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Things Are Beginning to Click – a Wife’s Little Victories

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:
I am taking an email vacation until January 7th.  I plan to continue to post and will respond to comments as I am able – you are welcome to comment any time.  But if you can please hold emails for me for a few weeks, I would appreciate it.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!
From a wife and sister in the Lord who is beginning to understand:
My husband and I are both Christians who are walking with the Lord and I’d say we have a “good” marriage but we are always wanting it to be great!
  • We have only been married 3 1/2 years but my husband has always been telling me that I’m disrespectful, controlling, and that I “argue” with him a lot.  
I just thought he was totally crazy about the control thing and I thought he was just paranoid about being controlled! In fact, I thought he was leading and was a great leader. It wasn’t until reading your blog that I realized how related the issues of disrespect and control are and how intertwined.
  • I read Love and Respect (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs) twice, we took the conference.
  • I read “For Women Only” (by Shaunti Feldhahn)
  • I’ve read various other books on marriage

I have not been able to get a clue of what is respectful to my husband!

Yes, we have spent HOURS talking, discussing, arguing, crying, and yelling at each other over what is disrespectful to him and what is not. Obviously, it is frustrating to him that I don’t “get it.”  Your blog, though, has been the first thing that gave me a CLUE!
Like I said, we are not stereotypical. My husband does NOT withdraw or get silent whenever I disrespect him. He ALWAYS tells me and I always tell him when he’s unloving and I think that is why our marriage is still “good” even though we do fight a lot, it is because we don’t keep anything in the dark!
I finally found out what he meant by “arguing” by reading your blog. I seriously had NO IDEA!! I didn’t understand why he would get mad when I “shared my feelings” with him until reading your blog. I felt absolutely baffled by it! He also notoriously calls me “negative” and tells me I “complain” a lot, which would make me furious! And so I would defend myself thinking that he would then see that he was hurting me and fall on his knees to apologize.. I had no idea that I was actually perpetuating the disrespect by defending myself. This is still the hardest thing for me because I hate being wrong and being the person who needs to apologize, etc.
One of your most helpful posts for me was about when he says something hurtful to just say “I’m hurt” and quietly walk out of the room, respectfully. Of course, I always want to sit down and have a huge heart to heart if he says something hurtful and then he feels disrespected! I can’t count how many nights we have spent fighting because I wanted to tell him how hurt I felt and he thought I was nagging him! That was also totally perplexing because I would be like, YOU hurt ME and now I’M A NAG?!?!??! So confusing!!!!!
A NEW APPROACH
The first time I tried this, I said “I’m hurt” 3 different times the same night and then walked out and he yelled a few things at me as I walked away but I never said anything back (which is a miracle for me! I’m a fighter!).
A few hours later, he turned off the TV and told me to come over and that we needed to talk!
What?!?
He said he knew something was bothering me and wanted to hear about it and so we ended up having that heart to heart.
One other huge break through, I have tried many times in the past to tell him things I do respect about him but he has never believed me and he knew I was just doing an exercise I read in a book or something. However, after reading your blog and comments on there, etc, I realized that he has never withdrawn from me or our boys and he has never stopped leading, even in the face of my disrespect and attempts to control.
  • So I told him that I was very impressed that he still continues to lead, to tell me my sin, and to try to engage in the family even when I’m wrong and even when most men do the opposite.

His face changed and he thanked me and said that he felt very respected from that comment!

That is the first time he has ever said that!
He’s always thought I was being phony when I try to compliment him.
A BABY STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
One small victory today… we are moving next week and our house is a disaster and we’re packing most of our kitchen stuff up. I asked if we could go to our favorite Mexican place for lunch since we don’t have much food left in the house and I stated my reasons for wanting to go today versus another day.
He said, “No, we’ll go tomorrow for lunch.”
And I said “Ok!” in a happy tone and walked off to keep packing.
Throughout the morning, I kept thinking of more reasons why today is the best day to go instead of tomorrow. But I remembered words from your blog and I refused to say any more of my reasons (I had already given several when I first asked) and then…
Instead of eating my PB sandwich in a depressing way and mentioning how much better the Mexican food would be (many thoughts like that kept coming into my head and I’m used to just blurting them out, not even thinking about it!) I kept it to myself!
Yay!!
And then all afternoon, I kept wanting to say, “So… did you notice anything different today… ” hahahah!! But I had to get a hold of myself and say Look! You’re doing this for the Lord first and your husband second and not for yourself! It’s not about how much praise you get for it! So that is my mini-success of the day. (:
And no fighting occurred today.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
I am so thankful that this precious wife allowed me to share her story!  And PRAISE GOD her husband does not become passive but continues to attempt to lead in a godly way!  THAT IS AWESOME!  I’m so proud of him!
In the beginning when we are just learning to give up disrespect and what respect means and to stop arguing and complaining, this is exactly how our thought processes will go.  I love how this wife shared – she articulates what almost every wife experiences and feels on this journey in the beginning at some point.
But watch how God is beginning to help her to understand her husband and how she is consciously letting go of control and consciously learning to approach her husband with respect and the new, healthier internal dialogue she is having with herself now.  This is really key, ladies!  And I am SO proud of her for not demanding or asking for affirmation from her husband.  She is doing what God commands her to do as a wife – respect her husband and honor his God-given leadership.  God will reward her for her obedience in heaven.  She is not doing this for accolades of praise from her husband – she is doing this because she wants to obey God.  I’m really glad she caught her motives and realigned her sites to keep her eyes on Christ.
WOOHOOO!!!
PRAISE GOD for what He is doing in this wife’s heart!
RELATED:
How to Stop Arguing and Complaining (which is a command of God for all believers in Philippians 2:13-16)

40 thoughts on “Things Are Beginning to Click – a Wife’s Little Victories

  1. Hi thank you for this
    Been on this journey since march and really having a hard time.
    One of the points in this post is that the writer told herself over and over why Mexican today would be better.
    Can anyone please share a comment with me as to how to get my brain out of that place. I am OCD in areas like this and I gnaw like a bulldog on thoughts like this after an incident w my husband. Then to add to my sin, I obsess on everything he has ever done wrong and I find if hard to stop
    Please help!

    1. Stephanie,

      If you haven’t read these posts, check them out:
      My Demon
      The Voice in His Head
      How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ

      The other thing to think about is – how much does it really matter if Mexican today would be better?
      Is that more important than my obedience to God’s Word for me as a wife?
      Nope.
      Is my opinion more important than my marriage and unity in my marriage?
      Nope.
      Is getting my way the primary goal of my life? Or am I living for Christ and seeking His will and His glory? Is it possible that He may have reasons that I don’t know about for my husband to decide Mexican food tomorrow would be better than today? Maybe God is sparing us from a wreck. Maybe God has someone for us to talk to at the restaurant tomorrow who needs encouragement. What if God is inspiring my husband to have this idea for reasons I am not privy to?

      This is a matter of tearing out the idol of SELF and PRIDE and humbling ourselves before God, making ourselves totally available to Him – whatever that looks like to Him each day. We hold our own desires loosely and cling to Christ alone.

      1. Hi April,
        Thank you for writing to me and I will read those posts again and again and pray that they would stick for me.
        I am really having a hard time with the idol of thinking my opinion IS more important. My father recently gave us a gift of $2000, he is very generous to us. My husband has serious issues with money that stem from his child hood in which his own father had no money and would borrow $5 and $10 from this and that neighbor. This has so scarred my husband and he is very very tight with money. He is the sole provider as I stay home with our baby. He makes very good money and we have socked away a lot of money while I was still working to cover any short falls that may come up. He took the money from my Dad, put it in the bank and applied it to our bills and did not include me, ask me or give me one penny. I am furious over this as we have a lot of money in the bank to cover the extra expenses we had from our car needing repair. I know he is the head of the house and all that, but we are to at least talk about how we would like to spend a gift we were given. I am furious and don’t know how to get past this. Thank you for listening.
        I know obedience to Christ is so much more than $2ooo, but I feel like he has really disrespected me and practically stole a gift my father gave us to enjoy, not add to the pile of money we have in the bank already

        1. Stephanie,

          Here are my suggestions – for whatever this is worth 🙂

          I hope you will thank your husband for being such a great provider and for being careful with money. THANK HIM for allowing you to stay home with the baby as he provides financially for them family and tell him how very loved and blessed you feel by his generosity to allow you to do this. Those are VERY responsible and godly traits he has. 🙂

          Then, instead of being furious, you can just calmly, politely, sweetly ask for what you want and leave it with him and trust God to do what is best for you and your family through your husband. i.e.:

          “You know what, Honey? I’d really love to get X, please.”

          Or

          “It would mean a lot to me if we could talk together about how we will use monetary gifts that we receive. I would have liked to have done X with part of that money.”

          Be sure that you are not seething with resentment when you talk about this. Lay your resentment before Christ. Ask Him to help you forgive your husband. What your husband did was not necessarily wrong, but you don’t agree with him. I am assuming you didn’t say anything about what you would have liked to used the money for?

          Use a pleasant tone of voice, and don’t pressure him.

          Maybe just leave those words with him and let him think about it.

          Then, be thankful no matter what he decides. Then you will have been true to your desires and feelings and you will have given him a chance to know what you want so he can take your perspective into account.

          I doubt that your husband thinks of it as he “stole” the money but probably that he is being responsible. Affirm him for that beautiful trait.

          Don’t assume the worst about him.

          Then trust God to work in your husband’s heart over the next days and weeks, maybe even months – and see what God will do.

          Much love to you!

      2. Stephanie,

        All people have little quirks that basically will never change, although they can learn to “manage” them better… in the mean time, while they learn, it is difficult….

        Try to see the hand of God moving in everything. Certainly express your ideas and desires with your husband! But on the inside of you, remember how God can move the heart of kings like rivers of water. However frustrating it may be for you, God has chosen to give you a man who is extremely prudent with money. Thank God for the stability. It may not always feel like a gift, but thankfulness for a spouse’s core strengths is (I feel) essential. It is really hard to seek out the advice of someone (even a wife) who one feels does not value your biggest strength.

  2. I so love the revelation your blog is helping to bring to wives by the grace of God….the testimonies of wives starting to put these principles into practice (sometimes through gritted teeth to begin with) always brings a smile to my face and a joy to my heart….
    Alison Joy x

  3. Yes, this is the thought process I went through also, when trying consciously to change the way I related to my husband. We argued very little about everyday things, but I would feel hurt when it seemed he wasn’t affectionate and didn’t care about my feelings (we had just moved and he was devoting all his attention to renovating and didn’t seem to notice me much for weeks. Now I know that was his way of showing love, to hurry and prepare a weatherized, warm house for the winter). It was when I decided to not take everything personally (my insecurities were huge) that things really started to improve. I realized it had been awful for him, too; he couldn’t just relax and be himself for fear of offending me in some way. Learning to find contentment and total acceptance in Christ instead of anyone or anything else has been key in overcoming my insecurities. When I did this, I could relax and be myself–the person my husband fell in love with. I too would stop myself from responding in the old, negative pattern, and concentrate on thinking first. This made such a huge difference! Instead of having to wait months or years for an improvement, it began almost immediately. This in turn made it easier for me to keep thinking in positive ways, which in turn made my husband enjoy my company. It really is true that when we think and behave in healthy ways–that reflect God’s will for us–that things do improve. At first I had to struggle with negative thoughts much of the time, but after several weeks I noticed myself thinking in positive ways without “counseling” myself first. Although I’m not perfect, it’s getting easier all the time, and I’m so MUCH happier!

  4. I have been praying a LOT more lately, getting on your knees is so powerful.I can actually feel my flesh get out of the way when I do this. I remember throughout the day that feeling of submission and apply it to my husband. He took me out last night. Hes been doing little things for me. I dont complain or act bossy. I give him the benefit of the doubt when he sounds harsh. I feel better when I do that and things dont escalate. I can relate to this post…Im a fighter too but Im seeing that I dont have to fight. Everything hesays and does is not an assault against me. Hes very good to me just he speaks rather matter of factly. To the point. It sounds harsh to me but its never mean. Just its the way it is and he says it. I just need to accept everything cant always be my way, and not get defensive.That destroys and calm conversation we could ever have. I did a lot better this week changeing my defensive negative thoughts. It makes me feel vunerable but thats OK. Its safe to be vunerable now. Im not that abused child anylonger. I dont have to fight everything . Even my relationship with my brothers are improving as I am more positive with them. Even when they ast childishly or immature as heck I dont comment anymore on it Im just their friend. I hope this continues and its not that Im just haveing a good week LOL Praying on my knees daily is a huge help for me. Turning everything over to God each night and asking him to guide my thoughts and behaviors and submitting them to him. Love you April. You truly are and have been a sister in Christ. So glad I stuck with this.

    1. Marie,

      I know that this has been a painful and difficult road for you at times. I am thrilled about what God is doing in your heart, too!

      When you are ready, I would love to share your story as a post, too. I want to share on this blog, but also on my blog for single women. Some of them are asking if it is possible to have a godly marriage even if they were sexually abused or had very difficult pasts. I hope to share a number of wives’ stories with them to inspire them to see that God is able to turn awful and terrible things into beautiful lives for His glory.

      Praise God that He doesn’t give up on us and that He has given you the strength to keep going.

  5. April, I wanted to clarify what I meant by saying that “things really do improve” when we do things God’s way. In my case, my husband began responding affectionately and with joy, exactly what I wanted. But even if he hadn’t, I was improved and much happier on the INSIDE because I had decided my happiness wasn’t contingent on him. I felt PEACE because I had decided not to give any human being the power to take that away from me. I had worried so much about my weight, my age (I’m 13 years older than my husband), whether or not he might ever regret marrying me and what I would do if he did, etc.). But living with those worries was terrible! Underneath everything, every day, I was worrying about the “what if,” and no one can ever feel at peace living like that. It was only when I begged God to forgive me and help me change that I began to feel at peace. I still care very much about my husband and want to please him, but whether or not he is doesn’t determine my happiness or self worth as a person any more. What FREEDOM! I

    1. Elizabeth,

      This is AWESOME! This is exactly the kind of change God wants to make in all of us. I hope you might allow me to share these two comments as a post sometime? I can do it anonymously if you prefer. But this is powerful stuff!!

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. Defending myself is the hardest one for me to resist. If there is anyway my husband can get me to engage in an argument it’s that he knows eventually he will say something that will cause me to defend myself. Even though I’ve started to apply a “true or false” filter for everything that goes in my brain and out of my mouth sometimes that filter is not enough.

    So what do you do when your husband just says something so blantantly wrong? I don’t have a problem pleading guilty to something I have not done to keep the peace if it’s not a huge thing or if it’s something that is based on perception. But when it’s something that is so blantantly untrue, what do I say? Is it even healthy for him if I plead guilty to things I have not done? It’s definitely easier for me but whether it’s the right thing I don’t know.

    I’ll give you an example: Last week my husband left the house because he was angry about something small. He has an issue with owning his own behavior, he will blame me for his motivation level, his anger, his depression, his everything. That’s just where he is at right now (not his normal personality) and I’m hopeful that this will pass. But it causes stress and arguments because when he says that, I will tell him that I would like to know how he would like “me to help him through it” but he has to realize that ultimately he’s responsible for him and I’m responsible for me. I can be his supporter or his whipping post (not literally but figuratively) but I can’t be both at the same time.

    Anyway, so he got mad and left claiming he was filing for a divorce that I knew would not happen. He called me and wanted to fight over the phone. Which I expected to happen. Keep in mind, we had been up all night and it’s now 9am. He tends to filibuster and as such can talk straight at me for hours and not let me speak. So around 10:30 am, I dozed off accidently and woke up like 30 min later and realized he hung up.

    I called him back and was about to apologize because I was thinking oh no, he’s going to think I did not care about what he had to say! He picked up the phone and I said, “I’m sorry….”.. And he interrupted me and said he had to hang up because I could not control my tongue. Now, all I could say was sorry. Because how do you confront that? It’s obviously a blatant lie because I know my wrong doing was that I fell asleep during his rant. I had literally not spoken one word in over an hour. That’s the most obvious example of being accused of something you know you didn’t do.

    Something less obvious is when he calls me irresponsible. I’m the opposite of irresponsible. Almost to my own detriment. In fact, he’s been the opposite of responsible. He has literally shoved all of his husband / father duties on me and then complains when I don’t handle my role and his role. I keep putting his duties back on him and he keeps trying to give it back to me. It’s an unspoken ping pong match lately. Because one of the first things I read about here was not doing things for your husband that he can do for himself or that he should do for himself. So, I’m trying to be very careful about what I pick up and what I don’t pick up.

    So, is there a time that defending yourself is ok? Is there a way that you can defend yourself without it causing an explosion? I realize I may be asking for cake with no calories here but this is the thing I struggle with the most. I want us to discuss things from the perspective of “reality” but maybe that is not possible at this point? Maybe it will become possible later down the road? Is it best for me to suck it up and remain quite about it now and see if it resolves itself?

    The money arguments we have I think all couples have. I don’t know any couples who don’t argue about money. I only get upset when he tries to stop me from taking care of my daughter or grandkids. It’s my obligation when he’s not working to pay his child support and to take care of his children for sure. I have no problem with that. But it is also my obligation to take care of my child and family members that depend on me too. And there are times when he tells me we can’t afford something for my daughter or even for his kids and then something like a $400 GPS unit will arrive in the mail for him. That type of thing annoys me. Normally, he is a very good steward of money. Lately he has been very generous to himself and then will complain about the cost of diapers for the grandbaby. He will say that he uses his credit card for his stuff but ultimately where does he pay the credit card bill out of? Out of our bank account. I could open a private account for myself and have a portion of my check deposited that just seems like a nuclear option to me and I would hate it. It would feel like the first step in ending our marriage to me. Maybe that’s silly for me to think that but it would feel like giving up on my end.

    These are things that I have not confronted him on. In his heart and mind I think he already knows its wrong. But I have no idea how to confront him on it or even if I should confront him with it. I think he wants a confrontation about it so that he can hand me the finances. I don’t want them. I want him to handle them and keep me in the loop and discuss them calmly with me. I don’t want to make decisions regarding his children, I want him to do that 100%. He can ask my opinion and I will be honest about it but I don’t want to own the decisions.

    The more I hand over to him lately in terms of what the leader of the family should own, the more he tries to shove it back at me. Is this normal? It’s what he wanted me to do. He wanted me to work on that particular thing. I think he’s actually let stuff sit so long without making a decision on them hoping I would pick them up, make the decision at the last minute just so we avoid the consequence of not making a decision. Is it normal for a husband to say they want you to let them lead and then try to throw it back at you? I’ll be honest that part confuses me.

    Kills me when I see it coming and I had to really occupy my mind and hold my tongue on some of the things just so I wouldn’t rush to get it done or taken care of. I do evaluate the impact on others of course. If there is a devastating impact on one of the kids of course I will handle it if he doesn’t. But those are rare. For the most part, I just brace myself for the natural consequence and let him handle the original thing and the consequence. I let him get mad that I did not step in and handle it. Keep in mind these are things that he is perfectly capable of handling.

    This is one of those things where I’m both looking for advice and to find out if I’m dealing with a “normal” situation or something that is not so normal.. Any input or pointing me to some resources on this is appreciated.

    Thanks
    Gail

    1. Gail,
      Wow! That is a lot you are dealing with! I’m interested – do your adult children live with you? I hear you speak a lot about what the “kids need” or “grandkids need”.

      I’ve never been in that position, but my aunt & uncle divorced over that very issue. . .I mean, obviously there were other issues, but the stress of being responsible for your adult children’s and grandchildren’s daily happenings as well as your own can be too much. A mother’s bond is strong but a wife’s bond to her husband HAS to trump that. (We are not one flesh with our children).

      I would encourage you to think carefully about whether you have the same obligation to his children (who are young enough to have a support order) and yours who have grand babies.

      I really am speaking out of love here, not judgement, I’m trying hard to understand what Mark is so angry about. This seems like way more than nicotine withdrawal. . .much love to you my sister, I’m praying hard for a breakthrough for your household!

      1. Fallenshort,

        His children and his daughters son (one of our grandson’s) live with their mom. My daughter just moved back home and had her daughter in November. At the moment none of our kids can support themselves. Frankly speaking we need to be there for them financially and emotionally. His daughter had a baby her last year of High School. I’m thankful that her friends were unsuccessful in talking her into an abortion. That would have been horrible. Her mom is there for her so that she can still go to college. Sure she is 19 but she still lives at home and it’s for the best. His son is 15.

        I knew Mark had a child support obligation when I met him. And his ex wife would not harm him in any way or get angry with him if he didn’t pay it. She would find another way or do without. Mark’s ex wife would sell one of her kidneys to give her kids and grandkids what they need. That’s just how she is. I would not be able to look myself in the mirror if I had all the luxury items I wanted and she was struggling or my step kids and step grandson were struggling. I don’t have a “legal” obligation to support his children but I feel like I do have a moral obligation. I joined this family with my eyes wide open on that one.

        Equally, Mark understood when he met me that I take care of my disabled sister. It’s not all bad, she is the one who cooks and cleans somewhat. I wish she didn’t but without that she would feel like she was a burden even tho she is not. She had a very active life before becoming disabled and she wants to feel useful. I’m only explaining that part because it sounds bad when I tell people my disabled sister cooks and cleans for us.. 🙂 .. We don’t make her she wants to do whatever she can do.

        Mark also understood that I have a daughter and he knew before we got married that I would be there for her. In reality, he feels the same way most of the time. Unless he’s in a mood. We don’t take full financial care of my daughter and my granddaughter because her new mother in law helps. But my daughter and her husband are only 9 months drug free and they are not in a position to live on their own. There are things that have to be settled legally which they are doing. There are also out patient treatment programs they need to complete and she needs to recover from just having a baby. My daughter will work or go to school when the baby is a little older and can go to daycare. Until then I can support her. I would rather support her than have her go on state aid.

        I’m being honest when I say that I did not work my behind off so that my husband can play video games all day long. I did it so that I could provide for my family long before we married. My career can support the kids, my sister, the grandkids and him playing video games all day however, the reason he quit his job in the summer was to go to school and do something in the tech field. I don’t care what he wants to do or how much money he makes doing it, I just care that he does something. Something he enjoys and is good at. Even something that he enjoys and is terrible at. He loves computers and coding. So, that’s what he chose to take classes in. Yet, he hasn’t finished or started a class since October. He started them in August and since the end of Oct he has literally played video games or watched TV for 12 hours a day. If this is no longer what he wants to do he needs to say it. There’s no sense in paying for classes that he’s not going to take. We are parents and grandparents not juvinile adults.

        It’s really not about the money. I know this because one day he will complain about money and the next day he wants to drop $150 on date night. (I may have mentioned before he takes date night very seriously. Nothing interferes with date night).. We actually had a discussion (surprisingly calm one) about money a little while ago. He’s normally not selfish and there are things he once agreed on regarding our family obligations. I expect him to stick to that unless we legitimately can’t meet them. Not just because he wants something to gripe about.

        I think he’s unhappy with where he is at now in life. I think he is disappointed in himself. He just turned 45 and he’s not where he wanted to be in life. I see signs of depression and a few other things. He has definitely attempted to bait me into a fight many times the last couple of weeks. I think part of it is jealousy and part of it is he’s doubting his own self worth.

        I think ultimately, I’m going to end up having a private word with his best friend. He’ll spend some quality time with him and help him figure it out. I think I’ll just have to keep avoiding traps and remain kind. I can’t help him thru this because it’s some sort of a man crisis. He needs his best guy friend to walk him thru it. They are good enough friends that I think their friendship can handle honest conversation.

        Now I just have to find unique and creative ways to bite my tongue and not defend myself. Because I struggle sometimes with brutal honesty. When people nit pick or whine and complain over nothing or what I call “First World Problems” it tends to get on my last nerve. Because I think how can we have so much and still whine about what we don’t have. I would love him and I to do a mission trip sometime so that these problems can really be put in perspective.

        Gail

    2. Gail,

      I don’t think it is good to apologize for things we haven’t done. I cannot imagine being up all night fighting like that. 🙁 We have a rule at our house – Greg put it in place before I even learned about respect – that we don’t have “deep discussions” after 10pm. He says, “Nothing good will happen after 10:00!” He is so right.

      I am not exactly sure what your husband is dealing with right now. But I do know that you are going to need the power of God’s Spirit to respond with love, respect, honor and truth. I also think that Romans 12:9-21 would be a great thing to keep in mind.

      I love what Jack said about the pastor he knows, how his wife told him, “I’m going to bless you no matter what you do.”

      I wish he was not talking about divorce. I don’t know if he can hear anything you would say right now. I don’t know if he is serious or if he is just so depressed plus the nicotine withdrawal and not having a job right now could be sending him over the edge?

      Some husbands do try to give responsibilities back – especially if they are afraid that their wives will criticize them or they think they might fail.

      Check out this post:
      A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

      Sometimes husbands also have to begin to face their own sin as their wives become more godly – and they try to engage their wives in arguments and fights to get them to sin against them again so that they can focus on the wives’ sin not their own. Sometimes they get really angry when a wife begins to submit and respect at first.

      Here is a post about that.

      I am Trying to Respect and Submit – and My Husband Is More Unloving Than Ever! What is Going on?

      How is he today?
      Has he talked to his friend?

      I am praying for you and for the strongholds of the enemy to be torn down!

      Much love my precious friend,
      April

      1. April,

        Romans 12:9-21 is going on my quick access to read list. That is exactly what I was looking for! Thank you for that.

        He’s not really talking about divorce. He’s doing the grandstanding / mind game where he uses the divorce word bomb. In the past, I may have said, fine get a divorce I don’t need ya. But I can recognize it for what it is now and I know that esculating that type of talk rather than de-esculating (is that a word?) would result in pride taking the wheel and it actually happening. I hope and pray that he learns another way to express frustration real or imagined or internal or external..

        I think he did so much complaining about how I needed to change and let him lead and now that’s it’s happened he is afraid of failing. I’m not taking the finances back for sure. He has spent so much time creating these awesome spreadsheets and financial planning tools and really all he has to do is adjust the data to reflect reality and he’s got this thing pefect. If he gives it to me it will not be a good thing. His fear of becoming broke will become a reality. I’m a way better maker of money than I am a steward of money. My love language is gift giving! You can’t give someone whose love language is gift giving unfettered control of the finances. He loves to overanalyze things. This is the best area to utilize that annoying trait out of all other areas.

        I’m also not going to reverse the fact that the kids need to go to him or both of us when they have a problem or need something. Unless it’s really a girl thing for the girls. I get that they don’t want to ask him certian things and I really don’t want to scar him for life. He’s afraid of making the wrong decision but it’s not like I always make the right one either. He’ll get better the more he does it.

        I would love to give him the grocery shopping too but I don’t see that one happening. It’s like trying to put a saddle on a bucking bronco.

        I’m also pretty sure that he is having to deal with his own sin as he sees me become more Godly and work thru my sin. I had made a comment before about how much sin someone can accumulate in 22 years of being an athiest. One of my friends once responded that I wouldn’t be able to fathom how much sin someone can accumulate over 22 years of being a Christian. Apparently it’s not always a given that one accumulates more sin than the other.

        If he’s in a state of upset because he is dealing with his own sin it’s probably a painfully good thing. His friend is coming back into town today so we will see them because they will stop by and pick up their dog on the way home. They talk everyday pretty much and will hopefully meet up for lunch a couple of times this week. And Mark is starting to be in much better spirits. He will be more open to hearing things when he’s like this. It’s still not going to come from me… It needs to come from a man he respects not the woman he is hoping still loves him. Which I do and in his heart he knows that.

        I know that I’m taking the easy way out by apologizing for things I did not do. But when an argument gets to that point nobody is listening anymore. I love the rule about nothing good happens after 10pm! I’m going to look for an opportunity to suggest it or have his friend suggest it. If his friend suggests it then it will become Mark’s idea and he’ll love it.. 🙂

        Thanks for the prayers. We do need them. I keep thinking of the scripture (can’t place where it is at the moment) but it has something to do with if it’s not peace, hope, love (ect, etc) it did not come from God..

        Gail

        1. Gail,
          Isn’t that passage AMAZING!?!?!!! If THAT is how we are to treat our enemies – how much more are we to do those things for our husbands. I have a book that has an example of a husband and wife who were up arguing until late in the night and the wife couldn’t sleep, she was so upset and wounded. But she eventually started praying and asking God how she could bless her husband and repay the evil he had given her with good. God inspired her to bring him breakfast in bed the next morning – with a smile on her face.

          Her husband immediately felt so convicted by his awful actions the night before and he repented whole-heartedly without her saying one word. Her repaying him good for evil spoke volumes to him and weighed so heavily on his conscience, he couldn’t help but apologize for his sin against her.

          Pretty awesome, right? 🙂

          When a wife stops sinning as much and steps down so the husband can lead – it can be TERRIFYING for a man who hasn’t had much experience leading. He may be overwhelmed by the weight of the responsibility and try to get out of it at first. But as he sees that you support him and give him grace and mercy and that you don’t condemn him when he fails, he will gradually grow in confidence.

          It can get ugly when a husband begins to be convicted. Sometimes they will try so hard to get their wives to sin against them so that they don’t have to look at their own sin – it is too painful.

          I love that you are leaving the finances with him and having the kids go to him. And, YES, it takes practice to become a godly leader.

          If only I had followed Greg 19.5 years ago – what kind of leader would he be today? But THANK GOD, he has had 5 years of experience now – and he grows in his godly leadership ability as he continues to lead. It is the most amazing thing to watch him stand taller and blossom as a godly husband, father and leader!

        2. Oh!

          maybe the scripture is
          Romans 14:22
          So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

    3. Hi Gail,
      Thanks for being so open. I think I see the big picture now! For what it’s worth, you seem like a very wise and level-headed woman to me :).

      One thing that I think the Lord revealed to me as I was praying for you is to have you consider that Mark may not be as tolerant as you are with all of the activity you have going on. I know if the situation was flipped, you would be using all of your extra time to help him (as opposed to sitting around doing something seemingly meaningless -like video games or movies). BUT. . .I have seen my husband totally shut down over much less than this. I think we wives are much better at handling multiple “works in progress” at a time than most husbands. They are more apt to be overwhelmed by all the “loose ends”. Add that to the loose ends he’s recently created for himself, whatever you eluded to that is going on with his ex, nicotine withdrawal, and his normal feelings of inadequacy that we all have, and he’s likely on overload!

      I myself have often expected my husband to be sympathetic to me during times when I was stressed out, overwhelmed, hormonal,or whatever, but I have been less considerate during times when he needs to cool off. (I might add that it generally takes him WAAYY longer. . :).)

      Anyway. . .I would offer that he should spend his time and money however he sees fit right now. (You never know how a $400 gps and hours of screen time might bless your family -lol ) I LOVE that he has supportive friends to hold him accountable. He’s got all of us praying for victory for him too. . .

      Much love to you! I’m praying for peace (and a good night’s sleep) in your household tonight 🙂

      1. Fallenshort,

        Thank you. I don’t fault him on the gaming. We both are gamers and in the evenings we will watch a movie or we game together. I enjoy it too. I just think he’s gotten to a point where he’s hiding from issues he’s facing. Last night I spent some time gaming with him and some of our friends. He was thrilled. He likes to set up macro’s on my gamepad and make sure that I have the latest software installed and all that. I know how to do it myself but it makes him feel good. Correction, I can’t do it as well as he can but I have done it myself.

        My husband is a one thing at a time kind of guy. He focuses extremely hard on the one thing at a time he is doing. I’m a multi-tasker in all areas. I have to really pace myself when I’m talking to him or we have to do things that require both of us. Patience is not my strongest virtue by far. I had to take my sister to Walmart today and I actually had to practice breathing techniques. When I

        My husband needs space when he’s upset and it also takes him a looooong time to recover. But he does not see that he needs space. He thinks he needs to talk through every single thought and detail regardless of what it is, how long it takes or the timing. We need to get better at that. I’m a big believer in the fact that if you say the right things at the wrong time it’s worse than saying the wrong things at the right time. Plus anything one says when angry is never good. Decisions made from emotion or anger are always bad decisions. Whether that’s marriage related, job related, family related or just life related.

        I think with Mark some of it is seasonal, some of it is situational and some of it is probably a real issue that requires medical assistence. I’m going to reach out to a faith based therapist tomorrow and see how they recommend I handle getting him evaluated. I don’t want him to be in a state of mind that is destroying him and not getting what he needs. I can’t imagine how that must feel. Today he’s in good spirits and he is ok. I know this because he’s smiling and he’s making up silly songs with my name in it. And they aren’t mean songs with naughty words.. LOL… But he can’t go on cycling this way.

        Thanks for the prayers and please keep them up. We are definitely not out of the woods yet on this.

        Gail

    4. Oh! I am soooo jealous of your gaming abilities!!!! My hubby and two teenage sons would be sooooo impressed if I was a little better at that!! I tried so hard when we were first married but I couldn’t even handle Diddy Kong Racing! (Remember that one-lol!).

      Sounds like Mark is in good hands. Proud of you for staying strong and positive and resisting the urge to ride the coaster yourself :).

    5. Mcsprite, I am so glad to find someone who seems to be in the exact same marital situation as me at the moment. We’ve had soooo many “up to all hours” fights. After finding April’s blog several months ago, I am starting to piece it all together. My husband, like how you describe yours, seems to be depressed or at least, very unhappy with himself. Why? Because I think he is not where he envisioned himself being at 37 years old. He thought that when he started his own financial services business 12 years ago, we would be “rolling” in money right now. His business has not panned out the way he thought it would. I think he’s embarassed it hasnt worked out and he doesn’t know how to restart and doesn’t think he could get a good paying job (without a university education). My husband does the same as you describe with yours, complains about my spending or how we don’t have enough for such and such, and then seems to change his tune and buys an item he thinks he needs.
      When he suggests something, I just try and listen and don’t try to tell him all the negative aspects of why it won’t work. I felt that the blog post here entitled, “My wife would bless me if….” was written by my husband. I do all those things from the post , so I am trying to change those responses. But yet I am finding my husband is quick to point out faults or has accusatory statements, ie: “where the hairbrush? ” Me: “I dont know”. Him: “well YOU must have moved it because it’s not here”. This is a rather “mild” example, but I think you get the point. And to top it off, I feel guilty if I then don’t try and find the hairbrush instead of letting him look for it because otherwise he’ll be banging doors, telling me he’s late for work so I should help him find it, etc. etc. This is one of the area I struggle with…he’s always misplacing his keys etc, and doesn’t prepare his stuff the night before and so is scrambling around looking for stuff when he needs to go out. but then if I don’t help him look , he’s yelling, stressed, banging stuff around.
      All to say, we are going through some of the same stuff in our marriage and I try to take it one day at a time and am trying to change my responses.

      JT

      1. JT,

        My heart breaks for him. I know how hard it is to not have a business work out the way you had dreamed it would. My husband is in the same boat about not having that formal education and wanting to start over at 44. Or 43.. I’m not sure how old he is come to think of it.

        The forgetting where things are is a definite sign of stress. I experience that when work is choatic. I even had to change all my passwords to be the same as Mark’s. That way when I forget them, I can just ask him what his password is and viola! Now I don’t have to never know my password again. Luckily my husband gathers my things while I get ready in the morning. It is very helpful.

        But he does forget some things too and it drives him nuts. We have something I like to call “The missing pants expedition”. It’s been going on for 4 months now. My husband misplaced a pair of black jeans and noticed this about 4 months ago. Every so often we have a massive search and rescue mission in our house for this pair of black jeans. He hasn’t gone as far as putting up posters in the neighborhood or offering a reward but it’s come close. There’s things we can rule out, like the fact that I did not wear them. He’s 6’7 and 310 pounds, I’m 5’3 with an unknown weight that can never be proven or disproven. We can rule out alien abduction of the formentioned jeans. We can rule out that they did not in fact grow legs and walk away (pun intended). So, either he left them at work and didn’t take them from his locker when he quit his job 5 months ago or he’s taking his pants off in other places that he can’t remember and then we have a bigger problem.. 🙂

        Nothing comforts him when he misses his long lost pants. He will not go to the store and buy new pants. I don’t know if this is out of loyalty to the old pants or pure frustration of not knowing where the pants are. But he definitely experiences seperation anxiety about these pants. Either way, if they were my pants I would have long forgotten them and been happily enjoying my new pants. I could write a blog just with daily updates on the pants search and recovery effort. 🙂

        I know what does help. The calmer I am when he is upset, the better things get. Soon I imagine he will start to adjust because he will see that no matter how upset he gets it won’t impact how I treat him. I’ll give you an example of something that was a recovery moment. Monday night I had to get my team on a conference bridge to fix a production issue that was impacting business. These types of calls can last a couple of hours or they can last 20 or 30 hours. However long it takes to fix it. So, this one started at 4pm and didn’t end until Tuesday at 1pm. I was up all night and about 8am he was just beginning to wake up. So, I said, I’m getting a cup of coffee would you like one? He grumbled that he really wanted breakfast too..

        So I brought him his coffee and told him I would see if I could find someone to babysit the call so that I could make him breakfast but it would be about 30 min or so. about 20 min later he walked into my office with an omlet and said, “sorry I made you this”.. It was a sad omlet but he did cook in some love which always takes great even burnt. I ate it and made a big deal about how great it was to have a hot breakfast.

        Now, in the past, this would have started ugly and ended uglier because my initial response to him wanting breakfast too would have been something along the lines of “Are your arms and legs painted on?” 🙂

        See you can teach an old dog new tricks….
        Gail W.

        1. Gail,

          You are such an awesome story teller. I love the search and rescue mission for the pants.

          Thank you for sharing! I’m so glad that you thanked him for the omelet he made for you!!!! 🙂

  7. Tami,
    I LOVE (!) those “the Lord provides” types of stories!! This is how He speaks to me as well 🙂 Thank you for sharing! Made my day:-) AMEN!!

  8. April,

    The even funnier thing about the “pants attachment” is that they are not even new pants. He’s had them for like 9 years. 🙂 I would buy him a new pair for a present but clothes for a man that big they really have to try them on and pick them out. So really if you think about it, if the pants were actually in the house it’s not like they could be hard to see! lol

      1. hahaha. I wish hallmark made an “I’m sorry for loss” card for this type of thing.

        This morning when Mark was picking out what he was going to wear he casually mentioned he wished he could find the black jeans. I couldn’t stop laughing and he asked what was funny. I had to read him what I wrote about his pants.. He said they were his “lucky pants” from his single days. I told him I have heard him speak about his dating days and the pants were apparently not that lucky. 🙂

        He’s at the store now looking at new pants. I pray he makes a connection and can finally move forward and end the “cycle of grief”.

        Funny the things we get attached to.

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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