Godly Wife to Modern Husband?


#1

Tuesday night after things had winded down I finally got the nerve to bring up plainness and headcovering. The background on this leading is that I’ve been (mostly) solidly resisting it for five or six years now. I’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting against taking it back up and within the last two weeks God has been grinding hard at me over it. I couldn’t take the pressure anymore! But at the same time, I knew I had to get Kevin’s nod of agreement. I hate to use the word permission, because it denotes the wrong sort of sentiment, but I did need his, "Sure, I can dig it. I’m on board with that, " kinda thing.

His reaction was not what I was hoping for, to say the least. The way he spoke about it was that my words and vague description brought up the mental image of either a nun’s habit, a burka or a bonnet and cape dress. I thought, “Lord, how can you pound me into following Your Will for so long and then keep me from doing it? ARGH!!!”

I didn’t say anything Wednesday morning about it, though I didn’t remotely have peace in my heart. When I got dressed, I put on a long denim skirt, cream-colored long-sleeve blouse and black stockings. Exactly what “plain” means for me, sans headcovering, of course. Tuesday, for reference, I had on my favorite black turtleneck sweater (it’s been chilly here), a long black skirt with red and tan flowers patterned on it and black stockings - also exactly befitting my personal plainness - and he complimented how nice I looked the second he got in the car. He’s told me flat out that he prefers black stockings to the regular tan ones, stated he prefers I grow my hair long again rather than keep it short and freely complimented the modest dresses I’ve made myself, so I hope it’s evident the confusion I was feeling as well when he said he doesn’t want me to be plain.

I wanted to try to stimulate a conversation, so I sat down and wrote out what turned into six legal-size pages worth of notes on the previous night. I explained my feelings, described how I’d come to them, went more in-depth with my personal faith journey and that I understand his path isn’t mine, etc. I told him about why I studied Judaism and attended a Temple for some time and how the Lord was quick to point out when He felt I had learned enough there, that I misjudged why God sent me there (I thought He intended me to convert, rather than to just study and provide a firm rooting for my faith) because I’m just an imperfect human, and so on and so forth. I folded it and tucked it into the book he is reading, where I knew he would see it.

Now, you may be asking yourself why I would write my mister a letter when I could just as easily have opened my mouth at the dinner table. The simple, honest answer is if you’re married to a silver-tongued Irishman, you would understand. :slight_smile: It’s incredibly difficult to get a word in edgewise when he gets rambling on about this or that! Not only that, when we first met, we wrote letters to each other through e-mail and snail mail (I always sent the latter, s.w.a.k. of course, and he has faithfully kept every single one), so I hoped it would bring about that old rosy glow.

The letter worked like a charm. It gave me a single voice he couldn’t interrupt and allowed me to air all of my concerns and feelings in one clip. He sat down on the couch after he had read it and we did indeed discuss. Now, I know that I have to work or we’ll be sunk, I’ve mentioned that here before, so obviously I don’t plan to craft grass skirts and pluck a ukelele for money. That might suit some people, but with Baby #2 about three months from making his or her appearance, it’s simply unwise. He voiced his fears that our paths were too divergent and that he can’t keep up with my holiness (his word, not mine), which I can understand, but I didn’t have the words to allay that fear. I showed him a pretty A-line square necked jumper pattern I found, and he said he liked the “more contemporary” knee length, but the ankle length was “too Amish”.

He also said he can’t see the point of view that I should cover up for all but him in what he described as an 18th century perspective, and that he likes showing me off. And I didn’t think of it until later on, but it occurred to me that it came across as sounding like he wants to parade me around like a prize with which to make other people jealous. On the other hand, it could be that having a well-made-up-me on his arm is a little bump to his self-esteem and a source of happiness.

I know Kevin better than to think he wants me to wear skimpy outfits and whorish makeup, so that’s not my concern, but I don’t know where exactly that grey area between plain/modest and fancy/immodest is. But where’s the line between trophy wife and healthy morale booster? And where does obedience to God’s Will fall in that? Is it possible to obey both God and man? How does one be a godly wife to a thoroughly modern, wordly husband?


#2

My dear friend

Welcome to the forums. And congrats on the baby. I think the ladies here may be more help. I remember a story of a saint queen who dressed very, very plain but to keep the king happy she would doll herself up when ever he returned from a trip away. Perhaps you can both compromise a bit like this for different occasions. It’s not a sin to wear make up and nice clothes etc and hubby will be happier if one does on occasion at least. The girls may give better answers I bet.

May God bless you:thumbsup::slight_smile:
John


#3

There’s huge room for compromise here.

It’s very important, of course, to understand and get your husband’s opinion. I think you are doing your wifely duty by doing so.

I, too, wish to plain dress and headcover, but it’s not going to happen. My husband, totally, would not be happy about that. He even snarls his nose when I mention just wearing skirts.

So compromise.

My DH likes to see me in jeans and tennis shoes. What do I do … wear those around the house. He likes to see me in pretty nightgowns, etc … you get the picture :smiley: and I do that as well…

I think you can wear clothes like the ones your husband complimented you on … wear a little make up and mascara, just enough to enhance your features, compromise with a pretty head band (rather large) for your head covering everyday … and I would bet your husband would be very happy. Cover your head more while praying formally at home and at mass.

You can be plain and not frumpy … I think our husbands are scared that our outward appearance may change the way we take care of them in … ahem … other areas.

The thing that I think you have to most concerned about is that he feels you are acting holier than him or something … It’s very important that we don’t make them feel that way, especially through our actions and if dressing more modern, yet modest, for your husband will keep those feelings at bay, you must compromise.

(now, I’m sure someone might say something about my post and know that I don’t care what anyone thinks … this is my personal experience)

God bless!


#4

Hello, a trophy wife is a gorgeous young woman who’s married to a rich ,usually , older man who’s not really good looking,and who dresses either revealing or glamorous …you don’t sound like a trophy wife b/c you said you work, right?..Anyway, you could compromise, wear a headcovering only at church, if he really doesn’t like it…or wear one part of the day…and I don’t see anything wrong with long skirts, I love long skirts…As far as makeup, it’s very possible to wear makeup in a very modest, tasteful way…He sounds reasonable…Good luck:)


#5

The first thing that struck me was when you brought it up, he said no, however, when you put on the clothes you felt were plain, he complimented on them. I think it is a difference of definitions of what plain is. He may be thinking Amish/old order Mennonite. You are thinking “more conservative but modern and/or classic style”. Does that make sense? Also, when you add in coverings, that makes most think of Amish. Again, he may be concerned that you will change to that style, which may lead to the horse and buggy (LOL). :smiley:

So, perhaps doing some of the compromises as suggested, along with doing what you are currently doing will help. He may just not understand what you mean.

As far as he “parading” around with you on his arm, even scriptures say the Godly woman is someone for the husband to receive praise about. Proverbs woman (31): verse 11 “Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.”


#6

Thanks for the welcome and congrats! It’s not so much the wearing of makeup that I’m concerned about, so much as the vanity that goes along with it, the checking and fixing and whatnot. I feel the wrong sort of pride present in that kind of primping. Of course, being clean, neat and presentable isn’t prideful or vain, it’s rather what I think the Lord expects of us when not engaged in some sort of inherently grubby task (cleaning, gardening, etc.), and most especially at Mass.

I have a black lace mantilla that I wore at our old parish before we moved, but haven’t worn it recently because we’ve been trying to find one locally that we fit into that isn’t of the sort with a band and folding chairs and happy-happy-feel-good style. (Nothing wrong with that if it fits you, it just isn’t for us.) We went to one last week that seems like it’ll be a good fit, so I’m planning to resume wearing it for Mass.

I had to chuckle at your other note there, as I’ve been especially conscientious about keeping things…ahem, business as usual, and trying to put forward the feeling that I haven’t changed or become someone else. I think it’s been helpful because while I haven’t changed my mode of dress, things did simmer back down.

I stopped by the fabric store today and picked up some lace trim, and I’m going to use that in a little while to try to put together some facsimile of the headcoverings the sort which Garlands of Grace sells. They have a little headband - the Cecily and the casual Katherine - that I think will fit the bill on my end and be unobtrusive enough that Kevin won’t be bothered. We’ll see what he says when he gets home. I’m making him steak to try to smooth things along. :thumbsup:

Maybe trophy wife isn’t the right word I was looking for, maybe arm candy would have been a better choice. But yeah, the way he described it involved facial expressions that I really don’t know how to duplicate in writing LOL. As far as the makeup goes, I’ll give it a think and some prayers and see what God has to say about the topic for me. As the one Quaker lady I know put it, if you don’t get a “No!”, then you’re probably alright.

Yes, I think you’re on the right track that there was some misunderstanding when I used the words “plain” and “prayer cap”. I’m sure that’s what caused the problem. I’m hoping to bring it up lightly over the aforementioned placating offering of steak and potatoes :bounce: and try to clarify. Maybe if I can whip up the plain little headband thingie quickly enough I can have it on when he gets home. I think that doesn’t look anything like a bonnet and has a classical sort of feminine prettiness to it, so hopefully it’ll be sufficient for what God has in mind.

And I think often on the Proverbs 31 woman, but I never really pondered that particular verse and the possible implications thereof.

Incidentally, when I’m getting ready for bed, I almost always pray that God will guide me through His Word, and then flip open my Bible and read for as long as the Holy Spirit moves me. Last night, I flipped straight to 1 Corinthians 11 and literally laughed out loud. :smiley:


#7

Love the offerings of steak and potatoes, it would work well for my hubby. :smiley:

If you read further in Proverbs 31, you see that the man “sits at the gate” and he has a place of honor. This honor is due to his wife and he calls her blessed. It is interesting to read and ponder on this.

So, did you get the little head covering made?


#8

When I got dressed, I put on a long denim skirt, cream-colored long-sleeve blouse and black stockings

Modest is hottest :wink:

Godly Wife to Modern Husband?

This is an attitude of pride and self-righteousness, and I encourage you to confess them. Do penance to cultivate in yourself humility and charity, and ask God to share these graces with others, like your hubby.


#9

How do you figure it’s a sin of pride and self-righteousness to try to quickly summarize what my question is about??? I hardly consider myself “godly”. I’m just trying to be good and do what I feel I’m led to. And he is a very modern person! Tattooed and pierced and whatnot, so I can’t hardly call him plain or conservative-dressing or anything of that sort because he’s not. “Modern” was the best descriptor that came to mind.


#10

I don’t think you are being self righteous, I think modern is a good description for tatooed and pierced…What’s wrong with calling yourself godly , just means you are trying to act the way God would want you to and follow him…how many piercings?..Just curious:)


#11

:rotfl: I do understand! Not only is mine silver-tongued, but with an attorney father and a professor sister, he can convince you of his position and make you think it was your own idea.

I’m a headcoverer as well, and a modest dresser, but the style is a bit more colorful–kinda gypsy-Bohemian–and I’m married to a non-Christian. I have to be perfectly honest–I didn’t approach him to tell him why I was changing my style of dress or starting to wear a headcover. I just did it, and he hardly paid any notice. I did it gradually, getting rid of only a few pieces that were just not workable and purchasing some long skirts and modest pieces from the thrift store and building my modest wardrobe that way. It’s the frog-in-water approach–do it gradually and it won’t be a big deal.

So I guess my suggestion is to try a few different approaches to modest dressing and take note of which ones bother your husband, and also maybe be open to dolling it up a bit (without showing skin) on special occasions. I also agree with the previous poster: It’s entirely possible to wear understated makeup and look very modest.

It sounds like getting your hubby on board is just a matter of shopping. Who doesn’t love that? :smiley: I suggest looking with your husband on www.modestclothes.com, which is a directory of online modest clothing stores where you can find everything from knee-length shorts to burqas, and discussing what works and what weirds him out.


#12

Tongue, three in each earlobe and one ear cartilage, coincidentally same as me, though I took the first one out about eight years ago. Can’t see all of them in this pic, and Grandma wasn’t ready when I snapped it, but this is from Easter.

Niobe Asha uploaded this image to

#13

See … I see you doing the hippie thing … long skirts and pretty, colorful headcoverings, I bet hubby would like that…

Add a nose ring :thumbsup: that’s what I did … really! My DH loves it…

(I, by no means, am telling what to do…just trying to have some fun!)


#14

Probably not, actually, because that’s his mama’s style and it’d probably weird him out. :slight_smile: That and I just can’t picture a nose stud/ring on me, I don’t think it’d look right. It’s a great point, though, that there’s no one uniform of what constitutes modesty and headcovering for us and I love that. I still have a wee bit of a rebellious streak that means I wouldn’t function well at all in an Old Order Amish community, for instance, where everything from bonnet style to seam allowance is regulated. That’d drive me batty.

But the headband was a hit! He said expressly that he likes it and I showed him the different scraps I have to make more and he told me to go for it, so I was really, really relieved and happy. I’ll work on a couple more today and try to post a couple of pics if I get around to it, and the jumper I made last night that he also likes very much. So thank you so much for the ideas and stimulating conversation all!

Goodness gracious, I know exactly what you mean!!! Not only that, he’s ALWAYS right, no matter if he’s really wrong or not, he’s always right. The thing of it is, he really IS right about 99% of the time, which drives me bananas. :stuck_out_tongue:

Out of curiosity, where do you ladies do your shopping? Or do you make your own clothes?


#15

I can’t wait to see some headcovering pictures. I’ll send you a pm and give you my email address…

I’ve made some myself. What I did was buy a kercheif from devorah… and started making my own. I don’t headcover everyday, btw, it’s still on my heart very much though…
I mix between a mantilla and ones that I’ve made for Mass.

I have a couple of skirt patterns that I really like and I just make my skirts from them. I also found some cute knit skirts at Old Navy and bought one in each color, dark gray, black and brown … they are great for summer and I just put on the layered top look, flip flops and good to go. Most of the moms in our homeschool group wear skirts and summer tops with flip flops … so I fit in. :smiley:


#16

Unscrunched
Scrunched
Fastening

Please excuse the horrible pics!!!


#17

As a treehuggin’ hippie, I really do get a lot of my shopping done at thrift/resale/consignment stores, garage sales, and Freecycle. It works for me because the gauzy gypsy skirts are a bit out of fashion :thumbsup: I do sew, and I’ve written down pattern numbers from Butterick, McCalls, and Vogue, but I really haven’t made much lately. I did fid a great supplier for undyed fabric, though, and I intend to go wild there. I buy t-shirts from Downeast Basics. I especially like the half-sleeve tee for everyday wear and I buy the tanks for layering. I also like Land’s End. They’re a bit spendy, but the quality is unbeatable. My favorite headcoverings lately come from Etsy and Tznius

Happy shopping!


#18

does your husband know you’ve posted a photo of him on the Internet?


#19

I’ve done it before, and he never minds, but it made me feel awkward when you put it like that, so it’s gone.


#20

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