Skip to main content

Little Things (to Us) That Can Feel Bigger to Our Husbands

IMG_2915

I am lifting up all the families and people who have been impacted by the tornadoes in the Midwest of the United States. I am praying especially for my readers who may be in harm’s way. I hope you will let me know if you are safe.

 

Here are a few scenarios I have witnessed at various times in the past year that I think may be helpful for us to talk about:

1. A couple was looking for seats for themselves and their toddler at a children’s show. The husband pointed to some seats towards the back. The wife went up towards the front. The husband started showing some body language that he was frustrated – quickly tapping his hands against his legs. He pointed towards the seats in the back again, and his wife went and sat on the padded floor near the front. The husband’s body language showed he was not happy. They ended up all sitting on the floor.

Sometimes, if we are not careful, we may miss the subtle signs that our husbands are feeling disrespected. Sometimes it is a subtle clenching of the jaw, or a slight movement of his hands or feet.

I know that this is a simple thing, it may seem small to us, but, I love to try to honor my husband by allowing him to choose where we sit when we go somewhere. Of course, many times, he will ask me where I would like to sit. If I have a preference, I will share that in a pleasant way, but if he has a strong preference about where to sit, I cheerfully allow him to lead and I sit wherever he feels is best.

2. A couple was walking in front of us to a public building with two young children. They were approaching the corner of the building, one young child took off running to the left in the front of the building. The dad followed the child, which I thought was very responsible of him. His wife called out in a very annoyed tone of voice, ” Babe, WHY are you going THAT way?” She told him he should go the other way. At that point he was already very close to the doorway on the front of the building that went to the same area inside that the door on the other side of the building went to. Maybe the mom hadn’t seen their child take off and didn’t realize her husband was keeping up with him and keeping him safe? I don’t know.

If both doors go to the same place, and my husband is already near one door, I would have to ask myself, “Does it really matter what door any of us use as long as we all get to the same place?” At this point in my life, that is a non-issue in my mind.

My goal now is that when we are walking somewhere together (a store, a park, a city, in public, in the woods…), I try to let him lead and I try to follow whenever possible. Of course, if there is somewhere I want to go or something I want to do, I share that. But I don’t run ahead anymore or try to make him follow me around. And I encourage the kids to stay behind or beside their dad since they don’t know where he is going. It is much easier to follow someone when you walk beside or behind him instead of way in front of him!

3. Sometimes we as wives will say, “I love you” to our husbands, and we think we are just stating our love. But, there is a way that we sometimes say this, a certain tone of voice and inflection of our voice that shows that our real motive in saying “I love you” is that we want our husband to say “I love you” back to us. It is really not just a statement that we are content to share. It is a test. Does he love me, too? Will he say he loves me, too?

I personally vote to not say anything if we are tempted to say “I love you” in that pressuring, expectant, strings attached kind of way. Some husbands may like to hear “I love you” but for a lot of husbands, those words aren’t a big need. Our honor, respect, admiration, faith and trust mean a lot more than those three little words to most men.

 

Gentlemen,

What do you think? Am I representing the husbands accurately here? Or do you disagree or want to clarify anything? We would love to hear from the men on these issues.

Ladies,

if you know how your husband feels about any of these issues, or similar issues, you are welcome to share his point of view and anything God has shown you about how to honor and respect your husband in these issues.

 

155 thoughts on “Little Things (to Us) That Can Feel Bigger to Our Husbands

  1. I can be a control freak…

    I have changed from how I was but I know that I disrespected my husband and made him feel useless or stupid when I pointed out he was doing things “the wrong way”.

    Making toasted sandwiches, he would do it in a fry pan. I would tell him that’s not how to do it. Use the sandwich maker!

    Driving somewhere-I would question why he takes that route instead of another that was quicker.

    Those are examples off the top of my head.

    I know he disliked those as he told me or would get angry and shout or curse. I try my best now to keep my mouth shut and at times he has even said “I should of gone the other way” or similar without me saying a word and causing tension.

    April-praying for you my friend!!

    1. GWTB,
      Thank you so much for sharing! Those are great examples of things that we can just let our husbands do their own way, that we don’t have to try to control. And everything will be ok. πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you aren’t telling him what to do about those issues. That is very wise!

      Thanks for the prayers! I am praying for you today, as well. πŸ™‚

    2. Kelly,
      I’ve been meaning to comment to you for some time. We have something in common. My hubby is a critical spirit as well. He often corrects me. And he says funny things that I don’t often interpret right.

      A couple of weeks ago, I made dinner and he commented, “Wow! This is the best meal I’ve had in quite some time!”
      Hmm, I thought. .. . .I cook every meal he eats! He thought he was complimenting me, though!

      I NEVER cut strawberries or tomato cores out right.
      My email box is always way more cluttered and full than it should be. ..

      If I say, “We really enjoyed the sunny day today!” He’ll say, “Really, because it wasn’t as sunny as yesterday?!”

      I’ve learned over the years to read his cues a little better and not get too upset if he says I look “fine” instead of “really nice”. It’s just his way. And that of his parents before him πŸ™

      I know that he loves us a whole awful lot and I try not to take it personally. . .but I totally hear you, sister πŸ™‚

      I’m praying for strength for both of us πŸ™‚ And I applaud your coping techniques πŸ™‚

      1. My husband likes to tell me that my food tastes like dog food πŸ™
        I rarely get a compliment on anything I do, say, the way I look. It’s always a criticism. It is so hard to let go of it and not take it to heart.

        Something I’ve done recently is when he says something negative I think of a bible verse or the opposite. So if he says I’m useless I will say “i am wonderfully and fearfully made. My God has a purpose for me and delights in me!”

        Praying for your heart and your husbands.

        1. GWTB – That makes me sad for you that you have to endure that kind of intentional hatefullness.

          BUT I am very excited for your understanding that our ONLY affirmation comes from our Lord anyway. Fighting negative thoughts/comments with scripture is an excellent way to handle this. That is such a great defense mechanism in ANY circumstance!! Jesus did that πŸ™‚ When you know who you are in Christ, and know that He has claimed you as His own – really, what is there that can touch you?

          Excellent – Love this!

          1. I definitely agree that there are times when what our husbands speak to us could be very damaging if we accepted it – and that we do need to counter those negative thoughts with the truth of scripture. But I would caution wives to speak it quietly in their minds – not to quote scripture to husbands in obedience to I Peter 3:1-6 if it is a situation where the husband is far from God.

            But replacing negative, untrue thoughts with the truth of God’s Word is exactly how we can take every thought captive and allow Him to transform our minds, hearts and souls. πŸ™‚

          2. Yes, I only rarely say it out loud. It’s mostly just a little meditation that I do to myself and I get about my business silently or just smile and move from his presence.

            I don’t say “The Lord sayeth that thou…” I might just say for example if he says “do you have a brain?” “Yep, God made it wonderfully!” But not all the time. Only when I feel led to πŸ™‚

          3. oh wow! yes! Good thinking, April! I wasn’t thinking of saying the scriptures OUT LOUD! I think, at least for my husband, that would extremely irritate him. Plus, it would make me look holier. Like saying to him, “Ugh, if you only knew your scriptures like I do, you would never treat me this way”. . . Yikes!

          4. And Yes GWTB – Waiting for the spirit to prompt you to move/speak is what it’s all about, sister! My Bible study this week is on exactly that. Having a “reining ear” to pull in that still, small voice and separate it from all of the other noise of the world.

            Also, another good scripture for times of trial is Romans 8:18 “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us. .. .”

            Much love to you sister! Good stuff πŸ™‚

          5. Thanks for your encouragement!!
            I love that verse in Romans. A friend prayed that over me last year and I clinged to that!
            Blessings!

          6. Fallenshort,
            Yes, I just wanted to be sure other wives reading realized that we say that silently in our minds – not out loud to our husbands, that would repel them from God if they are already struggling spiritually if we quote scripture at them all the time.

            πŸ™‚

          7. Thanks.

            A dear friend who walked a similar path (however it is ending in separation and possible divorce) suggested it to me. I was getting bogged down with the criticism and negative words that I felt like I was getting blows left, right, and centre. Sometimes I may even say aloud to him a response so that he can hear the Word too. He doesn’t verbalise apologies to me but at times he will do tasks like mowing the lawn, stacking dishwasher and putting it on etc that I know are his ways of saying he’s sorry.

            I used to fight back though and that got us nowhere and I was then in sin too. Quoting scriptures has changed my mind and softens my response.

          8. Hi there! I know what you are talking about! My husband and I have a fairly good marriage, but he sometimes speaks to me in a way that really hurts me. He will tell me that I am dumb, or if I don’t interpret what he says in the way that he means it, he will tell me to ‘use that grey stuff’ between your ears.’ He also sometimes swears when he gets angry. Then on other occasions he will tell our friends that he wants to bring up our little girl so that she can see how a girl should be treated by loving me. Then I just say nothing. I always just say nothing.
            In the last couple of weeks I have been listening to some sermons of Lisa Bevere, which really helped me with my self-esteem and the way that God sees me: That I am perfect in his eyes and that I am loved. Last night I asked my husband to cut a watermelon and it was rotten on the inside. I told him to just leave it and throw it away, cause it will be rotten straight through, but he kept on cutting. I kept quiet. The next moment he almost puked because of the smell. I was a little annoyed but also amused and told him that we both knew that he was going to get sick from the smell. By now he was furious and told me: “I told you not to buy the f***** watermelon. I usually just keep quiet when he talks like this to avoid a fight, but I turned around and asked him if he thinks that it is appropriate for him to talk to me like that. He was dumbfounded. I told him that I did not deserve it and that if he can remember a time that I have ever spoken to him like that. He then apologised. Later he came to hug me and whispered in my ear that he felt that I was being horrible to him. I then asked him again if he thought that I was being horrible for asking him not to be horrible to me. He was silent. Since last night he has been nothing but nice to me. I am not saying that you should start a fight, or that this advice may help in your case, but men can only treat you the way you allow them to treat you. I love my husband dearly and he know this, but he doesn’t know how hurtful he can be. Keep on finding affirmation in God’s word, but don’t for one second think that God wants you to be a victim. Pray for your husband, love him, but you are also allowed to tell him not to treat you in a certain way.

          9. Pepper,

            I am VERY, VERY glad that you said what you did. I believe it is unwise to say nothing and never mention it if your husband is very hurtful, rude, demeaning and hateful. It is ok to ask him to treat you with respect. PRAISE GOD that you did this! You don’t have to sin against him – but it is scriptural to go to a person who sins against you (after you have examined your own sin, Matthew 7:1-5) and show him his sin in private – if that doesn’t bring about repentance, there are further instructions in Matthew 18:16-18

            Thank you so much for sharing!

            I am very glad you are listening to the truth of God’s Word and that God sees Christ when He looks at you if you belong to Jesus. πŸ™‚

            Much love!

      2. Good morning! I guess my best defense is a grateful heart. Keeping in mind that I know he loves me and doesn’t intentionally hurt me. . .and sometimes, if I ask him to explain/clarify his remark, he will explain himself and I will better understand. Like the dinnertime thing – he really wasn’t insulting the last 50 meals I served, he was simply really enjoying that one!

