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Stages of This Journey – Part 3

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In Part 1 of this series, we looked at some of the first stages on the journey of becoming a godly wife:

  • 1. Conviction
  • 2. Repentance
  • 3. The Frustrating Quiet Phase
  • 4. Seeking God First – The Lordship of Christ

In Part 2 of this series, we looked at more stages:

  • 5. Giving Him Space
  • 6. Feeling Totally Overwhelmed
  • 7. Learning to Use Our Words and Emotions to Bless
  • 8. Finding Contentment in Christ Alone
  • 9. Dying to Self
  • 10. Developing a Grateful Heart
  • 11. Taking Every Thought Captive
  • 12. Feeling Discouraged because Your Husband Isn’t Changing

Part 4 (next post)

We will often cycle through many of these stages multiple times.  And, please keep in mind, these are my observations – they are not scientific, statistic based stages!

Some will happen at the same time.  This is not a linear process.

  • Somewhere along the way, we begin to be full of God’s Spirit and begin to experience His supernatural love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

This is a refining process where God turns up the heat and we face difficulties and trials – more sin rises up to the surface – God uses that opportunity for us to repent and for Him to skim the impurities out of our lives.  We are never  completely “done”  or perfect until we reach heaven.  But God can empower us to walk in victory on a daily basis when we abide in Him.  If we stumble, we repent and get back up.

  • We can count on God testing us (for our own benefit, not His) so we can see if we will choose live in His peace and to live by faith during uncertainty and trials.

13. EXTENDING GRACE ON A NEW LEVEL

As we work through the process of growing spiritually – gaining knowledge, practicing perseverance, increasing in our faith in Christ, learning to live by His Spirit, dying to self, taking thoughts captive and as we come out of feeling discouraged with renewed determination to do this only to please and obey Christ and bless our husbands, we learn a deeper and deeper level of giving grace.

We begin to see that we do the same things to God that we feel our husbands to do us.

  • We want our husbands to WANT to be with us, not because we ask them to, just because they want to.
  • We want our husbands to WANT to connect with us emotionally and spiritually and to set aside significant amounts of time to do this.
  • We want our husbands to make US their first human priority.

Then we begin to understand that these things are exactly what God wants from us, but we have been withholding these things from Him many times.  He wants our whole-hearted devotion, all of our attention and a deep spiritual oneness with us.

We see a greater view of our sin and begin to see a more panoramic view of God’s love, mercy, forgiveness and grace.  We stand in  increasing  awe of God.

Then His Spirit floods our souls with a greater understanding and we are able to give genuine, godly grace, mercy and forgiveness to our husbands as we imitate God and abide in His presence.  We begin to see with God’s eyes and love with His heart.

We see that our husbands are not our enemies.  We begin to understand their masculine perspective and how different it is from our own.  We begin to assume the best instead of the worst about them.  We see they are on our team and we are on their team.  We understand who the real enemy is.  We see the beauty of God’s grace and we allow the power of heaven to pour through our hearts into our marriages and into our husbands’ lives no matter what they do or do not do.

If our husbands are sinning against us – we are able to respond with grace.  We may have to set healthy boundaries and even consequences sometimes – but we are truly able to forgive in God’s power and we begin to soar on wings like eagles by God’s Spirit living in us.

We know at this point beyond any doubt – that as long as God is with us – nothing else matters in this world.  It is truly now ALL about Him in our hearts, souls and minds.

14.  A GREATER SENSITIVITY TO GOD’S VOICE

As we grow in maturity, we begin to be able to not even listen to the voice of the enemy anymore. (My Demon)  We begin to TRULY recognize the voice of God and we become increasingly sensitive to His voice and His Words.  We LONG to hear and obey Him more than anything.  We are willing to do ANYTHING for Him.  We can recognize the source of the words streaming through our heads and we are able to resist Satan and come near to God.

His voice is a quiet voice – not a fuzzy, warm voice – but a gentle yet firm, quiet voice of conviction that compels us to do what is right even when it is against our sinful will.  The wrestling and battling in our souls between our flesh and God’s Spirit become less and less as we go to deeper and deeper levels of submission to Christ, trust in Him and faith in Him.

