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“Do I Have the Right to Punish My Husband?”


First, let’s define “punish” so that we are all on the same page.

Merriam Webster defines “punish” as:

transitive verb
a : to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation
b : to inflict a penalty for the commission of (an offense) in retribution or retaliation
a : to deal with roughly or harshly
b : to inflict injury on : hurt

I think we can all agree that God does not give believers  the “right” to  “deal with roughly or harshly,” “to inflict injury on,” or to “hurt” someone else. The two greatest commandments in Matthew 22:37-40 are to love God with all our hearts and to love others the way God does.

Love does no harm to others (I Corinthians 13:4-8a, Romans 13:10).

What about imposing penalties? Do I have the right to impose or inflict penalties on my husband or to seek retaliation if I am hurt by him in some way?

WHO HAS AUTHORITY TO DISCIPLINE OR TO PUNISH OTHERS? (There is a discussion about the difference between discipline and punishment at the bottom of the post.)

According to God’s Word, God has the ultimate authority to punish or discipline people. God alone has the right to decide what is right and wrong. God decides what punishment a person, city, or nation deserves. God also delegates certain human authorities who have the authority to punish, discipline, and/or lead certain people according to His design for order. (For more detail on this, please check out Spiritual Authority.)

Note. For more about husbands’ responsibilities, please see the section at the bottom of the post (for some of you, this is a trigger, so please don’t read the very last section). For more about wives’ authority, please check out “A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage.” Wives do have authority to address their husbands’ sin, please see below. However, the farther a husband is from God, the less he can hear his wife’s words about spiritual things. If my husband is far from God, God’s command for me is I Peter 3:1-6.


A husband’s primary responsibility is to honor, please, and obey God – that is every believer’s primary responsibility. A wife’s primary responsibility is also to honor, please, and obey God. Ideally, we can please God and please our spouses, but if we must choose, we must choose to please God. 

Most husbands truly want their wives to be happy whenever possible. Many husbands measure their success as men by their wives’ happiness. (This is not always an accurate measurement – by the way – of a man’s success. God is the only one who can accurately measure a man’s “success.”) A wife’s happiness can be wonderful when she is happy about godly things. But a wife’s happiness must NEVER come before a husband’s obedience to God, God’s will, the Spirit’s leadership, and His Word.

A wife (or any believer) who is walking in the power of God’s Spirit can and will have joy, peace, and a thankful heart no matter what her circumstances may be at the time.


Sometimes, we think we know what is best for us and we think if we had our way that everything would be great. We may think we have more wisdom than our husbands and more wisdom than God. Sometimes God will lead our husbands another way, give them wisdom we cannot see at the time, or prompt them in ways we don’t understand until later. I pray we will not attempt to insert ourselves between our husbands and God and attempt to derail our husbands from doing what they truly believe is best, right, and most honoring to Christ. We can do incalculable damage if we do this! And, please keep in mind, that God can and does lead believing wives through unbelieving husbands. God is sovereign. We can rest in that. 🙂

Human happiness does not come first. God MUST come first. Always. We are no longer seeking to please people, but to please God! (Galatians 1:10)


Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse… Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:14, 17-21

We, as followers of Christ, can trust God with vengeance and retribution for those who sin against us. Ultimately, all sin is against God. Revenge belongs to Him alone. And we must trust the government to act on God’s behalf to carry out punishment for criminals.

Verses about God taking vengeance

If I assign myself authority to judge someone, to take vengeance, and to execute punishment – I am putting myself in God’s place in a sinful, prideful way.


God does NOT impart to me the right or authority to punish anyone – including my husband. As a believer, I am not the judge or executioner for anyone (unless that is my job with the government and I determine or administer punishment for criminals who have been convicted by a court of law – and even then, I would be disqualified from judging or punishing my own husband in our society, at least).


If my husband is not asking me to clearly sin or to condone sin, God commands me as a wife to honor my husband’s leadership, to respect him, and to biblically submit to his decisions – even if I disagree with him. This does not mean my husband is “always right.” It means I am submitting myself to God and obeying Him because I love, respect, and reverence Him and because He is worthy of my obedience.

My recourse is to take this issue to God in prayer. It is my responsibility to share my heart, my desires, my perspective, my needs, my wisdom, and my emotions with my husband respectfully. If he decides not to do what I think is best, and he is not asking me to clearly sin, I cooperate with his decision because I want to walk in obedience to the Lordship of Christ in my life.

God can change my husband’s heart if a change is necessary. God is sovereign, and He has the power to lead me through my husband in ways I cannot begin to imagine. Will I hold my will loosely and seek God’s will above my own? Will I trust God? Will I submit to Him as LORD? Am I willing to die to myself?


If my husband doesn’t do what I want him to do right now, I may be tempted to think “he is ungodly,” “he needs to change,” or “he is unloving.” I can sometimes see fruit in his life accurately – but I am not God and I am not privy to all of my husband’s motivations or to God’s view of my husband’s heart. I may be tempted to think I am the only one who can rightly interpret Scripture and that I know so much better what God’s will is than my husband does. How I must guard against such pride and self-righteousness! I may not be able to judge properly. Only God can truly know and accurately judge my husband’s heart and His will in a given situation – unless something is clearly explained in God’s Word. If I want something that goes against God’s Word, I do not have to wonder if that thing is God’s will. It is not.

I used to judge and condemn my husband constantly. 🙁 I know now that I was very wrong so many times. May we not judge our husband’s “godliness” by measuring whether our husbands will submit to us or do what we want them to do. Let us allow our husbands the freedom to seek to do what God calls them to do and let us place our happiness and our will on the altar before Christ. This is what it means to die to self and to take up our cross daily and follow Christ.


If I am doing something with the purpose of:

  • hating my husband
  • desiring to hurt my husband and cause him pain – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually
  • desiring to punish my husband or take revenge
  • acting out of unforgiveness, bitterness, or resentment
  • holding a grudge
  • being jealous
  • turning others against my husband
  • causing division, contention, arguments, strife, and factions in my home, marriage, or family

… I have major sin in my heart. These are the fruit of the flesh God describes in Galatians 5:18-21.

WHAT A WIFE MAY DO IF HER HUSBAND IS SINNING AGAINST HER (A husband would have the right to do these things, as well, if his wife is sinning against him.)

A wife attempting to punish her husband is very different from a wife handling her husband’s sin according to God’s Word in such a way that her motives, words, and actions honor Christ, honor her husband, honor her marriage, honor her children, and honor herself:

1. A wife may respectfully ask her husband not to sin against her. (Matthew 7:1-5, Matthew 18:15-17)

2. A wife may confront her husband humbly, gently, respectfully, and firmly about his sin with godly, loving motives, desiring to see him restored to fellowship with God and with herself (a husband may do this, as well).  (Matthew 18:15-17) She may need to involve church leaders if he doesn’t respond to her approaching him privately about her concerns first.

3. A wife may need to remove herself from a dangerous, blatantly sinful, truly abusive situation or a wife may need to remove herself from a situation where a husband is an active drug/alcohol/sex addict or is involved in unrepentant infidelity. (Matthew 18:15-17, I Corinthians 7, “Do I Condone Marital Rape and Abuse?“)


“I’ll Show Him!” Why Revenge Kills Relationships

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Godly Femininity

When My Spouse Is Wrong

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

Are We Responsible for Our Spouse’s Happiness?

Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?

If your husband is asking you to sin, please check out Spiritual Authority.

Greg and I don’t find Scriptural justification for a husband to punish his wife physically. We do not ever condone “domestic discipline.” In our view, it is warped, abusive, and unbiblical.



PUNISHMENT IS DIFFERENT FROM DISCIPLINE: defines “discipline” in detail here and how this concept is used in Scripture in the Old and New Testaments

Let’s talk about discipline from a biblical standpoint because God does chastise and discipline those who belong to Him. He also punishes sin and sinners.

God punishes sinners –

His motives are to execute holy, fair, perfect, and righteous justice. He is the Judge. God is love, but God is also completely just. He will not tolerate sin. He does not make excuses for sin. He does not ignore sin. All sin offends God and is primarily against God. As Creator, God, and Judge He has the authority to correctly and rightly judge each person against His Laws and His standards and He alone has the right to execute punishment against sin.

And the Lord God commanded the man (Adam), “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17

The wages of sin is death… (Romans 6:23a)

This death that we eventually earn with our sin (our wrong doing) is both physical (we are separated from our body) and spiritual (we are separated from God now and after this life in hell).

Thankfully, Jesus suffered the punishment that we deserved for our sins. Jesus took God’s punishment for our sins on Himself. If we receive the gift of His death in our place and we give our lives to Him to be our Savior and also our LORD (the One in charge of our lives from this point on), we do not face or experience God’s punishment for our sins. (We may still experience earthly consequences or discipline, but not punishment.) THIS IS GOOD NEWS!

The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

God disciplines His children –

His motives are His incredible love for that child and the child’s greatest good. God makes a distinction between those people who belong to Him and those who do not. As a parent, I have the responsibility to discipline my children, but not to discipline someone else’s children. God disciplines us to help us mature in our faith (Hebrews 12, James 1, I Peter). Just like a loving father disciplines his children and does not allow them to destroy themselves with poor choices, God disciplines us. Discipline is about God training and teaching us His righteousness and holiness. Discipline is about correcting our mindset, our motives, and our behavior. It is about sparing us from death and disaster. God’s discipline of us is designed for our ultimate good and God’s ultimate glory. His Spirit has the power to convict us of sin, to bring us to genuine repentance, and to give us victory over sin.

Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death. Proverbs 19:18



  • withholding sex
  • shaming them on Facebook
  • telling other people things that their husbands desire to be kept private
  • withholding affection
  • refusing to cook
  • thinking, “I’ll show him!” or “I’ll teach him not to mess with me!”
  • refusing to clean
  • refusing to work
  • complaining
  • arguing and being contentious
  • purposely making a mess for him to clean up
  • spending more money than the couple can afford to spend, willfully driving her husband into deeper debt
  • humiliating him in front of other people
  • attempting to turn other people against their husbands (in the family, the extended family, at church, at work, in the neighborhood, etc…)
  • refusing to take care of the children
  • refusing to eat together
  • refusing to talk
  • refusing to cooperate with their husbands’ God-given leadership when their husbands are clearly NOT asking their wives to sin or to condone sin
  • disrespecting their husbands
  • trying to control their husbands
  • attempting to get their husbands fired
  • yelling, screaming, cussing
  • violence (throwing things, hitting, pushing, slapping, etc…)
  • threatening divorce
  • leaving (with the purpose of causing pain)
  • throwing all of his belongings out the window or putting them by the road
  • having an affair in retaliation


  • I cannot love God and hate my husband.

Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:20-21

  • I cannot cling to a desire to hurt my husband and obey God’s greatest commandments.

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

  • I cannot cherish unforgiveness in my heart and follow and love Jesus and be forgiven by God.

And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:12-15

  • I am not my husband’s judge or executioner.

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister ? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:“ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’ ” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Romans 14:10-13

As the head of the home and marriage, a husband (for more, please see “Spiritual Authority“):

– may give directives as long as he is not asking his wife to condone sin or participate in sin (“Please do this/Please do not do that…”)

– may give consequences within limits of Scripture (i.e.: “because you cannot control your spending, I don’t want you to use your credit cards anymore”)

– has the final say in decisions (I know that you really want to do X. I have taken your feelings, desires, and needs into account. But I believe that it would be most honoring to God for us to do Y right now.”).

– may lovingly correct, confront, or rebuke his wife if he sees sin in her life – as believers, we do this for each other humbly, graciously, gently, respectfully and only after we examine our own hearts for sin first – Matthew 7:1-5. (I am concerned that there may be some bitterness in your heart toward your mom. Let’s talk about what’s going on, Honey. Bitterness is so toxic, I don’t want to see you consumed by that poison.)

– has the responsibility to love his wife as Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her – this does not mean a husband must love a wife in the way she wants to be loved or that a wife must always “feel loved” the way she wants to feel, but that the husband seeks to truly love his wife the way Jesus loves His people by the power of God’s Spirit (I Corinthians 13:4-8a).

32 thoughts on ““Do I Have the Right to Punish My Husband?”

  1. I was wondering why a wife has to respect her husband the way that he desires; but a husband does not have to love his wife as she desires?

    1. Shy,

      A husband can ask for respect in the way he desires – if he is not asking his wife to sin. And she can seek to honor him by showing him respect the way he prefers. A wife can ask for love in the way she desires – if she is not asking her husband to sin. And he can seek to love and honor her by showing her love in the way she desires.

      The sticky issue is that we cannot force our spouse to love or respect us in the way we desire to be loved and respected. Does that make sense? So, I can share what I desire. But then, I can learn to understand and receive love the way my husband shows it instead of demanding that he do things exactly as I want him to. Ideally, both spouses would be seeking to learn to understand each other better and both would want to meet each other’s needs. But even if my husband is not meeting my needs, I can be the wife God calls me to be. I only write for wives – so I only talk about our side of the marriage. But, husbands are called to die to self, be filled with God’s Spirit, not sin against their wives, and love selflessly as Christ loves, too. If a wife is not properly respecting or submitting to her husband, he may suffer just as much as a wife who doesn’t feel like her husband is showing her love the way she wants to experience it. He cannot force her to do what he wants either. He can ask her to respect and honor him. He can gently, humbly confront her about her sin, just like a wife could gently, humbly confront her husband about sin in his life.

      But no grown adult can force another grown adult to do something he/she doesn’t want to do. We do have free will. And we will each be accountable to God for our choices – whether they honor Him or are sinful. Husbands are accountable to be godly husbands no matter what their wives do or do not do. Wives are accountable to be godly wives no matter what their husbands do or do not do.

      1. Yes, makes perfect sense, thank you. I’m still learning, and trying to grasp these major concepts of godliness. I have a long ,long way to go.

        ♡♥ you April!

      2. If I may add, just to reinforce a point that I’ve heard you make many times yourself, a man is at his most able to fulfill his wife’s needs when there is a feeling of the fewest strings attached, constraints or direction. That’s just because of the nature of leadership.

        I believe women are innately prone to be accommodating and adaptable–submissive. As such they crave leadership, so as to be a responder to leadership. I see this in women all the time. A man, on the other hand, cannot fulfill that need for a woman if he’s the one doing the accommodating or adapting rather than the one giving direction–not to say he doesn’t respond to a woman’s needs, but if he’s following her lead his ability to meet her needs AS a leader diminish. Many controlling wives don’t figure out their disappointment of why their needs aren’t met and it’s because their husbands got into a groove that makes it too difficult for them to fulfill her needs for that fully autonomous man who is capable of “going ahead” as it were.

        A woman gets peace from a man from his fortitude (ability to resist his environment). A man gets peace from a woman by her accommodation (ability to change per environment).

        Of course you’ve said this sort of thing many times. I may be just practicing getting my thoughts down. I think I see a lot of men and women (both) missing the point with unhappy results.

  2. Thank you for this post. I have recently discovered that I have become the controller in my marriage, which isn’t how God has designed marriage. I have also enjoyed your writings about pornography because my husband has struggled with it for 13 years (we have been married for 1.5 years). He has a huge desire to get rid of such a destructive temptation and sin, but of course the enemy still uses that against him. Because of his sin I have sort of become the “controller” in our home. I know this is unhealthy but it’s hard for me trust, respect and honor him when he isn’t showing signs of being a leader. However, my controlling also isn’t allowing much room to improve, and walk closer with the Lord.
    Thank you again for your dedication to the Lord and the wisdom he has spoken through you.

    1. Tonya,

      It is SO EASY for us to feel like we must or should take over when our husbands stumble. Then we enter into this downward death spiral where one spouse’s sin fuels the other spouse’s sin and we just destroy one another. Not good!

      I am so very sorry to hear about your husband’s porn struggles. That is an incredibly painful situation for a wife.

      Thankfully, it is not really him you need to trust – it is Jesus! You aren’t going to be putting all of your faith in your husband. You are going to be fully submitting to Christ and then trusting Him to lead you through your husband. You can let go of control because God is sovereign – not because your husband is the most godly leader ever. I hope that makes sense.

      How severe is the addiction? Where are you afraid to trust? Is he willing to rebuild trust and be open, transparent, and honest?

      How do you believe God may desire you to back off and step down a bit?

      Much love to you my precious sister!

      1. Thank you for the reminder that I need to put my trust in Jesus. His addiction is something that comes up just about everyday. We have taken measures to lock Internet access in our home. However, it has simply come down to his contious choice to say no to the enemy. He is honest and transparent with me and has some accountability with a couple of his close friends. We have also sought the help of one of the pastors/close friends at our church. At this point all I can do is give it to Jesus, trust that He has is all in his control.

        1. Tonya,

          Goodness, so painful!! But I am very encouraged that he is being transparent and open and that y’all are seeking help. You certainly cannot control your husband’s thoughts. You can trust him to God’s care and God is able to speak to him and work in his heart in powerful ways beyond anytihg we could imagine. I pray for healing for you both and for God’s greatest glory in your lives and in your marriage!!!

  3. whoa April, it’s like you’ve been following my online reading! Somewhere I found that this has been called intimacy anorexia. I couldn’t believe there was such a thing! One spouse with holds affection, sex, time together, verbal praise, etc. and basically starves the other spouse emotionally, typically, as a punishment or means of control because of wounds from childhood, addictions, or didn’t experience healthy intimacy via family example, etc. I believe the most common response from the other partner is to ultimately leave or totally shut down unless something changes. It can go on for years. I understand the desire to make a spouse feel your pain if he seems oblivious to how a sin is hurting you. However, with this strategy of revenge in our hearts, we end up hurting ourselves with downward cycles, hurting our chances of healing and missing God’s best.

    1. Refined,

      Hmm.. That is an interesting definition. Intimacy Anorexia. Starving intimacy by withholding affection, sex, and life-giving words.

      That is an apt term, because, if left to grow, that bitterness and hatred and revenge will kill our marriages – or any relationship.

      Thank you so much for sharing!!

  4. Hi April,

    This makes sense when it comes to a husbands choice for himself, but what about his choices with his children?

    For example, what if he allows our children to eat sugary foods and watch TV all day (shows with violent and sexual themes)? When I come to him respectfully with research that shows the detrimental effects of these things, he shrugs it off.
    How so I protect my children’s health and development and, at the same time, respect my husband’s authority over our home?

    1. Jenna,

      Please remind me what his relationship is with Christ?

      How old are your children? What is he allowing them to watch?

      What are you praying about for him and for your children?

      How often does he have them all day?

      What do you do when he lets them have these things that you disagree with? What do you say to him? What is your tone of voice? What do you say to the children?

      Great questions!!

      Much love

      1. Ok, this is actually about a friend of mine, but we have a 12 month old, so these are issues I see being potential problems in the future, and I would like to know how to respond in a respectful, Godly manner if something like this were to come up between my husband and I. 🙂

        Her husband is a believer.

        Her children are 3 and 14 months.

        I’m not sure the exact shows he’s allowing them to watch.

        She prays that he God will give him more of an eternal mindset, and shower him with His love and grace.

        She is a stay at home Mom, so I’m guessing he just has them on some evenings and weekends.

        I think she initially came to him with her concerns, but now that he’s not changing, she does nothing, and is pretty conflicted about it.

        I guess her story is an example of a struggle I’ve had with how to be a respectful wife. I completely understand that he is his own person, and his decisions are between him and the Lord. My role is to focus on whether or not I’m being the wife I’m called to be.

        My struggle comes when a husband’s unwise (not always sinful) decisions begin to negatively affect the children. Let’s say the wife has respectfully confronted her husband and seen no desire to change. Should the wife just sit back and do nothing, knowing it’s detrimental to her children, in order to respect her husband’s leadership? Or should she step in and over-ride her husband’s decisions, for the protection and well-being of her children?

        1. Jenna,

          Here is what I know I used to do, and I have seen a lot of wives do this, too… It is easy for us to make the little issue more important than the marriage, our husbands, our obedience to God, and God’s Word.

          In most cases, it is probably not a really big deal if a dad lets kids watch things a bit above their age. Now, if he is showing them rated R movies or pornography – well, then you have a more serious problem. But if he is just letting them watch Star Wars or something, I don’t think it would be worth making a big deal out of it. I think sharing her heart respectfully and trusting God to work in her husband’s heart would be appropriate.

          It would need to be a pretty serious situation before I would be willing to step in and override my husband. I know many moms are concerned about what their kids see on TV. I know I am. Definitely. In fact, if it were up to me, we wouldn’t have a tv in the house. But, my husband loves to watch tv, so I submit to him on that. And I allow the kids to watch some tv because he felt I was being way too strict a few years ago when I totally banned tv for a summer.

          I am a pharmacist, and I have been reading all the stuff about sugar and how bad it is. I am willing to radically change our diet and eliminate processed foods, preservatives, artificial colors, sugar, etc… I think we would all be a lot more healthy if we did that. Greg is not on board. So, I honor him and continue making food he likes. I try to make healthy food. And I try to limit the amount of sugar my children eat. But, sometimes, our husbands help to balance us out, and that is a good thing. Sometimes they help us not be too radical, but do things in moderation.

          You know what is more detrimental to children than eating some sugar and seeing a show that isn’t the best choice? Seeing their mom usurp their dad’s God-given authority and twist God’s design for marriage. Then they will learn that moms are to be in charge and in control and that they don’t really have to respect Dad. Their view of God will be impacted, and the strength of the parents’ marriage will be impacted. Children need parents wtih strong, godly marriages.

          Sometimes the things we get worked up about that we define as being “detrimental” are not always as big of a deal as we might feel like they are in the long run.

          If a child is in true danger – being physically beaten or sexually molested or exposed to drugs or something criminal – a mom would need to step in. But, I believe it would need to only be in a very serious situation that a wife would want to override her husband. For more on this, please read Spiritual Authority at the top of my home page.

          A wife can absolutely share what she reads and what she wants to do, her feelings, her concerns, her desires, etc… And she should share those things respectfully. But, in most cases, if a husband chooses not to do what the wife would want to do, she can continue to uphold his authority and continue to honor his leadership and pray for God to give him wisdom.

          Sometimes, we cannot see until later that our husbands had a lot of wisdom, too, and that even that thing we thought was so important, may not have been best. But we can’t see that until later in hindsight.

          Sometimes husbands are not “wrong.” They are just different, and that is ok. And sometimes, the parents each just have different values or priorities, but that doesn’t mean that the children are in danger. I hope that makes sense. 🙂

          Thanks for the wonderful questions!!!

          Much love,

  5. daughter,

    It is so wise to understand that your husband may be upset about something else. I know that men think differently and need time to process things, but sometimes I forget and want to talk about a problem or stress that has come up instead of realizing he needs time and space to process the problem first. Right now we’re in the midst of dealing with an unexpected heating issue in the large house we recently purchased. My husband has been irritable, and finally just asked me to trust the issue to him, that he needed to “get his head around the problem” and figure out what he needs to do. He said he wasn’t annoyed with me, as it seemed, but was annoyed with himself for not doing something three months ago. I thought I had been comforting and a good partner by discussing the issue and possible resolutions, but it just got in the way of his thinking. I smiled then and told him I had total confidence in his ability to care for it. Then I didn’t mention it again. Now he has decided what he needs to do and is doing it.

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