Don’t Ruin Your Husband’s Love Toward You

Image result for old painting husband and wife
Painting by Tate 1863 – Part of a 3 piece composition dedicated to a “Woman’s Mission.”  This painting was to depict a loving wife being her husband’s companion, titled, “Companion of Man.”  It was said that the woman in the paintings strongly resembled the artist’s own wife.  He honored her so much, and was so grateful for her companionship, that she became his artistic inspiration.

You may think I sound dramatic in the title of this post.  I wish it weren’t true.  I wish that humans really could love each other easily, endure each other’s faults effortlessly, but I’ve found the reality of how we treat others is reflected back in how they end up treating us.  Grace or not, Christian or not, I believe God often allows us to reap what we have sown into the hearts of others – our friends, our family members, our children, but especially our husbands.

It’s not usually talked about in our culture, especially in regard to how women treat their husbands.  But the fact and spiritual principle of reaping and sowing, affects everything we do and everyone around us – whether we want to admit to it or not.

Think about this first painting.  How the artist was said to have used his own wife as the model and inspiration for his creations, because she fulfilled his deepest needs emotionally, and therefore inspired his love to greater depths than we normally see in average marriages.

Our society pretends that women won’t reap what they sow (even people in general to a larger extent).  This overwhelming problem is why I believe we’re having so much trouble with people not taking responsibility for their actions.  Acting (really manipulating others) through pretending to be victims, has become almost like the modern-day Westerner’s hobby!

Here is an excerpt (below) from one of my favorite books on a woman’s role in a godly marriage.  It reflects on how a wife can harm her husband’s ability to love her so terribly, that it almost becomes impossible for him to feel the same feelings toward her as he once did.  Keep in mind this doesn’t usually happen within the first 10 years or so of marriage. I think it happens after a couple or more decades… it’s a slow husband-love killer.

And I think we’d be wise to have a healthy fear of this.  If we love our husbands, we must take into effect that this could be possible if we continue in sin against him, always believing that tomorrow is another chance, and yet never taking the measures to truly change for good.

Here is the story of Leo Tolstoy and his wife….

When a wife constantly pushes or nettles her husband, it is like the bite of a poisonous snake and can cause the destruction of a could-be holy marriage.  One of the most tragic cases in history is that of the Russian novelist, Count Leo Tolstoi and his wife.

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In the beginning of their marriage, Tolstoi and his wife were so blissfully happy that, kneeling together they prayed to God to continue the ecstasy that was theirs.

Tolstoi is one of the most famous novelists of all time.  Two of his masterpieces, War and Peace and Anna Karenina, are considered literary treasures.  He was so admired by his people that they followed him around day and night and took down in shorthand every word he uttered.

Imagen de León Tolstoi

Although he was a man of wealth and fame, after studying the teachings of Jesus, he gave away his property, worked in the fields chopping wood, and pitching hay, made his own shoes, ate out of a wooden bowl, and tried to love his enemies.  He gave away the publishing rights to his books and had the courage of his convictions to live a life he believed in.

But his wife never accepted him or his simple philosophy of life.  She loved luxury and he despised it.  She craved fame and the esteem of society, but these things meant nothing to him.  She longed for money and riches, but he thought these things a sin.  For years she made every effort to change him and his views.  She screamed at him because he insisted on giving away the publishing right to his books.  When he opposed her she threw herself into fits of hysteria, threatening to kill herself or jump down the well.

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After 48 years, this man who had adored his wife when he married her could hardly bear the sight of her.  And one of the most tragic scenes as when Countess Tolstoi, heartbroken and old and starving for affection would kneel at her husband’s feet and beg him to read aloud the exquisite love passages that he had written about her in his diary fifty years previously.  And as he read of those beautiful happy days that were now gone forever, both of them wept.

Image result for tolstoy young

His dying request was that she should not be permitted to come into his presence.

