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"Without a Word" – WorthyofLove's Experience

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From WorthyofLove (who wrote about her husband’s text messages):

When a Husband Is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful” is just the reminder I need in my particular marriage. It seems more often than not that my husband is on the negative side, and a lot of times I take it personally. Before finding your site I would either go into “man mode” when he expressed his negative feelings (which is my name for when I try to solve all his problems and give advice and try to be the leader)—- or I would just shut him out and tell him to “man up”.

 

Well, after finding your site a few months ago, and really going through all the things I needed to change, etc… the perfect divine test came. My husband works away during the week, so we were talking on the phone one night, and he was very upset. He was upset about a work situation and very stressed about it, and just basically spiraling into negativity and hopelessness.

For the first time EVER, I LISTENED to him tell me all about it, and I just let him tell me all of it. And I had to consciously make a point to be quiet and just affirm his frustrations and build him up and be on his side about it all.

After a while, he calmed down, and he was definitely shocked that I didn’t storm into man-mode and go off about what he needed to do in that situation. haha. Not long after, he said something like “maybe I’m exaggerating”….after he got it all out, he realized that it would be ok! And the next day he handled the situation at work and everything was ok! And I told him I was proud of him and that was that!! He even told me that I “handled him very well”! and he expressed that he would like me to be like that whenever he gets upset about work or anything!

I’ve noticed that over the past 2 months of this journey, my husband has DEFINITELY responded to me NOT giving him advice, any Bible quotes or anything of the sort in these types of situations, AND just in general in our marriage. He is beginning to say things out of the blue like:

  • “My attitude is bad”
  • “I need to stop treating you like that”
  • “I’m going to be thankful instead of complain”

This is only the beginning. I still mess up every now and again and fall into man-mode but THANKFULLY, The Spirit of God will not let me go on in it for long….there is very deep conviction when I do it, and if it happens when my husband is home I immediately say “wow I’m sorry. I don’t want to be like that!!!” and he is very forgiving.

I can confirm in my own experiences so far just in these 2 months that responding in love and/or being quiet, and just allowing GOD to convict him has done miracles!
actions truly speak louder than words to men!!!

RELATED:

Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin

A Drill Sergeant Approach VS a Godly Feminine Approach

Calming the Storm

Portia’s Story – Winning Him over Without a Word

Godly Femininity

To Speak or Not to Speak

91 thoughts on “"Without a Word" – WorthyofLove's Experience

  1. Very true! Thank you for sharing this testimony. Makes me also see this as a way to respect our husband. I remember my husband sharing about his frustrations with work and when I said things meaning to encourage him, he asked me to just listen to him. Praise God for the work He is doing in both your hearts!

    1. Melinda,
      Thank you! God has been working still and as time goes by, I am beginning to see that it is not my job to “rescue” my husband when he’s upset or going through a trial or difficulty! When I freak out or try to take over, he starts questioning himself about his decisions, etc. If I try to tell him what to do about his life and job and circumstances he gets upset and it turns into an issue when all he was trying to do is tell me how he felt. I have had to learn and practice to let him be and let him experience his own life and problems and deal with them however he wants to, I can’t change him, save him, control him, etc. All I can do is separate myself from his emotions and realize I am only responsible for my own choices, feelings, attitudes, etc! It is a process! 🙂

      Blessings,
      Amanda

      1. Amanda,
        So true. I am also finally at this place…took me a while to get there. I also was going into a man mode before, always had an advice ready for him. Now just listening does so much! He shares much more with me that way ( of course when he is stressed and shut down is another story, but your advice and observations with your husband are on point with what’s going on with mine).

        1. NB,
          I am so glad this resonates with you!! It is definitely a learning process. I still mess up sometimes and say way more than I should, and I have to stop and just remember he’s his own person…and when I realize that again, I just stop in the middle of a conversation and say “But, it’s your choice ultimately, and you will stand before God!!”

          And he appreciates me remembering that he doesn’t need a mom and he doesn’t need a woman to tell him what to do.

          And sadly, when I had kept my mouth shut, and he’s chosen some wrong paths, I have had to watch him wallow in shame and guilt, which is hard, but I know it is necessary in order for God to work in him only what He can do. I can try to save him all I want, but it will only make my life worse!!!

          Glad you can relate!

          Love,
          Amanda

  2. April

    This was me! I actually said “Man up” to my husband years ago in front of our daughters. Even my daughters felt it was an appropriate response to him. He has never forgiven me. He lost any mercy or compassion for me. He sank and had numerous affairs and drank.

    I was completely oblivious to what was becoming a secret life. He found ways to justify his drinking and serial affairs. I felt unloved and lonely. There was PTSD. It was untreated. There was chronic pain, caring for parents, teenagers, health concerns of our children, never putting our marriage first. We were the ideal loving family that went to church. God was our foundation but we had no time for each other. I thought our priorities were good. I was caring for our parents, volunteering, attending to our children’s health problems and my husband’s health as well. It all appeared justified and good. It wasn’t. We didn’t make us a priority.

    Living a military lifestyle taught us the mission came first and the higher good was service. It wasn’t right. It wasn’t good. My background of being a military brat and spouse and now mom to an active duty member only gave credence to an unhealthy foundation. If only I could take it all back.

    My husband now has cancer and he has reigned in his drinking. He talked to ten women while I took care of him during chemo. He sought help. Three counsellors later and finally well after a year’s time I see all I had to do is listen past the blame, criticism, fault-finding and he would hear himself and somewhat correct himself. He really felt emasculated, unloved, and disrespected. With your blog I began to see. Three Christian counsellors later…not being touched, heard a thank you, or affirmations for 15 long months, I listen past my intense pain. Now, my husband has asked me to renew our vows. I feel so wonderfully blessed!

    It’s not easy but what I do is trust God! I believe his promises. This was a very dark time. There is still a woman that won’t go away. She has called my daughter and myself. It’s scary and obsessive. There are consequences to my behavior and his. He needs Jesus and I do too. My children are young adults now. I pray they can see that trusting Jesus is most important. It carries you through any storm. His love is Divine and majestic. He makes all things new and good. Thank you sovereign Lord!

    1. Vickie! This is so great! I think I remember reading some of your other comments from earlier in your journey! It sounds like God has done some amazing things in the past few months!

      I would love to hear you elaborate on what you mean when you said “I listen past my intense pain”…”I listened past the blame, criticsm and fault-finding”….

      Thank you for sharing! Praise God! What a testimony!

    2. Vickie,

      Thank you so much for sharing! You have both had such a tough time these last few years. So many fiery trials all at once. 🙁

      I’m so glad that yo are both seeking to heal and honor God.

      Praising God with you, my precious sister!

  3. This is such a wonderful story, praise God! April , I just want to say I am so happy to have come across your site! I love how real and practical it is. It inspires me and reminds me to be the gentle, respectful wife God has created me to be. God’s design of marriage is amazing, and when we do it God’s way we can be sure He will bless our marriages.

    It’s not easy to change and I am aware of myself and how easy it can be to slip back into old ways. I am so grateful for God’s mercy toward me and for giving me another opportunity to make it right. I realised that I need to be conscious of my behaviour and my thoughts all the time before I see my husband and when I am with him. Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for sharing and for your website! I will be reading all the articles:-) May God richly bless you and your family.

  4. Timely. I have been following this site for the past two years and I like the awareness towards the differences between men and women that have been brought forward. The articles regarding things that are disrespectful to a man/husband or woman/wife are very open and honest.

    Men and women process things differently and at a different pace. For myself I find answers and solutions as I sound out the situation, either verbally or in my mind as I stand in the shower or driving, or even dreaming.

    As your man/husband is working through something the greatest gift you can offer is to listen and not interrupt or attempt to fix. His response to the situation needs time to absorb, time to collect additional information, time to process – for he is expected to respond through leading by example.

    I mentioned the articles on disrespect – On the grand scale of things, an interruption during your mans/husbands process is about the third or forth most disrespectful act from his woman/wife.

    I’m not saying to avoid him during these times, support him as he works the situation by being there, listening, he will find the pathway forward.

    1. Keegan’s Dad,

      I sure wish I had understood this 22 years ago when we got married. Would have been SUPER helpful. As a woman, I process with words – so I thought I was helping Greg by offering ideas and suggestions and trying to help him process like I did. But he needs exactly what you are describing – time to process, absorb, collect more information, research, pray, etc…

      I have learned he needs a LOT more time than I do when he is working through a decision. Many more hours, days, or weeks sometimes. But I have also learned that as I don’t interrupt him, God leads me through Greg and Greg’s thorough thought processes have kept me from making some hasty decisions that would have been big mistakes.

      Love this!

  5. Isn’t it amazing?!! I started trusting God with my marriage a couple of months ago and I am beginning to feel SO much peace. If my husband isn’t in the greatest mood, rather than letting it consume me, I find that I am perfectly content to go about my day and feel, basically, unaffected. And my [lack of] response to his mood, triggered something in him as well… An apology for said mood! WHAT?! This never would have happened in the past. Just yesterday, he noticed that my mood was off and he approached me and asked if I wanted to talk about it, and that I didn’t have to worry about him responding negatively, he just wanted to listen. DOUBLE WHAT?! Our communication has improved immensely since I have been following God’s model for a Biblical marriage. Praise Jesus! I hope that you continue to see benefits of being a Godly wife as well. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Ruby,
      THAT is awesome! PRAISE GOD!!!! 🙂

      If you believe it would honor Christ, I would love to anonymously share this on my Peaceful Wife Blog FB page. Such a blessing! 🙂

  6. It’s funny, I’ve had the same situation in reverse in my own marriage. I’ve been through a lot of turmoil from slander about my family and people actively working to harm them and anyone who hasn’t turned against them. I really struggled with depression because of this, and so longed for my husband to just listen without trying to fix me because really, only God and no person can fix this situation. Finally, I stopped looking for comfort from my husband about this and really started turning to God for comfort, and slowly, slowly, my husband is starting to stop judging me and just acknowledge that this is hard to endure, which is very comforting. Though I have to be on guard to not value his comfort above God’s, again.

    1. Grace,

      I’m really glad you turned to God for comfort. I learned to do that early in my journey 7.5 years ago, too. I learned to write out my struggles and thoughts in my journal instead of dumping them on Greg or someone else. So thankful that you are finding strength in Christ and that things are getting better with your husband, too. That is awesome! And very wise to be sure not to start to depend on your husband more than you depend on God.

      Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. April,
    What do I do when when my husband comes home from work he seems to be still there mentally. He seems to be still digesting and going through his workday. He is very checked out after he comes home lately and when I ask ” how was your day” he is very irritated and annoyed and says ” it was FINE!!!”
    When I try to talk to him ( that’s after his shower etc., when he is eating for example), it’s like talking to a brick wall. All I can see is that he’s still mentally at work.
    So yesterday I decided NOT to ask him how his day was, and just stay quiet for the most part as to give him space. Not cold shouldering him, just stay quiet. Well then he asks ” what’s wrong with YOU?!?”. I just said I was tired, then started talking to him( just something light about my day) and he was totally checked out. I don’t think he even heard what I said. That’s been going on for a while now…not sure what it it ( new anti depressants have been for over 8 weeks now)..
    What’s the most respectful way to handle it? Seems like I can’t win either way here, being quiet or not….

    1. NB,

      I’m not sure if it is the medicine (somnolence) or if it is just his focus and that he is shutting you out.

      Your husband is not spiritually and emotionally well, my dear sister, it seems to me. He may be overly sensitive to things right now. He may not feel safe with you yet. He may just have his own issues going on – I know he has been under a lot of stress. I don’t like the idea at all of him turning to flirting with women at work. That is not going to help things. The problem is – sometimes when wives try to address something like this, they actually often push their husbands away further.

      How is your walk with Christ going? That is going to be so key! When you are filled up with God, He can give you the wisdom you need to respond to your husband in a godly way. You control yourself. You can’t control him. But you can become a safe, welcoming, warm place for him. You can work on your end of the marriage and on your walk with Christ. You can trust God to work in your husband’s heart to reach him in ways you can’t.

      How are you responding now when you are feeling so neglected and unloved, my dear sister?

      How I pray God might open his eyes to the fact that he is playing with fire if he is flirting with other women. I pray for God’s strength and wisdom for you!

        1. I would like to add that a husband and wife may very well define “flirt” differently. Now, I’m not trying to excuse or condone such by a husband. Still, many of us, both husbands and wives, have only recently come to the realization of what disrespect looks/feels like.

          It also may be the case that a given marriage is void of such playful-yet-meaningful activities to the extent that the mere act of a husband having a deep, warm and non-judgmental conversation with another woman can cause great concern to his wife.

          Just something to think about.

      1. Thank you April.
        The thing is, and I think that’s what confuses me and hurts the most, is that we would seem to have a period of good time( like last week) and then he acts like he does this week ( checked out, mentally still at work, not wanting to share anything. Irritable.
        I don’t say anything to him about any women any more. When he’s having a good week and actually shares things with me, we laugh and joke about it all together. He assures me that there is nothing for me to worry about and I tell him I trust him. But then the new work week starts and who knows what happens there, but he is like a different man. With all this hostility, shutting me out etc. I was actually in a good place for a while, things were going good with us…
        I pray through out the day, I read in the bible…I surrender this whole situation to God daily, hourly sometimes. I know I am to love him and respect him unconditionally and I do. It’s just when he is shutting me out like that, that’s when fear is creeping in.
        As far as him neglecting me…I’m used to him not complimenting me, etc. I just count my blessings we are at a better place overall than last year. That little by little I see he is trusting me more ( not completely obviously), that he is not pulling his hand away from me outside, like he did the whole year last year. That he is not that insulting like he was last year. That he is not lashing out in anger as often any more…Things have overall improved. This work situation is evolving though into something I don’t know how to handle…

        1. NB,

          There are all kinds of things that could be going on. It could be his conscience, his stress level, depression, overall spiritual roundedness, or the medication. It could be that God is dealing with him. It could be an issue you know nothing about that is heavy on his mind. I don’t know what is happening in his mind and heart. But I do know that God does. I believe as you stay tapped in to God’s Spirit that He will help you see His perspective and bring things to light and help you know how to respond in exactly the right way. There are a lot of good signs. That is awesome!

          It is hard because you don’t know if there really is something to be worried about or if he is acting this way because he has felt smothered and disrespected by you – or both. Or if it is something else. Do all you can to thank him and appreciate him and be a welcoming, safe place. Be willing to listen. Praying for God’s wisdom for you about when/if to say something and when to let God do the work!

      2. Hi April,
        So I know i asked that a million times. And you replied to me so many times…Why cant I let his texting with his coworker (or coworkers) not bother me??
        Remember, in Feb.-March, that was one girl that he communicated with. From what i gather they dont talk any more. Now there are 1 or 2 others (the ones he went to have drinks with ). I think it is only one, not sure though.
        They dont text every day, from what i can tell when im home. He doesnt hide it or anything. Sometimes he shows me what she writes, if he doesnt understand it completely (they dont write in English)..It is mainly about work. I know he gives her movies to watch and brings some from her.
        I really try to give it to God every day. Im so tired of this consuming my thoughts. He told me ” if you think Im going to F** this girl then we need to divorce”.
        Its not that i think he would do that. Its the fact that he wants to communicate with another woman outside of work, even its only through texting once a day. The fact that he needs to seek her out, and that she texts him (from what i can tell, what he tells me-they gossip about work stuff ) herself too.
        Instead of sharing things about work with me, it seems to me he would rather share it with her. That is what bothers me.
        Is it normal or how can i just let it slide? I tell him I work on it, and I promise not tolet it bother me but sometimes i just cant help it. I dont lash out, yell, or belittle him. None of that. I just shut down, and he notices my change in attitude immediately. He doesnt think its a big deal.
        I on the other hand sometimes think Im going to go crazy soon. Its been going on for months now granted with different coworkers.

        1. NB,

          Would you be up for a spiritual check up, my precious sister? It is important for you to be able to know what your motives are – then you will be able to tell more clearly if you are being sinned against or if you have work to do on your end.

          Much love to you!

          1. NB,

            Ok! Let’s do it. 🙂

            1. Where is your security, my precious sister?

            2. What do you believe the difference is between righteous anger and jealousy vs. sinful anger and jealousy?

            3. What are your greatest fears?

            4. What are you praying for?

            5. How is your time with God going? What are you doing? What do you pray for?

            6. What is filling your thoughts?

            7. What do you believe you need to be content?

            8. What are your expectations of yourself in this area?

            9. What are your expectations of your husband in this area that is creating so much hurt?

            10. Is this a matter of personal convictions or of genuine sin with what he is doing at this point?

            Much love to you!

          2. Just got to answer your questions:
            1. I know it is in Christ. I do.
            2. I don’t know… I know jealousy is not good. Maybe I wouldn’t be so jealous ( I can’t believe I can be jealous but what else would you call this turmoil I’m going through) if he was affectionate and loving instead of so consumed in his thoughts about work and who knows what else every single moment he is home.
            3. Hmmm…I don’t know actually. That he will have some kind of affair maybe? I do know I’m able to forgive bc I was in that position once unfortunately…
            4.im praying for God to reveal the truth to me. And for the blinders to fall off his eyes. Also I thank Him for all the good in my life. He truly is great. He answered so many of my prayers already. I am blessed. I don’t know why I’m in such a turmoil lately. Usually I was confident in my husband but I guess not when he going out of his way to be nice to other women,
            5. I pray. Read my bible here and there every day. I work full time, go to school, kids are only 8&4 yo. But I have my little bible and I do peak in there every day for encouragement. Lately I fee that God is keeping me in 2 Cor. 2 6:9…
            6. That is rough one. Everything lately it seems like. From gratitude to suspicions about my husband to worry to feeling blessed. I’m a mess lately.
            7. Hmmm. I would feel content if he stopped texting with that woman ( or women…like I said I lost track who he is keeping contact with). I can deal with him being unloving and distant. But when I know he consciously keeps up contact with her outside of work my emotions go haywire.
            8. I believe I am to respect him unconditionally. I am to be a safe place for him and not to be fearful and suspicious. I am to expect the best of him and not the worst ( that is hard in terms of those women) I loved reading your article about when your husband flirt with women . I understand the theory and I try so hard to apply your suggestions….
            9. My hope and expectation for him is to stop this communication with her/ them . He never did this before. But it hurts when I don’t get a single word from him ( he says he hates texting) but he answers her so promptly even half asleep. ( says he wants to be nice). So I guess I don’t need for him to be nice to me? That hurts. Also sometimes he writes her himself. Have no idea what about. Few times it was about work. From what he said.
            10 . I don’t know. I would say personal convictions…but then again …I don’t know the whole truth.

          3. NB,

            How many actual minutes would you say you are spending in things like prayer for yourself, thanksgiving, praise to God, reading God’s Word and seeking to learn and absorb it so you can apply it, memorizing Scripture, singing praises to God, etc…?

            Does he seem to understand your pain at all?

            Have you studied much about people pleasing? There is often a component to people pleasing where we want to please and have the approval of those who are not as close to us more than those who are closest to us. We tend to hurt those we love the most and reject them in order to not hurt those we don’t know as well. You are welcome to search People Pleasing on my home page if you think that may be what is going on. It was helpful to me to realize that when I was trying to avoid being rude to guys who were interested in me, I was actually being disrespectful and rude to Greg. I truly didn’t get that for a long time. It is also much easier to be open with those we are not as close to and those we don’t depend on and share responsibilities with. But that is a fantasy. If we were married to other people, we would have the same issues we have with our spouses.

            What is your plan if he continues on texting a woman/women from work?

            Do you believe the medication thing is stable yet?

            Much love to you!

          4. Thank you April.
            As far as how many minutes…i dont know, because i constantly pray/ talk with God. When im driving, also at work when i get a chance. I would say couple hours a.day.
            I think what you have described with people pleasing might be his issue. Im going to look up your article on this. I think it is more that that hes going through than thee flirting of any sort. He wants to be liked by everyone there and even slightest dissapproval sends him into major downward spiral. I dont even know how many times he wanted to quit that job already.
            I honestly dont what i want/ need to do if he continbrs to do that texting. It kind of worked itsrlf out with tge first chick. Now its a different one. We have talked about it, i shared that it hurts me. He just shruggs it off, tells me that i have nothing to worry about. Thankfully he doesnt lashrs out any more like that one tome when he broke his phone. I really dont know what to do here. If i bring it up he gets irritated, if i try to kerp it to myself sometimes i cant help it and start could shouldering him. He notices right away. He knows its upsetting me but it also upsets him that i dont trust him anD assume the worst of him. He expressed that numerous times. Thats why i am really confused…i know i need to trust him and i know he is a good man. We made so much progress in last 1.5 years. Thats why i dont want thisd isdue to come between us. I dont want to be that micro managing and controlling tyrant i once was. I have worked on mysrlf too hard to go back to that old me. No matter what my husband does.
            His meds i believe are stable fir now….

          5. April,
            People pleasing def.sounds like what he is going through. More than anything at this point from what i can tell. He wants everyone at his work to like him, the slightest dissapproval of him or ofhis work sends him into a depressive spiral. He wanted to quit there for I dont know how many times in this past year.
            But is this my job to point that out to him? i dont think so…I dont know what to do. I dont know if this people pleasing is also the root of his texting. I watched your video again on confronting your husband about their sin. I came up with the plan, tell me if it would be ok….I think i will wait a couple of weeks and really watch my own behavior. NO more attitude towards him, no matter the texting or whatever. Repent of any sin on my part, respect and honor him no matter what.Then if I need to approach him-how do i do that in the most respecful fashion?
            AS far as my praying-i would say couple of hours a day all together….
            HIs meds im thinking are stable at this point. Not sure what he decided to do with them.
            Thank you so much for your help.

          6. NB,

            I really like your plan. Focus on any sin in your own heart and attitudes. Realize that the texting his coworkers may be a lot more about idolizing people’s approval and acceptance and feeling respected at work than anything else – at least right now, possibly. And ask God to give you His wisdom and timing if you do need to say something.

            Much love to you!

          7. April, you don’t have to reply to me….you are so busy right now and your time is precious…..
            I just need to write this out…I am such a failure. I don’t know when am I going to learn anything. I mean, I am praying, I study your posts….I read books, I read Laura Doyle’s blog, I get devotionals from Rejoice Marriage Ministries. It seems I’m doing good all day until something in regards of my husband and his coworkers happens abs then forget I learned something and actually thought I was ” getting” it. I m thinking I need anti depressants myself at this point because I just can’t any more, I feel like my heart is bleeding and I’m in so much pain.
            This week there’s a new thing I’m having to deal with…I don’t know whether this is the test from God or the Satan…so my husband started getting rides from his coworker. I don’t know if it’s same one or not. We live about 10 min walk from his job if that. Here in Europe people walk everywhere that’s why we only have one car. So he’s been walking to and from work. So this week this woman dropped him off twice. The first time i handled it better and we had an ok evening.

            Yesterday however….I met him with a cold ” I see you got a ride again” . That was a huge mistake! And all day before that I prepared myself how I would be so gracious and peaceful if it were to happen again. He blew up. Not as bad as before but he was hurt. I was too and I cried and cried. He told me some hurtful things…he said ” don’t act like you have a heart now” and ” you are not a woman enough to get on the pill” . He wants me to take birth control pills and I tried this month but had to quit after only 11 days because they were making me sick. That’s another story though.

            I didn’t yell or say anything else. I apologized for asking him that question and told him that it’s not his faithfulness that I doubt. I said that its just I’ve been struggling ever since he started communicating with these women in February. Then came movie exchanges, those 2 times of hanging out and now rides.

            I told him I’m struggling with that especially this week. I asked him to forgive me.

            And I even wrote you I had a plan! I feel like the woman who’s tearing up her own house with her hands. What’s wrong with me?!??? I am terrified of how he will be when he comes home tonite. I’m preparing for more insults and him shutting me out.

            I’ve never felt like more of a loser in my life. I will understand if he doesn’t want nothing to do with me. I did what you teach us not to do. I didn’t yell, belittle him or nag. But I had an attitude, mistrust…

            Pray for me April. I will get it right one day. I will get it right…..I’m focusing on today only. I will be respectful. NO MATTER what. Texts, rides, insults, whatever……

          8. NB,

            I do want you to realize that everything is not “all your fault” my precious sister. There are things your husband could certainly improve on his end. If he knows that these things upset you – he could avoid them in order to honor you.

            It can be difficult to tell sometimes if we are overreacting or if our husbands need to change. Sometimes it is more one spouse than the other that is in the wrong. Sometimes both need to change. But it can be frustrating and difficult to figure things out sometimes. If you are struggling with trusting him, the text messages and rides and insults certainly don’t help.

            But if he truly is not doing anything wrong and it is more of a matter of different personal convictions, then your getting overly upset could push him away and make things worse than they actually are.

            This is where we all desperately need the Holy Spirit’s wisdom, perspective, and power because sometimes it is just hard to figure out exactly what is wrong and what we can do on our end to keep the whole thing from spiraling out of control.

            What were the insults about? Did he apologize? As a pharmacist, I know birth control pills do make a lot of women sick. Sometimes a lower dose of estrogen can help with that. But birth control pills mimic pregnancy, that is why some women throw up with pills, it is much like having morning sickness. That is not something you can control.

            How is your time with God going?

            Do you need to reach out for a godly counselor in person at this point to help you one-on-one in person who may be able to help you hash through some of these things?

            What does he say he wants/needs from you?

            Could you ask him, “I REALLY want us to be on the same page and the same team. I have work to do on my end. What could I do that would most speak respect and trust to you? What could I do to most be on your team that would really bless you?

            And then, pray about what he says. I don’t know his motives or what his plans are regarding these other women. He may not think it is a big deal. He may not realize that this is an easy path to temptation. He may just be trying to feel more respected at work. He may have other motives – I have no idea. I pray for God to give you the insight and wisdom and perspective you need to be faithful to Him and to be the woman and wife He wants you to be and to be able to discern what is really going on and how to approach your husband.

            Much love!

          9. April,
            Thank you a million for reaching out to me again when you yourself are going through a challenging time…
            He didn’t apologized. He never does any more. Not since our move. I did again though. I wrote him from work that I was really ashamed of myself for yesterday and I was sorry.
            The insults…I don’t know how the one about birth control came about any more. But the one where he said to not act like I have a heart was in response to me standing in the kitchen with tears in my eyes trying not to cry.
            He seems more stable but still is consumed in his thoughts after work. I barely see him this week as we work opposite shifts. I think he listened to the doctor and is taking 1 of his pills again.
            He did say yesterday that his whole life I either make him feel bad for anything he does or embarrass him. That was hard to hear especially since I thought we were making progress lately. His comments show I think that he is still wounded from my disrespect and doesn’t trust me completely yet. However on our good days he says everything is fine….he still won’t tell me he loves me, or kiss me or hug me on his own. I try not to focus on it but when I think of those things it hurts….
            As far as what he needs from me….he never says directly. But thinking of his complaints/ insults when he says I always expect the worst of him, always make him feel bad no matter what he does… Does it sounds he needs me to trust in him and expect good from him?
            I have been trying my best to do exactly that. And we do really good as long as the coworkers are not involved. Maybe I do overreact…..it is definitely pushing him away….
            I’m going to lay down all my pain. I’m going to start over again today. No matter what it takes. No matter what he says or does. It is not about him it’s about me….I want to go to bed tonight knowing I made the Lord proud. Knowing I was respectful wife.knowing my husband wanted to come home to me….
            I will try to say what you suggested when we have a good day again ( I hope we will…).
            As far as counselor…I myself would like to go to an English speaking one but right now here it’s not possible. I reached out to one of the Laura Doyle’s coaches but I can’t afford it unfortunately. If I could I would totally get a coach….
            Maybe I also need to try another pill to honor my husbands desire for me to take them. I don’t want to be on hormones but I want to honor his desires more.
            April…thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without your guidance I don’t know where I’d be right now.
            I will pray He will lead you in this time to be in the center of His will during this busy season…
            On your latest post someone said that the advice they can give you was for God to lead you through your husband,.. I read that and thought…maybe He is trying to lead me through my husband also right now ? In a way that until I learn to trust my husband, totally surrender and totally let go, I will never feel peace…maybe all of these situations with coworkers are my test?!? To let go of my fear….to let go and let God!?!
            I listened to your videos on fear….I definitely have fear that my husband may me attracted to someone at work ( he says he is not). However deep inside I have that voice that telling me that your view on difference in personal convictions is what’s going on along with people pleasing as far as my husband goes. On the other hand I have this voice whispering” he must like her to want to talk with her and now get rides home, when he never ever got a ride from anyone at work ever before”…
            I will pray tonight. I have anxiety because I have no idea what he will be like when he comes home…I’m scared…but I know the Lord will be with me tonight….I am prepared for anything.

          10. NB,

            It is really tough for me to discern exactly what is going on with your husband. But it does seem that he has not been emotionally/spiritually well. The move. The disrespect. The job issues. The language barrier. The issues at work. The lack of male coworkers. Being in a different country.

            The kinds of wounds that he is dealing with take a long time to heal. I’m sure you know already, but it is not like you being respectful for one day or one week or one month or 6 months will fix everything magically. This is a LONG process. It will be many, many months, maybe years.

            BUT – you can focus on your end of things. You can carry your weight and do what God calls you to do. You can abide in Christ and be filled to overflowing with Him and content in Him. You can learn to be on your husband’s team instead of treating him like he is the enemy.

            Lots of things are tests of our faith. I vote to let go of your fear and trust God to be with you and to turn the situation into something beautiful. The more you react out of fear, the more you push your husband toward the very situation you most dread.

            Husbands respond to genuine respect. They are thirsty to be around people who see them as the good guys, the heroes.

            Not sure if you have read these before, but maybe search my home page for:

            – shame
            – Superman

            Much love to you!

          11. Thank you so much April. Your last reply to me was so eye opening. I felt so much peace after I read it. I want to print it out and have it handy in my purse for a reference at all times. I felt like He was speaking to me through you in that reply.
            We were able with the Lords help to recover from that stumble that same evening. Although my husband is still struggling on the inside with whatever issues that are consuming him ( even said last night after he came home from work that he wanted to quit there again…), I’m making a conscious decision to stay on my side of the street so to speak. It’s not easy, but I do have that still small voice telling me that all of that he’s going through has nothing to do with me.
            I watched your videos on fear once again and they were really speaking the truth to me!
            April, thank you for all you do! I’m praying that the Lord will turn your circumstances with work to His glory.
            You are a blessing to me, I feel like a have found my godly mentor- across the ocean…Gods love is that big!
            I know this test is not over yet. But as you said I truly believe now that this is a test of my faith. It really is.
            And you are right, I know this process takes a long time…I see it every day. Once I think, oh, it looks like we have made so much progress, I must be doing well, my husband must be healing….then…something happens that shows me that we still have ways to go….his wounds are still there, although they are not as deep and painfully fresh as a year ago, and although I myself am a different person now, I really have to watch my motives – hourly sometimes, I really have to watch for idols creeping back….thank you April for keeping me on track!
            I will look up the blog posts you suggested.
            God bless you!

          12. NB,

            Our respect can be a powerful influence on our husbands for good. Our respect doesn’t fix mental illness or spiritual deadness. But sometimes, it is a life preserver for a man who is drowning in shame or who has lost his way. Sometimes our respect can help a man find his spiritual footings and inspire him to want to be the man God calls him to be.

            We do have to stay on our side of the street, though. We can’t force our men to do what we want, even if we are “right” about what they should do. It is so critical for us to understand what is our responsibility and what is our husband’s responsibility and also what is God’s. That is such a key to peace.

            Husbands have their own journey, too. They have their own issues, insecurities, fears, and lies. They have their own “test paper” for which they will be graded.

            We all have to watch for sinful motives, idols, pride, self-righteousness – those things will gladly creep back into our lives if we are not immediately weeding them out and taking our thoughts captive.

            Much love to you, my precious sister!

          13. April,
            I read your article on shame. Just let me say that was like a lightbulb moment for me. I think shame is exactly what is root here for my husband. He also had a very difficult childhood, being neglected by an alcoholic mother and physically abused by his step father.
            All the other issues, like my disrespect ( it’s embarrassing, but he used to tell me last year, when we were at our worst, that I’m just like his mean step father to him), this whole work issues, trying to find his place there among these people….yes, my heart breaks for my husband even more than before. I apologized today once again for my behavior in regards to his texting, etc. I told him it’s not my place to show him that attitude and react so sinfully. I told him he doesn’t deserve this treatment from me….
            I see my role so much more clearly now. Being that life preserver for him. Someone he can feel safe with after a day out at work, trying so hard to fit in.
            Thank you for everything April.
            I will also look up the Superman article. I have a feeling it will also be an eye opener for me…:-)

          14. NB,
            I’m so glad that post was helpful. I believe he has a TON of shame and serious spiritual wounds and scars from throughout his whole lifetime. These take a long time to heal. Right now, we have to get the bleeding stopped. He is still in the spiritual ICU, in my view.

            I don’t think a wife is wrong to want his husband to generally avoid a lot of texting of other women or going out for drinks. However, there probably does have to be some grace for some communication with coworkers about business stuff and for him to be cordial and maybe even friendly with coworkers, even female coworkers. Every text is not flirting. If we try to imprison our husbands, that is not going to work. But if we see something that looks potentially dangerous, we should be able to voice our concerns. Sometimes, we can voice our concerns in a positive way if things are not out of control but we are feeling a bit concerned – “I’m so thankful that you are a man of integrity and that you are faithful to me. That means the world to me.” Then he is the hero, not the villain.

            If he is getting too involved, a wife may say, “I know that you intend to be true to our wedding vows and I am so glad about that. I know you have a good heart. I do want to let you know that women often bond through conversation and words – so just something to consider. It would mean a lot to me if you might be able to keep the texts to just stuff about work and not much personal stuff. Thanks!”

            Of course, he knows your feelings on the texting stuff now, and the meeting with his coworkers. I think he is in a tough situation in so many ways right now. I pray for God’s wisdom for you and His healing for you both!

          15. April,
            Thank you. I however am thinking to just give up. I feel like a total failure. I don’t know what can help me. Your comments are the truth that I need to apply yet I mess up.
            Yesterday things went well until you guessed it the texting started. So I tried to keep it to myself. But then it went on and I asked why were the texts so long ( nicely). He was fine about it yesterday. However this morning he BLEW up. He pretty much said the things you did. Like ” I was just trying to help someone professionally and all you do is p**s and moan”. Followed by how I s**t on him his whole life. So here you go. He wanted to be a good guy, and here I was. So she won.
            I don’t know any more. I have to go now. April I don’t know if it is something I will ever ” get” I’m trying and trying and trying and I mess up. I’m so weary. I don’t think I can take any more emotionally. I feel totally drowned in shame myself at this point.
            CiC, thank you. I will try to reply to you when I have more time.

          16. NB,

            The whole key is your walk wtih Christ, my sister. How is that going? Would you be able to primarily focus on getting the time in that you need with God and focusing in the things He wants to show you and His healing for you, praising Him, thanking Him, reading His Word, soaking in His presence, and allowing Him to transform your heart?

            Sending you a huge hug!!!

          17. NB,

            I understand too well. My problems surfaced through texting. Although, my husband was a Christian, never in my wildest dreams did I think he was capable of what he’s done the last 4 maybe 5 years. I would do what April suggests. I can see a possible similar pattern. My husband said he’s texting was with female co-workers. He was asking to take a recent divorcee to drinks everyday. He was also seeing his massage therapist and having an affair. He started drinking heavily. He had been diagnosed with cancer, lost his father, had been struggling with PTSD and chronic pain.

            We had two children with serious health concerns that surfaced in their late teens and early 20s. He was also denying God. I had no clue nor did I really understand social media. I am an expert now although I’m trying to learn very specific things at the moment. He moved money around. He went with many women. He verbally abused me. He spoke to me in the most horrid ways. I met him at a Bible Study!

            Go to counseling. Go to marriage counseling. Learn to protect yourself and help each other. My quiet time included not watching TV or listening to secular music for over a year. I immersed myself in my relationship with God, taking ownership for my marriage sins (there was nothing the world would consider bad. I’m boring in their eyes.) In short, it was my behavior and listening and on my knees pray time that I won my husband.

            He is praying with me at mealtime. He was the most wonderful Godly man, husband, and father I’d ever met. My boundaries for him were not texting or calling other women but I had proof of his indiscretions with many women. My situation, I’m sure, is different than yours. It’s so worth all that I’ve been through seeing the light of God return to my husband’s eyes.

            He just spent three hospital stays in May. He had a dozen pulmonary embolisms in his lungs. It’s taken so much for God to get his attention. I’ve learned that it is Jesus who loves me and in whom I can trust. I’ve learned hope exists because of Him. It would not exist had he not come into this world. I’ve let go of my husband and truly thought I had to leave to be a good example to my daughters… Simply because of verbal abuse. We are daughters of the one true King! He lifts our heads and He loves us purely and forever! His love never fails!

          18. Vickie,

            Thank you for sharing with NB. 🙂

            You have been through quite an ordeal, my precious sister. I’m so thankful for all that God has been doing in your life and in your husband’s life!

            Ladies,

            If you are dealing with alcoholism – please try to contact Celebrate Recovery. And if your husband is having an emotional affair or a sexual affair, please reach out for one-on-one, godly, experienced help to help you walk through that process. Many times, in my view, if there is unrepentant infidelity going on, a wife may need to separate until a husband is willing to get help and rebuild trust slowly over time.

            For those experiencing verbal abuse, http://www.leslievernick.org may be a helpful site.

            Much love!

          19. Well,
            We ended up having a conversation today. Today was so rough for me emotionally. I honestly feel like my heart is bruised and stomped on.
            I was totally respectful and vulnerable. I bared my soul to him….he ended up saying that he is trying to have a frien d at that ” s””y place referring to his job. Then he said that he is going to ” taper it off”. Also he said if I don’t trust him we need to just divorce. And that he can never make me happy, and that if he stops the communication with her I would just move on to the next thing. He also said ” there is nothing weird going on” .
            What I have noticed lately is that he really stopped sharing a lot of work related stuff with me, his texts with her picked up on the other hand.
            I mentioned that also. I said I would love for him to share things with me…
            I don’t know. He knows how I feel now….there is nothing else I can do. The ball is in his court. I just want to protect my heart…

          20. NB,

            What did you say when he said you should just divorce if you don’t trust him?

            Sometimes, a husband may be totally trustworthy and say something like this. Other times, it can be a manipulative ploy to make a wife feel guilty.

            I don’t know your husband’s heart or motives.

            I see HUGE fear in your heart right now. That is why I am asking you about your walk with Christ. If you are acting in fear, you will repel your husband and destroy trust and intimacy. I don’t want that! He may be destroying trust and intimacy on his side of things, too. But I want you acting in the power, love, wisdom, and strength of God – not reacting in fear or in sinful ways.

            This is going to take a HUGE commitment to getting the time you need with God and to focusing on Him as the main thing in your life. How is that going?

            Much love!

          21. April,
            I paused at first. He then started to get worked up and told me if I need to think about it to go get out, leave him alone. I said I didn’t want divorce but I also didn’t want to share him with the other woman. I said I didn’t think it was wrong to not want to share your husband.
            He wasn’t remorseful or anything…when I shared how hard it has been for me, and what would he do if the tables were turned he said- ok,ok I get the picture. In an irritated voice.
            I don’t want to have this huge fear. I pray about it all the time…I am going to concentrate on my time with God. I can’t do this without Him.
            I read articles that CiC recommended from Leslie Vernick and Gary Thomas. I didn’t feel that the applied or spoke to me. Your view of our situation is spot on though. I think this texting situation just happened in a bad timing so to speak. Where he doesn’t trust me yet, still having my disrespect so fresh in his heart and. Mind. I was just learning the ropes of respect back in February when this whole new twist was added into the mix.
            He did tell me earlier today before our conversation, that he is not doing anything and ” this” meaning my distrust, etc. is getting old.
            I will try again with fresh and forgiving heart tomorrow. I will let go of my fear with Lords help. I can’t control what my husband does. Or his views of me ( he still sees me as his enemy). But April, your efforts with me will not go to waste I promise. Your advice is invaluable to me. I choose to let go of my fear. With His help I pray that this situation will be used for His glory…..

          22. He just shared with me that he had a problem at work. He told me what it was, and I guess that should explain the ton of texting. I thanked him for sharing with me. I also thanked him for being faithful and honest, like you advised April. I also asked him what I could do to most show him I’m on his team and to show him respect. He just brushed it off.
            What hurts is that problem was apparently days ago, and he shared with her first and all the while until he decided to tell me now. Before he would talk with me right away…He says he’s trying to stop the texting. He is usually so tired lately and just lays in bed…until he gets a text then he’s all up and perky. I can’t sleep in the bedroom because of it.
            Vickie, thank you for your words…your situation is so painful. But it was hopeful to read that now your husband found his way again.
            My husband doesn’t have a smartphone.. So it takes him a while to write a text. I’m glad for that…
            April, and anyone who can help….what are the practical steps I can take when I walk in the room and he’s there texting. Or he gets a text when we are sleeping. Or when I sleep in the other room and hear his phone buzz. What can I do that isn’t a controlling reaction or a cold comment? How can I react that is respectful?
            I did want to sit with him etc but when I walk in there and he’s texting. I just want to slam the door and leave, I usually leave but without the door slamming.

          23. NB,
            If he truly is texting mostly about work issues, it may not be something to be super jealous about. But if he won’t let you see the texts, that makes it harder to know what is happening.

            How often are they texting at this point, would you say?

            Can you and your husband do something FUN together or at least something pleasant together? Is the entirety of the relationship about this issue now, would you say?

            And how is your time with God going?

          24. Today I wrestled with myself all day. I spent time with God, I searched for His word for me. I was so uplifted. Ready to respect my husband and be on his team about everything. I don’t want fear in my heart. We were actually on good terms all evening. However….after he grabbed his phone and started texting away right after we were intimate…that just blew my mind. His argument was, “We just had sex what are you worried about?” I felt so small and insignificant. That was after he texted on and off all evening.

            April, he doesn’t volunteer to show what’s the texting about. He says it’s all about work. I don’t know.

            We do fun things together when we have days off together which is not often. We go out to eat and shop. He doesn’t like movies here, since it’s not in English. We have tickets for 2 concerts to go to soon.

            It has not been all about this stuff only in the last week or so. After I lost it when he got rides and all this texting intensified.
            I don’t know I might be wrong but I find it so disrespectful to me as wife to do this right after we just had sex! I mean really????
            Or am I crazy?

            I couldn’t hold it in. I asked as respectfully as I could muster at the moment that I don’t mind him having friends, etc but I would appreciate him giving me dignity in not doing it at least after we had sex. I said it is offensive to me as a woman.

            April, was I wrong there?! I think I’m going to lose my mind soon

          25. NB,

            Ugh!

            It seems to me that if he really had nothing to hide, he would allow you to see his texts, and it doesn’t seem like the texting would have to be so frequent. But I don’t know his motives or what he is doing.

            I think he doesn’t maybe realize what a slippery slope texting and being friends with other women can be. I think he has different expectations and definitions than you do about what is acceptable and appropriate- different personal convictions, maybe. And he is not doing well in a lot of ways and doesn’t have any guy friends and – there are just a lot of issues going on. I think that he thinks that by having sex with you he is proving to you that he is faithful to you – even though that really doesn’t do it for you, understandably.

            My prayer is that you will be as close to God as possible and that you will hear His voice and His wisdom. He is the one you need, my precious sister! He knows what is happening and He knows how He wants you to respond in a productive way that shows honor and respect to Him, your husband, your marriage covenant, yourself, and your family.

          26. NB,

            Sacred Influence shares several real life examples of wives with difficult situations and how they handled them. I believe it may be a blessing. 🙂

          27. NB,

            I will be praying for you. I want to say a few things to you, and I pray that God will go before these words and will prepare your heart to receive them in a healthy way.

            I think relationships are complicated. It’s usually not all about one person needing to work on their issue (like you working on respect). There is usually sin on both sides when a marriage has become painful and hard.

            I think most every wife would be struggling with being in the place you are right now. I hope you do not feel condemnation or guilt for not being able to just “accept this”. I love how you are open to changing and you are fighting desperately to trust in a situation that would be very hard for most wives. Please know that God hurts with and for you.

            A few things have stood out to me as I’ve read some of your comments. You mentioned how your husband never apologizes. My marriage went through a similar pattern where I started working on respect and meeting my husband’s needs. I would be very aware when I was showing disrespect and I would apologize. Throughout this time, there were some things that happened in our marriage that were very hurtful to me. My husband was not able or willing to hear my heart. We went through a very long period where my husband seemed to be very cold and heartless about a particular thing that I was being hurt by. Really, it was a situation similar to yours. Not exact circumstances, but a lot of similarities.

            Another thing that stood out to me is that it seems (I could be wrong) that you are apologizing to your husband for things you shouldn’t be apologizing for. Do you think it’s wrong to struggle with your husband texting another woman or having drinks with other women or going to movies with other women? What do you have to apologize for about that? I say these things because for so long, I would apologize to my husband for things that really, looking back on, I had nothing to apologize for! I think this type of behavior is getting you into “doormat” submissive wife behavior and I will tell you as someone who has lived through it, things will most likely not get better in your marriage with the dynamics continuing like that. Your husband is losing respect for you as you apologize for things that you don’t have to apologize for and he is losing respect for you as you continue to absorb his hurtful comments, offer forgiveness and keep the relationship at status quo even though he is hurting you. There is nothing wrong with you being hurt by the comments he is saying. There is nothing wrong with respectfully telling him that you cannot pretend that your relationship is fine while he makes hurtful comments to you and doesn’t apologize or care about what his words are doing to you. You can absolutely still respect and love your husband while you are standing for truth on these issues, but I will not sugar-coat things….things may get rocky before they get better.

            Suffice it to say that after a few years of trying to keep moving forward while my husband continued to disrespect my feelings and emotions and would not apologize for things that he should have apologized for led to a crisis point in our marriage. The hurt didn’t go away, it got worse and worse until finally, after a conflict where, once again, my husband blamed me for everything and didn’t apologize to me for hurting me, I started to shut down.

            God led me to some resources that turned some of my thinking upside down about what it looks like to submit and love in a marriage. Sacred Influence was one of them. A couple of blog articles by the same author, Gary Thomas, were also used by God: “Why Men Don’t Change” and “What You Need to Change When Your Spouse Doesn’t”. Also, Leslie Vernick’s book and particularly the ideas in this blog post of hers (I felt like she was writing about my marriage in this post!)
            http://leslievernick.com/when-trying-harder-becomes-destructive/

            Well, NB, I pray that you will be very prayerful as you think about the things I’m saying to you. I pray that God will protect you and your marriage from the enemy and that He will use what the enemy means for evil for His glory and for great good for both you and your husband. I pray that God will reveal to you whether the things I’m saying are meant for you or whether you should discard it all and throw it away because it does not fit your situation. I trust that God will lead you.

            I also want to say that I love April’s advice to you, too….I think you will need to take all of this before God and trust Him to lead you.

            If nothing else, though, please, please don’t assume all the responsibility for the state of your marriage, which is what I hear a little bit of in your comments. Please only apologize when there is something that truly needs to be apologized for. In my opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying respectfully and truthfully that you are struggling with all of this. There is nothing sinful about that. Many times, I had to ask my husband if I were to do the thing that he was doing, could he then understand my concern or hurt better? This seemed to open his eyes a little at times – even though he remained resistant for a long time to changing his behavior in an effort to do the right thing for our marriage.

            April, if there’s anything I’m missing or if you feel my advice is wrong or could be hurtful, please don’t hesitate to speak to that or to delete this if you feel led to. I just see similar dynamics at play in NB’s marriage that I’ve been in and felt compelled to speak up.

          28. Cic,
            Just really short- I’m honestly a lot of times scared. He has a temper that sometimes comes out in angry out bursts where he throws something or breaks something. Granted it’s been months since it happened last but I know he can do it…plus I feel guilty for moving us here. He used to be so much different in the states.
            There was also none of the anger in the states either. But as he says he was just taking it from me.
            I feel like a total looser though. It feels like being punched in the gut every day. Why can’t I just apply Aprils advice?!?! I perfectly understand it and agree with it wholeheartedly. It is soooo hard. At this point I know I am repelling him…..he even told me no matter what I do I won’t change….

          29. NB, what do you think you are doing on a regular basis that is disrespectful to your husband? Do you believe you haven’t changed at all?

            My husband accused me of similar things. For a little while, I took the blame as usual….then one day, I realized that what he was saying wasn’t truthful. I had changed. I was changing. There were *big* changes in the way I was operating with him and the kids. I began to say the truth in response to what he was saying about me. I would say, “I know that I have changed. I can’t make you see or notice that I have made changes in these areas, but I know for a fact that God has changed my heart and I am operating differently. It hurts me that you don’t see it, but I know the truth in my heart and I don’t and can’t accept what you are saying about me.”

            Obviously, this isn’t something to say if you are really still struggling with respecting. But, for myself, I could honestly say that no, I wasn’t perfect, but God had done a major work in me. At the time, I didn’t understand the dynamics of what was going on in my relationship, I just knew that it hurt me so much that I had changed and my husband was treating me worse than when I had acted wrongly before I started changing. It didn’t make sense to me. And, it was very hurtful.

            So, I guess the question is, NB….do you believe you are still operating from a disrespectful state on a consistent basis? We all make mistakes from time to time. No one is going to be 100% respectful at all times. There needs to be room for that freedom on both sides to fail and be forgiven.

            You brought up feeling guilty about moving to the states. I can’t remember – is this something you’ve discussed with your husband? Did you pressure him to coming and now regret it? Have you been able to apologize for that and ask for forgiveness? Once those things have been done, there is nothing else you can do. God is sovereign and although you may have made a mistake in pressuring him to come, no one will thwart God’s plans and purposes for your and your husband’s lives. Receive God’s forgiveness. Even if your husband remains unforgiving about this area, you can live in the freedom of God’s forgiveness and the freedom of knowing that you accepted responsibility, asked for forgiveness, etc. You can’t go back and change history. Trust that God has a purpose.

            Only you know whether your husband’s statements regarding you changing are true or not. If they are not true, you don’t have to internalize and accept them. You can feel sadness that he is not accepting or able to see the changes right now, but you can turn to the One who really knows your heart and is aware of the things you have done and are giving in your marriage. Let Him comfort you and go to Him to get the full story.

            Praying for wisdom and God’s peace for you today.

          30. Vickie,

            I was wondering if you would be willing to elaborate on what you meant when you said it was your “behavior and listening and on your knees prayer time” that helped changed things in your situation. Obviously, I know what the prayer time is, but would love to hear details on what behaviors changed, and the listening, thing, too…..that is something I think God is trying to get my attention on.

            Thanks, Vickie, and I’m so thankful that God has used this dark time in your life for good – to draw you closer to Christ and to know that He alone is worthy of your worship and will never fail you.

          31. NB, sorry you are going through so much emotional turmoil. 🙁

            Get your time with God, as April is encouraging you to do, pour your heart out to Him and let Him fill you up and speak to you. Get quiet with Him somewhere for a period of time if you can. I pray you will hear His voice and feel His comfort and be renewed and find strength in His love and acceptance of you. If God is for us, who can be against us, right?

            You have been vulnerable with your husband, you handled it respectfully. You have done your part. Maybe it’s time to do some self-care. Clinging to your husband right now isn’t going to attract him to you, as much as that is what you want to do.

            Self-care by getting with God first and foremost and then what can you do that will bring joy to you for the next few days? Go find a beautiful place in nature to sit quietly and enjoy the scene God has created…..go see a good movie by yourself….make a meal for someone or help someone who needs it…..(LMS is always so good at encouraging us to reach out beyond ourselves when we are in pain like this!!)….go take a walk by yourself in the cooler early evening hours.

            Just a suggestion and what comes to mind right now.

            Love you, sister – praying for you.

  8. Another thing I wanted to add…
    I know I’m in competition with his work ( April you know the whole deal…he works with only women). But sometimes honestly I think he leaves so much of himself there emotionally and physically that I don’t get much of him at all.
    Also, on his better days when he does tell me something about it ( usually a few times we had drinks together) he tells me how he is with those women. He compliments them and from what I gather he kind of flirts with them sometimes. It hurts. Because he NEVER compliments me in any way. I don’t think he did ever, maybe when we first dated 14 years ago. I know I sound so pathetic now.
    Anyways…he also doesn’t tell me he loves me, never hugs me or kisses me…those things though come from my disrespectful behavior through the years….
    This work of his, April…I’m thankful for the income it provides but how it has developed into a source of emotional drain and insecurity for me. I would have never thought it could happen….

    1. NB,
      If I could just add to April’s response because I have been in this particular situation as well where I feel like I’m talking to the wall or if I don’t talk at all my husband thinks somethings wrong on my end—-The times my husband was like how you described, it was because he actually HAD an issue at work that day/week.

      This happened recently where he came home and he had missed something important at his job and a lot of people were counting on him for it, and they started blaming him. He got home that night and was totally focused on figuring out where he went wrong that day, I didn’t even know what happened. When he wasn’t talking, I just didn’t talk and asked if he was ok. In the past, I would have gotten pretty upset and probably went off on a disrespectful needy “you don’t care about me” type thing and it would have totally created a huge fight.

      However, as God has been seriously working in our marriage lately, I did not have even that thought. I knew something was wrong, but I did’t press him for the answer I just kept my eyes on Christ and cleaned up dinner, etc. Eventually, as I left him alone and smiled at him and served him that night, he told me what happened at work and apologized for being so distant that night. It was honestly no big deal and I wasn’t offended. I was there for him if he needed me, by God’s grace alone and His power working in me! It turned out that his “mistake” at work ended up not being a mistake and everything worked out fine.

      The woman situation I would definitely read April’s post in her comment, it is helpful!

      Honestly, I feel that sometimes it’s simply our husbands own issues going on and perhaps he is feeling guilty about his own behaviors. I know my husband gets very withdrawn sometimes just because of his own poor choices he feels like he can’t be the man he needs to be for me so he assumes I don’t want to be around him. If I am in the right place with God, and God alone is on the throne of my heart, then I am joyful and focusing on God and the good, and my husband can tell that I am truly on his side and here for him, and whether he talks to me or not, I can be content.

      I pray God will open your eyes to what you need to do in your situation and that He would reveal anything you need to know.

      Blessings,
      Amanda

      1. To SatisfiedWife and other wives:

        I wanted to chime in here in regards to this comment by SatisfiedWife: “Eventually, as I left him alone and smiled at him and served him that night….”

        I think I’ve mentioned it before, but even so, I want say it (again): sometimes just a touch or a glance (or both) can break down barriers. Verbal conversation isn’t the only type of conversation available to couples….

          1. April, just curious if HumbledHusband has posted anything in regards to his very difficult time. I’ve been praying and so was looking for an update. Anything you can share? Thank you.

          2. Hi Reggie.

            Thank you for asking 🙂 I am mostly going ok thank you. I very much value your prayer.

            The positives of my situation are that I have plenty of time to read, pray and learn. I am also only doing housework for one person instead of four now 🙂 And I still have my blessed children every weekend and now also some weeknights as my wife is going out at night during the week a bit (tonight included 🙂 ).

            I am learning a lot. There are a couple of lengthy comments on the post April linked that show some of the things I am learning.

            Again thank you for asking. HH

        1. Reggie,
          I know this all too well! My husband really doesn’t talk that much at all when we are under the same roof! He is very quiet. Once I accepted that things got a lot better, lol. Now I can just look at him and smile, and I just wait usually for him to talk, if at all. He looks at me a lot too and we definitely communicate like that most times!!! Thanks for pointing that out!!!

          Blessings,
          Amanda

      2. Amanda and April,
        Thank you for the suggestions. We did talk a little and he shared that he is still very unhappy at work. He said the women he works with are” lazy and have no soul”. The second part I’m not sure who it is concerning- him or the old folks that are patients in the nursing home. He keeps saying he is very tired and he is again in a phase of wanting to put in his notice. That thought he has on and off for almost the whole year he works there, he keeps trying and it seems the personalities and cultural differences are still clashing.
        I’m not advising him or anything, just listening.

        1. NB,

          It is hard for me to tell exactly what is going on – how much may be the circumstances and how much may be side effects. But it sounds like he is not doing very well. 🙁

          Praying for you both!

        2. NB,
          The biggest thing I struggle with in these types of work situations with my husband is I feel responsible for his happiness. I think April has a post about that! When I realized that I was totally making myself responsible for his life and happiness, I was like wow. I need to step back!!!! And I started saying things when we talked about it like “well this is your life and your choice”, I kept pointing out that I felt like I needed to rescue him, and that I realized that I am not responsible for how he feels on a daily basis.

          It is a matter of separating ourselves emotionally from them and realizing that they are their own person and only God has the power to change them!!!! And we have to take responsibility for our own lives and our own feelings and choices and when we do that, it leaves our husbands in their own corner having to deal with themselves, and it’s honestly hard to watch for me because I just want my husband to do the right things and make the right choices, but ultimately, this has brought me such peace now that I don’t worry about his life and choices and everything anymore.

          I trust GOD above all of it, and I know GOD will take care of me REGARDLESS of whether my husband ever does what I think he should or not! It is ALL ABOUT GOD! 🙂

          Blessings,
          Amanda

          1. Satisfied Wife,

            I do have a post about that. 🙂

            Are We Responsible for Our Spouse’s Happiness?

            I have some posts about enmeshment, too.

            People are welcome to search my home page for:

            – closeness
            – separation paradox
            – oneness
            – control
            – idol husband
            – healthy vs. unhealthy relationships
            – ungodly woman
            – godly femininity
            – responsible spiritual
            – responsible emotions

            Thank you so much for sharing! LOVE the insights God is giving you, my sister!

  9. You have given me much to think about! I think I’m going to ask my husband what he needs from me in times such as you described. In the past, I have also tried to give him advice, or remind him of something spiritual to ease the burden, but almost always he gets more irritated with that. Then I end up feeling frustrated because I want to help but I don’t know how.

    I now realize that he isn’t looking for help to fix it or for my advice. Come to think of it, I can count on one hand the number of times in our 16 year marriage where he has actually asked me what he should do. If I try to fix it, I’m taking over his role as the leader. If I try to advise him, I’m being like a mother to him when he really needs a wife. I, too, am going to take your advice and just try listening from now on!

    Whenever I am upset, sometimes he will say, “what do you need from me?” or, “how can I help you with this?” I always thought that was very sweet, and now I realize that these are the words that he probably wants to hear from me. It follows the same logic that when you buy a gift for someone, sometimes you subconsciously give them something that you yourself would want to receive. It is probably the same thing with communication…we probably say to one another the same things that WE would long to hear!

    1. Mrs.G,
      Yes! I used to think I was so high and mighty trying to teach him the bible, I had no idea that wasn’t ok. I assumed it was ok because when we met and started talking a lot we talked about God all the time and it was like the best thing ever. But throughout our 2 year marriage, anytime he has been in his own situations and I thought I knew what he needed to read/hear/do, he would get SO mad! And start telling me that women aren’t suppoesd to teach men the bible. I seriously looked down on him and thought I knew everything.

      I knew nothing. He didn’t need my advice. I looked at him as a child and that like I knew what God’s will as for him. I was wrong. That was the thing that drove him away the most.

      Once I stopped doing that a while ago, it seriously helped. And now, we can talk about the bible and he talks to me about his feelings/issues and I don’t start to go off about what he needs to do anymore, by the grace of God! 🙂

      Blessings,
      Amanda

    2. Mrs. G.,

      Hearing those words “what do you need from me?” Is music to most men’s ears…. From the perspective that your words open the door for him to decide how you can help, with no competitive posture or judgement towards helping or what is being done or not done, spoken from a point of neutrality yet supporting of… That is a gift that he will remember favorably.

      1. If those words are new to your expression, you might just shock him in a good way that could eventually draw him closure towards you. He might also need some time to comprehend what occurred in order to truly recognize the reset, speaking forward like that is very empowering for all involved.

      2. Thank you, Keigans Dad, for this wisdom! I am going to make this phrase a huge part of my future interaction with my husband 🙂

    3. Mrs. G.,

      I love this! What amazing insight God has given to you. I think the idea of saying what he says to you, “How can I help you with this?” sounds awesome!

    4. Mrs. G.:

      “Whenever I am upset, sometimes he will say, ‘what do you need from me?’ or, ‘how can I help you with this?’

      I think that these questions from your husband to you speak volumes of how much he cares for you and longs to be your “go-to” guy. I mean, he’s probably asking those questions as much for himself as he is for you, although he may not even realize that. And that’s ok. 🙂

      “It is probably the same thing with communication…we probably say to one another the same things that WE would long to hear!”

      In a way, I think that the reality of this paragraph is very near, if not at, the pinnacle of marital (and other) communication.

      It also happens to fit very nicely with “The Golden Rule,” oddly enough. Who knew?! 🙂

  10. I remember one wife who shared her story here as a post a year or more ago – (I will get the link if I can remember the title) – and she felt God prompting her to gently, respectfully say, “Honey, do I have your permission to speak into your life?” He was so overwhelmed with gratitude because she had just forced her opinions on him before and he would feel so disrespected. He actually cried tears of joy and thanked her for her approach and was willing to hear what she wanted to share.

  11. As a man, I can so relate to this.
    Men don’t talk right?
    Not so much, and that’s generally true.
    But when they do,
    There is a reason.

    Worthy of Love’s husband,
    Needed to say these things to be heard,
    Not for advice,
    Not to solve the world’s problems,
    Not even necessarily to vent,

    But to take apart the problem,
    Unpack it, so that it is all in plain sight!
    (Men don’t like mysteries, really)*
    Open up the hood of the car,
    Listen to the sound of the engine,
    Take things out,
    Check to see if the spark plugs are dirty,
    Or the crankshaft is lose,
    What tools do I need?
    What strategies can I use?

    And when you have a supportive wife,
    Who listens,
    Simply because she is standing by
    Ready to help if needed,
    And otherwise, being a helpmeet.
    A vessel into whom he can pour his process,
    (Just as we are vessels for Our God)
    Your man, your wonderful strong loving husband,
    Of whom you can be justifiably proud,
    Solve and fixes the trouble.

    *Men may be enthralled and bewitched by the mysterious. But, they truly need things laid out clearly. A man hates to be fooled, to be played with, or tricked. Men want to do the good!

  12. CiC,
    Thank you for reaching out to me. I am leaving it all in Gods mighty hands. I can’t control my husband and I will try my hardest not to get succumbed by fear. I’m ” zipping my lips” about it all with him going forward. He knows how I feel about it and there’s nothing else to say on my part. God Will move in His timing….

  13. NB, You’re right where you need to be, sister. Leaving it in God’s hands, letting Him lead you and trusting His working in the situation in His timing. I know the pain and the hurt. It’s real, it’s hard. I pray that God will hold you during this time and I pray that what the enemy means for evil, God will use for great good in your marriage and for His glory. I pray that as you wait on the Lord, you will experience His strength and soar on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31 I’ll be praying for you as God brings you to mind.

    1. THank you CiC. My test continues to this minut. Keeping friendly and neutral is soo hard. Lord, let me pass this test already.
      I can barely concentrate at work and i haveno appetite. Im praying so so hard every day….

        1. April,
          We have joint Facebook with my husband that we both use…not sure, could he see then what i post in private group?

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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