Skip to main content
unspecified

Surrendering the Burden of Controlling My Husband – by Shannon Popkin

I am so excited to have Shannon write a guest post today as we celebrate her new book releasing this month! I hope you will check it out – it has been such a blessing to me. If you tend to struggle with wanting control, this is the book for you, my precious sister!

—————-

This post was taken in part from Shannon Popkin’s book, Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control From Seven Women in the Bible, published by Kregel Publications, 2017.

I often use the word “providence” when I tell about the day I first heard my husband’s name.

I was moving into my new apartment, and my only two friends in town—Chris and Jamie—had brought a meal over to welcome me to Milwaukee. As we ate, Chris shared a story from his day.

Chris was a Christian education pastor and had received a call informing him that the fourth grade boys’ teacher had quit. But after the call ended, immediately the phone rang again. This time it was Ken Popkin calling to say, “I’d like to teach Sunday school. Maybe fourth grade boys?” Chris said he just happened to have an opening.

We all laughed about the providential timing of the calls. Then my new roommate, who also went to the church, mentioned, “I know Ken Popkin from the singles group. He’s really good-looking.”

As I lay in bed that night recalling the events of the day, I whispered into the darkness, “Well, at least there’s one good-looking single guy in Milwaukee. And if he’s willing to teach fourth-grade boys, he’s got to be a good guy!”

I think God was listening to my thoughts with a big grin on his face that night. Because two years later, I wore my white dress and walked down the aisle into the arms of the Sunday school teacher of my dreams. (And yes, he is quite handsome.)

My heart swells every time I consider all the details God arranged to create that bit of foreshadowing. He prompted the back-to-back phone calls on that very day, arranged the dinner guests, and inspired the conversation—all as a teaser for the new girl in town.

Losing Control

Five years later, I didn’t doubt my decision to marry Ken, but I did doubt the extent of God’s control over the details of my marriage (among other things). I wouldn’t have said it that way, but my behavior and attitudes sure did.

My new husband, who had first brought me such joy, was now causing me deep frustration.

We had just moved to a new town, and I was feeling so lonely and anxious to get connected. Then one night, a young couple from down the street invited us over for dinner! I was almost giddy, sure that they were going to be our new best friends.

Ken was less than giddy. Not only was he less social than I, he was also exhausted. Ken is a driven, self-motivated kind of guy who gets up at four thirty in the morning, leaving him little leftover energy for Friday nights.

After a lovely dinner with our neighbors, they led us to the living room. Our conversation progressed nicely, but I noticed Ken wasn’t saying much. I glanced down to where he was sitting, petting the dog on the floor, and I noticed his hand, limp on the dog’s back. And his head was drooping at a strange angle.

Oh no, I thought. He’s asleep!

From where the neighbors were sitting, they couldn’t see Ken’s face, so I crossed my fingers and hoped they would think he was just oddly staring at their dog. I tried to hold their attention by talking faster and with more animation. But then someone asked Ken a question.

I nudged him with my foot, and his head yanked upward. He made some unintelligible remark with slightly slurred speech. I was mortified.

The neighbors laughed good-heartedly and said, “You must be exhausted.” So this beautiful evening, with these people who were now not going to be our new best friends, came to a screeching halt. They showed us to the door, and we walked down the sidewalk toward home.

In that space of about five driveways, I packed a lot in.

“Unbelievable! You humiliated me! From now on, mister, you are guzzling coffee before we go anywhere!” I spat the words into the darkness, pumping my arms with disgust. My husband lagged behind, saying nothing.

As I lay in bed on that night, recounting the events of the day and listening to the soft breathing of a man who was working so hard to provide for our family and lead us well, I was filled with regret and sorrow. This is not the sort of wife I wanted to be. I felt ugly and ashamed.

God’s Perspective on Control

In the heat of the moment, control always beckons to me with logic, clear and strong. It says, “You’ve got to do something! It’s all up to you! What if he falls asleep every time you’re invited somewhere? You’ll never make friends! Everyone will shun you! If this is ever going to turn out right, you’ve got to take control!

But lunging for the control—which always seems to slip from my grasp—never brings the peace and security I’m hoping for. In fact, it just makes everyone (me included) miserable.

Do you ever wonder what God thinks of our frustration, our anger, and our disrespect toward the husbands He has given us? Do you ever consider His perspective on our fretting, fearful, control-craving hearts?

I do. I picture God’s grin fading that night, as He listened to my sharp words, echoing off the sidewalk. And I picture His heart longing for me to find the peace that comes only from surrender. Though I wouldn’t have heard it, I imagine God whispering something like this:

Shannon, Shannon… These neighbor friends, whose opinions you’re stressing over? They’re going to move away soon, and in time you won’t even remember their names.

But that man you just emasculated? He’s building his career. He’s tired. So sure, he fell asleep. Does it really matter that much? He is a good, faithful husband. He is a kind, dedicated daddy. He is my gift to you. A life partner. Sure, he has weaknesses. But why don’t you let me handle those?

And this habit that you have of trying to control him? That’s what I’m working on in YOU! Do you think that this evening in your neighbors’ living room was out of my hands? I keep adding situations to your life that you can’t control, hoping that one day you invite Me to take that burden of controlling everything off you back. It’s a burden I never wanted you to carry.

Providence

We usually only use “providence” to describe the moments God causes details to fall into place the way we’d like. It’s heartwarming to remember the way God brought our marriages together. But has control slipped from God’s hand when marriage is hard?

No, not at all. When I think back to my early marriage struggles (like the one I described), I’m actually thankful. What if God had allowed me to persist with the illusion that I could control everything? I would have gone stomping through life as a Control Girl! Instead, God used the strain of marriage—two people trying to merge their lives—to confront me with the ugliness of my controlling heart.

Trying to control my husband is disrespectful and creates tension. It makes things worse, not better. But when I lay down the burden of trying to make everything turn out right, I find peace. When I surrender the outcomes to God, I find security. And when I turn to God with the things that seem to threaten my happiness (even a husband who falls asleep on neighbors) I find hope, comfort, and joy.

Friends, God is in control and we aren’t. If we convince ourselves that the reverse is true, we only make everyone (ourselves included) miserable. Won’t you lay down your burden of control today? Whether it’s a husband, child, situation, or outcome that you’re trying to control, God invites you to surrender that burden to Him.

He’s in control, so you don’t have to be.

Comment below for a chance to win one of three copies of Shannon’s book!

shannon-popkin-bio-3x4-incover-control-girl

Bio

Author and speaker Shannon Popkin loves to blend her gifts for storytelling and humor with her passion for God’s Word. Shannon is the author of Control Girl: Lessons on Surrendering Your Burden of Control from Seven Women in the Bible. Go to ControlGirl.com for free downloadable resources.

Shannon is happy to be sharing life with Ken, who makes her laugh every single day. Together, they live the fast-paced life of parenting three teens. For more from Shannon, please go to shannonpopkin.com, or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

 

227 thoughts on “Surrendering the Burden of Controlling My Husband – by Shannon Popkin

  1. Hi April,

    i loved this post, I was actually praying last night and the word came to me in huge bold letters SURRENDER.
    Then your post came this morning. I know it’s all thanks to God 🙂
    I would really be grateful to be in the competition to win one copy of Shannon’s books!
    Thank you and take care!

    Blessings,
    Anita

  2. I so needed to read this right now. My husband is in a habitual sin- he is struggling greatly every single day and whether I nag or not, makes a huge difference. We had a conversation yesterday and he told me that there is a constant internal struggle in him and when I am unhappy with him and nag, I only reinforce the part of him that is trying to convince him that he is not able to conquer this sin, and he will always be an addict.
    It feels so good to be reminded that God is in control! And it is a blessing that He is showing us how we are not in control (in this case, I am not the one who can make my husband stop sinning), so that we can fully trust Him.

    1. Dear sister,

      I’m so happy you’ve found out that nagging doesn’t help. Nagging is so like pouring salt in the wounds.

      It causes pain but there is no balm. Jesus is the balm, only God can take away the addiction, that battle in your husband that is own self nagging his own salt in the wounds.

      I pray that your husband finds peace,
      That in God,
      In Jesus Christ
      He can find more than
      Anything his heart could desire.
      Let your husband
      Surrender into the loving arms of
      Our Lord.
      In Jesus’ Name I Pray,
      Amen

      Pray for him sister, as I’m sure you are!
      Jesuscentreoflife

      1. Jesuscentreoflife, thank you so much for your prayer and encouragement! It is very hard to see a loved one struggle with an addiction. This is not a sin I deal with, so I often can’t understand why he can’t just stop. I feel like lecturing him and reciting bible verses. He is a believer and knows the bible verses well, he prays daily and asks God to free him from this slavery. I feel like God was talking to me through this blog post and is making me realize how much I fuel the addiction when I constantly look unhappy and criticize my husband, instead of showing compassion and faith that with God’s help and through His Spirit, my husband is able to overcome any addiction.

        1. Hi Zornitsa,

          Thankyou for your post. I am in the exact situation with my husband. We married last year in April and a month later I realized he is addicted to alcohol. Everything you said describes me, especially the nagging in the beginning and the constant arguing. He seems to find everything wrong with me when he drinks. I lie in bed next to him disgusted and mad same as she described in the original post. I pray for him all the time and more recently he has thanked me for my more positive and spiritual response to him and my patience with him and told me this morning that it is helping him in his struggle and that I can never understand his struggle. I dont want to fuel the addiction and I know its not my fault but sometimes it hard not to try and control the whole situation. He doesn’t drink nearly as much but I know he still does. please pray for me. Thanks….

          1. Roz, thanks so much for sharing your story! I’m so glad that you could relate to mine, and that you are learning to cast your burdens on the Lord. Wow–how cool that your husband noticed your sweet patience. How comforting to know that the Lord has this situation, and will never stop pursuing your husband (or any of His children). Blessings to you, as you wait on the Lord.

            Warmly,
            Shannon

          2. Roz,

            Goodness, so heart breaking. Do you have any support with this right now? Celebrate Recovery may be able to help spouses. Do you have prayer partners? How is your spiritual walk going with Christ? This is spiritual warfare – so it will be critical that you are as close to God and as filled up with His Spirit as possible to pray powerfully over this situation and against Satan’s plans to steal, kill, and destroy in your marriage.

            How severe is the addiction, would you say?

            Would you be interested in a spiritual check up with me?

            Much love!

          3. Roz, it is the same with my husband- he is openly sharing that the way I can help him is by being kind and finding joy in the Lord, instead of nagging and being discontent.
            I am so glad that this is what you have been doing and he is noticing it.
            I will pray for your and your family!

        2. A pleasure sister! Our great Saint Paul, lived with a “thorn in his flesh!” If you read 2 Corinthians 12, 1-10. That might also help you. Yes it is hard to see people struggling, we want to “fix” things but is not our place.
          Bless you and your husband and family,
          Jesuscentreoflife

        3. Zornitsa,

          Depending on how severe the addiction is and what the addiction is, there are certainly times when a wife may need to reach outside of the marriage for help. And, if a husband continues in a severe addiction, there are times when a wife may have to prayerfully consider separation if he refuses to get help.

          Do you have any support? Does your husband want help? Does he want to stop? Celebrate Recovery is a Christian support group that helps with alcoholism, drug addiction (including RX drugs, and sometimes even other things like anger/rage.

          If you need support for a porn addiction, http://www.xxxchurch.org has very helpful info for believing wives whose husbands are addicted.

          If it is cigarettes, I have some training in helping people with that as a pharmacist.

          How is your walk with Christ going, dear sister? You will need all of Jesus you can get as you seek to navigate this wisely and respond in the Spirit rather than in the flesh.

          How may we pray for you?

          Much love to you!

          1. April, thank you for your encouragement! My husband is struggling with an addiction to prescription pills (pain-killers). He is a believer and he prays daily and begs God to help him and free him from any addictions. He stopped taking the pills for 3 months but then started again a few weeks ago.

            It is a big struggle and pain, not only because it causes me inconvenience, but mainly because he is struggling and questioning his salvation.

            As we have been dealing with this whole issue for about 3 years now, I can confidently say that in our case the only way I can help is by not being miserable and upset, but on the contrary, by rejoicing in God and finding my strength in Him.

            My husband is often telling me that I am concentrating on his sin, and this makes me blind to my own sin (for example- acting unkindly because I am worried about our life if he is addicted, or frowning and looking unhappy all the time).

            I would like a spiritual check up with you- thank you for offering!

          2. Zornitsa,

            This is a really tough thing, my dear sister! As a pharmacist, I have seen prescription drug addictions soar in recent years and I have taken continuing education classes recently about just how much of an epidemic this is becoming nationwide in the US. I have a feeling that the use of these drugs will become more limited, the addiction issue is getting so severe.

            But there are a few things I would love for you and your husband to know.

            1. Anyone can get addicted to narcotics. We know that the addiction rates are about 30% right now. That is pretty high! Often, people start taking the narcotics because they had legitimate pain. But then they happened to have an addictive response. This happens to other mammals, too. There are studies done sometimes in mice and these animals, even with no moral compass or ability to tell between right and wrong, become addicted. It is a biological response that people over which people don’t have control. Addiction is not really a choice once it is triggered. However, thankfully we do have a choice about what to do once we realize we are addicted.

            Lots of pharmacists I know have become addicted to controlled substances. I try to avoid these drugs as much as possible because I know I am not above becoming addicted to them. No one is above that.

            2. There will always be temptation and relapse can be easy. That doesn’t mean it’s useless to try to stop using the drug. If someone stumbles, they can reach back out for help and get back up.

            3. God can absolutely help with addictions. Celebrate Recovery is a resource that helps a lot of people. Or you may want to ask your doctor (his doctor) to refer him to a program for help. Sometimes there are Christian groups or individuals who are familiar with praying over people for healing and deliverance.

            4. There is spiritual warfare going on here, too. So read up on spiritual warfare – both of you – and stay as close to Christ as possible so that you can pray in the power of His Spirit effectively.

            5. It is not wrong for you to be upset about him giving in to this addiction and using the drug again. You care about him. You want what is best for him. Of course this upsets you. It should. But – what will be the most productive approach, that is the key. And how can you avoid responding in the flesh yourself? You don’t want to condone the addiction or respect the addiction. But you can respect him, even if it means you may need to reach out for help sometimes. And, depending on the severity of the addiction, you may have to set boundaries, yourself.

            6. Finding yourself addicted to a prescription pain medication is not really about salvation. It is more about biology. But there is medical help and there is every reason for hope in Jesus to find healing and freedom from this!

            Does he have a doctor who is willing/able to help him with this?
            Do y’all have a support group already?
            How severe is the addiction at this time?

            Okay here is the spiritual check up!

            1. How is your walk with Christ going? How much time are you spending with Him in reading the Bible and in prayer?

            2. What do you pray for?

            3. What do you want most in your relationship with God?

            4. What do you believe God may want you to do differently in your approach toward your husband going forward?

            5. What are your greatest fears?

            6. What are your most precious dreams?

            Much love to you! 🙂

          3. April,

            Thank you so much for your encouragement! My husband indeed started taking the painkillers for legitimate reasons but it all went out of control and the current addiction is very severe. He stopped them 3 months ago by going to a clinic but doesn’t want to do the same thing again, as they were giving him anti-psychotic drugs instead and he never wants to experience the same thing. I will share with him your comments on how common such addictions are and that getting addicted is not necessarily indicating whether a person is saved or not.

            Thank you for the spiritual check up questions.
            1. I read my Bible every morning for about 30mins after I wake up and pray and talk to God throughout the day. I must admit though that I pray a lot more when I have troubles in my life. I have often realized that in the rare cases when everything around me seems to be fine, I start skipping my time in the Word.
            2. I mostly pray that God would lead me and change me and expose my sin, so that my actions would be pleasing to Him. I have 2 big sins that are causing trouble in my life – pride and the desire to be liked by other people. I pray daily that God would remove the lies I believe so that I can be free from pride and from this very strong desire to be liked and approved by others. I pray for my husband daily. I usually pray that God would not leave him and turn His back on him because of this sin (the addiction), and that God would lead my husband into becoming the man God wants him to be. Usually before I go to bed, I also pray for my relatives, colleagues and other people that I know need prayers.
            3. I most want to find my satisfaction in Him and in doing His will. I don’t want to depend on my circumstances.
            4. I think that God is teaching me that I want my husband to be free from the addiction for selfish reasons. I want a perfect family, I want a perfect husband, and a perfect image in front of other people. I think that God wants me to love my husband with an agape love and earnestly pray for him, because I care about him, and not because I care about myself.
            5. My greatest fears are that I will look inadequate in the eyes of my family (my parents and siblings) and that we might end up on the street because of my husband’s addiction. I know that I am believing lies when I indulge in these fears and pray that God would truly change my heart.
            6. My most precious dreams are my whole (extended) family to be saved (my parents, siblings, daughter, parents-in-law)

            Thank you, April, for making me think about these topics. 🙂

          4. Zornitsa,

            Is your husband safe? Are you and any children in the home safe?

            Is he doing anything illegal? (You may answer these questions in the “Contact Me” tab privately if you prefer.)

            Is he able to think clearly?

            Is he driving in a dangerous manner?

            Is he overdosing? Do you know what and how much he is taking? Overdoses can make people stop breathing.

            What have you tried to do to help him this time?

            Do you have other family members, especially from his family that are willing to help you talk with him about this?

            Are you talking with a godly counselor or someone who can give you appropriate support in dealing with this even if he won’t get help?

            When your husband got help before, did the clinic help you, also? What did they tell him and you about what to do in case of relapse?

            Do you have strong prayer warriors praying over your family?

            Much love to you!

          5. Hi April, Thank you for asking me these questions.

            My husband is not doing anything illegal and we are safe but the addiction is very severe so most of our income is spent on pills, and for the larger part of the day, my husband is in a drug induced condition where his reflexes are very slow (he is not driving) and he often just falls asleep while talking or sitting (which is the unsafe part as he fell down and hit himself several times during the last few weeks). He is saying that he thinks clearly but his body is acting much slower (not sure whether it is true but he seems to be in his right mind). He is taking about two blisters of Lyrica 75mg. a day which is a huge overdosing and he is also taking a huge amount of Tramadol (not sure how much exactly).

            The main thing I am doing is to try not to focus on his sin and be upset all the time but to focus on God instead and try to find my joy in Him. Judging from experience and from what my husband has shared, if I act unhappy and upset, it just makes the situation worse.

            Unfortunately, we don’t have a strong support group or people praying for us. We live in a post-communist country- there are not too many believers here (there are no believers in our families) and there is almost no support for people addicted to drugs. Last time, the clinic that he went to was actually the psychiatric clinic of a big hospital. They didn’t offer much support, they were treating him as a second-class citizen and dealt with the addiction by abruptly stopping everything he was taking, and giving him a lot of anti-psychotic drugs. 🙁

            This time I am mainly praying for his deliverance from this slavery. And I am praying that God would also give my husband assurance about his salvation, because he is depressed and thinks that Christians can’t be caught in a habitual sin for a long period of time (it has been about 2.5 years now). The addiction has led to a lot of other issues (he lost his job, etc) so he is very discouraged. He is constantly talking about how if he died today, he would be going to hell. Good thing is that he prays daily and listens to sermons daily.

            April, thank you for your encouragement- it is so appreciated!

          6. Zornitsa,

            What you are describing doesn’t sound as severe as I had expected. It is still definitely a problem, for sure. But I have seen many situations that have been so much worse than what it sounds like your husband is experiencing.

            The Lyrica dose is not an overdose. It can be dosed even higher than that at times. But yes, it causes extreme drowsiness and it can be addictive. Tramadol didn’t used to be a controlled substance in the US, but then doctors realized patients were getting addicted to that, too. But in the scheme of things, both of these drugs are much less addictive and the addictions are much less serious than to a number of other stronger drugs.

            Did you and your husband talk before the relapse about how to handle a relapse? How to handle money? What to do about if he wants to buy more drugs but the family can’t afford it and it is destroying him?

            Does he want to stop taking the drugs? Are there any godly mentors/pastors around that he respects who may be able to reach out to him? Anyone you know who specializes in prayers of deliverance?

            Praying for God’s wisdom and provision for you and for God’s victory over this addiction. Your husband is not beyond God’s reach! If he were in the USA, he could find so much support at Celebration Recovery. I pray for God to provide the resources you need and the prayer partners you need for victory over this bondage and stronghold.

            Much love to you!

          7. Thank you for your support, April! The last few days have been particularly hard as we are struggling a lot financially (all money goes to buying pills) and my husband is in a really bad depression, praying and crying to God daily asking to be delivered from this slavery to the pills. He does want to stop and every evening, he is committed to stopping the next morning, and then takes our last money and buys pills. 🙁
            We don’t have any close Christians so there is no one to support him apart from me, but I know that God is able to set him free.

          8. Zornitsa,

            Goodness. 🙁 Would it be possible for you to prayerfully consider taking over the money so that he doesn’t have access to it right now since he is doing the thing he doesn’t want to do and can’t control himself?

            What do you believe God may be prompting you to do? When he is in the frame of mind where he wants to stop, perhaps you can respectfully suggest at that time that he allow you to handle the finances completely until this present crisis of addiction is past?

            Sending you the biggest hug, dear sister!

          9. I tried this a couple of days ago and he agreed. Very early the next morning, he woke me up and asked me to give him whatever we have left. I tried to reason with him but he went really angry so I gave in. 🙁
            I have been praying and I think that God is prompting me not to find money from elsewhere, when my salary is spent. Up until now I always find money from relatives or friends for food but eventually, we end up eating bread with salt, and everything goes to buying pills.
            Even though the situation is tough, I believe that God will help us and is probably letting this happen so that we can truly see our sins and humble ourselves.
            Before this addiction started, three years ago, I never thought that I could be so mean and nagging at times, thinking about my own comfort before everything else. God has been working in my heart so much during this period. I think that the situation is similar with my husband. God has given him a lot- he has a very good understanding of the bible and has the gift of explaining and teaching from the Bible so that everyone listens and understands. So at one point, I think that he became self-righteous at times, easily judging others for their sins. God is definitely humbling him through this experience.

          10. Zornitsa,

            This would definitely be a very humbling experience which I know God can use for much good.

            What do you think would happen if there was no money available to him and he couldn’t buy the pills? Do you believe you would be safe?

            How I pray for God’s wisdom for you and for God’s deliverance for you both from this snare of the enemy!

          11. I am not sure if we would be safe, if I refuse to find money. We accumulated a lot of debt in the last few years because he is taking loans from institutions that lend money with a very high interest. He is also giving some of his possessions to a pawnshop. He somehow always finds money because he is able to repay a significant amount as soon as I receive my salary (which is well above the average in our country).
            My hope is that either God will miraculously take away the desire for the pills (which has happened to him once before- he stopped cold turkey) or my husband would agree to go back to that state clinic again even though they were not treating him well and were giving him a lot of dangerous drugs.
            April, I appreciate your prayers- they mean so much to me, as I know that God is the one who can and will change this situation!

          12. Sisters,

            Let’s join together in praying for God to provide in Zornitsa’s situation. That He might give her the wisdom and power she needs to know what to do. And that He might intervene in her husband’s life to break this addiction and set him free from Satan’s trap.

            Zornitsa,

            I appeal with you to the Lord for Him to intervene to accomplish His will and His glory in this situation, precious sister. I pray God will wake him up and give him the ability to stop using these addictive pills and that he will desire to work and live fully for Christ with freedom from shame and no more addiction. I pray for the resources you both need to be supplied. I pray for God to shine light for you about exactly what He desires you to do.

            Much love!
            April

          13. Zornitsa,

            I believe there can be a time when a wife may have to say something like:

            “Honey, I love you. I want to be with you. I want this marriage to work. But this addiction is not okay. I can’t watch you destroy yourself and I can’t fund your addiction. It is up to you how you want to handle this. But either you will need to seriously quit on your own as we stay here together, you will need to go to the clinic for help if you can’t do that, or you may need to leave until you are sober.”

            This is not you controlling him. This is you not being willing to fund and enable his addiction.

            Pray about this, dear sister. And see what you believe God may desire you to do. I pray for His wisdom for you!

          14. Zornitsa,
            Of course, do what God prompts you to do! There are times when He may say to wait and pray and other times when we may need to speak up.

            Praying for you!

          15. Zornitsa,
            I have witnessed a living testimony that God works miracles on those who have suffered addictions for decades. Neither us wives nor our children can move them, only Christ performed this miracle I saw. Pray every day for him in earnest and stay on this blog please as a source of encouragement to you. Will be thinking of you today, and praying for you.

          16. April, thank you for your advice! When it all started, I was very close to asking my husband to leave and deal with it on his own, because of all the damage the addiction was causing to our family. Since then, I think that God is showing me that I am helping my husband a lot more by being next to him, encouraging him, sharing God’s truth and promises to him, when he is depressed. So I am trying (and not always doing it) to follow the advice from 1 Peter 3. So far, this has been the thing that has helped the most. I will keep on praying for wisdom!

          17. Zornitsa,

            I’m so thankful you are seeking to listen to God. I pray for His wisdom and His power to break through this stronghold of the enemy and for great victory for you both! 🙂

          18. Zornitsa (sorry I spelled your name wrong before!) and April, I’m so thankful to be able to listen in on your conversation. Praying for you both. Zornitsa, I love the advice April gave. I agree; it is not controlling your husband when you refuse to be controlled by his addiction. In order to fully surrender to God and make him our master, we have to free ourselves from other controlling “masters”. This takes courage, faith, and trust in a God who truly is in control. May the Lord grant you each of these gifts, dear friend. Praying for you today!

            Warmly,
            Shannon

    2. Zornitsa, I think you mentioned something very important. You said it’s a blessing to know that we’re not in control. Because what if we were? What if you could keep someone from sinning or you could create good outcomes? Oh what a heavy burden that would be to bear, would it not? So much better to know that God is in control, so we don’t have to be. Obviously, the situation with your husband is difficult and a strain, but knowing that God sees the situation, cares enough to be involved, and loves you both is what frees you from being the sort of wife who has to nag or get her way. May the Lord give you comfort and strength!

      Warmly,
      Shannon

      1. Thank you for your encouraging words and for the blog post, Shannon. This is so true- God is in control, He loves us and whatever happens in our lives we should know that it is eventually all happening for our good.

        1. Amen, sister! And I love what you said about the best way to help your husband is to find your confidence and strength in the Lord. Our loved ones don’t need us fretting and obsessing over their sin; they need us turning to the One who can make a difference, and who is using it in ALL of our lives simultaneously.

          Blessings to you, Zornista. And April, what a sweet, gracious, balm of healing you are to so many here. God bless your powerful ministry with women, here at the Peaceful Wife!!

          Love, Shannon

    3. Zornitsa this sounds exactly like my marriage. I often am unsure if I can continue to stay in such a marriage when I am so often very repulsed by the behavior. I am trying so hard to let God remove my need to control my husband over this issue and accept things the way they are but I feel like this may be a very long road for me. I’m sorry you also have this in your life.

      1. Zona,

        I hope you will check out the resources I shared with Zornitsa and Roz. I would be glad to do anything I can to help point you to resources and to Christ and the healing He offers to you. 🙂

        Much love!

        1. Ladies,

          Do please keep in mind that there is a difference between trying to control our husbands and make them change vs. deciding what we will not be able to tolerate. Does that make sense?

          I can’t change my husband if he is an alcoholic. I can’t force him to stop drinking. But if the addiction is severe, I may need to choose to remove myself from the situation. And I may prayerfully decide to say, “I can’t condone this. I can’t live like this. If you would like for me to stay, I will need to see you get help and seriously invest in changing this addiction. This is not okay.”

          Addictions are repulsive. We are not called to respect or accept sin. There are times we may need to confront sin. And there are times we can’t submit to our husband’s leadership when they are not in their right minds due to addictions.

          There are times when we have responsibility to seek help for our husbands, and if they won’t receive help, to get the help, wisdom, and support we need to make wise decisions. We don’t want to support the addiction or act like sin is okay. But nagging is not going to change an addict. So we will want to approach this with prayer, the power of God, our godly influence, and outside help as God prompts us.

          I hope that makes sense.

          Much love!

          1. Also, Nina Roesner has posts at http://www.ninaroesner.com like:
            – got an angry man?
            – how to calm down an angry husband
            – got a critical guy?

            And http://www.leslievernick.com has posts specifically about dealing with emotional/verbal abuse that may be helpful for those wives who are truly dealing with abusive behavior.

            Please compare everything any human author says to Scripture. Listen to God’s Spirit above all else! 🙂

          1. I secon what Zona said! And Zona, I just wanted to add James 1, which says that when we lack wisdom, we can ask of God who gives generously to all with out reproach. Isn’t that comforting? Also, verse 3 gives the reson for our trials: the testing of our faith produces steadfastness. I can’t imagine the struggle you’re facing, but I hope that you will face it with hope and confidence, knowing that God will show you which direction to go, and will use it to make you more steadfast in your walk with HIm.

            Much love,
            Shannon

      2. Zona, I am sorry that you need to deal with this in your life. I understand how hard it could get, so I wanted to share with you some of the things that have helped me, in the hope that they might help you as well.

        The main thing for me has been to realize that the fact that I am not struggling with this particular sin, doesn’t mean that my sins are less or of a less significance. It is easy for everyone to see an obvious sin like a substance abuse (the case with our husbands), but God is using our difficult circumstances to refine us as well and to expose our sin in the light and through this, to conform us to the image of our Lord.

        I very often feel discouraged and unhappy, and don’t live according to what the Bible teaches (Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice; …we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope…; This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it; and many, many more).

        When I start realizing how much I sin, I start to have more compassion towards my husband and I stop judging him as harshly.

        A passage from the Bible that has really helped me is in Galatians 6: 1Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.

        I need to often remind myself that I don’t live to necessarily be happy all the time but to rejoice in God, to do His will and find my comfort and satisfaction in Him. It is difficult but God might be using these circumstances to draw us closer to Him.

        I am praying for your and your family, dear sister!

        1. Zornitsa, very well said. My husbands addiction is a little different than you are dealing with. His is lust and wandering eyes which makes it even more personally painful to me. That is also the reason for my feelings of repulsion and creates major distance between us. He was always the major flirt anywhere we went and easily attracted to at least one person at all times who he would literally feel so attached to that he was in love with her even if it wasn’t mutual. Emotional affairs are just as damaging as physical ones. He is now working to overcome it all. We are working through it together (married 26 years) and God is working in us both in separate ways. It is a long slow process with many failures but I am trusting in Him and my walk with Him has grown immeasurably. Everything you wrote is so true and definitely applies to me. I am praying for you as well, God bless you!

          1. Zona,

            This would be really painful. 🙁

            Have y’all worked out what you both need to work together on this as a team?

            Do you feel that you both have the resources you need?

            I’d love for you to be as strong in Christ as possible, precious sister – then you will have the strength and power you need to navigate this. I pray for him, as well. That God might work powerfully in you both to draw you to Himself and to bring healing.

            If you need more resources, I may be able to point you toward some helpful things.

            Much love!

        2. Zornitsa,

          That is a really important thing to realize! It is easy to look down on those who struggle with sins that are not a temptation for us.

          I did something very similar with Greg – I looked down on him because I didn’t have the same temptations he had. And then I ended up succumbing to serious pride, self-righteousness, bitterness, control, resentment, idolatry, etc… 🙁 Not good!

          Yes, God absolutely can use even this very struggle to conform you both more into the image of Christ. I have known many people who have successfully overcome addictions, I pray you will be greatly encouraged!

          Thank you for sharing with our precious sister, Zornitsa. Sending you and Zona HUGE hugs!

  3. I can’t be forgiving and controlling at the same time. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty in a seemingly hopeless situation is a fearful abandonment that God blesses. Thank you for sharing your experience in sin and reconciliation with struggling wives and husbands.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this! I definitely have always “needed” to be in control and it wasn’t until this past year and a half I realized I couldn’t control everything. I even wanted to control the looks of something if I couldn’t control the actual thing so whatever was beneath the surface didn’t show up. But then it all fell apart and I’m so glad it did, because God has taken me deeper on my faith journey than I ever imagined possible. And you know what? He holds everything in his hands. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that God’s got this and me and he will make everything beautiful in his time and that he will make me to have hinds feet and rise up to high places!

    1. Beautifully stated, Caryn! I love your testimony of being glad that things were beyond what you could control, so that your faith could grow deeper. Only our good God could use a hardship for good and cause us to rejoice over it!

  5. “You’ve got to do something! << this. This is the compulsion that is so hard to stop. Anxiety and that feeling of powerlessness are relieved by speech and action. But the compulsion will never go away until we trust God's plan more than our own. Any advice Shannon, on how to catch ourselves in thar moment, and what to say to ourselves so we can breathe through the impulse and let it go away?

    1. Dear Marked Wife, Thanks so much for this question. I know just what you mean about the compulsion to take control. For me, what has been most helpful is to back up and cultivate a posture of surrender before I am confronted with the thing I’d like to control. At the end of each lesson in my book, I have provided a “meditation” which encapsulates the truth of the lesson and boils it down to a truth we can claim and own. (I have these available for free download to print or save digitally at controlgirl.com.)

      But besides meditating, here are some ways that I work to cultivate a surrendered heart before God, and adopt a posture of surrender:

      – spend time in God’s word, putting roots down in truth about God, myself, and my sin
      – purposefully casting all of my cares on Him. (Many times the compulstion to control is tied to a growing anxiety in my heart over something I can’t control but would like to)
      – laying down my fears of not being enough. Often I “boil over” because I’m stressed about all of the ways I’d like to be perceived
      – live within the limits. I talk in the book about how the daily limits of life are given by God to cultivate a heart of surrender.
      – take responsibility for myself. Plan ahead to create a peaceful environment and head off the conflict that I know will arise.

      Then in the moment, some of the things I try to remind myself of are:
      – Let go of the inconsequential
      -stop blameshifting (own my part of the conflict)
      – respect and submit to my husband
      – shepherd my kids gently
      – stop talking! hold my tongue
      – recognize my anger or anxiety for what it is: fueled by a desire for control

      And if you go over the cliff, and give in to you inner Control Girl yet again? Repent. Ask forgiveness. As a Christian, you’ve already owned the fact that your sin was enough to put Jesus on the cross, so this isn’t saying something new, but rather affirming what you’ve already claimed: You’re a sinner, saved only by the grace and blood of Jesus.

      Hope that helps, friend! Thanks again for the question… I think I’ll do a blog post on this. 🙂

  6. Thank you once again.

    God keeps showing me ways I seek control. Things had been better until this weekend when my jealousy and control reared it’s ugly head. We have been married for 17 years and until 3 months ago I had no idea just how much damage I had done to my husband. In his words I had “drained” him.

    I have been doing a pretty good job of following God’s voice and my husband had been slowly responding…baby steps. But this weekend I had no idea how to handle myself and ended up doing damage to my husband and marriage. God used this opportunity for me to apologize and let my husband see that I truly had no idea how to handle myself in that situation. I believe he saw (from my apology) that I was not trying to be mean or disrespectful but rather had no idea what to do and was grasping for control of myself. He’s better than where we started, but I can see a big step backwards in the way he’s responding to me. I don’t think he’s mad anymore, just back to being skeptical that anything can truly change.

    I asked him to help me understand when I hurt him. He just shuts down and tells me that there’s “nothing” wrong, when obviously there is. I told him I know it will hurt me to hear but that I would like him to try and tell me so I can be a better person. He is a believer but he struggles with language that he can tell I’ve gotten from another source…even “respect” and “sin” make him a little uneasy because we’ve watched part of the “Love & Respect” videos. He thinks I’m just doing these things because a book tells me to. I’m sure that feels a little manipulative to him.

    This post is so timely. “Jealousy” was the word of the weekend for me, but it’s obvious what “jealousy” is when you look at the heart of it– CONTROL. I can’t control my husband. I’ve had to “control” my household for the first 15 out of our 17 years almost all by myself due to his job, but now that he’s home a lot more he’s done, or drained, by my control of him too. I am such an independent person and I think that’s one of the things that drew him to me in the beginning. And I have had thoughts of “what do I need him for” go through my head too many times. I’ve stepped back and let him lead a lot more now and he’s stepping up. He’s great with the kids. He’s so incredibly responsible. He even takes great care of me when I let him.

    I struggle with just how verbal to be with him. For example, last night he said he was going to pick up dinner for all of us. I was going to tell him what to get, but then I realized that he KNOWS how to get our family dinner so BACK OFF! So I didn’t say a word. I have a gluten sensitivity and so I wasn’t sure if he would get me something special or not since we had fought the day before. Sure enough, when he got back he had a special pizza for me and regular food for everyone else. It was the most delicious pizza I’d ever had. I looked at him and said “thank you”. I think that’s all I need to do, but I really want to go to him and say, “you always take such good care of me and my food issues. Thank you”. But even this I’m worried will annoy him right now. I think of these kind of things often–ways that he has led us and ways that he has taken care of us in the past, but I feel that my words might be perceived as trying to manipulate him now. What do you think? I really do just want to bless him–to help him heal the deep wounds I’ve caused so he can be happier. God has truly blessed me with your blog. Thank you,

    1. Trying,

      It sounds like you did a really great job last night. That is awesome that you realized that he knows how to get dinner for the family and that you didn’t need to tell him what to do. I’m so proud of him for getting something you could have.

      It will take sensitivity and the prompting of the Holy Spirit to know when to add a bit more verbally vs. when your husband may not be receptive to your words. Words don’t really mean a lot to men – especially when they are feeling disrespected. Your attitude and behavior will speak the most powerfully to him in those moments.

      Do you know what happened to trigger the fight? I’d be glad to hash through that with you if you would like. We could talk about other ways to approach the situation that may be a blessing.

