I’ve learned something pivotal over my many years of helping women navigate marriage problems. In general, don’t share your husband’s faults and failures with your family of origin! The reason is simple. Your parents, siblings and grandparents not only love you, but are often overly-protective when it comes to you. They can’t stand the thought of anyone wounding a member of their family. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, their allegiance to you can often turn into the vilification of your husband!
Allow me to explain. Once a wife openly shares the faults, failures or sins of her husband with her relatives, he may be forever stained in their eyes. Many parents and siblings will begin treating the husband as the enemy. Sometimes, those relatives develop deep resentment toward the husband. Once those strong feelings have developed, it’s often hard to turn that ship around, even if the husband has repented of wrong-doing! He will always have a black mark next to his name.
This is what I would suggest doing. You definitely SHOULD seek advice and wise counsel as you’re working through difficult seasons in your marriage, but, in general, avoid confiding in your relatives. If you sense that your relatives are quick to forgive and refuse to hold onto resentment, perhaps you can safely confide in them. Otherwise, seek counsel elsewhere, such as a women’s ministry leader, Christian counselor, or wise older Christian woman in your life. You need the kind of wisdom described in James 3:17-18 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
If you find yourself disappointed with your husband, ask yourself this question: Is he sinning against me or am I just disappointed with him? If he is actually sinning against you (looking at porn, being abusive, drinking excessively, etc), then consult with God and perhaps a godly mentor to determine if you should respectfully confront your husband and establish boundaries, using the Biblical model laid out in Matthew 18:15-17.
However, if you’re simply disappointed with your husband because he’s not meeting your expectations, then try these two things: 1) Simply and clearly let him know what you desire….because he is not a mind-reader! It’s so funny how we expect our husbands to meet all our needs and desires because “he should just know”. Lol Well, guess what? He doesn’t “just know”. Sometimes, you need to actually tell him what you’re hoping for and what your expectations are.
2) If he still doesn’t fulfill your desires and expectations, take a moment and remind yourself that he can’t be perfect and he can’t perfectly meet all your needs! Now, if someone were to ask us if we expect our husbands to be perfect, we would answer “of course not!”, and yet, at a subconscious level, most of us DO expect our men to be perfect. We pretty much expect them to be Jesus! It’s time to let them off that hook. After all, God makes it clear in Psalm 53 “there is no one who does good, not even one”.
So, maybe it’s time you stop expecting your man to be perfect in every way. How about, instead, you decide to be thankful for the good things about him? In fact, every time I started to get disappointed with my own husband in years past, I learned to stop and begin to list the things that he was doing right. This is what my new internal dialogue sounded like: “He works hard to provide for me. He doesn’t drink or drug. He has stopped looking at porn. He reads the Bible every day.Wow! I’m not so disappointed anymore!”
We all would like to feel more emotional intimacy and connection with our husbands, but often we end up drifting apart as the years of marriage pass by. This is especially true when children come on the scene. You get super busy and absorbed with the kids and your husband feels unimportant, unvalued, and un-needed.
However, there is one simple step you can take to begin changing that dynamic. Start asking your husband for his opinion! Ask him his thoughts on the right number of activities for the kids. Ask him his thoughts on how to best arrange the living room furniture. Ask his opinion on what is most important to him in terms of cleaning and tidying the house. (You might be surprised that most men would prefer you focus on keeping the home tidy rather than clean).
By asking your husband for his opinion, you’re communicating that he matters. You’re communicating that he is a needed and valued team member. You’re communicating that he is respected by you! He needs that respect. He’s wired to crave your respect. That’s why God gave a clear instruction to wives in Ephesians 5:33. It simply says “The wife must respect her husband.” So, start respecting your husband by asking his opinion and truly considering his thoughts and desires. You will find that he likes being around you more, and you will develop a powerful sense of “team” in your marriage.
So many of us struggle with fear and anxiety, and sometimes that struggle escalates to a full-blown anxiety attack. We know that God does not intend for us to live in debilitating fear, but how do we break free?
I’ve personally found much relief by applying these 6 Bible verses:
2 Corinthians 10:5 “we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ”. This means when fear-based, hopeless, defeatist thoughts enter my mind, I need to examine them and ask whether this is something God would say!
1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober-minded and alert. The devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith.” This means when I notice my thoughts are becoming hopeless or fearful, I need to recognize the devil is whispering those thoughts to me! I must take a stand and refuse to align my thoughts with the devil! Sometimes I even hold out my hand and shout “NO”.
Isaiah 41:10 “do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” This means I remind myself that I am not walking through my challenges and worries alone. Jesus is right there beside me all the time and all the way.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that God works all things together for good for those who love him” This means that I remind myself that even if my worst fear comes to pass, God can still bring something good out of that situation. That brings me comfort.
Psalm 139:16 “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” This means that when fear-based thoughts enter my mind, I choose to remind myself that God already knows my future and my kid’s future. Nothing that happens to me or my kids will take God by surprise! He knows the future. He’s already there.
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” This means I choose to pivot from the fear and turn toward God in a very deliberate way. When I do that, He comforts me! “Drawing near to God” could mean everything from turning on a worship song, to reading the Bible, to calling a faith-filled friend, to hugging my actual Bible as I lay down to go to sleep at night.