Skip to main content

The Pain That Pushes Us to Try to Control

Photo by Civalias Kune on Unsplash

In my experience with women who feel they have to be in control of situations and other people, there is usually some level of trauma or hurt in her past. The level of trauma can vary. But usually something happened that caused her, as a young girl, to develop the following kind of thinking:

  • The people who are supposed to be in charge are weak. (Maybe they are incapable, absent, traumatized, or addicts.)
    • My parents can’t even take proper care of themselves. I have to be the adult and take care of them.
      • I have to be the savior for my parents.
    • My parents can’t/won’t take care of the household. I have to take care of it.
    • They are not able or willing to take proper care of me. So I have to take care of myself or no one else will meet my legitimate needs.
      • I have to be the savior for myself.
    • I have to protect my  younger siblings or something awful will happen (maybe something awful did happen, and I felt I should have been able to prevent it but I failed).
      • Our parents have failed my siblings.
      • My brothers and sisters need me.
      • I am the only one who can help them.
      • I am responsible for their lives, safety, and wellbeing. I am the parent now.
      • I have to be the savior for my siblings.
  • I am responsible for other people.
    • I am responsible for my parents.
    • I am responsible for my siblings.
    • I am responsible for other people in the world.
  • I have to take some of God’s sovereignty on my shoulders because if I don’t, everything will fall apart.
    • People who are in positions of authority in my life have failed me.
    • They seem wimpy and weak.
    • Everything is up to me.
    • It is my duty and responsibility to be sure things go right.
    • It would be irresponsible of me not to take care of other people because I am the only one who can.
    • I can’t be irresponsible and cause other people to suffer like I suffered.
    • I can’t be irresponsible and cause myself to suffer again.
    • Yes, this weight of responsibility for everything and everyone is way too much, but if I set it down, it will result in catastrophe like I have experienced before.
    • Stress, worry, anxiety, and bitterness are just the price I have to pay for having to be in charge. There is no way around those things. This is what love is.
    • I can’t trust anyone else. They will fail me.
    • People in positions of authority represent God to me, and so I have to conclude that God must also be weak, incapable, or absent.
    • I can’t really trust God.
    • I can only trust myself.
    • I have the wisdom that people need. Only I can help everyone.
    • I have to be the savior for everyone.
  • I am not secure financially, emotionally, relationally, or physically. 

Some Things That May Have Been Triggers:

  • Someone got hurt and she took full responsibility and believes it was completely her fault (even if it really wasn’t). She can’t forgive herself. She feels compelled to prevent something like that from ever happening again. She feels overly responsible for other people because of this.
  • Perhaps her dad was very passive or absent and her mom was completely in charge and had a controlling personality and being a controlling woman/wife/mom just seems “normal.”
  • She may have been the oldest child and was given, or felt she had to take, extra responsibility for her siblings and felt she had to act like a parent more than a sibling.
  • Her pastor or parents may have taught, or she may have misunderstood, that people’s free will is huge and God’s sovereignty is very small.
  • She may have heard that she is responsible for making sure people go to heaven or it will be her fault they end up in hell.
  • She may have witnessed some horrific tragedy or accident at school or somewhere else and blamed herself for not being able to stop it or for not being able to save everyone.
  • She may have been taught that God does not exist and she can only depend on herself.
  • She may have personality traits tend to lean toward being a fixer, doer, and in charge.
  • Her sinful nature is happy to help promote control and pride.
  • She may have bought some of the messages of radical feminism, even if she didn’t study it, just by absorbing it from our culture.
    • Women should be in charge.
    • Men are evil.
    • Women are goddesses and are always good.
    • Men are idiots.
    • Women are very wise.
    • God either doesn’t exist or He is a woman.
    • You can’t depend on the God of the Bible.
    • The Bible has no authority over our lives as women.
    • The Bible is not true.
    • The church has no authority over our lives.
    • No God-given authority in scripture has any right to guide, lead, or direct women.
    • Everything rests on your shoulders as a woman to take care of yourself.

The bottom line is this:

  • She believes she must make sure everything turns out okay and that it is her responsibility to do so.
  • She has a small, wimpy, or non-existent picture of God and a picture of herself as big, strong, and powerful.
  • Self is on the throne of her life, not God.
  • She is ensnared by pride and unbelief.

She develops some skewed thinking about God, others, relationships, and herself. That skewed thinking becomes the foundation of her understanding for how to relate in marriage and family later.

When someone’s core beliefs about God, other people, relationships, and themselves get skewed (and all of us experience this to some degree) – the only way to heal is for that person to be willing to examine these core beliefs against real truth. We must learn to take our thoughts captive for Christ. That is a scary thing. A painful thing – at first. But it is a necessary pain that leads to healing. Kind of like the pain of having a wound full of gangrene debrided. It is necessary to get rid of the toxins and the lethal infection. As we tear out the faulty foundations in our thinking, we can invite God to help us build all of our fixed beliefs about important topics on His Word and truth alone.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matt. 7:24-27

 

We all tend to develop wrong thinking as children. Then we build our lives on those messed up beliefs. But when we build on anything other than the truth of God’s Word, we are building on sinking sand. Things begin to collapse the farther we go along in life because the foundation of our belief system is faulty.

It takes great courage to be willing to examine our fixed beliefs and to question them. And to allow the Lord to show us His infinitely higher way of thinking. We have to tear out the old foundation and rebuild a new foundation for our belief system on Jesus and His Word. It is hard. But it is worth it.

