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Greg tiling the kitchen backsplash at our old house in 2003

A Fellow Wife Thinks about Giving Space

Greg tiling the kitchen backsplash at our old house in 2003
Greg tiling the kitchen backsplash at our old house in 2003

We are continuing to talk about giving our husbands space. (When Your Man Needs Space– was Monday’s post.) I know this won’t apply to every marriage dynamic for every wife. But I have a feeling there are a lot of you for whom this topic is a difficult one and a relevant one right now. Let’s tackle it together. 🙂

Some thoughts from A Fellow Wife as she wrestles with this issue:

Insights:

Giving space is something you have to do both externally and internally…. (I think)
– You give space externally with your actions toward your husband.
– You give space internally with your heart attitude toward your husband. This is where you’re pulling back emotionally.

(From Peacefulwife – I agree)

Another line of thought:
Just as you have to replace bitterness with thoughts of thankfulness, you have to replace your husband as your idol with Jesus as your true love… you can’t remove anything in your heart and not put something in that place or the old thing will fall back in and grow again.

(From Peacefulwife – YES!)

Wrestling with Thoughts:

Okay, here’s where it gets dicey. I’ve spent a LOT of time thinking and wrestling through tons of my thoughts.

  • I’ve thought about the fact that my husband deserves freedom to make his own choices and direct his own life just like I do.
  • I’ve thought about a lot of worst case scenarios that could happen but have realized that my husband has pretty much done whatever he wanted anyways in a lot of situations where I didn’t agree.
  • I’ve never had control and trying to control only pushed him to be stronger willed…. like you’ve said, what you fear, you create… so therefore, giving up control has the POSSIBILITY of turning his heart more toward caring for my feelings… and perhaps not.

I feel as if I’m going back in forth between clutching him emotionally and letting him go, day by day and sometimes changing hour by hour.

Here’s pretty much where I am:

– I know my husband loves me. It’s not always what I think it will look like because it’s in a “man” way.
– I don’t think my husband has evil intentions toward me most of the time. Maybe in the middle of a heated argument but I don’t think that he goes around thinking about what he can do to hurt me intentionally.
– I do think my husband struggles with selfishness at times and with his priorities. (But I have my own list of issues, probably longer than his.)
– Trying marriage any other way than God’s way does not work. It’s time to follow his plan as close to the letter as I can.

Therefore:
I think the very best way for me to think of all of this and where I need to keep my heart and mind is in giving up hope that anything will EVER change UNLESS God changes things. Not that my husband doesn’t love me BUT I think it’s best to expect him to continue to not have any interest in time with me and to continue to put other things and people ahead of our marriage UNLESS God changes his heart…. and God can certainly do that! I need to leave room for that possibility BUT I think there’s a lot of peace in accepting things are as they are now.

I actually did this last summer in one small way and it helped me a lot…. last summer, he started spending a lot of time out of the house doing his hobby – as in every day till it was dark for MONTHS on end and I just told myself to accept he was going to do that and that way it wouldn’t upset me as much and it actually worked. I just expected him to come in from work, sometimes talk to me a few minutes, sometimes go on and leave – and I saved myself a lot of anguish and sadness. Not that I wasn’t a little sad at times but nothing like I was when he first started that.

I pray there will be changes in our marriage. But even if not, by accepting things may never change, I’m saving myself a lot of pain, hurt and anguish. Accepting that all this is in God’s hands is better than trying to manipulate it all in my weak hands.

  • Accepting things are as they are feels so PEACEFUL.
  • Forgetting about any changes and just trying to go deeper in my relationship with Christ and focusing on my life feels PEACEFUL.
  • Giving him space without expectation of changes feels PEACEFUL.

All this means our marriage will be very different than it’s ever been.

Staying in this place mentally and emotionally is not easy… I feel like I drift in and out of it, almost hour by hour. I think that’s because it’s flesh battling spirit and trying to adjust to this.

Question: That’s normal, right? To drift in and out of this place as you’re wrestling through?

Another Question: Am I in the right place emotionally? I think so because it feels peaceful and peaceful usually means RIGHT with God. If you have peace, that’s kind of God’s way of saying yes, I think.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I do think that the wrestling and swinging back and forth between wanting to cling to our husbands and giving them space is normal for wives who have been rather controlling, disrespectful (from our husbands’ perspectives), or desperate to be close to their husbands and who are having a hard time laying down expectations. I think this is a spiritual battle many of us struggle with.

I get the sense that a Fellow Wife is going the right direction emotionally and spiritually. I don’t hear bitterness like I did before in her thought processes. I hear understanding and empathy for her husband. I hear a desire to release her expectations of him. And I hear her saying that she realizes she needs to replace her deep desire for lots of connection with her husband with a deep desire for constant connection to Jesus. Those are good things.

God can give us that continuous incredibly deep emotional/spiritual connection that we long for that our husbands truly cannot provide to us.

When we are filled up and overflowing with the goodness and the power of the Spirit of God, we can be genuinely peaceful, joyful, content, and satisfied. I learned – during the 3.5 first years of my journey while Greg was still shut down – to have my needs for emotional and spiritual connection met by God alone. And you know what?

He is enough. Jesus is more than enough.

I’m so thankful for that prolonged period where Greg was still shut down because if Greg had changed immediately, I would have put too much trust in him and would not have learned about the sufficiency of Christ. I would have pulled out all of my old expectations of Greg and tried to make him meet my deepest spiritual needs again. 

Now, I can be content with time to myself or when Greg wants to be together. I still do give Greg space in many ways – but it is no longer usually a strain  – and I enjoy being by myself to cherish time alone with God.  Now that Greg has felt safe with me again for a few years, he is generally receptive to me talking with him or sitting with him just about any time. There is a lot of freedom, joy, and peace in living this way.

Of course, I didn’t know when I started if Greg would ever open up to me again or if we would be able to have emotional or spiritual closeness again. I had no guarantees. It took a LONG, LONG time to get rid of all of my unintentional disrespect and to fully trust and submit to Christ. I believe that accounts for a lot of why this whole thing took so long. But also, a husband who has felt extremely disrespected for many years has a lot of healing to do and has his own journey and time table, too.

RELATED:

Bitterness of Soul – I Want to Be His First Priority! – By a Fellow Wife

I’m Going to Stop Pursuing My Husband – By a Fellow Wife

A Fellow Wife Focuses on Overcoming Bitterness

Posts by A Fellow Wife 

Stages of This Journey

God, Please! Ask Me for Anything but This! – A thirty-something single sister in Christ lays down her dream of marriage and children – God calls ALL of us to lay down our most precious dreams and to choose Him over our dreams.

