My desire is to respect my husband and be submissive, but I often feel like when I express a need or desire, he doesn’t hear or realize how important it is to me unless I keep bringing it up. Examples would be things like wanting to paint the bathroom, start a garden, visit my parents who live 2 hours away, donate clothing to a charity, or volunteer at my church. Often, when I bring up things like this that I’d like to do, he doesn’t give me an outright “no” but he’s very reluctant to give the go-ahead too. Then, if he does consent, I feel guilty — like I’ve twisted his arm or something. Do I need to be asking permission all the time? People tell me I should just go ahead and do things without waiting for his consent. I feel like I’m viewed as a push-over (and I feel like one myself sometimes), but I really don’t want to overstep my bounds and assert myself in a way that would not honor my husband.

Debi Answers:

Paint your own bathroom. Mike has NEVER painted mine. If you want a garden, then YOU do it. Dig up just a 4 × 4 space for one. Do it by hand. Go visit your parents when he is at work. Donate your own stuff to charity. If he wants to volunteer at church, that is his business. You can volunteer to work while he is gone.

– Debi Pearl