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To Speak or Not to Speak…

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A lot of wives ask me this question…

“How do I know when to say how I feel and when I should not say anything?”

This can be such a quandary! Especially at first when we are just realizing our former disrespect and we have not yet figured out what exactly is respectful or disrespectful.

Unfortunately – or fortunately – depending on how you look at this topic – there is no formula or pat answer. I am going to offer some guidelines that I am seeking to base on Scripture. These are not exhaustive lists. You are welcome to share your concerns, ideas and insights. πŸ™‚

(If you have severe problems in your marriage – abuse, addictions, infidelity, uncontrolled mental health disorders, please seek experienced, godly, wise counsel. I am not able to address these issues in a general blog post, and I am not a counselor, pastor or therapist.)

There are times when SILENCE is the best choice:

  • When we are first beginning this journey and we have been voicing disrespect, complaints, criticism, arguments, anger, negativity, hostility and contempt for months or years and we have not learned the wisdom of being silent about sinful things and disrespectful thoughts and controlling thoughts. We must take time to learn godly wisdom and discretion. At first, we can begin to have wisdom by being silent instead of sinning with our words and using our words to bring death. In time, we learn to use our words to affirm, encourage, breathe life, build up, bless and heal.

Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:28

  • When what we are about to say is not motivated by the love of God – being rude, rehashing past, supposedly forgiven sins, impatience, etc… (Please see what God ‘s love looks like I Corinthians 13:4-8)
  • When our motives are sinful – pride, blame, condemnation, a critical spirit, selfishness, Β self-righteousness, sinful jealousy, Β idolatry (putting our husbands, our children, self, money, romance, feeling loved, etc… above Christ in our hearts), resentment or bitterness. If we have sin in our hearts, let’s go spend time in repentance humbly before God asking for His forgiveness and crucifying self, dying to our sin before we venture to speak with our husbands (or anyone). I John 1:9, Matthew 7:1-5
  • When our husbands are not feeling well, are exhausted, are sick, are under a great deal of stress (there can be exceptions when an issue is very important or pressing, of course, or where the stress, illness or exhaustion lasts for a long time).
  • When WE are hormonal, hungry, exhausted or sick – that may not be the best time to have a big, life-changing discussion. It could be wise to wait until we are physically stronger before approaching really important topics or big decisions.
  • When words are many, sin is not absent. Β Proverbs 10:19
  • When our sinful nature is in control. (Galatians 5:19-21)
  • When God’s Spirit prompts us to be silent.
  • When our husband is far from God and unable or unwilling to hear our words, we then seek to obey I Peter 3:1-6. Sometimes our words about spiritual things, the Bible or God will make things worse when our husbands are not close to God. In such circumstances, God commands us to show respect and honor and to live out godly lives in our attitudes, speech and behavior without preaching at or nagging our husbands. God knows this approach will speak much more powerfully to a husband who is in rebellion against Him and will allow the husband to more clearly hear God’s voice. There will be times we may need to say certain things in this situation, we will need to be very sensitive to God’s Spirit to know what and when to speak. There is also the possibility that we may think our husbands are far from God, but that we could be wrong and we could be misjudging them. God knows our husbands hearts – we do not. If we approach our husbands with a prideful, self-righteous spirit, we may push them far from us and farther from God.

There are times when speaking humbly, honestly, respectfully, lovingly, gently and vulnerably is the best option:

  • When the timing is right (as we listen carefully to God’s Spirit) and our husbands are receptive. (Of course, there may be times we do need to speak even if our husbands are not receptive – but that will take great sensitivity on our part to the Spirit of God.)
  • When our motives are pure in God’s sight and we are fully submitted to Christ and are resisting the enemy. (James 4:7-12)
  • When we are walking in the power of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-26)
  • When our goals are simply to honor and obey God and bless our husbands. (The two greatest commandments – to love God and to love others. Mark 12:28-29)
  • When we need to communicate critical information to our husbands so that they will have our important ideas, perspective, feelings, needs and desires available to them.
  • When we have feelings to share – I feel sad, I feel afraid, I feel nervous, I am worried, I feel so happy, I feel upset, I am lonely, I want X, I don’t want Y. (Laura Doyle “The Surrendered Wife”) We share our emotions and desires without blaming our husbands, pressuring them or trying to control them.
  • When we want to talk through our feelings. But, it can be important and helpful for us to share exactly what we need because our husbands often don’t have the same kinds of verbal needs to talk and emotionally connect that we do, ie: “I am not sure how I am feeling about this. It would help me so much if you would please listen to me for about 5-10 minutes while I talk through things. Talking is how I process my feelings. Just knowing you are listening is such a blessing to me.” But then, it would be great to let our husbands know we would like to hear their thoughts many times, too, and we can show our husbands that their thoughts are very important to us and that we appreciate their wisdom and leadership.
  • When we are sharing a thankful heart.
  • When we have a pressing problem and need our husbands’ help, wisdom, leadership, comfort, love or guidance.
  • When we want to express our genuine respect or appreciation (for some husbands, brief messages are the most powerful. Other husbands like large amounts of discussion or sharing.) I Thessalonians 5:18
  • When we are using our words to build up, affirm, encourage, breathe life, bring healing and bless our husbands. (Sometimes husbands do not believe our respectful words at first if we have been very disrespectful and controlling for a long time. Β But we can continue seeking to show respect as best we know how. As we continue to practice and seek to honor God and our husbands, we will learn to do this more effectively and our husbands will eventually begin to believe our respect in time, most likely.)

A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands. Proverbs 14:1

  • When we have special expertise in an area and our husbands appreciate our sharing.
  • When we are helping our husbands in a way that they agree is helpful and/or that honors God. (We were created to be their helpmeets)
  • When our husbands delegate decisions to us.
  • When our husbands want to please us and want to know what we would like. If they want to know what we would like for our birthday or what restaurant we want to go to – let’s share what we would like and not try to make them read our minds. πŸ™‚
  • When we are having times of emotional closeness.
  • When we ask if it is a good time to share, and our husbands are receptive.
  • When our husbands have sinned against us, and we have repented of all of our sin and God’s Spirit gives us wisdom about how to approach our husbands according to Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-18
  • When we need to repent to our husbands for our sins against them or others.
  • When we want to share Philippians 4:8 things that we are thankful for.

 

I have a new Youtube video about this topic, too, if you would like to hear me talk about this subject. πŸ™‚

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89 thoughts on “To Speak or Not to Speak…

      1. I will absolutely share my link, I give so much thanks that we are not alone on this journey! Your post is so informative, I gleaned so much from it , as well as from the comments that followed πŸ™‚ There is much wisdom in this circle of sisters. I trust that your spring break was restful and that your arms are tired from lifting them in praise to our Risen Messiah! Blessings, Terrie C

        http://yoursistersojourner.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/on-speaking-and-being-silent/

  1. Good tips there.

    Something I do is follow Queen Esther when I need to tell hubby something. So I’ll feed him, make sure he’s happy and rested and then tell him gently what I need to say πŸ™‚

      1. Yes! Timing.
        It also gives us time to pray and work out what to say instead of just blurting things out πŸ™‚

    1. Oh that’s an excellent idea.. My husband, like many i’m sure, gets what I like to call Hangry when he hasn’t eaten.. I follow the same advice when speaking to my sister about something (she’s going thru “the change”) when she starts getting upset I throw chocolate at her.. πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you April! This is exactly what I needed to hear at the exact moment I needed to hear it! I have been struggling like crazy with this very issue. I was trying to communicate too much, too quickly. I also realized that what I was saying were indeed “my feelings” but I also realized that what I was saying (without intention) was blaming and criticizing his decisions.

    I am currently separated as you know, and after reading this, although not at all intentionally, I was not delivering my message the way it needed to be delivered. So, I have gone back into my quiet stage – which for this loud mouth is a BIG deal! And I’m ok with it. I know everything needs to be HIS decision in HIS time and I have to be patient. I trust God and His timing, and I will continue to allow God to do his work in me.

    I have seen some pretty incredible changes lately and I love them!! My patience, my attitude regarding letting things roll, going with the flow, stopping with control and my freak outs, etc. this is all so out of character!! I made a huge mess in the kitchen for Easter dinner yesterday- I dropped everything and my mashed potatoes spun out of control, the dog chewed up the kids candy eggs before they were able to hunt for them, my daughter dropped her cherry filled pastry on the living room carpet, my husband didn’t offer to help clean up and in spite of everything, I had an AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL DAY! Who is this person?

    I’ve been saying that Resurrection Sunday will be my new “Happy New Year” and that’s exactly what is happening!

    God bless.

    1. Catherine,

      I am so excited about what God is doing in you!!!!! woohoo! Isn’t it wonderful not to be controlled by our tempers and impatience? Isn’t it the most delicious thing ever to be filled with God’s peace and joy instead of worry, fear and anxiety all the time?

      These treasures are so precious, I can’t keep God’s blessings to myself! πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you to everyone for replying to my “mess”! I haven’t commented much, but the affirmations I received today brought tears to my eyes! THANK YOU! Thank you for noticing “little ole me” and my struggles. You all have made my day.

  3. This is a really helpful post. Knowing when to say something and how is always a struggle when trying to overcoming being disrespectful and controlling.

    Sometimes when I think I’m just stating something, he still hears the negative in it. I said something that I thought was pretty neutral the other day and he said “I’m so tired of hearing all this negative stuff.” It made me examine what I said and try to understand how I sound. Also reminds me that alot of what I say really doesn’t need to be said.

    This isn’t related to the post so much, but I wanted to share that my husband went to church with me yesterday. I had been praying that he would go on Easter and he agreed. This was the first time he had gone since Christmas Eve. We also had a great weekend together. We spent it all pretty much together, he has started being playful (physical touch) with me again and even initiated holding my hand while we watched tv together. For the past 3 months, he’s avoided almost all physical touch with me other than when we are going to sleep. He’s never been one for hand holding so that was a total shocker. We were at my family’s house yesterday for Easter and he made a decision about our daughter that I didn’t agree with (one I normally would have fought him over and he would have given in) but I let it go and I’m sure he noticed that.
    We had 2 fights last week and always worry that I sabotaged any progress, but he really seems to have softened some towards me. I don’t know how things will continue to go, but I’m really thankful for the changes I’m seeing in both of us.

      1. I had my own little surprise moment yesterday when my husband read in the bulletin that the author of Love and Respect was coming to our church later this year. My husband suggested we sign up! Granted, in the last few years God has mercifully restored our marriage, but there was a time I never would have imagined his suggesting such a thing……It felt like God winking at me.

        Years ago, I purchased the Love and Respect DVD’s and was trying to “get” my husband to watch them with me. lol. Trying to control him into it, more like it! They mysteriously disappeared when we moved before seeing them. I don’t believe there was foul play, other things went missing during that chaotic time, but I believe it was part of God’s sovereign plan to help teach me to work on myself and let His Spirit work patiently in my husband’s heart…..But oh, the patience of God in dealing with us. He is such a gracious God.

        1. And your post inspires me! I just finished the book Love and Respect, and plan to re-read it. I’d love to attend an actual seminar, but for now, I will simply be grateful that although separated, God is working on me. In time, I pray, he will work on “US”. Patience…. I’m working on that too!!

          1. Catherine,

            I really love this book, too! It was such an eye-opener. Even though I had tried to be respectful, I never understood how something well-intentioned on my part could sound like disrespect to him. The author really helped me “put the shoe on the other foot,” so to speak, and when I did I felt terrible. BUT, it was the beginning of a wonderful change in our marriage. If your husband is open to spending time with you and/or talking with you at all now, even though you are separated, it’s highly probable he would notice the change in you. Of course all things will work out in God’s time, and I wish you all the best! Much love!

          2. Thank you so much Elizabeth. I’ve been so hesitant with communicating anything right now. I thought we were making progress, so I said a few things, without asking him to come home and his response was, “Do you want me to tell you I have it all figured out?” I told him no, not at all (although I wish he did!!) So I’ve been VERY hesitant to share anything. I did do my “confession” a few weeks back. I had to send the email response I got the next day to April for her “evaluation”! She read much more into it than I did, and I am so grateful. (I’ve read it about a hundred times now!!) MUCH LOVE BACK TO YOU ELIZABETH!!!! I feel so GOOD knowing I have understanding new friends here. I can guarantee, that out of all my friends, only one would understand what I’m doing. God sent me here for a reason. I’m three months in to this journey, but it feels like a lifetime. Thank you all……

    1. Jeanne,

      Yay!!!!!!, I am so excited about what God is doing in you. It is so obvious that you are willing to learn, grow and change. I love your humble spirit. And wow! What a blessing to see your husband be willing to go to church with you and to see him becoming playful and soften towards you. That makes my day!!!

      When we obey God and seek just to please and honor Him and bless our husbands, we often get blessed ourselves.

      Much love!

  4. β€’When our husbands are not feeling well, are exhausted, are sick, are under a great deal of stress (there can be exceptions when an issue is very important or pressing, of course, or where the stress, illness or exhaustion lasts for a long time).

    I guess that is my situation and I don’t know what good it is to share with him how discouraged I feel when he is equally discouraged. Plus, he had to work and got in past midnight last night. He will have to be available if needed o Tuesday. ( Which means Wednesday he will be recuperating at night when he gets home.) Our daughter has a concert Thursday night and he is working this weekend. He would LOVE to quit his job, but it isn’t possible right now. But I’m guessing this week will be at least another 90 hour week… Just tired and there seems to be no good time to talk.

    1. Elizabeth, I can so relate to what you’re going through. There was a long season when my husband had so much stress and long, exhausting hours. At the time, respecting my husband was off my radar. I’m thankful for your desire to show your husband respect through this.

      It won’t always be like it is now. That’s for sure. Life changes, but God’s faithfulness never does. I don’t feel like I have any suggestions on how to talk with your husband when he’s already struggling himself, but I can tell you God has a good purpose in this season for your good and for His glory. It may not be very evident now, but we can always look back and see His hand in those situations. I’m slowly learning to pray that my circumstances not be wasted, and to wait expectantly for God’s purposes to be revealed as I trust Him.

      1. I’d like to clarify that His purposes are always to conform us into His image and to glorify Him thru all our circumstances. I read recently that it is good to learn to “cherish the effects of adversity”. I found that to be a great focus when times are hard.

        1. I keep thinking, perhaps I should have said less here….If I sounded unsympathetic to the difficulty of your situation, or the intense pain and loneliness you are experiencing, I’m sorry. It is extremely hard when your husband has so much on his plate and you long for things to be better. Praying for you…warm hugs.

    2. Elizabeth,
      That is a huge problem if he is working 90 hours a week at a stressful job and is exhausted and overwhelmed himself all the time.

      This is where it will take God’s wisdom and prompting to help you see the good times to try to talk and what exactly to say. If this is a permanent situation, you will need to be able to share things with him sometimes. You cannot not share forever. I pray for you to have plenty of time with God and to find all your contentment, purpose, acceptance, love, peace, joy and strength in Him. And I pray for Him to give you wisdom to communicate with your husband and to bless him.

  5. As always, your posts are perfectly timed! My verses for this past weekend was, “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to wrath” and “a gentle answer turns away wrath”!

  6. During the quiet phase – if you husband asked you your opinion on something and you were sure your opinion would not be received well… how would you respond?

    I’m still learning and I tend to fall back into the quiet phase after I’ve had a setback and reevaluate myself. I’m finding I keep getting stuck when I voice my opinion or frustration really on one subject – his family. I’m almost certain he just can’t handle hearing my frustrations, but they affect me and I can’t just “stuff” my feelings aside. At this point I think that until I’m more successful with communicating respectfully that I have to keep my frustrations to myself but this doesn’t feel right?I absolutely cannot say “I don’t care” or anything of that nature when I do have an opinion or an issue with his family but clearly I cannot figure out a way to discuss this topic that he responds to (and maybe he just can’t and needs time – it’s been a year already so we’re talking more years – before we can discuss this topic?).

  7. Thanks again April. I am in a phase of being still and quiet. I know for a fact that this works. I am going to be living proof as well as my marriage. I will post very soon for you to share. My journey has been the biggest challenge in my 49 years of life and I know that God has truly worked this out in His perfect timing. God Bless

    1. Thank you for letting us ALL know daughter!! This is so inspirational to me and others I’m sure. I hang on to hope and faith and prayer. I ask God to bless my beautiful husband every day and ask God to keep making miracles in me. THANK YOU!!!

  8. I am kinda frustrated right now. I asked my husband one thing I could work on to becoming more respectful and he said: take “No” for an answer. I told him I do want to take no more an answer and I will and I would also like to share all the information I have about what I’m asking for first and he’s welcome to say no. I feel it’s easy to accept his answer when I feel heard. He felt like I was arguing with him and that I didn’t want to work on it. We are both defensive! Ugh, so frustrating. I feel like I can’t share my feelings!

    1. E,

      This is difficult sometimes, isn’t it??!?!?

      Here is my take…

      When you are asking about the MOST important thing you can do to show more respect to your husband – that is the perfect time to just listen. There will be opportunities in the future for you to say, “It is so much easier for me to accept ‘no’ when I know that I have been fully heard.”

      When you are seeking to learn to show respect to him – and this is his biggest issue with you – that is a great time to say, “Thank you so much for sharing that with me, Honey. I will absolutely work on that.”

      Many husbands feel, especially if they have felt disrespected for a long time, that if a wife tries to explain or justify herself – that she is being disrespectful. Check out the post at the top of my home page about disrespect and the one about signs that a husband is feeling disrespected. It isn’t just your husband who feels that way.

      I realize you were trying to share what would make it easier for you to accept his “no.” But to him, you are pushing back against him. That is how he interpreted what you were saying.

      Do you have children, my friend?

      Also, check out this post:

      Defending myself no more

      And you may like my Youtube channel “April Cassidy” I have a post about “Accepting Constructive Criticism from Our Husbands” Might be helpful!

      Much love to you!

      Please let me know how things go.

      Maybe you can say to your husband, “I’m sorry that I didn’t just listen and make sure you felt heard. I am happy to work on accepting “no” for an answer. Thank you so much for being willing to share your heart with me.”

      And, if you want to, you may also want to add, “You know what? Your ideas and wisdom are really important to me. I don’t know if I have really shown you that well enough in the past.”

      Then, don’t talk about what you need right now. Just let it be about him in this moment. πŸ™‚

      Those are my suggestions, for whatever they are worth!

      1. E,
        If you haven’t, please read Spiritual Authority at the top of my home page and A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage.

        The Spiritual Authority post has a section about making an appeal to someone in spiritual authority over us that is very helpful.

        Also, please keep in mind, and you will know this if you have children – sometimes, a husband knows immediately that he doesn’t want to do something. Sometimes he doesn’t need a thesis about it. Sometimes, just the introductory paragraph is enough for him to know that he doesn’t want to do whatever it is.

        For the first 15 years of our marriage, I wanted to explain and explain and explain myself if Greg didn’t agree with me. Why? Because I believed I was right and he was wrong. You may not be like I was. But that was how I thought. And i thought that if I explained my position thoroughly enough, Greg would see that I was clearly right and he would change his mind. My motives were simply to change his mind and get what I wanted.

        Now, I think about presenting “bullet points” instead of a 30 minute, 1 hour or 2 hour thesis or an all night filibuster. It’s a lot less work for me. I am MORE likely for Greg to be willing to do what I am interested in. And I don’t tax his soul with an ocean of words and pressure on him.

        You may not be like I was at all. I have no idea. But – that was where I was coming from. Maybe it might be helpful.

        Much love!

  9. Ok, so I was mad when I wrote that and I know it sounded like I was still being contentious. I want to be respectful but I also don’t want to be dying inside all day/night and feeling like I can’t say anything. Anyway, we have a pretty good marriage but I’m just trying to improve! Yes, I have read all those posts and do have kids. I am regular here! So we actually resolved it already. It’s kinda funny, we were both kinda stressed and annoyed after talking about it–I said, “I’m just so frustrated–let’s just go work out all our frustrations in the bedroom and stop talking!” He turned off the tv and said, why are you frustrated? (he thought only he was) I said because I can’t share my feelings! And he said yes you can and explained that he’s mostly disrespected by me asking to buy something or do something that costs money and that right now (because we’re trying to pay off some medical bills, etc and he does all the finances thus I have to run it by him before I spend $) the answer is always no, so it doesn’t matter what my explanation is behind it, because we can’t go over the budget. And he thought I was asking him to break the budget every time but really I just don’t know how much we have. So we worked it out and I said I won’t ask to spend any $$ until further notice. I didn’t realize it was just the financial requests that he wanted me to work on taking No for but now I get it, that is much more concrete and easy to follow. And then we worked out our frustrations in the bedroom. hahaha!! He said that was a real stress reliever for him.

    1. E,
      YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      That is awesome. WOOOHOOOOO!

      I appreciate the update. πŸ™‚ And the wonderful way you both worked through this issue together. Hmmm….. maybe you might allow me to share this story anonymously as a post? I have a feeling it would bless many wives.

  10. Learning to biblically submit has brought so much clarity. It removes me from situations so I can moreso see what’s really happening in the moment. I now see how often my husband is critical when he’s tired and stressed. I never considered how that affected us. I always took his snippy comments personally. I’m learning how to avoid being his target for negative emotions. Basically, if he’s tired leave him alone! This post helps me to further refine my skills. I like considering the Esther strategy. Nice.

    This weekend my husband kissed me in a way that made me remember what it was like when we first got married. It totally threw me off. I felt like crying. Then as quickly as it came, that moment of vulnerability flew away and later said he wasn’t sure he wanted me. That hurt so much, even moreso when I made the mistake of watching ‘the Voice’ tonight with that last song that just pulled at the heart.

    I’ve learned to live with his stonewalling. Then I get totally thrown for a loop when he briefly comes out of it only to go back in again. I feel rejected and cut open. Not fun.

    I get lax and forget my routine to keep my mind focused on Christ. This is just the most recent reminder to keep doing what I know I need to do to keep moving forward.

    1. Refined,
      I can so relate to you!

      It took me almost 2.5 YEARS to figure out what respect/disrespect really meant and what biblical submission was – just to feel like I was beginning to have a clue. And it took a total of 3.5 years before Greg felt completely safe with me again and all the wall had fallen.

      But there would be glimpses like that at times – they make you want to just throw a party! And then, I didn’t ever want them to end.

      But – when he would go back behind that wall, it was such a powerful reminder to me that I am doing this only for Christ, not to get what I want. It definitely forced me to refine my motives and purify my motives to the nth degree.

      I am excited to see that you are growing and learning and that there is healing beginning to take place. That is wonderful. It is slow. But beautiful!!!!!

      1. April, your conversations with others is such a blessing to me. Thank you so much.

        My mom passed away at the age of 81 last year. She was so godly and a tremendous role model of a gentle, but not weak woman of God. When she followed my Dad to be with Jesus, one of the things I knew I would miss so much was her advice on marriage. She taught me some lessons that I probably only could have heard through her because I admired and respected her so much. And she didn’t back down from saying what needed to be said.

        All that to say, God has filled in the gaps with your ministry and with your strong but gentle, sensitive voice of wisdom.

        It often crosses my mind how the two of you, my mom and you, have such a huge wealth of wisdom, and I know it comes from both of you having a tremendous love of God, a giant appetite for reading spiritual truths, and from walking closely with Christ.

        Bless you, for all the time and sacrifice you make. Thank you to your husband for supporting you in this, and making it possible to do.

        Won’t it be marvelous to see all the lives you impacted when we all get to heaven? Not just the wives, but their husbands, children and friends and family. I know my sister has been so blessed and she tells her friends about this site. So the ripple effect goes on far beyond what you see in comments or even hits on your site. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and let you know how helpful you have been in the short period I’ve been following here.

        Love you for your obedience, generosity, and wisdom.

        xx Julie

        1. Julie,

          Wow!!! You sure know how to make my day. πŸ™‚

          Praise God you had such a wise, gentle, strong, godly mother. How I long for all of us to leave such a beautiful, powerful legacy!!!!

          Yes, you are right, a preeminent love for God, a deep hunger for His Word and a continual abiding in Him is the only way for us to experience His wisdom, peace, joy and love so strongly. That is what I desire for every woman (and man) on the planet!!

          What an incredible honor for me that you would think of me with your mom. πŸ™‚

          This ministry is very time consuming. But I love it!!! It is my passion. I am beyond blessed that it was my husband who wanted me to share what I learned with other wives 3 years ago and that he has supported me so much every step of the way.

          This week or next week, this blog will reach 2 million hits. It just reached 1 million in October of last fall. What God is doing here amazes me. I love getting a front row virtual seat to see Him transform, heal and bless so many lives.

          I was actually talking with GraceAlone about this today!!! I cannot wait to get to heaven and to get to see all that God did. I can’t wait to hug every wife’s and husband’s and child’s neck. And I can’t wait to see the ripple effects. It is all God. My prayer is that I might be fully yielded, obedient and surrendered to Him and that His Spirit might flow through me like Niagra Falls, crashing and splashing and bringing hope, faith, life, healing and blessing to everyone I touch.
          How I pray that He might empower me to be faithful.

          I don’t know His plans for me tomorrow, or in the future. But I do know I want to be in the very center of His will and I long for my life to bring Him the greatest possible glory.

          What a blessing you are to me!

          Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

          1. I’m excited about the prospect of a published book because so many more would be reached and lives transformed. You have the missing pieces that Love and Respect and others just lay the ground work for. This blog addresses all the little practicalities, and your having learned through your own mistakes gives you added credibility. It disarms your readers to share, too.

            Glad my previous note was accepted in the spirit it was written. Praying for you today, April!

          2. Julie,

            A friend is editing my book for me now. I can’t put everything in it that I have learned in the past 5 years, but my hope is to fill in many of the gaps that I also believe were in some of the other marriage books. Thank you so much for letting me know what has been helpful for you. I appreciate that so much!

            Much love to you! And thank you for the prayers. I want this to be all about Christ and to glorify Him and to honor Him alone.

            I pray for God’s greatest glory in your life and marriage, as well, my sweet friend!

  11. I love and agree with all your comments. Thanks so much for sharing your hearts here! They have been invaluable to me! Advice on how to respectfully get some time to myself and/or have my husband listen to me would be really helpful. He is the big talker in our home. And he doesn’t mind interrupting anything I’m doing – reading, tv, chores, homework with kids, bathroom break, etc – to talk to me about whatever he’s thinking about. Conversely, when I am talking about something that is very important to me, he literally ignores whatever I said and continues his own conversation about the topic of his choice – video games, hunting, work, etc. I know I am complaining here. I guess I just need a safe place to “speak” and get some advice from peaceful wives. Things between us are much better since I’ve made an effort to be respectful to him with both my words and my body language. Today I’m just feeling like so many of the husbands on here describe – like it doesn’t matter what I say or don’t say. Since I’ll be drown out, I tend to stop talking and just disengage. God bless you ladies!

    1. Brooke,
      Hmmm… that is a tough situation.

      What is his parents’ marriage like? How does his family communicate?

      What happens if you say, “Would you please listen to me talk about X for about 5/10 minutes? It would mean so much to me! Thanks.”?

      Was he like this even when you were dating? Do you think he realizes what he is doing? Has he ever been diagnosed with ADD or anything similar?

      Sending you a huge hug! This is a fantastic question.

      Other wives, you are welcome to chime in if you have godly wisdom to share.

  12. I was hoping to ask a scenario question to see if anyone had any insight.

    One big struggle I have is the fact that both me and my husband work full time yet, I am the one that is responsible for everything around the house. Its becoming a spot of bitterness for me. He may help some, but I have to ask and remind him and still he may or may not help. I’ve told him how this makes me feel and he says he’ll do better but never follows through. I do feel that I might enable him a little in this area because we live at my mom’s house right now while we are paying off some debt. If it was our house, I would let the dishes pile or the lawn grow over the house, but out of respect for my mom, I can’t let things go like that. So last night, he texts me that his sister who lives 4 hours away told him that her husband and his dad (who are contractors and own their own business) need help with one of their building projects this weekend. He texts me and says he wants to go help them this weekend. His sister already asked us to come the following weekend for our niece’s birthday so we can’t afford two trips in two weeks. We have a gas guzzling SUV and one 8 hour drive is almost too much to handle, let alone two trips in two weeks.
    I responded asking if they would be paying for our gas since we can’t afford that and asked if he was cancelling the plans he already made with my dad this weekend. But really, I was about to lose it because it really stung me that he said he really wanted to go and be able to help them out. I’m thinking that I ask him for his help and tell him how much I need his help and he won’t spend 15-20 minutes doing something around the house, thats really all I’m asking for. But he will drive 8 hours, give up his weekend, and spend tons of money to help someone else?
    Do I express this? Or should I just try to let it go for now since I’m still so fresh in this respect journey? I don’t want to sound petty, but this is a really tough area for me. He’s so willing to help others but won’t take care of basic things around our own house for his own family. When he got home from work, I didn’t bring it up again because I didn’t want to say something wrong or get in a fight.

  13. I feel so lost right now??? I found this website a couple weeks ago. I’m trying to live by these principles, but I’m scared it’s to late. My husband filed for divorce & I had to answer his complaint Monday. We talked for 3 hours the Sunday night & he told me he still loved me & wasn’t saying he doesn’t want a future with me. He says that he doesn’t think he will heal unless he divorces me. I believe the only way to heal is through Jesus Christ, but my husband isn’t saved & doesn’t feel the same way. I try to be respectful of him & I do a pretty good job until he makes a decision for me or our daughter that hurts us. He forced me & my daughter to leave & sent us to live at my parents which was like a war zone. My sister & her husband lived next door & they were in the yard constantly yelling & being physical with each. It was so bad that one day my 5 year old ask if the law was gonna comeback today. Thank God we were able to get out of that situation, but the pain of knowing my husband & her daddy sent us to live there is still very strong. My husband witnessed what was going on many times, but would get in his truck & leave us there. I was not a perfect wife & I made a lot of mistakes, but my mistakes are all he can see. He still is blind to the mistakes he made & still blames everything on me. My husband was a good man who loved his family & always put their needs above his own, but that’s not who is now. I don’t know what happened to him & I don’t know what I should do next? I’m trying to respect him, but it’s hard to when he has almost no contact with me. The contact he does have with me is usually pertaining to our daughter, which usually ends in an argument because I am so upset or the devil overpowers me & then I start reminding him & telling him all the things he’s done to hurt me & our daughter. I know I shouldn’t do that, but I don’t know what to do or how to treat him or respect him when he keeps hurting us. I don’t know how to treat my husband in this situation. I feel so lost & would welcome suggestions

    1. firewife,
      Ugh.
      I have not been through what you are going through. I can absolutely appreciate that this is a very, very difficult situation. It is going to require great sensitivity to God’s Spirit.

      How is your time with God and your walk with Christ going?

      Have you read the posts I have about peaceful separated wives or the peaceful divorced wife?

      You can search those terms and read a few women’s stories that may be helpful.

      If he is not a believer and he is seeking a divorce, that complicates things quite a bit. I have seen God reconcile marriages even at this point. I think you can apply respect and biblical submission in some cases like this – but it is going to require a very sensitive ear to God’s voice and possibly experienced, godly, wise counsel specifically for you.
      Much love to you!

      1. Thank u so much. I will look at those post. Yes I am seeking Godly counsel, but he is visiting family for 2 weeks & then will be in Asia for 3 weeks on a missions trip. I feel myself falling back into my old ways. Thanks so much for your advice & your blog. I think I understand these principles, but I’m still like the fool who reads the word & then forgets what it says. I get close to God & walk in his spirit, but I am not able to stay there very long bc I always try to take over.

          1. firewife,
            MUCH LOVE TO YOU!!!! I am praying for you to get alone with Jesus and lay everything you are and all that you have before Him and focus on yielding fully to Him and desiring Him, wanting to know Him, studying His Word and praying for Him to change You – to show you every sin and to cleanse your heart and teach You His ways. πŸ™‚

            Sending you a huge hug!

  14. Dear April, I have been on the journey of learning to be a respectful, peaceful wife with a gentle spirit over the last 6 months or so. I have seen so much of Gods wisdom bring real fruit in our marriage, which on the whole is a solid one, and has already withstood much difficulty and adversity.

    The reason for me writing today is that I am faced with a real issue and would appreciate any councel and much prayer.

    On Easter Monday, I discovered I am pregnant with our second baby. We already have a baby girl of nearly one. The problem is one with the choice of name…. I have Easter European background and my husband has Arabic background. We are both Christians, but all of my husbands family is Muslim and he has a real heart to want to reach out to them. That is his argument, why already with our first child he insided on an Arabic name. He wanted to name a baby girl or boy after his parents. For a girl that would be Fatima and for a boy Abdul-Majeed. On top of it, he did not want us to find out the sex of the baby. The name issue caused us some huge arguments, as my husband was not prepared for any compromise, and in the end I just submitted and hoped it would be a girl, as I can sort of embrace the name Fatima and have done. Praise The Lord, God gave us a baby girl.

    Now, I am faced with the same dilemma and I am terrified to even open up the subject with my husband. I know if we have a boy this time my husband will still insist on the name of Abdul- Majeed and this time, I just do not think I can go ahead with that name….. I can understand his reasoning, I understand how he wants to witness to the Arab people and fight the prejudice there is against the Muslims in the world, but I do not think our baby is the “Project”.

    I am hopeless, as I know if I open up the subject it will cause a massive argument and could get my husband to say things like he will leave me, or accuse me of being racist. Also, because of this fear of the name, I am scared to have a boy and it has totally robbed me of the joy one should feel when you fall pregnant.

    I am sure, there is probably no one out there with even a remotely similar issue, where a name could almost threaten a marriage. I know my husband loves me and is committed to me and our family, but a sensitive subject like this could make him very angry and he could lose control of his tounge and say very hurtful things.

    I would be very happy with a compromise,another Arabic name, we can both embrace, but with him it’s either that name or nothing.

    Any thoughts on how to take this and yet still stay on the peaceful wife’s journey?

    Thanks,

    Manuska

    1. Manuska,

      I believe you can calmly say (probably just once), “I would like to name the baby X. It would mean so much to me. I understand you have very strong feelings about naming the baby Y. I respect that. I do not like that name. I also have very strong feelings and appreciate your willingness to listen to my concerns.”

      Then, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! God can change your husband’s heart in ways that you cannot.

      You can pray for you to be able to accept what your husband wants to name the baby or you can pray for God to change your husband’s heart if it is His will.

      Then let it rest in the hands of God. And wait and see what happens.

      Congratulations on your new pregnancy!!!!!

      Much love!

      1. Thank you sister April.

        I am praying that God would take my negative thoughts about my husband captive. I have to say, I have so much resentment in me, as is remember the stress he put me throught with the name during my last pregnancy. It robbed me of so much joy last time, I so much wanted to go through the process and excitement if choosing a new together and he took all of that away. I know I need to repent over my resentment, but I am still hurting a lot….

        I believe if he loved me, he would see that I totally submitted with the name of our first born and now I would expect him to be prepared for a compromise.

        I am just praying we have another girl…..

        1. Manuska,

          I have good news for you!!!

          YOU have the choice to be stressed about this naming process or to enjoy it. Your husband cannot make you be stressed. You determine whether this is something you are going to get very upset about or not. You have a lot more freedom here than you might think! Your husband cannot rob you of joy. You have the choice to have joy about your pregnancy and about your walk with Christ and your husband – even if you don’t agree about a small issue like the name of a child.

          You can choose to get extremely upset and make the issue more important than your husband, your marriage, your pregnancy or God. Or you can choose to trust God to work things out for your best and the baby’s best interests. You can share your desires and pray and trust God to work things out according to His will.

          Much love to you!

          1. Dear April,

            I really appreciate you speaking truth to me and helping me put things in prospective.

            Thank you!

            M

  15. I have been married for two years now and it has really been a tough journey for me because I realized how much dying to self I needed to do. Of the past two years that I have encountered problems in my marriage and sort for online help, I have never found a site that I can relate more to than this Blog. I thank the Lord who impressed it in your heart to start this blog. I have only signed up for a week but I am so glad I did. It is so real and yet so full of love and encouragement to surrender everything to God. God bless you so much and the ladies who have signed up for this Blog.

    Nthaby

    1. Nthaby,
      I am so pleased to meet you!

      What an answer to my prayers that this site is helping you grow in your walk with Christ and is a blessing for you. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you! πŸ™‚

  16. Jeanne,

    your restraint and efforts towards discernment are really wise. I don’t know if any of this would help, but I’ll share what initial thoughts I have. I’ve certainly found that the less I say, the better because then my husband is left with my respect paired his own words/actions ringing in his ears. I can’t make him want to help me and it’s disrespectful to try. It’s beneficial, too, if your husband helps at all with the bills because then he can readily see the financial consequences to his choices. It sounds like he just wants to go and have some fun or have guy time. Perhaps he’s getting cabin fever not having a space of his own or he may desire to do something ‘good’ to offset the role he played in your financial issues. Is he feeling appreciated for what he’s doing already? Is he feeling overwhelmed? (I’m pretty sure you are) Depending on how much disrespect you may be undoing, he may have forgotten how good it feels to have your faith in his word and his leadership. Maybe the two of you could use a fun date night. Maybe he’s already thought of how he could swing both weekends. Is there a win/win solution possible? I don’t know.

    If you’ve already stated your feelings and wishes on the matter, it may help to point out the good he’s trying to do (so generously traveling far to help others) and tell him that you miss him. You certainly miss his help around the house. Making things right with your dad would be his responsibility, however. If it won’t take the roof over your head, consider just letting it go and continue your focus on your own journey of biblical submission. He may need more time to hear your heart.

  17. Refined, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts on this. It really helped. When I reminded him of the plans he had made with my dad he said “oh yeah never mind” he was at work so I didn’t want to keep writing him but I’m assuming he “never minded” the trip but I haven’t brought it up again. I was going to leave it up to him to cancel the plans with my dad if that is what he decided. You bring up some really good points on why he may have wanted to go. I know he doesn’t think of the financial side. He just doesn’t think that way.
    I always Thank him anytime he does anything around the house but I am undoing years of disrespect so I know he isn’t hearing my heart yet and really doesn’t care that much that I need help. He’s been depressed too so I know that affects this also.
    That initial sting of hearing him say he wants to help someone else was tough but I do want to handle it with grace. I’m glad I didn’t blow up at him about it.

  18. April, its been a while since I posted. πŸ™‚ I try so hard to follow my respect journey but then I forget things and lapse into old habits. I have mentioned before that my husband ( I suppose because he feels disrespected) gets angry at me “out of the blue”, sometimes yells and sometimes even curses at me . I have tried your tips regarding asking him calmly not to speak to me in that tone and maybe I need to be more consistent because sometimes he might not curse or yell but gets snippy, a “holier than thou” attitude. It does seem to be the same old issue all the time….I do not spend enough time with him and we have 0 intimacy. Its a viscious circle…I dont’ feel like being intimate because he swore at me yesterday as a example and he is not getting what he wants either which is time with me. I don’t know how to stop the “dance”. I feel like things are going better and then like yesterday….it all gets blown away. Arguments are about 3-4 times a month and the cursing is about once a month. I am at my wits end of how to approach this and solve it because I am now painted into a circle….if I do spend more time with him he thinks it is just because I don’t want him to be mad and not something I WANT to do (his words). Any tips from you or others out there going through the same thing with a dominant husband would be appreciated.

    1. JT,

      I’m going to say that sometimes you get to a point where you can do all you can to improve your marriage and if a husband has an “anger control” issue (or wife) THAT is NOT a marriage issue. That’s a personal issue that needs individual help. I got to a point with my husband last Thursday were he had a choice to make. Get help or get out.

      The issue is not 0 intimacy or not spending enough time together. That’s a symptom. You can and should be calm but there is no sense in speaking your thoughts, opinions or even engaging with someone who is raging and cursing. They don’t hear what your saying anyway. Once the cursing starts you’re done talking. I mean, really what can you even say to insults and cursing you out? Defending yourself is going to make it last longer or result in being hit. So, don’t go there.

      My husband is dominant, I am dominant. Not a good combo. I’ve learned to step down a bit and at least show him respect and speak that way even when I don’t like his behavior. My husband does the same thing.. After a rant, we need to spend time together.. I do it whether I feel it or not. After the ultimatum on Thursday he raged a bit. I had to call his best friend and have him intervene. Which was good because his best friend told him the truth. That he has always had an anger issue, he has always been out of control and that he’s felt he needed help for at least 20 years. We have only been together for 5 of those 20 years. Eventually my husband agreed to get help because he don’t want to leave. I tried taking it up directly with him but it was not safe to do so anymore. So I brought in a trusted friend, that would not judge him and wanted to help him. He was mad that I did that but I know I did the right thing there. It’s as the saying goes, “If you don’t have a friend who will tell you the truth, you aint got a friend”. Plus, now that stuff doesn’t go on in secret and his friend can help him better, pray for him better and be there for him.

      So the weekend went like this. On Friday, he asked me to find a therapist. I have calls into several of the best faith based therapists the insurance covers. Then he said he really needs to see a doctor because he has headaches. So I set up a doctor appointment for him and still sticking to my guns about the therapist. Then he said he probably just needs a chiropractor not therapy because his body’s tense. So, I also set up an appointment with a chiropractor. But he’s still doing the therapy. Then he said we just need to spend time together, maybe a movie, so we went to see a movie on Saturday night and had fun. But he’s still going to see the doctor, the chiropractor and the therapist. I would have set him up a gynocologist appt as well if he tried to use that as an excuse. πŸ™‚

      I know what some of you are thinking, why did I set up the appointments and not him? Well, I work for the insurance company and even I had a hard time determing who took our insurance and what type of coverage we had. I actually set up a meeting for this week (after the experience) to meet with my team to reco our provider portal. I was so frustrated on it that I assume customers who do not work in the industry feel even more so! He could not have navigated it. I had the help of being on IM with people I know could help me. The process was completely uncivilized.

      I think when men rage out like that they feel bad and do not know how to make it better. They also turn their face away from God. It’s really shame at the core of it. So they find excuses. Who wants to admit they can’t control their anger. If you’re a guy that makes you abusive. They do not want to think they are that way. Who would? You can’t fix that in him by anything you do. You don’t have to be a doormat to make him happy. You are not responsible for his happiness anymore than he is responsible for yours. Don’t punish him by taking the good things in marriage away from him like spending time with him. I know it’s hard because after a negative battering from him the last thing you feel at peace doing is spending time together. Gather yourself together and do it anyway.

      I mean, my husband and I are at a point where he gets help for his anger (i think it’s part chemical, part spiritual and part emotional) or we are going to seperate. But I spent the better part of 6 months changing me first. Until I did that, I thought it was a marriage problem, now I can clearly see that we have a huge issue. In the end, I didn’t work on me for him. I worked on me to make my trust in God better. To make my relationship with God better. To make me hear better. Now I know the steps that have to be taken. We cannot work on anything else in our marriage until his anger is under control. I don’t trust him enough to move forward without that step.

      There is a difference between taking control of every little thing and taking action to get something under control. There are situations where a wife must take action. Not because he didn’t take the garbage out in a timely manner or over petty stuff. But cursing at you and yelling at you is not something you have to put up with.

      I know why this happened with my husband. He was starting to go to bible study with me and the family. He was starting to go to Church again. He was starting to do his classes so that he can get a job and not put everything on me. He was starting to work on improving himself. He doesn’t see how the enemy attacks him every time he gets going. But I do. I can feel it the minute that spirit enters this house. And I’ve decided that I’m gonna shut it down everytime it shows it’s ugly head. I’m not going to let it infect my house again. I’ll love him through therapy. I’ll still be affectionate and do all the good things that I do for him. I forgive him the minute that stuff leaves his mouth because I know where it comes from.

      Give that stuff to God and don’t internalize it. But your husband has to handle his own anger issues. You can’t change that, do anything to change it or handle it for him. You can only change your reactions and do the right thing even when he’s doing the wrong thing. If there are bigger issues like there are with my marriage it will have to be addressed at the right time. Be careful about that. Make sure you have changed everything and anything that was in you first. Then you will be 100% positive that it is not situational. And if you have to take action, make sure it’s to help him. Nobody can continue with that much anger inside them. It will eat them up and probably kill them early in life.

      All the best,
      Gail

      1. I highly recommend the book “Non-violent communication” or “Crucial Conversations”. Both help with talking with those that cannot hear you and it is effective when used properly. The methods help soothe the other person – generally anger is misdirected and can usually be put out if you understand them before moving on to solving the issue you are discussing. It’s hard to implement – requires rewiring responses – but it seriously helps.

  19. I have recently spoken with my husband , and he never responds or in the end I am to blame .
    .
    He seems to have no interest in anything That I have to say , left feeling ignored and alone.

    I have come to accept it , for I don’t speak in harshness , I reckon that is his way .

    1. Kim,

      Would you like to talk a bit more about what is going on? It sounds like things are feeling very painful right now, and lonely. πŸ™ I wish I could give you a big hug!

      What is his general personality?

      What is your general personality?

      How is your walk with Christ?

      How long have you been married?

      Is this difficult dynamic a new thing?

      Much love to you!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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