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The Dryer Incident

1091094_28911073
From a wife with an unbelieving husband.  She has been on this journey for about 5 months now, and it has been quite difficult. Her husband has felt very disrespected for a long time. Things are quite tense, even now. Her husband has even threatened to leave a few times in recent weeks. But her faith in God is growing by leaps and bounds and what He is doing in her is SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  I appreciate her willingness to allow me to share:
For a day that didn’t start out that great, I’m doing pretty good now.  I woke up to my husband yelling at me about his clothes in the dryer still being wet and now he was scrambling trying to get ready for work and how ridiculous it was that I thought what he did didn’t make sense when obviously I should know better than to put so much in the dryer.
I could hardly process it and all I said was I was sorry before he stormed out to work.  He had cleaned out his truck of all his work things that had gathered up over the past while and brought in a bunch of dirty clothes.
I thought I would bless him by doing a bunch of laundry while he was out in the evening. 
I left the last load in the dryer and went to bed.  I didn’t mean for it to still be wet in the morning.
I was so discouraged.  It seems even my attempts to bless him backfire.  I can’t get things right or he misinterprets my intentions.  I was determined not to get angry or feel sorry for myself, though, and was praying that God would help me to bless him and know how to respond to him.
I really focused on one statement that he said when he was upset that described what he was feeling underneath his anger:  “You think what I do doesn’t make sense.”  How frustrating for him!  To feel like I’m always judging or looking down on or trying to change what and how he does things.  How utterly disrespectful of me!  So, while part of me was hoping that maybe the dryer was broken and the clothes being wet wouldn’t be my fault so he’d feel bad about yelling, I was glad for this glimpse into his perspective so that I could focus on how he was feeling/hurting instead of myself which would’ve led to self-pity and resentment and nowhere good.

Now, I think there’s something else that came to my awareness through this.

My motives.

Maybe I’m doing these things to bless him, yes, but also with not exactly expectations, but hopes that he’ll notice and feel badly about how he’s treating me.  I should be doing the laundry for Jesus!  🙂  To honor Jesus by blessing my husband and being respectful and submissive despite my husband’s actions, without expectations or even hopes for any change.  This is hard!  It’s hard not to hope for things to get better and not to think about how maybe if I do certain things it will help make things better.  How do I keep myself from thinking like that instead of focusing on Christ?  I guess just by constantly examining my motives and repenting when they’re not exactly pure.

Anyway, I was still thinking on all this when my husband called!  He asked how our son was, who has a cold, but that seemed a bit odd to me.  He doesn’t usually call without a specific reason.

Then, he said he was sorry!  That he didn’t mean to freak out at me, but was just really frustrated that all his clothes were still wet.

It’s a good thing he couldn’t see how shocked I was!  An apology was the last thing I was expecting!  I thought at best, it just wouldn’t come up again.  I thanked him and apologized again, trying not to defend myself, but just saying I was trying to be helpful and I didn’t mean to overload the dryer and cause him so much frustration.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This precious sister of mine is in a DIFFICULT situation. BUT – she sees with God’s eyes now. She sees how this argument was a chance for her to discover a bit more of her husband’s pain. She sees how God used this painful situation to help her uncover her true motives and to refine her faith. AND – she sees how when she obeys God and seeks to honor and please Him alone, He is able to speak to her husband – even though his heart is distant and hard right now.

Please join with me in praying for this couple – for his salvation and for her to be strong in Christ and to be the godly wife and missionary God calls her to be “without a word” who can win him by the respectful and chaste way she conducts her life. (I Peter 3:1-2).

I appreciate her willingness to share. This is a LONG, LONG journey. But God has grown my friend’s faith by leaps and bounds. She has SO MUCH MORE of Jesus than she has ever had in her life. She is even experiencing God’s peace and joy in the midst of this fiery trial many times. It is a difficult battle – she knows that her husband is not her real enemy. And she faithfully stands in the gap to pray for God’s best for him and for God to open his eyes that he might experience the abundant life, peace and joy that Jesus offers to him.

This friend is such a blessing to me. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for her!

83 thoughts on “The Dryer Incident

  1. So I just got out of the shower after screaming and crying over my anger and hurt at my own unsaved husband and his behaviour and words to me.
    Today when our son asked him to help him on his play station game, hubby snapped “later” as he lay on the couch after having two days off of work for his own benefit (not sick, just took time off). So son starts to whine. I try and let him know Dad will come soon and to try again or ask his sister. Son cries. He wants Daddy. Daddy gets up and turns to me “you stay on your fat arse. I’ll go do the game you can’t be bothered to try”. Ugh. It wasn’t about that. His son needed him. His son wanted to spend time with him. This happens every weekend. Hubby is off doing his own hobbies and things and when he is come the kids naturally want to see him and he rejects them.
    Makes me sad and hurt and mad.

    So then I read this post. I’m confused and feel like a bad wife and bad Christian.

    I want to feel free like this wife is. I want to handle things better. I want to know that God loves me. I know it, but I need a deep heart revelation of it. …

    I’m praying for this husband and wife. Thank you April for sharing her story of hope and change. I hope one day my story can be one if encouragement to others like this

    1. Godlywifetobe,

      I’m so sorry things are so difficult! If a husband is unsaved, he is not going to act like Christ, that is for sure.

      Check out “When My Spouse is Wrong” if you haven’t already. I think it may be very helpful.

      You cannot do this on your own, my sweet sister. If you try to do it in your own power, you will crash and burn. This has to be all about you and Jesus. We will trust Him to work in your husband’s heart in His time and by His power. You cannot change him. You cannot make him do things you want him to do – even if they are good things.

      But – you can be more and more filled with God’s Spirit and more and more responding in the power, love and grace of God. As God fills you up, He can give you power to respond in ways that glorify and honor him and potentially confuse and convict your husband. But then it will be His Spirit that does the convicting and changing of your husband. It is easier for your husband to hear God when you are obeying God and living out I Peter 3:1-6. That gets you out of God’s way so that your husband isn’t hearing your nagging, lecturing, preaching, ordering him around, looking down on him, negativity, etc… but he can begin to hear God’s voice as your voice is still about spiritual things.

      Yes, it will make any mama sad when her children want their daddy and he doesn’t do things with them.

      It’s fine to say, “Our boy would love it if you had time to play with him, Sweetheart” in a pleasant voice one time, maybe. But then, he is a grown man and he must decide for himself what to do. If you get upset and try to make him do what you want – he will resist you. Men respond to respect and honor, not to attempts to force them into things.

      But even if he does not play with your son, you can be full of God’s power and His Spirit and you can play something with your son and trust that God will work in your husband’s heart and change him in time for His glory.

      I pray you will keep your eyes on Jesus and on what He wants you to do and allow God to work on your husband. I pray for His power as you seek to respond in ways that honor Christ.
      Thankfully, there is much grace available to us all at the cross. We ALL need Him DESPERATELY!

      Much love to you!!!!

      1. It’s the hurt of him rejecting our sweet kids that hurts me…

        I also need my husband. I need him to be present and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with needing and wanting him a around 🙂

        I’m trying small steps of getting back to devotional times either before work or when I finish and the kids are busy.

        Thanks for your prayers, advice and love. It’s appreciated.

        1. Godlywifetobe,

          I definitely understand that hurt. I have experienced it myself. – both with our children and with me earlier in our marriage.

          It’s not wrong to need and want your husband. EVERY remotely healthy wife wants that! The key is our priorities – keeping our focus on Christ and allowing our husbands the freedom to make their own choices and not “be labelled as wrong” -that is what I used to do. It repelled my husband from me. My hubby is a PK, too!

          As you seek Christ and submit fully to Him, He is able to work in your husband’s heart and as your husband feels more and more honored and respected and accepted, he may begin to feel safe enough to let his guard down around you and be more involved – as he sees you appreciate him and think highly of him. This will take time.

