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A Wife Shares What She Has Learned in Her First Year on This Journey

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In response to my post last week – thanks so much to this dear wife for allowing me to share!

Some things I have learned about my husband in the past year, since working on respect:

* Complaining stresses him out. Even if it is about something he can’t control (like the weather), he really just can’t take negatives! His work life is all the stress he can handle.

* When he comes home, he needs to be greeted and feel relaxed, because he comes home to de-stress. Lists or the kids’ schedules are stressful.

* I have learned to email him our kids’ sports schedules and not talk about the schedules. This way, our conversations don’t have to be centered on driving/schedules/etc.

* He likes being around me more when I am quiet and peaceful. (sense a theme here?)

* He now sees his friends less (because I am more of a friend to him now, not a needy, complaining wife) and takes me out more and spends more time with me.

* He calls me “Babe” now & is much more romantic with me…since he feels more relaxed and respected around me, I am much more appealing to him.

How does my husband reflect Christ to me?

* My husband wants me to trust him in everything.

* My husband wants me to be thankful for all the good in our lives, and not complain about the bad.

* My husband wants me to just be with him, not just asking for things.

* My husband hates worrying and fearfulness.

* My husband truly does love me and wants the best for me.

* My husband’s timeline is not my timeline. I need to trust his timeline.

What have I learned about myself?

* When I try to “do everything” to “help,” I’m actually trying to control everything…which makes my husband and children resentful.

* I can let go of control, and the sun still shines…and I’m a whole lot happier and less stressed.

* When I was seeking perfection, I was not happy, and neither was anyone else…even though I thought I was doing everything for the family’s “common good.”

* The more in love with Christ I fall, the more peaceful and joy-filled I am.

* Being gentle and quiet and waiting is not weakness or laziness. I am actually a better witness when I am “resting” in Christ…a breeze kisses, whereas a tornado disturbs and destroys. Lord, make me a gentle breeze.

 

Share:

What has God shown you about what speaks respect to your husband, about how your husband reflects Christ to you, and/or about yourself on this journey to become a godly wife?

48 thoughts on “A Wife Shares What She Has Learned in Her First Year on This Journey

  1. Wow this is beautiful!!!

    Just this morning my husband was asking me to slow down and take his “no” seriously and not attempt to help!

    While I find it hard to see him struggling, he always tells me not to worry and take care and good rest. But I try to do things out of the way sometimes and it stresses him out. He told me very clearly this morning when he says he doesn’t need help, i should not ask again and again if he needs help. And should not try to do things especially because now im in my 30th week of pregnancy.

    The way men think and the way women think is very different.. The more we understand the more we get to place where we can be more gentle and peaceful…

    1. Vinodhini,
      It sounds like your husband is trying to protect you and take good care of you. 🙂 That is beautiful!!!!! Congratulations on your pregnancy. I am praying for you and your husband! 🙂

      1. Thanks April for praying for us.. We’ve gone through so many ups and downs in the last few months but God has been gracious to us!! Please continue to pray for our family life.

        Love
        Vinodhini

  2. Thank you to this wife, for sharing the encouragement of your journey, and the previous post, April, about your ongoing battle to get the balance right. Both have helped me so much.

    My main struggle in trying to undo all my years of disrespect is in how I talked behind my husband’s back to the children and disrespected him and didn’t teach them to respect him. 🙁 I am so ashamed and finding this the hardest part to put right. Even yesterday, my children who are both older teens, said to me ‘typical dad’ in response to something that happened. I feel so responsible and guilty for not teaching them to respect him as head of the house. I have tried to put this right lately, and discussed with both of them all my convictions and how I am trying to change, and they do both understand and support my change of heart.I have also prayed with them both about this – I am very thankful that they both know and love the Lord. But even this area has been a divide in our family, as my husband isn’t a Christian – yet! So it has been a ‘him v us’ situation at times 🙁

    But we had another incident lately, where my husband put his foot down about a family decision (like Greg, that’s rare!) and I went along with it, and the children have both mentioned it since and disagreed, and tried to get me to argue, and to change his mind. Then, to my shame, my husband then told me he HAD changed his mind and wanted to go along with our view – and I realised I had undermined him on every decision for SO long that he wasn’t used to having the final say on something and was now doubtful about his decision! 🙁
    He didn’t want the responsibility of having had the final say… because he is SO not used to that! How will I ever be able to put this right?
    I feel so sad and ashamed, and so sorry that I haven’t taught my children what respect in a marriage looks like. Ironically, I have always thought what a great mum I was, and how loving and close and well balanced our family is!! Such pride 🙁

    Sorry for the long post.

    1. Sus,

      My precious sister! Please don’t apologize! You know what? When God first opened my eyes to my MOUNTAIN of sin 6+ years ago, I was mortified. I wanted to live in a cave for the rest of my life and never see or talk to another human soul again. I wanted to erase those 14+ years of all of my sinful thoughts, motives, words, and actions. I wanted no one to ever remember them. I asked God why He hadn’t woken me up much earlier? Why did I go on and on sinning against Him and against Greg?

      But now I understand the providence of God a bit better. I will still be learning about this the rest of my life! But – now I see that if I had understood all of this immediately, I could not minister to wives in similar situations. I wouldn’t know all the baby steps and how to explain how God gradually transformed me and my thinking. And I wouldn’t have the testimony I do today. Now God is using all those years of my sin to draw thousands of women to Himself.

      I apologized to my children. They were very young. So, they caught on pretty quickly about how to treat Daddy with respect. Their being so young was an advantage in many ways. HOWEVER, they don’t remember what I used to be like. Your children will. Your children will be very cognizant of all the changes God is doing in you and I believe that will affect them profoundly! You can repent to God and to your husband and children. It sounds like you have. And then you can pray and trust God to change you, to heal your husband, to bless your marriage, and to help you retrain your children in a godly way. They may balk. That is ok. They may not have been convicted by the Holy Spirit yet. But your beautiful example now will still have a powerful effect on them in the future and in their future relationships. You can talk about things you are learning about Christ and submission to Him and reverencing Him and respecting your husband. You can talk about how a wife’s respect and honor for her husband’s leadership teaches children to submit to their parents and to other God-given authorities. You can have them read Spiritual Authority at the top of my home page. You can have them read Respecting Our Husbands As Fathers and share that you messed up. But this is what God desired you to do as they were growing up, and this is what you want to do from this point on. You can talk about I Peter 3:1-6 and how God empowers wives to be His partners to draw their husbands to Christ as they trust God’s Spirit to do the work and they get out of the way. The approach for children to draw their dads to Christ would be similar, I believe.

      It will take time for your husband to feel confident in making decisions. That is ok. There is a lot of training in godliness that you can do with your teenagers as you learn. You can have them read some of the resources you are reading and you can teach them about God’s design for marriage. I believe God can use you now to help train them to be godly spouses.

      You cannot change the past. But you can learn from it. And you can seek God with all your heart now. And you can praise God that your children are still home with you for you to train them. And we can pray together for God to work in your husband’s and children’s lives for His greatest glory! Praise God for His sovereignty. You can rest in His sovereignty and love for you and your whole family. What a privilege that God is giving you time now to change things and to get things right with Him and your husband and children. WOOHOO!!!!!

      I’m so excited about all that God has done, all that He is doing, and all that He will do in and through you and in your family! 🙂

      Please don’t apologize for your long post. That is why we are all here together – to share in this journey, to bless, pray for, encourage, exhort, and sharpen each other! 🙂

      1. Thank you April, I am crying as I read this!
        You are so right, God can use me and the changes in me to teach my children and it is NOT too late! My daughter is at University (first year) and also has a godly relationship with a young man who loves Jesus, but I know I have given her so many bad examples. I have also been so controlling of her, and have had to let go of it all, big time! It was a huge idol in my life! But I do praise God that in spite of me, He has worked and is working in her life.

        I also have a beautiful example which cheered me up when I remembered it earlier and which I share to show how much God is changing everything already. And to counter-balance my previous ‘negative’ post:
        A couple of weeks ago my husband got very cross about something and was having a bit of a rant, and as I came into the room my son mouthed to me ‘peaceful wife’ !! He was encouraging me to remember to stay calm and not get angry back at my husband. So sweet! And I did. And in five minutes the whole thing had blown over! And later my son said ‘well done Mum’ to me 🙂 bless him, he knew how I would’ve reacted a few months ago. And I know my husband noticed too, and is gradually realising that things have changed! In a good way! He wouldn’t want me to change who I am, or lose my personality – I think sometimes that might come across if we are not careful.

        We need to make sure, as we all work to change into godly, respectful wives, we don’t fall in the trap of leaving who we are behind, or becoming expressionless or voiceless. We still need to be the person our husbands fell in love with, as I think someone rightly said on yesterday’s blog. God doesn’t want us to change so much we are not ourselves any more. Doing things His way should bring out the best in us, not make us lose our personalities. Don’t you agree?
        God bless you and much love

        1. Sus,

          That is an awesome story! So glad you can see another side right now. Don’t forget that you are no longer under any condemnation – so whatever is thrown at you, you can stand against and dismiss in the name of Jesus! There is a huge difference between condemnation and conviction. You have confessed and agreed with God about your past sin and that is taken care of. I love the thoughts that April shared about the sovereignty of God and His timing, even in our mistakes. How do we even begin to wrap our heads around all of that? But, I am beyond grateful to be able to rest in His sovereignty and know that He has a plan, even when it looks like I’ve failed at everything. We are more than conquerors in Christ! We will stand on that promise together today!

          I totally agree with your last paragraph about not becoming expressionless or voiceless. Yes, yes, yes! As a matter of fact, I’ve been reading some material from one of the authors that April had mentioned in her 30 marriage books post. He says that it is a huge NEED of our husbands to show this emotional side of ourselves and that it meets emotional needs in them. It is that balance of femininity and masculinity – even though men are not as free in expressing their emotions as we are, they actually need and want us to be ourselves and to express ours in a feminine, respectful way. Also, if we try to dismiss our feelings or shut down certain feelings, we usually end up shutting our whole selves down in the process (as Elizabeth is saying in her post). We’re not even being the women God created us to be anymore. There’s so much more that could be said on this subject of feelings and not shutting them down, how to show respect while voicing them, etc.

