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70 thoughts on “A Fellow Wife Writes a Letter to Her 2012 Self

  1. This is a wonderful post! I needed this so bad. This is a great way to help give hope to us newbies. Thank you for this.God bless you.

    1. Lmsdaily115,

      I was praying this post would be a blessing to many wives. πŸ™‚

      And just a reminder to everyone – it took me 2.5 years before I had any clue what I was doing with respect and before I began to start to understand submission. And it was 3.5 years before Greg felt safe with me again from the time I began this journey with God.

      This is a long journey – really, a lifelong journey. We always have more to learn and room to grow. I have thousands of miles to go myself and am excited to see all the things I still have to learn. πŸ™‚

      So glad we can share this journey together!

      Much love,
      April

      1. How did you know that Greg did not feel safe with you. What was he looking for from you that was a sign that you were safe?

        1. Betsy,

          I didn’t know a lot about what Greg was thinking for a long time, until he felt more and more safe with me and began to share more of this thoughts and his heart. I asked him what made him decide he was safe with me again tonight – and he said it was probably a collection of a lot of things, not just one thing.

          I know that he saw for a long time that I was working as hard as I could on changing and learning to respect him and that I wanted to truly Understand him and make things up to him. I was willing to hear hard things and didn’t defend myself. I wanted to understand his masculine needs and perspective. I didn’t share things with other people inappropriately. I cared about his thoughts and feelings as much or more than my own. When I messed up, I repented and got right back up and kept seeking to have God change me more. I didn’t give up trying to learn even though my learning was painfuloy slow. I was truly trusting his leadership.

          I am guessing some of these things may have contributed to him deciding that, eventually, he was safe with me again.

          1. Betsy,

            And I asked Greg just now… He says he feels even more safe with me now than he did 3.5 years into my journey. Now it has been 6.5 years into my journey. I think as we create a new history – with God’s Spirit in control, our husbands build more and more confidence in us. But at first, they will usually be very skeptical. It can take quite awhile before a husband will believe that the changes in his wife are for real, and not just manipulation or a temporary phase.

          2. April,

            My husband has said that he feels I am manipulating him and is fearful to trust. I love how you say that we are creating a new history with Gods spirit in control. I have to remind myself that our new history will take time. I also need to stop taking all the blame for the state of our marriage. In my case, my husband and I were both disrespectful to each other. My husband shuts me out now and has signs of emotional abuse. So I am learning how to be a respectful wife and rewriting history and not allowing his mistreatment of me continue. Some days I am very confused as to what is the real root of our struggle in marriage.

            I do believe that having God at the center of me will make things more clear in my marriage.

          3. Betsy,

            What your husband says is how most husbands feel at the beginning – many times for a number of months. And you are right, you are not responsible for your husband’s sins in the marriage. He is responsible and accountable to God for those things. You are only responsible for your obedience to God and your sin.

            The real root of the struggle for all of us is usually two things:

            1. our sin and our sinful flesh being in control
            2. our spiritual enemy

            Praying for you, my precious sister – for God’s continued healing for you both and for His victory and for you both to fully submit to Christ and that His Spirit might be in control!

            Much love!

          4. Encouraging to hear that your husband can grow more and more in feeling safe with you as time passes by.

  2. after a bad battle with my husband last night, I am sitting here reading this and can barely read for the tears. I am so hurt. This going to take time. I pray that I can look back like this. I have a long road ahead of me.

    1. I don’t have nearly as much wisdom as April and am not qualified to advise you but I did want to reach out to you and offer some support. The road is long! I know! I’ve had those bad battles in my journey too. Don’t give up. Today’s a new day and you can choose to look at yesterday for the lessons it can teach you and move forward with a more positive outlook. I will tell you that those sorts of battles grow further apart as you continue on this journey and they seem to grow less intense, too.

      It’s going to be okay. <3

    2. victoriantomboy,

      I’m so sorry to hear about how difficult last night was! Tension like that is SO painful! If you want to talk about what happened a bit, I am glad to talk with you. If not, that is totally fine, too. πŸ™‚

      I am still learning new things 6.5 years into this journey. In fact, this past February, I learned a lot of things about Greg that were very different from what I had understood before. That was a surprise! But I am glad that I get to discover new things and that there is always more to learn and room to grow.

      Praying for you!

      1. Hi April- I relate to victoriantomboy. I have just come thru a very difficult time too. I was devasted in my heart by things my husband said to me. it was caused by old fears and misunderstandings that have been many a reason for arguments over the 33 years we have been together. here is MY problem- he came home from work with flowers(as he often does) and handed them to me( almost fearfully) and said “im sorry” .now with what I have been learning , I kindof wanted to say” I forgive you and please forgive me”( I said some pretty unrespectful things too) but instead as i took them from him I said” i knew you would do something shallow like this-I needed to talk first and hear why you are sorry”as i walked away and he went out to get his lunch pail from work, I felt so sad by what i just did and wanted to give him the flowers back and ask him if we can start this again and I would receive them as my heart wanted to-but-i didnt. stubborn,sinful me.we did talk-he was exhausted but took time to sit and talk with me. when i look at myself how i handled even the talking-i sounded so controlling and self focused. i hate this part of me and im glad i hate it because there was a time when i didn’t, but it is so hard to get over that hump of old self defense and selfish “what about me ” attitude. and of course the old”you acted sinful and let me counsel you spiritually because i am more intune with these things”. how horrible an attitude this is.how dishonoring to Our Holy Heavenly Loving Father.I have spent time with God this am, but I would so appreciate any input or insights on this to help me.much love to you April and all sisters out there on this journey!

        1. Think of it as two fronts of a battle. One is dealing with your hurts. These can be healed when you give them to God. Two is that you are sometimes the “hurtful monster” to your husband. Work on stopping your own monster and as your husband feels safer, he won’t be hurting you as much. Think of how much God has forgiven you. Should you turn around and forgivE others as He has you? Of course. I feel so sad for your husband trying to extend an olive branch and your reaction just confirmed his fear. Look at your own sins and find the sacrificial, unconditional love that your husband deserve as a child of God. How sad He must feel when one of his children are treated badly. Look to honor God with your words and actions. Imagine God is in the room with you, how would you behave? Thinking in that way may help you listen to the Holy Spirit inside of you.

          1. Lmsdaily115,

            This is so helpful! I think of the way I feel when my children have hurt each other – the times I have cried over the hateful words they said to each other that deeply wounded each other. Surely that is a fraction of how God feels when His children hurt and wound each other.

            Sometimes it is also helpful to think of our husbands as sons of God – if they are believers (or soon-to-be sons of God, if they are not yet) – and to think about how their heavenly Father would want us to treat His sons. Or, another thing that was helpful for me was to imagine Jesus standing behind Greg’s shoulder and to picture how I would respond to Him and do that for Greg.

        2. fam6,

          Oh no!!!

          I really liked what you kind of wanted to say. But to blast him for his apology – yikes!!!! Especially if you had also contributed to the hurtful speech. Oh, yikes!

          I am glad you hate that part. That is a very big step in the right direction. How I pray you will be willing to humble yourself before God and your husband. Maybe you can share with him what you just shared with us? Perhaps that would be a good start? And maybe you can have a “re-do.” And receive the flowers graciously and apologize humbly instead of raking him over the coals.

          I am glad you are seeing what you are seeing! First we begin to see our sin after the fact. This is awesome, because before God changed us, we couldn’t see it at all. Eventually, we begin to see it right before we are about to do it – and God empowers us to stop and do things His way instead.

          I am praying for you! Stay in God’s Word. Confess your sins to God and your husband. Continue to seek to be humble and to extend grace as God has extended grace to you. And next time, follow that still small voice that is leading you to bring life and healing to your precious marriage and husband!

          Much love and the biggest hug!!!!

          1. Thank you both for the truth. I “know” it in my mind my hearts desire is to “know it”in my heart and God is changing me. I apologized for my horrible reaction and behavior to my husband, i explained it all. he said to me” do you not think after all these years I know my wife?” I asked” what do you mean? he replied” I saw it in her eyes that she loved the flowers but as she walked away and said those words , she was trying to stay hard and tough”but I know that is not her heart at all” I was surprised and I said-“you were not hurt or disappointed in my response?” he said” no, because I know your heart”.he did forgive me.there was more questions that rose up in me- doubt-fear that he was not being honest. I feel like a deep deep hole that nothing but God can fill. He is doing a work in my heart. I know it.my greatest desire is to be filled to overflow with His Holy Spirit and be that peaceful gentle spirit woman that He has designed me to be. I know He has me on my way and I am so thankful that He is showing me sooo much. April- your website is such a help and blessing as God uses you to guide me to Himself and be the woman He has designed each of us to be. blessings to you and much love

          2. fam6,

            WOW! What an incredibly gracious response from your husband!

            WOW!!!!

            He just blew my mind.

            I love that you are seeking God and want to be more and more the woman He calls you to be. That is awesome! I am so excited to see all that He has in store as He heals you and your marriage, my sweet sister!

      2. There is still tension but things are better. I **DO** see the error of my ways and am going to start working on that. It just hurts when you have a husband who thinks there is nothing wrong and that everything is fine. Just an acknowledgment would would be such a balm to my soul. But, alas, I also know that only God can apply that balm I need. To be human ~ you just need to hear it.

        1. victoriantomboy,

          I’m so sorry there is still so much pain. I have seen that sometimes men will “act like everything is fine” as their way of trying to make things better. It may not be that he doesn’t understand your pain or acknowledge it – but he may think he is helping y’all to move on and heal. I don’t know for sure. But I do know you can find that balm you need in Christ and that He can heal your heart. And I am so sorry that you are still hurting.

          Does your husband sometimes try to apologize by DOING things for you instead of saying things? A lot of men do this. Check out this post.

          Much love and the biggest hug to you!

          1. You know, he DID take me out to eat last night. And we ended up laughing because it was AWFUL!!! lol ( the food ) So that olive branch hit the nail on the head. Time will heal. And today, I am much better. I have printed SO MUCH off your blog to keep around for me to read as a reminder!!!! Blessings to you April for using this in a way that honors God. So many of us are not taught this. Thanks for shining the light.
            April Jo

          2. victoriantomboy,

            Perhaps that was his way of apologizing? A lot of men don’t value words much, and think that actions are much more important than words. It may be he was trying to show you his apology in that act of taking you out somewhere he hoped would be special. πŸ™‚

            I’m so glad that you are feeling a lot better. Praise God! And how I thank Him for all that He is doing in your marriage! πŸ™‚

            Much love!

    3. Victoriantomboy

      I am keeping you in my prayers. This past year my husband and I had weekly bad battles. It would take me days to recover. We haven’t had a bad battle in a couple of months. Not to say one isn’t on the horizon. I have been on my knees sobbing and crying out to God, zipping my lip, reading this blog and others, hanging on until my fingernails turned blue, and slowly realize that I have no control over my husband. He is all Gods job. I struggle everyday wanting things to get better in my marriage. I want to hurry up the process. We both have a long road ahead of us. I am looking for ways to take advantage of the long road ahead of me. Sending you big hugs.

      1. Betsy,

        We ALL want to hurry this process! There are some things we can do to speed it up a bit. As we seek to fully obey God and to immediately repent of any sin in our lives and to allow God to purify and refine our motives – things do go faster than if we hold on to sin or we walk in disobedience. But we can’t really speed some things up. We can’t speed our husbands’ journey – other than that we seek to become the wives God desires us to be. They have their own struggles, wrestling, sin, and battles to deal with. It takes time.

        And now, I am able to see that the LONG time it took for Greg to feel safe with me again – was a blessing. I had to learn to wait on God, to trust God and to obey God no matter if Greg changed or not. When I would feel discouraged or disappointed that Greg wasn’t changing, too – God reminded me, “Why are you doing this, April? Is it to change Greg, or is it to please Me?” That time of waiting and that time of Greg not changing was VERY necessary for me to grow and mature in my faith. If Greg had changed quickly, I would still have a lot of the idolatry issues and unbelief issues I used to have. I’m so thankful that God took me on that slow, painful, difficult road. It was very much worth it!

        1. Betsy,

          The fact that your husband can articulate those things to you is AWESOME! You don’t really have to guess what is going on with him. I would imagine that as he feels more safe, he will continue to be open with you about how he is doing and where he is. That is a BLESSING!

  3. Thank you, Fellow Wife, for sharing this (and April!)! How these insights bless me…and I can verify every statement…I’ve been at this new way of interacting with my husband for a year and a half now…what a difference!!!

    1. You’re so welcome and I’m glad to know it was helpful to you! It is a MUCH more peaceful way of living but it takes some practice- at least for me!

      1. Oh, gosh…I goof up at least every third day…and sometimes multiple times a day…one of the gifts of giving my husband space is that I can’t “put another dent in the fender” when I’m not trying to drive all the time! Ha!

      2. A Fellow Wife and Renee,

        This new way of life takes LOTS and LOTS of practice, prayer, and the power of God’s Spirit. God uses all that time to refine us and purify our motives and make us more and more like Jesus. For many of us, there is a very steep learning curve as we unlearn all we thought we knew about femininity, masculinity, living for God, and marriage. And it takes time and very deliberate effort, much prayer, and much faith in Christ as we seek to fully submit to Him, allow Him to change us, and as we seek to practice obedience to His Word.

        This is definitely a marathon, not a sprint!

        πŸ™‚

      1. Yes, real change takes full use of the intellect, spirit, and free will. Your blog helps me to put Christ first and knock down all idols, realize Jesus is the lover and I am His beloved, educate my mind, understand my past, and then work to make new choices in the ways I respond and interact. It is a marathon! Each day is a new opportunity.

  4. Beautiful letter. Makes me want to reach back and give myself a hug. This is definitely a journey and I’m so glad I’m on it. Praise God for new beginnings.

    1. Refined,

      That is exactly what we all need many times along this journey – a big hug, grace, understanding, compassion… I am very glad you are on this journey, too. You are such a blessing to me!

  5. A Fellow Wife,

    Thank you for your transparency in this article. It is always helpful for me to hear that others continue to walk this lifelong path – that there is no point at which we graduate. Whew! What a relief! πŸ˜‰

    April,

    Could you point me to posts that address the wife being the one who desires “space”, as A Fellow Wife put it.

    It’s a bit of recurring issue and I’d love to see some God-honoring, respectful, and PRACTICAL ways wives deal with this.

    Thanks in advance,
    Amber

    1. Amber,

      You are asking for posts where the wife wants more space? Hmm… I know I have a number of posts about wives whose husbands want more space. I am going to have to dig to see if I have any for the reverse scenario.

      Much love!

    2. Hi Amber!

      I am the space-needing one in my marriage as well πŸ™‚ I’m naturally pretty independent, and I’m an internally processing introvert who needs time alone. My husband is the exact opposite. His desire to be together all the time (and his talkativeness) exhausted me and increased my desire for space. My desire for space increased his desire to be together. And around and around we went.

      After a very long time of my husband feeling ignored and rejected, and me feeling suffocated and overwhelmed, we finally figured out a solution. We sat down and had an honest conversation about our different needs for space, and how we would ideally like to spend our time. And then we basically sketched out a loose “schedule” for each week. It’s not set in stone, because life happens, and we don’t have kids yet, so we have room for a lot of flexibility. But I basically asked for 2 evenings per week that were mine (usually one of these I make sure I carve out time to be alone, read, etc., and the other I plan something with girlfriends). My husband usually goes out with his guy friends on these nights. He’s benefited from the encouragement to invest more deeply in his friendships and his outside interests (that I have no interest in), and I benefit from knowing that I will have “me” time every week. I always found it incredibly difficult to ask for space “in the moment,” and it was really hard to do that in a way that felt respectful to my husband. Sitting down and carving out time that we both agreed on was super helpful. And we also agreed to a minimum amount of time together (one date/week and dinners together most nights, stuff like that). I felt less anxious about it, and he felt less rejected and more able to see that it was about my personality and not about him. And bonus–the more I see him developing other interests/hobbies and solid friendships with men, and pursuing the Lord on his own, the less space I find i need.

      Also, I’ve had to realize that giving up some of the space I want is a way to love my husband. Because he knows I need my introverted time, when I choose to be close even after I’ve had a really stressful day or a busy week, he knows I value him. And he’s learning that as much as it doesn’t make sense to him, letting me take time for myself is a way that he can love me.

      It is still a challenge communicating about emotional topics or in heated moments. I’ve had to learn how to say, “I don’t know the answer to that question right now. Can you please ask me later today?” Or, “I’m feeling really overwhelmed; can we come back to this tomorrow once I’ve had time to process?” This isn’t easy for either of us–I’m not good at asking for what I want, and he’s not good at waiting to share his feelings. We’re learning, though, and this is a better way to handle my feelings of being overwhelmed and needing to process than just shutting down (which is what I’m tempted to do).

      People need space in different ways, but I just wanted to share what works for me, in case there’s a helpful suggestion in here for you.

  6. Wonderful letter to a new bride from herself three years in the future. I’m very inspired to write myself a letter, lets see should it be me from two years ago when I was starting to make a really dumb mistake, three years ago, 15 1/2 years ago when I married my husband, or 26 years ago when I got married the first time?

  7. What a lovely letter! My turning point also came when I recognized that men were an entirely different species. I don’t mean that unkindly like an alien species, but simply that the way we think and perceive the world is so different that it is like speaking a foreign language. He would do things and I wouldn’t respond properly and he was baffled. I too could not figure out why he was acting so “wrong.” Once we started speaking each other’s language however, things got exciting and kind of fun.

    Christ has led however, of that there is no doubt. Every step of the way required constant surrender to Him, lots of time in prayer, lots of humbling of myself.

    “Lastly, RELAX. Learning all of this can feel overwhelming and cause you anxiety.”

    Amen to this! A woman in her 90’s who had been married for 68 years told me that she didn’t like this idea that marriage was a whole lot of work. She said you don’t work, you just let go and let God. Those were real words of wisdom for me, because letting go of the need for control, the need to fix it, the need to make my husband do what I wanted were all big stumbling blocks. Ultimately that is what submission is all about, letting go.

    1. Love this, thanks for sharing, insanitybytes22! When I read For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and began to understand how different men were – that was extremely helpful. Greg wasn’t “wrong” like I had thought all the time we had been married, he was different. He was a man. And that is a GOOD thing!

      I am so thankful for the wisdom and insights God has given you. Thank you for sharing them with all of us! πŸ™‚

  8. Wonderful post! I began my journey three years ago and my marriage of 12 years almost ended in divorce one month ago. God made me realize I was following His word to save my marriage and not to honor Him. He helped me understand that my focus should be in honoring Him in my every action and the salvation of my husband (he is an unbeliever), but that I need to trust Him to work in my husband and leave all my earthly wants and needs to Him. I would like to add a couple more lessons God has taught me, especially in the heat of the moment:
    1) Look for verbal cues: if my husband says something like “judge” or “criticize” or starts raising his voice or furrowing his brow, that is my cue to stop right where I am, apologize for judging or criticizing, and let the subject go – it is still too tender and he needs more time.
    2) Limit talks to one item. I forget to give him time to process a thought and tend to pile them up, which only increases his anxiety and need for space.
    3) Don’t be needy. Oh, this one is so HARD for me! My desire to show him he is important and wanted sometimes makes me attach to him and overdo it. I don’t want him to be with me because he likes the attention I give him and the way it makes him feel. No, I want him to be with me because he sees a peace and light in me that he is drawn to. That is the only thing I can do that will bring him closer to the Lord and I want our union to be deeper than eros love because it is based on our union with Christ.
    4) For those married to an unbeliever: He cannot love the way Christ loves and asks us to love because he does not know this love. I cannot ask him to put aside his wants and needs because, for him, there is no one else to provide those things. I have to take the first step in sacrificing and giving in, EVERY TIME, because I have a Savior to provide those things for me EVERY TIME. I also do not have to learn to suppress my feelings and desires because I can give it to God, but my husband has only himself to rely on. I can contribute by making it easier for him to not lose his temper and focus only on him by sacrificing and

    1. Cut myself off!
      …I can contribute by making it easier for him to not lose his temper and focus only on him by sacrificing my right to hold onto my opinion and search him for his meanings. The more I question him and let him guide the conversation, the more he trusts me and opens up to me in his own time.

      1. This last point about my husband not having God’s love to fill his needs was such a light for me. Until I realized how I needed to make that sacrifice every time because he doesn’t know how, every interaction was a big argument. Daily I give my sorrows to God because I can’t rely on my husband to fill that need. Thank you for your insight. It was much needed! Much love.

        1. I’m so glad this helped!
          This is the point that turned it around for me to begin with and turns it around for me every time. I wanted to sacrifice so badly but until I really started relying on Christ, the bitterness and resentment always came back and I felt like a chump for sacrificing so much. Knowing that my husband’s salvation is on the line and that Jesus will take care of my needs made all the difference. Blessings!

          1. Holly, your perspective really encouraged me. Thank you for taking the time to share the things God has taught you!

    2. Holly,

      Oh goodness! My heart breaks for you over your marriage. But I also rejoice with you over what God is doing in your heart! So many mixed emotions. If you want to share more of your story – you are most welcome to.

      Thank you for sharing the things God has been showing you, our dear sister. These are really helpful. I pray for God to continue to heal you and to draw your husband to Himself and to salvation in Christ.

      Sending you the biggest hug!

      Ladies,
      Let’s surround our sister and her husband in our prayers!

      1. I started following your blog at the beginning of my journey. In fact, it was the first time any of this submission stuff made sense! Unfortunately, as I said before, my motivations were all wrong and I slowly stopped being submissive and started being controlling again.
        It’s only been in the last month that I think I REALLY get this and it has been a whirlwind of emotions. There are some things that are so sore, I don’t think I’ll ever get over reacting emotionally. Then I cry out to God and He takes over. It is amazing every time and since I started to praise God for who He is and who I am to Him instead of what He can do for me, my whole perspective has changed. I feel like a veil has been lifted from eyes and I can see God’s way. Whether or not my marriage works, God is doing a mighty and needed work in me.
        I could never understand how to find joy in trials, but now that I finally see it, I can’t let it go. It has really changed my perspective on everything and I can see now what an unhappy, miserable, bitter, resentful, angry, controlling, (the list goes on…) person I’ve been.
        Thank you so much for the prayer and being a constant source of encouragement!

  9. This is such a beautiful post, honest and just lovely. It makes anyone unwilling to submit immediately realize what they are missing. On the other hand, it encourages those working on submission not to give up. Thanks for sharing.

  10. I would like to know more about how to tell if I am giving too much space.

    My dh is usually a social guy, but since bomb drop, I see his need for space to think things out. Yet, sometimes he thinks I am avoiding him, avoiding talking etc. I tried to explain that I don’t have as many things to complain about. I am feeling very peaceful and I am happy for the blessings I DO have. He says I must like our marriage the way it is, but that is not true. I am simply not reacting emotionally as much.

    I wish my husband was more loving, thoughtful, caring plugged in etc, but I know that is out of my hands. I know I could stand like this for a super long time with God’s help, but my husband doesn’t understand this and talking about God repels him, do I try to translate the messages when he asks me to explain stuff. I just watched Fireproof, the movie and started to read the Love Dare. We are 10 months since bomb drop, how do I know if I am giving too much time or space?

    I don’t want him to feel discouraged either. He gets mad if the kids and I do fun stuff because he chooses to work so much, but I used to get so upset waiting for him to come home and he wouldn’t, I had to live a life. I always invited him and included him if he was going to be home, but he declines. He reaches for me in the evenings for a foot massage etc, but that is it.

    How many times do I hear how much he has no love for me when I enter the room before I blow? My expectations are more that I know he will avoid me if he can instead of come home to work on a marriage. Not my hope, but I’m not usually as disappointed any more. Even through all his hurtful actions and words, I keep looking to God, I do loving things even though I feel he doesn’t deserve them.

    I greet him at the door, but I’m not allowed to kiss him, sometimes I sneak in a jolly hug, or kiss his cheek when he sleeps. I asked him if I am doing anything hurtful I could work on. He said no, he thinks he is mad at himself. Is this some sort of conviction process? He says he can’t forgive or let things go. I am not sure if my husband is truly passive, but because of so much of my control and his emotional shut down, I have tried to look at him as if he is.

    Is this a hesitation to leadership in the marriage? Just want to try to understand so I can know if his reactions are normal. Is there any point where the husband has a light bulb moment like Catherine from Fireproof? Or is this just my fantasy? Do things like that really happen or is it a barely noticeable thing where 5 years from now we just decide to keep living together? When does that “marriage better than it ever was/wanting to renew vows” feeling come in?

    I have it, he still tells me daily how much he can’t stand to be around me, but want me to massage him and hasn’t left physically yet? So confused. Ugh. So much thanks to God for holding me when I’m hurting so bad. Amen.

    1. My heart aches for you because I know what you are going through. Its maddening and crazy making.
      April and other women that I trust have expressed to me that it takes time. I have learned through my marriage mess that I have no power to change my husband. I can change and that’s what I have been doing..

      My husband asked for a divorce in July 2014. We have been living in the same house and bed( there have been various sleeping arrangements as well). He didn’t talk to me, barely acknowledged me, no physical contact at all expect at night.
      I have had days where I thought I would die from the rejection. I am much stronger now because I know how Gods sees me and HE never rejects me..

      What has happened in your marriage?

      1. Betsy,
        Thanks for reaching out! We have been married 19 years this month. In november 2014 on a beautiful family vacation, my dh dropped the bomb that he wanted a divorce. I was devastated.

        It has decided from there, but in my lost and desperate hour in January 2015, I came back to God and have found April’s blog to be such a blessing. I have been working on my disrespect, self respect, learning a lot about healthy boundries and what I can and can’t control. I am a reader, he is not. I am a believer, he is not.

        He is very hurt from my lack of understanding his feelings in the past. He tried to talk to me about them, but because of my pride and ignorance, I couldn’t “get it”. He felt he overlooked and forgave and defended me until he just couldn’t any more. I felt I twitted and changed and tried to be what he wanted in a wife until I hated myself for it.

        Today….I sleep in the same king size bed with a man who would feel “raped” if I tried to be sexual with him. He allows a back rub or foot massage, but he tells me weekly how he looks at me with “disdain”. He loves me and respects me but is not in love with me (his words). We do not hug, kiss, have sex, hold hands. He barely looks at me, talks to me, or helps me. He is a workaholic from 4:30 am till 10 or 11 at night, 6-7 days a week. He says he is only there because of our kids, but will most likely be gone when the youngest graduates.

        Now. Despite all of that, he is a loving and generous man, an excellent and caring father, willing to help anyone in need, a hard worker, incredibly intelligent, talented handyman, can fix, make anything. Superior problem solver, tall, handsome, dedicated and proud, likes control, but doesn’t realize it. Has no idea how to deal with women, (only has a brother), comes from a still married family, (mine have been through 3 divorces), and doesn’t understand how to get help. Refuses therapy, or reading or listening to any type of help books or videos. He thinks the answer is within himself. I have basically put his brain in a blender when I can be at peace and any God stuff. He may even think I am crazy. I assure you I am not. I am just at peace in God’s love and guidance.

        In spite of all of this. I work hard every day to take the logs, splinters and sawdust out of my eye. I continue to dig into my expectations and idols and sin. I am trying to uproot any ill-planted seeds of lies. I have basically threw out all the “mottos” I ever operated with such as “only trust myself or if I want something done right, do it myself, or men are selfish…Yada yadda.” I constantly seek a different perspective of any situation and I don’t trust myself or my feelings as much anymore…instead I trust God. I do my husband’s laundry, cook, clean, all of it. I know many women would throw it back and tell him he is on his own.

        I believe my husband may be going through a mid life crisis, but not sure if that is just a handy way to put the blame onto something else and not look at my part. But he is struggling. I am planting seeds of trust, reliability, caring and love into a barren desert. I believe one day the blessing of rain will come and I will be able to see the fruit of my labor grow. I am making the safe place to come home to for my husband. I am not abandonding him during his darkest days… I try to live like Jesus did. I fail every day, but I’m doing better than yesterday or last year.

        I cry some days and feel overwhelmed, lonely, undeserving, unloved, unimportant. I grieve the love I had and threw away, the trust I didn’t appreciate, the rejection, massive rejection I feel every day. BUT. I look at it as, “How will I find peace and love if my husband left today? How would I pick myself back up?” For my kids, myself, my work and, well, for my one life I have on this earth? God gave all that back to me.

        I don’t define who I am by what my husband says or does anymore. I need to go to bed at night knowing I made God proud today. I have found more strength, faith and hope in me during this trial than I ever though was humanly even possible. I can’t shake the feeling or the picture in my head that I will have my heart’s desire. I believe God wants to restore my marriage, but even if it fails, I know God has something better in store for me. I am loved and cherished by Him first. Any human love is just icing on the cake.

        Sorry so long and wordy. I see so many like us on such similar paths. I think basically “life” just happened to all of us. Everyone goes through trials. Some pass, some fail, but the point is to not give up trying. We never know what we are made of until we are tested. I have surprised myself and actually feel really proud of that. I have learned how to relate so much better to so many other people in my world. Cashiers, older folks, friends, family, kids. My husband is my biggest challenge, but I am determined to succeed.

        I follow your posts and am praying we walk together in Christ on this journey. Much love and hugs to you, Becca, and all the hurting women out there seeking to find answers in this crazy life! Xxoo

        1. LMSdaily115,

          I can’t begin to imagine the pain you are going through. Well – I have experienced my husband shutting me out, not talking, not wanting to touch me, not listening to me, not looking at me, not wanting to be around me – that was where we were when I started my journey. And things continued on like that for quite awhile as Greg was not sure that the changes were real in me. Plus, it took so long to really and truly get rid of all of the disrespect and control. It’s just insane how long it took for me to “get it.” But – the pain you are experiencing is much greater and would be tough. I can understand your feelings of loneliness and being overwhelmed and unloved and unimportant.

          But then – I see what God is doing in you – and it is SO BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL! I know this has been a very trying road. I know it has been so tempting to give up. But the godly beauty in your life is just priceless and such a treasure from God! Your attitude, the way God is shaping your views and perspective – the strength and love He is giving you, the perseverance, the patience… WOW!

          I am so honored to get to watch God transform you like this and to be able to walk beside you and pray with you. I know that God has much good in store for you – and I believe He will have a powerful ministry for you one day to wives. Already, He is using you in mighty ways. I can’t wait to see what each chapter holds!

          Much love, my precious sister!

        2. Lmsdaily115

          I am so taken by what you shared. I can so relate to what you are going through in your marriage. What you wrote has given me hope to carry on despite my husband and my marriage. I continue to do what is pleasing to God even when my husband treats me with disdain and contempt.

          This morning he verbally lashed out at me and accused me of things that I didn’t do. I let him go and work it out himself. He is a Christian – yet seems to have pulled away from his supports. Satan is alive and well in my home and yours. I won’t let him!!! My husband is my biggest challenge, too. I continue to work on building up my worth in God because there may come a day where my husband leaves for good.

          1. I’m glad I could help. I went and saw “the War Room” at the theater today with a new christian friend. I swear the story has so many parallels to our lives. I encourage you to see it, but bring tissues, you will cry with overflowing faith and love in what God can do.

            April is our own Mrs. WILLIAMS. We are a little family here. We are all sent to help support and love and be part of the generation of believers who can teach the next generation how to love and respect God and our spouses. God banished Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, sent a great flood, and demolished the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of sin. He promises a return to end all sin.

            It is our duty to pass on what we have learned to another to spread the word of God. He alone can save us and teach us the real meaning of life. I promise the movie will move you like no other. FIREPROOF is another good one. Much love, sweet sister.

          2. LMSdaily115,
            I have GOT to see that movie! I keep hearing such amazing things about it. It actually sounds like an answer to many of my prayers for God to raise up many men and women to teach His design and wisdom to people in all of His churches and for a massive movement of God’s Spirit to bring a new Great Awakening. I would never have imagined Him using a blockbuster movie to do that! WOW!

            Thank you so much for sharing!

    2. LMSdaily115,

      Every day he says he doesn’t love you? Have you asked him to please stop saying that?

      God will have to give you wisdom about exactly what to say, how to say it, and when. I wish I knew exactly the answer for every wife! Well, you know what, I really don’t. Because then people would depend on me, rather than God – and that would not be good!

      If he is acting upset and angry a lot – I suggest giving more space. Not in an angry way, but just to give him time to process and work out his funk.

      I love that you have dropped expectations. I love that you are doing helpful and loving and kind things for him.

      He is paralyzed at this point – and yes, I have seen a percentage of husbands react in anger like this, lashing out at their wives once their wives are truly changing. A lot of times, it is all the pent up anger and resentment they have been carrying for all those years they were feeling disrespected when they felt they couldn’t express themselves. He is probably feeling safer around you – especially since he says there is nothing you can work on. I would believe him that he is mad at himself. He will have to work out with God how he forgives and lets go of bitterness.

      He is very deeply spiritually and emotionally wounded – still in the spiritual/emotional ICU. Sometimes people in the ICU do crazy things – thrash around and hit people, or try to pull out their ventilators. You do what God calls you to do and realize that he is so wounded, he is not able to love properly right now. But God can heal him in time – and I believe He will.

      I would believe his wanting the massage and staying there with you and living with you more than his words about that he can’t stand to be around you. I think he is feeling convicted by the godliness of your life and he is having to see his own sin. But he is wrestling. This is intense spiritual warfare. He is not the enemy!

      Much love!

      1. April your response is beautiful. You have shared the very same thing with me. I have to share with you that the harshness directed towards me from my husband is softening. Something is changing even though he still claims that divorce is the best option.

        Regardless of what may or may not happen.. I am going to be okay. All of us are going to be okay

        1. Betsy,

          I am so glad to hear that the harshness is softening! I think you may be interested in the post I have coming later this week about signs a husband is feeling safer with his wife.

          I love that your faith and trust is in Christ alone and your motive is to please Him. SO glorious!!!!! I praise God for all that He is doing in your life! πŸ™‚ I’m so glad we get to walk this road together.

    3. May Christ continue to lift you up and comfort you. I will keep you in my prayers! It took a long while for my husband to regain his trust and to soften his heart, and also sometimes men simply have their own issues they are dealing with that are completely unrelated to you. I think sometimes we just have to do our best to love them just the way they are and to give them time to work through things.

      As to the movie Fireproof, it is just a movie with a romantic theme, but edited out of that story is probably the mess of life, the patience required, the frustration. My husband has had a few light bulb moments that totally caught me off guard, but they probably caught me off guard because I had completely given up all hope and forgotten all about them. Just being honest here.

      Hang in there and let Christ love you, delight in you, and guide you. When we fill ourself up with Him then that hubby rejection doesn’t hurt so much and it’s much easier to not take things personally.

      1. A number of men I know of HATE the movie Fireproof and felt that it didn’t address the wife’s disrespect and control and made the husband look like he was totally to blame for all of the problems in the marriage. I think I watched it so long ago – I didn’t notice if that was true or not. But – we do need to be really careful not to compare our marriages or the progress we do or do not see to movies or to other people’s lives.

        We each have our own journey. And our husbands do, as well. πŸ™‚

  11. Hello!

    What does it mean to expect the best about your husband?

    Wont that just set one up for disappointment?

    How is expecting the best about him different from expecting him to eventually change for the better?

    1. heart,

      What that means is – to assume the best rather than the worst when you aren’t sure what he is doing or what his motives are. So, if he doesn’t call when he is at work, instead of saying to yourself, “He obviously doesn’t love me at all or he would have called me!” You would say, “I am going to rest in my husband’s love. I’m sure he just got busy. I’ll enjoy being with him tonight and it will be great!”

      We not talking about expecting him to change and be who we want him to be – but rather – not assuming the worst about his motives.

      If we have tons of expectations about our husbands changing or doing what we want them to do all the time, YES, that would set us up for disappointment. Here is a post about letting go of expectations.

    1. enchangtedalexandra,

      Different men show love, devotion, and protection in different ways. But some ways would be things like:

      – trying to keep your car running well so you are safe
      – investigating noises in the night
      – sitting on the outside of the pew at church so he can defend you if an intruder comes in
      – working to provide for you and your son
      – not saying bad things about you to other people
      – coming home when he can
      – helping with house things
      – helping with the baby

      But right now, instead of focusing on the things you want him to do for you – I would love for you to focus on the things he needs and the things God calls you to do for him to bless him. πŸ™‚

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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