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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!

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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.

 

62 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 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.

  3. 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!

  4. “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. 🙂

  5. 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

  6. 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!

  7. 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. 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

  8. “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.

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  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. 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!

  14. 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 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. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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! 🙂

  18. 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. 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

      1. 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! 🙂

        1. 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. 🙂

          1. 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!

  19. 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

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

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