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A Beautiful, Feminine, Godly Example of How to Handle Conflict

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:

I will be taking a break from the blog this Wednesday through this coming Sunday while my children are out of school. I’ll miss y’all! But I hope to check back in next week. 🙂

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A wife allowed me to share her comments from “Godly Femininity – Part 1.”  Thank you, my sweet sister!!!! Please note, this was a situation where a husband did not purposely try to hurt his wife. 

READER:

So humbling…… Yesterday, I did so poorly with my dear husband. We got into a bad argument and the fruit of the Spirit  (Galatians 5:22-23) was not what flowed from my heart or ultimately from my lips. Sometimes I marvel at how awful my heart can be when I’m not following hard after Christ. Wretched sinner. Will you please pray that I make things right with my husband today? Arguments like the one we had yesterday don’t happen often anymore, thankfully. But I’m still not sure how I could have handled it better so I don’t repeat the same scenario.

If you’re hurt by your husband and still trying to work it out in your head because you know he didn’t do it purposely, what is a better way to handle this?

We were in the car pulling into church and I was quiet because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, then he pretty much insisted on knowing what was wrong. If you know there is no way to say it without him getting hurt or offended what do you do? The only thing I can come up with is if I’m walking so close to the Lord 100 percent of the time, I will just never be bothered by things my husband does. But that sound like it leaves any room for being human.

I do know that when the argument escalated after church that the more I tried to explain my perspective the more he just felt like a bad husband. That wasn’t at all what I meant to communicate.

If we are struggling with hurt and the timing is bad to discuss it, what’s the best response? If I would have suggested talking after church instead, he would have been angry.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

  • It’s ok to be hurt.
  • It’s ok to say that you are hurt. Sinners hurt people sometimes. It’s ok to say you are sad or in pain.
  • It’s ok to say that you need a bit of time to process things.
  • It’s ok to say, “I need to pray about this before I talk about it – to be sure I approach it in a loving, gentle, respectful way.”

Sometimes, our husbands will get upset. That is not necessarily our responsibility – I hope that makes sense. If they sin against us and it hurts us, it’s ok for them to hear that we are hurt and for them to be upset that we are hurt. Hopefully, they will then repent. That is the goal!

  • But we don’t have to label them as “bad” or throw them under the bus, especially in those times when the hurt wasn’t malicious or done intentionally.
  • We don’t have to make them out to be total villains.
  • We can show them that we know their intentions were good and that we still have faith in them.

When a husband sins unintentionally or hurts us without malice, we might say something like:

“I know your heart and that you don’t ever want to hurt me. I know you probably didn’t mean for X to hurt me at all. But – X did hurt and I feel sad about it. I’m going to be ok. I’m not going to hold this against you. I think you are a fantastic husband. But I do feel hurt by this. Thanks for caring and asking me to share. Just the fact that you wanted to know what was wrong and want to try to fix things makes me feel so much better.”

Sometimes men will internalize anything where we feel hurt to mean they are “failures.” That is not true, and it is not usually what we are trying to say. Our husbands have growing to do, too. They are not going to be perfect, just like we are not going to be perfect. We can work on our end and we can pray about how to approach things and seek to honor God. And we can ask God to work in our husbands, too – for His glory.

Husbands tend to get upset when their wives aren’t happy. They tend to think that if we aren’t happy, they are “not good enough” as men and husbands.  I personally don’t want my husband to measure his success as a man by my feelings! My feelings are not always completely dependable. I want him to care about my feelings. But I don’t want my feelings to have the final say every moment of my husband’s life about his worth. My prayer is that husbands and wives will seek to please Christ primarily and seek His approval, finding our worth in Christ alone! And I pray that we will all be able to take responsibility if we do accidentally hurt our spouse and seek to move toward each other and reconciliation.

Much love to you!

READER:

Dear Sweet April,
Can I hug your neck a while while I cry? You are so kind and gentle in your responses. I so appreciate you!

I think what you said is enough for me to go on. Very helpful and validating.

  • That last part about men feeling like failures when their wives aren’t happy–so true, and sort of sad, really. But on the flip side, when I am super happy, he just beams. (Sigh. Such a heavy responsibility to have that impact on another person.)

READER LATER:

I had left him a note of apology this morning but he still seemed very annoyed with me when he left the house. Thus, my comments….

Well, he just got home and presented me with a peace offering – cheesecake! :^)

  • I thanked him with a hug and told him when I feel hurt, it doesn’t mean he’s a bad husband. And also, that I know he’d never purposely hurt me and I know he has a good heart….He had such a tender sweet expression when I said those things.

Any ladies reading this who are really struggling in your marriages, please know that in my 21 years of marriage, most of those years were really hard and it was a painful, long road before arguments became not the norm for us. I’m so glad we didn’t give up back then. Even when we have misunderstandings now, they are gotten over so much quicker. Hang in there Ladies, and keep seeking God’s wisdom.

Praying for you all. xx

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

Aw! What a wonderful answer to our prayers!

(Ladies, what this wife said was BEAUTIFUL!!!  I can tell she was listening to God’s Spirit when she decided what to say. That is the most important thing – not my specific example.)

  • I am proud of you for leaving him alone during the day and giving him time to process. Some men, like my husband, need some time to think through things and access their feelings and work through emotions on their own for awhile.
  • I also love that you recognized that the cheesecake was his way of apologizing, an olive branch. Sometimes men apologize in gestures of good will rather than words, and sometimes women can miss this! We as women often think words are a more powerful apology, but some men tend to feel that “words are cheap” and that actions are a lot more meaningful. So, bravo for recognizing his heart.
  • And I LOVE LOVE LOVE what you said to him. That was glorious. I appreciate you sharing his response to your words. Such a precious moment. This is how you build a strong marriage and how next time, things will get easier because he will remember that you didn’t castrate him and that you trust his heart and appreciate him.

Wow.

Thank you for sharing what God has done and how He prompted you to respond. This is beautiful!!

READER:

You doubled my joy with your feedback! I almost didn’t share how things ended for fear it might hurt another woman whose battles in marriage don’t fix up so well yet.

As I thought about my husband’s expression a little longer, I think he really needed to hear those words you suggested. I think they felt healing to him. I should tatoo them on my arm for future reference. But seriously, I think I need to start journaling these things that help because I forget so easily.

 

SHARE:

I would love to hear some examples of ways God has inspired you to handle conflict that honored your husband and increased intimacy in your marriage! If you have godly examples to share (things God did through you or another wife you know), I may be able to use your story in a future post. 🙂

 

RESOURCES:

When My Spouse Is Wrong

Confronting Your Husband about His Sin

Does Being a Biblically Submissive Wife Mean  I Can’t Say How I Feel and What I Need?

God Strengthens and Empowers  a Wife to Stand Firm in the Face of Her Husband’s Sin

My Husband Wants to Go Where?

Responding As a Godly Wife

Understanding a Passive Husband’s Mindset

A Wife Responds Beautifully to Her Husband’s Bad Mood

Grace Filled Marriage by Dr. Tim Keller

51 thoughts on “A Beautiful, Feminine, Godly Example of How to Handle Conflict

  1. Thanks for sharing this April!….it is a blessing and encouraging!….I had a similar experience over a week ago and because of all the wisdom I’ve gained from all the knowledge and Godly instructions you share based on His word….it was so much easier for me to see how my husbands response was greatly due to me response and reaction to one given situation. I’ve come to realize more and more how great a responsibility we have as wives for building our homes and striving for peace. I read the scripture the other day that said…”SEEK PEACE AND PURSUE IT”… That is powerful….another great scripture I love…”

    “Does anyone want to live a life
    that is long and prosperous?
    Then keep your tongue from evil
    and your lips from speaking guile!
    Turn away from evil and do good.
    Search for peace, and work to maintain it.”
    Psalm 34:12-14

    Our husbands are greatly affected by our responses, and even our words may not be disrespectful, our actions and facial expressions, even our secret thought toward them in their absence…..can be quite disrespectful!….without us even knowing it. I catch myself quite often now when I think a thought that is not of good will toward my husband, I would feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit guiding my heart to pull down that thought….and then I express out loud…sometimes with..”Lord I thank you for my husband, I thank you for giving him the strength to lead this family, I thank you for blessing him and for the blessing he is to us. I ask that I be the wife God wants me to be, to encourage and support him….so as to please God.”
    It is ultimately about our relationship with God… and when we fail to submit to and respect the God given authority in our lives, we also fail to submit and respect God our creator. Sin is sin…and our words hurt others….even more importantly when we have children….the temperature and atmosphere we set as wives in our homes also hurt our children….and I think that is the most hurtful thing…kids are innocent!

    Arguments are not of God…we grow up hearing “All healthy relationships have fights and arguments”… But I’ve realized more and more…we don’t have to when we do it God’s way…seeking God’s wisdom in our response to our husbands is key….listening to the Holy Spirit about when to speak and when not to speak… I also love the scripture that says….”LET NO CORRUPT COMMUNICATION COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH, BUT THAT WHICH IS GOOD AND EDIFYING…THAT IT MAY BRING GRACE TO THE HEARER”… What words of wisdom and guidance to live by!!
    I have not yet read your posts on Godly feminity ….will do so tomorrow…and looking foward to what I would learn too. How this wife responded was beautiful…and I’m glad she shared her experience.
    Thank you so much April for sahring your heart and wisdom with us women. Don’t ever think I praise you too much…I know all glory goes to God…but God does say give honor to whom honor is due….I’m thankful to God for you…your reward is great in heaven.
    Love you ladies.

    1. Princess,
      I love this! Thank you very much for sharing what God is showing you.

      When we have God’s wisdom – heavenly wisdom – it leads us to desire peace with others and peace with God. We have a tremendous responsibility as wives to use our power for good, to build up our husbands and children instead of tearing them down (Prov. 14:1). I don’t think most of us realize just how great our influence is over the emotional and spiritual “thermostat” in our homes.

      We are studying James on Sunday nights and Psalm 34 goes along with that beautifully! James boldly states that if someone is in Christ, he/she will have control over his/her speech. And that if our “religion” doesn’t cause us to have self-control over our words, it is worthless. Yikes!

      God commands believers not to complain or argue:

      Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[c] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. Philippians 2:14-16

      And God is very concerned with our speech. The last part of Ephesians 4 is all about our attitude and speech with one another – what a powerful passage:

      Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:29-32

      THANK YOU for sharing what you say when you realize you thought are not right. That is beautiful!

      Yes, all glory goes to God! I can’t wait to see all that God has in store for you, my precious sister! You are such a blessing!

  2. April,

    Too many of our arguments in past years began with me making an “I feel” statement like, “When you said such-n-such I felt….” (hurt, disappointed, etc., depending on how I felt). Self help books advise this non- threatening way of gently making your feelings known.

    However, this was never received well in our marriage, that I can recall. His responses seemed so incommensurate (largely out of proportion) to my gently saying something about my feelings. His mind filters it as saying he has failed me, that he’s a massive screw up as a husband. I think he focuses on my emotion being his responsibility and he’s very success driven. It used to just leave me amazed. You’ve brought new clarity for me. Thank you!

    I’m praying that in another situation where he is insistent on knowing why I’m reserved or quiet, that I begin with your advice, acknowledging he has a good heart and is a great husband…..I suspect the good news first may make a huge difference, because just speaking gently is not enough if he’s already annoyed by my quiet as I work things through.

    1. Julie,

      I am excited to see how this new approach may help. I think it helps to show that you trust him and are giving him the benefit of the doubt, that you know his heart is good toward you – AND it lets you share your feelings in an honest, respectful way. In my book, that is a win/win! My experience with many wives is that this approach often increases intimacy and greatly reduces severity and frequency of conflict because it helps to prevent misunderstandings.

      Praying for wisdom for you!

    2. April,

      When you’ve mentioned that it would have helped earlier in you marriage if Greg would have told you how your disrespect made him feel…I relate that to what I’ve just described. If my husband had clearly articulated how my “I feel” phrases felt like attacks on himself as a husband as a whole, that would have been such a help. Many men just don’t talk about emotional stuff in the same way we kadies do.

      Here’s an illustration of my point…..I have a gentle, kind male relative who is very easy to talk with. I asked him once why it is so dreaded by so many men to talk to their wives about emotional things going on in the marriage. It’s like the words, “Can we talk?” fills them with terror. His answer shocked me as he related it this way.

      He said, “Julie, how would you feel if your husband said…..’Darling, can we go out to the garage and take apart the engine of my car piece-by-piece and then put it all back together again today?'”

      “That,” he said, ” is how many of us men feel when our wives want to disect and discuss the issues in our marriage. Our brains have to work really hard to do it, so we just don’t enjoy it.”

      1. It helps me extent some compassionate understanding.

        You and I were simutaneously commenting again….Thank you for your prayers and encouragement. I’m pretty stoke at the things God is teaching me. I sometimes feel grateful for the struggling involved in making a good marriage because when things start to fall in place it’s so much more enjoyed and appreciated. In a strange way, I sometimes feel a little sorry for the wives I once envied for their seemingly easy marriages. I regret the sins involved in the years of pain, but my husband and I feel so grateful for the joy we experience now and it’s heightened by the fact it didn’t come easy. Maybe I’m weird to think like that…..

