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“He Loves Me. He Loves Me Not.” – Finding Victory over Feelings of Insecurity

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(This post is not for women whose husbands are abusive, are involved in unrepentant infidelity or criminal activity, are initiating divorce with their wives, have uncontrolled mental health problems, or have active addictions to drugs/alcohol right now.)

Thankfully, most husbands are relatively decent men who truly love their wives and long for their wives to be happy, even if their wives can’t always decode that message (Shaunti Feldhahn “For Women Only”).

A minister at our church taught a class the 7 basic needs of husbands and wives a few years ago. The greatest need of a wife, according to him, was – security. I would have to agree!

How easy it is to let our emotions begin to convince us that we are NOT secure in our husbands’ love, or in a thousand other ways.

Doesn’t the enemy know exactly how to strike at us in our thoughts and how to tempt us? (Note – for some of you, the examples I am about to share may be triggers – if you know that this might be the case for you, skip down to the next section with the heading in all caps!)

It’s SO EASY to start thinking things like:

  • My husband hasn’t emailed me in such a long time. I wonder why?
  • My husband barely compliments me.
  • I sent him that text an hour ago. Is he REALLY busy at work, or is he ignoring me?
  • Why didn’t he ever answer my message?
  • My husband never prays with me.
  • My husband doesn’t text me or flirt with me.
  • My husband seems to barely spend any time with me.
  • My husband said something hurtful to me 2 weeks ago. Maybe that is how he REALLY feels about me – even though he apologized. He probably didn’t really mean that apology.
  • So-and-so’s husband compliments her EVERY DAY. She is so lucky! Why can’t my husband be like that?
  • He seems way more interested in the computer, the TV, the tablet, or his video games than he seems interested in me.
  • Does he even love me?
  • Wouldn’t he talk with me and want to spend time with me and emotionally and spiritually connect with me if he really loved me!??!!
  • I feel like he is so far away emotionally and spiritually. Maybe that is because he IS far away emotionally and spiritually. My feelings are probably right! Maybe he really doesn’t love me as much as I love him!?!?!

THIS IS THE PATH TO AN AVALANCHE OF OUT OF CONTROL EMOTIONS, MY DEAR SISTERS!

It is easy to focus on the things we want that we are not getting and to ignore the fact that our husbands did a number of loving things for us in recent weeks.

It is also easy to compare our husbands to other men – whose lives  (and sins and weaknesses) we really know little about. If I am not careful, I might totally forget that he filled up my tank with gas, took the kids to the doctor for me, made supper that night that I wasn’t feeling well, called out our child for disrespecting me, or cuddled happily with me while he watched TV several nights this week (for example).

The negative thoughts just spiral and snowball until we are in a full blown panic attack – convinced that we are alone and unloved in the world. This can happen even with women whose husbands truly do love them dearly. It can happen to the strongest of us who are firmly abiding in Christ normally. If we focus on these fears and emotions – we will be overwhelmed and overcome by worry and anxiety. Then – we will respond to our husbands in a desperate, needy way as we look to them to meet our deepest needs (rather than Christ) – not a Spirit-filled way. This is the path to idolizing our husbands.

I think we are all prone to this kind of attack at times.

The question is – do we trust our unstable feelings and negative emotions and wallow in these awful feelings of despair and hopelessness – or do we trust God’s Word and depend on Christ and rest in our husbands’ love?

WHERE IS MY SECURITY?

I can tell you where it is NOT. It is not in:

– my changing emotions.

– my husband.

– what my husband does or does not do for me.

– my circumstances.

– my negative assumptions about my husband or God.

– in my thorough analysis of my situation and emotions.

in my imagination, my over-thinking, or my worrying.

MY SECURITY IS IN CHRIST ALONE!!!

I can drive myself insane with all of my “what ifs?” and by trying to make uneducated assumptions about my husband’s motives. I can be really, really wrong if I try to do this. For me, instead of believing my feelings and the questions that want to push me toward insecurity – I have to consciously reject those feelings and thoughts and turn to Christ and the truth of His Word as well as the truth I know for sure about my husband.

I need to tell myself things like (please modify the details according to your particular husband and write out your own list in your prayer journal):

RELATED:

Posts about Fear

Posts about Insecurity

Posts about Security in Christ

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

The Idol of Happiness

I Don’t Have to Be the Most Beautiful Woman in the Room

62 thoughts on ““He Loves Me. He Loves Me Not.” – Finding Victory over Feelings of Insecurity

  1. Just what I needed to read this morning. I am retraining my thoughts and feelings to live according to the second list. Boy, change is hard, BUT I am committed to it.

    There are many things in the first list that are happening from my husband….no compliments, no prayer, no tenderness, no care and concern for me, very little conversation, walls built up, anger directed at me, etc.

    Some days I feel like I am drowning in rage and sadness, actually today is one of them, so reading this post was right on time.

    I have to believe that God works everything out for good.

    So thankful for you April.

    1. Betsy,

      YAY! I am SO excited about what God is doing in your heart. This part is really painful – the ripping out the idols and sin part. And the learning to depend on Christ and learning to replace our wrong thinking with His truth – but it is SO SO SO WORTH it!

      You are always welcome to share your feelings here, and we will support and love you through the storms. We will seek to point you to Christ, precious sister!

      Lord,
      Thank You for getting Betsy’s attention. Thank you for the trial in her marriage that is forcing her to learn to love You and to look to You as God alone. Thank You for the beauty You are already creating in her as You refine her and bring the dross to the top and skim it off so that her faith will become more and more pure and valuable and beautiful in Your eyes. Empower her to become the godly woman You desire her to be. Let her learn to find the sufficiency of Christ in the midst of this desert in her marriage. Thank You that You are already using this pain for much good.

      We pray for healing for Betsy and for her husband spiritually with You. We pray for restoration of their marriage in Your timing for Your glory. Help her to wait patiently on You and to be open to anything You want to do in her life, heart, mind, and soul. Help her to depend on the truth of Your Word not feelings. Help her to run to You as her Refuge, her Shelter, her Rock, her Deliverer, and her Comforter. Let her hear and obey Your voice in every moment.

      In the Name and power of Christ Jesus, our Lord,
      Amen!

  2. Great post, April! If we are always right there with our husbands, for every little move, thought and action, they will never have the chance to seek us out. It took me so long to realize this…that even after we have been together for 20+ years, my husband still has an innate need to pursue me. I find that when I am feeling insecure, the best thing to do is to stay quiet and a little distant. Getting busy with other things, especially my prayer life, will do wonders to create that spark once again. And God tells us that everything has a season…this is especially true in marriages. Ultimately, seeking God in these times of loneliness or insecurity is the answer.

    1. I love where you said, “my husband still has an innate need to pursue me.” What wisdom! I’d never thought of it that way. I have learned that giving my husband space is healthy and good for our relationship because it makes him feel respected and allows him to choose when and how to be loving but I hadn’t considered that he NEEDED to pursue me and couldn’t if I didn’t allow it. I knew men didn’t like to be smothered and liked to show love in their own way but I’d never considered it was a NEED for them….What an interesting point!!!!

  3. This is SO spot on w me right now, today! Thank you peaceful wife blogger for this. Husband and I went out on date to discuss our upcoming move and things…I brought up something I knew he would not like, but that’s a whole different story, and sure enough he reacted so negatively. The night ended sour. He bounced back pretty quick that night, me, not so much. I internalized it and it grew in me and many of those negative thoughts you listed were in my head till next morning. Especially the one comparing him to so and so’s husband.. to sum up, he knew something was still wrong. We talked again and he apologized for his reaction…but I learned from him and your article the devil loves when things like this start in hopes to put a wedge in a sacred marriage. It also reminded me we are human, make mistakes don’t focus on those bc like you mentioned he did do so many positive things earlier that day that week! Also to not to put my security in anything but Christ alone!!!

    1. Missy, I saw an interview on Women of Grace with an author that said, “God is everywhere at every time, meaning He is always in the PRESENT. That is why it is so important to always stay in the present moment! But, Satan KNOWS this, and that is why he will try to get you to stay in the PAST (by re-living negative moments and reactions, by stewing over past hurts, by struggling with forgiveness, etc.) and also try to get you to go to the FUTURE (anxiety, worrying over what will happen, stress and insecurities, etc.) because Satan knows that God is not in these places. I found that very interesting and it always helps me to remember to stay in the present moment. If things are going well with my husband, I try to only focus on that moment, and not the past or future. It has really helped me, and maybe that will help you, too
      🙂

    2. Missy,

      I love what you are learning and am SO thankful to God for how He is working in your heart today. What you are learning is POWERFUL and beautiful!! Thank you very much for sharing!

  4. Really well said. I like to say that Christ is my rock, my husband being an earthly rock that kind of reflects that relationship I have with Christ, but it is not the same thing. Hubby is just a man, an awesome one, but he is not the one who fills me up. I really have to fill up emotionally from Christ and then in that over flow I can love much more freely and confidently.

    I don’t mean to imply that we should never expect anything from husbands, but sometimes if we expect nothing, than everything we actually do receive just becomes a blessing. Rather than feeling a lack, you start to notice all the small things adding up. He softened his voice when he was speaking to me, he removed the dead mouse the cats dragged onto the porch, he wiped up the coffee he spilled on the counter…these little mundane things have all been done for my benefit, and I would miss all the sweetness to be found there if I were focusing on my own expectations.

    1. insanitybytes22,

      I love the insights you have been sharing. You are such a blessing to me! Thank you for sharing the treasures God has shown you with all of us. 🙂

  5. “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness…. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand….”

    This just came alive to me in the context of your post. Great word!

    1. TN,

      Two months ago, I was struggling spiritually for a few weeks – just very spiritually depleted after 3 weeks of intense revisions with the book, illness in the family, extra work in the pharmacy, many health issues for me, not enough time with God some days… I was getting my focus off of Christ. I sang this hymn out loud over and over. And I reminded myself – my husband is sinking ground. My church leaders are sinking ground. Every person, idea, and thing other than Jesus is not sturdy enough. I must rest all of my faith on Jesus alone. Such a beautiful, powerful hymn!

      I’m glad it blessed you, too! 🙂

  6. Hi April, thank-you for this post. A perspective from a guy, here:

    I think that this is something that guys struggle with, too. Statistics show that only 1 in 20 men have any sort of meaningful male relationships, where they talk to that male about work, finances, and family. Most guys can’t just pick up the phone and comfortably tell a friend “I’m worried that my wife doesn’t really love me” or “I’m worried that my wife despises me” or “I wish there was some way to help her understand how dearly I love her.” Most women, on the other hand, have close friends that they will talk about heart-level things for hours – and there is not as much a fear of losing a “strong” reputation, normally.

    “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

    This quote is so true, especially for Christian Husbands. Men’s lives especially can be very lonely – and we tend to WANT to cling to our wives. We go out into the world to work, we work hard, but we are under constant bombardment wherever we go. I mean, we can’t even walk thru Target without getting exposed to soft-pornography in at least 1/5th of the store….. I know that in these times, I often want to call or text my wife – as an added safeguard to guard my heart and my marriage.

    I have been reading many of yours and Greg’s posts, and they are definitely a blessing. I know that so many things spoke to me. I tried to sit down one day this week and write out specifics of things that I felt respected, and disrespected about. It sure was hard. Much like I think I remember that Greg has communicated, I really had never articulated the exact specifics of what “disrespect” was affecting me – and frankly, I really had never thought to use that term. A few things came to mind though, that I kept coming back to:
    It is hurtful and disrespectful to me when…..
    –Airing dirty laundry about our marriage to not just one “trusted friend”, but to several friends and family-members. Men are very driven by reputation and legacy, and therefore, that is one of the lowest blows for a man.
    –Talking to friends about things that are important to you for Hours, stonewall me, and then drop a conversation bomb about it for a total duration of less than 2minutes . . . and then fully expect me to “just get it” because “the other people you talk to totally get it”. Well yeah, that’s because you talk to them for hours.
    –Having a “what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him” mentality on things.

    Men want to be their wife’s hero. When we can’t be her hero, or if our wives won’t allow us to protect them, etc, we feel like a fish out of water. We have insecurities and worry too. Does she love me . . . if she loves me, then why does she consistently withhold intimacy? Does she know that my hard work is for her and the kids? Will she remain faithful to me? It’s worry. Definitely is. And there are things men should be doing to seek the Lord and ask for His guidance and help in dispelling that worry. But for most men, they just don’t have anyone to talk to. So those insecurities, get internalized – in a big way.

    Thanks for all you do, April/Greg – we’re definitely all broken! : ) Thank-you Jesus for the Grace that you’ve made possible for us.

    1. hh,

      Wow.

      THANK YOU for this! Thank you for being willing to express your masculine point of view and to share struggles that, I am sure, many men have. May God empower us as believing women in Christ to use this valuable information to bless our husbands and the marriages of other women (our friends, and those who come to us for advice). I wonder if you might consider allowing me to post any part of this anonymously?

      How I pray that my brothers in Christ might learn to put all of their security in Christ, not their wives – and that He might fill them with His Spirit to be the godly men He desires them to be for His glory.

      If you, or other men here, have suggestions for how wives might bless their husbands as they struggle with insecurity, what we might do that might provide reassurance, we’d love to hear about it!

      It sounds to me like some things we could do would to encourage, respect, build up, and honor our husbands might be for us to:

      not gossip or talk about our husbands behind their backs – except with one trusted godly mentoring wife/prayer partner (but even then, we might still speak respectfully of them)
      be trustworthy and loyal to our husbands with our words
      give our husbands a “heads up” about a topic before we talk about it, and give him the time he needs to process and think through it, especially if it is a very important issue.
      – be transparent and accountable
      be joyfully willing to enjoy sex with our husbands whenever possible
      – keep our own walk with Christ strong and be Spirit-filled so that we are peaceful, content, joyful, and filled with great faith in God to lead us through our husbands

      Much love in Christ, my brother!

      April

      1. Hi April. I have a question about ” being joyfully willing to enjoy sex with our husbands when ever possible.” In my current marriage crisis, we have set a boundary that there would be no sex, and I have been sticking to it. When I am looked at as a friend with benefits, just someone who lives in the house and helps raise the children, and not trustworthy ( all said by my husband), to have sex for his physical need only, is putting myself in a position of being used. On the other hand, I think if I am sexual it will keep the marriage together and will further the process of healing. This is very conflictual for me. Would love comments on this topic.

        I will continue to stand for my marriage, regardless.

        1. Betsy,

          There are times when abstaining from sex may be necessary for healing and boundaries may have to be set temporarily until trust is restored. And there are times that abstaining from sex may create temptation and distance. I don’t have the answer for each particular wife in each circumstance – but this is something about which to fervently pray and seek God’s wisdom for you at this time in your marriage.

          It sounds like there are deep wounds on your side and your husband’s side. I pray for God’s healing for you both!

          1. Thank you April. We are both very hurt. And I feel that we brought unresolved hurt into our marriage, not knowing that we did. I bet it is very common for spouses who have a history of painful relationships/ or grew up in dysfunctional homes as in my case and my husbands, to reopen those old wounds when a crisis happens in a marriage. This intensifies present day pain. God is the only healer.

            I will continue to pray for God to work his wonders and restore our marriage. I can only work on myself, let my husband know how much I love him, and let him go, which is a risk.

          2. Betsy,

            YES! We all bring our hurts, scars, wounds, and baggage into our marriages. That makes things complicated, and we tend to respond and react out of our own hurts and then we unknowingly hurt each other. But God can and does heal those childhood wounds and adult wounds and He can help us reject our ungodly, wrong thinking and embrace His truth. He can regenerate our souls. We ALL need that desperately!

            What you are saying is so true. That is where every spouse must be as we seek to be godly wives – focusing on allowing God to change us, seeking to bless our husbands/wives, and trust God with our spouse and the future. Yes, there is risk in loving anyone – other than God. But He is sovereign and we can trust Him to work all things together for our good because He has called us and we love Him. You are not at the mercy of your husband. You are at the mercy of the God of the universe who loves you so much He sent His only Son to die for you so that you can be with Him. This is ultimately ALL about our walk with Christ.

            How I treat my husband reveals what my relationship with God is like. My level of respect for my husband (and other God-given authorities in my life and other people) is a tangible indicator of my level of respect for God. My level of love for my husband (and others in my life) is a tangible indicator of my love for God. Jesus counts the way I treat others as if I am doing those things for Him. My husband cannot make me sin. Stressful situations in my marriage reveal my true character – then God is able to refine my motives, my thinking, and my heart.

            Much love to you!

          3. I will pray for you too. I don’t know your situation but I can identify misled with you and it feel so good when somebody who even doesn’t know you pray for you or just take time to write a comment

    2. Thanks you he for your perspective. I feel very badly because I am guilty of doing the things that you listed that have hurt and disrespected my husband. I had no idea what I was doing was hurtful. Aprils blog has helped me so much see where I have fallen short. Unfortunately, it is too late in my husbands eyes. When my husband is sleeping I look at him and my heart breaks becuase of my actions towards him. Yet…he has been hurtful as well throughout our marriage.

      I pray to God that the Holy Spirit works on us both so that our marriage will be restored and the hurt will melt away.

      1. Betsy,

        Most of the time, both husband and wife have caused hurt in the marriage. I’m glad God is showing you and convicting you of sin in your life. That is AWESOME! I pray for healing for each of you individually in Christ and together in your marriage.

  7. This post is so true and a great reminder that our husbands really do love us. I had a tendency to focus on all of my disappointments that I had of my husband until I realized that I had disappointed him many times too and he had never complained about anything that I did wrong. I thank God for answering our prayers!

  8. This post came SO ON TIME for me. I had just got my feet wet in doing what God wanted and following your biblical guidelines… seeing awesome results! Peacefulness, security, happy, not nagging… also seeing my husband trust me and knowing I PROBABLY was not going to nag abt the things he enjoys doing including smoking. For 6 years I hounded him on smoking until this yr when I stumbled across your blog and was immediately convicted by your post about how we disrespect our husbands and what the signs are. I immediately stopped the nagging… removed the “blogger moms husband does this” list… and thanked God for who he is.

    Then Last week my husband decided to stop smoking cold turkey. I guess he trusted me a bit too much… hahaha but it has been a ROLLERCOASTER of emotions and some mean things have been said. And I just have to fall back on everything I just learned and practiced and I honestly look back like… 3 months ago when I was nagging abt smoking I probably would have not been able to handle this. I have slipped up but not a screaming match with one of us packing our bags and heading to mom’s. Maybe some tears in the bathroom then him or I apologizing and hugging and stuff. I know he doesn’t mean those things he says and with all the crazy symptoms that come with quitting smoking we are both tired and our minds are cloudy but I have to keep encouraging him and bringing him joy all the days of his life 🙂

    I am so glad you have decided to post what you have learned for free for women everywhere. Its so holy spirit filled and will definately bind and heal a lot of marriages in my honest opinion.

    1. Tiffany,

      I’m so thankful God is working so powerfully in your life! As a pharmacist, I know what a stressful time it is for everyone in the family when someone quits smoking. Hang in there, my precious sister! Your husband is not quite himself right now – and needs a LOT of extra grace! I am not sure I would take too many of the mean things he has said personally. He is in pretty major withdrawal right now.

      Much love to you! I love your attitude and pray you will continue to be faithful to Christ and to seek to bless your husband. Things should calm down in the next few weeks.

  9. Thank you April! Just what I needed. I like the way you described allowing the thoughts to come and then take root as one mediates on them as an avalanche. I can often feel the spiral down into a crazy place when I allow myself to go there. It is so crazy how the insecurities blind you to the things that he does do. Thank you again.

  10. I am also insecure in my husband love. I know he loves me in his way but he’s not tender, still yell at me when stress. I am very touchy and he only gives me a kiss in the morning and hug me 30 s at night. I told him yesterday that I needed more of touch and attention but not as a reproach, as Laura Doyle says. He thinks I am needy because I lost my father when I was 9 months old and he said no one would be able to fill up that whole. I said I am needy of his touch even if I don’t know if he is not right for my father. I can’t do nothing about my father. I pray God to fill me with his love and not have expectations of my husband but many time I feel insecure of his love. When I am sick and he buy me remedies or sometimes cloth, or the whole bread I need I tell myself he loves me. But do many times, he spend all night on what’s app resolving things or playing with our son, of going out with his mum that I feel neglected.

  11. Sometimes though he says he loves me. He barely never say any compliment but 2 days ago I told him about all the things I was doing at home and he said that I impress him or something like that. I ask him if it was true… I was in shock and tell him thanks a lot for tell me that before sleeping cause he always criticize me and it was like a small miracle happening. But I should continue to look at Jesus to fill up my emotional needs. Thanks for the reminder

    1. sonadewonderful,

      I know it has been a very difficult 3 years for you and your husband – with much pain on both sides. I’m excited to hear he complimented you the other day! I’m glad you tried to ask for what you needed respectfully without criticizing or condemning him. I pray you will continue to cling to Christ and that He might transform both of you to be more and more like Jesus.

      1. Hi April. April does it say anywhere in the Bible that husband and wife should be best friends? See, I know that it is very rare that husband and wife become best friends. And say if one believes in Christ and other spouse doesnt there is no connection in their spiritual life and it seems to me you can’t be best friends with some one you can not connect with. Also friendship is a two way road, two sides need to choose each other as a best friend. Please share your thoughts if you don’t mind. Thank you.

        1. Julia,

          I don’t think that the Bible says a husband and wife “should be best friends.” I think that something much deeper than friendship is implied in the commands about marriage. And I am pretty sure that the Song of Solomon talks about the husband and wive being “lovers and friends.” But if one spouse is not a believer – there won’t be that spiritual connection, that is very true. I think you can have a pleasant friendship and that you can love and respect one another deeply even without the spiritual connection. But you may have a deeper spiritual connection with female prayer partners.

  12. Great post. I am guilty of overanalyzing my husband’s actions (or lack of action). He may not be loquacious or demonstrative with affection, but he always lets me know if he will be home late from work, he will help get our toddler ready on Sunday mornings so we can make it to church, he will go get take out if I don’t feel like cooking. And after our baby was born, he vacuumed our apartment once a week or more for over a year, both to give me a break and because he knows it is extremely important because of my allergies.

    All that to ask, he routinely forgets my birthday and our anniversary, which bothers me. But I may be making an idol out of those celebrations in light of all the other ways he shows his love for me all the other days of the year.

    1. Anna. I do the same thing. Over analyze, over think, over react, over terrorize myself. Especially this past year which has been horrifically painful in our marriage. It was literally 12 months ago, July 2014, that my husband threatened divorce and or to make me leave our home.

    2. Anna,
      It sounds like your man shows you love by doing acts of service for you. What an amazing guy you have there! 🙂 I hope you show a lot of appreciation for these tangible ways he demonstrates his big love for you!

      You can search “forgot anniversary” on my home page and “Valentine’s Day” for some posts about these issues and about our expectations and how to handle things if our husbands forget.

      Enjoy your wonderful husband, my sweet sister!

  13. What a great post. I have learned sooooo much in just the past four weeks from you. Thank you for sharing your Godly wisdom. My eyes have been opened and I am filled with remorse and regret for the pain I have caused over the past 15 years. I can’t believe I was so blind and sinful. Although my husband is controlling and I am more passive, I have made our marriage an idol and have served and I see that I have obeyed him “because I had to”…not joyfully…..not with the right spirit….and many times trying to take over in my “quiet” way….I was completely blind to my sin. He told me I was disrespectful but I thought he was trying to manipulate me and did not understand. I tried and tried to work on the marriage, but I guess I finally gave up myself and just focused on our child. He shut down years ago, for the most part, but I never thought he would want out completely….now he says he thinks he wants a divorce…something we both promised we would never even bring up. I have apologized for my sin, and although he read and kept my note, he said nothing and speaks to me only when absolutely necessary. He will not touch me and barely looks at me. I am spending hours a day studying the Word and praying and working on being respectful, trying to give him space. I have sent him a few encouraging texts and giving him smiles and communicating gratitude and really working hard on my end, but so far (it has been a month) there has been no change, he’s possibly even more distant. I just wonder if there is anything else I could be doing?? I have thought to write again (a little more detailed apology) but I don’t want to push him further away. I am just afraid he will think I am ignoring the issue, as I tend to do….I am not, I am just trying to lean on the Lord completely and let Him change me and my husband.

    1. Hummingbird,
      It’s so wonderful to meet you and to hear what God is doing in your heart! 🙂

      I’m so sorry that things are very painful for you both in your marriage. Is your husband a believer in Christ, as well?

      My sweet sister, this process of healing for a husband often takes a long time. Think many, many months, maybe years. Most husbands do not believe the changes they see in their wives in the beginning, and think it is a desperate attempt at manipulation. He is going to be watching your attitude and behavior and he is waiting to see that this change is not real or permanent. This means that you will just need to do what God asks you to do just to please God and to bless your husband, even if your husband doesn’t seem to respond. He notices what is happening – he just probably can’t believe it yet. He will be skeptical for quite awhile, most likely.

      I don’t think that a more detailed apology would be necessary at this point. You focus on what God prompts you to do and on your walk with Christ and we will pray together for God to work in his heart.

      You are safe, correct? Are you dealing with any really severe issues in the marriage (uncontrolled mental illness, addictions, abuse, infidelity)?

      My husband was in that shut down place for a very long time before I began my journey and for a LONG time into my journey. In fact, it took 3.5 years into my journey before Greg felt safe with me again.

      If your husband decides to leave – you can share respectfully that you don’t want him to leave, that you want to work on the marriage. You can ask him what he needs. If he leaves, don’t freak out. Let him go and trust God to work in both of you and we will pray for reconciliation in God’s timing.

      Your most important job is to abide in Christ and allow Him to continue to transform you and to know and love Him wholeheartedly.

      It sounds to me like your heart is in the right place now, my dear sister! I am excited to see all that God has in store and I am honored to get to walk beside you!

  14. Thank you for your kind words and most especially your prayers. I need them so much! It means so much to me to have some help here. My husband is a believer but often seems far from God. He goes back and forth. He is extremely distrustful of me in this area and said a few weeks ago that it seems I am “so far ahead of him” and that I “trust other preachers over him” , and will share nothing of his walk with Christ with me, which really breaks my heart. He also told me he prays with his coworkers…..yet he has never prayed with me. So I am trying to stay completely silent on anything related to faith. I am safe although I have been afraid of his anger at times…but I don’t think he would hurt us. He never has, other than verbally….but now I can see why. 🙁 Right now he is more in a completely uncaring mode than actively angry. He has struggled with depression and is on an antidepressant which has caused some “male issues”, which I believe has contributed to his pain. I do not know about an affair, though he is so closed off and private, and works so much, I would probably not even know. I know your children were younger as you passed through this years ago, but how would you handle them when they are asking what is wrong with Dad? Why isn’t he speaking to you? And are obviously hurting. Thank you again for sharing your wisdom with me.

    1. Hummingbird,

      I actually have quite a few posts about this issue. Try searching my home page for:

      – husband not good spiritual leader
      – ways husbands lead wives don’t often notice
      – emotionally distant
      – passive husband
      – interview with my husband
      – husband pray with me

      Our children were so young, and things had been that way for so long – they really didn’t notice or say anything about why Daddy didn’t answer Mama or about the tension. But – I think it would be appropriate to say something like, “Daddy is having a tough time right now. Let’s pray together for him and let’s ask God to show us how we can bless him.” But I don’t think I would share details – does that make sense?

      Also please check out:

      Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers

      Much love to you!

      April

  15. April,

    Do you have any articles for husbands that are disrespected and how they should deal with decades of this? It’s christian men who have unsubmissive wives that are disrespectful and claim to be christains who have a long hard road to travel. It can be especially hard when their wives claim to be submissive and respectful.

    1. Jeff,

      It’s wonderful to meet you! I am so sorry that you and your wife are experiencing so much pain. But I pray God might make something beautiful from your marriage for His glory!

      I have some comments I have shared with husbands, but I don’t write many posts for husbands. The comments I shared with Marhshall may be helpful on The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage.

      I have seen many husbands use my blog to “reverse engineer” things spiritually in their marriages. And I have seen God heal husbands first and then bring healing to his wife and marriage in time – just like I have seen God heal wives first and then eventually heal the husband and marriage.

      In Christ, there is every reason for hope!

      My husband also has a post on his blog that is amazing by a husband in a similar situation: http://wp.me/p2f8o1-e1

      When a husband or wife is walking rightly with Christ themselves, and His Spirit is in full control, and the person is totally yielded to Christ – prayer is SO powerful!

      Here is one husband’s story:

      Thank you & may God bless you and this blog.

      It’s so tricky to be a godly, leading husband these days…so thank you for your teaching. It’s either not accepted by your wife or if it’s accepted & your family and her friends look at you like you are part of the Taliban…no matter how much you chrerish, love, protect, show affection in everyway. It’s like the words, “I’ll have to check with my husband before doing that” or “my husband thinks we’re too busy to do that”, etc…it’s you like you get treated like a wife-beater when nothing could be further from the truth.

      Nobody gets more love notes than my wife, let alone hugs & kisses. I’d take a bullet for that woman, with a smile on my face! It’s like being a godly man or woman is sincerely offensive to many these days, even a lot of Christians. I can’t tell you how many of her friends tell her I’m controlling, when in fact she keeps the money, has her own car, can pretty much do anything she wants (because she’s a godly woman who makes wise choices almost every single time…she’s amazing!, they act like she’s locked in the basement…but it just rubs mostly other woman wrong who just run everywhere doing everything they want with little concern of their husbands. Most of the blogs, books, etc out there these days everything is so watered down…woman are teaching woman what they want to hear & there are very few resources for husbands…so thank you. You’ll be in my prayers as I know you are on the front lines of battle.

      I think the most important thing you said is men are different than women. My wife and I are so very happy these days but there was at time not long ago we were hanging on by a thread. It took more than a dozen years but my wife started to understand what sex (and respect) mean to me. We were on the brink of divorce. I had tried to love her as Christ loved the church for so many years (and she says I was pretty good at it)…but I think I just ran empty. It was like my tank was never being filled and I think after years and years I could no longer love her the way she needed also. I was oh so lonely for so very, very long.

      I heard the “I just feel like a piece of meat” thing…when nothing could have been further than the truth. That woman was/is everything to me…my world & therefore it crushes you even harder when she wants no part of you. Honestly, I’d rather be beat up (physically abused, kicked in the head by a horse, etc) than here my wife say no, or I don’t enjoy sex.

      For me sex with my wife is all my favorite things to do in the world rolled into one x 10. It’s what I look forward to….it’s the thing that keeps me going on the rough days at work, etc. She wouldn’t necessarily refuse me in body, but it was more in attitude and mind. I was literally told she didn’t want to be there doing that…I can’t tell you how painful that was.

      Unfortunately … I made the sinful choice to use porn…it literally wasn’t about looking on another girls “parts”…I know it sounds crazy but I honestly didn’t believe women enoyed sex after hearing it so very long…in other words it was about attitude. I know it sounds crazy but I searched by heart a thousand times and it’s true. Still just as horribly sinful & wrong, but true. Thankfully I never got into the real hardcore stuff. Things went like this for a several years but as things really started to go downhill in our marriage I think we both had to take a hard look at where we were at.

      For me that meant to get back to loving her the way Christ loved the church & having only eyes for her.
      For her it meant adjusting her mind and heart to sex and respect. It even meant taking testostrone as she tested at 0 levels.
      (From Peacefulwife – as a pharmacist, I know there are a lot of treatment options available medically for sexual dysfunction and lack of desire. What a great idea to have testosterone levels and other hormone levels and even thyroid levels checked if there is a continual lack of desire. Keep in mind, too, that many anti-depressants and blood pressure meds can cause sexual dysfunction and issues with desire – so can birth control pills! But do NOT stop taking your rxs suddenly. Many of these medicines will cause big problems if you quit all the sudden. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be dealing with sexual dysfunction as a result of your medications and let your doctor decide what to do. If we are suffering in our marriage with a low sex drive – I believe that it is our responsibility to figure out what is causing the problem and try to fix it so that we might fulfill our marital duty to our spouse – I Corinthians 7. Whether that means counseling, medical treatment, praying together more, removing unloving and disrespectful habits/words/attitudes, beginning to learn to show real godly love and respect… let’s take care of these issues and find healing in our marriages! It is SO WORTH IT!)

      And here is the thing I hope ladies on your site understand because maybe their husband might be the same. My need for sex with me wife, loving & willing sex…is the one “need” I can’t seem to go without. I can master just about anything I’ve ever tried. I can make my mind and body do whatever it needs. I can fast. (or go hungry). I can ignore pain. I can work harder longer than anyone for my family. I can run into a situation where everyone else is running away but I honestly can not live without my dear wife loving me this way…I’ve found it is my one “weakness”. It’s the one thing that puts me in not only emotional & physical pain, but is the one thing that almost broke my faith too. If I haven’t shown sexual affection from my wife in 48 hours I’m lonely, it its been 72 hours I’m lonely, on edge, irritable and starting to get desperate. 4 days and I’m a bit of a mess (from a guy that’s usually about at put together as there is), 5 days and I’m getting crazy…seriously.

      I love my wife more than anything in this world and this transformation in my wife has taken our marriage from probably the worst in our church to the best. Now that I’m being loved also, in the way I feel it…now that my batteries are being charged also I can be the husband I need to be for her again. I was once considered a godly husband and father. .I have found at least in my life nothing can encourage & lift me up or tear me down to nothing faster than the gift of my wife’s heart & body in the gift of sex or lack thereof.

      That said, a husband needs to be considerate & tasteful also…

      Today we couldn’t be closer or happier. Our walk in the Lord is stronger & our kids are living in a house where there parents are happy, united and committed.
      I’m back (and much better than ever) to being the loving husband who tries with everything he has to cherish. love and lay down his life for his wife…and what is the difference? My wife’s decision to try to understand what sex meant to me and change her perception, attitude and actions toward sex (and a little bit about respect).

      I think that until both husband and wife, finally give it their everything…hearts, minds, dreams & bodies you are never going to truly be totally happy or holy. The kind of everything that is both terribly vulnerable and scary and even hurts some of the time …the kind that goes against the human reason we have and is the radical love Jesus calls us to.

      For us husbands that means giving & loving gently, tenderly and with passion for our wives and thinking of them before ourselves in the way we live our lives. To protect and to serve. For our wives that means trying to be our helpmate, who is often blessed with gifts we don’t have and using those special talents, wisdom, care and beauty to bless us and give to us.

      All I know is this, I was in the ministry for several years as a pastor…there isn’t much I haven’t seen in marriages & I can tell you our marriage was one of the worst. There’s more backstory to our story, but I can tell you this,

      God can heal any marriage but you are going to be beating your head against the wall until you go about it His way.

      If we could get men to stop looking at porn, lead, and cherish their wives and women to respect and have sex with their husbands…I can’t imagine how much not only happier we would be but also how many more would come to know Christ because they’d see something truly joyous and special. It took us a dozen years but we got it figured out, neither of us could be happier…it just about broke my faith but I’m so thankful now.

      I thank God for what you are doing!

      1. What a beautiful story! What a blessed wife. I long to know what it would be like to be loved and desired just half as much. Or even 25%.

        I feel like every time we take a step forward, we take a step backwards. I know a lot of it is me. But it’s not all me. But I decided I guess I’d better start reading and praying again, and as hard as it is, ask God to help me to work on myself.

        It’s hard to ask God that though, when I really feel like I’m not worth the effort.

        I made my classic mistake of browsing all the “Christian marriage blogs” – which usually leads to me just feeling much worse, much more incompetent, and so much less than those who come off as “perfect.”

        So here I am again. Glad you’re here, but I hesitate to comment because I hate dragging others down. Most people are looking for the “sunshine and roses” type commentary, and that’s not me right now. So many of those other blogs they just tell each other how awesome they are and it makes me nuts.

        I wish my husband would realize “words” are not my thing. Anyone call tell you they love you. Doesn’t mean a thing. Maybe choosing me over work, just once, would mean a whole lot more.

        I went out on a limb (knowing he’s not really interested in me although he will say he is till he’s blue in the face but never backs it up with actions). Made a “date” with him – I took the initiative – he said yes, claimed he was really looking forward to it. I spent all morning getting ready and making the critical mistake of actually feeling happiness and joy and looking forward to it. And lo and behold, crisis at work, “sorry I’m not going to be able to make it home like we’d planned.” Of course not. Because work comes first. Always has, always will. Work is his mistress. (Thankfully he works with a bunch of men or I’d really be suspicious.)

        So you know what? I won’t make that mistake twice. What really kills me is I was super respectful and didn’t complain. I was supportive Nd lied and said I understood. Which seemed to make him feel better, but when he came home he was mopey and kind of angry. So whatever. If he’s gonna mope and be angry, why try to be understanding? Work wins again. I get it. Why can’t he just rest and be relieved with the fact that I will never burden him by trying to schedule time alone with him?

        I know I am probably coming off harsh, but Its not easy being constantly told one thing and then shown another. I’m not even mad at him for having to blow me off because his coworkers are more important. I’m mad because of the sullen attitude (when I did NOT complain) and for being upset that I’m not all happy and ready to try again. I’ve been burned way too many times.

        So here I am again, back at the insecurity post. Stuck in my insecurity and self pity. I know I need to find a way out of this.

        I did like this line “God can heal any marriage but you are going to be beating your head against the wall until you go about it His way.”

        Maybe it would help if my husband tried going about it God’s way, too, instead of just constantly saying “I love you” and never being willing to back those words up.

        I wish I could find that worth in Christ we talk about so often on this blog. It seems so right and so simple for everyone else, and so wrong for me. I’m not sure why. It just feels so wrong to me to try feeling “worthy”. It almost feels sinful in and of itself. Prideful, like thinking you’re “all that.” I don’t know what my hang up is. I wish I did.

        1. Becca,

          So – would you be able to tell me what your husband does – at least in a general way?

          Is it possible that he really does have emergencies come up at work and that this doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be with you?

          Is it possible that he believes he might lose his job if he does not stay and take care of the problems?

          How is your time with Christ going?

          You are not worthy of the love of Christ. None of us are! But He gives us worth because He made us. Just like a painting painted by Picasso has worth because of the artist – we have worth because of our Creator. You don’t have any good in you on your own – none of us do. But He can get rid of the sin and fill you with His power, His Spirit, and His goodness if you are willing to reject the lies of the enemy and believe and embrace the Truth in His Word that can set you free!

          Much love to you!

          1. Hi April,

            I apologize for my comment the other day. I was feeling sorry for myself, and very insecure. I knew this was a great post on insecurity and I decided to reread it, and some of the links you included. When I read the comment above mine I thought, “wow! What a blessed wife to be so loved and so desired by her husband. That is the longing of my heart.” And I typed my comment.

            I should not have hit send and I apologize for the bother and for the wasting of time. I am trying to learn to deny my feelings and ignore my emotions, as both are often wrong and unproductive.

            I typed a very long response the other day but thankfully deleted it before sending it in. It was not edifying to anyone. Just me sharing too much.

            I assure you, I do not complain this much out loud, or to friends I see in person. I am very good at hiding my feelings, which is why it is such a blessing to be able to share here. But again, I realize I may have shared too much emotion, and I apologize.

            To answer your questions, he runs huge construction jobs. Yes it’s an important job, but it’s not like he’s a doctor on call.

            No, he wouldn’t lose his job if he didn’t handle every crisis, but he does get frustrated when others don’t do their job correctly and it makes his job harder. So he prefers to handle each crisis before it escalates. I can understand that.

            I know he didn’t choose not to spend time with me, but the point is, even if it’s not his fault, work always gets in the way. It always has. Only recently we’ve both been trying to communicate better and share more time together, and I feel like everything I try – backfires. I was just hurt and frustrated.

            My own walk with Christ is okay. I do read the Bible and pray. We are in a good church with solid teaching. My problem is I have a very hard time praying for myself, or asking for help for me. It feels selfish. I’d much rather pray for others. I know God wants me to pray for help, but it’s a huge stumblingblock for me. So it’s going ok, but I know I should be trying harder.

            Thank you.

          2. Becca,

            Please don’t feel badly about your comments. If anyone just wants rosey words they can skip the not rosey ones.

            Nothing you are going through is unique to you, and others need to find how to struggle through to find the answers, too.

            Also, a lot of the times when others appear to have some things under their belt, it often took them years of pain and heartache before they found some victory through Christ. None of us have arrived, not even the ones who may appear to. And based on my experience from blogging, the majority of readers do not leave comments. So you are helping the quiet lurkers.

          3. J,
            I totally agree with you and I am glad when people comment about their struggles rather than staying in isolation about them. We all face similar struggles and trials – and we can bless and pray for one another if we share them!

        2. Put your hope in Christ alone!He will never leave you nor forsake you!Read Hebrews 13:5-6
          And Philippians 4:6-8
          Get on your knees and pray!
          God is Always on the line.
          Like April said it will take time for things to change.But even if he never changes you need to be willing to love and respect him the way he is.Read Debbi Pearls book created to be his helpmeet. It helped open my eyes to some issues in my own marriage.But most of all trust God’s word.
          Read it daily and make time for Him.He will not leave you.He will not let you down.Serve your husband with gladness not sadness!Why not plan a date at home and make it special no matter how late he shows up.Set up a romantic surprise maybe a picnic in the living room!Be creative and have fun.God will show you what to do.Trust,pray and learn to laugh even on the hard days.Let the joy of the Lord be your strength!

  16. I struggle daily with understanding my worth in Christ. Especially when my husband has no interest in restoring our marriage because he doesn’t trust me.

    How do I earn his trust again? We have both hurt each other and right now he is fixated on what I have done to hurt him and will not budge. We are in a log jam. A very serious log jam.

    I need to know what to do to earn his trust and how to ask God to help us.

    1. Betsy,

      You can focus on allowing God to change you. You are still VERY, VERY early in this journey. It is usually a long process. But you can allow God to change you and you can focus on obeying Him and pleasing Him. You can do what you can to rebuild trust. Be transparent. Be a safe place for your husband to share. Respect him genuinely. Not treat him disrespectfully. But you can’t make him trust you. That will have to be his decision. It is going to take a long time – probably many months, or a year or longer – for him to feel safe with you again.

      Continue seeking God with all your heart. Desire Him above all else. Desire to bless your husband. Pray for healing and for God’s glory. And rest in God’s sovereignty and in His love and ability to bring healing in time. This will take a long time, and that needs to be okay. 🙂

      Much love to you!

      1. April,

        Thank you for your kind words.

        I am scared. What if no matter what I do or say will not change my husband a mind? I am reading a book The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick. I can see where I have contributed to the breakdown and where I have been emotionaly destructive in my martiage. I have to be very careful that I don’t overblame and over criticize myself, which I tend to do.

        What I can do that is repent, ask God to change me, ask God to reveal truth, become teachable on how to be a godly wife, and hand my husband over to God. He may never trust me again, and may feel that divorce is the best option. This scares me tremendously

        Time is all I have. It didn’t take overnight for my marriage to get like this. My flesh wants to hurry up the process.

        1. betsy,

          I would encourage you to trust God to lead you from this point on. If your husband leaves – you may not be able to control that. And yet – God is still sovereign and will still make something beautiful from your life. We don’t want your marriage to end. We will pray fervently for God to heal it. But you are not in your husband’s hands – you are in God’s hands. God is sovereign over your husband and can still use his decisions, even if they are wrong or evil – to bring about His good purposes in your life. No human can stop God’s will in your life! What a blessing that is! Rest in that hope. 🙂

          ROMANS 8:28-39
          And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

          More Than Conquerors
          What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

          “For your sake we face death all day long;
          we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
          No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

          Have you read my posts about fear? If not, please search my home page for “fear” and also for “security” and read those posts, my precious sister!

          And, if you haven’t, please read “Waiting Becomes Sweet.”

          And, “Please, God! Ask Me for Anything but This!”

          The goal here is not ultimately that your marriage will be restored. The highest goal is for you to be close to Christ and walking in the power of His Spirit, bringing Him glory. If He desires to do that through healing and restoring your marriage – He will do that.

          Much love to you!

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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