As we do this, we have the incredible blessing and gift from the Lord of finding spiritual, emotional, and relational healing in Christ.

Next week we will dig further into the cure for a compulsion to control.

SHARE:

If you struggle with control, is there a specific event or situation in your past that you can link to this struggle? You are welcome to share with us.

Much love!

RELATED:

Identifying the Lies We Have Embraced (My new book, The Peaceful Mom, will have a whole chapter on this issue with a chart of lies we tend to believe vs. the truth of God’s Word – the book releases March 27th, 2018).

Healthy VS Unhealthy Relationships

Fear Fuels Our Need to Control

The Spiritual Healing That Is Available to Each of Us in Christ – by Radiant

25 Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ – VIDEO

Facing Our Deepest Fears

Experiencing God’s Victory over Fear

But I’m Right! I’m the Better Leader. I Should Be in Charge.

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

My Husband Is Not a Good Enough Spiritual Leader

Ways Husbands Lead That Wives Often Don’t Notice

A “Drill Sergeant” Approach VS. a Godly Feminine Approach

20131005-174238

A “Humorous Wedding Cake Topper” at Wal-Mart.

Definitely not the picture of godly femininity we are going for!

And not humorous at all, in my view.

Warning:

Please do not attempt any of the things I talk about on my blog without the Holy Spirit’s counsel. John 16:14: “and He will give you a Counselor to help you and be with you forever.”   The Holy Spirit has wisdom that is infinitely higher than any human wisdom for our marriages and every other aspect of life. Jesus alone is Real Love and Real Life, and the way He gives us that abundant spiritual life is through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts. God will give the Holy Spirit to you if you belong to Him and ask Him to fill you. (If you don’t have the power of God’s Spirit in your life, it could be that His Spirit is being quenched by sin or that you may need more time in God’s Word and prayer – or it could mean you do not yet belong to Christ.)

That is what we all need more than anything, to let the Holy Spirit lead us as to how we should proceed in our life and relationships. Be sensitive to His Word and His promptings. What God has to say is always infinitely more important than anything I or any other human might advise. I seek to point women to Christ and the Bible. But each of us desperately need much time in God’s Word and in fervent prayer daily – seeking God and His righteousness and His kingdom far above anything else. 

———

There is a book that has a free download “Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood” edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem. One of the statements in chapter 1 is very helpful, in my view:

“THE MORE PERSONAL THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MAN AND A WOMAN, THE LESS A WOMAN OUGHT TO RELY ON DIRECTIVES TO GUIDE HIM.”

Sometimes the reason why our husbands seem to ignore us, shut down, or fight against us – may be as simple as they way we approach them – particularly our choice of words and our tone of voice. Of course, there can be a lot more going on than just this. Our motives, what we are asking for, the wounds our husbands have, our own scars, whether we are filled with God’s Spirit, where our husbands are spiritually, and a lot of other things contribute to communication issues, as well. But lets look at directives today.

A directive is a command:

  • Do this.
  • Go there.
  • Don’t do that.
  • You better …
  • Get in here!/ Come here!
  • Stop that.
  • You need to…
  • You should…
  • You shouldn’t…
  • You have to…
  • You must…
  • Give me that.

There is no relationship that is more personal than the marriage relationship. We may not even realize that we are using directives and commands in our communication with our husbands. I know I had never thought about that earlier in our marriage. Honestly, I don’t think many women or even older children would appreciate an authoritarian approach, either. I know I am glad that Greg doesn’t talk to me this way.

My giving someone directives is a great way to create resentment and bitterness in others.

There are times that directives are appropriate – if someone is about to walk into the street in front of traffic, I will want to scream, “STOP!!! Don’t walk into the street!” But most of the time, directives are unnecessarily forceful and they can be insulting. If I give a directive to someone, I am implying that I have the right to tell that person what to do (or to control him/her) rather than honoring that person’s God-given free will.

We can communicate effectively without ordering people around, thankfully!

A woman can communicate her desires, needs, and feelings with her husband by using respectful persuasive language, suggestions, or requests. It is important that if we use these approaches, we do them sincerely and honestly. I’m not saying to lie to your husband or manipulate him!

For those of you who tend to be overly quiet, “too respectful, “too submissive” or “passive” wives – the ideas below may give you some ideas about how to find the courage and the way to open up more and to begin to share more of your thoughts, feelings, and ideas. You are a person, too. Your ideas, wants, perspective, wisdom, and concerns are important and it is your responsibility to share yourself with your husband, to be authentic and vulnerable. It is important to use your God-given influence in marriage for God’s glory.

We can respect our husbands for being men by approaching them in a way that honors their God-given masculinity and value as grown adults:

  • I would really appreciate it if you would please…
  • Would you be able to…?
  • I need to get X done by tomorrow. How do you think we could accomplish this goal?
  • What ideas do you have?
  • What are your concerns?
  • Here are some of my concerns…
  • What is important to you about this decision?
  • Some things that are really important to me are…
  • I was thinking about this project. I really want to do X with it.
  • Would you please…?
  • I’m not sure I completely understand. Would you please share more of your perspective with me?
  • I need X, please.
  • I’m having a problem with …
  • I could use some help with …
  • It would mean a lot to me if we could…
  • Would you consider…?
  • What if we…?
  • Here are a few of my ideas… what do you think?
  • Would you please take care of X for me? Thank you very much.
  • I really appreciate how you handled Y.
  • Thank you for taking care of that. You really did such a great job!
  • I knew I could count on you.
  • You’re my hero!!! Thank you!
  • I’d like to try…

