How do I do what God commands: respect my husband when I really want to choke him!?

I'm really not going to choke him.  kidding.  Here's the deal: as is for many of you my faith means everything to me.  I am SOOOOOOOOO struggling how to respect my husband as is God's command when his ADHD drives me crazy.  I feel like life is just easier if I let him do what he wants but I so disagree with him at times.  Example: got ourselves into huge credit card debt and I took on a second job to pay it off.  Instead of helping me he in turn has tried to get more credit and loans. funny thing is he need my income to qualify for anything and he can't get anything on his own so then he is mad at me again.  How do I respect that behavior?  He would never pay off his debt if I wasn't forcing him to do so. He thinks because he is the "man of the house" that if we disagree he should get the final word.  Some of these decisions are detrimental to our kids and I am beside myself to try to step back and have him treat them with rudeness and anger.  He comes from a household that was very dysfunctional and VERY controlling. He tries to do this with the kids especially our 15 year old son. Great kid and dealing with typical teen issues.  Just got his driving permit and we were discussing the "speed limit".  The kid is well aware of the speed limit and my view is if he gets a ticket he is paying for it and the hike in our insurance premium and I will take his cell phone (best punishment ever!).  My husband just screams at him to DRIVE 55.  In a few months we wont be in the vehicle to watch him anyway and he has to make his own decisions and deal with the consequences.  How do I show respect for my husband without being trampled by his anger and "my way or the highway" expectation of me?


treating kids with rudeness and anger

I will admit up front that I don't buy the "man of the house" thing - so you know my bias...

You are both parents to those children.  Respectful behavior shouldn't be "optional" in the home.  While you don't want to give him the what for for his rudeness in front of the kids (this challenge to his authority will likely set him off unnecessarily) you certainly should speak with him about living in a respectful and loving way when you are in private with the very specific goal of suggesting he ought to consider different behavior.  If he thinks about the Bible, use that as support.  There are some absolutes in relationships, and I personally believe that treating each other with respect should be one of them.  Which is not to say that I have always done well by that - we all fall down sometimes - but it should be how we seek to act.  So - don't just "step back" but also recognize that you shoot yourself in the foot if you confront him in front of them.

On the driving thing - if you live in a place like us (Boston) driving 55 can actually be dangerous - too much traffic weaving around you as traffic generally moves faster than that.  Perhaps good advice would be "don't stand out in traffic" and make sure you aren't in the fastest 25% on the road?  Your son will probably be safer if he's in the middle lane moving with traffic than if he is strictly following 55 (which will keep him in the right lane where so much traffic is moving on and off the road.)  That may just be around here, though.

Can't speak to the debt issue - I see this quite a bit and it sucks.  I suspect that a good way to deal with it is just staying in touch - coordinating - around financial issues...

As the man of the house, he

As the man of the house, he should not put his family in peril.  If he is pulling that card out, you can easily quote him Scripture about taking care of his family.  No, he does not get to run his family into debt and get respected for that!  He has to be doing what is right in the eyes of God in order to be respected!  I can look up passages for you if you'd like.  It would probably make him angry though, if he is used to just doing as he likes and letting you clean up the mess.

It's not going to be easy to change this.  Would he be willing to go to a Dave Ramsey seminar?  Dave has made the mistakes a couple of times, and now he teaches couples and families how to stay OUT of debt and get out of the debt they're in.  But both people have to be on approximately the same page - if one spouse tries to budget and the other one goes out and ruins things by running up more credit, that's a marriage problem.

And yelling at your son also does not gain him respect.  It's hard to resist, but yelling at teenagers just makes them more truculent.  If your son starts to feel that his dad yells at him for nothing, he might decide that driving fast when Dad's not around is pretty fun.  Driving is a skill that takes YEARS to perfect, and involves thousands of decisions on every trip, even 1/2 mile to the grocery store.  I recommend that the more patient parent do the driver training.  And the highway miles should come pretty far into the training, although the driver training schools around here stick the students on the highway on about the 4th lesson.  Driver training is almost mandatory here, and it really helps, although you will still have to put in many, many hours with your son in order for him to get his license.  The more, the better.  I hope he doesn't have ADHD!  We delayed our son from driving until he was nearly 18, he simply wasn't ready.  Anyway, that could be a BOOK!

You and your husband need to sit down and discuss these things in a reasonable way.  The debt issue is very problematic, because with his attitude, you will never catch up.  As soon as you start to fill in the hole, he will dig it even deeper.  Counseling might be helpful.  But if he would agree to a budget program, that would be great.

I wish there were more

I wish there were more answers here. I feel the same as you.


for you though Id suggest seeing your pastor. Your husband isnt keeping up with his end with the debt. He isnt being teh leader of his home. and yes you are to let him settle disagreements since he is the husband but I too am stuggling with this since my DH leaves everything up to me.

I have similar issues...

I have similar issues with my husband when it comes to finances.  He wants to be in control as the man of the home but he doesn't handle money well and has done the same thing to me, using my credit and my money and then just seeking more loans to pay the loans we already have.  Then what makes me so confused and upset is that he demands respect, as the Bible teaches, and tells me I have no faith in him to provide.  We have been married for 7 years and he has had over 30 jobs and only one of them he had for more than 6 months (the rest were a few weeks to a few months).  How do i respect that?  How do I have faith in him to provide or pay debt?  I filed chapter 7 a little over a year ago.  It devastated me but I had no choice, I was drowning in debt and he wasn't helping me at all financially.  Now I'm back on my feet again and i absolutely will not allow this to happen to me again.  I refuse to get any credit cards, if I can't pay cash I don't buy it.  I don't let him handle any of the money and I pay all the bills.  But this is so depressing to me because i married him to have a partner in life and I feel like I'm taking care of a child.  I know this is not what marriage was meant to be.  I also know this must be hard for him to accept but I don't feel like I have a choice but to take charge.