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“I Really Want HIM to Change, Too!” – GraceAlone

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We are continuing to follow GraceAlone as she works through the first few steps of her journey. This is day 2 of our correspondence. (Post 1, Post 2 today’s is post 3, Post 4)  If you want to see how she is growing and be more up to date, you can check out some comments she left on yesterday’s post. 🙂
GRACE ALONE’S EMAIL – Day 2
I started reading John 1 yesterday and John 2 today – Something you said triggered the idea to keep a journal of my journey- so I am keeping a journal every day of what my emotions are like and what I feel like God showed me that day. I think keeping this journal helps me better articulate things, and my prayer is that I will be able to look back years from now and that I can know beyond a shadow of doubt where I was/am and where God led me.

You gave me the assignment of 1 Peter 3:1-6.

Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

  • I believe God is trying to show me that nothing I say or do can change my husband. I have said all that I can say, tried to get him to read books, seek counseling etc and nothing has changed as a result. If anything, I think things have gotten worse because of my constant talking about things.

After getting married and gaining a lot of weight – I don’t know what it feels like to be beautiful anymore. I cannot tell you the last time my husband gave me a compliment without me first prodding. I always felt so ugly on the outside. Well, it’s way worse to feel ugly on the outside and the inside. Reading this passage about letting your beauty come from the inside resonated with me. Maybe I won’t feel pretty again til I lose the weight, but maybe, just maybe, my husband will find me attractive again if I have a beautiful spirit. See, this is hard to separate for me – because, believe it or not, I feel like a lot of our problems are connected to my weight- my physical beauty.

I think what God is trying to say is, yes, while I do need to work on my health, what is more important is that I work on my spirit. I do want and desire to have a gentle and quiet spirit. I am terribly afraid of not getting there.

  • Yesterday, I had a great time in the Word and prayer- better than I have had in a very long time.
  • I chose to be happy when my husband came home.
  • I did not say anything unpleasant to him the whole night.

But sure enough, as I woke up this morning, doubts were there:

  • “What if my husband is right when he says, ‘I have seen this before and it lasted about three days.'”
  • “What if this gets too hard when my husband does something to hurt my feelings – will I explode and lash out?”

It seems I can do alright when he is doing alright – but the first time he hurts me – it’s game-over for me.

