2 tips for disappointed wives

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!

Simple way to create “team” with him

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.

— or view this topic as a 2 minute VIDEO BELOW

6 Bible verses for anxiety attacks

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:

  1. 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!
  2. 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”.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Your girlfriend shouldn’t be his too

At the risk of you thinking I’m totally looney, may I suggest that you talk with your husband about clear boundaries regarding your female friends?  In other words, he should not be a close friend of any of your own girlfriends!  I know this might seem old-fashioned or even ridiculous, but many affairs start out with a husband “just talking” with another woman.  We need to be careful and alert to the schemes of the enemy!

1 Peter 5:8 says “Be alert and of sober-mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”  So, be alert to the enemy’s scheme to get your husband emotionally entangled with one of your friends.  He should not spend time with her without you.  He should not even be spending time on the phone with her giving advice or listening to her woes.  Without him intending to do so, he will slowly find himself developing an emotional bond with your friend, and she will start bonding with him.   Danger lies ahead!

Handling your anger effectively

Does your mouth often cause trouble between you and your husband (or between you and other people)?  If you’re one of many women who end up “venting” on their husband or saying harsh words you later regret, God’s Word gives us 3 clues on how we can respond appropriately when we start to feel our anger rising.

1)  Pause.  Just stop.  Leave the room for a moment if you need to.  Don’t react in the moment because your gut-level reaction will almost always cause trouble!  James 1:19 puts it this way, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”  So pause before you react verbally.

2)  During the pause, consult the Holy Spirit and ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how to love and respect your husband with your response.  Would your husband be positively impacted by a gentle and encouraging word from you?  Would your husband be more willing to make changes that you’re requesting if you showed him respect by asking him to help you understand his perspective?  Philippians 2:4 says “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interest of others.

3)  When you’re ready to address the issue with your husband, say a silent prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to be the one speaking to your husband by using your mouth.  Trust me. The Holy Spirit will come up with much better words than you ever could, and will utter those words in a much more respectful way!  When speaking to his disciples, Jesus said in Matthew 10:19-20, “But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

— or view this topic as a 4 minute VIDEO BELOW

Examples of boundaries

I get asked quite often about boundaries in relationships. The subject of boundaries is a topic tossed around a lot, and women sort of instinctively know they need boundaries in relationships, but they don’t exactly know the how, what, when and whys of healthy boundaries!

First let me explain that there is a difference between asking your boyfriend or husband to change and setting a boundary.  A boundary is not a request for the other person to change.  A boundary is deciding what YOU will do to protect yourself physically, emotionally or mentally from the other person’s harmful or destructive behavior.  A boundary basically says to that other person, “I can’t control your choices, but there are some things I CAN do to control how your choices affect me”.

Let me give some examples:

  • A husband refuses to stop looking at pornography and that choice wounds his wife’s heart.  She makes a request for him to stop (and most likely to seek serious help for that addiction), but she can’t MAKE him stop.  So, she establishes a boundary.  She tells him if she continues to catch him looking at porn, she will move to a separate bedroom or even separate from him entirely until he gets serious help for his problem.  That’s setting a boundary.
  • A husband is emotionally abusive and that wounds his wife.  She makes a request for him to stop, but she can’t MAKE him stop. So, she establishes a boundary.  She tells him if he screams obscenities at her or degrades her even one more time, she will immediately leave the room (or the house) because she won’t tolerate that kind of behavior.  If the emotional abuse continues, she might set an even larger boundary and tell him she will need to separate until he seeks serious help.  That’s setting a boundary.

By the way, boundaries are Biblical.  Here’s an example from Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.  And 1 Corinthians 5:11  I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.