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I Thought I ‘Owned’ My Husband – by Fellow Wife

man with tie
Today’s post is a guest post by Fellow Wife (for a follow up from Sept, 2014, please click here) – 
When my husband and I first married, I believed that we owned each other to a certain extent.  
I loved the thought that I belonged to him and he belonged to me.  We do have rights to each other.  Because we are in a marriage covenant, we do belong to each other emotionally and physically.  But I do not own my husband.  
He is *my* husband but he does not belong to me.  He belongs to God.  
What I mean to say is that it is not my job to take care of my husband.  I do things for him out of love like bringing him his favorite drink or a meal when he is tired.  But it is not my responsibility to teach him guide him, correct him or fix him.  Those are things that God can do completely without my assistance.
Trying do any of those things is only going to make me miserable.  Because I am not able to fix him; I cannot even fix myself!  My job is to concentrate on me and the huge stack of sins I have in my own life. 
I really don’t need to pay too much attention to what is going on between my husband and God.  God is completely ABLE.  He’s got this.  He doesn’t need me or my help. 
Have you ever had someone try to help you and you had it covered?  Or try to instruct you on something that you completely knew how to do?  I have and it makes me sooooo irritated.  I imagine that is how God feels about me right about now. 
A few other things I am learning:
– I can share my heart with my husband.  I can share my feelings and desires but I cannot and should not tell him what he should or should not do about that.
– My husband is a born again Christian so he is in touch with God.  If there is something he is doing that is displeasing to God, God certainly does not need my help delivering that message and most certainly not in enforcing it.-Even if I see something I perceive as sin in my husband’s life, it is not my place to deal with that.  I can share that his actions have been hurtful to me but his repentance and choice of following actions in response are then between he and God.
– I can journey along with my husband.  But I cannot choose his journey.  This was a hard lesson to learn. 
He has his journey.  I have mine.  Because we are joined in marriage, our journeys are parallel but they are not the same.  They are beside one another but still individual.  This was such a HUGE and powerfully difficult concept for me to grasp. 
I am thankful to share this journey with my husband- to run parallel with him.  But I had to learn that there needs to be a bit of a detachment between us and that is the space where God takes over.  It is a good thing.  It does not feel so good at first because it is foreign and scary and unknown.  But it can still be okay.
Anytime I get distracted by what I feel my husband *should* be doing in our marriage or with others or with situations in his life, I am trying to be the boss of his journey again. And the bad side effect is that while I am over there driving his train (we will call it for the sake of this story), mine is getting completely derailed because nobody is driving it.  I need to stay on my own track with God and let my husband have his own track with God. 
Part of letting go of your husband is letting God have him.  It isn’t just letting him go to make his own choices, although I believe that is half of it…..  But letting God take over is the other half.  It is the half of the equation that gives the fullness of joy and peace to your heart.
I can pray for my husband and talk to God about my feelings and all the things I would love in our marriage.  I can ask him to deal with my husband on certain issues but that is as far as I can go with it.  What happens after that is between God and my husband.  Things may go my way.  They may never go my way.  I have to be okay either way.  I may be sad and disappointed at times that God isn’t working with my husband on issues or that my husband isn’t responding but I have to trust that God does know best and has my ultimate good in mind.
We can and sometimes should gently, respectfully, humbly confront our husbands if there is sin going on against us or our children – only after we deeply examine our own lives and repent of any trace of sin in our hearts first (Matt 7:1-5, Matt 18:14-16)
But – it is NOT our job to convict our husbands or to force them to obey God.  That is where I used to get in so much trouble!  I am NOT the Holy Spirit.  Things go much better when I acknowledge that I am not part of the Trinity.
  • I am a sinful human being just like my husband.  We are on level ground at the foot of the cross.
  • I am not better than my husband.  I am not more holy than he is.
  • My sin is not “less sinful” than my husband’s sin.
  • We are both equal law-breakers apart from Christ.
  • We are both equally precious in the sight of God.
  • I have no room to look down on my husband as if I am better than he is.  That is sin!  Self-righteousness.  That is what Jesus condemned so severely in the Pharisees!
God is able to complete the work He has begun in my husband.  The best thing I can do is focus on obeying God myself so that I stay out of God’s way and give Him plenty of room to work on my husband and plenty of room to work on ME!
My power is in keeping my eyes on Christ and submitting to Him fully as my LORD every moment.

16 thoughts on “I Thought I ‘Owned’ My Husband – by Fellow Wife

    1. Truehusband,

      You may also be interested in this video…
      <a href="[youtube=]”>[youtube=]

  1. Loving the truths in this post. I need to hear that again. Precious Jesus, sink these truths deep into my heart, mind and soul.

    As I have been making effort to let my husband drive his own “train”, I have been amazed at the growth in his closeness to God and willingness to share that with me. it has taken awhile for him to begin to trust me. However, it is starting to happen and I am so thrilled to see and experience.

    He has mentioned, several times, that he is feeling God’s presence so much more of late and loving it. I think this is proof, April, that when we get our hands off their throat they CAN actually hear better from God. All those efforts to shove him at God or God at him were doing the opposite.

    There is certainly enough of my own sin to keep me busy. I think Colossians 3 alone will keep me busy the rest of my days :).

    1. Learning ever,

      Thank you for sharing! Isn’t God’s wisdom good?

      I love hearing how your husband is able to hear God so much more easily now. Praise GOD! 🙂

  2. April,

    What about when a couple has the opposite issue? I know that my husband will eventually “get it” but right now he’s sort of on a crazy train.. I think some of it is definitely seasonal depression. Another part of it is he made a decision this past summer to quit his job and go to school. He did not discuss it with me at all until after the fact. He made an assumption that because I make a good living that it was ok. It bothered me a bit at the time because it was a huge decision that directly impacts me and put a lot more weight on my shoulders, but I didn’t argue with him because 1. He knows the finances because he handles them whereas I couldn’t even tell you the day I get paid and I hate dealing with paying bills. He’s a way better steward of our money anyway. and 2. I would have supported the decision anyway even if he asked me because he hates his job, I love mine and I think everyone should do what they love no matter how much money it makes. However, his decision has not turned out as well as he had hoped. Hence, he has a lot of time on his hands and not much to occupy him anymore. And his self image has sunk to a very low level. He’s in a rut.

    So we have entered this phase where he is very moody and I have become the person that he focuses his entire world around. In his mind, I am responsible for whether he is happy or unhappy.. angry or content.. depressed or cheerful.. Fullfilled or unfullfilled.. Peaceful or in chaos. I know this is merely a result of idle minds and idle hands..And the fact that for some reason he has pushed God out of his life. I remember being out of work a few years ago and it took me 4 months to find a new position after the company I worked for closed. I recognize the decline. The rut and the funk it can put a person in. But I cannot be the one to “mentor” him thru this.. A friend or a relative I can and have mentored and motivated thru this type of thing. But I know my husband would not receive it the same way. He has one true male friend. That’s it. He needs more and I pray everyday that he will get involved in some of the men’s groups that his friend invites him to. He doesn’t go because he’s partially deaf from the military and is self conscious about it. But this lack of a good male social circle of friends only increases his dependency on me.

    I don’t think God intended me to be all things to my husband or for him to be all things to me. We are not built for that. That’s God’s role in our lives. That’s my baby Christian understanding of it so far. I hope thats correct.. 🙂 But everything in this blog post, I recognize my husband doing this to me. And let me tell you it’s not pleasant.. It causes even me to want to withdraw a little. So no matter if one is the husband or wife if you’re doing this just stop! Examine why and fix it. It literally is expecting your spouse to not function on a human level but on God’s level. Impossible expectations will only dissapoint you and frustrate the other person.

    Right now, I find myself pleading guilty to things I did not do just to keep the peace. Not an easy task for me. The old me would have ripped into him for sure. I noticed in my husband’s “talking at me” yesterday that he has developed an anger towards God and towards me that I am not sure where it comes from. It seems to be directed towards the fact that I have been busy with work (I recently have been put forward for a promotion that I have worked very hard towards). I also have been busy with a new granddaughter. It has taken time from him. He is normally supportive of my career and is a wonderful grandfather but lately has become almost possessive and critical of nit picky things. Because that vertical relationship is not on good terms at the moment all of his horizontal relationships are being impacted. There was no point in me attempting to communicate anything back to him because it wasn’t even a rational rant.

    He does not like the concept that I am not responsible for his sin. He also does not like the concept that I am accountable to God first and him second. In his heart, I know that he knows that’s correct. He is not the type of man that would normally think that HE is above God. Really, his normal demeanor is not that arrogant. I think he’s speaking from a point of being disappointed in himself and not feeling as if he can live up to God’s expectations of him as a husband. I believe he can to the best of his ability. I wish he saw himself in the same light as I do. I thought about sending him an email telling him how good he really is. I am just not sure if it will be well received in his negative state of mind. I am not a man so I don’t know if they like to receive words of affirmation like that.

    I don’t feel like I can call him out on his sin at this point in time. I think he would not hear me because of his emotional state and I don’t have a clue on how to do that in the first place. My daughter always tells people, “My mom’s not a baker she never sugar coats things”. It’s true in many ways. It’s not in my nature to say things in a round about way and sometimes my bluntness can come off as too direct. Besides, I’m still working hard on navigating thru my own sin and trying to figure out how to live right. So that option would only esculate things and make him feel worse.

    All I can do is pray for him daily and hope that he fixes his relationship with God first, that has somehow become strained. I think it’s because life has not worked out how he has hoped and he has also behaved recently in some ways that he’s not proud of. I know when that happens it’s easy to hid your face from God because I have done it for years. But again, I cannot counsel him on this because coming from his wife it would be seen as harsh and like I am disappointed in him. I think he would hear his own disappointments in himself echo’d back at him. AND I think when a spouse calls out the others sin they should do it with clean hands. I don’t think at this point I have entirely clean hands. I know I don’t. The thing he doesn’t understand is that God’s plan is always perfect. He has not failed. The timing for whatever it is that will give him purpose just hasn’t happened yet. He has a purpose. He has many gifts and many talents. His current depression makes him blind to it. But things will turn around for him in time.

    I want to help him because this is not good for him. It’s very self destructive. If he looks to me to fullfill all things in his life he will never feel satisfied. If he doesn’t let go of my past failures and his own failures and wrongs he will never move forward. Most of all, if he keeps hiding from God the rest of his relationships will never fall back into order. I don’t know if I can help him with that or even if I should attempt to. I know for myself, I had to go thru my own struggle with God. Having God shake up your life to go from long time Athiest to Loving Jesus is not pleasant at first. I don’t care how many people tell me don’t worry God is always gentle. It did not feel that way at first. It felt like someone beat the hell out of me and then ran me over with a truck. I literally remember the exact night and all the turmoil and how exhausted I was in the morning. I hated the feeling of defeat that first couple of days but I did notice that my mind and my heart was so open to what I was hearing and learning. But I will never forget how painful that night was. It had a profound impact on me. Huge.

    The odd thing is my husband has been a Christian for way longer than I have been. In fact, he always has believed in God his whole life. I hate seeing him lose his faith just as I have found mine. Or maybe not lose his faith but see it weakened. It makes me wonder if that will happen to me to down the road. And what will I do when it happens. I guess I thought once you had that faith you don’t lose it. Maybe it’s possible that you do or you can. I don’t know.

    Today he is happy but who knows what tomorrow will bring. It takes a lot of energy for me to absorb his negativity right now. Christmas is also hard for me because I miss my grandson the most at the holidays. And we have to make Christmas nice for the kids and our other grandchildren. I honeslty do not know what is the right way to love him thru this. I have no idea what his “love language” is or even what he needs right now (other than maybe prozac…. I’m just kidding.. 🙂 )…

    Advice and prayers would be appreciated.

    Gail W.

    1. Gail,

      Hmmm…. this is a delicate situation and how you handle it can definitely make it much easier for him or much more painful for him.

      You are NOT responsible for his sin. You ARE accountable to God first before you are accountable to your husband. YOu are not responsible for your husband’s happiness. It would be easier for him to be able to blame you – but that is his responsibility. You are responsible for you. He is responsible for himself.

      I have a post called Control and Boundaries you can search on my home page if you are interested. 🙂

      I do wish he had talked with you about quitting his job and going to school first. That would have been much more ideal.

      I believe your husband is probably depressed. To lose his career and lose his status as bringing in income can be extremely difficult for a lot of men – some men have a harder time dealing with unemployment than they do dealing with terminal cancer.

      It is not ok for him to put you above God or himself above God in his heart. But – you will have to be super sensitive to God’s voice because He may give you the words in certain moments that your husband may respond to. But right now, it is important that you focus on becoming the woman God wants you to be.

      There may be a time to prayerfully say, “I feel like you are expecting me to make you happy. I would make you happy if I could. But I don’t have that kind of power in your life. And that is too much pressure for me. I cannot make you happy. I am not God. I am responsible for my emotions and my spiritual growth. You are responsible for your emotions and your spiritual growth. I want to honor your leadership and respect you properly. But how I pray that you will find contentment in Christ that is not dependent on me or anyone else.”

      I am sure it does make you want to back away from him. Any time someone idolizes us, that person becomes very needy and smothering and they begin to seem like an insatiable black hole of need. No human can meet the needs that only God can meet for another person.

      I am praying for wisdom for you about whether you should say anything or simply follow I Peter 3:1-6 if he is far from God and can’t hear you right now, or about whether God would want you to say something.

      The farther a man is from God – the less he can hear words.

      If he is far from God, then words will make things worse and it will only be your respectful behavior, your supernatural joy and peace – that will ultimately possibly speak to him.

      1. April,

        I think I figured out what is partly wrong with him. Yesterday, he was getting upset over little things again. Every little miscommunication, every little action or word from the time I got home from the office. And he could not let anything drop. It took us 5 hours to watch a 2 hour movie! I was watching his body language and thinking about what could have happened in the last week to throw him off like this and make his moods so up and down like.. It hit me when he picked up his “e-cigarette”.. He drastically reduced his intake of nicotine starting 2 weeks ago. I’ve also noticed he’s been snacking more.

        The good news, he’s not crazy and I do not have to have him committed.. 🙂 .. The bad news, he’s gonna have to realize he’s a mere mortal and is simply having a good old fashioned “nicotine fit”.. Now if I can only find a recipe site called Cooking with Nicotine.. Or Cooking with Prozac would work too..Of course i could just keep putting pie and cookies in front of him too..

        (Disclaimer: I’m just kidding…. for now at least)..

        Gail W.

        1. Mcsprite,

          You know what? As a pharmacist, I have seen nicotine withdrawal and it can get pretty awful! That explains a lot! 🙂

          Thanks for the followup.


          Praying for you to have much grace during this time because his flesh will be quite weak.

          And, praying you can build him up and praise him for quitting!

          Much love,

  3. Tami,

    This is part of the learning process – is to truly uncover the hidden motives of the heart and to look at them in the light of God’s Word – it can be pretty shocking all the sin that is hidden down in the crevices in our hearts!

  4. Dear April,
    Thank you so much for sharing your experiences you are a good minister to remind us of what Jesus has said. I needed that because I just have gotten off the bus in my marriage I felt as if I have given so much and received so little in return. But looking at it as doing this as unto the Lord and that he is also a person with needs helps me re-focus Now I have to put the action with the knowledge, I have such a long way to go, and much needs to be repaired. Pray for me as I do God’s will.

    Licia S.

    1. Licia,
      Of course I will pray for God’s will and His greatest glory and for Him to empower you to be the wife of His dreams no matter what your husband does or doesn’t do. I also pray for healing in your marriage. Can’t wait to see what He has in store!!!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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