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He Doesn’t Deserve My Respect.


We continue our series this week into FAQs. ¬†If you have a question that I have not addressed, please let me know! ūüôā

  • This seems like more than I can handle¬†(part 1)
  • When do I get to the “peaceful” part?¬†(part 1)
  • I don’t want to lose my voice in my marriage.¬†(part 2)
  • I feel like I am losing myself.¬†(part 2)
  • I feel so lonely.¬†(part 3)
  • I don’t know how to say things respectfully to my husband, so I am just not saying anything at all.¬†(part 3)
  • My husband isn’t changing at all. ¬† (part 4)
  • Respect doesn’t work on my husband. (part 4)
  • But I’m right! (part 5)
  • I’m so scared to give up control! ¬†I should be in charge. Everything will fall apart if I don’t take charge! (part 5)
  • He doesn’t deserve my respect!
  • My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage.
  • Why can’t HE change first? ¬†Why do I have to change when he’s the one who is so far from God and so unloving? (Part 7)


11. He Doesn’t Deserve My Respect

The world says, “Respect must be earned.”

There is a lot of truth to that statement.  In business, at school, in the neighborhood and in the world, men and women do have to earn the respect of others.

But what about in marriage?

God gives specific commands to husbands and wives in Ephesians 5:22-33.

  • He commands husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it.
  • He commands wives to respect their husbands and to submit to their husbands as to the Lord.

These commands to husbands to love and to wives  to respect are unconditional and completely independent of each other.

  • God does not say, “Husbands, love your wives IF they are respectful or IF you think they deserve love.” ¬†It is just, “Husbands, each of you must love his wife as he loves himself…”
  • God does not say, “Wives, respect your husbands IF they deserve respect in your opinion.” or “Respect your husbands when they are respectable.” ¬†It is simply, “the wife must respect her husband.”
  • The submission command does have a caveat “in the Lord” – ¬†which Greg and I believe to mean that if a husband asks a wife to clearly violate God’s Word, she must obey God rather than her husband. ¬†(Spiritual Authority)

In marriage and as believers in Christ – we do not treat our spouse with love or respect because they “deserve” it. ¬†We treat people with love and respect because of the Spirit of Christ living in us and because JESUS CHRIST DESERVES it. ¬†Obeying Him is not optional. ¬†He is LORD.

‚ÄúThen the righteous will answer him, ‚ÄėLord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?¬†38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?¬†39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?‚Äô

40‚ÄúThe King will reply, ‚ÄėTruly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.‚Äô Matthew 25

Jesus goes on to say, “Whatever you did NOT do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did NOT do for me.” ¬†Jesus counts everything we do for other people, including our spouses, as if we were doing those things for HIM.

  • This doesn’t mean we must respect sin or condone sin or follow our husbands into sin.

Check out this post about Spiritual Authority, Biblical Submission Does Not = the Husband is Always Right and When My Spouse is Wrong for more on these topics.


  • God deserves our respect, obedience, submission and reverence. ¬†He is our LORD. ¬†We do not look Jesus Who died for us in the face and say, “No, Lord. ¬†I refuse to obey You.”
  • People in positions of God-given authority need respect from those they lead in order for them to be able to lead. God commands all believers to submit to and respect those in God-given authority over us in the government, at work, in church and in the home. ¬†Romans 13, I Peter 2
  • God has wisdom. ¬†He designed marriage. ¬†He knows what makes it work.
  • The same God who said wives need their husbands’ love also said husbands need their wives’ respect. ¬†I know we don’t want to throw out God’s commands for our husbands to love us! ¬†God understands what men and women need in marriage.
  • Our husbands NEED our respect if they are ever going to be able to become the men God desires them to be. ¬†Our respect and willingness to follow their leadership are necessary ingredients for them to hear God’s voice and become godly men.
  • Our disrespect and control could easily crush our husbands’ souls, paralyze them spiritually and stunt their spiritual growth. ¬†My disrespect and control certainly deeply wounded my husband in these ways.
  • Our disrespect and control make it very difficult for our husbands to hear and obey the voice of God themselves. (I Peter 3:1-6) ¬†Then our husbands are focused on our voice and our sin instead of God’s voice.
  • Our respect for our husbands and our willingness to honor their leadership are necessary for a healthy marriage according to God’s wisdom and His design. (Ephesians 5:22-33, Titus 2:3-5, I Corinthians 11:3, I Peter 3:1-6)
  • Our respect for our husbands and biblical submission to them (unless they ask us to clearly sin) demonstrates to our children and the world what our relationship with Christ should look like, it is a witness for the gospel of Christ.
  • Our disrespect of our husbands and our usurping their control maligns the gospel of Christ (Titus 2:5).
  • God wants our children to respect their fathers and mothers and all of those in God-given authority over them. ¬†If we don’t respect their dad, they won’t respect him either – or anyone else in authority over them. (Spiritual Authority)
  • God wants our children to have an accurate picture of God. ¬†Children receive their first understanding and primary experience of who God is through their fathers. ¬†If we as mothers destroy our children’s respect for their fathers, we also easily destroy their reverence for and respect for and understanding of God. (Spiritual Authority)
  • God gives us people in positions of spiritual authority over us to bless us, protect us, provide for us and guide us into His will. (Spiritual Authority)


God does not call us to respect our husband’s pornography addiction, alcoholism, gambling, flirting with other women, greed, idolatry, unloving behavior, lust, affairs or sin.

I have seen wives attempt to respect their husbands when they brought home women off of the street took them to their bedroom while she was home. ¬†No! ¬†No! ¬†That is taking “respecting our husbands” WAY TOO FAR.

A wife in that position needs to do a lot of praying and probably needs ¬†to say something like, “This is not ok at all. ¬†You are breaking our marriage covenant. ¬†Adultery is wrong. ¬†I can’t stay here if you are going to do this.” ¬†She doesn’t have to scream and cuss at him to do this. ¬†And then she probably needs to leave or ask him to leave and they should be separated until the husband clearly repents, is willing to rebuild trust, be accountable and transparent and receive godly counsel. ¬†I personally vote to have him tested for STDs as well before a wife would even consider being intimate with him again. ¬†(Keep in mind that it takes 6 months after the last sexual encounter before HIV/AIDS would show up in a test – but he could be contagious way before the test would show positive.)

Now – let’s talk about less severe situations…

  • We can respect our husbands for their position in the marriage even when their behavior is wrong.

This is similar to the way that people in the military are taught to “respect the uniform.” ¬†And it is similar to the way we as believers are to respect those in authority over us in the government and the church whether we agree with them or not and whether we voted for them or not. ¬†It is not right for us as believers to slander or disrespect our leaders. ¬†God commands us to show them proper respect.

  • Then there is also the aspect that we purposely look for the good in our husbands that we can genuinely respect.
  • We may need to respectfully, carefully, gently, prayerfully confront our husbands’ sin – just like members of a church may have to gently, prayerfully, respectfully confront a pastor who has fallen into sin.

We may have to say how much his sin hurts us. ¬†We may have to give boundaries and consequences for serious issues – always with an eye toward praying for eventual reconciliation for our husband with Christ and for our marriage if at all possible and for God’s will and His glory. (Some passages that deal with confronting a fellow believer’s sin are found in Matthew 7:1-5 and Matthew 18:14-16)

We will be called upon often in marriage to give overwhelming and undeserved grace, forgiveness and mercy.  If trust has been broken Рit must be rebuilt.  There may need to be boundaries and consequences for certain sins Рwith prayer for our husbands to be reconciled to Christ and for healing so our marriage will glorify God.

Our husbands are still sinners – just like we are. ¬†None of us are “better than” anyone else. ¬†We are all on level ground at the foot of the cross.¬† Our husbands need Jesus’ grace, mercy, blood and forgiveness just as much as all of us do. ¬†We can approach them as if we are on their team and to face and tackle the sin together with the power of God.

Our husbands WILL sin against God and against us at times Рand we will sin against them and against God, too, at times.  God can give us the power and strength of His Spirit for us not to respond to their sin with sin of our own.  He may use us to gently restore our husbands into right relationship with Himself and with us.

  • There are times when separation may be necessary if our husbands refuse to repent or get the godly counsel they need. ¬†Sometimes that is the only thing that might wake them up. ¬†Sometimes we may have to remove ourselves and our children from ¬†dangerous or very ungodly situations.

**  If you are dealing with very serious issues in your marriage Рplease seek godly, wise counsel and get the appropriate help!  If there is severe emotional/spiritual abuse or physical abuse, addictions, infidelity, uncontrolled mental health disorders, severe spiritual problems Рplease find  godly counsel and the help you and your husband need.

  • Nina Roesner’s eCourse Becoming a Woman of Strength and Dignity may be very helpful for wives in difficult marriages to find healing for themselves in Christ so that they can think rightly about themselves, the marriage, and their husbands. Then they will have the wisdom of God and His Spirit to help them discern how best to handle things.
  • Celebrate Recovery – a Christian program for drug addiction
  • AA (Alcoholics Anonymous)
  • The Salvation Army – has Christ-centered programs to help people with drug/alcohol addictions and may have resources for abused wives
  • There are women’s shelters, I know there is one in our area named Sister Care – for abused wives
  • Narcotics Anonymous
  • Al-Anon – for spouses of alcoholics

12. My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage.

Sometimes we as wives THINK we know that our husbands feel like this.  Some of us may be right.  But Рmany of us who believe this is true Рare actually wrong.  I sure was!

I was convinced my husband didn’t love me and was far from God and didn’t care if I was there or not.

  • I was wrong – about so many things!

I didn’t understand his heart. ¬†I assumed a lot of evil motives where there were no evil motives. ¬†I didn’t “get” how men think, feel and process emotions. ¬†I expected Greg to be exactly like me. ¬†He’s NOT! ¬†That is a good thing. ūüôā ¬†He did love me. ¬†But he shut down his heart to protect himself from my verbal attacks, disrespect and control. ¬†I interpreted that to mean he didn’t love me. ¬†He was actually just trying to protect himself from me.

Thankfully, even if your husband truly doesn’t love you and is not on board with working on the marriage – that is not a problem for God!

It only takes ONE spouse to have faith in God, to obey Him, to live in the power of His Spirit to open up the flood gates of heaven to pour in the healing power of God into the marriage and into the other spouse.  I have seen God do MANY, MANY miracles in situations like these.

When God is your partner – nothing and no one can stop Him. ¬†Nothing can thwart His plans. ¬†Nothing can take you out of His sovereign hands. ¬†God is able to change people in ways we never could. ¬†God can bring your husband’s heart back to Himself and back to you. ¬†He may want to change you first – to get you out of His way so He can reach your husband. ¬†That’s ok! ¬†God can change people’s feelings. ¬†He can change their convictions. ¬†He holds your husband’s heart in his hand and can change his mind.

