A marriage strategy made popular by The Five Love Languages book and others like it is that if you love your spouse, they will love you back.
Many a client has walked into a marriage counselor’s office and asked what they can do to get their spouse to show them love. They’ve tried and tried to be a good husband or wife, but the reciprocation just isn’t there. The heartache and pain of this sort of rejection leaves a person raw, desperate, and unable to take much more. If only a marriage counselor could solve this riddle for them.
After seeing enough clients like this walk into their office, patterns begin to emerge: patterns in the way people are wired to give and receive love. Many times the unloving spouse isn’t actually unloving, their efforts to give love back just aren’t seen and/or the efforts to show them love never found their mark. After seeing these sorts of patterns hundreds of times, the experienced marriage counselor can diagnose that these two spouses just aren’t speaking one another’s love languages.
Through some assessments of what makes that person feel good, a love language is discovered and now the husband or wife has the magic key to unlock their mate’s heart. As long as they show love in that language (in the way the other person wants), their spouse will receive it and will show them love in return. Marriage crisis solved.
This type of strategy has helped many couples and it has sold lots of books, but there are foundational flaws to it that have set spouses back much further than when they began.
Flaw #1: Love Is Not Self-Seeking
What happens when the underlying premise of a marriage counseling strategy is to get your spouse to do for you what you want? What happens is we undermine the very definition of what love is, which is a catastrophic problem.
Trying to get my spouse to do what I want might seem innocent, but we’d agree it is the very definition of “self-seeking.”
The problem here is that 1 Corinthians 13:5 clearly tells us, love is not self-seeking.
Jesus then models sacrificial (the opposite of self-seeking) love for us and tells us to do likewise:
Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (Romans 5:9-10)
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? (Matthew 5:44, 46)
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:11-13)
The irony of modern marriage is we include these sorts of things in our marriage vows, that I will “love, honor and cherish you…for better or worse…’til death do us part,” yet the rubber hits the road what we really mean is, “I will only love you if you love me back.”
This is called kickback love, which according to the Bible, isn’t love at all.
Instead of diving deep into the gospel to allow our hearts to be transformed to love sacrificially, we run to a marriage counseling strategy that is meant to transform our spouse.
This is backwards.
Flaw #2: Connected to the Wrong Power Source
Is it easy to love someone who doesn’t love you back? Not at all. Especially when this person made a vow to you that they would indeed love you back.
This hits pretty close to home for God. On his wedding day with His people, they proclaim to him:
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read it to the people. They responded, “We will do everything the LORD has said; we will obey.” (Exodus 24:7)
Centuries later, God even reminisces about this day:
This is what the LORD says: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me. (Jeremiah 2:1)
This reminiscing only prefaced the pain God felt toward his unfaithful and unloving bride:
Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’ Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving—in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her. (Jeremiah 2:20, 23-24)
God knows what it feels like to be unloved by a spouse. He knows your pain and he longs to hold you and comfort you. But more than just comfort you, God also modeled to us a path of freedom through the pain.
We are, after all, God’s spouse. The same rebellious and unfaithful spouse written about in Jeremiah is the one Jesus came and died for in Romans 5:9-10. The path of freedom to love an unloving spouse is the same one God himself traveled.
This path begins with taking our eyes off our spouse and on to Jesus as the power source for our love. The reason a “love language” strategy won’t sustain a marriage for the long haul is because it requires that we look to another human being as our motivator and source for love.
This is like plugging one end of an extension cord into its other end. What happens?
Nothing happens. You just have a dead wire.
For an extension cord to work and to be full of life, it must be plugged into a power outlet. This power outlet in your marriage is God’s unconditional love for you. It is knowing you are God’s child (Romans 8:14), an heir to his kingdom (Romans 8:17), beautifully and wonderfully made by him (Psalm 139:1-18), and that He is sovereign and knows what He’s doing (Romans 8:28, 31).
I’m not saying you shouldn’t go to marriage counseling or read marriage books, but you need to understand that they aren’t a silver bullet and the ultimate solution will not be found in these things. These often bring short-term solutions and sometimes will give you long lasting tools that can help your marriage, and sometimes they don’t help at all because your spouse simply isn’t going to change right now.
The key to finding the path of freedom in your marriage isn’t that God will change your spouse, it’s that God will change you. Not necessary to change you into a “better spouse” but to change your heart and perspective to find your sustenance in God’s love for you, not in your spouse’s love.
It’s removing marriage and your spouse as idols in your life and putting the person of God and the sufficiency of his love front and center as your life-source.
It’s removing the scoreboard that love languages create (“I’m doing my part, why isn’t my spouse doing theirs?”) and soaking in the grace and mercy of God; focusing on what he’s given us that we don’t deserve rather than feeling entitled to and idolizing the marital carrot on a stick that is always just out of reach.
It’s going to the Father, the way Jesus did (Matthew 3:17; Luke 23:46), to know He accepts us and approves of us (Colossians 1:22; Romans 8:4), when no one else in our lives is giving us that message.
Two beauties come from this divine power connection. One is that your spouse will be shown the supernatural love of Jesus in spite of how they are treating you. Even more profound than this though is that you, the extension cord, will be full of vibrant life at all times, regardless of how your spouse is treating you. How else could Jesus tell you that your joy will be complete when you lay down your life in love for another in John 15:11-13? These two things don’t seem to go together.
Laying down one’s life can only equate to complete joy when a power source is involved who transcends both the one giving and the one receiving.
No wonder so many of us are starved for a love that satisfies. We are looking for it everywhere except from the Source itself.
I know that it’s primarily my fault, but I have a spouse that has not loved me for years upon years. I was addicted to porn, and she completely rejected me, and I used it as justification and fuel to continually turn back to porn and act like a jerk. This article is my reality, now. We are on the precipice of divorce and my wife doesn’t really want to invest in our relationship because of years of abuse. I don’t blame her, but it just puts me in a place where I am constantly battling depression and loneliness, trying to piece together God’s love from His word and an ephemeral presence that I don’t really understand. I try to just have faith and believe, and I try to just allow God to change my heart as I seek Him more. I just hope that He will love me in the present, in reality, in a manner that I can quantify and see and know is true. I believe, Lord; please help my unbelief.
I’ll be praying for you Jeremiah. Sink deep into God’s mercy. Know how holy He is; Exodus 19:12-19 & Isaiah 6:1-8 help me with this. Then allow his mercy (giving you what you don’t deserve) to wash over you. Lamentations 3:21-26 is also helpful. Helpful primarily because the rest of Lamentations is such a horrific train wreck and yet in the midst of it Jeremiah still finds peace in God’s undeserved mercy. I will pray for you and for your wife.
I think you may already be doing this since you ended your comment with a prayer, but I just want to encourage you to pray for faith which is a supernatural gift. And God certainly loves you as He wills your every heartbeat. He created everything that is good and beautiful and holds it in being continually. Your cross is a school. His grace is sufficient.
I am sorry for your hurt. I don’t know if this is any help at all, but have you heard of the Love Dare? It is featured in the movie Fireproof. I just watched it 2 nights ago and it is very similar to what you describe.
I am hurting as you describe your wife. Battling not to reject my husband. When I see what the love dare is all about I wish my husband would do those things. Have that kind of a change of heart.
The book is called The Love Dare bu Stephen and Alex Kendrick. It’s a 40 day journey.
I really believe that it could help you. I wish you strength and pray for you and your wife.
Know that you are created in God’s image, as His child. He is in form, a man, immortal, and perfect. Picture Him when you pray.
Today I just found out being newly married and 2 months into my marriage after waiting and waiting for God to send me that person, tells me he doesn’t love me and stop loving me a long time ago. I noticed him pushing me away and saw the signs but when I kept asking him if he loved me he would say yes. My mind is racing and I have no idea what to do. I new marriage already broken to pieces. It’s the worse thing to happen to me ever! I’m not upset I am just completely broken. I have no idea what to do, or how to act, I can’t even seem how I am going to live without him if that be the case. Here is the worse thing. I am a good woman of God, a servant. Always have seek God with all my heart. I’m 42 years old never had children, never been married before, waited and waited for someone to be the man that I was asking God for. When I comfort now my spouse about things as a normal married couple it seems to bother him and pushed him further away. I have never told him what to do or how to do it, supported him in everything he needs to do. Try to be a good wife and I provide everything in the home right now financially. Just because I tell him I don’t like something he is upset and falling out of love with me? So every time we have issues in our marriage, because I confront him, he is gonna reject me. This is beyond the grief I felt when my mother died. This is complete brokenness. I have no idea what to do except pray to God for mercy in my life. He is the center and will always be.
Monica, I am so, so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing. I hope you’ve got a good support system. It sounds like a counselor, just for you, would be a good idea right now. There’s also an online community at Bloom where you’ll find resources and help–including courses you can take together as a couple. Peace to you, Kay
Monica I am in your shoes, married two weeks, about to be 37 married for the first time.
Hello bro Noah I am going threw hell with my wife, and a part of me want to leave and the other part want hang in there and believe that just one day God will change my wife heart, help please. Ken
I been married 6months my wife hates me I don’t know what Im doing wrong I pay all the bills I cook everyday I clean I don’t mistreat her I provide everything I don’t cheat Im in the house at night She is very verbally and emotionally abusive please somebody tell me what to do or what Im doing wrong
I’m in your wife”s place. My husband watches port instead on being with me. I am at a loss with how to deal with it. He feels it is not an issue. Was there anything you would have responded to when your addiction started?
May God send his Grace Mercy and love to you asap
Hang in there brother
Jesus is Lord!!!
I have been married 16 years. Dated my husband for 4 years. It’s been about a year now…my husband was a christian, had an affair and stopped the affair, said he loves me but not sure if he wants to be married or not…needs to work on himself…that mostly looks like escaping, having a beer with the guys, working, we do a little bit with one another sometimes he pulls close sometimes he pulls away…it has been a heart breaker. I keep trying to spill Gods grace on him and love him unconditionally, pray for him quietly, be there for him/give him space…I keep leaning into the Lord and trusting the Lord to be my husband while mine is not really in the marriage 100% – I have grown so much spiritually but there are days when it still really hurts and I miss being loved by him. I am trusting God knows what is best and will continue to guide me. Very slow progress. Praying he returns to the Lord!
God does love you where your at, he loved you where your were before just not the sin! Let Gods Love and healing turn you into who you were meant to be and put him first and everything else will fall into place. I was you! And now I have been set free and God has restored the broken things! I am praying for you brother.
I’m in the same position as Noah. I’ve been married for 15 years. Struggled with porn on and off throughout my marriage. My wife has given up on me and has told me several times that she only wants to live together platonically for the kids. Either that or she wants to divorce. It’s been a year since she’s said “I love you”. We live together but sleep in separate beds. We get along alright but we have no physical relationship. I’m terrified to bring up our relationship because she says all I want is sex or she launches into a speech about how she isn’t trying anymore and wants a divorce. I’m so anxious and lonely, it’s driving me crazy. I can hardly work and when I’m around her I don’t say much for fear of causing conflict. She likes to hang out with her friends, but I can only rarely get her to go out with me. I don’t want to get divorced, but my heart is broken. My counselor tells me I need to rely on God’s love and not my wife’s. It’s so much easier said than done. Please pray for us.
Thanks for your article, Noah. The hypocrisy in our marriage bothers me. If I say, “I love you” to my wife, I get “I love you” back, but my wife cares nothing for me. She’ll admit that she’s bored with me, bored with being a wife and mom, would rather sit and stare at her phone. I’m called to love/serve her and be satisfied in Christ. But I’m thinking of foregoing things that would get a hypocritical response, like saying “I love you”. Any thoughts?
My husband married me but loved me only as a friend. Now he’s come to voice and accept that fact and I have to deal with a sorry that can’t help the immense pain I feel. He now wants a divorce. While he’s sleeping soundly I can’t sleep. While he’s moving on and looking toward a life without me, I’m stuck betrayed by a vow to love till death do us part. I know God has a great plan in all this and I’m clinging to that for dear life but my heart melts with inconsolable expressions. So hurt, so blessed
I’m getting ready to marry a man who told me when he proposed that he doesn’t love me but has deep respect for me. I really like him. People tell me that real love comes after marriage but I’m so scared he will never love me. I don’t know if I’m making a mistake of a lifetime or if I should take a leap of faith. With a week to go, our relationship is really tense and I’m terrified to be left at the alter. He’s having doubts too but keeps on saying he won’t do that to me and still wants to marry me. I don’t know what to do. I’m sacrificing so much for this marriage, leaving my country and moving across the world for him but now I’m having serious doubts.
Elena, I hope you will trust yourself, and listen to the doubts you are having. If this relationship can grow into something that works for you both, it can do that before you marry. While of course your relationship will change–and hopefully grown–over time, marrying someone and moving across the world when you are not sure of the connection sounds like a dangerous proposition to me. Find a therapist who can help both of you process through what’s going on here, before you make decisions that are hard to unmake. Take some time to sort things through until you are comfortable with your decision. Peace to you, Kay
My wife of 13 years just came to me recently and told me she loves me but she is tired of us. She wants to separate and isnt really communicating with me or trying to work with me to figure out what is wrong. I’m not sure what to do because i love her so much and want to work on us , and she just wants to leave. Some days she says she wants us and most days she says she doesn’t. She has even stopped coming to church with me.
Very good stuff man…I’m in the midst of this storm..good words and confirmation!! Been married 27 years and 6 kids…and trying too hard to win love back…focusing now more than ever on His love, His goodness, His faithfulness…HIM!!
This sounds familiar. The husband has to realize that he has truly broken a woman that loved him with all her heart, & he has alot to undo if it’s not too late. She may have fallen for another man who made her feel wanted or cared about. Cathy W
right now my spouse has his mind set on divorce, I have been praying , seeking for advice, doing my part on cooking and cleaning and continue loving him, but it kills me inside when he acknowledges me as she, her, or by my name. I made a mistake telling him he deserve someone better only because I was hurt from a disagreement and it was to my shock that he said he wants a divorce! It’s been a week now and everyday from that time I begged him for another chance and he tells me NO he doesn’t want arguments anymore, so we are better off apart than together. I cry and pray Day and night, but I don’t show none of it anymore. I really want my marriage to work again but everyday as I kiss him and tell him I love him and cook for him and continue doing my duty as a wife. Everyday as I am playing this role on trying to get him back it kills me inside and I don’t know how much more I can take.
I’m so sorry that you’re suffering this pain right now, but it sounds to me like your husband is not doing his part in the relationship. If you have done your best, and he continues to reject your efforts, and makes no attempt to be engaged in the relationship, that’s not your fault. Do what’s healthy and right for you, but do it because it’s healthy and right for you. Find a counselor who can help you process this painful experience. Think about your boundaries: here, here, and here are some articles that can help. Whatever he chooses, you choose to be healthy.
Peace to you,
My husband doesn’t show me any love and he used to at first im not a nagging wife but since he’s been acting different i can’t tell him anything without him having a bi polar moment. He throws my clothes out side and tells me to leave so now i don’t say anything at all he never says i love you unless i say it first. He puts me down because he says i never listen to him i make him repeat himself. He doesn’t support me emotionally and doesn’t take care of me when I’m sick. I support us financially and when he gets paid now and then he spends his money then asks me to pay his phone. I pay most off the rent where his son lives then asks me to pay more because his son doesn’t have all the rent and he never pays me back. Now he sleeps on the couch. And because he such a jerk i don’t care. But i don’t want to go down this route I’m love my life but I’m not liking my husband and just want to leave and forget about him and move on because i know he won’t care. It’s probably what he’s trying to do make me leave him.
What did i do is this my fault i irritate him no matter how hard i try not to and i try to pay attention to him the moment he speaks but he starts talking when I’m busy concentrating on what I’m doing and i told him get my attention first before you talk to me but he choose to not talk to me instead. So he gets paid some money went out and bought a phone he never shared that with me and didn’t tell me when he went to buy it and we always tell each other where we are going. How did this happen without my knowledge. He told me i didn’t know i had to. That i didn’t tell him when i bought my phone. Yes i did when i got home i told him but he didn’t tell me at all. I don’t know but hes changed. I don’t want to do wash his clothes or cook for him because he doesn’t deserve it but i do it any way. Hes ripping me of my happy life. I want to leave. What would God want me to do.
Hi Mary Lou,
From what you’re describing here, it sounds like your husband is not participating in good faith in the relationship. Given the reality of your situation, what would healthy boundaries look like at this point? Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that may help you think through that question. As far as what God would want you to do? You are not a slave to sin, not anybody’s sin, not even your husband’s. You’re not required to be mistreated. You can make healthy choices for a life that reflects your worth and value as God’s beloved child.
Peace to you,
Just came across this article after googling how to love a husband who doesn’t love you. I’ve been married now over 35 years and have been emotionally divorced from my husband for probably about 20. He has hurt me deeply over the years with his very critical and judgemental attitude and cruel words and the only way I could cope was by building a huge wall between us and building a separate life. After reading the comments here, I feel almost fortunate because we are not in a divorce situation (he doesn’t want to mess up his retirement). I have learned to do what Noah wrote about in this article: namely that God is my source of joy and my strength. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t hurt me at times and I’ve often thought of leaving him, but always felt the Lord say no. He’s a real Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde; decent one moment and then stabbing one in the heart the next. I’ve prayed about this for years but nothing changed…except me. Just as Noah says, the peace of the Lord is something I walk in and He is my source of joy and meaning. Jesus doesn’t just love me, he LIKES me, and that means so very very much to me! It gives me such strength to overlook the indifference and criticism and putdowns and to walk in joy instead. This article is really really the way to go for those of us in unhappy marriages. Praise you, jesus!!
This is really good
Needed to read this thanks
It is one of the powerful guidance which I have ever got. I have an unloving husband but certainly he understand that I love him first hand. Still, he could not accept the love and live happily with me. He don’t even have stuff to speak or laugh with me. I was brutally wounded. That was the time God gave me the promise that he is my husband. Evenafter receiving the promise and revelation, I didn’t find way to change my powerhouse and repeated to getting hurt. Today, God has used you as the tool to guide me through his verses. Thank you so much. I am blissfully happy upon knowing my life and happiness is not from my husband instead it is from the rock eternal. Thank you so much.
