This post is for wives who were being controlling and trying to force their husbands to be with them, say certain things to them and who were trying to initiate physical intimacy and were getting rejected a good bit – and have tried to correct these things by backing away some and giving their husbands more space. Not in an upset kind of way, but in a healthy, respectful way. Please keep in mind – I am not the Holy Spirit. I don’t know your husband personally. God’s voice always needs to trump my voice! :). These are not rules, they are ideas to think about.
Some suggestions that could be helpful:
- Continue to smile at him when you walk into the room where he is.
- Give him compliments and tell him things you are proud of him about and things you admire about him a few times per week – a sentence or two.
- Be warm and friendly.
- Allow him to make his own choices and don’t force yourself on him.
- Say what you do or do not want (usually once is enough).
- Be affectionate sometimes but don’t expect a specific response back.
- Be kind.
- Be flexible.
- Do things you know he’ll appreciate – i.e.: make his favorite meals.
- Talk in a pleasant, friendly tone of voice.
- Spend plenty of time in God’s Word.
- Be full of God’s love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
- Check your motives often, seek only to honor Christ and bless your husband.
- Be content in Christ alone.
- Tell him about your emotions briefly, the good and bad ones – “I’m so happy to be here with you!” “I feel really thankful today.” “I’m feeling sad about X.” “I feel nervous about Y.”
- Maybe don’t initiate intimacy – or at least, not nearly as often, if he has been rejecting you a lot.
- Accept anything he gives you – his time, attention, affection – as a wonderful gift.
- Lay down expectations and ultimatums.
This will be a time of dying to self. For believers in Christ- that is a daily practice God desires all of us to do all throughout every single day. We lay down our rights, our desires, our dreams, our plans, our lives, our expectations, our goals, our wisdom, everything we have, our future – and we pick up Jesus’ desires, His goals, His dreams, His plans, His wisdom, His power, His holiness, His will and we seek His greatest glory in all things.
So – maybe you backed off and stopped smothering and pursuing your husband so much. Maybe you stopped texting him so much at work during the day, particularly if he didn’t respond or said he didn’t like that. Maybe you only send a few brief texts/emails now per week telling him things you appreciate – but you don’t expect him to send a response – you just do it to bless him now. Maybe you learned to give him a bit of space to breathe. Maybe you can allow him to watch TV without feeling jealous of the TV – but you can now allow him to relax and unwind however he likes to do that. Maybe you stopped trying to make him tell you he loves you and you stopped trying to demand his time, attention and affection like my friend talked about in “I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband.” Maybe you stopped initiating physical intimacy- and just waited for him to begin to initiate on his own. Or maybe you cut down to only initiating once per week or once every 2 weeks instead of every night – if he was receptive to that.
Eventually – your husband may begin to MISS you and how you were initiating intimacy. That is a GOOD thing!
It will probably take some time – maybe a few weeks, maybe a few months? (If it takes more than a few months – something more serious may be going on – it may be time to seek godly, wise help and/or medical help depending on the situation. See The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage.)
When you are not constantly pursuing or pressuring him, it gives him the chance to begin to feel his desire for you. (I am talking about husbands who were rejecting their wives sexually because they felt too pressured and disrespected – if there are other issues going on like low testosterone levels, erectile dysfunction, pornography addiction or infidelity, those are entirely different situations that would need very different approaches, in my view.)
If your husband starts to say things like:
- I miss you
- I wish you would cuddle with me
- What are you doing ALL THE WAY OVER THERE?
- I want you to come sit with me.
- I wish you would chase me again.
- I can’t stop thinking about you
- I want you to drop X activity so we can be together more (maybe hours at work, maybe some volunteer position, maybe even Wednesday night church)
- I don’t feel like I am a priority to you
- I wish you would kiss me more/hug me more/initiate sex again
What is a wife to do?
Here are my suggestions to prayerfully consider (there are other ways to respond, too – you are welcome to share your ideas!)…
PRAISE GOD and BE RECEPTIVE!!!!!!!! 🙂
I vote to close the gap a good bit. Don’t continue to maintain as much space/distance if he says he misses you and wants you back. Please don’t reject him! Come closer to him. This will be a time of finding a new balance.
- He realizes he doesn’t want to be far away from you.
- He realizes he loves having you in his life.
- He is beginning to move toward you. THAT IS AWESOME! This is a huge answer to prayer!
I suggest that you show him that he is welcome into your space, into your arms, into your life.
- Flirt with him.
- Move toward him.
- ENJOY him!
- Savor each moment and interaction.
- Be friendly.
- Feel confident and free to initiate intimacy if he seems receptive (if he turns you down, be as gracious as you can).
It’s ok. This is the fun part!!!!!
You don’t have to be “hard to get” when he is pursuing you now – he is your husband, after all!
Time to shift modes.
THE GIVING HIM MORE SPACE MODE is for times when he is rejecting you and feeling smothered. It’s also a good idea if you have been controlling – in order to establish a new kind of healthier relationship. It is not a permanent stage most of the time – thankfully! There will be a bit of learning to do to figure out what the right amount of space and right amount of closeness is.
Once he begins to come closer to you – it’s GOOD to draw nearer to him, too! Show him you desire him.
IF YOU ARE FEELING A BIT RUSTY – Ok – Here are some lines you can steal if you need to!
If he says, “I miss you.” How about…
- Aww!!! (Come close to him, give him a serious hug and a sensuous kiss) I miss you, too, Babe!
- Hmmm…. what is it that you miss, exactly? (in a flirty voice)
- Would should we do about that? 😉
If he says, “I want you to chase me!” Some ideas…
- You do?!? (flirty voice and a flirty smile) – Whatever do you mean?
- I’m right here – and I’m all yours.
- I am enjoying you chasing ME!
If he says, “Why are you sitting ALL THE WAY OVER THERE?”
- You miss me? I can definitely fix that. (go sit with him)
- I know – it IS hard being that far away from me. (smile, flirty voice with all of these responses!)
- What if I were to sit in your lap for a little bit? Would that be better?
“I miss you cuddling with me at night.”
- I miss cuddling with you, too. That is one of my very favorite things to do in the whole world. (then cuddle with him)
“I want you to stop X activity so we can have more time together.”
- You do!??! I had no idea. Well… I will drop it. I would much rather be with you!
“I don’t feel like I am a priority to you.”
- What?!? Honey! I want you to always feel like my biggest priority after God. What can I do to make things right?
- Do you need more of my attention? (Listen carefully to his concerns. Sit in his lap or right beside him. Touch him. Smile. Flirt. Maybe even take him by the hand to the bedroom if you think he may feel better after physical intimacy with you. Some wives actually do this if their husband walks into the house and is in a bad mood after work and it’s been awhile since they have had a time of physical intimacy together. Might not be a bad idea!)
WATCH YOUR FOCUS
Keep Christ in His proper place. Keep your motives pure by only desiring to please Jesus and honor Him. Trash any motives that are to change your husband or to feel more loved. Enjoy what your husband offers and let him know how much you enjoy his attention, time, affection, touch and his pursuing you. 🙂