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Fear Fuels Our “Need” to Control


FEAR is a major part of our motivation to grab for control as women. We are afraid we won’t be loved. We are afraid we aren’t secure in the relationship. We are afraid we will be rejected. We are afraid we aren’t good enough. We are afraid we aren’t beautiful enough. We are afraid of so very many things!  Lots of us learned fear when things were out of control and we did not feel safe as children. We also molded our image of who God is and His character from our fathers influence or lack of influence in our lives. I am going to share some extremely simplistic examples of ways our experiences in childhood may impact our view of God and our husbands. This really could be a book in itself, I am sure. It is obviously much more complicated than what I am about to describe, but hopefully these examples might be a bit helpful.

Our fathers were supposed to be godly examples of the character of God – that mysterious combination of power and gentleness, strength and meekness, holiness and mercy, unconditional love and justice. We learned from them what to expect from God and from men:

  • Girls who didn’t have fathers in their lives, learn that God/men are not there, not reliable, not dependable, and often these girls develop a fiercely independent spirit and learn to trust SELF. These girls often struggle mightily with the desire to have a father figure and to be loved and accepted unconditionally and may not think it is possible for God or men to love and accept them or to be able to grasp what God’s character and love are like  (or a godly masculinity is like) because they haven’t seen anything like it in real life.
  • Girls who had abusive fathers or father figures in their lives learn that God/men are not loving, not able to protect them, not able to stop bad things from happening to them, that God/men have evil motives and they learn that they have to try to control things themselves or they are not safe. They will easily develop an extremely warped image of God and possibly an inability to see the good in their husbands.  (These precious ladies are going to need extra specialized, experienced wife mentors/Christian counselors to help them work through the deep scars and wounds they have experienced. I have not been through abuse, and am not able to write from that perspective. My blog is not written for women in severe situations who have been through abuse, mental health issues, drug/alcohol addictions, infidelity. If you have experienced something serious like this, I pray you will seek godly, experienced, appropriate counsel. My blog may not be helpful for you. God can heal you, and His Word applies to us all, but my words may not!)
  • Girls who had domineering mothers and passive fathers learn that God/men are not very active or involved in our lives and that God/men don’t really care about women and that God is not in charge, and men are not to have leadership in marriage, women are supposed to lead and men should submit to their wives. They also learn to be very independent and to take charge and to be in control in the marriage. They may develop a very warped image of God and masculinity.
  • Girls who had very dominating, intimidating fathers may be afraid of God/men (in an unhealthy way), waiting for God to “zap” them if they do the slightest thing “wrong” and they may live in an unhealthy fear of God and masculinity, not knowing His grace, mercy, unconditional love and not realizing there is any safety or refuge in Him.
  • Girls who had overly permissive fathers may not really consider God or His Words much (or her husband and his words) and just think about what they want and ignore God’s counsel/their husbands’ counsel, His wise boundaries that are there for our protection, His holiness and the gravity of their sin.  They may not have appropriate healthy fear of God and reverence for God and may not have appropriate respect for their husbands God-given authority.
  • Some of us had pretty godly fathers but still absorbed so many lies from the world (from school, our careers, the church, friends or the media) or from traumatic situations that we still developed a very warped understanding of God and masculinity.
  • If our fathers seemed “weak” in our eyes, or “not in control,” or if they had addictions of some type, we may have felt that we had more wisdom than they did and that we were “the adult” in the relationship and they were the “children.” We may have this view of God and masculinity, as well when we are adults.

Whatever we believe about our dad and his character and his love for us, we tend to believe about God. Whatever our parents’ marriage was like, we have been “programmed” by living with them as we grew up to think that their way of doing marriage was “normal” and “right.” We often develop ideas about God and build our theology about God as children based solely on our experience with our earthly fathers (and, to some degree, our mothers):

  • He doesn’t really love me.
  • I can never be good enough for him.
  • I have to be perfect for him to love me.
  • If I could just make him spend time with me, I know he would love me!
  • He hurt me again, I can’t trust him. I can’t trust men. I can’t trust anyone.
  • He didn’t protect me. He isn’t able to keep me safe.
  • He is so harsh with me. He doesn’t have my best interests in his heart. I can’t be honest or vulnerable with him. I am not safe.
  • He ignores me. I mean nothing to him. All these other things are so much more important to him than I am.
  • I’m never going to let a man treat me the way he is treating my mom. I’ll be sure I am in charge and never let a man hurt me.
  • He has evil motives towards me.

Then, we end up believing these ideas we have about our fathers to also be true about God – no matter what the Bible says about God. We tend to believe our experiences with our fathers or father figures are more true than God’s Word. Unfortunately, every dad is a sinner – and even the best dads fail at some point or another. Sometimes we cannot shake the warped construct of God in our minds because we don’t even realize how deeply flawed our understanding of God is.

We may also have developed significant fear from having a mother who was very unloving, hateful or abusive – or from being abused by someone else emotionally/mentally/physically/sexually as we were growing up. Or, we may have had a very difficult romantic relationship in the past that created major doubt in our ability to be “worthy of love.” Maybe someone, even a pastor or a teacher, tried to use great fear and guilt to manipulate us. Or maybe we were constantly rejected by people we cared most about.

