Once you are hit with that over and over, why answer? What’s my role? Do I have a role?
2. (Talking about the TV/football watching thing) I can probably watch one football game, but I can’t watch 40 hours/week. Of course, wives would like to talk and connect with their husbands 40 hours/week.
I don’t even talk to MYSELF 40 hours/week!
To husbands, talking = conflict. At work, we have to have a meeting because there is a problem. At home, we have to talk because there is a problem.
It was never, “Can we talk about what you want to talk about, Honey?” It was always, “I’m going to tell you, and you’re going to listen to me.”
At times I felt trapped. I felt like I didn’t have a voice.
I looked at myself as the problem most of the time. I looked at me as “not getting it.” I didn’t look at you as the problem.
- I just wasn’t doing what I needed to do.
- I wasn’t making you as happy as I needed to.
- I was not the husband I needed to be.
I was looking for ways to limit the pain by going into a shell.
I didn’t tell you my pain because “a man doesn’t show pain.”
10. Why did you allow me to lead?
Some things I looked at as it was advantageous for you to lead. When I wouldn’t make a decision, you were always there to hammer down the decision, and if things got screwed up, it was your fault.
11. I can remember BEGGING you many times, ” PLEASE, just tell me what you need! I don’t know what you need!” Why didn’t you say that you needed respect from me? Why didn’t you say you needed me to stop trying to control you?
- I felt like it was my problem.
- I didn’t necessarily know what I needed.
- I would have felt like it would have been selfish for me to say what I needed.
I knew I needed respect, but I didn’t know how to explain that to you. I didn’t look at it as something I could ask for. I looked at is as something I couldn’t obtain. There was something I was doing that meant I didn’t deserve it.
I think it is SIGNIFICANT that BOTH of us thought my husband was the problem. I didn’t see myself as any part of the problem those first 14+ years of our marriage. My husband didn’t see me as being any part of the problem.
But the truth is – we were BOTH contributing to the problems in our marriage – and change only happened after I was willing to look at my (rather hefty) part in the mess. My power came when God opened my eyes to my own sin and helped me stop pointing my finger at my husband and begin to deal with the mountain of sin in my own life.
- I was not responsible for 100% of the problems in our marriage.
- I was not responsible for my husband’s sin.
- My husband was not responsible for 100% of the problems in our marriage!! Sadly, that was the only explanation I could imagine for many years. How wrong I was!
But I was responsible for my own sin, my own walk with Christ, my emotions, my responses, my joy, my contentment, my peace. Of course, real joy, contentment, and peace can only be found in Jesus. My husband can’t give me those things. Only Jesus can. And He only gives me His supernatural joy and peace when I follow Him and lay down my life for Him in total submission 100%.
Please notice that some of my husband’s feelings are the exact same kinds of fears women tend to have about biblical submission and respect. Quite honestly, in the first 14 years of our marriage, I expected my husband to “submit to me.” I tried to force him to bow to my will.
And man, was I offended when he wouldn’t do as I said he should! I would NEVER have said that I wanted him to follow me or “submit” to me. But I thought I was always right. I thought I was better than he was. I thought I was closer to God than he was. I thought I was a better leader than he was. I thought he “wouldn’t” lead or “couldn’t” lead. So I tried to take control. What a disaster!
Thankfully when a woman biblically submits to her husband – she has the freedom to speak her mind and voice her feelings – and her husband, as he feels respected and honored, will generally desire to seek what is in her best interest. (Unless he is spiritually very unwell.)
A godly husband who is entrusted with leadership reacts with humility, sacrificial love, and a desire to delight his wife.
But his first priority is to please and honor Christ. So – ladies – don’t worry about losing your voice when you obey God in marriage. When we do things God’s way – we have MORE power in a godly way – than we ever could when we try to usurp our husbands’ authority and take over and try to force our way.
The truth is … I wouldn’t follow Greg. He did try to lead early on. I fought him tooth and nail. I was in rebellion against God and against Greg. My husband was totally capable of leading. He does a wonderful job of it now! I was sabotaging him, myself, and our marriage – and didn’t even know it.
I NEVER EVER EVER want to go back to the way things were. I was miserable, lonely, anxious, stressed, and fearful. Greg was shut down and emotionally very distant. Our marriage has been INFINITELY better since God showed me His design for marriage. We have the intimacy and connection we always wanted. My husband is the man I always knew he could be. I am the woman I had always longed to be. I am SO ETERNALLY THANKFUL to Him!