Skip to main content

“We Need to Talk!”

Dirt Road with Maple Trees in Winter Sunrise

This is a guest post by my precious sister in the Lord at www.thegoodwife121.blogspot.ca.

————————————–

THE STRAIGHT PATH

“Do you have any free time this evening?” I asked Husband, a couple of days ago.

“Yeah, I think so..” He responded offhandedly. “Why?”

“Because I’d like to talk.”

“…talk? Talk about what?”

I already could hear the hesitation in his voice, he had been married to me long enough that when I asked to “talk” he knew I wasn’t wanting to discuss the weather.

“I’d rather not get into it right now, but maybe when the baby’s asleep?” I asked, avoiding his question.

Husband agreed, but I could read all sorts of emotions on his face, and I couldn’t blame him. He was trying to mentally prepare himself for this ‘talk’ and had no idea what he was going up against. Was it going to be a grievance? A confession? A problem?

(From Peacefulwife – these words invoke SERIOUS DREAD into most husband’s hearts!  They can be some of the scariest words most husbands hear!)

Needless to say, as soon as the baby was in bed, Husband was by my side wanting to know (or get it over with) our talk.

There were three things I wanted to discuss:

  • His resentment
  • Our therapist
  • Our prayer life
We both knew at this point that resentment was the main underlying issue in our marriage, and when the therapist asked him how he was on a scale from 1-10 (ten being the highest) on how resentful he was 2 months ago, he said without thinking: “10”.
Ouch.
Then she asked where he was now. This he had to think about for a bit before saying: “7-8”.
That actually hurt me more – I was really hoping that it wasn’t that high, but once I had found a chance to think about it, it was progress, so I should be realizing this as good news, instead of feeling discouraged that things weren’t ‘clipping’ along at the pace I wanted. 
Having a spouse resent you is such a difficult emotion to process. I’ve found myself feeling very helpless to ‘fix’ anything. This is something he needs to work through and let go of himself.
I don’t believe that I carry around much resentment for my Husband, and so I have a hard time understand his inability to just “let it go”. A fact that I’m ashamed to say, has even caused me to speak those words in anger towards him.
One of the things I am learning is that resentment, in our case, was built over time through actions and dirty fighting.
 

I am a dirty fighter, I fight to win and I have a very quick and sharp tongue.

Husband is a slow processor, it’s just his personality and he has always been this way; so when we get into an argument, before he’s even had the chance to respond to my first attack, I’ve already cut him 5 more times, and he literally just shuts down because he cannot even begin to keep up, or be as nasty as I am.  (From PW – this is true for many husbands!)
Learning how to “fight fairly” and to settle a disagreement so “everybody wins” is like learning to speak a new language for me.
Things that I’m being taught have never even occurred to me, I’m finding it quite the learning curve, and just keep praying to remember what I have been taught the next time we get into an argument.
Finally I gently brought up our prayer life.
Husband and I used to pray together when we were first married, then as things started to get worse in our marriage, when Husband was dealing with his depression, he sort of just fell away from God.
It’s not that he stopped believing or even attending church, he just found no comfort in God’s Word and fell into this spiritual melancholy.
This is still an issue for him, so I was hesitant to bring up his spiritual life, very much not wanting to start another argument or have him feel that I’m harping on another issue.
I very gently said that I’d like to start praying together, for our marriage.
 
That’s it. 
He sat for a moment and thought (a habit I really need to learn from him) before telling me that he would be game for that, but he didn’t want to pray aloud. He said he’d prefer it if I did.
Immediately my back went up a little, I wanted him to pray, and I wanted him to pray with me, not just sit there while I prayed.
Almost as quickly, I remembered my pledge to ‘let go’ and told him that I would be happy to pray for both of us, and as long as he was also praying, it didn’t matter if he spoke or not.
Now, I know this altercation doesn’t look like much from the outside – but to me, this little conversation made my spirit glad.
It was seeing my husband opening up to God again, it was me winning my inner battle for control, and together making a teeny, tiny step in the right direction. 
So yes, I rejoiced. 
We chatted about lighter things for a while, before I glanced up at the clock, it was 10pm and that was as late as I was going to talk.
I get ridiculous the later at night it gets, I become weepy, overemotional and just get myself into the worst situations when I try to talk about deep, personal things with Husband late at night.
So I was watching that clock, making sure that didn’t happen again.
(From Peacefulwife – my husband made a rule many years ago that we can’t have any “deep discussions” after 11:00pm.  For this exact same reason!  I love how this wife didn’t pressure her husband, but just said what she wanted calmly, and ideally with a friendly, pleasant tone of voice.)
“We should probably wrap this up for the night.” I said, motioning at the clock.
“Yeah, alright….so do you want to pray?”

I sat there for a couple seconds, surprised. I really didn’t expect him to initiate time for prayer, in fact I wasn’t even going to suggest it but Husband obviously felt like it was a good decision.
So we sat together, holding hands and I prayed for us as a couple, our marriage, as individuals and for our child. 
It was quick and it was sweet, and at the end of it I felt so much better and so much more hopeful. 

We are such a long. long way from a normal marriage, and our issues are big ones that we need to overcome.
But I’m starting to feel so hopeful again.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 

~ The Good Wife

——————————————————-

RELATED:

Ways Husbands Try to Lead that Wives Don’t Often Notice

The Blessing of Having  a Husband Who Won’t Pray with His Wife

Exploring the Depths of Bitterness

Why Trying to Pressure Your Man into Talking RIGHT NOW May Not Work

PS – FROM THE PEACEFULWIFE:

Ladies,

My primary target audience is wives who have been dominating, controlling, disrespectful, in charge, strong-willed, overly-responsible and who tend to “run the show.”
That is my background. That is what I have experienced.

Please keep in mind that I do not write for wives in abusive relationships where the husband is extremely controlling or violent. I do not write for wives whose husbands are dealing with severe addictions or where there are uncontrolled mental health problems or where there is active infidelity.

If you have SERIOUS problems in your marriage – if your husband is extremely controlling and manipulative or you are being sexually abused…

My blog is not for you!

I believe that God’s Word is always true.

But I have ZERO experience with these kinds of situations and even if I did have experience, there is no way I could write posts that address problems that severe in a general blog about godly marriage.

My blog is not for everyone. I totally understand that.

If you have severe problems – please find experienced, godly, qualified help!!!

9 thoughts on ““We Need to Talk!”

  1. Good Morning !!

    As I Was Reading Your Blog , I Was Familiar With It .

    Reckon , You Left The Link To Her Blog Before .

    I Am Thankful That You Post Links To Other Ladies

    { Including MYSELF }

    Who Are Struggling And Are Wanting To Help Others , Or Have Learned From Others , Or Most Importantly From God .

    IT IS VALUABLE Information , Especially This Day And Time!

    So

    I Thank You !!

    1. Kimberly,
      Yes! I posted this wife’s piece about 2 weeks ago from when she was scrubbing the dishes and thinking resentful thoughts toward her husband because she was home all day alone with the baby while he went to play his guitar at church.

      I believe it is helpful for wives to hear many different wives’ stories at all the different stages along the path.

      Much love!

  2. April, I could have written this with the exception of the nasty arguments. We have only had maybe two or three of those in 20 years of marriage. But the rest of it is exactly me and my marriage and where I’m at in it today it was almost eerie to read in that it is so close. But things are going much better and I am being very very careful to not say anything negative to my husband and keeping the mood light.I have been diligent in thanking him for anything he does around the house and being respectful when he tells me I left my flat iron on even though he leave the TV on all night long it seems my flat iron uses more electricity because it heats up so I said yes I will try to be more careful about that and honestly I’ve only left it on two or three times in the last year which I thought was comical but I relented haha. And when I did he said I know leaving the TV on doesn’t help the electric bill either and I’m going to try to do better at that especially through the winter months.

    So what I’m finding is the more respectful I am the more he sees his own sIn….

    Back to arguments as I said we never really had those – however when he would say something I was bad to cut my eyes or roll my eyes or say something derogatory that was downing him such as his irritable bowel syndrome and he eat ice cream all the time and then moans and groans and complains all night. I would say stuff like ” eat another ice cream cone! ”

    Any time that we ever did have a disagreement, he would just leave and go out in his shop and stay and give me the silent treatment and he has always been like that and I would tell him that I would like to just stay in the talk until we settled it and he refused but he would always come back in an hour to and talk calmly and now I understand how many emotions and thought processes take longer when I’m my ready to jump on it and say my pIece.

