How Do I Work On My Marriage When My Spouse Doesn’t Care?

One of the toughest things in a marriage is when one spouse wants to work on the relationship but the other doesn’t think there is a problem, or worse, doesn’t care.

(Also recommended from Noah Filipiak: How to Love Your Spouse When They Don’t Love You Back)

The spouse who wants to work on the relationship can only push so far before they get tuned out altogether or they make their spouse angry.

I knew a couple where the wife was trying to communicate to the husband that there were problems in their marriage and she wanted to go to counseling together.  He was too busy to make her requests a priority and assumed it wasn’t a big deal.  Eventually she couldn’t take it anymore and separated from him.  At this, he realized the seriousness of things, was broken and humbled, and committed to do anything to make the marriage work.  The problem was, it was too late.  She had been empty for too long and her heart had dried up and moved on from him.  She no longer wanted the counseling she once did and filed for divorce.  It turned out she had also had an affair during the long drawn out process of her needs being ignored by her husband.

My question today is, how do you avoid this happening to you?  You might be in the shoes of the dried up wife or of the busy, minimizing husband.

The most important thing to internalize is that you are not entitled to anything from your spouse.  Entitlement is the biggest enemy of your marriage (Read more here).

The response to entitlement is appreciation of God’s mercy; your spouse being one of those mercies (Read more here). 

If you don’t get those two things, nothing else you try in your marriage will matter.

The question then remains, what do you actually do on a day to day basis to improve your marriage without becoming the nag?

  1. Recognize you’ve already tried talking about the issue and have been ignored so bringing it up in the same context isn’t going to help.  Your first temptation may be to do so louder or with a drastic ultimatum.  Don’t do either.  The issue might be something your spouse never changes in.  You have to realize that potential reality and not feel entitled to them changing.  Allow the void left by this unresolved issue to draw you closer to Jesus.  Do not let it become an idol in your life.
  2. If your spouse has refused to want to work on the marriage, show him/her that you are trying to work on it.  Read books like Sheet Music or Fit To Be Tied in the presence of your spouse.  This is a gracious and subtle hint without being a nag.  Pray that this sparks your spouse’s interest to engage in conversation about what you’re reading and inspires them to want to read along, or at least read a chapter or section.  (Use these books as tools to help you become a better spouse, not as research to make you feel more entitled to your spouse changing for you)
  3. If your spouse refuses to go to counseling, go by yourself.  This will help strengthen you personally and will possibly inspire your spouse to match your proactive efforts.
  4. Pray for your spouse.
  5. Love your spouse even if it feels like they don’t deserve it.  Do tangible things to express this love and persevere with it.

If you are the busy, minimizing spouse, it’s doubtful you are reading this blog post at all because you don’t think there is a problem!  If you have managed to stumble upon this article somehow (maybe your dried up spouse left it open on your computer as a gracious, subtle hint!), here is what you need to do:

  1. Utilize this rule: Whoever is hurt is the one who is right.  Stop focusing on who is right and wrong and focus on the fact that your spouse is hurt.  This is your spouse, not your sibling.
  2. A person unwilling to go to counseling is a stubborn, prideful person.  Marital counseling is not solely for people on the brink of divorce.  It is for any married couple who cares about their marriage being healthy (Jen and I have gone together several times and go individually regularly).  You may not need invasive surgery, but you should still check in with your doctor or dentist periodically to get checked up on.  Remove the stigma you have about counseling and go.  All a counselor really is is an anonymous friend who can help you grow more mature as a person and as a follower of Jesus.
  3. Don’t wait until it’s too late.  Realize that your spouse is the most effective tool for discipleship that God has placed in your life.  The act of swallowing your pride, humbling yourself, and seeking counsel (that you don’t even think you need) will only draw you closer to Jesus.  Ignoring this will not only fester into a possible divorce, but will callous your heart to a great opportunity God has to grow and mature you.

IN THE COMMENT SECTION…What other advice can you give to the dried-up spouses who find themselves with a minimizing-spouse not interested in working on their marriage?

Related Posts by Noah:

47 responses to How Do I Work On My Marriage When My Spouse Doesn’t Care?

  1. Edwin Friedman in his book, Generation to Generation, where he outlines family systems theory for churches (and synagogues) suggests that there is a lot of hope for someone whose spouse isn’t interested in therapy because the best way to effect a system is to work with the most healthy person in the system. I found the book very helpful and provocative. It was also filled with hope for those who want to go see a counselor to help them become more healthy/holy even if their spouse doesn’t want to go. Here’s a link to the book on Amazon:

  2. Love the advice in this article. I would only make one change, based on having read your Love Languages article. Remove the 5 Love Languages book as a reading suggestion. I’ve read it & never realized that it does teach self serving ideas about love.. Until I read your response to it.

    • Thank you Raven! I just deleted it. I wrote the “How do I work on…” article a while ago prior to writing about / seeing what I see now in the Love Languages book. Thank so much for the correction, that’s very helpful!

  3. My husband and I have been together 10 years we have two kids together ages 7 & 9 and we both have a child from a previous relationship that both love with us ages 12&13. I am at a point right now I just want to run away by myself and never look back. But I know I could never do that to my babies. I’m just so……..frustrated and unhappy with my husband. He is first of all a very hard worker he works 6 or 7 days a week and it’s not an easy job he’s a welder. But that’s just it that’s all he does . He works comes home goes straight to bed to play on his phone that being our first issue the second being what he’s doing on the phone. Porn. I have tried to talk to him he gets mad. I wrote him a letter to tell him how poem made me feel he sat it down never said a word and was watching porn later that night. Not in front of me but it’s not hard to figure out what he’s doing! He just does not care. I cry myself to sleep right beside him and he never says a word. I think it’s best I just leave but I have no where to go.i have no friends. My mom passed away from ALS two months ago. My dad is well he’s not around. And on top of all this my daughter from my first marriage is sick and requires transportation twice a month to a hospital that is two hours away! I have no car. I do not work no money. Please any advice for me??

    • Patricia
      Have you tried checking with any local women’s shelters or a church nearby? They can help you with short term housing, transportation and finding work. Emotional abuse and neglect is serious. No one should feel trapped in a marriage.

      Your husband has an addiction, it’s not your fault, and you can’t fix it. My husband also was addicted to porn. It took me packing up his things for him to get help.

    • Hi Patricia, I apologize for my very long delay in responding. I had to put blog comments on the shelf due to time/schedule overload and am getting caught up all at once today. I just read your post for the first time today and it pains me that I’m getting back to you 3 months after you wrote it. I sincerely apologize for this.

      Is your husband a Christian? (i.e. a practicing Christian, not just one in name)…this will help me in what type of advice to give you.

      Also, I strongly suggest you check out Covenant Eyes’ blog, particularly the posts in the Restoring Your Marriage category that are written to women whose husbands look at porn. Here is one: –Here is the entire category: –You will find lots of support and help there!

    • I haven’t read this book but a woman in a similar boat as yours posted in a Covenant Eyes blog comment section that this book saved her life: The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick

    • I’m crying reading your story I’m so sorry you are going though that…. My story sounds the same but I only have 2 children from my husband 2 year old and 1 month old. I wish I could give you a hug and pray together cause I also don’t have any one to go to. I will pray for you but I hope your marriage is better now because you posted this a while ago. It’s the most hardest this I ever had to go though in my life I would rather feel physical labor pain again then this emotional hurt for my husband. I’m so angry I want to punch him so bad I want to call him names but I can’t it just won’t come out cause I know God sees everything and I want justice so bad but God doesn’t think that way his way is mercy and I have to have mercy and it’s the most hardest thing to do. I was preparing my self to forgive him and have a talk with him that I believe we can work this out and I will forgive him I told him last night I wanted to talk ., so today finally I said do you want to talk and he rolled his eyes and said he is sleeping now I just feel crushed I wanted to make peace and have some kind of comfort.

    • I am in a similar relationship and I’m curious what’s going on now? 2 and a half years… I’m trying to figure out what I’m gonna do.

    • im in the same boat what you have said is exactly the same here and i have begged and pleaded for 7 years , written countless letters , done it all and he just goes on like nothing is wrong also cry my self to sleep most nights , and he does not
      really have a hard a job and get works 5 days a week , how i know he does not work hard is that he is always on his online game world of war craft , and he wont let me work ,i also fell like packing up and leaving but same as you’re my mom passed away and well my dad i have not seen in years , and i feel i cant leave my 2 daughters 4 and 5 years old with him , so lost and tiered , at my wits end

  4. Thank you so much for this article! Been having marital problems, husband left me and our son for a week last month, things seemed to get better, went to marriage counseling a few times, then felt a sense of staleness again. Wanted husband to listen to a podcast (Dr. Dobson’s Family Talk), he didn’t respond to me, I asked him what he wanted from this marriage, he said he didn’t know… Felt those angry, hopeless feelings… Googled “spouse doesn’t care about marriage”, found your website, this article gave me the insight I needed. 1. Repent of my sense of entitlement, 2. Pray to have Jesus fill my void 3. Love my spouse when I don’t feel like loving him. Did just that, by evening, he told me he listened to it and agreed to try this method of re-connecting!!! I was floored…. This article was a Godsend.

  5. 4 & 5 needs to be 1&2

  6. After 33 years of trying to get my husband to see, that his needs for time off, shifts, vacation slots he wanted, and even a sex life, were secondary to the needs of others. That a sex life was not going to happen until he stopped being so defiant to his father, me and my friends, You notice I did not say our friends, He considers most of them social blood suckers, because everyone felt their status in the society warranted the rights that were either taken from him by blackmail and coercion. and many times armed intimidation. His third day home from the navy he was going to use his union contract accrued seniority to take the job that a pretty blond 19 year old had; to go to days after he reinstated from his military leave Upon his return he walked in the plant doors with nine years seniority, more than 65 percent of the 7500 person work force.

    He had already come to blows with his father who wanted him to not take 30 days between his discharge and his reinstatment. that the contract said he could have. He had not had a leave or day off in over 3 and a half years. He came home with his dolphins several ribbons including a accommodation and presidential unit citation ribbon, His patrol pin had three gold stars, and two silver stars indicating a total of 956 days under water the rest of the time in schools or refits, The schools were always so secret he was sequestered.

    The last three years I had developed sever bi polar symptoms and the navy never told him. even his brother who was on the same crew was ordered not to give my husband any word of how I was doing, how the world outside was going, And I was sent to his fathers six months before his discharge, after he refused reenlistment.

    I was told by his father that I had to stay out of sight the first week he was home, my presence would make things go much harder than they had to be getting him to return to his civilian job. It was two days after his return that I first laid my eyes on my husband. The first day his greeting from everyone was a note on the door to take the sofa at 4am on june the first 1985, an hour latter I heard the first fight with his father start with them at each others throat about him getting dressed and reinstating back on his job. His brother did do one thing that did not help after his leave home seven months before he smuggled a new contract book to him, totally against orders and what the family wanted.

    My husband had memorized that contract just like he had memorized the Nuclear weapons security manual. It took my husbands mother begging him to do as his father requested, even though he did have the right to a few days she said they would not start him back until he had a chance to settle in. He got home at four am again the next morning. they had put him straight to the floor on seconds, The next morning his father was again at him about getting out and finding a place to live. His father was trying to keep him off balance after his return to keep his friends from yelling wasn’t there a way to get him to pay attention to their and their families needs.

    I had to help stop my husband the second day from keeping his father pinned to his living room ceiling until he suffacated.yelling that he was going to tear bulkheads out until he found me, and his father had climbed on his last nerve and he was going to get off> went with him that morning and found a place to live before he went into work. The next morning his father did not even stop . His mother came in and we could tell he was angry again, He threw down an envelope that held a guardianship assigned by the state that explained the reason why the state assigned it to my husband. His mother said they did not want him to know I was bi polar the last year and a half without some getting his own mental problems in line.

    We had been contacted by the navy just after he was sent out on his last patrol. There had been some trouble during the refit. He had come back from being an emergency replacement from a patrol out of Banger Washington. He had a new chief on this last patrol that wanted to spend time with his wife before setting sail. so on the morning he arrived back on the boat his chief put him on nuclear weapons security detail, ships maintenance detail as well as stand his watch in missile control center as well as the chiefs watch, He got up at 6AM on that Monday morning and collapsed in front of his brother at close to seven that next Saturday night. A total of being awake 106 hours straight coupled with no leave or R and R in three and a half years, the base Psyciatrist called and said he suffered from Exhaustive paranoia, he also said his command over rode his trying to keep him from going that last patrol. During that refit when the Squadron commander told the exclusion area guard that he did not have to show his ID any where on that base. He was sweating hoping my husbands shot gun did not unload into the side of his head a second later when he threw his leg over the rope, my husband kicked his 800.00 uniform over the side and made him leave in his underwear. My husband had been awake 80+ hours at that point, Then the next evening a part had to be flown in before they set sail the next week , He went to his chief and told him he needed to put his chop on the request so it could go to the weapons officer, the XO, and CO to get it in. His chief told him he was just leaving to meet his wife. My husband said he wondered why he did a back flip in the passage, his brother saw the whole thing and told us the rest of the cheifs came out of the goat locker and told my husband to kill him they would claim self defense he did not even realize he had hit his chief and went back to stand watch. His brother said he was waiting to talk to my husband in the crews lounge when he came off watch the next day. My husband collapsed and had to be hauled off the boat after 106 hours with no sleep.

    His father and friends felt keeping him off balance would keep him from taking his seniority rights but his knowledge of the contract was to large, We went and arranged for everything to be bought that had been moved from Charelston. When we got back to huis fathers he was going to get an hours rest but his father had guests, A woman he worked with. Her very pretty 19 year old daughter who was crying on his fathers shoulder, HE starts yelling my husband was not back three days before starting trouble. He told his son that he was going to be a man and remove his shift preference off 2nds to 1st, leave that young girl on first and not ruin her social life, Start being a man. I ended up telling him our bedroom was off limits the next two years until things could become stable with his return.

    I realize this was in no way fair to my husband when he grabbed the house keys we had selected. Searched out his old bivwac kit from when he was in the army and he stormed out in front of everyone calling me a traitorous mercenary b****. He hoped my bed was always as icey cold as my heart.

    He hardly said a word the next two years. Asked me once a week when his roomie was going to pull her weight and either get a job and pay half the household expences. or when was I going to decide that his father and the community were less than nothing in our marriage and be a wife. A few months before the two years came up he had not had a day off in six years. He slept on his mat in the library and I had the bed. When I said we were in need of him using one of his union perks to get a vacation that June. His foreman had already signed off on it for him by seniority. We had a chance to go to Rome that year if he used his union perk to get large group rates. His entire family and several friends were going , and the rates for such a large group were about 55 percent less than indivigual rates. Then the week before we were to board his father came to me and actually begged me to get my husband to stay and work so the same girl that caused the original argument go get Married in Rome. I went hat in hand and told my husband we could go someplace on our own on a latter date but this would indedt everyone to him if he cooperated.
    This time he set a trap, He said OK , but first I had to swear on my bible that any where and any place and any way he wanted I would be both a willing wife and travel companion and sex partner. I also had to tell everyone that we had to repay him for what he had spent in none refundables. About six grand. He even had me sign and a notary apply her seal to what I had sworn to remind me what I had sworn to. Then one more request to use our full sized van to take us, The girl her fiancé, mother and father, his parents brother and sister and his parents heard him tell the girl if she swung her hips his direction one more time he would drop kick her into orbit. This was the last time he was backing off his seniority for her. He got us to the unload area.

    His father turned and told him we had to get our paper work in order don’t just sit his lazy rear in the drivers seat get our things into check in. He did get out of the van and went to the rear to open it taking a page out of gone with the wind and finnigans gold. saying ” Yas massas dis po old house N**** gets right to its, i’s be sorry I drifted there buts, yous alls can beats the po slave to you gets tired when yous alls returns.” In front of hundreds he did this, We just wanted to find a hole and hide, his mother said why did he have to cancel out his vacation and his father said not for this embarasing display. We looked up when the van screeched out of the spot and our luggage scattered in the road he had his finger raised out the window. as he hit the exit, We got to Rome where I was a matron of honor at the wedding, I showed everyone there what I had promised to get him to work those two weeks and his father and the area manager from the plant my husband worked in, he was not over my husband. He said the best maker up time for my husband was to take a time from the second of January to the 14th of February Nobody else in the plant wanted that time slot for the obvious reason it was not fun To try and take one then with kids in school.

    I started thinking of a vacation on a warm beach in mid winter seven months away. Thinking that my husband and I could start something nice then. I was going to stop birth control then hopefully a family of our own , But our return was worse than our leaving. I noticed his cloths hanging in the back hook His seabag packed, and I asked what was going on. He said he was taking us on a western road trip, he said the tent and sleeping bags were in his seabag with his socks and underwear, Just in case were found only no vacancys in the area we were traveling in.

    I said I just stepped of the plane. I had a peace offering I bought him in Rome with so many pictures to look at, Couldn’t we just go to breakfast and talk this over. I said we had talked it over and we could go someplace to a warm beach that winter. Some place like St Croix, the Caymans. even someplace in Mexico or Hawaii. He got what he had researched for that time out and said you tell me how, Even the nice ski resorts in Conus have standbys on the standby reservation. I said then we can drive to someplace like Florida, Texas, or even Southern Callifornia. He said he was not ice skating across country just to spend it on a beach that was barely warmer than where we lived.

    Everything said while he was loading the van was blocked by his insistence on not trying to go farther in figuring out something. We knew whos plans would be disrupted by his being defiant, so I put my foot down and said well then we could spend the time at home that winter, He could use the time to replace the holidays and just rest. Everyone was trying to get him to see reason and he pulled out what I had sworn to> I was crying hard by this time and said I wanted some thing within reason. Not to kill other peoples plans I nothing else he could wait until the next family trip to Athens in three more years. I was absoluty begging him to consider the needs of others. I told him that somehow we could figure something out. start our life right which we haven’t yet. He Said was that my last word as we left the Airport. I said its the only one I could give with the gun he had pointed at our heads with what he wanted< He said he was tired of being the horses rear taking it in the teeth all the time, He asked when was he going to get some consideration in the marriage and not be a slave paying my way through life with nothing in return. He left the interstate heading downtown He was scaring me. Saying one way or another I was going on a trip that day. I said hee had to consider others first so no I was not keeping my promise.

    He had divorce filings drawn up the day before, pulled into the bus station 15 minutes before the bus to my mothers was leaving, He signed the filings in front of everyone and yanked my luggage out and went and bought my one way back to VA. His father ran to call someone, He put my luggage on the bus and handed me my copy of the filing with the 20000 in savings and made my cash 1000.00 and pushed me on the bus, I made one last plea saying I knew we had not treated him right, couldn't we try and work something out that everyone there and in the community would consider fair, he said none of us wanted fair we just wanted a slave, someone to kick around and be the piggy bank. I said cant I at least give him the gift from Rome he said keep it for the next chump. His brothers had to stop my husband from chasing his father down and stomping him into the pavement when he said for once would he just consider somebody else, be a man shut up and accept he was to do as he was told.

    When my husband got everyone to his fathers I guess there was a deputy waiting with a court order canceling his vacation and making him work all hours offered when I talked to his mother she said his temper was so nasty when he realized that he was not going on vacation, that his fathers phone call was to a judge friend of his. My husband hit his father with his luggage so hard in his front yard it broke his ribs. He looked at his mother and said he might be a slave but we better find away to chain him because everything from then on was not going to be done without a fight. Two years latter the divorce was denied because my mother would not assume the Guardianship. The next vacation the court order kept him from going to Athens and he spit about everything and would not even try to listen that one day he would have the life he wanted everything did not have to be an argument, a cussing out, a punch to somebodies teeth because he wasn't getting the same rights. He pulled up and just shoved us out and left without saying have a nice time. This was the way it was between 1989 and 2001. No holidays off from 1981, The only six days off in 28 years was to recover from a brain surgery in 2001, He was suppsed to get 60 days for recovery but his father and others felt if he could stand he could work and busted through the front door six days latter yanked him off his mat dr5essed him and took him to work, He begged me to call federal authorities to have them arrested for abduction, But I could not bring myself to do it.

    Three months latter I was standing in front of my husband hat in hand again. Soon after he was taken out of the house three months before he started going to the Union hall gym and reinvigorated his training in combat arts to what he was when he stopped his training as a third dan black belt in the army and navy. It was an important job opening that everyone wanted and my husbands near 100 percent seniority had the right to the position. His father and his county commissioner best friend wanted the job to go to his best friends son who had 15 years less seniority.

    I went to my husband and told him everything he wanted in life now depended on him backing off a seniority right one more time, I said just one more time I would noralize our marriage it was time for a child, all he had to do was back off just one more time. HE told me to drop dead and he would find rent a wife from then on. His father and friends decided he needed to be put in his place. The commissioners son and three others paid with nearly loosing their lives on our front porch when they jumped him. He nearly killed all four in under a minute with his bare hands and feet. It was lucky they did not produce weapons because he also had a Catana hidden under his long coat he would have sliced them in two. As it was the damage was terrible. From that day on his father and others felt he had to be dealt with in the harshest way making him do things he did not want to do at gunpoint, He continued to get his licks in snatching shotguns out of fiends hands and using the butt on faces, Over the last vacation on the orient express his father stole his reservations and returned the over six grand to me telling me to hold it until that janiuary , I ended up with my shoulder dislocated and his father was being strangled getting his passport back. I tried pointing out that day everyone needed to pull for the best everyone had, I was sorry we had to stop him from another vacation but another had need of it more. I said it wasn't as hard to go someplace nice as it was in 1987, We could do something in seven months, After working for 28 years what was seven more months to him.

    I told him he would get his money back in January. but to keep him from hurting someone I had to hold it until then, HE grabbed my shoulder bag and threw me across the office and started taking the check, the cash and travelers checks He was going to even tear up my boarding pass's, His father screamed just shut the hell up about his rights, Just pick his passport up from TSA after we left. We would try and get him something when we returned but he would have to accept the times we choose, MY husbans said We did not have the right to dictate his life like we had, bounded across the office we were in and it took seven people to seperate my husbands fingers of his fathers throat. We got back to no pickup at the airport. I was locked out of my house and the accounts and we could not find him any where but his job, The young newly wed that went on the trip instead of my husband was greeted his first day back on the job with being fired. for taking a vacation his two years did not qualify him for. The chaplin finally got him to sit with us on a break he handed me a key to the house and a letter authorizing an allowance paid weekly. His father started to say something in front of his steward and chaplin he told his father one word he was dead where he stood spit on the floor and went back to work. His stewards said something was wrong with him He had been in the ER several times, he was putting tylonol down like candy. Nd was more than willing to tell everyone to drop dead. In October I was called by the ER telling me I better get down to the main hospital campus on the East side of town we arrived in time. to see my husband being wheeled into surgery by people in containment suits.

    Ten hours latter the doctor s PA came out for a break, She said we should not hope for a good outcome because he was revived once already. She said It was a MRSA abscess in his spine and I had never heard of MRSA until that day, A staff super bug. She said the report was he was found laying on his job unable to move without intense pain and with a 102 degree temp. The Pets scan found the Abscess. and a blood culture confirned it, thats the reason for containment suits, Two doctors and the PA came out after 21 hours of surgery, Told us to go home they would call if something changed they were leaving him in an induced coma. His heart had stopped two times in the surgery. We arrived just in time two days latter to hear the doctor explain the surgery with its problems The fact he was going to have to relearn using his hands and get himself in and out of a wheel chair. Its the first time I ever heard my husband cry when he asked what kind of sadists were we. did we keep him alive to keep torturing him. was it that much fun, He said we were all a bunch of lice for keeping him alive to do more.

    Two years latter we were telling him we were going to the mid east on out tri year vacation, He said go have your nice time he would be trying to walk, at least he could go the next time, His father instantly blew up saying you think we want a cripple along with us to Cancun. Now he was an invalid her would accept all decisions made without the first complaint. The nurses had to step over his knocked out father to sedate my husband, My husband threw a stainless steel bedpan knocking him out. We went on that trip trying to explain the bruising on his fathers face.

    He came home in mid January 2013, I had been so lonely that I stated an affair with an old Boy friend when he was in town, I agreed to see him one last time. Got tangled up and arrived home12 hours later than I said I would. My husband again had set a trap He traped us in the drive and I asked to take it off the street into the house where we could talk like civil people. My husband cleared the drive and came in with his cane that to regain the use of his hands he had carved out of rd oak. A 4'4" tall 13 lbs with a dragons head with inlaid titanium teeth and red crystal eyes. the tail went doun the haft. All done and polished in black laquer. That cane played a bad part in what happened next.
    MY AP swept my husvbands cane putting him face first on the floor. after discocvering my packed luggage and a guardianship ready to be assumed. My AP started laughing and said how pathetic can a man be. I was trying to push him out of the room when that cane witout the rubber tip came flying across the room like a spear fracturing my APs scull My husband was in such a rage that he was not done. He pulled himself across the rom to weatr my AP droped, started slaming his fist into evertything he could hit screaming you let this pathetic person take you. The pol8ce found him doing that and me ctrying agaian in the corner as the ambul;ance hauled my ap to the ER, my husband was taken to a stress center, where me and his father were called in to talk to the doctor, That's when I was informed of the fact he considered I had assisited in denying my husband civil rights, had been along side his father and others as abusing an adult. through chicanery, force and coercion.

    He was sending his report to the DA. His father was chased out of the day riooom when he went out and started screaming at my husband about being a big baby about no time off before MRSA came on. A wheel chair being used as a walker went through the plate glass after his father.

    The next week We truied to get the center to keep my husbvand an extra day for a event I was invited to six months before by his father and his best friend I was just going to a dinner as a fourth as a favor to his fathers friend. His father even told the center to build his character by shoving him out the door in that -40 degree day, let him walk home the 20 miles. I heard the door open and close just as I finished getting ready, I walked out to see if it was his father and mother that just came in.

    I walked into my husbands chest, He got sarcastic right of the bat. Said good he had not gone out any where nice in 31 years not even a movie , he said let me hunt up something that dfits and we will go, I Knew that I had to explain I had proimised this evening to his fathers and his friend and his mother was going. I reached into my purse and said with 100 in my hand holding it out to him, he could pick a place to meet four hours after I left that evening. We needed to have a conversation 3 decades over due, About rights, traditions and how to get time to incorporate him into the life we wrongly denied him. I was crying just begging and pleading ith him to just allow time now. HE said we stole three deceds of his life and he wanted restitution beginning that evening and I was going to be the first to start it. I knew exactly thawt meant I was going to be required to have sex. He was not going to let me go to the event that evening and it was like facing down a arch angle with a sword in his hand.
    He was standing between me and the phone so I took off for the door to scream for help. He ripped every stich off me and said I could wait on the curb just like I was in -40 degree wind chill or I could be the wife I promised to be 31 years before. He was not giving me any options this tim. except submite or die. I tried resiting, when he was done it was not love but rage and anger,

    He thew me the phone and sneared the number is 911. Lets get things into open court, the theft of his life the Coersion The fraud, the abuse, and lets see who gets to go to jail longer, The event never happened his fathers friend showed up after he went to getr supper and my husband met him at the door and told him that he better just get on the road. His fathers friend said he was coming I and my husband said not without a badge and warrant. His father nearly got his friend through his windshield. As he pulled in the drive. My own husbvand dared me to call the police and get a kit done and file charges for marital sexual misconduct,

    His mother came in and instantly knew what happened. and my husband went out on the porch and started the screened fire pit to keep warm. His mother said if I wanted to charge my own husband with misconduct I better talk to a lawyer first because my husband was tro anxious to get it into court, He was already well versed ins his counter charges. and everyone that had something to do with the abuse the last 31 years would get hurt, Its now three years latter, Every attempt to slow things down for everyone has resulted in terror. We went back from where we moved to complet the sale of our house for three months. Finishng the move 1230 miles to the west. It was helped after the night by my and his mother, His mother got my husbands cousins to allowe the New 16×80 Rednan his uncle had set in In black hills foothills in NE Wyoming.. I had gone there for a month that last April before I found out that I was pregnant and had to go back east for an advanced age pregnancy. I Delivered a 6 pound 8 oz boy on December 8th in Maryland 2013He was told by, 2 metter FM while he wintered up at high range cabin. He had a dna test done showing greater than 97 percent probability that its his son.
    I spent Chriustmas with my mother after the birth in Virgfinia, and my sister informed me they had purchased the acer across from where we lived now, they were moving a 1600 foot moduler on it in march. My mother took me back out west to introduce his son to him. I got home to this red brearded man with harr down his neck riding a bay he bought . At the begining of may I left my son with my mother and headed east. in the Dakota, We got there for Menorial day. His father as usual wanted the cookout on our porch one last time.
    The problem was we could not get my husband to go any whgere else and let things be peaceful, I was supposed to go to the club for after dinner drinks on the same reservation ticket as his fathers friend, My husband was not supposed to be at the cookout or the after dinner drinks but he said my house, my food my equipment I am going nowhere and my wife is staying in my sight. He chased his fathers friend off making him turn the reservation over, His father slapped him in the kitchen for bad manners to his friend saying was he to stupide toi understand what you are not invited means. My husband broke his fathers jaw with a backhand across the kitchen telling him I told you what would happen in 1972 if he ever laid his hands on him again. I left with my husband to scared to try any thing else.
    The doorman was called by his father and told to keep my husband out and there was a hundred in it if he refused entry to my husband I was let in and he started pushing my husband back out to the street, My husband played the cripple to the hilt, When the doormsns feet hit the public side walk the dorman found himself on his face with my husbands knee in his back and his pony tail in my husnands hand The doorman said the second he got up my husband was a dead man. My husband said then you are not getting uop smashing his face into the sidewalk I was at the door looking at this as all my friends watched that barbarity, The club manager came out and said just go in there was a bottle of whatever my husband wanted on the house, The fact my husband was assaulted by the doorman on a publice thouroghfare , He was bnot charged Three weeks later hisfatherr tried intimidation to let me go to a breakfast to talk about how to getr my husband off the Cancun vacation in eight month his father said was there a way toi get the reservations from him. like we did in 2009, My husband had put them in a safty deposit box I had no access to in Sturgis.
    His father said there had to be a way to get hinm to stay home this time when all the sudden his sister screamed watch out, That cane of his ripped into the two men that helfd hiom at gunpoint to lket me go to that breakfast, He ripped their faces open to the jawbone then applied the tip of his cane to the center of his fathers chest telling him he had interfered in his life for32 years of our marriage He was going to feel each of those years as his cane slowqly inpaled his chest.
    It was lvckyt four off duty officers were there to stop him My husband had them get a thumb drive out of his top pocket and watch the two that held him at gunpoint on a video security download he had put on it. Time stamped 30 minutes before, It was a get out of jail free ticket. It also bopught so much notice fro state and federal officials that things snowballed into Conspiracy to deny civil rights to my husbnand. Added charges of conspiracy to maintain an indentured servant by force and coercion, as well as state charges of marital fraud, and extortion were added.
    Over Christmas my probation turn into home detension. I just wanted things to be tension free with my friends and his fanmily and mine there, When he refused to go any where else after an offer of 4000 from his father to do so went south, I thought that I would fix the first real Christmas dinner plate in the 33 years of our marriage , He was not getting sandwiches at a work gate, eating Christmass dinner 150 feet under water or in a hoispital setting. Or by himself at high range. I though it would do no harm to tell him to eat in the pole barn out of the cold.
    I got the plate in my face and after a huge fight with about seven men thety finaly forced him out the door with his nose bloodied at gun poingt throwing his coat Stetsons and cane after hinm telling him not to cvpme back until the were gone, I was cleaning up and watching hinm Saddle Bart out the window I thought I better put a dinner in the warmer for him, As I thought he was going for a ride to cool off. I was wrong He came charging back on horseback with his 30 30 and Lariate breaking down the front door and having his horse tighten down when the loop wraped around his fathers throat. The .39 caliber riffle has a very large hole in it when its aimed at you. He said any one that objected to him eating the meal he had provided, in his house at his table they were free to go, He told his father to be gone the second he was let loose.
    One of the guest started to reach for his pistol and my husbabds ritfie ponted straight between his eyes and he told him he realy did not feel like cleaning brains off the wall behind him. I have never had people leave a holiday dinner hungry till then. All because my husband wanted things his way. He took me and our son Up to high range the next warm day which was the 27th Met marshals with an ankle tracker I have to remain here until January first 2018.
    I had no idea when this started in 1985 it would lead to somuch resentment on my husbands part, I always hoped he could see the sactrifice of his time, a life he expected, anfd felt he had earned. He would see it helped so many. He has not the cancune vacation was a disaster before if started we did not board, His father wanted to us a ball bat to send him home and ended up with his neck broken,
    I have found out this war beteen my husband his father and society started as far back as high school, There were scares I knew about on his back I noticed them when we were on the beach when e were dating all he said ever was it happened whil he was in the army years before we met in 1972 He was home from the arnmy to finish high school, He made his father and four school board members angry6 taking the school board menmers sons posyttitions by getting rough with them with three other seniors on the field Causing the four sophmores to quit.
    My husband was knocked out and tied to a tree and told he was going to learn his place. In the seesions he desctribed the whipping with extention cord as numbing until his mind had the good sense to shut down.
    Me and his mother where shown pictures that the Doctor who stiched him up two days latter took. It made me ill the scares were what was left of 153 stiches. She was crying that she wished she knew of this abuse by his father and her health collapsed last year after she saw them. She said if she had known what they had done to her son she would have taken their hands. including his fathers.
    When I married all I wanted was a peacefulkl life to raise children, then it was wanting to be accepted in the community, after we stared things out with trying to keep my hsband from rights he had earned. Now it praying if somebody cross's those rights and trys to force him in something we fear that either him or the person trying to force an issue will die.

    • Sorry for the typos. I just replaced the keyboard battery seems to be doing better. I should also say that to get even with the men that beat him in high school he waited for 24 years until they were retiring In 1999 he heard the three of them were going to celebrate in the same park they tied him to the tree and fish that evening he showed up and knocked all three out with something I never had thought would be deadly A hose filled with Shot and BBs and sealed shut with super glue. He tied three of them that beat him to the same tree they tied him to in 1972. This was 1999 He used that hose to beat them into senselessness cut them down and left< I thought it was the plan these friends were leaving after they retired but they spent two weeks hospitalized and we have not heard but from one of them since, he told us what my husband did to them and would not divulge where he was at. Men That held my husband at gunpoint I know of one my husband ambushed without his weapon and in front of his wife and daughter shattered his hand so bad he lost it.
      Now everything has escalated to the point. where everyone is so scared of my husband that they are telling me they no longer want to hear my name, Some friends of three decades. One day I hope that there can be something that wont set one against the other. I now just want to have a life with no conflict. But I know that might not be possible.

  7. […]robinso. buckler@yahoo .com:Helped to bring My Ex-Husband back with his spiritual power[…]

  8. I am sorry but I was trying to tell of a long running experience that I can’t get a handle on without making many other people angry that I lost control of my husband, I am wondering now If it was me controling him or if he was laying a trap to hurt each and everyone of us that abused him over the decades. I have been forced into sex three years ago begging just for a dialog. any thing to figure a way to every ones satisfaction, He decided there was only one satisfaction he cares about, his. There was nobody that he had to care about not even me. If its a friend of his fathers or mine they are blood suckers. If We just want a little more time to find solutions for every ones wants the only solution that counts is his. The rest of what was my life is now trashed, And He willing to be just as violent as needed to make his point.

    • If your husband is being violent, you need to leave him immediately. You should also press charges.

      • in each case of violence, he has either responded. to attacks made after goading the other people into attacking him. the first time that happened was over a job he had bid on and refused to back off of. Four men who were in powerful families in the county wanted my high seniority husband and his three ex military friends with high seniority.

        I had spent my day on November 4th 2001 on my knees begging pomising if je backed off what he wanted one more time that everything including a home life that he wanted including a sex life was his. nobody would say a thing about working the holidays he wanted off he could just wait two more weeks and chose from the next bid list. I even said since he had not had a vacation since 1978 one could be imediatly arranged. We would even stop requesting he work the weekends. He told me to drop dead and ;rt him have a life. Th next morning the younger men came to put him in his place not knowing the buzz saw they were going to tackle, My husbandd earned a third dan blackbelt in the army in sho rea qualified air born and air assault. in the navy fully qualified dolphins. nuclear weapons security.

        he goaded those men into jumping him first. Then he tore them to pieces. In 2009 His father and I canceled his vacation to Europe on the Orient Express. We just were trying to get him to wait until after the Christmas shutdown in seven months for his first vacation in decades. but he was so angry his father and I cancelled his reservations and stole his passport to force him to work until January. That when we told him he was staying again to get the refund back of 6354 he dislocated my shoulder throwing me across an office. and to get his passport it took seven men to stop him from strangling his father to death, before his steward and chaplin got him to go back. By the time we had intended to let him have a vacation he had lost all nerve impulse below his upper legs in a mrsa infection in his spine and a full back fusion. We never intended that from December 30th 1981 to January 7th 2013 he not have time off, The three years from October 24th 2009 to January had been spent in rehab and recovery. He had to spend two weeks after the seventh in a stress center after discovering I had seen an old bf.. the bf also ended up hospitalized due to a beating my husband delivered for calling him a pathetic looser. two weeks latter I was begging him to meet everybody in just four hours and we could figure something he would be allowed.

        He informed me that we allowed him nothing more in his life we allowed him he was the only judge and arbiter. He forced the sex I had blackmailed him with In 2015 I was trying for a compromis over the Cancun trip. I begged him to wait until the Hawaii trip in 2018 and I talk myself blue to get his inclusion then. This time he was controlling everything aND SAID IF HE WAS NOT GOIMG I WAS NOT USING MONEY HE HAD EARNED TO GO.

        W try things like good things come to he who waits, he says,, go ahead and wait its my turn.

  9. In don’t known what to do anymore. I been married to my husband for 6 years and together for 13. We have 4 children together. He works out of town 6-7 days a week. So I feel like single mom. He doesn’t help at all with the kids.
    But come to fond out he is watching pron 3 x a day almost everyday when he is out of town. I have tried to express my feeling to him about the situation and he becomes angry. We arent intimate at all. He shows no affection. And she. I try to talk to him all he says is he don’t care. He lives everyday as a new day. He doesn’t want want fix our marriage. But yet brush it under the rug. I’m so confused, hurt And feel degraded. I do t know what to do. I can’t keep fighting for something he isn’t fighting for aw well.

    • Does your husband claim to be a Christian / follower of Jesus? My primary reason for asking is because it changes how I would approach him.

      • Noah my husband equats himself to Lucifer. Says he would rather rule in his hell than serve in our heaven. I did not mean for him to work everyday but six from January 2nd 1981 to when ne became so ill with mrsa on October 24th 2009.

        We always intended to let him have the life he wanted, but with each argument. each defiance, I felt that just a little longer and he would become compliant. After that night in 2001, his father and others felt it was to dangerous to deal with him unarmed. One of the only time was Christmas 2003 where intimidating him into work did not happen our church deacon got the lessor seniority t ;eave early on the 23. he then claimed church need to get him out of working. My husband was so vindictive. He informed the deacons wife with photo evidence that the deacon had an affair. My husband let things unfold in front of the congregation. he was not even there but at work that Christmas morning.

        I feel so sorry for that family, the deacon put a slug gun under his chin two years latter.

        All because my husband wanted things his way and would not consider any thing else in exchange for his time. We had tried many times to think of ways to satisfy his requirments. and meet the needs many others had, It was my husband who would never back of the idea he was to have the same as everyone else. This was the sticking point about time off and shifts from the day he came home in 1985 3we tried to get him to consider other times and be creative about when he should take his time off, try and just stay on the shift he hated so others could have the life they wanted. I always felt one day the things he have up would be returned in spades.

        My thought on this point were never able to be made and my husband told me before he disapered last month telling me and others he was not our slave, he was tired off us even attempting to control him and he wanted me to stop crying about how he ended any attempt to keep him from what rights he had. the last that was seen of him was he was putting a raft on the rivers of the Colorado basin. We were trying to get him to go back into the hospital for a new round of MRSA treatment since its active again.

    • Kris,
      I feel the same way about my wife. I believe in general marriage’s fail over time. People become complacent. A friend of mine (married 3 times) told me he remarries because the relationship becomes boring. I don’t agree with this but if only one person has an interest, you can’t make the other change. Like it says in the beginning of the article, you can’t change the other person, you can only change how you deal with it. I am heartily sorry for your pain and understand completely.

  10. My wife and I have been married for 17 years, and I’m at my wit’s end. Her family don’t deal with issues, are broken because of it, don’t look at themselves honestly, and blame others for problems instead of looking at themselves, My wife brought this stuff into our marriage, along with sarcasm, emotional disconnection, mocking and lots of passive aggressive behaviour. Consequently we’ve been unable to connect emotionally at a close level, discuss any big issues, even small issues, and haven’t been able to resolve any problems for the entire 17 years. I have a very high level of empathy and have became so affected by this relationship I ended up in a mental facility for a few days. I have hope, but can’t see that when one person doesn’t want to deal with personal stuff in a relationship, and has admitted to being apathetic throughout the marriage, and dislikes being vulnerable, then it can’t work. We have been to 10 counsellors, but they don’t seem able to help us look at the deeper issues. The counselling seems very “surface-level” and some of it has honestly been bizarre. But these have provided the perfect “out” for my wife to not look at her own stuff. I can look at mine, but it takes two. The two counsellors who have begun to help were rejected by my wife, because they “got too close to the truth”. I don’t want to leave her, but I’m completely stuck. I know there are some deep issues, because when I have tried different ways to penetrate her walls emotionally, she absorbs the affection like a sponge, but only for three days. Never two or four. At the end of the third day the walls come back hard – lots of criticisms, very cold and distant, more so than usual. I’m stuck. It’s affected me, and I need counselling to cope with it, and consequently our marriage has affected our kids. I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s a very lonely marriage, and I feel like I’ve been trying to carry the weight of it on my shoulders for too long. I’m tired, depressed, lonely. The only solution ,y wife has presented for the 17 years has been separation, believing it will embarrass her into looking at her issues. But she’s also said that being separated will allow her to not have to talk about the relationship. I’m really lost.

  11. Brent I know exactly where you are coming from. My father , family , wife and the rest of the community only wanted me to shut my mouth and accept their being my massas. I have seen each of them that thought so laid low at my feet begging me to please make some kind of peace with them, The thing with me is that I don’t seek the idea of peace at any price. I will not pay that price. My father can get his friends to issue court orders I am not in his state . I live 1200 miles west, I don’t care if he feels as my sons grandfather that I am not a fit father for my disagreements with him and his friends in my life. And my wife took their side over mine, Always with the same promise, That if I could just see my way to wait a little longer for the life I wanted, then she would be the wife she had sworn to be. After working 20 years without a day off I stopped believing that she was nothing but a lying, thief using me to just have her life as she wanted. I was planning to go with her over the millinial holiday, Had everything packed, with my 23 years seniority I told my supervisor I was refusing the holiday as provided under the contract. I had not had a Christmas holiday off since 1979, or a vacation since 1978. I had not had a day less than 12 hours since May 29th1985. when a deputy came up and cuffed me telling me he was to hold me until they were in the air then escort me into work.

    She cries all the time just what had they done that was so wrong. Just so many wanted that year off why should I have had it just because I had more time.

    When they returned home from Bavaria on my 35th birthday, the expected was going to be at least nice and accept their profound apology for having me jailed, Her first words that my own defiance had forced everyone to do this but now they were home we could now exchange Christmas gifts and state figuring out how to bring peace in the new year and century, they had a very nice gift for me from Europe. I handed her a box of dog sh** for her gift, I gave my parents the gift of how I had been treated since I was in high school, I had cemented a wagon wheel in their front yard. I hung a bull whip on it, I even hung a sign on it inviting the community to come help whip the uppity slave, Namely me. My aunt took my mother away to her home crying that I had truly learned to despise them. My wife and father of course felt that one day I would be taught respect for their idea of social values. At every turn the last 16 years I have taught them that I was never a willing slave


  12. Carin LeSeure April 3, 2017 at 8:22 am

    I understand the point you’re making about the 5 Love Languages, however, it can also be viewed from the point of understanding your partner’s ways of receiving love so you can better serve them and show the love in a way that will have the most inpact to them. Of course this can be done in a self-serving way, but it doesn’t have to be… and I personally think the more we learn about each other’s needs, and “wiring,” the better we can love one another… even if the “another” doesn’t always choose to love us in return. The info is still useful in understanding people across the board, which carries into all our relationships. Granted, it’s been a couple decades since I read it, but this is how it’s been used in my life: a “how can I communicate in YOUR language?” as opposed to a demand or expectation that someone communicate in mine.

    That having been said, it certainly can be discouraging when both partners are not equally equipt or emotionally healthy enough to love and serve that selflessly, and the balance of caring for one another remains off for long periods of time. That’s where your advice about letting Jesus fill the void, and speak truth to us about entitlement and appreciation is quite helpful. One gray area is where the Bible’s love “never gives up” and “loves no matter what” directives doesn’t clearly dilineate where lack of discipleship and “not being loved back” crosses the line into emotional abuse. That’s so much more difficult to assess than physical abuse.

  13. I have been with my husband for 14 years now. 2 years marrie next month. He is saved and i am not. We have always had our issues of course, but the last couple of years have been tough. While I batted depression he told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore. I have prayed, attended Bible Study and even starting seeing a therapist. It’s been almost 5 months now and he told me he doesn’t care about me like he should. It is getting harder to pray for marriage restoration. I don’t know if it’s time to let go or to fight harder.

  14. In my experience, if praying hasn’t helped, move on. God answers all prayers, even if the answer is He’s not going to help.
    I have prayed for my wife to put value in our relationship for the past 20 years. We don’t have a personal relationship with each other. My wife is a devout Christian. Reads bible EVERY morning without fail. That’s what’s important to her in addition to her 3 children and her mother. That’s IT! I live everyday knowing I mean nothing but a paycheck to her. I don’t have anywhere to go and would NEVER date another woman. I have no reason to leave and hope that she allows me to stay (until she meets someone else). She never discusses our relationship and in 31 years of marriage has never said anything personal to me. It’s not going to change. Move on if you have the courage!

  15. My husband of 5 years is a man of integrity, who claims Christ, works hard, etc. However, I have now been in therapy for over a year due to the fact that he is not emotionally supportive. He SAYS the right words, but they don’t APPEAR to come from his heart when his actions speak otherwise. His actions say… doing the minimal effort should bring the maximum reward. His actions say. I provide housing, electricity, i help around the house (minimally and not without being asked), I talk to the kids (superficially and not in depth) so I should get sex when I want, and should not be required to DO anything else. But there is no indepth conversation going on. He doesn’t engage much with the family, perfering to go in the bedroom and watch TV instead of spending time with us. To clarify The kids are MINE from a previous relationship. My husband struggles with TRUST, and I don’t know if he knowsHOW to talk about anything outside of superficial conversation. I am a deep person. Right now I feel like I am only there to do jobs completely (i.e. he halfway does stuff so I have to come behind him and do it right cause I don’t want the kids thinking that the way he does a chore is the “right” or “proper” way to do it… i.e. doing the dishes to him mean emptying and loading the dishwasher. Thats it. It doesn’t include washing what is left, wiping down counters or stoves. Mowing the lawn, just means MOWING THE LAWN, no weedeating, or cleaning flower beds..whatever the CHORE.. it just means minimal effort) provide sex, and take care of all the day to day stuf. Because he doesn’t put any pride into doing those things it makes me think they are just not important to him.. and that he doesn’t care. he SAYS HE DOES.. but his actions say no. He can tell me the date and time he “accepted Jesus”.. but with his trust issues I do not see evidence of him WALKING IN FAITH. I see him having a belief.. that doesn’t reach a LIFE CHANGING attitude in him. Im not sure what else to do as I have been in therapy and he went for a while.. but then claimed that the therapist was AGAINST HIM. (um no.. he might be calling you out on issues.. but he isn’t against you.) and won’t go back. Any time he has any conviction about anything he buries is.. Refuses to be broken and humble, becomes angry, defensive and passive aggressive with his words, attempting to turn all the issues back on me. I generally see it for what it is, but that doesnt mean it doesn’t hurt. Him saying things to me to BLAME ME in a passive way for the problem just hurt me. So now I’ve stopped talking. When I have attempted to talk to him about how I “feel” like he doesn’t care he gets so defensive and begins justifying and throwing in my face how much he DOES… providing money, etc that we never get beyond that. I can’t get him to understand the deeper needs that i have that have nothing to do with MONEY. TO HIM, MONEY, TV and Sex are the most important things. He gets his JOY out of paying bills off. He gets excited about putting money in savings. Most of the things he loves the most are THINGS.. and not PEOPLE. JUST FYI. His father has passed.. (they didn’t have a great relationship) his mother is living (they don’t have a great relationship) and if I had to put a phase to his upbringing.. “he was allowed to grow up but was not raised”. They didn’t invest in him as a person. They never talked about feelings, or anything.. And because he can give a hug to my kids which was more than he got from his Dad.. He’s “better’ than his dad, and that is enough.) not sure what else to do. Prayed.. Fasted… Ive read more books that I even can count… Ive done things in front of him to let him see.. he doesn’t even take notice. meh.. its just sad.

  16. Noah,
    Here’s a question for you. What do I do when it’s my desire to chase after Gods purpose and plan, but that isn’t my husbands desire at all? Do I continue to fight (pray) for him to want God? Issues for us have been going on for 13 years and we supposedly were supposed to be working on our marriage the last four years, and just recently he thinks we should separate. Looking for a little guidance. Yes, there are children involved too.

    • Hi there, I apologize for my long delay in responding to this, I got swamped over the summer and had to put my blog comments on the back burner and they really piled up!

      You are in a tough spot, probably worse now than it was 3 months ago when you wrote your question. The real heart of my post is to give a practical option that brings true freedom in joy when a marriage circumstance does not look like it’s going to change. We get to a point where we can keep expecting the circumstance to change, and when it doesn’t, it just continues to crush us. Or we can allow the type of thing I’ve written about here and elsewhere ( ) to bring us the joy and freedom we can have in Christ, despite whatever circumstances are around us. Can God change your husband still (and thus, c change your circumstances) ? Yes of course. But it’s much healthier to live in the gratitude of what we already have in Christ than it is to live in the unmet expectation / entitlement of what we wish would change.

      If I was you, I would just stay faithful to the marriage and allow Jesus to fill your needs for validation, affirmation, etc. If your husband chooses to live a life of sin, that’s something between him and the Lord (Romans 12:17-21 hits on this) and is on him and the Lord will deal with him accordingly somehow or another. But you can only control what you can control, and that’s your outlook on life in general, which when we do that in light of the gospel, we can have real joy in spite of bad circumstances.

  17. Hi Noah. Maybe I’ll be unpopular, but I do think that we “deserve” to be loved by our spouse if we give and always given love to them. This is not entitlement, this is just the natural consequence of being in a loving marriage. Both spouses need to realize that love is not a flower that can blossom without any nourishing. Love is something that needs to be taken care of everyday. If she had an affair, I’m sorry, but I’m tempted to say that she didn’t love him in the first place. So how could she expect any love of him? Maybe he wasn’t that important for her after all?

    • Hi Ivan, thanks for the comment and I apologize for my very long delay in responding.

      You said, Both spouses need to realize that love is not a flower that can blossom without any nourishing. –which I definitely agree with, but that’s also very idealistic and is not where many marriages live. That is the aim, but what happens when someone’s spouse is not showing that to them? That’s where a lot of people end up and it is really suffocating because there doesn’t seem to be any options at that point, except to continue in the misery of having unmet expectations. So what I’m writing here is a practical guide for a person to still live a life full of joy and gratitude in a way that transcends the circumstances of their marriage.

