"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?