        One day, I was particularly annoyed with his continuous comment on whatever I was doing and I said, in frustration, “Why don’t you trust me to know how to do this?!?” He said, almost immediately, “Why don’t you trust me to lead you?” That spoke very clearly to me. Maybe he feels like I don’t respect him in other things, so he just grabs whatever he can to try & lead me. . .??

        Also, my husband’s love languages are definitely “quality time” and “physical touch”, so I have to make sure I pay attention to whether he feels “connected” to me or not. He seems to be able to more carefully communicate (and I do too) when we are feeling connected, not pulled 50 different directions by life. . .

        1. Oh! And I have also been known to do something strategically sneaky, like tell him privately that I don’t like the way THE KIDS have been talking to me and one another lately and I think we should really focus as a family on some scripture like Ephesians 4:29 – “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, only what is helpful for building others up according to their need, so it will benefit those who listen. . ”

          This one can backfire, but it’s usually true anyway. It’s good for all of us to pay attention to how our words affect those around us. . .

      3. Hello JT!

        It certainly is nice to be understood in these sorts of situations. I’ve spent many days and nights over the last 16 years wondering if I’m crazy and if people who love one another really talk that way. . .anywhoo, I’ve learned it takes a lot of grace, a lot of forgiveness, and a lot of communication.

        In your laundry situation, I’ve learned to say, “Sure, honey, I’ll take care of it! Which part is bugging you? Is it the piles in the bedroom that need folded and put away?” This tells him you’re interested in his concerns, you see one way you can solve it, but you are really interested in his specific need. After all, we are not mind readers, we don’t all have the same priorities or concerns, and if he mentioned it, he must have some suggestion. ..

        I tend to agree with you here – If he needed a specific item, he should’ve said so. BUT we can waste a lot of time stumbling over the could’ves, would’ves, and should’ves of life. . .I think it would be fair to apologize (once) by saying something like, “I’m so sorry! I really thought the piles in the bedroom were bothering you – They were sure bothering me! I didn’t even think of you needing your dresspants!” Then let it go. Let him be grouchy if he needs to. .give him space. (My husband doesn’t continue to attack me, but if he did, I would not fuel him by arguing back.)

        Then, over the weekend, I’d make a point to know what he has going on next week. When does he have meetings? Make sure he has the pants. And make sure (as much as you can) life is relatively stress-free that day. Make sure he is fed and loved and comfy. If it stresses him out to have you gone, make sure you are there for him. If it stresses him out when you are there, find something to be gone doing. Just make an effort to know your man and what he needs to destress.

        Last night, I skipped my twice monthly bible study (that I love) to stay home and listen to, feed, and love on my husband. As soon as he walked in the door, I could tell the day had defeated him. And all it took was my time and attention to bring him back. Today, we are “connected”. If I had taken off and gone to the study, I would’ve had a great time with all of my friends and we would’ve studied scripture and truth. BUT my husband would’ve been left alone with the kids and all of his worries. And I would’ve given priority to a group of women I enjoy, instead of a man I vowed to cherish above all others.

        I just followed his lead, and did what he needed right then. And I got it right. Once. Praise the Lord for tiny victories!!

        1. From the movie, Frozen, because, well, we are a bit obsessed.. ..

          During a song the trolls sing called “fixer-upper”, the words are,

          “People make bad choices when they’re mad or scared or stressed,
          But throw a little love their way and you’ll bring out their best!”

      4. JT,
        I wonder if something like, “I WANT to do what it is you desire me to do whenever possible. I may need more specific information so that I can be sure I know exactly what it is you need, please.”

        Praying for wisdom for you!

        1. There is a story in Sacred Influence where a wife – very respectfully, gently, humbly and privately – confronts her husband about how verbally abusive he was being to his son on a ski slope. That book addresses dealing with angry husbands in godly ways.

          I have never had to face my husband cussing me out or constantly blasting me with criticism. He tends to be very mild-mannered, self-controlled and calm. So – I don’t have personal experience with some of these issues – but they are so important!

          What I love about Sacred Influence is that Gary Thomas helps women to see how to show honor to God, self and their husbands as they approach them. A man doesn’t listen to someone he doesn’t respect. If a wife always takes it and takes it and takes it when he is hateful and cruel to her – he will probably not respect her very much.

          There absolutely are times that a wife needs to humbly, gently, firmly, respectfully address a husband’s sinful approach to her. I would love to share women’s stories about things like this if there are wives who are interested in sharing godly wisdom they have learned.

        2. Thank you for your suggestions and comments ladies. I will try to ask for more specific details and repeat his requests in a respectful manner to make sure we are clear. I still have an issue on how my son looks at this when he sees and hears daddy yelling about pants at mommy. I am afraid of the long term effects on him

        3. Praise God! Yesterday evening when I arrived home my husband said he wanted to apologize for the way he acted the night before. He said he was quite embarrassed about the way he acted and that he shouldn’t have acted that way. He also apologized before I got home to our son. I had been praying all day that God would show my husband the need to apologize.

          1. JT,
            God is perfectly capable of showing our husbands these things! πŸ™‚ Especially as we obey I Peter 3:1-6 and stay out of His way. I know for Greg, my voice was so loud for so many years, he really had a hard time hearing God’s voice eventually. πŸ™ But when I stopped lecturing, nagging, preaching, shaming, scolding, criticizing, belittling and trying to verbally drag him to God – he began to slowly hear God’s voice himself. And God is able to speak to people in ways infinitely more powerful than any human ever could.

            πŸ™‚

      5. My husband is the same with the email inbox. I think I have said “It’s my inbox, why does it bother you” on more than one occasion. Not very submissive of me, I know.

  2. April,

    I will keep you in prayer for your eyes/headache/work balance.

    All the small signs are easy to miss with a very uncommunicative husband. I must’ve missed them all with my husband and hurt him as a result. So much so that last night he e-mailed me that he wants a divorce.

    Though i haven’t said much the last three weeks, I’ve been reading your blog everyday still striving to be a godly wife and woman as my husband virtually abandoned my son and I in a new state where we have no family and have only lived for four months.

    This is a really confusing and painful situation. During this time, I finally accepted Christ as my savior and I am no longer the scared, frantic, needy woman I was. I have experienced peace that defies logic. I want so much to have the chance to reconcile with my husband, to renew our relationship with a new, Godly understanding of life. Sadly, it looks as though he won’t even give me that chance.

    Pray for my family as my husband seeks to sever our ties. I gave up every stability I had in life to join my husband and now I have no “home” to go back to. I will probably be moving in with my mother in a state I’ve never lived. This is a real walk of faith.

    My prayers will be with all you wives.

    -livelywriter

    1. Praying for you & your precious family, Livelywriter. Praise God that He has revealed Himself to you! Keep seeking to know and understand His character in His Word and cling to His many promises.

      “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

      Love & prayers, my sister.

    2. Livelywriter,
      SO SORRY to hear of that email and news! I remember the day my husband said the same…truly one of the most devastating of my life. I had to lay EVERYTHING I held dear on the altar and just trust God with his plans and purposes. I grew closer to Him than ever. I didn’t know what He was doing or why; I just had to trust. (Lord, to whom shall we go…YOU have the words of eternal life…)

      It wasn’t until the divorce papers were drawn up and we were a few signatures from it being final that he asked me for another chance for us. I don’t know what’s in store for you but God can do miracles. Today we are still married and happier than ever. God had done amazing healing but we have put in lots of work.

      Don’t despair. Continue to give God your WHOLE HEART. He is a good God. Praying for healing and restoration for your family.

      1. Emily C,
        Thank you so much for sharing this amazing story and encouragement with our sister. What a powerful testimony for God’s ability to work miracles! PRAISE GOD!

        Much love!
        April

        1. Awesome story Emily C!

          Praying for you Sis April. Don’t let Cyberville bully you around =). We are humbled by your insight – but not at the expense of your health!

          1. No problem,

            The feeling is mutual. I came to your blog hoping to understand my wife -from a Godly perspective. I see how God is showing us saints ‘how to dance’ in the art of marriage His way. Men and Women do seem to speak a different language on some or maybe most occasions -but it is so humbling and beautiful when we rely on Him to help us not step on one another’s feet.
            My valley seems a lot darker =…( – but I am encouraged by the fellow saints that are pressing on. I don’t see to many men in the same type of boat I am in right now. I can relate more to what my saintly sisters are ‘going thru’ -right now.

            Praying for God to be glorified in all Godly marriages and for Him to draw us all closer to Him.

          2. Raphael,
            There are many, many men in your boat. They just don’t talk about it as much as women do. But I can assure you, you are not at all alone.

            Praying for you! Thanks so much for praying for the others and the marriages here!

          3. No problem!

            Thank you Sis! Marriage is representative of Christ and His bride. It is so awesome and frightening, encouraging and challenging, blissful and frustrating. Thank y’all ( or you all) for the encouraging comments. Sorry for giving a little too much ‘TMI’yesterday – I was venting and things got a little darker (The Dark night of the soul). I have to pick up the word more. It is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

            May God vbe glorified thru you and your family and this ministry.

      2. Thanks SIs for your testimony!!!! I am at work AND I AM A GUY and I’m almost in tears!!! I’m going thru a fiery trail right now. It really hurts and I don’t know of anyone who has gone thru a similar experience.There is so much that would make it seem impossible for our Marriage to survive (blended family, unforgiveness, mom-in-law thought I wasn’t her daugthers type. Mom-in-law living with my wife, wife not working. I’m living with my 92 year old Dad. He wants me to ‘give up. My family wants me to ‘give up.’ Bad advice from co-workers,my job ends in Septemeber,etc…) – BUT GOD IS ABLE. I’m separated and we didn’t even make it to our one year anniversary =(. My heart has been used like a ‘yo-yo.’ I’m drawing closer to God and still praying for us. Peacefulwife and RespectedHusband’s blogs have been a blessing.

        May God continually be glorified thru you and your Family Emily C!

        1. Raphael, my husband and I also didn’t make it to our first anniversary before we separated! We have blended family issues, job/work issues, drunkenness issues, anger issues and a few other issues!

          We do both agree that marriage is a covenant and are prayerfully working through the issues. This blog has been a source of a lot of healing on my part.

          Do your work within yourself and let God do the rest! Trust the Lord and lean not on your understanding.

          1. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU SIS! OH? Did I say ‘Thank you’? Wow! I should cover my mouth like Job! God is awesome. I am thankful HE sent me to this blog! Thank you for the encouragement. I have similar issues as well The ‘issue’ plate is so HUGE that it is ONLY a job for Superman…NO!!! GOD!!!!!! Wow! There should be two books written on SOUND theology about ‘Husbands love your Wives’ and ‘Wives respect your Husbands.’ Actually, a wrap up book called ‘Submission’ should cover it =)! I know the WORD is complete but there are sound saints that help extrapolate some of the harder areas for us.

            Thank you again for your testimony senterwife. May God truly be glorified thru you and your family!

            Oh Boy! This day just keeps getting better and better (even though my ‘check engine’ light is on)

        2. Raphael,
          My husband and I didn’t make it through our first and a half before he had an affair and moved out. We have been restored. My brother also had his wife leave before 2 years. He is currently standing for his marriage to be restored under “impossible” circumstances. There are many men doing what you are doing. One ministry he’s found particularly encouraging during this time is http://www.rejoiceministries.org. You will find many people standing for their marriages and encouragement for what you are doing.
          Praying for you this morning!

