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Winding Country Road through autumnal Landscape

One Wife’s Story – 6 Days In

Winding Country Road through autumnal Landscape

From a wife, I am so thankful she has allowed me to share the beginning of her journey with y’all! I know it will bless you (If you have a story you believe God would like you to share here as a post, you may leave it in the comments, I may be able to use it!):

Testimony:

OMG! It has been six glorious days! Wow! I am so thankful to God and the Peacefulwife and I know that my husband is even happier!

So, what has been going on! Well, here are some comments that my husband has made:

  • ·         ” I don’t quite know how to take this change.” ( As in, it is a shock in a great way!)
  • ·         “I was always so angry and now I am just happy!”
  • ·         “God has really heard my heart on my marriage.”
  • ·         ” You really do love me huh?”
  • ·         “Our relationship is really moving in a positive direction.”
  • ·         ” I can see a change in your heart and that can’t be faked.”
  • ·         “I know there are things that I need to do also.”
  • ·         After viewing a post from the site (list of respect vs disrespect actions):    “Are you really willing to do all of this?  Any man would be crazy not to be in love with a woman who does all of that!”

Okay so that’s pretty great for a guy who doesn’t actually do a lot of talking right?

It has also been funny because he is just so baffled by my change in attitude.  The other day I asked him if he wouldn’t mind dropping me off at the front of the store before parking because it was so cold outside.  And he said “What if I say no?  Would you be angry?”   We both just laughed after the comment because it was so obvious that he has been kind of anticipating “the other shoe to drop”.

So, I have been really focusing on being committed to being a Peacefulwife and I want to share my Peacefulwife Plan to make it practical to others as well as share my experiences.  April, you have mentioned that this is a journey that should be from the heart and really it is a commitment that you make to Jesus ultimately. I totally agree with that for so many reasons, such as:

1.    My disrespectful actions have become a habit and mindset. I need God, the Holy Spirit and the Word to free me from those fleshy attitudes and perspectives.

2.    The attitude of respect, submission and humility should be directed to the feet of Jesus first or it can be easy for these attributes to be a form of manipulation and idolatry for your husband.

3.    The new respectful me operates in the Fruit of the Spirit and I need God’s grace to flow in that daily.

4.    Lastly, the purpose that God has for the relationship of the husband and wife being a metaphor for Christ (husband) and the Church (wife) requires that I learn to respect my husband just as I would Christ (metaphorically) and vice versa to the point that I am learning more about one relationship through the other relationship.

So again, practically speaking this is my Peacefulwife Journey/Plan:

  • Spend more time with God meditating on the Peacefulwife scriptures from the Word as well as meditate on submitting and respecting Christ in my life! (April mentioned removing everything from my “life-scape” and start with Christ then add from there).
  • I am working on encouraging my husband to take the lead again. I am reading about letting go of control and fear. This helps me to stop the criticizing, the “why’s”, dictating and frustration. This concept helps me release the habit of usurping leadership and exhibiting disrespect with guilting and manipulation, etc.
  • I am focusing on meditating on the unique ways in which my husband shows leadership and expresses his love. That involves me examining my expectations and really releasing most of them in order to clearly see the many things that he is already doing to love, protect and honor me (keeping the car immaculate, laundry, picking up items that I need from the grocery store, running errands, being on time to pick me up from work, being at home to be present with the family, being supportive of my career, etc). When I meditate on these things it opens my heart to him and equips me with the words and the attitude to encourage him to be my hero and show gratitude.
  • I am also working on my humility. I definitely had a “I am waaayyy smarter than a fifth grader” attitude (Network Engineer by trade) and I would look down on my husband like “Why the heck don’t you know this or that!”  Now I am trying to see his unique perspectives and wisdom. Also, I am working on using my knowledge as a complement to the team and understanding that we are all foolish compared to God’s knowledge.  I am just a mere human and we all need God’s wisdom to live a meaningful life and He is able to equip anyone and anything with absolute genius!
  • Seeing my husband as “Superman” instead of “Clark Kent” as a form of empowerment for him and our family.  I have had to take this attitude with Christ many times also.  I have had to “make God bigger than my circumstances” to help me comprehend that I have a powerful God and He can handle everything that Satan, my flesh, and my circumstances bring to me.  Now, I want to be the mirror for my husband that defeats any self conscious, self defeating and doubting messages that satan wants to throw at him by reflecting back to him confidence, faith, trust, adoration and love.  I am working on doing this by really listening to his plans and goals for his life and our family and expressing cooperation and agreement with his agenda. 

Example:

We just worked through a situation regarding our finances last night where I really wanted to spend money on some things that I have been waiting on purchasing for some time.  At the same time he had an agenda for our finances that involved obtaining stability for our family (a newer car, savings, etc.).  So I presented to him a “wish list” (via email) and asked him to let me know when I would be able to make any of those purchases.  I can tell it put a little pressure on him but less than usual because I formed the request as a “wish list”, a question and via email. So, later that evening he was able to express himself and say “ I just need you to be patient and as money comes in and I assess the situation, I will let you know how and when your purchases can be made.”.  He said it calmly, I can tell he didn’t feel like I was disrespecting him like in many times before where he would get frustrated and angry because he didn’t feel like I was willing to cooperate.  Also, he explained exactly what his plan was and I repeated what he said to acknowledge that I heard him and agreed with him.  This really helped because when he explained his plan it wasn’t laid out in “bullet point” fashion so to speak.  So I had to draw from the conversation and organize it for myself.

  • The last thing that I am working on at the time is exuding more femininity and desire for intimacy.  Well, let me add being more domestic also. – (there is so much to do.)

Anyway, I feel good that I can finally make a long list for someone who will do it and benefit from it and that someone is ME!

So, for femininity, I am working on smiling, using a softer tone of voice, looking at him more (I am directing this at my sons also).  Also, exercising, getting sleep and focusing on my appearance more.

There it is, these are the primary things that I will be working on for a while (I guess the next month or so) to help me make a significant and lasting change in my behavior, heart, spirit and attitude.

Thank you so much, April, for making this commitment to your husband and choosing to share your path with us.  You are making such a difference.  I am glad that you did it just for me let alone all of the other marriages, wives and families that have benefited.  When I see people criticize you and your husband on the site it almost brings me to tears (after anger – lol) but then I remember that these people are actually assaulting Christ unknowingly and He is able to defend Himself.  I just hope to encourage you and other to please keep sharing.  YOU ARE HELPING, YOU ARE DEFEATING THE PLANS OF THE ENEMY!  We overcome him by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our Testimony.  God bless you!

You may use any of this message to benefit the Peacefulwife mission through sharing, posting, etc.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This wife is off to a great start! Her husband is very receptive, which is not always the case. Sometimes husbands are much more skeptical. The less disrespectful a wife has been, the less controlling she has been, the closer she is to God and the closer her husband is to God can make this journey less difficult and less painful. Things can happen a lot faster in situations like this, especially if the wife completely submits herself to Christ and really “gets” that.  Some couples stay in this honeymoon phase.  Some go through some more valleys. Each story is unique and the timing of what will happen will be different for each couple. That is why I want to share many wives’ stories. Tomorrow, I will be sharing a wife’s story who remained peaceful through her husband separating from her on this journey.

  • The key thing here is GOD, not us and not our husbands’ responses.

There is usually a bit of a pattern that this journey follows…

1. A wife’s epiphany.

2. Her repentance to God and to her husband.

3. She sees her sin but doesn’t really know how to stop it all the sudden and how to change so much at one time. She may feel very overwhelmed for awhile.

4. She realizes that she can’t do this. That is actually a really good thing – because we have to understand we can only do this through the power of God’s Spirit, not on our own.

5. There is sometimes a honeymoon phase for both the husband and wife.

6. The wife messes up in some way. Husbands can get really scared when this happens sometimes, they think it means she has not really changed. It doesn’t usually mean that at all. This is more like a baby learning to walk. She can’t sprint or run a marathon immediately. This is a LONG, SLOW process of learning. SHE WILL FALL sometimes. At first, she will fall a lot. This is the process of sanctification, where God makes us more and more like Christ. We have to learn to truly die to self and truly submit to Christ. Sometimes we will fall. Then we just have to get right back up and keep learning. I pray for husbands to have patience because it takes many, many months before most wives begin to feel like this stuff all comes “naturally.” It is not an overnight thing to completely throw out everything you think you know about marriage, being a woman and following Christ and rebuilding it all from scratch. There are warped ideas and bad habits that have been engrained for decades that have to be removed. If a wife stumbles and falls, she can repent to God and to her husband, learn from her mistake and keep going.

7. Sometimes when a wife makes some mistakes and sins again, some husbands get REALY upset and shut down again even more than before. They may think that they had a chance at Paradise but now it has all been lost. It has NOT!  But it is much more difficult than most husbands realize for a wife to lay down all her pride, lay down her warped ideas about herself knowing best, begin to understand and accept and trust God’s sovereignty, begin to know what actually is disrespectful/respectful and to understand what on earth it means to honor her husband’s leadership. She is going totally against her sinful nature, the culture, the enemy’s lies, her intuition and all of the bad habits she has built up over the years.

Sometimes husbands may seem more upset than before after their wives begin this journey. Here is a post about that.

8. The wife will probably go through a long “Frustrating Quiet Phase” where she almost stops talking because she realizes if she talks, sin is going to come out of her mouth. At first, we have to try to hold back all of our sinful ocean of thoughts. It is REALLY HARD!  Especially when we are used to spewing our negativity, pride, self-righteousness, disrespect and control everywhere.  This is the beginning of learning true, godly wisdom.  We will learn to take every thought captive during this time and combat the lies we are telling ourselves with the truth of God’s Word until God begins to change our hearts, our minds and our souls. He will give us new desires and new power to obey Him that we never had before.

9. Then we will begin to learn to use our words for GOOD, and begin to add respectful things. At first what we do and say will feel fake, awkward and foreign. We may have never seen anyone do any of these things. We may not have ever said these kinds of words before. That is ok! We will learn and it will eventually become a new habit – very much like learning a new language.  Here are some things several husbands said feel respectful to them that we may want to add.

10. Then we will usually notice that our husbands aren’t “changing” like we want them to. We may get resentful. We may start to think we are doing all of this extremely hard work “for nothing.” This stage is REALLY IMPORTANT because it is during this stage and this long time that our husbands are waiting to see if this is for real and they are still standing back a good bit from us, that we will learn to purify our motives and ONLY do these things because we want to love and obey Christ and please Him, NOT to change our husbands. If our husbands did change quickly, we might continue to cling to our idols of self, control and our husbands. God will not allow that to happen. The fact that it usually takes such a long time for husbands to really feel safe again with us gives us a lot of time to refine our motives and to become more and more Christlike. We learn to do this for God, not because of what we will “get” from our husbands. We “get” that this is ALL about us and Jesus.

Husbands have their own stages they go through, too! This is a big learning curve for them as well as God changes us so radically.

I have some posts about these things :

The Stages of This Journey

Learning to Respect and Give Up Control is a Journey (a post by Nina Roesner “The Respect Dare” author, lists stages she has seen on this journey.)

For Husbands, “So Your Wife Wants to Be a Peacefulwife?”

My husband’s perspective as God changed me

29 thoughts on “One Wife’s Story – 6 Days In

  1. April, Thank you so much for sharing this! I had emailed you about a week or so and your last response helped me so much! In reading the journey you have listed, I can honestly say I have gone though some of those “phases.” It was actually pretty exciting to see that I am making progress in the midst of all that is going on. Yesterday was really rough for me but in reading this it has made me feel better and to know that I am in the right place. Thank you so much for all you have done, and do!

  2. Great story! April, I would love to see you write on what she said about…..I am working on smiling, using a softer tone of voice, looking at him more (I am directing this at my sons also). I need to work on my softer tone especially. It is hard to remember!

    1. DaisyMae,

      I actually have some videos about non verbal disrespect and tone of voice on my YouTube channel, April Cassidy. But I will keep those topics in mind for some more posts!

      You can search my blog home page for
      Smiling
      “A Challenge for You, Ladies”
      Tone of voice
      Godly femininity

      Much love!

  3. Thank you so MUCH to this wife and to you, April, for sharing her story. I experienced the same kind of positive feedback from my husband when I stopped making HIM responsible for my individual happiness and security and started really trying hard to understand how he thought. It was only then that something hurtful he’d said–that I’d forgiven him for but couldn’t get past–began to lose its punch.

    April, you described a “quiet phase” most wives must go through. I certainly did need to stay in that phase for a long time, mostly because I was reading everything I could from your site and the related scriptures in the Bible and meditating on it all, seeing where I had made mistakes (such a long line of them!) and seeing what I must do to align myself with God’s description of a godly wife.

    Meditating on these things broadened my perspective exponentially, allowing me to see how selfish my preoccupation with one hurtful comment had been, and that if I really wanted to BE a Christian, that meant I had to focus on FORGIVING and on loving and respecting my husband, not expecting him to be perfect and bolster my personal sense of security without fail. I realized that I had been “tearing down my house” with my own mind and mouth. I also saw that I based too much of my own sense of personal value on what I was physically, and when this felt threatened, it felt like my whole world was caving in. When this hit home my face began to burn from shame, even though I was alone. What kind of Christian is that? Hadn’t I always prided myself on believing that the inner person was what really mattered, and that “prettiness may be false and beauty may be vain but the woman who fears the Lord is the one who procures praise for herself”? Hadn’t I prided myself on being intelligent, capable, caring, and resourceful? So why had I felt so decimated by an honest if somewhat thoughtless comment about my body? They say that a primary purpose of relationships is to refine us, and mine certainly has revealed many areas in my own life that need attention and drastic improvement! This experience humbled me like nothing else has in years, and I needed that quiet morning time of reflection to work through this issue and others.

    April, your posts and the comments of other wives highlighted even more things I needed to work on, and I’ve made the early morning reading your column, meditation and prayer time a regular part of every day. I learn from you all every day and know it was God’s way of answering my prayer for direction and relief from the pain I was experiencing. It was his way of pointing my attention to his wisdom and what I needed to do to grow spiritually and improve our marriage. I thank this wife, again, for her great post, and send you all–April and all the other wives, my love and deep appreciation.

    1. Elizabeth,

      What God is doing in you is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! Thank you for sharing. I know that God will use your comment today to bless so many wives in this journey and to encourage them. 🙂

      1. It surely did! 😀 Thanx Elizabeth

        And thank u April for sharing One Wife’s story. Do thank her too. I pray that God strenghtens each one of us on this daunting journey becoming Peaceful Wives. May the Lord continue using you April <3

  4. April,
    Thank you for this! Your blog posts are so timely. I also went to the link and read the one about the husbands being more unloving once the wife starts respecting. I do fail and my husband is overreacting way more than he has in the past. He even told me last night that after 5 years of this, I don’t “get to try.” He says I’m only trying because things we are “on the rocks.” He thinks I’m lying that I say I do see the sin in my life. UGH! I can see his point of view, but hearing that no matter what I do won’t matter is sure frustrating. Hopefully that will change, but still. I think he just sees it as me trying to manipulate the situation because he doesn’t think I even think I sin against him.
    This all came to a head when he started struggling with depression when his past sin was brought to his attention again. He said that he just can’t go on thinking things will get better and pretending that things are okay.

    These posts are so encouraging to keep going even though I feel very defeated. My biggest hurdle is wrangling my emotions right now.

    ~Jeanne

    1. Jeanne,

      How I wish husbands knew just how hard and totally new and counterintuitive and PAINFUL this process is, it is the total overhauling of our hearts, minds and souls. That is not a quick and easy switch to flip one time and we are suddenly perfect.

      There are a lot of husbands who feel the way yours does at first, the first few months or more. Especially if things are not going well, it is easy for them to think that this is the latest manipulation technique and to judge that their wives have evil motives.

      This is the time to learn to really purify your motives, which will make your faith infinitely stronger. It is in these times when our husbands are still so skeptical and don’t believe us and accuse us of evil when we truly do want to do them good that we will learn just how desperately we need Jesus and His Spirit and how important it must be for us to seek God’s approval alone. As our husbands continue to see us respond in godliness, they will become increasingly confused. They may try to get us to sin against them so they can justify their own sinful behavior. They may try to incite us to anger and get us to dance the old dance of control and disrespect so that they don’t have to face conviction about their own sins. And, keep in mind, for many husbands, change is scary. Even good change. Just stay the course, keep doing what God commands you to do. We will trust your husband to God’s power and His sovereignty together my precious sister!

  5. To the wife in this journey, the comments your husband made were what my husband Dong said to me too, along with, “Whatever it is you are doing, I am just reaping all its benefits!” This what five months back when I was taking baby steps to submission. 🙂 It feels like a long time ago! I still am a baby in this submission thing, but a bigger baby, this time, not anymore a newborn.

    God bless you in your journey. We are all in this together! 🙂

    -Nikka

    1. Nikka,

      I believe your story was one where the honeymoon phase never really did wear off. Please correct me if I am wrong. I know Dong has been somewhat cautious, waiting to see if this is for real. But he has seemed pretty open and accepting and patient with you through this process, from my perspective.

      It has been so beautiful to watch! 🙂

      1. April,

        More and more these days, Dong is believing what he is seeing. 🙂 His love language is actions and to him actions speak louder than words..and he has been seeing changes in me that even I find very un-Nikka. Only God can take credit for that, not me. The honeymoon phase we are having is quite long… It is enjoyable and we are enjoying learning our God-ordained roles. It’s beautiful to watch even from OUR point of view. God is really great God! We just have to follow His Manual! 🙂

        1. Nikka,

          Yes, the more time that passes, and as he sees the changes continue on and sees you deepen in your faith – it cannot help but confirm to him that this is a God-thing that is happening in you! 🙂 LOVE IT!!!!!

  6. April maybe you can contact her about how she published her book, its available on Amazon, not sure if that is how she published it.

  7. Today I left my husband a Valentintes Day Card on the table so he would see it when he got up (he gets up much earlier then me) . When I was thinking of what to write in it I was inspired by your past posts to thank our husbands. So wrote a list of things he does that I am thankful for. This evening he said “I do all those things because I love you”.

    That made me smile!

  8. April,

    Thank you for going highlighting the phases to expect. I was subconsciously wondering about that. My husband and I are definitely in a sort of honeymoon phase. (I pray it is lasting!!!!)

    Things are still going much better than ever and I see him trusting me more by sharing his feelings and hurts in CONVERSATIONS!! However, over the last couple of days I have felt a little annoyed with him at times and I have fought feelings of “Ok, now when are you going to start doing some things for me?”

    I recognize these things as just satanic “prompts” to engage me in sin again. I say this for two reasons – first because as you said, my humble love and care for my husband is about Christ, not him and his actions primarily. Also, the devil is such a liar because I am seeing real changes in him! I had given up on V-day and he made sure to come through with a cute teddy bear, flowers, and a really nice card! And like I said he is confiding in me and seeking my perspective on him more! That is beautiful! I just get annoyed with his “jock guy” playing and joking. He can be kind of like a big brother with his teasing sometimes. And then I get annoyed but I now know he is just trying to be fun and bond! I just need to lighten up.

    Also, I have really been “censoring” my tv viewing. I had to get rid of my night-time soaps, one really catty reality show (my flesh LOVES this show), and even some worldly “romance” kind of stuff. I know that you have mentioned some similar initiatives. I would like to know if you have some Godly insight about how this worldly programming impacts our Christ-journey and our love-journey with our husbands? Lately, I feel like my emphasis on Christ and the Holy Spirit has helped me be strong and gain a true distaste and dissatisfaction with the programming but I am trying to understand why my flesh craves the gossip, sharp cattiness, and fantasies and visions of this worldly version of romance? I mean I know it is the sinful nature but what is it that satan targets in a woman with this material and how can I “flip” it on him? I beleive satan wants to take that kind and gentle nature from me. But I hope to hear your insights.

    Much Love to all my sisters!

    1. Elle,

      I think we will always have to watch our motives, to be sure we are doing this just to please Christ, not “what’s in it for me” – because as soon as we do that, what we are giving is not godly love, it is “love with strings attached” – it is worldly “love” that is not love at all.

      You are exactly right about that these are prompts the enemy would love to use to cause you to stumble, and that he is lying to you – if you will focus on the good things, and kick those sinful thoughts to the curb, you will see more and more of the good that is there. Whatever you focus on and pay attention to will grow, whether good or bad!

      Yes, his playing and joking is how he expresses love for you and shows you his tender side, in a masculine way. That is one way he bonds and enjoys you. 🙂 I’m so glad you see that!

      Oh goodness, I had to stop reading romantic books, even Christian ones. I ended up resentful and angry that my husband wasn’t just like the male romantic lead and that he didn’t say and do the things the guy in the book did. That did not help me be a godly wife. And, the more I drew near to God and God’s Spirit began to be in control, the more repulsive the things of the world became. I lost my desire for those things. But the sinful nature and flesh DOES enjoy sinful things. If you feed those desires and that fleshly nature, it will grow bigger and stronger. It is critical to starve the flesh and feed our spirit with good, nutritious spiritual food from God’s Word!

      RELATED:

      Breaking the Romance Addiction
      The Fantasy of Romance

  9. Thanks, April, for sharing this wife’s story. Mine is takimg a different path, but the steps she outlined (I’m a list lover!) were so helpful & encouraging. The phases are different for each person but some of the steps are the same. This reminder was very timely & encourages me to continue with destroying idols.

    1. Sally,

      Yes, the stages and steps sometimes come in different order for different people, but I like seeing how different people’s stories progress, too. 🙂 The destroying idols thing will be a daily thing a moment by moment thing. We will always have to check our motives and keep our hearts centered on Christ, not letting ungodly things fill His proper place in our hearts.

  10. Your post is inspiring but I’m four days in and things are getting worse. I am failing miserably at this. I feel like all I can do is agree and keep my mouth shut, which he say’s is not submitting. Have I not surrendered my will? I keeping asking God to take over but something is not right. My husband doesn’t feel like anything will change and I’m just doing the same things I always do; he is not receptive. Any advice or words of wisdom would be great. Thanks

    1. Becky,

      That is actually pretty normal! Please do not give up! It takes MANY months usually, sometimes years to see major improvement. Sometimes things DO get worse in the beginning.

      I wish I could hug your neck! I know this is the hardest thing you have probably ever done. It will not be in your power that you will do this, but in God’s power.

      Check out these posts:

      “The Frustrating Quiet Phase”

      “I am TRYING to Respect Him but My Husband is More Unloving Than Ever – What is Going on?”

      Stages of This Journey

      Your husband is probably going to be very skeptical for a long time. That is actually a blessing. It will force you to purify your motives.

      Most husbands have NO CLUE how much work there is for a wife to learn to be godly wives. It is a complete overhaul of our hearts, minds and souls that is necessary. We have to learn to die to self. There are many, many idols to rip out of our hearts. We often have messed up views of ourselves and God. We often don’t understand God’s sovereignty or trust Him and are overcome with worry and fear. We have old habits that are extremely engrained that are very difficult to change. We are learning a brand new language of respect that we don’t understand at all. It takes a long time to become fluent in a new language. Our husbands think in such different ways from how we do, and we just don’t know at first how different and how they think, so we are at a huge disadvantage because we often assume they think just like we do.

      I personally had to study for hours every day for 2 years before I BEGAN to feel like I had ANY clue what I was doing. I read about 30 books in that amount of time. And it was 2 years and 10 months before all of my husband’s walls came down and 3.5 years before he felt totally safe with me.

      I know of other wives who it took much longer than that!

      At first, you will probably just have to mostly be quiet as you learn not to blurt out every sinful thought you usually would say if you have been controlling and disrespectful. Eventually, you will be able to start adding respectful things, praise, encouragement, gratitude and sharing your desires, thoughts and feelings respectfully. But it will take time.

      Here is a post by Nina Roesner (author of The Respect Dare) about the way this journey usually progresses.

      If you haven’t, please check out the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect, respect, biblical submission, submitting under protest, spiritual authority and a husband’s and a wife’s authority in marriage.

      I’m here if you have questions! 🙂

      Much love to you!

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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