I think something else I am afraid of is no change on his part at all. I realize that you said in one of your emails that change must take place in me because it pleases God, even if my husband does not change. This is very HARD.
It almost seems I cannot help my selfish motives of “If I am changing, he needs to change, too.”
I worry that if I do not see change in him, than I will give up – even knowing that is not the right attitude. I don’t know how to fix that. I secretly am still hoping that my husband will change and that one day he will want kids. As much as I want to let that go, it is very hard.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
A journal is a great idea!  I journaled the whole way through my process.  But I threw away my journals from the first few years. I didn’t want to have Greg or our children discover them later and read all the sinful awful filth that was in my head in the beginning!  Keep your journals somewhere safe! Sometimes, I would rip up what I wrote right after I wrote it. Sometimes the thoughts in my head were that evil. Of course, now I could have used those journals and quoted my struggles from back then word for word. Maybe I should have kept them!
You are correct – God is showing you that you cannot change your husband.  In fact, the more you try to control him, the more you will repel him.  Laura Doyle, “The Surrendered Wife” says
“You can have control or intimacy, but you can’t have both.”
SO TRUE!
Your words about God, the marriage, spiritual things or children are going to be like nails scratching a black board to your husband’s masculine soul right now.  The more you try to control him and put your hands emotionally/spiritually around his throat, the more he will fight you and go the opposite direction just to prove to you that you cannot control him and that he is a grown man and can make his own decisions.
  • You are going to have to accept him as he is right now – even if he never, ever changes.  This is a very important step in this process. It is part of realizing you are not God’s Spirit. It is part of acknowledging that he is a grown adult to whom God has given free will to make his own choices. And it is part of godly, unconditional I Corinthians 13 love – accepting someone without making demands that he change for my benefit. It will take some time to process and hash through all of this. That is ok.
You have a number of idols that have to be torn out by the root.  This is not a one time thing. It may take months or years to completely deal with your idols. It is exactly like dealing with an addiction – because it IS an addiction! The temptation to re-erect your idols will continue to be an issue for a long time. Your job is to tear them completely out of your soul and put your faith and trust totally in Christ alone. Ask God to show you just how ugly idolatry is to Him. Ask Him to show you just how much it grieves His heart and looks like “adultery” to Him. That makes it a lot easier to get rid of the “detestable” idols. You may have to tear them out every day or every hour for a long time. That is ok!
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A few assignments (ladies at home, you may do these, too!):     🙂
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1. Please list all of your idols in your journal Every single one you can identify. You may want to have a page reserved for this.
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2. Please start a list of all the things you admire and respect about your husband. Leave several pages for this list! When you start to dwell on something negative about him, try to immediately recognize you are not focusing on Philippians 4:8 things and you are going to replace those thoughts with good thoughts and grateful thoughts about his strengths. You are going to starve your negative thoughts about him and feed your positive thoughts about him. Add positive things to the list every time you think of something.
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3. Please start a list of all of the sin in your heart. Add to it every time you see another sin.
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4. Please think of 2 things you can verbally admire about your husband about this week.  Then, just briefly thank him or share with him a sentence or two once or twice in the next few days about what you admire about him.
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5. Smile at him whenever you walk into the room.  Just to bless him. Expect nothing in return.
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Your health is an idol-related issue, I believe.  As you get your heart right with God – I believe you will be able to get your health right, too. But if you don’t address the spiritual issues of seeking comfort from food instead of from God, you will continue to sabotage yourself, in my view.  I want you to take  GREAT care of this valuable life and body God has entrusted to your care and stewardship.
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You will have TONS and TONS of selfish, sinful motives to hash through in the coming months and years – we all do! When your husband doesn’t change – which he probably won’t for a long time (that is normal) – you will have to refine and purify your motives over and over again – to be sure you are only doing this for God.  It is actually sometimes a blessing that husbands are so skeptical and that they don’t trust us and the changes in us for so long many times-  because as they continue not to change, it FORCES us to purify our motives in ways that we would not have to if they changed quickly.
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  • So, do not go into this expecting your husband to change. Pray for God to change YOU for His glory!  Pray for God to make you faithful to His Word and to Himself, no matter what the cost, no matter what the earthly results, no matter what your husband does.
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I cannot do the wrestling part for you. You will have to do a LOT of wrestling with God, His Word and yourself. Take all the time you need.
Dying to Self and giving up idols and learning to fully trust God is HARD!  It is painful. It is terrifying at first.  But it is so worth it!
UPDATE 9-2016:
Both GraceAlone and her husband have changed a lot. In God’s timing. They are both healing and doing SO much better! 🙂 PRAISE GOD!
RELATED:
If you haven’t, you may want to read my FAQ series.

54 thoughts on ““I Really Want HIM to Change, Too!” – GraceAlone

  1. Oh I can so relate to those thoughts about what if he doesn’t change, and he better change and make an effort if I am, and how to deal with it and remain godly when he doesn’t change right away….
    I’m there with you and sister and praying that you are able to grow through this time, press into God, cultivate a pure and loving and devoted heart regardless of your husbands actions and you give yourself some grace to do this over time and set realistic expectations on yourself and your husband.

  2. My husband has made changes. But… in my heart, they are still not good enough and I’m discouraged. What if …. this is as good as it gets? Looks like I need to do the hard work of recognizing and journalling MY idols and MY sin and bring it to the Cross. My demon wants to know “When does the joy come?”

    Thanks for the insightful post.

    1. Cgpags,

      Thank you for sharing! I think EVERY wife on this journey can relate to what you are saying. I know I can.

      The key is, we experience God’s peace and joy when we lay down all of our sin in repentance, all of it, and all of our expectations of our husbands to make us happy and we understand deeply that Jesus is our very Great Reward and that He is more than enough.

      Thank you for sharing! I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you!

      1. April…
        Thanks for the encouragement. I have a head knowledge of Jesus but struggling with a heart knowledge. Appreciate your prayers.
        …Cathy

    2. Cgpags… Think this is such an important part of the process! As I identified my own junk, realized what a horrible wife I had been when all along I thought I was a good wife! Not that that should give him a pass to be horrible too, but it helped me to have some grace with him in his process. I was no more perfect than him and in Gods eyes there’s no level of sin…sin is sin. Great job 🙂

    3. cgpags,
      This is hard for me right now too. I have to keep telling myself that ” even if He doesn’t change, I need to change so that I can please Jesus. ” It is hard for me too- praying for you as we walk this journey together!

  3. “The more you try to control him and put your hands emotionally/spiritually around his throat, the more he will fight you and go the opposite direction just to prove to you that you cannot control him and that he is a grown man and can make his own decisions.”
    This whole post was so helpful but this sentence is very eye opening to see how my husband may be thinking. He’s definitely said things like I’m a grown man at times when I’ve pushed to much.

    1. Jeanne,

      Yes, it puts our controlling behavior in a new light, doesn’t it? That is a good picture of how our husbands feel when we try to control them. Not pretty. I am glad it was helpful!

  4. Gracealone,

    Was thinking of you last couple days with your painful situation and yes, 1Peter 3:1-6 comes to my mind for you with your husband. Although I struggled myself applying that scripture to my life but you seem to have a lot of back up support from April and all others on here. All I can say is Draw so Close to God every moment you can, meditate on his word, get to know him better and trust him. Do this for yourself right now, allow God to do his work to change your heart. Continually give your heart, concerns to the Lord lay them at his feet. Have a wonderful day today!
    God Bless,

    1. Thank you so very much Amy! I am trying to do just that, this is a process, I know. I want and desire to be more like Jesus, so I can respond better.
      Thank you for your encouragement!

  5. I think there is a helpful book called ‘A Hunger for God’ by John Piper that might be worth a read at some point. It talks about filling our lives with God and not filling up on other stuff such as food and worldly things.

    With love and prayers,
    Alison Joy x

    P.S. GraceAlone wrote in the previous post, ‘I thought God clearly told me this man was, indeed, that right one’. I believe that to be true and I pray that even in the storm she will be able to believe the Lord for this, even in the darkness. For ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’

    1. Alison Joy,

      Oh that book sounds good!

      Thank you for encouraging GraceAlone! I believe her husband IS a good gift from God. I believe this road she is walking right now is going to lead to the greatest gifts of her life – freedom from idolatry, intimacy with Christ, blessing many other women as they watch God work in her… And I believe there is great healing in store for her marriage, I pray along with you!

    2. Thank you so much Alison! I truly need prayers as I know this is only the beginning of my journey for me! Thank you for the encouragement and book recommendation!

  6. Dear Precious GraceAlone,

    I am a wife of 23 years who started marriage being told that it would be life-threatening for me to have a child. (I have dealt with serious chronic disease for 24 years.) I grieved for those babies that I would never carry…grieved in a way that no words can adequately express. My beloved husband and I had some very difficult years due to my depression over being childless, and looking back, due to my lashing out at him and disrespectful attitude. The consequences of my sinful behavior lead to a time of serious loneliness in our marriage and a lack of any type of intimacy.

    During that time, I was angry with God…how ugly to admit. My thoughts repeated things like, hadn’t I worshipped God since an early age? Hadn’t I shared Christ with others? Hadn’t I loved Him, obeyed Him?…How could He do this to me!? I am ashamed to even type those words…He owes me nothing and has given me everything in Christ. I tried giving God the silent treatment just like a spoiled brat. I tried to convince Him to give me what I wanted. I tried screaming at Him, crying, begging…I tried everything. Nothing worked, but I was more miserable than ever. The only peace I finally found was in complete surrender. To place all my Hope and Trust in Him. One of my Life Verses is “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12

    I can promise you that our All-Sovereign, All-Gracious, All-Merciful God does bring beauty from ashes, gladness for mourning, praise for despair. He has done that for me and for my marriage. He is a God who specializes in Redemption and Restoration. Hold onto Hope, cling to His Strength and rest in His Unfailing Love…even when you “feel” forgotten. The refining fire hurts but the beauty is glorious.

    I am praying for you and your husband.

    In His Grace,
    Martha

    1. Martha,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story!!!!! I would love to hear more about your healing and your walk with Christ now and your marriage now if you are interested in sharing. BEAUTIFUL!!!!

      1. April,
        I would be honored to share the sanctifying events of my life with you. It really is all about God! I am not a writer, but if my Lord can use me, I am willing to try.
        In His Grace,
        Martha

        1. Martha,
          It is so obvious that it is really all about God in your life now! I love that! No rush – but I would definitely love to hear more about your story, maybe we can run it as a post, if you are interested. 🙂

    2. Martha,
      Wow. Such an encouraging, heartfelt post. Thank you so much for sharing where you were and where God has brought you- Such a blessing to me. Thank you for your prayers! Much love to you!

      1. Dearest GraceAlone!

        Reading about your journey, my eyes are filled with tears so frequently, because I can relate too.

        Before we got married I told my husband-to-be how much I want kids immediately after our wedding. As far as I remember he answered nothing. But then, a few monthes after our wedding I’ve noticed he wasn’t eager to have a child. Monthes went by and when I realized I was not getting pregnant I went to a doctor and he said we need to start undergoing treament or later it would be so much more difficult.

        My husband said he didn’t want me to undergo treatment. To say I was shocked and down is to say nothing.

        To make the long story short during the 5 years of my marriage there were 2 times when I was severely depressed to the point I wanted to commit a suicide. Thanks to God’s grace and the support of my mom I’m still alive. She even brought me to the psyciatrist only to be told I’m mentally healthy and my state was only due to the psycological problems.

        Then I began to think about adoption. I was glad when he said he wanted to adopt as well. But after talking to his mom he’d changed his mind. I was really furious.

        Last year I had a period when for 3 monthes I kept silent about the-baby-subject. It was my personal victory with God! Yet then we brought up the subject again and I went to the doctor to undergo checks. He gave me money for this! But when I’ve been told I have ovulations (not every month, but still), my hormones are OK and I don’t have any infection that might cause infertility… The doctors said the problem is in him.

        But he doesn’t want to undergo checks because they are painful. At first I was really bitter…

        Well, there were several times when I was ready to divorce him. But I KNEW it IS not the will of God. So no matter what I felt I decided to keep our marriage. I’ve also experienced very hard times when I knew several men were attracted to me. And I was attracted to them… I was almost ready to break my marriage vows…

        But with God’s help we are still together. He’s been doing a lot in my soul during last years. You know, now I’ve come to the point where I know I can be happy EVEN if I’ll never have a child. Though I hope someday God will make us parents. But first I should learn not to press my husband.

        My dear, let’s learn to be strong and happy in Christ alone. Sorry, my post was too long. But I just want you to know you are not alone in this situation.

        AND REGARDING YOUR WEIGHT. FIRST YOU NEED TO ACCEPT YOUR BODY JUST THE WAY IT IS AND TO THANK GOD FOR IT. I MYSELF CAME TO PLACE WHEN I ACCEPTED THAT IF I STAY IN MY WEIGHT FOREVER, I’LL BE OK.

        THEN I GRDUALLY BEGAN TO CHANGE. PLEASE, LEARN TO CONCENTRATE ON TAKING CARE OF YOUR BODY, not on slimming down.

        I read a lot of stuff regarding emotional eating and mindful eating, and body positivity. It helps gradually, but it’s the process.

        But reading all that stuff I focus on making God firstm you know. Because psycology cannot be used INSTEAD of reading His Word and praying.

        I CAN SAY FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, THAT WHEN YOU START ACCEPTING YOUR BODY AND TAKING CARE OF IT… WHEN YOU BEGIN TO REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOU ARE PRECIOUS AND BEAUTIFUL FOR GOD…

        You will look more and more beautiful! And your husband will notice it. Men notice women who respect themselves and embrace themselves even if they now they are not perfect)))

        God bless, dear!

        1. GodsImperfectButLovedJewel,

          Thank you SO much for sharing your story! GraceAlone is actually doing MUCH better now, as well! I am hoping she may share an update with us soon. Perhaps she will be able to respond to your comment. I hope so.

          Thank you for the encouragement for GraceAlone and for others and for pointing women to Christ. LOVE this!!!!!!!!

  7. GraceAlone, I have learned, through April’s blog and by the power of God, that my behavior, attitude and how I respond to my husband can keep building up the wall that is between the two of us or it can create intimacy, if anything by not getting into a fight. There was a huge wall between me and my husband that built up through the years due to resentment/nagging from my part and once kids arrived my nagging got worse because he was too lenient with the kids and we have a very, very strong willed child. I resented my husband commanding without the intent to follow thru or enforce his command and so the kids realized that they could ignore daddy’s command. So I became the disciplinarian but I resented him for not being the godly husband and father that I so much desired. My son demands so much energy from my marriage that things got worse. Don’t get me wrong I love my children but as April mentioned, children in and of themselves do not bring happiness. If anything it adds another layer to the mix that you have to deal with and it can create more friction in a marriage.

    I’m not overweight but I tool felt like I was not pretty enough; especially after my husband would say comments about my body proportions and would stare at attractive women that passed by. I can keep going about the details of my story but it will be too long, I do want you to know that in November of last year I heard the song “Indescribable” I had heard this song so many time but this time something caught my attention and I just started crying. The part that says “you set the stars in the sky and you know them by name” made me realize the same God who set the stars in the sky created me and that I was created in his image and that I’m beautiful.

    We went to counseling due to some inappropriate relationships that he had with his female coworkers, but it wasn’t until I stopped breathing down his throat, “detached” my self (so to speak) from my husband and I surrendered to God and allowed the peace of God to abide in my heart that the walls started to come down and he started to see the pain that he caused me.

    I lived through a very painful six months last year, we had even “separated” but still lived under the same roof for a couple of weeks but my marriage has seen some great improvement now. My husband still messes up and I can’t not forgive him on my own as April once told me I needed the power of God to help me forgive him. Just recently he made a decision that I thought he needed to include me but he didn’t and I felt the negative thoughts come back to me. But this time I politely told him I was not happy about not being including in the decision and he realized that what he did was wrong and apologized and rectified it. Again, I had to allow God to work in me in the midst of my pain.

    There is hope, just surrender to God, meditate on His word and allow Him to work in your heart.

    1. Much Happier,
      I am so excited to hear what God is doing in your life. Thank you for sharing to encourage GraceAlone. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you and your marriage. 🙂

    2. Much-Happier,
      Thank you for sharing your story- I know this is not easy to do. I am starting to realize that having children would not fix any of the issues I have in my heart right now, they would only be misplaced onto something else. Thank you for your encouragement- Praying for you!

  8. The statement from previous post also stood out to me. GraceAlone wrote “I thought God clearly told me this man was, indeed, that right one…”

    GraceAlone- prayers for your heart! From your words, I cannot help but feel / think that God did lead you to this man, yet because circumstances have changed and your heart is broken and hurting you are doubting. I pray that you will continue to seek God and trust Him. God is constant. He never changes!!! Thank goodness for that! He isn’t prone to fits of emotion and fickleness as we are. I don’t like that you are so full of pain. I pray that you continue to allow God to fill you with His peace.

    Isaiah 46:4 Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

  9. Thank you April for your blog, it has inspired and encouraged me so much. I have been reading it for a couple months now and it has really helped me out. I am in the beginning phase of learning what it means to be a peaceful wife and respectful to my husband. Like the other wives have stated it is NOT easy. But everyday I am growing stronger and leaning more on God. God recently revealed to me just how much I idolize my marriage and how controlling I can be. Also how my prayers are so “change him” focused, yet I have mountains of flaws and sin of my own that I need the Lord’s help to deal with. Right now, my actions push my husband away. We are not separated but he no longer desires to spend time around me due to how harsh and hurtful I have been. With the help of your blog I am learning so much & putting it into practice. For those who will please pray for me during this process, and I will do the same for you. Thanks again April. And continue to be encouraged fellow wives!

    1. kbfamily,
      Of course I will pray that God will continue the good work He has begun – and that He might heal you and your husband and your marriage and rebuild it for His glory. 🙂 I’m so excited that you are willing to learn and that you are open to what God is saying to you. These are big things – that require a total renovation of the heart, mind and soul. That doesn’t happen quickly. But it is the best place in the world to be – in God’s hands, allowing Him to remove the sin and to mold and refine and shape you to be more and more like Christ.

      Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!

  10. From Jack:
    One key thing to remember-

    If he does change, it will because of the Lord.

    You must know that, and he must know that.And when he does change, remember not to take any credit for it, because that would be basically admitting that you manipulated circumstances to cause the change.

    If he does decide to have children with you, then it must be because he made that decision. Personally, I believe that the Lord will not put that into his heart until you have more or less given up completely on the idea.

    As long as your husband is only as valuable to you as long as the possibility of having and supporting children exists, then your husband will know he is only a means to an end.

    The Lord will never help us put the cart before the horse – we must always build the correct foundation before we are allowed to build the later things.

    And let us admit a very uncomfortable fact: Many men will state privately that once children arrived, their wife essentially ignored him as a husband from that day forward. Now that this perfect, wonderful bundle of joy that can do no wrong is filling every space in her heart, there is no longer any room for “that man” who has a will and life of his own.

    In this instance, a man will refuse to have children because he knows that once he does, his life as he knows it will be over forever.

    Here is a hard saying:

    Your husband or wife should always be the highest priority in terms of a relationship ever, in your whole life because you are one flesh. The children must come after the spouse. Anything else is to make an idol and distraction out of children because a man or woman does not want to come to terms with working on the marriage.

    WHAT!?!??! The children should ALWAYS come first!!!

    Really? Are you sure that is Biblical, or is that just a cultural view from our consumerist society?

    And do not forget the example you set – a husband and wife that love each other is a powerful example to children.

    More so than a dad who works late to pay for more toys and a mom who dotes endlessly on the kids and no longer pays attention to dad.

    1. Thank you Jack- So true and such a goof reminder that I have to continually, daily lay this idol at the feet of Jesus!

  11. It is so wonderful to see what God is doing in your life!! Thank you for allowing us to share your journey with you!!

    “I believe God is trying to show me that nothing I say or do can change my husband.”–Yes! It is SO difficult to accept this idea at times!! There were weeks and weeks in my journey when I just had to be SILENT around my husband because I knew if I talked, my sin nature would take over (I know April has discussed that idea quite a bit) 🙂
    Those pages in 1 Peter are WELL worn in my Bible, since I had to learn this lesson the hard way!! 🙂

    “Ask Him to show you just how much it grieves His heart and looks like “adultery” to Him.” –YES! I was SO hurt that my husband had an affair, but I realized I did the EXACT same thing to God when I was bowing down to idols of money, needing husband’s love, etc!! In fact, how much MORE hurtful was MY sin against God because of all He has done for me! In light of this it was SO much easier to forgive my husband.

    You’ll be in my prayers, God bless!!

    1. KD,
      I just wanted to say this was really encouraging. My husband also had an affair and its so easy to see that as the worst sin ever, but I too have realized that I’ve done the same thing to God. How many times have a chosen another another “lover” in place of God? Pretty much all the time. It really does put into perspective what we are faced with forgiving and knowing how God has forgiven us. Thank you for sharing that.

      1. It’s wonderful to hear that you have found this to be true, too! How encouraging it is to hear from someone who has been in the same situation as I have and can relate! 🙂 Thanks!! 🙂

  12. In May/June 2012, we lost one of our children through miscarriage. After that and many circumstances surrounding it I felt very unloved, uncared for, and felt like my husband and family thought I was worthless. I acted the way I felt. I couldn’t understand why my husband couldn’t understand how hurt I was feeling and he was hurting me, not to mention he was hurting and I hurt him too.
    I learned a few things that God pointed out to me that I didn’t understand before fully. (1)We are to treat people how we want to be treated even if they never treat us that way. (2)Also, I need to be content and happy with who I am regardless of what others think of me and deal with my problems without my husband’s help-it was grief and depression.
    I started trying very hard to treat my husband how I would want to be treated even if he didn’t respond to me the way I wanted. I started saying nice things to him that I thought he would like to hear because they were things that I would like to hear if I was him. I started showing interest in him sexually (more actively than before) in ways that he likes and when he made teasing/playful comments to respond to him enthusiastically by dropping everything I was doing at the time-because I would want him to respond to me that way.
    The thing that helped me most was to work on my needs: grieving/depression from losing one of our babies. I spent hours and hours reading about bereavement, writing journal entries about my grief, looking at resources on the internet about grief, and crying hours and hours. I wrote “letters” to my husband and to our baby that were just for me to see. Then when I was sad to act sad, not angry, frustrated, or short tempered with my family. If I needed to say I was sad, then say I was sad, but not expect anyone to understand and own that it was my problem and no one else’s. I started going to a bereavement group. These groups are for people who have lost babies as well as those who are grieving from not having babies (this is a loss too). I read a book by Hannah Lothrop that was very helpful to me “Help, Comfort, and Hope after losing your baby in pregnancy or the first year.” There are others specifically about the grief of not having children.
    I bought myself a ring because I needed something for me to be able to see every minute of every day that acknowledges to me that I have lost something very important to me. It is validation to me that I am grieving that loss and it represents by baby to me (actually 3 miscarriages that I know of over our 19 year marriage). I was surprised how quickly after I started doing these things I started to feel better. Only I can know with God’s help how to take care of me. I cannot take care of and love my husband or my other children if I don’t take care of me. I have to come first, I have to enjoy things I do for me, I have to eat food that is healing, I have to sleep when I need to sleep, I need to have time alone for myself when I need it. My husband also started to respond to me differently.
    I have felt hurt by other people’s comments during the last year or so, but the most comfort I received was working on grief that was hurting me so much. I had to take the time for me to grieve this and other losses. I cannot help others if I am hurting.
    I wasn’t going to say much, but there it is.

    1. Needing Support and Suggestions,

      My goodness! I am so so so sorry to hear about your three losses. How I wish I could hug your neck!! You say you need support and suggestions, but what you have shared is so beautiful, powerful, life giving and encouraging. I am in total awe of all that God has shown you, my precious sister.

      Thank you for sharing this! I know it will bless so many wives. I wonder if you might consider allowing me to use it in a post? Is there anything else you might like to add for wives who are grieving over miscarriages and losses?

      What a treasure you are!

    2. Needing Support and Suggestions,

      I am so incredibly touched and moved by your story. I am fist so very sorry to hear about your losses- how devastating I know. Secondly, I am so very encouraged at where you are now and where God has brought you! Thank you for sharing!!!

  13. I read this old devotional today and God convicted me of things.

    https://theresurgence.com/2013/08/07/confessions-of-a-nagging-wife

    Where she wrote about being “unrestrained”…that was definitely me in the beginning of our marriage. I would fight back and throw tantrums, or I would literally run out of the house. He also ran in tense times, but that’s him. I need to look at what I was doing and how my reactions didn’t help solve problems but exasperated him and I did it to manipulate him I guess to behave the way I thought and wanted him to.

    I also did a lot if comparing “I don’t know any other husband who says that to his wife”, again he brings that up still today to me himself about wives he knows, but again I need to own my sin and part in this.

    I have changed considerably since we were first married, but I see I need to keep changing and trusting God and repenting to my husband when I stuff up.

    1. Godlywifetobe,

      I can’t wait to read that -sounds like such a good post! Thank you!!! 🙂

      Yes, being “unrestrained” is not productive! That is certainly not part of the fruit of the Spirit. I love what you have been learning. And you are so right, that our responsibility is our own sin. It’s tempting to think, “Well, he did this, so now I am justified to do that.” Nope. God doesn’t give us a free-sin-pass just because we are sinned against.

      Beautiful!

    2. Godlywifetobe:

      I read it. That was great! Thanks for sharing. It’s so nice to see how much you are growing!
      I wish I was as fast a learner as you are 🙂

      1. I’m glad you got something from it 🙂
        Thanks for the compliment. It’s Christ in me though helping me change 🙂

  14. Thank you for sharing! I know this is post is older but this is needed. I feel as though the last few weeks I have finally “gotten” that its about pleasing God and changing solely for God. I can’t believe when I first started this journey my motive was to become a good wife to please my husband. No wonder I wasn’t truly changing! It’s peaceful and refreshing to change solely with the motivation to please God. I feel so much more relaxed in my spirit. When I tried to change with the wrong motives, in my own power I was so stressed out, now I feel I can rest in Gods sovereignty! 🙂

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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