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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!

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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. ūüôā

 

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.

 

How Disrespectful Was I?

April as a pharmacist in 1998 (25 years old)
April as a pharmacist in 1998 (25 years old)

I had a talk with Greg this past week and, out of curiosity, asked him if he would rank my level of disrespect earlier in our marriage on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the MOST DISRESPECTFUL wife he had ever seen. He said, “You were probably about a 4 or a 5.” I knew that many women were much more disrespectful to their husbands than I was. I didn’t have eyes to see it if there were women who were more respectful than I was to their husbands. So, I thought I was respecting Greg just fine. He never complained or told me I was not doing a good job. I didn’t know I was disrespectful at all for those first 14+ years of our marriage. I thought I was the best Christian wife, ever! I mean, I didn’t:

  • scream
  • cuss
  • throw things – except for that ONE time that I threw a pair of clean panties at Greg the first summer we were married. They didn’t come anywhere near hitting him. So, that surely doesn’t count, right?
  • threaten divorce
  • call him names
  • purposely disrespect him
  • hit him – although, I really wanted to sometimes
  • cheat on him – but, I did become infatuated with another man early in our marriage, and allowed myself to daydream about what it would be like to be married to him instead of Greg. So dangerous!
  • humiliate him on Facebook – of course, it hadn’t been invented yet!
  • act like the women on Jerry Springer
  • refuse to cooperate with him if he led in a direction I didn’t like. But, I would argue for hours about how right I was and how wrong he was and then when he still insisted on doing something a certain way, I eventually conceded to him. But I made sure he knew I was not happy about it and I held on to bitterness and resentment. I did not joyfully honor his leadership. Most of the time Greg didn’t tell me what he thought if he disagreed with me, because (I found out later) he felt it wasn’t worth trying to fight me on things.
Greg and April, Easter 1998
Greg and April, Easter 1998 – almost married 4 years

Our marriage was not awful. There were some happy times. I remember Greg often saying, “Our marriage is a lot better than most.” He said that especially when I was trying to “improve” things. There were times when I often felt lonely, stressed, worried, afraid and unloved. I wanted our marriage to be the BEST it could be, not just “above average.” Unfortunately, I didn’t see my pride, self-righteousness, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, critical spirit, people pleasing, perfectionism, idolatry, lack of faith in God… I thought I barely sinned at all and that I hardly owed God anything. Wow. Was I wrong! How thankful I am that God opened my blind eyes to my sin.

We both always loved each other. ¬†Divorce was never an option for us. We were committed to each other and to God. I didn’t think Greg loved me at times because he was so unplugged and passive. But looking back, I know now that he did always love me. He just shut down because of my attitude and behavior toward him. I knew I didn’t know what Greg needed, and I knew that he wouldn’t/couldn’t tell me what those things were when I would ask him. I also had very little idea what respect actually meant to a husband and what biblical submission should look like.

Even small to moderate amounts of disrespect on a wife’s part can cause damage to the marriage. That is what sin does, it hurts people, hurts relationships and separates us from God. Any sin is destructive.

MY THOUGHTS AND ACTIONS TOWARD MY HUSBAND ARE  BAROMETERS OF MY LOVE FOR GOD:

Until I am willing to reverence and fully submit to Jesus Christ as my Master and Lord,  I am incapable of being a godly wife. My level of respect and biblical submission for my imperfect husband are just a tangible indicator of my level of reverence for and submission to Jesus. He is the Perfect Bridegroom. Until I am able to relate to Him properly and understand who I really am (a wretched sinner with no good in me) and what I really deserved (hell), and until I understand what Jesus has done for me, the phenomenal price He paid for my sins on the cross and who He truly is and how much He loves me because of who He is РI cannot be a godly wife to my imperfect earthly husband.

If I can’t or won’t respect and trust Jesus, I cannot respect or trust my husband. It is only as I am right with Christ that He empowers me to be able to walk in obedience to His commands for me as a wife. Then, I am able to respect my husband and trust his leadership because my trust is ultimately not in my husband, my trust is ultimately in Christ and His goodness, love, faithfulness and sovereignty to lead me through my imperfect husband. From that position of strength, I can learn to genuinely respect, honor, trust and bless my husband.

Jesus must be the source of my life, power and motives. He must be my greatest desire. Then He enables me to be right with my husband and other people, too. My prayer is that God might show us His beautiful design for us as women and for marriages so that we might learn how to greatly bless our husbands and honor Christ, our Lord.    I pray we will do our husbands good, not evil, all the days of our lives and that the hearts of our husbands might safely trust us. (Prov. 31)

RELATED:

My Story Рhow God woke me up to my sin and what I had been doing that was disrespectful

Husbands Share What is Disrespectful to Them

What Is Respect in Marriage?

Biblical Submission

Spiritual Authority

Some Things are Unconditional, Some Are Not (Love, Respect, Forgiveness, Trust)

Greg in 1998
Greg in 1998

Nikka’s 3rd Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband

An Interview With My Husband — 3rd Interview

Controlling Nikka with my sad husband Dong – Dec 2009

From my dear friend, Nikka. ¬†Check out her blog at www.peacefulwifephilippines.blogspot.com¬† Nikka and I both write from¬†the perspective of wives who used to be controlling and domineering, Type A personalities with passive¬†husbands. ¬†If that is not your situation, these posts may not be as helpful for you. But if you tend to be very take-charge and have a¬†husband who tends¬†to be passive – please listen to Nikka’s husband’s heart in this post and ask God to help you see if it¬†could be possible that ¬†your husband may feel a lot like he did.

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In the ‘First Interview With My Husband‘, Dong admitted that during my most controlling years, he¬†wanted to die because life seemed to have no meaning and he could not make me happy.

In the¬†‘Second Interview With My Husband’, Dong admitted that because of my controlling attitude which almost always led to me being restless and depressed about our circumstances,¬†he felt like a failure because nothing made me happy.

I must be a sucker for heartache though because though my heart bled after I found out his true feelings in the first two interviews, I still interviewed him a third time. It was like I was bringing on the pain. He even asked,¬†Do you¬†peaceful wives¬†have to do this? Is it required of you?”¬†

I said, “No. This one is for me. I am doing it for me. I need to hear this.”

Here then is my third interview with my husband.

Note: Most of the pictures I will use are from my very controlling period (between 2009 to 2011), the time when we had most of our arguments and emotional discussions. The bottom pics will be current with me already as a “peaceful wife”.

Nikka : Can I interview you again?

Dong: What? Di pa ba tapos yan? (Is it not over yet?)

I need to ask you some questions still.¬†(I pull out my questionnaire. We both laugh.) ūüôā

Nikka: You told me before that all of the decisions in the past were MY decisions. None of it was

With Therese in her VTR – 2009

yours. How did you feel about that, when I was leading the family and controlling everything?

Dong: Actually, I was not so hurt. I told myself I will just go along with what you wanted to happen. I just felt that my input had no value.

You always told me this: “You are always putting it in YOUR hands!”. What did this exactly mean and how did you feel towards me when I was at my most controlling behavior?

Asar. (Irked.) Yabang mo kasi. (You were so arrogant.) Minamaliit mo ako. (You were belittling me.)

(Editor’s Note:¬†I was not aware I was belittling him at that time because I was not really saying my thoughts out loud. But¬†actions do speak louder than words,¬†and that was Dong’s¬†love language¬†— through actions.¬†I was a¬†“silent” nagger.)

How did you feel when I would seek your advice but not heed it, but when somebody else told me to do the exact same thing you advised me to do, I would immediately follow that person’s piece of advice?

I felt disrespected.

(Editor’s Note:¬†This was the first time Dong said the “disrespected” word. He usually called it other things but it was the first time he called it for what it was. Loving passive husbands these days usually¬†do not even know what disrespect is anymore. It just feels to them that they are being attacked. Most wives these days do not even know that they should respect their husbands or how that looks like.)

When we would get into our emotional discussions, there were times when you would suggest that maybe I was better off without you. It was always I who would say, “No. We should stick it out. We are in this “for better or for worse”. ¬†Why did it even cross your mind to separate?

Dong with Andre – 2009

Too much disrespect. I had no intention to separate. I know that I was in it “for better or for worse”, but I could not find a solution to our problem.

(Editor’s Note: Our problem was I was most of the time restless and joyless for some unknown reason.)

To save myself from the situation, since I could not make you happy, I felt that it (separation) was the ONLY SOLUTION. I felt that most likely maiaangat ko naman ulit sarili ko outside of the situation. (I felt that most likely I could regain my sense of self outside of the situation.)



Despite our trials before, was there ever a time that you did not love me or did you always love me?

Kahit asar na asar, mahal talaga kita. (Even if I was very, very irritated with you, I still loved you.) The fact that there was resentment still did not change my love for you.

I never thought you were “better” than me as a person but you¬†never failed¬†to make me feel that,

8 months pregnant with our 3rd – 2009

and not just in money or capability. I was asking myself already, “Is my being too equal in treatment with you wrong?”, “Am I being a deterrent to our relationship?” because I have seen how some husbands treat their wives badly to make them (wives) respect them (husbands).

But that would be wrong!  Abusive and oppressive.

Yes. Exactly. For me, Golden Rule dapat. (For me, the Golden Rule should rule.) I also know respect should be earned and I cannot force respect from you.

(Editor’s Note: In this submission journey, I have learned that as a Christian wife, I must¬†respect my husband unconditionally¬†whether he deserves it or not,¬†as the Lord commanded in Ephesians 5:22-24.)

How did you bear with me during those bleak times?

It was not that unbearable… but something happened to me in the process. I didn’t blame you for anything. It was MY decision. It was MY proposal for us to get married. But I sort of lost faith…

5 months pregnant with our 3rd – 2009

Did my controlling behavior and my lack of faith in you, affect your faith in God?

Yes. I lost faith. I “learned” from you that in order to be respected, you had to put everything in your hands. You cannot have “blind faith.” I used to have that, and you would always look down on me for it.

(Editor’s Note:¬†Between me and Dong, in the beginning of our relationship, it was always Dong who was¬†very hopeful and had much faith¬†that things would work out for the best because¬†God was in control. My controlling behavior and my desire to put things¬†in my hands¬†all the time, made him think that maybe his faith was not real after all, that something was wrong with him for not putting things in his hands.)

I am so sorry, honey. ūüôĀ Do you think you will have your (old) faith back? ūüôĀ

The only way that I’d get it back is if something drastic will happen. If something so bad or something so good happens… I have lost faith in Man. I don’t know if I would get my faith back.¬†

At a sports event – 2010

How could you explain that my lack of faith in God  led to your lack of faith in God?

(Editor’s Note: I had much faith in myself, not in God. Proof of this was always putting things in my hands, and being controlling. I thought I was just being ‘efficient’. I was blind to my sins. I even thought I was deeply spiritual!)

Family of 5 – October 2010

We became one. I became one, too, with how YOU felt about things.

(Editor’s Note:¬†I would always chide him for having¬†so much faith in God¬†but no outcome to show for his faith. ūüôĀ I would tell him that¬†“Nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa.”¬†The Lord helps those who help themselves. I was really judgmental towards him then and thought him to be not doing his best. )

I am really sorry Honey. I didn’t know about this. You are still hopeful for the future, I hope? ūüôĀ

Yes, hopeful. Good is good. I have my¬†big¬†doubts. Skeptical..¬†But it is only now that I am learning to have faith again..¬†I told you, you won’t like my answers. I would not tell you these, if you did not ask. I was keeping them to myself. I did not want to make you feel bad.


But I want to know, Honey. It’s okay. Thank you for telling me.


When I was listening and listing down my husband’s answers, my heart bled. ūüôĀ I had an inkling my controlling behavior affected my husband’s faith but I did not know just¬†how badly¬†I contributed to his losing faith, to the point of almost being agnostic now. ūüôĀ

Controlling Nikka – 2010

I knew that my bragging to him about my great faith in God, but with no actions to show for it — ¬†always morose, scared, depressed during those years, only maligned God’s Word. ūüôĀ

I did not walk the talk. He was looking to me to see Christ, but not finding Him, made Dong conclude that religion, Christianity, and even the Bible were not to be trusted. He considered them “proof” ¬†that they were all¬†“gawa-gawa lang” (man-made).

                                      Matthew 5:16
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

He said that I was not 100% at fault over his having lost his faith for a long time, but I know that I was mostly, hugely, gravely at fault. ūüôĀ

I was not a godly wife. I only succeeded in bringing shame to God’s Word. So different from what God commanded for wives to do… ūüôĀ

 Titus 2:5

“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.”

He even lost the desire to go to weekly masses for those three years. And whereas before he would recite Psalm 91 by heart the moment he woke, up, I just one day noticed that he was not praying that nor any prayer anymore. ūüôĀ

At our 3rd child, Reuben’s baptism – Oct 2010

I may not have single-handedly made him lose his faith, but I sure did everything during those dark years to make him lose faith in himself as a father and the leader of the home, which led to his losing faith little by little in our Heavenly Father.

I was arrogant, self-righteous, judgmental, condescending, negative, gloomy… and yet I never failed to tell him of my GREAT FAITH in God! What a fool I was!!! ūüôĀ

He is answerable for his own walk with Christ and he would have to answer to God for his own sins, but it is true that since we were one, my lack of real faith (I had more faith in myself than in God) affected his own faith.

                                    Proverbs 22:24-25

24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.

Thing is, we were more than just¬†friends. We were husband and wife. We were¬†one¬†because of the¬†sacrament of marriage.¬†My constant turmoil and discontent and penchant for putting things in my hands led to him “learning my ways”. Before he knew it, he was already “ensnared.”¬†Instead of me learning how to be faithful to God, he learned how to be faithless from me.¬†It’s the case of “a rotten apple spoils the barrel.” I was the¬†rotten apple. I¬†spoiled¬†him. I am so ashamed. ūüôĀ

I thank the Lord for opening up my spiritual eyes to my mountains of sin. I thank the Lord for allowing me to repent for them and for forgiving me. I thank the Lord for giving me a chance to change. I thank the Lord for sharing with me this precious secret given to us wives, on how to experience true joy in marriage. I thank the Lord for giving me a husband, who despite my blatant disrespect and hard-headedness still loved me unconditionally though I disrespected him shamefully. ūüôĀ He did his part of the equation. I obviously didn’t. ūüôĀ

Dec 2011
                                          Ephesians 5:22-33

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25¬†Husbands, love your wives,¬†just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her¬†26¬†to make her holy,cleansing[a]¬†her by the washing¬†with water through the word,¬†27¬†and to present her to himself¬†as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.¬†28¬†In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives¬†as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.¬†29¬†After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church‚ÄĒ¬†30¬†for we are members of his body.¬†31¬†‚ÄúFor this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.‚ÄĚ[b]¬†32¬†This is a profound mystery‚ÄĒbut I am talking about Christ and the church.¬†33¬†However, each one of you also must love his wife¬†as he loves himself,¬†and the wife must respect her husband.

I am so grateful to the Lord because ever since the start of my submission journey, I have seen Him work in my life, in Dong’s life, in our lives. We are starting to go to church together again, with him sometimes initiating it even, whereas I would find myself alone in most Sundays in the past.

At our 4th child, Isabelle’s baptism – Dec 2013

I have also seen him happier now more than ever, and hugging me or complimenting me out of the blue. I also see him walking taller now and being more energized to make decisions for the family. It was in my submission that he has started becoming the man God wants him to be. It was in my stepping aside, that God found the space to talk to his heart.

At Therese’s Holy Communion – Dec 2013
Submitted wife and mother – January 24, 2014

All my negativity was hindering him from hearing God’s Voice. All my empty faith sharings, just made him detest me and the faith I was “falsely” propagating. I surely did not walk my talk. I preached what I did not practice. I maligned God’s Word. ūüôĀ I am forever repentant to God for that. I was so blind to my sins. ūüôĀ

I see that there is so much hope for us now.

I feel God’s presence in our lives now.

Dec 2013

I cannot make Dong bring back his once solid faith in God. I have already done him much harm in the past with my actions. Forcing him to go back to his old faith would only do more harm than good. My being so dominant was what led him to start losing faith in the first place.

I too am not the Holy Spirit. Only God can make Dong seek Him again. And with me out of the picture, I am hopeful that the Lord will once again woo Dong to that kind of no-holds-barred faith he used to have, pre-me.

It is out of my hands now. I leave it all in God’s Able Hands. Him who loves my husband more than I do, and Who knew Dong even before he was born, will call him by name yet again…

However, I can practice one powerful secret that God has given to us wives who want our non-believing husbands to become believers in God (or in my case, to believe again fully in God), and that is through our godly lives.

                                         1 Peter 3:1-5

3 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands,
I love my family. ūüôā — January 24, 2014
I love the Lord.
I love Dong.
I have let go and let God.
At this stage of my life, my greatest test to my faith is this: Am I willing to allow God to work in my life and to lead me, through my husband?

The answer is YES.

January 17, 2014
I pray that those in the same boat as I was may find it in their hearts to humble themselves and to follow God’s Great Design for Marriage. There is¬†no peace and joy¬†quite like it. I assure you, dear sisters… this kind of peace Christ gives is¬†not of this world.
Our home is my ministry. Praise be to the good Lord for His Mercy and Love. – Sick Visitation at Dong’s Aunt’s house
January 2014
May we all be richly blessed! ūüôā
RELATED:

Things Are Beginning to Click – a Wife’s Little Victories

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:
I am taking an email vacation until January 7th.  I plan to continue to post and will respond to comments as I am able Рyou are welcome to comment any time.  But if you can please hold emails for me for a few weeks, I would appreciate it.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!
From a wife and sister in the Lord who is beginning to understand:
My husband and I are both Christians who are walking with the Lord and I’d say we have a “good” marriage but we are always wanting it to be great!
  • We have only been married 3 1/2 years but my husband has always been telling me that I’m disrespectful, controlling, and that I “argue” with him a lot. ¬†
I just thought he was totally crazy about the control thing and I thought he was just paranoid about being controlled! In fact, I thought he was leading and was a great leader. It wasn’t until reading your blog that I realized how related the issues of disrespect and control are and how intertwined.
  • I read Love and Respect (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs) twice, we took the conference.
  • I read “For Women Only” (by Shaunti Feldhahn)
  • I’ve read various other books on marriage

I have not been able to get a clue of what is respectful to my husband!

Yes, we have spent HOURS talking, discussing, arguing, crying, and yelling at each other over what is disrespectful to him and what is not. Obviously, it is frustrating to him that I don’t “get it.” ¬†Your blog, though, has been the first thing that gave me a CLUE!
Like I said, we are not stereotypical. My husband does NOT withdraw or get silent whenever I disrespect him. He ALWAYS tells me and I always tell him when he’s unloving and I think that is why our marriage is still “good” even though we do fight a lot, it is because we don’t keep anything in the dark!
I finally found out what he meant by “arguing” by reading your blog. I seriously had NO IDEA!! I didn’t understand why he would get mad when I “shared my feelings” with him until reading your blog. I felt absolutely baffled by it! He also notoriously calls me “negative” and tells me I “complain” a lot, which would make me furious! And so I would defend myself thinking that he would then see that he was hurting me and fall on his knees to apologize.. I had no idea that I was actually perpetuating the disrespect by defending myself. This is still the hardest thing for me because I hate being wrong and being the person who needs to apologize, etc.
One of your most helpful posts for me was about when he says something hurtful to just say “I’m hurt” and quietly walk out of the room, respectfully. Of course, I always want to sit down and have a huge heart to heart if he says something hurtful and then he feels disrespected! I can’t count how many nights we have spent fighting because I wanted to tell him how hurt I felt and he thought I was nagging him! That was also totally perplexing because I would be like, YOU hurt ME and now I’M A NAG?!?!??! So confusing!!!!!
A NEW APPROACH
The first time I tried this, I said “I’m hurt” 3 different times the same night and then walked out and he yelled a few things at me as I walked away but I never said anything back (which is a miracle for me! I’m a fighter!).
A few hours later, he turned off the TV and told me to come over and that we needed to talk!
What?!?
He said he knew something was bothering me and wanted to hear about it and so we ended up having that heart to heart.
One other huge break through, I have tried many times in the past to tell him things I do respect about him but he has never believed me and he knew I was just doing an exercise I read in a book or something. However, after reading your blog and comments on there, etc, I realized that he has never withdrawn from me or our boys and he has never stopped leading, even in the face of my disrespect and attempts to control.
  • So I told him that I was very impressed that he still continues to lead, to tell me my sin, and to try to engage in the family even when I’m wrong and even when most men do the opposite.

His face changed and he thanked me and said that he felt very respected from that comment!

That is the first time he has ever said that!
He’s always thought I was being phony when I try to compliment him.
A BABY STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
One small victory today‚Ķ we are moving next week and our house is a disaster and we’re packing most of our kitchen stuff up. I asked if we could go to our favorite Mexican place for lunch since we don’t have much food left in the house and I stated my reasons for wanting to go today versus another day.
He said, “No, we’ll go tomorrow for lunch.”
And I said “Ok!” in a happy tone and walked off to keep packing.
Throughout the morning, I kept thinking of more reasons why today is the best day to go instead of tomorrow. But I remembered words from your blog and I refused to say any more of my reasons (I had already given several when I first asked) and then…
Instead of eating my PB sandwich in a depressing way and mentioning how much better the Mexican food would be (many thoughts like that kept coming into my head and I’m used to just blurting them out, not even thinking about it!) I kept it to myself!
Yay!!
And then all afternoon, I kept wanting to say, “So‚Ķ did you notice anything different today‚Ķ ” hahahah!! But I had to get a hold of myself and say Look! You’re doing this for the Lord first and your husband second and not for yourself! It’s not about how much praise you get for it! So that is my mini-success of the day. (:
And no fighting occurred today.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
I am so thankful that this precious wife allowed me to share her story! ¬†And PRAISE GOD her husband does not become passive but continues to attempt to lead in a godly way! ¬†THAT IS AWESOME! ¬†I’m so proud of him!
In the beginning when we are just learning to give up disrespect and what respect means and to stop arguing and complaining, this is exactly how our thought processes will go.  I love how this wife shared Рshe articulates what almost every wife experiences and feels on this journey in the beginning at some point.
But watch how God is beginning to help her to understand her husband and how she is consciously letting go of control and consciously learning to approach her husband with respect and the new, healthier internal dialogue she is having with herself now. ¬†This is really key, ladies! ¬†And I am SO proud of her for not demanding or asking for affirmation from her husband. ¬†She is doing what God commands her to do as a wife – respect her husband and honor his God-given leadership. ¬†God will reward her for her obedience in heaven. ¬†She is not doing this for accolades of praise from her husband – she is doing this because she wants to obey God. ¬†I’m really glad she caught her motives and realigned her sites to keep her eyes on Christ.
WOOHOOO!!!
PRAISE GOD for what He is doing in this wife’s heart!
RELATED:
How to Stop Arguing and Complaining (which is a command of God for all believers in Philippians 2:13-16)

A Husband Teeters on the Edge of Divorce

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ADMINISTRATIVE NOTE:
I am taking an email vacation until January 6th.  I plan to continue to post and will respond to comments as I am able Рyou are welcome to comment any time.  But if you can please hold emails for me for a few weeks, I would appreciate it.  Thank you for your patience and understanding!
Here are some updates on the wife who shared what God was teaching her in a post last week A Wife’s First Practical Steps on This Journey. ¬†She has graciously allowed me to share more from her story as God continues to work. ¬†I believe her story will bless you and inspire you because of God’s power working in her. ¬† These are some TOUGH issues she is facing. ¬†I believe she is responding in a godly way to some extremely painful questions from her husband. ¬†Please pray for her and for her husband as they face these serious struggles:
God is doing amazing things inside of me.
Today, on the drive home my husband joked that he had a date tomorrow.¬† I kept my cool, smiled,¬†and asked him with who?¬† He laughed and said a guy friend of his he’s been trying to hang out with for some time.
Then he asked me how I would feel if he did have a date with another woman.
First I leaned my head on his shoulder and told him I was so thankful he has stayed faithful to me.
Then I told him I would feel hurt.¬† I would feel betrayed.¬† I didn’t elaborate.¬† He asked if that’s really how I would feel and I confirmed it.
Then he said that he was being unfaithful to me with his porn.  Then he asked me what if we were to separate so he could work through the things he is going through.
I told him that I am on his team, and he can talk to me anytime.¬† That even if I don’t like what he is sharing, or it hurts me, I won’t judge him or look down on him.¬† I told him that I don’t want to separate, and even if I can’t help him through this, that I accept they are his issues, that I am there for him.
He asked again if he were to have an affair what would I do?
I told him that he was the most important person in this world to me, that I want him, and choose him.  I said we would work through it.
He¬†referred to our marriage at some point, and said that was then, and he wanted to be able to change his mind.¬† Then once we were home he hugged me and asked me not to hate him, that he didn’t know what he was going though.
I told him I don’t hate him, and that I trust him to make the right decisions for us.
Then he said that maybe my trust was part of the problem, that I shouldn’t trust him so much.¬† So I asked him again if he was having an affair, he said no.¬†¬† Then he said he didn’t want to talk anymore, and expressed that I was going to freak out, and cry, now that we had talked.¬† And in¬†the past, I would have.
Instead, ¬†I smiled and said that no, I wouldn’t do that.¬† That I wouldn’t even lose any sleep tonight, and not to worry.¬†
He gave me a puzzled look, then we discussed supper.
The moment he left the room I prayed .¬† I asked God to work in my husbands heart, to take me out of the way so that my husband can hear Him.¬†¬†I asked¬†Him to keep helping me keep Jesus as my focus, I asked¬†Him for his peace.¬† It was a hard talk with my husband, but after praying, I felt better.¬† ¬†I think that part of what he is going through is part my years of disrespect, and part conviction.¬† I can’t be sure, but I think my husband is testing me.
Please keep praying for me, my husband and our marriage.  I pray that through my actions my husband sees God again.  I pray for strength and wisdom when I speak to him.
(SEVERAL DAYS LATER…)
I read your series on the stages in his journey, I’ve only been on this journey for a month, and haven’t reached all the stages. ¬†But like you said, it isn’t a linear journey! ¬†I often find myself backtracking and going to stages I thought I had passed. ¬†I’ve had to keep digging out the idol that is my husband and his love for me. ¬†I also discovered a new idol in there, my desire for his approval. ¬†But every time I dig out those idols it gets easier to do.
I also read the post My Demon and totally relate. ¬†I had no idea how much I was being used by Satan to demoralize my husband so much internally. ¬†I’ve been working on taking my thoughts captive like the woman who wrote that post did, and using Phil 4:8 whenever my own internal demon voice starts talking.
We had another very candid talk on Monday of this week. ¬† He was better able to articulate how he’s been feeling and summed it up with a general feeling of unhappiness in our relationship, and a desire to just be happy again.
  • he feels useless
  • he feels like I don’t listen
  • he feels tyrannical when he asks me for help.
  • he mentioned beginning to feel that way before he started school a few years ago when he was laid off from his job.
  • he feels like this year in particular has been really hard.
  • he said he doesn’t want to give me false hope that he will stay, but that he really wants our physical intimacy to continue.

I can see more clearly than ever how my disrespect has hurt him!

While we were talking, he asked me again if I would move on were he to divorce me.
I had to answer honestly, Gods been speaking to me in that area and has made it clear that if I were to remarry after a divorce it would cause my new husband to commit adultery, and that I am bound to my husband for as long as he lives. ¬† I couldn’t in good conscience be responsible for making someone else sin. ¬† I told him I wouldn’t remarry, that in God’s eyes he would still be my husband. ¬†He was troubled my this.
But God has given me peace here.  I know that if my worst fears are realized, what God wants me to do.
So, I’ve been living everyday for Christ.
  • I make effort to maintain physical intimacy
  • I thank my husband for every little thing I notice him do for me, (he’s started to thank me for what I do, it’s like the most polite house ever!)
  • I drop what I’m doing to help him when asked and do it cheerfully
  • I give him my full attention when he speaks.
  • I don’t begrudge his time spent doing other things (he actually closes his computer from time to time now and comes to sit with me on the couch and cuddle! I treat these moments like a special gift.).
  • When ever I feel overcome with jealousy and have the urge to try and check his messages, I give that up to God. ¬†The constant pain in my heart is gone now, it only creeps up on me once in a while, and usually after my husband makes a joke about other women (he uses humor to help him cope with his insecurities. ¬†He always has, and I never took it personally until now) so when this happens I leave the room and pray.
I’ve also been reading “For Women Only” by Shaunti Feldhahn like you suggested and already I understand so much more about him than I ever did before. ¬†I want to ask him about some of these things, but don’t think the timing is right.
Thank you so much for your example April, God has been using you and I’m grateful! ¬†This isn’t easy to go through, but ¬†I believe God is using this situation to mould me. ¬†I will keep you updated. ¬†Please keep my husband and I in your prayers.

 FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

This wife understands that if things are going to heal in her marriage, God wants to change her first. ¬†Yes, her husband needs changing, too. ¬†That is very obvious. ¬†But – she is cooperating with God and seeking to honor God and her husband and to become the wife God desires her to be no matter what her husband does. ¬†And as she begins to be empowered by God’s Spirit and to respond in His wisdom and in His ways – that will make it much easier for her husband to hear God’s voice, himself.

I am so glad she is listening to her husband, making his concerns and feelings huge priorities for her. ¬†That is so important! ¬†And I am proud of this husband for being so clear and direct about his concerns. ¬†That is a blessing! ¬†It is really hard to know what is wrong if someone doesn’t ever say what the problem is. ¬†Mind reading can be pretty impossible for most of us!

I am also thrilled that this wife is sharing her heart in a vulnerable, respectful, honest but kind and non-pressuring way.  Her husband can actually hear her and care about her feelings because of the way she approaches him.  If she was screaming and yelling or making demands Рhe would shut her out.  Notice how he is seriously considering all of the things she is saying now that her approach is so different Рand how unnerved he is by her peaceful spirit.  THAT IS A GREAT THING.  He is hearing her loud and clear.  

It is not really ultimately about this wife and her husband – this is ultimately about this woman and Christ.

As she obeys I Peter 3:1-6 and Ephesians 5:22-33 – that will bring more conviction on her husband than anything she could do to try to control him or try to force him to come back to her. ¬† She is also opening up the floodgates of heaven by her faith and obedience to Christ to allow God to work in her marriage and to begin to work in her husband’s heart so that her husband can have the best chance to hear God’s voice instead of her own.

No matter what happens, God will change this precious wife.  I am very excited about that!  And if there is to be healing, this is the path this wife must take for her marriage and her husband, too.  It is a DIFFICULT path.  It involves dying to self, repaying evil with good and tearing out all the idols and pride in her heart and humbling oneself before Christ and totally submitting oneself to Christ.

The world doesn’t understand this approach. ¬†The world says, “Stand up for your rights.” ¬†“Make demands.” ¬†“Make ultimatums.” ¬†“Tell your husband what he better do … or else.”

But God doesn’t work the way the world does. ¬†His wisdom is much higher.

I am excited to see all that God has in store for this wife and marriage and husband.

There are signs that God is convicting him and that he is softening.

As he continues to see his wife become more and more the woman of God’s dreams, and as he sees her new behavior, faith, joy and peace continue for month after month and then for a year and longer – that will get a man’s attention.

Many wives say, “My husband wants out of our marriage.”

That doesn’t really bother me too much. ¬†A husband’s feelings can change dramatically when a wife allows God to work powerfully in her heart. ¬†I am not going to keep my eyes on this husband – as if everything depends on him. ¬†And I am not going to keep my eyes on this wife as if everything depends on her. ¬†My eyes are on Christ. ¬†I can see what He wants to do. ¬†I know He is already in the future working things out for their good and His glory.

NOTE:

If that husband was actually involved in physical infidelity – then I believe the wife would need to say something like, “I want to work things out. ¬†But I cannot live with you as long as you are violating our marriage covenant. Until you truly repent and are willing to earn back my trust, we cannot live as husband and wife.” ¬†
And then she may need to separate, or at the very least, not engage in sex with him unless and until he is willing to repent and earn her trust back.  She may need to ask him to go to a godly pastor or mentoring couple with her.  There would need to be much prayer and fasting on her part and godly counsel, in my view.  And she would need to put up some boundaries with him until he repents.  
This is something that is possible to work through if the husband is willing to sincerely repent and turn back to God and to his wife and if he is willing to do whatever it takes to rebuild trust over time.  It would be excruciatingly painful Рbut our God is able to heal and do miracles.  I have seen it happen many times. 
Of course, I would rather no one ever had to experience that kind of pain.

 

Thank you for praying with me for this couple.

Lord,

I pray for every stronghold of the enemy to be torn down here. ¬†I pray for Christ alone to be exalted in this man’s life and this woman’s life and in this marriage. ¬†I pray for Your Spirit to empower this wife to obey You and to hear Your voice clearly and to be sensitive to Your every prompting. ¬†I pray for this husband to begin to hear Your voice and to have a softened heart that is receptive to Your voice. ¬†I pray for You primarily to reconcile this husband back to Yourself and for him to be in right relationship to You, Jesus. ¬†Then I pray for Your healing for this marriage. ¬†Thank You that You are a God who knows how to raise dead things to life and that You know how to restore the years the locusts have eaten and that You know how to bring joy from mourning and beauty from ashes.

We trust You with this broken marriage and this husband and wife.  We ask for Your greatest glory in their lives!  We seek only Your will.  We look to You to be the Healer here.  Use this wife as Your partner to bring hope, faith, life, light, healing, joy, peace and the power of heaven to bear in this home.

In the Name and power of Christ,

Amen!

An Interview with My Husband – Understanding a Passive Husband's Mindset

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Greg and April – May 28, 1994
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Greg and April at the church where we were married – May 28, 2013
———————————-
Greg and I had an impromptu interview the other evening.  I have been hearing from one of my dear friends who has been struggling a lot on this journey of learning to be a godly wife.  I was asking my husband what his perspective was earlier in our marriage as I was being so disrespectful and controlling.  During that time, he became passive and very unplugged.  There were times he barely spoke to me, barely looked at me and sometimes barely touched me.  I thought you might be interested to hear what he had to say.  
This was the first time I have ever heard much of these particular thoughts of his.  I am SO honored that he feels safe enough now to share his heart with me like this.  What a privilege for me to be married to this man and for God to have so radically changed me, our marriage and Greg.  I thank and praise God EVERY DAY for the miracles He did in our marriage.  It was ALL Him.
1. What are some of the things I did that used to bother you the most before God showed me my disrespect and control?
You already had this conversation in your head with me all day long and were already mad at me before I could even say what I wanted to say.  You  already decided what my answer was going to be and how you were going to deal with it, there was no use in me answering.
You would ask me a question, but it was worded so that if I picked one answer, I would have to be the stupidest person in the world. ¬†There is only one right answer. ¬†I couldn’t disagree with you. ¬†That was not allowed. ¬†¬†You knew you were “so right” about it, there was no room for you to be wrong. ¬†There was no room for any other perspective in the world. ¬†

Once you are hit with that over and over, why answer? ¬†What’s my role? ¬†Do I have a role?

2. (Talking about the TV/football watching thing) I can probably watch 1 football game, ¬†but I can’t watch 40 hours/week. ¬†Of course, wives would like to talk and connect with their husbands 40 hours/week.

I don’t even talk to MYSELF 40 hours/week!

To husbands, talking = conflict.  At work, we have to have a meeting because there is a problem.  At home, we have to talk because there is a problem.

It was never, “Can we talk about what you want to talk about, Honey?” ¬†It was always, “I’m going to tell you, and you’re going to listen to me.”

Wow!  I have never thought of it like that!  But Рthat is so right!  Yikes!
3. Why did you stay with me all those 14+ years that I was not giving you what you needed?
There were times I wasn’t happy. ¬†I stayed because I loved you. ¬†Leaving wasn’t an option. ¬†I could be unhappy, but it didn’t mean I didn’t want you to be my wife.
4.  Were there any happy times?
There were some happy times.  
(My perspective was) if I didn’t want some of your characteristics, I shouldn’t have married you. ¬†Some of the things that made you struggle a little bit at being a wife were some of the things that were probably at the same time things that attracted me to you as well.
I liked that you were intelligent and a go-getter and had a little bit of an edge of brazenness. ¬†I liked that you were independent, strong-willed and educated (as a pharmacist). ¬†I didn’t want to be with somebody that was “just average.” ¬† You wouldn’t do any thing that you didn’t give it 110%. ¬†School, flute, piano, pharmacy… ¬†you gave everything you had to all of it.
You were good with words.  I thought it would help me somewhere in the long run.
5. What were some of the hardest things for you during those years?

At times I felt trapped. ¬†I felt like I didn’t have a voice. ¬†

I wasn’t “not answering” you to try to irritate you at all. ¬†I felt trapped in my situation. ¬†It didn’t matter if I answered. ¬†It seemed like however I saw it – it wouldn’t matter.
6. There were a handful of times that you really stood your ground, and I ended up VERY reluctantly doing what you wanted.  Why were you willing to insist on those few issues?
If I lost those types of things, I wouldn’t have had anything to call my own. ¬†I wasn’t willing to lose those things.
7. How did the way I disrespected and controlled you impact your relationship with God?
I don’t know that you had a real negative effect on my relationship with God. ¬†But your “mastering” of it, would come into play. ¬†When it came to (Bible) knowledge, you were way, way, way beyond advanced of where I was. ¬†When it came to wisdom, I looked at is as we all had issues with that (due to a lack of) experience and maturity. ¬†I don’t think you had a huge role in disparaging me (spiritually). ¬†I didn’t challenge you much on it.
8.  Did you have any hope that I would change?
I was not looking for you to change.  I knew there were ways we could be better.  

I looked at myself as the problem most of the time. ¬†I looked at me as “not getting it.” ¬†I didn’t look at you as the problem.

  • I just wasn’t doing what I needed to do. ¬†
  • I wasn’t making you as happy as I needed to. ¬†
  • I was not the husband I needed to be. ¬†

I was looking for ways to limit the pain by going into a shell.

9. ¬†I believe that if you had told me I had hurt you – at any point in those first 14+ years – ¬†I would have felt HORRIBLE and would have wanted to apologize and make things right. ¬†But you NEVER told me about your pain. ¬†NEVER. ¬†I eventually believed you didn’t have feelings at all. Why didn’t you ever say anything? ¬†Why did you suffer silently all those years?

I didn’t tell you my pain because “a man doesn’t show pain.”

10.  Why did you allow me to lead?

Some things I looked at as it was advantageous for you to lead. ¬†When I wouldn’t make a decision, you were always there to hammer down the decision, and if things got screwed up, it was your fault.

11. I can remember BEGGING you many times,¬†” PLEASE, just tell me what you need! ¬†I don’t know what you need!” ¬†Why didn’t you say that you needed respect from me? ¬†Why didn’t you say you needed me to stop trying to control you?

  • I felt like it was my problem. ¬†
  • I didn’t necessarily know what I needed.
  • I would have felt like it would have been selfish for me to say what I needed.

I knew I needed respect, but I didn’t know how to explain that to you. ¬†I didn’t look at it as something I could ask for. ¬†I looked at is as something I couldn’t obtain. ¬†There was something I was doing that meant I didn’t deserve it.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

I think it is SIGNIFICANT that BOTH of us thought my husband was the problem. ¬†I didn’t see myself as any part of the problem those first 14+ years of our marriage. ¬†My husband didn’t see me as being any part of the problem. ¬† But the truth is – we were BOTH contributing to the problems in our marriage – and change only happened after I was willing to look at my (rather hefty) part in the mess. My power came when God opened my eyes to my own sin and helped me stop pointing my finger at my husband and begin to deal with the mountain of sin in my own life.

  • I was not responsible for 100% of the problems in our marriage.
  • I was not responsible for my husband’s sin.
  • My husband was not responsible for 100% of the problems in our marriage!! ¬†Sadly, that was the only explanation I could imagine for many years. ¬†How wrong I was!

But I was responsible for my own sin, my own walk with Christ, my emotions, my responses, my joy, my contentment, my peace. ¬†Of course, real joy, contentment and peace can only be found in Jesus. ¬†My husband can’t give me those things. ¬†Only Jesus can. ¬†And He only gives me His supernatural joy and peace when I follow Him and lay down my life for Him in total submission 100%.

Please notice that some of my husband’s feelings are the exact same kinds of fears women tend to have about biblical submission and respect. ¬†Quite honestly, in the first 14 years of our marriage, I expected my husband to “submit to me.” ¬†I tried to force him to bow to my will. ¬†And man, was I offended when he wouldn’t do as I said he should! ¬†I would NEVER have said that I wanted him to follow me or “submit” to me. ¬†But I thought I was always right. ¬†I thought I was better than he was. ¬†I thought I was closer to God than he was. I thought I was a better leader than he was. ¬†I thought he “wouldn’t” lead or “couldn’t” lead. ¬†So I tried to take control. ¬†What a disaster!

Thankfully when a woman biblically submits to her husband Рshe has the freedom to speak her mind and voice her feelings Рand her husband, as he feels respected and honored, will generally desire seek what is in her best interest.  

A godly husband who is entrusted with leadership reacts with humility, sacrificial love and a desire to delight his wife.  

But his first priority is to please and honor Christ. ¬†So – ladies – don’t worry about losing your voice when you obey God in marriage. ¬†When we do things God’s way – we have MORE power in a godly way – than we ever could when we try to usurp our husbands’ authority and take over and try to force our way.

The truth is … ¬†I wouldn’t follow Greg. ¬†He did try to lead early on. ¬†I fought him tooth and nail. ¬†I was in rebellion against God and against Greg. ¬†My husband was totally capable of leading. ¬†He does a wonderful job of it now! ¬†I was sabotaging him, myself and our marriage – and didn’t even know it. ¬†I NEVER EVER EVER want to go back to the way things were. ¬†I was miserable, lonely, anxious, stressed and fearful. ¬†Greg was shut down and emotionally very distant. ¬†Our marriage has been INFINITELY better since God showed me His design for marriage. ¬†We have the intimacy and connection we always wanted. ¬†My husband is the man I always knew he could be. ¬†I am the woman I had always longed to be. ¬†I am SO ETERNALLY THANKFUL to Him! ¬†

MY HUSBAND’S BLOG:

www.respectedhusband.wordpress.com

RELATED:

Things that Fuel a Spirit of Discontentment in Me

The Secret to True Contentment

A Husband Answer’s a Wife’s Question – “Why Won’t My Husband Lead?”

Humility is Beautiful

Why So Many of Us Aren’t Prepared to Be Godly Wives¬†– Part 1

Why So Many of Us Aren’t Prepared to Be Godly Wives – Part 2

My Husband Is Not Responsible for My Happiness

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

Could My Disrespect Contribute to My Husband’s Depression?

Dying to Self

Some Signs Your Husband May Be Feeling Disrespected

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This is an email from a precious friend of mine.  If your husband is saying things like this Рit means he is probably feeling deeply wounded in your marriage.  Please keep in mind that husbands need respect like wives need love.  (Ephesians 5:22-33 and Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs).

 If a husband does not feel respected, he cannot feel loved

These are a few things that my husband has said to me over the years that should have given me a big clue but I somehow dismissed the significance.
  • “I do not need you to tell me what to do.”
  • “I am a grown man”.
  • “I hear this every month when you get ready to start your period.”
  • “You worry over EVERYTHING, Honey.”
  • “You never believe me when I tell you things”.
  • “Have a little faith in me.”
  • “Do you not even believe in me that much?”
  • “I can’t please you.¬† If I don’t do what you want, you are unhappy.¬† If I do what you want, you say I am only doing it because you told me to.”
  • “I can’t win here.”
  • “I am in a no win situation.”
  • “It is the same¬† thing, over and over with you.”
  • “What hurts me the most is that you don’t trust me with the kids.”¬† (I know he would NEVER let anything happen to our children.¬† I just wish he was more cautious with them.¬† STILL and issue I am going to have to confront it at some point but I need to deal with simply letting go first).
  • “No man wants to be without respect.”
  • “Trust me.”
  • “You always believe the worst about me.”
  • “No man wants to be talked to like that.” (in reference to a couple we know)
  • “She talks to him like a dog.”¬† (in reference to a couple we know)
  • “I told you I would take care of it.”
  • “You don’t believe me when I DO compliment you.”
Just thinking about those tells me that he was not content in the way things were and I sure wasn’t either because it was not working.… and for the record, I do not think he acted completely without sin- I do not believe it is ALL my fault and I know you would agree that with that- that we both have committed wrongs
(From Peacefulwife РABSOLUTELY!  Husbands and wives both usually sin plenty against each other.  There is almost never one person who is 100% innocent.)
And I STILL don’t know how this is going to work out.¬† I don’t know what the coming months will bring.
FROM PEACEFULWIFE
Some other signs a husband is feeling disrespected (some of these things can be signs of other significant issues, but many times the core issue is a man feels disrespected):
  • clenching his jaw
  • a hurt look in his face
  • his countenance falls
  • he shuts down verbally
  • he leaves the room suddenly for “no reason”
  • he gets angry “out of nowhere” and you can’t understand why
  • he unplugs from you and the children
  • he becomes very emotionally distant
  • he begins spending a lot more time watching tv, working on projects, working overtime
  • he says, “I feel disrespected.” ¬†(please believe him! ¬†This is as significant to him as it would be for you if you said, “I feel unloved.”)
  • He starts talking about “some tangent” when you are trying to make him do something he doesn’t want to do.
  • He pulls away and doesn’t share his heart anymore with you
  • he pulls away sexually and doesn’t respond to your advances anymore (there are a LOT of potential causes for this. ¬†Disrespect is certainly not the only one. ¬†Here’s a post about the wife initiating intimacy. )

Some more things husbands tend to say when they feel very disrespected by their wives (NOTE – I’m not saying husbands SHOULD say all of these things. ¬†But these are the kinds of things they are likely to say out of frustration and pain when they feel disrespected.)

  • “It’s impossible to please you.”
  • “You think you are always right.”
  • “My opinion doesn’t even matter around here.”
  • “Your family (or best friend or church) is more important than I am to you.”
  • “You care more about ______ than you do about me!”
  • “You’re smothering me.”
  • “You treat me like a child.”
  • “I’m not stupid.” ¬†“I’m not an idiot.”
  • “Just let me figure it out.”
  • “I’m not a child!”
  • “Why do you even ask me what I think? ¬†You never listen to me.”
  • “I’m not a priority to you anymore.”
  • “The kids are your biggest concern. ¬†I don’t even matter.”
  • “Who cares what I think, you’re just going to do what you want to do anyway.”
  • “I wish we had never gotten married.”
  • “I’m just not cut out for marriage.” (Some of these statements can mean other things, too)
  • “I’m just a meal ticket to ¬†you.”
  • “You can’t just demand ¬†time/affection/attention/sex from me.”
  • “I’d rather be at work than here.”
  • “I can’t take all of your drama anymore.”
  • “No man could love you like you want to be loved. ¬†Not even Jesus!”
  • “Why can’t you just be happy?”
  • “You worry way too much. ¬†Stop worrying.”
  • “Why are you so negative?”
  • “Why do you complain all the time?”
  • “Oh, here we go again!”
  • “Why do you have to be like this?”
  • “Why should I be more involved with you and the kids? ¬†You’re just going to undermine everything I say.”
  • “How can I be a leader if you won’t follow?”
  • “You say you want me to lead, but you won’t let me lead.”
  • “You want to control me.”
  • “It has to be your way or no way.”
  • “You think you are so high and mighty.”
  • “Go ahead, have it your way!”
  • “Don’t come to me when everything falls apart.”

ANOTHER HUGE SIGN A HUSBAND FEELS DISRESPECTED

If you are rejecting him sexually Рthat is HUGE disrespect to a husband Рno matter how he responds.  It hurts for a wife to be turned down sexually by her husband, too.  That is an extremely deep pain that can severely wound a husband and a marriage.

WHAT CAN A WIFE DO?
Well, I believe that arguing with a man when he feels disrespected is only going to escalate and inflame the situation.
You would not appreciate it if you tried to explain to your husband that you feel unloved – and he argued with you that you shouldn’t feel that way or he explained the reasons he thinks you shouldn’t feel unloved – or WORSE – if he said, “You don’t deserve to be loved.”
Husbands are very much the same.  

Arguing with them that they shouldn’t feel disrespected, or that they don’t deserve respect is going to make things much worse.¬†

When you see your husband shut down or become angry suddenly and you don’t know why, try asking, “Did I do/say something disrespectful just now?” ¬†And if you did say, “I am SO sorry. ¬†Please forgive me. ¬†I don’t ever want you to feel disrespected by me.” ¬†Do not justify or explain yourself. ¬†Just apologize if you were in the wrong.

AN ASSIGNMENT

I’d like you to watch your man’s facial expressions this week when you talk to him. ¬†If you see his face suddenly fall – if you see he suddenly seems to be in emotional pain – STOP what you are saying and recognize, is it possible he feels disrespected by you?

I’d like you to watch the interactions of couples around you. ¬†Watch the guy. ¬†Notice his body language and his facial expressions – especially when his lady is criticizing him, making fun of him, tearing him down, telling him what to do, complaining, arguing or being negative toward him. ¬†See the pain on his face.

Once you begin to recognize disrespect and how men react Рyou will quickly realize that it is EVERYWHERE.  There is a FAMINE of respect for men in our culture.

It’s time for us to change that, my precious sisters in Christ!

RELATED:

What Is Respect in Marriage?

What Speaks Disrespect to Husbands?

What is Biblical Submission?

Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband Is Always Right

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve My Respect¬† Youtube Video

My Level of Respect for My Husband Has Nothing to Do with Him (Youtube Video)

Why Is Nonverbal Disrespect Such a Big Problem for Our Men?  Youtube Video

How to See God Do BIG Things in Your Marriage  Youtube Video

 

My Youtube channel is “April Cassidy”

 

PS:

If your husband is involved in severe sin Рinfidelity, drug addiction/alcohol addiction, has an uncontrolled mental health disorder or is being violent toward you Рthat is NOT OK!  Please seek godly, experienced help ASAP!  Those things go way beyond the scope of my ability to address on this blog.

The Visit

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This wife’s husband has been separated from her for some time. ¬† He comes to visit their son, and visits her as well. ¬†Last week they had a visit that was unlike any other in the past. ¬†What an inspiration!!!! ¬†THANK YOU to this precious wife and sister in Christ for her willingness to share. ¬†There are COUNTLESS nuggets of treasure in this email. ¬†I pray that you might be able to glean all of them, my precious sisters in Christ!
I encourage each of you to abide in Christ and to look to God’s Spirit to be your ultimate Counselor! ¬†His wisdom is true and pure. ¬†His ways are good. ¬†There is no evil in Him. ¬†Compare everything that people say to God’s Word and only embrace what stands the test of Scripture.
Please keep in mind that each wife and each marriage is unique.  There is no standard timetable of how God works.  Many factors play into that.   Some husbands may take months or even a year or more to respond to the changes God is making in their wives.  Rarely, some husbands never respond.  The results and timing have to be up to God.  Our job is to seek Him and love Him with all our hearts, minds, souls and strength and to obey Him in all things:
——————————————————
Well, dh left a few hours ago¬†– and your advice, thoughts and CERTAINLY your prayers were with me throughout the entire visit. He came yesterday and the visit was different from all the others, because this time I had … guidance — there¬†have been a “few”¬†OK visits in the past, but then I felt stifled by not doing/saying what I wanted to do…….. Now I feel empowered, to “choose” to say/act the way that pleases God — it is not about me.¬†
I kept repeating stuff in my head… like –
– Die to your flesh
– Live in the now (one of my favorites from you!!!)
– Do not focus on what is wrong, focus on what is good
– Tell him how happy you are that he is here
– Tell him how appreciative you are of the things he has done
– You wish things were different, but EVERYTHING that is good for you,¬†must be according to God’s will/time/plan
– Make him feel happy here
– Leave all the “issues” to God
The Holy Spirit has to talk to him.  You are NOT his Holy Spirit!
– Focus on doing the right thing for God — not for dh
These are just a few of the things that kept playing in my head. It is really not on my own strength that I was able to be this “renewed” person.

Usually, when he comes I use it as an opportunity to tell him how I feel. I try to talk about the way his choices have hurt me, my despair, how he is wrong etc. and I go on and on. All I could focus on was the fact that my marriage was CERTAINLY not what I wanted to be, it is not what God wants it to be and how blind dh was.

This attitude surely was not one that would help to bring a lost soul to his senses.
This time, ¬†I met him with a friendly hug, and helped him pack the grocery items he bought for us. He likes to buy groceries and cook for us. He always has…. He tries to get my favorite food that I do not usually get a chance to eat. I was just calm, sweet spirited and nice to him. I tried not to “crowd” him and I acted in a way that showed that I understood he was here to see our son and not me. He seemed relaxed by my attitude and he talked with me a lot…just casual talk. He was not “tense” as he usually was, when he¬†was aware that any moment I could start talking about how¬†he¬†destroyed our family.
It was then time for him to take our son shopping for back-to-school clothes, and he asked if I was not getting ready. (Usually I would have already stated that I “wanted” to join them!). I told him I was not planning to go because I know it was a time for him to spend time shopping with our son. ¬†He said no, I should join them. I did, and we had a marvelous time, laughing at the terrible taste our¬†son had, and being thankful we could help him choose clothes, because his choices were crazy.

I expressed my gratitude to him for everything………and told him how happy I was for the things he bought, the way he loves to cook for us, and how happy I was to be invited to join them.

I made sure he knew that I was more than happy to make dinner if he was tired. He just wanted to. ¬†We had dinner and talked about business we have out of town. Later we went to bed — separately¬†(but we were under the same roof – thank God for that!)
AN IMPORTANT THING I DID
We own a house out of town…. for all the years since we have been here, I have been the one to deal with everything! Tenant issues, mortgage payments, maintenance stuff etc. “I” have also been thinking of selling the house in another year or so. Well, I told him that I “can’t” (not won’t) manage it anymore, and I would be so happy if he could take it over for me because it is so much. (I had briefly told him of this intention to let him take “control” of this, about 2 days earlier on the phone). It was his pleasure!!! I gave him all the passwords, contact information, account numbers –¬†everything- –¬†and tell him that moving forward he is responsible for everything, and I know he will do a great job.
April —

I realize that I was burdened with everything because I INADVERTENTLY CHOSE TO BE РIT WAS PART OF MY CONTROLLING SPIRIT!

I have always “whined/complained/nagged/criticized” him for leaving it all on me…. but I really did not give him a chance to want to do it!

In fact — dealing with the house has been one of our biggest¬†“arguing topics” since we have been here. This is because I usually tell him that it is too much for me,¬†in what I now know to be the TOTALLY WRONG way. The way I did it degraded his worth, made him feel less than a man, etc.¬†(disrespect).¬†He always responded by saying he does not care about the house anyway, because he does not want to own anything with me¬†(unloving)¬†— the Crazy Cycle (Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs)! Of course – my actions were due to my stress, my desire for him to just want to¬†help me, but I came across as criticizing his abilities as a man when all I had to do was ask nicely, and make him feel as if I needed him – not as if I was his mom reprimanding him for his lack of initiative.

It is the same house — and the same me (or, the-“not-so-same-ME”), and now he seems to feel empowered to take charge. I AM AMAZED.

I would have never been able to hand over this aspect of our lives to him if I did not learn so much from this blog ….I must admit that I felt as if I was having a mild panic attack, when I started to consider passing on some of the responsibilities to him. I was especially worried about his abilities to make sure the mortgage is paid on time, the tenant is paying the rent, etc etc. Now I feel so less burdened. He told me that he will deal with the issues, except where he really needs me to do something (example, If he will need my signature on documents etc.)
Your advice to LIVE IN THE NOW – has been VERY powerful to me and this visit. I was able to enjoy him, based on what he has to offer today!¬† Not get so caught up on whether or not this was a picture of what a marriage should be. It certainly was not helping to make the “now” worse than it had to be, because I so badly wanted the “past.” In fact, adding to the destruction of the “now” only further guaranteed a worse future.
Our son was so very loving to his dad —-¬†extremely, and again, I am so happy that despite all the pain, we can both¬†love on him. That in itself is a testament of how God has washed our hearts, how we are learning to please GOD FIRST. There was a time when ¬†our son was so cold to him, and although I know it was not entirely my fault for this, I can see how my own bitterness, my own steadfastness on¬† focusing on my dh’s ¬†part, significantly contributed to this. Sigh….

I am so glad that God has opened my eyes. Praise God for not giving up on me…. He is patient, I was so far from being at this place.

…. Now we see beyond ¬†dh’s sins, and just see him as God does.¬†That is what happens when we focus on our own sinfulness. I have realized that I have contributed SOOOO much sin to my marriage, I do not know how on earth I had so much time to focus on his sin. I must have said it 1000 times – pardon me for being so repetitive…but it is beyond my level of understanding how much I have learned from you in such a short time.¬†I thank God for your powerful spirit. ¬†(From Peacefulwife – that is a GOD thing 100%, not an April thing!)

Today, I said nothing more about my plans to be respectful to him….. I will just let my actions speak moving forward.

I won’t get it right all the time, but I will certainly not go back as far as — or anywhere near — where I was before. He has not mentioned that he has noticed any difference. I AM OK WITH THAT! I know he does – and it really is about my walk with God, not a desperate need to please dh (though it is nice to see him more relaxed with us).

I enjoyed my husband’s presence today because¬†I chose to:

Рaccept what he  can give today

– focus on what he is doing right, instead of what he is doing wrong

– live in the joy of the moment, instead of the better life I want in the future

– let my joy come from God– my husband is only a man – not God

April – that is a big thing you have taught me too.

I wanted my husband to be my JESUS.

I am so ashamed to say that ūüôĀ ūüôĀ I certainly did not feel as if that was what I was doing all those years!!! Yikes! ¬†I wanted him to be the source of, or a part of any joy I had.¬†That is just too much even for the BEST husband on the planet. Now I have learned that my Joy is in Christ alone….and¬†I can be joyful even in less than ideal circumstances.¬†God’s plan for me supersedes anything that my husband can do to me. Many are the plans of dh’s heart – but it is God’s plans that will prevail. Why then have I been so focused on my husband’s plan? Because I am only human. Yes – but I can draw on the strength that comes through the Word of God
There are¬†so many more things I could say about this visit. My desires have not changed, but now they are not misplaced. That makes it easier. I am also humbled, because I don’t have to try to be “God” to my husband. I use that energy to let God minister to me. ¬†Dh’s heart has not changed towards me — but that changes nothing that God wants for me.
My husband is on his way back (to his place) now, and I know there is less turmoil, pain, frustration and anger in his heart than when he usually sees me.
  • Praise God for showing me MY OWN SINFULNESS.
I just read the post (of my 1st email) ¬†— Oh how terrible I was. I am thankful for the prayers and support that have been offered by everyone.¬†Especially the prayers!!¬†Thank God for those! One lovely person stated that there are times when I will wonder¬†if I should wait on my husband –¬†she is so wise¬†—there are times when I feel HOPELESS. Times when the tears feel like a flowing river. Times when I am too weak to even¬†pray.
However,¬†thinking of one day at a time¬†will help me even more, and remembering that if it is about “me” I will be even weaker!¬† It is at times like these that I need the most prayers. There have been times when I know only the prayers of others have moved me from my emotionally paralyzed state. It is not¬†a state of a desperate woman. God has blessed me to be a “strong,” brilliant and capable woman (This is not to be full of pride – it is just to share that it is not out of desperation that I am standing for my marriage, it is out of my desire to walk the rough road I think God has been leading me on). When my marriage first crumbled, I begged God for the strength to let go and let it be! I thought that was what took strength!¬†That would have been way easier.¬†Sometimes God takes us on some very rough road¬†to draw us closer to him and to bare us of our own selfish¬†desires.

The truth is, regardless of what happens in the future, I am better for having endured this. God’s methods might be different for everyone – each student learns differently.¬†I¬†NEEDED THIS.

Just now, as I am typing……. dh ¬†just called to let me know he has reached home. He never usually does!
Thank you so much. This visit was different even¬†though my husband’s stance has not changed. For years, things may very well be the same from my husband’s view point –¬†but I am different. I am the one that is saved – so that is exactly how it should have been all along.
You showed me how to accept what my dh has to offer – today.¬†You showed me how while praying for a BIG cake, I was blindly pushing away the ingredients to make the cake because I was so focused on “All I want is the cake!” “Why is he (dh)¬†giving me eggs if he says he does not want to give me cake?” Why is he giving me an oven if he says he does not want to give me cake.” I was rejecting God’s hand in my life, because I was so focused on the future which is TOTALLY in God’s hands. Even if all I end up with are eggs – they are still good for me. God must know what I need today! Additionally, I have seen how relaxed dh is around me when I don’t keep hammering the marital problems over his head. It surely can’t speed up his journey home to have him be uncomfortable around me! Plus – most importantly — the healing of my marriage/changing of dh’s heart is God’s job.
Thanks for your kind words and your support — your blog has been like FOOD to me.
RELATED:

The Beginning of a Wife’s Journey

Farmland Sunset

 From Peacefulwife:

I believe that wives need to hear other wives’ stories from every stage along this road of learning to be a godly wife, what it means to respect our husbands, what it means to biblically submit to our husbands, what it looks like in a variety of situations – and how God works through every baby step of the way. This will be a very long journey. ¬†It is probably not going to be something that changes in a few days or a few weeks. Each wife’s story will be unique. ¬†I believe this wife’s story may be something that many other wives can relate to. ¬†I am REALLY EXCITED about what God is doing in her heart. ¬†I believe that her willingness to allow God to change her, her focus on Christ, her humble attitude now that she has seen her sin, her willingness to repent and to obey God are going to open the flood gates of heaven in her life for God to change HER first. ¬†We are praying together for her and for her husband and child and for God’s will for their future – that He might be greatly glorified in this family. ¬†Please pray with this wife for God’s power and for His Spirit to accomplish His purposes and His will in this situation.

A HUGE thank you to this wife for giving me permission to share her story.

——————————————————-

I realize that the early years of our relationship were the best, not only because relationships are usually great in the beginning – but because that was when I acted like I needed/relied on him. ¬†I was acting submissive then (without knowing), and I yielded to his leadership because I did not know how not to… I was going through a difficult time and¬†he was my source of hope.

As time progressed, I got stronger (emotionally), and with the strength I got less submissive (this is what I am seeing in hindsight Рat that time I did not even know what submissiveness was and how it affected relationships).  I love my husband and always felt loved by him throughout the years, even though we had problems over the years -constantly arguing, always disagreeing, not seeing eye-to-eye on anything, and most often and trouble-some РI felt that he put his family above me.

My in-laws and I ended up with many bad issues/arguments…and one day in the heat of an argument about them on the phone – with me hundreds of miles away,

My husband said we were over.

Life was never the same after that day.

I cleaved to God like I have never done before and I learned more about marriages/GOD in the first year of the stress than I knew in all my life before.

I eventually moved to this country, and have seen God work wonders in my life. My first 2 years here were the hardest…I was¬†lonely, empty and drained. My husband still stayed nearby with family and I stayed with our child ‚Äď he was always welcome to join us. He did not.¬†(I now realize that my continued angry, disrespectful behavior would not have been welcoming even if he wanted to!)

Though my husband‚Äôs heart is locked shut to me — he sometimes visits (not often enough), he cooks for us, bake with me at Christmas time etc. — but he is still¬†so far¬†from me emotionally and his heart is in no way focused on God or on our marriage. He seems to have lost all desires to be my husband and our leader… and¬†he still speaks of wanting a divorce (He does this whenever I argue with him and push him — of course after the “Love and Respect” book I won‚Äôt do that anymore).

When I ‚Äúargued/pushed,‚ÄĚ as stupid as it sounds, I had good intentions! I just wanted his eyes to see right from wrong. Oh, stupid me for trying to be Holy Ghost in his life! I now know that I am responsible for my actions only‚ĶI should do what God wants and He will bless me as He sees fit.

For years I have prayed/fasted for my marriage— and I saw nothing happening — but a few weeks ago after hearing of the Love and Respect Book on the Dave Ramsey show…I knew God was working all along!!!!!!!

It is like Karate Kid I watched as a teen. The boy wanted the man to teach him karate but every time he went for training the man would give him chores! Oh, how he wanted to not do the chores and just learn karate! However Рin his wisdom, the karate expert was using all those chores to train him to fight! Remember that show??? God has revealed to me, that all these years, he has been putting the pieces of the puzzle together!!! I saw nothing in the flesh that looked like restoration, but oh, God has been weeding out the old things and planting new seeds! And it does not matter if he starts with me!

I was so focused on trying to love my husband when he was being uncommitted and unloving to me‚Ķ..it took everything out of me. Then I had to learn to forgive…BUT OH, it was a HUUUUGE part of the puzzle when I noticed that¬†my lack of respect — my lack of submitting to my husband was a MAJOR part of the puzzle.¬†God has revealed to me that he taught me how to really love my husband, when loving him seemed impossible, because that is the foundation of everything! God is love!¬† I had to learn to forgive my husband.

God could have shown me the respect piece of the puzzle a long time ago‚Ķ..but I was not ready for it!¬†I found your site shortly after reading the book or shortly before I finished it….it was less than 2 weeks ago, but it feels like a lifetime!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, to God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. One by one God has been teaching me the skills. Love (I mean Godly love), forgiveness and respect are just some of the ‚Äúskills.‚ÄĚ He has taught me so much more, I am just pointing out the major ‚Äúmoves.‚ÄĚ

DISRESPECT was huge in my marriage. I would have never thought that before reading the book/reading your website….how blind and ignorant I was. 

I wanted my husband to love me so much (I am talking about even before he relocated), and¬†when he was not loving me “the way I wanted him to,” I reacted disrespectfully ‚Äst

the vicious cycle destroyed my marriage.

My husband visited us last week, and when he left and we talked on the phone, I told him how happy we were to see him and how we love him. I recall him saying that he always knew there was love between us, but he could not live ‚Äúlike this‚ÄĚ anymore. Just a week or so before the visit, he told me that he loves me, but was not ‚Äúin love‚ÄĚ with me. Despite the state of my marriage,

My husband has always said that he knew love existed, and I always wondered why that was not enough.

I finally know…love for me was everything, respect for him was everything.

I am hurt by not disheartened by my husband‚Äôs lack of ‚Äúbeing in love,‚ÄĚ with me‚Ķinstead I rejoice that despite everything that has happened in our marriage, he can still say ‚Äď he knows that he loves me.¬†Whatever is good, I will think on!

Your site has been so helpful to me. I feel as if some of the things that are written were written out of my head!!! ¬†I am guilty of always pushing my husband to ‚Äúdecide/answer/respond now.‚ÄĚ I did not know that his ways were so different from mine and I did not respect the God made differences in my husband.

Yesterday, I called him and I apologized for my lack of respect over the years.

I told him how ignorant I was, how I was always confused by how if he said he loves me, he could not just want to be with me, and how I realize it was my disrespectful behavior that robbed him of his sense of commitment to us. I told him my heart’s sadness and how I finally see how I wounded his heart/feelings and I asked him to forgive me.

I did not mention anything he did wrong (and oh, there have been many! His actions/choices have been very hurtful to me).

He said, ok and that he understands what I am saying, and we ended amicably.

I asked nothing more of him, and I did not try to make him tell me how he felt about what I said. I learned that from your blog! One week ago, I would have asked him to respond, to tell me how he felt, to try to have a LOOOONG conversation.¬†I made it short, and I was just happy that he allowed me to speak to him and that he said he understood “exactly” what I meant.

I believe that though my husband‚Äôs heart is hardened, that in time God will replace his heart of stone with a heart of flesh.¬†I pray that God will restore the years the locusts have eaten from my marriage and that God will use my marriage to bring him Glory ‚Äď to show that He is powerful and mighty. I do know that our son is watching me carefully and that he has been learning about the power of love/forgiveness and now respect. He has seen how God has worked in our lives and though he hurts from the broken marriage, he has also been blessed by seeing how God has been with us and provided for us and comforted us. He is such a good prayer partner to me, and I love how he loves his dad ‚Äď despite how hurt he was at first (and I am sure he still is)

My number one heart’s desire is for my husband to come to know God and accept him as his personal Savior. I will give shouts of joy and songs of praise when that happens!!!

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:

When ¬†I see a wife have an attitude of humility, brokenness, repentance and willingness to totally surrender to God and obey Him in everything – I know God is going to be moving mountains in that wife’s life. ¬†I am SO EXCITED to see what God has in store for this precious sister of mine! ¬†This is the spiritual place we have to start from. ¬†Getting rid of all pride and all sin, seeking God with all our hearts, wanting to know Him more and to please Him no matter what the results might be.

RELATED:

How to See God Do Big Things in Your Marriage  7 minute Youtube Video

How to Apologize for Disrespecting and Controlling Your Husband 7 and a half minute Youtube Video

My Husband Doesn’t Deserve My Respect 6 minute Youtube Video

What Speaks Respect to Husbands in Marriage

How to Make Your Husband an Idol

Love, Honor, Respect and Submission are Gifts 

What is Biblical Submission

Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband is Always Right

I Have Hurt My Husband Deeply, Now What?

“He Won’t Talk to Me.”

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From a wife. ¬†I know MANY of you can relate…
I thought I would send you a quick update on what is going on on my side of the world. I had a chance to talk to my husband this past Sunday.  I apologized to him for not respecting him and not submitting to him at times in our marriage.  I had a chance to share my heart and my concerns to him during our talk.  He listened, however, he rebutted each concern I had, telling me how I was not a doer of the Word and was lying to myself if I said I was, which is fine.  He was also a bit surprised that I apologized because he questioned why I all of a sudden see this now and had not in the past. 

I told him that the Lord was dealing with my heart and has shown me that I need to respect him as my husband if I am to truly be obedient to the Lord.  

We talked¬†for about an hour and half.¬† He really did not react other¬†than saying he’ll see how serious I¬†am by seeing my actions.¬† I tried to kiss him¬†on the¬†cheek afterward but he said no¬†and began to get angry¬†when I tried twice (I tried twice¬†because I still¬†cannot believe¬†he¬†does not soften or break at all!!)

I walked away feeling hopeful. 

Hopeful only because I did what I thought the Lord wanted me to do, and not really because of anything my husband said or did.¬†¬†I’ve been trying to¬†talk to him a little here and there but for the most part, he still does not want to have anything to do with me.¬†¬†He does not want to eat together, does not want¬†me to cook for him, does not want to be in the same room as me (he walks out, other than when we go to bed) and there is¬†NO talking.

He¬†wakes up angry at me and goes to bed angry at me.¬† He is¬†not a very expressive,¬†jovial person by nature¬†but now it’s really oppressive.¬† And¬†to him, all this is in the name of “truth”.

I’m trying to be¬†kind¬†to him¬†but not¬†nagging him, loving¬†to him but not¬†aggravating to him.

I¬†am trusting the Lord¬†and hope we get a breakthrough sometime soon.¬† I am trying to keep the¬†joy of the Lord and the peace of the Lord in my¬†soul¬†in the midst of¬†this.¬† I know that only the Lord can touch him because although he says he’s a Christian, I don’t know that he actually experienced or experiences¬†the love of Jesus Christ and know, I mean really know,¬†the truth of what¬†He did for us.¬† If he did,¬†I just can’t see how he would would be¬†treating¬†me¬†his¬†wife, or even a sister in the Lord, like this. That is where I need to look at him,¬†like you said before,¬†as someone who is lost¬†and needs to experience the love of God, and maybe that is through me.¬† Not easy.¬† I miss him.

I¬†am also¬†praying the Lord bring¬†into my life¬†some good Christian girlfriends or activities to take up some of my time because it’s very lonely here when he¬†continues to ignore me, day after day.

I have been reading your posts every day and some others that have helped in living with difficult/unloving Christian husbands.  The information and encouragement of scriptures have been a blessing.  I wonder if there is something more I need to be doing now, other than confess my sins to the Lord and to my husband and praying.  Something to maybe help break through this silence that is screaming to me day and night.

Thanks April, for listening.

FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
It is wonderful to hear from you!
It sounds to me like you are doing things pretty well – seeking God and desiring to obey Him. ¬†That is the place to be! ūüôā
We went through a time similar to this in our marriage. ¬†It was during the time when I was nursing our youngest around the clock, many times 3-4 times through the night. ¬†I was living on 2-4 hours of sleep most nights. ¬†The baby and I were sick 2/3 of the time. ¬†I was working in the pharmacy 20 hours/week. ¬†Greg was renovating our house. ¬†He was working 40 hours/week and then working on the house from 6pm-12midnight 5-6 days/week. ¬†He was beyond exhausted. ¬†I was beyond exhausted. ¬†I started demanding that Greg help me. ¬†There were times he would’t look at me, wouldn’t answer me, wouldn’t talk with me and wouldn’t touch me. ¬†I never imagined marriage could be so lonely. ¬†But I had NO clue that it was largely my disrespect and control that were repelling him. ¬†(Let me just say – that being extremely sleep deprived for 19 months does NOT make it easy to show respect!!!!)
These suggestions are for wives whose husbands have felt very disrespected and have shut down for that reason. ¬† May husband was not trying to control or punish me, just trying to protect himself. ¬†If your husband is very critical and controlling, these ideas may help – but always seek God’s wisdom and listen to His voice over my suggestions in any circumstance! ¬†Abide in Jesus every moment! ¬†If there are serious issues in your marriage – your husband is involved in drug/alcohol addiction, infidelity or has an uncontrolled mental health disorder or is physically violent – please find godly help in your area ASAP!
I suggest:
– don’t try to force him to do anything. ¬†I believe that you may have to accept his silence and anger for now. ¬†Apparently this has been going on for quite a long time. ¬†It will likely take many months or longer to heal. ¬† It took me 2 years to feel like I had any clue what I was doing to show him respect and to stop all the disrespect and to honor his leadership. ¬†It took my husband 2 years and 10 months for all of his walls to fall.
¬†– embrace the silence – for as long as it takes. ¬†Do not expect “soon.” ¬†God may change him soon – or it may take time. ¬†That is ok. ¬†God is sovereign here. ¬†We will trust God to work in his heart. ¬†This is the time for you to get out of God’s way and definitely do NOT talk about spiritual things, the future of the relationship, God, the Bible, church, his sin, etc‚Ķ ¬†Here are a few ways:
  • Smile – just to bless him and just to honor Christ – and because you have joy in Jesus and all He has done and is going to do!
  • When you do speak, use a pleasant tone of voice and a friendly facial expression to bless him. ¬†Picture Jesus behind his shoulder. ¬†Jesus counts everything you do for your husband as if you are doing it for Him!
  • Don’t push words. ¬†Allow him to be silent without trying to force or coerce him into talking.
  • I wouldn’t say a lot of things right now, BUT, when you see him in the morning, you can certainly say a cheerful, “Good morning!” ¬†Just to bless him WITHOUT expecting any acknowledgment in return. ¬†Smile and say, “Welcome home, Honey!” ¬†in the evening. ¬†I think you can also say friendly things occasionally. ¬†And you can mention things that are interesting and things that are going on in your life – but I would be BRIEF.
  • You can also say sincere things every once in awhile – maybe one of these every other day or so – like:
    • I’m really glad you’re here
    • I’m honored/glad to get to be your wife.
    • I love living here with you.
    • I like having a man like you around the house.
    • I’m feeling so happy today (when you are full of God’s joy)!
    • Nonchalantly walk into the room and say, “I was just thinking about some of the things I respect about you‚Ķ” ¬†then leave the room continuing about your chores or whatever you are doing.¬†(have at least 4-5 things ready to list in case he asks you “What things?” ¬†If he asks. ¬†Smile and tell him the things on your list, and then continue on about your business.). This is from Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs.
    • Thank you for working to provide so well for us.
    • (If he fixes something or cuts the grass or does ANYTHING around the house that requires effort) Thank you SO much, Honey!
  • ¬†Continue to focus on Romans 12:9-21, I Peter 3:1-6, I Corinthians 13:4-8, Philippians 4:4-8
  • Find your joy, your identity, your purpose, your contentment, your peace, your strength, and the fulfillment of every need in Christ alone.
  • As soon as you find yourself discouraged, disappointed, frustrated‚Ķ check your motives. ¬†Be sure you are only doing these things to please Jesus, not to try to control or change your husband.
  • Accept your husband exactly as he is, even if he never changes.
  • Think of this as your mission from God – to bless this man and to obey God as you live your life before him. ¬†How can you bless him today? ¬†How can you meet his masculine needs for honor and respect? ¬†How can you graciously support his leadership?
  • Ask God to give you His love for your husband.
  • Write down a list, and continue to add to it – of things you genuinely respect about your husband.
  • Write down the things your husband has done to hurt you – and tear it up, burn it – and forgive him completely in the power of Christ.
  • Keep your mind occupied with praise songs, scripture and thanksgiving.
  • Spend a LOT of time in God’s Word and in prayer each day.
  • We will pray for God to provide godly girl friends!
I hope this might be helpful!
LADIES:
Many of you have been through this. ¬†Is there any godly wisdom you would like to share for others struggling in this very difficult, painful time of being completely shut out of their husbands’ hearts?
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