Wow!  I mean wow, right?!  His dying request was that she should not be allowed to be in his presence?!  They had such a perfect, blissfully happy prospect of marriage in their early days, and yet her decision to buck his convictions (which I think are beautiful and so touching he wanted to follow Jesus in that manner – how noble!), and had utterly no reverence for his deepest longings and convictions!   I think after decades of mistreatment, it makes sense logically that a wife will eventually reap what she’s sowing into the heart of her husband (or her children, friends, even enemies… it goes on and on with human behavior).  At the end of her life, she tried to make herself out to be a victim of his gruff behavior he had toward her in his old age.  But only people who were aware of how she secretly behaved toward him, truly understood she had caused his gruff behavior and grouchiness.

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Sophiya Tolstoi (his wife & children)

When I was in a marriage group some time ago, I would see women like Tolstoi’s wife come in fairly often – already usually a couple of decades into their marriage – and be desperately pleading with us on how they can turn everything around, all the while admitting that they’ve been treating their husbands horribly for the past few decades.  What motivated them to come to someone who could help them have a happier marriage?  Usually he had finally had enough, or reached some kind of “breaking point,” and he wanted out.  Or he had found another woman who treated him kind again – who admired him and loved him more than his wife seemed capable of.

It was usually apparent that it was already too late, but it was very interesting to watch these women go through psychological changes of first being extremely repentant and humbling themselves, eager to learn and read and practice trying to honor and respect him.  I often had such great hopes for them that they were truly changing in their hearts.  But when it didn’t work (and often times the husband wouldn’t believe their change was real or genuine), they would turn angry, they would get bitter, and then become very resentful even toward us as they believed our advice for happy marriages wasn’t true.

They would become indignant that their husbands’ didn’t accept their changes.  I would see these women start suddenly claiming that their husbands had really “emotionally abused them,” all this time, and that their (the wife’s) sin was in submitting to them too much.  Then they’d often blame sites like mine in creating women who submitted too much!  It was… like I said… very interesting to watch psychologically.  I talked about that here in this post a little.

Again, though, like in the Tolstoi example, this sort of behavior is actually tantamount to abusive in my opinion, toward the husband.  It falls under the “Borderline” or “Cluster B” disorders, which are extremely hard to fix, never-mind how hard it would be to live with someone with those psychological disorders.  A wife like this will usually never be able to admit she was verbally or emotionally abusive for years, until it’s almost too late, but it’s interesting how quick they are to act like they were the victim of emotional abuse, when just a few months before, they were admitting (finally) that they treated their husbands so terribly that they couldn’t believe he put up with it for so long!

If you’re a young wife reading this, I do think it’s good to have a healthy fear of ruining your marriage or your husband’s ability to love you in this way. 

I don’t think it’s healthy to have this idea that no matter how bad you mess up, no matter how many fights you start, or the terrible words you say to him, that it’s going to not have a devastating affect on him as a person longterm.  Men feel so deeply – especially when it comes to their wives’ opinions and treatment of them.  It would be like a husband abusing his wife for decades, and then expecting it not to have a diminishing effect on her ability to love him.

Can God redeem marriages like this?  I believe He can do anything.  But it’s not the norm that these marriages are ever fully repaired, so it’s best if you don’t ever fall into this pattern, as it all could have been so easily avoidable from the beginning.

And if anything, please remember Leo Tolstoi’s bitter marriage, and be on guard against women like his wife who suddenly tried to twist the truth in the end, in an effort to destroy her husband’s legacy and reputation.



Excerpt from Fascinating Womanhood


  1. My STBX had an ectopic pregnancy, and decided to tell everyone that it was my fault, because i had “crooked sperm”. Hearing her say that to her friends, her mother, OUR KIDS, and many other people, was very hurtful. She took something that just happened by on one’s fault (not even hers), and blamed me for it.

    This wasn’t the first thing she did to damage our marriage. But it certainly was one of the most painful.

    But that’s what happens when things are always someone elses fault.

  2. Tolstoy randomly decided to become a hermit of sorts without consulting his wife’s opinion and it’s HER fault for not being happy with that lifestyle?! I’m not sure why she, as a living, thinking individual must submit herself to a life that she didn’t sign up for. He changed, not her.