I am a wife. I can relate to your story, because what happened in your marriage is busy playing out in mine. This is just how I feel:
After years of porn in my husbands life, blaming me, belittling me, rejecting me, I woke up one day knowing God loves me, He is my first husband, He is my provider, He is my security, He is my first love.
The first thing that came to mind was that- for the first time in 33 years- I realise that I don’t have to go through this crazy cycle anymore. I build walls and boundaries to protect myself . These walls will only come down if God so will.
Stop playing the victim and get Courageous. Take the blame, if you want her back, take all the blame, obey the Lord, strengthen yourself en walk around those walls courageously blowing your trumpet- claim your victory. Take back the promise land- Not The 40 Years in the desert!
For years my husband played the victim, still does, telling councelours “ a man has needs”, neglecting to care for me after surgery, and make me accountable for most things and then judging me, whilst lusting after other women.
You are not the victim, if anyone is the victim of the devastating effects porn has on a family – It is Jesus who has died for Nothing – a senseless suicide/ homocide.
If my husband understood that for us , to succeed in marriage he had to know that God wants Courage and Faith, I would give this marriage my all and more.
The thing is Courage would be the opposite of the fruit of porn. If men get this , it could be The Game Changer.
Stop and ask your wife one question: What was your dream for us?
That is what breaks us women the most- seeing the traces of betrayal over our picket fence dream, out of our control. We try to fix the dream endlessly, until one day we can do no more, we can’t even see our dream anymore- and then we stop seeing you, because 33 years ago my husband was the lead actor in my dream.
That dream is gone, that dream can’t be fix, To be honest I don’t want that dream anymore!
Stop being the victim and start building a new dream.The true beauty of the Gospel is through
“Christ’s Sacrificial Love , He died for our sins so we can have eternal life “
Are you willing to sacrificially die for this sinful marriage, and start building a new dream? Or do you, like my husband want to hang on to the things he wants from the old dream. That dream was an idol – leave it behind and ask her: “ How can I build a New Dream”- and do it , for as long as it takes !!!! Porn addicts take years to break down the first dream, but flee because of the amount of work it is going to take to build a new one.
Then you will not be the victim anymore, but the King, Prophet and Priest of this marriage.
That is exactly what I have been going thru for 13years with my wife and I feel I have lost her forever. Where do I start so I can have my wife and my family back!! Please!
Regaining trust and respect from a spouse will not happen overnight. You will need to show her (and this WILL take time) that you want to change and be held accountable. Covenant Eyes is a great tool to get started. Our accountability software monitors your online and offline device activity and reports it to someone you have chosen to trust. This can be a pastor, friend, relative, spouse…etc.
I would also encourage you to consider couples counseling of some kind. Remember, you want to do everything you can to show her that you love her and want to turn your life around and end your addiction.
Praying for you, friend!
AMEN AMEN We all need the encouragement—-right on brothers and sisters in Christ. This is exactlty our role. Try to relax and allow the HOLY SPIRIT to communicate. When in doubt Praise God for what you do have, your hands, your sound mind, your limbs, your ability to survive on your own. These are all praise worthy focuses to allow your mind to rest. God thru the HOLY SPIRIT does the rest. Dont hesitate to spread the faith.
Jeremiah – Are you trying to seek sympathy from us for loving your porn websites more than your wife? I am sure your behavior was incredibly damaging (and I am sure that you are not sharing the whole story either). I am also quite sure that you are STILL watching porn today, which is why I am glad that your wife is leaving you. Your wife deserves love and respect, which you cannot provide. The depression and loneliness you feel are the results of your actions – you made your bed now lie in it AND quit asking the general public for sympathy.
I’m in a similar situation…we are not in the steps of a divorce, we just don’t do anything together, never really talk except for basic life logistics, and haven’t been intimate in 5 years, although that part has been dwindling in the last 10. I’ve become an alcoholic in the process and very depressed. I know Christ should be my inspiration for life and I should feel his presence and love, but I rarely do. I constantly hear the negative nasty words my husband has thrown at me at times when I’ve tried to open up a discussion to try to resolve some pain…and I always regret it because of the verbal bashing I get. I use to be confident and pursuing life with exuberance but now every day is a struggle to get out of bed and a mental fight to not “go purchase” my chemical brain anesthetic again. Before this pandemic I had 2 months straight sobriety…the longest I’ve had in over a decade…thanks mostly to Christian 12 step groups. But for the last 2 months I’ve been drinking almost daily again. I need to get a new battery for my laptop so I can participate in remote meetings privately as besides my husband my 18 and 20 year old are home. I need to take my antidepressant medication and vitamins and force myself to at least walk every day. But I know I mostly need to read God’s Word…but that depresses me too as my heart has been telling me “this doesn’t apply to you.” I know that’s not true, but it feels true. Emotional abuse, verbal abuse & spousal neglect add up to a lethal concoction…if I can get on the other side of this I want to write how they actually happened out and hopefully help someone else. And I don’t want to waste the life God gave me anymore. There are other kinds of love and other people that really care about me and actually think good things about me…unfortunately my husband is just not one of those people.
Noah im sorry you are in this place. The fact that you can take responsibility and own the hurt you had part in is huge and God honors humility. The word says God resists the proud, so be encouraged that a humble heart He will not ignore.
I am unfortunately in the same place but in your wifes position and my husband is not taking the humble approach and its breaking my heart. I pray for a God encounter for you, a collision with and manifestation of Gods never ending love for you this week. God can restore all thats been stolen, cling to him my brother.
This was nothing short of a revelation for me. Of course! When Jesus said we should love each other as He has loved us, he didn’t mean “a lot.” He meant “If someone kills you, do everything you can to help them be happy.” Wow, that is powerful! I prayed for something like this and your article is God’s answer to my prayer. Thank you! God keeps saving my life!
I’m just going to ask for prayers. I wasn’t a perfect wife, but I was loyal. We both made mistakes. He decided to move out four days ago. He said he needs a break and some time away from me. He says he loves me as a friend but not in love with me anymore. He says he’s felt this way a couple years now. The last few days I’ve been praying and having a lot of revelations come to me. I never wanted to go camping with him and the kids, I made excuses saying it wasn’t my thing, but all I wanted to do was be alone and get high. Marijuana. I got to the point where that’s all I wanted to do. There’s more history involved here. 12 years ago he had a two month affair. We went to therapy and we got over it. Or so I thought. I told no one and I tried to deal with it by myself and I didn’t pray at that time. Life just went on, children, sports, homework, life. I also have MS. At first I used marijuana because I wanted to stay all natural, not take medications. But what ended up happening is I made at the center of my life. I literally just realized this two days ago. He’s not perfect, but I did help push him away. I had a very short temper as well and I got very lazy and I never followed through anything. Example; working out. I lost myself after dedicating my life to being a stay at home mom and my family. I did everything for my family. And as my daughters grew, I withdrew from life. All I want to do is watch TV and sit on the couch, at least that’s my revelation right now. I’m owning it and that’s new for me. I’ve been praying like you wouldn’t believe, and I believe God‘s giving me these revelations. At first I just wanted to say dismiss this is a midlife crisis on his part, but I’m seeing the big picture. I’m not saying it’s all my fault, but I am saying that I can see why he would be unhappy. Of course I can go on and on, but I’ll stop it’s already long enough. I was just like pray that I could find myself. I truly lost myself. Pray that I could get a closer relationship with God and that he will bring us back together. I know that there’s no guarantees. But I also know that Satan is telling my husband a lie right now. He’s telling him that he would be happier without me. Satan is lying to him by telling him that he’s not in love with me. And he’s believing it. This is spiritual warfare. This is a battle and I need prayers for him to not believe those lies. And to be open and to turn to God during this time. I need to find myself, and he needs to find his happiness as well. And we made a covenant, and I want it to last. Sorry I’m rambling
. Thank you for all your prayers anybody who’s reading this.
Wow, that is a LOT of heartbreak, trauma, and pain. I hope you’ve got a support system in place that might help you process all that’s going on. I hope you’ve got a good medical team that can help you get on top of the MS symptoms in the healthiest way possible. As far as processing the emotional side of all this, you can always find a therapist, just for yourself, at Psychology Today. Whatever happens in your relationship with your husband, one way or another, you’ve just go so much going on here. It sounds like you’ve been doing the best you can, but I hope you’ll be able to reach out for more support as you walk through all this. I’m glad you reached out here, and I wish you all the healing and hope in the world.
Peace to you,
I have been married to an “Ordained” minister for 10 years. In the beginning, he sought to be respected by my 15 year old. My adult husband of less than 1 year ended up chasing my 15 year old into the kitchen. He backs him into the refrigerator and my son punches my husband in the nose. My husband asks me why I’m tending my son and not him. I end up sending my child to family because I believed that that was the right thing to do for things to be normal while I work through things. My son comes home after graduating high school. But, I gradually find out things about my husband that he had not shared and I realize that he wasn’t in control of his own life! Rather, his mother would call him each day, advising him on what to do. He begins asking ME what to do! It becomes apparent of his codependence after our two children begin going to school and I gain more time to myself. I realized that we had both had a real relationship. The babies distracted me from focusing on my relationship and he didn’t require much within a relationship so, he never complained, except about lack of sex. Now, we are angry towards each other because I provide ALL of his needs, yet he doesn’t invest in our relationship with each other. Our arguments have happened in front of our children so, I had him go to a therapist. We go outside to discuss now but, it was determined that his mother was passive-aggressive and so is he with narcissism. Ministry is his passion because it fills his need of attention. But, he gives us select attention because he gets it from social media ministry.
Me and my husband married 19yrs .5 yrs ago my husband slightly distracted from family. Telling small lies .he want to hang around with female work colleagues. My last kid was very small.i was busy with 3 kids and we had fight.after I doubted him.we seen minister and reconciliation done.but last 2 yrs.he more gone away from me .he is very good man in work very hard working.all people likes him.he love loves eith his work friends especially half age girls.always chatting. All phone blocked.he want divorce. But telling me no affair. He always likes evening and night parties
He told me he Don.t love any more.but he still with me .I cried and broken.depressed but he Don.t care.i know he Don.t loves but still I love him alot .I can.t think what I do he leaves me.how come I can get his love back
Hello, thanks for reaching out to us. I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. It is so painful when a spouse has turned away and doesn’t want to reconcile. Please seek out godly counsel for yourself, and make sure to surround yourself with godly, understanding friends. You are not alone! There are many women who have gone through the same experience and can offer help and encouragement. Here are some resources from one of our partner ministries.
Another thing I would like to mention here. I am in an emotionally abusive relationship. I have been here 9 years. I have struggled, been depressed, suicidal, angry, but mostly just at a complete loss.
I have tried reading books. I really appreciated this article too. I have been to Reformed Women’s Retreat and listened to great speakers and a lot of wisdom. But the question I could never find an answer to is how do I do this? When do I open up. To who. How.
Turns out, my husband had been addicted to porn our entire marriage, I had no idea. He had an affair. He was on Ashley Maddison. Turns out I was working hard as the foundation was crumbling. I did not know what was going on. All I knew all along was that we needed help. That things weren’t right. But as for how…never got an answer.
I NEED to recommend the following book: The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick. This book saved my life.
Women and men need to know the information as to when there needs to be help called in. Following book after book and article after article of advice on loving better and more I almost killed myself.
We need these amazing articles and books, but we need an extra chapter or addendum mentioning a few points of when there is more help needed.
Hi Jaydee, I am so glad you were able to find such a life-giving resource. Thank you for sharing it here.
I think you are so right–the advice to “go back” and “keep loving” can be absolutely deadly when there is abuse in the relationship. Too often, we have limited our definitions of abuse to hitting, but in fact verbal, emotional, and sexual abuse within marriage can be just as devastating.
I hope you’ve seen this article of Ella’s recently.
Jesus says in Matthew 18 that when someone refuses to repent, “treat him as a pagan.” There are times to recognize when that person has made their choice to be abusive, and we need to separate ourselves from that choice.
Thank you so much for speaking up to help other women be safe. Kay
Jadee, my heart goes out to you. There’s nothing in this world that’s worth killing yourself. You have been wonderfully made by our Heavenly Father. Remember that always,
knowing that He is always here for His children!! I will keep you in my prayers. May God continue to bless you!
Been married 22years and my husband tells me he not in love with me. For two years he wasn’t happy and that we going to separate and that he was moving out. He told our three kids the youngest started crying it broke my heart.He doesn’t want to work on things. He said it was just over.It was very hard to hear. I am going to counseling and great friends but is still very difficult to live with. I am very lonely and miss him a lot. Even his bad traits.
I’m so sorry, Kim. Sending love to you. Kay
My husband and I have a unique story. We have had a very difficult marriage almost the entire 10 years we have been married. In a nutshell, there has been infidelity on both parts. I had an affair one time and he had multiple affairs, one resulted in a child being born. My affair was one night. One of our biggest problems is my husband doesnt believe that is one night and for the past 6 years has thrown countless baseless accusations at me about other affairs that i havent had, that he swears i have had (there’s NO convincing that i havent) and has made me out to be every slut there is. He discounts all the affairs i have caught him in and makes excuses for them. He hasnt worked in 5.5 yrs, we have 4 children, i support everyone. He tells me he has no conscious, he says the meanest and nastiest things to me, tells me he doesnt care if i cry, and that nothing i say means anything to him. I am COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY lost. I have NEVER reached out online to anyone. Our entire story would take too long to explain. He has just told me he doesnt care about this marriage anymore, which i guess i knew deep down inside, but hearing has just crushed me. Even though things have been really bad for as long as i can remember. Marriage books havent worked. We tried counseling 1 time, 6 years ago when i discovered he was having a child with his mistress. He never wanted to go back b/c after we both shared our story, he thought the counselor was “picking my side”. He refuses to go back unless “there is a man and woman counselor who are complete strangers in the same room counseling us”. I need help. I need guidance. I feel like i was led here to this article. I just bought the book that Jaydee Smith mentioned above. Pastor Filipiak, do you have ANY words for me? Am i crazy for still being in this marriage? I feel like i am living a nightmare. I dont want to make myself seem blameless, i am not. But what do you do when you are accused of having multiple affairs, when you havent, and your spouse has made up in their head that you have all while they have had PROVEN multiple affairs, had an outside child, are verbally and mentally abusive, lazy and wont work to help support your family for the last 6 years. God help me.
Hey there. It sounds to me like it’s time to step back and think about what healthy boundaries would look like for you in this relationship. Ella has written about this recently as well, here.
You can only be responsible for yourself, and so I encourage you to think about what that would look like. Here are some ideas you could consider.
Find a counselor just for you, to help you process your own emotions, consider how you can take responsibility for yourself, and build healthy boundaries, especially in the face of verbal and emotional abuse.
Find a group like Celebrate Recovery, S Anon, or even Al Anon that will help you process those ideas in the safe company of others.
While you can’t force or manipulate your husband into healthy choices, YOU can make healthy choices for yourself. Get into a process of counseling and group support that will help you move in that direction. There is no magic wand, but there is always healing and hope available when we choose to be healthy, even when others don’t.
We were on urge of divorce coz i caught my husband flirting around on social networking. I was hurt becoz to every gal he flirted said that he wil leave me to be with her. I lost my baby becoz of this situation but i couldn’t leave him coz i still love him but now its been 1 month since all this happened and now he keeps blaming me for his infidelity.I jjust keep showing him more love but see only hate in his eyes… don’t know what to do… just depending on promise that LOVE NEVER FAILS
I’m so, so sorry for all the pain you must be feeling right now. How devastating to suffer a miscarriage in the midst of the emotional upheaval in your marriage. And then to have your husband blame you for the choices he has made–I’m so sorry. You are NOT to blame for his choices. He made those choices, not you. He is responsible for his choices, not you.
It’s true that Love never fails, but that is God’s love for us. Many times human love does fail. And when that happens, the person who has failed in love need to recognize their failure, take responsibility for their own choices, and work on changing their failure back into an expression of real love instead of self indulgence.
Your love might need to make tough choices for good boundaries. Here and here are a couple of articles that talk about what boundaries might look like in a situation like yours. In our free download, Hope After Porn, several women talk about their healthy boundaries in recovery.
Most of all, it sounds to me like you need support right now for all the grief you must be experiencing. A personal counselor could be a big help. Or a group like Celebrate Recovery, S Anon, or even Al Anon. xxxChurch has online support groups. And you can google support groups to find more resources in your area.
Prayers for you today. Kay
Hello, I just found out my husband has been looking for women online. He posted his profile as a single divorce man on the match.com website. He did have affair with two of the women he found on this site. He is not ashamed for what he did. I’m willing to work on our marriage and forgive him with God’s help, but it’s very discouraging when my partner doesn’t want to change. I don’t know how to get pass this because I want to give up. I don’t know how feel towards him now. Any advice. Thank you
Hi Norma. What a painful, difficult place to be in. I am so, so sorry.
I would say this. Find yourself a good, safe counselor who can help you process all the emotions you must be feeling, someone who can help you decide what healthy boundaries will look like for you going forward. This is not a marriage counselor, but rather a personal counselor who is there specifically to help YOU. You would probably also benefit from a group like S Anon, which helps family members cope with the consequences of sexual addiction.
Here and here are a couple of articles about boundaries. And here’s a link to our free download, Hope After Porn, where several women talk about the boundaries they chose during recovery.
Whatever your husband chooses, YOU choose to be healthy. Find support and create healthy boundaries. Blessings, Kay
Sorry for the errors in my original post, it only reflect the state of my mind. I got married last December; shortly before the wedding day i noticed my wife started acting cold, we nonetheless got married; now its been three months of coldness and lack of love. My wife can barely look at me,. I continue to treat her just the same way, but i feel constantly rejected by her, in three month my wife has never said she loves me. She is closer to her family than myself, i have called her to this but she responds saying that who she is. I love her so much, wouldn’t want to divorce her; i think she is just with me out of convenience, i dont ve a soul mate and i m extremely lonely in the marriage. This has dented my self image; i dont feel like a man should.
Paul, it sounds like you need to find a counselor and work through these issues. Don’t compound the pain in your relationship by using porn–it’s a momentary fix that ultimately makes the situation worse. You haven’t solved the original problem and you’ve taught yourself to deal with pain in a temporary way. There are counselor directories at The American Association of Christian Counselors and at Psychology Today. Whatever is going on with your wife, get some help and make healthy choices for yourself. Blessings, Kay
I think it would be pretty great! Self-love is such an important habit to cultivate. It’s the old airplane oxygen mask thing – you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others and bring your best self to the world. And food gives us such a wonderful opportunity to practice self-love multiple times every day. When we choose healthy, nourishing foods that really feed us, we show up for ourselves and act from a place of love.
Please pray for me – I’ve been in a loveless marriage 11 years (on his side), I still love him and just realized there’s been zero love on his side since we married. I am sad that it seems he never truly married me in his heart and only did so out of fear & duty (getting me pregnant before marriage). We have 2 kids & debt & lots to deal with but it seems there’s no hope as we were never really married. Please pray for healing including my jealousy when he’s around women (I never felt loved in that special way & knew he did not want me – he had another woman in his heart many years and God would not take that nor give him love for me. Nonetheless it’s been toxic to us both. Thanks for prayer!
I’m so sorry. What a painful experience to have in your marriage. I hope you’re finding help to process through this and consider healthy boundaries for yourself. A counselor could be a great help, and a group if you can find one in your area. Whatever happens in your marriage, choose health for you! Peace, Kay
Hi, we are in the same situation. But let us not turn ourselves to becoming bitter. As what this article says, we should plug into the power source and that is God Himself. Allow Him to take control of our marriage everyday. God bless and will be praying for you too.
Am too have similar situation, I dont really feel that my wife love me so much, what i feel is that she just married me for companion and security reasons. I really feel the hunger for spouse love. I am angry with myself, Im stressed and incomplete.. I am praying that God will give me strenght always because if not , I want to surrender.. I really need somebody to talk to about this, sometime i fee like im getting crazy. I feel cheated ..i dont know.. I open this problem to our pastor but I am not satisfied yet with their advised.. its so painful
Hi Robert, I’m so sorry you are in this spot. The hunger for that kind of intimacy with a spouse is very, very real. Have you tried asking God a question like this, “what truth about me, my spouse, or others are you trying to show me from this struggle?”
Finding a Gospel-centered, brother who you can continue to talk, openly and honestly is critical. I do hope you can find that if your pastor is not providing that kind of support.
Peace, Chris (Covenant Eyes)
Yea, I think most of us feel cheated with our spouses. My husband…cheated on me, mentally abuse, and says its not a bad to watch youtube with big boobs. He refuses to divorce me because he says we need to stay for our girls. I do not love him anymore…love is gone! He is only staying with me because of security too…we both have equal pay!! I’m so lost…ready to live my life without him!
I feel you pain. My husband & Ive been together for 23 years married 19 years. We had a fight in Jan of this year just like any other previous argument, but this time after a month of being so distance, I recommend counseling so he agreed to go but he suggested to do it individually for the 1st session, so I went 1st then he went. After the 2nd week both of us went together, the 1st 10 minutes into our session, he had the counselor told me the marriage is over. He said he does not love me anymore and here we are 3 months later and his story stay the same. My whole life has been upside down and I would have leave him but I can’t. We have 2 girls together 7 & 8 years old. Both of us love our girls deeply and has agreed to Co-exist. I’m trying to do this daily and by the hour. Its so painful. One good thing come out of this is that it brought me closer to GOD! I attend mass daily and the Lord is my strength. I find myself crying daily and waking up or not sleeping well since then.
I’m so blessed to have read this. I feel that my relationship with my husband is shrinking and I can’t do anything about it. His coldness plus given that he works from another city really tears me. It turned me into a bitter person. He used to be sweet and communication was really awesome. But after our baby came and then was assigned to work in another city, I felt the connection and affection become lesser and lesser everyday. I also found out he has creaed accounts with different dating sites and chatted with different girls. It tore me apar, I was devastated, that I even pushed him away and he doesn’t want to but I don’t see him changing even after that. After reading this, I realized that I was ideolizing my husband that I forgot to put God as the center of our marriage, my happiness depended on him. In order for me to bring back my relationship with my husband, I should first bring back God in my life, giving Him the full control of my marriage. I look forward to reading much more of this. Thank you so much and God bless you…
Hi Elie. I’m so, so sorry for the pain you’re experiencing in your marriage. As you think about how to go forward, I’d encourage you to find a counselor who can help you process emotions and also help you put healthy boundaries in place. Here and here are some articles on boundaries that you might find helpful. Peace to you, Kay
I am in a similar suitation and your comment has just hit the nail on the head for me !!! Thank you
Hello. My husband left me for another woman and came back for a few days. I caught him again after him promising to cut all ties. I forgave him and he left. He calls me and tries to give me hope then days that he doesn’t want to leave this woman but then tries to tell me that there is hope again. I’m torn as I’ve always been loyal and a good wife. He tears me like u did something wrong. He’s rude to me and Cocky; I’m so full of dispair. We got married in church (Catholic). I’m lost and don’t know what to do. I want him back to work in our covenant with God. He knows the meaning of the sacrament of marriage yet he does not care and told me that he’s ok if he has to go to hell for this.
I am so, so sorry. It sounds to me like your husband has made his choice, unfortunately. He has broken the covenant of marriage, and it sounds like he doesn’t want to work to restore it. In every church that I know of, that is grounds for divorce with no fault on your side.
That is so sad, and yet it appears to be the reality at this time.
I would encourage you to find a counselor who can help you process thorugh this terrible grief. Whatever your husband chooses, you can choose recovery and health for yourself.
Peace to you, Kay
That’s all good, but if God wanted to be our only source of love, He wouldn’t have said of Adam “It is not good for the man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for Him.” The five love languages are designed to help us (not necessarily our spouse) learn to love them like they’re designed to receive it. It’s even commanded for the man to love the woman like Christ loves the church, and laid down His life for her.
Right?! And God created us to be in communion with Him and one another and to love one another. But in the midst of hardships in marriage, Christ wants us to solely depend on His love for us, it’s the only hope that I have personally. Though hard, I have to praise Him constantly, knowing his promise of His plans to prosper us and to never let go. The pain that I feel is unbearable some moments, but then He brings me back to His arms…you see…Christ is dependable for that and my soon to be “human” ex husband is not. Tomorrow is our 12 year anniversary of when we promised God and our friends that we’d stay married until death parts us. My heart breaks more for Christ then for my husband and I…I know that God’s heart is broken too. No infidelity, no abuse, not my choice, it’s such a shame. Jesus keeps me busy and reminds me He is enough. Thank you for this blog, it affirms what God keeps telling me. I’m not sure how anyone could handle this with out knowing Christ.
i totally get your theological point…but that is a real but different one…….. i think the point being made is a spiritual one..that if we put God’s love before all other…his love will transcend all of our emotional needs; that if both spouses use God’s love as the pillar of the union….then all good things envelop our spirits and thus we are unlikely to fall from marriage grace. Not doing so would be like expecting our spouses love to be suffice or even greater than God’s. the two cannot be equal….. and God’s love being the one that sustains us through everything in life. trust me….as someone who is also suffering a painful situation….it was a very difficult lesson to capture but also my saving grace.
Hope this is helpful. God bless.
Out of the blue my husband of 12 years told me that he doesn’t love me anymore. He’s says he loves me like his best friend and is still attracted to me but doesn’t love me. He said nothing is wrong with me and he isn’t going through anything and is not cheating on me. It’s been months and he doesn’t do anything to comfort me. He is still in the house, but continues to be adamant that he doesn’t love me. It’s torturing me because he won’t give me a reason that his love strayed or make any effort to find his love again. I am trying to rely on God’s love for me. It is so hard to live without love from the person I trusted with my heart most. I feel helpless, betrayed, alone, and worthless.
I am so, so sorry. What a painful thing to endure in your marriage.
I’m not quite sure what your husband means by these words, to be honest! As a counselor, I know that deep friendship is actually the best basis for a successful relationship, so if you have “best friends” and “still attracted”–I’m not sure how that adds up to “I don’t love you.” It sounds to me like there may be more to the story.
Meanwhile, I would encourage you to find a counselor who can help you process through your emotions about this. You might also appreciate the website Bloom, where there are forums and resources for women dealing with marriage betrayal. Whatever your husband chooses, you can choose to be healthy for you. Find support, find help. You are a person of great value and worth. Let your choices reflect that today.
Peace to you, Kay
Omg same here! I just found out last month that my husband have never truly been in love with me, we have been married two years. He say he love me but not in love with me, he said it’s not me and I’ve done nothing. He states he feel we rushed things, he married me because he wanted to step up to the plate and be a man because he got me pregnant. This whole time he have made me feel like he was in love with me but here recently he started being more distant sometimes, he say he was in and out of “love” with me. I have been confused and just started asking questions why he seem there one minute and then distant the next, and he finally told me and said he has been having this feeling and haven’t been real with his self. He tells me he his sorry and never wanted to hurt m and he wants to try to keep our marriage and requested marriage counseling and we have been praying together almost every night. He states he is not in love with no one else and maybe he just need to find himself, and says it’s just him. We’re doing counseling with our pastor but things are still the same with him, I know things are not going to change over night, but I still feel not loved and not wanted. He say he haven’t cheated. I’m just so lost, hurt, and confused. I love my husband to death, crazy about him, in love with him, but things are getting hard, I don’t know what to do or how to feel.
Hey there. Let me point you to the very best marriage research out there: John Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. If he wants to stay in the marriage, if he wants it to be successful, Gottman’s research is the way to make it work! There are also Gottman certifed marriage counselors out there: you can search here for someone in your area. No offense to your pastor, but most pastors really aren’t trained to be marriage counselors. So, you might want to look for someone who’s really trained and experienced in the best. Peace to you, Kay
I’m going through the same issue with my husband. Our story is very similar. After 23 years together, 19 years of marriage & 2 young girls, he told me he’s no longer want to work on the marriage. I’m in limbo, he’s only here for the kids.
I’ve been married for 6 years and I am in the same exact situation. My husband says he no longer loves me. He says its nothing I’ve down, but he just doesn’t love me anymore. We were both christians when we got married but two years into our marriage he walked away from his faith. I’m incredibly hurt, but also feeling like God is giving me a glimpse of what He experiences with us daily… loving us while we continually turn our hearts away from Him. I’m learning that my husband will never be able to love me again, unless he’s finds his love in Christ first. And I am one of the few people left in his life that can walk Christ out before him. It is the worst feeling to love someone who refuses to love you back, but as long as my husband decides to remain in this marriage I am determined to love him and be a light in his life. I haven’t been the perfect wife in our marriage, but now is my chance to step up to the challenge and this great and difficult calling and love him like Christ.
I hope that encourages you. You are not alone.
My story is all to common. My wife and I have been together for about 5 years, married about half of the time. As with all relationships, it was exciting and felt so good to be loved by someone who saw you perfect in their eyes.
We’ve been through the normal hard times many couples face, finical problems, raising 3 children who are as children are, simply amazing but at times very difficult. We both have past filled with heart ache, but through each other found comfort that took that away.
We did well managing our external problems very well until she became pregnant with our last child. The pressures slowly crept in. I define myself first and foremost as a family man, completely and whole heartiedly dedicated to my wife and children. Above everything, my family is my life.
With money issues progressively getting worse, my wife’s hormones due to birth control drastically decreasing her desire for me, issues with and with our home, work stress, everything broke me down and I felt as a failure to my family.
Months ago, my wife started to pull away from me. Pressures increased by my desire for happiness in the ones I love only pushed her farther away. One night she couldn’t take it anymore and took off for a girls night without a word. Now I know I should be open to the idea of such things, but with everything that had been happening, it was more then I could bare. I took some antidepressants that night before she completely cut contact with me, but as soon as she did, the antidepressants took me to a very low place I don’t want to be in again. When she finally arrived home in the morning, we fought and she said it was over. I talked her our of it and I called into work and we sought counseling later that morning.
By the end of the day, we had felt better and over the next period of time, things did perceive to be better. Money issues crept back in and my wife took a job as a waitress in restraint where girls were the attraction against my will and pleads for months to not. But she had expressed the feeling of me oppressing her decisions, so I finally agreed in hopes that it would show her that I do support her.
The next three months progressively got worse. The agreements we made to do with the job were all cast aside and I felt I just had to deal. I would work my 10 hour days, come home and take care of the kids and house until work released her for the night. Half the time I was so miserable, I couldn’t help but to share my misery with my wife, but I didn’t really want her to suffer, just express my feelings on the situation. She grew to resent me because of my insecurities and desire to be loved and cherished as I once was.
I went through a stage of great depression through this. I didn’t feel important enough for my wife to choose first, and I didn’t make enough to pay for all the bills to really allow her to quit. I searched for jobs. I’m highly educated but with no degree and only having professional experience in retail in a small town, my options were severely limited. After about a month of discouragement, I found hopes for a new job, and after about a month was hired.
During my hiring process, which last several weeks between test and interviews, my wife was away for two weeks in California visiting her great grandmother before she passed and after she passed for the funeral and moving her grandmother back to where we live. The two weeks were very hard as I was working full-time, taking care of the kids and home while trying to land this job. Before she returned, I received my offer and it was finally enough to take care of things. She returned and the idea of things getting better returned. She quit her job and that stress was no longer issue.
My training process required out of state trips to be made, two weeks at a time, with a week in between to perform on-site training. My family came with me the first week and second to final week, but two kids in a hotel room was too much to do the full six weeks. While I understood the need to be back home for room for the kids, the separation from my family took a huge toll on me. Everytime I returned, it seemed my wife was more interested with her phone and social media then me. Again, I made myself less desirable by communicating my feelings and things have been spiraling downwards again.
The past week I’ve tried to focus on fatherhood and being the best I can be around the house, hoping that maybe letting her do her things on her phone and not complaining about anything would relieve some pressure. That maybe not fighting about things could make a difference. Instead what really happened is she stopped trying. Her words, not my own. Ive battled through stresses of a new job, requiring 12-14 hours a day and feeling ignored by wife through the week, but I wanted the weekend to be different. I’ve been having terrible dreams that wake me in the middle of the night, so I’m staying up later to avoid them.
I sought out for affection from my wife. Or her opening up about her feelings. Well tonight before our date out, I finally got her to open up, and kinda wished I hadn’t. She proclaimed that she still loved me, but wasn’t in love with me anymore. Have I not done enough? I compliment her. I tell her just how much she means to me. I do everything I can for her, but it just isn’t enough. I don’t do drugs, cheat, abuse her physically and not intentionally emotionally, but I’m sure I’m messing up there in some way with all my needs of comfort. I don’t mean to come off as a this for that, nor discredit all the things she does do, but I just don’t feel it and now I guess I know why.
I guess I’m just at a complete loss right now. She wants to split up, but not move away and finicially we can’t afford that anyways. I’m up and down with my emotions right now. One minute I’m confident because she hasn’t fully given up or wants to, but the next I’m devastated the person I’m so madly in love with just doesn’t feel the same. I’ve read as many articles time and time again. I know many steps I need to take, but at the same time I feel so hopeless and depressed that I will just never be enough. Whatever I have done is done, and she can’t forgive and get past it all.
We’ve tried church. At times, it really did help. When my wife got her last job, she decided it wasn’t the path she wanted to take st the time and wanted to distance ourselves. She is baptized in the LDS Church and I fell in love with their family values and beliefs of sealing family members together for eternity. That was a goal for us, but as neither of us could quit smoking, it was a very tough obstacle to overcome. She recently quit smoking and while I felt I was getting closer to quitting, the current events have made me pick it up more heavily again.
I’ve turned to the Bible and teachings so many times, but I feel inadequate in His eyes for not being able to stop smoking and my many other sins. I’ve prayed for strength. I’ve prayed for my wife. I know this is a test, and I cannot understand His plan right now, but I feel so unworthy of His love, and my wife’s, I’m just lost right now. I know I am beyond blessed and don’t want to take anything for granted He has given me, but I feel hopeless. I want to save this marriage. I want to be a better man. I want to live a full life and share it with my family. I want my wife to love me again. I want to lead my family physically, mentally and spiritually down the right path. I’m just having a really hard time right now, because it feels like my partner has abandoned me, and I feel powerless.
Advice and prayers would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and God bless you all.
Hello TJ, it sounds like there is just so much going on right now. A lot of heavy, heavy burdens, and I’m so sorry for that. The ups and downs of life can feel overwhelming. Do you have any other Godly, wise outlets for you? Someone you can talk to for advice and just to listen? Also, have you tried any medication to help with some of the emotional swings that you are dealing with? It’s just not possible to handle everything alone sometimes, especially if your spouse is not supporting you at the moment. Put full faith and trust in the mighty hands of God, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
God IS for you, TJ! Nothing is impossible through Him.
Thanks for your words Chris.
I have my hobbies, but I haven’t been able to focus them, or manage my time. I work usually 13 hours a day on average, by the time I get home, I play with the kids, make dinner, some house work, and try to spend a couple of nights trying to reach my wife. I know I should probably just spend that time working on myself, but I’m always distracted wanting to do the things my wife and I used to. I also don’t want it to seem as if I’ve given up doing everything I can to save this my marriage. I know many would agree it’s very counter-productive, and yielding the opposite effect I desire, but when I don’t try, she doesn’t seem to even care and we become roommates which upsets me just as much as rejection for my efforts.
I tried medications the one time, but they gave me suicidal thoughts and thought everyone had abonddended me, including god. No matter how hard I prayed, the emotions would not stop coming over me. So I’m slightly against medications but I know at this point I need to try. However, our insurance went unpaid so it is canceled so it is also an expense I really can’t afford, although I know I probably should. Time with work is also an aspect. With my job, there is no personal days for the first year, so that also makes it a challenge. I’ve looked into a place nearby, but they’ve canceled my appointments twice, so its been a pain there. I’ll keep looking into it, as I know it’s necessary at this point.
I’ve spoken about this to a few people, it’s usually the same things. Shes having an affair. Stop trying so much. Focus on yourself. I honestly don’t believe she is having an affair, but at the same time, it feels like it has in the past, and I was right then, multiple times. Stop trying and focus on myself sounds easy enough, but in my reality I surrendered myself to her a long time ago. I gave up my strengths and weaknesses and let her become my strengths, and motivation to work on my weaknesses. I truly bonded to her which is why I’m so lost right now.
I’m at that point now where I guess I am in denial. Because I still love her, I just can’t believe she isnt in love with me. It makes it slightly easier and more complicated at the same time when she says she still loves me, just wants to separate for the time. When she complains I don’t let her go out, even though I’m not against the non party scene without me, I just feel like really, that’s what she wants to do right now. Maybe that’s not fair, but it’s just how I feel.
Today I started to get more anger mixed in with my emotions. Resentment for her giving up, if only temporarily. Angry at myself for letting it come to this. Angry I ever letting myself be able to come to this. I don’t like feelings these things, and I know how incredibly wrong they are, but I just can’t help it. I’ve always done everything I could to make her happy, and angry I’ve failed so bad. It’s a circle of emotions I can’t help break free of.
I talked to her today and asked for her to never give up and keep on fighting. Told her I was scared of hating her and myself more because of the direction things are moving. She has a different perspective on how things will end up, for me, I’ve been here before and both times I ended up the fool while they moved on to new guys, playing me the whole time. She left to think and get away from the kids for a bit, but I’m doubtful she will change her mind.
I’m praying for some help to find some strength and my wife to remember everything we’ve been through. That she can find some peace and understand that I’m not here to rule her or hold her back, but to be by her side as she makes this journey through life. And for my youngest two, so they dont have to go through what my oldest had to between his mother and I. Here’s to hoping for better news.
Do not take medication or put your trust in counseling. Walk into the catholic church. They have daily mass, which means church services everyday. I found so much strength from daily mass. I would attend church feeling like giving up, and I would leave with so much peace. It took me a year to overcome my depression. Medications and counseling made me feel worse and even more stressed. Overtime, prayer brought so much peace. I appreciate the catholic church because they have daily mass, and being near jesus in the form of body and blood helped my husband and I. We also took advantage of confession. The catholic church has weekly confession. Its anonymous, but totally beneficial in getting rid of guilt and starting a new. Jesus says “blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God. ” If we want to see God, we must try to get rid of the things getting in the way through confession (having a pure consience) and going to church. People in the bible got healing by seeking our lord. We have to go to him, and he is present in the body blood as well as transfigured in those who are open to the holy spirit. We must go to church as often as possible for that healing.
Thank you so much for this article. My husband has been a porn addict for over 40 years; we’ve been married for 38 years. I found his addiction within months of our marriage; over the last 4 decades his addiction has destroyed me more times than I can count. The last two years have been the most difficult by far; his denial and aggression have grown exponentially in that time.
I finally got the courage to talk to our pastor recently; we both sat in front of him and my husband lied about almost everything. He claims that he was delivered from pornography “3 or 4 years ago” and that he deleted all of the porn he has accumulated in external hard drives, flash drives, sim cards and any other storage mechanism he can get. In truth he moves it around like some sort of “3 card monty” game. Now you see it, now you don’t. He literally denies it even when shown his download records, etc. One flash drive alone contained over a quarter of a million images, live sex chat archives, and God only knows what else. The pastor could hardly be helpful in a situation where he knows one of us is lying but he can’t know for sure which one of us it is (because for now the porn is hidden away safely).
In short, I have prayed constantly about how I am to continue living in this situation. I have been asking God how I can continue to love this man. I have absolutely no trust or faith in him but I want to love him and this article reminded me how. I have serious issues with the fact that he has no favorable or romantic thoughts about me. He tells me that he just doesn’t have the ability to communicate those kinds of thoughts. That, too is a lie; years ago I found some erotic poetry he wrote about a co-worker; he is also fond of live sex chatting so it would seem that he is quite verbose when he wants to be. I asked God how I was supposed to love him; when I brought up this article the words hit me like lightning – LOVE IS NOT SELF-SEEKING. I realize that that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been moping around waiting for him to love me the way I want him to love me and not only is that not going to happen, I shouldn’t be looking for it either.
Today, through this article, God reminded me about myself. I told Him I was sick and tired of dealing with this sin of my husbands, and in His mercy He took the time to show me that I’ve been idolizing my spouse/marriage and not Him. He showed me the plank in my eye, so to speak.
As of today I am plugging my power cord in to my Lord and Savior so that His love may flow through me to my husband.
Hi Lynn. What an absolutely heart-breaking story. I’m so, so sorry for all the pain you’ve suffered.
I want to encourage you to find a counselor just for YOU, who can help you process through all this pain and to create healthy boundaries for yourself. Here, here, and here are articles on boundaries that you may find helpful.
Many, many women in relationships like this will meet the clinical criteria for PTSD, and most receive almost no help at all. I’m hoping you’ll break the trend, get a counselor, and accept all the healing and wholeness God has for you. Your husband may refuse to be healed. Your husband may refuse to be whole. But you don’t have to!
Peace to you, Kay
My husband and I have been living long distance for the past 4 years. We basically could not agree on where to live together but we are still married. I assumed he was just saving up until he can join me and our son.
Last June, he messaged me on facebook telling me that he has ended our marriage. I suspect that it was due to an affair but he never confirmed it.
Last week, I made a surprise visit to him and I found out that his mistress is already living with him. It confirmed all my suspicions. The betrayal hurts so much and I feel so bad for our son because he never experienced having a father. For the past 4 months, I have been asking him to work things out but when I confirmed the affair, I told him that it is his decision if he wants to divorce me. I just cannot beg or force him to choose me. I know that won’t work.
Right now, he is still living with his mistress and has not informed me that he wanted to work things out. I feel that he has alredy chosen to be with his mistress than to be with me and his son. His mistress is separated from her husband and her 2 kids are not living with her. I still cannot comprehend why he will choose to be with this woman.
Aside from his infidelity, I feel that we could never settle our issues because he does not want to compromise. Unless we agree on where to live together, we can never fix our marriage. I don’t know if I should still hang on to this marriage. I have been constantly praying and have said over and over that I am surrendering my marriage and my spouse to God. I keep praying for my husband to be saved and transformed by God so that he will realize his sins and come back to us.
But I am just really tired. Every time I hear from my husband, I keep hoping that he will change his mind and choose me. But he hasn’t. I have been rejected too many times, I have lost count. I don’t know what to do. I just want to give up.
I’m so sorry to hear the pain you’ve been suffering in your marriage.
To me it sounds like your husband has already made his decision. That’s a very painful, difficult reality. I would suggest that you find support for yourself as you work out what needs to happen from here. Find a counselor who can help you process emotions, along with a support group. You might also appreciate the online resource, Bloom.
No matter what your husband has chosen, you can choose to be healthy and whole.
Peace to you, Kay
Today i fell like I’m in a place where I really don’t know what to do. My husband and I have been married almost 3 years. I have two young adult children prior to marriage, from previous relations. When we meet back in 2012, my husband was great! He reached out to my children, family, and friends. He always told me “I found what I was looking for”. I was very reluctant at first to commit to anything serious, but he worked so hard to win my love. We married in 2014. We did not live together prior to marriage. After we married, we moved in together and it all seem great a first. Then he started complaining about my kids being to old to be at home. Alot of things began to take place after that. It became an emotional roller coaster! We counsel once with my pastor and his pastor. About our family problems. Our sessions seem to have help tremendously. We started back praying together like we use to do. But, something happen. My husband and I was constantly arguing, making up, not speaking, all in love….the roller coaster had begun again; except this time we didnt go to counseling. The ups and downs has taken a toll on our relationship. I feel lonely even with him laying next to me. I feel like he doesnt have that spark in his eyes when he sees me. I often have to pull compliments from him. He just isnt that nice gentle concern guy i fell in love with anymore. He says I complain too much, but I only do what I know to do when something is bothering me… talk it out. I finally asked him the other night…was it someone else? He said no. I asked him to please tell me the truth because I know something is wrong because he doesnt treat me the way he use to and we are not like we use to be. He finally admitted…”I just dont want to be married anymore”, ” I need my space”. He moved somethings is the guest room and has been sleeping there ever since. My heart hurts so bad. I love my husband, even through our tuff uncomfortable time. I just dont know what to do at this point.
I feel your pain all too well. Almost identical. My husband has done the moving into the spare room 3 time prior to the baby. Now he just ends up on the couch if we are in the same bed too long. Before the baby he threatened me with a divorce, now that the baby is here the tone is that if I can’t handle the way it is then I can leave. He used to be protective over me and very affectionate, now it doesn’t exist at all. He used to be thankful that God brought me into his life because I was the only person that was there for him and that I have never given up on him. He too has made comments that he needs his space and every few months when my feelings surface and I want to talk about it or make attempts for some affection he says that I’m trying to force it and it only pushes him further away. This has been going on like this for over 2 years. I too have two older children from previous marriage and my daughter hates him, my son tolerates him and tries to do what’s expected of him since he is still in high school and living at home. Are we foolish women who love so much that we are vulnerable to men who degrade women? I wish I could give you two cents worth of advice, but I too don’t know what to do. I just hope by sharing my story you see your not alone in how you feel even though we both feel more and more alone with each passing day. All we can do is put it in God’s hands and pray for each other. You are in my prayers.
Hey Christina, Here are some ideas for more things you can do in a situation like this. First of all, find a therapist FOR YOU who can help you process your emotions in healthy ways, and create appropriate boundaries. Second, you might want to check into Bloom, an online resource for women which provides support, classes, and self-care suggestions. Third, read up on boundaries, here and here. Your life is a gift to you from God, and its stewardship is your own. You are not required to be a victim of the bad choices of others, even your husband! Whatever your husband chooses, you can always choose to be healthy for you. Peace to you, Kay
My husband was texting a girl je works with 6 yrs ago, I found out & was devastated, she is 16 yrs younger than him. It was very hard for me cause the txt contained something that him & I share together jokingly & it just really hurt me, he assured me she was very young & it was just a friend & it’d never happen again, I got over it. Well we have been through alot together alot of stress, we are raising our grandson who was born addicted, he broke his leg badly 3 yrs ago & couldn’t work for a yr, alot happened but we got through it all. Alot of stress though, last summer was very hard our grandson hard surgery on his skull due to a defect from the drugs and I was very hard to live with. I found out 3 months after he had been txting the same girl once again, all hrs of the day & night & it wss very hard on me, it said it was my fault for not being there for him, he thought our marriage was over & he was even discussing and marriage being over with her, he admitted he was wrong, I hadn’t slept in the same bed with him in months, I immediately went back to bed with him & tried everything to get our relationship back again, he changed his number & blocked her, I wax doing ok but 8 months later she tried calling his phone , I would look through his phone & after all this I even contacted someone he works with to see of she works there much cause he told me she barely ever did, now things are horrible and he blames be for doing all that and says I made his work an awful place to be. I do trust him, he’s always home when not at work but I took something away from him & he won’t forgive me. He was a very sweet and affectionate man and now he says at times he can’t stand to be around me, he did want to leave me, but he’s still here. I am so lost and lonely without his love, I dint know what to do anymore all I want is for my husband back and my marriage to work. I love him so much. I done alot of things wrong and I have said I’m sorry over and over but he says he has to work through this in his own. Should we go to counseling. He did want to then he didnt. One day he’s ok the. The next he’s not, I’m so lost without him anymore.
It sounds like counseling would definitely be helpful. If he doesn’t want to go, YOU find someone just for YOU. Whatever he chooses, YOU choose to be healthy and whole. Peace to you, Kay
Hi, I’m a person who is not afraid to show how I feel. Lately, my husband and I got into bad arguments where I said things I regret. I asked for his forgiveness but he’s really hurt. He stopped showing affecttion towards me aBout a month ago or maybe even before I just didn’t see it prior to our arguments. He claims he tried to work things out with me but I was either tired or stressed that I wouldn’t notice., but he never actually talked to me. He never told how he was truly feeling, until last night that I confronted him. . He confessed to me, that because of my actions he stopped loving me? I bursted into tears… He says he will always love me but not the same way. I am devastated. He doesn’t want to end the relationship but it seems more he doesn’t know what to do. I even asked if he wants to work things out and he just said I don’t know. I truly love him. It was never my intention to hurt or lose him.
My husband is not in love with me and does not have love for me anymore. He said he is pretty much only with me now because we have a baby together and he doesn’t want him to end up like his other three children. He claims that he no longer has interest in me anymore because of the things my 17 year old son does or doesn’t do and what I do or don’t do in his eyes when it comes to parenting him. I had no idea that my relationship with my husband was going to be determined based on my so called parenting, yet he didn’t raise any of his children. I uprooted myself and my son and changed my life to be with this man that I love so very much. I have emotionally supported him and physically supported him through his incarceration and every difficult thing he has had to endure since. I haven’t heard the words I love you in over 2 years, he does not show any physical affection in any way shape or form. He was not there for me emotionally or physically during my pregnancy, saying to me that pregnancy is a turn off to him. Over the years I’m constantly being accused of “being with other people” as he says “if I’m not getting it at home I must be going somewhere else to get it”. Since he told me he didn’t love me a few days ago we have pretty much avoided each for the most part and when we are in the same room together he occasionally makes small talk about meaningless stuff. I don’t know what to do. My heart hurts so bad, I’m tired of crying when all I want is for him to love me back. He’s said some pretty mean and nasty things that normally would be unforgivable, but I am at a loss and I too don’t want our child to suffer because of how hurt I feel and my desire to flee and hide. I don’t want to end my marriage, but I don’t want to be treated like this anymore.
Need prayer, for me and my wife.
My husband said that he doesn’t feel the same way about me (we’ve been married 45 years) because 15 years ago, I wanted him to retire, sell the house that he built and move out of state to be near our grown children and grandchildren. He says that I ruined his life and he can’t forgive me for it, and he will never forget it until the day he dies. He has been hot and cold with me our whole married life…only now he thinks he has a passport to be downright mean to me, while being happy and nice with everyone else…even his dogs are treated better than he treats me. I am going to be 67 years old and am still holding down a job that provides us with our health insurance, and much more. All I am asking him to do is to stop looking back and try to look forward and enjoy the years we have left, as we can’t really change the past. I just wish that since he can be happy around/ with everyone else, he could make the effort to be nicer to me. Our two children are generally at odd ends with him because he’s not really nice to them either. He spoils every holiday with his nasty attitude. He puts on an act of being nice to me when around other people. I honestly think he feels that people don’t see through the act…and I know that they do. I’m so sad. I’ve prayed for God to change his heart… I’m just so tired of hearing the same mean statements over and over. Anyone out there with a comment?
It sounds to me like you need to process through this with a counselor who can help you process your emotions and decide what healthy boundaries will be like for you in this situation. Frankly, it sounds to me like your husband is emotionally abusive. God may still change his heart, but only if your husband chooses to let him! However, you can change your boundaries and find good health for yourself, no matter what your husband chooses. Find a counselor who can help you work that out. You’re right. You can’t change the past, but you can enjoy the present and the future–even if your husband doesn’t choose to! YOU can!
Peace to you, Kay
. God made this life to suck and it’s even worse when you’re married to someone who hates you and everything about you. Thank God out life is short. Sorry If that’s all
I’ve got but that’s all anybody’s got.
I am heartbroken. My husband of 35 yrs has for 4 yrs now shown no intimacy, no compliments, rarely says I love you. He kisses me rarely and I get cuddles on the couch before bed and that is all. He says that he decided to love me on my own level. Said we couldn’t have our relationship back due to my diagnosis (bipolar2). He feels I made no effort sexually and he did it all. He will not go to counseling. He says we don’t have a problem, just I have a problem because I’m not happy in our marriage.
Deborah, I’m so, so sorry. I hope you’ve got a good counselor to help support you in this, and to help you work out what’s going on here. It sounds like he withholds relationship from you, then blames you for being unhappy about it. That’s odd, to say the least. I don’t know what else might be going on there, but it sounds like something a counselor could help you explore. Peace to you, Kay
I have just read the article and I really enjoyed it. I have been with my husband for 2years and he has been so amazing with me. I recently overreacted in anger to him and disrespected him and since then he has completely shut me out,doesn’t even want to see me. I have realized that I haven’t been supportive to him as he has been with me and I just want him to forgive me.
Please advice me on how to get my husband to look at me the way he used to.
This is hard to read and for me it really hits home. I, like so many others have battled pornography addiction for years, and for most of my marriage. I have fallen into the trap several times and now I fear my wife is simply broken. Even though the Lord has given me the strength to stay away from porn for nearly 11 months and I have a mentor and accountability partner, she still can’t seem to trust me (and I don’t blame her for that). She has fallen into depression, and says that she doesn’t think she loves me any longer. This seems to be the root of all of our issues right now, and little things are blown up into much larger issues as a result. I’m trying to show her love, but I fear it is too little too late. I am trying to trust God, and I know that he gives us both strength, I am just terrified of loosing our marriage and what that might mean for our three kids. I lover her so much and can’t imagine being without her. We have discussed going to a counselor after the first of the year.
I guess if nothing else we could really use prayer, understanding and comfort.
Please pray for my marriage. My husband says he’s never loved me and won’t ever. I’m not sure what to do anymore.
I am so, so sorry. Whatever your husband chooses, YOU can choose to be healthy and whole. Find a counselor who can help you process through these painful emotions, and decide on healthy boundaries. A group might also be a good place to look for support. And you might like to check into the online resource, Bloom, where there are all sorts of forums and educational offerings.
Peace to you,
Been there and done that unfortunately.
My husband and I have been married for 4 years, Saturday he talks to me and let’s me know he is no longer in love with me. He said he doesn’t feel anything special like before for the last year, but he has love for me but not in love. I’m heartbroken. I knew we were growing apart but since he isn’t a affectionate person to begin with I thought he just needed and enjoyed space, now this. I told him that, and that I don’t feel a spark eaither but I love him as my husband. He then said he doesn’t want to live like this and when we are older regret being unhappy so long. He thinks that all relationships are full of spark. I don’t know what to do I’m alone, disappointed. We are attending marriage counseling this weekend but I feel like I’m drowning. The days are long, to get home and be in separate rooms. I love him, and want it to work. I pray God touch our hearts and guide us in the right direction. I pray he gives us strength to get through this. Please pray for us.
Please pray for my family! My husband of 17 years had an affair and immediately moved out to be with this other woman.he said he had fallen out of love with me said I didn’t show him enough love. I will admit that I did put our children first and neglected him, but he never sat me down and said this was a serious issue. I am broken hearted and so are our kids.
I want to save our marriage, but he is so wrapped up with his new girl that he won’t even speak with me.
I pray that God will remove this person from his life quickly and for him to turn his eyes back to God.
Karen, I am so sorry. Whatever he chooses, I hope that you’ll find a counselor who can help you process your emotions and consider healthy boundaries for yourself. You might also appreciate the online resources at Bloom for Women.
Thank you for writing this article. It was just what I needed to read. We’ve been married about 16 months, after dating about 4 1/2 years. Service and giving are two gifts of mine (church, family, friends, basically anyone), and that naturally carries into our relationship. He says all the time how good I am to him. He’s a good man and has a very giving heart for others, but when it comes to me, he’s pretty selfish most of the time. When he’s tired or stressed, he takes things out on me and can be very critical. He’ll usually say he’s sorry later, but I feel like he is just making nice so I’ll do things for him, not because he loves me. I’ve been struggling with how to get him to treat me the way he treats others-love me the way he loves others. I was doing just what this article talked about.Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I already feel more of a peace about our situation.
Noah, like many stories I am not alone in my marriage problems. I recently wrote my wife this letter Valentines Day evening:
I really love you but this relationship pains me the way I am treated. You will already see my text about the flowers. I almost thought someone else sent the flowers or free promotional from 1800flowers.com. But I don’t understand why you have become so callous and cold. Sneaking around with money is sending mixed signals. I am very open with our money and when I have money I will share it with no questions asked. I think I have worked very hard to be a good husband, father and provider. I do deserve a little more respect and love, then way you are currently treating me. Yes, I made dinner plans for Valentine’s Day because I wanted to surprise you and take you out on a romantic dinner. I am disappointed and hurt in that situation. I feel like you don’t acknowledge my feelings. I would not have asked Nyjah to babysit on a school night for a few hours because her homework and things. I don’t have a problem on the weekend asking. I am really at a loss for words with the current status of our relationship. Love does not look this way, it looks like Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.
I found this statement on forgiveness:
Forgiveness is a decision of the will. Since God commands us to forgive, we must make a conscious choice to obey God and forgive. The offender may not desire forgiveness and may not ever change, but that doesn’t negate God’s desire that we possess a forgiving spirit (Matthew 5:44). Ideally, the offender will seek reconciliation, but, if not, the one wronged can still make a decision to forgive.
Love is like forgiveness it is a choice; we have all have been given free will. I choose to forgive and I choose love you but not in this manner. God has relieved I need to exercise patience with you and your heart, but daily I grow frustrated and impatient. I am truly sorry for causing you this pain, but please know happiness is just not in your marriage but is comes knowing your calling and using the acronym JOY (serving Jesus, Others and Yourself). One can find the simple things in life all around for happiness. We are taking a 10 part series online with river of life called on calling. Here is one of the verses Rev 4:11, “You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For you created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created” Basically God created us on purpose for a purpose. I am currently seeking my calling but it is related to helping people. Each time I help a hopeless person I feel a little joy about making their situation a little better. I seek God daily in speaking to Christian men, meditating and praying. This is very troubling and I am at a loss.
After writing this letter my wife has become very distant and none affection, but she has been this way since 15 or 16 months ago no sex and no kissing in about 3 months. She wants to separate and we have three children 13, 10 and 5. Plus we are active duty military family. But main question is why did God send me a women with trust issues and depression. Yes we lost a child 7 year ago to cancer and I believe her faith is question. We both are very active in Church but she does not enjoy being around the other church members when I am around basically she can not stand me and sometimes the feelings are mutual.
I left my husband going on 5 months now. It was the worse decision I ever made in my life. I regretted it 2 weeks after the move. I hurt it him by leaving. I’ve been trying to work it out sense. With no luck. He continuously reminds me he does not love me anymore because all the pain I caused him from my decisions. I’ve been praying for months. I feel so lost. Honestly I felt like I was alone. I felt like I was the only Christian women going through a situation like this. After reading some of you guys life problems I wish I was the only. I would never wish this on anyone. If anyone have any scriptures, guidance, anything please reply. I need it. ?
Hey there. You are definitely not alone! I’d say, find a counselor who can help you process the emotions you’re experiencing, and who can help you build healthy boundaries in your life. Find a group that will help support you. You might also like to check into the online resources at Bloom. Peace to you, Kay
Thanks for this.
Longtime lapsed Christian. Addicted to porn. Allowed my wife to lose hope, leave.
Last night, I really prayed for the first time in many years. For the first time, I submitted to Jesus and left my fate to him.
Then rather than doing what I have been doing for years when restless and trying to sleep, which is watch porn, I used Google and prayed and developed a plan to try. Wrote a ton. I found this. I appreciate it. Thank you again. Didn’t sleep much, but it was a restful 3 hours.
It was a strange feeling when the spirit of God took control. For the first time in years, my wife and me spoke in the morning without anger or arguments. With smiles. Some of this I believe is because she is happy I am soon leaving. How foolish was I to neglect her as I did!
But some of it I know is because I had a hand on my shoulder guiding me.
You often don’t know what you lose until it is gone.
This reminded me of the importance to put my love in God. There will be many hard days ahead, but I believe with God’s guidance, I may be able to fill the hole in her heart I have left with the love she deserves.
Thank you again.
Hello. I’ve been on the internet looking at links for struggling marriages. I’ve been married now for 5 months and back in January, my wife started feeling irritable, distant, angry. Because of her moods, it’s been a struggle for me. Within our little spats, I mentioned separation one day, and the very next week divorce(All was said out of anger, the next day I said I didn’t want a divorce). This hurt her. She was married before and that marriage ended with infidelity. I know those words could hurt anyone. Now my wife is more distant, a little cold and doesn’t seem like she wants to reconcile or work on the marriage. Godly friends have said treat with kindness and love. I’ve been doing that. Some days it’s very hard other days it’s easy. Others have said give her distance, which I’ve been doing too; that seems a little harder living in the same house. I’ve been on the couch now for a month and that KILLS me. In a Godly marriage, men are to lead and I don’t feel like I can do that. I understand women will hold things in for awhile and then it all comes out. That bothers me because, I thought in marriages we’re to communicate and talk out our issues. To make matters worse, I lost my job last week and there is some financial worries which puts marriage counseling on the back burner. I hope someday soon my wife will soften her heart. I’m hurting too. It feels like this is going to go on forever. She feels like I am going “to run away” again if we have a disagreement. I know our wives want us to be strong for them and I’m trying to learn this. I got married late in life, (40 years old), so I have a lot of independence in me that is being chiseled away.
I’m learning and want to die to myself in this marriage. I pray God can continue to work on me so I can be the husband my wife deserve.
I’d suggest that you find a copy of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman. Sounds like there’s a lot of work to do here in terms of rebuilding emotional trust, and Gottman gives a great roadmap for that. Peace to you, Kay
Your wife pulled back out of fear…she probably has some PTSD from the devastation of her first marriage. The words separation and divorce are like shooting bullets from the hip and triggered in her fear that shut her down. These words cannot be used to manipulate or to be used flippantly, if at all. Words hurt and wound and can be destructive. I, unfortunately, know all too well. Life will give us many opportunities to keep our mouth shut….we should be wise and take all of them.
Funny how you are already coming up with a plan how yo get by when you finally tell your husband you want out and then you see this article. I always tell myself I need to always carry my cross everyday and I will do everything for my husband to see Jesus and real love through me, but sometimes, most of the times, it is just hard. The question ‘what about me’ always arises. God, Pleasr help me to find peace despite of this. Help me to put you inthe center instead of putting myself in your position.
confused and hurting
i have been married 20 years and all of a sudden my wife tells me she loves me for being the father of here children and how much i care for family but shes not in love with me. she told me she has pushed me away due to finances and arguments over the kids even at times hating me she wants to be civil and just be friends. it hurts and i dont know what to do my first reaction was to get mad and give ultimatums because she didn’t talk to me when it was happening but after thinking about what the bible says to love your spouse like god love the church then i changed and told here i ll wait,love and support her till she knows what she wants because she said she dont know what to do and she not happy and has the feeling there has to be more. i dont know what that means i dont know if i am doing the right thing.
My God. It is 4 in the morning and I stumbled across this word. What a blessing, exactly what I needed to “hear” at this very moment. I’m so at peace. The more I ask my husband for affection, the more distant he seems to become. I needed this word. I’m now at peace. Thank you, thank you. You’ve been a blessing to my heart.
I’ve been married for 22 years and have 5 children. My husband and I are distant. There is no one triggering factor though I know he doesn’t really love me though he tries. Almost everything I do he is is disappointed in me. We both ache for companionship and love though we just can’t seem to open up and love each other. We live parallel lives. Our marriage is like a business relationship. We are both so sad but just can’t find a way to love each other. He is a wonderful guy but he deserves someone that can fully love him. Sadly, I just can’t.
I think many times, there’s so much damage in a marriage that “love” as we think of it is dead. There are many times when divorce simply expresses the reality of a long-broken marriage. If you’re hoping to stay together, you might want to look at some of the research on successful marriages, though. John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work is an excellent resource to work through together, if you are both committed to the relationship.
It’s saddens me to say but I’m in the same relationship I have been married for 22yrs eventho my husband try’s to show hes loves, but the way he show it is cold and dry, I know it’s wrong to look at his phone, but just to see how he expresses him self with so call friend in a loving way it sickens me why can he talk to me that way, I can be in pain and he doesn’t even flinch, I have came to the conclusion there is no love, and you know what is worse we were Christian and we know Gods word, i ask God why, now I’m lost not knowing what to do. But this relationship this way can’t continue
I have messed up my marriage. I thought it was a perfect marriage but my husband came home from work one day and said he wasn’t happy and wanted a divorce. Two weeks later he packed my things and sent me to stay with my mother. Once at my mothers I have learned he has had one affair in the past and is currently having another affair as we speak. I see where I went wrong in the marriage and my mistakes as his wife and I am willing to work things out and fix the things I did wrong but now he isn’t even giving me a chance and just says over and over again he wants a divorce. I pray daily to help me fix my marriage and show me what to do or say but I think my husband has forgotten the Jesus in his heart that brought us together. I do know that right now my husband is my idol that I’m trying to hold onto and I’m praying that I can change that and still keep my marriage….
I know you’re not perfect. You’re a human being, so perfection is not possible.
But no matter how imperfect you may happen to be, your husband made the choice–TWICE (at least, that we know of)–to have affairs. He made the choice to break his marriage vows. That was his choice.
You haven’t been able to control his choices in the past, and I don’t think you’re going to be able to do it now. No matter how perfectly you behave, he will still be in charge of his own choices.
I’m not saying, don’t work on your junk. Go ahead and work on your junk! We all have to do that. But work on your junk because you need to be healthy, NOT because it’s a way to control your husband’s choices.
Whatever your husband chooses, you can choose to work on your own healing. Find a therapist who can help you process your emotions and work on healthy growth patterns. Find a group that can help you process the trauma you’re going through. Check into the online resources at Bloom, where there are forums, classes, and all sorts of resources for women in marriage betrayal.
I am so, so sorry for the shock and pain you must be feeling at this time.
Peace to you as you heal,
Hi! Your article has saved me from the nights & days of loneliness, I would have spent crying. My husband has been a little isolated from the very beginning of our marriage. It took me almost a year to understand that it’s because of his addiction to porn & porn chatting. I started talking to him about it,and he gave up on his chatting habbit. Things were okay, but due to the over interference of my in-laws’ my marriage came collapsing. I went back to my parents’ & gave him an opportunity to move on with his life; but he called us back pleading for the sake our daughter.Now he stays with his parents & comes to our house at nights. He still watches porn and prefers masturbation over real sex. Now, he lives in a different city & visits us, once a month. But, the distance has been ever growing up since. I am trying my best for this marriage to work, because I love him a lot. But, his behaviour hurts me a lot. Why doesn’t he free me by telling, if he has any interests outside, at all? My heart refuses to believe that he would ever cheat on me, because he is a good guy. But his attitude towards me is really hurtful. After waiting for him to come home for all these days, he can not even engage in 2 mins of conversation with me? I don’t know, what to expect from this marriage, but I don’t want him to regret after everything has finished. Please, help me deal with it. I hope that you would provide me with some positive guidance.
I’m so sorry. What a terribly painful situation. I think you do know what to expect from this marriage. He’s showing you exactly what to expect, and you ought to believe him. It’s sad, it’s painful, it’s difficult, but his behavior reveals the truth: he prefers porn and masturbation to real sex, he lives in another city, he can’t even engage in 2 minutes of conversation. That’s what this marriage looks like, and I’m so sorry for it. I think it’s time for you to consider healthy boundaries for yourself. Here, here, and here are some articles that might help. Peace to you, Kay
Hi, I have been in a relationship with my husband for 13 years. He had an affair with a co worker 4 years ago which I found out about. I forgave him because he started attending church and began being involved in our marriage. About a year ago his behavior started to change an I realized it was the same as he was 4 years ago. He has been denying that he is having an affair. Which is a lie since women has been messaging me and stuff. We have 2 children and it hurts me to know this is the end for us. I am physical and mentally sick. I feel like I am losing my mind. Every day I keep praying just to make it through the day for the sake of my children. I know I need to focus on God’s love for me.
Kate, I am so, so sorry. What a difficult and painful experience. It is very common for women in situations like this to have clinical levels of traumatic stress, and I think that’s probably what you’re experiencing when you say you’re physically and mentally sick and feel like you’re losing your mind. You are losing the life that you had hoped and planned for, and that is an enormous, devastating loss. I think you’ll need to find a therapist for yourself, someone who can help you process these painful emotions and rebuild a healthy life for yourself. A group might be a good support for you. And you might like to check into the online resources at Bloom, where there are forums, classes, and all sorts of support options. Peace to you, Kay
Why I’m never getting married. I don’t have the heart to stay in a relationship where I’m treated like garbage, cheated on… etc etc. I know if my husband even cheated once, I’d be gone. Gone with another man or just by myself, it wouldn’t matter.
Single people are way happier than married people, so why are people so afraid to be singles that they’d rather stay in a marriage where they are constantly cheated on? Sitting there waiting and waiting for their cheating, unloving spouses to love them back when deep down they know its never going to happen.
And somehow thinking prayer will make their spouses stop cheating?
is it that we have never learned to value ourselves the way God values us?
I am married for one year and four months with an Indian guy and I am a Filipino and we both are working in UAE.. He was my bf for seven years and during those times we fight a lot. But during those time we are both sexually active already. Until after four years of being together his ex gf came back to his life. They exchange messages although his ex knew that he was with me already. They meet up, though nothing happened between them. But my husband loved her a lot and he was crazy with her. For whatever reason, they stopped messaging each other. And after a year the girl came back and again they lost connection. Until finally we got engaged. Again he tried to contact the girl and they exchange messages again. Before our marriage he meet new girl, and we actually broke up. But he never fully let me go, his reason was because he knew I will be hurt and lonely. So he wanted to know my whereabouts. It was full of pain from my heart, nights after nights of crying. Then I finally diceded I will end up from my side. I spoke with him to stop calling me, but then he never stopped. He was asking me to give him some time because he was to make sure from his side. With all the courage, I called up the girl and asked him to tell him to stop calling me and concentrate on her. Then to my surprise instead of doing so, he broke up with that girl and came back to me. He asked me to continue with our marriage plan. We get married, but my heart was unsure and I’m he felt the same. After our marriage, nothing had happened between us. He was not ready to have a baby yet. And after few months of our marriage, my father passed away. I went back to Philippines alone because the processing of visa would take time for him. While I was mourning from my fathers death, here comes my husband busy with his ex gf again. When I came back to UAE, I have found out about it. I have read he was telling to this girl that he wanted to marry her. I cried a lot. But then he asked me time again. He admitted that she was her everything and he love her a lot. Even though the girl loves him as well but he can’t stand and fight for her love to him. But my husband was still behind of her until now. I am always in pain but I don’t know how to leave him. I know he was waiting for me to go. His reason of staying with me was because I will be crying somewhere. I really do crying in pain. I really don’t know what to do. I know it’s time for me to let go, but thinking of losing him is killing me inside.
My husband and I have been married for 16 years and dated for 3 years prior to that. About a month ago, he called me and told me that he wasn’t happy in our marriage and that he was uncertain if he wanted to stay in it. He left for nearly a month. During that time, I continued to be a source of support for him. I would bring him food, wash his clothes, whatever he needed and assured him that his family would be there when he needed us. I turned to God to help me to become the wife he needed. To be that submissive wife who fell into her husband’s plans. I prayed for his happiness and for God to keep us joined as one. He returned home after a month of absence from our home. Since his return, we haven’t had any serious issues at all. It’s been about 3 weeks now since he returned and although we are often intimate, I don’t feel that he is as devoted to our marriage as he was prior to leaving. He doesn’t reach to hold my hand, doesn’t tell me he loves me first, seems mostly uninterested in anything about my day, etc. I am trying to continue to love him and desire to be that submissive wife for him. If I continue to do this, will he eventually come around to showing affection again? What is God’s promise for the wife who is submissive? I keep telling myself that I should love without any expectations but I feel so emotionally fragile in doing so. How do I find God’s love so that I can feel that joy this article describes? I am still a beginner in seeking God’s word and direction and often feel unworthy and lost in the process.
There is no promise for the “submmissive wife.” I’m sorry if you’ve been sold the story that if you just submit, then your husband will eventually come around. This is a lie. There is no way to control the choices of others, unfortunately. It sounds like, despite your best efforts, that he is emotionally disconnected from the relationship.
Here’s an article I wrote a while back based on John Gottman’s research into what builds emotional trust in relationships. What you’re saying here, about your husband’s lack of “turning toward” you, sounds exactly like what Gottman talks about here. I think it’s very important that you pay attention to clues like that.
The best we can do in a situation like this is be responsible for ourselves and our healthy boundaries. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that might help. Find a counselor who can help you process your emotions and work on those healthy boundaries.
Whatever he chooses, YOU can choose to be healthy and whole.
Peace to you,
Focus your attention back on yourself and your own interests and friends and don’t have an attitude about it towards him. Be kind to him but don’t act like you are upset at all. DO, definitely, back down on the Betty Crocker efforts. Your husband, over time, will start to pursue you again and will start to wonder about his ‘clout’ with you. Dare to try it and stay strong! He will come back to pursuit mode! You need to let him know, with your actions, that he has something to lose, too!
I got married when I was young and had just joined the Army. My first wife still wanted to still be in the clubs so I let her go be single again but we had a daughter together 2 years after we were married. Long story short, she kept me from my daughter and didn’t allow me to have a relationship with my daughter even though she was the one who wanted to be single again. I promised myself that I would never let another woman do that to me ever again. I wanted to be an all day, every day dad, not the weekend or holiday dad. Somewhere along the road, I decided that being a good father was more important than being happy. But I got married again about 3 years later. My new wife and I had met in the military and we went to Germany where she only worked for a year. She got pregnant and stopped working and we were struggling to pay bills and to be able to buy pampers, and milk. So I stopped all funds on everything that I could to make sure I could take care of us….. this included her tithes….. She was upset about this but I was raised to believe that God knows your heart and I wasn’t out partying or drinking… I used every bit of money I had to take care of my family and my responsibilities. Well anyway, to get back at me she decided to take some important things from me…….sex, affection and communication. This hurt us dearly and I begged her for years to stop doing this. Eventually after I sent her home from Europe, I did step out. I had been overwhelmed by the lack of affection and connection to a woman in my life. Well eventually she found out and then she used that against me of course. She knew the biggest thing to kill me with was the lack of affection because I used to be a very affectionate person. Well we never got back right and she continued to punish me. I fought and fought but she continued to give me the bare minimum and after years of feeling alone, I fell again. I tried counseling and everything I could to fix it but she was an unwilling participant…..we became roommates…..but we are good parents….. She does not work nor drive…I do everything….. I thought that at the very least I could get the bare minimum of what a good husband is supposed to get. I take care of my family very well. I have been a good father….but inside it feels like I am dying from a lack of love and affection in my life. I sought Christian counseling last year and asked her to come with me. She came for about a month and a half but stopped. The counselor would not allow her to use things that happened years ago to support her actions as a wife now. She is a keeper of wrongdoing and never sees what she does to others. She is also very selfish and only thinks about what she wants or needs. She avoids talking about what we could do to fix our marriage at all costs. So I kept going even though she stopped. I went for about a year and a half by myself, trying to get my life straight. She has really helped me to see that I need to start living again instead of doing everything I can to please a person who can never be pleased. She tried to teach me to love myself which is something that I never learned and don’t know how to do. It’s a hard process when you have been programmed to take care of everyone but yourself. It’s a hard life but I made those decisions so I am dealing with it. I love her and don’t want to be divorced but I am getting tired of having no one to talk to and living such an unaffectionate life. Because she doesn’t drive, I have to take off from work to take her and the kids to all of their appointments. Its very hard on me. I don’t ask for much but I do a lot. I take care of my responsibilities as a man. But inside I am dying and I don’t know what to do.
It sounds like you are a good husband. I know it’s hard to stay in a situation that doesn’t feel like a good marriage. I will share that I had a very similar situation and lived without sex and affection for most of the 15 years of my marriage, and the last 5 years was literally nothing. I didn’t know how to fix it, and I tried everything. I wanted it to work so bad that I sought advice from Christian women who told me to divorce because ‘he didn’t care and didn’t want to be with me.’ I did just that and the pain is/was extreme and still endures 10 years later. My ex and son moved 2,000 miles away for his ‘new job’ and my son met the girl of his dreams and has no intention of coming back. God hates divorce and I personally know why. Hang in there and don’t throw away your family! It’s not always about us. It sucks, I know, but the bigger picture is the family and your children….don’t let satan win!
I have been married for over 22 years. My husband has alexithymia and cannot connect with me on an emotional level. When we were married 4 years he said he would eventually get around to loving me but now I know he will never love me. I spent years praying that God would either change me or him, neither has happened. God has not changed my needs, I don’t think he will. I need emotional intimacy and emotional support and recognizing that I will never have either from the only man I am to be subject to for the rest of my life is a hard pill to swallow. It is absolutely heartbreaking, sometimes on a daily basis. It is trite to say that somehow, since I feel this way, I have not relied on God, or that I have not allowed God to be sufficient, but I don’t agree. God requires my husband to love me because God knows I need it, the same as God requires me to respect my husband because my husband needs it. My question is this – Knowing that I won’t be loved for the next 50+ years of my life, how do I live with that? How do you accept that? I’ve been praying about this for years without an answer.
What a heart-breaking situation. To me, emotional intimacy is the life-blood of a marriage. Facing a lifetime without that is extremely difficult. Whatever you decide about how to manage the situation, you’ll need support. I would suggest finding a therapist who can help you process your emotions and build healthy boundaries for yourself, given the realities of your situation. There’s probably not a “right” answer, but I hope you can find good support for yourself, no matter what you choose. Peace to you, Kay
I am searching right now. I’m not sure for what but I guess I’m trying to reach out. I feel like leaving my marriage,church,and just running away. I can’t take it anymore. Nothing seems to work for me, no matter how hard I try. I have a wife that doesn’t care if I leave and she puts her 24 and 19 year sons before me. I can’t compete and she doesn’t care because it’s all about them. In not against them it’s just that she allows them to do ungodly things in our home. I have no say so. I guess I’m out. Thanks for listening.
So I’ve been married 33 years. We have had our shares of ups & downs but that is what marriage is. Most of the times our marriage has matured as we worked through the valleys with God by our side. 3 years into our marriage, we lost our first child which was devastating; lots of little bumps raising our other 3 children that are now fully grown; then his use of porn about 12 years ago & my cancer a year later. We have weathered all of these storms because we rely on God & know He will teach us something. It is hard to think of it as pure joy at the time (as it says in James 1: 1-2) but we know from experience that we do come out stronger.
Well as usual, the storm we are in hit me blind-sided once again. He relapsed & started using porn 6-12 months ago. It has been less than a week since I found out. God is keeping me much stronger this time & because I trust God completely, I am able to hear the messages he keeps sending me. My daily devotional & Bible readings can only be from Him because of how relevant they are. Last night I read Chapter 3 of the Rekindling the Romance book which he downloaded in an effort to make our marriage whole again (before I figured it out). Chapter 3 described how after all the turmoil/fights etc., the husband proclaimed his unconditional love for his wife. It was the turning point in their young 6 year marriage. Well here I am after 33 years of marriage and I think I have finally realized that I will never have unconditional love from my husband. I truly love him unconditionally and I always have. So much so, that I am willing to do pretty much anything to help him. I have been trying to decide all week if the best thing for “him” is for me to leave for a while. I thought maybe it is what he needs to finally “get it”. But I am afraid of him spiraling into a depression and not moving toward any kind of recovery.
I am wondering if there is a part 2 to this article. I am not self-seeking & I do rely on God as my source of power. So I’m feeling that this is good as it is going to get. My husband does love me but he doesn’t love me as much as he loves sex. I trust God will bring us through this storm too & I will be a better person at the end. The thing I fear right now is that I am going to be doing this once again in another 10 years. I guess we didn’t fix the problem last time, maybe we just put a bandage on it.
Thank you for your website & articles. Hopefully they will get through to him once & for all.
Wow, you’ve been through so much. My heart just breaks for you. I do think it’s really healthy to consider your boundaries, and whether you need a separation or not is up to you. You know the circumstances of this relationship, and you know the harm that’s being done to you in it. The only thing I would say is that boundaries are not a tool to change the other person (although that may happen!). Boundaries are simply the declaration of what is and is not right for us, personally, and what we will and will not live with. If you need to be separated from your husband’s ongoing behaviors, then go for it. But do it because it’s the right and healthy thing for you, regardless of how your husband may or may not respond. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that might be helpful as you think this through. If you don’t have a counselor, now might be the time! And if you haven’t found the online resources at Bloom for Women, those are great, too. Whatever he chooses, YOU choose to be healthy for you.
Peace to you,
My wife of 16 years told me she doesn’t respect me anymore because of past failures to provide for our family, and putting the burden on her. She says there is nothing I can do to bring it back. The safety and security she needed from me was not there. I have been depressed on and off for years and has sabotaged my ability to successfully provide for my family. She now has become very successful, earning a masters degree and becoming a NP. I truly admire her accomplishments and love her more than anything. I have sought help for my depression and have gone back to school, but I am afraid it is to little to late. I am feeling very depressed and rejected. I wonder if I would be able to recognize God’s love at this point. I also wonder if the best thing is for her to find someone who will love her the way she needs to be loved.
Tom, whatever happens in your marriage, whether or not you are able to do the work to be trustworthy to your wife at this point, please find a doctor and get medical help for your depression. You say you’ve sought help, but you’re continuing to feel very depressed and hopeless. If you’ve been to your doctor already, go back and explain the symptoms you are continuing to experience. If you have not yet sought medical care, do so immediately. There is help! Treatment may not be enough to restore the years that have gone by already, but treatment will help you to live a healthier, happier life in the future. Peace to you, Kay
So many posts about people struggling in their marriage. None with a resolution or happy ending. This is not encouraging!!
It’s a sad reality that many, many marriages today are affected by pornography. A good resolution, a reconciled relationship, requires hard work on both parts. The husband has to do his work in recovery, and the wife has to do her work with boundaries. Unfortunately, many men are unwilling to do the work and many women are not well=trained in good boundaries. Women are often encouraged against good boundaries, in fact, and they end up staying in relationships that are effectively dead, simply because they feel trapped and without options. Here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries that I wish every woman would read.
I know this is really long but please just finish it. You give such great advice to everyone an I’m so lost right now. Im only twenty two years old. I’ve been with my husband two years married only a couple of months though since October. We have a ten month old and my five year old that he treats as his own. He’s always traveled on and off for work. He can’t stand working at home because he feels like he can’t make enough. Ive always done my best to support what he wants. Stay home I’ll get a job too or go travel I’ll be there as much as I can. Well it’s been hard but we have always made it work until I messed up. My husband grew up in an abusive ruff home. So when I do something that really upsets him he over the years progressed from verbally abusive comments to really verbally abusing me and pushing me around where I didn’t even wanna be here anymore. I felt worthless. He always felt bad after wards but it was always my fault. I told him I couldn’t do it anymore. So it stopped for a while but of course one day he just randomly did it again. Lost it on me for no reason because I said something that was wrong in his eyes. So this time I pretended everything was okay after but my heart was crumbling. I packed all me am the kids stuff waited for him to leave an left for three days an that’s when I messed up. I had no where to stay besides a guy I had met at work that was friends with a real close friend of mine. He had a spear room an was of course nice enough to tell me to stay in it. I wouldn’t bother anyone. So I did. An even though he did keep trying to talk to me I didn’t engage in all that.. I was married just very hurt. I didn’t cheat on my husband. But I also didn’t realize what I was about to do to my relationship when he found out where I was an that some guy had been texting me and I had told that random everything that happened in my marriage trying to solve it in my head. At the time none of that occurred how he would see everything in his perspective. I went home after he found out. We decided to stay together an try. Since then it doesn’t matter how how much I try or anything. He hasn’t cared. He’s so set that I cheated that he has talked to sent pictures to over twenty girls. I found out before he went back to work in texas. It broke me. I felt how he did. He promised it stop. How do I know though he’s a thousand miles away. And never ever has the erg to talk to me or even the kids. Sure he texts some calls every now an then but mostly I have to beg him to talk to me. An then when I finally say idk what to do anymore he says what do u want me to do be so clingy u gripe me out but in other hurtful words. He tells me he doesn’t feel the erg to care more after everything. I know I hurt him. But I am suffering I miss my husband. I’m pregnant with our third child and alone feeling. While he’s gone an I don’t even know what he does watches or talks to down there. He’s always eating at twin peaks and Hooters an I know it’s wrong but it hurts. He never tells me what he’s doing I get griped at for explaining it upsets me he says well u upset me going to a guy’s house. This was a long while back an we decided to work it out but I’m the only one trying an hurting. I know this isn’t completely what this is about on here but I have been reading for hours an yours spoke to me should i just give up when I don’t want to how long before it gets better if he’s not even attempting……..
I am so sorry for the pain that you’re feeling. Of course pornography and sexual betrayal are the things we talk about most here at Covenant Eyes, but in your particular case it sounds like your husband is abusive, and frankly, that is a bigger concern to me than anything else. I’m concerned for your safety: physically, emotionally, I wonder if you are truly safe? It sounds to me like the sexual betrayal is simply part of that bigger picture of relational distress and lack of safety. If there is a women’s shelter in your area, that is a great place to go for help and support in the future. This listing provides all sorts of shelter options around the US. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is always available to you as well. Take good care, Kay
All I did “wrong” was to get cancer. After nearly thirty years of marriage, this has been enough to stop my husband loving me, even though I have had to deal with the whole illness and treatment alone because he just ignores me.
God does not want or need for you to be abused. It is healthy, good, and right to leave an abuser. Please get help through your local women’s shelter, or through a therapist who is experienced in dealing with victims of abuse.
My husband of 31 years is covert narcissist. He abused me emotionally and mentally all our married life and even through my cancer. He taunted me and grinned me down during this most difficult time in my life. He has a sense of entitlement and acted like HIS wife should not have gotten cancer. My sons are living away from home so I had to depend on my sisters support. Totally inhumane behavior. I have had councelling both individual and couples, but he left the couples when councellor started asking him why questions. I believe he never loved me as he picked me up when he wants his needs met and then turns his back for my needs. You see I have fo7nd out that he is self absorbed and I am a overly empathic. I was too busy all these years looking after everyone else except myself to really notice thus until my illness. I am so worried if I stay with him that it will come back. Being abused like that is so painful and I am supposed to be looking after myself.
You are NOT REQUIRED TO BE ABUSED.
You do not have to stay with an abusive spouse.
You are not a slave to anybody’s sin, not even your husband’s sin.
Please find a therapist who is accustomed to dealing with victims of abuse. Your local women’s shelter should be able to help you find support as well.
Please stay safe and take care of yourself,
Thank you Kay for your reply. I know what you are saying and I agree with you but I know that his mother never showed him any love and therefore I see him as a broken little child and don’t want to kick him when he is down. His father was an alcoholic as well so I have a lot of empathy for him. I know that is no reason to allow him to be emotionally abusive to me you are right. Maybe I just haven’t got to that place of no return yet! God, that does sound like I am saying that he needs to abuse me a bit more before I will take action! It’s so good to communicate with someone as it helps me to see more clearly what I am doing to myself. Thank you!
I know how hard it is to have healthy boundaries when you see the pain of another person. And yet, you can’t do the work for him. He has to do it himself. And not only does he harm himself more and more, he also harms you in the process. It’s a terrible thing. Peace to you as you work your way toward healing!
What does Christ expect from his church, the bride? Anything? So as part of the church I am not required to be faithful, loving, respectful, caring?
This article seems lopsided. If I am Christian only outwardly and not inwardly does Christ recognize me? What did Paul say about this and Christ for that matter?
Relationship is reciprocal. If I do not kneel to the cross, have faith, repent, receive, accept, put both an effort of love, and give am I going to heaven?
Did God cut off Isreal? Who is God’s bride? Does Jesus say, ” If you love me, you will have the option to not obey me.”?
This article sounds like fluffy stuff that you hear in a female affirmation group.
Hi my name is John and my marriage is almost in the end. Reading this has made me realize what kind of a man I am and I’m so ashamed. I didn’t even realize I was doing what I did. I’ve been praying to God with tears to help change me and bring my wife Elizabeth back. I see what God wanted me to see. Please pray for my marriage. She’s the world to me. Thank you.
Looking for help. I’ve been married for nearly a year, and I feel like my wife doesn’t love me anymore. She saw that I was texting another woman a few times and she is rightfully upset. I never cheated nor had the intention to cheat. I guess having someone to talk to (just about work) felt nice. I work 2 jobs and work 7 days a week to support our family and I am always tired. When I don’t work my second job, I am home, present and taking care of our son so she can relax. I take full responsibility for what I did in breaking her trust and not honoring my wife. I am in counseling now and trying my best to fix this. She’s all but given up on me, and I’m distraught. Praying for her and us as a couple every night. What else can I do, and do you recommend.
Hello, I’m not sure there’s much more we can recommend in this situation. Earning back trust is not easy, as you’re experiencing. Do you have accountability on your device? Another man you can speak to frequently about honoring your wife and living up to what’s expected? Otherwise, it’s just taking time to heal wounds.
I wish you all the best.
Thank you for this encouragement and promises to sustain. Man doesn’t live on bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God. I want Christ to be manifested in our marriage unconditionally.
Please don’t get married if you are not sure. Do not have expectations that things will change.
Reading everyone else’s comments are heartbreaking. Marriage is attacked at every turn. I have been married 9 years, and we have had lots of struggles. Things are good now. Maybe Marriage Counseling will help with a lot of the issues. Please do not give up. I have a dog-eared copy of Stormy O’Martian’s “The Power of a Praying Wife.” I read it over and over when things are bad. It’s old, but it has worked wonders for us. Unfortunately marriage takes two to work. It’s not 50/50, it’s 100% and 100%. There have been times where I was in about 10% and he was in 90%, there have been times where he wasn’t happy, so I had to be the rock.
Praying for ALL of these marriages right now.
The article suggests that we should love our spouse the way they want to be loved but when they don’t reciprocate we should turn to God for what they are supposed to give us back? Why be married then?
Really excellent question, Beth! I agree with you that there comes a time to face reality and to allow our spouse to have the consequence of their choices. This is about having good boundaries. Here and here are a couple of articles about when it’s time to release that spouse to what they’ve chosen.
Hello my heart hurts as i read the different issues many are facing, i experience many of the different problems
in my marriage, of 30 year and by the grace of God I am stronger. Understanding (Revelation) of what Christ did for me at
the cross and knowing who I am in Him and how He see me in Christ…..changed my life. God’s Love, Acceptance,
and Forgiveness for me when I don’t deserve it. the really is He made us righteous and justified me by is blood.
I will say turn to Jesus fully trust Him with your life, let Him love you….surrender all to Him Roman 12: 1-2
and he will meet you where you are. Depend on Him and Him Alone He Love you and will never leave you nor abandon you. I am Praying for all
This is a wonderful article and filled with so much Godly truth. I love the sweet reminder of how God is our source of love and Gods word tells us “a part from Him we can’t do anything”. I am gleaning from this article and I want nothing more than to love as Christ loved. I will be honest though and say I struggle with being a doormat. God created a helpmate for Adam. He designed us to desire the love to be reciprocated. Is it really possible to love..love..love and love some more, with no love in return, or even need to feel love in return. That is an honest question.
Well, when you love-love-love and get nothing in return, then you have to question what sort of relationship you are in, and whether it’s really a healthy place to be. I totally agree with you that we are designed for mutual, healthy relationship. We are not here to be used and abused. It sounds like you’re asking about boundaries. Here and here are a couple of articles that might be helpful as you think this through. Also, here’s an article called A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce. A good therapist should be able to help you think about your boundaries, a what’s healthy for you. And check out the online resources at Bloom for Women.
AGREE TO DISAGREE…I AGREE that love is not self-seeking and to connect to God’s power source instead of seeking loving validation by your spouse.
Yet, I DISAGREE if the spouse discontinues/decreases the loving gestures you fell in love with them over. That love should be ever so increasing just like God’s love; especially if you have brought loving awareness repeatedly to your spouse (how you miss their gestures and desire to hear them express their feelings to you; so you know how much you mean to them); they should make an effort to continue to love you in the area you desire. Marriage isn’t a one-sided coin; you should be in a marriage to GIVE the love God puts on your heart for your spouse to receive; not just to receive all the perks.
_Wavecure Reading most of these posts saddens me to know the many souls Male & female hurting and striving to keep and be true to their Vowl and Commitment to God’s covenant. But also refreshing to know that Prayer can be made to YAHWEH in Jesus for His mercy n grace fall in each of you, your spouses, and me. I’m in same boat: married 7 yrs; struggled porn (fighting it now for a long while); fell out of love for my wife; verbally abused her and have a bad temper; we have one son of 2yrs of age; 2018-Xmas day, Wife tells me is leaving me. It’s been four months since she said. I hurt her n let her down. In God’s Word I learn that marriage is more than a “feeling” is keeping to our vowels our word in marrying our spouse. Listen, we’re already in this boat. Our responsibility is to thrive and stay committed to our spouses, even if, they want out. Why? Because YAHWEH did so to with Israel. God remain committed with the “on-n-offs” Israel was with Him. God still remained committed during and after the fact. Let’s keep fighting in silent, in verbal statements, let your voice known to your spouse and let’s remain tuned-in with God in our secret closet place. God is Good! Even if silence n observational facts are real n hurt us from our spouses, God will make a way! For nothing is impossible for Him! Remember, we hurt and rejected our spouses by our selfish ways, we must remain true once more if we want our marriages to see light again. And for those spouses that did not cause a spousal-wreckage, you too hang tight with following God’s example with Israel, His bride. In overall, until “they” decide to make the move n walk away. It hurts, yes. But, if we have hurt our spouse, is the best response we can give to our marriage n spouses that r hurting n Pray for them to regain faith in our marriage. Satan wants to claim victory over marriages. However, Jesus has resurrected and His victory is our gain and God loves us because of His Son’s love for us. If they walk out, at least, you n I know we tried all possible way in recognizing our wrong n tried and committed to the end.
I read Mary’s comments,concerning a husband that critical and unkind to her . I feel like i don’t know what to do. My first husband if 43 years died. We had a wonderful marriage. Both Christians. I was so lonely after he died but I remembered what Paul said about remarriage for widows. So, i waited and prayed. Knew i could only consider a Christian ,i met this man in Church,he treated me really nice, never tried to get me to go to bed with him. Kind,polite,only drawl back was he was a divorced . He told me she had left him years ago and had remarried 3 times since then. I married him and he has treated me terrible.Critical, abusive with his mouth, I gained 10 lbs,so i am fat, I am getting thinning hair, remarks ,do something with your hair. I am 5’5 weight 143 lbs. .I am a real Christian and this is killing me. I have stayed 19 yrs.I don’t believe he will change, and I hate the hurt and pain that he puts me through. I am praying for wisdom, and a Godly way to handle this.
God does not require you to be abused, in any way, ever. A person who abuses their spouse has broken the marriage covenant, exactly as if he had committed adultery. A Godly way to handle this is to handle this is to value yourself as God values you. If your husband can’t do that, allow God to deal with him for his sin. You are under no obligation to protect him from the consequences of his abuse. Here’s an article that may be helpful to you: A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce. Peace to you, Kay
I have been married for over 25 years. We suffered a catastrophic loss 13 years ago when our son was killed in an automobile accident. We made it through the first year ok but her affection for me drifted. I eventually had an affair. I confessed it to her and we worked through it. A year or so later she had an affair and wanted a divorce. Instead of granting her a divorce I fought (on my knees). Eventually the affair ended and my wife wanted to reconcile. We have struggled with trust issues for the last 7 or so years but have worked hard to keep our relationship together. She told me last week she didn’t love me anymore and is sure that we need to divorce now. We are both believers but she says she doesn’t want to put in any more work on our relationship and that she is still young enough to enjoy life and doesn’t want me around. I am crushed. I have been honorable and faithful and bent to her desires in every way I could to accommodate her. Now I am 50 and on the way to divorce but I want to keep fighting. Should I just give in?
I needed every bit of this article. My husband hasn’t loved me for years. Looking back, I honestly don’t know if he ever did or if he just loved the image of what he imagined I am and the longing for a personal maid/cook. I realize over the years I have just come to resent him for not loving me and that’s not unconditional love at all. I’ve been too co-dependent and have just been wanting to be loved for so long it has just turned me in to pure bitterness. That’s not what I want for myself, my marriage or my kids.
Going on 27 years of marriage, after dating 4 years. I feel so empty and unloved. I’m married to a covert narcissist, who regularly throws me under the bus, bails out on accountability (coward), and has abandoned me in times of family crisis and emotional distress. He and his parents constantly hating, bashing and ridiculing me and my family behind my back. (His parents always saying inappropriate things to the kids, to try to make my family and myself look bad). And he did tell me one day he no longer loved me, said he expected my doctors would have killed me off by now, wanted me dead so he could get out of the marriage financially free. He said he only stayed because he wasn’t giving up his money,( which is his God.) He has lied and backpedaled all along, lies about money while hundreds of thousands are hidden in banks under his mother’s name, and the kids and I go without. He frequently lied about things going on between him and other women. When I was able to work, I worked many long hours, 12-16 hour shifts, as a nurse. His parents constantly hated on me, complaining I wasn’t working enough, never enough money being made, but more importantly, I wasn’t handing it over. Hubby always flirting and having emotional affairs, although I don’t buy into the claims they never became physical affairs. Now he says he never meant any of these cruel things he said. Too late. Damage done and no I do NOT believe he didn’t mean it. I made a big mistake marrying him. I stay primarily because I have health issues and can’t work anymore, which my husband made clear that I became useless to him once I couldn’t work anymore. I was just an object meant to make him richer. He swears he’s trying to “fix this”. We’ve been to ministers, counselors, Marriage Encounter, none of which ever helped. Yes I love him, but this is torture. I do not believe a Christian should be expected to endure such cruelty, as it’s obviously not of God. But I feel trapped here, for ever hoping a light will shine and I’ll see that he does love me, but the reality is clearly saying otherwise. Truth is I wish I could support myself financially because I absolutely would divorce him. I don’t believe the Bible requires a person stay under such circumstances. Moses permitted divorced because of hardness of hearts, no reconciliation to be had. Though God hates divorce, when reconciliation is unattainable, staying in miserable situation isn’t justifiable scripturally. It’s insanity.
The Bible says that God hates divorce BECAUSE during the time of the Bible’s writing, divorce was a means of cruelty to women, as women who went through a divorce had no means of supporting themselves and would be homeless, indigent, very likely starving to death. Divorce was a form of abuse against women at that time.
It’s horribly ironic that these days, that “God hates divorce,” rather than protecting women as the Bible intended, is used to sustain abuse against women by forcing them to stay in abusive marriages. Ministers, counselors, Marriage Encounter–many of these are not aimed justice, at understanding abuse and supporting women to be free of that suffering, but rather are aimed at preserving the marriage no matter what.
Many women tell the same story that you’re relating here: they have endured years of abuse which has taken a terrible toll on their health and ability to function well in life, and they are trapped because they don’t have the means to support themselves.
Our sisters have endured the same for centuries.
God hates the abuse of women.
May your words be a light to women who are in a situation like yours.
I have been in a legal marriage for 22 years. During that time I have tried over 10,000 times to draw close to my wife. I have performed her love language to no avail. I have tried to get emotionally close to her to be consistently rejected. I have tried to get physically close to her to be generally rejected. I have tried to get intellectually close to her to be consistently rejected. I have tried to get spiritually close to her to be generally rejected. I have tried to join her in her recreations to no avail. I have tried to have her involved in my recreations to little effect. I have fails to become close to my wife.
Since God is changing me, he has lead me to a Christian psychologist. She says that I need to become emotionally close to people in order to heal, and to learn love. She has recommended that I find a NAMI group to gain some level of closeness with other human beings. My wife rejects my attempts at closeness, so it will have to be other people if I am to learn how to be close to another person.
I have some questions:
– I have never felt love for anyone. This is because my mother was unable to teach me that emotion. Is empty love (love without emotion) OK?
– Is it possible to understand the Bible if I have never felt love? The Bible uses the word love a lot, but the passages that use it make little sense to me because I do not understand the word ‘love’. How can I understand those passages?
– If marriage is a type of our relationship with God does that mean God rejects me consistently and hurts me daily and does not want to be clsoe to me, and does not meet my needs?
– If my wife practices kickback love and demands things, and then usually rejects me anyway, does that mean I God wants me to live in anguish?
– What is God’s definition of marriage? Is is possible that I am not actually married to my wife? Has my wife ended our marriage by failing to live up to our covenant?
– Is it self-seeking to want to have my emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual needs met? Since I should not be self-seeking, are my needs evil and to be avoided? If my needs are not met is it OK to live in such deep anguish that I eventually kill myself? If my other needs are self-seeking, is the need to remain alive also self-seeking?
– My wife does not respond to her love language. She continues to reject me whether I perform it or not. After 20 years of trying to service her love language is there any point in bothering to continue?
– One reason I married was Paul’s advice that it is better to marry than burn with passion. Now that I have married I find that I still burn with passion because I find women attractive, and my wife does not engage in sex. Does God have any advice for a husband who still burns with passion after having gotten married?
– Is it adultery to find emotional closeness with someone other than my wife?
– The first Christian marriage counselor we went to advised us to divorce. Did we make a huge mistake by not divorcing, since I can not meet my wife’s needs and she rejects my needs?
Honestly I think some of this is damaging advice staying in a physical, emotionally abusive relationship is wild.
Was in one for 14 years and she never changed no matter how much unconditional love was shown.
Jesus said divorce is permit-able for adultery and if anyone lusts with their eyes they have committed adultery.
Also a lot of these people have clear mental illnesses such as borderline, narcissism, sometimes they might have clear chemical imbalances.
But you’re told to “love” them, it’s like saying love you’re broken arm to health. Lastly, from personal experience if my spouse was causing me to sin by robbing me my joy, my faithfulness, causing bitter resentment. Making you stumble in your walk with god….
Then staying in these relationships is what idol worship becomes, you’re choosing your spouse over god.
And all these articles make it seem like the natural easy way is to run away. I doubt how much personal suffering or even research they’ve ever done. As staying in these unhealthy relationships they become highly addictive worst then a drug.
And the hardest thing to do is LEAVE! Again when the idol addiction becomes your broken spouse that you are trying to love and help, you’ve neglected god.
Plenty of stories in the Bible where people send their spouses away because they were becoming hinderances to gods work.
Unless god came to you in a dream or directly spoke to you and told you stay with someone like Gomer. I would highly rethink your relationship.
Has the dysfunctional relationship become your idol? Are we enabling sin in both ourselves and our spouses?
Of course try to stick it out, and try to make it work, but if you see no meaningful change, probably for the best to leave.
And research backs it up majority of people never change. The issue is your “Christian” spouse just like mine were never born again. Never read the Bible, just said all the right Christian words…. there is a difference between struggling with even a life long sin like pornography, then someone who watches it without remorse or conviction of the Holy Spirit.
Seems like majority are concerned with divorce statistics for Christians to try to keep those numbers low then about their fellow brothers and sisters lives.
And Jesus served, guess who he served his sheep who loved him, and people who followed him…. did he serve unloving, hateful people…. nope he rebuked them, and dusted off his feet. Even withheld from the Scribes.
Outside of his death for all humanity including the evil, he never really entertained or served people who showed no love towards him during his ministry, outside of his death.
My story kind of fit in both ends. I have been with my husband for 20 years, three years after my oldest son was born he was unfaithful. He said he didn’t out of ángel because I didn’t show him love and was rough and rejected him. We continue to be together trying to make things work, he was defenderlo trying to fix it and show me he was sorry, but I grew in resentment sadness and lack of trust. He had another son a year later. I thought thing were going well, just to find out a few years later he was going online and meet a much younger girl who he kept chatting for months. When I found out and confronted Him he said the same thing, that he felt unloved and rejected. I must admit I was hurt and angry. I was expecting g more attention and love perhaps in a different way he was giving it to me. I was blind and resentful, I also was distant. Some how I wanted to make him feel guilty and hurt as I was. Then I got pregnant again with my youngest bi, now three. In June I found out he was in another relationship with a 19 year old girl he meet in a chat room! I broke my heart niece again! I panic! I didn’t want to lose him. I changed and became the woman he wanted, loving, affectionate…etc… he couldn’t stop talking to her, he created a parallel life with her, knowing it was imposible. She was not only 30 years younger she is indian and has an arranged marriages already in place. But I feel it changed his heart, he didn’t wNt to try to win my love back anymore, now that I want to give il all to him because I was just holding back, thinking he didn’t deserve my love. Now he said he stop the relationship, but is too late for us. He said he loves me but die t feel the same for me, is not as affectionate. He said he stayed because of the kids and because he can’t imagine a life without me, but he doent mind being alone…
know I am on the other seat! He said! I am chasing his love and he doesn’t feel it… we are still together. Live in peace. He is a good man. But I feel broken and frustrated that his heart is not into me as he said he was… he didn’t reject me but didn’t try to be close to me either. I know I hurt him in the past… and I wonder if God is punishing me? I love him? I understand live unconditionally. But my faith stumbles when I feel unloved. Will be Gods will that my family breaks? I couldn’t hurt my children by separating them from his father, all I ask God is to touch his heart, he said he feel nothing… we go to church as a family every Sunday and sometimes pray… our kids do put a lot of pressure on both. Not sure what to do… I know u have to turn to God and make him the centre of my thought and my life, but I find it hard to know I am not in his heart anymore… I desperately look for Gods confort and words but it only helps me temporarily… my heart physically hurts… what is Gods plan for me and my family? I am terrified of a life but n divorce or so bland without love…
First of all, if your husband was unhappy in your marriage, he had many other choices besides getting into relationships with other women. He could have talked to you about it, he could have set up marraige counseling for the two of you. He was not required to go out and get into relationships with other women. That was his choice. When he blames his choices on you, that becomes a form of emotional abuse called gaslighting. Here is a video on gaslighting.
Second, when you’re trying to become the person he claims he needs in order to stop the behavior he chose but blames on you, and he withholds affection from you, so that you can never succeed in “loving him enough” so that he can be a good husband… well, that’s just another form of emotional abuse.
Third, God is not punishing you. God is not emotionally abusive, God does not withhold love from you, God is not punishing you. Your husband, yes. He punishes you because he is emotionally abusive. But not God.
God’s plans are not to harm you. God’s plans are for your good, for your safety–emotional and physical. Here is an article that might be helpful: A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce. God does not intend for marriage to be a trap that causes harm and abuse to women.
I agree he could have taken other roads to fix what he was feeling. He said he was scared of me, leaving him and taken the kids. He said he miss feeling love and In loved, he needed someone to make him feel special and wanted, handsome unique… I was being a wife! Perhaps to much of a wife and I must confess romance was not in my mind. Some days I was angry, hurt and resentful and I will come out as a rejection when he wanted to get close to me… I don’t feel guilty for why he did but maybe a bit for how I made him feel. I don’t want to divorce him or even separate from him. I love him and love my family as a unity. I am struggling to have faith and follow God word that he loves me and only God can make me feel loved. I do have a huge gap in my heart… I miss his affection and interest. I am now in a position where is me who looks for him. He said the tables have turned! :-(
I am overly saturating myself with talk, podcast, bible readings, YouTube videos on how to love myself and make others love me and see me.
He is a good man inside, he loves his kids and try to live each day as it comes. He cares for me, like some sine special, but not with the passion he once had. (I think). My faith stumbles and just wonder what my purpose in this marriage is. I am supposed to help him, is he my job in this earth to bring him to closer to God to make him see things differently?
How can I rescue him? How can I hear God and his will for my life? I hate lo live not knowing where I am going… I feel my faith is weak and I am impatient to see some change or at least a glimpse that there is a little hope for us…
The problem is, you can’t rescue him. God has given him free will. God won’t override your husband’s choices, and neither can you. He has to become invested in his own work. You can only be responsible for you. You can definitely work on loving yourself, but it’s impossible to make others love and see you: those are things only they can do. There’s no amount of “faith” that will force other people to do things if they aren’t invested in doing them.
It is hard not to have guarantees for specific outcomes, I know. But whatever he chooses, you can choose to be healthy.
Peace to you,
My faith does not fix people, only helps me to love myself and others when I am being oppressed. My marriage is slowly killing me, and I am afraid. Jesus did not die on the cross for me to slowly die because of constant criticism and rejection by my spouse. I am living in a black hole and the guilt of divorce keeps me there regardless of how I am being treated…
Is this what God wants my life to be like… I think not.
I can only imagine the hurt and despair you are feeling at this time. It can be difficult to trust God during trials, but I have found that even in my most difficult times of life, God is still there. He is there for me, a sinner! If you are feeling like your life is not worth living, please call the National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255. Life can be incredibly difficult and scary, but it is SO worth living. Living for Christ is my greatest joy, and I pray that it will be yours as well.
I am praying for you!
I am definitely feeling your pain. My husband just randomly stopped talking to me and treating me like crap emotionally and mentally. He cheated last year and I put our marriage and family over my feelings and pushed on. We seemed okay. Well after this silent game we played for weeks I kept asking what was wrong. He began talking about situations from years ago when I was going through postpartum and depression. I never mistreated him just couldn’t be my normal “superwoman” self. I read that he is going through a midlife crisis but I don’t think my heart and mind can deal with all of this!
I am so, so sorry for the pain you’ve already pushed through, and the ways that you’ve suffered for his choices. I would encourage you to find a therapist, just for you, someone who can help you process through these emotions and help set healthy boundaries in place. (here, here, and here are some articles on boundaries.) You’ll also appreciate the online resources at Bloom for Women that are trauma-informed for women suffering marriage betrayal.
I want you to know that you are not responsible for your husband’s bad choices. You are not required to stay in a marriage when your husband has broken his vows. It sounds like rather than taking responsibility for his choices and doing the work of relationship repair, your husband is trying to blame you for what he has done, which is a form of gaslighting and emotional abuse.
Let me be a voice telling you that You are not required to be abused in any way: physically, sexually, emotionally, spiritually, verbally, financially. Whatever he chooses to do, you can be healthy and whole.
Peace to you,
I am so glad I found this article where finally someone recognized and is speaking the Truth. I already thought that I am the wheel that’s turning backwards.
While going through lots of suffering and heartache I came to realize the destructive heresy behind this and other “expert’s” books like “The five love languages”. With lots of good will, at best, the book may help in recognizing flaws and teach someone how to live with their spouse according to knowledge and communicate what they already have – knowledge of God’s true character/nature and that God is the only source of contentment, and that marriage is His institution intended for a male and a female to go through the life-long process of sanctification under an undissolvable covenant providing the platform/rules of engagement that are necessary to establish accountability, and for God to run His tests without defiling/breaking the subjects, their race/good fight ultimately resulting in true happiness and contentment in life as they fulfill God’s purpose.
People who enter marriage in order to satisfy their own needs and in hopes to find happiness are ultimately going to get disappointed, because God – being the source of happiness – put one man and one wife together in marriage to share the happiness deriving from their already existing individual relationship with Him with each other, and to become the channel of His blessings to each other.
God’s purpose is not behavior modification but heart transformation.
The five love languages and books alike are nothing but religious teachings according to the basic principals of this world which have nothing to do with what God’s Word teaches about life and marriage according to the sound doctrine of Jesus Christ. /Colossians 2:6-10/
The biggest problem most marriages face is unforgiveness deriving from the selfishness of the uncrucified flesh. /Galatians 5:16-26/
When people get married they’re entering God’s covenant institution in the state of imperfection with the purpose of getting perfected as they go, not the other way around, which requires them to fulfill the Royal law of Jesus Christ – “Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.”
People who refuse to forgive 7×70 times a day doom themselves to failure and suffering until they repent.
Most grief/depression people experience comes from their unwillingness to forgive, which Jesus was clear about – will result in God not forgiving them their sins, and when they get violent to force their will upon each other instead of repenting, He will hand them over to the torturer until they do, which feeling unrepentant people then blame others for so they begin to stall, falling down with terminal velocity until they decide to repent.
Marriage is not a contract which stands as long as contractual agreements are fulfilled – it’s a covenant by and between God and each other, which according to Jesus – cannot be broken without fatal consequences.
If either spouse decides to shake off God’s beautiful, light yoke and divorce for any reason other than martial unfaithfulness /and even then they are to forgive if there’s remorse/ that divorcing spouse is stepping out from under God’s covenant, thereby making him/herself subject to condemnation until they repent and return. Those who claim they can divorce without eternal consequences only fool themselves – God’s Word is not subject to negotiation. God said what he said out of His perfect and loving good nature. God will never change – we have to!
Spouses in marital trouble need to realize and acknowledge that – Jesus is the only way into God’s Kingdom – which means they are to crucify their fleshly drives, forgive, and lay down their lives for each other until they are being perfectly knit together in and by God’s love and become completely one flesh.
You may hurt for a very long time until your spouse realizes his/her error, but until then you are to love as the risen Lord, Jesus Christ did and died for His Church. You can’t even change yourself, much less your spouse. You are not responsible for your spouse’s decisions only to love him/her no matter what and seek comfort in Jesus Christ who is able to save.
Also – sex is not the purpose of marriage – Love is…Read 1Corinthians 7 to the end, especially verse 29 onwards and Mark 10:2-12, 1Corinthians 6:9, Revelations 22:15
Hi..My problem is my husband has requested a divorce but for the sake of the kids we decided to stay together and have an emotional divorce…We ko longer share a bed and are not intimate anymore…I’m praying to God for a restoration…how do we continue be amicable towards one another because we are both believers and we dont want to commit adultery but we are sexually frustrated so it makes us irritable…How do we hold on whilst praying for God to restore us.
You’re in a difficult situation, for sure. It sounds to me like you and your husband may have conflicting goals: he wants a divorce, you want restoration. It sounds like you agreed to something you didn’t really want, and it sounds like it’s more of a sexual divorce than an emotional one on your side, anyway. You would probably benefit from finding a therapist who can help you sort through this difficult situation, accepting his choices while making your own healthy choices as well.
My husband and I have been married for 11 years. For the entirety of our marriage, until last year, he was using porn. We had a sexless marriage-We has sex maybe 20 times in our 10 years of marriage (thankfully we have four children from this, but it doesn’t make it okay). I’d initiate and bring up my concerns and ask what was going on and he’d hide the truth and usually just say he was too tired, too stressed or not feeling well. After we had our first two kids, my weight became his excuse. I definitely gained more than I should have but with huge effort, I all but starved myself and ran myself into the ground to lose the weight. Fast forward to more issues and more excuses. When he finally admitted to his problem after seeking counsel, he admitted that I didn’t fit with what he’s attracted to. My husband is handsome, well liked and very successful. I’m pretty average. I chose to stay home with our children instead of grad school and so I do rely on his income. I’ve supported his career, followed him all over the world and have even raised our children on my own when he’s away for extended periods of time (12 months, 8 months, 5 months, etc). He’s no longer looking at porn but his desires don’t seem to have changed. He’s cruel in his quickness to get annoyed and irritated with me. He doesn’t like to talk-he never really has-and he usually keeps pretty busy with work. I’m alone and away from family. I’m home all day with our children and my husband doesn’t really notice any of it. Maybe I’m wrong, but I feel like maybe I could handle it if he liked being around me and liked talking with me, or maybe I wouldn’t mind him not talking to me if he showed any sort of intimacy or affection. But I get neither. I don’t want to find someone else, but I also don’t know how much more I can take. I’d rather be alone and choosing to be lonely, than to be lonely because my husband doesn’t love me. Every day is a full time job of carefully choosing what I say when I say it. I only bring up the things I’m sure he’ll be interested in, and even then, it’s 50/50. I try to just find the good in even the smallest things, like him leaving coffee in the pot for me or waking up with the baby. But, I’m lonely. I feel so unloved and unwanted. I have flaws for sure, but I really do try. I’m faithful and I work hard at our marriage. I seek counsel, I read books, I search websites, I take medication, I try to communicate and I pray. I just don’t understand how I could do everything right and still be left so alone and unloved.
Your pain just breaks my heart. It sounds like your husband fits into the classic “dry drunk” model: maybe he’s no longer using porn, but he hasn’t dealt with the real underlying issues, so you still can’t have a healthy relationship.
While he doesn’t use porn, he has a lot of other damaging behaviors, which you are still trying to manage by your placating and egg-shell-walking behaviors, so the dynamics of an unhealthy relationship are still in place.
This is a tough reality: “not using porn” is a pretty low bar, and it’s not a basis for true relationship.
The basis for a true relationship is emotional trust, and Dr. John Gottman’s research shows that the basis for emotional trust is the ability of each partner to “turn toward” their partner, to care how the other person feels, to provide support and empathy, to connect rather than turn away or–worst of all–turn against. Here’s a short video clip of Dr. Gottman talking about this dynamic. And here is a little video of what Dr. Gottman calls “The Four Horsemen” of relationship apocalypse: when these things are present, after a long history of turning away/against, the relationship is in serious trouble.
I think the problem you’re experiencing here is that your husband is either unable or uninterested in turning toward you. It sounds to me like you are doing all the relationship work, and you have been for the history of this relationship. That’s a tough, sobering reality to face. I think you know that this is not really about porn any more. It’s really never been about that. It’s been about whether or not he has the ability or desire to do the work of a real relationship. Porn was a thing he could substitute for relationship and now he just has other substitutes. Can he or will he change that pattern? This is the big question.
Here’s an article you might find helpful: A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce.
Peace to you,
Sue, your story is a blueprint of mine! With the difference I don’t know if we looks a t porn, but he does get into chat rooms and have had a few emotional affairs. I share your pain I pray that God gives us wisdom, courage and strength to know and do what is the right think to do. Our children also suffer because they can realised what’s happening. I pray for us Sue, May God almighty touches their hearts and bro g them to life.
My wife is not willing to give our marriage another chance. We had major issues before. My behavior, outburst, dismissive ness led to her infidelity. We worked through that but things went back to the old ways with me a few months later. Now she is convinced that things will never be better permanently and doesn’t want to waste time trying. In hindsight, my goals of reconciliation the last time was incorrectly focused on getting her back instead of strengthening my relationship with God. Asking her for another chance is futile so I am making amends with God and asking him to sort it out for her. That is all I can do.
So I am to give up on ever being a priority in my husbands life? I should give up on my dream of him ever putting my happiness before his? I should give up on wanting to come before his work and work buddies that he will drop everything for and leave me with all the responsibility? I do so much for our marriage, I pray for him throughout the day, I listen to Christian podcasts and videos to help me be the best wife I can be, I enthusiastically enjoy our sex life, I always show him respect and honor, I participate in activities he enjoys, I do my best to keep the house relatively clean with a full-time job. We’ve been married 35 years and experienced the drift apart, I gave up on trying about 3 or 4 years ago. I thought you do your thing, because you will anyway, and I’ll do my thing. We just shared the same house. Our sex life became almost non existant because he did nothing for me, I emotionally shut down as a way to protect my heart because the pain was so great. He experienced an emotional connection with a female coworker. When I found out I was devastated – he was so defensive about the relationship. Then I stumbled upon his porn use on our iPad that I thought was broken. I experienced such a deep depression and anxiety. I lost 57 pounds in 3 months, I barely slept, I cried everyday pleading with God to heal my marriage. I believe God allowed me to go through that to get my priorities right. God first, husband second, family third, my job was down the list a few. I promised God I would make Him my first priority and me sweet husband second. My husband was eventually very remorseful for how he treated me as was I for how I treated him. We vowed to not let our marriage get to that place ever again. We have software on all our electronics that alerts each other if we go to questionable sites or search questionable content, etc. I have been going to christian counseling for 10 months. It has been a year since it began and he is back to his loyalty being to his work and friends. My heart is breaking but I will continue to love him and put his happiness before mine because that’s what I’m called to do. I guess I’m grieving for my dream that he would love me unconditionally. I’m grieving for the lost security that he will always be there for me if I need him. I’m grieving that I won’t have the non-sexual physical touches and hugs. I’m grieving that I am feeling such loneliness again. But I will not beg for the things I desire, that just makes me pathetic and him angry. God, I wish I could physically feel your arms around me.
You matter. You count. You are worthy of the vows that your husband made to you. There is far more to a marriage relationship than “not looking at porn.”
Unfortunately, many times I hear this exact story: the wife is the one in therapy while the husband continues either to “struggle with porn” or other behaviors such as addiction to work, ministry, sports, etc., rather than engage in his own emotional work so that he can be truly engaged in the relationship. Here’s a Facebook Live conversation we did a while back that talks about this.
You are deserving of a real marriage with a real partner who is really committed and engaged. Here’s a good article entitled A High View of Marriage Includes Divorce. I hope that’s a helpful, hopeful resource.
I think you might also be pleased with the online resources at Bloom for Women, where you can find great support from a trauma informed perspective.
I don’t think you are required to put his happiness above your own. I think you are equally important, and I think your life should reflect that value.
Peace to you,
I have been with my husband 15 years and married 6 years to him. He is a God fearing man. We had a wonderful life and connected as one. About 4 years ago, I had to get a hysterectomy. It was highly advised by my doctor. My husband and I had agreed to have the surgery. Well since the hysterectomy and menopause setting in, my marriage did a complete turnaround for the pit. I did not realize that the side effects of irritability, lack of interest in sex, depression, just to mention a few, was slowly creeping in. I could not receive HRT because of cancer in my family. My husband started to feel unloved and unwanted. I did not realize I used him away. He told me that he loved me but wasn’t in love with me. Just recently, I found out he was having an affair. I have been so hurt and I told him that I could hate him but God put it on my heart to forgive him and fight for my marriage. Since that day, I have been doing what I can to show him that this woke me up to be the wife I’m supposed to be. He told me that his heart is calloused. I have been fighting to save my marriage. I do what I can to show him my love. We went to counseling and I don’t know if he’ll do the commitment. I have cried every day to find a way to teach him. I have been seeking Christ to change and heal me. Meanwhile, I live in the house alone. He thinks, should we divorce, I am to walk away without nothing. I told him that I pray that we can save our marriage because if it should continue then I would fight for what is rightfully mine.
I love my husband and want to fight for my marriage. I have faith that God is working it out.
Hello… is this article in Spanish please? Thank you for your help, I work with Latin American couples and would love to reference this article in Spanish if possible!
Although we don’t have this article directly available in Spanish, you can use Google Translate to reference it in Spanish!
I hope this helps.
Me and wife dated for a year and a half. We had both used and I have had an addiction that resurfaced in the process. We got married, I got worse and she left 2 months into the marriage. I am thankful that she left as it broke me and now I live for the Lord. I have made up my mind to be sober the rest of my life and my life has greatly improved. I have rededicated my life to Jesus, have a new career and I have absolutely no desire to use anymore. Me and wife had started working things out and then she just checks out, quits communicating with me. Everything has been positive and good with us ever since the separation. I know that she is wounded and needs time. However, its been 8 months and she has went dark again and filed for divorce. She tells me that she loves me and forgives me, but can’t forget. I realize that my behavior was unacceptable. However, there was no infidelity, no physical abuse no fighting etc. We have always got along great. I am very involved in a new church, I am serving and really doing great. I really do love my wife, but realize that only God could reunite us. We pray for each other daily and still love each other. My wife lives with another girl and I really believe that she is not supportive and has been a wedge in me and wife’s attempt at reconciliation. Could anyone give me your honest opinion of what to do? I don’t want to be selflish, but I love my wife and she still loves me. I know that nothing is impossible with God. I am thankful for all the wonderful changes in my life and I’m very sorry that my wife had to leave to break me in such that was desperately needed. We don’t have to live our lives addicted. Its a choice, and that is a choice to live for God. Prayers for all that are hurting and missing the one that they love and desperately wanting to share life with. Don’t give up. Work on you and Trust God.
Although each person who reads your comment may have a different piece of wisdom on “what to do,” I still want to share my advice with you.
I am encouraged to hear that you are doing everything that you can to heal your marriage. Everyone heals at a different pace, and your wife may need extra time. Keep loving her, showing her that she can trust you, and praying for her. You are SO right when you say that only God can reunite you both.
Have you attended counseling? If not, I highly encourage you to do so. It can be a great way to get to the heart of the issue and to promote healing in your own individual life. Also, if you aren’t already, plug into a church and immerse yourself in fellowship with other believers. Your wife may not be ready to reunite, but you should still cling to Christ and pursue a life of glorifying Him!
Thank you so very much!
I am very involved in church and there is a great men’s fellowship that I am actively involved in.
God bless you!
I’m never giving up
Keep on climbing for God’s best!!!
thank God for showing mercy through prophet munak who help me restored peace back once again in my home with his powerful love spell that removed the evil lady on way to be with what God has join together. today I enjoyed love of my husband I must appreciate prophet munak for all he has done to restore peace.
My husband fell out of love for me and became abusive. I have not figured out the reason but have a very hard time accepting it after 18 years of marriage. I still love and care for him and he’s the closest family member I have.
I grew up in a family where my parents always argued and wanted to get a divorce. So I tried every way to make my marriage work sometimes I feel I had to compromise who I am. I admit that a lot of times I look for the source of love in my husband when I really should have looked for God’s love. Now I feel so alone, broken and lost.
In the past two years or so, my husband stopped talking about God and Jesus. I was concerned but never prayed hard enough for his faith. I regret that. Now everything seems to be too late and irrevocable.
I’m grieved to hear about your difficult situation. If you are in an abusive relationship, PLEASE seek help and find safety IMMEDIATELY! Seek godly counsel and wisdom from people who care about your safety. If you are in physical danger, you need a safe space to go before addressing the marital issues further. You can call Focus on the Family for a free consultation: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/get-help/counseling-services-and-referrals/
First time writer…
I’m in love with my wife. I love her more than ever.
A year ago she told me she loves me like a brother.
Health issues on my part, chronic rare health problems took it toll on her.
She was amazing for many months. The illness and recovery has lasted 5 years.
More than a year in the hospital and 2 1/2 to 3 years in bed at the house. During this time she said she grew disconnected from me. She has almost stopped any kind of physical touch. We did have sex once in the past year. I prefer making love but she was like ok lets do it, hurry up. Even though we have a sexless marriage I still love her and I’m here for her. Yes I’d love to be making love to here multiple times each week like it used to be.
As we went through it all I’ve grown to appreciate and love her more than ever. We are both Christians. I’ve grown much stronger in my faith. I might add several times the doctors had my wife call family in because they saw no way that I’d make it through the night. A little of her died each time she said.
I’m constantly working around to house…dishes, tolits, and clothes whatever needs done, that my body allows me to do durying that week.
She says thank you. She hasn’t verbally or any other way told me she loves me in more than a year. I find her very beautiful, sexy, funny and she is s smart. She is totally tired with no energy for anything after she gets home from work.
She goes out of her way so she has very little or no time for me.
Prayers continually that God will help me be the man He wants me to be. Prayer that I’d be the husband He wants me to be. I have ask for God to change me in any way He needs to. I’ve asked that He gives her the desire to be the wife that He wants her to be. That His will be done in our lives. I pray that through Jesus Christ we will be the example our childern and grandchildren need to see.
God is perfect, His plans are perfect and His timing is perfect.
Please keep us in your prayers.
We’ve been married for more than a decade.
Very blessed couple even though things hurt every moment of every day.
Please Lord help me be the servent you want me to be.
At times I’ve asked God to fill my heart with His love, mercy and forgiveness.