We also learned from our mothers how to biblically submit to our fathers and to those in spiritual authority over us and to God (and some of this we learned from our fathers, as well, how he related to God and those in authority.) If we did not witness our mothers respect and biblically submit to our fathers, we will have a much harder time learning to do this ourselves.

I am sure the possibilities are practically endless of all the ways that fear can become one of the biggest motivators in our lives. No matter why we have learned to do things out of fear, God calls us to learn to receive His love and healing and to learn to do things out of LOVE.

To become the godly women Christ desires us to be – we will have to be willing to examine everything we think we know about God, godly masculinity, godly femininity, marriage and living for Christ and trash everything that is not based on the truth of God’s Word. Then we will rebuild on Jesus Christ and His Word alone. Our lives require total renovation and transformation.

We also tend to take our fears and understanding of masculinity that we experienced with our fathers (or with prior boyfriends/husbands) and assume that our husbands are the same way. We want our husbands to make up for the things we were lacking as children or in an abusive relationship in the past – and to heal our wounds, many times. We easily turn our husbands into idols (something more important than Christ in our hearts) and lay expectations on them that they should meet spiritual and emotional needs for us that really only Jesus Christ Himself can meet.

  • He has to show me unconditional love all the time.
  • He has to prove that I am his first priority in the way I think he should all the time.
  • He has to accept me no matter what I do wrong.
  • He should stop watching TV or working on the computer or working at his job and spend every possible waking moment with me and meet my needs for love, affirmation, romance and emotional connection.
  • He should just know what I need.
  • He should want to always emotionally connect with me like I want to always emotionally connect with him with words.
  • He should want to pray with me like I want to pray with Him.
  • He should be my hero.
  • He should be like Christ.
  • He should always have unwavering grace, mercy and forgiveness for me.
  • He should never sin against me.
  • He should never fail me, never leave me and never forsake me.
  • He should …
  • He should …
  • He should …

And if my husband doesn’t do what I want him to do – I WILL NOT BE OK!

  • I HAVE to be his number one priority.
  • I HAVE to feel loved and hear him tell me that he loves me.
  • I HAVE to have more quality time with him.

Or I will feel unloved. And that is not acceptable! I MUST feel loved all the time.

Sometimes we also make the mistake of believing our feelings all the time, even when our feelings are not telling us the truth:

  • If I don’t FEEL connected to him, we are not connected.
  • If I don’t FEEL loved in this moment, I am not loved.
  • If I FEEL lonely, I am alone.
  • If I FEEL afraid, I have good reasons to be afraid and my fear is always justifiable. (some fears are justifiable, but some are not.)

Our feelings are not always accurate about these things!


  • I cannot feel unloved. My worth and value as a person is completely dependent on my husband loving me the way I want to be loved. If he doesn’t love me the way I want him to, my greatest fear will come true!!
  • My happiness and contentment in life completely depend on my husband doing what I want him to do when I want him to do it the way I think he should do it.
  • My husband is responsible for my happiness, not me.
  • I am not responsible for my own emotional stability, contentment, happiness, fulfillment, peace and joy.


  • I will love him so that he will love me.
  • I will be kind to him so that he will be kind to me.
  • I will do things for him and give him things so that he will take care of me the way I want him to.
  • I will tell him what to do so that he will meet my needs.
  • I will make him love me the way I want to be loved.
  • I will dictate to him and demand my way because I WILL NOT allow myself to experience my deepest fears of rejection and feeling unloved.

If he does NOT love me the way I want him to, I am totally justified to be hateful to him, to disrespect and hurt him because he failed me. I can sin against him if I feel unloved because “he is supposed to love me the way I want him to love me.”


  • I sabotage our intimacy.
  • I sabotage his masculinity.
  • I emasculate him.
  • I disrespect him.
  • I hurt him.
  • I push him away.
  • I become so prickly that it becomes increasingly difficult for him to love me.
  • I smother him.
  • I use negativity, criticism, lectures, ridicule, sarcasm, mockery, humiliation, manipulation, guilt, people pleasing or I play the martyr to attempt to control him if he will not do what I tell him to do.
  • I dig in my claws and try even harder to force my way because I cannot face my fears. And I don’t even see that I am creating the very thing I fear the most myself. I don’t even see that I am foolishly tearing down my marriage and my husband with my own hands and my own words and attitudes.
  • I become increasingly desperate, needy and clingy.
  • I become insatiable.

Eventually, my husband realizes he CAN’T meet my needs, please me or satisfy me and he gives up even trying. It is not worth his time because I am going to treat him with contempt no matter how hard he tries. He can never measure up and he can never be perfect – he cannot be Christ to me. He can never make me happy and he feels like a failure every time he sees me. It becomes easier for him to shut down and try to be far away from me (or to respond in anger) because he does not feel safe, respected, loved, appreciated or valued with me.

My motives are not to love him selflessly with the unconditional love of Christ and to bless him and honor God. My motives are to make him give me what I want. My motives are selfish.  My motives are fueled by fear of not getting what I want. This is not God’s brand of “love.” This is worldly, carnal, sinful “love.”

Tomorrow we will continue on to Part 2 where we will talk about facing our  deepest fears and  then in Part 3 we will talk about finding victory over our fears in Christ!


The Respect Dare with Peacefulwife – Laying Down Expectations, Day 1

Expectations – Part 1

Expectations – Part 2

Expectations – Part 3

Expectations – Part 4

Husbands Have Expectations, Too – GraceAlone’s Journey


108 thoughts on “Fear Fuels Our “Need” to Control

  1. Wow! I sooo needed this today. I have been struggling with fears and insecurity this week, it has made me crabby and direspectful. Thank you for your incite and timely information.