    What if he decided he needed a second or third wife? Or had to buy the Porsche they can’t afford? She’s supposed to smile, nod, and try to pick up the pieces of the consequences of his actions?

    Some women are content to be puppets, pulled by the strings by the men in their lives. Others know they have autonomy over their life and are free to take their own path.

    By the way, this goes both ways. Men are free to dump a wife who nags incessantly about him leaving his clothes on the floor and not helping with the children. You do realize that this is usually the sort of thing that wives tolerate for decades and then grt sick and tired of?

    It’s disgusting that in this narrative you’ve created, it’s her fault for not accepting his changes and AGAIN her fault is she’s the one that “changes” . Except, in your example, SHE’S NOT CHANGING! This “incessant nagging” that pushes men away over DECADES is her saying over and over again “this is what I need” and him ignoring her until he gets fed up.

  3. sorry, fat fingered that.

    too many people focus on “stuff”, thinking that it will make them happy. all it usually does is make people want more, and ends up being a burden.

  4. “Our society pretends that women won’t reap what they sow…”

    I was watching some TV at the gym the other day (I rarely watch at home). Within a 30 minute span, I saw at least five scenes where a woman was physically assaulting a man: punching him, breaking plates over his head.

    It’s so clear that the (((media))) want to poison American relationships and marriages. And then when the family is destroyed, everybody can pay top-dollar for counseling, anti-depressants, alcohol, etc.

    We really have to be on guard. The sanctity of our homes are under constant assault.

  5. This is exactly what happened to me and my first wife. She threatened to get a divorce about once every month or so, and she would even pack a suitcase and leave the house for a few days or a week. Each time she did that, it made me worried and sad. But after she did this for about two years, something inside me snapped. I just couldn’t take any more of her anger and drama. Then, the next time she spoke of divorce and left, I actually felt glad that she was gone. After she came back a few days later, I felt so depressed.

    When I saw how my emotional reaction to her behavior had changed, I knew in my heart that our marriage was truly hopeless, and would soon be over. I finally started to believe all her talk about divorce, and started seeing her as a legal liability. I felt like I had to face the facts, and deal with it. I stopped trusting her, and believing that things would improve. Sure enough, it wasn’t long after that, she really did file for a divorce, and I was very glad to finally get her out of my life.

    Looking back, I can’t help but wonder how differently things might have turned out, if she had learned to settle down and enjoy married life, instead of trying to control everything, including me. I can only conclude that she only viewed marriage as a tool to advance her own purposes, and not as an opportunity to enjoy life together with another person.

    I am really glad to see this post. I wish more women would read this and become aware of how they have a choice to either build up their marriages with faith, or tear it down with foolishness.

  6. As there are two sides to every coin, there are two sides to marriage. And the only way to make a marriage work is for a man to love his wife as Christ loves the church and give himself up for her and for a woman to respect her husband. Obviously there was no love and respect in the marriage between TolstoI and his wife.
    Catherine, one of the commenters above this one, I see your side and I agree with your side only to a certain degree. I’m not the kind of person that just rolls over easily to everything my husband wants. But I believe 100% of the Bible tells us that we are to submit to one another. Not just the wife submit to the husband but the husband is to submit to the wife as well. It’s a give-and-take it’s an equal partnership. I think this post is very accurate in what happens to many marriages.

  7. A lot of women don’t understand how powerful their words and actions really are. Some men like to give off a stoic, gives no fuck attitude, but never believe it. Your words and actions do matter.

  8. Thanks, again, so much for writing this. I am often so blind to the way my husband experiences what I’m doing, or I pretend that it shouldn’t matter, or think that I am justified in my actions, and that simply isn’t the case. I have been really having trouble with some health issues lately, and I had no idea how my behavior in response to it was impacting my husband. I have been so focused on myself and my daughter that I had been ignoring (unintentionally) the things he has needed me to do.

  9. Sabrina, thank you for your comment. I agree with some of what you’ve written, but the Bible actually does command wives to submit to their husbands (and there can only be one real leader).

