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Wives Share What They Have Learned – Part 2

 

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Continuing to share what wives have been learning from our discussion about “I Just Want Him to Spend More Time with Me.” For part one, please click here. And for some husbands’ perspectives on this issue, please click here.

Thanks again to all the wives who shared. The more voices on this topic and the more constructive, respectful ideas, solutions and suggestions, the better, in my book. 🙂

WIFE #1

Consider this: spending quality time together is your unfilled need. He is likely a guy who falls more on the independent end of the spectrum, and he can get his needs met quite easily just by sitting at the dinner table with you, patiently listening to you tell him all about your day. “Nothing has changed” because he doesn’t have the hunger. His need is met. What on earth would drive him towards a need that’s already met?

Do you have ten slices of watermelon at a time or does one slice leave you feeling satisfied and happy? The basic premise of Peaceful Wife’s approach is to give our husbands enough distance so their hunger can get activated, and then make the interaction so pleasant that it’s the place a husband will go to, when he wants to get his need satisfied. But men are independent creatures. They won’t ever want us the way we want them. It’s, sadly, part of the curse: “and your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:17.

 

WIFE #2

There is just only so much we have control over. I think that sometimes we have good intentions and we try way too hard. I know I used to do that, and I have the tendency to try to slip back into that. I do not read marriage books that tell me what my husband should be doing for me anymore. Just how I can be a better wife, because that’s the only thing I have control over.

I found that in my trying to force counseling, reading books to my husband and trying so hard to “fix” everything – I was being counterproductive.

My husband thought that I didn’t like him or trust him and that I was trying to change him, and he didn’t want to do it.  I was bitter and angry that he wasn’t doing this or that (that I probably wouldn’t have cared about before reading he SHOULD be doing it ) while I was feeling superior because “I was at least trying to fix it.”

  • Honestly, what worked best for me was to let go of expectations, to focus solely on making me better, to relax and stop trying so hard, and to just pretend that there was nothing wrong in my marriage.

I know that might sound odd, or like I was ignoring the issues, but we had gotten in such a bad cycle of trying and trying and trying that it just needed to be broken. So I pretended to be ok with him being exactly as he was, surprisingly it didn’t take long before I started to really be ok with him exactly as he was, and as he saw me respecting him more he worked harder to please me. And we got into a new cycle, but a good one. The problems really did just disappear.

 

WIFE #3

We haven’t had a babysitter in years, my husband really doesn’t trust anyone with our children. So, getting time together is hard. We’ve started doing date nights at home, which really helps. Mostly just renting a movie and snuggling on the couch. We also took a couple of camping trips, and day fishing trips this summer. Instead of sitting and reading a book, I sit and play with the kids, jump for joy if he catches something, and keep entertained near him.

I’ve had to let the idea of date nights and time alone together go, as it was very much a trigger for bitterness for me.

Now that I feel free from that bitterness, and the expectation, I am able to enjoy the time we do have more. We do family things together, and spend time together after the children are asleep, a fire pit in the backyard is a great way to reconnect after children are in bed, or even when they are running around the yard. We love sitting out in the yard on our swing just being together and watching the kids play, and day dreaming together.

  • When I stopped pressuring him to spend more time with me he started to actively try to include me and the kids more.

WIFE #4

Yes, amen, April!! Sometimes I wonder if that is what the Lord was trying to teach me all along —That He desires to spend time with me!!! Such a good topic and so many helpful insights. That was my biggest issue when my husband and I first got married. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t want to spend time with such a wonderful person like myself.  🙂

The more I begged the more he pulled away.

I married a very controlling, take charge, kind of man and he was not about to let a young gal tell him how he was and was not going to spend his time.
It took years for me to figure this out—how many years, I am not sure.  We have been married 27 years now, and it has just been in the last few years that we have been able to communicate with one another and not walk away hurt and frustrated. He will now most always stop what he is doing and listen, and now if the timing is right and I ask, he will fix his schedule to fit me into it:) Yeah!!

MMMmm how did it change….
Many of the things have already been mentioned so I won’t repeat them, but one of the biggest things I will add that helped change my husband and I are the trials that we faced and the maturity that they brought.

I wanted things to come easy, but that was not how the Lord designed it for me!!! He had a lot of pruning to do in our lives and it was through the trials that my husband and I are where we are today. The Bible says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” James 1:2-4

I know that seems obvious, but I had to realize the Lord was on a mission and part of His mission was to conform us into the image of His Son.

I had to trust Him in this, and trust Him with my husband. This is the only way I could get through…to know that the end would be better than the beginning. I didn’t have to change my husband, God could do that and whatever process He took to get us to where He wanted us, I could trust in Him!! We went through many trials. I didn’t choose that road, God did. He knew what was best and marriage isn’t to make us happy it is to make us holy. He knew that my man would be the best one for me.

Another thing…
I was in that quiet phase for a long, long time. I was just too tired of trying, and begging and not seeing results. April had mentioned to encourage our husbands and to give them words of affirmation. She also mentioned it would seem strange at first, but over time it would get easier. She was right, when I first began it seemed so strange. I thought I was speaking a foreign language, but I persevered and I began encouraging him, lifting him up, letting him know he was the hero in my life.

A funny thing happened, he began to want to please me more and spend time with me. Now I can’t seem to find time to myself:) No seriously, when he finally realized I really liked him and accepted him, warts and all, he began to see he wasn’t such a bad guy after all and began living up to my expectations; which at that point I didn’t even have. I was done expecting things, and as April mentioned and others I began to be content with the things I had; especially my intimate relationship with the Lord.

 A FELLOW WIFE

This is the one area that still gives me a lot of trouble….. something I still greatly want and hope for. I do not know the answers and am looking forward to reading other comments in hopes there will be something helpful.

While I haven’t found the answer, these are a few things that have helped me:
1. As April said, remembering that my husband does not need ‘quality time’ to feel connected to me. I can be secure in the fact his love is always strong for me.
2. I stopped expecting it as much. While I do still hope for it sometimes, most of the time, I realize it is not likely to happen and I find something else to keep myself busy.
3. When I want to go out and my husband is not interested, I still go out- with a girlfriend or close family member. We enjoy a nice restaurant, a movie or shop- something my husband does not enjoy anyways.
4. I try to pray about it and accept that it is something that may not happen for many years or ever. I am really working hard on coming to terms with the fact that quality time may be something my husband is never interested in.
5. I remind myself his lack of interest in doing things together is not a reflection of his love for me.
6. I remind myself that Time is not his love language and he probably doesn’t understand how important this is to me.
7. Sometimes- on a very rare occasion- I will express to him that I would like to do something together. A lot of those rare times, he isn’t interested. I try to not be too disappointed.
8. He shows his love for me in so many more ways. He is a good provider, he is kind, he is affectionate, he is loving with his words, he will do almost anything I ask him to do as far as picking up something for me, he is a wonderful father, etc.

I really struggle with the fact that my husband has a lot of activities that he enjoys doing solo or with other guys…. I don’t mind at all that he enjoys hobbies- that is a GOOD thing, I know but I feel hurt that he has SO much interest in activities on his own but what seems to be little to no interest in doing things with me…and the things he does are not things I could join him in….

But his choice is just that, HIS choice. He is allowed to choose to not spend quality time with his wife…. sometimes I feel hurt that if we do some sort of activity, his attitude seems like he is completing a chore and not enjoying himself….

When those things get to me, I go back to the points 1-8. I have come a long way with this issue but haven’t reached a point of complete peace and look forward to reading other wives points of view to hopefully help me with that!

It is almost as if we NEED to give up all of these things we want and expect to NOT get them and then we find a place of acceptance in that THEN if our husband does do something loving toward us, it can be a BONUS- not something we require and expect…. because it is a BONUS, we are truly happy about it instead of expecting it as our ‘due’ then wanting more.

At least, that is where my thoughts are a lot and I try to keep them there!

37 thoughts on “Wives Share What They Have Learned – Part 2

  1. I followed this subject with interest because like most wives I too wanted to have more alone time with my husband and the harder I tried to facilitate this the more evasive he became. It appeared (and still does appear) as if he would rather be doing ANYTHING ELSE than being alone with me. The activities he chooses are things I cannot accompany him in and therefore spend much of my time alone at home while he is out.

    I struggled with this for a long time and cried many frustrated tears, until one day the Lord showed me (so clearly that I couldn’t believe I had missed it) that my husband’s behavior was actually in my best interest (although he was not aware of this)…because as much as my desire was towards my husband (Gen 3:16) if he had given me the time and attention I was craving, I would probably have ended up worshiping him and made him my idol. I had already placed him on a pedestal, so it wouldn’t have taken much for me to idolize him.

    However, since he did not give me the time and attention I craved, I turned instead to God and spent the time I had alone pressing into the Word and things of God. The more, I did this the more content I became with my life, marriage and circumstances. (This did not happen overnight, but gradually contentment replaced the resentment).

    I spent the time alone learning how to pray earnestly for my (illusive) husband (something I did not really want to do initially because I wanted to feel angry and neglected), our children (grown up and living their own lives), parents (aged with different needs and desires) and siblings (all struggling through their own families, lives and concerns). In a nut shell, I learned to look beyond myself to others. I learned how to record my prayers for my loved ones and friends in a journal and in doing so I was able to track the growth that occurred during this time. I learned to study and apply the things I had read and learned to my own life.

    The deeper I pressed into the things of God, the less I resented my husband’s absences and the more I realized that I actually looked forward to his time away from home. On the rare occasions when he was at home it felt almost like an intrusion into my special alone time with God.

    We still do not spend the quality (magical) time together that I always desired and for the most part we live together peacefully and comfortably. However, on occasion we will have “Wow Moments” where we connect on a different level and I have learned to be satisfied with these rare moments. We are one in the way God intended (probably a healthier one-ness than I had wanted). We have one another’s backs and are there for one another. He still holds my hand when we are together (although he does not speak /share much of what he is thinking). He is available to our kids, parents and siblings in times of trouble and need and is not afraid to work hard to assist other people.

    Through earnest prayer for him, I have seen him through God’s eyes and he is my man, whom I love and adore. Our relationship may not be the material required for a fairy tale, but I do believe we have “our happy ever after”…after all

    1. Ariete,

      Thank you so very much for sharing this!

      Now, I know that when I am feeling disappointment about not having something, it is a flag to me to check my motives and my heart and to turn to seek God more fully and with all my heart. If we use that longing to drive us to God – we will never be disappointed!

      I love how you describe your journey. That contentment eventually, over time, replaced resentment. So beautiful!

      I love your heart for Christ and that your marriage has been deepening and that you get to have some amazing “Wow Moments.” I also love that you are able to be content with what you have and who your husband is and that you are able to love and accept him without trying to change him now.

      I have a post that some of the ladies may find helpful about this concept called The Separation-Leads-to-Greater-Intimacy Paradox.”

      And, these posts also may be a help:

      Prayer Day – Jesus Is Our Greatest Treasure
      Praying for Your Husband So That God Will Hear

      Thank you for this encouragement for our sisters! 🙂
      Much love!

  2. Reblogged this on Peaceful Single Girl and commented:

    This post may be particularly helpful for ladies who are dating, or even who are just wanting to develop deeper friendships with godly men. You’ll also want to check out part one of this series, as well as hear from some husbands about this important issue of what women can do when they want their man to spend more time with them. This seems to be the number one issue married women want to try to work on. And, I have a feeling, that it may be a big issue in dating/courtship/engagement relationships, as well.

  3. I’m starting to think this push and pull between spouses concerning time together is the norm. Rather than think something is wrong with me or my marriage, it could mean it’s undergoing healthy growth that is common to marriage. One woman I know felt she never got enough attention from her spouse and eventually came to peace and contentment with the situation. Some years later when she married again, her new spouse wanted much more intimacy and she felt smothered! Interesting.

    1. Refined,
      Bingo! I think you are exactly right! I think this probably is quite a normal struggle. Possibly from the curse, as one commenter pointed out earlier.

      Interesting about the woman who remarried and then felt smothered. Isn’t that human nature? It is hard to please us! I am sure that this is similar to how two spouses almost never have the same libido at the same time, too. It definitely causes us to have to focus on sanctification, that is for sure! 🙂

      This is very helpful! Thanks so much, my sweet sister!

  4. I don’t know. I agree with everything these wives have said, but something nags at my in regards to my own marriage. Especially things like, going out with others when he refuses to take me out. My husband hasn’t taken me out since the first week in May. That was over 5 months ago. But he goes out with friends, takes the kids out, or attends family events. But when I do go out with friends to help me “get over” his lack of interest in spending time with me, he blames me- he’ll accuse me, very passively, that I don’t spend time with him at home. It’s a very sad, lonely, situation. He wants me home, sitting on the couch while he watches TV. But there is no conversation, no affection, no sex. Just silence. I just feel very worthless. And it doesn’t help that he told me a month ago that he doesn’t love me. Now, he’ll say “I love you” in passing, or when we’re hanging up with each other on the phone, but I just find it very hard to believe him.

    1. MHMC,

      My heart breaks for your pain, my precious sister! I know we have talked at length before – and that there are rather serious issues going on, it sounds like. 🙁 I am praying for God’s wisdom for you, for His healing, for Him to work in your husband’s heart and for His power, strength, courage, peace and joy as you walk through this time of trial.

      I pray you might seek out a godly counselor – because I think that you are going to need a bit of extra one-on-one help with this situation.

      I am SO VERY, VERY sorry for what you are going through. I wish I could hug your neck!

    2. Dear MHMC
      My heart hurts for you as I am all too familiar with the pain of a disinterested husband.
      I will pray that the Lord will sustain you and fill you with His love so that you are able to stand.
      You are of infinite worth to God and He loves you immensely dear sister!
      In Christ
      Tracy

  5. MHMC,

    I second April’s suggestion to get extra help but even this will take some discernment on your part. Counseling was tricky for us and in many ways harmful. Patience and wisdom will be required to find a counselor -first for yourself- who will help you continue moving forward on this journey in a healthy way. For me, Al-Anon was another resource I found helpful in reseting my focus and helping me to see what behaviors were unconventional but healthy for our situation and what behaviors absolutely needed changing. We had some issues with alcoholism in our families of origin that needed to be uprooted. This program is actually what helped me see my own need for personal work and lead me to the Peaceful Wife site. However, I even had to learn how to weigh what comes out of Al-Anon against scripture. Out of much confusion and hurt, the Holy Spirit led me step by step. I remember wishing my husband would want to be in the same room with me, choose family events over co-ed activities without me and even intermittently say “I love you”. Whatever peaceful, respectful response you’ve been able to muster inspite of what’s going on is at least keeping the door open for more positive change. That certainly says a lot about what God’s doing in and through you. Whatever extra steps you choose to consider, continue trusting in our Lord to comfort you and lead you through.

    1. I went to counseling for three years. When I talk to.my husband now about our issues, he says that is what ruined our marriage. My last session was 9 months ago, and she told me to have an “exit plan”. This was because my husband ha escalated to shoving me during an argument. He justified himself and never apologized. He still isnt sorry for the behavior, saying I pushed him to. that point. I quit counseling thinking that would bring peace, but his excuses continue. I admit to being angry, and at times controlling, but that is not typical. I feel ive been driven to desperation, and I’m slowly learning to give it all to God. I know that being impatient will not help me or my husband heal.

      1. MHMC,

        I have seen counseling destroy marriages. 🙁

        But I don’t like to hear that your husband has been shoving you. Do you believe you are safe at this point?

        I don’t think you can go wrong with trusting God, seeking Him with all your heart, desiring to please Him and to be the woman and wife He desires you to be. I pray for great sensitivity to God’s Spirit for you and for God to draw your husband to Himself. This may be a long, painful road. But I do know our God is able to bring something beautiful from it.

        Thank you for sharing with us! How can we pray for you today?

        1. You can pray for me for the pain. I am in physical pain constantly from stress. I had undergone a huge career change (if you remember, my husband had gone behind my back and taken my work key and made a copy for himself to gain access to a specific area of my work after hours. Because of this I lost my job). Now my husband acts angry because I’ve spent down our savings, I’m working two jobs six days a week while he works three days a week, he complains that I don’t clean the house, and says my weight is an issue. This was all brought to my attention after he said he doesn’t love me. I was at a point where I was starting to accept myself, and my body, as God made me, and now I am over self conscious again. I struggle with body image, and have my whole life,and this has just thrown me deeper into depression. Please pray that I can see myself the way God sees me, and that I step my personality as God made me. Pray that I do not rely on my husband feeling to define what is or is not acceptable about me. Pray also that I can be peaceful, loving and forgiving, regardless of his behavior. You can also pray for any temptation to remain far from me, and not drag me down due to my lack of self control. Having constant rejection can really open doors to sin, and i ask that you keep me in much prayer that God would protect me from self destruction. Thank you very much.

          1. MHMC,

            I do remember about how you lost your job. 🙁 Did he ever apologize about what he did? Does he acknowledge his responsibility in that?

            What would happen if you quit one job? Would he be willing to consider that so that you can focus more on taking care of yourself and being at home more? I am so very sorry to hear how painful things are – and how difficult the issue of weight is. 🙁 That would be SO very hard. Especially when you are working so much and you want to be the best wife you can be.

            I absolutely will pray for the pain and your health and for you to depend on Jesus alone for your source of approval, identity, love, acceptance, peace, strength, purpose and joy. And I pray for you to abide closely to Christ so that He can empower you to avoid or stand up under any temptation.

            Sending you another huge hug!

          2. Working two jobs is by choice, mostly because He does not support me financially, and has reduced his hours at work. We have bills and banking separate, so this put more burden on me to come up with funds to pay for our bills. It’s made even harder since I’ve relied on our joint savings to support me through the last 9 months. He has implied more than once that I’m expected to pay back what I have “borrowed”from the account. He also tells me that I did not try hard enough to get licensed for a previous job offer- which would have been higher pay and longer hours. I thank God I did not get that job, but I don’t tell him that. And I tried my hardest to pass the exams, it was just too difficult. (Not to mention all the stress I was under, makin it harder to study.) He does not apologize from the heart. He carries an attitude, and when I finally confront him on his refusal to take responsibility for his actions, he spews back a hateful “Sorry!”, which just means nothing to me. His mother continually tells me how precious and perfect he his, and its becoming a problem-especially since he expects me to gush over him the same way she does. He has not separated from his parents biblically and often puts his mother before me. I though I was marrying a Christian man almost 15 years ago. But he has Changed so much. I don’t know anymore what he believes or where he is with God. And now he won’t talk to me about anything more than superficial things. It’s becoming more and more lonely. Prayer is definitely needed here.