Bitterness

63 thoughts on “A Fellow Wife Thinks about Giving Space

  1. Great reminders. I should read daily. Satan knows our buttons, and mine is the kids. My respect journey is already complicated by lying, sex addiction, amongst other issues. But the kids- that’s my button. I go from confident to lost in a blink. There are times he is mean to them, unfair, using crude humor in front of them, or endangering their safety. In these moments, there is no formula for how to be respectful. I’m still working on this one.

    1. H31,

      My dear sister!! I am so glad to hear from you. 🙂 I was thinking about you last night. I am so sorry to hear that things are still so frustrating. My heart breaks for you. I know this has been a long struggle.

      I do think a wife needs to stand up when a husband is clearly mistreating or endangering her or her children. I would love for it to be done in private, gently, humbly, firmly at times. This will certainly require the power of the Holy Spirit and much sensitivity to His leading and prompting. But, it is in those times of disagreement and conflict, when a wife handles herself in a God-honoring, husband-honoring and self-honoring way that a husband most notices Christ in his wife.

      Praying for wisdom and God’s power for you! Sending you s huge hug!!!

      Not sure if you have seen the post I have about confronting our husbands’ sins? May be helpful.

  2. For 2 yrs now I have wrestled with dying to self, truly letting go of trying to manipulate my husband’s feelings of contempt for me and it had taken him deciding to tell me that watching me be so hurt and upset all the time has drained him emotionally to the point that he just wants to be done. That is what it took for me to realize I can’t do this on my own and only God can change my marriage.

    my hubby has finally admitted he had an issue with anger, holding grudges and resentment which stems from his relationship with his mother. He holds hate in his heart for her because of her rejection of him through his 18 yrs living under her rule and therefore when I made him feel rejected when I had hormonal problems, he is in a place of unforgivness with me. He says he loves me but had felt so empty for so long he just doesn’t know if he can ever love me like he did. He had confessed he has felt this way for the last 5-6 yrs of our 21 yr marriage. He didn’t tell me or communicate this with me over those yrs rather he kept it stuffed down inside until it s ate him alive.

    since he told me two weeks ago he was done and moved upstairs, it’s been like total peace. I’ve truly FINALLY given it to God and I am WAITING in His direction in our lives. if you want to know how to do this, go to Dr. Charles Stanley’s site or down load his app and then under “God’s Promises” go down the list to “waiting” the video called “how to wait on God” or something to that effect will open your eyes to the fact that God has a plan for you! And He works in behalf of those who WAIT ON HIM! I’ve put that in to action in my life and have never felt this much peace!

    It was confirmed for me that this is all in His timing not mine and that He had a lot of hurt and baggage to heal in my hubby that will take a long time possibly. I’ve spent my alone time in prayer, His word and listening to Bro. Charles Stanley over and over and the peace I feel now does surpass all human understanding. I am even starting to see some anger breaking down in my hubby and some actual humility that I haven’t seen in years. Oh what peace when you stop carrying the burden on your own shoulders!

    1. LTL,

      I am so glad to hear from you, too!! Amazing to reconnect with some of my sisters I haven’t heard from in awhile. Thank you so much for the update. I am very sorry to hear how hurt your husband is. I know there has been a lot of pain on both sides of the marriage for a long time. But how I praise God for what He is doing in your heart and what He is showing you!!! Wow!!!!

      Thank you for sharing this resource with our sisters. I have listened to a number of Charles Stanley’s sermons and am thankful for his ministry. I praise God you are resting in His peace and listening to His nudging to wait right now.

      Praying for healing for you both, and for God’s greatest glory!!!!

      1. April I am now where I needed to be 2 yrs ago! You may not remember but this whole thing started with him feeling rejected by me and didn’t tell me for several yrs. Turns out because of how his mother would give him the silent treatment for a month when he was a young kid, he developed an anger and unforgiving heart and has a hard time really forgiving others for any wrongs he feels they have done no matter how small. He even told me recently all the respect and love I have been showing just pushes him further away. I just said “ok” because I really didn’t know how to respond to that one! But I think it is because he can no longer blame me for his heart issues and the Lord is dealing with him. All this is so not his kind loving moral nature so I’m sure he is in a lot of pain. But I’m so at peace knowing God will one day turn this around and hubby will have a testimony again! I’m going to read the post about waiting because it is for real a very sweet place to be and I’m even seeing some humility in my husband for the first time in a very long time. He told me there may be evenings he will want to sit with me and watch tv or go out to dinner but other nights when he will want to be alone. I’m good with that!

  3. I recently went through this. God showed me how my fear was causing me to be controlling and disrespectful. It brought me to a place of surrender with God. I asked Him to take my fear. It gave me peace, and I felt the need to control just lift. After that, God laid it on my heart to ask my husband for forgiveness. It has been a hard a k ourney, and there is still so much distance and hurt in my marriagec BUT, for the first time in 15 yeatsc he has agreed to go to marriage counseling. It has been helpful- mostly vecause he was finally told that he is depressed. I pray that as we both cope with our reality, God can help us grow closer and stronger.

    1. MHMC,
      Another one of my old friend! WOW! It is so great to hear from you. 🙂 Yes, fear is very much at the root of our desire to try to control and at the root of our disrespect, in my view.

      I’m so thankful that you are experiencing the peace of God, even in this difficult situation. 🙂 WOOHOO!

      I praise God that your husband is going to counseling. Praying for healing for you both and for your marriage!

      Here is a post about Fear Fuels Our Need to Control – for any ladies who may be interested

  4. April, you know this is something I’ve struggled with, from the standpoint of not knowing what my husband is doing during his time away. I trust him completely to not be doing anything wrong, but I don’t like the feeling of not knowing where he is or when he’ll be home.

    Lately I feel I’ve heard God telling me, “Loosely. Hold him loosely. He is mine, not yours. I see him, I know where he is, and I will deal with anything that needs to be dealt with. Hold him loosely.”

    That has helped me so much, just to repeat that word to myself when I start to get upset. And since I’ve been holding him loosely, he has been much more forthcoming in telling me where he is!

    1. Thank you for this. I needed to hear this, and I need to remember to hold him loosely. I will definitely go to that teaching fro Charles Stanley. Thank you.

      1. MHMC, I am praying for you and that the counseling will help! God is our Restorer and He can make your marriage beautiful!

    2. M,
      I can totally understand a wife’s desire to know where her husband is when he is away. I love what God has been telling you. Makes me smile. 🙂 How interesting that he has been more willing to be upfront with you as you have been holding things loosely.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  5. When I went to Charles Stanley’s site, I got over 800 results for waiting on God; Learning to Lean, are you able to post the link to specific one you referred to? For whatever reason, when I went to the God’s promises section, it would not allow me to progress any further in the website. Thank you 🙂

    1. If you can download the phone app called “In Touch” then when you open it there is a catagory called Gods Promises. Then within that is lots of different categories such as Anger, Forgiveness etc and one called Waiting. Click that them you’ll see the first 2 links are the ones. Let me if you can’t get the app in your phone and when I get home in about 30 mins I can post the link. can’t do it from my phone. You will love it if you have a problem letting go and trusting in His wisdom and timing

  6. I have a question

    I see how this wife said her husband would go out for hours and not come back until late night. Is she supposed to say something to him about this? I was just thinking what if he wants to come home and have sex every night but he continues to do this. Does she just go along?

    1. Shy,

      She has said something to him hundreds and hundreds of times already – I think that is part of the problem. If she had not said something to him already, then, YES! She should respectfully address this because I think a wife has the right to ask her husband to be with her and the family if he is not making that time. I think there are respectful ways to do that. I think there are also limits about how often a wife would want verbalize her request because eventually it becomes nagging, preaching, lecturing, controlling, disrespect, etc…

      If a wife spent many years harping for hours every week on this topic, it is probably going to take a long time for things to heal. She will probably have to leave this topic alone for many months, maybe longer at this point, would be my guess. This is where it will be very necessary for a wife to be extremely sensitive to God’s Spirit about when or if to broach the topic again after an extended period of silence – that is my best understanding of how to begin to heal things at this point.

      Does that clarify things a bit?

  7. Learning to give my husband space has meant learning to know when to stay quiet and give him the mental space to work on projects or problems he’s focusing on. This is diametrically different than what works best for me–to verbally process things. Working together doesn’t always mean talking together first to figure out a solution or plan. It means honoring the ways we are different and giving him space–time and quiet–to think about something, then talking about it in a limited way afterwards. If I try to “talk it through” first, without giving him time to think, he becomes anxious and asks me to just let him “wrap his mind around it first.”

    He also needs time to let his mind rest at the end of a day by being very quiet, usually working at something in the same room where I am, but not talking. Most evenings I’m fine with this and occupied with my own book or writing, but sometimes I feel very disconnected and lonely, especially if we’ve both been busy with activities that haven’t allowed us much together time to talk. I remind myself then that he still loves me, and that I need to demonstrate my love for him by giving him what he needs. He, in turn, works very hard in “deeds of service” to show he loves me. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude for all his positive traits really helps in situations where “space” isn’t what I want or need.

  8. Hi April, I just want to say that I love watching your videos and reading your posts. I have learned a lot and I’m growing each day. I would love to know your thoughts and opinions on Jim Staleys “truth or tradition” (you can find it YouTube) I haven’t found anything on the subjects in your videos/posts so far. Thank you!

  9. I think there is a huge difference between giving your husband space, and allowing yourself to accept a situation where he takes this to mean he can completely ignore his spouse, then demand physical satisfaction from her. My husband does nothing but play video games and watch TV from the moment supper is done until he goes to bed (after I am already asleep, then I am poked and groped). This goes on for months and months and months. If I ask that he take me on a date or spend time with me or have a conversation about something that matters, I am immediately labelled as selfish and demanding. I have explained a few times that it is normal in a relationship to actually spend time together and to “know” each other. Otherwise, I am just a piece of meat. He disagrees because he doesn’t need that in order to feel attracted to me. So after a few years of this I have disengaged sexually because it is just too hurtful to feel like a prostitute at his bidding. This just means that I’m now called abusive because I do not meet his physical needs. So I think this advice (which is clearly good advice) to give husbands space needs to be within the context of a relationship where there is actual occasional quality time spent with the wife. The wife has no right to demand her husband spends all, or even most, of his time with her – but it is necessary to spend time together if you are married. This is not right.

    1. Not a slave,

      Husbands should be spending time with their wives, absolutely. If something this dysfunctional as what you are describing is going on and on for months and months – I think it could be time to prayerfully consider involving a trusted pastor or Christian counselor.

      My heart breaks for your situation. If you want to talk more about it, I’d be glad to – no pressure, of course. 🙂

      Does he say what he needs? Is this how things have always been? What was his parents’ marriage like? Is he a believer in Christ? Are you dealing with mental health issues or addictions? How do you approach him when you are feeling so unloved and hurt? How do you ask for what you need?

      How is your walk with Christ going, my friend?

      I’m so very sorry for what sounds like an extremely painful situation.

      Much love to you!

    2. Not a slave,

      I think a wife can respectfully say something like, “Honey, I WANT to meet your sexual needs. I want to be enthusiastic about sex together. My heart is really hurting about X. I need to know that we are connecting emotionally and that we are united emotionally/mentally and then I will be able to feel like I can trust you. My heart has to be open first. Help me get my heart back in the right place by working through this conflict we had, then my body can be open and available to you without me having resentment. I may be misunderstanding your heart for me, that could be the real issue. Maybe you can help me understand better how you think about X. I need to experience and know that your love for me is in tact. Your love may be totally there just as strong as ever, but as a woman, I need to be able to see and feel your love.”

      The book For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn might actually be a great resource to read BEFORE you attempt to approach your husband. I think it may give you a lot of insight into what may be going on with him. Then I hope you will spend much time in prayer, seeking God’s wisdom and exactly how He might want you to approach things. Praying for healing for you!

  10. My heart hurts for “Not a slave.” In fact, my journey towards being a fellow peaceful wife began with the same complaints and hurt feelings that she expressed. April has a post called “I feel like I’m just a piece of meat to my husband sometimes” that is so very helpful.

    To our sweet sister “Not a slave” – I’m so glad you have stepped out and blown the whistle. What’s going on in your marriage isn’t right and it’s so hurtful to you, your husband, and your kids. From what you shared, you and your husband are trapped in the vicious cycle of unlove and disrespect that many of us are all to familiar with. But let me say this: There is a way out! 🙂 April’s teachings are a invaluable resource that will lead you every step of the way. Dive in and be encouraged, sister!

    While it seems completely unfair, the changes begin with you. None of us can change another person, but we can change the way we treat and react to them. After prayer and repentance for my own sins, I took my first few tentative baby steps to reach out to my husband with love and acceptance. I smiled at him. I greeted him warmly. I concentrated on all his good qualities and purposefully turned away from ruminating on all the things I thought he did wrong.
    It takes time and practice, but if you stick with it and continue to nourish your spirit in God’s word and His ways, changes will start to take shape.

    Be encouraged, Not A Slave! You have come to the right place for help and support. I’m praying for you!

      1. Thank you for your responses. It is nice to be “heard”. I agree with what you’re saying. The problem is that with all the kindness (I’ve tried that for years), he came to the belief that “all is well” since there was no more conflict. I was taught to bring up an issue twice, then leave it or I become a nag. So I’d speak up, he would ignore it, then it would just become part of the relationship. I am forced to accept this. The same with the TV and video games. I have asked, he has said no, and that’s it. I asked for one evening a month together and he would not agree. I’ve tried every “love” and “respect” challenge out there (several years of this) and no response other than an even higher expectation on his part to act however he wants and still get the physical piece out of the way. So the kindness piece works but only if your husband responds to that. Mine just interpreted it as there being no problem and therefore I’m just a selfish person (his assessment). There have already been multiple Christian counselors involved plus several others who have supported me to make sure my attitude is on track. To this point, the counselors are the ones that quit because he refuses to listen to what they say, will not do his “homework”, and there is nothing more they can do. He is determined that he will not change in even the smallest way. He does not even acknowledge that men and women have different needs. The counselor says this is because it allows him to continue with his mindset. So I appreciate the wisdom (that’s really what it is) but it is not working.

        1. Not a Slave,

          You are most welcomed, loved, and cherished here. 🙂 I care very much about all that you are going through and your pain.

          It is definitely possible that a wife could be doing all of the “right things” and have her motives right, and her husband may not change. That is a painful, difficult reality, for sure. Only God can open his eyes and empower him to want to change and to see his need to change.

          I think you are wise to continue to be kind and respectful, but to lay down your expectations of your husband to change.

          There can be times when a wife may need to bring up issues more than twice – but that will require a lot of sensitivity to God’s Spirit.

          There are still things that have not changed in my husband – things I would like to see change. I am leaving those things in God’s hands.

          Did your counselors give any suggestions to you about what you can do if your husband did not change?

        2. Just a thought, but perhaps it is because you have kind of already shot yourself in the foot. I’m going to assume that both you and your husband are intelligent, reasonable people in other aspects of your life. Problem is, all of your ‘kindness’ comes with a price tag. And while you have been “taught to bring up an issue twice, then leave it or I become a nag”, you have taught him that “I’m only being nice to you because I either want something from you, or want to change you.”

          You may be kind, but kindness is not the same as respect, and respect is not the same as love. Now, let me point out some hard truths:

          – You’ve said absolutely nothing GOOD about your husband at all. Not. One. Thing. Do you honestly believe he doesn’t pick up on that vibe?
          – While criticizing him, you mentioned that you went to counselors. Note: HE WENT TO THE COUSELOR WITH YOU. What does that mean? A guy who doesn’t care at all wouldn’t even bother to go that far.
          – Aside from telling him (verbally or non-verbally) that who he is and what he does is wrong, what have you done to try to meet him on his turf? Have you taken an interest in his interests (i.e. video games or whatever television programs he watches)? Have you tried initiating physical initimacy with him? Do you still do the same things you did all those years ago when you are dating to fix his attention on you?
          – Do you think he doesn’t notice your attitudes regarding sex? If you view his attempts at physical affection as being ‘poked and groped’, I promise you he notices. No one wants to be unwanted. Not you, and not him. “Get the physical out of the way”? Why not simply tell your husband that what affection he has to give is not good enough for you? Men are action oriented. Sex is a integral part of how we express affection. We literally do not ‘feel good’ from talking. Women get doses of Oxytocin from food, cuddling, orgasm, breastfeeding, child birth, and even from talking. Men don’t. We ONLY get it when we orgasm. That’s it. That is the only way. In case you don’t know, Oxytocin is one of the chemicals that binds intimate relationships, makes us feel romantic and loving, and makes us feel good about our mates. You are literally starving your own relationship to death. Almost as bad, you’ve told your man (non-verbally) that you only care about what YOU get out of the relationship, and what he gets out of it is a chore.

          I’m not saying it is all your fault. Far from it. But there is something that every single woman needs to understand. Men love their families, and deeply. However, we also feel honor/duty bound to play our part in the relationship. Honor and Duty are NOT love. You may win our love in the beginning, but if you do not respect us, and do not keep doing the things you did to win our love, what makes you think you will keep it? Does anyone here actually believe that love is a right? It is a gift. And if you do not take care of the gift, it will dissappear, regardless of whether you are a husband or wife.

          I would love to hear what PeacefulWife thinks that men get out of a marriage. All talk of love and emotion aside, let’s break it down to practicality. What does each person get out of the relationship? If you strip away all of the emotions, what’s left are things that we are honor/duty bound to give each other. I think most women will find that, even if their marriage feels like a disaster, most men still provide those things. If those things are being provided, then what is missing is whatever was there when you were dating, when your man was not duty bound or obligated to give you those things.

          1. ravaught,

            What do I think men should get in marriage? Or what do I think men usually get out of a marriage today?

            Unfortunately, I think that those are two very different things sometimes.

          2. What I think men should be getting from marriage from their wives, per God’s design, would be things like:

            – loyalty
            – confidentiality (unless there is severe unrepentant sin and a wife must take the Matthew 18:15-17 approach)
            – faithfulness in mind and body
            – a safe haven
            – trust
            – a wife’s joyful willingness to be intimate physically
            – peace
            – gentleness
            – a wife’s willing, intelligent, and glad cooperation with his leadership
            – his wife’s prayers for God’s favor and His will to be done
            – her faith
            – her confidence
            – her working with him as a team to accomplish the purpose and calling God has on his life
            – her support of his parenting
            – her insights
            – her help (By his definition, things that actually help him)
            – her honor
            – her respect and admiration
            – her friendship
            – her support and encouragement

            Of course, there are things wives need in marriage, as well, by God’s design. But these are some of the things husbands should be receiving and benefiting from in marriage, in my view.

          3. And I pretty much agree with your list. While you kind of hint at it, I would also add explicitly:

            -her work.

            That may seem trivial, but a woman that won’t roll up her sleeves and get her hands dirty working with you can be an anchor, weighing you down where you should be lifting each other up. This is not a ‘slave labor’ type thought, but just the simple acknowledgement by both parties that a household of increased size requires increased work to make it function properly. Both parties, including husbands, should be pushing up their sleeves and working hard together. (Proverbs 31)

  11. Just to clarify, when I say “the kindness piece works but only if your husband responds to that” I am not saying that we shouldn’t be kind or respectful. Not at all. I have stayed kind to him no matter what he does or what names he calls me. This should not change. I just mean using kindness and respect as a way to soften their hearts and move forward together. Just because you do your part does not mean necessarily that the other person will step in alongside you.

  12. I just read your “Is it ALL My Fault” (or similar title, pardon if I messed it up) and this made me cry. I asked so many times for counseling before he went, to stop the “nagging” (that was an exception and it was over several years, about every year I would ask. Endless sessions later, all I have heard is how I am a terrible person and yet he has no examples or explanations, just insult after insult after insult. It has been heartbreaking to be so insulted and yet have no idea how to make it better. I have asked what he wants but I just get more insults. Finally the counselor told him to stop because it was so damaging and he never moved past the insults. I had a one-on-one with the counselor where it was explained that I am not actually responsible for the things I am accused of, but I have a hard time letting go of that. I have spent so many nights trying to figure out why I am so terrible and asking God to show me. I feel like I carry the entire success of my marriage on my own shoulders because I am the only one between us that cares about it. It is too much.

    1. Not a slave,

      My heart breaks for you – I wish I could give you a big hug!

      How I pray that you might be able to not absorb the untrue, ungodly, false things that your husband is saying and choose to only receive what God says is true about you. And how I pray that you will let God carry the heavy weight of your marriage in His sovereign hands – He can hold that much weight – I don’t think you are built for that burden.

      Perhaps you are not so terrible? Perhaps your husband is very wounded and scarred, and maybe far from God and doesn’t have godly love to give to you?

      What Does God Say About Me?

      The good news is, YOU can be the woman God desires you to be no matter what your husband does or does not do. You can seek to please Christ, and He will reward you for your faithfulness and obedience to Him in heaven. You can have the joy, peace, and abundant life of Christ – even if your husband does not have those things. No one can rob those things from you.

      What are you doing with the bitterness that would inevitably be a temptation in a situation like this?

      How often are these insults happening?

      What do you believe God desires you to do?

      Have you ever read Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss?

      Much love, my precious girl!

      1. You are so right that I can have joy and peace – it took me a long time to realize that, though! It will take a while to really live this out. I felt so frustrated and exasperated every day that I thought I had no choice but to “be” frustrated and exasperated. Such a lie. Every now and then, though, I am so angry that I can hardly function for a day or two. As for bitterness, I’m wiping that out bit by bit. It’s such a release to forgive. One of the reasons i had trouble forgiving in the past was because I thought that if I forgave him, I had to accept that how he treated me was okay. Another lie. I am working on letting the insults go. That is tough. My pastor has told me to be honest about what I have done, and if I have a clear conscience, then that should be my guide. Hard to do. The insults have been the predominant “communication” in the last few years. It’s either that or silence. If he pushes for physical acts, that is completed in silence, too. He does not apologize, even when he knows the words and insults are completely unjustified. The counselor could not convince him otherwise.

        I am not sure what to do moving forward. We are now just living separate lives but really it’s been that way for a long time. He has insulted literally every way that I interact with him, with no constructive suggestions, and so now I am just waiting for him to come around. I am not putting myself out there as a target. Both the pastor and the counselors said at this point, he needs to take some responsibility and I should stop always coming to the rescue and taking the first step. But then he says that I don’t care anymore (yes, I explained to him why i wasn’t initiating anymore) and called me condescending and demanding.

        The good part is, like you say elsewhere, marriage (or the success of it) can become a god. I think I’ve been so worried about saving it that I forgot to live the rest of my life, where I have been so incredibly blessed but have been ignoring what God has provided elsewhere. This is where I’m choosing to focus instead.

        Thanks to you and the other women on this site for the support and most importantly – the redirection of focus when we need it.

        1. Not a Slave,

          You are only responsible for you. Your husband will answer for himself to God – for every careless word spoken. If he does not have Christ, he will pay himself for all of eternity in hell for what he has done for you. But how I pray he will turn to Christ and that he might receive Jesus’ blood as the payment for his sins and that he might allow God’s Spirit to regenerate his heart!

          The enemy – Satan – wants to steal, kill, and destroy. He is the real enemy, not your husband. Your husband seems to be in a prison of sin of some type.

          Yes, a godly marriage, or marriage in general, can become an idol.

          I pray you will focus on Christ and that you might not let anyone rob you of the joy, peace, and spiritual abundance and all of the riches of heaven that Jesus has provided for you. I don’t know exactly what God desires you to do. But I do know that as you cling to Christ and allow Him to have full control and power in your life, He can and will direct you. I pray for healing for you both.

          I’m very encouraged about your mindset and where you are choosing to focus. THAT IS AWESOME!

          Much love to you!!!!

    2. I recently started reading about Midlife Crisis in men. My husband is textbook! From the blaming, agitation, withdrawal, “I love you but i’m not in love with you to the pushing all family and friends away and being spiritually dead. For two years I have agonized, manipulated, begged for forgiveness and I took all the blame for all the things he said I did that made him feel unloved. But the truth is, he is fighting a spiritual battle and I am standing with the Lord on my marriage vows and trust Him completely with my beloved husband. Satan will not win this. GOD is working because I see the pain on his face and his Bible was actually open laying on his bed recently. Die to self, no analyzing hubby or trying to figure him out, pray without ceasing and trust Him to work on your behalf. Our time of waiting is painful but I that is the time He uses to refine us! God works in behalf of those who WAIT ON HIM.

      1. LearningToLean,

        I’m glad that you are seeing what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for. I don’t want women to apologize for things that they didn’t do or to take on responsibility that belongs to their husbands.

        I’m so sorry that this has been such an incredibly painful time.

        But I love your heart for Christ and that you are willing to step into spiritual battle on your husband’s behalf. He needs that more than anything! Praying that God will break through to him, my precious sister!

        1. I agree – waiting is the hard part. And how long to wait? If they don’t want to be “married”, then what? How do we fulfill our vows when our partner will not engage?

          I’ll be working on the “responsibility” piece for awhile, I think. You worded it so well, April – “take on responsibility that belongs to [the] husbands”. My problem is that I always want to fix the problem. So I keep taking on that load. If I don’t take it, then I get blamed for not trying – and then I suppress the obvious that he’s not doing anything at all – and it’s hard to step out of that spiral.

          At the end of the day, we can say that God will work through this difficulty (and I’m so impressed with the faith of the women on this site who are embracing this), but it does not mean that God will “save” a marriage. We are humans and He has given us (thankfully) the right to choose. If my husband decides not to listen to God’s calling, that is his choice. God will not force him.

          Thank you for the reminder to pray not only for our own sanity and wisdom, but for our husband’s hearts.

          1. Yes waiting is the hardest part! How do we know God will restore our marriages? Because He HATES divorce and God is not slack concerning His promises. Believe me when I say that I was in the same stressful place trying to “fix” it because that’s what us females do and when I finally did give it totally to God, the stress and heavy burden I had been carrying on my own shoulders was gone and a peace that passeth all human understanding was put in its place. God will never take the puzzle pieces from your hands, He will sit by waiting until you come to the realization that you can’t put the pieces back together and you hand them over to Him. Then He will begin a work in YOU that will blow your mind! You have to commit to standing on the covenant you made before God as long as it takes for Him to bring your spouse back to you. We must pray daily for our spouse and our marriage and God will do the rest. In His timing…not ours 😉

          2. Not a Slave,

            True, we don’t have a guarantee that the marriage will be saved. We do have God’s Word that He hates divorce and He loves marriage. So, praying for a husband’s salvation and for the marriage to be saved is God’s will, in my understanding. But we don’t know how that will play out – how long it may take – and there are some cases when a husband chooses to rebel against God (just like some wives do, as well).

            But we CAN know that God will use all of this for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. And we can cling to God’s promises to us. No one can steal our joy, peace, and spiritual abundance that Christ died to give to us.

            I wonder if the post Control and Boundaries might be helpful in determining the boundaries for you?

            Only God can give us wisdom and prompting about how long to wait and what to do when a husband refuses to work on the marriage. But as we abide in Him and His Spirit fills us, He can and will prompt us with exactly what He desires us to do at the right time.

            God will not force your husband to choose Him. True. But you can work as God’s partner to not put any stumbling block in your husband’s way by you being Spirit filled and obedient to God. This makes it as easy as possible for your husband to hear God’s voice clearly. If he is going to come to Christ, it will be as a believing wife seeks to walk in obedience to God about how to approach her husband and how to live. Then, the wife can be rewarded in heaven for her obedience and she can move forward without regrets no matter what her husband does or does not decide to do.

            Praying for God’s wisdom, my dear sister!

            I’m right here if you want to talk or need prayer.

          3. I like what you said about not being a stumbling block. I’ve spent the last few days focusing on my attitudes and actions. Am I making it easy for him to reconcile? Am I showing to him that if he wants to talk, I would be available? Do I leave the door open, as such? Does he know that if he comes to me, that I will be gracious and accepting? These sorts of things. I’m really angry at his obstinance and refusal to engage, but trying to keep my attitude as “available” and still show interest in his life.

          4. Not a slave,

            I love this! I praise God for what He is doing in your heart and life! SO beautiful!!!!!

            Thank you for the update, I pray for God’s Spirit to continue to empower you to be the woman and wife God desires you to be! 🙂

  13. Wow! I have come to the right place (Praise God!)
    I really relate to Not a Slave and all she says.
    It is so good to hear that this is not something that just pertains to me because I am not loveable. that’s how it feels most of the time.
    I know I have a lot of personal rejection from when I was a child and my husband, though he is a very very good guy in many ways unfortunately makes me feel very unloved and rejected simply because he tends to be distant and self absorbed. He is very introverted and does not understand about being responsive to my needs.
    Right now we have become caregivers to my brother who has Down Syndrome and is also beginning in dementia. My husband is so good. He takes care of my brother in many ways. However he continues to ignore me.
    There are times when we go out (and these are few) and he will literally not look at me or smile at me or say anything. Sometimes he will actually not respond to me when I say something or listen only for the first minute and then wander off mentally.
    I feel so bad.
    I’ve asked him to give me the first 15 minutes of his time when he comes home from work. He says, No, that is not reasonable.
    15 minutes.
    Now let me say he is godly, hard working, reliable, talented, a great provider and although he has recently been diagnosed with cancer and gone through radiation is helping me care for my brother.
    Ladies, I can’t tell you how hard it is for me to take his treatment of me. It feels just like I am just a part of the furniture and not worth his time and attention.
    I do believe this means a lot about him (and I don’t pretend to understand him) and not really so much about me, but ladies, I’ve given up so much to be at home and taking care of my brother it seems so hard not to have a little bit of care and attention and cooperation.
    My husband does his share but it is on his own and on his own terms. He does not tend to do anything with me as he does not like the way I do things. We are so different.
    God has told me, “It is your job to bear this; it is My job to change it.” That is clear. But ladies it is very hard to do.
    I am going to keep trying to be his friend and try not to mind when he is so dismissive and uninterested in me.
    I am trying not to think that he does not like me.
    I know he loves me and depends on me; he insists I am home when he is most of the time, but he does not want to do anything with me and it is getting harder and harder to even get conversation.
    I appreciate this site so much
    I also appreciate your prayers.
    Ladies, I know God is doing a good thing in us and I trust He is also at work in my husband.
    Let’s join hands and continue to give Him our absolute trust, simply because He so deserves it.
    Love to each and all of you
    PamW

    1. PamW,

      It is so wonderful to meet you! How I wish I could give you a big hug, my precious sister! How I love your heart for God!!!!! 🙂

      I hope you might read my About story at the top of my home page, and maybe the posts about disrespect and respect at the top of my home page. I also have a number of posts about husbands being emotionally distant.

      Was he always this way? He sounds like a really great guy. So – I wonder if it might just be more of a matter of your approach? If a man feels a woman is trying to control him or dictate things to him – lots of men do not respond well. I don’t know the dynamics in your marriage, but I think there may be a lot of posts here that might be a blessing to you.

      Much love to you! I pray for God’s healing and His blessing on your walk with Christ and your marriage!

      You may want to search my home page for:

      – distant
      – idol
      – control
      – fear
      – bitterness
      – husband emotions
      – introvert

      Much love!

    2. PamW, I’m sorry you are having issues, but if I may give you some thoughts from a husband’s perspective. (BTW, I am an introvert and a gamer as well, and often find myself caring for my wife’s family, so I can definitely relate to the situation.) This is a tough love kind of post, so take a deep breath and march on.

      First, I wanted to point out something you said:

      “Now let me say he is godly, hard working, reliable, talented, a great provider and although he has recently been diagnosed with cancer and gone through radiation is helping me care for my brother.”

      The man’s got cancer and has gone through radiation treatment, which is enough to bring most people to their knees, and he is still hard working, reliable, talented, a great provider, and helps care for your brother with Down Syndrome.

      Stop and think about what you just said there. Seriously, stop and think about it. In fact, you could probably quit reading the rest of this post, because… sheesh.

      But, assuming that is not enough, you also mentioned he is introverted. Are you? Do you know what it means to BE introverted? As a highly introverted person myself, the one thing that most people do not understand is that being around people is exhausting. It drains you, it weakens you, and it leaves you with nothing inside to give anyone else.

      And what are you asking? “I’ve asked him to give me the first 15 minutes of his time when he comes home from work. He says, No, that is not reasonable.
      15 minutes.”

      Look closely. “..the first 15 minutes..” It has nothing to do with the 15 minutes part. It is the “FIRST 15”. Your man has just been at work all day, dealing with other people, and he is mentally, physically, and emotionally drained, and as soon as he walks in the door you want to dump more on him. You don’t see it that way, but he does. I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that is the problem with your request.

      Video games, like television, books, etc are solitary exercises. They appeal to introverts because they do not bombard you with emotions or chatter or make demands. They leave you in peace.

      In game design (yes, I design games), there is a problem called “The healers dilemna”. It goes something like this: You have a group of players where one person is responsible for healing the group. That normally requires some type of resource, lets call it energy. Your group gets into a battle, and its a real doozy. Everyone is getting the snot beat out of them and all of their health is running low, including the healers. The healer is faced with a choice: Does he heal the group, and sacrifice hisself in the process, or does he heal himself and risk a member of the group dying (in game), secure in the knowledge that if he(the healer) survives, he can bring them back to health?

      If he heals the group, the group may survive, but he will not, and there is no one in the group that can bring him back. If he heals himself, he risks people he cares about and relies on being hurt, and there is no guarantee that he will not die in the end, because his support group is down.

      This is the situation your husband finds himself in. Normally, without the issues with your brother or his cancer, he would be able to take care of his group (i.e. you) with no problems. Had it been just your battle with your brother, he probably could have kept ‘healing’ you, and still been ok. But then he got attacked with cancer, and his energy is running out between trying to heal you and heal himself. Now he is at the crossroads where he has to choose: do I heal my partner, or heal myself? He is living the healers dilemna. The life you two share together is an adventure, and no adventure is complete without the occassional battle/struggle. Right now, you are in the middle of a battle and his brain, whether he realizes it or not, is in fight mode.

      You may not agree with his decision to heal himself, but he may know that, in the long run and in this particular case, healing himself will have the most beneficial outcome. Or, conversely, He may simply not have the energy to heal you AND himself and is struggling to keep his head above water just to survive.

      As a man, your post struck me very wrong. I heard a lot of me me me me me, and you were completely dismisive of HIM. If you dismiss his needs so easily, why should/would he not be dismissive of yours? He is, very literally, in a life or death battle, and you are completely dismissing his struggle and trivializing it. Cancer isn’t the flu. You don’t just ‘get over it’ and go back to normal.

      1. ravaught,

        I do agree that many husbands (and wives) need a bit of time to unwind and transition from work to home. I am aware of a lot of husbands who prefer to be by themselves for the first 30 minutes when they are home before they are together with the family for supper or having demands made of them at home.

        I give my hubby some space when he comes home. I have supper about ready usually – smile, kiss, and hug him. But I try to not ask him to do anything for me or problem solve or dump my own issues on him until later. And I try to keep the kids from doing that, too!

        My husband is more introverted, as well.

        Thanks for your insights!

  14. Just a short post to say that I have been struggling to let go of my emotional response when my husband chooses to play a video game or answer work emails rather than spend any time with me.
    I feel it very keenly right now because I am a caregiver and my time is very restricted. I’ve had to give up a lot even my ladies’ Bible study group. This makes me much more emotional I know
    I prayed about all of this. I know God wants me to bless my husband and forgive.
    I managed to go two whole evenings without any bad reactions to his predictable, distant behavior. I have kept praying.
    I decided to send him an email to his work addy honestly telling him what a great guy he is in specifics and also apologizing for my emotional outbursts. I told him that I was having a difficult time dealing with our differences and different needs but that I would continue to try to do better.
    He never responded or indicated in any way that he got it but this weekend he was so much nicer. He went out of his way in obvious ways for me and I appreciate it so much.
    I feel a lot better and will continue to try to submit to God’s directives for me. I know that God truly wants to form me into a different kind of person than what I can be on my own. I am hoping that this will truly happen and I am trusting Him
    He is so good
    PamW

    1. Love this, PamW! Thank you for sharing your heart and your thought processes and even how your husband responded. Such a blessing! 🙂

      I know God will continue to empower you to walk in obedience to Him and to transform your heart, mind, and soul to be more and more like Christ. It’s such a wonderful thing to know you are just doing this for Him and allowing Him to do the real work in you – no matter how your husband may respond.

      Much love!

  15. I see a lot of “my husband doesn’t care about…” or “if my husband would only…” or “he never wants to ….” comments throughout your blog, and I wanted to, if I may, add a husbands perspectve to the commentary.

    Disclaimer: These are just observations based on personal experience. They may/may or may not be accurate for your situation. They are also not intended to ‘lay blame’ on wives. They are simply meant to give you something to think about.

    First, any time you use the words always/never, you are probably wrong. Perhaps you mean most of the time, or not recently, or not often enough, but it is very unlikely that it is always/never or you wouldn’t have married him!

    Second, don’t assume that you know what your husband does/does not care about. That is a big one. I’ve been through two failed marriages where this was a key issue of why they failed. (Currently, my first wife and I are remarried and doing great, but we openly acknowledge where we failed each other the first time.)

    The vast majority of husbands truly want to make their wives happy. Most of them truly love their wives. Most of them are even sexually attracted to their wives would would very much like for that to be an active part of their relationship. However, there are a lot of things that prevent this, some of them direct results of the actions of the wife, others that have nothing to do with the wife. You might not like these, but…

    – He’s tired – Ladies, a good man that works hard, deals with family stress, work stresses, financial stresses, maintaining the home/car/vehicle/etc and whatever else life my through at them can get to a point where he is simply tired. Tired is probably an understatement. It is a bone deep soul crushing weariness that is very hard to overcome. If he keeps putting one foot in front of the other instead of just stopping, perhaps a little respect, admiration, and support is in order. Depending on his personality (introvert/extrovert), the presence of people, you included, only adds to that exhaustion. Most men will do anything to avoid admitting weakness, including avoiding everyone else. If that happens, support him from a distance, let him know (once) that you will be there for him when he is ready, and be patient.

    – He’s lonely – You heard me right: lonely. But, if he is lonely, why doesn’t he spend time with you, right? Ask yourself a question: do you give, or take? Do you give/take love, attention, respect, affection, support, encouragement, etc? Is being around you a peaceful haven for your husband, or a turbulent storm that he has to weather in order to have your companionship? Do you make demands during your time together, such as to go out to dinner/movie/shopping? Ask yourself why is doing whatever-it-he-does-other-than-spend-time-with-you more relaxing/refreshing/pleasant than spending time with you? Be objective and honest about it. The answers may surprise you.

    -He’s been lied to – This is a big one and one that a lot of women don’t seem to understand. You may say, “I’ve never lied to my husband!”, and you may not have…. verbally. Men are action oriented. Honestly, your words have very litte meaning to us in the grand scheme of things if they are not in line with your actions. More importantly, we are suprisingly observent and we tend not to talk about what we observe. We just take notes.

    So how may you have lied to your husband? Do you tell him that he is the most important thing in your life, but then put everything else before him? When you were dating, did you dress up, flirt, be playful, etc, and then stopped doing all those things when you married (false advertising)? Do you habitually say you don’t have time for something he’s asked of you, but then make time for less important things (television/facebook/etc)? Do you say that you respect him then undermine his decisions or treat him as if he were incompetent? Do you say you want to spend time together, and then spend that time together doing anything and everything EXCEPT giving him your time/attention?

    -You try to change him – You married this man because you love him(supposedly). If he senses that you spend an inordinate amount of time/energy trying to change him, he will believe that you do not love him. Who wants to feel unloved or spend time with someone that tries to change them?

    -You show no interest in his hobbies – Men will often seek to take an interest, to the extent possible, in the wives hobbies. It is very rare that I have ever witnessed a wife doing the same.

    These are just a few things, and I hope they may give you some insight and perspective to help heal your marriages, or improve them if they are already good.

      1. As I re-read this, I realized I missed to big ones:

        – Don’t call him a liar – This is another one that a lot of women do not realize they do, but they do it a LOT. If your husband pays you a compliment, and you brush it aside and explain to him why he is wrong, then either you are invalidating his GOOD opinion of you, or you are calling him a liar. Either way, it’s not good. In general, and this should apply broadly to everyone, if you don’t have evidence it is a lie, assume it is the truth until you can prove otherwise. Graciously accept complements, that is your husband saying he loves some part of you.

        – Do not ask a question that you don’t want to hear the answer to – This takes many forms, but the classic cliche is the old catch 22 “Does this dress make me look fat?” One, you are fishing for a compliment. Two, there is no right answer to such a question. If we say yes, we are being rude/cruel/mean/insensitive, if we say no, we are lying (according to you). On a broader scale, this can apply to something as simple as “How was dinner?” or as complicated as “Is there anything I can do better as a wife?” If you ask a question, you need to be prepared for an honest answer. Otherwise, the message you send to your husband is, “It is ok to lie to me. In fact, I expect it.”

        1. So then how would we handle it when our husband does lie to us?

          For example last night, my husband stopped at a bar on the way home. No big deal. I told him I was proud of him for only having one drink, and because he has lessened how often he goes by a LOT. I said he should be proud of that too.

          When he told me which street he’d turned on and was almost home, I knew he lied about which bar he’d gone to. I asked why he’d gotten to that street if he was at that bar, and added, “Unless you meant you were at —” and I put a winky face with the tongue sticking out, so he would know I wasn’t angry, and I was even giving him an out by suggesting that he simply told me the wrong place he had been. He said he’d made a wrong turn when leaving.

          Then when he came home, he didn’t have his wedding ring on. I asked where it was as he walked to our bedroom and he didn’t reply. He went to the restroom, and then left the house again, texting me that he’s tired of me questioning him and suggesting that he is doing something he shouldn’t be doing, and saying that I have real trust issues and he’s never given me a reason to doubt him.

          We have had a few sessions with a counselor, and I’m so grateful that he is going with me, and I’ve told him that. It just doesn’t seem like he is taking her suggestions (he wanted to see a female counselor, he says they’re easier to talk to) about how to resolve conflict (without yelling or saying he’s going to leave) and then it falls on me that we’re having problems. Although in calm moments, he says that the problems are caused by him and his issues, and he knows I’m doing everything I can and he can’t imagine a more loving or respectful wife.

          I’m just feeling insecure because I know he has lied to me like this before, and he keeps his cell phone locked with a passcode, but also checks mine frequently.

          I’m trying to figure out how to stay calm in those moments, how to not feel so incredibly hurt and insecure, and I can’t talk to him about it rationally and explain why I feel insecure because he will get angry.

          1. M,

            I’m sorry you are having issues. Unfortunately, in your case you have good reason to be suspicious. I am not going to say he is cheating, because he certainly might not be, but he is not being forth coming and he is acting suspicious.

            Now, if he is NOT cheating, I would hazard a guess and say that he is on the verge of it. You mentioned that you are insecure. Do you a history of questioning or insinuating that he is acting dishonestly or unfaithfully?

            The reason I ask is because I was in a similar situation with my ex-wife. I was accused of everything under the sun for years, and eventually I started developing dangerous thought patterns. If I was going to be accused anyway, and nothing I said would be believed anyway, then why not do something worthy of the drama. After all, the drama was coming regardless Of what I did.

            I never acted on it, but I felt much the way you describe your husband acting. In any situation, we should always check ourselves first, before going after the other person. “Remove the rafter from your own eye…” That does not mean that you have to tolerate his bad behavior. Confront him about it, but do so respectfully. I suggest starting with, “I wanted to ask you directly instead of making assumptions, but….” That way you are giving him an opportunity for honesty and letting him know he is not already charged, tried, and convicted.

            He is your husband, and if there is one thing I know about women it is that they seem to have built in lie detectors. Sometimes they are faulty, though, some make sure you own insecurities and fears aren’T Poisoning you judgement. Fear will kill a marriage almost as fast as infidelity.

            Know the outcome you want for any given situation BEFORE you ask him. Know what you want to do if he did cheat. Know what you will do if he didn’t. And if he hasn’t, take the time to ask him WHY he is acting the way he is, and be prepared for an answer you don’t want to hear. Above all else, pray, and leave it in God’s perfectly cable hands.

            Remember: Stay calm. Keep your emotions in check. No crying, yelling screaming, accusations etc. It will make him shut down and shut you out. Good luck!!!!

            Tony

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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