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Dealing with Annoying Things…

A good test of whether the Spirit of God is in control in my heart – or my sinful nature is in control – is how I respond when people do things that tend to annoy me. I’m going to share some examples of ways we could respond that would be godly (as long as our motives are right).

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Cor. 13:4-5

Walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal. 5:10, 22-23

I have awesome news, dear sisters in Christ, I don’t HAVE to be annoyed! Jesus can give me the power to extend grace in many situations that maybe would annoy me if I was acting in the flesh. He can also give me the power to be vulnerable, respectful, and kind while asking for what I need. But even if I don’t receive what I would like, I can respond in the power of the Lord and don’t have to give in to resentment, control, bitterness, or any kind of sinful motives or thoughts – as I abide in Him.

SATAN’S STRATEGY

Satan would love for me to be annoyed, irritated, and resentful. He would love to take some tiny little inconsequential issue and get me to focus on accusations against my husband or bitterness so that he can gain a huge foothold in my life. If you haven’t read about this, I invite you to see exactly how he does this in these two posts:

How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

My Demon – by Kayla

 

SOME EXAMPLES AND SUGGESTIONS TO PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER:

HE LEAVES THE TOILET SEAT UP

photo credit www.ebay.com
photo credit www.ebay.com
  • I can accept that part of living with a man might be that the toilet seat gets left up sometimes. After all, I always leave the toilet seat down. Maybe that could be annoying, too, from his perspective? It doesn’t have to be a big deal for me to put the seat down, any more than it would be for him to have to put the seat up.
  • I can take this opportunity to thank God that I have a husband. Living with another person involves some small inconveniences, but the rewards of getting to be a wife are worth it! There are a lot of women who wish their biggest problem in life was that they had a husband who left up a toilet seat.
  • I can refuse to assume evil motives on his part.
  • I can respectfully ask, in a pleasant way, “Honey, if you get a chance to put the toilet seat back down when you are finished, that would be wonderful. Thanks!”
  • If he doesn’t remember, I still don’t have to resort to bitterness. I don’t have to even be angry. I can just put the seat down myself and remind myself that I am glad he puts the seat up and doesn’t make a mess on the seat. He is being considerate to put the seat up.
  • I can feel in the dark to see if the seat is up with the lid so I know to put it down so I don’t fall in or I can have a night light on in the bathroom.
  • I can be super thankful for indoor plumbing and for toilet seats. Not everyone in this world has such a luxury!
  • I could ask for a “squat toilet” like the one on the right like they use in Asia. Then there is no seat over which to have any contention. Problem solved! Ha! πŸ™‚

 

 

IMG_0145HE DOESN’T PUT THE DISHES IN THE DISHWASHER “CORRECTLY”

  • If he is putting dishes in the dishwasher, that is awesome!Β Not every husband does that. What a blessing!Β I want to be sure that I thank him and show appreciation – not a bunch of criticism – or he may not want to keep helping me. Who wants to help someone who criticizes all of the help she receives? (Here is a post about overcoming a critical spirit.)
  • I don’t have to say anything about how he packs the dishwasher. If the dishes are not all clean, I could simply take a crusty dish to him later, with a pleasant attitude, and say, “Hmm… it seems like the dishwasher didn’t quite get the dishes clean.”
  • I could scrub the crusty dishes and say nothing – as long as I can do that without any bitterness or resentment. It is definitely possible with the power of the Holy Spirit!
  • If things are not tense in the marriage already, and my husband is feeling relatively respected, I may decide to say something (in a friendly, casual way) like, “I noticed that it seems like sometimes the dishwasher cleans the dishes better when they are put in like this…” Or, “I’ve noticed that if the dishes block the jets, things don’t seem to get as clean.”

 

HE LEAVES DIRTY CLOTHES ON THE FLOORIMG_0147

  • I can pick them up myself with a joyful servant’s heart and focus on how thankful I am to have my husband in my life.
  • I can say in a friendly way, with a smile, “Honey, if you would please put your clothes in the hamper sometime, that would be great. Thanks!”
  • I can leave them there until he picks them up. It just depends whose tolerance is greater for a mess. If I am the one who can’t stand clothes being on the floor, maybe it would just be worth it to my sanity for me to quickly put them in the hamper myself with good motives.

When I focus on thankfulness, I can have peace.

 

IMG_0148HE DOESN’T TAKE OUT THE GARBAGE

  • I can say (in a friendly, pleasant way, with a genuine smile), “Baby, would you please take out the kitchen garbage when you get a chance tonight? Thank you so much!”
  • I can give him time to take it out on his schedule and not expect him to do it immediately.
  • If the garbage really smells awful, I can take it out myself, or ask an older child to if that is possible.
  • If it is a garbage emergency, I can say, “Honey, the garbage is really smelling nasty. If you could please take it out as soon as possible, that would be awesome. Thanks!”
  • Of course, I need to recognize if my husband is really busy, sick, exhausted, stressed, or involved in something. If he is, I may rather just take out the garbage myself rather than disturb him.

How might I bless him today?

 

HE SITS DOWN TO RELAX WHILE I HAVE A LOT OF CHORES TO DOdrew-coffman-125736

  • I can respectfully ask him for some help with specific things in a friendly way and let him know that when these chores are done, I’d really love to relax and cuddle with him.
  • I can bring my laundry basket in there and sit with him and enjoy his company while I fold laundry.
  • I could let the chores wait a bit and just go cuddle with my husband and enjoy being with him for 20 minutes or so. I don’t have to be jealous of his taking some time to relax when I could join him!
  • I can ask children to help with age-appropriate chores and train them to help so that I delegate a lot of my chores to them more and more.
  • I can focus on being a blessing to him and appreciating all that he does for me. Maybe he went under the house last week to fix the sewer line. Or maybe he took my car to the shop. Maybe he mowed the grass this week for an hour or two.
  • I can be thankful he has the chance to rest and relax.
  • I can focus on thanking God for all of the things my husband does for me and our children.
  • I can thank God I have a husband and family to care for.
  • I can evaluate my time management and see if there is anything I can adjust to help me have more time to relax, as well. Maybe I could even ask for my husband’s input.
  • I can evaluate whether everything I think needs to be done really needs to be done. Maybe I can let some things go? Perhaps I can think about the story of Mary and Martha?

IF THINGS ARE EXTREMELY TENSE

If your husband has been talking about divorce or he is extremely shut down or angry and has been feeling very disrespected, there can be a period of time while y’all are in the beginning stages of healing where it could be wise not to ask him to do anything. Sometimes giving him a bit of time and space to heal without him feeling pressured can be helpful temporarily.

ANDREW MURRAY QUOTES ABOUT HUMILITY

β€œThe only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer, but that which we carry with us, and carry out, in our ordinary conduct; the insignficances of daily life are the importances and the tests of eternity, because they prove what really is the spirit that possesses us.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility

β€œThe humble man looks upon every, the feeblest and unworthiest, child of God, and honors him and prefers him in honor as the son of a King.”
― Andrew Murray, Humility

 

SHARE

Has God given you wisdom and power to respond in a godly way to a situation that used to annoy you? We’d all love to hear your insights! Do you need some help with something that is annoying you? You are welcome to share that, as well. πŸ™‚

RELATED:

Posts on Bitterness

How to Overcome a Critical Spirit – by www.gotquestions.org

Laying Down My Expectations

How to Have a Relationship with Jesus Christ

Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

Examining the Real Reasons Behind Perfectionism and People Pleasing

Dying to Self

 

 

137 thoughts on “Dealing with Annoying Things…

  1. Very timely post. Last night my husband did the most annoying thing you can imagine. He fell asleep cooking and the stove caught fire. I woke up to the house filled with smoke and had to rush him and my 1 year old out of the house to safety. He was too disoriented to help or even understand what was happening.

      1. The annoying part is that he tends to push himself too hard and do things when he is exhausted. One day in January, he was really tired and had a few drinks but still drove a friend to the airport. On the way back home, he fell asleep behind the wheel and hit a car. Last night, he tried to cook although he was tired and ended up falling asleep on the couch, which led to a fire. I have so far been determined to act in love although he put us all in serious danger last night. He repented and promised to rest when he’s tired and not try to be hero. I’m just thanking God that we are all OK.

        1. Nikki,

          Goodness. That is scary about having a few drinks and being really tired and then driving. I hope that is not happening anymore. Is he getting enough sleep? Falling asleep while he is cooking makes me wonder if he is extremely sleep deprived or maybe dealing with a medical issue? No alcohol or drugs involved with yesterday, correct?

          I’m glad he recognized that what he did was really dangerous. And that he repented. I’m also glad you are determined to act in love. Yes, praise God you are all okay!

          1. Hi April,
            He doesn’t have a medical issue. He just doesn’t respect his body enough to rest when he’s tired. I spoke to him about it and I think he will change his ways going forward.

            The old me would have flipped out and acted in anger, resentment and judgement after an incident like this. However, due to your inspiration, I have focused on acting in love and kindness. I haven’t said even one harsh word towards him about it. He hasn’t said anything but he has been more loving towards me than ever since this incident. I think he appreciates my loving, kind and non-judgemental approach.

            Keep doing what you are doing. You are changing hearts and minds and making marriages stronger and more loving.

            By the way, we live all the way in an island in the Caribbean so your message has gone international πŸ™‚

            God bless you!

          2. Thanks, everyone for your patience! I have been working in the pharmacy the past two days and we had a lot of tornado warnings yesterday and crazy stuff going on, so it took me longer than usual to respond.

            Nikki,

            I’m so thankful that he doesn’t have a medical issues. I’m glad you talked with him and I hope he will be willing to try to get the rest he needs. Sleep is REALLY important!

            I’m so thankful for the way you responded. Obviously, he knows that what happened was scary and dangerous. I’m sure he appreciates your approach this time more than he can say.

            Thank you for the encouragement, dear sister. πŸ™‚

            How amazing that we can sit in our houses all around the world and talk with each other. I love that!

            Much love!

  2. Definitely. I read a book once about letting go of the small stuff and it brought up as well, instead of complaining just do it yourself. That it’s worth preserving the relationship. I actually started doing it in all my relationships and not just my marriage. Instead of complaining about a sibling not doing the dishes, just do it. Instead of getting mad he didn’t take out the trash, just do it. Usually they will see you doing it, become appreciative and ensure to do it next time and in awe you didn’t ask them. I started to realize those complaints weren’t as important as keeping peace in a home. Also, I would pray about it to God instead of nagging. God can do way better with people then my nagging.

  3. Hi April,

    How can or should a wife respond when her husband smacks really loudly when he eats his food or slurps when he eats any kind of liquid food? How can she respond when he shuffles his feet when he walks across the floor in his slippers? He has a volatile personality when he is corrected in the slightest way. He doesn’t get physical but he can get angry or accusatory. He even burps loudly without saying excuse me. I don’t think he was taught manners. This is very annoying that the family members can’t say anything to him about it. If anyone else in the family was doing this, we could tease them in a playful way about it or ask them to please stop. But not him. Some coping methods: put cotton in our hears, turn the tv up louder to drown out the noise, leave the room when he eats, just bear it…. Any thoughts please?

    1. Karen,

      If you know he will react with a lot of anger to any requests about these issues, it may not be worth attempting to address them. These are small things, after all. And they are not sins. They may be seen as rudeness, but perhaps he doesn’t realize he is doing these things? And most likely, he is probably not doing them on purpose to irritate people.

      A few things you can do:
      – Choose to focus on the things for which you are thankful about your husband.
      – Consciously think about the things you admire about him.
      – Choose not to be easily offended.
      – Ask God to help you see him with His eyes.
      – Think about how precious each day together is, how it is a gift. What if today is the last day you are together? How do you want him to remember you? How do you want to remember him?
      – Don’t serve soup! πŸ™‚
      – Focus on edifying conversation.
      – Realize that everyone has annoying habits and that living with someone else involves adapting to others and extending grace at times.
      – Ask God for wisdom about how/if/when to approach the issues in a respectful way.
      – Spend the time you need with God so that you are filled up with His Spirit and can respond in the power of His Spirit rather than the flesh.

      Has anyone ever addressed the smacking and slurping issues with him before, to your knowledge? Most likely these are habits he developed when he was young.

      Much love!

      1. Karen,

        Another thought or two…

        Sometimes there can be medical reasons behind someone shuffling his feet. So that may be a helpful thing to consider. There can also be medical reasons behind someone smacking their food. For example, if he has a lot of sinus/nasal problems and he can’t really breathe well through his nose, he may eat in a way that may be different because of the breathing issues.

      2. Hi April,

        I have to clarify something. In my earlier comment, the person I was referring to is not my husband but my father. My mother handles the situation very graciously. I am the one who is going crazy with my father’s lack of manners. It bothers my mother too, but she has learned how to deal with it. I know it is a small matter in the big scheme of things, but the hardest part is not being able to say anything about it. My father is an older man with an old school mentality. I believe he is insecure. He doesn’t receive teasing or correction easily. The other members of my family and I are open with one another. We can be honest and just say, Close your mouth. LOL My mother would tell me the secret to getting along in marriage is to keep your mouth shut. Maybe that’s why she is married and I am not. πŸ™‚

        1. Karen,
          Thanks for the clarification. Sometimes older fathers are not very open to correction from their children. Or anyone.

