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Am I His Prosecuting Attorney?

Me in 2003 – 5 years before the Lord opened my eyes

MY OLD WAYS

Ugh. This describes me for so long in our marriage. I would often decide we had an issue. I would think nonstop about it all day – determining all the questions I would ask Greg so I could verbally nail him to the wall. I was completely sure I knew all kinds of evil motives he must have had toward me. I spent hours carefully gathering my evidence against him so I  could prove to him how wrong he was with all of my strong arguments.

When he would get home – there was no happy welcome or smile from me on those days. I lit right into him. I was in “prosecuting attorney mode”  – determined to get him to admit how wrong he was and how right I was about any and every little issue as I cross-examined him under a microscope. That was all that mattered to me at the time – being right. I had no idea what I was doing to Greg or our relationship.

Of course, if he dared to address an issue in my life, even the smallest thing, I would all-out viciously verbally attack him. I was the only one allowed to do the questioning. I was the only one allowed to confront. Not him. I could disagree with him. But he best not disagree with me or he would suffer my wrath.

I was dumbfounded that I would ask all of my carefully crafted questions and he refused to say anything. Oh, that made me so mad! Fighting mad. I escalated my volume and vitriol when that happened, thinking he would surely answer me if I increased the intensity of my attack. I would make him answer! I thought he didn’t say anything because he knew I was right and he had no ability to defend himself against my superior reasoning abilities and character. I thought he was quiet because he was guilty of all of my accusations against him.

Many years later, after God opened my eyes to all of the sin to which I had been so blind for over 14 years in our marriage – I was able to finally see. Almost nothing about my husband matched up with what I had wrongly assumed for so many years.

Greg didn’t answer me because I put him in a no-win situation.

I had misunderstood his heart, thoughts, words, and actions completely. I was determined that I knew the truth and was right and that he was wrong. That was the only paradigm I would accept all of those years. And how could he even have started trying to explain anything – even if he wanted to – when my vision of him was so distorted?

It turns out, I didn’t know his heart at all. I didn’t know his motives. I was completely in another book – not just on another page.

What I thought was true all that time – really wasn’t. I had deceived myself. I was emotionally and spiritually completely exhausting to be around. I was verbally abusive. I didn’t call him names, generally. And I never cussed at all. I just took many verbal shots at him to undermine him, to label him, to condemn him, to blame him, to attack him, to show him how everything was his fault, etc… Then I resented him for being emotionally unavailable to me. He should love me more!

God! You need to change this man and change him RIGHT NOW! He is hurting me by not loving me the way I want him to. How could he be so cruel to me to unplug from me like this?

I don’t know if I could have understood back then if Greg did try to explain even if I had been willing to try to listen. I had no idea how different Greg’s perspective and mindset was. Usually, if he started saying something, I cut him off. I was convinced I completely understood the situation without ever hearing his side of things. I thought I already knew what he was thinking and what he would say. How I wish I had stopped attacking him and tried to listen.

To answer before listening– that is folly and shame. Prov. 18:13

GREG’S DILEMMA

So his choices at the time were:

  1. Try to explain himself, knowing I would refute anything he said that didn’t match my pre-conceived (and extremely inaccurate) notions.
  2. Fight me verbally.
  3. Say nothing to defend himself and just let me rant on by myself and continue thinking and assuming the absolute worst lies about him.

He knew it was futile to explain himself to me. He didn’t want to fight me. So he often chose #3 – which seemed like the lesser of all of the evils. He withdrew from me. He shut down. He became a shell of the man he was when we got married.

Turns out – husbands don’t really like to feel like they are coming home to a verbal firing squad or to an interrogation. Really, no remotely emotionally healthy person enjoys that. No one revels in the stress of feeling like a criminal defendant who is being cross-examined by a prosecuting attorney who has already judged him/her to be guilty. Most husbands want to have peace, harmony, joy, and contentment at home. They want to feel safe with their wives emotionally. Isn’t that honestly what we all want in our relationships?

WHOSE INSTRUMENT AM I?

How might we come across as if we are cross-examining a witness at a trial?

It is often our tone, our facial expressions, our emotional intensity, and our constant barrage of pointed, accusing questions.

It is extremely hurtful and frustrating to be utterly misunderstood, vilified, falsely accused, and wrongly condemned by someone who doesn’t actually know your heart and who isn’t even interested in trying to understand the truth or in trying to heal the relationship.

Ultimately, we long most for our husbands to share their hearts with us, to emotionally connect with us, to cherish us, love us, and adore us. So – let me just mention, my precious sisters – this “prosecutor” approach repels our men (and anyone else). It causes them to shut down their hearts to us. It does not make them want to open up to us and be vulnerable. They know they are not safe with us when we act like this because they are not safe.

It was sobering for me to realize that I was not acting in the power of God’s Spirit when I acted like a prosecuting attorney, like an accuser. In fact, I was acting like Satan and cooperating with him. “The accuser of the brethren.” I had actually allowed the devil to get a huge stronghold in my life. I didn’t realize it. I was blind to my sin back then.

I unwittingly invited him to set up a base camp in my heart and mind by holding on to pride, resentment, unforgiveness, etc… And I gave him free access to my thoughts, heart, mind, mouth, and body. I thought I was living for Jesus. My words often said I was. But the Holy Spirit was not in control. The fruit of my life was the fruit of the flesh not the fruit of the Spirit. I had allowed myself and my mouth to be an instrument in the hands of the devil to try to destroy my husband.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own
hands the foolish one tears hers down. Prov. 14:1

How I NEVER want to go back to that awful place again! I had a lot of repenting to do – to the Lord, to Greg, and to other people in my life, too.

 

Thankfully, there is so much hope for all of us in Jesus! We don’t have to stay in this awful toxic place where we destroy ourselves and our husbands and other people. Jesus can set us free from this snare. We can turn away from our sin and turn to Him to let Him cleanse and heal us by His work on our behalf on the cross! The Lord graciously healed me, and in time, He eventually also healed Greg and our marriage. How can I ever thank Him enough?

That same healing is available to you. You can have peace with God and you can live in peace, as far as it depends on you, in your relationships with people. The key is to know the Prince of Peace and to allow Him to be the Lord and Savior of your life. He has to power to change us as we yield to Him in faith, trust, humility, and obedience.

I have so many posts that may be a blessing to you if you find yourself in this place where I was years ago. If you are ready to stop cooperating with Satan’s plans to steal, kill, and destroy in your marriage and you are ready to cooperate with God’s good plans for your life and marriage, check out some of these resources. He can set you free from Satan’s prison just like He set me free almost 9 years ago.

RELATED VERSES:

A constant dripping on a day of steady rain and a contentious woman are alike; he who would restrain her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand. Prov. 27:15-16

Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. Prov. 21:19

 

RESOURCES:

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

Posts about husbands being our idols – being enmeshed with them, expecting them to meet our deepest spiritual needs that only Jesus can really meet.

Posts about being enmeshed

Posts about being a controlling wife

A Fellow Wife’s posts

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

Posts about fear – which is often the real motive behind my control

Posts about bitterness

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

25 Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

What Is Disrespectful to Husbands?

What Is Respect in Marriage?

How to Stay Filled with the Holy Spirit

 

50 thoughts on “Am I His Prosecuting Attorney?

  1. This is a fantastic article, April. Beautifully written and packed with wisdom. I know that it is not only women who can take on the role of prosecuting attorney. It is all to easy for anyone to slip into that mode. <

      1. jesuscentreoflife,

        It is excruciating to remember my sin. What I have done to my husband – and to other people. The pain I caused – and what’s even crazier – that I felt justified at the time and didn’t see that I had any sin or wrongdoing in my own thoughts, life, motives, or words. Wow. I mean… how is that possible!?!? It is so very clear now.

        I hate my sin. I hate all sin. It causes so much pain. To God. To others. To ourselves. To relationships. To the church.

        May the Lord purify us all and cleanse us, empowering us to walk by His Spirit along and to yield our minds, mouths, and bodies to be instruments of righteousness and healing rather than death and destruction.

        Only His power can give us victory over this sin – or any sin.

        Much love in Christ!

          1. jesuscentreoflife,

            I used to think that I didn’t owe God very much. Wow, was I ever wrong! I owe Him a greater debt than I could ever calculate or begin to pay. When I am able to see that, I can love Jesus with all my heart, mind, and soul – and I want to obey Him just to thank Him for His amazing love. I sure don’t deserve it and I sure haven’t earned it.

              1. jesuscentreoflife,

                He loved us while we were still His enemies. He died for us when we were still in our filth and mess – hostile toward Him just like I was toward Greg. There is no greater love. Praise God for what He has done for us all! May we all grasp onto His gift and embrace the freedom He offers from our captivity!

    1. ronfurg,

      Yes, any of us can make ourselves and our words available to the enemy and cooperate with him in accusing others and creating division and pain in relationships. Thanks for sharing this encouragement and for the insights, dear brother!

  2. April, so thankful you have shared your experiences. You have truly helped me see this behavior taking place in my own life. I was finally able to see my own sin and begin to make changes. Thank you Jesus!

    1. Rose,

      If I can’t completely erase the memory of all my sin – I want to at least use it for God’s glory and to maybe help keep other sisters (and brothers) from making my same mistakes.

      I’m so glad this has been helpful. That is an answer to my prayers!

  3. This will probably sound silly, but it has helped us in our marriage and in setting a tone for our evenings. When he walks in the door, I run to him and hug and kiss him for at 15 seconds. This helps us reconnect, and makes it much harder for me to play “prosecutor.”

    When I began doing this, my husband was curious as to why. “It’s because I should be at least as happy to see you as the family dog” I replied. “An animal shouldn’t do better than your wife in making you feel welcome.”

    If we have an issue we need to discuss, those few seconds make it so much harder to bombard him when he’s at his most vulnerable. Plus, he says he is always very happy when he comes home because he knows he will get the kind of welcome every guy wants but seldom receives.

    1. Additionally, if we have an issue I tend to lean to the prosecutorial role and noticed it is much easier to prosecute someone you do not connect with. If we connect first, a discussion rather than an accusation follows. He is much more likely to engage while I’m more likely to listen.

    2. Happily Gave Up,

      I learned to have a pleasant, friendly “welcome home plan,” too. It makes a huge difference! I want my husband to know we are glad to see him – especially me. And that this is a warm, inviting, fun, peaceful place to be.

      We also found that if he held me, even before I learned all of the respect stuff, I couldn’t really be super mad at him. So if he could get me to come cuddle, it helped reduce the tension a lot.

      These days, we really don’t have tension – it is bliss!
      Love the insights you shared!

  4. My husband said something extremely hurtful to me in front of our Friends last night. He labeled it as a “joke” and immediately said he was kidding after he said it. However isn’t there always some truth in a joke? When we’re with these particular friends he always takes things too far on the funny train. Trying to hard to be funny and this time that train ran right over me. I was able to have enough self control to calmly and lovingly tell him how much it hurt and embarrassed me. He said he was very sorry. And to not let the enemy turn it around in my mind and for me to know he didn’t mean it. I said ok and we moved on.
    But after we got home I couldn’t shake it. It’s playing over and over in my head and I feel so low and down about it I couldn’t even come down stairs to kiss him goodnight. I had to text him to tell him I need to just pray and go to sleeep bc I can’t get this off my mind and feel so hurt and embarrassed. He didn’t respond but did come up about 30 minutes later and cuddled me but I pretended I was asleep.
    Now it is Sunday morning and I came down stairs to cry so he doesn’t see me. Idk why this is making me so upset but then again I do bc it’s that bad. The only thing I can think of is I just wish he never said it. It’s going to remain in my head for a while.
    Please pray for me, anyone reading this please pray for my mind and heart and my relationship with my husband. I’m sorry if it sounds silly but I feel so broken inside. And we’ve taken sooo many amazing steps forward in our marriage these past few months and this feels like we took 10 giant steps back. I pray I am able to smile at him when I see him this morning and respect and love him and have grace and not put him in a lose lose situation but with me being hurt it’s going to be very very hard.

    Thank you

    1. Sara,

      Ouch! That hurts! Yes, there can be truth in a joke many times. And yes, it can hurt. It’s easy to make jokes at our spouse’s expense. But – most spouses don’t enjoy feeling hurt and humiliated that way. I know I wouldn’t!

      I’m glad that you are trying to process things in a godly way. And that you let your husband know that what he said hurt and embarrassed you in a calm, loving way. THAT IS AWESOME! And I am so glad he apologized. It is okay to ask him not to tell jokes at your expense, that it is hurtful.

      He actually gave you some good advice about not letting the enemy using it. But it can be so hard to let things like that go. It definitely takes the power of the Spirit, not the flesh. I’m glad that your husband came and cuddled with you.

      Would you like to talk about how you can take your thoughts captive?’

      Is there anything you feel like he could do to make things better?

      Is there any self talk you think the Lord might want you to change?

      Much love and a huge hug to you!

      1. The fight is still continuing since I couldn’t let it go and it has spiraled out of control. Yes there’s many things he can do to make it better but he won’t.

  5. I am so glad you asked… I have been praying about something. I really want a clear answer and I think I know what it is but I want to be sure…
    There are several past sins I know about my husband’s sexual past that he does not know I know. This came from reading e-mails 2 weeks after our wedding – from years before me. Once my husband was saved and married me he was a different and changed man, faithful in every way. So I chose to forgive what i read and knew – and not bring it up at all. for many years now, bc it was before me. While hashing through what happened this past weekend, and other issues we’ve had over the years i traced it back to these things. These events, how they effected him and how they continue to effect me probably subconciously just from knowing about them. I told my husband i wanted to talk about something and for him to prepare for that bc i dont think it’s going to be easy. But I felt i needed to tell him what i read, what i know and what i saw. And tell him how i believe it’s effecting me to this day. and also to come clean on a few past sins of my own and ask if he would like to pray with me – and us both repent to God and start fresh new and pure, and blameless – repentant before God believing he can restore us both.
    To me, this sounds so helpful in moving forward. but my husband has a very fragile ego, gets very angry easily if i say something he remotely believes is not the “truth” and if he starts to feel vulnerable, exposed or awkward he will completely emotionally retreat and disconnect. so that’s why im praying about what to do. bc it sounds like the right thing in my eyes but will it be the right thing to him..
    Thank you

  6. I know my husband will feel extreme shame and embarssment from me bringing these things up and him finding out i know about them. but i also feel like that’s the place where healing in us both can start if we just face it and move on and repent, asking God to restore!

    1. Sara,
      I hope to respond in more detail in a few hours. But for now – I think it may mean to wait and pray a bit longer. Don’t react in the flesh. Be sure you are right with God and hearing Him on the best approach. 💜❤️💜

    2. Sara,

      I am keeping your last comment hidden for privacy for you and your husband.

      You may answer on my contact page if you prefer.

      It sounds to me like your husband feels very pressured by you. I used to pressure my husband a lot, and – along with my disrespect – it was a big turnoff.

      May I ask approximately how old you each are? How many hours per week is he working?

      It is possible that he may feel a greater desire if he didn’t feel so pressured.

      Have you read my posts on that topic by chance? Or the section about sex in my book?

      Let’s hash through this a bit together. Maybe we can be sure you don’t rush into a rash decision that may only repel him further.
      Much love!

      1. I guess he does feel pressured I’m not sure why.. I just don’t understand. I’m confused and heart broken about this and if he does feel pressured by me I’m not sure what I did to cause that or where to go from here. I don’t have your book yet :/ I truly need to purchase it. Is it on Amazon?

          1. Sara,

            Is your husband dealing with any medical issues? Taking any meds that might impact his libido (antidepressants, blood pressure meds, etc…).

            How often do you try to get him to have sex?

            Does he ever turn you down?

            How do you respond when you don’t get the intimacy you desire?

            Also check out these posts:

            Measuring Intimacy

            You may also search for these posts if any sound interesting:

            The Devastation of Sexual Rejection in Marriage
            When Your Husband Rejects You
            When You Feel Deprived in Your Marriage
            Placing My Higher Sexual Appetite under the Lord’s Control

            Much love!

            1. Sara,

              Husbands are super sensitive to disrespect. To feeling that they are not enough in their wife’s eyes. When you said you feel unwanted, he heard, “You are a failure as a man and a husband.” You can communicate your needs and desires with him in ways that work with his brain wiring that thrives on respect and on being able to be your hero. That will get you a lot more of what you both want. We can talk through some examples together, if you would like. 🙂

          1. Sara,

            That is a LOT! Is he getting enough sleep? I would imagine he is exhausted all the time.

            You know what? That makes a big difference. Men are human, too. And they can get too exhausted for sex. What can he do to just relax and recharge? Are you making sure to let him be able to chill a bit and to be able to recharge in the way that works best for him whenever he can?

  7. Yes I am open to hear your suggestions April! Please share. We have been married almost 5 years, he’s not on any medication, he just started working out again which is good. That will help. He does get a decent amount of sleep. He’s always saying how much he loves work tho and is just built to work and will always work at least 50hours a week I told him that made me feel terrible and that he doesn’t want to be with me. To me family, and intimate relationships are the most important and work is so important to him. Maybe my expectations are too high… we have sex probably once a week. It’s usually me initiating. But I can’t find any thing about this online it seems so many women don’t want it and men do! Even saying they do the dishes to try to get some, NO my husband does not do that. He’s very lovey towards me usually like sweet ways but not sexually and that’s what I desire more of… like he used to be. Maybe I am insecure with myself and expecting him to make me feel extremely sexy or something… but idk i feel like I can just tell he’s not as into it as he used to be and it hurts me. I am young and in shape and I take care of myself. I guess I just have a high drive right now and am in baby making mode, and he’s just trying to set us up financially for the future. Maybe we’re just in 2 diff places. Maybe I’ve talked about this so much I’ve made him feel he’s not good enough so he stopped trying as much. Idk 😔

    1. Sara,

      It is my understanding that a lot of men tend to find their identity in their career and achievements in the world. Lots of women tend to find their identity in their relationships – marriage, motherhood, friendships, etc… When he talks about wanting to do well at work. In his mind, he is likely thinking about how he can then be a better provider for you, and maybe, he even thinks you will be more proud of him. This may be a way he shows his love for you.

      How about thank him for his great work ethic and his ability to provide well financially. Instead of telling him you feel like he doesn’t want to be with you, tell him how much you love it when you can be together.

      Here are a few things to do if you are not doing them already:

      – Smile at him and welcome him home when he comes home.
      – Make his favorite dishes when you can.
      – Be friendly, pleasant, and safe for him to be around.
      – Think and talk about all the things he does that you admire and all the good things about him.
      When you need something or want something, request it in a positive, friendly way – without pressure.

      Thank him for being so lovey toward you in sweet ways. That is awesome!

      A few things to stop for the next 4 weeks:
      – Stop talking about wanting sex.
      – Stop taking what he says in a negative way and assuming the worst.
      – If you are up for it, don’t initiate. Be friendly and receptive. But don’t push him for sex – until he initiates himself. Let him feel his desire for you and miss you. If you are not up for that yet, let’s talk about the ways you usually initiate and how that usually goes.
      – Enjoy any attention he gives you. Expect nothing. Enjoy everything.

      Also, keep in mind that for most men, their testosterone levels are highest in the morning. So that may be a better time for him.

      Have you read my posts about disrespect and respect?

      Much love!
      April

        1. We aren’t actively trying but we do talk about it and don’t prevent it. He knows I want that very badly! He says he does too, but that could also be why I want it very much more often at the moment.
          I have read lots of your posts about respect and disrespect! I could use a refresher.
          I am totally open to the things you suggested. And will definitely do all those. I didn’t realize I was putting pressure on my husband. I don’t want to do that, I want to be a safe place for him in every way.
          I so appreciate your time and effort and care in each response! You are such a saint and I look forward to trying this and seeing how it goes❤️

          1. Sara,

            Men hate pressure. If you have ever been on the receiving end of pressure – a controlling mom, a nagging mother-in-law, a bossy friend, a dominating sister, a needy friend/coworker… you may be able to begin to relate to your husband. When someone pressures us to do something for them, it eventually takes the fun out of it. We begin to dread seeing that person or getting a text message or call from them. We tense up when they walk in the door.

            Focus on:
            – warmth
            – friendliness
            – being pleasant
            – enjoying your man
            – being welcoming
            – being at peace in the Lord
            – being full of the joy of Christ
            – responding with grace
            – being flexible
            – trusting God
            – resting in God’s love
            – resting in your husband’s love

            Not on things like:
            – demands
            – being upset
            – trying to make him do what you want him to do
            – acting entitled
            – pushing him to have sex or have a baby
            – punishing him if he doesn’t do what you want

            When you feel lonely – take your pain to God. Think about how He longs to connect with you and be one in Spirit with you all throughout each day.

            I’m right here if you want to talk some more!

  8. Blessings to you April. I have been following your blog for a while and I enjoy your posts very much.

    For a long time like almost 2 decades I tried finding excuses for my husband’s behavior. Since we got married, he transformed from the gentlest guy I knew to an argumentative and irrational person. He would start arguments by attacking my family members. He would constantly criticize their dressing, their jobs and their state of singleness. I now realize that he just wanted to provoke me into an argument and that this may have been a way to try and control me. I tried to pray for him but it did not work. I submitted to his authority as I was given no choice. He decided where we would buy our house and the clothes I should wear. He also controlled or tried to control my income as he has not worked for almost 2 decades. He has used my income on his mistress and he has never given me an account of how he spends the money

    At some points I rebelled and I would use my money to buy nice clothes and handbags for myself and get the necessary dental treatment I needed. I never told him the costs as he would have raised hell. I once bought a face cream for $80 and he said it must be hell of a great cream for that price. Soon I started leading a secret life as I would buy stuff for myself and my home and not tell him the cost of the purchases. I I had this urge to buy stuff and this may have been a way to cope with what was going on in my marriage.

    Very early on in our marriage my husband started to indulge in porn and as a result he withheld intimacy. I suspect that he has had affairs which I was unaware of. A big portion of my jewellery was stolen years ago in what looked like a staged burglary in our home. We do not have our own children but we foster.

    I doubt that there was ever a marriage. Maybe some moments of happiness here and there. Submission has been a huge issue for me because I do not trust my husband. I am very soft natured and do not like confrontations and he has used that against me. I think I fear him in many ways. If I confront him about any issue he would twist facts and make it look like it is my fault. When he argues it is because I am intense and argumentative. If he criticizes my family it is because he is speaking the truth about them. If he does not come near me it is because I don’t have the body shape that he desires I suggested divorce many years ago but he dis not want it on the basis that he wants to be committed. He never was committed. I just did not know what he was up to as I went to work to earn a living and he stayed at home looking after our foster kids.

    I ma now so tired of this marriage and no longer regard him as my husband. I dread the thought of growing old with him and spending the rest of my years with him. He married me for what I could benefit him in terms of money all the while masquerading as a Christian. I was deceived by his charm and now am paying the price. I think submission is a dangerous doctrine. I know that it is God who ordained this but humans have perverted it. If I were to submit to my husband I will be living on the streets one day.

    April I don’t want my marriage to be a bad testimony for believers even though this is what happens in my marriage. In spite of all that has happened, God in His grace has given me a great job and a very decent income, great foster kids and a decent home. I will never have to hunger. I have learned perseverance and to trust God in all circumstances .I have never lost hope in God whom I believe has a great plan for my life. And if there are wives reading this blog who are in a similar situation, I want to encourage them and say that God is sovereign over all and He is in control.

    God Bless you April

    1. Hope,

      Oh, no! I am completely heartbroken to hear about how things have been. 🙁

      Submission can be easily misunderstood. It took me over 3 years to really get a handle on what it meant – and studying over 30 books, going to a class at my church on spiritual authority, and spending about 3-5 hours per day praying, begging God to help me understand.

      Submission is not:
      – slavery
      – coerced
      – a license to abuse
      – agreement with everything a husband says
      – about a husband being a tyrant

      Submission, in God’s design, is a concept all believers are to practice. We are all to submit first to Christ – an absolute submission that we don’t give any human authority figure. Then we are all to submit to God-given authorities in our lives, within appropriate limits. Police officers, government officials, pastors, bosses, managers, parents (for underage children), and husbands (for wives).

      There are limits to biblical submission that are very important:
      When Would I Not Submit to My Husband?
      Spiritual Authority
      A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

      Submission is:
      – Primarily about our trust in and obedience to the Lord
      – voluntary – done as an act of obedience to God, not because we trust a fallible human so much
      intelligent – meaning, we must decide when/how we will submit to people in positions of delegated authority, we don’t blindly submit absolutely to humans
      – only really possible for a believer who is whole and strong in Christ and filled with His Spirit
      – about bringing honor and glory to God
      – to be guided by other God-given authorities (sometimes, if a husband is abusing his position, a wife may need to reach out to other authorities like a trusted pastor, Christian counselor, the police, medical professionals, etc… depending on the situation.)

      If you are interested in doing a spiritual check up with me, I’d be glad to do that. I want to see you as absolutely healed and whole in Christ as possible.

      If your husband is truly abusive, and you need more resources, you are welcome to check out Leslie Vernick’s site:

      http://www.leslievernick.com – especially “free resources.”
      She also has an excellent article about spiritual authority and how it is to be properly understood.

      Thank you for sharing your story. It can be very difficult to deal with a husband who is controlling and/or angry. Or worse. I want to see God greatly glorified in your life. I pray for His healing for you both.

      1. Hope,

        I actually have seen godly wives properly apply submission and respect even in some very tough situations and then see God do some miraculous things. Not always. And sometimes it takes time. But as we seek to be the women God calls us to be and to handle the commands He gives us rightly – no matter what our husbands are doing – it can be amazing what the Lord might do.

        As Beth Moore talks about that when a wife submits to her husband (properly) – she gets out of the way so “The Lord can hit her husband.” Sometimes, that really does happen.

        We can talk more if you are interested. Much love!

        1. Ladies,
          I don’t know that I would use the same description as Beth Moore… but I would definitely say, “As a wife walks in obedience to the Lord and by the power of His Spirit, we get out of God’s way and it is much easier for our husbands to hear the Lord.”

          And – I am also so greatly encouraged to know that no matter what our husbands do or do not do – God always makes a way for us to walk in obedience and faithfulness to Him. We never HAVE to walk in sin because of our husbands’ sin. We can submit to Him fully all the time. We may not always be able to submit to our husbands’ leading – if they lead us into clear sin. But we can always submit to Christ as Lord of all and we can always have His power, wisdom, discernment, love, and His Spirit to enable us to have holy attitudes before Him and to empower us to walk in victory over temptation and sin.

          Much love to you all!

  9. April,

    My husband does not normally “talk” ever. About anything. He doesn’t deem it necessary or see much good in it lol last night however he came home and said he wanted to talk!!!! That really has never happened.. this is after what he said in front of our friends and a big blow out etc.
    he was very sweet, but he wanted me to understand some stress and some pressure he is having at work right now. He told me that he has so much going on in his head that he’s trying to fit emotion in there some where, fit time with me, being intimate and just that he needs to change his priority’s bit. Then he told me he understands how that must make me feel 😭😭😭 he never has ever told me he understands anything I feel!! I’ve always longed for him to be understanding but I told him I was so sorry if I added any stress or pressure to him and am going to work on that
    I’m still planning on focusing on not pressuring him and being friendly, welcoming, not initiating, just enjoying him and being at peace in the Lord. Thank you for this advice. My hope is that my husband will feel no pressure from me and so safe that on his own he will just naturally need a release and come to me in his time even if I have to wait longer than I’d like.
    My husband did also express regret to me about getting so angry but said when I told him I felt unwanted he felt like such a failure, just like you said!!
    It’s crazy bc before that night just telling him something I felt, I had been lifting him up for weeks, I was more disrespectful before but it just goes to show how fragile men’s egos are. He always seems so tough on the outside to me but inside a lot of what I do effects him deeply.
    I def need to understand him more too! Maybe not focus so much on him understanding me.
    Thanks again April for the humbling discipleship ❤️

    1. Sara,

      What a huge and important, healing discussion y’all had last night! I’m so thankful that you listened to the Lord about being patient. The issues you wanted to bring up may be important to talk about at some point. But it sounds like there are other, more urgent things going on. And it sounds like your husband is really trying to be loving, understanding, and sweet. And it sounds like God was already working on his heart. 🙂

      That’s amazing that he was able to verbalize to you how he felt when you said you felt unwanted. And that y’all were able to have such amazing communication last night! WOOHOO! HUGE answer to our prayers!

      Men are very sensitive to disrespect – as sensitive as we are to feeling unloved.

      That sounds like an amazing plan – to seek to understand his world better.

      Check out these posts:

      What Is Disrespectful to Husbands?
      What Is Respect in Marriage?

      Much love!

      1. I will do that! Yes im so glad i was patient. i believe now that would have made things worse. Love covers a multitude of sins. Thank you sister in Christ <3

  10. I have had a major problem with this and continue to if I am not careful. I’ve been married only three short years and I’ve followed this blog very closely. It was, and continues to be, a blessing as I continue to walk with my husband in our very early stages of marriage. As I’ve continued on in this journey there are a couple of things that I’ve found to be helpful that I would like to share in case it helps anyone else.

    What I’ve found to be extremely helpful is studying and memorizing the specific scriptures about what God wills for wives in relation to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33) and then asking God to do two things:

    1) To allow me to understand in a practical way what these particular scriptures mean and how they can be applied to my life in a practical way, for day to day living. I pray in faith and believe that He will guide me, even in the midst of a situation. The Bible states:

    If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-8)

    2) That GOD work a respectful, submissive attitude into my heart. Though we may DESIRE to respect our husbands, we cannot walk this out in our own flesh! This is a biggie. We can do nothing apart from Christ (John 15:5). It will take His spirit to actually complete His will. Romans 7:21-25 states:

    So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    3) Lastly, I know we may have times in which we gave the Devil a little more of a foothold than we ought have (Ephesians 4:26). I have beaten myself up and often given up because I’ve felt so defeated. When I dwell in my sin I feel more and more defeated and wonder why I even try.

    But most recently, I’ve tried simply asking God for forgiveness and asking Him to show me how to handle it more respectfully the next time. When the next time rolls around (sometimes within the same our, or even within seconds!) I wait expectantly for the Lord, remembering His commands and trusting He will give me the strength to carry out His will:

    Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

    But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. (Philippians 4:13)

    One more thing. I am an elementary school teacher. I thought about my authoritative role as a teacher and how utterly disrespected I’d feel if one of my students said or acted towards me the way I often act towards my husband. It would be completely untolerated and it would be inappropriate.

    In the same way, I thought about my own boss (the principal). Would I walk up to my boss and say and behave the way I behave with my own husband with him/her? Of course not! I’d know I’d be fired and it would be completely disrespectful to behave that way in the first place.

    It’s interesting that regardless of our understanding on how to respect parents, teachers, bosses, etc we fail to see the importance of giving our husbands the exact same respect and to follow their leadership. We will behave respectfully towards our bosses and others we see as authoritative (as we should) but our husbands we disrespect right in the face of God.

    It stings as I write this, because I am so guilty of all of this. But it’s still something I wanted to share as God continues His work in my life.

    April, thank you for giving your insights on topics like this, teaching the younger women how to respect and love their husbands just as the Bible instructs.

    God bless you!

    1. Amber,

      Wow! Thank you so much for sharing your insights! I know that the things you are learning and what you have shared here will be such a blessing to many other wives. In fact, I would love to share it as an anonymous post. Pray about it, my sweet sister – and see what you believe the Lord may want you to do. 🙂

Thanks for joining the discussion! Let's keep it classy and respectful. I'm so glad we can walk this road together.

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