One Long Temper Tantrum

One Long Temper Tantrum

Written By Ken

These past few years as Lori has been blogging she gets men who write looking for help with their difficult wives and she asks me if I can help. One of the things I have discovered is that although the behavior of these wives shows various levels of disdain for their husbands, the root of the contempt is often hurts from their past that get triggered leading to one long temper tantrum against their husbands lasting weeks, months, and for some years.

Bitterness is an evil pill to swallow because once it gets its roots into the life of a person it will grab a hold of many unrelated justifications that make it nearly impossible for any counselor to unravel the twisted thoughts of their minds. There is hope to remove the bitterness from one’s life and it is as simple as letting it go. Note that I did not say it was easy, but I did say it was simple. There is no magic pill that can be swallowed, nor a hundred counseling sessions that can do what an honest heart can choose to do at any moment and let it go. Any one of us can take our thoughts captive by grabbing a hold of the negative thoughts we are thinking and place them on the cross for Christ to heal. It begins by acknowledging the truth about oneself and one’s bitterness. Admit: 

I am bitter towards my spouse. I keep making excuses why I am not kind, why I do not desire intimacy and why I keep him/her at a distance from me, but the real problem lies in my heart. I am bitter towards my husband/wife, and worse than that, I have come to enjoy holding onto my bitterness and do not want to let it go. I have been hurt in the past and I want him/her to hurt with me. I am not living according to God’s will in my life and God’s Spirit has been quenched for a long time. I need to pluck out the root of bitterness from my heart and mind and hand it over to Jesus who can heal me of my sins. They may have at one time been sins committed against me, but they are now all mine.”

It’s that simple. To release oneself from the bondage of bitterness one must let it go and give it to the Lord. We are told that “the LORD searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.” He knows what is in our hearts already. He knows our fears, our desires, our hurts and our pains. He knows every single thing about us, and yet some think they can compartmentalize their lives and hold onto both Jesus and bitterness at the same time. Be careful that you not become the end of the promise and be rejected by God forever.

The men I am presently coaching are married to wives who profess to be Christians and yet to watch their wives’ hateful behavior toward their husbands one can find no fruit in their marriage, except for the innocent children caught in the crossfires. The way these wives treat their husbands would not be fit for any marriage, let alone a Christian one. 

One in particular is so messed up by her bitterness that she is constantly lashing out at him and he can do nothing right. If you were to trace the root of the bitterness back it is mainly found in her childhood relationship with an angry Dad, but certainly she feels she deserves a better spot in life as finances are short and the fruit of her own labor scarce. Working 2-3 jobs with long 60 hour weeks, this poor husband comes home to a disaster of a home, nothing picked up or vacuumed, no food on the table and dishes everywhere. If he says anything about it, he is lucky if he just gets an argument or snide remark as he regularly gets a profanity-laced tongue lashing with one irrational comment after another. One moment she says she hates him and at other times she begs for his help. She is unwilling to see her own stubborn bitterness as what is destroying her life and her marriage.

And as you can guess, intimacy is rarely shared anymore in these homes, with one poor soul not even able to touch his wife or hug her without her getting all upset if he touches her with kindness. Here is a good looking, kind, thoughtful and most of all a godly guy, who has set about for over a year to try and win a marriage back. He has paid for a years’ worth of couple counseling and all he has to show for it is a wife who tells him he is “rushing things” no matter how he tries to connect with her. She has this warped idea that somehow he is being controlling when he asks her to be a wife to him and have food on the table at least a few evenings a week, and sex once or twice a month. His counselor says he needs to be patient and she acknowledges his efforts. She cannot define her needs or put them in writing, he is just told to be patient as she treats him like an island in his own home.

What we are witnessing is God’s Word on the matter that says bitterness makes people into fools, corrosively defiling them and those around them:  

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. (Ecclesiastes 7:9)

See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.
(Hebrews 12:15)

These are most miserable women and they all share one unique characteristic of an unwillingness to let go of their bitterness. And what we are seeing in these marriages is exactly what the Pearls have said they see. Once the bitterness takes root, these women are then moving into mental/emotional diseases.

Got Questions has a good summary on the subject:  In its figurative sense bitterness refers to a mental or emotional state that corrodes or “eats away at.” Bitterness can affect one experiencing profound grief or anything which acts on the mind in the way poison acts on the body. Bitterness is that state of mind which willfully holds on to angry feelings, ready to take offense, able to break out in anger at any moment. The foremost danger in succumbing to bitterness and allowing it to rule our hearts is that it is a spirit that refuses reconciliation.”

When I begin coaching husbands with difficult wives I am always hopeful that their Christian marriage will find a way to move forward into healthy patterns. The beginning of the process is to first be sure that you, as the husband, are not the problem but instead trying to be loving, respectful and considerate towards their wives while making few requests of them.

Be kind, gentle, smiling, and enjoyable.

Never lash out or do anything that is unchristian in your home towards her.

Talk to your wife in an honest and inquisitive way, asking her if there are three things that you could change that would significantly improve your marriage and make a difference about the way she sees in you, what would they be, then go about trying to do those things as best you can the next month or two to see how it helps.

Make no demands of her; help around the house; do anything and everything to see if you are the problem. At times, this works to unlock a difficult wife or one upset over the relationship. But if bitterness is at the root of the problem, no matter what you do she will twist and turn it to make you into her punching bag because she needs you to be upset with her so she can justify staying in her box of bitterness. 

Yes, it’s all backwards from what God’s Word says with the husband almost taking on a wife’s role, but hey, if Jesus can give up His throne for a little while to come live among sinful men, and show them how perfectly one can live, then a husband who loves his wife can, for a time, do anything and everything in his power to show her that he indeed loves her and wants to make a healthy marriage with her. For that matter, many wives have never been modeled what true service and love looks like, so showing them what they can and should do for you is not a bad way to help move a marriage forward.

Unfortunately, when a wife is trapped in her box of bitterness and cannot get out, all that happens when a husband loves her more and serves her seems to be a short period of peace with a self-righteous woman. Then the accusations, foul language and slander begin again and it becomes unbearable at times. Along side the light of a husband’s true love a bitter wife’s meanness is exposed to the light and she has a choice to let it go, or hold on more tightly. If these were women receiving the snide remarks and behavior these wives give to their husbands we would have many crying “Abuse! Abuse!” And it certainly does border on mental/emotional abuse with these guys leaning on the Lord to pick them up and keep them on their journey to try and be Jesus to their broken wives.

No matter how kind, how loving and considerate these guys will be, the bitterness their wives defiles them and their families day in and day out. We are watching them sink more and more into mental and emotional illness until a perfectly healthy woman will get a label of disease put upon her; BPD, Bipolar, Depression. You bet! For you cannot for long periods of time allow the corrosive effects of bitterness to stay in your heart and mind without it remapping the brain to a point where it no longer accepts logic or love as answers.

Worse yet, how can the Spirit of God work within a person who refuses to give up her bitterness, but prefers to wallow in it? One cannot violate their own stated values day in and day out without becoming very messed up mentally and emotionally. Strangely some are so sure they are good Christian people and can go regularly to Bible Study, post wonderful things about the Lord on-line, some even in Lori’s Chat Room, yet they live in a marriage where they treat their husbands worse than their dog. And sadly, this is no exaggeration.

Pastors are impotent in these circumstances with no time for the “he said, she said” stories trying to figure out the truth. These people are very sick, and I do not know how many of them there are across our country attending the local church each Sunday with their husbands, but Jesus calls them hypocrites, “whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness” (Matt 23:27).

Such hypocrisy is not exclusive to wives as there are husbands doing the same things; bitter, angry, aloof, and withholding intimacy and affection from a poor starving soul who all they wanted was a real marriage. Bitterness is not exclusive to women, but it does seem that once a woman grabs a hold of it, it is much harder for her to release it than a man.

