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 overwhelmed with a lot of stress in his life and just not have anything leftover to give.
- 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.
How to Have a Saving Relationship with Christ Jesus
Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved
What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?
Influencing an Unbelieving Husband (or One Who Is Far from God) for Christ
When Your Husband Says, “I’m Done.”
Handling an Unwanted Divorce with Christlikeness
The Peaceful Wife – by April Cassidy
For Women Only – by Shaunti Feldhahn – to help you better understand how men think.
HELP WITH A PORN ADDICTION
Covenant Eyes (affiliate link)—resources and tools to help men, women, and children overcome or prevent porn use
thanks again for these last few posts!
A lot of what you are saying, is exactly where we are in our marriage.
If you write on how to approach our husbands, I’d be especially interested in hearing how to approach a stressed, irritable, spiritually wounded (not spiritually dead), wrong thinking, fear of failure, people pleasing husband.
God bless you,
This is a very difficult spot to be in. It’s painful for both of you! I will be sharing a number of resources for each category, so I feel sure that some of what I share will be a blessing.
Praying for God’s healing and glory for you both!
Thank you, looking forward to reading it!
Also, I put some links under each of the 4 categories that are great resources for these issues, as well in this post. <3
I am in a very similar place in my marriage. I’m looking to God to guide and direct me in this, and looking forward to the insights April shares!
Laura and other ladies,
The new post is up! I pray it may be a blessing. <3
Definitely a blessing! Exactly what I’ve been needing right now. Thank you for following God’s call to share your insights!
I’m so glad!
It’s an honor to get to share with you. ❤️
L. You just described my husband exactly! Praying for you -pray for me as well…and thanking God for Peaceful Wife!!!
This section really struck me:
“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”.
As a result of feminism, men and boys have been demonized just for being men and boys i.e. just for being different from women and girls.
I believe that women are ALSO crushed by these toxic messages. Most women, even devout Christian women, have been brainwashed into believing that men are inherently sinful, violent and bad and women are mentally, morally and spiritually superior to men in every way. Man-bashing and husband-bashing are common-place. That’s why the concept of respecting and submitting to our husbands is rare and unthinkable to most women.
Would you consider doing a post to reinforce the value of men in our communities and our lives?
– Men are meant to represent “God the Father” to their families.
– Men’s bodies initiate life. No child can be conceived without a man.
– Their physical stature and strength is a sign of their role to provide and protect women and children.
– They are more likely to put their lives in danger to defend their communities and countries (most police offices and soldiers are men)
– They are more likely to accept high-risk, physically-demanding jobs.
– Their emotional and psychological support is invaluable to their mothers, wives and children.
In short, men are valuable, important and amazing. Our culture has been steeped in “toxic feminism” for so long that most men are ashamed to be men and don’t see their roles in their families as important. That’s why so many men abandon their families or just become unplugged and distant from their wives and children. I know many marriages that have failed because the wife didn’t see the husband’s role as important and disrespected him. Women too need to be reminded of the value and importance of men in God’s eyes.
Yes, we have all been robbed because of these toxic messages. 🙁
I actually have written some things on this topic in the past, but it has been quite awhile.
I’d definitely pray about doing another post on this topic.
My post about masculinity from the past.
Hi April, thanks for a great thought provoking post. The phrase “His own pain may be the only thing he can see right now.” really jumped out at me.
Something that I have been thinking about this week:
I heard a talk on faithfulness and the preacher talked about Ruth being faithful to Naomi. What struck me was that Ruth was faithful even though Naomi was, in her own words, embittered by grief and telling Ruth to go home. In other words sometimes we have to be really faithful to the relationship even when our spouse is pushing us away.
My other thought is that men can often express pain as anger. So the challenge is to respond to the pain not the anger (and that it is indeed a challenge!).
And finally, prayer changes things.
I love the story of Ruth and Naomi. I consider Ruth to be a spiritual giant. She was so loyal to Naomi. She’s the perfect example of demonstrating loyalty even when someone pushes us away.
I agree that prayer changes things. However, we should focus our prayer on asking God to show us our sin and better ways to respond to our husbands.
Too many times I’ve seen women pray for their husbands and their marriages while behaving the same way as before. For example, saying loads of prayers but also continuing to disrespect their husbands, being unloving towards him or speaking negatively about him behind his back. That would never work.
Great point! Yes, we must be willing to pray for ourselves and invite God to change us and help us deal with sin in our own lives. Then, as we are walking in the power of the Spirit, we can pray infinitely more effectively for our husbands and others.
Thanks Nneka Simone and April, you expressed the points about prayer better than I did!
What a wonderful example in Ruth and Naomi. Yes! Sometimes, people are so discouraged, they do push others away. But that doesn’t always mean we need to leave. We need God’s wisdom and discernment about how best to minister when someone is depressed, hurting, and feeling hopeless and angry.
And yes, many men do express anger when what they really are feeling is hurt. Anger is a secondary emotion. If we can invite God to show us the pain and hurt behind the anger and respond to that, we can often respond in much more productive ways.
YES! Prayer is an invaluable resource. The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) is powerful and effective.
Thank you for sharing these beautiful insights! <3
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, they were really helpful!!
Wow, yes! Thank you for this last comment Cariad – “my other thought is that men can often express pain as anger. So the challenge is to respond to the pain not the anger”… I needed that exactly and will pray about this, too. Thank you!
Thank you, April. This hit home for me (tear) because I’ve wondered all these things and there is a sense of overwhelming pain I feel after what I did and knowing that most of what you have listed is exactly why he hasn’t said I love you yet. I have to be patient and just keep plugging into His word and Trust that He will direct our paths, restore our marriage, and make us whole again.
It helps to see these words for a few reasons but most importantly to see from husbands perspective so I have a better approach to sympathize, love, and humble myself before him. The verse that stands out for me in this moment is – Proverbs 4:25-27: Let your eyes look straight ahead, and your eyelids look right before you. Ponder the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established. Do not turn to the right or the left, remove your foot from evil.
This rings clear for me as a reminder to just keep trusting God that He will heal my husband and a good reminder that I need to stay submissive, humble and respect him. Thank you for all that you are doing, saying, and the courage that you have especially in times like these. I hope to be the testimony some day like you, but the Lord still is changing me daily. Your blog/YT has been a light in the right direction and I thank God for you! Such an amazing role model. Thank you.
It’s so great to hear from you! I am really excited about what the Lord is showing you and what He is doing in your heart and life!! WOOHOO!
I can tell that God is up to something so beautiful with you.
It is scary to see our own sin. And rather mortifying. And humbling. And it is extremely painful – but it is a necessary first step to see the gangrene that is contaminating us and to allow God to scrub it out and remove it so that He can heal and restore us to health.
I’m praying for you both. And I am here if you need to talk some more.
(tears), thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
April, I’m scared to see the evil person I was towards my husband but in order to see what pain he went and is going through, I must pray that God reveal it to me in order to restore the marriage. Can you pray that i have courage and strength to endure the taking on his pain he is feeling? I don’t want to feel what I did but I must.
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