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Dear Wife Resisting Connection With Your Husband


Dear Wife,

 

I want to write to you, if you are resisting the idea of connecting with your husband.

 

I have lived with a difficult man my whole marriage. For the first twenty years, my marriage was not only difficult but incredibly painful, and I was emotionally exhausted from all the struggles.   

 

Connecting with my husband wasn’t easy. It was common to get a sarcastic or angry response rather than a nice one. Out of resentment, he often times withheld responding at all to show me he was angry about something in the past.   

 

As you can imagine, it wasn’t an easy decision to connect with him and it might not be for you. If you can identify with my struggle because your husband is difficult too, then I want to encourage you.

 

You are not responsible for your husband’s response; you are only responsible for your efforts. As long as you are married, you can be proactive in investing in it to make it better.

 

I don’t want you to open yourself up to abuse, so if you are dealing with anything that is abusive, please protect yourself by seeking the help of a trained professional counselor. If you are in a healthy marriage where there are no signs of abuse, addiction, mental illness, or abandonment, I have some suggestions to help you overcome your resistance to doing things to connect with your husband.

 

Let go of the pride. I get it. You’re tired of having to initiate. You desperately want him to make the effort to reach out to you. The reality is that he isn’t doing it and might not – so if it is going to happen, why not let it be you?  And if it helps, why wouldn’t you want to do it?  

Let go of your expectations. Don’t expect your husband to respond favorably or poorly. Just focus on how it feels good to do the right thing for yourself, knowing you’re doing what you can. When you expect a certain response from your husband, you set yourself up to be disappointed. Instead, expect nothing so you will be surprised when you get something.

Let go of your resentments. Keeping a record of wrongs is wrong and gets you nowhere. If you are going to initiate connection, go into it with an open mind and clean slate, giving your marriage the best chance for success.

Let go of your focus. Instead of focusing on your husband, focus on your marriage, your home, your children and God. There are lots of reasons for you to make attempts to improve your relationship with your husband – but sometimes, we just need to focus on the many other things that are impacted by our marriage to want to invest in our marriage and husband.

Let go of your timeframe. It’s easy to get focused on the response you desire immediately from your attempt to reach out to your husband. This is a short-term focus. The reality is, you don’t know how something you do today will impact your marriage in the future. It may take a series of positive attempts on your part to reach your husband. You don’t know what the final catalyst will be to touch his heart.

 

Today, although my husband has grown, he can still be difficult at times, and I still find myself resistant at times to connect with him. I then try to refocus on these ideas for help. I hope they will help you, too.

 

Start your journey toward connection by grabbing your copy of Dear Wife: 10 Minute Invitations to Practice Connection with Your Husband.

 

Wife Step:

  • Reflect on your willingness to connect with your husband. Do you sense any resistance?
  • If you do, identify why you are resistant.
  • Commit to connecting with him using these ideas.       

Karla Downing, the founder of ChangeMyRelationship.com, offers Christian marriage help and Christian relationship help as a speaker, author, counselor, and Bible study teacher. Karla grew up in a dysfunctional family and then found herself struggling with Christian codependency in her own difficult marriage. Through her personal struggles, she discovered biblical and practical principles, which she now teaches to others. She also trains counselors, pastors, women’s ministry leaders, church leaders, small-group leaders, non-profit ministry leaders, and individuals to minister to Christians in difficult relationships. Karla’s passion is to see individuals, marriages, and families set free from the chains of dysfunction, misunderstanding, and emotional pain through a correct understanding of what the Bible teaches about relationships.

Karla Downing is the author of the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association 2004 Silver Medallion Award winner, 10 Lifesaving Principles for Women in Difficult Marriages. Her second book, When Love Hurts: 10 Principles to Transform Difficult Relationships, applies the same principles to all family members. Her third book, The Truth in the Mirror: A Guide to Healthy Self-Image, offers a unique and life-changing approach to looking at self-image.

She holds a Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Hope International University. Karla also holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a licensed Speech Language Pathologist. Karla was also the director of Friends in Recovery, a Christ-based, Twelve-Step recovery program.

Karla lives in Southern California. She has been married for over thirty years and has three adult daughters.

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