        1. Julie,

          We all, as humans, appreciate things that take hard work to achieve. We don’t tend to value things that come easily. I don’t think it’s weird at all. When you didn’t have a strong marriage and things were difficult and painful for many years, you absolutely appreciate it when things go well much more than you would have if things were always easy.

          Much love!
          April

        2. Those “easy marriages” also can be marriages where alot of issues are swept under the rug instead of struggled through for a deeper understanding. It can be a marriage where feelings are stuffed for the sake of avoiding outward conflict. The conflict is still there (there is always some level of conflict when you have two beings with differing preferences, goals, and temperaments, yes?) But the conflict is buried beneath a facade. It can also be a marriage where the couple idolizes their “image” of “those two have such a happy marriage.”
          In my previous church, I was very much judged for being such a harsh wife. What the other “nice Christian wives” didn’t get was I was married to a man who not only was a functional alcoholic but was chronically depressed for 30+ years of our marriage. Once a marriage counselor taught me that depression is the biggest relationship killer there is, then I was able to better accept my failings as a wife. Of course I’m an anxious attacher, of course I’m horribly frustrated, of course I’m angry in my grief…likely they would have responded the same way if they had journeyed in my shoes.
          …The re-defining of our marriage now has a level of authenticity that is so much better than any facade. My husband has seen the absolute worst of me, and I of him, and we choose to go forward and love the whole person after all.

          1. Marked Wife,

            Good points! And, sometimes what “looks” easy may not actually be easy behind closed doors.

            These kinds of things that you are describing are some of the reasons why I believe Christ commands us not to judge others. We don’t know what people are dealing with. We don’t know if there is a medical or mental health issue. We don’t know if someone may have a brain tumor or a thyroid problem of if they are dealing with extreme trials of some sort.

            I’m so glad that you and your husband have been able to heal and move forward.

            Depression is a very difficult thing for a spouse. Alcoholism feeds depression, and depression feeds alcoholism – but it would be extremely difficult to live with someone battling those issues.

            I’m glad that y’all have authenticity and are moving forward together. It sounds like things must be quite a bit better now. Praise God!

          2. Marked Wife,
            You made excellent points. Thanks for your reminders.

            My husband and I have been completely, completely shocked when we’ve learned the news of some couples divorcing. One was a family who lived next door for years. They looked perfect, their kids were extremely polite and well behaved. They went to church as a family every week. They were warm and sweet together when we saw them and the perfect neighbors. Suddenly, we learned she was an alcoholic, was having an affair and they were divorcing. Our jaws fell open at the news and it really grieved us. Never in a million years would we have predicted what was going on the facade.

      2. Julie,

        You have got to let me quote your relative! THAT IS A WONDERFUL WORD PICTURE!!!!! WOW!

        Yes, it would help if our men could explain things to us in words that we would understand! But – that isn’t always possible. Thankfully, we can learn to understand the way our husbands think and feel, even if they don’t describe it the way we do. It is an exciting adventure, to me, to get to explore that world of masculinity and to begin to understand more and more how my husband and other men feel.

        Much love!

        1. April,

          Yes, of course use it!

          He is the sweetest, dearest guy and really a buddy to me. I assumed that since he was more of a sensitive man by nature that he loved talking to his wife about emotions. That was where much of my shock came from. But it was also shocking at the time that men didn’t love talking about relationship stuff like most women do. Silly girl of a woman that I can be!

          1. Julie,

            What he said reminds me of something Greg told me a year ago or so. I used to ask him to give me “a handwritten love note with at least 3 sentences” for Valentine’s day. I felt I was asking for something ridiculously easy and FREE, for goodness sakes!

            He told me last year that writing a romantic letter for me was VERY difficult for him. He said it would be similar to asking me to “just build a set of shelves” for him.

            Um. Yikes! We would all be in trouble if that was how Greg wanted me to show him my love for him!!!!!

            I think this is the kind of stuff we women desperately need to hear and understand. Then we can appreciate that our strengths may be different from our husband’s. But that doesn’t mean we are “better” or that their strengths are not as important. I am also hopeless with directions and navigation or imagining a complex model in 3 dimension in my mind. Greg is awesome at those things. He is also fantastic at plumbing, carpentry, designing and painting murals, designing and putting together tile murals, installing cabinetry, fixing cars, fixing electronics, wiring, designing and building things. I don’t have those skills! I am in awe of what he is able to do in these areas. But I don’t even begin to try to do them myself!

            He feels kind of like that when he looks at me and how I use words and emotions together.

            I wish we had learned these things as we were growing up. That men and women are DIFFERENT instead of being fed the idea that we “should all be the same.” Our relationships would be a lot better if we understand and appreciate each other for who we are, not who we expect the other person to be.

            Love this conversation!

            I plan to put your relative’s quote up on my FB in a bit.

  3. Hmmm, interesting comments on the facebook quote now…..I think what I was talking about here has morphed into something else. But that’s quite alright! :^)

    My husband is fantastic with words of affirmation, even romantic words. Always has been.

    That’s separate from disecting the problem areas in the marriage with an exchange of words, as in, “We need to talk…”….no?

    I’m enjoying this! (Giggling.) I think I do better communicating face to face than online. lol.

  4. Thank you for this April. I really needed this. I had a very ugly, heart wrenching weekend and have not had a very good month. I failed. I failed my husband miserably. I feel as though I have failed God and myself. I lost track of my focus, I got sidelined somehow and my insecurities, sin, anger and hurt took hold and it took hold hard. I’m so very afraid that I’ve really blown it this time. I’ve been working so hard since my husband came home and I can’t even be certain what happened. He’s talking divorce and going our seperate ways again. He says that he feels like he MAKES me unhappy and he can’t give me the things he knows I need, etc. I have been disprespectful, and although I hear God telling me exactly what I need to do, and know what to do after the last nine months, I failed.

    Please pray I can show him I’m sincere. He acknowledges “all the changes I’ve made” and he knows “I’d do anything for him”, but, he feels he has let me down. I’m not sure how to change his mind. I told him my life is better with him in it and he’s brought far more joy to my life than sadness and pain. (We’ve been through some tough stuff). We’ve been together 21 years. He said he “lost himself” about 10 years ago, and his love for me has changed. He says he doesn’t know how to get it back.

    Prayers and encouragement desperately needed. I was SO on the right path…. what happened to me?

    1. Catherine,

      Oh no!!!! I hate to hear this. I am so so sorry!!!!!!!!

      If you stopped focusing on Christ and stopped abiding in Him and being empowered by Him or stopped feasting on His Word or began to cherish sin in your heart – that will always lead any of us to a fall. Sometimes a big fall. Or if you begin to think you can do this in your own power and your own wisdom, or you get caught up in focusing on your needs and desires and SELF – that can also lead to a death spiral.

      Does any of that seem like what happened?

      I am praying for healing for you – most of all between you and God. Praise God there is forgiveness when we sincerely turn from our sin and turn to Him in total faith and trust.

      I pray for healing for your marriage and for your husband. And I pray for God’s glory!

      I am sending you the biggest hug my precious sister!!!!!!

    2. Catherine,
      My heart just sort of aches for you right now…. I am praying for you and for your marriage…and for God’s comfort and His wisdom…..Wish I could offer you a hug.

  5. It’s hard to determine how to react in a godly way, or how to be respectful, when you are fairly certain your husband isn’t quite being truthful with you.

    I have the most amazing husband in the world, and I know he has shared more with me and has been more real with me than anyone else in his life. I am honored to be his wife and to be the one he opens up to.

    There are small things that he isn’t honest with me about, such as when he offered to take shirts to the drycleaners. He told me he did it, but when I said I’d go pick them up, he told me he’d already picked them up. I asked if I could stop by his office and grab them so I can put them away, and he said actually, he’d dropped them into a puddle and had to bring them back a few days prior. When I offered to pick them up and he gave me the ticket, I saw that he’d actually dropped them off that morning. I asked him about it, telling him that it wasn’t a big deal if he’d forgotten to drop them off initially, but I was concerned about why he wouldn’t be honest with me. He was so angry, telling me that I didn’t hear him correctly, that he’d told me he’d dropped them off that same day, and oh, it was a HUGE argument. I apologized right away for not hearing him correctly, but he was angry with me for hours.

    Earlier in the week, he’d been dishonest with me about where he’d been one evening. I knew he’d gone to a store, and I texted to ask when he’d be home. He told me he had just gotten there. When I happened to look on our bank account website the next morning, I saw that he had already checked out of the store by that time (our bank shows the time that pending charges were made) and ended up going to get a drink somewhere before coming home. I would have been fine with that, and I don’t understand why he felt the need to lie. When I asked him, he was incredibly angry with me for “checking up” on him.

    He tends to turn things around so that I end up apologizing simply to diffuse the situation and restore peace. During the drycleaner incident, he said that it’s common for people who are hiding something to deflect that onto other people, and he asked what exactly I was hiding to make me start questioning him. It was an awful afternoon. I was questioning my ability to hear God at this point, because I thought when I prayed about it that I really was supposed to gently confront my husband and let him know that if I’m doing anything to make him feel unsafe being honest with me, I need to know what it is so that I can fix it. When we talked about it after he was calm, he said that he understands my feelings and he will work to make sure he is completely forthright with me about everything. But he still isn’t.

    He is under a tremendous amount of stress right now, so I vowed that until some specific situations are behind us, I will NOT question him about anything. At all. Last night, he claimed to be at a class, when I just had a feeling he wasn’t. At one point in our text messaging, he said something confusing and I replied, “What does that mean? Does that mean you didn’t go to class?” He replied back with, “My wife knows me so well!” I didn’t get upset. I just said I had a feeling but was hoping he’d tell me without me having to ask, and then I said I love him. I left it at that, and we were fine the rest of the evening.

    I guess these are the times I have to trust him to God. God needs to convict him of any dishonesty. I think it’s best at this point, if I catch him in a lie, that I don’t mention it. I need to let God deal with him about it, and I need to do all I can to keep my husband’s stress levels down during this season of our life, and try to keep what I can as peaceful as possible.

    My husband truly is an incredible man. He is learning and growing in so many ways, and I am so grateful to be his wife. There are tremendous stressors happening right now and maybe that’s where all of this is coming from. I just hope it stops once these situations are resolved and the stress is removed.

    1. M,
      I just found this comment in my spam folder. Goodness!

      Is this dishonesty a new thing? Does he tend to feel interrogated when you ask him about these things? Has he done this all of his life?

      Does he feel safe with you? Does he have any mental health issues or addictions?

      Praying for wisdom for you! I am not sure that you can force him to be honest, or that getting into fights will help.

      Praying for sensitivity to God’s Spirit and His direction and for Him to work in your husband’s heart and in your heart for His glory in your marriage.

      Sending you a huge hug!!!!!

  6. I think I started feeling like I could do this more my way? Maybe? I’m not sure. I continued reading the Bible, I wasn’t journaling like I had been, I had continued with my gratitude journal, but some things happened that triggered some old, painful memories, and I THOUGHT I was simply asking, RESPECTFULLY, if he could help me feel a little more secure, to feel that he had fully committed back to the marriage. I THOUGHT I had respectfully asked for some transparency to ease some of my insecurities. He just says he doesn’t know what happened to him. He said he’s failed me. I have never said he failed me, and I don’t believe he’s failed in any way. I can’t help but wonder if he’s simply trying to find a reason to be done? I’m not certain, but what I am certain of is I’m back to the quiet phase, I’m being very kind and gentle and simply allowing God to take control of this situation. I will wait patiently to see where this path leads. I guess one thing I can say, is regardless of what happens in my marriage, ultimately I’m a better mom, a happier person and a BETTER person because of this journey. I want desperately to make my marriage work, but I also told him that I love him and I want him happy and if letting him go is what I had to do, then I was prepared to do so. Thank you for the cyber hugs, love and prayers.

    1. Catherine,

      Goodness. So painful!!! 🙁

      I don’t know his heart. But I pray you might get back to your journaling, Bible reading, praying and studying to become the woman and wife God desires you to be. That is where your power is as you abide in Christ.

      How is your time with God going?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!!!

        1. julie,

          Hmmm… Not specifically. This has been more of a “learn as I go” thing through prayer, searching scriptures and experience as I have been blogging these past few years. I have seen some godly examples of counseling. I have seen some ungodly examples. I still have much to learn myself. But, my readers help to sharpen me. That has been where I have learned the most, I think. 🙂

          1. Apri, thank you. I think one of the things that I so prize is how you tactfully confront but add so much encouragement and love for the individual. Also, the that you have so much Bible knowledge, you walk the walk, and have godliness….and the continued main purpose to point people back to Christ, sets you apart from most. I often can hardly wait to see your responses to people’s questions. I really love your example. Your heart is so dear to me.

          2. Julie,

            This is something I pray over often. I am thankful that the blog started very very small and gradually has built up in volume. I had a lot to learn about how to communicate God’s love in writing and how to communicate His truth, as well. It is a delicate balance! I don’t always feel I get it right. Sometimes I agonize over specific people and sometimes I don’t respond as carefully as I want to. Especially if I am in a hurry, I can come across as not being loving enough. So, I try to always wait until I am not in a rush to answer. People can’t see my body language, facial expressions and hear my tone of voice in my comments, so it is even more critical when only communicating by writing to do so very thoughtfully and carefully.

            Nina Roesner has been a great example to me. I love her humility and the way she answers ladies with love, compassion and truth. I modeled myself after her loving responses at first. That was such a help.

            Please pray that I will be sensitive to God’s prompting and His Spirit. I long for every word to be from Him, not from me. And that those who read might be blessed and edified and most of all, that Christ might be exalted and I might point them to Him.

            Thanks for the encouragement! Much love to you, my precious sister!

  7. April, thank you for sharing this with me. I wrote back a rather lengthy reply and when I hit post, my comment went somewhere far, far away into an internet black hole. Oh dear. lol. Thank you again, Sweet Mentor and Sister in Him…..xx You’re a gem!

  8. I am looking for advice, tonight my husband kinda started an arguement with me. I stayed quiet cause i really didnt know what to say but the whole time he brought up things i said in past arguements and threw it in my face and blamed me for the current situation because of what i said back then. I still dont know what to say and im not sure if i should say anything at all. My feelings are hurt and i had apologized for past things, since i started this journey its been completely different when we have conflicts and i have stopped saying hurtful things in my anger. How can i best express my feelings without making him more angry? Or should i just stay quiet and let him think it over for a while?

    1. Nicole,

      Thank you so much for sharing! This can be very confusing!!!

      There are times when God may prompt us to say nothing. And there are times when God may prompt us to say something.

      I don’t know your husband’s personality or how long things were not going well in your marriage or how long he was feeling disrespected.

      But, this is your chance to create a new history with him.

      It may be wise to agree that what you had done before was wrong. Here is something to prayerfully consider – God may prompt you to say something else entirely – but this is a possible example:

      “Honey, you are right. I was completely wrong to say those things before. I agree. That’s why I apologized for them before. I sure wish I could go back in time and erase all of those hurtful things I did/said. It breaks my heart that I hurt you. It hurts me, too. I want to learn how to make things right. What can I do now that would help make things right in your eyes?”

      The key here is, please do not try to justify anything you did or said that was sinful. Agree wherever you sinned that it was sin.

      He is going to have his own journey and his own sin to work through. This will take time. Eventually, as he sees that you are not sinning against him, and that you are changing, he will have to look at his own actions and motives. Praying for wisdom for you!!!!

  9. Well it was about a tv, he asked if he could take it a while ago & I told him no cause I liked watching it before bed while hes not here & I said some pretty mean things along with it. My mom yanked cords out of the back of the tv & it still worked fine after all this time. I let him take the tv with him yesterday but when he set it up it wouldnt work so he blamed me for not letting him take it sooner. I decided to apologize & leave it at that but he started cussing & than blaming my mom for breaking it & asked me to take her cord (that belongs to the cable company) & give it to him. At this point I was beyond confused so still I said nothing I thought about it & realized he was asking me to steal. Finally I said “please dont talk to me that way, we need to explore all the areas to figure out whats wrong with the tv instead of blaming anyone. Your asking me to steal from my mom & I cant do that, im sorry.” A few hrs later he apologized, im thrilled with how God flipped that situation around.

    1. Nicole,

      I am so glad to hear that things went better. Some men need a bit of time to think and once they do, then they are ready to talk and work through things. I’m really impressed that he apologized. And I am glad things are better. I know you are VERY glad!

  10. I came across your blog today while searching for help in becoming the wife God meant for me to be. Respect and how to handle conflict are sensitive areas in my marriage. I was raised by a very dominant mother and grandmother. While my husband wants the more passive, respectful wife. I am struggling to undo a lot of what I was taught while growing up. I want nothing more than to have the marriage God wants us to have. I hope through scripture and reading your blog I can be the wife I was made to be.

    1. Kasie,
      As you seek God and allow Him to work in you, searching the Bible, praying for Him to change you, asking Him to show you any sin in your life and seeking to do things His way – He will transform you into the wife He designed you to be. It is a painful and slow process at times. But very worth it! I am so excited to be on this journey with you!

    2. Kasie, I feel like I am in your exact position. I grew up a progressive feminist, raised for the most part by a very strong single mom. I just came across this blog last night after a “discussion” with my husband that didn’t go over well. I am so lost on how to be a Godly wife. I am so far gone, I feel like I can’t say many suggested edifying things/compliments to my husband without lying, because I simply don’t feel that way, and never really did, even before marriage. I am a calm, stable, natural and experienced leader; my husband is emotional, indecisive, reactive, no leadership experience. I don’t know where to begin.

      1. Valerie,
        It’s great to meet you!
        I would love to invite you to check out the posts at the top of my home page first.
        Then, I would suggest that you try searching for the following words on my home page search bar:

        – lead
        – leader
        – idol
        – idolatry
        – why do I have to change first
        – what is respect in marriage
        – respect God
        – submission Christ Lord
        – biblical submission hold things loosely

        Praying God might illuminate things for you, my precious sister!

  11. April, this is Laura again – you gave me some great advice last weekend – and I apologize, but I have a big question for you.

    First though, THANK YOU for this post on handling conflict in a godly, feminine way – I used the advice in this post yesterday and it did help a lot to diffuse the tension that was going on in my house. My husband had done something really hurtful and inconsiderate, and I had tried telling him I felt really hurt. He in turn, got pretty angry and shut down the conversation, and then I felt worse. In fact, I was super angry and hurt that he was being so callous. But I bit my tongue and left it at that. The next day, I read this article, and when he came home I explained to him that I do think he’s a good man, and I know he didn’t hurt me on purpose, but I did still feel hurt, etc…his anger dissolved right away so that was a big plus.

    However – and this leads into my question – ever since I’ve been trying really hard to actually be a godly, submissive wife – it’s probably been a few weeks now – t seems like my husband is acting out more than usual. My question is, is it normal for things to actually get worse for a little while before they get better? Perhaps there is some unrelated explanation, but it feels to me like ever since I really committed to the idea of submission, my husband has been much more arrogant, rude, and inconsiderate than he normally is. Yesterday he actually grossly insulted me, in front of me, to the children. And he made holiday plans with his family without telling me, that he knew were completely against my wishes. (I’ll go along with the plans of course, but I’m hurt that he did that). And along with the general arrogance, insults, criticisms, and eye-rolling I’ve been getting, he has refused to apologize for a single thing. Normally he does do that if I tell him something bothered me, and I’m confused as to what’s going on. He’s a pretty cocky guy, but not normally so blatantly arrogant.

    Is it possible he’s testing how far he can push me? Because I feel like I’m being pushed right to the very limits of my endurance, and I can’t say I am enjoying it. I’m finding it REALLY hard to be polite, respectful and submissive when he is stomping on my feelings so constantly. The other night I did demand, quite strongly, to know why he was suddenly being so mean. I probably shouldn’t have, but I did. He of course just yelled at me that it was my imagination, and wouldn’t admit to any of the things that had hurt me.

    If you have any ideas as to what might be going on here, I’m all ears. I really feel like I’m at the end of my rope. I know God wants me to submit to my husband, but I feel like I can’t do it when he’s being so callous and arrogant and mean…I am afraid that my submissiveness is somehow feeding the monster, if you know what I mean. I feel afraid that I will never be treated with respect unless I stop letting him walk all over me and demand respect…you know? I am so tired of all the rudeness in our home, it’s just so ugly – I feel like I need to set some boundaries about the way he treats me. What do you think?

    1. Laura,

      I love that you were honest and vulnerable about that you were hurt. I also love that you said you do think he’s a good man and that you don’t believe he hurt you on purpose. That’s really key. That you show him you believe his intentions were not malicious. Otherwise, he is labeled as a total failure as a man and a husband. It’s hard for a man to recover from that.

      What have you shared with him about what you are doing with respect and submission? Have you talked about it at all? Have you apologized to him for your disrespect, control, etc…?

      Yes, there is often a phase where men get worse before they get better.

      Here are some posts about that:

      I Am Trying to Respect and Submit but My Husband Is More Unloving Than Ever – What Is Going On?!?

      Why Isn’t My Husband Being More Supportive Of Me As I Try to Change?

      I don’t think it is wrong to ask why he is being mean.

      I also think you can show respect for yourself without being disrespectful to him.

      What is his general personality? Is he a bit of a “command man”?

      What is your definition of “being submissive” right now?

      What do you usually do when he is rude and hateful?

      Much love!

      1. Thank you! Those links you gave me were helpful.

        To answer your questions, no, I have not specifically told my husband I was trying to be a submissive wife, although I have told him many times over recent months that I’m trying hard to be a better person than I used to be, and he is aware I have returned to the faith of my childhood and starting going to church, etc.

        Yes, I think he is a bit of a “command man.” He often tells me how much he loves it when he gets to be in a leadership position at work. Of course, for many years our marriage was really messed up – I always went along with whatever major decision he made (like going back to school, what house he wanted to buy, etc) and so I thought I was a good wife, but I was always undermining him in small ways, criticizing him in front of the kids, and so on. I wasn’t letting him be respected at home.

        My definition of submissiveness right now – and I know this might not be correct – means letting my husband lead, going along with all his decisions cheerfully, not questioning him, giving him lots of praise and admiration, and always being respectful and polite even when I feel upset. I know “not questioning him” might not be a part of submission for everyone, but I feel like it’s needed here because I find his hackles go up right away as soon as I question anything – I can just gently say “How were you planning on doing that?” and he gets angry and his face turns hard and he answers me through clenched teeth. I am hoping that after enough time has passed when I haven’t told him what to do, he will let me ask questions like that without getting offended.

        When he is rude and hateful in front of the kids, I do nothing, except maybe look at him in surprise. Later, I may tell him what he said/did bothered me (which lately has been only making things worse, unless I use the technique in the article above and remind him I still think he’s o.k.). If we are alone I will say right away, “That was a pretty mean thing to say,” which again, usually just makes him angry.

        You might remember from my comments on the other post, that my husband is a really angry person inside, and had a really bad childhood…I think his anger goes deeper than just anger at me for being disrespectful. It’s very tiring for me to always be trying to avoid bringing it out. Perhaps I shouldn’t even be trying, but just making sure my own behaviour is respectful?

        1. Laura,

          I do think it is probably wise – especially at first – not to share about seeking to be more submissive/respectful – especially with a command man type.

          So – I know that a lot of women think that submission means not questioning their husbands, going along with all decisions cheerfully, not voicing any criticism/concern, acting happy even when they are not…

          There can be a time – especially at first and especially if a husband has been deeply wounded – when a wife may have a bit of a quiet phase. I did. I stopped sharing my opinions for quite awhile because I realized I had been cramming my opinions and my selfish desires down my husband’s throat for 14 years – and I wanted him to have a chance to be able to breathe and think for himself and make decisions without feeling pressured for awhile. This was a temporary phase while my husband began to heal.

          In general – my understanding of biblical submission is a bit different from what you have defined. I trust God will give you wisdom about how exactly to implement submission in your situation at this moment considering your husband’s wounds and personality.

          I believe that biblical submission is about:

          – honoring our husband’s leadership – but that does not mean we cannot contribute our wisdom, ideas, feelings, concerns, suggestions, solutions, etc… It means that if we discuss things and we both share what we believe is best and we have a mutual discussion and can’t come to an agreement, the wife defers to her husband’s leadership, trusting God to lead her through her husband.

          – we can absolutely be respectful and polite – but some women think this means we must be “fake.” At first, I guess it may feel that way as we die to self and don’t share every sinful thought we used to share (or that was the case for me). So, there are some things we won’t share as God helps us take our thoughts and motives captive. But we can share our new selves in Christ. We can share our emotions. We can share if we are concerned, afraid, upset, angry, sad, etc… But we can share those things in a respectful way. This shows honor for our husbands and for ourselves as people. We don’t have to give up our personhood or treat ourselves with disrespect in order to respect our husbands. I hope that makes sense.

          Actually, to a man, when he hears, “How were you planning on doing that?” He hears that you think he is an idiot. It is simply the wording and approach. It may not be that your husband would be truly angry with any question. It may just be that questions that sound like you don’t trust him, or think he is dumb, or think he hasn’t thought through things, or that you think he is like a little boy who can’t handle something with competence – that may be the issue.

          Honestly, it takes some time to figure out this stuff. There are certain questions that sound very disrespectful to men, no matter what our intentions are or how gently we ask them…

          Things like:

          – why would you?
          – why did you?
          – how could you?

          Questions that sound like something an interrogating, controlling mother would ask – those are the kinds of things that grate on a man’s soul like nails on a blackboard.

          And then directives like:
          – You should
          – You need to
          – You better

          Those also sound like we think we are in authority over them like we are their boss, or their angry mother.

          There are ways to ask a man a question respectfully. Things like:

          – Would you be able to tell me a bit more about…
          – I want to be sure I understand, please. So, you are talking about doing X then Y? Do I understand correctly?
          – I think I may be confused. I understand this part, but I would like to try to understand this other part a bit better.
          – I love your idea! Would you tell me all about it?
          – That sounds interesting! And what are your thoughts about X?

          Now, even with this more gentle approach, if you ask enough questions, it will make a man feel interrogated. There are some subjects about which we really don’t have to ask a lot of questions. If he is handling a project around the house and it is his thing – unless you see him clearly making some big mistake, let him deal with it unless he asks for help.

          For a lot of men, if they don’t ask for help – it is disrespectful for someone to jump in and try to take over and help them. It implies that the person who is offering the help thinks they are incompetent.

          Again, there can be times, especially in the beginning first months, when it may be wise not to share every time a wife feels upset as we learn to understand how to communicate respectfully. But – in time, the goal is that we will share and be vulnerable but at the same time be respectful, safe, and not controlling or bossy. It goes back to that pendulum thing again. We tend to overcorrect too far one way, then the other – it takes time to understand how to get to the middle in the power of God’s Spirit.

          I think it is very good for you to share that you know his intentions are good and that you know he is a good guy. Then, instead of labeling him as being “mean.” What about talking about your feelings instead. Then it is not up for judgment and he is not being labeled “evil.” If you say, “That tone of voice/those words really hurt me.” He can’t argue with you. These are your feelings. You don’t have to go into any more detail than that. You can just share it – let him know that you know he loves you and has good intentions, but that this hurt you. Then let him think about it. I bet you will reach him more effectively that way.

          I think I mentioned it before, but Sacred Influence has some beautiful examples of real life wives handling their husbands’ anger in some godly, powerful, healing ways.

          Much love and the biggest hug to you!

          1. Thank you! You have helped me so very much. I didn’t actually realize asking “How were you planning on doing that” made a man feel like I thought he was an idiot. All I mean by a question like that, is that I’m interested in what he’s up to! That’s so good to know.

            I am going to read your responses to me over and over until I feel like I’m really “getting” this stuff. Yes, it’s difficult to find the perfect balance point and not swing too far one way or the other. As with many things in life! And it’s such a daunting task, to change habits and patterns that have existed for 15 years of marriage. I am so grateful for the help you’ve given me.

            Thanks again so much. 🙂

          2. Laura,

            God woke me up 14.5 years into our marriage. I had NO CLUE that I was disrespectful and controlling. Greg never mentioned it. I didn’t have a list of things that are respectful and disrespectful. I actually asked Greg to “just write me a list” as soon as I discovered I was being disrespectful. I thought he’d write down 5-6 things in each category and bam! I’d have it all in 5 minutes. It took me 2.5 years to begin to have any idea what it meant to really respect my husband. And that was with hours and hours of prayer and study every day.

            There is a book “How to Talk So Your Husband Will Listen and Listen So Your Husband Will Talk” that is super helpful – Rick Johnson. Also, Shaunti Feldhahn’s “For Women Only” was really key in me understanding men. Also, Dr. Laura Schlesinger’s The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and Laura Doyle’s The Surrendered Wife helped me understand my husband -but neither of those authors are Christians – so do beware of that.

            I also have TONS of posts on this topic. You can search my home page for “respect” and “disrespect” as well as “control.”

            I had no idea how many of the questions I asked were an issue with wording – and sounded very undermining and disrespectful. Interestingly, I HATED when another woman would ask me questions like that. I couldn’t stand to be controlled by anyone else – and felt insulted if someone asked me those kinds of things. But I didn’t have any problem dishing it out!

            I had to read The Surrendered Wife every day for 3 months – and that was over 2 years into my journey – to BEGIN to feel like it was starting to feel “normal” and I was “getting it.”

            My prayer is that there are posts here that might be just as helpful, and more helpful – being centered on Christ – that wives could meditate on.

            It is a total heart, mind, and soul transformation. Much like eating an elephant. Can’t be done in a week, a month, or two months. It takes years, really. But this is the process of sanctification – that goes on for our entire lifetimes. It is VERY worth it! 🙂

            I’m always glad to talk about anything you’d like. I didn’t have a mentor myself – and felt like I was trying to learn Chinese without a teacher. It was SO frustrating! I am glad to share anything I can that I have learned that I think might bless you. Can’t keep this treasure to myself!

            Much love!

          3. YES – I had an epiphany yesterday, that *I* too feel insulted when others ask me those kind of questions. I was making supper and my husband walked into the kitchen and said “Oh, you’re making sausages again? Isn’t that the second time this week?” There was nothing wrong in the tone of his voice but I instantly bristled, because he was questioning me about a job I take pride in: cooking meals for the family. And as soon as I felt myself bristling, I thought to myself OH! That’s what April was talking about. lol.

            Certainly, my husband has some very serious issues of his own to work on, but it is such a joy and relief to know that I can improve my own side of things, whether or not he ever does.

            Thank you so much, I am so excited to be on this journey towards godliness.

          4. Laura,

            That is awesome! I know for me, there have been a few controlling women in my life. If I thought about how I would feel if one of them asked me a particular question, it helped me figure out what would feel disrespectful to my husband. I did NOT like it when they asked me questions that made it sound like they thought I was an idiot!

            Glad you had that lightbulb moment. It will be a very helpful reference!

            I’m sure your husband has a lot to work on, too. But the awesome thing is, as we focus on allowing God to change us – it opens the pathway (and gets us out of God’s way) so that our husbands can better hear God, too, in time.

            Check out The Dirty Garage Epiphany. Not sure if I shared that one with you yet.

            I’m thrilled to get to walk this road together. It is my honor and privilege! 🙂

            Much love, my dear sister!

  12. April,

    It’s been a long time since I had to deal with another situation like this. Your advice was so beneficial the last time, so I’m praying you have insight.

    (It’s important to note that my husband is under tremendous stress and I’m running on little sleep.)

    Last night he proposed we take a 5-hour trip through the desert to spend a few days at a place some business partners are moving to. It had been suggested a while back that we might want to consider moving there, too. But when he asked if I’d like to go check it out in a couple of weeks, he made it clear that it was not with the prospect of a possible move, but just to make some memories together, to see what all the excitement of the area was about, and to get away from work stresses and relax.

    Initially, I only had financial concerns, but the more I considered the trip, the more I just really couldn’t get excited about it. I wished I could, but didn’t know how. I wished I could just be happy to go because I knew he wants to. He didn’t know I would rather not go because he didn’t really ask if it excited me. So I tried to have a conversation about it.

    It did not go well when we talked. And I instinctively knew it would not, no matter how sweetly I tried to express my perspective. It quickly escalated on his end and now the next day, when I tried to smooth it over and bring clarity, he cut me off and shut me down, even though we were very cordial and kind to each other prior to my saying half a sentence about it again.

    This is how I’m left feeling in these situations–I can try to work up happy feelings about taking a trip I dread, just to please him. (But that rarely has worked out when I’ve tried that approach.) But, if I try to talk it over with him, he quickly shuts me down and declares we won’t go because I don’t want to. (With an angry tone.) I’m not looking for that either.

    I’d be happy to go at this point, if I could just understand why this trip. It feels like there is another motivation that I’m not being told. If he said we may need to move there–fine. I can get on board and go happily. Truly. But what is being explained to me is he just thought it’d be fun to experience it and make memories together (with his illness, we talk about that a lot). So why not suggest another place if it’s just about our making memories?

    He has made a lot of plans independently from me in the past. Giant financial decisions, to where we go for recreation times–his interests only considered. He makes a real effort not to do that anymore in recent years, which is wonderful, so I don’t get this.

    How do I better handle my end of a situation like this in the future?

    1. J,

      So I am wondering something? Does he love to plan trips together? Maybe that is a way he tries to show love? And he thinks it will be fun?

      Why would you dread this trip which is just for fun – but if you were maybe moving there it would be okay?

      1. April,

        I would say he loves to take trips together. He bonds through them. He would travel a lot if it was something I thrived on. It’s hard for me.

        He doesn’t enjoy a back and forth process of making decisions together, like planning where to go, which is enjoyable for me. He likes quick decisiveness generally, which is great when you’re running things in your own business.

        We’ve taken a lot of long road trips through the desert over the years. The scenery is dry, brown, and desolate–it never changes. There generally is nothing to stop to see, so by the time we arrive I’m just sore and exhausted. It’s more of the same where he wants to go. But if he feels we need to move there for business reasons, I support him if it makes financial sense. Do you see the distinction?

        My fear, based on many past experiences, is that he says now that it would be a trip for us. But his plans can easily change without any notice. He just doesn’t stop and think to inform me. This happened just recently. We flew into town somewhere. Days in advance, I asked that I have the first day to recover. He agrees. When we land, he informs me we are being picked up by friends and going out to eat. After hours of traveling, two plus hours later, we are still with them, my back hurts from a recent injury, and he won’t break away. Two days later, we meet with the same friends again and the same happens, only this time I’m in tears getting up from the table because the pain is so intense. He continues to visit for 30 more minutes, even after I told him beforehand I couldn’t handle that much time sitting.

        So I could see us getting there and having a number of visits with his business associates and their wives. That’s now a business trip.

        He planned a trip he would enjoy. I feel pressured to like what he likes. I don’t know how to do that. I feel like I can’t win. Is it my attitude? I feel like I have a blind spot. I want to see what I’m missing.

        1. J,

          I wonder if this is largely a matter that maybe he assumes you would like the same things he does? Or maybe he feels he is loving you by making all of these plans for you and surprising you?

          How did his parents handle trips?

          A lot of wives are angry that their husbands don’t make plans and surprise them. Some wives would feel that this is romantic.

          If you have health issues and can’t keep up with a fast pace, or you don’t enjoy having everything planned for you – these are differences in priorities and approaches about what makes a “good trip.”

          I want you to get to share your concerns and feelings. I wonder if he maybe is just not used to the thought that other people could have different paradigms or priorities?

          I wonder how you could maybe approach this so that you can both enjoy it? What are the things you really need or would value in a trip?

          I wonder if you say something like, “It is so amazing that you are good at planning trips and how you are decisive and love to travel. I like that you want to plan trips I would enjoy with you. That is so romantic! I know some wives really like for their husbands to plan all of the details and to surprise them. I actually really enjoy planning a trip together. I know that makes the process a bit more slow. But I love getting to be part of the planning, that makes me feel really special. Here are some things that would make for a trip I would really enjoy… X, y, z… Thank you for your love for adventure and for wanting to do fun things with me. And thanks for being willing to take my health issues into consideration. I appreciate it very much.”

          Praying for God’s wisdom for you!

          1. April,

            Thank you. I’ll mull this over. I know you are very, very busy. I appreciate you taking time for me. xx

          2. J,

            This week is not nearly as difficult as the past 4 weeks. No extra work in the pharmacy. It has been wonderful to be home and to get to work on the blog and the book. I am always glad to hear from you. You are precious to me!

          3. April,

            Oh, I’m so happy to hear things have eased up some for you! That’s great!!

            It’s really a joy to get your fresh take on relational things. I knew you would see a positive spin on my husband’s possible perspective. And I LOVE your suggestion on how I might speak to him. I really need to be reminded to approach him in an affirming way. That’s an art—it was beautiful! Thank you! Thank you for your prayers for wisdom, too!!

            He’s going out of his way to be sweet to me tonight. Nothing has been spoken again about a trip, so it’s a curiosity to know what he’s thinking. 😊 I wonder if he’s been seeking the Lord about the situation. Anyway, I think I need to leave it alone for now, but will come back to your comments when the time seems right to revisit it.

            Thanks again for being there and for your wise support!!

          4. J,

            I’m so glad this was a blessing. 🙂

            Please let me know how you are doing! Praying for God’s wisdom and healing for you both, my dear sister!

          5. April,

            We got it all hashed out. Not without some frustration on both ends first. But we kept talking until we both felt heard. We are planning on the desert trip and I’m goid with it now. I have a full understanding of his motives–there are some work-related things, as well as memory making. I see the importance of us spending some times with the work people, and going into with that expectation has allowed me to feel settled.

            Also, I now understand what went down with his lingering while I was having severe back pain last trip. He says he didn’t see I had tears running down my cheeks as I got up to use the restroom. I don’t know how he missed that, but I do believe he was unaware, and that’s why he kept on visiting. He thought my standing when I got back to the table made the back okay.

            Also, we agreed that if I ever felt that intense kind of pain again, I am to ask him to step away with him and to bluntly say, “I’m having severe pain and we need to leave right away.” And he has agreed we will go. (This was his idea.)

            Marriage can be exhausting sometimes, can’t it be??? I feel like I need to take a trip alone, right now, after a discussion like that. lol!

          6. J,

            I have had quite a bit of severe back pain myself – especially earlier in our marriage. I feel you on that one!

            But I am SO PROUD OF YOU BOTH for talking through things and for listening. Great job!!!!!! 🙂 That was BEAUTIFUL!

          7. April,

            Thank you again, especially for your prayers, but also for your suggestions. I could have done better than I did, but caught myself mid-conversation, remembering your suggestions of affirming his perspective and that was very wise advise, and it helped!

            xx

          8. J,

            YAY!

            Yes, if we can show our husbands that we see their good intentions toward us and be thankful for that – even if their preferences are different from ours, or their approach is different, it makes a world of improvement in our attempts to communicate. Or, it does in my experience! 🙂

            Much love!

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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