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Why Do Goodwilled Wives Feel Frustrated? Part 3

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In part 1 of this series, we introduced the idea of the despotic husband who recognizes that his vulnerable and sensitive wife typically acquiesces to his bully tactics. In part 2, we put a name to those tactics.

Today, we will appeal to the husband to evaluate himself as a man of honor and cease his bullying tactics. And if the marriage is experiencing stability, due to his ceasing such tactics, I want the man of honor to invite his wife’s assessment of his successful changes. If the relationship is not stable, I do not recommend the two of you doing this alone but turn to a Christian counselor for guidance as you step through these matters. Remember, though, this pursuit is worthy in being the man of honor God calls you to be.

An Appeal to the Honorable Man Following Christ

As an honorable man may I ask you this question: Do you see your fear of her disrespect outwitting you to react in unloving ways in disobedience to Ephesians 5:33 where God commands the husband to love his wife regardless of his wife’s behavior?

May I invite you as a husband to consider the following questions? These can help you act with more honor once you realize that though the fear of her disrespect was real, it did not mandate that you become an unloving man who bullies his wife.

Rate yourself according to this scale:

1 = Never / 2 = Rarely / 3 = Sometimes / 4 = Very Often / 5 = Always

  1. In arguments I tend to justify myself and blame her. 1 2 3 4 5
  2. When my wife questions me it makes me angry because I feel that she is calling me into question, attacking my leadership, and disrespecting me. 1 2 3 4 5
  3. When decisions need to be made and I know that I am right, there is no negotiation. 1 2 3 4 5
  4. When I feel pushed to the wall I threaten divorce. 1 2 3 4 5
  5. When I am really upset I withhold affection from my wife and do not talk to her until she submits. 1 2 3 4 5
  6. When she surfaces her opinion at odds with my reasonable opinion, I do not see her viewpoint as valid. 1 2 3 4 5
  7. When it comes to finances, my wife would say that I have complete control of the money. 1 2 3 4 5
  8. When I am really irate my wife fears I might physically harm her. 1 2 3 4 5
  9. I think that my wife feels during a blowup that I have ill will toward her, not goodwill. 1 2 3 4 5
  10. I feel like we are on the Crazy Cycle because of her in that she claims to feel unloved and reacts in disrespectful ways, which then triggers my negative reaction to her. 1 2 3 4 5
  11. In all of our conflicts, I clearly see where she is disrespectful and do not see her claim that I am unloving. 1 2 3 4 5
  12. During conflict my wife has voiced that she feels unloved because she must stuff her feelings, keep her mouth shut, and do things my way. 1 2 3 4 5

Seeking Godly, Wise Counsel

If you answered any of these with a 4 or 5, you need to seek the counsel of a godly wise person you respect.

You may be a goodwilled man who would die for your wife given someone threatened her life. However, she is dying emotionally around you.

Granted, she could be a Jezebel who lies, cheats, and steals. She could be one who castigates you as wicked. (Read the blog “Why Do Goodwilled Husbands Feel Frustrated?”

Given, though, you know in your deepest heart this woman has given herself to you, wants to be at peace with you, longs to be a family that enjoys each other, wants everyone to be happy including you, and has no strong selfish agenda but speaks out of her nurturing bent, then it is time you take a hard look at yourself.

She is not trying to deprive you, invalidate you, blame you, punish you, intimidate you, rule over you, threaten you, or terrorize you.

Instead, she feels emotionally and verbally abused by you.

As a woman, she has tremendous vulnerabilities due to her womanly sensitivities, and your reactions to her are overkill. Think of a five-ton wrecking ball used to open the jammed gate to your backyard pool. Yes, the gate no longer impedes your coming and going, but look around at the destruction.

I dare say this could very well be you in your marriage. With your wife, you think you are using equal force to counter her resistance. Instead you are severely damaging her heart. But since your approach clears the way for you, much like a wrecking ball, it must be a good way to deal with this woman, right? But would most others describe you as one or more of these?

  • The Self-Justifying Blamer
  • The Angry Intimidator
  • The Dictatorial Ruler
  • The Divorce Threatener
  • The Withdrawing Punisher
  • The Opinion Invalidator
  • The Money Depriver
  • The Brute Terrorizer

But I have confidence that you intend to reject being a bully. In fact, I believe you intend to turn the corner and go another direction. For this reason, who do you respect that you can sit down with and talk about these things?

When Husband and Wife Are Ready to Address This Together

If the two of you are ready to talk as husband and wife, I recommend that the wife answer the below questions. It would be helpful to compare his answers to your own. Again, it might be best to include a third party that both of you respect who can help you navigate the conversation. Apart from a third party, discussing these answers as a twosome can backfire and lead to a knock-down, drag-out argument.

At this moment, though, I invite a wife to rate her feelings to the same questions asked of her husband.

Rate yourself according to this scale:

1 = Never / 2 = Rarely / 3 = Sometimes / 4 = Very Often / 5 = Always

For Her to Answer

  1. In arguments he will justify himself and blame me. 1 2 3 4 5
  2. When I question him it makes him angry because he feels I am calling him into question, attacking his leadership, and disrespecting him. 1 2 3 4 5
  3. When decisions need to be made and he feels that he is right, there is no negotiation. 1 2 3 4 5
  4. When he feels pushed to the wall, he threatens divorce. 1 2 3 4 5
  5. When he is really upset he withholds affection from me and does not talk to me until I submit. 1 2 3 4 5
  6. When I surface my opinion at odds with his reasonable opinion, he does not see my viewpoint as valid. 1 2 3 4 5
  7. When it comes to finances, I would say that he has total control of the money. 1 2 3 4 5
  8. When he is really irate with me, I fear he might physically harm me. 1 2 3 4 5
  9. I feel during a blowup that he has ill will toward me, not goodwill. 1 2 3 4 5
  10. In every single conflict, he feels that we are on the Crazy Cycle because I react in disrespectful ways that cause him to be unloving. 1 2 3 4 5
  11. He clearly sees where I am disrespectful but does not see where he is unloving. 1 2 3 4 5
  12. I feel unloved because I feel I have to stuff my feelings, keep my mouth shut, and do things his way. 1 2 3 4 5

-Dr. E

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

Questions to Consider