    I wonder if you could read my post on Sarah, Abraham’s wife, and come back later and tell me what you think after you’ve read that? It goes into depth as to why her submission to Abraham (in all kinds of horrible things they went through together), she was actually praised in the New Testament and we are commanded to be like her, become “her daughters” and to obey our husbands and without fear.

    I do believe that we as wives are made (created… purposed!!!) to follow our husbands’ in their callings and leadership. If Tolstoi had such strong convictions, it’s my personal belief she should have done everything she could to have supported him in her heart and follow through with her actions by trying to make there lives easier.

  10. Oh I agree we are to submit to our husbands, but Paul’s command for wives to submit to they’re husbands was nothing new. What was new was Eph 5:21, submit to one another. Often people like to omit that verse and go straight for wives submit. That isn’t accurate for the time period. Paul was giving husbands a new command to submit to wives as well and to love them as Christ loves the church. I have written 2 posts about equality in marriage and submitting. Maybe you could check them out as well. I did an in-depth study of that section of scripture and that’s what I learned.

  11. @Wayne Your comment would be a post all on it’s own, thank you for taking the time to write it. The most tragic thing for me in reading examples like this is how easily it could have been avoidable, and how much pain it brings husbands (and the wives indirectly – it’s not good for them to act like that in constant sin against him).
    Just so much unnecessary pain 😦

    Could I use it for a future post possibly?

  12. @FML Good to see you again! Again, just like with the Tolstoi marriage, it just sounds so painful and unnecessary! Of course that would be painful to hear something so apart of you blamed (something that should be kept private in my opinion!). I’m so utterly sorry, FML.

  13. Sabrina your taking Eph. 5:21 out of context. If Paul intended for husbands to submit to their wives he would have stated so. Instead he told women to submit to their husbands and for husbands to love their wives.

    The scriptures in Paul’s day were the Old Testament which means that anything Paul wrote has to be tested by those Scriptures.

    In Gen. 3:16 and 17. God clearly states that Adam would rule over her and that her desire would be for her husband. While the ground was cursed because Adam harkened – submitted – to his wife.

    Genesis 3:16-17 KJVS

    Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

    And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life;

    This is pattern Christian famlies are to follow…

  14. Stephanie having spent a half century dealing with a disobedient, demanding and controlling mother; along with 36 yrs of marriage I have just about reached the point where I no longer need, want or desire having a woman in my life.

  15. You explained it perfectly Dabir, thank you so much. I agree with everything you just said. Adam was cursed for listening (submitting) to his wife. Eve was cursed with a STRONG desire to control her husband (and every woman who’s honest with herself knows that’s true unfortunately). It can be tamed and controlled of course, but it’s strange how that desire is always there.

    I suspect it’s equally hard for men to not want to “listen” (submit) to their wives just the same.

  16. Paul is reminding wives to submit to their husbands, even though he is asking the husbands to submit to the wives as well. Paul wanted to make sure wives understood that this revolutionary idea wasn’t changing their role as wives. He was asking for a change in the reason why. He was asking the wives to submit because they “want to”, not because they have to. Paul was asking Christians to mutually submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. He was selfless and so should we be as well.

    Original Text

    The interesting thing is when you look at the original Greek, the word submit isn’t even in verse 22. It says, “wives to your husbands”. The “submit” is implied because of verse 21. However, the Lord is asking for submission none the less. Husbands submit to your wives and wives submit to your husbands, in everything.

    I think the reason we as wives have such a tough time with this is because of Genesis 3, after the fall, Eve is told by God she will desire her husbands position as leader. I touched on this in part 1. The thing we miss here is Gods original intent for marriage. It was intended as a beautiful partnership between man and woman. Two people working together in unity with God.


    The main thing to take away from this section of the Word is that men and women are to submit to one another.

    We are to work together like a well oiled machine. Together as a partnership working toward a common goal. If we are serving each other, we have less time to be selfish.

    I realize this is hard to swallow. We’ve been conditioned to believe we are less than our men, but that simply isn’t the case.

  17. The thing we miss here is Gods original intent for marriage. It was intended as a beautiful partnership between man and woman. Two people working together in unity with God.

    Well, technically Eve was created for Adam, and to be his “ezer kenegdo” – his helper in his greatest time of need. She was created for him and to help him, and to be a companion for him because God saw that it wasn’t good for man to be alone. Women were created for men and to be their helpers, not their leaders. Because of the fall, like you said, women have a strong desire to control (lead) their husbands and make their husbands submit to them.

    Two people working in a beautiful partnership together, both listening to each other makes sense to me and is right.

    Listening and taking into account each other’s ideas opinions etc. is not submission, though, it’s just being good partners.

    I believe women are coheirs with men, and God granted them both value and great worth – nothing in what I’ve said implies they are “less than our men” like you’re trying to say. Just because a wife believes she is supposed to follow her husband, and follow and support him in his purpose and mission, doesn’t diminish her own worth and glory – just like Sarah was actually PRAISED in the New Testament for obeying Abraham (even though he led her to deceive people and make others sin!), she’s still praised for her lack of fear (courage) and for her obedience to her husband.

    So if you mean that men and women are both coheirs of the Kingdom of God and both have equal value in the sight of God, if that’s what you mean by “equal” then I agree. But men and women are not equal in everything obviously… their strengths and weaknesses are designed to compliment each other.

    But again, practically, there can only be one leader. When both are arguing, and yet they need to take a step in one direction (as a couple – as a team), when they can’t just standstill because they both don’t agree and can’t each “submit to one another” because it’d be a standstill, then they HAVE to allow ONE person to make the final decision. What do you do when you strongly disagree with your husband on something? Do you just do your own thing, or do you follow him and trust that God will make it work for good and take care of you and your family?

  18. I of course mean men and women are equal in the sight of God.

    I totally agree that we are to submit to our husbands. I agree that our husbands are the leaders in our home. It keeps us safe under that umbrella.

    To answer your question, my husband and I rarely strongly disagree about anything. But if we did we discussed it until we came to a conclusion that we both could live with and that was inline with the Word. If we do come to an impasse, then my husband has the final word, but not before we discussed to where he can at least see my point of view. I trust the Lord to work things out for the good.

    I respect my husband as he loves me as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her.

    We serve each other and when 2 people are serving each other there isn’t much room for selfishness. Which is usually the biggest thing than can bring down a marriage.

    I know my view isn’t easy to swallow since it goes against the grain of many in the Christian community, but this is what I’ve learned.

    I do not think I have miss understanding scripture and I haven’t been convicted by the Lord and He is my sound board.

  19. I agree with what Sabrina says. Mutual understanding, communication, and consideration for each other’s opinion is the way to make marriage functional. I will give you another Russian example, the case of German Sterligov and his wife Alyona Sterligova. Much like Leo Tolstoi, he had a vision.
    However, sometimes what men are daydreaming can be pretty boyish.
    Women need to be listened to, sometimes, and men need to learn how to listen, in order to avoid falling into ideological traps. Similarly, women need to be guided, as well, when they become susceptible of falling into traps.
    It is true that this new society is meant to ruin family. By strictly submitting to a 2000 years old ideology, we will not make the best argument to fight this new world order movement that is looking to turn human society into honeybee society, where worker honeybees represent the majority, because they are non violent and submissive, drones are used mainly for mating, thus killed afterwards, and the queen (the upper class) is governing by keeping the worker honeybees hypnotized through a very strong pheromone release, in our world, the psychological manipulation.
    That is the grand plan, to which our ignorance, from both sides, is working hard to help accomplishing, to our own detriment.
    Not by looking into the past we can create a safe place for our sons and daughters, but rather through giving fair, equal rights to everybody.

  20. No Sabrina! You are simply wresting Paul’s words to justify your rebellion against the order of male authority that God established.

    This is feminism 101 and as it is stated in the Old Testament rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft whose practicers received the death penalty.

    There will be no feminists allowed to enter Heaven no matter what their religious profession happens to be.

  21. However, sometimes what men are daydreaming can be pretty boyish.
    Women need to be listened to, sometimes, and men need to learn how to listen, in order to avoid falling into ideological traps.

    It’s really interesting to me to see the different ideas Christian women have on this topic in the comments. To me, viewing your husband as “boyish” (ie: immature, not ready to lead, etc.) is not going to be helpful lol. Ideally, married couples should have their life and dreams mapped out BEFORE tying the knot! But since this is a Christian topic we’re dealing with, and I’ve been using Sarah and Abraham’s example to illustrate it, looking at her life with Abraham, there was no way she would have known that Abraham would have had the command from God to leave everything they owned (and they owned a ton and had an almost perfect life in Ur!) and to follow him all around the Arabian desert not even knowing where he was going to end up! And we’re called to be like her in her submission. That’s a serious thing and worth really studying.

    I can’t imagine her having that attitude of “you shouldn’t follow your convictions” or “you’re just so boyish that I can’t trust you to lead me.” That’s not the attitude she had at all – again the verses in the New Testament praise her for following without fear because she trusted God. It takes your faith to a whole new level – faith is not really faith when you have to have everything sorted out perfectly before you follow your husband or follow God.

    And to all, yes I do think it’s good for husbands to value their wives’ opinions and to listen to them, that’s not “submitting” to their wives though. Hopefully y’all can understand the huge difference between submitting to someone (doing what they want to do) and listening to their ideas and opinions and deciding if it makes more sense. And also, that’s not what Tolstoi’s wife was doing when she was throwing herself into hysterics and threatening to kill herself just because he wanted to live out his Christian convictions. Hopefully y’all can see that like I said in the post, that behavior is under the Cluster B and Borderline psychological disorders, and should never be used as a good method to get your husband to “listen” to you. Talking, sure, trying to persuade him, maybe… it all depends on how emotionally mature and respectful the wife is in the way she views her husband.

    Also, she was still supported financially, so it’s not that he was sinning by refusing to take care of them. And he wasn’t physically harming her either! She just had a craving for his wealth and fame and success and wanted more money from his books (which he felt convicted to give away).

  22. no worries. just a life wasted on someone who doesn’t appreciate the fact, that you were willing to lose yours, so her and the kids would be taken care of.

  23. Um wow! You do not get to condemn me. That isn’t your job. Judge me yes ( I’f you’re a believer) condemn me no!

    And I’m not a feminist. I am not rebelling against the order or things. I absolutely believe the Lord is over my husband and I submit to that authority!

    This is no longer a simple debate. You have now crossed the line! I’m done.

  24. I’m glad that you do that Sabrina! I was very glad to read your comment before, saying that you do follow his lead and trust God. That’s good!

    I get a lot of commenters here that have VERY very different beliefs sometimes. And I don’t let every comment through. There are a couple that I blocked on this post talking about a husband raping his wife that I didn’t let through because it had nothing to do with this post. But in general, I try not to moderate comments too heavily.

    I told my husband about your comment this morning and he also saw it the way Dabir does… that it’s twisting Scripture, even though you are doing the right thing eventually, in ultimately following your husband’s leading, you’re teaching other women that their husbands have to submit to them. Which would be a false teaching. 😦

  25. I see where Sabrina is coming from, and it is a trap that I am absolutely guilty of falling into myself. It is nice to be listened to, but there is nothing in scripture that says our husbands have to listen to us. There is nothing in scripture that says husbands must make wives *feel* safe, or *feel* cared for. And unlike Christ leading the church, our husbands are going to fail from time to time because they are humans suscptible to sin just like we are. However, we are called to obey them and submit to them regardless. Our marriage goes much smoother, and my husband is much happer when I submit without needing to be involved.

    During our premarital counseling the correct interpretation of Ephesians 5:21 came up, and I found it to be very stressful. I couldn’t get past the fact that Christians are called to submit to one another, except in the case of husbands to wives. I wasn’t looking forward to entering a union where I was automatically reduced to a lower station in the earthly kingdom. However, faith is about following God’s will and word even when we do not want to or understand why.

  26. @proprioceptivethreads, that is awesome and what a wonderful testimony of your faith that you follow God’s Word! You’re one of Sarah’s Daughters, Paul tells us, when you live out your faith in obedience and without giving way to fear like you are doing!!!

    Thank you for writing your own experience with this topic, I’m grateful you spoke up. It seems like it’s kind of controversial topic even among Christian women, and there’s a lot of confusion about it and false teachings out there.

    My husband and I also rarely have strong disagreements about anything, but last year or the year before I think, we did want to go two different directions on a decision about where we would continue to go to church. I had strong opinions on what I wanted and thought was best, and he also did that were the opposite. Obviously I followed him on his ultimate decision, and yes, we talked about it and he heard my concerns. It was wonderful to be able to trust that God would take care of us wherever we went because I knew God is God. When we try to force having to know every single detail of what and how and why our husbands are leading, it not only micromanages him (and no one likes to be micromanaged lol!) but it also lacks any degree of faith.

    Abraham had great faith. And Sarah also had great faith. They are BOTH mentioned in Hebrews 11 among the other “heroes of faith” who walked without sight of the future or having to have a detailed plan of what God was going to do with their lives. They simply obeyed what God told Abraham to do. It’s that simple, and yet profound.

  27. Excellent advice. Part of the problem here is the way we raise our daughters in the US. Always instilling in them that they must catch a good man, a man that will be good for them and good enough to deserve them. We rarely instruct young girls to be loving and respectful wives. We make a mistake in assuming that comes naturally to them.

    Another area for young wives to be aware of is that of playing gate keeper or refuser when it comes to sexual intimacy in their marriage. Your husband does not have to “earn” sex with you. Many ex wives (divorced after failed first marriages) lament that they were sexually unavailable to their husband. Want to destroy your husband’s love for you real quick? Just deny him sexual intimacy. And, please, when you make love with your husband, be actively engaged and do not act like it is a chore for you, or that it is “duty sex” to you.

    The reason there are so many Christian marriage blogs is that Christians are having a lot of problems with marriage.

  28. About Sabrina’s comments, I think I understand what she means, but it is a misleading overstatement to say that ‘husbands should submit to their wives’.
    From my studies of academic papers, I have gathered that it’s very important for husbands to be ‘accepting of their wives’ influence’, and I believe this is what Sabrina means. This could be considered a form of submission, but it’s quite different from submission in a hierarchical order.
    If we consider how the relationship between Christ and the church is an analogy of that of husbands and wives, it becomes clear that Christ/husbands have the authority, and should be accepting of the church’s/wives’ influence, and that the church/wives should submit to Christ/husbands in everything.

  29. Ephesians 5:21 really is misunderstood. I do not claim to have the full authority to dictate doctrine, but i do know that Scripture cannot contradict itself or else the whole thing (Bible, Christ, God, Salvation) is pointless.

    Ephesians is a letter to the Christians based in Ephesus and given to us for our edification so that we would know how to act accordingly. It is separated into sections just as any properly structured letter should. Each section is directed towards Christians, the Church as a whole and Christian families. Eph 5:21 thru Eph 6:9 are for the families with V21 as the introduction only. IF husbands and wives are to submit to each other, then parents and children are to submit to each other, than masters and slaves are to submit to each other, than 5:23 REQUIRES that the Church and Christ submit to each other. Do you really think that Christ is to submit to the Church or masters to their slaves, or parents to their children?

    Eph 5:22, is the only place you’ll find “submit to one another”. Yet, there are a couple more confirmations on the submission of the wife:
    1 Corinthians 11:3,8-9 “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. … For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”
    1 Peter 3:1 “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives”

    Now, there is also the verse (Gal 3:28) that says that “In Christ, there is no man nor woman, no Jew nor Gentile, etc..”. This has also been used as a pro-egalitarian view. Except that it’s completely used out of context. Yes, we all, as Christians, are equal. As Christians, we have the same value. This is the same as Christ and God being equal. They are both “God”. But…
    Even They had different purposes and different roles. Christ, being equal to God, submitted to God as His Father in His role as His Son. They are equal but play different roles just as the Husband and Wife are equal, in Christ, but have different roles to play. Just as God is the Head of Christ, Christ is the Head of the Husband, and the Husband is the head of the Wife. period.

  30. About Eph 5:21, you need to read the whole context, which includes chapter 6. Submission is yielding to authority, that is, acknowledging authority, and obeying it. “Submitting to one another” does NOT mean each one should submit to everyone else. It means groups/classes of people submit to other groups/classes of people: wives to husbands, children to parents, and slaves to masters.

  31. I came to my “breaking point” about 4 – 5 years ago. Everyone believes I am at fault because she told them so, just like Mrs Tolstoi. Her disrespect was mostly evident by what she did NOT do. She didn’t push, prod, and scold. Her control is more of the gatekeeping sort. She doesn’t force me to do things (usually), she opposes me doing things by foot-dragging, withholding … well, almost everything that I really needed and valued. She withheld affirmation, validation, information, loyalty, intimacy, beauty, respect…

    I’m not trying to vent. I just think it’s easy to see Mrs Tolstoi as the quintessential example of how to tear a husband apart. My wife, who I would divorce if not for circumstances, comes across as a sweet, patient, submissive, suffering woman. Her silent, invisible disrespect and contempt hurt me deeply. It will always hurt. Don’t think that you have to scream, gripe, and overtly insult your husband in order to cause deep depression, and wreck his ability to even function at work, let alone thrive in anything.

    My wife (who doesn’t forgive me of anything, real or imagined) has told me that I should forgive her. I asked her what I should forgive her for. She just said, “anything you’re holding against me.” She wants forgiveness without repentance (which a lot of churches endorse), and without the slightest admission. Mrs Tolstoi’s lack of admission/ownership of the cruelty of her actions sounds very familiar to me.

    If my wife, like those ladies you wrote about, were to tell me she was sorry … well.. she’d have to tell me what it was for, in the first place. But she would have to specifically repent before I would even slightly consider turning my spirit back to her. It isn’t only about loving feelings, or forgiveness. In order for a marriage to work, there has to be trust. She has shown how determined and diligent she can be to break me down. As I told her, I would not only need her to admit/own her own evil actions and thoughts, and to repent (to me as well as to God), but also to make a serious, concerted effort to repair all the many relationships she has destroyed by smearing me. I have seen how disingenuous she can be. I’d have to see the proof. At that point I /might consider/ staying.

    But really, I’m tired of living with a person who starves me of love, and pretends she does love me because she does laundry and cooks 2 or 3 nights a week — which I appreciate, I just know it isn’t a matter of love. I understand Leo’s aversion to Mrs T’s presence. I feel it all the time. It’s not a “christian” thing to feel, so you can’t tell your pastor or counselor about it. I think there are a lot of men who feel that, but won’t talk about it.

    Additionally, regarding the statement about borderline personality, I have to say that most people (husbands or wives) who behave this way, aren’t dealing with any kind of personality disorder. I was previously inclined to say my wife had a disorder, but I no longer think so. I think she has troubles stemming from her childhood. I think she has deep-seated fears and angers. And, I think she has chosen to deal with them by passive-aggressive, covert-aggressive means. There are a few traits that match vulnerable/covert narcissism, but it doesn’t matter. A label would only distract her from seeing herself in the light. She loves herself more than God, and too much to sacrifice for a husband. (I don’t see her treat others this way, or I might believe it to be a personality disorder). She feels justified and righteous, and is supported by many christians. My point is that is struggling to be respectful, kind, validating, etc., probably needs to examine his/her character, rather than blaming a diagnosis (my wife claimed to have Aspberger’s for a while, in order to dodge responsibility).

    Sorry this got so long. 🙂

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