      I’m so excited about what God has been doing in you and in your marriage and family. Don’t let Satan get you stuck with this stumble that happened a few days ago. Get back up and keep pressing on. Learn from this and ask God to help you become a more godly wife and to bring about good even from this mistake. It sounds like God is already showing you a lot of things.

      When he is relaxing a bit more, your words of affirmation may mean more to him.

      Do you know the things that most speak disrespect and respect to him?

      Much love!

      1. Thank you April. I am learning so much and I was just looking back at my journal from when all this started 3 months ago and realized how far we’ve come. It has all been about control in some way or another so again, this blog post is so timely for me. I picked up “For Women Only” tonight as well. I’ve read yours and parts of the Surrendered Wife and my bible…lots of time with my bible!

        One other thing before we hash out what i could do different…when I got home tonight my husband was in a good mood and friendly again to me. He seemed happy and although it’s still not great, I felt like we hadn’t fallen backward quite as far as I thought we had. So relieved…

        I know what triggered the fight. We spent the weekend away for an event for our daughters. I knew we would be around a couple that gets my anxiety going. She used to be a friend but we fell apart and she is not a woman who pays much respect to her husband or other people’s marriages.–much of the reason I distanced myself from her. She likes my husband and he is friendly toward her (and everyone–he’s a truly truly NICE guy). I trust him with her, but I don’t trust her. When we arrived at the hotel, she was there–without her husband. I didn’t know we would be seeing her at the hotel–only the event the next day.

        I thought her husband and my husband would be interacting the whole day (they are friends) and that she could kind of hang with me. Well, she was not friendly to anyone around, except my husband. They were NOT flirting or doing anything at all inappropriate. But I got jealous. I didn’t say anything, but my husband knows I struggle with her and in our state of marriage I was even more out of control…and she showed up unexpectedly and without her husband. AHHH! :)…. I didn’t say anything but I know I acted jealous with my facial and body expressions. It was all just so awkward for me. I felt so out of control.

        Thank GOD I had my good friend there with me who helped me throughout the day. I also then had an hour and a 1/2 drive home to pray and process through how to interact when we got home. As I stated, I just simply told him I messed up, and I was sorry and that I was just so thrown by the whole situation. I didn’t say or blame anything on the other woman–because it isn’t about her. I think up to this point (over the last 3 months) my husband questioned whether or not I was trying to truly change or if I was just manipulating him. I think he thought I KNEW what I was doing–just being a brat. But that night I think he saw that I was really trying and was lost.

        I asked him to help me know how to be a better person when I was act like that. He doesn’t talk much in the middle of these “conversations” and I’m learning to let him process and talk to me if he needs to later. I saw his face soften after I was done expressing myself to him that night, it went from mad at me to just hurt again. I was soft and quiet and humble the next day and today we went to work (a nice distraction). But things are okay tonight. Ok, not great, but I’m happy with ‘ok’ for now.

        How do I handle being around this person? I don’t have to be very often, but when I do, it’s just so hard. She’s difficult to be around (she’s not terrible friendly) and I think she knows I don’t like her talking to my husband, but she does it anyway. He doesn’t act any differently to her than other women–just nice–so I don’t know why I’m so jealous. Any suggestions on handling this jealousy?

        1. Dear sister, I can relate to what your feeling. Often times jealousy is so powerfull and painfull! I wish I could be completely unaware of this state of mind. But I can’t help feeling jelause and insecure from time to time!
          I’ve tried to make a research of what I am lacking, why do I feel this. I have lots of fears and I have a craving for love. I want to be loved whole heartedly. And I need to remind myself that only God loves me the way I want. He is the Only one who will never betray me. He is the love of my life. I have to pull all romantic dreams about love between a man and a woman from my head and concentrate on my relashionships with God.
          Regarding this woman. Pray whole heartedly about her! She is doing wrong by being attracted to men other than her husband and that may ruin her life. She is not evil but sick. Pray to God to forgive her behavior and her attitude, not to punish her but to show her grace and love. Pray for happiness for her! That is so powerfull. Ask God to bring happiness to her and fill all the voids in her heart. When you find yourself wishing her to be happy and smiling, gradually you will notice that she is not triggering you anymore.

          1. Thank you Kate. I appreciate your words. It’s such a roller coaster. I feel like things are good and then he starts acting distant again. I’m so tired. Just continuing to pray and give him control and leadership in the family that I have taken on. Baby steps…

        2. Trying and April, Thanks so much for your sweet dialogue. Trying, I particularly am blessed by the way you’re seeking truth, searching your Bible, trying to adjust your responses to your husband, and reaching out to friends for support. In my book, I was particularly intrigued by the jealous struggle between Rachel and Leah. The irony was that they were already so blessed! They got to be the mothers of the nation of Israel. God was already giving them a beautiful role in redemptive history, but they couldn’t see it because they were too bogged down with their jealousy. Perhaps an antidote to jealousy is just focusing on all the good things God has given you. A husband, daughters, time together… I’m sure you have many more. I think God wants us to have a settled heart of praise, and a peaceful heart of surrendering the future to Him knowing that whatever comes, He will be our rock. I hope that is somewhat helpful to you Trying. And I’m so thankful that you are “trying”! Don’t give up. God will meet you where you are today.

          Warmly,
          Shannon

          1. Shannon. Those women were not happy in their “marriage”. There was no way they could be happy, not even a chance! Nobody was happy in those relationships.
            I don’t think this painfull situation should be even mentioned when we struggle with jealousy.

            Instead I would prefer to remind myself about the Eden garden where Adam had eyes only for Eve and they were absolutely happy. That is the only way for a man to be happy. So a wife doesn’t need to worry that her man may find happiness with somebody else.

          2. Hi Kate. Thanks for bringing up the pain of polygamy. I completely agree that this is the farthest thing from what God had in mind for marriage. And yes, Adam and Eve (before the fall) represent God’s perfect blueprint. I’m so sorry I seemed to make light of that struggle in my above comment; I can see where you would come to that conclusion! I assure you that I did not glance past the pain and struggle in Leah and Rachel’s stories, when I covered them in the book. Instead, I believe you will find deep compassion for those who struggle in marriages or other situations which are raw and complicated.

            I would offer one word of caution, dear sister, against saying that because of a particular situation, we cannot be happy (or perhaps a better word is “find joy”). So many of us face horrific situations that we cannot control: disease, addiction, drug abuse, disabilities, etc. Yet our joy does not come from vying for the control that we can never quite achieve.

            I’m not saying that a wife should overlook her husband’s unfaithfulness. No! I would endorse any wife’s effort to hold her husband accountable. Letting sin rule is never the answer. But what God invites us to is so much more satisfying that a lifetime of lunging for control. So many of these women in the Bible tried this approach and it only invited more pain and misery into their already broken situations.

            Instead, each woman of the Bible was gently invited to lift her eyes to the One who was in control, and find her comfort and strength in Him. There’s a little verse that punches a hole in the dark landscape of Leah’s suffering. Gen. 29:31 says, “And God saw that Lea was unloved.” He SAW her. He knew her struggle. He cared enough to keep watch over her. Oh, what a difference this makes to a woman who is suffering in what seems like an endless dark night of the soul.

            Kate, I have no idea what you or someone you love is facing, but I do know this: nothing has slipped from God’s hands or escaped His attention. He is good. He is safe. He is wise. And He can be trusted, even in the midst of pain and struggle that He has allowed.

            I hope these words bring some comfort.

            Much love,
            Shannon

          3. I have another question about control for you two (and any others that have experience!) As I am trying to back off, give my husband space, stop the controlling behavior, give him a chance to pursue me, and help him see me as the respectful person I want to be, I am struggling with something about this weekend. He is a very passive guy when it comes to conflict and talking about the relationship. He does not initiate it. I asked him to tell me what I did wrong and to help me learn when he’s able.

            He seems upset still and I believe it’s because he just doesn’t think I can change. Do I ask him about my behavior and what I can change? Or do I let him initiate? It feels like such a fine line–trying to let go of control and letting them lead, but also trying to figure out what to do to improve and be respectful. What have been your experiences?

            I so wish I could’ve started this journey without the eye opening experience of my husbands anger. But I’ve thought many times that it may just have been the only thing that could’ve gotten through to me.

            Thank you April and Shannon!!

          4. Thank you, Shannon! I’m sorry if my comment was a bit emotional. Yes, I understand what you mean now and I agree with you. Everyone is able to receive joy from God despite any painfull moments in his/her life.

          5. Trying, I don’t know your situation. But if you were overreacting and now you want to fix everything may be you should just relax and give him space. I wouldn’t investigate what was right and what was wrong. I would just calm down and try not to pay any attention to his conversations with women next time. But I’m struggling too….

  7. I am so thankful for your blog and ministry. I am a natural controlller of everything in my life. Just when I think I have my control issues “under control” God allows a situation in my life to show me He is still in control and wants me to submit to Him. I have learned that when I am trying to control my husband or children I am really telling God that I don’t trust Him. That crushes my heart and always leads me to repentance. The damage I have done to my family is still reflected in my daughter’s attitudes and I pray that in time they too will learn through God’s grace to allow Him to have total control.

    God has spoken and told me that I can use this gift to control with only one person, and that is myself! Wow! That was eye opening. I can use all my desires to control over my own flesh! How wonderful that would be! I now pray that I can control all my thoughts and emotions and bring them as Jesus commands us to be in obedience with Him and His word. I still struggle with control, but I have found peace in Jesus and hold onto the promise that He will always help me if I trust in Him. Proverbs 3:5-6.
    I would love a copy of your book.

    1. Dear Emily, I’m so excited to hear about the work God is already doing in your heart! That’s amazing. Let me encourage you to not spend time looking back at what you could have done so that your daughter’s attitudes would be right. That’s heaping that burden of control right back on yourself. Rather, know that in spite of all of our shortcomings as moms or all of the ways we did things “right”, God alone is the one who draws our children to Himself. That is so freeing!

      I love the way you said that trying to control is really evidence that we don’t trust God. So true! And also true that the one person we can control is ourselves, but this also requires a work of the Spirit. In all things we surrender to Him, and this is where we find the victory.

      Blessings to you on your journey, Emily! Again–I’m so excited about the work God is doing in you.

      Warmly,
      Shannon

  8. This is a great post and a great reminder for me how easy it is to be impulsive and want to “do something!” When I feel something is out of my control. Great timing, thank you for this! I am so interested to read this book!

  9. “But lunging for the control—which always seems to slip from my grasp—never brings the peace and security I’m hoping for. In fact, it just makes everyone (me included) miserable.”

    This right here… hits the nail on the head for me. I have to remember this when I’m feeling the desire to control.

    This post is a blessing. I’m definitely going to pick up this book.

  10. oh! I would love to get my hands on this book!!! Letting go and stopping the madness of trying to micro-manage my marriage and husband is a journey I started on a few months ago! Just by reading this little bit here,I know it would be so helpful!

  11. Hi Shannon, I find myself in control whether I want to be or not. If your book addresses situations with a man who avoids taking responsibility and is a blameshifting, passive aggressive, verbally and emotionally abusive excuse maker, and how to get out of that darned if you, darned if you don`t trap, lay one copy on me sister, please. I have major control issues. They are not just about WANTING control. They are about continually being in relationships with men who are a bit narcissistic, won`t take adult responsibility and seem to be looking for a mommy who will handle all the nuisance details of adult life while they pursue whatever they are interested in. If you think your book would help and can lay a copy on me I am more than willing to receive one!

    1. Hi Sheep-ish! I’m so glad you can relate to this topic. In answer to your question, YES! The book is full of input on marriage, and especially in the context of being married to a passive man. Eve experienced that. So did Sarah. Rebekah had a husband who wouldn’t listen to God. Rachel had a husband who let her control him. Leah had a both a father and husband who were extremely selfish and ‘used’ her, rather than loving her the way they should have.

      One lesson I’m learning: If I take the reigns for my family, my husband isn’t going to fight me for them. But if I refuse to take control and even let things start to unravel, it draws out the leader in my husband.

      Blessings to you; may you cultivate a marriage that relfects Jesus!

      Warmly,
      Shannon

  12. Every. Single. Day. God is teaching me to release control. It’s not only rude and unbecoming but it’s sin in my heart. 🤐 Great post.

  13. This was wonderful! We women are so similar, aren’t we?!?!! I loved when you said about it’s a burden I never wanted you to carry. Thank you

  14. Hello!

    Great post! I can’t wait to read the book.

    I was just wondering how to approach a certain situation. My husband is very protective of our 2 year old daughter. He does not approve of getting babysitters.

    We have had a few on very rare occasions but they were close friends of ours. Unfortunately we moved away and we don’t have family here. Now he doesn’t trust anyone.

    Valentines is coming up and I would really like to go out to dinner with my husband alone. We haven’t done this since last July. I brought it up respectfully and he got very defensive about it and said he wasn’t comfortable with it. I told him I respected that but would he think about it if I could find a teacher friend to watch her. He grumpily said he would think about it and to leave him alone about it.

    So I’m going to see if I can find someone, but I was wondering your thoughts on how to approach this? I’m wondering if I should just drop it, bring it up again if I find someone, or try to try to reason with him. I’m pretty sure the last idea won’t work, Lol!

    Thanks so much.

    1. Linsey,

      I wonder if this post about Valentine’s expectations may help? And 5 Easy Ways to Ruin Valentine’s Day (Or Not).

      Shannon is certainly welcome to share any insights. At this point, if he said he would think about it but to leave him alone about it – it seems to me that the respectful thing to do may be to not bring it up again. He knows what you would like to do. You know his concerns for the safety of your daughter.

      Perhaps you could plan something fun at home? I vote to be ready to be very flexible and to enjoy things if you get to go out or to enjoy him and your daughter if you get to stay home.

      Much love! 🙂

      1. Hi Linsey. I’m sorry to hear of your struggle, and I know how much it can mean to a mom to get to go out. But I agree with April. You know his concerns, and you’ve stated your hopes. I would suggest that you bring this desire to the Lord and only talk to Him about it, for now. Surrender this burden of expectation to the Lord, and watch to see what He will do, both in you and for you!

        I remember one Valentine’s when our kids were two and one, after we had just moved to a new town and knew no babysitters, I decorated a card table by the fireplace, and we had a candle lit dinner after the kids went to bed. I happened to be feeling really sick that day, and so it was truly a labor of love. But you know what? When I mentioned to my husband that I wasn’t feeling well (I didn’t really feel like eating the steak dinner I had prepared), he was so compassionate and thankful for what I had done. I got to see a glimpse of his softer side and it meant so much to me. I think God orchastrated that just for me. It seems odd to see it that way, but truly God does bless us with little gifts when we live as sweetly surrendered wives, who aren’t insisting on our own way.

        blessings to you, Linsey. I’d love to hear how this works out… 🙂 (You could email me at shannon@shannonpopkin.com if you feel so led. :))

        Warmly,
        Shannon

        1. Thank you ladies. I think both of you are right. Plus, this might be a great opportunity to show my husband that I really am trying not to be so controlling and demanding. In the past, he has gotten upset with me in regards to holidays and special occasions, because I’ve always tried to control the situation out of fear. This would really show him that I’m letting go of that control if I respect his concerns and I don’t push for him to do just what I want.

          I like the dinner idea. I have a question though for either of you. Can I do something nice like a dinner for my husband and still be feminine about it? I was thinking about maybe planning V Day this year to take some pressure off of him, but I’m nervous that he might think I was controlling the situation or maybe I really am? My husband does not like me telling him what I want for special occasions because he says I ruin the surprise of it.

          1. Linsey, I love that you’re trying to please him and not offend him. I would caution against the main motivation being to “show him” that you’re not controlling because whether or not he sees what you’re trying to show him is not something you ultimately have control of. I’ve tried that in the past and then been really frustrated because my husband didn’t see my new heart or appreciate the change like I wanted to. Instead, how about making it your goal to surrender this Valentine’s Day to Jesus and give him full reign over your expectations. As for taking pressure off vs. controlling the situation, why not ask him what he would like. You could say, “Honey, I know it’s not going to work with a babysitter, but what if I planned a special meal for us? Would you like that, or did you have something else in mind?” Then commit to being okay with however he responds. Hope that helps, Linsey. One more thing: know that you are so completely loved by Jesus and completely whole in HIM!

            Love, Shannon

          2. Shannon,
            I could not have explained this better myself. YES! I agree about using caution in our motives. I did the same thing, tried to respect Greg in order to get a certain response from him. Or tried to be “respectful” but didn’t really respect him genuinely. Neither of those things worked. But what does work is when I choose to respect his limitations and his preferences and where he is now and when I seek to please Christ with my own motives and attitudes, knowing He will reward me.

            And yes! It is VERY important to remember our identity in Christ and how much He loves us. 🙂

            It’s such a blessing having you here, dear sister! 🙂

          3. Linsey,

            But I DO understand your heart to want to take this opportunity to exercise being a peaceful wife and not a control girl. That is a good desire. 🙂

          4. Shannon Popkin,

            I feel the exact same way about you. I love hearing your insights and the things God has shown you. I always smile when I see that He has shown you so many of the exact things He has shown me. I love how He shares His treasures with us and then pours them through us to others to bless them. He is SO good!

          5. Thanks ladies.

            Yes, I sort of understand. It’s just so hard sometimes to let go of control that I try so hard not to be, and yes, if he doesn’t respond in the way I want him to, it can cause me to be controlling again. For example, with my husbands nicotine addiction. Sometimes I have let go of control of it In hopes that he will quit, but when he doesn’t I get disappointed and I try to control it again. I guess what I’m having a hard time understanding is this. I know that our motives should be to follow God’s word and to honor Him, correct? Regardless of how others respond or the outcome, right? But can’t you simultaneously want to be a better wife to bless your husband too? I know I don’t own his happiness, but I can probably influence him in a way?

            Also, what if you really don’t respect him? Not because he isn’t deserving of respect, but because you are still hurt from things he has said and done. I know it’s my job to forgive and respect him whether he deserves it or not and I should ask for God’s help, but what do I do in the meantime when God’s working in me? Shouldn’t I fake it until I make it?

            Also, I have such a hard time letting go of control and worry when hormonal. It’s soooooo much harder for me!

            Okay that was a lot!!! Lol.

            Thanks!

          6. So I reread Chapter 4 of your book April and it helped remind me of the answer to my last question, even though it is so difficult for me to respect him when I’m hurting because of lack of affection and well, love. I guess he probably feels like it’s hard for him to love me after years of disrespect? It’s hard, but I’m going to have to be the one that truly respects him first and then just trust in the Lord. 🙂

  15. Hi again! Thanks Shannon for the reply! Nice to see both of you on here helping us out! I’d really love a spiritual checkup if you have the time !!

