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Being a Peaceful “Football Widow”

Whether your husband becomes completely engrossed in football, baseball, basketball, racing, hunting, his work, house renovations, ministry, or something else – how is a wife to handle such a quandary in a godly way?

We probably have more expectations of our husbands than we have of any other relationship, I would daresay. Many times these expectations include having a certain amount of time with our husbands where we feel like we are emotionally connecting face-to-face – without the TV, without any electronics, without other people around. It’s great that we want to spend time with our husbands. It’s wonderful that we love them and want to enjoy being with them. Those are good desires.

But what do we do when our expectations of quality time together are not being met because of our husbands’ time-consuming hobbies?

Thankfully, we have choices here, ladies!

I COULD RESPOND IN DESTRUCTIVE WAYS LIKE:

  • Making demands.
  • Yelling or crying.
  • Seething with resentment and bitterness.
  • Pouting.
  • Stomping up the stairs and slamming the door.
  • Throwing things.
  • Glaring at him.
  • Holding onto contempt and hatred.
  • Complaining to or about my husband.
  • Gossiping about him.
  • Giving the “cold shoulder.”
  • Seeking revenge.
  • Assuming evil motives that my husband doesn’t love me as much as I love him.
  • Accusing him of idolatry of sports or the TV or hunting.
  • Spending a lot of money as “shopping therapy” to get even.
  • Sinking into depression.
  • Flirting with other men who are more willing to give me some attention.
  • Turning to food for comfort or engaging in other addictions.
  • Expecting my children to meet the emotional needs my husband is not meeting for me.
  • Trying to control my husband and trying to force him to change to be what I want him to be.
  • Throwing the TV out the window or hiding all of the hunting equipment.

This is what it looks like to respond in the power of my own sinful flesh.

WHAT WILL THE FRUIT OF THESE APPROACHES BE?

  • I will probably repel my husband because he would feel very disrespected, controlled, smothered, and maybe insulted.
  • I may hurt our intimacy on every level.
  • I may destroy his trust in me.
  • I may hurt myself emotionally and spiritually – maybe even physically.
  • I may seem to be out of control to him and even scary
  • I become a woman I really don’t want to be.
  • I hurt my fellowship with Christ when I respond in sinful ways.
  • I destroy my witness for Christ to others if I am responding in the flesh rather than in the power of God’s Spirit.

SOME HELPFUL QUESTIONS TO ASK OURSELVES:

  • What are my exact expectations and why do I have them? Where do they come from?
  • Do I expect him to give up a big part of himself, his passion, his personality, and his life to be with me? Why? Do I want him to change who he is to be who I want him to be?
  • Am I willing to seek God’s will above my own and die to myself if necessary? Am I willing to lay down my expectations?
  • Am I expecting my husband to meet needs in my life that only Jesus can really meet? (Am I idolizing my husband?)
  • Am I being contentious and bitter or gracious?
  • Is my husband actually sinning (according to the Bible)? Is he really wrong to want to watch football, or am I just upset that he is not doing what I want him to do?
  • Am I willing to be content in Christ alone no matter how much attention my husband is giving me at the moment?
  • Am I trying to control my husband or make his decisions for him?
  • What do I believe I have to have to be content? If it is something more than Jesus – maybe this something about which I need to pray?
  • Where do I base my security and how do I expect to find true contentment?
  • Am I open to allow God’s Spirit to direct me and lead me in productive, healthy, godly ways to respond that will honor Christ, bless my husband, and bless me, too?

NEW WAYS TO LOOK AT THINGS:

  • Perhaps God misses me as much or more than I miss my husband during baseball or hunting season. Maybe this extra time to myself is a golden opportunity for me to dig much deeper in my faith and in God’s Word and prayer!
  • What if there is something spiritual God desires for me to learn during this time? Am I open to receiving spiritual treasures from him during small and big trials?
  • Why would I want to keep my husband from doing something he loves so much? Is it really my place to try to keep another grown adult from doing something that means a lot to him if it is not sinful?
  • Even if what my husband is doing IS sinful, I can share my concerns if my own heart and motives are right and respectfully, humbly confront him, but I can’t force him to do what I think he should do – just like he can’t force me to do what he thinks I should do. We each have free will from God.
  • It is fine to say, “I would like some more time together,” or “I miss you, Honey.” I can ask for what I would like and what I desire. But I can do this respectfully without being needy or clingy.
  • Many men tend to bond by being together in the same room or by watching the same activity or doing the same activity together rather than through face-to-face talking. Perhaps if you sit with him or go with him to something he loves (and you have a positive attitude about it) – he may feel extra loved and bonded with you. What an incredible gift to your marriage!

HOW TO ASK FOR WHAT WE WOULD LIKE RESPECTFULLY (picture all of these things being said Β with right motives and with a calm, friendly tone of voice and friendly facial expressions):

  • “Honey, I know you are pretty tied up with football games and I want you to be able to enjoy them. If possible, I would really love to spend a few hours together sometime this weekend. That would mean so much to me. Thanks!”
  • “Are there some special snacks or meals you might like to have for the game?”
  • “How can I be a blessing to you today?”
  • “I’d love to sit and cuddle with you for awhile while you watch the game.”
  • “It would be amazing if we could go out on a date maybe this coming Tuesday night. That would be so much fun!”
  • “I think I might go out with my friend, Karen, while you are watching the game. Have fun!”
  • “I’m going for a walk for a bit. It’s such a lovely day outside. Love you!”

OTHER SUGGESTIONS:

  • Choose times during the commercials or between plays to have a friendly conversation or to ask questions.
  • You can try enjoying the event with him if he is receptive to that and you can have a great attitude.
  • Or, you may use that time to do something you enjoy for yourself. You may find out that you really enjoy having some time to yourself for hobbies, ministry, exercise, or prayer, too.
  • If he’s hunting and needs to avoid texting and making noise, give him time without sending texts to enjoy hunting. Only contact him if it is truly an emergency.
  • Encourage the kids to participate with Dad if your husband would like that (and the kids are old enough). Encourage them to learn about the game or to go with him and enjoy some special bonding time with him.
  • Some men, like my husband, don’t like to be asked what I can do for him to bless him. If that is the case, don’t ask what you can do and just let him enjoy his hobby.
  • Most of all – be as close to Christ as possible, listening for His voice,Β walking in obedience to Him. Do what He prompts you to do in your particular situation. His wisdom is greater than mine or any human’s. πŸ™‚

WHEN I DON’T GET WHAT I WANT – THIS IS A TEST OF MY CHARACTER:

Even if I don’t like that I am not getting more attention, I can respond in the power of God rather than in the power of my sinful flesh if I am in Christ. Praise God for that! In Jesus, I can choose to…

  • Keep my eyes on Christ
  • Find my security and contentment in Christ alone
  • Count trials as joy knowing God will use them to strengthen my faith and help me grow spiritually if I am willing to look to Him for this.
  • Respond with poise, dignity, gentleness, friendliness, peace, and self-control.
  • Look for ministry opportunities to my husband and to others because of this hobby.
  • “Bloom where I am planted” and make the most of the situation
  • Have a positive, beautiful, grateful attitude no matter what my husband chooses to do.
  • Set a godly example for my children.
  • Trust God to work in my husband’s heart.
  • Pray for my husband and family.
  • Allow God to work in my heart and seek to be fully submitted to His Lordship.
  • Recognize negative thoughts and shoot them down, taking each thought captive for Christ.
  • Hear and obey God’s prompting and His voice about how I can best handle this situation, even if it is not what I would prefer.
  • Anticipate the good God will bring out of this as I seek Him wholeheartedly.

 

RELATED:

Do I Have the Right to Punish My Husband?

The Surprising Root of All Marriage Problems

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

I Was Sure I Would Never Make My Husband into an Idol!

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

Bitterness of Soul – I Want to Be His FIRST Priority! – by a Fellow Wife

A Fellow Wife Focuses on Giving up Bitterness

Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected – by a Fellow Wife about overcoming codependency and being enmeshed

Oneness in Marriage – Not Too Close, and Not Too Far Away

My Demon – how Satan likes to help us accuse and resent our husbands

 

 

SHARE:

What have you learned about this issue that may be a blessing to other wives? πŸ™‚ Have you found a compromise with your husband or a godly, feminine way to ask for what you need that works in your marriage? Have you found a way to use this extra time while your husband is busy that is a blessing to you? Please feel free to share! And, if you are struggling with this, you are welcome to share, too. I know you will find encouragement and support here.

Gentlemen, you are also welcome to share your insights with us if you think that you may be able to shed some light for the ladies that would be a blessing.

NOTE – if you are dealing with severe issues like a husband’s uncontrolled major mental illness, active drug/alcohol addictions, severe porn/gambling addictions, major spiritual oppression, unrepentant adultery, or actual abuse, please seek appropriate, trusted help. If you or your children are not safe, please try to get to safety if at all possible. This post is not written for wives in such situations, you will need more specific resources and probably personal, one-on-one help from a trusted, godly counselor.

102 thoughts on “Being a Peaceful “Football Widow”

  1. So timely ! Thanks for sharing this. I was beginning to feel like a soccer and tennis widow having “endured” 3 games on Saturday and at the same time I was thinking there must be a better way to handle this ! I did the laundry and played a game on my phone next to my DH but I did say something like must it be one after another (not helpful for him!). I feel terrible for missing the mark. He was enjoying something that wasn’t sinful and he likes it. I am thankful for the suggestions on how to approach my needs in a much more positive way. Next weekend will be the litmus test haha! God bless you x

    1. On the Journey,

      Let me know how things go this weekend. πŸ™‚ Perhaps you can ask for what you would like and maybe y’all can work something out so he gets to do things he likes and you get to do some things you like so you can both enjoy the weekend.

      I used to approach my husband in very unproductive ways that truly sabotaged myself and made my husband much less likely to want to spend time with me. Not a good strategy!

      I pray that this post might be a blessing. πŸ™‚

      Much love!

  2. Crying my eyes out today asking the Lord to help me with rejection by my husband..He is on another …finish dinner then work till 2-3 am on laptop .some nights he wakes me up at 3am .or I am just not peaceful if he is up with lights on( I soo need sleep or else get migraines).then Saturday night all I’m hopeful for time together, but he has sat down and always picks violent films which will wake our daughter and terrify me.so dont know why we are together at times. He does something quite mega each week to let me /family down….I am aware of his strengths and my failures also xx struggle with tpw book always saying the wife should make good..how many years does one slog on relentlessly trying to not feel hurt all the time???bless you all xx Jesus is our strength and saviour xx

    1. Love4Christ,

      I’m so sorry you are feeling so hurt and sad, my dear sister! I wish I could give you a big hug!

      So he has to do a lot of work stuff on his computer until very late?

      I can’t handle violent stuff either. So I understand you don’t want to watch those kinds of things.

      A wife is responsible for her end of things, a husband is responsible for his. Does that make sense? Is he sinning against the family? Are you dealign with severe issues?

      How are you doing spiritually?

      What do you believe needs to happen for things to get better?

      Do y’all ever spend time together at all? Have you been able to respectfully share some things you might like to do with him?

      Much love to you! Thank you for sharing!

      1. Thank you April I really felt your loving hug .the Holy spirt can make that happen across the sea’s! .what a blessing you are ..your book is amazing ! xxx I would reply to your questions but dont want to take up this thread…and not sure if they are just meant for me to work through on my own? I have written on our pre decorated kitchen wall things my husband and I want to do at home together.card games, cook together etc ..but need to implement!! He is mostly working on laptop,asleep or tv watching so need to” book him” and pray he doesn’t fall asleep. Love to you xxd

        1. Love4Christ,

          You are welcome to take up the thread if you would like to. πŸ™‚ Or if you would prefer, you can just work through the questions on your own. I’m here if you want to talk! πŸ™‚

          Much love to you!

    2. can i recommend this podcast on the purpose of marriage. Changed my entire perspective on marriage, even after I had already submitted to my husband and my marriage had been restored. I would have loved to have heard it in the rough times, but it has helped me many times since. Two Great Purposes of Marriage – Session 3. http://mp3.sa-media.com/filearea/8315128263/8315128263.mp3. Sent from Podcast Republic.

      unless there is abuse I would answer that you should always keep slogging on, marriage is supposed to be forever, and God has a reason for that. Take the time to be with God, and build on that relationship. Place respectful loving boundaries if you need to. But don’t give up on your marriage.

      1. Sarah..and April very kind and wise words thank you for your support.I will listen to the poscast today.to answer your questions.. No abuse thankfully just a loud shouting husband sometimes..but I am sinful and agrivate and sulk when I don’t get any attention..must be brave and ask him for at least 1 time in the week when we connect and have fun.. also no physical time for few years..only in our 40’s ..such a shame.makes me feel un loved.realised I was rather ignored as a child when my dear sister had cancer…feel my anger /hurt trigger is when I’m ignored. Thank you God for showing what needs work. ..lovely to read other wives believe in the importance of marriage..longed for ages to find wise words from brave ladies who are not scared to say It’s jolly hard work but if eyes are fixed on Jesus it can be a beautiful thing. Im so grateful for this support thank you feel my church should start up truthful womens group..will pray on that thought!!.God Bless you all xx

  3. The Lord has definitely been speaking to me and drawing me to Himself. I desperately needed this post yesterday as I blew it doing exactly what I shouldn’t have done! I pouted and did the dishes as I was hurt inside watching my husband stare at the tv watching football, while I resentfully was doing all the cleaning and prep work for our home Bible study that evening. So many negative thoughts were going through my mind. I was trying so hard to keep them in. I finally walked away crying to myself, but I didn’t get angry or say anything.

    Well my husband caught wind of my emotions through my daughter, which I am ashamed to say most of the times defends me against my husband. This is a very unhealthy pattern I know, but Jesus is working in me. I have tried for years to heal our marriage instead of moving aside and letting Jesus heal and lead me and my husband.

    I have just recently found your blog and it has opened my eyes to my sin and disrespect. I am now leaning more on Jesus to clean me from the inside out and to be the loving wife He created me to be. I am so thankful for your ministry and the gift He has given you to help us to show respect to our husbands and love and trust Jesus to meet our needs!

    I have been married 21 years and a Christian wife for 15! I am ashamed and humbled by my actions. It is a journey I have just started, but one I aim to continue for the rest of my life!

    Ladies,

    Don’t make the mistakes I have made over the past 21 years! Repent and follow Jesus today. I know I will fail many times, and it can often be a lonely road, but I know that, “His grace is sufficient for me, for His strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

    1. Emily,

      In a situation like that, it is possible to respectfully ask for some help if you truly need help. Sometimes, it is also possible to lay down some of our expectations about how perfect the house has to be to have other people over.

      Something that really helps me in moments where resentment begins to seem attractive – is to get alone with God and journal my thoughts. I am feeling resentful. Why am I feeling resentful? Lord, show me any sinful attitudes or motives in my heart. What are my expectations? Do I need to lay them down? Am I listening to the enemy or to You? I can’t hold on to resentment. It has to go right away! If I am truly being sinned against or I have a need or desire I need to bring up to my husband, I speak to my husband about that in God’s power without resentment. But I need to deal with any sinful thoughts in my own heart first (Matt. 7:1-5). And I need to take those thoughts captive. Here is a video about how to do that. πŸ™‚

      Here is a post about confronting our husbands about their sin.

      Satan would LOVE to destroy you and your husband and family through your thought life. Here is another post about his tactics.

      You may also want to search my home page for:

      – husband idol
      – bitterness

      I hope you’ll check out the posts I shared, there are also some linked posts that may be a blessing on this article, as well.

      Let me know what God speaks to you and how you are doing. I pray that you might seek to allow God to help you tear out any destructive mindsets, beliefs, lies, or sinful thoughts in your own life. Then you can invite His Spirit to flood you and empower you and transform your thinking. And then you will have His Spirit’s power to respond in godliness, holiness, respect, and love rather than in the power of the flesh. It makes all the difference in the world! Then you don’t have to be fake. It is about total heart change.

      This is a process and it takes time. That is okay. Just continue to seek Christ first and He will continue to direct your steps, my dear sister! So thankful we get to walk this road together!

      Much love!

      1. Emily, I would like to add that it is no coincidence that this transpired right before your Bible Study! Oftentimes Satan will grab that opportunity to lure families or couples into disharmony right before you are about to devote your time to the Lord. Sometimes I find that i get into these arguments with my husband right as we are getting ready to go to church. So just watch for that! If Satan can distract you from your Bible Study by causing you to harbor resentment towards your husband (chances are you were still thinking about all of this during your Bible Study), then that is a small victory for him.

      2. Thank you for your godly insight. I will continue to seek Jesus and look more closely at the links you suggested. I am praying for wisdom and strength and a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit. I know my husband is praying for the same thing, and for him to tell me that is huge! Baby steps…

      3. Thanks so much for the additional links. I’ve been wondering how to practically approach thoughts and negative feelings and I feel like there is a way out now and more empowered. I love that we can replace them with the word of God.
        I pray that I can apply the teaching to myself cause I’m in need of it. So many fearful or anxious, angry thoughts and I just want to be free of them.