We have a constant and abiding peace that passes all understanding – even in trials.  The fruit of His Spirit continue to grow and ripen in our hearts on a daily basis.  We become unshakable in Him.  We truly begin to understand the treasure God has given to us that He allows us to carry around in these bodies of ours – these “jars of clay.”

15. FINDING A NEW BALANCE OF CLOSENESS/INTIMACY/SPACE WITH OUR HUSBANDS

If you have given your husband space – to stop having him as an idol and to give him personal emotional and spiritual space to breathe and make his own decisions and to hear God’s voice for himself – this will not be a one time adjustment.

You will strive to not make him an idol again, and to not make him responsible for your spiritual growth or happiness again.

  • But there will be a process of adjusting to finding the right level of emotional/sexual/physical/spiritual closeness and intimacy that is right at a given time.

What usually happens, is that after you have given your husband space in a respectful way, in a month or two (maybe many months, possibly a year or more) he may begin to come back toward you.  This can be a shock for some wives because they have gotten so used to giving him space and not pursuing him, that they don’t know what to do when their husbands begin to pursue them in their own way and when their husbands begin to ask for more closeness again.

Sometimes there is a bit of a “pendulum swing” of overcorrecting by giving too much space, then not enough, then a little too much space … it is a process of finding the right balance.

My suggestions are to:

  • Joyfully receive him.
  • Be available to him emotionally, physically, sexually, spiritually.
  • Be glad to be together.
  • Graciously receive any kind or generous gestures he offers to you.
  • Come a bit closer if he asks you to.  Don’t smother him or take control again – be relaxed and content in Christ.
  • Be receptive if he begins to pursue you.
  • Be willing to learn about his new-to-you world of masculinity.  Approach him as if you don’t understand his perspective, ways of thinking, ways of feeling with wide-eyed wonder at his world.  Be friendly and curious, asking questions (as he is open to that) about how he sees the world.  Really listen and take notes, if necessary, to begin to understand how different he is from you.  A great resource to understand your man better would be Shaunti Feldhahn’s “For Women Only.”

What will it look like if he does start to pursue you?  Well, every husband is different.  I have seen some husbands begin to do this within a week or two of their wives starting this journey.  Some husbands, I have seen it take over a year.  Some husbands may never change at all (although that is more rare).