          I have had some similar situations in my life. I think it is possible to extend grace with these kinds of things. Ask God to help you see him as He sees him and to have His love for him. As you focus on Christ and His Spirit fills you, He can give you compassion to love those who are difficult to love.

          Much love to you!

          1. Yes, My father doesn’t even like my mother correcting him – in any way, for anything. Please pray for me April. I need more of God’s grace to love that way. I am realizing that it is not easy being married – I am not married. A person really has to put up with a lot in order to live peaceably with another person. Thanks April for your godly wisdom..

          2. Karen,

            God can give you that grace as you seek Him and His Spirit fills you up. In situations like this, sometimes we may have to examine our hearts for bitterness against a person who offends us, even in these little ways. Because if we have any bitterness or resentment against someone, we won’t be able to be filled with God’s grace. Or if we are cherishing other sin – pride, self-righteousness, a critical spirit, etc… We need to deal with those things completely before God, allowing Him to help us tear them out. Then He can fill us with His Spirit, His perspective, His love, His mercy, His grace, His power…

            A book that may be helpful is Andrew Murray’s Humility.

            Much love!

          3. April,

            Thank you. You are “tough” in a good way. πŸ™‚ I will take some time in my quiet time with the Lord and allow Him to search my heart. I know there are things that He needs to address with me. I have the book, Humility, by Andrew Murray. I may need to pull it out again. Love you sister in Christ, Karen

          4. Karen,

            I have been in a similar situation as yours, not with my father, but with someone else. And I know that for me, it is easy to begin to build resentment even about little things like these. I also know that I cherished all kinds of resentment and bitterness against many people for over 15 years – and that it was VERY toxic. Now, I realize I can’t afford one drop of bitterness in my life. It will destroy me and it ruins my fellowship with God and my ability to be filled up with Him. It destroys my relationships with others. It is so easy not to even see our own bitterness, pride, or self-righteousness. I was personally blind to these sins in my life for all those years. But those are the things that kept me from having the fruit of the Spirit in my life.

            I know I must always be on my guard about those particular sins. They would love to sneak back into my heart and mind any chance they get.

            Humility is a book I could benefit from reading probably at least once a month. SOOO good.

            Much love, my precious sister!

    2. Karen,

      This is funny but my husband and I and my son all do this and we ALL get annoyed by it lol.

      Thankfully, though, all of us, including my son understand so when any of us asks each other to stop, we stop because we know how annoying it is for us to hear each other sometimes!

      Not sure why your husband would get so angry about this. I assume you have asked him before to stop, and he got mad. Did he say why he was so offended? Does he not care about this?

      If I was you, I would just leave the room if possible. I use that coping skill many times and for various reasons! Like if my husband is on the phone, our home is so small that there is literally no where to escape noise etc. so what I end up doing is going in another room with the door closed so it atleast makes it a bit less loud. When I am on the phone and being too loud for my husband, he asks me to go in a room with the door shut, and I usually do that so I’m not annoying him!

      Other times if my son is eating really loudly at the table, and I’m in the living room, I’ll just bear it and ignore it, knowing he will be done eating soon!

      If it’s my husband, I also try to just bear it, but if it’s something like SUPER loud like nacho chips—– I usually ask him to please eat with his mouth closed, or I’ll go in the room with the door closed.

      Sometimes we just have to accommodate ourselves to our families to keep the peace! It would be impossible to live with each other if we all were in the flesh all the time, getting on each other’s backs and freaking out about this stuff!

      I feel your pain at least, Lord help us! πŸ™‚

      Love,
      Amanda

      1. Hi Satisfied Wife,

        It’s good to know that someone feels my pain. πŸ™‚ I have put cotton or tissue in my ears, left the room, turned up the volume on the tv, spoke louder to someone else who was in the room, etc….I know I need a deeper work of grace on my heart. As I said in my previous comment, the person I was referring to is my father. I don’t know if I could be in a relationship and not be able to tell the other person the things that they were doing that was annoying. Please pray that I will learn to do what is necessary to keep the peace in my relationships – even if that means keeping my mouth shut.

        1. Karen,

          Thank you for clarifying! Actually, I know what that’s like too. I probably started more wars at my home growing up because of this issue than anything else. My dad was like us too though, he couldn’t stand the noise, but neither could I. So it was not the best mix. Probably why I wanted to get out of there ASAP when I graduated. I also could not tell my dad what to do in his own house. I’m pretty sure it’s just the way it is.

          But now that I’m married and we live far away, whenever I do go to their house to visit, the Lord has done drastic things in my own heart where, I really don’t get bothered by my father anymore. He’s still the same, but I literally don’t tell him what to do, knowing it is his house and I don’t need to go there anymore if I don’t want to. So now that it’s an option and not like I’m in a prison living with my parents, it doesn’t bother me anymore. But I agree that while you are in it and you have no where else to go, it is really really really hard to deal with!

          But I would say that honestly, the Lord can use this to refine YOU! He can definitely strengthen your spirit inwardly by His Spirit to overcome this by the power of HIS victory! πŸ™‚

          “Lord, I can’t deal with this issue in myself. I appeal to YOUR LIFE IN ME to rise up and face this situation for your glory!”

          You will find that His Life shows up and empowers you to not get irritated when you are truly relying on Him to carry you through!!!!

          It might come down to the point of realizing that the reason it bothers you so much is because YOU don’t want to hear it, and YOU feel a certain way about it. If you just let all those personal feelings go—you might be surprised how much more you are able to endure! πŸ™‚

          But, my sister in law told me once about how there is a literal medical diagnosis for this contdition. I wish I remembered what it’s called. She was studying to be a nurse and she read all about it. My son also suffers from this issue and it effects him in school even. It did that to me too growing up. I could not listen to people scraping plates with forks or utensils, loud talking, loud music or live music playing (my dad owned a drum set and would play in the basement), etc. I couldn’t handle dishes being put away or cleaned, people chewing loudly. In school there were certain teachers with certain voices that made me cringe inside to the point where I would cover my ears! My son does this now, so I am convinced it is genetic. I never taught him to do that!

          So yes, I feel your pain. When I talked to my son’s doctor about it, she said there is really nothing anyone can do about this issue except learn how to cope and deal with it!

          And now that I’ve been given new life in Christ, and it is CHRIST living in me, I find that He is able to keep me from falling back into this issue. The times I still struggle is when I’m seriously tired or hungry. That seems to intensify it for me!

          I hope this all might help and bring you comfort sister!

          Love,
          Amanda

          1. Amanda,

            Yes! There is a sensitivity to certain noises that some people have. My son used to get SO upset if I would flush a toilet in a public restroom when he was little. He would cover his ears. He couldn’t stand fireworks. Any loud noises when he was really little were almost traumatic to him.

            Here is one issue people can have Auditory Processing Disorder

            And another issue can be Sensory Processing Disorder.

            I love that you are finding victory in Christ over these issues. Thank you so much for sharing!

          2. April,

            My son is the same way!! Same exact way. It might have something to do with his other medical issues that you are aware of, given I have the same issues in life too! It kind of confirms it for me! πŸ™‚

            So yes, I am very thankful that there is true victory available in Christ even over what seems to be perhaps a brain issue for me and my son atleast!

            His Spirit is greater in us than ourselves, and when we live in His Spirit, we are no longer being controlled and governed by our natural life! PRAISE GOD!

            Love,
            Amanda

          3. Karen,

            I found the medical condition it is called “Misophonia”! I don’t know how bad you might have this, if you have it, but I definitely suffer from this like I said above, and so does my son, and my father. In the past, I would be driven into a rage over certain sounds. Growing up, my siblings would tease me and make the noise louder that was bothering me and I would snap into a rage and hit them, etc. It was awful. I felt like no one understood me. And until 3 years ago when I met my sister in law, I had no idea it was an actual thing! Her daughter suffered from it, and for the first time in my life, I met another person who actually suffered it and I knew it was not just me anymore lol.

            In college, I had my own dorm room for a few years, but as soon as I moved in with friends, it was down hill from there. I could not adjust to living with other people well because of this issue. It caused serious issues in my life!

            But thanks be to God, I can now live with my two men here and not freak out like I did growing up! It is the Lord working in me. In myself, I will fail!

            There is hope for you too! πŸ™‚

            Love,
            Amanda

  4. I used to be a perfectionist type person…things needed to be done right and in a certain way. I can see now that it was all control driven. Controlling the details made me feel more safe. April,your blog opened my eyes to this. I remember reading something you wrote about dishwashers and husbands πŸ™‚ and it hit me like a ton of bricks… I was guilty of that. And from that day on, I’ve made it a point not to correct my husband when he’s helping me.

    The first step was learning to keep my mouth shut.
    Then it took a while for me to stop that inward irritation but God did a miracle in my heart, revealing that my critical spirit was actually from a much bigger and deeper problem…the need to micro-manage my life because of deep spirit wounds and ultimately, the core belief that God did not love me and so I needed to take care of myself. And as I took care of that, my heart and attitude towards my husband was transformed.

    I still struggle with laundry. Dishes can be rewashed but children’s clothes put in the dryer (that need food stains scrubbed out first).. : / I try to sneak and quickly go through it before the stains are set and he notices what I’m doing, ha. πŸ˜€

    1. Crystal,

      Ooh! This is awesome. You have shared some really powerful things here, my sister. Thank you for talking about the perfectionism and critical spirit issues that can be involved with this stuff. I had those issues, too. It is very difficult to live with a perfectionist or to try to help someone with a critical spirit. That is wonderful that you stopped correcting your husband when he was helping you. πŸ™‚

      What joy it brings to my heart to hear how God worked on your heart and all of the depths of what He revealed to you and how He healed you. WOOHOO! THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL!

      I think if things are going much better, you may be able to say, “Honey, would you please leave any of the kids’ clothes that got stained out before they go in the dryer. I’ll try to scrub out the stains so they don’t get set by the heat in the dryer. Thanks so much for all your help!”

      I wonder if you might allow me to share a bit of this comment anonymously on my Peaceful Wife Blog FB page? Much love to you!

      1. I would be honored,April πŸ™‚ My husband and I went through some very hard and dark times in our marriage. In the past year we began a journey of change. It brings tears to my eyes to think of the big miracles and healing God has done in both our lives and in our relationship. I hardly recognize the people we were just one year ago and we’re still growing and changing! Your blog has helped me so much in this process! Thank you for telling your story!

        1. Crystal,

          Wow. I am so excited about all that God has done, is doing, and will do in you both! WOOHOO! It is my honor and privilege to get to share my story and to get to walk beside you and so many other sisters in Christ here. I’m in awe that God allows me to do this. What a blessing to see His miracles and the way He heals and transforms so many lives.

          If you ever believe that God may desire you to share any more of your story – let me know.

          Much love to you!

  5. April & all,

    I think these types of issues become way more annoying if the wife works as well as the husband. If the husband comes home and expects the wife to do all that stuff, plus work, that is a definite recipe for resentment and bitterness. And then if the wife has been really disrespectful for a while, and when she asks him to help and he doesn’t it just turns into a big nightmare!

    How humbling it might be for a wife to be in this position, and decide that it is not for her that she is living anymore, but for the Lord, and the Lord is able to empower her to do those things, even though she works too, and the husband is not helping, let alone involved much in the marriage at that point! When the Spirit of God is really dwelling in us and has a true outlet in our lives, those around us begin to notice by our lack of complaining, our lack of disrespect, and our lack of miserableness! Now they begin to see us joyful, even though we are doing extra things. They see us not even asking for help or nagging, etc.

    Those types of things are nothing to me because I know I’m home all the time. But I know that if I worked, it would be a lot more challenging to let go of my “right” to have him help me since I would be working, too. My husband would rather have me home doing all this stuff, than fighting for my rights, I am sure of it! But even if I had to do that, I know the Lord would work mightily through me to do what I would naturally revolt against doing in my self!

    One other thing, whenever, in the past, I got upset that I had so much to do while my husband had all the time to just relax, and I started huffing and puffing about it, he would always say that if I needed help, to ask him. Otherwise he really doesn’t know that I need any help! I imagined that he would just know to help me because of my huffing and puffing around. That doesn’t work lol. But asking him something specific like you exampled above does work, because then he knows clearly what I am asking of him!

    When I come to think about it, I would say that my husband sticks to this rule more than I even would. He feels entitled to me doing everything involving the home. If I do ask him for help (ie- getting the water case from the car because it’s too heavy for me) he might even be reluctant sometimes because he sees that as “my” job and not his. But over time, as I stopped nagging him in general and in life, he has helped me anytime I asked without any issues at all. I also know when it is ok to ask and when it is not. If he is super tired or something and has been working a lot, then I really don’t need to ask him for anything and just let him relax as much as possible!

    Always good reminders! πŸ™‚

    Love,
    Amanda

    1. Amanda,

      I agree that if a wife is working, especially working full time – that makes the whole chore thing much more difficult. It would be much easier to take offense if both husband and wife are working all day and then the husband doesn’t help and the wife has to do everything. Yep.

      But I also agree with you that as a wife begins to act in the power of the Holy Spirit and stops the negativity and stops reacting in the flesh – the change in her would be such a blessing to her husband. In many cases, eventually, the husband begins to heal, too, and begins to feel more respected. So at that point, he is happy to help her if she asks for his help.

      Something Nina Roesner’s 16 year old son said a few years ago has stuck with me (paraphrasing):

      Men don’t take over other men’s jobs. They don’t barge in and help unless they are asked. To men, it is disrespectful to come in and take over what someone else was doing if they don’t ask for help. But if they do ask for help, then most men who are good-willed are glad to help.

      We tend to think that it is loving for someone to see the need and jump in to help without our having to ask. But if we can understand the masculine world of respect, we can see that it is okay, and probably necessary, for us to respectfully ask for the help we would like.

      Most husbands who are feeling respected and where there is not a ton of tension in the marriage are happy to help with things as they are able to.

      Thanks so much for sharing!

    2. Thanks for this Amanda. Exactly my situation as you know, especially because I work. You were right on about the challenges.

      These are some things that I just learned tonight for anyone who has a husband who doesn’t even like to be asked for help.

      Last week I stopped all nagging and asking. I didn’t purposely stop I just did. I also stopped doing too much. I took care of our daughter first, but I let a few things go. When I did this, my husband started to do more. Mind you, my husband really hasn’t done anything around the house in a very, very long time. He wasn’t even angry that the house was messier than usual or that he was doing all the work getting ready for our camping trip. He was probably just happy I wasn’t nagging him. Then on the weekend, when we were camping, he did all of the cooking. It was really nice!!!

      Then I slipped back to my old ways slowly over the week. It started with making him feel bad for going to the gym right after work and leaving me with a screaming toddler. Then I started to complain about his spending. Then I yelled at him about something he did that hurt my feelings. Then today I asked him to take the trash to the dump. He said yes. But then time passed and I asked him again and then I asked again. Guess what? He didn’t take the trash out. This is what I got out of him:

      He said he forgets to take the trash out. He just doesn’t notice it like I do or sometimes it’s not his priority at the moment. But when I asked him he said it reminded him and that he planned on doing it on his own time tonight. But when I continued to bring it up, he said he no longer had the energy to do it because the energy he had was wasted on fighting with me about it. He said I wasn’t letting him be him.

      To me, it was just me reminding him over and over again. But to him it was controlling and disrespectful. I think the key here, is to respectfully ask, then let it be! Leave the room or go do something relaxing or fun, but don’t ask again! If he does it, show appreciation! If he doesn’t, leave it alone until maybe the next day and say something like , “honey, I’m sure you just forgot, but could you take the trash out tonight?” Then let it be! After awhile he won’t feel any pressure and will want to do it.

      Sometimes it is hard when he doesn’t offer to help during the week and we both work. He is stressed. It’s hard not to have resentful thoughts. But what’s more important? A clean home or a happy home? Also it doesn’t hurt to try to let go of some of the work and see what happens? What’s the worst thing? You have a messy house for a few days.

      Even though I took a step back this week, my marriage was starting to heal in so many ways and I saw how much power I have as a woman in making my home peaceful and loving!

      1. Linsey,

        I hope you will keep this example firmly in your mind. What a powerful illustration of how a wife’s influence can impact her husband and the dynamics in their relationship.

        THANK YOU so much for sharing!

        Much love! I praise God for what He is doing in your heart!

  6. April, I am going to pass on the squat toilet; I can just imagine the comedy hour that would ensue if we tried to make use of one of those. Not to mention possible calls to the local fire hall for emergency extraction. Even an outhouse with a frosty seat in winter would be better, lol!

    Interestingly, the toilet seat and clothes piled on the floor in the corner are aggravation opportunities for me, as his lack of willingness to help voluntarily, ie, once in a while offering to empty the dish drainer. He has a kind of he man mentality where he thinks no matter how he treats me, I should be willing to serve him with delight and desire him, sexually, even though he yells at me and does things that are deliberately cruel and spitefully immature. I have told him before that when a man makes no effort at being a husband, regularly mistreats and verbally abuses or bullies his wife. sets her up in front of others to look guilty of something she is innocent of and plays head games, it is just not reasonable to expect an exicting sex life, or an adoring wife, nor is it all up to her to provide that year after year while he continues to act sinfully, abusively and selfishly. So he`s been told a number of times and has that information.

    But I have also noticed that sometimes its as if there is this little “voice“ that likes to lean over and say `you know if he was a mature adult he would do this or not do that, or if he was mature and treating you with respect, he would help you with this or volunteer to do that“. The thing is, there is always some truth to such provocations. Yes, an emotionally healthy man solidly rooted in Christ would behave with a servant heart and initiate things on his own without having to be asked or told all the time. And the enemy is just so ready with helpful reminders and suggestions of what standard it is that he is failing to measure up to. I am more and more convinced that this is how he provokes or promotes hatred between people esp. marriages.

    1. seventimes,

      I have never had the opportunity to try a squat toilet. But I could just see me living in a house with one, getting up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night in the dark, and putting my foot in that hole and falling into it. Or I would forget it wasn’t a normal toilet in the middle of the night and fall. Not sure how long it would take me to get used to that situation, even though I like to think I am pretty flexible. πŸ™‚ I agree, an outhouse may be better!

      Ugh. The situation you are describing makes me so sad, my dear sister. I don’t want anyone to be bullied, verbally abused, mistreated, or abused in any way. πŸ™

      Yes, the enemy is very active, trying to stir up dissension, division, bitterness, and hatred.

      Do you have the spiritual support you need at this time? How may we pray for you? I pray that God will bring His beautiful healing to you both.

      1. Yep, much potential for humorous disaster πŸ™‚

        I actually don`t have much in the way of spiritual support right now. I live in a rural area where the choices church wise are very limited in number and spiritual health. We have our place up for sale and I am asking God for His will as far as if it sells and where we move to. Wherever we wind up, I want it to be of God and for there to be a church we can attend that is solid and real. That seems to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

        Re praying for me. I have a major bondage going on as far as codependency, fear and some very real demonic oppression I have been battling. One thing I have been asking God for is confirmation as to what is true about the situation and the problem. There is so much confusion and I cannot seem to see through all the fog. I need to know what He wants me to do. This seems to be one of those things where I need to be certain I do not do the wrong thing and it would be very easy to do just that. So deliverance and confirmation of truth would be awesome gifts at this point for me. And for God to speak to my husband also both as far as his own relationship with God and also hearing from God on some things in our lives that need settling.Thanks for asking πŸ™‚

        I am still awaiting the book you suggested to me, it `didn’t come last week so it should be here this week.

        1. seventimes,

          My prayer is that you will focus on being as close to God as possible. I believe that as you abide in Him, He will give you the clarity you need. Your job is simply to be fully yielded, and willing to let Him work in you however He sees fit. πŸ™‚

          My post about identifying lies we have embraced may be helpful.

          Singing praises to God and focusing on praising Him, getting to know His character more, seeking to trust Him more, and inviting Him to be completely welcome to do His work in your heart should help greatly with the oppression.

          I also have a number of posts on fear, that you are welcome to look up.

          Would you like to talk more about the codependency issues? Do you feel like you maybe try to take responsibility for your husband for things that aren’t your responsibility? Are you tempted to make him an idol in any way? Or to have self on the throne?

          Much love!

          1. I think that codependency is a much greater issue in my life than I had ever realized .I just never connected the dots or understood that much of my early life was training in fear, and false responsibility, codependency, self sabotage etc. Even when I tried second time around marriage wise, to steer around that and this time make choices based on wanting to follow God`s design, I found myself disappointingly following familiar pathways into sin and extreme codependency. So yes it is a major issue. I have always wondered how God could change deep fear and dependency into security confidence and vision at more than a depth level of one inch if you get my drift.

            Re responsibility for husband, most likely. Its a darned if I do, darned if I don’t kind of thing and very frustrating. It almost seems like we were both looking for someone to caretake us as we both had low nurturance upbringings with over use of booze and other issues that mean you arrive at adulthood not very prepared to function well. I remember thinking something along the lines of `I will make the critical difference in his life by the power of my love and faith in him“. Well, all that happened is he used it against me to bully and contrl me and shift all the blame for his life issues onto me. So yes, figuring out where the draw boundaries and where to take responsibility relating to him and to me for my own life, is a big one. I don`t find general principles helpful however; gettingto specifics would be helpful. I suppose having someone to examine the actual nuts and bolts of what`s really going on would be very helpful. I have been seeing a counselor but am unable to see him regularly because of distance and finances and frankly an hour every so often is of limited help other than releasing some emotional pressure.

            I used to joke that if there was no God I would worship him, when we were first going on, so most likely there is a major issue there that despite my best intentions to put God first, I have seriously revereted back to former patterns. I hope God is willing to speak to me again despite my having thrown him over for a man. I realize I need to get this sorted as it has been a source of major sin and dysfunction in my life.

            As far as talking more about codependency issues, I am quite willing at doing some serious digging and having you ask real pinpoint x ray questions if that is what you are thinking. When one has fallen into a pit one does not get out all by themselves. Re having self on the throne
            ( ha, is there a pun intended in there seeing as we were discussing squat toilets and outhouses, lol) yes most likely. Its like I gave it a try to put God first and wiped out and got badly hurt and so even if its irrational I am feeling mad at God and not really necessarily wanting to remove self, who now seems to feel even more comfry on the throne than ever before. Yet at the same time I know that is insanity to prefer unreality to truth and reality and so it must be done.

            Sorry for the long reply. I can never seem to say anything with few words. Arrgh.

          2. seventimes,

            You had a double whammy with the poor examples you had at home and at church. πŸ™ And then all of the damage from your relationships before this marriage. You and your husband both seem to have some very deep scars emotionally and spiritually.

            I didn’t have all of the emotional and verbal insults to deal with that you have. But, I will do my best to point you to the healing that is in Christ.

            We all have wrong thinking, skewed, warped thinking that we developed in childhood, many times. Of course, our thinking can also be affected in adulthood, too. But with all that you have experienced, I believe that basically, you will have to assume that your thinking about most things about God, yourself, and others is unhealthy. Even some of your most fixed beliefs.

            To heal, the lies have to be identified. Each one. One at a time. And dealt with in light of God’s Word. The more lies, the more work there is to do. But that is okay. We all have to do this. And we all continue to have to do this as God shows us more things that are wrong in our thinking as He refines us.

            Are you conscience of the dialogue you have running in your mind? Do you know the kinds of negative things you say to yourself about God, yourself, and your husband, for example?

            What would you say your greatest fears are?

            What is your understanding of God’s sovereignty vs. people’s free will?

            Much love!

          3. Seventimes,

            I actually went through this too about 7 months ago. The Lord really opened my eyes to what was my side and what was my husband’s side and from what you are writing, a lot of us have been there right where you are, figuring out what we are truly responsible for, what is the truth, what is real, because sometimes it’s hard to see when you are so fearful and codepending!

            If you are interested, please feel free to email me at manduhhh12@yahoo.com ! I am always around to chat and I know how helpful it is to have a listening ear that is private!

            Also, you may read some of these posts I had written around when the Lord opened my eyes to this kind of issue once and for all! πŸ™‚

            You have a family here that is for sure! Even if you can’t find a “home church” family, we are here for you!

            http://satisfiedwife.com/is-it-him-or-is-it-me/

            http://satisfiedwife.com/responding-to-toxicity-in-marriage/

            http://satisfiedwife.com/the-fear-behind-allowing-your-husband-to-treat-you-toxically/

            http://satisfiedwife.com/changing-to-keep-security/

            I pray the Lord might speak to you through any of it! You are on the verge of major lightbulb moments! πŸ™‚

            Lots of love,
            Amanda

  7. Another good post! πŸ™‚

    Where I seem to struggle is if after I share my thoughts or feelings politely with someone (multiple times), they blatantly do not seem to care. Then what? I think, “if something was this important to you, and you asked me nicely, I would make sure to try to honor what you asked of me! Why can’t you do the same for me?” I feel like if I don’t stop “fighting” for myself, then I will never get what I want, because no one will step in on my behalf.

    The most specific example of such a situation that I have is that I’ve asked my mother many times not to nag me about my homework. I’m finishing up college and my GPA is great. I have asked her many times nicely not to do this. (I have also said this many times, rudely, in the heat of the moment when I was fed up.) I have even gone the whole route of asking what her fears were. She said that she feels bad for me to see me working late when I’m up against a deadline, and she wants to share her wisdom, because if I would just listen to her according to her sense of time management, I wouldn’t have to stay up late. And I was like, “awww, that’s really nice of you. I appreciate that. But as I’m making the transition to the adult world, what I really want and need from you is trust. I want to know that you believe in me. You have good wisdom, but what I really need from you at this stage of my life is not your wisdom about my homework, but your belief in me.” Her response? “I do trust and believe in you. You’d just be so much better off if you’d listen to me.” **face palm**

    To her credit, she has been making a big effort not to nag me so much. But the times that she does nag, when I say, “I don’t want to talk about my homework” / “please don’t talk to me about this assignment” / “please leave my room; this conversation isn’t going to help,” she gets really mad. Am I supposed to just drop it and let it go? On the one hand, I feel like if this is the worst thing I have to deal with in my relationship with her, it’s not a big deal. On the other hand, it makes me feel frustrated and angry to think of allowing myself to be disrespected. Meaning, if I say, “please don’t do X,” and the other person does X, and I just go, “oh, that’s fine that you did X even though I said it was really important to me that you didn’t do it” – isn’t that allowing myself to be disrespected? Where is the line between letting something go and drawing boundaries? Is this something to let go or something to draw boundaries for? If it’s the latter, what type of boundaries can I draw?

    Love,
    Flower

    1. Flower,

      That is a difficult situation. And it does, to some degree, depend on the specific relationship involved. You would probably have to handle things a bit differently with a boyfriend than with a roommate. Or with a coworker than your mom.

      Because it is your mom and you are still living at home, (it sounds like?), it gets a bit dicier. She is a God-given authority in your life that you are to honor, respect, and even obey, according to scripture. But there should be a process of transitioning during this time in your life where she gives less and less commands and directives and becomes more and more of an advisor and counselor.

      This is a tough transition for many moms to make, as I know we have discussed before.

      I like the way you both discussed the issue together and the way you handled things. I also would love for you to give her some positive feedback about how she is giving you more space and not nagging as much. She may not know how to interact with you without being “mom” and it may take some time for her to figure out that you are truly an adult and not her little girl anymore. And when she does see that, it can trigger a whole lot of tough emotions to wade through. She may even be going through a lot of hormonal changes herself around this time that can make things even more difficult.

      How many more semesters of school do you have left? Or are you graduating in May?

      With a mom, there are multiple ways you could handle such a situation as the Spirit leads you. Some possibilities would be things like:

      – Mom. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for caring about my grades and about that I get enough sleep. I know it is hard for both of us as things are changing right now and I am not your little girl anymore. I really love it when you let me come to you when I need advice. If I am having a hard time or if I am confused, I will still come to you. I will always be your girl. It’s just that the way we interact will be changing a bit. I know it is hard not to continue on in mom-mode. But now, I need to have more opportunities to handle things on my own. Thanks for being willing to give me that space and trust.

      – Mom, I love you. Thanks for loving me. I know this is your way of trying to take care of me. (and then maybe say nothing else – or share what you would prefer again.)

      – Mom, I don’t mind staying up late. This is how I work best. I know it is different from how you would do things. But maybe that is okay. I’ll get more rest tomorrow night.

      – Thanks for caring enough to share. I promise to carefully consider what you said. (Dr. Phil actually said that, and for some reason, I still remember it 17 years later.)

      – Just go give her a smile and a hug, and maybe you don’t need to say anything.

      – It’s hard to stop mom-mode, isn’t it? (And give her a big hug.)

      Much love to you!

      1. Flower,

        At this point, since you have explained a number of times what you prefer. It is possible that more explaining won’t help. She may just argue with you about your perspective. It could be that just a smile and a hug is fine. Does she tend to nag anyone else? Or only you?

        If this is her way of relating to everyone, you may need to accept the possibility that she may not change. You can’t change her. But you can choose how you respond and you can choose to honor her as your mom in your responses. It is fine to respectfully ask for what you would like. But realize that a lot of controlling women don’t know how to change and maybe don’t want to change. So you may want to pray about how to respond and approach her if she can’t or won’t change her approach. This may be the only way she knows how to love and she may truly believe that she is trying to help you. Even though it maybe doesn’t feel like help on your end anymore.

        Much love!

        1. Hi April!

          Thanks! This is exactly what I needed to hear – “yes, this behavior is annoying. But chill out.” πŸ™‚

          For additional context, my college is about an hour from my parents’ house. I live in a dorm, but I go home often for weekends and breaks. This is my last semester and I’ll be done with undergrad in May.

          I think you are right that I need to give her grace and honor and respect her more. And give her positive feedback.

          She is like this with the people closest to her – me, my dad, and her parents. I think I get the brunt of it because I’m an only child, but I think you are right and that I need to not view it as that I have some problem and she’s like this because she thinks I have some problem, but rather to see that this is more of a personality trait – “I love you and I’m going to stuff you full of advice because I love you.”

          Thanks!

          Love,
          Flower

          1. Flower,

            Thankfully, the school stuff will be over very soon. But – she will probably continue to do this. Maybe she will get better. Some moms do eventually learn to let go more and more. Other moms don’t. Especially if this is their approach to other people they love. But you are right – it is not really about you at this point. This is the way she tries to show love. To her, she is being helpful. But sometimes to the recipient, it can feel more like control than help.

            You have explained your preferences and how her nagging makes you feel. She has acknowledged that and has been doing better which is AWESOME! As you praise and thank her for trusting you more and for not nagging, she may get the hang of it. πŸ™‚ But to many women, especially moms – giving unsolicited advice = love. Thankfully, even if she never changes, you can respond in godly ways that honor Christ and honor your mom.

            You can also remember how frustrating and smothering it feels to be nagged and remember not to do that with your man! πŸ™‚

            Yes, children, especially only children, probably do get the brunt of this kind of love.

            Much love, my precious sister!

        2. PS – If you get the chance sometime, I would love to see a post on “When to set boundaries vs. when to let go and give grace” with examples of “big” and “little” issues that would fall into each category πŸ™‚

          1. Flower,

            I know it seems like that would be a great thing. To have a list and a bunch of formulas for exactly when people should take certain approaches. But – this is an area where I believe that we will probably have to learn to depend on the Holy Spirit for His wisdom and prompting. Sometimes God will prompt us to wait and be silent about things for a certain period of time. Then He may let us know one day that we need to address something at that time and give us the words to say.

            Also, two women in similar situations may be prompted by the Lord to handle things in different ways.

            So, I am very reluctant to try to create a list of things like this. I don’t want people to depend on my suggestions, but on the power of the Holy Spirit. I do give suggestions many times for women to prayerfully consider. But – ultimately – my goal is that we might each hear God’s voice clearly and do whatever He calls us to do each moment of each day.

            Much love!

          2. April,

            I appreciate that you direct your readers to the Lord and to His Holy Spirit and not to yourself as our dependence. I know God is speaking through you. God bless you abundantly.

          3. Karen,

            My opinions and my wisdom could be so harmful to my sisters. How I long only to share what is of the Lord. I want Him to continue to increase and me to decrease as much as possible here. I want Him alone to be exalted and for all of us to learn to listen to His voice alone. πŸ™‚

          4. Hi April,

            That makes sense! Haha it didn’t occur to me that a list would be based off of your opinion.

            Love,
            Flower

          5. Flower,
            There are some things that are clearly explained in scripture. If we are being sinned against, we are to handle it via Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:15-17. We deal with our own sin first before we address someone else’s sin. Then we confront them privately (with humility and the wisdom of the Spirit). Then if they don’t repent, we bring 2-3 other strong believers along (usually church leaders). Then if they still won’t repent, we are to take them before the church. If they still won’t repent, they are to be shunned. But most churches don’t do this anymore. Which is actually a big problem.

            Sometimes, though, the issues are things that are more about annoyances than actual sins.

            And even if there are sins going on – if the person doesn’t know Jesus, or they are weak in their faith – there are some things they are not going to understand until God opens their eyes. So there are times when we will choose to be a godly example, even maybe to our parents who should be the more mature example. Just because people have been alive longer, doesn’t mean they have learned more, necessarily.

            I don’t know all of the specifics in every situation and exactly how God may desire each woman to respond in every possible scenario. But He does!

            If scripture doesn’t clearly spell out exactly all of the details – I need to be careful that I don’t come up with manmade rules for others. Yes, I can give suggestions, and sometimes they may be helpful. But I can’t possibly go through every little issue and make a blanket judgement call that would always apply to everyone in a similar situation.

            If there are specific issues going on in your life that you would like to hash through together. We could certainly talk about things together. And, always, you can pray and seek the Lord’s wisdom and guidance above all else.

            Much love!

          6. Flower,

            Some things are very clearly bigger things, to me, at least. Things like:

            – infidelity
            – drug/alcohol addictions
            – abuse
            – purposely spending the family into massive debt

            But even with these big things, there are degrees and gray areas and there aren’t always one-size-fits-all solutions.

            Fictional examples:

            – My approach with an emotional affair may be different from my approach with a one night stand or a 7 year hidden affair.
            – My approach with my husband having an addiction to prescription drugs that just started after he had surgery and had been in severe pain may be different from my approach to him having a major prescription opioid addiction for many years.
            – My approach to my husband having an addiction to heroin or a street drug may be different from my approach to him being addicted to Valium that he has been taking for terrible muscle spasms in his back.
            – My approach to someone who is in his right mind but is spending more money than we have may be different from my approach if my husband is manic and unable to control his thinking and he is spending us into massive debt.
            – My approach to verbal abuse may be different depending on the level and severity and how my children are being impacted and where I am spiritually. Also, if I have been participating in it and dishing it out to him, too. I need to clean up my own side of things before I give my husband any kind of ultimatums.
            – My approach to physical abuse may be different depending on a variety of factors and how severe the abuse is. Also, if I have been physically abusing my husband, I may need to clean that up first before I try to address his issues, depending, again on the exact situation.

            There are certainly times when things MUST be addressed. There are times when giving grace without any consequences would be dangerous for me, for my husband, for our children, or for others. And then there are times when giving grace and patiently waiting on God will ultimately produce the most benefit and good for everyone involved. I also have to watch my own motives.

          7. Flower,

            Just thinking “out loud” here about the differences between big and little issues and how we could try to address them in a post…

            With little issues – small annoying things. Even then, there are times to speak up and there are times to patiently wait. It depends on a variety of factors. Where the other person is spiritually, how much of a problem the issue is for me, my motives, where I am spiritually, what will ultimately be best for the relationship and for the other person. Am I being critical and negative? Is there any sin in my heart? Or is this truly something worth addressing? Some personality traits and habits are really hard for people to change. If they are not sinful, is it my place to ask them to change? Well, that depends.

          8. Hi April!

            Pretty good, I think. I have been trying to “say what I mean and mean what I say” while still being polite – for example, yesterday she said something with a sarcastic / rude tone. My typical response is either to seethe inside but act like nothing’s wrong or try to justify myself, or to use the exact same tone and escalate the situation. This time, I simply said (with a calm and polite voice), “I’m happy to talk to you when you speak nicely to me.” And she grumbled a little bit but then after a couple minutes started a nice conversation with me. πŸ™‚ I was happy that I was honest but also that I didn’t lose my temper.

            I am also realizing that I may have her approval as an idol in my life, so I have also been trying to, if she says something critical or that may be a bit of a guilt trip, to just let it roll off and not bother me.

            I still have a way to go with everything, of course, but I am taking baby steps. πŸ™‚ I think I could still do better with giving grace (both in my thoughts and out loud).

            Love,
            Flower

          9. Flower,

            That is awesome! I am really proud of the way you handled things. I know it would be ideal if the mom would set the godly example. But that is not always possible. Thank you for setting a good example and asking her to speak to you in a healthy way. Thank you for not lashing out at her in your flesh. That would have only escalated things.

            If she has a criticism, you can take it before God. Receive anything that is of Him. Don’t receive anything that is clearly not of Him. πŸ™‚

            Thanks so much for the update and for sharing.

            Much love!

  8. I love that picture! Yes, I think we as wives set ourselves up for a “mental Resentmentfest” when we refuse to nicely ask for help (which requires us to be vulnerable) instead of getting more and more annoyed that we are doing it all alone. I have learned, that as soon as that nagging voice of complaint comes up in my head (he should be doing this, he should help me, can’t he ever do the dishes?, why do I have to…) to quickly remind myself who I am serving…ultimately I am serving God by serving others…then I can let go of my expectations of acknowledgement or gratitude from my husband, because I know, that God is pleased with me, which ultimately is way more valuable than anything here on earth!
    Also/ I have to give my husband the option of saying no, or of recognizing when he is tired, annoyed, resentful etc. about something in his life that has NOTHING to do with me! Separating his actions from my actions (which probably 80% of the time have nothing to do with me) is vital for me, to maintain a pleasant demeanor without building up resentment.
    We all have our quirks, annoying habits, weaknesses and shortcomings… rubbing those in our face and pointing them out never helps, because most of the time we are aware of them ourselves. Extending grace towards others as we would love for others to do towards us, is much more powerful and ultimately, as I always ask my riding students, “What does it matter 2 hours from now?”…
    As always, great everyday stuff to ponder…

    Warmly, A Lifetime Learner

    1. A lifetime Learner,

      This is super helpful. I love the insights you shared.

      And yes! It is important that our husbands have free will. They have to be able to say, “No,” and not be our robots.

      Thank you very much for sharing all of this. πŸ™‚

      Much love!

  9. Satisfied Wife, thank you, I need the help. This is scary. I`ve managed to avoid it all my life frankly although in moments of clarity I began realizing something more was gong on than what I had thought. It would be easier and far more comfortable to just avoid the whole thing but I am unable to do that. I am thinking and praying right now but will avail myself of your offer to be available for prayer at times if that`s okay.

    1. seventimes,

      We all have to face our stuff. But – the awesome thing is, when it is God doing the work on us, we don’t have to be afraid. He knows what He is doing and just how to help us. It is hard to face our messed up thinking and to be willing to replace things that we have embraced for decades. But it is SO worth it!

      I think of it kind of like I have to lay still on the operating table while God identifies all of the cancer and gangrene and takes it out. This part isn’t really fun. But I am going to keep getting worse if I leave all that nasty mess in my soul.

      Don’ try to rush through it or do it all at once. Just take one issue at a time. God’s got you. We’re here to support you, too. πŸ™‚

      Much love!

      1. Seventimes,

        Interestingly, when we first start this journey, it seems scary to have to give up our old familiar ways of thinking. It feels scary to picture laying before God and allowing His Light to penetrate the darkest places of our heart to get rid of the toxic things. But after awhile, we realize that the scariest place to be is with those old toxic lies from Satan. The safest and best place to be is with the truth of God, His love and His Light. He sets us free from our bondage and brings us into His glorious light and life!

        I am praying for God’s deliverance for you, my precious sister. He can absolutely set you free and heal your soul.

    2. Seventimes,

      Anytime, sister! Like April said, it is not a pleasant thing at first, but in the end, the Truth sets us free when we face it and turn to the Lord, relying on Him to expose and bring us to the place where we can let it all go, and move forward with Him! πŸ™‚

      Good things are ahead, even though it hurts at first!

      Love,
      Amanda

  10. Thanks April and Satisfied Wife. Yep, it isn`t pleasant. I am holding still until I am clear with God on what`s what.

  11. I always love posts like these that keep things in perspective! Its too easy to get wound tight and “expect” our husband/children to do what they’re “supposed” to do. And when they fall short of our expectations we get annoyed and upset instead of setting our eyes on Him and the big picture! Thank God they got home safely to make a mess..Thank God I get to see another day in this life with them..Thank God we have a home with running water, electricity, etc. so I can clean up, wash dishes, vacuum, do laundry. No it is not easy but no one said it would be. Thank You April for supplying so many of these helpful posts to recalibrate our compasses!

    1. B Resilient,

      I like posts like this, too. I wish someone had been able to help me reevaluate my priorities and my approach on these kinds of things years ago.

      Thanks for letting me know this was a blessing. I love what you shared! πŸ™‚

      Much love!

  12. April, thank you so much for your blog posts and helpful advice! And for loving us broken and flawed as we are on this journey!

    Something I have been struggling with as annoying is that I think my husband seeks admiration from males and is somewhat drawn to “feminine” guy friends. He started playing racquetball with a gay guy about 9 months ago .
    I knew nothing about the guy because they play at a sister gym that has a raquetball court. He was playing more frequently than usual – about twice a week or more at random times when I thought he should be working instead and I didn’t know anything about this guy he was playing with but for some reason one day felt the strong impression to ask my husband if this guy was gay? And he said, “Yes, I think so.” I immediately got this sinking feeling. For some reason even not knowing this man I had a hunch he was gay.

    My husband has many friends but some his closest ones are more on the feminine side – not openly gay. Some are married to women and one isn’t married, but it has always been a fear of mine that my husband is in someway drawn to this. While we were dating I noticed a little bit but didn’t say much about it hoping it was just his group of college friends at that time and that things would probably change when were married.

    I made the mistake of trying to talk to my husband about my feelings.. I basically asked him if he felt like he was subconsciously drawn to more feminine men friends and if so why? I told him I was a little uncomfortable with him hanging out with this guy and that the guy might get the wrong impression.

    He got really upset and didn’t talk to me for a day. But he quit playing raquetball with this guy for about two months. I thought the issue had resolved itself and felt at ease like he was respecting my feelings. Until last week when he met up with him and played together. Idk why it bothers me so much. I guess it is just stupid fear and anxiety. But tonight he went to dinner with his best friend who’s not gay but sort of feminine and are at the restaurant where the gay guy works.

    I feel like my husband is trying to be seen by him out with another guy or something. It bothers me and I don’t know how to talk to my husband about my fears or try to understand why he’s seeking this.

    1. Hanna,

      Thank you for sharing. πŸ™‚

      My precious sister. This is not really an annoying little issue. I can absolutely understand your concerns. Is your husband a believer in Christ? Does he have any godly male mentors?

      I don’t know that it was a mistake for you to share your concerns. I think that with what you have seen over time – it could be a legitimate issue to address – from what you are describing. Of course, I haven’t heard his side of things.

      Of course it would bother a wife if her husband was becoming close friends with a man to whom he may feel attraction.

      How are you doing spiritually in your walk with Christ?

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

      Do you have any godly mentoring wife in your life?

      Much love to you!

      1. Hanna,
        I do want to say, that once you have shared your concerns on this topic – I don’t think it will be necessary to keep repeating them every single time he sees certain friends. But I do think it was important to mention it to him at least once.

        I am praying for God’s wisdom for you in this situation that could be confusing. And for His light and clarity. Also for His healing for your husband and for Him to use even this difficult situation for great good in your life ultimately and for His glory!

  13. “I have awesome news, dear sisters in Christ, I don’t HAVE to be annoyed! Jesus can give me the power to extend grace in many situations that maybe would annoy me if I was acting in the flesh.”

    Thank you, April, for your words of encouragement !

    I would like to share John Piper’s video “Battling unbelief” with all brothers and sisters :

    All the texts he is giving are illustrations of how (in time) hope, faith, confidence, satisfaction in future grace (through Jesus Christ) liberates love.

    I hope this will be a blessing to you !

  14. It feels like it’s all over for me.
    My situation is very difficult and it’s been going on for a long time now.

    And I’m not talking about little, annoying things. These are very big issues! My husband is untrustworthy man who does what ever he wants and lives like he is a free man – he travels when ever he wants, not even notifying us about it. He just leaves and doesn’t show up for days, somethimes for weeks. His mom says that he is pathological liar. He will tell us what ever he thinks we want to hear, he will break promises in a heartbeat….
    I don’t have any proof of this, but I also think that he is involved with another woman. Although, when he is around, he wants to be very loving (and it makes me very angry that he is acting like everything is normal) and he does take care for all the finances.

    Almost three years ago God led me to this wonderful blog and I keep coming back here ever since.

    This knowledge is so precious. But I have learned that the knowledge itself is not all that it takes. It’s about the motives. And you can not have right motives if your entire being does not belong to God.
    I thought for myself that I really do belong entirely to God. And than I found myself on this very painful, uncertain road.

    At first I thought that a little patience, love and forgiveness would do the “trick” and that things would get better. That was more than two years ago. And things are not better.

    And more than anything, I am shocked with myself. I stopped praying, stopped being loving, I became bitter and angry and resentful….I became all that I thought I would never be, no matter the circumstances.
    Why do I not pray? What is wrong with me? Why do I act the way I do not want to?

    I feel so very lost! Is it too late for me? πŸ˜”

    1. Irena Bonnie,

      You are right – these are not little things. It is a big thing for a husband to just suddenly vanish and not tell you what he is doing, where he is going, when he will be back. In fact, in such a situation, trust is very much broken. You can still love him. You can still pray for him. You can respect him because he is a beloved son for whom Christ died. But – the pathological lying is not okay. And the vanishing without any transparency about what he is doing is not okay. And then him acting like everything is normal when he comes home is not okay.

      I obviously don’t know the whole situation. But what you are describing is a situation with a lot of big red flags.

      The way a godly wife would need to approach things in such a situation as you are describing will be different from how a wife would approach a husband who is obviously being faithful and transparent and trustworthy.

      How do you respond when he comes home?

      NO, it is not too late for you! You can become the woman God calls you to be. But you can’t fix your husband. You can work on your end of things. You can also have some healthy boundaries with him. You can respectfully, gently, humbly share that you want to trust him. You want this marriage to work. You want to honor him as the head of the home. But that the dishonesty and lack of transparency has broken your trust and that you will need to know that he is willing to change and see fruit of real change before you can act like husband and wife again. This may require godly counseling for both of you.

      You have righteous anger at what he has done that has wronged you. And at not knowing where he is. But then that righteous anger can quickly ferment into sinful anger and bitterness. So you can repent of the bitterness and resentment. You can ask God to empower you to forgive him. But that does not mean that you automatically trust him until he is willing to help rebuild trust and be honest and transparent over a period of time. You don’t have to sin against him. But you can’t change him. You can’t force him to be trustworthy. You can accept that this is where he is. But you can also ask for appropriate distance until he is willing to restore trust and repent of any sin on his part.

      Do you have a godly counselor that you could reach out to in person?

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

      Much love to you!

  15. Why should only women be held to a high standard? I think we women are required to hold our men accountable for unseemly behavior. After all they are so very quick in admonishing us. All men are prone to arrogance. Thinking the are the kings. Selfishly they are convinced they deserve it all. An outstanding wife which they do not need to treat them with respect and love. Women too deserve RESPECT. But men are unable to step over their insecurities. I raise my son to RESPECT women, to heed their advice and listen to their counsel. I raise him to be humble and generous. We see it each day that the misogyny raises the hell. Look at the IS. Men are the supreme power. No, it is time for men to be aware of their Many many faults.

    1. Nina,

      Women are not the only ones God holds to a high standard. All people, according to the Bible in Romans 3:23, are sinners. Men and women. We all need Jesus desperately to heal our messed up souls. He can give us all – men and women – the power to treat others with dignity, value, honor, respect, and godly love. That is what He calls all believers to do.

      All people are prone to arrogance. Men and women. Pride is a root sin for all of us that leads to other sins.

      Yes, women should be treated with respect. So should children. God’s kind of love involves treating all people well.

      All of us, men and women need to repent of our many faults before the Lord and receive the new Life and new Spirit Jesus offers to us that can transform us to be like Him.

      Much love!

    2. Dear Nina,

      You are right that not only women should be held to a high standard, and you are right that women also deserve respect. To maybe clarify one thing, April does believe that BOTH men and women should be held to a high standard. She just only writes for wives. (I think there is a blurb somewhere on her blog explaining this.) There are other blogs that are only written for husbands.

      You are right that misogyny is horrible, and that men have no right to act like they are better than women. There are many places in the world that treat women as second-class, and this is WRONG. The reverse problem also occurs, where women act like they are better than men. Living in America, I see many times where men are publicly belittled by their wives, and many TV commercials that portray men as stupid and incompetent until the woman comes in to save the day. Both sexes should be respected; both sexes should be loved. Unfortunately, we live in a world full of sin that does not recognize this. πŸ™ I am so sorry if you or someone you know has been on the receiving end of misogyny. πŸ™

      However, it is wrong for a believer to assume the role of “Holy Spirit” in someone else’s life. Trying to convict and fix others is not our job. The Bible tells us not to judge others or tear them down with critical words (even if that is what they are trying to do to us). Instead, the Bible tells us that if we are being sinned against, we are to look VERY carefully at our own lives and repent of sin that we are cherishing in our hearts. Only then may we go to the other person and gently and humbly (not harshly and critically) tell them of their own sin.

      Love,
      Flower

  16. Dear April,
    Thank you so much for your time and encouragement, this is such a blessing to me.
    As I said, I am so lost and tired, so exhausted, I don’t know what to pray for anymore. What do I pray for him? Knowing him, I have lost hope.
    Yesterday, he did it again, after he promised me recently that he’ll never do it again and that we are starting over.
    Yesterday morning he gave me larger amount of money than usual, for food. I was surprised. I thanked him and said that it was too much. I could tell that he was annoyed by what I said, telling me to buy enough food. That’s when I became suspicious and asked him: “Well, you are coming home tonight, are you?” He said – yes.
    The day past, it was getting late and he still wasn’t here. So I texted him at 10.30PM and asked him why is he still not at home. He answered an hour later, saying this:
    “My love, my friend B dragged me to the coast. I’ll be back tomorrow evening or at sunday. I love you. Good night.”
    At that message I lost it completely! My heart rate went up to 150, I was shaking, the stress was enormous! Of cours I don’t trust that. He lied a million times before. I’m sure he knew what he was going to do when he gave me the money in the morning.
    So, for the first time in my life my answer was nothing like anyone would ever expect of me, I am never like that! This is what I wrote to him:
    “Nobody dragged you anywhere. Don’t you come back to me anymore! You understand?!
    You knew what you were going to do today, that’s why you gave me more money this morning. I even asked you if you are leaving again?!
    It is over!! You understand me – over!! Don’t come back to me any more!!!!!
    I am very serious about this!!!!!
    You coward! You don’t have to answer anything to this, just understand that I mean it!!
    From this moment forward I am no longer your wife, YOU ARE FREE!!!
    Tomorrow, I am removing from MY bedroom your TV and our bed.
    Yeah, I really deserve this since I took you back just one month ago, almost like nothing ever happened. There, this huge mistake of mine is corrected now.”
    Through the night, my heart kept on beating very fast, I was very stressed out and had almost no sleep. The day was no better.
    So, what happened one month ago? And that’s where we are getting to the rooth of this nightmare: that’s when he came back after being away for three weaks, after lying to me where he was going and whom with.
    The morning that he was leaving I specifically asked him to sweare on my life that this trip of his has absolutely nothing to do with this woman – D (that creature wants my gusband for herself and he is leting her to spend money on him). He sweared to me within the blink of an eye and said it is a business trip. I belived him. Oh, stupid, naive me!
    Just a few days later, God revealed everything to me. I found out that he left Europe to Central America with that woman….
    When he came back, he was so, so humble! Although I didn’t want him to aproach me, he was still hugging me and kissing, saying how much he loves me and can’t live without me. He said that he couldn’t tell me anything about it and that he promissed D’s partner on his dying bed two years ago that he’ll help D to carry out some big business over there.
    I knew that this guy had some huge properties over there, so this is possible, but my husband destroyed every tiny possibillity to trust him. That’s when he promissed he’ll never again leave without me. Ever, anywhere. I didn’t trust him, but I gave him a chance. And lived with him like nothing ever happened.
    Our older daughter asked me how could I expect anything from a man who falsely sweared to me, on my life?! Well, yeah – good point. He would promisse anything, but would never change.
    So, now – what? I really am sick of all these countless lies.
    And in this poor, small country, there is nobody to talk to. Our church is a small community, everybody knows everybody and nobody is really dealing with marital issues. Pastors are not specialized in this.
    Would you, please, do a spiritual check up with me? I would be so, so gratefull.

    Much love and all the blessings to you!

    1. Irena Bonnie,

      Well… I think you gave a pretty clear message. I certainly understand you not wanting him to come back and not being able to trust him. Quite a lot of things would need to change before you could trust him again after all that has happened.

      I am so very sorry for the pain you have endured. πŸ™ I wish no spouse ever had to hurt like that.

      Thankfully, even if your husband has failed you, God will not. And God can heal you no matter what your husband may or may not choose to do. You certainly don’t have to live with your husband if he has broken your marriage covenant and hasn’t repented and won’t change. God can give you the power to forgive him – but trusting him is a whole different thing that will require him to change dramatically over a long period of time.

      I would love to do a spiritual check up with you. If you want to wait a few days, you can. Just take your time. I am sure the past two days or so have been pretty tough.

      Here we go – whenever you are ready: πŸ™‚

      1. What is your relationship with Christ?

      2. What are your greatest dreams?

      3. What are your biggest fears?

      4. Where do you look for security and comfort in life?

      5. What do you desire your relationship with God to be like?

      Much love to you,

      April

  17. Thank you so much for staying up late for me and writing me your answer. Thank you for the gift of your time.
    Today I just feel like sleeping, like being away from everything.
    This morning I was thinking about the quesetions you gave me and it so overwhelmed me, I can not even describe it! There is so much I have to deal with, so much that needs to be removed from my heart.
    I have to rest a little and than carefully answer the questions.
    Before I do that, I would like to ask you something that is on my mind for a long time now.
    There is that very well known text in 1.Corinthians 13: ” 7 (love) bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
    Is says – “all things”. Really?? All? What does that mean? How much is “all”?
    πŸ’πŸ€πŸŒΌπŸŒΈ

    1. Irena Bonnie,

      If you need to rest for awhile, I completely understand. You have had a lot going on and a lot of pain the past few days.

      I Corinthians 13:4-8 is a description of God’s love for us. It is the way He calls us to love others, as well. But – when we “bears all things” that does not mean that we love, accept, respect, and tolerate sin. It does mean that we continue to love others even when they sin. And, in Christ, we even have the power to forgive others as we receive His strength to do so, but that doesn’t mean we trust someone who has broken trust. And it doesn’t mean we reconcile with a husband who is in unrepentant infidelity.

      What it does mean is that we trust in the Lord and trust them to the Lord and pray for God to draw them to Himself, for them to come to repentance, for God’s will and His kingdom to come in their lives. And we don’t retaliate in the flesh or in sin. Our hope is not in people, it is in God alone. We can endure difficulties and trials because of God’s strength in us and because we know He promises to ultimately use all things, even the most awful things, for our good to conform us to the image of Christ and for His glory in the end. But that doesn’t mean we rejoice in sin or that we take a husband back who is wayward and unrepentant. It means we pray for his soul and we continue to heal and grow in Christ and we care about the most important thing – that man’s salvation and his eternal destiny. It means you allow God to be the one who takes revenge, not yourself. It means you want God’s best for him even though he doesn’t deserve salvation or grace – just like none of us do. It means you don’t look down on him as if he is a much worse sinner than you are – because you see your own sin and the depths of your own need for Jesus – and you can look on him with compassion, realizing he is ensnared by Satan. You can also see that if your husband knew Jesus and was transformed, that his life could be something so beautiful and powerful for God.

      I have a few posts that may be a blessing:

      A Husband Experiences God’s Power in the Face of a Fierce Storm – describes how you can have incredibly deep pain, he is going through something similar to what you are going through, but also have healing and hope in Christ and even peace and joy in the midst of the great trial

      25 Ways to Respect Myself

      My greatest desire is for you to focus on Christ at this point and to begin to experience the healing that is available to you in Him. I know He plans to bring great good out of what your husband intended for evil.

      Much love!

      1. Irena,
        FreeinChrist felt VERY much like you do right now 2 years ago. But God has healed and transformed her so much – she is not remotely even the same person she was when I first met her. She is so strong in Christ and in her faith and is completely able to be content in Christ even though her husband filed for divorce last week. What God has done in her is so glorious!

  18. No matter how much I would love not to think about all this now, it is impossible. The thoughts in my head are like bees that wouldn’t go away.
    I realize that what really bothers me is that rhere is no guarantee – there is no guarantee that my marriage or any marriage will not fall apart, no guarantee that you get to keep your health or be healed when sick.
    There is no guarantee for anything on this planet and that makes me feel very insecure and frighten.
    That is my biggest fear!
    I don’t want to be single. Even more, I don’t want to be content with being single. I just don’t wan’t that!
    Recently, I was reading something you wrote and it made me feel a little upset. You wrote:
    “. I can allow myself to experience hurt, sadness, anger, fear… but then I can hash through my difficult emotions and lay them before God and entrust them to Him.”
    To me, it is the same as if I would say that I can choose to breath. Well, I don’t see much choice there really. Can I choose not to breath? You see where I’m going with this.
    And if there is a choice and I can choose not to feel all that pain, I would choose that in a second. Because, pain is my constant companion. I had way too much of it.
    Even if you lay down all that pain before God and entruste it to Him, you still feel it. At least, I do. For me, those feelings are not a choice.
    Something happened 4,5 years ago that makes me wander why should we or why do we pray for something; for anything.
    My friend had a healthy baby girl but the baby stopped breathing 9 hours after birth. Doctors managed to revive her, but she stayed in coma. When that happened, there was at least 200 of us who prayed for that little girl. 2 weaks later, she died. Even to this day, my friend didn’t recover. It still looks like her life stopped.
    People will say – it was God’s will. Ok. But why did we pray? I’m sure it’s not God’s intention to discurage us. But than what?
    All these thoughts are deep inside me…

    Much love to you, my dear. 🌴

    1. Irena Bonnie,

      It is true that we don’t have guarantees of anything in this fallen world. There are no guarantees for any of us that other people won’t fail us, that there won’t be illness, suffering, tragedy, death, and trials. In fact, Jesus lets us know that in this world we will have trouble – but we can take heart because He has overcome the world. The perfect existence we all long for – we will get to experience with Him forever in heaven. There will be no suffering, no tears, no sickness, no pain, no night, and no trouble when we are with Him in paradise.

      But here – there will be trials. And yet, even in the midst of all of the uncertainty – God is at work. For those who belong to Him, we can face trials with joy. Not because we enjoy the pain but because we trust God to do something beautiful in the midst of the heartache and pain. He will use them, as we trust Him, to bring about miracles in our lives and in the lives of many other people, as well. He is an Expert at creating beauty from ashes and joy from mourning.

      I believe God has his sights set on something much more important than your marriage. And that is having your heart for Himself. πŸ™‚

      I’m not sure what your relationship with Christ is – but I can guarantee you this – there is healing for you spiritually and emotionally in Jesus. And in Him, you can live without fear. You can have His peace, joy, and fulfillment, in the midst of the storms of this life. That is my prayer for you – that you will know Him and experience His power as you decide to yield to His Lordship in your life.

      If you haven’t experienced God’s power and peace in your life – I would love to invite you to begin on a journey to know Him. He alone can give real peace. He alone is the source of joy. And when we are in Christ, we can actually learn to welcome the pain God allows in our lives – because we know that God will use it to chisel and refine us to make us more like Jesus.

      I believe this extremely painful experience is one that you will be able to look back on one day in the future – and thank God for it. Because, if you are willing, He is about to take you on the most amazing adventure with Himself. And for most of us, it takes something painful to bring us to the place where we realize we need God desperately. My prayer is that this pain you are experiencing will not be wasted, but that you will receive all of the gifts and treasures that the Lord has for you spiritually in the midst of the storm.

      I am so very sorry to hear about your friend’s loss. πŸ™ My heart grieves with her over her baby’s death. I’m so thankful that she had so many people to pray with her and for her. It breaks my heart even more to hear that she is still stuck. I pray for God’s spiritual healing for her.

      That is an important question. Why do we pray? I think it could take many books to properly answer that. But – if you are truly interested in looking into this issue, I will be glad to share some thoughts.

      Much love!

  19. I am struggling here. I have been reading your blog for 4 years now. I’m struggling with the emotional roller coaster. Here’s a situation that happened just this past week.

    Husband had been on the couch for two weeks upset for some unknown reason. He comes up to “make amends” and begins “play fighting” and harassing me (we’ve had discussions that I dislike this, especially since I’ve hit him before.) Eventually we have a serious conversation about what is bothering him. Among those things is the manners of myself and the kids. We have a long talk about these things and make up.

    Fast forward a couple of days when I’m sleeping in the bed (its after 1 am). He comes in the room and is talking such that I wake up. I am a light sleeper so when I hear him talking I roll over and try to ignore. Like the article said – just let it go). He sees me roll over and he comes to the bed and begins poking and prodding at me. When I express my annoyance at this (after countless times of expressing it) I told him he doesn’t need to do that and it’s rude and disturbing and all he needs to do is “go on about his business” without bothering me while sleeping. Immediately he gets irate in saying that I’m so disrespectful and it was a condescending comment.

    I feel as though he uses this as a cop out to treat me any kind of way. He will provoke me with things we’ve discuss that I don’t like until I react then he completely ignores his actions to focus on my reaction.

    Can anyone give me some practical advise here. It’s as if he is intentionally doing things to stir up an issue just to say I’m disrespectful.

    1. Anon Wife,

      That sounds frustrating. πŸ™ I’m sorry for what you are going through. πŸ™ I think that you may be right that he is intentionally doing things to stir up an issue just so he can say that you are disrespectful.

      I think he may be using the viewpoint of “well, if my wife is disrespectful, then I am allowed to say that she’s the one who has to change and I’m allowed to ignore my own sin.” (Which is obviously not true, God holds each person responsible for their own sin.) I think he may be deliberately provoking you so that he can tell himself that you haven’t really changed, or that if you lose your temper, then that gives him an excuse for whatever sin he committed.

      I think that probably the best thing that you can do for yourself and for him in this situation is to (with God’s help) develop a LOT of patience but also set firm boundaries that you enforce continuously and calmly. For example, every time he starts to poke at you, you could calmly and politely say that you will not allow him to touch you like that, and go in another room and shut and lock the door or leave the house and take a walk. As soon as you respond in anger, he has the opportunity to focus on your sin. If he doesn’t get a rise out of you, the only sin he will be able to think about is his own.

      For context, I’m wondering:

      Are you a believer? If so, how is your walk with Christ?

      Is your husband a believer? If so, how is his walk with Christ?

      Is it possible that he is drowning in shame? (And is because of that trying to make you look bad in order to make himself look better?)

      Does he have any uncontrolled mental disorders or addictions?

      Are either you or him experiencing a lot of stress right now?

      How long has this type of thing been going on?

      How was your marriage at the beginning? How wounded was he at the time that you realized your disrespect and started this journey? Have things in your marriage changed since then? If so, how?

      Love,
      Flower

    2. Hi Anon Wife,

      Another possibility (that may be less likely) is that he may deliberately provoke you with things you’ve already said you don’t like in response to something that he was annoyed by, whatever the reason for his annoyance was. (Retaliation instead of talking it out in a godly way.)

      Love,
      Flower

    3. Anon Wife,

      That does sound frustrating! From what you are describing – it sounds like he may be trying to provoke you. Of course, he is not here to explain his side. But I don’t know any spouse who would appreciate being jostled awake in such a manner.

      Well… Flower asked a lot of the questions I would usually ask to try to get a spiritual pulse on the situation. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Flower!

      After I hear a bit more about what is going on, I will do my best to share anything I believe may be helpful. β€πŸ’œβ€

      Much love! And thanks for reaching out.

  20. Thanks so much for responding Flower and April. To answer your questions:

    Are you a believer? If so, how is your walk with Christ? Yes I am a believer. We have had some longstanding issues, and initially that affected my walk with Christ (to a point I was upset with HIM for letting this occur). However, now, I am dedicated more than ever, participating in church ministry, and seeking him more and more. I’m definitely not where I want to be, but I am focused and determined to in my walk with God’s grace.

    Is your husband a believer? If so, how is his walk with Christ? Yes he is! That is one of the most concerning things about my situation. My husband has a very deep knowledge of the bible. He watches sermons all the time, and is constantly seeking out Christian articles on the internet. He even gives bible studies at his job. He tells us about the encounters with coworkers, even emphasizing how patient and understanding he is with them. Actually, I have to be careful not to envy the spiritual knowledge and strengths he has.

    Is it possible that he is drowning in shame? (And is because of that trying to make you look bad in order to make himself look better?) Yes, quite possible. He did recently make a comment about how hard it is for him to go to God immediately to ask for forgiveness. It wasn’t related to our issues but just in general. So perhaps there is something that I don’t know about that he is dealing with?

    Does he have any uncontrolled mental disorders or addictions? None! No alcohol, drugs in his past. We’ve been Christians all our lives, and gave our lives to Christ in college.

    Are either you or him experiencing a lot of stress right now? Yes, but nothing unmanageable or extraordinary. We have high school aged children, so there is always stress there. Of course there is financial woes (paying for college, house maintenance, cars, etc.) and demanding jobs. But nothing extreme (i.e. layoffs, death in family, etc).

    How long has this type of thing been going on? For the past 5 years we’ve been dealing with a serious issue. For the first three years, I was hurt – expressed by pure ANGER! 2 years ago is when I decided I would not let this issue or anything else make me act like that. Since then, he is increasingly more hostile in these ways. Before that, he always was insensitive, and many of the annoyances and frustrations were there. It’s just magnified exponentially over the past couple of years.

    How was your marriage at the beginning? How wounded was he at the time that you realized your disrespect and started this journey? Have things in your marriage changed since then? If so, how? We’ve always had issues. Been married 15 years and haven’t had one that was problem free. We married young and I was certainly rebellious and independent. So for many years I was more the aggressor. He would say he was the rational party, but when I think about it, for much of that time he was doing some of this purposefully annoying and frustrating things. The interruptions in the middle of the night has always been there (he stays up until the wee hours of the morning – 2 am is average for him; I go to sleep around 11 and get up at 4). He frequently has come to bed in a very disruptive manner. He did express that my actions hurt him. Actually I remember the night I found this blog was because I saw that hurt in his eyes. I think the serious issue I mentioned started about 6 months after that and there was even more of a downward spiral.

    Something you said is quite interesting – “As soon as you respond in anger, he has the opportunity to focus on your sin. If he doesn’t get a rise out of you, the only sin he will be able to think about is his own.” I realized that some time ago, and though I have had some slip ups, I have been trying to ignore these things or politely ask him to stop. But since I started responding differently, what he does is block me from leaving the room. He wrestles me around to keep me from removing myself from the situation. He’ll lay on top of me and kiss at me trying to stir me up. The “old me” would hit him and willingly fight back (I know, really bad). However, I hate that “old me” and don’t want to do that any more. Admittedly it has not been easy for me. There is that part of me that wants to go into wall-building mode. I do think there is a LOT of retaliation! We had the discussion about hurtful things he says and he admitted that he does say those things because of how he feels about things I’ve done. The past couple of days have been extremely hard. When he’s doing these things, all I could do is sit quietly and silently pray for God to intervene and make him realize that it is wrong. I know God is allowing it for a purpose, and I thank him, because this makes me run to him for my peace and love (rather than my husband) more than anything.

    Thanks so much again for responding!

    1. Anon Wife,

      Thank you for giving us more of the picture. πŸ™‚

      Just a few more questions because I want to be sure I understand rightly and don’t want to make wrong assumptions…

      1. Is there major unrepentant sin going on?

      2. Are you safe? Is he safe?

      3. What is his general personality? More dominating or passive?

      4. How does he handle conflict in general?

      5. Have you had any godly counseling about the serious issue?

      6. Do either of you have a history of abuse?

      7. Would you say he ever does things like “gas lighting”?

      Much love and a huge hug! Praying for God’s healing and wisdom for you both!

      1. Thanks again April for taking your time to help πŸ™‚

        1. Is there major unrepentant sin going on?
        I’m assuming you mean such things as infidelity. No although we do both have serious trust issues.

        2. Are you safe? Is he safe? I feel physically safe but not at all emotionally safe with him. Even when he is rough physically My life isn’t on danger. He is safe – while I still have a lot of growth to do, I do feel he is safe – physically because with Gods help I don’t resort to fighting, and emotionally because I truly love and care for him and want things to get better.

        3. What is his general personality? More dominating or passive? He is definitely dominating.

        4. How does he handle conflict in general? By avoiding – he is usually the one to initiate resolution first. But it takes a long time (weeks) to get there. Even when he decides to come to “talk about it, he typically starts with the rough housing or sexual advances.

        5. Have you had any godly counseling about the serious issue? No. I asked for counseling (for that issue and for general marriage counseling) but he refused. While I won’t go into details it was a really nasty accusation that has been proven untrue but he won’t believe the science behind the proof. Instead at any given time it is resurrected and continues to be a point of contention.

        6. Do either of you have a history of abuse? No. (None that I’m aware of for him).

        7. Would you say he ever does things like β€œgas lighting”? YES!!! Over the past couple of years I’ve done many searches to see what some of his actions would be called and this comes up Repeatedly. Antagonist is another.

        Thanks again!

        1. Anon Wife,

          Thank you for this.

          So maybe he apologizes without words, trying to use actions to show you he is sorry?

          And he doesn’t believe that you are innocent of this accusation? He is unwilling to forgive or to understand that it didn’t happen?

          Do you have the freedom to go to godly counseling by yourself? Or does he not want you to do that?

          Do you have any prayer warrior women praying for you or mentoring you?

          Not sure if you have seen http://www.leslievernick.com – but that site can sometimes be helpful for wives who are dealing with more dominating husbands, especially when there is gaslighting and that kind of thing going on. My readers suggest that people not read the comments. And – it will be important to let the Spirit of God lead you and to compare anything that is shared there (or here or anywhere else) against the Word.

          I’d love for you to read this post Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced – and let me know, as you have time, which lies may be issues in your walk with the Lord.

          I want to see you as spiritually healthy in Christ as possible – because then you will have God’s power, wisdom, discernment, and Spirit to know best how to respond in each challenging situation with your husband. And then, also, your prayers will be very effective.

          Much love to you!

          1. Hi April,
            I know when my husband gets into bed am starts poking me etc it often means he is wanting some sexual release and is just being playful. While I hear what the wife is saying in the way she responds, if that is his intent, then that is communicating rejection to him. I wouldn’t necessarily say he is provoking her deliberately. Just offering another perspective.

          2. Anon M,

            Yes, that is a possibility. It makes it more challenging because they are on two different sleep schedules. And, ideally, they might do better if they could somehow go to bed at the same time. But I agree that this could be part of what is going on. Thanks for sharing!

  21. Last night I couldn’t control myself and got really mad over something dumb. I asked my husband to go buy me 100 forks and 100 knives and he comes home with 1000 forks and 1000 knives. After I told him if packages have more than 200 do not buy, I don’t need more than 100. So I was quickly irritated over that. What am I gonna do with all of this I asked? I was really mad he wasted money and then I have 900 extra forks/knives. So then he’s like and you go to church 3 times a week?? You should add another day because you need it. Then that steamed me up more and I went off on him telling me how church has helped me put up with him in the past. what a mess over some plastic forks/knives. And he is right, I need help controlling my temperament. He just said it in a hurtful way. I told him I do go to church because I know I need it, not because I am perfect or holy.

    1. HappyMomof2,

      Yikes. I hurt with you both! It was an innocent mistake, it sounds like, that he bought the wrong size.

      Is he a believer in Christ?

      As you look back on what happened, do you have a sense of how you might have handled things differently that may have had a more productive outcome? If you do know how you believe God would have preferred for you to respond, I believe that your willingness to share about that may be a blessing to other ladies here. If you don’t feel sure about how you could have handled things in a Spirit-filled way rather than in the flesh, I would be glad to share some ideas to prayerfully consider for next time – if you would be interested. πŸ™‚

      And, if you need any help hashing through how to get back up and recover after what happened, let me know.

      If we do mess up – I sure want us to learn from it and do better next time. πŸ™‚ There is always spiritual treasure to be had in such moments if we are open to receiving them.

      Thank you so much for sharing, dear sister.

      1. HappyMomof2,
        I wonder, did you let him know that he was right about your temper? And did you get a chance to receive his rebuke humbly last night and maybe to apologize – without justifying anything that was sinful?

        Much love!

      2. After everything happened, I could of just suggested to go return them, I seriously don’t need all those forks/knives. I could of just ignored his comment on me needing more church, because me bringing up the past just made his statement more truthful, that I need more church and practice what they teach me. Yes he’s believer. But he’s been Christian about a year so so, I grew up as Christian. I went to the restroom and cried, just because it was so hurtful and I was very shamed of my behavior. The next day I just went to hug him and he hugged me back. He told me he loves me and not to argue for dumb things. I said I love you. We did not say the words sorry.

        1. HappyMomof2,

          I like the ideas you had. Those sound good. πŸ™‚ I’m proud of you for being able to see those things.

          And I am so thankful he received Christ! WOOHOO! That is awesome.

          You know what? I’m so glad you were cut to the heart, it sounds like you repented to the Lord. And it sounds like y’all did a great job making up. I’m proud of both of you! What he said to you was some pretty godly leadership. It might be neat to thank him for that.

          Happy Easter and much love to you!

  22. All,
    There are those who believe, especially in our culture today, that men are evil and women are good. That is one of the strongest messages of feminism. But it is not the truth of God’s Word.

    1. Here is a post about this topic:

      Are Women Morally/Spiritually Superior to Men?

      It is not disrespectful to ourselves as women for us to be willing to look our sins in the mirror. God calls all of us to do that – men and women, young and old. It is no blessing or gift to anyone to ignore sin. The wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23. God clearly pronounces that all humans are sinners in His Word. And He clearly calls all of us to repentance of our sin and to the healing, salvation, regeneration, growth, and blessing that comes in living for Christ as LORD. I want to see everyone experience God and all that Jesus has already so humbly provided for us if only we will humbly receive Him.

      God alone is good. No human beings, since the Fall, have any good on our own. On our own, we each deserve hell, according to God’s Word, the Bible. But, God is willing to impart to us the goodness of Jesus, Himself, if only we will receive it.

      How Can I Have a Relationship with Christ?

      Much love!

  23. I have a question I would like to ask.

    First, I would like to preface it with saying that my marriage has changed immeasurably since I woke up to my sin of disrespect. I really cannot believe what the Lord has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time! So, I praise Him for that. My husband is really, really good to me and is a huge blessing in my life every day. I have nothing to complain about. This is just one thing that I would like some advice about to see if I’m handling it correctly.

    My husband was always passive and me, controlling. But he has grown so much in the area of leadership and it really is like I have a new husband. However, there is this one thing he still says, and I’m wondering if I should maybe respond differently than I have been. If there is something he wants to do, or buy, or someplace he would like to go, he will bring it up by saying something like, “I think I want to do X or I think I’m going to buy X or I think I’m going to go to X.”

    So, what he is throwing out there isn’t a command or question or request. It is pretty neutral because I don’t think I’m being asked anything. I used to step in and give my opinion (more like a command!) and he would pretty much do whatever I said. But since I have learned to not be so controlling and and take over being the leader, I just stopped saying anything in response. I will just make a general statement or comment.

    For example, Yesterday we were driving in the car and he said, “I think I’m going to buy X from X.” (Let me say that we both pretty much always talk with the other person before buying anything that we don’t buy on a regular basis.) And I just made the comment, “Oh, is that the same thing that (said person) has?” When he presents things to me this way, I feel like I am the one who is in control and has to make the decision and bear the weight of the outcome. Because if I said I didn’t think it was a good idea or the right time or something like that, he would respect that probably 99 percent of the time.

    So, since I have learned to not be so controlling and take over the decision making process in our home, I don’t give my opinion or perspective because I don’t think he is asking for it. I feel that if he isn’t asking, I shouldn’t say what I think because it feels controlling to me; like I’m the leader in this situation. Is there something else I should be doing or saying?

    I want my husband to have the freedom to buy things, do things, and go places without me acting like his parent and telling him what to do or not do. And he is very balanced — he doesn’t buy things or do a lot or go places without me (this would be extremely rare; he really wants to be with me all the time and do everything with me). I think it is super sweet that he even brings it up with me, and I don’t want to be accusing him of something he isn’t even doing, but it really does feel in that moment like I am the one in control if I say what I think about it. I hope this makes sense!

    1. Eliza,

      I am so thrilled to hear about what God is doing in your heart and in your marriage! WOOHOO! That is awesome! πŸ™‚

      I think sometimes when husbands tend to be passive, they don’t like to make strong statements. They don’t tend to like to give directives. Sometimes they lead by giving suggestions or requests. Or, in this case, by sharing what he is thinking about doing.

      I think he is giving you an opportunity to give input if you disagree. He isn’t asking you to make the decision. I think he is showing respect to you by just letting you know what he is thinking so you can share your perspective and so that you have a heads’ up.

      You don’t have to give your opinion or perspective, but if you disagree, you could certainly share that respectfully. I don’t think you have to look at it like you are the leader, but just that he is showing you honor and respect by sharing his plans and ideas. πŸ™‚

      Laura Doyle would say, in situations like this, “Whatever you think is best.” You could do something like that. Or you could say, “Okay. Thanks so much for letting me know. I appreciate that.”

      You are not in control if he asks you something and you give your opinion. He makes the decision what to do with your input.

      Much love!

      1. Ok! That makes perfect sense! I will try that next time and report back πŸ™‚ you really helped me out a lot! Thank you! You are always such a blessing!

      2. I would also make a point of pointing out if it sounds like a good idea. (That’s sounds great honey, let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.) And I don’t see anything wrong with the way you say you respond. Sometimes I ask that for clarification or so I can picture in my mind what he is envisioning g.

  24. Hi April,
    I had to laugh at this list. It baffles me why people make a fuss about it. Toilet seat left up? It takes 2 seconds to put it down. Dishes loaded in the dishwasher incorrectly? It takes 2 seconds to fix it. He won’t take the garbage out? No biggie. It takes 2 minutes to take it out. I’ve done it for the past 16 years and it hasn’t annoyed me yet. Lol. By the time you finish fussing about it, it could of been done with no hurt feelings. Instead, people fuss and make mountains out of molehills. Blessings to you April.

    1. Anon M,

      When I watch the news and see what is happening to our brothers and sisters around the world who are being severely persecuted, who have lost their homes, who are being imprisoned, tortured, and martyred for Christ – and then I see the issues about which we complain here – it is sobering. We don’t really have many big problems, most of us. You are right, these little things don’t have to be an issue at all. It is all in our perspective.

      May God conform us to the image of Christ, that we might display His love, truth, grace, compassion, and mercy to our families and to the world. These little things are tests. They reveal what is in our hearts spiritually and they show us our level of Christlikeness.

      Much love!

  25. Thanks April again for responding. I’ve read some of the material you suggested and there is certainly a lot I can do in my marriage. Will continue reading more.

    God Bless!

  26. I love this post so much:

    I have awesome news, dear sisters in Christ, I don’t HAVE to be annoyed! Jesus can give me the power to extend grace in many situations that maybe would annoy me if I was acting in the flesh.

    Isn’t that the truth for our Christian brothers and sisters, both.

    And I must that although my wife is not a believer, she has grown more tolerant and forgiving with time, as I hope I have, but this is always a long journey.

    Thank you sister,
    Jesuscentreoflife

  27. Hi April,

    I wish the least of my worries was the dishwasher or trash…..what a blessing that would be.

    Right now, life is still in shambles. Our insurance company has stopped paying our claim. We are under scrutiny. I have a demo contractor suing us. A lot of our problems (I hate to blame) but it is because of my husband. How can I be respectful when he has left me….now its been well over a year. He is back to keeping my daughter from me. He has cause the problems.

    He continues to say he wants to move back to Florida. He want 1/2 of our insurance money now after he said he would allow us to build our home back. He changes his thoughts every day. If I say but you said………he says he changed his mind…..

    We are all living in a daily limbo. He wants everything we own to be split in two. Then he says the money will be out of the way and we can see how we feel about each other. I don’t want to be split, even though we have been.

    Just feeling really low today.

    I can read my bible verses and build my faith, but when I talk to my husband it brings me down. I know I am not fighting my husband, I am fighting the enemy. Its just so hard sometimes to keep the faith.

    1. Tina,

      Yuck! πŸ™

      Have you been able to talk with someone at the insurance about what has been going on with your husband? I don’t know how that is usually handled, but these days, I am sure that there are marriages that go through similar rocky patches after a fire. Surely there would be other similar situations they have had to deal with. It does make me wonder, though, if you may need to have some legal help – especially since he keeps changing his mind.

      Have you gotten to the place emotionally/spiritually where you believe you could let him go if that is what he truly wants?

      You don’t have to respect the wrong he has done. Or any irresponsibility on his part. You don’t have to respect sin or his breaking your trust or the marriage covenant.

      You can choose to respect that he is a human made in the image of God, and that the way you treat him reflects on your love for Christ and your character. And you can choose to look at him as one beloved by Christ who is ensnared by the enemy and who needs Jesus desperately.

      Do y’all have a mediator of any kind to help you work through all of this?

      Do you have a godly counselor you trust at your church or in your community?

      What are you doing to get the spiritual nourishment you need, my precious sister?

      How may we pray for you?

      Much love and the biggest hug!

      1. April,

        Right now the insurance company won’t speak to us. They have an attorney who wants an EUO, examination under oath. The policy allows for it, but the problem is they accepted liability for the claim and began paying and its been over a year. I have spoke to an attorney and he will represent me, but my husband wants him to help both of us. But I sought him for the legal advice too and most lawyers won’t all for that. He could represent me and my husband for this, but then I couldn’t use him if there were other proceedings. I want my husband to be with me, but if he goes through with his threats to divorce, I will have to find another attorney most likely. I need to double check. I was supposed to take a retainer to him today, but my husband said wait. So I am constantly in limbo with making these decisions.

        Emotionally I am still struggling with the separation. I miss my daughter. I was getting her every other week, but she got angry at me a few weeks ago when I asked where she slept on a certain weekend. She would not tell me and I know she was covering for her dad. Its very wrong and against the law for my husband to sleep at another woman house with my daughter and I suspect that is what happened. I can’t stand the though of my daughter being around this other woman. So I continue to struggle.

        We don’t have a mediator. I have been talking to my pastor each week. The Christian counselor wasn’t really helping me. I asked my husband to go back to see the Christian counselor that we saw back in the fall, but he only wants it for divorce counseling not to try and reconcile and the counselor told him NO, he believed in fixing the marriage and not divorce.

        I continue to read rejoice marriage ministries and my daily devotions. I have also been listening to different sermons online. The church I saw on my way back from a trip in NC had a great sermon called “I hate my marriage” (new hope church) I saw the banner as i passed by and I watched the entire series and began watching the others after that. If anyone needs an uplifting story, search the “Sangster’s story” on youtube. There are 4 parts. When I saw their story within the 4 part Marriage sermons I had hope that God does fix marriages. He wanted me to travel that road, to see that church banner. It was such a blessing to watch and to now look forward to the sermons each week. I also continue to go to church each week.

        I really don’t know what prayers to ask for. Discernment and wisdom to do the right things. What God wants me to actually do. How will I know. It seems like I have made so many mistakes. I want my husband to forgive my mistakes and put our family back together. It can be simple like that, but he won’t do it.

        1. Tina,

          Such a tough, tough situation. I sure hate to hear any spouse go through something like this. It breaks my heart that you are having to experience this. πŸ™ I can completely understand that there would be a lot of emotions and wrestling as you try do deal with what your husband is doing and the constant changing his answers.

          What does your pastor suggest at this time?

          My greatest concern is your spiritual healing in Christ. I will pray for you for these things. And for your husband to come to Christ in repentance and for healing for your daughter. Sending you a HUGE hug, my precious sister!

          1. April,

            My Pastor suggested several things. She said for me not to worry what my husband is doing; especially when he is with the OW….that is really hard as he is now involving my daughter. They left yesterday afternoon and did not come back home. I am pretty sure they slept at the ow house as her children are with their father this weekend. I hurt knowing I can’t be with my daughter and she is being subjected to the ow. Its not right!

            She also suggested I find a lawyer and possibly split our assets, not divorce, but split up what we own. She is very supportive of my stand not to divorce.

            I have had no communication from my husband since he left yesterday and I am sure when he gets home tomorrow he will start again. I just feel like we are in limbo. The enemy is at work! When I tell my husband I am not fighting with him we are battling the enemy, he said I am the enemy and have been. Rejoice Marriage ministries says don’t listen to this, its the enemy at work. Still hard. Thanks for the prayers.

          2. Tina,

            That would hurt so much. πŸ™ My heart breaks with you, my dear friend. If you are able not to think about what they are doing, it would help your sanity, I am sure. But I know it would be very hard.

            It may be wise to be able to split things so that you are not dependent on his constantly changing decisions. Praying for God’s wisdom for you on that. And thankful that the pastor is supportive.

            I agree that when your husband calls you the enemy, it is probably best not to receive that and not to meditate on his words. However, I also think that it is possible that if you argue with him about that – and I don’t know that you have, I was just thinking about this) – that you may repel him. Not sure if that makes sense. But if he says you are the enemy. And you insist you are not and try to explain that Satan is the real enemy, he probably can’t hear you about this at this point. I wonder if it may be helpful to acknowledge his current feelings without taking responsibility for them? I pray God will give you wisdom on that, as well.

            If he can convince himself you are the enemy, then he can justify all of his sin against you in his mind. Of course, his justifications do not hold water before God. God absolutely will hold him accountable for this sin. I am very concerned about his soul.

            And right now, there is no way you could take him back. Not the way he is. There would have to be a radical transformation – sincere repentance, a major change of heart and behavior over a long period of time, before it would be wise to take him back. Right now he is very toxic to you.

            I have a post tomorrow that I pray will be a blessing about resting in Christ in the midst of the unknown. I believe God has many spiritual treasures for you in this place as you seek Him and seek to put all of your trust in Him. I also believe He plans to use this time to help you grow by leaps and bounds spiritually in your faith in Christ. I am excited about His plans for you -and I praise and thank Him already for all that He will do in this painful situation to create beauty and good from something that was intended by the enemy and by the sinful nature for evil.

            Much love to you and a huge hug!

            April

          3. April,

            Sometimes I go silent for days even when he texts me. I do this so I can prevent words from coming out of my mouth that I would regret later. Then sometimes important things come up that requires me to answer him. That leads to many more discussions that don’t always go so well. I can see what the enemy has done. I know a Godly man or husband would not do these things to his wife. I can’t change him, only God can. I want that so much. I want God to bring him in to repentance, I pray for it. Everything you say makes sense to me. I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people guide me.

            I do believe he convinces himself I am a bad person. Its an excuse so he can justify leaving. The few mistakes from 2 years ago are not worth throwing your life away. I asked for forgiveness and he gave it to me, but if he truly forgave me, I would never hear about it again. It was an argument about something silly. I know we have all said things we regret. We apologize and ask forgiveness and that should be it right? If God forgives our sins, why can’t he let it drop. Yes we had arguments…….but that was the beginning of the enemy creeping in. Its been a downhill battle ever since. He asked me the other day when I said you forgave me……..he said so that equals me coming home? I don’t think he realizes he can. Its almost like he says, “I have moved out and I can’t come come now”. He is battling. I have heard other prodigals doing the same exact things. One day he is so nice to me and helping me do things and then its like the enemy messes with his head and says what are you doing?

            I will look forward to your new post tomorrow!

            Looking forward to church and all things good for the Glory of God!

            Much love to you!
            Tina

          4. Tina,

            I could see where silence could be the best option at times. Especially if you are trying to avoid saying things you may regret later in this very difficult situation.

            “We are most tempted to sin when we are sinned against” -Gary Thomas

            When a husband feels very disrespected or controlled, he may deceive himself into believing he can justify an affair or other sin. Of course, God doesn’t ever give any of us a free pass to sin. Even when we are sinned against. God will hold your husband accountable for his adultery. He will not accept your husband’s excuses or justifications.

            It would be ideal if he could have forgiven you and let it drop. But he may not be in that place spiritually at this time. Of course, while we are wishing for what is ideal, we could wish that neither of you ever said things that you regret, either. That would have helped, too.

            Sometimes, even if someone does forgive another person, trust is eroded. Forgiveness is one thing. But restoring trust is another.

            For this marriage to be healed, trust will have to be rebuilt on both sides. I’m glad you are working on your side. My greatest concern for you is your walk with Christ and your healing in Christ and that the Lord will be pleased with you. I pray for God’s healing and regeneration for your husband, and daughter, as well. I know God will use your example as you abide in Him and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit to seek to draw your husband and daughter to Himself over time. I pray for God to empower you to be faithful and obedient to Him, my precious sister.

            Yes, the enemy is at work. May God open your husband’s eyes to his sin and his desperate need for Jesus.

            Much love!
            April

  28. Thanks for the post. I like the idea of choosing not to be annoyed. I have plenty of things to practice this choice on. My husband took my son out and bought him a drum kit which they then set up in our open plan house right next to the kitchen. I was upset until i heard why he bought it. His reasoning totally made sense as our son struggles in school and has been injured and unable to play sport, but loves music and does well in it. He bought the drums to encourage our son. So listening to very loud drumming while cooking dinner becomes slightly easier when there are good motives involved. Going for a walk at practice times helps my sanity too. Ahh the joys of a teenage son. One day the house will be too silent and i will miss him so i will choose not to be annoyed today while i have the choice.

    1. Charli,

      Drums in the kitchen could be a challenge! Might be a good time to ask for sound-cancelling headphones for Mother’s Day. πŸ™‚ I love your husband’s heart for your son. That also may be a good time for a walk. Yes, it is easy to forget that things change quickly in this life. The things that annoy us today may be some of the things we miss one day when our children grow up or our husbands are no longer with us.

      I love your heart and your decision! Thank you so much for sharing. πŸ™‚

Thanks for joining the discussion! Let's keep it classy and respectful. :)

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