Some things to avoid:

  • insulting him
  • criticizing his character
  • mothering him (treating him like he is an incompetent little boy)
  • degrading sarcasm
  • a hateful tone of voice
  • yelling
  • scolding
  • purposely trying to wound him
  • rolling your eyes to imply he is an idiot
  • acting superior to him, being condescending or patronizing
  • gossiping to him or about him

Some ways to bless him:

  • use a gentle approach
  • use a pleasant tone of voice and facial expression whenever appropriate
  • show appreciation for his gifts, talents, abilities, and work
  • be genuinely friendly
  • be generally receptive to considering his ideas and to find the good in his ideas
  • acknowledge, especially in your heart, that you are both equally precious before God, equally fearfully and wonderfully made, equally image bearers of God, and of equal worth and dignity
  • respect God, respect him, and respect yourself

This same approach is going to be a way that we can respectfully express our needs, desires, and thoughts with just about everyone in our lives. It is good for us to share our needs, desires, and ideas and we can share them in a way that honors our own femininity and that honors the personhood of those around us.

Something to prayerfully consider:

  • How might these same kinds of things apply in our relationship to God?
  • Is it appropriate for us to give God directives?

Respect is part of the love God commands all believers to show to all other people. It involves using good manners, being polite, having true humility, and seeking to show honor to other people:

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. Love never fails. I Corinthians 13:4-8a

SHARE:

What are some effective ways you have discovered of approaching your husband and sharing your needs, desires, and feelings respectfully without directives?

If you are a man, how do you believe men feel when their wives use directives to communicate with them? What approaches do you believe would be more effective?

RELATED:

Godly Femininity

Signs Your Husband Feels Disrespected (and Unloved)

My Beliefs 

NOTE:

If your husband is particularly controlling or abusive in some way, please seek godly, one-on-one, experienced biblical counsel from a trusted pastor or Christian counselor. I am not able to write for wives facing severe issues here, and strongly encourage you to seek appropriate help for your situation. I don’t want anyone to be unsafe.

The Salvation Army may be a good resource if you are dealing with true abuse, active addictions, or severe situations.

Celebrate Recovery is a Christian program to help people find sobriety from drugs/alcohol/addictions.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline

A Wife Shares What She Has Learned in Her First Year on This Journey

Pictures 002

 

In response to my post last week – thanks so much to this dear wife for allowing me to share!

Some things I have learned about my husband in the past year, since working on respect:

* Complaining stresses him out. Even if it is about something he can’t control (like the weather), he really just can’t take negatives! His work life is all the stress he can handle.

* When he comes home, he needs to be greeted and feel relaxed, because he comes home to de-stress. Lists or the kids’ schedules are stressful.

* I have learned to email him our kids’ sports schedules and not talk about the schedules. This way, our conversations don’t have to be centered on driving/schedules/etc.

* He likes being around me more when I am quiet and peaceful. (sense a theme here?)

* He now sees his friends less (because I am more of a friend to him now, not a needy, complaining wife) and takes me out more and spends more time with me.

* He calls me “Babe” now & is much more romantic with me…since he feels more relaxed and respected around me, I am much more appealing to him.

How does my husband reflect Christ to me?

* My husband wants me to trust him in everything.

* My husband wants me to be thankful for all the good in our lives, and not complain about the bad.

* My husband wants me to just be with him, not just asking for things.

* My husband hates worrying and fearfulness.

* My husband truly does love me and wants the best for me.

* My husband’s timeline is not my timeline. I need to trust his timeline.

What have I learned about myself?

* When I try to “do everything” to “help,” I’m actually trying to control everything…which makes my husband and children resentful.

* I can let go of control, and the sun still shines…and I’m a whole lot happier and less stressed.

* When I was seeking perfection, I was not happy, and neither was anyone else…even though I thought I was doing everything for the family’s “common good.”

* The more in love with Christ I fall, the more peaceful and joy-filled I am.

* Being gentle and quiet and waiting is not weakness or laziness. I am actually a better witness when I am “resting” in Christ…a breeze kisses, whereas a tornado disturbs and destroys. Lord, make me a gentle breeze.

 

Share:

What has God shown you about what speaks respect to your husband, about how your husband reflects Christ to you, and/or about yourself on this journey to become a godly wife?

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

 

Ambition and Being “Driven” Can Be Good – If…

enjoying a sunny afternoon

Nothing is wrong with a woman being ambitious and driven – provided that she is ambitious and driven in obeying God, submitting to Him and living in His power for His glory.


If a woman is ambitious and driven to do things HER way, not God’s way and disobeys God’s commands for her as a believer in Christ and as a wife – that is a huge problem.  This is where we began to go wrong in the Garden of Eden, actually. We decided that we were more wise than God and that our lives would be better if we became independent from Him. In our quest for independence from God, we became partners with Satan and then we fell.

A godly woman can have a strong personality, her own giftings, her own perspective and her own voice.

I am personally still very ambitious and driven, a go-getter, with strong opinions, ideas and feelings. But I no longer try to control my husband or God or demand my own way. I no longer disrespect my husband. My goal is to harness the power and strength of my flesh and yield it all to Christ. I seek to lay everything that belongs to me before Jesus to be used only for His will, not for my will now. I no longer belong to myself. I am not my own master. Jesus is the “Boss.” He has the reigns and He calls the shots now. And, He graciously gives me the power of His Spirit to do the things He calls me to do that I could never do in my own power. It is not about me “trying harder” but about me resting in Him and trusting Him to work through me.