          We will pray together for healing for your marriage! 🙂

    2. Godlywifetobe, I know how much it hurts, my husband has acted in the same way with my daughter. you are not a bad wife or Christian. I am not an expert, but you have to give it all to God, lay it at the foot of the cross….keep praying for your situation, God does answer…just keep doing your best for your son and trying to do your best for your husband, when he says or does something nice or positive, think about that….perhaps you could ask if he would like you to join in with one of the hobbies sometime. God does love you and although i’m not sure if i’ve had a deep heart revelation of it, I can honestly say, i’ve been on my knees, cried, prayed…emailed April..! and through all of the hurts, my husband is changing, he comes to Church, he is going to give up something for Lent, he is buying Christian books..it is truly a miracle….hang in there…keep praying…. focus on the good in your husband and try and ignore the comments (I know it is hard)…keep up communication with him if you can, and are able to, talk about things and don’t assume it is all HIM, as I did, some of the ‘incidents’ were because of ME although it wasn’t obvious to me at the time, my husband tried explaining to me, but I couldn’t see…I couldn’t hear, I was just so hurt and angry about stuff from the past, and couldn’t forgive my husband….im working on this and ensuring GOD is number 1, your husband isn’t GOD, God says something like: I will lead you to still waters….hang in there…xxxx

      1. JuR,

        Thank you so much for encouraging Godlywifetobe. 🙂

        Something that was extremely helpful for me was to realize that I didn’t know my husband’s motives. It was SO EASY to assume that he had evil motives – that he “didn’t love me and our children” like I loved him and our children. My husband was also very unplugged with me and our kids before. I tried to make him do things with us, and that didn’t work. I would definitely get so frustrated, too.

        Now, looking back, I am able to see things from an entirely different perspective. One book that helped to radically change my perspective was “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn. I learned that I DON’T know my husband’s motives or his heart. And I learned that I was usually REALLY, REALLY WRONG about the things I assumed about him. It turns out, my particular husband was so unplugged because he felt so disrespected by me. He saw contempt in my eyes and heard it in my voice. He did not feel safe with me. He couldn’t trust my heart. I was so determined what the “right” thing to do was all the time and what he “should” do and he felt that even when he tried to do what I wanted, I was never happy. Which is true, sadly. I was insatiable. If he did what I demanded, I always wanted more. I was never satisfied. Now, I know that I was putting my husband before Christ and putting having things my way (being in control) before Christ. Greg knew I didn’t accept him. 🙁 He knew I didn’t approve of him, that I looked down on him. He began to question his faith in God. He felt I was so close to God, and he never could be – after all the things I constantly pointed out about how sinful he was. 🙁 I often thought he wasn’t possibly a Christian during that time. Unfortunately, I was so full of pride, self-righteousness, idolatry, bitterness, contempt and resentment – I didn’t have much “fruit” of being a Christian either.

        Makes me think of Nikka’s 3rd Interview with her husband and A Silent Husband Shares His Heart

        Here is an interview with Greg that we had last year where he shares what he was thinking when I was so controlling and he was so unplugged and passive.

        As my husband saw that I stopped all the criticizing, negativity, lecturing, bossing him around, being “right all the time” (and telling him he was always wrong), judging, condemning, etc… Greg said that he began to be able to hear God’s voice again. He said it was like someone “took the static off of the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.” Then, he said when I began to accept him, affirm him, encourage him, look at the good in him, focus on his strengths, not try to change him, honor him and genuinely respect him, it was like someone “put an amplifier on the speaker with God’s voice in my heart.”

        Check out, “When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God”

        And, “Being Married to a Man Who Is Emotionally/Spiritually Shut Down”

        Much love to you, Godlywifetobe! THOUSANDS of women are on this journey with you – on this site and on others as well. You are not alone. It is painful – especially the first few months to a year or so. But I know that God has beautiful things in store for you! I pray for Him to open your husband’s eyes to Himself. God is the only one who can do that – but you can be God’s partner and get out of God’s way so that it is as easy as possible for your husband to hear.

        Sending you a huge hug, my sweet friend!

      2. Thank you for your advice and prayers.
        I’m wanting to see where I need to do better which is why I found this blog and attend counselling on my own.

        My pastor tried to counsel us 2 years ago and then gave up saying he can’t do anything else if my husband doesn’t want to change and address his issues and sin. So I’ve been plugging along trying my best. It just gets hard sometimes.

    3. Hi Godlywife2be, My husband actually is tired a lot of times when e comes home from work, and doesn’t want to be too bothered with kids stuff, its normal for him to just want time to his self, men wprk hard and just want to relax and chill

      1. I’m sure that is the case. Lucky for my husband he is rarely home when the kids are awake so it’s all done for him.

        1. Godlywifetobe,
          I can feel the pain in your heart, and can put myself in your shoes and share your frustration.

          I do want to gently encourage you to reframe the way you speak about your husband’s relationship with your children.

          “Lucky for my husband he is rarely home when the kids are awake so it’s all done for him.”

          Your contempt for him is in between every word in this sentence. I know it is very difficult to set aside your pain and think about his perspective (I think we ALL know how hard that is!) but have you thought about what it must be like for him to be missing so much time with his children? There is a possibility that this deeply grieves him, and the time he “checks out” from the kids and his family is really a symptom of him feeling as though you “do everything with them” so what place does he have in the family? Be careful to assume his motives, for we are not God, and we cannot know what is in your husbands heart and soul, only God can do that. The greatest gift you can give your husband is your respect right now, not only in action, but in the way you internalize his actions.

          I pray that God leads you to the answers that you’re seeking, and that you find ways to set aside your pain to grow in your faith. You are not alone!

          Much love,
          Holly

    4. He took the days off to work on his friends car and pull his shed down.
      He practically does nothing but yard work. I can count on one hand the number of times he’s put the kids to bed, or helped them shower (I work outside the home too). He comes home most nights after the kids are in bed and I get him his dinner and whatever else he needs. He lives as a king and I’m the slave basically. I’m trying everything to show him love and servant hood but it gets thrown in my face or taken advantage of.
      He’s a very different man than Aprils husband.

      But I’m willing to keep listening to God when I’ve sinned in my heart or actions. It is just extremely hard when the person who is your partner in life has checked out and brings you down daily.

      1. Hi godywifetobe, I’m sorry about your situation. I always consoled myself if my husband was ok with my daughter then it didn’t matter what he was like with me, I became fixated on how he was with her (step-kids make marriage even more delicate!)_….There is definitely only so much you can take especially when your kids are involved. Things may naturally come to a head, you may get the opportunity to get some help, my husband and I had Therapy and I had to be very strong and insist, I couldn’t be scared. My husband did get help from it, but it took a further year or so before we’ve got to a better, (very miraculous) place. It takes time, patience, love forgiveness, and we are still a work in progress.
        My husband found it extremely difficult to open up, some men keep their true emotions buried deep down. I felt a lot of anxiety and fear but I had to stay strong at the same time..trying as April says to see Jesus over his shoulder! I pray you can stay strong and that God will guide you to handle each thing/situation carefully.
        I reassured my husband that I loved him but that he was hurting me and I wanted to help sort it out. Then I left it. When we needed Therapy, I had to be firmer, but still reassured him I loved him and didn’t want to separate. It was the worst time of my life but God will step in….I am not telling you what to do, just letting you know that people care. Does he respond to you (or your kids) positively at all? Perhaps genuinely praise him for something and forget the previous day (s) and see if he likes that…or send a nice text…message,one small positive step each day may help him realise you are not his enemy…with God all things are possible, Jesus loves you just the way you are, you are doing a good job, a difficult husband is not going to bring you down… Seems like he has his own battles within himself, .hugs to you honey x sorry if I’m not helping.. X

      2. Godlywifetobe,

        He may be different from my husband NOW! But that is what my husband did before. He did yard work and worked on the house. He didn’t help me with the kids much at all. he didn’t bathe them or put them to bed. He didn’t help me before. I was the one that did almost everything with the kids. He either worked on the house or sat and watched tv and – I felt at the time – ignored me and the children.

        God changes people, my precious sister. He changed me. He changed Greg. And in your family, I believe He wants to change you first. 🙂

        Sending you the biggest hug!

        1. It took time for Greg to get more involved with the kids and me. It was a SLOW process. Does he do everything I would like him to with us now. Nope. Does it bother me now? Nope. I pray and trust God and Greg to figure out his part. I focus on my part.

          When I started this process, Greg often wouldnt look at me, listen to me, touch me or talk with me and he was extremely unplugged with the kids. I know now that he felt so criticized and condemned by me any time he tried to do something, he eventually gave up.

          Every wife I know has many challenges when she begins this journey… Many reasons she thinks he does not deserve her respect. God’ wisdom is totally contrary to our own. But, He is very good!

          This journey is ultimately not about your husband and his response. It is really about you and God. 🙂

        2. Yes, a trusted friend said that God has chosen me because He knows my heart and strength to lead my family in transformation. Doesn’t mean it’s easy 😉

          1. When my husband and I were preparing to marry, a dear and trusted person told me that since I was the more “spiritually mature” of the two of us, I would have to take the lead spiritually in our marriage. This advice was wrong. It is sinful rebellion against God’s design for marriage. Please be very careful to guard against thinking of yourself in any leadership role in your marriage. God can and does lead us through husbands who are not believers or who are sinning against us. He is THAT sovereign. We are only called to trust God and respect our husbands. Doing otherwise leads only to grief and pain.

    5. Godlywifetobe,

      Thank you SO VERY MUCH for your prayers and encouragement! It’s a pleasure to “meet” you — I’m the dryer incident wife. 🙂

      All of my sweet sisters in Christ, your encouragement to one another and me in these comments is SO BEAUTIFUL! I praise God for each of you and for the work He is doing in our lives and marriages!

      Godlywifetobe, I would like to tell you that I am very sorry for your pain. But, that wouldn’t exactly be entirely honest… because what I actually feel for you is excitement! You have begun a very difficult, but extremely incredible journey. And you are not alone! You have found an amazing community of support and a wealth of Godly wisdom here at Peacefulwife.com

      Even more importantly, though, you have Jesus, calling you to train your eyes on Him alone and step out of your boat of false security in self, your husband, and other idols; to walk this storm with Him (the One Who created and controls it!), knowing that He is ready and able to reach out IMMEDIATELY to keep you from sinking when you call out to Him and to say “Peace. Be still” the moment His will and glory have been accomplished through your trials. He won’t allow them to go on even ONE SECOND beyond what He has ordained for your good and He won’t allow you to tolerate even a smidge beyond what He knows you are able to bear through His daily supply of grace and strength.

      I really can’t add much to what all these other wives have offered you from the Godly wisdom received through their experiences, but I do want to reinforce the key that I’ve learned in order to “feel free” as you said in your comment.

      All of your focus MUST be on you. The moment you start considering what your husband is doing, isn’t doing, should be doing, has done, what others say about his actions/needs (even pastors/counselors), etc etc etc… that is the moment that Satan gets a foothold in your mind and heart. I have learned, like the Peacefulwife, that I absolutely cannot read about what a husband “should” be doing, even in Christian books, EVEN in Scripture. I have to skip those parts. I have learned that I cannot talk or even think about ways in which I wish my husband would change. At this season of my life, I have found myself to be quite isolated, socially, and I have come to realize what a blessing this is so that I am not tempted to share my pain and seek support from friends. I know their caring comments and genuine concern would only lead me down a path of self-pity. And THAT is an extremely dangerous place for me to be. Once there, I am giving up my freedom and power in Christ and choosing instead to be a victim of my circumstances, of my selfishness, of Satan.

      Now this is not at all easy to do, it’s completely unnatural and against everything we know, hear, and feel from all around and even within us. But don’t fall for this. As long as your eyes are on your husband, your marriage, your children — anything except Christ — you will be STUCK, completely unable to grow yourself or change anything around you.

      Get into God’s Word. This is ESSENTIAL. If our eyes are to be on Him alone we need to give Him our time and attention. Yes, our lives are busy and exhausting, but He MUST be our first priority. We cannot see Him or know His heart and will if we are not seeking Him and spending time in His presence. I recently read this quote by 17th century preacher, Lewis Bayly:

      “O man, remember that thy life is but short, and that all this business is but for the use of this short life; but salvation or damnation is everlasting! Rise up, therefore, every morning by so much time the earlier: defraud thy foggy flesh of so much sleep; but rob not thy soul of her food, nor God of His service.”

      And I love this. My computer just now popped up with a window telling me “Plug in or find another power source.” That’s us! We absolutely MUST plug into God’s Word. He is our power source! We cannot do this in any way on our own. We will continue to meet with frustration, hurt, and failure.

      If you make time for nothing else in your day, read God’s Word. He will bless you and put all your other responsibilities into perspective, providing you with the time and energy you need to do what He wants you to do. And He will speak to you about your situation on a daily basis through His word. I had allowed myself to be pulled away from spending time with God, but over the past couple months have committed myself to this anew. At first I struggled with what to read in the Bible — Should I follow a plan? It’s so overwhelming! I decided I’d just start from the beginning in Genesis. Who would have thought that in these ancient stories about Creation, Noah, Abraham, and so on I would find so much truth and encouragement pertinent to my situation, here and now, within my marriage?! Psalms is also another great place to start and there you will find so much balm for your wounds and strength to go on.

      April has several great posts about idolatry and God’s sovereignty that really helped me start focusing on myself and God. Search for these (I’m not sure if these are the exact titles, but I’m sure you’ll find them and so much more to dig into): Dying to Self, How to Stop Idolatry and Truly Live for Christ, and My Identity in Christ – This is My Security.

      Goodness, I could go on and on — I am so sorry. There are so many truths that God has been revealing to me it’s had to pull out just a few. And there are so many wonderful resources out there. I could point you to particular Scriptures, recommend great books, etc, that I’ve found helpful and would be happy to do so, though I also am finding that an important part of this journey is learning to do the seeking and digging for myself. I had no clue where to start in the beginning and I have soooooo very far to go still, but I am in complete awe of how God is speaking to me now, like never before. I still have dark moments where Satan fills me with doubts about whether God really truly is enough, but I can recognize those doubts and fears for the lies that they are now and choose instead to keep my eyes on God no matter how I am feeling or what choices my husband is making.

      And THAT is FREEDOM. Why would I want to be controlled and crippled by my emotions and circumstances when Christ offers me His outstanding peace? It is by far not an easy choice, but one I am learning to make moment-by-moment as I learn to wait on and trust in Him alone.

      So much love to you! I am so blessed to be a part of this awakening that the Spirit is stirring up in our hearts and around the world!

        1. Psalm 40:1-5, 11-13, 16-17 (The Voice translation)

          I waited a long time for the Eternal; He finally knelt down to hear me. He listened to my weak and whispered cry. He reached down and drew me from the deep, dark hole where I was stranded, mired in the muck and clay. With a gentle hand, He pulled me out to set me down safely on a warm rock; He held me until I was steady enough to continue the journey again.

          As if that were not enough, because of Him my mind is clearing up. Now I have a new song to sing—a song of praise to the One who saved me. Because of what He’s done, many people will see and come to trust in the Eternal.

          Surely those who trust the Eternal—who don’t trust in proud, powerful people or in people who care little for reality, chasing false gods—surely they are happy, as I have become. You have done so many wonderful things, had so many tender thoughts toward us, Eternal my God, that go on and on, ever increasing. Who can compare with You?

          Please, Eternal One, don’t hold back Your kind ways from me. I need Your strong love and truth to stand watch over me and keep me from harm. Right now I can’t see because I am surrounded by troubles; my sins and shortcomings have caught up to me, so I am swimming in darkness. Like the hairs on my head, there are too many to count, so my heart deserts me.

          O Eternal One, please rescue me. O Eternal One, hurry; I need Your help.

          May all who look for You discover true joy and happiness in You; may those who cherish how You save them always say, “O Eternal One, You are great and are first in our hearts.”

          Meanwhile, I am empty and need so much, but I know the Lord is thinking of me. You are my help; only You can save me, my True God. Please hurry.

  2. Gwtb –
    You are in my prayers today sister. I have been where you are, wondering why my husband can’t see the needs of our children the way I can. Even when they plainly ask him!! During my journey, as I’ve quieted my spirit (and my mouth!) and allowed him to parent his own children without intervention, I have seen that the way he usually responds to them is beneficial to them as well. As mommas we are very protective of our children’s care and concern. This is a natural thing, BUT we have to remember that ultimately Yahweh is in control of their lives, not us. We have to ask ourselves what He wants for their lives, NOT US! If you model patience and kindness to your husband regardless of circumstance, that can be way more valuable to your son in the long run than the time spent on the game.

    Also, as previously discussed on this blog, we can be very good at demanding that our husbands love us a certain way. When we demand that they parent a certain way, we are simply passing this thought on to our next generation. Telling our kids very plainly that the way their daddy loves them is NOT what they should expect/require from him. I don’t know because none of us can be sure of each other’s motivations, but I think it’s entirely possible that your husband felt that he WAS spending quality time with your son by simply laying in the same room. Sometimes men are like that. It’s also possible that he felt your son could benefit more from figuring the game out by himself than by being rescued. Or, he could’ve been feeling comfortable and didn’t WANT to get up & help. If you have never been selfish before, then pick up your stone, sister!

    Please understand that I am not defending your husband, only trying to help you see another way around it. Try to remember he is not your enemy, he is your partner. Chances are that he loves you and the children very much but he is struggling trying to love you the right way. And since you are struggling to respect him the right way, I guess you’re even 🙂 And even if you feel like he IS the enemy, you know what we have to do for our enemies. . . .

    I’m sorry for the way he spoke to you! I will pray for his mouth as well as yours 🙂 And since you’ve said he is a non-believer, I will pray for his soul as well! You are NOT a horrible Christian. You are quite average 🙂 Okay, maybe you ARE horrible. .and I AM TOO. .We have ALL fallen short and we ALL need The Lord’s grace to save us! May Yahweh bless the rest of your day and grant you peace the next time you meet your husband. You are in my prayers today 🙂

    1. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.
      I do feel he is my enemy. We are complete opposites. The man I married no longer exists. He was once a Christian or so he led me to believe (he was a pastors kid). I don’t enjoy his company that much because the things he says and does frustrate me because they are foolish and ungodly.

      I’m trying to not act wrong. But I do. I mutter under my breath. I roll my eyes. I know those things show my heart. I’m sad, hurt, beaten down and I need to rise up and do what God has called me. I just feel like I’m stuck in quick sand at the moment. Struggling, fighting, sinking.

      I need to get to a place I can call him friend. It is hard to love your enemies, I feel he is one at the moment…I want to please God and I try and do things to change. Then I get frustrated and sad when he shuts me down or rejects me…

      Thanks for your concern and words of encouragement.

      1. Oh GWTB,

        I know that feeling!! 🙁

        My husband and I are also very “opposite”. Opposites attract, right!?

        Early in our marriage, my husband, who was also raised in the church by Christian parents, denied Christ. Our first two children were very young at the time and I was beyond worried about the future of our whole family and the direction my husband would lead our boys. As I look back on that time now, I realize how I should’ve been more worried about the disrespect I was showing their father! I definitely was NOT winning him with words!! 🙁 I had a very clear idea of what he was supposed to be doing and he was not anywhere near that!!

        It saddens me now to think how much my hurtful words of criticism likely played a pivotal role in his relationship with The Father. It’s very hard to hear Yahweh’s voice when your wife is speaking SO LOUDLY!!!!!! Don’t assume that he doesn’t exist in Christ. Assume the other. That something is not allowing him to hear. And PRAY, PRAY, PRAY THAT HE’LL START TO HEAR!

        I would encourage you to be quiet, dear friend. Just don’t say anymore. Do you remember that old rule, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Live by that rule & hold EVERY thought captive. If what you are about to say will not encourage him or build him up in any way – don’t say it. Just let it lie at the feet of Jesus.

        I have a 13 year old and an 8 year old who are often at each other’s throats with words. (They have very similar personalities 🙂 An exercise I use daily with them when they verbally sin against each other is to tell them to “try it again”. Just take what you are wanting to say and say it in a way that is NOT discouraging or critical or character assassination. Often, if what they are saying really has no positive spin, they decide it would probably be best not said. That is a valuable exercise for adults as well. Internally works better than externally 🙂

        As Christ shapes us, he reminds us to “become like little children”. We need to learn and relearn (and relearn) how to deal with each other. I believe that’s why the Bible is so relational. It’s what we’ve got. Relationships. Forever changing with every season as we grow and mature. So we need to Love our Lord with everything in us, and Love our Neighbor as we ourselves would love to be loved. Beyond that, there is nothing more important.

        Sending you much love and many hugs today. I hope you feel them:)

        1. Ironically, I feel like I should say more. . . .

          I have never been a yelling, screaming, fighting sort of wife in that manner. We have had very few loud, heated arguments in our marriage. BUT I have been known to be quite the lecturer. .and I think that can be equally damaging. The Bible says a nagging wife is like a drippy faucet. .

          A couple of weeks ago, our daughter climbed up in bed with us to read us a few jokes out of a jokebook she was reading. One of them was this:

          man #1 : “I haven’t talked to my wife in 2 whole weeks!”
          man #2 : “Why?”
          man #1 : “I don’t want to interrupt her!”

          Kind of sad that this is such common behavior that people recognize it as simply a part of life. . .we should be more careful with our words 🙁

          1. fallenshort,

            I didn’t yell and scream either. Never cussed. Only threw something one time – a pair of panties. They were clean! And they didn’t even hit Greg. But – I lectured Greg, criticized him, told him what to do, thought I was always right and he was always wrong, condemned him, judged him, complained, argued was negative, etc… Those things are absolutely damaging.

            That joke makes me so sad!

            Yes, our words have the power of life or death!

        2. Thank you for sharing your story.
          I assume things are better now?

          My husband told myself and my pastor that he no longer believes in God, so sadly it’s not an assumption. He’s been hurt and offended growing up as a pastors kid and having his father out the church before family always. He’s a also watched and been told to serve serve serve and had that pushed on him. So he serves his friends and work and not his family.

          There are lots of areas he needs prayer and freeing from and I do pray for those and I have not brought up God to him or complained in years. My kids have said things to him themselves but I didn’t have anything to do with that. They just want Daddy to go to church, to say “amen” when they say “Grace” etc.

          But when he pushes me when I’ve already had a hard day myself at work or with the kids I can say things in a way that shows I’m angry or not liking him. I’m trying to hold my tongue and just say nothing until I’m calm and I can have control over what/how I say to him that what he did/said was hurtful or disrespectful to me.

          Thanks for caring to respond.

          1. Godlywifetobe,
            I hope the wife who wrote this post might share with you – I think y’all would be such a blessing to each other.

            I will pray for both of you! For God’s greatest glory. For the strongholds of the enemy to come down. For God to empower you to bless your husband and family by living in the power of God’s Spirit and for the floodgates of heaven to open up and pour God’s treasures into your life and from you into your marriage. I pray God will open your husband’s eyes and draw his heart to Christ. Only God can do that. And I pray you might be the most Spirit-filled partner of God to bless, affirm, respect, honor and encourage your husband.

            Much love to you!

          2. Hmmm. . .our hubbies have some real similarities. ..

            The words you and your pastor heard from your hubby are exactly what we were hearing about 12 years ago from mine.

            To answer your question, yes, things are better now. After a couple of years of him “not believing” or being very far from God, he “felt led” to make a major family move across the state. He moved me away from my hometown, and my immediate and extended families. We also moved away from his family. I was very hesitant, but I totally supported him, telling him I’d follow him anywhere, which remains true today. The move was very clarfying for us in many ways. I think it got rid of a lot of the “noise” for him. His grandparents suggested a church nearby and he LOVED the atmosphere. The music, the sermons, the people, EVERYTHING. It totally spoke to him. Honestly, I wasn’t that moved by it. But it was decent enough and really it didn’t matter because I knew how to feed myself. We stayed there 8 years. Then things went a little stale and my husband, who didn’t used to give a rip whether or not we went to church or which one we went to, made the bold move to leave. And I give him mounds of credit for that. It wasn’t a decision he made lightly and it’s been the best for us.

            My point with that whole story is that I believe many times when people are saying they just don’t believe all that God junk anymore, that is just about the time the Lord picks them up and shows them who He is. Sometimes, it takes a partner with blind faith supporting them. Someone who believes in them when everyone else isn’t so convinced. And for a man, someone who is willing to trust and follow. I don’t want to think of where we’d be if I hadn’t trusted him to make that move.

            I don’t know, sister, what your answer is. I’d suggest focusing on whatever IS good, whatever IS right, whatever IS true, etc., etc. There are things he’s doing right. Seek them out and find them. And praise him for them. A lot of what he’s doing sounds like avoidance behaviors, which are natural if you’re not getting along. If you are unhappy working and he knows it, he may have a tremendous guilt about that. Or he may not want you to be working, but he wants to support what you want at the same time. . .Men are so complex! And communication is so hard sometimes!!

            One more thing: Freedom from the “slavery” you are feeling is in Christ alone. Submerse yourself every waking minute with those reminders. Whatever you do, bibleize it. Trade out secular messages for scripture wherever you can (what you listen to, what you read, what you see). I even hear wal-mart has shower curtains with Bible verses! (I had no idea!) If Christ is for us, who can be against us?? I will continue to pray for you 🙂

          3. Fallenshort,

            Wow!!! This is such a blessing!!!! Hmmm… I wonder if you might like to write a post about this for me? No pressure! but this is such a testament to God’s work in your life and marriage, I love it!

          4. Uhm uhm… no pressure, Fallenshort – but I second, third, fourth, fifth that– but no pressure :):). You really sound so April-ish 🙂

            Godlywifetobe: My marriage is in shambles right now – and that is being “mild.” My husband has separated from me for quite a while now, yet I am still trusting in GOD for his hand in all this. I want you to know, that as bad as things look, the fact that your husband is still home — is a BIG DEAL. “I would exchange my situation for yours right now!” Read that again, “I would exchange my situation for yours right now.” That shows how I have grown, because years ago, I would not have said that! No way! But now, I see the good in even your situation.

            Now, having learned (and still learning!) to focus on “my part,” I see how much power we have – through the power of God. It is not easy at all – I KNOW – I KNOW – I KNOW; I have fallen many times, and sometimes refused to get up because of how hard the journey has been — but when you get to that place of total peace – regardless of what your husband does – things look/feel so different. It is as if you give the burden to someone else (GOD!).

            I find playing some soothing worship songs when I get overwhelmed, to be very helpful. When I want to explode, I talk to God, loudly –and it helps me (Yes, sometimes I have failed to do that, and I really exploded 🙁 ) Take it from someone, who wishes her husband was home, just focus on what YOU can do to make it better. I want my own husband to change so much, I see where he is doing so MANY things wrong, I know he has countless things to fix, I know I am not responsible for many things (most if I am to be honest), I know God is not pleased with my husband’s choices -BUT – I cannot change him. I cannot “fix” him… but I can choose to be at peace, respond in a way that’s pleasing to God, and here’s the hard part – I can trust that my husband is not too hard for God to take care of. So many times, I have failed to do this – but God’s hand is so not short, and his eyes are so not blind. Your husband, is not too hard for God – but as April said, maybe God wants to start with you. In fact, I sometimes tell God thanks for choosing me! I have a teenage child, and this ordeal has helped BOTH of us (child and me) to be closer to God than we could have ever been without God putting me through the fire and working on ME as much as he has. My husband is still nowhere close to what he should be, but our family tree is forever changed, because my child and I have a relationship with God. So, I thank him for the trials that lead me to him!

            When your situation feels hopeless again, when your husband acts negatively – think of the fact that someone out there, wishes she was in your position. Not because she is a desperate, needy, crazy woman! But because, having gone way farther along the path of “stress/sadness” she knows that things could get so much worse, “down the road.” Try not to go “down the road.” Stay where you are and fix “your part.” I know it only sounds easy in theory – it is the hardest thing to apply….it will be worth the peace, joy and happiness.

            Now, let’s lookout for the post from Fallenshort – but of course, no pressure 🙂

          5. PrayinglikeHannah,

            Ok… this is just amazing. Would you please allow me to use it as a post, my precious friend!?!? Your perspective is exactly what many wives need to hear, in my view. I believe this would bless countless wives and marriages.

            Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your story and the wisdom God is teaching you. What He is doing in you is GLORIOUS!!!!!

            Praying with you, my sister!

          6. Thanks for your encouragement. We live in a town without any family. I’ve asked if he would like to try other churches but he says all churches are full of corrupt, greedy hypocrites (can you tell he’s struggling?). I really want to move from this town to a place where there’s more opportunities for us as a family and to a place away from his negative influences. He is half on board and I stopped asking and he’s brought it up. So I’m just following his lead and leaving it to God to sort out.

            He has great narsistic tendencies and behaviours which my pastor has pointed out. So it’s working with all of that and becoming the best wife I can be that I’m trying to do. But baby steps 🙂 I’m trying and willing. God can use that huh?
            X

          7. I’ve been gone for the weekend. So much discussion has taken place. I can’t wait to catch up! I’m still praying for you, GWTB!!! I just had to comment here, though, because you surprised me with your greedy, corrupt hypocrites comment!

            We have to own that one, sister! I’m not particularly “struggling” and I’m CONVINCED that churches are full of corrupt, greedy hypocrites! Those are Yahweh’s people! Like it or not, we’ve all fallen far short. And it is ugly. . .ugly, wretched, and sinful. That’s why we need Him so much.!!!!!! . . I just found something your husband is right about 😉

            Praying you sleep well tonight 🙂

          8. Hey Godlywifetobe, how are you? Just wanted to comment and tell you that yes alot of churches are filled with that type of behavoir. Guess what I follow Christ and do not got church for that reason, just so we dont have to be filled with so many lies, and so we can hear nothing but the truth. Church is just a building, God can put someone in front of you to lead you to Him. Judging your husband can lead to lots of criticism. Judgment leads to nothing good unto your husband. Im just giving a little advice, I know what God can do in you, because He did it in me. He delivered me from so much evil-demons-hypocrisy-lovelessness-hatred…the list goes on. Love you my sister.

            I’ve asked if he would like to try other churches but he says all churches are full of corrupt, greedy hypocrites (can you tell he’s struggling?).

      2. Oh, Godlywifetobe, guard against this thinking! Your husband is a child of God, made in His image, dear and precious to the Father, a lost and broken lamb. He is not the enemy. He is blinded and deceived by the Enemy. If you view your husband as your enemy, then Satan has also succeeded in deceiving you. Don’t fall for his evil lies!

        Read Psalm 36 where David shares a revelation he has about the wicked: “There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin” (vs 1-2). His spiritual eyes are blind, leaving him completely incapable of realizing his own sin — until God’s Spirit (not us!) opens his eyes and reveals it. Read on in that chapter, verses 5-7 are a beautiful praise song of God’s far reaching and unfailing love, faithfulness, righteousness, and justice. What hope! Praise God that no matter how “far gone” our husbands appear to us, they are not beyond God’s love & might!!! In Psalm 10:4, the psalmist points out that “in his pride the wicked does not seek Him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God” but, in verses 14-15, God does see the “trouble and grief” caused by the wicked and the psalmist cries out to God to “call him to account for his wickedness” — bring him to repentance!

        My prayer for my husband is from 2 Timothy 2:22-26 and 4:16-17 (I use my husband’s name in place of they/them):

        “God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will… No one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all might hear it.”

        To me, this speaks so perfectly about what is going on in my marriage. My husband needs God and only God can bring him to that place where he acknowledges this because he is trapped in a web of lies from the Father of Lies. I may feel unsupported and even deserted by him, but this is no excuse — I must still forgive and not resent him. And this is only possible because God is at my side strengthening me! And, in case I forget that this is not about me, I’m reminded that the goal is for God’s will to be accomplished through me.

        I pray that God will give you His eyes and heart to see and understand the spiritual battle raging in your marriage. And that you will feel Him at your side strengthening you for the fight!

        1. Thank you for that prayer from Timothy. I will use that.

          I guess I’m just disappointed or lacking in faith that things will ever be different. I’ve prayed for years and I’ve tried every “love dare” “bless your husband for a year” thing there is. I’ve undergone huge transformations in some areas, and other areas there is still work to be done…I just feel like I’m the only one trying to make this work and the only reason he’s here is because he’s afraid of the shame of separating from his family and the community.

          I’m finding it SO hard to enjoy his company. To want to be around him. He says horrible and ungodly things that grate me so much. We have ZERO things in common. And if we are being honest, I was a babe Christian when we met. I had NO christian family or friends guiding me in my relationship. He was the first guy to ever take notice of me and I felt I could or would never be loved by anyone so I attached myself to him. I also thought that a pastors family would mean God was giving me a family to make up for my hard and dysfunctional and abusive one, but I was mislead on that too.

          So my motives weren’t pure. But I didn’t know what I was doing. I do now, and wonder if this is punishment for me…

          1. Oh, Godlywifetobe, my heart aches for you. Your pain is so raw and clear. I pray that you will fight off the lies of Satan that are weighing you down and turn your eyes and heart to your Savior and God. There alone will you find hope, unbelievable as it seems.

            Maybe God is allowing you to find so much hurt and disappointment in your husband so that you will turn your eyes away from him and to God instead. Now is the time to focus on your relationship with God, invest your time, energy, and heart into Him and leave your marriage in His hands. Put aside the books, etc on marriage (even Godly ones) and instead pick up God’s Word and other resources on spiritual growth and building intimacy with God. There you will not find any disappointment.

            When I began my respect journey, my focus was on learning to become a Godly respectful wife, but as time went on and I realized my husband was not responding and, in fact, shutting me out even more, I turned my focus to my own spiritual growth, nurturing my long-neglected relationship with God.

            Now, I see that my husband’s unavailability to me is a gift, painful as it be. If he had responded with forgiveness and willingness to repair our relationship, that would have been my focus. God would have remained on the back burner and any improvements in our relationship would not likely have been lasting because I would still be trying to do things my way.

            But now, with God as my primary focus, I can find peace and contentment in Him, despite my circumstances, and release my husband to His care. I know that God will accomplish His purpose in my marriage one way or another. I would rather trust Him and rest in His peace during my storm than fight and sink on my own.

            I will be praying for you, dear one. Please don’t settle for the hole you’re in now. God has so much more than you could every imagine in store for you!

          2. Thank you Cat for those beautiful words of encouragement and wisdom. I’ll be reading this a few times to let it sink in.
            I think you are right. Look at things as a gift and different opportunity than the negative ones I see it as.

    2. Fallenshort,

      We are surely all wretched sinners in desperate need of the love, mercy, forgiveness and grace of God!

      Thank you for sharing your story with Godlywifetobe – and for praying with her.

      This is a very normal struggle on this journey. I praise God that He is able to use it to deepen our faith and to draw us closer to Him and to show us our need for Him.

      Godlywifetobe,
      I can’t wait to see what God will teach you through this trial and how He will use it for your ultimate good to make you more like Christ and use it for His greatest glory!!!! That is the awesome thing about the sovereignty of God – all the trials we face, He uses to chisel and refine us and make us more like Jesus. So we can rest in His sovereignty and ask Him to show us what He wants us to learn in the midst of the trial – and He is faithful to show us what He wants us to learn and will use these times of frustration and times of suffering, even, to mature us and make us more complete in Him.

      I love James 1- it would be a fantastic chapter to read today! Just read it yesterday. 🙂

      Much love!

      1. Godlywifetobe,

        First, I am so VERY sorry for the hurt you are feeling, and will pray that God will give you strength and peace. When I was hurting intensely last year and feeling “beaten down” (self-esteem) and unloved, April reminded me from scripture that we must only look to God for complete love, acceptance, security, and joy. Even the best husband is still an imperfect human and will at times say or do things to shake our sense of security–unless we are looking primarily to God for our happiness.

        No doubt your husband feels terrible about himself on a deeper level, and he may even be unconsciously perpetuating negative patterns of parenting and interpersonal behavior he witnessed growing up. As humans, we simply can’t know all the factors that may contribute to why someone is acting in a particular way.

        The important thing is, by drawing close to God in prayer, and asking him for his forgiveness, peace, and holy spirit, we will have those things!!!! Only when I began to intensely pray and read scriptures in an entirely new light (this site really helped me do that!) did my outlook change. I began to realize that no one on earth should have the power to “make or break” my spirit, and that by relying TOTALLY on my husband for love and security, I had given him that power. That’s when I took permission to “sever security” away from him. It was a huge step, not a mental trick, but an epiphany from God. God wants us to be close to our mates, love them dearly, and fulfill our marriage vows faithfully until death. But when they fail in word and deed to perfectly fulfill their obligations, we cannot let it shake our personal foundations! Without relying on God and his spirit to supply us with holy spirit and true joy, this is what happens!

        Interestingly, when I told my husband about all this, he was vastly relieved. He had been hurting over what he said too, was so terribly sorry, and had felt like no matter what he did I could never forgive him or be happy again. He was so glad that God’s spirit had the power to heal what he couldn’t.

        In addition to relying on God for our emotional and spiritual needs, every wife should nurture herself as a unique individual independent of her husband. Find things that bring you happiness. Develop your gifts. Spend time with good friends, take walks, read books that build up and enrich you, write something each day, maybe take a college class, whatever YOU like. Just don’t exist primarily as a shadow of your husband. Love yourself, too! You’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel. Your husband’s negative behavior won’t wound you nearly as much because you’re not relying on him for your happiness!

        In your own power, it would be impossible to successfully do all this, but with prayer, study, and the encouragement of others here, you can! Think of God’s spirit and our prayers in your behalf as the “wind beneath your wings,” dear sister. Bloom and grow! Much love to you!

        1. Thank you Elizabeth for your encouragement and ideas to try.

          I’ve spent 11 years analyzing my husband and my pastor and counsellor agree with my summary of him and the situation. Now God has to reveal that to him and to his parents and they need to start solving issues and hurts.

          Someone else suggested exercise to me. I’ve had a foot that I needed an injection in so it’s stopped me exercising for 6 months. It is now feeling better so I can do some exercise on my days off work.

          Thank you again. Your love and kindness has touched me today.

      1. Praying like Hannah,
        :). I’m so blessed to hear that my experience is helpful to you as well – LOVE it when our Lord works that way!!

  3. This is fantastic! The way we handle these situations is so important, when we don’t yell back and go ballistic at our husbands, they sometimes realise and readily apologise, which I must admit is much harder for me to do! Through certain very difficult circumstances and with April’s advice (winning them over without a word, Peter 3, I think…) my husband now comes to church with me, and I am pretty sure has committed to Christ…..at first I couldn’t even handle that positively, I found it hard to believe and trust that it/he was real, but now I am learning and growing…thank God and April for this Blog, it helps me every day to keep trying to do things the right way. God bless the struggling wives xx

    1. JuR,
      Praise God for what He is doing in your life and in your husband’s heart and in your marriage! Thank you for sharing! I know that it was not long ago that you were extremely frustrated and unsure about what to do. I’m so glad you are seeking God with all your heart and seeking to walk in obedience to Him and in His power!

  4. Thanks for sharing your story.
    I believe that God has laid out clear principles for divorce. Which is why I’m still here 10.5 years on.
    I too walk on egg shells, and get nasty words thrown at me daily “you work part time. I provide the money and if I want to buy a new bike I will” “you can’t leave me. You won’t be able to survive without the money my job brings it. I can make it very difficult financially for you if you ever left”. “I don’t have compassion. Get over it. That’s the way I am” etc etc. It is much more than just a grumpy husband. He’s consistently grumpy and tears me down and at times the children. Never physically; but with his words and actions.

    I do know I need to work on things. I do know I also set high expectations on myself and it allows me to stay in the depression I have. Instead of believing what God says about me…

    Work in progress I guess.

  5. Ok this is how the situation would have played out in my house:

    He would have woken up to find wet clothes in the dryer and asked me in a somewhat irritated voice ( he would never, ever yell at me.) if this special shirt was ready. I would jump up from my quiet time table. ( Actually I would already be up, we both get up at 4:30 am) I’m sorry, it was cold and I started a fire and you’ve told me not to have the dryer running while the stoves are running. I’m so sorry I forgot.. I mean he has a right to get irritated.. I would hold back the tears for disappointing him yet again. He would see that I was near tears and say that’s ok. I can just wear the other one… But I have let him down.. I HATE that. I would cry after he left..

    Now is that an ok response? It wasn’t disrespectful was it????

    1. Elizabeth,

      Goodness, I hate that you would beat yourself up that much over a shirt not being dry.

      Greg has so many shirts, and doesn’t have to have particular ones for work, so I guess this has never really been a problem at our house! But – I think it would probably go like this at our house:

      Greg- Honey, is my shirt ready?

      Me – Oops! I am SO SORRY! It’s still in the washing machine. Let me get it in the dryer really quickly. Is there anything else you need?

      Then, I think things would be ok.

      If there was only one shirt and he HAD to have that and there wasn’t time for it to be ready – I would probably be a bit more upset with myself. And would try to be more careful about making sure it was ready in the future.

      If there is an issue with the stove being on and the dryer not running at the same time – you could ask him if it is ok for you to run the dryer, or what he would like you to do with the stove.

      Much love to you, my sweet sister!

      1. I just used this as an example. It hasn’t ever happened, but other things similarly have: Did you call….. or where is this receipt.. or where is this …. ( Which most of the time he has misplaced, to be honest, but somehow I feel like I am responsible for it all.

        I just don’t know how NOT to beat myself up for my lack of perfection… Mistakes mean I am a failure. If I haven’t done something then I am lazy or selfish and God will hold me accountable… I dread the day I die.. I know I will eternally live because I accepted Christ, but I don’t want to see my life on screen.

        1. Elizabeth,

          Have you seen my video on perfectionism on Youtube? My channel is “April Cassidy” – check it out! 🙂

          You are NOT responsible for everything. You are only responsible for yourself. This is something that is REALLY important to understand – where our responsibility ends and God’s and other people’s begins.

          A great place to start is “Control and Boundaries”
          And “The Snare of People Pleasing”

          Are you trying to earn God’s pleasure instead of allowing the grace of Christ to do everything on your behalf? We can’t live in obedience apart from God’s Spirit. It has to be ALL HIM. He works in us – there is no good in us at all on our own.

          We are not good in and of ourselves. We are evil.

          The only good in us is from Jesus.

          It sounds to me like you have so much fear of judgment – and “he who fears is not made perfect in love” because God’s “perfect love casts out all fear.”

          Are you still living in fear, my precious girl?

          IF so, let’s talk about that. A child of God doesn’t have to live in fear whatsoever!

          Much love,
          April

    2. Elizabeth,

      It seems that we both have sensitivity in common as well as our name. 🙂 That’s a wonderful quality, but in marriage you can’t “sweat the small stuff”–in the name of happiness and sheer survival. After an extended period of being extremely concerned that I please him always, in every way, right down to the last detail of our lives, my husband told me he wished I would just let him be who he was. He asked me to please let his negative responses to small situations “roll off my back” and grant him the space to relax and be himself without worrying that something he said might hurt me. In the long run, this is absolutely best! My concern about pleasing him in everything was too much of a good thing, and became exhausting for us both.

      Now we’re a lot more laid back about the “small stuff.” We do the best we can to show love and consideration for each other, but don’t feel devastated if the other person expresses frustration, etc., in response to some type of stress. We’ve relaxed into our relationship, I guess you could say, and life is so much better that way!

      1. Elizabeth,

        Yes, conflict is not the end of the world – it doesn’t have to be, at least! And we can extend grace to ourselves and to each other!

        I love the book Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller – he explains very beautifully how to do this.

        I love your examples!

        I know that I didn’t used to be able to extend grace to Greg- turns out- that is because I hadn’t really received the grace of Jesus for myself before. I didn’t see how sinful I was or realize how much grace Jesus gave to me. And I couldn’t give to Greg, or others, what I didn’t have for myself.

        I’m so thankful for the grace of God!

        My husband says a lot of things like yours does, too. So sweet! Many husbands just want us to relax and enjoy them and not freak out by little bumps in the road. 🙂

    3. Liz, that’s me, I beat myself up, b/c yet again, J failed to please my husband, I use to really beat myself down, but now I just mediate and watch closely observing the situation go not make the same mistake.

    4. Hi Elizabeth,

      Is this the same Elizabeth to whom I commented a few days ago about finding my voice on the post “When He Hands You an Olive Branch”? There are several Elizabeth’s lately and it’s confusing me!

      I wanted to share something else I learned that may be helpful for you. First, there have been many other “incidents” with my husband where I handled them more like you describe — tears, insecurities, etc. I am not one to explode, but rather withdraw and withhold how I’m feeling. However, I had a major “Ah-ha!” moment when reading a chapter on communication in an old marriage book I had kicking around from who knows where — “Strengthening Your Marriage” by Wayne Mack.

      He points out the importance of self-control in good communication. This is one of the Fruits of the Spirit that I’d always considered I was blessed with — I don’t struggle to control my temper. But there’s a whole other aspect to self-control that I never knew about! Maybe this is plain to everyone else, so forgive me if I’m stating the obvious, but it was a huge revelation to me.

      Self-control is not just about controlling a bad temper. It is also the ability to control myself when tempted to retreat into silence (shut down, withdraw) and the ability to control habitual responses to difficult situations such as tears of self-pity shed to avoid facing an issue or due to hurt because someone expresses disappointment, disapproval, or disagreement.

      For me, this new understanding helped me put into perspective the importance of learning to express myself, to speak the truth in love and not shut down. Oh, how I wish I had learned this years ago! But now, how I pray that the Holy Spirit will produce this Fruit in my life. What folly and pride to think I had self-control under control!

  6. Kelly,
    Ha! That is funny. Your dishwasher needs a timer so that it can come on after the tv is off and before everyone needs hot water in the morning! Some dishwashers are SO LOUD! i know our old one sounded like a dragon was licking off the plates or something and roaring all the time. It was loud in the next room!

    Maybe, for Christmas, you can get him a quieter dishwasher. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  7. Hi, peaceful wife, hoping u are continuing to be stil, and experience peace right now. I actually had a “no clothes being ironred incident” I didn’t iron my hubby’s pants like I usually have been, just started to iron them this past week, out of an act to bless him, so he won’t have to do it hiself. Of course I don’t iron as good as him, I’m not as spify as I should be, never was a person who ironed much, but he would always iron his own clothes, being the fact that I don’t iron as well as he does, and kept putting it off, like I know I have to do this, but kept putting it off (yesterday). This left my husband unhappy, and mumbling under his breath “my wife just can’t keep my clothes hung up, neat and ironed”. Of course I felt bad and just smiled at him, trying to make him smile, as in I know honey. I felt bad for not doin it, like man I forgot and should of done it asap. I was like babe I’ll iron it now if you want, he said It will take too long being that he was in a rush.
    What I’m learning is It would be better if I put him first, this way thigs will get done for him, he always puts me first, and thinks aout me before his self in everything. This ministers to me, I am blesses to have a man like this, yet I don’t seek to make his day by doing service for him, that he truly needs.
    For now on I will put everything he needs first priority- a wife that is sensative to his needs, responsible, loving, caring, selfless, and considerate, and cery humble when she does somethig wrong, not justifyimg, but seeking forgicveness, and not makimg the same mistake twice too mny times. Be blessed by this.

  8. I am new to the journey as well. For so long my husband has told me directly that he feels disrespected but I didn’t “get it”. I didn’t see how my overly helpful nature was actually rooted in my selfish way of thinking I was the only one who could handle the things I was doing. My husband saw through the superficial layer that had even deluded me and had been worn down by my insistence regarding handling everything. Something he said to me the other night finally clicked and I have been pouring over your insights on the blog ever since then. I apologized last night (after watching your video on how to apologize!) and touched on what I wrote in this comment briefly. He looked at me with such light—-almost with pride, like I finally understood his language.

    This post resonates with me because I know I not only face the challenge of changing my language (as April has said, no one is fluent right away), but his perception of my intention will take time to shift as well! My husband has withdrawn in the past but is definitely more reactive now. It takes a lot of work to curb things from escalating. Due to my amount of disrespect he can be quick to assume the worst about my words, actions, and motives. It gets better as we move forward!

  9. Hi everyone! I am blessed by all your comments and stories. 🙂

    I think every “Dryer incident” or similar circumstance wherein we “slip” or “fail” is “beautiful” in the sense that it allows us to always check our hearts. It allows us to always be humble.

    When we are progressing towards the path of holiness so well and not encountering any roadblocks, it is so easy to say “Yes! I have mastered this!” or “Yay! I am finally so good at this submitting thing!” When we slip and fall and show imperfection, and we are NOT as HURT when this happens, this only goes to show that HUMILITY is in us which is the right frame of spirit. BUT, If these things “hurt” us, it just goes to show that the SELF is still very much alive and we have to quell it before it becomes empowered again.

    I liken this to a little child, whom the Lord said we should copy. 🙂 Aren’t little kids who are just starting to walk, cute, even when they stumble and fall? And when they do the little arms up thing, we pick them up and soothe their tiny knees or baby bootie or wherever it was that got hurt. They don’t stay on the floor just grumbling over stumbling and falling, they reach out to us, so we can soothe them immediately… till the next fall!

    That is how we should act towards God. We stumble, we fall, we reach out to Him and like little children, He will carry us with his Arms of Love… till we fall again. Failing is a humbling experience and a way to act like little children before our Creator. 🙂

    It is wonderful that the Lord’s Grace is given in new doses daily! “They are new every morning— great is your faithfulness!” (Lamentations 3:23), so we should not fret, we should not lose hope so easily. Instead, let’s embrace our imperfections because it is these that endear us to God especially when we acknowledge our frailties before Him. Him Who strengthens us and without Him, we cannot do anything on our own.

  10. Hi. Missy Sue here. I understand this wife’s frustration. Sometimes the little things we forget to do end up hurting our husbands….

    I have frustration of my own. It isn’t related to laundry but about my sexual desire for m y husband and my expectations. Hubby has been once a month type off guy. I am a two or three times a day maybe three times a week kind of gal. This makes for a lot of disappointments, anger, confusion, disappointments, and breaks my heart.

    I love being touched. Hugged. Kissed passionately. Being held. My hand being held. But the spark is gone…for now.

    You see I have a mental illness. I have had bipolar for twenty years since I was twelve.

    Hubby and I waited until the alter for our first kiss. Hubby struggled with porn before he met me. I struggled with self-pleasing before we met. We wanted to be pure on our wedding night and honor God through our waiting…even to kiss. We held each other accountable and always communicated about our meetings and our purity.

    But with know coming out of two months of doctor increasing mood stabilizer and starting a new antidepessant it has been hard. Sexually and relationally.

    My frustration comes with our ….my ….. boredom in the marriage bex.

    No passion. Me having to do all the “work” per say. He is there for me, but emotionally and physically checked out.

    This hurts me more than you know. I feel rejected. Not cherished. Hard hearted. Sad. Frustrated.

    I may have put on 50 plus pounds with medication and being addicted to regular soda pop….at least five 32 ounces of pop a week…and gaining all that weight is hard on hubby. He desires his 2006 wife’s body back. I desire him to be attracted to me and love me.

    Part of that attraction is physical…but he has told me a lot is relational. How I treat him.

    Hubby doesn’t think I care about him.

    And in my self-centeredness I dont a lot of the time. Maybe 70 to 75 percent of the time.

    I am BUSY AND DON’T TAKE THE TIME to care or to listen to him.

    My biggest problem when I am sick with mania is listening to people.

    But I also struggle every day. Listening to poor hubby. I would feel so sad and unloved too if my hubby did that to me…every single day…sigh…

    So about 95 percent is my problem.

    But I don’t feel like it should be.

    It should be 50/50.

    Hubby doesn’t apologize or take responsibility for his 50 percent.

    THAT HURTS ME DEEPLY!!!!!!!!!

    But I am a woman of Faith.

    I BELIEVE THIS YEAR will be THE YEAR that God is going to restore the years the locusts have eaten.

    Faith.

    Lacking for hubby.

    I pray and trust.

    I am seeing my sin, selfishness, and have asked God for help.

    I say I am sorry, even if hubby never admits that he is part of our marriage bed problem.

    I also trying to walk in obedience to my LORD Jesus Christ.

    There is HOPE in Jesus.

    That is the most wonderful news.

    GOD has this battle.

    I don’t.

    And that is 1,000 percent ok with me.

    Amen and AMEN.

    And Is would have never had this epiephany on my own.

    1. MissySue,

      I am praying for you and your husband. You have a lot of issues that make things much more complicated, that is for sure! But we do know that God is sovereign and I trust that He will give you and your husband wisdom. I pray for healing for you both and for God’s greatest glory in your lives, my precious girl!

  11. My biggest prayer has been to learn how to love my husband where he is right now without the expectation of change. Let me tell you what a tall order that is, but that is my prayer. Why? Because Christ loves me everyday right where I am at with all my sin and unloveliness. Why shouldn’t I be asked to do the same? Oh, wait! I am!! Love your neighbor as yourself. So many people believe that Christian have it easy or should have it easy; especially other Christians, but that is not what we truly signed up for. Do you think if people fully understood what they “signed up for,” would they still want it? I wouldn’t think twice. I’m sticking with Jesus!

    1. Melissa,

      You definitely get it! Marriage is a bit like a class on love – and this is the lab portion. Our husbands give us a chance to practice godly love on a sinful person. God gives us the tools and training in His Word, the power by His Spirit and then we get to practice in real life. God uses marriage in this way to make us more and more holy and like Christ.

      Love it!

  12. I am a wife going through a similar situation. I find it difficult to be consistent at blessing my husband for The Lord. I expected my husband to be my God and to never fail me. I know thAt my priorities have been mixed up, but I find it difficult trying to get on the right track. I must give without expectation And love Christ more than I love my husband. Thank u for this post, it came at the right time.

    1. Woodson,

      You are most welcome. These are difficult battles – learning to lay down our expectations and put our faith in God alone and not allow our husbands, marriage, feeling loved, being in control, self, children or anything else to come before God in our hearts.

      I am so excited that you see what you need to do! That is the critical first step! 🙂

      I have so many posts here that are exactly about this issue, how to get on track with God. Maybe you can start reading and praying and seeking God – and if you have particular concerns, don’t hesitate to ask. I will do my best to point you to Christ and His Word. 🙂

      Much love to you!

      How to Make Your Husband an Idol

      I’ve Really Messed Up! How Do I Make Things Right with God?

      How to Use this Site

      God, Don’t Waste My Time

      How to Pray for Your Husband So That God Will Hear

      Living a Consecrated Life

      Jesus is My Identity and Security

      Overcoming Idolatry

      Am I Hard Hearted?

      A Counseling Session with Peacefulwife

      And almost all of the posts at the top of my home page are foundational and great places to start, as well.

      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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