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Healing for Destructive Jealousy – by Truly Blessed

NOTE: There is another Peaceful Wife Conference scheduled for November 18-19th in Garnett, KS for any ladies (single or married) who are interested and able to come. Check out the button on the right top corner of my page for a link to more information and tickets.

Truly Blessed and I had a conversation with a wife who was struggling with the thought of her husband ever seeing any beautiful women (not lusting after them, necessarily, just seeing them). In this post, we are talking about husbands who are truly seeking to honor Christ and their wives in their thoughts, not husbands who are using porn or ogling women or flirting with them. (If your husband has a lust addiction, please search my home page for “porn” and also check out www.xxxchurch.org for more resources. There is such a thing as righteous jealousy and anger. That is not what we are talking about in this post, however.)

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I just wanted to say I have struggled in the past with this as I’m sure many women do, and wanted to reassure you that God is able to help you overcome this as He has helped me. I am finally feeling the freedom of not being jealous of my husband’s every look, thought, and action toward other women. The scripture that helped me to overcome this is Phillipians 4:8. When I feel jealous, I remember these words, and focus on what is good, true, right, lovely, admirable, about my husband and my marriage. I remind myself that my husband is a dedicated man, he has not cheated on me, and has avoided the opportunity when it was available to him. He is honest and he has integrity.

He is with ME, and not her. This is his choice. He is choosing to stay loyal to me, which says that he has hope and a desire for us in our marriage. Then I remind myself that when God told me I needed to give up trying to control my life and give it to him, I promised that once I gave my life to Him, I would put all my trust in Him and no longer be afraid of what is “out there” that could hurt me, impact my life, or my marriage. HE is more than capable of handling my life much more than I could ever be. Truth is I have no justified reason to be jealous or fearful and I remind myself this every day.

I also have struggled to understand why I felt this way when I don’t want to, and God helped me realize how much I had lost confidence in myself, and to the point that I was always jealous because I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worth my husband staying in our marriage. I had myself convinced that he would probably go and find better than me – so that made me more jealous.

Every word, glance, action towards another woman – I was fearful that it meant my husband wanted to find “better than me.”

I would freak out because I felt if I didn’t, I would lose control. Now I realize (with God’s help to show me), that there IS nothing I can to do control, beyond striving to be a godly wife. If I focus on this and my husband did succumb to temptation or become unhappy and leave, there is nothing I can do about that. So I focus on pleasing God in my role as a wife and let God worry about the rest.

It is a hard battle to overcome the lies that Satan tries to convince us are true. But they are lies!!! We are daughters of God, and That makes us worth more than we ever could imagine!

I believe Satan uses jealousy as a way of driving a wedge in to destroy the relationships God wants us to have. I know my jealousy was a huge strain as my husband was tired of every moment being under pressure that he would offend me with something that was completely innocent, and it contributed to his shutting down in our marriage. No doubt he felt like I was not going to trust him anyway – no matter what he did. So why keep trying? I can see that now, as I realize now so much of my jealousy was unwarranted and unfair.

Funny thing is the more confident I become and the more I overcome the jealousy, the less I worry, but the more I see my husband relaxing and just enjoying our relationship.

I have gone through feeling SO rejected by my husband and that now that we are on the road to healing in our marriage, I know it was my disrespect, contempt, self righteousness and my assumptions of evil motives in his heart that were major turn-offs for him.

A big thing for me was accepting when the Lord showed me how self-righteous I was, and how I was making assumptions of evil motives in his heart. For a long time I couldn’t see how (in my heart) I was glorifying myself and putting myself on a pedestal that I was better than he was, and believing he just wasn’t capable of the honesty, loyalty, faithfulness, and love that I was in our marriage – so everything he did must be evil and a lie!

Oh how sinful of me!  The Lord has forgiven me but my heart still breaks when I think about how hurtful this was to him! No wonder our marriage was suffering! Who would be attracted to someone who treated their spouse like that!? I thank God for His mercy is all I can say to that.

The more I strive to be a godly wife and respect my husband and love him for just who he is, the more I see the attraction building up between us again.

My husband and I have had some very insightful conversations while we have been on this healing journey, and one of the things he has said that has hit me was how much value there is in a history together, that a physical relationship with your spouse is fulfilling not just because of the attraction but because of the “history” and the life you have made together. It’s so much deeper than what ever could come out of lust. Does that make sense?

I was so struck by the reassurance that (most) husbands really do value their relationship with their spouse. It isn’t JUST physical attraction for them, and it has helped to take away the fear of him turning his back on our marriage just to have something out of lust. I can’t believe I was so disrespectful to him that I didn’t believe he had integrity. I can see now how hurtful that must have been when I treated him like that. My heart would have been broken if he thought that about me.

Now I have never been one who has withheld in the bedroom, treated it as a chore etc… but I can say that the Lord has been teaching me on this journey how to love my husband freely and without condition, and the freedom I have compared to how I felt under the grip of fear!!!! I feel so much more secure to be able to love more deeply than I ever have. I really feel this reflects in our physical relationship, and the more I grow as a godly wife, the more confidence I have in myself, and the more security I have in myself even physically in my appearance and body image, yet also in so many other ways.

I do believe my husband sees this difference in me. I no longer fear the “younger, prettier” women like I used to, because I am more confident in what I have to offer my husband not just physically but in every way.

I do believe that our husbands respond greatly – in a physical sense – to a woman who is confident in who she is and is happy with and confident in her own physical appearance, regardless of what physical “imperfections” a woman may feel she has. If I am doing my best to reflect God’s love and be a godly woman and my husband doesn’t embrace that, there isn’t anything I can do. I can’t force him to love me in every way. That is his own choice. All I can control is (receiving) who I am in Christ. If I am confident in every area of my life, I can be attractive in so many ways, but if I present him with unattractiveness in my spirit, my attitude, my heart, I sure can drive him away!

In addition, I do believe that God does expect us in every area of our marriage, to continue to make effort to make things “work” as well. This means physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intimately. I don’t believe just because we are daughters of God we can just expect and take for granted either, that our marriages will just always be fulfilling without any effort to change, grow, and in our marriages, strive to continue to please our spouses and meet their needs wholeheartedly. I would hope that all of us on this journey to being the wives that God wants us to be, can agree on that. Of course God expects that of our husbands too, but we can only do what WE can do.

Some days are better than others, but I’m slowly getting there. God has shown me so much about myself on this journey and I am gaining more confidence in myself and God is doing a lot of work on my heart. The more confidence I gain as a woman of God, the more I am assured that I have nothing to fear.

RELATED POSTS THAT MAY BE HEALING:

I Can’t Go on Like This! I Need to Change!

Placing My Higher Sexual Appetite Under God’s Control 

Being a Trophy Wife Is Not the Goal, Dear Sisters – by Radiant

Roots of Insecurity, Low Self-Esteem, and Sinful Jealousy

A Husband’s Pain – His Wife’s Body Image Issues

Our Identity in Christ! THIS Is My Security!

Fully Trusting God with My Husband – Laying Down All My Fears

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

RESOURCE:

A free one-time Christian based counseling session and referral to a local Christian counselor at www.focusonthefamily.com

120 thoughts on “Healing for Destructive Jealousy – by Truly Blessed

  1. I totally understand what you say in your article. I too was very self righteous towards my husband to the point where he felt so small and belittled by it (even though in my eyes I thought I was setting an example). However he chose to cheat on me as his outlet.

    After coming to the brink of splitting up we both decided to make it work. I think he reflected on the history we had and saw that was more worth it (the woman was already out of his life by now). Fast forward 3 years and I still struggle with suspicion and jealousy. And I don’t know how to manage it sometimes only to pray. I do believe the devil is using that to bring more turmoil but I just wish it never happened because the recurring thought that I keep getting is if he can do it the first time he can do it again and be better at hiding it. I just want to be free of it.

    1. Elle,

      How heart-breaking – the pain that you have both experienced in this marriage. 🙁 I am very thankful that y’all chose to make things work together. I know that God has healed countless marriages where adultery has occurred. Many of the couples I know ended up in a much stronger place spiritually individually and as a couple after going through such an ordeal. But I can certainly understand that if a husband truly did cheat in the past, that this would be an even greater struggle.

      Are y’all seeing any godly mentors or counselors to help you work through these issues together in a productive, healing way?

      Do you believe your husband truly repented? Is he being transparent and accountable now?

      If you are interested, we could do a spiritual check up on you. 🙂 I want you to be as strong in Christ as possible so that you will have His Spirit, wisdom, discernment, and power to know how to handle every situation in ways that will honor Him.

      Much love to you! 🙂

  2. My husband too had also used those words, “our history,” as something he valued when our marriage was on the verge of breaking up several years ago. I appreciate the emphasis on this, particularly for those of us who are in more mature marriages.

    1. Marked Wife, I think that this is something that many of us women in mature marriages miss. I know when we were struggling so much to keep it together, being blind in my “own” interpretation of my little world, I was convinced that my husband would throw away everything we had for something more exciting than what our life had become. It was such a relief to hear sincerely from him that our history together was important enough to him that although he had been struggling with staying in our marriage with the way I was acting, he wasn’t going to just run out and mess up our whole history we had built up. I think it can be reassuring to so many women that a history together often means a lot more than we give them credit for. For me, it is one of the things I cling to when I start to feel negativity creep in and I try and turn my thoughts around to avoid creating unnecessary worry and unrest in my life again. I did that for wayyyyy too long and I treasure the peace God gives me now!

  3. Wow! I felt relieved reading this. This is exactly what my husband and I are healing from as well. I felt relieved that I’m not the only wife to ever experience those emotions, those feelings and how freeing it has been to let go. God has worked on my heart as well. I’ve been feeling so free. That freedom from that horrible fear has been everything my life and my marriage has needed in a long time. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Vivian,

      I think this internal battle in a wife’s mind is a lot more common than many realize. Praising God that He is healing you and your marriage from this. And HOW WONDERFUL that you have found freedom in Christ to let go of these fears and to find victory over fear! That is what I long for everyone to find. 🙂

      Thank you for sharing a bit of your story. If there is anything else you would like to share about what has helped you, we’d love to hear about it!

      Much love to you!

    2. Vivian, when the Lord gave me an understanding of what was going on in our marriage, and I was able to see this is a battle so many couples deal with, it was such a relief and such a release just knowing that we are not alone!

  4. Wow, how I needed this article more than any other.

    I am a young wife, 23, who was married to my boyfriend of almost 7 years back in November 2015 (one month until our one year anniversary!). Unfortunately though, I have caused so much marital turmoil with my ceaseless jealously. It is kind of bizarre to me because I don’t ever actually feel jealous about another woman, but I get jealous about if my husband may be looking, thinking, caring, etc… about another woman other than me.

    My husband is an amazingly wonderful Godly man who has never given me any reason to doubt his fidelity and he does everything possible to reinforce his loyalty to me. Sadly, my deep-rooted fear stems from my parent’s relationship, which ended due to infidelity on my dad’s part. From my childhood perspective, my mom was a godly wife who served her husband and my dad was also a great, godly man who loved his wife but yet still cheated (which broke up the whole family).

    This distorted model plagues my relationship because I feel like no matter how wonderful I am as a wife, he will still eventually find a reason to cheat. I realize this thinking is just the devil’s lies trying to sabotage my own relationship, since he got my parents, but it seems almost impossible to overcome in the moment when I am overcome with negative, jealous thinking.

    The result of acting like this has put a huge wedge in our relationship, with him feeling like he cannot be trusted or please me no matter how he tries which has resulted in him withdrawing emotionally which puts us into a vicious cycle of my bad, jealous behavior, he get upset and withdraws, and then I’m upset because I’m not getting any emotional love. He always mentions to me that the reason I have these thoughts is because I am insecure in myself, which I always deny, but am starting to realize is very true.