  2. So many of these descriptions fit me to a tee! Thank you for being a willing vessel for God to speak through, April! 🙂

  3. For me it is loving my husband because I am afraid that God won’t love me if I don’t. that in order to obey God so that he won’t zap me, I must do this. I do want love from my husband but I can’t make him. I just don’t know how NOt to feel lonely. I look forward to your post tomorrow.

    1. Elizabeth,

      Would you please read Romans 12 and let me know what circumstances can separate you from the love of Christ in God?

      Much love to you!! 🙂

  4. This is a great post, and I’m looking forward to your follow ups on this. I know fear has had a death grip on me for a long time. I had an amazing father, strong, capable, excellent provider, took time for family and us kids, etc. I can’t find an area where I relate to my father figure being a part of my horrible sins. I believe that my fear is generated from my husband’s infidelity years ago. We separated then, and chose to work on the marriage when it ended. I’m starting to realize that’s when the “switch flipped”. I have always been strong willed and independent, but I think after this experience, I became scared I would lose him some way, some how, again. I have forgiven him and it took much longer, but have forgiven the other person as well, or at least I thought I had?

    I have shared my sin with him, “the confession”. I have spent the last several months working on my love and trust in God, and trusting He will fulfill me, however, I don’t want to give up on this marriage. I want to restore my marriage and my family. I (all women) NEED love, support, care, openness, etc. from their husbands. I don’t believe I need it ALL THE TIME, but there is a need there. I may have the strongest commitment to God and from God, but why would anyone want to remain married if they received nothing from their husbands ever? I’m rambling, just still trying to understand I guess.

    I think part of my fear is that my husband is shut down, checked out and has MOVED out. I struggle with how to show him my changes, and that I’m committed to being a submissive, godly wife when he’s not here.

    Thank you for all your help, and the help of other readers, I’ve made a great deal of progress and have a ways to go, but yes, fear is very REAL for me right now because we’re separated. Any words of wisdom or encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Catherine,

      When we are afraid, many times it is because the only resources we think we have available are the abilities and power we have in and of ourselves in our human strength.

      When we are in Christ, we give Him all of us in total submission. And He gives us all of Himself. We have access to all of the riches and resources of heaven now as God’s children!!!!! We are not limited by our husbands not being in our homes. When we are walking in faith in Christ, abiding in Him and Spirit-filled, seeking Him above everything in the world and desiring to obey Him and bring Him glory… We wait with great anticipation and expectation to see what God will do.

      Our God is able to turn the hearts of kings whichever way He wants them to go to accomplish His purposes. He can do the same with our husbands. We have got to let God out of the tiny box we put Him in.

      When you are walking in obedience and holiness through the power of God’s Spirit, what is there that God cannot do to accomplish His will in your life? Is your husband beyond the reach of God if he lives in an apartment somewhere else?


      We will pray together for God to work in your husband’s heart and draw him to Himself. And we will pray that He will empower you to be the godly wife He desires you to be and that He might bring something beautiful from this situation, something that will bring Himself great glory beyond all we can think, imagine or ask for.

      God has no limits. He doesn’t need your presence in your husband’s life to change your husband.

      You can pray for opportunities to show your husband what God is doing in you and your new priorities. Watch your motives carefully!!! But, it is possible that God will use this time apart to speak to both of you in ways that are more powerful than He could if you are together more often.

      Our God is able to restore broken relationships. But more than healing your marriage, my prayer is for each of you to walk in total fellowship with Him and to be right with God.

      A healed marriage is not our ultimate goal. It would be great. But, having more and more of God must be our ultimate goal.

      Much love!

      1. AMEN! I should have read this yesterday before my disastrous communication with my husband! But even a day later, it’s been a healing balm to my soul.

        Lord, I ask for the work of the Holy Spirit in me. Teach me to turn to Your Word rather than my own understanding. Allow Your Word to JUMP OUT at me as I know you have all the advice and counsel I need!

      2. I was having a difficult time last night and posted my frustrations. Something told me to go back you this post this morning. “But, it is possible that God will use this time apart to speak to both of you in ways that are more powerful than He could if you are together more often.”

        I prayed hard on this, and I believe you are absolutely right. God needed a little more distance between us.

        Thank you April.

    2. Catherine,
      My husband also had an affair, so I can feel your pain so much and my heart goes out to you!!
      I don’t have a lot to add after achangingwife’s and April’s excellent responses but i will agree with them in saying that ultimately when you respect/love your husband, especially when you receive NOTHING in return, you are showing your respect and love for Christ!! That’s why it’s so important!!

      The book of 1 Peter talks a LOT about suffering even when you are doing what is right, and it helped me so much! Praying for you!!

      1. Thank you KD. Truly one of the most horrible times of my life. But, I told myself I would not just survive, I would thrive, so this most recent turn in my marriage is both sudden and shocking. BUT, I see where I sinned. I did not have God then like I do now. I was too busy blaming Him for punishing me and hating me and I was unable to trust Him and turn towards Him. What an eye opener this new journey has been. Love to you KD.

