Recently, we talked about 6 Scenarios Where We May Need to Break Contact with Others. Then we talked about “What If You Want Your Husband to Cut Ties with Someone?” I shared ways that wives can influence their husbands respectfully if we feel our husbands are involved with someone who may be toxic.
Generally, wives can simply, politely, vulnerably share their concerns with their husbands:
- I’m concerned about this.
- I don’t feel comfortable with that.
- I have a bad feeling about this woman.
- I’d appreciate it if you try to avoid contact with this person out of respect for our marriage and me.
- I’d rather our children not be around him because I don’t trust him.
Where things get really dicey is when a husband doesn’t seem to care about his wife’s feelings.
There are several possible scenarios:
1. He may actually care but you may not see it.
- He may show love in ways you don’t notice or receive. You may misinterpret the way he shows his love. Perhaps he “speaks a different love language.” Or you each may have different expectations.
- Your feelings may wrongly tell you that he doesn’t care when he truly does. Your perception may be inaccurate – possibly due to exhaustion, illness, or hormones.
- Your thinking may be skewed. You may be wrongly assuming the worst or not taking your thoughts captive for Christ.
- You may have old emotional/spiritual wounds that skew your thinking with lies from the enemy.
- You may be idolizing your husband and acting codependent with him. You may subconsciously expect him to let you control him and feel he is being unloving if he doesn’t submit to your every desire. You may feel super insecure and look to your husband to find your spiritual identity, security, worth, and contentment rather than looking to Jesus to meet the deepest needs of your soul. You may expect your husband to make you happy instead of taking responsibility for yourself. So you may genuinely believe that he doesn’t care. But he may, in fact, care very much.
2. He may actually care but he may not be showing it.
- He may not feel safe emotionally with you.
- He may be hurting too much in the marriage to be able to focus on your pain, feelings, or concerns.
- He may be feeling really disrespected which makes him feel unloved and demoralized. He may be reacting to his perception of your attitude toward him. He may not realize that you don’t understand that his masculine need for respect is just as strong as your feminine need for love. He may find it impossible to believe that you don’t know what feels disrespectful to him.
- He may be sick, tired, stressed, irritable, or grumpy so he may act like he doesn’t care. But this is not truly how he means and wants to act. His flesh may be weak and he may be struggling to act like the man he wants to be.
- He may feel that “he can’t win” no matter what he does. If he tries really hard to please you, and you are still usually upset or critical, he may decide it’s just impossible to try to make you happy.
3. He may not be capable of caring right now.
- He may be so spiritually wounded (or spiritually dead – meaning he doesn’t have a saving relationship with Christ) that he is not capable of loving and caring as he should, even if he wants to.
- He may have a mental/spiritual illness like depression, anxiety, or there may be spiritual warfare going on.
- He may be addicted to something and it may be the addiction running his life, not the real man you know.
- He may be crushed under the weight of shame due to wrong thinking, fear of failure, or a sin that he is struggling to overcome.
- He may be crushed under the toxic messages of our culture. He may feel that he is evil just for being a man. That he doesn’t matter. That he has no voice. He may not understand God’s beautiful and good purposes for him and for masculinity.
4. He may have chosen not to care.
- There may be significant sin in his life, and/or severe emotional/spiritual pain that may entice him to purposely choose not to care about your feelings. He may be acting in the worst part of his sinful nature. He may believe the voice of the enemy.
- He may have tried and tried to show love and has burned out. Perhaps he has come to a breaking point where he feels things are hopeless. A switch flipped and now, he doesn’t want to be who he was anymore. He has decided he is “done.”
The best approach for you to take depends on the root cause of the problem.
If your husband really does care but you don’t see it, he may be very frustrated that he can’t open your eyes to see his love for you. He may have tried everything he knows to do to reach you, but he can’t give you the spiritual awakening you need.
The amazing thing is – God CAN do this for you! If you are willing, God can and will absolutely heal your mind and soul.
If your husband doesn’t feel safe with you, thinks things are hopeless or he is not doing very well, himself, your feelings may not be at the top of his priority list.
His own pain may be the only thing he can see right now.
In fact, your words may actually repel your husband from you and from the Lord, especially if he feels you are trying to control him, mother him, nag at him, preach at him, or look down on him.
In the next post
I plan to share how you can approach your husband depending on which category y’all are in from this post.
What general principles have you learned about this topic that may be a blessing to other wives here?
Let’s not get into the details of a husband’s sin in a public forum like this out of respect for the Lord, our husbands, and our marriages, please. But let’s definitely encourage each other with stories of God’s provision, wisdom, and the power of prayer. <3
Do you need prayer, encouragement, or more resources? Please let us know!
If you need private counseling:
- Focus on the Family has a free one-time counseling service and a counseling referral service.
- www.biblicalcounseling.com has counselors available.
For Women Only – by Shaunti Feldhahn – to help you better understand how men think.
The Peaceful Wife – by April Cassidy