          After just being introduced to some of these concepts last week, I have been able to express in respectful and calm ways (HUGE FOR ME!!) some minor issues that have arisen over the week. I was amazed at how easy the conversations went as opposed to what it might have looked like even three months ago. Amazed at how much my husband really wanted to help me in those things, too.

          1. YES!!! Jennifer – we are no longer condemned! WOOHOO! Romans 8! We have victory through Christ. We are more than conquerors through Him!

            I invite the ladies to look up the following terms on my home page search bar:

            – emotions
            – godly femininity
            – ungodly womanhood
            – PMS
            – feelings
            – bitterness
            – fear
            – to speak or not to speak
            – confronting our husbands about their sin
            – what does God say about me?

            I am super excited about what God is doing in your heart and in your marriage, Jennifer! Thank you very much for sharing!

        2. Sus,

          As your daughter talks about her relationship, you can share things you are learning. You can talk about things that didn’t work and things that didn’t honor God and what you are learning now. I know God will use you to greatly bless her!

          And how precious about your son!!!!! What a beautiful example of him supporting you in becoming a more godly woman and wife. He will remember these things! And it will cause him to question and hopefully to seek God’s design and to grow in his own faith.

          YES!!!!! I agree that we have to be careful. Repenting of sin and learning to bless and build up rather than to tear down is what we are after. Becoming the godly women Jesus desires us to be is the goal. Trying to change our personalities or to completely suppress our influence in our marriages and becoming doormats is NOT the goal at all.

          Love this!

          Thank you very much for sharing! How encouraging!

  3. I just wanted to add a different perspective. I tried to be the wife that the wife above was: never complaining, always being cheerful for my husband because his job was so stressful. I was quiet and peaceful… It almost caused me to take my own life…

    My husband tells me that he doesn’t expect me to be that stepford wife. If I am hurting, then he wants to know. He is a big boy and can take it. I was so busy trying to protect him and not cause him anymore stress, but that isn’t what he wanted. He wanted me to be real.

    We are still talking through this. Perhaps my situation is different because I wasn’t ever disrespectful… I just wanted to be the perfect wife for him.. Turns out being who I am and imperfect is who he loved/loves.

    1. Elizabeth (All, this is a different Elizabeth from the first one who commented),

      Being quiet but in extreme depression is not at all the same as being peaceful. These wives are approaching this journey from having been rather controlling, overly talkative, and disrespectful before – is my understanding. Wives who are too quiet and too submissive and who don’t share their pain and needs and hurts at all are going to approach this journey from a different angle – learning to speak up and share their needs, their hearts, and their problems. I hope that makes sense. There is a place of balance in between being too quiet and too submissive (which is not actual peace or joy, but oppression of one’s very self) and being a disrespectful, controlling, overly-communicative wife.

      I don’t think any reasonable husband expects his wife to be a Stepford wife. I know that Greg has mentioned many times he doesn’t expect me to be perfect. Being real and authentic is important!! Of course, the goal is to be more and more our new real self in Christ and less and less our old sinful selves. I really hope this makes sense!

      Thank you so much for sharing this, Elizabeth!

      Much love to you!

      1. Ladies,

        Here are some posts about people pleasing, martyrdom, and perfectionism that may be helpful.

        And please keep in mind – we ALL need the power of God’s Spirit to be the wives He calls us to be. This is much more about ultimately pleasing Christ than doing everything our husband says he wants or everything we think our husbands want. We are not going to please our husbands ALL the time. And there are times when it would be wrong to try to please them. Our motives are important. Are we seeking to please and honor and submit to God first? Are we trying to find fulfillment in our husband’s approval rather than God’s? Are we trying to be so perfect that we are being fake and not being authentic? There are many snares and many ways to twist our motives so that we head down a destructive path.

        Praying for us all to seek Christ far above all else and that we might allow Him to empower us and to transform us to be more and more like ourselves as we seek to joyfully cooperate with our husbands’ God-given leadership.

        (If a husband is asking his wife to actually sin or condone sin, or if there is a major mental health issue on one side of the marriage or the other, or if there is actual infidelity, or true abuse, or major problems – please seek one-on-one, wise, biblical, godly, trustworthy counsel or appropriate help!)

  4. My husband enjoys how i don’t try to control him anymore or how much time he spends doing his hobby. I used to think that he went overboard with his hobby and maybe he still does, but it’s not my concern. I never used to understand that i was trying to control him. I did it in subtle ways by sulking or going off by myself. It definitely affected my mood. He calls me the peaceful wife now. I don’t tell him what to do, and treat him as a grown man! i often ask him if he needs a little time to himself. I’ve found things that interest me and have gained my independence once again. It used to really bug me that i was so consumed with what he was doing with his time, but i didn’t know how to quit doing it. It is so freeing now to realize i don’t have to worry about what he is doing. He is perfectly capable of running his own life! i am very peaceful now and have plenty of things i enjoy doing, but we certainly spend time together. he enjoys it that i am much more understanding now.

  5. Great post, many of these points are also very true about my husband. Especially that he likes me to have a peaceful and quiet spirit (although he would never put it in those terms) and to not be prone to complaining, worrying and fearfulness. So neat that as I am typing this comment, the thought came to me that even though he is not a believer, he apparently loves Christ in me (even though he is not aware that that is Who he is seeing/experiencing yet!) 🙂 I trust that God is going to show me -all of us – more and more the idea of meeting our husbands’ needs from the life of Christ in us rather than just from the dynamic of a wife/husband relationship (if that makes sense!). I sensed this morning as I was hugging my husband, that that hug was not from me, it was God Himself giving him that hug.

    Thinking of how my husband reflects Christ to me (and agreeing with each one listed in the post) – he forgives me easily; he likes to give gifts (like vacations, etc.) and wants me to accept them with a happy heart; he is very patient with me; he does not focus on my shortcomings; I can go to him with situations/circumstances that I’m not sure how to handle and know that he will give me an answer and I can trust that; his emotions and temperament are generally stable and unwavering especially, it seems, when I’m getting caught up in mine; he will give up the last piece of a dessert or something else desirable for myself or our kids, even though he probably wants it.

    I’m grateful that you asked that question – it’s a good way for us to think about whatever is lovely, and true and beautiful, rather than our tendency to do the opposite at times.

    1. Jennifer,

      I just had to say how much I especially enjoyed your comment. There is something very special indeed about a man who will gladly give you the last piece of cheesecake! 🙂 I truly treasure the same things in my husband that you do in yours. It brings to mind how people were made in God’s image, and in the perfect state, reflect many of his wonderful qualities. Even in our imperfection, we can let his light shine in us!
      Best wishes, Elizabeth

    2. Jennifer,

      I am going to have a post later this week about this topic – that what we are giving up is not our personalities or our authenticity – but only sinful things. Like we do give up complaining, worrying, and fearfulness as we learn to be thankful, trusting, and able to receive all of God’s love and provision. And YES! Godliness is attractive! Even though he doesn’t know what is causing that – it is those Christlike qualities in you that are produced by God’s Spirit that help to draw your husband to yourself and to God. 🙂 So beautiful!

      Love what you shared! This is so beautiful!

  6. Hi, PeacefulWife, I’ve linked to this article on the….

    (moderated by Peacefulwife)

    I’ll await your response.

    1. Hello, my friend, hakeliyah!

      Well, Greg, my husband, has asked me very explicitly not to be involved in the manosphere. I appreciate you asking me about this. 🙂 It could be wise to take the link down. I am not able to approve comments from the manosphere on my blogs, per Greg’s request. I don’t mind people reading my posts. But I know it could be frustrating for people when they realize I cannot approve their comments that are promoting a red pill agenda.

      Have a wonderful day! 🙂 It is great to hear from you!

  7. The list of how your husband reflects Christ really jumped off the screen to me! Thank you for sharing them. I see so clearly how those same qualities in my husband mirror Jesus! They are such great qualities to have! Thinking of them in this way really motivates me to embrace them and desire to respond to them in my husband in the same way I would to Christ!

  8. April,
    I have learned so much from you and all of the women on here. I need advice: How do you handle it when your husband is in a horrible mood? Sometimes mine is so frustrated from work that anything I say or do is wrong. We have 3 kids ages 11 to 4 so it is hard to find time to let him vent. He says “don’t use your teacher voice on me!!!!! ” when I am trying to be patient and not get him mad. (I am a teacher, lol) It is almost like he wants to fight! I feel like I am walking through a minefield and just want the kids in bed so we don’t fight. I know work is stressful for him. But I hate nights like that! I just can’t wait to get to bed! I try just to give him space but that is hard. This happens about once a month and then he is usually fine.

    1. Amy,

      A lot of husbands need space when they are upset because they have to get alone to process their negative feelings, thoughts, and emotions. Have you asked him what he needs when he is frustrated – at a time when he is in a good mood? Perhaps he can explain what he needs and you can try to accommodate him during those days to bless him?

      Would he do better if he could be in another room or if you kept the kids out of the room where he is? Is that possible? And maybe you could avoid asking him a lot of questions? Maybe you could also try to avoid telling him what to do. Most men don’t like being given stern directives at any time. They appreciate our respectful suggestions more, usually. Of course, if they are extremely agitated already, leaving them alone can be the best thing for an evening.

      Thankfully, this is a fairly rare thing at your house. 🙂

      Ladies, if any of you would like to share what you have learned, you are most welcome to!

      1. Amy,

        You can also search “Bad mood” and “conflict” on my home page search bar. 🙂 And I have a Youtube video about Why Men Need Space Sometimes. My channel is April Cassidy.

      2. Amy, I understand what you are going through. My husband sometimes will get into a mood and he wants to be left completely alone and doesn’t want anyone to talk to him. It took me a long time to learn to not take it personally, and I still struggle with that. What makes it difficult, and ends up annoying me, is that he will sometimes be in our family room (kind of the center of the house) sulking, and we are expected not to talk to him. Sometimes I will ask him if he wouldn’t mind going to another room, or sometimes I will do things with the kids upstairs like play a board game. If it is really a negative atmosphere though, I find that the best thing to do is to take the kids on an outing for several hours to give my husband some much needed space and alone time. It is amazing how when you are alone in the comforts of your own home (a rare treat for any parent), you can work out almost any problem. I have found that giving him just those few hours of silence and space will do wonders to turn the mood around. Thankfully, my husband’s bad moods never last longer than an evening.

        I think it is hard for women to understand this because we are so used to wanting to talk about our feelings and our bad day…it is how we process all the emotions running through us.

        Also, the most important thing to do is to pray for your husband when he is going through these moods. Ask Our Dear Lord to cover him in His Precious Blood and loving arms. Sometimes that is all you can do, but it is the best solution 🙂

        1. Thanks for the replies. It really helps to hear that others are sometimes in the same situation. Sometimes I feel like everyone else’s husbands are so perfect! lol Anyway, Mrs. G, that is EXACTLY the problem. He sits in the CENTER of the house with his bad mood. With 3 kids ages 11-4, I can’t always get out. We are doing homework, baths etc especially on a school night. I think what really annoys me is that it is almost like he wants me to be miserable too. That usually ends up being the case. I will try the suggestions. I feel like it is my burden to bear though. Thanks for listening and as always the kind advice from April and her readers.

          1. Amy,

            Many, many wives face similar situations. It would sure be awesome if he had a man cave of some type to go to. What are the possibilities of getting him a tv in a room off by itself that could be his space? 🙂

            Praying for God’s wisdom and His Spirit’s power and HIs love for you. 🙂

  9. After being on the journey for awhile, you really get to the heart of things and it can get discouraging. Pressing forward, remembering what I know, taking a grand look at overall changes so that I am personally inspired to continue to trust is so important. Our Lord is faithful and learning to continue to rest in His timing and in His way is not easy. This was the encouragement I needed. Thank you so much ladies.

  10. This is an awesome revelation! I always seem to find encouragement when I come to this blog. But I do have a sincere concern and question.

    I know I cannot control my husband or make him be for me what I need him to be. But we have been struggling for the past several years. Really the six years we’ve been married. I was going through a bad depression and anxiety that I didn’t realize was as bad as it was, but I got help, and I started feeling really back to myself. Over the last couple of years, I have grown more in my relationship with Christ (of course I’m still learning). I started treating my husband the way he deserved to be treated. I wasn’t complaining unnecessarily, I gave him space. He’s gone all the time for work, so the times we are together, I really want to take advantage of time with him (not to mention regular workdays when he’s in town, but we don’t talk during the workday), but he seems to want to fill that non-work time with everything other than trying to spend time with me. We do have issues that we need to talk about and resolve, but if I try to bring up something that we can talk about to resolve, he goes straight into telling me things that he thinks I’m doing wrong. It bothers me because some of the things he speaks of are from the past, and honestly, I feel like he just isn’t around me enough to say I’m doing x or y wrong, because he’s always traveling. He isn’t there long enough to even see those behaviors he speaks of. And when he’s around, I don’t believe I portray those behaviors. We’re usually either watching tv or he’s doing his own thing. There isn’t a lot of interaction because I want to give him his space. It just seems like I’m secondary.

    We’ve argued, I’ve slipped up and reverted to past inappropriate behavior, but I’ve apologized for it once I notice it. Believe me, I used to be much worse. I hate falling for the enemy’s tricks and falling back into behavior I know neither one of us likes, like being judgmental and getting defensive. Even if we’ve gone on an extended stint of not arguing, as soon as one disagreement comes up, he just dumps back on me all the things that I’ve been doing wrong, even if in the very recent past, we got through a situation to end in resolution. Even if we’ve had a pretty enjoyable day together. I know this seems jumbled and like I’m all over the place, but I really just need some prayer and guidance and another “eye” on how I may be approaching this situation and what I may be able to do to have some clarity about the situation. He thinks I am holding back from saying I don’t want to be married to him anymore, and I honestly believe he is holding back from saying it. I’ve been very vocal about wanting to be with him because I believe the things we have been having tension about, God can heal, restore and repair (ultimately, our issue is a disconnect in communication). He says he doesn’t come to me to talk because he doesn’t think there’s going to be any resolve, so he doesn’t say anything to me at all, but I’ve told him that if he would just come to me and give me a chance, he would realize that I’m more equipped to talk about hard issues now than in the past when I was going through my depressive state. He says he just doesn’t believe me. That everything that I do now, just reminds him of in the past when I was trying some of the same things and he remembers the outcome back then. I’ve always known God, but I don’t think I had the relationship with Him that I do now. I’ve recently in the last couple of months, given my life back to God, and I am completely all in this time, but I am very weak, and I am sensitive to realizing this may really be the end of my marriage. My husband has zero faith that I am a different person than I was in the last six years. I believe God can save us. I believe His will is for us to get through this, but I feel like I’m the only one left in this relationship with God, and my husband is actively trying not to seek Him. He doesn’t want to go into any depth of conversation of sharing with me his relationship with God. I don’t know anything. He gets mad at me when I ask questions. I feel like the enemy has a very strong hold on him. But I refuse to give up. I’m tired, and I know where I’m weak, God is strong, but I need the prayers from some of the awesome women who come to this blog, and from you, Peaceful Wife. Please, anyone with an encouraging word, help.

    1. Hi, Shawn! I am so sorry that you’re going through a rough time in your marriage, but happy for you, too, that God is doing such good things in your heart!

      I just wanted to encourage you to read the verses in
      1 Peter 3 that talk about how to act with a husband who is “disobedient to the Word”. I think that will be a big help. It will probably be best for you not to even bring up the subject of his relationship with God at all at this time. In the meantime, you can pray and believe that your prayers really DO make a difference and are effective, even when we can’t see anything externally happening around us. Prayer is one of our weapons that we use now, instead of our old fleshly weapons of judgmentalism, control, anger, etc.

      If your husband were to say again that he doesn’t see any difference in you, I think I would consider responding with something like…”I’m sorry that you can’t see any difference and I’m sorry that my past has colored that. I do believe God has changed me in this area and while I’m not perfect, I hope that you’ll be able to see the fruit (or proof) of it in the coming days.” Don’t argue with him or try to justify yourself. Just a simple statement and then go about your business of living in Christ. Trust God to give you opportunities to show him the change (this might mean that conflict will happen where he can see that your behavior really is different than what it would have been before so be prepared!)

      I wouldn’t push at all to have any “hard” conversations right now. Just respect him, love him, build him up and admire him as appropriate (this particular thing does more to draw my husband quickly to me than anything else, probably). Determine to respect him as a heart attitude and in external ways of showing regardless of whether you think he deserves respect or not. It might take months of this before he’s ready to have any kind of serious discussions about the difficulties in your marriage. You may not even have to have any “hard” conversations as life goes on like this as things might just smoothly work themselves out.

      You said he’s away a lot. Is there a way you could reach out to him and love him (without putting any pressure on him) during that time? Could you send very short e-mails or texts building him up without expecting anything in return right now? That might be a way to help connect right now since it seems there is so much time apart. Maybe God will give you other ideas on how to show your respect and admiration for him even though you don’t have a ton of time together. I don’t know about you, but my husband has particular things that he would really like me to do or have done during the day and paying attention to those things shows respect to him.

      I hope some of this helps. I’m sorry if they’re things you’re doing already – in which case, I can understand how you are feeling discouraged! I agree with you, though. I believe it’s not too late for your marriage and God is showing you these things NOW for a reason! I pray that God encourages you today with hope and joy!

      1. Jennifer,
        Thank you so much for the encouraging words and suggestions. Even though I’ve done some of what you’ve suggested, it still helps that I am not the only one who thinks that something may be a good idea. I used to email him or text him and leave encouraging, appreciative notes, but he was never really responsive. I think he has on these color-shaded glasses that only sees me as I used to be. I have gone weeks/months without bringing things up to him, and when I do feel like we’ve been on a wave for a while where we have been communicating, I basically get the “slap in the face” response of him telling me that he sees me trying, but just doesn’t feel any different about me”. This is why for me, it’s very discouraging. Last year, I even tried to give the way he has been behaving towards me and his feelings the open door for him to move on. I’ve explained to him that in the past, yes, I would have been really afraid and I was scared to be alone, but because of my newfound relationship that is continuously growing with God, that I will be hurt, but I will be okay, but I am not afraid to move on if he doesn’t want to be with me anymore. If it’s God’s will for him to leave, and he’s treating me like he doesn’t want to be around or with me, then why stay, right? But he doesn’t act on it. He stays, he continuously comes home. So to me, that’s telling me that he doesn’t really want to split up, and there’s something deeper that he isn’t sharing with me. He’s an ice block with me, but he wants to stay. I am determined to keep God in my forefront, live life, show him love and respect, and continuing to keep pushing.

        We don’t have any children, and I do pray that God blesses us with them in His time. At one time, it was something that I overly obsessed about to the point where I was getting mad at social media because every time I opened an app, someone was parading their bump or their new baby. I avoided social media for months and just prayed for the envy to be removed. I’m in my thirties, and have never been pregnant, so I’m sure why some may see why I was feeling the way I was feeling. But I know that something that I desire so much will not be completely denied by the Father to His children. Now, I don’t think about it so obsessively.

        Maybe all of this is to give me all the patience of Job, so that when that time comes, I’ll be a little more equipped, LOL.

        Thank you so very much for your kind words and encouragement.

        1. Shawn,

          Well, God loves marriage. And He loves healing marriages. So I do believe it is God’s will to save your marriage, not to destroy it. Of course, your husband has free will and he can choose to leave. But I pray that God will heal your marriage.

          Feelings can take a long time to change when someone has been very hurt for a long time. The fact that he is staying tells me that he doesn’t want to leave. His actions are clearly showing commitment to your marriage. God can change his feelings, it just may take a lot longer than we would want it to. Greg and I were nowhere near talking about separation or divorce, even though he was completely emotionally checked out when I started this journey. It took 3.5 years for him to feel safe with me again.

          I’m really excited that you are no longer obsessing over a baby. I know that is a deep desire in your heart, and I totally understand why. But I am glad that you have freedom from that obsession right now. That is a blessing.

          Yes, it is very discouraging for a wife to know how much God is changing her over many months and for a husband to still say it basically doesn’t matter. BUT – as a husband continues to see his wife change just for God and just to bless him with no promise that he will change his behavior toward her, that impacts a man deeply. Yes, it takes time. But if God is going to heal your marriage, this is the path that will lead to healing.

          You are doing the right thing. I know it is discouraging at this phase! Almost all husbands are still skeptical even after a number of months. Most have to see changes going on for years before they believe it, unless there wasn’t severe damage in the marriage before. So, you are on the right track, it seems to me. Be greatly encouraged, my precious sister!

      2. Dear Jennifer,

        I just wanted to tell you about a wonderful book my husband and I recently read about attachment theory in adults called “Hold Me Tight.” Researchers have done many studies showing how important secure attachment is and that it is impossible to be a happy person without at least one unconditional, secure attachment in our lives. I am not a Christian, but I think this is what the other women who are are reaching for when talking about having a relationship with Christ, to get one’s attachment needs met through him rather than depending on your husband to do so, especially when he is in a period in his life where he can’t meet them. Attachment is the preeminent need of a human being, more than even food and water. If you feel insecure attachment with your husband and he is shut down on your meeting his attachment needs as well, then you will both experience what she calls “attachment distress'” and will go into coping behaviors that, although they are really a protest for attachment, will undermine your ability to do so and will tear at the bonds of your love. Actually, she says that what love really is is a bond of attachment. Without realizing it, we can tear away at our bond because of the pain we feel at not having our attachment needs met (and deep down inside, we always blame ourselves and feel it is because we are unworthy.) Anyway, this book has really enlightened my husband and I so we are communicating about our feelings and what is real rather than staying in maladaptive coping behaviors that only continue to trigger more attachment distress in each other. It helps us to “get real” with ourselves and each other about what the real issues are instead of going round and round about a topic.

        I really wish you well and hope for the healing of your attachment distress.

        Lee

    2. Shawn,

      A Fellow Wife, would you be interested in taking this one? 🙂

      A few thoughts of mine:

      – Giving space is so counterintuitive to most of us ladies. We like CONNECTION. Not space. I actually want to run some posts about space and would love to hear from some of the husbands about ways wives can give space that bless them. I had a REALLY tough time learning to give space to Greg myself. Giving space didn’t feel like a gift. But now, Greg is able to tell me that space can give a husband room to breathe and space to feel like he is not being controlled. My understanding is that men can get “filled up” with connection, and then may need some time to move away for a bit, even if nothing is wrong. Then when they begin to feel “hungry” for more closeness, they will tend to come back.

      – A lot of the husbands I have communicated with, including my own, tell me that some issues are not resolvable. And they don’t like when their wives want to talk because it feels like going before a verbal firing squad. If a man believes he is going to be interrogated or verbally castrated, he will make himself unavailable for “talks.” I vote to maybe wait on those tough issues. If your husband associates you wanting to “talk” with conflict and you getting really upset, he won’t want to talk with you at all. What if you give him the chance to just have some pleasant talks with you about non-important issues that need resolving? What if you show him you are a safe place and that his heart is safe with you?

      It can take a REALLY, REALLY long time after a guy has been burned over and over for many years to feel that he is safe enough to let his guard down again. And, when he does that, we better be sure we keep being a safe place for him to share.

      – I believe it is God’s will to heal your marriage, too. But I do believe I Peter 3:1-6 is your most effective strategy. I vote not to talk about the state of the marriage or the future of the marriage or to talk about God right now. Your words about these things will repel him at this point. He needs to see your behavior and attitude being godly and genuinely respectful for a long time before he is going to soften toward you, in my view, from what you have described at this point.

      – What are the issues that are so important to talk about? Is there something that is truly urgent that you want me to hash through with you a bit?

      – If you have only been doing this for a few months, that is not long enough for a husband to believe that you have changed – especially if he isn’t around you much.

      – I suggest smiling at him, expecting nothing in return. Be friendly and pleasant, have a friendly tone of voice. Just seek to be friendly and to be a safe place for him for now. Don’t push him into deeper commitment. Don’t pressure him for a deep talk. Just enjoy him and be thankful for anything he does give to you.

      Praying for wisdom for you!!!

      Much love,
      April

      1. Thank you so much for your kind words and advice, April. I’m sure you’ve read my reply to Jennifer at this point. So hopefully that will tell a little bit, why I feel so discouraged. He muddles together who I was and my efforts to try to solve problems back then, with who I am now and my efforts now. It may sound confusing, but basically, I guess because of my REACTIONS in the past to him not accepting my efforts and working with me to move forward back then, he thinks my reactions TODAY will be the same, which is what I’ve been trying to explain to him are different because of my mindset now vs. then (being under a heavy depression). So I completely see why he would think that. What I don’t understand is why he won’t choose to give me and us another chance if he’s choosing to continue to come home and be around me. Why be around me if he’s just going to reject most suggestions I give to move forward, and treat me like he doesn’t want to be around me? And he doesn’t offer suggestions of his own to help us move forward. This feeling of being on the fence is the most heartbreaking. I feel like he wants me to be the one to say “fine, I don’t want to be with you anymore” and pull the trigger, rather than he do it. And it’s completely not what I want. Sigh….I guess the human part of me just wants resolution, one way or the other, which is the one thing he won’t give. I’ve given my thoughts and feelings on the situation and told him numerous times that I want to stay and work things out, and I know that it may be hard, but I’m willing. In the midst of disagreement, he has said he doesn’t want to do anything else to work it out. So do I believe what he’s saying, and give him what he says he wants, or do I listen to God, who I believe is that little voice in my head that keeps saying “don’t give up on him”……

        1. Shawn,

          Yep. That is pretty normal for a lot of husbands at this point. They assume that you haven’t really changed. It is frustrating!!! I GET IT! I have been there.

          Words about how you are changing won’t mean much to him. But as he continues to see God’s joy and peace in you and your respect and willingness to honor him even though he doesn’t deserve it, that will get to his heart.

          He IS giving you another chance if he is still there, is my feeling. I vote to not talk with him about the marriage or the future, just enjoy whatever he will give you and the opportunity to minister blessing to him while he is here.

          It is hard to feel like things are up in the air. We don’t like that feeling. Yes, it seems like it would be “better” to just end it yourself. But – it wouldn’t be. The waiting is HARD. But it builds our faith and maturity in Christ. It forces us to purify our motives, and that is a good thing. It’s hard to just wait and be still in the midst of uncertainty. But God puts all of us in that situation in one way or another as believers to test us and to strengthen and mature us. James 1, Hebrews 12. As you can learn to rest in God’s peace without this big issue being resolved, God will do some amazing things, I have no doubt!

          Listen to God. And listen to the fact that your husband is still there. Thank God for that. His words and feelings can change. I believe they will in time. And if he does decide to leave, let that be his own thing, don’t let it be because of you at this point. Do everything God asks you to do to bless him. Then you will have no regrets no matter what happens.

          Sending you the biggest hug!!!!!

          1. Thank…..you….so……much. Those are the most encouraging words. You and Jennifer have blessed me in a way that I needed to hear. I have to admit, I did fail tonight, and I did not honor my vow to not talk circles around him, and it ended up me getting upset and trying to have him see my point and I got defensive. But I will just pray for forgiveness tonight and try again to do better tomorrow when He gets back home. Have a blessed night, and again, THANK YOU.

          2. Shawn,

            Those times when you feel compelled to keep talking, like you just HAVE to explain and defend yourself – are often the times you are least able to hear the voice of God – or I know that is true for me.

            I can’t remember, have you read the post My Demon? Might be interesting.
            Praying for you to have time with God and to be filed with HIs peace and joy. And to find all of your identity, strength, power, love, respect, and purpose in Christ alone. Praying for you to be able to rest in God’s love and sovereignty instead of feeling like you have to force things to work out tonight.

            Maybe you can focus on being friendly and pleasant and just enjoying him tonight, with no expectations?

            Much love!

  11. You give such sage advice! I have to admit, Kayla’s blog post (Lessonsofmercy) that you sent me to really spoke to me, and I feel as though our demons are one in the same! I have these battles and conversations with my demons on too regular a basis. But I know that God is working in me because I have stopped my demons dead in their tracks before, and now that I am better equipped, I know my God is with me and is so much stronger than my demons, I can confidently lean on Him and rest in His love and sovereignty. He has my back, He’s got this. Thank you, April. You’re such a regular blessing in my life, and I thank God for you and your blog.

    1. Shawn,

      The enemy uses very similar tactics on all of us! How wonderful to be able to discuss this and to recognize the attacks so we can fully submit to Christ and then through His Spirit’s power, we can resist the devil and he will flee (James 4:7). 🙂

      I praise God for what He is doing in your life, my beautiful sister. Sending you the biggest hug!

      God is very good.

      Much love!!!
      April

  12. I need prayer!! My husband has moved out.. He is furious with me because of my mouth!! I’ve said some things that were VERY hurtful and destroyed him!! I’ve put my father in my marriage and seeked his advise instead of my husband. I feel horrible.. I don’t even want to go on without him… I feel empty and void. I feel just horrible. He’s turned to drinking and other people… I don’t know if he was cheating.. But I don’t really even care.. I just want my family back. I’ve been fasting and praying , reading scriptures, asking God to change my heart I feel I’m making progress and I’m praying I’m slow to anger. I’ve come up with a list of things that I need to correct.. Such as: not complaining when I come home, not nagging him, compliment him often, etc. I’m praying, praying, praying that he’ll agree to counseling. I can’t imagine my life without him.. I miss him and my family. Please pray for my family. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Cathy.
      Please know I am praying for you and your marriage. Christ, let your forgiveness and new life restore Cathy’s marriage and family. You are the God of miracles. You can do anything. We ask you to snatch this family from despair, unforgiveness, negativity, and all the lies of Satan. In Your holy name we pray, Amen.

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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