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Twenty-three Signs Your Husband Is Beginning to Trust You Again

 

Many of you may remember me saying – it took 3.5 YEARS into my journey before Greg began to feel safe with me again – once God opened my eyes to my disrespect and control. Just a few weeks ago, he told me that he feels even safer with me – 6.5 years into my journey. At first, a lot of husbands are very skeptical about the changes they see in their wives. They may stay that way for months, or even years, before believing that the changes in their wives are real. Many husbands are worried at first that the changes are a phase or their wife’s attempt at manipulating them. (For more about how husbands often respond when they don’t know what is going on at first, please check out this post.)

Sometimes, it can be confusing to a wife when her husband begins to slowly trust her again – because it can seem like things are getting worse – from a wife’s perspective. Here are some things may indicate your husband is beginning to feel safer with you – that he feels like he has a voice in the marriage again, that he feels respected, that he feels you can handle hearing his true feelings/thoughts, and that he is feeling more free to be honest and be himself again (these things will happen gradually over time, usually – and they won’t all happen in every situation):

  • He tells you things that might be difficult for you to hear (constructive criticism, or just ideas of his that differ from yours)
  • He shares more about his heart, struggles, concerns, ideas, and dreams
  • He is more affectionate – maybe even begins to touch you again if he had stopped touching you
  • He may begin to flirt and become more interested in sex with you again, his libido begins to pick up
  • He looks you in the eye more
  • He is more willing to risk disagreeing with you
  • He smiles more
  • He jokes more often and teases you in a friendly way again
  • He wants to do more things together
  • He looks more relaxed around you and seems to be having more fun
  • He gives you more compliments (less verbal men may still not do this, just because of their personalities)
  • He seems more interested in doing things you would like
  • He feels like it is worth it to try to do things that will make you happy because he believes it is actually possible to please you again
  • He is more interested in your feelings, concerns, insights, and ideas
  • He doesn’t raise his voice as much
  • Arguments seem to happen less often and the recovery time seems to be much faster
  • He may be more willing to talk about having children if he wasn’t before
  • He talks about the future together
  • He acts a lot more like the guy you fell in love with years ago
  • He begins to open up spiritually – maybe even praying with you (although some men still won’t, this depends on the man, where he is spiritually, and his personality)
  • He trusts you with deeper parts of himself
  • He tries to serve you more and do more things to show his love for you
  • He is more willing to try to lead you and your family and take risks because he is not afraid of you reacting negatively

If your husband is feeling more at ease around you and more trusting of you – what are some of the changes you noticed on this journey?

Men, you are welcome to comment, as well, to help the ladies better understand the things they might see in their marriages as they learn to honor and respect their husbands and to be peaceful, godly wives.

RELATED:

Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected and Unloved

What Is Respect in Marriage?

My Level of Respect for My Husband Has Nothing to Do with Him – VIDEO

Husbands Share What Is Disrespectful to Them

“Why is the TV More Important to My Husband than I am?????”

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From a precious wife and sister in Christ:
Dear April,
I just read today’s blog on (not) pursuing your husband and I never really thought of it that way.

That was me.

I remember standing in front of the television, more than once, demanding that my husband spend time with me and the kids.
  • I begged the Lord to blow the tv up
  • I was tempted more than once to cut the cords on the roof.
  • I would beg him to love me and get mad when he didn’t.
  • I would even cry on his shoulder while he watched the ball game….and ask if he still loved me and why the game was more important to him than me.

He would tell me, “You can’t demand my time when and if you want it.”

I thought he was being soooo selfish and prideful.  I never thought I was being disrespectful with my words…it seemed to me just a normal request and I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t give in to my common sense demands and he was the one that had to be so controlling.  It seemed to go in a cycle for me..  I would do really well for a week or two giving him over to the Lord, and then bang I would just have to say something… If I didn’t, who would?  Then we would go through the cycle all over again.

He looked at it as an attack on his character, I looked at it as a lack of love.  

I spent many hours and days in prayer begging God to wake my husband up to his responsibilities…. not really seeing the sin in my own life.  I had great expectations of how our marriage was suppose to be, I couldn’t understand why my husband would choose to live in a cave and not come out and be a part of my life.  Wow, if I would have know this then…I wonder how things would have been different.  I really thought he was the one in the wrong…...

If he was just more loving I would be happy.

The only way I could keep my heart from hurting again was to harden it and act like I didn’t care…..I think I was just plain exhausted:
  • trying to make him love me
  • trying to be his Holy Spirit
  • trying to make him into the “perfect husband”

I just gave up trying.   It didn’t work anyway, so why bother?  I think that was a good thing and a bad thing….good I wasn’t disrespecting him with my words anymore, but bad because I wasn’t doing any good either.  With this kind of relationship we were really like roommates, not really connecting on any kind of level.

So now is the hard part….undoing all the damage that had been done over the years, showing him love, admiration, respect, and rebuilding his trust and his confidence as a man.

I have been slowly giving him room to lead and sharing with him how truly much I appreciate and love him.

It had been a long time since I have asked him to spend time with me….as I said, I was just tired of feeling rejected and not knowing why he had withdrawn from me was driving me crazy. But now seeing the real reason, I am being more careful as to how and when I ask.
Just an example of how God is working, my husband was sitting in his easy chair the other night, so

I sat down next to him on the couch I said, “Hi, Hon, it looks like you had a hard day at work, can I rub your shoulders or get you anything to drink?”  

Simple I know, but he actually got up took me by the hand and walked me into the bedroom.  Hmmm…  I didn’t realize we would have to go that far 🙂 but I was thankful that he chose to sacrifice his time for me.  Although, I really didn’t do it for that reason, I did it because I just wanted to bless him as you mentioned in an earlier email.  Time together was just frosting on that cake you mentioned:)
I know it is a long road ahead….it’s hard to change old habits, but I thank you for the way that you minister to my heart.  I read your blogs daily and am learning so much.
The Lord continue to bless you richly for His honor and glory,

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

WOW.

I could have written the part about the tv at the top.  ALMOST EVERY WORD.

Greg and I read this together and laughed so hard because THAT WAS ME!  THAT WAS WHAT I USED TO DO!

  • I used to beg Greg to turn off the tv.
  • I prayed for God to break all the tvs.  Seriously.
  • I thought TV and football were idols for my husband.
  • I thought if I could throw the TVs (and later the computer) out the window, that my husband would love me again and want to be with me like he used to!
  • I would cry because the TV was “more important to him than I was.”
  • Then I would stomp off to another room and cry even more… and then I would be even more disgusted with my “unloving” husband for not coming in to check on me.  MORE EVIDENCE that I didn’t matter to him whatsoever, right?

I had no idea it was my disrespect and controlling, smothering, angry, critical, condemning, self-righteous, negative, complaining, arguing attitude that repelled him.   It kind of blows my mind now that I couldn’t see this for so long, but…

The real problem in my marriage, was not the TV, it was ME!?!??!!?!?!  YIKES!

Before I got married, I was always with my twin sister, or with our college roommates – who were girls, of course.  We would sit and talk and talk and bond for hours every day.  I thought when Greg and I got married that once we were both home from work, we would be talking face to face and connecting from supper time until time to turn out the light every night.  You know,  for 5-6 hours every day, I figured we would talk and connect.  Why on earth wouldn’t we do that if we could?

Guess what?

My expectations and my husband’s expectations were NOT THE SAME!

Men don’t tend to bond by talking and emotional connection the way women often do.  They bond more by doing things shoulder to shoulder – often without talking.  In fact, sometimes, it is possible for them to get a bit overloaded with too much talking.

Kind of shocking, isn’t it?

AND – in His Brain, Her Brain by Dr. Walt Larimore MD, the author (a Christian neurologist) talks about how different men’s brains are from women’s and how they need a few hours per day to just relax and recharge.  Our brains are not like that.  But this helps them prepare for another long day of work ahead.  They are not made to go full speed all the time.  They need to rest some.  Honestly, we could probably benefit from a bit of rest, too. 🙂

It’s really important to figure out that MEN ARE NOT WOMEN!!!!  THEY ARE VERY, VERY DIFFERENT from us.  They are not wrong.  They are just different.  That has to be ok!

IF IT WERE UP TO ME:

We wouldn’t have a TV in our house.  I don’t turn the TV on when I am home by myself.

But, now, I trust that if God wants us not to have a TV or wants Greg not to watch so much TV – He is able to work on my husband’s heart.  That is the job of the Holy Spirit.  I can ask for what I want (usually once), then I trust that God is perfectly capable of speaking to my husband and working in his heart without my “help.”

I have my own obedience to God and my own capturing-every-thought-for-Christ, and listening to His voice about MY attitudes/motives/behaviors to do that keeps me plenty busy.

WHAT I DID AT FIRST:

When I first saw my sin – my disrespect, my control, my idolatry, my pride, my self-righteousness, my selfishness, my neediness (see my About page)… I withdrew from everyone (after repenting to Greg and all of the adults in our extended family for my disrespect and control towards them) for awhile and poured myself into repenting before God and seeking Him with all my heart, soul, mind and strength and spent hours every day reading, studying and trying to understand God’s design for femininity, for marriage, for masculinity and what it meant to respect and submit.

  • I would often quietly sit beside Greg and read.  Lots of times, I would have to leave the room to cry about what God was revealing to me.  But I would sit, take notes, highlight, read and re-read – I was DETERMINED to learn what God wanted me to learn.  I wanted my husband to feel like “the most respected husband on the planet”!

I didn’t have a godly mentor.  I didn’t have a spiritually mature, godly wife to help me and explain things to me.  If you do have some support system like that – a godly wife who understands these things and can meet with you once a week or so, that would be amazing!

  • It was just God, me, the Bible and about 30 books in 2.5 years.  It was kind of like I was studying to get a college degree in godly femininity and being a godly wife.

When I felt lonely, I would read books like For Women Only (Shaunti Feldhahn) and His Brain, Her Brain (Dr Walt Larimore MD) and try to learn about God’s design for masculinity.  It made me feel so much closer to Greg to be able to begin to understand men’s perspective on life.

At first, I was really quiet.  (The Frustrating Quiet Phase)  That was the first step toward learning discretion and wisdom.  Stop saying the foolish, disrespectful, sinful things.  Eventually, I began to be able to add saying positive things, encouragement, genuine praise… and I began to understand how to use my words to build up my husband and give life to him, instead of using my words to destroy.  It was like learning a new language!  It was very awkward and foreign feeling for a long time.

I personally, also did something that probably seems radical today.  You can read about it on this post if you want to.  It helped me SO much.

WHAT I DO NOW:

If I want time with Greg, I will…

  • sit by him on the bed (or join him while he works on a  project)  while he watches TV in a CHEERFUL, PLEASANT way.  I don’t pressure him to talk.  I enjoy being beside him.  Lots of times, he will play with my hair while I sit beside him.  I savor those moments.  It’s my favorite time of the day!  I just show up, join him in what he is doing and appreciate him being with me.  I know that this is seriously awesome bonding time for him – that helps make me feel like it is bonding time for me, too.
  • offer to get him a drink or snack.
  • say, “Honey, I would love it if you could hold me for about 10 minutes and just listen to me for a little while whenever it’s a good time for you.  Thanks!”
  • if I want to talk with him as I sit beside him, I will say in a friendly voice with a smile, “Hey, Honey, would this be a good time for me to talk with you?”
  • walk through the room where he is and give him a hug and a kiss with a big smile, then continue on doing my chores or whatever it is I am doing.
  • just go lay down beside him and cuddle with him.  I’m always welcome now. 🙂
  • really, at this point, I can have a deep talk with him about things almost any time.  All I have to do is ask respectfully.  We talk for a long time now, almost every night.  Yes, the TV is usually on.  But we are able to have really deep, amazing discussions together and I LOVE IT!
  • sometimes, Greg will actually turn off the TV himself and give me all of his attention now.
  • sometimes, I will ask if there is a time where we could turn off the TV and just enjoy each other for awhile – and Greg is almost always fine with that, now!

Sometimes – he actually pursues me now!

  • When he does, I enjoy it!
  • When he doesn’t, I’m fine.  God has taught me to be able to be gracious when I get a lot of attention and also when I don’t.  Totally a God thing.

He comes looking for me many times if I am not in bed by 10:00 and asks,

“Are you about done?  I want to spend some time with you!”   WOW!

This is the same man who used to shut down and totally ignore me when I was acting controlling, disrespectful, clingy, needy and demanding!

Sometimes, he literally sweeps me off my feet and carries me to the bedroom.  Yes.  Really.

That NEVER EVER happened when I was smothering him and demanding attention and affection.

The key is – I do what I do to please and honor God – not to change my husband or get certain “results.”  I leave my husband to God, and I focus on Christ and my relationship with Him.

RELATED:

Stop Pursuing Him in the Wrong Ways  Youtube video

Why Men Sometimes Need Space Youtube video (6 minutes)

If I am Right, but Don’t Have Love and Respect, then I am Wrong in All the Ways that Matter Most

Praying for Your Husband so that God Will Hear

How Men Process Emotions

A Husband Answers My Questions about Emotions

More Men’s Emotions

How Do Men Think?

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