Our conversation started when this wife asked me about how to deal with a husband who doesn’t comfort you in sadness.
Thank you to this wife for allowing me to share what the Lord has been doing in her heart!
In the last post, we talked about boundaries and how her husband was right in feeling that it is not his job to take care of the house/child. Please read the previous posts to get the full background of this story if you have not already!
Her Response to me:
You’re advice and point of view are so helpful! Yes, I come from a VERY feminist background. I don’t know any women from my high school that are stay at home moms. I come from a very affluent area where it is expected for women to go to college and make it big in the business world. I became a teacher, which is viewed as a humble career in the culture I grew up in.
My husband and I both agree that I should teach. (From Satisfied Wife: That is great that they talked about this important issue up front so there is no confusion!)
I believe that God has blessed me with a gift to reach unprivileged youth in a very effective way. Plus my job gives our family things that both my husband and I want for our family.
“However, I do think I take on too much extra responsibility, such as after school tutoring. I think I need to let this go.”
I think there are a few things going on that my eyes and heart are now seeing.
- I’m not focusing on or appreciating what he does do. My husband works 12 or more hours a day. He goes to school also so he’ll be able to provide for us after retirement from the military. He helps with our daughter when he gets home, brushing her teeth and giving her baths many times. He helps bring in the groceries and usually helps with more masculine duties around the house. He takes care of our daughter when we go out to eat and during church service. His brother, my friends, and even his mom have made comments on how much he does things for me (some of my friends are jealous!) The only times these things decrease is when he’s overwhelmed with work, it’s hunting season, or I’ve been disrespectful. I don’t thank him nearly enough. Sometimes I think about thanking him, but it feels awkward and I think he feels awkward too. However, I realize that this is no reason not to do it.
- He definitely stops helping when I’ve been disrespectful. And boy have I! When I’ve been disrespectful, he becomes very unloving. Just like the book! And then we are in a bad cycle!
- When things are going well, I sabotage it! For some reason, when things are going well and he’s helping more because things are going well, the enemy’s voice comes to me and says “why should I thank him? I still do more. It should be equal. He’s so selfish. Why does he get to go hunting for a week and not me?” And so on. I need to pray during these times because this is when I let the voice win and I become disrespectful!
- I need to pray about what boundaries to make for myself and in our marriage. I did read more of the book. I definitely realized I need to make boundaries on my behavior first. For example, it is not acceptable to nag and talk down to my husband. Then when I clean up my side, can I make any other boundaries necessary. I do need to pray which ones are necessary and not, however, due to my controlling nature. I do know I need to make some boundaries right now like if my husband yells and swears at me. I need to leave. However, I think it might be wise to clean up my end of the street and stop the disrespect before saying things like “I can’t do the dishes if you do not help with dinner” hopefully when the respect increases, he’ll be more inclined to do it if I ask nicely. It usually does. I think I do need to pray about this to make sure my motives are pure.
- My husbands sin doesn’t excuse my sin. Well all have to answer for our sins. If my husband treats me unlovingly, it does not give me the right to be disrespectful. I do need to ask myself all the time whether my actions AND thoughts are honoring God.
Thank you so much for listening and allowing me to write. I’ve been married for six years.I’m so glad God is showing me the way! I know many people never do and a lot of heartache happens to families. I’m hoping I can change for God and my family!
From Satisfied Wife:
Wow! Praise God that this wife was willing to seek the Lord and that He has opened her eyes to see some things she might need to adjust to in moving forward with her marriage/life. It is clear that the Spirit has spoken to her heart about certain issues and how to address them. It is also clear that the Cross is being applied to her heart as she seeks to adjust herself FIRST in the marriage relationship, which will promote a more compassionate and loving environment. She realized that focusing only on what her husband is NOT doing is only feeding the voice of satan and causing strife, disrespect, and ungodly motives.
None of us are perfect! Sometimes it feels like we can’t let go of our hurt feelings or our own pain and bitterness. We feel that letting go of that pain is losing and that we don’t deserve to be treated in such a way. But as you see in this story, when we focus only on what our husband is NOT doing, instead of on all the things he DOES do, we will hold on to all that bitterness and resentment will build up, only leading to division between us and our husbands. That is not what God wants! That is what satan wants!
Yes, there is a place and time for boundaries—but they are only FOR OUR SELF. We can not control another person with boundaries. That is not what boundaries are about at all. They are to protect our self, not control another person. We set limits on our own behavior, and we let the other person know where we stand in any given situation, in order that they might take responsibility for their own side of things. But even then, you can’t make someone take responsibility for their own choices/actions, you can only let them know what belongs to you and what you are not going to pick up that belongs to them anymore.
I pray that we all might be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading that we may be able to discern what to do in our marriages that will most glorify the Lord! 🙂