    2. Refined,

      Yes, I completely agree that choosing a counselor wisely will be extremely important!

      And THANK YOU for sharing your story with MHMC. Thank you for your love, encouragement and the wisdom you have gleaned on this journey. You are such a blessing!

    3. Refined – I echo your caution on choosing a counselor. When my husband said he wanted out of our marriage, but would stay while I “got help and fixed myself”, I looked for a counselor that specialized in family issues and someone who had a base of Christian faith. He told me that he had helped many relationships that were in the same place. I felt safe opening up and sharing with him. He had some suggestions that seemed very good and practical…..except every single one of his suggestions backfired. My husband refused to go with me, but went solo once to explain his side of things and his frustrations. I went twice a week for six months and I noticed that my husband would get extremely touchy and easily agitated on my therapy nights. I would try one of my therapist’s suggestions and my husband would blow up and tell me that I was not a psychologist and I was not going to control him with my “cult techniques” that I learned from my therapist. I would relay this to my therapist and he would get very angry with my husband. He then started to blame my husband for all that was wrong in the relationship. He would bash my husband and call him derogatory names in our sessions. He kept telling me that I deserved better. That became the theme of our sessions. He would tell me how wonderful I was and how I was doing all the work in this relationship and that I was probably always going to have to do that. He would compare his marriage to mine and tell me how respectful and kind and loving he was to his wife in the same situations I was facing with my husband. He told me that’s how “normal”, healthy couples are and that I was never going to have that with my husband. The last few sessions became all about him pressuring me to leave my husband. He told me that if I stayed with my husband, I was dooming myself to an unhappy, unfulfilled existence and that I was selling myself short if I stayed and put up with it.

      Notice a theme? Every session was all about feeding the monster of SELF….the very thing that had brought my relationship to the breaking point. :-/

      I left the last session in tears. He had told me there was no hope. That I was doing everything right, but my husband was a lost cause. I called my mom and she joined me in prayer. It’s too long to go into, but she did some spiritual warfare on my behalf and my eyes were opened to what had been going on in those sessions and why it was having the opposite effect…..because my SELF could not die while it was still being fed so heartily.

      I shared the experience with two close friends, who have been my prayer champions and encouragers along this journey. They told me that they both (independent of each other) felt strongly in their spirits that I should not go back to this counselor. My mom confirmed it when she said God had spoken the same thing to her. I never went back…..and I was afraid to tell my husband, because he was only going to stay while I “got help”….but he was relieved. I had to give it all to God and trust Him to show me what I needed to change. I started listening to sermons on my way to and from work…..praying with my mom or my friends when I wasn’t doing that…..and slowly, God began to reveal the problems and sins that were inside me. There were a TON of them. As I gave those things to God, He would start to heal them. Some of the things were healed almost instantly…..some took longer…..some are still in the process of being healed. As God heals those ugly things inside of me, I am noticing a healing in my marriage and I thank God every day for this. He has done SO MUCH healing. There is still A LOT of healing that needs to happen. The process of God bringing things to the surface to be healed is very painful, but it is worth it.

      Sorry for the long story, but I am very passionate about this. Counselors are trained a certain way. I do believe they can be helpful in many different circumstances and situations. If the problem is a spiritual/sin issue, they will often make things worse because of they way they are trained. I would encourage everyone to get a spiritual mentor and and check what the counselor tells you with God’s word. God will speak to you in you earnestly seek Him. He may tell you to do things that don’t make logical sense, but they will be exactly what you needed to do for healing. God sees the whole picture….the past, the present, the future. He made us and our spouses. He knows the deep hurts, the buried fears, the reasons we do the things that hurt the ones we love. Always, always pray about what your counselor tells you and make sure it is supported by what God says in His word.

      1. NW Girl,

        Goodness! This is so upsetting!

        I hope you might consider allowing me to anonymously share your story. I definitely want to earn women to be very, very cautious about who they go to for counseling.

        A counselor, or mentor, should, in my view, be pointing a wife to Christ and His Word, helping her focus on her obedience to God and helping her evaluate her own life for sin. If a counselor is pushing for divorce, or is saying a wife will be unhappy and unfulfilled if she honors her marriage covenant before God, that is a big red flag! Our ultimate purpose as believers is to bring glory to God and to obey Him, not to be “happy.” Of course, as we abide in Him, we will experience His healing, peace and joy beyond all measure. But happiness is one of the biggest idols in our culture. We do not make decisions based on our current level of happiness or trying to achieve happiness, but we should be making decisions based on God’s Word and what will honor and please him.

        Praise God you didn’t stay with that therapist!!!

        Thank you so much for sharing your story! I have heard many similar stories, as well, unfortunately. 🙁

        1. April, I would be honored if anything I have shared can be helpful to someone else. Please use whatever you want to.

          I SO agree with you about the idol of happiness. I bought the lie and worshiped it for so long, never bothering to notice how the more I pursued happiness, the harder it was to attain. I find it is much easier to simply be content with what God has given you and where He has placed you…..to find and celebrate His goodness and blessings every single day. As I practice contentment, I experience happiness. Isn’t that interesting? I spent so many years chasing happiness, instead of being content, I failed to enjoy the blessings God had given me and missed out on so much. I know for a fact, it was this attitude that led to the breakup of my first marriage. Make no mistake……seeking your own happiness will eventually hurt everyone around you. My heart breaks for the hurt I caused my daughter and first husband, but I know that He is changing me and I trust Him with that process and the healing He is bringing to all I have hurt in the past.

          I was just talking with one of my friends yesterday about the idol of self. It’s so easy to slip into that mode of worshiping self and doing whatever self tells us will make us happy. My theory is that it’s a natural human, survival mechanism…..maybe something that we’ve been stuck with since we we tossed out of the garden of Eden and had to fend for ourselves in a rough world? Even then, in God’s infinite grace and love, He is there for us…..He fights the battles for us when we can’t do it. All He wants is for us to give it to Him and let Him do it. I think sometimes, He allows difficult situations in our lives so we will give up and give it to Him. That’s how he strengthens our faith.

          1. NW Girl,
            Ooh! THIS IS SO GOOD!!!!! I may want to share this, too!

            Yes, our sinful nature is all about self and self-pleasing, pleasure, momentary happiness, what feels good at the time, etc… Absolutely. We are all stuck with that – which is why it is so important that we allow our sinful nature to be crucified in Christ and die to self. That monster is good for nothing else. Then God can give us a new heart, mind and spirit and make us completely new. 🙂

            Yes, sometimes He does things to get our attention, that is for sure. I pray that we might all trust Him and seek Him with all our hearts – that is the best life there can be – with all the peace, joy, contentment, fulfillment, love, acceptance, purpose and spiritual abundance we can imagine!

            Much love!
            April

  6. Hi everyone
    I am in a long-distance marriage due to my studies.Got married 10 months back.My now-husband used to call me actively when he was ‘wooing’ me.The calls subsided to a great extent once our marriage got fixed.Now,I feel like talking to him but he doesn’t bother much about calls.N nor does he pick up my calls. Every time I ask him about this,it ends badly either in a fight (where he never accepts the facts ) or in me ending up in tears.I am really at cross-roads how to make this work.I still have 8-9 months more of this long-distance stuff.I think I deserve some more affection n attention from him,more so since we are newly into marriage.How can a man change so much or why did he have to be so pretentious before when he was making me fall for him by being all sweet!!! I feel betrayed.

    1. Lonely,
      Oh goodness! How heartbreaking! 🙁

      How do you approach the subject? What do you usually say?
      What does he say when you try to talk with him?
      Is he under a tremendous amount of stress with his own job right now?

      How often do you see each other? How do things go then?

      Praying for wisdom for you, our precious friend!

  7. I have a quick question- What do you do in a situation where something happened a while ago or long time ago, caused a fight between the 2 of you, made you very angry, bitter, etc, but can see now that your disrespect came into play there and you think you have forgiven your husband and you have put it out of your mind but it comes up later on, even years later, and the same feelings resurface bringing back hurt and pain. Like for instance, husband caught texting another woman (an acquaintance/friend from childhood) and she text him first and had his number from when you two weren’t together but he didnt blow her off or ignore her, he actually was saying hello back, saying he was having a bad day at work, etc. you find out, mad, hurt, argument. its over now- now months and months later you 2 run into said person at the store! and since she was a friend from long ago your husband hugs her and says hello, b/c he hugs everyone and she initiated it anyhow. awkward moment for sure. but its like when you dont do things right or you lie or something bad and there they are years later coming out, and feelings resurface! so frustrating! your not supposed to be disrespectful to him, bash him, get angry with him, etc, but its soooo hard when the issue popped up again and wham its in your face. so much for forgetting it!

    1. Hi Shana,

      I am praying for you now. I know exactly what you are feeling. The enemy loves to bring past offenses back….push those old buttons…..and then watch as we self destruct. A few years ago, I saw a conversation my husband was having on facebook with an old girlfriend. She said “I love you” and he said ‘love you too”. I was crushed and my belief that he and I were these perfect soulmates that were so in love we would never be interested in anyone else (silly, I know)….was shattered. He apologized and unfriended her…..but I held on to that offense in my heart…..and it grew into this huge tree of distrust. Every time I would see he was on Facebook, I would stress and fell sick with worry about who he might be conversing with. Something I heard in a sermon very recently helped me……maybe it will help you, too. It was the parable of the servant who had a great debt to his master. His master forgave the debt. The servant then turned around and went after another servant who owed him a tiny debt. I look at it this way……God has forgiven me of SO MUCH, I can never repay the debt. Who am I to hold on to offenses after someone has asked to be forgiven and taken steps to remove the offense? God gives me a clean slate very day. I owe that same courtesy/blessing to those I love. Most of what we worry about never happens, so worry is a way to torture yourself unnecessarily. IF what you worried about comes to pass, you will have suffered it TWICE. 🙁 Having said that, I have seen God use honest, respectful conversations that I have had with my husband. Please pray and seek God’s leading in this. See if He wants you to bring up the hurt/anxiety this causes you. Ask Him to give you the rights words and timing (trust me….this is CRUCIAL). Praying for you!

    2. Shana,

      Would you tell me a bit about your relationship with Christ, please? 🙂

      Anger isn’t necessarily sin. Seeing your man hug an old friend could definitely trigger concerns for a wife. That is understandable. The question is, what do you do with those concerns and the negative volcano of emotions that suddenly comes bubbling up?

      Do you believe you can trust your husband?

      Is this an actual problem right now, is he flirting with this girl now?

      I am sure you shared that it hurt you that he was texting with this girl. What was his response? Is he still contacting her or responding to her?

      Do y’all have a mutual agreement about boundaries to protect your marriage? If so, what are they?

      What is your husband’s relationship with Christ?

      Much love to you!!!
      April

  8. Hi April- yes I am a believer. I do actively pray, read my bible, go to church, etc.

    Well what I do with them….usually is let my husband have it! Verbally. Something I am currently working on and do recognize. I do believe I can trust him- not to cheat. I do see, however, at times when I have been disrespectful to him over a period of time, how he can end up “talking” to someone innocently. When I found this out it was during an argument over a few days that we were having and this is when she popped up and text. How convenient Satan! It was innocent, I saw the texts. This person was asking for his sisters number as well to call. as she knows them all. This girl is NOT my husbands type, is married, has kids and is more of a “redneck/biker looking” chic and my husband is NOT into that. I was not hurt over who it was, I was hurt he would open up and say he was having a bad day. His bad day was b/c of stress at work at the time and us arguing over days. SO after this happened i was like uh oh- b/c i see how if im over here disrespecting him, even in an argument (name calling, yelling, badgering), then that leaves the door open for someone else to “appear” very appealing, etc. I felt bad my husband felt he couldn’t come talk to me. I thought i got over it and then we run into her months later. Just so you know my husband hugs everyone- even guys. Just was raised that way. He does it in front of me, he hugs my family, etc. He did introduce me right away when she came up and hugged him b/c I was standing off to the side and she could not see me with me when she first came up. It just brought back such emotion and I got so mad again. I did NOT go off with name calling, yelling, or anything. I did go on about it probably longer than I should have though.
    My husband said he wouldnt talk to her anymore and he did delete her number. He did apologize more than once. He never flirted with her. She asked how he was doing and he said “well things arent going too great right now”. and that was it. she said she was sorry to hear that and here for him to talk. but he never called her, she never called him and he never text anymore. I was in his phone for something and happened to see this all so he didnt have time to delete anything.
    But this is what I mean- something happens a while ago that maybe wasn’t the best judgement on your husbands part, you all argue over, get over it, and wham then you run into the girl months later. I did not know who she was when I saw her, and my husband runs into people a lot. guys and girls but mostly men. My husband is very outgoing and socializes with people. When he said her name and introduced us I realized who she was. I was not rude but was not super friendly either. I smiled at first and then when I realized and she said “nice meeting you” i just was like “you too” but i wasnt super sincere or friendly about it. Satan just does this to stir stuff up it seems but it brings back all this old emotion! You cant keep beating him up for something so I’m not sure how a situation should be handled like that. like what if we run into her again???? whats appropriate way to act?! to him and to her?
    Yes my husband is a believer , we go to church every week together but he is not currently in a solid , deep relationship with the Lord. in my opinion. He does not act like a Godly, Christian husband basing his decisions off the Word, etc. At least I do not see it.
    we do not have mutual boundaries although i have talked to him about this before. like after we ran into her. i was saying how that 1 time texting like that leaves the door open and he sets the stage for what is acceptable from her to begin with, not her. i wouldn’t know how to bring that up or have a true conversation about that, where it wasnt coming from an argument or place of hurt from me.

    1. Shana,

      So, how disrespectful have you been, would you say?

      I would like for you to read the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect – all the ones about those topics – and the ones about biblical submission.

      I am really glad that you are working on your disrespect and hurtful words. Obviously, you verbally beating him is only going to repel him and is not going to endear you to him or draw him toward you.

      Do you have a really controlling woman in your life? A mom, mother-in-law, boss or sister? Tell me about how you feel when you have to deal with her and when she is impossible to please, negative, critical constantly, you feel you can’t do anything right, she jumps on you about every little thing, even when you had good intentions…

      It seems to me like your husband handled this situation in a VERY godly way. WOOHOO! It sounds like you have an amazing man there. In fact, I can’t imagine that any husband could have handled a situation in a more honorable way than the way your husband did. He did not flirt with her. He did not respond to her. He apologized more than once to you. He deleted her number.
      Wow.

      I sure hope you thanked him for being such a man of integrity! And guess what? I have a feeling, that you could have respectfully approached him with your concern in a soft, gentle voice – mentioning it only once – and I bet he would have done the same thing. AND, you wouldn’t have repelled him and sinned against him.

      What do you respect about your husband? What are his strengths?

      Your husband has not cheated on you or even flirted with this woman. This woman has not really done anything super wrong. Yes, she is pushing the envelope a bit. But, from what I can tell – your husband and this woman have not sinned against you yet.

      Let’s take a look at your heart – have you engaged in sinful thoughts, words or behavior over this situation?

      And – who are you responsible for? Whose sin are you accountable to God for?

      How controlling are you?

      Do you try to lead and usurp your husband’s position as the spiritual leader in the marriage?

      Please check out:

      My Husband Is Not a Good Enough Spiritual Leader
      Ways Husbands Lead That Wives May Not Notice
      How to Respect My Husband Around Extended Family and in Public
      From Clark Kent to Superman

      What are you doing to support and encourage and endorse your husband’s God-given leadership?

      What are you doing to bless him spiritually?

      What are you doing to live out I Ephesians 5:22-33 (your part)

      What ways do you show respect to your husband?

      How respected does he feel by you?

      How safe does he feel with you?

      Are you hindering his spiritual growth by playing Holy Spirit and trying to force him to go closer to God?

      Are you doing a lot of talking, lecturing, scolding, blaming, bossing, etc… about spiritual things to him?

      Are you going to the church he feels is best?

      Much love to you!

  9. Thank u for this post. I am so wife #2. I’m in crazy cycle trying to fix fix fix. I just started to leave him alone this week. One week! Terrible cycle. Please pray that I break this cycle. I know I will get hurt but I need to bring those to God and not hubby. I hope this pretending gets easier. I do see this may work as my husband feels I’m not happy with him. I need to just enjoy him thank u again and praise god for this blog

    1. Carla,

      I did the crazy trying to fix/control/change my husband thing for over 14 years. 🙁 Not good. That only drove him far away from me.

      This does become a terrible cycle – the Crazy Cycle is exactly what Dr. Emerson Eggerichs describes in his book, Love and Respect, when a wife feels unloved and responds without respect and then the husband feels disrespected and responds without love and it just spins and spins.

      It may feel like pretending at first. I don’t think of it as pretending – although, I think it is wonderful to hear many different wives’ stories. The more we hear, the better, in my view! To me, it was a matter of recognizing my own sin and stopping that. At first, I was in the Frustrating Quiet Phase for a few months. This was the time when I knew that almost every word out of my mouth was sin, but I didn’t know what respect was yet or how to use my words to bless. So, for awhile, the best I could do was be rather quiet, taking a lot of time before I allowed myself to say anything so that I could evaluate it for sinful motives or content.

      Interestingly, as I focused on me and my sin and my walk with God – God began to fill me up. I became much less needy because I began to trust God and put Him in the proper place. So, I began to be able to be content no matter whether Greg was giving me a lot of attention or not. It took him about 3.5 years into this process to really feel safe with me again. Of course, it took me over 2 years to feel like I even understood what respect and biblical submission were. It was a painfully slow process!

      Focusing on being content in Christ is very helpful. You might like the post this week on the idol of happiness.

      And focusing on not controlling your husband, but just enjoying him is a really great idea! I vote to rest in his love for you and especially to rest in God’s love for you.

      Ultimately, what we are shooting for is not pretending or acting – although it can kind of feel that way at first. I describe the beginning of this journey as feeling like learning a new language – a very different language. It took a long time for me to be “fluent.” But, eventually, God completely renovates our hearts, souls and minds as we trust Him and yield fully to Him, and He completely changes our way of thinking, our priorities, our understanding, our motivations, etc… He gives us new spirits. It is painful to allow Him to remove all the sinful, icky, worldly stuff at first. But then, there is so much peace, joy and satisfaction when His Spirit floods your soul and you begin to think with the mind of Christ and see with His eyes and love with His love. It is so worth it!

      Much love to you!

  10. Thank u for the encouragement April. Today went well I find myself letting go of expectations … Not pretending but enjoying him:). Thank you Jesus–change me…

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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