        1. On the Journey,
          Yes! In Christ we don’t have to be anxious and full of fear and worry. His love and truth melts that all away as we trash sinful ways of thinking and yield totally to His Lordship. πŸ™‚ it is a process. I am so glad to be together on this road. πŸ™‚

  4. This is something I have wrestled with so much over the last year!
    My husband is not into watching sports at all, but he does have a time consuming hobby. He builds electric bikes!

    He started this hobby when I was pregnant with our first child, and I have spent way too long being resentful over the time and money spent on it!

    Here are some things/thoughts that help me:
    – I used to feel annoyed at how much money was being spent on bike things. It felt like something was always breaking or needing to be replaced, and I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t just get it running and then stop spending money! So after a while, we created a “category” for it in our budget, and now we put aside a set amount of money for bike stuff every week, and sometimes we put extra money to it if he gets bonuses. This way, he is free to buy the things he needs for his bikes (now plural!), and I am not worrying about all the other things the money should have been spent on.
    – My husband has told me he would like to have his own business making bikes one day. So now I try to see his time spent on this as not just a hobby, but pursuing his passions and investing in our future.
    – I remember (and he reminds me when I forget) that this hobby is a creative, productive endeavour. He is actually being quite innovative with many of his bikes and the way he builds them. This is a good, positive use of his time!
    – I help him when he needs it. He will often call things out to me, like “Honey, can you write this down – black to red, white to green, orange to brown.” I have learnt to just stop what I’m doing and help him. This doesn’t take much of my time and it lets him know I’m there for him.
    – I try really hard to engage when he wants to talk about bike stuff. Sometimes this is hard (because I don’t naturally understand electronics), but he can tell when I’m trying to listen. Although, he has learnt that bike talk tends to put me to sleep (literally) if we are in bed, lol.

    I know lots of this stuff won’t really apply to sports-watching hubbies. But hopefully it is helpful for some other wives whose husbands have time-consuming, creative hobbies!

    1. seriouslyserving,

      Thank you so much for sharing! These are very helpful ideas. I am sure they will be a blessing to lots of wives whose husbands have creative hobbies like this. And I am SO proud of you for realizing that this is his dream and may be a business one day. Thank you for seeking to bless and support him in this as he learns and grows with his passion.

      Much love!

    2. SeriouslyServing,

      I love what you shared!! Thank you! My husband would describe you as a “supportive wife” and that’s a huge compliment to receive from a man. πŸ™‚ Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement today. I am taking it to heart.

  5. Hello, great post!
    I was wondering if you, April, or anyone else could recommend some posts to me. I gave birth to our first daughter six weeks ago! I’ve struggled with my prayer time and intimacy with the Lord big time since then. My husband and I have a restored marriage which truly is a miracle. During the time of me praying for restoration, my eyes were opened to my sin and disrespect, and my faith and relationship with the Lord grew like never before. Now I feel like I’ve gone backwards and am so disappointed in myself! πŸ™

    Anyways, the first two weeks after our daughter was born, I was in a lot of pain. My husband had taken off work and he was a huge help and blessing!! He was super encouraging and helped with everything!! Also, the first week we had to bottle feed so he was able to help with that. Then I was able to start breastfeeding, which was an answer to prayer! But that left my husband feeling more disconnected from our daughter.

    Then once he went back to work, he was wanting to help less and less with her, even when he’s home. I know he’s tired but am just feeling sad that sometimes he doesn’t want to hold her. He tends to think every time she cries she is hungry so just wants to hand her to me and doesn’t want to try to console her. I have started pumping so he can have special time with her to feed her, but sometimes he doesn’t want to do that either.

    He has been amazing, but sometimes i get discouraged that he’s not helping when I think he should be, which I know is my own heart issue. And even though I “know” the right things I should be doing (holding my tongue instead of being discouraging, speaking kindly, thanking him for what he is doing), I’m not because of my lack of intimacy with God right now.. Of course I’ll keep failing in my own strength! But it also hurts when I feel he has checked out and it sometimes feels like he’s leaving everything baby related, and then some, to me.

    I don’t want to keep focusing on the negative and was wondering if you have any posts about having a new baby and that whole dynamic! Plus any practical suggestions! He has clearly told me he is not a fan of the infant stage and I want to believe he will be more involved later, and be okay with that right now!

    Aahh, sorry this is so long. Thank you if you’ve read all this!

    1. New Momma,

      That is an excellent idea for a post! I am not sure if I have written about this before.

      Congratulations on your precious new baby! πŸ™‚

      You know what? Having a newborn is a pretty stressful time on a marriage. It is stressful for mama with all of the sleep deprivation, hormonal changes, adjusting to nursing, adjusting to caring for an infant, trying to get everything just right, etc… And it is stressful for a daddy as he tries to support his wife and new baby and he is exhausted, too, and he may be feeling a bit left out and neglected. It is also MUCH harder to have the time with God you need.

      So – first of all – I vote to give yourself and your husband TONS of grace right now. This is a challenging time. It is a season. Thankfully, it won’t stay like this forever. I promise!

      Everything will not be perfect. That is going to need to be okay. Sometimes there are some expectations we may need to lay down. And even as you are busy and nursing, you can focus on thanksgiving to God, praise to God, and thankfulness for your husband with the few functioning brain cells you have at the moment. πŸ™‚ Satan would LOVE to encourage resentment, bitterness, hurt feelings, division, and strife. Recognize that those are his tactics. Check out these two posts:

      My Demon
      How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through A Wife’s Thought Life

      And this post on laying down expectations may be helpful.

      Get as much praising God in as you can. Consciously seek to allow Him to transform your heart. Seek to lay down your will and embrace His will. Listen to the Bible on an app. Or read a few verses while you are nursing. Memorize a verse each week, if a full quiet time is just too much right now. Read other people’s prayers if you don’t have the ability to pray on your own. You may search my home page for “prayer day” for some ideas.

      Realize that your husband may be feeling uncertain and maybe even left out right now. If you can smile at him, appreciate him, and give him a bit of attention, too, he may really appreciate that. He may also be feeling more pressure to provide well financially than ever before. Men have a lot of hard emotions and thoughts to process, too, when a new baby enters the family.

      It is okay to ask for what you need or desire! You can respectfully and cheerfully say, “Honey, it would mean so much to me if you had time to hold the baby for a few minutes. I know she would enjoy that. You are such a wonderful Daddy. I’m glad we get to be here together for this.”

      You can thank him for working to provide for the family.
      You can let him know that you haven’t forgotten him and ask how you might be able to help him feel more part of things or more included with you.

      When the baby gets older and is more interactive, the dynamics often do begin to shift. πŸ™‚

      Praying for God’s wisdom for you and that you will resist the voice of the enemy, the accuser, and focus on God’s voice and on allowing Him to tenderly lead you and your husband in this time.

      So glad you reached out!

      Much love to you!

      1. New Momma,

        Oh! And I would strongly suggest watching the video I shared earlier with another wife about “Taking Our Thoughts Captive” – I think that may be a blessing. You may also want to search my home page for “bitterness” – if you have time and enough energy to read.

        Much love!

      2. Thank you so much for your response! It is funny, because I know that the enemy is attacking, and yet at the same time I often fail to recognize it. In the middle of me reading your response, my husband was getting ready to leave for work. He moved his motorcycle out of the rain and onto our porch, basically covering our front door and making it impossible for me to go anywhere with the stroller and the baby! I asked him to move it and he said no, because he was running late. That really upset me, and I just could not let go of my own desire for him to move it, even though I was in the middle of reading your encouraging words! I know I really need to deal with my heart issue!
        Your suggestions are great! I just started trying to work on memorizing scripture again; meditating on it makes a huge difference for me usually!

        1. New Momma,

          Just to be sure I understand – he wasn’t maliciously putting the motorcycle in the way to keep you from being able to leave with the stroller, right? And you are able to leave the house with the baby, just not with the stroller today? There is no other door that the stroller can go through, is what I am guessing?

          Here is how I would consider praying about this kind of issue:

          – Think about how he was running late and he may seriously not have thought about that you wouldn’t be able to get out. Assume the best instead of assuming that he was purposely being hateful. And if he was genuinely running late, he may not have had time to move the motorcycle – so this may be something about which you can extend grace.

          – Consider that God is sovereign and that sometimes things like this happen and it is not until later that we realize why. For example, it is possible that God could be protecting you from going somewhere later today that would have been dangerous. So even if your husband had hateful motives, which I don’t think he had, God may still use things sometimes in His sovereignty for our good.

          – It is totally fine to respectfully request later – when you can do this in a pleasant, friendly way – that you would love to be able to have access to take the stroller out of the front door in the future. It could look like this, “Honey, I totally understand why you needed to put the motorcycle on the porch because of the rain. That is not problem. But it would be awesome if you might be able to leave enough room next time for me to be able to get the stroller out. Thanks!”

          – Remember that he is not the enemy. Consider that each day is a precious gift. Yesterday we remembered 9/11. No wife that morning expected to lose her husband that day. But many did. Remembering how precious and fragile life is and how short it can be can help us to keep perspective on how big of a deal things really are.

          So thankful you are focusing on God and on Scripture. That is awesome! Ask Him to help you pull out all of the bitterness, resentment, pride, and any destructive thoughts – so He can fill you up with His Spirit, His perspective, His power and His wisdom to approach your husband in a healthy way that honors Christ and blesses your husband, marriage, and daughter. πŸ™‚ Guess what? When you do things God’s way in His power, it greatly blesses you most of all!

          1. What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 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. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

            4 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. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

            β€œGod opposes the proud
            but shows favor to the humble.”
            7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. James 4:1-10

          2. No, he did not intentionally want to block me in. He just didn’t want his bike to get wet. I did tell him it would be in my way and asked if he could keep it out on the sidewalk, but he didn’t want to because of the rain. So it was frustrating, but I totally agree that God is sovereign and I know I haven’t been living with that perspective much lately. Instead I’ve felt like the victim and have allowed bitterness and resentment in, and not nice things to come out in my words and attitude toward my hubby πŸ™ I also haven’t been dying to myself in regards to our marriage. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot for our daughter, obviously, because she is so needy right now as an infant. But because I feel so spent I keep expecting my hubby to help more and haven’t been sacrificing as much for him (because I feel like me taking care of the baby and house is enough I guess?)… Super sad.
            Back to the motorcycle thing…He suggested I put the baby in my baby carrier, then carry the stroller and car seat over the bike, and then put her in the seat so I can go out. So he did try to give me a way out..lol.. It would just be really difficult and inconvenient.
            I love the little examples of words and/or thought processes you share. Those can be super helpful! Thank you! And I’m also going to check out the posts and video you recommended. πŸ™‚

          3. Amen amen! I love that scripture! Probably should memorize that whole passage!! So convicting, thanks for sharing it. ❀️

    2. having a new baby especially a first baby can be such a difficult time. Between hormones and learning to go from a relationship between the 2 of you to a relationship with 3. There are so many emotions on every side. We have 5 children and my husband is just getting to the point that where he feels he can fully care for a young baby. He is amaizing with our older kids, totally hands on. But baby’s were hard for him till about 8 months. Still I do most of the child care, household chores, homeschooling etc. I look at it as my job, while he has his.

      I think watching our expectations is hugely important. Why do you want him to do these things? Are you afraid of them not bonding? Do you think this is what most fathers do? Are you exhausted and just need a little help? Our motives are important. If the problem is that your exhausted by all means ask for help! Let him know what you need from him in a loving way, and listen to his advice. If it’s because your afraid if he doesn’t do it he won’t bond with your child, I can tell you that forcing it on him will not help. Let him and your child bond their own way, that has happened with my husband and children more as they’ve gotten older and can physically play (our youngest is 9 months, and my husbands enjoying her much more). If it’s just expectations of what you thought it was supposed to be like, try and let that go, and enjoy what it really is.

      Make sure you take time to take care of yourself. If your husband works and you stay home, take her nap times to do something for yourself. Take a nap, spend time with God, take a shower, exercise, and so on. Learn a new hobby, enjoy an old one. read some good books. If your tank is full you will have more to give to your husband and your child, and the less you will resent him when after a long day he takes his own quiet restful time, doing whatever he loves.

      1. I wanted to add that everytime I have had a child there have been different spiritual attacks, but each time I grew closer to the Lord, because I had to lean further and further into Him. I feel like just like marriage helps us become more like Christ, so does parenting. It is so difficult, but so worth it. So rejoice in the difficulty because as you work through it with Christs help you will be brought closer to Him.

        1. Thank you so much for responding Sarah! Your question was perfect…Asking me why I want him helping. That was an eye opener and made me realize I’ve definitely had some bad expectations I didn’t realize we’re there! And I’m super encouraged to hear about your husband getting more involved once your kids got older. My husband is fantastic with kids so I’m encouraged to know things will soon start to shift as our baby grows πŸ™‚

  6. Great post!
    Last night, I could see that my husband needed some alone time so I asked him if he wanted me to keep sitting next to him or of he wanted time to himself. Sure enough, he wanted time to himself. Immediately came Satan’s attack! Thoughts poured in like: why does he need alone time? You never get alone time. Blah blah blah. I could literally feel my blood pressure rising. Thank God for giving me the strength to conquer those thoughts and throw them away! Normally, I would have run with them causing a much bigger problem! I just got up from the couch and walked into our bedroom and used the time for myself!

    April, this is key!!

    “Perhaps God misses me as much or more than I miss my husband during baseball or hunting season. Maybe this extra time to myself is a golden opportunity for me to dig much deeper in my faith and in God’s Word and prayer!”

    If we do this, I know for a fact that our attitudes towards our husbands change for the good.
    πŸ™‚

    1. Cara, this is awesome. I too am guilty of my thoughts running away like this and God has really been working on me and reminding me that I must not be resentful, and that he is entitled to feeling differently and needing to relax or do things differently than I would, and it’s ok. Just because he doesn’t do things the way I would it is NOT sin. When I find my thoughts are going in this direction I remember Phillipians 4:8 and think about all the good in our marriage, the good in my husband, and rely on God to settle my thoughts and bring me back to enjoying His peace. I thank God I am getting stronger in this each day. It’s a wonderful idea to turn to time in the word and prayer to replace those negative thoughts!

      1. Amen Melanie!! <3
        Thinking good thoughts instead of negative ones! Yes! I'm totally working on re-training my brain. It's nice to know we can do this together!

  7. This post is about something that we struggled with for a long time. My husband was very disengaged and I blamed him, was resentful, bitter, felt like I was always left to do everything. Then when my eyes were open to my sin, I realized that I was creating a lot of this myself. I had become so “busy” that my husband just became more and more used to being on his own and it became our norm. Also I realized that my phone/iPad was becoming addictive, and my husband shared with me that he really missed us being together, because he felt that even when we were together I was so caught up in it he was never really getting my attention. I can see in hindsight for years I was only giving him the “leftovers” because I got so caught up in my own self and the more I did that the more he disengaged and the more it fed off each other!

    Since June when the Lord opened my eyes to my blindness, our married life has changed so much. I recommitted to giving my husband my best, I put God first which was my biggest change, then my husband second, and everything else after. Of course our kids needs are always met, but I started to learn the difference in kids needs and wants and extras, and only needs are addressed first and we have committed to working together on those. Both of us have committed to putting our “devices” on the back burner and they no longer take our time and attention from each other. Since giving my life to God and putting my trust in Him alone, I have committed to no longer giving the Lord or my Husband the leftovers. I sit with my husband and enjoy the quiet time while we watch tv, we chat in commercials, the phones no longer part of our time together. This tv time i realize was a very important time to my husband to connect with me, and he felt rejected by my giving that up in favour of browsing, posting, etc I saw it as multi tasking, He saw it as taking away from “us”.

    Another important activity is hunting. I started getting involved in this with him many years ago and we have had some special times together just enjoying the outdoors. I encourage any wife who might enjoy being outside to share this with their husband if their husband is a hunter and they are willing to include them. Sitting together in the quietness enjoying nature, going out for breakfast after a morning hunting, a lot of times I just shoot pics while he has the gun, but we are TOGETHER. We have done this for years, but the last year or two again I got too caught up in being busy serving things I had made into idols in my life, that I stopped putting my time into it. The last few months I have again realized the rejection and recommitted to sharing this special activity together. Yesterday we walked several miles in the fields and bush just to check trail cam pics. That time gave us the time to chat, reconnect, and enjoy each other’s company. He still has times he hunts alone, but I am happy to share some of this special time with him in his world.

    I guess what I am saying is don’t do like I did and let everything come before making time with your spouse. Our marriage was on the brink of failure. God showed me to stop worrying about what my husband needed to change and do what I needed to change. Since committing to God that I would obey, we have done a complete 360! I feel for the first time in years my husband enjoys “us” again. He wants to spend time with me. The effort I complained I could never get from him is BACK! We talk, we laugh again. I never knew what my own behaviour was doing to destroy us, I thought I was working so hard and he was all the problem. Is it all about him now? Absolutely not! But it is all about God! I committed to making changes to be the wife God called me to be no matter what, not knowing if my husband would even stay. I put all my trust in God to show me, committed that I would follow, and God has blessed me with having my husband back In my life more than I ever dreamed!

    Maybe some husbands won’t respond the way mine did but I have to say God has shown me how important it is to accept my husband for who he is and let him be that person without pressure from me. I am so full of gratitude to God for showing me that giving my husband that respect and a willingness to spend some time just being happy in his world has been a blessing to our marriage! For many years I realize I had been making it all about me. It’s amazing what making It all about God has taught me, changed me, and blessed me and our marriage!

    1. I’m glad you shared this. It just reminded me of how I used to spend time sitting with my hubby outside while he’d work on his car. Even when our marriage was falling apart I began doing this and it was very special to him. Now that we have our new baby I haven’t done this at all! In fact, I’ve started to resent the amount of money he’s spent on his bike and cars instead of on our family. But I realize I can use the time to connect with him and show him my support of what he enjoys. I can take the baby outside and we can all be together! Thank you!! πŸ™‚

    2. Thank you for sharing this Melanie. The devices like phones and ipads etc. are such joy stealers in my house too! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve made the change in priorities. I know a lot of us can benefit from hearing your success.

      1. Cara, it’s mind boggling how personal devices phones etc have managed to get a grip on us in so many ways without even realizing it! And then there is the other issue that it opens the door to secrecy and being able to do things that normally you wouldn’t necessarily do out in the open, be someone that you aren’t hiding behind a screen, just so many temptations to go down the wrong path. It’s a dangerous place and we realized the power it had and thankfully we were able to get it under control before it destroyed our marriage. I would love to see April do a post on technology someday I think it could be a great eye opener to many how easy it is to make it an idol, I know both of us had gone there in completely different ways but we were both there.

        1. Melanie,
          It is extremely easy to make certain sites or the news, or FB, or social media, or lots of things online (or on TV), or books, or anything, really, into something that is way more important than it should be. Yep. These things can definitely be idols. And even if they are not idols, sometimes they can just be very addictive and distracting.

          Would you like to help me with a post on this issue?

          Much love to you!

          1. Melanie,

            I am actually working on drastically addressing this issue in my own life this very week! I want to try to limit my online ministry time to about 2 hours per day. Last Thursday, I spent over 8 hours on a post and then on a flood of comments. I can easily spend over 30 hours per week on this. So, I am working on some boundaries and limits on myself. People need Jesus, but they probably don’t need so much of me. πŸ™‚

            This week, I am cutting out looking at news online. And I am going to start timing my online ministry time. I need to have more time with God and some other things, too. So I am praying for God’s wisdom about how to best handle this.

            Much love!

      1. Of course, April! You know you can use whatever you like, anything that gives God the glory for what He has shown me and what He is doing in our marriage!

          1. April, I can only imagine how much time running this online ministry takes up! And you are so caring and diligent about addressing everyone it is a beautiful thing you are doing for the Lord, had it not been for the Lord pointing me to your posts and your support as I started on this journey, I feel there is an extremely high chance my marriage would have already failed by now and we would have thrown in the towel. ANd had I not read these posts at that awful time, I may have been still lost and not have yet been able to give my life to the Lord. I am so grateful to God that He is ministering to so many hurting hearts through your work!

            That being said I totally agree with you that it is very important to limit the time you are able to put in. Otherwise it can become too much of a distraction and become something that gets in the way of your time with God and with your husband and family. I just prayed for you that God would help you achieve that balance in your life and help you to make the decisions that are best for your relationship with Him and your family. As much as I love this ministry and the support I get here, I would rather wait a little longer for your posts and replies than take time from the relationships that matter most, God and your family!

          2. Thanks for understanding, Melanie, and for the encouragement. And how I praise God for what He has done and is doing and will continue to do in your life! WOOHOO! πŸ™‚

    3. I can’t wait till the days I can go hunting with my husband! sounds so lovely! too many young kids at home right now, but that won’t last forever! I also have a rule not to be on the phone when my husbands home and it really does make a difference.

      1. Sarah, it is a very special thing for me to be able to do this with my husband lots of women shake their heads and ask why lol but I am more than happy to! I feel blessed that I have someone to spend my life with that wants me to be part of his world. It is hard when the kids are young, we only had one for ten years and he started hunting with us at age 4. Then three years ago we adopted two more and they are 8 and 10. It’s more Challening to juggle with three and they are not as ready to sit in the woods quietly so it limits the time plus it’s hard to sit that many people quietly in the bush together! We have absolutely no family around us but occasionally our neighbour helps us and our oldest (14) goes with us. Also it gets easier when you have an older child as now he can hold down the fort while my husband and I go out together. Hang in there, it will be worth the wait and you will only get to enjoy those younger years once!

        1. I can see why you enjoy it! I would love to go out with my husband as well. Quality time and more meat in the freezer πŸ˜‰ win win! We have 5 children between 9 and 9 months lol, so obviously not too easy to go together! My husband will take our older two sometimes, which is nice for them to have bonding time too. I can’t wait till my oldest can hold down the fort for a while! But we make the best of where we are at at the time! It’s been good for me to learn to serve and be happy for others as they do something they enjoy! God definitely gives us the right places to learn what he wants for us to learn.

    4. Melanie,

      I love this:
      ” My husband was very disengaged and I blamed him, was resentful, bitter, felt like I was always left to do everything. Then when my eyes were open to my sin, I realized that I was creating a lot of this myself. I had become so β€œbusy” that my husband just became more and more used to being on his own and it became our norm.”

      You’re entirely right. My husband and I are very similar to you and your husband – down to the TV time and hunting and learning to prioritize the kids AFTER my husband.Thank you for sharing – you opened my eyes to something critical that I had missed.

      1. Aim, I am so glad that God has used my own situation to speak to someone else in their struggles. It was a huge learning for me to understand how I was a huge part of the cause of the very things I was complaining about! If I can be of any help to you feel free to chat with me.

  8. So I like to entertain and host parties so I decided this year instead of resent every time my husband is “just sitting there” watching the game, I’d invite people over and make the game the focus. I feel like this is making lemonade out of lemons!

    I have a chili cook-off in mind with the idea of inviting new friends that we can connect with that we haven’t had time for before and let the kids play together and hopefully us women can enjoy the camaraderie while our husbands get to enjoy what they like doing together! Also everyone can bring a little dish of food so the burden won’t be on me every weekend to host a huge party; my hope is it’ll just be laid back, comfortable and enjoyable for everyone!

    1. Nichole Martinez I think that’s a fantastic idea, God has definitely shown you how to make lemonade out of lemons. I would think that would be a great gesture to your husband as well to appreciate what is important to him, yet give you some time to connect with other women and make “watching the game” more enjoyable for you as well.

  9. Ha! Yesterday, I came home from church and soon after, my husband started settling into the couch for football! I said something like “Ugghh, I feel like there’s been a lot of sports on tv lately!” (or something to that effect). And then immediately caught myself and realized 1) My husband was not feeling well 2) His favorite team was having their first official game yesterday!!!!

    I felt so bad that I had rained on his football parade! LOL So, I immediately apologized and watched a little with him, and took a nap on his shoulder at some point during it, too. He is usually really thoughtful about *not* wanting to take up all of our weekend with sports which I’m very grateful for.

    I really like the idea that we can do our own thing when our husbands are wrapped up in their hobbies, etc. I think it’s nice to try to enjoy some of that time with them, if they like that, but this is a great time for a wife to also learn more about herself and do something that she enjoys. What has God built into you that makes you *you*? Whether it’s cooking or being creative…or maybe you get a ton of energy and healthy stimulation with some good healthy conversation with your girlfriends. If a wife learns to do these things for herself and realizes that it does *not* make you selfish, you will be a happier version of yourself, which everyone in your household will appreciate and benefit from! If you have young children, you might have to find time to do these things at different times than when your husband is occupied with his hobbies. And, it feels really hard to make the time to do it, but as your children get a little older, I highly suggest making the time to do it and not feeling guilty about it!

    Older moms used to tell me that when I was a younger mom and I. just. didn’t. get. it. Until now. I truly thought it was more sacrificial to put all of my needs and desires aside. But, that is a recipe for resentment and bitterness down the road.

    Learn to enjoy life and the things God has specifically designed you to get joy from and learn to allow your husband the space to do the same for himself. And, don’t be scared of expressing your desire for more time together in a vulnerable way like April is suggesting if you are feeling that there is an imbalance of time spent on hobbies or things that are taking away from good family connecting times.

    1. CIC Love it! And you have spoken that life into my life already πŸ™‚ it really is true!! Thanks sister!!! Love you!

      Love,
      Amanda

  10. my husband could care less about sports, which I’m thankful for, but he is very into fishing and hunting. He likes to be out every day he can during hunting season. The best way I’ve found dead to handle it is to just joyfully serve him during these times, as a gift. As I became a loving wife that was happy to serve him, he started inviting his friends to our home to hunt, I would happily make them to go breakfasts, a nice home cooked meal for dinner, etc. Now we are the place everyone wants to go to to hunt, so I get to spend the eveningsame with my husband and his friends. so I don’t feel too left out. I also know and feel comfortable with his friends for when he does go out of town to hunt with them, and my husband feels closer to me, which is exactly what I want. I would assume this would work with sports too, have him invite his friends over, or better yet his friends and their wives so you can have someone, eat some good food, and be part of it with them!

    I also do the same thing for my husband when he goes out fishing by himself, I don’t complain when he stays out later, just serve him something delicious to eat, and he absolutely loves it. I ask him to take me and the kids sometimes so I can feel included, I don’t fish, but love being there anyways. When you don’t complain when he goes by himself, or cry or beg, and just feel happy for them that they get to do something nice, your husband will generally be glad to do something for you.

    When my husband does go out of town I make the best of it, spend more quiet time with God, listen to some sermons, do something special with the kids etc. Draw, write, sew, journal whatever. That way when he is home we can spend lots of time together. Being a loving comfortable place to come home to makes your husband be so glad to come home.

    I listened to a sermon recently that stressed how our marriages are to make us holy. If our spouses are difficult, we get more of a chance to live a life serving the Lord. So even if your not here yet, serve your husband as if you were serving God. My marriage was once beyond bad. but through the Lords help he turned it around, and it did indeed strengthen my relationship with Him, which makes all the hard times more than worth it!

    1. Sarah,

      This is awesome! PRIASE GOD for what He has done in your heart. πŸ™‚

      I wonder if you might allow me to share this as a FB post on my Peaceful Wife Blog FB page sometime?

      Much love!

    2. Sarah, I love this! I wish We could be part of your hunting group! Actually you and Nichole have inspired me today, I just may try and organize a get together for our last day of rifle season, get all the families together for a potluck or something… I’ll be hunting so mine will be in the crock pot!

      Praise God for how He has inspired you to support your husbands interests in this way, I’m sure it goes a long way in strengthening your relationship! I am learning this slowly as well and it truly is amazing what being willing to support your husband can do. For years I had the “why should I do this for him when I don’t get something done for me…” – attitude, and it was sooo destructive I can now see in hindsight! God has been teaching me to do for my husband out of love and give up my attitude of “keeping score”. I realize now how disrespectful it really is and quite often I was being blind to what I would get in return but just refused to see it! Praise God He has been building the desire in my heart to support my husband just out of LOVE and to be a blessing. It’s amazing the difference It has made in our marriage and our lives! Thanks again for sharing, you are very inspiring!

      1. Absolutely April, feel free to share away.

        Melanie that sounds like it would be so much fun! I would definitely do it, what a great time that would be. I love what God has been teaching you, I’ve had to learn the same lessons. It always amazes me how much more I get out of everything when I do it His way! And there is so much joy in serving others, even if your not getting anything in return.

    3. Wonderful, I think that it is always give and take. My wife loves to go to the cinema, I’m not so keen but I go along and if I don’t enjoy it, I let her know and then we can have a conversation, doesn’t always means that we agree, but communicating is so important in a marriage.
      Another thing I want to say is that you ladies also have hobbies and activities and as men we do not always get a look in.
      I am “off” Facebook and other such things because, I was getting sucked in and it was not the best influence on my life. I think we do tend to spend too much time on devices.
      I love the idea of being a support to one another so that one can enjoy the hobby, whether it’s making snacks or learning to tie a fly, I am glad I do not fish, because I struggle to tie knots etc.
      I do enjoy playing golf and hiking with friends, so when we are done, I usually organize some time afterwards to do something with my wife.

      Please remember we are all busy and we enjoy our hobbies, whether it be scrapbooking, quilting, book club, or hunting, fishing, watching football (big snore from this guy, but I’m British, so I really don’t get stopping every five seconds and all the armor plating, real men play rugby, sorry if stepped on toes guys) and we can be bemused by what the other is doing but unless it is endangering or disrespectful to our families or God, I would say have at it but please don’t be:

      Making demands.
      Yelling or crying.
      Seething with resentment and bitterness.
      Pouting.
      Stomping up the stairs and slamming the door.
      Throwing things.
      Glaring at him.
      Holding onto contempt and hatred.
      Complaining to or about my husband.
      Gossiping about him.
      Giving the β€œcold shoulder.”
      Seeking revenge.
      Assuming evil motives that my husband doesn’t love me as much as I love him.
      Accusing him of idolatry of sports or the TV or hunting.
      Spending a lot of money as β€œshopping therapy” to get even.
      Sinking into depression.
      Flirting with other men who are more willing to give me some attention.
      Turning to food for comfort or engaging in other addictions.
      Expecting my children to meet the emotional needs my husband is not meeting for me.
      Trying to control my husband and trying to force him to change to be what I want him to be.
      Throwing the TV out the window or hiding all of the hunting equipment.

      Some of these did make me laugh but they can also be quite hurtful. So far my wife has never thrown my golf balls at me, thank goodness.

      Wishing you all the best during this football season,
      Jesuscentreoflife

  11. Love this post and am inspired and encouraged by many of the comments. Thank you, April, and to the others sharing!

    One of my huge regrets in my marriage is how resentful I became of my husband in the early years of our marriage over hockey games. We had season tickets and the drive to attend the games was an hour away and we always listened to the pre-game radio programs in the car. On the drive home, the radio went on for the post game programs.

    When we were still dating, I LOVED to go to the games with him. In fact, he played on a league and I shivered in the stands attending those, too. I never fully understood the rules, and I don’t get into the competition of it, but I was happy just to support him or be with him.

    After we were married, he began to wonder why I eventually was no longer excited about attending (quite the opposite, in fact). I began to feel like the entire evening, it could have been anyone else but me sitting next to him. I felt completely irrelevant and ignored. It was a spectator activity sandwiched between two radio programs with no face-to-face time.

    What I didn’t understand at the time was it DID matter a GREAT deal that it was me sitting next to him the whole evening. He was feeling close to me during those times and it was building a bond on his end. If I’d been able to understand that sooner, I could have saved our marriage a lot of grief over that. I wish I would have understood that if I’d been desiring to bless him in that way, it would have paid off in great dividends in other ways. Not only would I have doubled his joy of the games, but he would have naturally been more inclined to be seeking to bless me in my world. It took me many years to understand this, sadly.

  12. Dear PeacefulWife,

    I don’t know how to say this… but, after hesitation, I decided I would say something.

    The title with the word widow in it doesn’t feel right.

    When my husband was alive but watching a lot of TV, I use to feel some despair, but none compared to when he passed away…

    Yet, I don’t have a suggestion for a better word for the title of this post.

    Anyway, I am still blessed by this blog, that is why I continue reading it…

    Thank you for your understanding.

    1. Yas,

      I can certainly understand that to an actual widow, this terminology may not seem appropriate. πŸ™

      This is a term that is in the dictionary – and I am not aware of a synonym that would be more palatable. But – if you find one, I am certainly open to it, my dear sister!

      You are so precious to me. πŸ™‚

  13. April, there is a serious error in this post…..very serious……..

    ………American football is primarily played with the hands and should therefore be called handball in my humble opinion……even our AFL isn’t really football…..I would have to say that the English have got this one right and actually use their feet to play what they call football!

    HH

  14. I am relatively new to this blog, but have become a faithful reader, and I wanted to add something to your list of what NOT to do when you feel forgotten by your husband. It is something that I did and it literally lost me several years of my marriage, even though on the surface it seemed like a reasonable, even right thing to do.

    A few years ago I started questioning my awkward marriage and came to the conclusion that since my husband was not a godly man, and riddled with faults, and I wasn’t getting what I thought I would/should in a relationship, that I had made a mistake in marrying him. So instead of doing any of the things you listed above, I adopted a long-suffering, “I made my bed and now I have to lie in it” attitude. I couldn’t bring myself to “chase” someone who clearly preferred the TV over me, so I just emotionally walked away from the relationship.

    Instead of asking for what I wanted, I became my own person and completely stopped communicating. I was still there physically, cooking and washing his socks, etc., but I very determinedly asked nothing from him anymore, not conversation, advice, support, or even love. I even got a job so he wouldn’t have to pay for my groceries or anything. If I was sick I wouldn’t ask for help, and if something needed to be done that I physically couldn’t do, I would pay someone else to do it rather than “bother” him about it.

    Looking back, I realize it was so stupid and prideful of me to live this way, and it left my husband wondering what the heck he was even doing here (something I wondered as well). But I couldn’t stand the thought of needing him and being rejected, (it was more than just TV watching and not just once) so I stopped needing him altogether.

    Finally, I stumbled across your blog and I remember just crying and crying as I realized how wrong I was and how disrespectful and distrustful I had been. God gave me this man for a reason, and I was just throwing it away. Since then I have been more respectful, understanding of his masculinity and how he relates (it’s not necessarily a rejection!), and open (although I still don’t talk a whole lot, I don’t think it’s in my nature). My husband’s relief and delight in this change is practically palpable. It turns out he actually wants me to need him and desire him. Just by showing him respect in asking him for things, he is a changed man, and I am so thankful for your blog and your writing, and to God for showing me what I was missing by not being vulnerable.

    I will never be a fit-thrower, but it is just as damaging to ignore your own needs and desire for attention from your husband. You CAN turn these needs off and shut them down, which might be a relief for both of you in the short term, but it kills the relationship and really makes it kind of pointless.

    1. Kathryn,

      OH, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!

      YES! This is critical. We can swing too far one way or the other and it is a big problem. I LOVE what God has shown you! In fact, I would be honored to share this as a post, if you might allow me to. THIS IS POWERFUL STUFF that I think we all need to be reminded of, my precious sister!

      So grateful to God for His goodness and how He teaches us. πŸ™‚ His ways are the best!

      1. Yes, I would be honored if you shared my story as a post. I think this is kind of dangerous ground too, because it can feel so “right” somehow. After all, what could be more noble than being low-maintenance? I actually thought I was being a very good wife most of the time. I never complained, never drew attention to myself, and never needed anything.

        But what I actually was without realizing it, was just a good housekeeper. My husband didn’t have a wife, he didn’t even have a roommate. He just had a person who shared his house and his bed. I made it impossible for him to “know” me as he is told to do in the Bible. It wasn’t a marriage, it was two people living independently in the same house.

        And yet I congratulated myself on not being needy and never bothering my husband. It felt right most times. But I didn’t know what I was missing, and that I was robbing my husband of his wife as well as the opportunity to be a living witness of God’s grace to this man. It is a very self-righteous, and dangerous way to live, and a high price to pay for pride.

        1. Wow Kathryn this is very powerful. Praise God that He showed you this, thanks for sharing your situation really helps to have another perspective!

    2. Thank you for sharing this! There is a LOT of truth here. I was thinking yesterday that I really hope the younger wives don’t buy into some distorted thinking that we just never bring up our needs or desires to our husbands. As you said, that is not a real relationship. It might solve some problems for a short period, but really, it is not operating in healthy relationship and I believe that issue will rear its head at some point further down the road.

      I also love the idea, as we have been talking about, of letting your husband have space for their hobbies. But, we need to not become so passive about it that we are are willing, in the guise of being loving and patient, to let our husbands neglect their God-given responsibilities, too. As always, such a balance needed here and wisdom from God on how to handle these kinds of issues. But, a wife can and should have godly influence to bring the best out in her husband. I am JUST learning this, 24 years into my marriage.

      1. “I was thinking yesterday that I really hope the younger wives don’t buy into some distorted thinking that we just never bring up our needs or desires to our husbands.”

        There is, unfortunately, one prominent Christian Titus 2 blogger who pushes this very line…..and I have witnessed the destruction it has caused…..not to the marriage as much as to the women themselves. They are exhausted shells of what they used to be. I will not mention the name to protect both the guilty and innocent, but many of us probably know who this woman is.

        1. Anonymous,

          When I see wives who never share their needs, ideas, feelings, opinions, and desires – I usually see wives who end up very sick spiritually, emotionally, and often even physically. This is not a healthy way to live. I know that sometimes things are so toxic, women may feel this is the only option. That truly breaks my heart. πŸ™

          My prayer is that each of us may find the abundant life of Christ and be overflowing with Him and His healing, even in toxic situations. Then I believe He can give us the wisdom and clarity we need to know what He is calling us to do and when to speak up vs. when to wait and pray. I don’t want to see wives giving up their personhood and personalities and becoming shells of themselves. That is not what being a godly woman is about. It is about becoming our new selves in Christ – overflowing with the power, love, joy, peace, purpose, security, and vision of Christ.

          Much love!

          1. It’s NOT you, April. πŸ™‚ Just wanted to let you know that…..there is another, older Titus 2 blogger who I happen to know has done severe damage to several very meek, quiet ladies who only became more meek and more quiet after reading her (and she posts nearly every single day, the same message over and over), and are now so depleted and exhausted with barely enough energy to get through a day.

          2. Anonymous,

            In my experience, my precious sister, it is extremely difficult to write posts for wives who are at both ends of the spectrum at the same time. Meaning – for wives who are very dominating, controlling, and disrespectful – and also for wives who have become completely silent, afraid, paralyzed, and who have given up all their influence in the marriage. There is this place of beautiful, godly balance in the middle where we are humble, assertive, wise, courageous, meek, submissive in a godly way, fearless, vulnerable, and Christlike – but the wives on one side need to move in one direction, and the wives on the other side need to move in the other direction. It is super hard to have everyone understand correctly with all the different filters and backgrounds. And then, if you have wives in abusive situations, it gets even more difficult.

            Thankfully, God’s Word always applies to us all! But sometimes our approach will be different based on our own personality and also our situation with our particular husband at the time.

            But something I want to certainly emphasize is that God desires us to be meek, not weak. Those are vastly different concepts.

            – Weakness is where a woman has no spiritual strength and may be unable to even pray for herself. She is very spiritually sick and almost spiritually unconscious, possibly. She has absorbed so many of the enemy’s lies, she is extremely toxic. Of course, any time we are spiritually weak, we are acting in the power of the flesh. A spiritually weak woman may also be at the other end of the spectrum (like I was) and may have no self-control, and may demand that everyone bows to her. That is still spiritual weakness. Any time we are acting in the flesh, we are spiritually weak.

            – Meekness is where a woman has all of the power of God’s Spirit and she is under the control of God. It is “bridled strength.” We hear God clearly. We obey Him humbly and promptly. We have powerful, effective prayers because His Spirit is flooding through our souls and we respond in godliness rather than in the flesh.

            Much love!

    3. I have done this, I just wrote my own story at the bottom of the com-box. I understand what you mean, but honestly, Kathryn, sometimes it’s the only way. Hear all the admonition we hear other places about “throwing a fit”, the admonition about putting others first — there’s not much else TO do except what you have done and what I am doing. You literally run out of options. You may do all you can, but what can you do?

      My take is the purpose of marriage is the procreation of children, and I have six of them. I’m so grateful for them. It literally kills me that I have more years left and will never have any more because my husband will not even have sex with me. I would like another child to love. However, that is not what my children are for. I have to raise them. My youngest is almost kindergarten age now, and I’m contemplating doing more outside work for pay now that they are getting older. I homeschool because my husband expects me to, although in our situation I know it is detrimental to my two oldest in particular, although my younger ones do benefit. There’s a lot that needs to be done, and many ways to fill your life, making it meaningful and interesting.

      Don’t try to come between a man and his television, Internet, or anything that’s his “thing” unless you want fireworks, and those aren’t good. There is a niche for everyone, and a spot where you can find happiness and contentment. You have Christ, you have children, you have friends, if necessary and you don’t have small children, maybe it’s time to re-enter the workforce. Or, get involved in the election and politics, sometimes it’s remunerative and it is a good example for the kids…..this is what I’m doing this year, plus it pays a decent stipend if you work the polls and do hand-auditing…..which pays a few bills! It is fun and exciting and you are doing a civic obligation.

      Just my thoughts.

      1. Thank you for your insights! I’m a bit different in that I do love to be alone, and if my husband shows no interest I quite easily and happily revert to “single mode” which is of course not a good way to have a marriage. I struggle with my pride and do not like to pursue affection so if it doesn’t come easily, and if I don’t feel pursued/desired, I immediately give up on the idea and find more gratifying activities.

        But I’ve realized that this is a silly way to go about things, and in fact just as disrespectful as hollering at him about it. Perhaps it’s even worse, because I write him off, and emotionally turn away. I’m learning different ways though, and learning that just because he isn’t as attentive as I think he should be, he is still here, in my life, and he loves me in his own way.

        You are right though, if your husband has essentially replaced you with the TV, or in my husband’s case, computer games, it is wise to find other things to do with your time while he is doing whatever he does. It is NOT wise, however, to barely talk to him about it and then make the choice to emotionally walk away from the relationship. It’s basically saying, “well fine then, I don’t need you anyway!” That’s what I did! It was a bitter several years, let me tell ya.

        1. “It is NOT wise, however, to barely talk to him about it and then make the choice to emotionally walk away from the relationship.”

          Oh, I completely understand what you’re saying here, but sometimes there’s no other alternative — i.e., experience has proven that it is highly imprudent to do so, both for your sake and the children’s sake…..that’s what I meant. Of course, that’s not applicable in every situation, as it was not with yours.

          But sometimes it’s just best to let it alone and re-work your life. That’s what my situation was. When I finally faced that reality, I went through a sort of “detox” period (it took several years) in which I mourned the loss of what I had hoped for, and then, with the help of CoDA, working on launching my small home sewing business and getting involved with the children’s activities, I created a new life plan in which I worked on being content with being “alone with someone” for the sake of the children. Bitterness can creep in, especially when you need help so badly and you know it’s not going to come, and you have to work on that. It doesn’t help you or anybody else. There’s something each day to be grateful for, and I have an ongoing gratitude list, which I recommend to everybody, not just those in difficult situations. It’s a wonderful life! So many gifts and so much to discover each day.

  15. I highly recommend Codependents Anonymous for help in accepting what is and what isn’t. I have been married fourteen years and have six children ages thirteen down to four. We homeschool, at my husband’s decision. At the beginning, I had expectations and hoped for an intimate marriage, but I learned over the years the “reward” that awaits a wife who confronts or states needs/wants. As the years have gone on, the circumstances have become more and more challenging, particularly with budding adolescents. Several times I thought of throwing in the towel.

    My husband supports us financially to a large extent (I do work part time from home) and for this I am grateful. I have learned to ask for and expect nothing more. He also refuses to have any relations with me, which was VERY hard a few years ago, but gets easier to handle over time. As the children have gotten older, we share many interests and what with the sports and music lessons, there is so much to do that it really absorbs one’s interests. I also developed a list of books I’ve always wanted to read, but thought I didn’t have time for.

    Readjusting your life plan so that you don’t bump up against your husband is always a good idea. It used to be that from September to January it was a nightmare of utter loneliness and exhaustion trying to keep up. Don’t get me wrong, it still is. What’s changed is my expectations. I don’t plan or think of spending time with him. I just live my life, do the things I need to do, and do the things I want to do. Starting up my business has also taken up a lot of my time. I drive the kids to their activities and then I come home, make sure everyone showers, brushes teeth and gets to bed, then I can spend my evenings doing some work on my business to get it up and running. Whether he decides to go to sleep, watch sports, read…..it’s all the same to me. It’s all good. I don’t bother him and he doesn’t bother me.

    If I start to feel desperate, I grab the phone and call my CoDA sponsor; she is in a similar situation and a huge help to talk to. I’m sort of ashamed to say that I have called her when I start wanting my husband really, really bad. Just a quick “Hey, I’m starting to go crazy and I need to talk to you” helps. Then go for a LONG run and get rid of the energy. I have found that even sex goes by the wayside when sports come on the TV! Sometimes I am tempted to be angry thinking he might be looking at or thinking about cheerleaders, and you have GOT to get that out of your brain ASAP. Go run somewhere.

    1. Anonymous,

      Your situation breaks my heart so much. I understand you are doing what you feel you must to survive right now. But how I pray for healing for you both in Christ, my dear sister!

    2. Lord God, I just want to lay this sweet sister and her family before your feet. I don’t have many words, but my heart breaks for her. God, we ask that You would show Yourself mighty in this marriage and family. You alone know the details of her life and her husband’s life and their children’s lives. You know all things, You see all things. God, please come with power and bring conviction and life and health and change. I pray that You would give this sister eyes to see her situation in a different way – and I don’t even know what that necessarily means, Lord, but You do. Please help them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  16. From Larry, a 57 year old single brother in Christ,

    Hi April—-

    I just read your article about football loving husbands and wives and girlfriends who seek their man’s attention. You have Godly wisdom in your words.

    I’ve got to share something with you. For many years, sports was my god. Like many men, I love the three major sports in this country—baseball, basketball, and football. I played a lot of baseball and basketball in the days of my youth. I talked about sports CONSTANTLY. I am a longtime fan of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Los Angeles Rams. Like I said, I talked sports CONSTANTLY.

    Then God got a hold of me and put this incredible love for China in my heart. Then I started talking about China CONSTANTLY—so much so that the prayer team ministry leader asked me to share with my church about what God is doing in China. I took her up on the offer in 2010. As I grew closer to God, God became my God.

    But the interesting thing is this—the more I grew in my love for God, the MORE I loved sports. You would think that God would have stuffed my love for sports, declaring it to be no longer important. If it was my god before and now I love it more, one would think it was now an even BIGGER God to me. No no no!!! God had elevated Himself to such a high level that HE HIMSELF could elevate my love for sports. I started to appreciate the God given talents of these wonderful athletes—I praised God for their talents that were on display for me to enjoy. Sports now brought me CLOSER to God.

    I started talking to athletes more, started emailing college baseball coaches to let them know how much I loved watching their teams play (and the coaches would share my emails with their players) and these coaches would email back to me.

    Sports is ministry to me now. If I did not love sports anymore, I could not and would not reach out to those who are involved with sports. Sports is our common connection.

    April, here’s what I would suggest for the ladies out there—-encourage their men to SEEK GOD in the very midst of their sports activities. Don’t discourage the love for sports—ENCOURAGE IT. God may want to use that deep love for sports in an incredible way!! Encourage the men to pray for the athletes as they are watching the athletes—pray for no injuries on the field or court, pray for ALL of the athletes to come to know Jesus. If the love for sports becomes diminished, the desire to reach the athletes, coaches, and all others in the sports realm will be diminished, too.

    At the same time, I would tell the men out there—LOVE YOUR WIVES AND GIRLFRIENDS!! They need that loving touch. And when you love them, there will be better balance in your life, too, which will make you feel as if you are not watering down your love for sports or burning yourself out on that love.

    April, if we handle sports and our ladies in this way, EVERYBODY WINS—the sports fan wins, his lady wins,……..AND THE ATHLETES WIN because they become the recipients of our prayers, kind words, etc. God wants to use that love for sports for HIS glory. God has shown this to me.

    I am praying for HUNDREDS of athletes from the 1970s until now—praying that they will come to know Jesus. I have a TERRIBLE memory when it comes to remembering names—but because I love sports so much, I remember athletes who most sports fans never even knew existed. The love for sports has contributed mightily to remembering these names. God wants me to pray for these athletes. I love them. They are in my heart. I give them to God in my prayers.

    — Your brother in Christ, Larry

  17. “April, here’s what I would suggest for the ladies out thereβ€”-encourage their men to SEEK GOD in the very midst of their sports activities. Don’t discourage the love for sportsβ€”ENCOURAGE IT. God may want to use that deep love for sports in an incredible way!! Encourage the men to pray for the athletes as they are watching the athletesβ€”pray for no injuries on the field or court, pray for ALL of the athletes to come to know Jesus. If the love for sports becomes diminished, the desire to reach the athletes, coaches, and all others in the sports realm will be diminished, too.”

    Great advice from Larry — my husband and sons have a sports club at church and they are now in process of starting a chess club (my children are huge chess fans). In our case, it has become another wedge, but it has been a relief for me because I am usually better able to focus and detach and work on the new life plan I have when he isn’t around. Same with shooting; the children are also all sharpshooters and my husband has taught all of them to shoot.

    If your husband is a great Dad, BE THANKFUL. There are a lot of men out there who don’t spend time with their children, and I finally had to realize that there was room for only one type of relationship with him — if the relationship between us has to be sacrificed in order for there to be a great and wonderful relationship between the father and the children, so be it. You’re the adult, you can handle it, and you must handle it. Broken hearts healed up and put back together can become stronger at the scar tissue, and I have found this to be true. You take all the pieces, ask God to fit them back together and He will give you the glue to mend it. And that glue came — in the form of other things and other activities that respected the integrity of my marriage bond and at the same time gave me something different on which to focus.

    The greatest gifts often come when there is nothing left but crumbles.

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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