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The Voice in His Head

by the Respected Husband

On Sunday, September 23rd, the Peacefulwife ran a guest post by Kayla Gulick titled My Demon. In the article, Kayla described how all of the voices in her head accuse her husband of the worst. This prompted a discussion between the Peacefulwife and me. She then asked me about whether a guy has similar voices in his head that paint a bad picture of his wife’s intentions.

FROM A HUSBAND’S PERSPECTIVE

I told her that husbands do have a voice in their head, but it rarely talks about their wives. It is a voice telling them “You don’t have what it takes to do ……,” “You are a failure at …..,” “You are an inadequate husband, father, or son”, and “You are not good enough.” Now, I need to clarify that this voice isn’t on all of the time and usually confined to one topic at a time. This is very different from how the Peacefulwife has explained to me about women’s brains where you have an internal voice coming at you accusing your husband and justifying your disrespect and need for control almost constantly (when a wife is cherishing sin in her heart and is not filled with God’s Spirit).

Much to my surprise, after I had made that statement I turned to find the Peacefulwife with mouth agape, stunned, and fascinated with my response. Shortly, after a little water and some cool compresses on her forehead, she said, “Hmm…Satan’s strategy is to attack the God-given spiritual authority from two sides. The accuser fills the wife’s head with a barrage of ammunition against her husband about how he is not worthy of respect and how she is totally justified in her disrespect and contempt. AND the accuser fills the husband’s head with thoughts about how he is not worthy of respect and that his wife is absolutely right in her observation of his faults. The two accusing voices paralyze leadership in the marriage, in the church, in business, and in government.”

IS THIS NORMAL?

Not wanting to jump to conclusions too quickly, we wondered if this theory held up in other marriages. Understanding that a voice in my head just started saying, “Yeah….Sure, check this out…You will only find that you are different than other guys. Other guys are better than you and wouldn’t think like this at all.” So, the Peacefulwife posted the question on the Facebook page. Shortly, Kayla Gulick responded that she had just asked her husband the same question without giving him my response and he said THE SAME EXACT THING.

Another reader, a husband, responded, “I ditto your husband. We fight the fear that we may not be ‘up to the job’ almost every day. But we are men, so it is shameful to talk about it.”

A husband wants to hide any insecurities or faults that he thinks he has because he is afraid that his wife or family will not respect him.  He is afraid that he might lose any clout that he might have with his wife and family if he was to let a weakness be revealed.

Wow….So far so good with testing this theory. At church on Sunday evening, we asked the same question to several men to see if they responded in the same way. Their responses seemed to first indicate that maybe I do think like a man and secondly, and probably most importantly, that the idea of Satan attacking the spiritual authority of the marriage from both sides was probably true.

So I started searching for a way to describe what a man hears in his head and I came to the conclusion that the voice in his head is all about exposing his insecurities. I found the following quote from Jake Dudley, a 24 year old blogger, to be a really good description of how a man thinks.

And that’s all insecurity is – FEAR. Fear of things we have no control over in the first place. I know what it feels like. I’ve been faced with the doubt you experience when you are staring at a person of the opposite sex wanting soooo badly to tell them how you feel. But instead you stand there frozen from the insecurity of thinking they’ll NEVER like someone as ugly as I think I am. I’ve stood at the crossroads of a major life decision thinking that no matter which I choose I will fail, so instead I turn into a little boy and run away from all possibilities. I’ve ended things and started things and ignored people and ran away from opportunities all because somewhere along the way I believed my self-inflicted insecurities defined who I was as a man.

But here’s the thing: insecurity has NOTHING to do with who I actually am as person. Instead, it has EVERYTHING to do with who I’m terrified of becoming if I take a risk. I usually think I’ll fail. I usually think I’m not good enough. I usually think girls think I’m ugly. I usually think my time has run out. I usually think and think and think my way into a pity party of self-loathing and doubt that I forget that I was created in the image of an extraordinary God.

One Man’s Insecurities by Jake Dudley, www.corycopeland.net

A WIFE’S ROLE

A guy is always going to have insecurities and feel inadequate to fulfill his role as a husband and father. How can a wife work to control the demons that are not only speaking to her but her husband as well?  Your husband needs your respect, your trust, your belief in him, your admiration, and your affirmation. These are the confidence pills for the common insecurity. With a little boost of encouragement your husband can overcome and lead your marriage. I found the following quote from www.greatdatespot.com to be a great description of the role of a wife in handling his insecurities:

But here’s the thing- a man’s wife has a special place : she can truly build him up and quiet all other voices of insecurity -or- she can be the loudest voice of insecurity in the world. It’s a strange and magnificient power that you women yield. And it’s a power given by the source of security.

And while it may seem that these two oppose one another- they don’t. After all- a marriage is supposed to be mirror image of a person’s relationship with Jesus- so if it’s Jesus that a man’s security comes from- then it makes sense that a wife can wield similar power…if she chooses.

Ladies- you should understand- you have two choices here- to be the voice of encouragement and bolster your husband’s security or to be the voice of insecurity and rejection and crush your man (yes- you have that power). There is no third choice- if you choose to disengage and try to be in the middle- you are choosing the latter.

Ladies- your acceptance is not just vocal- though it is that. It’s not just sex, though it is that as well. It’s not respect, though it is that too. It’s all encompassing. Give him great compliments, give him great sex, give him great respect and you will see your husband be spurred on to become the man he was always meant to be. Think about it- the key to your husband becoming who he was meant to be- who you really want him to be – lies with you. Jesus could fully do it without you- but he chose to give you as a gift to your husband to speed it along. And I know, that seems like a tall order. That seems like a lot of weight on your shoulders. But it is your burden- or your joy- depending on how you look at it. Now that is your choice.

http://greatdatespot.com/2010/05/21/a-husbands-insecurity-from-10-things-men-wish-their-wives-knew-about-men/

Every wife wants her husband to be the moral authority for their family. Every husband wants his wife to be his biggest supporter, confidence booster, and encourager. When he can feel that he has your trust and appreciation it is like giving him a shot of energy.   That is why it is so easy for a man to literally become unplugged when he does not feel he is getting this support.  So what do you have if your husband is the moral authority of your family and you have the gift of energy he needs?

Moral + (e)nergy = Morale

Your marriage will have great morale. If my equation is correct the more of the energy you give him the greater the morale will be in your marriage. He will have the self confidence, self esteem, and drive to be the leader in your marriage and family.

But I know there are many who might say that, “My husband is definitely not the moral authority in our family and there is no way I can affirm him after what he has done.” Unfortunately, these husbands probably need the most support from their wives and yet their life yields very few opportunities for their wife to show praise and compliment thim. I think Priscilla Shirer addresses this pretty well in the following quote:

Now perhaps your husband has consistently proven that he’s not worthy of your trust. He’s been careless with money, drawn to addictions, perhaps even unfaithful to his marriage vows. The reason you can’t ascribe high value to his character, you say, is because he hasn’t shown you very much of it. And you’re right—his carelessness, laziness, or lack of integrity is not your fault. You are not responsible for what he’s done and is doing, even if you’ve been less than careful about loving him well and feeding his ego.

But even you—even now—can resolve to affirm your husband and to promise that your trust in him is not gone forever. It may need to be reconstructed with the aid of outside help and ongoing accountability, but he needs to know that your heart’s desire is to reestablish confidence in him.

Your Husband’s Two Biggest Fears, Priscilla Shirer

If we understand the destructive nature of the voices in our heads and that Satan’s plan is to attack our marriage and family we can start silencing the voices. I know when I feel that my wife is in full support with me about something the voice I hear is, “You can do this because she trusts and believes in you.” The Peacefulwife is very good at saying, “I am going to look out for the good in my husband and let God deal with his sins.”

Let’s build up the morale in our marriages starting now.

When a wife refuses to obey God’s commands by disrespecting her husband, she cooperates with Satan and becomes a megaphone that amplifies the accuser’s message to her husband.  But when a wife respects and follows her husband, she cooperates with God and becomes an amplifier for God’s voice and His will.  WOW!  This is POWERFUL stuff!  May we use our power for great good, ladies! – The Peacefulwife

39 thoughts on “The Voice in His Head

  1. I believe the question of whether I am good enough or simply am I enough has been the thorn under the saddle of men since the garden. Certainly Satan poses the question and the world, largely through wives who are dealing with their own issues, chimes in and reinforces the question. As stated in the blog posting, it largely boils down to fear. Too sad that we fail to remember that: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7)

  2. This is so good!

    Thank you for amplifying the destructive voice which husband’s can hear all too clearly and of which most of us women are completely unaware!

    The enemy is NOT flesh and blood. It is not our husbands, but the destroyer of souls who would like nothing better than to take down as many as possible.

  3. Wow, I was right there with the peaceful wife, mouth open in shock! That was a definite cringe-worthy moment. I had no idea that this is what happens in our husbands’ heads, but it makes perfect sense. Now that we have that information, we are all better equipped to build up our men and our marriage and to drive Satan out of our lives.

    This is so insightful, thank-you for putting yourself out there and spreading the good word. You have positively affected my life and the lives of so many others.

    God bless.

    1. I definitely agree too! now God give us strength to do just that, fighting against our culture, and standing for marriage and the Gospel! Ya’ll have ministered so deeply – thank you for your service for His Kingdom!

  4. April — I keep being drawn to this post because it is so powerful. In considering it since I initially responded to it I remembered a book by John Eldredge, Wild at Heart — Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul, which has been of crazy wild importance to me and my understanding of myself and other men. Chapter two is captioned: “The Question That Haunts Every Man.” And that question, “Am i really a man?” “Do I have what it takes?” and “Am I enough?” is, I believe, at the very center of your issue of “The voice in his head.” Eldredge believes that at the heart of every guy is the need to be successful in the challenges he faces in three areas: A battle to fight (think Braveheart), an adventure to live (think Indiana Jones), and a beauty to rescue (think Romeo and his Juliet, King Arthur and his Guinevere, Robin and Maid Marian, Wesley and his Buttercup in Princess Bride). And, to your point, a disrespectful wife can inflict more damage than she could possibly realize — because her disrespect yells “No, you’re not man enough.” Anyway, the Wild at Heart book would be a great resource for any lady who desires to understand her man at the deepest level. Incidentally, the book also contains great insight regarding women. He believes that at the core of every woman is the desire to be fought for, the need for an adventure to share, and to have a beauty to unveil.

  5. I agree with every single word of this. This exactly describes my experience on those occasions when my wife was rooting for me. I specifically remember facing a huge work-related challenge about 8-9 years into our marriage, one that I felt inadequate for, and I encouraged myself in the mirror the morning of the task that I had a beautiful wife who loved me, so even if I failed I had something more important. And perhaps the highest point in our marriage was around the same time at a Thanksgiving Eve service at our church when my wife publicly thanked God for me and praised me as a husband and father.

    But this post also exactly describes my experience when my wife stopped encouraging/trusting/respecting me and went the other direction. I tried to describe to her on many occasions, sometimes with tears, the depth of the hurt that came with knowing that career and financial disappointments were not only not being offset by respect from her but were instead additional weights on top of her oft-expressed disapproval (which was the greatest emotional burden). Once or twice my words seemed to penetrate, but not for long (perhaps because, not surprisingly, I couldn’t be perfect — or even close to it — thereafter). Ultimately, the disapproval became contempt, and if your husband is contemptible, eventually you can rationalize an unbiblical divorce as being justified.

    Add to our generalized insecurity the specific failures and sins that we men know we’re guilty of, and it’s very, very difficult to maintain a functional level of confidence in the face of negativity from the woman we love. It’s great that the women authors cited above have grasped the power that God has given to wives, but that knowledge does not seem to be very widespread at all in the church. Thank God for Peaceful Wife’s and Respected Husband’s contributions to getting the word out.

  6. David J hits on a big word: inadequate. Men struggle with this from an early age. I can remember back to about age 16. It’s not all bad. Used properly, it can drive us toward God.
    Unfortunately, a wife witnessing a man battling this can mistake it as an inferiority complex and suspect that he is trying to feel superior at her expense by exercising “power over” her. But wives need to know it is not about themselves and that they only make matters worse by inserting themselves into the man’s solo struggle. It’s already difficult enough without his wife trying to make it all about her due to her own sense of insecurity. If only wives could give their husbands–and themselves–the benfit of the doubt and not assume the worst and not give in to their fears. Try to assume the best, that it’s not about you. A huge unneccesary burden could be lifted off the wife, yet also not added to the husband. A win-win. The biggest benefit is that the man will be able to lighten up a bit and not feel the weight of the world. If the wife piles on, he may never be able to lighten up and soon neither one will enjoy being around the other because it’s just too heavy. If this happen once, that’s bad enough. If it becomes a recurring pattern, over time it will risk choking the life out of the relationship.

    1. Unwobblingpivot,

      This is fascinating to me.
      Most wives have so much insecurity themselves and are looking for constant reassurance from their husbands – sometimes it is because we have made idols of our men and are trying to get reassurance from them instead of from God primarily. But women tend to interpret silence as hatred. We tend to make so many assumptions about our men because we think that they feel and think like we do and we have no idea how different they are. This is a huge problem because we expect men to be like women and we attach evil motives to our men unfairly. We know that if we did what they are doing, it would have to be because we were unloving and hateful. So we assume evil motives without realizing that our men are different and they are truly not plotting to destroy us, usually!

      When a wife can find her purpose, reassurance, hope, joy and strength in Christ, she has confidence in His no matter what her husband does – even when he is in a funk. And she can remain stable and unshaken. She takes her pain to God and finds her refuge in Him.

      Then she is able to build her husband up and become a source of faith and encouragement to him instead of becoming needy and insecure and doubting her husband’s motives.

      I think what you said is so important, wives should try to assume the best, that it’s not about them. I see MANY wives making this mistake, and they destroy their relationships, and don’t even realize they are doing it. I used to do this, too. But reading For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn helped me understand how very different men are and gave me empathy and understanding for my husband’s masculine perspective.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. My then wife read part of For Women Only, got mad, quit reading it, and rejected what little content she had seen. Oh well.

  8. Thank you so much for your writing. I have gotten so much out of it… I am working on being a respectful wife and I do ok until I drink my second glass of wine at night and I become very rude. I don’t know how to control my attitude when I drink I’m wondering if I should just to quit drinking?

  9. Thank you for articulating how men think so well. It gives greater clarity to why my husband responds to certain things in a way that often baffles me even after 20 years.

    I do want to research more deeply how Satan and his demons tempt us though. While I believe they tempt, it isn’t that they get inside a believer’s head and read our thoughts and have the power to put voices in our head the way the Spirit can. I think our sin nature has enough power to fall for the lies that are told outside of us through the world telling us what will make us happy, and Satan sure loves to have his hands on that, but he doesn’t indwell the heart of a believer. Just my humble understanding of what Scripture teaches. Feedback?

    1. Julie,

      I’m not sure about whether there would be “personal demons” or not. I am going to be starting a class on spiritual warfare this Sunday, and I am hoping I might be able to share what I learn there.

      Our sinful nature is certainly able to come up with a lot of these things on our own. Whether it is our sinful nature or the influence of the enemy – I want us to stop listening to that awful voice and listen to God instead! 🙂

      1. Yes, your point is well taken and I hope the tone of my comment didn’t come off as offensively challenging. That was not intention. Thanks for your reply. And thanks for your ministry here.

        1. Julie,

          No, not at all! 🙂 It can be difficult to tell for sure where the ideas come from that we replay over and over in our minds – the ungodly ones. My greatest concern is to get rid of those thoughts! 🙂 Much love!

  10. Love this post! I just have a question – so wives are to seek Christ for comfort first. Are husbands to do the same, right? When men have insecurities they need their wives to build them up, but when women do they need to run to Christ? I thought everyone is suppose to run to Christ first?

  11. Been there so many times. Gone through real serious encounters with Satan and his demons. Have had to do cleansings of our home, and blessings that thank God for our home and put the devil on notice that he has no place here. I know for a fact through these personal experiences that the only way to conquer it is to pray in the power of Jesus Blood over the situation. When you cover your husband and your children in the Blood of Christ constantly in prayer he loses his power to control us. My biggest challenge was getting those evil voices out of my head. At the same time they bombarded me I had just prayed for Jesus to give me discernment. I have a Spiritual warfare Bible and I went straight there when the struggles began and the Lord showed me that the devil does not want our marriages to last. When Christ is at the center of a marriage it causes a beacon of light to show to others, that with Christ alone through the power of His shed blood others will gravitate towards the LIGHT. I am so grateful you would start the discussion about demonic forces that seek to destroy our Christ like examples from the inside. Too many lollipop churches these days refuse to talk about this battle we are in with the devil and his demonic helpers. What those pastors are depriving their congregations of is the ability to teach how each Christian has been given the same power to stamp out those demons but it can only happen when we plead the blood of Jesus. That is the source of our power.

    1. Beenthere,
      Thank you for sharing! This is a spiritual battle – we easily lose sight of that – and then we become easy victims. I’m so thankful that Jesus is greater than he who is in the world!

  12. Hi, I have a question. I have struggled with insecurity, depression, etc for years (long before marriage). I hear the same voices that Greg hears, AND, when I come to my husband longing for understanding and he says things that hurt rather than help, the ones April and other wives hear.

    The thing is, my husband, a couple years back, began listening to a very cynical, unforgiving, “Pharisee” type of Christian. Since then, he has been very negative and tends to look for the worst in everything rather than the best. Up till that point, he had always been very positive, upbeat, and encouraging. I used to be able to talk to him about almost anything. He was really calm and relaxed most of the time.

    Now, I can hardly say anything of value to him (beyond small talk) because he has such black and white views on things. I don’t agree with everything he says, and I try to do so respectfully, but he doesn’t see it that way. I try to respectfully end the conversation and he gets angry. He wants me to tell the truth, but he also wants me to agree with him, which I cannot do. I won’t lie to him.

    Because I have angered him by answering him honestly, and perhaps because of the negativity, the feeling that I am not good enough keeps coming back. If I tell him about it, he says I am giving in to the flesh and I just need to stop.

    How do I respectfully disagree? Is disagreement considered disrespectful to all you guys?

    Is it normal to see disagreement as disrespect? He got really mad at me the other day for getting my hair trimmed too (it’s still long… just cut the dead ends ).

    -blessedout

    1. blessedout,

      Disagreement is not disrespect. Some men think it is. But even God allows us to ask questions and to have our own free will and opinions. I’m so sorry things have been so confusing and painful!

      Would you please search my home page for “Radiant” and read the two posts by her. I think you may find that she has had a similar experience as yours and that you may be able to relate to her.

      Your worth, value, and dignity do not come from your husband’s approval, but from Christ, my precious sister!

      Please check out:

      My Identity and Security Is in Christ Alone!

      What God Says about Me

      If I Respectfully Disagree with My Husband, He Gets Angry

      And for a wife’s story whose husband wanted a divorce and whose husband has been very negative and harsh toward her this past year, but the wife has been walking so much in God’s power, please check out this post.

      Also, Leslie Vernick’s site may be helpful if your husband tends to be very controlling. http://www.leslievernick.com/newsletter/091713-newsletter.html

      My greatest concern is that you address any wrong thinking in your own heart about God, yourself, femininity, masculinity, and marriage – so that you align your heart with God’s thinking and His design no matter what your husband is or is not doing. I hope that makes sense.

      Have you shared that you feel that he is being very negative? What does he say in response?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you! It is great to hear from you again, my precious sister!

  13. Today, my husband is comming home. He was at the coast for 10 days with his mom, his female friend and her mom, leaving me and our kids at home, because we don’t have a car or money, so non of us could go anywhere. I am so very angry, hurt and sad!
    My husband is not spiritual person at all, he is hanging out with that woman a lot, it is unbareable! She has a lot of money, she has a car, so he can go where ever he wants and do what ever he wants.
    All this time he is telling me that he loves me, wants just me and is physicaly faithful to me.
    But he lied to me so many times about so many things! How can he do this to his family and than talk about love?! How could I respect him?
    Do you think I should still behave according to what is written here? I don’t even know what to do any more.
    What do I do today, when he comes home? I really wasn’t going to be nice to him.
    This is so hard!

    Irena Bonnie

    1. Irena Bonnie,

      Ugh. 🙁

      This doesn’t really sound like a good situation at all. So heartbreaking!

      I am very confused. He claims he is not cheating on you. But he went on a 10 day vacation to the beach with his female friend?

      You can respect that he is a person made in the image of God. You can respect your marriage vows on your side and you can respect that he is your husband. But you are not required to respect sin. You are also not required to stay in a situation where a husband is committing unrepentant adultery or where it sure looks like he may be committing adultery. You don’t have to lash out in sinful ways against him. But you can decide if you feel he has crossed the line and is untrustworthy that you are not able to trust him and maybe not able to live with him until he is willing to be honest and rebuild trust.

      How is your walk with Christ going, my friend?

      Do you have a godly counselor you can speak to?

      Much love to you!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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