Respecting him when you don’t necessarily want to…

Sunshine Mary has a really interesting post up about respecting your husband even if he is having trouble leading and/or following through. We don’t so much have a problem around here with my husband failing to lead, it’s more my keeping my mouth shut so he has the space to breathe, let alone lead. He is a great leader and is NOT forgetful, and I know this, but I still have difficulties with asking questions and making statements that will ultimately leave him feeling as if I am challenging his authority.

I am a work in progress, after all *gulp* and still unlearning feminism taught to me by my second wave mother, who still buys into the whole shebang. I would pray that after 25 years of marriage I can just learn to be QUIET and my naturally silent and thoughtful husband can and will do what he needs to for us to rebuild our lives.

I DO trust him, and for the most part my asking questions is NOT rebellion, just curiosity. But again, after so many years of running my mouth he does not trust ME or my motives. When I get to the point to where I am not reacting to things he is saying I know I will finally be in the right place. Or at least starting to get there! God give me grace and strength to submit fully and serve my husband with all my heart.

My big concern right now is supporting my niece, who is having a tremendously hard time with her husband. She is 27, married 5 years with one child. Her husband, brought up by a harridan feminist mother and a silent father, has fallen into drugs and poor choices. My niece had even worse parenting than I did, but is good, and smart, and a college graduate from a family that has only two: her and I. We actually went to community college together, and I made jokes to our classmates about changing her diapers, to her great chagrin. She is a loving Christian girl that is not fully invested in feminism or the female imperative, and there’s hope she can see her way all the way out.

I believe she wants to stay with him, but he is not leaving a clear path forward. He’s not willing to change at this point, and keeps denying the drug problem, even though it’s as plain as the nose on his face. I KNOW a large part of his problem is his meddlesome mother who owns their house although the small family is making the payments, and my niece by not relinquishing any space to lead. She is the “responsible” one in the family, and leads due to his “failing to lead”. I could show her this article, but I don’t know if she would listen, with the situation as serious as it is. She forced him out of the house after she caught him making “shake and bake” meth with a 2 liter bottle in their basement, to protect their daughter and home, and I don’t blame her. But he is not too far gone. He CAN go back to rehab, and back to church. Amongst many things, I told her that she needs help from the men in her life, such as their pastor and her father-in-law. She has no father to turn to, and her mother is a drug addict and a wreck. If he wants back in the home, and I think he does, the men can help convince him to go to rehab and to straighten out his act, in ways that she can’t, and probably shouldn’t.

How would you advise her?