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A Silent Husband Shares His Heart

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For those wives who have passive, unplugged husbands – it can be really difficult for us to understand what is going on in our shut-down husbands’ hearts. I greatly misunderstood Greg for so many years because he didn’t tell me what he thought – so, I ended up making a lot of really horrible and extremely inaccurate assumptions.  

Today’s post is by a Christian husband – I appreciate his willingness to articulate his perspective. Husbands have feelings and emotions, too – even if they don’t verbalize them to us. They can be DEEPLY wounded and never say a word. That is what Greg did. He just went into his self-preservation mode and shut down to protect himself and never told me how much I hurt him with my disrespect and control for all those years.  He knew I was not a safe place for him to share his heart. 🙁

Please prayerfully consider whether your husband may feel like this husband and see what God may desire to change in your heart and in your marriage for his glory. (This post is primarily about Type-A, take-charge, wives with strong personalities. This is not a post for wives who are afraid to speak their minds or share their thoughts or feelings and it is not for wives who are abused. The dynamics for a more passive wife/dominating husband or an abused wife/abusive husband are very different from what is described here. If anyone is not safe in his/her marriage, please seek appropriate help right away!)

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Thank you for this post (Nikka’s 3rd Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband). I can identify with Dong’s thoughts and feelings.

  • My wife’s domineering nature sucks the life from me emotionally, spiritually, socially, intellectually and physically.

Emotionally she drains my by communicating to me both verbally and non-verbally that my feelings are wrong. The constant battle of having to prove that what I am feeling is legitimate just wears me down. As a result, I am very hesitant to share my emotions with her.

Spiritually, she communicates to me that her ways are the right ways and that my perspective on spiritual truth and walking with the Lord is wrong or lacking. She devalues my relationship with the Lord because I experience Him through the Word. She values prayer and the gifts of the Spirit more. She doesn’t see it as me being different from her but that I am wrong. I get spiritual life from personal study of the word, smaller group discussions, accountability and prayer. She gets life from large worship services and through worship music. Again, she communicates that her way is superior to mine.

Socially, the strain of the regular conflict drains me. As an introvert, when I am drained, I need time alone to recharge. I don’t have the emotional energy to invest in relationships that I used to have. There have been numerous times where she has emotionally beat me up on the way to a gathering so that by the time we arrive, I am drained and need to recharge. She then puts me down for being withdrawn at these gatherings.

Intellectually, I am an idea person. These could be on how to do things better or be more efficient. Other times they are on how to solve problems. I also have ideas about the Lord and ministry. Yet, whenever I share them with her she pushes back and takes them apart as being wrong or unrealistic. This just shuts me down because it has communicated to me over the years that I am stupid and should keep them to myself.

All of this drain on my soul has affected me physically too.

The constant message I hear is to be quiet and don’t embarrass her.

The cumulative effect of 20 plus years of being controlled and opposed is that her voice is constantly in my head accusing and condemning me. It causes me to second guess everything I do and to be very tentative on making decisions. I am always concerned about her reactions and having to explain myself. This makes it difficult to enjoy many things in life because her voice is there in my head questioning my actions, interactions, feelings and motives.

The good news is that I can see how the Lord has been working in her life for the past 20 years to open her eyes and address her sin. Over the past couple of years, I think she is starting to see her sin and address it. We still have a long way to go. She still doesn’t feel safe to me but there is an inkling of change.

RELATED:

From this same husband, “My Wife Would Bless Me If…”

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Greg told me that when I stopped all the negativity:

  • criticizing
  • controlling
  • lecturing
  • telling him what to do
  • treating him like he was a child
  • taking over and doing things for him
  • freaking out
  • worrying
  • using an angry mama tone of voice
  • scowling
  • sighing

… it was like someone turned off the “static on the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”

And, Greg said, when I began to do the positive things:

  • encouraging
  • affirming
  • blessing
  • waiting patiently
  • cooperating
  • honoring his leadership
  • listening to him
  • caring about his opinion and perspective
  • allowing him space to be different from me and to be a man
  • appreciating his masculinity instead of condemning him
  • respecting him

… it was like someone put “an amplifier on the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”

THIS is why God commands us to win our husbands without words.  We don’t force them to change with our words. When we attempt to verbally force our husbands to do what we want, we can unknowingly cause a lot of destruction. Instead, let’s inspire them by our example and the love, joy and peace of God in our hearts. How I pray we might live in the power of God’s Spirit and learn to use our incredibly strong influence, our words, our attitudes and our actions to bless, build up and encourage our husbands for God’s glory!

