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22 Ways to Destroy Intimacy and Trust in Your Marriage

There are many things we can do, sinful things, that will hurt our husbands and erode the intimacy we all long for in our marriages. This is not a complete list, but it may be a blessing to just ponder these things prayerfully.

1. Insult your husband out loud or even just in your own heart.
2. View him as your enemy. See him as evil and yourself as good.
3. Ignore all of his positive qualities.
4. Habitually assume the absolute worst about him.
5. Throw around nuclear words like “divorce” and “separation” just because you are unhappy, to hurt him, or to try to force him to do what you want him to do. (Without biblical justification.)
6. Encourage your kids not to respect your husband as their father.
7. Assume your negative emotions are infallible.
8. Use words to tear him down.
9. Treat him like a child.
10. Don’t appreciate the things he does for you and your family.
11. Cherish bitterness in your heart against him.
12. Flirt with other men.
13. Use sex as a weapon to hurt him.
14. Threaten violence or attempt to physically injure him.
15. Bond with girlfriends by having husband-bashing sessions.
16. Be too busy to have time for your man.
17. Give up using good manners.
18. Be emotionally unsafe.
19. Compare him unfavorably to other men.
20. Be contentious and argumentative.
21. Complain and be negative.
22. Assume you are always right and he must be wrong if he has a different perspective.

Some of these things are blatant and some are more subtle, but they are all harmful – for either a husband or a wife .

The virtuous wife has a different approach to her husband:

She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. Prov. 31:12

 
 
Lord,
Open our eyes to any things we may be doing that are destructive. Help us to repent to You and to receive Your healing and the power of Your Spirit to pour Your
LIFE, goodness, blessing, and kindness into our marriages. Help us to rebuild trust on our end and to build up our marriages and our husbands and not tear them down.
Amen!
Much love!
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If God has shown you some general things to stop doing that were destructive in your marriage, you are welcome to share in order to be a blessing to others. I would simply ask that you seek to honor the Lord and your husband in what you share.
RELATED

He Would Like to Have Input, Too

Photo by Christelle BOURGEOIS on Unsplash

 

The wise woman builds her house,
    but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Prov. 14:1

Let’s imagine a fictional scenario together for a moment:

Maybe my kids and I have had a lot of head congestion in recent months. Lots of runny noses. Difficulty sleeping, coughing, etc… And maybe I decide that we must be allergic to dust. So I decide I want the wall-to-wall carpet completely torn out of the house and I want everything replaced with hardwoods. I truly believe that this is a critical health issue. Yes, it will cost a lot, and yes, my husband is working on a different expensive project right now, but it seems like it should be top priority to me. After all, it is our health, we are talking about. What could be more important than that?

I have been researching a lot. One night, as soon as my husband comes home from work, I say, “Honey, I think the kids and I are allergic to dust. That must be the reason why we are all sick so much. But I know exactly what will help! We just need to get rid of all of the carpet in the house by next week. Wall-to-wall carpet is the worst for people with dust allergies. I have picked out some hardwood floors for us, and I already got a quote from Lowe’s. Obviously, we will want to get the fossilized bamboo 5.5 inch solid hardwood for the downstairs. And Yukon gold hickory solid hardwoods for the upstairs. It will be $6,000 installed. They can come next Thursday. We’ll have to move the furniture ourselves into storage for a few days. That will be $300 plus the cost of a U-Haul. Or we could do a storage container in the driveway, whichever you prefer. And we’ll have to stay in a hotel for 3-4 nights. But I found a great hotel that would only be about $150 per night. You’re good with all that, right?”

Then, if my husband hesitates, wants to ask some questions, wants to put down his briefcase, wants to eat supper first, has other solutions, or other priorities, I get upset. “What? You obviously don’t care about our health or love your family at all if you aren’t on board with my plan right now!”

This was basically my approach earlier in our marriage. (It’s exaggerated slightly here, but not much!)

Yikes.

It is very tempting to look at a problem, do all of the research and thinking through things myself, and then suddenly present the entire issue and my solution all at once to my husband. I may think I am really helping him out so he doesn’t have to do any thinking or any research.

That actually doesn’t feel like “help” to him, turns out!

In fact, a husband may feel a bit “ambushed” by this approach.

Here are a few things I know now that husbands tend to appreciate:

  • He may like to have some time to think through an important issue himself, too. I may have been thinking about it all day, but he hasn’t.
  • He may have other ways of looking at things that shed a lot of light on the issue.
  • He may have wisdom to share that I need to hear.
  • He wants to have a voice, too.
  • He wants to have a chance to research things and share his concerns and ideas.
  • He wants to feel like we are a team.
  • He doesn’t want to be painted into a corner where he has to agree with my solution or he is the bad guy.
    • If you don’t agree to this right now, you don’t care about your family.
    • If you don’t agree to this right now, you don’t love us.
    • If you ask questions, you aren’t concerned about our health.
  • He may desire a chance to humbly, lovingly lead.

These days, instead of springing a crisis and solution on my husband all at once, I am much more likely to approach him (after supper) like this:

  • I’ve been thinking about X problem. I’m concerned it may be affecting our health. What are your thoughts?
  • Then, for my particular husband, I give him time to think about things. He may need days or weeks to mull over something. And, in a situation like this, that is okay. It is not an emergency. (Now, if the toilet is overflowing, that is an emergency. It needs to be dealt with right away. Thankfully, though, many things are not emergencies.)
  • I’ve been considering Y for a solution. What do you think about that?
  • Here is what concerns me…
  • What approach do you think would be best?

My husband may bring some new ideas to the table:

  • I think I want to try changing the air filters to start with. Let’s see if that helps.
  • What things lead you to believe it is allergies, not frequent colds and viruses making everyone sick?
  • Have you tried any allergy medicine for any of you? Does that help at all?
  • If the allergy medicine helps, maybe we can get some allergy testing done to see what the allergies actually are.
  • I noticed some black looking mold on the ceiling in the kids’ bathroom. I’m going to clean it and paint over it with Kilz.

Most husbands would like to try the least expensive, easiest remedies first. If a $10 treatment works, why spend $6000?

A husband is not being unloving by responding this way. A husband who wants some time to process things, ask questions, and do some research does care about his family and their health. He is trying to lead in a godly way and be a good steward of the limited financial resources the family has. He doesn’t want to jump to a wrong conclusion. He wants to be sure the root issue is really being addressed.

There are a lot of things that could potentially be going on here. It’s wise to slow down and examine things thoroughly. Yes, we may need hard floors, but let’s be sure that is truly what will help before we make a hasty decision.

Of course, it is totally fine for me to also have respectful questions, requests, input, and suggestions. That is part of how we make decisions together as a team. If we can’t come to an agreement in the end (and he is not asking me to clearly sin), then I can choose to honor my husband’s leadership and pray and invite God to work in the situation and give him wisdom.

Husbands tend to appreciate having some time and space to think, make suggestions, ask questions, propose possible solutions, and look at things from a variety of angles. They tend to like to be involved in the problem-solving – especially if they feel respected and valued.

What a blessing to be able to respectfully share my concerns with my husband but also to let him be part of figuring out the solution. God put us together because we can help to balance each other out with our different perspectives and approaches.

It’s also important to remember that so many times, the issue and eventual decision aren’t nearly as important in God’s eyes as how we treat each other along the way is.

Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:33

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We’d love to hear about ways God has shown you how to approach your husband respectfully about important decisions.

Husbands, any suggestions?

<3

(Note – If you need one-on-one counseling for a difficult situation, please check out Focus on the Family’s counseling service or Biblical Counseling. Thanks!)

My Commenting Policy

RELATED POSTS

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What Is Respect in Marriage?

Signs My Husband Feels Disrespected and Unloved

How Satan Would Love to Destroy Your Marriage Through Your Thought Life

RELATED BOOK

The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord – there are several chapters on disrespect, respect, and how to honor our husband’s leadership in ways that honor the Lord.

 

 

 

 

 

A Young Wife Seeks to Honor Her Husband, Not Prosecute Him

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

A guest post from a young, Christian wife in response to last week’s post:

I have had a major problem with (acting like my husband’s prosecuting attorney) and continue to if I am not careful. I’ve been married only three short years and I’ve followed this blog very closely. It was, and continues to be, a blessing as I continue to walk with my husband in our very early stages of marriage. As I’ve continued on in this journey there are a couple of things that I’ve found to be helpful that I would like to share in case it helps anyone else.

TWO KEYS I HAVE FOUND

What I’ve found to be extremely helpful is studying and memorizing the specific scriptures about what God wills for wives in relation to their husbands (Ephesians 5:22-33) and then asking God to do two things:

1) To allow me to understand in a practical way what these particular scriptures mean and how they can be applied to my life in a practical way, for day to day living. I pray in faith and believe that He will guide me, even in the midst of a situation. The Bible states:

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. (James 1:5-8)

2) That GOD work a respectful, submissive attitude into my heart. Though we may DESIRE to respect our husbands, we cannot walk this out in our own flesh! This is a biggie. We can do nothing apart from Christ (John 15:5). It will take His spirit to actually complete His will. Romans 7:21-25 states:

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

DEALING WITH DEFEAT

I know we may have times in which we gave the Devil a little more of a foothold than we ought have (Ephesians 4:26). I have beaten myself up and often given up because I’ve felt so defeated.

When I dwell in my sin I feel more and more defeated and wonder why I even try.

But most recently, I’ve tried simply asking God for forgiveness and asking Him to show me how to handle it more respectfully the next time. When the next time rolls around (sometimes within the same our, or even within seconds!) I wait expectantly for the Lord, remembering His commands and trusting He will give me the strength to carry out His will:

Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me. (Philippians 4:13)

A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON RESPECT

One more thing. I am an elementary school teacher. I thought about my authoritative role as a teacher and how utterly disrespected I’d feel if one of my students said or acted towards me the way I often act towards my husband. It would be completely untolerated and it would be inappropriate.

In the same way, I thought about my own boss (the principal). Would I walk up to my boss and say and behave the way I behave with my own husband with him/her? Of course not! I’d know I’d be fired and it would be completely disrespectful to behave that way in the first place.

It’s interesting that regardless of our understanding on how to respect parents, teachers, bosses, etc… we fail to see the importance of giving our husbands the exact same respect and to follow their leadership. We will behave respectfully towards our bosses and others we see as authoritative (as we should) but our husbands we disrespect right in the face of God.

It stings as I write this, because I am so guilty of all of this. But it’s still something I wanted to share as God continues His work in my life.

FROM PEACEFUL WIFE

Honestly, even if I had treated my co-workers or patients the way I treated my husband in the past, it would have been totally inappropriate and disrespectful. As believers, we are to treat all people with dignity, respect, and honor. And all the more so when it is someone in a position of God-given leadership in our lives.

SHARE

What kinds of things has the Lord shown you on this journey to become a peaceful wife? Are there areas where you are struggling and you would like to talk about things?

Much love!

RELATED

The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord – There is a chapter on disrespect, one on respect, one about submission to Christ as Lord, a chapter on God’s design for submission in marriage (what it is and what it is not), dealing with conflict, asking for things respectfully, etc… This was the book I needed desperately 9 years ago when I first began this journey.

Spiritual Authority Basics – for all believers in Christ relating to how we treat those in positions of God-given leadership

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved

What Is Disrespectful to Husbands?

Posts about what biblical submission is and is not

What Is Respect in Marriage?

23 Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

25 Ways to Be a Safe Place for Your Husband Emotionally

Do You Think Women Are Always to Blame for Marriage Problems?

