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“He Won’t Talk to Me.”

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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.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
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!
LADIES:
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?

45 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. 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?!”

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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

  7. 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. 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. 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. 🙂

  11. 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!
      April

      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?

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