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20131005-174238

If I Am Being Needy and Clingy, I Will Probably Repel My Husband

20131005-174238

I am not an expert, a counselor, a psychologist, a theologian or a pastor. I am just an ordinary Christian wife. My posts and my blog may be helpful for you – they may not be.  I share ideas and suggestions – they are not rules and they are not guarantees.  Ultimately, each wife must prayerfully decide what she believes God wants her to do to obey Him and to honor Him in her unique situation. God has wisdom. I do not. I write specifically for wives who tend to be controlling and dominating. Wives who tend to be more quiet and have dominating husbands may find that my blog is not a good fit for them. If your husband is abusing you, please seek godly, experienced, wise counsel ASAP! Please be safe! Please do not read my blog if you are a wife who is being abused. You will need VERY specific help in that situation. Reading my blog for women who tend to be controlling may be harmful for you.

 

If you have ever been in any kind of relationship with someone who is needy and clingy all the time – you know that it can feel like imprisonment.  Even if it is just a coworker or a classmate at school.  There is something about neediness/clinginess that just sucks all of the emotional life out of other people.

SOME EXAMPLES:

  • There is a book , “Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren” that my daughter and I read earlier this fall.  This little 5 year old, Junie B., decides she is  “in love” with Warren in her class.  One chapter is SO PERFECT at illustrating the concept of a woman being super needy, clingy, dictatorial and smothering to a man and just how repulsive it can be.  I really wish I could quote the entire chapter but, I will just summarize.  Junie B. would not leave Warren alone.  He told her to go away and not talk to him anymore.  She stayed right beside him.  She was quiet for 30 seconds or so, but then she constantly said something or other to try to get his attention and to try to make her love him.   Quoting from memory here, “I’m being quiet Warren.  I can be REAL quiet.  I won’t talk at all.  I’m just going to sit right here and not talk.  Not one word.  You won’t even know I’m here.   I’m just quiet as can be.  That’s me.  Being quiet…  Hey, Warren!  There’s a piece of fuzz on your hair.  Want me to get it for you, Warren?  It wouldn’t be any problem for me to get that piece of fuzz out of your hair for you, Warren.  Cause I’m your friend.  You and I are friends.  It’s white.  I think it came off of a plant or something.  Want me to get it for you? Huh?  Do ya?  I can do it really quick…”  And she continued ON and ON as Warren faced away from her with the biggest scowl on his face and eventually he exploded in frustration and anger.  This is NOT how to attract a guy, ladies!
  • In marriage… what does it look like when a wife is clingy, needy or smothering?  If you have a controlling mother, mother-in-law or sister, you know how painful it is to be on the receiving end of this kind of behavior.  If not, try to put yourself in a husband’s shoes in these scenarios. (be sure to picture the angry face and angry tone of voice):
  1. How COULD you go do something with your friends?  You are supposed to spend EVERY SINGLE MINUTE that you are not working with ME!  You obviously don’t love me as much as I love you because I would never go off and leave you and do something with my friends.  If you walk out that door, you’re really going to pay for this once you get home!
  2. We need to talk.   RIGHT NOW.  I don’t feel loved.  You aren’t spending enough time with me.  You don’t even look very happy to talk with me right now.  Why do you have that expression on your face?  Why are you watching the TV!?! You’re not even paying attention to me! You are totally ignoring me!  I don’t matter at all to you, do I?  See, you are the most unloving husband on the face of this planet.  I knew you’d just come home and ignore me.  All I ask is to have some time to share my heart with you and you can’t even do something that simple.  Where are you going!?!?!!?!
  3. I would be happy if only you would love me in the way I want you to love me.  You won’t send me romantic emails like I have asked you to do 125 times.  What is wrong with you?  All I want is a little email?  Is it SO HARD to just send a little email to your wife to tell her you love her?  Would it KILL you to spend 2 minutes sending me a text or an email?  I mean, I send you loving emails/texts all the time.  You don’t even appreciate all that I do for you.  And you can’t send me one little note because you love me?  If you really loved me, you would WANT to send me romantic notes and you would WANT to tell me how much you love me and how special I am to you.  But NOOOOO!  You can’t be bothered with little details like that.
  4. It has been 4 weeks and 2 days since you gave me a compliment.  So, I suppose you don’t think I’m pretty anymore, right?  Yep.  I’m sure that is what you are thinking.  What kind of husband doesn’t compliment his own wife?  You must not even notice me at all.  I might as well not even be here.  You’d be happier without me, wouldn’t you?  You need to tell me a compliment RIGHT NOW!   Wait a minute, where do you think you’re going??  Don’t you walk out that door!  I am talking to you!  You better give me a compliment.
  5. Why won’t you have sex with me?  Every other red blooded man on the planet WANTS to have sex with his wife – but not you!  What am I not sexy enough for you now?  You need to have sex with me.  The Bible says you have to.  You’re sinning if you withhold yourself from me.  Turn off the stupid TV.  We’re going to have sex!  I cannot just wait around for you like this all the time.  You need to be sensitive to my needs.

Hopefully, you get the idea, right?

I’d like you to notice something about the wife examples…  These wives weren’t just being needy, clingy and smothering, they were also being:

  • disrespectful
  • controlling
  • blaming/accusatory
  • demeaning
  • demanding/dictatorial
  • rude
  • contentious
  • oblivious to how they were coming across
  • self-centered/selfish
  • prideful
  • self-righteous
  • negative
  • assuming the worst
  • not giving the husband a chance to be a hero
  • condescending

All of that tends to go together.

I have done stuff like this to my husband before.  Let me just share a little secret with you – these approaches DO NOT WORK!  They make our men (and anyone, really) want to run far, far away.

This puts a man in a lose/lose situation.

1. He can bow to you and try to accommodate your demands, knowing that anything he does after you demanded it will be totally meaningless to him and to you and that you will lose all respect for him if he does what you want when you approach him in such a disrespectful way.

2. He can stay true to his convictions to not say yes to you because of your disrespectful approach and look like a “jerk.”

Let’s try to not put our men in a situation where both of us will lose no matter what they do!  Let’s learn to approach our men in effective ways that bless them and ourselves.  Let’s check our motives when we are feeling disappointed, forgotten and unloved.

  • Let’s focus on loving and obeying Christ above everything else, finding all of our contentment in Him alone and blessing our husbands.
  • It’s not that the things we want are necessarily wrong – it is our approach and the level of priority we are giving to our desires.  If we are approaching our men the way I was talking about in the above examples, our own motives are not right.  There is sin in our hearts we need to deal with before we can take another step.

What draws our husbands to us – times when we :

  • have humility
  • make respectful requests (usually just once) not demands
  • graciously accept “no” from others and allow them the freedom to make their own decisions and don’t try to force our way on them
  • are concerned and compassionate towards them
  • don’t pressure them
  • are responsible for our own emotions, happiness and contentment in Christ
  • enjoy them
  • RELAX
  • assume the best not immediately accuse them of the worst
  • respect them genuinely
  • use good manners – yes, even with our husbands!
  • appreciate the things they do for us
  • have a friendly tone of voice and a pleasant facial expression

RESPECTFUL SUGGESTIONS THAT MAY BE A BETTER APPROACH WITH THESE ISSUES (but you must be SINCERE or do not say these things.  And say them with a smile, a pleasant tone of voice and facial expression.) –

  1. I am really glad you have a chance to see your friends.  Being with them is important!  Have fun!   I think I might go get together with my friend tonight for dessert, too.  I’m so excited! (Then later, maybe the next day or sometime, say, “I’d love for us to have a night out this week if we could.  That would be so much fun!”)
  2. I’m feeling lonely today. (silly sad face)  Would you please cuddle with me For a few minutes?  (with a friendly voice and a smile.  And be gracious even if he says, “no”)
  3. When you sent me that sweet email a few months ago – I loved it!  I read it often.  I really feel loved when you send me a note like that.  (pleasant tone of voice and a smile.  No pressure!)
  4. I like it when you compliment me.  It makes me smile. ;). I keep thinking about how sweet is was when you said X last month.  You are such a thoughtful husband.
  5. I can’t wait to be in your arms tonight.  I just want to touch you and kiss you all over… 😉  (but, if he is tired or turns you down, please be gracious!)

AND THEN –

Possibly focus on your man and ask him how he is doing and what you can do for him and LISTEN carefully to anything he shares and make HIM a huge priority. 🙂

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51 thoughts on “If I Am Being Needy and Clingy, I Will Probably Repel My Husband

  1. April,

    We have the opposite in our household. This can go both ways and the first paragraph sums it up when it says it sucks the emotional life out of a person. In our case, we have the same friends but sometimes Mark’s best guy friend will invite him to do something and I know he wants to spend quality guy time with Mark. But Mark will invite me, I will decline and suggest they go together and then Mark will feel slighted and not go. Or he will get hurt because I take my staff out for their birthdays or for team lunches or a celebration lunch if we work hard on a project.

    Sometimes when I don’t cuddle with my husband it’s not because I don’t love him (ok it’s never because I don’t love him) it’s generally because I have something on my mind or I just didn’t think of it or sometimes because I’ve had a day where I have felt so crowded that I just want my own space. Pick a thing and it could cause strife in the household.

    When I hear things like, “Sorry I want to spend some quality time with my wife”. It makes me feel horrible about it. I know it’s sarcasm. But I would love to tell him to check his motives. Is it really quality time that he wants to spend? Because quality time is when both people are getting benefit and enjoyment from it. One should ask themselves, “why do I get upset when my spouse wants to spend a little quality time with themselves”.

    I wish I could truly describe how frustrating and hurtful it is to be on the other side of neediness. It’s like your motives are always questioned even when they are completely innocent. You don’t even feel like you can do things that seem normal or natural to you because you don’t know if it’s going to cause hurt feelings or not. Most of us have multiple people that need a part of us during any given day. Family members, children, spouse, employees or boss, customers maybe, whatever it is.. We also need to recharge ourselves.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love doing stuff with my husband. I really do but sometimes I’m just tired or not into it or whatever. But now I do it anyway because it’s not worth the hurt feelings and stress I have to deal with to not do it. Being needy is an act of selfishness beyond what I can describe. Even though a needy person will never see it that way. Generally it’s because a needy person doesn’t have anything else that is important to them.

    Now one would think, oh how sweet is would be to be someone’s whole world. NO, it’s not! It’s wonderful if you are important to someone special and we should be important to each other but the words, “You are everything to me”… those are not kind words. Those are words that actually put unnecessary pressure on someone. We were not designed to be our spouses everything. (that’s my opinion of course and I have nothing to back it up)..

    If someone feels like this they really need to find something besides their spouse. It could be a career goal, it could be a hobby, it could be volunteer work, or any other healthy activity. But pick something.

    It’s different if someone’s spouse is spending time at a place they shoudn’t be. Bars, strip clubs, casino’s or whatever. Or if they are spending time with someone who is just bad for them and the marriage. But if you trust your husband (or wife) and they are hanging out with quality, Godly friends once in awhile, let them do it. It will be of great benefit to you as well. If they just want time to be alone don’t take it personal because it’s not. Everyone needs time to recharge so that they go back to taking care of all the things they are responsible for. It’s a healthy thing, not a selfish thing.

    For a long time I felt like there was something wrong with me for feeling smothered by this type of behavior. I felt like I was being the selfish one. But then I realized that God was designed to fill that need in people not someone’s husband or wife. (or friend, or relative). If someone is a needy person, they have to evaluate their relationship with God first (make that what it should be) and then they have to find something that gives them more of a purpose driven life.

    Again, the above is just my opinion. If any of it has actual biblical support it came from God. If it doesn’t it came from me.. 🙂

    Gail W.

    1. Gail,

      Thank you for articulating how it feels to be on the receiving end of neediness. It is NOT a good feeling. Eventually, it is easy for the idolized spouse to give up because it seems the other person is insatiable.

      It IS important for the needy spouse to check his/her motives because it is possible that we can put our husband/wife where only God should be in our hearts. That will create way too much pressure on our spouse and will result in us being disappointed, upset, anxious, afraid and lonely.

      Thank God that He will not let us find contentment in anything or anyone but Christ!

      When I find myself feeling disappointed in my husband, that is a huge flag for me to check my motives and get my heart set back on Christ.

      I appreciate your willingness to share, Gail!

      Praying for you and Mark. 🙂

      1. Thank you April. My husband has send your link to me. He uses it to tell me how he feels about me and things you describe how he fells. That may be the case…………………….But:
        He does not believe in God or Jesus, does not like his mother and family, hates almost everybody, is thinking having breakfast, lunch or Coffee together is not necessary, refuses to work temporarily in a job that he does not like to help paying bills, learn/speak the language of the country we moved to, have conservations with me more than maybe three time a week, has sex more with other people, has never had a home in his life or paid a bill on time.
        But I am the one who is needy? You said you want to be submissive? What am I supposed to get out of a relationship? A companion? A dog can do that much better for me, lol.
        I tried to teach him that one has to take responsibility for things in his life and not just blame everything and everybody around them, that it takes money for everything in a capitalist country, that family is one of the most important things in this world.
        His friends and supporters are on facebook and co. His mother would not take him in her house to live with her, he spends half of the day sleeping and half of the day on the internet.
        Well, our divorce is in a week. Thank god!!!
        There are disturbed people out there that might take your advise as a excuse for their behavior. Thank you April.

        1. MR,

          Did you say he is having sex with other people? Yikes!!!

          I have disclaimers throughout my blog about that if there are serious problems, abuse, infidelity, uncontrolled mental health problems, addictions, etc… That those things go way beyond the scope of my blog and that people will need to seek godly, experienced help. I also have disclaimers throughout my blog that I write for wives. I don’t write for husbands, and no one can be forced to submit or to respect. These are things we do out of obedience to God. And I have many places where I talk about that husbands have even greater responsibilities than wives and that God has commands for them, too, and that just because I write for wives does not negate the things God commands husbands to do.

          I write primarily for wives who have tended to be very controlling and dominating with passive husbands.

          Your husband’s greatest need is Christ. He cannot change himself. Only God can change him. There do have to be boundaries set if a man is involved infidelity, ie “I want to make this marriage work. But what you are doing is not right. I can’t be with you unless you are willing to do X, Y and Z.”

          Submission doesn’t mean slavery or mindless obedience. It means a wife puts her strength, power, encouragement, affirmation and faith behind her husband and is on his team. She cooperates with his God-given leadership unless he asks her to clearly sin or condone sin. Then she must resist him in obedience to Christ.

          I am so sorry things have been very difficult. It is great to hear from you!

          How is your relationship with Jesus?

          How can I pray for you?

          I’m always glad to talk with you any time. 🙂

          I pray your husband might find Christ as Savior and Lord and that God might be greatly glorified in both of your lives.

          1. MR,

            When a husband is far from God, His command for us as wives is in I Peter 3:1-6.

            Words won’t impact our men at that point, but, as we become the women and wives God calls us to be, we can get out of God’s way, and many times our husbands can begin to hear God’s voice. If we want them to come to God, this is the path to take. There are no guarantees. But God is able to do miracles, especially as we live in faith and obedience to Him. I pray for miracles for you and your husband.

          2. MR,
            Here is the post from the top of my home page for wives who are in seriously troubled marriages or who are experiencing abuse:
            SERIOUS Marriage Problems or Abuse
            Precious wife,

            How my heart completely breaks for you if you are suffering at the hands of a cruel, abusive or violent husband who is not meeting his responsibilities to love, provide for, protect and lead his family in the ways that would honor God. (Ephesians 5:22-33)

            I pray for healing for your spirit, for your children, for your husband and your marriage – and I completely believe that Christ is able to bring beauty from ashes in even the most awful situations.

            FIND HELP, ASAP!

            Please seek godly, experienced help! Learning about respect and biblical submission is good, and I think it may help in many situations. But there are some men who will be abusive no matter what their wives do – and that is not a wife’s fault!!! There are also some husbands who, in the name of being the “spiritual authority” demand their wives’ “submission” and total obedience. They ignore all the other verses in scripture and ignore what God commands them to do – to love, honor and protect their wives and to lead them selflessly and humbly. They ignore the fact that they will stand before God and give an account one day and live as if they answer to no one.

            That is not at all how God describes godly leadership in His Word. Husbands are never commanded to force their wives to obey God’s Word for them to submit. Submission is a voluntary act that a woman does out of reverence to Christ. If a husband is demanding that she put him in the place of God in her life or that she must obey him without question or he tells her she has no right to share her perspective, feelings and opinions – that is NOT a godly situation and a wife in such a situation needs godly help.

            You are going to need greater resources than I can offer here if this is your situation..
            Your obedience to God will certainly help your situation – but respect and honoring your husband’s leadership can’t “fix” your husband’s PTSD, ADD, Asberger’s, narcissism, mental disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, criminal behavior, severe emotional/spiritual/physical abuse… etc.

            You cannot change your husband. Only God can heal and change him. You are not the Holy Spirit. Your love is not powerful enough to fix mental problems or addictions. (To learn about healthy boundaries and control, please click here or check out Henry Cloud’s book, “Boundaries.”.)

            God’s love is powerful enough to change your husband – but that is in God’s hands, not yours.

            We are commanded by God to submit to our husbands “in The Lord.” If a husband is asking us to condone his sin or to commit sin or violate God’s Word – then the authority of God’s Word trumps our husbands’ God-given authority.

            I do not believe that it is wise to submit to/cooperate with a man actively under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or a man with an untreated mental disorder that is altering his thinking, or a man who is entrenched in some kind of major sin addiction (infidelity, gambling, false doctrine/cult practices, homosexuality, criminal activity, etc).

            There are times when physical separation may be very necessary. Seek God’s will, His Word, His face, His power and His glory.
            GOD DESIRES US TO RESPOND IN GODLINESS EVEN WHEN WE ARE SINNED AGAINST

            I believe that God’s Word applies that we are to love our enemies and pray for those who mistreat us and overcome evil with good. Adding our own sin to our husbands’ sin will only make things much worse. I believe we are always called by God to respond in the power of His Spirit and not to sin ourselves, even when we are sinned against.

            But if things are out of control in your marriage – and your husband’s thinking is impaired, or you or your children are in actual danger – please find godly, experienced, local help – a Christian pastor, counselor, a women’s shelter or at least an older godly wife to help you find some help.

            You may need to get somewhere safe for a time and pray for wisdom and seek God’s direction as you pray for healing.

            PLEASE, do NOT initiate violence towards your husband! That is foolish! If you try to get him to hit you and get physical with you – you will probably get hurt! No one should be throwing things, hitting anyone or committing any kind of violence against anyone in any relationship.

            Husbands and wives ought to both be treating each other with respect and love!

            If you are in danger – please find a way to safely get out!

            SUBMISSION DOES NOT MEAN

            Submitting to our husbands in the Lord does not mean we have to be slaves, we have no voice and can’t say what we need/want or how we feel or take abuse, or allow our children to suffer abuse. There are churches and individuals who take the concept of submission and warp it into something abusive, oppressive and controlling – that does not glorify God!

            I don’t believe that biblical submission means a wife must “mindlessly do anything her husband tells her to do.”

            I believe it is a wife’s duty and responsibility to tell her husband how she feels, what she needs, what she wants AND to respectfully, humbly and firmly stand against him if he sins or asks her to sin. It is her duty to bring ALL of her personhood, faith, feelings, ideas, talents, energy, passion and strengths to the marriage. She is to use her “influence authority” to inspire her husband and to influence him toward godliness.

            Biblical submission means that when a husband and wife don’t agree – the wife graciously cooperates with the husband’s decision (unless he is asking her to sin or asking her to cooperate with his sin or asking her to dishonor God) – trusting God to lead her through her husband. It is a GIFT she gives to her husband out of her love and reverence for Christ. Submission and respect cannot be forced or coerced any more than a husband’s love and godly servant leadership could be forced or coerced.

            For the believer – submission begins with my total submission to Jesus as my LORD. I obey His Word and seek to honor Him because I love and reverence Him. If someone is asking me to directly violate God’s Word – I must choose to obey God rather than men. (Acts 5:29)

            SOMETIMES WE MUST CONFRONT SIN

            Respect doesn’t mean that we respect our husbands’ sin or what they do wrong!!!! Respect doesn’t mean we never address our husbands’ sin or that we act like he didn’t hurt us when he did or that his wrongdoing is ok.

            We respect the fact that our husbands are in the position “husband,” and because of that position, God has given them authority over us and our children. It is a similar concept as we respect the office of “president” even when we don’t agree with the president, but if the president commits crimes – he will face punishment and judgment by those in authority over him. God never calls us to respect our husbands’ infidelity, addictions or physical or sexual abuse or criminal activity.

            The reason He commands us to respect our husbands is because respect is the only way to get through to a man’s heart.

            There are times when we must respectfully confront our husbands in love and truth. (Matthew 7:1-6 and Matthew 18). But we must be sure that WE are in right standing with God first – that we repent of any pride, rebellion against God’s Word, disrespect in our marriage, unforgiveness, bitterness, idolatry (putting other things above God), lust, malice, rage, etc… first. Only after we have dealt with our own sin will we be able to respectfully, calmly, lovingly, gently address our husbands’ sin. If your husband is sinning against you, and you are being abused – you may need godly help outside of the marriage to help you get things straightened out.

            Husbands are 100% responsible for their own sins before God.

            Wives are 100% responsible for their own sins before God.

            I write my blog from the perspective of a wife who was controlling and disrespectful with a passive husband.
            I do not have a history of being abused. My parents were godly, Christian parents who set a good example of marriage. There was never violence in our marriage on either side and my husband and I were never abused as children. My husband doesn’t raise his voice or yell at me. He has never attempted to physically harm me. He has never called me names or verbally abused me. I am not equipped to give advice to wives in abusive situations.

            Some people raise concerns at times about my blog – saying that I am endorsing husbands abusing their wives.

            Let me be as clear as I possibly can.

            I absolutely NEVER condone abuse of any kind towards anyone. Abuse is sin. It offends God. It is destructive and it is wrong. People will be accountable to God for abusing others – unless they repent and find forgiveness in Christ – and they will be accountable to the law. Abusers need help immediately. And spouses who are being abused need help immediately.

            Some people believe that because I don’t teach husbands and don’t tell them what to do – that I am saying that wives are totally responsible for all marriage and relationship problems. That is not at all what I am saying.

            Men and women are all wretched sinners – capable of plenty of different kinds of evil.

            When two sinners marry, they both sin against each other. There are very few cases where one person is 100% responsible and the other is 100% innocent. We each must look at our own sin, our own accountability before God and our own obedience to God’s Word – and it is my goal to help wives focus on their end of the relationship, their sin and their responsiblity. But husbands have an equal , if not greater, responsibility to focus on their sin, their accountability before God and their obedience to God’s Word. Abused wives are not responsible for being abused and abusive husbands are not innocent. Neither are abused husbands responsible for being abused – and their abusive wives are not innocent.

            There are absolutely times when the loving and respectful thing to do can be:

            – separation until there is healing

            – creating healthy boundaries

            – asking for abuse to stop

            – seeking help outside of the marriage from a professional counselor/doctor/pastor

            And there can also be times when divorce is, sadly, unavoidable.

            That is something for which people will have to seek God’s face, pray unceasingly and listen carefully to His Word and His Spirit for wisdom. I am not in a place to tell women what to do in these situations. God’s wisdom is infinitely higher than mine and there are many counselors whose wisdom is greater than mine in this area.

            If there are serious problems in your marriage – physical abuse, major verbal abuse, major control by one spouse, substance or alcohol abuse, uncontrolled mental health disorders, infidelity… those things go way beyond the scope of my blog. I am not a psychiatrist or psychologist. I am not a licensed counselor. I am not a pastor. I have not experienced abuse myself. I am not writing for women in these situations.

            If you are a wife who has gone almost totally quiet and silent and your husband is extremely controlling – my blog may not be a good fit for you – I am concerned that my blog may make things worse for you because of the filters you will read through because of your background and scars. You may want to find a blog written by a godly wife who has gone through a similar experience as yours who can offer more wisdom about the obstacles and challenges you face. (Nina Roesner author of “The Respect Dare” hopes to have a site up specifically for abused wives in March of 2014)

            Some Signs of an Extremely Controlling Husband:

            he tends to try to isolate his wife from all other people including friends, family members, neighbors and church
            he may be very jealous
            he may be quite demanding and insist on her wearing her clothes, fixing her hair a certain way, having the house cleaned in a very specific manner or he goes into a rage
            he may blame 100% of the problems in the marriage totally on his wife
            he may never apologize or admit any sin/wrongdoing of his own
            he may “punish” his wife when she takes the slightest mis-step
            he may be very unforgiving
            he may DEMAND his wife’s submission and “obedience” instead of appreciating that biblical submission is a gift a wife gives freely out of her love and reverence for Christ. It cannot be forced or coerced.
            he may talk a lot about his wife’s disrespect and make everything her fault
            he may have a history of being abused himself
            he may have a drug/alcohol addiction or mental disorder (respect and biblical submission are great, but they can’t cure diseases or addictions. It is impossible to rationalize with someone who is not in his right mind. If your husband is not of sound mind – it is probably not safe to submit to him. You may need outside help ASAP)
            he may be violent
            he may make threats of violence
            If you or your children are not safe – I want to say “LEAVE and LEAVE NOW!” But I know that sometimes a woman’s greatest risk of being severely hurt or injured is when she tries to escape from an abusive man. So – I pray that you will find godly counsel, wise and professional counsel – and seek God’s wisdom, not mine, if this is your situation. My blog is not written for wives in abusive situations. I believe God’s Word is truth in every situation. But I don’t have the experience or credentials to guide women through abusive situations like this.

            This is a link to a post by Nina Roesner – author of The Respect Dare – that I think may be very helpful. She recommends the book “The Emotionally Destructive Relationship” by Leslie Vernick.

            For Victims of Abuse.

            RESOURCES

            The Salvation Army may be able to help victims of domestic violence and abuse

            The Doctrine of Spiritual Authority – my notes from a class I took on this subject from a man who has been an ordained minister for over 45 years. I asked him about wives who are abused and whose husbands are actively addicted to drugs/alcohol or who are not in their right minds. His comments about that are at the bottom of this post.

            Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas

            http://www.marriagemissions.com/why-do-christian-spouses-abuse-their-marriage-partners/

            http://www.todayschristianwoman.com/articles/2004/september/11.68.html?start=1

            One of my readers suggests:

            I’d like to recommend the following site. http://cryingoutforjustice.wordpress.com/contact-about-us/ Jeff Crippen does an excellent job in his sermons of bringing to light biblical approaches to abuse. The one thing I would add that I feel he doesn’t always do the best job of is reminding us that abusers are certainly capable of experiencing redemption through the Lord. Though, statistically, it’s a small percentage of those who experience a heart change and thus change their ways. This should be remembered when advising anyone in an abusive situation. So, I do think someone like Jeff Crippen – speaking with such power on this issue – is what some people need to get them to sit up and take notice of how wrong and devastating this stuff really is and how it is dealt with in scripture. So much negativity and fear of misdirecting someone gets placed on divorce. And rightfully so. However, I strongly believe it is just as necessary to be this way toward abusive situations.

            Lord,

            Please give these wives the wisdom and direction they need to find the help You have for them. Heal these broken marriages and remove the influence of the enemy in these homes! Let Your Spirit be free to work in these husbands and wives and children’s lives. Please restore these families to Yourself and to each other whole and healthy and let them bring great glory to Your Name!

            Amen!

        2. MR,

          First let me say, I’m very sorry that you are going thru a divorce. Even if you feel it’s the right thing, it’s never an easy thing to go thru nor is it an easy decision.

          Secondly, it’s really unfortunate that your husband chose to take something that was written by women and for women to help us be better wives and use it in such a manner as he did. April’s blog (as she said below) speaks to the all to common issue where a dominant or type A personality wife is absolutely running over the top of her husband. The advice is practical as well as Godly advice for women who are believers.

          There will always be people that read this and use it as an excuse for their behavior or take the information and automatically think that each and every thing must be applied to their own lives. Without understanding that they must adjust for their unique situation or heading April’s warning that if there is infidelity or abuse or addiction that requires more help than simply improving communication, respect and love in a marriage.

          But then I think people who react that way or use thing like this to excuse their behavior will do so regardless of what is said here. I’m not sure what the dynamic is of your marriage but I don’t think there is an intent that it would save a marriage that is so far gone that the divorce is next week. And frankly if your husband is not a believer, I’m not sure that he understands that he absolutely bears a huge amount of responsiblity for his marriage ending.

          The fact that your divorce is next week, makes me curious as to why he sent this to you? Was it in an effort to save the marriage? I don’t know where this particular blog post would play into that anyway. Unless there was something else he wanted you to read. Typically people who are overly needy do not push for divorce. That’s a bit confusing.

          Anyway, you don’t say whether you are a Christian or not. And you don’t say if you were offended by the advice provided here (as directed towards women who are needy) or if you were offended that your husband was essentially accusing you of being needy by the mere fact that he forwarded this to you? I ask because I find this to be good advice to someone who is needy. I hope you will poke around the blog and read other blog posts and comments to see that there is a plethora of advice provided on very diverse situations that arise in a marriage.

    2. A few days ago I officially diagnosed myself with needy wife syndrome 🙁 So, searching google for help I came across this blog…I see it’s very old and lonely around here but still felt like commenting, who knows maybe I need to vent…after all I am needy lol -___-
      I don’t know why I’m like this only with my husband 🙁 🙁 He’s a great guy and I think I’ve suffocated him too long..13 years 🙁
      I never really understood what is the problem with me. I feel like a loser as a woman and a wife…however I feel I am a good mommy and friend except to him :/ most of the time…when he doesn’t meet my expectations I am more like his enemy. All of the above describes me exactly (needy wife). How sad. I’m not very affectionate I beg for him to spend every spare minute of his time with me but get offended when he (“only”) wants sex…I’m a mess 😔
      I wish I had the inner power to find something to do instead of just being at home with the kids…I feel like if I would divorce I’d probably find that power in me because I’ve been too dependent in every way but know that deep inside of me I’ve got that sleeping giant …anyway there’s more to all this..like I said we’ve been married 13 years and our story is long and unique…but not in a good way really. Truth is, now I see I have a problem and want to change…that’s why I got here so I’ll just keep googling about this issue 😌

      1. Mariah,

        I’m so sorry for your pain! I hope you might stick around – I think there may be a lot of healing here for you.

        What is your relationship with Christ, my sweet girl?

        He is able to meet those deepest needs that our husbands and other people and stuff cannot meet in our hearts.

        Much love to you!

        1. Thanks for responding! I grew up in a Christian home. My husband is also a God fearing man. We go to church and are very involved. However we’ve both made a lot of mistakes in our marriage, including having an affair :/ both of us at some point. (He didn’t get physically involved but I did commit adultery)
          Just so you have a more clear picture of us let me try to briefly tell you our story:
          We met in a church when I was 13 he was 14 we lived far away from each other (different countries) but we began a relationship anyway when I was 15 he was 16. He was so in love with me, his first love and I with him.

          My parents loved him because he was a good boy very respectful and into the things of God…we would only see each other during summer and winter vacation (he would come over from where he lived) Things changed, we broke up when I fell in love with a guy from my school at age 17. My mom was furious!! She never listened to me never understood me (could’ve been the age difference, she had me when she was 42 and grew up in a super conservative home.) I was a pretty good kid, I loved God I knew I wasn’t doing bad things I was just in love. But I was suffering very much because although this other guy was a good kid too he wasn’t Christian and my mom told me she rather see me dead than with an unbeliever… Anyway…
          I would only see this other guy in school. A year later, my now husband calls me to ask if I would marry him (he had been wanting to marry me since he was 17) and I was so tired of my mom and dad being angry at me I said yes, I broke the other guys heart and would cry myself to sleep every night. We only had a few months to prepare everything and one day I told my mom I didn’t want to get married that I regret saying yes and she totally ignored me. Everything seemed good to her I would marry in white still a virgin to a good Christian man.
          I got married, he was 20 I was 19 and we were both miserable, he also was unsure of marrying me. because of the way I was. The pastor knew the situation but didn’t councel us, it was as if nobody cared.

          We never went anywhere for help because he was in denial and thought everything was going to be alright. Plus he was always respectful and a nice guy to me so looking for a counselor myself didn’t seem helpful at the time.
          We finally overcame all this because we went thru a lot of things and got counseling (after the infidelities) and now he says he has always loved me so much and just wants us to be happy. He says I’m the most beautiful woman on this planet (he is very handsome tho) He has changed a lot in a good way. But somehow I’m the one staying behind…I feel I should be more…I don’t know mature maybe, but I guess I’m just very insecure and I have found myself just living lost in my thoughts creating stories in my mind and then being all negative. I just don’t know what it is but i have always been very shy and quiet around him (except when I’m mad and demanding attention then I could get very loud) what I mean is that I have felt that I’m not myself around him…as soon as he leaves the house im singing, im laughing with the kids, just being silly but not when he’s around…who knows.
          I’m definitely looking to be a better woman. I know I need more of God…somehow I have always felt sad inside, even as a little girl growing up…I got used to listening to Christian music and praying but it makes me sad too.
          Sorry for any typos I really Gotta go.. Thanks again!

          1. Mariah,

            Goodness – thank you so much for sharing with me! I love knowing more about you and hearing your heart. My heart aches for the pain you are in!!!!! I wish I could hug your neck!

            Thankfully, you are in the right place to find the One who can fill those deepest needs of your soul.

            I invite you to search my home page for a few topics:

            – idolatry
            – discontentment
            – expectations
            – fear
            – bitterness
            – forgiveness
            – contentment

            The Answer to All of Your Marriage Problems

            What is your relationship with Christ?

            What do you believe you need to be happy and content?

          2. Thank you! I will soak myself up with everything you’re recomending.
            Last night I had a great opportunity to practice being a peaceful wife because of a negative incident we had and I gotta say I think I did ok even tho I still think I am right Lol, so does he, and he is sorry and explained everything to me and usually I would hear him but in my mind I would assume the opposite of what he was saying or exaggerate everything and start telling him that he’s this and that (nothing good) and he always used to tell me to just hear his heart and don’t assume the worst so I battled in my mind to take his words as the only true and not the negative thoughts that went thru my mind. I expressed myself in a concerned but melow tone but I did add that he was careless (oops!) for doing what he did. And then gave him the silent treatment (I guess you can’t change overnight😬) but this morning after he left to work I sent him a kind message and got nothing but love back.
            This change of mind and heart is gonna be a (hopefully short) journey for me but it’s exciting.
            God has brought me a long way and has clearly done a miracle in our marriage already about a year ago. Now I just need to work on myself.
            You know something? Ever since we got married different pastors have gave us a word from God (or prophesied over us) that God has something so huge for us it’s just going to blow our minds, something about our ministry and I always wondered, really?? we can’t even be a healthy marriage! But now I see how it’s all coming together…great things are coming!
            Seriously, God sent me straight to your blog to help me. I haven’t commented anywhere else. I feel I can relate here. You’re awesome!! Blessings to you and your family <3

          3. Mariah,

            I am so excited you got to put some things into practice! My husband used to tell me I assumed the worst about him, too. I did! I didn’t understand how men think or how he thinks, and when I imagined me doing what he was doing, I would have had evil motives. Now that I understand Greg and men a lot more, I realize that he never had evil motives. Mostly, he was responding to my disrespect and trying to protect himself. I couldn’t even see that for so many years.

            I am so glad you are choosing to believe him instead of the awful thoughts in your mind. Can’t remember if you have read these yet, but you may want to search a few helpful posts:

            – my demon
            – take thoughts captive

            I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you! This journey with God and our husbands is an amazing adventure!! 🙂

  2. Number 3 hit me right in the heart! It’s like you can read my mind! 😉 This is one thing that I have discovered about myself that I am working on….I am working on LOTS of things. I am appalled at just how sinful I am as a wife! 🙁
    Working hard with God’s grace,
    Stephanie

    1. Stephanie,

      These are all things that either I have said to my husband or I have heard women say to their husbands or women have told me they said to their husbands.

      I think it is interesting how so many of us use the same words and phrases and we all think we are right at tithe time, ad completely believe our husbands should give us whatever we want if we ask for it this way.

      I am thrilled God has opened your eyes! It is pretty mortifying to realize just what wretched sinner see are. It sure was the shock of my life 5 years ago!

      But until we see our sin clearly, we can’t repent and we can’t truly realize how incredibly indebted we are to Christ. He who has been forgiven much loves much. This is how we can be free to love Christ MUCH!

  3. Wow Gail. Thank u. I’ve been smothering myy hubby For a long time. Ur response and aprils has made me realize this. I am lonely, upset at him alot of the time. I have begun my journey this past month. Although God has brought me to this blog a while ago. I was warned like Peter was but failed. Accepted and forgiven back by God, but waiting for my hubby. I’ve drawn closer to my Jesus I have much more time on my hands now that my kids r teenagers and I try to keep busy. Looking for part time job. Also my mother was very needy and I guess I expect love from my hubby like my dad gave my mom constant everything. Not happening in my marriage. I guess I’ve been trying to make that happen. Plz pray I will be satisfied as I give him space (so hard!) Jesus help me!

  4. Dear April and Gail,

    First a little background. I’ve been married for two years. I have a seven year old daughter from a previous relationship and a five month old son with my husband. Our blended family doesn’t seem to have the usual issues now … her biological father is both financially and physically there for her and him and I have remained friends … and my husband loves her like his own if not more.

    I read your most recent post and it must have been a message from God in my time of need because I feel like I’m in that place … albeit I don’t have that attitude to my husband. I’ve learned to respect him and his feelings and to approach him meekly and listen to him with an open mind. However, having done all this I still struggle with feeling as if my needs are constantly not being met.

    For a long time my husband accused me of having friendships that filled my needs as only he should (not physically of course). In an effort to respect his wishes I gradually distanced myself from the people and focused on building these things with him. Having done so (and I’ve asked him if he’s happy, cconsidering the changes I’ve made and he’s said yes) he seems really irritated with me now when I try to be affectionate with him. I usually cuddle a lot after we put the kids to bed and tend to kiss him lightly and so on. But he actually pushes me away a lot. I’ve asked him what I can do to still show him affection but not annoy him and he hasn’t said anything. Similarly in bed. If I try to initiate sex recently he pushes me away. And it’s not like I do it every night or pick nights when he is sick or unhappy. It’s good days. I am now left in a position where I have to ask him in advance to have sex with me and it’s humiliating.

    I feel very sensitive about the weight I’ve gained with our son and I’ve started making an effort to lose it and to be attractive again. I don’t think I make the sort of demands I’ve read but maybe that is how I come across to him.

    What can I do to make peace with this to my own self? I wish to give him his space if in fact he sees me like that.

    I don’t guilt him into staying home. I encourage him to go out with his friends even though the last two times have turned out badly (he went out after work at three pm and came home drunk at three am, was so sick the next day that he couldn’t come out of bed and was in such a foul mood I had to take the kids out of the house so they didn’t annoy him).

    I am working on my personal growth in Christ and I know I’m not perfect … but I am willing to admit my faults. However I feel that my husband asked for me to make these changes for him as a sign of respect and obedience to his authority … but now that I have made them he’s still unhappy with me and I irritate him with all my attention now focused on him. I honestly go to work, come home, housework and my husband and children have all my focus. It aches me to sleep next to him and he won’t touch or talk to me.

    Please help.

    1. Bernice,

      It is wonderful to meet you!

      When did he start to push you away and seem irritated?

      Have you tried giving him some space for days or weeks at a time?

      Is there something going on with him? A lot of stress at work, low testosterone, pornography addiction, erectile dysfunction?

      What does he say to you now? Is he asking you to do or stop something in particular?

      Much love to you!!!!!

      1. I had had enough of his silent treatment to me today and I left work early and came home. I kissed him and asked him what I had done to be treated in this manner and if there was something I could do to make it better.

        He said he felt like he had disappointed me because he couldn’t get me anything special for Christmas and he was feeling down. That was apparently why he was very irritated these last few weeks … and the rejection of me in bed he attributes to having the flu and not feeling up to it. I am unsure as to whether I am getting the full story but I trust that if there is more he will share it with me in the future.

        In response to his first comment I told him he has already given us so much. He bought us a home, a car to accommodate the baby, he has given my daughter and I a family … a present under a tree is not so important.

        I’ve read your other posts about building my husband up and I have made an effort to do so. But he seems to think he needs to buy me stuff constantly in order to make me happy. I am looking back on my behavior to see if I may have caused this … but I am glad at least he’s talking to me again and my home doesn’t feel strained.

        About the sexual rejection … I will give him some space and allow him to get well and see if things change. I knew the kids were sick so maybe I was so preoccupied with that I failed to notice that he was unwell too.

        But please continue to write. This has been a great eye opener for me. Many many thanks. It helps to feel you are being heard and understood.

      2. Bernice,

        I don’t think lack of wanting to have sex has anything to do with attraction. He may have a lot on his mind. I know when I feel overwhelmed or crowded sex is the last thing on my mind. I’m thinking about the things I have to do at work. The things I need to get done at home. Insecurity can be a turn off too. Plus having a baby puts a big strain on the sex life. I have heard men say that they totally get thrown off once the baby arrives. My husband is a combat veteran. He has seen some of the worst combat wounds but he’ll admit he was scarred for life witnessing child birth. I was in the delivery room with my daughter when she gave birth to my granddaughter last month, I know what he means now. I never saw it from that side before..

        I wish women were not sensitive about their weight. It’s always great to self improve, whatever it is. But one’s size does not define them. Neither does one’s hair or anything else. Our looks are going to change throughout life. As will our husbands. Marriages never end because of someone’s looks. They end because of how someone feels. It’s more about character and what’s on the inside and not on the outside. Even the sexiest people on the planet get divorced or have troubled marriages or issues with their sex life.

        My husband’s sister was a heavy set woman. I didn’t know her very well before she passed away. But one thing that I admired about her was that she never let that stop her from having fun or having lots of freinds or wasted anytime being insecure. Her husband and her had a really beautiful marriage. She found at she had breast cancer 2 years ago at Thanksgiving and died that same year on Christmas eve. But she never wasted a minute of her life before that worrying about anything. She had amazing faith and really lived her life like it was a gift. I look at the photos of her life and I think wow, everyone should have that full of a life. and she was young when she died. She was only 48.

        I think the coming home drunk is more of a red flag that something is troubling him than anything else. Not sure if that’s a common thing or just these 2 times. Just my opinion but that’s sort of not ok. We shouldn’t be going places where there’s even the appearance of being inappropriate. It’s great for women to spend time with their women friends and men to do the same if the friends are good for them.

        Do you and your husband have a church or friends from church that you hang out with or have friendships with?

        Gail

  5. Carla,

    I hope I didn’t speak too harshly about what it’s like to be on the other side of neediness. It’s sort of a double edge sword because on the one hand we should be there for those we love when they truely need us. I think what I meant to talk about was what April summarized and of course nailed it when she said “Thank God that He will not let us find contentment in anything or anyone but Christ!”

    I didn’t mean to sound like needing your spouse was always a bad thing. Sometimes I have to take responsibility for creating the environment that enables my husband to be this way. Trying to change that environment now is harder. In re-reading my response to this blog, I realized I did not exactly own my part in creating this monster of a situation. I’m a fixer and fixers tend to create unnecessary burdens for themselves. I can be their undoing. That’s also self inflicted at times.

    So, I just wanted to clarify that I realize it’s a two way street here and I should have written my post in way that explained my own failings in this too.

    So, in helping me understand, what can someone who is frustrated by neediness do to help balance this before it comes to a collision?

    Gail

  6. April,

    I liked reading your list of respectful examples of how to deal with these situations–largely because these are things I already do!

    I do want to make an observation about part of one of the suggestions, though:

    “I’m feeling lonely today. (silly sad face) Would you please cuddle with me For a few minutes? (with a friendly voice and a smile. And be gracious even if he says, “no”)”

    It’s the silly sad face that I’m wondering about. I’ve realized that this is my go-to when I am expecting a response I won’t like. It’s a self-protective measure, and it is meant to give me a platform for a light-hearted response if I feel hurt by my husband’s response.

    However, my husband recently has said that when I do that, he feels like he is being pressured and manipulated. He finds it disrespectful.

    Since that face (usually accompanied by a silly voice) has been a habit for so long, I am having to be intentional and persistent in making that change.

    Fortunately, f I take that part out, the rest of the suggestion works well for us.

    Thank you for this post. It has reminded me of some things I’m doing well and some things I still need to work on.

    ~Chris

    1. Forgiven wife,
      If you have been using that tactic to pressure your husband and you resent him when he says no – and he says he feels pressured – then that won’t be a good response for you.

      Just pleasantly ask for what you would like in a normal voice. I don’t think I would ask every single day.

      If he has felt pressured for a long time – sometimes giving him space for a few weeks or months can help.

      Then you may be able to begin to ask occasionally in a pleasant way with no pressure.

      Let him make his own decisions and then allow God to empower you to handle it either way.

      Great point! 🙂

  7. Bernice,

    My husband used to get real moody about not buying anything for Christmas or my birthday. The anniversary he’s always good on because I can never remember our anniversary to save my life. After the first year we made a rule with ourselves and the kids.. If we give gifts it has to be something we made and not bought. We can buy the materials of course (within reason) but it makes the gift unique and special..

    I love the stuff the kids make us. It’s really awesome to get hand made gifts from your adult kids. One thing my husband has a lot of is creativity. He’s talented in woodworking, art, fixing things and building gaming computers. He loves to design stuff and remodel stuff. He made our curtains and they are awesome.

    It totally takes the pressure off of gift giving and allows him to be unique. Besides we buy stuff that we want or need throughout the year anyway. The kids and grandkids still get purchased gifts though. Well, this year the my daughter and his daughter got money. Because they love the mall, I hate the mall this way they can enjoy it for days together.. 🙂

    Not saying this would work for everyone but I do love saying, “My husband made that”.. It’s really hard to top. And the kids crack me up with some of the stuff they make.. Reminds me of when they were kids.

    Gail W.

  8. Thank you so much..you really did save my marriage I can’t thank you enagh .. All the things you have said is me I promise I will remember u in my prayer.
    Thank you thank you

  9. Hello Peaceful wife,

    My husband describe me as needy. He describe our sex as cliding. i dont know if i am needy. Let me explain. I go to work, have little friends. I come home, my husband is on his computer playing games. Two hours later, he is still playing games. Up until bedtime he is playing games. I asked him if i can get attention or little romance? he gets frustrated so is that clingy and needy? Should i just sit back and allow my marriage not to grow and develop?

    1. Maybe Needy,

      SUCH a frustrating – and super common- situation. I don’t know any wife who enjoys being ignored while her husband watches TV or plays video games. I don’t enjoy that myself, either!

      We have actually been having a bit of a discussion about that on the post from earlier this week about convictions in the comments. You can also search “TV” on my home page for a post, I believe. And you can check out my Youtube video about a husband watching too much TV. My channel is “April Cassidy.”

      So, he plays computer games for many hours every night and doesn’t spend time with you?

      How long have you been married?

      How have you approached him when he won’t do what you want him to?

      How long has he been playing computer games this much per day?

      Does he miss a lot of sleep to play them?

      Does he get distracted by them at work?

      Does he have any mental health issues or other addictions?

      What do you usually do while he is spending all of his free time on the computer each night?

      Let’s talk about some approaches together.

      Much love to you! I definitely feel your pain!

      1. Hello Peaceful Wife,

        I am just seeing this post. Thank you first of all for responding to me. He spends time with me when i argue or tell him to. Now a days i am doing that less. I am just paying my baby mind and let him be. I dont get disappointed anymore or frustrated but i am super bored. A guy at work was showing attention and I was tempted to want to go that direction but didnt allow that feeling to kindle. When I see him i picture him as fat albert and run the other direction like i am Asafa.

        We have been married for 2 years.

        i can be dramatic. one night i undressed and he didnt look so i slam the computer in and walked away. I felt unlike me when i did that. I stopped arguing, i use to crawl under his arms and try pushing her aside but he just pick her up at some point during cuddling. I talk about it but she is the centre of his attention. He says i am jealous.

        I am not sure. He plays up to around 12 am from he gets home. on his day off sometimes i go home and the house is not tidy.

        he has it on his phone at work. he has never been reprimanded for it at work.

        he does not have any mental illness or addiction. Why?

        I usually play with our son, i bought a puzzle, i do house work, watch tv, read.

        1. Maybe Needy,

          How is your walk with Christ going?

          I’m so thankful you didn’t pursue the guy at work. Did you talk with your husband about the temptation?

          How respected does your husband feel at this point? If you are not sure, here is a post that might help you determine that answer.

          It seems that you have realized that trying to force him to pay attention to you isn’t working. I agree with that conclusion.

          If he had a mental illness or addiction – it would change how I would suggest to approach things. I’m glad he doesn’t have those issues. That is a blessing!

          What do you believe you need to be happy and content in life?

          Have you – by chance – read the post “How to Make Your Husband an Idol”? If not, might be interesting to check out.

          Some other words to search on my home page:

          – insecurity
          – separation paradox
          – security
          – fear
          – jealousy

          Much love to you!

          1. I pray everyday, i read the Word of God whenever i get the chance to. I try to apply the Word of God in every situation. I have some set back like being a submissive wife and sometimes a good employee. i struggle with loving my mother-in-law wholely but i dont disrespect her, i have a hard time forgiving my husband for the crap that he put me through with her and his ex-girlfriend. However, i really want to love and forgive. I want more out of from God and our relationship.
            Maybe my husband is introvert, however, he tries to impress others when we are out. he is quite the chatterbox. sometimes he make announcements to our friends before he talks to me. i know that he loves me. he tells me everyday. he does not miss me when i am away at least he doesn’t give me the impression that he does. he doesn’t call or text me back. he hurries me off the phone. maybe i am worried that if we spend too much time apart we will grow apart. Isn’t a good concern? I don’t want my marriage to fail. I would want it to grow does that mean that I idolize my marriage and my husband?

          2. Maybe Needy,

            Thank you for answering my questions. I want to be sure I understand where you are spiritually before I attempt to help. 🙂

            So you may be holding on to unforgiveness, and bitterness?

            Wanting to have a good marriage is not necessarily bad. We all should want to have strong marriages. The problem comes in when we want the marriage we want more than we want Christ. It is also a problem if we are willing to sin in order to get the attention we want from our husbands. If we make our husbands more important than Christ in our hearts, or if we try to make our husbands meet the deepest spiritual needs of our souls that only Jesus can meet, that is destructive. No man can meet our deepest needs! Only Jesus can.

            When you have read those two posts, please let me know what stands out to you and what you believe God is speaking to you. 🙂 I’m glad to hash through this with you.

            Have you had a chance to read the post about how respected your husband might feel and the one about making your husband an idol?

  10. Thank you so much for this April! I realize now that I have crushed my husband by trying to cling to him as I should cling to God. Unfortunately, I’m worried it’s too late to do anything about it. I have been following your youtube videos and blog and have worked hard the past few months to become the type of wife I was created to be, but a few weeks ago my husband told me he wants to leave me…he hasn’t yet, but he is still considering it. I’m trying my best to be a good wife while he is still home, but I feel like I am in limbo waiting for him to make a decision. Right now it is like we are just roommates as he doesn’t show any love or affection toward me and is attracted to a female coworker. I would really appreciate your prayers as I am waiting on God to tell me what to do. Thanks so much.

    1. BN,

      It is wonderful to meet you! But how my heart breaks for you and your husband over the painful situation in your marriage. In Christ – I believe we have every reason to hope! I have seen so many miracles in marriages – but more importantly – I have seen God bring so many people to Himself and begin to transform them to be more like Him by His power. That is the real goal!

      I am not sure if you saw the post, “When Your Husband Says, ‘I’m Done,‘” – but it may be helpful. You may also search my home page for “separated wife” to find some wives’ stories of how God empowered them to be filled with His strength and wisdom even if they faced separation.

      I would encourage you to continue doing what God commands you to do – and then let’s trust God together that He is able to reach your husband. As you continue this journey to become a godly wife and you don’t respond with sin, but in the power and prompting of God’s Spirit – God is able to reveal your husband’s sin to him and bring him to repentance.

      Have you apologized to your husband for your sin against him? If not, please read “Apologizing Stories” first.

      Sending you the biggest hug, my precious sister!

  11. Hello, I just read this article and a few things from each of the 5 scenarios or reason spoke to me. I’d like to elaborate more and give a scenario to you. Can you email me personally?

  12. Hi, I have read a lot of your blogs. It has really helped me understand where my wife is coming from from a woman’s perspective. I was wondering if your husband has written any blogs on his experience when you was controlling? I would love to hear his testimony and how he endured. Thank you so much for your view point. You are not only helping woman but men as well. God bless you and your family!

  13. Not sure if you are still monitoring this post or not, but worth a shot! I am guilty of 2-5 🙁 Not quite to the extent in the scenarios but still guilty all the same. We have been married a little over a year, together for 5. We met playing co-ed softball and spent the majority of our first year on the ball field. He plays on some weeknights and almost every weekend. What we thought was something we both loved has now become the thing we constantly fight about. I just do not really enjoy playing anymore, would rather spend time working on our house or just chilling together. For a long time I doubted he loved me more than softball but thankfully I have overcome that and know that he does love me.

    We reached an agreement several years ago that I could have 1 weekend a month that we could do what I wanted and he would not play softball. For the most part that does seem to work and keep me happy. But it gets old having him come home at 3 am every Saturday and planning our life around softball. We also work with a very difficult schedule. I recently switched to a M-F job thats 8-5 (previously 3 12h shifts/week and every other weekend). He works night shift 11-730 Sun-Th. so I really only see him from 10p-1030p while he gets ready for work and leaves. I am gone when he gets home and he stays up most of the morning then sleeps all evening. With my previous schedule we would at least get some mornings together where I would cook breakfast and it was like our “dinner time”. I am having a really hard time adjusting to our new schedule.

    I should also mention that it is now football season so he and his dad/family go watch high school football games every Friday night from now until December. This Saturday he played 1.5hr away until around 2 am on Saturday. He was awake for about 4 hours today (Sunday) before heading to bed for work tonight. These are the weeks I don’t feel loved or important and beg him to make time for me. To show me I am important by spending time with me. I am also off every weekend now so I think its fair he only plays 2 weekends instead of 3 but he disagrees. We fought a lot today and even approached the subject that we made the wrong decision and should separate. After many tears on my part, we agreed to keep working and try to figure out how to work things out so that we are both happy. When I can think rationally, I do not want him to quit softball because he enjoys it but on the other hand I wish he had a hobby like poker night that was just a couple hours once a week and not 14 hours every Saturday.

    Our walk with God has gone really astray. Our church family suffered when our pastor for over 20yr resigned for committing adultery. He likes the new guy, I am not so fond of his preaching style. We never got into a small group or sunday school because I used to work weekends and he would have trouble waking up, and excuse after excuse. We are both believers but lack a quiet time and time in the word. I am guilty of my husband being #1. I have worked on spending more time with my friends and doing stuff with them but still if given the option, I always want to be with my husband more than anything. I guess I am hoping to learn how to change that? How do you change your wants? Am I asking for too much? Am I really that needy? I have a hard time understanding how I love him and want to spend so much time with him, that he must love me that much if he doesn’t make time for me.

    1. Softballwife,

      It is great to meet you! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story and reaching out.

      I’m glad you know he loves you now. That is such a blessing!

      It sounds like you maybe both entered marriage with certain expectations. Maybe he assumed you would always want to keep playing softball like he wanted to? Maybe he felt you changed after marriage in ways he didn’t expect? I can certainly understand your perspective, that you would like to have a life outside of softball. I would feel the same way!

      I can also relate to the schedule issue. I ended up on night shifts when we had been married for 1 year – against my will – for 2 years. It was very hard to connect during that time.

      And I can relate to the football thing, too. My husband doesn’t usually go to games. But he LOVES watching football on TV and is very involved in fantasy football. He and his dad also go to the flea market every single Saturday morning from about 9-1. Then it is football for the rest of the day during the fall.

      What I would love to do is focus on your walk with Christ first. That is where you will find healing for your soul. And as you are very strong in Him, He will empower you and work in your heart to give you the clear direction and wisdom you need to deal with the scheduling issue and with the feelings of bitterness and feeling ignored and unloved at times.

      The awesome news is, you have a lot of time when your husband is gone that you can focus on really plugging in to God. Perhaps God has you in this very place because He wants some time alone with you? Maybe He misses you and feels much the same way you do when your husband is so busy with softball and football? That is something God showed me. I missed my husband so much and wanted time to connect with him – and God felt the exact same way when I ignored Him and focused on all of these other things.

      Also, please keep in mind that different people show love and receive love in different ways. One is not “right” and one is not “wrong.” You may experience bonding and love by quality time together and by words of affirmation. He may experience bonding in other ways. And you may have different expectations of what marriage should look like. It is not that one of you is better than the other in your thinking. You are different individuals. So there will need to be grace for each other. You don’t think the same. You don’t have the exact same needs. You don’t have the same priorities. But you don’t have to assume the worst. And you don’t have to let the enemy come between you and create division, resentment, and bitterness.

      I would love to do a spiritual checkup with you if you are up for that. 🙂 I would just ask you some general questions to get a pulse on where you are spiritually and then would point you to Christ and His truth and healing.

      And I have tons of posts on this site that I believe would be a blessing to you. You are welcome to search my home page for things like:

      – husband idol
      – my demon
      – lonely/loneliness
      – I’m going to stop pursuing my husband
      – expectations – (Respect Dare Day 1)
      – discontentment
      – contentment
      – insecurity
      – security
      – control
      – laying down your Isaac
      – lordship of Christ

      Much love to you!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply! Your words are so right! I have never looked at it in that way, in that God would miss me that much. It is so difficult to remember someone loves you that much when you give nothing back. I am sorry you went through the same scenarios, but glad you can relate! I do agree that I need to shift my focus back where it should be and work on my relationship with God. I would love to do a spiritual check up! Again, thank you for this blog!

        1. Softballwife,

          I had never looked at it that way either – until God showed me that the pain I felt when Greg didn’t want to be around me and didn’t want to spend time with me or interact with me was a fraction of the pain He feels when I ignore Him and don’t make time for Him. Wow. That was a huge lightbulb moment!

          Okay… here is the spiritual check up – so I can get a feel for where you are right now. 🙂

          1. What do you most desire in your relationship with God? What are your expectations?

          2. What do you most desire in your relationship with your husband? What are your expectations?

          3. What are your greatest fears?

          4. What do you believe you must have to be content in life?

          5. Have you been looking for the spiritual treasures God has for you in this time? Do you realize that He may have you isolated and alone at this particular time in your life to draw you to Himself? How do you feel about that idea?

          6. How do you believe you can be right with God?

          Much love to you!

          1. Here’s the quick answers to the check-up!
            1. To have a close personal relationship with Him that I follow His will and He can shine through me. I am honestly not sure what I expect.
            2. To be best friends, always the one I turn to and he does the same. That we enjoy doing things together but can learn to do things apart some times (me mostly). That we both grow in the Lord and have a marriage where He is first and as we start our family to keep Him in the center and we work together in our walk. And simply to have dinner together, share some of the chores, and learn to do bible study together or read or pray. Learn his love language and him learn mine.
            3. To be alone, that I can’t have a baby, that I won’t be good enough, failure
            4. I think if I could get closer to Him I wouldn’t need so much to be content but the worldly me wants financial security, success, and a baby
            5. No I just give in to the anger, hurt, and frustration and haven’t looked for what God could have for me. Occasionally turn towards prayer but not first. And I do see now how He could be using this time and I think I would have loved to learn it in an easier and less tearful way but if I had, I wouldn’t truly understand that lonely and isolated feeling.
            6. Get back into the Word, quickly. I used to read it frequently but have never been truly enthralled by it and able to develop that yearning desire to study the word, I just read it and can’t apply it without doing bible study or narrative to go along with. Put God back as number one and not my husband and learn what role each should be playing in my life.
            Love and blessings!

          2. Softballwife,

            Thank you for this!

            Are you ready for me to ask you some challenging questions – if you want to really begin to grow spiritually? This next part is a bit scary, and painful – but SOOOO worth it!

          3. I would not exactly say that I am ready, however I do know that He is in control, no matter whether I lay them down or not, He has a plan. But if I lay them down, I will be more likely to enjoy the journey so much more. I am guilty of laying them down and saying I am surrendering them to Him but never really letting go. Its almost like I lay them down and just leave a finger touching them to allow myself a small feeling of control. My plan had always been to marry younger and have kids younger but that wasn’t His plan. It was hard watching all my friends get married and start having kids and I often felt left out. But it wasn’t my time yet. When I could let it go, the journey wasn’t always easy, but it didn’t drag me down to despair and desperation, I managed because my faith was strong. And shortly after that, I met my husband, who was well worth the wait.
            My first answer helps with the second question because the only way I am going to be able to lay it down is by exploring with God and allowing Him to fill the void and truly become my #1 again.
            Exploring those dark corners sounds the most intimidating because I do not know what He may reveal, at least with the others I know what I need to do and improve on. But I don’t want to do this halfway, so I have a feeling some dark corners will be explored in the future.
            I am willing, but I need to convert willing to able, and prayer that He can give me that little boost. I was saved in a high school gymnasium during a speaking event by Ken Freeman. I finally knew in my heart that I was not truly saved and that I needed to be saved but I was so scared and I felt frozen and couldn’t stand during the invitation, until I felt like I was lifted, as if a hand was outstretched and pulled me up. So I know He can help me get ready to make the leap again and reconnect. I can already see now that if I wasn’t so desperate and heartbroken I would not have reached out, I would not have examined my life and come to realize just how far I have let sin creep in and let my idolization of my husband, and worldliness push God out of my life.
            I would love a recommendation on a good place to start reading and any other advice is welcome!

          4. Softballwife,

            When you are ready to begin to explore some dark corners, let me know! I think the words I shared for you to search on my home page should give you a good place to start. But then, we will continue to go deeper, as you are ready. 🙂

            I love the you want God to change you and want to draw closer to Christ. That is AWESOME! It is exactly where we must all begin. With your willingness, I know God is about to do some amazing things in you!

          5. Softballwife,

            Here are the questions – you don’t actually have to answer to me at all. These things are mostly between you and God. But if you need some encouragement or need to talk about things, we can definitely do that.

            1. Are you ready to lay down your greatest dreams and your deepest fears on the altar at Jesus’ feet and allow Him to have total control over the outcomes? What I mean is, are you willing to write down each dream and say, “I would love for this to happen. This is my will. But – I want You and Your will much more than I want my own will. I am going to entrust these things to You and I am going to stop trying to force my way and stop trying to control outcomes myself.” And are you willing to say, “Here are my greatest fears. I really don’t want to see these things happen. But I give them all to You. If You decide, in Your love, wisdom, and sovereignty that it is best for me to go through one of these valleys and You desire to use it for Your glory and my ultimate good (Rom. 8:28-29), I will trust You do guide me and help me through those fears.”

            2. Are you willing to explore what God has for you in this time and to see why He may want you to Himself for awhile? Are you willing to dig to find the great treasures He has for you in this lonely time?

            3. Are you willing to allow Him to help you explore the darkest corners of your heart and mind to find anything that is offensive to Him and get rid of it?

            4. Are you willing to pray that God will empower you to completely yield to Him as Lord in every area?

            5. Are you willing to give up control to Jesus and to begin to trust Him to direct your life?

            Much love to you!

          6. Softballwife,

            Some posts to help you if you are interested, please search my home page search bar for:

            – Please, God! Ask Me for Anything but This!
            – expectations (Respect Dare day 1)
            – Husband Idol
            – Isaac
            – My Demon
            – Why Should I Trust God?
            – insecurity
            – security
            – contentment
            – oneness
            – closeness

            Much love!

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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