Why your husband no longer respects YOU…

To think about why your husband no longer respects you is painful.

I’m sorry.

But you’ve noticed it, right?

The disrespect shows up in small ways… and big ones.

A look of disdain here…

The curved lip of contempt there…

Dishes left out for “someone else” to do… same with the dirty laundry…

Opinions ignored, advice unsought…

You sit and look at Dare 8 in The Respect Dare and think, “But what about me?”

While this dare is awesome, and I encourage you to do it with wild abandon because the activity and the questions literally have been proven scientifically to impact your attitude and relationships… while all that is true, I want to address the other side of the equation today.

Because chances are, if you are like too many women in our culture today, you either are someone or know someone this has happened to.

“Creep” has occurred… and you wake up one day and realize that you’re taking care of the majority of what’s going on in the home.

You’re dealing with nearly all of the domestic duties.

You’re handling almost all of the kid issues.

You’re exhausted.

Tired.

Burned out.

Sound familiar?

I’m so sorry if this is you. Equally sorry if it is a friend of yours.

But I’m here as a harbinger of hope today! This chore “creep” in marriage isn’t because your husband has become one! He’s just responding naturally to something that occurs in many marriages – and it starts out innocently… it starts out as love.

Chore -CREEP- doesn't occur because your husband has become one! Start needing him again!

What began as getting up with the baby in the middle of the night because you “only” work part-time or are a stay-at-home-mom has morphed into something else.

Somehow taking over the laundry because you were “home more anyway” has evolved into being responsible for way too many things.

And you are spent.

Stick-a-fork-in-me-I’m-well-done-no-overdone-style spent.

So YES, by all means, do Dare 8 today the way it is in the book, but also take a brief inventory on whether or not you have gone from being a wife to being a mom – to the man you married.

Yes, I said that.

RD_dare-8

Here’s the thing… most marriage experts from Dr. John Gray to Gary Thomas to Dr. Kevin Leman to Dr. Gary Smalley will tell you that if you emasculate a man, he stops acting like one. Men need to be needed. In your efforts to serve your family well, have you taken over his job?

Have you rescued and enabled him to let you?

If you emasculate your man, don't be surprised when he stops acting like one

Can I just let you know today that there is hope?

The wrong answer is to assume his motives are heinous and he’s out to get you. He’s probably not even noticed. He’s put his energy into work – where he can feel like he’s needed and achieve something. Maybe you’ve been doing so much that he doesn’t feel like he’s needed around the house or in your family any more.  And according to Gary Thomashe doesn’t change because he doesn’t have to.

I know first-hand how this issue can show up in marriage – my husband traveled quite a bit for work years ago and still does sometimes. I’m not an idiot – I’m capable. But do I want to put him out of a job in his home? NO.

Think about this – if we’re acting like our husband’s mother, picking up after him, doing everything (too much) around the house, not calling them to a higher level as men, not needing them, not giving them things at home to achieve, etc., how can they possibly see us as their lovers, their wives?

Think about it.

Are you creating an environment of mutual respect?

Dare you today to ask yourself – am I doing things for my husband or kids that they could be doing for themselves? If you want to be doing your twenty-something’s laundry forever or making all of his meals daily, if that’s your dream, then have at it. If you want your husband to see you as a mom figure who takes care of him, go for it. And don’t be a pendulum swinger and accuse me of not encouraging women to be Titus 2 wives!

Bottom line: if  you want a life partner, and desire to be an equal heir in the Kingdom today, start acting like it.

By not doing too much.

By staying out of the way of your husband and kids need to achieve and being needed.

It makes a difference.

Dare you to chime in on how this strikes you today! 🙂 Looking forward to the dialogue!

And if you struggle in this area, please join our FREE Strength & Dignity eCourse. It’s some work – but it’s helping women realize and remember who God made them to be. Be sure to sign up for the marriage TIPS! and/or the blog in the sidebar. 🙂

And… if you are feeling called to ministry because of what God’s done in your life – WE HAVE MINISTRY FOR YOU! If you haven’t signed up for Boot Camp yet – wait a bit – we’re going to have a coupon out soon to save you $50. Space is limited. Pray about it. Find out more here. It’s like nothing else you’ve ever done.

Love to you,

Nina

titus 2 women leadership

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

7 thoughts on “Why your husband no longer respects YOU…

  1. The issue is not failed respect. It is failed LEADERSHIP. The other side of the respect coin.

    You cannot be “worthy” of your spouses respect if he is unwilling to give it freely and without strings attached any more than you can be worthy of Christs sacrifice. You either believe in the value of the sacrifice or you don’t. Just as love is a choice and an action, so is respect.

    If our Husbands are to their families what Christ is to the church, uplifting her and making her holy, holding her sacred above all else, then how well would that work if it were done through contempt, or disrespect. I’m not upholding my oaths to you today because I have judged you and found you wanting. You are no longer deserving of salvation because you are slovenly, you are gluttonous, you are sinful – –

    How about we bring that closer to home? What if our clergy persons led with this kind of attitude? I can’t lead this community because it is too sinful. They will not be led. I condemn these people for being unworthy.

    I think we would see our communities of faith fall apart under this kind of leadership. Imagine if we judged those who came to our outreach programs so harshly. We couldn’t continue to serve our communities with that kind of attitude.

    Of course we are sinful. We are human and it is our nature. Our worth is not the question. We can always be found wanting by someone who is seeking our sin.

    Leadership is HARD. Not all people are suited to leadership. Not all types of leadership will motivate all types of people. Something I think we deal with more often than we acknowledge is the unwilling, or resentful leader who is not embracing his role as the leader of the family. This leader is struggling within HIMSELF against his own thoughts and feelings. Our respect to this leader is a cause for panic. He is on a sinking ship with one life jacket and he is expected to save us all.

    Suddenly every decision is catastrophized, we don’t have challenges, we have CRISIS. Every reaction to those crisis becomes another crisis because we don’t have a leader or a plan. If our designated leader is charging the family in mistreatment for being put into a position of leadership, it wont be long before the family is spiritually bankrupt.

    If you frequently find yourself wanting to light the cross your dearest has climbed up onto, you may be dealing with a martyred leader.

    A martyred leader is justifying failure. Martyrs are the heroes that don’t win for one reason or another but are still entitled to respect. If you find yourself doing your best and still making the “wrong” decision, being criticized, disrespected and your faults scrutinized and your contributions overlooked and even fearing to do ANYTHING because of the responses you are receiving, it’s probably not a you problem.

    My spouse and I have a long running complain off about getting gas and vehicle maintenance. One of the things he doesn’t like is how empty I let the tank get before I refill it, so one day I decided to be proactive. I had some money in my pocket, I filled up the gas tank. Go me. I did something good. So I thought.

    I came home and boy howdy, you’d swear I’da wrecked the car instead of filling it. Apparently, I went to the wrong gas station, spending about a dollar more in total than I would have at another gas station across town.

    Sweating me over that dollar was utter insanity. It was a pick for the sake of picking. It was one of those deals I could have run miles with over principle. I’ll admit, I wasn’t gazing at him openly and supportively during this discussion. Mutiny may have crossed my mind.

    The car picking is seeking justification for a belief that he holds that I can’t decide for him to let go of; that I don’t care as much about the cars as he does. No matter what I do, (or don’t, on the bright side, haha) it’s not going to budge that. The cars are a resource he provides and when he needs a higher ground from which to judge, it’s a freebie card. His greater knowledge of cars gives him the ability to declare reality as it pertains to the use, cost and maintenance of vehicles. If he wants to look for the wrong, it will come up.

    I could speculate on why transportation holds some sort of psychological significance and how that became a focus, but the why’s don’t matter. This is one of those “yes dear” moments. We’re not going to come to ruin because there are too many toys in the car or it hasn’t been washed in a while. We’re not going to throw away our relationship over a dollar on gas. I owned my mistake, explained my lack of knowledge of the prices of gas around town resulting in my incorrect assumption that one was about the same as another and restrained myself from tossing on a sarcastic, I’ll call and ask where you’d like me to go next time. I did point out that I am in no way going yee haw lets go waste some money to annoy the hubby today. It was an accident and I had good intentions. I won’t go to that gas station again.

    If you find yourself apologizing for the same things again and again, yet they come up again and again, it’s probably not a case of apologizing incorrectly (if you are unsure of what a correct apology looks like, google 4 part apology. If what you’ve been doing looks for the most part like this, you’re doing pretty good. Pat yourself on the back momentarily. K, now stop.). It’s a case of keeping score and taking payment in the form of disrespecting others.

    So coming to positive and progressive, how can we truly help our leaders who are struggling to lead when the more dependent we are the more fearful they are? How can we reach someone who is running from us? We can’t sprinkle them with magic water and make them grow. Gods time is not our time.

    We can help them bring light to the underlying issues that they are stuck on. We’re not looking for the right answer, we’re looking for the right question. What fears are holding this person back from leadership? How can we help soften those obstacles? I think the first place I would start is clarifying the vision for the family. What are we? Who are we? What do we do? What do we have to do to bring our family vision to fruition? What do we have to do to make that vision secure? How will we continue to live that vision into our later years?

    When there is no plan, it becomes an every man or woman for themselves situation and we might as well be championing egalitarian marriage – participating in the marriage on an ever fluctuating ratio of emotional judgements. Disrespect and contempt are ways of putting distance between you and your partner. It’s a way of outrunning your partner instead of outrunning the bear, even if only in symbolic ways. Not having a plan is a slow suicide for respect in a relationship.

    I would suggest not taking it personally, giving it time, clarifying the plan, being complete in yourself and your faith(VERY HARD. No lies.), loving yourself all the way through, good and bad as a valuable child of God, having support and respecting yourself, because unless you have self respect, no one can give it to you, and being able to give him space when he needs to be something besides the fearless leader for a little while.

    Self respect begins with doing what you need to do to survive, forgiving yourself for the times you don’t get it perfect and not giving others power over you (as opposed by power with you, which we do want) by allowing them to focus on your shortcomings instead of your contributions. This means making yourself bully proof- because that’s what ongoing disrespect is. Bullying. Bullying wants a response. Take your bully out of the middle of your personal relationship with God. We tell our elementary kids to “not bite the hook” and “swim free” using five strategies; do little or nothing, agree with hook, distract, make a joke, don’t make yourself available for put downs or cruelty, there are plenty of things you could be doing besides being a human pincushion for someone looking for a target to vent their frustrations and disappointments upon. Validate what you can, apologize when you’ve done something wrong. Don’t continue to apologize when the first ten times weren’t enough. Withholding forgiveness is a power game, and we’re not here to joust over peanuts.

    Don’t get defensive – defending yourself against someone elses opinion of you (not fact, opinion) is a great way to find yourself winning the war and still feeling like a looser, validate your spouses opinions when you are wrong, own your stuff, be willing to make changes, avoid catastrophizing, this too shall pass, and remember the real head of your house is GOD. Your spouse cannot fill that seat. Give him over to God and have confidence that there is a reason for it all. Take your self worth away from a man and put it all in God. We don’t do what we do to placate another human, we do what we do to praise God.

    In living prayer,
    Mandi

    • Thank you Nina and team, lots of excellent insights, as always. ―Wonderful.

      Mandi. . . . lots of great points too!

      “I came home and boy howdy, you’d swear I’d wrecked the car instead of filling it. Apparently, I went to the wrong gas station, spending about a dollar more in total than I would have at another gas station across town.”

      . . . . . Mandi, you already know all this but that makes me believe it is not about the dollar, not about the gas. . . . . Look to wherever the energy is ―and you will see what old pain keeps getting re-activated and then you can begin to take the steps to SEE it, and invite your husband to take the responsibility for his own pain, and help him begin to heal it!! It’s the pie/pizza rule…. If your spouse or child does something that really only warrants addressing with 1/8th piece of the pie, but they are throwing the WHOLE thing at you…then that 7/8ths is their own unconscious “baggage” not Mandi’s– and the more he over-reacts with you, the less chance you both have of actually addressing the 1/8th that may need to be addressed at some point–and a MUCH less chance of ever seeing his own stuff because he is so lost in rage. I think about it this way:

      * Criticism is the frozen cry of childhood, now put into language; it doesn’t work, but our hardwired old brain lamely persists (―this is his arrested development, we all have pieces of it, —all of us.) Imagine reaming your precious wife out over a dollar: INSANE!

      * Criticism is the most common reaction to frustration in a relationship, and it is the most destructive, a perverse and counterproductive attempt to get one’s needs met, INSANE part II.

      I tell husbands all the time: Do you want to always be right, or do you want to be in a relationship? Because you can’t always have both. You can’t cuddle up and relax with “being right” after a long day at work. . . . . Men have no understanding what marvelous responders us women really are. A woman gets an environment of sincere, ongoing affection, caring, protection, nurture, thoughtfulness and she just blossoms —out responding any man by multiples. Jesus did not come into the world to make bad spouses good. Jesus came into the world to make DEAD spouses alive. —Real life only happens if we confront our own issues(sins) and are broken by them!

      About 90 percent of the frustrations our partners have with us are really about their issues from childhood (—it is NOT about the gas) . . . . I believe, the Christian view of marriage is that rather than leaving it to find yourself, you find yourself through it. Marriage itself is in essence therapy, and your partner’s needs chart your path to psychological and spiritual wholeness. An atmosphere of loving accountability and support along with zero tolerance for manipulation, abuse, or power and control over another individual, is the optimal environment for biblical peacemaking and relationship repair to take place.

      We are all to some degree Propaganda Posters, aren’t we? I know I am. . . . .And there exists such a false distinction between the idea that there are those who are whole and those who have a lack. For the true distinction is between those who hide their lack under a fiction of wholeness (—pride in that case renders faith impossible) and those who are able to fully embrace their brokenness. You would think I could fully embrace my brokenness because I logically know I am. . . it must be my pride somehow. That is what I think is going on with your husband too. He can’t let you be right, healing his childhood issues and he can’t humble himself before God and his precious wife. He would rather be proud than have real love and real forgiveness. Pride is really evil stuff. But we both do it. . . . . Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wiser (—maybe, who knows), so I am changing myself.

    • Thank you for sharing this! It has really helped solidify some things for me 🙂 what a joy to know we aren’t alone! We have God and one another and we can relate to each other’s hurts. Wow. I’m so thankful for you and your wisdom in this.

      • Saved Bygrace,

        I will quote Nina here because it is doubly true of me: “. . . . Beautiful, precious sister! Any good you see in what I have said is completely from Him. I assure you, I’m as bereft in spirit as they come without Jesus Christ.”

        . . . . I do think it is very important to get at underlying causes, as well as symptoms. Romantic love delivers us into the arms of someone who will ultimately trigger the same frustrations we had with our parents, but for the best possible reason! Doing so brings our childhood wounds to the surface so they can be really, truly healed. We must be willing to grow and change and commit ourselves first and foremost to the healing of our partner. Being the right partner is more important to a good relationship than picking the right partner. Experiencing empathy, the freedom to explore, trust, and insight can reset your default reactions to a more curious, tolerant, confident and Godly stance. Because our brains are plastic, consistently positive experiences do stimulate existing neurons to adapt and connect in different pathways. Nurturing relationships help us grow psychologically and neurally in ways that are not possible in non-nurturing relationships. As followers of Christ, our most important opportunity for a nurturing relationship comes through committed partnership. It’s a breakthrough to realize that the purpose of committed relationship is NOT to be happy, but TO HEAL. And then you will be happy . . . don’t despair, just stay close to the Lover of your soul . . . He hears you.

        Much love,
        Rebecca

  2. I have been needing to hear this for SO long. Thank you for acknowledging it, thank you so, so, much! Our marriage started out imbalanced, cause my husbands mom was still picking up after him, doing his laundry, etc but when we got married I was so happy to take on everything and for a few years it was a joy and delight, until babies came and exhaustion kicked in, until I was expected to do all the care of our children and he saw spending time with his own children as “babysitting” til I was changing every diaper, shoveling after all the snowstorms, doing all the laundry, all the dishes, all the housework, even some home repair……thankfuly there are occasions where he helps with things now, makes a meal, does a few dishes…..but the respect has a long way to go. I’m doing your strength and dignity course as well as being discipled but a dear lady and since I am realizing who I am in Christ and no looking to my husband for my identity I am not taking his criticism and such personally like I did before which is wonderful and freeing, but also a sad thing to see because I can see it “on the outside looking in” and most of what he says to me is very disrespectful, demeaning and paints me as stupid…..what a shocking thing to see it from here and realize I had been trying to live up to something impossible and I had allowed him to take every ounce of self dignity I had and live like a slave. Praise the LORD .he sets free the captives and I’m not in that pit anymore! But I greatly desire prayer as I seek to set boundaries and shows self respect but also show him love even amidst the insults. Thank you for being a willing vessel Nina, the LORD has used you in such a mighty way in my life.

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