          1. Hi Jeanne,

            Wow! What an amazing testimony. You just kicked Pride out of the ballpark! Thank you for the encouragement and resources! I pray that your marriage will truly glorify God!

          2. Jeanne,

            I apologize I meant to also say thank you for your prayers. They are much needed.

            I’m praying for your family as well.

    3. Livelywriter,

      Oh no! πŸ™ I am SO SO SO sorry to hear about your husband wanting a divorce. And yet – at the same time – I am THRILLED to hear that you accepted Christ as your Savior and LORD! WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PRAISE GOD!

      I pray God will give you a chance to show your husband that He is changing and molding you to be more like Christ. I pray for His wisdom, His power, His love, His Spirit to fill you and to completely renovate your heart to make you the woman He desires you to be for His greatest glory and honor. I pray for lots of time in the Word with Him and for your hunger for Him to be greater than anything else, that you might even find His supernatural peace and joy even during this major storm.

      I pray for God to work in your husband’s heart and for you to live in His strength and peace as you live out I Peter 3:1-6. I am looking forward to the good that God has in store for you, my precious sister!!!!!!

      Much love!
      April

    4. livelywriter,
      I just wanted to say that I’m praying for you this morning. I know how hard this is. My husband told about 6 years ago that he wanted a divorce and had moved out. He came back and we’ve been together since. Things are difficult again as I’m just now really learning about my disrespect and how its affected him. I don’t know what the Lord has for you, but I think its so encouraging that you have accepted Christ and are living a new way now. Don’t give up, God can still work in this situation, even if it doesn’t seem like your husband is willing right now.

      ~Jeanne

    5. LIvelywriter, First, I’m sorry to hear about the heartache and pain that you are going thru. I am elated that you have given your life to Christ. I truly believe that a marriage isn’t really a marriage without Christ. Actually, life is moot without Him =)! Praying for you and your husband. May God draw both of you closer to Him and one another. May God send Godly women to edify you and may God send Godly men to reach out to your husband. I pray that God gives your husband a heart of flesh and that He will turh his heart towards HIM and you.

    6. Dearest Cat, Emily C, Jeanne, Raphael, and April,

      Thank you for sharing your encouragement and joy! It is so amazing that through God’s overwhelming grace, there can be peace in terrible circumstances.

      Just as this whole heart-wrenching event started unfolding two months ago, a stranger offered me a ride to town when she saw me walking in the rain. That stranger has become my best friend…I have not had that for years. It is indeed miraculous how much we share in common especially in the way we think and our sons do too, and how quickly our friendship has blossomed. I am just so overwhelmed with gratitude for my merciful Heavenly Father that he is providing for my every need during this time. My imperfect, but still cherished husband has abandoned us in a strange state, but God has not and never will. He may put us in times of solitude, but He also gifts us the fellowship of others. I want anyone who feels alone in their struggle to feel assured that though God may take us to places we don’t want to go, He loves us more than we can fathom.

      Praying and exploring God’s enduring Word has been vital to my ability to forfeit control and suppress the fear of the unknown in this situation. It is amazing how much I have changed for the better because of facing so many dreaded fears and being humbled of all the pride I had.

      It is amazing how God, in His wise and mysterious way, heals broken marriages. I would love that for us, but even more than I want that, I want and pray for my husband and son to understand and accept Jesus as their savior. Our family unity and happiness has disintegrated, we were not a Godly family and we unintentionally hurt each other again and again. With God recognized as their authority in their lives, I know that they will have healed hearts, even if restoration of the marriage never occurs.

      Thank you, Dear Father, for the power of Your love and the perfection of Your ways that are evident in the testimony of this online community. Humble us and make our obedience to You and our relationship with You the most-cherished desire of our hearts. Amen!

      1. livelywriter,
        WOW! This is the power of God at work. SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!! I would love to share this testimony of yours in a post anonymously or on my peacefulwife FB if you believe that would bring glory to God, my precious sister!

        Praying for you and for God to continue the GLORIOUS work He has begun in your heart and praying for salvation and the Lordship of Christ for your husband and son.

        1. You may absolutely share it. I am so blessed with peace–I want this whole, hurting world to know there is rest, peace and contentment when you walk with Jesus! God’s gift of Christ is for sinners–all 7-point-something billion of us (not just those with super-strong faith as I wrongly believed).

      2. So thankful that God is at work and being glorified! I remember in the midst of the separation feeling so confused… I truly believed with all my heart that divorce was not glorifying to God, yet I felt as a family we were in such a better place when we were apart! I just didn’t understand how God could still be glorified in such awful circumstances but I trusted that he was… and now over two years later, I can look back and see how absolutely instrumental that time was. It was very necessary to reveal to us so many things that were wrong both with our marriage and with ourselves. You couldn’t pay me to go back there again, but I am very thankful that walking through that got us to here. And the PS to that is I am thankful how God continues to use our “junk” to encourage others in the midst of their own hard times. For you Livelywriter, Raphael, and any others who are encouraged by my story, God truly gets the glory for this one. But even if our marriage would not have been saved, he is still such a good God and has blessed my life immensely.

        1. To hear you say it felt weird that God was glorified in your separation is comforting to me. I know that my junk just couldn’t get dealt with with my husband being my unnatural focus. I am glad you had restoration of your marriage to the state God intended! ☺

      3. Wow!

        Thank you Livelywriter for your transparency. Thank you for your humble prayer.

        May God continue to be glorified thru you.

          1. Thank you Sis!

            You too! I prayed for you as well. God has truly blessed you with His peace and wisdom! We are not alone HE IS with us! I am so thankful for the way God provides for His children. We are so unworthy. It is so amazing that the GREAT I AM came down to earth as a man to take away our sins. worries, fears, etc. He paid it all and and gave us His best. He gave us HIM. We have the third person of the trinity – the Holy Spirit within us. He has blessed us will all spiritual blessings. Wow!
            We need our’ dark night of the soul’ or ‘Job’ experiences to help us unmistakably know who He is and what he can do and what He has done for us.
            May God make his face shine upon you sister ‘Livelywriter.’

      1. RG,

        I am tearing up after reading your comment. I believe this is the answer to my prayer. The fact is that I am completely financially dependent on my husband due to our situation. I truly need my husband to provide support so that I can survive until rebuilding my earning potential.

        After each conversation I have had with my atty, I’ve just felt that old crazy panic trying to take over…I’m learning that the feeling is a signal of an internal conflict.

        I don’t want to divorce, but if I have no choice, I would feel better if we hashed out our agreement without lawyers. I think communicating through a lawyer depersonalizes the whole process of divorce and can lead to further hurt feelings and misunderstandings because the dialogue is missing.

        Thank you for sharing your comment-I’ve been blessed by it!

        1. LW,

          I’m glad that my comment might be helpful to you, and will pray for God’s wisdom and intervention for your marriage.

          I’m also not sure if I’m misunderstanding you about something.

          Here is what I mean:
          Most men endure long periods of great pain in relationships before they even think about or consider ending them. I imagine your husband did the same. So, the moment he dicided to end the marriage and send you that email, he was probably also no longer interested in any conversations or debates about the issues you both face. He’s past that point already. He is probably only focused on protecting himself now, and likely doesn’t want to extend any more concern for your needs anymore. The fact is that he likely did love you very much, and that has always come at a personal cost to him to give you that love, but now that he has decided he doesn’t want to hurt anymore, he also might not want to endure the same personal cost to show care anymore.

          I don’t know you, and I may be wrong here, but I’m guessing that you are well past the point of “hashing things out” with him.

          You are not in a position to be making any requests or demands – you don’t have the luxury of fighting for any personal “rights” anymore – You are already past that point!!!

          You have to show love, respect, honor, and concern for him, his needs, and his feelings, regardless of how painful or inconvenient that is for you or your circumstances. Don’t let him see you feel sorry for yourself, or more concerned about your own needs than his. Your feelings and challenges are not your concern right now – his are!

          He is the only one who can decide to save your marriage!

          If he agrees to join you in “Mediation,” then get down on your knees and thank and praise God that your husband still loves you enough to continue discussing anything with you – especially if through the process of mediation.

          If he does still show concern for you and your needs, then get down on your knees and thank and praise God that your husband still loves you enough to show you some love and concern – that is a miracle!

          But don’t make this process about you, your needs, and your feelings and concerns. He probably won’t have much patience for that anymore.

          Focus only on how you can give and honor and serve him, making clear your intent and effort to become the wife he needs you to be, without making any excuses for yourself, or any requests of him.

          Maybe that includes working for and supporting yourself without any of his help to prove that you will/are expending every effort to become the woman and wife he needs you to be, while expecting nothing from him. It might be very uncomfortable and difficult – but it would be worth it!

          From this point forward, you probably only have a few precious moments to show him you want to be different for him, so don’t waste those moments worrying about how difficult your financial circumstances might become.

          If he is really that important to you, then you will make every sacrifice possible to fight for and keep him – and nothing else will matter as much!

          If you are more worried about the money and circumstances, then you will probably just show him that he isn’t as important to you as you claim.

          Remember, he doesn’t need just your words. He needs your actions too.

          You have to make every calculated effort to fight for him, his needs, and his feelings – especially through prayer – because that is the only way to heal his heart and save your marriage – nothing else is as important.

  3. My husband does like to hear the words “I love you.” daily. Not when we are talking about other things, but in a spontaneous way. I advise women everywhere to pray daily for favor in her husband’s eyes. It works. Husband would come home and tell me he thought about me all day.

    Was it good or bad I would always ask (because … it was in our young married years when he could have been dwelling on something terrible I did or didn’t do. But if I had prayed for favor, he would be thinking good things about me.

    This was when we did not attend the same church. We both were raised by parents in the same denomination. I was a member of the church, he was not. Something happened that caused me to leave that church and join another. After I left that church husband joined it. Sigh.

    I learned to ask God to give husband wisdom in guiding our family. Then when he made decisions I had to follow husbands choice, because I had put my trust in God to lead him.

    And finally God showed me that I needed to allow my husband to choose where we attended church services. So after 12 years I went back to the church that I had left.

    Life has many twists and turns but our golden years are truly golden.

    1. Sharon,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story!

      Yes, some husbands do like to hear “I love you” in a spontaneous, genuine way. πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you shared about how your husband feels. I love what God has shown you and all that you have learned. I love hearing all about what God has done in your life and marriage.

      May He continue to richly bless your walk with Him!

      1. This is sort of a catch 22 for husbands, the whole respect thing.My wife and I were taking about our marriage after church Sunday, and I felt led to share with her the reason I’m so passionate about our marriage, is not because she isn’t a good wife, but because of my own sin. In turn, she asked me if I measured my success as a husband by her reaction to my leadership.The answer of course is absolutely yes.Yes, I absolutely want my wife to react t me out of love, and respect my leadership.However, if she doesn’t, I must still be loving towards her.As a husband, I desire, her love and respect, but my motive for being a good husband can’t be dependent on that. At the same time, I feel like I’ve failed Jesus, if I can’t stir up these feelings in my wife.Genuine love and respect is a gift wives choose to give to their husbands.I can’t demand it, as my right, because it would not then be genuine. At the same time, I’m aware of God’s command for her in this area, so I feel responsible to stir up these responses in her.If I fail, I feel I’ve failed as a husband, not necessarily to her, but to Jesus, who placed her in my care.

        1. TC,

          I can definitely understand the struggle here. I think that it can be difficult to pinpoint “where do my responsibilities end and my husband’s/wife’s begin?” or “where do my responsibilities end and God’s begin?” But those are really crucial issues.

          We will have spouses who sin against us or don’t understand God’s design at times. And we may be able to share God’s truth gently and lovingly and respectfully. But we cannot open their eyes. Sometimes, a husband could be the perfect leader and perfect godly man and his wife still wouldn’t respect and honor and submit to him because of the sin in her own heart. That is what has happened to God with His people. And sometimes a wife could be the most biblically submissive, godly, respectful, loving wife giving great honor to her husband and he will not love her because of the sin in his own heart.

          There is a point at which we cannot take responsibility for the free will of another person, even our own spouse. It is quite freeing, actually, to realize that my ultimate job is simply to love, honor and obey Christ no matter what my husband does or does not do. He will stand accountable to God for his sin and his responses. I am only accountable for my own sin and my obedience. A husband does have the accountability to lead and manage. But – if your wife refuses to honor your leadership and refuses to respect you – in my view, your job is to continue doing what God calls you to do in His power and to continue to pray for God to work in her – and to measure yourself only against what God calls you to do. Easier said than done, to be sure.

          Praying for God’s wisdom for you!

  4. I would like to add that sometimes wives can also hurt husbands deeply when they think their remarks are “humorous.” For example, one articulate, very smart friend sometimes says to her husband when they are talking with friends, “Just go back to sleep, ______.” It gives the impression that he is ignorant with nothing to add to the conversation, yet what he says is worthy of consideration. I notice a hurt look pass over his face, if only fleetingly. How disrespected he must feel. So even in humor we must have empathy and think first about how something we say might make our husbands feel.

    I hope you’re feeling better soon, April, and will include you in my prayers today. Much love to you!

  5. This is another timely post. One of the disrespectful things I do that I think is a little thing is asking questions. I want to know all the details of things and will ask lots of questions. I never saw that as disrespectful before and while I’ve gotten better, I still have times where I don’t understand why its a big deal to him. Saturday we got in the car and I looked in the back and there was a dog crate (not ours). I asked him why there was a dog crate in the car (reasonable question). He answered that a co worker needed him to give it to another co worker but he forgot about it after work on Friday. Of course I still had more questions about it, but I didn’t say anything else. We had been having such a nice day and I wrestled with myself that it wasn’t worth ruining our time to find out more info. The next day, we were loading up his car with some things and he had to take the crate out to make room. I asked him why didn’t his co worker just give it to her himself, why did he need him to do it? He then started getting agitated and said why do I have to ask a hundred questions about everything. I was kind of annoyed bc this was only the 2nd question I asked about this situation, but he isn’t seeing just this situation, he’s seeing it as a whole. We ended up talking and he told me that he has a hard time with my questions bc he feels like I care more about “catching” him in something or seeing something out of place and caring more about it than him. He said I don’t ask him questions about him, like his dreams for life, or what he likes, or learning more about him, etc. Wow… that was a really surprising thing to hear him say. He wants me to ask him things that are important to learn more about him. This was encouraging to me because things have been very surface with us and this showed me that he does have the desire to go deeper with me.

    1. Jeanne,
      Great point! Yes, many husbands do not like feeling “interrogated.”

      I know I don’t like that myself, either!

      I am so interested to hear what he said about the questions you don’t ask him that he would like you to ask him. That is beautiful!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    2. Jeanne, I have the EXACT same situation with my husband. He hates when I asks questions. But, the answers he gives sometimes are only half the story like with the crate.That drives me crazy! And sometimes when I act confused about something later down the road he will say I told you about that. Ummm….yeah you did but you never explained it. He also has said the he thinks I am trying to catch him in something. That boggles my mind.

      I am glad that he expressed why it bothered him. I will try to take that to heart with my husband. πŸ™‚

      1. daisymae,
        Wow, that is exactly what I’m dealing with. He won’t give me the full story, then gets upset if I ask more questions and says I’m trying to catch him in something. Its like he wants to purposefully without information just to upset me (not that its really his intention). Drives me crazy too! I’m glad he expressed why it bothers him, but I do wish he’d be more open to start with, but maybe that will come as he learns to trust me more. I’m a questioner by nature. My mom tells me stories of how I would question everything as a child, like if we were going somewhere I would ask her: who will be there, how long will I be there, what will we do, who will pick me up, etc. So this isn’t just something I do with him, I want to know everything naturally, but for my husband it comes across as controlling.

        I was just reading your other comment below and I’m in that exact situation too. The slightest sign of disrespect and he gets upset. He might even start yelling or threaten to move out. After a great weekend last week, I asked one question and he went into a rage (this isn’t typical). it was shocking but I think he felt terrible about it and cuddled me after he settled down. Those situations are so difficult to know how to handle.
        I’ve also been seeing his fun and silly side emerging again now that I’ve been more consistent and thats so encouraging and I want to bring more of that out.

        I like what April said about seeing it as him having a sunburn. Thats a great analogy to understand what he may be going through during this process.

        Praying for you this morning,
        Jeanne

    3. Oh my gosh! I was HUGELY guilty of this!

      I can see know how my questioning behavior was driven by my feelings of insecurity. Our dysfunctional communication/conflict resolution added greatly to this insecurity about my husband’s motives in all things, but the core of my insecurity was that I had based my feelings of worth on the opinion of my husband. Until this all fell to pieces I could not see that my foundation for my worth was clearly not built upon the bedrock of Christ. As children of God, we are valued as priceless treasures we don’t have to prove our worth. In the world our worth is based upon how others benefit from us…these are two wildly different perspectives! If we believe in the worldly view of worth, then if no one shows their need for us we can begin an unhealthy obsession with making someone feel they need us. I was always questioning my husband about why didn’t he feel the need for greater intimacy, why didn’t he want me to do nice things for him, why did he do A, B, or C knowing it made me feel unappreciated, etc.

      Gah! I get so frustrated with seeing my mistakes, but I really didn’t know any better. I guess all I can do is ask for forgiveness and move forward assured of my worth through Jesus.

      1. livelywriter,
        Umm… and I so want to share this treasure you have shared, too, please! AMEN! AMEN!!!!!!!!!

        Yes, confess, repent I John 1:9 and more forward completely assured of your worth and acceptance in Christ. WOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

        1. Oh please do share! So many of the comments from other wives showed me my own sin and flawed thinking. I am so glad that through this blog and through my new church I finally heard and understood the message of what it means to be a Christian! ☺

          1. Livelywriter,
            Wow! If that isn’t the biggest answer to my prayers ever. πŸ™‚ WOOHOO!

            And thank you for allowing me to share. πŸ™‚ Much love!

  6. I have stepped away from the words “I love you” and try to give my husband what he desires…to be respected as he sees respect. I don’t focus on him not telling me “I love you” anymore. (He says he does not.) I focus on the helpful things he does every day for me like working to support the family, taking care of our car, keeping the house orderly and many other kind things that bring a smile to my face! Every day I focus on God’s agape love for me and He gives me hope for a lifetime!

    1. True Meaning of Life,
      That sounds like you are obeying Philippians 4:4-13. I’m so sorry that he says he doesn’t love you. πŸ™ But I am thrilled to see the beautiful faith and gratitude in your heart! Praying for God’s healing for you both!

    2. TMOL, your post made me think and review what I am doing. I am going to try and refrain from saying “I love you” to my husband. Whenever I say it, he says it back, like one would say, “Your welcome”. Actions do speak louder than words, and I believe my actions will have better results with my husband rather than words.

      I am sorry to hear that he is saying he doesn’t love you. Those are hard words to hear. Praying for you!

  7. Your examples are very good, April. Chances are the wives you observed in those “little things” situations behaved the same way on a regular basis, not knowing (or not caring) that they were disrespecting their husbands in the process. One example (of seemingly thousands) of my own: I took my family to Six Flags, and of course we were all excited about the day. We arrived early so that we could be there when the doors opened. There was a new large roller coaster that my sons and I had been talking about and looking forward to, so that was our first destination, and we were moving as swiftly as we could toward it in hopes of a relatively short line at the beginning of the day. Along the way, we would pass other rides. As we passed a different roller coaster, my wife called to me to stop and asked why we didn’t get on this roller coaster because it was the first one we came to and there was no line. I explained that we were trying to get to the new roller coaster before the lines got long. She argued with me that we shouldn’t walk past other rides only to have to double back later to ride them. Then it turned out that she was voicing the thoughts and objections of my father-in-law, who was with us. She let me know she thought her dad’s approach made more sense than my approach. Of course, all this time, people are streaming past us to get to the new roller coaster and the kids are anxious to do something rather than just standing around talking/arguing. We ended up riding the roller coaster that had no line, and we ended up in a very long line for the new roller coaster later on. My wife never did understand how disrespected I felt in being overruled — in front of the kids and in favor of her father. (On reflection, I wish I had had the presence of mind and composure to say, with a good attitude, “Look, I’m the dad, I just paid for everyone’s ticket, the kids and I have been looking forward to the new roller coaster, I have good reasons for doing things in this order, time’s a-wasting, and this is where we’re going first. Follow me or meet us later.”) One thought: it seems to me in your two examples and perhaps in my example, the wives are locked into mommy mode. They’re used to having to direct the kids all day about what to do and when. Then, when dad’s around, they just automatically stay “in charge,” without realizing that now they’re effectively ordering their husbands around. It’s somewhat understandable, but it’s not very smart as a practical matter (because of the frustration and eventual passivity it produces in their husbands) and it’s certainly not biblical.

    1. I KNOW I have done this kind of thing to my husband. If my mom is with us, she is sometimes VERY opinionated about what “should” be done. And I used to feel lots of pressure about that. . .I know that’s not the way it should be, but it IS very difficult for newlyweds who have been under the authority of their parents for 20 years to switch and be under new authority, especially when all of this respect/submission stuff is not right in the families. . .ugh. Some of us were just set up for disaster. Praise the Lord He stepped in & saved us!!!

      “Mommy mode” is also a very interesting thing. When the mother is primarily in authority over the children during the absence (physical or mental) of the father, the lines can get crossed VERY quickly. Our family is home about 10 hours a day without my husband. He comes home for about 3 hours before the kids go to bed. (I imagine this effect is multiplied with over the road truck drivers or military, etc.) Often he will ask me how to make a decision because I have way more information about food/naps/behavior/etc. than he does. We used to find that he felt VERY disconnected from our days. Sometimes he still does. We have found that we can offer him respect during our days by making sure we remember to do chores/activities/phone calls he’s asked us to do. We can be respectful of our time/budget so that we are not “spent” when he comes in. We can put off many decisions and wait for his input. (I didn’t used to understand the importance of this) And on weekends, we can be respectful of his desires for our family.

      Many years ago, there was a copy of a 1950s home economics textbook floating around between some of my girlfriends. We would laugh about how ridiculous and outdated it was. It talked about putting a little effort into yourself, the children, and the home before he comes home from work, so we will be attractive to him, as opposed to disorderly. I now believe this is wisdom. My husband loves order. I CAN choose to make an effort (NOT seek perfection – just do our best) to pick up the house, have extra kids gone, make sure the TV is off, dinner is on (or planned) , have the kids doing something purposeful, make sure I am not in physical disarray, ect. Some men might not care about this, but I know mine prefers it.

      This sort of stuff takes mighty communication. We have a few friends and family who are divorced and we have often talked about how, in this season of life, we can absolutely see where two people could easily live two different lives and barely cross paths. We have found that is a very dangerous way to live. Choosing to slow down and honor one another is not the popular choice. It is a narrow road and it is very easy to fall off.

      Have a great day everyone!

        1. Absolutely,
          I totally trust your judgement in using whatever I may have to offer in your posts.

          Hoping your headache is better πŸ™‚

      1. FallenShort, my husband has voiced this very concern…two different lives and barely cross paths. he has told me time and time again and i think i am doing a better job about spending time with him , at least close to as much as i do with my son (which is something my husband asked of me) but a couple months will pass, and he will bring it up again angrily.when i ask him not to speak in that tone of voice to me he says, “you are worried about my tone of voice when i am telling you the that fundamental pillars of our relationship are falling apart”. i don’t know what to do any more . we’ve talked about it and i think i understand and like i said it’s fine for a while but then he brings it up again because i fall into my default position …in my head i tell myself , “who wants to spend time with a man who just cursed me out”. it is such a vicious circle (dance ) to be in.

        1. Then, I think you should cross his path. Be deliberate, sister. Move your default position right into the middle of it. Seriously, give up whatever is in the way. There are only two things that are safe. Your hubby and your babies. Everything else is fair game. Let it go. Make him a priority. I know it’s not popular, but I believe it is imperative that your marriage relationship takes precedence over all others (including parental relationships). Get in his way. Make him notice you. Flash your assets. Show him what you’ve got. And let him know beyond a doubt that it is all his, all the time. Find out his love languages and speak them. Frequently. (I’m guessing he’s a quality time guy. . .)

          Then, once he knows for sure, he won’t feel compelled to repeatedly scream it at you in an angry voice. And the dance will be a lot more fun!

        2. JT,
          It is ok to say, “Please don’t speak to me like that. I don’t feel safe when you use that tone of voice and I can’t hear your real heart and message when I am feeling afraid. I want to hear you better. A calm tone of voice will help me to be able to hear you much more clearly. I’m willing to listen to anything you want to say, but I want to know that we are both going to treat each other with respect.”

          I’m so sorry that things are so very painful,. πŸ™

    2. I really appreciate it when men and dads post on these comments. I find it hard to understand my husband. I recognise the little nuances and irritations but am not always certain what I did to annoy him. Sometimes I dont feel I will ever get it right.

      I like what you said about “mommy mode”. My problem is I am a teacher! So I am always used to sorting, organising, managing and telling what to do or guiding. Perhaps that is the switch I need to make. I tend to find he wants to control everything in the home. Perhaps this is just a coping mechanism… I am trusting the Lord to show me and help me.

      1. Nelpam,
        I know I didn’t turn off “pharmacist mode” for years and would come home telling Greg what to do and how to do it and taking charge. That did not work! I had to purposely learn not to be a pharmacist at home. πŸ™‚

        Praying for wisdom for you!

      2. Nelpam – I am also a teacher (homeschoolers) and a homemaker. My husband and I have had conversation about how he is, in a very real sense, walking into my place of work every day when he comes home. On the other hand, this is HIS home and he has picked ME to take care of it (and his children), under his leadership, so I do keep that in mind as well πŸ™‚ He’s got this supervisor/principle/dad/husband thing going on. . .

        He is also a “controller” and we’ve had very real conversations about my respect/submission in relation to his “control”. We’ve talked about it in his terms – how would HE react if I came to his workplace each day at around dinnertime and began to rework everything he’s worked on during the day? And would he (and all of his employees) be able to immediately take their minds off of their work, shift gears, and give their full attention to me.
        There does have to be some transition time. We do our best.

        If you have a drive home, could you listen to uplifting, Christian music? Or messages of service, so you are in the mood to serve by the time you get there? It takes LOTS of communication, balance, and respect, on both ends.

        It helps me to remember that we are called to do 2 things: Love the Lord with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And love/serve one another the best way we know how. There really are no motives in any of that, so if I get stuck thinking we are out of balance or things are “unfair”, I just go back to that & humble myself. . .

        1. Fallen short,
          I love this! I think the illustration you gave to him was very powerful, and respectful.
          And I love your humility and the way you seek to focus on the two greatest commandments. Thank you so much for sharing your Titus 2:3-5 wisdom!!!

      3. I’m a teacher too and I have the tendency to take charge and go with my ideas. As a classroom teacher of 20 plus kids that’s what you need to do! It is a challenge to turn that off and step back when you’re at home. I’ve found it even more challenging when my husband has acted childish or immature. Then my mother/teacher side kicks in.
        But we can get on top of that with the help Jesus gives us and the peace and patience the Holy Spirit can cultivate in us as we put things into practice and renew our minds πŸ™‚

    3. David J,
      Thanks for sharing this example!

      I don’t think most wives recognize that what they are doing is disrespectful. I don’t think they intend to hurt their husbands. I agree that they may be used to “mommy mode” or “being at work mode” where they are in charge. And they just take charge, maybe thinking that their way “makes the most sense” – of course, a husband can have an entirely different perspective that also makes sense and is not automatically “wrong.”

      I love sharing stories like this with wives because it helps us to put these things on our radar. Usually, these kinds of issues are not things we would ever think could upset our husbands unless we have very purposely studied men and respect in marriage.

      I like your idea for how you could have handled the situation that day.

      Now, my goal is to seek my own obedience to God first and then the unity and strength of our marriage next instead of allowing my opinion on a small issue like this to overshadow the things that are most important in life. I have to think – “Am I going to be judged by God for going to this roller coaster first or the one my husband wants to go to first? Does it matter, really?” Then I think, “Am I going to be judged for how I honor and respect my husband?” Yes! And “Do I long for great unity and intimacy in my marriage more than getting to choose which roller coaster we ride first?” YES!!!!! That perspective makes it a lot easier for me to not let little issues seem big in my mind.

    4. David J,

      Greg always does exactly what you did, by the way – make sure we get to the most popular attraction first before the lines get insanely long – and I appreciate that! The less time waiting in line all day, the better for me.

    5. I much enjoyed your reply, David. The problem with mommy mode is that one day, the children will be gone, and it will just be the two of you. I raised my four before I walked with Abba, and held no respect for their father or step-father. I didn’t know what damage I was doing! I raised girls that don’t respect their men and boys who don’t expect it. Needless to say, none are in a thriving healthy relationship. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, and I really liked your thinking on what you might have said! Blessings!

      1. Yoursistersijourner,
        Wow. Your words are very sobering. It is like seeing myself in the future and my children in the future if God had not opened my eyes.

        Thank you for sharing the very real and painful results of what happens to our children when we disrespect their fathers. This makes me just weep.

        We all need to hear this.

  8. Jeanne, not asking a lot of questions, thinking I need to understand everything about everything regarding DH is an area that I have had to use discipline ( duct tape over the mouth). I have started watching how my husband treats me. I believe it is out of respect for me that he takes what I say and doesn’t ask a lot of questions. It is nice to be on the receiving end of that. I realized that I really don’t like to be asked a lot of questions about a simple thing that doesn’t matter. Why do I feel I should do that with him? To see if he is doing it the right way (which of course is MY) way? I am with you in this struggle.

    1. That’s great insight, that your husband is showing you respect by not asking a lot of questions about simple things. It made me reflect on my husband consistently showing the same toward me.

      Looking back, I can see how many of my questions could be seen as disrepectful, because even if asked nicely, they conveyed a message that I was either challenging him or that I had a demanding spirit. No one likes to feel that.

      1. Julie,
        I think you are exactly right – it can feel like a challenge when a husband feels that he is questioned a lot – especially “why would you?” “why did you?”

        Think about if you would feel offended if your MIL asked you “Why would you put the diaper on the baby like that?” “Why did you wear that outfit?” It is a direct challenge. I don’t know anyone who likes to feel challenged, or to have someone demand things of him/her, either.

  9. Good morning, sisters! I am standing with any of you who are in prayer today for those in the path of yesterday’s storms, and the storms yet to come today! I keep in mind that our Heavenly Father used a hurricane to bring me from atheism into the Kingdom almost ten years ago. May He protect His own, and use these storms (which Scripture says will continue to increase) for His glory and to allow His plan to unfold! April, I am also lifting you in prayer. Sometimes God uses physical things to get our attention concerning the spiritual. Are you stretching yourself too thin? Beware, that also stretches your armor thin! Sisters here, you are in my prayers, too, as you learn to walk on the Narrow Path, being all God intends you to be! April, I approached my honey and asked him if he would discuss your posts with me as I learn from them to see how I can tailor myself to fit his needs, while remaining on the Path God has set before me. He was very agreeable! Can you reccommend specific posts that would be good conversation starters, or do you and your husband have a “He Said/She Said” lesson? Many thanks and blessings to you!

    1. Yoursistersojourner,
      Wow! What a testimony! I was actually praying for God to use these storms this week to bring many to Himself. So amazing to hear that He did that with a hurricane for you. Thank you for sharing!

      YES! I have been stretching myself too thin! I need to cut down my time on the computer significantly.

      I love that your husband is willing to talk with you about posts- that would be such a blessing – then you can tailor your respect to him in the way that means the most to him. πŸ™‚

      How about search the word “interview” and read my interview with Greg and Nikka’s interviews with her husband to start.

      Then, you can search “husband emotions” and “husband think” and those would be great articles to ask him how he thinks and processes his emotions.

      you can also search “respect” and “lead” and “leader.” And, a lot of the comments today would be great discussion starters, too! πŸ™‚

      1. Thank you for showing me where to look, April. My honey believes in God, fears Him and respects Him, but does know yet how to love Him, and bring Him into the day to day. I believe Abba can use these blogs to help him to see just what we’re called to do! My testimony is the first post on my site, if you’ve ever wondered what sitting under your kitchen table while the house breaks apart feels like. It was hours later when I heard that “still, small voice” πŸ™‚ Blessings!

  10. Thanks for this post April! This post was very eye opening! However, I want to ask for some godly advice on an issue that is big (to me) but small to my husband.

    He doesn’t lock the door when we leave the house, or when he leaves the house for work (at 5:30a). I’ve spoken to him about this (in a calm, respectful way) and explained to him how I believe it’s unsafe to leave the front door unlocked. He responded saying that he’s my protection and not the lock to the door. While I understand that he wants to be my protection and this is very sweet and endearing, I still frankly think it’s foolish to leave the door unlocked and would really like for this to change.

    I’ve prayed about it and asked God to continue to protect us and our household and also asked God to show me ways to let my husband know that I do feel protected by him. Is there any advice that you can give me concerning this issue?

    1. Sherea, I understand what your husband is saying, and I stand on the fact that Yahweh is our only true protection. So this is a tough one. Many people have fallen victim to crime with all doors and windows locked. The lock is a small stumbling block if they have intent to do evil. Perhaps spending some time in the 91rst Psalm will help you. It says that we who are doing our part can rely on our faithful God doing His. Fear and doubt are barriers between us and a Perfect Creator who’s told us to entertain neither emotion. The only “right” answer for you will be found in prayer. I will be praying that you are guided to your answer by the Holy Spirit, and that you’ll find peace concerning this issue! Keep us updated πŸ™‚

    2. Sherea,

      Hmm… that would make me feel unsafe, too. I wouldn’t like having the front door unlocked.

      I love that he thinks of himself as your protection – but I think he can be your protection along with the lock, personally! πŸ™‚

      I’m glad you are praying about this. That is very wise. I think that it is going to take great sensitivity to God’s Spirit to know what to do in this situation.

      If you lock the doors behind him – he will certainly feel disrespected. But – he won’t lock the doors himself.

      I would hate for something horrible to happen for him to decide to admit that a locked door is a good idea.

      I do know God can change a husband’s heart and mind.

      When is the last time you mentioned this to him?

      1. Hi April! Thanks for your response:-) I actually spoke to him about it this morning. We’ve spoken about it before and I’ve asked him if I could lock the door (which he agreed because the kids and I were going to be returning home without him). But since then, I stopped locking the door myself because I wanted to follow my husband’s leadership and trust God more (not easy!)

        After speaking with him this morning, I prayed about it. I felt the need to ask God if there are ways that I’m making my husband feel that he’s not my protection. And also, I asked God to show me ways that I can reassure my husband that I do feel protected by him.

          1. April, no its not a new issue. Now that I think about it, its been going on since we got married (almost two years ago). Its always bothered me, but I figured if I asked him a few times to lock the door, he’d eventually do it more often, and there was also a period when I wouldn’t ask, I would just get up after he left and lock the door behind him, or if we were all leaving I would just make sure I locked the door. But, lately it’s become frustrating enough for me to mention (calmly) that it does bother me.

          2. Sherea,

            Do you live way out in the country or in a gated community. Or does your husband keep a gun, so maybe he feels that he can handle anything that might happen?

            How do his parents handle locking the doors?

            Thanks for the prayers!

          3. April! Good questions! My husband is a proud soldier in the US Army who has been on two tours and yes he does believe he can handle anything that happens and he does own a gun and we do live on post. I also believe my husband can take care of things, but even though we live on post, I still would like for the door to be locked. And even before we moved on post this would happen. I don’t want to make too big of a fuss, because God has/is protecting us. But I also know that God wants us to wise and good stewards of what He’s given us.

          4. Sherea,

            That is helpful info! I would assume that crime is lower on post, but I can still understand your desire to have the doors locked. I am certainly praying for wisdom for you! πŸ™‚

          5. Sherea, I haven’t locked the door to the house or my car in the 13 years that I’ve lived in this house. But I’m in a rural subdivision so someone really has to be determined to want to rob anything!

            I know when I’ve made that comment to friends, they are surprised! They couldn’t imagine not locking their locks. Sometimes it’s about habits and cultures/perspectives. Do you have any friends at the post and have you discussed with them the ‘safety’ of leaving the door unlocked?

            Ask your husband to teach you how to use the gun and how to protect yourself so that you feel comfortable about defending yourself if someone should enter the house since the door was unlocked. Self-defense knowledge is a very useful tool in life.

          6. Locks have never been an issue in our house (low crime area). However, when I return from a day at work the last thing I want to do is fiddle with a key, a lunch bag, and a laptop before entering the house – especially when I can see my wife through the glass.

            That said, since this is a concern for you, I would lock the door when he left and unlock it 10-15 minutes before his expected return (set an alarm if you need to). I don’t care what my wife does to satisfy her peculiarities when I’m not present and they don’t impact me.

            Then again, I’m the one who sweeps through the house at the end of the night, turning off lights and checking doors before retiring.

            If your husband is around, then defer to his wishes (leave it unlocked if he is present). Most guys see the wisdom in locking up a house when everyone is gone – so I would be surprised if that case was actually an issue.

          7. Also, I’ll be praying that you are well rested and able to balance your schedule, so that you can continue blessing women like me with wisdom and biblical insight.

        1. I am a man. My wife shared this with me. My response, as a man, would be :

          1) Without an attitude, whenever you are awake or are leaving the house with your husband, you should lock the door and leave it at that.
          2) If you are not awake when he leaves at 5:30, and he will not lock the door, this to me speaks of a bigger issue.
          It seems to me he does not understand:
          a) your fear
          b) that his lack of consideration is actually communicating a lack of respect

          The way my wife would approach today in our marriage is to tell me, gently that, while I am her protector, she sees locking the door as a way of expressing that protection.

          One other way to communicate would be if your husband ever asks something from you, if you expressed calmly how if you didn’t do what he wanted, and that communicated disrespect to him, that is how not locking the door makes you feel.

          If he could identify with you, that might solve the problem.

          Being a man, I know men and women communicate differently. If both husband and wife seek to serve the other in humility and gentleness, then I ask the question: Why is this such a big issue for him not to do what you ask?

          We will be praying for you and your husband.

    3. I have the same issue. I just get up after my husband leaves and lock the door and turn on the alarm. We rarely lock our doors even when we leave the house to go to the store but when I am asleep I feel more comfortable with it locked.

      You said your husband doesn’t mind if you lock it so that would be my advice. If he asks about it explain that you feel very protected when he is around but once he leaves it makes you feel better to have the door locked. Otherwise, don’t mention it.

      If you are wanting him to do it, that may never happen. You can pray about it but you can’t change his mind yourself without sacrificing intimacy. I know that is hard because what you want it so reasonable to you and anyone else around, but for some reason it is not reasonable to your husband.

  11. Well, if we are hiking in the woods or a park, my husband most likely would put me in front for two reasons. 1) He’s afraid I won’t keep up (and right now he should be, because I have a leg/back injury) and 2) He likes watching my ….. (and I appreciate that.) But I agree 100 percent with the rest, I almost always ask him where he wants to sit, and if I don’t it’s because at this point, I know where already.

  12. I know I’ve been trying especially hard lately (and failing sometimes) to let my husband make decisions without putting the pressure on right away. In relearning to be more respectful I’ve found my husband getting irritated when I ask him multiple times for an answer even if it’s a day or more in between me asking.I have struggling with biting my tongue and just letting him decide even when the decision comes last minute which drives me crazy to say “ok if that’s what you want to do let’s do it.” Even if it doesn’t all work together nicely as (in my mind it would of if I had more time to plan) I’m trying to let it go and just let him have his space to lead. I’m one of those people who like to work out the details of event planning or just details in general. So pray for me to have wisdom to know which things are important and which things just need to be let go.

  13. Major decisions have been made for our family because I didn’t realize my husband’s ambivalence meant “no, I’m not comfortable with that”. I went full steam ahead thinking we were both happy with the decision and was totally confused with my husband’s pouty behavior. I’d change everything else in the house trying to figure out what was the problem because I’d ask what was wrong and he’d never tell me. Now he tells me that he’s been angry over x,y,z issue for years. Part of me is glad he’s finally saying something. Part of me fights my own resentment over his immaturity. Other things he’s upset about include a one time event of mockery at his favorite television show or being late to events. It’s difficult because he’s made fun of my favorite movies for years and has been late to my events for years. For stuff like this I honestly didn’t think it was an issue because he set the bar.

    Now I’m praying God open my eyes to how my husband speaks and give me patience to share in his pain even when he won’t share in mine. I’m learning a balance of submission towards my husband and self-respect. Working to keep perspective.

    By the way, my husband always leads when it comes to vacations and outings. He drives, orders the food in the drive through for me and the kids, makes the plans and does a great job. The most I contribute is usually enthusiasm for the upcoming event and I’m a sounding board for ideas. He really enjoys that. I don’t mind being “Miss Daisy” one bit in the passenger seat. It’s one of the few ways I feel most loved by him.

    1. Refined,

      I have to agree that when a husband doesn’t speak his mind and heart and doesn’t say what he wants or doesn’t want it is VERY difficult on a wife! I know I am a pretty wretched mind reader. There were many times for years when I thought Greg fully agreed with me about things, assumed things were fine. but they weren’t. I had no clue why he was withdrawing from me.

      How I WISH he had been upfront and honest with me even if it had hurt my feelings back then, 20 years ago. We could have dealt with this mess so much sooner and both could have been spared infinite amounts of pain.

      Yes, there is a balance between biblical submission and self respect – but also in that mix is a healthy fear of God and a desire to please Him far above our desire to please our husbands and they power to live in the Spirit. That is where we can truly begin to soar as women of God. πŸ™‚

      I’m so excited about what you are learning!!!!! WOOHOO! And I am glad your husband finally told you these things. It is much easier to deal with a known issue, that is for sure.

  14. I know I say this all the time, but here is another post right on time. Funny thing is though, I didn’t read it yesterday. I was busy all day and didn’t get around to it. This morning I was praying before I got out of bed on just this exact thing!

    My husband is overly sensitive to almost anything I say right now that sounds like control. It is difficult to even carry on a conversation about some things. I see his jaw clinch when I say anything that sounds like a suggestion. So my goal this week is to examine these small areas more closely.

    I know I am guilty of the scenarios that you described too. I can see subtle hints of our intimacy growing as I grow and I see my husband smiling and laughing more. I love that! I want more of that!

    I am praying for your headaches. I have been suffering them this week too. I have found that when I am having daily headaches there is often a food to blame for them, even stress headaches. Other times I might just have tension but when I have severe pain, it is usually something I need to remove from my diet. So far chocolate, peanut butter, olives and nitrates can trigger headaches for me. It never happened until I turned 40. I think it might be a hormonal thing. Just a thought for you. πŸ™‚

    1. DaisyMae,

      Another thing that sometimes happens is when a husband has been disrespected for a long, long time – he develops kind of a “sunburn” on his spirit where the slightest hint of disrespect triggers a big reaction. Sometimes the issue is that a wife really is doing things that grate on him and truly feel disrespectful to him that she just didn’t realize she was doing. Other times, even as she eliminates disrespect, he may continue to be very sensitive. In time, this usually gets better – especially as we figure out how to stop all the unintentional and intentional things that speak disrespect to our particular man.

      It can be helpful to ask your husband, when he is calm and relaxed and in a good mood, “What are the 3 biggest things you’d really appreciate for me to stop doing and what are the 3 biggest things you would really appreciate for me to start doing?”

      Or, some wives print out the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect and ask their husbands to check the ones that apply to them.

      Thanks for praying! Mine is just from way, way too much time at the computer and severe dry eyes. I appreciate the prayers so much!!!!

      1. You are exactly right about the sunburn! When he sees I am not going to tell him what to do, he visible relaxes.

        I have tried both of your suggestions. Both were met with anger. He doesn’t like to be asked questions. He doesn’t like to be “probed” he says. I think that is still some of the sunburn effect.

