Why Is My Husband So Skeptical of the Changes I Am Making?

Photo by Ayo Ogunseinde on Unsplash

First of all, if you have decided to walk on this road, I am thrilled that you want to allow the Lord to change you and you want to become the woman and wife God calls you to be. This is not an easy journey. It is a narrow, lonely path and very few find it. But God’s path is the most wonderful place to be in all the world – full of the presence of God, the glory of God, and spiritual treasures and blessings in Christ.

  • Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. 2 Tim. 2:21

Many times, we wives (especially us Type A personalities, like me), throw ourselves into trying to completely change everything in our lives all at once. We expect ourselves to be able to master these new ways of thinking, speaking, and acting in a few hours or a few days. We are sincere about wanting the Lord to change us. And… we really want our husbands to be supportive as we change.

Maybe we make some big changes:

These are great things.

Maybe I have been doing that for a few days, or even a few weeks or months – and yet, my husband doesn’t seem to be changing. In fact, maybe  he doesn’t seem to “buy” the new me.

Why Is My Husband So Skeptical?

One thing I have noticed is that most husbands remain skeptical about the changes their wives make on this journey for quite some time – whether they are believers or not. That seems to be a pretty common pattern. I have seen one husband who was super supportive immediately and who made his wife breakfast in bed the next day after she apologized for her disrespect. But most of the time, husbands are confused and concerned about the sudden changes they see. Even good changes can seem scary to someone who isn’t sure what is going on.

If you have a history of months, years, or decades of acting one way, and now you are seeking to allow God to change you, that is awesome! And I want to encourage you to keep going and to press on, allowing God to do all He wants to do in your heart and life. I am right here, cheering you on, praying for you, and rooting for you with all my heart!

  • And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Phil. 1:6

But let’s stop and try to see from a husband’s perspective in this situation. They do have legitimate concerns, many times. Just like a wife may have concerns if her husband suddenly changes abruptly after years or decades of acting in certain ways.

The truth is, it generally takes time for people to have total heart change.

People can put on a front for a while. But not many people actually have a total heart and life change that lasts.

If you have been married any length of time, and you have a personality much like mine, you have probably read a lot of marriage books and tried many new approaches in the past. Your husband may assume that this is just “another one of those phases.” He may think that this is another attempt at manipulating him. Or that it is a fad that will fade in a few weeks. So he may not get on board right away and cheer for the good new things you are doing. He may be afraid that if he doesn’t respond the way you want him to, that you will get really upset. Change can be super scary for husbands. Even good change. They aren’t sure yet why you are making these changes and if it really will be as good as it seems.

He wants to see that what is happening is for real.

And the only thing that will convince most husbands that this kind of change is real – is that they see it consistently over a significant period of time. Like many – months or even years.

I haven’t ever come across a woman, in my 7 years of ministry, who suddenly and completely changes in an instant. I sure didn’t. It took me over 3 years to begin to feel like I had any clue what I was doing. And I was studying and praying 3-5 hours per day almost 7 days per week that entire 3 years. It was another year or two after that before it all began to really feel like the new me. And I am still learning every day, after 10 years on this journey, and will be for the rest of my life!

Besides that, your husband has his own journey to make, too. And his timing may be different from yours. God can reach him all the more as you get out of God’s way and as you cooperate with the Lord in becoming the woman and wife He calls you to be. That will make it easier for your husband to hear God’s voice to him. Don’t worry. He will have a lot of changing to do, too. God will handle that.

This Journey Is Completely Life-Changing

This journey is more like a baby learning to walk than it is like flipping a light switch. Or it is like learning a brand new language that is foreign to us. We don’t go from infant to being able to walk in a day or even a month. And we don’t suddenly become fluent in a foreign language in a few hours or a few weeks. Or even a year.

What God is calling us to is radical.

He wants us to give up our old fixed beliefs about God, other people, and ourselves. He wants us to unlearn all of the brainwashing and indoctrination we have received from our culture, our sinful natures, and the enemy for decades. He wants us to crucify our sinful natures with Jesus on the cross and receive His Spirit. He wants to shine His blazing Light into the darkest, most wounded areas of our hearts and minds and get rid of anything toxic and bring total healing. He wants us to rebuild our lives completely on His Word and His truth alone.

He wants total sanctification.

  • This is not a matter of a house that just needs to be painted on the inside and have new curtains hung in the windows.
  • What God wants to do is raze the old house and rebuild from scratch.

Positionally, I am sanctified in God’s eyes. I am cleansed by the blood of Jesus. I have received all of Jesus’ righteousness and holiness into my account. He completely paid my sin debt in full. When God looks at me, He sees Jesus and His holiness and goodness! How amazing is that!?!?

The process of experiential or progressive sanctification lasts our entire lives on this planet. There is always so much more to learn, so much more to comprehend. There is always more growing to do in our faith and so many more spiritual treasures to discover in Jesus.

  • Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thess. 5:23

What Do I Do If My Husband Stays Skeptical for a Long Time?

My precious sister, you just keep doing what God calls you to do. Until He calls you home to heaven.

Reverence Christ above all. Think rightly about and respect your husband. Think rightly about and respect yourself. This is ultimately all about you and Jesus. Continue to let Him change you. Continue to allow Him to heal and teach you. Continue to humble yourself before the Lord and invite Him to have full control and yield to His Lordship completely.

Continue to demonstrate to your husband that when you stumble, you get right back up.

Show him that this is real. You’re not perfect, but you are determined! Don’t talk much about what you are learning and doing if he is skeptical. Your words won’t impress him. The genuine heart and life change he sees in you will eventually speak much more loudly than your words ever could.

Be patient with your husband’s skepticism. Realize that he does have a point – that people don’t generally change 180 degrees in an instant. And use this time where your husband may not be super supportive to let God refine your motives. If your motives are that you want your husband to change, you won’t be able to hold on for months with a skeptical husband. When you find you are disappointed in your husband’s lack of support, let that be a reminder that you want your motives to be simply to please and honor the Lord. Change for Jesus.

If your husband hasn’t experienced the transforming power of God, himself, or he hasn’t seen it before, he may not realize that it is even possible for people to dramatically change by the power of Jesus. So you have an incredible opportunity to be that example.

Note to any husbands who may be reading – The more supportive and encouraging you can be toward your wife who wants to become a more godly wife, the easier it will be for her to make these changes!

I can remember feeling discouraged many times in the first 3 years, especially, of my journey. I had no clue what I was doing. No mentor. No one to help me navigate this seeming minefield but God, my journals, and over 30 books. I would get frustrated that Greg didn’t seem to be changing or didn’t seem to be as supportive as I wanted him to be.

In those moments, God would gently speak to my heart, “April, why are you doing this? Are you changing so that you can control Greg and make him do what you want him to do for you? Are you doing this so that you feel more loved by Greg? Or are you changing for Me?”

Then I would redirect my motives and focus to the Lord and keep on trusting Him and inviting Him to change me.

Be patient with yourself. You are human. This is a difficult journey that very few women make, especially today in our culture. None of us will be completely perfect until heaven. We need to give ourselves much grace – and our husbands, too. But we can allow God to help us grow. We can allow Him access to our souls and minds. We can determine to yield to His leading and trust Him to give us the light we need for each little baby step. We can trust Him with the outcomes. We can allow Him to give us the power we need to walk in holiness and obedience. We can rest in Him and allow Him to restore our souls and to be our Good Shepherd.

Note to Wives with Severe Marriage Issues:

If there are any uncontrolled mental health issues, active addictions, lots of secrecy about money/time/other contacts, adultery, abuse, or other serious problems going on in your marriage, please reach out to a trusted, experienced, godly counselor for help one-on-one – preferably in person. You are probably going to need additional support, prayer, and wisdom. If you are not safe, please try to get yourself and your children somewhere safe. Involve the authorities if you need to.

PRAY WITH ME

Lord,

Walking the narrow path of Yours is tricky. And lonely. And sometimes we feel like no one else is with us but You. Encourage those of us who are discouraged today. Help us keep our focus on You and all that You want to do in and through us. Help us decide to follow and obey You no matter what. Help us yield to Your Lordship and to the power of Your Spirit to give us the supernatural ability to do all that You ask us to do. We can’t do this on our own. Help us to set our faces like flint to follow You and to seek to please You far above anything else. Help us to see that You are truly the Greatest Treasure there is. Refine and purify our motives and make us more and more like Jesus for Your glory. Let us set godly examples for our husbands, children, and everyone else around us by Your power working in and through us.

Amen!

SHARE

If you have been on this journey for awhile and you’d like to share how your husband responded when you first began to ask God to change you, we’d love to hear about your experience!

If you are just starting out and you need some encouragement or prayer, please let us know.

If you are a husband and you have masculine insights to share to help us better understand our men, we’d love to hear that, as well.

Much love in Christ!

RELATED

Influencing an Unbelieving (or Believing) Husband for Christ

How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ

What Is the Gospel? by www.gotquestions.org

What Is Lordship Salvation? by www.gotquestions.org

I Don’t Think My Husband Loves Me – How Can I  Become a Godly Wife?

Sometimes This Journey Is Lonely- but This Wife Is Being Faithful to God

Don’t Expect Outside Support – from friends, extended family, coworkers, etc… on this journey

Things Got Worse at First When I Began to Change – by The Restored Wife

Dying to Self

25 Ways to Respect Myself

 

 

 

 

12 thoughts to “Why Is My Husband So Skeptical of the Changes I Am Making?”

  1. I loved this post! I’m into my journey of being a better wife for about 2 years and it seems so painfully slow. I get frustrated with myself when I fail but I have to remember that Jesus will complete this good work in me!

    1. Nicole Neal,

      It can be a painfully slow journey. I know it was for me, especially those first few years. Yes! Praise God that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it! <3

  2. My marriage is in real trouble. My husband is not attracted to me (he was very mean when telling me this) and feels disrespected. I’m having trouble moving to a better place because my husband is being so negative and fatalistic. I go to the gym, he tells me I don’t need to go all the way to the gym and can just do calisthenics at home. I don’t go to the gym and he says I’m not trying to get in shape and I don’t love him (if I know it’s important to him, I’d do it). I try a different diet, he tells me I don’t need to diet just eat better, but then wants to go out to eat. I want to be more respectful, but he keeps dwelling on what he’s unhappy about and pouts. We don’t talk and walk around the house silently a lot. He sighs audibly and grumbles and I ask what’s wrong or if he wants to talk and he says no. Or he does talk and rehashes his unhappiness in our marriage. But nothing I say helps and if I say nothing, it’s bad also.

    How do I show respect if he’s not receptive to the change? And how do I change when I am so hurt and depressed?

    1. Jenn S,

      It is VERY frustrating when we feel that no matter what we do, it will be criticized. This is one reason why it is so important that we not change “for our husbands” primarily, but rather for Christ.

      Would it be okay if we talk about your walk with the Lord first? That is where the real healing will happen for you and where you will get the power you need for this journey. Then we can talk about your husband.

      It can be hard to discern, sometimes, which issues we own and which issues our husbands own. We can only change what we control. We can’t change them. We can influence them in powerful and godly ways as we are filled up with Jesus. But not all the problems are ours in a marriage.

      I am praying for God’s clear wisdom and discernment for you, dear sister!

      Much love!

  3. I’ve been on this journey for over a year now with a lot of stops and starts. My husband is very skeptical of my motives – especially as he’s seen the changes in me – so this post is very timely and just what God wanted me to hear. Too often, my focus is on my husband and it shouldn’t be. Thank you for reminding me that my focus should be on who Jesus wants ME to be, not on who or what I want my husband to be. It’s also so very helpful to know that I’m not alone in this.

    1. Tammy Queen,

      Yes, having the support and encouragement of other wives on this journey can be a HUGE help. Especially in times of discouragement. I don’t want any of us to feel isolated and alone. We are not alone! Jesus is with us! And we have each other to lean on and to support and encourage one another.

      I’m so glad this was a blessing. I praise and thank God for all He has been doing in your life and all that He will continue to do! <3

  4. I know this is off topic, or you may have discussed this in earlier blogs. My husband at times is condescending to me . I do not answer or comment to his remarks. Also he makes promises he does not full fill but for others he does. This I did tell him that I do not believe what he says to me. At times I am very lonely in my relationship with him. If I comment on his hurtful remarks it all goes back to me that it is my fault. I am not aiming to change him my goal is how do I repond to this etc. Or do I just stay quiet.

    1. Gail,

      It is so painful to be in a situation like this. Ultimately, what each wife needs is the wisdom and prompting of the Holy Spirit to know exactly how to respond in each particular marriage. But I do have some posts that may be helpful. There are times a wife may need to speak up, and other times God may lead her to quietly pray.

      How is your relationship with the Lord going? That is going to be really key.

      Prayer for Wives with Critical, Harsh Husbands by Radiant
      Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships
      To Speak or Not to Speak
      When a Husband Is Negative, Critical, or Hurtful.
      My Husband Blamed Me for All the Problems in Our Marriage by The Satisfied Wife
      God Showed Me How to Approach My “Command Man” Husband – Guest post
      Got an Angry Man? by Nina Roesner
      A Prayer to Change the Spiritual Atmosphere in Your Home by Radiant

      One of my favorite resources for wives in situations like this is Nina Roesner’s eCourse “Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity.” I highly recommend it!

      Much love!

  5. Another amazing–one I can definitely relate to—teaching. I hope it’s ok if I share this brief personal testimony. As I have mentioned a few times before, I have been learning this lifestyle of submission, honor and respect for about the last 15 (out of 27) years of my (second) marriage. (I never learned it in the first one!) It’s been a journey and one that I could never have done in my own strength,and like anything else, has taken time. How often I remember hearing in those early years of me telling my husband, ‘I’m not going to be that way anymore, etc., to only hear him say, “Yeah, right. I’ve heard THAT before.” And one day what seemed like a turning point for me, after spending hours upon hours and failure after failure of ‘passing this test’ of honor and respect, I was waiting for my husband to come home from work so I could really GET IT RIGHT FINALLY! Well, at the dinner table that night the discussion went something like this with me saying, “How was your day today, Honey?” “It was good. How was yours?” “It was good, too.” SILENCE. “Would you like to hear what I learned from being in the Word today?” “Sure.” So, I began to tell him (this never turned out good in the past!). To which he said, ‘Hmmm. I don’t know if I agree with that understanding.” Here it goes! “What? I’ve been in the word all day, and I KNOW that’s what God showed me.” (Just failed that one, AGAIN!) The argument was on and ended literally with me throwing dishes and saying, “That’s it! You’re right! I’ll never get this right!” as I stormed into the bedroom, flung myself on the bed, throwing the sheet up over my head. I lay there for a second, feeling the sheet settle on my face. Very gently I heard what I believe the voice of the Lord say to me, “Whatcha gonna do now?” I lay there for a minute more and said, “Well, I’ll say this for sure…I’m not quitting. I WILL PASS this test some day. I won’t go backwards!” I got myself out of bed, marched into the living room, got on my knees AGAIN, repented to my husband for losing it, and dishonoring him again. I then told him that I was going to get this right some day, with or without his help. His reply, “Yeah, right…” Well, I was committed and I knew there was a greater power in me to do, and it wasn’t about my husband, but it was more about my relationship with Lord. So much has happened in our lives since that one day of me knowing without a doubt that I WOULD get it right. God has truly transformed my heart, and in the process has transformed my husband’s heart, and our marriage and our life. So, I say all of this to encourage and challenge all of you to never quit. Do it for God and in turn you will become the Bride that He is desiring for His own Son, and as a result, His reflection in you and in your home will do more than you could ever imagine.

    1. mission61,

      Thank you so much for sharing! This is such a relatable story. Wow. I LOVE your determination to learn. Even though it was so hard. That reminds me of myself. I was determined that I was going to learn this whole godly wife, respect, and submission thing – no matter what it took!

      What a wonderful God we have that He is willing and able to heal and transform us.

      I praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness in your life – and for all of us.

      Much love!

  6. This time last year, my marriage was headed for seperation, which inevitably would have lead to divorce. I was so SURE it was all HIS fault. I start counseling with an older woman at my church who God used in an AMAZING way to lead me through scripture and reveal the idols I had used to replace Jesus…my husband being one of them. When I realized that I had been expecting him to be perfect and love me unconditionally despite my faults, it broke me. The conviction took months before I was able to make change, but now, 10 months later, my marriage is completely different! I celebrated my 9th anniverary 2 nights ago and it was sweeter than even my wedding day because I knew what we had been through and how much God had changed both of us. Your post really nails it!

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