Feb 26, 2013

5 Ways Wives Unwittingly Disrespect Their Husbands


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Photo Courtesy by: David Castillo Dominici / freedigitalphotos.net
One day my wife and I went shopping at Costco. I began to lead her in one direction fully expecting her to come along with me, but instead she seemed upset and asked me where I was going. Being the boneheaded man that I am, I didn’t tell her, but instead just motioned for her to follow me. Now she was beyond upset. In fact, she actually stormed off in the other direction. We did most of our shopping separately that day.

I was floored. I went to grab the double loaf of bread I had been aiming for, wondering what on Earth I had done wrong. I remember feeling very frustrated.

Why couldn’t she just follow my lead, I thought. Did I really need to explain to her that I just wanted to grab some bread?

Apparently, I made one other fatal mistake as well. The bread was at the front of the store. You never start at the front of the store. You go all the way to the back and work your way forward.

The point of the story is that I felt completely disrespected. All I wanted was for my wife to follow my lead through the store and not question which direction I was taking her.

Ladies, your husband thrives on respect. Without it, he can’t be fully confident in the relationship. It is just as important to him as feeling loved is to you. When he feels that you respect him he is strong and confident.

But it can be so easy to do something that feels disrespectful to him. Many times you might not even have a clue what you’ve done wrong. You can just see it in his deflated expression. Could it be that you’ve made one of these 5 respect mistakes?

1.- You act like his mommy: This is a common mistake that almost every wife makes. You want to help him, but in the process you treat him like a child. You remind him to brush his teeth or put deodorant on. You set his clothes out for him before bed. You wipe a smudge of food off his face with a napkin you spit on. But guess what? Your husband didn’t marry you to get a new mommy, he married you to get a partner. He needs you to support him without making him feel incompetent to handle his own affairs.

2.- You undermine his decisions: You tell your husband you want him to lead, but every time he tries you end up questioning him or going against him. He sets his foot down but you find sneaky ways to get around it. He doesn’t want a certain TV show on in his house but you argue about how it’s not so bad and watch it anyway. Let your husband lead already! Nothing communicates disrespect like when you put up a fight against his every decision.

3.- You take over with the kids: Your husband is trying to discipline or instruct the kids and you just have to step in and take over. Unless your husband is being dangerous, there is no need for this. He is perfectly capable of handling them.

4.- You answer questions for him: When someone directs a question at your husband he is fully capable of answering for himself. He doesn’t need you to interject with what you think his answer is. In fact, you might learn something new about your husband’s thoughts if you let him speak for himself.

5.- You don’t consult him on major decisions: Marriage is a partnership. And yet, you make major decisions without checking with your husband first. Where to go for the holidays or how to spend a tax return are big decisions that your husband should have a say in.
Do any of these sound familiar to you? If so, it might be a good time to apologize to your husband and set things straight.

Follow up post to this post: Do Husbands Need to Respect Their Wives? 

Learn more about how you can build a strong Christian marriage by visiting Daniel Robertson’s website at http://www.godshelpformarriage.com. He offers a variety of resources to help Christians succeed in their marriages.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Daniel_P_Robertson
http://EzineArticles.com/?5-Ways-Wives-Unwittingly-Disrespect-Their-Husbands&id=7024444

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your insights. I truly do. You've given me some things to ponder. Just wondering though... how seriously hard would it have been to say "Let's grab bread"?

In view of 1 Peter 3:7 ("husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers"), were you being considerate and respectful of her to expect her to follow you around without telling her where you were going? Most people communicate better with their dogs that you did with her.

It seems we all tend to oversimplify scripture and say men deserve all the "respect" and women deserve all the "love", but that's clearly not what God says. While "respect" does resinate stronger with men and "love" stronger with women, God calls us to treat both genders with both qualities. Yes, God clearly instructs the wife to submit to her husband, but in Ephesians 5:21 God tells both genders to "submit to one another out of reverence to Christ".

Again, I appreciate your insights, but it seems you were in the wrong too...

Anonymous said...

I did see a lot of things to change in my life. But I agree with the person who replied back. Communication helps a woman. She needs repent as well. You can't expect someone to just follow you without knowing where you are going. You also have to remember that a woman feels grocery shopping is here job and That's why she more than likely just walked away. She felt disrespected because you came shopping with her on her turf and didn't give her a chance to express her womanliness in the grocery store.

Jodi said...

I completely agree with the commenter above. The points this post makes are tremendous, and wives - including myself - are all too often guilty of these things. I will be praying over this list often!

But it was disrespectful and unloving to not communicate with your wife, leave her hanging and frustrated, then blame her and write a post pointing out HER failure.

Men often often underestimate how much respect spells love for a woman too. Therefore, to be disrespectful to your wife is disobeying Scripture, when men are instructed to love their wives.

As the first commenter said, most people communicate better with their dogs than you did with her. You have indeed written a guide for women well worth reading: truthful, biblical, and convicting.

Perhaps, though, you ought to take a deep, prayerful look into what the respect/love paradigm really means.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could offer my comments privately, but I don't know how to do that. So after you read this, please delete it. The world is critical enough of Christians, and I want to honor scripture by being united with other believers. I do however feel compelled to reply, because its apparent you missed the mark in this situation and I think you are setting a bad example for christian men to follow.

I have two observations: 1) If a non-believing woman saw your posting, it would no doubt repel her away from Jesus. Why would she want to be treated worse than a child or a dog?! And 2) if Jesus saw your posting (which he did), it would probably sadden and anger him.

Jesus treated everyone (men and women, Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free, even children, prostitutes, tax collectors and lepers) with dignity and respect. You did not follow his example and you disobeyed clear Biblical mandates with how you treated your wife (both in Costco and in your posting), yet you offer advice. And its shocking how you see her as the offender. Seems pharisaical of you, which is why I think Jesus is more than a tad angry with you at the moment.

Just like many women repeatedly error in your 5 examples, many men repeatedly error with treating their wives like you did. Both are a travesty.

I agree with the other comments, you would do well to take a deep, prayerful look at scripture. Maybe you'll find a topic for your next posting. You might also consider to publicly apologize to your wife to the same degree that you publicly criticized her.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that women defend themselves againt disrespecting men, like it's deserved. This writer states he was in the wrong. He was simply painting the picture of the situation so he could get to his point, which was....he felt disrepected because he wanted her to trust him, as he said "to lead her in the right directon". The wife didn't follow him because she thought what he was doing didnt make sense....to her. As he said, he later realized it would of made sense to start in the back as she wanted to do in the beginning. Yes both need love and respect. Yes we need to communicate to each other, but take responsiblity for your own actions...

Anon 2 said...

Sir, I wonder how you would feel if your wife publicly posted your Costco story from her perspective, and told the world how disrespected she felt? Which, judging by her reaction, she clearly did feel disrespected. Because the way I see it, you were more than a little wrong yourself. What about "do to others as you would have them do to you?" Or is it okay to break that one if it's your wife? I certainly hope that your attitude toward your wife in every day life is not one of just expecting her to blindly go along with your decisions, no questions asked. That's not marriage or anything resembling true partnership. Discussion and communication (which she attempted in this situation, and you shut down) are essential to a healthy marriage. Fact: You make bad decisions sometimes. We all do. Your wife, your help-meet, can help you with that, and you should be grateful to God instead of taking it as an assault to your leadership. Humiliating as it must be for your wife to have her poor reaction put on display here, frankly, I am even more embarrassed for you and your public display of ignorance on how to love your wife and consider her needs above your own, as Christ did for us... I think, to preserve your own dignity, you should consider removing this post, and focusing your energies on learning how to really love your wife and give yourself up for her. Even better would be public repentance for your failure to respect her ability to perform her God-given role. The world is watching, sir. If this is what they see, why would they want anything to do with it?

Brittany Bair said...

I enjoyed reading this very much. It's nice to hear this from a husband's perspective.

Jill May said...

I'm sorry, but you seem pretty disrespectful yourself in that situation! Your wife asked you a question and you refused to answer her. I think you may also need to be looking at what your wife needs to feel valued,and one of those things is communication!Your wife needed you to communicate with her, and you refused her that right. So, of course she was upset! You went with her on a task I assume she normally does alone, and she has a routine of how she gets that job accomplished. You were taking her away from her job at hand, so naturally she asks you why. Please don't make this article out to be how a woman should respect her husband, because I am sorry to say in this case, the husband didn't respect his wife. The list of 5 things also pertains to husbands as well, I would prayerfully consider removing or revising your post.

Anonymous said...

I am grateful for the reminder and it is great to hear a husbands perpective. As a wife I am guilty of askIng my husband to lead but undermining him when he does.

Anon 2 said...

Ok, all, so I went to this guy's actual blog after I calmed down a bit (which I should have done in the first place) and found this follow-up post:

http://www.godshelpformarriage.com/do-husbands-need-to-respect-their-wives/

It was very good. He left no doubt in my mind that he does indeed believe he needs to respect his wife. They were newly married when this event occurred, and he freely acknowledges that he messed up.

I do apologize if I spoke too quickly or harshly in my last comment here. However, I still think that this post alone leaves a bad impression of how husbands and wives are called to interact in God's Word. I hope you will consider posting his follow-up post for clarification.

MT86 said...

I think it's pretty appalling that any woman would jump up and defend a wife's "right to know" anything. It's not the wife's place to question the husband's leadership during the time of decision. It's her job to trust him and then if there is a different tactic she saw more fitting, she should discuss it privately with her husband later instead of causing a scene publicly. If this same story were written about a child defying the leadership of parents, no one would be quick to jump in and defend the child. Not saying that wives and children are on the same level but there is a chain of headship in a family and the point isn't to usurp that at any given moment but to respect and follow, even during decisions you may not see the point of. No one is denying a rational discussion later, but to say that the husband should follow the leadership of the wife instead of the other way around is quite frankly despicable.

Anonymous said...

Funny how too many people jumped right to the defense without fully reading the author's story. Makes me think that they were offended before they even opened this one. The author clearly states in the first paragraph that he was in the wrong by not talking to his wife I quote " being the bonehead man that I am".

Anonymous said...

Either the Husband is granted leadership by God or he isn't. He pointed in a direction and the woman (who had vowed before God and men to obey this man) decided that since she didn't understand the leadership decision she wouldn't follow it. In every form of human interaction, from civilian and military and police and politics, that's called insubordination and cannot be tolerated. If you took a vow before God then that's all there is to it. Be well.

Stacey said...

I like your article a lot. It gives me some insight into what is going on in my husband's mind. I also think that women want respect too, not just love. In many ways, respect shows love. When you tried to lead your wife around Costco, it showed disrespect for her. That is why she was upset. It is good for the husband to lead the way God intended, but not to treat his wife like a child. My husband noticed, early in our marriage, that the only thing that made me angry at him was when I perceived that he was treating me like a child. I want respect too. Maybe I don't think the way other women do. I do accept my husband as the leader in our home and I treat him that way, but I still want respect from him.
Thank you for your article. I enjoyed reading it.

S

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Anonymous said...

This is a great article, but I do have a question. How is a wife to NOT act like his mother when that is what he asks of her. If he needs her to set his clothes out or pack his lunch, if he forgets to brush his teeth and she must remind him of it or if the only way he will take supplements is if she hands him the pills and water to take them. I mean, it is a lose lose situation for a wife and I deal with it on a daily basis. Seriously. That is why I am raising my boys to NOT be so reliant on me at all - maybe too many boys were served and enabled growing up? Tough situation for both husband and wife - that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

In our home it's our goal that he will lead and I will be involved. That requires communication and respect on both parts... at the store, at home and with the kids. Ex. If either of us disagree with our parenting, we discuss it afterward... we must be on the same page if our kids are to have consistent parenting.

Anonymous said...

1. You act like his mommy. Well, unfortunately a lot of women are marrying boys now days. They marry a guy expecting to be his wife but then discover that they have not married their equal. Instead, they have married a boy who has not yet put away childish things to become a man. Video games prevail and so do toys (Warhammer, Magic, etc.). It is much easier to respect and follow a man who grows up, steps up, and leads.

Lisa said...

As a woman, who is trying to follow her husband biblically, you are straight up right. She should have obeyed. Trusted you, as the head, and went with you. The Lord has said that a husband is a wife's head...her leader. Just as we don't question God's commands...we are not to question our husbands.... Unless he is asking you to sin... You must obey. In the end, that is what you are accountable to before God... Hiw well you followed your husband.... And he is responsible for how he lead. It has taken me years to learn this lesson. I am thankful for God's patience with me....and for my husband's as well.

Teresa Bailey said...

In reading the comments, my first thought is to agree. Communicate with her. But then the Lord gently reminded me that the marriage represents our relationship with Him. He doesn't always (or often) tell us where or why we are going. He just tells us to go and expects us to follow, not knowing how it will end, but trusting that He knows what is best for me and He loves me beyond measure.

Carolyn Bassett said...

Oh dear. I appreciate your insights and Thank you for sharing.

I confess that I was stunned however that you expect your wife to heel and follow like a dog, in the name of Christian submission.
I understand that dominating her inflates your ego, but I would BEG you as a sister in Christ to consider this prayerfully, and consult with your pastor, or another Christian man that you respect.

Cd said...

1) Be a man. Take care of yourself. Learn to serve instead of being served. Put away your Peter Pan ideas and stop making your wife be a Wendy to your Lost Boy. It's as much you as her.

2) Questioning your decisions does not equal non-compliance. It means your wife wants to be treated as YOUR EQUAL. Communicate with your wife. One simple communication on YOUR part would have diffused the entire situation. Don't expect her to be a mind-reader. God allows us to question him. And since you're not actually God, it's the least you can do. Don't be an idiot here. By posting this and publicaly calling your wife out, you have lost even MORE credibility. This is being driven purely by your ego, which is not the same as your leadership. In fact, leadership lends no room for ego.

3) Leave your ego out of your parenting, too. The truth is, your wife spends more time with your children. Encourage and respect her input. She knows your children in a different and deeper way than you do. Help her feel confident in your parenting style by asking for her advice and involving her in the choices. If she's taking a lead in the parenting, it's because you either are NOT taking a lead, or you are not heeding her input and validating the tremendous amount of time she spends getting to know and understand your children.

4) Agreed. And I have no idea how this relates to the story in your post. Also, the things she does that drives you nuts? They probably drive you nuts because YOU DO THEM TO HER. Make sure you're looking into a very clear mirror before you blast your wife for anything.

5) Also agreed. But again...how does this apply to your overall post? Choosing to go somewhere else in the store is not the same as spending thousands of dollars without consulting one another. That's just marriage basics. The fact that you even wrote that one down? Well, it comes across as a blast to your wife. And once again, men do this, too.

I'm not entirely sure why you decided you were qualified to give Godly marriage advice. I don't see God in any of this. I do see a lot of your wounded ego, insecurity, and need to dominate and be right without any sort of accountability, openness, willingness to be wrong or a pursuit of tenderness. We are called to die to our own desires, to love the way Christ loves, and to submit to ONE ANOTHER. It's a two-way street. Love covers a multitude of sins, which is wonderful because you are destroying not only your marriage and your wife, but damaging other marriages and wives with your words.

Taylor said...

"...she seemed upset and asked me where I was going. Being the boneheaded man that I am, I didn’t tell her, but instead just motioned for her to follow me."

Respect is earned. MAYBE she was mad because she asked you a simple, direct question and you ignored her. You'll get respect when you show respect--something you didn't do in the store and aren't doing now by talking about your wife's "failure" in a public forum.

Anonymous said...

@Teresa Bailey

Yes, Teresa… great insights!! Great article! I can't believe how many people miss the point of the whole story and dissect the minutia of the author's writing. It's just an example to illustrate a point… a very good and valid point.

Nikki G said...

As I was reading the story in Costco, I could completely see my husband and I in this exact situation. I know the best way to navigate a store, and he would likely not respond in a clear enough way to answer my question (if at all). I agree, there is no reason he can't answer me, and it would make the rest of the interaction much nicer... BUT the writer did admit to being wrong. Yes, he can work on that, but what a lot of commenters are missing is the idea that your husband is supposed to lead you. It's a very Biblical concept, and explained in the article "5 Ways Wives Can Encourage Their Husbands" on this site.

My husband and I have been married for 2 years, and he constantly is asking me to just do what he asks sometimes and trust him, instead of needing to know why first. While at first I thought it was a ridiculous request, I've learned (and have received insight from Godly older women on this), that my questioning him is in fact showing my lack of trust in him. I'm big on doing things the smartest way (e.g. starting the shop in the back of the store), but if it's not sinning, though it feels like it goes against everything I believe in, I can follow my husband to the front of the store and backtrack later. What REALLY goes against everything I believe in is undermining him and damaging our relationship because "my way's right." I agree, the supermarket's more my domain and I feel like since I can do it better, he should follow my lead. It's minor and I don't think that's a terrible thing. But it's just an example the writer was using. If it's not sinning, let him lead.

If you are only letting him lead when you agree with it, how is that letting him lead at all? This is what I am challenged with, and am working on, and it's REALLY (x1000) hard. But it's a Biblical principal that is worth working on to strengthen our marriage. Not working on it weakens the marriage.

I don't believe that the writer here only believes the woman is doing things wrong. I'm confident he realizes there's a lot he needs to work on too. I DO believe that a lot of commenters are responding the way we do as humans... the defensive position of accusing the other of wrongdoings, taking the blame off ourselves. My husband and I both do that, and it's the most aggravating thing in the world (when he does it at least :P). What we need to do is humble ourselves, say, "yes, we both need to work on stuff," and acknowledge that the points in this article are legit and worth working on as Godly wives.

Anonymous said...

The problem is this....everyone knows how to love....but we are all taught from small that respect is earned....God says its not....its a command that women respect their husbands because we stuff it up royally most of the time....and the less our husbands receive respect (their predominant love language)....they're not going to love us effectively because they are wounded....respect comes from the one who is mature enough to suck it up and respect because God has given the man the household authority...ofcourse we need respect as well....but if you try it...respect him first....you will get faaaaar more out of your marriage than respect in return....but the minute you start to defend your "right" to have respect...there is a power shift of authority from him to you and you have therefore missed the boat

Anonymous said...

The problem is this....everyone knows how to love....but we are all taught from small that respect is earned....God says its not....its a command that women respect their husbands because we stuff it up royally most of the time....and the less our husbands receive respect (their predominant love language)....they're not going to love us effectively because they are wounded....respect comes from the one who is mature enough to suck it up and respect because God has given the man the household authority...ofcourse we need respect as well....but if you try it...respect him first....you will get faaaaar more out of your marriage than respect in return....but the minute you start to defend your "right" to have respect...there is a power shift of authority from him to you and you have therefore missed the boat

Anonymous said...

I agree that some women have the tendency to belittle men, or at least that their actions are interpreted as being such. But here is the problem I have with blindly following my husband:

I prayed my entire youth for a husband that would love and respect me, protect me and honour me. That is just what I got: a loving, upbeat, caring guy who thinks the world of me and is never abusive. That doesn't make him a wimp; his physical presents alone simply demands respect where ever he goes. And if anyone deserves respect, it is him.

Anyway, for me, he's the perfect husband. BUT, he has led us into one financial fiasco after the other. Now this may sound arrogant, but I'm just stating the facts: I have a higher I.Q. than he does, a better education and a better insight into making "wise and responsible" financial decisions (he has the upper hand when it comes to people skills!). At one point I had to ask myself: why did God give me these talents, if I can't use them. Surely, it wasn't His intention to have me stand by and allow my husband, even though his heart is in the right place (!!!), to lead us further into poverty. I know money is not everything, but lacking enough of it was putting a lot of stress on our family and our relationship.

So I considered Proverbs 31:10-31, which describes the “good wife” as:

"... Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar...She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night…." It goes on and on stating her responsibilities. It seems to me that she can only carry them out if she is somewhat independent and if her husband trusts her to make the right decisions.

So I started openly discussing things with my husband, even refusing to accept certain decisions once in awhile. And guess what? He seems to be relieved that I take some of the responsibility. As long as I communicate respectfully and don't verbally make him feel inferior. Our marriage has never been so balanced and comfortable. We are a team, and not each others children or competitors. So, I guess what I am saying is, don't burry your talents because you think you are supposed to follow someone and don't burry your spouses talents because you feel you must be followed and obeyed. God gave both parties talents for a reason. Discover them, explore them and nurture them. And become a powerhouse together.

Anonymous said...

your poor,poor wife..

Jill Meyer said...

I have not read all the responses as it started to look like an argument I don't want a part of.
I want to say thank you. I do normally follow my husband and no I do not always know where we are going. It doesn't matter that much to me.
The only thing I will say however, is if your husband is ill, and you are the one taking him in for procedures, operations and what not, yes, do speak for him. He may not be with it enough to answer the battery of questions.
That was our case recently. But normally I just listen.

Anonymous said...

Is it really a partnership if you're allowed to dictate what she can and can't watch on TV?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! My husband isn't one to communicate his feelings too often, so its nice to have insight of a husband!! Ignore the ones saying you're being disrespectful!

Michael Branson said...

If you read Ephesians 5.33, you will see that respect is commanded, just as love is. No woman here is saying that love is earned, I notice.

christine said...

It seems that there are s lot of men out there who seem to feel that it's ok not to communicate their intent and plans and expect that their wives follow without question. And this seems to be a litmus test of leadership! How is this a biblical interpretation of God's plan for marriage?

Anonymous said...

First thought: This has been my experience exactly so I understand where he's coming from and what he's probably trying to accomplish. Second thought: Men don't generally blog their thoughts and feelings like this so he captures his frustration some and admitting his actions despite the real message he's trying to send his going to be overlook because naturally readers will be defensive, prideful, and etc. We tend to really with our feelings than take it for information.
Not to defend him but he did confess his mistake and inadequacy but he also seemed to want to give some women [those whom are really trying to obey God versus the perspective of just obeying their husband] incite on men who are really trying to be what the Lord has called them to be. Now, helpful communication obviously is helpful and but as he mentions does every situation [in this case a spot on decision/attempt to lead] deserve an explanation, in his words. Considering, that men and women are made equal in dignity but different in role and that the model of the marriage God design was a resemblance of Christ and the church, when Jesus called Peter and Andrew from fishing an immediate conversation didn't ensue in that moment. They trusted, submitted, and followed. Scripture also doesn't call women to submit if their husband is qualified, capable, leading well, gifted, etc. It just says to submit... Now this author was clearly wrong for that arm wave but now we have two sinful responses instead of just one. How it would have honored the Lord if she had humbly followed her husband and had a conversation about how her husband was out of line for the arm thing and had a conversation about why he chose to go where he went. The World would view her as weak and dominated but Jesus would have said "Well Done. You submitted because I said submit. You sir, we need to have a talk."

Anonymous said...

Blasphemy. Your husband is not god. Please dont make that comparison. To look at him so is to belittle god. I cant disagree with you more.

Anonymous said...

If anyone live in this kind of tyranny in a marriage, I cry for them and hope that they will be freed from that marriage before their freewill disappear. I thank all Gods I live in Denmark, and with a loving husband, with personal freedom and a mind of my own. I'm sorry for you and will pray to your God that he will help you and your family. Best wishes C.

Michael Branson said...

There are a lot people who are taking this guy to task for his attitude. I am thrilled for you if your wife treats you respectfully, and I hope you kiss the ground she walks on. I am happy to know that there areconfident, secure-in-his-manhood leader, and I hope their wives kiss the ground they walk on. This post is for neither of you. It's for the wives out there who do 1 or 2 or even all 5 of these points, and then complain to their girlfriends, "I wish my husband was a better leader." A big part of the problem is that he doesn't have a follower.

Anonymous said...

You are, without a doubt, the worst kind of minsogynst around. What on earth your wife is doing by staying with you, except proving that she has no self esteem, is beyond me. You don't deserve a wife, a mother, or children. Go back to your cave and stay there.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog entry. From the hateful and misunderstanding comments you're getting here, it's clear you're not the only one dealing with these kind of issues. It just goes to show how broken our world and relationships really are, and how difficult it is to overcome and work through problems. But I still have faith that God is greater and as we seek to please Him, He will bless our efforts.

joequatronejr.com said...

Excellent!

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