and in charge now, not his parents or her parents.
  • The husband NEEDS to know that his wife will follow his leadership, not her parents’ or his parents’.

CREATING NEW BOUNDARIES THAT PROTECT YOUR MARRIAGE

It is critical for the husband, in my view, to set healthy boundaries with his family or with his wife’s family, if they are attempting to exert improper authority over the marriage – because he is the authority in the marriage.  Sometimes, it may be appropriate for the wife to do the boundary setting with her own parents.  Please pray for God’s wisdom on this! (some suggestions):

  • I love you Mom and Dad (and siblings)
  • God has placed my husband in charge of me now in my new marriage.
  • I want to honor you and respect you.  I’m so thankful for all you have done to raise me right.
  • Now it is time for my husband to be responsible for the decisions in our new family.
  • I welcome your ideas and suggestions when I/we ask for them.
  • Please pray for God to give my husband wisdom to lead me and our family well for His glory.

WHAT CAN A WIFE DO? (My suggestions, for whatever they are worth.  The most important thing is for us to listen to God’s Spirit and obey His Word.)

As a wife, you can’t force your husband to set healthy boundaries with his family or your family.  But, you can support, honor and respect his leadership.  You can close ranks with your husband and not allow family members or friends to divide you and destroy your unity. (Only say these kinds of things if you can say them sincerely and genuinely!)

  • Look to your husband when family members want to make you make a big decision and allow him to answer if he is there.   If he is not there, you could say, “I need to talk to my husband about that.  I’ll let you know what we decide.”  or “I’ll check with my husband.”
  • “You can talk with (my husband) about it if you aren’t comfortable with his decision.”
  • “My husband asked me to do X.  I’m going to honor him and do what he asked me to.”
  • “That is a decision my husband and I will be making together.  I’ll be sure to let him know about your concerns.”
  • Don’t speak negatively about  your husband to others!!!  This is REALLY important!  This protects your marriage and enables your husband to trust you and to know that you are loyal to him.
  • Talk about your husband’s strengths and the good things you admire about him to family and friends.
  • “This is the decision my husband made (or my husband and I have made), and I support him.”
  • “I know you are concerned about what we are planning to do.  Thank you for sharing.  We appreciate that you love us very much.  We will be sure to take these issues into consideration when we talk about our plans.”
  • “I trust my husband.”
  • “I have every confidence in my husband.”
  • “Yes this is a big decision.  We will be sure to be careful and thorough as we decide what to do.”
  • “Thanks for telling me your concerns.  We know you love us very much.”
  • “That is an issue I am not at liberty to discuss right now.  Thanks for understanding.”

Also – it may be best NOT to talk to extended family members about every little decision – or the big ones.  It may be best only to talk with your husband about them, and pray about them and possibly speak to a godly mentoring wife who is living out respect and biblical submission in her own marriage (if your husband is ok with that).  Then, when you have made your decision together, you may be able to talk about it with other family members – follow your husband’s lead on that.

Once you are married, you answer to God and to your husband.  You don’t answer to extended family and friends and coworkers.  It can be very wise, in my view, to not share all the personal business that goes on between you and your husband but to keep most of that private.  If you are in serious danger – you may need to reach out for help – or if there are some HUGE issues like drug addiction, alcoholism, infidelity, physical abuse, uncontrolled mental disorders – but understand that family and friends may not be as willing to forgive as you are when the crisis is over.

Please pray that God might show you the healthy boundaries you need to have with your families  and for your marriage to be strong and vibrant.

HOW TO TREAT HIS FAMILY (some of my suggestions, but be sure you do what God calls you to do)

  • ALWAYS be respectful
  • don’t criticize them to their faces or to him – he hears criticism of his family as criticism of himself
  • don’t raise your voice
  • use a pleasant, friendly tone of voice
  • Don’t tear them down to other people
  • don’t try to change them
  • Accept them the way they are and that they are different from your family.  That is ok!
  • Be sure they feel included with seeing your children if at all possible
  • Allow your husband to be the one to deliver difficult news to them if possible
  • Respect the way your husband decides to relate to his family – Don’t try to make him do things your way.  Trust him to handle his family members and let him be the one to speak to them if there is conflict going on or if you are trying to avoid conflict.  His family can hear from him much more easily than they can hear from you.

DON’T MISS THE COMMENTS!  I added some personal info and several husbands offered some very helpful insights into a husband’s mindset.  I love seeing what God is doing in so many wives’ hearts, too!

RELATED:

A Husband and Wife Handle a Controlling Mother as  a Team

Do Not Expect Outside Support

Dealing with Financial Stress in Marriage

Control and Boundaries

Playing the Martyr Repels Those We Love

Using Guilt to Manipulate/Motivate is Destructive

The Snare of People Pleasing

Handling External Pressure on This Journey

You can also check out my Youtube channel  – “April Cassidy” –  I have a lot of videos about these topics and more!

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152 Comments on ““Why Won’t He Protect Me from His/My Family?””

  1. jenelljones
    September 24, 2013 at 9:42 am #

    You are such a blessing to me, I thank God for you I have only been reading your post for a few weeks but it is life changing, thank you! Soon I will share my story!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Elizabeth
      November 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      I understand this ideal. But let’s say your in-laws are taking care of the grandkid’s, and do not take care of the grand kid’s. I have had two of my children’s ‘taken’ care of by his family, and they allow hurtful, and abusive things to happen to them. My son would not go into the bathtub for three months after he was babysat. You(a wife) cannot really respect a husband who doesn’t protect her, or her children. What do you do with that???

      • peacefulwife
        November 15, 2013 at 5:55 pm #

        Elizabeth,

        If the children are in actual danger – you may have to step in if your husband will not protect them.

        What does your husband say about what happened?

        What exactly happened to your children?

        What does your husband want to do?

        How do you talk to your inlaws?

        How is your relationship with your husband?

        How respected do you believe he feels?

        How do you talk to your husband when you are upset? tone of voice? Body language? Words?

        Let’s talk about this together. :)

        • Daisy
          May 14, 2014 at 1:56 am #

          Hello Peaceful Wife. Thank you for this great post.
          I have a wonderful husband, but I deal with this same challenge. I entered marriage with a sincere intention to be a part of his family, respect them, love them, etc. Unfortunately, from the beginning to now (its been 8 years) I am emotionally bullied by his family members. Whenever I am alone with them, they corner me, criticize me, pass snide comments, ask me prying questions on my husband and my private matters, make critical comments toward my parents/aunts/siblings and also ask prying (and inappropriate) questions regarding my own family. My MIL does these things especially when she is alone with me and always threatens me directly and indirectly that I will never be able to take her son away. I have tried to explain to her over and over again that I am not here to do that and I respect her role as a mother and am not here to take that away. But she continues to be insecure and makes very hurtful comments whenever my husband is not around.

          For the first few years, I tolerated it because I understood where it was stemming from. I did my best to empathize. But their behavior has only grown worse with time. Eventually I told my husband but he never believed me because he never saw it. Of course because he does not see it or believe and because he is also passive (he doesn’t stand up for himself either), so he also does not stand up for me when it comes to their bullying.

          This makes me feel lonely and scared in dealing with them. We are going to visit them for two weeks this summer. I am excited at the opportunity to try and make relations better for the sake of pleasing God and for the positive impact it would hopefully have on our marriage. HOWEVER, I am very scared of dealing with her especially when we are alone. I also feel that I should learn to stand up to her respectfully or else simply tolerating it may lead to a lot of resentment and negativity inside of me which I worry will come out in other ways later on (depression, resentment, becoming a bully myself).

          Finally, I have accepted that (I’m trying to be realistic) their attitude toward me might unfortunately always be negative due to the negative mindset they have for whoever enters the family. All daughter and son in laws that have entered their family have been treated in the same demeaning, dominating and critical manner. So I realize that no matter what I do, they may always have a negative approach to me due to their set mindset on how DILs/SILs should be treated.

          I just want to find a way to deal with the situation constructively, so I can have decent family relations without putting up with bullying, because putting up with it leaves me feeling scarred, depressed and drained. And I worry that if I simply tolerate then I may become a bully eventually too because I’ve observed that those that inflict pain on others are usually in pain themselves.

          My question to you is:
          – If I feel consistently disrespected by my in laws, should I try to respectfully stand up for myself? Or should I just ignore it?
          – Should I stand up for myself and not bring the issue to my husband’s attention?
          – Or should I ignore it and tell my husband instead?
          -What are some strategies to deal with this behavior especially when it happens in my husband’s absence?

          I believe my husband feels mostly respected by me. I do realize part of his reason for not standing up for me is because he does not even know how to stand up for himself when it comes to his family and has always resorted to passive aggressive strategies.

          But his approach is really beginning to make me feel lonely, unprotected and scared. I want connection with in laws but I do not want to be bullied, for the sake of my own self respect and sanity. I feel alone in this challenge without the support and guidance of my husband. Perhaps this is all to realize that only God is our true protector.

          Any advice would be much appreciated.

          Thank you,
          A sister that needs advice.

          • peacefulwife
            May 14, 2014 at 7:53 am #

            Daisy,
            It is great to hear from you. :) I can definitely understand the pain such a situation would cause.

            Well, first of all, this matter sounds like a great thing to pray about! God is able to change people and their hearts in ways we can’t begin to fathom.

            He may also prompt you about exactly what to say and when and how.

            I think it would be wise not to be alone with your MIL as much as possible.

            I have a few posts about healthy boundaries and control that may be helpful.

            You can search my home page for:

            People pleasing
            Boundaries and control
            Playing the martyr
            Guilt

            And you can also check out my YouTube channel “April Cassidy”, I have a video up from last week about dealing with controlling people.

            A controlling mother in law most likely is operating totally in fear, not in the power of God. She may have self as an idol, like I did. She may believe that it is therefore her right to try to control others because she believes she has rights that, in reality, only God has and other people have for themselves. She may not understand God’s sovereignty, healthy boundaries or God’s design for the structure of marriage. Most likely she is hurting, lonely, worried, afraid and miserable.

            You cannot change her. But you can create healthy hedges of protection around yourself and your marriage by limiting what you talk about and limiting your time alone with her and deferring questions to your husband.

            You can also approach her with the power of God’s Spirit and not repay evil with evil. Romans 12:9-21 is a great place to start.

            You may have to do a lot of praying so that you don’t hold on to unforgiveness and bitterness which could easily arise in this situation and poison your soul.

            You can politely and respectfully change the subject or not answer certain questions. And you don’t have to respond when she says you will never take her son away. He is yours. You have a covenant with him, she does not. You don’t have to fight her on something that you already have that she cannot take away. You can feel sad for her that she is so miserable.

            Praying for wisdom for you!

            • Daisy
              May 14, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

              Thank you so much! I cannot express how much these kind and constructive words of advice mean to me. God bless you! :) I will do my best to keep praying for wisdom. In the mean time, I am actually practicing role playing on my own to help prepare for certain conversations or situations that may arise. It’s scary, especially when I will be on my own but I feel courage whenever I remember that God will be with me!

              • ms
                August 10, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

                My struggle is similar to many posted here in that my husband doesn’t stand up to his family, but I am lucky that his Mother is not included in that battle. He has a loyal brotherhood with a family that includes 5 sons (He is #4 and has trouble setting and holding boundaries, especially when the brothers play any sort of “loyalty card.”). His Mom is my only ally, that is, when we can get past the “boys” and their varieties of dramas!

                Anyhow, I really feel for everyone, and may God shelter you with strength and confidence. May the Holy Spirit fill you with peace and guide you in Love to do what is best and right by your in-law family. I believe that you may have something there, with seeing that only God is your truest protector, and your courage is in Him.

                Role playing is a great idea from “Daisy” above. I am going to try that. And I want to share that in my experience setting boundaries, you may need to be gentle with yourself if you mess up the initial rounds of trying to be straightforward, tactful, yet loving as you hold your appropriate boundaries. All new behaviors take practice, so don’t lose heart :)

                I spent quite a few years in a bad place on this problem. After having spent several years trying to avoid it, I couldn’t escape the issues that I needed to learn to better express myself and learn about setting my own boundaries and being peaceful instead of crying alone while doing nothing proactive to change anything. After avoidance didn’t help for a lot of years, I did eventually become quite bitter and rough with my husband on this issue, having allowed his (and his family’s) volatile tempers to affect my personality to “fit in” rather than having stood my ground in peace.

                I wish I had placed my courage in God’s promises instead of took over as Holy Spirit Jr. myself for so long. Trust me, oh how very much that does NOT work and makes ya feel awful. It’s only by losing myself, dropping my own ego about being “righteous” and really digging around to see if I was in fact jealous (I was not – in the way my husband had accused me – jealous. However I WAS jealous of their abilities to better “speak their minds” than me, and allowed myself to become intimidated).

                Eventually I had no options left but trusting trusting trusting God and loving them more and more that I am beginning to be set free from this history of general disharmony within their family. (P.S. Thank Goodness, I never behaved negatively in his in-law’s presence, while between hubby and me there has been much discord on this subject!)

                Be Not Afraid! If God is for you, who can be against? Let’s continue to pray and prepare ourselves to face these issues taking to heart the excellent advice offered here!

                Oh, it can be very scary, but the reward will be so sweet if we are steadfast in trusting God to resolve these relationship issues and teach us to be strong in the lessons.

  2. Joe
    September 24, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    In the book Love and Respect, Dr. Emmerich talks about the reaction he gets from women when he asks them, “If your future daughter-in-law treats your son the same way you treat your husband, how will you feel about her?” He says that there is always a look of horror in the eyes of the women. I have observed in my family how my mother mistreated my father. Now when her sons are mistreated by their wives, the mama-bear comes out to defend her babies. I believe this is part of the issue. Men can see the sin in their daughters boyfriends/husbands and women can see the sin in their sons girlfriends/wives. If a mother-in-law hasn’t dealt with the log of disrespect in her own eye, she will be very harsh with the disrespect she sees in her daughter-in-laws life.

    • peacefulwife
      September 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm #

      Marie,

      Yes, if a wife can cooperate with what her husband asks her to do regarding his family – things often go MUCH more smoothly!

      I love that you see how you could have handled things in a godly way now. Yes, your husband was trying to protect you and trying to prevent a big war between you and his family. I hope you will thank him for what he did and acknowledge that you should have listened to him and that you regret not listening to him. You can certainly apologize now for making things worse back then.

      Yes, it does feel like spiritual and emotional contortion at first, but as God renews and transforms your mind – it will eventually become “normal” to do things in God’s power and for His glory. :)

    • peacefulwife
      September 24, 2013 at 2:00 pm #

      Joe,

      This is so very true!
      Thank you for sharing!

    • peacefulwife
      September 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Joe,

      Another thing about a controlling mother-in-law is that her son grew up learning to be treated disrespectfully and saw his father treated disrespectfully, so that seems normal, and he is more likely to choose a wife who treats him the same way his mother treated his father.

      He is also not very likely to confront his controlling mother because he has learned to ignore her and tune her out because it is often “too much drama” to attempt to confront her. He will probably treat his wife the same way. He has learned passivity is “safer.”

      • Joe
        September 26, 2013 at 5:12 pm #

        Yes, so true. My father, brother and I all tend to be passive with our disrespectful wives. Confronting my mother would not go well.

  3. peacefulwife
    September 24, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    Taking care of a sick child today. I hope to get to respond later! :)

    • Marie
      September 24, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

      Hope your child is feeling better this evening.

      • peacefulwife
        September 24, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

        Dee,
        Thank you so much for asking!

        He has a recurrence of strep throat. He’s in pretty good spirits, considering what his throat looks like! :)

  4. ButterflyDove
    September 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm #

    Thank you so much for this post. It covered how to respond to so many controlling things that my MIL does. I wanted to seek advice on how to defend myself when his mother speaks lies about me to me. She only does it when nobody else is around. (She may talk about me behind my back, but I don’t know) She has said some very hurtful, untrue things about me to me and I never know how to react because I’m in such shock. Nobody has ever treated or talked to me like this in my entire life. She tells me I need to speak up and stand up for myself, but I know that we are to turn the other cheek, and to not sin back toward someone just because they have sinned against you–to be gentle, meek, and also watch the words said. I feel that speaking up for myself against her would cause drama, too. I see how she speaks to others and I don’t want to speak up like she does because its disrespectful. I’ve told my husband because he doesn’t understand why I’d rather not be around her much. He doesn’t believe me and doesn’t care because he hasn’t seen it. This situation is so icky because that’s his mommy and of course he loves her and I don’t want to do anything to destroy any of that, but I’m also his wife and feel like I should be important enough to him (come 1st after God) to atleast realize that how she is treating me is not right. We have so much stress in our lives right now, so much on our plate. I know this is not the most important issue for us to get through at the moment, but I’d still like to try to work on it with whatever I can do personally even if he doesn’t take part or knows about it. What would be the best thing to do or say when she speaks to me in this way? All I’ve been doing is sitting there and saying nothing–just taking it in absolute shock and then later on when I’m not around her crying and being confused and angry about it.

    • peacefulwife
      September 24, 2013 at 2:11 pm #

      Butterfly Dove,

      I would suggest not being alone with her without another adult present if at all possible. I would also keep in mind that if she knew how to be a godly, gentle, peaceful woman who trusted Christ instead of self – she would be a godly woman. It can be hard to accept that someone in the generation before you is not as spiritually mature as you may be, but that happens a lot! Age does not necessarily equal wisdom. If you can accept that she is spiritually weak and incapable of truly loving in an agape way and accept where she is spiritually and not take it personally, that can help a lot.

      There are times we do need to confront sin. If we do it, we need to follow Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18 and follow our husbands’ guidance as well.

      It may be necessary to accept that she is not seeing reality on the same plane you are and maybe she believes what she says. You may have to think of it like she has a spiritual or emotional illness and realize she is not able to see things from your perspective.

      I don’t know that it is fair to say your husband doesn’t care. Sometimes men just tune out women when they have a lot of drama and don’t pay any attention to it, assuming they will be fine if they are left alone.

      How often do you see her. What kinds of things does she say.

      How respected is your husband feeling by you lately?

      Much love to you! :)

  5. Mended By Hope
    September 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    Love this blog post! I am very blessed to with my hubby, he has stood up for me in situations where one of my family members was insulting me and he will stand up for me if his family would do it. I am blessed that his family is wonderful and we get along great!

    I loved this: “Don’t speak negatively about your husband to others!!! This is REALLY important! This protects your marriage and enables your husband to trust you and to know that you are loyal to him.” So very true!

    Praying for all marriages

    Love, Crissy

    • peacefulwife
      September 24, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Mended by Hope,

      Yes, if we attack his family, criticize them, gossip about them, complain about them and tear them down – our husband will likely take our actions toward his family personally.

      But when we are respectful of his family, and of him, he is so much more likely to step in if we are insulted or mistreated.

      So many wives could avoid a lot of pain and heartache with in-laws if they would listen to their husbands and honor his requests about how to treat his family. He knows them better than we do!

      • Mended By Hope
        September 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

        You are so right. I know there are many who struggle with in laws who are nosy and down right mean but best thing is to keep quiet and talk to your husband about it and of course pray. Respect can go along way, it may even result in a wonderful relationship with the in laws. Many times their attitudes stem from being mistreated or some battle they are facing at that moment. Thank you for sharing all this in your post :) I have shared it with my group on facebook God Bless!

  6. peacefulwife
    September 24, 2013 at 2:02 pm #

    I believe the husband should be able to decide how the couple will handle his family. I believe he should be the one to set the limits and to give directives about what children need and any boundaries. His parents can hear those things from him and usually not get upset, but a daughter-in-law telling a mother-in-law what to do with the children has a lot of potential for hurt feelings and conflict.

    I hope you will be able to honor his leadership from this point on with his family! :). Praying for you!

    • Marie
      September 24, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Thank you for your prayers. I made a big mess. But I know God will use this for his glory somehow and I’m submitting myself to him and my husband.

  7. David J.
    September 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm #

    Greg’s response was right on. “A husband who feels respected probably will try to protect his wife – but she has to be willing to stay under his covering and protection. If she lashes out at his family members, insults them or disrespects them and creates a lot of hurt feelings, she will be on her own. Her husband can’t protect or defend her if she creates a lot of problems for herself. At that point, a husband will allow her to lie in the bed she made for herself.”

    My ex-wife always considered herself superior to my sisters and parents. She didn’t approve of their denomination, my father’s temperament, etc. at the outset of our marriage. Though I’m sure she didn’t mean for her disapproval to be noticeable, it was, and of course that affected how they related to her over the years. Some times were more awkward than others, but she never did lose the attitude. We only lived close by my family for a few years late in the marriage, and she did not handle it well. Her disapproval began to include my siblings’ parenting choices and their kids’ interactions with our kids. It became a point of contention between her and me; she was convinced the cousins were spoiled and that we needed to intervene; I was convinced that all we were seeing was normal human interaction where people sometimes rubbed each other the wrong way. It became a crisis when one of the teenage cousins was rude to our special needs daughter. Instead of handling it matter of factly (i.e., something like, “Cousin, I understand that you’re older than Sarah and this other opportunity that just came up is more attractive to you, but she has really been looking forward to spending time with you and her feelings are going to be hurt if you change your plans. If you really don’t want to stick with our original plans, can we at least set another time for you to spend with Sarah?”), my wife blew up at the cousin in the presence of an adult family friend. This of course led to a conflict of two mama bears (my wife and my sister). My father called a family meeting to try to get everyone to work it out. I defended my wife whenever there were any statements that were unfair or went beyond the facts, but I did not defend her on the things that she had in fact done wrong (though I did not tell my family that I agreed with them and did not criticize my wife in their presence). My wife purported to apologize and everyone left on better terms. After the meeting, however, my wife denied to me that she had done anything wrong and excoriated me for not protecting her. She could not accept that my obligation to protect her did not extend to defending bad behavior.

    After our divorce (which she initiated), more than one of my sisters commented that they could never figure out why my wife never thought I or my family was good enough for her.

  8. Marie
    September 24, 2013 at 2:20 pm #

    My husband told me to never be alone with any of his family. I wish I had listened to him. I was trying to have a relationship with people that didn’t love me. Not smart.

  9. conroydennis
    September 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Wives, please understand[ and I don't want to speak for all husbands, maybe some] when you’re disrespectful to your husband, and you’re the type of wife who have no problem fussing at him, even in front of other people, he’ll quickly turn a deaf ear, when you complain that someone is being disrespectful to you. You see, us men, we love to feel like a protector, a provider for our wives. But whenever a wife steps out of line of being feminine, and she’s acting like a man, by her verbal assaults, then sad to say, that wife is on her own[to protect herself]. Just sayin’

    • peacefulwife
      September 24, 2013 at 4:21 pm #

      Conroydennis,
      I think you explained that very well! Thank you.

      • Marie
        September 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

        I don’t want to grieve the holy spirit anymore. As time passes and I learn to control myself something else is happening. I’m understanding Gods design for marriage for the first time. I’m focusing on my relationship with GOD first. And I’m seeing my brokenness like never before. I feel the flesh at war with the spirit and Its painful but freeing when I choose the spirit. I have a choice. Peace. I choose peace.

        • peacefulwife
          September 24, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

          Marie,

          It is SO worth it! I know it is a huge battle to crucify self – the old sinful nature – but God’s peace is the most amazing blessing in the world! I am so thrilled for you and all that GOd is doing in you! :)

  10. peacefulwife
    September 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm #

    I was VERY disrespectful to my husband’s parents for a long time. :( I regret that now. When God showed me my sin against Greg, He also showed me how disrespectful I had been to my family and to Greg’s family. I went to the men and apologized for my disrespect to them. I apologized to my MIL and FIL for my disrespect. I apologized to my sister for being so controlling.

    Back then, I was so dead set on the idea that I was “right” about everything, and I was so inflexible and unable to fathom that there could be any viewpoint but my own – I was VERY stubborn, bullheaded and many times, rude. I was responsible for a lot of drama. :( I didn’t see how it was me causing the problem at the time. But now I can see it very clearly.

    I totally understand now why a husband wouldn’t even try to protect a wife who is disrespecting his family, not to mention disrespecting him.

    I was thinking this afternoon after I read Conroy Dennis’ comment about the cartoon, Peanuts – with Charlie Brown and Snoopy. Do you remember Lucy on that cartoon? She was very disrespectful to EVERYONE. She was bossy and a know-it-all. She was “always right.” Really, she was a bully.

    How is a man going to feel protective of someone who is attacking others or bullying them?

    When we come across as confrontational, demanding, full of contempt, “always right” and use our words to destroy people – everyone will back away from us. No one can come close enough to us to really love us. We repel them with our pride, anger and self-righteousness. We are prickly like a porcupine.

    I found out – it was a very lonely way to live.

    SO NOT WORTH IT!

    How much better to be feminine by God’s design, gentle, peaceful, vulnerable, strong in a godly way, full of His Spirit, full of joy, and a blessing to everyone around us -using our words to build others up and bring joy to others!

    • conroydennis
      September 25, 2013 at 10:04 am #

      Amen!! : )

  11. Kayla
    September 28, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    I would really like your advice on something. My on laws are very controlling. Some examples: they ‘re-arranged some things at our wedding the day before, they call our mechanic and give him instructions on your vehicles behind our back (he is my husband’s uncle), they pay for vehicle repairs behind our backs because they know we would not accept and they think we can’t afford them though they know nothing of our finances (debt free other than our mortgage). My husband told his dad that we need to be the ones to handle those decisions, but they recently did it again twice in one week. I let my husband handle it, but it has ended up with his mother telling his uncle to cover up problems on our car instead of fixing it since they are paying and his uncle laughing at me when I try to instruct him about our car because his dad had just given him instructions. (My husband was not present).

    His dad treats him as If he were incompetent and lectures him that I need to go back to work and we need to move back into town to a bigger house (we live in a 1300 square ft house and have no desire to live in town). My husband is so intimidated by his dad that he can’t even disagree with him during conversations about sports. It kills me to see my husband so disrespected even though I will admit I have gotten frustrated and told him he isn’t protecting his family and said other disrespectful things after the most recent issue.

    A week ago my father in law spanked our two year old while we were present. I saw it happen, our son told us it happened and there was a huge red hand print on his bottom that was made through a diaper. We do not spank, but are diligent about discipline and he is very well behaved, says please, thank you, excuse me and listens as well as a two year old can be expected to, but it isn’t good enough for my father in law. They have made comments that he is much better behaved when we are not around, but the fact is we have more behaviour issues when we are around them (i suspect due to confusion now).

    The “spanking” was out of anger because our son knocked over a dog food bowl and it was excessively hard, so I would say it crossed the line into abusive. His dad told us at the time that he just “got onto him” and when my husband called him and asked him about it later and told him about the hand print he said he just told him no. My mother in law has also lied in the past about things such as feeding our son processed foods and not offering the snack my husband gave her to feed him.

    My husband doesn’t think it is right to keep his dad away from our children, but I feel that his dad’ s feelings shouldn’t matter when it comes to protecting our children. I feel like I am stuck between following my husband’s lead and protecting our children from physical harm and unhealthy relationships. We are going to counseling in two days, but I would like your take on this situation.

    • peacefulwife
      September 28, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

      Kayla,

      It is wonderful to hear from you!

      This is a difficult situation. I’m going to ask you a few more questions, but I would like to continue some of this conversation in an email if that is ok with you. aprilc@sc.rr.com

      1. How old are each of you?
      2. How long have you been married?
      3. How close to you live to his parents?
      4. Does your husband have other brothers? If so, what is his parents’ relationship like with them?
      5. Are you, your husband and his parents all believers in Christ?
      6. Does your son have any food allergies/intolerances?
      7. How often do you and your son see your in-laws?
      8. Are there other grandchildren? How are they treated?
      9. What is his parents’ marriage like?

      Your husband NEEDS your support of him right now more than ever. He needs to know you have his back. You can say what you want respectfully. Please apologize for any disrespect (without justifying or explaining why you were disrespectful) and then tell him you support him and will cooperate with what he thinks is best.

      I definitely understand if you don’t want your son at their grandparents’ house anymore. However, it does not sound like your son is in actual serious danger. Your in-laws have been extremely disrespectful and have undermined your authority as parents. And they are WAY, WAY overstepping their bounds.

      But I believe it will ultimately be your husband who needs to make the decision and that he will need your support. If things get a lot worse, your husband will have to intervene, I am sure. But he REALLY needs your respect and support if he has any chance of being able to stand up to his dad. It is as he sees your faith in him and your trust in him that he will begin to be able to have the courage to protect you and your son.

      I have more to say – but will share it in an email if you are up for that. :)

      • Kayla
        September 28, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

        I sent you an email. Thank you!

  12. Rachel
    October 2, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    This is a very helpful and tangible list.

    I did poorly this past 2.5 years of our marriage. My husband has a truly wonderful family, but his younger sister is extremely opinionated and has a habit of being critical towards me any time we are together. I also was very sinful in my idealization of who she was and her life, and struggle with her what seems “perfect” life. I tried pretty hard the first year of our marriage to be friends with her and was pretty shocked and hurt when I realized she had no desire to be anything more than casual acquaintances. I had too high of an expectation of that relationship because of my own relationship with my sister, and since it was his only sibling I was excited to be friends with her. She isn’t always critical, but because of past hurts, it’s hard for me to believe she is genuinely being nice at any point.

    My husband has always felt like he has to defend his sister when I feel hurt by her and I now know I should never have been critical or negative. We do not live in the same state, so we rarely see her, but I know he feels like he has to “hide” his relationship with her to prevent any sort of sensitivity on my part. I would love for him to stand up for me, instead of letting her walk all over both of us, but I don’t want to ask for it. I guess I’ve been disrespectful of his family in ways I don’t even know. Now it is at the point that my feeling is he would support his sister through anything, but when it comes to me he is just maintaining the peace.

    Everything has been heightened the last few weeks as we just found out she’s pregnant and we’ve been trying for years.

    If anyone has advice on how to really keep emotions in check and not be so sensitive with my husband, I’d love it. I’ve been pursuing being more respectful and praying for my sister-in-law a lot to try and release my bitterness, but there are moments I feel I’ve made such a mess of my marriage and that relationship and now there is no recovery. (not of the actual marriage, just of the sister in law relationship and with my husband regarding that relationship)

    • peacefulwife
      October 2, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

      Rachel,

      It is great to hear from you!

      It is hard when you expect to have a close relationship and then don’t have what you expected with a sister-in-law or mother-in-law.

      I believe you can apologize to your husband for criticizing his sister and for disrespecting his family and then show him that you are not going to do that anymore.

      I am so sorry to hear about your struggle with infertility. That is an extremely painful situation on its own, but it can be much more painful when another person in the family gets pregnant. I wish I could hug your neck!

      I have some posts on bitterness and forgiveness if you are interested.

      And about discontentment and contentment that could be helpful.

      You can search those terms on my home page in the search bar.

      I bet your husband will be very forgiving if you apologize. Let me know how things are going! :)

  13. woolly sheep
    January 12, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    Lots of good truth here; I am familiar with the whole scenario, good and bad. However I am concerned with the situation where the FIL left a hand print on a toddler through a diaper. You would have to hit a little guy extremely hard to leave a visible red handprint through a diaper. An act like this is a deal breaker in my opinion. Under NO circumstances should a child EVER be left alone with them because of this, until such time at least that there is some evidence of real change, not to mention love. An act like that cannot and should not be minimized in the name of forgiveness or love. Christians often get guilted into tolerating the most unreasonable stuff because they are given, or have the idea that being Christ like means tolerating abuse. If that’s true then being Christ like means tolerating SIN, because that’s what abuse and control are. SINS.

    When an adult demonstrates this kind of disrespect and aggression towards others, they are unsafe.

    What a sad lesson for a child to learn: There is no justice in the world and no one is coming to help me when I am under attack. I cannot count on anyone, not even the adults who are supposed to love and protect me. This is precisely what children learn when they are repeatedly left in situations with people they should not be left with ,because of the word “family”. No one ‘s definition of family should include tolerating abuse.

    Being a Christian is not always about being nice and on good terms with everyone. Jesus made it clear that the gospel brings division as much as it can bring reconciliation. He said a man’s enemies could be those of his own household and that he came to set mother against daughter, etc. That’s because when you take a stand for what is right, and confront sin ( sin that will take those who are unsaved to a hell of lasting torment) those who have spent a lifetime making evil seem like its right are going to hate you for it. Its not always possible to get along with everyone, esp. those who have their hearts set on being in control, not on doing what is right and fair. Christians should be the ones who defend the defenseless. It is never right to hand a child over to someone who will hurt them, no matter how they are related to us.

    And frankly, we are only called to submit to our husbands as long as they are not asking us to sin. Martha Peace has some good instructions on what to do when you cannot submit to something your husband asks of you and how to answer in a firm but respectful way when you must refuse. Child abuse is against the law and it is sin. It is sin to fail to protect your child from a known aggressor. It is idolatry to put the feelings of a father ahead of what is right and healthy. I don’t care why the FIL thinks its right. It doesn’t matter. The FIL is hurting his grandchildren. If talking to him about his out of bounds behaviour isn’t being received, then allow him to visit when parents are present only, only if he respects instructions that he is never to hit the little guy like that again and that discipline is the parents job. But never leave him alone with a vulnerable child as long as he is this harsh. If he won’t respect the no hitting rule, then he doesn’t see his grandson. It seems to me that his actions are not merely a difference of opinion about discipline. They are a deliberate demonstration of disrespect towards her and her husband, in that he is refusing to recognize the husband’s authority over his own family and that his son is now an adult and an equal as a man, and he is also showing that he is willing to hurt the little guy to demonstrate the rightness and superiority of his position.

    I would suggest trying to get support from a pastor who doesn’t have his head stuck in the sand where dealing with abusive and controlling personalities is concerned. Lots of pastors glibly dispense Pollyanna advice because they don’t really want to get involved with a thorny situation like this. But there are men of God who are clued in about the reality of such things and can give biblical help and their help would be invaluable. Sorry for the length of this, feel free to edit. I had to write because I’ve had this experience myself and know for certain that if its not dealt with properly on all fronts it has to potential to totally collapse a marriage or result in submitting to evil. One of the biggest hindrances to getting real help I experienced, was how in denial many leaders were about how deliberate my in laws actions were and how much they almost worshipped the ideal of the Christian family. Its like ” Well, yes I believe in that IDEAL too, but what’s going on right now isn’t like that. ” These Christians who didn’t know my in laws at all, kept trying to make them sound like confused but sincere folks who meant well, when they clearly did not mean anything but wanting control and were willing to cause incredible chaos to maintain it. Sometimes that is the case, the in laws are blind and not meaning harm but there are ones where that’s not the case, and then the usual advice just perpetuates evil instead of putting a stop to it. My thoughts are with these folks.

    • peacefulwife
      January 12, 2014 at 7:55 am #

      Wooly Sheep,

      Thank you so much for sharing!!! :) This is very helpful.

  14. so broken hearted
    January 17, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    I am so in awe by reading these comments, I felt as if I was the only one dealing with these issues, I unknowingly did these possitive acts but was slowly overcome by their hate, drama, etc and slid from the possitive mindset. My husband was diagnosed with manic bipolar and had an addiction, it was more than what one person could bare, I went to his family for help and they turned it all on me and convienced him to stop taking his medications that it was me, after 2 yrs and total distruction and I threatened to walk out the door later he see’s maybe it could be him, the rumors the lies the loss of jobs has been overwhelming for me and what hurt most is when everyone had christmas and I had to set alone because no one wants me around and they think its a game, they don’t want him they just want to see me hurt, I am the only one who walks the Godly path and its very hard to set back and take the abuse, he refuses to defend me, he says everyone has a right to their feelings and this is their feelings towards me therefore I should accept it even tho he knows deep inside they have misjudged me. What do I do. I’m tired of being alone while they all enjoy them selves. I have no family accept 2 young adult daughters but they are busy with their own lives. I have no peace no rest and have lost my joy, I’ve tried turning over to the lord and my husband bjt its been 10yrs and no break thru, only I have broke.

    • peacefulwife
      January 17, 2014 at 8:31 am #

      so broken hearted,

      Goodness! If you are dealing with a husband with addictions and untreated bipolar disorder – that goes beyond “normal” issues.

      I am so sorry that things have been so difficult!

      You and your husband are still together? How is your marriage? Is he still actively addicted? Is he taking medications again?

      How is your relationship with Christ?

      Do you have a supportive church family?

      Any godly mentoring wife?

      Lets talk about this together, sweet sister!

  15. Barbara
    January 28, 2014 at 2:50 pm #

    This is nice. Very no ce. However. If your husband cannot defend you then, there should be a time seperated from eachother in order for him to think abour his priorities, shake up his family or something.. Dont you think?? Or you cn always send one of the in laws to the hospital.. We’re talking about people getting into your marriage, criticizing your spouse and then them sitting there and not doing anything about it. This is very serious… a bit more serious than what I feel you’re making it out to be. You have to make some type of statemebt.Big enough for people to say ” Wow… I better back off otherwise im going to hurt my son.” Don’t you think???/

    • peacefulwife
      January 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

      Barbara,

      If your son is in danger – please leave! Or call the police if things are actually seriously dangerous.

      If it is just a matter of people criticizing and being nosy – I see no justification for marital separation or violence.

      I don’t advocate using violence against anyone – I don’t believe that would fit in the teachings of Christ for us to send a family member to the hospital. If that person physically attacked someone, it may be inevitable to have a physical conflict – but – hopefully – that will not be the case!

      Often husbands don’t defend their wives or children when the husband feels extremely disrespected or if the wife was very disrespectful to his family.

      If there are serious issues in the marriage or with the in-laws to the point that people are resorting to violence, please seek godly, biblical, wise counsel immediately!

      Generally, in time, when a husband feels respected and the wife is showing honor to him and his family – he will eventually begin to stick up for his family.

      But it can take time for him to be able to do that – especially if he never stood up for himself against his family.

      What kinds of issues are you facing that you believe it is necessary to take such extreme action?

  16. sonia
    January 29, 2014 at 5:30 am #

    Hello Dear ,Love this blog your suggestions show ur wisdom. i want to share my fears with you and want some advise regarding this. I am a Muslim and my husband to be is really a blessing for me.its been 1.5 year we are together.He respects me takes really good care of me.but yesterday i met one of his elder sisters and she mistreated me in the first meeting she exactly said “he is giving u enough respect and not respect u more” i ignored on the spot and continued behaving nicely.but my husband did not say anything.when she was gone i said to him politely that he shud tell her to respect me but he started misbehaving with me and he told me that i shud ignore such things even if anything like this happens again and he cannt say anything to them. On the other hand i can see that all 4 of his sisters mistreat their another elder brothers wife also. so i m scared if he will not take any stand they will behave the same way wid me also.i have ignored this time since the marriage has to take place yet and he is already fighting his whole family to marry me.so plz advise how to make him realize that he should protect me.

    • peacefulwife
      January 29, 2014 at 7:02 am #

      Sonia,

      It is wonderful to meet you!

      Goodness.

      If he is fighting his whole family to marry you – and based on what he said – it seems that he does not believe he can defend you without completely angering his family.

      It seems to me from what you have described that it is very likely that this will happen again. :(

      If he believes he can protect you without destroying his relationship with his family, I would think he probably would.

      Do you know why the family is fighting against him marrying you?

      Are you able to accept that they may not ever accept you if you do marry this man?

      Are you able to be content if this is how his family treats you?

      Much love to you!!!!!
      April

  17. sonia
    January 29, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    yes it was because of the religious sect difference they were not willing for our marriage. Now the sisters have accepted, even after yesterday’s meeting his sis said to him that I’m a nice girl and she will help us to setup our marriage. but the mother in law is still not accepting and he says that she will not agree in the future.well i think she will also understand and settle down.
    off course i dnt want this kind of behavior from his family, i feel bad when she tried to humiliate me and above all when he shouted on me to tell me that i shud not complain him and shud not expect from him to tell her anything….so actually i m more effected by his reaction.
    I m hopeful tht after the wedding his burden wud b released and then he will take stand if someone will mistreat me as he takes stand for himself he can focus nd understand the situations better at that time…
    What is ur advise how shall i react when i will happen next time?
    Shall I ask my husband again to protect me ?if yes then how to approach him…??

    • MArie
      January 29, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      Sonia, Why do you care more about what his family says and does than what God says ? Id let him handle it his way and be respectful of him. Your respect will strengthen him. Focus on being a Godly woman. Take your focus and concern completely off his mom. Its not your business or concern what she says or does. aLet her work through her issues with you and ignore it. I went through this too and made too much of my husbands mom and sisters comments. I told them all off several times and family is now divided. Very sad. Wish I had respected how my husband wanted to deal with them but I caused conflict for him with them. Im so sad now about this,praying that God will heal us all as I respect my husband now and keep my big mouth shut and focus on whats important and what matters.

      • peacefulwife
        January 29, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

        Thanks for sharing your story, Marie – and for seeking to encourage Sonia in such a frustrating and difficult situation.

  18. sonia
    January 30, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    Thank you so much Marie and April certainly i will focus on being a Godly woman and learn to ignore this kind of humiliating comments from his family and keep loving and respecting him.

    • marie
      January 30, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Sonia. I told my husband of your struggles and how i shared our experience with you. Again apologizing to him that i didnt let him handle his family. He hugged me and said well life doesnt come come with instructions. He stopped and corrected himself and said actually it does. Its all in the bible. I agreed. Sonia i am praying for you that God protects your heart and mind as you focus on his love for you. Guard your heart.

      • peacefulwife
        January 30, 2014 at 10:21 am #

        Marie,

        Aww! That is so sweet! I love how forgiving he was and then how he realized that there are instructions for us in the Bible.

        Thanks for encouraging Sonia! :)

  19. sonia
    February 3, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    Your story guided me well Marie.thnx. Focus on the God and believing in his divine powers strengthen me. and my husband said to me that he is guilty about his harsh behavior. and loved me. i pray God shows him right direction to lead our lives and patience to me; as April advised.

  20. Iliah Grant
    February 10, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

    i am a Christian woman, yet i find posts like this really difficult; a woman is not responsible for the behavior of he husband not protecting her. when a man IS protecting his wife and children, she easily admires and respects him–it’s a two way street. both a husband and wife should sets boundaries on how they will allow someone to treat their children; a wife should never allow someone to disrespect her husband, and a husband, if he is loving his wife as the bible commands: as Christ loved the church, we NEVER let anyone disrespect his wife because it would hurt him because they are one flesh. a woman cannot be blamed for not “admiring” her husband enough as his reason for not defending her and their children. Christian women get a lot of pressure on them to be “quite” and “gentle” and “submissive”; all beautiful things when given to a husband for who loving and doing his job as well. a husband actions can cause a women to not admire him, as much as her action effect him. it’s a two way street. i have seen soo many women blamed for their husbands actions, and i’m sorry, though i know your intentions are well, post like these continue to feed these accusations. i know you are trying to give Godly advice based on your understand, but maybe before posting things like this, consult with a real Christian counselor about how to give advice on how to deal with one’s husband’s inability to protect his family; you may then find out that there are many psychological reasons that men do not protect their wives. many have formed unhealthy emotional bonds with mothers or sisters and cannot let go or them (VERY UNBIBLICAL); others may have families that control via manipulation and one’s husband can be leading under a spirit of being manipulated by his family. those are issues the individual husband has to work on, a wife admiring him even though he’s leading is family based on his dysfunctions is not going to make him “rise up” and protect her. in Christianity as a whole, we really need to wake-up and get our heads out of these dream-like clouds and really get into reality. some of the advise is wise and can help from creating many fights and tensions, yet most of it will only make a woman feel as if she’s not “doing enough” to make her husband protect her. it is easy to oversimplify difficult issues by drenching them in Christian talk. it’s not a woman’s fault is she cannot take her husband’s family verbally and emotionally abusing her, and it only adds insult to injury when one’s husband will not do his duty and protect her–he is not walking in biblical truth. a husband SHOULD NOT be the only one making boundaries for a couple’s children; both parents are called by God to come together and seek His face for their children–that’s parenting. the bible says that an angel came to mary and told her who Jesus was and what He would do, and it says the she hid these things in her heart. mary was giving Jesus toward His destiny along with God the Father and Joseph is earthly father. let’s be real. i guess i have seen too many dear friends be subjected to un-nessceary stress, depression, abuse and guilt to to people telling them how a “proper” Christian woman ought to behave. God bless you in your mission; i am sure that you are encouraging women to love their husbands, but you should not over simplify situations you may not be qualified to comment on…i am not meaning to sound harsh and i am saying this in all respect; again some of this advice is very dangerous to a woman who is doing her best to honor God and her husband, but listening to other people tell her that she’s not being submissive enough and “honoring” her husband. it’s a lot of pressure. God bless you!

    • peacefulwife
      February 10, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

      Iliah Grant,
      Thank you for your comments! :)

      If someone is having severe dysfunction or severe emotional/psychological issues with her husband or in-laws – She definitely needs to see a Christian counselor. I am not addressing severe situations here.

      I also do not tell husbands what to do on my blog – I only address wives. There are MANY, MANY things godly husbands should indeed be doing. You are absolutely right. Yes, a husband and wife will both be accountable to God for their decisions.

      The most critical thing I believe every woman needs is to be sensitive to God’s Spirit. I give suggestions and ideas to women who often have zero godly wives in their lives. I am not infallible. I do not know best in every situation. I humbly admit that. Absolutely.

      If a woman is stressed by what I say, or things are very difficult, I would encourage her to find godly, biblical, experienced counsel ASAP. :)

      Thank you for your concerns. :)

      • TryingtoSubmit
        February 12, 2014 at 12:19 am #

        Hi April,
        I saw your blog and really admire you for committing your life to be a peaceful wife and start a ministry to help other women do the same. It is such a common thing in our culture these days for women to reject the “submissive” role in a God-honoring way and replace it with control over their husband, not even realizing what they are doing.
        I would like to know your opinion on my situation, if you have the time. My husband and I are Christians, but my father is not. My mom is a Christian. My parents are still married. When I married my husband, he got along well with my family. It was one of the reasons I wanted to marry him. My husband would spend time at my family’s house and talk to them and my dad even said my future husband was “the best thing that ever happened to me.” As we were making wedding plans, and after we got married, my father began to show a desire to maintain control over me by asking us to change our wedding dates & location so his friends could attend. I would push for my dad & my husband to spend time together and kept finding out the hard way that neither of them really wanted to. Then my dad would interject his opinion on our buying a car, how we do our taxes, etc., and I had not yet learned to “leave and cleave” so then I would go and disagree with my husband because of what my father said. Not good; I know that now.
        My husband took a stand to protect our marriage by leading us to take a “break” from my family for a couple months. I reluctantly went with him and sat down with my parents and explained the best we could why we were taking this break. They could not understand it then and they still cannot understand it and hold it against my husband. Eventually I broke down from the separation and begged my husband to go talk to my dad and work it out. Instead of my dad seeing his attempt to reconcile for my sake, my dad took the opportunity to tell my husband how he disapproved of his Christian leadership in our home including how we pray over financial decisions, tithe our money, etc. My dad forced my husband to apologize before he could go in his house, and today claims that my husband never did actually apologize. My husband reluctantly continued to spend time at my parents house until over the next holiday season my brothers were outright disrespectful during the dinner prayer and made crude jokes about our marriage being illegitimate and our son a bastard because my husband had not beaten the family board game. Since then my husband has decided not to see my family at all. I have gone to see my family by myself.
        I struggle with thinking my husband should be a “super Christian” and should want to continue to witness to my father. I also struggle that my husband does not want my parents to babysit our son (5 yrs) because there was a time my mom fell asleep while watching him and they have a pool that is not gated, and another time our son was swimming with my mom and he fell in the water while she was holding my camera (at my request to take his picture). And he is concerned that the crude jokes and who knows what else might happen when we are not around.
        When I write this all down I realize my husband is doing his job to protect me. I can usually be successful as a peaceful wife, except when it comes to my family I just want to yell and scream at him because I do want that ideal Christian family.
        Tonight my husband said he is putting his foot down and does not want my parents to babysit our son. He said well are you just going to let them do it anyway. I said no but it makes me angry. I just want my husband to work towards reconciliation with my family and this feels like it is perpetuating the problem. My dad is still waiting for an apology from my husband before he will speak to my husband again. My husband has made two invitations to take my parents out to dinner, and buy them lift tickets to go skiing if they would come to visit us since we moved out of state. But he refuses to apologize, and I keep going back and forth thinking he shouldn’t have to because he did what he did to protect our marriage and then thinking he should because it is so simple and it would help fix things with my dad. My mom has come for a short visit but things are still so awkward with my dad. I was closer to my dad as a child, but now I am closer to my mom.
        Any insight would be appreciated. I do have a godly Christian woman I have spoken to about this, and she would encourage me to respect my husband and be glad he is taking a stand for our marriage. I guess I am asking for help processing these feelings of wanting to take control instead of trusting my husbands leadership.

        Thanks,
        Tryingtosubmit

        • peacefulwife
          February 12, 2014 at 9:19 am #

          Tryingtosubmit,

          It is great to meet you!

          This is a difficult situation. I know you want to have a close relationship with your parents AND your husband.

          What your dad has done, from your description, was EXTREMELY, EXTREMELY disrespectful to your husband. :(

          Your husband is trying to protect you and your son and marriage covenant. From what you have described, I can’t see what your husband did that he needs to apologize for.

          It seems to me that your dad believes he is still the authority in your life. But according to God’s Word, he is not. Your husband is. Your dad is encouraging you to disrespect and disobey God’s Word and to disrespect and dishonor your husband. You have a covenant with your husband, not your dad.

          Your husband is being the man God has called him to be – from what I can see. Your dad owes your husband the apology – but your dad is spiritually dead. So until God opens his eyes, he will not understand.

          PLEASE, thank your husband for his godly leadership. I vote to tell him you are sad and hurt about the situation, but that you will honor and cooperate with him and trust God to work things out for your ultimate good and your parents’ ultimate good. How do you know that God might not be leading your husband to do this? Maybe it will even bring your dad to Christ? I don’t know.

          Check out the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect, respect and biblical submission. And be sure to read “Submitting Under Protest” also!

          I’m here if you want to talk!

          Praying for wisdom for all of you – and for God to bring your dad to salvation.

          If you want me to email you a story from a wife who cooperated with her husband about setting similar boundaries on his family, and how things worked out, please let me know.
          Much love!
          April

          • TryingtoSubmit
            February 13, 2014 at 11:49 pm #

            Thank you April…I need to hear those things. Even before you wrote me back I did thank my husband for being a good leader…after I read the blog and realized how blessed I am. Thank you too for the prayers for wisdom and for my dad’s salvation…that is where I need to focus. Yes, I would definitely be interested in the similar story by email!

          • TryingtoSubmit
            March 26, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

            April,
            I would like to hear about the story where the husband confronted his family and how it turned out, if you didn’t already post it.

            Also, I confronted my own father recently about respecting how my husband leads my family. He claimed to not know what I was talking about and again blamed my husband for not yet apologizing for taking space from them. My visit with them reminded me that my husband was right not to let them babysit and that I should be there if our son is there…my brother held our son by the ankles over the pool as “horseplay” and it traumatized him…my brother did apologize and didn’t realize it would scare him so badly because he doesn’t have kids. My son graciously told him it’s okay and we both explained that he was not really going to throw him in the water. My other brother proceeded to instruct my son that he should make sure the brother who held him over the pool felt okay, so he didn’t feel bad for making him cry. Good grief! The child is 5!

            Anyhow, I said my peace and suggested my father forgive my husband for his perceived wrongdoing, because God forgave him. My dad said not to shove God down his throat and it is wrong to talk about God with him. That was hard to hear but alright that’s his choice. Truly I am generally a softspoken non-assertive person so I can accept my dad was speaking from a worldly perspective and is outright rejecting God and His ways, not me per se.

            I’m glad that I stood up for my own family. It may not change anything with my dad, but it will keep our family stronger. It also let my dad know where I stand, and that I will not accept him speaking poorly about my husband. I did try stay humble & graceful, but I did speak confidently and with truth. I cried for a long time after. And had to explain to my son that his Grandpa does not love God, but we need to love him anyway and keep praying for him. This morning my son was singing praise songs and asked why his Grandpa doesn’t love God. I explained that we all have that choice to make. My son said he chooses to love God.

            Thank you for caring, and for having a venue to help people on this subject!

            • peacefulwife
              March 27, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

              TryingtoSubmit,

              Ok – I will need to email it to you if that is ok. It’s part of the new book I am working on. :)
              When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

              3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

              4“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’a 5and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’b ? 6So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

              ——

              Parents do not have the right to try to break up their grown children’s marriages or to come between a husband and wife in God’s design. That is a hard thing for a lot of parents to accept.

              I have a feeling that you may need to follow I Peter 3:1-6 with your dad, too. Sometimes more words about spiritual things makes things worse with men. But you can show him honor and respect and not talk about God, praying for him, and asking God to help you SHOW him the love of Christ and praying for God to open his eyes.

              I will pray that with you!

              Yes, he is rejecting God, not you. That is true.

              I am also glad that you stood up for your marriage and husband. That is a very painful situation! I’m so proud of your son! I know your husband and marriage will benefit so much from your willingness to obey God even when it is hard.

              Much love to you!

              • TryingtoSubmit
                April 14, 2014 at 12:32 am #

                Marie,
                Thank you for your feedback and insight. I have been keeping up with other posts and it is helpful to know I am not the only one struggling with my family. Yes, I have resolved not to speak of God around my dad, out of respect to his request.
                I realized today that in order to “move forward” without letting this whole situation keep me down I have to accept and not deny that my father really does not respect my husband. And that is a legitimate reason to be bothered, but it honors God to put my husband first and stand up for him. Even if my dad denies it, it is true. It is hard to say that about my family, but unfortunately that is what the situation has been for 8 years since we were married. I just didn’t want to see it because I didn’t want to accept it. I even told my dad that I honored him by marrying someone he approved of. He immediately shot back, “Well, that was before I got to know him.” Whatever. My dad is not a Christian so he cannot see the good in my husband that others see. I am asking my father to speak well of my husband, especially around our son, just as I ask my husband to speak well of my dad.
                The other thing I realized I need to do is take the Bible more seriously, and not let doubt creep in like God’s instructions are simply a cop out to excuse my poor choices, which are not really poor choices but Satan trying to keep me feeling guilty for standing up to my dad…like in 1 Peter Chapter 4 I have a hard time accepting at face value the trials of persecution I will suffer for being a Christian and to not be surprised by it, because I have this imaginary idea that if you are really a good enough Christian that you can be at peace with people at all times…but in fact if you really are obedient to God there are some people who will strongly resist. It could be worse; I am not being beaten or killed for my faith and marrying the husband I did. And Jesus himself said that his truth would put fathers against sons and mothers against daughters…and for me fathers against son-in-laws. But still, I will show love to my dad because God loves me. My dad is in God’s hands, and God has to soften his heart, and my dad has to let his heart be softened. I am asking God to make me a model of His grace & love, and that somehow through this situation God would use it to change my dad’s heart towards him. I pray to be steadfast in this state of mind, because my thoughts tend to go back and forth at times and I found myself again today wanting to blame my husband for not doing something to fix it. We talked it through and it was okay, but man, I just want to have the freedom & peace in my mind God keeps offering me instead of letting my fleshly mind get all confused and want to be in control.
                Really, truly, I thank you for making this blog available and for listening. I have talked about it with a few people for wise counsel, but the people who post here have experienced more closely what I am going through.

    • MArie
      February 10, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

      hmmm family dynamics are very difficult. My husband didn’t protect me from his families comments and disrespect because his , nature is no conflict. I have since learned to stay away from them and use passive resistance. Avoid them, don’t speak with them,dont go for holidays. They know why He told them.. You cant change people and my husband cannot change their ungodly dysfunctional ways of relateing even if he did go for counseling. I woudnt put that expectation on him. That’s not fair. He is not responsible for making people respect me. He would however protect me from harm physically. But that disrespect of his family is THEIR emotional responsibility not my husbands. Neither he or I can make someone love and respect me. I just had to accept they don’t or cant and we stay away from them. So my husbands protecting me by not forcing me to go to holidays there. He stopped going too. He told me many times stay away from them and I wanted him to stick up for me. He said it would be no use, he did try, but they are not approving of me.So I honor my husband now and stay away. If I go and feel hurt by them its my fault for not obeying my husbands suggestion to stay away. He cannot fight the whole world . Many people have disrespected me through life. He gives me emotional support to make good decisions about who I spend time with and I listen to him now because he has my best interest in his heart. I would never insult him by suggesting he go for counseling. This issue is not his problem. He said you cannot change people its a waste of time and energy. He is correct and I value and appreciate his protection and concern for me. I just needed to learn to listen and do what he told me.

      • girlwithadragonflytattoo
        July 26, 2014 at 7:37 pm #

        Your situation is a lot like mine… my husband had always felt disrespect from his family… so he never confronted the situations. After 5 years of being married to him, having a baby boy, and things getting much worse after introducing children and parenting to the in-law problem, I finally took it into my own hands (extremely bad idea). Even at the end when my husband was really starting to see and feel the disrespect (maybe it was worse since our little child was also there), he finally really tried to stand up to them, and it just backfired horribly. He lost his family, and came to the conclusion that there was no way (at this point) to have a real relationship with people who don’t care about what you think/feel. Now 2 years later, we’re coming up on our 7 year anniversary and extremely happy, and pregnant with another boy – but still nothing from his family except weird, insincere facebook interaction – no actual relationship repairing or even communicating verbally – whether written or talking… nothing. Hope you’ve come to a point where you’re ok with things, and doing your best to live your life with your family God’s given you!

        • peacefulwife
          July 27, 2014 at 8:06 am #

          Girlwithadragonflytattoo,

          Thank you for sharing!! I actually don’t agree that your husband standing up to his parents backfired. They chose to react in an unhealthy way when he asset healthy limits. That was their choice. But what he did was a good thing. Thank him for his godly leadership and for protecting you and your family! I think that there are times when it can be necessary to not have contact with people who refuse to repent for mistreating us. I pray god might work in your husband’s family’s hearts. But I thank God for your husband’s willingness to stand up to them and to say the disrespect was not ok. I am so proud of him! It may be that his family realizes what they have done and ask for forgiveness. But it sounds like it could be good not to have so much toxic influence in your marriage and family. I pray for reconciliation by God’s power and for a healthy family dynamic to be born.

          • girlwithadragonflytattoo
            July 27, 2014 at 9:18 am #

            Thank you, I think you’re right – it is just so sad sometimes. But you’re right that it is wonderful that he stood up to the disrespect. I will thank him again!

  21. Pinky
    February 23, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    You and conroydennis has said that if I raised my voice at my husband he will not defend me from his mother. But what happens when his mother says hurt and disrespectful things about our kids and myself and my husband doesn’t defend them? And if he’s not defending me and our kids I am supposed to sit there while she raises her voice and says what she want because she knows her son will not say a word? My husband did nothing. And then acts like everything is normal with them but then he’s fighting with me.

    • peacefulwife
      February 23, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Pinky,

      I trust that as you draw close to God and ask Him to show you how to honor Him, He will give you wisdom in each situation.

      For me, I personally first apologized to my husband, my in laws and everyone in my extended family I had disrespected – which was everyone. Then, I took a few big steps back emotionally from everyone for a LONG TIME while I studied and repented and prayed and asked God to change me.

      Check out my post today for God ‘s commands to us as believers about how to respond when we are sinned against.

      In time, as I stepped down and allowed my husband to handle questions from his parents and allowed him to take over the primary communication, things improved dramatically.

      If she is screaming at you, you may need to calmly ask her to please stop. But,a great first step I have seen many wives take is to apologize for their own sin to their in laws. And then determine from that point on to treat their husbands and in laws with respect. This is a long process. There are years of built up bitterness and resentment. But you can get rid of hatred, bitterness, resentment and contempt in your own heart and seek to become the woman God desires you to be.

      In time, your husband will likely begin to stand up for you as he sees that you honor him as a leader and that you have faith in him and that you are not sinning against his family. By “time”, I am talking, probably many months or years.

      Praying for God’s wisdom and power for you!

      Much love,
      April

    • conroydennis
      February 25, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

      Pinky, I’m deeply, deeply sorry, as a man, that your husband allow someone to mistreat you. Unfortunately, like I’ve stated before, raising your voice at him doesn’t do any good, it will only keep your husband from seeing how he should really treat you[and that's with love and respect..and never ever allow anyone to disrespect you]
      Pinky, if I were you, and until your husband can see that his mom is hurting you, then I’d try my best, to not being around her at all cost. You have to understand, if your husband isn’t protecting you, then you must protect yourself, as well as your children.
      Pray for your husband. Pray that God will open up his eyes, and show him how he’s hurt you.
      I’m praying for. God bless

      • Marie
        February 25, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

        Pinky , I agree that protecting yourself is what you need to do. Although your husband knows you feel hurt he cant be the one to decide for you what and how much you will tolerate. I was in the same predicament years ago and finally had to decide to stop visiting in-laws entirely because they treated me badly. My husband grew up with that dysfunction so he couldn’t see it clearly plus he had copeing mechanisms hes been practicing since childhood such as laughing it off, ignoreing comments, pretending it wasn’t a big deal, diminishing the effect it actually had on him ect.. as a way to not be totally crushed and depressed being in that household as a child. Its not that he wouldn’t defend me, he couldn’t. Once I decided to stay away from them and work through my feelings of rejection and learn to see them as dysfunctional people who don’t know what their doing, my husband began to open up about this to me. His copeing strategies. Seeing me not tolerate it and staying away helped him . He was very angry with them foir a couple years but has been healing too. Now we don’t care what anyone says or does. We care what God says about us and anyone who doesn’t agree or treats us badly we don’t get hurt or mad at them or about it we just don’t go around them. Why be around people who verbally or emotionally beat you down. Its very very sad to not be able to have a relationship with his family. He said they will never change as they don’t care to hear about love and respect or God so he doesn’t talk to them unless he runs into them at a store or something. Pray for his family. Seek God for your healing and wholeness and don’t expect your husband to be able to change them. Speaking up to people like that often leads to conflict and they don’t change but get much worse as is what happened in our case. Let your husband decide best way to handle his family and you take care of yourself and stay out of it and away from them. Good Luck. Been through it so sorry if Im preaching or being a know it all.

  22. Tara
    March 5, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    I would love to hear both of your thoughts on this one, as I’m getting mixed advice from trusted Christian counsel.

    My husband and I are separated and working towards reconciliation. He gave up on his faith and is slowly working his way back, mainly due to our separation.

    We have major issues with his family of origin. His ex girlfriend is very involved with his family, attending every function, and is his aunt and sister’s best friend. She has told me flat out she and my husband share a special bond that will never go away. His family adores her.

    His sister is very confrontational with me and has flipped out on me several times as well as once with my daughter. Name calling and nasty judgements seem to be her thing, and if my husband stands up to her, the tantrums become nuclear bombs. She’s stolen silk flowers I’ve left on their grandma’s (whom I was close to) grave 3 times, once ripping the heads off and taking the stems. Though we’ve found proof it was her she continues to lie to my husband about it. His brother’s wife is a good friend of mine, but if she and I have a spat, his brother calls my husband and my husband sides with them, causing major turmoil in our marriage.

    The females in the family, including the ex, huddle together talking quietly amongst themselves when I’m around and ignore me. There’s more, but I feel this is enough background info to give you an idea of what’s going on.

    I do not want to attend these get togethers any longer. The last one ended with me in tears. If this were any other group I would have walked away years ago. My husband has a very difficult time with conflict and confrontation and will not stand up for me. He says the next time there’s a get together we’ll say our hello’s and just keep to ourselves, sit at our own table, etc.

    I have biblical justification in getting a divorce because my husband leaves me on a regular basis and has walked away from The Lord. We have been married 3&1/2 years and separated 7 months this time. This is our third separation.

    I’ve been given the following advice:

    1st person: continue to go to these events to show that you and husband are a unit and you are not going anywhere.

    2nd person: do not continue going to these events until your husband has accepted Christ and has demonstrated the ability to stand up to his family.

    What are your thoughts?

  23. Tara
    March 10, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Hi, ok here’s the answers:

    My walk with Christ is very strong. I am actively reading, studying, and involved in a few different aspects of ministry. I desire to follow God’s will no matter what.

    My husband sits on the fence on a lot of issues, including our marriage and Christianity. He seems to be led by his feelings. There have not been any affairs, and quite honestly the only real issues I have with our marriage is his backing away and leaving, the extended family, and his walk with Christ. I know he loves me very much, and he’s been coming to Lifegroup and church with me on a regular basis, even though we’re still separated. I feel that I’d he has God in him these other issues would go away. Submission can be very difficult, but I do it.

    I’m going to see how he handles the next get together. His family of origin has put him in a position where he has to choose, and that is very sad. I would rather have peace, and have tried to create that, but it’s pretty obvious they don’t want me around. I don’t want to continue to place myself in these awkward and painful situations, and yet I want to support my husband, even after everything that’s happened. I’m just not sure whether or not to continue going to these events. It seems to me they want him back with the ex, though he’s not interested in the least, even if we weren’t together.

    We very much enjoy our own family and are slowly making friends as a couple within the church. These are very positive things that I pray God will continue to grow. I just am not sure how to handle being around his foo, as the last time I was told the “huddle” was discussing me as I was sitting right next to them being completely ignored, and that was without his sister present. When she’s there things are much harder.

    I know it’s important to respect his decisions, and maybe the answer is to continue attending and allowing him to see me in tears each time. I just don’t want to go through that.

    • peacefulwife
      March 10, 2014 at 12:09 pm #

      Tara,
      I am glad that you are seeking God above all else! There is no better place to be in the world!

      I’m also so glad that you are committed to honoring your husband’s leadership and respecting him even though things are difficult right now – I trust God to give you wisdom about how to do this through His power – it will certainly have to be Him giving you the strength – none of us can do this on our own!

      It is very sad that any family would try to make their child choose between them and their spouse. What they are doing just sounds so wrong – but – I’m thankful for your willingness to seek to honor God even in this difficult situation – and I do believe that God can bring great good from it in ways we can’t begin to fathom.

      I’m glad you want to support your husband. I think it is great to talk with him about what he thinks is the best way to handle this and then maybe thank him for his leadership and for doing what he believes is best for you and your family.

      As he continues to feel more and more respected and honored – I believe he will care a lot more about your feelings. It is possible that seeing you in tears each time may eventually help him make a tough decision.

      Of course things would be better if he has God in the right place in his heart. And as you continue to trust God, pray and walk in obedience in His power, I am sure that will make it easier for your husband to hear God’s voice. We will pray that God’s Spirit will work in him for His will and His glory.

      Much love to you! :) Please let me know how things go!

      • Tara
        July 26, 2014 at 9:14 am #

        It’s me again. My husband and I were doing well until until his sister came back to visit. He is now living with her and hardly speaking to me. It’s been two months this time. Every time she visits he walks away from me and this time she’s planning on moving here.

        My husband and I had worked out a compromise concerning his family, and I went with him to the get together, but he spent about 10 minutes with me the entire night. His family moved away from the table where we joined them and I was left sitting there alone, with someone coming over to visit with me for a few minutes every so often.

        We had an argument about him not holding up his end of the compromise and that was the last I heard from him. He has not wanted to discuss any of the issues or attend marriage counseling. If I cry because I’m hurt by things his family says to me he is not supportive and says he doesn’t see why I take their opinions of me personally and doesn’t think anything they say to me is wrong.

        I’m at my wits end. I’m trying to follow God’s will in this but my desire to file for divorce is very high. I’m just not sure what to do anymore and am feeling defeated against his sister. She has told me on a number of occasions she is jealous of me and feels I took her brother away from her. I’ve tried with this woman but it doesn’t make a difference.

        Suggestions?

        • peacefulwife
          July 26, 2014 at 12:50 pm #

          Tara,

          What your sister in law is doing is so destructive to your marriage from what you are describing. UGH! Is SHE willing to go to Christian counseling with you?

          This pain in your marriage is the pain that happens when one spouse doesn’t obey God’s command to LEAVE our parents and families, forsake all others, and CLEAVE to our spouse. God gave these commands because when a spouse maintains stronger ties with his family or with someone other than the other spouse, it tears marriages apart. Unity is severed. Intimacy is sacrificed. The marriage is deeply hurt, as well as the other spouse.

          I would love for you to seek a godly mentoring wife or possibly a trusted Christian counselor who upholds Scripture about the sanctity of the marriage covenant. And, I suggest that you stay as close to Jesus as you can, and we will pray together for Him to work in your husband’s heart to open his eyes to God’s design for marriage and to bring restoration and reconciliation and healthy boundaries to the marriage.

          I don’t think he will draw near to you if you choose to respond to him in a sinful, disrespectful, confrontational, loud, emotional, argumentative, needy, demanding, angry way. If you approach him in those ways, you will most likely just repel him. I do think that as you seek to become the woman and wife God desires you to be, and as you give God room to work in your husband’s heart and as you follow Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6, Colossians 3:18, I Corinthians 13:4-8, Philippians 4:4-8, Philippians 4:12-13 and seek to love Jesus way above all else and submit fully to Him, that He will dramatically change you. And I believe He can bring healing to this marriage, as well.

          My prayer is for you to focus on finding all of your comfort, peace, joy, identity, security, trust, hope, faith, acceptance, power, purpose and fulfillment in Christ alone. I vote to drop expectations of your husband and lay them at the feet of Jesus and just seek Him with all your heart as you wait on Him. He is able to work in your husband’s heart. Please don’t do anything rash like file for divorce. I pray you might wait and give God time to work.

          I wish your husband might be willing to listen to some of David Platt’s sermons about marriage. There is a series called Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. And one called Marriage, Family, SEx and the Gospel that are REALLY good. You may want to listen to them yourself. They are at http://www.radical.net or on Youtube.

          Does he have any godly men in his life who might be able to speak to him?

          What is your husband’s relationship with Christ?

          How is your relationship with Christ?

          Sending you a huge hug!

  24. i still have a choice
    March 14, 2014 at 1:46 am #

    i have a bit of a different situation as i’m not married yet…

    My fiance family have a openly evident us vs them mentality in the family… Us being the siblings and parents vs the rest of the world including the siblings partners & I.

    Just recently he revealed to me that he has a family secret/agreement that he cant tell me… but he & his siblings have an obligation/responsibility to do certain things in the future relating to this, which may include having to work extra jobs to gather money for additional financial commitments with his family (meaning that he will be away from me and our future family, God willing) and also requiring to go overseas for an unconfirmed amount of time (1-3 months is highly likely) and an unconfirmed number of times (His father has done this 9 time – so its highly likely that this will be the case for him).

    My fiance has admitted that the partners of the other sibling know nothing about this obligations and that his sibling have secret bank accounts from their husbands and know nothing of this… their parents encourage this behavior as the mail for this goes to their parents house away from their partners eyes. The only reason he has come clean with this information in our relationship is because i made it clear that anything hidden in our relationship would be grounds for divorce on my part…

    I have been reading this post and tried to apply it to me… we are both Christians and will be very committed to each other… i don’t say love because although i love him with my whole heart, he doesn’t believe in love… i also don’t believe that he would protect me from his family, as in the past he hasn’t when his sister spoke very harshly to me (basically she was talking badly about another family and i was trying to make a point that you don’t know what the situation was in that family so you cant judge… she didn’t agree with me and nor did he so they both ended up turning on me and speaking quite harshly)

    I might add that i haven’t asked him to tell me what is the secret in the family… i’m purely asking for the truth relating to his obligations so that i know how this is going to affect our family in the future. I’ve made it very clear to him that i don’t want him leaving me to go away and he believe that i should “harden up”…

    on previous occasions i know he has lied to me, so that he can be with his family or to do other things with friends, but i haven’t made an issue of it to keep the peace and try to make him feel comfortable telling me the truth in the future.

    what do i do… i dont want to leave him… im totally confused

    • peacefulwife
      March 14, 2014 at 6:09 am #

      I Still Have a Choice,

      It is great to meet you!

      What is your fiance’s relationship with Christ exactly?

      What is yours?

      This seems so strange to me.

      Are you receiving godly, purposeful, biblical premarital counseling? This needs to be discussed, in my view.

      What do you mean that he doesn’t believe in love?

      What is his parents’ marriage like?

      Is there any question in your mind about the legality of whatever activity is going on?

      Once married, marriage is a covenant that, according to God’s Word, is to be the highest priority of all human relationships. That is why a man is to leave his father and mother, forsaking all others, and cleave to his wife and the two will become one flesh. that is God’s design. Many of the most difficult issues in marriage happen when one spouse will not leave his parents or others or will not cleave to the spouse.

      I don’t believe it is right for a family to ask their children to put them above their spouses or to have secrets from their spouses. It seems like a recipe for turmoil to me.

  25. Jim
    March 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

    My wife and I visit my mother, who is well advanced in years and lives about 12 hours away, about once a year. She lives in her own house with one of my brothers. I have a sister who lives nearby who visits for extended weekends each week and helps Mom with things around the house. However my sister can be very critical of Mom and my brother for many things, including her spoiling my brother – she spoils all of us quite frankly, but by living in the same house he gets it without interruption! … both of my sisters feel Mom spoils us sons more than the daughters – which may well be true. In any case, my sister visits and helps Mom, but often (accompanied by alcohol) can get very confrontative and verbally aggressive to Mom and my brother.

    These episodes are exceptions – but with increasing frequency as the years have gone by. Generally my family does care about one another deeply and genuinely, but we do have our differences.

    A few years back when my wife and I were visiting there was some confrontation between Mom and my sister and my wife stepped in to defend Mom. This escalated quickly and I got involved defending my wife. The evening ended and, as is often the case with this sort of thing, it was just left to evaporate in the days that followed. Mom was somewhat pleased that I had seen this AND gotten riled up – she had believed that I did not acknowledge her issues w/ my sister’s aggressive flair ups – probably because I tend to take a non-committal “safe” position with all extended family conflicts.

    However, my wife fears my family now views her as a “pot stirrer” and is sad about that – and is inclined to guard her words and actions in future visits. I have assured her that my family loves her and welcomes her – BUT I have begun to wonder if there are boundaries where a spouse should not cross, regardless of justification, such as intervening between a mother and daughter. My wife ONLY meant to defend Mom’s wishes and Mom seemed to appreciate that, but I am thinking spouses maybe cannot act as if they were a blood born daughter (or son) …
    It was a search on “blood thicker than water” and then “wife stood up to my sister” that turned up this discussion thread.

    So (please excuse my long-windedness) you needed to hear some background on the family, especially Mom-daughter dynamic, as context before the confrontation between my wife and sister would make any sense.

    (a) Should my wife stand down in future confrontations between Mom and my sister?

    (b) Should I, instead, intervene on Mom’s behalf?

    (c) Can a spouse ever be FULLY accepted by all of my siblings as an equal “sister” in the family or are there always areas that are off the table? (Parent-child confrontations, anything financial, end-of-life decisions, etc.)

    There are other areas I wonder about in this regard, such as whether they really deeply know my wife and how kind she is and that when she is “strong” is it usually to protect the underdog. And, as with any family, there are corporate beliefs about historical events regarding my wife and kids that are just simply in error. But answers to those three questions on this particular issue would be a great start.

    Thank you in advance!
    — “Jim”

    • peacefulwife
      March 24, 2014 at 8:11 am #

      Jim,

      It is wonderful to meet you!

      My personal beliefs are that it is best for the spouse who grew up with the extended family to handle their own family issues whenever possible. But if a wife cannot manage her family, it is possible that her husband may need to step in.

      Ultimately, the only wisdom I have to offer is from God’s Word. I Corinthians 11:3 says that God is the head of Christ, Christ is the head of man (a husband) and the man (husband) is the head of woman (his wife).

      So, with you being the God-given leader and authority in the marriage, these will be your decisions to make. And God calls wives to honor and respect their husbands and cooperate with their leadership (Ephesians 5:22-33) as He calls husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. For more on the basis of Spiritual Authority in marriage, please check out this post. And A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage.

      My experience has been that it is difficult for in-laws to accept correction from an in-law.

      But – I believe that you will ultimately have to do what you believe is best for your wife and marriage. It sounds to me like you know what you probably need to do already.

      May God give you much wisdom to lead your wife and love her in a way that will greatly honor God and strengthen your marriage. :)

      • Anna
        April 3, 2014 at 10:26 am #

        Hey April!

        This is Anna with a “grandmother issue”. I blew it again today. I feel so miserable. I regret moving away from home, I seem to make mistakes so often :(

        I hate the fact that the grandmother always meddles into things, she recently threw away my tea (accidentally, I think), but the fact that she never asks is driving me crazy. And today she spoiled our filter, so it had to be replaced, and this was the last straw, I couldn’t help it and snapped at her not to touch our things. Surely, she is offended now and says nasty things, and husband is on her side because I hurt his dear grandmother.

        Yes, I know, I shouldn’t have done it, but at the moment I am under quite big pressure: husband is on furlough for 3 months already, and I am trying to make our ends meet in his unstable economically country. He doesn’t want to look for another job, he just waits. I am tired of living with strangers who argue every day, and I am working from home, so it’s not possible for me to get away. And guilt is constantly eating at me, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt all around, it’s terrible. Guilt that I don’t seem to cope so well in a foreign country; guilt that I can’t be perfect, guilt that I hurt people and not that good at coping under pressure… And even if I come back home, guilt would eat me all up that I left my husband behind. That I probably made an unwise decision that I had moved away, though my parents warned me, but I wouldn’t listen.

        Oh how I wish this all to end and my homesickness to go away :(

        Thank you.

        • peacefulwife
          April 3, 2014 at 11:20 am #

          Anna,
          I hope you will check out today’s post! I am praying for you!!! This is a very difficult situation. How is your time with God this week?

          Turn to Him, repent, and seek Him with all your heart! You have to have His power, that is for sure! Guilt and shame do you no good. But turning from sin to God does much good! Let’s talk some more after you read that post and spend a bit of time in God’s Word today!!! Praying for you!

          • Anna
            April 5, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

            April,

            Thank you for your prayers! My husband actually talked to some other people and sided with me eventually as it seems they clarified to him how difficult it may be to live with in-laws.

            Besides, recently I have been rather stressed as I am starting my own small business, so many things had to be done, as a result, I had less time for God and started losing my spiritual form.

            I apologised to grandmother today, and she started complaining how lonely she felt, etc., etc., etc., so yes, I do feel sorry for her, but her self-pitying doesn’t do her any good. She feels miserable, and I also can pick up such mood at times. We pray for her because whenever we try to explain that self-pity won’t help, that she needs to hand it over to Jesus, she wouldn’t listen.

            But yes, God is sovereign, so hopefully, everything will work out for everybody’s good.

            God bless, I wish you a speedy recovery!

            • peacefulwife
              April 5, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

              Anna,

              I’m so glad to hear that your husband got an outside perspective. There are important reasons why God commands husbands to leave their parents (or adoptive parents).

              I’m proud of you for apologizing to her. Have you read my posts “Playing the Martyr?” “Guilt Tripping” “The Snare of People Pleasing”Boundaries and Control“? Might be interesting to check out!

              Thanks for the well-wishes!

              Praying for you to have the time you need alone with God! And for your husband’s grandmother to find the peace and joy of Christ!

              • Anna
                April 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

                April,

                Yes, I have read these posts, but I think it would be good to go through them once again :)

                Thanks a lot for support! Let you and your family be blessed abundantly!

        • Marie
          April 3, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

          Can you sincerely apologize to the grandma and explain you feel homesick and stressed and feel badly for yelling at her? You might be surprised that she will understand. shes an old woman and they’ve been through a lot in their lifetime. She may forgive you if you soften yourself to her.Sorry that your struggling. I blew up at my husbands family too. We all live next door to eachother and it got so bad with the meddling and gossip that I told them off, more than once. Boy do I wish I hadn’t done that. I have such guilt too about it. But they r not very nice to me or my husband so we leave it alone now and don’t speak to eachother. Its more peaceful now even though I feel bad about the way I handled it. I wish I just stayed away from them from the start and not let my emotions become involved with them. They are my husbands family and I wish I had kept my mouth shut and tended my own business and ignored them. Stay near to the Lord so you can be accountable for your own attitude and behavior before God and submit to your husband so you don’t create a mess. Praying for you today. Marie

          • Anna
            April 3, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

            Marie,

            I am always the first to apologize, and she often tells me to go back to my country, so my confessions won’t work with her. You see, she raised her grandson and views me as a threat. She overlooks her grandson’s faults, but whenever I make one mistake, she blows it out of proportion. It’s hard for me to accept it, it seems, that I will always be a stranger here, and my husband doesn’t want to rent out as he would feel guilty he “left” his grandmother, although I actually know much better on what medication she’s on, I speak with her more often than he does, it’s all complicated :( But thanks for prayers and advice, greatly appreciated!