  18. I am sorry but you have made ypueaeld out to be the vict here. I want to start by saying when you marry a man you become HIS wife . His father is not your husband he is your husband. Ypu promised to honor and obey him not his father. Do you have any idea how self centered that mini novel was? Your vacation amd friends seemed far more important than your husband does to you. All of you people are sick in the head. For someone who has slept with other men , watched the abuse of the man ypu are suppose to love and contributed to the majority of it by playing littlebit games such as attending events with hia fathers friend ? Are youkidding me? The whole idea of tpubwuth jolding sex from your husband the abuse ,your lack of any kind of contribution financially to the marriage andhe he supported you guys and STAYED married to your ungrateful self. How can tou possibly think you are a victim ? When so.e ine wants to file criminal charges that wpuld be your first clue that you are abusive to him. The only concern was your vacation and next date with some other guy. No wonder that man has had to fight for his own life against his own wife and family. Im sorry but you need help big help. To try and juatify the the life you married into amd joined forcws against the man you are supposed to love and yes have sex with him that is part of marriage
    A man that has supported you and put up witb your abuse as you attempt to sweep under the rug all of your very serious evil roles you played in breaking this man down mentally you should be ashamed pf your self to even dream posting this on line for the man to be humiliated even more than what you have done to him. You seriously wonder why you are lonely and have no friends? Why your marriage is empty now? . Lady you need church alot of church. You need to ask for alot of d
    Forgiveness and i will add personally i believe you and tge father shpuld be serving time in jail for your roll in all of this. Dont blame any one but yourself for a majority of the problems in ypur marriage you went right along with the father and teased taunted and dribe the man to snap and then call out you arw. Abused .here is a suggestion if you are so unhappy . Leave that man alone get a job and start supporting your self pay for your own vacations and sleep around the way you have with other men and leave him in peace
    Let him be and i would bet that all his problems would quickly fade away. Im sure at some point he would find a new wife with out evil in her heart that he deserves. Some one that loves him malea love to him and honor and obeys him not his father. As a wife you back up your husband against any one no matter is even his father .you dont inbite an abusive man in to your home that you know is gping to cause conflict
    Into the hime your husband pays for for you!!!! Try respecting him try being a wife and maybe think about maling love in his life and not the wars you start then hide behind his father. I would have divorced you long before it got to the point it has anf tossed you out on the streets of you pulled evem a quarter of what you did with me . I do not care what kind of a illness ypu have there ia no excuse to treat him the way you and his father have. I saw right through you and you are forgetting to add any where in your book about you seeing someone for your mental health you just blame it on an illness that millions have including myself. I work full time im single because of abuse . After 6 years of being single and workong hard i made a life for me and my son bought a house and jad not one penny in the bank my ex took everything i had. But i prayed we were homeless at one point and i prayed and prayed and God has blessed me over and over again. My ex had a million dpllars in the bank he didnt pay for his boy and used drugs and drinking along with strippers and night clubs and now he is broke and headed to prison and his mind is gone. He beat me he financially controlled me he took my life from me God fixed it
    My boy is now 21 he sees my sacrifice and hard work and he sees his father as the person he became. I have no doubt that he has evil in jis heart. He has demonds inside him. He will always be miserable until he finds God. I am far from perfect and i dont like to attack any one. But this hit home with me. Your pity patry you have for yourself is just that. Im sorry but it is . I would say grow a back bone but you have proven you jave one when United with his father. Which has even bigger issues and should be in prison the rest of his life as you should too. If your husband ia qillinh to spend one day with you let alone stay married to you you need to step up and be a wife your home sjpuld be spotless jis meals should be waiting for him 3 times a day his son should be bathed fed and taught and shown to respect his father. Clothes should be neatly pressed amd upur home should reflect that you stay at home and do not work your husband should never feel he should be restricted from sex. Sex ia a bond betweeen two people that deepens feelings not a leash you attach and hold over and wonder why they snap after YEARS of beong married to you and not having his needs met and control you used with it. I will bet if you do rhe above ans make him ,your son and home your focus and not the nect vactiob you okan with his dad you might see that your marriage is what it should be not the drama you created and then point a finger and say its all him. You stepped out of your marriage and were with another man and wonder why ? When my ex stepped out one time that endes our marriage i would not be treated that way
    Uou wony sleep with him but other men thats ok ? B.S.!!! Its not ok . Either stwp up and be a wife and mother or get out of his life. He works hard he has bwen ti hell and back with you and his dad. Leave him be . No one deserves what uou have done to him no-one .if you are lucky enough he will still have you .you need to be thankful . You need to get to a church and get to gethe evil out of your body and mind. Shame on you for posting such self centered pity on your evil cruel roll you played in breaking that man shame on you. I hope God helps you both and i hope you pray lady because you NEED God in your life and sounds like the devil has been in the drivers seat on every vacation and every min of this mans life since he met you. Sorry but i say it as it is

  19. Sorry for the typos should have done a spell check .was on my phone

  20. Hi Noah,
    Like everyone else here, I feel stuck in a loveless marriage. As we approach 25 years of marriage I’m beginning to accept the truth that my Christian husband is not going to change. He may continue to emotionally neglect me, verbally abuse me, and have angry outbursts until death parts us. The truth that these circumstances may never change hits hard. It is depressing. I am filled with hopelessness, despair, and a sense of worthlessness in the eyes of my husband. As a Christian I know God’s love for me is unconditional. I know His mercy is abundant. I know heaven is going to be wonderful. But your article is about overcoming the present misery I’m in because I’ve finally accepted the reality that my husband is never going to meet my normal marital needs. I wonder if you could provide practical examples to me of exactly how to rely on Jesus to fill my heart void? What do I do to overcome and have joy when, for example, my husband treats me like a roommate for months with no affection, no care, no kind words at all, then wakes me up at 4am one morning trying to penetrate me? In that moment I’m aware that scripture admonishes me not to deny my husband sex. I want to honor God, yet I feel unfairly used as a sex object. You’re saying the fact that I have air to breathe is reason for me to be thankful, and that an attitude of appreciation for things like air to breathe and my eternal salvation should get me through the miserable 4am times with joy? Should I pray in that moment, “thank you God for a husband who still wants sex?” Should I think in my head, “At least he’s not punching me?” What very practical practices are you recommending for someone like me to actually have Jesus fill my emotional need instead of my spouse? What do I need to do or think in order to be filled with joy at 4am instead of tears? Going with the entitlement theme, are you actually advocating I adopt a “single person” mindset where I have zero expectations for my husband, rely on him for nothing, continue to work on my own spiritual growth, and just take whatever my husband throws my way? I find the more self-sufficient I become emotionally the farther and farther apart we grow. But the distance only bothers me, not my husband. As long as he gets his 4am sex he’s satisfied. Like a few other commenters here, I too wonder what the purpose of marriage is, if not for companionship. Counselors have tried to help me by saying that God is sanctifying me through my marriage experience. That I should think of my marriage as a ministry to my husband. It all sounds like “mind over matter” to me when the pain and emptiness hurt so badly. Is that what the Christian life is? “Renewing my mind” by telling myself at 4am “be thankful for this….God loves you very much….this husband is made in God’s image….this is better than hell….” and by this mind-renewal somehow my heart will follow? But if my heart/feelings don’t follow don’t give in to tears? Keep trying?


  21. Hi Rachel, thank you for your comment. First off, your comment and the others by some of the women on this thread have humbled me and made me realize that wife’s are facing a more challenging situation than husband’s are. For example, a typical situation for a husband is his wife doesn’t desire sex and rejects him when he tries to initiate. This is a severe rejection, but it’s much less severe than what you describe, and what many other women experience. I still believe Christ and his gospel will sustain all people, men and women, through anything, but I also am realizing I’ve oversimplified things with what I’ve written. And I apologize for that.

    In your example of the 4am circumstance, or for anyone else going through a terrible situation, whether that’s spousal abuse or cancer, that the gospel doesn’t fill us with joy in the middle of the hardship. I think that sort of Christianity is fake and cheesy, and I don’t think it’s consistent with what we see in Scripture. When Jesus hung on the cross, or when the disciples were martyred, they felt the pain of the swords, whips, etc. But I think the difference is that a non-believer who doesn’t know the gospel has nowhere to turn; where they think the storm is all their is. And they have nothing to lean on, like Christ’s mercy, to bring them peace. Peace is different than happiness or jubilation. But the opposite of peace is awful, whereas Christ offers his peace in the darkest of situations.

    As far as a practical example of how to rely on Jesus to fill your heart void. One thing is to focus on the reality of a verse like Romans 2:5, “But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.” Then to focus on the reality of a verse like Romans 5:9 “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” I like to use a whole list of verses to remind me of the truths of the love that this gift of mercy represents:

    I try to viscerally feel these verses, close my eyes and picture the wrath I deserve (Romans 2:5), and then viscerally feel it being lifted and replaced with God’s mercy (Romans 5:9).

    I think it’s knowing that while the waves are choppy in the storm, the waters below are at peace, and represent the ultimate truth.

    In a situation like yours, the world is going to tell you to look elsewhere to be filled because your husband isn’t filling you, but in Christ you know you are already filled.

    • Pastor Noah,
      Thank you for your reply; I have been giving it much thought. Usually I long for Heaven when I’m feeling so unloved. I long to be rescued. I escape in my mind to my death, where I’ll be free from marriage. I just want all the pain to end! But your examples of Jesus enduring the Cross and the desciples being martyred caused me to compare my suffering to theirs. They suffered well because their suffering was for God’s glory. I don’t know 100% that my marital suffering is giving God glory. I suppose if I could bank on that—if I knew for certain that my suffering had purpose, especially God-purpose—then I would be able to suffer well too. One scripture stands out to me that may be helpful here: “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28) In the midst of my pain, am I loving God? Do I love Him? Then He promises to use ALL things for my good, even pain. WOW! I’m not begging for more pain, but knowing that God will definitely sovereignly use it for good in my life helps me trust that He’s got a purpose and plan for it. Instead of seeking escape, I can endure the suffering—hopefully one day embrace it?—as bearing good for me some day, some how, by God’s hand. I have to trust God’s Word to be true, and I know it is. I also hope I am “rightfully dividing the Word of God” when I apply Rom 8:28 in this way.

      • Hi Rachel. I was teaching on this ‘entitlement vs. gratitude’ topic last night in a Bible study I lead. It was discussion oriented and I brought up some of the ways that women’s comments on my blog have made me pause in how I present this when it comes to marriages. I essentially asked the group for help in applying the Scriptural principles we were talking about (we were in Philippians 4:10-13 that we can be content in Christ through good or bad times, and how to do that) to situations of emotional abuse within a marriage. Physical abuse is more clear cut, to separate from that person and to seek justice to that injustice (which is a biblical principle), but emotional abuse is much more of a grey area. I thought their answers were helpful.

        One thing they talked about was how we are redemptive agents toward injustice, so in situations of true abuse (whether physical or emotional), we aren’t just to passively take it, but are to seek to redeem the situation. Another example was that of American slavery. Where a slave didn’t have control over the abuse they were under, but could still be content in Christ. Not content about the slavery itself, but to have an inner peace in spite of it — this is what might apply most to your situation. Where someone in this bad of a situation is definitely going to long for heaven, but there can also be a peace in Christ that can sooth the numbness of our current pain while we are in the midst of it. Another brought up with the Philippians 4:10-13 text, when Paul says he was hungry or in need, he doesn’t tell us we have to stay there — like somehow it’s noble to stay hungry when there’s food available.

        Again, lots of grey area for each individual situation. The caution to myself as a pastor is I never want to give a blanket formula to people of “divorce your husband if they are mean to you” and I also don’t want to give a blanket formula of “stay with your husband no matter how bad he treats you.”

        I think what you hit on with God’s sovereignty is a big truth as well. I think God calls Christian husbands to love “unlovable” wives as a way of showing that unlovable wife the love of Jesus, and vice versa that he calls Christian wives to do the same to unlovable husbands for the same reason. Your husband claims to be a Christian, but that doesn’t mean he is one — I’m not saying he’s not, but that’s between he and the Lord. That reminded me of 1 Corinthians 7, and this is confusing, but it shines some light on this sort of thing:

        1Cor. 7:10    To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

        1Cor. 7:12    To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

        1Cor. 7:15    But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

        From this I see 1. (v.11) a wife can separate from her husband, 2. separation and divorce are different, 3. your love for your husband can draw him to Christ

        It seems like in a very dire situation, where your husband is completely unwilling to change or receive counseling, you can set boundaries and separate from him if he’s not willing to work on things as a Christian should. And that this separation might be what he needs to wake up, both to his marriage and to his faith in Christ.

        I’m not prescribing that for your situation, but I think it’s important to reflect on what Scripture says about a situation like yours and the options it gives.

        And back to contentment, if you stay in your current situation, I think you can have that real peace of Jesus loving and accepting you (when your husband isn’t), and if you were to separate from him, you’d have that real peace of Jesus loving and accepting you. Knowing you deserve his wrath, but he’s removed his wrath from you and instead has adopted you as his daughter. That you are full on his love, which will be that peace to strengthen you through these storms.

  22. Pastor Noah,

    I’ve only been marriage for a year and a half and I already feel imprisioned in a very wrong marriage. Aside from our love of God and outdoors activities we have nothing in common. I was foolish and was tricked into thinking he’d make a good husband. When we were dating, all I saw was a kind Christian man working hard and wanting to build a Christian home. He worked long hours and was admired by his colleagues. He quickly saved money to get married and shared with me a vision of a home.

    I quit my job and left my country for him to live in a remote town he’d moved to for work after our wedding. Living together for the first time away from friends and family was when I saw and experienced first hand his harsh and abusive ways. He either mocked me, was sarcastic or angry…only on very rare occasion would he be happy, like when he received his purchases in the mail. Otherwise he was angry and found fault in EVERYTHING I did, even when I did them exactly to his his order. The sickening part was that I sometimes see him relish and my tears and pain. While my husband would not outright beat me he would kick me off the bed, or but would “wrestle” me, put me in headlocks, jab me hard in sensitive areas in guise of trying to be affectionate . (Initially I thought he was just rough but my husband was a wrestler in high school and I’ve spoken to him so he knows exactly what he’s doing). I couldn’t talk to him sensibly or normally because he would deflect by speaking gibberish ( literally words that don’t string into sentences or accuse me of something he had done). Then he would be normal again. I was so scared, and distraught I considered suicide if not for random kindness of strangers and friends who reached out suddenly and helped me escape. I got a hotel room and spent 3 days praying non-stop. I pored over forums and the Bible to seek answers. Despite the insanity I wanted to heed Gods word and put my faith in the holiness of marriage and went back. He’d changed for the better since that incident and I thought our life was progressing smoothly. We still fought, but they’d were normal stuff. Then he came home one day announcing he quit his job. we lived off of my savings and his unemployment even though he was not qualified. He didn’t want to look for a new job. I couldn’t work at the time bc my immigration paper wasn’t complete, he blamed me for not working. Luck or God would have it, I got offered a well paying job in my home country that I applied 2yrs ago. I was very happy to have an excuse to return. I bought him a truck with my savings and we both drove back to my country to start my job and lived w my parents. He stayed there for a month before “job” was available again and he returned to the USA. He ended up not working and living with his brother for 2months “fixing” his truck, only to have him take it apart and it’s now not working. I flew him back to Canada and he stayed for a few months before He asked me to buy him another truck and gas money to go back to his home state to work. He has since been working. However, he became secretive with his finance. He did not replenish our/my savings and would never have any money and he refuses to save. I spent my earnings to buy tickets to see him monthly but he would not contribute to any of my expenses there. In addition he decided he no longer need to live in a building so he is working homeless and sees no problem living like that. He wants me to drop my job again and live with him in his truck. As his wife, I feel as if it’s my duty to go back to my husband. But common sense is telling me to leave him. We’ve also been trying to have a baby but as much as I want one, I am also scared and anxious bring a child in this world and subject him/ her in my husband’s insanity and abuse. Plus despite our infertility problem he refuses to see a dr to check.

    He had caused so much stressed I’m not surprised I am not pregnant. As mentioned my husband was somewhat “normal” but lately in my last visit, he’s becoming more unloving and aggressive. He got out of his car and punched through some’s window during a traffic jam because the man tried to cut him. He I truly believe I fell in love and married an insane person.

    If he isn’t supporting financially, and doesn’t perform his husbands duties and potentially leading into a dangerous life. Should I leave him? Isn’t he trying to indirectly tell me he doesn’t want the marriage to work?

    • Hi Cally, thank you for your comment. I apologize for my delay in getting back to you, I wanted you to know I got your message, and have added you to my prayer list! I’ll write you back a thought-out answer to your question on Thursday or Friday of this week.

    • Hi Cally, I apologize for my delay in responding. I have been praying for you and will continue to. Is your husband willing to seek professional help for his mental health? And is he willing to go to marriage counseling?

  23. I found Dr. Amigo’s web when my finances were in real trouble. My husband had gambled away most of our savings, I had no job, and we were facing foreclosure. I needed a money spell from Dr. Amigo, and quick. I can’t believe how understanding he was. After ordering the spell, I felt much more confident that things would turn out. Believe it or not, it did. I won $250,000.00 the following week, found a high paying job and my husband went into treatment for gambling addiction. We’re doing much better now and we get to keep the house. Thank you Dr. Amigo for being there when my heart needed it the most. Contact him today for your own breakthrough. Google his name as Dr Amigo online love spell caster to review his article

What do you think? Leave a reply...