Counseling someone

    I’m talking with a woman whose husband is going overboard with family structure and he’s treating her like one of the kids. He has her & the kids wear a uniform, and he’s talking about domestic discipline. (As a side note, I totally agree with Paul & Lori’s article on that topic)

    She believes in submission, as I do, but said this feels yucky–I agree! Anyone else feel that way?

    Personally I wouldn’t feel close to my husband, I think it would interfere with us really being a couple. I don’t understand her husband’s reasoning–does he really want a wife who feels like a daughter?

    I said to submit to her husband but tell him how she feels. What would you say?

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    12 Answer(s)

      I’m another person who thinks she should go to her pastor or church leadership, it sounds like there needs to be some spiritual counsel for him.

      Under the stars Answered on September 17, 2019.

      Good idea… I’m only in contact with her, not him, and am not sure if he is open to church counseling but I’ll suggest it.

      on September 18, 2019.
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        You are right to feel uneasy. I would tell her that submission doesn’t mean being a doormat. Male headship doesn’t mean he is able to give out orders like some petty dictator. She is an equal partner in the marriage relationship.

        This situation is ripe with the potential for abuse. Men who think they’re God are dangerous.

        Hammock Answered on September 17, 2019.

        You might be right about his motives. She did say that “it’s getting to his head.” If he really is thinking of himself like a dictator, you’re right about the potential for abuse, and in that case I’m concerned for the children too.

        Even if he’s not oppressive, I still don’t like the impact his actions have on her feelings in marriage.

        on September 18, 2019.
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          This is so sad. She needs support. He needs help!

          Blanket on a secluded beach! Answered on September 17, 2019.

          Yes, please pray for them & also for me to say the right things!

          on September 18, 2019.
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            This isn’t a marriage issue. it is an emotional abuse issue that is occurring in marriage. If her opinion, thoughts, or concerns are not valued, or dismissed, and he is demanding to be treated with respect in these ways, than he is sinning against his wife, children, and God. If she gives in to such demands, she is enabling his sinful behaviors. It is likely that this will continue or gets worse if she simply looks at the submission verse only. She needs to be empowered to stand up against sin, out of love for her husband and God. At minimum, please go to Leslie vernicks website and read, watch her videos on this.  I guarantee this will give greater clarity as to what I am saying.

            Cot Answered on September 20, 2019.

            That is very insightful… until now I’ve been thinking only about his unusual view of marriage, but that is so true about him overlooking her feelings.

            I’ve been to Leslie Vernick’s website and plan to look more into it!

            on September 21, 2019.
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              Wow! 😯😧😲 This is sounding more and more unhealthy and abuse as you describe the situation more. If it were my sister, I’d tell her this is not normal nor do I believe a Biblical example of marriage servanthood or what the latter parts of Eph. 5 describe.  It sounds like a parent/child, abusive relationship, not a normal healthy relationship and marriage. I’d tell her to see her pastor or find a new church if he was supporting this. If he is, from my observation & experience, it’s a small, legalistic church. No husband should demand his wife submit like that. Submission is to be mutually and given freely.

              The fact that he doesn’t want to talk about it or have her talk to anyone is a BIG RED FLAG. She needs to see a Christian counselor and a separation is in order after going to the church leadership for help.

              I read this to my wife and she said that sounds so humiliating and that submission demanded is control. She also said he is an ass 🤣🤣🤣 and he should repent.  He probably won’t repent because he thinks he’s right, then she should separate under the direction of a Christian counselor with a plan for restoration when her husband gets his head out of his backside.  🤣🤣 ( I love my wife.)

              Queen bed Answered on September 20, 2019.

              Thank you both. 🙂 If only I could be half as blunt!

              As far as I know, he hasn’t told her not to seek outside help, I was just saying it could easily come to that. She said all of this is new, and I’m hoping he will snap out of it soon!

              on September 21, 2019.

              Sadly, Kay, my experience says he will not snap out of it without outside intervention. Either with counseling and/or spiritual leadership intervention and with her setting boundaries which will definitely upset the apple cart for awhile to get his attention.

              on September 21, 2019.
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                That’s disturbing. Can she identify how this started? How long has she been married and has he always had this mindset or has this been a recent turn of events? What have been his outside influences? If she feels that he is NOT getting this from the church they attend, then she needs to go talk with their pastor. If this is church related, then I’d be very concerned for your friend.

                Hammock Answered on September 17, 2019.

                Yes, it started only a month ago when they started family meetings… It was supposed to be a time when they would vote on decisions, but things went downhill.  I don’t know how long they’ve been married except their children are young. (It’s someone I met at the chatline where I volunteer, and now we’re in contact by email.) Yes, hopefully their church does not share the same position & is able to help.

                on September 18, 2019.
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                  This is odd and disheartening.  I agree with LIL that she needs to go to her Pastor or Pastor’s wife to share with them what is happening if he will not listen or come to reason.  Submission is in the Scripture…still, the wife can reason with the husband about how she is thinking and feeling.

                  Fell out of ... Answered on September 17, 2019.

                  Yes it is odd, but as random as it is,  I came across a website promoting things like that just a few months ago and I’ve been really distressed over it. It seems like God led me to her because of the things I’ve studied on that topic over the past 4 months.

                  on September 18, 2019.
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                    If I was a woman, I would say treat me like a wife, not a daughter, or we’re going to counselling!

                    Queen bed Answered on September 17, 2019.

                    I hope he is open to counseling!

                    on September 18, 2019.
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                      The opposite of a family with healthy rules, Authoritative family leadership, is one with excessive dominance called Authoritarian.  The rules and the attitude of an Authoritarian leadership likely cannot be changed without dealing with the past hurts and pains, failures and sins.  Plan, prepare, seek good godly counsel, re-plan, know the Word on the issues at hand, and never stop praying and moving towards your God given goal of healthy love and leadership for your family.  I am praying for your friend.

                      California King Answered on September 17, 2019.

                      Yes, Authoritarian can be damaging, not just for marriage but also for children.

                      When you say “past hurts and pains, failures and sins” you mean her husband’s past hurts are causing his behavior? Or the family’s hurt as a result of his actions?

                      on September 18, 2019.
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                        I’d read “The Emotionally Destructive Marriage” with her, by Leslie Vernick.

                        Cot Answered on September 17, 2019.

                        Thank you!

                        on September 18, 2019.
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