    This is such a learning process for me – and yes, it is taking way longer than I would like for it to he still won’t touch me and has it for 99 but other than that its like nothing has ever happened. Our conversations, social life and our church life is all just like it has always been except he is definitely shut down spiritually and emotionally. He still goes to church every time the doors are open but he’s not the same. I can tell – but I’m praying for him and I know that he knows I am. So I’m expecting big things to happen I just don’t know when. Thank you for this because it showed me that my situation is not so different which helps me not think the worst of the outcome.

  3. Ah…the dreaded “Talk”. We husbands know it’s coming. We can sense it. We know it’s something we said, did or didn’t do. We would much rather ignore it and move forward, what ever it is.

    Yes, we withdraw, it’s a learned response. If we open our mouths, it usually makes things worse. There is an expression, “When you are in a hole, stop digging.” We stop digging.

    Wives confuse us. Wives feel a need to “talk” to us husbands. Sometimes it’s just to vent about something outside our marriage and we listen, fighting the masculine urge to offer solutions to “fix” whatever the issue is. Sometimes it about us and our family. We are not sure how to respond most times (see “stop digging”).

    Like any learned response, it can be unlearned and replaced by a new learned response. The couple in your story are lucky, they are learning a new way to communicate. Kudos to the husband in this story. He gave the correct responses.

  4. It still amazes me the common areas of marriage that affects us “sisters” in Christ. Arguments in my marriage are few and far between, however, when we do I am usually the one to shut down thinking this is how I can keep peace, but not working something out is not keeping the peace, but it is good to step back and let calm and peace take over before confronting the issue.

    I can identify with the Good Wife in that my husband is at the stage also, where he has seemed to step back from God, depression about his medical issues, hurts that have seemed to pile up over the last several years, dealing with parents who were not real close when he was growing up but now looking to him to help with care giving…

    One of the greatest gifts God has given to me is my ability to forgive quickly and move on but this is extremely hard for him because of his past. I often refer to myself like a duck who simply lets the water flow off their back. There are many things that are simply so temporary that they have no eternal value and I let go, but I do realize that there are many times I myself need to deal with them instead of pushing to the side.

    This transition I am walking through, this journey of letting go of many comfort areas that I absolutely love and enjoy is so not easy. I think God is probably tired of hearing me ask for HELP….lol. But I am realizing what I have taught, if you try to save the World and forsake your own husband and family, what have you gained?

    It is my turn to be the Aaron holding Moses arms up, realizing how my husband has supported me in my ministry these past 10 years when it has meant many times I have left him mentally, emotionally, physically trying to do my own ministry multi-task or micro-management. Asking God to guide my steps in this new journey and season so that I can indeed be there for my husband in his time of need.

    As the end of this year draws near, I am closing the doors of activity and moving on with my husband. My plans have been put before the Lord for his approval and priority and directing my footsteps especially in the ways that will bring peace and God’s order into my home and heart. There is a song we sing that says “God says he will turn it around” and more and more I remind myself and the Lord his promise that when I seek him first, his kingdom, his righteousness – every need I have or will ever have he will add to and more for my good and his glory. I love the Lord with all of me and the things I have to give up to help my husband, well it will be worth it – I know God will make it so.

    1. Wanda,

      Thank you so much for sharing! What a blessing your story is! I LOVE the way you talk about being like Aaron holding Moses’ arms up during the battle.

      Much love to you my sweet sister!!!

    2. I can see my situation in your post as well. Husband has withdrawn spiritually, emotionally and he too has had a lot of medical issues although not life threatening, they could have been had we not found out what the cause was. But he has felt exhausted for several years and I’m sure that was depressing; he too has parent issues with a mother who has never been a mother but now he is having to take care of her. She is in a nursing home now but lived with us for 2 years which was a horrible experience for my husband. There have been many issues such as that over the years that I think took it’s toll on him along with my not realizing the disrespect I was showing him with my comments, eye rolling and all those things we do and don’t realize how much it hurts our men to the core. It’s so good to read these posts of stories that mirror mine. It’s amazing how much some of our journeys are similar.

  5. It always takes a lot of humility for a man to respond calmly to a controlling wife. It takes Christ to humble him too. As for the wife who learned, GOD bless you for that! May the Lord continuously give husbands and wives a heart that is like Christ!

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.

%d bloggers like this: