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Things Got Worse at First When I Began to Change – by The Restored Wife

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The Restored Wife Shares some of the most difficult parts of her journey with us (by the way, her husband’s response is pretty common):

When I started this journey, I had no idea how to be respectful or submissive – our biggest issue at that time was the way both of us reacted any time there was a disagreement or conflict. Things had been the same for so long, neither of us knew how to imagine a world where we didn’t argue.

What really stopped me in my tracks was a term from my previous career as a therapist – “unconditional positive regard.”

That means I treated my therapy clients in a positive manner no matter what I might think about them personally (or their actions). I was very ashamed one day to realize I did that for complete strangers with no problem, but didn’t do the same for my husband! I was failing at the Golden Rule, the most simple way to treat other people, and it really upset me that a small child could do better than I had done.

I started thinking about the things my husband and I argued about – almost always the tiny, insignificant day-to-day things – and how I’d react if a guest in our home did the same things my husband did. For instance, my husband seems to have an “allergy” when it comes to replacing the toilet paper on the roll. It used to drive me crazy! When I asked myself what I would do if a guest used the last of the toilet paper and didn’t replace the roll, I thought, “I’d just replace it and not say anything at all.” So that’s what I did! I had to go back to basics and consciously treat my husband the way I would treat someone else, because my disrespect for him had seeped into every part of my brain and I didn’t know another way to stop it.

Doing this actually made things worse for awhile because I found that, when I wasn’t nagging or pushing to get my way, I really didn’t have a lot to say about anything! It was very eye-opening. My husband had no idea how to react. Often he would go out of his way to do things he knew would upset me – he says now he was in total disbelief that I had changed, so he put me in situations where he thought the “real me” would come out. He knew how to deal with the arguments but not with the silence.

I remember many, many moments when I shut the bathroom door, cried quietly for a few minutes while I prayed, then wiped my eyes and went about my day. It was HARD to sit back and remain silent while my husband was angry and seemed determined to push all my buttons. Sometimes I would get so emotional I couldn’t think about the mission I was on; I would bite back and a fight would follow. This was good for me in a way because I began to see how MY reactions fueled his – the only way to make it stop was for me to control my own reactions and words.

We spent the better part of a year doing this dance… I would try to treat him like I would treat an acquaintance to force myself to be polite and respectful. He was angry, sometimes downright rude, and sarcastic. In the moments I lost control of myself and acted like I did in the past, he seemed almost triumphant, like he was saying “See, I told you nothing has changed!” I would retreat and pray and read my Bible. Rinse and repeat. I thought it would be that way forever and I had to make peace with it.

I told God, “If this is as good as things ever get, I’ll keep going. Not my way but yours!”

Slowly, my husband began to soften toward me. I can’t emphasize how slowly this change took placeI thought I would lose my mind.

  • It became more natural for me to respect and I didn’t have to pretend my husband was a guest in our home anymore.
  • He stopped trying to provoke me as he realized it seldom worked.
  • He had to learn to deal with the “new me” and respond to my respect instead of my disrespect.
  • It was a learning process for both of us!

As April mentioned, doing this alone is impossible. I leaned heavily on God to give me wisdom, patience, and to remind me why I was going through this valley in my marriage. I prayed to be reminded of my own sins against my husband when I was tempted to focus on his sins against me, and it worked! Every time my mind would think, “Look what he did. He doesn’t even care about you,” I would be flooded by memories of moments when I didn’t act like I cared about him. It was very humbling and refining to finally see all the things I had done wrong.

Stopping the cycle is so difficult but it’s possible! I’m the last person I ever expected to be posting on a site like this, talking about learning to submit to my husband, but our lives have been changed for the better. I pray the same for you and your marriage!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This is a pretty common pattern. The wife begins to change. The husband can’t believe it and is confused. He pushes to try to get her to go back to the “old familiar destructive dance” because change is scary for a lot of husbands, even good change. Husbands sometimes think that if their wives slip at all, it means they aren’t really changing, even though we really are making progress at times. They are afraid to get their hopes up, afraid that things will never get better. They are afraid their wives might be manipulating them or that this will be a temporary phase that won’t last. It can take a LONG time for many husbands to truly feel respected and safe and like these changes are for real.

I had a similar experience. Greg didn’t attack me. But he stayed very distant and unplugged, watching to see if this was for real. It was a very slow journey of progress. From my perspective, the progress was often imperceptible. But after 3.5 years into this journey, Greg began to truly feel safe with me again. Of course, I had no clue what I was doing the first 2.5 years. It took years for me to get rid of all of the unintentional disrespect and for me to understand what respect even looked like to Greg.  That is why I cherish this ministry and the camaraderie we have here so much. My prayer is that my experiences and the experiences of other women might be a blessing and a help to others as they struggle, wrestle, and seek Christ above all else in their hearts.

RELATED:

“I’m Trying to Respect and Submit – and My Husband Is Being More Unloving Than Ever. What Is Going On!?!?”

Why Isn’t My Husband More Supportive of Me As I Seek to Change?

A Husband Answers – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

A Divorce and Reconciliation Story – by The Restored Wife

“I Will Not Be a ‘Second Class Citizen'” – by The Restored Wife

 

505 thoughts on “Things Got Worse at First When I Began to Change – by The Restored Wife

  1. April, I have been struggling so much over this last month or so, and this is exactly where I am. I feel myself going back to the “silent phase” after finding my voice a bit. But the line about arguing over little things and treating the husband like a guest in the home, is exactly the answer I needed and have been praying for! I was feeling at the end of my rope and ready to throw in the towel, but Got kept shutting my mouth…literally, I would open it to say “I’m done”, and I would shut it and hear “not yet”. I keep reminding myself to let go and let God, and to run my race sticking close to God. This has been the hardest phase of keeping faith I have endured yet! Thank you so much for this timely post! I can tell how God uses this ministry to reach His children.

    I pray that God guides you in your book dealings and prayers this month. His way is always best. My love to you, my sister! Thank you again!

    1. LMSdaily115,

      I am so glad you are seeking Christ above all else. I pray He will give you ears to hear and His Spirit’s power to obey, my precious sister! How I praise God that He is using this to bless and encourage you. I’m so thankful we can share so many stories together and strengthen and sharpen each other.

      Thank you for your prayers! I am praying for you, too! 🙂

    2. LMS, God has used this blog AMAZINGLY in my life also, with specific blog posts occurring at specific times that I specifically needed. I am in awe of the way God works even through a blog post from the other side of the world! I am glad this post has spoken to you!! How may I pray for you tonight LMS?

      HH

      1. Thank you HH!
        How blessed we are to have the Lord, with us.
        What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31 KJV)
        Praised be His Holy Name, HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!

      2. HH, thank you for caring. I could use some prayers to have God show me my next onion layer to peel away. I feel He is trying to teach me something, and I am not quite comprehending. I ask for prayers that I can get back into joy, and not fear and worry over my marriage again. I pray that I can continue to reach out and help others through my own pain and keep seeking God and just rest in His divine plan for me. I pray for strength and to be lifted out of my wallowing self pity. I need prayers to help me not be so easily offended and to see the goid in my husband, not dwell on all his sins and to be able to forgive him daily, hourly or by the minute. I pray that I don’t let my own fears about my kids’feelings spill over and cause me to sin because I am trying fearing imperfection.

        I know what I need to do, but can’t seem to feel it so much right now. I was in pure joy in spite of my situation for a good 4-5 months, then it slipped out, not sure how or why. I know things are not as bad as I think, but I feel fear that something is lurking around the corner and I feel totally unprepared.

        I pray for you, HH, that God works in the heart of your wife and also brings you through all your onion layers and you can rest in His arms for a while as you gather strength. I pray that you can start to see the narrow path, a step at a time and ferl confidant that you know how God’s way is your true compass. I would love to pray specifically for you as well, please tell me how I can. Your sister in Christ.

        1. LMS. I am going to pray for you right now. I will read through your comment and pray about your specific requests one by one.

          For me please pray that the Lord would help me to overcome fear. There are some giants in front of me that I feel ill equipped to fight. Your brother in Christ. HH

        2. LMS,
          As I read your comment response, a lightbulb went off in my heart, as this is exactly what God has taught me just recently, within the past few weeks…I was in exactly your shoes, having had joy for a few months, then slipped out…and here is what God showed me was the reason: I put my husband back up as an idol!! (Re-reading April’s blogposts about idolatry greatly assisted in me seeing what was going on in my heart as well!)

          It was literally this. I turned from focusing solely on JESUS, and relying on JESUS to satisfy my heart, and turned to EXPECTING my HUSBAND to be/do/say/think what I WANTED to make me “happy”!

          When God showed me that it was simply idolatry, I was in Awe of His power to open my blinded eyes, and in Awe of His mercy and GRACE!!!!

          I will share this very very helpful blogpost that seriously had my mouth hanging down when God lead me to it a few weeks ago, as I believe it will speak mightily to you in this time, Sister!

          http://livingbyfaithblog.com/faith-and-heart-satisfaction

          Fear comes in when we turn the eyes of our hearts away from JESUS and place them on our husbands, our self, controlling things, trusting in other people or things to SATISFY us and bring us hope/joy/peace, etc.

          Nothing and no one will EVER satisfy us, except the Lord Jesus Christ!!!!! I pray you will be blessed by this blogpost!

          Blessings,
          Amanda

          1. Amanda. Wow. You really opened my eyes here. I prayed about it for the weekend to be sure, but I knew as soon as I read your comment. You are right. I let that one hug from my husband break the dam. I immediately took it as a sign that my marriage was okay again. It’s not. It may never be. But God is here and He needs to be first in my life. I have been trying to be patient and rest. But I am restless. I want this “better than ever” marriage I see so much of and I am impatient for it. So I try to move things along and tell my h what he needs to do, how to think and “sell” him God. He’s not buying it. He’s not in the market for it. I am. I see his need, but he does not. I need to run my own race and just follow God. Thank you. I thought I was done with the marriage=idol over God thing. I guess I will need to always be on guard for it. Sneaky devil. I guess I figured I could outsmart satan. But I am I’ll equipped to do that. Only God can.

          2. LMS,
            Wow! Praise God that He has spoken to your heart! When he opened my eyes to this same thing, I can see now that it is seriously the most BLATANT way we as wives turn from solely worshipping JESUS and start wreaking havoc in our lives! It is SO EASY, and SO SUBTLE when we turn our hearts onto our husbands. It took a few weeks for God to reveal it to me, after I had realized it was this exact issue. We become SO BLINDED by our idols, we don’t understand why we feel so joyless, so empty, so hurt. It is a process! 🙂 I am so glad you have turned back to the Lover of your soul, and that you are seeking your satisfaction in Christ alone. I can imagine as you are filled to overflowing with His love and joy, your husband will notice. And even if he doesn’t, perhaps over time it could be. God’s ears are tuned into the prayers of the righteous, and when we have Jesus on the throne of our hearts, and we are abiding in Him, His word says that what we ask according to the will of God we shall have because God loves us, just as He loved Jesus!!!! That is GREAT news!!!!!!!!! I am so happy for you and excited to see God do a real work in your heart, and God willing, in your husbands!

            The main thing that helped me to stay solely focused on Jesus was that I wrote down every emotion that made me feel not good (anger, bitter, unloved, etc.) and then I made another column, and wrote what happened when I felt that way ( my husband didn’t talk to me, or he went to bed early, etc), then in another column, I wrote down what my motivation was (wanting my husband’s attention)………

            God showed me after I did this that the motivation column was what IS DIRECTLY IN COMPETITION WITH JESUS IN MY HEART!!!!!

            -wanting my husband’s attention
            -wanting him to make me feel loved
            -wanting to be noticed

            the list could go on and on………..

            God showed me that these motivations were what I WAS TRUSTING TO SATISFY MY HEART!

            Once I realized these motivations that were in competiton with Christ in my heart, I turned from them all, and trusted in JESUS ALONE to satisfy me, for the motivation to GLORIFY HIM! And ever since, I have been able to actively take my thoughts captive and stay focused on the One who is worthy!!!! God has kept me abiding, and I am so grateful!

            I pray all of us will experience this joyful, restful freedom in Christ!

            Love,
            Amanda

          3. OOh!! THIS IS AWESOME! I would love to share this, Amanda. I like this exercise and I think it may be a great blessing to many other ladies, as well. 🙂

          4. April,
            Yes!!! I believe I got the idea from something I read of yours, I can’t remember which post! But i’m sure it was from you, lol.

            It really helped me to see what exactly I was TRUSTING IN to satisfy my heart—– and it showed me exactly what was in direct competition with JESUS on the throne of my heart!!!!

            Oh how I pray that all will see this, really see it! It is life changing!!!!!

            Love,
            Amanda

          5. April,
            Here are some examples out of my journal that I used for this process of identifying:

            What happened/root of negative feeling:
            -Being told No
            -Not able to control
            -Being sinned against

            Negative Emotion felt:
            -Anger
            -rage
            -bitterness
            -resentment

            Motives/what i’m trusting to satisfy/what is in direct competition with God in my heart:
            -Wanting to get my own way
            -wanting to control
            -wanting to be treated “right”
            -Needing my husband vs. wanting Him

            What happened/root:
            -Being ignored
            -sexual rejection
            -Being put on the back burner for n/e thing or n/e one else
            -when everything is on my husband’s “terms”
            -my feelings are heard/considered

            Negative emotions:
            -rejection
            -unwanted
            -unloved
            -lonely

            Motives/competitors:
            -Wanting husbands attention
            -wanting husband to give me affection and all his time
            -Wanting to be loved unconditionally the way I want it
            -wanting emotional connection
            -wanting to change husband

            What happened/root:
            -Did not get any thank you’s
            -No one noticing what I do for them

            Negative emotion:
            -unappreciated
            -used

            Motive/competitor:
            -doing all I do to earn love and appreciation
            -to be noticed
            -verbal affirmation

            What happened/root:
            -Criticisms
            -judgments
            -negative comments

            Negative emotion:
            -that I am not good enough

            -Motivation/competitors:
            -To be perfect to earn love and affection
            -Trying my best to be different in hopes of receiving love and credit

            God Bless!!!

          6. Amanda,

            Would you consider allowing me to use this and to modify it a bit as I write a chapter on taking our thoughts captive for my second book, please?

            LOVE THIS SO MUCH!

          7. P.S April, I retraced my steps and it was your comment from our convo in the “how do i know if i belong to Christ” post 🙂 You suggested I write it all out and ask God to reveal any motives! 🙂 Thank you!

          8. This is amazing and helpful.

            Sister, we all have our needs that have to be met but when we forget from whence cometh our strength, that is when we fail.

            Psalm 121King James Version (KJV)

            121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.

            2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

            3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.

            Let us rest in His strength!

            2 Corinthians 12:9King James Version (KJV)

            9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

            PRAISE THE LORD!!!

          9. LMSdaily115,

            There will always be the temptation to make our husbands, ourselves, our marriages, etc… into an idol again. We must guard against that. I still know that I can’t read about “what godly husbands should do.” If I start thinking about my needs too much, I get in trouble. Or if I start focusing on what Greg “should” do, I get in trouble. If I start building a bunch of unrealistic expectations, I will get myself into trouble. I can’t read stuff for husbands about how to love their wives. Nope. I just can’t go there. I don’t need to watch romantic movies or read romantic novels, even Christian ones. As soon as I realize I am feeling disappointed in Greg or resentful – with the first thought of that kind of thing, I want to take it to God and ask Him to help me look at my motives.

            It is fine to ask for what I need. And I do many times. But if I focus a lot on my needs, I can slip and fall. It is easy to start erecting a bunch of expectations (premeditated resentment) again. I do best when I focus just on what God asks me to do, personally.

            Much love!

    3. LMS, have been thinking about you. Glad to hear from you.

      I’m just going to be honest. I am scared.to.death that I am going to be right here 2 years from now with no change. Your story, quite frankly, scares me because I see so much similarity between our circumstances. Actually, I’m also scared that this will be the state of my marriage for the rest of our lives together. I know God can change it, but I also know that He hasn’t promised us roses and butterflies in our lives. This is the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.

      I am tired of being in limbo. I believe with all my heart that there is something hidden in our marriage and have felt that way for years. The feeling has only increased with recent events of him lying about various things and not even denials from my husband when I have said that I feel he is hiding things from me. At one time, he even said something to the effect of “You want to know everything? I’ll tell you everything….” But he never did.

      I am desperately wanting to just know, but then am also feeling guilty for not being able to trust God in this right now. This morning, I was crying in my car and felt God say in my spirit “Do you trust me in this? Even in the timing?” And, yes, I do. I know His ways are best. I know His timing will be best. But, I feel like I’ve been in this state of limbo for so long….I want to know what the truth is, I want to know the reality of what I’m dealing with. I want to know if it’s mild or horrible….I just want to know.

      My husband is pulling back from our kids, it’s breaking my heart. I feel he is drowning in shame and guilt. How do I help him while not trying to save him from those feelings that very well could drive him to Christ?

      Please pray for me, please pray that things will be brought into the light.

      1. CIC,

        I don’t know what your husband may be hiding. I can certainly understand that would create fear in a wife. Let’s pray together that God will bring everything to light and that He will give you the wisdom, power, and strength to do what He desires you to do.

        Do you believe it could be time to reach out for an experienced, godly counselor who might be able to walk with you through this?

        I pray God will give you wisdom about what to say and how to extend hope to him. I pray for wisdom about when and if to set boundaries vs. when to wait and continue to pray. I believe you can let him know you are a safe place for him to share and that you want to see the marriage be healed and see him be healed. You certainly don’t have to condone sin or approve sin in order to be willing to hear his heart, his pain, his concerns, and his confession, if he is willing to share.

        Sending you a huge hug!

        1. We are in counseling together. And, I also have some godly friends who are counseling me and have been invaluable to me during this time. It’s good to hear from the counselor that I don’t have to automatically trust him and I am allowed feel that way, that there’s nothing wrong with that. For so many years, I’ve gotten blamed for feeling that way, even though there have been valid reasons that have created the distrust. It’s good for both of us to hear that.

          There is so much God has to teach me about boundaries and only taking responsibility for my sin. It’s good for me to be reminded that I don’t have to condone or approve sin in order to be willing to hear his heart. I have tiptoed around his sin and bad habits for far too long in this marriage, so scared to say anything that would make him withdraw his love and affection from me. God is definitely working with me on that area and I know it will be a delicate balance of showing respect while not shying away from some conversations that need to be had.

          I have drawn some boundaries for something coming up in our summer plans and that feels good!!! I’ve never done this before – I’ve never known it was o.k. I still wrestle with it, to be honest. I really, really wrestle with it. I’ve been a doormat and still really struggle with what submitting in everything looks like. It’s probably something I need to talk to a counselor about. One thing I’m thinking is that there is nothing wrong with saying “I’d like to_____” and then if he says “No, I want you to do this instead”, then I submit (as long as it’s not sin). But, there is nothing wrong with me saying what I’d like to do – and most of the time he is fine with it – even if he’d rather me do the other thing. Does that make sense?

          I’m reading one of Laura Doyle’s books again, too, so I think that will be helpful. One thing that I’m really thinking through with the book is the idea of speaking our desires but letting go of the outcome. Not expecting anything from the expression of the desire, but just saying it. I don’t think I’m there yet! 🙂

          1. CIC,
            Of course you can share what you desire, feel, need, and think. That is your responsibility. It is what Christ wants from His church, His bride. Intimacy. Open communication. Real trust. Real oneness. Authenticity.

            I’m so glad you are learning not to be a doormat. That is wonderful! It is good to share yourself with your husband and to bring all of yourself – your new self in Christ – into the relationship.

            I love what you are learning in Doyle’s book, too.

            Much love to you!

          2. ContentinChrist,
            When I first started counseling, I literally had to learn the same thing! And after re-reading “Boundaries in Marriage”, I had a very clear picture as to how I was to separate my own emotions from my husbands. I also realized that if there were issues in our marriage, then I could proactively own my side of it, and control my side, which is myself, and set limits on my OWN behavior. As much as I believed that my husbands sin was my fault, I had to learn to separate his choices from myself, and see that when my husband is emotional or angry, it is because he is choosing that, and I really can’t change it. Only he can! The only thing I can do in that situation is to remove myself from his presence (my setting limits on my OWN behavior)!

            I am so happy you are both going to counseling!!! I believe God is working in your heart and your marriage, all to His glory!!!! AMEN!!

            Love,
            Amanda

      2. ContentinChrist,

        I am seeing something here, and I would love to hear your feedback as I believe you know much about it—–when I read your replies I feel as though God has been preparing you for some time…preparing your heart!

        Isn’t it something, when we see, looking back, God’s hand in EVERYTHING? and ALL for His Glory?

        I want to share something with you and I pray it blesses your heart in this uncertain time.

        8 years ago, I was a 21 year old college girl with absolutely no idea what I was living for, except to “feel” good. I tried it ALL—- and nothing ever satisfied me. I had been dating my highschool boyfriend on and off for about 5 years at this point…..and I had gone to visit him before his deployment over seas (military)….and that is when I became pregnant with my precious son. His father was away for 6 months over seas, and by the time he came back to the states, he had already found a new girlfriend who he very shortly married thereafter. At this point in my life, everything had fallen apart. I lost my freedom, I lost my friends, I lost going to college, I lost everything. And I ended up having to move back home with parents, as I was not ready to face such a life change on my own.

        And I was devastated. ALONE. rejected. totally hopeless. But GOD HIMSELF brought me to that place for a MUCH greater purpose. At home, I was there with my mom, who is a Christian, and she would constantly talk about God, and gave me the perspective from His eyes…..

        About 2 years later, God started opening my eyes and drawing me in more and more. And I was hooked, as soon as I saw HIM in my heart, I was done with everything else. That is where my journey began with Our Lord. And not long after, He gave me the most LIFE CHANGING REVELATION I have yet to have in my life:

        HE DID NOT ALLOW ME TO MARRY MY SON’S FATHER IN HIS SOVEREIGNTY BECAUSE HE WAS SAVING ME FROM A HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE LIFE THAT AWAITED ME IF I MARRIED THIS MAN.

        God SOVEREIGNLY saved me from MYSELF! He saved me from marrying a man that would not have honored our marriage, would not have treated me right, would not have been a father figure to our son…..(I do not wish to “bash” him, so you get the point 🙂 )

        However, years down the road, I know now how my life would have turned out had God not have SOVEREIGNLY saved me from marrying him. I certainly would not be here right now typing this to you, Sister!

        Point of the story is: We do not know at the time WHY God allows certain things………the most DEVASTATING things……… and we may NEVER know until Heaven when His Glory is revealed…….. But we can be sure of ONE thing———HE knows and has VERY good reason WHY these things happen and we can TRUST Him completely!

        Everytime I look back and see how GOD saved me, WHEN I WAS YET DEAD IN MY SINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am in total AWE! I can’t believe it. I am so grateful, He is so good. He is so in control. My heart melts as I think on His Love. What Grace!

        When we rest in His Sovereignty, the world watches as we REACT to what the Lord allows in our lives—especially the most tragic of things—-eyes are watching……and when we REACT with JOYFULNESS and TRUST in God——He is totally GLORIFIED!!!!

        Keep your eyes on Him sister, He has a plan, and He will NOT allow you to be tempted above what you can bare——–He is working all things for your good, because you love Him. And He has said that you will not be put to shame if you put your trust in Him.

        Blessings,
        Amanda

        1. Thank you, Amanda! Yes, God’s sovereignty is one of the most precious truths to me and it is what keeps me hanging on in days like these. I really do know and trust that He has a plan, a good plan, in this. Sometimes, I’m trusting better, sometimes, I get tripped up on the part of not knowing WHAT He has planned. But, I know that He is pleased with our faith. And, I believe He is pleased with our faith in His goodness. I think what grieves His heart is when His children are going through trial and they complain against Him as if His heart is evil towards them. But, He’s pleased I’ when we suffer and still believe that He is good and His heart is kind toward us.

          Here’s one of my favorite “sovereignty of God” stories in my own life. I went through a period of time years ago where I was despondent that I had not married my high school boyfriend. He is a Christian and we had moved back into my hometown and I kept running into him everywhere. I started imagining what life would have been like if I had stayed with him. I’d have a Christian husband, a Christian family, etc. One day, the thought hit me like a lightning bolt. If I had married him, I would have kept playing along in my hypocrisy of pretending to be a Christian. I had grown up in a Christian home and knew all the right ways to pretend to be a Christian – I knew theology, I knew the right answers. But, I wasn’t a born again believer. It was all head knowledge. I ended up marrying my husband and then got saved about 12 years after I married him. God showed me that I would have kept on pretending and may never have experienced the need for a Savior that I did experience. I rebelled and engaged in a serious sin that, I believe, was a critical factor in driving me to Christ. But, I would have played the part of a good “Christian” if I had married this other guy and might have sat in a church pew faking it all my life. Immediately after that, I went to my car and heard the song “Bless the Broken Road” by Selah and that has become my song to God. He blessed the broken road of my life and it led me straight to Him. I can also see so many other blessings of being married to my husband – he balances me (I would have been an extremely unbalanced Christian mother if it weren’t for him, I believe, and would have insisted on some pretty strict standards that probably would have repelled my kids from wanting anything to do with God.)

          Anyway, had to share that story with you! And thanks for sharing yours! I’m so glad God rescued you from what you thought you wanted. 🙂

          1. ContentinChrist,
            WOW IS RIGHT! Thank you for sharing this Sovereignty of God Story!!! I love it, and I am never ceased to be amazed at His Power!!!! We are safe because He loves us!! And you have just confirmed something I just learned!! that yes, He is so grieved when we do not trust in His goodness!! He is faithful–and when we look back, all we will EVER see is His faithfulness to us! HALLELUJAH!!!

            Love,
            Amanda

      3. My husband did a lot of suspicious-looking kinds of things to avoid being questioned by me to avoid feeling like I was controlling. He pulled away from the kids because I went against him in even the littlest ways around them. Most of the time he would let me run the show and stay silent and refuse to go anywhere with us. Even 3 years into this journey I have to stop myself from interrupting his conversations with them.

        Even though my husband is already a Christian, I can be reminded of the Scripture that he can be ‘won without a word’, it takes the pressure off of me to say what I would think would be the most persuasive thing to say. God has your back no matter what.

        There are big changes happening in both of you even if he doesn’t see it in you, or you in him. Don’t be deceived, you may feel like you are in limbo and can’t stand it anymore right before a big breakthrough.

        A lot of times I feel like my husband doesn’t love me and I realize that I am definitely not being loving. Sometimes I don’t believe he loves me when he IS being loving. Sometimes I just have to admit to God and myself that I am bitter, angry and mean. I ask for God to change me and take steps towards change, but I don’t feel it right away. I know I have to rely on God desperately because things can get really bad in less than 5 minutes. I refuse to engage in an arguement or start an arguement anymore.

        I will pray that hidden things would be revealed, but your husband belongs to God and some of those things will be between him and God. I have found that I have plenty of my own issues to take care of. God bless you, I will pray. Try to stay in this moment. Try to show all the love you can just for today with no memory of the past. If God has put our sins as far as the east is from the west, we can do that for our partners. Just try to love your husband with no words no past or future, just in the moment.

        1. Thank you, daughter, for your words and comment. Very encouraging. I think your statement that “your husband belongs to God and some of those things will be between him and God” is very true. I know that there is an element to this “knowing” that I think I need that I need to let go of. Honestly, my trust for him was so little a few weeks ago that I took steps to ease my mind that I never thought I’d have to take in my marriage (too much detail to share here on a public forum). In the past week, communication has opened up a little bit between us and my husband has assured me that he is totally devoted to me and isn’t hiding anything, so I am fighting to choose to believe that right now. Maybe I am naïve, but in some way, I actually do believe him. I really do think some of my husband’s lies stem from the idea that if he had to tell the truth on some of them, it would mean admitting to me and to himself that he is capable of sinning and failing, too. I’ve known that for a while and it does help me, but on the other end….it can certainly start to create a bunch of unnecessary distrust.

          I like believing that there are big changes happening in both of us. I do believe that…some days. I do believe that a big part of what is happening is God “un-enmeshing” us from each other and that will be painful for not just me, but him, too. Mostly, this is the painful process of him not being my idol. I guess I just keep thinking the work should be done, but it feels like it’s only just beginning!!! I have said that so many times on this journey and on this blog…that I think I’ve made progress and then all of a sudden, I’m in a new place and it feels like I’m just beginning all over again! I wonder if anyone else has felt the same way? Well, regardless, it’s how I feel. 🙂

          Yes, I do like the verse about winning him without a word. It gives me a lot of hope and reminds me that I am no changer of hearts. 🙂

          I relate to a lot of your comment, thank you for sharing with me.

          1. CIC,
            There are layers and stages to this journey. It is a LONG process. I love what God is doing in your life! Thank you so much for sharing, I am praying for you!

          2. Layers, steps, stages, u-turns, reversals, falls and all kinds of things that help us to see that God reigns over all, is Sovereign. He is watching us take our baby steps and waiting for us drop the presence that we are in control: that comes from pride, feeling not in control as a child, and other reasons that come to pride in the end. We are His children, how blessed are we? Praise His Holy Name!

            Perfectionism and pride, REALLY, WE THINK THAT WE GET ON THAT POTTER’S WHEEL?

            Uppercase for emphasis. The aroma ce of that idea.

            We must open ourselves to Our Father’s Will, and let Him change us.

            That is our walk with Jesus!

            What is good for a season, will change, do we wear our woollies in winter?

            At one point, was Our Father, like our father?

            Just as husbands can’t change wives, men get used to the fact that we cannot mold our wives to be just as we want them. In deed, nor should we, they are submissive to the One who is Lord and Savior over us, Jesus Christ.

            That does not mean that women are the same as men!

            Femininity, is a beautiful thing, a woman who wishes to be considered equal and the same as a man is not beautiful, it is ugly.

            Thank you April for your ministry, and thank you for letting me share in it and with it.

            Your brother in Jesus!

          3. Sister April,

            Let us all pray that this ministry of all these Godly people, will grow ever stronger and become the church of the whole world.
            The internet can be the instrument of redemption!!!

            HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!!!

          4. You are welcome, I have been on this journey for 3 years now and I also feel like I am at the beginning of it most of the time. Just lately I have been listening to my husband’s feelings and I say my reply to God and cry and last night he said some things I needed to hear without saying anything. I think our strong romantic men have issues they can’t deal with or get over because we won’t listen to them and it is hard to listen. If I hear something that isn’t quite fair I try to ask questions so I’m not misunderstanding anything and I stop the conversation when I start getting overwhelmed. I still do so many things wrong but I have promised to be humbless about my mistakes, not perfect in every way. Yesterday I had to stop all thoughts in my head and get back to the moment. I can be thankful in the moment. I can love in the moment. I can obey God in the moment. I can’t forgive if I live in the past and I don’t know the future. God bless you. Say a prayer for me and I will pray for you too.

          5. I believe, that feeling as if we are at the beginning of our path, is a sign that we are actually moving along.

            Indeed, there are moments every day, when we we grow unaware of that guiding hand of our Savior, on our shoulder. That is us getting in the way of Jesus, our belief/pride that we do not need Him.

            Let us always be compassionate and kind to our spouses, when we cannot take more find a kind way to move them along.

            Jesus loves us as long as we are earnest in walking with Him.

            Oh how I love Our Jesus!
            A Christian brother

          6. Daughter..thank you for reminding me to live in the moment.

            I am in tremendous pain with my marriage looking like it is at the very end. I live in fear and regret…not all the time…but the feelings come in heavy sobs. Right now I am watching my son’s baseball game..I am in my car and my husband is in his the space between us grows wider and wider each day

            When I live in the present..I can stay in hope and love that my marriage can be healed…or am I fooling myself…so hard

          7. Hope ALWAYS, Hope Always,
            There is no distance that cannot be bridged by God.
            I know the feeling of feeling a million miles away from a spouse.

            Sometimes it is simply a question of being physically near,
            Holding a hand that seems foreign,
            Opening up one’s heart so that you can listen.
            Listen not only to your heart,
            But with your heart.

            There is a cross in our heart, it divides the upper and lower chambers, horizontally and the right and the left sides vertically, we are always carrying that with us.

            Do we let what comes from outside us overwhelm us or do we impose ourselves on the world.

            Be gentle on yourself, be gentle on your husband.

            May your walk with Our Jesus be blessed more and more each day.

          8. Hope Always,

            I believe that it may soon be time to write out all of your fears and decide whether you are able and willing to trust them to God. You don’t have to live in fear anymore! Fear is not of God. My prayer is that your hope will not be that your marriage will be restored. It may be, it may not be. I don’t know – but God does! My prayer is that your hope and security and contentment will be in Christ alone. 🙂

          9. The good thing is that in the moment the evidence shows that you are still married. Also take every thought captive and when you feel the most hopeless you can question if the thoughts you are having are true. Just saying something like,”I am so glad you are here with me right now.”, can be great to say if it is genuine. There is hope for more love in your marriage. I would say that it would be God’s will that more love come to your marriage. If God is for it, who can be against it? Pray for God to block satan from attack on you as a couple. I will pray for you and for everyone on this blog.

          10. Thank you Daughter

            Are u suggesting that I say to my husband in the moment..that I am glad he is still in my life, in our home, etc? That makes sense to me.

            Today’s devotional from Rejoice Marriage Ministries is about patience…” BE PATIENT AS YOU WAIT FOR YOUR PROMISE”……I am very impatient. So..for today..my goal will be to be patient with my husband, marriage, and myself

          11. Thank you……

            I pray for you as well….just for today….just for the 24 hours ahead of us….that God blesses all of us with his super natural peace and patience.

            Hugs

          12. This is the prayer I am praying for you, Hope Always.

            Lord,
            You are
            My Hope always,
            My Faith always,
            My Love always!

            Your Love is patient and kind!
            Let me through Your Grace
            Have some of your patience.

            Let me have:
            Through Your Grace
            Patience that my Faith will grow,
            Just as the tiny seed of the
            Mustard plant.

            Your Faith, My Lord and Savior,
            Will move mountains.
            Let me through Your Grace
            Have some of your faith
            To move the mountains in my soul.

            Let my patience help me perceive,
            The smallest change,
            In all around me,
            And show gratitude even for that.

            I am your servant,
            Dearest Jesus,
            I ask for help in your Holy Name,
            Amen

            I have been speaking this imagining that I am walking in your shoes.

            I know what it is to feel lonely in a marriage.

            A Christian Brother

          13. Yes hope, as long as you can genuinely say it. It brings something good to the marriage. I have been thinking about the scripture about the wife that brings her husband good, not harm all the days of her life. I want to do this and refuse to bring nothing but good to my marriage. Of course all I want is good from my husband too. Sometimes my actions don’t go along with my words and thenjoy I have to apologize again. God is the comfort and fulfillment and anything we clutch tightly in our little hands is probably an idol. Thank God again for peace in the moment, otherwise I tend to overanalize everything and everything becomes too complicated.

          14. Daughter…I over analyze too. I get paralyzed with fear and lose all trust in God who is bigger than my problems. I make my problems bigger than God.

            I have been kissing my husband on his forhead and telling him that I love him. Because I do. tremendously. There are no strings attached and it is a genuine gesture. He doesn’t respond. He doesn’t look at me. Nothing. I asked myself why do I bother? The part of me that has hope feels that this is important to do. I make efforts to be consistent in my actions. Some days the pain of his rejection is too much and I react in my flesh. I want to use your idea and thank him for still being here even though he claims that he is done with our marriage.

            This is hard stuff.

          15. You are absolutely welcome sister, I am here to help serve Our Lord and do that in any way I can.

            Let us all help each other in His Holy Name!

            I praise Him, with my whole heart!

          16. Hope Always, the trick to not getting disappointed when your husband doesn’t respond is that you let go of expectations of that kiss on the forehead. So, if you feel God is asking you to do that for your husband, you are seeing that action as obedience to God. You are doing this for God, not your husband! Even that shift and change in the motives can help your husband receive that kiss in a different way (we don’t think things like that are noticeable by others and maybe they don’t know the real “reason” behind the change….but they still notice the change!). Does all of that make sense?

            So, if God is asking you to bless him (and ask God to show you ways to bless him right now, even in your pain), then do it for God and not for any results. And you will have joy! Regardless of your husband’s reactions or non-reactions.

            Praying for you to find your security and worth in Christ alone and that you will feel God’s comfort and presence today.

          17. Hello CiC,

            That is so beautifully said.

            We are being obedient to Jesus, and that will ultimately be a blessing for everyone in our lives, including ourselves.

            A Christian brother

          18. Hope always, maybe don’t say anything and just keep running and not growing weary and win him over without a word. It really is disheartening to be rejected, but if you can get filled up with God’s love and extend it to him then your well won’t run dry. Thanks jesuscentreoflife for your comments and encouragement.

          19. THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:1 – 12:2 AMP)

            Dear Hope Always and Daughter,
            Sisters in Jesus Christ,
            I was listening to the radio and was reminded of this.

            I thought, how appropriate it is.

            That is not chance that I heard it and took it in.

            Our Sovereign Lord, He who reigns over ALL, let me bring this to you.

            Our foot race, is a long one,

            Let us have hearts open
            And listen to His glorious Will,
            Let us strive for a patient and forgiving heart?
            In Jesus Name,
            Amen.

            A Christian brother

          20. Beautiful…..

            Thank you for sharing.

            I am really struggling with rejection tonight. It is so obvious the disdain my husband has for me. I make attempts to talk to him about planning our sons graduation party, senior prom coming up this weekend, what his plans are for next weekend….and there is silence or a curt response. I am holding on the the live Jesus has for me with all the strength I can muster.

            This race is painful. I can only pray for my husband. He is either severely depressed, completely done with our marriage…which he has said many times….and/or wrestling with something very dark

            Prayers appreciated.

          21. Hope Always,

            I am so sorry for your pain! 🙁 Sending you a huge hug!

            To me, the pain in a situation like this is a little taste of the pain God feels when we ignore and reject Him and don’t want to invest in a relationship with Him. I know that grieves His heart so deeply, too.

            Praise God you are holding onto the love of Christ. I pray you will be open to all He has for you in this time and every day for the rest of your life. There is SO much hope in Him! He will never leave you and never forsake you. And He is working all of this ultimately for your good and HIs glory.

            Lean into Christ when you are lonely. That is what I did for the years that Greg was still so shut down. When I would feel lonely, I would read, study, pray, praise God, thank God, focus on the good, ask God to change me, ask God to help me understand His ways, etc… I learned in those dark months and years to stop looking to Greg to meet my deepest emotional and spiritual needs and to find all of my contentment entirely in Christ. I am SO THANKFUL for that time now. If Greg had changed right away, I would have immediately gone right back to idolizing him and I would not know God the way I do now. That time of waiting and uncertainty and feeling unloved and rejected ended up being one of the greatest blessings of my life!

            Much love to you!

          22. Thank you April..this trial in my marriage has been a blessing because it has brought me SO CLOSE to Jesus and many wonderful people who have held me up and have allowed me to cry, sober, vent, and have taught me how to REALLY pray.

            My husband doesn’t trust me . I can’t change that. His lack of trust will ultimately end our marriage..and I pray that the Holy Spirit intervenes before that happens.

            I have had a thought..what if my husband did come back and want to reinvest in our marriage..and I go back to my old ways.? That scares me too.

            This is hard stuff and takes a very long time.

          23. Hope Always,

            I praise God for the good things He is already bringing into existence through this time of trial. 🙂

            I would love for you to not speak like the future is a done deal and your husband’s lack of trust “will ultimately end our marriage.” Yes! The Holy Spirit is not inept. He is alive and active and at work. 🙂 The last chapter has not been written. Don’t try to skip to the last page of the book. 🙂 God doesn’t let us do that!

            One day at a time, my precious sister. Let’s wait patiently and see what God will do. 🙂

            Sometimes, the fact that things move really slowly can be a great blessing in this regard. The slowness of our husbands to change and accept that we have changed forces us to have to refine our motives over and over again and to learn to do this only for God and to bless our men with no strings attached.

            Much love!

          24. April, I have a question. You said your husband remained shut down for years. You studied, read your bible and such. Was there a time you had to somewhat “ignore” him as he was growing to trust you? Did you feel totally unconnected..like dry, dead bones in your marriage? Did Greg have sin he had to deal with too? And if so, what was it and what did you do/how did you act towards him during this time? Was he open to hearing your concerns all the time, or was there a time that anything you tried to convey was shut down by his hurt and sin?

            I just wonder if you experienced these types of things in your 3.5 years of healing? Thank you in advance.

          25. Hope always and lmsdaily115, and CIC if you would like to email me we could encourage each other, and if that’s ok with you April. I am going crossed eyed trying to find the original comments. My email is daughter2lv@yahoo.com, thanks!

          26. LMSdaily115,
            Your husband’s personality and approach are really different from what Greg’s was earlier in my journey. Greg did not lash out and was not harsh. He actually forgave me right away – but remained distant and skeptical for a few years. He was emotionally and spiritually absent, unplugged, and shut down. Absolutely, I felt completely unconnected for a really long time.

            When I missed him and felt lonely, I would eventually (after a number of months – I don’t remember how long) go sit beside him if he was in bed watching TV and read, pray, and study beside him. I can’t remember exactly when this happened, but at some point, he started playing with my hair when I would sit beside him and read. He still didn’t want to talk. But that was a very encouraging sign to me. So I dropped my expectations of connection because I knew how wounded he had been and I savored what he was willing to give me and learned to feel connected to him in new ways and to receive his love from sitting beside him, his working to provide for us and from his working to fix up the house.

            I don’t recall doing much confronting in those first few years – but there was not blatant sin going on toward me during that time (other than the passivity). It was mostly just a very slow, almost imperceptible rate of healing for him as I learned to stop my disrespect (even all of the inadvertent disrespect) and stepped down so he could begin to lead. I stumbled a lot. I had no clue what I was doing! But then I would get right back up and try again and just keep seeking God and begging Him to help me understand His ways and to change me.

            If there had been blatant sin against me going on – I would have had to address that at some point, I am sure.

          27. April. Thank you for your reply. Maybe I’m just not seeing the little things because the angry, sinful backlash is so much bigger and louder. We watch a show together, but it makes me feel like the TV is just an excuse to not talk. It makes me edgy, yet I try to just enjoy the show next to him peacefully. He never seems to reject a foot rub, but sometimes, I feel like I’m just prostituting my talents to him, even though I do it to bless him. There are times when I clearly hear God asking me to scoot over next to him in bed, or kiss him goodnight or iron his shirts “even though” he is being such a stinker. I don’t feel like doing it, and I probably even talk back to God a bit too casually about how I am nonplussed about what He is asking me to do. But, I DO know I want to obey and please God. I figure that He knows something I don’t and that He must need my arms, my kiss or my hands to help love my husband through me. It flies totally against anything of this world and many of my friends and family think I am begging to be used and disrespected or becoming a doormat. They feel he will never change and I’m just asking for more pain and hurt. Maybe my husband feels that way too. But I’m not doing it for my husband, I am doing those things cause God asked me to. He asked, so I dare not ask why. I don’t need to know why. I love and trust God, therefore if He asks, I obey.

            Is it wrong to almost see my husband spiritually as a teenager? Not to treat him like a child, but to see his struggle as a teenager who is rebelling, trying to find out where he fits in, how he is a part of the world, yet unique? So much of his actions seems like a 16 year old would act. He wants to be independent and grown up, but still a child unsure and fearful. The prodigal son-type of thing, where he thinks he knows a better way, but until he comes to the end of himself, after life has spanked him a bit, will he rethink his choices. It helps me to be patient and loving towards him when I see him as a ternager. I have a 13 and 14 year old at home so, I think this will become a prominent challenge for me in the next few years. Am I being prepared by God? I know in a few years, a new season will come. Kids will be moving up and out. I have not been a mother of a 15 or 16 year old yet, so although I can ask advice, I really haven’t walked the shoes of a mother in this situation.

            I really desire a spiritually mature person in my life. I don’t want to treat my husband like a child. I did that to disastrous effect in the past, but to LOVE my husband as a spiritual teen, seems to be a matter of patience, healthy boundaries and following through on consequences. Any help from mom’s of teens would be very appreciated. What else can I expect to deal with as I navigate these rough seas?

            Much love and prayers.
            Thank you April and all.

          28. LMSDaily115,
            Let me think and pray on what you have written.

            I will say that if you will as if you feel as if you are “prostituting” yourself, that will live in how you are fulfilling your obligations.

            Perhaps, being physically close while watching a TV show is simply a beginning. Scooting closer in bed, is what you can do, he has to scoot closer too.

            Does he some people with whom he shares his frustrations, do you have any chance to hear what they are, or is simply being petulant because you are not he wants anymore?

            I am praying for you sister.

          29. I read this and thought it might be a help for you.

            http://www1.cbn.com/marriage/respect-your-husband-even-if-you-dont-think-he-deserves-it

            I believe that it is up to you to be the example, that is your submission to Our Lord, one has to grow content that time will be needed.

            Please do appreciate him for all that he does do, earlier you said that he works really hard outside the home. Maybe he feels a foot rub is his right. I will not say that is right or wrong. However, if you do not honestly and sincerely appreciate and honor him for what he does, can you expect him

          30. Jesuscentreoflife:

            Thank you for the aricle. I can take some pearls of wisdom from it.

            I have most definately changed my attitude to a respectful and honoring one. I know he NEEDS a foot rub. His language of love is touch, I suspect. I give this freely as a blessing for my husband. Even when I may be angry for the cut downs and miserable attitude of his, I try my best to respond with love, forgiveness and genuine concern.

            My issue is a bit beyond that. It feels that the more loving and respectful I am to him, he responds to it with more irritation and anger. I suspect that the less I am responding in anger, disrespect and sin, the more he is left with his own negative feelings and cannot blame me anymore. But the slightest mistake is pounced upon. This exasperates me. I know I could not do it without God, I would have thrown in the towel so long ago. But, I love my husband because God loves him.

            I have tried for so long to encourage my husband, compliment him, appreciate him daily, and I get mocked for it. It feels like getting my hand cut off. Am I making things worse? Should I stop and just focus on not responding negatively, but pull back from the compliments? It seems counterproductive, but it makes him so angry and his redone hurts, even though I don’t do it for a response from him. I do it for God. It is still hard to ignore the negative response.

            It feels like a pride thing. He tells me he doesn’t like it and I am ignoring him and acting like I know better than him and I continue to do something that to mist they would like, but he gets angry about? It is very confusing to me. It seems he WANT to be miserable and grouchy, distrustful and condemning. I have come to the conclusion that if this is how he wants to be, so be it, but I refuse to participate in it. I want to be positive and full of joy…even around this storm of negativity…it just ticks him off when I am not participating. He thinks we are too opposite. Maybe we are. I’m okay with that.

          31. Great article! These points being discussed in it arr almost the same things Laura Doyle teaches in her books and on her blog.I love her! After i read her books, especially her latest one the respect and letting go of control finally made sense to me.

            Lms, i also went through something similar with my husband last year when all of our problems started and i frantically began looking for solutions and changing. It was awful. Almost all the things you described we also went through. I can say that with time and.consistency things are getting better. But as you might remember now i have this issue with him and this thing with his coworkers…

            It seems that God’s timing and consistency on our end – no matter how painful – are the only things that eventually get through to our husbands. Especially like April said if they are severely wounded from years of disrespect and control….

          32. I suspect dear sister, that for some reason he believes that he is unworthy of love from you or Our wonderful sovereign Lord.
            I would suggest that your words are few as possible, he mocks your compliments, believe because he has it in his mind that they are insincere, you know they are and that is good enough.

            I can’t think of a biblical example except perhaps for the prodigal son before he comes back to his father. Maybe that is your note of hope that he is in among the pigs, eating the slops, metaphorically speaking, of course, at some point soon, I hope for you all; he will say, let me go back to my Heavenly Father, who will welcome me back with open arms.

            Dear sister, I pray you strength and remember the armor. For we are not perfect and the arrows of contempt for the times when you fall short and your husband strikes, these are not truly from him, they are from the enemy who has hold of his heart.

            Bless you sister!

          33. LMS, I really don’t know everything about your situation and I am sorry if any of my advice doesn’t apply. Jesuscentreoflife I would like your opinion on what I have to say in this comment. Wouldn’t you say that if a man is badly behaved he is very aware of it and if the woman should boundaries and expect to be respected. Most men want to feel that they have worked for the valueable woman they have chosen. In the drama method ebook that I got they said that when you give something of value like a foot rub, you should say you are doing it because of something you appreciate that he has done. It encourages both to continue to do good.

          34. Dear daughter,

            A while back, I received compliments from many people, I believed in my heart of hearts, they were saying these things just to mollify and humor me, but they certainly didn’t not mean it. I will admit it I was acting like a tantrum ridden 2 year old! I was aware of my bad behavior but justified it because, no one (in my sadly misinformed heart) cared for me truly.

            Young children will expect everything to go their way, when it doesn’t they will stamp, shout and howl, when they still don’t get their way, eventually they will say: OK this is this way it’s going to be. If however, when they get their way after throwing a hissy fit, they will know it will work again.

            LMS, this is also for you:

            Please listen to this when, dear sister, you have a chance.

            https://www.followingthebook.org/raf-devotional/20513dev/0521.mp3?utm_source=sat0521&utm_campaign=DAB+Jan+29&utm_medium=email

            THE ARMOR OF GOD!

            Ephesians 6:10-20King James Version (KJV)
            10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
            11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
            12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
            13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
            14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
            15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
            16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
            17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
            18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
            19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
            20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

            I am sure your husband is no fool, but perhaps there is an unwillingness to fully give up his entire life to God!

            The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7 KJV)

          35. Daughter,

            You may well be right that a husband is aware of his bad behavior. Yet a man, or a woman for that matter, will be able to justify bad behavior, for any number of reasons.

            If you look back in history and see what individuals did, even though they were aware that it was brutal, people justified and believed it was right.

            I hope that one day kindness and compassion is regarded everywhere as the best way to be. I feel much shame for the way in which I acted before I rededicated my life to Our Savior.

            Should a wife’s boundaries be respected? Absolutely! But this not always the case when someone in emotionally whole and healthy.

            A man should love and respect his wife. I believe a man loves his wife because he respects her. Without respect in a man, infidelity, fornication etc is not so hard for him to do.
            A woman should respect and love her husband. I believe a woman respects her husband because she loves him. Without love, in a woman, disrespect is a natural consequence.

            I hope that this answers your question.

            Blessings Daughter,
            Jesuscentreoflife

          36. daughter,

            I do believe a wife can ask and expect to be treated with respect in a godly, feminine, soft, unthreatening way where she is full of dignity and poise.

            I don’t talk a lot about this book, but Bob Grant’s book (I suspect he is a believer, but am not completely sure) about The Women Men Adore and Never Want to Leave has some info about how a wife can approach a husband who is mistreating her. I think his approach may work in many situations.

            Also, Rick Johnson has an interesting book that may give the ladies some insights into the male mind and heart in his book “How to Talk So Your Husband Will Listen and How to Listen so Your Husband Will Talk.” He is a believer. I love his book!

            Both of these resources helped me understand men better, in general.

            A healthy man does, in my understanding, desire to have a woman who respects herself.

            But, as always, this will ultimately require us being sensitive to God’s Spirit and His leading. 🙂

          37. I believe that that you are right about a healthy man, and yet there are so many men, and women, for that matter, who have been broken, misguided, abused, or otherwise led away from the Light of the World and what it means to be a follower of Christ. My goodness, there are self-professing Biblically “correct” Christians, who believe certain things that make no sense to me.

            Bless you, your family and your ministry,
            Jesus-centre-of-life

            Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me (Psalm 23:4 KJV)

          38. It helps to know what some of the next stages might be. A wounded bull. I’ll look out for that. It helps me understand with love. Thank you.

          39. Thank you jesuscetreoflife. That is a pretty good biblical picture. I have thought that. The still small voice is telling me to “keep loving him through it”. So. I will. It may be hard, I know I will be tested over and over. But there is no other way to live. I remember in the movie “War Room”, the wife wrote down pages of things her husband did wrong for one hour. She said she was just getting started. Then the older godly mentor asked her if God still loves her husband even though he does all these “wrong” things. She had to admit He does. I, too, know God loves my husband and is fighting for him.

            Thank you for all the encouragement. It has felt like an unexpected flood of love from everyone today and I wasn’t even expecting it. I went onto PW this morning to see who I could help, and yet, all this help from others…for me! I am blessed. We are all blessed. Thank you again and my love and prayers go back to you all today in gratitude!

          40. It is truly a pleasure and a blessing to share what I can.

            It is only through the Love of Our Savior, that I have been able to grow up and become a real man! :-))

            Blessings on your days, weeks, months and years, dear sister!

          41. LMS and April, I definitely don’t want to get it the way of any kindness that God would want you to extend to your husband. I don’t want to give bad advice or tell you what to do. God bless you and your investment in your marriage will always bring good, if not for him then for you. Be kind to yourself and take good care of yourself.

          42. Lmsdaily115…I love how you said you were going to love your husband through this. That’s how I feel. I am going to love my husband through this awful time in our marriage regardless if he takes steps to file for divorce.

            The world view tell me to divorce my husband, kick him out, or for me to leave him…but God has made it clear for me to be patient and kind to him..even when he is unkind to me.

            This is the hardest journey I have ever been on. Especially when the outcome may not be what I am praying for

            Hugs to you.

          43. Thank you jesuscentreoflife…

            I adore my husband and I have hurt him through my disrespectful behaviors throughout our marriage.

            Jesus has made me brand new through this experience. The tragic part is that my husband will miss out on the love I have for him and the life we could have together..that’s if he follows through with his threats….I am preparing myself that he will take steps to end the marriage.

            I pray that the Holy Spirit grabs ahold of him to help him see the truth and help him heal.

          44. Hope alwsys…my mind is exactly in the same space as yours. It amazes me how many people tell me to leave him, kick him out, divorce, no one will fault you (my personal favorite). I will obey God.

          45. Only doing my job as a brother! 🙂 a true pleasure! I felt rather ashamed at my memories of how I behaved Ike a spoiled little brat, aged 30+ now getting close 49. It has been a long road and in the last year or two it has so much easier since I rededicated my life to Christ.

          46. jesuscentreoflife,

            It is impossible to live in a godly way when self and the sinful nature is in control. I did the same thing for so long. 🙁 But then when God’s Spirit is in control, He radically changes us! I’m so thankful! We will still be learning and growing until we reach heaven – but we don’t have to stay where we were.

          47. Sister April,

            It is like a drop of his Golden Light, The Holy Spirit, revives out heart, cleansing it, and yet it does take us our whole new life, to loosen ourselves from the world, which is sinful.

            We are truly blessed, those of us who have been reborn, living in the Grace of our Lord: Hallelujah, praise His Holy Name!

            Amy Grant – Mountain Top

            I love to sing and I love to pray
            Worship the Lord most every day
            I go to the temple and I just want to stay
            To hide from the hustle of the world and its ways
            And I’d love to live on a mountain top
            Fellowshipping with the Lord
            I’d love to stand on a mountain top
            ‘Cause I love to feel my spirit soar
            But I’ve got to come down from that mountain top
            To the people in the valley below
            Or they’ll never know that they can go
            To the mountain of the Lord
            Now praising the Father is a good thing to do
            To worship the trinity in spirit and truth
            But if we worshiped all of the time
            There would be no one to lead the blind
            But I’d love to live on a mountain top
            Fellowshipping with the Lord
            I’d love to stand on a mountain top
            ‘Cause I love to feel my spirit soar
            But I’ve got to come down from that mountain top
            To the people in the valley below
            Or they’ll never know that they can go
            To the mountain of the Lord
            Now I am not saying that worship is wrong
            But worship is more than just singin’ a song
            It’s all that you say and everything that you do
            It’s letting his spirit live through you
            Still I’d love to live on a mountain top
            Fellowshipping with the Lord
            I’d love to stand on a mountain top
            ‘Cause I love to feel my spirit soar
            But I’ve got to come down from that mountain top
            To the people in the valley below
            Or they’ll never know that they can go
            To the mountain of the Lord

            Songwriters: BANNISTER, ELLIOTT B.

            A good reminder that we have to come down and show through our example, what it is to be a servant of the Almighty.

          48. LMSdaily115,

            It seems to me that if compliments and verbal affirmation upsets him and he says he doesn’t want it – it may be best to respect his wishes and stop those things. I think he questions your motives at this point – or, if he thinks you may be sincere, it does make him look even worse. He would probably like for you to mess up so that he can believe you haven’t changed and continue to blame you for all of the problems and not have to face his own sin. (This is my guess – of course, I don’t know his heart.)

            You can be full of joy and positivity – you do not have to be sucked into his storm.

            We have to separate ourselves spiritually and emotionally from others – especially when they are in a pit and can’t or won’t get out. Does that make sense? Otherwise, they will pull us down into the pit with them. We don’t have to go there. They can’t take anything from us that God has given to us unless we allow them to!

            Love this verse from In Christ Alone by Keith and Kristyn Getty:

            No guilt in life, no fear in death,
            This is the power of Christ in me
            From life’s first cry to final breath,
            Jesus commands my destiny
            No power of hell, no scheme of man,
            Can ever pluck me from His hand

            Till He returns or calls me home
            Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.

          49. Yes, so important to separate oneself emotionally from the vortex/pit/ black hole, that lives inside your husband’s heart at the moment. Be prepared for the time, when he is so full of remorse, guilt and shame, that he will behave like a wounded bull, he may closer than you think, but he is unready or unable to see the light around you.

          50. April and jesuscentreoflife

            This morning I sat down 2n next to him here he sleeps an held on to him and rubbed his chest. He wouldn’t look at me or touch me. He got up had a cup of coffee and left at 7:20 for Mass. His attitude was cold, snippy, and he left without saying goodbye. He does this everyday so I am use to never being said good bye too..however it hurts like heck everytime he leaves. I think this is rude and immature. He knows how much this hurts me and continues to do it anyways.

            Now I wrestle with ..should I ask him if he is repulsed by my attempts to connect with him, continue and keep my chin up, pray for his heart to soften, stop any attempts to conne t unless it has to do with our boys, confront him on his behavior..???? I am at a loss.

            We have to have a conversation because I am running out of money for my son’s graduation, I need a reliable car to drive so our budget has to change, he has made threats to leave and yet refuses to talk to me about his plans. He thinks he can make major decisions without my input.

            I am in a ton of pain right now and is the only 8:00 am..Sunday morning. Time for worship music, calling out to Jesus, reading scripture, church at 10:45.

          51. Dear sister,

            I think you need to say something like this:

            It seems as if you want to have nothing to with me, we appear unable to communicate easily about money for our son’s graduation or for me to have a reliable car. If you wish to free yourself from me, I will not go against you, I respect and love you but if that is not enough, it falls to you to make it happen.

            April, does this seem right to you? I am in a bit of time crunch also. Frankly, I think there is no time like the present and whatever he may say about your miserable timing because, the enemy always can make an excuse for anything.

            Courage my sister,
            J. Centre of Life

          52. It is rude and immature and to me seems to me as if he cannot show you affection. He apparently love his Savior more than he does you, we know as Christians that our heart is given in love to Our Lord, that does not mean in my opinion that one is allowed to be cold and irritated to the person one vowed before God to love, cherish and honor for the rest of your life.

            Sister, these will be difficult but important days coming up. I will pray for you.

          53. How do you see the upcoming days as difficult and important?

            Thank you for validating the immaturity. I don’t know what to do with it…the immaturity of my husband.

          54. I am not sure if you saw the other message I sent you earlier:

            Dear sister,

            I think you need to say something like this:

            It seems as if you want to have nothing to with me, we appear unable to communicate easily about money for our son’s graduation or for me to have a reliable car. If you wish to free yourself from me, I will not go against you, I respect and love you but if that is not enough, it falls to you to make it happen.

            April, does this seem right to you? I am in a bit of time crunch also. Frankly, I think there is no time like the present and whatever he may say about your miserable timing because, the enemy always can make an excuse for anything.

            Courage my sister,
            J. Centre of Life

            I believe that you will need to ask him to be accountable for his way of being with you.

            That is why I suggest that you say something like:
            It seems as if you want to have nothing to with me, we appear unable to communicate easily about money for our son’s graduation or for me to have a reliable car. If you wish to free yourself from me, I will not go against you, I respect and love you but if that is not enough, it falls to you to make it happen.

            In my opinion, I believe you are asking him to be accountable for his behavior, you are asking to be mature, at least in this one thing, you are giving him an ultimatum, in respectful way.

            This might be a relief for him, which even if it is, he is unlikely to show you.

            That is why I see the days ahead will be difficult and important.

            To me it is incredibly sad that you do not go to church together.

            Courage sister,
            Jesus Centre of Life

          55. Thank you so much..I did see the first response and it is a tremendous way for me to talk to him. I am curious what April thinks.

            Church is sad..he has gone back to his roots of the Catholic Church. I go by myself on Saturday nights and then again on Sunday at our original family church so that the boys can go to Sunday school. They love the youth leaders my husband won’t go back to this church. All my fault in his eyes.

            We tried to go as a family to a couple other churches and the Catholic Church..however there are no small groups or Ministries for the boys. They wanted to reconnect where they had ties since they were very young. I have attempted prayer at dinner now he is the eating with me anymore.

            The boys and I have been prayed on by prayer warriors and I have prayed and cried with them.

            My husband did join a bible study about parenting that meets one morning a week…this is good . he will not talk to me about anything. My skin boils when I hear him listen to Christian music and talk to my son’s about their worth and value in God. He sounds like such a hyprocrite.

          56. Ah yes the Catholic Church, such a wonderful institution, and yet so filled with the white washed tombs as Our Jesus described the hypocrites!
            Sister, can I make a suggestion that you simply email what you have to say. In some ways it makes it stronger but it leaves you free, not having to deal with his unpleasantness.

            Have your boys, who sound like great young men, expressed any feelings about the situation?

            Hope Always, it does sound as if you are being made into a doormat.

            Somewhere here, I read about one of the wives learning to treat her husband, as a guest in the house, as a way to bring back respect in the home. I am sure your husband would not treat any of his coworkers or other people around him as he treats you. It is much too easy for spouses to behave badly to each other, simply because they are married to each other.

            Sister, I pray for you, and now I must go and be with my wife.
            Courage,
            Jesus Centre of Life

          57. I just read your message to Bel. So much beautiful truth from you. Sister, taking time for yourself is important now, to cleanse yourself of what is toxic in your life.

            You are so brave, be in touch all you wish and I will reply as I can.

            Brother in Christ

          58. Hope Always,

            So, I just went back and read all 159 comments you have shared here since last June. I wanted to remember all of your story and get the big picture and be sure I was not forgetting anything as I respond. I want to proceed extremely prayerfully.

            Here is what I am seeing…

            (This next part may be painful – I’m SO sorry!!!!! 🙁 I know that this is going to be hard to hear. I wish I could sit with you and pray with you and cry with you. So please read the rest of this comment in private when you have some time to process. Weigh everything I say against God’s Word and against what you believe He is calling you to do.)

            ———————–

            I don’t think I am seeing “immaturity” in your husband. I am seeing a man who said he was done 2 years ago and who is still done. I think he reached his breaking point and is trying to be there for the children. But he has been clear over and over that he is not interested in saving the marriage. He originally said he was going to wait until June of 2016 to leave after your son graduated. I don’t think you are going to be able to convince him to change his mind. More words from you about that you want the marriage to be healed are probably only going to repel him right now. God can change him! But you can’t.

            God can work in him. But sometimes God’s time frame is much longer than ours. That is going to have to be okay. Are we willing to trust God for as long as it takes? And sometimes the waiting is really the most important part of the whole process. Perhaps he needs some time to himself to really begin to look at his own life and to be able to hear God’s voice again? Perhaps God knows you need some time alone to heal and grow?

            Just because he leaves does not mean “everything is over” or that your life is over! It doesn’t mean God can’t still work. And it doesn’t mean you won’t get back together eventually – like in a number of years. But it seems to me that he needs you to let him go before he can begin to move forward and get unstuck. It seems that he needs you to lay down your expectations of the marriage being healed right now before a time of separation and to stop talking to him about reconciliation. He knows you want the marriage to work. It is probably not necessary to continue to repeat that message. He knows where you stand. He has been extremely clear that he is not on board with your plan.

            The most respectful thing to do in this situation, in my view, is to hear him and respect his decision. I Corinthians 7 says that a believer is not bound in a situation where an unbeliever wants to leave. It says to let him leave if he wants to.

            Have you ever fully surrendered your husband to Christ? Have you gotten to the point where you were willing to lay him on the altar and let go and be content in Christ even if your husband leaves? I think you are probably going to have to be willing to face your biggest fear instead of trying to avoid it. I believe this is going to be key for you to be able to move forward and grow spiritually. To let go of your husband as an idol – which you have shared many, many times has been a huge issue for you (as it is for most of us).

            Here is what I would suggest that you may want to prayerfully consider…

            – Respect that he says he is done.
            – Respect that he is unwilling to invest in the marriage at all anymore. That is his choice to make. Not the choice we want him to make!! But he has the right to make that decision and to follow through with it. You want him to be there voluntarily and because he wants to be.
            – Don’t kiss him and tell him you love him if that makes him angry.
            – Give him a lot of space – as much as he needs – but not with bitterness or resentment. Give him space just to bless him and to give him room to breathe and to get his bearings.
            – Be willing to let him go peacefully with dignity and poise. Don’t freak out. Don’t try to make him stay. Yes, it will be very painful and sad – but be willing to let him go if that is what he is determined to do. You can’t make him stay. It may be a blessing to you and your sons to have him not there so there could be more peace. This is not what we want – but it is not the final chapter.
            – Trust God to work in your husband’s heart without your help and without you getting in His way. The more you try to interfere and make your husband come back, the more damage will probably be done. Let him come back when he wants to in his own timing. Even if it takes many years.
            – Continue to work on your walk with Christ and on finding contentment, peace, and joy in Christ alone. He is the only source of these things.
            – Accept that he is where he is and who he is right now and don’t try to make him change. He is an extremely wounded man emotionally and spiritually. He can’t receive good things from you right now. He has to do some healing on his own in Christ first, I believe.
            – Honor his leadership whenever possible.
            – Be gracious, cordial, respectful, and polite.
            – Don’t allow his dark spiritual place to drag you down. Separate yourself from him spiritually and emotionally. Cling to Jesus alone.
            – Ask God to help you see ways you can show respect to him.
            – Look to God to lead you and provide for you and your boys.
            – Be open to your husband and receptive if he begins to move toward you.
            – Ask God to help you see and cherish any treasures He has for you in this time of intense trial.
            – Pray for your husband’s salvation and spiritual healing.
            – Focus on being there for your children.
            – Take care of yourself.
            – Focus on allowing God to continue to heal and transform you.
            – Focus on godly friendships and other family relationships.
            – Realize God can reach him through someone else or circumstances. God is sovereign even over your husband and over you. 🙂
            – Submit fully to Christ as Lord and trust Him with absolutely everything.
            – Anticipate that God will make something beautiful from this big painful mess.
            – Praise and thank and worship God often.
            – Seek God’s will and purpose in your life. He is not done with you!
            – Rest in God’s love for you and allow His Spirit to restore your soul and fill you with His joy and peace. Your husband cannot take the gifts Jesus has given to you!

            I made this video especially for you, my precious sister. I am sending you the biggest hug!

            [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igGatkJQ38w?rel=0&w=560&h=315%5D

          59. LMSdaily115,

            If you are doing things for your husband because you are trying to please him at all costs or because you are terrified of his disapproval or of losing his love – if your motivations are fear or guilt – then you are a doormat. If your motivations are to obey Christ and bless your husband – and your motives are right – you are no one’s doormat. 🙂 Your husband and his ego isn’t the most important thing – God is the most important thing. You can’t be a doormat when you are filled with God’s Spirit and overflowing with His power and wisdom.

            Paul talks about those whose faith is weak. There is a process of spiritual maturity. We start as babies and are supposed to grow up into spiritual adulthood in the power of God’s Spirit. I think it is appropriate to recognize that your husband is battling spiritual warfare and that he is in the snares of the enemy and that his faith may be weak. I don’t know him – and I am not God – so I can’t judge his heart. I don’t know that I would try to think of him as a spiritual teenager and you as his mom. Those dynamics don’t work well in marriage. But you can think of him as a fellow traveler who is very sick and wounded or who is struggling. You can look at him as an equal who is ensnared and who is in desperate need of Christ and His healing.

            I don’t know what all you can expect. But I do know that as you abide in Christ, He will give you the wisdom and power and ability to handle things in ways that honor Him. 🙂

          60. LMSDaily,

            Oh!

            Greg has always loved to watch TV. I have always wanted to get rid of every TV in the house. When I began this journey, I didn’t see any value in sitting there silently with Greg while he watched TV. I would resent him if I felt I had to do that. That is not okay. All resentment and bitterness has to go!

            Now, I know that men – including Greg – bond without words by just being in the same room together, even watching TV. I learned to do this, to sit with Greg, just to bless him. I would sometimes read and study beside him. But I learned to receive this as a way we can bond together and build up and bless our marriage – even if there is no talking involved. Of course, once he felt more safe with me again, now we have lots of conversations many times, too, as he is watching TV. It is now a win/win. 🙂

          61. Hope Always,

            This a hard situation to live with.

            Please know that I am praying for you, and your husband.
            He also needs care, even if it seems as though he wants nothIng to do with you.

            Yes lean into Jesus.

            If there was a reason furor your husband not to trust you, this also seems to me like his punishment for you.

            Is there any way that you can give him control over the party and prom arrangements?

            Are there family members that he can trust to help with these events?

            Your being close to Jesu, is to me the only and ultimate way to save your marriage.

            I am praying for you,

            A Christian brother

          62. Thank u for your response. We do not have any family close by. I have friends that I can ask for help.
            I do plan on asking my husband this weekend if he has any money to contribute. I am running out of funds..You are one of many who have said to me that my husband is punishing me by the way that he treats me.

            I have decided to do what I can for the prom and graduation party. I feel like I have to take matters in my own hands…and I will ask him for help. When i make decisions about planning for things that involve our boys..I let him know..so he feels included. He will stonewall me to the very end throughout this..if I don’t take action on my own. That’s what he has done for most of our marriage. I thought this was normal.

            I need Jesus. He is all I have.

          63. Hope always,

            I would say in my heart: pray earnestly:
            Dear husband,
            I love you
            And I am trying my best to respect you.
            I leave it in your hand,
            My sovereign Lord, Jesus Christ.
            Your will be done ,
            Not mine, but Yours.
            But I will not
            And cannot be
            A doormat!
            Dear husband,
            If you leave me,
            That is your choice,
            And I have Jesus,
            In whom, I find all strength.

            In His Holy Name,
            Amen.

          64. Those who built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other hand, And every builder had his sword girded by his side, and so worked. And he who sounded the trumpet was at my side. (Nehemiah 4:17 – 4:19 AMP)

            Let us be busy at all our obligations and yet remain vigilant and guard our heart against the iniquity of Satan.

            Bless you sister!

          65. Hope always. I am praying that tonight our Lord can hold you under His wing and give you rest. That you can feel His acceptance and love for you. You are cherished, valuable and important. Every human can let us fiwn, hurt us and dissapointment us. Yet God’s love is perfect and never ending. He is always there for us.

            I feel your pain. “Disdain is my husband’s favorite word go me too. It’s horrible and painful and I just don’t understand how someone who is supposed to love and cherish and protect us can turn so evil and destructive towards another human. I pray that your husband can be released of the strongholds put on him by the enemy. I pray God can go to him and protect him and open his eyes.

            Hugs going out to you tonight, my sister.

          66. LMSDaily115,

            When we cherish sin in our hearts, i.e.: bitterness and resentment, we open the door wide in our minds for the enemy to take over. It becomes very easy for evil to come from that scenario.

          67. I think the disdain is bitterness on their part and possibly vengeance, punishment, manipulation, or game playing. It’s something they have to get out of their system. Usually when someone apologizes we have to go through a time where we say, “Yeah, that really hurt me, now that you care to listen. Do you care to listen to my hurt? Even if I still feel bad, do you still care? Will you help me get over it?”. It’s like cleaning a cake pan. When you start to clean it all of the yucky stuff make the dishwater bad and it looks worse. Keep scrubbing and it gets clean. Keep caring. Also be dignified and expect good treatment. Ask to do a trade with your husband or tell him what you want with no strings attached. Don’t reward bad behavior either.

          68. Daughter. Cake pan visual….pondering. so, in clarification…are you saying that now that he feels “heard”, he wants to drive home and bask in his justification for a bit before he decides it’s done and over and starts the process of forgiveness and or moving forward in a productive way? Basically,bi have to let him have this time of “justification” to let him get it out of his dystem, as you say?

            But there is a delicate balance of not letting revenge or disrespect come into this time period? Basically, to love him out of this phase even if he continues to hurt me weather he realizes he is doing it or not?

            I guess my issue is that I don’t feel I can say a darn thing to him, respectfully or not, because he only hears the cry of his own pain…even though a ton of changes have happened and I am no longer arguing, cutting him down, running all over him etc. I just don’t know if this quietness on my part is disrespectful to him? It sure feels as such to me!!!

          69. LMSdaily115,

            I don’t know what God may be prompting you about what to say and not say. If someone is extremely spiritually wounded, there is a lot they can’t hear or absorb. Kind of like a person in the ICU. I pray for God’s wisdom for you about what to say and what to address and when to wait and pray. I do know that usually – in time – as husbands realize their wives are no longer sinning against them in all the old ways – they eventually have to face their own sin.

            But there are times when confrontation is necessary. This requires the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. I know we all want a magic formula. But God doesn’t really work that way. He wants us to listen to and trust in Him and obey His still small voice as He leads us.

          70. Yes LMS that’s what I meant. 🙂 I think the more silent we are as wives during hard times the louder they can hear God and their conscience. Maybe that is overwhelming to process. You can set up boundaries for yourself and be neutral and objective to his moods. Easier said than done I know. I will be praying, I know this is so hard. A big breakthrough might be close, or even little things you can be thankful for that God gives as a gift so we can be sane. 🙂

          71. daughter,

            We do need to acknowledge our own pain when we are sinned against. And others need the chance to speak their hurt when we sin against them, too. I like your cleaning a cake pan analogy. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!

          72. This conversation has greatly blessed me to read tonight. I was feeling rather low after having another “blow” dealt to me last night in my marriage.

            Before I got on here, though, I just started singing praise music and was refreshed in my spirit very quickly and after group text praying with some good friends.

            God is good — April, your reminder that the waiting time is needed is always so helpful for me to read because I do see that it is true. I see that if things start looking “better” in my marriage, I am quick to start seeking my joy in my husband. So, these “blows” that the enemy means for good are just being used by God to complete this work in me.

            How amazing how we can be so low and then God can take us right back up again as we put our focus back on Him and seek Him alone for our contentment and joy!!!!! Hallelujah! I am secure in Him – whatever comes my way.

            Thank you ALL for sharing and encouraging each other for you have encouraged me and many, many others, I’m sure, too, who don’t comment. God is glorified and praised through the truth that each of you share, with each of your unique personalities and gifts. I love y’all, brother(s) and sisters!!!

  2. As a man working to have everyone in the home love and serve the LORD, walking ever nearer His ways: my wife is unrepentant, as yet, but more accepting of my faith as the only way: I find myself having/choosing to be the example. I am learning to submit to the sovereignty of Our Lord, as a way of showing the change that must happen.

    “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well “(Psalm 139:14 KJV)

    We are made in God’s image, therefore our God is fearfully and wonderfully made, as we all know.
    I have not been perfect, in my marriage never physically adulterous, but considering breaking my marriage. Yet now, through my submission to the will of abba, Our Father, I see the work that still needs to be done, and I am ever thankful that I was given another chance by my Jesus, through my wife.

    That button pushing on the part of our spouses, I believe is like the wife of Job, who also tried to have him relinquish his faith in God:

    Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die (Job 2:9 KJV)

    Of course Job had constancy and patience far beyond what I can imagine, but this goading from those around him, is it not the same thing? These pricks on our soul aren’t they simply the spur to understand what it is to submit our will to Our Savior, whose very body was pierced by nails and thorns.

    I am so happy that I have been blessed to taste and see that the Lord is good!

    Praise His Holy Name!

    Let us always praise Jesus with joyful hearts, from whom, we gain our only strength, dear brothers and sisters.

    1. Jesuscentreoflife,

      Thanks for sharing this, my brother. 🙂 I pray God will empower you to love with His love and to set a godly example by the power of His Spirit working in you. I pray for healing for your wife in Christ.

        1. Jesuscentreoflife,

          What a humbling blessing that God is willing to use us in ways like this to bless others and to inspire and encourage them in their faith. 🙂

  3. Yesterday, something happened that I thought would never happen.

    My husband shared his hurt with me. He told me how my anger and disrespect had made him feel like a complete and total failure and how he even wanted to die for a while. He told me he’s afraid this change won’t last and that he will leave no matter what if I go back to the way I was because we were both miserable. He told me he thinks I’m only doing this because he threatened divorce.

    I explained that this change was not just for him it was about my relationship with God and wanting to learn to be a Biblical wife to honor God and learning to put my trust in Him. He told me for years he has been consciously holding back talking to me about almost everything because he knew it would result in a fight or me making him feel bad about himself.

    It was so painful, but I agreed, accepted responsibility for my sins against him, apologized, and asked for his forgiveness. I told him I wasn’t going back but I understood why he would feel that way and I hoped in time he wouldn’t feel like that anymore.

    Later he approached me again and asked if I was upset about what he had said. I said I was hurt but not mad and I was really glad he felt able to open up to me about it. I told him it hurts to feel that he will leave if I’m not perfect. He reassured me that he doesn’t expect me to be perfect and that he doesn’t want me to feel like I can’t ever get angry or share with him about things that upset me. It just can’t be every day about everything. It was very hard but very healing.

    I felt like it was a seminal moment in this journey and like the divorce threats from five months ago aren’t hanging over us any longer. I’m still working on a lot with God like trust, pride, and rebuilding my broken ideas from childhood. He has freed me of so much and I know He will be faithful! I’m so thankful for you, PeacefulWife, and that God led me to you.

    1. May God bless you and your husband with a loving and truthful marriage. May you both be free from fear, which is the work of the enemy of our good and loving God!

      Praise the Lord!

    2. Michelle,

      WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS AWESOME!

      I praise God he felt safe enough to share his pain with you. A lot of husbands have told me that they wanted to die when they felt really disrespected by their wives. So heartbreaking! I’m glad you know more about his perspective now and that you responded the way you did. I love that you understood his pain and didn’t pressure him. I love that you took responsibility for your part and that you are being patient with him. I’m glad you were vulnerable about your pain and concerns. THIS IS AWESOME!

      PRAISING GOD WITH YOU, my precious sister! What an honor to be on this journey together. 🙂

  4. I read your article and making with my husband short background. My husband and I separate we are living in two countries he in Costa Rica and me Miam, FL; we are using WhatsApp in the he said Good Morning and I said Good Night, hours difference. Lately no Good morning but he will respond to my.

  5. This is such a timely post for me. I began the change in myself about a month ago and it certainly has been a slow and trying process, but I am getting better at it and my husband is noticing I am not trying to go back to the way things were before. I am keeping my patience as much as I can but I can say it is not the easiest. I cry at moments too and try to move on quickly, but it often still hurts to be in that season of his disbelief in my changes. Can i ask what scripture you read in those moments? Where you feel defeated and sad but need to keep going? Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Brittany,

      Restored Wife is welcome to share if she would like to. I had a similar experience where it took over 3 years for my husband to feel safe with me again. In all of that time when he was still very skeptical and guarded, I would sometimes feel discouraged and cry to God, asking Him why Greg hadn’t changed yet and I had changed so much. God would gently remind me, “Why are you doing this? Why do you want to be a godly wife? So you can get what you want from Greg, or just to obey and please Me?” He used that time to refine my motives. I am so thankful for that long time of being “in the desert” just with God. I needed that time to grow much stronger in my faith. God is so good!

      Focus on Scripture about the sufficiency of Christ, contentment in Christ, dying to self, etc..

      You may search my blog home page for:

      – expectations
      – idol/idolatry
      – control
      – space
      – waiting becomes sweet
      – stages of this journey
      – discontentment
      – contentment
      – fear
      – security

      I am so excited about what God is doing early in your journey. WOOHOO! PRAISING GOD WITH YOU, my dear sister!

    2. Hi Brittany,

      I found a lot of comfort in Proverbs 31 (starting in verse 10) – it helped me to remember why I started on this journey and that becoming a godly wife is not only about my relationship with my husband, but also about my relationship with God and with other people. I wanted to become the type of wife my husband would be proud to be married to; not so I could pat myself on the back, but because I realized no one would look at my life and see Jesus in me. I was so filled with sin – bitterness, anger, resentfulness, unforgiveness – I was unable to find peace and contentment because I was looking for it in the wrong places.

      It has been about 2.5 years since I decided I had to change. I am in such awe of the transformation that has taken place in my family. My husband has taken a more active role in our church and told me recently that he feels he is on the right path for the first time in his life. My disrespect contributed to his feelings of being separate from God; he felt he was a failure as a husband and father, so how could he do anything else? I try to be very mindful of the influence I hold as his helpmeet and how much my words/behaviors affect his moods and actions – it’s a big responsibility, and one I’m so happy to be able to take on.

      It does become more natural in time. The barriers slowly, slowly come down. Trust is rebuilt. Old patterns fall away. All things truly are possible in Christ if we allow Him to work! Trust His timing and know His ways are perfect – one day you’ll look back at this valley and see all the things that aren’t visible to you now, and you’ll realize it was worth it. I will pray for you and your husband!

  6. I HATE Mother’s Day.

    Men should not have the right to pout (which comes out as anger) because they neglected to care about you. Don’t care, fine, whatever. I’m not going to beg. But you have absolutely no right to be upset if I’m not happy. You can consider me worthless, but I refuse to be happy about it.

    On another note, why change? I have tried and tried to think more positively. And I’ve had some success. But now it’s like I’m not allowed to ever have one negative thought or emotion. I can be positive all day, say one negative thing, and he says “why do you always have to be so negative?” For crying out loud! I’m not perfect.

    I understand that I need to spend more time with God and focusing on Christ’s love for me. I just never thought that meant I’d have to completely give up on ever being good enough for my husband. I think I married too far above myself. Sometimes I really think I should have picked more of a loser, someone more equal to me.

    And he has the nerve to act all fake like he cares that I’m not super happy. It’s so annoying! We both know he settled for me. Why even try anymore.

    1. Becca,

      Sounds like you are in a really bad place spiritually, my friend. I’m sorry for your pain. 🙁

      We have talked about these kinds of issues at length before together.

      What were your expectations of your husband? Did you tell him what you wanted or did you expect him to read your mind?

      If he doesn’t deliver on your expectations, how do you believe God desires you to respond?

      (You are welcome to search, “expectations” on my home page search bar. I have a number of posts about that issue.)

      How has your time been going with God? What has He been showing you and changing in you lately? 🙂

      When you are in a healthy place with God, I believe you may be able to look at this situation very differently, my dear sister.

      Much love!
      April

      1. Becca,

        It is possible to not receive anything in particular from your husband for Mother’s Day and to still be content in Christ.

        I honestly sometimes think that expectations about these man-made worldly holidays create so much contention, resentment, hurt feelings, and bitterness, that we would be better off without them as believers in Christ.

        I didn’t ask Greg for anything for Mother’s Day. I didn’t really feel like I needed anything. If I wanted something, I would have asked for it. He didn’t get me anything. Totally fine with me. We had an amazing day.

        My daughter did draw me a card – which was very precious. That was the only thing I got. I didn’t expect anything. I focused on being thankful for Jesus and for all of the myriads of blessings He has given to me.

        I am extremely serious that we can be content in Christ even if we don’t get gifts or flowers or cards for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, etc…

        My contentment is totally dependent on me and my relationship with Jesus. Philippians 4:11-13

        1. Hi. It is my birthday today. There have been some disappointments but I have been reading your blog now since last summer and really am so excited by all that I am learning. It is so counter cultural and yet has really spoken to me and I believe has saved marriage. I agree wholeheartedly with what you said about these man made holidays causing so much discontent. I also am determined to be happy with nothing and although have tried very hard to control what happens on my birthday it has never worked and today I let go and it was easy and I feel so much peace. Thank you so much for your blog.

          1. Tess,

            Happy Birthday, my dear sister! How I praise God for what you are learning and the healing you have been experiencing. That is awesome!

            Thankfully, we don’t have to be content with NOTHING. We get to have JESUS! He is not nothing!! 🙂 But I know what you mean – no gifts for these occasions when the greeting card industries and retailers tell us we should give certain things to certain people in our lives. Why do we let strangers we don’t even know dictate our expectations to us? I’m not sure!

            I decided early in this journey that I would no longer have expectations about these kinds of things. Totally not worth it. I don’t need gifts. I don’t need more stuff. If I want something, I can ask for what I want respectfully, directly, and cheerfully. If I don’t get what I want, I am not justified to freak out or make everyone else miserable. In Christ, I have the power to die to self and to be content in Him alone. That is freedom!

            So glad you had peace about your birthday. That is the best gift there is – to receive all that Jesus has provided for us and all that He is!!! It is impossible not to be content if we are filled up with Him.

            Much love to you!

        2. I really appreciate and can relate to your comments about man-made holidays. I stopped observing them several years ago and would not trade the contentment in Jesus that this has brought for anything! Besides, the Bible tells us to honour our father and our mother; that’s not just a once-a-year commandment, it’s for a lifetime.

        3. April,
          Well said!! My husband and I have specifically decided together that we would not “follow” the worldly holiday traditions for this very purpose! It causes too many unneccessary issues if we expect things! And I can testify to the fact that it has helped us avoid many an argument, and that now, if/when my husand gets me any type of gift, it is literally a SURPRISE and means to much more than it would if I knew he got me something because he HAD to!

          As you have taught, “expectations are premeditated RESENTMENT”————-how true this is!

          Blessings,
          Amanda

          1. Amanda,

            I really hate the thought of anyone telling me how I should expect my husband and family to love me. When I began to evaluate my expectations and how they were hurting my marriage deeply – I started questioning a lot of things. Why do we HAVE to do things the way that our culture does them? What does it matter if we celebrate all of these holidays in specific ways? It was freeing!

            What I have seen is that the words of the hymn are so true –

            “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face.
            And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

            When you really get to taste the heavenly treasure Jesus offers you – Himself – the other things just really don’t matter much. It is great if Greg does something nice for me. But I can be just as full of God’s joy and just as secure in His love and just as overflowing with His peace if Greg ignores me or if he is bending over backwards doing things for me. My contentment is now based on Jesus not on Greg and his actions toward me.

            I personally would love for everyone to get to experience this joy! 🙂

          2. They will know we are Christians by our love!

            Let us open our hearts so wide sister: then this can happen!!!! 🙂

            I personally would love for everyone to get to experience this joy!:)

      2. You are right, I’m not going to argue with you.

        The thing is, I don’t want much. I’d be happy with a donut. Or a handful of flowers from the yard. Something that he thought of, BY HIMSELF, something he felt moved to give me. Anything that made him think of me, even if it was a Hershey Kiss or a walk around the park that HE thought of. I don’t need fancy things, or expensive things, or even things. I just long for him to care enough to once in a while acknowledge the fact that he thinks I’m worth his time or forethought.

        After church, I asked him, “what are we doing today” so I could plan dinner (we are on a no-eating-out challenge, long story). And his response? The typical, I don’t care, you are not worth the effort response of “I don’t know, whatever you want to do.” Gee thanks, thanks for the effort. What I woul like is for HIM TO THINK OF SOMETHING.

        He can solve problem after problem at work with ease, but can’t think of one tiny little thing to do to show his wife all this love he claims to feel? That’s hard to believe.

        I know women who are super rude, scream at their kids, bully their husbands, and they are treated like queens. Why? Because their families love them so much they can see past the meanness and they think they are worthy of love. My family likes to tell me they love me – and I know I need to learn to be thankful for that – but words are so cheap and thoughtless. If you think about it, anyone can “say” anything. But to care enough to actually make an effort? Very different, indeed.

        I hate holidays, birthdays, etc., because they are a constant reminder of how my family really sees me. I go out of my way to try to make everyone else’s special days happy and fun, even my extended family, because I love them for real and want them to feel happiness. Their happiness makes me happy. However, my happiness is irrelevant to them and I have learned to accept that.

        Yes I need to forget about how they feel about me and focus on how God feels about me. I’m sure you’re right and that will help, but I imagine it will still hurt being worthless to everyone else.

        By the way, because I know the other readers like Reginald below think I’m an awful ogre, I usually keep the pain to myself and I don’t say much. They’d only brush me off for having a negative thought anyway, and so I stay silent. It’s not like I’m running around saying ugly things. At least I’ve finally learned to keep my mouth shut and master the art of saying “nothing”.

        1. Becca,

          These are super toxic thoughts you are entertaining. This is the enemy’s voice. These things are not the truth.

          Are you willing to get rid of them?

          1. I would get rid of them if I could. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m tired. It’s easier to accept who I am than to continue to try to change. I’m sorry. I know that’s frustrating and I am annoying. I annoy myself. Perhaps if I had a real life friend to talk to it would help. But no one I know could ever even begin to understand. They are all bordering on perfection, with very happy lives and husbands that adore them. No one would understand.

            Just this second I had the idea that I should watch War Room again. I have a very, very, very hard time praying for myself.

          2. Becca,

            You know what, my precious friend? I love you. Very dearly. I hope you know that by now. I want God’s healing for you. I am willing to do anything I can to help you on this road. I can already see some of the amazing plans He has for you! But you are not able to receive it – at least not yet.

            You have asked me to keep you accountable multiple times in the past. If a total of 635 comments in the past two years that include 196 comments from you, and at least as many comments from me, and hundreds of comments from other people reaching out with God’s love for you hasn’t helped, and if me spending more hours explaining things to you than I have spent with any other woman isn’t working, perhaps what we are doing here is making things worse somehow?

            Becca,

            I am going to do something I have never done before. I am not angry. I am not upset with you. I think that maybe I have been enabling you somehow for the past 2 years by just allowing you to rant and vent and then never be willing to change. There has to be real repentance and real heart change. That is only going to happen when you are willing to do the hard work. I am going to lovingly and respectfully ask that you refrain from commenting here until you are serious about wanting Jesus and His healing.

            If you get serious, this is what I want to see:
            1. Please read Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free and do the heart work in a journal of some type that we have talked about so many times. Dig deeply into each lie that is an issue for you. Let me know what God shows you when you are ready to contact me again (skip the chapter about children).
            2. I want to see that you want (all on your own) for God to change you and to see that you want to live fully for Jesus. I will do all I can to help you once you are in this place.
            3. I need to know that you are willing to pray for yourself and that you are willing to put in at least 20-30 minutes a day several times per week into praying for yourself, repenting of any sin, receiving what God has for you, rebuilding your life on His truth, and reading God’s Word with the goal of walking in obedience to Him in all things. If you are not willing to invest in your spiritual growth and you are not willing to feed yourself spiritually, I can’t help you.

            If you are willing to do these things, we will have something to work with. I am not going to try to convince you to change any more. That desire will have to come from you. Let me know when you are ready. We will be praying for you. 🙂

            Much love to you, my dear friend and sister,
            April

          3. I understand. I apologize for monopolizing your time.

            God Bless you and your ministry.

            Goodbye.

            Goodbye ladies.

          4. Becca,

            April said nothing about monopolizing her time and your saying that sounds like you’re trying to make her feel bad. So unfair after all she has, and is currently, trying to do for you. She loves you! You have NEVER been a bother to her and she has expressed that numerous times.

          5. Becca, the narrow road is not the easiest one. You can want the love of your family, but can you be full of joy even if you never get it? People want to feel like they can make a difference. I’m 43 btw, and my change in finding God in my life has jump started me. I finally feel like I’m living. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Coming to Christ is life. People like to feel like they make a difference, if your family feels they can never make you happy, they may be giving up trying. You even say how grouchy you are. I feel like you are praying for it. Bringing it into your mind and focusing on it. Maybe, being grateful for what you DO have and not dwelling on what you don’t would be a healthier mindset. Gid will continue to remove these things you hold higher than Him until you only have Him to turn to. I pray that you can see how much you need God first sooner than later, my sweet sister.

        2. Becca,

          Some men have learned (perhaps falsely) that women “always” have clear preferences and want to “just have things your own way.” Of course, not all women actually want this! A man who thinks a woman wants this will usually ask the woman what she wants, if he wants to bless her. My guess is that your husband learned from his female family members (based on previous comments you wrote) that this is what women “want.” If the women on his side of the family are divas, it may take him a while to learn that what makes them feel appreciated isn’t what makes you feel appreciated.

          I don’t think you’re an ogre. <3 I wouldn't be sure that anyone else does either.

          1. Indeed, I’m sure you can scan social media today and see no shortage of tails of wives complaining about what their “clueless” husbands bought/did for them for Mother’s Day.

            And in some cases, this is correct. The Simpsons marathon included the re-run of the episode where Homer bought Marge a bowling ball for her birthday, driving her to consider an affair with a more thoughtful person. None of us wants to be That Guy.

            Should we suck it up and take a chance anyway? Sure. But the thought of being publicly shamed for missing the mark is a pretty powerful disincentive. And if there has been a past occasion where he has picked something, and it was the wrong choice and you made sure he knows it, that can be a pretty serious scar.

          2. Thanks for sharing a masculine perspective with us, JohnMcG. I think it is difficult for a lot of wives to realize how difficult and frustrating it can be for a husband who has tried to please his wife in the past and failed to get up the courage to try again if he thinks she will react negatively to his attempts.

        3. Becca,

          If it is a really big deal to you to have him plan something for you – he is a man, not a woman. He may have been burned before. So what would help would be to say in a positive, friendly, non-pressuring way – “You know what would really be amazing? I would feel so loved if you would take me somewhere that is a surprise so I don’t have to make a decision.” Then you are sharing what you would like and he may decide to be your hero and do something that you would enjoy. Or when he says whatever you want to do (which is not about him not loving you – it is probably about him wanting to please you) you could say, “You know what, Honey, I would really enjoy some flowers, or a doughnut. Nothing major. But just something little like that would make my day!”

          Men read their women’s minds on romantic movies and in romantic novels and it is so beautiful to us and so romantic to us. But those stories are written by women. Real flesh-and-blood men may not be very good at mind-reading and may need us to tell them what we would like. We can choose to appreciate what they do even if we do ask them for what we would like. 🙂

          If you are interested in truly finding healing from these destructive mindsets that continue to plague you – I have a challenge for you, my precious sister. You don’t even have to respond here or say if you are going to do it. This is totally between you and God.

          (Other readers want to see you find the healing that is available in Christ and not live in this needless turmoil. They want to see you and your husband healed and enjoying God, each other, and your children. They don’t like to see how much pain you and your husband are in. Many of them have experienced the results of this kind of thinking and don’t want anyone to hurt like this – especially when it doesn’t have to be like this. Which it doesn’t.)

          Read Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss again. Skip the chapter on children if you would like. But go through all of the other chapters, please, with a journal (paper or online). Begin the hard work of truly hashing through the mindsets and fixed beliefs that have you stuck. Dig deeply and really delve into each lie and kick them out – receiving God’s truth and building your life on His truth and His Word alone. Allow God to heal you. He is completely willing. You have some extremely deeply rooted warped beliefs about God, yourself, and others that have to go. Until you do this, you will be miserable and so will your family.

          This is totally your decision. I have given you the tools you need. You will stay stuck in this awful rut until you seriously do an extremely thorough spring cleaning of your thoughts with God’s help and get rid of all of the lies. If you continue to cling to these old comfortable ways of thinking – it will be destructive to yourself, your marriage, your husband, and your children.

          Much love to you!

          1. Such wise words, sister in Jesus.

            Also for Becca, men, women and children: we are not perfect. Men can read minds sometimes, but only sometimes. Husbands do try, unless they feel it’s useless.

            I don’t know you or your husband, but a quick note in a lunch box/bag briefcase.

            You know his favorite things, he I hope knows yours.

            But as our dear sister April says: we are doing this for Our LORD, not our husband, or our wife, or even our children.

            We are on our knees for Jesus.

            “Touch The Sky”

            What fortune lies beyond the stars
            Those dazzling heights too vast to climb
            I got so high to fall so far
            But I found heaven as love swept low

            My heart beating, my soul breathing
            I found my life when I laid it down
            Upward falling, spirit soaring
            I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

            What treasure waits within Your scars
            This gift of freedom gold can’t buy
            I bought the world and sold my heart
            You traded heaven to have me again

            My heart beating, my soul breathing
            I found my life when I laid it down
            Upward falling, spirit soaring
            I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

            Find me here at Your feet again
            Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
            Come sweep me up in Your love again
            And my soul will dance
            On the wings of forever

            Find me here at Your feet again
            Everything I am, reaching out, I surrender
            Come sweep me up in Your love again
            And my soul will dance
            On the wings of forever

            My heart beating, my soul breathing
            I found my life when I laid it down
            Upward falling, spirit soaring
            I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

            My heart beating, my soul breathing
            I found my life when I laid it down
            Upward falling, spirit soaring
            I touch the sky when my knees hit the ground

            Find me here at Your feet again
            Everything I am, reaching out I surrender
            Come sweep me up in Your love again
            And my soul will dance
            On the wings of forever

            Upward falling, spirit soaring
            I touch the sky
            When my knees hit the ground.

        4. Becca,
          I am sorry you are having these life-draining thoughts as well, there is freedom in Christ from this constant feeling of worthlessness. Becca, please consider something. Consider this fact, that EVEN IF your husband did something AMAZING for you yesterday, YOU WOULD STILL NOT BE SATISFIED. When we look to other people, things, ideas, or ANYTIHNG that is NOT JESUS CHRIST to make us “happy”, feel cared about, or even feel LOVED, or that we are WORTHY…..WE WILL BE LET DOWN EVERY SINGLE TIME my sister!

          Becca, The God of the UNIVERSE is calling unto you, through April’s blog, through the fact that your husband is NOT doing what you desire…He is calling you to TURN AWAY FROM EVERYTHING except HIM, and asking you to seek LOVE, WORTH, SATISFACTION in HIM—-not from your husband’s gifts, or your husband’s attraction to you, or your husband’s feelings for you, or acts of love, or ANYTHING.

          When God opens your eyes to this fact, You will be so full of Joy, that you will no longer care if your husband ever does anything nice for you again. I believe it takes time to get to this point, but you have got to start somewhere.

          Sister, I am walking living proof that it is possible—as I have struggled for the 29 years of my life with BELIEVING that I was not worthy of love—– and it got me no where Becca. All it got me was feeling exactly how you are feeling right now…….all the things I tried to attain to make me feel worthy of love have never ever worked.

          God alone can open our eyes to this truth that we are worthy of HIS love!!! And that’s pretty amazing, considering we deserve HELL!

          I encourage you STRONGLY to take April’s wisdom to heart, and truly look inside your heart as God shows you what lies you have been absorbing, that are STEALING YOUR LIFE AND JOY!!!

          Praying for you!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. Dear sister in Jesus,

            You are so right, everything in our life is a part of God’s purpose!

            Hallelujah, hallelujah!

            Even when we have been reborn, born again for all eternity, we have to struggle sometimes but, those pricks in our soul are taken away by the soothing balm of Our sweet Savior

            Praise his blessèd Name!

            A brother in the Lord

          2. Thank you for your reply Amanda.

            I’m sorry for bugging everyone. I know the fact that I will be stuck here forever must be frustrating to those who have tried to help.

            A couple things. You are much younger than me. It’s awesome that you have found healing at 29 years old. You still have your whole life ahead of you. At 41, even if I change, I’m too old for it to make much difference. My kids are practically grown. I have very little purpose.

            I think I’m giving the wrong impression. It’s not that I want “stuff”. It would just be nice to experience one time what it’s like to matter.

            Yesterday I made a great dinner and while we were eating my husband mentioned going out for ice cream after dinner. That made me happy, I thought it sounded fun. Then we stopped to visit his mom (who he has issues with – long story) and then he drove us home. When he pulled in the driveway I said, “oh. I thought we were going for ice cream.” (I had been looking forward to it). He huffed, and put the car in reverse. I said “we don’t have to go if you don’t feel like it.” He said, “I don’t feel like it.” And so we stayed home. Nice to know I’m not worth $2.49 to him. Why did he even mention it if he didn’t want to go? That was kind of mean.

            I understand that I have worth to God. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I’m not God and I am thankful that He considers me worthy of His love. But I don’t understand it. But I do my best to accept it. He loves everyone and I’m part of everyone.

            What I don’t understand is why I need to be happy when I am of no importance to my family. Why is it wrong to desire the love of the people that you love? Why is it wrong to desire to feel, just once, like a real woman who is desired by her husband? Why is it wrong to not want to settle for a ho hum marriage? That is the stuff I don’t get. I can accept that he doesn’t love me or feel attraction for me the way I do him, but why do I have to be happy about it?

            Again, I don’t want stuff. I just want to feel love from this man who claims to love me but is so reluctant to show it. And I think it’s unfair of him to be upset if I am not happy. I really feel he has every right to feel however he wants about me, and to do or not do whatever he wants. But Why do I have to be happy about it? I am allowed to get my feelings hurt, just like everyone else.

            And as far as the love languages things, I HATE words of affirmation – but he LOVES them. I put love letters in his lunch. I send him sweet texts. And he reiterates by showering me with the very words that annoy me so much. I do my best to speak his love language. I am not the wretched witch that I come off as in my comments when I’m grouchy.

          3. Becca,
            Oh how my heart hurts for you in this time. I pray your eyes are opened, and I have one last thing on my heart to enourage you with.

            Sister, think for a moment about the people who are not saved. They are children of the devil. The devil does not bombard them with these types of thoughts and spiritual attacks, because quite frankly, HE ALREADY HAS A HOLD ON THEM. They belong to the devil.

            Sister, if you did not have a purpose in your life that GOD has called you out for, you would not be suffering such an attack right now. I can say this, because I know it is true in my own life, and once I realized what the devil has been doing for 29 years
            (trying to get me to believe and accept that I can NEVER be worthy of anyone’s love, especially not God), It was as if I was delivered from the prison cell that had already been opened for me to walk out of since Jesus opened my eyes to His grace!

            The devil doesn’t care if we read our bibles for 8 hours a day, or go to church on sundays, or even if we say we love Jesus and want to change. He doesn’t even care if WE ARE CHANGING. What he cares about is JESUS CHRIST ON THE THRONE OF OUR HEARTS, because the devil knows that when we SUBMIT FULLY and focus SOLELY on JESUS in our thoughts, heart, mind—–we will be OUT OF THE DEVILS REACH AND ON OUR WAY TO THE HIGH PLACES WHERE GOD’S PERFECT LOVE CASTS OUT ALL FEAR!

            I am praying that God would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, and that your eyes be enlightened to all that we are sharing with you here. You are precious. You are loved.

            Love,
            Amanda

          4. Love this, Amanda! Thank you for sharing with our precious sister. 🙂

            I have been praying fervently for Becca all morning. I know many of you are joining me to see God tear down these strongholds and deliver her from the enemy’s snare. Thank you so much! Keep praying!

          5. April,
            It hurts my heart because I know excatly how it feels, but there is hope for all who are experiencing these attacks….and I am so thankful that God has used you to minister to all of the hurting ladies he brings here, and that you are willing and able to lead us in these difficult times. Oh how the devil hates the true fellowship of God’s body! But as Jesus has said, “THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL”!!!!! He is with us, and He is leading us, and He is using us all to His glory! The power of God is working mightily in these times to open blinded eyes! Hallelujah! Amen!

          6. Amanda,

            Here is my goal with any of my sisters in Christ that I love (which is ALL of them)…

            “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James 5:19-20

            We all need people in our lives who are willing to reach out to us if we are deceived and wandering away from the truth. My desire is to be someone who reaches out to gently draw every wandering precious sheep back into the fold.

            It is not a small thing for any of us to believe lies about who God is, who we are, marriage, or anything else. We cannot be buddies with the enemy and allow him to take over our lives and thoughts (where then we become the devil’s mouthpiece, hands, and feet in our families’ lives). Every lie of demons must be crushed in our lives by the truth of God’s Word. We must build our lives on His truth alone. God’s truth will set us free. 🙂

          7. I suspect this has been pointed out before, but “We don’t have to go if you don’t want to” put your husband in a no-win situation.

            At this point, he could either go forward with the ice cream outing, after you had made clear that he would receive no credit for doing so, or he could not. Resentment either way — he chose the path that saved him $2.49 and an outing he was no longer in the mood for.

            And he likely wasn’t in the mood because I’m guessing that something about the visit to his mom upset him ad preoccupied him, leading him to forget about the ice cream. Should he have remembered and kept this commitment? Yes. Is this the Crime of the Century? No.

            When you reminded him, he was probably a bit miffed because he was anticipating getting home to decompress. And he may have been a bit embarrassed that he forgot. But he was willing to go anyway.

            A big part of love is doing things when you don’t feel like it. Do you think Jesus *felt like* being crucified? But you made it clear that you wouldn’t accept it under those conditions, choosing resentment over the ice cream outing. Hope you’re enjoying it.

            You don’t have to act happy. But cultivating resentment isn’t going to make things better. This place isn’t about venting and ranting; it is about making things better. There are all sorts of places on the internet where wives complain about husbands. But you came here. And here, people aren’t going to pretend that venting and ranting solves anything. Or should be just “act happy?”

            Unlike our hostess, I am angry. Perhaps not at you, but at the culture of encouraged resentment that is tearing families apart. I’m sure your husband has given you sufficient material to fuel a lifetime of resentment. Accepting that opportunity isn’t going to make things better.

          8. johnmcg,

            I really appreciate your male perspective. Very helpful. Loved the analogy about Christ and the cross. Wow.

            The rest of this comment is to anyone else who might be interested in the subject of venting,

            Years ago, my mom gave me a bitter pill to swallow via an e-mail after I’d cried, vented, and ranted to her over the phone about my husband’s insensitivity. (This was by no means the first time I’d done that.) There was one phrase she wrote in her e-mail that really got me furious. It took days before I stopped being angry at her, but then suddenly it clicked, and I realized she was right. It was deeply humbling and painful, but I am so grateful she was willing to confront me in love.

            She said, “Venting is not benign.”

            I’d always believed that venting to get something off my chest WAS benign and didn’t hurt anything or anyone. In fact, I always felt much better after I vented. But it only felt better for a time, until the next offense and then I wanted to vent again.

            There is a difference between “venting” or “ranting” and explaining my struggle to another person so they can point me toward godly thinking and behavior. Venting is unloading my negativity onto someone else so I will feel better. Very selfish and unproductive. Plus, it reinforces my own negative self-talk to say my bitternesses outloud. (Or even just rehearse it silently to myself over and over again, which is another problem.)

            Everyone has difficulties in their lives. It’s part of the human condition this side of eternity. I believe we have a responsibility to others to act pleasant and kind even when we hurt. It doesn’t mean you act fake or hide your pain. You can share your burdens with others. But you act politely as you do it, and part of being polite is not ranting and raving.

            It really was a milestone when I learned this. I’m not perfect yet, but having the insight has helped a ton. Just wanted to share something that blessed me in hopes it might bless others if it resonates with them.

          9. J,
            LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! Thank you for sharing.

            I, too, used to believe that “I had to vent.” That it was what I had to do in order to process my feelings.

            God has shown me that I can go to Him in my prayer journal first with any pain and process there. AND – He showed me I can do it respectfully. Even when I am praying, I can be respectful of my husband or whomever else has wronged me or hurt me.

            You are right, I can reinforce bitterness, resentment, negativity, hatred, pride, self-righteousness, and a stronghold for the enemy if I indulge in venting. Really, my goal in venting, as I look back on it, was to trash the other person and elevate myself to prove my “innocence” and how they were wrong.

            Much love!

            April

          10. April,

            Yes, your motivation was the same as mine. I expected my mom’s empathy, or at least sympathy, so her straightforward confrontation was a wake up call.

            Much love…

          11. Thank you for letting us know about Becca, let her know, which I a,sure that you have that from feeling so low, we have only one place to go: up.

            When we can kneel at the feet of Jesus,
            Let our hearts pour out,
            He is always, always there for us.

            He alone can take us on this path.

            Bless you sister, and bless Greg and your children,
            You are a marvel,
            Brother in Jesus

          12. April,

            In addition to journaling, something I do more frequently is preaching to myself inwardly. Martin Lloyd-Jones and others before him talked about this, and John Piper has spoken on it frequently, how the root of so much of our unhappiness comes from what we tell ourselves.

            They say instead of listening to ourselves (the negative thoughts and lies) we need to preach to ourselves (God’s truths to combat the lies). It’s a powerful preventative against the desire to vent. And it often leads to praying over our struggles, as well.

            Also, this is one of the reasons to soak up as much of God’s truth as we can so we have it stored up in our brains to recall when we are tempted to grumble and complain.

          13. J,
            LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!! Thank you for sharing this. Yes, we need to meditate on God’s truth all the time. I like the idea of preaching to ourselves – maybe thinking about what we would say to a hurting sister or brother in Christ in our situation may be a good place for us to start. But YES! prayer over our struggles, trusting God, depending on His Word, filling our minds with His praises, with thanksgiving, and His truth – those are our weapons to fight against the lies and any sinful motives or attitudes!

          14. J,

            I have a new video in my YouTube channel, April Cassidy, about taking our thoughts captive that is about this. It is critical that we don’t allow sinful thoughts to take root and that we shoot down any ungodly thought and replace it with God’s Word and His truth!

          15. Love this! Thank you for sharing. Needed to hear it. Love the short and simple phrase that is easy to tuck away and remember….Venting is not benign.

            Love you, J!

          16. CIC,

            I’m glad you liked this. I smiled as I thought about it, that my mom was sort of commenting on the blog from heaven. 🙂 Our influences on others goes beyond our deaths–it’s been one of the most joyful surprises to me.

            Love to you!

    2. Becca, I’m sorry you’re feeling bad. 🙁 It sounds from your comment that you feel a lot of self-hatred. You say you want to focus on Christ’s love for you – that is good! But then you say that you and your husband both know he “settled” for you. Here’s my take on it:

      Didn’t Jesus “settle” for you, for me, for all of us, far more than your husband could ever have settled for you? The Savior of the world loves you and you know it, and you are trying to accept His love, but you are unwilling to accept any show of caring from a sinful man? A man who is not and can never be close to what your Savior is? You are willing to accept love from God but you are not willing to accept any words from your husband that would indicate he cares about you?

      Is it possible that your husband is not a liar? That he actually cares how you feel? That the reason you feel he doesn’t care is that he shows love in a very different way than you show love?

      How would you feel if HE continually told YOU that he didn’t feel that he deserved you?

      God could easily have picked out a “loser” to be your husband. But he gave you a man that you consider good. Is it possible that God did the same for your husband? That He gave your husband a wife that your husband considers good?

      Why do you believe you are a loser?

      On a happier note: you say you have been trying to stop negativity. That is good! You said, “But now it’s like I’m not allowed to ever have one negative thought or emotion.” I think that this is actually a good thing. I get the impression from your words that you used to be a lot more negative than you are now. I think that you have probably gotten to the point where a lot of what you say is positive, so that the negative stuff actually sticks out – as opposed to before, if everything was negative, specific negative things wouldn’t really stick out. I think that you have probably gotten to the point where he can “call you out” on specific instances of negativity, rather than “everything” you say being negative. I would take this as a sign of progress. I think April also has some posts about husbands who start criticizing their wives when their wives start to change and why this is a positive sign.

      “You can consider me worthless” – why do you believe that your husband considers you worthless?

      “I just never thought that meant I’d have to completely give up on ever being good enough for my husband” – God may want you to give up the IDEA that you aren’t good enough for your husband. We are all equal at the foot of the cross. Neither of you is a “worse” sinner than the other. When you accept that God loves you and your husband equally and views you equally, you will then view yourself as “good enough” for your husband. So I don’t think you have to give up being “good enough” for your husband, but I think that you may have to give up YOUR DEFINITION of what “good enough” is.

      “Why change” – your husband’s reactions are not an indication of how God views the journey you are taking to become the wife He desires you to be. I believe God is pleased when you desire to please Him.

      Much love,
      Flower

  7. Wow, I’ve been in a similar situation that Becca’s husband has been in.

    It’s funny, but the same people who say women work though things verbally will then verbalize their thought process that totally disregards what their husbands say.

    Or worse, husbands are supposed to disregard years of a wife’s behavior. If a wife has spent decades being negative, and then tries to become more positive, it’s the husbands fault if they don’t immediately ignore the last few decades of their lives and accept the “new you”.

    Who cares if this is the 27th time you’ve “changed”. We’re supposed to read your minds and realize this time you really mean it…

    1. I think it is the case, though, that sometimes husbands can be thoughtless towards their wives, not putting forth much if any effort, just as wives can be too demanding. It seems to me, that every person falls short of expectations, expressed or not. Surely, the helpful thing to do is focus on Christ, who never does let us down, and is complete fufillment as no person can ever be. In my own life, I’ve seen the destruction that can happen, when family members accuse others of not being there for each other and focus on how they’ve been let down. It doesn’t seem to bring any good or peace. Only when we look to Christ, do we find full complete love and acceptance. And the more we find it in Christ, the more we see it in others. Because our eyes get blinded by the evil one, and sometimes we can’t see it even if it’s right up close.

      1. Grace,
        Thanks for sharing this. Love this – “As we look to Christ, we can find full complete love and acceptance. And the more we find it in Christ, the more we see it in others. Because our eyes get blinded by the evil one, and sometimes we can’t see it even if it’s right up close.”

  8. I am incredibly heartbroken that my husband refuses to work on our marriage and has declared it as just a piece of paper. I have repented, apologized, ask for forgiveness, participate in counseling , Christian healing groups, found a full time job with health benefits for all of of us, have been face down in sobs crying out for God…..Nothing has been good enough. The more I stick up for myself and confront him regarding his behavior, the meaner he gets towards me. It is an awful way to live. I miss him so much. I am a new creature in Christ and my slate has been wiped clean….yet he is gone…..soon it will be physical.

    I will continue to stand for my marriage and pray for healing and the Holy Spirit to work on my husbands heart.

    1. Hope Always,

      Your husband is extremely wounded, it sounds like, as I go through all of your old comments. And maybe dealing with some mental health issues, too. But he is not beyond the reach of God!

      It is possible that you may have to allow him to leave if he thinks that is what he needs to do. I don’t want that to happen – but there are times when God uses a time of separation to bring healing to both spouses so that they may hear His voice more clearly. Sometimes being separated is a necessary stage in reconciliation. A very painful one. But I pray you will not put your hope in your husband or what he is or is not doing right now, but keep your eyes on Christ even in this time of fiery trial.

      How is your walk with Christ going, my precious sister?

      How may we pray for you?

      Sending you a huge hug!

  9. Hi Becca; This is going to be a bit of a long reply and I hope that you read it and that you find something in it that gives you some inspiration and encouragement. No one here including me, thinks you are a write-off or doesn’t care what is happening to you. So I hope you will read on and find something to strengthen your resolve .

    What you are describing in terms of your thought processes sounds like more than just having a habit negative self pity and bitterness, though that can certainly be part of it. It sounds like what those who are knowledgable about deliverance would refer to as a stronghold. A deeply rooted one. I am dealing with such a thing in my life right now, rooted in past abuse and some really truly horrible things that happened in my childhood. And in repeated abusive behaviour and selfish, narcissistic acts of abandonment by my father, who seemed able to find time, love and resources for everyone else but me. And a mother who was also very messed up, a bit abusive and rather self absorbed due to her own abuse.

    After telling me over and over again how he couldn’t afford to do anything for me, couldn’t afford child support and was too busy with his own issues to have time for mine, he found the money to legally adopt the children of his third wife. I wound up being treated like an interloper while what should have been mine was given to total strangers. i was blamed for things that were actually my dad’s sins, not mine. It was really distorted and twisted. It left me with a huge, HUGE deficit in my heart, brokenness, rebellion, need, promiscuity, abandonment, self hatred and rejection, etc. you name it, I got the whole package thanks to this.

    I became bitter, negative and very self pitying and would only listen to those who agreed with me. I had no idea when my thinking was warped and when it was right, and often because I could find some portion of truth in my thoughts about people and things, it seemed to confirm to me that I was right and everyone else was wrong. Sometimes i used the negative, bitter and self pitying ruminations on past abuse to avoid facing present day abuse. Weird but true. It was possibly a very wimpy, passive way of complaining against what was happening without facing ti directly. And sometimes i was unaware of transference from past issues onto present day relationshps. i needed help with discernment big time!

    I am 51. I have had an experience or two of scaling the heights of wonderful victory, only to fall in the same area again and again. These things with my father esp. have caused me such trouble. Scripture says that one of the things the earth cannot bear up under is an unloved woman when she gets a husband. That is because she has so many wounds already, and such a huge bottomless pit of need that for her husband, it is like trying to fill the grand canyon with a thimble of water at a time. Impossible. The poster who said that even if he did what you wanted, it wouldn’t fix how you feel is right. God needs to do eye surgery on the eyes of your heart and that means that your eyes must look to HIS hand not your husband’s hand. you need new lenses gal.

    there is more to a stronghold than just wounds. There are also deeply habituated coping patterns and sinful responses. Basically we are talking about a sick reward system to which we come addicted and which becomes our go to response when we are hurt, disappointed or afraid. For instance, your toxic thinking is not only aimed at him but at yourself and God. You get something out it. It isn’t a postive reward but its a reward none the less. Its a form of self punishment that functions to take aim at the pain and also relieve the stress. Some people do other things to stress relieve, or self medicate. They masturbate. They drink. They act out with risky sex.They cut themselves. they go get another tattoo. They start fights in bars. They reinforce their feelings of worthelessness and rejection by being purposefully obnoxious and driving others away. Eventually people will have to honor your choices.

    It triggers a neurological chemical reaction as well as emotional/mental and spiritual ones. My mom developed bulimia. At first, it was a response to sexual abuse and a way of relieving how ill she felt from the vileness of horrible childhood experiences. The relief that came from purging gave an artifical sense of cleansing and penance for the wrong of being alive, of feeling any form of need or satisfaction and of course relief from fear and anxiety if only for a while. She became addicted to the cycle of hunger/punishment/relief/feeling cleansed or purged. Each time she did it, the reward system was reinforced.

    You are fighting for your life here. You can not afford to be passive or allow it any more ground. You must mount a counter offensive against it. The devil is clearly used to pushing you around and to having you agree with him. Your idea of watching war room is a good one but make sure you do what she did; find verses that corrrespond to the lies the enemy has rooted in your life, and to the strategies you can observe him using. I would also suggest anew that you find someone who has knowledge of spiritual strongholds and deliverance related issues.i found out first hand that God can deliver us but if we don’t deal with the inner structures that gave evil an opening in the first place, we will wind up in the same pot all over again.

    One thing I learned which surprised me is that devil impersonates us to ourselves. Yes we can have enough rotten stuff come from our sinful nature. But the enemy plants his ideas in our mind in the first person so we accept the thought as our own. You need to frisk those thoughts when they come on you, and question the source instead of just blindly accepting the enemy’s junk he is pushing on you. YOU NEED TO GET SOME SPIRITUAL BOUNDARIES, GIRL!

    So, find someone who knows what a stronghold is and can help you take it apart. You didn’t get into this fix in a day and it will take some time to get out of it but you can with perseverance and help. The devil is going to keep trying every door and window in your soul he can until he sees that your commitment to truth and wholeness and to Jesus is greater than your commitment to the things you are struggling with and yes, indulging.

    April is right; everyone is pulling for you but even the best advice is useless if you don’t act on it. The story of King Joash and the arrows in 2 Kings 13:15 is very revealing; God asked the king through the prophet to take some arrows and strike the ground with them. The King gave three strikes and then stopped, figuring he’d make a good enough effort and it cost him. The prophet was angry with the King for his lack of faith fueled passion and response and told him that had he gone further he would have utterly defeated his enemies but iinstead, through his “good enough” effort, he had in effect settled for only partially driving them back. You are in a battle Becca and you have been settling for just driving the enemy back enough to give you a little breathing room . You can’t do that anymore. Time to go into war mode and get suited up for battle.

    We have to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Those of us with low nurturance childhoods and emotional development issues tend to want God to nurse us all the time because the lack of spiritual development in our lives leaves us feeling empty and in need all the time as a result of things we are stuck in from our pasts and lies we are still believing, and it can FEEL like more abandonment when God won’t let us stay in that baby christian place forever. But I believe he is quite willing to heal your wounds. On his terms not yours. That was a tough one for me and still is. I was always arm wrestling God, trying to get Him over a barrel and finagle Him into meeting me on my terms according to my needs my way. Talk about being the wretched center of a miserable universe. I was so sick of it but didn’t know how to get out. And the enemy is always using these familiar places to put me back in. As they say in Narnia, He’s not a tame lion. But He’s good. He doesn’t come at anyone’s beck and call.

    It would greatly help you, I say it again, it would greatly help you to find someone who has knowldge of deliverance, strongholds and inner healing who is sound and biblical and not off the deep end as some deliverance people can get. That might take some time but it is an investment in your spiritual health and your life. If you allow this to continue on, you are cooperating with Satan’s agenda to steal, kill and destroy. |If you don’t repent of agreeing with him and his plot devives he has your permssion to stay. Some say a christian can’t have demonic influences in his life. I disagree. A Christian can have anything he wants! He will use the fear in your life he is controlling you with to complete the job and rob you blind. He is pure evil and although this coiled serpent has sidled up to you and won a hearing with his seeming sympathy for your plight, he is a liar and not a friend. Send him packing. Don’t allow him to sunbathe right next to you as if the two of you are buds on the same team; stop putting out a lawn chair for him and stop serving him pina coladas if you get my drift.

    Hang in there Becca. Rooting for you.

    1. Thank you so much for this, Just Me. 🙂

      All,
      Please join me in praying for Becca to find the strength in Christ to tear out the toxic lies and warped thinking that are destroying her and to rebuild her life on Christ, His Word, and His truth.
      It is my fervent prayer that she will be back with us soon and ready to roll! 🙂

      Thank you so much!

    2. Woah!!!!!!!

      Bam. Another God motivated, perfectly timed comment. Meditating on this comment for a long time today.

      HH

  10. From http://www.gotquestions.org “Spiritual Strongholds – What Is the Biblical View?”

    Answer: The word strongholds is found once in the New Testament, used metaphorically by Paul in a description of the Christian’s spiritual battle: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses [strongholds]” (2 Corinthians 10:3-4, NASB). This passage reveals the following facts about our warfare:

    1) Our battle is not planned according to the way this world fights; earthly stratagems are not our concern.

    2) Our weapons are not physical, for our warfare is spiritual in nature. Rather than guns and tanks, our weapons are those of the “full armor of God” and consist of “the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:14-17).

    3) Our power comes from God alone.

    4) God’s plan is to demolish spiritual strongholds.

    What are these “strongholds” or “fortifications” we face? In the very next verse, Paul interprets the metaphor: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The “arguments” are the philosophies, reasonings, and schemes of the world. The “pretensions” have to do with anything proud, man-centered, and self-confident.

    Here’s the picture: the Christian, wearing his spiritual armor and bearing his spiritual weapons, sets out to “conquer” the world for Christ, but he soon finds obstacles. The enemy has erected strongly fortified garrisons to resist the Truth and thwart God’s plan of redemption. There is the fortress of human reasoning, reinforced with many subtle arguments and the pretense of logic. There is the castle of passion, with flaming battlements defended by lust, pleasure, and greed. And there is the pinnacle of pride, in which the human heart sits enthroned and revels in thoughts of its own excellence and sufficiency.

    The enemy is firmly entrenched; these strongholds have been guarded for thousands of years, presenting a great wall of resistance to the Truth. None of this deters the Christian warrior, however. Using the weapons of God’s choosing, he attacks the strongholds, and by the miraculous power of Christ, the walls are breached, and the bastions of sin and error are battered down. The victorious Christian enters the ruins and leads captive, as it were, every false theory and every human philosophy that had once proudly asserted its independence from God.

    If this sounds a lot like Joshua fighting the battle of Jericho, you’re right. What a great illustration of spiritual truth that story is (Joshua 6)!

    Sharing the gospel is not the only time we see resistance. We can also face demonic strongholds in our own lives, in our families, and even in our churches. Anyone who has fought an addiction, struggled with pride, or had to “flee youthful lusts” knows that sin, a lack of faith, and a worldly outlook on life are indeed “strongholds.”

    The Lord is building His Church, and the “gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). What we need are Christian soldiers, totally surrendered to the will of the Lord of Hosts, who will use the spiritual weapons He provides. “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God” (Psalm 20:7).

    Recommended Resources: Victory in Spiritual Warfare by Tony Evans and Logos Bible Software.

    1. And another Bam Bam!

      How do we recognise strongholds in ourselves? I imagine it would be easier for another person to recognise them in us? Or maybe their views are tainted by their own flawed thinking? This is what I needed to think about today.

      HH

      1. I’m going to answer my own question. I’ve thought about this all day! This is the stronghold on my heart. And yes, I know that LMS and April have written about this to me already. It is a STRONG hold.

        My mind says all the time “You were forgiven when you were saved. Completely forgiven. You know that. But then you have sinned after God forgave you and gave you His Spirit. Sometimes you chose to deliberately. Now God does not want you or love you. You have had your chance and it has been and gone. God says ENOUGH to you”.

        How do I deal with that stronghold? There honestly seems to be enough scripture to justify these thoughts.

        HH

          1. Yes 🙂 But then I get to 1 John 2:3-6 and think hmmm I haven’t kept all His commandments. And read further to verses 15-16 and see a lot of love for the world in me (although I do struggle to determine what is ‘love’ of the world and what is good, God given desires so maybe just confusion here?). And then I get to chapter 3 verses 6 and 9-10 and think wow according to that I don’t even know God!

          2. HH,

            The only way we can walk in obedience and holiness is by the power of God’s Spirit. It has to be all Jesus doing the work in us. When we discover sin in our lives – which we will, at times – we can repent, turn from it, and turn fully to Christ. God promises to forgive. Then He continues to change and transform us to make us more and more holy – to give us His Spirit, His perspective, His power, His holiness, His strength, etc… to live the life He calls us to live.

            We will not attain complete sinless perfection until heaven – but as we yield to Jesus more and more, He can absolutely give us the power to live in victory over sin. It would be an “out of the norm” thing, not our usual behavior as we continue to mature and allow His Spirit full control.

        1. HH. You make me smile through this, do you know that? You are a wonderful student of God. But you and I and April are still sinners. We will always be sinners. I will most likely sin today, somewhere. I may recognize it right away, I may resist and give in and feel horrible about it. I may sin and not realize it for days, months or years! But, my heart is set on doing my best with what I know today. I will learn sone today. I will be better at resisting sin tomorrow because of it. That’s the process. It took you 18+ years to learn what you needed for a career. You don’t learn it instantly. Are you still learning things about your field of expertise? Or do you feel like you know it all? I’m guessing you can see the foolish pride in thinking you know all there is to know in your field, even though you may be considered an expert. In the same way, you are learning everyday on how to be a godly person. Today you are better than 7 years ago, or even yesterday. please hear this….YOU WILL NOT PERFECT YOUR STRUGGLE OVER SIN UNTIL YOU GO TO BE WITH GID AND LEAVE THIS EARTH. (not yelling, just emphasizing;) So, accept it. You will sin. You are NOT perfect, even though you want to be. I think perfection is your stronghold. I know it is for me. I struggle daily with it…sometimes hourly. You know what to do with sin, though. Take it to God. Truly repent. Turn your heart from that sin. Sometimes it creeps back in…like a weed. So you tear it out.. again and again if you have to. The battle is long and hard and relentless. Don’t get battle fatigue now, resolve to keep fighting the good fight of faith, my brother. In this way, victory will be yours and the strongholds will be broken.

          1. “I think perfection is your stronghold”

            I need to think on this. Are you saying that wanting to be perfect is a sin?

            Thanks LMS (and I’m glad I make you smile!)

          2. If the goal of perfection is above doing what God wants, and achieving perfection is your first priority, then yes. However, the goal of being perfect is not in itself a bad one. It needs to come with the understanding April said that it is unachievable until we are with God at His side.

            I know for me, perfection was a sin for me. I wanted to be a perfect wife, mother, employee, daughter etc. So I was VERY resistant and blind to the mistakes I made. I would deny, blame and avoid to try to be perfect. Once I learned to “own” my mistakes, I actually felt relieved that I was “normal” and not a huge failure. Although I don’t want to sin and make mistakes, I know I will, so I’m not unreasonably hard on myself. I still strive to not mistakes, but I don’t feel like a failure because of my nature anymore. Hope that makes sense.

          3. LMSdaily115,

            It seems to me that what God desires is obedience to Him and holiness – which are accomplished by His power working in us.

            That is different from perfectionism – where we have very specific expectations and standards for ourselves that are man-made. I have some posts about that, you may search my home page for “perfectionism.” It is possible to make our own definition of “perfection” into an idol that we desire more than we desire God. Yes. I used to do that. I would measure myself by these certain standards – things that were not in the Bible.

            – I have to make all A’s and they have to be very high A’s.
            – I have to keep the house perfectly straight and totally organized all the time or we won’t be able to sell it and our lives will be awful forever.
            – I have to have this perfect schedule for myself and my children and I can’t be flexible at all.

            Also, behind perfectionism, is pride:

            I SHOULD be able to be perfect on my own without God’s help. If I can’t be, then I am a failure.

            Instead of humbly realizing there is no good in me in my own strength and my attempts at holiness are like bloody, filthy, menstrual rags in God’s sight. I am 100% dependent on God’s Spirit and Christ’s goodness and holiness filling me for me to have any goodness.

          4. Hmmm. Thank you very much April and LMS. I have much to think on. I am sensing the leading of God to reflect and pray about this perfectionism. It is related to the forgiving myself comment LMS made in another post. I can see a lot of freedom in that. So much actually.

            – I can see perfectionism in my home and garden, exactly like April just wrote “It has to be perfect all the time otherwise I can’t sell it”. Every weed is meticulously removed, every dent in the walls was grieved over. Very similar.
            -And in my job also.
            -Actually and at church.

            I have been asking God lately what is the next step you want me to take. Perhaps this is part of that. And may be related to letting go of my sin since saved? Much to pray about. Thank you again.
            HH

          5. HH,

            I also have a video about Freedom from Perfectionism here – https://youtu.be/c695t-X0zb8

            This was a big idol for me for a long time. It is very freeing to let it go. To do things because we want to honor Christ not because “I have to be perfect or else!?!?!!” Letting go of perfectionism allows us to relax in God’s love and to allow the Spirit to empower us to please God. Then we don’t feel all of that pressure on us. It is about relationship and abiding in Christ, the results are holiness. But the goal is not perfection. It’s not a matter of “I have to do this job or this relationship with my husband perfectly or I am worthless.” or “I have to do this perfectly or my world will fall apart!” The goal is Jesus. He is enough. The other stuff, the worldly stuff, doesn’t really matter that much.

          6. That sounds like a very good place to be April. I will watch that video now. I don’t want to be a perfectionist, I just have a very strong belief that I have to be. There seem to be such dire consequences for making mistakes that I don’t want to make any! In anything. Ever.

          7. HH,
            Ha! The idea that I shouldn’t make mistakes is one I have definitely had. And, being a pharmacist, we are NEVER supposed to make mistakes. But we are human, and we do make mistakes sometimes. I understand wanting zero mistakes. But I am going to have to have grace for myself. I realized that I didn’t have grace for myself for so many years and if I don’t receive God’s grace for me, I can’t give it to anyone else, either. It was not until I could receive God’s grace and stop beating myself up over every little thing that I could treat others with grace and not beat them up over every little thing.

            I was treating Greg the same way I was treating myself in a lot of ways. Expecting total perfection – by my definition, of course. The thing about perfectionism is that it forces us to focus on what is wrong. It creates negativity and complaining. There is no thankfulness and gratitude. If I do everything perfectly, I am just doing the “bare minimum requirements” and there is no joy.

            Perfectionism and legalism go very closely together. They are a heavy burden, and they are not of God.

          8. That’s a good video April. I especially resonated with the thought that perfectionism has its root in thinking that if we are perfect then we will be loved. YES!!!! That is exactly how I feel, in human relationships especially. The sense of admiration if I do something “right” and the feeling of being loved if I get things right. How does one ‘recover’ from perfectionism?

          9. HH,

            I think it is really critical to unearth the lies that are the foundation of perfectionism. Things like:

            1. I should be able to be perfect in my own strength without Christ.
            2. Other people’s approval is the most important thing.
            3. I have to earn love from God and from others.
            4. If I can do things perfectly in my eyes, I can control everything and I will be safe and can be guaranteed the outcomes I desire.
            5. My approval and opinions are more important than God’s.
            6. I am sovereign over many things. (The truth is I don’t have control over much. Control is an illusion.)
            7. I am responsible for things that really aren’t my responsibility.
            8. I can be good on my own.
            9. I can trust in my efforts to make me right with God and with others.
            10. Love is about getting an A+ on my “report card.”
            11. If I am not worried and trying so hard that I am exhausted, I don’t really love other people.
            12. I can’t relax and enjoy intimacy with God or with others.
            13. My value is in what I do not in who I am or in what Christ did for me.
            14. If I don’t make mistakes, other people will love me and never be upset with me.
            15. I can’t trust God if things don’t go exactly as I think they should go. My way is best.
            16. Perfection is more important than people and relationships.
            17. I can make myself right with God, I don’t need Jesus.
            18. I can handle my own relationships and don’t need Jesus.
            19. I don’t need the Holy Spirit, I have my own strength and effort.
            20. I am the key here, not God. (This is all about pride, idolatry of self, and absence of total humility and dependence on God.)

            Maybe this is a start. Do you see any other lies that may feed this mentality?

          10. I feel really bad at the moment. I have treated my wife exactly the same, requiring perfection from her. I felt justified in it as it is a ‘good’ thing to want to be perfect. But I can see that it is partly why she has left. But how on earth does one change such a fundemental, rooted way of thinking!!?? I mean for heavens sake, I’m lying here in bed looking at the ceiling wondering how to change it and I notice a dent in the plaster and immediately want to fix it. Perfectionism is ME!!!!!

          11. HH,

            The Pharisees were perfectionists and legalists. But they had their own definitions of perfection that deviated from God’s definitions of holiness. God wasn’t concerned about many of the hundreds of rules they added to the Law He gave. He was most concerned about heart attitude and motives. You can follow a bunch of rules and have a really hateful, prideful, self-righteous, unloving, Satan-honoring heart. Like I did for many years.

            Loving God and loving people isn’t about rules. It isn’t about check lists. It isn’t about making demands.

            One of my mentors shared with me that for someone to live with someone like me (she and I have a similar personality) – is very difficult. She talked about how she and I are so intense. With my perfectionism, I expected Greg to be perfect in all the ways I thought he should be, too. Many times my expectations were not biblical. They were worldly or they were my own expectations. If he didn’t do what I thought he should do, I believed he was guilty of sin. Now I see that I expected to force my personal convictions on him. Lots of my expectations were unreasonable and not godly. Pride blinds us.

            It is not wrong to fix things and make things look nice. BUT – if that becomes the highest goal and I can’t be content unless everything is absolutely perfect all the time, that can be an idol.

            I learned to overcome this partly through God helping me hash through my unrealistic and unloving expectations of Greg and my idols and motives. But also, I had to live in a house that Greg was remodeling for many years where at least 600 square feet of space was a total disaster and unusable at any given time. I HATED IT FOR SO LONG! I wanted everything to look perfect and in order all the time – like a house would look if it was staged and on the market to sell. I hated all the mess that came with daily living. I would still like to sell about 75% of what we own. I don’t like having lots of stuff cluttering up the place.

            But God taught me that the stuff doesn’t really matter. It could all be gone in a moment. When my husband dies before me, which is likely, and my children are gone, I will have a clean house without so much junk. But I will miss them. The people are the things that really matter that last forever. How I treat them and love them and how I treat God is what really matters. I learned to live with total chaos and mess and dust and yuck and to just overlook it – and to focus on the things that are eternal. What are the priorities God has for me?

            1. To love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
            2. To love others as I love myself (which does mean I need to receive what God has for me and His love so I can give His love and grace to others).

            There is no reward in heaven for the cleanest house. There is no eternal significance to having every dent fixed in the ceiling or every tool in its proper place. (Greg is an awesome renovator. But he does not put his tools away neatly. They are just everywhere. It is really messy. I used to get very upset about that.) Now I realize I was making these little things that don’t have eternal consequences more important than how I obey God and treat my husband which do have eternal consequences. I was making very small things bigger than the most important things.

            If something is not perfect, I may have to remind myself, “That is okay. This is not something God will grade. I can seek to be a good steward of things. But the things are not the most important part of life. Relationships are the most important part of life. That is where my priorities need to stay. If I am willing to hurt my relationships or hurt people or dishonor God in order to make things look perfect, that is messed up, sinful, destructive thinking.”

          12. HH – I’m a perfectionist as well, to the point that it sometimes paralyzes me (especially in work situations). I used to justify pushing my husband to be “better” because I was only trying to help! I thought if I made suggestions or questioned him, he would see that my way was best and the outcome would be better overall. To me this was being a loyal and dedicated spouse because I genuinely wanted what was best for my husband and my family.

            What I’ve realized, though, is that I stifled his ability to think for himself and make his own choices. He was so used to being criticized, whether or not I intended to criticize him, that he didn’t dare make a decision on his own because he knew it would be wrong in my eyes. Years of this led to self-loathing, feeling hopeless, and poor impulse control when he was away from me and could finally do things without my input (his own description). His infidelity was not my fault, but I can see how it happened when I consider how it must have felt when he met someone who treated him like an adult instead of acting like the parent of a disobedient child.

            It’s HARD to stop encouraging someone to be and do better, especially when you truly want to help that person. I can’t just flip a switch and make myself not be a perfectionist anymore. However, as April said above, living this way doesn’t allow room for grace (for ourselves or for others). In taking myself down a few thousand notches and realizing that my controlling nature ruined my marriage, I’ve learned to keep it in check much better than I did in the past and I pray about it often when I feel myself wanting to “fix” things. The more I’ve prayed, the more I’ve been able to step back and let my husband make decisions. Initially I was shocked to find that he makes great ones, and that sometimes they are different than what I would have chosen but still the right thing. (That sounds so terrible but I was genuinely surprised in the beginning.)

            I don’t know if any of this is helpful to you, but just know I’m lifting you up to the Lord in prayer this morning. I understand what it’s like to struggle with perfectionism and I pray you’re able to find healing.

          13. therestoredwife,

            I think your insights are very helpful.

            When we are perfectionists, we are condescending to others. We treat them as if we know best and they don’t. Or, I did that, at least. The pride that was in my heart!??!?!!? I truly believed I knew best for everyone what they should do. I believed they should submit to me (although I wouldn’t have worded it like that). I also subconsciously believed that God should submit to me because I understood His will better than anyone and I knew what He should do in every situation to make things right in my eyes. Whew! 🙁 My pride was through the roof!

            I developed a large picture of myself as being in charge, in control, overly responsible, and sovereign over a lot of things when I was a child. I developed a wimpy picture of God. I believed it truly was my duty and responsibility to make other people make the right choices. I was trying to be God and the Holy Spirit. But I am not deity. It turns out.

            Yes, I had the same experience of having to take myself down “thousands of notches” is exactly how I worded it, too!

            Sometimes what a perfectionist views as “helping” comes across as “controlling and belittling and disrespecting” to others.

          14. Wowsers. Y’all have given me a LOT to rhink over. It’s late at night here, I’m going to sleep on this and really pray through these posts tomorrow morning. Many thanks all. HH

        2. HH, some books that might help you on this part of your journey –

          Classic Christianity by Bob George

          The Rest of the Gospel by Dan Stone (please note that this doesn’t mean he’s adding to the gospel….the rest is talking about resting in Christ’s finished work!)

          The Indwelling Life of Christ: All of Him in All of Me by Major Ian Thomas

          The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee

          Who I Am in Christ by Neil Anderson (any books by Neil Anderson would be good as his ministry is focused on our understanding of who we are in Christ and Christ’s finished work for us). This particular one would be great for a more devotional type book that you can read one chapter pretty quickly each day.

          Living with Jesus Today by Juan Carlos Ortiz – here free: http://www.calledtobefree.org/article.cfm?id=71

          They Found the Secret by V. Raymond Edman (Highly recommended short stories of spiritual giants like Hudson Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Dwight Moody, John Bunyan, Oswald Chambers and more I think…..testimonies of how they all were led to the truth of Christ’s finished work for them and how Christ is their life)

          I will pray that God will show you the truth that Christ has taken care of everything on the cross and He meant what He said when He said, “It is finished!” Our job as believers is to rest in Who He is, what He’s done for us and in His finished work – and in His ability to live His life through us as we submit to Him. If He asks us to obey Him, it’s only from the life of His own Son in us that will be able to obey. And, you have the life of the Son of God living in you. You have everything you need for life and godliness – right now.

          I also love to listen to this pastor’s sermons as his preaching and teaching is centered around Christ and our unity with Him – it is truly some of the most Christ-centered preaching I’ve heard and will embolden your faith rather than leave you feeling guilty and more condemned as some Christian teaching can do.

          http://stevepettitmessages.com/

          You’re in a good place asking these questions, HH. They need to be dealt with and the thing that will tear this stronghold down is the truth! Jesus said, Whom the Son sets free is free indeed! You are free, HH. Free from living under law, free from all of your sin – every bit of it.

          This is something the enemy uses in a powerful way against Christians and so it’s something that all Christians need to be on guard for – always. If the enemy can make you feel condemned and not forgiven and that you still need to do x,y and z before God will love you, he is one happy camper. It keeps you ineffective.

          Paul knew who he was in Christ and that’s why he was able to say this so confidently:

          Romans 8:35-39: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long;
          we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

          Nothing can separate you from his love, HH. Nothing.

          1. Thank you CiC! I have one of those books on my “to read” list already, The Normal Christian life. Perhaps I should bump it to the top!

            Golly I wish I had only ever had the right teaching and guidance right from the start! So many things to relearn!! One of the BIGGEST things in me is a resistance to accepting any teaching that does not line up with the church I was brought up in. I was in that church for 22 years and even though I left it as i started to see that some teachings didn’t line up with scripture the words “Don’t accept anything that comes from outside this church” have ingrained themselves within me!!!!!!!! Even that list of books you posted my first thought is “but can I accept them as truth?”

            HH

          2. HH,
            We do need to weigh everything against God’s Word and pray for God to help us have His Spirit’s wisdom to discern rightly. But yes, we need to question everything we were taught earlier in our Christian walk and be willing to kick out anything that is not of God.

        3. Humbled Husband,
          Have you ever read Andrew Murray’s “Absolute Surrender”? He talks a lot about your question above, about sinning AFTER the fact….It definitely opened my eyes up to a lot of things! I think you can even find it online for free! I strongly reccommend it!!

          Blessings,
          Amanda

          1. Amanda.

            This book revolutionised my thinking and is my favorite book after the bible. It was fundamental in helping me see the necessity of a surrendered life. Thank you for bringing it up.

            HH

      2. I’m not in that spot all the time. It just plagues me enough to keep me from moving forward and trusting the boat completely and is probably the main reason I still have some fear. HH

  11. April,
    The rub is that being married for 20 years and my wife being 10 years older. She wastes her youth refusing sex while I was in my sexual prime. Now as someone with a healthy libido, but no where near what it was I cannot bring myself to see past her disrespect, and it takes me days to initiate intimacy after her meaness. During that time when I am trying to cultivate desire she will be mean or disrespectful again, which leads to me not wanting intimacy longer.

    Back to her being older. She is not aging well and I have a hard time seeing her as attractive when she is mean and disrespectful. Its hard to even look at her at times. I can see her as beautiful when she is responsive in bed, respectful during the days, but it is getting harder and harder as she ages.

    I can only advise women getting older that if they wish to be seen as pretty to their husbands as they get older work on your self awareness and cultivate what this woman has done now. You will reap the benefits later. As for me, I see myself with an older woman who is gossipy, disrespectful and is viewed by me as an aging hag.

    1. Jeff,

      I can understand why a wife’s disrespect would be a big turn off to a husband. A woman can be the most beautiful model, but if there is hatred, contempt, bitterness, pride, self-righteousness, gossip, and disrespect in her heart – those spiritual things distort her appearance and create an inescapable “ugliness.” I have heard this same thing from many husbands. I know my own husband was not attracted to my disrespect, contempt, holier-than-thou attitude, control, and pride. Who would be attracted to that?

      Ladies, think “Mean Girls” or Cinderella’s beautiful but nasty stepsisters. Or, imagine some popular singers and actresses today who are beautiful externally but their attitudes make them look awful – even other women can see that. Godly beauty is timeless and increases with age. God tells us what is beautiful in a woman – a peaceful, gentle spirit that does what is right and does not give way to fear. He tells us how to be beautiful for our husbands by having godly femininity, and treating our husbands with genuine respect, honor, and cooperation. I am sure it may be hard to hear some of what Jeff is saying – but I think he is offering some valuable insights from a husband’s heart if we are willing to hear about the power of a wife’s attitude and character on her husband’s sense of attraction to her. Everything is not the wife’s responsibility, certainly. We may not be able to change our external appearance as we age – but we do have control over our character and our spiritual growth in Christ. My desire is for us to be faithful in the things God has called us to do as wives, that we might be a blessing to our husbands and to the kingdom of God.

  12. What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

    You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

    “God opposes the proud
    but shows favor to the humble.”

    Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

    James 4:1-10

    1. “He jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us.” Interesting. Want to ponder that.

      I have had fleeting thoughts the last week or two that the jealousy I feel for my husband (the jealousy of just wanting to know that he is fully committed to me and our marriage) is a reflection of the jealousy God feels for me and my love and desires toward Him. A jealousy that I would have no other gods before Him.

      Yes, this is something I need to think more about.

      I like that song How He Loves Us…

      He is jealous for me,
      Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
      Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
      When all of a sudden,
      I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
      And I realize just how beautiful You are,
      And how great Your affections are for me.

      And oh, how He loves us, oh,
      Oh, how He loves us,
      How He loves us all

      1. CIC,
        YES! God gives us marriage to help us understand His jealousy for us, for our worship, our devotion, our adoration, our commitment, our submission to Him as Lord. When we break our marriage covenants, or a spouse flirts with breaking the marriage covenant, we feel a little fraction of the pain God feels when we are unfaithful to Him – putting other things or people above Him in our hearts, making Him a low priority, not believing His Word, not wanting to spend time with Him, etc…

        Thank you for this!

  13. Well, wow. I feel like Amanda’s and Just Me’s posts have knocked me back into reality today!!! LOL God has used them to remind me that yes, I have been seeking (again) after lesser gods. Yes, I have put the restoration of my marriage back in the forefront of my thoughts again. I love what April’s blog is about – and I love your comments, Amanda, and how you keep reminding us that God will not allow us to be satisfied in anything else….that He is allowing these things in our lives to give us the greatest joy we can imagine – Himself. Yes, these things are incredibly painful. But, God is doing it because He wants us to experience the greatest joy we could have in our lives and He knows we will not find it in these things that are passing away one day.

    Jesus said He came to give us life, an abundant life. He said no one can steal our joy from us. He is not a liar. So, if my joy is gone, it’s not because He has failed or done something on His end to remove my joy. The problem has to be with me and my thoughts and what my heart is setting its affection on. Today, I choose joy — which for the first time, sad to say, I am realizing means…..I choose Jesus (joy) today. I choose Jesus (joy) today over my marriage, I choose Jesus (joy) today over my husband. I choose Jesus (joy) today over my kids. I choose Jesus for all of my joy.

    I keep thinking of this C.S. Lewis quote the last day or two: “It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

    Just Me, your comment is needed. For me. For probably so many of us. Thanks for the kick in the pants.

    Father, Thank you that you will complete this good work you’ve begun in us. Don’t let us settle for mud pies when we can drown in the sea of You and Your love and goodness and experience all our hearts could ever desire. This will be a process, Lord. Help me, help us to remember that. Be patient with us and help us all to keep reminding each other of this truth that You alone can give us joy and You alone can satisfy us.

    I love you guys! Thanks for jumping in to help rescue those of us whose faith is faltering. Thanks for entering into the battle with us. We are all in it together. And we have the Conquering King on our side, already victorious.

    1. ContentinChrist,

      I wish I could express to you the utter JOY bubbling up in my heart from reading your reply!!!!! At first, I thought maybe I was focusing a little too much on the topic, but now I see that God is truly using me as an empty vessel to share what He has PAINFULLY showed me!!!! This lesson, when learned, is LIFE CHANGING! My life is changing. I am changing. My husband is changing. My son is changing. ALL because of God’s MIGHTY POWER working in and through His body to minister His powerful truths!!! The word of God is alive and active!! Hallelujah!!

      I am so thankful to God that you have opened eyes, and that you are drawing closer to Jesus. Even through this pain, there IS PURPOSE! Isn’t that great?? The Joy of the Lord really is our stregnth, Sister!!!!

      I have been praying for all of us here, and all the husbands who are struggling out there. God is showing me how much the enemy is out to destroy spiritual authority, because he knows that if he can get down the leaders, then the rest of the flock will be without direction, without the words of Life flowing out of a pure heart that is devoted solely to the Lord Jesus! The devil is infuriated when God’s children have an utter devotion and totally surrendered heart to Jesus…becaouse it is from these that the Holy Spirit flows and the Words of God are mixed with His power!!!! If there is any mixture, any compromise, our words are not backed by the Power of God and the body suffers.

      Thank you to April who has totally surrendered her life to Jesus, and has allowed Him to work through Greg to lead her to starting such a powerful ministry that is speaking to all of us who God has brought here!!!!

      I am in Awe Of our God!!!

      Blessings,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda,

        I can just see, hear, and feel God’s Spirit bursting through your words. Brings me SO MUCH JOY and tears of gratitude and awe to God to watch Him transforming you like this. WOW!

        Thank you for sharing!

        1. April,
          You will never know how much your ministry means to me, and I am sure, to so many other women out there! You are an example to all of us, and your journey and your lessons are great treasures that God is using to bring life and nourishment to His body!!!!! What Joy!!! Thank you Jesus!!!!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. Amanda,

            I am so thankful that God allows us to share together here and that He is willing to give us His treasures for us to enjoy. What an incredible blessing! I can’t keep this stuff to myself. I HAVE to share it with my sisters. God has so graciously poured out His love and healing on me. I want everyone to get to experience this!

            It brings me more joy than I could ever say to watch how God is working in your life and in so many others’ lives for His glory. WOOHOO!!!!!! I just have to praise and thank Him with happy tears of joy!

  14. Things in my marriage continue to get worse. When I stand up for myself and confront issues, my husband gets defensive, blames, or ignores me. I keep wondering if things get worse before they get better.

    He says he doesn’t trust me…is it because he sees that I have gotten better? When I do stumble and revert to old behavior he says ” see, you haven’t changed at all.”

    1. For a long time my husband seemed to watch me 24/7, just waiting for me to mess up so he could hold it over my head. It was very frustrating and sometimes I felt like I was locked in a cage; it seemed no matter what I did, he only saw the negative. As I realized that there had been only negatives in our marriage for years and years, it made more sense to think he would look for what is familiar even if it was dysfunctional. After all, I was prone to the same thing (but it’s sooo much easier to see it in someone else versus ourselves!).

      As I mentioned in the post, what helped me was treating my husband like a guest or acquaintance. Basically, if I couldn’t say something positive, I didn’t say anything at all. It was HARD to bite my tongue when I felt he was making mistakes or not considering me or my opinions. For months I barely spoke because it was so hard to say things with no complaints or criticisms. After awhile, though, my brain sort of reprogrammed itself and now I don’t struggle to find things to say.

      If your behavior is changing, it’s very possible your husband is suspicious. He may worry that you are trying to trick him somehow. It does take time for the effects of disrespect to fade! I pray that things will continue getting better and that you’ll both adjust to this new way of doing things. It’s very, very worth the struggle, I promise!

  15. I can’t really articulate how I feel right now but let’s just say I’m identifying with the bathroom scenario.

    Thanks for the heads up about how long it’ll take, though in the mean time I just don’t know how to act (I’m on my way home now and am dreading it as I’m sure he is 😢) There are big decisions that need to be made quite immediately and I’ve blown things so everything is now on hold. I desperately need things to be resolved now – I’ve spent most of the day in tear (at work) and have fasted today (well I lost my appetite for even water).

  16. Please please please could you have some private online support group (Facebook maybe) for wives who are on this journey? I would pay – I’m so desperate!

  17. So much activity, I wrote something that I hope is helpful for everyone. But although, I hardly know Becca, it looks as if you, my sister in Jesus are going through a really tough test.

    So here goes, I may repost in my blog:

    This is my prayer for you:

    There is a Father far above,
    That has forgiven us long ago,
    That is Our Heavenly Father.

    We have a Brother our best example,
    That is Our Savior And our hope,
    He walks with us every day.
    He has forgiven us long ago.

    We have the Holy Spirit,
    That burns away the dross.
    It lights the path for us,
    And guides us on our way.

    They are our only hope,
    The are Gifts for Life Eternal,
    We live for THEM alone,
    And will in time be granted
    Abundance and Heavenly Crown.

    Those goads and pricks of hardship,
    That turn us from the path,
    Are made through lies
    Of Holy words so twisted,
    By Satan and his serpents.

    They test us to our foundation,
    To see is temple sure,
    Is built on sand or rock?
    For they have tested many,
    And know where we are weak.

    Their test and their threats
    That is all they have,
    For they have only fear,
    Fear grows from fear
    That is their only tool.

    You can say:
    The Lord is my strength and my salvation.
    Then rain
    BEAT down,
    Wind BLOW your gales and hurricanes,
    Take all that you can from me;
    For you can take or offer
    Only dust and ashes
    With my faith:
    My soul or spirit may not be crushed.

    My soul is already promised to another.
    Of so much value worth.
    He is The LORD!
    The LORD of ALL!!
    HALLELUJAH, HALLELUJAH!
    PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME!!!

    AMEN.

      1. There is only one man who does not have feet of clay, and that is Our Jesus.

        This is the the only One, who can give us hope.

        I am not denigrating your husband, for I am sure he is a very fine man, but put next to the Son of God: we all fall short.

        It does not mean that husbands shouldn’t be given respect, oh no!

      2. Hope Always,

        Please search my home page for:

        – discontentment
        – expectations
        – fear
        – control
        – idol
        – idolatry
        – lordship of Christ
        – filled with the Spirit
        – fully trusting God with my husband
        – contentment
        – insecurity
        – security
        – hold things of this world loosely

        I go through the steps that we need to take in these posts to tear out our idols and to yield fully to Christ. 🙂

      3. God will show you how to let go and He will be faithful to complete the work He has already begun in you. The reality is that He is showing you the futility of trusting in the idol of your husband/marriage. It is painful, but necessary in this process. I just want to assure you that God is lovingly for you and has not abandoned you and He is working on your behalf to bring you to great freedom in Christ and to joy in Him. Lean into Him and rest in His love for you, His faithfulness and His tenderness and care for you. He will hold you through this.

        Keep reaching out for prayer and support as you need it!

        Father, I pray for Hope Always today. I pray that You will speak to her today, that You will bring her a word of comfort, that she will feel Your presence and love in a way that she never has before. Father, enable us to be willing to be molded as we go through these painful trials. I pray that Hope Always will be able to get into Your word to receive hope and for her faith to be built up. I pray for her to be able to see her husband with different eyes – Your eyes. I pray that she will see the spiritual battle she is in and that You will teach her how to fight with spiritual weapons of love, grace, mercy, blessing, prayer, standing in faith on Your promises and truth/wielding the sword of truth. The battle is not always easy, Lord. Some days are really hard and others are easier. Give us grace for the days that we are weak and I pray that You will send someone to encourage and walk beside Hope Always during this trial. I pray for her husband that he will see the life and love of Christ pouring out of his wife and that he will be in awe of what is happening to her – whether he expresses or shows that right now or not – and that he will be drawn to You in Your timing. Thank you, Father, for all the good that You have planned for this time in Hope Always’ life and her family. We bow our knee to Your plan and Your ways. You are always good. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  18. Some of the lies we women sometimes believe (info from Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book for anyone who may be interested – in the book she counters each lie with the truth of the Bible)

    Some Lies Some of Us Believe about God:

    1. God is not really good.
    2. God doesn’t love me.
    3. God is just like my father.
    4. God is not really enough.
    5. God’s ways are too restrictive.

    Some Lies Women Sometimes Believe about Themselves:

    1. I’m not worth anything.
    2. I can’t help the way I am.
    3. Physical beauty matters more than inner beauty.
    4. I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings.

    Some Lies about Sin:

    1. My sin isn’t really that bad.
    2. God can’t forgive what I have done.
    3. I am not fully responsible for my actions and reactions.
    4. I cannot walk in consistent victory over sin.

    Some Lies about Priorities:

    1. I don’t have time to do everything I am supposed to do.
    2. I can make it without consistent time in the Word and prayer.

    Some Lies about Marriage:

    1. I have to have a husband to be happy.
    2. It is my responsibility to change my mate.
    3. My husband is supposed to serve me.

    Some Lies Women Believe about Emotions:

    1. If I feel something, it must be true.
    2. I can’t control my emotions.
    3. I can’t help how I respond when my hormones are out of whack.

    TO FIND HEALING:

    1. We must agree with God about what things are lies we have believed.
    2. We must accept responsibility for believing lies and for the sin that has resulted in our attitudes, actions, words, and deeds.
    3. We must affirm the truth of God’s Word and replace the lies with His truth in our hearts consciously and purposely even if it doesn’t “feel right” at first.
    4. We must act on the truth and align our lives with His truth, asking God to empower us with His Spirit to live the truth.

    1. Dear Sister April, Could I incorporate what you posted above into a blog about this subject? I will mention you and your source. I will add to it and I hope you will appreciate it.
      I feel so blessed that I have “met” you here and so appreciate all that you do in your ministry!
      In the Peace of Jesus

      1. jesuscentreoflife,

        Those are all points in Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ book, Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. You may credit her if you want to use those points. 🙂

        1. Jesuscentreoflife,

          You may also search my blog for terms like:

          – responsible for your spouse’s happiness
          – idol of happiness
          – feelings
          – emotions
          – responsible for myself spiritually
          – responsible for my emotions
          – personal convictions
          – healthy vs unhealthy relationships
          – people pleasing
          – playing the martyr
          – using guilt to manipulate
          – control
          – fear
          – worry
          – conflict
          – expectations

          I address a number of other lies in these posts like:

          – My husband is responsible for my happiness.
          – I am a slave to my feelings/emotions/hormones.
          – Other people are responsible to meet my expectations or I have a free pass to respond sinfully against them.
          – I am responsible for my husband’s happiness.
          – I am responsible to force my convictions on my husband.
          – If I am upset, my husband needs to fix it.
          – If my husband is upset, I need to fix it.
          – I can’t let anyone be upset with me.
          – Conflict is not okay.
          – I have the responsibility to control/change/fix other people.
          – Worry means I care and is inevitable.

          1. Dear brothers and sisters, children of Our Heavenly Father,

            I think us all so blessed, all of us who are walking with Jesus. Whether this path is new to us, or old, we need the fellowship. I have decided to share in my blog prayers that are inspired by passages from the Holy Bible, I hope that some of you come and visit,

            A Christian brother.

            In the book of Ezra, we find him retraining to Jerusalem with the blessing of King Darius, whom he has not asked for soldiers, for the reason given below:

            For I was ashamed to request of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to protect us against the enemy along the way, because we had told the king, The hand of our God is upon all them for good who seek Him, but His power and His wrath are against all those who forsake Him (Ezra 8:22 AMP)

            If you, brothers and sisters, would like to have a look at what I wrote today. Here is the link!
            https://wordpress.com/post/jesuscentreoflife.wordpress.com/297

  19. I was thinking about this post, while making supper last night, and this verse popped into my head, “But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High.” Maybe those you love, who are angry with you, could be called your enemies, and we are supposed to “lend” love to them, which we receive from God, not expecting or demanding a return, but love them or “lend” them anyway?
    What do you think? It seems to me this can apply for marriage or any troubled relationship.

    1. Grace..your idea sounds like a great one to me. I am thinking unconditional love. Love our enemies….in this case..my husband…love him without strings attached, without hoping to get something from him,.

      I love the idea shared earlier about treating our husband’s that we are in deep despair with, as house guests. Always cared for despite the anger, hurt, bitterness. With boundaries in place when needed.

    2. Grace,

      I read that passage today! I do think that is a principle that applies in more ways than just monetarily. Kind of like Romans 12 about overcoming evil with good.

      Thanks so much for this!

    3. I’ve said this before in comments on other posts, but I really had to make a conscious decision every morning (and sometimes multiple times throughout the day) to forgive my husband for anything he did or said to me that day, no matter what it was. I would picture myself putting on protective armor every morning and tell myself I could handle it, that I would love my husband as Christ loves me even if he didn’t reciprocate. By letting go of any expectations for how he “should” respond to me, I was finally able to break free from years and years of disrespect and just act out of kindness and love. Not because he deserved it but because it was what God called me to do.

      It really is a huge shift in the way society tells wives to treat their husbands… Some of my friends thought I was insane or brainwashed! But that was because they had heard nothing but complaints about my husband from me for years, something that pains me deeply to admit. I was 100% focused on the negatives and didn’t even realize it, and all my friends thought I was married to a monster. My husband is a good man – a GREAT man – and I regret so much that I missed out on his good qualities for so many years. Sometimes now I look at him and feel overwhelmed by how many wonderful gifts I could have missed out on if I hadn’t learned to respect him. Now there is never a feeling of “I’ll be respectful no matter what he does or says” because he treats me better than I ever could have imagined. He’s the same man he always was, but finally able to approach me as a true partner and not the enemy I created in my mind.

      1. This is an inspiration to me. Thank you. It seems so Ludacris that a person can be looked at with contempt, hate and disdain and then be looked at with love, respect and honor. By the same person? In this lifetime? Really? Okay, if you are bold enough to declare it, and God has done it for, then I know He can do it for me! I will be bold enough to have that kind of faith in our God. Amen and thank you, sister.

  20. I started this journey and then quit. That’s sounds horrible but it’s exactly what I did. Things got so much worse than they were bc he would constantly attack. I went backward back to “normal” & that’s not any better.

    I was just sitting here knowing I need to put the focus back on God completely where it needs to be and I decided to hop over to the peaceful wife’s blog. I hadn’t been here in awhile and here was this post… just the encouragement God knew I needed.

    Please pray for me as I get back on the bandwagon as I know Satan will throw his darts, and most likely things will start to be like they were before. I love the thought of treating him like a guest like someone to be honored becuase he is. This is a great reminder of what I do for others but won’t do for him.

    1. Nikki…I treated my husband like a guest…. on and off . There was a very long period of time when he wasn’t a guest….I cared for his basic needs..but not emotional or spiritual needs…I had no idea that I was disrespectful..until I started reading April’s blog..and WOW…she writes about me. I had no idea what I was entrenched in. And boy am I ever remorseful.

    2. Praying for you and your husband, Nikki! It’s so difficult to be kind to someone who may not be kind in return. The more I found a rhythm in respecting my husband, the harder the attacks would come. Some days I honestly thought I would die of heartache as my husband looked at me like I was a piece of garbage on the bottom of his shoe – he had so much anger and contempt for me, it took my breath away. Today I couldn’t imagine feeling like that; we have a completely different marriage than we ever could have had otherwise. It’s SO worth it, I promise!

      1. That was exactly where I was last year. Your whole article was almost to a T my experience. Along with sarcasm part and pushing my buttons part. Add in insults and looking at me with anger and immeasurable hate. It was awful. Painful. I felt like giving up so many times.
        I’m not at the place where I could say that he treats me better than I could ever imagined. But things are definitely better, so much better than last year. I also see my hubby for who he is now, – amazing man, hard worker….and I’m so ashamed I would ever treat him and say things to him that I did during the 10 years of my disrespectful and controlling behavior. He still remembers it all but he doesn’t throw it in my face as often any more. His hurt is still there,no don’t know if it truly heals or not… But I’m going keep on keeping on because there is just no other way after everything I have learned.

        Thank you April! And everyone who posts here- the stories inspire me to keep going daily!

    3. You are so much stronger than me because my husband got much kinder soon after I stopped making him my idol. I can only imagine how hard it would be to keep on the right path, as things didn’t improve, but got worse. Good for you for not giving up!!

  21. April,

    Read some of the commentors words. Some say they admit constantly complaining about their husbands, and how they treated their husbands with disrespect and then say how they forgive him for being mean. What? Now they see him for who he is and what a good man he is? What? That he is the same man? What? Now their marriage is better? What?

    I dont get it. If he is the same man and he is a good man and they were the ones being mean, gossipy and disrespectful, why are they “forgiving” him? Shouldnt they be asking for forgiveness?

    My wife doesnt sound much different. She will be disrespectful. I will call her on it, and she will act the victim. Hours or days later she will admit, but by that time I could be gone to work or days of silence from both, because A) she was disrepectful B) being gossipy C) not submitting to correction D) acting childish after the fact and pouting. All this because I said she was gossiping about a sister in Christ.

    I am suppose to see her as beautiful? As someone I want to cherrish? Someone who I want to be intimate with? Who cares what this other persons mistake was, we ALL make mistakes…. Oh, except my wife, which givea her the right to complain and gossip about our close friends.

    1. Jeff,

      Those of us who have had “the scales of disrespect fall off of our eyes” as Dr. Emerson Eggerichs puts it – realize now that we were deceived before. We were spiritually blind. We couldn’t see clearly. But when God opens our spiritual eyes and begins to give us His perspective and heals us – our ability to see things changes, often dramatically. It is my prayer that He will do this for every reader on my blog and for every person in the Body of Christ and millions more!

      Those who have had much healing in their marriage did repent to their husbands and to God for their sin and took responsibility for it.

      1. Jeff and all,

        When there is deception involved in someone’s sin, our using logic doesn’t work. Even a godly rebuke may not be something they can “hear.” It takes the spiritual weapons God gives us in 2 Cor. 10:4-5 and Eph 6 plus the power of the Holy Spirit to tear down demonic strongholds of wrong thought and ungodly belief systems. Those strongholds must be addressed in the power of God and in prayer. The person is not the enemy. The demonic ideas and strongholds are the enemy that are lifting themselves up against God. Those high places in our lives that are not of God must be torn down.

        1. When we find ourselves wanting to accuse everyone else of wrong and not finding any sin in our own lives, there is a good chance we are listening to the accuser not to God.

        2. Powerful words…I am understanding this through a class I am taking called ” Healing Waters “..for me I need a community of beleivers to help me understand this.

          I have shared with my husband what I am learning about the strongholds I walked into our marriage with as well as demonic spirits that are generational, that have tarnished me..

          1. Hope Always,

            I’m glad you are working through healing and seeing and taking down strongholds by God’s power and rebuilding on His truth. That is awesome! 🙂

    2. Jeff. There is a twood dynamic here. First, wives (and husbands) need to see their own sin. This, we need to ask for forgiveness for. From God and from those we hurt. We are promised forgiveness from God, but not promised forgiveness from those we hurt.

      However, we have acted disrespectful, mean, gossipy etc most likely because we feel hurt too. Maybe we expect our spouses to love us no matter what and are hurt that they canmot. Or we are hurt by the way our spouses reacted to us at a time of vulnerability.

      Both sides have the ability to be angels AND monsters.

      It was an aha moment when I realized that YES my husband is sinning against me, but my reaction back is also sin against him. I’m no better than him, he is no better than me! Sometimes, spouses put “forgiveness” as a need that it becomes an idol. They simply an not move on until they are convinced they are forgiven by their spouse. It almost becomes a demand. We fail to see that the forgiveness of God is MUCH sweeter than forgiveness of a person. It is a spiritual growth thing to be able to move past this and stop “demanding” forgiveness from our spouses.

      I agree, we need to constantly take the log out of our own eye before we can remove the speck from another’s eye. Sometimes we see the way and want our spouses to see it as we do and even the salvation of our spouses can become an obsession or idol. It’s almost a case of analysis paralysis. Not the best situation, but in time, we hope to move on and mature spiritually past it. Hope it helps.

    3. Hi Jeff,

      As you mentioned, everyone makes mistakes. What I understood these wives’ comments to mean is that earlier in their marriages they would focus only on their husband’s mistakes (often without forgiveness) and not notice their own mistakes. Now, they are working on forgiving their husbands’ mistakes, focusing on the best in their husbands, and correcting their own mistakes.

      In Christ,
      Flower

    4. Hi Jeff,

      I can only speak for myself, but my disrespect led my husband not to act like the good man I now know him to be. He was cruel to me at times. He had an affair. He spent money we needed for our family on things for himself. He honestly probably wouldn’t have offered me a glass of water if I was on fire. So while I still wasn’t justified in making him seem like a villain, I wasn’t horrible to him for no reason. What I had to realize is that, because I was disrespectful and nagged and lectured him instead of being his wife, he reacted to years of those behaviors in whatever way he could find to “escape” from the horrible marriage he found himself in.

      We both sinned against each other. We were in this horrible pattern of seeing who could hurt the other the most, because we didn’t know what to do differently to stop it. We both wanted to make things better, but we were basing our marriage on what the world says marriage should be instead of what God says it should be. We were trying to handle everything ourselves.

      April linked to the longer version of my story in the first sentence of this post. It took a lot of pain and suffering for me to be open to understanding my sin and God’s will for my life, even as a Christian. I spent a lot of years saying “If he would just do X and Y, our marriage would be fine.” I was putting all the responsibility on my husband to change because I didn’t even see the things I was doing wrong. His infidelity seemed to warp my thinking because, no matter what I did, I told myself it wasn’t as bad as what he did to me. Once I (finally) realized my own sins and repented, I realized I needed to change – not because it would save my marriage (at that point I had no idea whether it would have any effect on my husband whatsoever) but because God showed me exactly what I should have been doing all along, and I needed to take that step for myself if nothing else.

      Our transition was actually much faster than many of the couples I read about here, but it has still been nearly 3 years. It was a very difficult time as neither of us trusted the other and there were a lot of wounds and scars to get past. But once my husband knew this wasn’t a gimmick or just some temporary improvement, he slowly began to soften toward me. He would never do some of the things he did before because he actually thinks about whether it might hurt me or our family instead of thinking, “I don’t care what she thinks. I’m doing what makes ME happy.” He is still the same man he was, but he makes different choices because he feels loved and respected instead of attacked. And it had to start with someone choosing NOT to do the things we used to do, and since I was the one who recognized my part in creating the mess, I was the one who decided that I would never act like that again regardless of how he chose to act.

      1. TheRestoredWife,

        My disrespectful attitude caused Greg to shut down in ways I had never seen before. I then lost more respect for him and felt I “had” to take over because he “wouldn’t” lead. His silence and refusal to answer me eventually led me to believe he had no feelings and nothing I could say must be able to hurt him – which I found out later was NOT true.

        It was a cycle with both of us bringing out the worst in each other. My disrespect led to his shutting down and disengaging and being less loving. Then I felt more disrespect. Then he pulled away more. Both of us were sinning against each other and hurting each other in our situation, too. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, in Love and Respect, calls this The Crazy Cycle.

        Her disrespect triggers his lack of love. His lack of love triggers her lack of respect.

        As God empowered me to change, Greg began to very slowly change and heal, as well, over several years. This is what Dr. Emerson Eggerichs describes as “The Motivating Cycle.” His love motivates her respect. Her respect motivates his love. But even if just one spouse obeys God, that spouse’s obedience pours healing into the marriage.

    5. Hi, Jeff –

      I took it to mean that wives are forgiving their husbands because sometimes, the husbands are reacting sinfully after being disrespected. Some of the wives here have even said that their husbands purposely were mean and tried to get them to react once they started their journey to learn to respect (I think some of the husbands even admitted this!). So, yes, in my mind, those are things that need to be forgiven. Even when we are sinned against, none of us are able to use that as an excuse to why we then engage in sin. And, let’s face it….husbands and men will sin even apart from being disrespected. Their sin doesn’t only stem from a wife’s disrespectful behavior. That’s one of the things I really appreciate about April’s blog – that she doesn’t put entire responsibility on the wife for a broken marriage, but knows that there are two parties that usually contribute to a broken or hurting marriage.

      The great thing is that one party stepping up and deciding to do the part that Christ has called them to – whether or not the other spouse is actively doing this or not – can greatly shift the atmosphere of the marriage and God can and often does use that one spouse’s obedience to even restore the marriage. A great place for all of us to start is unconditionally loving and forgiving our spouse for their sin against us. A wife’s disrespect is not ever excused, but I think it’s fair to say that, just like a man will be more tempted to sin once he’s been disrespected, a woman will be more tempted to disrespectful behavior if she is feeling unloved, unheard or uncared for.

    6. Jeff,
      I have heard my husband say the exact ABC’s to me in the past. And honestly, he was just as sinful as me. He was not in a spiritual place where he could truly extend mercy and grace like he is called to by God…he fought evil with evil and we both ended up alone, rejected, hurting, etc. If husbands have Jesus on the throne of their hearts and they are in a truly spiritual place with Christ where they are loving their wives out of obedience to God ALONE, then the husband is full of the Joy of God and able to extend mercy and grace to their disrespectful wife.

      I pray you will not let a root of bitterness spring up in your heart towards her!!!!

      There is hope for her, as God is able to do anything!!! And he has opened all of our eyes….I pray you set your heart wholly on Jesus and seek Him with all of your heart regardless of whether your wife ever “sees” or not!

      Blessings,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda,

        Yes, if even one spouse obeys God and is filled with Him and responds in His Spirit’s power – it can be quite an encouragement and inspiration to the other. As Gary Thomas says in Sacred Marriage, “We are never more tempted to sin than when we are sinned against.” If my husband is not sinning against me – hopefully, I will have to eventually see my own sin and my own need for Christ as I see his loving, godly example.

        1. April,
          It’s so true—-2 wrongs definitely do NOT make a right!!!!! I am seeing now how God can use a situation where possibly one person never does see or change….the person who is devoted to Christ and obeying Him will be storing up such heavenly treasures! And they will be so much in fellowship with our Lord, which is truly a blessing! And, they will be transformed into the image of Christ, and suffer for His sake, and when that happens, we know the bible says the Glory of God rests on that person!!! Wow!

          Love,
          Amanda

  22. Flower,

    Very, very well put.

    I can see that would be true. I just struggle so much with the horribly mean accusations and names I was called, the sexual refusal from the past. She acknowledges them and for the most part doesn’t do them anymore, but she does absolutely nothing to redeem herself. She says she cannot bring herself to initiate sex (to me that tells me she isn’t interested or worse), still uses tone and body language that would make any parent who’s child does it feel embarrassed and ashamed.

    1. Jeff,
      It has been my experience in hearing from wives that many times they stop initiating out of fear of rejection or fear of their husband’s reaction, fear that they won’t be good enough, fear that they won’t be accepted, fear that they are not beautiful enough, or that they are not attractive enough.

      Of course, there can be other issues going on, as well.

      But a wife refusing to initiate sex can also be about things like:
      – low hormone levels
      – depression
      – self-loathing
      – anxiety
      – past abuse
      – not trusting her husband
      – not feeling safe with her husband
      – pain over his temptation with lust or with porn

      The disrespect thing (body language, tone, etc…) that is so obviously repulsive and disrespectful to a man is often not even on a wife’s radar. It is often not something she even notices that she does or that is on purpose.

    2. Thank you very much, Jeff! I am sorry that you are hurting 🙁 I pray that you and your wife’s marriage will grow better.

      In Christ,
      Flower

  23. Was walking content and peacefully for quite some time under much pressure, even my husband was noticing how amazingly surrendered I was. Today I blew it totally, got so off track. My husbands response was quite interesting : “Go and take some time off to read your peacefulwife blog!”. What I did, found much encouragement here. Thanks to April and everyone here! With much love from Norway.

    1. Hisgraceissufficient37,

      Aw! That is awesome how your husband responded. 🙂

      So thankful you are here and that God is speaking to your heart.

      WOOHOO!!!!!

      Much love to you!

    2. Let us grow the church so broad and so wide that:

      Romans 14:11King James Version (KJV)

      11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.

  24. I am working on identifying lies we believe. If anyone wants to add any more… I may be able to write a post about this later. 🙂

    Lies about God:

    1. He is not good.
    2. He is out to get me.
    3. I have to earn His love.
    4. God is holding out on me.
    5. God’s commands are oppressive.
    6. God is small and wimpy.
    7. God is evil.
    8. God is tempting me.
    9. God can’t help me.
    10. God won’t help me.
    11. God is not sovereign.
    12. God is a tyrant.
    13. God needs me.
    14. Jesus is not enough.
    15. Circumstances are greater than God is.
    16. God’s Word is not true or not totally true.
    17. I can’t trust God. He is not trustworthy.
    18. God is not loving.
    19. God is not just.
    20. God should submit to me.

    Lies about Self:

    1. I know better than God.
    2. I am worthless.
    3. I am ugly.
    4. I am unloveable.
    5. I am not a “real person.”
    6. I am not “woman enough” or a “real woman.”
    7. God’s promises and His Word apply to other people, but not to me.
    8. I am in control of other people or my circumstances. Or I should be in control. I think I am responsible for these things.
    9. I know best for others. They all need my help and wisdom.
    10. I can convict others of sin, that is my job.
    11. My sin isn’t that bad, not as bad as what other people do.
    12. God can’t forgive me.
    13. I can’t forgive myself.
    14. I can’t hear God.
    15. I have to or should be perfect on my own.
    16. I must earn God’ love and people’s love.
    17. I am sovereign, not God.
    18. I am the savior.
    19. I am exempt from God’s commands.
    20. I need something other than Christ to be content.
    21. My emotions are greater and more important than God. They are the source of absolute truth, not God.
    22. I don’t need spiritual nourishment from God and His Word.
    23. I don’t have to pray for myself.
    24. I can do this thing in my own strength without Christ.
    25. I can cherish sin and lies in my heart and be fine.
    26. I am above having to forgive. I deserve to hold on to bitterness.
    27. I don’t have to give grace.
    28. I haven’t been forgiven from much because I don’t have much sin in my life.
    29. I can’t be beautiful in God’s eyes.
    30. I can’t know God.
    31. Other people are important but I am not important at all.
    32. I can be close to God and strong spiritually without allowing God full access to the darkest places of my heart.
    33. My motives are always good.

    Lies about Others:

    1. I am more important than they are.
    2. I am justified to sin against people if they don’t do what I want them to do.
    3. If I am in a bad mood, I have a free pass to lash out at other people destructively.
    4. People are here to serve me.
    5. I can’t let anyone be angry with me.
    6. I have to have other people’s approval all the time.
    7. It is not okay if someone doesn’t like me or gets upset.
    8. I have to avoid conflict at all costs.
    9. Others are responsible for my happiness and emotions. If I am upset it is their fault and they better fix it.
    10. Others are responsible for my spiritual growth and character.
    11. Others should submit to me and do what I want them to do.
    12. Others should read my mind and do what I want them to do.
    13. Others must be perfect. I should never have to extend grace or forgiveness to anyone.
    14. Others should control me. And I should have no voice.
    15. I should control others and they should have no voice.
    16. Others’ feelings don’t matter.
    17. My feelings don’t matter.
    18. I have to disrespect myself to respect others.

    1. April,
      Seems like you really laid it all out, I can’t think of anything else! I think an important theme in all of the lies about ourselves is that they are about how much we can NOT measure up. The Lord revealed something to me while reading Andrew Murray’s “Abiding in Christ” that I never forgot—- I saw for the first time that our own SELF actually WANTS to be good enough! PRIDE! And when we realize we can’t be good enough, ever- it is a blow to our PRIDE, and turns into some type of self-pitying. “Woe is me!” Type thing. And it is used to sort of gain attention from others—– to gain affirmation from other people that we are good enough. But really, God already made it abundantly clear in scripture who we are to Him and what we mean to Him and what we are worth to Him!

      When I read this list of lies, the root of all of them is literally PRIDE! Wow, eye opening!!!!
      Thanks for sharing!!!

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda,

        EXACTLY!

        These are all about us deciding we can see better than God can and we know better than He does and that we shouldn’t need Him and should be good enough on our own. It is all about pride.

        Thanks for the insights!

        1. April,

          This link is a David Wilkerson message about “a time to do nothing but TRUST”—WOW– He is talking about how God asks us to simply wait and believe Him and trust Him in our crises–family problems, MARRIAGE PROBLEMS…etc…He is uncovering that when we do not trust God, and we believe the lies that God is not big enough, not listening, not hearing us, not able to help, etc….that is when we decide to trust OURSELVES, and we become PRIDEFUL LEGALISTS! Able to see EVERYONE ELSE’S SINS, and not our own major sin of UNBELIEF, PRIDE, ETC!!!

          Wow- I hope some ladies here would take the time to listen to it, as I believe it will speak to their hearts!!!!

    2. Lies about God=

      – He is not real, the bible is just made up by people.
      – The bible is just a rule book to control people with.
      – God is dead.
      – God is just an excuse to not take control of your life.

    3. April,

      Fantastic list! I thought of one…

      Lies about others: Others who are happy must be that way because their situations are obviously easier, or their past wasn’t as painful as mine.

    4. Here is one that is connected too:
      I am worthless. I deserve to suffer because that is the only way I can be redeemed.
      (this a strange kind of pride because it comes from imagining that our sins can be redeemed by ourselves)
      Similarly, being a doormat makes me a better Christian.

      I believe these kind of lies live very much Christian men who are not receiving respect, it is the only way to make sense of why their otherwise “good” Christian wife would behave in such high-handed and superior way.

    5. How about…

      God: God is limited in how many people He can help at one time. I shouldn’t trouble Him with my problems when others’ problems are so much bigger than mine.

      Self: Motivation to change requires a feeling I must wait to experience, not a decision I must make regardless of my feelings.

      1. J,
        Ooh! These are good. I have heard these. As if God is limited by time and ability and can’t meet the needs of everyone at once. And the feeling thing – YES! So many people want to have feelings first and then change. That is not how life works. Obedience comes first, feelings follow later, usually.

        Love this!

  25. I read in Habakkuk 3;17-19 today and it really hit me how we could apply this in our situations, too.

    Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
    though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
    though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
    The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    He makes my feet like the feet of a deer.
    He enables me to go on the heights.

    We could say:

    Though my husband says he does not love me,
    And he doesn’t kiss me anymore,
    though he talks about leaving
    and he says there is no hope for our marriage,
    though he is not meeting my needs right now,
    and I am feeling forsaken and alone,
    yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

    Our circumstances don’t determine our joy. They don’t determine our destiny. Israel was being punished for their idolatry and rebellion against God when Habakkuk wrote these words. We may find ourselves in a similar position as our own countries rebel against God. But God is also with us in times of spiritual famine and spiritual drought in our marriages. He is enough. He is more than enough. He is our reason for joy!

    1. As the Lord perfects us as vessels we grow ever open to receive and follow His will.

      Let us be humble as the earth, that is molded, let us not be cast down by outer hardships,
      For this hardship
      Is strengthening.

      In Jesus’ Name,
      Amen

  26. Thank you, everyone, who has been praying for me. I would like to ask you to continue to pray, if you feel led.

    I would like to publicly apologize to April for my ugly attitude.

    I would also like to apologize to the other ladies as well. For too long I have been complaining, and dumping on everyone in my comments. The other day I was hurt (sinfully), angry (sinfully) – and I just let it spew forth. That was wrong of me, and I apologize.

    I went to a good old-fashioned, Baptist revival meeting the other night, and the preacher was speaking on exhortation and encouragement of fellow believers. Some of you have been encouraging me, and I appreciate that. I have not been reciprocating, and I apologize.

    I’ve been in a bad place, for a while. I need to get better. SO much has happened in my life, but it is time to stop making excuses. So much has happened to a lot of folks. That’s not what it’s about. It’s about me and God. I am so thankful to be saved, but I have been stuck in my Christian infancy for too long. I’ve probably made it to first grade, but it’s time to grow in the Lord. I need to understand and accept, that no matter what, Jesus is everything I need.

    I promised myself I’d keep this short, and then get back to work. I came back to the blog this morning and read some of your comments. Thank you. I will need to read through them more thoroughly as I have time and can think more on them.

    @just me, I read your comment this morning. Thank you for taking the time to write it. Several of the things you said jumped out at me. First, you are the first person who has ever really seemed to truly understand what I feel like inside. Or maybe just the first one I’ve been able to clearly hear. But the thing you said about a husband with a wife who was unloved, and how he is trying to fill up the Grand Canyon with water using just a thimble – oh my poor husband! That resonated with me a lot. He told me the other day that he has been praying that I will someday be able to accept his love. Maybe his prayers have been the catalyst to this recent turn of events.

    Also, I have never thought of toxic thinking as a crutch, or a vice, but everything you said sure made sense. I am blessed not to have any substance addictions, or really any tangible addictions, but if negative thinking can be an addiction – as much as I hate to admit it – yes, I think that’s a problem I have.

    So initially I was mad and feeling like “whatever”. But I told April I’d try praying (I pray all the time but almost never for myself). I tried and it was about 5 minutes here and 10 minutes there. I had no plans on rereading the “Lies” book, because I thought it was kind of hokey the first time I read it. But for whatever reason (the prayers of others, perhaps?) I picked it up again and started from the beginning.

    Begrudgingly, I started writing. Almost in defiance – or spite. But as I wrote, things started to make more sense. I can see now why April was so insistent upon the writing part. Kind of like when you’re studying for a class and you have to write it down in order to cement the info in your brain.

    I have to report that I am understanding the “Lies” book (so far) much better this time. The first time I read it, I read it the way I read a lot of things – I just read it, but didn’t take any time to ponder what it was saying. I just read the words. Some of it got through, but I didn’t take the time to do any work on my own heart. Just read it and moved on. Kind of like just hoping it would fix things without me having to do any hard work.

    So I’ve been on my own kind of “crazy cycle” – to borrow the term. Things get better – then worse. Better again – then worse. Better again – then worse, and so on and so on. Because it’s all been superficial. April has been telling me FOREVER that I need to do heart work and I have been like “Oh yes! That is true, I’ll get to it…… someday……”

    It’s time.

    This comment is longer than I intended. I want to be careful not to give the devil too much credit, but yes, sometimes I feel like I’m battling myself. On the way home from that revival meeting, something happened that triggered really bad memories and I nearly started an argument with my husband that never ends well. But I stayed silent, and I prayed and prayed and shared it with April. She spoke to me about it, and while it still hurts a lot, I’m praying and trying to change my thoughts on the subject.

    Then this morning, after my husband left for work (at 4:30 am) I couldn’t sleep. And my negative thoughts churned up like crazy. With a vengence. I almost texted him I was so frustrated. But he would have been blindsided since as far as he knew everything was okay. I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want to cry. Sometimes I don’t even want to feel. But something motivated me to pray – for real – to admit to God (I know He already knows) but to admit to Him that I need Him. That I’m stuck in this. To confess I’ve been trying to do it all on my own. To ask Him to show me (gulp) the sin in my own life.

    I don’t like this. I feel better and worse all at the same time. But I’m starting to feel “unstuck”. Not healed, but like I was wading through concrete that was curing, and now I’m just trudging through mud. I know it’s going to be a long process.

    I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more. I got up. Read the Word. Read some of the “Lies” book. Listened online to the sermon from the revival meeting. Checked in on the blog. At first I was upset that I couldn’t go back to sleep, but God knew I needed this time. Time while my kids were still snoozing, and I didn’t have to worry about upsetting them with my tears.

    Thank you for your prayers. Please accept my apology for being so disagreeable.

    I used to detest asking for prayer. I felt like I didn’t deserve to make such a request. Things need to change. Please pray for me. I need it.

    Love to you all.

    1. Becca!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      If I could hug your neck, I would!!! 🙂 THIS is the kind of step forward that I have been waiting for. PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      It is a LONG, LONG road ahead. There are many messed up old beliefs to wade through. But I am SO PROUD OF YOU and SO THANKFUL TO GOD for empowering you to begin to do this hard work and to turn to Him and to be open to the possibility that the old ways of thinking need to go and that it is time to rebuild on God’s Word.

      THANK YOU for your courage and humility in apologizing to everyone. I certainly accept your apology with great rejoicing and with the biggest hug for you.

      I AM praying for you and am honored to get to walk this road with you, my precious sister. I personally believe God has some really amazing plans for you – I truly believe I can see a glimpse of it already – how He desires to use you for His glory and His kingdom. But first, right now, there is just one baby step and then another as you move from the darkness to the light.

      Much love to you!

    2. Becca,

      You’ve reminded me by your example here, how very beautiful a humble spirit is. I’m so inspired.

      Love to you, and praying…

      1. J,
        I totally agree!

        Becca,

        This was such a wonderful, powerful example of contrition and godly sorrow that leads to repentance and healing.

        LOVE IT!

        Much love to you, my precious sister!

    3. Dear Becca, Sisters and Brothers,

      Bless you Becca,
      Bless your open and humble heart.
      It is He who will ultimately,
      Ultimately will rescue you,
      So there is no shame,
      In praying for yourself,
      Indeed who can we change,
      But our own sinful self!
      Bless you, bless you!

      Your heart is open,
      Open to the GRACE,
      That God is pouring in.
      Bless you, bless you!
      Every day when you ask for grace:
      Jesus give me grace,
      To hold my tongue,
      Bless you sister, bless you!
      To know when to take action.
      Bless you sister, bless you!
      To work against all the prideful things,
      That come into my heart.
      Jesus is saying:
      Bless you sister, bless you!
      For He sees your earnest striving.

      It just has been Pentecost,
      When the Holy Fire,
      Came down and purified,
      Our hearts.
      That fire still is burning in
      Each and everyone,

      We need help,
      Each and everyone.
      Let us not be afraid to ask for it.

      In Jesus Holy Name,
      Amen


      Day By Day (Jan McCoy)
      McCoy Family Singers

    4. Dear Becca and Sisters and Brothers in Jesus,

      I replied to you dear sister, and posted it but it did not seem to publish, so I am starting again.

      Bless you sister, bless you!
      Who can help you change,
      There is only One, Our Jesus,
      Ask Him for His Help,
      Praying for yourself is not weakness,
      Praying for help asks a humble heart.
      He will guide and care for you.
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      All your brothers and sisters can do,
      Is pray and wish you well,
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      Your open heart,
      Will receive all the grace you need.
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      I hear Jesus say,
      Ask me for Grace,
      Grace for:
      Holding your tongue,
      For taking action,
      Grace simply to your best each day.
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      Grace is feeling Our Savior’s Hand,
      His Hand resting on your shoulder,
      That Hand gives you strength to know,
      The best way to act,
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      It has been Pentecost,
      When the purifying fire,
      Came down upon the faithful,
      Their hearts were open,
      Just like yours,
      To receive the flame.
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      Receive it into your heart sister,
      Your heart is reopened to receive
      The Heavenly Powers of Love and Light.
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      Every step is a step of faith,
      Always let your heart be open,
      So that Our Lord can whisper to you.
      Bless you sister, bless you!

      Praise Jesus in His Holy Name,
      Amen.

  27. Becca,

    Right here with you sister! I am so glad to know that you were able to connect with some of my comments; it is so good to know that God can use my tears for the benefit of another sister; makes it worth it. Our battle usually consists of our flesh/old man and the enemy working away on something he finds there he can use. So you’re quite right that it feels like battling yourself. Christians all down the ages can testify how hot the battle can be, esp when you have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back.

    Don’t be surprised if the battle increases for a while before victory comes. Since my battle is quite simliar to yours, I will also be working on strongholds and today God was causing me to think on the need to root out bitterness and unforgiveness as it relates to the deep hurt and loss in my relationship to my father and a few other situations.

    Glad to see you back.

  28. Becca, love you, sister! Always great to claim the promise that those who humble themselves will be lifted up by God. You’ve confessed sins, you’ve humbled yourself. God is going to bring the blessing and the promise to pass! He has already been working in you; I think the majority of your comments lately have seemed much different, in a good way, to me…so maybe this last “episode” felt like a “two steps back” kind of thing, but sometimes, those are the very things we need to go through to push us onto another level.

    I will add to your confession one of my own as I feel God was leading me this morning to confess and ask for prayer. I have been a pretty bad homekeeper and have a lot of work I could do in that area. I do just enough to keep my house from being embarrassing (most times) but there is so much more I could do to make good use of my time (could plan better with meals, etc., too). I also spend too much time on the internet – probably mostly on this website – I don’t really visit that many other websites. In some ways, I know that I’ve needed that for some healing and growth to take place in my life and God has definitely used this website in a major way for that in my life, but in another way, I think I am out of balance. I would love prayer and advice/wisdom from those who have thoughts, ideas, stories of their own turnarounds in these areas. April – I don’t know where my comment belongs as I’m not sure it fits in with this post! But, I wanted to encourage Becca that she’s not the only one that struggles with things that need to shift and seem like strongholds.

  29. O my goodness CIC! Now I am blushing and shamefaced. My house is a wreck. Its amazing the various “legitimate” reasons I can come up with for it. We just moved in. Its been three years so I’ve retired that one. The previous owners left a mess and we are still working on it. We are renovating * we really ARE but that is not truthfully the reason my house is often in the same state, clean enough that it isn’t TOTALLY disgraceful but never well managed with honor to God or my husband. And obviously even though i should have gotten some lunch on, and should be engaged in finishing the kitchen project I started, I found out about your very God winged convicting comment because I am once again, “just checking my email” on the net again. After spending over an hour and a half on it this morning.

    Take the bathroom for instance. Currently there is a hidden and unspoken battle of wills going on. ( I can’t believe I am admitting this to y’all but its the truth so why not, right? That’s why we are all here). My hubby got some medicated body wash that has to be put on in the bath. But the bathtub is dirty. When I ask him if he is going to use the stuff he says yes he will get around to it. Now I know the real issue is that the tub needs cleaning and he is very resistant to cleaning it. He thinks that is woman’s work. He has his own little set of demands and expectations that I line up with what he thinks I should be as a woman, esp since he has some resentment towards dear old mom and her lack of nurture, critical spirit, and demanding childlike ways, etc. So I know the stinker is holding out in hope that I will once again, be the one to clean the tub. He figures he can outlast me and if he just waits long enough, I won’t be able to stand it, and i will clean it and he won’t have to. And he is probably feeling hurt and unloved that I won’t do this for him.i did clean the sink and toilet but not the tub.

    Of course from my end of the deal, I am pretending not to be aware of this and hoping he will show some initiative and servanthood and for once do it himself. I resent the attitude that bcause I have breasts any unpleasant nuisance chore is my job. So we are both engaged in this determined battle that THIS time we are not going to be the one who does what is right FIRST. I can see the silly humor of the whole thing. But in another way, its created a closed end in the pipe through which the Spirit flows into my life. Because I am basing what I do on how he responds for one thing. I am focused on my agenda and not on honoring God at all. Most rebellion of this kind is self defeating because its not motivating him to do it, and i am the one who has the shame of being the exact opposite of what i wanted to be, a proverbs 31 woman. I doubt she had a layer of felt under the kitchen table and a closet full of recyclables that wil fall out if you open the door. I get that we are under grace and God doesn’t love us based on our homemaking performance but there is a point where things go on far too long and a problem must be faced and corrected.

    My version of “wrecked dirty house” has its roots in rebellion against a dad who was a harsh and punitive father. I was helping to run the house when I was in the fourth grade and had way too much adult weight on me. He treated me like that because I was female and that’s what women DO, right? Clean, cook and be an emotional service station for men? Not for nothing that scripture says fathers should not provoke their children to rebellion. In a nutshell, dad treated me abusively and unjustly, so my rebellion was just and justified and its not fair goes the reasoning. Sounds like a complex psychological problem except that it just amounts to having been hurt by men and then using that to justify disrespect and rebellion, refusing to do as I ought etc. I don’t think someone should tolerate abuse and stick around for it but I also think the response pattern that forms as a result is still based on evil and not on God. There are healthier godly ways to respond.

    It would seem that much of my behaviour towards my husband is an extension of this response. He has indeed done things that would make it hard for any woman to be excited about laying serving him . It seems a form of retaliation and revenge really. You aren’t doing your man job the way you should so I won’t do mine either. And a control thing. i am pretty sure I suffer from some form of scruplosity or religious ocd which really complicates my walk with God and makes tolerating any form of uncertainty and ambiguity really challenging for me.

    It can include perfectionsim, which can make you so spiritually and emotionally heavy laden that doing ANYTHING is an insurmountable burden. As someone wise once said, if its HEAVY it aint JESUS. I tend to burrow down and refuse to move if I can’t have near absolute guarantees that it is safe to trust and I won’t be hurt again, which as you know is impossible. My hubby could be very sincere and still wind up stumbling and hurting me and then the whole house of cards comes down if that’s what I am basing it all on.

    Can’t tell you how grieved I am that I have fallen into this pattern again and wasted years on it once more. May God forgive me and deliver me out of this wrong way of life. But its not hard to see the roots and the repeating pattern that points to things not dealt with fully. Be cool if we had a chatroom and could meet and pray for each other on these things even once or twice a week at scheduled times, wouldn’t it? What do you think April ?

    Anyhow, my immediate plan is to map out the various strongholds/issues that keep me in this rut and then do what she did in warrom, figure out where the enemy is holding ground in my life and combat the roots with scripture that applies. I’ve also ordered a copy of the book FERVENT which may help with that plan. And I better clean the bathtub. Gotta go, my husband wants me to come help him with something and I have a wet towel on my head. Thanks for sharing your struggle CIC, really appreicate your honesty and can relate very much. Please forgive the inward analysis, hope that it is actually helpful and not merely self advertising .

    1. Just me…I had a similar standoff with my husband. I could have them every day. He works 18 hours a day, 6-7 days a week. I don’t want to sound ungrateful for his work ethic, but All, and I mean All of the housework, childcare, maintenance and Grocery shopping etc falls to me and our two teens.

      During my most bitter moments, I had to focus on doing what I would do weather he was there or not. I couldn’t obsess over what he should do, or if it was his turn or I’ve done enough. Sometimes marriages are not 50-50. Sometimes we each need to do 100%, or so when the other cannot. That’s being a team, 2 becoming 1, covering the faults of the other.

    2. Hi, just me! First of all, your comment immediately reminded me of an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond when there are suitcases on the stairs and neither Deborah nor Ray will move them. It was also a standoff – can’t remember who finally moved them! 🙂

      I love your honesty, as well! 🙂 The inward analysis is a good thing for all of us. Change has to start somewhere and I think when we start to see truths like this, it’s only because the Spirit is showing us these things. And, if the Spirit is showing you these things, then guess what? Freedom can’t be too far behind. I do believe that. It may not all be worked out as quickly as we’d like, but God is o.k. with the process. It’s we, His children, who expect to be jolted

      I’m so sorry about the relationship you had with your father. I pray and trust that God will continue to set you free from the years of hurt and mistreatment from that. I will pray for you when God prompts me in that. I just thought of something I read in the book Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge (which I am only halfway through, but wow! This is a must-read book for every woman, in my opinion). They paraphrase the passage in Isaiah 61:1-3 that starts with “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor….” They talk about how Jesus came not just to set us free from sin and to restore our relationship with the Father, but that He came to heal our hearts and our wounds, as well. This is how they modernize that passage for us since some of us have heard it so many times, that we begin to lose sight of what the passage means. Sometimes hearing it in another way really opens particular verses or passages up to us again:

      “God has sent me on a mission. I have some great news for you. God has sent me to restore and release something. And that something is *you*. I am here to give you back your heart and set you free. I am furious at the Enemy who did this to you, and I will fight against him. Let me comfort you. For, dear one, I will bestow beauty upon you where you have known only devastation. Joy, in the places of your deep sorrow. And I will robe your heart in thankful praise in exchange for your resignation and despair.” (That is from chapter 6: Healing the Wound). — I pray and believe fully for God’s continued healing touch on your deep wound, just me.

      I don’t have excuses as good as yours for not using my time more wisely at home (if we were trying to convince ourselves that our excuses will actually excuse us, that is, lol!) I’m not an OCD kind of personality when it comes to housecleaning and so if it’s pretty decent, then I’m good with it. I really enjoy talking and being with people and so this website and talking on the phone with a few people (mom, sister, friends) that I regularly talk to about spiritual things are what I’d rather be spending my time doing. I can see, though, how God has enabled me, little by little, to be more organized in my thinking with my homekeeping and that, little by little, I have been creating better habits over the years. It just seems like a very slow process, which again, I’m sure, is hindered by the simple fact that I’d much rather read or comment on here. I would love to find joy in the processes of cleaning and organizing and cooking. 🙂 I know that some of the ideas that I think are related to greater freedom in this area for myself are the idea of realizing that they are loving acts and doing them from the motivation of love for my family – not from “I have to do this” – will give me energy.

      You said you think you “have some form of scruplosity or religious ocd which really complicates my walk with God and makes tolerating any form of uncertainty and ambiguity really challenging for me”. I can relate to that. I’m not a perfectionist as far as my home standards, but I have definitely been labeled one by many close friends as I’ve, at times in my life, been in turmoil over hearing God’s voice or thinking I’m hearing His voice incorrectly and worried that I will make a mistake that can’t be fixed. I struggled for years with what it mean to hear from God and how I could know that I was truly hearing His voice. God lovingly – very lovingly – brought some old friends back into my life who He has used to really set me free from some of those old patterns. These people understand His grace in a way I’ve never known anyone to understand His grace! They have reminded me over and over that God is my Shepherd and that He is leading me and guiding me and that we, as His sheep, do hear His voice. That, even we sin or fail or step out of line, that God is able to bring us back. And, not only that – but He is sovereign over that incident or time period and will absolutely use it for good and for His purposes and glory. This kind of thinking does not – like some would think – incite me to sin further. For a true believer, when you start to really believe and understand these things, it sets you free and you chase God even harder because you are convinced of *His* goodness and never-failing ways – His ability to keep, save and sanctify you, not yours. And you start to relax and life becomes more like living again. Doesn’t mean you don’t have the trials of this life, but you don’t have that heavy unnecessary burden (as you were speaking of) that paralyzes you and keeps you from doing anything out of fear.

      Well, I best wrap this comment up! I pray that God will speak to you about the “hang-ups” in those battles with your husband. I think the main thing that comes to mind for me as I read your comment was that you’re never going to win the war that way – from the flesh, sister! 😀 But, if you start blessing him by even doing something you may feel he doesn’t deserve – and doing that just to be obedient to God – you will have victory. It might not be the victory of your husband changing or doing what you want, but you will be free! And, what’s better than being free in Christ?!

      Have a great day, just me! Thank you, Father, for continuing Your work of setting all free in places where we are still wounded or needing to be untangled!

      1. Hi again CIC
        Just saw your may 16 reply. I agree with you about trying to win battles in the flesh; brings me defeat every time. Re the OCD stuff, I am not too bad in the compulsivity dept, its more the Obsessive end of things. Some call it pure “O’. It doesn’t show up in having a perfectionistly clean house that everyone is in awe of at all. Quite the opposite. OCD has its roots in fear among other things and is also a control issie; fear tends to have the effect of shutting one right down and you wind up carrying such heavy burdens that you have no energy for life. i think your friends you mentioned who brought you lots of needed knowledge of God’s grace are likely the sort of thing I need too. The scripture just came to mind that the letter of the law kills but the Spirit brings life. in 2 Corinthians 3 I think.

        Sometimes I am afraid to embrace it ( grace) because the example of some folks who are always preaching grace makes it seem a cover for walking in the flesh and for not dealing with sin when it is necessary or even putting up with endless abuse. I don’t want to embrace deception like that. But relgious ocd seems to produce a kind of phariseeism because you are so busy worrying about some thing that everything else is going to pot. So no great righteousness is getting done and it winds up not even being about Jesus anyway but rather becomes legalistic and religious.

        Like you, I would rather write, ponder and comment on things and I enjoy the learning that comes from all of us here on April’s blog. Sounds like we have some things in common 🙂 I did bless my husband though not in a huge way; he needed a tool that he had left upstairs so I hiked upstairs and got it for him. And then I helped him cleanup a bunch of garbage that he needed out of the way to continue a job. today he helped me with caring for my horses which I appreciated; I made a point of letting him know of the peace and contentment it brings me to properly care for them and that I appreciated the support.

        Good conversingwith you, thank you for taking the time to respond 😉

        1. And now I’m just seeing your reply. 🙂 I very much relate to what you’re saying about fear being at the root of OCD stuff. Here’s an example on my end….I have hardly anything on the walls of my home because I find it hard to make decisions about buying things. I *fear* not liking something I bought next year (and thus, will have wasted money), I fear trying to figure out what pictures of my family I should hang on the wall, plus what frame and design to hang them in. And, it’s easier to keep a slightly messier home because then I don’t have to even attempt to have the clean kind of home that my perfectionist mind would really want.

          Oh, my goodness….it’s ridiculous. And, honestly I think I’ll laugh about it right now, that way I won’t cry about it! 😀 I would feel shame about it, but I’ve come along far enough to know that every human has some “thing” that could and would be diagnosed in the psychiatric department. We all have something. We’re not alone.

          So….as far as grace vs. law. That’s one of my favorite topics to discuss. God took me through a two or three year journey of sorting that all out in my head/heart (not to say that the journey’s over, but it was a necessary time in my life to help me understand and grasp grace). I read a lot of books and wrestled a lot of my thinking out with God about various verses that tripped me up, etc. But, in the end, He has only confirmed His message of grace to me over and over and over. And it has truly set me free.

          It’s entirely possible that a distorted view of grace can lead to licentiousness. But, the reality is that if you are truly born again, you will not stay there, you will never be comfortable sinning as the very Spirit of the living God is living in you.

          If you need a friend to talk to about grace, I’d be more than happy for April to share with you my email. Not that I have all the answers, but I can share my journey and we can hash through some of your struggles with embracing God’s grace fully.

          Glad to hear that you were able to bless your husband in the things he needed and that he responded beautifully the next day. You said that wasn’t a big blessing, but I disagree. I think those are the very things that speak volumes and it was probably a much bigger thing to him than you think it was.

          God bless! 🙂

          1. CIC,

            Yes! There is balance and a healthy way to see grace. If we go too far one way, it becomes licentious – but that is NOT God’s design! If we go to far the other way, we are into legalism. That is NOT God’s design! The key is balance and the Holy Spirit’s power and wisdom. 🙂

  30. I hear you LMSDaily 🙂 Working that many hours almost every week – Wow, I hope something changes so he doesn’t burn out; sounds tough. Maybe you would like us all to make that an item for prayer so he has a little more freedom?

    Kind of had to laugh re the standoff over the bathtub, it reminded me of that show Survivor, where their motto is “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast! Ah, human nature.
    Thanks for your comment 🙂

  31. Quick question…

    I have been saying good night to my husband, kiss him on the forhead and tell him that I love him. Because I really do. And I am not doing this to get my own way or get something from him. Of course I would love to be kissed back and have him tell me that he loves me, but he doesn’t not. He doesn’t look at me or respond at all..just stares at the TV or what ever he is doing.

    This leads to my question…should I stop doing this since he does not respond in any way..or continue since I feel led by God to treat him with kindness and love as we are going through this dark time?

    1. Hope Always,

      This is going to be a Holy Spirit-discerned thing.

      If it is obviously irritating your husband and upsetting him, I would think about stopping it. If you believe it is a way to bless him – and he doesn’t react in a negative way – perhaps it would be good to continue to do it.

      If your motives are simply to bless him, this might be fine.

      Although, in my understanding of how men think, they would prefer to feel respected than loved, many times. So, what do you believe God may be leading you to do that would most show respect to your husband? Has he talked about things that feel disrespectful to him? Have you stopped all of those things? Are there things that would mean a lot to him, respect-wise, that you could do – supporting him on parenting decisions, showing appreciation for his working to provide for the family, spending wisely and not going over budget, cooking meals he really likes, having the house in order when he gets home? Smiling at him just to bless him and welcoming him home with a warm, friendly, “Welcome home, Honey!” You being at peace and calm and filled up with God. Dressing nicely sometimes, fixing your hair the way he likes it… There are lots of things that may speak honor and respect to him that may mean a great deal more to him than a kiss on the forehead and the words, “I love you.” If a man feels disrespected, he feels unloved, and he may not be receptive of those words.

      I tried to do SO many things to show respect for Greg – but it took a long time for me to learn what really meant a lot to him. Turns out, it was mostly really simple things about my attitude, tone of voice, demeanor, and approach to him. He didn’t care about me wearing makeup every day when he came home, or about me having a long list of things to do to try to please him around the house. Turns out, he really hated it when I would ask him what I could do for him or how I could make his life easier or what I could change to make things better.

      Here is a post from another husband whose wife had a very rough life growing up and who didn’t see her extreme disrespect.

    2. Hope always. Same boat here. I have done this to bless my husband, as I feel God asks me to kerp loving him. As long as you are not expecting a response (even though I realize you would love one) then do what God leads you. We might not know what our husbands feel on the inside from it. It could be balm to them. It could help them see your light. It could make them feel incredibly guilty about their own sins. But that is between him and God. The laying down of expectations, hurt from no response and any motive that is not aligned with God is the key. God bless you. Remember, he is probably in emotional and spiritual ICU, as April calls it.

  32. Hi LMS
    I haven’t had much time lately to read up on the comments but tonight I’m thinking of you and feeling your frustration. I wish I had something profound to say. You have helped me so much in the last few months.
    I have a 16 and 17 yr old at home. I’m not sure if I have any great advice but I’m not sure what exactly youre asking about teens? Just what to expect when they have problems and how to deal with it?
    I’m also wondering after your comments if you feel that you have kinda taken a few steps backwards in your journey? I think back to when you felt led by God to put up some boundaries and ask your husband to leave if he was not prepared to move forwards with you? He did not leave so I’m trying to work out what could be in his head. He surely would have left if he thought there was absolutely no future with you?…… But you are saying there has been no moving forward at all and so I can see why you are feeling this way. Do you think that you would ask him to leave again as he obviously has not made any moves at all. Or do you now feel that God is asking you to stay in this situation and wait a bit longer?
    I’m sorry to ask these things. In the meantime I will pray for you for increased faith and patience and for God to clearly guide all your interactions with your husband.
    I’m so wishing I could give my husband a kiss on the cheek, tell him I love him and miss him, even just touch his arm, but I don’t feel led to do that and my husband seems to want to avoid even the possibility of touching me by mistake. I feel your pain.
    Love to you LMS.

    1. Bel. I’m glad your still ok. I am praying for you. This is a tough time. As far as teens. I’m ready for them. I think. I know God will help me when I need it. I guess I was just more asking in general what phases teens go through. Mouthy, rebellious, obstinate, loving, apologetic, etc. Not a big deal. But I always have been the type that likes to ask my friends what I can expect (of course generally) so that I can have a bit of a clue when I see signs of it. I did that about puberty signs or middle school etc.

      About my husband. He did not leave. Yrt, he read a book I asked him to…His needs, her needs. He used it as a munitions towards mire blame on me. NOT what I was hoping for. He got all into some kind of “not able to trust me” kick, which, although I see his point on the minor items he brought up and tried to accommodate his requests, it was a hugely failed exercise. I was left berated and cursed everything I tried to be “honest and upfront” to him and felt totally micromanaged and afraid to touch or do anything in my own home for fear of breaking something or making him angry.

      Then, I heard God say to be still, not talk, not be disrespectful, but to “leave him to his own thoughts”. I really didn’t understand that, but I tried my best to comply. I walked in the woods and prayed to God to help me learn what I needed to learn. The radio, the walk, things I read…all pointed to “growth”. Lots of question marks in my head. “What do you mean by ‘growth’?” I asked God. And He showed me that sometimes the strongest looking trees (dreams and goals) get blown down, cut down or otherwise taken down. Even though these trees are now dying or dead, they will turn into nutrients in the soil for new growth. A space has been left for light to shine in and help grow something else.

      I realized my martiage is dead. The 18 years we had has fallen like a tree in the storms. Love has died. Trust has been broken. Yet, now that I can finally stop trying to hold the tree off the ground, something new can now grow. God’s light is shining through and new growth is happening. I can now nurture a new dream, a new type of relationship…even with my husband. But I had to let the tree fall…all the way down.

      I’m not asking for a divorce. My husband is a tree falling. He still thinks he can catch himself, but he has been uprooted. His roots are exposed. I can see him for who he is, not the god I thought he was. I need to let him “fall” so to speak. He needs to get on the ground to be able to start a new life too. In a small sentence, one night, he told me he is getting burned out from work. I asked him what I could do to help. He said I was already doing it. Ugh. I was going to throw in the towel that night on us. Then he said that.

      He is lost. He keeps thinking he has the answer inside himself. He does, but doesn’t see it…God. But if he had the answer, wouldn’t he already have tried that? He sees himself still in his own power, able to solve this without any help. He cannot accept help because it means he is weak and not enough on his own and to him, this is unacceptable. Until he comes to the end of himself and has no where left to look inside…well, maybe then he will want some help. Then, God will be there waiting. I am doing all I can to be there too. He will know that I loved him even though. Even though he was hurtful, defiant, unloving, stubborn, wrong, right, prideful. I will love him like Jesus loves all of us. Of course I pray for a swift epiphany for him, but only God and him can work that out.

      Hope that helps. Tell me what I can pray for you about today…I have LOTS of time, it seems. Much love, my special sister!

      1. LMSdaily115,

        What incredible insights God gave you on that walk about the tree falling and how new growth comes from that. Thank you for sharing! I am praying for you and your husband!

      2. Hi LMS
        I haven’t been real good this week. Struggling. I’m frustrated and mad that my h has seemingly made a decision and now I either stay and put up with it and accept that I hay never have love or affection in my life again, unless he changes, or leave and live on my own for ever. Even if we divorce my heart and love will always be with my husband so I can’t see being with anyone else. It wouldn’t be fair to them when I know I will always feel that way about my husband. I’m finding myself wanting to say something to him again. To tell him his decision is affecting me and his children and it’s selfish. I feel I’m running out of patience. but I also think if I tell him I’m feeling this way it could push him further away. Put the. Ail in the coffin. or he will leave as he said he would if I can’t handle living this way for the kids. I can’t feel the Spirit leading me, or if He is or if it’s just my sinful fleshly desires.
        About the teens. Mine are 16 & 17. I am so blessed. We don’t have any major rebellion or other issues.YET! I have found that with one of mine who doesn’t like to discuss things, it actually works better if we are in the car alone driving. If I bring things up she is more likely to vent and tell me her feelings. Maybe it’s because there’s no eye contact and she doesn’t feel pressured in that situation. She generally opens up then.
        I always try to remember I’m their mum. Not their friend. We get along well and they still love spending time with me. They actually choose ME to go to a movie with, or shopping instead of friends sometimes which is lovely. I still discipline and tell them if they’ve spoken disrespectfully to me or their dad. And they always apologize. I think though that when there’s a problem with them emotionally, if they say they don’t want to talk, I try to give them space and not push, but let them know I’m always here if they need to talk. I need to respect them too. They gotta figure some stuff out on their own. It’s hard for me to sit back, but it’s good for them too.
        About your husband. It just seems that you’ve given him an out. And he doesnt want to take it. He just is in such a place of darkness and he can’t see the “this way” sign but God will show him one day. The patience we need each day is excruciating isn’t it. Some days I just want Jesis to come back so badly.
        Has your husband told you he still loves you at all?
        I loved reading about your campfire with your kids . (We also love to do that.) and how your husband told you that you were doing what he needed from you. That is special. Our husbands just seem so stubborn and prideful. Well mine does.
        I wsnt answers and need answers but don’t want them also as they might just be what I dint want to hear.
        If you will, prayers for patience, hearing God, increased faith, my sins and idols to be revealed and removed and that God works on my husband too and restores love and trust where it has been damaged would be appreciated. I hope that’s ok to pray for. I pray for all these things for you and everyone here. Sending you lots of love, Bel.

        1. Sister Bel,

          You don’t want the answers you don’t want to hear. I understand that. Isn’t that the way life so often is. Yet by having this as a thought, we are blocking ourselves from all the glorious and perhaps less glorious things that are going to come to us, when we are truly open!

          Sorry to say this so bluntly, but by choosing your husband as the being who you will love forever, at least in this life, you are giving him much too much power, you are indeed giving him the power that only one Being deserves to be given and that is Our Lord.

          Let Our Savior’s Will,
          Flood into your heart,
          Let it wash away
          The missed opportunities,
          And put in their place,
          Strong and respectful thoughts,
          Thoughts that empower
          Your husband to love you.
          Listen to the still, small voice.
          Let that quiet voice tell you of thoughts,
          Thoughts that will help him,
          To see you,
          For who you wish to become.
          You may not be all he wishes you to be
          At the moment,
          Maybe you can ask him respectfully,
          For a little more time, a kittle patience.
          You still love him,
          But he is not perfect:
          Give him your love,
          Do not love an idol,
          Love what can become when you are open to the will of Our Lord,
          we are in our striving perfection becoming.
          But do not forget that Christ Jesus,
          Is the true bridegroom
          This love in this life,
          Is a small taste,
          Of the Love, that Our Jesus,
          Has and will always show us.
          It is God’s Love.

          In Jesus’ Name, I pray,
          Amen.

          1. You don’t want the answers, you don’t want to hear….

            Powerful. This is me….I do not want to close myself off because I may be afraid of what I fear is happening.

            Lord help me and our sister’s and brothers here remain open to your will. Shower us all with blessings in the midst of heartache

            Show up in a mighty way..soon..today , tomorrow, everyday. I need to be showered with your healing and strength.

            Help us learn to trust you and to let go of the idols.

            Help me to let go of my husband and marriage who I have idolized… and bent myself into a pretzel trying to fix our marriage

          2. Dear Sisters,

            Are you trying to hold doors open that actually should be closing.

            Bel and Hope Always, I am unsure the nature of your previous transgressions and of your husbands, if they did act dishonorably. I don’t believe that I could judge,even should I know.

            There was something I struggled very hard with in my marriage, it led me to think outside the marriage, not adulterous in deed, but in thought is bad enough.

            What I longed for was not possible, medically anyway, It had grown so powerful, it had become an idol that would push me to do things that I am ashamed of. It was not anything that bothered my wife. There was someone who encouraged me to leave my wife, that person’s encouragement was what helped me find the still calm voice, who returned me to Jesus and my wife. Our relationship is not always easy, she has not yet given her life to Jesus and only recently is less, negative towards my faith. However asking for grace every morning from Our Lord, helps me. We are united in the fact that we want to keep our marriage together.

            Is that love of your husbands based on: what I call, not dealing with the stone in the shoe that you have already walked miles with?

            Jesus does not want you to keep that stone in your shoe. If you can only remove it by not having your husband there also, then so be it.

            April, sister your words and thoughts are so much more connected to what you have read, your understanding is more learnèd. My understanding comes more from listening to what I hear and in my heart and feel in my gut, what I see in the bible. I feel like one of the sheep who is being led by sheep, by our dear Savior and Shepherd. It is not always the same, and yet, I think we arrive at the same place. Would you let us know what you think?

            I feel so privileged that I may share this with you all,
            JesusCentreofLife

          3. Thank you Jesuscentreoflife..

            The stone in the shoe thing….help me understand…

            I love your wisdom and faithfulness

            I am the stone in my husbands shoe..our marriage is a stone in his shoe….if the statement means what I think it does..if something is in your shoes that causes you pain or discomfort..empty the shoe 😂

          4. I agree..it’s kinds of like “we don’t feel right unless we feel wrong” (I heard Joyce Meyer say that) or “feeling dysfunctional feels sane”

          5. Exactly, I think Joyce Meyer has a lot of good things to say!

            Have friends coming soon.

            Be brave my sister, and know that I am praying for you.

            Blessings on you during this difficult time,
            Jeauscentreoflife!

          6. Hope always
            I don’t think I’ve commented to you before but please know I pray for you. Im So very sad for you and what you are going through. I think our stories are kind of similar. We are on the last strand of the unraveling rope.
            I too need God to show up in a mighty way. You are in my thoughts and prayers often. I wish I could give you a big hug and share our pain. Xx

          7. Jesuscentreoflife
            Thank you for your msg. I appreciate the time and thoughts from you. I’m very frustrated though. Not with you but with myself. I don’t feel that I’m choosing my husband over God. I would be a fool to do that. I don’t know how else to separate the love and commitment I feel for my husband and the sadness I have over our situation and the love and fear and utter reliance I have on God. I’m just a sinful human. I pray for God to remove my idols and increase my faith and change me. I beg for it. It almost seems to me that I have to truly feel that my marriage and the promises I made before God and our families should not be so important to me. I’m not saying it’s more important than God but it is important. I can’t put my feelings into words properly. Obviously I’m still failing in this journey. Please pray for me.

          8. Hi Bel.

            Here are a few thoughts that relate to what you are saying. I hope I can articulate them properly!! 🙂 I understand what you are feeling. I had the same thoughts.

            Having God as the highest priority does not in any way, shape or form mean that you have to walk away from the commitments you made to your husband in my humble opinion. It is not a case of “Ok God, you want all of me so my marriage vows mean nothing”. God hates divorce and marriage is a GIFT (1 Corinthians 7).

            I do not have ANY less commitment to my marriage or wife now that she is gone and now that God is truly on the throne of my heart. In fact I believe I have more commitment and true love. The ring is on my finger and I am bound in my heart.

            Actually as I was writing this I found the words to articulate what I want to say!

            Surrendering your marriage to God gives you the power and ability to FULFILL the commitments you made in the way that most glorifies God and blesses your spouse 🙂

            HH

          9. Hi HH
            Thank you for your thoughts. I understand and agree with what you said. Doesn’t it though, make it harder snd more painful that you have even more commitment and love but can’t show this to your spouse? I hope this doesn’t sound harsh. I don’t mean it to. I think that from what I have learned and the ways I HAVE changed for the better make it even harder for me here with my husband because he doesn’t want anything at all from me and when he does thoughtful and sweet things like bringing me the baby chicken or buying a new car and a new kitchen, I just want to show or tell him of my love and appreciation, but he seems uncomfortable when I try to do or say things so I just don’t. I feel love and forgiveness even for the horrible hateful ways he has spoken to me and treated me, but I can’t show him. It’s frustrating and I feel like I must look ungrateful but I’m not. I’ve grown and changed but it’s too late and it hurts. I know you will all say my changes are not for nothing. That God sees and would be proud and yes that is wonderful and comforting but it still can’t change the fact that I desire for my marriage to be healed. For our children and for us.
            I absolutely do want to glorify God through my life snd marriage.
            Thank you HH. And you are in my prayers as always. I love to hear how strong you are through Christ.

          10. Bel,

            I believe God desires your marriage to be healed, too, my dear sister. This is going to require a lot of patience – to allow God to work changes in your husband’s heart in His timing – whatever that may be – so that he can be able to receive the good things you have for him.

            You can want your marriage to be healed. That is a good thing. But you can’t make it be healed. You can do what God calls you to do and we will trust God together to reach your husband in the dark place where he is right now.

          11. Hi Bel.

            It’s not a harsh question 🙂 I understand it. I pray that these words are helpful.

            In answer to the question, yes, it hurts incredibly not being able to give that love to her as much as I would like to. I feel like a blunt knife is slowly turning around in my heart on a daily basis. There is a deep, physical pain as I watch her walk away from our covenant marriage and I understand how God must grieve over His creation rejecting His Son. I am not trying to minimise how much it hurts. I drop off the kids and see her in her pyjamas and just want to pick her up and hug her and look after her! Rejection hurts. Period.

            HOWEVER!!! The joy for me has become about the giving, not in the response. This is an important distinction. If our joy only comes from the response then we are giving for a selfish reason and we are dependent on the response for our satisfaction. If we don’t get the response we want we are unhappy, if we do get the response we are happy temporarily fearful because we might not get that response next time. We are then trapped by our dependence on a particular response. Hope that makes sense!? But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a good response if we receive one 🙂

            And sometimes the BEST way to give love is to NOT show it in the way that WE would like to. If I acted on my desires and gave her a big hug when I dropped the kids off she would be very upset. So the best way I can show love is to respect her decision to leave and give her space. And knowing that I am showing love by doing this makes me happy. Does that make sense?

            The father of the prodigal son clearly loved his son……so he let him go. If he had of tried to keep his son there his son would have become resentful and bitter. Letting him go was an expression of love. I am willing to bet that the father would have loved it if his son stayed at home with his brother! But he loved him enough to let go. In a similar way a husband gives love sacrificially and it is a huge, HUGE sacrifice to have her leave, to have an empty home, no childrens laughter, no physical intimacy etc. But I do actually know joy in giving that freedom as well as the pain of the loss because I know it is based in love.

            Hope this makes sense. HH

          12. Boy did I need to read this. Everything you wrote made sense to me.

            I give hoping to get loved again..and I don’t.
            I give with no strings attached and I am blessed with God’s love.

            I want so badly to share the love I have for my husband..the new love that has been reborn from this pain..but he rejects me.

            I am working on accepting and letting go. I am asking God into my business.

            Thank you.

          13. That is so wonderfully expressed, Humbled Husband.

            I am so very glad, that my wife, though not Godly is not leaving me any time soon, and I have recommitted to my wife when I rededicated my life to Our Savior.

            I pray that all of you, who are in pain will over time receive such balm as can soothe these pains.

            God bless you all,
            Jesuscentreoflife

          14. Dear HH
            Wow. What a great comment. Thank you. I love this. And it actually made me realize that I AM loving him without expectations (mostly) as I know for sure that I’m not going to get any love back. But I do things to bless him anyway. I want him to feel loved and supported and worth my time and efforts because he is. Sure there’s times I would love something back, but I know after a yr and a half now that it’s not coming.
            I’m right here with you in the pain. I know your wife leaving is just incredibly painful but it’s also painful having my husband still here but having the constant rejection too. May our Lord give us the continued strength and patience to wake up to this groundhog day pain.

          15. Bel,

            Thank you for your reply and know that I am praying for you.

            We are all sinful mortals. That is what, in my opinion makes our utter reliance upon not only important but essential. We should not say, I’m a sinful mortal, so I can leave it up to God, I don’t think that you are doing that, but HE is the only ONE who can give us immortality. He is also the only One who can untie the knot of your marital sadness. Vows made to God are not something that can be broken lightly, that said, perhaps it is not even in your hands.

            Courage my sister,
            Jesuscentreoflife

          16. This is what I pray over you sister:

            God,
            Let Bel be so open to YOU. that You may pour the balm of healing into her struggling soul.

            Let her see that for healing to occur, you are THE ONE AND THE ONLY, who can bring peace to her heart.

            YOU ALONE, dear Lord are the ONLY ONE, who can bring healing to her husband and to the Marriage.

            Heavenly Father, in whom lives all, it is up to You to breathe New Life into this marriage or not, YOU ALONE blessed this matrimony, YOU ALONE can dissolve it.

            I pray give my sister, in Jesus’ Name, to give her the strength ONLY YOU CAN,

            I ask this in Your Holy Name,
            Amen!

          17. Jesuscentreoflife
            I sobbed as I read this prayer this morning. And I’m sobbing as I read it again 3 hours later. Thank you. This prayer means a lot to me.

          18. Sister,

            One day at a time,
            One day at a time,
            That is all we can ask,
            And who knows what all,
            Will come to pass!

            We are all parts of one body and must grow to love the part we have been given.

            Bless you sister, bless you!
            Jesuscentreoflife

        2. Bel,

          Are you free to say what his decision is? Is he sinning against you and/or the kids in a significant way?

          I pray God will refine you and give you the wisdom you need for each step. That you would respond in the power of His Spirit, not out of fear, that you would do what will most honor Him, your husband, yourself, your marriage, and your children.

          Much love to you!

          1. April
            Thank you. Your prayers for me are just what I need.
            He hasn’t told me he’s made a definite decision yet. I am just pretty sure after the last couple of weeks, that as he said, he’s leaning towards no future for us and that he is just being nice to me now so that I’m happy to stay here in the house until the kids all move out, then we will go our separate ways. If he continued to be mean then it’s more likely in his mind that I wouldn’t be able to do this as he wants me to. All this without a divorce though. As he stops short of wanting a divorce as he knows it’s wrong. It makes me almost laugh. Does he not see how ridiculous this is? As my pastor told him, if he’s not willing to move towards reconciliation and has already left me in his heart, then he’s making a mockery of marriage and this is also wrong. That is why I said in an earlier comment that I would have to live my life alone, without ever having love and touch and companionship with my husband or anyone. He’s making that choice for me. And if I say I can’t do this and he decides we WILL have to divorce then, it will be on ME as I was the one who couldn’t keep it going. I’m frustrated. Im Sad. I’m lonely. And as I said to Jesuscentreoflife, I don’t feel I’m putting my marriage above God. I’m just not going to be happy and at peace with my marriage ending. I’m not superhuman I’m just me. Weak, sinful old me. And yes I have been praying for God to change me, increase my faith and all the things I’ve learned here. I have days of feeling stronger but I’m definitely up and down. And most people on here seem to be the same so why does it feel like I keep taking one step forward and two back? Like others are doing what I can’t seem to do?
            Sorry. I’m very tired and there’s lots of stuff going on in my life and I’m not doing so great right now.

          2. Bel,

            I actually do believe that you can be content in Christ alone. Even if your husband leaves. Even if there is a time – for however long it may be – where things are up in the air. I believe you can show your husband that you don’t agree with him and you want the marriage to heal but that you respect where he is right now and that he wants to go. I don’t think that you can force him to want to stay.

            I think you are zooming ahead in your mind and trying to assume what will happen – but only God knows that. I would love for you to focus on one day at a time.

            He isn’t making a choice for you. You are choosing to honor your marriage covenant. You got married and made a covenant. You made that choice the day you got married – for better or for worse. You can have peace and be separated. You are welcome to search my home page for “peaceful separated wife” to see some examples.

            You don’t have to be happy that your husband is separating. But his separating does not mean the marriage is over. It is not the last chapter. You can be at peace with knowing you are in the center of GOd’s will of your life and that God is sovereign and He can change your husband and your circumstances at any time. You are not trapped when you are in the center of God’s will.

            How much time are you spending with God lately? Are you willing to seek to be content in Christ alone even if your husband leaves?

            Much love! I am praying for you right now. I know this is probably the most painful thing that has ever happened to you. I pray that the examples of those around you here may be a blessing. And that you may be willing to receive what God has for you – the spiritual riches in your walk with Him – in the midst of this trial that perhaps you may never experience any other way.

            Sending you a huge hug!

          3. Bel,

            I think you can ask the others here, too. But – I don’t believe God takes our idols away. I believe we have to rip them out ourselves and lay them down.

            What that looks like is this:

            God,

            I really want my marriage to be healed. I really want it to be healed right now. I don’t want to live in separation from my husband. But… I trust You. I know You love marriage. I know You love my husband and me and our children. I trust You to work in my husband’s life. I will trust you and wait on You – however long it takes, whatever time frame You have in mind. I will accept that the marriage will not be healed this week or next week. I accept that my husband is very hurt and that maybe he needs time alone to hear Your voice. I accept that maybe You want me alone with You for awhile so I can grow. I trust You to take this awful situation and to make something beautiful from it. Open my eyes and my heart to receive all the good things You have for me in this fiery trial. I lay my dreams of reconciliation before You. Not my will but Yours be done, in Your timing.

            Amen!

          4. Bel,

            You are most welcome, my precious sister. It can take some time to get to this point. But this is the goal. Do all the wrestling you need to do. God is worthy and He is the only one who is worthy of this level of devotion and sacrifice.

            Much love!

          5. Peacefuwife and Bel,

            I thought of this passage, when mentioned wrestling:

            Genesis 32:22-31King James Version (KJV)

            22 And he rose up that night, and took his two wives, and his two womenservants, and his eleven sons, and passed over the ford Jabbok.

            23 And he took them, and sent them over the brook, and sent over that he had.

            24 And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day.

            25 And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him.

            26 And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.

            27 And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob.

            28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.

            29 And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there.

            30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.

            31 And as he passed over Penuel the sun rose upon him, and he halted upon his thigh.

            I believe our wrestling does not completely end until we give up our soul to God. It simply grows easier and we get to know the grips of the enemy.

            Bless you,
            Jesuscentreoflife

          6. Dear April
            Thank you for what you wrote to me. It is good to remember that God wants my married to be healed too. I tend to focus on the fact that He gave us each our own free will and that’s what worries me I guess. That even if it’s His Will for us to be reconciled, my husband may choose to stay stubborn and end our marriage. Just because it’s Gods will, doesnt mean it will happen.
            I do believe I’m doing well must days. I MUST be co tent in Christ, or else I wouldn’t be able to get through each day with this intense pain I feel. I know it’s through Gods help that I’m still going. I actually feel I am being quite patient. It’s been a yr and a half now and I haven’t given up. I will try and only focus on one day at a time.
            As far as the time I’m spending with God, it’s not as much as it should be. I pray multiple times a day. I’m always chatting to Him, but don’t read my bible as often as I should. With trying to read the books, and keeping up with everyone here, it gets hard. I probably need to set my alarm earlier and read my bible in the mornings.
            This certainly is the most painful thing I’ve been through. I still can’t believe this is my life. I never thought it would get this bad. We had everything going for us. The same religion, close families etc. So sad. Everyone here just makes me feel so blessed and I’m so glad I was led to your blog. Thank you.

          7. Bel,

            I would encourage you that spending time with God in His Word and in personal prayer for Him to work on you and teach and change you has to be your number one priority. You can’t do this in your own strength. You NEED that time with Him – we all do! If I skipped a few days – I would crash and burn very quickly. I pray you will do whatever it takes to put time in the Bible and prayer first. The Bible is your nourishment and food. Without it you will spiritually starve – even if you read things here or read books about God. Prayer is your lifeline with God the way you abide in the Spirit. Do whatever you can to get the spiritual nourishment you need and to arm yourself for spiritual battle. You are in a fierce battle. You can’t afford to go into battle unarmed and so weak that you are about to faint.

            God can and will use this time to bring about the most beautiful spiritual blessings in your life as you trust Him. His plans for you are much greater than you can imagine!

            Much love!
            April

          8. ^^^ This x 2

            If I miss a day of prayer I notice it. 2 days and I’m hungry. 3 days and I am weak.

            Even scripture in music is good! Sons of Korah have some great psalms to music. They really encourage me. HH

          9. April and all who are loving and supporting Bel..thank you …because your responses to Bel apply to me as well.

            I follow Peaceful Wife, Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Leslie Vernick, and a couple other sources. I listen to worship music and sermons on utube. Last night I watched sermons on pain, hope, hearing God’s word. I wonder if maybe I need to be focused more on God’s love for me and how I WILL make it through despite the outcome.

            Living with someone who has no interest in his marriage to me is beyond description. My pastor pointed out a good questions..WHY is he still in the house when he wants out of the marriage. WHY are we at such a stand still and no one can move either way?

            Do you think God hears our cries for help? I cry out to him from the depths of my doul to help me/us. Should I be crying out something else?

            Someone in this group or in another group reminded me that my husband is just ONE person leaving me..and to look at all the people in my life who love and adore me. This is a great reminder to those here who are devastated by their spouse leaving.

            Two nights ago I took the twin mattress out of our room as I have had enough of the emotional disrespect from my h. Last night he moved the twin mattress back in rhe bedroom and slept on it. I am assuming the futon in the basement is too uncomfortable. This whole sleeping arrangement..at age 55….is very upsetting. I don’t know what he is doing or what his plans are. I will ask him very calmly and peacefully why he slept in our bedroom last night. Please help me to not take his reaction personally.

            I am sending big hugs to Bel, HH, and all who have broken hearts today. Thank you Jesuscentreoflife for the hope you share with all of us. THANK YOU JESUS FOR NEVER LEAVING US AND ALWAYS BEING RIGHT BESIDES US WHEN WE CRY AND WEEP SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS AND SOME KIND OF HOPE TO GET THROUGH THE NEXT 24 HOURS.

          10. Hope Always,

            YES! That new plan sounds very good to me!

            I vote not to ask him why he slept in your bedroom last night. Not sure that is going to be productive.

            Right now, things are all up in the air and very painful. But with men a lot of times, their actions can be more important than their words. Maybe he is not ready to completely give up on the marriage? I don’t know his heart. It seems to me that you are both very wounded.

            My greatest concern right now is for your spiritual healing in Christ so that you can have the strength, power, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit to live in obedience to God and to hear His voice clearly.

            When we are walking in surrender to Christ as Lord and trusting fully in Him – He does hear our cries. Sometimes there is still a time of waiting. God’s timeframe is often much longer than ours. He heard the Israelites cries for help when they were in slavery for over 400 years. But He had a specific time frame and plan of action in mind.

            God’s plans are much bigger than we can imagine.

            To me, it seems like you will just get upset right now if you focus on trying to understand “why” your husband is doing what he is doing. I think the simple answer is – the flesh. I don’t think it will be helpful to find out his plans. Instead, it seems to me that it may be more helpful to focus on what God has for you right now and what He wants you to be learning and absorbing and how He wants you to grow in Him and to trust Him to work in your husband’s heart in His timing.

          11. Dear Sister,

            I agree with Peacefulwife, not to ask your husband about moving the mattress back.

            I know that, you will most likely laugh, but it seems as if he is rather stubborn, and with respect, I say you may be too.

            This can be to both your advantages. But we have to be willing to be truly apologetic and asking of forgiveness, when we have been stubborn.

            He is still there, there is some part of him that wants you!

            I hesitate to suggest this, Peacefulwife, I would appreciate your clear-sightedness, Don’t ask him why he moved the mattress, ask him: Bob, (putting in a random name) I am doing my utmost to give you respect and space, my sincerest wish is still to heal our marriage, failing that heal myself, is there some reason that you still wish to be with me, can you share that?

            Please try to bring calm and peace to the house, that will make life easier for everyone, including you.

            Blessings
            Jesuscentreoflife

          12. Bel. You seem to be on the right track. There were many months were the constant rejection brought me to my knees in pain. It felt like a disease eating away at me. It was my greatest fear…and I can now say say that I have lived through my greatest fear.

            It took many months for me to grow and learn beyond this. It’s painful to accept, but nessecary in order for you to be able to trust God to a new level. I know you are seeking Him, I know you are doing your best right now. God will meet you where you are, you don’t have to be a perfect Christian…there is no such thing, my dear. You praying and chatting with God is good. I know I mentioned thanking God at night for the good in your day and waking in the morning and thanking God for another day to do your best by Him…have you tried this? It helps keep you positive and in God’s light.

            Sometimes, I think we get so wrapped up in our marriage problems that it is ALL we see. There could be so much great stuff and opportunities around us that we are missing because we are consumed by our marriage problems. I wonder if you could stop thinking about them, leave it to God and take your beautiful self out to help others? Be a blessing to some people who could use it. Expect nothing back. Just do it to serve God by doing for the least of His people. It sows a seed and helps you feel much more confident in your God and yourself.

            If you want, let April know, I would be more than willing to text you back and forth more personally, she can give you my email address. Bel. You and I are walking this path together and I hope to encourage you as much as I can. Things change daily and this is only a snapshot of life. The end has not been seen by us, but God knows the ending. Many prayers and much love to you, my dear sister.

          13. LMS thank you. I would like to email you if you’re willing.
            I’m writing this to you and April as well. I’ve just had a talk to my husband. I didn’t go to him. Our pastor sent him a text with the number of a good Christian marriage counsellor. He then came to me and we talked. He was such a cold fish the whole time. He said he doesn’t see a future with me, isn’t interested in a relationship with me at all. Feels pain when he looks at me. Says he made a mistake marrying me and that’s what he’s gonna tell God. That people make mistakes and he will ask for forgiveness. He knows it’s not fair to me so he will move out if I can’t live like this indefinitely. He doesn’t know if things will change down the track. He doesn’t think it’s possible. That’s the only (very dim) bit of light. He said he’s done, broken, and feels like his heart has been kicked around for 15 yrs and if it gets kicked one more time (he means another fight) that he will die. He can’t do even one more fight and he’s sure that’s what will happen if we try again. That it will eventually slide back to what it was. He said he’s happy for me to move on and someone else can benefit from the changes in me. He doesn’t want to go to a new counsellor recommended by our pastor but He would maybe go back to our previous counsellor who is a psychologist so we don’t have to start from scratch and drag everything up again. He said it’s got nothing to do with God or anyone. That this is just how he feels and nothing can change it. I tried to tell him God can change it. Can do anything. He just kept shaking his head. It didn’t matter what I said. He seems adamant he will not change. He said deep down we are still the people we always were and we didn’t get along. Our marriage was horrible. It ended for him about 8 yrs ago.
            I am sick now. I feel like I’m going to vomit any minute. It feels like the end. If he’s happy for me to move on and remarry…….. He said he’s been thinking about it a lot and this is what he’s come up with. This is worse than ever. I’m devastated.

          14. Oh Bel, I’m so sorry for your pain. I have heard those exact words too. I understand your deep pain, my dear sister.

            Your husband cannot see any light right now. He sounds very depressed and defeated. Broken. It’s actually the place where God starts to come in. We are all broken, really, right? Does he feel suicidal? If so, he needs immediate help. I vote to go to the psychologist if you feel God drawing you there. Maybe he needs to go by himself. Maybe you both could go seperately. Maybe your spouse needs some individual work before he can open up with you there right now.

            I didn’t think I could live with my husband indefinitely in a loveless marriage, but I worked through it. I grew up, i matured. I see live coming back, but very slowly and cautiously. I don’t beleive your marriage was a mistake. I think right now he is forgetting all the good because he is consumed with pain and hurt. God is the only one who can help him right now. You can SHOW him how God can help by loving him as God loves you. Accepting his feelings, even if you don’t want to hear them or agree with them. Here is something…don’t fight, just listen to him. Have the goal be to seek for the sake of understanding…even just what he is feeling…not whole or of he should feel that way. It takes two. If he starts a fight, don’t pick up that rope. He sounds very confused, lost and doesn’t know how to fix this. Pray that he goes to God for help. Honor his decisions, even though it might hurt. He needs to find his way. He won’t always feel this way, but he is in serious need of God. He is coming to the end of himself. Can you take your own pain and hurt and set it aside for a moment and look at your husband as a heartbroken, devistated, lost boy? He is scared, bleeding in his soul, sick and confused. He cannot love anyone right now. I doubt he loves himself even, right now.

            My husband gave me permission to find someone new, too. I felt it was absurd, and i had no intention…it is a way to release the guilt and not have to take blame. But try to see it as an attempt for him to release you and he wants you to be happy, so he doesn’t feel so guilty about his feelings. This will probably take a year or longer for him to work through. Bel, this is not going to be a quick fix! Are you willing to do whatever it takes to let God help your marriage? Are you ready to fight this spiritual war? Will you ask God to fight satan with you for your husbands soul???? Ask Him to help your husband? Help you, your kids? What is worth fighting for? Who can help you here? A pastor, a psychologist, other friends? No. Only God.

            Here are the other glimmers of light you may have missed…1) he is still willing to stay, if he can be accepted as he is…broken, imperfect, not enough (in his eyes). If not, he is willing to give you freedom.
            2) he wants you to be happy and actually acknowledged you have changed for the better, he just thinks he has blown it with you and God. 3) he is willing to get help from outside sources, but I don’t blame him for not wanting to drag up the hurtful past again. It needs to stay done, in the past, and focus on today and now. 4) he is broken and defeated. He is at the end of his own power. It doesn’t seem like a positive, but this is the point that God works His best… He can now build up with strong footings. For you. For your husband. 5) he is not sure if he will always feel this way…ok. feelings change. They did many times, even 8 years ago, they can change again. Don’t make permanent decisions based on non-permanent feelings. 6) he felt safe enough to be open and vulnerable with you about how he feels inside. He is crying out to anyone, anything that can save him from this pain. He cannot take any more pain. He needs healing. He needs love. Can you show him that? Can you set aside your own pain and needs to attend to his with God’s help and love? You can deal with your pain and needs with God or at a later time when your husband is out of spiritual ICU. What is God asking you to do right now?

            April, I give you permission to share my email address with Bel, if you feel I can help her hash some of this out. You know I have been in the exact same place in my marriage.

            I am praying hard, my dear Bel, and our prayers are strong! God is not ignoring you. He is getting ready to bring on His Glory in a big way!! Hearts and hugs.

          15. LMS,
            Thank you for this reply to Bel. It helps me tremendously as well.
            I wish I had found this blog last year when our marriage was at its worst. But better late than never, right?
            I pray for all of us here as well, It was heartbreaking to read Bels reply…Your advice to her though has so much hope in it.
            Im so glad you and your husband are doing better now. Trust me, I know what it feels like when things changing so slowly or they feel like they are not changing at all..I dont post here much but last year Ive been where you are…I went through so much rejection from my hubby. I also hear you on set backs…I sometimes cant stand how Im learning so much, and that same day mess up! But as you said in your reply-today is new day to keep doing your best to please God!
            I have more i want to stay but am at work…..
            Praying for all of us!

          16. Thanks NB. My heart breaks for Bel and HH right now. I am so thankful for all of us here at PW. We are all in different stages and can help pull each other over the edges of our mountains. I am a bit let down from this setback and scared to think things are getting better. I want too much right now. I am so impatient!. One glimmer of hope sets me rushing forward and then one set back sends me right back to ground zero. Exoectations. Ugh. I hope and pray for God to help keep me in the middle here. Where I am more stable and balanced, not swinging all over. Does it ever get to a point where you feel comfortable within conflict and not walking on egg shells for each day? Does respect and everything we learn here actually become who you are? Or is it something you have to always be concious of everyday? I’m hoping it gets as easy as riding a bike or driving a car, more like. Hard at first, lots to concentrate on, but after lots of experience it becomes second nature and kind of automatic. Just wondering. Trying to hold onto peace. Much love and blessings to you.

          17. LMS,
            I myself is still at the stage where when good things happen I want (and expect, which i know is wrong!) more and when that doesnt come to be I get upset. Expectations are evil. I had the case of expectations yesterday with my husband. Ugh. And this morning woke up to read your replies to Bel and HH…So Im determined to do better today, regardless of how my husband is…Extending grace, loving and respecting unconditionally….
            I sure hope it gets easier one day with respect and getting things right. And not falling back 2 steps after taking one forward. Thats where we are at now too…..
            I second CiC with Laura Doyle books and blog. It is very helpful with putting things into pracitice. Breaks respect and giving up control, etc up where it is understandble…
            Im thinking about signing up for her online program now…
            praying for you LMS (and all hurting here). It is not easy with being patient…With the Lords help though….It is daily, hourly thing for me still…..Dying to self…

          18. Bel, Just wanted to reach out and say you are loved. By the Father and by so many others. You will be in my prayers.

            The story isn’t over as the enemy wants you to believe. Lean into Christ and let Him love, comfort and fill you up. He will show you the way step by step.

          19. I’m hoping this responds in line to your comment LMS. Your comment made me think of the scripture from hebrews 5 “By reason of use we have our senses exercised (trained) to discern good and evil”. I’m also finding that it’s a continual effort to know what to say, when to say it and how to say it. I pick up very quickly after I’ve said something when I get it right or wrong by the peace in my heart, but I’d like to be at the point where I get it right first time! I’m thinking that the scripture I mentioned in Hebrews suggests that it becomes easier as time goes on as we learn and it becomes part of our character and nature. HH

            Oh, and I totally get what you mean about getting your hopes up and having them dashed! I used to feel happy with a nice text and sad with a cruel text. Now I take both the happy and cruel texts to God, say Lord YOU are my source of comfort, not her, and just deal with the text in a much less “dependent” way. It’s a heck of a lot more peaceful that way.

          20. April. Are there actually many marriages that repair when things are thus bad? Surely it would be very rare.

          21. Bel. I highly doubt that my marriage will be healed. But that’s not the purpose. The purpose is to find true fulfillment, which isn’t in a person. Blessings HH

          22. HH,

            I am not going to put limits on God about this. I believe He certainly could heal your marriage. If He does, it will take some time.

            Still, I’m glad you are seeking Christ first and waiting on and trusting in Him. 🙂 There is no better place to be – no matter what happens with your wife.

          23. Bel,

            There are marriages that get this bad that can heal – eventually – in time. Absolutely! But it is not going to heal in a week or a month. It may take many months or years. And the key will be – in my view – for you to first seek God and to truly lay your dreams down and for you to be content with or without your husband. I believe your husband has been an idol for you for a long time – that you have looked to him for contentment and fulfillment in ways a human can never provide. If you are willing to lay things down and seek God wholeheartedly, you will find healing for you. Then, in time, God may also heal your husband. I have seen this happen quite a few times – where people eventually both heal and get back together. The Restored Wife’s story (who wrote this post) is that they divorced, but then 4 years later remarried.

            But reconciliation with your husband can’t be your greatest goal and hope. Does that make sense? Jesus will have to become your greatest desire and goal. Then we will trust Him to put everything else into place for His greatest glory. If the marriage is healed, it will be a side effect of you finding total healing in Christ and then your husband finding healing in Christ.

            Right now, I vote for you to respect that your husband is feeling extremely wounded and to respect that he wants to leave and let him go without a fight and without drama. Let him heal. When he has had time to heal for awhile, God may give you opportunities to rebuild. But you will have to allow him to come to you, most likely. And you will have to be really patient with the kind of patience that only God can provide.

            Much love and the biggest hug to you.

          24. April, did you only get this short question that you replied to? Just before I sent it I also sent a longer one about a talk we had today. I hope it wasn’t lost.

          25. I saw it, my dear sister. I responded to both of your comments in my answer a bit ago. I know that this is REALLY painful right now. But I believe that allowing your husband to go in peace is going to bring healing to you both as you depend completely on Christ. We will pray for Him to heal you both individually – and then, in His timing, and for His glory, we will pray for a beautiful reconciliation that is the start of a new healthy, godly marriage.

            But my greatest concerns right now are that you seek Christ with all your heart and for your husband’s spiritual healing. He is not well at all. 🙁 You are not well either right now – but as you turn to Christ in total trust and surrender, He can and will heal you! 🙂

          26. April
            I feel crippled with sadness after my husband looking me in the eyes and saying it was a mistake that he married me. I could understand better if it was a one off comment said in hurt and anger. But he was calm and spoke quietly. He’d thought about it for a long time. This is just too painful. And that the only good thing that came from our marriage is our beautiful kids.
            Please continue to pray for us. I’m feeling like God is not helping me. I know it’s not true. But it’s all getting worse. I just dont want yo accept this is over.

          27. Bel,

            This is one snapshot in time. He is deeply wounded. God can heal. Let’s trust his deeply wounded soul to God. I have seen Him heal more people than I can count. Your husband is not beyond His reach. Right now, this is how your husband is feeling. But let’s wait for the final chapter – my dear sister! And let’s focus on getting your soul healed in Christ. Things will look much brighter as you keep your eyes on Jesus and you allow Him to give you His perspective. 🙂

            Check out this song by Steven Curtis Chapman – The Glorious Unfolding

            [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKMjEvF2Fkw?rel=0&w=560&h=315%5D

          28. Bel,

            I believe that almost all of us believe marrying who we married was a mistake at one time or another. I believed that just 2 weeks into our marriage – that it was the biggest mistake that I married Greg. I thought that for awhile. But you know what? I don’t believe that at all anymore. I’m sure my husband thought marrying me was a mistake. There were some dark times for him being married to me, too. 🙁 But now- both of us are glad to be here. But the healing took time. For us, it was 3.5 years into my journey before Greg began to really heal and feel safe with me again. Each story and journey is different.

            You will feel really sad. You will grieve. That is totally fine. You have a lot of emotions to sort through. This is HARD. And PAINFUL. This is not what is supposed to happen with marriage.

            BUT – God is with you. He has the most amazing spiritual gifts and treasures to share with you if you are willing to go on an adventure with Him.

            God is sovereign. He can make this mess into something beautiful beyond description if you are willing to trust Him and do things His way and just seek Him for right now. He can handle your husband, my dear sister.

          29. Thank you April. This does help a little to know others have probably felt this way. Ok. I need to settle down and trust in God. I will try. Thank you.

          30. Dear Bel, LMSDaily, Hope Always, HH and my dear brothers and sisters,

            We walk into marriage with our hearts so filled with love for the other, that the very idea of ever questioning that there will be bumps along the road is an impossible concept to grasp in our heart, for love drives out fear and unblissfulness. Our head may understand that married life is not a bed of roses — well it is, roses have thorns!

            So when we drive down the road of life, just married still legible on the back of the car, balloons and cans perhaps still attached, and you hit the first bumps, hopefully we have the skill to negotiate them or the cushioning of new love lets us look the other way. Then a gorilla generally 800 pounds steps in front of the car, or it could be an elephant, these might be:
            – [ ] Children or no children, very close to my heart, in my opinion taking this out of the hands of God, is a major sin, and one that I must shamefully admit to having been a party to. Thank God not abortion, but chemical blocking of conception. I had no wish for it but see my next point.
            – [ ] My career is too important to do….. You can do that if you wish but it had better not take me away from my path.
            – [ ] I always……, you never…… Or, you always…….., I never….. (I think this is the most dangerous one as it involves pride in the one and humiliation for the other. The humiliated one tends to be the same one who shuts down, as the the prideful one enjoys lording it over the other. Besides always and never, are very inaccurate tools to communicate with. It is like using a long handled ax to cut your toenails.)
            – [ ] I am sure there are various other options, please add to them if you wish.

            There is always going to be a spouse who buttons themselves up. I understand the word shutdown, I prefer the expression being buttoned up, it gives an feeling of not being allowed to be free in your expression. This is particularly the case, these days, for men, who are taught from early on, the woman in front of you is apparently part of an oppressed minority. So what does the world do, not look rationally, looking for the hand that has been at work in this, no the world demands recompense for women, financial and emotional. In order that women can be honored men have to be stripped of their dignity, they must be punished and humiliated and made to feel worthless. This all comes about because of our materialistic, flesh driven world, where we forget the origin of ALL, our Sovereign Father.

            At this point, many men will think , if not say outright, I made an appalling mistake getting married to this …., or the woman says carrying the falsely righteous torch of feminism: this man is outrageous and demanding, even those who are not feminists believe this because satan has been hard at work, undermining beautiful order and lawfulness.

            Adultery and fornication and other ways of gratification outside the sanctity of the marriage often takes place, even if it is simply the idolizations of people, philosophies, in order to give one some kind of nourishment even though it does not come from God and is ultimately toxic.

            I believe that both spouses can be engaged in such toxic behavior at the same time: I always……, you never…… Or, you always…….., I never….. , will become a staple of interactions at this time and both can be guilty of being the prideful person. For satan teaches us to believe that our sin is necessary to survive being with that spouse.

            One has to turn to God, to break the cycle and give up the sinful way.

            The unrepentant spouse, still has satan whispering in his/her ear telling him/her to:
            * Watch out for inconsistencies
            * Be suspicious
            * Continue to behave as you do because nothing has really changed
            * Your spouse is too weak to change
            * God can’t help, they are beyond redemption
            * Self righteousness is truly what God wants you to show your spouse.
            * Your God is better than his/her’s.

            Please feel free to add more. But the fact is that when you look straight at the deceiver with God, standing behind you satan burns up and becomes smoke, for he cannot stand truth.

            My dear brothers and sisters, lovers of our kind, wonderful, beautiful Christ Jesus, you have all the love and encouragement that a poor sinful brother can give you, but more importantly you have glorious power of Him in your heart.

            I have a lot of reports to write, it is the end of the school year here and I feel as if I must give my time to that, rather than spending than reading and responding to all of you , who I care for so much. I will do my best to read all the postings.

            Dear brothers and sisters take courage in the Holy Name of Our Savior, Jesus Christ,
            Hallelujah Amen!
            Jesuscentreoflife

          31. This is true. There are no limits. Let’s just say that if it heals it certainly won’t be my doing as it’s waaaaaay beyond my capability to do anything. HH

          32. Ditto. Nature parable coming: you are NOW at the soil level. God’s light is shining on this seed. You have been humbled to God. It is in His hands, now. You have taken yourself off of the throne and have put yourself in your rightful place, below God…at the soil. He is up High, where He belongs in your heart. You can now start to grow tall and strong and bear good fruit. Amen to you, HH, amen, my favorite horticulturist!

          33. Bel. You and ContentinChrist have been on my heart so much these last few days. I want you to know especially, Bel, that there is still much hope. I haven’t wanted to beleive it, but my husband has been much less aggressive and mean. He is thanking me for things I do and has stopped being paranoid about things he thinks I’m doing and am not. It’s only been 2 weeks, but.. its been 2 whole weeks!

            I really think that when a wife begins this journey of respect and truly changes her whole attitude on marriage, life and herself, this is a massive change for men to try to understand. It’s as if they don’t know who we are, have no idea if they will like who we are or becoming and yet they are used to a certain kind of shrew-ness from us that they have built up defenses against. And they are martied to a stranger. Stranger danger! It’s like putting on armor, carrying 3 swords, a mace, and bludgeon and ready for a fight that doesn’t come anymore. They are all amped up from our constant disrespect in the past. So they actually “hunt” for the fight. But, because we are no longer fighting, they feel like some kind of trick or sorcery is going on. They just can’t beleive a person can up and change their whole personality. My husband often has told me that he is not mad at me, I am who I am. He cannot change that. He just didnt think it could change at all. He was right, HE could not change me, I could not change me, but GID could. He just didn’t like who that person was…well, that was before God. I didn’t even like who I was. I had heard once you can generally see someone’s true personality from about age 5-12. After that, life jades us and we develop defenses and try to people please and basically sin takes a deeper hold on us in much less innocent ways. Anyway, we all have this spouse itching to fight because the battle was never ending and they are ready. We have dropped all our weapons and they don’t know what to do. So they provoke, prod with hurtful words, try to find that monster inside us they are sure is just hiding or waiting for the right moment to rear it’s ugly head so they can strike at it with all their weapons. Yet, we have let that monster die…our old self. I think it takes alot of testing, and time for our spouses to poke, prod, stomp around to finally feel secure that the monster is gone before they can start laying down their weapons and trusting again.

            I think it is very important that a sense of worth and value has to be developed inside us as well. We have been the mouth, then maybe the mouse. There is a balance of graceful control and wisdom that I think God is trying to grow in us. A sort if confidence that endures no matter who comes and goes from our lives. When we can live in a way that other people’s chaos doesn’t affect us as much, and we are able to look at God and say “thank you Lord, for not making me have to be responsible for this other persons choices in life” then we can live much more free and as victors over our own life, not victims of other people’s lives.

            I have a real sense after a long awaited talk on the phone last night with my husband that he really is accepting the change in me and trying hard to think of his words before saying them. Right now, he kind of stinks at it. But, I did too when I first started. I feel true hope for a restitution of our relationship for the first time in a long time. It is obviously too soon to bank on such a statement, but I know I may not get that glorious appology or huge hug asking for forgiveness. If I think about it, do I need that? No, not really. I might WANT that, but if I never get it, I’m ok. I know I have done what God asked me to do in this marriage…to love him “even though” he didn’t love me/was being a jerk/said and did hurtful things/rejected me/gave up on his family/ acted like a put out teenager, etc. Frankly, he didn’t deserve that love from me. But here is the thing. None of us deserve that kind of love, but we have it in God. God loves us in our imperfections and acting like a jerk and doing/saying hurtful things etc. Look how we turn from God and reject Him? Yet, He loves us through it all, so much, that He gave up His only son to save us from death…because He loves us like that. To obey Him, we are asked to love others in the same way “as you do for the least of them, you do unto me”. It is His overflowing love poured into us that allows us and gives us the strength to pour love into ithers…even our spouses.

            I looked at my husband as very lost, struggling and drowning. When I kept that in mind, I would keep my compassion towards him. Yes, I tried to throw out life preservers and reached for him, but if he didn’t use them, well, that was his choice. Sink or swim. There are many things my husband can grab onto, but he has to do it now, i cant make him. I’m just not shoving his head under water anymore. The saying goes “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink”. Not biblical, but still wise.

            Bel, I pray so much that you can lift your eyes away from your husband and marriage right now and start growing yourself to become more confident, secure and strong as a person in your own merrit. God has given you gifts and blessings just for you. Not just you with your husband. You want something right now that you cannot get from your husband. The store is closed, no one inside, shut up tight. If you break in, it wI’ll go really bad. Stop knocking on that door! You need to look to God for what you want. I suspect it is acceptance, value, feeling good enough, affection, closeness, security, trust, and partnership. I challenge you to look into the bible and find verses where God can fill these needs for you. Maybe you can see how He can do that and really take it into your mind and heart. You need God first. Then, if others can add to that on earth, here, then it’s icing and sprinkles on the cake…but you need the cake first (God). I hope that makes sense. Here is my example: I can get trust from God and I can trust Him, Psalms 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you”.

            In this way, you can verify God’s promises to you, rise above the shortcomings and dissapointments of human failings and lean onto God for all your needs. My favorite is Matthew 6:26 “look at the birds in the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” This is God’s word that He will provide for us. He is the great I Am. He is whatever you need Him to be.

            I just know that I saw my husband as my god for so long, that when his human failings started to show, dissapointment and fear took hold in me. The best lesson I learned from any of this is to not put a human into that god position, it is certain to let you down. That also includes not putting myself (who is also human) into that god position. Only our true Lord God holds that position…that is why no other thing or person should be above Him…He is a jealous God, and it is idolatry when we don put Him first. Kids, marriage, friends, hobbies, fame, fortune, need for approval from others…there are so many sneaky ones too. (Kids as an idol for me was a surprise).

            I pray, Bel, that you can be able to release your husband to himself and to God. You are trying to swim, but can’t do it because you won’t let go of your husband. He needs to swim on his own, just like you. Right now he is an anchor to you. You cannot swim if you won’t let go of the anchor. He needs to decide if he will swim or sink too. He may change his mind, but he can’t while you keep holding him. Time can heal, but faith and patience and running your own race is more important right now.

            I pray for all of us with wayward spouses to be able to let them go. I pray that God helps them find their own way without our demands, and wishes and control and fears getting in the way. I pray that each one of us can see our true self as God sees us; cherished, loved, valuable and important to Him. I pray we can let go of the things we want from our spouses so bad, but are not there yet inside of them, but I pray God helps them find what they need to heal, grow and be drawn to Him. I pray that each of us learn to stand with strength, dignity and courage as children if God, to wear our birthright proudly and without shame. We are children of God, “If He is with us, who can be against us?” I pray that we can grow in God’s design to have the control of our emotions and resist the enemy to become followers of Christ who are strong against the stormy winds of life, trusting our Lord is still in control.

            Many prayers and love your way today. LMS

          34. All my brothers and sisters who are struggling with their spouse.
            I pray this prayer over you.
            LMSDaily, it sounds as if God is blessing for your striving, Hallelujah sister!

            My beautiful Jesus,
            I pray for my
            Brothers and sisters,
            Spouses who seem so far from
            Each other’s love.
            The wounds are as real as an open would from a surgery.
            There is only one balm,
            It is the blood and tears,
            Of YOU!
            Our Lord Jesus Christ!

            It is the anguish of Your Soul,
            Your sharing of our pain.
            Your compassion,
            Heals the wounded soul,
            Is what drives out all fear.
            Yet those wounds,
            May be soothed,
            For complete healing,
            Every day, I will give my wounded heart to YOU dearest Jesus.
            Every day I will feel Your LOVE restore me.
            For it was YOUR LOVE,
            To overcome our sins
            That held YOU to the cross.

            Day after day
            Week after week
            Month after month
            Year after year;
            I will ask for your healing balm,
            And I will ask for it for my spouse,
            Mother, father, brothers and sisters.
            For my wound
            Is their wound.

            There is no healing but by you,
            My Brother, Jesus
            My Father, who knows every tear
            And the Holy Spirit,
            That cleanses and brings us back together.

            Praise His Holy Name!
            Amen.

          35. LMSdaily115,

            I wonder if you might allow me to use this as an anonymous post, my precious sister? It is so good! The one where you talk about when a wife changes and it is so hard for a husband to understand what is happening.

            Thank you for sharing!

          36. Of course you can. I’m glad you feel it may help others. Thank you for your help with Bel. We are in contact. Much love.

          37. Hi Bel.

            I’ve had the same words spoken to me as well (made a mistake marrying you), with the same calm decision behind it. It hurts, doesn’t it. It feels like so much pain that you can never feel ok again.

            Have you listened to the song Blessings by Laura Story? It is a tremendous song and full of hope and truth. Some of the lyrics that are so good are these;

            “‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
            What if Your healing comes through tears?
            And what if a thousand sleepless nights
            Are what it takes to know You’re near?

            What if my greatest disappointments
            Or the aching of this life
            Is the revealing of a greater thirst
            This world can’t satisfy?

            And what if trials of this life
            The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
            Are Your mercies in disguise?”

            Know what my greatest disappointments and fears were? That I would have to go through a divorce or an affair. I built a fortress of control and expectations around me to protect myself from these fears to no avail. But I couldn’t see who I was and how badly I was effecting the people around me! Now I am so thankful that God was merciful enough to teach me what I was doing! And is still teaching me and always will 🙂 He has used the deep love I have for my wife to tear down the things that were destroying my own self. But I HAD to lose these things before I saw it. Thank you Lord!

            I even see people at church differently now. It’s embarrassing to say that I used to think that my preaching was so important and everyone should listen to me. I judged people so harshly (I actually cringed inside when I saw that written down just now 🙁 I was yuck). Now I see God’s work and presence in so many ways in so many people that I JUST DIDN’T SEE BEFORE. How gracious of God to show me that 🙂 And how slow I want to speak now!!! Literally as I wrote this to you I received a text from a church friend who shared with me shortly after I began this intense journey that he used to listen to my preaching and think I was arrogant (HH wanted to crawl under a rock when I heard that. I thought I had it all right and that’s what others were thinking!). Yet he has become a true close friend through this and his text just now carried a message of compassion and love to me that has been forged through this trial, and he is now a friend who confides in me of his own struggles and allows me to pray for him and minister to Him. How good is God!!!!!!!!!!!!

            But it’s really, really hard to see the light in a valley so deep isn’t it!!!! But what if? What if it is true that God is showing you mercy through these trials? What if He loves you SO much that He wants to teach you about real intimacy with Him and how that can flow over from you into others? I really believe that is what God is doing Bel. In me, in you, in a lot of people here.

            When I look at the bitterness and resentment that was slowly building up in me over the course of our awful marriage I am able to praise God that He loved me enough to put a stop to the wrong things I was holding in my mind. If I had continued like I was I would have destroyed so much more than I have already.

            Bel, I can’t emphasise enough the peace that is mine through truly letting go and waiting on God. I write this comment with a fervent prayer for you! It is truly the truth that whilst it is so, so painful to go through these awful experiences God has a much greater plan for us than we can possibly imagine if we let Him work it!

            During my changes I prayed so often for God to change my heart and I wanted a lightening flash from heaven to make everything OK! But what I have come to realise is that it is all of these experiences that ARE changing me. One little experience at a time. One positive experience. One painfull experience. These trials ARE God’s mercies 🙂 They are all answers to my prayers to be wholly sanctified to God and I really like what He is making me into 🙂

            Wow that’s a long comment! To end, I want to suggest reading Job 33 and possibly Hebrews 12. They have been of a great help with my understanding in these painful situations 🙂

            And Bel, God understands. Implicitly. Jesus suffered rejection on a scale we never will. I still have times where I just have to cry and cry because it IS a very painful time. But God faithfully picks me up, shows me His love and sets my feet back on the rock of Christ.

            In Him, HH

          38. HH
            Oh how I love to open my iPad and see “Hi Bel” from Humbled Husband. It feels like a dear friend just dropping me a msg. And this one was truly special. Do you see yourself how remarkable your strength of character? To give me such a personal heart-touching response even through your own deep pain is such a testament to the work God is doing in and through you. In fact there are many of you who do this for me and I never feel like I have anything helpful to add to discussions or to reply to you all personally. You guys seem to be “all over it”. LMS and CIC and of course April and others. This is such a blessing to have this opportunity when we are so far spread across the world!
            Yes HH. The pain of these words was so great that I actually had to come into my room and grab a bucket as I was going to vomit. This feeling stayed with me all the rest of that day and night. My poor kids had to get their own dinner as I couldn’t stand it. That was 2 days ago. Today I can function though everyone who sees me is asking if I’m ok and that I don’t look well. I told God today that it would be worth it if I have eternal life with Him and if by my experience and pain, but perseverance, I can be that beacon of light to someone else. Even just one person.
            I’m feelin ok. If I let myself hear those words again I feel sick, but it’s weird. My husband is talking nicely to me. In a playful cute voice sometimes. This is confusing and frustrating and I know it’s only because he knows his much that hurt me to hear it. He’s trying to soften the blow I think. I just know God is giving me what I need to get through each day. I can truly feel His power.
            I have not heard that don’t but those words are beautiful. I will check that out thank you. Music us so powerful isn’t it.
            Your greatest fears of divorce of an affair are mine too. After my husband admitted to feelings for my best friend, I went into control mode. If i controlled who he spent time with, how much he drank, etc, then I could protect myself from even worse pain than that. I see clearly my part in all this now and I too am head God showed me this before any more damage was done, even though it seems it can’t get much worse.
            I LOVE how you suggested that God loves me so much that maybe He is showing me how to have real intimacy with Him and that it may flow through to others. That is awesome. That is obviously happening through you. With me, with your church friend and with others.
            Every single thing you wrote has touched me. Opened my eyes a little more. Thank you HH. I hope others who are hurting are touched by this too.
            I will read your verse suggestions tonight.
            It is good to know that even though you have so much strength and faith that you still cry and struggle too. Cic told me that God meets us where we are. He doesn’t expect perfection. Good to know! I’m far from it.
            My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family daily HH. Thank you.

          39. HH I just had to tell you. I went to look up the bible verses you recommended. I knew I was reading Hebrews at the moment, but I opened my bible to where my bookmark is at, and the very next verse I’m up to is Hebrews 12!

          40. Your comment brought me to sobbing tears this morning with its humbleness, honesty, kindness, grace and love for God. Wow is all I can say, HH. Just. Wow. Speechless. (that’s saying something, coming from my very wordy self) God is mighty in you, my brother. (Need more tissue)….

          41. April, that song you put up, Glorious Unfolding…….wow. Just wow. I hadn’t heard that before. Amazing. HH

          42. I am SO glad that it was a help 🙂 I really felt led by God to write what I did and now I can see why. I put it off all day and finally started praying about it in the afternoon and knew I was meant to write it. And wow, you were up to the exact passage I suggested?! God is surely behind that Bel!

            I don’t have anything else to say now except that I’ve never seen such a short comment from you LMS! Hah!! 🙂 HH

          43. Hebrews 10:36 was sent to me by a friend..the scripture is about perseverance.

            I too have found doors open for me where I am able to ministein to other women who are in painful relationships/marriages.

            The last couple of days I have been free of the obsession of gaining my husbands approval. I know I will be loved and cared for by Jesus and many people whether my husband stays or goes.

            I look forward to the conversation and the love that goes on in this blog.

          44. Oh Hallelujah sister!
            I am so glad to read your news.
            Isn’t it a blessèd thing when one can help others in pain, it gives you the balm, you are giving them!
            Bless you sister!
            Jesuscentreoflife

          45. Hope Always,

            This is a huge breakthrough! 🙂 I rejoice and praise God with you. SO thankful we can walk this road together, my precious sister. Praying for God’s healing for you both and His greatest glory!

          46. Hi April.

            I’ve been thinking on this a bit since you wrote it. I wonder if it would be true to say that God does have a big part in getting rid of our idols in that He shows us how empty they are. The response is ours but the realisation of their emptiness and the call to Him is of Him. Kinda like Hosea 2!

            HH

          47. HH,

            God can help us see and He can give us the power to get rid of them. And yes, He can show us how empty they are. But I don’t think I can pray, “God get rid of my idols,” and He will make me magically not put those things first anymore. I think I have to consciously decide to pursue Him first.

            Sometimes, He may physically take things away from us that are our idols, or withhold them from us. But I think that we have to cooperate with Him to stop putting those things on the throne of our hearts. But of course the Holy Spirit helps us to be convicted and to see what we are doing.

        3. Bel, thank you so much for the tern advice, I love it. Great stuff.

          My husband is obviously going through some mental noodling right now. He seems to be sputtering out. I’m letting him. I have allowed our marriage to die, but what I mean is that we are both no longer the same people. I have most definitely changed and so has he. The martiage we once had can no longer exist. So it’s over. I look at it as truly the past. You may be in the same situation, but I don’t think you have come to that point yet.

          May I say some things truly out of love and compassion you you, my sweet sister. I am asking that you really take some time to think these out.

          1. Your husband may leave right now. You may be facing a new Era of your life without him. What will you do? Is it tge end? Will you lay in bed consumed by depression and pain? Can you put your thoughts more into trusting God and that He loves you very much and might have a BETTER plan than what you are trying to hold onto? Yes, it’s painful, but you can’t grab onto something new when your still holding onto the old and broken.
          2) God has work to do in your husband as well. He is also His child whom He loves very much. Maybe God needs to get him away from you only to be able to be heard by your husband. Why would you get in the way of letting God help your husband?

          3) Things may not turn out like you think they should. There are some real control issues here and trusting God that needs to happen. You are close, my dear. I can tell you WANT to trust Gid, but only if He does it in a way you can understand. The fact is, we may NEVER understand all of God’s ways, but can you truly, and I mean TRULY surrender your control to Him? It’s scary, but the best thing you can ever do in your life. When you realize how little you are in control of snyway, it is freeing to just hand all that responsibility and stress over to God. He CAN handle it all, we cannot. I pray you can see the wisdom in handing over control and trusting in our sovereign Lord to make all things work out. You cannot see the future, He can. He knows what is best for you. Just like you kniw what is best for your children, even though they may want to go yo a party where there is no supervision, beer and lots of questionable behavior, and you know that would be a bad choice. God is asking you to obey him. You are not supposed to ask God to obey you.

          4) it seems you need to find out how to stand tall without the crutch of your husband. You have been with him for so long, since very young, that you don’t see yourself as a whole person on your own anymore. This is enmeshing at its best. Can you make it without him in your life? Even if you don’t want to, CAN you? How do you survive without this one person in your life? Do you stop following God? Do you give up on life and let it all go to pot because 1 person walked out on you? I pray that you are stronger than that. Go to Gid for your strength here. Understand that you have what you need for today. Tomortow, He will give you what you need for tomortow. You have God by your side, why do you think you would be lost without your husband? Is he better than God to you? If so, there is idolatry there. Of course Gid will remove that idol. He is a jealous Gid. He wants your first love, your first obedience. He wants your best. He doesn’t want you to give it to another human, an idea of a perfect marriage, your kids, your own desires. He wants it to HIM.

          Even through all of this, there will still be hope. But the hope has to be in trusting what God has planned for you. Not what YOU have planned for you. Who knows if your husband leaves, has an a-ha moment, gets God and comes back to you begging for forgiveness and you two live happily ever after….or none of this hapoens. The fact is, you don’t know the future, you can’t control how your husband ferls. You can only control you and right now you need to study yourself. Not your husband. Let him go if he is to go. Maybe he needs that time and space to “find himself”. What more loving gift could you give him than that freedom? If it is God’s plan for him to come back to you, then he will. God can make tgat happen, but you cannot. Pride. If you think you are stroger and more able than God to make your husband do what you want, than pride is rearing it’s ugly head here. You need tome to work on you, and frankly, your husband is distracting you from it. Maybe God knows this, or He has other things in play. I cannot know God’s plan either, but out of love for you, Bel, I want you to really think on some of this. Your chance is now. Your opportunity to grow beyond your idol of your husband may be now.

          I pray you seek God for your direction. I pray you can let go of your husband and allow Gid to work on him. He is lost, he is confused, just love him through it, even if it is ftom afar, but I don’t think you telling him AGAIN how sad and upset you are is going to help. It hasn’t so fsr. So why waste your breath. Let your actions speak more to him. Let obeying Christ and wanting to please God be your focus. Not pleasing your husband.

          Bel, I pray for you dsily. Know that this is a normal progression. I have Bern there and many others gave and are and will be too. You are loved, you are cherished. Know that and hold tight onto the truths thst God gives you, not onto your own understanding. Trust in your Lord and learn how to hear Him without the distraction of your marriage. Focus on blessing others. Your kids. Parents, neighbors and friends. Be their angel, their miracle. Sow seeds of love and kindness and you will reap those rewards in ways you may never guess posdible. God’s ways are better than ours. He gives more than we can think of. God bless you my dear sister. I love you in God’s name and am praying hard for today.

          1. Bel, dear sister,
            We must all surrender to Our Father’s Will,
            Thy will be done,
            Not mine.

            Thank you LMS daily.

            King James 2000 Bible Matthew 6, 34
            Take therefore no thought for tomorrow: for tomorrow shall take thought of the things for itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

          2. Lmsdaily115 I needed to read this myself. Sounds like Bel and I are in the same place with our marriages. I can’t remember her exact situation but it has to be very similar to mine because what you wrote applies to me.

            This is an incredibly lonely weekend as we use to camp every Memorial Day as a family and with a large group of church friends..and none of that happens now. My h. Has his set of friends and I have mine. We do things alone or with the boys. Not the 4 of us any more.

            I will be okay without my husband. I will miss him terribly and do not want him to leave..but I am learning to accept that he is done and wants out. Not much I can do there. Respect him, continue to pray and trust God…trusting God is the hardest part. . in the silence and emptiness I feel..anger…anger at myself, my husband, God …it’s confusing at best.

            God is here with me, Bel, you and all the angels who comment on this blog. I was on my knees this morning crying out to God to please help my family and help me remain patient, hear the Holy Spirit speak to me, seeks out God’s wisdom, and any kind of comfort he can give us..and that includes the sister’s and brothers on this blog.

            My husband..who I love dearly..is just one person who is leaving me. It’s the finality of that rejection that swallows me up in pain

          3. Hope Always and all our struggling sisters and brothers,

            In the pain,
            Do you feel,
            God is wanting to
            Work in you?
            The misery you feel in your heart,
            is so hard,
            Yet it is not in vain,
            It is not in vain!

            Just as the child
            Who stays away
            Overnight the first time,
            Away from those he loves,
            He is afraid
            But he is looking forward.

            Yet we are never far
            From Our Father.
            Yes, we can rail at him,
            We can be upset
            at Him for taking away.
            Yet he is all wise,
            He reigns over ALL,

            There will never be a time
            When he will not use your pain,
            To your advantage.
            Can you say:
            Amen
            To that?

            Open your heart,
            Let HIS LOVE POUR IN!
            Let His Holy Sprit,
            Give you courage and faith,
            Courage to look at what is coming
            And faith to know that:
            It is God’s will.

            Daniel 3:18-25King James Version (KJV)

            18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.

            19 Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated.

            20 And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace.

            21 Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

            22 Therefore because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

            23 And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

            24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

            25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

            Surrender into the strength of Our most merciful God!
            jesuscentreoflife

          4. I just did the scarest thing. I texted my husband and told him that I respect that he is finished with our marriage and respect that he doesn’t want to work on it. However I will not tolerate how he treats me anymore. I can’t stand the disdain and disrespect anymore. I took the twin mattress that he sleeps on out of our bedroom. I can’t make this easy for him anymore. I can be loving and respectful..but not a doormat. It will get worse… I am sure.

          5. Hope Always,

            What you said seems reasonable to me especially if you were able to say it without bitterness or hatred. I am praying for God’s wisdom about the mattress and how you handle things. My prayer is that your motives might be right and you might honor Christ. I pray for God to reach your husband.

          6. Dear Sister,

            These things must seem scary, but when you given your will over to the Will of Our Sovereign Lord, His courage will not fail.

            Then also there will not be bitterness or hatred.

            I am praying courage over you,
            Jesuscentreoflife

          7. Hope Always, I love what you said about how you respect his right and decision that he is finished with your marriage and doesn’t want to work on it.

            As far as the mattress thing, I’m almost laughing because if your husband is anything like mine, mine will just dig his heels in even further. Mine would have brought the mattress back in the room, too….kind of like….”You’re not going to throw me out of my own room!” kind of thing.

            I totally support you saying that you can’t tolerate his mistreatment of you anymore. It’s possible your husband saw that act as really disrespectful (I know, I know! hard to be respectful when you’re treated with utter disrespect)….is that possible? Just a thought.

            At some point in the last couple of months with my husband, I told him that I would be walking away from conversations if he was treating me with disrespect or anger. Maybe that’s something you could consider also doing. As soon as he says something ugly or hurtful, just say, “I’m sorry, I’ll have to leave now.” No need to call him out on the behavior or pinpoint it. Let God be your Defender and let the Spirit convict your husband. Walk away and keep your dignity by not responding. It will change the old dance steps. 🙂 (Have you ever read any of Laura Doyle’s books? I have her latest one and am finally understanding some of her concepts. Her first book is the book that God used to really show April the harm she was doing in her marriage….there’s also a chapter devoted to verbal abuse in her latest book – very interesting).

            I’m praying for you! You and the others here are in my thoughts and prayers a lot! I have great hope for you all and am looking forward to all of the victory stories that God is writing right now!

          8. Ok, Cic, you are very excited about this book by Laura Doyle. I’m in. What’s the name of the book. I kniw you probably mentioned it, but am lost onto which post. I will read a goid suggestion. Thank you.

          9. I so dislike the name of the title of the book, I don’t even want to type it! It’s called First, Kill All the Marriage Counselors (she talks about how marriage counselors will get you to focus on what you want to change in each other and how that rarely works….she addresses something in each chapter that she feels marriage counselors typically get wrong). Her first book is the one that April has said God really used in her life to open her eyes to her disrespect – The Surrendered Wife. I’m not sure if the intimacy “skills” are the same in each book or not. I’ve read The Surrendered Wife (checked it out from the library), but it’s been a couple of years at least and apparently, not much sunk in at that time! 😀

            You can find a lot of the same info on her blog, too…www.lauradoyle.org/blog

            Here’s a specific post about vulnerability:

            http://lauradoyle.org/blog/being-vulnerable-in-a-relationship/

          10. I don’t know, Hope Always….maybe this will help, maybe not. But, I started to see my husband’s possible rejection of me recently as not rejecting me, but rejecting Christ in me. Your husband might say that he cannot forgive you and it is too late….but is that him rejecting you? No! If your husband leaves you, he is making a choice not to forgive. It’s a very real possibility that the darkness is facing the light and the rejection would be of the light, not of *you* as a person.

            That might also help you to have the compassion you need for him to pray for him in his need. Instead of looking at this in a personal way, you are seeing that he is bound and blind.

            These are the kinds of spiritual weapons that we use in our battles and that are effective.

            Don’t forget you are not battling flesh and blood, but your battle is against evil forces – that have been overcome already by the blood of the Lamb! Stand and claim your victory, Hope Always. Whatever comes, you are an overcomer in Christ!

          11. Sadly..today was very stressful I was feeling very rejected and lonely and mistreated my husband. He feels that I spoke to him with contempt. I know I was feeling a ton of rage and sadness today and tried so badly to gain his attention..the more I tried the more he rejected me…so we have had a big blow out and he is calling a realtor tomorrow to list the house.

            I can’t seem to accept that our marriage is over and he feels absolutely sure that I am untrustworthy. Period. I am heartbroken

          12. Hope Always,

            Oh, my sister!

            I know we have all been in this same place. We want to feel loved, cherished, safe, and adored by our husbands so much! Sometimes we lash out in hateful, sinful, destructive ways. We somehow think that is going to make our husbands come crawling back to us in repentance, begging for us to give them another chance. But our contempt is not what motivates men. Really, we would hate to be treated that way, too. I don’t know how I was able to treat Greg with such contempt, resentment, bitterness, self-righteousness, and pride and think that was okay. I would have been really upset if anyone had treated me the way I treated Greg.

            I wonder sometimes if I had to see myself on camera earlier in our marriage if I would have seen just how destructive my actions, attitude, and words were.

            The more you fight him and try to force him to do what you want – the more you will repel him. I promise. If we freak out like this and try to demand that they love us and we go ballistic trying to get our way – we are confirming that they are wise to leave.

            The most respectful thing a wife in this situation can do is the thing she most doesn’t want to do – but to show him that you truly are willing to respect him and his decision and to allow him to leave with dignity, respect for him, respect for yourself, and poise. That is the only way to begin to win a husband back. That and working on your own walk with Christ and finding contentment totally in Christ alone. I can’t guarantee that God will bring your husband back or when it may happen. But if he is going to come back. This is the path you will have to take. And even if he doesn’t come back, this is the path you will need to take to find spiritual healing and wholeness for yourself in Christ. That is my main goal for you!

            I pray you will be able to get some time to yourself with God and just pour everything out to Him – all of your pain and your dreams and desires. And then lay it all down and decide to trust Him and do things His way instead of trying to control your husband and forcing him to submit to you. He has to choose to be here. He can’t be a slave. He needs and deserves to have the right to choose to be here willingly or to leave willingly. Every spouse needs that freedom. We get to make our choices. Other people get to make theirs.

            Sending you a huge hug, my dear sister. Do you have spiritual support around you – any godly mentoring wives who may be able to pray with you?

          13. Thank you April

            I do well at detaching for about a week and a half..and then I stumble. I am so lonely and crave the attention form a husband who wants nothing to do with me.

            The ultimate rejection that I can do nothing about.

            He treats me with contempt and disdain…he blamed me again today and was the victim. This infuriates me

            I have to let him go with dignity and respect for him and myself.

            Yes..I have Godly wives praying with and for me, my husband, and sons.

            When I was walking today at the highschool track..I cried and sobbed out to God for help.

            Why is it so hard to accept that a marriage is over when one spouse wants healing so badly?

          14. Hope Always,

            Marriage is designed by God to last forever, not to be broken. Of course we don’t want it to be destroyed. It is good to want it to be healthy and to want healing for your marriage.

            However, if we try to hold our husbands hostage against their will – that just won’t work. As you can see, I am sure.

            How is your time with God going? What are you reading? How much time have you been spending praying for God to change you and teach you? Are you doing any praising and thanking God? Are you praying about anything other than your husband staying?

            Much love to you!

          15. Oh sister,

            Yikes! It seems as if you are determined to sabotage yourself and with it you marriage that you are trying so hard to hold onto.

            I have people arriving soon that I need to drive to work with.

            Think of Joseph and all he lost but in the end all that became his and also how his brothers and his father came back to him.

            He was able to let it all go, and then reap so much more.

            I pray for you on your struggles.

          16. Just remember, a husband’s feelings can change as quickly as a wife’s! My husband made all kinds of “threats” the last couple of months that never seemed to pan out. I think he spoke in anger and was trying to get a reaction from me. I would just ignore his threats unless he spoke about leaving in which case I always told him very calmly that he was free to go and that I would be o.k. I totally meant it, too. I just kept moving forward in my life, asking for wisdom and putting total confidence in God that He was with us and in this and had (has) a plan. I got to the point that I knew I had done my part in this marriage and that if my husband left me, I would have a clean conscience and that he would be the one missing out. Just to get to that place was amazing as I have always had very low self-esteem and always saw my husband as the “better” spouse in our marriage.

            I don’t know that you showing frustration and anger is all that wrong. I know some might disagree with me, but I wouldn’t worry about it too much. God can use even that. 🙂 You said your husband feels you spoke with contempt. One thing I realized over the last year is that anytime I would try to get my husband to understand what I was saying and then would start get frustrated as he was blaming or trying to manipulate me, he was quick to tell me that I was getting angry, etc. The problem is that as we were talking, my level of anger sometimes wouldn’t even nearly at the level his was. I was just showing frustration, but certainly not losing my temper or being controlled by anger. I remember getting to this place where I would just say, “There’s nothing wrong with being angry.”

            So, my question to you is….Did you truly speak to your husband with contempt or did you say things that were truthful and he got angry? I know that my eyes were kind of opened to the fact that some of that was happening in my own marriage – it was a way of getting the attention off of his issues and putting blame back on me.

            My husband and I got in a massive fight last week – I do not recommend trying to get into one, but this just happened. The kids were all out of the house at school. He had also blamed me and made himself out to be the victim and I, like you, became really angry. One thing that I stopped doing in the last several months was overly apologizing for any kind of “slip-ups” I’ve had as we’ve been on this journey. I realized that my husband was kind of using it against me – don’t know how to explain it better than that. So, after that fight, I wrote an e-mail very briefly apologizing for losing my temper. I did not go into detail like I used to do by saying things like “I want to respect you better, I want to be a better wife”. Nope. Just “I’m sorry I lost my temper”. Which meant that I wasn’t really sorry for speaking some of the hard truth that needed to be said (I did not say that in the email). I had told him that he was choosing his pride over our marriage. I told him he had a major pride problem. I used the word “sin” a few times. Probably the first time my husband has had anyone tell him he sins. In the past, I used to say things to him like he made “mistakes”. In the email, I also addressed other things, but I started the email with a quick apology and moved on to business (which was me telling him what I needed from him to be “fully in” our marriage).

            My husband owned up to some things two days after that incident – things he hasn’t been able to admit for several years or even to hear me on. I don’t feel qualified to say whether the change is real or the apologies were genuine but I did think it was interesting that I saw more humility and heard more apologies after speaking the truth rather boldly. I pray it is real. Only God knows for sure.

            Again, I don’t recommend having huge arguments. 🙂 But, I do recommend trusting God that He is in control even if that happens. You can apologize for what you need to apologize for and move on in Christ. Life is messy sometimes.

            I’m sorry for your hurt and the pain you’re going through. I know it’s so real. Hang in there, sister. Clint tightly to Jesus. Know that He is enough – more than enough – for you no matter what. Claim by faith that you can have a full life no matter what your husband decides. Just claim it apart from what your feelings are saying. God has you.

          17. Cic. There is alot of meat to this reply. I will have to re read a few times. I agree about the distinction between contempt and anger. I would let my husband bully me around for quite a while with his wordsmith in until I realized it was OK to be angry. The problem comes when we react to anger with sin of our own. My husband totally has no control over his emotions, and it’s taken 1.5 years to maybe keep ahold of the rope on mine. You are righr..my husband doesn’t like to hear stuff he doesn’t like…who does,? But humility allows us to hear it and grow from it. Pride blinds us of our faults and we keep moving in sin. I’d rather endure the pain of learning my sin and ripping it out than be blinded by my own pride sin and living a life of lies. Yet, our husbands have not learned that humility yet. They don’t think it is a strength, yet it is HUGE strength to be able to resist the flesh in this way.

            There definitely comes a time when we can speak the truth in love, even if we are angry and not feel guilty. It’s part of helping someone own their own issues and not letting them saddle you with them. It boils down to boundaries and stopping the enabling. This seems to be where many of us waffle. The pendulum of out of control emotions, or taking it all on and never speaking out in love to put the responsibilities of someone else back onto them. As women, we tend to do and do and do out of love, but end up exhausted and bitter. We need to give those emotions, problems and attitudes back to those who are dumping them on us. We also need to be sure we are handling our own baggage as well. The distinction is what we could pray over for God’s help. Great points, cic. Thank you today for them. I pray for you all to keep moving forward in healthy and godly ways.

          18. Hi LMS
            I have been trying to give thought to what you wrote to me. It’s a tough one at the moment. I’ve had a real emotional painful week and I’m so tired and my head hurts when I try to think so deeply. It’s weird. It actually hurts and I have to shake my head and stop sometimes. This happens when I’m praying deeply to God too. I know you are caring and loving and truly want the best for me and I’m so greatful for your thoughtful comments to me. It was hard to read. I’m ashamed if I’m asking God to obey me. I don’t feel that I am. I’m trying to pray the way April has taught us.

            I desire for my marriage to be restored so much but I can see how I had my husband up on a pedestal. He even Told me once that he thinks I’m obsessed with him. But in my eyes I’ve always had to fight for time with him, for him to chose me. I see how I choked the life out of him and our marriage. I see it clearly. I’m not like that now. I don’t have the anxiety over everything he does so much. It feel good. He left for the day today. The old me would have tried to think of reasons to call him and check up. I had no desire at all today to call. There’s many examples like this. I like it now. I don’t want to go back to that. I even find myself thinking sometimes “oh well, that’s between him and God”. I’ve grown and changed a lot.

            Like you – I, too, realize our marriage has died. We are both changed from this. Me for the better, him not so much. But I see that the next 20 yrs could be done so differently. With God in the centre. I’ve always seen marriage with the 3 of us. He’s never given me the chance to be the kind of wife who has a supportive husband. I’ve never done things right, always said too much, and had to be on my own regularly. I’ve felt like a single mum most of the time. So I became a product of that too. I just pray fur the chance to live our marriage for Gods glory. If that’s idolatry I obviously need a lot of work. I must be stuck. In my eyes though, I’m doing ok. Most people who know the situation say they couldn’t do what I’m doing. God gives me the strength to do it.

            I don’t doubt God. I don’t believe it would be His will for my marriage to end. I just don’t want it to end because of my husbands free will. Which is what I’m afraid of. I see there’s a kink in my path to totally trusting God but I feel it’s a natural fear. I do want all the right things. I need Gods strength to do it. I need more bible time.

            I will continue to think and pray on what you said.

            Much love to you my sweet friend.

          19. Hi, Bel! You are not stuck at all! You are progressing beautifully. This whole thing is a process and you are wrestling this all out with God. It is painful. It’s hard. It hurts. There’s no getting around that. Please don’t agree with the enemy who would love nothing more than to make you feel defeated right now — that if you could just figure everything out and “get it right”, God would move you right along into calmer waters. God is taking you to the point of ultimate surrender and as much as I would love to be able to say that you can do it on your own right now, I don’t know that I personally believe that. I believe that you can be willing to get there – and I see that in you, I really do. But, personally, I believe it is a work that God has to do ultimately and it is a process. He is committed to you, Bel. He is committed to your sanctification. He can be trusted and as you relax and rest in His goodness and His love to you, you will find yourself closer and closer to surrender. Because there is no place safer to be in the end than completely in His hands.

            I loved reading your comment about how you are not as worried about him as he is leaving to go places. I can relate so much! I started noticing that about myself somewhere in the past year – maybe even a little longer ago, can’t remember. My husband never accused me of being obsessed with him, but yes, I was! He definitely felt smothered by me, I’m sure, and said similar things in the past.

            We went to the beach over the weekend as my daughter had a sports tournament there and I cannot tell you how amazing it felt to be somewhere like that and not be living in fear and jealousy the whole weekend over who he might notice, etc.!!!! There were a few trigger moments and as I would just start to worry, God would remind me of what He had shown and taught me and I was able to just place my husband back in God’s hands each time. It’s a mental picture I have and also a phrasing of “He’s yours, God!” when I start to feel that old fear and jealousy rise up. This freedom is just so glorious, I can’t even put it to words. Tears come every time I try to think of how to word it. I just can’t right now. I am so, so grateful for God taking me through these trials so that I could be delivered.

            You know how you like already the changes that have happened in you? It’s going to get even better, Bel! I seriously believe you are heading for greater and greater freedom. The pain will be worth it. I can testify to that.

            We all understand your desires of a Christian marriage with God at the center. Of a restored healthy marriage. But, I think we can all say that we had to get to a place where we were willing to lay it down and surrender the dreams. Again, you can’t fake that, but you can be honest to God about where you are and tell Him you want to be able to surrender it all. That’s enough. He will take you where we aren’t so willing to go sometimes. He’s your Shepherd, guiding you along the rocky paths with His watchful eye on you lest you fall or be snatched by the enemy. You are His precious lamb and He is leading and guiding you to green pastures and beside still waters. Trust Him.

            Love you, Bel!

          20. Hi CIC
            Thank you for your beautiful msg and encouragement. I’m sorry I just can’t think to write much now but thank you. Love to you.
            And thank you to all of you who have sent me messages. I’m so grateful and feel so blessed to have you all here for me.

          21. You are valuable as a wife and person. You are a daughter of God and deserve to be treated with dignity. Grief hurts. Not having our marriages working properly hurts. Thank God for the peace that surpasses all understanding. Thank God for His comfort and love. It is a comfort to know that He is for our marriages and is speaking to our husbands when we are silent.

            I had to accept for years that my husband really wanted nothing to do with me because of my disrespect and bad behavior. I had to accept that he sees his sin against me as not so bad. I also saw that I made him feel the same way, just for different things. I had to accept that things might stay the same way (its better now).
            I spent a long time pleading to God to change me and change my husband. When Jesus met people at their lowest point, he loved them and told them to sin no more.

            Find some things that bring you joy in the day and thank God for the blessing. Take very good care of your body. I personally had to get off of xanax and stop masking the pain.

            I started looking for ‘evidence’ that things were not as bad as I thought. For example, I felt like I had failed as a parent and the ‘evidence’ showed that my kids were alive, healthy and still loved me and were willing to do anything I asked of them. They were successful in school and had good relationships with other people and had jobs.
            The ‘evidence’ for my marriage was that for some reason we were still together (even if we were miserable at the time), and my husband had spent 20 years going to work to support the family. He handed his check over to me for years even when I disrespected him, with no complaints. He didnt complain if the house was messy. Just lots of evidence for the good. I started being able to redirect his negative thoughts and say, “I’m not sure thats a true statement”, and then say the positive statement.

            It seems like we have to be relationship ninja’s, lol.

            Even though things are better, its been 3 years from the beginning of this, things could go bad quickly and we could easily get hopeless. I see that hopelessness as a mean trick from the devil and I refuse to go there for my survival. The devil wants to destroy us. I am a new creation in Christ and a daughter of the King!! I am loved and cherished by God, and valuable, bought with a great price. My husband is just as valuable.

            There is so much to say, but I pray that God will give you wisdom, peace, mercy and grace. This is for all of the wives struggling.

  33. Others who have been in Hope Always’ shoes and have had to face this major fear of a spouse wanting a divorce or actually leaving, please share encouragement, if you feel led to, with our precious sister. I’d especially love for her to hear about the spiritual growth that you experienced in the midst of the pain. And how this wasn’t the end – but maybe the beginning of a new chapter.

    Facing Our Deepest Fears
    Please, God! Ask Me for Anything but This!

  34. If a husband is determined to leave, here is an example of how I believe a wife could respectfully approach him:

    “I am heartbroken to know how hurt you are feeling and that I had a part in that. I want the chance to make things up to you. I want to learn to be the wife God wants me to be and you need me to be. I don’t want you to leave. I am totally committed to learning to make this marriage work. I value you, our family, and our marriage so much. I’d love for you to want to work on the marriage, too. But, I respect that you say you are done. I don’t want you to be here against your will. Do what you think is best (or – ‘Do what you think is best for our family’).”

    1. Dear Sisters,

      I am in a rather unusual position being, one could say: the last man standing,” at least as far as these comments are concerned. I am going to be brief, but I by no means wish to be disrespectful.

      First of all, I would not use the word Baby, to begin any comment to an essentially estranged husband. I may have been brought up outside the USA but I have lived here for 20 years. Baby is a term of endearment, in my opinion, not the best strategy.

      Secondly, whatever the living arrangement, again my opinion, the least one can expect is civility. I do understand that there may well be aggravating things that a spouse does, but that does not allow a husband or a wife to be negative.

      Now I have not lived in the same house, and I know only one side of the story, so I am really not in position to judge, that said: Christians should be kind to one another, married to one another or.

      Sister April, I mean you no disrespect and think that your advice is most valuable and that your heart mind are definitely in the right place.

      Blessing to you all,
      Jesus centre of Life!

      1. I am going to use this letter that April wrote and tweak the words a bit..not as a beginner my husband to stay letter..but one last letter. And then to set us free.

        We had words tonight after I asked him to once again to kindly let me know where he is and when he would be home. He was gone 12 hours today.. Regardless if he hates me or not , at least answer my text and let me know if he is coming home for dinner. He never answers my texts unless they are about our boys.

        My request turned into the same argument and blaming me for our marriage. He continues to say I have caused this and I am the reason for a divorce that HE wants and that I should do something about it..makes no sense to me.

        Only God can make sense of this. One more letter to him, one more hand extended for reconciliation..and then I pray for freedom, peace, and God’s will.

        By the way..what’s a wounded bull? And how could a husband act like one.

        1. Hope Always,

          I wish that all spouses would always show consideration and civility – at a bare minimum – as JesusCentreofLife had talked about. That would be so awesome!

          But, when there is one spouse who is far from God and very wounded and filled with bitterness and pain – that doesn’t always happen in reality. But we can be sure WE are acting with civility, kindness, respect, gentleness, etc… And, as God prompts us to, we can address if we are being mistreated and ask to be treated with respect, as well.

          Here is my suggestion to pray about concerning dinner. If he wants to eat dinner at home, he can let you know when he will be there. Or he can heat up leftovers. I’m not sure it is that productive at this point to try to get him to report his schedule to you. You could text him, “Supper will be ready at 6pm if you are interested.” Or you could just allow him to fend for himself unless he asks you to cook for him. Whichever God prompts you to do.

          You can choose not to absorb anything that is not true. If he has a criticism that is true – you can own it. But if he is telling you to do something, but is not saying what he needs and is not willing to work with you at all – there are limits that you have. Has he said what he believes he needs?

          A wounded bull lashes out in every direction in his pain and tramples anyone in his way. Like a bull that has been stabbed with a spear already during a bull fight.

          1. Thank you

            I am going to reread eveything that has been shared and then sit down and write my husband a final letter. He did not talk to me this morning. When I came home this afternoon..he said ” What’s up.” Then left in his truck. No good bye..never does.

            I do not have anything to be ashamed about any more. I have have to heal now. I have made my husband my idol and he wants nothing to do with me..it’s time for me to let him go.. As someone here said..or may have been April..that I must respect his decision to not want to work on our marriage and respect his decision to want to leave. Do I like this idea ..absolutely not.

            I will take any prayers that anyone is willing to send me. Satan is out to get this family. But he won’t get me and I must fight him for my sake and that of my boys.

          2. Hope Always: I pray that you are given the right words from the Holy Spirit. You do need to heal. You deserve to walk toward the truth and not have to let your husband or anyone keep you stuck in the mud. The fact is, that old marriage is dead. Emotionally, spiritually…maybe even physically. Maybe God has something better ahead for you…in fact , I know He does. It could be a renewal of your marriage, or it could be something or someone else.

            The important part is to continue to grow spiritually and learn what your own contributions to the failure were. Not to dwell on them, but to ask God to help you mature and grow past them so you don’t bring those same types of flaws into the next part of your life. We all make mistakes, we are all sinners, but it doesn’t mean we are failures or 2nd class citizens. We are loved, cherished and important. It is not possible to make someone love you or see that. It is their own responsibility. It’s hard to watch someone you love crash and burn and not accept help. That is super painful.

            I pray that your husband can heal from his pain and hurt, that he can sit and think deeply about the direction of his life and what we really are doing here on earth. I pray that God catches him and helps draw your husband to Himself. I pray that you continue to heal and understand yourself and God’s design for your life. I pray that you find joy even when things are blowing up all around you. I pray that you can see your husband with empathy and love, even if he chooses to be done, and I pray that satan stays away. I pray you stay vigilant against bitterness, self pity, temptation and pride. All my love.

          3. Hope Always,

            I am praying for God’s wisdom for you – for you to clearly hear His voice and for you to follow Him in obedience. That you would not rush ahead and not lag behind but hold His hand and walk step by step with Him. Praying for God to reach your husband and to bring healing to you both.

            Yes, I did talk about respecting your husband’s decisions and feelings. Sometimes it is only when they feel respected and heard, even when we disagree or don’t want them to feel the way they do, that things can begin to slowly move forward.

          4. Openness always,
            Hope always,
            Can you imagine,
            Having the hand of Our Lord,
            Resting on your shoulder,
            With His Hand there,
            He is,
            Not pushing,
            Not holding you back,
            But giving you strength,
            In complete openness,
            And complete surrender
            With Jesus, at your side,
            In your midst
            Those dark satanic forces
            Need not be feared.

          5. This brings tears to my eyes.

            It’s 8 PM and my husband left at 6:30 am. He has stopped having coffee in the same room. He gets up showers and leaves.

            No good bye this morning, no call, text..I put dinner away and I guess he can fend for himself.

            This hurts a ton.

          6. Hope always,

            It may hurt so much
            And though you would do anything for him,
            Can you not see that you are giving your husband way too much power over you?

            Our Savior’s blood was shed to take a way
            Sin and death,

            Your longing for your husband,
            Keeps you tethered this life.

            When we pray we often clasp our hands together.

            Open your hands said you are letting something into your heart.

            Jesus I am open to your help,
            I am open to what yo are bringing me to
            In my next step,
            I have nothing to fest when
            You are with me.
            Help me through these moments,
            I surrender,
            I trust,
            I know You will guide me
            Through this pain,
            In Your Holy Name,
            Amen.

          7. Very powerful..thank you so much.

            I heard a testimony of a woman in a healing group last night that said she has nothing to be ashamed about any more.. When I heard that, I felt something lift from my soul ….I have nothing to be ashamed of any more in my marriage….

            Can’t wait to read your prayer again. I printed off all the comments to this blog and will read and soak in them over the next several days.

            Then I plan to write my husband a note..and with love and respect..let him go.

          8. Dear sisters, dear Hope Always,

            I am sorry I am breaking the 8th commandment, I am truly sorry but I believe it is in a good cause! I have stolen from your comments: LMSDaily and Peaceful Wife

            LMS Daily
            This is where you step out
            And God steps in.
            Jesuscentreoflife:
            For sister, our God has the power and the dispassion to untie the knots

            The Peaceful Wife
            He is your real Hero.
            He is the only One who will never fail you and never leave you.
            He is the one who is able to give you a renewed spirit and transform your mind and create something so beautiful from your life.
            He is able to reach your husband.

            Jesuscentreoflife
            For He is God, He loves and sacrificed ALL for us.
            For He has promised, and while we may not be able hold to our promises, He can and does.
            For HE ALONE! can give life, new and everlasting. He creates beauty from ashes.
            For HE ALONE! can take broken things and make them whole.

            http://crnbcc.org/cr/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/letgo.jpg