“I Need to Change! I Can’t Go on Like This!”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This wife read a post for the first time on my blog – and has graciously allowed me to share her comment. I think a lot of us may be able to relate to this sister in Christ:

This post – “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – I’m Actually Going to Believe My Husband” – was very helpful for me as I was searching the web trying to fix my controlling behavior, and understand the negative behavior I practice daily with my husband and as a result, I believe with God, too.

I am not sure why, but I am very controlling, very questioning, slow to trust, doubtful that what my husband is telling me is true, and very snoopy.

I have recently reached out for help because I believe this behavior needs to stop ASAP but i am not sure where it comes from. My husband is generally a very trustworthy man.

I constantly:
– ask him who’s calling/why he doesn’t answer/why they are calling.
– ask him where he was if he was late.
– ask him why he does everything he does.
– check his Facebook and search history.
– act like a private investigator to his life, checking every search, every phone call, checking bank account every hour to see where he spends and then call and ask why he spent that.
– try to keep him from doing anything harmful, no matter what the cost – fighting, yelling, and screaming.
– FEAR him dying from lung cancer, or having wrinkles or bad teeth from smoking.
– give him a disgusting dirty look if he says a bad word.
– pout when he doesn’t spend time with me.
– drive by his friend’s house to see if he is where he said he would be.
– FEAR he finds another woman more attractive than me.
– ask him why he looked at every person he looked at.
– accuse him of staring at a girl too long.
– get very upset and not speak to him the whole night if I believe he looked at another woman.
– question him about everything!!

You get the point. It is a painful way to live. I do not want to live this way. I say I trust the Lord, but do I? Do I even trust him with my own husband who is a believer and loves the Lord?  My husband is His – so why do I try so hard to make him who I want him to be?

When I was with my last boyfriend, I did the same type of stuff compulsively. And I believe I have carried it into my marriage.

I am worried and want this to stop. I started thinking that since my husband is not jealous, and since he doesn’t try to look at all my stuff and since he clearly doesn’t obsess about what I am doing, or question me about anything – he must not love me as much or the same way I do him, for some reason I am associating jealous and unhealthy behavior to mean love. But then I meditated on these verses…

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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Every single thing in this passage describes my husband. It describes my God. It does not describe me.

I even started to wonder suspiciously why my husband forgives me so easily and so quickly?  Has he done something that if I find out about in the future he will need to make sure he stores up enough forgiveness toward me to make sure I forgive him? He must be doing something terrible or already done something (this is how awful my brain works…) I still can’t say that I fully believe that is a crazy statement and that its not true.

I believe I need to repent, and rely on God and pray He change me, but I feel I have done that before and nothing changes. Is there anything else I can do besides read blogs, books, and pray? I try to change so badly but what am I doing wrong 🙁 ?

I just hope someone can help me. I truly want to change. I really am hurting.

God bless you all.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believe this wife is in the right place. I think of my online sites as a spiritual “ER” where the hurting, sick, and wounded can come to find healing in the arms of Christ and in the truth of His Word. There are TONS of posts here that I believe God can and will use to bless women – drawing them to Himself. If you are just beginning your journey, the posts at the top of my home page may be a good place to start. You may also search my home page for topics or search by category on the right hand column of my home page. 

I also have a Youtube channel, “April Cassidy,” with dozens of videos about topics related to living for Christ, becoming a godly woman, and becoming a godly wife/girlfriend.

If you need more detailed help or a more organized approach to this journey, my first book is releasing officially on January 27th! Amazon.com is already shipping it: The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord.  

I believe that this book is the closest thing to me personally mentoring wives. It might even be better, in some ways! The thing I love about books is that you can read and reread over and over again, take notes, stop and cry, stop and pray, and highlight things.  I personally had to re-read some books over and over – every day for months – earlier in my journey to really learn to let go of my old toxic ways of thinking and to embrace and solidify God’s truth in my heart.

take my readers through the beginning steps of this road and build the framework for God’s design for godly femininity, living for Christ, and becoming a godly wife. My prayer is that God might use me somehow to “put the dots closer” for those who come behind me than they were for me when I began this journey 7 years ago.

If you are getting frustrated, have questions, or need to talk about something – please comment! I’d love to do all I can to point you to Christ and to the healing available in Him for each of us. I try to be as available as I can here on the blog. My goal is to respond to every comment.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do is to spend time in God’s Word, at His feet, inviting His Spirit into our hearts and lives to change us. 

If you want to share what God is doing in your life, please comment, as well. 🙂

SHARE:

How did you feel when God first flipped the light switch for you in your heart like this? What helped you the most when God opened your eyes to how much He desired you to change? You are most welcome to share your story. Every woman’s (and man’s) story displays a unique facet of God’s love, power, mercy, and grace. He may use your story to greatly bless someone else and to build up and bless the Body of Christ.

Much love!

"I Need to Change! I Can't Go on Like This!"

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This wife read a post for the first time on my blog – and has graciously allowed me to share her comment. I think a lot of us may be able to relate to this sister in Christ:

This post – “A Fellow Wife Begins a New Challenge – I’m Actually Going to Believe My Husband” – was very helpful for me as I was searching the web trying to fix my controlling behavior, and understand the negative behavior I practice daily with my husband and as a result, I believe with God, too.

I am not sure why, but I am very controlling, very questioning, slow to trust, doubtful that what my husband is telling me is true, and very snoopy.

I have recently reached out for help because I believe this behavior needs to stop ASAP but i am not sure where it comes from. My husband is generally a very trustworthy man.

I constantly:
– ask him who’s calling/why he doesn’t answer/why they are calling.
– ask him where he was if he was late.
– ask him why he does everything he does.
– check his Facebook and search history.
– act like a private investigator to his life, checking every search, every phone call, checking bank account every hour to see where he spends and then call and ask why he spent that.
– try to keep him from doing anything harmful, no matter what the cost – fighting, yelling, and screaming.
– FEAR him dying from lung cancer, or having wrinkles or bad teeth from smoking.
– give him a disgusting dirty look if he says a bad word.
– pout when he doesn’t spend time with me.
– drive by his friend’s house to see if he is where he said he would be.
– FEAR he finds another woman more attractive than me.
– ask him why he looked at every person he looked at.
– accuse him of staring at a girl too long.
– get very upset and not speak to him the whole night if I believe he looked at another woman.
– question him about everything!!

You get the point. It is a painful way to live. I do not want to live this way. I say I trust the Lord, but do I? Do I even trust him with my own husband who is a believer and loves the Lord?  My husband is His – so why do I try so hard to make him who I want him to be?

When I was with my last boyfriend, I did the same type of stuff compulsively. And I believe I have carried it into my marriage.

I am worried and want this to stop. I started thinking that since my husband is not jealous, and since he doesn’t try to look at all my stuff and since he clearly doesn’t obsess about what I am doing, or question me about anything – he must not love me as much or the same way I do him, for some reason I am associating jealous and unhealthy behavior to mean love. But then I meditated on these verses…

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. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Every single thing in this passage describes my husband. It describes my God. It does not describe me.

I even started to wonder suspiciously why my husband forgives me so easily and so quickly?  Has he done something that if I find out about in the future he will need to make sure he stores up enough forgiveness toward me to make sure I forgive him? He must be doing something terrible or already done something (this is how awful my brain works…) I still can’t say that I fully believe that is a crazy statement and that its not true.

I believe I need to repent, and rely on God and pray He change me, but I feel I have done that before and nothing changes. Is there anything else I can do besides read blogs, books, and pray? I try to change so badly but what am I doing wrong 🙁 ?

I just hope someone can help me. I truly want to change. I really am hurting.

God bless you all.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I believe this wife is in the right place. I think of my online sites as a spiritual “ER” where the hurting, sick, and wounded can come to find healing in the arms of Christ and in the truth of His Word. There are TONS of posts here that I believe God can and will use to bless women – drawing them to Himself. If you are just beginning your journey, the posts at the top of my home page may be a good place to start. You may also search my home page for topics or search by category on the right hand column of my home page. 

I also have a Youtube channel, “April Cassidy,” with dozens of videos about topics related to living for Christ, becoming a godly woman, and becoming a godly wife/girlfriend.

If you need more detailed help or a more organized approach to this journey, my first book is releasing officially on January 27th! Amazon.com is already shipping it: The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord.  

I believe that this book is the closest thing to me personally mentoring wives. It might even be better, in some ways! The thing I love about books is that you can read and reread over and over again, take notes, stop and cry, stop and pray, and highlight things.  I personally had to re-read some books over and over – every day for months – earlier in my journey to really learn to let go of my old toxic ways of thinking and to embrace and solidify God’s truth in my heart.

take my readers through the beginning steps of this road and build the framework for God’s design for godly femininity, living for Christ, and becoming a godly wife. My prayer is that God might use me somehow to “put the dots closer” for those who come behind me than they were for me when I began this journey 7 years ago.

If you are getting frustrated, have questions, or need to talk about something – please comment! I’d love to do all I can to point you to Christ and to the healing available in Him for each of us. I try to be as available as I can here on the blog. My goal is to respond to every comment.

THE MOST IMPORTANT thing we can do is to spend time in God’s Word, at His feet, inviting His Spirit into our hearts and lives to change us. 

If you want to share what God is doing in your life, please comment, as well. 🙂

SHARE:

How did you feel when God first flipped the light switch for you in your heart like this? What helped you the most when God opened your eyes to how much He desired you to change? You are most welcome to share your story. Every woman’s (and man’s) story displays a unique facet of God’s love, power, mercy, and grace. He may use your story to greatly bless someone else and to build up and bless the Body of Christ.

Much love!

BlessedOut Shares a Bit of Her Journey

IMG_4307

A precious sister in the Lord, BlessedOut, has allowed me to share her response to a woman who commented on one of my posts:

One of the things you said made me curious: “…then we can go about having (men) understand that it’s much more about their perceptions than actually being disrespected…”

I have been raised in a very feminist environment, and when I read your statement, I interpreted it as, “Their feelings don’t matter, and now I can show them that.” I have felt the very same way in the past. However, can you see how unfair that is? How would you feel if you were in a relationship with a man and he didn’t care when you got hurt by his unloving behavior? If he thought you were overreacting, merely because you’re different than he is?

If I loved someone (truly love someone), I would think I’d be considerate of their feelings, even if I can’t understand why they feel that way. I read a quote earlier that said,

“The way we love people we disagree with is the best evidence of what we really believe.”

I used to expect my husband to behave exactly as I do… to be just like me in how he processes information, speaks to me, and shows me his love. But I didn’t marry myself, nor would I ever want to! My husband has insights that I would never think of, just as I have insights he wouldn’t think of. We complement each other, and we can’t do that by being carbon copies of one another.

My husband has never laid a hand on me for any reason either than to comfort/caress me. He is an amazing man and I’m very grateful to have him in my life. Is he a typical husband? In a lot of ways, probably not. However, I’m also striving not to be a typical wife. You mentioned abuse toward women, and that’s true. Some women do suffer abuse, and of course, that’s never OK. However, men are suffering on a continual basis as well, but don’t even feel like they’re able to express it. We poison our husbands with our words and sour looks. We cut their hearts out with our complete disdain for them and the way God created them. We wield our weapons far more than they wield theirs, because it’s socially acceptable to do so.

Even children’s shows make light of a husband’s role as head of the household. I couldn’t watch “Fairly Odd Parents” the other day, because Wanda was constantly calling her husband an idiot.

Of course, I can’t speak for everyone. I know there are women who are being abused and I know that’s not their fault. God needs to work on the man in that situation while healing the woman of the hurt she’s experienced. She needs godly, experienced help, and if kids are involved, it is certainly her responsibility as their caregiver to move them out of the dangerous situation. My heart breaks for women in those situations and I pray that they will get the help they need.

I’m not speaking from that point of view, though: I’m speaking as a woman who has a wonderful husband and didn’t fully appreciate him in the beginning of our marriage. I’m speaking as a woman who was being influenced by the world, even when I thought I was honoring God. I finally learned I need to accept the whole truth of God’s Word, and that means respecting my husband no matter what. (1 Peter 3:1-2 “In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.”)

I can respectfully disagree, of course, but I needn’t make him understand by being rude or hurtful in my tone and expression. That phrase “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” has a lot of truth to it. I don’t know about you, but when a man is being unloving toward me, it’s certainly never makes me want to be respectful to him. It’s the same way with men: Our disrespect will not motivate him to love us, or “show him how much he hurt us”. It will only lead him farther away from us… and then, (perhaps when it’s too late), we’ll wonder what happened to what used to be a beautiful relationship.

I have been practicing being respectful to my husband, and let me assure you: I don’t feel oppressed in the least. I feel freer than I’ve ever felt in my life. I feel like my husband and I now have a deeper understanding because I’ve come to realize that his desires are important as well as mine. I find our relationship much more fulfilling now, and the ugly feelings I used to have of jealousy, comparison, unmet expectations, having to “know it all” and “do it all” are all but gone. There’s a reason April chose “PeacefulWife” as her blog name… there truly is a ton of peace that goes into this. My husband didn’t point this blog out to me; I looked for it of my own accord. I read “Love and Respect” of my own accord: he didn’t even know what I was doing!

Showing respect is actually pretty awesome, and I’ve found that the opposite of your scenario happened with me: He was MORE loving with me after I started showing respect, not less loving. In response to another one of the things you said, yes, the male ego is very fragile… just as fragile as our sense of how loved we are is. We desire that need to be handled with care, so it’s not unreasonable for us to also treat their needs with care. 🙂

The truth is, no one can force a woman to respect her husband, in the same way that no one can force him to love her. It has to be of our own free will.

RELATED:

Do I Condone Abuse?

Why I Don’t Write for Women with Abusive Husbands

When She Surrendered –  by my husband

Motives Matter with Respect

What Does It Mean to Be an Ungodly Woman?

Godly Femininity

Stages of This Journey

FAQs

Do I Have a Right to Punish My Husband?

Why Do I Have to Change First?

Non-Verbal Disrespect – VIDEO

 

How to Avoid Becoming a Controlling/Disrespectful Wife

20131005-174205

A newlywed posed this question to me,

“How can I avoid becoming a controlling/disrespectful wife?”

Goodness, this topic could be a book in and of itself. I have many posts about respect that will be helpful.

Spiritual Authority  – God’s design structure for spiritual authority in our lives in marriage, business, government and the church
A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage
Biblical Submission
Submitting Under Protest

What Is Respect in Marriage?

This post is primarily for women who tend to be Type A personalities, go-getters, leaders who like to be in charge and who feel very strongly that they know what is best and they are “right” all or almost all the time.  If you are a more passive wife who has trouble speaking your mind and knowing your own heart, some of these ideas may be counterproductive for you. You will have to approach things from the opposite angle and learn to speak up more and share your heart, ideas, feelings, emotions and personality more. Many of the ideas below would be for all of us. I hope this might bless you, especially the newlyweds!

In my view, some of the greatest ways to prevent becoming a controlling, disrespectful wife would be to:

1. Stay as close to Christ as possible. Abide in Him. Be Spirit filled. You can’t be a godly wife without your power source!!!!!

2. Focus on God’s sovereignty. Trust God. Trust God to lead you through your husband. Realize that even if you don’t get your way, or even if your husband makes mistakes, God is able to use your husband’s good and bad decisions to accomplish His will. This is the greatest test of faith most wives will ever experience.

3. Do not ever allow a little decision to become more important to you than your obedience to Christ or the unity of your marriage or your husband. There is no issue that is that important.

4. If your husband asks you to blatantly sin, then you will have to respectfully refuse to submit to him. But check out the post Spiritual Authority to be clear on what this means. Many wives assume things are sin that really aren’t, and resist their husbands’ leadership to the destruction of the marriage over things that are not sin.

5. Watch your motives every day all day long. Pride and self-righteousness can easily creep in.

6. Watch your self-talk. What are you saying to yourself? Are you putting your husband down or criticizing him in your heart? Repent and turn to Christ right away! Replace those accusations and assumptions with the truth of God’s word and truth about your husband.

7. Maintain your time with God, His Word, prayer, worship and praise daily. This is your only source of power!

8. Guard your heart and your marriage from other men. None of us are above adultery. Set up healthy boundaries to protect yourself and do not seek to be close friends with other men.

9. Realize that God can and will speak through your husband to you. Be accepting and prayerful about correction. (Unless he is asking you to blatantly sin or condone sin or there are extremely major issues and your husband is not in his right mind – uncontrolled mental health problems, addictions, infidelity, severe sin issues, etc.) Prayerfully consider your husband’s comments and ask God to help you see what is true and what He might want you to work on.

10. Study your husband to know what speaks respect and disrespect to him in particular and learn to speak his language.

11. Give unconditional respect and honor even when he doesn’t “deserve it.” (This doesn’t mean you trust him if he has broken trust. Trust would have to be rebuilt.)

12. You will be most tempted to sin when you are sinned against. (Gary Thomas “Sacred Marriage”). Be on your guard in those times and seek to respond in the power and grace and mercy of Christ not in your sinful nature. More sin will only cause more damage.

13. Learn to share your feelings, your heart, your desires and personality in a vulnerable, respectful way.

14. Be a safe place for your husband to share. Let him experience the grace of God and forgiveness of God in you.

15. Be loyal, don’t share things that will hurt your husband with others. Speak well of him around others. Don’t criticize him in front of other people.

16. Assume the best never the worst about him. Give him the benefit of the doubt. That is what I Corinthians 13 love does.

17. Learn how he likes to bond and do things he enjoys just to bless him. That may mean going fishing, hunting, playing golf, sitting with him while he works on the car or watches TV. Most men don’t bond with words. Sitting together or doing something together quietly is often the way they like to bond best. That is not wrong! Show him that you are willing to do the things he likes to do that are important to him.

18. Accept him, don’t try to change him.

19. Appreciate and enjoy him as he is.

20. Share all of your emotions and feelings in a way that doesn’t blame him but be honest about your feelings. Don’t hide your heart from him. I like to share positive and negative emotions by simply labeling them. “I’m feeling so happy!” “I feel sad.” “I feel afraid.” “I am thankful!” “I love being your wife.” (Some of these ideas are from The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle.)

21. Share your desires in a non-threatening way. “I want X.” “I don’t want Y, please.”

22. Offer suggestions and requests not demands or directives.

23. Take his leadership seriously and his opinions and advice very seriously, and realize God may be leading you through your husband’s advice.

24. Don’t put your parents, friends, children or anyone above your husband in priority.  God commands us as spouses to leave our father and mother and cleave to our spouse. So many marriage problems come from not leaving our parents or not cleaving (becoming one with) our husbands. The only One who can come before your husband is God.

25. DEFINITELY put God way above your husband as a priority! Don’t idolize your husband and expect him to be responsible for your happiness.

26. Be responsible for your own emotions and find all your contentment in Christ.

27. Do not give way to fear.

28. Be aware of Satan’s strategies to attempt to destroy you, your husband and your marriage.

29. Forgive quickly. Realize that you are married to a wretched sinner and you are also a wretched sinner. Be prepared to extend grace generously!  Do NOT hold on to bitterness or unforgiveness – that gives Satan a huge foothold in our lives!

30. Repent quickly! Keep short accounts with God. Repent DAILY or as soon as you realize you have sinned.

31. Be quick to respond to God’s Spirit, His conviction and His nudging.

32. Embrace humility and shun pride. Do not be wise in your own eyes. Do not lean on your own wisdom and understanding but on God and His truth.

33. Realize that your husband is different from you, but that does not automatically make him “wrong.”

34. Approach marriage with the assumption that your husband is “good willed” towards you and that you have a lot to learn about how men think and how your husband thinks.

35. Rest in your husband’s love and God’s love. He married you. He loves you. Most men view their love as pretty permanent and stable. It seems very odd to them that a wife would keep asking over and over again for assurance of their love. It is unnecessary to be needy and desperate. We are daughters of the King of kings. In Christ, we are accepted, dearly loved, forgiven, seated with Christ in the heavenlies, more than conquerors, cleansed, empowered, Spirit-filled, full of joy, full of peace, full of purpose, etc…

36. If your husband is like my husband, his “neutral state” in the relationship is to feel “connected” to me. I used to think we were always “disconnected” unless we were actively “connecting” (emotionally and spiritually and physically.) What a revelation to learn that my husband always feels connected to me, unless I begin to attack him. This helps me rest in his love. Maybe your husband is a lot like mine?

37. Realize that your sinful nature contains the power to destroy  your husband and marriage. If you try to do marriage in your own power, you will speak death to the relationship.

38. It is only as we die to self and live as living sacrifices for Christ daily that we live in the power of God. When we live in His power, then we have the power to heal, build up, encourage, inspire, affirm, honor and breathe LIFE to our husbands and our marriages. Yes, if we die to self, we lose our sinful power to destroy, but that is a GOOD thing!  And, praise God, the power He gives us to give life is so much stronger than our sinful power to destroy.

39. Commit to obeying God’s Word even when it is hard, even when you don’t understand, even when you disagree. There is great blessing in living in obedience to God! Make your decisions based on God’s Word, not on feelings! God answers the prayers of those who walk in His Spirit and live in obedience, not the prayers of those who are disobedient and rebellious against Him.

40. Don’t argue or complain – but focus on developing a joyful, thankful, peaceful spirit that is fully dependent upon Christ.

41. Smile at your husband just to bless him!

42. Do things for your husband just to bless and honor him, expecting NOTHING in return.

43. Lay down expectations.

44. Recognize and put to death any idols/sin in your heart – desires you have that you tend to put above Christ – the desire to have control, to have romance, to feel loved, to change your man, to have children, to have your way, beauty, food, perfectionism, people pleasing, the approval of others, pride, self-righteousness, greed, unforgiveness, bitterness, unbelief, fear, etc…

45. Stop and listen to him when he talks.

46. Learn not to trust your feelings when you are hormonal, stressed, exhausted or sick. Depend on God and your husband’s wisdom during those times much more than your feelings.  Your feelings can and will lie to you and can quickly become the playground of the enemy to attempt to sabotage your marriage.

47. Be willing to let go of toxic friendships that undermine your husband or your marriage. Seek to surround yourself with godly friends who will support and bless your marriage and your obedience to God.

48. Treat him like a grown man, not a child!

49. Enjoy him sexually! Make yourself available to him sexually whenever possible. (A Precious Example)

50. Be flexible. Be able to roll with whatever God brings your way.

51. Don’t look down on him and think you are better than him. We are all on equal footing before the cross of Christ. None of us are good on our own! We are all desperate for Christ Jesus.

52. Remember that husbands have their own learning curve and journey to take, too. They don’t know everything from day one either. We can learn and grow together.

53. Be ok with not always getting your way. Seek God’s will WAY above your own will.

54. Realize that your husband is not always wrong and you are not always right.

That might be a start!

Remember to breathe. This is a LONG, lifelong process of learning and growing in our faith and walk with Jesus and learning to become godly wives. We will mess up at times. We can’t absorb everything at once. We have to take a day at a time and chew one bite at a time. We won’t be perfect. But God will lead us when we are willing to follow Him with all our hearts.

Other wives, what would you say to a newlywed who asked you this question? You are welcome to share what you have learned and are learning! 🙂

A Disrespected Husband's Perspective

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the husband who took the time to answer these questions in such detail.  Wives – please hear this husband’s heart and consider – does your husband feel like this man does?  My husband wasn’t able to articulate himself and verbalize how disrespected he felt before God opened my eyes to my sin 4 years ago – he just withdrew.  Some husbands react with great anger.  Some husbands TRY to tell their wives how disrespected they feel – but the wives can’t “hear” their pain.  How that breaks my heart!  Please listen to this husband’s legitimate masculine needs and to his perspective.  Please don’t justify any disrespect towards your husband or say that your husband deserves this kind of treatment.  Disrespect never “corrects” a bad situation.  It only makes things infinitely worse. Look at the damage we can do when we don’t know how to respect our men and when we try to take over the marriage.  We deserve hell and condemnation – all of us – but God gives us grace, the gift of salvation by Jesus’ blood, mercy and He exchanges our sin for His glory.  We are called to do the same – to give respect, grace, mercy and cooperation even when it appears to be “undeserved” – because God said to do it.  That is how marriages are healed and maintained.  We die to ourselves and our wants so we can give life to our spouse and bless him. 

What does your wife’s happiness mean to you?
I suppose it depends on what she’s happy about.  I care about her being happy, but only about the things that matter.  If she is happy about honoring and loving God and others, treating me like a friend and husband with love and respect, and seeking to walk closer with the Lord Jesus, then that will make me the happiest man alive.  Okay, maybe not, but it will sure feel like it. However, if she gets her happiness from the fading things of this world, the latest fad, or following after her own heart, then her happiness doesn’t really mean anything to me.  I hope that makes sense.

How much harder is it to feel love for your wife when she is disrespectful/controlling?
It seems impossible to feel love when she is like that.  Not only that, but depending on how long or how often it happens, the feelings don’t come back very often. However, I am called to love her no matter what I feel.  It makes it a lot harder to love her without the loving feelings and even having bad feelings about her, but that is where I have to rely on His Spirit and ask for help to give me the grace to love her as God calls me to.  I need to care for her because God tells me to, not because I feel like it.  I wish I felt love for her, but I haven’t for a while now.

What things would you ask your wife to change if you knew she would listen and cooperate with your leadership?

  • I would ask her to stop telling me she loves me and start showing it.  (Remember ladies – words don’t carry a lot of weight with men!)
  • I would ask that she listen to me attentively instead of interrupting me to get to her point or asking about something that I answered five minutes ago.
  • I would ask that she know and care about things that I like and not argue about them or tell me what I should and shouldn’t like.
  • I would ask that she care about “us” in our marriage.
  • I would ask she understand that decisions I make are for “us”, not against her.
  • I would ask that she would let her “yes be yes and her no, no” instead of thinking she has this “right to change her mind” just because she’s a woman.
  • I would ask that she would care about her appearance and what I would enjoy and seek to please me in her appearance.

How difficult is it to lead when a wife is disrespectful/controlling?

Very hard because I just want to give up.  In my case, and as I hear about men in general, it would seem better to have peace then conflict, so it is easier to give up trying to lead and have her get own way then it is fight about it.  When the fighting happens, the man is usually disrespected even more and the woman tries to become even more controlling.   The initial action of controlling/disrespect feels like a knife in your heart and the fighting/arguing feels like twisting the knife while it’s already in.   Sorry about the graphic description, but that’s how it feels.

How does her disrespect affect your sexual desire for her?
It kills sexual desire for me.  I know men are supposed to have this raging drive that can never be quenched, but I don’t. Not only do I not desire her when I am disrespected, I fell like don’t even want to be around her.  Even Proverbs says a bit about it better being on a rooftop or in the desert than be with a contentious woman.  It sure feels that way sometimes.  Anyway, The past few years have been really tough in our marriage.  I can honestly say that I don’t even know if I have desired her in those few years.  Between the controlling, disrespect, and gaining significant weight and telling me it shouldn’t matter to me, I have no desire, but I am there for her since “my body is does not belong to me, but also to her” (1 Cor 7:4).

What would it mean to you if your wife trusted your decisions and supported your leadership? How would that affect you in every area of life? How would it affect your feelings of love for her?
That would be great!  It would mean that she loved me. (Ladies – please hear this!  Husbands don’t feel loved when we don’t trust them and don’t let them lead!)  It would mean that she “safely trusted” in me.  (Pro. 31:11).  It would just give me a great feeling that my wife loved and trusted me.  I don’t how else to say it.  It would definitely increase my feelings of love for her because she trusts me and is not trying to hijack everything I do.

If your wife were to biblically submit to you and respect you – how would you treat her differently?
I wish I could say that nothing would change because I am treating her the way I should now, but I can’t because I know I’m not doing that.  I really don’t know how I’d treat her differently.  I know it would probably be easier to show her love.  However, to say, “I would do this or that differently if she submitted to and respected me” is the wrong attitude to have. If there was any way I would treat her differently in a positive way if she were to submit and respect me, then it is something am not doing now that I should be.  I hope that makes sense.  I should be treating her the way God calls me to whether she submits and respects or not.  I am not accountable for her actions as I am for mine.  I just know it would probably be a lot easier to do the things I am supposed to if she did those things because the feeling of love would probably be there.

Can you describe how much more effective a wife can be at getting her husband to draw nearer to God when she follows I Peter 3:1-6 instead of preaching, lecturing, nagging, criticizing?
The disrespect will only give occasion for him to resent her for doing the things you listed.  However, if 1 Peter 3:1-6 is lived out, he will see a woman who loves God with her heart, not only her words.  He will see that she is not like the other women in the world that rip on their men.  He will see that, because of how she treats and loves him, that she truly cares about him.  She is not trying to “make” him do anything, but may mention it once and then demonstrates it with her life.

How important are your wife’s feelings when you are making decisions?
My wife’s feelings are very important when making decisions. We are a team.  I may not take every feeling as a fact, but still consider them, at least, and let her know they matter.