  • He may begin to call you pet names he hasn’t called you in a long time.
  • He may start to confide in you slowly.
  • Some husbands get angry – because they are finally free to express themselves and they finally feel heard.  This usually doesn’t last too long, thankfully!
  • Some husbands are skeptical and want to wait a LONG, LONG time to be sure that these changes in their wives are real before they open up to them or trust them.
  • Some husbands, most of them, will be pretty confused for awhile and will not know what is going on!  My husband talks about that here.
  • Some husbands will say they don’t want to lead and they don’t want “respect” – in that case, just keep obeying God and don’t do a lot of talking about respect and your husband’s leadership.  But do respect him and honor his leadership.  The idea will probably grow on him in time.   He may have been raised with a domineering mother, which may be why he is comfortable with a domineering, controlling wife. He may be afraid to try to lead. He may feel like he doesn’t know how to lead.  He will need your gentle encouragement and praise when he does things right.  He will need to see your faith and trust in him.  He will need to know that he will not get reamed out and verbally crushed if he makes mistakes.
  • He may want you to go with him and sit and enjoy each other’s company as he works on his car or the house or as he fishes or goes hunting.  Go with him if at all possible if he asks you to go somewhere.  Listen to him.  Smile at him.  Give him the floor to talk if he wants to, or to just quietly enjoy being with you.  A lot of men bond by being together just doing an activity together without talking.  That may be bonding for him.  It’s ok if there is no talking.  This is romantic to HIM.
  • He may start to hold your hand.
  • He may try to get you to engage in conflict like before.  It is comfortable for him to be able to blame your sin for the problems in the marriage.  When your sin begins to significantly decline, all he has to see is his own sin.  That is painful.  Many husbands will try to get their wives to do the old “dance” as Laura Doyle calls it.  Don’t fall for it!  He may up the pressure on you and try to get you to explode on him or to take control again or to disrespect him.  Don’t fall for it, precious sister!  Sometimes as God works in our husbands’ hearts to convict them, they may lash out at us in anger or try to blame us for their sin.  But as we obey God and walk in His power, our husbands have to face their own sin and that is a GOOD thing.  At that point, we must try our best to stay out of God’s way and allow Him to work conviction in our husbands’ hearts.  We are not the Holy Spirit.  It is not our job to convict our husbands.  God is capable of doing that without our help.
  • He may begin to step up and slowly begin to lead, stand taller, begin to have more confidence and begin to ask you to do things.  Most of the time, what I have seen is that husbands who were passive and unplugged, begin to say things like, “I want you to try to take a nap today,  you didn’t get much sleep last night.”  or “I think you need to get off of the computer by X time, so we can just relax together in the evenings.”  or “I think we need to handle this situation with our daughter like this.”  It can be strange when you are used to calling all the shots to suddenly hear your husband saying he wants you to do certain things.  But, this is part of him becoming a godly leader.  Most of the time, the things he will ask are things that he believes will increase the peace in the home, help save your sanity, improve  your health, improve your happiness, benefit the children in the long run and things he believes will most honor God.  Do  your best to thank him for his leadership and to cooperate with him and appreciate his wisdom and insights.
  • He may begin to share his emotions more with you.  Be a safe place for him to share.  Don’t share his private thoughts with others.  Be loyal to him and be trustworthy.  If he shares his temptations or vulnerabilities, these are not things to broadcast to other people.  Be on his team and let him see that you want to support him as he faces difficulties and temptations, even if his temptations are things that aren’t tempting for you.  Figure out how to best honor and support and minister to him in ways that meet his unique needs.
  • He may begin to desire you more sexually.  If you have been rejected a lot in the past by him because he felt disrespected, and you were the main one initiating, and you decide to stop initiating to give him space and time to begin to pursue you, he may begin to initiate sex with you a month or two or more after you stop trying to make him have sex with you. (The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage has more on this issue, so does Respect, Biblical Submission and Sexual Attraction)  If you are not excited about him desiring you more sexually, check out “Sometimes I Just Feel Like a Piece of Meat to My Husband” and be sure to read some of the husbands’ comments.  They are very helpful!)
  • He may begin to talk about what God is speaking to him.  Please listen and encourage him.
  • He may begin to share negative feelings he has been bottling up for years.  Sometimes, a husband can seem more unloving as his wife focuses on respect and biblical submission at first.
  • He may seem frozen and unable/unwilling to lead.  A husband talks about what may be going on in that situation here.
HERE IS FELLOW WIFE’S APPROACH:
I really think I need to revamp my goals as I go into this next phase…. as dh has shown he no longer feels smothered and wants more from me in terms of affection, attention, etc.  Copy & pasting a few former goals from my post on your site (“I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband”) that I feel need a bit of revamping and add a few, keeping the rest of the former.  I would love your thoughts on if I am going in the right direction.  Using caps to differentiate- not shouting.  🙂
  • Stop calling him so often. (Limit calls to when issues are immediate/letting him know about the kids & I after dr appts) –I STILL THINK THIS IS A PRETTY GOOD IDEA TO KEEP AROUND… I THINK AN OCCASIONAL EXTRA CALL IS OKAY BUT I DON’T WANT TO GO BACK INTO OVERDRIVE ON THIS ONE.
  • Allow him the time and space to be affectionate and sexual. KEEP IT….. BUT BE SURE TO BE RECPTIVE TO HIM AND BE AFFECTIONATE WITH HIM WHEN I FEEL THE DESIRE TO DO SO… AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT GET EXCESSIVE.
  • Give him more time and space overall… pulling back a bit can draw him to me. (Men respond to distance, not words). Allow my distance to speak rather than my words. IN A HEALTHY WAY… BE ACCEPTING WHEN HE NEEDS TIME AND SPACE.  ONLY USE DISTANCE WHEN NECESSARY.
  • Remember that it is not healthy for me to pursue him for either me or our marriage. Remember it should be him pursuing me. Give him that chance. I THINK IT WILL ALWAYS BE HEALTHIEST TO ALLOW HIM TO BE THE LEAD PURSUER… I THINK THAT IS JUST HOW IT WORKS BEST AND HOW GOD DESIGNED IT TO BE, DON’T YOU? IT FEELS RIGHT WHEN HE PURSUES ME… IT DOES NOT FEEL RIGHT WHEN I PURSUE HIM.

(From Peacefulwife – if a husband asks his wife to initiate more or to pursue him more, I think she may be able to do that some.  But there will be a delicate balance of just the right amount of her initiating and pursuing so that he does not feel smothered or pressured)

And a few new goals:
  • Hold him loosely, remembering that he belongs to God and is on his own journey.  Any changes that occur are between he and God- he is on his own personal journey with God and I am on mine and that is where my focus needs to be.  Another reason for holding him loosely is to allow GOD that space to work. It is not my place to correct, teach or control dh.
  • Continue to daily make the choice to let go of him and let God have him….
  • Continue to appreciate any effort and gesture of love he makes toward me.  (I think I have been forgetting to do this).
  • Make every effort to assume the best of  him or at least assume that I do not understand his thoughts, motives and actions.  Use Philippians 4:8 as the filter for my thoughts toward him.

8 thoughts on “Stages of This Journey – Part 3

  1. I am definitely on this 3rd phase of my journey. I can’t say it is the hardest phase of all, but it certainly is not a “walk in the park!”
    I am still having today because of remembering how it used to be between us and trying to understand how husband has been for the last year or so. For over 20 years of marriage and 2 years of dating, he was so into me. I can’t say the honeymoon phase of our marriage ever really wore off or got old in that he was always holding my hand as he drove the car, would look up at me at any given moment and tug on his ear (to say I love you in public places that he could not say it out loud such as at church) and talked about me to his co-workers when he worked in a factory years ago. I know this because they would always tell me when they saw me “all he talks about is you!” It was just understood that if there was a business trip to be taken by either of us, we took each other…that is just how we’ve always been. We didn’t want to ever be somewhere enjoying anything without the other one there. Boy! Did I ever take all that love for granted!
    As he became withdrawn and shutdown on me almost a year ago by working every Saturday he possibly could, watching TV constantly when home, going places without me when he never used to even run to the grocery store without insisting I go with him, to withdrawing emotionally and sexually from me, I have experienced more emotional pain than I can even describe in words. But I’m sure there are many many wives out there than understand exactly what I’m talking about.
    I would imagine this is the pain the Lord has felt as I rejected him and/or didn’t live close to Him over the years and sinned against him.
    But on a good note, as I have prayed my heart out, found this awesome helpful website, I have went from total devastation to where we are today. As I have totally stopped my controlling ways and respecting my husband and listening as he talks, he has started getting “warmer” and telling me about his work day, hunting trips, asking me to come target practice with him and asking me if I want to ride along sometimes (not all) when he goes somewhere.He has started making the effort to hug me goodbye when he goes to work…only if I am standing nearby. He has went from looking at me with total disgust and a “hate” glare in his eyes, to talking and laughing with me. I’d have to say that our day to day life is a lot like it used to be with the exception of emotionally and physically. He still doesn’t touch me…in any way shape or form and doesn’t want me touching him either.I’m pretty sure this is because of the severe hurt I caused him by my sexual rejection over the past couple years (hormone related) I think he is just making me “suffer” until he thinks he has paid me back enough! But that’s between him and God. I know God is dealing with him. He has been spiritually withdrawn for a year or more too. Still active in church, just not really there if that makes sense.
    So with all that said, I now find my hope and happiness in the Lord. He’s got this! He literally puts His hand over my big mouth and tells me that every time I think I might need to do or say something. He DOESN’T need my help!! He is husbands spiritual leader, not ME!!
    I have started recognizing the “good” little things he does for me and am trying very hard to ignore the “unloving” things he does like totally ignore me when we’re around friends. I know that there is coming a day that it will be better than it was. I just know that because God is ever faithful to us. He knows I love my man with all my heart. He also wants me to love Him more! That’s what I’m working on. I desire prayers for strength, knowledge and wisdoem to do what God would have me to do!

    1. LTL,

      I am really excited about what God is doing in your life!

      I think that you will be able to share your feelings more and more as things continue to improve.

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you my sweet friend! 🙂

  2. April,
    I hope you will see this and respond….i am in a desperate place.
    I wrote you before. We are the ones who moved to europe 2 years ago. I dont know if you remember me.
    Anyway, my journey was going ok. Started last year with this.Especially since the beginning of the year I learned so much. I thought we were atually making progress. Our arguments subsided, i never responded to himin anger any more despite him trying to bait me. He does it still especially when he is frustrated with work, etc. Our intimacy was actually going so well. He rejected me almost whole last year sexually. But in novembe r things shifteD in that area and were getting better an better.
    He went through that stage where he was really mean when i first tried to change. He also had couple of incidents where he lost his temper and threw things,broke things….but in the last couple of months things werre actually going well. Still no affection from him in any way, except he desired sex.
    Fast forward to this month. He became friends with a young girl at work. They texted here and there. I did get upset anout it but was polite and said it hurt me and that i didnt think it was appropriate. He agreed. But texting continued. I read so many stories here about similar situations and thought i was taking high road. But it stung every time. Eventhough it wasnt often or anything.
    So yesterday he was in a crabby mood. I was trying to stay polite and respectful evemthough he tried to get me to fight being sarcastic and insulting. Then things were ok so we talked some and i asked if he heard from his friend, meaning this girl. Innocently, i thought maybe she wrote anout some gossip from his work, where there has been alotof tension for him lately.
    After that he went ” is that on your mind or something?”. And things went downhill from there. He contined to be mean and insulting all day. Then at dinner i thought to nicely ask him what itwas that made him mad at me that day. And he flippped. He threw his dinner on the floor. Thank goodness he didnt break plates. But food went all over. I was scared.
    Then he also broke his phone and threw it at me. He said he would be better ofg sneaking around, and that im still a micromanaging c**t, and he tried to talk to me about it and blah, blah, blah. He said im still an arrogant b**ch. He said that he is not allowed to have friends and i won again.
    I dont know what to do. Im scared. Im scared he hates me that he will never love me, that he will never forgive me no matter how hard i try with respect. I feel so small and aweful and embarassed.
    He scared me!!
    Im so fearful right now

    1. NB,

      Yikes!

      🙁

      I do remember you, my dear sister! I am so glad things were going better. But what a terrifying situation yesterday.

      I would imagine that from his perspective – it should be obvious why he was upset. I don’t know if he is feeling conviction because what he has been doing could easily lead to adultery, or if he is reacting to feeling controlled that strongly? How often have you brought up this girl he was texting? It seems like you are describing a man who thinks he is being very smothered and controlled. I don’t know his heart. I haven’t been there to see all of the interaction. But I am very concerned about how violent things have been. 🙁 That is not good.

      Do y’all need some space away from each other for a bit? Do you have a godly counselor you can talk with? Would he be willing to go to a godly counselor with you? Maybe one of his choice?

      Did he apologize?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Have you read anything on http://www.leslievernick.com? Or http://www.focusministries1.org? These resources may be helpful.

      What do you believe God desires you to do at this point? Do you need to give him some time and space to calm down?

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you and for His healing for this painful situation.

      Thank you for reaching out!

      1. April. Thank you for replying.
        No we dont have a counselor. He wouldnt go even if one was available.
        I dont know to be honest why he blew up the way he did. I dont even know that i said something disrespectful. He just progressed from being in a bad mood to throwing his dinner( after i asked if i could ask what i did that upset him). He then said i pushed his buttons.
        I dont know what he felt about that girl. In the past i did disrespect him in front of his friends and he always brings it up. Like” im not ever bringing anyone home” or good job, im not allowed to have friends- like yesterday. What baffles me is that he was agreeing wholeheartedly with me a week before about it being inapproppriate to text with her. She is 19, he is 38. He said once he was just glad to havd someone on his side at work. Heworks with all women. And this girl is the only one who speaks english with him.
        We cant really take time out fromeach other. He doesnt have anyone here and i have my parents. I dont want to make big drama out of it and involve them.
        No, he hasnt apologized. I dont beleieve he will. He feels justified i think, calling me all those names lije that.
        I even tried to start weRing skirts to show him respect, since he doesnt like skinny jeans. He said yesterday” you can wear skirts but you are still micromanaging c**t!”.
        I dont know april. He tried so hard yesterday to get me to fight. I think it made him madder i reacted respectfully or in silence.
        Im so afraid our progress is out of the window And im scared he will reject me sexually again lije he did last year….

        1. NB,

          Let’s pray about this together!

          Lord,

          Thank You that You are the sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords! We praise and thank You for all of creation and for Jesus and the cross and what You have done on our behalf. We thank You for Your love for NB and for her husband. We thank You for all You have been doing in them in the past year especially. You know how wounded and emotionally/spiritually hurt NB’s husband is. You know NB’s pain and hurt, too. We lift them to Your throne in the highest heavens. We lay them before You and ask for Your healing emotionally and spiritually. We grieve with this husband who may feel that the whole world is against him and who may feel so alone and lost where he is right now. Please give NB and her husband Your wisdom and healing about where to go from here.

          I can’t fix this, Lord. NB can’t fix it. But You are a MIGHTY God. You are able to heal and fix broken people and broken relationships. Please bring anything that has been hidden into the light. Please give Your perspective and vision to NB to be able to see her husband as you see him. Help her to see any disrespect in her approach that may have caused him to feel like he was suffocating. Help him to see that his response was totally over the top and destructive. Open both of their eyes to You more and more. Pour Your Spirit, Your healing, Your life into both of them.

          Help NB focus on Christ and on allowing You to fill and change her. Help her focus on blessing her husband and on responding in Your wisdom so that she doesn’t add more destruction or pain, but that she responds without sin even though her husband was struggling so much with self-control last night.

          Help NB be able to show her husband that she is on his team and maybe she can ask him how she might better support him? Direct her thoughts and words. Direct her steps. Give her ears to hear Your still small voice clearly each moment of the day.

          Bring this husband to his knees in repentance before You, Lord. Draw him to Yourself. Let him see his desperate need for Jesus and let him find the life and healing that is available in You!

          Cast out all of NB’s fears. Let her remember that her hope is not in her husband, her hope is in Christ alone. He is her source of identity, security, strength, peace, joy, and purpose. Let her fix her eyes on Jesus and let her meditate on Your Word. Fill her with Your power. Show her any sins she may need to repent of. Let her become more and more the woman and wife You desire her to be for Your glory, Lord!

          In the Name and power of Christ,
          Amen!

  3. April,
    Im writing again….i just feel so much ffear and anxiety. Im at work and im dreading coming home this evening. I know fear is not of the Lord. I prayed, and wrote down my fears…i feel so hopeless. Like all the progress i have made is now waisted. Will he ever forgive me? Will he always resent me? I thought i was doing so good and just to face this blow up of his was so defeating.
    Why did he react that way? Before he agreed that texting needed to stop. I was ok with it. But then to blow up to the point of breKing his phone and calling me names? Was he feeling disrespected or was there more going on with that girl that he got so bent out of shape about it?
    Im really at a. Loss. I never felt so much hurt in a longest time.

    1. NB,

      Is there a place you can go until you know that he has calmed down? Have you talked with each other at all since he blew up like that?

      I don’t know that all the progress that you made was wasted. Right now, I am not as concerned about if he will forgive you or if he will always resent you as I am concerned about your next steps and how you can give him any space he may need. And then how to move toward healing from there if possible.

      Do you have some time today where you can spend with God and really seek His direction and wisdom before you go home?

      Surely he sees that what he did was out of control? I don’t know if he just felt disrespected and controlled or if he felt guilty because things are getting out of hand with this girl. But I want you to be safe.

      My prayer for you is that you will be tapped into God and that you will respond in the way He wants you to and that you will have His wisdom. Ultimately, your job is to please Christ.

      1. April,
        I must add this is not his first outburst. Over the course of our time here since we moved, it was about 4th time where things got out of hand like that.
        Noone knows except the kids. Im seeking God every day…i prayed yesterday and today. I think i must stay respectful. Repay evil with good.
        I dont want to leave anywhere after work, since he has the kids at home.
        He was on a couple of anti depressants

        for his ptsd after iraq for abiut 8 years.
        Here in europe he went off them, with the
        doctors ok, but started anither one since
        totally without was getting bad. He said yesterday he needs to get ontge same meds again, since i ” made him” get off them.
        I hope the Lord will guide me and protect me. Im trying to face the reality. I hope with releasing him to the Lord and staying respectful i can win him back somehow….

        1. NB,

          Has he started a new anti-depressant recently? The first few weeks on a new med or the first week or so after stopping an anti-depressant, people can get very out of control sometimes.

          What has happened in the past after an outburst like that?

          Dealing with PTSD is especially difficult – people in that state of mind are very fragile and tend to have a hair-trigger reaction. Do you have any support or info to help you with that aspect?

          Praying for you and the whole family, my dear sister!

          1. Thank you for your prayer April.
            As far as meds, he has been on a new one for about a year. He was in Iraq last in 2006. And he was nowhere like this in the States. Thats why when our problems started after we moved i was so blindsided. I feel guilty and responsible for all this because i was the one initiated this move.
            In the past year after the agression outburst he would apologize but then say i shouldnt have pushed his buttons.
            I keep thinking if only i listened to him and stayed in the states. It feels like God is punishing me for this. Im praying for a miracle at this point. I have read.so many miracle stories on this blog similar to ours. God has to be bigger than this! I surrender completely. I thought i did but yesterday showed me the opposite. I pray for peace and restoration….

            I pray for healing and wisdom.

          2. NB,

            I wonder if – in a calm moment – you might be able to have a discussion about “his buttons” so that you can be very clear what those are. And I wonder if he might also agree that this is not the kind of marriage he wants to have – and that maybe y’all can work together as a team? What does he believe he needs in order to feel supported and respected? What do you need to feel safe?

            I don’t know if things would have been better in the states. Maybe. But now he feels you cannot afford to move back, right? You have apologized now and shown willingness to move back if he wants to. That is all you can do right now.

            I praise God for your willingness to fully surrender to Him. I pray for you both!

          3. We had discssions like that before. Have asked him- what do you want from me, what can i do? He said thats what i wanted t know those 10 years( that i was disrespectful). I guess he still feels hurt and it comes out like that at times. It was avtually only few and far between with him being so angry. I honestly dont know what triggered him like that. I dont want to be paranoid but he got too defensive about that girl. He will still see her at work. Im thinking he might try to buy a phone and keep it secretive…or am i being paranoid?
            I remember anotger wife on here Hopeful i think. With her husband and his female work friend. I learned alot from her comments and that kept me going yesterday .
            I feel peace at times and extreme fear at other times . Is that normal?
            As far as moving back, he says he doesnt even think about it and wont move back.

          4. NB,

            Well, you can’t make him not text this girl. But you can focus on becoming the woman and wife God calls you to be. And you did speak up about that it hurt you when he texted her. He is well aware of that. We will pray that God will convict him and that God will give you wisdom about if and when to say anything else and also when to wait and pray. That is going to take God’s Spirit’s wisdom for sure.

            I don’t know your husband’s heart, so I don’t know if you are being paranoid. I pray for God’s discernment for you.

            Yes, this wrestling is normal – keep taking it back to God and laying it down and seeking Him.

            If he says he doesn’t want to move back, respect that and accept it and move on with enjoying living there – is my vote.

            Much love!

          5. Hi April,
            Well im home after work. When i got back he was still boiling. He was bursting with anger. I made sure i was quick to listen abd slow to speak. I let him let it all out.
            He said it wasnt at all about the girl or texting. He said he is tired of me always assuming the worst of him. He thought ” by the look on your face yesterday morning” that i was mad at him for texting. He said all of our lives i always asumed the worst of him. And then all of a sudden i decided to be nice to him. So that was his point. He says he is nit ever having another cell.
            And he said he is never again opening up to me about anything or sharing. anything with me. He said he shared this texting with me like with an adult and i still assumed the worst of him.
            I listened and responded softly. I apologized for relaying the wrong message and assured him that was not my intent to think that. He said it was too late. You won he said.
            So i dont know. Evrry time i apologize or say something that i learned from you or Laura Doyle he says here gies the book again, in a nasty tone of voice.
            He doesnt trust me.
            What do i do from here?
            Pray for us April, please. I will pray for Lords wisdom. I see my man hurting and it breaks my heart.

          6. NB,

            With the PTSD, things are going to be a bit more complicated. Is it possible to give him some more time to cool off? I’m glad you were able to have a conversation, it sounds like he was able to share what he was upset about.

            Have you looked at http://www.leslievernick.com?

            With the PTSD, you may have to take some slightly different approaches at times. Laura and I both had passive husbands – your situation is different. Although I do believe respect and honor is still the route to go, you may have to approach things from a different angle, and I don’t personally have experience with that.

            It sounds like you handled things well.

            It takes time for a non-PTSD husband to stop being skeptical, like – many months or years. I don’t know that you are doing anything wrong necessarily. He is going to have to face his own sin more and more as you are on this journey, and that may be rough. I vote for you to keep seeking Christ and allowing Him to change and lead you. I vote to take responsibility for yourself but to not allow yourself to become enmeshed or codependent with him.

            I am praying!!!!!

          7. Thank you April, for taking time out of your busy day to walk through my issues with me! You are such a blessing! I enjoyed your new vudeo today too.
            I need to check out leslie vernick. Havent read anything from her yet.
            I actually thought that my hubbies ptsd was well taken care of since his last deployment was 10 years ago. He keepd saying that ever since he cane back i turned into a b**ch. I did insult him after he came back and he cant forget it. It keeps coming up when he is angry or upset. I think my controlling behavior started when he came back from Iraq. I used to take care of everything when he was gone, and never really got out of that mode.
            He said today tgat every time he gets confortable, i strike. I dont strike. I do stumble frim time to time and that what gets him like that.
            Thank you for praying for us! The Lord
            Is at work! My hubby did soften up this evening. I will keep showing him the most grace tonight and in these days to come.

          8. NB,

            As you continue to allow God to change you – and y’all recover more quickly from misunderstandings, I expect things may calm down in time. I’m sure you have repented for being controlling. I’m sure he can understand that you did have to be in charge of everything when he was gone, and it was an adjustment for you both when he came back -and he was not himself, either.

            So glad to hear that he softened toward you. If you do stumble and get back up – that is the important thing! That you get up again. I believe God can heal your marriage, my dear sister!

            The leslievernick site is not specifically for PTSD. Please weigh everything she says, or I say, or anyone says, against Scripture and please listen most of all to the Holy Spirit more than to any person. 🙂

            Much love!

          9. You are so right. I do notice that things do calm down faster and smoother than a year ago. About this time last year i would lash back out at him, defend myself, take verbal revenge at him, etc.
            I am learning something!
            You are right he is still sceptical. Although i would say not as sceptical as before. Like i said when i finally stopped fueling his fire, even when he does get upset things do calm down quicker. Yesterday was an exception with his anger turning like that. He is still under alot of stress at work, and this is always something that eats at him every day
            You were spot on in your comment when you said, he feels like the whole world is against him. That what he says he feels like, in his owm words. It is tough for him to adjust to this culture and the people. I do tell him how proud i am of him for coming along this far in less than 2 years here.
            Thank you for your support and prayers!

          10. NB,

            It took 3.5 years into my journey before my husband felt safe with me again. This thing does take time, even under pretty decent circumstances. You both have wounds to heal and growing to do.

            Praying for wisdom for you to honor yourself, God, your marriage, and your husband. And for God to help you see ways you can demonstrate to your husband tangibly that you are on his team. 🙂

          11. Thank you for your kind words April. I hope you dont mind writing you again.
            I wanted to let you know that i checked out Leslie Vernicks site and videos. From what she said i dont have emotionally destructive marriage. More so difficult one at the moment, with problems triggered by our move. No matter what was happenning my husband was not like that back in the States. Even after Iraq.
            So i think your teaching is the way to go for me. I will respect my husbands decisions no matter what as to stay in Europe or not. Im praying that in Gods timing there will be a break through for us.
            Thank you again. It was Gods hand leading me to you and your blog that im sure of.

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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