I stumbled across Peaceful Wife’s blog after Googling (seriously) “why doesn’t my husband want to spend time with me” (or something like that – I tried Googling it again to see and I can’t find the blog as a result anymore!)
Anyway, the post that was linked was http://peacefulwife.com/2013/09/06/im-going-to-stop-pursuing-my-husband/ and as I read, I felt a huge weight being taken off my shoulders. I’ve been married for two and a half years, and my husband and I have a baby who’s just under a year old.
Although I try my hardest every day to uplift my husband, I never realized just how disrespectful I’d been – things like
- withholding sex and cuddling because I wasn’t feeling loved
- making enormous financial decisions without his input
- trying to be the spiritual leader in our household… the list goes on.
It definitely got worse when our baby was born this past spring – our baby is very fussy and needy, and I was always putting our baby first (hard not to do with a newborn) and barely giving my husband any respect or attention at all. Naturally, I began feeling very unloved. Despite all the work I was doing, it felt like my husband didn’t see it or didn’t care.
So I’d been praying for God to change my husband. I’d considered separation. I let thoughts of an old ex-boyfriend (from seven years ago!) with whom I have absolutely zero contact play around in my mind. But I bit my tongue (something I learned to do early on, thank God) and prayed. I got mad at God. I asked God why He wasn’t doing anything to help my marriage.
Then, your blog. Here was His answer:
“You need to recognize your controlling ways and learn to submit joyfully to your husband.”
And it was scary. But as I read Peaceful Wife’s post and all the comments, and continued to read the blog, I felt a joy I hadn’t felt in a long time. I am a steamroller! I couldn’t believe just how disrespectful and controlling I’d been, all the while lauding myself for being that “cool, laid-back wife”… oh my. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
I asked God for the grace to allow me to step back and let my husband lead in our family. I recognized just how difficult this is going to be, but I absolutely trust God (not to mention my husband’s capacity for making smart decisions). I don’t know why I always felt like I needed to rush to make decisions, or not trust my husband, but his track record reveals a man of sound heart and mind! And he is a terrific father; I am so blessed to be married to him. I’m just so glad I found Peaceful Wife’s blog and was reminded of God’s sovereignty and my husband’s role as leader in our family.
I think a lot of my fear and control has to do with the roles my parents exhibited in their own marriage (which ended when I was in university, when my dad cheated on my mom [a recovering alcoholic] with my best friend’s mother [a drug addict]…. sigh!) My mother was a doormat for my father. He walked all over her and treated her very poorly. He never abused her, but he was not very loving and my mother worshipped the ground he walked on. I can see now that my mother didn’t respect him, though. When I was 4 and mother had gone through a rehab program to finally kick alcohol,
She booted my father out of the house, saying she didn’t need him around to help raise the kids.
My dad revealed to me when he left my mom 30 years into their marriage that he hadn’t loved my mom since that day in 1986. I can’t imagine the pain that ripped through my father’s heart when my mother showed him that phenomenal amount of disrespect. She did beg him back a few months later, and he did return, but it was not a joyful marriage, and like I said, it ended in separation nineteen years later. My father told me that the only reason he’d returned was for my sibling and I. I know my relationship is not my parents’, but at least knowing where my fear comes from can help me hand it over to God and not live in fear.
After all these revelations and prayer, I am not joking you when I say I saw a difference in my husband within hours.
(From Peacefulwife – every couple’s story is unique. The timelines are different. Sometimes there is an immediate response. Sometimes things get rocky after that for awhile. Sometimes it takes months or years to see a “response” from a husband, and there are some cases – rarely – where a husband never responds favorably to his wife’s genuine change of heart, respect and honor. We are not responsible for our husbands’ response, we are only responsible for our obedience to Christ.)
Whereas he’d barely said 10 words to me in the past few days, all of the sudden he posted a picture of me on Facebook, praising me with some sweet comments – very unlike him. The difference? God created the space in our relationship for us to fulfill our respective roles, and I am able to see my husband with new eyes. I am actively praying about respecting my husband. I have so much to learn, so much scripture to reflect on, so much repentance to do. I wrote a note for my husband this morning and put it in his lunch, apologizing for some of my ‘steamrolling’ behavior in the past few months.
I know it is dangerous for me to expect any response, so I am not.
When he comes home from work today, I will greet him at the door with our child, give him a hug, and allow him to pursue me in his time and space, whatever that may be.
Thank you to Peaceful Wife for creating a space online which has evidently already helped so, SO many women. I am not much of a YouTube watcher, but I began watching Peaceful Wife’s videos last night (channel “April Cassidy”). Submission is scary, especially in a culture that promotes aggression in women. I’ve followed God’s will in so many areas of my life and have been so blessed, and I’m excited for whatever His will is in my marriage.