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"Some Things God Has Shown Me about Conflict with My Headstrong Husband"

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I asked a dear sister in Christ to share with us how God has prompted her to handle conflict in her particular marriage dynamic. I am so thankful for her willingness to share! (A reminder – this blog is not written for wives who have truly abusive husbands. If your husband is abusing you, involved in an active drug/alcohol addiction, involved in unrepentant adultery, or is not in his right mind mentally, please seek experienced, appropriate, godly counsel rather than reading this blog. The posts about marriage may not be written from the angle you need. The posts about our relationship with Christ may be helpful.)

NOTE: This husband has a lot of room for improvement. I think we all agree on that. But let’s focus on what the wife has control over in this situation, please.

I’m not real sure how to even begin answering this…. In the beginning of our marriage I was not a Godly wife nor did I understand how to be that because we married so young. Once my relationship became fully established with my Savior is when I started learning how to be a Godly wife and how to listen to the Holy Spirit on when to speak and when not to speak.

I had so much hate for my husband in my heart that any disagreements we had would cause even more anger to well up inside me. Even though the anger was there, the Lord was working on me long ago with holding my tongue.

Example:

During the early times of learning to listen to the Holy Spirit, there was a major stepping stone that I did not want to take. My oldest son woke up during the night yet again. I was so exhausted from all of his sleepless nights that this particular night, I just couldn’t even think about getting up so I acted like I didn’t hear his cry. When my husband woke to his cry, he [nudged ] me and said, “You better get up and make him quit crying. I’ve got to go to work tomorrow.”

At that moment, I snapped. I threw the covers off of me with tears in my eyes, snatched the baby out of his bed, and stomped down the hallway to get back to my room to tell my husband to get out because he was useless and that I could do all this on my own. While I was leaving our son’s room entering the hallway, I felt that tug on my heart saying, “Stop, don’t say it,” but I kept walking.

I got to the threshold of my bedroom door and take a deep breath to say it but it was like the Holy Spirit yelled at me to stop. I stood there crying, wanting so badly to tell my husband to get out – but I couldn’t. That anger from that night ended up being one of my “hate bricks” that I built around my heart that God had to destroy in the last year and a half. I was angry with God too, you know… but this was a stepping stone in my relationship with God for me to understand that I don’t always know what’s best.

—-

I am NOT a “quick on your feet” thinker so when disagreements arise, sometimes I won’t even have an answer or even a response sometimes until like 2 or 3 days later but then I feel like it’s too late. God has taught me over time that when there is a situation that needs to be dealt with, how to prepare for it. My husband is manipulative and can change the angle of a disagreement so quickly that it makes my head spin. God has taught me how to review each angle in my head so that I can be prepared with an answer if the conversation goes that direction. I don’t always pray beforehand but when I know it could get ugly, I will pray for the right words to say in wisdom and that they will not fall on deaf ears but an open heart, that my responses would be gentle so as to turn away wrath.

If my husband gets rude or harsh in his comments or responses, I look away for a moment saying a prayer in my head that God would help me before words come out of my mouth. Sometimes I can’t even speak anymore because so many things are going through my mind that confusion would happen and God is NOT the author of confusion. I have to step away to gain clarity and then proceed. When my husband is  “done” with a subject, God tells me to just wait because the same situation will arise soon and it can be turned around to prove my point. God has been right every single time, of course.

We are both pretty head strong people. When I decided to allow myself to become submissive to my husband despite the imperfections and to allow God to lead me, it was a hard task but has turned out to be quite rewarding.

 

God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

RELATED:

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

A Wife Responds Beautifully to Her Husband’s Bad Mood

“When I Shut Up, My Husband Heard God”

Being Married to a Man Who Is Emotionally/Spiritually Shut Down

When He Suddenly Walks Out or Hangs Up

0 thoughts on “"Some Things God Has Shown Me about Conflict with My Headstrong Husband"

  1. I praise God that this sister shared about the Holy Spirit teaching her when to speak and when not to speak. I am on this journey too. My husband also frequently twists what I say and just like the wife my head can spin with confusion how he chooses to manipulate my words.I am now stronger and standing on the word and whether or no the Holy Spirit convicts my heart of wrong in the situation rather than depend on what he says when he is in the harsh bitter mode.

    The problem I am seeing from the comment is that her husband hit her.No matter what her issues to work through, there is no excuse for someone to hit their spouse. I am concerned that nothing is said about this.from her or you the host of the blog

    For a weak wife struggling with self- worth issues over looking this has a wrong action could send the message the wife deserved to be hit because she had some faults.

    Only God has the authority to punish sin.

    1. Prayerful wife,

      It is my understanding that he did not actually hit her – as in an abusive, violent hit. I think she means he nudged her awake or tapped her. This wife has not indicated to me that she has been physically abused. But I will check on that with her – and for now, I am changing the wording to “nudged” because I think that is most likely what she meant.

      If he had actually hit her – that is a different and more significant issue – and if I thought that was what she meant – I would have had a big discussion about that.

      NO ONE ever deserves to be hit or abused in any way. I have a post about this – “Do I Condone Abuse?”

      I am so thankful that you are stronger in God’s Spirit and in the Word. I pray for God’s wisdom for you an for healing for your marriage.

      Thank you for sharing your concerns!

  2. Hi April! I completely respect this women’s story and what God has called her to do in her marriage. I really do. But I do think you may want to add a warning to the top of the post advising women who are or have been in abusive marriages not to read as it may be a trigger. Obviously I do not know the details of this woman’s story and what she has been through and what God has been teaching her. And I totally agree that hate and resentment is not what God commands of us, no matter the circumstances. We are never to repay evil with evil. I don’t know if the hit she refers to was more of a nudge or an actual strike. But because of the reference to hitting, this post really bothers me, as hitting is never ok. I don’t want any of your readers to think that you are condoning abuse of any kind or advising readers in abusive marriages that they must continue to live with their husbands. Again, please hear my heart that I do not know the specifics of this dear woman’s situation, and I would not ever begin to speak into a situation I was not very familiar with. But this is just a suggestion that some of the language in this post may be difficult for some readers, as it is for me.

    1. Em,

      I really appreciate you letting me know that word was an issue. THANK YOU!!! I changed the word in the story – and put a disclaimer at the top, as well – something I try to do every so often.

      I am familiar with this wife’s testimony – and she has never spoken about violence or physical abuse – so I think she means that he just tapped her to wake her up. I don’t think she means that he literally hit her – meaning that he hurt her or caused bruising. But I can check with her about that.

      I agree that hitting is never ok.

      Thank you so much for sharing!!!!

      1. Thanks April! Because of my own story, I’m sensitive about that, and I know other women are as well. So I appreciate you taking the time to listen 🙂
        And thanks to the woman who shared this story for your willingness to share what you’ve learned about dealing with your headstrong husband!

        1. Em,
          You are very welcome. It helps me greatly to hear what things are triggers for other women. I will seek to be much more sensitive to words like that in the future – to be sure to clarify before posting something that could be taken to mean abuse.

          Much love to you!

  3. Thank you for this post. It really helped me after I got into an arguement with my soon-to-be-husband last night. Please, what other post do you have on being married to a husband that has a habit of manipulation? My fiance comes from a family of manipulation and often forgets what he can do with his words. It’s hard to be submissive when he is like that.

    1. lillianl17 – why would you be getting ready to marry someone you know is manipulative? I am an abuse survivor and I have never responded to an individual on here but saw your comment and had to. People that are like that do not change unless they see their sin themselves and get a lot of help. You could deal with it and put up with it; however, the pain of it may take its toll on you and a man of Godly character would not manipulate. I hope you get that straightened out prior to marriage and will pray God gives you wisdom. No need to answer my question but I would seriously consider how that would feel 1 year in, 10 years in, etc., and if that is something you are willing to still be putting up with and how you would handle it if he never stopped. Sin we see prior to getting married does not stop and in fact a lot of times grows worse. I am speaking from experience. Please be praying for wisdom and if that is truly the man the Lord wants you with!

      1. I know it sounds bad out of context but I assure you, God has confirmed for me many times I am to marry my fiance and he will never abuse me. My fiance just has bad habits he needs to get over with God’s help. Thank you for your concern though!

        1. lillianl17,

          I’m so glad that you feel confident that your fiance would never abuse you. And I do pray that you might be prepared for the possibility that your fiance might not change. I would encourage you to be able to accept him as is – even if he never ever changes for the better. Sometimes we go into marriage assuming our husbands will mature and change the ways we want them to – but that is certainly not a guarantee. Sometimes, both the husband’s and wife’s sinful tendencies seem to be magnified after marriage. So, if he is this way before marriage, and it is not addressed, expect that it will continue.

          If you’d like to talk a bit more about this – I am glad to talk with you. 🙂 I am assuming you are both believers in Christ, seeking wholeheartedly to live for Him?

          I pray that you might both take as much time as you need and go through biblical counseling together and that you might both understand what you are committing yourselves to before marriage. A godly mentoring couple might be ideal. I pray for God’s wisdom for you and for you to be very sensitive to His voice! I long for God’s very best for you, my precious sister!

          1. Thank you for your input! Honestly I never thought he wouldn’t mature past this. If he doesn’t, how do I live with it? It feels wrong to be submissive to him when he tries to control me.
            And yes, we are both believers, in fact we are going to be pastors and are in Bible college. And we will be going in marriage counseling for a year (maybe more if needed. We are getting married next year). We have also been going through coaching together for a year which has been very helpful.
            Thank you so much for responding. And thank you for your blog. It’s nice to have a community as I try to discover what it means to be a Biblical wife. 🙂

          2. lillianl17,

            If he does not mature past this before you get married, he will most likely not change after you get married – and I cannot recommend knowingly marrying someone who is very controlling. It is extremely difficult for a wife to be in such a position.

            My suggestion is to take this slowly and focus on the counseling more than preparing for the wedding. If you do not see real and lasting change, I believe it would be wise to postpone the wedding until you do see real and lasting change and fruit of the Spirit.

            This is a pretty serious issue. What have your coaches been suggesting for each of you?

            Much love to you! You are most welcome here!

          3. Honestly I have already seen a change from when we first started dating 3 years ago. Sometimes it seems like he doesn’t even notice it, he tells me he is just having a conversation when I feel he is trying to change my mind about whatever we are talking about.
            I mostly see this habit coming from his parents, who are not saved and often try to control him even though he is 20 years old.
            My couch has been focusing on helping me with my family, because my parents are recently divorces and my siblings are not doing so well. We start counseling in the fall when we go back to school.

          4. Dearl lillianl17,

            I had to respond as the other lady has done who has been in an abusive marriage. Prior to my marriage my husband was also controlling and manipulative. There were varying degrees depending on the situation but it was not healthy. I overlooked things because we were/are believers. (I am not saying that you are overlooking things) but that is what i was doing and so i do fear that you may see controlling or manipulative behavior as minor or just as ‘issues’ as we all have. I used to excuse his behavior back then because none of us are perfect right?

            However i now see that the pain i have endured after marriage with a controlling manipulative man could have been avoided if I had taken these issues more seriously prior to marriage. I understand my situation is different to yours but please understand that these issues are are very unhealthy and even if they are minor can seriously erode your self worth over time or just cause constant confusion which is my experience. My husband comes from a family of manipulators also. I pray that your situation is nothing like mine though and hope you don’t take what I am saying the wrong way.

            One last point is that my husband was also very attentive loving and caring which made me overlook his other behaviors. Over time i realized that this was just another tool to manipulate me into forgiving him and overlooking his sin. No true repentance on his part. Again I don’t know you or your fianc’e or your relationship but what you posted concerned me just because of what I have been through.

          5. M,
            I appreciate you sharing your perspective. MANY, MANY women go into marriage assuming their husbands will change for the better. That doesn’t happen very often – unless God changes them, of course. But most of us don’t change immediately – it is usually over a lifetime that God changes people. I agree that we need to be prepared for them not to change, and for their sinful tendencies to be magnified in marriage, as ours will be, as well.

            If there truly is manipulation going on – and we may need to define that more accurately – it makes for a very bumpy road for a wife to submit gladly and willingly. It is much harder for a wife to trust in such a situation. I agree that there is reason to pause and pray and seek God carefully – and seek wise, biblical counsel about how to properly prepare for marriage and how to deal with these issues in a healthy, godly way before marriage. I would not want to make assumptions.

          1. With Christ, I believe so. If God won’t change my fiance, I will have to learn from God how to handle it. God wouldn’t have told me he was the one if God wouldn’t help us.

  4. what bothers me is not the nudge, but the comment he is quoted as saying, “You better get up and make him quit crying. I’ve got to go to work tomorrow.” That has got to be the most selfish, rude and controlling comment and being an abuse survivor (physical, emotional and mental) it worries me. I am sorry to say but when I hear of men making comments like that especially regarding their own children, it is definitely taking “submissive” to a whole other level that is not biblical. I know we are to work on ourselves and that is great that she is and I applaud her for her growth, as holding the tongue is something I struggle with, but let’s not overlook this man’s or our own husband’s controlling or selfish spirit, if he so has one. That definitely should be addressed, while working on herself definitely, yes, but this should not be overlooked. I lived many years focusing on myself and my own sin so much that I disregarded and overlooked many big, big, sins of my husband. I am not talking about things that are small or that we all do. I mean the big ones. Anytime I see a controlling spirit in a man it is a big sin/sign and shouldn’t be overlooked. We are called to be peacemakers, not peace fakers, which is exactly what I did for many years and I pray this woman is not falling into that trap. Working on ourselves is awesome and we all should be and should be growing; however, if it is causing us to overlook a lying or cheating, or abusive, or controlling spirit in our husband, then it is time to open our eyes. We can address both at the same time. As the child gets older he will say similar comments but now the child will be older and able to understand, which I’d be more concerned about than if I bit my tongue enough. Just sayin!

    1. Lee,

      I think we have opposite stories! I spent many years focusing only on my husband’s sin and not looking at mine at all. That was a disaster, too!

      I have a post about confronting our husbands’ sin.

      There are absolutely times when we do need to speak up. What I like about this story is that God was giving very clear prompts to this wife – and she listened to Him. He knows what is best in each situation. I actually don’t think that the husband’s comment was necessarily rude or controlling. It could have been. But I don’t know his heart or his motives. It could be that he was exhausted and wanted to be sure he could go provide for the family the next day. I want to be careful about assuming evil motives on his part from that comment in the middle of the night. I’m sure he did need sleep. Of course, so did his wife. Greg and I had a similar prolonged time of very little sleep when our youngest was a baby. It was extremely difficult for both of us. Severe, chronic sleep deprivation is definitely not a good recipe for a healthy marriage.

      I agree there are times when we must address our husbands’ sin. I don’t think that in the middle of the night is going to be a productive time to do it. But I do pray we will each be sensitive to what God desires us to do in each situation and that we will seek to honor, obey, and please Him above all else. I pray He will direct us about when to speak up and when to wait on Him and let Him do the fighting for us.

      Thank you for sharing!

  5. Wow. This was a timely post and would love to hear more ways to “hold my tongue” during my husbands expression of disrespect, hurt and pain. I know that I need to get down to listening to the real issue upsetting him, but the word “daggers” I have to fight off and not respond to can be a huge distraction and my self respect deserves to be protected as well. I gave my husband command over my self respect for so long that I felt very unloved, unworthy and invaluable. I felt “not good enough” and paralyzed to make s decision for fear of messing it up. I have fought that off with the help of God and have taken back the reigns. My husband was not abusive or intentionally manipulative, but has a quick wit and likes things his way, but is a very loving guy who loves to make people happy. He just thinks hecis RESPONSIBLE for everyone’s happiness and I let him do that for me. But because he is human and that is s needy greedy hole to fill, it overwhelmed him.

  6. Would it have been so bad for him to get up his self and see why his kid is crying? Mom can’t do everything but majority of the time they do hence why the word “supermom” is often said.

    Now if she would have just let that baby cry then she would have been wrong.

    1. ChildofRa,

      There are DEFINITELY things this husband could have done differently and more lovingly. I don’t think any of us would argue with that. It’s not really the point here. But – yeah. I hear you. 🙂

      I know for us, I was a nursing mom – and when my husband would go check on our baby – she would still cry because she wanted me. She was often sick – and didn’t sleep through the night for 19 months. I was up with her 3-4 times a night during that year and a half – and worked 21 hours/week in the pharmacy. This was a big change from our first baby, who slept through the night at 3 weeks. (He didn’t have an older sibling bringing every possible virus home from kindergarten every day.) When our daughter was a baby, my husband had a full time job and spent 40 hours/week renovating the old house we bought. We were both beyond exhausted. Neither of us had the energy to get up. But I got up with her. Then I often put the milk away in the cabinet and the cereal in the refrigerator and could barely keep my eyes open when I was driving. NOT GOOD! Of course, it wouldn’t have been good if my husband was that sleep deprived, either.

      It would be awesome if husbands would get up sometimes, too. There are a lot of husbands who do that.

      Moms can’t do everything. It is too much. We need sleep, too.

      Ideally, the couple should probably try to have a discussion about how to handle this during the day when they are both as rested as possible. She could have asked her husband to get up. She could have said respectfully, “Honey, I am so exhausted, I just don’t think I can do it.”

      It’s really tough when both people are extremely exhausted.

      Honestly, looking back on our situation, I think I would have been better off at times to go sleep in the car so that I would have been able to have enough brain power to make reasonable decisions! Chronic, severe lack of sleep is AWFUL!!!!! For anyone! I also don’t recommend combining major house renovations with a sleepless baby – not a good recipe for a happy marriage!

  7. I’ve seen the word manipulative thrown around a lot, and I am not always what exactly is meant by it. Any time you try to get something you want that another person is not immediately willing to give, there is some degree of manipulation going on.

    In a sense, even being respectful or loving in order to forestall an argument is manipulation. Would some of you ladies who’ve commented on manipulation expound on what YOU consider manipulation?

    Tony

  8. I believe, Manipulative would be when he twists your words around to mean something that he very well knows you weren’t saying. He wears you down or shames you until you just cave, agree, and take all the blame.

    I must use this blog to put in a plug for my VERY fav book, “The Excellent Wife: A biblical Perspective” by Martha Pearce. The book is made up of a lot of real life conversations and scenarios, and the Lord has used it to save my marriage over and over!

    1. His child,

      Thank you for sharing!

      I love that book, too!! So many practical tips and she points women to Scripture. Wish I had read it much sooner in my journey, it would have been super helpful. The only concern I have with the book is that in the examples of confronting husbands about sin in the last chapter, it struck me that there was usually one sentence in each example that might sound disrespectful to some husbands. Other than that, LOVED It!

  9. Hi April!
    I remember when I brought my last child home, it seemed I would feed her, burp her, wrap her up and put her to bed and my head would just hit the pillow again and she would start fussing. And this went of ALL.NIGHT.LOOOONNNGGG! I was frustrated and got snappy at my husband when he would calmly tell me that everything is fine and reminded me that he had told me this usually happened when we brought our babies home. And I just weeded and snapped at him all night long. I even snapped at the baby. Like the baby is going to understand what I say??!!?? But my sweet husband took the baby in the morning and kept her settled Soi could sleep in and then let me have a nap in the afternoon as well! My husband rarely gets up to our kids ( we have 8 and I’m expecting our 9th) and he nudges me and pretty well says the same thing. Although I think more gently and he doesn’t mind if I nap when I’ve had a bad night. God has been opening my eyes to just how wonderful my husband is and the ways he shows he loves me even when I treat him like dirt.

    I don’t think this husband is being abusive at all. He just sounds gruff and like he wants things done his way and may not always be diplomatic in the way he says things. If the husband is sleeping and hears the baby crying in the middle of the night and tries to wake his wife to see what the trouble is, do you seriously believe he would be ready to launch into a full on abusive attack? I can understand if he is a bit blunt particularly if he works long hours and needs his sleep. But I don’t think he would be physically abusive. There is nothing wrong with a friendly slap on the bottom or a nudge in the spirit of friendly play, But full on fist fights in a heated argument or anything where the spouse feels frightened or insecure then it is completely unacceptable. She responded rightly by choosing not to bite back. Some arguments are not worth getting into, especially in the middle of the night. She can soften the heart of her husband by having a right, gentle response and give him the love and respect he needs. She will probably find he is more gentle with her over time. Abusive men don’t seem to give a rip and tend to need professional help. Some will recover, others may not. I am sorry that some women are in abusive situations and I can’t fathom how hard it must be. But I don’t think this lady in the post is in any physical danger.

    1. Megan,
      Thank you for sharing your experience!

      The combination of prolonged, severe sleep deprivation and hormone issues and the stress of a new baby in the household is a recipe for an irritable, snappy wife. Yep! Not that we are excused. God still desires us to treat our husbands with respect and honor. But it is MUCH more challenging with the flesh is so very weak!

      Very helpful insights!!

      1. As a side note, did you notice dr Emerson Eggerichs has a book called ‘love and respect in the family’?
        I just downloaded it onto my kindle app and from what I’ve read so far it is very good!

          1. Will let you know. But I can’t promise anything. It was certainly interesting reading how to approach sons. It never occurred to me that they desire respect too! After all, they are just men who haven’t grown physically yet. It makes so much sense! I have 4 them. And I get the suspicion this one may be a boy. But I seem to handle girls easier. I just don’t seem to understand boys and men very well. So this may well be the answer!!

          2. Megan,

            Our son is 13 – I have been trying to transition a lot more toward treating him with respect. He definitely responds very well to it! 🙂

            I may have to read that book, too. Sounds very good!

  10. Asking God for wisdom in situations where you feel so confused really truly brings clarity. The Holy Spirit is an ever present help in times of need. That gives me so much joy!!!

    1. Charli,

      I love that verse!!!!

      God is our refuge and strength,
      an ever-present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1

      God’s Spirit and His Word can give us clarity in the most difficult situations. What a blessing and source of great hope! 🙂

      1. Hi April, that verse comforts me too. I just had my 20 week ultrasound. And while there was an amniotic sack, and I had all the pregnancy symptoms and at least 3 positive pregnancy tests, there is no baby. I am dissapointed. But trust God is in control.

        1. Megan,

          Oh my!!! I am so sorry to hear about the news you received. What a shock! I wish I could give you a big hug, my dear sister. I am thankful God is in control, and I am trusting you and your precious family to His care. I am praying for you today!

  11. I think the best answer when my husband snap at me is not to say anything. I’ve tried all things and that’ s the only thing that work with my particular husband. later on, which mean usually another day, I can talk to him about the issue in a much more relax way for both of us and without any anger. I don’t think there is a magical way of doing it. For each wife and husband, it may be different even if it is sure inspiring to see how other couples are dealing with the same issues.

  12. From the wife who wrote this post:

    No my husband has never hit me in an abusive way. That night in question was only a nudge to wake me up….like you said.

    He was a huge emotional and mental abuser and at the time that that happened, he was being very selfish. He has grown up so much though in the last 2 years. I promise you, when I got to my boiling point (many times) I would tell him how selfish, rude, and controlling he was.

    When I explained to him how much I hated him last year and explained all those other things again, I really think it all sunk in

  13. From the wife who wrote this post:

    What I have learned is that when I listen to the Holy Spirit, the way of combatting the disagreement is already being paved. When He tells me to stay quiet, it’s for that moment and He tells me to just keep this moment tucked away for now. The reason is because the reverse of the incident will happen and Jeff will not only see my point when I remind him of what happened days before but also he is in a place to hear it so he can learn from it.

    I have benefited from listening in SO many ways. The main thing for me is the WOW factor….God really does care for our every need, battle, weakness, and wants. He shows me that every time I allow myself to listen intently to what He has to say. Grieving the Holy Spirit is a sin so to me if I don’t listen, I am grieving Him. I’m very simple minded and Jeff use to make fun of me but because he sees the strength God has and continuing to place in me, his respect for me has changed ALOT over the years. It’s NOT easy to hold my tongue and he knows that. There have been times he has found me crying out to the Lord, literally, asking why do I have to stay. He’s also heard how my prayers have changed. I believe in anointing with oil so I have anointed different things but when I anointed his pillow it seemed to have done things. 1 i think in me because I found myself praying FOR him not AT the Lord on his behalf in anger. 2 I feel in him because his communications to me began changing.

    What I’ve learned and how I’ve benefited really go hand in hand if you think about it. Getting closer to God is the biggest lesson and benefit for all His children. He will tell us what to do, when to do it and help us understand why IF we allow Him too.

    1. I love the clarification and extension of the wife who wrote the post. What an amazing thing God is doing in her life!

      Reading the comments, we each bring our own hearts, struggles, history and present to the story. We are all selfish creatures since the beginning in the Garden. It’s human nature. This man was unlikely being anymore selfish in that scenario than many of us have been in a point in time.

      I too have a head strong-is that the same as hard headed ;).

      Holding my tongue has had an amazing impact inside my home and marriage. I have certainly not perfected it, but when I quit fighting fire with fire with my husband a few years ago, things really did begin to change. Slowly, but there is a difference.

      It actually made him almost madder at first, but then apologetic at times and resolution came much quicker. My husband is no saint but he is a believer. He is not an abuser. He does manipulate and twist words when he is fighting his sinful self and his own demons. In all honesty, I manipulate with emotions at times when I am hurt and tired of watching my husband’s sin. It isn’t a conscious thought that I intend but that is my struggle.

      Alas, that is why I can applaud and appreciate April’s fervent instruction for us to look inside ourselves. God did not call us to be our husband’s Holy spirit. But we can begin to allow the Holy Spirit to work within ourselves by growing closer to Christ and opening our hearts to His instruction. When I focus on how I can draw closer to Christ and please God, I find a peace. When I focus on my husband’s sin, failings or perceived flaws, I begin to become very discontent, stressed and overwhelmed. I thank God that I am convicted almost immediately when I snap with a snarky comment before my brain has time to stop my lips from moving.

      God knows all things. I pray for God’s will over my husband and our marriage. I pray for each wife reading this, that each of us could stop and listen and allow our hearts to hear His directions. He promises He has plans to prosper us.

  14. April, this is great advice. Appreciate the perspective on dealing with a “headstrong” husband. Your blog is such an encouragement!

  15. April, this is a bit off topic, but I have a question. My husband is a good man , but has difficulty apologising for anything. I get an apology maybe once a decade. Most of the time I can live with this and am happy to apologise to end a stand off, but sometimes it’s overwhelming and I don’t know how to act and how to get my head and heart around it. Do you have any advice or past posts on this that would help me.

      1. Sometimes he seems to apologise without words. That’s how I choose to take it. By telling me how much he loves me. But it does seem like he is saying it because he appreciates that I didn’t get upset, because if I get upset over something even if it’s ever so slightly his walls go up and I end up being the one who apologises. I apologise a lot for my negative reactions to keep the peace. I have been an awful wide in the past and I think he hasn’t forgotten and any negative reaction or tone on my part and his walls are up. I guess I’m paying for my sins here, but it’s been years and I would love to hear apologies sometimes and it gets me down. He has said in the dim dark past that my apologies meant nothing if I’m not going to change (praise God I heard that), so maybe he doesn’t value apologies, just change.

  16. Hi Charli,
    I really think we have a similar husband. My husband (Who is a missionary pastor BTW) almost never apologize. And I had to force myself to continue to ask him forgiveness for my mistakes cause he even was putting the guilt on me for apologizing, saying asking forgiven means nothing if I don’t change (as if it was easy). He always keep in mind all the mistakes and bad behaviours I had in the past and always criticize me or put me down. He never says something good about me only the bad stuff. That’s heavy after only 3 years of marriage. But I just pray about it and have to remind me that the problem is his. I take responsibility for my sin and ask forgiveness but he doesn’t. The hardest is to try to see me as God sees me with somebody by my side always saying that I am gonna fail, I don’t know anything. But I just fight his words and say this is not true and he is a man of little faith is he doesn’t believe in me cause God does. Lol. I can’t change him , I don’t know I’d he realize how much he has hurt me in the past, I can only protect myself and try to love him as he is.

  17. April,
    How are you doing?:) hope all is very well with your marriage and family!
    I was wondering if you had any blogs of yours to refer me to on the topic of “saying you’re ok when you are not” kinda thing… my husband told me he was going somewhere, in the words “I am going to blank” and I ask why he wouldn’t invite me, when family is there? And he tells me he was about to… Do I want to? And I said no it’s fine. Because I truly did not want to go because I felt he didn’t want me to, he then said are you sure, yes, okay love you bye. This really made me feel left out and when he asked me later on if I was ok I said yes, bc I know it is silly but he insisted he felt something was wrong and then when I finally told him he went off saying I lie and say I’m ok or lie and say I don’t want to go somewhere when I do, but I really just felt I knew he didn’t want me to go, and that he was lying saying “i was going to ask you” I think he should have just said “do you want to go with me to blank?”
    Oh my goodness I know it is so silly but it is on my heart and just wondering if you’ve already wrote a post on anything similar to this that might help me better respond to this type of situation next time.

    Much love and blessings to you!
    🙂

    1. Learning wife,

      Well, Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” Instead of trying to read into your husband’s real intentions and making assumptions, how about you take what he says at face value and believe him, then give an honest answer respectfully. Assume he is inviting you and wants you to go if he invites you to go. Go if you want to go. Don’t go if you don’t want to go. Show him he can trust you and that you are honest.

      Does that make sense?

        1. Hi all, I have related to this post and a lot of your comments.

          I have been married for 30 years to my husband. We both are Christians and both had pretty raunchy pasts(before salvation and marriage).Even though we’ve both had ‘rescuing tendencies’ towards each other, and I have been a peace keeper/people pleaser, while he’s been more on the manipulative/ controlling side, I do believe God brought us together. From my side, to be hemmed in with the covering of marriage and blessing of family while experiencing the disappointment and pain of life, even when it comes directly from my husband, is what draws me to Christ. He has a purpose in all things to form us into the image of his Son and to draw out he things in our hearts that keep us from him.

          It is still very hard. I have expectations for my own happiness. It’s hard to wait on God and believe that he is doing something good when I’m not in control and I don’t feel hope or faith. This is what I mean about God teaching through difficulty. What IS my faith resting on? IS God trustworthy? Does it depend on how good of a job I do, or does he have a will he is working out here?

          I am reading a book right now called Reclaiming Your Heart. Some of the different chapters address The Disappointed Heart, The Fearful Heart, The Performing Heart, etc. I am reading praying for discernment and to apply what is for me, because the author is divorced and learned all these things while/ through losing her marriage. She is a Christian, but that is not my desire. I’m not judging, just feel cautious.

          One thing I see IS my inability to make some decisions because I AM such a people pleaser. I have stepped out a couple times with faith to just say what I want or mean since then. Working on ourselves can get exhausting though! I need help to focus on the marvelous redemption our God has given while understanding that ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God’.

          I would really like to be a part of a small group again with my husband where we are encouraged and share our experience strength and hope. That would be my prayer today. I also thank God for worship music. He blesses me with songs running through my heart as reminders. Sometimes our journey seems so long, thank you for the encouraging things you share on this blog.

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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