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A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – "I'm Going to Actually Believe My Husband"

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I first “met” A Fellow Wife in October of 2012. We have had some INTENSE conversations over the past 3 years. This has been a difficult journey many times for her – as it was for me (and as it is for all of us, I would daresay). I always love sharing what God is teaching her. I pray this might bless you (If your husband is involved in unrepentant sin, is abusive, is a compulsive liar, or is not in his right mind for some reason, perhaps you can’t believe your husband and this post may not be a good fit for you.) Thankfully, most of us really have decent men who are pretty straightforward and honest with us about what they say or who would like to feel safe enough with us to be straightforward and honest with us – even if they are not believers.

I’ve been thinking how different our marriage would be if I just truly took my husband at his word, if I believed him, if I took him as literally as he intends his words to be INSTEAD of allowing doubt and insecurity to creep in. Instead of over-analyzing and worrying he may not mean what he’s saying or that he’s just trying to spare my feelings or avoid conflict. How much more secure would I be in his love? How much happier would I be in our marriage. How much have I allowed Satan to steal from me through causing doubt, fear and insecurity?

  • Instead of thinking maybe he doesn’t want to have sex because I’m not a size 0, maybe he truly is just tired.
  • Instead of thinking he doesn’t love me as much as he says he does, just believe him.
  • Instead of believing I’m a low priority because he has things he wants to do, how about believing him when he says he just has things he wants to get done and it’s no reflection of his feelings for me.
  • How about believing him when he says he loves me with his entire heart instead of wondering if he’s truly got his priorities in order and prioritizes his marriage?

It would be a MUCH less painful way to live.

The reason I shared this is that I was thinking that doubt and insecurity can steal SO much from you – they’ve certainly been enemies of mine the last few years and I’m tired of the battle. It’s certainly easier and feels much better to have confidence in his love for me.

My husband’s biggest complaint (or close to the top) over the years has been that I don’t believe him.

I don’t want him to feel that way at all! It’s not been a matter of believing him but a matter of doubt and insecurity creeping in. But I want to conquer that. Love believes all things (Corinthians 13:8)!

I once read in book that Satan’s weapons are always doubt, deceit and distraction and if you can trace your thoughts back to those then you know you’re in a spiritual battle.

This is definitely a battle of doubt.



Isn’t this the same issue we have with God so many times? What would happen if we just believed Him and took the Bible at face value and accepted His Word to us?

But, back to talking about our husbands. It has been my experience that most husbands really do try to tell their wives the truth in a very straightforward way. We tend to get ourselves into a lot of trouble though, because some of us want to read into everything. What did that look mean? What was that inflection in his voice? Maybe he really meant this, not what he said. Maybe he is trying to hide his real feelings. And we get into a big tizzy over all of the possible interpretations we can imagine regarding what our husband said rather than just taking his words at face value.

That is a LOT of unnecessary drama and angst, my dear sisters!

It is extremely frustrating to a man to tell his wife the truth and then have her not believe it and begin imagining 96 other things he may have meant – that he definitely did not mean.  In fact, for a man to tell his wife the truth and for her not to believe him and to assume evil ulterior motives instead feels really disrespectful to a man. Why is that? Because she is calling him a liar. No one enjoys being called a liar. Certainly not most husbands.

What if your husband does fudge things a bit to keep from upsetting you? What do you do then? Well, I think that if you begin to take his words at face value and don’t freak out and launch into “what if” land, he may eventually begin to feel safe enough to be more honest with you when he has a problem. In fact, that is one of the signs that he feels more safe with you and that he trusts you more is that he begins to share the really hard things with you more often.

If he truly has an issue with dishonesty and lying, that is a different situation – and you may need some experienced one-on-one counseling to help you. But for most of us, what if we try taking up a challenge:

Treat your husband as if you completely believe whatever he tells you this week. Take his words at face value. Rest in them. Act on them.

  • If he says he likes something, believe him.
  • If he says he doesn’t need help – trust that he is being honest and don’t help him. 
  • If he says he thinks you are beautiful – graciously receive the compliment and rest in his words, trusting that he is telling you the truth.
  • If he doesn’t give a lot of compliments, rest in what he does to show his love for you and that he is still there.
  • If he says he loves you, receive it.
  • If he does something special for you – receive that as his way of showing love for you and appreciate him.

If he is not being honest about little things, he will figure out that he needs to change things as you begin to consistently take him literally. Your husband is probably a pretty intelligent guy. You may be amazed at how relieved he feels when you stop questioning everything he says – if you have been doing that.

In the next post, we will talk about a challenge for us to share in an honest, respectful, and straightforward way, too.


If you have already been down this road and have learned the blessings and freedom of just believing your husband and trusting he is being honest, please share your story.


How would your relationship with God change if you began to do this with Him, as well? What would happen if you just took His Word at face value – believe it and act on it?






70 thoughts on “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – "I'm Going to Actually Believe My Husband"

  1. I want to first Thank you, I have been struggling with this for years now. This truly hit home for me, and was an eye opener. God will always provide you with what you need, you just have to accept it. Thank you once again for sharing, I accept this challenge ! May The Lord bless other wives who are struggling in this same area with Strength to over come the doubt that satan places in our hearts about our husbands. God Bless you all.

  2. Thank you for this post, I’m realizing that I can’t always trust what my husband says. We don’t have any serious issues as April describes, but I’ve often wondered if I should seek Christian counselling for myself – maybe just as a spiritual check up? I want to obey God but sometimes I wonder if I end up being a bit of a doormat, I don’t think that brings Him glory.

    Any thoughts? Does anyone have experience seeking Godly counselling alone?

    I’m still a baby Christian and I’m so grateful for your blog April, thanks for the guidance.

    1. Melanie,

      Would you be able to share a bit more, please, my sister? You can’t trust what he says about “do I look fat in this dress?” or about where he is and what he is doing? Does he have any active addictions or mental health issues? Is he afraid to tell you the truth about some things because he knows you will not respond well?

      What is your definition of respecting your husband and honoring his leadership? What makes you feel like you would be a doormat?

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      You could certainly seek Christian counseling for yourself if you find someone very trustworthy.

      Much love to you!

      1. Thanks for your questions April, I’m not usually very chatty 🙂

        I can trust that he is where he says he is, doing what he says he’s doing.

        He is not a Christ follower. He does have an issue with anger, I do not fear for my safety. There are no addiction or mental health issues.

        What I can’t trust is that he’s honouring or protecting me in conversations with others, esp if I’m absent. He calls it ‘guy talk’. I’ve expressed my discomfort over this, but it continues. Since I’ve brought this to his attention, he’s betrayed me in a big way to friends of ours – I found out from one of these friends. It was meant to be mean spirited and bullish. This isn’t the first time but it is the first time it’s been this hurtful and mean. I waited and prayed and consulted my bible a lot before asking him about it. He swept it under the rug…I suppose he could be afraid of my reaction in this instance. I pray it won’t damage our relationship with our friends but I think that may be out of my control, somewhat.

        My definition of honouring him and respecting his leadership – includes not being critical or demanding. Being respectful with my tone and word choice. I do try (usually successfully) to wait for a time when these things are possible, if I’m feeling angry or hurt. He is the leader of the big decisions in our household including finances. If I disagree I can bring this to him calmly, and the final decision is his. I believe in submitting all things to him – I know what he wants me to run past him and where I can make decisions on my own. I believe that I am understanding and loving toward him, I think he would agree.

        I don’t see this as a crisis situation but I do see it as being serious behaviour. I see it escalating. I think all I can do is work on me and my attitude since he doesn’t want us to deal with this together. This is what makes me feel like a doormat.

        I believe my walk with Christ is well. I’m in the Word daily. I spend extra time doing bible studies or reading when I have free time….it never feels like enough though, I have so much to learn!

        1. Melanie,

          I’m sure you realize, if he doesn’t know Christ, he doesn’t have the power of God’s Spirit in his life to convict him and he doesn’t have the power of God to walk in victory over sin. Although, God can certainly open his eyes and bring him to conviction that he needs Jesus. That is my prayer!

          So he is putting you down and insulting/criticizing you to others? You may certainly respectfully share that this is disrespectful to you when he does this and that he wouldn’t appreciate it if you insulted him and disrespected him to others – that it would feel like a betrayal. For more see, “When My Spouse Is Wrong.

          This is a problem, certainly. Especially if he doesn’t have a problem with it and it is getting worse. You are not a doormat if you share your concerns respectfully and let him know that this is not okay. You can’t control him or force him to change. But you are voicing your needs, when you are being sinned against, and your concerns respectfully. To be a doormat would be to say nothing and to act like you are fine while he sins against you.

          We will pray together that God will work in his soul!

          We all have much to learn! A lifelong journey. 🙂

          Much love!

  3. Thank you so much April this has been my problem since I was dating my husband .Even when he decided to marry me still I couldnt believe anything that comes out of his mouth.Just couple of weeks ago I was trying and trying to find out the reasons why I do no believe him.But today i got the answer from heaven , that even if he doesnt sound convincing I have to believe and trust , thank you my sister we have be blessed to have you in our lives

  4. * sigh * I’m trying. I know this would make my husband happy. It might make me happier, too. But there is still a part of me that is so scared of being a fool, or “falling” for stuff. Sometimes it is so much easier to not trust, than to be vulnerable, trust, and risk being fooled.

    I agree, insecurity has stolen much from me. At 40 years old, I kind of feel like it’s too late. I’ve allowed my insecurity to steal good things and now the best years of my life are behind me. Makes me sad.

    The biggest thing I read into with my husband is when he hesitates. If I ask him something and he hesitates, it’s like I automatically will not believe whatever he says next. If you had to think about it that much, it’s not your real feelings, you were trying to figure out the “right” thing to say. This might be wrong, but to me, hesitation negates everything else you say.

    Then there’s the old “you look pretty” problem. I’d love to believe him, but that pesky mirror and those horrifying photographs shout louder than my husband ever could.

    Don’t get me wrong, he is a great man. I mean, I’m sure being married to me is no easy task. Things are slowly getting better. S-l-o-w-l-y. And I’d be lying if I said it was all sunshine and roses now. But I am trying to believe him more often, and when I find myself dissecting his motives, I try to stop. I’m not that good at it yet, but I am making an effort!

    1. Becca,

      Real intimacy involves vulnerability. It is hard. It is risky. But self-protection doesn’t lead to intimacy. Real love involves being open to getting hurt. But it is also the only way to be open to receiving real love and intimacy.

      I believe the best years in your life are ahead of you. I’m 42 myself. It took me almost 40 years to begin to understand some of these things. My marriage is the best it has ever been. I have nothing but great expectations for all that God has in store for me – because as long as He is with me and I am in His will – that is exactly where I want to be.

      I personally believe that God has something big He wants to do in and through you for the Kingdom in the future that will bless thousands and thousands of wives and marriages. I can already see how He wants to use your story and your struggles and His power in your life to bring such glory to Himself and inspiration to many others. 🙂

      Sometimes men hesitate because they know we will freak out if they don’t say things exactly right. Sometimes they hesitate because they take a bit longer to think before they speak and it is a personality thing. Just because a hesitation on your part would mean you weren’t being truthful with what you said next – doesn’t mean that a hesitation on his part means he isn’t about to be truthful.

      Not everyone is really quick with words. And sometimes, the wisest among us, think before they speak so that they don’t misspeak. That is a virtue!

      His perception of your appearance is probably nothing like your perception of your appearance. But that is a whole different topic. 🙂

      I’m so proud of you and so excited for what God is doing in your heart – even in the past week! And I can’t wait to see all that He has in store! 🙂

      1. Becca,

        What April said about the post-forty years being the best part of your life is TRUE! What she said about your husband’s hesitation is also true. When you apply your own thinking to his actions you’re expecting him to think and behave like you do and for the same reasons you do–and he ISN’T you. This is the same mistake I made with my husband for a long time, and life is so much better when we grow past that! I’m so proud of the progress you’re making, Becca. Keep going, and keep reminding yourself of all these truths, and life will keep getting better!

    2. Becca,

      This paragraph describes why he hesitates.

      “What if your husband does fudge things a bit to keep from upsetting you? What do you do then? Well, I think that if you begin to take his words at face value and don’t freak out and launch into “what if” land, he may eventually begin to feel safe enough to be more honest with you when he has a problem. In fact, that is one of the signs that he feels more safe with you and that he trusts you more is that he begins to share the really hard things with you more often.”

      One of the biggest things in my life is “I just want her to be happy. I just want to be her friend and teammate.”

      But when she’s angry, frustrated, insecure, putting up walls, etc etc etc, then she’s not happy and and not a friend. It becomes this complex game of “don’t do anything (and I mean ANYTHING) that might upset her.” It’s walking on egg shells.

      The mood of a wife is the most powerful force in the house if misused. Some women don’t realize it, other do realize it and can use it for good/retaliation.

      He’s probably just doing anything in the world that he can to make sure your mood is as agreeable as possible, whatever it takes. It doesn’t make you feel very good when you catch on, but you have to realize that the intention is good.

  5. April,

    To my amazement, even as an older woman I discovered how often I expected my husband to think and communicate the way I do. When I stopped those expectations and realized his way was DIRECT, no hidden meanings or clues to interpret, our life became much happier, not filled with misunderstandings, worries, and doubt about his love for me. The more I focused on pleasing God and being ME–the happier we both became.

    A wife should strive to love and respect her husband deeply, but it’s also important to live YOUR life, too, not lose it within marriage. We can become so ensnared in insecurity that we lose sight of ourselves. We as individual women are worthy, beautiful people in our own right, with personalities, talents, and strengths that can sparkle, shine, and add so much joy to our own lives–AND those of our husbands. Believing our husbands is the beginning. Removing their power to either make or break our lives, and remembering that is God’s place alone, will truly give us security.

    1. Elizabeth,

      LOVE this! Thank you very much for sharing, my precious sister! I always appreciate the insights God has given you so much!

      The second paragraph you shared reminds me of something I shared on my PW FB yesterday:

      It is really tough on us as wives when our husbands are in a bad mood. In fact, it’s easy to let them pull us down if they are angry, irritable, depressed, or upset – whether it is with us or something or someone else. It is good for us to have empathy and to seek to bless our husbands or to be concerned if we did something hurtful or disrespectful. It is great for us to want to make things right if we messed up.

      But – here is some awesome news, my sisters…

      We don’t have to be tied to our husband’s bad mood. We are responsible for our own emotions and spiritual well-being. Our husbands are responsible for themselves spiritually and emotionally. We are responsible to God as to how we treat our husbands and other people – but we are not responsible FOR them or their decisions. There is great freedom when we realize what we are and what we are not responsible for.

      Our husbands can’t take away the peace, joy, power, and stability of Christ in our hearts. We don’t have to be shaken when our husbands are out of sorts.

      If we know we are doing what God desires us to do and our motives are pleasing to Christ – and we know that we are walking in obedience and the power of God’s Spirit – we can trust our husbands to God and not be thrown off course even when our men have a bad day.

      Check out Romans 8!!!

      – There is no condemnation for us if we are in Christ Jesus!
      – We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us!
      – Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ! Not even our husbands!

      (Check out the link below to see some posts about that we are responsible for ourselves emotionally and spiritually and that we are not responsible for our husband’s happiness.)

  6. I tried to post yesterday, it must have fell through.

    I struggle with this very issue, not because I don’t believe my husband, but more that he doesn’t follow through and I feel constantly lied to. The past few weeks have had some hopeful turns. He said he realized that his family makes him happy, that he has seen real change in me over the last couple of months (it’s been almost 11 months since I started my respect journey) and my daughter (13 years old) came out and finally expressed to him how much she misses him and feels ignored by his lack of being home. (He works 16-18 hours a day, 6-7 days a week).

    I was so happy to hear him starting to “hear” us! I praised God for what he was working on within my husband and for helping us be patient with His timeline. My husband even said he would make a goal to reduce his hours by the end of the year. Problem is, it’s gotten worse. He “says” one thing, but his actions don’t support it. I am so guarded because my expectations can start to get inflated again when he says things like that, then I start “waiting” for him to come home and he just doesn’t. I feel I waste my life waiting for him, trying to be available, believing him. I am so tired of living with a ghost who comes in after we are all in bed, bumps around, makes some noise, makes a mess and is gone before we wake up. I’m tired of getting the crumbs of his life. The crumbs of his time, love, affection and support. He gives his big fat turkey dinner to work.

    I almost get why I am neglected, even though I know it is wrong, my disrespect caused many of my problems. Even though I am forgiven by God, I have forgiven myself, my husband will have to decide if he wants to forgive me himself. Even then, forgiveness does not = trust. I get that will take time, or may not even ever happen. But what did the kids do to deserve the neglect and abandonment? I didn’t marry him for a wallet and a sperm donor. I wanted a husband and father!

    I believed that he really cared about family and loyalty and knew what true, sacrificial love was, but I believed wrong. I put my trust into a human and got burned. He gave up when things got hard, he just up and quit on all of us. Yet, in his eyes, maybe he felt I was that way for 18 years. He says he tried for so long, but then just couldn’t take it any more. Really, I think he and I switched places to some degree. But if he knows how painful it is to be neglected and unloved, then I understand anger, hurt, distrust, but to turn around and do that back to others, especially to the kids, seems evil and cruel.

    I am lucky, I have and know God. He is with me and can fill those empty places in my heart, but my kids are at a disadvantage. We didn’t raise them in any religion or relationship with God. I try to teach about God to them now, but my husband and I were not truly Christians. I only this year found God in a real way. I have to keep myself in check to not make the Salvation of my husband or kids an idol, but when you feel the overflowing love of Christ, it is hard to hide that, especially with those you love. But they are beginning to be turned off. I back away and try to lessen the “God lectures”, but I feel I only have 5 years left and my husband is so tuned out, I am left on my own to help teach my kuds about how to live a life with purpose, joy and love of God.

    Nowhere in school do they teach how to handle life when disappointments or bad breaks happen. My daughter already feels “not good enough” because a crush doesn’t like her anymore and finds a new one, and her dad doesn’t choose to spend time with her. I am here all the time. I am trying to be the example, but she feels as I do…discarded. I can’t even imagine what my 12 year old son feels. This makes me so sad to see my kuds suffer. I get so angry, but I am paralyzed to say something out of fear of what I might say. I am afraid it will come out like a volcano, full of disrespect, rage, anger, hurt, and criticism. I, too, feel like a doormat because of this.

    I want to believe and trust my husband, I know my NOT doing that before added to our problems and him feeling very disrespected. But now, it feels raw and naked. I feel like I am just asking for more heartache. Where is the space where I can trust and believe him, yet not be a doormat. I need to heal and grow strong, but I don’t want to discourage him either?

    1. LMSdaily115,

      Y’all have some very deep wounds and scars – all of you. A husband often doesn’t “just get over” 18 years of disrespect. I know I have shared this before, but it took Greg 3.5 years to feel safe with me again after I began this journey. And he was a believer. If your husband doesn’t have God to help him forgive and move past things, it will be more difficult, I would speculate. But I am extremely encouraged that you are seeing him soften and that he is beginning to respond to the changes God is empowering you to make.

      It will still take time before he feels safe. I don’t know his work situation. I don’t know if there are emergencies going on there or what will be involved in him extracting himself from working such insanely long hours. When men talk about changing their work hours – a lot of times, they are thinking in terms of over a period of months – not this week or today. So, this may require more patience – and, of course – as he sees that you are patient, that will help.

      Your husband will have to decide to forgive you himself after all those years of trying so hard and feeling so disrespected. That is a lot for a man to process. Children end up paying the price so many times where there is pain in marriages.

      The greatest sermons and lectures you can share with your family will be your transformed life and attitude – your peace and joy – your spiritual strength and patience – your respect. They will hear that more than they can hear words.

      I’m glad you are there for your children. It is very hard to see your children suffer. It may be that you can explain to them that Dad is very wounded and needs some time to heal.

      There will be a process of healing where you may choose to try to believe him and he may let you down for awhile. Then you will deal with that in the power of Christ. Then, in time, my prayer is that he will begin to follow through on the things he is saying. The fact that he is saying these things at all is quite miraculous considering where y’all were a few months ago. This is a long process. Maybe give him a few more months to try to get things tied up at work?

      I pray for God’s wisdom for you, my dear sister! This will require you being filled with God’s Spirit and having His wisdom each moment to know what to do.

      Much love!

    2. LMSdaily115,

      How lucky your children are to have you so lovingly and consistently involved in their daily lives! When my parents separated when I was ten, my mom basically “went to bed” in depression for the next seven or so years. My little brother and I usually came home to see her bedroom door shut, and did not see her until morning–if then. How lonely and terrible that was for us. I know it would be great to have your husband spend more time with your kids, but they are incredibly lucky to have YOU truly present with them–not sleeping, gone, or emotionally devastated to the point where you cannot function. It would have been wonderful if my mom had just asked what books I was reading and why I liked them, or played dominoes with us, or smiled at us and been cheerful. I know a lot more now about depression and know she was doing the best she could, but oh my. . . . depression stole those years from us all. Take a good look at yourself in the mirror, and know you are your children’s rock, God’s provision to them during this difficult time. Please continue seeking God and doing whatever you can to stay strong–for both yourself and for them. My heart is with you!

      1. Elizabeth. Thank you. I cannot imagine being left to fend for yourself for 7 years, however, I didn’t realize it till I read your reply that I was in a similar situation when my parents were in pre divorce, my mother was having an affair and very absent and gone. I was in charge of my 7 year younger brother and that kick started my control and being over responsible. I guess I turned out ok, but glad God is refining me. Thank you for pointing out the positives here. It brought tears to my eyes to realize I am not giving myself enough credit. I hope to break the generational disease of “divorce” in my family. I am thankful to God for helping me with my part. I will breath deep and be thankful. I will rely on God to do his work on the others. Thanks again.

        1. Lmsdaily115,

          You so indeed deserve so MUCH credit for being there for your children in the midst of so much pain. Thank you for not giving up, and for showing your children what real love, patience, and perseverance look like in real life! Yes, we did have similar experiences as children; my little brother was eight when my parents separated, and yours was seven. What I neglected to mention in my reply is that I also know and appreciate what a great blessing it is to write how you are feeling on this blog. This is a safe spiritual place where you are among sisters who love you and understand the challenges we all face, and where you will find comfort and encouragement to do the right thing. We all need to express how we feel.

          This may sound silly, but thinking about women in the old West who gave birth to children on the trail, fought Indians alongside their husbands, endured long months, even years of loneliness without seeing another woman, and who often buried babies or small children in barely marked graves that wolves later dug up, have been a huge encouragement to me to stay strong. I think our present-day lives require the same kind of grit and determination, only the hardships now have been created by a culture controlled by Satan, who is seeking to “devour” us as a roaring lion. His assault on our families, and promotion of immorality, violence, and selfishness permeate everything! He would be delighted if we let sadness, loneliness, and resentment keep us from trusting in God and his timing. And how he would love for us to give up! It helps me a lot to persevere in difficult situations to remember this, and picture it in my mind. Our marriages are worth fighting for, but also waiting for (sometimes the hardest thing to do!), when the timing is beyond our control. My heart is with you as you go through this difficult time, and you will be in my prayers, my dear sister!

          1. Elizabeth,

            Thank you for sharing these sobering reminders of what women in generations past have endured. How I pray that we will seek Christ above all and that He might empower us to be faithful. That is all that matters in the end. 🙂

  7. Firstly, I’m quite relieved to have found this spiritually guided blog of yours. You have an overwhelming abundance of truths in every article.

    I’m in need of your perspective on my marriage and how I can improve myself and help my wife see how much power she truly has in being able to support and uplift me or leave me playing emotion minesweeper where almost every action I take has a chance to be criticized.

    I’ve been married since the 29th of August this year. And we have tottered on the brink of divorce once already because I was emotionally falling apart and feeling slowly henpecked despite what I thought were my best attempts to serve and support her. I love her beyond my ability for word and deed and desire to help her grow to be her best as a Daughter of God. But I’m in a pickle where I’m hearing phrases being uttered such as “I married a moron.”

    I don’t want to stuff a comment box full of everything, so if you could bless me with an email reply, I would gladly reply.

    I’m hurting so bad in my marriage and have been finding my options of people to turn to have been slowly shut off. I can’t voice my feelings to family, my bishop(spiritual leader), or my counselor. It gets turned on me as a “complain about your wife session”.

    I look forward to hearing back.

    1. Orrey,

      It is wonderful to meet you. 🙂 I’m so very sorry that things have been so painful in your marriage already. I can certainly understand that no husband would appreciate hearing “I married a moron.” No wife would appreciate such statements, either, from her husband.

      A lot of wives don’t purposely disrespect their husbands – but whether it is intentional or not – husbands feel the pain.

      Here is a post that may be helpful, “Why Is My Wife So Disrespectful?”

      Many husbands use my site to reverse engineer things.

      Will try to respond a bit more later. 🙂


      1. Your reply came at a good time

        I just got done reading the link, (though took me a bit cause it is a respectedhusband link and it has changed to a peacefulhusband site)
        And it saddens me how Satan has done so well at trying to undermine the family and the core values and teachings that lead to a happy marriage. I have just ordered “Love and Respect” from Amazon.

        Side question: to you prefer communicating in the public comments? Or can I get your feedback via email? I did send her a few of your blog’s links to her. ( She hasn’t read any of them, just expressed her dislike of my doing such. )

        Thank you for the reply and any more replies in the future.


        1. Orrey,

          I don’t do a lot of private emailing at this time with men or women. I had to stop doing that last year when it got to the point that I was spending 5 hours/day just on emails. I don’t attempt to teach men. But I may be able to share insights that may be helpful.

          Most people – husbands and wives – do not receive articles very well that talk about things they need to improve from their spouse. What often does work well, from my experience, is for a hurting spouse to begin to focus on his/her own walk with Christ and to allow God to change him/her – over time, God often begins to bring much healing to the marriage and spouse, as well.

          If she is willing to read Love and Respect with you – that is a great place to start, in my view. 🙂

          1. I’ll probably end up reading the book first.

            And “ouch”, five hours can quickly take up a large chunk of a day.

            Thank you for the replies.

            1. Orrey,

              Sounds like a good plan. 🙂

              I try to be as available as possible here – and am glad to do anything I can to share helpful information, my brother. 🙂 Thanks for your patience and understanding.

  8. What if your husband shares everything with you, but you really don’t want him to??? I know it sounds horrible, but I can’t fix what he is and has been going through. All his constant sharing does is make me sad, scared and in fact, has made me just long to be alone and with God. God makes me happy. He has absolute trust in me, but sometimes I wish he didn’t. I want him to be strong…. I know i can only count on God.. It is just hard to be supportive, but not get sucked into the black cloud.

    1. Elizabeth,

      I wonder if you are trying to carry the weight of your husband’s problems in your spirit? I know I can’t carry the weight of others’ burdens. I have to take that weight to God and lay it at His feet. He can handle it. I can’t.

      You could share that you feel overwhelmed when he shares a lot of detail. But – it is a bit of a good thing that he feels safe enough to share these things with you. So, I would want to do some serious praying before asking my husband not to share so much.

      I wonder if you are able to separate yourself emotionally from your husband so that you do not allow his mood to draw you down? I have some posts about that if you are interested. 🙂

      1. It seems also that as women, we want to help, nurture, comfort, but can get very overwhelmed trying to be responsible FOR someone and their feelings. Happiness is a choice, we cannot make someone happy with our own power. What if your husband just wants to know you understand HOW he is feeling, even if you don’t understand WHY or agree with it. It’s not up to you to fix his feelings. But you CAN present different viewpoints, encourage him yo look at the positives and not focus on the negatives in his life. You don’t even have to use words to do this if he doesn’t “hear” well. By you being an example of God’s love and light, he may be able to have a role model through you.

        I feel extremely sad that my husband is burdened by his judgemental attitude, feeling frustrated that he cannot achieve perfection in his life, that he feels like a failure as a husband and father, but I cannot change those feelings. Instead, I give him room and time to think, ruminate on it all. I am patient, I am kind and loving. I don’t always want to be, but other choices of frustrated, depressed and burdened don’t help the situation, they only add to it.

        I have had to learn that the way he feels, thinks, acts, reacts etc is just not my baggage to carry. It is actually very living to let him work thtough his own feelings himself. As wives, we can understand and support him through this process, not dig deeper holes or shove his head under water when he is already in the deep water. We can stay positive for our own spirit as well as his and be a beacon of hope to help him come to shore. It takes a great maturity of emotion and spirituality to understand whete our own baggage stops and others start, and how to lend a hand instead of condemning someone for faltering. Even Jesus faltered under the weight of the cross he was forced to carry. Yet others came and helped him. Not everyone stood back and jeered and laughed. What will you do? Help, or stand back? I stood back for so long, I am ashamed at how hard my heart used to be. I now try to help, I think I get more out of the spirit of giving than others do. I hope one day, if I need that “pick me up” that others, especially my husband may be able to be there for me.

        It is hard to not get overwhelmed, but as we realize we cannot save the world, only Jesus can do that. But we CAN make a difference, even in one life, even just to comfort them. It matters. It matters to you, me, your husband, but mostly, to GOD. “If any of you do good for another, you do good to me. If you give food to the poor, in the same, you have fed me” I can’t think of a better way to honor God than to take care of his children to with what abilities we have. Much love to you. I pray God gives you strength and wisdom to be able to understand your role, what you can do, but also what you cannot.

        1. LMSdaily115,

          Yes, it is VERY easy to go from “helpmeet” to “responsible FOR” someone else in an unhealthy way that crosses proper boundaries. I am so thankful that God is giving you wisdom about how to see this in a spiritually healthy way. Thank you VERY much for sharing!

      2. I’m not sure what you mean by separating emotionally… I mean if someone tells you something sad that happened to them or that they feel weak or healthwise bad as a result of a chronic condition, then how do you not grieve for what they were or how bad they feel??? I guess I do not know how to hear about problems and not put myself in their shoes..

        1. Elizabeth,

          You can certainly feel sad for someone who is sad. You can rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. But you do not have to take all of the emotional/spiritual weight of their burdens onto your own soul. You can have empathy – and yet you can be strong in the joy and peace of God even when someone else is depressed. You can hurt for them but not be shaken and still be filled with God’s power in your soul. You can trust their hurt and pain to Jesus to carry on His strong shoulders.

          It is kind of like – I might picture that my Daddy was carrying me down the street in his arms when I was 2 years old. Perhaps my twin sister fell and was crying. I could feel sad for her and reach out to comfort her. But it would be my Daddy who would pick her up and carry her and take care of her wound. He would hold us both. I wouldn’t have to get down and try to carry my twin sister. My Daddy had strong arms and it was no problem for him to carry both of our weight. He was the parent, not me. Does that make sense?

          Here are some posts that may be helpful. Are you familiar with the idea of being “enmeshed”? Do you tend to worry and think of that as being a sign of “caring” and “loving” others?

          Much love to you! 🙂

          Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected

          Oneness in Marriage – Not Too Close and Not Too Far Way

          The Separation-Leads-to-Greater-Intimacy Paradox

          Control and Boundaries

          My Husband Said, “You Worry Too Much”

  9. April. Today my husband tried to teach my daughter why she should never forgive a boy for sending disrespectful texts to her. She is 13. I agree that as parents we need to look out for our children’s best interests. I agree on why my husband was mad and I agree with everything he said and did. Except to not be so quick to forgive. Jesus says we need to be slow to anger and quick to forgive. My husbsnd doesn’t know how to forgive and it has been a huge problem in our marriage. I am struggling with weather I should teach my daughter the word of God, or just follow my husband’s lesson to her on this one. I agree that she should not trust this boy, and I feel that trust does not equal forgiveness. The boy is young, made mistakes, probably didn’t realize how disrespectful his texts wete to a young lady. I can certainly forgive him, he even appologized. But I don’t have to trust him. Could my husband actually feel the same as I do, but be mixing up trust and forgiveness? I don’t want to disrespect my husband and teach her something different, but I disagree with his directive. It goes against God’s word. I’m not sure how to handle this? I need some advice from my best is on God.

    1. LMSdaily115,

      Many people get forgiveness and trust confused. Perhaps, in a few days or in a week or two, as God’s Spirit leads you – you could talk with her about the difference between trust and forgiveness and about what the Bible says about both. I don’t think you have to attempt to directly contradict her dad. So, I wouldn’t say, “Dad was wrong about this…” Just “God doesn’t command us to trust people. He commands us to trust Himself. But we are commanded to forgive. Let me show you how trust and forgiveness are different and what the Bible says.”

      I have some posts about forgiveness and trust that may be helpful.

      Forgiveness posts

      Video about to trust or not to trust

      <a href="http://[youtube“>[youtube

  10. Once again, this subject is really good and yet presenting to my wife is impossible since I cannot present it from here as she will be suspicious and the last time I left the list of disrespect on my ‘desktop’ she discovered it and deleted it. She is a real go-getter and I tolerate her attitude of resistance to respect and yet we both have a long way to go in our 30+ years of marriage.
    I experienced the “script” today. She said our 12 year old son (who has speech apraxia) “detects her emotion” quicker than anyone in the house including me. (5 other kids here 12 to 27)
    I told her I need the script in order to know when to act and how to act towards her. She claims that I “have the script.”
    When I say things that are in jest, she takes them serious; when I claim I am sincere, she doubts me. I am called unloving, uncaring and unemotional. I tell her yesterday she is disrespectful and she claims I am not listening. Again, we get along mostly and I am tolerant. She is not tolerant of my supposed unloving attitude and it creeps into romance and intimacy as a silent revenge and those areas are left to me for improvement. In other words, intimacy problems are 100% my fault.
    Trust is probably it.
    Belief in me is it.
    I am not believed.
    Perhaps if I get this job I interviewed for, things can improve…

    1. Jeff,

      I think this is a pretty common issue in marriages – and it is one I would like to see be resolved and healed. I am praying for you and your wife – for God’s intervention, wisdom, power, and deliverance.

  11. Hi everyone! God hit me so clearly last night with why I don’t believe my husband when he says or does good things towards me. It’s because I have spent 42 years believing the little liar in my head (the Enemy) about myself and God. And 24 years believing what the little liar in my head says about how my husband couldn’t really believe good things about me instead of believing my husband!
    Well – I am going to give that to God today and quit playing that game! No more!! Thank you God for freedom in Christ! How can I still let these little foxes of doubt and negativity and attack in to destroy our marriage? And for no reason! These Proverbs hit me today about how the enemy works in our heads.
    Prov 26:20 For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.
    (I think most of our misunderstandings are stoked by the whisperer – the enemy -who makes me think we are each others’ enemies. I need to kick out the whisperer in the name of Jesus!)
    Prov 26; 28 A lying tongue hates its victims and a flattering mouth works ruin.
    (These negative thoughts and not being able to receive good from a good husband are not my friends! And when I think I am right and everyone else is wrong from that flattering whisperer – my relationships are ruined).
    Prov 26:22 The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.
    (Think about the church, friendships and marriages ruined from us believing lies about each other and assuming the worst about others. How hard it is to dislodge them once they settle in our minds and hearts. We believe them even when there is no evidence.)

    Thank you God for the huge gift of being able to believe and receive good from You and from my husband.
    Blessings to you all!

    1. Beth,

      My precious sister!!!! THIS IS AWESOME!

      How I praise God for what He has revealed to you! And that you see who the whisperer is. WOOHOO!!!!!!!

      Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

  12. Hi April, I know this is a bit late on this post but I’ve been wanting to comment but didn’t get the chance. This is the biggest area I am struggling with and I have spoken to you previously about my husband having an issue with Narcissism and realizing this after 9yrs together. I feel like I can’t move forward with him after a long separation due to the fact that I don’t know what is real or what to believe with him.

    He says he is trying to prove to me that he is being honest and there are no secrets and that he is working on himself etc but how will I know? So even when things seem fine I don’t feel I can trust him because trust has been broken so many times. He is trying to prove to me but there isn’t really a way that he can show me. I had known of his issues of anger and controlling behavior etc that I could point out but didn’t know of all the secrets and double standards he was having until God revealed to me after much prayer. I kept uncovering one thing after another which lead to me finally understanding the real problem being the narcissism. It was God who put the pieces of the puzzle together for me as I was very confused.

    Now I don’t know how to deal with things. To be honest I don’t have the energy. I have looked at Leslie Vermicks site and it actually made me feel worse due to the fact that i feel I don’t have the energy to work on my responses etc. I have put alot of effort in over the years with respect but I would give up when I felt like I was being played or a doormat. It is very confusing wondering how to submit and be a Godly wife and when to put up boundaries.

    We have done counseling separately but not together. I don’t know how beneficial it would be as he has a brilliant way of agreeing with people and acting repentant or pretending to change while in reality nothing is changing. So in regards to believing what my husband says it is really hard, even down to the little things like him complimenting me because i’ve read so many things of how he said the same stuff to other woman. It doesn’t feel special to me or mean anything to me anymore. I’ve lost feeling for him but tried to make it work before because I didn’t want to sin against God.

    Now I just don’t know. Wondering how on earth I can be with someone that I can’t trust or just don’t believe. I have been quite cruel to him recently with my words and I feel that in a way it’s like punishment even though he is trying to be nice. It hurts that I am doing this so I try not to. I guess I’m feeling quite resentful and bitter and unable to move on at this stage. This relationship has drained me emotionally as well as struggling with an injury that has changed my life for the worst. I’m trying to look after our 4yr old and feel like there is nothing left of me for this marriage and for him as it has been ongoing drama and heartache with him despite the great times in between which the counselors call the crazy cycle.

    Sorry for such a long post I really needed to talk about this topic of trust and believing in your spouse.

    1. M,

      If you are dealing with a husband who has major narcissism issues – that is a different situation entirely than what A Fellow Wife is describing here. It would be extremely difficult to know if/when you could trust your husband again. It will take God’s wisdom for you to know when to trust and when to put up boundaries.

      I would certainly encourage you to stay as close to Christ as possible. You will need His wisdom, strength, and power to handle this. And I think that a situation like this would also call for outside, experienced, trustworthy help, as well.

      The main thing you are responsible for is your own sin, your attitudes, your walk with Christ, and allowing God to transform you. God can give you the wisdom and resources you need to know what He would desire you to do with your husband. I pray that God might bring spiritual healing to you both and healing to your marriage. I expect that this healing is going to take time and that the steps will be slow and small in order to rebuild trust and build a healthy relationship.

      Are you still living with your husband?

      What do you plan to do with your resentment and bitterness?

      How is your time with God going, my dear sister?

      This video may also be helpful, To Trust or Not to Trust…

      Much love to you!

  13. Hi April, thanks for reposting this video, i had watched it some time ago but needed to watch it again. I find myself second guessing my husband’s every word and deed and that makes it impossible to move forward. I have good reason after the past hurts but would really like to let it all go. Afraid and unsure if it is unwise as I don’t want to go through the same stuff again.

    Yes we are currently living together but its complicated as the police took an AVO order out on him on my behalf beginning of this year. We were separated and not living together at the time. This year he has helped me alot with child care and supporting me with my injury (which has made basic things quite difficult) so his help and support is what lead to him moving back in. But I had not healed from all the stuff that I had found out earlier and last year. Until recently I had been really in the word and praying hard for months just to get to know the Lord and know His will. I had truly put my feelings and desires aside (not even knowing what my desire was) so that I could hear Him in all areas of my life. However lately I have grown tired of never knowing what to do and being confused and for the first time in my faith I have actually questioned my faith. It’s a terrible feeling. I try to remember the times I have heard God clearly to remind myself that He is real.

    So although I didn’t know where my husband and I were headed I was just trying to be closer to God and let him work on me. I wasn’t feeling bitterness toward my husband but was still cautious. These negative feelings are more recent probably from frustration about many things. My husband seems to be trying in every way but it doesn’t reassure me as I am not sure we can even move forward without trust. Not sure where we could go for counseling as a couple as I would like to see someone who has had some experience in narcissism. I just haven’t had clarity in such a long time and feel stuck because in some ways we are separated yet still living together.

    I know I must let go of this resentment and bitterness. I have had issues with forgiveness as I usually forgive people and then end up getting hurt over again because of lack of boundaries or pressure. I’m talking about my husband and his family. They say if I’m a Christian then i need to forgive and move on. That is a mark of a true Christian. There has been a lot of manipulation and guilt trips that I have struggled with.

    Although I need to add something regarding the whole respect issue, things over the years had been ALOT more peaceful and happy in our home when I was really working on respect. It didn’t change some underlying issues of course but it helped. After I found out about some of my husband’s emails and meeting with a woman he said it was earlier in our marriage when we had major fights and also during our first separation when he felt really rejected. Things had been pretty good until I had found out these past secrets that he failed to tell me. He has HUGE issues with shame so he felt he could never tell me although he assures me he felt regret and remorse. ( I just couldn’t see that though with his actions). My husband has always been quite controlling and untrusting of me and I found that when I was being respectful and being a Godly wife that he let go of control and trusted me more. He said he felt safe when I was walking close with God. (Although he doesn’t seem to want to know God only by name). So this is why I have some confusion about our relationship because respect seemed to work later in our marriage however many lies came out and revealed a side I just did not know. It just felt like we were making progress with things like control and anger and were alot happier.

    Thank you for encouragement and suggestions. Didn’t mean for this reply to become so long!

    1. What great things are going on in your marriage, even if you don’t trust them. Remember, God wants us to extend mercy and grace and forgiveness…we get that ourselves from God, but trust is a different issue. Trust has to be earned. It sounds like your husband is really trying. I agree, understanding boundaries is important. If you wait until you “feel” trusting of him to move forward, you may never do that. There is a time when cautious trust may be a way to extend an olive branch. Does he know how you feel?

      I actually think it was good that the past items were uncovered. If your hubby is trying to be transparent and honest, then that surgery had to happen for healing to begin. It is in the past, though. Now you will need to pray about if you can truly gorgive…not necessarily forget or trust, but understand where his mind was at the time and forgive him a a not perfect person, just like you and I are. Can you focus on what is good and positive RIGHT NOW and stop dredging up the past?

      Your husband and you will never move forward if you think that the past will ever change…it won’t. It’s done. It happened. Now. You actually have great power at this time. What path will you choose, the easy wide one or the hard but narrow one. God warns that the wide path leads to death. The gate to the narrow path is hard to find, but leads to life. How would Jesus have handled your husband? Would he shun and turn away? No. He went toward sinners and loved them. In this way, they were drawn to God and often repented.

      Bitterness is the poison WE drink thinking it will hurt someone ELSE. Think about it. Maybe forgiveness is not to benefit your husband, but to benefit YOU! I am praying for you to get back to trusting God and to find your joy and strength in God again. You even admitted how much better things were when you did that. Don’t let the Satan weasel in and stop your progress. Keep God in front and center at all times. Our goal in life is to act like Jesus would. Not our own fleshly happiness…that will come as a result and we also choose to be happy and satisfied with all of God’s blessings.

      I pray that you look inward and see what YOU can do and control within you…not fixing your husband or his salvation…run YOUR race, dear sister.

  14. Hi LMSdaily115, Thankyou for the reply. I understand what you are saying and completely agree that we shouldn’t hang on to the past. The fear I have is that since my husband has an issue with narcissism it is really hard for me to know what is real. He has no problem lying and manipulating people.

    Since we met I have been forgiving and moving on only to go through the same cycle. He has physically and mentally abused me over the years and promised he’s changed only for me to go through more. I do believe he is trying but I think he needs help because he hasn’t been honest with counsellors and doesn’t seem to know God. I had begun the respect path even before we got married to improve things.

    The control was very severe. He would constantly accuse me of affairs or check up on me while making out he was the perfect man. I was shocked to find out that he had been lying for years about those things although he would lie about many other things. I has 0 control of our money, had no privacy with phones computers etc despite that he had all the privacy he wanted. He also wanted me to be a slave within a D/M relationship. He only mentions God when he wants to manipulate me. The spiritual abuse hurt me alot.

    Narcissism is very damaging for the partner and children. He also expected perfection from our 2 yr old at the time which lead her to not even want to be around him. Thankfully things have improved in that area. It’s also hard as my mother has had to look after me in critical times when he has put himself first. Such as this year when I came out of hospital he preferred to go on a car cruise with friends when I couldn’t actually walk with an injury. There has been a lot of abuse in very the years and i continued to forgive and just try to show him love.

    Now I see positive things but just feel afraid to trust because I’ve been through this so many times. He would text me that he wants to be a clean Godly man while at the very same time he was on car forum talking about sex and woman. Things like that show me he is not being genuine. This us why I don’t know what’s real and what to believe. Sorry to go into this but it’s not as simple as me seeing the positive and moving on. I truly want to move forward but very been doing great that over and over.

    Now I feel protective of myself and daughter as we have been through enough. Not saying I am perfect, I have sinned against my husband and reacted badly to things so always trying to work on that. Its hard to set boundaries as he won’t respect them. Yes I am thankful he has not been physically abusive in a long time but emotional abuse can be more devastating. Maybe he us being real with me now and so i am trying not to judge.

    Thanks for listening and your support.

    1. M,

      Yikes. That is some seriously messed up stuff, my dear sister. I can certainly understand your apprehension and skepticism. I can also understand why you are afraid to trust him. It may be wise not to trust him considering his history. It would be really hard to know if he has changed.

      I would personally love to see y’all (or at least you) have a trusted counselor who is familiar with narcissism (which is truly just extreme idolatry of self, in my view) – to help you walk through this. I would want to see that he was willing to be transparent with computers and his phone. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around someone demanding total transparency from his spouse and giving zero transparency himself. Have y’all healed from the D/M thing? There are a lot of deep wounds and scars here, from what you are describing. 🙁

      In any marriage, there will be hurt at times, and a need for forgiveness. Forgiving a few times doesn’t guarantee that our spouse won’t hurt us again. And in a situation like this, I’m sure there will be more hurt sometimes. So I don’t know that you can guarantee anything.

      I would imagine you would have to rebuild trust in very tiny baby steps. I want you and your daughter to be safe. I want to see all of you heal in Christ. Are you able to speak with a godly, trusted counselor at this point?

      Much love!

    2. M,

      Wow, I can see how it would be hard to trust him. Thank you for helping me understand your situation better. I pray that God gives you wisdom and strength. I know God can change even the hardest of hearts, even your husbands. He is still one of God’s children too, although very lost, spiritually. The reality is that God’s plan is not always clear to us. How I wish for a glimpse, sometimes. But I know He gives us what we need to get through today. You might not have what you need yet to get through tomorrow or next week. But every day, God gives you what you need. I pray that you keep walking right next to God so He can guide you where He wants you to go. I know He has something bigger and better for you coming just ahead. Keep learning and growing within yourself and let God take care of your husband. We never can control weather our spouses will stay or leave. If He walks out, then we, as beleivers are told to let them go.

      My guess is that your husband wants the peace, joy, and love he sees within you, but doesn’t understand how to have it for himself. It’s like a child that wants a toy at the store, but doesn’t want to earn it by behaving. This struggle is hard. Have you been seeing a godly counselor? Even if he doesn’t go, they can help you with coping strategy and knowing how to set boundaries…I really needed that with dealing with my husband. I am convinced mine is going through some type of midlife crisis and has done a 180 on his personality. He has some similar issues as you described about your hubby. I wanted to be careful not to just “label and forget” him.

      It would be so easy for me to just act like it’s his problem and I’m actually ok. Maybe it is, but what if I’m wrong? I am sure, like you said, we all have room for improvement, so I work on me. I let him and God work on him. When the time is right, God will make things work out, whether he stays or goes. I know it takes tremendous trust, but the only one you can truly trust is God. We can’t even trust ourselves when we are emotional, hormonal, hungry, in pain etc. It sounds like you have had your share of that too.

      I pray for you to heal physically and spiritually and grow stronger than you were before. Don’t let one person steal your is the source of your strength. You have so many things to be thankful for, even if you can’t be about your marriage. Focus on the good in your life, be a blessing to someone else who you CAN help and encourage. Use this trial for good by being able to help others through tough times, maybe post surgical, etc…when you are more able. This will help you rise above the problems hovering around you and enable you to see more big picture stuff in life. You can find so much joy in helping others who will appreciate your kindness and love. God wants to save us all, but because of his gift of free will, not all want to be saved…it’s a choice we each make personally, we can’t even choose for each other. Focus on you and your daughter and teaching her to love God and have a relationship with Him. You can reflect God’s love and blessings to more than just your husband. God bless you as you heal inside and out, my dear.

      1. Thank you LSMdaily115 for your thoughtful and encouraging response. I had written a lengthy response and went to post it but lost it! I’l start again.

        I absolutely agree wit you that God gives us enough Grace to get by day by day and when I focus on the bigger picture I become quite overwhelmed and anxiety sets in. I also know that when I am spending much more time with the Lord I can see things from a place of compassion and understanding rather than resentment and judgment about what has happened to me. I know I have enough of my own sin to deal with rather than focusing on my husband’s. I have alot of blessings and things to be thankful for such as our daughter who despite all of this is a well adjusted happy healthy girl. Also reaching out to others gives meaning and purpose and realize there are many others in need.

        Reading what other woman and men are going through on here makes me feel both sad and comforted knowing that I’m not alone and that we all go through trials some similar some different. It does sound like you are going through similar things with your husband and I pray that you will also continue in strength. You sound firm in your relationship with Christ which is awesome! I need to get back into prayer and His word. You are right we may not always know what to do but can just do what we know is right. So true as I have learned the hard way that we can’t even trust ourselves even when we are walking with God, poor choices lead to sin and can be very quickly.

        Thank you for sharing your wisdom and encouragement, means so much. Please keep us updated on your situation.


        1. M, I pray for you tonight that you get back to being with God every day. You need His comfort and wings of protection right now. He can give you much needed rest. I can only imagine how crazy feeling such a complicated situation such as yours must be. Sometimes that can get too overwhelming, for sure! You need a break from thinking and analyzing. Just be with God. Ask for His help and comfort. I will pray these for you tonight.

          All of us on this blog are here to seek help and help each other. We learn from each other and get some perspectives that might point us to what we need to learn. It would be so easy to just sit in the ashes, give up on trying and unplug ftom life. But that won’t ever help. We need to be there for our children, setting a good example of how to deal with the stinky parts of life that we all come across in life. We need to look for those who will stand with us encourage us and also those who want yo accept our gifts we can give.

          You sound like you have many things going in the right direction in your mind, you just need to take those baby steps. Maybe watch the signs around you, music on the radio, bumper stivkers…is God talking to you in a different way? He does for me. One time a car pulled out with a “Hope College” bumper sticker when I was feeling very discouraged. I realized I had to really focus on keeping hope and joy in my life…it worked. Might sound silly. But God works in many different ways. Find the light on the path. Be open to listening for God’s still, small voice as the Holy Spirit inside you. Much love to you. Sleep well, my dear.

          1. LMSdaily115, Thank you so much. You and April are absolutely right, I need to get back with God. Just be with Him. I really like your advice with looking for signs around you and I have been wondering if God has been speaking to me in a different way than I expect. The situation actually hasn’t felt as crazy for awhile until I rethink what has actually happened. Last year after things happening in June I actually had a mini breakdown for 2weeks. My mum had to take time off of work to help me with our daughter. The Dr I saw thought I may be suffering from PTSD. It could be possible. When my husband and I aren’t fighting things don’t feel so out of control or crazy. We’ve both been handling things better in that area. So again you are right about the analyzing as I believe that causes me more stress. I just need to rest in Him.

            You and April’s words have brought healing to my soul. I don’t have any Christian friends other than family.

            Sleep well also sister:) We are in a different time zone as I am in Australia.

  15. Hi April, yes there has been alot to deal with.

    I felt after all these years that I didn’t really even know who my husband was/is. It’s quite scary. The double standards were the hardest for me to comprehend. Like him blowing up and threatening because I had joined facebook, or me not being allowed to go to a work Christmas party because there would be other men there and partners weren’t invited while he has been on facebook type groups and would meet up with a female for lunch. He set the rules very early on that he didn’t want friends of the opposite sex which i was fine with because I didn’t feel it necessary. Only to find out he’s had a female friend our entire marriage. Always double standards.

    I always felt secure in the area of faithfulness to me because he seemed to adore me and constantly tell me and everyone else how beautiful he thought I was and always tell me he never noticed other attractive woman when his friends would comment on other woman. I used to joke and say its ok all men notice attractive woman, it’s normal. He would say no I’m different I just don’t see them, no-one could compare to you etc etc. Only to find him receiving sexy pics from woman and complimenting them. He’s told me he would just tell them what they wanted to hear but expect me to believe what he’s saying to me!

    He still gets annoyed at me when I don’t respond or smile when he compliments me. He says he feels hurt every time I don’t believe him but fails to recognize that I just can’t. I feel like I’ve been completely tricked and played. I’ve never restricted him or tried to control him. He can go away on day/night trips on car cruises or go to Melbourne for a bucks’ night. However I wasn’t happy when he came back and said they went to a strip club and yet I wasn’t allowed to go to Melbourne (another state) to visit a female friend from school without him coming with me. I’m meant to be fine with everything because apparently his things are innocent!

    So right now my self esteem is quite low and I don’t feel secure with him. I’ve always been secure in that area with him which is why I feel quite crushed as it was the one area I really respected him in. I thought he was loyal. I know no one is perfect and we mess up but it feels like a long betrayal. Yes April the D/s thing is over but I know he would want it to continue. Things were great at that time because I guess his ego and control issues were being greatly satisfied. I told him I just couldn’t do that any more and said it’s okay what I really want is a submissive wife who loves and respects me. (I’m not sure what it means in his mind).

    I’m not sure what God wants me to do and how to find a counselor that understands all of this!

    The positive side is that he has seldom gone away with friends and with the car cruise group he is in he has always been really happy if I have gone with him and prefers that than going alone. He is always always home after work for dinner and entire weekends with us. He does seem to want to be around us and enjoys our time together. Even when things are not so great he still wants to be here. The times he hasnt been here have been times of high stress or when I have told him to leave and meant it.

    I don’t feel that he actually wants to have an affair. The friend he had for all those years was a girl in another state who he would talk to about issues. Our issues! She was a Christian who also had marriage problems. I’ve read alot of the msgs which he showed me but I do see that he was trying to flirt with her at the time we separated. The other times he was complaining about me or my mother or otherwise saying how things were doing great. I asked if it were so innocent why couldn’t he tell me, he said then I would think it okay to have male friends! He says the other emails to woman or pics were just stupid scam mail. Actually some were but a couple weren’t. He admitted that he had in the past met up with a woman after work and taken her back to his office after I had told him not to come back during a fight.

    I think this was after our daughter was born. He tells me there has been no other physical affair or even long-term affair. He says he is working on not reacting to feeling rejected. April, after I found out about these things I had started talking to a Christian man and things got physical. I felt so bad I ended it and told my husband. It was a wrong reaction and it lead me to go back to seeking God with all my heart. I also understand how things can go so quickly wrong as I did not plan at all for things to go so far. Really, I feel like things are a mess when I think about it all and I just want to be in God’s plan whatever that is.

    I will talk to my husband about going to counseling. He has said he is willing to do anything for us to be together properly. That has prevented me from giving up at times when I have thought of divorce because my husband is telling me he wants to do whatever it takes. I think it would help if I could have some transparency but at the same time I don’t want to be going though his stuff.

    I can’t thank you enough for listening to me and offering support as I am no longer able to talk to any one about any of this apart from God.

    1. M,

      Would you please remind me – when did you find out about the female friend and the texts and emails and the double standard?

      Does your husband acknowledge the part he played in your difficulty in trusting him? Does he understand why it is so difficult for you to believe him when he compliments you?

      How long ago was the D/M thing over?

      Would you remind me if he has a relationship with Christ?

      Has he ever addressed why he is able to justify having double standards in his mind?

      How long ago was it that you got physical with another man?

      Have y’all gone to counseling since all of that stuff happened? What did the counselors suggest?

      Where are you with God right now?

      Much love to you! 🙂

  16. Hi April, I found out about the other woman and double standards last year in june. I felt there was more I didn’t know but couldn’t prove it. I forgave him and we moved on sort of until the end of the year when I asked to look at his emails as I just wanted to know if there was more to it. That’s when I found other things and then I asked him to be honest with me about any other woman. After a couple of weeks of him insisting there was nothing and not really explaining he finally sat down with me and told me about a woman he took back to his work. I actually felt really happy he had actually told me something without me finding it. I tried to move past it as it was from the past not a recent thing but I failed and we began fighting as I expressed my fears and doubts and said I wasn’t ready to get back together and I was in counseling at the time who didn’t think it was a good idea either. He got angrier and angrier and fights began even around our daughter. I began talking to a Christian guy online and he was a good friend who knew my situation but there were feelings between us. My husband knew and of course told me to stop talking to him before things went further. I didn’t listen and the more I fought with my husband the more time i spent talking to this other man and eventually we went for dinner together. So this was in January this year. I very much regret that I know that 2 wrongs don’t make a right.

    My husband does say he understands why I don’t trust him but continues to say I’ve got no reason now as he’s not hiding anything. He does seem to get frustrated and says he feels sad that I don’t believe him with the compliments or that I don’t feel special to him. The D/m thing has been on and off during the marriage but really stopped last year I’m not sure at what stage.

    He does not have a relationship with Christ. I am unsure of his salvation and haven’t pushed the issue but he I remember him telling me while dating that I seemed to know the Lord while he had more head knowledge. I had asked him last year when God revealed things regarding narcissism, when he gave his life to Christ as he has always been in church growing up. He said it was about 18yrs old he said the sinners prayer at church. However I know that he was leading a youth group and also having affairs with married woman so I am not sure how this works in regards to repentance. I have not seen evidence of a relationship with Christ but he has always encouraged me in my walk. As i mentioned he has used the bible against me as a means to control me.

    We have been to counseling separately after things happened last year. I have been seeing the same counseling during our marriage who is a Christian but seemed to push me toward leaving. Together we have only had a couple of counseling sessions with a family Pastor back when our daughter was 6weeks old so that is approx 4yrs ago.

    No I don’t think he has understood why he is able to justify having double standards in his mind. He says he knows it was wrong but continues ot say that he felt what he was doing was innocent at the time.

    RIght now my walk with God feels empty. I’ve stopped reading his word and seldom pray for the past 2months. Prior to that I was in the word daily as well as prayer. I Still felt confused but not so depressed. I have been struggling with the marriage issues as well as a pelvic problem that I have had for 2yrs. I want to seek God’s wisdom iin these areas and be able to walk in His ways yet continue to feel lost and like I’m not hearing from Him. Really don’t want to do things my way. Since it has been impossible for me to leave the family home due to this injury and not having outside work, I feel that God has wanted me here as I have tried and would have just up and left to get my own place.

    I don’t want to give up on my husband because I do know why he is the way he is given his childhood and I do know that he doesn’t like the things he has done. Unsure of how to address the situation and take care of myself and daughter at the same time. Btw I don’t feel fearful of our safety and haven’t for years now.

    So grateful for your time and wisdom! I know I’m not the only one going through these kinds of difficulties.

    1. M,

      Goodness, these things are still quite fresh, aren’t they?

      I definitely understand that you would need to take baby steps toward rebuilding trust and that it will take time. I want very much to believe your husband that he is trustworthy now – but with his past history, it will take time to build up trust again. Even if you have forgiven him and want to trust him.

      This is a difficult situation – with extenuating complications. If you have a counselor you believe is willing to direct you in biblical, godly ways – that seems very wise. However – sometimes it is really hard to find such a counselor. And, honestly, my greatest concern is your unplugging from God for the past two months. If you are not abiding in Him and able to hear Him – that puts you in an incredibly vulnerable and dangerous position spiritually where you will be walking in the power of your own flesh and your own human wisdom. You will not be able to hear God’s voice and prompting or His warnings. You are spiritually starving yourself. That is a very urgent issue.

      Do you believe you are feeling any bitterness toward your husband or toward God? Is there anything you believe you are afraid to trust God with or that you are holding back? Or are you ready for total surrender to Him?

      I don’t want you to give up on your husband. I know he is not beyond the reach of Christ. But I do want to see you healing spiritually first so that God can pour His healing and power through you into the marriage. Your husband is spiritually dead – so God is not going to be pouring healing through him at the moment. You’re it. God will do the actual heavy work and the heart changing for you and for your husband. But your job is to get yourself into a place where you are ready to allow God total access to the darkest corners of your soul – so that He can begin to radically change you and heal you. 🙂

      Much love to you! And a BIG hug!

      1. April, yes these wounds are quite fresh except since my husband likes to brush things under the carpet, whether it be my sin or his, i feel I have rushed past things without true healing. Although God has done alot in my heart especially after things first happened. You are absolutely right that it is dangerous to walk in the flesh, I know that too well. April I would say the bitterness is toward both my husband and God. It is something new as I wasn’t actually feeling bitter before, sad and hurt but not bitter. At the beginning of the year after me getting involved with that man and all the drama, I had a relapse of my pelvic condition when lifting a heavy box. It is a joint/ligament issue. I was unable to walk and had to go to hospital. It was severe. I felt physically and emotionally broken. However I completely surrender to God as He was all I had. The emotional peace and healing I had during those months was amazing. I really trusted and allowed God to search my heart and was completely surrendered to His will. I still think I may have interfered with God’s plan because i allowed my husband to come home and not sure it was the right time.

        This year I was always in the word and studying just so that I could know who God is and how He wants us to live. I was sick of the sin in my own life and heart and tired of being a luke-warm Christian. Something that happened as I began to radically change, I mean I felt lead to do things Christians around me were against, wearing a head-covering, more modest clothing, gave up many worldly things in my life, basically anything that I found to be not of God. Then I found that I didn’t fit in at church and that Christians just couldn’t agree on anything and I found that whenever I studied a topic from the bible that there were so many perspectives on things. I began to think that I couldn’t understand or was interpreting the bible wrong and so I stopped reading it. I wasn’t trying to be legalistic about these things but maybe it looked to others that I was. Anyway long story short I began to question the bible and the truth and eventually wondering if I’m crazy for thinking that I was hearing from God. In short I became confused about that too! Thats how I have kind of given up on my marriage as well as God. Sort of if I can’t trust God’s word then what can I trust? Or its more that I don’t trust that I am hearing right or understanding His word right. So now I find it impossible to surrender and prayers feel empty.

        Something I have now noticed my husband doing since he has noticed I am no longer reading the word is that he has started. I think he is worried that I have given up spiritually and yet he is not interested in his own relationship with God. (He has always felt more secure when I am walking with God).

        April you are so full of wisdom and kindness. I don’t want to take up all of your blog time so don’t feel obligated to follow up unless you have the time:)

        Much love,

        1. M,

          I’m super glad that all of the truly awful things happened way in the past. That is a blessing that it wasn’t continuing the entire time up through last year. I wish none of that stuff had happened at all – but it is encouraging that so much of it was long ago.

          I’m so sad that you gave up reading the Bible and that you didn’t feel like you fit in with other Christians. The truth is – it is very difficult to passionately follow Christ and walk in holiness and obedience even in the church today. You will look weird and “extreme.” That is because our churches have veered off on a worldly path and have become content to be friends with the world, its wisdom, and its ways.

          I don’t think you were crazy. I do think you were hearing from God. Ultimately, all that matters is pleasing God – not the approval of people.

          I vote to get back into God’s Word and just ask Him to show you His ways and Himself and take what you read at face value. It can be confusing to study all of the various interpretations. If that creates confusion, just read the Bible and allow God to speak to you. Deal with the passages you do understand. Seek to obey God in the things you believe are very clear. Ask for His wisdom about the things you don’t understand.

          If you need some help – I suggest listening to David Platt, Francis Chan, Wayne Grudem, or John Piper.

          That is interesting that your husband is beginning to read the Bible more. My prayer is that God will heal you both individually and then as a couple and that He might be greatly glorified in your lives!

          This is my calling and passion, my precious sister. Your spiritual health, your husband’s spiritual health and your marriage matter greatly to me.

          Much love to you!

  17. April, just to clarify that June last year was when I found out about the female friend and then later in the year when I asked to look at emails I found out he had been talking to woman years before. I had not found anything recent. It is possible as He said that nothing has happened during the times of me respecting him. Not that I am making excuses for him but I can see that the times when he spoke to other woman was when I had been quite disrespectful to him and asked him to leave. We had major fights when first married and after our daughter over his mother and also his control. So although me finding out is quite fresh for me, what actually happened was some time ago. Maybe that is also why my husband keeps saying I have not done those things for such a long time but not understanding that for me it feels raw.

  18. This post was very helpful for me as i was searching the web trying to fix my controlling behavior, and understand the negative behavior i practice daily with my husband and as a result, i believe with God too.

    I am not sure why, but i am very controlling, very questioning, slow to trust, doubtful that what my husband is telling me is true, and very snoopy.

    I have recently reached out for help because i believe this behavior needs to stop asap but i am not sure where it comes from.. My husband is generally a very trustworthy man.

    I constantly
    -ask him who’s calling/why he doesn’t answer/why they are calling
    -ask him where he was if he was late
    -ask him why he does everything he does
    -check his Facebook and search history constantly
    -act like a private investigator to his life, checking every search, every phone call, checking bank account every hour to see where he spends and then call and ask why he spent that
    -try to keep him from doing anything harmful, no matter what the cost, fighting, yelling screaming, i will hide his cigarettes, throw them away, ask him constantly if he smoked that day. I myself enjoy an occasional drink but get irritated when he wants to come home and have a beer.
    -FEAR constantly of him dying from lung cancer, or having wrinkles or bad teeth from smoking
    -give him a disgusting dirty look if he says a bad word
    -Pout when he doesn’t spend time with me
    -drive by his friends house to see if he is where he says he is
    -FEAR he finds another woman more attractive than me
    -ask him why he looked at every person he looked at
    -accuse him of staring at a girl too long
    -get very upset and not speak to him the whole night if i believe he looked at another woman
    -question him about everything!!

    you get the point. it is a painful way to live, i do not want it to be and i do not want to live this way. I say i trust the Lord, but do i? Do i even trust him with my own husband? Who is a believer and loves the Lord, he is His so why do i try so hard to make him someone i want.

    I try to figure out why i behave this way, and why i have a deep yearning need to control and snoop…
    When i was a child, my parents treated me like this, i guess i mean teenager. I often felt i had no privacy, my boyfriend and i would never be left alone, at night my dad would steal my phone and read all my messages, he would show up to where i said i was and make sure of what i was doing and if i was being honest. He would sit rows behind me and my boyfriend or friends at a movie. It was very bad. As i got older, he opened my mail, and opened my acceptance letters to college before i could. He snooped around on my finances, and i hated it.

    When i was with my last boyfriend, i did the same type of stuff compulsively. And i believe i have carried it into my marriage.

    i am worried and want this to stop. I started thinking that since my husband is not jealous, and since he doesn’t try to look at all my stuff and since he clearly doesn’t obsess about what i am doing, or question me about anything he must not love me as much or the same way i do him, for some reason i am associating jealous and unhealthy behavior to mean love, but then i meditated on this verse…

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Every single thing describes my husband. It describes my God. It does not describe me. I even started to wonder suspiciously why my husband forgives me so easily and so quickly… has he done something that if i find out about in the future he will need to make sure he stores up enough forgiveness towards me to make sure i forgive him? He must be doing something terrible or already done something (this is how awful my brain works…) I still can’t say that i fully believe that is a crazy statement and that its not true….

    I believe i need to repent, and rely on God and pray he change me, but i feel i have done that before and nothing changes, is there anything else i can do besides read blogs, books, and pray? I try to change so badly but what am i doing wrong 🙁 ?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this long post, i just hope someone can help me, i truly want to change. I really am hurting.

    God bless you all

    1. Jordan,

      Wow! You explained your thoughts and behavior so clearly. I wonder if you might allow me to quote any of this in a post? It is so well written and well-thought out.

      I believe you are in the right place, my sister! And I can already catch a glimpse of why you may be acting like this. Of course, the deepest reason any of us do these things is our sinful nature, when we are powered by the flesh. But there are also warped ways of thinking and poor examples we experience growing up that teach us and program us about what is “normal” and what love is.

      You have a lot of things to unlearn, like we all do. I would love to walk beside you for the baby steps of this journey and point you to Christ, His truth, and His healing.

      You are not able to change yourself. But Jesus is totally able to heal and transform you. It is the process of sanctification that happens as we totally yield control to Him as Lord. We are all in process for our entire lifetimes on this earth.

      Much love to you!!

      1. Thank you for your response April, it really gives me hope!!
        Yes please use whatever you’d like. I am going to research sanctification, and am very interested in what exactly it is I need to unlearn. I know I need God so badly on this one. I pray he be with me every step of the way.

      2. Jordan,
        Let me add – none of us had perfect parents, and sometimes we may have misunderstood even good examples. So we all have healing to do from childhood misunderstandings and warped thinking. You are not alone in that! I had very good parents, and I still had to tear out so much and start over with the truth of God’s Word. We all do!

  19. I have been reading your blogs with great interest, and I have found alot of problems that are within myself as a wife through them. However, I keep stumbling on a little snag when it comes to my marriage. Your phrase above that stated “If your husband is involved in unrepentant sin, is abusive, is a compulsive liar, or is not in his right mind for some reason, perhaps you can’t believe your husband and this post may not be a good fit for you.”
    My husband is not abusive but he is a compulsive liar and has many narcissistic traits (not labeling him, but is the easiest way to sum it up). Since this story said that the post may not be a good fit for this type of situation, I was wondering if you could direct me to what would be a good fit. I am at my wits end 🙁

    1. The Overwhelmed Wife,

      I wonder if might be helpful?

      If you want to talk a bit more about things, I’m glad to talk with you, as well. But that blog has some posts about emotionally abusive or destructive relationships that may be a blessing.

      How is your walk with Christ going, my dear sister?
      Sending you the biggest hug!

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