So – I am not really worried if your husband isn’t on board. ¬†If he is involved in serious sin – I would encourage you to find appropriate, ¬†godly help. ¬†But if he is shut down emotionally, seems far from God, doesn’t want to touch you or talk to you – that is not a big deal when God is involved. ¬†What I am most concerned about is if you are on board with God.¬†¬†He is the power source. ¬†If something is His will – that is the important thing!

God loves marriage.  It is a picture of the profound mystery between Christ and the church.  He intends to use our marriages to draw people to Himself.  God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:10-16)

Seek God’s will and His glory with all your heart for your life and your marriage.

  • More than seeking reconciliation for your marriage – seek to please and honor Christ in everything! ¬†If your husband is not a believer, seek to pray for his salvation even if the marriage does not recover.

It is my prayer that God might heal you, your husband and your marriage. ¬†But most of all I pray for God’s greatest glory in your lives.



What is Respect in Marriage – husbands share what is respectful to them

Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them

I have Youtube videos if you are interested:

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve MY Respect!

My Respect for My Husband Has Nothing to Do With Him and Everything to Do with My Relationship with Christ

Respect Doesn’t Work on My Husband

1363174_99728195We are looking at some FAQs that I receive in this series.

  • This seems like more than I can handle¬†(part 1)
  • When do I get to the “peaceful” part?¬†(part 1)
  • I don’t want to lose my voice in my marriage. (part 2)
  • I feel like I am losing myself. (part 2)
  • I feel so lonely. (part 3)
  • I don’t know how to say things respectfully to my husband, so I am just not saying anything at all. (part 3)
  • My husband isn’t changing at all. ¬†
  • Respect doesn’t work on my husband.
  • But I’m right!
  • I’m so scared to give up control! ¬†Everything will fall apart if I don’t take charge!
  • He doesn’t deserve my respect!
  • My husband doesn’t love me and is not on board with this marriage.
  • Why can’t HE change first? ¬†Why do I have to change when he’s the one who is so far from God and so unloving?

7. My husband isn’t changing at all. ¬†

Let me share some secrets with you that will help to reframe our thinking:

  • It’s going to be extremely important that we don’t make “changing our husbands” our goal. ¬†We are not God’s Spirit. ¬†We are humans. ¬†We don’t change people. ¬†Only God changes people. ¬†We can INFLUENCE people – but we must wait on God to change people. ¬†God commands us to love and respect our husbands as they are right now.
  • Seeking to become the godly wife Jesus wants me to be, seeking to please Him, honor Him and bless my husband have to be my goals. ¬†I will have to constantly check my motives and re-set my eyes on Christ when I start to feel discouraged. ¬†I need to focus on asking God to change ME.
  • Disappointment and frustration are usually signals to me that I am putting something before Christ in my heart and that I need to check my priorities and motives – especially to see if I am putting something above Christ in my heart.
  • It’s actually a blessing that husbands don’t change quickly in this process. ¬†If they did – we would continue with our idols of wanting to “feel loved,” romance, trying to be in control and trying to change our husbands ourselves – as if that is our place. ¬† ¬†We would also find our contentment in our idols instead of in Christ. ¬†God is not going to let me find contentment, peace and joy in anything but Himself. ¬†The fact that it usually takes husbands many months or even years to change gives us a chance to refine our motives and learn to keep our eyes on Jesus no matter what our husbands do or do not do.
  • Husbands are “slow responders” to change many times. ¬†That is a great thing because they tend to be more steady and stable emotionally than we sometimes are as women. ¬†Some husbands don’t like change – even “good” changes. ¬†They like consistency usually and like things to be predictable. ¬†It is a strength for a leader to be consistent and not easily swayed and moved by feelings or rash and hasty decisions. ¬†It is also a great strength of a leader not to be swayed by someone’s emotional plea. ¬†If your husband has not allowed you to control him or change him – PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!!!! ¬†That is because he is a strong leader and he wants to do what is right and not allow himself to be coerced into something that he doesn’t agree with. ¬†It means he has a backbone. ¬†It means he stands for his convictions. ¬†These are GOOD things. ¬†I have heard it said,

“The only thing worse than a husband you can’t change is a husband you can change.”

  • When God starts to change you – it is probably going to freak your husband out a bit. ¬†He is going to be really confused. ¬†¬† He won’t know what is going on. ¬†And most likely, he will not say a word to you about it. ¬†Give him time. ¬†He needs to see that this is not a phase, it is not a fad, it is the new you in Christ. ¬†As he sees that this is for real and it is a permanent thing (not that you are perfect, but that you generally actually respect him and that you cooperate with and honor his leadership) – he will begin to eventually feel safe and start to let down his guard. ¬†The more wounded he has been by your disrespect and control, the longer it will take him to begin to trust you. ¬†But usually it is many months ¬†or a year or longer. ¬†There are occasionally husbands who never change. ¬†That is more rare. ¬†You can still experience God’s peace and joy and be a godly wife even if your husband never changes. ¬†And, God is able to lead us through our husbands, even if they aren’t believers. ¬†If our husbands aren’t asking us to clearly violate God’s Word, God may be leading us through them.
  • Even if your husband never does change, it is important to accept him as he is and to learn to love him with God’s love and find things to respect about him. ¬†It’s good and healthy, in my view, to assume he is not going to change and just to love him, accept him and honor him right now for the man he is today.
  • Respect is how we as disciples of Christ should treat everyone. ¬† Respect comes out of MY character. ¬†It has very little to do with the other person and very much to do with my character and my heart. ¬†I respect others out of reverence for Christ. ¬†I especially am careful to respect those who are in positions of God-given authority over me – my husband, my church leaders, government leaders, police officers, my boss/supervisors/managers, etc. ¬†By God’s power living in me… I use manners. ¬†I am not selfish. ¬†I am kind. ¬†I am not rude. ¬†I am not arrogant or prideful. ¬†I am self-controlled. ¬†I am polite. ¬†I behave more like Audrey Hepburn and less like guests on Jerry Springer. ¬†I don’t yell and scream at others. ¬†I don’t bully them. ¬†I don’t cuss. ¬†I don’t gossip. ¬†I don’t bash people verbally in public. ¬†I don’t use sarcasm to hurt people. ¬†I don’t make other people the butt of a joke. ¬† I don’t humiliate them. ¬†I don’t seek to insult them and call them awful names. ¬†This is part of being full of God’s Spirit. ¬†I find the good to appreciate and focus on. ¬†I have a thankful spirit. ¬†I use wholesome words that bless others. ¬†I learn to look at people with the love of God and with His perspective. (I Corinthians 13:4-8, Philippians 4:8) ¬†I don’t use my words to destroy others. ¬†I use my words to give life, to heal and to build up.
  • At first, I will have to hold in all my negative thoughts and comments and it will feel like trying to hold back an ocean of negative emotions. ¬†But, as God helps me to take each thought captive and to replace my sinful thinking with godly and biblically sound thinking – eventually, I won’t even think the sinful, disrespecting, prideful, idolatrous and controlling thoughts – and can kick any tempting sinful thoughts to the curb immediately.
  • God will reward your obedience to Him in heaven no matter what your husband does here. ¬†Jesus counts the way you treat your husband (and other people) as if you are doing those things for Him. ¬†(Matt 25:31-46) ¬†My level of respect and biblical submission to my husband are an outward indicator of the level of reverence and submission I have for Jesus. ¬†Jesus says,¬†“Anyone who loves Me will obey My commands… Anyone who does not love Me will not obey My commands.” (John 14:21,23) ¬†

Some reminders – God’s commands for me as a wife are to (this list is not exhaustive):

– respect my husband (Eph. 5:33 – note that there are no qualifications. ¬†God’s Word simply says “Wives must respect their husbands” it doesn’t say IF they deserve it or WHEN they love us the way we want them to. ¬†God holds us accountable to obey what He commands to us no matter what our husbands do or do not do just like He will hold husbands accountable to love us as Christ loved the church no matter what we do or do not do.)

submit to my husband/honor his leadership as I honor God’s leadership so that the gospel of Christ might not be maligned (Eph. 5:22, Titus 2:5)¬†(Spiritual Authority)

– affectionately love him (Titus 2:3 – phileo love)

– have self control, be kind, live a pure life (Titus 2:3-5)

– not use words about spiritual things to try to drag a wayward husband to God, but to live out real respect for him with my attitude and behavior (I Peter 3:1-6)

– have a gentle, peaceful spirit that does what is right and does not give way to hysterical fear (I Peter 3:1-6)

– be giving and generous of myself with my husband sexually, not withholding sex from him. (I Corinthians 7:1-5)

– do him good and not evil all the days of my life (Prov. 31)

– all the commands about how I am to love others, forgive others, repay evil with good, bless those who curse me, pray for those who mistreat me – all apply to how I treat my husband, too.

8. Respect “doesn’t work” on my husband.

God designed men to need respect. ¬†Unless there are SERIOUS sin issues, abuse issues, mental disorders or addictions going on – most men DO respond to respect in time – meaning, respect is a deep masculine need in every man’s heart. ¬†Most men, when they know they are genuinely respected and honored by others, respond by wanting to serve and protect. ¬†In marriage, a wife’s respect can inspire her husband’s love.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Sometimes a wife hasn’t fully understood all the ways she has been showing disrespect to her husband. ¬†She may think she is being totally respectful, but if he still feels disrespected by her body language, her tone of voice, her rolling her eyes, her sighing, her dictating things to him, her undermining his authority as a dad, her over-involvement in his family’s drama, her lack of support as he handles a contentious ex-wife … or whatever it may be – there is still a problem she needs to address. ¬†ALL of the intentional and unintentional disrespect has to go.
  • Sometimes a wife tries to respect her husband for a day or two – and she doesn’t see any changes, so she declares that “respect doesn’t work” on her husband. ¬†This is not something we do for a day or a week or a month. ¬†This is something we do until the day we die because it is a command of God to us as wives.
  • Sometimes a wife thinks that her respect will fix her husband’s serious pornography addiction, alcoholism, drug addiction, PTSD, ADD, Asperger’s, severe depression or some other serious sin issue, mental health problem or spiritual problem in his life. ¬†A wife’s respect can be very healing. ¬†But we can’t change people. ¬†We can’t heal people. ¬†If our husbands have these kinds of issues, they need a lot more help than we as wives can give by ourselves. ¬†They may need medical help. ¬†They may need godly counsel from a godly male mentor. ¬†Our respect doesn’t fix every issue in a man’s heart. ¬†Our respect does meet their deep masculine needs – but there are things that are beyond the reach of our respect.
  • Sometimes a wife has the motive “I’m going to change my husband.” ¬†Husbands can see through that. ¬†Fake respect doesn’t count with men. ¬†It has to be real.
  • Some wives try to be respectFUL but don’t really respect their husbands. ¬†I did this for awhile. ¬†It doesn’t work. ¬†I have to ACTUALLY find things I really respect about my husband for him to feel respected – just like we as wives want our husbands to genuinely love us for who we are, not just be loving.
  • Some wives try to respect their husbands but they don’t show respect for themselves as women, that is not going to work. If that is you, please check out this post and this eCourse by Nina Roesner, Strength and Dignity.¬†The goal is to respect God, our husbands, and ourselves (properly) all at the same time.



– Your respect will not turn your husband into a woman ‚Äď THANKFULLY! ¬†He will still think and act like a man. ¬†He is not going to suddenly think like a woman and want to sit face to face and talk about feelings automatically.

РYour respect will probably  make him feel loved and relaxed. THAT IS GOOD!

– Your respect may well increase his sexual appetite for you because he feels so loved. That is a good thing. To a lot of husbands, sex = love in marriage.

– Your respect will not make him be a mind reader! It is necessary and important to respectfully share your needs, feelings and desires.

And YES!

We do need to lay down our expectations that ‚Äúif I respect him, he will love me the way I want him to.‚ÄĚ This is ultimately about pleasing God, obeying God and blessing our men.

Here is my youtube video on this topic.

Respect Doesn’t Work on My Husband


Is it ALL My Fault?

My Purpose at Peacefulwife

“I Thought I WAS Being Respectful! What Happened??”

Here is an email from a wife ¬†and my response. ¬†My focus here is not on what the husband could or should have done differently (Yes, there is plenty of room for improvement on his side). ¬†I am writing for women, so I am only going to address what the wife could have done differently. ¬†If we are married to a sinful person, and we all are… we WILL be sinned against. ¬†
It is pretty pointless to focus on what the other person “should” do. ¬†We cannot control other people. ¬†We can influence them, but we cannot force them to do what we want. ¬†I spent almost 15 years of our marriage focusing on what my husband “should do” and didn’t see the forest of sin in my own eye. ¬†That was not productive at all! ¬†¬†
I believe we can and should voice our feelings, desires and perspective Рin a way that speaks respect and a cooperative spirit.  Our power is to focus on what we think, say and do and our own responsibility/sin/accountability in the relationship:
Last night I messed up a bit.¬† My husband had moved some furniture for me. ¬†And I was surprised to see that he didn’t put everything where I thought it should go. ¬† I was (I think) respectful about bringing it up later.¬†¬†Asking why he’d done that¬†and did he agree it seemed a bit imbalanced now.
He was offended and mad, his voice escalated and he said something that hurt me.¬†In some ways it reminded me of the lessons you’ve mentioned learning yourself.¬†He was yelling and then¬†he said that I was bullying him to get what I wanted.
I was so hurt, surprised and mad that¬†I told him he’d ruined the night and I stormed off.¬†I actually re-did his work and put things where I wanted.¬† That was a big mistake I know, but I was hurt and so furious that he’d started yelling at me after I was respectful and appreciative.
He continued with the Sunday night things we’d usually do together, by himself.¬† I was so hurt.¬† By the time he came up to bed I was really hurt &¬†fuming.¬† I tried to forget it,¬†when he put his hand on mine in bed¬†but I wasn’t able to.
I asked if that’s how he wants to move forward in our marraige now.¬†¬† Just ignoring each other, blah blah.¬† Dumb, disrespectful things, I said.
He yelled at me that¬†he didn’t know why I was “manufacturing drama”¬†and¬†he’d decided he “didn’t want to live his life like that” and he’d let it go hours ago.
What did he mean?  We got into going back and forth about it for a long while, but I was very respectful!! Trying to say to him that unresolved conflict is really damaging for me and I want to fix our argument sooner.   He blamed me for storming off.  Fair enough.  I was so respectful.  I was frustrated at times but never raised my voice. I worked hard not to interrupt.
We did make up finally and speak for quite some time about his future work goals, and hug a lot in bed.
I actually wouldn’t have bothered you with an email…
But today, he has changed his facebook profile photo from one of us both at our wedding, to one of him alone – a pic that used to have me in it, but as a favor I cut myself out and photoshopped myself out it so he could use it on LinkedIn.¬† It really stings and I have a lot of fear¬†that he must feel the honeymoon is over?¬† Is our marraige is ok?¬† What did he mean he didn’t want to live like that” … scary for me.
I can tell you that many men bristle at the word “why” no matter what the tone of voice their wife has – for lots of men, that word implies that he made a stupid decision. ¬†He may believe that you are questioning his wisdom, competency and abilities. ¬†That one little word can make the difference sometimes between a man feeling respected vs disrespected. ¬†Men tend to be quite sensitive to disrespect. ¬†We don’t usually mean to come across disrespectfully, but sometimes that is what our men hear. ¬†This wasn’t about moving the furniture – it may have been about your approach.¬†
You could say, “I would like to have this chair over here, please.” ¬†with a smile and pleasant tone of voice and that would probably have gotten you what you wanted without a fight. ¬†Problem solved.
I know you thought you were respectful and appreciative Рthat is GOOD! But what matters most is if HE is hearing respect and appreciation.  When he turns on you in anger like that (or some men suddenly stonewall and shut down) Рhe is probably feeling disrespected Рwhether the disrespect was unintentional or intentional on your part.
Later, in bed, he was trying to apologize when he put his hand on yours. ¬†That was his way of attempting to begin to reconcile. ¬†But more disrespect made him stop trying to offer you peace and intimacy. ūüôĀ
He forgave you earlier. ¬†He dropped the issue. ¬†Men don’t always have to talk through things to forgive and reconcile¬†– they forgive in their own minds sometimes and then want to just move on. ¬†
Women usually do need to talk through things. ¬†I totally understand if you feel like you need to talk more about the situation. ¬†Let’s talk about how tell your husband your feelings in a productive way. ¬†Most men will hear our feelings best when we calmly express them purely and simply with vulnerability (Laura Doyle – The Surrendered Wife):
  • I feel sad
  • I feel hurt
  • I feel upset
  • I feel afraid
  • I feel angry
  • I feel confused
  • I feel nervous

Instead of blasting our men with blame and labeling them “the bad guy” ¬†– which will make them shut down or defend themselves – we can simply ask for what we need and say how we feel in boiled down, basic terms with just a few sentences. ¬†Flooding our husbands with an avalanche of negatively charged emotional words can overwhelm them! ¬†If we can keep our message fairly brief, to the point and calm, we ¬†give our men a chance to hear us better, be our hero and to delight us!

So, in this situation,¬†in bed, you could have cuddled up to ¬†him and said something like, “I feel hurt/sad about what happened this afternoon. ¬†I was trying to be very respectful, but maybe I accidentally said or did something that came across disrespectfully? ¬†Maybe that is why you sounded so angry at me? ¬†I want you to feel very respected by me – I know I still have a lot to learn about respect. ¬†Is there something I could do differently that would feel more respectful to you? ¬†It hurts me when you yell at me.”

I’m really proud of you for doing many things respectfully and not raising your voice and not interrupting him. ¬†GREAT JOB!
If you have not apologized for being disrespectful (if he says he felt disrespected) – then please BRIEFLY and humbly apologize for asking “why” he did what he did (and maybe there was non-verbal disrespect, too? ¬†Tone of voice or body language or facial expressions?) ¬†That one little word, “why” screams disrespect to some men. ¬†Try to ask your questions without using why. ¬†I like to say “I want this, please.” ¬†“I would like this.” ¬†“Would it be possible to do X?” ¬†“I would rather not do Y.” ¬†“What about X?”
The apology is probably only going to need to be about one or two sentences: “I understand now that if I ask ‘why,’ it sounds disrespectful to you. I am SO sorry that I came across as being disrespectful. ¬†I will be careful not to do that again!” ¬†And then DO NOT EXPLAIN or justify yourself! ¬†End of apology. ūüôā
My take on his FB pic is – don’t ask him about that right now. ¬† It would be easy to say, “WHY did you change your FB pic? ¬†You obviously don’t love me anymore!” ¬† ¬†That may only exacerbate the whole situation! ¬†I think it is best to just wait a few days, see what happens and focus on the things he actually does say to you instead of making assumptions about his motives and see what happens.¬† (Love always trusts, always expects the best – I Corinthians 13:4-8) ¬†
If you absolutely must talk about the FB picture right away- my suggestion would be to say something like, “I noticed you changed your FB picture after our argument. ¬†It makes me feel sad/scared/upset to see that you took the picture of us together down.” ¬†But then let him decide what to do about it. ¬†Bob Grant says “No one likes to be told what to do. ¬†But men REALLY don’t like to be told what to do.” ¬†The more you try to force your way – the less likely your husband is to do what you want. ¬†But if you share your feelings and then let him think about what to do about them, most of the time, husbands really do want to make us happy.
My take is not the only way to handle situations respectfully.  I am just giving women some ideas of options that may be helpful.  
There will be misunderstandings like this in every marriage. ¬†It doesn’t mean the marriage is in danger. ¬†It means that there is more growing and maturing that needs to be done. ¬†It means that you are both sinners. ¬†God is using marriage to make you both more holy. ¬†And it is a great opportunity to learn to practice extending¬†forgiveness, grace and mercy.
Now, today is a new day – so ENJOY your husband. ¬†Savor the moments you share. ¬†Don’t hang on to the argument but more forward and ask God how you can most bless and honor your husband today!
I placed the chair back where he had placed it. When he noticed, he was really pleased and I told him I would rather live with it than have him think anything was more important to me than him. ¬†He told me “you’re so sweet.” And cuddled me. ¬†I used the opportunity to give the apology you phrased.
Thank you,  April. That was a really bad one for us. I really feel blessed you replied!!!
I LOVE how this wife handled the situation at the end.  GREAT JOB!!!!!!

My Disrespect and Controlling Behavior Don't Just Hurt My Husband!


My husband was watching a singing competition on TV recently. ¬†There were many contestants auditioning. ¬†Most of them got the same bad news. ¬†“You’re not good enough. ¬†You’re not going to make it to the next round. ¬†It’s a ‘no’.” ¬†Some people accepted that answer with sadness and humility. ¬†Some people could not accept what the judges said and argued and argued and argued – trying to control the judges. ¬†And some people became extremely disrespectful arguing, cussing and yelling.

Why is that?


Disrespect and trying to control others is a lifestyle of sin – there are degrees of this sin. ¬†Some people go to more extremes with it than others. ¬†I think that is part of why I didn’t recognize this in myself, because many people looked “way worse” than I did.

Disrespect and controlling behavior is the outpouring of what is deep in my soul – and it affects all my relationships, not just my marriage. ¬†It is an indicator of my lack of ¬†relationship or fellowship with Christ. ¬†Apart from Jesus, I can’t change my sinful nature.

No one MAKES me act disrespectfully. No one makes me try to control them. No one can force me to sin.  It is not about what others do to me.  I sin when, by my own evil desire, I am dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin.  And sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death.  (James 1:14-15)

When I am stressed, pressured, pushed, prodded, sinned against, unloved or mistreated ¬†(whether in reality or in my perception) – what is in my heart comes gushing out. ¬†My sister calls it “the jelly donut effect.” ¬†I think she may have gotten that from John Piper – but I’m not sure! ¬†It’s a great analogy.

I am not disrespectful ¬†and controlling because of the way other people treat me. ¬†I am disrespectful and controlling because I am a sinner and don’t have God’s Spirit filling me up and controlling me. ¬†My disrespect and control has NOTHING to do with other people and everything to do with me.


When I began to study respect and biblical submission in marriage – I realized something awful. ¬†Not only did I have a MOUNTAIN of pride, disrespect, controlling behavior, idolatry of self/having control/my husband/my feelings of being happy…. I had a MOUNTAIN of these same sins in my other relationships with people, too. ¬†Mostly the people closest to me caught the worst of it.


I first had to repent to God – once I really understood the magnitude of my hideous sin.

Then, I apologized to my husband for my sin against him because I had rebelled against God’s Word for me as a wife, I had been unforgiving, resentful, prideful, disrespectful, uncooperative with my husband’s God-given leadership, and had gossiped and held on to hatred and bitterness.

Later, I realized that I had committed many of these same sins against others in my life.  So I went around and personally and privately apologized to my father, my mother, my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my brother, my brother-in-law, my sister, my sister-in-law, my children Рand anyone else God showed me I had sinned against.


However I treat God and respect and love Him Рthat is exactly how I will treat people.   God counts the way I treat people as if I were acting towards Him.  These people in our lives are tests Рthey are pop quizzes, mid-terms and final exams in our faith.  They are there for us to learn to practice the love of God, to trust God,  to learn to forgive, to learn to show mercy. They are there to expose the depths of our own sin and depravity.

The way I treat the person I dislike the most, reveals how much I love God.

This is why God says,

If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. ¬†For anyone who does not love his brother (any human), whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: ¬†Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” ¬†I John 4:20-21


Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them

MY Husband Doesn’t Deserve MY Respect! ¬†A 6 minute Peacefulwife Youtube Video

Apologizing for my Disrespect  a 7 minute Peacefulwife Youtube Video

Exploring the Depths of Bitterness

Your Words Can Cause Catastrophic Damage!

Just as a general principle ‚ÄstDO NOT bash your husband to other people. EVER. ¬† Honor him with every word!

  • He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends. ¬†Proverbs 17:9
  • A fool finds no pleasure in understanding, but delights in sharing his own opinions. ¬†Proverbs 17:27
  • A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. ¬†Proverbs 12:16
  • The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down. ¬†Proverbs 14:1

Running him down with your words is VERY disrespectful – it would be disrespectful to do this to anyone. ¬†Even if your husband doesn‚Äôt ever find out about it ‚Äď talking about him in a negative light sets off a series of disrespectful thoughts in your mind that will erode your respect for him over time. ¬†And the people you talk to may hold a grudge against your man or think ill of him for the rest of their lives. ¬†You can‚Äôt take those words back.

If he DOES find out what you said ‚Äď he will be extremely hurt¬†and his trust in you could be shattered. ¬†Your hateful words about him to someone else may well destroy your relationship with the man you love.

When I was learning about respect – I backed away from some other relationships for a time because I was afraid I was going to slip back into my old patterns of saying disrespectful things about my husband. ¬†I knew I couldn’t control my tongue at first. ¬†It is something only God’s Spirit can help me to control.


If your friends badmouth their boyfriends/husbands and badmouth other people in their life, YOU WILL BE TEMPTED to do the same!  It is so easy to turn a wonderful time with our girl friends into a gossip-fest and man-bashing session that is extremely dishonoring to God, to ourselves and to our men.  That is sin.  It is ugly.  It is destructive.  It contributes to the breakdown of MANY relationships.  NOT WORTH IT!

Gossip is where we tell other people‚Äôs business (that may or may not even be true) to people who have no need to know about it and who can‚Äôt do anything constructive with the information. ¬†Gossip is meant to hurt the reputation of the victim. ¬†It is mean-spirited and cruel. And it causes irreversible damage to millions of relationships. ¬†Gossip does NOT honor God. ¬†I know it is tempting. ¬†And sometimes it is really hard to see the line between a harmless conversation and gossip. ¬†That is why we need God’s Spirit to control our tongues – and our fingers!


I know that if you are having a fight with your man, it is really, really tempting to run to everyone in your life (other than him) and vent, running him down, telling them all about the awful way he treated you and how horrible he is.  Then they will pat  you on the back and sympathize with you and agree with you that he is evil and you are a total victim.  As soon as you see yourself as  a victim Рyou are powerless to do anything constructive.   But you know what?  An argument or misunderstanding usually has guilt on BOTH sides of the relationship.  There is almost never one party who is 100% innocent.  How much more constructive to focus on what YOU did to contribute to the problem and to try to work through it with God and your guy.

Telling everyone about how terrible your guy is ‚Äď is a recipe for disaster! ¬†When you make up with your man ‚Äď your friends/coworkers/family won‚Äôt be there to see that. ¬†All they know is the awful stuff you have told them. ¬†They are not going to have the grace for your husband that you do. ¬†They don‚Äôt see the making up part. ¬†And, for some reason, we women tend to go into explicit detail about fights and drama and hardly any detail about the making up.

I would recommend having a godly, older wife (preferably with at least 10-15 years of experience who has a SOLID, biblical marriage) as a mentor and talk to HER about problems ‚Äď someone who can help you see a more balanced view and help you understand his point of view, too -and who can identify YOUR sin, controlling tendencies and/or disrespect that may be contributing to the problem. ¬†Try to keep the details of drama and disagreements to yourself around other people.

If you are being abused or sinned against in a major way, please seek godly, experienced help ASAP!


I believe it is necessary to discuss the topic of how to respect your husband and/or EX-husband on FB.

There are SO MANY opportunities to disrespect your man on this medium.  It is quite terrifying.  And many women do a really horrible job of showing proper respect here.

  • DO NOT talk about the details of your relationship on FB!!!! ¬†PLEASE!!!!! ¬†I am begging y‚Äôall!
  • Complaining about your man‚Äôs habits, his diet, how he looks, how he dresses, who he is talking to, his job, his parenting skills, his romantic abilities, his faults, his bad habits, his hygiene, his snoring, his unthoughtful behavior is extremely disrespectful! ¬†And it makes you look awful. ¬†This reveals much more about YOUR character than it does about his.
  • Do not go into detail about your sexual relationship or post pictures of you in bed. ¬†NOT APPROPRIATE!
  • I have seen countless women rage against their ex-boyfriends and ex-husbands – many others actually pity the men in those situations for having to deal with a woman who is that hateful, contentious, prideful, disrespectful and ungodly. ¬†It makes the WOMAN look like she is out-of-control crazy. ¬†No one wants to see that!
  • Part of showing proper respect for your husband is to avoid private messaging guys on Facebook or emailing/texting men privately when at all possible. ¬†I would also say to avoid flirting with other men in any way. ¬†That is disrespectful to your husband! ¬†Show him that you are trustworthy by being completely transparent and not hiding your FB, email or phone history from him. ¬†Be an open book so that he knows you have nothing to hide. ¬†It is SO easy to confide in another man when you are upset with your husband and to start tying your allegiance to the other man instead of maintaining unity in your marriage – cleaving to each other and leaving all others. ¬†And if your husband asks you not to be on Facebook ¬†– please honor his request.


If you are being wronged by your husband (or ex-husband, or anyone else) ‚Äď confront him respectfully. ¬†If he won‚Äôt listen to you ‚Äď the Bible says for you to take 2-3 witnesses with you to confront him about his sin. ¬†If he still won‚Äôt listen, you are supposed to take him to the church and everyone is to avoid him¬†until he repents. ¬†I haven‚Äôt seen many churches practicing this. ¬†But you may be able to do the other parts if you are in a situation like this.

Smearing him in public proves how far from God you are, how much hatred and sin is in your heart and how seriously spiritually immature you are. You would treat ANY man who loved you this same way.  This is an issue with your heart and soul.  Your guy can’t MAKE you be disrespectful.  He can sin against you and hurt you. And he will!  He is a sinner after all Рjust like we are.  But his sin against you just puts pressure on you and whatever comes out of your soul during that pressure was already in there before.  His sin against you just reveals your true character.  He isn’t making you sin.

So many women say, ‚ÄúI would be respectful if I had a good man.‚ÄĚ ¬†That is not true! ¬†If we are disrespectful or respectful has NOTHING to do with what our men do to us ‚Äď it has everything to do with our spiritual condition and whether we are Spirit-filled or controlled by the sin nature.


If you have a big fight and break up THE ABSOLUTE WORST THING you could EVER do is to trash him all over FB.¬† Ladies, if you remember nothing else, PLEASE remember this point!¬†If you write him a 1000-3000 word post on your wall and you verbally assault him and drag up every sin and flaw and everything he has done wrong for the past 10-20 years ‚Ästyou cannot fix the extreme carnage you have caused. ¬†You drug his reputation through the mud. ¬†You have made yourself look like pure evil incarnate. ¬†You proved to him that you are possibly the most disrespectful woman on the planet. And if you EVER hope to get back together with this man ‚Äď please understand,¬†he may not be able to forgive you for the irreversible damage you have done to his reputation. ¬†He may not be able to trust you again. ¬†He let you have power to hurt him and you used your power to try to destroy him in public. ¬†How can he trust someone who may be a ticking time bomb?


It is time for us to learn to have discretion ‚Äď not sharing intimate details of our relationships with other people. ¬†And it is time for us to learn wisdom ‚Äď keeping a hedge of protection around our relationships and valuing our men MORE than our desire to entertain our girlfriends with funny, sarcastic, biting criticisms of him.

God instructs us that he who holds his tongue is wise ‚Äď and where words are many, sin is not absent (Proverbs). ¬†He also instructs us:

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:29-32

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.

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