54 thoughts on “A Silent Husband Shares His Heart

  1. Oh wow! Reading this husband’s post just tore my heart. I feel his pain, yes. But I also identify fully with his wife – I’m pretty certain I too used to beat my husband emotionally, spiritually as well.

    Thank God the husband is still showing love, still praying. I pray for both of them, for hearts to be softened, pride to be broken, forgivess and restoration to occur and God to explode in their situation and turn it around.

    1. Lebo,
      If we as wives knew how much our husbands hurt from our control and disrespect – I truly believe we would all be mortified and want to repent and want God to change us.

      Thanks for praying for this couple! I pray for God’s greatest glory in their lives and for His healing.

  2. The silent husband should consider the possibility that his wife is a narcissist. If so, she has a pathological need to be superior to her husband, and will always demean him, criticize him, etc. She will be manipulative and controlling. She is a pathological liar.

    She will especially try to make him feel guilty. This is the narcissistic projection of shame onto another. Her faith is superficial, like the Pharisees’.

    She is an emotionally abusive woman, and her marriage oath means nothing to her, despite what she will say.

    1. Navigator1965,

      It is possible that a controlling wife could be classified as a narcissist at times.

      But – I think a more accurate description would probably be that the sinful nature is in control and that a woman in a position like this is blind to her own sin.

      I have worked with hundreds of controlling wives – and I was a controlling, disrespectful wife.

      Most wives I know of had NO CLUE how much they hurt their husbands. Many times, there is idolatry of self going on and extreme pride and self-righteousness.

      God is able to open a wife’s eyes to her sin and bring her to repentance. And God is able to change her.

      I also believe that God is able to empower a godly husband to gently, lovingly, firmly lead his wife even in a situation like this for God’s ultimate glory.

      I was definitely like the Pharisees. And I didn’t see it. I didn’t see any sin in my life. I pointed only to my husband and demanded that God change him and that he change and be “more loving” for 14 years.

      But when God opened my eyes to my mountain of sin (when I read Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs in Dec 2008) – He revealed the magnitude of my sin and I fell on my face before Him in repentance and humility.

      I have seen God open hundreds of wives’ eyes.

      Whatever we want to call it – it is sin.

      Praise God we have a Savior Who is able to show us our sin and who is able to save us from our sin.

      1. Now, I wish that my husband had confronted me about my sin 20 years ago. Allowing me to go on and on unchecked into deeper and deeper sin was not a gift to me or to himself or to anyone. I really believe that if I had known how hurt he was, I would have been appalled and wanted to fix things.

        It breaks my heart that I went on like that for 14+ years. It only gets more difficult to break the bonds of sin as it continues to fester.

        How I pray that our husbands might be able to speak the truth in love, even if it is hard and takes great courage. How I pray we will listen.

          1. Many women are greatly deceived today and don’t know it. We have bought lies from our culture about who God is, who we are, what should be most important in life, masculinity, femininity and marriage. We have unknowingly absorbed much poison. So we have a huge picture of ourselves and live as if we are sovereign and in control, not God. We love in fear and anxiety because we try to take on the weight of God’s sovereignty. In my experience, a wife’s level of respect and biblical submission to her husband is often a tangible indicator of her level of reverence and submission to Christ. A wife’s disrespect and control have very little to do with her husband – and everything to do with her understanding of herself and God and her willingness to fully submit to Christ.

      2. Thanks, April. I’ve no doubt that you’ve made a positive difference in guiding women to interpret their marriages from a properly scriptural understanding. In my case, my former wife of 19 years has expert-confirmed narcissistic personality traits. She alienated our three children from me, with the help of feminist social workers, lawyers, and judges, to the extent that I have not seen my 23 year old daughter in over five years due to her severe alienation.

        Appreciate the book tip. http://loveandrespect.com . I will explore these ideas more, as they appear to dovetail with thoughts I have for my current two-book project.

        Blessings.

          1. Thank you, April. It was very difficult, but I’ve gotten to a good place spiritually and emotionally.

            I can’t help feel that there was a purpose for what the kids and I went through. Regardless, I am using the experience as a catalyst to do good and effect positive social change.

            I do appreciate the prayers. Cheers.

  3. HI April, I knew of my sin, my husband told me me day after day, he stands of for righteousness, and takes the leadership role, and does not back down when telling the truth to me or others. I love it that he is a strong man, and stands up in his house-as the one “wearing the pants” but I usually would put up the fence and hated correction, Im still working on this area to change in my life, it lets me know for sure that I’m blessed to have this type of authority over my life as I read about your marriage and how you didn’t know for so long b/c your husband shut down. Even though my husband corrected me, most of the time I didn’t receive it with humility. Humility is the greatest thing anyone can have. When I stood up to my man and was prideful it led to fights. I acknowledge how I provoked Him and caused his anger as well. So u got two people going to head to head, someone has to humble their self in order for there to be peace. My husband would get upset and angry at my pride, rebellion, and manipulation(me talking back, covering up my sin) To God be the glory to men who do stand up and correct their wives, God wants more men to take charge in their house, its worth it, especially for ungodly attributes, there may be fear b/c men don’t want to go through the long battles, and arguments, or loose their wives in the process, but its necessary, this is how it is gonna be in the church.

    Husbands are the purifiers of marriage, He said husbands purify your wives with the washing of the word. The wives are suppose to allow this happen, wives are to be obedient and submissive,but then you have rebellious wives like me, who don’t want to change certain things,not willing to be Holy and pleasing to the Father. If I allow my husband to purify me, we will have a beautiful marriage, because he is a strong leader, and very helpful to me, If I listen without going against His Godly instruction about my sin. It’s my sin that he teaches me about, he has stayed up many long hours telling me about my sin, about how I hurt him, and about areas in my life that need changing. God speaks through him, my husband is the tool that God uses to teach and rebuke me. My pride didn’t like it for so long, but guess what, I’m hurting the Father and my husband when I hang on to this nasty pride, of not wanting to be wrong.

    1. Sharon,

      WOW!

      Thank you so much for sharing this. What you are describing is a dynamic I never experienced earlier in our marriage. Greg does correct me at times now – I am so thankful! I think it is really interesting to hear how you responded. PRAISE GOD that He has opened your eyes now, my precious sister!

      Yes, humility is so beautiful! I have a post about that!

      I am thrilled that you are listening to him now and willing to humble yourself. Husbands may not always be right – but many times they are. I’m so glad that you are hearing him and seeking God to help you repent and change. THAT IS BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!

      Goodness, PRIDE. It is shocking how much pride I had and didn’t even see it. 🙁 I was so blind.

      How I pray daily that God will help me see any little bit of pride and repent immediately – checking my motives and taking my thoughts captive all throughout each day. The only way I know to kill pride is to die to self and yield fully to Christ, allowing Him full control, and seeing Him properly as HIGH and lifted up and me as small, powerless and tiny.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