    I need to rest in who I am in Christ, which will secure my confidence in who I am and who I am in my own relationship as his Godly helper. I plan to read this article every day in addition to reading and praying to God to help me gain strength and breakthrough in this area. My hubby has warned me that he feels he cannot stay in our relationship if this persists forever (how could I expect him too?) which is something he would never threaten in the past.

    We both felt that this issue was something that I only personally struggled with, so it is so relieving to find out it is a real issue for other women as well. Please pray that I can overcome this mental battle early on in my marriage so I do not inadvertently drive my husband away!

    1. Danielle,

      WOOHOO! I’m so glad this was a blessing for you. 🙂

      I hope you will check out the links to other posts on this article. They may also help, I believe. And, I would also invite you to check out:

      My Demon
      How Satan Wants to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life
      Fear Fuels Our Need to Control
      A Wife Shares How God Is Leading Her from Major Fear to STRONG Faith
      Resting in Christ
      Cinderella and the Gospel – by Radiant
      Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced

      I’m right here if you want to talk. It is a spiritual battle – and the enemy does want to destroy you and your marriage. But God can heal you and your marriage as you receive His love, truth, mercy, and grace. He can heal your marriage, too, my dear sister!

      Much love!

    2. Both this post and the above comment I can so relate to. Danielle nailed exactly how the cycle goes here. My husband’s emotional distance makes me feel unloved and the cycle repeats itself. I hate being this jealous, crazed person at times. I recognize it in myself and I want to do better, tho it seems so hard to be able to keep up every day. This is something I strive to work on from now on.

      1. Just A 2nd,

        Yes, I think this is exactly the cycle that goes on when a wife has this mindset. Great job describing it, ladies!

        If you are interested in a spiritual check up for yourself, so that you can heal completely in Christ individually – I’m glad to hash through that with you, my dear sister!

        Much love!

      2. Just a 2nd, I went through this cycle over and over and over. And I can attest to the truth that understanding and recognizing your husbands emotional distance as a result of unnecessary jealousy and for me a lot of other behaviours as well, and feeling like no matter what he does he cannot earn your trust, is such an important step on this journey. I struggled there for so long.

        I could not understand the emotional distance no matter what I did that I thought was the right way to fix it. Then when the Lord opened my eyes to this and I truly began to understand where it was coming from, everything began to change! Finally, after years of problems between us, our marriage I feel is the strongest it has ever been. After 23 years together!

        I believe that truly letting ago of this isn’t just “one” decision. For me it was a process that I have leaned heavily on the Lord to get through. But the Lord has shown me and has given me what I need to see how I could overcome this! It truly is a freeing feeling. I think it’s important to realize though that jealousy was only one part of it, it was important for me to understand WHY I felt the way I did and it came from:

        1) lack of faith and trust in God
        2) fear due to the emotional distance
        3) insecurity in myself
        4) placing impossible expectation on my husband to meet all of my needs when only God can.

        The resources that helped me were April’s book and site, “The Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle, “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, “The Respect Dare” by Nina Roesner, and of course the support of the wonderful people on this site! Not to forget the most important as well, Scripture! The Word of God is the ultimate resource, but with these other resources to help me consider things in a different light, I was able to dig into the Word and gain a clearer understanding of Gods design for marriage and my role as a godly wife.

        Praying for all of you on this journey.

        1. Ladies,

          Hmm… I really like the insights you are all bringing into this discussion and the cycle you are talking about and the reasons why this kind of jealousy and insecurity is an issue.

          I’d love to see us continue to hash through this, and then maybe some of you might allow me to share some of the things you have been learning in another post that may bless other women, as well?

          Much love!

    3. Hi Danielle,
      I am the original person to whom this was written for. I wish I could hug you because I want you to know there is hope to be rid of this.In Aprils blog about Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues is where I bared my soul in the comment section. I URGE you to read through these sisters comments that brought so much healing.

      I am recovering from surgery so I can’t post too much but I also reread everything they wrote. I printed off the comments and studied them at a weekend retreat I went to. A lot of prayers and a lot of tears and some testing came – which would have driven me nuts – that I passed with flying colors. Some I barely passed but the point is I’m MUCH better thanks to those comments including the one in this blog.

      I will be checking in in a few more days. Remember, Jesus is the greatest treasure in the universe and He loves you, personally, on an individual level, with an everlasting love.

      1. SisterinChrist,

        Now this comment brings the biggest smile to my face and such joy to my heart! 🙂 How I LOVE watching God heal my sisters (and brothers). WOOHOO! Praising God for the new insights He is giving you and how He is transforming your mind and heart in Christ Jesus.

        When you are strong enough to share more, we would love to hear all about it.

        Much love to you!

      2. SisterInChrist so glad to hear from you and praise God you are making progress! I feel so blessed that my experience has helped you on this journey I thank God for giving me the opportunity to share my own experience. Praying for your recovery and looking forward to hearing more about your journey.

  5. I found this post to come to me at a time where I needed it most.

    My husband has come such a long way from where he was. He was somewhat superficial before and used to ridicule me which damaged my esteem in a major way…but he prayed for deliverance from that trait and has made huge efforts to love me how I deserve to be loved and how God requires. But my husband has his moments where he may backslide or slip up every blue moon due to stress from work or other things (as we all do being human and born in sin) and sometimes he goes back to saying hurtful things regarding my weight.

    We’ve been together for almost 5 years (married for almost 2) and we’ve had 3 children together in that time frame so I’m not as small as I used to be & have picked up weight. I understand how important it is to try to stay in good health not just for our marriage but for ourselves, however I just haven’t built up the determination to work on getting in shape because of having so much on my plate.

    I’ve expressed to him in the past how it makes me feel, but when he does slip up it causes me to shut down emotionally. I then begin to compare myself to other women which only in turn makes things worse. I am trying to learn how to forgive and accept him for the joking person he is, and embrace the positive things he does as a husband rather than focus on the negative. I feel that a lot of his comments from the past has contributed to my insecurities and I’m still praying for deliverance from those things in order to move on.

    1. Shanisha M Mayant,

      I’m so glad this was a blessing. 🙂 It is wonderful to meet you and to hear from you. 🙂

      Congratulations on your children! You do have a lot on your plate right now, my precious sister. Wow!

      I hope you will check out some of the other posts linked on this article, and the ones I shared with our sisters here, too, as you have time. I believe they may be a blessing.

      You know, if you really do want to be able to work more on your health and this truly is an issue that is a concern for your husband, he may be more than willing to help take some things off your plate so you can focus on eating healthy and on getting some more exercise in. Perhaps, there could be something y’all could all do together as a family, even. Going on walks together or riding bikes (with the children’s bike wagon thing that attaches to an adult bike) or using jogging strollers and jogging together with the kids in strollers. Or it may be that he is happy to watch the kids for an hour three evenings per week so that you can go to the gym or go for walks or a run or do aerobics at home or whatever…

      🙂

      It is always more fun when the whole family participates, in my view. You can explore national parks together or go to a local river walk together. You could swim together. Of course, some things will be easier when the kids are a bit older.

      I started on a new diet for my health a year and a half ago that has been amazing for my body. Wasn’t even trying to lose weight, but I have probably lost 10-15 lbs. It is an “anti-inflammatory diet.”

      I mostly avoid things like:
      – white, refined breads, grains, pasta
      – artificial sweeteners
      – sugar
      – red meat
      – unhealthy fats
      – fried stuff
      – artificial colors/preservatives
      – coffee, tea, soft drinks

      These things cause inflammation and disease.

      And I try to eat:
      – whole grains
      – baked chicken or fish (3 oz.) twice a week
      – lots of nuts
      – healthy fat like coconut, avocado, olive oil, olives
      – fermented foods with healthy bacteria (and probiotics) like unsweetened kefir, raw sauerkraut, or raw kimchi
      – lots of fresh baby spinach or kale
      – lots of fresh veggies
      – lots of grapefruit/lemon and moderate amounts of other fresh fruit
      – vinegar and olive oil on my spinach salads
      – some dairy in moderation (cheese, unsweetened yogurt)

      These things work to promote the body working properly.

      (I can have some honey and pure maple syrup.)

      My daughter started on this diet, too, 2 months ago because she was having some health issues at 9 years of age (pre diabetes, shortness of breath, etc…). We have had a great time finding “clean eating” recipes and trying new things and baking together. She has already lost 10 lbs on this diet in just 6 weeks. We weren’t trying to get her to lose weight, but it is just an inevitable result of this approach. We avoid foods that make us sick and focus on eating foods that are good for our health. She feels so much better in every way. Her mood is much improved, as well.

      It is hard to find things at restaurants, although, Chick-fil-A has some things we can eat. Interestingly, she had her first regular dessert this past Saturday at a birthday party that she has had in 6 weeks, and it made her feel awful.

      Once you get off sugar for a few days to a week, you don’t crave it anymore. It is awesome! I can sit beside people eating Krispie Kreme or cake and cookies and not have any desire to have it. Of course, I also know that if I eat something wrong, I will have a lot of digestive problems and will become allergic to the sun again. So that is motivating, too. When my daughter is on this diet, she has so much more stamina and can walk around the block without having leg pain and swelling and without getting winded. It changes your metabolism and your hormones so that you don’t lay down belly fat which increases diabetes risk. It has been a huge blessing to us. 🙂

      I love for us to all go for a walk together after supper. Great time to talk, enjoy being outside, bond emotionally, and get moving a bit.

      Much love to you!

      1. What I would love for all of us is:

        1. Healing in Christ. That we focus on finding all of our security in Him alone. That we lay down our fears. That we discover who He really is and that we learn to trust Him and yield to Him fully as LORD of all in our lives.

        2. Healing for our husbands in Christ.

        3. Healing for our marriages – that they might reflect Christ and the church accurately.

        4. Godly examples for our children and healing and salvation for them in Christ

        5. That we might be godly stewards of all that God has given us – of our time, our health, our souls, our children, our marriages, our abilities, our talents, our possessions… and that we might get rid of anything that is overburdening us that is distracting us from God’s plans and priorities for us.

        6. Victory over the lies and plans of the enemy.

        Much love!

        1. If a husband is saying things that are hurtful or he is emotionally abusive, here are some resources:

          http://www.leslievernick.com

          confronting our husbands about their sin

          You may also search my blog for:
          – conflict
          – harsh
          – command man
          – critical
          – criticism

          A few more posts that may be helpful:
          Approaching My Husband’s Sin Issues by LMSdaily
          responding to criticisms, insults, and rebukes
          When a Husband is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful

      2. Ladies,

        If a husband is concerned about his wife’s weight (and she is not in a healthy weight range and not underweight) – a wife doesn’t necessarily have to be offended. I hope that makes sense. She could say something like,

        “You know what, I do want to lose some weight. Here is what I will need to be able to take proper care of myself. I want us to get rid of all of the junk food in the house. I want us to stop going out to eat at fast food restaurants. I need 30 minutes per day to myself to exercise. I will need more help with the dishes and the kids because I will need to be cooking more from scratch. I may need to give up some of my hours at work so that I have the time I need to be the mom, wife, and woman I need to be. I need to be sure I am getting the time I need with God – so I am going to need X amount of time there so that I can have the best attitude possible as a wife and mom. Please help me figure out what things we need to just drop from our schedule so that I can make my spiritual health, physical health, and family a priority. I know this will require us all to make a lot of changes. I think it will be worth it. Let me know if you are ready to be on board so we can do this together as a team.”

        If a husband truly does want to see his wife be healthier, then he will be willing to make these kinds of sacrifices to help her be able to devote the time she needs to working on her health and he will probably be willing to be on a healthy diet with her, himself. His health is important, too!

        1. Note,

          If a husband is criticizing his wife’s weight and she is truly at a healthy weight or underweight (and he still wants her to lose more weight), if he wants her to gain more weight than is healthy, or he wants her to have plastic surgery when it is not medically necessary – please check out this post.