Why Do I Have to Change First?

"I Will Not Be a 'Second Class Citizen'" – by The Restored Wife

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A guest post by The Restored Wife:

I remember scoffing at the idea that my husband would EVER “rule over me” or control me in any way! I didn’t like the idea of being what I thought of as a second class citizen in my marriage.

I had a post recently here on April’s blog where I shared how that worked out for me. My husband felt so emasculated and discouraged, he completely gave up. We both made many mistakes, eventually leading to divorce. We were actually remarried March 1st, 2016 (praise God) but only after a long, painful journey in which I learned the importance of submission – not in the horrifying way I always thought it would be, but in the way God intended.

Here is an example of a situation where my husband’s leadership works when we disagree:

Our living room furniture is in awful condition, so we decided to shop for new furniture last month. We have VERY different taste so I was dreading the idea of ending up with couches I don’t even like! We sat down and planned out a budget for new furniture, and my husband asked me what color I wanted. I told him I thought gray would look best with the existing walls and decorations, and he actually agreed with me on that part. However, when we went shopping the first day, he was drawn toward couches that didn’t match my taste at all. I asked what he thought about taking some photos that day, then going home and looking over them before we made any decisions, and he agreed.

In the past, I would have demanded this instead of asking him. It makes a big difference to him that I ask respectfully, and generally he goes along with my suggestions when I do this.

That night we looked through the photos both of us had taken with our phones. I told him I didn’t like the overstuffed/oversized look of most of the furniture he picked. I didn’t yell or attack him; I just let him know that the style wasn’t what I had in mind. I asked him what features he liked most about those particular couches, and he actually didn’t care at all that they were the overstuffed kind – he was more worried about the fabric (we have pets) and how easy it would be to clean! Once I realized where his mind was, we got online and found some options that had:

(1) the gray color

(2) the same type of fabric

(3) a more streamlined look.

He was still worried that the couches I liked would be uncomfortable, so we went back to the store the next week to sit on them and try them out. We were able to find a set of couches that met both our requirements, and even though he made the final choice, he was very concerned about making sure I was happy as well.

That’s a small thing, but in the past it would have been a huge fight. I would have insisted we get the furniture I wanted without even understanding (or caring) why he was picking something else. I would have refused to even hear his opinion… I might have even insulted him by saying something like “Furniture is something the woman picks out, not the man.” None of these things would have made him feel respected and it would have driven a larger wedge between us as neither would have felt heard.

Instead, as he has become secure that I trust him to make the best decisions for our family, he seeks my input MORE than he ever did before. He wants me to be happy and is careful to make wise choices.

Not because I’ll make life awful for him if he doesn’t, but because we’ll get along so much better if he does. Before I submitted to him as the leader of our family, I would have never known he was trying to make my life easier by selecting a fabric that was easy to clean – I would have yelled and screamed to get my way and he never would have mentioned WHY he wanted the couches I didn’t like.

Submitting was so foreign to me at first. I had no idea how to be happy in a situation where I thought I would never get to voice my opinions or make decisions. But the only thing that really changed is “how” I share what I think and how my husband reacts to it. He thinks of things that never even cross my mind and I learn so much from him now that I allow him the space to share without feeling like I’ll dismiss or attack him. It’s a difficult mindset shift but I have received nothing but blessings since I allowed myself to trust God’s plan for our marriage.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

In God’s design, the husband and wife have equal value and worth. Both have an important voice. Both feel listened to. Both contribute all of themselves. Both feel loved, honored, and respected. We are not the same, but it is our differences in body, mind, and spirit that attract us to each other. It is our differences that allow us to function as a team and as one. We have different roles, but we have the same goal and we are equally valued and precious in the kingdom of Christ. We both have equal access to God and we are both co-heirs with Christ.

A godly husband and wife would both seek to be selfless, humble, generous, thoughtful, considerate, understanding, and compassionate when they are making decisions because of the Holy Spirit working in them. They would want to attempt to reach a win/win solution. There should be teamwork, calm discussion, and collaboration. It is only after such steps are taken for each spouse to understand the other and to honor the other and to try to reach a solution both husband and wife would like – that if they still can’t agree, the wife would then choose to honor her husband’s leadership and trust God to lead her through him. Sometimes decisions may have to be made quickly, without time for discussion – if there is an emergency. Some situations don’t have compromises.  But both spouses ideally would be seeking to do what is best for the family and seeking to be selfless and should desire to do what is ultimately best in God’s eyes for everyone in the family.

Many times, the actual decision isn’t as important as how we treat each other during the decision-making process. 

RELATED:

Biblical Submission

Spiritual Authority

A Husband’s and a Wife’s Authority in Marriage

Husbands Are Never the Absolute Authority

Biblical Submission Does Not Mean the Husband Is Always Right

Biblical Submission Is Not Passivity

Can a Wife Overdo Submission?

Do You Have to Lose Yourself or Be Fake to Be a Godly Wife?

Does Being Biblically Submissive Mean I Can’t Share My Feelings and What I Need

The Pendulum Effect (avoiding the sinful extremes of being too passive and too controlling)

25 Ways to Respect Myself

What Is Godly Leadership?

Isn’t It Demeaning to Me If I Respect My Husband?

 

The Painting "Test"

 

 

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A guest post from a reader – I so appreciate her allowing me to share her story:

I just want to encourage everyone here on this journey to stick with it.  I started on this whole journey about three years ago and I recognize all these feelings and the days of hard-heartedness and times of being in a black cloud.

God is not after your exterior, or your acting respectful by following rules of behavior (although it is a good place to begin to learn self-control), He is after total transformation and that takes more time than we imagine it could.

After a few years of this I FINALLY am beginning to experience freedom from the bitterness and cynicism that I had allowed to dominate me. I have read all the posts on this blog many, many times! I LOVE how I was nurtured and mentored here through such loving and patient wisdom. I had to learn how to give my heart to Christ first and examine myself first and extend Jesus’ love without expecting return.

One story sticks out for me when I knew I had turned the corner:

painting-a-wall-1142076-639x425This was just over the Christmas holiday a few months ago. My husband had painted our walls three years ago but I came home and noticed that spots were thin, showing the old color through, and the trim was messy, including color on the corners of the white ceiling. For these two years I have had the “ugh” factor when I look at my walls, it interrupted my enjoyment of my home, I stopped having friends over, etc etc. I demanded. I pointed out the flaws. I asked politely. I stayed quiet for long periods of time hoping he would get around to fixing it, but of course he felt criticized by my pointing out the flaws and never did it.

Well, this Christmas I was going to have time off and I asked him to get out all the paints for me and the ladder. I painted all the trim and fixed the thin spots over about three days – morning till night.

The amazing thing was that the whole thing became a prayer.

I was motivated to do it from love, because my prayers had led me to release my resentment and think about my husband as a little boy being criticized by his mother. I had gone through my own process of repentance and I was so clear-headed and light-hearted that it was easy to start the work.

While I painted, I noticed that different times of day made the light change and it was really hard to tell whether I had really painted enough layers over the old color. It kept changing. My husband had painted while he was in his busy season of work before (while I was out of town for six weeks). I realized that it was not so easy to see what you had done while you were painting. I forgave him more deeply. While I worked I had fun! I sang, carefully moved the ladder, kept a good spirit, because my work had become a prayer of healing for my family.

 

brush-2-1564428-639x449When I worked on the trim, I realized that it was the perfect thing for me to do and that my husband was the type of person who was not cut out for the detail work. But I was so thankful that I didn’t have to do the big strokes of the whole wall, which would have exhausted me totally. So God showed me we were a perfect team — man to do the big muscle work and woman to fill in details and make the whole thing more pretty.

I allowed myself to receive my husband’s gifts even if they weren’t my fantasy picture — to see what was in his heart.

He was pretty defensive the whole time expecting me to fall into resentment and complaining, but God kept my heart lifted up as He showed me so many ways I had to look at myself and repent. This was a test and I was thankful for it, because it showed me that I had actually found transformation. I wasn’t just boiling inside and keeping my mouth shut. I was joyful and thankful that my husband had done what he could and that I could step in and help (even though it took a very long while). I was so thankful to be working on our home together (which I always wanted) but in this different way (him first then me following). I have always had an idolatrous fantasy of us working side by side on our home, but he needed space for his work and I for mine.

I felt we were working together as one, though, more than any other time in our marriage except for the births of our children.

I was so happy to share this with my husband and I could tell it was a milestone for him, too. Since that time he has been so much more open and calm, we have been able to talk more freely without falling into old patterns. We are still working on it all, but there was some kind of a shift. The shift happened in my heart, and its fruit was my being able to paint and learn more amazing things God showed me. The shift came first. During these other years it definitely started as me learning to be quiet, say things in different ways, etc,etc, but now I see with new eyes, which is a gift of that outside-in time I had to go through first.

I would never have known how this felt unless I had a guide, a Titus woman I could trust. Thank you April for what you do here. Christ is saving families through you. Bless you and your family.

25 Ways to Show Real Respect for Your Husband

photo credit Maral Rabbit Photography
photo credit Maral Rabbit Photography

 

ADMIN NOTE:

If anyone has some Valentine’s Day disappointment you would like to hash through together with me, let me know. We can talk about it. Also, please check out Valentine’s Day Expectations.

BOOK NEWS:

My book, The Peaceful Wife – Living in Submission to Christ As Lord, is on sale on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Google Play (the Kindle version) for $1.99 through next Monday! Please check it out, and do an honest review if you get a chance. That would be awesome!

—————-

Every husband has his own list. What matters most is not this particular list, but what most speaks honor and real respect to your particular husband. 🙂

 

25 WAYS TO RESPECT YOUR HUSBAND

  1. Be sure to have your time with God in His Word and in prayer daily. It is impossible to be a godly wife and to honor our husbands from the heart if we are spiritually starving.
  2. Care about his feelings, words, and opinions the way you would like him to care about yours.
  3. Treat him like a grown adult and a person of equal worth in the eyes of God.
  4. Approach him with humility realizing that his perspective and wisdom have worth just like yours do.
  5. If he has a higher drive sexually, seek to be joyfully available to him and to enjoy him whenever you can. If he has a lower drive sexually, seek to extend grace, patience, understanding, and selflessness to him rather than pressuring him or condemning him.
  6. Don’t interrupt him whenever possible.
  7. Treat him well especially in front of others. This includes social media.
  8. Bless him with that radiant smile of yours that lights up the room just because you love him when you see him after work (and lots of other times, too).
  9. When he mentions something that is important to him, try to put that high up on your to-do list.
  10. Communicate directly, concisely, and in a straightforward way rather than giving hints and expecting him to read your mind.
  11. Share your concerns, ideas, wisdom, perspective, and feelings calmly, with a pleasant tone of voice whenever appropriate, using good manners.
  12. Use a friendly tone of voice and facial expressions as a general habit.
  13. Focus on his strengths and the good things you see in him.
  14. Appreciate the ways he shows you love and tries to make your life better even if there are other ways you would like him to show love to you.
  15. Honor his parenting and seek to support his decisions as much as possible. If you disagree, share that respectfully and humbly in private. (If he is sinning against your children, you may need to confront him)
  16. Speak highly of his family.
  17. Do things that you enjoy for yourself.
  18. Give him time to process difficult emotions and tough decisions without pressuring him to talk if he is not ready.
  19. Keep vulnerable and sensitive information confidential (unless there are severe problems and you are speaking to a counselor/appropriate mentor/the police).
  20. Be flexible and able to roll with changes and challenges that inevitably come up in life. Your stress level greatly impacts everyone in the family, including your husband. When you are stressed, he is much more stressed.  If you are able to have an adventurous, joyful, calm spirit, everyone else will weather trials more easily, too.
  21. Believe in him.
  22. Don’t compare him to other men, even in your heart.
  23. Accept him and let him know you appreciate the man he is and that you are not trying to change him. He is not your “project.”
  24. Receive compliments, love, acts of service, and gifts from him graciously.
  25. Relax with him and be his friend.

 

NOTE:

It is so critical that before we attempt to honor our husbands, we put God way above our husbands in our hearts so that we are filled to overflowing with Christ. Then we approach the marriage from a position of spiritual and emotional abundance. We find our security and identity in Christ. We are already fulfilled and content in Jesus. Only He can meet the deepest needs of our hearts, minds, and souls – no human can do that. When we understand that our husbands can’t be God to us, and that they are mere mortals just like we are, we can see them as fellow travelers rather than having expectations of them and of marriage that are unrealistic.

We can take responsibility for our own spiritual well-being in God and our own emotions. We can be sure we are treating God and ourselves with respect. We can be filled up with God’s Spirit, spilling over with His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Then we are ready to learn to respect our husbands.

(Wives would appreciate many of these things, as well – and wives each have their own list of things that feel loving to them, too. Everyone appreciates being treated with honor, godly love, and respect.)

(If a husband is involved in unrepentant sin, a wife does have a responsibility to respectfully confront him in many situations.)

SHARE:

Ladies,

If you would like to share the things you have learned that your husband appreciates most we’d love for you to share!

Gentlemen,

If you would like to share the things that most speak respect and honor to you as a husband, you are welcome to share.

 

Some Husbands Share Their Perspectives – PART 2

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Continued from Part 1

Husbands answered my questions:

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

Ladies,

Please keep in mind that each husband would have his own unique answers to these questions. These husbands can’t speak for every single husband on the planet. But, I think it is helpful to get a feel for a variety of men’s answers to these questions. Then, the most important thing is to seek to understand and learn and know your own husband and his needs and to seek to honor God and your particular husband as you walk in the power of God’s Spirit, living in the grace, power and mercy of Christ on a daily basis, seeking God’s glory above all else in your life.

And, just like with the last post, I would like to please keep the focus of our discussions on what wives can do to bless and honor our husbands in the comments on this post. I am very aware that there are many, many needs and desires wives have, as well. And there are an infinite number of things husbands can do to bless, love and cherish their wives. But the purpose of this particular blog is for us as wives to focus on what we can do on our end of the marriage. Thanks!

I appreciate all of these husbands (and some wives, too) who took the time to answer these important questions and allowed me to share their thoughts!

 (PS – for wives whose husbands are lower drive sexually than the wives, or for wives who feel they don’t receive enough compliments from their husbands or who don’t believe their husbands feel attracted to them, this post may be one that would be wise to skip.)

HUSBAND 6

What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

A: I believe that a wife isn’t the only person who should be doing something to make the marriage stronger. As a man, I should be putting my part in to make it stronger as well. A marriage is a 100% effort from both parties involved. But for the sake of this question, I would ask my wife to stay supportive of my work which I’m trying to make as our main income. Help me as much as possible and push me that much harder to make it all work in our favor.

What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

A: Be supportive of everything they do. Understand that what we are doing as husbands is always in the best interest of our marriage and not just ourselves, even if at first it seems that way. Always be there, but never nag to know what is wrong. Sometimes we just need support. We go through a ton of negative thoughts as men who need to provide for our family and it can get very tough and scary for us. Physically we may seem like we are ok, but deep down mentally we are afraid to fail, afraid to disappoint and afraid to let our wives down.

What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

A: Cook his favorite foods, have a cold beer for him ready when he gets home, or a mixed drink. Always look your best no matter what. We want to come home and see our gorgeous wives and know that we work and bust our butt for these beautiful women. We work to give them the world. Don’t nag us for something we may buy, want or do. Just let us be and know we always have the marriage, relationship, family’s best interest at heart and we don’t do things that would jeopardize the foundation and stability of any one of them.

What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

A: As a husband, be there for them and encourage them to go for what they truly believe in. Guide them with some insight. Let them know they are doing a great job even if we don’t feel like it. As a spiritual leader, speak words of affirmation that guide his mind towards God. Email him once in a blue with scripture or sermons regarding a man’s duties to God and his family. And best of all let him know he is the the connection between God and your family and because of that connection blessings have come your way. Because he is a man of God, a God fearing man, your family is blessed.

(A note from Peacefulwife – if your husband is far from God, emailing him about a man’s duties in Scripture may repel him. I Peter 3:1-6 may be your best approach in such a situation. But, this will require great sensitivity to God’s Spirit in each individual circumstance. But if a husband is very resistant to his wife and very resistant to God – I would not suggest sending him anything or saying anything about God with words. As a wife obeys I Peter 3:1-6 and seeks God with all her heart, God is able to speak to our husbands’ hearts. And even if your husband IS close to God, note that this husband suggested only sending such things rarely. Not frequently. It would be easy for a wife to take a suggestion like this and then dump tons of emails about God on her husband. That would probably not draw any husband closer to God or to his wife. It could quickly become nagging. And, not all husbands always have their families’ best interest at heart in all of their decisions. But, some do. And sometimes our husbands actually do have our best interests at heart as they make decisions even when we can’t see it at the time. Thankfully, God always has our best interests at heart and we can ALWAYS trust Him!)

HUSBAND 7

1) Accept the possibility that ‘I may have told you about _____’ and you just forgot. No one remembers every word from every conversation. On occasion, a simple “I’m sorry, I must not remember that conversation” would be nice.
2)Pay attention to the little things that irritate me and try to eliminate them. I’m not going to divorce you on account of them, but they do bother me.
3) Be willing to experiment sexually (even slightly). Just because it is good enough for you, doesn’t mean it is for me. The same thing every time can get boring!
4) Be at peace whenever you can. Life can be rough, but God says ‘fear not’, ‘don’t fret’, and ‘believe’. I’m trying to be strong and make decisions based on His Word. Don’t second-guess what God says. I’m not perfect, but He is.

HUSBAND 8

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

Be more confident in her decisions and beliefs. Sometimes it is ok to disagree on topics, and I respect her opinion. I respect my wife when she voices her opinion in a positive way. Understand more about how intentional I am about spending time with her and our family, but there is a balance with work and home responsibilities that takes some of my time away from the family.

1. Things my wife already does: Stays strong in her Faith with daily time in the Bible and prayer. Encourages and supports me in everything that I do, and decisions I make. Doesn’t judge me on my past mistakes and errors in life.

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

This depends on the man, as each of us perceives caring from our wives in a different way. Some, it’s the physicality, some the doing (cooking, cleaning, etc.), others the heart connection (notes, cards, texts, emails)

2. Things my wife already does: She is strong in all of the areas listed above, but at different times. She knows that the simple thing of making sure I have pressed shirts from the dry-cleaners, takes a big burden off my shoulders. I understand she doesn’t like to do that task herself, but she makes the effort to arrange that they get done. She gets, that for me, it’s the little things. A simple touch on the shoulder when I am stressed or upset about something. My wife doesn’t like to cook, but tries to at times. The effort is always appreciated, but she also can stress over it. Keep it simple.

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

Become psychologists???? Men are strange creatures, and I know that there are times my wife sits there and wonders why my moods turn. For me, I would like my wife to learn what makes me tick in certain situations, and know that asking me, “What can I do to help?” isn’t always what is needed. Yes, I am expecting the impossible, figure it out without discussing it. LOL. I would like her to be more aggressive (sexually) at times, as far as initiating it, yet understand when I want to be the aggressor. Again, probably asking too much, but hey, she asked me to answer these questions, right???

3. Things my wife already does: Intentional about asking me what more she can do. Hey it’s a catch 22. I like that she is intentional about it, just sometimes would like her just to do, and see what happens. My wife is also an extremely respectful wife, and uses Biblical principles to govern who she is as a wife and mother.

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

Be strong and encouraging. Be consistent. Good husbands want their wives and family to be proud of them, and it never hurts to hear it. Understand that as husbands, fathers, and spiritual leaders, there may be time constraints that pull them away from their families. It may not be what they prefer, at the time, but necessary nonetheless. When a wife expresses their pride, verbally, in notes, and when talking with others, it empowers men. Real Christian men don’t shy away from accountability. We may not like it all the time, but we excel in it. How does that encourage? When a man hears someone else talking about something positive their wife said about them, it encourages us, and also in a way holds us accountable from the standpoint of continuing to do the things she is speaking of. It’s awesome to me when my wife says she is proud of me, or appreciates something, but when someone else comments about something my wife told them about me, it is like more real. Hope that makes sense.

4. Things my wife already does: She is a great encourager. The best. She gets it more times than not, and it empowers me. She is much stronger in her Biblical knowledge than I am, yet encourages me to lead our small study group. She constantly expresses to me what a good step-father she thinks I am to her daughter. She motivates me to stay connected with my own children. She is a wonderful mom, and that inspires me to make sure I am a solid leader in our home. It makes it easy, as she is so respectful and defers to me on final decisions. Some will be right, some will be wrong. We will talk through things, as I have great respect for her opinion, but at the end of the day, she empowers me to make the final call.

WIFE 1

My husband said that marriage could be more enjoyable if wives would “play” more. The idea of shoulder-to-shoulder activities; wives getting out there and doing something fun with their husbands 🙂 As far as fulfilling the roles of fathers and husbands, he said that just having a wife that sees and supports the positive things he is doing means so much to him. As far as being a “leader” the big word was “respect.”  Men don’t even want to partner with a wife on the big things if he makes decisions then a wife says, “That’s nice, but you’re doing it wrong”.

RELATED:

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Biblical Submission

How Respect and Biblical Submission Impacted a Husband’s Soul

What Speaks Respect to Husbands

Can You Overdo Respect or Submission in Marriage?

Husbands Share What Makes Them Feel Disrespected

How Disrespectful Was I?

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

Little Things (to Us) That May Feel Bigger to Our Husbands

Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Want

Some Husbands Share Their Perspectives – PART 1

man praying

Here are some questions I asked the gentlemen readers a few weeks ago:

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

I am very excited to share some of the responses. There is something about hearing men share their ideas and their hearts and minds in their own words that is such a blessing and so very helpful to us as wives as we seek to learn to become the wives God desires us to be. Every husband would have somewhat different answers to these questions. Ideally, you may be able to ask your own husband what he thinks about these things, but, if you are not in a place in your marriage where that is possible, or your husband is not able to verbalize himself yet, these answers may be helpful and may get you in the ballpark, at least. I’d like us to consider that our husbands’ needs, desires and concerns are just as valid and legitimate as our own.

Ladies,

There are MANY things wives would appreciate our husbands doing for us, too. We have legitimate needs, desires and preferences, too. But, this two part series is not about what we want or what husbands should do or could do. It is about what our husbands want and need and how we can bless them.  So, as you comment, I would appreciate if we could stick with this focus, please. 🙂

PS-  if you are a wife whose husband is low drive and you are the higher drive spouse – some of the husbands’ comments may be upsetting and counterproductive to read. For some of you, this post may be one that would be better to skip.

Here is the link to Part 2 of this series.

HUSBAND 1

1. Don’t spare me so much. Don’t try to keep normal life stresses away from me. I don’t like going to the grocery store, but I know it’s part of life. I think it is a little mothering and demeaning. It feels like you’re trying to protect me.
2. Allow us to do our God-assigned tasks. That’s what we are built for. Let us fail or succeed but still be there. When you stopped picking on my bad qualities, it bolstered my trust.
3. Be adventurous in the bedroom. But it’s tough because from a man’s standpoint, you’re the wife and mother of his children. Sometimes it helps for the wife to show her sexual side.
4. Believe in them. Don’t say I told you so. Don’t crucify him if his well intended plans don’t work out. The key is for you to be his biggest and unconditional supporter.

 

(** A note from Peacefulwife – if the husband is the lower drive spouse and the wife is the higher drive spouse, a husband may appreciate less pressure sexually, at least for a time. For more on this topic, please check out this post.)

HUSBAND 2

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?

Pleasant demeanor when we come home. Verbally appreciate when we do things around the house. Smile. Offer a massage. Imagine if we all treated our spouses like we treat customers and co workers at our jobs.

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?

Dress modestly. Immodest dress says to your husband his attention is not sufficient for you and you need attention from strangers. If you’re getting dressed or picking out clothes to buy and have to ask if it fits the definition of modest…it doesn’t.

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?

Men have fragile ego’s that need a certain style of stroking. A man’s confidence and success is directly tied to feeling desired, respected and appreciated. Hearing your wife compliment you especially publicly or to her friends shows she respects you and makes a guy feel like a million bucks. I’m not sure I would jump on the bandwagon of “be into the things he’s into”. Quite frankly I’d be a little creeped out if all of a sudden my wife sat down to watch a baseball game with me or overheard her and her friends analyzing last nights Patriots game. Would I want her to watch a softball game I was playing in? Absolutely but it would really seem odd if she wanted me to train her in how to play so we could be teammates. It depends on your husband and what and how he would respond to your “interest”. We may not have the emotional radar you do but we know when you’re not really into something.

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?

Pray for us, pray with us and remind us periodically that you are praying for us. Men like to be reminded that you really are in our corner and have our back. A husbands life and death are in the hands and heart of his wife. Knowing I’ve done something to make my wife happy makes me feel good. Hearing it from her with a smile is an uplift like nothing else.

 

HUSBAND 3

1. What are some things that you would like to ask your wife to do for you that you believe would make your marriage stronger?
**When we started our journey, I asked her to pray with me. I think this is the strongest and most intimate thing a couple can do together. The next very important key is that she shows her respect for you. At home, in public, with family, always. Men are much happier when they know that their wife respects them. It’s an ego booster for sure, so be careful, men, don’t let it make you too prideful.

2. What are some practical things wives can do in general that would make their husbands feel very blessed to be married to them?
**I feel very blessed when my wife lifts me up. She supports my (sometimes radical) ideas and/or goals. Even if they don’t always turn out the way I envisioned, she’s always there to support me. Also, she does so many things around the house to make my life (after a long day at work) a lot simpler. From fresh coffee, clean laundry and a peaceful environment, to hugs, kisses and a desire to please me sexually, I feel VERY blessed!

3. What can wives do that would make marriage enjoyable for husbands?
**It may sound “old fashioned” or maybe (to the modern feminist) sexist, but if women took better care of their home, kids, appearance, etcetera, their men just might be a lot happier. Maybe it’s just me, but, I like coming home after a long day to a clean house, quiet kids, a nice meal, a wife that cares about her appearance, and things of that sort. MUCH more enjoyable than loud unruly kids, a messy house, and a wife in “cruddy” clothes. Also, try to take/show an interest in the things he likes. I love fishing with my wife, long drives, cheesy movies, classic cars, and we even discuss politics without arguing! I know, weird huh?!

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can inspire and encourage their men as husbands, fathers and spiritual leaders?
**Simple…Prayer (for their man and together), outward respect and devotion, and positive feedback!

 

HUSBAND 4

1. What are some things that you would like to
ask your wife to do for you that you believe
would make your marriage stronger?

  • She is available for sex.
  • Is good at making meals and learn better stuff from time to time.
  • A good home-keeper.
  • She is keen on being smart and good-looking even after marrying this dude.

2. What are some practical things wives can do
in general that would make their husbands feel
very blessed to be married to them?

  • Gentleness in how she talks to her husband.
  • Shows visible priority of husband over kids. The kids have legitimate need for attention but it should be obvious
    where her basic loyalty lies.
  • She is available as a helper when called upon without seeming to imply she is always doing this other more important thing.

3. What can wives do that would make marriage
enjoyable for husbands?

  • Giving gifts -doesn’t have to be a diamond studded bracelet ! Just visible proof that she wants to make you happy.
  • She is available for companionship and makes this one of her priorities (this is distinct from just sex).
  • She makes effort to learn what makes him happy and is committed to it.
  • She is keen to learn ways to continually improve her marriage and is not slovenly (ie allowing the water to find its own level). To acknowledge there is a better way that can bring more happiness.

4. What are the most powerful ways wives can
inspire and encourage their men as husbands,
fathers and spiritual leaders?

  • Not being independent when she makes decisions and consults her husband on relatively major to major decisions.
  • Trusting what the husband is doing is good/important. Allow him to even fail when he insists so he can learn from his mistakes. It is like showing the captain of the ship that your trust his leadership. This is an extreme motivator (my personal humble opinion).
  • Openly showing respect for him to the kids ( by acts and words) even by comments made when the husband is not present.
  • She knows she is not perfect and does not have to be the perfect wife but is willing to try on the above areas and others that she receives feedback on from her husband.

 

HUSBAND 5

Hi April, I just wanted to make one small ( but BIG) suggestion to couples. Please be sure to SLOWLY implement the changes so that your mate will not get defensive. I admit, I get ‘uncomfortable’ with drastic changes because I used to ‘sadly’ think the worst :(. The majority of the time – if we are sincere – we ALL want to make a quick change – but don’t weigh the consequences.

 

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Why Won’t My Husband Lead?

Why Should I Have to Submit to My Husband in the Little Things?

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Ways Husbands Lead that Wives Often Don’t Notice

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Respecting Our Husbands as Fathers

7 Basic Needs of a Husband and 7 Basic Needs of a Wife – Rev. Weaver

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Usually today is prayer day. But my schedule has been suddenly disrupted this week – which is fine. God is certainly sovereign over that.

I have been wanting to share this post and am so excited to get to share it today with you.

From Rev. Harold Weaver’s marriage class, posted with permission. (Rev and Mrs. Weaver celebrated their 50th anniversary about a year ago.)

Ladies,

Please focus primarily on the needs of husbands. 🙂 If we allow ourselves to get too caught up in our own needs, it can often lead us to spiral into sin – particularly for wives who have tended to be controlling/disrespectful. I know it can for me! If things are not going well and you are feeling very discouraged or unsatisfied in your marriage, I encourage you to skip the needs of a wife and go directly to the needs of the husband – if you have already shared your needs many times, in particular. It is entirely possible to turn these legitimate needs into idols (things we put above Christ and seek to fulfill in illegitimate ways) if we are not careful to find all of our contentment, identity, security, peace, joy, purpose, acceptance, strength and hope in Christ alone. I have linked the class notes for each of the husbands’ needs so you can find out much more detail about each of the points about husbands.

Each of the basic needs of a husband has a link to the class notes on that heading that may be very helpful, as well. Enjoy!

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A WIFE

1. A wife needs the stability and direction of a husband who is functioning as the spiritual leader of his family.

2. A wife needs to know that she is meeting vital needs in her husband’s life and work that no other woman can meet.

3. A wife needs to see and hear that her husband cherishes her and that he delights in her as a person.

4. A wife needs to know that her husband understands her by protecting her in areas of her limitations.

5. A wife needs to know that her husband enjoys setting aside quality time for intimate conversation with her.

6. A wife needs to know that her husband is aware of her presence even when his mind is on other matters.

7. A wife needs to see that her husband is making investments in her life that will expand and fulfill her world.

7 BASIC NEEDS OF A HUSBAND

1. A husband needs a wife who respects him as a man.

2. A husband needs a wife who accepts him as a leader and believes in his God-given responsibilities.

3. A husband needs a wife who will continue to develop inward and outward beauty.

4. A husband needs a wife who can lovingly appeal to him when he is going beyond his limitations and wisely respond to those who question his ideas, goals or motives.

5. A husband needs quality time to be alone with himself and with the Lord.

6. A husband needs a wife who is grateful for all he has done and is doing for her.

7. A husband needs a wife who will be praised by other people for her character and her good works.

 

 

“We Thought We Might Need to Get D*v*rc*d”

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Administrative Note:

I am on an email vacation right now – finishing up my book. Please pray for God to give me His Words and His wisdom! It has got to be ALL Him, not me. Please pray for Him to direct Greg and me as we make a lot of decisions we have never made before about how to publish this book.

There is a rather nasty ice storm coming to South Carolina within the next 24-48 hours. It is very possible that I may lose power for a few days. If I am not responding to comments, that is probably what has happened. I will respond as soon as I am able. 🙂

————————–

 

from a wife, thanks to her for allowing me to share her story:

Wow! This site was a God-send for me and my family! After having another outrageous argument with my husband about how he felt that I did not respect him, I was at work, crushed, having what I now see as a “damsel in distress pity party” because I was so unloved and my husband was so cold and we might as well get d*v*rc*d (it’s a bad word). And finally I decided that I would try one more thing – I googled “what does it mean to honor your husband.” That was the Holy Spirit helping me save my soul as well as my marriage!

The night before my husband was going through what has been our monthly “warfare ritual” where we had been doing okay for a few weeks then “it” finally boiled over into a heated argument. Within the last four months those rituals included me – a “Christian” woman – cursing, kicking in the tv, writing emails saying “its over,” him saying “its over,” etc. He seemed so distant, cold, irritated and unconcerned with my feeling that I was starving for love in the marriage. After being married 10 years, we were constantly slamming into a brick wall and we each felt like we loved each other but we had to get out.

I now see that everything was coming to a head because of that Crazy Cycle (Dr Emerson Eggerichs Love and Respect) without love>women react>without respect> men react > without love… That cycle began to spin like a tire on a Jaguar going 120 mph! The cycle wound our hearts up for 10 years and now it was just spinning out of control.

But thank God, we were fighting for the marriage. My husband attempted to talk some sense into me. But my self righteousness and arrogance had me on this (I hate to admit it but) truly demonic throne where I would decipher each word from his heart and turn it into either an accussation against his character, a charge of hatefulness against me or some form of neglect in meeting my needs.

In just two short hours or so after reading through this blog, our marriage has been saved! I am convinced of it. I went into his email and archived the hateful, damning email that I sent to him earlier before he read it and then I sent him a brief email apologizing and telling him how I really knew that he was an awesome husband and Christian man and I just didn’t get what his need was and now I do. I shared a link to one of the posts here for him to give me his thoughts if he wanted to.

When I saw him that day it was like a heavy boulder was lifted off of him and he was elated. We didn’t have to go through our usual 5 days of ignoring each other and whatever. We just instantly became best friends again!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I still have so much work to do and I am on a mission to get out of all of this sin! I thank God for your site and the many marriages that this will help! We need this Good News in our world today!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

For those who are having extreme issues in their marriages: infidelity, drug/alcohol addictions, severe emotional/spiritual abuse, physical abuse, uncontrolled mental health disorders – please seek Godly, experienced, biblical counsel!!!

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