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“I’m Tired of Being the Leader in Our Marriage”

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From a dear wife, with her permission:
Hello

I had to email you personally and tell you how grateful I am for your insight.  I came across your article, “I Want to Follow my Husband.  What if He Doesn’t Lead? How Can I Inspire His Leadership?” (From PW – this is basically the same post that I have posted the past 3 days – “My Husband Won’t Lead in Our Marriage” part 1, part 2 and part 3), and I believe it was sent to me by God, Himself.  I was looking for answers as to why my husband is the way he is.

I was shocked to see that it’s me that needs to change. 
I have a very dominant  personality.  I always feel like I have to be the one to take care of everything or it either won’t get done or will be done the wrong way.  I was taking care of every aspect of our families life even down to the finances and scheduling my husband’s Drs appointments.

We have only been married for 4 1/2 years and I have been so unhappy, unforgiving, and full of resentment toward my husband.  I hated the fact that he was so passive, indecisive, and  immature in regards to his responsibilities and our family.  I started feeling like I had to be the husband to myself.

Through your words I now see how prideful and controlling I was.
  • He’s a good man.  He’s faithful, he’s a wonderful provider, he’s patient, and calm.
He is a lot more than I’ve ever given him credit for.
  • I’ve always had a problem with letting go of control out of fear that something will happen or things wont go well.  At the same time I have craved peace.  A peace that comes from total submission to God and to my husband; the ability to trust someone with my life and it’s well being.

As I went through the list of critical truths, I found myself guilty of thinking, speaking or feeling 99% of the things listed.  Before reading the list I had started to contemplate divorce.  I believed that I simply could not be with my husband anymore.  How deceptive Satan can be when you close yourself from the truth.  After reading the list I felt embarrassed, broken, angry, ashamed, and a call to repentance.

I realized that my attitudes, tones, sarcasm, and personal attacks were not changing my husband. For some crazy reason I thought that it would.  I now see and understand my role and purpose as a wife.  I now understand that it’s ok to give up control and let him lead even if it seems like he’s leading nowhere.  I know my place now. I know which road I should be on.

From the bottom of my heart I thank you.  It was a tough pill to swallow but it was deeply needed.

RELATED:

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

Empowering My Husband’s Spiritual Leadership about Church Stuff

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Don’t Always Notice

14 thoughts on ““I’m Tired of Being the Leader in Our Marriage”

  1. Hi April! Just a comment, I was talking to a very dear male friend of mine that has just recently gone through a divorce too. His wife, also, cheated. He is a Pastor and we were discussing the husband’s leadership. These were his words, which were so telling, “Yea, women say they want the husband to lead, and then we lead, and you don’t like the way we are leading. You complain, you want it done differently, it’s not good enough, or how you think it SHOULD be. So we give up…and say, “Well then do it yourself”.”

    I think this is so so so so true of us wives in SO many areas, but Biblical leadership is probably one of the most important areas. That wicked tongue of ours, able to burn with the fire of hell….

    I am SO glad of this wives journey that you posted about today. I pray her marriage heals and her husband notices the changes in her and the respect she gives him, which is his right, as her husband, not something he has to earn with her approval….another big mistake we make as wives!

    Happy New Year!!!!!

    1. Connie,

      Thank you for sharing this! The pastor’s comment is exactly how many Christian husbands feel today. I have heard that sentiment over and over. That is how Greg used to feel, too.

      We are true daughters of Eve, wanting to take control over our husbands, not even realizing we destroy our marriages when we do that.

  2. Yes. That was me too before I yielded to God, my idol of control. I would not exchange the peace I am experiencing now for anything. I am beginning to think, submissiveness is not an inborn trait. We are all daughters of Eve, and we all know what happened at the Garden of Eden!

    1. Nikka,

      You are exactly right, submissiveness is not part of our sinful nature. We don’t come by this naturally. We must learn it as we die to self, crucifying pride, self-righteousness and that compulsion and obsession to control our husbands.

      Isn’t the peace and joy of God’s design the most amazing thing ever!?!? How I long for every wife and every woman to experience His presence and to know Him, obey him and abide in Him – experiencing this abundant life He has for those who love Him and submit to Him as Lord. 🙂

  3. I know that Biblical submission is what God asks of me. I had tried this for about a year. I began by asking for forgiveness from my husband for usurping his role in our family. I began to make a conscience effort to yield to his leading, be more attentive, etc. As time went on, I noticed that my husband would make sure he asked me to do things for him, especially in front of others. Also, he would speak to others in group settings about how the men needed to do like he does and ‘put their foot down’ and ‘remind your wife who is in charge’, etc. Also, I noticed that to be a peaceful wife with my husband was just to be quiet. I found myself apologizing for many things, and began to feel like a cook, maid, doormat.

    I have since told him that this submission was the correct thing to do, but that I felt he was, in a sense, abusing his leadership role. I told him that I couldn’t do it any longer.

    One other thing has burdened me the most….after 34 years of marriage, I finally asked my husband to help me with the finances. (I have done them for our entire marriage). He has refused. I made him aware that because of his decision not to help me, I have lost my sense of security that I always had with him. This has been a big deal for me. I feel tht I have crossed over a line that I can’t get back over.
    I want to do the right thing, but don’t want to lose myself in this. I also hate the feeling that I have NO emotional support from my spouse. What’s a wife to do???

    1. Peaceful???

      Does your husband have a relationship with Christ?

      Do you share your heart and feelings?

      What is your walk with Christ like right now?

      It IS possible to take respect and submission too far

      It sounds to me like you may have given up your influence authority. Check out “A Husband’s Authority and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage”

      And check out “Spiritual Authority” – notes from a class I took at my church this past fall that gives the basic structure for all spiritual authority in our lives. There is a part about making an appeal, and there are sections that talk about the importance of a wife sharing her ideas, needs, feelings, desires, etc.

      Sometimes wives overshoot as they try to correct being too controlling and become too “doormat-like” and too quiet. The Frustrating Quiet Phase is not supposed to last forever

      Check out The Stages of this Journey

      I Feel Alone, Discouraged and Like I Can’t Say Anything Right to My Husband

      When was the financial issue thing? Other than talking about putting his foot down and reminding his wife who is in charge (which is “lording it over you” not leading in a selfless, gentle, humble, Christlike way) – how is he abusing his leadership role?

      When you said you can’t do it any longer – do you mean – be married to him, live with him, submit to him or what?

      What has he said about all of this?

      1. Thank you so much for your quick response.
        Also, thank you for giving much to think about.

        Many questions….Please allow me time (days?) to digest and respond. This will be a journey in itself with much Godly fruit in the end, I am sure. Which as I type this, I have come to the conclusion that God is using your reply to help me grow into the Godly wife I am to be.
        Now answers:
        1. My husband’s relationship with Christ… not one that is manifested often. He does not attend Church. He reads Scripture sporadically. He prays at mealtime occasionally with our grown children and grandchildren–never when we are alone.
        Wow!!! I just realized something—I had begun to submit to my husband’s leading in prayer with the family, but then took it back!!!
        2. My walk with Christ….I HUNGER daily for Christ. I seek Him through the devouring of His Word and also through Godly people, like this blog. I love to share my faith with others by teaching a 2nd grade class at church and also facilitate a Bible study for an adult group.

        I will delve into all of the reading you have suggested. Please allow me to dialogue with you as time permits.

        Thank you for allowing God to work through you and your
        husband. I look forward to the day that I can take the question marks (?) off of my user name!

        Peaceful???

        1. Peaceful???
          Of course you can take all the time you need! I’m right here and will walk beside you on this journey. 🙂

          1. Keep in mind that you don’t know your husband’s heart – only God knows that. And God is plenty capable of opening his eyes, convicting Him of sin, teaching him to become the godly man He desires him to be. BUT – it is important for us as wives not to get in God’s way by trying to take over and be the Holy Spirit. Our words about spiritual things or our taking control or criticizing, lecturing, sighing, angry tone of voice, etc… pushes our husbands from God and from us, too. Just because he isn’t vocal about his faith – doesn’t mean he doesn’t have faith or that he doesn’t have a good relationship with God. My husband doesn’t pray with me (he prays at mealtimes briefly – and he will pray if I ask him to specifically pray – but I pressured him about that for many years – so I don’t pressure him anymore). But God is growing him. So I don’t get hung up anymore on “he’s not praying with me, God!” I focus on my walk with Christ and allow God to work on my husband.

          2. This is where your power is! Focusing on your relationship with Christ. As if I didn’t give you enough to read… I have a series of posts called “The Stages of This Journey” that may be helpful if you didn’t see them a month ago or so,

          You may absolutely dialogue with me. 🙂

          The peace you long for is completely available to you in Christ. Is is ALL about you and Him. It has nothing to do with your husband at all. 🙂
          Much love to you!

  4. ……….. so much I need to learn…
    I took your advice and have studied much of the material you suggested. What an eye opener! I have failed to learn
    ‘discretion and balance’ as I step down as the ‘false’ leader in our marriage. I am a strong woman and so I took the ‘quiet spirit’ too far. I created a domineering, selfish controlling husband. I am sure he is extremely confused right about now! I have sinfully created my misery.

    I also realized that my long lived fear and anxiety had decreased, but I let my ‘god mentality’…I can do this better attitude… sneak back in. I should have prayerfully let the Holy Spirit lead me to maintain a ‘true’ submissive spirit.

    I intend to study in great depth “The Stages of This Journey”. I believe that God reveals Himself to us gradually.
    I need to repent of many selfish ways and one is wanting God to be done with this YESTERDAY! I need to step out of the way and let the Holy Spirit lead my husband and in turn lead me…using my ‘influential authority’ when God asks me to.

    I do have difficulty expressing my feelings properly with him.
    I am confident that in time, what needs to be said will be, and in a respectful way.

    I am still working on accepting the fact that my husband will not let me relinquish the duty of the finances, or at least help me with them. But I do know that God knows my heart and will work this out for our good and His glory!

    Peace will come….God’s Peace that surpasses my understanding

    Thank you Thank you Thank you Thank you

    Your blog is a Godsend!
    Hopefully in the proper time and in my yielding to correct expression, I will respectfully influence my husband to your spouse’s blog!

    Peaceful(??)

    1. Peaceful??

      I see only two question marks tonight!!

      You know what my precious sister? I have a strong feeling that before too long, I am going to ask you to write a post (or multiple posts) for me. I can see so many lightbulbs going on. This is my favorite part! Watching the lights come on and seeing the new understanding and then walking new steps together. 🙂

      What you are learning is difficult, and sometimes painfully slow. But, as you allow God to work, He will show you. Yes, we have to learn in stages and steps. We can’t absorb it all at one time. Kind of like eating an elephant. We have to do it in small bites.

      But, I believe that you are going to learn these things well, and I believe that God will use you to explain some of these lessons to other wives in a fresh new way that will be a blessing to many.

      I can’t wait to see what God is about to do in you!!!! I am so excited!!!

      Much love
      April

      1. I am excited as well!
        I am truly blessed that God is teaching me through you!
        Love to you my sister in Christ, April

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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