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Walking in Faith Instead of Control – an Update

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From the wife who gave up on her dream for her marriage  and who decided to stop pursuing her husband (in the wrong ways) – an update!
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HASHING THROUGH GIVING UP CONTROLLING MY HUSBAND
I was thinking this morning that it is hard for me to believe that if I am trying to honor God, put Him first in my heart and allow HIM to work on my husband in His time, that He will not honor my efforts.
Those fears are REAL.  But in the end, they aren’t NEW fears.  They are fears I have already had but tried to handle by controlling my husband and the circumstances we found ourselves in.  It is mind blowing that I actually thought I *had* control.
I didn’t have control.
What I had, at BEST, was manipulation and tools of guilt, bitterness and some truly real emotions I tried to share.  But I NEVER did have control.  That was an illusion I was fooled by.

It is a matter of weighing those fears with the peace of releasing my husband and having an open heart to accepting whatever God’s will is vs. keeping those fears and trying desperately but ineffectively to prevent them.  Not too much of a question, is it?

That does not mean it is easy to accept them or the possibility that the worst possible scenarios may occur.  But trying to control was not protection against any of those anyway.  Trying to control my husband and how he loved me- along with many, MANY other things in our lives was painful!  It was exhausting!  I remember having the thought, “I am so tired of fighting to get him to love me.  How much longer can I do this?  When is he going to do it on his own?”  and having that thought often, sometimes daily for probably the last year- two years leading up to last week.  But, although hurtful, that time was helpful to get me to the point of releasing my husband and releasing expectations.
BEING AFFECTIONATE  AND NOT MAKING MY HUSBAND AN IDOL OR SMOTHERING HIM
Change of topic here.  Small question…. I am still trying to sort all of the correct actions out in my mind…. it is fine to be affectionate with dh on my own, yes?  I am thinking it must be because you have mentioned that you are with Greg when you wish to be… and it is fine to tell him I love him spontaneously, right?
My understanding/ general gut-feeling is yes, it is absolutely fine to share my love for him as long as I am not trying to manipulate him to giving me a certain response and as long as I don’t go into excessive overdrive where I am smothering him and taking the lead for our relationship away from him (again).  I WANT to be able to express my feelings for him.  Am I off base or that is the direction I should be heading in?
A NEW APPROACH AND NEW RESPONSES
A couple updates from last night (cause I know you are just on the edge of your seat- LOL!)
-I was stressed last night. PMS, kids pushing it, money issues and then a small issue with my job just finished it off.  I tried to talk to dh about the issue with my job and at first he didn’t want to listen.  I was hateful to him.
Then I approached it differently and asked him sweetly if he had time to talk to me for a minute- each time my boss emailed me- and I asked him for advice and to help me figure out how to handle the situation.  He patiently helped me figure out the right responses to get my point across respectfully to my boss.  Later, I told him thank you for helping me and I told him I was sorry I was hateful to him.  I almost added a ‘but’ but remembered in time.*;) winking

He was very forgiving.  I could tell the apology went over much better without the explanation of why.

– Last night, we were in bed and he was reaching around in between us.  I asked him what he was looking for, thinking it was the remote.  He said, “Your hand.”
THIS IS NEW.  This is a BIG deal.  Did not happen up until the last week.  I gave him my hand and told him I loved it when he held my hand and that it made me happy.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
I believe it is great to be affectionate with our husbands – IF we are just being affectionate to bless them NOT to try to get them to do what we want them to do and IF they are receptive.

23 thoughts on “Walking in Faith Instead of Control – an Update

  1. Thank u for ur updates!! It gives me HOPE to keep honoring God first and not try to manipulate- control my hubby’s love for me. I still see myself doing this but after its over i see my sin much quicker… Thank u God! Learning to learn from my mistakes… Thank u again for the reminder it may take a while to see a hubby’a response…

    1. Carla,

      I am so glad to see what God is doing in your heart. This is a LONG, LONG process. Keep your eyes on Christ, pleasing Him. If you feel disappointed, check your motives – be sure you are seeking to honor Jesus and bless your husband, not change your husband.

      Much love to you! 🙂

    2. Hi, Carla!

      I just want to share that I have been where you are… it is really hard to wrap your mind around the fact that you are not doing this for a certain response out of your husband. One thing that helps me when I feel that temptation is to close my eyes for a second and visualize myself letting go of my husband. After all, we both know that when we get a response from our husbands that we *pushed* for, it doesn’t really count, anyways, does it?

      Another thing- it is OKAY that you are seeing yourself still do this! Don’t be discouraged! Celebrate that you are seeing that you do it. That is the first step. It means you are learning and it is just taking a bit to put it into practice. You are on the way to where you need to be.

      YES, it takes a while to see your husband’s response. It is best if you can kind of forget about that and turn your eyes back to you and how you are doing with this. And the fact that you are headed in the right direction is evident by the fact you are indeed trying. When your husband does show a response, it may be a very little thing. He may just reach for your hand when he usually does not. He may call you a pet name you haven’t heard in awhile. Don’t expect massive fireworks. Expect a bit of a sparkler at first. In time, if you keep striving, it will grow.

      You can do this!

      1. Thank u fellow wife. Praying that I wait patiently for that pet name or hand holding that I have not experienced in a while. How did u know I’m craving this??!

  2. I need to apologize to my husband for yelling and insulting him today. I felt overwhelmed by an ongoing few issues that there’s no solution to accept accept it. I snap

  3. I can’t apologize. I don’t care anymore. I feel I’d be happier without him. He works 6 days a week. We don’t see eachother . I’m afraid I’ve been trying all these years to make a relationship work with someone who just doesn’t have time for me. Letting go of trying tO control has made me see theirs nothing there. The one day he’s home Saturday, he sleeps most of it. I am detaching for my own personal health and sanity. I feel so stupid. Its an exhausted issue. I wasted too much of my life and energy cause of my foolishness trying to be with someone who just doesn’t exist. In my mind I saw what ( could be) if only he changed. Since letting go of trying to control things I now see reality and my foolishness towards this man I married. I have nowheres to go and my boys still live home so I guess I’ll just stick around and be honest with myself and him from now on. Like roommates. I’m tired of getting mad at him for something he can’t give to me. I’ve always been afraid to be alone till today I realized I have been alone for the 15 years we’ve been married. It hasn’t always been this bad but the traveling has gotten worse with his job.

    1. Marie,

      I am so sorry that you are hurting so much right now!!!

      I would ask you to really stop and check to see if you are listening to the voice of God or to the enemy.

      What things do you respect about your husband? What are you thanking him for?

      It sounds like he is working very hard, I would assume, to support your family. If he is working long hours 6 days per week, he would be very exhausted and I can see why he would need to rest the one day he is off.

      What can you do to bless him?

      Are you spending serious time in God’s Word daily and in prayer, asking Him to change you to become the woman He wants you to be?

      God desires your marriage to thrive, grow and flourish. Please do not give up! Please ask God to help you lay feelings aside and to help you see from His perspective.

      I am always glad to hear from you if you need prayer, encouragement, friendship and support. Aprilc@sc.rr.com

    2. Hi, Dee.

      My heart hurt so much for you when I read this! Let me start by telling you that you are NOT the first wife to feel this way and that things will get better and look brighter.

      As hard as it is to grasp, most men really do feel they are showing their wife that they love them when they work so many hours. For YEARS, my husband worked 4 14-16 hour midnight shifts and then slept like 24-48 hours straight. I couldn’t see why. I took it personally. I shake my head at myself now for sitting here feeling offended about that and trying to convince my husband to get up and spend time with me. HE WAS EXHAUSTED! What I should have done was joyfully took our children out for a fun activity so he could rest better or crawl in bed and read or watch tv while he slept so I could be near him. I can’t go back but maybe you can get something from my mistakes.

      I know it is so hard when you feel lonely and you just want time with the man you love so much. Maybe you could ask him to do something with you in the next few weeks, even if it is just to go out for a cup of coffee or an ice cream sundae. It is amazing what an hour of time alone, for the purpose of connecting can do for a wife. But even if he says he can’t, be okay and realize he has no idea that you are feeling the way you are feeling.

      I hope this isn’t too hard to hear but if you can try to be thankful that he works! So many men will not work and provide for their families. It is very sad. My husband still works a lot. And I will tell you one thing that I remind myself. It is better to be married to a workaholic than an alcoholic. With a workaholic, their motives are not selfish. They may be devoted to their work but that is admirable. My husbands’ work ethic is one thing I have always admired in him.

      That being said, I SOOO get being exhausted trying to get the relationship you have always wanted. It is absolutely terrible, isn’t it? And there is a heaviness and sadness that go right alone with that feeling. I know because I have felt that way. If you can choose to let go of your husband and stop ‘expecting’ him to give you a certain relationship in the specific terms that you want, you will probably find that he is actually giving you a lot of love in his own, masculine way.

      If your husband is not abusive or involved in adultery, you are in the best place you can be. I encourage you to stay there and turn your focus to looking for ANY little thing your husband is doing to show he loves you.

      I was feeling lonely a few days ago when my husband worked all day and then went out to take part in a hobby that evening. I only saw him for 20 minutes that day and I was sad. I made a list of 10 AWESOME things about my husband and it made me feel better. In fact, I put it in my phone so I would have it when I feel down about us again. Maybe you could make your own list.

      Another thing that helps is to stay busy. When you are doing nothing but sitting and waiting for your husband to come home, it gives sadness a bigger door to creep in. I certainly think that it is important that we be home when our husbands arrive home and that we try to enjoy our time with them but when he is gone, try to start some activities to fill your time. Start a project, workout, get together with a friend for lunch or any number of different things can brighten your day. Remember that if you are unhappy that it is up to YOU to change that.

      Remember that things are not always as bad as they seem. I think everything can certainly look up for you very soon if you tweak your perspective a bit.

      Blessings to you!

  4. Ladies,
    Here is an old post about our husbands wanting us to be happy, thought it might help. 🙂

    you may want to check out Shaunti Feldhahn’s AWESOME book “For Women Only” that has information from LARGE groups of Christian men to find out how they think, what they want, how they process life and how they view marriage.

    One of the primary indicators a husband uses to determine if he is successful as a husband and a father and a man is – his wife’s happiness.

    It turns out that OUR emotions play a HUGE role in directing our husbands and helping them to know if they are doing their job well or not.

    Some of you are thinking – “My husband doesn’t care about MY happiness. He avoids me/ignores me/doesn’t act like he even loves me anymore/is mean to me.” I know it can SEEM like your man doesn’t care about your feelings – especially if he has been feeling disrespected by you for years. Eventually, a man who feels disrespected will give up trying to make his wife happy. It seems impossible. She wants so much. He knows he can’t ever satisfy her demands, so he doesn’t even try. That definitely was the case in our marriage at times years ago.

    WHAT CAN I DO IF I HAVE BEEN NEGATIVE, COMPLAINING AND UPSET A LOT?

    If your husband is chronically angry or unplugged and disengaged. I’d like you to assume (or at least consider the possibility) that he may be feeling very disrespected and like a failure. He may just begin to blossom again if he thought there was a chance that he could have a happy wife!

    Some steps to take to help him see that it is actually possible to please you:

    find your joy and strength and get your emotional and spiritual needs met in Christ alone
    put away your expectations of your husband (if you have impossibly high expectations – your husband will ALWAYS feel like a failure. Learning about masculinity and how different men are from women may help you have more realistic expectations.)
    praise ANYTHING good you see in your man EVERY TIME you see it!
    pray that God will help you have a smile on your face more and REALLY work on SMILING at your husband and children!! This is important!
    THANK your husband ANY TIME he does something kind, generous, loving, thoughtful or good for you or your children
    Don’t criticize any help your husband gives you
    Be easy to please! Make it possible for your husband to be a winner with you. If you have such lofty expectations that no one could meet them, you will be disappointed constantly and your husband will feel like a failure. No one wins in that situation!
    Cut back on obligations and responsibilities that are unnecessary if you are overwhelmed and tired a lot. Being joyful and happy requires being well-rested and nourished physically, emotionally and spiritually. That takes time, effort and rest!
    Do some things everyday to take care of your soul, your mind, your emotions and your body! Spend time with God in His Word, feast on His presence, walk or run or do aerobics, take a nap when you are tired if at all possible, meet with a girl friend and enjoy chatting. These things bring you joy and make your life more full. Your husband can’t be the only source of happiness in your life. It’s not his job to make you happy all the time. That is primarily YOUR responsibility! He can add icing on the cake. But you have to have some cake there first.
    If your husband opens the door for you – thank him and smile sweetly at him. If he sits with you at supper – thank him for eating with you and the family (yes, even if he didn’t talk the whole time). If your husband plays with the kids – thank him and beam your glorious smile at him that lights up your eyes to let him know that he just hit a home run with you! If your husband takes you out to eat and it’s not your favorite restaurant – THANK HIM for his generosity and the lovely evening. If your husband buys you a gift that you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself – THANK HIM and appreciate his thoughtfulness.

    Guess what – when your husband sees you light up with delight because of something HE did – that empowers him. Then he is motivated to do even more for you because you gave him the gift of your happiness. Your delight is a treasure to your man and it makes him want to serve you and see that beautiful smile of yours again and again!

    I hope this gives you a place to start.

    GENTLEMEN – you are welcome to leave comments about how important your wife’s happiness is to you. I know that your masculine perspective will inspire many wives! Thank you!

    A note from the Respected Husband: I know that when the Peacefulwife would ask me what I wanted from her in the past, I would always say, “I want to see you with your JOY back.” I can’t tell you how much your husband is affected by your emotional state. If I know that something is going on at home, like if the kids have been a mess or if the Peacefulwife had a rough day at work, that there is potential for her to be occupied with her emotions when I get there. As a husband, it is hard for me to work up a lot of enthusiasm to come home knowing I am going to have negative emotions to be around. (From the Peaecefulwife – I used to be angry at him or upset with him a lot when he would get home if he didn’t email me during the day and I felt unloved. That was a pretty common occurance years ago.)

    Back when the Peacefulwife started her journey, unbeknownst to me I might add, one of the things she did was make sure that when I came home from work the first thing that I saw was her smile followed by a big hug. She also would talk to the kids about being quiet, having their toys cleaned up a little bit, and saying a big “Welcome Home!” when I would come in. She was careful to give me a few minutes to transition from being at work to home. Those few little things gave me the chance to feel welcome at home and then I could handle talking about whatever went on during the day.

    As a husband, I work on trying to make selfless decisions that are in the best interest of the family. My number one goal is to provide for my wife. If she is not happy, then in my mind there is some way that I haven’t done my job. I will feel inadequate until the situation is better, but unfortunately I have a great difficulty understanding and helping with emotions. Sometimes my fear of her emotional state and her handling of her emotional state can scare me from wanting to get close (especially in the past). If I have that opening that she can be happy with me I can help her though. It may just be a hug, kiss, or embrace, but I can do something to comfort her.

    1. Ooh! Another really important thing when we are feeling unloved and discouraged is to be sure we are taking proper care of ourselves. If we are exhausted, hormonal, have low blood sugar, are in pain, are spiritually starving…Things can look much worse.

      We need to take care of these needs and wait to make any big decisions about our marriage or to address our husband until we are in the right frame of mind and hearing God’s voice clearly.

      I personally have to remind myself when I am hormonal that my feelings are lying to me.

      The post My Demon is super helpful, too. You can search for it on my home page. 🙂

      I am so glad y’all are reaching out for encouragement and support and not trying to handle those awful feelings alone. 🙂

  5. I love this post and the comments below it. It reminds me of how blessed I am. In three days I will have been married 2 months. The level of respect that I had… Dropped. Not because my husband hurts me. I just mess up. I’m working on this respect thing again. It’s tough. This post reminds me of the moments where I try to be affectionate. I try to lift up his spirits. I apologize when I feel as if though I did something wrong. I just…

    Being a newly wed is so hard. I know we have the rest of our lives to work on our relationship, but I want to get this right. I want to be a godly wife. I want to respect my husband and show him that I care. Living with a man and having him see all of what I do in a day makes it hard. I’m exhausted. He’s exhausted. We want different things at times. We are at different levels in our walk (in different ways even!) It’s unbelievable…

    But then… I read stuff like this and think, “We’re not perfect, but we try.” That’s just it! We are both 19 and 20. We are still figuring out who we are, who we are to God, who we are to each other, and everything else! I am blessed. I am extremely blessed. And even when I worry, my husband still tries to step in to calm me down. He still tries despite my failures to respect him completely. We are learning. Something I will not forget is that him and I had been fighting for a few days. We were just irritable and upset about some problems we were having. Finally I came, sat in his lap and hugged him. I told him I was so sorry for not respecting him and for snapping at him, that I need to trust his judgement and understand that he is doing his best. He turned around and said that he is sorry too and that he needs to be more patient with me. We were counseling a couple that evening and he had heard me say that sometimes we as women like to create problems that don’t need to exist until a long time in the future. He said he needs to remember that and be patient knowing I’m just worrying about things for no reason sometimes.

    Sorry for the rant, but I feel really blessed right now. I know things can be better, but I trust Jesus to help us learn how to work as a team. 🙂

    Thank you for your posts. Keep posting! You are helping me and hundreds of others every day.

    1. Hi Mrs Anaya, in three days it will be my 2 months anniversary as well. I guess we came to this blog desiring for the same things. I pray that God will bless us as we seek Him first and seek to respect our husbands as He intended.

  6. “That does not mean it is easy to accept them or the possibility that the worst possible scenarios may occur. But trying to control was not protection against any of those anyway.”

    This quote above is so pivotal. Its something I’m having to relearn. Trying to control was never protection, my worst case scenario happened anyways. That was years ago, but I feel like I’m stuck in that cycle again. I want to let go and trust God, but the fear of the worst case has me wanting to control, even though I know from experience that that is really not protection at all. If anything the trying to control would actually make those fears more likely to happen than letting go of the reins.

    I hate when you know something your head but can’t get the rest of you to do it!

    1. Jeanne,

      Yes, control is such an illusion. We THINK we have power to prevent our fears. But many times, in our attempts to prevent our fears, we actually help to cause them to happen as we are not fully trusting in Christ.

      You are exactly right.

      I personally have to write down all my fears and the things I say to myself and then compare them to God’s Word, consciously choosing to believe God and His Word and kick out the lies and fears from my heart. I have to take every thought captive, watch my motives, and choose to trust Jesus instead of self. This involves tearing out many idols, dying to self, being a living sacrifice, and seeking God’s will above my own, even if there will be pain and suffering for myself – knowing that He will use it all for His glory and my ultimate good. This has to be ALL about me and Jesus.

      You can search my home page for:
      – Dying to Self
      – How to Make Your Husband an Idol
      – Fear
      – Discontentment
      – Contentment
      – Insecurity
      – Security
      – Lordship of Christ
      – Control
      – Worry
      – Anxiety

      This is going to take serious and purposeful time on your face before God giving up your trust in things other than Christ and a very willful decision to trust Him and believe Him even though it seems scary at first.

      Much love to you! Praying for you to have the time and power and presence of God to turn to Him and live in faith and abandon your fears.

  7. I am having a very difficult time in my marriage and have had many problems with my husband 2 years after we started dating. He is 42 and I am 29. He was the “bachelor who was never to get married or settle down” type of guy. Until he met me. We struggled with this though. I told him I wanted to be married and have children with him. After months and months of fighting about it, I told him I couldn’t stay with him anymore if he couldn’t commit to me. Low and behold, we looked for rings and he proposed. Next, we fight about when the time is right to have kids. With the fights and constant stupid arguments (that I think he was intentionally starting to avoid children) he said we need to start getting along first before we have children. I agreed but I didn’t agree with his tactics. One month ago, we had a miscarriage. A few months back, I walked in on him watching porn. Let me make a break in all of this and say, three years ago, I would have not cared about porn or my husbands soul. We both got married in the church, but I became saved and my husband didn’t. Everything bothers me now and we are unequally yoked. I put a parental block on the porn on tv. He found out and was irate with me. I probably shouldn’t have done that, but he shouldn’t be watching porn. HE came to the conclusion, after giving me the silent treatment for a week, that I needed to TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, that if he wants to flip open a magazine or watch a channel once in a blue moon, he will and I am not going to stop him. I am obsessed with his sin. I can’t eat or sleep and I always wonder if I made the right decision in marrying this man, who I believe should have never gotten married. He’s very passive aggressive and very difficult to deal with. He’s controlling and manipulative. He turned the whole fight about me blocking channels around and said it’s all because of me that we fight and font get along. That I should have never done that! But yet, it’s ok for him to watch that?!?! How do I deal with this? I don’t trust him anymore. He said porn isn’t a big deal. He’s grown up with it all his life. I know he has DVDs and magazines, but I never really thought he watched them since he has me and we are very sexually active. I just don’t know how much more I can take. When he says he has a guys weekend at camp, I know they will be watching dirty movies and looking at magazines. Unfortunately, I cannot tell u one man in my life that doesn’t look at porn, besides my dad. Please offer advice. I’m hurting. I’ve talked to counselors that tell me to leave him because he is committing adultery. Do I give up? Divorce him? I’m really having a hard time in my life and don’t know where to turn. I pray and pray. Every time we have a disagreement, he wants to end things. He’d rather be single he says. I don’t even have friends or hobbies that I do anything with because I’m afraid that if I leave him alone, he will watch porn. Any advice would be appreciated.

    1. Melissa,

      I am so so so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. :(. My heart grieves with you!!

      I am glad you care about your husband and his sin. However, the way to get him to repent of his sin is not to try to be his Holy Spirit and to try to force him to stop sinning or else.

      I Peter 3:1-6 is your power from God in this situation.

      Check out the post, “when I shut up, my husband heard God.” You can search for it on my home page.

      Also, please read “Portia’s Story.”

      And please read, “When My Spouse is Wrong” at the top of my home page.

      Then, let’s talk some more about this very important issue!

      Please don’t use words towards your husband about any of his sin until you read these posts and we talk a bit more. 🙂

      Also, I would love for you to read Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas and Grace Filled Marriage by Dr Tim Keller.

      You also may want to read John Piper’s posts at http://www.desiringgod.org about porn.

      If your husband has a porn addiction, you cannot change him. He cannot even change himself. He needs the power of God to change him. He is spiritually dead.

      I wish you didn’t argue with him to get him to commit to you. That is not a good way to get a man to propose and be deeply committed to you in marriage. Nagging,lecturing, being negative, criticizing him, telling him what to do, pitching a fit, making demands, manipulating with guilt… These are the tools of the sinful nature a wife uses to try to control her husband. All you will do is repel him this way.

      I exhort you to focus on your walk with Christ and your sin and being filled with God’s Spirit and getting out of God’s way, so that your husband has a chance to hear God’s voice. It will take a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear, that shows honor and unconditional respect, that speaks with kindness and godliness to reach a man’s heart.

      We will talk more soon!

      1. Thank you. I dont feel that I am trying to “control” my husband per se. I am only asking him to act like a married man. Strip clubs, porn, talking about previous women to his friends (when Im not around), etc. I am not trying to tell him how to live his life, but he should know how to act married. I feel like if I don’t tell him how to act, he won’t know how to act. It was never taught to him when he was a young adult and his father is a poor example of how to live morally. Just praying for my husband will not help him learn how to treat his wife. I will read the blogs and scripture that you refer to above. Hopefully then we can discuss my options and the right path to take.

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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