    Thanks again
    Many blessings

  16. I am studying Clinical Christian Counseling and we are learning about our God-given (inborn thru life) temperaments. It sounds like Ken is partly Phlegmatic and possibly Melancholy in areas and he needs sleep, especially after being drained with work. It also sounds like Shannon may have a little Choleric in her control (I do as well). It would be truly interesting to see their temperament results….. regardless, how we ‘react’ to our needs not being met, in a controlling way is certainly the focus here. When our needs are not met, some of us lash out. I certainly have many times in the past and the Lord is showing me my sin. I’m working on self-control and being gentle/tender and peaceful. I am working on this with Jesus and by reading your blog posts, also through ongoing counseling.
    My husband is Melancholy Compulsive and is what we call a Supine in control. He is not a born leader. His temperament is beautifully knit to that of a follower; however, with His help, Scriptures, and prayer, he is learning to bend a little outside of his temperament to be involved in decisions. This can be stressful for someone who is not a born leader, just as it is stressful for someone who is a born leader to submit to the authority of a husband. It is not impossible, just tough… it is workable, it is well worth the process. Thank you for continued eye-opening posts that speak directly to my heart and mind. I give God the glory for all of the wisdom I have gained from your posts.

    1. Heidi,
      That is so interesting!

      Yes, no matter what the personality types, we are all “sandpaper” to each other in marriage that God uses to smooth out the rough spots. All of us will have to allow ourselves to be stretched, pruned, refined, and chiseled by God’s hand in our marriage through these challenges as God uses them to make us more and more like Jesus.

      Yes! To God be all the glory! 🙂

  17. Hey, Heidi.

    I’m Sanguin (I am very optimistic, carefree, love to be with people, and adjust well in social settings). Ken’s Choleric (He is driven, goal oriented, analytical, and couldn’t care less what people think. :)) Perhaps personalities come into play, but I think as women our deep desire for control manifests itself in all the different personality types and marriage combinations. There is no end to the way our sin can reinvent itself. Yet surrender to God is what breaks the curse in our hearts and sets us free, as women and as wives.

    Blessings to you on your counseling studies! What a worthy goal! And I love that you’re working first on your relationship with Jesus and in your marriage. You will be such a help and blessing to many!

    Warmly,
    Shannon

  18. Thank you for this article. I need a constant reminder that I am not in control and frankly, the thought terrifies me. I know its related to my abusive childhood, but I can’t seem to relax when things are not going well. My husband hasn’t spoken to me in over a week. I feel like I’m his roommate, not his wife. Nothing I do is right or good enough and I’m tired. I don’t know if I want to be married anymore. I took off my wedding rings but he’s too busy to notice that I’m not wearing them. I don’t want to try and control him but I don’t know what else to do. I’ve prayed, fasted, and sought counsel. My husband admits he’s a dictator…his words not mine. Sometimes I wish he would leave and put me out of my misery. I don’t know what he thinks marriage is about. It appears that he only wanted to get married to benefit himself. He requires me to pay half of the bills and take care of his son (from a previous relationship). He refuses to get joint accounts because he wants to make sure I have no access to his money. He hides all bank statements etc.. and sends his mail to his brother’s house so I can’t see it. I work full-time and take care of all the household responsibilities. He leaves his son with me (against my will) and goes out of the country when he feels like it. He doesn’t even respect me enough to let me know where he is staying, flight details or anything when he’s away. I’ve had a miscarriage and two ectopic pregnancies and his words to me were “get over it”. He hasn’t paid a cent towards the medical bills and doesn’t attempt to help at all. I don’t know why he married me in the first place. Sorry for venting. I’m frustrated.

    1. Natalie,

      My dear sister! My heart breaks so much over what you are describing. 🙁

      And how grieved I am to hear about your pregnancy losses. I send you my deepest sympathy!

      I could certainly understand why you are feeling frustrated based on what you are describing. Would it be okay if I ask a few questions to try to get a better feel for what is going on?

      Much love to you!

      1. Natalie,
        If you would like to communicate in a more private way with me, you are welcome to send me a message on my contact page.

        I am not generally able to do one-on-one counseling. But I don’t want you to endanger yourself by over-sharing online.

        Much love to you!

        1. Natalie, I am praying for you to find hope and wisdom for how to proceed. I also can totally see why you are frustrated and deeply hurt. I’m sorry that the thought of not being in control terrifies you, but I’m hoping that God will reveal Himself to you as He truly is–a good, good Father whom we can each trust. You mentioned abuse in your childhood, and sometimes we have to reprogram our minds with truth after being hurt so deeply. Can I encourage you to go to the Psalms to find comfort and peace? I especially love Psalm 18. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+18&version=ESV.

          I would also suggest that you reach out to April or someone esle for counsel. I wish I could give you a hug and a shoulder to cry on, dear sister. May the Lord be everything that you need tonight.

          Love, Shannon

  19. Hi!

    I’m so appreciative of this blog and can relate to the struggles of wanting to control. I struggle in two areas

    – wanting my husband to take more leadership spiritually in our marriage and family
    – in our intimate relationship.

    I so often feel I don’t know the difference between encouraging or suggesting things, which I know my husband is ok with, and nagging or trying to control. As far as spiritual leadership, my husband is a godly man who served the Lord faithfully. I just wish he wanted to pray with me more often and study the word more together.

    Probably my biggest struggle is in our intimate relationship. I’m a higher-drive wife and want intimacy 2-3x a week. He’s happy with once a week depending on how busy/tired he is. We’ve discussed this many times, and he’s told me he hates to be pressured, the more I ask/pursue the less interested he is. Usually we’re intimate 1-2 times a week, sometimes less frequently. I know this is a desire difference and not anything more serious, but I struggle so much with letting him take his time and pursue me when he’s ready. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me to let go in this area, especially since I know this is how he works. I struggle with feeling hurt, lonely, resentful etc.

    This has been an issue for all of our 2 years of marriage, although it’s gotten a little better and easier to talk about together. My husband has told me often that I overturn this, I need to relax and not try so hard. I’ve spent much time in prayer that the Lord would help me to surrender this to him and allow my husband to take the lead in this area of our marriage. I wish I could just let go and stop worrying and thinking about it. I’ve also realized that I may at times be looking to my husband to satisfy me in ways only the Lord can, so I’m trying to adjust my expectations and make sure there reasonable. I love my husband, I know he loves me and we have a great relationship. I just wish I could let go!

    1. Hopeful wife,

      I love your name you are using here. 🙂 So beautiful!

      I can completely relate to both of these areas. For the first 14+ years of our marriage, that is where I was, too. So you are going to find a lot of posts here about these issues. 🙂

      Turns out that often the more driven Type A wives tend to be the higher drive spouse sexually. And the more passive husbands can sometimes tend to be the lower drive spouse sexually. Of course, this also depends on the season of life, and health issues, and a variety of factors. But one big factor I didn’t know about was that the more respected my husband felt, the more excited he would be to be with me intimately. When I was so negative, critical, bossy, condescending, pushy, controlling, and upset most of the time – it was a really big turn off for him. Looking back, I can totally understand why.

      I invite you to search a few things on my home page search bar, precious sister:

      – husband lead (that will bring up a number of posts about how you can encourage your husband to lead)
      – sexual rejection
      – higher drive
      – when your husband rejects you
      – respect and attraction
      – interview with my husband
      – why won’t my husband lead
      – husband idol
      – respect dare day 1 expectations

      See if any of those may be helpful.

      Let’s talk about what you find out and what you may still able struggling with!

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

      1. Hi April,
        The articles you pointed me to were very helpful. I also had a very difficult, although eye opening discussion with my husband the other night. He pointed out several things to me that were bothering him and that he felt I needed to work on in order for our relationship to be better.
        -He feels I over emphasize intimacy in our marriage and that I’ve equated sex with closeness to him. He feels that I undervalue the other times we have together and don’t feel they count because they are not physical closeness. He also says I bring it up too much.
        -He feels I let the difference in our desire effect other areas of our marriage.
        -He feels that often I say I’m going to do something (i.e. let him take the lead in this area) but then do not follow through.
        -He says that yes, this area of our marriage is important but it’s not the most important thing and that I need to stop making it the most important.
        -He also admits that at times he may undervalue this part of our marriage (he enjoys our physical relationship but its not the primary thing to him) but that he’s making an effort to make it more of a priority.
        -He feels pressured by me because he feels if physical intimacy does not happen than I will be disappointed and it makes him want to back off.

        So, it looks like there is Alot I need to work on! It hurt to hear him say these things, but it hurt because its mostly true. I may not consciously believe these things, but obviously my actions are portraying them to him.
        I think I’ve been holding some idols in my heart about my marriage and my husband that I need to let go in order to be what God wants me to be and be the wife my husband needs.
        To be honest, I feel discouraged because I feel I’m always the wrong one in this situation, but maybe that’s because I am wrong! I also know that my responsibility is for myself alone.

        I’ve been doing a lot of praying and trying to seek God’s wisdom and would appreciate any other resources or insight you have.
        Thank you!

        1. Hopeful wife,

          I did the same things you are describing for a long time. It is like you are describing my own thinking from before about 6-8 years ago.

          I, too, equated sex with “we are close.” Or with “our marriage is good.” And I tried to measure the “strength” or “goodness” of our marriage by checking off items on a list. Not really consciously, but that is what I did.

          – He emailed me this many times today/this week.
          – He initiated physical affection.
          – He went on a walk with me.
          – He wanted to pray with me.
          – He sat with me to eat supper and talked with me without the TV being on.
          – He turned off the TV to just listen to my heart.
          – He gave me a compliment.
          – He initiated sex.
          – He at least was receptive when I initiated sex and we had sex every day.

          I actually had pages and pages of unwritten expectations going into marriage. I have posts about them if you search “expectations.”

          Some of the things on my list – a lot of them – were things that weren’t really him. He doesn’t like to pray out loud with anyone. Here is a post I wrote about overcoming this expectation. He isn’t a super verbal guy and doesn’t give a lot of compliments. Of course, he also doesn’t give a lot of criticism. He shows love more by acts of service. But I didn’t count all of those things as ways he was showing me love.

          He didn’t like going on walks. He was used to growing up in a house where TVs were on all the time and couldn’t understand why I made such a big deal about that.

          And, during several times in our marriage – he was doing extremely major house renovations (for me) plus working a full time job. So he was completely exhausted. He would work on his job and then eat supper and then work with his dad on our house until midnight or later 6 nights a week. Sometimes for over a year at a time. (I really don’t recommend that scenario as a recipe for a healthy marriage.) But he was completely exhausted. And I was so demanding. He felt pressured by me and unappreciated for all that he was doing to try to make me happy – creating my dream house.

          It was about 2-3 years into this journey that I realized I had to stop pressuring him for intimacy. It took awhile for things to improve, but they definitely did. As I stopped the criticisms, negativity, bossing him around, being upset all the time, and pushing him, he began to relax. And as I began to have peace and joy, to affirm him in positive ways, and to be thankful for what he was doing for me, things improved even more.

          I think what you discovered with that conversation is REALLY important stuff! I hope you won’t feel discouraged, but rather empowered. Now you know how to better meet his needs and how to draw him to you by being more accepting, patient, and probably peaceful and joyful in Christ. This is a good thing! You won’t have to keep spinning your wheels doing something that is actually sabotaging your desires for more closeness.

          It helped me to know that Greg feels connected with me no matter if we are talking or not. When I learned that, I was able to relax and rest more in his love for me and not freak out if we didn’t get to talk as much or have as much intimacy physically as I would have liked.

          I am praying with you! And I also invite you to stop measuring your marriage. You don’t have to! Lay down your expectations. Lay down the checklists. And just enjoy what your husband does give you. Be his friend. Rest in God’s love for you. Find your security in Him completely.

          Did I share posts for wives with higher drives already?

          Much love!

          1. My expectations for intimacy are also something that I have struggled with and I thank you for touching on this. I believe God has really spoken to my heart on this lately that it is an area I need to be working on – surrendering these expectations and enjoying the closeness we have in our marriage without measuring it against how intimate we are. I’m really trying to step back and let my husband lead in this area but it is a real struggle sometimes. I know I need to stop equating closeness and intimacy and I can completely relate to this discussion it is so difficult sometimes. realistically I know with my husband’s work schedule that he is very tired by the end of his shift rotations but then I still find it very hard not to take it personally. I really feel lately though God starting to open my eyes of this and where I need to let go of this expectation.

          2. TrulyBlessed,

            This is a painful thing. Very painful. It can feel like your husband doesn’t love you if he rejects your advances. But sometimes, our men truly are exhausted or there can be other things going on, too. I know that my disrespect repelled Greg a lot. I can totally see why now! But I couldn’t see it years ago. He truly did love me, but I was so entitled, enmeshed, and demanding. My approach took a lot of the fun out of things for both of us.

            And sometimes husbands may be dealing with medical issues or side effects of medications. There are many reasons why a husband’s libido may be lower than his wife’s. As we get older, into our 30s-40s and beyond, many times the wife’s libido naturally goes up and the husband’s begins to naturally decline. Men tend to hit their peak of libido in their late teens or early 20s. Women tend to peak in their 30s or 40s.

            It is frustrating! BUT… these differences in expectations and differences in desires are fertile grounds for God to work holiness in us as we learn to trust Him.

            Husbands are generally repelled by things like:
            – contempt
            – lots of negative emotions
            – hateful words
            – an angry tone of voice
            – scowling
            – frowning
            – anger
            – resentment
            – control
            – pressure
            – complaining
            – arguing
            – bossiness
            – directives/demands

            Husbands are generally attracted to things like:
            – a peaceful spirit
            – gentleness
            – patience
            – kindness
            – friendliness
            – a smiling, happy, joyful wife
            – no pressure
            – receptivity
            – emotional safety
            – warmth
            – understanding

            Here are some posts that may be a blessing:

            Measuring Intimacy
            Placing My Higher Sexual Appetite under God’s Control
            When You Feel Deprived in Marriage
            How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage through Your Thought Life
            My Demon
            Respect, Biblical Submission, and Sexual Attraction
            Oneness: Not Too Close and Not Too Far Away
            Closeness in Marriage Looks Different from What I Expected by A Fellow Wife (all of Fellow Wife’s posts may be helpful, you may search by her name on my search bar.)

            I feel your pain, dear sister! And I want to encourage you that it is possible to get to a place where you can be content in Christ if you get to enjoy sex with your husband or if he is too tired. Use that extra time alone to savor being in God’s presence. Look to Him for your security, acceptance, and identity. Then you will be filled up to overflowing and won’t be a black hole of neediness to your husband. When you are filled up and radiating with God’s goodness, peace, and joy, that will invite your husband to come nearer to you. But even if he doesn’t, you can be content in Jesus. There is so much freedom in Christ!

            Much love!

          3. PS,
            Ladies, if you desire sexual intimacy more often than your husband does and you have NOT been pushing and pressuring him for a long time, you may be able to simply ask for what you would like in a friendly, pleasant way. “Honey, I’d love to get to make love with you one night this week.” Or you may be able to initiate without words when you know your husband is not tired and may be receptive.

            Men have higher testosterone levels in the morning – so that may be a good time to try if your husband is open to you initiating things.

            If you have been pushing or pressuring for quite awhile, it may be wise to back off for a few weeks, maybe a month, maybe even longer. That will give him some space and time to recoup and to begin to miss you and to feel his own desire for you. If you combine this with getting rid of disrespect and focusing on allowing God to transform you to respect, honor, and bless your husband – this can be a really great combination to get things back on track. But it requires patience! Thankfully, patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit, so is self-control, so God can empower us to do this as He leads us. 🙂

            Much love!

          4. April, thank you so much for sharing your story and for the wise advice. I’m really going to try, with the Lord’s help to step back and stop making this such a big issue with my husband. As I’ve been doing allot of thinking and praying over this past week I’ve gained a lot more perspective on why my husband seems to react negatively so often about this area of our relationship.

            Although I view myself as a kind, loving, respectful wife (it’s possible that I may be disrespecting my husband in ways I’m not realizing. I’m praying the Lord will open my eyes to what I’m missing!), I think I’ve come across as disrespectful to him about our difference in desire. I probably haven’t seemed accepting too him and disrespectful to his feelings by pressuring him or taking it personally when he is not interested at the same time I am. I’ve often reacted emotionally and allowed out to affect my peace and happiness. I haven’t listened well enough to what he’s told me about his thoughts/ feelings- instead I just keep praying and trying to make him be like me! So silly!

            My husband is not a man who demands that things go his way. He’s pretty easy going most of the time and he’s easy to get along with. He has never once demanded anything of me, or made me feel I had to do something to make him happy. Should I not in return give him the same respect?

            I think this is one area where he does need me to hand over the reins to him and show him I respect and trust him. I’ve had two years of bringing this up on a semi weekly basis, plus asking and trying to initiate several times a week. It has mostly just caused more problems, and I think it’s time for me to stop and step back. My goal is too trust my husband, that he loves me and will do his best for me (As I know he will). And more importantly I need to trust God-that he will do what He wants too in my marriage, and that he can fulfill me no matter what my husband does or doesn’t do. My prayers have changed from “Lord I can’t do this will you please change this and make him more like me!” to “Lord change me and help me learn to know and understand my husband better! Make my marriage what you want it to be!”

            I really appreciate the resources you have here on this topic. They have been so helpful to me, more than any other I’ve read. It also helps I’m not the only wife who feels this way! I don’t feel so alone. I apologize if this got long, it’s just nice to talk a little about it without feeling I’m betraying the privacy of my marriage which is why I can’t talk about this with anyone I know.

            And I appreciate your continued prayers, that God would continue to work in my heart and help me obey him.

          5. Hopeful wife,

            You can learn to hold back a bit and stop pursuing him so much. You can learn not to look to the number of times you have sex each week as a measure of how much he loves you or how good your marriage is. You can learn to wait and let his appetite kick in a bit more and let him begin to come to you. You can even learn to stop “simmering” all the time with so much anticipation for sex and turn your focus to God and other things.

            I think you are learning some really amazing things right now. I love how you describe your husband. He sounds a lot like mine. Yes, as you back off and stop demanding things of him, he will feel a lot more free to move toward you. It is hard for a husband to pursue his wife when she has her hands around his throat.

            I try to explain to my daughter, men are like cats. It works best to let them come to you, many times. 🙂 If you run at the cat and grab it 20 times a day because you want to cuddle, like my daughter tends to, he will probably start avoiding you and running away when he sees you. What I do with my cat, Silver, is I basically ignore him. And he is more bonded to me than to anyone else in the family! He comes to me for cuddles when he is ready. And when he does, I enjoy him.

            I LOVE that you want to learn to trust your husband and his love for you and that he will do his best for you. That is beautiful! I also love, even more, that you want to trust God and find fulfillment in Christ alone. That is TOTALLY possible! I am thrilled to see how your prayers have changed! WOOHOO!

            You are not the only wife who feels this way. This dynamic happens a lot especially for couples in their 30s-40s. And it also tends to happen a lot when there is a more dominating wife and a husband who is shut down. That dynamic makes it hard for a man to feel the desire he would usually feel.

            Much love to you! I pray God will continue to heal you both for His glory!

          6. Hopeful Wife-

            I can’t speak for all men, but the last thing my husband wants to be is intimate with me when I have been disrespectful, he is stressed, or we have been fighting.