        2. Another possible approach for a wife with a husband who wants her to lose weight…

          “You have brought up my weight a number of times. This must really bother you – which I can appreciate. I’d love to get my weight back under control, too. If you are willing to help me to get the time I need and you are willing to be supportive of all of the changes I need to make and you will do this with me, I’m glad to work on this. But if I am working on it and doing my best, please don’t tease me about my weight anymore. That is really discouraging to me and hurtful. I respond a lot better to encouragement and positive reinforcement. If you are not willing to help me have the time and resources I need to make the changes I need in order to take better care of my health, then I would appreciate if you don’t bring up my weight again. Sound like a deal?”

        3. Thank you for your meaningful response!!!He ended up realizing how hurtful his words were because he ended apologizing with actions.When we got home from work he let me relax and washed the dishes,put the kids to bed,made dinner,made our lunch for today and showered me with plenty of love.Rather than giving me a sweet snack to go with dinner (since I have a major sweet tooth) he gave me a healthy alternative.When I secretly swapped it out for a cookie he lovingly expressed to me how much he hates when I eat sweets and that he wants me to be healthy in order for us to grow old together.It helped me realize how important it is to make sure that I’m taking care of the temple God has blessed me with.

          1. Shanisha M Mayant,

            Love this! SO thankful that he apologized and was SO thoughtful toward you. And that he cares about your health. We want good health for those we love and want to have them with us in good health for a long time. You’ll notice, if you do at least quit sugar, that you really won’t crave it after awhile. That makes things MUCh easier.

            Can’t wait to see all that God will continue to do in both of your lives! 🙂

      3. Peaceful wife, I agree with your dietary suggestions! I, too, had/have adapted an anti-inflammatory eating lifestyle about 2 years ago to combat the crazy intense pain from my endometriosis. Endometriosis creates huge problems in the physical intimacy area, so I got healthy not only to rid myself of pain, but to be able to enjoy my husband! I can say with confidence that changing my eating habits has: effortlessly caused me to lose weight to a natural, ideal weight, reduced pain from internal inflammation dramatically, heightened cognitive capabilities, boosted my self-esteem, etc. etc.

        I am actually studying Psychology with a minor in Nutrition. I hope to educate others that the what we consume has a direct effect on how we end up thinking and perceive ourselves. They go hand-in-hand.

        Shanisha M Mayant, please have hope in this area! Our bodies are God’s temple and He has the ability to partner with us to get to the physical state that can serve him on this earth to the fullest! Beyond losing weight, eating healthier will begin to change your opinion of yourself which will boost your confidence and that particular positive cycle will be very rewarding! One of my all-time favorite resources for health information is from Dr. Mercola (mercola.com) who takes natural, yet supported by science approaches to improving health. Hope this helps! <3

        1. Danielle F,

          I’m so glad that this lifestyle was helpful for you, too. 🙂 Pretty nifty! How is your pain level with endometriosis now?

          Yes, what we eat directly impacts our bodies’ health, our mood, our cognitive abilities, our irritability, our immune system function, and everything! I appreciate your story and your insights. 🙂

      4. Hi April,

        I tired something called ” The makers diet” awesome book about Gods dietary laws and its benefits. The author is Jordan Rubin.. Gods diet is so healing and is basically like the diet you described above. It goes into detail as to why Gods diet is better and why eating the wrong thing causes health problems. It also talks about healing herbs used in biblical days and 27 way to get sick. talks about daily prayer etc all around awesome book!

        Much love to you. <3

  6. I think many women go through this in their marriage at the beginning, the disappointing thing for me is seeing how long women can end up staying in that stage of insecurity – I talked to several where it ends up being years! If only we could figure out a way to help women learn the basics of why this happens and how to counteract it in that first year of marriage, SO MANY struggles and fights and discontented feelings would be bypassed. They’d have an easier route to peace because they’d learn to do things God’s way from that first year on.

    I know this sounds like a “tiny” thing to have in a marriage because it’s not like someone is actually cheating or lying, but even something like this overtime can really harm a couple’s relationship. So glad the writer found security in God and was able to get past that stage.

    1. Stephanie,

      I have seen this mindset from teenage girls all the way through women in their 50s. I guess, in my view, it is not as much of a “stage” as much as it is that we are looking for security in the wrong places, many times. (Here I am talking about when a boyfriend/husband is truly being faithful and not cheating and not ogling other women – but a girlfriend/wife becomes hysterical at the thought of her man seeing that other beautiful women exist.) This issue can actually be debilitating and I have seen it break up marriages. I agree that this type of insecure jealousy is extremely destructive. I want to see all of our sisters set free from this prison. 🙂

      It does get more tricky if a man has cheated – but, thankfully – there is healing for all of us in Christ! None of us are beyond His reach. SO glad for that!

      Thanks for sharing!

      Much love to you!

      1. Yes, I’m sure you’re right about it not really being a stage so to speak. For me I guess I looked at it as a stage I went through very early on in our marriage, but you’re right – ‘stage’ probably isn’t the right word.

  7. My husband and I are also healing from my severe anxiety. I had debilitating anxiety being in public with him because of a previous pornography addiction and also the previous habit of watching women in public.

    I just wanted to give God the glory and share some things that the Lord taught me and overcoming this anxiety.

    Whenever we went anywhere and especially if we went on short trips, sometimes I would nearly go into a panic attack when seeing other women. Sometimes I literally had to go to the bathroom and just cry and cry for no reason at all other then I felt very triggered.

    I was desperate to get free but I really had no idea how to make this stop.

    I decided to seek God about this for 40 days. Through all of this time and through various books I was reading and through April’s site, and God’s Word, God was able to open my eyes about some things.

    I think the first and foremost thing God wanted me to realize was that I was in the sin of unbelief. We know that it is impossible to please God without faith. I think God wanted me to realize that whether my husband looked at other women or not, that I could trust in Him and his plan for me. But even if my husband sinned against me in that way, God would work it all out for his glory and my good.

    He also showed me that I was not believing the best about my husband and not treating him with unconditional love. The Lord showed me that regardless of what he did I was to show Christ’s love to him.

    It is interesting to me that in my striving for peace in my heart, I have found the only way to true peace is to be completely surrendered and dead to self, and willing to obey as far as being completely honoring to my husband. (This anxiety and panic was NOT honoring!)

    The Lord led me to Isaiah 30…
    I was clearly trusting in “Egypt” for my
    Peace, security and happiness!

    “therefore shall the strength of Pharoh be your shame and the trust in the shadow of Egypt for your confusion.”

    But… “and returning and rest shall you be saved: in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” (Reminds me of 1 Peter 3 😉

    The Lord allowed my husband to keep failing me (or so it “appeared”) so that I can learn to completely trust in God and learn to love like Christ in 1 Peter 2!

    Then after that the Lord lead me to the story of entering the promised land in Numbers 13. The Lord clearly showed me that I was not living in his Spirit or in any of my inheritance as a Christian.

    In the book of Numbers, The congregation of Israel we’re going to enter the promised land but they song that the people there were very mighty and were Giants. They were all afraid except for Caleb and Joshua…

    “Caleb stilled the people and said let us go at once and possess the land for we are well able to overcome it!”

    That verse has been very special to me! The “land” that I should possess , is peace … no fear at all ! It is also the capacity to show God’s unconditional love …. among many other things.

    The Lord spoke to my heart that with Him holding my hand, we can overcome anything! I no longer have to be afraid of these “giants” and I can trust the Lord that whatever comes my way, he will fight for me!

    The things that used to rob me and steal my peace, are now “bread for me”…. they nourish me and keep me strong in the Lord as I trust him with everything..and obey Him
    and “fear them not” (Numbers 14:9)

    Interestingly enough, as the children of Israel wandered in the desert for 40 years, The Lord brought me to complete peace and victory on day 40 of my partial fasting and seeking him!

    We have now going on two trips that were completely peaceful and even if anxiety tried to rear its ugly head, The Lord kept me in peace and also He worked through my husband to that end as well. (My husband was super kind and understanding and did all he could to make sure I felt safe)

    It is an extra special blessing to me that the Lord has also blessed me with a new trust in my husband now that was not there before… and an extra special sweetness in our marriage. :))

    I just cannot praise him enough. My heart overflows with Thanksgiving to him for his love and tender mercies!

    My Lord was willing to have me go through all this and orchestrate all sorts of incidents, just to have my heart 100% His! Now THAT makes me feel loved and secure…. that’s how badly he wants me!

    He is after all of our hearts that way…. surrender to Him . He is completely faithful, ladies trust him with everything!

    God bless you all.

    1. Mendy,

      I LOVE what God is showing you and how He is setting you free! 🙂 YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praise God!

      Thank you very much for sharing this with all of us, I know your story and the insights God has been giving you will bless many other women and their marriages, as well.

      WOOHOO!

  8. Ladies who have had this struggle,

    What are some of the lies that Satan uses to keep women in this kind of insecurity, turmoil, and destructive mindset? I’d like to try to dig down really deep and find all of the roots, if possible. Let me know if there is anything else that comes to mind that we haven’t discussed yet. 🙂

    Much love!

  9. From an anonymous husband:

    That post on destructive jealousy hit pretty hard for me.

    Destructive jealousy was the root cause of my anger issues. Both jealousy on my side and hers. My wife was seriously jealous, I mean like insanely jealous as a young wife. She wouldn’t let me talk to my cousin without accusing me of an affair. Once I stopped to get fuel and a female friend from school was there and I said hi. I got back in the car and she was literally beating her head against the dashboard crying saying “you talked to her, you talked to her, she was so pretty”. I had NO idea how to convince her that I didn’t want anyone but her. She wouldn’t believe it.

    Then, one day we were driving along and a pretty girl walked past. She turned to me and said “you looked at her”. I said “yes, I did notice her but I love you, noone else”. She started getting very upset, crying and hitting her own head. I stopped the car, took her hands in mine and said “this is ridiculous, you HAVE to accept that I love you and noone else. Please just accept it!” She turned around and started punching me in the stomach screaming “No, no, no”.

    That incident was the first time I felt really angry, and things just degenerated from there. I have never felt so helpless, so unable to convince someone that I loved them. I became very angry and figured what was the point trying! I felt so rejected and interestingly I also felt like I was dirty. Like I was awful for noticing a pretty girl. I’m not saying that she was responsible for how I responded because she is not. I am responsible for me.

    But if I could say anything to the young ladies commenting I would say if your husband says he loves you, BELIEVE HIM! Yes, he might notice pretty girls, but unless he is obviously flirting with them or ogling them, just take him at his word that he loves you. You can do SO much damage to your husband by mistrusting him when he is trying his absolute hardest to battle a very difficult issue.

    1. I am sorry you have to go through this but I can’t help but sense the flow of encouragement being stopped again by the words ‘very difficult issue’ as if not being interested in looking at any pretty women that crosses their path, for all men, is a very. Difficult. Issue. I would like to believe that for some men, it’s really not difficult to be disinterested and we should believe our husbands if they tell us that. Unless that’s not what you were referring to. I could have misunderstood you and if so I truly apologize.

      1. Sister in Christ,

        I think there is a spectrum of how difficult it is for men to be tempted visually. Some men don’t seem to be too phased. Others really struggle very much throughout much of the day. Of course, the Holy Spirit can empower us all to walk in victory over any sin, and I am so thankful for that!

        My hope in talking about that this being a “very difficult issue” when a husband does struggle with porn use or lust – is to say that there is more to dealing with that than just what I am talking about in this particular post. Not that it is beyond God’s reach or beyond healing for the wife or husband. But if a husband truly IS sinning, there is a lot more a wife will have to process than just her own insecurities – she also has her husband’s sin issues to handle in a godly way. And he has issues he needs to deal with, too.

        I have posts that address all of these issues – it probably would take about 20 posts to cover everything – and then there is also more help available at http://www.xxxchurch.org which may be a blessing.