I willingly, joyfully place myself under Greg’s God-given authority and leadership in our marriage and I put all of my strength, drive, ambition, power and motivation behind him to bless him. I bring all of my talents, intelligence, abilities, gifts, ideas, feelings and perspective to the table, and more than that, I bring all of the power of heaven and all that belongs to Christ with me because all that I have is His and all that He has is mine. I operate within the parameters of God’s Word and Greg’s leadership now. I seek to to build Greg up, to support his decisions, to work as a team together for God’s glory. I am a living sacrifice each day for Christ, yielding myself to Him, longing to be of service to Him. And I make myself available to my husband to serve, honor and bless him as well.

Now, God’s power floods my soul and my marriage and I have the power of heaven at my disposal to do good to my husband and my marriage. I have access to all of the the power of Christ to live in victory over sin (to read more about this, I strongly suggest checking out The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee). I no longer employ the power of my sinful nature to destroy my husband and my marriage, but rather allow God to work through me to greatly bless my husband, to empower and inspire him to become the man God desires him to be. I allow God to work in my husband’s life instead of me trying to play “the Holy Spirit” in his life.

The only power I gave up was the sinful power I used to have to destroy my husband, my marriage, my children and myself and the power I had to separate myself from fellowship with God. I have infinitely more power and influence for GOOD in my marriage now than I ever had when I was focused on what I wanted and on trying to do things myself my way.

RELATED:

I’m Right. I Am the Better Leader. I Should Be in Charge.

Are Women Morally and Spiritually Superior to Men?

But I’m a Good Person!

I’m Tired of Being the Spiritual Leader in Our Marriage

Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve My Respect – VIDEO

Husbands Share Their Masculine Perspectives with Us

697293_93862291

I asked the men some questions earlier this week and want to share some of the responses I have received. I want to share all of them!!!  But some, I want to reserve for my book. 🙂 I’m so thankful for the husbands who are willing to share a masculine perspective on these important issues. I know that many of our own husbands may not be able to voice how they feel about these things, or maybe, they have, but we just haven’t really and truly heard them. I believe that hearing from other husbands can be a powerful tool for wives to better understand men in general and for us to begin to understand our own husbands with much greater clarity. I would love for us to put ourselves in these husbands’ shoes as we read their stories. These are the questions I asked:

We are talking about what it means to our husbands when we as their wives honor their leadership even in the “little things.” I’d like to invite you to share what it means to you when your wife willingly and joyfully follows your lead.

  • What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing. If you have a specific example, that would be exceptionally helpful!
  • What goes into deciding where you believe the family should sit – are you thinking about the safety and security of your family at a restaurant, in a theater, at church, etc.?
  • Would you like to talk about a time when something that seemed small to your wife might have seemed big from your perspective?
  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?
  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

HUSBAND #1:

When my wife trusts me with the little things, then it helps improve the confidence that she will have my back on the big things. In my heart – it creates a different perspective. Her concession on a decision makes me want to consult with her more. It creates a sense of oneness. Aside from God’s word – nothing makes me feel stronger as a man than knowing that my wife has confidence in me.

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

It quickly creates an environment where the husband can start to believe that he does not have much value in his wife’s life or their marriage. Two things that impact me the most:

1) Not listening with I am trying to share my thoughts and feelings with her.

2) Unproductive comments that are meant to take a shot at me while I am taking ownership for something that has gone wrong.

I remember a time recently when I messed up. I was sharing where I felt like I had messed up, how I thought it impacted her and that I was sorry for how I handled the situation. As I was talking to her – she picked up her phone and started to look on her social media. I asked her if she would stop and listen to what I was trying to say. She told me that I was being controlling and high maintenance. I explained that I needed her to hear me out. She told me that I was being a baby.

It becomes easy to believe that my thoughts and feelings are less important that her social media. And if I am showing emotion, then I risk being called names. So…why should I make the effort to take ownership if this was the response I was going to receive?

I know that it might seem silly to create a safe place for husbands to communicate, but it does make a difference. I believe that I have always done a fairly good job with sharing my feelings; however that still doesn’t always make it easy to open up. I think that one of the greatest gifts that God gives us through marriage is the security that two people can create together. It is important that both spouses become intentional in their words and actions to create security. It starts and continues in the little moments.

Husband #2:

  • What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?

When this occurs, it makes me feel insignificant. I feel totally disrespected. It would be as if I was her child instead of husband. I’d start to ‘shut down.’ There would be no need for my input. I do think about what our children are gleaning from this if they see it occur.

  • Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?

This would feel like ‘quid pro quo.’ There would still not be any ‘respect’ felt because it would be contingent upon the size of the decision.

Husband #3:

  • “What does it mean to a husband when his wife trusts him in small things, even if she doesn’t understand exactly why he is doing what he is doing”

For me it helps build my confidence in myself to allow me to make wise decisions for all the matters I take care of.

  • “What does it do to a husband when his wife argues with him constantly about small things and insists on her way without taking his feelings, perspective, insights, preferences and wisdom into account?”

In my first marriage this was a problem. Knowing how good my marriage is now, lets me know that the needless arguing made me doubt most of my decisions and had me apologizing for those things that were not my fault.

  • “Would a husband feel respected and loved if his wife willingly follows him in the big decisions but doesn’t cooperate with him in little things?”

Obviously its more important to cooperate on big decisions then the little ones. But not cooperating on little items may get tiring and diminish anyone’s confidence after time.

Husband #4:

Note: I share this not to complain about my own situation, but to help others. I understand that I am equally accountable for creating my own situation.

To be honest, and a conscious level, my primary concern in choosing a seat is having a plausible answer to the question to, “Why would you want to sit there?” Unconsciously, I’m sure my own personal comfort plays a role (I’m 6’5″, and wary about having to sit in cramped spaces for long periods of time).

I can’t claim that physical security plays heavily in my mind, at least at a conscious level. Again, this is probably luck/privilege of being 6’5″. I’m not really a “tough guy,” but bad guys don’t know that, so I and the people with me aren’t going to be the first choice of targets. Maybe I subconsciously choose spots where I can keep an eye on things, but I don’t find myself vigilantly scanning crowds for signs of danger.

This is especially true at events (like church) that I value and wish my wife would value more. I want to make it a pleasant experience for her, and probably bend over backwards to a fault to make it so.

One event I recall that was especially devastating as my daughter’s swim meet.

Note: This story probably makes me look better, and my wife look worse, than is truly reality.

I arrived early with my daughter and all of our gear. I was scheduled to “work” at the swim meet, so I would be putting our stuff down to claim a spot my wife would sit during the meet.

Now, I had to figure out, where should I put it? What was most important? To be close to where our daughters would be with the team? To be next to her friends that she could talk to? To be in the shade? To not have a long walk to leave?

I chose based on what I thought was the proper balance of these concerns, and apparently got it wrong, since my wife laid into me about how thoughtless I was in choosing the spot.

Now, I could take criticism for making the wrong choice. But the idea that I was “thoughtless” about something I had invested a a great deal of time and worry into was particularly devastating.

Again, this is a dynamic that I had a significant part in creating, and this story is probably not a fair representation of our marriage.

But I think it paints a vivid picture of the impact the manner in which we discuss these “little things” can have.

And I guess the impacts on me:

1.) It leads me to dread/avoid future occasions like this where I will have to make a decisions my wife will have to live with.

2.) It leads me to not want to invest much thought and consideration into these future decisions. If I’m going to get clobbered anyway, why bother? In a way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

I’m not claiming these are the best/healthiest responses, but we are human.

 

Fear Fuels Our “Need” to Control

 

FEAR is a major part of our motivation to grab for control as women. We are afraid we won’t be loved. We are afraid we aren’t secure in the relationship. We are afraid we will be rejected. We are afraid we aren’t good enough. We are afraid we aren’t beautiful enough. We are afraid of so very many things!  Lots of us learned fear when things were out of control and we did not feel safe as children. We also molded our image of who God is and His character from our fathers influence or lack of influence in our lives. I am going to share some extremely simplistic examples of ways our experiences in childhood may impact our view of God and our husbands. This really could be a book in itself, I am sure. It is obviously much more complicated than what I am about to describe, but hopefully these examples might be a bit helpful.

Our fathers were supposed to be godly examples of the character of God – that mysterious combination of power and gentleness, strength and meekness, holiness and mercy, unconditional love and justice. We learned from them what to expect from God and from men:

  • Girls who didn’t have fathers in their lives, learn that God/men are not there, not reliable, not dependable, and often these girls develop a fiercely independent spirit and learn to trust SELF. These girls often struggle mightily with the desire to have a father figure and to be loved and accepted unconditionally and may not think it is possible for God or men to love and accept them or to be able to grasp what God’s character and love are like  (or a godly masculinity is like) because they haven’t seen anything like it in real life.
  • Girls who had abusive fathers or father figures in their lives learn that God/men are not loving, not able to protect them, not able to stop bad things from happening to them, that God/men have evil motives and they learn that they have to try to control things themselves or they are not safe. They will easily develop an extremely warped image of God and possibly an inability to see the good in their husbands.  (These precious ladies are going to need extra specialized, experienced wife mentors/Christian counselors to help them work through the deep scars and wounds they have experienced. I have not been through abuse, and am not able to write from that perspective. My blog is not written for women in severe situations who have been through abuse, mental health issues, drug/alcohol addictions, infidelity. If you have experienced something serious like this, I pray you will seek godly, experienced, appropriate counsel. My blog may not be helpful for you. God can heal you, and His Word applies to us all, but my words may not!)
  • Girls who had domineering mothers and passive fathers learn that God/men are not very active or involved in our lives and that God/men don’t really care about women and that God is not in charge, and men are not to have leadership in marriage, women are supposed to lead and men should submit to their wives. They also learn to be very independent and to take charge and to be in control in the marriage. They may develop a very warped image of God and masculinity.
  • Girls who had very dominating, intimidating fathers may be afraid of God/men (in an unhealthy way), waiting for God to “zap” them if they do the slightest thing “wrong” and they may live in an unhealthy fear of God and masculinity, not knowing His grace, mercy, unconditional love and not realizing there is any safety or refuge in Him.
  • Girls who had overly permissive fathers may not really consider God or His Words much (or her husband and his words) and just think about what they want and ignore God’s counsel/their husbands’ counsel, His wise boundaries that are there for our protection, His holiness and the gravity of their sin.  They may not have appropriate healthy fear of God and reverence for God and may not have appropriate respect for their husbands God-given authority.
  • Some of us had pretty godly fathers but still absorbed so many lies from the world (from school, our careers, the church, friends or the media) or from traumatic situations that we still developed a very warped understanding of God and masculinity.
  • If our fathers seemed “weak” in our eyes, or “not in control,” or if they had addictions of some type, we may have felt that we had more wisdom than they did and that we were “the adult” in the relationship and they were the “children.” We may have this view of God and masculinity, as well when we are adults.

Whatever we believe about our dad and his character and his love for us, we tend to believe about God. Whatever our parents’ marriage was like, we have been “programmed” by living with them as we grew up to think that their way of doing marriage was “normal” and “right.” We often develop ideas about God and build our theology about God as children based solely on our experience with our earthly fathers (and, to some degree, our mothers):

  • He doesn’t really love me.
  • I can never be good enough for him.
  • I have to be perfect for him to love me.
  • If I could just make him spend time with me, I know he would love me!
  • He hurt me again, I can’t trust him. I can’t trust men. I can’t trust anyone.
  • He didn’t protect me. He isn’t able to keep me safe.
  • He is so harsh with me. He doesn’t have my best interests in his heart. I can’t be honest or vulnerable with him. I am not safe.
  • He ignores me. I mean nothing to him. All these other things are so much more important to him than I am.
  • I’m never going to let a man treat me the way he is treating my mom. I’ll be sure I am in charge and never let a man hurt me.
  • He has evil motives towards me.

Then, we end up believing these ideas we have about our fathers to also be true about God – no matter what the Bible says about God. We tend to believe our experiences with our fathers or father figures are more true than God’s Word. Unfortunately, every dad is a sinner – and even the best dads fail at some point or another. Sometimes we cannot shake the warped construct of God in our minds because we don’t even realize how deeply flawed our understanding of God is.

We may also have developed significant fear from having a mother who was very unloving, hateful or abusive – or from being abused by someone else emotionally/mentally/physically/sexually as we were growing up. Or, we may have had a very difficult romantic relationship in the past that created major doubt in our ability to be “worthy of love.” Maybe someone, even a pastor or a teacher, tried to use great fear and guilt to manipulate us. Or maybe we were constantly rejected by people we cared most about.

We also learned from our mothers how to biblically submit to our fathers and to those in spiritual authority over us and to God (and some of this we learned from our fathers, as well, how he related to God and those in authority.) If we did not witness our mothers respect and biblically submit to our fathers, we will have a much harder time learning to do this ourselves.

I am sure the possibilities are practically endless of all the ways that fear can become one of the biggest motivators in our lives. No matter why we have learned to do things out of fear, God calls us to learn to receive His love and healing and to learn to do things out of LOVE.

To become the godly women Christ desires us to be – we will have to be willing to examine everything we think we know about God, godly masculinity, godly femininity, marriage and living for Christ and trash everything that is not based on the truth of God’s Word. Then we will rebuild on Jesus Christ and His Word alone. Our lives require total renovation and transformation.

We also tend to take our fears and understanding of masculinity that we experienced with our fathers (or with prior boyfriends/husbands) and assume that our husbands are the same way. We want our husbands to make up for the things we were lacking as children or in an abusive relationship in the past – and to heal our wounds, many times. We easily turn our husbands into idols (something more important than Christ in our hearts) and lay certain expectations on them that they should meet spiritual and emotional needs for us that really only Jesus Christ Himself can meet. (We do need to some level of basic expectations of faithfulness, respect, love, honor, etc… But we want to watch for unrealistic, destructive, or unbiblical expectations.)

  • He has to show me unconditional love all the time.
  • He has to prove that I am his first priority in the way I think he should all the time.
  • He has to accept me no matter what I do wrong.
  • He should stop watching TV or working on the computer or working at his job and spend every possible waking moment with me and meet my needs for love, affirmation, romance and emotional connection.
  • He should just know what I need.
  • He should want to always emotionally connect with me like I want to always emotionally connect with him with words.
  • He should want to pray with me like I want to pray with Him.
  • He should be my hero.
  • He should be like Christ.
  • He should always have unwavering grace, mercy and forgiveness for me.
  • He should never sin against me.
  • He should never fail me, never leave me and never forsake me.
  • He should …
  • He should …
  • He should …

And if my husband doesn’t do what I want him to do – I WILL NOT BE OK!

  • I HAVE TO HAVE HIS LOVE.
  • I HAVE to be his number one priority.
  • I HAVE to feel loved and hear him tell me that he loves me.
  • I HAVE to have more quality time with him.

Or I will feel unloved. And that is not acceptable! I MUST feel loved all the time.

Sometimes we also make the mistake of believing our feelings all the time, even when our feelings are not telling us the truth:

  • If I don’t FEEL connected to him, we are not connected.
  • If I don’t FEEL loved in this moment, I am not loved.
  • If I FEEL lonely, I am alone.
  • If I FEEL afraid, I have good reasons to be afraid and my fear is always justifiable. (some fears are justifiable, but some are not.)

Our feelings are not always accurate about these things!

THEN WE THINK:

  • I cannot feel unloved. My worth and value as a person is completely dependent on my husband loving me the way I want to be loved. If he doesn’t love me the way I want him to, my greatest fear will come true!!
  • My happiness and contentment in life completely depend on my husband doing what I want him to do when I want him to do it the way I think he should do it.
  • My husband is responsible for my happiness, not me.
  • I am not responsible for my own emotional stability, contentment, happiness, fulfillment, peace and joy.

SO…

  • I will love him so that he will love me.
  • I will be kind to him so that he will be kind to me.
  • I will do things for him and give him things so that he will take care of me the way I want him to.
  • I will tell him what to do so that he will meet my needs.
  • I will make him love me the way I want to be loved.
  • I will dictate to him and demand my way because I WILL NOT allow myself to experience my deepest fears of rejection and feeling unloved.

If he does NOT love me the way I want him to, I am totally justified to be hateful to him, to disrespect and hurt him because he failed me. I can sin against him if I feel unloved because “he is supposed to love me the way I want him to love me.”

AS I TRY MORE AND MORE TO CONTROL MY MAN TO MAKE HIM LOVE ME (OUT OF FEAR):

  • I sabotage our intimacy.
  • I sabotage his masculinity.
  • I emasculate him.
  • I disrespect him.
  • I hurt him.
  • I push him away.
  • I become so prickly that it becomes increasingly difficult for him to love me.
  • I smother him.
  • I use negativity, criticism, lectures, ridicule, sarcasm, mockery, humiliation, manipulation, guilt, people pleasing or I play the martyr to attempt to control him if he will not do what I tell him to do.
  • I dig in my claws and try even harder to force my way because I cannot face my fears. And I don’t even see that I am creating the very thing I fear the most myself. I don’t even see that I am foolishly tearing down my marriage and my husband with my own hands and my own words and attitudes.
  • I become increasingly desperate, needy and clingy.
  • I become insatiable.

Eventually, my husband realizes he CAN’T meet my needs, please me or satisfy me and he gives up even trying. It is not worth his time because I am going to treat him with contempt no matter how hard he tries. He can never measure up and he can never be perfect – he cannot be Christ to me. He can never make me happy and he feels like a failure every time he sees me. It becomes easier for him to shut down and try to be far away from me (or to respond in anger) because he does not feel safe, respected, loved, appreciated or valued with me.

My motives are not to love him selflessly with the unconditional love of Christ and to bless him and honor God. My motives are to make him give me what I want. My motives are selfish.  My motives are fueled by fear of not getting what I want. This is not God’s brand of “love.” This is worldly, carnal, sinful “love.”

Tomorrow we will continue on to Part 2 where we will talk about facing our  deepest fears and  then in Part 3 we will talk about finding victory over our fears in Christ!

RELATED:

The Respect Dare with Peacefulwife – Laying Down Expectations, Day 1

Expectations – Part 1

Expectations – Part 2

Expectations – Part 3

Expectations – Part 4

Husbands Have Expectations, Too – GraceAlone’s Journey

Feelings

If I Biblically Submit to My Husband, I Might Become Helpless! What if My Husband Dies?!?

 

At my uncle’s burial — Loyola Marikina, February 2014

From my sister in the Lord and friend, Nikka.  You can find this post in its entirety at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com

“If I submit to my husband and rely on him to provide for our family, I might not be equipped to handle our family’s needs when he dies!”

“If I submit to my husband and make him the leader of our family, our children might not follow me when he dies!”

“If I submit to my husband and let him protect me from other people, I might get  “too spoiled” and not be able to fend for myself when he dies!”


Death is an inevitable fact of life.
Everybody — the rich and the poor, the young and the old, male and female — WILL die. No amount of money, power or good will, can change that fact.  One may delay it somewhat, as in the case of the ones on “life preservers”, but eventually, they too will succumb. There’s no going around it. It is our FINAL DESTINATION. We are all destined for death.

Biblical submission, to an equally, if not even more so, “imperfect” human being is already scary. With the thought of death in mind, it becomes even “scarier.”

Why should I submit to my husband when I know for a fact that he might die?! Isn’t that foolhardy, to“depend” on somebody who is a mere mortal like I am? How can I equip myself with the skills and talents necessary for survival, if I become a mere follower, and not the “leader” of my life?! Isn’t there a saying that: “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”? Why should I agree to being somebody’s subordinate? I do not need a “master”. I do not need a “captain.” I can very well steer my life, the way I want it to go… on my own!!!
As I was writing this blog post, upon the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I was reminded of the “most popular WIDOW” in the Philippines. She, whose husband died tragically, and who was left on her own, not only to take care of their five orphaned children, but of the whole country as well. She who led the restoration of democracy after two decades of martial rule…
When the word “HOUSEWIFE” is mentioned, I am again reminded of the “most popular HOUSEWIFE” in the Philippines whose husband was assassinated in 1983 when he came back to the Philippines from the United States on a self-imposed exile — that widowed housewife was none other than our 11th Philippine President, Corazon C. Aquino.

María Corazón Sumulong “Cory” Cojuangco Aquino (January 25, 1933 – August 1, 2009) was a Filipina politician who served as the 11th President of the Philippines, the first woman to hold that office, and the first female president in Asia. Regarded as the “Icon of Philippine Democracy”, Aquino was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled the 21-year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand Marcos andrestored democracy to the Philippines. She was named Time magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1986. She is the first President without any political experience as she had not held any other elective office.

                A “self-proclaimed” plain housewife“… 
Mr. and Mrs. Ninoy Aquino with their children
Cory Aquino, who by her own account had no political ambition and even liked labeling herself as a “plain housewife”, became the eleventh Philippine president when her husband died.
“Mrs. Aquino appeared to dislike her job and, at the end,
counted the days until she left office.
But she fulfilled a key promise:
She survived her term and presided over
the first peaceful transfer of power
in the tempestuous country in more than 26 years.”
She was not prepared. She was ill-equipped. She was very hesitant. She was very shy. But with faith in God, she forged ahead. There are mixed emotions about her administration, but I won’t delve into that. This blog is not about that. 🙂
  • What is important to note here is that in the event our husbands do pass away, we will be okay. It may not be in our destiny to be the next president of our country, but suffice to say, we will be able to survive.  We will be able to thrive. God’s Grace will be sufficient.