    2. Hi April, this is a post my husband put on his facebook page

      This is a supporting post from the recent post my wife posted. Most men today are very passive in their marriage, allowing the woman to take charge. But most of the time it’s not just handed over, it came through a manipulative, controlling, and I think I’m always right type of woman. Eventually the man turns into a little boy or a little puppy that follows along behind the wife. Even on television you see where women are taken a more dominant role in situations. You always have the woman being right all the time and the man looking child like. Women no longer honor men as they once did. So to all man, let’s take charge in our household, let’s be the man of God that God called and created us to be. But I must say in order to get a house in order you must have a strong relationship with God the Father in order for him to lead and direct your path in this process. We must be equipped with God’s word. And though their is much to say about this subject I would say that it is a tough task but we can do all things through Christ. Woman can be very cunning at time with words but stay focused and remember the objective is to purify her. They will hit you with the emotional atomic bomb, when ever the Holy spirit reveals something to you about your wife. The Jezebel spirit is a spirit of war and her focus is to destroy men because we are the vessels God count on. So she will attack in any way possible because you are attacking her with the word of God. She will try and make you feel disqualified. Rise up soldiers, if you can’t run your own house how can we run the church of God. And always remember that being a husband is mainly about the purification process, some of us over exalt providing and we over exalt being a Father but not our number one duty. We will be judged by whether we purified our wives or not. Also note that the revelation of husband and wife is the same representation of Christ and the church, Christ came to purify and the church is subject under that authority, the same with a husband and wife.

      April you are welcome to use this as well.

  4. My husband and I have talked about my fretting lately. I have been controlling I would say almost all of our 17 yrs of marriage. He has been gently giving me examples as they come when I do this. I have been receptive to it and continue to be on the path of change. In the past, I would have gotten very defensive when he pointed things out no matter how gently he did it. God has REALLY opened my eyes to my sin and what affects my sin has caused. I am overjoyed with His patience and the change I see in my life and heart. I have a VERY long way to go, but I am in the trenches and will continue to fight.
    It can be overwhelming at times because I have a LOT of issues to work through 🙂

    1. Becoming a Titus 2 Wife,

      I was really surprised when I realized that I had to choose between faith and fear – or between faith and worry. I held on to worry when I believed I was ultimately in charge and I trusted myself. IT was the most freeing thing ever to let go of trusting myself and to begin to trust Jesus completely and submit fully to Him as LORD. It was the most terrifying thing at first – I felt like I was throwing myself off of a spiritual cliff. But God caught me and brought me to a higher place that I had never experienced before.

      Praying for you to be able to lay down the worry and to learn about and trust the sovereignty of God. That is such a key to peace that I missed for so long. I didn’t understand where my responsibilities ended and God’s began.

      I am so excited that you are listening!

      YES! There are a lot of issues to work through. Just focus on one day at a time. You may want to ask your husband to help you focus on the 3 biggest things he would like you to stop doing and the 3 biggest things he would like you to start doing. It can be overwhelming to try to change everything at once. 🙂

  5. It can be so hard to wake up and see the truth of what we are doing to our husbands, especially when the example given by our parents is poor! My mother was and still is an extremely controlling wife and my father just goes into his hiding spot (his library) to get away. When I first started following Peaceful Wife’s example, my mother became fearful for me and then angry. She would tell me that if I didn’t control my husband, he would ruin my life! She actually said to me that he didn’t have the mental capacity to lead my family!

    How wrong she was! Since November I have been changing my ways and my husband has grown into an amazing leader and is so happy and different. It is wonderful to see God working within both of us now!

    Reading this blog entry makes me feel so sad for what my husband must have been feeling. It gives me renewed strength, energy and motivation to keep working on myself and keep growing within Christ to be a better wife so my husband never has to feel this way again!

    Thank you, yet again, for such a great ministry!

  6. This resonates with me , in that it seems this wife is more interested in what others think of her, than her own husband.I know you’ve stated it several times, that our mates should be second in importance, only to God.This is a concept I agree with, and the topic of a discussion my wife and I had last night. My particular struggle is to keep My relationship with Jesus first , and my marriage second. My wife struggles with making our relationship a priority over the children and others.It’s pretty much the same struggle, just struggling with a different link in the chain of prioroties.

    1. Ted,
      It is difficult to keep our priorities straight.

      Ironically, a wife can actually have self and her husband as idols (misplaced priorities) AND put other people’s opinions above her husband’s as a people pleaser.

      I did all of that at the same time.

      I cared a lot about other people’s opinions of me – more than Greg’s opinion – which really doesn’t make sense when you stop to think about it.

      I expected Greg to be responsible for my happiness and to meet needs that only God could meet.

      AND I trusted SELF, not God, and lived as if I were sovereign, not God.

      I threw in a lot of other idols, too, many times – getting married before we were married, a house, children, feeling loved, etc…

      When I don’t have Christ in the proper place and I start filling that hole with other people and things – it is a MESS!

      When He is squarely on the throne and in control of my life – the other priorities are a lot easier to get in the right order.

      Thank you for sharing, Ted!

  7. Even though he was brought up in a Christian home, my husband has never liked to attend church services. For years I tried to guilt him into going by demanding, complaining, pouting, and acting like, as you put it, “an angry mama.” As I learned how to be a peaceful wife, I have noticed that my respectful behavior towards him has opened him up to hearing from God HIMSELF. Now he takes my hand and prays over our meals and I have seen evidence that he has been reading his Bible! No more static from me, April. 🙂

  8. Tami,

    Wow! I am not sure how some husbands would respond to that declaration.

    I am glad you were honest about the temptation instead of just going ahead with it.

    How long ago was that?

    I am really glad you didn’t have an affair. That sure wouldn’t have helped things. I pray you will abide in Christ and find all of your contentment, joy and peace in Him, that you might live in obedience to His Word and greatly bless your husband. I pray for godliness and healing for you both!

  9. I dealt with things REALLY wrong today. After lots of reading of your blog I finally read Dare 1 of the Respect Dare and also read Proverbs 1 (planning to read one for each corresponding day) for encouragement. Well without going into inappropriate details, I asked my husband for intimacy earlier, but wasn’t clear with him so things got clumsy and we ended up distracted by our cells / tablets. When I later explained how disconnected from him lately he said he felt blamed and refused to talk. I was so angry that he wouldn’t listen to my feelings and then the war was on. Both of us were hurt and accusative. When I suggested talking he said he wouldn’t have an argument – as he put it – with his daughter in the house. I said things I regret about not wanting to live in the house since we can’t talk about important things. A couple had invited us to dinner tonight and I told my husband I would still be going. At the point of leaving my husband said he didn’t feel well enough to come so I went alone.

    My husband knows I am reading this blog and studying about being respectful. He has in the last 2 weeks been invited to join a worship team rota (he accepted) and has joined a men’s discipleship group (he attended the first one and thanked me for praying for this to be set up). I am attending a women’s conference next week. So God is working in our lives. I think today stemmed from me feeling quite alone having moved to my husband’s city and moved in with him and his teen daughter. I often miss my friends, city, family, job and colleagues. When we fight it feels like I’ve lost too much and then don’t have the understanding or support of my husband either. I know that God is good and able and that my trust and hope is in him, but I do feel so sad. I did so many things wrong and we are still not talking.

    1. Mich,

      When you say you feel disconnected – a lot of husbands would feel blamed.

      My husband says that his “neutral” state in our relationship is to feel “connected.” My neutral state was always “disconnection.” I didn’t feel connected until we talked or were intimate. But he felt connected to me all the time unless I said I felt disconnected.

      What if you apologize and make sure you say you didn’t intend to blame him. And when you feel disconnected, just try simply stating your emotions.

      “I feel lonely.”
      “I feel sad.”

      And you can add what you would like him to do as a respectful request, “Would you please hold me for a few minutes” or “would you please listen to me for a few minutes” – but do not blame him. THANK HIM if he does spend time with you. Ask with a pleasant voice and facial expression.

      If he cannot be with you right then – be gracious and trust you will have time later and rest in his love and God’s love for you.

      Much love!

      1. “My husband says that his “neutral” state in our relationship is to feel “connected.” My neutral state was always “disconnection.” I didn’t feel connected until we talked or were intimate. But he felt connected to me all the time unless I said I felt disconnected.”

        This. explains. a. LOT.

        Woah.

        Oh how I long for this info years ago! And how grateful I am now.

        1. Amber,

          Yep.

          Sure wish I had known this 20 years ago myself!!!!!

          Could have spared myself about a million tears.

          It is so freeing to know that my husband always feels connected to me and that I can rest in that and in his love even when we can’t emotionally/verbally/physically connect as much as I would like to.

          I’m so glad this was helpful to you! 🙂

          1. Tjat is good to know about how men always feel connected, woah, the only time my hhubby said he was disconnected is when I’M was disrespectful to him.

  10. learning to be humble and take criticism is important.

    In an art class you learn to do peer critiques where you display your work to the class for feedback. Even if the feedback is negative the experience as a whole is meant to be a tool that helps you become a better artist. You learn how to take criticism and what to do with it. Not all critique is valid, and you need to sift through both positive and negative feedback for what is useful. And this process also teaches your peers how to give helpful criticism.

    I remember at first our classes critiques were so quiet because most people were to shy to say something, or didn’t want to hurt feelings. Our teacher had to really draw us out of our shells. Also I would hear how one of the other classes was really outspoken and you had to have a tough skin for that group.

    Learning how to give useful criticism is just as important as recieving it. Sure you can say “I don’t like it” or “I don’t get it”. But it would be more helpful to know why. Perhaps it just turns out to be a personal preference the artist can’t really do much about. But then it might be a technique they tried to use but need to work on, or they were trying to say something but the concept was not conveyed as well as they thought.

    When both sides know how to give and recieve the whole process becomes enjoyable. I’d get excited to display my work cause I wanted to hear what others had to say.

    I remember one project we worked on I did not do a very good job. When we handed it in we had a questionaire we had to hand it in with. One of thecquestions was “What would you do differently?”. Boy did I have alot to say. I ended up getting a really high mark on that because my teacher said that my answer to that question showed that I had learned alot by being able to look at my own work and know how to improve it.

    I hope it is pretty obvious where I am going with this 🙂

    1. Missy,

      I love this!

      Yes – criticism can be a blessing and a tool to help us grow. Not all criticism is valid – but – it is important to weigh criticism carefully and prayerfully and seek God’s wisdom about how He may want us to use it.

      Thank you so much for sharing about your class! 🙂

  11. I’ve been experiencing these same conflicts with women and dating in general. As a result of these things being so common, marriages also don’t seem to last. My grandparents were married for 60+ years and my grandmother was regularly supportive of my grandfather, I think that’s why they were together for life

    1. Neil,

      Marriages are certainly not built on firm foundations today – how I pray that God might open our eyes to His truth and that we might reject worldly wisdom and build on the foundation of His Word alone! Thank you for sharing your story about your grandparents. So beautiful! 🙂

  12. Mich, I dealt with the same issue, I understand now that certain husbands, really don’t like to be bothered when we ask them all of a sudden. Its like a turn off from my husband, he would rather be the one initiating “time together”. I made a big deal out of him spending time with me and it led to unesessary arguing, he felt like he has been spending time with me, he said we talk all the time ect. The best thing in this is trusting in God, so that we don’t blame them in any way, because they are feeling not good enough, like we aren’t appreciative, like we are asking alot , when they already feel like they have been doing their best. Which he has, I’m just impatient and want ot when I’M want, this isn’t life,things domt happen when you want it all the time. I definately learned a lot about my husband when I’m asked him one day. It seemed like I was nagging him, he said. I did ask him a few times within a two day period.
    On my end I shall understand and know what my husband likes and dislikes, I should know my husband enough to the fact that if I asked this, it would make him feel pressured in a way, especially if say he’s pursuing a certain goal. That’s how my husband is, if he’s into something like his golf or one of his hobbies, he’s way more distant sexually, or just emotionally focused on his game a lot more than me. Its been that way this whole marriage. When I’m not into much, or have no focus or hobby, my mind get’s idle and then I began to want my hubsband a lot more, and that’s selfish of me to not allow him the space or freedom neccessary for him to achieve whatever he’s into. Patience is a great virtue. I also had to check my heart, my husband was a very high thought for me, maybe an idol, especially if I wanted of felt like I needed him so much, very uncontent ect. He told me if you don’t have a goal or some hobby, it can put a lot of pressure on the partner when they are into their stuff. I feel there needs to be some “self time” in marriage,and a lot of God time if you are feeling super lonely. Since I don’t have any hobbies I put my focus on homeschool projects,house redocorating/homemaking cheaply which has turned out great by the way, I’m making a lot of progress in the home since I set some goals for myself. And guess whhat my husband seems nearer than ever, and ask me to spend time with him, because his heart is to do this anyway, just on his time.
    I hope this helps:-)

  13. Wow, this is quite a discussion. I didn’t start out silent in our marriage. I became more and more silent over time as my wife’s micromanaging control suffocated me. It was the relentless battle of having my thoughts, ideas, desires, feelings and actions criticized, corrected and opposed that shut me down. It just wore me down. The choice became be silent and have peace or try to lead and have constant strife. The only way I can lead her and our family is to not care about pleasing her. It sounds harsh but she always opposes whatever I say so I will never please her. This blog has also helped me know how to address her sin as sin. It has helped me recognize her self righteousness (pride), lack of respect (rebellion) and arrogance (idolatry).

    I can’t thank you enough for your ministry.

    1. Joe,
      I appreciate your transparency and willingness to speak for husbands who may feel they have no voice or influence in their marriages. I am also thankful for husbands who are willing to lead and do what they believe is right even if their wives don’t agree. I look back and praise God for the times Greg did stand up to me when I was so prideful and controlling. I did not know what I was doing! I was wrong. Husbands will stand accountable to God ultimately – not to their wives. I pray for the courage, power, wisdom, love and strength for husbands to do what is right in God’s eyes and seek to please Him more than their wives. I know a husband who confronted his wife lovingly, firmly and gently about her disrespect and control / maybe I can share that story with you if you are interested. She listened – and their marriage is doing really well a year and a half or so later.

    2. Joe-

      The problem is twofold. Controlling and demanding behavior from women, and fear and passivity from men.

      Now, it is largely the fault of our culture (so we also bear blame) for telling women they need to be bossy, and telling men they need to be passive.

      But it is also our own individual faults for tolerating it. The key is that men need to learn Biblical masculinity, and we need to learn how to deal with and divert these challenges to our authority.

      We COULD sit passively by and wait for the wives to change, or we could speed the process up a bit by providing an unshakeable, resolute frame that discourages her challenges.

      I used to say that “the only thing a woman hates more than losing an argument with her husband is winning an argument with her husband”.

      Whatever pleasure comes from the husband’s loss (or more likely, forfeit of the fight), is more than ruined by her displeasure at having a man that she is capable of triumphing over. Men need to learn how distressing weakness of will is to a woman’s respect and attraction.

      She will forgive you much sooner for being strong and stubborn than she will for being weak and submissive to her.

      It is a topic I could talk for hours on, but I will summarize it by saying that men need to learn how to make our mental and emotional state immune to most of these challenges and criticisms. Our culture, regrettable, does not teach men how to do this, and instead teaches them to be weak.

      I made my mind up that I will never allow a woman to control my emotional or mental state. I will permit her to influence me greatly (as a wife should), provided it is done in love and respect.

      But once the attempt at control shows up, I’m in full lockdown, and am determined to win that battle at all costs.

      Many men are fighting a “cold war” of detachment, rather than engage in direct hostilities.

      When it comes to battle-of-wills, for women, winning is losing because it means she married a man she can beat. Losing is winning, because it means she married a man she can put her trust in.

      Yes, sometimes the argument is about whether or not we should buy the new TV, or whatever, but sometimes the argument is about finding out just what kind of man you are.

      My will is an iron door that I will never let her break down. However, I’ll open it up if she asks.

      1. Thanks Jack. I have been trying to confront and reason with my wife for years. The problem is that there are multiple layers of attack and defense strategies that I have to fight through to get anywhere with her. Then, if she detects that I am getting somewhere, she will bail out and leave. With me she is a win at all cost person. Part of me being emotionally shut down to her is that I can objectively deal with her control issues when I don’t care about her. When I care about her, then I want to please her and she uses that to dominate and control me.

        I get what you say about going into full lockdown. I have and do engage in direct hostilities with her. The problem is that she is relentless in getting her way. Our fights usually end in a stalemate. However, she will push and make her points at times of non-conflict. This will continue for long periods of time until I relent. She doesn’t take no for an answer. If we have differing views on something, she will not give up. Her self-righteous nature believes she is always right. To compromise with me would be to admit she is wrong or not superior to me. That is something she can’t handle.

  14. Controlling behavior, in my experience is typically fear-related. At least that is what I see. Could be fear of finances, fear of social embarrassment (for ex. the original story in the post), or anything else.

    This fearful person also usually is afraid that they can only trust their own ideas, because “no one else gets it”.

    A lack of confidence in self can lead to an even greater lack of confidence in others.

    Ultimately, submission to God and FAITH in God is the only way out. We either trust Him or we do not.

    1. Jack,
      I agree – control is about fear – and also about lack of trust in God and lack of understanding of God’s sovereignty – in my view. It can also be about idolatry of self, of feelings, of marriage, of a wife’s husband. It also usually is about a warped understanding of God vs self and a lack of proper understanding of God’s design for us as believers, submission to Christ as Lord and godly understanding of femininity, masculinity and marriage.

      I agree – submission to and faith in God is the key to finding freedom from this prison of trying to be in control and trusting ourselves.

  15. Reading this really hits home, and I have been guilty of doing the things mentioned of what not to do. I know I am Type A but sometimes I feel like I will never change. As if there is no hope for me. When my husband does something it just comes out and I try hard not to say anything but I just can’t keep quiet. It bothers me to keep it inside and not say anything. Feelings of resentment would start and I avoid that by saying what is on my mind most of the time. I sometimes feel he is better off without me because I don’t think I have the capacity to change. He just does things that irks me and it stinks sometimes that I have to keep quiet while he keeps on being himself…

    1. Kat,
      You cannot change by yourself – it is going to take God’s Spirit doing the work inside you to help you die to your old sinful self and put on your new self in Christ. Realizing you CAN’T do this is the first step!

  16. I do not know how to even begin fixing myself. I have been crying for two days. Your message has pierced my heart and soul. I know I was at my wits end, wondering why my husband has been ignoring me, short with me, irritated with me and talking so negatively. Then, I did it. I prayed to God about in in Jesus name, I prayed for God to help HIM, lol… and it happened. I found your website. My own heart has condemned me. I do not even know where to begin. I thought I was a good wife, a good Christian. But nothing could be further from the truth. Now, my question is, Why is he still here? And, Can I change before it’s too late? I am so depressed and do not even know where to begin.

    1. Barbara F,
      I can identify completely with you!!! I believe God has brought you here, my precious sister.

      Please watch the video on my post today

      THen, start reading the posts at the top of my home page.

      Let’s walk this road together, ok! 🙂

  17. Thank you for sharing! One part that really stuck out to me was the part where he said he has ideas about how to do things efficiently. This hit home because usually when my husband would try to tell me how I could do things better I personally felt he was telling me I was stupid. I think I’m starting to realize he just wants to help and that is his way of helping. The last few days this has been something I’ve been realizing more and so I’m trying to take his ideas or “ways of doing things” more seriously rather than just pridefully pushing his ideas to the back of my head. Actually, some of his ways of doing things actually do make them easier and more efficient.

    1. Ashley KB,
      This made me smile. I have had some friends with husbands who were trying to help their wives do things more efficiently, but the wives felt very criticized. Sometimes the husbands truly didn’t mean it as criticism, but as a help.

      I love how God is empowering you to look at things with new eyes. I hope you will let your husband know how much you appreciate his wisdom and great ideas.

      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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