Once Her Spirit is Wounded . . .

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It was a hard lesson to learn as a young man, but once my wife’s spirit was wounded, all the words and logic in the world would fail in making things better in the immediate. Only time, action, and a genuine change in my attitude would prove to help.

once her spirit is wounded

It seems that one of the most important lessons I teach men is that there is often a price to pay for losing their cool, being loose with their words, being overly sensitive, or acting in an uncaring way. However, few seem to be willing to accept this fact in a patient manner. Instead, they pout, accuse, point fingers, and whine as if they are expecting age-old principles and marital norms to take a back seat to their specific situation.

 

Generally Speaking

 

Though there is no cookie cutter typecast for every single human being, generally speaking, women feel deeper than men. Consequently, it is this part of my wife that I have had to learn to protect. That is, I have had to learn that if I offend her emotionally, my logic and words will fail at pulling her out of what I call an emotional bomb shelter, especially in the moment.

Of course, none of this means that a woman is not responsible for her behavior. I deal with this in my marriage book, especially in chapter 9. However, it does mean that there are natural repercussions to a man’s negativity that must be accepted in a patient manner. If a man fails to relate the effect with the cause, he will find himself continually frustrated in his marriage, and he will come across like a big baby.

 

The Exception to This Rule

 

There are a number of verbal women that are married to those quiet or more passive types. As stated in our marriage book in chapter 4, these men will find that their wives actually appreciate conversation in the moment. However, I find that most men will fail if they think their words are an end-all cure-all in the moment. Most wives want action mixed with genuine change over a long period of time.

 

How this Plays Out

 

Success is failure turned inside out. That is, those that succeed are not those that have never failed. They are those that learn from their mishaps.

Proverbs 1:5 teaches:

 

“A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:”

 

Proverbs 9:9 says:

 

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.”

 

What I love about these verses is that they teach us that wise men are still learning. These verses do not say that a wise man knows everything as much as that he has a teachable spirit.

Early in marriage, I started to see that once I offended my wife, she was going to retreat into a place of safety for a few hours or even days. Once again, I am not prescribing this behavior, only describing it. However, the facts were the facts. Once I acted out like a little kid, I would struggle because I then felt an emotional distance between my wife and I. Simply put, I did not like the effect that my negative behavior had caused.

 

Embrace the Consequence

 

It took me a few years into marriage to start allowing these negative situations to be one of my teachers. That is, instead of continually becoming upset that I felt disconnected from my wife after an altercation, I started to take on a different approach and learn from my mistakes.

I cannot over-emphasize the value of this principle. Honestly, it greatly propelled me to success as before I would wallow in pity over feeling disconnected with Melody. However, once I learned to start embracing the opportunity to learn from my mistakes, I stopped groveling in self-pity and determined to avoid the negative behavior that was causing scenarios as such.

Proverbs 20:30 states:

 

“The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil: so do stripes the inward parts of the belly.”

 

Simply put, when you touch a hot stove, you should quickly learn not to ever do that again. In the same way, I found it better to embrace the negative consequences of my behavior by learning from them. I found this a much better approach than to whine, complain, or hurl accusations once I offended my wife.

These principles are covered in detail in chapter four of our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting With One Another. Order our marriage book in paperback or Kindle format.

– Dr. Force

Order our Christian Marriage Book
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Posted in Issues Relating to Husbands

46 comments on “Once Her Spirit is Wounded . . .
  1. No one says:

    I love my wife. We started in a life together in absolute joy. As time passed we began to argue and gripe with each other about everything. I began to feel that she no longer loved me and wanted me to be away from her. She has even stated to me that we get along better when I’m away. While in training I shared my feeling about my home life with a class mate. This class mate saw the weakness in me and exploited it. I cheated on my wife with this woman, all along giving myself the poor reasons for why I did it. Once I became aware of the burden I placed on my family and my excuses became just that…excuses, I tried to get away from this woman. She began attacking my wife by phone and social media. I would lie to suppress the damage but my wife knew in her gut what I had done. For months I would do everything to keep the truth from coming out, though I was no longer dealing with this woman, I wasn’t prepared for the pain that this incident caused. One day I confessed all my sins to my wife. I opened up and told her everything. She did not deserve to hurt from the questions building up in her mind. Also I needed to be a man and face my demon head on.
    Years have passed but things have changed. Now my wife has taken to the role of hurting me. She openly engages with a man but tells me she isn’t involved with him. I found pictures of the two in the bedroom. She told me that she would never hurt me again but she continues to see him. I am at a lost because for awhile I thought this was just my punishment, but now it’s just me suffering. The bond of trust is gone between us. I try to foster hope by giving her access to my phone and email. But it’s not reciprocated. She hold her secrets close to her. She sleeps with her phone under her body. I’m getting the feeling that she has moved on with this man and im just along because we have kids.

  2. Christy says:

    Honestly another person will never affirm you and the biggest problem I see is with women. They think a man will offer them security and reaffirmation, but women must learn to find this in Christ and in themselves.

    Our various cultures and societies have long disenfranchised us as females, but we no longer have this excuse. We can become educated, own businesses, properties, and be monetarily self-sufficient. This is what we need – not the slavery of dependency that many women subject themselves to. We should respect and esteem ourselves and accomplish things.

    Being a wife and a mother is important, but too many women limit themselves to this identity and do not broaden themselves. Women complain men are narrow, and unconversational, and limited while they sit and watch sports all day, but just as many women sequester and limit themselves as well – just with different hobbies and interests. Don’t let your culture and beliefs stunt you. Your culture and beliefs are not the Creator.

    Also I do not buy for a minute that there are never any warning signs of a mentally unstable or abusive individual. Many rush into marriages without taking time to properly observe how a person responds in difficulty. It is then that you see revealed the cloth the individual is cut from. There is suffering in this life and that is the blessing. It is real and pushes you toward the cross and towards dealing with your selfish sin nature. If this is not the priority of both people in the marriage, how can it last? Always you will both become selfish children at any moment of personal discomfort, inconvenience, or crisis.

    Also you need to ask yourself, if I reproduce with this person, do I necessarily want to see the traits we contain reproduced in my offspring? Because you can best believe they will be there. Be completed in Christ before involving other people. Know yourself and your purpose because you cannot truly be completed by another if you can’t be honestly intimate with your own heart.

  3. "Yums" says:

    As I started reading this article, it started to scream at me. This is our life.
    I married an amazing man. The start of our relationship was just that, amazing!
    But as time went on, things changed. He changed.
    It started with the yelling, then looking for reasons to fight. Then the pushing came. One morning I was woken up with fist hitting my head and body. He wasn’t such a nice person anymore. This was not the man I fell in love with or married.
    This is when I decided to leave.
    I left serveral times. Always to go back. He’s my husband. I married him because I love the man I knew before.
    This last time, I have been gone for two years.
    In the 2 years, I had no “absolutely no” contact with him. Blocked him on all social media. Even changed my number.
    But at the 2 year and 4 day mark, I had to contact him.
    He weighted heavy on my mind.
    But for some reason, I’m always called back.
    So far this time… He has been so much different than before.
    Don’t get me wrong. My guard is still up and I still live in another state.
    But he has changed from what I and others can see.
    He’s more compassionate, thoughtful of what I think. He even looks at me differently!
    It’s hard to explain, but people really do change when they really want to change. And sometimes, they will make that change when faced with losing everything they truly love.
    I don’t know if he read your book, but I know he wants to do good and stay good.
    Now… I have to get use to his sensitive side, but if that’s all, I am completely happy with it.

    Marriage is a sacred bond that should never be broken.

    I do love my husband, and our reconciliation will take sometime, but that is something the both of us have. We have the rest of our life’s to figure each other out and to love more now than we did then.

  4. Rather Not Say says:

    My husband and I are divorced and back together. We have a child together. We were married almost 10 years when I left. He was an abusive man. Mentally, physically. He would call me names and say how I was a horrible mother and person. It became abusive later in the marriage. Then one day he blew up and pulled a gun. He never pointed it at me but at himself. That’s was the end. I couldn’t do it anymore. I left. And wow! It was all my fault. I had the whole fight on voice recording and was still to blame. I made him that way. Here we are 3 years later back together. It was good at first. But now it’s back to where we started. I’m his punching bag and he gets to tell me how much he hates me.

    • Glendalis says:

      Rather not say you need professional help and start with yourself. Don’t wait for him. Take care of yourself first for your own safety. You have no power to change him, no one does, only God. But you are able to seek help for yourself and to take care of yourself and you need to be strong enough to. If you want to trust God for a miracle in him that’s fine but let God work and pray for him but protect yourself from harm and allow yourself to heal. Please be safe and stay safe. Talk to someone today that is able to help you. You need to be whole. God bless you.

  5. Kim says:

    While all people (men and women) have a tendency to be selfish, narcissism takes this to a whole other level, and leads to chronic unrepentant abuse. It looks like several respondeds are in this category, as am I. These people aren’t going to respond to these blogs and books because they are conscienceless. They don’t believe, never mind admit, that they do anything wrong. Everything is someone else’s fault. Even God can only save someone if they repent, but narcissists don’t repent, although they can make a good show of it, as my husband did. He hid the fact that he was accused of molesting a child before we got married (as did his entire family) and after I stood by him for 2 years through losing my own children (believing it was a false allegation), I got very ill. Then he dropped his mask and became extremely abusive, started sleeping around, filed for divorce, and is trying to leave me as dirt poor as possible. And of course he has taken nearly all of the money. He even went so far as to accuse me of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with my teenaged son, and when that was proven to be the false allegation it was, he accused my sonof molesting our daughter. Some situations there is just no working through; this is one of those, I believe, that God says if an inbeliever wants to leave, let them go!

    • Machaka says:

      Amen and amen!! #THIS.
      Men, husbands need to hear this message! Adults in general need to learn to accept the consequences of our actions.

  6. The Broken Poet says:

    My wife sent me this article a while back. I have never hit my wife but I know that I have far too often not thought about the implications of my words and the tones of my voice. I write this to maybe give some hope out there that while we have air in our lungs and Christ in our hearts there is always hope for change in a man. I have read this article three times and will probably have to keep referring back to it as an accountability and reminder of my need to change. One thing that God keeps laying on my heart is to pray for marriages starting with my own. It breaks my heart to think of how I wounded my wife over the years whether it is by being thoughtless or in my anger. I have a deep desire to see change in men’s hearts for our wives and for the sake of our children. I know that this does not instantaneously make things all better but on behalf of all the men out there I seek forgiveness and restoration of these relationships. Please know that I am praying for change in my own heart and in the heart of all men that we may learn to love our wives and children well.

    • Amera says:

      Beautifully said I pray for the day my husband opens his eyes and see that praying for his marriage and the desire to change will eventually heal our hearts, minds, and hopefully our marriage.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sadly… this is my situation. I just pray that God works in my husband’s heart. I feel unloved and hopeless. My family far away(in another country) and not even knowing what I go through.
    This whole situation is affecting my physical, emotional, and mental health. On top of that, I’m expecting and it worries me that I don’t even have the energy to take care of myself or the little one I’m carrying in my woumb.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please pray, find counsel and a way to feed yourself well! I was in your situation and ended up developing high blood pressure! I hope things turn around for you!

  8. Wendy says:

    I too have had a sad married life. After married 10 years he had an affair,I forgave we reconciled. 13 years later his treatment towards me still the same, belittling ignoring unkind etc. He would say he struggled to be nice to me and didn’t know why. He said this in 2013 on Mothers Day again n I thought why am I with someone who struggles to be nice to me still. I was done. I told him I couldn’t take it anymore. I filed for divorce and he did nothing to stop it. Since then, 3 years niw, he has said he never loved me, was disconnecting from me since 2010. He was treating me in ways that were not loving yet I’m blamed for leaving n disrespecting him. He got married this past June I feel that door to my past is finally closed. The words he said to me over the years still replay but seem less. I discovered narcissism n believe that’s what I was dealing with. I am getting better healing and restored. I feel for others like me who tried for so long and then in the end get blamed for leaving. I just know God saw it all and truth prevails.

    • tina says:

      I have dealt with many of the things that you mentioned. I was with my husband for eleven years. He cheated and left and had to make me look like the bad person to make himself feel better. I know I was a good wife, I know I’m a good mother. I know I’m an overall good person in general. It doesn’t make it hurt any less. No one will ever understand this pain unless you’ve lived it. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I’m still hoping to wake up from the nightmare. My babies are 3 & 5 and they don’t understand. It’s so hard to watch them be brainwashed & tormented by his actions and there’s not much I can do. I choose not to join in, not to stoop to his level. He left over two years ago. Our divorce was final in October. For the entire time our divorce was pending & even since it’s been finalized, he has thought he could just come & go as he pleased. He wants his family back. I have put my foot down & told him you wanted this divorce, you were done & so am I! I am not your doormat!! Anyone out there dealing with this type of behavior, get out & get help. I’ve been in therapy for almost two years & pretty sure my babies will eventually need some type of therapy also when he gets done with them. It’s too sad 🙁

    • Annonymous says:

      Amen!I’ve been praying for the last few years for my husband to have a healthy,caring spirit again.I believe in the saying! Actions speak louder than words and his show that he is having an affair with a 25yr old young girl.IT sickens me that after23 yrs of marriage he all of the sudden said she is his best friend and I’m nothing but a back stabbing b word.So I left.And I’m trying to get over him and I haven’t cried although my heart hurts every second of the day.I’ve just been praying and staying busy.

  9. Tiffany says:

    My husband is the most verbal abusive man u have ever been with. I am at such a low place that I do not even know who I am any more. Then he is mad at me because I don’t go out of my way to make him happy. I am thinking about leaving with our child to get away from the abuse so that I can heal. He threatens to take everything away if I do so. If I leave with child out of state I fear getting in trouble. My family is out of state. I want to be where I am loved for me. My child watches his father scream and be little me, calle names and threatens to cause so much harm that I am in recognisable. I need help figuring out what to do. My soul is broken.

    • Tiffany says:

      Sorry about the spelling errors.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please keep youself safe. Pray and God will deliver from that situation. It may not be the way you want. But if a child sees this behavior please understand you are allowing it by being there. You gain your strength by showing the child you are protecting them.

    • Brock says:

      Hey Tiffany,

      I know I’m over a month late but I hope you read this.
      First of all I want to say to you that you are worthy and precious. And hear me when I say that you. are. enough. just the way you are!

      You deserve better and I desperately want you to seek legal advice. Many women I’ve spoken to, their husbands like to use the kids and their possessions to hang over their heads so they will never leave. (i.e I’ll take everything away from you if you leave)
      Get a lawyer speak with them about your rights as a parent and the first steps to take to get out of that awful situation before its too late for you and your little one. And the legal way of getting out so that your precious little one is safe with you wherever you go.

  10. Arnie Rogers says:

    Once his spirit is broken !!!

  11. Elvira says:

    I’m that woman. I’m in a place where I have disconnected from my husband. He has hurt me over and over. To be totally honest I don’t love or feel for him the way I know I should. If I want to leave him. NO. Cause I sincerely believe there can be change. There is no emotional connect from me to him. It’s a just blah we married so I keep my vow.

  12. kelly says:

    Are your books free?

  13. Precious says:

    Totally agreed with your analogy. Being married for 18 years, living with my husband who is careless with words and loose mouth. He’s negativity and inability to stand up for his family and quick with words in a condescending manner has already put a toll on our relationship and yet he thinks it was me the one who has the problem. For years, we would try to talk it out but it was always short lived. The next day, we will go back to where we first started. I’ve already come to a point that I see no reason to work out and put me through hopes to see him have a ‘revelations’. Now I just don’t have a care and worse no more love and respect for this man.

    • Daughter of the King says:

      I am so sorry. My situation is very similar. My husband has been verbally and emotionally abusive and it’s been very hard. I fell into a deep depression and almost 5 years ago, I tried to take my life by overdosing on prescription medication. Believe it or not, even after that experience, he still continued being negative. It’s a tough road especially because I love him dearly. Grace and love can cover it all. Jesus covers it all. I am praying for all wives in this situation, that they will turn to God in their time of deep need. He will never leave you or forsake you.

    • Candis says:

      Sounds like me except married 8 years.

    • Laura says:

      Unfortunately,I can completely understand and relate! God Bless!

  14. Caring Wife says:

    This is directed to husbands, and you stated above it is only one facet, which I totally understand. What advice do you have for the wife who has been hurt and retreated to her “bomb shelter”?

    • Here is a good link which is an excerpt out of our marriage book from chapter 9.

      http://hittinghomeministry.com/fighting-for-your-marriage/

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

      • CA dreamin says:

        When you are married to a Narcissist, loving kind often make the situation worse. Dont’ get me wrong, I choose to deal with my husband with integrity before God and to be peacable. however, some people are impossible to be at peace with. Bully’s only understand consequences, and sometimes, there must be guided consequences. Loving a man more, submitting more and giving more sex does not solve the problem as in my situation, and often makes it worse, because then they feel that they can continue to behave this way. There IS a time, under Godly supervision, to separate for the purpose of healing and restoration. A man may not be physically hitting his wife, but his emotional and verbal abuse is MORE damaging, according to many many studies. You just can’t see the affects of the abuse for many years. And they are harder to recover from. I am beginning to have panick attacks and nerve issues that are directly related to how my husband treats me. I will live my life with integrity, but one of us will be moving out, until there is true repentance. I physically cannot handle living with him any more. And i am writing this because there are people in marriages like mine who have done EVERYTHING, and because of our faith, do not even think about separation. But there is a time for everything…and done properly, with accountability.

        • Anonymous says:

          Agreed!

        • S says:

          Right there with you.

        • Anonymous says:

          I couldn’t have said that any better. I am in the same exact position/relationship and feel there is no hope. I am emotionally exhausted and feel like I don’t want to go on. There is so much more to it but it is affecting my health and just don’t have the energy anymore to fight it either way.

        • TM says:

          I just asked my husband of 4 years to move out for these very reasons. There is a time when it is ok to walk away.

        • Kelly says:

          This is absolutely true! I had to leave my husband of 21 years 9 months ago. I prayed so hard for so long.. tried being more submissive, loving, and respectful.. things got so much worse.. because it basically was like, he treated me badly and I was saying it was okay. For 20 years I blamed myself for all of it. I thought there was something wrong with me. we have 3 sons and they have been emotionally and physically abused by their dad as well I remember thinking that “If I was a better wife, he wouldnt get so angry with me”.I started having bad anxiety, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, lost a ton of weight. Most of all I felt like I was going insane.. once I left the first 3 months was very rough on me, but after going to a Christian counselor, I learned how to set up boundaries, unfortunately we could not make our marriage work, he refused to go to counseling on his own and claimed “he didn’t need it”. My church turned on me pretty much,a big part was because of him, and the other part was people didn’t understand what emotional abuse and gaslighting does to a person’s psychological state.and because some of them felt I was just wrong for leaving my marriage… I lost most of my church family, and lifelong friends.. however, I now realize they were not my friends to begin with..not really. people who are your”true” friends dont throw you away when you dont act the way they think you should..I was so hurt and felt I’d lost every friend I had.. But thankfully I have now learned that I have to set boundaries with everyone in my life. Which means not sharing so much of my life with people. I have learned that “Not everyone who smiles at you is your friend”. Thankfully God has provided for me in everyway. Not only financially but God has blessed me with true friends who have helped me and stood by me. I believe My Heavenly Father loves me. And I do believe without a shadow of a doubt, that I did what God led me to do. We are called to serve God. And a woman who is so focused on pleasing a husband who can’t be pleased.. well doesn’t leave much time to serve the Lord. God bless I hope this helps someone in my same situation. Also if you have children like I do? My biggest worry was raising my kids in a broken home.. guess what? My boys are so much happier now that they don’t have to walk on eggshells all the time in their own home. My only regret is not leaving sooner.

        • Keri Krake says:

          Totally agree.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I agree with this but is this to say I’m not suppose to expect my wife to work on her issues of disrespect and her general attitude of contemp, that she has full athority to stomp allover my emotions with out saying anything and just suppress my hurt without saying I would like her to be more loving towards me? Don’t get me wrong I know I’ve hurt and dissapointed my wife more then any husband should but I’ve been working on my issues in every way I possible can I don’t know what to do to get back my bride that was so soft and loving

    • Your reply seems to be a common reply, but it exposes the utter inability that our society has to critically think through issues and, especially, good reading material.

      An author’s point of view on one subject in a 500 word blog obviously does not encompass his or her entire view on a subject. This article only presents one facet of the diamond. You may want to read the other 300 articles on our site, or, better yet, our entire marriage book before coming to such a conclusion.

      Thank you,

      Dr. Force

    • Amy Bahen says:

      If she is wounded and you don’t give her the space and time she needs, all you will have left is time and space….alone. life is not fair, I’m guessing she learned that first from those closest to her. I believe there are 2 types of love selfish, and selfless. Even if she does not practice selfless love practice the latter. Christ’s life was full of selfless love the world is full of selfish love, learn it or pay the consequence.

  16. Johnny Ray Brown says:

    Very imformative and God ordained.

  17. Aja says:

    Your marriage should be a place of refuge not a place of torment. Be that safe place.

  18. Dean says:

    How can I show my wife I still love her? How do I regain her trust?

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