Why would wives submit to their husbands if their male counterparts in marriage will surely and inevitably die? What is the purpose of that? Doesn’t that encourage“dependency” and “parasitism” and teach the children “helplessness”? Shouldn’t we teach the children “independence”, “self-reliance” and “empowerment”?

From a practical world-view, it does seem that submitting to a human being, even if that is one’s husband is “foolhardy, nonsensical and to some, even irresponsible”. But from God’s Point of View, Him Who created all of us according to His Image and Likeness and Who designed male and female as mirror images of each other, with the “woman made for man, and not man for woman” (1 Cor 11:9),   following one’s husband “makes perfect sense.”

1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
For as long as one is married to one’s husband, he is the God-ordained leader. Wives are to be their God-ordained helpers. There is just no going around that. It is God’s Design. The clay cannot question its Potter. It’s just the way He made us.

 Titus 2:3-5

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

The only time we are “freed” from this commandment of subjecting ourselves to our husbands’ headship is when our husbands die.
My deceased parents – Thea and Butch Cleofe
                       Romans 7:2
 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.

                     1 Corinthians 7:39

 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.
In heaven, though, there are no married people anymore. Our husbands are no longer our husbands and we are no longer their wives…

                                                 

Mama and Papa visiting Papa’s deceased mother on their
wedding day – April 15, 1975

                                         

 Matthew 22:30

“Together Forever, Together At Last” was the epitaph
on my parents’ grave. In heaven though, they
will no longer be husband and wife, but will be like
angels in heaven.

For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

I never witnessed a “Biblical marriage” growing up. I was mostly surrounded by married couples, including my parents, who believed in the “equality of the sexes.” Whereas this is true, (we are equal in the sight of God in essence), we are NOT equal in roles. The Bible clearly points that out in the following verses:
These Bible verses on God’s Design for Marriage were so “shocking” to me because I did not know of them, or simply skimmed over them so many times. 🙁
But, it was only when I practiced it in my own marriage, that I got the surprise of my life! Not only does it “work”, it also has so many bonuses — peace, joy, harmony… all the fruit of the Spirit!
I have to warn you though that it is not in submitting, per se, that I was able to experience all those. It was in submitting to God first, then to my God-ordained earthly authority, my husband Dong, that I was able to experience a nearly “shocking” out-of-this-world kind of FREEDOM.  It was when I let go and let God did I start feeling finally FREE from the worries, anxiety and depression that had bound me for years!!! The Peace that Christ gives is really not of this world!
UNBELIEVABLE!
If the Lord wills that our husbands die ahead of us, then so be it. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; may the Name of the Lord be praised!” (Job 1:21) But, we do not know for sure, when that will be exactly, so let us focus on the NOW.  As long as our husbands are alive, let us follow God’s design for marriage. At present, if you, dear sister in Christ are married to a breathing, living human being, by virtue of marriage, you are commanded by God to respect your husband and his God-ordained leadership role in the family.
The argument on not Biblically submitting because our spouses might die is about as flimsy as:
…a student saying, “I will not study anymore, because  there is a great possibility that I will die tomorrow. It doesn’t matter if I fail the exam!”
…a mother saying, “I will not give my children proper nutrition because they might die tomorrow.  It’s useless to fix up something healthy!”
… a husband saying, “I will not love my wife the way she deserves, because she might die tomorrow! What’s the point? My efforts will just be useless. She will die anyway!”

Serious Dong 🙂 – Jan 2014
When put this way, it does not make sense too, right? 🙂 Not doing something (Biblically submitting) just because somebody (my husband) has the possibility of dying (which is an inevitable fact of life) is just a “lousy” excuse based on any one of the following reasons: cynicism, ignorance, or pride. None of which are godly reasons. All of which are based on either disillusionment, lack of enlightenment, or fear. 🙁
However, in any circumstance, let us never forget that God’s Grace is sufficient. And it always pays to do what is right. It always is a blessing to do what the Lord wants us to do… Even if things do not turn out the way we want them to, even to the point of death, the Lord will still see us through…
With our youngest child, Isabelle 🙂
In this season of my life, I am currently a housewife and a stay-at-home mom, with part-time work. 🙂 Having been a full-time career woman all my life, it does not make sense to simply quit and take on my Biblical role as helpmeet to my husband. What a “waste” it is in the eyes of many. But I am convinced that this is what God wants me to do right now. My ministry at this moment is our home.  With all eyes set on Christ, in any circumstance, I know that God’s Grace is sufficient. Praise Him Whose Grace is boundless and Who renews it daily! 🙂

                                          Lamentations 3:23

It is wonderful that the Lord’s Grace is given in new doses daily! “They are new every morning — great is your faithfulness!”

If you do submit, dear sister, you won’t become help-less.  You will become your husband’s help-er. And the Spirit will help you if you call on Him. Death did not make me fear submitting to my husband, Dong. In view of death and how short life was on earth, it even made me re-assess my life and my priorities. If I were to die tomorrow, what would I have wanted to have done with my life? My answer: I want to have made a difference in my husband’s life and our children’s lives. With death in mind, things do have a way of becoming clearer and simpler. And for me, Biblical submission is my means towards experiencing a glimpse of “heaven” here on earth. 🙂

Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Andre P. Alejar – April 17, 2004
May we all be richly blessed! 🙂
%d bloggers like this: