Bringing Out the Superman in Him

“Hello, My husband and I have only been married for 10 months. I am 24 He is 31. First I have a much higher sex drive than he does and I am starting to be cranky around him and would rather masturbate because when we finally do have sex it really wasn’t worth my while so to speak. We’ve been together a total of four years and things weren’t perfect before marriage but it was better. I am trying to become a Better Christian woman now that I am saved. Although it’s a struggle with my husband because he isn’t as passionate about CHRIST as I am. I know prayer is the key but in the mean time I am hurting because of his disconnection both physically and emotionally. I’d like him to lead as he should and I have no problem with being submissive in our marriage. In other words a strong GODLY man is what I desire and is extremely sexy to me. I don’t want anyone else I want him to be that man. I admit that I married him while we were both unsaved and that Now I’d like to see a change that only Our GOD can bring into a life. Second we have two children ages 2 and 5 months mind you I am only 24 and fill I have sacrificed a lot . I dont want to end up bitter and divorced but I admit I have resentment. Please pray for our family and offer some wise advice. Thanks “

We recently got this letter in our email box, and it really sparked an interest in me.  There were some things I can relate to and others that I will depend on God to help me answer.

At my church, we have had several guest pastors lately while our pastor was ill.   One of them did a message that took us all over our bible, which I liked very much, and he really spoke to my heart.   He spoke of several things that I have had a problem with in the past, and I hope that I am healed of.

In Genesis, man had a perfect unity with God.   God gave man everything that he needed, even the realization that he needed a helpmate, a wife.  God provided for Adam and Eve’s every need.   He only gave them one rule….do not eat from the tree in the center of the garden.   Out of all the trees in the garden, only one was forbidden.  Should be easy, right?  Nope.  It was the temptation.  The serpent knew it and he used it.  And do you notice that in Genesis 3:6, the woman was the leader and the man followed her?   I never thought of it that way.  Adam knew what God said.  He knew it was wrong, but he followed his wife in eating the fruit.  Ladies, even today, we are still trying to take the lead when it really is our husband’s responsibility given to him by God.

This goes back to the reader’s comment “…it’s a struggle with my husband because he isn’t as passionate about CHRIST as I am” I know I am guilty about judging my husband’s relationship with Christ.   Who am I to judge?  I am responsible for MY relationship with Christ.  I can’t make him do what he is “supposed” to do.   My responsibility is to respond to my husband with what God told ME to do.   Ephesians gives us our roles….

Husbands:  Love your wife as Christ loved the Church. (Ephesians 5:25)

Wives: Submit to your husbands as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:22)

There is that word….submit.   There are some women that equate that word to slavery, but hear me out a minute.  I use a Ryrie Study bible (NASB) and in his notes about submission, Dr. Ryrie, a Dallas Theological Seminary professor states, “…the subjection is to be mutual and based on reverence for God. The differing responsibilities, if followed bring harmony, but if ignored, they bring difficulties.”  The latter is what I think this young lady is experiencing.

If you are like me, you take that, “If you want something done right, you’ve gotta do it yourself” attitude.  I brought that into my marriage.   There were things that I had always done “this way”, and even when our son was born “my way” was better than “his way” even though in the end we accomplished exactly the same thing and got the same result.  My husband has always been a hands on kind of man.  He wanted to be involved in all the details of our wedding.   While I breastfed our son, he wanted to be able to hold and feed our son, too.  He wants to be involved in everything.   My expectations of love from him were different than the way he loved me.   We really had bad communication issues.   The more I didn’t get my way, the more distant I felt towards him.  I am still that way at times as well, and I am hopeful that I am more apologetic when I do get that way.

Ladies, if you were to ask your husband what is the #1 thing that makes him feel loved, what would he say?   I know what my husband would say.  Respect.  Respect lifts a man’s spirit in ways that we cannot know and understand.   When a man feels respected at work and at home, he’s like Superman.   He feels strong.  He feels secure.   He feels loved.  Ladies, it starts here.   If our husbands don’t feel respect from us at home, it starts a downward spiral for them.  I hope all of your husband’s are like mine in this way….when we went through my refusal years, I did not respect him very much at times, and sin fed into our sex lives.   If he didn’t do anything that I considered respectful to me, sex was my tool to show how I felt.   But I didn’t realize this until much later….my husband continued to love me like Christ loves the Church.   He didn’t leave me.   He didn’t have affairs on me.  He didn’t reach out to porn on the computer.   He loved me so much that he was willing to sacrifice his own sexuality and his own needs to show me how much he loved me.   Does that ring a bell?   Didn’t God give up his precious, only Son for us?   His sexuality is one of the most precious gifts to me, and he was ready to pray that God take it all away if it made me happy.

Yes, it is hard sometimes to respect a man who doesn’t seem to respect you.  God didn’t tell us that it was okay to be disrespectful if we weren’t being respected.  God didn’t tell us that we were supposed to take the lead when our husband doesn’t seem to want to like Eve did to Adam.   We are to respect our husband no matter what.   There is bound to be ONE thing that you find respectful in him that can start the wheels turning in your relationship.   “Honey, I really appreciate that you go out day after day and work hard for our family to meet our needs. “ Even words that show you desire him.   My husband says if a man can see that you are being truthful, showing is more important than saying.  Then once he gets a little bit of that “Superman” feeling in him, he will be ready to try to please you as well.

Pray for all aspects of your husband’s life.  Pray for his job, for temptations, his choices, his health and stresses in his life, his attitude, his walk with Christ, his self image, his obedience to God….pray for his wife.   I don’t know how you are praying, but pray that if there is anything in you that needs changed, that God will bring it up to you to fix in yourself first.   If your husband sees that you get more pleasure in masturbating than in sex with him, pray that you can show him your desire is for him and not for your own personal gratification.  Pray for a time when the two of you can sit down and talk about your sexual needs.   Ask him what you can do to make intimacy and pleasure better for him.   Communicate your needs to him.

To the writer of this email, I am not certain how long you and your husband have been saved, but sometimes it is overwhelming, and it is the hardest right after you were saved.  There are doubts about if you were really saved or not.  Life seems harder at first.  It takes time to settle into what the bible says and it is not easy to just start doing what the word of God says when you are used to doing something else.  If you are not already in a church together, I suggest looking for a church where you both feel comfortable with the teaching and the relationships.  He may need to join in a men’s group and make friends who can help and guide him along, being examples for him.  In the meantime, my suggestion to you is this…. 1 Peter 3:1-6 says, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.  For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.” I have seen this in my own mother, who has been married to an unbeliever for over 40 years.   It is one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced.  I have seen things in my father recently that may mean that he has given his life to Christ, but even if not, my mom hasn’t waivered in what God calls her to do.  I strive to be that same woman to my husband.   If there are times that I am disappointed in his walk with Christ, it is not my job to judge him or take charge of his spiritual life.  It is to walk like Christ, so that he might see Christ in me.



  1. AMEN! I agree wholeheartedly. It’s why in several places I’ve brought up the book Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs. It’s chock full of stuff we hear all the time but rarely if ever put into practice in marriage.

    It is very true that the husband needs to hear from his wife that she respects him. Especially, I might add, if he’s an active military man. I’ll use my DH as an example. He’s a Navy man. Almost every day when he reports for duty he works long hours. He’s shared that he’s the highest-ranking one in his division, and more often than not the command doesn’t give him the time of day he deserves. Knowing this, I make the effort every now and then just to say “I’m very proud of you” or “I really appreciate all you’ve been doing for us”. More often than not he’ll simply say “Thanks”, but even so, I know what I said means the world to him :).

  2. Love and Respect is most likely going to be our next book study, Ari-chan 🙂

  3. Hooray!

  4. Respect bestows respectability. Love bestows loveliness, if we were only loved for how much we deserve… I shudder to think of it.

  5. Excellent book and study! It makes a lot of sense and IT WORKS to bring harmony to the home.

  6. Love and Respect had a HUGE impact on my marriage!. It does take some time to internalize everything in it, but when put into practice, your marriage will never be the same! Great article, Spicy Nutmeg! God bless you for being honest and sharing your own experiences. Sounds like you and I have traveled similar paths and learned the same lessons in our marriages. To God be the glory for the great things He has done in our homes!

  7. have enjoyed reading and for the counsel that has been shared. The issue of respect is a definite YES. My husband has often brought that up during moments of heated discussion, and i am also( with God’s help) working on showing my husband love and respect everyday. I am greatly blessed by the openness to share on here and for this ministry.
    God bless you:):)

  8. Great advice. My other thought is to suggest the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. This is a great book that explains how to love your husband/wife in the way he/she needs to be loved, not necessarily in the way that is comfortable for you. Often, when you want to see improvement in your marriage, you have to take steps to make that happen, even if you feel like your husband is not doing anything to make it happen. Loving him the way he needs to be loved can really move things in a positive direction.

  9. “I’d like him to lead as he should and I have no problem with being submissive in our marriage. In other words a strong GODLY man is what I desire and is extremely sexy to me. I don’t want anyone else I want him to be that man.”

    I completely understand where the woman who wrote this email is coming from. My greatest desire in life is for my husband to become a godly Christian husband.. a man after God’s own heart. And no matter how completely submissive and respectful we are, this desire does not change. The thing that gets me through is knowing that I am responsible for my own spiritual walk.. and I must surrender my husband’s spiritual walk over to God. I love what 1 Peter 3:1-6 says. The best thing we can do for our husbands is to live pure, reverent, godly lives.. so they may be won over by the way we live (as Christ shines through us). Prayer is also a very powerful thing. Pray for your husband regularly.. and for his wife. And always remember that we must continue to “ what is right and do not give way to fear.”

  10. Thanks for your post Spicynutmeg; I can totally ditto this comment about your mom being married to an unbeliever. This was also my situation for 14 years of our 24 year marriage; DH was saved 3 years ago. And 1 Peter 3 was my life “chapter” for most of those years … and still is!

    My heart goes out to the sister who writes this letter; I can totally understand where she is coming from. The respect thing, which you, spicy nutmeg allude to, is a paramount key in winning our husbands, whether saved or unsaved, to being obedient to God.

    I’ll quote something that I learned and I hope and pray that it will give you some enlightenment into your DH, the way it did with mine.

    “Why did woman have to come out of man. So often we focus on the “creation” part of that verse, that another human was being formed, we over look where the “raw materials” for woman came from. God took something out of Adam, it wasn’t just because Adam had so many ribs that he could spare one. I believe that Adam’s rib is symbolic of an essence; something much greater than just marrow, bone and DNA. In the Amplified version it says, “He took one of his ribs or A PART OF HIS SIDE …” Woman wasn’t made from “spare parts,” The part that God took from Adam wasn’t “the best” part or the “worst” part; but an ESSENTIAL part. God knew that what He took from Adam was a necessary part of his being; that this essence was something that Adam NEEDED in order to complete his purpose that God had given him; and God took that OUT OF him. Just let that marinade for a second … Adam was created for a purpose (Gen 2:5), when God created him, He put all the necessary tools that he would need, within him. But then, God takes an intrinsic essence … out of him; and in effect, places those very tools, not “in” a woman, but “as a woman.” Adam doesn’t have them anymore. It is interesting when you study the Hebrew word for rib in Genesis 2:21-22. The root is from a word that means “to limp” (as if one sided) or to halt, “tsala.” So, the help that Adam must have to complete his purpose, can only be found in relationship to Eve. Not that Eve can offer the help, but she literally is the help; for Adam, not to be halted, and to move forward. Looking at this creation through natural eyes, it would almost seem unfair to Adam. Here he had been created in completeness. And its as if God said, “here is this weight I want you to lift. Its rather heavy and would be easier if you had both of your arms to do it. But I’ve decided, for reasons you won’t be able to understand, to take one of your arms away from you (out of your side). You will still be able to lift the weight, but you will receive the help in a different way. And then God, with the arm he took “out of” Adam, created a woman.”

    I have found that it is ME who can push my man on to great things or I can tear him down, into nothing. it’s the respect that bolsters him on! There is no one else in his life that can do this for him … only me, his wife. Much to my own selfishness for many years, I have lamented to God about not “feeling” loved, while all the while completely destroying my husband by not allowing myself to be fitted back in to the very part he needs (not WANTS, but, NEEDS), the respect, which is his, tsala.

  11. Wow! I’m speechless! That was powerful, lionheartedwife! I’m going to have to read that again and again to fully digest it! Thanks for sharing! If I might ask, where did you find that quote!

  12. It is so true that women are not just a spare part, but an integral part of man. We are not to be a thorn in his side, but we are to complete him. It’s like he is working a puzzle that is missing a piece, and we have that piece to give him. Great quote. I, too, would love to know where that quote came from.

  13. My dad is a minister and performed the ceremony at my wedding :). He used the oft-quoted (and I’m paraphrasing a bit) statement by Matthew Henry. “Woman was not taking out of man’s head to be over him, nor out of his foot to be trampled by him, but out of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected by him, and close to his heart, to be loved by him.”

    Really stopping and thinking about that statement blows my mind. God knew EXACTLY what He was doing when He created the woman for the man.

  14. thx sister … the author is, as yet, unpublished (its me!!) … i will be submitting my manuscript to publishers this summer (God willing) to publish by this Christmas … and anything from this book comes straight from our heavenly Father; i cannot take any credit for it; He gifted me with articulation, but not the premise of the knowledge.

  15. ty spicynutmeg … i responded above … this part comes from Ch. 1 – “what is this thing called marriage” … (as an aside) for whoever else reads this, please pray that i continue to move in the direction to finish, i’ve got two more chapters to write and our marriage is coming under tremendous, TREMENDOUS attack … as such that i’ve never felt.

  16. I’ve always thought it interesting that we (husbands and wives) are commanded to do what most comes unnatually to us. We had great premarital counceling which pointed this out to us. My DH and I have talked about this before. I find it very easy to love him completely, he finds it very easy to respect me. However, I am called to respect him, which is harder for me and he is called to love me, which is harder for him. It makes sense though, because you usually treat others how YOU desire to be treated not how THEY desire to be treated. I’ve also discovered my husband can see right through praise I give him for the sake of praising him and not because it comes from my heart.

  17. I can relate to this lady’s thoughts…I was also there. And like already stated the main thing a man wants is respect! And more respect. All too often we think our husband isn’t as spiritual as we think he should be. I was like this … and now I see this attitude in my dil and many other young women…so much so they try to play the Holy Spirit in their husband’s life even to the point of convincing him he’s not saved. That is dead wrong on all accounts. If you’re like me you will find your husband is far more spiritual than you even realized. You need to take your place as his helpmeet and place yourself under his authority in all areas of your life. If you take your place you will see in time he will step into his. I speak from experience learned the hard way after many wasted years. When a man has the respect and the unconditional love from his wife he will be the man she needs him to be. My dh quotes this too me every now and again…”The whole world can be against me but if I have no one else but my wife standing with me then I have all I need. If my wife isn’t standing with me then nothing matters.” We need to stand with our husbands, on their side, not against them.

    As for the sexual part of your relationship…If your husband is like most men he wants nothing more than to please you. You need to speak openly with him about your lack of fullfillment but do it with tack and prayer….not accusingly. There are good articles on here about how to talk with your husband. And you are so much like me…my sex drive is high than my husband’s and I do get cranky when I want sex and don’t get it. Its then I tell dh how I’m feeling or I do things to get him going so he can fulfill what I feel I need.

    I said all this because I’ve been there…don’t make the same mistakes as me. Don’t waste time. Love and respect your dh now…you’ll be happier for it…and so will he. Don’t try & correct him, let God do that, you correct yourself and he’ll notice it and want to love you more. You’ll be surprised at the change in him after he sees the change in you.

  18. I have really enjoyed reading along here at Christian Nymphos since my friend recommended it to me about a year ago; however, I was quite disappointed by the direction of this post.

    While I certainly acknowledge that many wonderful Christian people believe the Bible prescribes certain gender roles, there are plenty of Christians (evangelicals, in fact), who don’t. It seems unfortunate that CN has decided to portray the issue as if this diversity of belief does not exist, thereby potentially alienating many more potential readers.

    Also, while there are some tricky New Testament passages when it comes to discussing women’s roles in the church and home, the way Genesis is used here is absolutely not a solid basis for this belief. There is absolutely nothing in the text to indicate that God considered Eve “stepping out of her place” by “leading” Adam. This is eisegesis–reading into the text something that is a cultural belief or an assumption from one’s theology, rather than listening to the text itself. While there are other texts you could point to to justify your belief in traditional gender roles–where your interpretations would clash with mine, but are at least interpretations held by some conservative scholars–seeing Eve’s sin as not only disobey God but also her “leading” is completely unfounded.

  19. Let me say that we can all agree to disagree, and I am sure you and I will, but I did want to address your concerns. This is going to be a 2 part answer as it is close to dinner time here for me.

    First, take a look at the text in Genesis. In Genesis 2:15-17 “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” The woman was not even created yet at this point, since the next verse says that God felt it was not good for man to be alone. Then later in Genesis 3:6 ” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” In the conversation between Eve and the serpent, you could tell she had been told by Adam not to eat from that particular tree. Adam knew that God had told him not to eat the fruit from that specific tree. He chose to eat it anyway after being offered the fruit by his wife. He could have said no, but instead he chose to follow her (actually ate it second) after she ate it first (led). That is where my comment on that came from. Then in Genesis 3:9, I believe God gave them their roles. He didn’t call for the woman, who was deceived and ate of the tree first, he called for the man. “But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” Also, in verse 17 “To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,” ’ …then man got his curse. To the woman, God said “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” (Genesis 3:16)

    Now in Galatians, Jesus set us free from this curse, ladies, in Galatians 3:28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

    It’s dinner time, so I will be back to finish this comment…. 🙂

  20. Okay, the youngling is watching Madagascar while I am doing this, so please forgive if you hear about Alex the lion or something…. 😉

    Please remember that God said this first….

    1 Corinthians 11:3 “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

    Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. ”

    Our job, our responsibility is to fulfill this command that God gave us. Ladies, your man has a lofty task…to love us as Christ loved the church. Christ loved the church so much, that he DIED for it. He became sin for us in order that we might live. His role isn’t that of authority over us, but servant leadership. He is to love us like he loves himself. He’s to love us more than he loves the tv remote…or golf….or whatever his most favorite thing of all time is….hopefully, it’s you! Both of you keep in mind that your marriage isn’t about having your needs met, it’s about meeting the needs of your spouse.

    I hope this clarifies for you more of the perspective this article was written from.

  21. Spicynutmeg,

    I completely understood where the article was coming from; I simply disagreed with it. You have just pointed to the texts to which I was referring when I said that some did interpret this male leadership pattern in various parts of Scripture. I am very familiar with these arguments, but there are other interpretations of some texts by respectable evangelical scholars.

    I still maintain that there is nothing in Genesis that indicates that Eve was under male leadership prior to the fall—and as you mentioned, after the fall, the curse is a BAD thing which Christ came to remove. Additionally, no one sees it as sinful for a farmer to use modern technology to make his/her work easier or for women to get epidurals, and it makes no sense that male leadership would be the one part of the curse it was not ok to “fight.” I find an argument for male leadership prior to the fall is particularly unfounded and requires a lot of reading into the text things that are not explicitly stated or even strongly implied. A better case for your position, in my opinion, focuses on some of the New Testament texts you mentioned.

    All that said, I still believe it is unfortunate for Christian Nymphos to isolate Christians with more egalitarian interpretations of even these New Testament texts you posted. It’s obviously up to y’all who run the site whether you want to take a stand on this issue. I just find it sad to that significant portions of your evangelical female audience might be alienated from the site due to a stance on an controversial theological issue, especially when there are so few places for Christian women to come and feel free to discuss important sexual issues. I would consider it fine even for y’all to state your personal position, provided there was an acknowledgment that other legitimate Christians think differently on the matter—I think things like that help create a more inclusive space for everyone, even while allowing you to be clear on your personal beliefs.

  22. As I said earlier, we just have to agree to disagree. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and only God can correct us someday.

  23. Just to clarify, I’m not particularly concerned with convincing you–just concerned with potential CN readers feeling this isn’t a community for them.

  24. Great article. I agree with what your saying. This isn’t a very popular view,(in the world) but since when is Gods way popular?

  25. Exactly. A lot of what God asks us to do goes against our very sin nature, and that manifests itself in a whole myriad of ways. I don’t have much of a problem in respecting my husband, but it does take a little extra effort to actually tell him that. I swear every time I want to tell hm, I take a deep breath before going for it.

  26. Wow interesting discussion! I do wonder though how much of what Spicynutmeg says is true! I have found over our 19 years of marriage I do highly influence my husband and his decisions! My words make huge differences to him. So I try when I can to lift him up and let him make most of the decisions. That being said I have learned to be still and wait first for him to decide(most of the time 🙂 and if I feel led I will give my honest opinion. I have found that when I step in he is not allowed to hear maybe what God wants or he makes a decision based on me more. Sometimes that is good sometimes not so much! You see we as women can so highly influence our husbands they can make wrong decisions based on us and our emotions! We as women or maybe I should say me am so up and down with my emotions sometimes I just don’t see logic especially on very hard issues that are very personal! So that is why over the years I have learned to be silent let him make the majority of decisions because I feel God placed him in that role for a reason. That to me is some of the submissiveness God is calling for. This does not mean I can’t make decisions at all just that I feel he should be the leader and has the final say does that make sense? I think the girls here on CN do a great job of stating there opinions without making you feel if yours is different its wrong. Anyways just wanted to state I liked the article and have seen through my marriage both sides of the coin and which one works better for our relationship!!

  27. This is not a clear-cut issue in Scripture, and devoted Christians can hold different opinions. I don’t think there is much risk that Christian women who hold a more feminist position will feel “unwelcome” here – the site has so much terrific information and this topic is just a very minor part of it. Whatever view you take on gender roles, please remember that men and women are not the same, as much as our culture has tried to say otherwise. Do not assume that your husband feels about or responds to things the same way you, or your sisters or girlfriends, do. He doesn’t. Yes, men and women share many basic human needs and emotions, but they also have some very different needs and ways they approach things. Both genders and their ways of looking at things were created by God and are equally valid, but they are different. Look at your husband’s needs as a man and see how you can meet them. Doing so doesn’t diminish you in any way – it strengthens your husband and your marriage.

  28. Just a thought and especially because you are young in your faith you may have trouble with what to pray. I highly reccomend you read The Power Of A Praying Wife. Not to say that those more mature in their walk will know how to pray either. I keep a copy with my Bible and pray over several areas of my husband’s life daily. There is great wisdom shared in that book! Remember God isn’t a genie in a lamp here to grant our wishes. We must first get in line with His will and then pray without ceasing! There has been a lot of Godly wisdom shared on this email… it comes from years of experience so be patient and hold tight to the promises God gives you!

  29. As I understand it, feistyfeminista, the part of the curse was that the woman would no longer lovingly listen to her husband and the man would want to crush her down. Instead of a loving, caring, relationship the woman would fight and say that she didn’t have to submit to her husband because the texts could be translated differently. He then would live selfishly and not want to love her as christ loved the church.
    To me that is a real curse. I think that instead of a beautiful easy marriage it becomes a bit of a war and that is the part that we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, need to change.

    I have been challenged by this feed to be consciously more respectful and loving towards my husband. I do believe that he is the head of our house and that I am to submit to him. That being said we do function as a great partnership in all our decision making. We discuss things together, but I treat him with the attitude of having the final say. It works pretty well for us. I am generally fairly gentle by nature and I know this particular issue is easier for me than others… but I feel respected by him and no less of a human being or lower. I still can tell him when I am not happy with how things are. He still strives to care for me well. It is good. He has issues communicating with me sometimes… when he is stressed about anything he shuts into himself. I’m sure I have pretty major faults too so we are far from perfect, but the model does work.

  30. Thanks for making this point, feisty… I’ve been reading CN for about a year and find it very empowering and helpful. It was not until this post that I felt this might not be the place for me, which breaks my heart b/c there is really no other community like it for Christian women. My husband and I are dedicated to an egalitarian marriage and “submitting to one another”. We BOTH need love and respect. I will keep reading, I just hope CN does not become a place dedicated to reifying traditional gender roles. If we are to “agree to disagree” then maybe it’s not worth such posts that have the potential to divide? I hope CN instead continues to provide information, support, and ideas to strengthen marriage through sex. Thanks, and peace!

  31. feistyfeminista,

    “I completely understood where the article was coming from; I simply disagreed with it. You have just pointed to the texts to which I was referring when I said that some did interpret this male leadership pattern in various parts of Scripture. I am very familiar with these arguments, but there are other interpretations of some texts by respectable evangelical scholars.”

    I am just curious.. what are some of these other interpretations of New Testament verses concerning the roles of husband and wife? I did not realize there were other interpretations, so I would like to look into it. Thanks!

  32. First, some background. I was baptized and confirmed Catholic in 2006. DH and I had a Catholic wedding in 2009, seven years after our civil service. We’ve been a couple for a total of 13 years.

    When I first read this post a few weeks ago, I merely skimmed it because I didn’t think it applied to me. Then, on Friday, DH and I had our third argument in as many months during which the issue came up of him feeling like I don’t respect him. Previously, this comment made me sad because I thought he just failed to recognize the actions I take that illustrate respect. This time I became angry. How could he question my respect when I thank him countless times out of the day for the things he does? When I do anything he wants in bed? When I speak highly of him to others? Then, after some prayer and rereading this post, I realized that for the past 13 years I’ve confused love with respect. I love my husband beyond measure, but that has not always translated into the respect he needs. Furthermore, I have no idea what respect looks like because neither my mother nor grandmother respect(ed) their husbands.

    After further thought and prayer, I’ve come to understand what my husband needs from me, and I’m willing and able to give it to him. In fact, I worked hard this weekend to respond to him accordingly and he has responded favorably. However, this whole ordeal has left me feeling very sad. For one, I have let him – and our Lord – down for the past 13 years. Second, if I wasn’t respecting him the last 13 years, then what was our relationship based on? It seems like our relationship will need to be redefined in many ways, and that makes me sad. I thought our marriage was healthy and happy. I knew there was room for growth, but I had no idea we were missing this critical element.

    I do not have any friends that I am comfortable speaking to about this. Can someone tell me if what I’m feeling is normal? What comes next?

  33. I think you’re on the right track in beginning to respect him. I’ve only been married 8 months myself, but I do sympathize with what you’re feeling. In his book Love & Respect, Dr. Eggerichs points out that respect is more than just showing genuine appreciation for what your hubby does every day. I’ll just sum it up here, but showing hubby respect involves showing appreciation in every aspect of who he is as a man. The drive to work and achieve; his desire to protect and provide for you; his desire to be strong and to lead and make decisions; his insight and counsel; his longing for shoulder-to-shoulder companionship; and last but definitely not least, his desire for sexual intimacy.

    It sounds like a lot of work, but I’ve learned from my own experience with my hubby, that if you respect him in one of those areas listed, the rest begin to follow :).

  34. don’t be sad!!! Be excited! Some people never learn to understand what their husband needs! You now have the rest of your life to build on a great relationship and make it better! I find that really exciting! Do you mind my asking what sort of changes you have made in how you show him respect? It is the sort of issue where I feel like I try hard, but may still be missing the mark myself. I know that years and years down the road I will still need to learn.

  35. This is very uplifting! Thank you, Mrs.NClovebeds. I have already apologized to my husband, but he didn’t want to talk beyond accepting my apology. At this point it’s probably best to let my actions speak for themselves.

  36. Thank you for all the replies! They’ve been encouraging and uplifting.

    @tigerattack: I am making a concerted effort to let him make some decisions without my input. This is difficult because he often asks for my opinion, so I’m trying not to give my two cents when they’re not requested. I’ve also made a more deliberate effort to change behavior that I know drives him nuts. And I’m trying to let go of some things around the house that I know he wants “ownership” of. I’m a full-time work-at-home mom (I’m a freelance writer) and he’s a stay-at-home dad. I have a tendency to try to do everything, leaving him with nothing. The result is an exhausted mom and a grumpy dad. I’ve realized it’s better for both of us if I let go.

    I have ordered the book The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle. I was going to buy the one mentioned earlier in the thread, but the reviews were mixed on Amazon and I feel like I can relate with Doyle’s story — she’s also a working woman. Has anyone read this book?

    Anyway, thank you all for the support. I’m gradually coming to realize the comfort that will come from letting go and just enjoying my DH.

  37. Thanks… those sound like very good things to work on!! I definitely like to give my opinion… and I think I often do it in a way that says I have the only right way and he is wrong. I will work on that too. I hope it goes well for you!!

  38. caliope I am another Catholic convert and you are years ahead of me! I have been married nealry 21 years. In that time I was: Always a willing lover, Never a criticizer or nag, Careful with money, Someone who praised and complimented my husband daily and a pretty darned good wife. What I didn’t ever do was maintain a tidy house in spite of the fact that it was pretty much the ONLY thing we ever argued about and the fact that he had told me countless times how important it was to him.

    We hit a rough patch last spring and I turned to prayer. I was led to a variety of resources but what I concluded was that by failing to take care of something SO important to him I was not showing him respect or love in the way he best understood it. I turned to him last June and said “I know talk is cheap because I have told you I would be better about keeping things up before and I have let you down. But I want you to know here and now that I will spend the rest of my life loving you the way you deserve.”

    I bought the 5 Love Languages and asked him to complete the quiz. He was loud and clear someone who feels loved via acts of service Anyway we are really really happy now. It’s like a new marriage and all it took was a little time and effort.

    I just wanted you to know you are not alone in feeling sad about not showing your man the respect and love he deserved for years at a time and reassure you that now that you know better you can do better and your actions will speak volumes.

    prayers and hugs

  39. Those words are salve to me as well. Thank you!

  40. I was thinking about the 5 love languages too. I think it’s possible that we could be showing respect to our husbands in the wrong language, i.e., a language that he is not able to receive or understand.

    Also, I think it’s important to remember that husbands and wives need both love and respect, but husbands seem to have a bit stronger need for respect and wives for love. I know I would be unhappy if I knew that my husband loved me but he didn’t act like he respected me. And I’m pretty sure that he would be heartbroken if he knew that I respected him but didn’t feel that I loved him.

  41. tommygirl — Thank you so much for your comment. I picked up the Five Love Languages at the library yesterday. I’m anxious to start reading, though I’m nervous to let my husband know about it (will he think I’m unhappy in our marriage?). How did you present the quiz to your husband?

    Also, have you found any resources on how to be a good Catholic wife? In doing a little bit of reading online I was reminded that marriage is a vocation, a calling. Thinking about it this way helps me come to terms with the respect issue. But I can’t find any resources that offer practical advice along these lines.

  42. calliope76, there is an online quiz you can email him the link to and just pass it of as an interesting quiz. I was rather surprised at what my strong love language was.

    Just click on the button that applies to you.

    i would be brave and tell him you are reading the book to be a better wife FOR HIM… he can’t feel upset about that can he?

  43. caliope: I was thinking about you yesterday and, though I don’t know your H, it seems to me that if you said to him something like “Honey, I know that I can’t undo the years of not loving you the way you deserved to be loved, but nothing would make me happier than knowing that I was making you happier. This book has a quiz in it for husbands and if you take it it will be a guide for me that teaches me how to love you in the way you would most love to be loved. I promise you it will be worth the effort. ;)”

    I would emphasize that the goal of your reading is to learn how to be the best wife possible. What husband wouldn’t want that? Hugs and prayers! ~tg

  44. tigerattack and tommygirl — Thank you for the link and suggestions! They are a big help. I want to start reading the book before I present the quiz to him. Hopefully this weekend! (I don’t get a lot of time to read with 3 kids and a full time job.)

  45. I totally get it, with three kids under 4 myself, I hardly get time to read either. I hope it goes well.

  46. good luck sister!

  47. I would like to comment on the problem this woman is having with a husband who seems to have a lower sex drive than she has. Have you ever heard of pastor/relational coach/speaker Mark Gungor? I can warmly recommend you to buy his dvd “Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage”. On this dvd, he explains that for a man, his first sexual experience determines his perspective on latter sex. This first experience can be so influential, that sex with his own wive doesn’t give him the fulfillment that he’s looking for. Anyway, I can preach it here, but you better watch the dvd, together! You’re gonna get a good laugh and in the meantime you’re both being groomed into a better love life!

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