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"He Won't Talk to Me."

From a wife.  I know MANY of you can relate…
I thought I would send you a quick update on what is going on on my side of the world. I had a chance to talk to my husband this past Sunday.  I apologized to him for not respecting him and not submitting to him at times in our marriage.  I had a chance to share my heart and my concerns to him during our talk.  He listened, however, he rebutted each concern I had, telling me how I was not a doer of the Word and was lying to myself if I said I was, which is fine.  He was also a bit surprised that I apologized because he questioned why I all of a sudden see this now and had not in the past. 

I told him that the Lord was dealing with my heart and has shown me that I need to respect him as my husband if I am to truly be obedient to the Lord.  

We talked for about an hour and half.  He really did not react other than saying he’ll see how serious I am by seeing my actions.  I tried to kiss him on the cheek afterward but he said no and began to get angry when I tried twice (I tried twice because I still cannot believe he does not soften or break at all!!)

I walked away feeling hopeful. 

Hopeful only because I did what I thought the Lord wanted me to do, and not really because of anything my husband said or did.  I’ve been trying to talk to him a little here and there but for the most part, he still does not want to have anything to do with me.  He does not want to eat together, does not want me to cook for him, does not want to be in the same room as me (he walks out, other than when we go to bed) and there is NO talking.

He wakes up angry at me and goes to bed angry at me.  He is not a very expressive, jovial person by nature but now it’s really oppressive.  And to him, all this is in the name of “truth”.

I’m trying to be kinto him but not nagging him, loving to him but not aggravating to him.

am trusting the Lord and hope we get a breakthrough sometime soon.  I am trying to keep the joy of the Lord and the peace of the Lord in my soul in the midst of this.  I know that only the Lord can touch him because although he says he’s a Christian, I don’t know that he actually experienced or experiences the love of Jesus Christ and know, I mean really know, the truth of what He did for us.  If he did, I just can’t see how he would would be treating me his wife, or even a sister in the Lord, like this. That is where I need to look at him, like you said before, as someone who is lost and needs to experience the love of God, and maybe that is through me.  Not easy.  I miss him.

am also praying the Lord bring into my life some good Christian girlfriends or activities to take up some of my time because it’s very lonely here when he continues to ignore me, day after day.

I have been reading your posts every day and some others that have helped in living with difficult/unloving Christian husbands.  The information and encouragement of scriptures have been a blessing.  I wonder if there is something more I need to be doing now, other than confess my sins to the Lord and to my husband and praying.  Something to maybe help break through this silence that is screaming to me day and night.

Thanks April, for listening.