            I used to be in your shoes too. I was afraid that my husband wasn’t attracted to me or that maybe he was gay! I used to pressure him or complain and it would push him farther away. I would try all sorts of things, and then when he didn’t want to I felt so humiliated. I even yelled at him once that he must be gay, unattracted to me, or that something was wrong with him!!! I am so ashamed that I did that knowing what I know now.

            What I didn’t realize was that my disrespect was pushing him away in that area. At that time, I had no idea what respect really meant to a man. It’s almost like if your husband told you he didn’t love you and then wanted to be intimate with you. It would be pretty hard to do, right? I finally learned that it had to do with disrespect and stress, because whenever we went on vacation and we were having a great time and getting along, his desire went back up. In order for him to be close, we had to have a connection that was based on respect, plus he isn’t stressed from work on vacation.

            Now I am in no way perfect now and I have a long way to go still as far as learning what is respectful to men, but now I use this type of opportunity to maybe let me know that maybe I have been disrespectful in some way. If it is really bothering me, I might say, “Hey honey, is everything okay? Have I done something disrespectful lately?” and see what he says. Or I just might let it go and wait for him to come to me. My husband doesn’t like when I aggresively initiate or really initiate at all. He likes to pursue, which I have learned to graciously accept.

            Also, if I complain or pressure or beg for it, that seems pretty desperate and I can imagine pretty unattractive to a man. Also, some men lose their libido if they are stressed at work or other areas of life. Some men only want sex once in awhile. Everybody is different.

  20. Hi,

    I know how controlling can mess up a marriage. In the beginning of our marriage i was a controlling, bossy, it unbearable to live with me. I saw my husband changing from sweet, free spirit man to a harsh and unfaithful man, i could not take it anymore. I cried to God to say this is not my husband and God revealed it to me how i messed up my husband. I repented and apologised to my husband, we got to a place he started to open up to me, be home most of the time, thanked me for understanding him, stopped with the affair and pulling up his socks at work. I started seeing my husband being so driven about his work. I experienced love at another level.

    Recently i had a conversation with a man at work and we speak about marriage a lot so he started outlining things women should do for her husband. I did an introspection and realised i took a step back, i could see or feel the difference but i didn’t realise the mistake. I realised my husband has started going out a lot, he doesnt enjoy his home again. We argue a lot again and i am answering him back when he speak. i dont ask for his opinion or say anymore. I don’t wash his feet anymore, when he gets home tired and the feet are smelling ( i used to love doing that and he once told me he loves it a lot when i do that). Believe me, I hate being this woman, so i asked my husband if i have gone back to my old self or habit and he said yes you are there. You that woman that a man wants to come home 10 at night.

    What stresses me the most is my walk with Christ, i am a born again (husband not) but nowadays i am struggling to read the word which makes it so difficult to pray. I am stressed because i know i need God to help me and change me but with the zeal or fire i dont know what to do.

    Please help.

    1. gentlespiritwoman,

      Shannon is certainly welcome to respond, as well. 🙂

      I’d love to do a spiritual check up with you if that is okay. The first thing we have to do is to be sure our walk with Christ is strong and vibrant and that there is nothing in our hearts that is blocking His Spirit from working powerfully in us. Then He can give us the strength and ability to be the women He calls us to be.

      If you are interested, here are some questions – take your time to answer:

      1. Do you believe that you are holding onto any lies about God, yourself, your marriage, or husband that may be toxic?

      2. What are your greatest fears?

      3. What are your most precious dreams?

      4. Is there any bitterness in your heart toward your husband, God, or anyone?

      5. What do you usually pray for – for yourself and your husband?

      6. What do you desire most in your relationship with Christ?

      7. How do you believe someone can be right with God?

      Much love to you! And a huge hug!

      1. Ooh wow April, i can feel the warmth of that hug. Thank you so much it means a lot.

        I know exactly what you mean when you say Christ is the one who gives us the strength and ability to be the women He called us to be that is why this was killing me. I know the joy of walking or rather standing right with Christ.

        1. Always when i don’t feel God’s voice or presence, i ask the holy spirit to reveal if i have wronged and if i see or hear something i would repent. I don’t doubt the love of God for me, i know it is unconditional. I was starting to doubt the church that i am in now because i have the hunger for the word of God. It is preached but i would feel something is missing. I believe i am not holding onto any lies.

        2. Not hearing the voice of God correctly (going or choosing the wrong decision), this one is regarding my spiritual life. Not being able to buy the house we are currently renting now, we love it and my kids are so happy in this neighborhood ( the owners want to sell it to us but financially we are not qualifying, our finances is a mess). Not being able to be the wife that my husband needs ( i know he’s been through a lot while growing up). That my husband will take long to be serious or understand ( like now we decided to sell his bike after sell our car because his father has given him his car) i proposed this to him so that we can sort out our finances, this is the only assets we have but he took his time to respond and now that he agreed ( and i promise i didn’t push or pressure him) he is taking long to proceed with this action. Sometime i feel he is growing up too slow and the kids are growing up and looking at him.

        3. Currently is to be a stay at home mum ( or work from home or less hours), i want to take care of my family. Be able to help them when they go to school and work, for them to get me home when they come back. Meals ready and just waiting to hear how was their day. I hate this busy, rush rush life. Owning the house we are currently renting and having enough time to do charity work ( i collect clothes, help less fortunate when i have, visit shelters) and i have started a group for married women especially my age but this year i have not started because my walk with Christ was not in right so i was finding it hard to conduct the session.

        4. One thing that i know that hurt me was, my colleague whom i thought was my friend or rather a sister when she got pregnant she didn’t tell me. We share almost everything with her, we believe in Christ ( we share the word, pray together and encourage one another), currently she is engaged and she asked me to be her maid of honor then ( i don’t know if it is still like that) and i agreed. She just decided to be sour in the office, not talking to me, spending her time with people that don’t get along with us. People were asking me if she is pregnant and i didn’t think so because she didn’t tell me. Now the tummy has grown and she hasn’t said a word. This hurt me a lot, i don’t know how to approach this and i have asked God to heal me and give direction. I believe i am not angry at her anymore but i feel i should keep space.

        She did the same thing when she bought a house and i didn’t ask her anything when she came back to being friends with me again. N her success brings me joy because I know we serve a big God who is coming my way as well. I know in good time God will turn to me. If there is something i am sure about is that i am not jealous of her success. She knows i pray for her when she wants something.

        Even now i am still asking God to reveal to me if this is a barrier and to help me deal with this.

        5. for God to humble me and give me a gentle spirit, to make me stupid to things of this world. to direct me regarding my work ( to open a new door for me), to give me a big heart, eish to close my mouth when i don’t have to talk.

        hubby for God to lift him high at his work (promotion because he is earning less that me), give him wisdom on how to work with money, taking decision, parenting), to choose friends, to heal his wounds (his parents divorcing, losing his job while having no one to assist him, having kid outside marriage that he is not able to have relationship with), giving him a role model and teach him how to love us right.

        6. to be like Him, i don’t want to get angry, not be ruled by fear, share with others and not love material things more than God.

        7. We are put right with God by faith. We just need to believe on what Jesus did on the cross for us. Always repent when we’ve done wrong.

        I hope i have put what i want to say right.

        1. gentlespiritwoman,

          Thank you for answering these things. It kind of sounds like that you’ve gotten the kick start you needed in your relationship with God this weekend. 🙂 Do you have a clear sense of what He is calling you to do in your walk with Him and in your marriage now?

          It sounds like you are able to read the Word again and hear His voice. That is awesome!!!!! When you can see that happening, you know you are getting back on the right path. My prayer is that you will stay in God’s Word and in prayer and that you will yield to God and allow Him to do anything He desires to do in your life.

          I pray for God’s wisdom and discernment for you, especially concerning your husband and the drinking issue. I pray for God’s protection and safety for you and your family. I pray for God’s power to overcome all of Satan’s plans to steal, kill, and destroy. And that you might each walk in the victory that God has provided in Christ!

          Much love!

          1. Thank you for your prayers April. Now all i am doing is seeking God’s face and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me how to follow my husband’s leadership. I am asking God to order my steps. Like this morning we ran out of electricity, i woke my husband up and told him but inside me i felt peace or stillness. After some time i went back to him and told that but it is fine because the water is hot (we can bath) and the lunchboxes are prepared. He said ok i will sort it out during the day.

            I don’t know if i have a clear sense of what God is calling me to do, i know sometimes i get ideas and deep conviction (it comes so strong that when i don’t do or can’t do it i will be in tears) to do something for the less fortunate and i would do it. Like now in December i organised clothes for kids (orphans and less fortunate families) plus food for Xmas lunch and sharing with other woman what God has helped me with. So far this 2 brings me fulfillment and joy when i do them.

            The problem is that my husband doesn’t support me fully, he says it takes my time and i neglect him. Some time last year i stopped doing them because of him but i was sad and empty, i felt dead. I felt like my soul was crying for something that it must do.

            As for my marriage, i think He wants me to bear fruits of the spirit. My husband should see Christ in me. He wants to minister to my husband through me and it is me who will help him to take out the greatness in him. By submitting, respecting and allowing him to lead me and the kids.

          2. Gentlespiritwoman,

            I’m so thankful you were able to experience God’s peace even when the electricity went out. I hope that y’all were able to get that corrected later.

            I love your heart to want to do things for God and for the poor. That is awesome! I actually have a few posts that may be a blessing as you seek to hear the Spirit’s voice clearly in this area of ministry vs. honoring your husband.

            My Husband Doesn’t Want Me to Minister Like I Want to.”
            How God Has Led Me Through Greg

            What are you doing to fill up your spirit, dear sister? How are you nourishing your soul so you can be filled with Christ?

            Much love!

    2. Dear GentleSpritWoman,
      I believe you’ve answered your own questions, my dear. 🙂 You said that you noticed the positive changes when you stopped being controlling, bossy, and unbearable. Yet you notice you’ve moved in the opposite direction. You’re arguing with your husband and not asking his opinion. You’re not washing his feet. You hate who you’ve become. And your husband is withdrawing.

      You also notice a correlation with your walk with Christ. No Bible reading and prayer is difficult.

      So why not turn things around? Rev. 2:5 (written to the church of Ephesus, which had lost her first love) says, “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.” So what would that mean for you? Start reading your Bible? Start praying? Start doing the things you know you should in your marriage? Would that mean holding your tongue and being respectful? Serving your husband?

      Here’s one word of caution: Don’t wait for the emotions; emotions are the caboose on the train. Start moving in the opposite direction and surrendering control, and your marriage will feel the effect.

      I would love it if you wanted to consider my book, “Control Girl”. The book emphasises marriage quite a bit.

      Blessings to you, GentleSpiritWoman. I have prayed for you, just now–that your heart might be soft and open to the new direction Jesus wants to lead you.

      Warmly,
      Shannon

      1. Thank you so much Shannon, it is so amazing how the spirit of God works. Indeed there’s a change in my heart. Thank you so much for your prayers. God wants us to seek him earnestly and he will send people your way.

        On Sunday, pastor made a statement about changing your attitude and thinking. When i got home i got home, i thought about what he said and i took my bible. I came across Roman 5 verse 1-2,9 that we receive from God by faith. So i understood I am put right with God by faith even if i don’t feel his presence i know He promised to never leave nor forsake me. I have started my fellowship with God, thanking and appreciating his presence in my life. I surrendered myself ( i remembered that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit), my husband, kids, marriage, finances and work. Meaning now i am living by faith not sight or emotions.

        I have also started looking or serving my husband, like this weekend he was graving chicken so i woke up early on Saturday morning to cook it for him. He was so happy. Friday he came back early, Saturday when he came back early and he was sober. We watched cricket match together while the kids were asleep. He even asked himself why is he not drunk. i said to him ” you no longer drink” we just laughed. The weekend has been amazing.

        I have started using my lonely time when he is out to read the bible. Your book is a must have, i don’t doubt. Today i am going to start with my service of washing his feet, i enjoy doing that so much.

        Thank you so much.

        1. Gentlesprirtwoman,you have brought me to tears just now! I am so thankful to hear of how God is working in your heart, and your softness toward him is a delight! Keep going! Don’t stop! May the Lord continue to richly bless you and your marriage, as you surrender to him.

          1. Ladies please help me out here,

            My husband is a forgiving person and very trusting, he meets you now and i believe he trusts you already. He doesn’t think a person can rob, sabotage or steal from you especially with them men. What amazes me is that all this things has happened to him but still he trusts. I admire this about him and being around him has helped me a lot.

            The problem is that when this things happen to him, it affects me as well. We have suffered drastically financially. Before we got married i have always been independent and i am one person when there’s a mountain in front of me i don’t rest until i remove or climb it.When we got married i was taking care of the finances, going to extend of controlling the car (because i will be the one paying for the petrol) but i have stopped doing all those madness. I have tried handing over the finances to my husband he agreed but when it was time to do it, he just kept quite and said nothing. i ended up heading the process but i don’t want to do it anymore. even though now i don’t worry about things like providing for the family, even when something runs out i will tell him and he makes a plan. I want to handover paying the bills and managing our income and expenditures so that he can see that we are struggling. I believe he can pull us out of this mess that i have created. He is intelligent with no doubt.

            Now the problem i have tried surrendering decision making to him, but it is either he will trust wrong people who will rob us and we lose more money or he takes too long to work on the problem. For example: In 2015 he was hijacked and he was coming back from his friend whom it seems like he was part of this plan. I handled the issue of fixing the car, i think within a month it was fixed and paid up. August 2016 the car broke, now i was at the process of God changing me so when he was trying to get the mechanic to look at the car i asked him to consider the guy who fixed the car last time and he refused (he didn’t like the way the guy spoke to him) I respected his decision and just kept on praying that God will guide him, he found someone he doesn’t know or have reference of. I asked how much is labour to look at the car, he said i didn’t ask. I decided to keep quite and allow him to handle it. The mechanic looked at the car and we had to buy an engine, he did quotation it was ranging from 16 -21 000 and we didn’t have that money. So i was waiting for him to come up with a plan or tell me where to cut or what not to pay so that we can buy it.October was his bonus month, he said he would put the money aside for the engine but he bought kids gifts and for himself and the rest i cant remember but the car was not part. My heart was bleeding because i was the one suffering the most. This affected us a lot, we had to take public transport to work when i get home i am tired, my sister was taking the kids but she was stressing me a lot. We opened a door for my family to enter into our marriage, i was crying every week, emotionally i was torn apart. The kids were suffering as well because we had to cut their activities, couldn’t take them out and the stress in the house affected them. Our first born started to behave bad at school, it was bad. That time i asked him if i can take our son to pastor, he agreed and it happened that he came with us. to cut the story short it was because of the whole pressure, so pastor asked him to fix the car quickly and said he knows a guy at church who is a mechanic. My husband agreed that he can come, i met with the guy on Sunday. Now when he went to fetch the car, his mechanic wanted mad price for checking the car. My husband was so angry, he couldn’t believe it that this guy is charging us for doing nothing. We had to pay the guy, he took it from his salary so i had to do things he usually does. My budget suffered. Now the car was home, they checked it out together (husband did mechanics at school) and this guy said he will look for the engine for us. After a week he found it, it was 12 000, i had put some money aside from my performance bonus money in December but it was not enough. I had to asked my sister to make loan for us and i will pay it off. January the car was fixed but at the end i am the one paying the debt. We paid 2 mechanics

            Now we want to buy the house we are staying in but he is not saying anything about it. We have agreed to sell his bike and the car after. He is just taking too long to fix the bike and sell it. I can see he has made peace with selling the bike, he even told me so. He’s telling people that he is selling it but i don’t see actions to fix it. From the money i loaned i had put some away to fix the bike but the problem now is him taking it to the mechanic so that we know how much it cost us. We have used the money already. I know my husband earn less than me and he doesn’t have much but month end he doesn’t do this important things first. His father gave us a car that needs to be fixed, this one we know the problem. now the problem is to fix that part. I decide i am not going to ask him anymore because i am so tired of this.

            I want to trust my husband soo bad but i am really struggling, please help. I would appreciate any advise, scriptures to meditate on and prayers i can pray. I know he can do this because when people have problems he can fix them. He gives them solution, run on their behalf.

          2. GentleSpiritWoman,

            Dear sister, are you dealing with any kind of mental health issues like ADD or bi-polar or any learning disorders that may be making it more difficult for your husband to make decisions financially? How did his parents handle money? What are the general dynamics in your marriage? Have you been in charge of the money for most of the time? What experience does he have handling money well?

            What are you praying for in this situation? What do you do when your husband drags his feet?
            Much love!

        2. gentlespiritwoman,

          I love this! Thank you for sharing! I love that you are seeking God wholeheartedly and I love seeing what He is beginning to do in your heart and in your marriage. That is awesome!

          Praising God with you!

          1. Hi April,

            I thank God for using you in our lives.

            Firstly, as for mental health issues not that i know of but i know at school he excelled. He was more of a mechanic and agricultural guy than figures. His parents divorced when he was in primary school, thus resulting to his mother raising him. I know he had a bank account, where his mother will put money for him to spoil himself (do his hair, buy sunglasses) but not to manage the money through out the month. I know his mother did everything for him (one can say she spoiled them).

            It is sad i must tell you April, we don’t do family budget never mind discussing it. Since my husband is earning less than me, i always took the big chuck of our expenses things like rent, creche fees, accounts. He takes care of the groceries, school fees (which he doesn’t pay), petrol, electricity but most of this stuff i will have to add them during the month which makes me not to follow my budget. I have stopped even to save because i end up taking that money to assist in the house. I have tried to ask him for us to have a joint saving but he doesn’t co operate. It’s like he thinks for today, he doesn’t plan things ahead when that time comes he won’t have a plan to solve it. (for example, he is the one who is responsible to buy kids clothes since the account is behind, he had to buy them clothes cash. I asked him from October for us to start buying or laybying for the little one. He refused saying the clothes at that time are not beautiful. Come December we didn’t have money put aside, so he had to use his salary to buy them clothes of which was not enough. Now he was blaming me that i know he doesn’t have enough money yet i am not saying anything).

            Yes, i have been in charge of finances for most of the time but this did me no good because i ended up with more bills that i earn. I tried to make sure we had everything we need, i made loans and opened accounts that i can’t pay now. I so badly want my husband to take this responsibility. I even went to an extend of saying he can take our bank cards and just give me an allowance as long as he can handle our finances. He is just not saying anything or doing it.

            Honestly i don’t remember any good experience.

            I am praying for God to give him wisdom, the courage to take the responsibility, to direct/order his steps as he trusts him to lead us. When he drags his feet it frustrates me a lot, i used to blame him for our suffering or not seeing where we are going. Now i don’t anymore, i keep quite and try to share my opinion, other times i end up taking over like the issue of the car. I had to loan the money, now i am struggling financially because of the repayment.

            One thing i can tell you is that it is not easy at all. U know the time when my sister was helping us with transport, they saw so many things. One time they were laughing saying honestly i deserve a crown to be staying with my husband because it is not easy. I am holding on because i know God can change this situation anytime and i know He is holding me by his right hand.

          2. gentlespiritwoman,

            Is he able to be responsible at work? Or does he have issues there, as well?

            Does he ever apologize for his spending habits and not being able to cover expenses?

            Did you have any counseling or agreement before marriage about how to handle the budget and money?

            Would he be willing to study some resources, like maybe Dave Ramsey’s material about being godly stewards with money?

            Have you ever read about ADD and the issues it can cause?

            What do you pray about regarding all of these difficulties?

            Is there a lot of tension in the marriage because of all of this?

            Much love to you!

            April

          3. gentlespiritwoman,

            If your husband has always struggled with math, it is possible that he may have real reasons that he has a hard time with things like this. He may not be purposely trying to be irresponsible. If he has a learning disability or ADD or something that makes math extra hard, there may be ways you can help once you know what is going on.

            Most of all I pray for God’s wisdom for you! 🙂

          4. Hi April,

            1. He respond very well at work, it’s two years now he was moved to a new unit which challenged him a lot but he is doing brilliant. Since he moved to that unit he has made changes, the unit is running smoothly, the project are done on time. It is amazing and he even goes extra mile. He solve cases that his seniors can’t. He enjoys it and he want’s to go to school to the course that relate to his work but he is not taking action.

            2. Not at all, it’s like he doesn’t see anything wrong. He once spoke about the issue of school fees, that not paying it doesn’t sit well with him and even with our son. After that he has done anything about it.

            3. We did not have. I remember something about him handling finances right in his life, while i was at varsity he was taking care of me and our son. We were not married, i was staying and res and our son with my parents but he was a responsible father. He did everything for his son, we were on his medical aid, he would pamper me with gift for no apparent occasion. I believe he was managing it well, it’s just that we never sit down to discuss money. I didn’t even know how much he earns until recently.

            I think things went wrong when he was faced with the reality of his mother’s death (when she passed away he was not around but he came for the funeral), he was left alone and started drinking a lot, not going to work until he abscond. When he didn’t go to work he would get leave without pay not just one but many, i believe he lost it since then. I once dumped him because he could maintain the child anymore, i had to support him so i told him the only time he comes see me he must bring his bank statement, payslip and bill then he did that is when i saw that he was not going to work and not getting paid.

            God gave him his job back after a year of staying home with no salary, no parent. I ran up and down to see if correct processes were followed to abscond him until we proved that no they didn’t not follow it. By then i graduated and was working and used to doing things for myself, which made me not to consider him even when we got married. And he didn’t fight me on this one but he never went to financial institutions to say this is what happened and now i want to pay my bills.

            4. I am not sure if he will read the material because when i was a baby christian i did so many things wrong that he ended up not liking anything that has to do with the bible, being a book, movie, tv program. But i believe God is sovereign, he is able to change his heart. I will pray about it before, i need God to guide me on how to propose it to him. But my spirit is telling me that it will work out.

            5. No, i have not read about ADD but i will do.

            6. Praying for God to heal his broken heart, heal his wound. He went through a lot in his life. For unity between us to do things together, see things with one eye, to direct us. For God to lead him or teach him how to be lead us. For God to help, teach me to be the wife he needs. For this situation not to affect our kids especially because they are boys. For God to fill us with spirit of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.

            7. There is especially when i am not looking or focusing on Christ, i turn to be ruled by fear instead of faith which makes me frustrated and wanting to control things. I try so hard to make him see and do things which pushes him away to alcohol worse.

        3. Wow. That you enjoy doing that (washing his feet). I almost cried to read that, that really affected me. Thank you for sharing that. Sometimes you read things from our sisters that humble us, thank you for humbling me Gentlespiritwoman into thinking of ways to bless my own husband.

          1. SisterinChrist,

            It’s amazing how the spirit of God works in us and only God knows things that our husbands need. It only needs us to allow the spirit of God to transform us inwardly to the change of mind. One of the things i have learnt is that things of the spirit indeed don’t make sense to the natural so we must just follow. Even Jesus Christ washed his disciples feet, He knew what he was doing.

            Glory be to God.

  21. Every word out of my mouth seems to be a criticism. How do you word things so they aren’t? “No, I don’t want any spinach, but I probably should being as you eat it and look how young you look.”? Now I’m laughing because that would be exactly how he would want me to respond to his offer of spinach. And I’m sort of crying because that’s probably how I should respond, like a teenager with her first crush. Why is it so hard for me to do that? Because he wants me to act that way so badly? OMG, my head is spinning. It’s like I’m acting like his mother and withholding the affection and approval he needs so much. Why can’t I???? I think I really need the book.

    1. I just ordered April’s book yesterday from Amazon and it should be arriving today actually as I wanted to start on it tonight. I’m already knowing my daughter will be forced to read it and she’s only 14! Anyhow, I know it is hard, I was pleasantly surprised to to have my eyes opened when I first learned that it is almost universal that husband and wife will have TENSION as we are the closest to eachother than to any other being on the planet! And somehow we manage to think it’s just our own situation that is this bad or at least I did. What I’m learning is that it hurts to say ““No, I don’t want any spinach, but I probably should being as you eat it and look how young you look.” but say it while inside you may cringe. I’ve been married 17 years and I hate to admit this ugly truth but even now sometimes it doesn’t come easy to say something awfully kind to my husband, it’s easier to be just ‘regular’ kind of kind, almost just polite but not go the extra mile and add a little compliment in our speech, and yet, when he is awfully kind to me, I’m taken aback and it feels wonderful.I will never know if that wonderful feeling he gave me was a struggle for him to say, I will stick with Philippians 4:8 for any doubts on that and just appreciate the gesture. We are both working on this together and we are not alone sister.

      1. SisterinChrist,

        I have a blog for single women, which would also be helpful, in my view, for teenage girls, too. http://www.peacefulsinglegirl.com.

        If your daughter is interested, perhaps she may like to read some of those posts.

        If you do decide you would like your daughter to read The Peaceful Wife at this age, you may want to read it with her and talk through things. Some of the marriage issues you may want to skip at this point. Or you may need to explain them. There will be a lot of things she has never thought about in the book. But I like the idea of exposing our children to the concept of godly femininity, masculinity, and marriage when they are young and teaching them about these things using books, other forms of media, and our own stories and examples.

        God can create unity where there was tension. And even in really tough situations where a husband is not a believer, God can give a wife peace in her own heart and mind as she responds in His power and trusts God to work in her husband.

        I pray you will purposely focus on being more kind to your husband – it really does become a habit and natural after awhile as you abide in Christ. 🙂 It is hard at first, but worth it!

        Some husbands really like kind words, others appreciate kind, friendly, peaceful attitudes and actions more. 🙂

        Much love to you!

        1. Absolutely, I actually meant when she was older at the point of becoming a fiance but thank you and I had your single girl blog in mind for her just this morning coincidentally. I hope she’s receptive.

    2. Hi Toostubborn. Thanks so much for your comment. I can identify with that desire that wells up to control, and takes over your tongue! I can also relate to acting like his mother and witholding affection. Luke 6:45 says, “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” So our words are just a reflection of our hearts. So when only criticism and harsh words are coming out, it’s an indicator of what’s in our hearts. We can’t put a filter over our mouths; we have to start with our hearts.

      So how to begin? I began working on my self talk and how I would speak about my husband in private. Every time I was tempted to grumble or groan about something he left out, didn’t fix, forgot to do, etc. I would take captive that thought and make it submissive to Jesus. I would remind myself of all I have to be thankful for and rejoice over the husband God has given me with all of his wonderful qualities. It’s a slowly but surely effort; change won’t happen in a day. But I do believe that transformation happens slowly in these small moments of the day. I hope that gives you a place to start, and if you pick up the book, I pray it is a blessing to you.

      Warmly,
      Shannon

  22. My husband joined a church group yesterday I was just about to lend a sort of critique on the hours and day of the week and I would have if this were last year. Instead, I found myself (choking inside) saying “That’s awesome hon, I hope it’s a wonderful fellowship”. He didn’t want to go without me which was nice but I told him I just can’t squeeze that in with everything else going on . Even though I do hope it’s a wonderful fellowship I have some ridiculous reservations that I finally kept to myself. This is huge. Another issue I kept quiet on was the car! Normally I would lose my mind if we had to spend a few hundred to fix a problem, I would tackle him down with a million questions but yesterday also he was so calm when he explained the issue and I knew he was responsible with money so I just said “Well good luck with the car hon, hope you figure that out!” I have much more work to do with trying to stop controlling but if I don’t mention some of the progress, even to myself, I may be fooled into thinking I’m not making any so there it is lol, thanks for listening!

    1. That is so amazing!! I truly believe that these little ways that we surrender–not talking, not challenging, not complaining–these all add up to a new direction in life. We go from Control Girl to Jesus Girl.

  23. Shannon thanks so Much for this information I surely also wanted to control my husband, also God have been frustrating me , I am not a control freak its just when it comes to my husband addiction that I realised that I want to be in charge thanks for sisters like you

    1. Brenda, thanks for your comment. Maybe you could read through some of the other comments on this post about addiction? Lots of great advice here on that. Blessings to you,

      Warmly,

      Shannon

    2. Brenda,

      If you want to talk a bit about what is going on, please let me know. Most of all, I pray for God’s wisdom for you, precious sister! And His healing for your husband’s addiction and your marriage.

  24. April- my husband started chewing tobacco again. He does it in secret and will deny it to the day he dies. Things have been more peaceful, because his mood is better, but it worries me so much. I used to be bothered because I thought it was gross, expensive, etc, which it still kind of does, but mostly I’m just worried about his health. It scares me that this could kill him. This has been a battle for him and a source of conflict between since we have been married.

    Is this something I just need to let go of? I feel like it is a sin, because he’s destroying the body that the Lord gave him, but I also know I should show grace and pray for him because nicotine is a strong addiction. He says that when I pressure him about it, it makes him want to do it more.

    1. Linsey,

      I wonder if this is something that you can take to God in prayer and be willing to lay down before Him? He can reach your husband about this in ways that you can’t. You can’t be your husband’s conscience or the tobacco police. Yes, there are health problems with tobacco. As a pharmacist, I am very well aware of that. But I also know that there is nothing you can do to make him quit. I have seen many wives try to nag their husbands into quitting and I have never seen that approach work.

      I wonder if you might just focus on being the wife you know God is calling you to be and let your husband handle that.

      It is not the same as an alcohol addiction or a heroin addiction. I mean, it is an addiction. But it won’t cause him not to be in his right mind.

      I’m pretty sure he knows how you feel about the issue. Maybe you could make it a safe place for him to be honest about what he is doing? And then be as supportive as you can if he does try to quit. But you can continue to focus on being a godly wife whether he quits chewing tobacco or not. I don’t believe this is worth destroying the marriage over. Enjoy the time you have him. Be a wife he enjoys being around. Then you will have powerful prayers and you can certainly ask God to intervene in His timing.

      It will have to be something he wants to do and he decides to do on his own. You are aware that the more you pressure him the more it repels him from you and the more he wants to keep using chewing tobacco. So that strategy is not going to work.

      Much love to you!

      1. Linsey,

        Here are some resources…

        http://howtoquitdipping.org/help-your-spouse-quit-dip/
        http://stopchewingtobacco.org/techniques/helping-spouse-or-family-quit/

        I think it could be wise to pray about maybe just not saying anything about this at all for quite a while. You have already told him quite a few times how much you hate dip. He has tried to quit every single weekend for how long? That kind of cycle is not working. And it is such a strain on your marriage.

        Nicotine is very addictive and is not a good habit. But I believe this is a fear you can lay before God and entrust to Him. Rest in His sovereignty, provision, and love for you, my dear sister.

        Much love!

        1. In my mind, a wife would probably approach several different unhealthy habits in a similar way. If a husband overeats, uses tobacco, is addicted to caffeine, is addicted to TV, or to video games… These more “mild addictions” that could have health consequences rightly concern us. But our husbands are grown adults and will need to have the freedom to make choices about these things for themselves.

          We can certainly respectfully ask for what we would like. And we can be willing to be supportive if they try to quit or want to change. For example, I can focus on making healthy meals and not buying a lot of junk food if my husband has diabetes or a weight issue. Yes, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol can kill him. But it is not my job to force him to only eat what I think he should eat. And it is not my job to force him not to watch TV or not to play video games or not to use tobacco.

          I am to be his helpmeet. But I am not in charge of his free will. I am in charge of my free will and he is in charge of his.

          The more I focus on Christ and on allowing Him to empower and transform me, the more godly influence I will have – which is good. And also, the more powerful my prayers will be. Then I can trust the issue to God and invite Him to intervene. But even if He doesn’t intervene, I will rest in Him and trust Him, even if my husband pays a price for some of his health habits.

          Does that make sense?

          Me becoming a food Nazi or a tobacco, TV, or video game Nazi – will do absolutely nothing to encourage my husband to make healthier choices and I could repel him from me and from the healthy choices.

          I can choose to make healthy choices for myself. I can respect that these are choices he must make for himself. And then I can rest in God’s love and provision.

          1. This is really great advice, April! I knew a wife who nagged her husband constantly about his food. She wouldn’t even let him put salt or butter on his vegetables. She was always worried about cancer producing foods. And you know what? They both died in their 80’s. And I can’t help but think that they still would have died in their 80’s (but maybe had a happier life?) if he had not been nagged for 50+ years and had been allowed to eat vegetables with salt. Sometimes thinking about them puts it in perspective for me.

            Thanks for all of this great input, April!!

            Warmly,
            Shannon

        2. Thanks April.

          Yes, I need to give it God at this point. In my mind, I almost felt like it was “my duty” to say something, because it’s so unhealthy. But obviously that did not go well. I was doing pretty good with trusting God with this, but fear crept in.

          Im trying to understand why my husband sees me saying something as disrespectful? I see it as I love him and care about him enough to say something, but he sees it as extremely disrespectful.
          However he will speak up if he thinks I’m doing something unhealthy. If he thinks it’s so disrespectful, why does he do it? I think that’s what’s getting in my way.

          1. Linsey,

            It is much easier to give criticism than to receive it. Men tend to REALLY not like to be mothered by their wives. It repels them. I vote for you to focus on not telling him what to do, even though YOU ARE RIGHT! He should quit tobacco. Absolutely. He is a grown man and this will need to be his decision.

            Perhaps you can also work on receiving his constructive criticism in a godly way and thank him for loving and caring about you enough to share his concerns.

            In time, you may be able to have a conversation about that you don’t really like being reminded about unhealthy habits, either. That most grown adults want to make their own choices about things like this. But you can still be gracious and respectful even if he is not. And if you need to address things, God can show you how if it is truly necessary.

            At this point, I don’t think he is going to be open to hearing much criticism because I think he has felt like that is all he has heard for a long time.

            You work on what God wants you to do. We will trust God to convict him in His timing.

            Much love!

          2. Men HATE being given advice. They interpret it as “you’re doing it wrong.” They would much rather figure it out themselves than be “helped” because they like to be self-sufficient.
            I have found that most men will dig in their heels if you give them something to push against. In fact, as a nurse, I was taught that when a person is ambivalent about quitting, that encouraging them to quit can even push them back over to the “I’m not quitting” side. If he’s quitting for anyone other than himself, it’s for the wrong reasons and he will relapse. He won’t quit until he decides for himself that he’s ready to quit. Deciding to quit is a PROCESS. Hope this helps.

          3. Yes it does help. My husband is an especially defensive person by nature with everyone, so I’m sure by me even encouraging him it would be like you describe. My husband doesn’t even like words of affirmation, besides “you’re right”. Lol. Hard to keep in mind sometimes though.

          4. Linsey,
            If he is a nurse, he will be even more resistant to your giving him health advice, most likely. He has the knowledge. There really isn’t anything else you can add to persuade him intellectually. He knows what is good for him and what is not.

            But if you can back off and enjoy him, then rather than forcing him to do what is best for him, you may actually inspire him to want to do this. Still, it will have to be his choice. I agree with Marked Wife.

            You can still love him and be a godly wife in spite of this, even as you pray for God to intervene with this issue. You can still respect many other things about him and the fact that he is your husband.

          5. @ linsey,

            I used to do that with my husband especially with the car, he would drink and drive around. I would try to explain to him that he will cause accident, we will suffer financially should that happen, the kids are watching him. The other one was not going to work due to hangover so i would try to make him understand that this is affecting his work, i would wake him up even go to an extend of pulling away the blankets when he is asleep. He used to say i act like his mother and not his wife and his mother is dead so there’s no one who will replace her, that i disrespect him. I never understood until the when God started dealing with me.

            I stopped doing all those, if he decide something i would just respect and say nothing. all i could do is pray to God, amazingly he changed his attitude towards his work. One day he thanked me for not asking him questions when he doesn’t do something, he made an example of that one of not going to work.

            Man know when they are doing something wrong and i believe they don’t like doing it but it is just difficult for them to quit especially if he doesn’t have a relationship with God. I agree with what the ladies have said, keep quiet and just talk to God about it.

      2. April (and Linsey), this is such beautiful advice, and is exactly the counsel I would give! In my book, I talk about responding to life’s two categories: HOLD what we can control, and FOLD what we can’t. So HOLD responsibility for your own health, attitude toward your husband, kindness, etc. Then FOLD your hands and surrender your husband, his health your relationship, his habits, etc. to God. This is the narrow path to a peaceful life and home. Blessings to you, Linsey!

    2. Linsey,

      I would like to offer you some encouragement by sharing our nicotine story.

      My husband did not chew tobacco but he did continue to smoke for five years after he was saved. It was a huge struggle for me! I had built up much resentment in my heart towards my husband over it. I complained and nagged and fought with him constantly. I offered little compassion.

      One day after service at church, I was complaining to another wife about the situation. I was shocked with her response! She very bluntly rebuked me and told me that it was most likely because of me that my husband was not able to lay it down. She asked me how it would work for me if that was how someone handled me with an addiction like that. She told me that I needed to stop criticizing him and keep quiet. She told me that what I needed to do was to quietly pray for him and allow God to work on his heart.

      I did not expect this reaction but it was effective! I was super convicted! So, I repented to God but decided to not say anything to my husband yet about what was said to me. I started praying diligently. Would you believe that only THREE days later, my husband came home from work and told me that he was going to stop smoking! He said he was driving down the street watching people standing outside their places of employment smoking their cigarettes but literally freezing in the bitter cold! (This happened during the time that businesses started banning smoking inside their buildings so people had to go outside to smoke.)

      He told me with a very serious face that he was repulsed at how ridiculous those people looked and he thought to himself, “That is me; I look like an idiot like all those people standing outside shivering just so I can have my cigarette. I don’t want to look like that too!” He told me how convicted he was and that he made the decision that no matter how hard it was, he was going to stop! I could not believe it! It was such a lesson to me!

      I was amazed at how fast the Lord was able to work as soon as I decided to get out of the way and let God be God! My discouragement really was causing my husband to stay bound. When he stopped hearing my voice, he was able to hear God’s. It was a real struggle when he stopped, but he never picked it back up again – and that was many years ago….over 25. He was literally sick on the couch while he dealt with the withdrawals, but he refused to give in. I took care of him and was able to offer him the support and encouragement he really needed and he was victorious 🙂

      Glory to God!

      1. Eliza,

        THIS story brings such joy to my heart and the biggest smile to my face!

        Thank you SO MUCH for sharing, sweet sister! YES! When our husbands stop hearing our nagging, lecturing, and preaching, they are so much better able to hear God’s voice. That was a REALLY fast turn around in your case. Praising God with you! WOOHOO!

        I wonder if you might allow me to share this in a post anonymously? No pressure. 🙂 But WOW! It is just so glorious!

        Much love,
        April

        1. Of course you may share! I wasn’t sure about fleshing this out for others to read because of the very thing you just mentioned (God very quickly working)…it definitely was a very fast turn around and I wouldn’t want to end up actually bringing discouragement to anyone if the Lord chooses to not work as quickly on their behalf. I almost deleted it. But the Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me that He works the way He works and that is all up to him! We should never hesitate to share with others what He has done and how He chooses to do it! Silly me!!! Sometimes God works quickly and sometimes He delays. He knows best. If He acts fast, praise him. If He takes some time, then praise Him for that too because his timing us ALWAYS Perfect! I just want you to know that I continue to read your blog and am so blessed! I just don’t always comment. Much
          Love to you, April!

          1. Eliza,

            I am always blessed by you when you comment. I’m so thankful for all that God has done in your heart, life, and marriage. So beautiful! Thank you for sharing. And maybe I will add a bit from this second comment in the post so that women will know that God’s timing is up to Him, not up to us.

            I love that we can share and encourage each other here. So thankful to God!

            Much love,
            April

          2. Eliza, I was so blessed by your story also! And I was thinking of asking you the exact same thing before I saw April’s request! LOL! (Great minds think alike, April!) I’d love to share this in my “Control Girl to Jesus Girl” 12 weeks series. I’ll be highlighting one story each week. Would that be okay? Blessings to you!

      2. Thank you Eliza! I’m so happy to hear of your story. You are so right. Looking back, the only times he has given a good try at quitting is when I back off. I used to be so crazy about it, but even now I still try to control it when fear sets in. Unfortunately that same fear interferes with him quitting, so I’m
        Basically creating what I fear! I’ve decided to take my hands off of it and trust in Lord, even if his health suffers from it. Thank you so much for the beautiful reminder!

  25. I desperately want to be a peaceful wife. I have been a believer for 16 years and married for over 20 years. I struggle daily with trying to get along with my husband. We have been to multiple counselors, church pastors, consulted with friends and still have difficulty maintaining peace.

    I have a strong relationship with The Lord, read my Bible daily, spend time in prayer and attend a small group study. I also listen to audio Bible studies and read blogs daily to stay focused on the Word. I also homeschool with Jesus being the center of our studies. My husband has been a Christian also for about the same length of time, however, he is more private about his faith. He works 6 days a week at a stressful job.

    I know I have failed many times with rejecting him and putting him down, but I have always been willing to apologize and talk about any issue, however that rarely happens and 90% of the time it does not end well. He on the other hand walks away during any confrontational issue, from parenting to finances, so the issue never gets resolved. The next day in his mind everything is fine and if I won’t drop the issue he goes off verbally putting me down and tells me to drop it. He also accuses me of being unforgiving if he walks away during an argument and expects me to just forgive and pretend the next day everything is fine. He analyzes everything I say and in his eyes it’s either said in the wrong tone or with disrespect. He has no problem saying it either right in front of our kids.

    You can’t imagine how exhaustive and emotionally hurtful this is. He refuses to get help professionally or confide in another Christian. I am done pretending and told him that earlier this week. I have emotionally detached from him by doing what I need to do in the home and with the kids. I really am a peaceful and loving person, I just can’t get along with my husband.

    After years of this I am ready to move on in peace, I dont want to pretend everything is fine when it isn’t. I have found our home to be more peaceful when I don’t have to walk on eggshells. I don’t want a divorce but realistically I can’t go on in our current situation. My counselor keeps telling me I need to trust God and submit and live with this because it is what the Lord commands me to do since he isn’t unfaithful or physically abusing me.

    However, I think the Lord is telling me I need emotional rest and if I allow myself to engage with my husband it is never peaceful! I feel like I need to heal before I am able to allow my husband back into my life and then we almost would need daily accountability and direction to make this work. Am I crazy? Maybe I have a big log in my own eye that needs to go? How can I love and serve my husband with peace? Any input and prayer would be very much appreciated.

    1. Emily,

      I can relate very much to your story. Your personality and your husbands sound a lot like the dynamics Greg and I had, particularly in the first 14 years of our marriage.

      I believe you actually CAN have peace AND be married to this man. And I would be glad to show you the baby steps if you are interested.

      Would you be interested in doing a bit of a spiritual check up first with me? And then I will share some resources that I believe will point you to the healing that is available to you in Christ?

      Much love!

      1. April,
        Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I am very touched that you would reach out to me. I would be happy to do a spiritual check and dig deeper into some of your resources. I have watched many of your videos and already downloaded and read “Absolute Surrender.” I find myself in a desperate situation when it comes to my marriage, but I have a willing heart to follow the resources God puts in my life and allow Him to change me one day at a time. Blessings to you!

        1. Emily,

          Would you be able to define “desperate situation”? That could mean a very wide range of things. Are you safe? Are your children safe? Is it more that you are feeling frustrated and at the end of your rope? Or are you about to lose your house, lose your life, or you are afraid for your children’s safety because they are in imminent danger?

          I’d love to do this with you. I believe there is MUCH available to you in Jesus that can pour healing into your life first and then into your marriage and family’s situation.

          A few questions to get started (please take your time in answering):

          1. How do you believe you can be right with God?

          2. What kinds of things do you pray about?

          3. What do you believe needs to happen in this marriage for it to be healthy?

          4. How did your parents handle conflict?

          5. How did your husband’s parents handle conflict?

          6. Is your husband rather introverted – personality wise?

          7. How do you respond when he won’t discuss things with you? What specifically might you do and say?

          8. Are either of you dealing with uncontrolled mental health issues, addictions to anything like drugs/alcohol/porn/gambling/prescriptions, is there any abuse, or is there any infidelity going on?

          9. Is he able to hold down a job and be productive at work? Is he responsible there and able to communicate with his coworkers?

          10. Do you believe he feels respected by you?

          11. What are your greatest fears?

          12. What are your most precious dreams?

          13. Would you say you have any issues with wanting to control him or other people sometimes?

          Much love to you, dear sister! 🙂

          1. April,
            Thank you again for your response. I’m sorry about not defining my “desperate” situation more clearly. No, neither myself or my children are in any danger or abusive situation. I am just tired and feel like I have tried everything and I just want to move on and live in peace with my husband. I would like to answer the questions, but wondered if I could answer some of them privately since they are very personal and I wouldn’t want to expose myself or husband in any way.

            Blessings,
            Emily

          2. April,
            I responded to the above spiritual check items. Praying that you received them.
            Many Blessings to you for your open heart and ministry!

            Emily

      2. Emily, sorry I haven’t responded before now, and April–thank you so much for your faithful ministry on this blog! I’m so sorry to hear of this difficult struggle in your marriage, Emily. April is doing a wonderful job helping you; the only thing I wanted to add is that I’m going to be praying for a fully restored marrige, and refreshed hope in your heart.
        Much love,
        Shannon

        1. April and Shannon,

          Thank you for your kind words and prayers. God is already working through both of you and your ministries. I wanted to share a praise report that happened today. As I awoke and spent time in the Word, God spoke so clearly to me as the words jumped from the page straight into my heart.

          “For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. Listen now to my voice; I will send you counsel, and God will be with you. ” Exodus 18: 18-19.

          As the verses continued God spoke to me with yet another word concerning another matter in my life! It was all good!! Worship in church was amazing and our teaching on Abraham’s faith was the icing on the cake! Singing praises of Him on this beautiful day! This was just too good not to share 🙂

          Blessings!
          Emily

          1. Emily, that is wonderful! That is what I want for all women to experience… Opening their hearts before the Lord, and letting him fill The empty spots with truth, peace, direction, and hope. I am rejoicing with you today, Emilee!

            Love,

            Shannon

          2. Emily,

            Praising God for what He is doing in your life today! That is awesome!

            I love how God spoke to you so powerfully this morning. SO PRECIOUS!

            Thank you so much for sharing. I love praise reports!!!!

            Much love!
            April

          3. I love the phrase “Praise report”…how beautiful! That made me smile. Emily, the way you immerse yourself in the Word as a way to start your day is very inspiring!

  26. I’ve asked Satisfied Wife for any insights, because she’s awesome, but so are all of you, so all perspectives are welcome!

    So I did a lot of praying and reflection last night and I found out a lot about my motives in doing the things I do that cause me to be resentful. Resentment is something that I hold on to and it is something that I really want to go away. I’m wondering what you thought on a few of these.

    So as you know I work as a teacher. I enjoy working and my husband wants me to work. However, as you know, that can cause issues in a marriage in this day. One being with household chores. My husband hardly does any chores during the week, and lately hardly does anything on the weekend. I cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop, take care of finances, make him lunch, etc. When he comes home, he usually sits on the couch and doesn’t leave and lately he has been sitting on the couch all weekend long. Usually he works longer hours and his job is more stressful than mine, so I usually don’t mind picking up the slack. But even if it wasn’t this way, I’m not sure if he would help, and lately we work about the same hours. I’m not sure if he doesn’t help, because of my demands and control in the past or if he doesn’t feel like any of it is a priority, or if he just knows I’ll do it all and he takes me for granted. I rarely ever get a thank you or appreciation. This has all caused a lot of resentment in me, so I prayed to see what my motives are in doing these things. Well, I clean the home and take care of my daughter, because I like a clean home and I am called to take care of our daughter which is a blessing. My husband does help with our daughter, which I’m very grateful for. There are a few things that I’m doing for him though, which at first I think are loving things to do, but I’m resentful for doing. For example:

    Making him lunch. I’ve become resentful over this, because he forgets it a lot and I never get any thanks for it. Also, when I remind him that I make it, he acts annoyed. So what I have realized is that I’m not really making his lunch to bless him, because you don’t do loving things just to get appreciation (even though it is nice to get). I’ve realized my real motive is so that he doesn’t spend money, which I see is a form of control. I also do this when I bring him dinner at work when he works late. I’m not really doing it to be nice, even though at one point in our relationship that is why I did it, but now I do it to control his spending. I think these are not pure motives. Is saving a bad thing? No, but it can be if it means controlling him. So what do I do? Well, he likes when I make his lunch, but he doesn’t show appreciation and I feel like his mother. I could do it just to bless him like I used to, but I don’t think I can do that right now. I think I have to learn to let go of every aspect of control, before I can do something just to bless him, because I don’t think I do something like this right now without control being the main motive. The same goes for making dinner. He never thanks me or helps me with dishes afterwards. He takes it for granted. I know that I shouldn’t make dinner to just get something in return, but my main motive for making dinner is to have family dinners, but rarely is he home on time for family dinner anyway. As for his laundry? Why do I do his laundry? Well, that was just a responsibility I picked up and because he’ll just throw it on the floor. I’ve asked him endless times to put it in the hamper, but won’t do it.

    The thing is, my husband doesn’t respect me. I could do a million loving things, but it will not make him respect me. That’s why I have gotten hurt so much over the years. I do so many “loving” things and he doesn’t seem to appreciate them, but what I failed to realize is that he wants my respect more. When we were dating he went out of his way to do nice things, and then I kinda just started to take over and I turned into having a motherly role. No wonder he doesn’t seem attracted to me. So I’m at a point where I could continue to do these things that make me resentful and just change my attitude about them, but I’m not sure I can really do that right now. I need to reach out to God more and ask him for help with this. I also think that I’m still holding on to control in so many areas, that I’m not able to do things “out of love” if that makes sense. Until I completely stop controlling EVERYTHING in my husband’s life and let go of my fear and trust in the Lord, then maybe I will earn how to do things just to bless my husband. It may cost us more money, we may have a messier home, my husband may get angry, etc. but it will all be okay if I trust in HIM.

    These are just a few of the things that seem loving that I do, but really are about control: buying him nicotine patches, letting him know what our checking account balance is everyday, picking up after him, doing his laundry, making his lunch, making his dinner, buying him toiletries, finding his lost stuff. dragging him to bed if he falls asleep, making sure he has set his alarm, etc. etc. The crazy thing is my husband will never once ask me to do these things! These all seem like loving things to do, right? But the motives behind them are about control. In turn, it makes me feel like his mother and probably makes him look at me like his mother. It scares me to let go of these responsibilities, because of the risks, but I think that is where I need to trust in the Lord. Since I feel so unequipped right now and in so much more need to build my relationship more with Christ, it might be best if I solely take care of my daughter and myself right now and allow my husband to take care of his own needs and wants. I don’t have to ignore him and I can be respectful, but I really think I might need to let it go for awhile until I can have pure motives. Also, I wonder (but not sure) if one of the reasons my husband doesn’t respect me, is because I’m allowing him to treat me like a doormat. I do all of these loving things for him, bu he never thanks me or shows me appreciation. To be honest, I’m not sure I would respect myself either. I know that they say men need respect and women need love more, but I’d like to feel like I have both. My husband is also in the military which I believe can affect is views. He often views crying as a weakness, so when I cry, I think he loses respect for me. I know that this is not my problem though, but sometimes I wonder. I guess I’m having a difficult time deciphering what my role is as a wife (according to what God wants me to do ) versus things that I’m doing to try to control situations (even if it means doing loving things to force him to love me-if that makes sense).

    1. Linsey,
      These are really important realizations! That is awesome that you are digging down to see where the resentment is coming from and what your expectations and motives are and why.

      I do think your particular situation is compounded by the ADD thing and the quitting tobacco every weekend for however many years you have been married. So I think he feels horrible every single weekend.

      But – I love that you are looking at “your own paper” and focusing on that right now.

      I think it is possible that your husband may disrespect you because he has felt disrespected for so long, too. So that will also play a role in it.

      But it is very true that if you act like his mom, he won’t be attracted to you and he probably won’t appreciate all of your “help” that he didn’t ask for.

      Perhaps you can just stop with some of these things without discussing it with him. Things like:
      – dragging him to bed
      – buying his nicotine patches
      – buying things he hasn’t asked for
      – making sure he sets his alarm
      – finding his lost stuff that he didn’t ask you to find
      – letting him know the checking account balance every day (that one made me laugh. 🙂 That is a LOT of updating him on the checkbook situation, my sister!)
      – picking up after him

      Yes, the goal is that both husband and wife will give and receive love and respect. That is a good thing.

      As far as doing his laundry and making his meals… These things, you may want to ask about. Or say in a pleasant tone of voice, “Honey, if you would like me to make your lunch or dinner, how about just let me know. I’d be glad to do it if you need me to. But if you don’t need me to, then I’ll just let you take care of that. Thanks!”

      Has he ever said anything about laundry?

      If you drop too many things all at once, that can feel disrespectful to him, too. So – be open to how God may be leading.

      The great news is – you DON’T have to continue on in resentment because you know Jesus! He can help you rip all of that out of your heart. And you can definitely stop being mom. You don’t have to do that! You will both be a lot more relaxed and happier if you stop being his mom.

      Add to this list of things you are not going to do, some things you are going to do:

      – smile a genuine smile at him at least once or twice a day
      – use a friendly, pleasant tone of voice when you talk with him
      – be warm and inviting to be around
      – be at peace in Christ

      Much love!

      1. All,
        A lot of us do things out of resentment and then are upset our husbands don’t appreciate what we did. But so many times, these things we do are not even things our husbands want us to do!

        I have a video on my Youtube channel about being helpful vs being controlling that may be a blessing.

        Part of being a peaceful wife is letting go of all doing a lot of these exhausting things that our husbands didn’t appreciate anyway. 🙂

      2. Thank you April for this valuable advice. Yes, I believe I should stop doing things for him that he hasn’t even asked for. I like your suggestions for things that I can do too. I have to admit, I felt like giving up on marriage last night, but I watched some of your videos and I prayed for direction, and I’m going to keep going. I’m going to give my marriage to Him and trust Him.

        I have a side question if I may. I’m a new believer. Often I feel like I’m praying “wrong”. I will have conversations with God like I would a friend, but when it comes time to really saying a prayer thanking Him and asking Him for things, I find it really hard! I feel like sometimes I’m asking for TOO much when I should be trusting that He knows what he is doing. I often ask myself why I am praying, asking him for things, when He already has a plan for us? I find it easier to write my prayers rather than say them, because I’ve never been very good at expressing myself verbally, but I can express myself much better in written form. Also, is it bad to “borrow” prayers from others to help me verbalize my thoughts and feelings? By borrow I mean saying prayers from books, online, or other places if it rings true for me? Is it wrong to pray for my husband to change or should I be more focused on myself and trusting Him ?

        1. LinseyAK,
          I find it easier to write my prayers, too. That is what I usually do in my journal. It is totally fine to borrow prayers from others as long as you mean what you are saying. Prayers don’t have to be super long or fancy to impress God. Check out Matthew 6 to see Jesus’ instructions. 🙂

          It is not wrong to ask for things – as long as your motives are not selfish. If your motives are to seek God’s will and His greatest glory and you are not holding onto sin in your heart, you can ask for things that you believe are within God’s will. He loves to give good gifts to His children. Check out Matthew 7:7-11

          “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

          “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

          The key is to lay all of your dreams and desires before Him in total surrender to whatever His will might be, even if you don’t know what that will be yet.

          For the first 14 years of our marriage, I mostly only prayed for God to change Greg. When He convicted me of all of my sin, I stopped praying anything for Greg for awhile, as God prompted me, except for God’s blessing on him. And I thanked God for things about him. Then I asked God to change ME. Begged Him to. Show me My sin. Make me more like Jesus. Help me understand what it means to be a godly wife. Let me be a blessing to my husband. Transform my heart and mind by your Spirit’s power, etc…

          Much love!

    2. I just want to say that I’m glad you found this site. I wish all hurting women had someone like April available to help heal us women by pointing us to Christs healing power. I don’t have friends and my blood sister (whom I love dearly is not Christ centered). The women in Church are mainly senior citizens and maybe I should try talking to them. I’m just so grateful to her and she has helped cement my own (much smaller!) mission which is to minister to my children and whomever crosses my path. And my husband! Boy is he the hardest one though! 🙂 Just reading your story reminded me that there are so many hurting women. Linsey, if I may suggest printing the responses for prayerful reflection later. When I had a big problem that finally began to erupt I posted here for the first time and was very, very fortunate that not only April, but other sisters shared valuable advice. I had PAGES of their printed councel that I took with me on a weekend retreat when I was away from my family. Since that time, I’ve not had horrible blowouts with my husband. The truth of Gods Word, that He sent through our sisters here, really healed me and I wish the same for you and so many. Imagine if we could have played April’s videos and other Christian videos during the Superbowl and all of half time, there are women out there that would appreciate that, certainly mothers. We can chuckle but honestly I feel this is what America needs, there is no balance. Anyway, I digress, God bless you Linsey!