        I believe even if a husband is struggling with lust that as a wife works on her own walk with Christ and her own thought life, there is much healing – and then also she will have the power and discernment of God’s Spirit to help her navigate handling the sinful issues in her husband’s life.

        I hope that clarifies a bit better?

        Much love!

        1. SisterinChrist,
          I don’t at all intend to see that there is no encouragement for wives who get really jealous whose husbands are dealing with sin. There is TONS of encouragement and hope in Jesus! If anyone needs all of the other articles, I will get them together and share the links here.

          Much love!

          1. Sorry April, I think I may have misunderstood the post, I actually thought I was responding to the man who wrote it and just advising him it’s not a terrible difficult struggle for all men. I hope not anyway

          2. No need to apologize, I was just thinking how grateful I am for these blogs, I feel like, I was going to say friends, but no, more like sisters. I honestly believe that in this world there is a divine family in the body of believers. My sibling is secular and therefore he is considered ‘dead’ in Christ. I am closer to a sister in Christ than to my blood brother. I’m ok with that. I pray for him and many others. Thank you April for this precious treasure of your website which is healing hearts all over.

          3. SisterinChrist,
            I am just as grateful for this space, I think, as you are. It blesses me so much to see the fellowship here and to watch the Body of Christ do what it is designed to do to edify us all. 🙂

            What an honor and blessing that God allows me to be a little part of this. I think of myself as a pipe – yielded to God so that He can blast through me with His Spirit and His Word to bless many others. God is good. I love watching Him heal broken people and bring them to wholeness in Him.

            We absolutely are closer as sisters in Christ than we are to biological siblings who don’t know Jesus. We are related by Jesus’ blood and we will be family for eternity. One of my favorite things to look forward to is to get to hug each of you in heaven, if not before, and to get to hear all about what God has done in each one’s life and the ripple effects for His glory and His kingdom around the world. 🙂

            Much love, dear sister! I pray God will continue to heal our hearts and the hearts of many more sisters (and brothers) as well!

        2. Hi April-

          This entire post, including the comments, I am living. I see my husband glance at women or if parts of her body are not covered properly – he will glance then look away – when I ask him or confront him he ALWAYS denies it. So often I wish he would admit it – then I feel I could trust him but in his denial,it makes me not trust him even more.

          We have been married for 27yrs and together for 34 yrs. 4 children and we are both believers. I see the strain and stress this does to him. I feel so helpless. He gets so angry and says such destructive words to me then that just confirms my mistrust to him even more. I want to be free from the tortured bondage this fear is keeping me in. How I wish he would tell me the truth – or is it possible – that as men are visual- that he “unknowingly” automatically glances but it does not reigister with him or is he just denying to avoid a fight (which happens anyways).

          Please – I would appreciate any insight on this.

          Thank you

    2. Anonymous husband,

      My husband and I have dealt with similar issues although not to the extent mentioned here. I am sorry. You are to be commended for reassuring your wife in that moment that you love her and have eyes only for her. I will pray that her faith in God is strengthened and that she will be at peace knowing that God is in control of her life. Isa. 26:3 says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”

    3. Ladies,

      I’d like for us to think about, and maybe talk about – what could a husband who truly IS seeking to live a godly life and who truly is seeking to keep his mind pure do to convince his wife not to freak out if he sees or talks with other women?

      I kind of feel like – in situations like what anonymous husband is describing – that it seems like there would be nothing a husband in that situation could really do to prove himself to his wife. He is evil – that is assumed no matter what he does. It almost seems like the only thing that might satisfy a woman who is feeling this upset and insecure would be if her husband was locked in a prison without a TV or computer or phone. It seems like it is possible that no measure a husband would go to would be able to “fix” a wife’s problem like this. It seems to me that healing for a wife in this situation would have to come from the inside and from her changed mindset and thinking.

      Would any of you who have struggled with this be able to share what you thought your husband could do that would make you feel secure? Did it work? Is it possible for a husband in this scenario to “make his wife happy” or “make her feel loved” do you think?

      Are women in the midst of this kind of anxiety able to separate the difference between a husband sinning vs. him not sinning in interactions with women?

      Much love and thank you all so much for this important discussion!

      1. After 20 years of this I am almost certain nothing he could do would make me believe BECAUSE there were many, many times I said to myself that I was just going to address this one instance of jealously then I’ll try to stop. … and he would totally convince me that I was wrong and he’d be right and I felt great! Like ofcourse I can trust him! Not so. This is a cycle until the next suspicion. There are so many variables and each relationship is different. Some men are truly godly, some are not, some used to be so the wife is now untrusting even when he’s earned it back years ago, sometimes the woman was abused in a previous relationship when she was in her teens (as in my case..I dint know if there is a connection) and sometimes the man just straight up ogles. With so many variations of experiences it’s no wonder we need the solid rock that is Christ! If He is first and we seriously live to please and obey Him above our husbands, then in each and every one of these scenarios, as hard as it is and through intense prayer, we can triumph. I believe it is the ONLY way.

        1. SisterinChrist,

          So this may be an addiction, would you say? I agree there are a lot of variables that can make it impossible to try to give one solution – other than Jesus, of course. Is there the idea that if the wife can control her husband’s thoughts, she will be secure?

          If a husband tries to convince his wife that he is innocent, does that give her almost a “hit” – some kind of extra feeling of love and reassurance, but then the feeling of security fades again?

          I agree – I believe Jesus is the only real solution for wives who are feeling anxious, insecure, and jealous in a destructive way. So thankful that there is healing available for us all in Him!

          1. Thats interesting, I never thought of it as an addiction but it seems to match the analogy. After the high of reassurance the ‘down’ has been many times the feeling of embarrassment of what I just put him through again or i just have felt really awful knowing this is ruining our marriage. Once the root of the issue is addressed (lack of trust in God, idolizing husband , long etc) then the healing can begin. I thank God so much for my small victories everyday. My husband does make me feel safe too by avoiding certain movies, songs and just being tuned in without seeming on red alert so I know that makes it easier. My goal ofcourse is to go beyond that but baby steps and so far there has been alot of progress!

          2. SisterinChrist,

            It sounds like your husband is truly trying to do all he can to help and be a blessing. I am SO thankful for what God is doing in your heart! 🙂 SO beautiful!

          3. Thank you April, my husband is truly doing all he can. We’ve been married 16 years and only for the past few years we’ve been transforming with this past year being especially Christ centered.

          4. SisterinChrist,

            He sounds like a keeper to me. 🙂 I hope you will thank him for being such a man of integrity and for being such a thoughtful, considerate, kind, respectful husband.

            Much love!

          5. April, yes exactly. You said it well ! there’s definitely a measure of “security” from husband saying he is innocent and then I would feel happy and secure again until another hurtful incident.. and my bewilderment and my confusion and my growing Despair was beyond words… I literally thought I was going crazy. Finally I realized I would go crazy if I did not make God my security.

        2. SisterinChrist,

          “and he would totally convince me that I was wrong and he’d be right and I felt great! Like ofcourse I can trust him! Not so. This is a cycle until the next suspicion. ”

          yep!!! Ditto here too. This has been our “dance” too… and it was very destructive–but God used it for our good once I got totally at the end of myself and saw my need for God.

      2. I agree, April, a woman with such debilitating fear can only be helped by Jesus… by learning to trust Him regardless. But some things my husband does to help me is: praying with me before we go in public- both for my anxiety and also guarding his eyes and mind. He is becoming more purposeful in being careful where he looks and also like his seating at restaurants (not in front of a tv or tempting women). If he goes to town without me he calls me to have me be praying for him and he will usually let me know if there were struggles in town. Has it helped?? At first, it only helped some…. I didn’t believe he’d be honest. In time though, after many conversations, prayers, and with God changing my heart, these things are reassuring however I CANNOT let them be my main source of peace. No matter how much husband reassures a wife, unless she trusts in God, it probably won’t work very well. And… isn’t that amazing that God would have it that way?!! He won’t let us get a full measure of peace from anything else but Him!

        1. Wow, we are very similar. I appreciate your wise insight of not allowing our husbands words, no matter how convincing even if or when they are true, to be the sole relief and reliance for us. Big mistake, that’s what kept me in the same place for so many years.

        2. Wow, it’s not often I communicate with a husband with jealousy stories that are worse than mine.!

          Going back to “what can your husband do” to convince you…

          The most recent/constant event for us, we play on a sports team (we’re old…50+) and the team will go to a sports bar after most games. I’ve been on the team 20+ years, we’re both 7+ years into marriage (second for both).

          So after we’re married I’ve listened to years of complaints. I’m looking at the waitress…I’m doing this, I’m doing that. Now this happens no matter where we go. I used to be a people watcher, now I stare at my shoes more than anything else.

          So OK, I’ll be even more deliberate, in my opinion to the point where I’m being rude. So I make sure I never make eye contact, if she’s in my field of vision to the left, I look right…

          My wife’s reaction is I must find her (the waitress) attractive, because it takes such effort not to look at her. No, I’m making the effort to try and get a tiny bit of peace in our house, but what’s the point.

          When the wife takes you did A so B, and you didn’t do A so B, then the wife for some reason wants to think B. She just needs a way to justify it.

          1. AlwaysAccused,

            Thank you for sharing a masculine perspective. It would be very hard to be in such a situation. I pray that your words might help some of us ladies understand our husbands a bit better and be willing to give more grace. Especially when a husband is truly trying to honor his wife and isn’t purposely trying to lust or ogle other women.

          2. AlwaysAccused, I’m so sorry about your situation. That must be really hard, especially if you are innocent. In our situation, my husband was not innocent, by his own admission. He had a problem that grew worse during the course of our marriage. I trusted him very much and had no anxiety problems Until his betrayal. So over the past year we have been restoring our marriage/trust and working on healing my betrayal trauma. My husband has been wonderful in helping me to heal. But ultimately it is Christ who has mended my broken heart and helps me to trust Him above all. The Lord is my peace when I keep looking to him. My husband says that as a Christian now, he knows lust/staring at women is wrong and wants to “go the extra mile” to make sure he doesn’t have even a hint of it (Eph 5:3)…not just for me but to be pleasing to God, thus being careful with his eyes. God bless :))

          3. Amen Mendy. I find this a beautiful and important point. Just yesterday my husband tried to tune in to a sports channel and there was a huge bikini woman right in the middle of our living room. He changed it right away. No big deal. We kept on having a great night. The world may say “Leave it on, it’s just television!!!”. It’s actually inviting the enemy and discord into our home so we disallowed that opportunity. Why should he have left it on? That would have been awkwardly trying to conform to the world instead of the fruit of his renewing his mind to what causes division in out marriage and a tool of the enemy (the normalization of half naked women on tv)and quickly and non offended response of changing the channel out of respect for his marriage.

          4. SisterinChrist, PTL!! That is awesome. I just love the victory that marriages are getting in this area… I’m SOOO thankful to be able to say that now 😉 The devil certainly doesn’t like it! And I just want to commend your husband for turning it off. May the Lord continue to help us wives be the sweet helpmeet they need and help
            Our h’s to stand strong against even a hint immorality. Blessings!

  10. Here are a couple more posts that talk about jealousy:

    http://peacefulwife.com/2016/01/11/a-controlling-fearful-wife-wants-to-change/
    http://peacefulwife.com/2016/01/14/god-helps-a-wife-overcome-destructive-jealousy/ (this is part of my story and was at the beginning of God’s really working in my heart with this issue)

    Since that post, I think God did reveal to me that there were legitimate things that were happening that were causing jealousy in me. But, He still didn’t want to leave me in that prison of jealousy (thank you, Lord!). God used an extremely painful time period from about 4 years back as the catalyst to really bring me to a place of trusting completely in Him and to deliver me from the kind of jealousy that just locks you up with fear. He also delivered me from co-dependency/enmeshment with my husband and idolatry of my husband.