It is wonderful to hear from you!
It sounds to me like you are doing things pretty well – seeking God and desiring to obey Him.  That is the place to be! 🙂
We went through a time similar to this in our marriage.  It was during the time when I was nursing our youngest around the clock, many times 3-4 times through the night.  I was living on 2-4 hours of sleep most nights.  The baby and I were sick 2/3 of the time.  I was working in the pharmacy 20 hours/week.  Greg was renovating our house.  He was working 40 hours/week and then working on the house from 6pm-12midnight 5-6 days/week.  He was beyond exhausted.  I was beyond exhausted.  I started demanding that Greg help me.  There were times he would’t look at me, wouldn’t answer me, wouldn’t talk with me and wouldn’t touch me.  I never imagined marriage could be so lonely.  But I had NO clue that it was largely my disrespect and control that were repelling him.  (Let me just say – that being extremely sleep deprived for 19 months does NOT make it easy to show respect!!!!)
These suggestions are for wives whose husbands have felt very disrespected and have shut down for that reason.   May husband was not trying to control or punish me, just trying to protect himself.  If your husband is very critical and controlling, these ideas may help – but always seek God’s wisdom and listen to His voice over my suggestions in any circumstance!  Abide in Jesus every moment!  If there are serious issues in your marriage – your husband is involved in drug/alcohol addiction, infidelity or has an uncontrolled mental health disorder or is physically violent – please find godly help in your area ASAP!
I suggest:
– don’t try to force him to do anything.  I believe that you may have to accept his silence and anger for now.  Apparently this has been going on for quite a long time.  It will likely take many months or longer to heal.   It took me 2 years to feel like I had any clue what I was doing to show him respect and to stop all the disrespect and to honor his leadership.  It took my husband 2 years and 10 months for all of his walls to fall.
 – embrace the silence – for as long as it takes.  Do not expect “soon.”  God may change him soon – or it may take time.  That is ok.  God is sovereign here.  We will trust God to work in his heart.  This is the time for you to get out of God’s way and definitely do NOT talk about spiritual things, the future of the relationship, God, the Bible, church, his sin, etc…  Here are a few ways:
  • Smile – just to bless him and just to honor Christ – and because you have joy in Jesus and all He has done and is going to do!
  • When you do speak, use a pleasant tone of voice and a friendly facial expression to bless him.  Picture Jesus behind his shoulder.  Jesus counts everything you do for your husband as if you are doing it for Him!
  • Don’t push words.  Allow him to be silent without trying to force or coerce him into talking.
  • I wouldn’t say a lot of things right now, BUT, when you see him in the morning, you can certainly say a cheerful, “Good morning!”  Just to bless him WITHOUT expecting any acknowledgment in return.  Smile and say, “Welcome home, Honey!”  in the evening.  I think you can also say friendly things occasionally.  And you can mention things that are interesting and things that are going on in your life – but I would be BRIEF.
  • You can also say sincere things every once in awhile – maybe one of these every other day or so – like:
    • I’m really glad you’re here
    • I’m honored/glad to get to be your wife.
    • I love living here with you.
    • I like having a man like you around the house.
    • I’m feeling so happy today (when you are full of God’s joy)!
    • Nonchalantly walk into the room and say, “I was just thinking about some of the things I respect about you…”  then leave the room continuing about your chores or whatever you are doing. (have at least 4-5 things ready to list in case he asks you “What things?”  If he asks.  Smile and tell him the things on your list, and then continue on about your business.). This is from Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.
    • Thank you for working to provide so well for us.
    • (If he fixes something or cuts the grass or does ANYTHING around the house that requires effort) Thank you SO much, Honey!
  •  Continue to focus on Romans 12:9-21, I Peter 3:1-6, I Corinthians 13:4-8, Philippians 4:4-8
  • Find your joy, your identity, your purpose, your contentment, your peace, your strength, and the fulfillment of every need in Christ alone.
  • As soon as you find yourself discouraged, disappointed, frustrated… check your motives.  Be sure you are only doing these things to please Jesus, not to try to control or change your husband.
  • Accept your husband exactly as he is, even if he never changes.
  • Think of this as your mission from God – to bless this man and to obey God as you live your life before him.  How can you bless him today?  How can you meet his masculine needs for honor and respect?  How can you graciously support his leadership?
  • Ask God to give you His love for your husband.
  • Write down a list, and continue to add to it – of things you genuinely respect about your husband.
  • Write down the things your husband has done to hurt you – and tear it up, burn it – and forgive him completely in the power of Christ.
  • Keep your mind occupied with praise songs, scripture and thanksgiving.
  • Spend a LOT of time in God’s Word and in prayer each day.
  • We will pray for God to provide godly girl friends!
I hope this might be helpful!
Many of you have been through this.  Is there any godly wisdom you would like to share for others struggling in this very difficult, painful time of being completely shut out of their husbands’ hearts?

53 thoughts on “"He Won't Talk to Me."

  1. Thank you! A typical story with a great response! I can relate to this. I am in the same position, but to a less degree of anger. I know how you feel! And yes, it is very lonely. Especially for those of us who doesn’t have many female friends. I decided to volunteer at church in women’s ministry to help in this area and it will also give my husband more space at home. I also listen to worship music which soothes the soul and lifts me up singing praises to the Lord. He is good and His way is perfect. God loves our husband and us the same…This is unconditional love we also want to show. Don’t forget people are watching and you never know who your actions will minister to. (My husband’s family does not know the Lord.) We want to continue to be faithful all the days of our life!!

    1. Thank you Melodie for your comments. I’m the wife who sent in the post about “He won’t talk to me”. I appreciate your reminder of be careful on how I act because others are watching me. I’ve been praying for a few strong Godly girlfriends so I too can try and give my husband (and me) space. Thank you for your comment 🙂

  2. April, I think you have some great ideas here, but I think a word of caution is in order regarding the positive statements like “I love living here with you and I’m so glad I get to be your wife”. These are really great things to say when you really mean them, but when a husband is acting as the one above has been, it’s unlikely that he is unaware of how his behavior is affecting his wife. It might cause him to lose trust in her if he thinks she’s “blowing sunshine” if you know what I mean. It would be difficult to feel particularly great to be this guy’s wife. She can get her joy from serving him despite how undeserving he may be because it’s what we are called to do as wives to serve our Lord, Jesus. This joy is apparent to others without saying a word. Men don’t like to be condescended to and too much “nice” when he’s acting so “not nice” might be seen as manipulative or guilt tripping. I think it’s enough to feel joy in your heart, continue providing for his needs and provide positive feedback when appropriate.

