No one is perfect, and this is especially true in marriage. Marriage is the closest relationship you will ever have with another person. As a result, marriage reveals two people’s greatest flaws.
When you’re a wife, you experience both the greatest joys and deepest hurts that come with marriage. There will be times of laughing and times of sorrow. One example of sorrow is when your husband hurts you (and unfortunately, it will happen; remember, we’re all imperfect). Here are some practical ways to respond when your husband hurts you, and honour God in your response.
1. Don’t say anything right away.
Chances are, whatever it is your husband confesses to you is going to hurt you; maybe hurt you very deeply. You may be able to just take a breath and move on, or you may be left reeling for a couple days. No matter the gravity of your husband’s confession, give yourself a few minutes to process. Personally, I need to internally process something before I can even hope to communicate my feelings clearly in a tense situation. Take all the time you need, but even more importantly, communicate that to your husband.
2. Stay calm.
This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the first point, but staying calm is crucial. First of all, your husband has really just stuck his neck out to confess something to you, and the last thing he needs is to be called all kinds of names or yelled at for doing something so dumb. Trust me: if he’s confessing to you, it’s because he has been convicted and knows he needs to tell you. Now is not the time to preach at him.
When your husband hurts you, the last thing you are going to feel like doing is praying. Yet it is the best thing you can do. Satan is going to try and use hurts, arguments, and anger to tear your marriage apart. God created marriage, and Satan doesn’t want to see it succeed. You could be strongly tempted to completely shut down and harbour bitterness toward your husband, but you need to say “no” to the temptation. Instead, pray. Even if it’s just a “help, God.”
4. Forgive. And forgive. Then forgive again.
For the longest time, I thought forgiveness was a sweet emotion that came a couple days after someone hurt me, and then all would be right in the world again. But I quickly learned that forgiveness is a hard, often painful choice. It is not easy to forgive someone. Look at what Jesus had to go through so that the Father might be able to forgive us through Him! Yet because of His great love, Christ died for us, despite the pain. It was a hard choice for Him to make, yet out of love He chose the path of forgiveness.
You are going to have to decide to forgive your spouse when he hurts you. And then the next morning when you wake up and remember the hurt, you will have to forgive him again. Then a few days later, you’ll be walking into work and Satan will remind you of what he did, and you’ll have to forgive again. You’ll have to ask God to help you to forgive your husband over and over and over again. It will be hard. But guess what? It will slowly become less and less difficult to forgive him. When we remember how much God has forgiven in us, it becomes an easier choice to make. You do not have to feel forgiving in order to forgive.
5. Talk it out.
Before I got married, I always heard that communication is important in marriage. When I got married, I realized it wasn’t just important…it was crucial to having a God-honouring, thriving marriage.
When you’ve had a chance to calm down and think a little more clearly, listen to everything your husband has to say. Ask questions, even if you’re not sure you want to know the answers. Complete transparency is important. Then share how you’re feeling (calmly) and how this affects you. Please don’t shut down and block out the problem. Be brave and deal with it head-on, relying on God for His perfect strength.
6. Get some support.
Honestly, this is somewhat optional. Depending on what your husband confesses to you, it may be wise to seek other Christian help, such as talking through the issue with a trusted pastor or mentor. If the issue is serious, don’t try to deal with it alone! Talking to others can go a long way to bring you both closer to healing.
This is also a good idea if conversations between you and your husband aren’t going well. If you seem to flare up and speak out of anger, it is wise to have a wise Christian person “moderate” these discussions so that effective communication can happen. There is absolutely no shame in asking for help! We were all made for community, and God often works in our lives through other believers.
7. Stay on your husband’s side.
Remember, he is hurting too. It took a lot of courage for him to talk to you, especially if he knew it would hurt you. Yes, you may be hurting, but you are his wife. He needs your support, especially right now. Try to encourage him, let him know he’s forgiven, and that you’re not going anywhere. No, you don’t need to overlook the offense—it will need to be dealt with—but through that, you still love him. Satan is trying to pull you apart. If he can turn you against each other, he has won. Don’t give him that advantage. Fight for your marriage! A strong marriage is so worth it.
8. Have courage…take heart.
Sister, take heart. The Lord of Lords and eternally-loving Father is near. He hears your cries and feels your broken heart. He will never leave, nor forsake you. He is with you every step, and the struggles you’re going through right now will pass. It is in our struggles that we see His strength.
A verse that has really encouraged me is 1 Peter 5:10:
And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
What a wonderful promise! Paul doesn’t deny that we will struggle, but he says that there is an end to the suffering. And not only that, but God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
I hope this has helped some of you. If you have any questions or comments, you can email me by going to the Ask a Question tab at the top of the page or you can leave a comment below. Blessings!