    I used to also have major anxiety going out in public with my husband because of past hurts. I won’t lie and say that there is absolutely no struggle at all now, but it is very, very different. Now, it feels more like temptation to fall into that overly jealousy mode and I am able to remember the things God has taught me and to purposely choose different behaviors and things to think on. Now, I have a little picture in my mind that God has given me. I have released my husband to God and when I am worried about whether he’s looking at someone, I literally see myself just handing him back over to God. “Lord, he is yours to deal with. I cannot deal with this and I want to get out of the way so you can do your work in him.” Now, saying that….there was an incident in the past couple of months where I felt like he was staring at a girl at a restaurant. One thing I’ve changed in my behavior with all of this that I am going to be pretty honest to my husband about how I’m feeling and what I’m thinking. If I do this sooner rather than later, it keeps me from bottling things up and getting to a point that is hard for both of us to recover from. My husband has also appreciated this much better than me just getting super quiet and him wondering what in the world is going on. So, I basically excused myself and went to the bathroom to gather my thoughts and cool down. When I came back out, I asked my husband if we could please switch seats. He knew immediately that I was struggling with that issue and because he has been trying to protect my heart better with these things, he immediately got up and we switched seats. I am still working on handling these incidents in ways that are respectful and with this particular incident, I wish that my tone had been more gentle and humble.

    My husband just went on a three night trip with his friends (he goes away a couple of times a year with his friends). This is a struggle for me because they drink heavily and because of the character of his friends and things I’ve heard them talk about and ways they talk. I used to find my thoughts going too often to what they might be up to on these trips, but God has enabled me to just put it in His hands. I really don’t know what they talk about, where they go all the time, etc. I am being completely honest with my husband that I don’t like so much when he goes away with his friends because of the heavy drinking and because of the character issues of his friends. I can’t step away from that. I know that he would not love it if I went away with my friends twice a year and called him slurring from hours of drinking. So, I am being honest with my thoughts about that with him, YET it is still soooo good to let him go and not be in a prison of fear and worry and anxiety about what is happening. I really do trust that God has all of this in control. I know whose I am now. God has shown me that I am valuable and worthy because of Christ. He has taken me to a place of dealing with THE QUESTION that haunts us wives….”What if….???” Well, Jesus will be enough. No matter what. Once He has revealed that truth to you, fear loses its grip on you.

    Interestingly, even though my husband has struggled in this area, I really do know he loves me. I have been able to come to a place where I can understand that my husband can think another woman is beautiful but trust that he still loves and wants to be with me. I mean, hey, let’s face it. We are all human. I notice good-looking men, but that doesn’t mean I want to be married to them and have a physical relationship with them. My temptation is more to look at godly men and wonder what they would be like as a husband. My husband’s temptation might seem more sordid than that, but they are both sin. I have to weigh all of that in this tangled mess of jealousy, too.

    I really want to encourage wives to discuss their feelings with their husbands and not to try to shove this back or deal with it on your own. Especially if you believe your husband does have problems with ongoing staring (not just noticing). It took a lot of conversations between my husband and myself before he was willing to listen and hear my heart, but it has made a lot of difference in our marriage and has enabled me to feel much safer with him, knowing that he is aware of my hurt and doesn’t want hurt me and is actively trying to make me feel safer when we are out together in public.

    1. ContentinChrist,
      This is super helpful. Thank you so much for sharing what you have learned and also how you and your husband are both working to address this together now. 🙂

      LOVE it!

    2. Wow. It’s interesting in reading these past posts from just 2 days just how COMMON this is in varying degrees. ContentinChrist, I really appreciate you sharing that story in the restaurant about changing seats, I feel that even now that I’m MUCH better, if there was a goddess smack dab in eye view I think I would now react exactly as you did. Before I would pout, look upset and stare at him every moment to see if he would look. Ugh. I hate that. I also hate that, in a prideful sinful way, my husband had the upper hand with this weakness I have.

      Thank the Lord I know my place both as wife and first as a daughter of Christ that makes that part not matter. I’m his helper and he’s the one helping me by being very accommodating too. Oh CIC I would love it to get to the point where I could be like my mom (75 yrs old) I grew up watching her be so not jealous at all. My dad could be watching a movie with women in bikinis and this woman wouldn’t bat an eye. My father loves female singers, she couldn’t care less! (I don’t like hearing sultry voices in the car on the radio when I’m with my husband, it feels awkward when its obviously a sultry singer or talking) He always changes the station when those, not all, female voices come on.

    3. You said now you have a “temptation” to fall back into the jealous pattern… yes! That’s how I feel too but I couldn’t find the words to describe it. I feel like God delivered me from the constant and unnecessary jealousy and anxiety but in public I still feel little bit of trepidation of “how will i handle it” if I see him staring? So i just try to stay close to God in public and remind myself that I cannot control what my h does… but I still do mention it if
      I think he looks too long. I’m just amazed though at Gods peace! 🙂

      1. Amen. I’m still amazed because I really thought this was not a common issue and that I was almost alone in this. It feels like God is showing us we are not alone in this as His beloved daughters and He will work wonders in us once the right Master is on the pedestal of our lives. It’s breathtaking actually, this held me as a prisoner for 2 decades. There is work ahead but with Gods strength these chains will be broken!

        1. SisterinChrist,

          YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!

          I love seeing the captives set free! 🙂 There is nothing better!

          This is a very common issue, after over 50,000 comments in the past few years of ministering to women. I love that God is setting so many women here free from this bondage!

        2. Yep… I also thought everyone will think I’m completely crazy… no one is this insecure! I look at other wives and they don’t seem to care who women their husbands are around or looking at. That seemed galaxies Away for me. One reason for my insecurity was I wasn’t loving my h God’s way… which made me feel like he wasn’t loving me the right way either (he wasn’t but that’s beside the point!). So glad to have sisters to share with and understand what this horrible fear prison feels like!! Although I will always care who he’s with and what he looks at, it doesn’t seem like galaxies anymore! ;). Blessings!

        3. SisterinChrist, I remember also feeling I was the only one when I went through this…and then as I read others’ stories on this blog, it was probably a part of the healing. Just to know that I wasn’t alone. I should have known I was believing a lie from the enemy….”It’s only you. No one else struggles with this.” Should have known that voice was not a holy one.

          1. Thank you for that truth. I worry for my teenagers, they dont want to hear about God stuff. They’re great kids! Clean, honest and a blessing but I worry aboout this world and the grips of the world. I pray for them ALL THE TIME

          2. SisterinChrist,

            As they see God transform you – you will have a lot more leverage when you are living in God’s peace and they will be drawn to the changes God is making in you and you will have many opportunities to share with them. I pray for God to work in their hearts, too. No need to worry! But you can entrust them into God’s capable, loving hands. He is able to draw them to Himself. I pray for this with you, my dear sister!

          3. SisterinChrist, I understand completely. It’s very hard watching my kids grow up and not seeing them seek after Christ or desiring to hear about the Lord or spiritual matters (although one of them definitely seems to be more soft-hearted towards the things of God). Being married for 24 years – 12/13 of them as a believer with an unbelieving husband – this has been a huge struggle for me. But, I have come to understand that this struggle is real for all kinds of families – not just ones where the father or the mother is an unbeliever. This is just another area where we realize that we really don’t have control over our kids’ hearts. It’s about recognizing Who does and trusting Him with all of it.

            I also keep in mind that I grew up in a Christian home – knew all kinds of theology, Bible verses, prayed in youth group, took Evangelism Explosion classes and “tried the methods out” on others, etc, was at church *a lot*, youth group, youth mission trip, etc…..but my faith was NOT real. It wasn’t until I was 31 years old that God gave me eyes to see.

            My children and I have a pretty open and honest relationship about where they are spiritually. I have always encouraged them to be honest about it because one thing that quite frankly scares me a lot is to raise my children to know all the right “answers” and for them to have a false sense of security in a salvation that isn’t real. I’ve made it clear to them that “you must be born again”. I try not to make them feel condemned for where they are, but to love them and encourage them to keep their heart soft towards God and not to harden it. I warn them when I feel led to warn them strongly…but in the end, this is something that has got to be played out between each of them individually and God. I pray for them, asking God to bless them to be able to see who He is and what He’s done for them and asking God to protect them, thanking God for the gift of them, etc.

            One day, you will get a phone call like my mom got from me when I was 31 after I was born again (crying happy tears and telling her “Mom, something’s happened to me!”) ….I’m looking forward to a day like that, too!

          4. ContentinChrist, I can’t even express how powerful and healing this post was. That I start my day reading this right before attending Mass is such a blessing. Thank you, thank you and thank you with all of my heart. This is my first day back at work since my surgery and thank God I’m feeling pretty high spirited, I hope you have a beautiful blessed day.

          5. CIC,

            I, too, had all of the right answers growing up. I thought I was trusting Christ – but it was not until 8 years ago that I began to really “get it” – what it meant to live for Christ as Lord and to trust Him and submit to Him.

            I was wondering this morning, as my 9 year old daughter struggles with perfectionism and anxiety about school – if a 9 year old really CAN “get it” and receive what Jesus offers and trust Him rather than worrying. Not really sure. I didn’t get it for such a long time. I think there is a process of maturing and understanding that we all go through. But I definitely understand and agree that it is more important to be honest and authentic than to just be able to say the right answers.

            Our dreams for our children are things we have to lay on the altar before Christ – along with everything else we desire in life. I have been writing a chapter on that very thing recently for my 2nd book, The Peaceful Mom. Can’t wait to share it!

            PRAISING GOD that He has opened our eyes and for the healing He is bringing to us. I pray He will empower us to bless and minister to our children – not in a spirit of fear – but in a spirit of power, love, and a sound-mind, and that we might be able to live godly examples before them and entrust them fully to His care.

            Much love!

  11. I wanted to add something here for those who might be struggling with their own body image/self-image as it relates to this. One HUGE lightbulb moment I had was to realize that my husband’s choice to stare longer than necessary at another woman was NOT a reflection on me or the way I look.

    There were specific things God showed me to solidify that in my heart and thinking, but I definitely had a DING DING DING moment when He showed something specific to me and that was a big part of my healing. For me, it was the fact that even when we were newly married and I was at my youngest and hottest (I hate that word, but am going to use it for the sheer fact that it fits in well here) physically, my husband STILL had struggles with looking at other beautiful women. I realized that it wouldn’t have mattered WHO he was married to, any other gorgeous woman that walks by is going to be a temptation for him to look at.

    This actually helped me a lot. To know that it wasn’t me or a reflection of a lack in me. To know that this struggle for him would be there no matter who he was married to.

    Anyway, just wanted to share that.

    1. CIC,
      I completely agree. There are some husbands who are married to the most gorgeous models in the world who still lust after other women or battle with this issue. Sometimes it isn’t about a wife’s appearance or “sexiness” at all.

      I think, too, as the mother of a 14 year old boy now – I am much more in tune with the temptation that men can face and that it is not necessarily personal toward a wife. It doesn’t really seem to affect our son much yet. Maybe he will be one for whom this stuff is not a super big deal. But wherever they may be on this issue, I want to be sure I am having the same level of compassion and understanding toward my husband that I have for our son if either of them have any struggles. I want to be a safe place to share and a blessing in times of trials and temptation.

      Since they do have to live in this crazy world, at least I want to do all I can to be a supportive, encouraging, helpful teammate for my husband and our son. And I certainly want to engage in the power of prayer for them as they have an enemy who is seeking to steal, kill, and destroy them. SO thankful that Jesus is greater than Satan and He has overcome this world! THAT is my hope!

      1. April, I appreciated your comment about having as much compassion for your husband as you would a son having these issues.

        Honestly, I still do struggle sometimes having compassion…. I’m praying this will come in time when Our relationship just continues to grow closer . for the 27 years we have been married, the idea of being teammates and helping each other in these areas was nonexistent. So it is a very new concept for both of us. I kind of feel like the teammate mentality will come more fully 🙂

        1. Mendy,

          It is such a beautiful thing to be able to look at each other as fellow pilgrims, fellow travelers on this journey of life and faith. When I began to be able to see my husband as an equal instead of looking down on him spiritually – as I had for so long in our marriage – and when I began to see my own sin and how we were on level ground at the foot of the cross, it helped me begin to grasp this teammate concept. Also, it helped me to see who the real enemy was – the sinful nature and Satan – not my husband. I had believed Satan’s lies for so long that Greg was my enemy. 🙁

          I’m excited to see you both grow in this concept and to bless each other and be able to share with each other as God continues to bring healing. 🙂

          Much love!

          1. Thanks April; yea I can attest that we both have felt like each other’s enemy…. what a slick trick of our real enemy!! 🙁 I will be meditating on what you said and try to get it more established in my heart. Thanks a bunch!

  12. Dear Brothers and Sisters in Jesus,

    When we think of all the history, and not only that, what was it that brought us together as couples, the sense of humor, the way we interacted early on, the kindness and laughter early on. That may be history but it is also what drew us together.
    That needs to be remembered, because although we change as we give our life to Our Savior, the sweetness in the smile, for example, only grows and becomes more beautiful in light of perception through Jesus’s eyes.

    It is indeed Satan who has either spouse look for better, or something that the other spouse does not have or cannot give: a child, that intimacy, delicious tasty food, any number of things that Satan makes you believe you have a right to.

    If a man or wife has looked for something else, that is missing, then it is totally normal for there to be mistrust or jealousy. And it may take a long time for jealousy or mistrust to lessen, even if the one looking or speaking inappropriately, repents and comes back to be a faithful spouse.
    I love my wife for all that she is now, thank you Jesus. I long for the day that she will come to serve the Lord as I am, but nothing will take me away from her now, for we have so much love between us, love, history and sweetness. It could have been easy for me to find a Godly wife, and maybe she would have made me happy in many ways, but there would have always been something missing. For I had long and heart wrenching conversations with Our Father, yet through the tumult and wind, I heard a still small voice, that made it clear what I needed to do.

    Please pray for my wife that she may come to know Our Lord, dear brothers and sisters,
    Thank you,
    JesusCentreof Life

    1. Thank you for sharing some of your struggles and insights, Jesuscentreoflife!

      I pray for God to bring your wife to Christ and for her to experience His Life and the Salvation He offers to her. 🙂

  13. This is a great post. I am very jealous. I think my jealousy is rooted in familiarity. I feel like once a man gets used to you he looks for something new. I’ve been working really hard to get rid of that mind set. As you stated if someone is going to cheat there is nothing you can do about it. We do have control over ourselves and our reactions to things. I like this quote ” Worry/Anxiety is the price you pay for a debt you may never owe.” I’m tired of paying the price. My focus is Christ and becoming the best woman I can be.

    Laura Doyle said keep you own life even though he’s in it. Meaning make sure you do your normal self care, hang out with your friends, and do the things you enjoyed doing before you met him. I find that doing this brings me great joy; and I am much more confident when I take care of myself, and not worry about what a man is doing or not doing. Anytime that someone has treated me wrong ( Cheated) God always revealed it so I don’t need to look for it. I need to rest, relax and be confident that any man who chooses me loves me and only me I am worthy of faithfulness. Speak life…

  14. Hello everyone. I’ve enjoyed reading this post and some of the comments. I look forward to reading more comments soon. We have had one of the hardest summers we’ve ever had, but through it all we have grown a lot as a family. I would like to ask for prayer. I’m experience a (hopefully minor) health issue, and it’s concerning me. I’m trying to pray instead of worry. I would love to share more about the beginning of my healing in this area (jealousy) and in my marriage. I’m not there yet, but I’d say I’m part way through the healing process.

    @Shy, your quote about worry could not have come at a better time. Thank you for sharing.

    Love to you all,
    Becca

  15. Hi all,

    I feel a need to share my hurt regarding my mother in law. We’ve decided to cut off communication with her for a few months (the exception she would call in case of any emergency). April, I’m sorry I know this doesn’t belong in this section but I admit to being clueless as to where else I could post.

    For the past 20 years, with the first 4 years as her sons girlfriend she literally abused me verbally, made fun of me and a host of other things. She was not nice and I think I need to get some things off of my chest for therapeutic purposes because even after the decision I’m thinking No! We can’t cut her off, it’s not Christ-like and it grieves my spirit. I feel like a bad person.

    Some things she’s done over the years is threatening to call the police when I was a teenager because I visited my boyfriend, her son, too much. That was truly the only reason. When I used to call him on the phone she would literally yell at me. She even called my precious mother to complain about me, likely more than once. We’re still back in the 90’s. Please know I was the most goodie two shoes girlfriend and she had no reason to be this way. Because of the language barrier, she would introduce me to her circle as the girl who doesn’t speak. When my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I moved out of state for a few months, she visited immediately and when she left, she came right back for another visit and told the girl we were staying with how I didn’t like her so there would be tension.

    When I asked her how come she didn’t come to our wedding she looked at me and said “He knows why”. Referring to her son. During these early years up until the past few my husband was an enabler of this behavior. Thankfully, he is not any longer.

    We know she emotionally manipulates and my husband is very patient and has really done a good job of letting go of the grip she has so they can maintain a healthy mother/son relationship. She does live alone and she is grieving the loss of her adult daughter as of a few months ago. We of course paid our condolences with a family visit right away.

    In the 16 years we’ve been married she’s never really attempted a relationship with me, she never calls me nor the children. She only calls her son and it’s mainly to talk of her ailments and how her family overseas is doing. She makes sure to fit in a ‘how are the kids’ and it hurts to see my husband tell me this as if it’s an olive branch she’s extending. I don’t think it is. She didn’t call her granddaughter for her birthday, this has happened before. I think my daughter reminds her too much of me.

    We’ve visited throughout the 16 married years many, many times. I’ve smiled, laughed, I’ve always been respectful, super respectful, I’ve bought her gifts but I did give my husband a hard time for many years because of her very aggressive and dominating personality and I just didn’t want to ruin my holidays by visiting her so we never included her in the major holidays except New Years . We’d always call.

    My parents treat him like uber royalty, he can’t understand how it feels really. He’s a great son in law and when I’m in a bad mood I explain to him that he’s very kind and helpful and loving to him because they’ve treated him like a king for 20 years since DAY 1 SHOWERING him with love.

    Yesterday he called to check up on her because I asked him to and she cried over how much we don’t love her because we don’t visit. He explained to her that she doesn’t call me either nor our children and how is that for trying to build a relationship. He’s had these talks with her hoping she would do it. Sometimes I would just ignore her call. That is true. She says she is the older one and we should be the ones calling her. Meanwhile my parents are older than her and they ALWAYS call and ask for the kids and show them they care and never forget a birthday call for their grandchildren.

    My husband used to tell me I just need to be compassionate, he made me feel for many years that I needed to forgive. He drilled this in me and I believed that the resentment I held and displayed to him instead of letting him deal with her and call or visit when he wanted was a sign of unforgiveness. Then it occurred to me, (I’m not saying I’m right) that these past 16 long years of visiting her every few months showing respect and being friendly and giving her gifts….. Isn’t THAT action a way of forgiving? I’m NEVER rude, we have nice conversations but she needs more. I don’t call her often or at all lately. Her other daughter in law also feels the same, her ex-husband and niece all know her awful domineering nature extremely overbearing nature. She’s caused so many family conflicts. My husband is her youngest and they were close before I came into the picture.

    I feel bad. I feel as though God is telling me I made a mistake telling my husband to try a few months without this emotional rollercoaster with phone calls that lead to emotional manipulation and an argument between my husband and I. She’s toxic but I feel bad for her. Even if she is an absentee grandma and doesn’t like me much I do sense she’s lonely but I resent her crying in hysterics and yelling at my husband for not visiting more. After 16 years of the same thing, I’m so tired of it.

    1. SisterinChrist,

      Dealing with controlling, manipulative, bitter mothers/mothers-in-law is VERY difficult and painful. The mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship seems especially prone to this dynamic. And when the son is a youngest son, I think things can be even harder.

      A few questions for you to prayerfully consider:

      1. What do you expect from your mother-in-law?

      2. What do you want to happen in this relationship?

      3. Is it possible that the relationship is so toxic that separation is necessary? Is she a believer?

      4. There are times, after all, when Christians are called to disengage from certain toxic relationships where there is much unrepentant sin. Here is a post about confronting our husbands about their sin, but the same principles apply with other people – Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-17

      5. What does your husband think is the best way to handle her?

      6. What do you control in this situation?

      7. What do you pray about concerning her and your heart toward her?

      I invite you to search my home page for:

      – handling a controlling mother as a team
      – husband protect me
      – why become controlling
      – idol of control
      – bitterness

      And please check out http://www.leslievernick.com about dealing with toxic and critical people.

      Let me know what God may speak to your heart. There IS healing for you in Christ. There is healing for her, too, if she is willing to accept it. But there can be times that people are so toxic, that we must part ways. There are a number of verses about this – warning a contentious person twice and then having nothing to do with him, for example. Proverbs is also full of verses about dealing with people like this. When people go on and on in unrepentant sin, hatred, control, idolatry of others, manipulation, trying to control people through guilt trips, etc… it is NOT a gift to do everything they say and to not confront them.

      In my view, this relationship will have to be primarily handled by your husband. I vote to respect and honor what he thinks is best and to pray for God to give him wisdom and to pray about how you can most support him in this difficult situation. And, you can pray for God to set your MIL free from this prison of the enemy that has her so bound up.

      Much love to you!

  16. Thank you for taking the time to respond. My answers to the questions:
    1. What do you expect from your mother-in-law?
    I would really like to have seen over the years specific questions of interest towards my children such as..Did she get her menstrual yet? How is she doing in school? Anything really, when we visit she just really talks to them out of politeness but is very interested in talking to her son about what’s going on in the extended family. He gets very interested in that and eggs her on.

    2. What do you want to happen in this relationship?
    I would like her to love her grandchildren by calling me and inviting us over once in a while. I don’t like talking to her because even though we visit her every few months she always looks at me accusingly and says “You guys forgot about me?” And I say to myself, we see you every few months what is your expectation here? She’s so awkward, can’t she just make us feel welcome without the guilt trip?

    3. Is it possible that the relationship is so toxic that separation is necessary? Is she a believer?
    After 16 years I think a separation is finally necessary after her most recent attempt at emotional manipulation of my husband with her traumatic crying and yelling. I don’t think, unfortunately, he can easily see she’s being manipulative. I’m surprised because several family members know this as fact. If she gets her way, I’m afraid things will very quickly revert back to them calling eachother several times a day as was the case for years and is not healthy in my view. She says she believes in God, she also believes the devil wrote part of the Bible.

    4. There are times, after all, when Christians are called to disengage from certain toxic relationships.
    I always feel like the bad guy for feeling this, it’s nice to know it’s healthy to disengage.

    5. What does your husband think is the best way to handle her? Unfortunately, it’s been mostly me over the years trying to assert the leave and cleave. It was very unhealthy before and she came between our marriage in ugly battles for years.

    6. What do you control in this situation? I’m afraid if I dont set limits to their communication she’ll very sneakily work her way into his life the way she did before and control him to the point they would speak several times a day and he would call her behind my back and talk for as long as an hour.

    7. What do you pray about concerning her and your heart toward her?
    I’ve prayed over the years for God to remove this resentment I have toward the way she’s treated me but most especially her lack of care and concern for her grandchildren. I also pray that my husband would put her after our marriage and not first.

    The worst part is my husband knowing she doesn’t care about me and the children and he’s still sweet to her and checks to see if she calls him on his birthday even when she forgot his daughters. That hurts.

    1. SisterinChrist,

      1. It seems to me that it is possible that your MIL is not able to love in the way you desire her to love. Could that be true? Like maybe she is too spiritually oppressed right now to be able to function in a healthy way because maybe she is so ensnared?