      1. Thank you so much SisterinChrist for the sweet words. Yes, that is great advice! I read so much godly and valuable advice here, but it is so easy to forget when you are in a heated moment or a moment of anger/frustration/sadness. The same thing with the Bible. Unless you remember His words/verses, then it is so easy to forget and not have them in your heart. I think printing out all of the posts that are about my situation would be very beneficial. I’ve also started to write out verses in a journal to help me remember. I’m a very new Christian, but I would like to start memorizing verses too.

        Definitely going through a harder period now. Very lonely and scared. It is more than just chores. My husband and I basically have no intimacy at all between us. He works all day, comes home, studies, doesn’t give me any type of affection, and then usually something of stress comes up and one of us says harsh words and then we go to bed in separate places. Last night, he come home and started telling me about Jury Duty. I didn’t agree with his opinion about a case and he got angry. I thought my husband’s views were pretty immoral, so I was being quite self righteous and judgemental, which I’m sure he could sense. Later on, he snapped at me just because I asked what time he was going to bed. After that, I just felt like giving up on the whole marriage.

        I know only God can change me, but I feel like I keep backtracking. However, when I look back on the changes in me, they are very significant, which is proof He has, but I feel like my husband has not only changed, he treats me even more unloving than in the past when I was horribly controlling and disrespectful. I know that God is working on my husband in His time, but it is so hard to be respectful when I feel so unloved and alone. It’s hard to accept that my husband may never change or become a believer, but I will continue to follow what God has shown me to do, even if my husband changes or doesn’t, however I do have hope that he will. I have seen my husband change at times and respond positively to my changes, but when he is stressed out and not taking care of his health, he becomes very hard to live with. It is so easy when he isn’t home. When I see his car in the driveway, my stomach sinks. I’m sure he feels the same way. It just seems so sad.

        I’m scared to have false hope. Can hope for a marriage getting better be a bad thing, because it may never happen? Or is better to just accept that it might and learn to live with it? It would just be a very hard life to never feel love or affection from your spouse again. I’m just losing all hope, because our marriage was never that great to begin with.

        1. Linsey, until Aprils response I just want to offer to never lose hope as my marriage was almost similar for the first 10 years until my husbands miraculous conversion and it’s been an easier last 5 years and the most blissful the past year especially as we’ve grown closer to Christ. My husband even told me if it weren’t for his love of Christ he wouldn’t love me the same. During the difficult years I’m sure I prayed but not focused prayer like you are doing and certainly not working on my spirit. My children were younger and demanded much more of my time. Are you a mother? And I believe you are doing even more to heal yourself during this time than I was. The closer you are to Christ the more peace filled you will be. That is a mathematical certainty. Unfortunately for me during my past, the hurt was compounded by my lack of peace in myself, my lack of growth in what Christ could offer my hurt soul in the midst of seeing my husbands wrongdoing at the time, knowing it was out of my hands and focusing on how I could heal and pray to hold my tongue and learn patience. I made it worse for myself big time but you are on the right path. Keep practicing holding back any responses that don’t bring to mind a “gentle and quiet spirit that is of great worth in God’s sight”. I could write a book on just how that verse alone affects me. This may sound strange but hopefully you are also eating healthy, I noticed that my physical state affects my psychological state (self defeating thoughts) which in turn affects my emotions and I am more prone to have less patience or worse, be receptive to the Word less, if I’m not feeding my temple properly and getting rest.

          1. Yes, I am a mother to a two year old daughter. I’m also a full time teacher. My husband is military and a nurse and right now his job is very stressful. He is also studying for his nursing exam in a month. My husband does not handle stress well. When he is really stressed, he’ll resort to nicotine, unhealthy eating, and not exercising. My husband has ADHD, so studying can be more challenging for him and he can be really hard on himself. I basically have to leave him alone for long periods when he is consumed with studying for a test coming up.

            I eat healthy and exercise every day. I have issues with sleep, but it is getting much better since I became a believer. I used to have the worst insomnia, sometimes not sleeping for 48 hours straight! Through prayer and trust in Him, I have been able to overcome that along with depression. I’m so grateful for this. I currently have a cold, so it is harder to be respectful. I also struggle greatly when I”m hormonal. I basically have to keep my distance or it never goes well.

            I agree that healthy eating and rest are very important. When I start to eat unhealthy, drink, and stop exercising, it always makes me more anxious and I take it out on my husband.

          2. My husband agreed to watching the Love and Respect series with me on video. That is huge, especially for him. 🙂 There is some hope still!

          3. LinseyAK,
            Of course there is hope! I have seen God transform hundreds of women’s lives and marriages. Your hope is in Jesus, though, dear sister. It must be. Not in what your husband does or does not do. Not in what you do.

            If he watches it, awesome. If he doesn’t, ok. God can reach him whether he does what you want regarding this video or not, thankfully! If you watch it, focus on what men need, not on what God says for husbands to do. 🙂 And then don’t pressure him. God’s Spirit can speak to him without your voice helping.

            Much love!

        2. LinseyAK,
          I am working on a post for my other blog on this very topic. Here is what I have so far…

          In the moment, when things all start to go wrong in our day, we are in a hurry, or someone says something hurtful-how do we respond in the power of God? How do we avoid snapping at them or lashing out? How can we truly respond in God’s power rather than in a sinful way?

          These are important questions!

          Before I answer, I need to share that I am going to make several assumptions about those who are reading this post:

          – I assume that you know Jesus as your Savior.
          – I assume that you know that for Jesus to be your Savior, He also must be your Lord.
          – I assume that you know that to respond in God’s power, you have to feed your soul nourishing spiritual food. This means, spending significant time in fervent prayer and reading the Bible. Not just asking God for things like He is a big genie. And not just reading your Bible to put a check mark on your to do list. I am talking about praying that involves daily praising God, thanking Him, confessing your sin, and asking God to change you to make you more like Jesus. And I am talking about praying for God’s kingdom to come in your life, in others’ lives, and in the world. This is praying about the stuff that matters to God, not just asking for things for your own pleasure. And I am talking about being still and listening to Him, as well.
          – I assume that you are willing an ready to give up anything in your life, mind, or heart that God desires you to give up. So I assume you are willing to tear out any idols, let go of bitterness, trash unbelief/worry/fear, humble yourself, and submit fully to Christ in total obedience to the best of your understanding as you allow God’s Spirit to change and empower you.

          When we are in Christ, spending time with Him, allowing Him to fill us, getting rid of any spiritual poison, and we are receiving His goodness, His Spirit gives us the power to live as though our flesh is crucified with Christ. Jesus lives in and through us to give us the power to do what we can’t do on our own.

          A few things that are helpful:

          – The discipline of taking our thoughts captive for Christ.
          – The discipline of filling our hearts and minds with thanksgiving and praise to God all throughout the day.
          – A mindset of almost continual prayer and connection with God each moment.
          – A willing total dependence on Christ as we acknowledge we can’t do anything good apart from Him.
          – An understanding of Satan and and tactics to try to ensnare us.
          – A willingness to die to self.

          When you are seeking Christ and learning to live for Him in faith, He will test you. Part of that test is that you will have to decide to trust and obey Him even though you don’t know what the outcome will be. Are you willing to be faithful and obedient to Him and to allow Him to transform you no matter what happens with your husband? That is what God wants to see. That means learning to rest in His love and sovereignty in the midst of uncertainty. We learn that waiting becomes sweet. This refines our motives so that we do what we do for Him alone not to get what we want ourselves.

          Desiring a healed marriage is a good thing. God loves marriage. But He wants your heart completely even more than He wants your marriage healed. Does that make sense?

          If your hope is in your marriage, you will be disappointed. But if all of your hope and faith is in Christ and in seeking His will, whatever that may be, and you give Him control – I promise you will not be disappointed!

          Much love!

      2. SIC,
        We all do desperately need more and more of Jesus. May He be greatly exalted here and may He reach millions in our culture and around the world for His kingdom! And let it begin in each of us. 🙂

  27. Hi Ladies!

    April, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything and I don’t know if you remember me but I’m one who struggles with needing “hits” of reassurance from my husband and keep a checklist of ways he proves he loves me and you talked with me a lot about this last year.

    So I have been dealing with a weird situation. My husband has been about 25 pounds overweight for the last 15 years of our 21 year marriage. I have always been the one who is more in shape and I frequently get told I don’t look my age (not boasting just explaining LOL). Well just 3 weeks ago my husband started this Man 2.0 weight loss plan with a guy at work who is 10 years younger (hubby is 44). Well, my husband has lost 14 pounds on this low carb diet and has been working out hard with this guy.

    This might seem great but this has triggered crazy insecure feeling in me. The enemy is hitting me hard with thoughts of “Hubby will get in shape and then leave you.” I know I have zero control over what he does and doesn’t do but this is causing me to feel as if I ought to be able to control him out of fear. I am obsessing that he will get in shape and then fundamentally transform his lifestyle to the point of no longer wanting to spend time with me.

    I have been verbally supportive of his new diet and I have joined him by making a few changes in my own diet but inwardly I am very annoyed and negative and yes, even jealous of the influence this younger guy is having on my husband. I do not approve of this younger guy’s lifestyle.

    When my husband first started this I slipped up and cried and told him I felt like he would get fit and then begin to flirt with other women and he reacted by getting angry and feeling disrespected and said he would not change, only his weight. He said in 21 years has he ever done those things? I feel like, no he hasn’t but what if that changes? He seems consumed by this new diet program and it’s really bothering me.

    I know I need to try to lay this down but I have been ruminating on this since he started 3 weeks ago. I am tired of being driven by fear and anxiety.

    Thank you ladies so much!

    1. Stephanie,

      I’m glad to hear from you, sister! And very glad to hear that you recognize that this is the enemy speaking to you. I really wish you had been able to be supportive of your husband in his efforts to get in shape and not freaked out. But it’s not too late to turn this around. 🙂

      How has your walk with Christ been going?

      Are you able to see that your fears are a lot more likely to push your husband away from your marriage than his losing weight would?

      Are your fears founded on anything factual?

      What would happen if you decided not to listen to your fears but to trust Christ? I am not saying to put all of your trust in your husband, although he seems pretty trustworthy. Your trust has to be firmly in Jesus.

      You don’t have to continue on in fear and anxiety. If you are willing to lay down your toxic ways of thinking and embrace God’s truth, you can be free.

      Do you think that maybe your husband being overweight is some kind of “insurance policy” that protects you from having to deal with possible infidelity?

      Where is your security, dear sister?

      Much love to you! I’m glad you wrote about what is happening. I pray you will find the healing that is available to you in Jesus!

      1. Hi April! Thank you for taking your time to respond to me!!! Everything you said is spot on. I really struggle with trying to lay down my fears of abandonment (rooted in childhood). I do find that when I concentrate on God’s truths I do better and I have a quiet time with God around 3 mornings a week – so my walk is better but not the best it can be.

        My fears become overwhelming at times: My fears are that he will become addicted to working out, addicted to weight loss, what if he develops body dismorphic disorder (LOL), what if he will no longer be interested in me but rather only himself, have a new life that excludes me, drastically change to the point that it disrupts our family. Of course I want him to be healthier (he is also saying that part of this diet is increasing libido and that has been an issue with me being a higher drive than him) but I just want to control *how* he does it LOL.

        I have been very good about supporting him in his new endeavors and I ONLY slipped up that one time where I told him that I was worried he would begin to want other women. I will keep my fears to myself but the fear is very very strong in me at times.

        I do think that to some extent when he was overweight and very sedentary it was kind of an “insurance policy” of his faithfulness, as terrible as that sounds!

        For the most part he and I have a very close and loving marriage. He knows about my anxiety and insecurity from my past but he says he can only handle hearing about it so much.

        Thank you for listening to my panic attack!!!! Thank you for reminding me of what the truth is. I do believe that me getting reassurance is like the drug hits you mentioned.
        -Stephanie

        1. Stephanie,

          My precious sister, what you have here is a stronghold of Satan going on in your life. That is what this fear is all about. He is happily fueling all of these thoughts and you are giving him the authority to stick around in your heart and mind and do that.

          The fear has to go. The anxiety has to go. It is not of God and it doesn’t have to stay.

          Are you willing to increase your time with God to every day?

          Are you ready to really dig into this stronghold and ask God to help you tear it all out and live by faith rather than all of these dramatic, and very unlikely, “what ifs”?

          I don’t just want you to keep your fears inside. They will still show up anyway in your expressions and how you relate to your husband. And they will contaminate your walk with Christ. I want you to yank every one of those fears out and examine the motives behind them. God can heal you. And He is glad to heal you. I have seen Him heal many women from similar fears.

          I would be glad to help you if you need a jump start – once I know that you are on board with desiring this spiritual healing and that you are willing to get rid of all of this fear.

          Much love!
          April

          1. Oh April, yes I am on board! Last year I did a 29 week bible study called The Healing Journey and it is designed for anyone who has suffered any kind of trauma and the premise is that you can have all the “counseling” in the world but until you receive/allow healing frI’m the Holy Spirit you will never be truly free.
            Now this bible study did help me a lot especially in learning what I really believe about the Nature of God, but clearly I Stull need to do a LOT of work.
            Your help means so much to me!

          2. Stephanie,

            Awesome! How about this…
            List out every single fear you can think of that is bothering you right now.

            Have you already read the post about identifying the lies we have embraced If so, you may already be able to label each fear with a corresponding lie. If not, I invite you to go to that post and assign a lie to each fear. Does that make sense?

            And then, I’d like for you to come up with a truth from God’s word that addresses each fear or each category of fears.

            The truth is that when you doubt your husband like this and you project imagined fears onto him, you are seriously disrespecting and insulting him. You are saying you don’t trust him. You are saying you think he is a cheater. And that he is not a man of integrity. Satan is the one who wants you to believe this. He may have engrained this way of thinking into your mind when you were a child. But you don’t need those toxic thought patterns anymore. They will repel your husband and destroy your marriage.

            He is doing a good thing. Assume he doesn’t have evil motives unless you see serious evidence to the contrary.

            Are you trying to find security in your husband rather than in Christ?

            What do you believe you can do to find your security in Christ completely?

            Is there any area where you believe God can’t be trusted?

            Much love!

          3. Stephanie and April, I’m coming in late, but want to say how thankful I am for the way God is moving here and the way truth is being shared and sorted out. What a beautiful thing! I’ve prayed for you just now, Stephanie–hoping and trusting that you find healing and freedom from fear!!!! Thanks for your faithful ministry, April!!

  28. Hello! I have some really good news of the Lord making changes in me and guiding me today that I’d like to share tomorrow.

    However I have a quick question. I saw your video on what to maybe do if your husband wants you to watch TV shows that you find inappropriate. I’m wondering what to do if your husband wants to binge watch these shows, but doesn’t care if I’m around or not. The problem is that he’ll watch these shows around our toddler and I don’t want her to see violence, hear swear words, or see nudity even if she’s super little. He also binge watches these and I have to leave the room because I don’t want to hear it and then I don’t get to hang with him or watch any TV. He doesn’t always hog the TV, but tonight he sure did and there’s days where he has stressful days and he just wants to watch his shows all night. It’s becoming more frequent because he’s been so stressed lately.

    Should I just leave the room and bring my daughter? I’ve already respectfully told him that my conscience tells me not to watch these shows. But what do I do when he watches these shows with my daughter around and I’m not around? Take it to God? Same goes with his swearing. He swears a ton and I don’t want my daughter to pick it up!

    Thanks 🙂

    1. Linsey,

      I’m glad you shared that you don’t like these shows. If you can leave the room, I think that could be wise – particularly right now with how very fragile things are in your marriage and with your husband.

      But of course, most of all, pray about it, seek God’s wisdom. Do what He prompts you to do.

      You could possibly say, “Honey, I’d prefer that our daughter not hear swear words or see a lot of violence or nudity on TV. Thanks for looking out for her about that.”

      But then you can’t control what he does. If she does see those things, and she begins to use those words or talk about what she saw, that may be enough to make him realize that something needs to change.

      This is something to pray about. God can change his heart and convict him in ways you cannot. God may even prompt you to say nothing at this time, because you have already said quite bit, I think. God may encourage you to pray and trust Him to work in your husband’ conscience about his choices and how it will impact your daughter. He can show you what to do. And He can even use this conflict for good – to teach you to trust Him. To encourage your husband to be a more mindful parent. To increase the unity in your marriage as you don’t nag and complain.

      Much love!

      1. Thanks April.

        My husband is a super dad and super overprotective of our daughter. He finally said we could get a babysitter, a teacher friend who has been through thorough background checks, LOL. I don’t think he realizes that our daughter will pick up on it quickly (the swear words). It might take him seeing it firsthand for it to sink in, so yes, the best thing I can do is bring it to God. Thanks.

      2. Thanks again April.

        I have expressed my views about this, so I’m not sure there is much more I can do, but pray to Him and to trust in Him. Tonight I had some work to do on my computer, so my husband watched our daughter. Of course, he had the show on. It’s not absolutely horrible, but it does have nudity and swearing, which I’m not a fan of. My daughter isn’t yet two, but I’d prefer her not to watch it, because I know by being a teacher that kids pick up on things quickly. But like I said, I’d rather her not see it, but I’m not sure if I can do anything else about it, because it would probably be naggy and controlling. I don’t see anything good happening if I approached him about it, especially since he is helping me out by watching her so I can complete my work. But I’ll continually pray about it and allow God to lead.

        It is quite frustrating though and I’m afraid that my fears will cause me to try to control this or nag or complain. I don’t think he thinks it is that big of a deal to watch these shows or have her around when he is watching them. I used to watch these types of shows too, but now my conscience tells me not to. But I’ve expressed my concerns and I don’t think he is going to stop. There was one time where I expressed it and he said, “Okay you are right, I want to keep her innocent for as long as possible.” But now he doesn’t even try to stop swearing around her or watch other shows. I really just don’t think he think it is a big deal, because he grew up around swearing. I did not. I think it is tacky and I think these shows are trashy. Maybe he can sense my judgment on him for watching these shows?

        IDK. Maybe he will start to care one day what my concerns are after he feels more respected and appreciated. I just hate to think that my past of disrespect and control could have a negative effect on parenting and my daughter. In the meantime, I’ll need to continue praying for him to make wise decisions and for his conscience.

      3. The whole thing has been perplexed, because he is a super dad in many areas. He takes very good care of her. But just doesn’t seem to think this is a big deal or maybe he doesn’t think she can be impacted yet.

        I do think God is telling me that I need to take my hands off every thing that he does or doesn’t do right now. Probably for a very long term, due to the many years of controlling and disrespectful behavior that I have exhibited. That if I don’t do this and I don’t give him a ton of space, that he will never grow. That I’m getting in the way of God’s plans for him.

        1. Linsey,
          I suggest focusing on what he is doing right and the things you admire about his parenting. Thank him for being such a great dad. Ask God to work in his heart about the TV stuff. He can do it!

          Much love!

Thanks for commenting! Let's be respectful toward God, our husbands, and one another.

%d bloggers like this: