The Fear Behind Allowing Your Husband to Treat You Toxically
What I have been discovering lately is that the reason I have been on the controlling side my whole life is mostly from fear. I read an article about why women are controlling, and in it there was this one line that pretty much summed it all up perfectly for me: “A woman will control to the level of her fear.” That is true to me.The reasons I have tended to be controlling over my own life, and everyone else’s life was because I was scared——
- Scared that I would get hurt
- Scared other people would get hurt
- Scared of the unknown
- Scared of getting in trouble
- Scared of getting hurt
- Scared of not getting my own way in life
- Scared of being humiliated
- Scared of losing (anything I didn’t want to lose)
There are so many things we can be scared of when we do not have Jesus truly as Lord in our lives/heart.
We will ALWAYS live in fear when we don’t truly trust God.
JESUS IS LORD
Something that I have had to learn, and am still learning, is that the only way to have true rest in this life—rest from fear, anxiety, worry—–is by having Christ Jesus as LORD over every area of my life—-surrendering ALL to Him.
We will be tested on this. If we take a stand in faith and belief in God—-we will be tried and tested as to whether He is truly Lord over us or not.
Being at rest is the practical way that our belief in God and that He is truly Lord over ALL things is worked out.
Whenever we are not at rest in heart—– faith is most likely weak. I have been there, and that is when fear, anxiety, and control start kicking in, and I am undone.
Everything in my life breaks down at the point where Christ is no longer Lord because I have lost my confidence and trust in Him as Sovereign God over ALL things—including my circumstances, my husband, his choices, etc.
When I don’t trust God and have Jesus as the Lord over me and my life—-I tend to give my husband all power to either protect or destroy my heart because I am seeking to find my life’s security in my husband instead of God.
When I Turn From The Lord
Something I have come to see clearly in terms of why I have allowed myself to be subjected to toxic behavior/words by my husband has been because of fear. The cycle has generally been like this:
- I am focused on God, trusting in Him alone to satisfy my heart and to be Lord over all things in my life
- Somehow I turn my eyes from the Lord alone onto my husband and start looking to him for security, love, joy, worth, contentment
- When he fails me (because he is not God and cannot satisfy me), I slowly start becoming bitter and resentful towards him and continue to seek my husband for life and love
- The more I seek my husband and not God for the things my heart needs that only Christ can give, the more I fail, and he begins aiming toxic words/behaviors towards me and I start trying to please my husband instead of God
- I get very insecure and frustrated when my husband doesn’t want to spend time with me, talk to me, etc. Because I am looking to him to tell me what I am worth to him by how he treats/relates to me
- At this point, I am afraid that if I am not perfect, my husband will leave me.
- I give my heart completely away to my husband in the hopes of gaining life that only Jesus Himself can give
The end result of this is the realization that I have been trying to do and be a certain way as a motive to get what I wanted—which was my husband’s love, time, attention, affection.
What I end up getting instead of all those things, though, is toxic words hauled at me, withdrawal emotionally, and toxic behaviors towards me, and fear that my husband will leave me if I don’t change.
It has happened like that every time.
What started out as me seeking God and trusting in Him to change my heart and restore my marriage has turned into me wanting to be changed by God in order to be “good enough” in order to earn and keep my husband’s love and attention. When I try to please my husband instead of God, I am idolizing my husband and setting myself up for destruction because God will not allow any other gods to compete with Him. He will not allow me to have what I want more than Him.
As soon as I start idolizing my husband, he immediately withdraws from me, and I become insecure all over again, and start demanding love and affection from him instead of trusting in God. And then my husband is pushed away and I feel like I’ve ruined everything—–and I am so scared that if I don’t change, my husband will never love me how I want him to, and he’ll leave me or just continue to ignore me forever and I will be miserable and alone and never able to feel loved and wanted!
The more afraid I am of losing my husband, the more I allow him to toxically treat me.
What Does He Get Out of It?
Something else I’ve had to realize is what my husband actually gets out of treating me in a toxic way. I came to see that what my husband gets out of it is his own security and feeling like he is in control. He is just as scared to lose me as I am to lose him. He most likely does not realize what he is doing. But through opened eyes by the Spirit of God, I have come to see that my husband has idolized me to have his own contentment, security, worth, etc.
- If I am not acting “right”, he is not content.
- If I don’t constantly assure him that I am not cheating on him, etc., then he cannot feel secure.
- If I am not 100% submissive and keeping my own opinions, feelings, desires to myself about any given thing, then he will not be ok. I have to be quiet and mind my own business in order for him to be ok.
Obviously, his reasonings are not legitimate, and that is why it has been imperative that I start calling him out when he begins to speak harshly, critically, & unlovingly towards me.
This is why it is important, a MUST, to put only God and pleasing Him first because when Christ is truly on the throne of my heart, I will NOT be shaken by what anyone says or does.
I will be at rest and trust in God alone and not relying on anyone else to tell me who I am.
Ladies, our husbands are NOT God. How they feel, what they want, what they think about you is not what is in control at any given moment. Only God is in control. What God says is truth. How your husband treats you is not about what YOU do or don’t do right—it is about HIS character. How he chooses to treat you is not your responsibility. You are only responsible for how YOU act, what you allow yourself to be subjected to, and what you believe.
I know how it feels to be scared to lose my husband/our marriage. I have idolized it to the extreme. I was willing to do anything in order to keep my husband, even when he was in the wrong. That is toxic. And it is unhealthy.
The truth is, whether I have my husband and marriage or not will never determine who I am. It will NEVER bring my heart true satisfaction, joy, peace and contentmet. Even if my husband was 100% perfect and did EVERYTHING I could ever want—that will still never satisfy me.
We were not created to be satisfied by earthly things. We were made and chosen to be called by God and renewed and satisfied by Christ alone. Ironically, when we do have Christ as Lord, we do draw our husbands to some degree—-they may still be how they are, but when we are not focusing on them and expecting them to be God to us—- we are generally less controlling and it draws them out in some way. When once they see that we are no longer looking to them to tell us who we are—-they may have to deal with their own insecurities. They will have to address the fact that they cannot control us, either.
My husband gets obviously more insecure when I am seeking God alone. And he is forced to seek God and see the truth and surrender to Christ as Lord over his life as well.
If my husband is afraid that I will cheat on him or divorce him, then he will try to control me to the degree of his fear.
If I am afraid my husband will leave me or never love me or give me what I want, I will try to control him to the degree of my fear.
It is imperative that we surrender ALL to Christ as Lord, and trust in Him alone for security, worth, love, and life. When Christ is Lord, we are not out to get what we want from anyone—we are out to please Christ. We will be able to stand in confidence against any attacks by the enemy through our husbands. We will be able to take our thoughts captive and replace any lies with the truth of God’s word.
The worst thing in life is not losing my husband/our marriage.
It is losing the presence of Christ and God in my life and growing in Him.
Some Questions to Consider (From April at www.Peacefulwife.com)
- Have I ever actually received the love, grace and mercy of Christ? Have I received Him as my Savior AND as my LORD? Have I yielded all control to Him? If not, I have got to start here!
- Is Jesus what I desire more than anything else in life?
- What are my deepest motives?
- What is the purpose of my life?
- What do I need to have to be truly happy?
- What is most important to me here?
- What are my emotions and priorities telling me about my real beliefs about God and His Word?
- Am I building my life completely on Christ and His Word and truth and getting rid of every ungodly thought that sets itself up against Christ in my heart?
- Am I willing to learn to be content with Christ alone? Are there other things I am still clinging to that are more important to me than Jesus?
- Am I clinging to bitterness? I have to choose. I can have Jesus and the power of His Spirit and all of the blessings that come from abiding in Him and obeying Him – or I can have bitterness. I can’t have sin and Jesus. Bitterness opens a wide door for Satan to enter my thought life.
- Am I clinging to pride, thinking I know better than my husband or I know better than God or God’s Word doesn’t apply to me because my circumstance is “unique”?
- Am I clinging to hatred? God’s Word says that I cannot love God if I hate a person, and that if I love God I must love people, too with God’s kind of love. I John 2 and 3.
- Am I clinging to materialism? Do I think I have to have money or stuff or luxuries to be happy in life?
- Am I willing to allow God’s Spirit to shine His light into the darkest corner of my soul and am I willing to lay EVERYTHING before Jesus on the altar and sacrifice it all to Him, holding NOTHING back? What am I afraid to trust God with? Am I willing to ask Him to help me to lay it down?
- Am I willing to face and hash through my deepest fears, deciding one by one that God is able to handle each fear and that I can trust Him and stop trusting myself? (this is a process)
- Am I willing to forgive my husband (and anyone else) who has wronged me, trusting God to help me to begin to work through that process?