      2. The way she is living, from what you are describing, is miserable. As a formerly super controlling, enmeshed woman, I know exactly how awful it is to try to control others and to be so stressed and worried and to try to make other people love me. It is awful! It is miserable for her and for everyone around her. But most likely, she doesn’t know any other way to think, relate, or act. If she knew how to love in a healthy way – she would! I think that if someone is spiritually dead or unconscious, we can’t expect them to love us in Holy Spirit kinds of ways. So it is very possible that expectations of her to have healthy interactions are not at all realistic right now – not until she is healed in Christ.

      3. Why does she believe the devil wrote part of the Bible? Is she involved in anything like the occult or any false teaching? What is her spiritual background?

      4. What would happen if your husband spoke to her for an hour each day? What is your fear there? Do you trust him to handle his relationship with her without your guidance? Has he ever stood up for himself against her (not speaking about for you or the children, but just for himself)?

      5. What I don’t want is for you to be in a position where you are super critical of his mom and trying to keep him from loving his own mom. If possible, I don’t want you to put him in a position of having to choose to shun her. When a wife resents her MIL and has a lot of negative things to say about her, it puts a husband in a position of trying to defend his mom and be on his mom’s side against his wife. That is not good. I want you and your husband on the same side. Does that make sense? What do you believe would happen if you stopped criticizing her and allowed him to try to handle the relationship on his own? Does he seem to understand your hurt? Does he seem to understand how unhealthy the dynamics are?

      6. You can control yourself. And you can ask for certain limits and boundaries, if necessary. But I want to be sure your husband doesn’t feel controlled by you, too. He is already dealing with tons of drama like that from his mom. I want him to feel safe, honored, respected, supported, and pressure-free when he is with you. It is miserable for a man to be stuck between two controlling women.

      7. Are you willing to voluntarily give up your resentment? This is something God doesn’t necessarily remove – we have to lay it down. Do you need any help with that?

      8. Could you reframe the way you look at this? Could you acknowledge that your MIL is emotionally/spiritually very sick and wounded but that your husband is seeking to be a loving son? No, she can’t love you and your daughters the way she should right now – because she is so toxic inside. But if he is able to have some kind of remotely healthy relationship with her, that may be a good thing, if it is possible.

      Let me know what you think about that Leslie Vernick article. What I want to do is get you as strong in Christ as possible and get you the tools you need to handle this in a godly way so that you are not responding in ways that create more dysfunction, but in ways that promote God’s healing for you, your daughters, your husband, and even your MIL. She is not beyond God’s reach!

      Much love!

      1. April, thank you. I will reread this again with much more intensity and I’ll read it again prayerfully. I look forward to reading Leslies article which I was just going to do. It’s hard because I know if I’m honest I don’t want him loving his mom because she doesn’t love our children April.

        I’d be dishonest if I told you that I would absolutely keep loving my parents if they displayed concealed hatred/abandonment towards my children.

        That’s a lot to ask a mother like me.

        7. Are you willing to voluntarily give up your resentment? This is something God doesn’t necessarily remove – we have to lay it down. Do you need any help with that?

        Absolutely, this is the most interesting concept I’ve heard and I am most willing to learn more because I do not know to ignore the above problem regarding not resenting her hatred of my children and my husbands continued love of her in spite of such a horrible fact. How can he not resent her? I’m truly baffled and the worry is that any healthy minded individual would resent someone hating their children but this person not only doesn’t resent her for hating/abandoning our children while doting on her others but instead he he worries about her calling him on his birthday. Does this sound like a healthy mind in a man?

        1. SisterinChrist,

          I’m glad you are being honest. These are TOUGH issues. But you can’t begin to heal in Christ yourself unless you are very honest with yourself and with God about where you are.

          Here are some things about Jesus’ kind of love that He commands us to have for others:

          “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

          37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
          Matthew 22:36-40

          Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:4-8

          “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[i] and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48

          Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

          14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.

          17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

          “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
          if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
          In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
          21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
          Romans 12:9-21

          Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

          13 This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.

          God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

          19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister. 1 John 4:7-21

          More verses about loving our enemies.

          God asks a lot of us – but never more than what He has already done for us and He provides the power for us to obey what He asks!

          There is a difference between the agape love with which God commands us to love all people and trust. Does that make sense? We are commanded to love all other people with God’s love but we are not commanded to trust untrustworthy people. We are also commanded to forgive others or God will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15). Forgiveness is not the same as trust.

          We can deeply love wounded, spiritually sick, spiritually dead people with God’s love. People who hate us and mistreat us. We can repay evil with good. We can see them with God’s eyes knowing they are held captive by Satan to do his will and that God can set them free in Christ and transform them. But that does not mean we have to like their sin or love their sin. And there are times when we do have to set limits on our contact with others.

          If your husband was in a dysfunctional relationship like this with his mom all of his life, how affected by that do you think he might be? To never have known healthy love with his mom, but only this toxic kind of relationship. What impact does that have on a son’s soul?

          Please search my home page for:

          – bitterness
          – forgiveness

          And check out those posts, as well. There IS healing for you here in Christ, my precious sister. You can be free from bitterness and resentment and hatred in Jesus. He can give you compassion for your husband who is dealing with an extremely unhealthy mother relationship and He can give you compassion for this very emotionally/spiritually sick MIL, too.

          Much love!

          1. A few other posts that may be helpful and insightful, SisterinChrist, please search for:

            – manipulating with guilt
            – people pleasing
            – playing the martyr
            – why do women become controlling
            – fear fuels our need to control
            – the idol of control

          2. This is so helpful. These beautiful reminders of our Lords commandments of us. Ill keep these close to me after I print them out. Thank you.

            I remembered some of them in dealing with her all these years. Do not repay evil for evil I would say as i bought her a gift. I guess I just wanted a break April. In the back of my heart I knew I’m not going to be granted one.

            After 20 years she still cries hysterically as recent as 2 days ago because she wants to see him (not us)more and all these verses are telling me I have to deal with it, not try to stop him…it’s really too much. I can’t even keep writing. I thought no man was supposed to tear marriage apart.

          3. SisterinChrist,

            My dear sister, I am not saying he should coddle her and act like this needy, clingy, enmeshed behavior is fine. It’s not.

            But what I am saying is that there are better, more godly, more healthy ways for you to support your husband and to get to a healthy way of handling things for yourself and for him on your end of things and your husband’s end of things.

            Of course your husband is not supposed to tear his marriage apart. What I would like to do is to be sure you are not tearing it apart on your side – and then you can work together to build it up and to address this together. Don’t try to have it all figured out right now. You have a lot more reading and praying to do before you will be ready to really have a handle on what God is asking you to do, my precious sister.

            I am not saying you have to accept the way she is acting. I am not saying you have to accept your husband having an unhealthy attachment to his mom like this forever. Let’s just be still before God for a bit and soak in His truth and find His healing for your heart and your thinking first. THEN you will be strong in Christ and ready to face the issues in a way that honors Christ.

            So – breathe. 🙂 Rest in God’s love. Don’t zoom ahead and make assumptions about how awful this is going to be. Surrender control and the outcomes to the Lord. 🙂

  17. Hi april,

    I serve very closely (live on the mission field with) a guy who has at various times looked at me in a way so as to communicate interest. At least that is what i interpreted. But then i would later see him look at another girl the same way. When i say “look” i mean make prolonged eye contact, where we make this connection and hold a gaze. Thia has happened many times. I become convinced there is attraction, but he never communicates interest verbally. One day he looks at me like that and the next day he is a bit distant. Now this same eye contact he makes with other girls too! And i watch him, not sure if that is the best thing to do. But i see this other girl fall for him just like i did. She is young.

    To be honest i have lived with him for six years now and have NEVER brought this up to him. I would open my heart to him and believe there is something there only to see him do this with others. So I have become a bit cold and unbelieving in my heart towards him. Our relationship feels strained for sure and I have never opened up to him to tell him what i feel. If he is not interested seriously, then I am prepared to give that over to God. What I fear is approaching him and letting him know what I understood only to be told I was mistaken. He is a great guy, however I definitely have been warned about his not-so-great leadership by my pastor’s wife. Not to mention by one of his closest friends who is in ministry too. I think my heart is decieving me by holding on to him.

    Is it a good time to get real with him and explain what has been going on in my heart? The silence is killing me

  18. Good morning! Today something REALLY CREEPY happened. I had to share.

    My husband and I were at church this morning and about 10 or 15 minutes into the mass this woman with a tight dress walked in, directly in front of us, but to the right.

    IMMEDIATELY, I thought, “Ok, enemy, I see how you want to start my day”.

    Before this blogs blessed help and before I came to the end of my rope seeking change, my heart would have sunk deeply and I would have felt a literal crushing sting inside and I truly would not have paid attention in church. My worship would have been over. This morning, I felt it, but no where near as severe. Someone before said something about getting to the point where there are no internal hysterics but instead while still feeling uncomfortable, even very much so, you are strong enough to realize you have a choice to make and your will is working overtime.

    When it was time to receive communion my husband gestured for me to go ahead of him as he always does and I politely insisted he go ahead. (So I can keep my eyes on his eyes….ContentinChrist, I thought of you afterwards in the restaurant setting asking your husband to change seats)

    To make a long story short, even though I shouldn’t have politely insisted he go ahead and use trust instead even though I would have surely felt a bit of the sting of thoughts of ‘is he sneaking a convenient peek’ and while I’m glad I didn’t give him an opportunity because the question may have stayed with me throughout the morning, I feel as though my goal (is this your goal too CIC?) is to get to the place where I would have graciously gone ahead when he gestured and if he looked, oh well, he fell for it and I can leave it in God’s hands and not dwell on hurtful ‘what if’ thoughts that can pervade the mind.

    Now get what happened next!

    As we are exiting the church I purposely don’t rush out as I would normally do so he sees that I’m collected and in control. Why did I do this, because, without words, we both knew this was a test and neither of us made it obvious. (except when I told him to go ahead)

    As we walk out of the chapel into to the church that leads to the stairs towards the parking lot it was completely empty and then, guys I kid you not, she is directly behind us clicketing her heels and when my husband opened the car door I saw her in the rearview mirror in the car behind us!!!!! (While my husband walked around the car to go to the drivers side there is no way he could have missed not seeing her!) Unless she rushed ahead, there is no way she could have been so close to us because by the time we left and passed the church, it was empty! All of a sudden she’s right behind us? Creepy.

    April, please tell me what just happened. Because THAT, was eerie. Lol.

    As we sat in the car, my mind was trying to adjust to what just happened, how’d she get behind us so fast and how she happened to be right behind us in the parking lot.

    I believe in evil and I believe this was an evil plan to get me to destroy the peace at the start of our day because we are a union trying to be united in Christ in church. A threat.

    So what did I do? By the way, my husband was acting nonchalant in a genuine way so that made it easier, maybe he didn’t see her or if he did he wasn’t as affected (us wives are clued in to these details, like if they’re quiet or look uncomfortable…that wouldn’t have stopped me in the past anyway)

    But there was a funny named restaurant across the street and what did I do? I said the name out loud in a funny way as we were pulling out of the parking lot and he joined in and we had a good laugh.

    In my mind I truly said “You lost this one”, the moment I said it I felt a twinge of fear because I know the next one is on the way and it may be worse (she may be drop dead gorgeous…Lord please NO! lol) but at least for today, I kept the peace.

    It felt powerful. I felt graceful, like I kept my dignity April.

    April, I have to admit, because of the, what I feel , is the bitterness and lack of grace of how I feel I’m reciprocating with my mother in law. I kind of felt that that’s why this challenged happened. Because I’m not merciful towards her, this woman appeared to test me.

    Is that crazy? Is that the enemy’s thought. Is it biblical? I’m not forgiving (I think) so I don’t get granted mercies (?).

    I also thought that if that’s true than why did I have a small victory?

    Anyhow, does anyone else think that was crazy? I hope CIC reads this, I think she’ll appreciate it. I’m just glad because I feel that one of these days, if not today, my husband is going to think “She handled that well” but because he’s not my idol I’m more happy that our precious Lord would turn his eye towards my action of self-control and peace a grant the most lovely divine smile of approval and Love of His daughters action.

    1. SisterinChrist,
      Wow that is weird! that would have totally “rattled my cage” , esp A couple of months ago.

      I was going crazy with anxiety and panic about women in public. I’m so thankful that God has, for The most part , delivered me. I just have to continually focus on him and like you said not make husband an Idol. He has his own choices to make …. as for me my trust is in the Lord God!

      It’s very possible that God allowed that woman to be there just at that time as a test for you both . My faith is growing to the point that I believe now there will be no one that will cross our path by accident . If someone like that comes our way , The Lord will use it to either strengthen my husbands resolve , or allow him to see his weakness and consequently grow closer to the Lord , and also the Lord will use it to remind me that my eyes need to be on him alone . Any way you slice it, the Lord will use any such thing for our good and his glory if we are seeking him.

      I like how you handled that situation. A little humor always lighten things up ;).

      God bless your day :))
      Mendy

      1. Hi Mendy,
        Thank you. I also appreciate your perspective that she may have been a test to him too. I am just so grateful for that restaurants name today :).
        Have a blessed day!

    2. SisterinChrist, wow you sound just like me. I, too, keep close watch on my husbands “eyes” to the point where he feels he can’t even comfortably look around a room without offending me in some way. At times I get so fixated and obsessed (due to some random woman I perceive as attractive around) that I can’t even function. Like you said… church, or whatever, is ruined in your own mind and heart when the enemy takes over in that way. My husband is so “trained” that if he even glances at a good-looking woman to notice her presence he will immediately lower his head and make extra effort to never look that direction again. Geeeeez what slavery I keep him in!

      I must say though, just like you, I have been dealing with my devilish thoughts the Godly way and have been seeing small victories, all in the last week since I read this original post. (you can read my original post up top). After initially reading this article, I have been praying each morning for God to prepare my mind and heart in a way that can overcome this struggle I deal with. Since my prayer requests, I, too, have recognized a few different opportunities of testing that were like “REALLLYY?!?!” type situations that would normally throw me for a loop and send the rest of our pleasant day down the emotional drain. However, instead of berating my husband for simply having eyes and a brain that recognizes other human beings, I kept my mouth shut and vigorously praying inside my head for God to take away the irrational grip of fear away from me and to literally just fill my heart with love and joy towards my husband. Remarkably… it worked! Every time! It was painful at the beginning each time, but truly focus on the Father was the only way out of my destructive mindset.

      Another point to make… after each “little” victory in my own mind, I gain more confidence in my own ability to trust God, my husband, and myself because I see the good fruit come from it (vs very, very bad fruit from my jealous out lash).

      But wanna know the BEST part of all of this uncomfortable growing I’ve been doing for the last week?:
      My husbands non-prompted comment to me as we laid to bed last night. He said something like this:

      “Babe, I just want to let you know I have noticed you have not been weird or upset about any girl situation the last week and it makes me so happy. I actually feel like I am living. And when you are like this, I grow even more in love and attracted to you each day! Plus, you know I could care less about any girl I happen to notice. Thank you so much for doing this for us. I love you” – And he gave me the most genuine, real embrace.

      I literally laid there in awe. Tears silently ran down my face as I thanked God.

      The small victories I had been noticing were enough to keep me on this road to mental freedom in this area, but I had no anticipation of getting such wonderful feedback from my husband, this SOON. It gives me great, renewed hope. I pray for the same to happen with you and your husband! and for every other woman on here.

      Another beneficial “side-effect” is that I, in turn, feel naturally much better about myself (mentally, physically, etc.) then I did before. In only one week. I wasn’t realizing that in the midst of my mental chess games I was breaking down my self worth and confidence in the ceaseless comparing to other women. My husband chose ME! not them! I must rest on HIS choice and the fact that he has chosen to stay with me for the last 8 years despite me being the Grand Accuser our whole relationship. I want to be free like he does! And only the Father through Jesus Christ can set us free!!!

      Thanks for letting me share my heart and my happiness is bubbling over this morning.

      p.s. I love that you looked for an appropriate “distraction” away from the woman that truthfully probably took your mind off of her more than it had an effect on your husband. Chances are, he saw her, thought about you, and was doing his own mental gymnastics to be careful to not offend you. Our husbands know what we are thinking by this point, right? What a blessings our husbands are even in areas we may not see! Humor is so key and it shows your husband that you consciously chose to focus on life, not death. Very proud of you sister!<3

      1. Danielle your post was such a blessing to me. Yay that your husband shared that with you!!!! I’m so happy for you. It’s so interesting still to me how this isn’t some isolated problem only I’m dealing with in this world. You mentioned the training and the prison you feel like you’ve put him in and immediately I related to that. When I see my husband stare straight ahead like a robot, it hurts. I don’t know if I should be glad that when a woman voice is talking or singing on the radio he changes it or if I should be sad that it’s come to that. I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. Same with television. Thanks for sharing Danielle.

      2. Danielle F,

        WOW! WOOHOO! PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This post brings me so much joy!!!!!!!!!!!

        My precious sister, I would LOVE to share this as a post anonymously – if you believe God would lead you to allow me to. I believe this would be such an incredible encouragement to other women who are battling with this kind of insecurity.

        God is so good! I love what your husband shared. 🙂 Healthy men respond to our genuine respect and not to us freaking out and trying to be their thought police. So amazing to see that confirmation and I love how you are describing how your own thoughts are changing toward yourself, God, and your husband and exactly how you are replacing those tempting thoughts with godly thoughts. I love the wonderful side-effects you are already seeing.

        THIS IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!

        Much love!

        1. Yes, of course you can share my post April! Your website has been such a blessing to me! I’m thankful my post can be utilized as a blessing for others! :)<3

  19. Ladies, I am working on a presentation to give to some of our sisters in Christ in a few weeks at a conference, and thought I would share a bit:

    Satan’s Strategies for Destroying Our Marriages:

    • How Satan attacks a husband through his wife’s thought life and words
    o If he can get a wife to cherish resentment, bitterness, pride, self-righteousness, idolatry, un-forgiveness, etc… toward the husband
    o He can use our attitudes, motives, thoughts, words, and actions to accomplish his purposes to destroy our husbands, marriages, and families
    o “My Demon” post (search my home page)
    o “How Satan Wants to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life” post (search my home page)

    • Examples of Satan’s temptations to us:
    o Think accusatory thoughts toward your husband
    o Be judgmental and critical
    o Look down on him
    o Assume the worst about him
    o Complain to him and about him

    • Ways we invite Satan to set up shop in our minds and hearts:
    o Holding on to bitterness
    o Making a lot of negative assumptions
    o Unrealistic or unbiblical expectations
    o Allowing our thoughts to run away with us
    o Allowing our emotions to be in control rather than God’s Spirit

    • Now I give Satan my mouth and life:
    o So that he can use my words, my attitudes, and my actions to attack my husband and family
    o So that I can further his purposes in my family
    o I use my words to destroy and tear down (thinking it is my own voice) and Satan rejoices

    Satan attacks husbands, too, by whispering things to them like:
    – You don’t have what it takes
    – You’re a failure
    – You are inadequate
    – You’re not good enough
    – You’re an imposter
    – You’re a loser

    If Satan can attack our men, who are supposed to be our leaders, and he can paralyze them through using our mouths and actions or through our husbands’ thoughts – he rejoices! But now that we are aware of his strategies, let’s not take the bait anymore, my dear sisters!

    Also, please check out my husband’s posts:
    The Voice in His Head
    Shame

    And please search for my video “Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ” on my Youtube Channel, April Cassidy.

    Much love!

  20. I feel like at times my husband is the one with the jealous behavior, although he will accuse me of being unnecessarily jealous all the time.

    In the past, if there was an attractive man nearby, even if I didn’t look at him but happened to glance in that direction, my husband would make a comment like, “You okay over there, or do you need more time to look?”

    When I went to the dentist for a check-up, and decided I needed to take better care of my teeth and use a whitening toothpaste and mouth wash, he asked me who I was trying to look better for.

    He’ll ask me who men are on my FB page when they comment and I’ll tell him if they are from high school or a former church. I do not have any ex-boyfriends on my page any longer. If I ask him who a woman is on his page, he will get annoyed with me.

    He does spend time at bars alone often, because he did this before we met and got married (we’ve been married three years), so he just sees that as something he enjoys doing and it is just a social thing for him, there’s no reason a married man shouldn’t be allowed to enjoy time at a bar alone. He’s lied to me about where he is, but instead of understanding why I get nervous sometimes, he gets angry because I “snooped” to catch him. (I didn’t actually snoop…I was looking at our bank account online, where pending transactions show the times they occurred, so I happened to see the time, but it was cleared and no longer pending when he saw it so he assumed I was snooping to find the time. Note: we no longer use the same account and I don’t have access to his anymore.)

    He is always very respectful, draws me into conversations if someone else is around, never leaves me out if there is a woman there, but he is also very, very friendly with everyone, including women. Female friends will hug him all the time, bartenders all know his name and it’s like they’re old friends. He jokes around and teases all the time, and he says he’s just being friendly. But when I have teased or been teased by a male, he tells me I’m extremely flirty. Now I try not to even speak to men at all.

    Most recently he was listening to another “regular” at the bar talk about her abusive husband and she didn’t know where to go for the night, so he loaned her $100 for a hotel and gave her his number so she could contact him when she could pay him back. I didn’t know about this until two months later when she kept asking for more money and threatened to tell me.

    He is leaving for a job out-of-state for about 8 months, and last weekend my mom and I went to the mall because she wanted to get a make-over and try new things. I asked the woman there for suggestions for my acne scarring and some other issues. My husband showed up and I told him how much everything would cost, and asked what would be okay for me to spend. He told me to just have fun and be reasonable. So I bought three things, and later that day, he asked me why, with my husband leaving in two weeks, would I want to spend that much money on make-up, and who was I trying to look good for after he leaves?

    He said with my jealous nature, he knows if the tables were turned I would question him too. But the thing is, I don’t assume evil motives on his part. I question sometimes because of past experiences (and because I’ve heard if they accuse you, which he has, it usually means it’s because they feel guilty), but I can’t bring those up because he gets REALLY angry if I bring up anything from the past.

    He got angry with me a couple years ago because I decided to re-open my Instagram account and post a couple of outfit photos. I’d recently talked to a former blogging friend, we both used to write style blogs, and she said many style bloggers were using Instagram now. I thought I’d try posting an outfit or two just for fun. My husband checked my followers and saw there were men on there and accused me of posting pictures to gain attention from other men. When this whole thing happened with the make-up this weekend, he went back to that incident and told me that we’ve had this conversation time and time again about me trying to gain male attention and yet I seem to keep doing the same things.

    I don’t know what to SAY to him in these moments. What he seems to want to hear is that I agree with him, I was wrong, I can totally see why he would think that about me, and I’m sorry. But I don’t understand it, and I can’t say it won’t happen again because my mind doesn’t work like that, so I can’t think ahead to what he *might* assume. I can’t try to explain my mindset because he receives that as arguing.

    I really just need to know what to say to him when he accuses me of things like this. I’m at a complete loss.

    1. Victorious Wife,

      Yes, husbands can have insecurity and sinful jealousy, too. I can’t imagine how difficult that would be on a spouse. Obviously, you can’t agree with him that you were doing things you weren’t doing or that you were sinning against him when you really weren’t. There are certainly sometimes cases where outside help is needed. If you really aren’t doing these things and there are so many false accusations – that would be a time that a godly, trusted counselor would hopefully be helpful. I pray for God to open his eyes, my dear sister! And I pray for God’s wisdom and discernment for you. Sending you the biggest hug!

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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