    This is something I’ve learned from my husband and obviously every man is different so maybe it’s only applicable to us, but I thought I’d throw it out there anyway. If any husband’s are reading today, I’d love to know your thoughts.

    You’re doing amazing things here, April!!!

    1. Trixie,

      I totally agree… that is why I said to only say them if you can say them sincerely. Very good point!

      I pray that each wife might be sensitive to her own husband’s needs and to God’s leading.

      I doubt that saying “I’m so glad to be here with you” would be a great idea the day after repenting for 15 years of disrespect when a husband has been stonewalling for 1 year. But, over time, I think it is important to share positive emotions (real ones) and happy feelings. God can give us joy in such a situation.

      But yes – it will require finesse and discernment on the part of each wife about specifically what to say and when and how to say it -with God’s help! 🙂

      Thanks, Trixie!

    2. Hi Trixie, you’re right, my husband does not like or respond to (at least right now) anything I say or do, even if it’s a praise of some sort. However I have been following April’s advice and seeing that my husband is reacting to the small things I’m doing like saying “good morning” or “good night” to him, even when he does not say anything back to me. I’m making him dinner every night although he won’t eat with me, that is hard. But I try to constantly think in my heart that I’m making this dinner for the Lord and Him only 🙂 Thank you for commenting, I am absorbing all of this during this challenging time.

  3. God is good. Praise Jesus! Exactly what I needed and have been looking for and praying for for the last few days! Thank u

    1. Mrsdarlings,

      That is true! Sometimes husbands get more angry after a wife repents – because now they feel like it is ok to express their anger over feeling so disrespected. Or sometimes they are testing their wife to see if these changes are “for real.” Or sometimes, they don’t like change and try to get their wife to do the old “dance” like before.

      There can definitely be a period where things seem worse.

      Here is a post about that:
      I am TRYING to Respect and Submit but My Husband is More Unloving than Ever! What is Going on?!”

  4. Wow! This is similar, very similar to my sit but my hubby will talk to me. He’s said the exact’ same words to me that he said to her. He won’t believe I’ve changed or are sincere until he see’s consistent action. I also dont have ANY godly women friends who see.the importance of godly femininity and respect. I sometimes get a little discouraged at that fact but to it helps me to lean more full w and completely on Jesus alone. He is a friend who sticks closer than any brother! When I refocus my mind and heart to Him, He provides what I’m lacking from female relationships . I know that He will provide those for me in His timing and I think tbat He is using this time of solidarity to clean up my mind and heart, draw me closer to Him and to prepare me in every way so that I can be a help to my future friends .and help lift them up. Thank you April! I love your response to her. I wrote them down and will pursue your suggestions. I love the part about making that my mission. Because of our society its not politically correct for a wife to do this and. God’s word requires it. There’s peace in knowing that i dont have to pursue riches, status, fame, being a “diva” or what some who call a modern woman, or even an international mega minister with a million dollar ministry but that God is pleased if I am successful at making my husband and children my ministry.

    1. Nekiwa,

      I believe this is an extremely common situation. So I am really glad we are talking about it!

      I didn’t have any godly women friends to help me either. My husband was immediately very forgiving. But it took 2 years and 10 months for all of his walls to fall from the time I repented. And It took me a LONG time to have any clue how to obey God and honor Him and my husband in all of this.

      The good thing about when our husband’s don’t immediately change is that we HAVE to depend on Jesus. That is actually a GREAT thing!

      I am so excited about what God is doing in your heart, my precious sister!

      Thank you for sharing!

    2. Hi Nekiwa, thanks for your post. I am encouraged by your comments and I’m trying to do the same. I really need a breakthrough in this because it’s very hard when my husband “thinks” what he is doing is of the Lord….and says I am defiant and unsubmissive to the Lord…he is punishing me for what I have done and does not seem to have any grace in this, even after I apologized…..I’m dwelling under his winds and resting in his presence…

  5. One thing I might add is to try not to think too much about the situation you are in. Think about your goal, think about your Lord, but don’t intently think about your sorrow. I find that when I allow my mind to focus on the most painful things, I am soon an angry fireball. For me, it is an indulgence I cannot allow. But perhaps you, dear wife, are a stronger person than I am- I cannot seem to take it to God only- it spills over into everything. I see it as choosing to deny the destructive force to rule my thoughts, but since it is more powerful than I am, I have to also deny it entry. Hobbies that take up any extra time you have may help. Knitting, for example. A really hard pattern where all you can think about is ‘knit one, purl two’.

    Remember the girl he married? What was she like? Try to reclaim the good things about her- hairstyle, cute mannerisms, clothes choices, hobbies, weight, etc. Remind him visually of the girl he married.

    PeacefulWife doesn’t say anything about it, but it is worth mentioning: Do you make sexual advances towards him? Flirt? Without knowing your situation, it is hard to give advice, but most men see “she wants to sleep with me” as a sign of respect, acceptance, and love.

    Persevere. Is 46:4- “Even to your old age, I am He, And even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; Even I will carry, and will deliver you.” The silence cannot last, but you must strengthen yourself. For me, the silence came before the storm. When he feels like you are sincere, he may reveal the anger that has been stewing in his heart. What comes next may be more difficult than what you currently face. Strengthen yourself in the Lord.

    1. Renata,

      God has filled you with so much wisdom! You are such a blessing!

      I definitely couldn’t think about negative things – only about Phil 4:8 things.

      I like that about remembering “the girl he married.” 🙂

      I believe that this wife’s situation is similar to many wives whose husbands feel disrespected – that he won’t touch her because he feels so disrespected.

      But – I am sure there are some husbands who may be sexually receptive even in their anger and feelings of disrespect.

      LOVE LOVE LOVE that verse in Isaiah.

      Thank you so much!

    2. Wow Renata, thanks for the encouragement and suggestions. I’m trying to discipline myself NOT to dwell on the situation and keep my mind on the Lord. Jesus Christ is the lover of my soul and has been there for me through so many valleys and mountaintops. I know he is faithful and I have seen his hand move mightily in my life. I know the girl he married is right here, he just does not seem to like or appreciate her because he thinks I am not a meek and quiet wife that is submissive. You ask if I make sexual advances toward him, yes I do (or did) but he does not respond AT ALL – AT ALL – because he says it’s turns him off when I am not submissive…I am focused on the Lord and making sure I’m submitting to Him, it’s just a little more difficult when that means I have to submit to my husband with no reaction at all!

      1. Going through the same thing and it is very hard indeed. But mine has went from looking at me with a look of disgust and hardly talking at all and if at all it was gruff… so unlike his nature…. to talking and telling me about his day at work and thanking me when I do something for him like being him something he didn’t ask for etc. He is softening. Keep praying and finding all happiness in Him alone, listen to advice from April and others. .. he will come around.

  6. April gave excellent advice here. I would really listen to this point. “•Accept your husband exactly as he is, even if he never changes.”

    Ultimately this change to show him respect is not about hubby at all, it’s about you and God. For me, it took over 15 years, but it would have been a lot quicker if I had been trying to respect for the right reasons. April’s was much quicker than mine. kudos to you sister! I just could NOT get that it wasn’t about ME. My view was that, as I changed a little he should respond a little. This forced my focus to be on my husband and comparing his changes (or lack of changes) to mine.

    When I finally did get it and wanted to change ONLY for God – this was when my husband started to respond. People relax when they feel accepted, truly accepted – this is the vein that God worked through with my husband.

    1. Robyn,
      I definitely went through that phase – I was trying to change my husband by respecting him and submitting to him. It was still about me controlling and changing him. THAT DID NOT WORK!
      Just in case any of you want to know!

      Actually, I am thankful that it took so long for my husband to change because it forced me to purify my motives and look at my ungodly motives and determine to do this only for God. That was REALLY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!

      1. I totally get it now! As I read this comment, I realized that had my husband started showing “love” to me as soon as I started showing respect to him, I would not have come to the place I am today…there would have been no need to dig deeper, pray harder, try to be pleasing unto the Lord…I would have gotten what I was after..the love of my husband back. I do miss him, I had him for 19 years in the most awesome relationship on the planet and when he mentally, physically and spiritually withdrew from me, I thought I’d literally die from a broken heart. I have never hurt that badly in my entire life. But had he started showing an ounce of love to me, I certainly would not have obtained what I feel and know today. I am excited beyond words at what is in store for us, our relationship and marriage and what else? I just don’t know! But I know it is going to be something beyond my wildest dreams…I just know it!

        1. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LTL YOU’VE GOT IT!

          God desires us to learn to trust Him alone and to please Him alone. This is a process of being made holy.

          He will not let us find contentment in idols – even if they are good things. He is SO VERY GOOD!

          I hope you might let me share this comment in a post sometime?

          1. You have my permission to share any post I write! There’s an old southern gospel song sung by J.D. Sumner and the Stamps Quartet back in the day called ” If I Can Help Somebody” (then my living has not been in vain) that comes to mind. That is my purpose. Now I’m really aging myself ha!

  7. Hi, I just wanted to say firstly to this wife ‘here’s a hug! and second, I live in the UK but if you lived close by I would take you for a cuppa! My husband has not been easy, we have had so many arguments and he has ignored me in the past but only for a few days, I know how much it hurts.
    Its really good that you have apologised, April gives some great advice, I would follow all her guidance above and keep praying for strength to handle these tough times. You could perhaps check with him if he wanted you to cook a meal or just offer him a drink when you are making one but be very casual. If you get to plonk a drink in front of him, make sure you wear some nice subtle perfume and perhaps wear a tight or slightly more revealing top! I think you could certainly get him to soften with prayer and a few feminine tricks! I hope this isn’t bad advice, April gives the best advice! just be there and be real, you have made the first great step with talking to him. We have much to learn, but you are not doing this alone. I’ve just done ‘the respect dare’ and I’m going to do it again as still keep saying/doing the wrong things! Try to stay positive and not be the holy spirit, look after yourself, God loves you . Xx Julia

  8. I have recently come across this site after having the wind knocked out of my sails by my husband of nearly 20 years. I don’t know where to begin with my story, but let me just say that I can totally relate to this wife’s story. It is so close to my situation it is almost like she has been hiding under my bed! My husband and I have always been so close, never hardly went to the grocery store without each other. Even if he just had to run down to the hardware store to do some “man shopping” he always said “Hey, come go with me,” and I always did. If I had an out of state work conference, it was just understood…if he couldn’t go along, I didn’t go! That was just how we have always been and I loved it. This is my second marriage, and my first one was 17 years of survival raising 3 children with a husband who had a gambling problem and was never home. So I became very co-dependent but never knew that until after I divorced him. I married at 17 so I was young and dumb. And as they say, when your dumb, you have to be tough. And tough I was. I took care of everything. My second husband (I’m his first wife) and I met at church. He is quite a bit younger than me. Our age difference has always been a fun topic for him because he always loved seeing peoples expressions when he would say something about his grandson. We married when he was 22 and I was 37. Our marriage has always been very very good, we have always said that we didn’t think anyone on the planet “loved each other like we did.” So down through the years, we worked and came home and did everything from hunting to four-wheeling and camping to jumping in the car and just driving to no place in particular. We just loved to be together. After about 12 years, we picked up and moved out of state to be near my aging mother. My husband started a small business, I found work managing a physicians office. We bought an old house to renovate and that’s when things started going south. We took on a lot of debt to make the house livable and then the economy went south as well and as he fought to stay in business and took on a side job to help pay bills though the slow economy, we both became very stressed over finances. I don’t want to ramble here, but feel I need to give specifics in order to bring you to the current time and position I found myself in. His health became an issue, lots of unexplained problems with joints and muscle injuries that wouldn’t heal. Long story short, he was finally diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. This has been in the last 2 years. He has been so exhausted and has pushed himself to continue working when he would wake up feeling beat to death every morning, and I continued in my job and pretty much carried the load as far as paying bills because he was unable to pay himself from his business; everything he made went toward business expenses. I always encouraged him and told him that it would pick back up and it was fine with me that I was paying all the household bills. I never made him feel less of a man/leader because of his situation in his business. However, there were lots of times that I was “too tired’ and I guess I was too tired way too many times because 6 months ago the day after my mom passed away after a long hospital stay, he began stonewalling. I was devastated. I didn’t understand. He would always say ‘I’m just too tired and exhausted and have no desires anymore. I don’t have any desire to hunt or fish or do any of those things.” All of this was so “not normal” for my husband, that I began to ask questions. The more I asked questions, the more he tried to stay away from me. He would just go off to his shop and stay for hours. Then one day we were driving to a job that I was helping him do and I just came right out and asked him if he loved me. He just pulled off the road and just looked at me with tears in his eyes and said “I don’t know.” I thought my heart would rip out of my chest. Then he said, he thought he loved me but just didn’t feel anything anymore. I had just lost my mother and now I had lost my husband who I loved dearly. I thought I would throw up right then and there..but I calmed myself enough that I was able to talk calmly to him and asked him what I had done to make him feel this way. He said he didn’t know. But as I began to read everything I could get my hands on and began praying like I had never prayed before, God started letting me find books and websites that have really taught me a lot. I read the book “love and respect’ which was a real eye opener. I had been in church all of my life and my husband and i have been in church all our married life and I have read about marriage in the Bible and never realized the correlation between a man being commanded to love his wife because he was not created to love naturally and the wife being commanded to “reverence” or respect her husband because we were wired by God to love naturally but not respect..therefore it is our commandment. Wow! I was blown over by all this and started looking back over the last 10 year at how I was a control freak in our finances, tried to get him to take his medicine, try this and try that to fix his health issues…I’m sure I ridiculed him in front of friends and made him feel less of a man and for sure not the leader of our home. Don’t get me wrong, I was doing all this in an honest effort to be helpful. But I know now that it was causing him to withdraw in a big way. I think he became so exhausted that he had no fight left in him to “put up with my controlling attitude” so he just walked out on me emotionally and intimately. I have written him card after card and letter after letter apologizing and acknowledging that I now know the error of my ways but nothing much has changed. I’m like the sister in the post…I have felt like i’m living with a total stranger in my own house. It has been so painful that I actually have chest pain sometimes. I will get off by myself and cry and pray until I have totally mentally drained myself. And it has been through the times of sincere prayer that God has been able to reveal to me that I have sinned against Him by the way I have disrespected my husband…I have a good heart and none of it was intentional, but nevertheless, I was and I’m living day to day just trusting in the Lord to deal with my husband’s heart and I am being as respectful as I know how to be. The only real change i have seen in the last month, is he at least has started talking to me in idol conversation about his day at work. I now put my phone down and really listen. I used to listen half way while i was texting someone or working on my computer. I was not in tune with him like i needed to be and he felt this to be that I didn’t really care what he had to say. I have turned him down sexually so many times that he says he feels nothing when he touches me. This hurts me to the core of my being. That was something that has always been so very special to both of us, but because I was so tired and stressed out, I let that part of our life go down the tubes…unknowingly. We talk about the days events, we are still active in our church..nobody has a clue we are going through all this. This is really scary putting this out there for the public to read!! I would love to be a friend to this wife because I imagine we could talk for hours about what we are both experiencing. It is so foreign to me..just seems like a nightmare that I can’t wake up from. I would have never thought this could happen to “us” but it has!! But I’m trusting in an Almighty God who has all power over this situation, and I truly believe that when I have really surrendered myself to His will in my life, he will soften my husband’s heart and I will have the man I love back in my life and that we will be happier than we have ever been. I know God is working all of this for our good because we both love Him and He loves us! Thank you for this website and blog. It has been such a blessing to me and I have learned so very much from it. You are doing a great work here Peacefulwife and I’m thankful to have found you! Please pray that my situation will change
    and I will get my husband back. I love him so much it hurts, but I know I have hurt God over the years and that is why I’m now going through this trial.

    1. LearningtoLean,

      I am so glad to meet you! 🙂

      I can definitely relate a lot to your situation. I, too, thought I was being “helpful” – but sometimes, what seems helpful to a woman can feel smothering, mothering and controlling to a man.

      I also used to have chest pain (just from the tension – not actual angina). I had NO CLUE that I was contributing to my husband’s shutting down and depression.

      I am really glad that you are learning to pay full attention to your man when he talks – that is awesome!

      I totally believe that God is able to heal your situation.

      The place you are right now – total surrender to God – humility before Him and having a desire to obey Him alone – that is exactly the place to start for God to begin to change you. 🙂

      Here are a few posts that may be helpful:

      Dealing with financial stress in marriage (This wife spent 20 years withholding sex from her husband – she talks about her journey to forgiveness in her marriage and with God. I have read a few posts, and I think it may be helpful)

      Also, be sure to check out “Respect and Sexual Attraction”

      And you may want to see the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect, respect and biblical submission.

      I am ALWAYS glad to hear from you, pray with you and support you. I will do my best to point you to the unfathomable power, love, mercy and grace of Christ!

      I lift up LearningtoLean and her husband to Your throne room in heaven. I pray for You to continue to draw her to Yourself – exposing any sin that offends Your perfect holiness and molding her to be more and more like Jesus. I pray for healing for her husband and their marriage. I thank and praise You for what You have already done, what You are doing and all that You will do in this family!
      In the Name and power of Christ,

      Much love to you!

  9. To clarify – when Greg shut me out earlier in our marriage, it was mostly self-protection.
    Sometimes husbands go silent to punish. That was not Greg’s motive.

    But I have seen some controlling husbands who demand total respect and even “obedience” punish their wives with silence.

    I don’t have personal experience with a husband with that motive. So I definitely appreciate any wives who have walked this road sharing their godly wisdom with Linda. 🙂

  10. Thank you thank you for sharing all this. I find myself in a horribly affection less marriage. I’m so sad. My husband wants nothing to do with me in every sense of the word.I’m truly in love with him. I know I do not disrespect him, withhold from him, nor do I not serve him, I submit to all his decisions and don’t challenge them or rebel. I’m so isolated and I too have no one but Jesus the Christ to turn to. I feel valueless and unattractive and unworthy of his attention. Pls help me.

    1. Wifee,

      Please check out the comments on yesterday’s post “Facing Our Deepest Fears” – we had a big discussion about that!

      How is your walk with Christ?

      Do you know why he wants nothing to do with you?

      Has it always been like this?

      Praying for you and sending you a huge hug, my precious sister!

  11. I just came across this. This is really good advice. Often I come across advice that advises a woman to just talk to her husband about her feelings. This does not work with us. I also see advice that advises women to be more disrespectful, causing the cycle to continue. I like how you focus on how women only have control for themselves.

  12. Great advice. Most advice that I have read advises you to talk to your husband, which obviously doesn’t work if he won’t talk to you. Some advice says that he is being emotionally abusive, which I don’t really agree with. Many people also offer advise that advises more disrespect from the wife. I like how you said he’s not trying to punish you, but rather protect himself. I always thought my husband was trying to hurt me not protect himself. Great advice.

    1. linseyak,

      I used to think the same thing, that my husband was intentionally trying to hurt me. Now I know that the was trying to protect himself from my verbal attacks. Yikes! I sure WISH I had understood that 21 years ago when we were first married. So glad this is a blessing. 🙂

  13. Hello. I’ve been following you for 3 years now and it looks like I left a comment here 2 years ago! I completely apologized 2 years ago for my disrespectful behavior in our marriage
    My situation with stonewalling was:
    He stonewalled me completely for 3 months straight this year no goodbyes or good mornings – no eating with me or family. Then the unthinkable happened he got caught in adultery of 2.5 yrs. right when his coldness started and he blamed me for my bad behavior. He had to blame me to justify himself for what he did. He has apologized – ive forgiven but he still has a wall of hurt up. His wall is bigger than mine- (I feel like the betrayer). We are in godly counseling but he is far from God. Please pray for a miracle in our marriage and that God will bring beauty from Ashes.

    1. Carla,

      Oh goodness! So painful!!!!! 🙁 Sometimes people who are being unfaithful do get very cold and try to blame things on their spouse and look for faults in their spouse so they can justify their sin. Of course, God does not give any of us a free pass to justify sin.

      How long ago was he caught? How long have you been in counseling?

      What is the counselor suggesting for you to do?

      How is your walk with Christ, my precious sister?

      How are you in general now?

      Praying for you both!!!!!

      Much love!

      1. Hello April
        He confessed to me 5 months ago after he was caught not by me. He’s apologized but I see no remorse. He’s pushed himself away from the things of God and using work as an excuse. I’ve forgiven him but I’m so codependent on him it’s scary. I’ve been in counseling by myself since jan cuz I knew my marriage wasn’t right and that is when he began stonewalling and told me he wanted divorce. But after he confessed he wanted to stay married But just be roommates because he says he’s changed cuz of the disrespect and has no feelings for me. So here I sit feeling called to stay married by God even though biblically I can leave. He has been coming to counseling for 2 weeks now cuz I asked him to leave the house because he was making NO effort in marriage. God has led us to godly counselor. Now I’m waiting and seeing if God will work on his heart. He’s working on mine. Thank you for ur bitterness blog today. Was that specifically for me?:). Plz continue ur prayers for me. I still have 2 high schoolers at home.

        1. Carla,

          Goodness. 🙁

          Would you be able to describe what you mean by being codependent on him?

          What is the counselor suggesting that you do?

          The bitterness post is for all of us, my dear sister! 🙂

          Praying for God’s wisdom, healing, peace, and power in your life, your husband’s life, and in your family.

          What do you believe God is calling you to do to work on your side of things?

  14. April, I know this is an old post, but I’m hoping for some advice from either you, or other women. What do we do when our husbands are going through something, and somehow turn against us? My husband has all of a sudden decided there has been many many awful things that happened this year, and basically he’s down on himself fr a number of reasons. It’s turned to me, and although he says it’s because I was disrespectful in my response to his grumpy attitude (which I was, and tried to apologize for), I have a feeling it’s about much more. How do I respect my husband during this time? Ive lost my best friend all of a sudden, and it’s crushing to be ignored and snapped at.

    1. Samantha,

      It is very tempting to let our husband’s awful mood or depression or spiritual bondage drag us down into an abyss, too.

      I am not sure exactly what is going on with your husband. If it is okay, I would like to ask some questions to try to get a sense of what is going on. 🙂

      Is he struggling with shame, dealing with an addiction or mental health issue, medical problems, financial stress, a side effect of a medication, a spiritual attack, a lot of stress at work? There are so many things that might trigger a husband to react like this.

      Has this kind of thing ever happened before?

      He says he needs space? Or is he saying what he wants you to do or how he would feel respected and supported now?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      What is his relationship with Christ?

      Have you been able to stop most of your disrespectful reactions?

      Is he reaching out for help to anyone?

      Has he talked about wanting to hurt himself? How severe is the situation?

      Do you have spiritual support?

      How long ago was it that he shut down?

      Much love and a huge hug to you! When I get a sense of what is going on, I will do my best to point you to Christ. 🙂

  15. Good day

    My boyfriend and I had been dating for the past 3 years and all seemed well until late 2014 where he started to stop calling; smsing & coming to see me. I questioned him wanting to know what was going on but all he said was he does’nt know what to say and he loves me so such; as he said. 2015 the ignoring act/behaviour contiuned; I cried & prayed the whole year cause I didnt know what to do & how to handle the sudden change in our relationship. I just carried on praying and asking God to direct me and reveal what was going on. I kept on calling him checking up on him and still questioning him about the sudden change but he never said a word until December where I was told of him having a new person in his life; and that he had introduced her to his family and this was all over facebook. And it seems like this had been going on since 2014.

    The funniest thing is that he has my bag of books at his place but he does’nt want to give them back to me; Ive called several times about them but he just keeps on ignoring me my calls. The other night he smsed saying that I should not do anything stupid he still cares. He walked out on me without a word and still ignores my calls. I just needed that closure so that I can move on with my life. I believe in talking things through or giving something thats worth it a second chance but if it does’nt work out then cut ties but he just decided to continue with his life like I never existed. I believe that you cannot start something new on top of something else. He should have ended our relationship first then build a new one. The grass might look greener the other side but there are seasons that the grass will go through. But Im grateful cause I have stopped calling him about my books. I have decided to leave him to God… God knows all nothings cause He is the author and finisher of our faith. Please say something😊 I am fighting so hard to get my life back… Ive been dead for a year… I havent stopped praying and believing in God for restoration and His direction in my life…

    1. LA<

      Yikes! That sounds unbelievably painful. So you were dealing with a guy who wasn't willing to be honest and just let you go. 🙁 Perhaps he likes having someone "on the back burner" and waiting for him indefinitely. That is not going to work, though, obviously.

      One thing that I think is helpful to keep in mind with men is – watch their actions and believe their actions more than their words.

      I agree about ending one relationship first before starting another one. At this point, I would agree about ending the relationship in your mind and heart. It doesn't sound like this is going to be a relationship that will be God-honoring and healthy.

      How is your walk with Christ going? There absolutely IS healing for you in Jesus, my precious sister! What would you like to see in your relationship with Christ and in your life?

      I'm glad to walk beside you on this road.

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you very much for your words of encouragement…. I am a born again Christian; fully😊 I have’nt stopped praying and Im just waiting on God. He has never failed me; I’ve seen Him and know Him. I dont think I would have made it till this far if it was’nt for grace and love; I was really hurt and depressed for a year, on the other hand I had to work and study at the same time… but God strengthened me and I made it through. IM A LIVING TESTIMONY. Right now I just want to focus much on myself and continue to built my life in Christ Jesus. I have to heal and let go completely within my heart and mind as you said; before I can move on to anything new; I dont want to mess it up. I KNOW SOMEONE WILL COME AT THE RIGHT TIME☺

        1. LA,

          Praying for God’s continued power and wisdom as He keeps working in your heart and life for His glory. 🙂 Love your heart for Christ and for your marriage.

          Much love to you!

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