I certainly understand that there are a vast amount of husbands that have failed in their marital responsibilities. However, sometimes, there are what I call bad solutions to bad problems. And, it should be noted that even when a husband falls down on the job, it is not a license for a wife to become a controlling wife.
The Hard-Hearted Christian Wife
Without a doubt, some women are in very difficult situations that require a tough exterior. In cases as such, I certainly understand their need to protect their hearts, their well being, children, and their finances. However, with some, it seems as if their obedience to the Word is conditional in nature in that they are willing to obey the Word, but only after their husbands demonstrate their own walk with the Lord.
When this occurs, I feel that the woman is almost using the scriptures as a form of control over their husbands. Hence, they become what I call a controlling “Christian” wife.
Of course, I will be the first to say that this article should never be used for a man to explain away his disobedience to his marriage vows. At all times, a man should be willing to love his wife as Christ loved the church. But, I have to say that a woman cannot have her cake and eat it too. In other words, she cannot expect her husband to walk in obedience to the Word if she is not willing to do the same.
What This Looks Like
Women in such a state seem have the following characteristics:
1. They readily quote scriptures such as Ephesians 5:25, Colossians 3:19, and I Peter 3:7, but fail to acknowledge other verses that deal with a wife’s responsibility to walk in the Word.
2. They use the terms abuse and narcissism when it could be a stretch to use such terms.
3. They often pick out events and mistakes that took place years ago and enlarge upon them on a regular basis. The problem with this approach is that the husband could probably do the same.
4. They are emotionally checked out.
5. They often fail to look at their own mistakes and only focus on the mistakes of their husband.
6. They are prone to fire a great deal of accusations at their husband on almost a day to day basis.
7. They are typically cold and indifferent toward their husband all the while demanding warmth from him. (We deal with this in our marriage book, How to Fight for Your Marriage Without Fighting with One Another.)
I am having a hard time understanding this article about the controlling/hard-hearted Christian wife. AS I read these characteristics you listed above, I find that I have most of these. But let me explain to you why I believe that I have developed these characteristics.
My husband and I were married 14 years ago and I truly believed that the first 12.5 years of our marriage were really good. We loved each other, spent time together, trusted each other, helped each other and had the same morals and values! I believed that our marriage would last forever.
At the beginning of 2016, I noticed that my husband begin to talk often about another woman, who was recently separated from her spouse (both of which also happened to be our good friends) and her kids. He begin going to watch her kid play ball. He took her to a doctors appt. He went with her to buy a car and we took her and her kids with us on an overnight trip with us. I too, was kind to this women because I felt sorry for her that she and her spouse had recently separated. It wasn’t until I found a cell phone bill with over 1100 messages in one month between my spouse and her that I begin to get suspicious about the relationship. After I found out about the calls/texts between them, he denied anything was going on but told me he was no longer happy in our marriage and he encouraged me to leave. My husband even told our oldest daughter that if she would go with me, he would take her to disney world. So i took the kids and left for a few days but returned back home to try to work things out. During this time my husband got a new cell phone with no contract so I would never be able to see his calls again. I questioned him about this and he told me it was none of my business. Also, during this time my husband started drinking and he would keep me and my kids up at night after his drinking spell. He promised me that he was not talking to this girl but that I was not going to be checking his phone or his social media because that would mean I was trying to control him. During this time, I sought counsel from a local pastor. I prayed and begged God for guidance. I even ask this same girl who was also my friend to stop texting my husband and she agreed too. But then I saw a message from her on his phone one night. I confronted both her and him again about this matter and she told me to stay out of her life. (And this was someone that I thought was my friend). My husband kept drinking and denying it; sometimes I would come in form work and he would start immediately nagging me to go somewhere to get him something. And if I told him I was too tired, he would aggravate me and get in my face telling me if I loved him I would go. He would start an argument with me in front of the kids until I would have to leave, just to get my kids out of the situation. And a few months later, I found an ex-girlfriends number in his wallet. He was in denial again that he was doing anything wrong and that I was the crazy one. He has called me names and told me I was evil in front of my kids. And a few weeks ago he pushed me in front of my 4 year old.
Now, the part of this article that I don’t understand is the characteristics.
1) I try my best to walk in the word. I take my children to church, I study the Bible, I teach my children that sin is sin and that it is not right for there daddy to treat me this way.
2) I do believe that name-calling, belittling, keeping one up all night because of substance abuse and pushing all ALL forms of abuse.
3) And I far as past mistakes, I believe that if you truly repent of your mistakes then you are going to try your best not to do them again. But if someone continues to drink, or stay out all night or text other women, then you are going to hold on to these memories and you are going to guard yourself against future abuse and remind your spouse that those things are what caused the hurt and distrust.
4) The bible says that the wife is the weaker vessel. So if the husband continues to start fights, keep secrets from his wife, belittles, puts her down OF COURSE the wife is going to emotionally check-out. She has to protect her heart after she trusted it with someone who broke it.
5) AS far as looking at my own mistakes. Yes i realize every day that I am a sinner saved by grace. I am nothing, but I am trying to be an example to my children. By staying in this relationship, am I showing my children that its ok for their spouse to belittle them, call them names, push them, drink, keep secrets from their spouse and get involved with members of the opposite sex after marriage? OR if I leave, am I teaching them to be strong, that divorce is not right but if you’ve exhausted every other option, then sometimes you have to show tough love and what I mean by that is leave and see if your spouse will confess his sins/repent and change his ways then beg you for forgiveness.
6. After going through so much, I finally decided that I don’t even care what my husband has done or where he’s been. I dont ask any questions about his life anymore. I focus my main concern on my children and keeping them busy and making sure they are ok!
7. And yes, I am cold toward my husband. He used to be my security. He built me up when I was down. He encouraged me. We had many of the same dreams and goals. We taught our children the same morals…but when he begin focusing on himself, his toys, his happiness, his selfishness…then I begin to to release myself from his selfishness and focus my joy on my children and God. Because God created me as the weaker vessel and I have realized that I cant do everything and that marriage is a joint commitment.
I 100% get where you are at right now. I am so deeply sorry that your husband has failed to cherish you as he ought.
I agree very much with your comments, as this is very close to my own heart and what’s going on in my own marriage. Praying for us both.