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.
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.
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.
– Dr. Force
I’m so tired of being treated like he can say whatever he wants and I am left to listen to the half hearted “sorry but you took it the wrong way” and then just move on. It feels like the ground keeps shifting under me and I try to figure out how to adjust. I’m just tired honestly I’m not even mad. I’m just tired of stuffing it down over and over and then trying to be this good wife that meets everyone’s needs. If I try to talk about it I’m causing problems and bringing up past issues that he’s moved past but I never had the chance to deal with. I guess I have accepted that this is the marriage I have.
I’m in the same boat here.
Let’s pray for each other.
Spousal love is overshadowed by the acceptance of each others defects. We need God’s help to forgive.
Much of what is out of order in my life is because of the unhealthy habits and inabilities to be a good husband and father that I brought into the marriage and the dreadful consequences that followed. People, marriage institution, the family, and how we relate to others socially, emotionally, and spiritually is divinely designed by God to operate and flow a certain way with specific inputs and outputs. God ordains us through his natural order of things to be the middle man for facilitating those inputs and outputs. If we are damaged, lacking knowledge and good mentorship, not vigilant, lazy and spiritually complacent, then the design of that which we are responsible for nurturing can corrupt itself and begin to wither like a tomato plant that has been malnourished. But it can always be revived with Gods help. Such has been the story of my marriage. I am at a point in my life of addressing unrepentant sin against my wife and against heaven. I have been asking God to bless my marriage this whole time and thus asking him to bless my sin. It’s a no wonder so much in my life has gone crooked for so long. I could not have a good career blessed of God till I repented of the sin concerning my career. I also could not find a wife till I repented of the sins I committed when I was searching for a wife before I met my wife. I have learned the hard way that repentance and asking for forgiveness must precede Gods blessing in whatever we are asking for. Hopefully this all makes sense. The other thing I will say is that there are drastic consequences for breaking the rules and and cheating in life. My moral failures in sexual purity before I was married and my student loan debt are prime examples of this of which I have been living out the harsh consequences for 10 years.
The other thing that I will say is the principle of time and relationships. Time is the lurbication of all relationships. Without the investment of time, all relationships will die. A man must invest time with his wife to have a good marriage. A parent must invest time with their children to have a good relationship. A person must invest time with God to have a personal relationship with the Lord. These are the three most important relationships that must have time budgeted for daily. This culture is hellbent on stealing time through the business of life. Our government is determined to separate the children from parents through the education system and by fostering a middle class of dual income families where both parents work. The fact is no amount of education will replace a good parent. 100 years ago, a child got everything he needed in life from his parents – life skills, a lively hood, the example of a good marriage, the example of good parenting, and possibly a wife and he or she knew exactely how to love their mate. Today, the average child gets none of those from there parents. Marriages are hurting so much today for this reason. Broken people being produced that then try to go have successful lives and then fail and their children fail and their children then fail and the cycle continues. A broken person cannot give love correctly if they never had love to begin with. A great example of this is the story of a preacher back in the early to mid 1900s that traveled and preached but then got a call one day from his wife who then began to explain how their son was beginning to act out in school and get detention and was ultimately on his way to becoming the average American troubled teen. The preacher had a choice to make. He went home to put his house in order and invested time in his son instead of the ministry. His son then became Dr. James Dobson. Another example is Jesus and his Heavenly Father. While on Earth, he got everything he needed from the Heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit. He did only what the father told him and he was blessed and successful. This dynamic of father and son was modeled perfectly in scripture between Jesus and the father but is completely absent from parenting today. So many wives are hurting today because men were never shown or told how to love correctly by their fathers. Consequently, Jesus is now working overtime in our culture to perform miracles in hearts and relationships because people are failing immensely from a lack of knowledge and discipline.
Today woman do not know how to love their men and men do not know how to hold their tongue and turn to the Lord when they don’t get the love they need from their wife. I would also venture to say that almost all Old Testament scripture can not be applied today because the culture and context is vastly different than it was in ancient Israel. The man provided what the woman could not – provision and protection. The woman provided help and support to her man, physically, emotionally, and sexually and he was held in the highest place of honor because of her. Today, woman do not need their men for provision and protection. They can go out and have careers and get their own provision and they have the government for their protection. It is a very sad thing to see in our culture today, that at the very core of who a man is, he is no longer needed or valued by the opposite sex for putting his hand to the plow everyday to provide and protect. The truth is we have one less rib, we are incomplete without our wives, and we need her love and support very much. It is a real need that we have. If you look around and pay attention to all the sexual sin in the world and how much the Bible addresses sexual sin, it it is clearly evident how much sexual fulfillment is a need for a man and why God gives so many commands and guidelines for this. It is a need and because it’s such a great need, it must be met the right way or there will be serious consequences. Most women today will refute this and not accept it but it is written in scripture over and over again. Perhaps I am completely wrong in all this but 10 years of very hard marriage experience has taught me a lot about who I am as a man, what I need from my wife as a man, and how to love my wife as a man as Jesus did the church (always giving and receiving very little in return).
I’m so mentally tired it’s making me physically exhausted. Maybe I am the problem. Maybe I am really not a nice person, though the only person I feel anger towards is Him. I repressed my feelings for so long that now any little conflict with him and I feel rage. I have very little confidence anymore. Everything seems pointless. I feel I live just to exist. I’ve even thought about just taking depression medicine so I will be numb through this existence.
Wow!!! I feel the same way. I thought I was going crazy or that something was wrong with me but now I know what the issue is. Thank you so much for sharing.
My marriage still struggles at times with these issues because as much as I want to see my husband as perfect, he isn’t and neither am I. I can say that over the years we have been married he has made a drastic improvement. Even though he may not admit to his wrongs, he has taken responsibility for them and has made serious efforts to improve. When my marriage was at its worst (he left me), I was devastated, so heartbroken that it physically hurt, that’s when God spoke to me loud and clear telling me to hand my marriage over to him. But the thing is I can hand my marriage over to God all I want but my husband still had free will to to honor his vows or walk away. Luckily for me he honored his vows although we still struggled through the pain caused. Another thing I learned was to stop focusing on things that I couldn’t change about him and focus on the things that I could change about myself. To stop focusing on the speck in his eye and to start pulling the plank out of mine. It’s ALWAYS easier to see others faults so you don’t have to take any responsibility of your own. I learned to pray for change on my behalf and pray for blessings for my husband. In return, I have the most perfect (faults and all) husband who serves me in the most selfless way daily. I can no longer question or doubt his love for me. I pray for all husbands to love their wives as they love themselves and pray for the wives to be patient and love and respect their husbands when every cell in their body is telling them to do the opposite. I’m so heartbroken to see all these marriages suffering. Honoring your vows when times get tough is the biggest form of faith there is. It’s an earthly representation of God’s love for us. We are imperfect sinners who don’t deserve God’s grace and mercies but they are given to us daily and if we can get them then we should give forgiveness, grace and mercy to our spouses.
Same!! I guess it’s not us, it’s them.
I feel the same way.. I’ve been called miserable, sad, angry not fun. I’m told I don’t know how to treat a man and that I don’t want to be told to do. I am an introvert but I do and am capable of love. It’s just hard when I’m talked to harshly and constantly reminded that I’m forgetful. I second guess decisions and if I make a decision I expect a “lecture” later on that I’ve made a bad decision. I’m always to blame for the fails in this relationship and he doesn’t own up to certain behavior because I think he thinks its normal and nothing wrong. In the otherhand my behavior is considered not normal..smh. I just feel like I’m going crazy and think really I am just a horrible unlovable mess??? These,things,are set in my mind already and it’s hard not to play the part that he has said about me.
Hi, found this today while seeking help for my situation and it was like I had wrote it, that’s exactly what’s going on with is, has it gotten better?
I always blame myself.I always end up saying I’m sorry for something I didn’t even do. I’m so lost and lonely
I understand. Why do they always think they are right and we cannot have our own opinion? Do I just stuff my feelings and become a yes dear dummy?
I was just thinking these exact same things today!!
I am going through a divorce rite now and although I’ve never hit my wife or have ever tried to make her feel unloved there are some things that I didn’t do rite I didn’t take care of her emotionally as far as being there for her anxiety and depression issues but it wasn’t until this divorce started that I now realize what anxiety and depression really feels like I did try my hardest to make her home life as easy as possible by doing a lot of the chores But i got so busy doing those things “thinking I was taking care of her anxiety and depression issues “ that I forgot to make myself emotionally available to her soul I pray everyday God gives me the wisdom and strength to change that about myself to better fit her needs and wants we have a beautiful family that means the world to me I feel even after the divorce goes through I still won’t be able to move on I feel she is my missing rib and I won’t stop trying as long as I’m still breathing
Me be a female feeing the same way..
You should watch the movie fireproof, this would help you get her back.
I think these comments are interesting, but need to keep in alignment with the specific issues addressed in this article. There are myriad marital issues to be addressed, but this one is addressing the fact that certain patterns of behavior have consequences and you prove yourself to be an absolute fool when you look around “surprised” that ppl don’t like you or don’t want to engage with you when you treat them poorly. Love, can be killed. Did you know that? Yes, it is true. The love that someone has for you can be lost if you do not treasure it and honor it and protect it. The bible speaks of the ” love of many waxing cold” in the end times. I never saw this as a rebuke, but as an honest analysis of the reality of what will be happening in a specific generation. To me, that scripture is showing something very key. Why is love growing cold? It is because of INIQUITY( deeply rooted patterns of SINFUL BEHAVIOR) abounding. It is because of ppl sinning against one another with no remorse, no conviction, no sorrow, no grief over it and no brokenness of heart which leads a person to desire an inner heart change. When this happens, over and over and over again, LOVE grows COLD. PERIOD. Our society and the traditions of men have trained many women to accept abuse and dishonor as a noble and holy thing. What a slap in the face of God. What a lie. At the same time, men in our society have been trained that the grace and forgiveness and love is always going to be there for them no matter how much they “screw up”. One thing Father has had to teach me, (painfully!!!) is that there are consequences to sin, there are boundaries in love.
There are consequences to treating people evil. Some of those consequences is loss of fellowship. Some of those consequences is you go around without friends(due to the fact that your reputation precedes you!!!). There are consequences to cursing ppl with your words, etc, etc. When we learn consequences we begin to place a value on certain things. This is very much a part of being in the valley of decision. We begin to re evaluate what is important to us and what we are willing to endure. Such as- is the health of my own soul before God, important? If it is, then I have to learn boundaries. I have to learn where I have violated my own personal boundaries in order to have someone in my life( flesh led life). I have to re evaluate the places where I have placed a man over my life as my God( traditions of man which have kept women from having Jesus Christ as her ONLY covering, and having the FATHER as her FATHER and not leaning on a man as her all in all when they are supposed to be following Christ side by side even as brother and sister. Not master and slave).
Much of the patterns which have been taught in our society are based on the desires of the flesh. Many men make demands of their wives based not on the governance of Holy Spirit, but based on the fact that their FLESH/SOUL wants something and they want their wives to come into alignment with that, even to intimidating or threatening her to do it. That is not the pattern Jesus exhibited. He exhibited what it looks like to die to the flesh/soul wants in order to accomplish the things his Father desired. There are many twisted women out there, for sure, but time and time again what I see is a demonic governmental structure over most men which demands worship. What men are longing for is significance thru being worshiped. And this comes from Satan. Jesus said, if you w at to be really great, become a servant. Go low. But we as women cannot then take advantage of the man who is going low and being a servant. That is like taking advantage of the grace and love of God. We all need to wake up.
I spoke with a friend of mine who is now in her late forties, not married, but has had an old boyfriend lurking around who wants to have a relationship with her. He is married(???!?!?!). He cheated on her when they were dating and got another woman pregnant then felt he had to marry her. He has been miserable with her. On the side he is still putting out feelers towards my friend who has avoided him for the last 20 years( I know, it is ridiculous, but I share this for a specific reason). He keeps calling her and telling her how much he always loved HER and still loves HER. And we were marveling at how stupid can these ppl be? Do they NOT REALIZE that the woman he “loved” 20 years ago is DEAD??? She is no longer that woman he keeps talking about and fantasizing about. She doesn’t exist!! That woman went thru a death process in Christ and she is NO LONGER ALIVE. The part he played in that was that he initiated part of the death by his treatment of her which drove her deep into the heart of God( this is actually good because we all need to find our life in Christ and Christ alone. Not all women or men experience this so this is an exception, okay?). But the truth is, she is such a different woman now, that he is not even the kind of man she is drawn to anymore. He didn’t grow. He didn’t advance. He didn’t become. He stayed exactly the same.
One thing I noticed is this: Women are deeply invested in growing. I feel part of this is connected to the God given gift in them to raise children. When you raise children you have insight into the progress of their GROWTH. So women are deeply understanding that nothing stays the same. LIFE CHANGES. Even with our bodies we are cognizant of CHANGE. So, as women we usually are drawn to men based on their potential and not the reality of who they are when we meet them. (Yikes. Catch 22 here) We live in the distance as often times the lord shows us, gives us hints of his original design and desire for that man. That is very exciting to us. We can see a finished work! Our weakness is that we fall for the potential and cover our eyes to some very glaring red flags that may be billowing right in our faces. We set that aside( after all, love covers a multitude of sins, right? *eye roll.*), we endure things that even father God would not want his daughters to suffer, and we do this with an deeply erroneous, religious and traditional interpretation of scripture which makes the true power of the word of God useless. Then we sit among ashes and wonder, what the heck just happened?
Because change is very much connected to the will of a person. We can’t force ppl to change which is why usually trying circumstances are allowed to jolt ppl into moving into a certain direction the lord may want them to go. Men on the other hand, I noticed( and this is not all men, but I noticed about 80%) do not want that woman to change. Ever. How they found you is how they want you to stay.Since we were all originally made in the image and likeness of God, I feel part of this is left over “likeness” of God in that God himself says he never changes. He is the same, yesterday, today and forever! But if you are staying the same according to fallen nature, this becomes a problem. But I noticed this is very strong in men. How you find them is usually how they will remain, till they die. A bit dramatic there, but not far from the truth…Women need to really take stock and think, ” this is how I found him, if he never ever changes, can I live with that forever?” I think there wouldn’t be many marriages if women took the time to think on that rather than on the possibility of him coming into potential. Most men never become what we see they could be.
So then, when the man who doesn’t change also doesn’t want the woman they meet to change from how he found here this is where chaos happens because as I said, women are change agents. Many things in their lives they have not been able to control and have been forced to change. Adapt. And so they are more aware of the need to adapt, grow and become.
I have seen often, that any time a woman wants to advance, improve herself, or grow, there is such a strong demonic resistance to that. Wineskins change. Women are wealth. If you treat them with the heart of Jesus they will multiply anything you give to them. If you give them life they will multiply life( unless of course she is already deeply broken, twisted or just a nasty, self absorbed person. I’m speaking of the fact that the original design of the lord in the woman is all about multiplication and I don’t mean just producing children!). The only thing I can say is that, satan has done a real good job at screwing up both men and women. Until both of them realize who is behind the scenes influencing them, these things are never resolved. What I appreciate about this article is that someone is acknowledging that men tend to have an issue with being unteachable and that there are consequences not just in a marriage to having an unteachable or willful spirit. This is tied to pride. Even God himself distances himself from the prideful! Why is it surprising if a woman begins to disconnect from someone who keeps injuring her? God literally had to snatch me out of an abusive relationship because it was killing me. I had no grid for my own personal need for healing and for love. I was trained that it is all about the man and his happiness. God showed me I was an idolater!! What ever you set up as an idol in your life God will kick over like he did Dagon. Perhaps our husbands are struggling because they are idols in our life and the pattern is that no flesh shall glory in the presence of God and the lord will kick over all our idols. Food for thought.
I was shocked to learn that God actually loved me and didn’t want me being dis honored. I am his daughter. I always thought God didn’t care about me and that I was supposed to be suffering like that. Well, if that is the case how can anyone be drawn to the lord thru these hellish marriage examples? Marriage is supposed to be a supernatural picture of something more glorious.
Wow. I am encouraged by any man who honors a woman and utterly blown away by any man who can repent. That is stupendous. And very rare!! It is also attractive. Just saying, guys. Any man on here who has been browbeaten by his wife, I am so sorry. Praying she get delivered and that God heal her AND YOU. And any woman who has died a million deaths in her marriage and is beating herself up because she can’t stand that man anymore and doesn’t love him. Stop it. Stop beating yourself up. God knows the way that you take and even he put Israel away after all their disobedience. Know that God loves you and you need to learn to love yourself and get proper boundaries. Love has boundaries for its fullest expression. May the lord heal us all because it’s a very cruel world out there. May we all humble ourselves enough so God can exalt us in due time, but let us also know that God hates abuse, meanness and cruelty whether from the hand/mouth of a man or woman. It reminds him of satan… Let us align with the lord in his image and likeness and crucify the superimposed legacy of the devil. Blessings!
You seriously blessed me by describing every bit of what I have been walking through- completely! You validated all of it!!! AND gave me food for thought. In the last two weeks that is exactly what God has revealed to me- that I made an idol of my marriage/my husband. We have been separated and I’ve filed for divorce. Everything you wrote from start to finish resonated with my story. I would love to communicate more directly somehow with you- I seriously cannot believe how thoroughly you described my life, my challenging walk with God through it, and more.
You really have me a lot to think about. The verbal garbage I have tolerated is unreal.
In doing my best to please God by intentionally trying to be a Proverbs 31 woman in my marriage, “for better or worse,” I have done myself a disservice by allowing my boundaries to be broken down along with my own self respect.
This is my second marriage. I was going to go in “and sin no more” by going into this relationship with divorce not being an option. God hates divorce. I hadn’t realized that my determination to be a good wife and partner slowly allowed me to become a doormat. All in the name of Jesus! I thought I was doing the right thing. But a broken spirit can’t be right!
Thank you for your post. Life changing, for a better and more clear understanding of marriage the way God really intended.
I’m a treasure not being treasured. I need to knock this off and BE the awesome person God sees, regardless of what my husband sees.
Is interesting how my husband has hurt my feelings soo many times and yet every time he acts like it is what it is, and I have to move on and pretend everything is ok without even addressing the problems. Tired of doing that, tired of keeping in silence and taking the abuse.
It’s a delusion! I have lived that as well- been separated since last May and have STILL encountered many issues with him since then- while he pretends it can all just go back to “normal” (unlivable for more than a week for me) tomorrow.
WOW….this is just no way for an individual to live…BONDAGE..