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“My Husband Gets Angry When I Respectfully Disagree with Him”

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“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone.” Romans 12:17-18. (If you get a chance, please read Romans 12:9-21)

A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1

Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. For man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19-20

There are many things that could be going on when our husbands respond in anger when we share our ideas/desires/needs/concerns. This topic could be a book in itself! Here are a few possibilities…

  • A wife may not realize she is coming across disrespectfully in some way – that can make a husband feel disrespected and angry or make him want to shut down. Even a “little tiny bit” of disrespect from a wife’s perspective can be perceived as a lot of disrespect from a husband’s perspective. Some things that we as wives tend not to notice that can seem disrespectful to our husbands can be our word choices that might imply disrespect to our particular husbands, our tone of voice, our facial expressions and body language. (Nonverbal Disrespect – Youtube Video)
  • A wife may be early in this process of learning to stop disrespect and may be trying to figure out respect but is still stumbling often or she may be in The Frustrating Quiet Phase and be afraid to say anything at the moment. It is a difficult thing to learn to discern when to speak and when not to speak at times.
  • A wife may purposely disrespect her husband out of her own pain and anger – which is sin for which we need to repent. It is GOOD for us to share when we are sad, afraid, hurting, nervous or upset. But a wife can share what she wants and needs respectfully as she shows her husband that she is on his team and has his back.
  • A husband may not believe his wife is really changing, so he may assume she intends harm and disrespect even though she is trying to change. He may need time, a lot of time, to see that this is for real and that she is not trying to manipulate him.
  • A wife may try to take control when she disagrees, refusing to submit to her husband’s leadership. That will definitely be frustrating for a man who knows God has called him to lead. It is impossible for him to lead if no one will follow.
  • A husband may think his wife is being sarcastic at first when his wife attempts to speak respectfully because there may be a long history of disrespect, contention and conflict in the marriage.
  • A husband may feel his wife is undermining his leadership and feel his authority is being challenged if she disagrees with him if he is not used to having respectful discussions where there is disagreement. It may take time for him to realize that his wife is no longer going to attack him and that he is safe with her. Eventually, he will see that she will still support, honor him and cooperate with him even when she disagrees. This makes a powerful statement to a husband that his wife trusts him, has faith in him and is on his team.

(Please check out the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect for more info on these topics.)

There are times when a husband may respond in anger even if his wife is being respectful and approaching him in a God-honoring, respectful, polite, gentle way. It isn’t always “her fault” if he gets angry. After all, husbands are sinners, too. Just like wives are.

  • He may still be learning to be a godly man and leader. This is a lifelong process for men, too – to learn to love their wives as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her. If he is just now beginning to learn to step up and lead for the first time in the marriage or the first time in his life, he may feel overwhelmed, afraid, uncertain or insecure. If he senses that his wife is not supportive of his leadership, is critical, often negative, judgmental or uncooperative, he may respond with anger or he may give up and feel paralyzed as a leader.
  • He may be responding from the old patterns and habits he witnessed from his father or step-father or the men in his life from his past. He may not know yet how to respond gently, lovingly and graciously when his wife respectfully disagrees with him. He may have never had a godly example. And for men who never had a godly example, being a godly husband is just as counter-intuitive to them as being a godly wife is counter-intuitive to us! As a wife seeks to obey God for her role in the marriage, she can trust God to work in her husband and she can encourage and inspire him to become a stronger leader by her godly living and attitude and by her godly femininity.
  • He may be holding on to sin in his own life that is hindering his prayers and keeping him separated from God. That may have nothing to do with his wife. His sin is his responsibility before God. My prayer is that all husbands and wives will be Spirit-filled and obedient to God, that Jesus might be greatly glorified in our marriages.
  • Sometimes, as a wife begins to operate in the power of God, her husband begins to feel conviction about his own sin and lashes out at his wife, trying to get her to sin against him so that he can continue to blame her and not have to examine his own heart and life.
  • It may be that a wife is sharing a LOT of words and negative emotions for a long time and sometimes husbands can feel like they are drowning in an ocean of negative emotions that can be very overwhelming for them at times if the words are too numerous and the emotions are very intense. Sometimes if we can be brief and communicate with lower volume, calmly and without so many tears (if possible), sometimes our husbands can hear us more effectively that way. It may be that we can share things in more of a “bullet point” form instead of a 4000 word essay. We may be able to navigate our many negative feelings and emotions just fine, but sometimes husbands need a more condensed and less detailed version to be able to absorb it and process it.
  • Sometimes, a husband is far from God and is not living in his power and doesn’t have the Holy Spirit to turn to for wisdom and strength of character. At these times I Peter 3:1-6 can be the most powerful approach for a godly wife. (When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God)
  • Sometimes a husband may have a knee-jerk reaction of anger if his wife doesn’t agree. But if she allows him time to think and process and she doesn’t pressure him about it, he may end up doing what she asked, even if he doesn’t talk about it anymore. This may require great patience on a wife’s part. But, she has done her job by sharing her desires and needs, and then she can pray and trust God to work in her husband’s heart to change his mind.
  • He may have other issues going on.  (If a husband, or anyone, is exhausted, in pain, sick, very hungry, extremely stressed about work or other family issues – it may be wise for us to wait until these needs are taken care of before we attempt to have any major discussions about an important decision.)

WE CAN ONLY CONTROL OURSELVES

It may be that a wife can just simply share her heart and if her husband begins to try to argue, she can avoid engaging in a fight, but just say, “I just wanted to share my feelings on this. Thanks for listening.” And then she may leave it. Many times, in my view, a wife who doesn’t argue and doesn’t allow herself to be sidetracked by distracting tactics  and circular arguments that are meant to blame her or project fault on her, may find that just simply leaving her feelings and thoughts with her husband without engaging in a debate may impact him deeply.

We can share our thoughts without being contentious, prideful, self-righteous, controlling, argumentative or complaining. We can carefully, wisely speak the truth in love after we have spent time in prayer and know that we are seeking God’s will above our own will. We can honor God and our husbands as we approach our men about issues that are important to us. We can have disagreements without sinning on our end of the relationship.

Notice the verse at the top from Romans -“as far as it depends on you live in peace…” That means, there are things that come up in relationships that don’t depend on you, too. Some things in your marriage depend on your husband. You are only responsible for your own obedience to God, your being filled with His Spirit and your faithfulness and submission to Christ. You cannot change your husband. You cannot convict him. You cannot open his eyes. You cannot make him be loving to you or force him to submit himself to Jesus. You cannot change his mind or make him agree with you. You cannot control him. He cannot control you either. That is a good thing. God gives us all a free will.

If you have been on this journey for awhile, and you have been seeking Christ, repenting of any known sin in your own life, seeking to respect and honor your husband – and he continues to respond hatefully if you try to share a differing opinion from his… It may be that you are doing everything you can do.  I pray that God might show you whether this is the case.

Even when we don’t agree with our husbands, we can submit to Christ by submitting to our husbands’ leadership. That speaks more powerfully about our genuine respect for our husbands than almost anything else we could do. (Submitting Under Protest) As a husband sees over time that his wife shares her heart and thoughts, but that she ultimately supports his final decision if they cannot agree after discussion, he will often eventually soften to his wife and be able to hear her heart more clearly. Sometimes this takes a lot of time. But other times, a wife may find that if she just simply shares her desires/feelings briefly and calmly, that even though her husband may seem angry at first, he may eventually do what she asked, even though she didn’t pressure him about it. Some men may just need some time to think. They may even apologize for their angry reaction later.

This can be VERY painful. But it is also exciting to see how God might work in the situation as we seek to obey and honor Him. If you believe your husband is asking you  to sin, please check out Spiritual Authority.

WE ALL NEED GOD, HIS VOICE, HIS SPIRIT and HIS WISDOM FOR THIS!

This is where we all need great sensitivity to God’s Spirit. Only He has the wisdom we need in a given situation to prompt us whether a certain situation is a time when we should pray and wait on Him quietly and say nothing, staying out of His way, or whether we should respectfully, briefly, gently, vulnerably share our hearts or whether we should confront our husbands. I certainly don’t have God’s wisdom for every situation and I don’t have all the answers for every marriage. But thankfully, God does!

Just because a husband will get upset does not necessarily mean his wife should say nothing. I believe we generally have a responsibility as wives to share our ideas, needs, desires and concerns with our husbands. If we completely give up expressing our desires, ideas, personalities, influence, feelings and needs – that is not real intimacy and no healthy husband wants a wife who does not or cannot think and feel for herself.

It is easy for a wife of a more dominant husband to feel like she is losing her mind and sanity if her husband gets angry and blames her or turns on her if she shares that she wants to do something different from what he wants to do. She may be tempted to think, “Well, I must have not been respectful enough. That is why he is angry. If I just said it more respectfully, he wouldn’t have gotten mad. I just can’t ever say things right. I just shouldn’t say what I want, think or need at all.”

That is NOT necessarily true, precious wife!

This will require God’s wisdom and careful examination of our hearts and our true motives. There are times when a wife is doing everything right and a husband is still unwilling to listen to his wife. He may have some growing to do. That can be painful for both the husband and his wife. Or, God may be leading him to make the decision he is making and the wife may not see that until later. I long to see wives stand firm in Christ in such situations and to see them seek to please Jesus above all else and to be faithful and obedient to Him. Ultimately we must be concerned about pleasing our Audience of One – God – much more than anyone else, even our husbands. Ideally we can seek to please both. But there may be times when a husband is very difficult or impossible to please. I pray that God might strengthen wives so that their faith is unshakable and that they might have His wisdom and power to respond as God desires them to even in the face of being wrongly accused or misunderstood or unfairly blamed.

Sometimes 1 Peter 3:1-6 is our best approach. I Corinthians 13:4-8, Philippians 4:4-8 and Galatians 5:22-23 certainly apply to every situation. Sometimes we may need to confront our husbands in a Matthew 7:1-5 and then Matthew 18:15-17 way. We are all desperately in need of God’s wisdom and leadership in these times of conflict. Sometimes it will be a combination of scriptures and God’s Spirit’s prompting that we need.

Almost all husbands really do want their wives to be happy. As they discover that is is possible to please their wives and as they feel supported and honored and respected – most husbands, eventually, will seek to do what is truly best for their wives and families and will enjoy delighting their wives.

PLEASE SHARE!

I pray that some wives who have been down this road with a husband who responds in anger even when the wife is being respectful as she shares that she disagrees with him might share your stories with the other wives who need some encouragement. Often a husband who responds in anger rather than passive withdrawal is a more dominating, strong personality. What works with more passive husbands is often not what works with strong and dominating husbands. What has God shown you? What doesn’t work in your marriage? What works? What blesses your husband? What helps him to hear your heart? How do you respond in a godly way when he lashes out in anger that is undeserved on your part? Let’s talk about this together! Maybe some husbands might also have some suggestions that may be helpful for the wives who are afraid to speak their thoughts because their husbands respond in anger almost every time.

PS

Please keep in mind, if you have serious marriage problems – physical abuse, addictions,  unrepentant infidelity, uncontrolled mental health disorders, or one of you experienced major abuse in childhood or a previous relationship and need deep emotional/spiritual healing, please seek godly, biblical, trusted, experienced help in person. I am not able to address these kinds of issues here, and my blog may not be the best fit for you. God’s Word always applies to us all. But those with severe problems are going to need much more specialized help than I can offer.

RELATED:

Confronting Our Husbands’ Sin

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

I am Trying to Be Respectful, and My Husband is More Unloving Than Ever!

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

God Didn’t Give Me a Good Husband

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

A Peaceful Separated Wife

The Dryer Incident

The Difference Between Complaining and Sharing

Replacing the Tapes in My Head

A Husband Answers – Why Won’t My Husband Lead in Our Marriage?

 

71 thoughts on ““My Husband Gets Angry When I Respectfully Disagree with Him”

  1. Thank you, April, for sharing this side of the story. Your statements were “right on” and there was so much wisdom here. I married a wonderful, dominating and “used to be” controlling husband. After I realized my sin and began changing myself it took quite sometime for my husband and I to get on the same page. I think it came with maturity, conviction and time. It was his way or the highway for a long time, with no discussion needed!! No matter how respectful I was I could never disagree with him…to him that was not being submissive to His authority. I agree, there is a time a wife needs to speak even though her husband gets angry….for a long time I did not speak, ever, about anything I was feeling, thinking, or desiring, because every time I did my husband would get upset. We had a very surface relationship for a long time. I always felt I wasn’t respectful enough when he got upset, and I blamed myself for His sin. It was so hard knowing where that line was and what was disrespectful to Him…but oh, yes we need to do right, be responsible for our own self and our own sin and leave the rest up to God. When I finally came to this place, there was so much joy. I didn’t get hurt so much at him when he lashed out at me, because I knew in my heart that I was right with the Lord and He would ultimately be responsible for His own sin. It took time and I still get nervous to speak or share my thoughts sometimes. but each time I do he now always allows me to speak freely and I can communicate now about anything “respectfully”, He just listens with a smile and a loving expression. Oh, ladies, don’t give up!! Keep speaking with love and respect, stay close to the Lord, and allow His love to overflow onto your husband. With time, I believe you will see change and your marriage will be more as you desire it to be. God is faithful. I love 1 Peter, read it over and over again and know that it is more blessed to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. The Lord will bless you with all spiritual blessings and you will become more and more like our Savior. For His glory and not for our own.

    1. I am so glad you are going to a conference together. I will pray the Lord will use this time, greatly, to bring your marriage to a place you desire it to be. Love to you….

    2. savedbygrace,

      So much of what you wrote struck me. Your comments that we don’t have to stay and listen to their rages, the Lord doesn’t ask us to allow someone to vent their anger at us, and how it is essentially enabling our husbands in their sin when we stay and allow them to continue lashing out – all of those were fresh truths to me.

      I also realized that by staying and attempting to explain my thoughts or rationale, I am essentially trying to take over the Lord’s job of convicting my husband. When my husband is angry, no amount of explaining is going to reach him. When will I learn this and IN THE MOMENT be able to respectfully excuse myself? When will I be strong enough, HUMBLE enough, to resist the temptation to defend or explain myself? It’s only when I can do those things, when I get out of the way, that God will truly work in my husband’s heart when he’s angry.

      My husband is a wonderful, incredible, godly man, we have an amazing marriage and life together, but he is human and many men struggle with anger. You gave me much to ponder and pray about! Thank you!

  2. “Learning how to diffuse our arguments, how to respond (or not!) during times of moodiness, has helped tremendously.”
    Thanks you M for your insights. So good and so true!!

    Sometimes our husbands are just in a bad mood and it’s not about us at all!! We need to see them as a brother in Christ having a bad day. We can help a great deal by sometimes just giving them a little space, or an encouraging word or hug. They get stressed out too and have so much responsibility on their shoulders. We can’t take everything personally, because sometimes they are just trying to work out there own problems in their own way. Not always right, but we can have compassion coming along side, edifying and encourage them in a godly way.

    1. savedbygrace,

      Yes! Exactly! Sometimes it’s not about us at all. We do need to understand that they are human and can get stressed about life and all of the responsibilities they have to deal with. Sometimes that makes them snippy with us, but we need to understand the heart behind that and give them grace, rather than get defensive. Thank you!

    2. Savedbygrace,
      Amen!!

      Really, if our husbands don’t directly tell us they are upset with us, it may be wise to assume it is NOT us and just give a bit of space, or whatever our particular husband likes when he is in a bad mood, and wait it out as we pray for them and seek to bless them and stay close to God ourselves.

  3. Hi April and fellow sisters,

    It is SO TRUE that husbands need to hear our negative feelings in a more condense form than we often prefer to express them. I understand the tapestry of cause and effect related to most issues and want my husband to understand it all, too. However, I’ve learned he can’t process such an extended expression of my feelings and needs the “bare bones” version. I need to 1) express clearly and up front exactly what I’m upset about in one sentence and 2) what I expect and/or need him to do about it. And the calmer I can be when I express it, the better. Thank you for this great post, April.

    1. Elizabeth, you hit the nail on the head right here and I wrote down your post for my journal. I SO needed this reminder. I have difficulty articulating my feelings into words and that alone causes me to drag out what I’m trying to say, compounded with the feeling I need a LOT of words to say it. I love this. Thank you for breaking it down so simply :). Thanks for the post April. I need to really take time to read and re-read this one.

      I wasn’t sure where to post an update, so here’s the “I’m learning to be brief” version! My husband moved home Saturday. We have been talking in great length this last week and jointly decided that we needed to try to make this work. (AMEN AMEN GOD AT WORK!) We agreed that quitting (which is truly where I was, I was ready to be done, and move on without him, being happy with God and my children.) was irresponsible.

      We both love each other very much. We have both sinned, we have both hurt each other, we are both ready to re-invest. Truly the longest, but probably the MOST IMPORTANT six months of my 21 year marriage. I am so very excited to actually get the chance to be the godly wife God created me to be, with my husband HOME.

      Ironically, the day before he decided he was ready to work on us, I read a picture quote: “Just about the time you are ready to give up is when the miracle happens.” Wow. Our Anniversay is August 21st. I was ready to hide on that day. Now I am ready to celebrate this new beginning. Amen.

      1. Catherine! Praise God!!! That is wonderful news and I’m so excited for you, as I’m sure everyone else is. Thank you for the update! I will keep you in prayer and look forward to hearing more about how God is working in your life and your marriage!

      2. Catherine,
        WOW!!!
        Praise God!!!!!!!!! I am so excited about what God is doing in both of you! Woohooooooo!!!!!! I wish I could hug your neck!

        Thank you so much for sharing. This topic is one that is definitely a biggie when you are reconciling and trying to unlearn destructive habits and relearn how to be a godly wife and how to build a godly marriage. I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you both!

      3. Catherine, I’m DELIGHTED!!!!!! How I hoped this would happen, for of course I’ve read your comments and my heart ached for you. I’m happy if my comment helped. Yes, our marriages are worth working on, even when the effort required is tremendous and extended over long periods of time. The expression that relationships refine us, especially marriage, is so true! But that refinement doesn’t happen until we stick with it when things are really painful and difficult and work through conflict with God’s help That’s when spiritual and personal growth really happens! I’m so excited that you and your husband will have this opportunity now to learn to love each other the way God loves us–unselfishly and unconditionally, with his wisdom. Please do continue to share your life with us, and know how happy we are for both of you!!!! Much love and a big hug, Elizabeth

      4. Sharing your excitement and thanks to God, Catherine! This is so encouraging to learn what God is doing in your lives! (btw, you married a month after we did! I pray it’s the happiest anniversary for you, to date!)

      5. Yayyyy!!! Yahweh CAN and DOES restore what is broken! This valley will be such a powerful testimony for you both! Praise The Lord!

  4. My husband has a very dominant personality, so you can imagine that disagreeing with him does not always go over very well. One very important lesson that I have learned with my husband is that timing is everything. If I can catch him in a moment when he is calm, happy, and self-assured, I will get a much better response. I may even be able to persuade him to agree with me. However, if I disagree with him when he is obviously stressed and worked up about something, it is like approaching the dragon’s lair with a juicy offering. It is all teeth and flames!

    What I have to work on is the part about “disagreeing respectfully”. I myself am a hothead at times and I will often just retaliate without thinking first. I also have a tendency to blow up if I am feeling disrespected or hurt.

    Over the years I have really learned to choose my battles with my husband wisely. I used to disagree with him on nearly everything, which really stifled his ability to be a strong leader in the house. I grew up as an only child so I was very used to getting my own way on everything. Now I really work on letting him lead, and often this does START with agreeing with his decisions, and ultimately I leave it in God’s hands as to whether my husband is making a wise decision or not.

    1. Mrs. G.,

      Thank you for sharing your story! What valuable information for wives married to dominant husbands. If only we could all know this stuff when we are newlyweds!!!

  5. April, I don’t have much time but I wanted to let you know how awesome God is once again! I was just discussing this with my Journey Friend this morning. She is struggling with talking to her husband about something that is hurting her. She said she needed a sign. God is always on time!!! Thank you for allowing Him to work through you!

    1. Daisymae,
      Sometimes, I just know that God is prompting me to write about a certain topic. I may have already written other posts, but I know that nope, I need to write about this thing instead. I praise God it was a blessing to your friend!

      1. AND apparently I needed it too! I never expected a very angry husband to come home yesterday when I wrote this but that is exactly what happened. I talk about it in my response to M this morning. Thanks again for another timely lesson!

  6. Hi Peaceful Wife…I have a personal question for you….could I possibly email you? If so, what is your email? Thankyou 🙂

  7. Hi Peacefulwife! This is my first comment EVER on your blog though I’ve been reading your blog daily for a few months now and I love it!!! I am 23, been married 2 years, and my husband and I have a 1 year old. My husband is in the Army Reserves while finishing his degree, and then he will be Active Duty in the Army. My question for you is this: My husband gets opportunities quite frequently to do various training activities with the military. He’s actually been gone for the past 7 weeks (and won’t be coming home for a few more weeks) due to Army training, some that he HAD to do, and some that he volunteered for. Anyway, he is very frequently gone from me and my daughter because he chooses to sign up for Army things that he does not necessarily need to do. I understand that sometimes he needs to be gone for his career but sometimes he leaves to do additional training just for fun. He usually asks me what I think of him leaving again along the lines of “Hey babe, I have an opportunity to go on this trip (sometimes they are paid, sometimes they are not) What do you think?” and I will tell him that I don’t want him to be away more than he already has, and I want him to come home and stay home. I tell him this respectfully. Usually he will go anyway. He wants to be in the Army much longer than I would like him to be (many years) and I’ve told him I don’t want him to be in the military forever, but he seems to not care. I just don’t know what to do. Do I continue to tell him how I feel or do I just drop it and let him constantly choose to take “trips” and be gone when he doesn’t need to be? I’d love some advice! Thankyou so very much 🙂

    1. Mrsvalor,
      I am so glad to hear from you! 🙂

      If you haven’t already, you may want to search my home page for “military” – there are some posts that may be a blessing to you. Also, you may want to search “husband job” and check out that post or two.

      It seems like he really loves his job and enjoys it. That is a great thing. I am glad you share that you love for him to be home. I think you could say it like this, “Honestly, I really miss you when you are gone. I love it so much when you are home. But I will support whatever you believe is best for your career and our family.”

      Then, allow him grace to make the decision. And don’t resent him. That is the trickiest part.

      I believe it is important for him to be able to make these decisions for himself, AND for him to know how you feel. But if he feels supported and you make a big deal out of when he is home and treat him really well when he is home, he may decide to be home more. Maybe. Maybe not. But enjoy him when he is home. And tell him how proud you are of him when he does go on training trips. To with him, listen to whatever he wants to share. Be excited for him. Pray for him. Focus on god and deepening your walk with Christ. Honor his leadership about your marriage and child rearing even when he is gone.

      Sending you a huge hug, my precious girl!!! Thank you and your husband for all that you do for our country!!!

      1. Thankyou for your advice, it is right in line with what the Holy Spirit has been impressing on my heart lately. I certainly struggle with not becoming resentful. Do you have any advice for that or a blog post to direct me to? I really appreciate it!!

        1. Mrsvalor,

          Resentment comes so easily, doesn’t it?

          You may want to search my home page for:
          – idol
          – idolatry
          – discontentment
          – contentment
          – bitterness
          – forgiveness
          – expectations

          Praying for you!

        2. mrsvalor, One thing that helps me with resentment is telling myself, I am doing this for God. God wants me to do this and I am pleasing Him.

          1. Yes. I think that’s really the key daisymae.. respecting and submitting to our husbands for Jesus, regardless of anything our husbands do 🙂

    2. Just a thought from someone who has been married to a soldier for many years now.. Recently my husband has opened up to me about how he has felt about my resentment of him being gone so much (he has deployed twice for a year, has been in training on active duty A LOT and has had other shorter deployments, he has worked from 0500 to almost time for bed and would come home so exhausted he would just fall asleep on almost a daily basis, he would call me and let me know he wasn’t coming home on a Monday morning until next Monday because they JUST found out they had to go to the field.. this actually happened quite often.. he would have to work weekends often because someone else in the unit got drunk and did something foolish and everyone in the unit would have to go in to work for the weekend, he deployed with a week’s notice twice, once very shortly after I had our first child.. the first deployment was for one year only 3 months after we married and I was 17). I was very resentful and these ladies are giving you amazingly good advice by telling you not to be!!!!!!!

      He got out of the army once because of how much I hated it. And it caused a huge distance in our marriage. He was trying to make me happy. I thought things should be going really well, he was home more, I saw him all the time. But it actually made him feel like I cheated him in a way, and he resented me for it, and instead of being closer we became so far apart for some years that it was a very dark place. I was able to talk to him less than when he couldn’t even stay awake to talk because he was no longer open to me. He tried not to be resentful, but a man’s work can really be a part of their identity.

      I just want to save you some of the heartache. Support him in what he wants to do so the time that you do have together can be full of joy and love and peace instead of contention and anger. It will be hard, but he will love you for it and cherish you if you support him with all your heart. It has nothing to do with you. Let me say that again. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. He will miss you, and your children, and think about you with more love than you can imagine (and you may have a hard time feeling it, but it will be you that he is thinking about and longing to see).

      It really never made sense to me, how he could be longing for me when he chose to be away from me, but now I can see it because he lovingly explained all of this to me while we were taking a stroll together one day. One more time, for effect, IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU. But you will not be able to change him. I thought I could and it was so damaging to both of us and our relationship.

      Support him and win his admiration, rather than discourage him and become his enemy. If he is a believer pray for him, because he will have more witnessing opportunities in the military than perhaps anywhere else. If you give him your respect and help, it will be easier for him to command respect of his peers and have a godly influence on them. If it is any consolation, mine is about to be gone for training for a year again and I will be somewhere that I don’t know anyone at all, and will probably not see him much. The life of the wife of a soldier is very lonely. The wife of a soldier must be prepared to be lonely often. They are a different type of man. I pray the Lord will help you and strengthen you for what lies ahead in your life. And just one last thing. Tell him you miss him often, but don’t say anything about wanting him to stay home more. He will probably try to do it to make you happy, and it could cause resentment at times when he thinks of missed opportunities. He is probably trying to gain experience right now so he can be proficient in his skillset and have more of an influence over his peers. Just a thought.

      1. I fully concur with Anon, MrsValor. Drawing very near to the Lord as the wife of a military man is the best advice I can give. Find your identity, your strength, your companion in the lonely times in Him. I don’t think I would be where I am in my walk with the Lord if my husband had not gone into the military–because God has used the times of separation and other difficult challenges to grab my attention and turn my heart to Him, and in turn toward my husband.

        It doesn’t sound like your husband is at his first duty station yet, but when you do move there, you might check to see if there is a PWOC group that meets on post. (Protestant Women of the Chapel). There is great support there for fellow Christian military wives. Making friends with like-miinded wives who are going through the same experiences and challenges can help you not feel so alone, and there is something about being with others who truly understand what this lifestyle is like that bonds you together in a way that civilian wives don’t always comprehend. (Plus, we military wives along with the others here on Peacefulwife are here for you too!) 🙂

        I pray the Lord will bind your heart together with your husband, and grow you in faith in His love and care for you. There are many exciting times ahead for you both! It is a lifestyle that brings with it frequent change, and always a new adventure!

        -Heather (HisHelper)

  8. M,
    This is awesome!!! I love, love, love sharing and hearing other wives’ stories. The more the better! Yes, when a husband is in a bad mood, or upset with us, it can be tempting to try to force him to discuss it and try to “resolve” it – in our own feminine way, of course – right now!

    But our men are human, too. Sometimes they just need time to deal with a bad mood, or some stress they are dealing with at work, or even with the fact that we disagree with them. Many times, husbands will think about things for a day or two, or longer, and be convicted all on their own and come back later and apologize. We often don’t have to pressure them. They already hate for us to feel hurt or upset and feel a lot of pressure to make us happy already.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your experience! What a blessing to many other wives!

  9. Well, I have to say I’m learning a lot from your blogs. Today there was something I needed to discuss with my husband…so I asked to speak with him outside. I kept calm, my voice low, my nerves in check..meaning I didn’t let tears or frustration take over. After I finished saying what I had to say; part of it was me telling him that I looked at myself and realized I HAD been disrespectful to him over years and apologized for that; he said something I NEVER EVER thought I would hear…..”Ok, I hear you” and he nodded and this time it felt like he did hear me. Now, there still is a distance between us but for a moment my heart wasn’t so heavy. This past Sunday the pastor read the verse about the plank in the eye…and last night I came across one of your older blogs not knowing you that same verse….I took that as something with noting for myself. Thank you for your posts. My journey might be a long one but I have faith in the Lord the He will get us thru this and well be a stronger couple and family in the end.

    1. Katt2697,

      I am so excited to hear about what God is doing in your life! I love how you approached your husband and that he was able to hear you!!! Woohoo!!!

      This is a long journey for all of us. But it is so very worth it to be close to God and to learn to be the women and wives God desires us to be. May God use you to richly bless your husband and may He guide you to understand what it looks like to honor, respect and cooperate with your husband’s leadership for His greatest glory!!

    2. katt2697,

      That is wonderful to hear that you’ve realized your past disrespect and apologized to your husband for it! As April always says, it could take a while for him to respond positively to your new displays of authentic respect (although his initial response seemed pretty positive already!), but I’m excited for the path you are on and pray blessings for you and your family! God is doing good, good things. 🙂

  10. M, Thank you for expressing your thoughts. They really helped me!! My husband came home from work VERY angry yesterday and attacked me for not going to the store even though I didn’t know I was suppose to. He was apparently out of one thing that he told me he was going to buy a few days earlier. He ate supper and then went to bed still fuming. I think I handled it fairly well. I had a very important doctor’s appt yesterday and he didn’t even ask about it. I started to cry when he attacked me and then he called me a drama queen. I had spend 4 hours at the doctor. I couldn’t hold my emotions together. I finally got myself together and said I haven’t done anything to make you so angry at me, and I don’t like to be treated this way. I told myself that this is his sin. Maybe God is dealing with him about something and he doesn’t like it. But this is not about me. After he went to bed, I got up and made his snack for today and I was able to to it without anger or resentment. Today I thought of asking him what he was really mad about. Because he has never been mad because I didn’t go to the store before. But your words reminded me to just keep quiet and let God deal with it. I never would have imagined reading this blog yesterday that my husband would come home so angry and I would have to put it all in practice.

    1. Daisymae,

      I know some men who forget that they didn’t ask their wives (or coworkers or people they manage at work)for things. They think they did, but they didn’t. That can create a lot of confusion!!! Maybe he thought he had asked you to go to the store. Or, maybe he was more frustrated that he didn’t go. Or maybe he had a very stressful day and he, wrongly, took it out on you.

      I’m glad that you said what you did, but that you didn’t fight and argue. I am ecstatic that you were able to bless him without anger or resentment. THAT IS A GOD THING!

      I have a feeling he will probably apologize after he has had some time to think about things. And, you may have a chance to ask him if he needs anything at the store sometime soon and to let him know you are happy to get things for him if he asks you to. And, maybe tonight you might have time to share about the dr’s appointment. Maybe he will even ask you about it himself.

      Praying for you both!

      1. Daisymae,

        I was thinking while I was getting ready this morning…

        I do think it is good to be careful not to tell our husbands “You shouldn’t feel X.” i.e.: You shouldn’t be angry. I didn’t do anything to make you angry.

        People will have emotions and feelings, and need to have freedom to feel the way they feel. So, I do want to be careful not to tell my husband how to feel. Of course, you know that you had no malicious intent and that he didn’t ask you to get the item at the store.

        BUT- I also think it is important to say something (when he is able to hear you) like, “Oh! I thought I heard you say that you were going to the store to get X. If I had known you wanted me to get it, I would have been glad to try to if I had time after my 4 hour doctor’s appointment. You know I would do anything for you, Honey!”

        I pray for your health and for God’s wisdom for you and your doctor as you navigate the issues you are facing there.

        Much love!

        1. I am happy to say I had a happy but tired husband when he came home last night. By venting here and not to him and by telling myself the truth, I mostly passed the test.

          1. daisymae, that’s wonderful to hear! Those little victories when we do things right are so encouraging. Yay!

          2. Daisymae,

            How did last night go? I hope you were able to talk together and enjoy each other?

            Thank you for sharing, and for bossing your emotions around and telling yourself the truth! WOOHOO!

            1. It was fine. He came in happy, even joking. But, he eats and then goes to bed so we don’t get any time to talk and enjoy. He is just too tired from the extreme long hours. I am praying that this will change. Last night he even went to bed and ate his supper in bed. 🙁

      2. This is so right on, April. Some husbands are big in the expectations department and low in the communicating of their thoughts. They truly think they said something out loud because the words were so prominent in their mind. When they come home expecting what they were thinking to be done, they are frustrated that it wasn’t and can translate that in their mind as disrespect and disregard for their (unspoken) requests. I think that when men who have a lot on their minds, they tend to think they have articulated more of those expectations than they have. It can be a challenge to try and diffuse the situation, but I find it’s best to keep it simple. “I’m sorry, sweetie. I didn’t know you wanted that done since you hadn’t mentioned it, but I will go ahead and get on that right away. Would you like me to stop what I’m doing and take care of that now or would tomorrow be acceptable?” Simple and non-emotional is best, in my experience.

        Something a wife may notice who has a husband that is high on expectations but low on communicating them is that it often isn’t isolated to expectations. I know that my husband has told me several times that he often gives me compliments in his mind and later realizes that he never said them out loud. Sometimes it will be a day or two before he realizes he never told me what he was thinking and I’ll wake up to him saying, “I meant to tell you how beautiful you looked a few days ago when you went out to pickup my dry cleaning.”

        Tonight I walked in the house from an appointment and my husband said, “Do you know what I kept thinking about today?” “What, sweetie?” “How great your hair smells when I roll over and kiss you in the mornings. I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wished I was doing that at that moment.” I had already seen my husband and spoken to him several times prior to this evening, so he didn’t remember he hadn’t told me what he was thinking until half a day later. At least that’s progress. 😉 Some husbands just have very busy minds and don’t always remember what they actually said out loud, versus what they said in their minds. We should strive to not take it personally and to have grace with them as we would want them to with us. 🙂

        1. thejoyfilledwife,

          I actually had a boss that would do that – he assumed he told his employees things that he never actually said out loud. He just thought them. He really thought he had said what he wanted the girls to do. But he didn’t! That definitely created a lot of confusion. Most of us are awful mind readers!

          I love the way you suggested to respond. That was beautiful!

          What a precious thing to hear your husband say about your hair. Aw! SO SWEET!

    2. M
      It is so hard to give our husbands space when they are angry. It is SO EASY to assume they are angry at us. But – many times, they are not. Many times it has nothing to do with us. Even if it does have something to do with us, that is their responsibility to tell us. So, maybe unless they say they are angry with us specifically, we can seek to assume it is not about us and just seek to bless them and pray for them.

      That does not come naturally! And, I am sure there are times we may need to ask if we did something to upset them.

      I’m actually glad that your husband was able to tell you later that he was just trying to focus and his mood wasn’t about you. That is a blessing to know!

      Praying for wisdom for you!

      1. Thank you, April! You are right that it is very easy to assume they are angry at us. I do this very often, with everyone, not just my husband. And I do need to realize that it’s his responsibility to tell me if his upset has something to do with me.

        I, too, am glad to have my husband’s explanation! I know him well, and I know when he is busy concentrating versus upset about something, so I’m not sure I entirely believe he was just distracted, but because that’s what he said, that’s what I’m going to accept and we’ve left it in the past.

        Baby steps, this is all about baby steps and learning to PRAY before I take any actions or speak a single word!!! 🙂 Thank you always for your encouragement and insight! You are a blessing!

  11. Hi all!
    When we lay everything at the Lord’s feet and surrender the things burdening us, what do we do after that? What do I pray? What do I do about those things? How do I let The Lord lead me everyday in those things …specifically things we need answers for? This is one part I don’t understand. Give God control but then what? I don’t know what to read unless it’s a devotion that many times doesn’t pertain to what I’m waiting on. I want to understand. Do I keep praying about those things? How do I hear Gods guidance if I’m to seek Him for everything? And I’m hearing the enemy most of the time…not God. I pray. I read a lot. I seek. I knock. I ask.
    Can someone help me understand?
    Thank you!!!!
    PLM

    1. I forgot to ask for examples of what your (anyone) day looks like when you’re surrendered. How you find the guidance and His will. Thnx!!!

    2. May I recommend a program…..I hope it is ok, April. I listened to a program recently by revive our hearts that I believe is very helpful. It was a recent interview with Kim and Leroy Wagner. There testimony is so amazing. The husband is a pastor and they talk about their struggles early on in marriage and how they over came them. I think it would be helpful and give a wonderful perspective. I believe it is a 5 day interview and one of the days Mrs. Wagner discusses how to confront your husband about sin, respectfully. It’s a powerful interview.

      1. savedbygrace,

        Sure, you can share! I am hoping a number of wives might share. PLM and I have had a number of conversations about these issues. So, I think some other wives’ ideas might be super helpful. 🙂 Thank you!

    3. Hi PLM!

      Laying down EVERYTHING at the foot of Jesus’ Cross means putting:

      – all worries
      – all concerns
      – all fears
      – all failure
      – all hopes
      – all ambitions
      – all dreams

      at His Feet.

      It means letting go of control and of the desire to be independent of God.
      it means dying to self and killing all these fleshly desires or worldly desires that make ME the god of myself.
      It means letting God reign in every aspect of my life, so much so, that I hold everything and everyone loosely – even my loved ones and most especially my own self.
      It means trusting in God’s Provisions.
      It means resting in His Sovereignty and knowing with my mind and heart that HE IS IN CONTROL! 🙂

      What you do after putting EVERYTHING at the foot of Jesus’ Cross is to let go of all those. No worries, no fears. God will lead you. Ask the Spirit to guide you how to serve God and how to make your life fulfill the purpose that God had specifically designed for you at the beginning of time.

      It’s not easy to simply point out that God will lead you to do this and to do that, because each faith experience is unique and personal. Only you, PLM can discern what it is God wants YOU to do. None of us could do that for you. You must be still and willing to listen to the Lord in order to really know what it is He wants of you.

      Maybe this post of mine may help? 🙂 HOW DO I KNOW IF THIS IS GOD’S WILL FOR ME?

      http://peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com/2014/06/is-this-gods-will-for-me.html

      God bless you, sister in Christ.

      <3

      Nikka

  12. I wanted to share this with anyone like me who has a Alpha Male husband who can at times being overbearing and extreme. I am not criticizing him. His strong qualities are what I love about him, but in communicating it can be trying.

    When we are having a disagreement, he tends to talk loudly and talk over me, assuming he knows what I am going to say and not letting me speak. In the past, this just resulted in screaming matches and nothing resolved and intimacy lost. Not to mention he becomes extremely angry because he is being disrespected.

    I have tried the timer thing where we each get a chance to talk. Didn’t work. He could not allow me even a few seconds of my time. I know this is how he learned to communicate and it just needs to be unlearned.

    So what I have started doing is when we have a disagreement about something, I think of 2 to 3 sentences that I would like to say that gets my thoughts out respectfully. I start my sentence in a quiet calm voice and he interrupts about 5 words in. I listen to what he says and say sometime like I understand that you disagree with x. Here are my thoughts. And then I start my sentence the exact same way I did the first time calmly and quietly. I might get 6 words out this time and he starts loudly talking again. I listen and say I understand what you are saying. Here is what I would like to say. This may happen up to 10 times and NO I am not kidding. Finally, he will sigh and say OK Go ahead and say what you want to say. I do, adding that I am not saying you have to agree with me, I just wanted you to know how I feel and he usually leaves the area without another word and the rest of the day goes well.

    It has really worked great. It is not easy because I sound like a broken record and I have to make sure to keep my voice in the same calm, peaceful tone and not sound angry and not scream If you would just listen!! 🙂

    Just wanted to share for all those ladies out there with wonderful strong alpha male husbands who just have a hard time being quiet and listening. 🙂

    1. Daisymae,
      Thank you very much for sharing this! I think it will be very helpful to some other wives. And, I hope that maybe, in time, he will not talk loudly over you, but learn that you are going to be calm, so he might stay calm, too. Please keep us updated!

      I wonder for other wives with alpha male husbands – does it also work if you send a brief email? Maybe he can’t interrupt that way?

      1. I find notes or e-mails are perfect for praise, but have learned not to use them for disagreeing or anything that could be perceived as challenging. I think what DaisyMae is doing is really smart.

          1. April,

            If you don’t mind my expanding on the subject of e-mailing, your point of the possibility of misunderstandings is very important.

            If I may add, sometimes the very act of putting important things in writing can be viewed as disrespectful. It’s like, you don’t have enough respect to say it to his face and give him the opportunity to respond immediately.

            I recognize that not all husbands would feel this way, but it’s been my experience.

            On the flip side, I sent a short email to my husband years ago thanking him for working so hard. It felt like a little impulsive not much thought of act at the time…..He just recently told me he printed it up and carried it in his wallet for years…..It confirmed, among other things, that words put into writing carry more weight than words spoken sometimes…So we also need to be careful when writing or typing words that could be disagreeable. :^)

            1. Julie,
              This is so helpful. I do hope you might also allow me to share what you have learned – anonymously, of course!. And I LOVE how much that note meant to him that you gave him so long ago. PRECIOUS!!!!!!

              Savedbygrace,
              I would love to share some of what you have learned in these situations, as well, if that would be ok!

      2. I think you are right, April. I think him figuring out that I will be brief and respectful is a big key to him listening.

        For me, no, an email/text won’t work. I tried that several times and he won’t read them or if he does he starts texting back arguing. I think that him hearing my tone is important. It usually defuses the situation when he finally decides to listen.

        I know much of this is my fault because in the past I have gone on and on and been forceful in my opinion. But some of it has to do with his personality and how he has communicated all his life because he does it with almost anyone he disagrees with.

        1. Daisymae,

          I’m glad you shared this. I will be interested to know how things continue to change and transition as he begins to see that you are not going to argue, that you do respect him, that you are honoring and submitting to him… This is such an amazing journey! I love being on this road with you and all the other ladies!

          1. Daisymae,
            Oh! That is also such a good point. I think that some husbands SOUND so harsh – but they may not even realize it. They may also not realize how intimidating they look and how angry they look. They may think they are just having a conversation, but not realize their nonverbal body language and tone of voice and expressions.

            If only we could all see ourselves on camera when we are having these intense discussions to see how we come across to others!

    2. I have similar experiences in communicating with my command man husband too, Daisymae! I have always understood that good communication is supposed to be like passing a ball back and forth–each person taking turns adding to the full conversation as the ball is tossed to them. But, when I try to do this with my husband, it does not usually work. For me and my man, I find it best to just keep quiet and let him talk, talk, talk, not giving my input until he is all finished with what he wants to say. So, instead of passing the ball back and forth in a good rhythm, he takes his time dribbling the ball a good while before passing it to me to speak! 😉

      As a side note, in all honesty, I think the flaw is often in me–I tend to interrupt to inquire about details or clarify something he has said as he is speaking, and he sees that as disrespectful–which I can understand why. I suppose if I had specific things I wanted to communicate to someone, having them cut in and interrupt my train of thought with questions would be rude! 🙂

      It’s great to hear of other ladies’ experiences whose husbands have stronger personalities!

      -HisHelper

      1. HisHelper,
        Thank you so very much for sharing your experiences, too!

        I know many wives will be blessed!

        Maybe I could compile a post between some of the different wives’ takes on this issue and what is working in each marriage. What would y’all think? I want to get more resources and ideas out there for women who are married to men with very strong leadership/strong personalities and high drive.

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