So what is the answer and where do these Christians go from here? The answer lies in doing things God’s ways and allowing His Spirit into the closed box of bitterness that is the root of the problem. The person must let it go in an instant and hand it to God to heal the wounds, many of which may be self-inflicted. Perhaps the entire prescription is here where God says to:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you. Cast your cares upon Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded and alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:6-8)

When sin has taken such long-term root the solution begins with humility and acknowledging our sin to ourselves, our God and those we have harmed. We must cast all of our cares on Jesus, and let him have the whole box of bitter root that is defiling us.

Please Christian, if you think that your unforgiving heart is not being corroded away by bitterness, think again. That devil is out to mangle your mind and he is doing so in thousands of Christian households today in spouses who are refusing to give up their anger and bitterness. Are you angry over something with your spouse today?

And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)

Go to your spouse and with humility ask for forgiveness for your part of the messed-up marriage, even if he/she has fault. You cannot change them, but you can allow God to change your heart so that your bitter suffering will end.

Then have them do what all must do in any relationship as we are going up into Christ: We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

It is your thought life that is the root of the problem as the lies of Satan are propped up by all your arguments and justifications. Only when we stop justifying our sinful behavior and see it as it is, ugly sin, will be ever be able to get out of our bitter box and not be pushed back in. That devil will tempt you the very next hour, next day or next week with some major blow up where you will want to run back to your bitterness and get entangled again with sin. You can say “NO!” to sin and “YES!” to righteousness, taking every though captive that tries to point you back to bitterness against your spouse. You don’t have to go explore your past, but you must be committed to a future without your corrosive negatively.

Once out of the bitterness, and having laid it aside, I propose something perhaps radical to you, but it gets to the heart of the matter. We can simply decide one day to give up our bitterness, but we need help and accountability from those who love us to keep us from returning to it. After we have tearfully begged for forgiveness from those who we have defiled we must by true repentance show them that we are no longer bitter by going out of our way to smile and be joyful around them. We must find ways to serve them and prove that we are now on their side. If you sit back and do not take any different path, you will never heal the heart of others you have defiled.

The greatest change will take place not the first time you ask for forgiveness, but when you go back again the next day, the next week and the next month to say, “Hey, I really am sorry about the things I did to you and I do need you to forgive me. Tell me how can I help you with some housework as my consequences;” or “Can I give you the best sex of your life to show you how much I appreciate you standing by me all those difficult years?” Yes, these would be the two best ways to show a a wife or husband that you love them and feel great remorse for the pain you put them through. After all, there really should be consequences when we treat our spouse so cruelly, especially for so long. Call it penance, which God does not require, but others often do want to see it to understand that your new found life is for real.

Please pray for the husbands who I am coaching. There are four of them now who are really hurting and wondering why they are staying with their rebellious wives, except for their commitment to love God and do things His ways, not wanting to leave their children in the hands of messed of moms. May the Spirit touch these wives and convict them so that they may repent. Only then may they find the love and blessings of their hearts being met by God through loving their husbands. No longer their enemy, but now their lifelong friend.  

I am grateful that Lori, although being difficult with me for years, never allowed bitterness in her life. It would have been easy for her to justify as health issues and a husband seeking success made for a hard life. Not all difficult wives are bitter, but if they are not careful, any real or perceived imperfection in a husband can take root and destroy a relationship, and in turn their whole lives. Decide never to let that be you, for bitterness is exceedingly ugly and sinful.

It is better to dwell in the corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a large house.
Proverbs 21:9

20 thoughts on “One Long Temper Tantrum

  1. Hi Ken,

    I’m curious about why you feel that a husband asking how he can improve their marriage and what he can do to help her, and then him helping her around the house means that he is lowering himself from his “husband role” and is becoming the wife in the marriage.

    I am having trouble understanding that, because as a husband who has been married 35 years, I have found these things to be important in pulling my share of the marriage relationship. My wife is not meant to carry the relational load of our marriage,or always be the one trying to ask how to improve or fix things, I must be checking in and doing my part and addressing issues and helping her as well. This is something I go over with when I mentor men as well, and I have seen many marriages improve by a husband investing himself more to tune of the relational side of the marriage. Good communication is essential and there are always two sides that must be addressed. And husbands need to pull their share of the emotional and relational load. On the general subject of helping around the house, If a man cannot lower himself to help with the dishes, or dinner, or start a load of laundry, to help an exhausted wife and mother out (because homeschooling and mothering is hard and is nearly a 24/7 job and not something you get to walk away from like regular jobs) then I would say a man like that needs a reality check as to what a wife and stay at home mom goes through every day and night, and he needs to talk it out with his wife and see what can be done to help. Whether it’s hiring some cleaning help, taking the kids away for a Saturday so she has time to regroup, or doing whatever he can to make sure she doesn’t get overwhelmed. And a houseful of kids IS overwhelming. There were some very hard years for our family right after our 5th was born and my wife needed all the help she could get. I’ve never viewed my working around my home and with our kids as “helping” because it’s my home and I make messes too, and I am their father and co parent and parenting is my job as much as my wife’s.

    Dying to self is a two way street and 20 years of marriage ministry has shown me too many men expect their wives to do all the dying, when that’s quite contrary to what scripture teaches. Every believer is to die to self and serve others, especially their wives and children.

    1. Brian,
      That is your words “lowering oneself” but not bad one’s as we are told that Christ our example humbled himself taking on the lowly state of man to serve us, but now He sits on His throne as head of the church.

      A husband’s sacrificial love towards his wife must continue for a lifetime, but he should not have to be “perfect” in trying to chase down her needs, when she is called of God to serve him and be his helpmeet. I tried for a number of years until I finally woke up to the realization if my wife’s “needs” could not be met with all my efforts or by a perfect Jesus, they certainly could never be met by me. That no matter how I tried to follow her desires, the desires and needs would change, because the real issue was one of control, and not an unloving husband.

      Once a husband establishes that he is not the problem, I can only assume that you would not expect him to go a lifetime trying to appease his wife’s temper tantrum, but instead find new avenues to lovingly demand that she treat him with a minimum of “common human decency” if she cannot treat him as a Christian wife should.

      Dying to self is indeed a two way street, and a godly Christian husband has the challenge to both be loving towards his wife while at the same time leading her to the finish line where he can present her before grow up in Christ. God will do the mighty work of change, but the husband i s called to be her head and leader.

      Having home schooled our four kids for p[art of their education and having a very ill wife for much of our marriage, I can tell you that raising kids can be an exhausting job, but it is far more exhausting for the wife who does not find job in it than those that do. Many wives are exhausted by their own emotional baggage, and a husband entering into that baggage to help her carry the load is perhaps important at first, but ultimately the guys you mentor should understand that they cannot continue to chase down a wife’s emotions, but instead teach her how to be free of most of them. If you think it is most loving leaving a wife to think she is right when she is wrong, it is not. If she is right, then that extra help with the dishes, vacuuming and the kids is going to prove it, but if she is just an emotional basket case brought on by her own unwillingness to accept her roles of motherhood and wife with joy, then nothing a husband can do will ever completely satisfy and your guys will be jumping through her emotional hoops for a lifetime.

      I am curious now that your kids are grown if your wife now has a joy about her role in serving you that if you did not do any housework and dishes would she gladly recognize your hard work at work, and all the investment you have made in her over the years, and go about doing the housework all herself with a joyful smile. Or has she trained you well, and you are still trying to chase down her emotional baggage as she still is not happy unless you are serving her as much as “she feels” is appropriate? I don’t say this to be snide in any way, but realistically, far too many of the Christian men I know have been put on a treadmill they feel they can never get off, trying to appease the emotional baggage and outburst of their wives instead of leading. All under the false idea that Christ is serving us each day with few expectations or a demand we grow up in return.

      The husband is to be loving, AND to be the one setting the expectations and reality of the marriage, not vice versa. Leadership does not preclude service and I still vacuum, and do some dishes, and certainly a host of other “honey dos” around the house with a wife who cannot lift over 5 lbs, but the ship is righted to where I can be a husband to her and she a wife to me, instead of buying into a false notion that a husband is being unloving if he does not do housework. That is his choice as the leader of their home, as we each must lead as the Lord puts it on our hearts, not spend a lifetime chasing down a wife’s perceived needs.

      Counseling a husband to do housework is a wrong approach… but instead asking him how he will show loving, sacrificial leadership is the right question for him to answer. Just as telling a wife to do housework is wrong, but instead asking her how she can be a helpmeet to her husband and keeper of the home. It is out of joyfully accepting our roles God has given us and walking faithfully in them that we find a true OneFlesh marriage beings to appear, and no longer a constant emotional drain of playing a role that God never intended for either spouse.

      Check out this post I wrote on this subject: http://lorialexander.blogspot.com/2014/09/distinguishing-between-needs-and.html and another http://lorialexander.blogspot.com/2015/03/should-ken-meet-my-deepest-needs.html

      So long as you are teaching the guys you mentor that they are to be leading with their loving service, not submitting to a wife’s emotional baggage… I am 100% with you.

      1. My wife has never had an emotional outburst in her life. My wife doesn’t have me trained, nor I her. I help because it’s my home too and we both run our construction business. I have a better eye for some aspects of housework than my wife and so it works well.

        “Once a husband establishes that he is not the problem, I can only assume that you would not expect him to go a lifetime trying to appease his wife’s temper tantrum, but instead find new avenues to lovingly demand that she treat him with a minimum of “common human decency” if she cannot treat him as a Christian wife should.”

        I would agree, but on the other hand, you and your wife teach that wives should appease their husband in every way, including bad behavior, without any loving demands that he treat her well. You call it loving a husband well in a Christlike way. Therefore, why cannot a husband love his ill behaving wife the same Christlike way that you say wives should do? I’m genuinely curious. Not trying to start an argument. Loving in a long suffering way, seeking the best for the other person, even when they are behaving badly, and serving is the same no matter the gender.

        Thank you for replying and investing some time in this discussion. I appreciate it.

        1. I naturally gravitated to helping my wife at the beginning of the marriage. I had to teach her how to do laundry, change diapers, how to dust. She is older than I, traveled out of country, worked as an executive at a huge firm. She treated me like a slave. Had a sexless marriage for about 13 years. She is a SAHM with amples of time on her hand. I do not do dishes. I grill and smoke what I want…

          I gave up and do no house work. I trim bushes, blow out garage, take trash out, mow. I don’t even move furniture. I do not get refused in bed any more, do not get nagged when a friend asks me to go hunting or shooting.

          The less I listen to her, the more she smiles and enjoys our time together.

  2. What Ken I believe means as I am one of the men he counsels is this. It’s not, “Don’t help or do things around the home.” It’s when the merry go round of insanity won’t stop something has to try to grab the attention of the spouse. Not in a mean “holy than though thou” attitude but it a way that says, “Please, no more.” Uncle I give up. I’m not a “better Christian.” I am husband who for years has tried so hard to please and be the alpologizer no matter what. I get f-bombed and called rotten horrible names in front of the kids

    I work a full time and 2 part time jobs and come home to a disaster.

    Example, yesterday I came home exhausted but still had to dig out a tree root and all in my yard.

    Finally made it into the home, showered, and then before I could make myself dinner I had to clear a path in the kitchen Then my wife gets snarky and says I need to ask her permission to move this stuff. That’s right; ask her permission as my children were right there.

    How could I have handled this any better? I didn’t ask her to make my dinner after approx 13 work day. And I’m snarled at for just moving stuff so I could see the counter. So Ken has basically said we’ll minimize this type of behavior and be Christian all the time and that’s what I try to do

    It’s a serious situation but what is one to do?

    I’ve involved a pastor and he is reluctant to help because he says just keep loving her (which I do) and keep forgiving (which I do) but nothing changes till the next blow up from her.

    1. I am sorry for your situation and will be praying for you. It sounds like something stronger than pastoral counsel is needed here. I would suggest seeking a trained, licensed therapist or counselor for the both of you.

      1. Brian I have others who are in long time counseling and so far feel that things are not improving or have gotten worse. The counselor will not look the wife in the eye and tell her she is being selfish and sinful, for to do so means losing her as a client. Instead he keeps working on the husband who will make movement, do more around the house, shave off his beard, not ask for sex or to have meals on the table. These things are for real… a husband told to chase down one more of his wife’s wrong headed emotional needs to try and make some movement in their marriage.

        Don’t get me wrong, I spent the first 7 years of marriage trying this approach, the next 13 being an Island in my home and staying out of the way of getting int trouble, but really it was not until I stepped up to lead that God opened the doors for my wife to find what a true Biblical marriage should look like. She was always poised to go into her silence, or complain, any time I would not meet her definition of being loving, yet never considered her role of submission that makes the marriage work. Thank God all that has changed! I have a great wife now.

        If a counselor is teaching communications skills and marriage life skills without teaching God’s ordained Biblical roles he should not be in the business of counseling Christian marriages. A Christian marriage by definition is doing things God’s ways according to His User’s manual the Bible. We need our churches and our husbands to understand that although Christ is always loving and serving, he is not following his church and chasing down its needs. He is leading and asking the church to submissively obey His Word.

  3. I needed this today. It is helpful for my own bitterness as well as understanding what I think is bitterness in my husband.

    We’ve been married for a few years and I’ve been the one with the drive to initiate intimacy most of the time. He’s always said work stress is the problem but after being turned down for months as a newlywed, the pain was too much not to believe the problem was me. I struggled to hide my pain and disappointment which I later realized I needed to give up and submit to him in everything. Learning submission in this area was very important and helped both of us in many ways, yet intimacy has not changed.

    A new job and lifestyle we hoped would improve life has come to the same end. I’ve almost entirely given up on reaching out and just wait for him now because of the pain of rejection. He doesn’t see it as rejection.

    I feel so badly for the husbands out there that face this with their wives. It’s so much more than physical intimacy. Being denied physical touch is like being denied love itself. We know babies need touch to survive, why wouldn’t touch still be important throughout our lives?
    The pain was so intense at times and it sounds dramatic but I’d feel a pain in my chest and wondered if I was dying from a broken heart. For the most part I’ve tried to no longer dwell on the infrequency in order to avoid the pain.

    I know there are much worse problems marriages face and I’m grateful he loves me and works hard to provide. I’m also thankful I can trust that he’s not involved in any sexual sin. I do believe bitterness is his issue, I just don’t know if it’s really just about work or if I’m to blame. He used to be very kind and gracious to me, but he’s become increasingly impatient and fault finding. I know my real husband is still in there. I want to help him.

    I’ve wanted to ask for help for a long time but it’s taken me just as long to realize it’s a serious enough problem to seek help. I’ve only ever reached out to one older Christian woman and she of course didn’t understand my pain. It’s a very lonely place to be as a young woman. I can’t think of anyone I know who wouldn’t laugh at my situation, not understanding how deeply it hurts.

    Thank you Lori and Ken.

    1. That is an extremely painful place to be in, Hopeful Wife, and I am so sorry. If he is denying you intimacy and his attitude is changing towards you, then that is a great concern. Are you sure he isn’t involved in porn? Pray. Pray hard. Pray that if there is something hidden going on that the Lord will bring it to light.

      One excellent blog resource is Parker @ Hot Holy & Humorous have many encouraging resources for wives who are living in a sexless marriage. My wife & I pray that the Lord comforts you in this time and that your husband will be restored to you in the bedroom.

      1. I am very confident that porn is not an issue. He is a very good man and has always shown himself to be respectful, turning away when a provocative scene is on tv or in a movie. We don’t watch filthy movies and we no longer have cable, but even most PG-13 movies are tainted these days. He doesn’t stare at other women and he doesn’t hold unreasonable expectations for me on my appearance. When he does want to be intimate, he’s very loving and giving. Seeking my pleasure above his own. He’s also an honest man.

        He feels like a failure for the times I’ve told him how much I need him and the pain of rejection. So that’s when I started to switch gears and keep the pain to myself as much as possible so as not to make the situation worse. I know he feels stressed by work and doesn’t want to be intimate unless his mind is clear.

        In the past I once presented him with the scripture regarding denying your spouse to let him know the temptations I fear I will be subjected to and my fear that he will be opened up to as well.

        He truly is a wonderful husband and I don’t want to make him out to be anything less, but I just don’t understand how to communicate with him to find out how we can restore this part of our marriage.

        1. I can see in my first post I accidentally made it sound as though we’ve gone months at a time without intimacy which is not the case. What I meant is that ever since we’ve been married, my advances most of the time were not taken seriously. Once a week is about all I can hope for and I wouldn’t even put that out there, but I just want to be honest since I’m seeking help.

          1. Hopeful Wife,
            Is your husband a Believer? If so give him this post and ask him with a smile if you can talk about it.

            http://lorialexander.blogspot.com/2015/10/sex-romance-lies-and-responsibility.html

            If you can find the three main reasons he is not as interested in intimacy as you are, and not as interested in sex as most men, then you can try to go about making it more enjoyable for him. I can think of at least ten reasons why a man may not have a desire for more frequent sex, and it is up to you to try to gently explore in a a joyful, inquisitive and non-threatening way how you can help move him towards you. And i ma not opposed to bribery, or agreed upon consequences, so long as its part of a game of life and not taken too seriously. Not withholding anything from him, but doing extra special things for him if that works to get him to think more favorably about intimacy with you.

            This reminds me of the cute story of a wife who longed for more intimacy but every night at 8.30 p.m. with the kids in bed she would go cuddle with her husband, kiss him and rub his shoulders as they watched TV. She lamented that he was asleep within 10 minutes leaving her the next two hours holding his head on her lap as she watched the end of the movie they started together.

            I asked him about about it and he said, “I am not an evening person to begin with, but since my wife seems to have no energy in the morning I get up at 6 a.m. and feed the kids and care for them until she wakes at 8.

            So why don’t you both go to bed at 9 together then you can cuddle for awhile and she can get up early to take care of the kids. The wife’s response: “Oh no, I could never fall asleep at 9 as I am a night person!”

            You get the point… her inability to get up in the morning and care for the kids meant Dad had to do it, and of course if she gets two hours extra sleep in the morning he is going to want it at night. Find out what the real issues may be in a gentle and loving way, and be open to him telling you that you are part of the problem, then go about trying to figure out what will please him.

      2. Lol. It’s porn if the husband doesn’t want sex, but it’s still the husband not doing something right when the wife turns him down.

    2. Hi Hopeful Wife,

      I am so sorry to hear of your marriage not having the oneness God intends for you both. Like Brian, porn would be my first thought and if that was the case it would not be the end of the world, but discovering it and exposing it to the light were accountability can take place is the first step to healing of such deeply ingrained sins. But you say it is not sexual sin, and that can very much be true. If he doesn’t want sex it could be a physical/medical issue that should get checked out.

      I suggest you need great support from a godly group of women like in Lori’s Chat Room. Even if your husband does not change you can handle it better keeping your focus that you are serving the Lord Jesus and at this time this is what he has called you to do in your marriage. If your husband is open to talking to someone about it, I am happy to be the stranger he has never met who may be able to help unlock him. He can find me through Lori’s email address.

      You can try suggesting some things to him without making them come off as demands. Ask him if he has 10-15 minutes every other day for devotions and cuddling with you in bed. If she says yes, pick a time and decide that if you miss one day you do it the next. Get Spurgeon’s devotional to read, and when it comes time for devotions you both hop intro bed stark naked and read the the devotional and pray, then just cuddle with no expectations. Ask him if he wants a back massage, or enjoys light touch on his skin. At the end of the 10 – 15 minutes hop out of bed like a lightning bolt to end the time, again, no expectations.

      First you should e doing devotions together anyway, and second, a relationship shouldn’t be about the sex but the closeness. Hopefully in time just as you are about to spring out of bed he grabs your arm and begins making love with you. Out of his own will, and no coercion, just because he can’t stay away from his totally wonderful wife.

      Let us know how we may be able to coach you two. I do have an Always Learning Men’s Chat room but it is not real active, but he would be welcome to join. Keep winning him by your godly behavior. The pain must be awful, so take it to the cross of Jesus and place it there where it belongs. Know that He loves you early and hope, like I did for years that Christ will change your husbands heart and mind. The patience is worth it.

  4. Thank you Brian for your prayer. We have been to counseling a few years ago when my mom passed away and it quickly turned from professional grief counseling to marriage counseling. My wife is of the belief that what happens in the home stays in the home and she stopped going once it got a little to hot for her.

    The good thing is I don’t jam all this at her and make her feel so inadequate that she barks at me. I believe it’s been a learned behavior through everything I know from what she has told me from her childhood.

    I’m sorry to hear that the husband in the last comment is withholding intimacy That’s so wrong and biblically wrong.

    Brian, to make our walk stronger we always have to look within ourselves and not blame others for our short comings

    At the end of the day we are all just sinners saved by grace

    It’s just hard when the behavior of my 39yr old wife is something you would see from a teenager. I mean that respectfully. Temper tantrums. Profanity. Yelling Threatens separation and divorce in an effort to gain control

    And here is me the apologizer always trying to hold it together

    1. I would definitely suggest qualified counseling for yourself even if you go alone. It will be a great help to you to talk things out with someone else.

      If your wife had childhood trauma growing up, those scars can carry into adulthood as well. But we can only help people up to a point, and after that we have to release them to the Lord, set healthy boundaries for ourself and seek help and suppprt for ourselves, even if the other party refuses to go. Especially if there are children involved.

  5. Wow! Ken, this post struck right to my heart as I have been guilty in the past of holding on to bitterness. I have to continually check myself and ask for God’s help to keep it from resurfacing. Thank you both for such a great post and blog! Renee

    1. Renee,

      It was people like you that this post is written to. Some may think we care just basking these women who are being bitter towards their husbands, but what we are trying to do is expose the results of their sins in such away that it gets a good result from women like you who love the Lord and can see that it is time to hand their bitterness off to the cross where it belongs.

      Sin can so easily entangle us before we even see it as sin, so we must do as God’s Word says and root it out where ever it lies. The root of the bitterness is often sins against us, but when we hold onto the hurt and anger, that is when we get defiled by it. Please let it go and ask your husband to hold you accountable for letting it go. Only then will you find the peace and joy God has promised t all of us sold out on Him and doing things His ways.

  6. As a general comment to address those who continually want to go back to a husband’s sacrificial love and service to his wife as the solution to a healthy marriage. I am all for sacrificial love and have lived a lifetime of it, but her is the question each marriage and the church must answer:

    Given that the life of Christ was all about about sacrificial love and service, and that leadership begins with such love and service, where does the “upside down in the church get turned upside right?”

    If you understand the question you will understand that Christ was made lower than the angels and humbled himself to the point of death, but he is now reigning and exalted seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

    If a husband’s sacrificial love and service does not some day find a Christian wife is in turn loving, respectful, submissive and joyful before him, then something is terribly wrong. What may have been necessary for upside down leadership at one time, is perhaps now just service to a closed heart. God says, “for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever” (I Chron. 28:9).

    A godly husband has an obligation to ask of his wife, “when will upside down be made upside right?” When will she allow him to take his rightful, God given place in the relationship instead of continually submitting to her will, moods and upsets.

  7. Ken! hi!
    Love this post, thank you so much and we all can learn from what you say here. Plus, the picture of the child sulking did make me giggle!.
    Bless you for all you do, you are already SO busy and I appreciate the time you have taken out to write this post and thoughtfully answer questions too.
    Helen UK

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