    3. Love this!! I praise God for bringing us women together and see how He reveals himself in each of our lives. My husband and I went through something similar. We were separated for 11 months and in that time God taught me the same truths. God has a perfect plan for each of our lives and though I wouldn’t want to go through that season again I would never want to take it back for the intimacy I experienced with Christ at that time. In the time we were separated God used that time to make and mold me and teach me to love His way. I use to want my hubby home immediately but Gods wisdom is so much higher than mine. He brought him home when He knew his son would have a safe place to land and I wouldn’t kill him(spiritually) . So my season of waiting however long it took was ultimately for my good even though I didn’t see it like that then.

      1. Oh Jessica, bless you! Thank you so much for this post. I am grateful for the time I have invested in me, my sins, asking for forgiveness, and changing ME. As hard as it is, and as much as I want him home, I know it won’t be in my time. Thank you dear sister for this, I feel so encouraged. Please keep me (and my dear family) in your prayers. I’ve been scared to death that I caused way too much damage for him to ever, EVER want to be home again. Your words mean the world to me.

        1. Catherine,

          My dear sister in Christ We glorify God and give Him all praise and thanks 🙂 I am praying for you and your family. I am praying that God would use this situation to bring Himself much glory and that He would strengthen you by the power of His Spirit and that you would know His great love for you and you would allow that great love to satisfy your soul. I truly believe that Nothing is too far gone for our great God to redeem. I did much much much damage and if God can restore my marriage He can restore any marriage. I remember thinking and praying about this very same thing while my husband was gone and begging God for a second chance. He did restore our marriage but first he did a major transformation on me and He brought me to a place where the most important thing to me wasnt even my marraige being restored anymore.. Even if my hubby never came home i just wanted to bring Him glory i pray he does the same for you.

          1. Jessica,

            Even my children have noticed the changes in me. Just when I think that maybe my husband is ready to trust me with this being for real and forever, he pulls away again. The first couple months he still told me he loved me, hugs, kisses good bye…. now he’s more withdrawn. He’s pulling further away, just when I thought that our separation was doing what God intended it to do. I’m not sure what is happening. I have a peace with God like no other, I have repented, I’m doing everything exactly the way he’s telling me to do it. Why such a negative response from my husband?

            I know that my ultimate goal is to have the Lord Jesus Christ as my first and foremost love, and I believe I’ve followed his lead, but none of us would be on this journey or this blog if we too did not want to restore our marriages, solidify the ones that weren’t completely broken, and be the godly wives we all DESIRE to be. So, why after so much progress am I feeling like I’ve done something wrong? I too pray for a second chance.

            How long were you separated? Can I ask what he said when the decision to separate was made? Mine simply said, “I haven’t felt right for about 8 years, I feel like I just hit a wall”. I struggle with God reaching a non believer that cannot articulate to his wife or children what’s “wrong”. I know my part, I know my contribution, even though he didn’t say a word about my wretched sins until I confessed and asked for his forgiveness. (He acknowledged my sins but would not come out and say he forgave me). Please pray for me. <3

            1. Catherine,

              I am so sorry to hear that your husband is pulling away further, despite all the growth and changes you have realized. I can appreciate that it is very discouraging. I am experiencing the same. My husband has commented on my changes, as well as my children and family, and I’ve confessed my sins and my husband has forgiven me, but we’re still no closer to moving back together. My husband is a believer, but except for a few nice words and affirmation, the issues that caused the separation haven’t been resolved and I see no repentance from my husband. The issues are still too sensitive and we haven’t been able to discuss them. They seem so unsurmountable that I keep telling myself, “Trust God and lean not on your own understanding.” and “Be still and know that I am God”. I continue praying (alot) and working on myself, and being in the Word.

              If your husband is not a believer, and if its been 8 years, I can imagine it’s going to take time for him to trust the changes in you and for God to do His work on him. I am reading Gary Thomas “Sacred Influence” and he does a wonderful job giving scriptural support about how God has used women to ‘influence’ men and to spread the Gospel. He even went so far as to say that women ‘get’ the Gospel much quicker than men!

              I know you’re not seeing the fruits of your labor but you are influencing your husband! Trust God and lean not on your own understanding!

              Praying for you!

              1. Thank you for this senterwife. I have to convince myself as Jessica did, that regardless the outcome of my marriage, I am building an amazing relationship with God and will ultimately be a better person. However, trying to accept the fact that I may be continuing this journey without my husband is a tough pill to swallow. God bless you in your journey. Thank you for your prayers, I am praying for you as well.

      2. Jessica,
        So beautiful. Thank you very much for sharing how God used that time to grow, mature, mold, prune, refine and bless you to lay a better foundation for rebuilding the marriage. 🙂

      3. Jessica and Catherine: how much communication did/are you having with your husband during the separation? Did/are you spend/spending time together, ie dates?

        My husband and I have been separated for 3 months, and I feel so disconnected to him. I am using the time in the Word and to address my sins, but I see myself resorting back to my independent/single routine/behaviours. ..

        1. I am feeling HORRIBLY disconnected as well. We haven’t had much for dates, when he first ‘moved out’ he was only at his apartment a few nights a week and would end up staying at home through the weekends. We did go out to lunch and dinner a couple times, but nothing recent.

          The weekend visits are now shorter and he hasn’t stayed over night so I think that change hit me hard in the disconnected department. I do see him almost every day, as we work across the street from each other. He pops by and we usually talk about kids, their schedules, etc. He does hug me and kiss me good bye when he leaves the house (he still comes out to help get kids ready for school and feed horses, etc.) most mornings. But there is NO emotional connection. Each time I’ve tried, it has back fired so I went back into the quiet phase.

          My focus is on God, I have seen some wonderful changes in me, and I keep hoping God can get into my non-believing husband’s heart. When this started my husband described it as “hitting a wall”. So, I pray God will break down the wall and bring him home. I know now, through my journaling, this blog, the books I’m reading, and GOD’S WORD, that I have to give my husband a soft place to come home to. I just have a mountain of faith right now that God is working overtime on this one.

          I have good days, and horrible days. I am noticing that I’m not relying on my husband to fill me up as much as I had before. And I’ve got a much better handle on letting my emotions control the time I am with him. It’s hard. The hardest thing I’ve ever done. I feel your pain. It’s been just over three months for me as well. I got the bomb on Jan. 14 but he didn’t move out for another month and a half.

          1. I’ve been married for 21 years and have three children. I too received a positive response from my admissions. He thanked me very much and said I had hit the nail on the head as far as how he had been feeling. He said it meant a lot and he knows we need to talk, he just isn’t feeling ready yet. The recent physical withdrawl concerned me a great deal, but I’m working very hard to keep the emotions in check and continuing on with what I’m doing. I feel blessed beyond measure to have the support of April and all these wonderful women at different stages of this journey. I was directed here for a reason. 🙂

        2. Senterwife,

          When my hubby and i were separated we went on one date the whole 11 months. We communicated daily due to the fact that we had three children under the age of nine and He was and is an awesome father. In the beginning of our separation i was bitter and resentful because another woman had entered the picture(during the separation) I was still blinded by pride thinking my husbands adultry was much worse than any of my sins( a lie from the enemy) that i hadnt yet really accepted the full weight of my sin but when God opened my eyes to my sin things began changing in me. I remember God telling me to trust Him and that He had a plan.Though at times i wavered but because He is faithful Thats what i did, the Lord began to teach me how to allow Him to love my husband through me unconditionally. He loved through me, forgave through me and showed mercy through me. The same grace that i had been given God wanted to let that flow through me to my husband.With the unforgiveness gone(which was a process) there was nothing hindering the flow. My husbands heart was very hard. He didnt trust me and felt that things could never be fixed, but that was not my focus. I just wanted to obey God and allow Him to use my body to love my husband expecting nothing in return. The only way i was able to do this is truly the work of Gods Spirit in me…When i think back on it I am surprised myself. It was a painful time but at that the same time i was filled with joy. My joy flowed from Christ and knowing that He would never leave me or forsake me. He allowed one of my biggest fears to manifest and showed that He is BIGGER. There were many times i missed my husband but God taught me how to wait on Him and not try to manipulate but learn to watch God work things out on my behalf, he taught me how to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord and to praise Him while i waited. He constantly reminded me that this was a spiritual battle the enemy wanted to destroy my marriage but God was fighting on our behalf. The battle is not yours its the Lord’s. My husband wanted to get a divorce and had begun filing papers, This hurt but i kept my eyes on Jesus who promised me that this would all be worth it and one day He would wipe every tear from eyes and i would never shed another when i see Him face to face. He taught me that He really is ENOUGH. Even though my husband had no hope of reconciling i never took off my ring and continued to pray and wait on God. One evening my husband came over to see the kids we talked taht night and unexpectadly he was home. he was even surprised he was coming home.!!!The kings heart is in the Lords hands and He turns it wherever He pleases. God showed me that He is still a miracle working God!!! My sweet sister we serve an awesome God i will keep you and your marriage in my prayers that God would strenthen you and draw you close and wrap His arms around you and reveal Himself to you like never before. Be encouraged and continue to seek him above all else

          1. I just wanted to add that the times i did try to force reconciliation or long talks it just made things worse. God doesnt need my help it took quite a while for me to learn that. And i praise God that it didnt work because now i experience the joy of knowing God restored my marriage and not me.

            1. Thank you Jessica for sharing this. Your wisdom and words gave me SO much encouragement. Thank you for all of the reminders of why I’m doing this, why this matters, and why God is giving me this trial. I too have had to deal with the added pain of another person. I pray daily that my husband will not be led into temptation, and I am also able to pray for the other person as well. It’s clear to me they do not have the same beliefs and the same spirit of God in their heart and soul.

              Your added statement about long talks and ‘forcing’ reconciliation has in fact been worse. I have learned that after all of my sin, control especially, I cannot repent, admit my sin to my husband, offer apologies, and then turn around and try to continue to control him. He only pulled back further. I know it has to be his decision, on his time and most importantly on God’s timing. We have many similarities in our situations. Thank you for telling me exactly what I needed to hear!!

            2. Jessica, you have blessed me by sharing your experience and what you learned. There is comfort and encouragement to know there are those that walked ahead of me in similar trials!

              It really is about being still and waiting on the Lord. Anything else, is our attempt at controlling our lives, and we all know where that gets us! 🙂

              I am printing your comment and putting it in my journal so that I have it as an encouragement.

              Thank you, and praise the Lord for the restoration of your marriage!

              1. Senterwife,

                I praise God this brought me to tears because i wrestled with posting this, after talking to my husband i felt assured to post a comment. I decided to open an old journal i had from the time of my separation with my hubby and the first thing my eyes landed on was a prayer that said “lord use my life for your glory my mistakes to help someone else.. ashes for beauty” And he did just that Praise His mighty name!!!!!!!! And my prayer is that He do that same thing for you and Catherine and every wife everywhere, especially in a difficult situation that cant see how this could possibly bring God glory 🙂

          2. Jessica, The comment that you made ~He loved through me, forgave through me and showed mercy through me~ resounds in my spirit! I’m going to hold on to this for a while to ponder the deep, deep implication behind it. You are so right! We are supposed to be His vessel, not be full of ourselves. Thank you so much for such a powerful concept, I now know JUST what to pray over certain situations. Blessings, sister

            1. yoursistersojourner,

              This is something God is still teaching me. When my husband first left and i went to God full of pain and tears i remember the first thing God spoke cleary to my heart was “Jessica can i use your body?” I didnt understand until later what He was saying. God bless you Sis

    4. This is exactly what i needed. Im a work in progress. But i found myself pouting because of feeling neglected since my husband has decided to do what he pleases instead of tend to his marriage. I woke up this morning determined not to be upset so i brought myself to your blog and my bible app. Thank you for your transparency!

      1. chermylife,

        We are all works in progress in this lifetime! I’m so sorry that you are feeling lonely and neglected. I wish I could give you a big hug!

        There were many very lonely nights in my marriage, too, for so many years. But then when God woke me up 7 years ago – I realized that He longed for my attention the way I longed for my husband’s attention, and I began to go to Him to pray, journal, read the Bible, and study about being a godly woman/wife during those lonely hours. Wow! I am so thankful for all that sweet time together! God used it to radically change me, to show me my own sin, to cleanse and heal me, to teach me, to love me, to fill me up to overflowing, to restore my soul. He taught me to find all of my security, love, acceptance, identity, purpose, fulfillment, joy, and peace in Him alone and that He is sufficient for me.

        I pray that you might find the blessing of this time you can have alone with God, too, and discover what an awesome treasure He is!

        You may be interested in some posts on related topics – you are welcome to search my home page for:

        – lonely
        – loneliness
        – contentment
        – husband idol
        – emotionally distant husband
        – needy
        – why won’t my husband just love me

        The posts at the top of my home page about disrespect/respect may possibly be helpful – depending on the situation. They would have been helpful to me when my husband was very unplugged and didn’t want to be around me so many times earlier in our marriage.

        Much love to you, and the biggest hug!

  5. So true April! But how do i get this through to a very fearful friend. I talk to her about respect to her husband and all the related topics for about 3 years now, but she just doesn’t get it. And it`s so painful to see, it is only getting worse, she is married almost 25 years and her husband refuses to live in the same house and the only thing she is doing is complaining and worrying and panicking . She says she doesn’t experience GOD, and how she can trust Him, if she never experienced Him…

    1. Hisgraceissufficient,

      Great question.

      Here is the truth – you can’t get these truths through her head. It is impossible. All you can do is present God’s truth. Then God has to do the convicting and eye opening.

      What does your husband think about all the time and effort you are pouring into a woman who will not listen? Has he given you advice?

      1. Good question, he actually warned me before to not talk to much to her if she is not willing to study the Bible seriously and if she is not willing to stop to bath in her self-pity. He is wise! Sometimes its just so difficult to quit, i am such a people-pleaser. By the way, i am so grateful for your blog, and thank you so much for prayers, i went through some kind of dark valley, but i am back on track. Experiencing Gods peace, that is the greatest thing to have. I am looking forward to being a peaceful wife 7 days a week to bless my husband. Every post in the last weeks was fitting so well to my circumstances every day. I am eternally thankful for all i learn here. It saves my marriage and our family from a lot of trouble. Praise to God!

        1. Hisgraceissufficient37,

          My husband shared very similar wisdom with me about some wives, too. I was spending SO MUCH TIME on a few wives last year. Some of them would NOT submit to God, see their sin, repent, humble themselves or trust God. I kept thinking, “She’s just about to have a breakthrough!” One wife, Greg told me after one week, “You are wasting your time on her.” I continued to invest time for 6 months. She didn’t change. She wouldn’t change. I finally accepted, “I cannot open her eyes. I am not actually helping her.” And I released her. 🙁 That is VERY HARD for me to do.

          Your husband has shared godly wisdom with you. A wife who refuses to repent and just wants to focus on being a victim and talking about how awful her husband is does not have “ears to hear.”

          I vote to listen to your husband’s godly counsel. I learned the hard way on this one myself!

          I’m so glad that you are back on track now. Isn’t God’s peace and joy the greatest treasure in the universe??!?!

          Much love to you!

          1. Yeah, i agree! I should listen more to my husband, he has much wisdom to offer, i guess i am still quite influenced by feministic thoughts, not paying to much attention, thinking i know better. Want to learn to take every his thought seriously. By the way if you would have to recommend just one book of all the books you read about “submission, respect, etc.” what would that one be? (My journey started actually years ago with the book: ” Me? Obey him?” by Elisabeth Rice Handford. Great book, very helpful. God had to make me to read it again and again to show me that i didn’t get it yet, even though i thought i did. I am kind of a slow learner. ;))

            1. Hisgraceissufficient37,

              I’m glad you want to learn to listen more carefully to his leadership, wisdom, encouragement and insights. That is awesome!

              Well, it depends where you are in your journey right now, which one I would recommend. Where are you struggling, my sister?

              1. Another good question 😉 , had to think a bit about this one…
                I grew up in a quite negative home, a lot of criticism, judgmental spirit, mental abuse.
                I guess i learned quite well by Gods grace already not to put my comments on everything my husband does, but instead to be quiet and peaceful and to serve my husband. But i am still feeling very awkward if i shall say nice things, admire him, affirm his actions, i am so bad in this and i feel so not myself and i think he needs that so badly as he is quite depressed and lacking respect from people around him.

              2. And my husband says that i am a very unstable person, sometimes very nice and then suddenly comes the crisis. He can`t stand that. Is it the hormones or a mental thing i don’t know…

              3. Hisgraceissufficient37,

                Is your husband a very steady man like mine is? Sometimes it can be hard for them to watch us going up and down to all of our emotional extremes when they don’t vacillate much at all. That was something my husband was deeply concerned about with me for a long time, too. Things have been much better since I have trusted God and am not trying to control and change Greg anymore. I am generally able, by God’s Spirit in me, to roll with the flow most of the time. Even PMS has been so much better!

                Much love!

              4. Hisgraceissufficient,

                It is like learning a new language. I have a lot of posts about this – and some video posts, too, on my channel “April Cassidy” on Youtube.

                How about focusing on saying one thing you appreciate he has done each week, one thing you are proud of him about, and something you admire him for. Maybe every other day you can speak or text or email 1-2 sentences to him that convey these thoughts. Nothing big, nothing long or intricate.

                And, when he does something thoughtful, loving, sweet, kind, generous or wonderful – SMILE that glorious smile of yours and thank him sincerely.

                Check out:
                The power of your smile and facial expression
                Bless your husband
                Using Our Words to Give Life
                Wise Words and Kindness

                Much love!

  6. A changing wife,
    I am so excited about what God is doing in your life!!!! 🙂

    I am proud of you for being willing to support your husband’s choices about church. That is wonderful! It is very obvious God is working powerfully in you.

    Ultimately, our security, identity, acceptance, and being loved are met completely in Christ. He promises never to forsake us or leave us or reject us when we trust Him in faith.

    And if I have Jesus, “what can man do to me?” Even if the worst thing happened, my dad rejected me, my husband rejected me – I would hurt, yes. But I could still find all of my contentment, peace, joy, identity and purpose in Jesus alone. I am not living for my husband’s approval and love. That would be wonderful. But I am building my life upon Jesus alone. In use be willing to leave everything else, to forsake all else, to hold everything else loosely and trust Him with the ultimate results.

    If my husband rejects me, or my father rejects me, they can do nothing to take away my joy in Christ or to stop God’s sovereignty in my life or to tear Jesus away from me. HE is my life. If I have Him, I have life. I can’t be content in all circumstances as I learn that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

    Much love!

    1. April

      1. Achangingwife,
        I believe God brings each wife here – it is my prayer daily that He brings whomever He wishes here and that He speak powerfully through me by His Spirit – that He might be greatly exalted.

        Much love!

  7. You are welcome, everyone! I am glad this is helpful. 🙂

    When we are afraid, we tend to have our eyes on the circumstances and what WE can do or not do about them. Or we have our eyes on our husbands and what we believe they must do for us to feel safe or to feel loved.

    Is it wrong to want to feel loved and secure in our marriages? No. That is God’s design for marriage.

    The issue is when we are not feeling loved and secure. The way to avoid fear is to take our eyes off of our husbands and our needs/desires and to set our eyes firmly on Christ alone.

    Can He heal our marriages, change us and change our husbands? Yes.

    We are not guaranteed He will do what we want Him to do. But we are guaranteed He will accomplish His good purposes and his will in our lives as we trust, obey, love and abide in Him.

    We can be content in all circumstances, when we feel loved by our husbands and when we don’t, when we feel close to our husbands and when we feel lonely. The secret is that we allow Christ full access and we submit fully to Him and seek His will and His glory. Then we can rest in His sovereignty even when things don’t look like they are going well from a human perspective.

  8. Thank you! Thank you! These are the words I needed to hear. I think deep in my heart I know all of this to be true, but I desperately needed the reinforcements here. Thank you for praying for me and my husband and my three beautiful children. I would agree with the statement that God has most certainly used this separation to give me time to reflect, and to work on me. I never would have realized my sins had it not happened. My husband acknowledged my confession and thanks to April, I was able to see some very good news in his email to me. (In man talk- lol) Thank you for giving me this outlet, this information, and the constant encouragement from other wives on this journey.

    Bless you all.

  9. Way to go sister! I’m so happy for the changes you are making! These things run so deep and are so damaging! I’m still praying for you & rejoicing in your victories! Sending you hugs!

  10. The posts and fellowship on this site are blessings straight from heaven. Catherine and Achangingwife, I am so inspired by your efforts to dig deep and push on for Christ amidst raw reality. Wow. Wow. Wow. Your choices have ripple effects beyond your marriage, believe me. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Refined,
      That is something I love the most about what God is doing here – the way He is building this community of women who are seeking Him with all their hearts, who support, love, pray for, encourage, exhort and speak the truth in love. Seeing women pursue Christ wholeheartedly even in the midst of their own personal storms and fiery trials is such an incredible inspiration. God is absolutely using each wife’s story for His glory and honor.

      Thank you for sharing and encouraging our sister!

      1. I read 1 Peter. Wow. Three words: I GET IT!!!! God, keep changing me and blessing my beautiful husband. Amen.

    2. Thank you Refined. Had God not directed me here, I’m not sure where I’d be at this very moment. I knew I did not want to travel down the road of depression that I did before we had a breakdown, but I also didn’t know where to turn. God bless all of you!

    1. I also have a search bar at the top of my home page, you can always search for a key word like “fear” – or you can look in the categories section on the lower right of my home page and hover over it, and all the categories and topics will appear and you can search for posts by category. 🙂

  11. While i read your words i can feel the pain you feel. I have been there many times crying myself to sleep. Naturally marriage should be giving and receiving, but when you feel that all you ever do is giving and trying very hard not to expect anything. But lately i realised my husband shows his love in a way what i don`t understand. He feels loved when the home is clean and tidy (what is really my weakest point), and that’s enough for him! He worked so hard till he got sick, that was showing his love for me. And he doesn’t think about that his wife may be needs a different kind of love. May be your husband speaks his love also in ways you can`t hear? Much love from me!

  12. Dear April,
    I am on day 4 of being a peaceful wife. I am so afraid. This entry “fear fuels our need to control” describes me exactly. I’m so afraid of failing. The sin done to me as a child has me so warped, though I’ve been through years of counseling and am active in Celebrate Recovery for 5 years. All of the descriptions you used are my thinking. It is so overwhelming to see in black and white. As much as I see my sin, I still hurt and think all these things. Though I repent again and again I end up still afraid and controlling. Please pray for me.

    1. Julia,
      This is a long process. It is not a one week thing and suddenly, you are the most godly wife ever. It took me 2.5 years of wrestling, praying, studying and seeking God for hours almost every day to begin to feel like I had any clue what I was doing! It is a total renovation of your mind, heart and soul. First comes the tearing out of all the lies and junk and filth. That is painful.

      You will stumble. A lot. Especially at first. But, that is ok! It is like learning a new language or like learning to walk after being severely injured.

      Would you like to tell me a bit about your relationship with Christ?

      So you have a godly counselor still?

      Much love to you!

  13. Pingback: Fear Fuels Our “Need” to Control | Victorian Tomboy
  14. April,
    What advice do you have for falling back into fear? I know that it happens gradually. I have given all of my fears over to God. I have walked without that burden (so I know it’s possible), but somehow, a few weeks down the road, I am swimming in them, again. I find myself grasping at my husband, trying to keep my head above water. I’m not perfect, but I believe with everything in me that I should be above this. I know God is capable – I have experienced it. How do they creep back in on me? Why is it always the same? And the worst part is – it always surprises me! And, I am reduced to a clingy, needy version of myself that I hate to see looking back at me in the mirror. I say things to my husband that I can’t take back…I him that he’s going to leave me. I say that I don’t know why he could love me because I’m not perfect. I question how he could still find me attractive… I tell him that he’s not in love with me anymore because other things are always more important than me. I have to get past this for me, for my family. I need to finally put it to rest.
    And, how about recognizing my feelings are lying about my marriage? That seems to be a gradual process, too. Everyday, they seem to be a little further from the truth. They grow from feeling unappreciated and overwhelmed, to disconnected, to alone and abandoned, to used and taken for granted… I know that this comes from pride and fear. I have walked with God above my feelings, but the same thing happens – they slowly creep back in… and AGAIN I am surprised.
    I feel like I keep stumbling over the same bump in the road…
    My feelings and fear make me bitter. Bitterness makes me feel shameful and guilty. Then, I feel like I need to make up for it………
    I have taken this to God in prayer. I asked Him to take these burdens. I asked Him to SHOW me what I should do, because I’m just not sure. When I was praying, God impressed on me a feeling of noise and distraction – like I need to BE STILL. Sometimes that’s hard to do – trying to work full-time, be a mother, a wife, work part-time from home, and travel during the holidays.
    If you have any advice, I’m open to receiving it.

    1. AIM,

      That is pretty normal. You have to kind of keep constant tabs on your thoughts and priorities – it becomes a discipline of taking your thoughts captive. If you can recognize the fear, negative feelings, idolatry, etc… immediately and shoot it down, that is the best scenario. Sometimes, you may not realize it until you have been marinating on those thoughts. But as soon as I detect resentment, negative thoughts, sadness, anger, frustration, or bitterness – I know I need to go spend time with God and write down the things I am thinking and ask God to help me examine them by the light of His Word. Any sinful motive or thought pattern has to go. Right away.

      If you catch yourself being needy and clingy and looking to your husband for affirmation and security – stop. Go spend time with God.

      Search my home page for:

      – insecurity
      – security
      – feelings
      – emotions
      – identifying the lies we have embraced
      – bitterness

      Yes, you HAVE to have lots of time with God or you will spiritually starve and have no power to deal with these things. It is so critical to be filled with His Spirit and to get rid of any sin so that you can hear His voice clearly. It is essential to feast on His Word and to allow Him total access to all of your thoughts and the deepest beliefs in your heart.

      Sometimes emotions are there because you need to express them respectfully. Sometimes they are not to be trusted. It takes the discernment of God’s Spirit to know the difference.

      Much love to you!

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