        On the question about 3 things I could do better, he did answer but the answer was not helpful. It was “Just leave me alone.” His love language is quality time and hates for me to leave him alone so I have to assume he meant stop telling him what to do.

        I have been able to ask, “Why did that bother you just now?” and he has answered, but that is as far as we have gotten.

        1. Daisymae,

          I think that all the questions can come across as a very “mothering” thing. That can be annoying – it can feel like the person doesn’t trust you and it can feel like an interrogation. I have actually been on the receiving end of controlling women doing this to me – and I HATED it!!!!!!! ha!

          Of course, I didn’t mind doing it to Greg before. UGH!

          Funny how my own sins have always been the ones that grated on my nerves most when others did them to me.

        2. Dr Emerson Eggerichs suggests saying, “Honey, that felt unloving, did I come across disrespectfully just now?”

          Yes, not questioning him – probably is what he meant about leaving him alone.

          But right now – I think he may need few days to cool off. Or some period of time to cool off.

          Praying for wisdom for you, my sweet friend!

          1. oops! I didn’t make myself clear. I didn’t try the suggestions recently. This was in the past. I guess I read them in a book because they were the same ones you suggested.

            I have learn not to “probe” as he calls it and things are better. But sometimes a simple question because of his sunburn can cause a clinched jaw. It is really is 75% better though. My goal is for 100%! πŸ™‚

          2. Daisymae,
            I am so glad you are not probing so much. πŸ™‚ This is like learning a new language, it is a matter of learning to see the world from our husbands’ masculine perspectives and learning to speak to them in ways that are meaningful and respectful to them. Thankfully, God made women pretty good at learning new language skills. πŸ™‚ So, that is a big advantage for us.

            I’m so excited you are working on learning and that you want to bless your husband. WOOHOOO!

            Thanks for sharing!

      2. April this is where i think my husband is at. still has a ‘sunburn’ even after i try to be more respectful. a bit furthur up in this thread i gave the example of my husband asking me to take care of the laundry while he went out ot get milk last night. i misinterrupted this as fold and put away the piles in the bedroom and take care of the load that was in the washer that needed to be put in the dryer. when he went to get his beige dress pants for a client meeting tonight and found they were in the laundry basket and not clean he literally freaked out. you’re right i believe that the littlest thing can send him back to our default positons. i just worry about what this portrays to our son (who for this freak out was right there and watching us).

  15. I have seen a lot of “mothering” relationships between husband and wife, and pardon the term I will use, but it is very ‘un-sexy”. I mean, if one just wanted “another child”, why marry? It’s usually a starting point of jokes, like:

    “My husband is my ‘eldest’ “, or worse,
    “My husband is my ‘youngest’; he is my ‘baby’ “…

    Then, these same wives get ‘surprised’ how come their husbands never seem to grow up, or become a man! πŸ™

    It is up to us too sisters, to let our husbands BE the man in the home. If we never let them, let us not expect them to act like a man or to step up the plate, if we mother and smother them….

    There is a fine line between being caring and being overbearing. We always have to be wary of not crossing that line. πŸ˜‰

    1. Nikka,

      This is so true. Men are not attracted to women who act like they are children and who act mothering. We were designed to be helpmeets. But that is not the same thing as mothering. And I think sometimes we easily cross over the line from “helping” to “controlling” without realizing it. I know I sure did many times.

      And I would definitely like to see Christian women not call their husbands children or babies. That is the very least I think we can do to show them honor and respect and to honor Christ.

      It is scary, when we have been in charge, to step down and wait. But, most men do step up as we stop leading and as we wait patiently. It will be slower than we would like. But there are lots of lessons for us to learn there about patience that are very helpful!

      I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for each marriage here and for each person’s walk with Christ! πŸ™‚

  16. My husband has commented on how infuriating it is to hear a woman speaking about her ‘child husband’. He said men go to work everyday doing jobs they don’t like for pay that isn’t enough- for their families. To sacrifice what you want to do on a regular basis to protect and provide when one could just be a carefree bachelor and then be called a child is demeaning. It undervalues their effort and dignity.

    My husband and I had a breakthrough last night. I gently probed him about another ambivalent comment he made a week or so ago. It took us an hour of me clarifying to get to the heart of the issue. It was like pulling teeth to get him to admit he didn’t like something so that we could find an alternative that works for both of us. We didn’t even get to a solution. I spent the whole time listening and accepting. If I mentioned my own position, it was only briefly to keep us on the same page. This is a work for both of us. I have to learn how to be biblically submissive and trustworthy, not a doormat. He has to learn to lead authoritatively, but not with a dictatorship. Co-dependence, hidden resentment and contempt are real cancerous threats for us.

    Both of us woke up this morning in such good moods! I am so thankful to be learning and seeing warm glimpses of hope for us.

    1. Refined,

      Thank you for sharing your husband’s heart about how hurtful it is when wives refer to their husbands as “children.” I believe every man on the planet would agree with that, and rightly so.

      And thank you so much for sharing how you both communicated and respectfully, gently, humbly, lovingly worked through that issue and how carefully you listened to him.

      Yes, the extremes are dangerous – we as wives will tend to slip towards being too submissive/opinionless/weak/doormat-like or too aggressive/dominating/controlling/disrespectful -neither of those things glorify God.

      And men tend to slip towards being too controlling/tyranical/strict/demanding and too passive/unplugged/uninterested/uninvolved.

      God has a place in the middle of these extremes for us where He desires us to be that we can only achieve as we learn to fly and soar on eagle’s wings in the power of His Spirit for His great glory. πŸ™‚

  17. One tHing that sticks out to me ia back over a year ago when my journey started and I didn’t have a clue why my husband had totally withdrew, and wer were having one of our first big rather loud and hateful conversations he said “and I’m NOT going to say I love you every single time before I hang up the phone! ” I wonder if that was because it felt like just words to him? He felt very disrespected yet I always said “I love you” as we were ending a conversation or going off to work.

    For over a year now I have not initiated those three words and in the last month or two he has began saying them almost every time we go to end a conversation on the phone. I say it back to him but only when he says it first.

    Another thing I used to do was question why he turned that way or said “are you sure you know where your going? ” I started a year ago to just go along for the ride and not even act scared if he drove a little crazy. Last week we were in some traffic and he glanced down at his phone to check the map and a car in front of us had stopped suddenly.i finally yelled his name right at the last minute and he slammed on his breaks and narrowly missed rear ending the car. He said “whew! Thank you, iv would have hit them had you not spoke up when you did!” I said “well I try not to tell you how to drive anymore” and he said “oh, I want you to when I’m about to wreck us!”

    I’ve totally changed my reaction to everything and always try to say “whatever you think babe” when he asks. It’s making a big difference!

  18. From upstairs my wife calls out my name (kids all present), to correct something I did, using not Jeff but Jeffrey! I stated, “do you know who you’re talking too?” I could go on but, “Jeffrey” was a name my mother or grandmother used. My older sister attempted to use that name and I told her “where to go” (I was a teen!).
    Today, the rescue-mission was coming to pick up toys, clothes, etc, she had no energy to put things out so I did. After I left, she pulled items out of the pile (unwanted Barbies!). Its a small thing but really? we accumulate so many unwanted, un-played-with toys. My daughter made the decision to get rid of barbies. Yet my wife still will not allow me to make certain decisions. I’m attempting to not fall deeply into depression from this, but I often do. This is a work in progress, but her disrespect needs to be learned in some other way than me saying it!

    1. Jeff,

      I don’t know that this eases the pain of feeling disrespected, but, most wives have NO idea how much something like this can demoralize and wound their men. I would greatly doubt that she is purposely trying to hurt you. I would imagine she loves you very much but maybe just doesn’t understand how different your perspective, needs and desires are from hers.

      If she knew what you need and how to meet those needs and could understand your heart and your perspective, I believe she would want to do anything to learn to show you the respect you need.

      If you get a chance, please check out the video I posted yesterday about what causes wives to be controlling, I hope it may be helpful.

      Most likely, your wife wants you to feel loved, encouraged, strong, hopeful, blessed, whole, joyful, alive, satisfied and like your life is important and counts for something. Most likely, she is approaching you as if your needs are the same as hers and most likely she just doesn’t understand your needs. But almost every wife I have met, once she begins to understand, wants her husband to feel respected, admired, loved and trusted. Most wives have good will towards our husbands even though it can feel like we are purposely disrespecting our men.

      I hope you might see her heart and that she probably would not purposely withhold what you need. I am sure she wants nothing but the best for you.

      It takes a LONG time, even once a woman’s eyes are opened, for her to learn this new foreign language of respect. It took me over two years of constant study to begin to have any clue what I was doing. And it took over 3 years for me to really get it right most of the time.

      I am praying for you both!

      I hope you might read For Women Only and she might read For Men Only if possible. Your church library may have these books. They open up understanding between husbands and wives so powerfully.

    2. Hi Jeff,

      I agree with April. I don’t think your wife had any idea that removing a toy from the box would feel disrespectful to you. If my husband put things out for the mission and I saw something I wanted to keep, I would take it out of the box and my only thought would be “oh, I want to keep this”. I don’t think my husband would have even crossed my mind while I was retrieving the item. I wouldn’t have seen it as disrespectful or not letting him make a decision. I appreciate the insight. It is so easy to be disrespectful and not see it.

      Did you explain to your wife that calling you “Jeffrey” that bothered you? She may not have realized that is what you were referring to when you said “do you know who you are talking to”. Obviously she shouldn’t be correcting you in front of the kids so she may have just taken it to mean that.

      Women really don’t understand the details of what is respectful and what is not. There are very few people teaching the specifics and most of us haven’t grown up with it. Maybe you can talk to your wife when emotions aren’t high and explain to her what is disrespectful to you and why respect is important. It’s likely she just thinks you need love in the same way she does.

      God Bless!

  19. Hi April,

    I’ve been lurking on your blog for a couple months now and have learned a lot about being a Godly wife. I haven’t been able to get this post out of my head though and I would like to share my thoughts.

    It’s the little things that are harder for me to handle. I am fine with my husband having the final say in the big decisions. I understand that he will answer to God for the way he has led me. I see the purpose of having one person ultimately in charge. I know God has wisdom in making him my spiritual leader. I am completely willing follow him if he had a dream he wanted to pursue. I think it’s because I can see the purpose behind the sacrifice in all these situations. (I’m not saying it’s always easy to practice, but I am at peace with my role in these instances). But where I struggle is matters of personal preference. It’s the where we sit in the theater or what color to paint the walls type of decisions that always trip me up. I can’t seem to work out why he should automatically get his way in these situations based solely on his gender. Honestly, in your example about the husband getting angry because his wife wanted to sit somewhere different than he did; he comes across to me as spoiled and demanding – like a child pouting because he didn’t get his way. I’m sure there is history there so I am not judging that specific couple. I am just saying I don’t see it the same way you do. (God help me, I am trying to though).

    It is in the issue of personal preference where submitting to him can seem so dehumanizing at times. It seems like he is saying that all his wants and desires have more value than mine do. That “might (authority in this case) makes right”. Is it just the case of rank having its privilege?

    I know that I shouldn’t have to understand in order to submit. But in my flesh I can’t see that this is a valid form of submission. It seems prideful of a husband to demand all his preferences above his wifes. Will this not just feed his ego? (“Absolute power corrupts” and all?) I have such a hard time when I believe something is “unfair”.

    What I have been spinning around in my head is that maybe it’s just about what works in marriage instead of what’s “fair”. My husband is actually pretty good about taking my wants into account, when I’m not demanding my way at least. He told me once that it is his job to look out for me, but he can’t do that when I am looking out for myself – that I am taking his job away from him.

    I know fighting and demanding my way doesn’t work. In the end, I always cave (because he is incapable of it) and he still gets his way but so much damage has been done in the process. If I submit, he is more willing to consider what I want and even if he says no initially, he may reconsider later if I don’t fight him. Oh, it hurts my flesh so much sometimes but it is healthier for both of us in the end.

    So is it just a matter of practicality? Is it just the way we are wired and that I should set aside what is fair for what works? Or is it deeper than that. I feel like I am missing something.

    Any insights would be appreciated.

    1. Victoria, I love your wording…lurking! There is so much to learn here, isn’t there? I “wore the pants” in my house from age 15 (when I was first married) until I was 40, and began to learn God’s definition of “wife”. This has been no easy road for me, along with my sisters here. When I come across the harder issues and question you brought up, I have found one thing (and one thing only) that helps me. Marriage here on earth is a rehersal to our ultimate marriage that we will experience when we become the bride of Christ. Ephesians says: (22)Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. ~ those are some hefty words for me! Often, God leads me into situations where I want to cry out, “What about me?” His answer is, without fail, “It’s not about you, it’s about Me.” Learning to submit to my honey is one lesson afer another about learning to die to self, which Scripture says is a necessary thing to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We are clay on the Potter’s wheel, and must allow Him to shape us into the image of His Son. If we find this to be an easy process, we are missing something. It is long and most often a painful process! God added no caveat on submission. He never said to submit only if our husband is fair, unselfish, or worthy of holding the authority in our homes. He said to submit, as we submit to our Lord. Anytime we step out in obedience, no matter how we feel, God is faithful to bless us for it. Trust Him to use your submission to soften your husband’s heart, and become more considerate of your preferences. We tend to look to God to solve our dilemmas by next Tuesday, but that’s rarely how He rolls. Trust in His perfect timing…if your husband is seeking guidance from On High concerning his role in the marriage, he will find it and learn to balance leading with taking your thoughts and feelings into consideration. I will be praying that you find peace in this issue, blessings to you!

      1. Thank you so much Yoursistersojurner for your godly wisdom. It really is all about Him no matter how much I want to make it all about me sometimes.

    2. Victoria,

      I am so glad to hear from you!

      It is the little things that get most of us tripped up. We can get so focused on the little issue, that we inadvertently make it bigger than our obedience to God and bigger than the unity of our marriage.

      EXAMPLE:
      So, I want to sit in the front, my husband wants to sit closer to the back. I share what I want. He would still prefer too sit in the back.
      I could make this into a big issue. I could demand to sit in front. I could refuse to care about what he wants or prefers ad force my way. I could pitch a fit. I could make a scene. I could yell at him, humiliate him or make fun of him about what a baby he is being that he doesn’t want to sit on the floor in the front. I could argue. Then I could complain. I could hammer him and hammer him until he does what I want him to do. VICTORY, right?

      With many wives don’t know is that when they do these kinds of things, demand their way, not bend or cave on any small issue, they destroy the intimacy and unity of their marriages and set a very ungodly example for their children. Not to mention, if I refuse to defer to my husband’s leadership, even on small things, Titus 2:5 says that I malign the gospel of Christ.

      What could possibly be worth that?

      What real difference does it make if we don’t paint the wall the color I like the most? What real difference does it make where we sit for the play?

      Something I ask myself now is, will this issue matter to God when I stand before Him? Will He care where we sat or what paint color we chose? Or will he care that I showed respect and honor to my husband (as He commands me to do in Ephesians 5:22-33, I Peter 3:1-6 and Titus 2:3-5?

      When I live for Christ, I die to myself. I die to my will and living life for what I want. Now, I live life only to bring glory to Jesus and to do His will.

      His will is not about the outcome of little decisions, but about what is in my heart. What is controlling me, the Spirit of God or my old sinful nature?

      God does not give husbands any command to demand their way or to lord anything over their wives. Biblical submission and godly respect for our husbands is not about our husbands at all, but is all about our love and reverence and obedience to Christ. And it is about bringing Him great glory and setting a godly example for those around us, to make the gospel as attractive as possible.

      God commands us all as believers not to argue or complain so that we can shine like stars in the universe as we hold forth the word of life. Phil. 2:14-16.

      A wife who argues and complains and is uncooperative with her husband and who insists on her own way makes the gospel unattractive to unbelievers and to her own children. She also makes it harder for her husband to do what God calls him to do.

      Our Bible teacher at church, who has taught in a local Bible College talked about fighting in marriage and he said to only fight about issues that are more important than our obedience to Christ and are more important than the unity and covenant of our marriages.

      That kind of narrows down the issues pretty significantly.

      The ironic thing is, that as we honor and respect our husbands, they care more about our feelings and will do almost anything to make us happy. Usually, if we just share our desires, a husband who feels very respected will bend over backwards to do what his wife would like. But the more we try to force or push our way,the more our husbands feel repelled from us and the less they care about our desires.

      When we obey God, we get to experience blessings of God that we can hardly begin to imagine. And when we refuse to obey God, we will experience some very negative consequences. I am not saying we will all have lots of money and no problems. That is not God’s promise. But we will have access to all the spiritual resources and treasures of heaven as we walk in total faith, trust and obedience to God, trusting Him to work all things out for our ultimate good and His glory.

      Also, husbands do NO have absolute authority, God does, they will be accountable to Him for how they lead and manage their families and answer to God for every decision as well as did they obey God to love their wives unconditionally, to honor their wives as the weaker partner and co-heir with Christ and to be gentle, kind, understanding and patient with them and nurture their wives as their own bodies.

      Check out the posts at the top of my home page
      -spiritual authority
      – submitting under protest
      – a husband’s and a wife’s spiritual authority in marriage

      Great questions!!

      Let me know if these things clarify things for you. πŸ™‚

      1. Ladies,

        It is SO easy for us to get hung up on these small issues, but what we don’t see is that we are willing to pay dearly in intimacy and even destroy our husbands and our marriages over very small issues. It is NOT worth it!!!!

        If we saw the true cost of demanding and forcing our way on little issues, we would be horrified!

      2. Thank you so much April! You should turn your reply into it’s own post; It was very helpful to me.

        What I need to remember is that ultimately it is not between my husband and I but between myself and Christ. I certainly don’t want to malign the gospel. I think I have overlooked Titus 2:5 in relation to the little things. It’s hard to remember sometimes that God cares about our little squabbles and petty disagreements but I know that He does. It is terrifying to think I will have to answer for all these things when I stand before God one day. I am so thankful that ultimately my answer is “Christ” but to see it all played out in front of a holy God? Eeek!

        “Only fight about issues that are more important than our obedience to Christ and are more important than the unity and covenant of our marriages.”

        Wow, that really does narrow things down!

        I am going to take the time to memorize the Phil 2:14-16 verse. I grew up in a home where arguing and complaining were normal. Most of our “pleasant” conversations were complaint sessions. When I met my husband I would complain just as a form of conversation. It would make him so upset and it took me the longest time to understand why. It is so hard to not fall back into old patterns but by the grace of God I am working on it!

        You are right that the more I do respect my husband, the kinder he is to me. I don’t want to hurt him or destroy our marriage over stupid things. I don’t want to disobey God. I am starting to understand Luke 16:10 a little better. I think it’s the little things that are so much easier to stumble on because we aren’t on guard for them the way we would be with the big things. So if we can be blameless with the little things, the big ones will be no problem for us.

        I do feel like God has been withholding blessings because my heart is wrong in my marriage. I am not trying to please God in order to get blessings but I do see the connection.

        I keep overlooking God’s protection of me in my marriage. I keep trying to submit but feel fearful that no one will protect me if my husband abuses his power (I don’t think he will). I need to remember that God is sovereign in all of this and has my good at heart. It comes down to my trust in God which is something I need to work on.

        Thank you so much for talking with me April. Your blog is such a blessing!

        1. Victoria,

          Maybe I could anonymously use your comments before and after and my response? What do you think? I agree, it would be a helpful post for many wives! No pressure, just something to consider. πŸ™‚

          I had to REALLY focus on Phil 2:14-16 because that was about 90% of my words for decades of my life – arguing or complaining (or gossiping). πŸ™

          That is not wholesome speech and it is not edifying and it destroys our witness for Christ. We cannot shine for him when we argue or complain.

          Ouch!

          I am so excited to see God open your heart and eyes and to watch you begin to blossom… woohoo!!!!!!!!!

          I have been submitting now completely for 3 and a half years. Greg has NEVER tried to abuse his authority. Never. If your husband is anywhere near being a decent man, he won’t either.

          Much love to you!

          1. Ha, April! Greg’s abuse or non-abuse of his authority is in the eye of the beholder. Your disposition toward his exercise of his authority makes all the difference. My ex-wife would tell you that I abused my authority all the time, because essentially any decision I made or any action I took that she didn’t approve of was (to her) an abuse of my authority. It didn’t matter that my intention was to do what was best for the family under all the circumstances because either (a) I was lying about my intention or (b) good intentions weren’t enough if (in her mind) the decision/action was bad/unwise.

            Greg is a blessed man.

  20. Thanks April! Sure you can use my comments anytime. It doesn’t have to be anonymous. Whatever I can do to be of help to other ladies, I am all for! Feel free to edit for clarity as well. πŸ™‚

  21. 18 years of my marriage life has been passed without any such wonderful experience. I do think finding such wife is impossible in this so called modern world. It is just a dream.

    1. Vivek,

      I am so sorry that things have been painful in your marriage. Most wives have no idea the little things we tend to do that can really feel disrespectful to our husbands. I sure didn’t. I used to be rather controlling and disrespectful myself – but then God opened my eyes to my sin 5.5 years ago. I was SHOCKED!!!!!

      My goal is to help women learn how to better understand our husbands and how we can become respectful wives who know how to honor our men and treat our men like men as well as how to honor Christ and obey His Word as believers in Christ.

      Our culture has certainly influenced us in some toxic ways. We have all but forgotten what respect looks like. It was thrown out decades ago. Many women have never even seen a real life example of a respectful woman who chooses to biblically submit to her husband. That breaks my heart!

      I pray that you might find hope here. Many husbands read my blog and I have seen God heal many marriages as husbands read here and begin to understand where their wives are spiritually and what issues may need to be addressed. If even just one spouse begins to fully submit to Christ, there is every reason for hope!

      It is a pleasure to meet you. You are welcome here.

      1. Vivek,
        Some husbands show the posts at the top of my home page about respect and disrespect to their wives. I realize not all husbands can do that, if they know their wives will not be receptive to anything they say. But, for some men, those posts are a great place to start. And some men ask their wives to read Love and Respect with them by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. That is the book God used to open my eyes to my disrespect.

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.

%d bloggers like this: