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Forgiving Your Husband

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Review an evaluation checklist of offenses that husbands typically commit against their wives.

Family Counseling Ministries   -

In order to forgive her husband, a wife must acknowledge the offenses he has committed against her.

Most women who are unhappily married are not fully aware of the specific ways that their husbands have offended them. Many wives harbor resentment in their hearts toward their husbands, but they are often unable to determine the exact reasons why. Dr. Dunlap explains why it is necessary for a wife to list the areas in which her husband has hurt her. This article is a checklist to help women identify 123 ways that husbands typically offend their wives.

Listed below are some of the offenses that husbands typically commit against their wives. As women read through this list, it is a good idea to check the items that apply to their individual situations. Then they should use those items as a guide to specifically forgive their husbands.


I forgive my husband for:

___1. Ignoring me

___2. Not valuing my opinions

___3. Paying more attention to other people than to me

___4. Not listening to me, or not understanding what I feel is important

___5. Closing me out by not talking to me, or by not listening to me (the Silent Treatment)

___6. Being easily distracted when I try to talk with him

___7. Not scheduling special time to be with me

___8. Not being open to talk about things that he doesn’t understand

___9. Not being open to talk about things that I don’t understand

___10. Not giving me a chance to fully voice my opinions on decisions that affect the entire family

___11. Punishing me by being angry or silent

___12. Making jokes about certain aspects of my life

___13. Making sarcastic comments about me

___14. Insulting me in front of other people

___15. Answering back at me with quick retorts when we are arguing

___16. Admonishing me harshly

___17. Using careless words before he thinks through how they will affect me

___18. Nagging me harshly

___19. Correcting me before he gives me a chance to fully explain a situation

___20. Raising his voice at me

___21. Making critical comments that seem to have no logical basis

___22. Swearing at me or using foul language in my presence

___23. Correcting me in public

___24. Being tactless when he points out my weaknesses or “blind spots”

___25. Reminding me angrily that he warned me not to do something

___26. Having disgusted or judgmental attitudes toward me

___27. Pressuring me when I am already feeling low or offended

___28. Lecturing me when I need to be comforted, encouraged, or treated gently

___29. Breaking promises without any explanation or without asking to be released from the promise

___30. Telling me how wonderful other women are and comparing me to other women

___31. Holding onto resentment about something that I did and which I tried to make right

___32. Being disrespectful to my family members and other relatives

___33. Coercing me into arguments

___34. Correcting or angrily punishing me for something that I am not guilty of

___35. Not praising me for something that I did well, even if I did it for him

___36. Treating me like a child

___37. Being rude to me or to other people when we are in public (such as restaurant personnel or store clerks)

___38. Being unaware of my needs

___39. Being ungrateful

___40. Not trusting me

___41. Not approving of what I do or how I do it

___42. Not being interested in my personal growth or my spiritual growth

___43. Being inconsistent or having double standards (doing things that he doesn’t want me to do)

___44. Not giving me advice when I really need it and ask for it

___45. Not telling me in specific ways that he loves me

___46. Having proud and arrogant attitudes in general

___47. Not giving me the daily encouragement that I need

___48. Failing to include me in conversations when we are out together with other people

___49. Failing to spend focused time with me when we attend social gatherings

___50. Continuing a discussion or arguing a point, simply to prove that he was right

___51. Ignoring me in our home, as if I weren’t a member of the family

___52. Not taking time at the end of the day to listen to what is important to me

___53. Not paying any attention to me at social gatherings

___54. Not attending church with us as a family

___55. Failing to honestly express to me his innermost feelings

___56. Showing more excitement for work and other activities than for me

___57. Being impolite at mealtimes

___58. Having sloppy manners around the house or in front of others

___59. Not inviting me out regularly on special romantic dates (just the two of us)

___60. Not helping me with the children at extra stressful times, such as before mealtimes or at bedtime

___61. Not volunteering to help me with the dishes occasionally—or with cleaning the house

___62. Making me feel stupid when I share an idea about his work or about decisions that need to be made

___63. Making me feel unworthy for desiring certain furniture or insurance or other material needs for myself and for the family

___64. Not being consistent with the discipline of the children

___65. Not taking an interest in playing with the children and not spending quality and quantity time with them

___66. Not showing affection for me in public, like holding my hand or putting his arm around me (as though he is embarrassed to be with me)

___67. Not sharing his life, his ideas or his feelings with me (such as what’s going on at work)

___68. Not being the spiritual leader of our home

___69. Demanding me to submit to him

___70. Demanding me to respond to him sexually when we are not in harmony with one another

___71. Being unwilling to readily admit when he is wrong

___72. Being defensive whenever I point out one of his “blind spots”

___73. Being too busy with work or other activities

___74. Not showing compassion and understanding for the children and me when there is a real need to do so

___75. Not planning for the future, which makes me very insecure

___76. Being stingy with money, making me feel that I have to beg for every penny

___77. Wanting to do things sexually that make me feel embarrassed

___78. Reading pornographic magazines or watching indiscreet videos

___79. Forcing me to make many of the decisions regarding the checkbook and bills

___80. Forcing me to handle bill collectors and overdue bills

___81. Not letting me lean on his gentleness and strength (or not having gentleness and strength for me to lean on)

___82. Not allowing me to fail—always believing that he has to correct me

___83. Refusing to recognize my uniqueness and my differences as a woman

___84. Criticizing my womanly characteristics or sensitivity as “weakness”

___85. Spending too much money and placing the family under financial pressure

___86. Not having a sense of humor and not joking about things with me

___87. Not sending me special love letters or hand-written notes from time to time

___88. Forgetting special occasions such as anniversaries or birthdays

___89. Not defending me when someone else criticizes me or tears me down, especially if it is one of his relatives or friends

___90. Not putting his arms around me, and hugging me when I need to be comforted

___91. Not bragging to other people about me

___92. Being dishonest

___93. Discouraging me when I try to better myself, either through education or through exercise

___94. Continuing to practice distasteful or harmful habits

___95. Not treating me gently

___96. Ignoring my relatives and the people who are important to me

___97. Taking me for granted; assuming that “a woman’s work is never done”

___98. Not including me in future plans until the last minute

___99. Seldom doing little unexpected things for me to let me know that he loves me and appreciates me

___100. Not treating me as an intellectual equal

___101. Viewing me as a weaker individual in general

___102. Being preoccupied with his own goals and needs and making me feel that the children and I are not his top priority

___103. Threatening to never let me do something again because I made some mistake in the past

___104. Criticizing me behind my back (This is especially painful for me if I hear about his criticism from someone else.)

___105. Blaming me for things in our relationship that are clearly his fault

___106. Not being aware of my physical limitations; treating me like a man, by roughhousing with me or making me carry heavy objects

___107. Being impatient or angry with me when I can’t keep up with his schedule or his physical stamina

___108. Acting as though he is a martyr if he goes along with my opinions

___109. Sulking when I challenge his comments

___110. Joining too many organizations that exclude the children and me

___111. Failing to repair items around the house

___112. Watching too much TV and neglecting family time

___113. Demanding that I must sit down and listen to his point of view when I need to be doing other things

___114. Insisting upon lecturing me in order to convey the importance of the points that he wants to make

___115. Humiliating me with words and actions; saying things such as, “I can’t stand to live in a messy house.”

___116. Not taking the time to prepare me to enjoy sexual intimacy

___117. Spending money extravagantly, without faithfully giving to God

___118. Avoiding family activities that the children enjoy

___119. Taking vacations that are primarily what he wants to do

___120. Not letting me get away to spend time with friends, go shopping, go out for coffee and dessert at a restaurant, etc.

___121. Being unwilling to join me in the things that I enjoy, like shopping, going out for coffee and dessert at a restaurant, etc.

___122. Not understanding the challenging responsibilities that a wife has: laundry, cooking, picking up clothes and toys all day long, wiping runny noses, changing diapers, etc.

___123. Refusing to be self-sacrificial by regularly touching me in non-sexual ways, strictly for my pleasure and enjoyment, not leading to sexual intercourse


As each wife reads through this list and checks the various items that pertain to her relationship with her husband, she should seek God’s grace to begin the forgiveness process immediately.


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