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“Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?” – Part 1

 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms. 🙂

I am praying for extra comfort, courage, strength, peace and joy for those battling infertility, those who long for children but can’t have them for some reason and those who have lost a child.

FROM A WIFE (with her permission):

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 privileges?

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 wife’s. 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.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

At the end there, you actually explained why God’s wisdom works best in marriage quite well. Nicely done!

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

FICTIONAL EXAMPLE (based on the couple I described in the post this reader is referring to):
If I want to sit in the front on the floor during a children’s play and my husband wants to sit closer to the back. I share what I want in a pleasant, polite, friendly, positive and kind way. He shares that he would still prefer to sit in the back. I know my husband well enough to know that for him to sit on the floor for a long time would really hurt his legs, back and hips. Maybe he shares why he doesn’t want to sit on the floor, maybe he doesn’t.

Now I have a choice.

  • I could make this into a big issue.
  • I could demand to sit in front on the floor.
  • I could try to force Greg to do what I want to do.
  • I could refuse to care about what he wants or prefers and 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.
  • I could complain.
  • I could hammer him and hammer him until he does what I want him to do.
  • I could tell him, “Go sit in the back by yourself. I don’t care what you do. I’m sitting in the front on the floor with our daughter.”

Then when Greg caves in and sits uncomfortably on the floor with me, I have VICTORY, right?

(Well, I doubt Greg would cave in to that particular demand, and I certainly wouldn’t expect him to sit on the floor for all that time, knowing about the knee injuries he has had. It would be very selfish of me to try to make him sit somewhere that would be painful for him.)

The more likely thing that would have happened earlier in our marriage would have been that Greg would have refused to do what I was demanding for him to do, I would have gotten very angry and he would have shut down and unplugged even more.

What many wives don’t know is that when they demand their way, refuse to bend or cave on small issues, they can, at times, destroy the intimacy and unity of their marriages and set a very ungodly example for their children.  I pay dearly in intimacy and unity in our marriage when I become inflexible, completely determined to have “my way” no matter what the cost and I tenaciously “stick to my guns” on the smallest of issues.

My husband may think to himself, “Wow. If she won’t cooperate with me on something so insignificant, if she won’t follow me or trust me on this, if she won’t place any value at all on my needs, my desires or my opinion here – there is no way she will trust me or will be willing to follow me in bigger things that actually matter. I have no voice in this marriage. I feel insignificant. I don’t mind her sharing what she would like to do – but it is so humiliating for her to cause a scene in public like that when I have legitimate reasons for wanting to sit towards the back.”

(Gentlemen, you are welcome to comment and let us know what you believe would be going on in a husband’s mind in a situation like this.)

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?

Jesus instructs His followers:

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20

– Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8 Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers and sisters. 9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. I Corinthians 6

If those in authority are to be humble and servant hearted – wouldn’t the same words apply to those who are following? And if we can bring more glory to Christ by suffering or by being wronged – then isn’t that the more noble road to take, rather than pushing our own agenda and demanding what we want for ourselves?

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4

Why do I want what I want? Am I seeking God’s glory or my own glory? Am I being selfish (which is not of God) or am I seeking the kingdom’s greatest good?

Am I saying we have to be doormats? Not at all. It’s good for us and important for us to share our hearts, our needs and desires respectfully, humbly and with a sincerely friendly demeanor. And, for some couples, the husband may be fine with a compromise – he sits in back, she sits up front. But, if we do not get what we want, we must decide upon what our ultimate goal in this life is to be. There WILL be times we may need to gently, humbly, carefully, prayerfully, respectfully confront our husbands’ sin or harshness. Husbands are told in I Peter 3:7 that if they do not treat their wives with honor and understanding, their prayers will not be heard. Husbands obviously can sin, just as much as wives can. So, there will be times we must live out Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:16-18. But – there are also times to extend grace and there are times when the exact outcome of the decision just isn’t that important in the eternal scheme of things.

Rev. H. A. Weaver says:

The world’s definition of freedom is – the ability to do whatever I want.

God’s definition of freedom is – the power and ability to do God’s will.

 For Part 2, please click here.

94 thoughts on ““Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?” – Part 1

  1. Happy mothers day to all the moms!!!!!

    I was actually having this conversation with someone not to long ago. I think the small things matter because they reveal whats in the heart. Jesus said from the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. We don’t do anything unless it first begins in our heart and that’s what God is concerned with my heart. Do I just say I’m submissive or do I truly have a submissive heart. That will always be revealed by what I think and do. I see it as every act of grace empowered submission to my husband in the small things are a blow to my flesh preparing and training me for submission to God in the huge things.

    1. Jessica,

      I agree! These little challenges offer great insights into our motives and priorities. Is my greatest goal to honor Christ and bless my husband, or is it to have my way as much as possible? God can and will use my wisdom and perspective to bless my husband. But am I willing to be cooperative, pleasant, joyful in Christ and able to rest in His love, peace and sovereignty even when I don’t get what I want?

      My desire is to hold everything but Jesus very loosely and to allow God to give and take away as He sees fit. My goal is to seek His will and His wisdom above my own. I bring all of my strengths, personality, gifts, talents, intelligence, encouragement, support, love, respect, admiration, loyalty, blessing, emotions and desires to our marriage. I share my heart, my ideas, my feelings and desires. But, I also desire to be able to be flexible to bend and accommodate God’s sovereignty and His changes to my plans and I desire to be able to yield to my husband’s preferences when needed without being resentful or bitter.

      My experience has been that when my husband feels honored and respected, he cares very deeply about making me happy. He listens to me. I have not lost my voice at all, but instead have a much greater influence now that my husband feels safe and respected by me.

      Ultimately, my submission begins with submission to Christ. That is really the issue here. Each little situation is an opportunity to bring honor, glory and pleasure to Christ. 🙂

      1. April, I love your statement, “God can and will use my wisdom and perspective to bless my husband.” I think a lot of wives who feel that being submissive means being a doormat don’t realize that NOT being a doormat is a blessing! My opinions can bless my husband for a multitude of reasons. It’s a concept that some women don’t consider, and you put it very succinctly in that one sentence.

        1. M,
          We tend to veer to extremes as sinful humans – either we tend to be dominating, controlling, disrespectful wives (like I was), or weak, voiceless, spineless wives who completely give up our influence authority and our God-given place in marriage to bring blessing.

          No godly, healthy husband wants a wife with no opinions, no thoughts of her own, no personality, no vibrancy and life. What makes biblical submission powerful is that it takes a STRONG woman to bring all of that strength that is hers and to keep it under God’s control. Submission is not a position of weakness, but a position of meekness – bridled strength. Think of a stallion that has been “broken” and responds to his trainer. All that strength is still there – but now he uses it all for the purposes of his trainer. That is what we do as we submit first to Christ and then to our husbands.

          I’m glad that was helpful. 🙂

          I probably don’t talk enough about not being doormats, because that was not my issue in the past. But, maybe we need to talk about it a bit more.

      1. April i was looking over old postings for encouragement and just saw this comment. Of course!!! How is your book going? I cant wait to read it!!!!

  2. Happy Mother’s Day!!!

    So much easier to consider submitting in the small things now because I’ve learned that just because he can’t tell me his reason for preferring something different doesn’t mean there’s not a good reason. It’s taken me awhile to put that one together.

    Actually, this is a lot like what I learned about the Bible years ago (I didn’t know it could apply to my husband). If the Bible seemed to contradict itself or if I couldn’t find the answers I wanted, it just meant I didn’t understand the Bible. Not that the Bible was wrong or couldn’t be trusted.

    1. Refined,
      I love this! Greg wasn’t always able to explain or verbalize why he wanted to do something differently from what I thought we should do. I used to think that meant he didn’t have a reason. Now I know he does have reasons, valid ones, even if he does not fully articulate them. Now, I trust his heart. It is very similar to the way I have learned to trust God and His heart, too, even if I don’t understand the reasons why God is asking me to do something. 🙂

  3. My husband refuses to lead. I consider myself pretty flexible on the little things: where to eat, where to sit, what color to paint a room, etc. I will voice my feelings, but ultimately not interested in fighting about it. It’s just not worth it. But on the matters that are more important to me; how to discipline our teenager, whether or not to go to church, etc- he caves before we even get a chance to talk about it. I want to know what he wants- I want to defer to his leadership. But usually he says something like,”you are really good at arguing your way”. This hurts- because I don’t see how expressing my opinion is arguing. He shuts down. No discussion. And in the end, either he makes a decision based on his original input, or I end up making a decision. Many times I’m hurt- not because he made a decision, but because he never included me in it. He has never come out and said it, but I have observed over the years that he is happiest when I am independent. He likes when I am making my own money, and keeping myself busy, and he can do whatever he wants. The idea of biblical headship is unappealing to him, and submitting starts to feel like a waste of energy. I’m not afraid that by following him, he’ll lead me to destruction… I’m afraid if I follow he will run and zigzag his way to shake me off his trail and leave me lost in the jungle!

    1. MHMC,
      It is very frustrating to want to follow but to feel that your husband won’t lead.

      Would you like to talk about an example and share what each of you said, and we could talk about other possible ways to approach the issue?

      Most of all, I pray for God to give you the wisdom and resources and sensitivity to hear His voice and His wisdom clearly.

      Much love!

      1. An example would be today, Mother’s Day. Over the years, we have attended a few different churches. Our most recent church recently dissolved, a small “home church” where the pastor and his wife are moving to take a paid position. So, being in need of a church, I offered to my husband that we attend the same church that our children have been attending mid-week activities for the last year (which seemed like a natural direction). I told him if he had any different ideas, we could reconsider where to go- I wasn’t set on the idea- just seemed like the most reasonable place to go to. Years ago, I attended church by myself and the kids, for years, and I didn’t like it. Same at our last church- I wanted him to attend, regularly with me and the kids. I didn’t demand it, but I made clear my feelings on the matter. When we moved to this new church, I told him- again- that I wanted to attend as a family, so if he wasn’t going to be comfortable here, we can go somewhere else. We will go wherever we go as a family. In the past year at the other church, he went EVERY SUNDAY. So today, Mother’s Day, I arranged to go to church with the kids at a time that was convenient for him. He didn’t show up. I was hurt. I was angry. I sent him a text saying I had hoped to see him at church, and was disappointed he didn’t join us. No response. Tonight when we were together as a family, there was no conversation. No communication. We watched TV for 3 hours, without saying more than a couple of words to each other (I really was trying to be indifferent to the situation- I didn’t mention it, didn’t act angry- or so I thought- and interacted with the kids as usual). He eventually left for work, and still no mention of his absence today in church. After knowing how I felt, and especially it being mother’s day, I would have at least appreciated an explanation- but I go nothing. Nothing.

      2. Another example was during our recent remodel. I came home from work one day to find out that he and his mom picked out ALL of the fixtures to the bathroom. At no point was I made aware that these decisions were being made. The color of the paint in the loft, the sink, the faucet, the mirror, the tile- all of it chosen without my input. I was hurt, that his mother was making these decisions for my home. I didn’t like their choices- and I have had no freedom to say how I feel about it. When I did mention to him my feelings on the matter (during a counseling sessions with out pastor) he made it sound like I was making a big deal about nothing. The pastor explained that leaving me out of the decision led to my being upset- and with good reason. However, I’m living with their choices now, and it is a constant reminder that he deferred to his mother, and not his wife.

          1. He says nothing. He nodded while the pastor was talking, that’s it. Never mentioned it again.

      3. What I really pray for, and what I need to learn, is how to continue to show love and respect without being so hurt and disappointed when I don’t get it in return. To love without expectation. I don’t know where the boundary is, when do I say something, without sounding like I’m complaining, or nagging? From my perspective, I sometimes feel like I’m pushed to the edge before I finally say something, but his reaction to me is that I’m nagging him or demanding my own way. I’m trying really hard to understand that balance. I fear that if I continue to live in silence to how he treats me (or doesn’t treat me), then there will be no changes, and I will be forever be sad and unhappy. However, I’m not interested in driving him to further silence and distance, either. A while back we had an argument about how he treated our 13 yr old when she was disrespectful to him. He started slamming things, and what I call “sulking”. I asked what was wrong, as I hadn’t witnessed the situation. After explaining it to me, I simply reminded him that respect is learned- and our children aren’t going to show respect unless we teach them when they are being disrespectful, and correct their behavior. He told me she was acting like a B*** (which she heard from the other room). I called her back into the room, and then stood there silently while he corrected her. I then went into the other room with him to talk to him about what had just happened, telling him that she has learned to act that way, because that’s how he treats her. He got angry with me, telling me to shut up. I said calling her a B*** was not loving, that he was her father, and she needed to know he loved her. At which point he interrupted me and said, “You are my wife, you’re supposed to love ME!” The argument continued, ending with me being shoved. He left for the evening, and when he came home late that night I asked him to sit down and talk. The conversation didn’t go anywhere. I apologized for making him feel threatened, telling him I never meant to make him feel that way. At no point did he apologize for his own behavior. After getting a very cold, distant reaction from him, I asked him to sleep in another room- telling him I didn’t feel comfortable sharing a bed with him that night. He did- and it was never brought up again. A day later he made a generalized apology, but not for anything specific. That was over 2 months ago. I felt torn- After 3 years of counseling, I have been told that I need to be direct and honest. Yet I felt terrible confronting my husband, feeling like I was being the “bad guy”. But I also know, that if I never confront that kind of behavior, it will continue, and either someone will get hurt, or I will be forced to leave in order to protect myself and/or my children. I especially don’t want my daughters thinking it’s ok to put up with being shoved and called names. What’s worse, is that this was all very new, erratic behavior coming from him. Something has changed in him, and I have never felt like I wasn’t safe around him. The trust in our relationship has deteriorated a lot, and I just want to try and get it back. He refuses marriage counseling. He refuses to read books on marriage. And he refuses to watch marriage videos. He has admitted that we have marriage trouble, but he won’t agree to get help.

        1. MHMC,
          THAT is a tricky balance to find. It requires a lot of study, a lot of practice, and most of all, being filled with God’s Spirit and having a great sensitivity to what God is prompting us in each situation.

          Check out Sacred Influence by Gary Thomas and read the example of the wife who gently, respectfully, lovingly confronted her husband on the ski slope when he was too harsh with his son.

          Your situation is a difficult one. But – it is not impossible for God’s wisdom. How is your time with God going?

          Much love!

          1. To be honest, I have found it very difficult to get into the word(something I used to crave!) I am praying constantly and craving church and fellowship.

          2. MHMC,

            That is where your power is. I don’t know what may be blocking things for you – I know that for me, if I hold on to any unforgiveness, resentment or bitterness, I can’t hear God’s voice and lose my appetite for His Word because I have grieved God’s Spirit.

            Praying for God to give you wisdom and for you to be in close fellowship with Him and filled with His Spirit so that you can know Him more and more and hear His voice clearly in each moment!

        2. “After 3 years of counseling, I have been told that I need to be direct and honest.”

          I have to say that if I did anything for 3 years and it didn’t work, I would give up on it and try something else. Why use some other flawed, corrupted man as a counselor when you have the perfect Counselor (John14:26)? Why bring a knife to a gunfight? (2Cor10:3-5)

          “Direct and honest” means using the fewest, simplest words to tell the contextual truth. It does _not_ mean “stand up for yourself” or to have any other demeanour or tactic.

          “He has admitted that we have marriage trouble, but he won’t agree to get help.”

          Your ways are not God’s ways (Isa55:8). A husband answers to Christ; a wife answers to her husband. It seems your husband has to answer to you and you answer to…?

          I’m going to hazard a guess here in that the things that may make you have job success are what’s preventing you from having marital success. For example, if you supervise at your job, you set expectations and ensure they are met. Wives do not _set_ expectations for their husbands (they certainly have them but not _establish_ them) but your description of your plight is rife with your setting expectations for your husband and his not meeting them. What I am seeing is that your husband isn’t going to compete with you for the leadership position–and he shouldn’t as it won’t work. The paradox here is that the more you try to instigate this, the less it can happen. What do you do?

          A revelation I had a long time ago in which I regularly remind myself (and others) is to “pay less attention to what others are doing and more attention to what _you_ are doing.” We have to be responsible for our own selves first before we can even think about looking at anyone else, lest we become a scapegoating Pharisee.

          Before I can ask, “Why isn’t my wife submitting [per scripture]?”, I have to ask, “Am I leading/teaching [per scripture]?”
          Before a wife can ask, “Why isn’t my husband leading [in a Godly way]?”, she has to ask herself first, “Am I submitting [in a Godly way]?”

          Will you submit to your husband not because you want your husband to take charge but _as a service to the Lord_? (Eph5:22)

          1. Frankly, I did end my counseling. Not because I had no results, but because in the end, her only counsel for me was to create an “exit strategy” and to “quit investing in the marriage”. I told her I couldn’t put that counsel to action- because it went against the very core of my beliefs. She respected my position, but admitted that there was little else she could help me with at that point. I have dealt with some significant deception from my husband over the last two years. Behaviors that have changed, and have been inconsistent with the man I married. My disappointments are not because I have a lack of respect on my part, though I will admit after dealing with these issues for two years, I have been noticing some bitterness on my part. Where I used to dote on him in order to get some type of affection from him (usually resulting in nothing more than a pat on the head or something like that) I now have different motives, different reasons for doing what I do. My counselor corrected me, saying that I was doing things for my husband in order to “GET love”- not doing them to “GIVE love”. When I started to change, when I started to see my own dysfunctional behaviors in my marriage (and my parenting), he became distant, emotionally and physically. It is not the “He did/She did” that gets me concerned. It is the change in behavior- a change that is not growing toward psoitive change, or strengthening our relationship with each other, or with Christ. The changes I’m seeing in him are destructive, distant, full of anger (covert) and passive aggression. So, my need for advice stems from this perspective: How do you show respect in your daily behavior when so much is going wrong. I have a hard time drawing that line between what is “expected” and what to just let go. I would assume that being married to a man who claims to be Christian, who has spent the last year praying out loud in church and helping the pastor with the weekly services, it would not be out of the realm of “normal” expectations to want that man to attend church regularly with his family. Or to parent without swearing. Or to have a normal conversation with his wife when he disagrees, instead of leaving the room, or even leaving the house. These actions are not a result of MY actions toward him, but rather a defensive move on his part, reacting to my need for a healthy, open, and honest relationship. If I am wrong, than please help me see the truth, but I cannot see how it is wrong for a wife to express her needs to her husband, and then want him to honor those needs. Especially when the wife is trying honor his needs on a daily basis for the last 14 years. For a long time, when I asked about his opinion of the marriage, he would say everything was great. That was because he was getting everything he wanted. When I would say what was lacking for me, he would just shrug and leave things as is. This is a very difficult way to live in a marriage- and something I am trying to understand for myself. How, or better yet, in what ways, can I continue to show respect to my husband, and not lose respect for myself. I don’t want to go back to the way I was before, groveling, begging, and bending over backwards to “make him happy”. This brought me much grief. But I do want to know that regardless of his feelings and actions toward me, I am acting out of love, if not for him, then for Christ. It takes a HUGE strength of the will, and a tremendous amount of mercy to live this way. We can preach all day, how this is how Christ taught us to live. But until you actually live it, you have no idea how hard it really is. To actually love the unloving, to live with someone who treats you like an enemy- and to do it with a smile on your face. If it weren’t for my faith, I would say it is impossible.

          2. “How do you show respect in your daily behavior when so much is going wrong. I have a hard time drawing that line between what is “expected” and what to just let go. ”

            Allow me to rephrase your question into an unloaded one: “How do you show respect in your daily behavior?” Ask God; ask your husband.

            re: Shrinks. Knowing that her final advice to you was ungodly, you have to wonder how much of those 3 years were filled with ungodly counsel. Personally, I’ve only witnessed one good counselor who was very helpful (and then retired) and several who gave wicked advice (and we’re including so-called Christian counselors in this) or just useless..not even advice..advice and one who was about to throw-down on me after his value-judgements.

            The one useful guy mostly talked about how to effectively communicate (and not escalate) and how our reactions (internal and overt) don’t always match the event.

            re: “Churchly man” is not synonymous with “Godly man”.

            As far as everything else, I’m still seeing a slew of expectations not being met becoming the issue rather than whatever the issue actually is.

          3. Frankly, let me ask you something…

            Is it wrong for a wife to have expectations of her husband?

            When you get married, and speak your vows in front of God, and your family and friends, is it wrong to expect your spouse to follow through with those vows?

            You said, ““Churchly man” is not synonymous with “Godly man”.” Frankly, I am well aware of this. My point is that my husband PROFESSES Christianity. As an observer in his life (and I would probably know this better than anyone being I live with him), he is either a liar, or a hypocrite.

            In some situations, a woman truly is doing everything right, and still getting undesired outcomes. It can be very challenging to seek help and counsel in an area where you have done the right thing, and still wind up being judged for being non other than a woman. Many times that’s what it feels like it boils down to. My husband has excuses for his behavior because he’s a man. I, however, have no excuses- I’m a woman, and therefore everything I do is wrong. The truth is, we are BOTH professing Christians. We are equals. We are guilty of sin. We are capable of love- because the one who IS LOVE is IN US. This is my frustration. My husband does not show me love. I do not say this lightly or flippantly. I’m trying to be very matter of fact.

            God says the Two shall become one. My husband would rather be separate (financially, how we spend our time, etc). God says they were naked and not ashamed. I’m never so ashamed of myself, my looks, my body, or my opinions then when I’m with my husband. God says Man shall leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife. My husband continues to seek his mother’s opinions and feelings, and accomplish things with his mother when he should be coming to me, including me, seeking out my feelings and opinions.

            I am not complaining. I’m trying to point out the truth here. I am hurting. I am depressed. Yes, I have faith. Yes, I have hope. But I live this everyday. It’s hard. I trust that God knows what is going on in my life- I may get impatient, I may lose focus of what he’s been showing me, and I may try to jump ahead and take matters into my own hands- but that doesn’t mean anyone deserves to be treated in such an unloving way- myself included.

            And the counselor I saw was not a “shrink”. Three years she helped me come out of my self-pity, self-destructive ways. I was allowing my husband to control me in ways that were unhealthy, and unnecessary. I was able to step out of my comfort zone and start saying out loud what I needed and wanted. You may consider this a bad thing, but when someone spends 12 years of their marriage afraid to say anything that would make the other “stop loving” them, you know there are some VERY unhealthy dynamics- and that’s where we were at. My husband is more angry that I’ve grown out of those dysfunctional behaviors- and that’s not right. Her final counsel to me was a wake up call. I had to either learn to live in my situation in a healthy way, or leave. And because of that, I’ve been focusing on my behavior, my reactions, my speech, and my attitude.

            I hope everyone here understands that my response here is in no way out of anger or an attempt to argue. And in saying that, I hope everyone here understands that people like me (and I know there are several who read this blog) need constant encouragement. What we are going through is stressful- and it leads to chronic health problems, chronic tension, and constant self-criticism. We judge ourselves I think worse than anyone else could. Our society tells women to be strong and independent- and then we hear the opposite message in the churches- that we are the weaker sex, and we are to be meek and quiet. For those of us trying to understand the balance of it all, encouragement and gentle correction are vital to our personal and spiritual growth.

          4. Hisdaughterhischild,

            My sweet sister! Your husband will have no excuses before God. You will both be accountable for your own obedience to God individually.

            Sometimes we do suffer unjustly and unfairly, scripture talks about that we are blessed when we suffer for doing what is right.

            I pray for God’s power, healing, wisdom and peace for you and for Him to work in you both for His greatest glory.

            Praying for you, your husband and your marriage, and sending you a huge hug!

          5. Hisdaughterhischild,

            I am glad you are sharing your feelings, desires and thoughts. It can be very scary to learn to use your voice, and you may not do it perfectly all the time. It takes practice, prayer and God’s Spirit to find that proper balance. But I do pray you can be healthy spiritually, emotionally and physically and I pray your husband and marriage can be, too.

          6. Thank you- really, after leaving my counseling, and trying to “Honor my husband” by not talking about him with others- it becomes VERY difficult to understand your feelings, thoughts, and motives. For me, the best way to understand myself is to talk it out, and that’s where blogs like this are so important. Women like me are looking for Christian sources of information, encouragement, and counsel. It’s good to stop here and talk, then to wander onto some of those other sites (I know, I’ve been there!). I just hate to think that someone’s opinion here would lead another to feel discouraged, or feel like they deserved to be treated unlovingly. It’s easy to fall into that way of thinking, so the more opportunities there are to lead someone away from that depressed thinking, and toward the Good News, the better it will be for them. I have suffered physically in my marriage. I have put on a ton of weight despite trying to live a healthy lifestyle. I have been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and Myofascial Pain Syndrome. (Chronic Tension) I get physically sick from the stress in my life, and after the last two years, it just became a downward spiral. Now my husband is suffering physically as well. We need help, but he won’t get any. So I had to resort to one-on-one therapy since marriage counseling is hard when just one person is going. I can’t force him to do the right thing, but in the meantime we are both suffering- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I don’t know when I’m supposed to gently confront sin, or just keep my mouth shut. I don’t know when “a gentle answer turneth away wrath” or any answer at all is going to provoke. It’s like walking on shattered glass, all day every day. My faith in God is the only thing carrying me right now.

            It’s easy to criticize others who are going through the fire, telling them to have more faith, or pray- but really, we are doing that- more than anyone could ever know- ‘cuz without God we’d be gone already. To anyone suffering physically (and I’m not talking about physical abuse or violence here- if that’s the case, please get to safety)- you are not alone. The physical pain is a thorn that God has given you to help distract you from the emotional pain. Press on toward the cross. God hears your cries for help, and He WILL come to you. He is there- right now- comforting you. Trust Him. It hurts, yes, it is frustrating, it makes you angry- but suffer a little while longer. And do not let Satan tempt you to react sinfully in these times of stress. Pray, talk to someone, email the Peaceful Wife. Do not believe that you are alone- because you have friends here who are going through the same thing, and who want to be a comfort to you. Blessings.

          7. I was just reminded of a scripture that seems appropriate here:

            Habakkuk 3
            17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.19 The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.

            I talk more about this at http://hisdaughterhischild.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/habakuks-prayer/#like-327

          8. hisdaughterhischild,
            I love that passage! Thank you so much for sharing. Praying for spiritual, emotional and physical healing for you and your husband and for God’s wisdom and direction.

    2. MHMC,

      I have a hard time seeing the difference between expressing my opinion and arguing also. So many times I am just trying to explain my views on something and my husband will tell me to “stop arguing”. And then of course being the submissively-challenged wife that I am, I come back with ” I am NOT arguing” …yeah, way to prove a point. 🙂 I have tried to ask my husband to explain what I am doing wrong. (I did learn not to ask this in the middle of the argument because it comes across as challenging) I think a lot of it has to do with tone of voice and saying things only once. April, is there any chance you have a video that shows the difference between stating your views respectfully and arguing? I could really use that one 🙂

      1. Victoria,

        That is a great question!!!!!

        Hmm… I may need to do a post or video on that. Some of it will be dependent on a husband’s personality and perspective.

        I do have posts about:
        Sharing vs. Complaining

        Spiritual Authority – has a section about making an appeal to someone in authority over us (which is VERY different from arguing – it is definitely worth checking that one out)

        I think a big point is that if he has already made his decision and you are still explaining, or if you are repeating yourself, that is probably “arguing.” But also, if you are just determined to change his mind and you think that if you “explain enough” that he will see how “right you are” and “how wrong he is” – that is probably arguing. Man. I used to do that a lot!

        1. “Explaining enough” Oh boy do I do that! My husband has said “Why do you think repeating yourself will get me to change my mind.” And “It’s not that I don’t understand what you are saying, it’s that I don’t agree with you”

          It sounds like a heart thing. If I am more focused on getting my way than anything else then there are problems. I know I have gone into many conversations intent on winning but thinking I am not arguing. Ugh it’s amazing how blind I can be at times.

          1. Victoria,
            Exactly. It is a heart thing! If you go into any discussion with your husband focusing primarily on getting your way – your motives are probably sinful.

            God wants to purge us of our sinful motives. Our only motives really should be to love, honor, please and obey God and to bless and love others with the love of Christ.

            If you are seeking to honor God and bless your husband and seeking God’s will and His glory as you go into a conversation, you will probably not argue with your husband.

            Would you please allow me to use these comments about this issue anonymously in my FB page and maybe in a post, please? This is really important! Thank you for bringing up this issue!

        2. My experience is that “ad nauseum”/”ad infinitum” seems to be popular with the ladies.

          It doesn’t work and it cuts off communication.

          Additionally, one _disagreeing_ with your point doesn’t not imply one didn’t _understand_ your point.

          I’m not sure why these are common pitfalls but articulate your point _once_ and let the conversation continue without forcing/stalling it.

          Isn’t that how you would want to be treated?

  4. Happy Mother’s Day!

    I think the biggest problem when it comes to the little things is the lack of an explanation. For example when a man picks a seat in the theater, is he just thinking about how much he will enjoy himself or what his lady will enjoy? Well here’s another angle for you ladies; when you pick a place to sit do you consider security? Do you wonder what would happen in case of a fire or some madman walking in? I’m sure some of you do an it’s stressful. Men do this all the time. When on the street and at home. Watch where he sits at home, in the theater and what side of the street he picks to walk on while with you.

    Security is a serious concern for a men all day everyday. As a man you don’t get to choose when to care and when not to. When with love ones men even drive slower, they pay more attention to surroundings. Part of the reason I don’t stop to ask for directions is safety concerns. Do you ladies wonder about your husbands safety? I’m really curious about that.

    Ultimately it all boils down to trust. Do you trust your man enough to go with decisions you don’t get? Believe me sometimes what we do is instinctive and so can’t really be explained. It’s like the decisions you make concerning your children.

    But the most important thing is; do you value your way more than your husband? Would you rather have your husband or this other thing?

    Lastly try and ask your man why he chose something. It might turn out to be very interesting. Men die everyday to save their loved ones and the media ignores it, columbine and the movie theater shootings being an example.
    A lot of men die standing between their loved one and danger and they do it without thinking.

    1. Nick,
      thanks so much for your perspective! I especially appreciate you bringing up things that we as women may miss, how a man may be trying to think about security, for instance. This is very helpful.

      1. I talked with Greg about this, how husbands may be thinking about security and safety issues, and he completely agreed. It is interesting… When I am by myself, I am much more conscious about my safety. But when I am with Greg, I don’t really worry about my safety nearly as much, I guess because he is with me. But, I hadn’t really thought about how much bought he puts into my safety and our children’s safety. Very thought provoking! I sure do appreciate that Greg is thinking about our safety. That is very loving of him!

    2. VERY early in our relationship, hubby and I went to an event that was extremely crowded. He chose seats near the back so we made a quick exit. The problem was it was off to the side near a rear door and I couldn’t see. Frankly, I missed most of the performance completely. At the end of the event, we scooted out the door quickly and made the fast getaway he had been hoping for. Now remember, I said this was early in the marriage and I hadn’t even started working on the respect thing. He asked me what I thought of the performance (it was a dance performance by the way so seeing it would have been nice!). I told him I didn’t see most of it so I didn’t have an opinion. And I wasn’t very respectful about the way I said it either. He got frustrated with me – understandably so – and said that he was trying to be nice and make sure we didn’t get stuck trying to get out of there. He assured me he was thinking of me.

      Sadly, it devolved into an argument rather quickly but we both learned something in the process – he was trying to be my hero but what he did to be heroic was not something I valued! I didn’t care if we got out of there quickly, I wanted to see the performance. He assumed what I wanted and chose our seats accordingly and actually took away what I wanted. It may be difficult to articulate why you make the decisions you do, but communication will go a LONG way toward making sure that both parties feel understood.

      Submitting in the little things is invaluable. But I am still his wife and need to be treated as his partner, not a child who is expected to obey blindly. There is a delicate balance to be struck there!

      1. moj8668,
        Yes, it is a delicate balance – and it will look different in each marriage and the balance may be different in the same marriage at different stages.

        I think you made a really important point. He was trying to be the hero, but his priority was not something you valued. I have a feeling that is where a lot of arguments and misunderstandings crop up!

        I definitely want to see wives communicate their needs and desires, respectfully, so that their husbands will know the things they value most. Yes, a godly balance is the goal!

    3. I notice when we’re walking through a parking lot, my husband will always make sure I’m on the inside away from moving cars. When in a restaurant, he always wants to sit facing the room so that he has better vision of our surroundings. I find it incredibly chivalrous and it makes me feel so very protected and safe.

  5. Wow!

    The husband hit ‘the nail on the head’ when he said

    “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.”

    We are all sinners or sinners saved by grace. Genesis 3:16 comes to mind in these situations. I guess men can go overboard with this verse if they know it (and even if they don’t). Many men don’t really get true leadership (which was given by example by the Lord). We all have be inundated with the worlds method and a few might have been blessed to see Godly leadership when growing up. To put it into practice in marriage is hard even for the godly.

    Saying that, I have my insecurities and my flesh would say ‘hmm, why is she fighting me? Does she think I am incapable? Does she want to ‘mother’ me?

    We have to continue to take every thought captive. It is a daily struggle -but we already have the victory.

    1. Raphael,
      You bring up some very important points, too…

      Many men, most men, have not had a godly example of how to lead in their marriages, sadly.

      And men do deal with insecurities, so if a wife fights her husband on things, even little things, often – he may eventually feel it is pointless to try to lead because she won’t follow anyway.

  6. God bless all the mother hearts out there! <3

    April, something you said in one of your posts or videos (I'm sorry, I can't recall which right now) really stuck with me. It was definitely an a-ha moment for me.

    The marriage example I grew up under with my parents was a dominant father and submissive mother. In the big things, it seemed they always made wise decisions. My father is very knowledgeable and capable and my mother is very trusting of him.

    But, it's the small things that I remember the most. My father always demanded and got his way and I don't recall my mother ever sharing her desires. I do recall my father belittling the way my mother did things if it wasn't the way he thought they should be done and blaming her if his way ended up going wrong. I could never understand how my mother could tolerate his pride. I guess she was able to let go of the little things and bring any hurt she had to God.

    Unfortunately, I emulated my father more than my mother. I had the attitude that you describe, April, of feeling like I'm helping others and looking out for them because I think my way is the best way. Sadly, the very thing that bothered me most about my father, I took on in my own personality. And I'm sure it's even less lovely in a woman!

    But something you said, April, was a totally new concept to me. You said that when you let others have their way, that can be your gift to them (not an exact quote). It had never occurred to me that I didn't have to have my way! I grew up with my father always demanding and getting his way and my mother seemingly never getting hers. I don't even know if she ever had an opinion about what her way was! I guess I didn't want to be like that, walked over and belittled. But in taking the other path, I ended up being much worse — the one who is walking over and belittling others.

    What a totally new concept it was to me that I don't have to have my way! It's actually freeing!!! I don't have to push and fight to have things my way and if things go my husband's or someone else's way, I like being able to think of that as my gift to them. I'm not losing my power, I'm using it to make a choice for love and peace instead of pride.

    And, April, your encouragement to really focus on understanding God's sovereignty has been a huge help in this, too. I, too, lacked this. But as I have come to understand what God's sovereignty means in my life on a daily basis, I have come to realize I can share my desires with others, then sit back and trust God to do what is best for me whether it goes my way or not. There is so much more peace and freedom in this! His way, after all, is so much higher and better, I don't even want my way anymore. It certainly has brought me or others peace.

    1. Wow, Cat!!!!

      I love this! Thanks so much for sharing!

      Your parents’ example makes me so sad. That is not God’s beautiful design for marriage. I can’t imagine Jesus demanding His way on every little thing and not caring about the needs of His people. And a wife with no thoughts, ideas, feelings, desires or opinions is not what God calls us to be as wives, either. He gives us a powerful position of influence that we can use with incredible strength to bless our husbands and families. I don’t want to see any wife just lay down her personality, strengths, abilities, wisdom, insights,perspective, feelings, desires and needs.

      From my perspective, it seems that as sinners, we tend to go to one extreme or the other as husbands or wives. Too dominant or too submissive. But what God calls us to do is to soar on the wings of His Spirit working in us in this narrow path far above the extremes in the center of His will.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

      1. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about how “walked over” a wife is. I don’t know their situation, but I do know mine. I would never disagree with my Hubby’s decision in front of others, & I hope if we ever decide to have children that I would especially not do it infront of them! So it may look to others that Hubby makes all decisions, but in reality we have more than likely talked about in private already. Just another way of “judging” a submissive wife 🙂

        1. Great point about not judging a submissive wife, krystlew3. I should clarify about my parents’ marriage because it probably sounded pretty harsh from my snapshot description.

          They don’t have a relationship that makes me sad. They actually have a very good relationship and are very happy together and a great team. They are both believers and have obviously figured out a way to make their marriage work for them as they are going on 25 years. They never disagreed in front of my brothers and I. They always presented a united front and I never remember them fighting in any way. Maybe a disagreement here and there wouldn’t have been a bad thing — I could probably have benefited from learning how to do that properly instead of shutting down and avoiding conflict — but overall, they have presented a good picture of a healthy happy marriage.

          My father’s personality and his attitude toward everyone, not just his wife, is that he is always right. And, I must admit, he often is. He is very knowledge and capable and thorough in taking all aspects of a situation into consideration when making a decision. No wonder my mother has happily gone along with his way of doing things! Maybe she learned early on that he was a good leader and I think her personality is to be more of a follower, so they make a good team.

          The problem is probably more my sinful nature. My own pride balked at my father’s pride, especially in my teen years. I remember one time angrily confronting him about his “attitude” toward my mother and then shortly after apologizing as I knew I was out of line. I knew I could not assume things about their relationship that I was not privy to and it was wrong of me to judge and to be disrespectful to my father.

          I know I absorbed messages from my family and culture that have been harmful — sometimes the message itself was wrong and sometimes it was my interpretation, which may have been more the case with my parents’ marriage. Thankfully, God has allowed my eyes to be opened and now I am trying to rework my understanding of who I am in Christ and who He wants me to be as a wife, mother, daughter. This is not an easy task!

          What I am learning, in the small amount I have shared with my parents, is that they are more gracious and understanding and less judgmental and demanding than I had thought all these years. When I shared some concerns, my father actually admitted and apologized for his “stubbornness” and how it has impacted me. He even asked me to let him know if there were any other areas he needed to needed to change! This may be more the side of my father that my mother has known all these years and I, in my own pride, have never allowed myself to see or get to know because I was just as stubborn as him in having my own way that we never communicated honestly with one another like that before.

    2. ..”when you let others have their way, that can be your gift to them (not an exact quote). It had never occurred to me that I didn’t have to have my way”

      This is such a good concept. I have been starting to wonder lately why I have been so attached to having my way all the time. I am beginning to see the freedom in letting others have their way too. I like that you pointed out that it is not a loss of power. I am seeing it as a way to learn and grow.

      When you pointed out that submitting to our husbands can be our gift to them it made me think about seeing my husbands leadership as his gift to me. I have always seen authority in such a negative light in the past. I am going to spend some time thinking about this.

      1. Victoria,

        Bingo! It IS his gift to you when he seeks to lead you and love you in a godly way! And it is delicious to feel so protected, loved, cherished, adored and so feminine with a masculine man taking charge. When we follow God’s design with pure hearts and His power, we become the best version of ourselves and everyone wins. The only “self” we lose is our old sinful selves. But that is not a sacrifice, that is freedom!

      2. It is a great concept, isn’t it? It truly never occurred to me that I didn’t have to have things my way. It actually didn’t even ever occur to me that I was so stuck on doing things my way, I just wanted them done the “right” way (which, of course, was my way). It’s so freeing to just let things go, to be gracious to others in letting them have their way — it’s a powerful gift to offer others, isn’t it? I like your thought about our husbands’ leadership being their gift. That’s a great concept, too! You’re right that authority is always portrayed in such a negative light. And submission is a dirty word. I’m so sad that I didn’t understand this sooner and so thankful that I have the opportunity to teach my children differently.

        On Sun, May 18, 2014 at 2:15 AM, Peacefulwife’s Blog wrote:

        > Victoria commented: “..”when you let others have their way, that can > be your gift to them (not an exact quote). It had never occurred to me that > I didn’t have to have my way” This is such a good concept. I have been > starting to wonder lately why I have been so attached to” >

  7. Something that confuses me about this situation is why the husband and wife had to sit together? If it was my husband he would say, it is fine for you to sit up front but I am going to sit in a chair. Wouldn’t it be alright for the wife to ask her husband if he minded if she sat upfront?

    My husband and I actually had a conversation similar to this once. His response was “You can do what you like and it will be perfectly fine but don’t try to force me to do it too.”

    1. Daisymae,
      Great point!
      Different husbands and wives will have different views on this. Some husbands would be fine with their wives sitting up front with out them, I think the key things are a wife’s approach, motives and attitude.

      Regarding the couple I witnessed at the children’s theater, the wife was clearly trying to tell her husband to sit where she was. And he very clearly didn’t want to sit on the floor.

      I think your husband’s point is important – don’t try to force your man into something. It’s usually fine with most husbands, that I know of, if a wife shares that she wants to do something, the problem often starts when she tries to make her husband do things her way, too.

  8. As a new wife and newly on a journey towards respecting my husband better, I’m finding the “small stuff” is good practise for the big stuff. I never realised how poorly I listen and how easy I find it to think “I know he said XXXX, but he obviously hasn’t thought about Y and he doesn’t know Z so his opinion/decision/suggestion isn’t correct. I know better.” The last week I’ve managed to start practising listening more and following his lead rather than questioning or ignoring it. It is an eye-opener! I know he is a very intelligent and immensely practical man, but for some reason (because he doesn’t think and act in the same way I do) I ignore his opinions a huge amount. Not good.

    1. JustMe,
      That is really interesting. I can totally relate. I believe I thought in a very similar way earlier in our marriage. It is interesting when we start listening and begin to appreciate our husbands’ wisdom. Sometimes, it is as we show them that even the “small things” are important to us that they begin to gain confidence as leaders. I think it helps them to see that we want to trust them and hear what matters to them and honor them even in small things. It sets the stage for the bigger things, in my view.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. My husband did things like this for years when we were in public because he wanted to protect his family. He would wear sun glasses inside buildings just so he could watch people without them being able to see him watching them. He would have to sit in a seat in a restaurant facing the door so he could watch people coming in and out. And he would always choose a seat in public place near an exit so we could exit quickly if necessary. He did many things like this with no explanation, so I finally asked why he did them. (For some reason, men seem to want to just be trusted; they don’t feel they need to give explanations for everything. But I have seen that if I ask for an explanation, he doesn’t mind giving one at all.) And then he explained that he was doing it for mine and the kids’ protection. Now his sons do the very same things with their wives!! He taught them to be good protectors of their families. At first I thought these things were odd, but when I found out his reason, I thought it was a very beautiful thing. I don’t think women understand the natural need of a man to protect his family. It is a God-given desire ~ it is something they feel they just have to do!! My husband has always also encouraged me to give people the benefit of the doubt and to think the best case scenario. So, if I don’t understand something, I’ve learned to ask for an explanation without assuming the worst.

    1. Eliza,
      I love this! Thank you very much for sharing. I think that we as wives do better if we can understand the “why” behind our husbands’ decision. I love that when you asked in a respectful way, he was glad to explain his reasoning. It’s actually a beautiful thing that he wanted to protect all of you.

    2. “(For some reason, men seem to want to just be trusted; they don’t feel they need to give explanations for everything. But I have seen that if I ask for an explanation, he doesn’t mind giving one at all.)”

      I just want to expand on this truth. It isn’t that we’re withholding/controlling/insert-evil-motive-here; an explanation can be pretty boring and draining to give with no real benefit. More frequently, though, it’s a mundane detail that doesn’t seem worthy of attention (do you think about and explain breathing? It’s like that.).

      Asking out of interest/wanting to understand is a wonderful thing; making assumptions is a destructive thing.