            • Marie
              April 3, 2014 at 6:37 pm #

              I see, she sees you as a threat. My in-laws were the same way. I married the youngest of their 4 kids, he didn’t leave the nest till he met me and he was 27 years old. Way too old to be living with his parents. They weren’t giving him up that easy. I just wish I understood it better back then so I didn’t take all their rude comments personally. Hind sight is always 20/20. Just literally pray before you open your mouth and pray how God wants you to act. I see now I was terribly lonely living here and justwanted their love and acceptance. I don’t need that from them now,I let Gods love get me through my days..Id give anything to undo the things Ive said and done to them in spite. I let their poor insecure jealous behavior towards me affect my behavior. Im not a mean person so my actions are regrettable now to me. I wish I had known how to emotionally detach myself from them and had just treated them as if they were unwell. Jesus said forgive them father for they know not what they do. Its true. They are caught up in their own painful insecurities and fears that they cant see how badly they behave. I pray God opens grandmas eyes to her behavior and she is able to come to terms with her fears and fierce attachment to her grandson. I pray that God wraps his love and mercy around your heart and mind and fills you with his peace and wisdom. Let the Lord be a bridle to your tongue, soften your heart, seek to understand the fears and insecurities of others and be a blessing to those who curse you. Never taking personally the careless words of hurting souls. Filling your own soul with his grace and love and peace. May he put in your life a simple joy that you look forward to each day. God Bless. Marie

  26. T Ryg
    April 3, 2014 at 3:29 pm #

    Dear Peaceful Wife…..
    I can appreciate the advice that you offered in the article above. I do agree with a lot that you have to say. There are also things mentioned that I don’t necessarily agree with. A relationship is a two way street…A LOT of give and take. I agree….a man should be respected as Head of the Household……that is what he is suppose to be…..a HOUSE BAND…..meaning next to God, he is the band holding the house together. Let’s not forget that a wife is to be loved. The Bible mentions as one of the things the earth cannot hold up under is an unloved woman. For the wife to sit back, keep silent, and let her husband continually let her take a beating from his family is not showing his love for his wife….and believe me, not only will she see it, but she will also feel it. The more he avoids his call from God to be a husband and lets his wife be attacked, honestly, the more drama will arise. He really is better off nipping it on the bud ahead of time if he wants to truly have a loving marriage. Believe me, he will gain all the repect in the world from his wife if he stands for her.

    • peacefulwife
      April 4, 2014 at 6:49 am #

      T Ryg,
      Because I do not write for men, I don’t talk about what husbands should do – but absolutely! Husbands have even more responsibility and accountability in the marriage and before God than wives do. Thanks!

  27. Grace
    April 11, 2014 at 12:35 pm #

    I’ve been married to my husband for 6 years and have in total been together for 8 years with a 7 year old son.. When we first got together he was 17 and I was 18. Of course being so young his mother was very intrusive and controlling. His parents did not approve of me mainly because I was not the same race and was not brought up with the same culture (Mexican). However I am a mix my self, being a 1/2 filipina 1/2 white American hybrid ;) . So to me I never saw a huge issue with mixing cultures because I feel my parents did a great job with it.
    With that being said his family were against our choice to get married and were quite vocal about it. Which was a storm we weathered. They even have since tried to encourage him to get a mistress. And through out our lives they have not ceased to degrate me.. Let me say I have always remained respectful and can honestly say I have never said a bad or disrespectful thing to them. Despite what they have said about me even in my presence.
    3 1/2 years ago I got saved and my husband shortly after. I will admit prior to being saved I was a very controlling woman. Having had a very controlling mom it came naturally for me. Shortly after God began to reveal these things to me and work in me. A year ago I finally gave into God’s will and relingquished all remaining control.. that I was trying to hold on to. I did this by going to my husband and telling him that I would now trust him to take the full leadership role in our family and quit fighting for “my way”. He was surprised to say the least. But since then I have become a quiter, gentler, less confrontational wife. And try to respect his all decisions.

    I have changed so much and strive to be the wife God wants me to be. I left my job (which I did enjoy and was paid more then my husband at the time) after feeling God pull me to be a stay at home mom and home school our son (with my huabands blessing).
    Ive have overcome so many sexist cultural issues I would resist because I felt they were demeaning. Just to better serve my husband I do these things out of love for him.
    However his family have never stopped the constant criticizing of me. They talk about everything and anything from how I keep my home. How I feed my child and husband. What I feed them. They used to criticize my weight until I finally lost the 70 lbs i put on during/after I had my son. And even ask our son who cooks better ? Who he would rather live with? Among other things. And then go and use my own child against me. I think back to my own up bringing among two different cultures and never did one side of the family ever ask me which way was better or ever try to make me question my mom and how she cared for us or fed us.
    I have come to a point were I am done. I have asked my husband why he can’t come to my side and defend me? If he actually agrees with them? I have struggled so much with this issue and always told my husband I never wanted to get between him and his family.
    I just can’t take it any more. I feel that his parents not only disrespect me but him also when they say things about me especially to his face and he chooses not to defend me.
    I also have recently watched a younger brother of his go through a similar situation with his mistress (they actually liked his wife because they had picked her as a result of an arranged marriage) but he chose to stand up to them. And now they no longer say things in their presence or to their face. Honestly it caught me by surprise. And makes me wonder why does my husband not feel the need to do the same? I told him I have dealt with it for 8 years. How muchlonger will I have to wait till I am worthy of his defense? I also feel stressed because it has began to effect his sexiness/attractiveness to me. I have a hard time veiwing him as “my Man” and my desire is just not as fired up cause I feel he must not veiw me as his “Woman/wife” if he cant defend me. I do want to add when it comes to my friends and family I defend him to the fullest and they are very careful what they say about him.
    I dont know what to say or do about this issue anymore. And I have told him that neither my son or I are going to his parents until he talks to them. At least when it comes to boundaries with our son. Its never been my desire to keep my son from his grandparents especially since my parents live over seas. I only want them to not use him as a tool to hurt me.

    Feeling sad and hopless
    Grace

    • peacefulwife
      April 13, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

      Grace,
      It is such a pleasure to meet you! I am so excited about what God has done in your life and marriage!

      What is your husband’s relationship like with his parents? Does he stand up for himself to them?

      I understand your unwillingness to go to his family’s house. It grieves my heart to hear how painful things are for you there.

      Much love!

  28. KaylaL
    April 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

    I just wanted to share my experience with you and your readers since reading your blog last. I was the one whose FIL spanked our two year old and then lied to my husband about it. I followed my husband’s lead and after a short break we allowed them to spend time alone with our kids again. My MIL lied to me about what she fed the baby once again as I pulled the food out of his mouth when we returned. I thought he might have picked up something from the floor.

    As we were driving home my husband told me that they wouldn’t be watching the kids anymore since they couldn’t be honest with us. We’re now going to be hiring a sitter for date night and they can see the kids when we are there.

    I share this just to say that sometimes our husbands need time to come to a conclusion on their own, even if it SEEMS glaringly obvious to us. Sometimes it’s hard to see your parents as disrespectful to your role as parent, because, well, they’re your parents.

    • peacefulwife
      April 13, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

      KaylaL,

      Yes!! Husbands do some times need a bit of time to come to make such a big decision that will cause family division.

      I am so glad you updated us! I praise God you supported your husband and that he saw this step was necessary. I am sure it would be a very painful step for a man to take to say that his parents aren’t trustworthy with his children.

      Thank you so much!

  29. angeal
    May 3, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    sorry i ment so broken heart you can call me Angela

    • peacefulwife
      May 5, 2014 at 12:37 pm #

      Angela,

      I am not able to call or email all of the hundreds of wives who want to talk with me each day – but I do my best to respond to everyone here. If you have questions or things you would like to talk about, I am available here, my sweet girl. :)

  30. Nora
    May 17, 2014 at 3:49 am #

    Just ran across this site read some of what you wrote. I hate to say I disagree with you. I have treated my husband as a king the 5 years we have been married . When his adult daughter and her husband come to my husbands home they are very rude and have done a lot of things to try and break us up. I have put up with this like I said for 5 years no more. I have anger now and have lost some respect for my husband he should have told them if you don’t like her that’s fine but you need to respect her. I’m not willing to kiss there behind anymore 5 years is long enough……

    • peacefulwife
      May 17, 2014 at 6:47 am #

      Nora,

      Thanks for the comment! It’s great to meet you. :)

      I completely agree with you that a husband should ask his family to respect his wife. But we cannot control our husbands. We can absolutely ask them to say something. How have you approached your husband on this issue and what did he say?

      • Nora
        May 17, 2014 at 1:37 pm #

        I told him some of the issues I am having he said he doesn’t want to here it and if I don’t shut the F**k up he is going back to calif. When he talks about his kids I say nothing I sit there after 5 years I have learned how to disengage . I love my husband and treat him like a king I also wait on him hand and foot. But I will not put up wife his kids being mean to me anymore im done and if my marriage ends because of it so bid. im not into kissing his or there butts anymore. I have tried to hard for the last 5 years not doing it.

        • peacefulwife
          May 17, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

          Nora,

          Goodness, what a mess!

          What do the kids say to you?

          What do you say to his children when they are rude?

          Does he have a relationship with Christ?
          What is your relationship with Christ?

          • Nora
            May 17, 2014 at 5:18 pm #

            my husband and I were getting ready to go our separate way’s. We are still together but my heart is telling me for how long. 5 year’s I have had to put up with crap from his daughter and son n law not to mention his other daughter. My husband doesn’t want to here it he would rather sweep it under the rug like it hasn’t happened. He say’s I just need to let it go, excuse me but it’s really hard to do that when you have been letting it go for 5 year’s and they want to continue down the same path when they come here. I put up with it for that long because of my love for my husband also the fact that he does love his kid’s, this isn’t a problem for me. The problem I have is that just how long does he expect me to keep taking their crap. If he really loved me would he have put a stop to it. I have never asked him to not see his kid’s I just don’t want to deal with the crap they dish out at me when they come here.
            I disengaged from his adult kid’s I just couldn’t take anymore, but disengaging is putting a damper on my marriage I feel it and see it. Shame on my husband for expecting me to keep taking their abuse. I also feel anger. I know these are his kid’s and he love’s them very much but for him to want them to come here and visit knowing what goes on make’s me angry. He told me he think’s I’m the one that has caused this. In my head I thought to myself your full of it. The only thing I’m guilty of was kissing their ass to make my husband’s life more pleasant. I feel anger towards his kid’s for what I fill is causing a rift between us and him for letting it happen. I need to know what else it is I need to do. I’m at a loss here
            I will explain some of the thing’s they have said to me while here on there visit’s.

            1] I was making dinner and cutting up tomatoes she walked in and said did you wash
            that first. I said something to my husband about it he said nothing wrong with
            that.
            2] I had to go to the store her husband stood up and said why don’t you take so and
            so with you {husbands daughter}.We got to the stop sign and there was a place for rent she looks at me and says why don’t you rent that. I said nothing. When we got back to the house she said to me when is your birthday I told her and she said I will never recall that. (her mom and dads wedding anniversary} I didn’t say a word.

            3} I smoke so I go outside they end up coming out and start a conversation , its pleasant then they start wanting to know whose name is on the houses and on the bank accounts how much does he have in the bank, does he still have the cd’s who gets how much money when he passes. I told them both that this is something that they need to talk to my husband about. I did sign a waver on his life insurance that it would go to his kids.

            4] I had a mustang when I met my husband and was working. I ended up moving to another state with him where his home was. I didn’t have a job I was helping my husband with his company. I was told by his daughter and her husband I should get a job making my own money and they fill I am reaping the rewards of the mothers death. I also told my husband this and he said something to them and they denied it.
            I know this all my seem silly they are just little things, but a lot of little things just keep adding up.
            Another time they came here and my husband had to go back where his company is, that left me here with them. My husbands wife died in an auto accident , his kids blame my husband and I did say to them I feel sorry for my husband that he has so much guilt they both told me good and he should tell the day he dies.
            I came into the house they followed , the husband told me I should leave they don’t like how my husband treats me and for me to take half of what he owns. Funny coming from him because he wanted me to do a prenump I didn’t have a problem with it but husband said no when to people love each other, there is no need.
            the last visit they were here they got here at 130 am I got up with my husband to greet them, the first thing that came out of the son in laws mouth was what kind of car do you have now. I said the same one I had last time. The mustang I had I took it back to ford and handed them the keys. I got tired of hearing his kids complain how my husband was making my car payments. So my husband went out and got me a used car. Funny they pulled in with a new boat and truck. He don’t work and my husband pays all there utility bills because he keeps a trailer on there property as an office trailer Where do they get there money I have a pretty good guess.

            • peacefulwife
              May 18, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

              Nora,
              I want to take my time and respond thoughtfully… Please remind me if you don’t hear from me by Tues. I am not going to have a lot of computer time until then. I don’t want to rush or be hasty with this important issue! :)

            • peacefulwife
              May 20, 2014 at 6:37 am #

              Nora,

              I believe that this marriage is quite fixable – particularly if you are willing to turn to Christ and allow Him to empower and heal you.

              I can definitely understand that his kids’ behavior would be extremely off-putting. It sounds like they have been rude and disrespectful.

              1. That particular comment doesn’t sound vile or evil. I can see where if you feel criticized all the time, the criticism could wear you down, though.

              2. That sounds very immature and childish. I have to assume that these are grown adults – since they are married.

              I don’t know how long ago their mom died. Many children, even adult children, have a very hard time seeing their parent marry someone else. That doesn’t justify mistreating their new step-mom. But, it sounds like they are not handling their mom’s death very well. And, I don’t know that they would have handled their dad remarrying anyone well. It may have very little to do with you and a lot more to do with their own character – the way they are acting.

              It sounds to me like everyone in this family is a wretched sinner. Thankfully – Christ can bring us the grace, mercy and forgiveness we all need and He is able to give us new hearts and new minds and to make us be like Himself if we will turn to Him. We all need Him so very desperately.

              3. That was certainly not appropriate. I’m glad you said they need to talk to your husband about that and didn’t try to have a conversation about those topics.

              4. Again, not appropriate.

              That breaks my heart that your husband feels so guilty about his first wife’s death and that the kids heap more blame on him. :(

              How often do you see his kids?

              What do you believe you need to be happy?

              Do you expect them to change?

              What do you do/say to your husband when his kids are hateful?

              Are you willing to consider some alternative responses?

              This marriage does not have to be torn apart. I pray that you will not allow his kids to tear you apart from your husband – that is their goal. But their goal is evil and destructive. You have a covenant with this man that is before God. They don’t have a covenant with him.

              I wish the kids treated you well. If they don’t have Christ in their hearts, they don’t have that ability.

              But God can transform you dramatically and can heal you!

              We can talk about how if you are interested.

              Much love!

  31. howmuch
    May 23, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

    Unfortunately, my husband allows his family to disrespect me and my children. It’s been twenty years and I’ve had enough. I do not believe God intended me to live in such unhappiness. He literally runs and hides if there is any type of problem, leaving me to fend for myself. I can not take my mother in law mistreating my children or I.

    • peacefulwife
      May 24, 2014 at 6:54 am #

      howmuch,

      I’m so sorry for your pain!

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      How is your marriage?

      If your husband doesn’t stand up for himself to his mother, he will not stand up for you. He is not able to or feels that he cannot.

      However, if you inspire him by deferring to him, honoring and respecting him, allowing him to lead – it may be that in time he may feel strong enough to stand up to her. That would take some time.

      What do you do when your mother in law mistreats you and your children?

      What do you say to your husband?

      What is his response?

      Much love to you!

  32. Anna
    May 27, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    April,

    I am at my wits end, the grandmother is getting worse. Recently, my husband had to go to Russia for one week, and she was hysterical that he couldn’t leave her alone. Of course, he still went, but he and I heard so many bad words and curses. Some days ago, my husband was given potatoes because he had helped our friends, and today she has just given it away to my husband’s sister without asking. I told her that next time she should ask (I don’t mind giving it away, I do mind that she did it without asking us first), and she started screaming that she has the right to do what she pleases here and again said so many bad things to my face, called me stingy even, though that is so not true, we often help my husband’s sister though we keep it quiet. I apologized again and said that we shouldn’t quarell because of trifle things, but I felt hurt again. Here is this grumpy, ungrateful woman who has the right to grate on my nerves because I am young (that’s what she said). She doesn’t even think that I will need to bear and give birth to healthy children. Again, she tells me to get back to my home country. Well, I am on the verge of doing it. I pray, read my Bible and rejoice in the Lord, but i’ve been under immense pressure for the past couple of weeks due to bureacrats here, and even “at home” (here) there is no peace. My husband said it would soon finish, but how and when? We are looking for a bigger place to stay now, but again we have to take his grandmother along. Well, I could work from my real home in my home country, but then I would have to be apart from my husband, not a great option, but staying with his grandmother 24/7 is hell on earth for me :(

    • peacefulwife
      May 27, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Anna,

      I am so sorry! i can’t imagine how difficult that would be. I pray for you not to allow her to destroy your marriage and for wisdom for you and your husband to handle this in a way that most honors God and blesses your marriage and his grandmother.

      Sending you a huge hug!

      • Anna
        May 27, 2014 at 12:00 pm #

        Thanks so much, April! I just don’t know what to do as it’s getting worse :( At least, my husband and his sister can get away from it all whereas I cannot. I am self-employed now and working is from home. My grandmothers never behaved like that I never realized grandmothers could be like that :(

      • Anna
        May 29, 2014 at 7:22 am #

        Praise the Lord! Actually, my husband stood up to me yesterday and told his grandmother that if she insults me, she insults him. Well, she is furious now, but I guess even if she doesn’t respect our boundaries as a family, we still need to enforce them.

        • peacefulwife
          May 29, 2014 at 8:14 am #

          Anna,

          I am so proud of your husband! That had to be so difficult, and maybe even scary, for him. I hope you will thank him – not in a gloating way – but then support him wholeheartedly as the leader in your marriage and honor and respect him as much as possible. :) Thank you so much for sharing!

          • Anna
            May 29, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

            I thanked him, I am glad, but sad at the same time as I don’t like when relationships with people do not seem to work out… But then again, I cannot please everybody…

            • peacefulwife
              May 29, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

              Anna,

              I understand that! But maybe God will use this to expose sin in his grandma’s life to her so that she can repent and maybe the relationship can actually heal? That is my prayer!

              • Anna
                May 30, 2014 at 3:40 am #

                I don’t know… She has never ever apologized, and her outbursts are getting worse, and she tells us that Christians never behave like we do (manipulation). Even when I said I am sorry after the incident, my husband returned home, and she started saying bad things about me, then he told me he has had enough and told her to respect our family. I am shocked that the notion that we are a family drives her crazy. I think that her psyche got really damaged when she lost her only daughter, and now she probably feels she is losing her grandson or something. We keep praying to God to live at peace finally.

                • peacefulwife
                  May 30, 2014 at 6:41 am #

                  Anna,

                  She needs the power of God to bring her healing from this spiritual prison she has placed herself in. You can’t open her eyes. You can love her with the love of Christ. And we will pray together that God might touch her heart.

                  • Anna
                    May 30, 2014 at 6:48 am #

                    Yes, we will keep praying! :) Thank your for prayers and support! God bless!

                    • Anna
                      June 3, 2014 at 9:04 am #

                      It has been nearly a week, and grandmother won’t talk to us. She started taking the trash out and going to the store by herself, but complaining over the phone to others every day that we wouldn’t help her, though she told us that she didn’t need our help. If she asked, I would do something for her. I keep praying hard, but still feel guilt at times. Do we go on until something “breaks” in her? Before, it was always me who reconciled first, but eventually it didn’t get us nowhere only her taking my help and me for granted.

                    • peacefulwife
                      June 3, 2014 at 10:51 am #

                      Anna,
                      Check out today’s post, I think it may be helpful. I would suggest allowing your husband to take the lead and make the decisions about how to best handle his grandmother. Praying for all of you!

  33. Dan
    June 4, 2014 at 11:06 pm #

    Thank you for this! Your comments are spot on. As a husband, I can tell you this is what I long for from my wife.
    On a similar note, the issue I have is my wife’s sister. She us the most disrespectful woman I have ever known. She screams at her husband, puts him down in front of others, and also encourages my wife to do dismiss me. My wife thinks it has no influence on her, but I strongly believe her sister is harming our marriage immensely. My sister in law refuses to let my nephews spend time with me, speaks poorly of me, and drives a wedge between me and my wife. When my sister in law speaks badly about me, my wife refuses to defend me (I think my wife is scared of her sister – My wife is a real people pleaser). I hate the power my SIL has over my wife.
    My Mother in law is less than helpful as well. She is quite disrespectful herself. I wish my wife had an influence to encourage her to honor and obey rather than ignore and contradict.
    I also wish my wife would show loyalty to me rather than her sister.
    Any wisdom for me in this regard?

    • peacefulwife
      June 5, 2014 at 6:04 am #

      Dan,

      How is your relationship with your wife? Does she trust you and listen to you generally?

      I have a post on people pleasing. I used to do that, too! You can search “people pleasing” on my home page. I wonder if she would consider reading it?

      If she generally listens to you, this may be something you can gently bring up, about the ungodly example and disrespect of her sister and how attitudes are contagious.

      Or, you can pray for God to open her eyes. Ultimately, that is what it will take.

      Praying for wisdom for you!

  34. marriam
    June 29, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

    So blessed! Thank you

  35. vanessa
    July 4, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    hello
    i have a similar situation that i can’t no longer handle and i need advice. well iam 18 and live with my boyfriend and his family. i really get along with everybody in his family except for his brother because he’s always in our relationship and i dont seem to have any privacy. My boyfriend’s brother is always telling my boyfriend negative things about me such as to let me go and etc. Not only that but it seems like he is always influencing my boyfriend to drink. he doesnt do anything in the house but just watch tv, work, eat, sleep and drink beer every saturday. My boyfriend gets this habit that if i dont cook for his brother he cooks for him but my boyfriend cant even cook for me. Every time i want to go out with my boyfriend he is always going with us. And well i cant even complain about brother because he gets mad or always defense him. i welcome any advice because i really need it

    • Tabitha
      July 22, 2014 at 5:06 am #

      Vanessa I have been reading your comment several times, wondering if this brother is jealous. Where they very close?
      Complaining obviously does not help.
      You can say once how you feel about what his brother says that it makes you sad and you miss being just the two of you but than leave it and let your boyfriend think about it.
      You cannot make your boyfriend choose or force a decision. This will be controling to him.
      Pray about it and put it in Gods hands.
      If you honor your boyfriend he may start seeing what is happening. If nothing changes than you could try to visit friends on some saturdays leaving them some guystime and have girlstime yourselve, if his brother wants to follow on every date you have and your boyfriend does nothing about that maybe you can ask if you can invite a friend to also come along.
      Also in a group you can be together and the brother would be part of it for it seems his brother is dependent on your boyfriend.If your boyfriend wants to cook simply let it be and he has practice and you eat guysmeal. Otherwise just cook and maybe they appreciate having a decent meal.
      I wonder if when you allow the brothers to have brothers time this brother will stop precieving you as a threat.
      When I was dating and because of we both had large families we sometimes could not be alone we would write notes to each other. But that only works if family does not interfere.
      If you both have mobiles you can text and have private conversation while in a group. You could start kind a joking like when your out and just text, hey handsome shall we dance, just make it positive and light.
      It also depends on your boyfriend. Does he seek private time?
      How bad is the drinking, is it just a couple if beers or a lot?
      Hope this helps a bit

    • peacefulwife
      July 23, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      Vanessa,

      It’s great to meet you!

      It seems to me that this is not a healthy situation for you emotionally or spiritually. Is there somewhere else you could live?

      What is your relationship with Christ my precious girl?

      Much love!

  36. Learningwife
    July 12, 2014 at 8:21 pm #

    My husbands mum and dad will text him quite regularly. He also has sisters who text him a lot. We have been married for almost 6 months now and nothing has changed. I have been graceful and tried not to say anything but it is getting really hard. We will be on a date, or spending some quality time in together and they will text and he will always respond. We did put in place a rule of no phones on us for dates and that lasted for a couple of weeks before he went back to having his on him and will be in constant contact with his parents. I feel like we cannot make a decision without him getting his parents approval. I’m not sure how to handle this and I’m not sure if my frustrations at this are wrong.

    • Tabitha
      July 22, 2014 at 4:13 am #

      Learningwife, I have been thinking about how to handle this, came up with a song I loved about marriage it goes like this.

      Well a man will leave his mother
      And a woman leave her home
      They will travel on to where the two will be as one
      As it was in the beginning it is now untill the end
      Woman draws her live from man and gives it back again
      And ther is love ooh there is love.
      Well then what’s to be the reason
      For becoming man and wife
      Is it love that brings you here
      Or love that brings you live
      Well if loving is the answers then who’s the loving fore
      For where ever two or more of you are gathered in His name there is love oh there is love.

      I asume your husband knows about the phone as you tried not to have them on you on dates,
      The song made me think how a man need to leave his mother and a woman leave her home says it accurately.
      And also how marriage is en image of the church and Krist.
      Maybe you can find the lyrics and song somewhere and print them out on and hang it somewhere to remind you both that starting together is leaving parents authority.

      To tell him not to take his phone or not to text so often can come across as controling. You could say once how you feel abou it and leave it at that. The decision is his.
      If he continues try not to focus on that. Simply ignore it.
      I do not know if the folowing would be oke.
      Maybe other wifes can say what they think?
      I would make a little joke like.
      Oh oh somebody’s calling. This would work in my marriage to remind him we made a deal and he is not honoring it but you would have to find that out. I then would leave it at that and if he still answers the phone I would decide it is important for him and let it be,

      • peacefulwife
        July 22, 2014 at 7:32 am #

        Learningwife,
        You may want to search my home page for “flirting” – I have a post or two about this topic that may be helpful.

        Praying for wisdom for you!

        Does your husband say what he wants/needs in the marriage? Did he do the same thing in past relationships?
        Does he have a relationship with Christ?

        How is your relationship with Christ going?

        You may want to check out some of the posts at the top of my home page – they may be helpful as well.

        Much love!

    • peacefulwife
      July 23, 2014 at 8:20 pm #

      Learningwife,

      It is ok – and important – for you to share your needs and desires and concerns. Respectfully. And usually, just once.

      What do you do if he texts a lot while you are on a date?

      I would encourage you to affirm his ability to make wise choices and your support of his leadership.

      You may want to search these terms on my home page:

      – lead
      – leader
      – Superman

      Much love!

  37. riovickie50
    July 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    I have a serious problem my husband when we got married was not that close to his family because his mother was very abusive to him and rejected him but as time went on he has become closer to them.To where he wants us to live with them. When we go there she feels that we need to cater to her every need. So my husband does everything for his mother to the point that when we get home he is sick from exhaustion. He is a very ill man and loved The Lord and I don’t know if he loves and respects me anymore. I am tired of seeing him being abused still and then she gets mad if I don’t do as he does and we end up arguing. Lately his mother has been calling more frequently and he calling her. And now I can see that he is just like his mother. He had changed so much since he has been ill chronically ill. I feel like I am living with his mother. He is so angry and just complete controlled by his mother they he tells me constantly he wants a divorce. He tries to control and manipulate me in visiting them every weekend I get so stressed out knowing that we have to be for a few days and I don’t want to and if I tell him I font want to go then he tells me he wand a divorce. I love my husband and I have shown love to his mother and his family and they see it as a weekness to control me.?i am a very strong Christisn and my husband is saved too. We’ve been married for over 12 years. I think the real problem is they he is afraid that his sickness he had us going to shorten his life and he wants to be with his family. I don’t know what to do? His family disrespects me and him and he allows it . His mom and his family live about 3 hours away from us which I am glad but he wants to live either closer to them or with them. Recently his step father died and it’s been to where he wants to spend his time with his mother and brother more now than ever before. I even went as far as giving her my car to see if that would help for her to treat me right but it didn’t . My husband said I should have never done it because she had to put lots of money in to fix it. My intentions were to bless her. I’ve told her I love her but she had never responded back. She tolerates me because she wants my husband to live with her and be her slave. If I’m wrong in the way I feel by wanting to protect my marriage and keep my sanity then I need to know what I can do. It has gotten more difficult and I love my husband. We have no children together he has his and I have mine and they ate grown up and on their own. It’s just me and him.

    • Tabitha
      July 21, 2014 at 4:05 am #

      Riovickie50
      That is a diificult problem you have there. Did you read the comments on this post, there is a lot of advice from April in there you can prayerful consider till she is back from her vacation..
      check out the answer to daisy and search for Aprils youtube channel she has a post there on controling people.
      To go live with his family sounds like an unhealthy situation.
      I did so with my family but it was not good for my husband we moved away after a couple of years and that has caused me a lot of heartbreak and guilt. My mother was controling and my father though a meek and gentle man, drank to much.
      It can be realy difficult for your husband to stand against his family.
      Have you been able to tell your husband in a respectful way hiw the frequent visits make you feel?
      To say I do not want to go puts your husband in defense maybe you could explain how you feel and that it stresses you, or frightens you that you feel scared?
      When I folowed my husbands wish to leave my parents it made me feel sick inside and I trhew up a lot in the year leading to our seperating from them. I have always felt guilt for leaving them and not being there for them though I do understand my mother tried to manipulate and control us.
      Maybe it helps you to understand how strong this can be between parents and children.
      My husband told me he did not feel at home in his own home anymore and when he made his dicision he decided to go with or withouth me. As my situation than was reversed from yours now i find it difficult to give a good advice as I felt I did not want my husband to leave nor to leave my family I decided that I did have to follow ny husband even if it would hurt my family.
      Maybe it helps you to see that the controling if your m.i.l. is based on need. That was how it was with my mother.
      I would sit often just listening to my mother complaining about everything and felt like she was this deep well never was I able to fill it or help her feel better. Nor could anybody else.
      I wish I could have given her the love of God and trust that I found and am finding because only with God you can feel real peace and satisfaction. I tried by telling her of the experiences I had. Though I touched her she could not find faith and lingered in her precieved pain.
      If you can find strenghth to see here as in need maybe you can take a part of the catering she demands to take away the pressure of your husband so he is more able to see and hear what is happening?
      Take it to God in prayer your fear and other feelings. The Lord can sure change a difficult situation.
      Search this blog you will find a lot of advice, think about it and see what would fit in your situation.
      I am just starting practicing respect and still often fail to do so. But yet I also see change just now mostly in myselve.
      Not going in defence not fighting sometimes holding back angry comments and sighing and scolding.
      And seeing my husband answering my needs withouth me asking.
      I will pray for you

      • secret
        July 22, 2014 at 1:23 am #

        Tabitha are you a friend of April. Is april the person that has this blog?

        • peacefulwife
          July 22, 2014 at 7:29 am #

          Secret,

          Hey!

          I’m April. This is my blog. I was on break for a month. Thanks for your patience!

          • peacefulwife
            July 24, 2014 at 8:47 am #

            Secret,

            Does your husband have any involvement in the finances? What does he say about not having enough money? Does he suffer from any mental illness? Is he willing to speak to the pastor together with you, or a godly mentoring couple?

            Praying for wisdom for you!

      • riovickie50
        July 22, 2014 at 7:15 pm #

        I have told him but he feels obligated to visit them. He can decide situation for me that I am willing to accommodate him but when it comes to his mother it a a straight no I do everything I can so there is no way for us to go. Don’t get me wrong I have and always when I am there try to show them Love. But it is so dangerous for my husband when we go there for example my husband has severe problems with his neck and back and she kept bugging him to take huge trash cans into his truck to dump. Well I’m sure you no the outcome he got tired if her telling him and cursing about the situation that he jumped up on something to push the trash in and fell and injured himself very badly and he has never been the same and he blames himself. I can’t deal with this anymore I don’t want my husband to lose his life trying to please his mother. There are many more examples I can right but it just gets me tense when I think about it. I get really bad anxiety when U know we are going to his family. I’m a prayer warrior but one thing I know people have a free will.

        Sent from my iPhone Victoria L. Arredondo

    • peacefulwife
      July 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Riovickie50,

      So heartbreaking!

      What is your husband’s relationship with Christ?

      What is your relationship with Christ?

      Check out these posts (you can search for them on my home page):

      Handling a Controlling Mother as a Team
      Control and Boundaries
      The Snare of People Pleasing
      Using Guilt to Manipulate
      Bitterness
      Why Playing the Martyr Repels Those We Love

      If he won’t stand up for himself, he probably can’t stand up for you either. Praying for healing for you, your husband and your MIL.

      Sending you a huge hug, my precious sister!

    • tabitha
      July 24, 2014 at 5:22 am #

      Hi riovickie, so sorry I caused confusion. I am just one of the many wifes reading this blog and your story touched me, I do find your situation difficult and pray for strength for you. I folowed this blog for over a year now and had a major breaktrough this summer, so instead on focusing on my own problems I started reading and listening on the comments of others. I seem to often find I have opposite experiences from many wifes here.
      In your case it was the pleasing of mother to the extreme that I have done myselve and did hurt my husband in doing so and draging him in instead of keeping a healthy boundary. I see from your other comments that it is a really complicated situation. For as he does not see it himself
      With love and hope and prayers for you

    • peacefulwife
      July 24, 2014 at 9:00 am #

      riovickie50,

      What do you say to him about the situation with his mother?

  38. LJ
    July 22, 2014 at 4:11 am #

    My husband has allowed his family to say many nasty things to me, as well as behind my back. I never said anything back to them, but I did tell him how I felt afterwards. His mother even told him that I would divorce him (I never, ever felt that way or insinuated I would to her). When I returned home, he was crying and told me what she said (he was dealing with a lot of internal emotional issues at the time, so he was particularly vulnerable, and I was doing all I could between covering expenses and helping him climb out of the emotional hole he was in). I was really upset, as she was unraveling all the hard work I was doing. I called her and told her just that while he sat nearby. I told her it didn’t help one bit to say something like that. I reminded her that she says many things that hurt people, that she may not realize. I brought up that I overheard her talking to a guest at my wedding, saying, “Well, we didn’t divorce like her family, so maybe we’ll be a good influence.” She was right behind me, 5 feet behind me, when she said those ugly words. So many more things they did I can’t include here, and I didn’t bother to bring them up that day. Apparently, I heard later that she cried for days afterward. I felt rotten and talked to my pastor, told him that I should have let it go. He said, sometimes you just have to tell people the truth. But that episode didn’t end it. They continued to say really hurtful things — I don’t know which one is worse, the mother in law or the father in law. They are very shallow and look down at others and are unduly harsh on women, their looks. I’ve never known anyone like these two. When my brother in law and his wife divorced, they blamed the entire divorce on her, though the entire family knew and openly discussed his infidelity. They still blamed her, though she was not to blame at all. They were so angry at her because they bailed out their son on the divorce, and they kept referring to her as having their money. One evening we were having a meal, and they clinked glasses, they always toast, and said, to the daughter in law left, the good daughter in law. It made me sick to hear that. Then we changed the subject and started talking about a family friend, one who they had wanted my husband to marry years ago. It was particularly hurtful to hear the mother in law become all glowing and effusive about how wonderful this person was. Anyway. About 6 months more passed by and they visited again, and they started in on more of their talk. I couldn’t hold it in any more. I told them that I know, based on what I’ve heard and based on what my husband has told me that they have always thought I was trash. They have denigrated my weight, my height, my upbringing, my college, and generally dismissed me as a daughter in law. I was even asked once why I didn’t like babies, when I do – sadly, we can’t have children due to my husband’s condition. It was 25 years pent up feelings. I didn’t yell, I didn’t say anything that wasn’t truthful. And my husband did back me up, for the first time. He always told me to overlook it, and to stuff it, and that it didn’t matter what they said or did. But I couldn’t anymore. His mother called me crazy. His father cursed me out – replete with Fs. Then they, get this, admitted I was right. His father said that they thought 5 years ago that maybe I was good for him, maybe. I was trying to think of what I did 5 years prior … I guess stay with my husband through that 5-year trial? Anyway, I’ve never been yelled at and cursed at like that in my life. My husband didn’t correct his dad or ask him to not speak to me that way. (Two decades ago, my mom was rude to him when we were dating and she and I had a heart to heart about it. I asked her point blank why she was rude to him, told her I loved him, and she never did it again. I try to nip it in the bud.) I didn’t yell back, mainly cried between trying to explain that I knew and that I knew I couldn’t please them, no matter what, and that I just wanted to get that out. In the end it was futile. But at least it was off my chest, I guess. I apologized to his mother and said it just tumbled out. About 3 months after that, his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Three months after that, she died. After her death, his dad later said he was sorry, that he said mean things, but then I realized that he said that because he needed me to do some things for him. I hugged him anyway and said not to worry. But he ended up going back to they way he was.

    It has been a real trial and effort to like his parents. They always ran down women. If it wasn’t so overt, I wouldn’t have noticed it at all.

    I have been so damaged by this relationship with them. I wish I could just brush it off, but I really cared and wanted them to like me. I know, immature, but it took me a long time to just know that I never can. Now that his mom is dead, I guess she died disappointed in his choice.

    I just don’t understand. I have always tried to be a good girl, hard worker, respectful, helpful, good listener, one to crack jokes (I could get them to laugh at times). But I’m not a showy, party girl who is running around smooching men on the lips and hugging and being the good-time hostess. That’s what they wanted for him – the corporate housewife, the schmoozer. I can never be that.

    • peacefulwife
      July 22, 2014 at 6:34 am #

      LJ,

      I’m so glad you told them that what they did was hurtful. That is definitely necessary at times. Reminds me of what Jesus instructed us to do in Matthew 18:15-17.

      You cannot change them. It sounds like they have a lot of maturing to do. All you can do is seek God with all your heart, strive to do what is right in His eyes, seek His approval, seek to love them and your husband with the love of Christ, speak the truth in love and seek to be a blessing.

      I wish your husband had stood up to his parents. You did not deserve to be treated like that. But what they did was because of their character, not yours.

      Trying to love sinners can be so very painful. Thankfully – you don’t have to try to seek the approval of people, but only of Christ.

      Check out these posts, my precious girl!

      The Snare of People Pleasing
      Playing the Martyr
      Using Guilt to Manipulate and Control
      Bitterness

      If your husband grew up in a very emotionally/spiritually toxic environment with very controlling parents, he may not have learned how to stand up to them. I’m really glad that he did back you up that time that you shared your heart.

      Praying for you to find freedom from this prison and the peace, joy, healing and hope that Jesus is able to give you!

      Much love,
      April

    • R
      August 4, 2014 at 6:06 am #

      Surprisingly we have law to protect bully at work, bully in school, abusive partner at home but not the partner’s parents which is a fact around the world since the very beginning of time. A wife have to quietly suffer the torment and mentally bully by the lover’s parents and get no help whatsoever from him and he forbids u to talk abt it. Ironically she still go to the kingdom of hall as usual. She tempered my shampoo, cursed me off, made false accusation to the police abt me, gassed me while i was sleeping alone at home! Intentionally or not for the 1st time no one knows but the next day happened again n told the son i wanted to kill her while the son just woke up. I was still in bed except her wide awake and done with her breakfast! Where is the justice in life?!

      • peacefulwife
        August 4, 2014 at 10:31 am #

        R.,

        Goodness! If someone is trying to hurt or kill you, you may have to talk to the police about it. That is not ok at all! :(

  39. S
    August 2, 2014 at 10:35 pm #

    My parents help us out dramatically and there are times when he should be asking his parents when times get rough. He doesn’t like fighting and will clam up. With my mil on Facebook she takes everything to heart. I’ve been married before and have dealt with the in law situation but to see my husband get upset with me and to tell me to not cause fights with the women in his family it blows my mind because he expects my parents to take care of what he can’t handle and it isn’t fair. If I speak up he walks off and won’t finish the conversation which just makes it more hectic. His mother is living with his two brothers who are adults! She won’t let these guys be men, and immediately jumps on me. Now he deletes messages on my phone and doesn’t give me a chance to speak up for myself because she took something wrong. I just want to cry. I want a man not a mommas boy.

    • peacefulwife
      August 3, 2014 at 6:48 am #

      S,

      Thankfully, as you focus on becoming the wife God desires you to be, and as you pray for God to work in your husband’s life, and as you learn to show him honor and respect and allow him to lead in your home, your husband can develop the strength to eventually stand up to his mom. It will probably take a lot of time. But as he sees that you trust him and that you honor and respect him genuinely, that is a powerful motivator for a man to learn to stand taller and to act with greater strength, courage and conviction.

      I am praying for you! I believe you will find many posts here that may be very helpful. :)

  40. Adam
    August 14, 2014 at 10:35 am #

    This is a great article. It describes exactly what my wife and I are going through! Thank you for sharing !

  41. Anna
    August 25, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    Hey April! It’s Anna again with a difficult grandmother of my husband. Well, we’ve had a pretty eventful summer: my husband’s granddad passed away on 12 June, and since then we have tried to be super nice with this lady – spent much time with her, drank tea together, even asked her to cook some things for us to keep her occupied and not to wallow on her grief, but then we had to go away and visit my grandmother in a different country in July as it was her 90th birthday celebration, where she wanted to see the majority of her relatives. Still, we thought about my husband’s grandmother and asked my husband’s nephew to stay with her till we are away, so she wouldn’t feel that alone… Well, what can I say, the outburst of hysteria on her part was the worst this time, she also didn’t want the nephew to stay over and what’s more, she called to the notary bureau and threatened us to rewrite the part of the flat that belongs to her to someone else. We still went over to my grandmother, of course, and luckily so, as my husband managed to pray with her, but, unfortunately, she also passed after 5 days since her 90th celebration, and since then I feel that something broke in me. Of course, I am happy that nevertheless, my husband went with me, and my granny was willing to pray with him, and hopefully, she is with the Lord, but I am just amazed at what lengths my husband’s grandmother could go to try to control us. After two weeks, my husband returned home, and I am still staying with my parents, but planning to return to him soon, and I don’t know how to behave with her. We prayed and fasted with my husband because he also got tired of such behaviour, and now his grandmother suggests to write off her part to my husband, so he sees it as some kind of answer (she probably felt some shame when she found out about the death of my grandmother), but still I don’t want to talk to her, I don’t want to see her anymore… I could say “hello”, but I don’t want to drink tea, spend time with her, etc., but that would be difficult to avoid as I work from home, and If i ignore her for “no reason”, she will again complain :( Sorry, just needed to vent, it’s all just so painful and drags for quite a long time, makes me morally, emotionally, and even physically drained :(

    • peacefulwife
      August 25, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      Anna,

      What a difficult and painful situation! :( My precious girl! My heart aches for all of you. How I pray that your husband’s grandmother could experience the peace and joy of Christ. I am so sorry to hear about his grandfather’s passing and your grandmother’s passing, as well. And PRAISE GOD that your husband prayed with your grandmother, maybe leading her to Christ!

      What does your husband want to do? How would he like you to try to handle this?

      Are you able to see that her complaining isn’t about you at all? It is about the spiritual condition of her own heart?

      How is your time with God going? How are you doing keeping the bitterness and resentment out of your heart?

      Sending you a huge hug!

      Much love,
      April

  42. Anna
    August 25, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Oh, April, thank you for your answer, I am just so emotionally drained at the moment. Besides, staying at home in my home country is so bittersweet as I have a strong support system at home, but not at my husband’s place. Only my husband tries to support me, which is great, but then again, I feel out of place there so much, also, probably one of the reasons that his grandmother’s behaviour gets to me as I subconsciously wish for good relationships to feel better “at home” and don’t get that there :(. My husband seems to be content with the fact that grandmother made up with him and just said we have to go on living with her; he doesn’t care that I am homesick, that I don’t feel welcomed there, just demands me to be there. I read the Bible, I pray, but it all affects me, nevertheless, my immune system started to give up, very often, I am on the verge of just going back home, but I know I will disappoint God if I do it, but these painful stitations seem to just destroy me :(

    • peacefulwife
      August 25, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

      Anna,

      Do you have any godly women friends in your new country? I am praying God might help you form a new support system in your new home country. I am praying for God’s wisdom and love for your husband and for His glory in your husband’s grandmother’s life and situation. I pray for God’s healing for your heart and for your marriage. I pray you might have the strength and courage to support your husband and to honor him. I pray for God to direct you both about where to live. I pray for his grandmother’s salvation and walk with Christ. I pray that you might be a great light by God’s power to your husband’s grandmother and to your husband and all who see you. I know God has you there for such a time as this.

      Sending you a huge hug!!!!! God is able to use this to bless you, to help you grow in Christ and to mature in your faith. The real issue is not to ask God to make the situation change magically, but to be open to anything He might want to do in your life through these trials and to be willing and obedient and trusting in Him.

      Much love!

  43. Anna
    August 26, 2014 at 3:05 am #

    Well, the thing is there are a couple of women, but they don’t seem to understand what I am going through staying away from home; I tried to talk about it with them, but they brushed it off, so I don’t really know who I can turn to, I also don’t want to disappoint people back home :( I am very thankful for your support and prayers, April, let God bless you abundantly in your life and everything you do! Thank you for a hug as well :)

    • peacefulwife
      August 26, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Anna,

      What does your husband say?

      I am praying for godly mentors and godly women friends for you. And also for God to use this situation, if you must go through it, for your sanctification and His glory.

      Sending you another big hug!

      • Anna
        August 26, 2014 at 5:22 pm #

        He says we need to pray and wait for the answer from the Lord. Well, my husband is actually worried for me, but his worrying is more of a passive kind – he would be sad to the point that he can’t even work productively, then I would be sad that I made him sad, and I would say – it’s ok – and try to actively seek the solution, but still it’s, nevertheless, his home-country, and at times I feel like I fight there on my own, for example, with my business, I had to gather all the information and organize everything myself from scratch, I asked for his help, but he said you’ve got your computer, it’s easier for you to find everything you need; bureaucratic system is outdated here, and bureaucrats may be so incompetent and not nice that sorting things out with them made me cry even a couple of times, as I come from a country where people are more reserved and try to be polite, offering services; my relatives act warmly towards my husband whereas the majority of his seem to envy me as I come from a “better” (that is what they think) country, and Christian women don’t see the problem as I am supposed to be grown-up and not to shed tears for home, but the reality is I don’t feel at home where my new home is :( We support foreign students who come to study, which is great, but they are so young and don’t open up that easily, and I also need support, but my support system is nearly non-existent there.

  44. Snow
    August 26, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Hey ,

    I was married to a very , loving , sweet human being … The engagement time was awesome with a lot of bonding and trust .. The moment I got married things changed … His parents and sisters could not handle the new bonding and addition to there family

    My SIL and MIL starting playing manipulation one and his end alone and with me when I was alone breaking all the trust intimacy and bonding … It came to the point that he would humiliate me i front of them for reasons i am not aware of … And it increased day by day … Mostly because I stopped trusting him and disrespected him openly in front of his parents and relatives.. Little did I knew his reaction was only and only coz of fake stories being told to him by his MIL and SIL.

    I became depressed and left and went back to my home country. We are separated since two years. His MIL and SIL are happy spending all his money but he does not seem to be happy.

    My heart sinks , trust , loyalty and respect is lost .. I have forgiven him and them. But I’m not moving on ? Why

    • peacefulwife
      August 26, 2014 at 10:09 am #

      Snow,
      My heart completely breaks for your situation! It is wrong for extended family to come between a husband and wife. :( Matthew 19:5-6

      and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH ‘? 6″So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”

      Do either you or your husband have a relationship with Christ?

      God is able to heal your marriage. But, it may involve upsetting extended family members to do things God’s way. Have you been talking to your husband? What does he want to do?

      You are not moving on because God has joined you together and it is tearing your soul in half to be separated. You are one now. One flesh. And one spiritually. You are supposed to be together until death parts you. That is why you are both in so much pain.

      I am praying for you! And I am here and glad to talk with you if you would like to!

      You may be able to apologize for your disrespect and focus on becoming the woman and wife God calls you to be. I have seen God heal MANY, MANY marriages when just one person begins seeking Him with all his/her heart.

      Much love!

  45. Aebony
    September 1, 2014 at 1:49 am #

    I am going through a lot of what everyone else is going through and right niw my heart is broken. My MIL had always made snide remarks to me when my husband (then boyfriend) was not around…about me being american, about my skin tone, about my hair texture, and so on. I would call home crying every time we would visit them (the live far away) . Started dating mhy husband at 16 …been together 18 years now. She got better when I got pregnant with our first child ( we were not married ) …but when we git married..she stopped talking to us both fkr a couple of years. Somehow she came around…but family drama has lead her to not talk to me and not even acknowledge our kids. My problem is, that I am hurt that my husband still speaks tk her, and just recently traveled to see her…and she does not acknowledge ohr kids AT ALL. I feel like our kids come with the package..how can he botger with her when she has completely stopped having anything to do with his children. Am I wrong ?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Honoring Our Husbands as We Celebrate Christmas | Peacefulwife's Blog - December 6, 2013

    […] Why Won’t He Protect Me from His Family? […]

  2. If You Insist on Being “in Charge” – He Figures You Can Protect Yourself | Peacefulwife's Blog - June 3, 2014

    […] Why Won’t He Protect Me From His/My Family? […]

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