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I Want to Feel Loved!

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

I am taking an email break this week. 🙂 You are welcome to comment here. Thanks!

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(Adapted from a message the youth ministers at my church gave to the students)

God designed us as people to desire to be loved and to live in relationships with Himself and with other people. He designed us also to be sexual beings. That is a good thing. God’s design is good.

Sinful people can twist what God made for good into something very destructive.  But we are able to choose to build our lives on the truth of God’s Word and live in the center of His will, experiencing His best for us in every area of our lives.

God wants us – all of us – to experience ULTIMATE LOVE.

  • It is not wrong to want to be loved, that is a good desire
  • It is good to have relationships
  • Being a Christian is not about a long list of rules and “don’ts”
  • Having sexual desires is a good thing, and part of God’s design
  • God created us for His glory. That is our purpose – our highest purpose in life – to glorify Him – in every area of our lives.
  • God has a plan to fulfill our sexual desires in a way that brings glory to Him (Marriage)
  • The key is to build our lives on solid biblical truths and principles and Christ.

 

Ultimate love begins with God.

What is love?

God defines what love is. He IS Love.

This is the kind of love Jesus has for us (Jesus IS God). And this is the kind of love He calls us to have for one another. This is how Jesus wants us to love others and how He wants others to love us.

He wants us to be in right relationship with Him and with people – to have fellowship – to have spiritual and emotional connection and oneness with Him and other believers. Those are the two greatest commands Jesus gives us:

– He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”- to love God with all our hearts, with all our souls, with all our minds and with all our strength and to love others as we love ourselves.  Luke 10:27

  • Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:3
  • Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a
  • Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Romans 13:8-10
  • Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. I John 4:7-12
  • God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. I John 4:16-21

A cheap imitation of His love does not satisfy.

WORLDLY “LOVE”:

Sinful “love” is SELFISH and passive. It is all about gooey feelings that someone else causes to happen to us. It is willing to hurt other people and their relationships with God. Sinful “love” cares about what SELF wants and SELF gratification and doesn’t care if it hurts the other person.

GODLY LOVE:

Godly love is SELFLESS and active. It cares more about the spiritual/mental/emotional/physical welfare of the other person than it does about meeting its own selfish desires. It is not willing to tempt someone to drive a wedge of sin between himself/herself and God. It does not entice others into sin – dressing or acting provocatively or tempting into sexual sin or any kind of sin. It propels people towards Christ and holiness and spiritual wellness. And it focuses on pleasing Christ above all else.

BASIS OF DATING AND MARRIAGE:

It is only after we have a proper understanding of God and real love and the absolute truth of the Bible that we can begin to build a foundation upon which we can properly construct our values and ideals about dating/romantic relationship and marriage.

We need a close relationship with JESUS FIRST. That relationship HAS to be more important – by far – than any other relationship to us in the world. He is our greatest need and only he can give us the ultimate love, the perfect love, the God-sized love that we all need to feel loved, secure, accepted and to drive out all of our fear. It is only when we have our deepest God-shaped hole and need filled with Jesus, that we can begin to build all of our other relationships on solid ground and truth.

How does my relationship with Christ being first affect my dating/courting relationships?

1. My relationship with Christ affects when I start dating.

i.e.: When I am able to commit to marriage and am spiritually, mentally and emotionally ready to have a healthy, godly relationship.

2. My relationship with Christ affects who I want to date.

I want to abide in Christ and live for Him daily in obedience and in the power of His Spirit, living in total submission to Him as LORD – and I am going to only want to date someone who also wants to live in total submission to Christ as Lord.

3. My relationship with Christ affects why I want to date.

What are my motives?  Do I want to find out if this is someone I may want to marry? Am I willing to not tempt this person into sin? Do I care more about my walk with Christ and this person’s walk with Christ than about meeting my own selfish sexual desires? Do I just want the status of having a “boyfriend”? Do I just want an engagement ring, a wedding, a husband, a home, or children – but not really and truly care much about the man I am with? Do I just want to “feel loved” by a man – maybe more than I want to be close to Christ? Am I willing to do anything to feel loved by a man – including sin? Do I just want a man’s attention and affection? Or do I truly want to be a partner, a blessing, a godly woman and am I ready to prepare to be a godly wife according to the Bible’s instructions?

4. My relationship with Christ affects how I date.

I want to honor Christ in all that I do and bless the man I date and show godly love to him, and he will want to do the same for me. My highest desire is to bring the greatest glory to God through this relationship and every choice I make. I will be careful not to set myself up as a stumbling block to my brother but will seek to live a chaste, godly and holy life that pleases Jesus and blesses my man and others.

FOR WIVES (from Peacefulwife):

My relationship with Christ affects how I define marriage – by God’s Word (Ephesians 5:22-33, I Corinthians 11:3, Titus 2:3-5, Genesis 2 and 3)

My relationship with Christ affects how I act, think and behave towards my husband – seeking to please Jesus and bless my husband and live in the power of God’s Spirit every moment and overflow with God’s  joy, love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Galatians 5:22-23

27 thoughts on “I Want to Feel Loved!

  1. April,

    I took a day to draft my entire story in a mail and when I saw ur reply and ur question which asked me about my relationship with Christ. I was first shocked because that was not my expectation maybe. But when I actually gave thought to it I did realize that our foundation has to be Christ!!

    I’ve may be sung this hymn so many times in my church “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand!” but yet I dint know the depth of it or probably my actions were contrary!

    Its also my observation, that our current day Christians and churches are filled with deception. That we are healthy but we do not have the true essence or a living relationship with God, rather we are overcome by our nasty self and its pretensions!

    1. Vinodhini,

      We do sing about Christ being the only Solid Rock and we read His Word – but are we really living it? I thought I was for so many years until God opened my eyes 5 years ago and showed me I didn’t have Christ as LORD of my life, I had self as lord. 🙁

      Yes, the church today is very sick. How I pray for a great movement of God’s Spirit to continue to wake us up and draw us to Himself that we might live the Christian life HE intends for us to live by His power, not our own. 🙂

      Thanks, my friend!

  2. The Lord showed me this scripture during my study today and I think it’s pertinent in any case where we are looking to fulfill each other instead of eagerly yearning for Yahweh’s message in our spirits.

    Jeremiah 17: 5 -8 (NIV)

    This is what The Lord says:
    “Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
    who depends on flesh for his strength
    and whose heart turns away from the Lord.

    He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
    he will not see prosperity when it comes.
    He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
    in a salt land where no one lives.

    But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in Him.
    He will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.

    It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
    It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.”

  3. This is an old thread, but Ill post this here anyway because it pertains to my dilemma. My wife and I had a discussion last night about one of her friends whom my wife admits she deeply envies (her word, not mine). This friend “never goes without anything, has a new house, her husband does everything for her and her kids never go without”. I tried to talk to her (my wife) about praying over the situation because, to me, it sounds like a big problem of her not being content. We don’t live in poverty. We just bought a house, have a nice car, have three great kids and there is food/clothing in our home.
    Unfortunately my wife informed me that, though she realizes these things, she wants to be “WELL taken care of”, not just taken care of. She informed me that I don’t do enough to make her feel like she is “worth it” (whatever that means), and that it’s not fair that a number of her friends just got new diamond rings and it’s driving her mad having to look at them when SHE doesn’t have one. Three years ago my wife had an affair with a married man who had a lot of money and promised her a lot of things. It ended after only a few days, but now she thinks that she deserves a new wedding ring for whatever reason, and it’s not fair that she doesn’t have one. The old one “doesn’t mean anything” because apparently it was taken under false pretenses because I was using pornography before and after we got married.
    Long story short, I don’t know how to combat this issue with her, nor why she feels that I don’t love her enough if I don’t do more. I go to work every day to maintain our lifestyle. I am working on new projects and investments to try and grow our lifestyle and give us the ability to plan for the future. But because I don’t take her out to dinner enough, or buy her MORE things out of the blue (I do buy her things, but normally it is something she sees in the store and I tell her we can just buy it. I guess I don’t ‘surprise’ her with things.), because I can’t give her the same lifestyle her friend has, she thinks I don’t feel she is worth it.
    Oh, and her friend, despite her lack of want, had a multi-year affair with another man, so none of the things her husband did for her or provided her with made her happy. This is why the Bible tells us to be content in Christ, because the things of this world will never truly make us happy or bring us contentment.
    Any advice or direction would be appreciated. I am considering prayer/fasting to try to shed some light on the situation, because in all honesty I am lost. I don’t know how to respond to or combat her issue. To me it is sinful covetousness and discontent, but she will not listen to me. Thank you.

    1. AnonymousMe,

      What is your wife’s relationship with Christ at this point?

      Does she have any godly women friends or wife mentor?

      When she sees sin in her life in general, is she willing to repent?

      Prayer and fasting is a fantastic idea. If she has a relationship with God or not – only God’s Spirit can convict people of sin. You can speak to her about her sin. That is good – particularly if it is done in love and in accordance with God’s Word – Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15-17.

      Are you being transparent at this point? Have you repented of any sin in your life? Does she know she can trust you and that you are not involved in porn anymore?

      Did she repent from her affair? Did she truly understand what she did and that it was wrong?

      Here are a few posts that may be helpful:

      “When My Spouse is Wrong”

      “Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin”

      If the issue truly is that she felt betrayed by your pornography use – which she may well have felt very betrayed – could she trade the old ring in for something of equal value so that she can feel like this is a “fresh start”?

      But you are correct – the things of this world won’t satisfy or bring contentment. Honestly, I would be content even if we sold my diamond ring now. I am fine with or with out it. My husband got me a bigger diamond for our 5th anniversary because I wanted a bigger diamond so much. Now – I think, “What a waste of money that was.” I am thankful for the beautiful ring. But how I wish I had just been content with the beautiful smaller diamond Greg got me when we first got engaged. I can see the materialism, selfishness, and greed in my heart back then very clearly now.

      Some women feel very loved when their husbands give them little, even inexpensive surprises. But if she is saying she wants much more money lavished on her – beyond what your family can afford – that is something that I pray God will open her eyes to her real motives that she might repent.

      Praying for wisdom for you both!

      1. She says her walk with the Lord is fine and that’s about all I get out of her. If I question her she gets offended.

        I don’t know much about the women she hangs out with. They all go to church, but I don’t know that the fact means anything. Some of the have had affairs, some of them are in affairs right now. I know she has distanced herself from the ladies that are actively in affairs right now. She doesn’t, as far as I know, have any type of mentor. I suggested we talk to my aunt and uncle about mentoring with them, but she flat out told me no, she wouldn’t do it.

        When we spoke last night I told her that her envy and discontent was sinful, but by that time the conversation was out of hand and there was little love in either one of our words.

        I am as transparent as I can be with her. She has informed me that she doesn’t care if I am looking at porn or not, she is not my mother and she doesn’t want to know about it. I have not been active with pornography for the past three years, though I occasionally have my struggles. I have informed her that she has access to all of my passwords and information, she has told me she doesn’t want any of that information.

        She says she has repented of the affair, but I find it tough to believe. She only just recently got rid of an item that her lover gave her, and I am almost certain she still has something of his around the house. She understands what she did was wrong, but I have the feeling that she still feels she was justified in doing it. The details of the whole ordeal are messy, and I wont go into them here, but I know at one time she felt that because I was actively using porn at the time we were married the felt our vows were void. The odd thing is that we got married with me being under the impression that she was a virgin and she was not. I didn’t find that out until well after we were married, yet that fact does not invalidate our vows.

        I have talked to her about the ring issue before. It’s kind of tough because for a long time after the affair she was going on and on about how this guy was going to buy her a ring and she felt cheated she didn’t get it. Then she started going into the whole ‘my old ring is a lie’ thing. I have told her I would like to, at some point, buy her a new ring, but not if she is going to be obsessed with having it. As I stated before, its interesting to me how my porn use supposedly causes an issue with the ring, but her not being a virgin doesn’t. My problem with the ring issue is that it is seemingly fueled by greed and envy. A number of people on both of our families have gotten engaged lately and, naturally, they post the ring on social media. This, apparently, makes her feel bad and sad and angry, which drives her to push me for a ring.

        I’m all up for a ‘fresh start’ if she would be willing to ‘start fresh’, but it seems to me like she just wants me to be her workhorse so she can keep up with her friends. Her lack of respect and obedience causes me to believe she is not ready to change anything, but only wants me to change to conform to her wants.

        Again, I don’t lavish her with many surprise gifts, but I do offer to buy her things while we are out and about, if they catch her eye. Sometimes they are expensive, sometimes they are not, but they seem to never be enough unless she can tell herself ‘this is better than everyone else’s’. I don’t think she wants me to put our family out, as far as the budget goes, but in her mind I should be working more hours to be making more money to be buying her things.

        In addition she thinks I should be more ‘romantic’ and do things like surprise her with massages, cleaning up the bedroom, making her bubble baths, which I am all fine for doing, but when I ask how she feels about not offering me any of these, or other, niceties I get the third degree about how I am selfish because I would dare ask that I am offered the same consideration.

        I am sorry this is so long, but I feel I am going insane. My job is not to forever woo my wife and win her heart again and again every day. I enjoy doing things for my wife, but when I start to feel like her love and affection for me is based on how well I perform for the day it removes all desire to continue. I asked her to marry me, I committed myself to a lifetime with her, for better or worse! I stuck with her through an affair, I work every day to ensure that she has all that she needs – and then some! If I have to prove myself every day, or even every week, I don’t think I can last very long.

        1. Anonymousme,

          As you are filled with God’s Spirit and your wife sees God’s love in you – she may be more open to the concerns you have. As you focus on walking in the power of God’s Spirit and in obedience, you have the BEST possible impact on your wife for Christ, as I am sure you are well aware.

          Obviously – the marriage vows were valid in spite of the porn use or her not being a virgin. But that was not a solid foundation for the marriage – and you are dealing with a lot of the painful repercussions now.

          I would love to see her get off of FB and social media if it provokes so much envy. I wonder if she might be open to that idea?

          I would love for y’all to read “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn (for her) and “For Men Only” by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn (for you). I think that some of the miscommunication and misunderstandings are stemming from a lack of understanding of the very different ways that men and women look at life and marriage. I believe those books may help a lot.

          Most women DO believe that husbands should woo them every day for the rest of their lives. Why would they stop? Why would a man lavish love on his girlfriend/fiance and then “turn into a totally different person” once he is married? Most women don’t understand that. I think it is probably similar to the expectation that most husbands have that their wives keep themselves in relatively good shape and not “let themselves go.” I have heard from many husbands who have been upset that their wives think, “I’m married now, so I can dress like a slob and gain a lot of weight. It doesn’t matter if I look good anymore.”

          Has she actually said that she wants you to work more? Or are these just comments that she wishes she could have these things? Sometimes husbands hear wives demanding things when wives simply voice a “wish.” So, I want to be sure you are hearing her correctly.

          I don’t really counsel husbands or give husbands advice. My purpose is to teach wives. But – when I do teach wives, I talk about focusing on what they can change. We don’t have control over other people. Our greatest power comes as we are filled with God’s Spirit and walking in obedience ourselves. This leaves our spouse in a position where they are much more likely to be able to hear God’s voice and His conviction. Only God can convict people and open their eyes to their sin.

          It is often important for us to confront sin in our spouse – if we are doing so with proper motives ourselves. But then, we must wait on God’s Spirit to work many times.

          I would like to see you both being generous and romantic with each other. But even if she is not being generous and romantic toward you – maybe it would bring healing to the marriage if you took the high road and were generous, loving, and romantic toward her? I don’t know – but it could be something to prayerfully consider.

          There were two of your comments in the past that I was hoping to use in my book anonymously. Not sure if you got those notifications a few weeks ago? If not, I can share them with you and see what you think.

          Much love, my brother! I am praying for you both!

          1. I did not receive any type of notice, and have no problem with you using anything I have posted here, though I am interested in what quotes you found useful.

            She will not give up social media, it is how she keeps in contact with some of her family, and were I to ask she would see it as me trying to be controlling.

            I have seen both of these books, and will consider purchasing them. I have heard good things about them, but I have made several book purchases over the past three years and my wife is uninterested in reading. I have even recommended your site, but as far as I know she does not visit. She does listen to the One Extraordinary Marriage podcast I introduced her to, but sporadically. I asked her a few days ago when she last listened and she indicated it was several months ago.

            I don’t want to speak on behalf of other men and women, but in my particular situation it feels as though my wife is idolizing romance over reality. I am all for romance, the problem is that it doesn’t appear to be enough for her because she is comparing it to the ‘romance’ of others in her circle. It’s not that I am not romantic, its that I am not romantic enough or that others are ‘more romantic’.

            I don’t recall her exact wording, but I will admit I don’t believe it was ‘work more hours to buy me stuff’ so much as it was ‘I don’t understand why you wouldn’t work more hours to buy me stuff.’.

            Again, it’s not that she thinks I am not being romantic, but that I am not being ROMANTIC ENOUGH. For a while after the affair I was apparently too romantic, as she often told me my behavior was creepy and weird, and seeing as how my actions did little in changing our relationship, I backed off, now she is demanding that I ramp it back up to levels on par with her friends. In addition, any question back towards her about why SHE will not be more romantic/sexy/whatever is met with a wall of excuses about how she doesn’t work like that and how I should know better than to ask. It’s a mentality of ‘change for me, but I cannot change for you’, and it is a big sticking point in our relationship. It angers me. It makes me angry that she would ask me to change my way of thinking and my way of doing things, yet tell me she is incapable of the same change because it’s not ‘how she is’. Shouldn’t the desire to change for the benefit of our spouse be mutual? Particularly after 18 years of marriage?

            I thank you for your input, and I apologize if it seems I put you on the spot, seeing as how I am a man and I know you try to avoid advising men. What I really look for from you is input as to why my wife may be thinking the way she is and what I can do to help fix the problem. I will continue in prayer and, yes, I will work on being a little more cognizant of the level of romance in my marriage. Life does get us bound up sometimes and one can tend to put important things to the side more often than we should, but I will not use the envy of others as a measuring stick of my love. I will, again, recommend that my wife visit your site, though I suspect she will figure you for brainwashed. Thanks again.

          2. AnonymousMe,

            I will get the quotes for you – just a minute. 🙂

            I have seen so many women for whom social media promotes major issues with jealousy, envy, and resentment. I pray that God will help her see this if it is the case for her and that she might consider limiting her time there.

            Many wives I have communicated with do tend to idolize romance and “feeling loved” and comparing themselves to others. Of course, I don’t know your wife’s heart or her side of the story. But – it is certainly within the realm of possibility that this may be happening. I have some posts about the idol of romance. “The Fantasy of Romance” and “Breaking the Romance Addiction“.

            Also, there is a post about the snare of comparing ourselves to others.

            Does your wife ask to spend more time with you? How does she respond that you are not working more hours to buy her more stuff?

            In my experience, it is always much easier for a spouse to demand that the other person change and to criticize them. It is MUCH more difficult for someone to examine himself/herself and accurately assess his/her own faults/sins. A wife who is not willing to look at her end of the relationship is a very difficult challenge, to be sure. I assume she knows that you are angry? What does she say when you share that you feel there is a double standard or when you share that you feel disrespected/unloved/hurt in the marriage?

            Would you please remind me what her parents’ marriage was like?

            Has there ever been a time that she was repentant and that she took responsibility for her sin? Does it upset her to know that she has hurt you? Does she believe that she is being a good, loving wife?

            Many wives are not open to my message at first. Many respond with a LOT of anger toward me. Yep. And many think I am brainwashed. But then – so many times – God begins to work. It is a long, slow, painful process that takes many years. But – God is able to change people. I love watching Him work!

          3. Here is one of the quotes I would like to use, please…

            A woman who disrespects her husband pours out hate upon him. It wont be long until he is broken.

            A woman who respects her husband pours out love upon him. It wont be long until he is trying to conquer the world for her.

            And here is the other…

            “My husband may think to himself, “Wow. If she won’t cooperate with me on something so insignificant, if she won’t follow me or trust me on this, if she won’t place any value at all on my needs, my desires or my opinion here – there is no way she will trust me or will be willing to follow me in bigger things that actually matter. I have no voice in this marriage. I feel insignificant.”

            ———————————————————————–

            You hit the nail on the head with this one. When my wife is continually disrespectful in little things I don’t feel like bringing up larger subjects like finances or family plans. I just know that if I get railed over something simple that I am going to get railed on the big things too. Not only that, but it can end up putting us in a bigger bind because problems that need resolutions don’t get resolved because we don’t discuss them.

            When my wife started her job we tried (tried….) to discuss plans for how we could use some of her additional income to pay off some of our debts. She got very upset at my suggestions and, instead of offering her own, she just yelled and told me that she wouldn’t be giving me ANY of her money. Knowing this is her attitude I have absolutely no desire to discuss finances with her.

            Trust is something that takes time to build, but can be lost in a few moments. A husband has to be able to trust his wife is on board with him in his plans to protect and provide for his family. It makes life so much easier and less stressful for BOTH. When a wife takes little things and blows them up into full fledged rebellion it chips away at that trust until, finally, her husband wants no part of her input and will either just start doing his own thing or will just let her make all the decisions, willingly giving up his God given position and responsibility.

          4. Wow, I said all that? I recognize some of the quotes, and I am more than happy to have you use them for whatever you want.

            My wife enjoys spending time with me, but we often do things she enjoys doing, as she doesn’t want to do the things I enjoy doing. We are polar opposites. She loves the sun, the outdoors and physical activity – I don’t mind it, but I enjoy doing it with her. I prefer reading, movies and gaming, but she wont participate in any of these activities with me because they are ‘not who she is’. She will often ask how in the world we stay together because our likes and dislikes are (almost) completely opposite one another, and it doesn’t make sense to her.

            She doesn’t often bring up how she feels about me not working more or doing more for her, but when she does it’s typically a knock-down/drag out argument. Even if she isn’t brining it up directly she makes a lot of remarks about other peoples things while we are out. For example she will say ‘wow, that should be mine’, or ‘you should buy me that’ about houses, cars, boats. Often they are said with a veneer of jest, but I know it’s really how she feels. I asked her how she would feel if every time I saw a young beautiful woman go by I made remarks about how I should ‘have that’ and she danced around the question. I informed her that it would make her feel like garbage and that is the exact same feeling I get when she makes these same remarks about other peoples things. I can understand admiring a big home or a cool boat, but she is not admiring it, she is coveting it.

            She knows I am angry about our situation, as I have told her repeatedly that I don’t feel our marriage is in a place that allows it to grow because she is so dead set against changing. I feel she is convinced that SHE is fine, its everyone else that needs to conform to her. Any time I bring up something that I feel is an issue I am told that I cant accept who she is, that she feels she will never be good enough, that she is not who I want. She is partially right, I cannot accept disrespect and rebellion, the rest is simply something I might enjoy if it changed, but it is a suggestion, not a demand. The fact that so often her argument against any critique of mine is “that’s not who I am, you should know that” tells me that she has no interest in changing herself for the sake of our marriage. Until she is willing to look at herself and even consider the fact that she may need to change her attitude toward certain things, our marriage will be in a quagmire. She will admit that I have changed since the affair, but it’s not the change she is looking for. I have given up the pornography and become much stronger spiritually, but this, apparently, is of no consequence, as she acknowledges the change, but will not acknowledge its significance.

            If I try to talk to her about any disrespect toward me she shrugs it off. We had a situation in a public place where she actually raised her voice and yelled at me to offer someone assistance who didn’t need it, like a mother to a child. When I confronted her with it later, she mocked me and asked me if she needed to talk to me like a baby from now on to make sure she didn’t hurt my feelings. I didn’t even tell her she was wrong for asking me, I just told her to consider HOW she was asking, her tone and manner. Her definition of being disrespectful would be what most would consider an extreme example. She doesn’t hit me in public or start scenes or curse so in her mind she is not being disrespectful, even if I say she is. To inform her that she is being disrespectful is weakness on my part. It is simply whining to her.

            Her parents are officially divorced and have been since before I met her, but they still live together in a very rocky relationship. Her father is rude to her mother and her mother is very often sick, as she has a lot of medical problems. I think this, along with the fact that the man she had the affair with turned her away, has made her dislike men very much. She has very little kind things to say about many of the men we mutually know (friends husbands, etc.) and she has told me more than once that she will not go with me to talk to our pastor because she knows that “all you men just work together”. Together for what, I don’t know. She has also told me that she believes the apostle Paul hated women, and so I think she discounts many of his writings regarding marriage.

          5. There was a time I thought she was repentant for the affair (if that’s what we are referring to), but the feeling that she thinks she was justified in her actions was far stronger, and her actions backed that idea up. Even after he sent her home she was actively communicating with him even against my telling her to stop. Unfortunately, me being the moron that I am (or, was, rather) I didn’t put my foot down and stop it altogether. Their communication didn’t stop until he committed suicide, and she made it clear, up to that point, that she would continue to communicate with him if she wanted.

            If I talk to her about how I feel (hurt) about everything (the affair) she tells me that she understands, but makes it sound as though I should just get over it. I haven’t talked to her about it in a long time. Right now I am struggling a lot with anger, but she doesn’t know it. I try hard to keep it down because I recognize its not a good anger, its more like a rage. I don’t feel I can talk to anyone about it because I have in the past and most answers are to “just get over it” or “love her more” and “pray about it”. I am praying about it, but it makes me want to explode. Every day memories and images invade my thoughts and I know it’s the enemy trying to goad me into a bad place. That helps me fight it off, but it still makes me angry.

            She feels she is fine as a wife, though she does acknowledge that she is ‘broken’ and has ‘issues’, but insists that I just need to be patient with her, which is fine and true, but she does not feel she has to do so in return, as when I have asked for the same grace she ignores the request. All in all she feels that I have become a demanding bully who wants her to keep her mouth shut and make me dinner. Though the dinner sounds great, I have never told her to keep her mouth shut. I have invited her to share her opinions with me as much as she wants, provided a) she do so respectfully and b) with the realization that just because I hear her out doesn’t mean I’m going to change my mind on a subject. I MAY change my mind if what she says is valid and productive, but if not, I have to make the judgment call on what steps we take. I am the husband, that’s my role. I call the shots, I take the responsibility for the outcome. If she has good, valid points that I feel would better suit the situation, then I may go with that, but in the end it’s my call. She cannot accept that. To her that is me simply being a bully and telling her ‘its my way or the highway’. What’s funny is she is essentially telling me the same thing. She wants her way, but she doesn’t want the responsibility of having things her way. She doesn’t want to manage the bills or make the phone calls – she just wants things her way.

            I know it sounds like I am unfairly coming down on her, but I am simply reporting what has been going on for the past three years. It is not as bad as it was, and I am sure she could write volumes about how screwed up I am. I’m certain this could all be fixed if we just sat down and went through what the Bible says about marriage, husbands and wives, assuming she would accept the words. As far as I know she is saved and she says she trusts the Lord, but I think she believes she is ‘more holy’ than me and thus has a better understanding of the word than I do, and so she feels she doesn’t have to listen to me when I talk about the Word.

            Anyhow, sorry again, this response is getting far too long. I’ll let it lie for now.

          6. AnonymousMe,

            Wow. This just brings me to tears. I didn’t have a physical affair. I did become infatuated with another man early in our marriage. I am so regretful of that now. How dangerous that was!

            What you are describing about your wife’s attitudes reminds me so very much of myself in many ways those first fourteen years of our marriage. It is a bit surreal to hear your perspective because so much of what you are saying are things Greg could have said about me. Yikes. To see how destructive, hurtful, and sinful many of my attitudes were from an outside perspective is just very sobering and heart breaking. It is terrifying to me to see how easily we could have gone down the same road. Most of the same ingredients were there.

            I do agree that the anger you are experiencing is not good. It could obviously destroy you and your marriage. I personally held on to bitterness, unforgiveness, and resentment for many years. Those are some toxic poisons. I have some post about bitterness and forgiveness if you would like to search for them on my home page. I am definitely concerned about you because although I totally understand why you feel so angry, I don’t want to see that rage destroy your fellowship with Christ or rob you of the power of God’s Spirit, His peace, His joy, and His strength. My dear brother! I want to see you free from this. I pray God will give you wisdom about what you need to express to your wife, how, and when, and then how to let go of the anger. It seems to me that you may be angry about the recent disrespect, coveting, comparing, lack of contentment, disobedience to God… I pray God might help you see what to address. I don’t think it is just the affair that is the source of the angeer. Something I would want to do would be to list all of the reasons I am feeling angry and then ask God to help me hash through the reasons to evaluate each one and look at any sinful motives vs legitimate reasons for anger. That anger can be a good thing to let you know you need to address something. But it can be really important to tease out all of the reasons and motives behind the anger.

            What she did was wrong. Very wrong. Nothing she can do can do can make that right. Of course, you have sin in your past too, that you have – thankfully – acknowledged. As you know, Jesus’ blood is sufficient to cover your sin and her sin. Not that that means you can or should trust her at this point. But you can receive the power of God to forgive her and to be filled with God’s peace. You don’t have to stay stuck in the past, even if she still is. Those posts about bitterness and forgiveness may bless you. As well as a post about taking thoughts captive for Christ. I talk about some of the baby steps in dealing with these critical issues, could be something to prayerfully consider. I am glad you recognize the strategy of the enemy and how he is attempting to steal, kill, and destroy you and your marriage. The casualties have already been so high. I don’t want to see him gain any more victories in your family!

            Yes, what a controlling, disrespectful wife does is exactly what you are describing. She tries to force her husband to change and to submit to her and she takes no responsibility for her own sins or obedience to God. That is what I did. The biggest diffrence for us was that Greg never confronted me about my sin or addressed my disrespect and control. I am glad that you have tried to address these things. What you are describing for your approach and reasoning sounds reasonable to me now. But I understand why it does not sound reasonable to your wife in her current mindset. If you haven’t read them, you can search my home page for – idol, idolatry, control, lead, leader… Those posts may be helpful as you use my blog to “reverse engineer” things. A lot of husbands do that with my blog.

            If she is like I was, she cannot see what she is doing and she may be blind to her sins. I was completely blind to my sins for many years. 🙁 You can lovingly, firmly confront her. You can try to lead her in a godly way. You can say what you will not accept. You can show her her sin. But – it will take God to open her eyes.

            I spent six months writing about ten emails per day to a wife one time who was completely blind to her sin. Greg told me I was wasting my time. I didn’t want to give up on her. I was convinced she would “get it” any day. She didn’t. I could explain and explain and explain for hours a day every day for six months. But until God opens her eyes, she cannot see and she cannot hear. Very frustrating. I catch a lot of disrespect from wives I minister to until God opens their eyes. Then I often get many apologies. But, I have to laugh that God allows me to catch so much anger and disrespect from wives now – just like I used to dish out to Greg. I am sure I deserve it! Greg laughs at me sometimes when I get frustrated. Dealing with disrespectful, controlling women who don’t see their own sin or take responsibility for obeying God is exhausting, frustrating, painful, and difficult. It requires the power of God’s Spirit, His wisdom, and His love… That is for sure! But our God can change these women. They are not beyond His reach!! I have seen Him change hundreds of women, maybe more than that. Praise God!!

            I pray that God will draw you closer to Himself, that He will continue to refine you, and that He might give you His wisdom each step of this journey. You are not alone. Many, many husbands are in this journey with you, and wives, too. I am praying for God’s greatest glory in your life, your wife’s life, your marriage, and your family!

          7. I had typed more, but it looks like it cut me out.

            I don’t know about repentance. I feel like she is sorry for having the affair, but that she also feels she was justified in her actions because I told her to choose her husband or her lover and she said she couldn’t, so I told her it was over. Shortly after (within an hour or so) I told her to stay so we could work it out, but she had already contacted him and they arranged to meet. Is it really repentance if you feel you were justified for your wrong actions?

            I don’t think know that she ever felt bad for how the whole ordeal makes me feel. I certainly know she didn’t care right after it happened, and now it seems like any mention of my pain is an annoyance. It’s like, if your going to keep thinking about it how can we get past it, but she cant get over the things of the past either. It seems that if we could both do that then we could move on and allow our marriage to grow.

            She believes she is a good, if not broken, wife, but she also believes that the only way our marriage can get better is if I change to meet her needs. She has, on many occasion, told me “I have already tried to be the good, godly wife and I got screwed, so why do I want to do that again? I am done, I don’t want to try any more.”. Despite these words she does clean the house, take care of the kids and continue to cook meals, but that makes me think she really believes, as far as the marriage is concerned, she has nothing to change, and for me to suggest otherwise is offensive.

            Sorry these are such long posts. I do love my wife, but this is our reality right now. Thanks again for your input.

          8. AnonymousMe,

            What does she mean that she tried to be a godly wife and got screwed? Is she depressed? It sounds like she is not in a good place spiritually at all. 🙁

          9. I believe she means that she feels she was a good, Godly wife during the first part of our marriage, but it didn’t get her anything. She often says things that make me believe that she feels that because she has been a faithful Christian in the past that God owes her something. I know directly after the affair she talked like God had offered her a better life with another man (he had a lot of money and had many of her interests), but that God himself pulled the rug out from under her (her words). She was mad for a long time, and may still be (at God).

            We had a lot of struggles during the first part of our marriage, financially. Even years into our marriage I wasn’t good at handling and managing money and we had some pretty rough spots. Though we were never starving or homeless, she feels that because we went without other things for so long, and she stuck around, that she was a faithful, godly wife. I would say that, given societies proclivity for divorce, she could have left and I doubt anyone (even our church) would have faulted her, and I am grateful she stuck it out, even though I now know she had many times considered leaving. It sounds like she believes because she stuck it out God owes her a ‘better lifestyle’ than before. That certainly seemed to be the case when she left. When she got back I remember all she could talk about was this guys stuff and what he was going to buy her. His cars, a ring, a wedding. The guy was married! To a second or third wife, for crying out loud!

            Sorry about the double or triple post earlier, I don’t know why, when I cut my post in half, the page didn’t indicate that it had accepted it. Please delete anything that seems excessive or duplicate, if possible.

          10. Anonymous me,
            More later – but, it may be helpful to realize that your wife is likely treating God the same way she is treating you. This is ultimately all about her respect for and submission to CHrist. Her behavior really doesn’t have a lot to do with you. It has to do with the sinful flesh being in control instead of God’s Spirit. I hope that makes sense.

          11. Anonymous me,
            Thanks so much for allowing me to use your quotes!

            Chances are really good that your wife does not intend to be disrespectful and that she doesn’t understand how damaging some of her words are to you. The comments about wanting more stuff. She may think she is just making comments. She may not realize how her words come across to you. If she did, she wouldn’t say them. Her perspective and paradigm is vastly different from yours. Most likely she is not intentionally trying to disrespect you. Most wives have no idea how they come across and what they are communicating to their husbands when they are disrespectful. I hope this might give you some encouragement, that she most likely doesn’t understand the masculine language of respect and would be mortified if she did understand.

          12. Thanks, I have read the article you suggested in the past, as that is very much what she seems to be how she feels.

            And I agree that she likely does not intend to be disrespectful, however, my informing her that she IS being disrespectful should, ideally, bring the matter to light. The fact that it hasn’t causes me to believe that she has little concern for the fact. Nothing has happened recently that would cause the subject to come up again, so I can’t say she would react the same now. Thanks again for your input. I fear I cannot ask her to visit your site, however, as she would instantly know it was me who posted this. Maybe some printed articles would be best, I don’t know. Either way, I think I should make the effort to get her to look into some of your posts.

          13. anonymousMe,

            If you need me to take some comments down, I can. No problem.

            I know that many husbands DO tell their wives about their disrespect – but, for a lot of wives, the often just don’t compute. Respect isn’t really a big deal to many women. We are thinking in terms of the love we want. Things that seem disrespectful to men often seem like “very small, insignificant things” to women before they understand respect. So, I think it is easy for women to assume that men think like women or that they “should” think like women, and to just ignore a husband’s concerns because the issues seem so small to wives. They don’t realize there is a whole world of masculinity that they know nothing about and that there is an entire language of respect that they don’t know how to speak. I sure didn’t realize that. Until a woman begins to understand that men do NOT think the same as women and don’t have the same needs and that a man’s need for respect is equal to a woman’s need for love – and that is a God-designed thing – she may easily choose to ignore all of the information she is receiving about his need for respect. Not because she doesn’t care, but because she doesn’t understand. Once a woman truly begins to see all of this stuff – it is very overwhelming and shocking to most of us – to realize all that we have been blind to for so long. The culture doesn’t help – it reinforces all of our ideas that men do think or should think like women, we are the “same,” respect should be “earned,” men need love just like women do. And we dropped respect from our culture so long ago, most women have no idea what respect is. She may think she truly is respecting you. I thought I was respecting Greg because I didn’t scream at him, throw things, threaten divorce, cuss, or act like I was on Jerry Springer. There are hundreds, maybe thousands more nuances to respect than that. I didn’t see it. I would read the passage about respect and say, “Check! I do that! I’m a wonderful Christian wife.” But until someone – and sometimes, it has to be someone other than a wife’s own husband – explains in detail about disrespect and respect, most wives miss it.

            Praying for wisdom for you both!

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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