  10. Happy Mothers’ Day, peaceful moms! 🙂

    I am still recovering from my weird bout with a virus and am not yet 100%, but praying I will be soon.

    It is in letting go of the little things do we learn to let go of the big things. In life, it’s a whole lot of the LITTLE THINGS, and not much of the BIG THINGS.

    Luke 16:10

    “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

    P.S. Eliza, can I also share about your journey in my blog? 🙂

    1. Nikka,
      Praying for healing for you, my sweet friend!

      Love that verse! That definitely applies here. Thank you so much, Nikka!

      Sending you a big “get well” hug.

      Much love,
      April

      1. I am new to this journey and right now I love taking directions with the small things because it shows that my husband is a natural leader and it’s much easier for me to submit. I am less stressed because I have time to focus on other things and he is less stressed. So it’s win win!

    2. ….and….I don’t know if other women would think this is a “small” thing or a “big” thing, but in all our years of marriage (31 this month), my husband has always done all the driving. Even though he is a Mr. Steady, he made it known from day one that he would be doing all the driving. So, whenever we go somewhere, I always sit in the passenger seat. My husband gets very stressed if he isn’t the one driving because, once again, he believes it’s his responsibility to protect his family, so he wants the responsibility when his family is on the road if he is in the car. (I’m kinda curious whether other women would consider this a small or a big preference!

      Hi, Nikka! Yes, that would be great!

      1. My Hubby has always driven when we are together, but I also don’t really like to drive & he knows that… So for me it isn’t a big thing because I didn’t want to do it anyway. I do know anytime we are going somewhere with his mom, he wants her to drive because she questions every decision he makes if he drives 🙁 So it is nice to know he feels comfortable driving for me 🙂

      2. My husband typically drives, and I don’t like to, but there are times when he needs to make work phone calls, or if he isn’t feeling well, that he will ask me to drive, and I will gladly do so for him.

      3. I like it when my husband drives. I like to be able to relax and not have to watch the road all the time. In the beginning of our marriage there were times when I would drive us but he would always point out how I was driving incorrectly. One day I was so frazzled by it I told him I would never drive him anywhere again. He was actually fine with it and so now, he always drives and neither of us get upset. I do drive on long car trips but I make sure he drives first so he can sleep when I drive 🙂

  11. The way I see this issue is that what a “small” thing is verses a “big” thing is can be subjective. I think God wants us to be faithful/servants/defer to others’ preferences in ALL circumstances. Plus, there are so many more seemingly “little” things that come up day to day…so many opportunities to fight for our own preferences, and therefore so many more opportunities to fight. Jesus wants us to be unified. Die to self and experience the (eventual) peace that comes from that!

    1. I completely agree! For instance when we were deciding what color to paint our house, I felt like it was a huge thing & didn’t like his suggestions & kept rehashing & rear giving for my way 🙁 I did get my way… & we painted just the front of the house & still haven’t gotten around to painting the rest (even though we did buy all the paint). He has recently confided in me that he hates the color & that’s why he hasn’t been in any hurry to paint the rest… I feel terrible because I know we don’t have the $ to get different paint & waste all the paint we already bought… At the time it seemed like such a huge issue, but now it just seems ridiculous 🙁

  12. This reminds me of ~~years ago~~ when we were young. One day when we came home from who knows where, husband asked me to go shut a shed door that had been left open. Not a shed I use by the way. I thought nothing of it at the time and went and shut the door. (Wasn’t I the sweet little wifey?)

    Well, when I got back to where he was, he said, “I just wondered if you would do anything that I asked you to do.

    Burst my bubble. Hmmm. How many times had I hurt him that evening? I still have no idea what that was all about.

    1. Sharon,

      That is interesting! Sounds like a little test.

      My husband was watching a cooking competition show on the Food Network last night. Maybe it was “Best Home Cooks in America”? Something like that. There were contestants that had Food Network star chefs as their coaches. One woman last night took her dish out of the oven where the eggs were cooking in little foil bowls on top of the rest of the dish. She panicked because the eggs were still raw and she only had 10 minutes left. Michael, her coach (and Iron Chef), told her to put the eggs back in the oven like he had instructed her to do before. She wouldn’t. She started to put the eggs in a pan to cook them separately. He was so frustrated! “I’ve been cooking for 30 years! Put the eggs back in the oven like they were!” She was not sure. He said, “She doesn’t trust me. When she trusts me. Then things are going to work. But right now, she trusts herself over my experience.” Eventually, she did what he told her to do, and the dish turned out well. She said she would always trust him from then on.

      We listen to people we trust. Husbands love to know we trust them. That doesn’t mean they are always right. But – it means so much to them. (Of course, if a wife is seriously not safe, or there are severe issues like drug/alcohol addictions, or an uncontrolled mental disorder, or a husband is involved in infidelity, she may not be able to trust him at that point until he repents and trust is rebuilt.) But, generally, as we show trust in our husbands, they become more trustworthy.

      1. When a wife makes it clear that she trusts you the next time you make a decision you try to not gamble on it. You make sure it’s the best decision. You make sure to reward her trust. It’s really that simple for most men.

  13. “My husband may think to himself, “Wow. If she won’t cooperate with me on something so insignificant, if she won’t follow me or trust me on this, if she won’t place any value at all on my needs, my desires or my opinion here – there is no way she will trust me or will be willing to follow me in bigger things that actually matter. I have no voice in this marriage. I feel insignificant.”

    ———————————————————————–

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. When my wife is continually disrespectful in little things I don’t feel like bringing up larger subjects like finances or family plans. I just know that if I get railed over something simple that I am going to get railed on the big things too. Not only that, but it can end up putting us in a bigger bind because problems that need resolutions don’t get resolved because we don’t discuss them.

    When my wife started her job we tried (tried….) to discuss plans for how we could use some of her additional income to pay off some of our debts. She got very upset at my suggestions and, instead of offering her own, she just yelled and told me that she wouldn’t be giving me ANY of her money. Knowing this is her attitude I have absolutely no desire to discuss finances with her.

    Trust is something that takes time to build, but can be lost in a few moments. A husband has to be able to trust his wife is on board with him in his plans to protect and provide for his family. It makes life so much easier and less stressful for BOTH. When a wife takes little things and blows them up into full fledged rebellion it chips away at that trust until, finally, her husband wants no part of her input and will either just start doing his own thing or will just let her make all the decisions, willingly giving up his God given position and responsibility.

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

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